Jacksonville Man Accused of Killing Girlfriend In Front of Children

Jacksonville’s citizens get angry sometimes and say things they should not say. Other times, they commit actions out of anger that are illegal. However, a person is not guilty just because they have been charged with a crime. Unfortunately for many, the process the State uses to prove guilt is not always fair. One in a situation like this should obtain an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure that one’s rights and defense are known and protected.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Kishon Larhame Birch of Jacksonville has been charged with the murder of Birch’s girlfriend, Rolanda Michelle Harrell. The murder was said to have occurred at their apartment, when Birch slammed Harrell against kitchen appliances and then beat her to death. Police say Harrell’s two young daughters and son were in the apartment. BIRCH%2C%20KISHON%20LARHAME_0.jpg
Jacksonville felony violent crimes typically involve some action on the part of the accused which causes unwanted physical harm or death. Unfortunately, many of these actions are not thought out, nor are they wanted after the fact. However, many accused parties do not feel that a mental state such as anger to be important to their case. On the contrary, a picture of the mental state of the accused or the perceived mental state that a State prosecutor might paint for a jury is crucial in determining whether a jury will be swayed to believe that one is either guilty or innocent.

Many times in the legal system, the State will gather testimony from any and all parties involved, directly or indirectly with the crime in question and use that testimony to show guilt. However, much of that testimony may be skewed or altered by the time that the jury first hears it. Unfortunately for many that will face this sort of altered testimony against them, the odds of being able to show that error or disprove an alleged witness will be a tough battle to fight on one’s own.

In this case, the first red flag in testimony gathering will be the testimony of the deceased’s children. Children are very impressionable and simply unaware of the weight of their statements to police, the State and any other official that might be involved in a court proceeding. Furthermore, as much as most would like to think that children do not have the intent to lie under their free will, the reality is that children could be given incentives to say certain things that they would not have otherwise.

From what can be seen from the facts, all of the children witnessing the event were under seven years old and as such, probably do not have the ability to properly or accurately describe what actually happened. At such a young age, a loaded or leading question to a small child might provoke an incorrect or inaccurate response, but a response that the State will attempt to use against the accused. What is even more unfortunate for the accused is that if the case goes to trial, the State will put the children on the stand to testify before a jury with this most likely inaccurate testimony.

Many times, the accused will face testimony and evidence hurdles that seem too tall to jump over. However, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville felony violent crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected, one can be sure that one will not fall victim to the State’s attempt to use misleading statements against one in one’s case.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Law & Disorder: Children witnessed their mother beaten to death, police say, Staff, The Florida Times-Union