PF was charged with molestation of his granddaughter after making incriminating statements while being treated in an emergency room for an overdose of methamphetamine. The granddaughter, who was about 4 years old, gave conflicting statements to the forensic interviewer. However, we could show that the child had been coached before her second interview.
DS was charged with second-degree murder for shooting to death a man whom he had threatened to shoot in the head. The victim was, in fact, shot in the head within days of being threatened by DS. At trial, we were able to show that the shot fired by DS that killed the victim was fired from about 70 yards away while DS was waving the pistol and yelling at the victim. That is, the time DS did not have the specific intent to kill or cause great bodily harm.
R.T. faced charges of DWI – third offense, for which the penalties are imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years and a mandatory fine of $2,000. I obtained the court minutes and transcripts of the prior convictions. Since the minutes and transcripts of the prior convictions showed that the defendant had entered guilty pleas that were invalid for failure to advise of the constitutional guarantees against self-incrimination, of the right to trial, and of the right to confront the witnesses against him, the charges were reduced to DWI – first offense.
B.T. was charged with the aggravated rape of his girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter. The defendant maintained his innocence, and, although he had a prior conviction for sexual behavior with a juvenile, elected to try the case. My investigator located two witnesses who overheard the juvenile making plans to put her mother’s boyfriend in trouble. Their testimony raised doubt about the veracity of the alleged victim.
C.T. was indicted for the sexual battery of his wife’s three-year-old niece. Specifically, the state sought to prove that the defendant had inserted a soft, flexible sex toy into the little girl. DNA evidence indicated that the toy had been touched by the defendant, his wife and the alleged victim. A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner testified that her examination established “chronic abuse” of the child. We were able to show that the alleged victim had found and played with the sex toy, which explained the DNA evidence, and our expert witness showed that the SANE examination was unreliable.
H.A. was charged with 33 counts of “monetary instrument abuse” for allegedly counterfeiting paychecks of a local business. My investigator established that the checks, which had different serial numbers, were all based on a single paycheck. Further, the defendant was not the payee of any of the checks, and he had not been seen at any of the locations where the checks were cashed. Obviously, someone with lots of computer know-how had ripped off a local business, but the defendant, a legal alien with limited English, was an unlikely candidate for a sophisticated check scheme.
W.J. had been charged by federal indictment with six counts related to the concealment of assets and false statements under oath during the course of his personal bankruptcy proceedings. I was engaged as co-counsel in the case for my knowledge of the bankruptcy laws. The defendant accepted a plea agreement under which he entered a guilty plea to a single count of concealment of assets. The pre-sentence report indicated that the range for imprisonment under the federal Sentencing Guidelines was six to 12 months.
M.D. was charged with aggravated rape of his grandson. Before trial, the bill was amended to a reduced charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile, a charge that under the circumstances carried a possible penalty of not less than two years nor more than 25 years at hard labor. The defendant elected to try the case. The State sought to prove the defendant had engaged in oral sex with the alleged victim.