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Jack M Kaiser
01-03-2012, 10:19 AM
I'm in the process of writing a story where the MC is shot when he walks into an armed robbery at a jewelry store. When I began to research the medical aspects of this I encountered alot of places where it said about keeping the victim's clothing as evidence in cases of gunshot wounds, but no where can I find if this would have any bearing on my story or not. So what I'm asking is:
Does anyone know if it does and if so when would he get his clothing back?
Do they also keep the contents of the pockets?
What about his medals? ( He was wearing his military uniform at the time)
Does this included his watch, shoes?

I appreciate any and all help anyone can give. Thank you in advance!

jclarkdawe
01-03-2012, 09:29 PM
First thing is much of his clothing is going to be ruined. What the bullet(s) don't shred, the EMTs will. The EMTs will cut the shirt and pants off, checking for the main wound(s) and any secondary. Because of the amount of blood, it's difficult to ascertain with certainty the injuries without stripping the patient.

Everything would be bagged and tagged as evidence, until it can be excluded. If his wallet or medals are nicked by the bullet, they're evidence. Blood splatter on the watch is evidence. Boots that leave tracks in the blood? Evidence.

So the EMTs will start a bag, that will be finished by the nurses in the ED, which will go to the police. Depending upon how badly shot he is and where, depends upon what goes in the bag. It can include the watch, it can include your wedding band.

Then at some point, after the police have been through it to determine the value of it as evidence, discussion will be held over what can be returned. It can be a few days to a month or more.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jack M Kaiser
01-06-2012, 09:16 AM
First thing is much of his clothing is going to be ruined. What the bullet(s) don't shred, the EMTs will. The EMTs will cut the shirt and pants off, checking for the main wound(s) and any secondary. Because of the amount of blood, it's difficult to ascertain with certainty the injuries without stripping the patient.

Everything would be bagged and tagged as evidence, until it can be excluded. If his wallet or medals are nicked by the bullet, they're evidence. Blood splatter on the watch is evidence. Boots that leave tracks in the blood? Evidence.

So the EMTs will start a bag, that will be finished by the nurses in the ED, which will go to the police. Depending upon how badly shot he is and where, depends upon what goes in the bag. It can include the watch, it can include your wedding band.

Then at some point, after the police have been through it to determine the value of it as evidence, discussion will be held over what can be returned. It can be a few days to a month or more.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe


Thanks! That was alot of very great information that will be very helpful.
So would it be reasonable then to say a month later his belongings were returned to him? Well at least his ring, watch, medals, and what ever he had in his pockets? Would they even keep his truck keys?

Sea Witch
01-06-2012, 10:29 AM
+1 what jclarkdawe said. If the medals were on his jacket and had blood on them, maybe never. The keys and wallet, yes, probably less than a month. Sooner if he knows somebody.

jclarkdawe
01-06-2012, 06:26 PM
Thanks! That was alot of very great information that will be very helpful.
So would it be reasonable then to say a month later his belongings were returned to him? Yes, although this is going to depend upon what charges are outstanding against the shooter, and the likelihood some nasty attorney for the shooter is going go bitch about missing evidence. But more likely then not he should have stuff that has no value as evidence back in his possession within a month. Well at least his ring, watch, medals, and what ever he had in his pockets? The police have to hit a line between what might be evidence and not be a bunch of a-holes. Depending upon his insistence and replacement problems are the two big factors in is favor. Wedding bands get returned quickly, a $15 Timex probably not while a $15,000 Rolex would. His medals (and I'm assuming you're actually talking about the ribbons he wears with his uniform, since there are only a couple of medals that are actually worn) and pins such as wings and unit and rank designation, are easily replaced and wouldn't be high on the list of things to return. Quite honestly, as a prosecutor, if I can figure any way of getting his combat ribbons in front of a jury, I'm going to hold on to them. If you can't imagine the impact that ribbons would have on a jury, I'll set up the testimony and you'll see why. Remember to have him not put his hands in his pockets, although as a member of the military, that's less likely. Would they even keep his truck keys? His truck keys are something that would be returned fairly quickly.

