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Becca_H
12-18-2010, 12:51 AM
I've just finished (sort of) a first draft of my YA novel, which has thrown up questions about how a crime would be handled in these unusual circumstances.

This is an American novel, and I'm based in the UK (I like making my life hard). I've done some research on justifiable homicide and self-defense, but I think this needs personal input.

My seventeen-year-old protagonist has been terrorized by a police officer, both verbally and physically. One day, she's in a public bathroom and he appears (along with her boyfriend who knows what he's like). He points a gun at both of them and tells her he's planning to kill her father, and then maybe her if he feels like it. He also admits to murdering her mother. In a fit of adrenaline, she lunges at him, grabs the gun, and shoots him in the head. The gun is left at the scene as both her and the boyfriend run away.

Her father is the Police Chief, and her fingerprints are on the database due to her accidentally contaminating evidence on a previous occasion. The next day, she admits to her father she killed the officer. The father didn't know about the harassment but believes her.

So my questions are:

1) Is this justifiable homicide due to self-defense? I've currently based this in New York State, so I believe there's no duty to retreat?

2) If it is justifiable homicide, is this likely to be believed by a jury when the evidence is only: the confession, two witness statements, and half the police stating her good character

3) How easy would it be for her father to 'disappear' the case, or evidence against her, if he wanted to? Half the police have known the girl all her life, and like her. Some of them have suspicions about the other police officer, but nothing solid

4) If she had to go through the standard legal process, what would happen to her? Would she likely be able to get bail? How much power would her father have over proceedings? Would it necessarily need to go to trial?

5) If she was found guilty of homicide, what would she be looking at?

6) If it was judged to be justifiable homicide, would she receive any form of criminal punishment?

7) How long would it take for the fingerprint results? How are the results delivered to the police? This would be a clean, solid print on the gun and trigger.

And also, if it is possible (or possible but risky) for the father to tamper with the evidence so nothing happens to her, what would you do if you were the father? He has the opportunity to:

- Disappear the evidence
- Expect her to go through the legal process with his financial support

Or anything else that could be suggested. I've had very strong, conflicting viewpoints from people I've asked, so it would be very interesting to know.

Thank you in advance for anyone who can help on any of the above.

alleycat
12-18-2010, 01:16 AM
Yes, you do like making life hard.

I could take a swing at some of those questions, but I'm going to leave it to someone with more knowledge.

In most jurisdictions for a shooting to be ruled justifiable the person has to feel that their life (or the life of someone else) is in immediate danger. It could kind of go either way with the details you've given; the fact that the officer admits to killing the protagonist's mother wouldn't be enough by itself, nor generally would having a police officer point a gun at someone (police officers do that as part of their duty). But in this case she could feel like her life is in danger (maybe she feels the officer is just nutty enough to shoot both of them), or the life of her father (that is, she think the officer is going to immediately go and kill her father if she doesn't stop him). Sometimes there is a gray area and it would depend on how the people in authority view it, and the people involved.

And if it went to a jury, anything can happen. There was a case in my area where a man went and killed the man who killed his granddaughter. Guess what, the jury found him not guilty, probably on some kind of legal grounds that the man was temporary mentally unable to tell right from wrong, but really on the grounds that they understood what he did and didn't want him punished since he'd already lost his granddaughter.

For a story, I think you could play this either way, or could tweak it to goes either way you wanted. A minor change here or there could make the difference.

Maybe one of the attorney members who has some experience in criminal law will chip in.

jclarkdawe
12-18-2010, 02:56 AM
I've just finished (sort of) a first draft of my YA novel, which has thrown up questions about how a crime would be handled in these unusual circumstances.

This is an American novel, and I'm based in the UK (I like making my life hard). I've done some research on justifiable homicide and self-defense, but I think this needs personal input.

My seventeen-year-old protagonist has been terrorized by a police officer, both verbally and physically. And she's told absolutely no one? Hasn't posted it on Facebook or something like that? One of the first things a defense attorney is going to do is start investigating this officer up and down the ying-yang.

One day, she's in a public bathroom and he appears (along with her boyfriend who knows what he's like). What's her boyfriend doing in the ladies' room? What's the cop's justification for being in a ladies' room?

He points a gun at both of them and tells her he's planning to kill her father, and then maybe her if he feels like it. Any video, either in the bathroom or outside the bathroom? Any witnesses? What was her demeanor before the shouting? What was his? Why was he there?

