Articles Posted in Homicide

Last week, a 23-year-old man turned himself in for the alleged killing of a Florida drug dealer. According to a report by WOKV, the man approached the victim’s car, who was waiting outside a friend’s house, and inquired about purchasing drugs. The victim, in fact, did have drugs on him and told the man that he could sell them to him.

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In the process of the drug deal, the man allegedly shot the victim several times. The victim was able to drive away, but the man pursued him, firing shots along the way. Eventually the victim’s car left the roadway and slammed into a nearby utility pole. When police arrived, the victim was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, which he later died from.

The 23-year-old man approached the dying victim’s car, took his watch, and then fled the scene. Less than one week later, her turned himself in to police. Although neither police nor prosecutors have disclosed how the man will be charged, it is very possible that he will face second-degree murder charges when he stands trial and face a potential of life in prison.

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Earlier this month, a sixteen year old Florida teen was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the attempted murder of a transgender woman. According to a report by NBCNews.com, the teen thought that the transgender victim was a biological woman, when she had actually been assigned male at birth. This upset the teen, so he followed the victim into a vacant house and shot her.

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According to police, the victim pretended to be dead and watched as the teen fled. But then, as the victim began to get up, the teen came back and shot her again.

Both the teen and his grandmother took the stand during the sentencing hearing and pleaded for the court to have mercy on the teen. The teen’s grandmother explained that he did not grow up with a male role model and that, despite this crime, her grandson “has a very good heart. He’s funny. He’s kindhearted. He has a problem.”

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Ryan Barry and Ashley Cyr, both of Quincy, just south of Boston, are accused of killing their 5-month-old daughter by giving her a bottle of formula with heroin in it were charged with manslaughter They pleaded not guilty and were ordered held on $200,000 cash bail.

If one has been charged with domestic violence, child abuse, or manslaughter in this case, one should not speak to anyone who may seem to be acting in one’s best interest. Many, including social workers, law enforcement officers or representatives from DCF, while appearing friendly, may actually be gathering evidence against one in an attempt to take one’s children away, especially if one’s children have made the complaint themselves. indexbbottle.jpg

One should speak to a qualified defense lawyer first before speaking to anyone else about the circumstances surrounding one case. These cases are obviously emotionally charged and require the impartial perspective of an attorney. There are defenses to child abuse including one defense aptly named “the parental defense.”
Many times, if one obtains an experienced attorney, one’s attorney will be able to show that the evidence against one is inconclusive to determine one was the cause of child abuse. In this case, the court could side in the defense, finding no conclusive evidence that the action or inaction of the parents would have saved the baby’s life or caused the baby’s death, a deciding factor that many times will lead the court to allowing the parents avoid prison and be placed on probation.

Probation is a much more favorable alternative to the many dangers and setbacks of being in prison. One’s attorney may able to secure a probationary sentence in one’s case, many times in the form of a legal supervision program ordered by a court, or a diversionary work program under certain circumstances if one is found guilty of some “eligible” types of crimes or is a remorseful first time offender. If one is put on probation, one will be assigned a Probation Officer who will monitor one’s compliance with the court-ordered conditions and will be notified about the conditions and the term of one’s status in the probation. Community Control is more stringent and strict in that it is a monitored release, typically involving stricter conditions, such as home confinement, electronic monitoring and curfews.

Depending on the seriousness of the crime, and the amount of evidence against being used against the accused, sometimes the accused feels it is better to admit the crime and receive a sentence right away, rather than wait for a trial and a possibly larger sentence. However, a plea bargain is not always the best option for the accused in a criminal suit. Some crimes may be too serious, and therefore require a trial. Others are clear cut cases of police misconduct or cases of tampered evidence that can and should be suppressed. However, many State attorneys will attempt to rush a plea agreement before the truth of one’s innocence or the invalidity of the evidence comes to light.

Many times, people commit crimes they would not normally ever think of doing; others are simply accused of things they did not do. When this happens, one should not talk to police, prosecutors, or any other individual but one’s experienced Jacksonville felony violent crimes defense attorney who will fight the case, ensuring that one does not become the victim of a powerful State operated legal system.

For many, child abuse charges are not properly founded or not fully conclusive, and as a matter of course, the court will place the parent on probation and may require them to take a court-ordered anger management or parental counseling class. Unfortunately, work or family situations sometimes will keep good people from being able to complete conditions of their probation, such as community service hours, in a timely manner. Many times, the best option is to obtain an experienced Jacksonville child abuse crimes defense attorney to request a modification of the conditions of one’s probation or by asking the judge for an extension of time in order to complete the conditions of one’s probation.