You sort of have to look at whether the possession could help convict the shooter. Medals waved in front of a jury are a great way to convict someone. A wallet? Not so much. Of course, the wallet with a bullet hole through it, he'll never see again. You've got a lot of room with some of this stuff. Others you don't.

And the more I think about it, the less and less likely the chances of him getting medals or ribbons back. Among other items for ribbons is the fact that he'll have one indicating he served in the military in the time of combat. (You get this when you finish basic training.) Just to give you an example of how you can play this in front of the jury, the guy's giving his testimony.

PROSECUTOR: This is the ribbon bar you were wearing when you entered the Cumberland Farms? Correct?
SOLDIER: Yes, Sir.
PROSECUTOR: And this ribbon right here, (prosecutor points) the (whatever colors it is, I forget), you received from the Army for being willing to serve during a period of combat? Is that correct? (There's an objection here for leading the witness, but no one in their right mind would bother. It's a meaningless question.)
SOLDIER: Yes, Sir.
PROSECUTOR: I bet when you joined the Army you didn't think you'd get shoot going into Cumbie's, did you?
SOLDIER: No, Sir. (Soldier grins. Jury looks at Defendant, pissed.)
DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Objection.

Can you imagine the fun the prosecutor could have with a Purple Heart, for instance? So no way is he going to get the medals back.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Richard White
01-06-2012, 06:38 PM
Besides, the ribbons aren't that expensive to rebuy at the Clothing Sales store. And, if they've got blood on them, it's not going to come out - so he'd have to replace them anyway.

Remember, ribbons aren't usually worn with the Class B's (dress shirt/slacks/shoes - no jacket; tie depends on the shirt (long sleeves - tie, short sleeves - no tie), although they are authorized. It's more common when he's in his Class A's (jacket, long sleeved shirt, and tie).

Plus, if he's wearing his ribbons, it would be unusual if he wasn't wearing any other authorized award/badge (Airborne badge, Air Assault Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Instructor tab, etc.).

Jack M Kaiser
01-06-2012, 10:54 PM
You sort of have to look at whether the possession could help convict the shooter. Medals waved in front of a jury are a great way to convict someone. A wallet? Not so much. Of course, the wallet with a bullet hole through it, he'll never see again. You've got a lot of room with some of this stuff. Others you don't.

And the more I think about it, the less and less likely the chances of him getting medals or ribbons back. Among other items for ribbons is the fact that he'll have one indicating he served in the military in the time of combat. (You get this when you finish basic training.) Just to give you an example of how you can play this in front of the jury, the guy's giving his testimony.

PROSECUTOR: This is the ribbon bar you were wearing when you entered the Cumberland Farms? Correct?
SOLDIER: Yes, Sir.
PROSECUTOR: And this ribbon right here, (prosecutor points) the (whatever colors it is, I forget), you received from the Army for being willing to serve during a period of combat? Is that correct? (There's an objection here for leading the witness, but no one in their right mind would bother. It's a meaningless question.)
SOLDIER: Yes, Sir.
PROSECUTOR: I bet when you joined the Army you didn't think you'd get shoot going into Cumbie's, did you?
SOLDIER: No, Sir. (Soldier grins. Jury looks at Defendant, pissed.)
DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Objection.

Can you imagine the fun the prosecutor could have with a Purple Heart, for instance? So no way is he going to get the medals back.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe


OMG!!!! That was some great information! Thank you so much! I think that you have also inspired me to write out the courtroom scene. May I ask you a few more questions on that subject please?
Also to give ya a bit more specifics on this: The shooter is a two strike felon therefore he gets caught on this one he gets his third strike and well we all know what happens then, thats why he paniced and fired the shot when he caught a glimpse of the uniform.
The shootee was wearing his class A's. He had lots of ribbons including the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War among others. Also, master parachutist and his wings. He's Air Force and served in every war since and including Vietnam. None of the ribbons or medals were directly hit with any of the bullets, however, most would have been soaked with blood. And his stars on his one shoulder would have been damaged by a bullet that exited out of his shoulder. Then by the time the trial would roll around he'd be in a wheelchair and have little to no use of his left arm. So you're thinking on the trial with his ribbons was totally great! Thanks again!