He also admits to murdering her mother. And here's where I'd start investigating next. Was the mother murdered? Unsolved?

In a fit of adrenaline, she lunges at him, grabs the gun, and shoots him in the head. Okay, her hand is going to be over his. Fingerprints will probably reveal some of this. Even if he completely releases his hand, his prints will be under hers. Therefore, why did he draw his gun?

The gun is left at the scene as both her and the boyfriend run away.

Her father is the Police Chief, and her fingerprints are on the database due to her accidentally contaminating evidence on a previous occasion. I don't know how fast they're going to run this.

The next day, she admits to her father she killed the officer. The father didn't know about the harassment but believes her. First thing dad is going to do is take her to the best criminal attorney in the area, and he'll know who it is. He knows he's going to become isolated from the investigation in about thirty seconds. He also knows he's going to need a spokesperson. And the only way he can assert control is through an attorney.

The attorney would meet with the daughter for a couple of hours, trying to get as much information as he/she can. Then he calls the state's attorney general's office and talks to the head of the homicide investigations. He would explain part of the situation, but not the self-defense. He explains that he has the daughter and he wants to turn her in. He'd try to negotiate bail, but probably won't get it, and would settle for the daughter going into protective custody or a suicide watch in jail.

After this call is done, but before turning her in, he'd call a buddy to represent the boyfriend, again briefly explaining the facts. Daughter would be turned into police, with his client refusing to answer any questions. Buddy would then show up with boyfriend who'd explain what went down. This way the daughter would not be able to make any inconsistent statements.

So my questions are:

1) Is this justifiable homicide due to self-defense? I've currently based this in New York State, so I believe there's no duty to retreat? Yes, the big question being whether anyone will believe it.

2) If it is justifiable homicide, is this likely to be believed by a jury when the evidence is only: the confession, two witness statements, and half the police stating her good character That isn't the only evidence. I'd put both of them under lie detectors, which may not be admitted into evidence, but would play out here. Further, the investigation is going to be extensive into the officer's background. Forensics should match the daughter's statements, which tend to indicate she's telling the truth.

3) How easy would it be for her father to 'disappear' the case, or evidence against her, if he wanted to? Half the police have known the girl all her life, and like her. Some of them have suspicions about the other police officer, but nothing solid The entire local police department would be dealt out of the loop. State police would take over the entire investigation.

4) If she had to go through the standard legal process, what would happen to her? Depends.

Would she likely be able to get bail? Probably not immediately. Depending upon the evidence, I'd have some hopes of bail at the arraignment, depending upon what I could develop for evidence. Also are the police developing evidence consistent with her story.

How much power would her father have over proceedings? None.

Would it necessarily need to go to trial? Depends upon what develops from the evidence. The AG could drop it, although more likely would take it to grand jury, which could bring back a verdict of justifiable homicide. In that situation, the case against her is closed.

5) If she was found guilty of homicide, what would she be looking at? I don't remember is NY is a death penalty state. If it is, the death penalty. Otherwise, life in prison without possibility of parole.

6) If it was judged to be justifiable homicide, would she receive any form of criminal punishment? None.

7) How long would it take for the fingerprint results? How are the results delivered to the police? This would be a clean, solid print on the gun and trigger.

And also, if it is possible (or possible but risky) for the father to tamper with the evidence so nothing happens to her, what would you do if you were the father? He has the opportunity to:

- Disappear the evidence If he believes his daughter, probably not, as the evidence would be supportive of her story.
- Expect her to go through the legal process with his financial support Absolutely no reason why he can't pay for the attorney. Understand that the bill here is going to be a minimum of $100,000 and could run quite a bit higher.

Or anything else that could be suggested. I've had very strong, conflicting viewpoints from people I've asked, so it would be very interesting to know.

Thank you in advance for anyone who can help on any of the above.

It's an interesting experience representing a police chief's kid. The chief stayed out of the picture, other then the check. Charge was relatively minor. The prosecutor (not the normal one for the police department) was willing to be a lot more flexible on a plea arrangement. Kid was guilty as sin, and scared shitless.

Feel free to PM with any additional questions.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

YoursEvermore
12-18-2010, 11:25 AM
So my questions are:

1) Is this justifiable homicide due to self-defense? I've currently based this in New York State, so I believe there's no duty to retreat? Like the other poster said, only if she feels her life is in immediate danger and she's left with absolutely no other option.