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Circuit Judge James Daniel has sentenced Biannela Susana, 27 year-old mother of Cristian Fernandez, to 10 years in prison. However, the Judge credited her with the two years and four months she’s already served in jail awaiting the consequences and suspended the rest of the sentence to probation. As long as Susana abides by the conditions, she will not have to go to prison for her role in the death of Cristian’s half-brother, 2-year-old David Galarraga. In the mind of the court, Susana has already paid the price for contributing to both children’s fates, with one child dead and the other in juvenile custody for killing him.

Not every mark left on a child resulted from child abuse. Many innocent parents or individuals acting as the temporary guardian of children are caught up in an overly aggressive investigation. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and investigating detectives are taught to take aggressive action against any parent who disciplined a child leaving a mark anywhere other than the buttocks. Law enforcement often have a difficult time using common sense to tell the difference between discipline and abuse. 12533525.jpg

If one has been charged with domestic violence or child abuse, one should not speak to anyone who may seem to be acting in one’s best interest. Many, including social workers, law enforcement officers or representatives from DCF, while appearing friendly, may actually be gathering evidence against one in an attempt to take one’s children away, especially if one’s children have made the complaint themselves. One should speak to a qualified defense lawyer first before speaking to anyone else about the circumstances surrounding one case. These cases are obviously emotionally charged and require the impartial perspective of an attorney.
There are defenses to child abuse including one defense aptly named “the parental defense.”
The standard jury instructions do provide certain instructions on the issue of corporal punishment, stating that it is not a crime for a parent or a person who is acting as the lawful guardian of a child to impose reasonable physical discipline on a child for misbehavior under the circumstances, even though physical injury resulted from the discipline. Florida law further provides that corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.

Many times, if one obtains an experienced attorney, one’s attorney will be able to show that the evidence against one is inconclusive to determine one was the cause of child abuse. In this case, the court sided with the defense, finding no conclusive evidence that prompt action or inaction would have saved Galarraga’s life, a deciding factor that led to the court’s allowing Susana to avoid prison and be placed on probation.

Probation is a much more favorable alternative to the many dangers and setbacks of being in prison. One’s attorney may able to secure a probationary sentence in one’s case, many times in the form of a legal supervision program ordered by a court, or a diversionary work program under certain circumstances if one is found guilty of some “eligible” types of crimes or is a remorseful first time offender. If one is put on probation, one will be assigned a Probation Officer who will monitor one’s compliance with the court-ordered conditions and will be notified about the conditions and the term of one’s status in the probation. Community Control is more stringent and strict in that it is a monitored release, typically involving stricter conditions, such as home confinement, electronic monitoring and curfews.

For many, child abuse charges are not properly founded or not fully conclusive, and as a matter of course, the court will place the parent on probation and may require them to take a court-ordered anger management or parental counseling class. Unfortunately, work or family situations sometimes will keep good people from being able to complete conditions of their probation, such as community service hours, in a timely manner. Sometimes, unforseen financial hardships or changes in circumstance, make it difficult to attend court ordered classes or counseling. In these situations, it is important to communicate with one’s probation officer in order to avoid a violation of probation. Many times, the best option is to obtain an experienced Jacksonville probation crimes defense attorney to request a modification of the conditions of one’s probation or by asking the judge for an extension of time in order to complete the conditions of one’s probation.

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New court paperwork reveals that prosecutors have unlocked a great deal more information from Trayvon Martin’s cellphone, including satellite-tracking information that shows where it was in the days leading up to his shooting, making many wonder if it also lays out the teenager’s movements Feb. 26 — the day Trayvon was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was originally arrested for his involvement in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman allegedly killed Martin in self-defense, and as a result, is pleading the controversial defense of the stand your ground law, which will see some rocky roads ahead. The trial is currently set for June 10.

One who has been charged with committing a crime must plan a proper defense for trial. In order to ensure that this goal is accomplished, one must be aware of everything that might be used against one in the government’s possession. One has the legal right to have access to many types of evidence before trial. imagescourthouse.jpg

Discovery is the procedure of exchanging information between the prosecutor and defendant, more likely defense counsel, in pre-trial criminal proceedings. Once the defendant is charged with a crime, the court sets the time for when a request for discovery can be made. The defendant can then make a motion for information. The State must then disclose the information requested by the defendant.

An experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney will know what to request and what evidence will be key to one’s proper defense. Key evidence may include alibi witness statements, DNA samples, co-defendant statements, and in some cases, drugs or paraphernalia essential to proving the crime. Failure to comply with a valid discovery request may lead to sanctions or exclusion of witnesses at trial. However, work product, which is material that reflects an attorney’s impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal research or theories, is exempt from discovery admission.

A police officer has the right to search open containers on one’s person. Sometimes, those accused of a crime may think that a cell phone does not fall under this category and thus may not be searched or the contents used to incriminate oneself. However, According to the 5th Circuit in Florida v. Ricardo Glasco, a cell phone will now be viewed in the same way as any other open container, as it is a case that may hold within it evidence of a crime. Remember, all evidence is important evidence.