Jack M Kaiser
01-06-2012, 11:19 PM
I forgot to list the charges that I thought that he would get.
1.) Attempted murder
2.) Armed robbery
3.) Possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime
4.) Unlawful carrying of a pistol
5.) Possession of a stolen firearm.

His prior convictions were for armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon for both of his prior convictions.

The Grift
01-07-2012, 01:08 AM
Felony attempted murder, depending on the jurisdiction

discharge of a firearm during commission of a felony/crime

Many others, depending on jurisdiction

Where did this bullet enter, in order to exit from the shoulder?

Jack M Kaiser
01-07-2012, 02:49 AM
Felony attempted murder, depending on the jurisdiction

discharge of a firearm during commission of a felony/crime

Many others, depending on jurisdiction

Where did this bullet enter, in order to exit from the shoulder?


Thanks for the charges that I missed.
That shot entered a bit below his collarbone and deflected off of his scapula then exited. He also received a shot to his chest near his sternum and another to his abdomen.
Would you happen to know if his partner could get a plea deal for testifying against him?

jclarkdawe
01-07-2012, 04:07 AM
Charges depend upon the jurisdiction. My personal favorite for a shooting was the charge of littering in a public place for the brass his gun ejected. But other serious charges would include:


Assault, which may or may not be a lesser included offense of felony attempted murder. But you tend to include it in the charges.
Kidnapping. If they told anyone to move, that's technically kidnapping.
Felon in possession of a firearm. Felons are not permitted to own or carry weapons.
Parole violation. He's probably on parole from his second offense. Realize that the parole violation, as well as being a specific charge, means that he's violated on his parole and sent back to prison to finish his previous sentence. Let's say his previous sentence was a 10 - 20, and he was released on parole after 12 years. He does the shooting two years later. This means he has 8 years left on his original sentence, which will probably have to be served before his new sentence(s) kick in.

I believe he may also be subject to Federal prosecution for shooting a Federal employee, but you'd have to research this.

The prosecutor is going to be looking for charges that add up to a minimum of getting him to age 80 in prison. (Usually people's behavior starts to improve around 50 - 60 years of age, although this is becoming less true. Here you want enough years to get way beyond that hump, and probably let him die in prison.) Some three strike states get you there easily, other states make this more complicated.

His buddy getting a deal depends upon how good the evidence is. If they got the shooting on video with good pictures and an arrest at the scene, not much incentive to deal.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jack M Kaiser
01-07-2012, 11:54 PM
Charges depend upon the jurisdiction. My personal favorite for a shooting was the charge of littering in a public place for the brass his gun ejected. But other serious charges would include:


Assault, which may or may not be a lesser included offense of felony attempted murder. But you tend to include it in the charges.
Kidnapping. If they told anyone to move, that's technically kidnapping.
Felon in possession of a firearm. Felons are not permitted to own or carry weapons.
Parole violation. He's probably on parole from his second offense. Realize that the parole violation, as well as being a specific charge, means that he's violated on his parole and sent back to prison to finish his previous sentence. Let's say his previous sentence was a 10 - 20, and he was released on parole after 12 years. He does the shooting two years later. This means he has 8 years left on his original sentence, which will probably have to be served before his new sentence(s) kick in.
I believe he may also be subject to Federal prosecution for shooting a Federal employee, but you'd have to research this.

The prosecutor is going to be looking for charges that add up to a minimum of getting him to age 80 in prison. (Usually people's behavior starts to improve around 50 - 60 years of age, although this is becoming less true. Here you want enough years to get way beyond that hump, and probably let him die in prison.) Some three strike states get you there easily, other states make this more complicated.

His buddy getting a deal depends upon how good the evidence is. If they got the shooting on video with good pictures and an arrest at the scene, not much incentive to deal.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

I am so much in your debt!! Thank you a million times over!

You are right on the Federal prosecution for shooting a Fedeeral employee. I had just read something about that in a law book. Oh and I think I may use the littering thing. I know its not funny but it is kind of comical.

Oh the jurisdiction is Colorado.