2) If it is justifiable homicide, is this likely to be believed by a jury when the evidence is only: the confession, two witness statements, and half the police stating her good character It all depends on the lawyers. :)

3) How easy would it be for her father to 'disappear' the case, or evidence against her, if he wanted to? Half the police have known the girl all her life, and like her. Some of them have suspicions about the other police officer, but nothing solid Not at all, unless he wants to lose his shield. If he's the slightest bit ethical, then he'd call in another agency to handle the investigation. Even if it was set in a small town, it would be hard to "disappear" the evidence without an officer, somewhere, taking the blame. The paper trail with every piece of evidence can't just disappear without someone noticing (like the abusive cop and/or his lawyer).

4) If she had to go through the standard legal process, what would happen to her? Would she likely be able to get bail? How much power would her father have over proceedings? Would it necessarily need to go to trial? It depends on the judge. Due to her age and her father's position, she would probably be given the ability to bond out, but it would be pretty high, given the nature of the crime. If she bonded out, she'd be given super strict restrictions. No leaving the state would be a big one, which her dad would probably have to agree to. And as far as his authority in legal proceedings? He'd have none. Once it's in the State's Attorney's hands, the cops' say-so pretty much goes out the window, even if he is the chief of police. And if she was arrested for homicide, or even manslaughter, then yes - it would definitely go to trial, no matter who her daddy is. Unless she cops a plea, but then she'd be admitting to murder, which she probably wouldn't do if she's truly innocent.

5) If she was found guilty of homicide, what would she be looking at? Depends on the lawyer and what the final convictions are. First Degree Murder, for example, is a minimum of 20 years to life, with no "good time" option. Lesser degrees of homicide and manslaughter vary, and usually the person only serves about 80% of the sentence.

6) If it was judged to be justifiable homicide, would she receive any form of criminal punishment? If she's found not guilty, then no. But there's no stopping the abusive cop's family from filing a civil wrongful death lawsuit against her later. Criminal and civil courts are completely different. Just 'cuz you're "not guilty" in one, doesn't mean you're going to escape the other one.

7) How long would it take for the fingerprint results? How are the results delivered to the police? This would be a clean, solid print on the gun and trigger. Depends on how quickly the lab can get them processed. We get ours back as a printed report, with all that nifty scientific schtuff spelled out for us. :)

And also, if it is possible (or possible but risky) for the father to tamper with the evidence so nothing happens to her, what would you do if you were the father? He has the opportunity to:

- Disappear the evidence
- Expect her to go through the legal process with his financial support

Like I said before, if the father has any smidge of an ethical bone in his body, he'd turn over everything to an outside agency and step back and pray for the best. Like another poster said, he'll know who the best lawyer(s) are in the area and I'm sure he'd be willing to fork out the money if he truly believes his daughter. Making evidence disappear will only hurt her case in the long run, not to mention hurt the careers of any officer that put their name on the chain of evidence paperwork.

Or anything else that could be suggested. I've had very strong, conflicting viewpoints from people I've asked, so it would be very interesting to know.

Thank you in advance for anyone who can help on any of the above.

I hope that helped and good luck!

PeterL
12-18-2010, 07:19 PM
I think it might be a good story, but the legal details will take up most of the words. JCD gave most of the answers. I think that one of the most interesting parts of the case will be how much comes pout about the cop's past actions. If the defense attorney makes the cop look like a truly evil person, then it would be easy for the MC to get off completely. If the attorney fails on that, then she could be found guilty of first or second degree murder.

LBlankenship
12-18-2010, 07:29 PM
I just want to point out that you shouldn't forget that she's shooting a cop, here. Cop killings are instant headlines, and bad things tend to happen to cop killers. My local county police arrested a guy suspected of shooting one of their own, and he turned up mysteriously dead in his jail cell.

Even if everyone knows he's a jerk, he's still a cop.

jclarkdawe
12-18-2010, 07:48 PM
I just want to point out that you shouldn't forget that she's shooting a cop, here. Cop killings are instant headlines, and bad things tend to happen to cop killers. My local county police arrested a guy suspected of shooting one of their own, and he turned up mysteriously dead in his jail cell.

Even if everyone knows he's a jerk, he's still a cop.