The State Attorney has a continuing duty to disclose evidence after a request for disclosure has been made. It must promptly disclose additional evidence whenever it discovers it, even during trial.Many times, a motion to suppress evidence is the only thing that forces law enforcement to adhere to the Constitution, by making sure that if the search is not done correctly, the evidence will excluded, leaving the State with no case. If one obtains an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected, one can be sure that one will know one’s rights, know what the prosecution and police have access to, and will be able to make sure that wrongfully obtained evidence will not be used against one.

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Florida Man Wanted For Murder Gunned Down By Police Serving Warrant
Jacksonville’s citizens get angry sometimes and say things they should not say. Other times, they do things 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 Cape Coral Daily Breeze, Billy Ray Retherford of North Fort Myers was gunned down by police outside his home. The shooting occurred after Lee County Police attempted to serve a warrant on Retherford in connection with the murder of a Fort Myers woman. Retherford was armed and confronted police, who subsequently shot him. imagesrevolver.jpg

Jacksonville felony violent crimes cases typically involve someone who has made a serious mistake because of a temporary lapse in judgment. However, just because one made a mistake, does not mean that one must suffer the maximum punishment for the crime, particularly when one is remorseful. However, many accused parties do not know how to seek any avenues of relief that one might take, and suffer the harsh punishments rendered.

Under the Constitution, all warrants issued must be supported by probable cause and must describe the places and things to be search with specificity. Including arrest warrants, requirements for warrants based on probable cause and specificity in description protect one’s rights under the Constitution and stands in the way to protect the accused from shoddy police work. However, many times, accused parties do not know whether the warrant on them was executed properly, resulting in wrongful convictions.

Many times in Jacksonville, an accused party may have received word about a warrant for their arrest being issued and will attempt to evade the police. This action may seem beneficial in the beginning; however, eventually the police will find one, no matter how long they have been on the run. Unfortunately, many Judges may feel no sympathy when punishing one with an outstanding warrant.

Fortunately, one does have an option for relief when one does know about an outstanding warrant on them. As soon as one becomes aware of such warrant, one should contact an experienced attorney who can work with the Judge to recall the warrant in exchange for appearance for court. Many times, when one’s case is pled to a Judge who sees a remorseful accused party, one’s punishment often times is extremely small or nonexistent.

Many times, people accused of violent crimes think that the police will not be able to find them and will eventually give up the search. In this case, if Retherford was guilty of the murder he was accused of, he probably knew that a warrant was out for his arrest. If so, Retherford should have obtained an experienced attorney to recall the warrant and turn himself in, allowing him to stand trial and have his defense mounted for him in court by an attorney, rather than stand gunfire from police and a tragic death.

Many times throughout Jacksonville, accused parties face charges they never knew of and warrants they never thought would be out on them, and because of their lack of knowledge, they suffer at the hands of a cunning legal system. Fortunately, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville felony crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected, one can be sure that one will not be a victim in a fight one cannot win on one’s own.

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Jacksonville’s citizens many times make mistakes that will cause them to spend some time within the legal system. However, one’s stay should not be worsened because one cannot pay one’s own bond so one can speak to an attorney outside of jail. One in a situation like this should obtain an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected.

According to the Florida Times-Union, George Zimmerman’s bond has been revoked. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester, presiding over Zimmerman’s bond hearing, stated that Zimmerman and his wife lied to the court about how much money was available at the time the bond hearing was set, and as a result, received a much lower bond. indexgzbondrevoked.jpg

Jacksonville felony-violent crimes cases, as well as many other crimes, typically involve some sort of bond hearing as an initial proceeding. However, many times, accused parties are railroaded by State attorneys who want nothing more than to see one in sitting in jail during one’s entire case. However, in order to know one’s options, one must know exactly what a bond can is and requires.

A bond or bail bond is an assurance by the accused party that one will remain and attend every proceeding one is required to attend until the end of all proceedings in one’s case. When one goes before a trial judge for one’s bond hearing, one is normally at the mercy of the Judge and State Prosecutor handling one’s case. Particularly if one does not have an attorney present at the time that one’s bond hearing is scheduled, one can be facing a hard road ahead.

A trial court judge has the discretion to revoke, set and modify one’s bond after the bond hearing should any new facts arise that, had they been known at the time of the initial bond hearing, would have changed whether or how much one would have to pay for bond. A judge can further revoke one’s bond if the judge feels one is a flight risk or might be a danger to others.

In many cases, accused parties will claim indigence or an inability to pay an expensive bail, and as such, will have their bail lowered considerably. However, some will abuse this privilege, thus leading to heightened suspicion and unfounded accusations being brought against the rest of the unfortunate who cannot pay for an excessively expensive bond.