So then if the kid has no prior criminal record and he fully cooperates makes no differnce? Would he get mostly the same charges?

rugcat
01-08-2012, 12:24 AM
First thing is much of his clothing is going to be ruined. What the bullet(s) don't shred, the EMTs will. The EMTs will cut the shirt and pants off, checking for the main wound(s) and any secondary. Because of the amount of blood, it's difficult to ascertain with certainty the injuries without stripping the patient.Back in the eighties, a friend in Homicide spent much time educating EMTs about preserving evidence -- even to the point of making sure to cut around bullet holes in clothing rather that through them.

ironmikezero
01-08-2012, 01:13 AM
As for any federal charges, the U.S. Attorney would make that decision. Typically he/she would wait for the state case to conclude (usually upon sentencing) and then present the evidence to a federal Grand Jury to seek an indictment (true bill).

This is not double jeopardy, merely concurrent jurisdiction (the same act violates both state and federal laws).

The federal court (in this case, a US Magistrate Judge, District of Colorado) would subsequently issue a warrant to the US Marshal. The Marshal files a detainer (a formal notice, based on the warrant) with the custodial institution (county jail, state prison, etc.) that effectively puts a hold on the prisoner pending further action by the federal court. The detainer hold precludes the prisoner from eligibility for any sort of physical release - even if the State Supreme Court were to overturn the state conviction and order an immediate release, the US Marshal would immediately assume custody and present the prisoner before the federal court. Otherwise, the federal court would issue a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum (order to produce the body for prosecution). The Marshal assumes and maintains custody throughout the federal proceedings. At the conclusion of said proceedings, the prisoner is returned to state custody to finish the serving of the state sentence. Federal sentences can be concurrent or consecutive to time served in a state sentence - there are federal sentencing guidelines, but it's very much at judicial discretion.

jclarkdawe
01-08-2012, 07:08 AM
I am so much in your debt!! Thank you a million times over!

You are right on the Federal prosecution for shooting a Fedeeral employee. I had just read something about that in a law book. Oh and I think I may use the littering thing. I know its not funny but it is kind of comical. If you use it, you need to understand how it works. I had a client, blew by a cop setting of the radar with a big number. Client pulls off highway before the cop gets there, and disappears. Cop runs the plates, finds out the name and address of owner (which happens to be my future client). He drives to address, which is a few miles by highway, 200 yards as the crow flies. There he finds my future client passed out at the door. Future client is arrested on numerous charges, including DWI subsequent, driving after suspension, habitual offender, possession of drugs.

Client spends the night in jail, and bails out the next morning, and is also given a speeding ticket. Client, who is obviously not a rocket scientist, pays the speeding ticket. Guess what? There's no longer an argument he wasn't the driver. And that had been his only hope. After paying the speeding ticket is when I get to meet him.

So sometimes these silly charges actually have a reason.

Oh the jurisdiction is Colorado. I don't know if I even know any attorneys in Colorado.

So then if the kid has no prior criminal record and he fully cooperates makes no differnce? Would he get mostly the same charges? It's going to make a difference, but the question is how much. He's going to get the same charges as the other guy. Whether he gets convicted on all of them is the big question. He's going to do better at sentencing merely from the fact that he's not a three-time offender. How much better he's going to do at sentencing depends upon how much the prosecutor needs him. If he's really needed, he might get out in five years. More likely, I'm going to be happy getting him out in ten years. He's facing serious charges, with a case that's going to be in the press. But there are real limits to how much anything is going to help him.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jack M Kaiser
01-08-2012, 08:16 AM
As for any federal charges, the U.S. Attorney would make that decision. Typically he/she would wait for the state case to conclude (usually upon sentencing) and then present the evidence to a federal Grand Jury to seek an indictment (true bill).

This is not double jeopardy, merely concurrent jurisdiction (the same act violates both state and federal laws).