That's why I'd want her in protective custody or suicide watch. I'm going to force the jail to document every goddamn thing she does. I want to know when she pees, how long, and how often. And I'm going to call the warden every so often (like at least once a day) and mention lawsuits. Any attorney involved in this type of case knows the players and they'll know the attorney.

And this is why you won't get her out on bail immediately. Especially initially, no one is going to believe her, including the attorney.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Becca_H
12-18-2010, 08:45 PM
Thank you so much everyone for your replies. These really help, and definitely have opened my eyes to more potential to this manuscript than I originally thought possible. I've now got a really clear vision on how I can move this forward. And it's amazing to ask such an obscure question on a writer's research forum, and receive a response within a few hours from someone who's actually represented a police chief's child.


And she's told absolutely no one? Hasn't posted it on Facebook or something like that? She told her boyfriend, who essentially demanded she told her dad, and she didn't. She also told another police officer in conversation that this officer was harassing her (but limited what she said to sexual comments only). This officer, too, demanded she told her dad. And she still didn't. Mainly through fear, as the corrupt officer said if she told her dad, he'd kill both of them. And she believed it.


What's her boyfriend doing in the ladies' room? What's the cop's justification for being in a ladies' room?Cop watched her enter the ladies' room and followed her in to get her alone. The boyfriend watched the cop go in and went in there to protect her.


Any video, either in the bathroom or outside the bathroom? Any witnesses? What was her demeanor before the shouting? What was his? Why was he there?No video or witnesses. At least, not in this draft. She was terrified, the boyfriend was terrified, and the police officer was very calm as he explained his plans, which are to kill her family. He's had a problem with her family since before she was born. His plan was to get the father fired from his position so he wasn't so high-profile. But that's all she knows before shooting him.


And here's where I'd start investigating next. Was the mother murdered? Unsolved?Looked like an unsolved armed robbery. Father and daughter have believed that since it happened. Turns out from the police officer's confession he deliberately targeted the mother.


Therefore, why did he draw his gun?Mainly to be intimidating, and to stop her from running. He's had her alone previously, and usually pinned her to the wall when talking to her. With the boyfriend present, he can't restrain both of them. Plus, the boyfriend has previously turned up whilst she was being pinned to the floor and managed to throw him off.


I don't know how fast they're going to run this.Could you explain what you mean by this? Do you mean the father could be in serious trouble for allowing his daughter to contaminate evidence? If so, this happened when she found something whilst out on her own, called her dad, and her dad told her to pick it up and bring it home to him. Nothing major.


Daughter would be turned into policeIs this state police, or local police? How long would they hold her before moving her off to jail?


The entire local police department would be dealt out of the loop. State police would take over the entire investigation.So do they have absolutely no input at all? Are they updated on events? Would local police be able to help out if they wanted? How quick would state police take over?


Depends on how quickly the lab can get them processedIs there a rough time window? I've got this drafted as a twenty-four hour turnaround, which I'm pretty sure is hugely optimistic.


I think it might be a good story, but the legal details will take up most of the words.This is my concern, too, especially as my previous manuscripts are all YA romances with no real specialized knowledge. I do, however, have the advantage of first person POV from the girl. Her general naivety should mean the legal stuff is paraphrased for her by the attorney or father, with the complex issues taking place off-screen.


I just want to point out that you shouldn't forget that she's shooting a cop, here. Cop killings are instant headlines, and bad things tend to happen to cop killers. My local county police arrested a guy suspected of shooting one of their own, and he turned up mysteriously dead in his jail cell.

Even if everyone knows he's a jerk, he's still a cop.Interesting, I hadn't considered this. The entire police department have known her since she was a baby. They've all watched her grow up. But still, possibly, some may not like what she's done.

Thanks again, everyone!

jclarkdawe
12-18-2010, 10:10 PM
Thank you so much everyone for your replies. These really help, and definitely have opened my eyes to more potential to this manuscript than I originally thought possible. I've now got a really clear vision on how I can move this forward. And it's amazing to ask such an obscure question on a writer's research forum, and receive a response within a few hours from someone who's actually represented a police chief's child.


And she's told absolutely no one? Hasn't posted it on Facebook or something like that? She told her boyfriend, who essentially demanded she told her dad, and she didn't. She also told another police officer in conversation that this officer was harassing her (but limited what she said to sexual comments only). This officer, too, demanded she told her dad. And she still didn't. Mainly through fear, as the corrupt officer said if she told her dad, he'd kill both of them. And she believed it.