Many times throughout Jacksonville, people are accused of crimes they did not commit, but because of a prior crime or history of crimes, one is locked in jail, making one’s ability to defend one’s self an even harder battle. However, if one obtain an experienced Jacksonville felony-violent crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected, one can be sure that one will not have an excessive bail attached to one’s freedom, and that one will be able to traverse a smoother path through the legal system to one’s future of freedom.

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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.

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Jacksonville’s legal process starts very quickly, leaving the slow to be eaten by the harsh process of the criminal system. However, if one follows a few simple steps towards a better future in one’s road ahead, one will stay away from being mauled by an overly-aggressive process who is abusing the system. One in this situation should obtain an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to the Florida Times-Union, George Zimmerman has been released on $150,000 bail in Seminole County. Zimmerman was originally arrested for his involvement in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman allegedly killed Martin in self-defense, and as a result, is pleading the controversial defense of the stand your ground law, which will see some rocky roads ahead. ZimmermanFree.jpg

Jacksonville felony violent crimes may vary in type of harm as well as venue, but when the person accused of such a crime begins first steps into the criminal system, the crime becomes very similar in process, and thus is very important no matter what offense one is charged with. If one knows one’s options and allows for consideration of all options, one’s choice will be the best and most well laid plan for a better future free from the criminal justice system.

Many times in Jacksonville, the accused is scared of the thought of being in jail and just wants to go back home. Some of these people immediately make bail and run as far away from the legal system as possible. This may seem like the best idea at the time; however, the consequences of the action after it has been done can sometimes be hard to take back. In a situation like this, running away after posting bail can be the worst mistake in a case.

Sometimes, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, one’s attorney can have one released on one’s own recognizance. Being released on one’s own recognizance means that the court will release one without imposing bail costs for release, on the promise that one will appear to all court proceedings one is involved in, and that one will cooperate with the court.

In this case, Zimmerman’s attorney as well as opposing counsel and the judge had to assess whether to first allow Zimmerman to leave police custody, as he might be a flight risk, and furthermore, the amount of money that would be reasonable for Zimmerman to be released. However, in many situations, it might be a safer idea to rest easier in jail knowing that one has at least some manner of police protection, especially in a high-profile crime such as this.

Many times, the minute one’s bail is set, one rushes to the bail bondsman’s office to be released from police custody, as any smart individual would. However, one should not hesitate on the next and most crucial step to a proper defense. One should obtain an experienced Jacksonville felony violent crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

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Jacksonville’s citizens have many problems within their lives that bog them down, depress them and cause them to sometimes go insane. Unfortunately, actions typically occur during that period of insanity that might be subject to criminal prosecution. If one has been in a situation like this and believes they were not in the right mental state, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Verna McClain is charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Kala Marie Golden. The murder was said to have occurred over a child kidnapping, resulting in McClain shooting Golden multiple times and driving away in her car. McClain was said to have recently suffered a miscarriage and wanted a baby no matter what the cost. She has sense turned herself in and confessed. Mother%20Slain%20Baby%20Abd_Jone%20%281%29.jpg

Jacksonville felony violent crimes typically involve some sort of anger, rage or mind-altering emotion or state that would make one not aware of the consequences of one’s actions, or makes them think that their actions are right and thus they are justified in the action. Unfortunately, this state does lead to serious harm and death if the individual cannot cope with the situation.

Under Florida Statute 775.027, the defense of insanity allows for the accused to show the court that at the time the crime was said to occur, the accused was suffering a mental infirmity that caused the accused to not know the consequences of one’s actions and that one’s actions were wrong. This defense is particularly notable in this case because McClain was recently mourning the death of her unborn child.

A perfectly normal person of a reasonable mind may still have tendencies toward the insane, particularly when a traumatic event such as a close death or a car accident. No matter what the particular circumstance surrounding the event, if the person is truly insane during the period of the crime, then that person will have to show that something caused this mental infirmity and that the infirmity caused them to not think about their actions.

In this case, it is easy to see from very few facts that McClain was suffering from the death of her unborn child, decided to give in to her ideas of obtaining a child through kidnapping, and the first child that she happened to see caused her to snap and become violent. Her insanity was temporary, because after the crime was committed, she realized what she did was wrong and turned herself in. Her showing of recognizance by turning herself in further shows that actions like her deathly behavior was not normal for her, suggesting a brief period of insanity.

Many times, people go through with actions that they would not normally ever think of doing because of altered states of mental acuity. When this happens, things said, acts done, and effects rendered can leave the accused what seems like a very rough position with no way out. However, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville felony violent crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case, one can ensure one’s rights will be known and protected.

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