But she has told an independent source. This becomes critical in proving her story. Prior consistent statements tend to be very believable. I'd be talking to this officer as soon as I could.


What's her boyfriend doing in the ladies' room? What's the cop's justification for being in a ladies' room? Cop watched her enter the ladies' room and followed her in to get her alone. The boyfriend watched the cop go in and went in there to protect her.

Boyfriend isn't an issue, then, and his actions are logical.

Here's the thing on the cop. One of the first things I'd ask the AG is what the hell was the cop doing in the ladies' room? Other than hot pursuit or maybe the wafting odor of a joint, a male cop just doesn't go there. So how does the AG explain this?

Understand that this is the question I'm going to open with in front of a jury. Because I know the AG is going to have a hell of a time explaining it. And it makes the girl more believable.


Any video, either in the bathroom or outside the bathroom? Any witnesses? What was her demeanor before the shouting? What was his? Why was he there? No video or witnesses. At least, not in this draft. She was terrified, the boyfriend was terrified, and the police officer was very calm as he explained his plans, which are to kill her family. He's had a problem with her family since before she was born. His plan was to get the father fired from his position so he wasn't so high-profile. But that's all she knows before shooting him.

Reason for asking about video is because there aren't too many public restrooms left in the US that don't have video for the entrance. If she walked calmly into the bathroom, or was doing that cute little dance we all do, then he calmly walks in, it tends to support her story.


And here's where I'd start investigating next. Was the mother murdered? Unsolved? Looked like an unsolved armed robbery. Father and daughter have believed that since it happened. Turns out from the police officer's confession he deliberately targeted the mother.

Despite TV and books, private investigators are not usually allowed to investigate an ongoing murder investigation. But a PI could investigate a cold case without a problem. The PI now has new evidence to work with, and revisiting a closed case would be helpful. And if we can proof he did the mother's murder, then the other case is going to go away. No one wants to put a dead cop on trial.


Therefore, why did he draw his gun? Mainly to be intimidating, and to stop her from running. He's had her alone previously, and usually pinned her to the wall when talking to her. With the boyfriend present, he can't restrain both of them. Plus, the boyfriend has previously turned up whilst she was being pinned to the floor and managed to throw him off.

This would be the second question to the jury. Because police officers are not allowed to just draw their guns because. They have to have a specific reason that they can explain. Supervising officers will ask about this sort of stuff at scenes where one cop has his gun dangling in his hand and the rest do not. So the question here is how is the AG going to explain the officer drawing a gun on an unarmed female, who apparently is smaller than he is?


I don't know how fast they're going to run this. Could you explain what you mean by this? Do you mean the father could be in serious trouble for allowing his daughter to contaminate evidence? If so, this happened when she found something whilst out on her own, called her dad, and her dad told her to pick it up and bring it home to him. Nothing major.

It means I don't know the answer. But yes, her father would be in some level of trouble if he allows his daughter to contaminate evidence. She'd also be in trouble with her attorney. Based on your setup, physical evidence is going to support her. I'd want it picked up by a cop or preferably, one of the attorneys from the AGs office.


Daughter would be turned into police Is this state police, or local police? How long would they hold her before moving her off to jail?

Depends upon where I have the best relations. She'd probably be moved within three or four hours. No one is going to want to be responsible if anything happens.


The entire local police department would be dealt out of the loop. State police would take over the entire investigation. So do they have absolutely no input at all? Are they updated on events? Would local police be able to help out if they wanted? How quick would state police take over?

It depends in part on how the state's homicide investigations are structured. Some states do it by the state police anyway. But the locals would hear things before the press, but not very quickly. Her attorney, however, could work very closely with the AGs office. As her attorney, I don't want the locals doing anything that might screw this up, either trying to help the dead cop or her. I want someone with some distance from the people.


Depends on how quickly the lab can get them processed Is there a rough time window? I've got this drafted as a twenty-four hour turnaround, which I'm pretty sure is hugely optimistic.

For a cop killing, 24 hours to run fingerprints seems reasonable.


I think it might be a good story, but the legal details will take up most of the words. This is my concern, too, especially as my previous manuscripts are all YA romances with no real specialized knowledge. I do, however, have the advantage of first person POV from the girl. Her general naivety should mean the legal stuff is paraphrased for her by the attorney or father, with the complex issues taking place off-screen.

First off, in the real world, it will be next to impossible to keep her out of jail for awhile. But in a literary world, if the state is beginning to have doubts about the case, then bail could be arranged. For example, everyone is going to be asking why was he in the bathroom. Combine that with the cop she talked with coming forward and repeating what she said (he could do this as a casual aside and someone overheard him), or some other doubt, and it's possible bail could be arranged.

But realize that the press will be listening to all of this, and you're going to have to have something to explain to them. You can't show favoritism but you can't put someone in jail because you want to look good in the press. One of the things here is going to be all about spin.


I just want to point out that you shouldn't forget that she's shooting a cop, here. Cop killings are instant headlines, and bad things tend to happen to cop killers. My local county police arrested a guy suspected of shooting one of their own, and he turned up mysteriously dead in his jail cell.

Even if everyone knows he's a jerk, he's still a cop. Interesting, I hadn't considered this. The entire police department have known her since she was a baby. They've all watched her grow up. But still, possibly, some may not like what she's done.

That's the big piece. And depending upon where it occurs, it would be a capital crime because it is a police officer.

Thanks again, everyone!

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Becca_H
12-18-2010, 10:57 PM
Excellent, thank you so much for all your help. This has me really set up for the second draft.

If possible, could you clarify something for me? What happens to the boyfriend?

In your first post you mentioned he'd need an attorney and would be turned in, but with the knowledge of his actions, you say he's not an issue.

Would he still need an attorney? Would he be arrested as well, as a suspect? Or is he just a pure witness based on the girl's confession?

Stijn Hommes
12-18-2010, 11:39 PM
You better have a good print on the gun, because a trigger is too small to get a full print off and a partial print isn't going to cut it in court.

LBlankenship
12-19-2010, 12:15 AM
>Would he still need an attorney? Would he be arrested as well, as a suspect? Or is he just a pure witness based on the girl's confession?

In the first few minutes, anybody who was in the bathroom is a suspect. What happens after that depends on what the evidence says.

jclarkdawe
12-19-2010, 01:25 AM
Excellent, thank you so much for all your help. This has me really set up for the second draft.

If possible, could you clarify something for me? It's possible, but I doubt it. What happens to the boyfriend? It depends.

In your first post you mentioned he'd need an attorney and would be turned in, but with the knowledge of his actions, you say he's not an issue. The issue of why he was in the bathroom is solved. If he went into the bathroom with his girlfriend, the officer would be justified in entering it to prevent them from public fornication. Obviously as her attorney, I'd prefer not having to explain that.

Would he still need an attorney? Absolutely. At a bare minimum, I want a witness to his questioning. But I also have an idiot as a client who's in love. In other words. No brains. She'd want to make sure her boyfriend is protected, and getting an attorney for him is the best way to reassure her that I'm not out to hang the boyfriend (realize that I'd have no problems with doing that if it would benefit my client). Would he be arrested as well, as a suspect? Possibly. Or as an accessory. It's hard to say. Or is he just a pure witness based on the girl's confession? The girl isn't going to talk to the police until I have a good handle on the physical evidence. Her memory is going to consist of some gaps and I want her to fill those in correctly. By explaining the physical evidence to her, she'd be better able to remember her actions. For instance, blood splatter and the body's position is going to be very indicative of where she was standing, but I doubt she would have a clue where she was standing. She just thinks she does.


You better have a good print on the gun, because a trigger is too small to get a full print off and a partial print isn't going to cut it in court. Actually, representing the defendant, I'd love a partial on the trigger and nothing else. That means her hand was probably over his. But a partial is enough to bring someone in for an investigation of this size. A one point match would warrant further investigation, although there's no way that would be admitted in court if anyone objected. If this went to trial, it would be the prosecutor who tried to keep the partial out, and it wouldn't go down well with a jury. Juries love things like fingerprints and when the defendant points out that the police is not telling them all about the prints, the jury gets pissed. Nothing like showing that the police are concealing evidence to win a case for the defendant.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Nivarion
12-19-2010, 09:00 AM
One thing I'm gonna mention cause it hasn't been. If she had her hand over his there's a good chance that her hand could have been cut by the slide as it went back. Depending on the model of gun it could be evidence that he had his gun drawn before they "attacked"

Becca_H
12-20-2010, 02:40 AM
Great. Thanks for your help, everyone!