The federal court (in this case, a US Magistrate Judge, District of Colorado) would subsequently issue a warrant to the US Marshal. The Marshal files a detainer (a formal notice, based on the warrant) with the custodial institution (county jail, state prison, etc.) that effectively puts a hold on the prisoner pending further action by the federal court. The detainer hold precludes the prisoner from eligibility for any sort of physical release - even if the State Supreme Court were to overturn the state conviction and order an immediate release, the US Marshal would immediately assume custody and present the prisoner before the federal court. Otherwise, the federal court would issue a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum (order to produce the body for prosecution). The Marshal assumes and maintains custody throughout the federal proceedings. At the conclusion of said proceedings, the prisoner is returned to state custody to finish the serving of the state sentence. Federal sentences can be concurrent or consecutive to time served in a state sentence - there are federal sentencing guidelines, but it's very much at judicial discretion.
Thanks! That is some great information.

After the state and federal cases were over would he serve his time in a state or federal institutiion?

Jack M Kaiser
01-08-2012, 08:21 AM
Thanks again jclarkdawe!
Sorry that I laughed at your tale about your client, but it was comical.

As far as junior would it be safe to say that he would get 10 years? Would he get brought up on the federal charges as well?

Thanks!

ironmikezero
01-09-2012, 12:22 AM
Thanks! That is some great information.

After the state and federal cases were over would he serve his time in a state or federal institutiion?


If the federal sentence is concurrent, the inmate is (usually) returned to the state institution and the federal time is calculated as running at the same time as the state time.

If the federal sentence is consecutive, the inmate is (usually) returned to state custody to serve the remaining time on the state sentence.

At the conclusion of that (state) time, the inmate is transferred to federal custody and begins serving his/her federal sentence, typically at a US Dept. of Justice/Bureau of Prisons (DOJ/BOP) institution.

Some federal inmates may serve (shorter) federal sentences at state or local institutions at the discretion of DOJ/BOP if that institution has entered into an inmate custody/housing contract with DOJ/BOP. (Inmate bedspace is typically in short supply.)

There are always possible exceptions as to when an inmate sentenced to concurrent or consecutive time might be returned to state custody. He/she might be held in federal custody until the completion of the federal sentence. The respective courts might make such a determination, or the respective custodial authorities (state/federal) may so decide. It's a considerably rare occurrence, but it can and does happen in some exceptional circumstances. Sometimes available bedspace and/or medical issues can impact these decisions.

BTW, there is no longer parole in the federal system. The time sentenced is pretty much the time served (less some very modest considerations at the discretion of BOP). An inmate seeking early release must secure a hearing before the judge who sentenced him/her.

Jack M Kaiser
01-09-2012, 12:34 AM
If the federal sentence is concurrent, the inmate is (usually) returned to the state institution and the federal time is calculated as running at the same time as the state time.

If the federal sentence is consecutive, the inmate is (usually) returned to state custody to serve the remaining time on the state sentence.

At the conclusion of that (state) time, the inmate is transferred to federal custody and begins serving his/her federal sentence, typically at a US Dept. of Justice/Bureau of Prisons (DOJ/BOP) institution.

Some federal inmates may serve (shorter) federal sentences at state or local institutions at the discretion of DOJ/BOP if that institution has entered into an inmate custody/housing contract with DOJ/BOP. (Inmate bedspace is typically in short supply.)

There are always possible exceptions as to when an inmate sentenced to concurrent or consecutive time might be returned to state custody. He/she might be held in federal custody until the completion of the federal sentence. The respective courts might make such a determination, or the respective custodial authorities (state/federal) may so decide. It's a considerably rare occurrence, but it can and does happen in some exceptional circumstances. Sometimes available bedspace and/or medical issues can impact these decisions.

BTW, there is no longer parole in the federal system. The time sentenced is pretty much the time served (less some very modest considerations at the discretion of BOP). An inmate seeking early release must secure a hearing before the judge who sentenced him/her.


Thanks! That really helps.
I think I'm going ot have it that he serves them concurrently in a state facility since I doubt that he will live long enough to serve the full sentence anyway.
I just hope that I write this good and do your wonderful help some justice.

ironmikezero
01-09-2012, 12:47 AM
Best of Luck! Now write it!

jclarkdawe
01-09-2012, 06:46 PM
Even if there is concurrent Federal jurisdiction, it doesn't mean the Feds will exercise it. Or the state might waive their jurisdiction and let the Feds have the case (that's the situation in Arizona involving the Gifford shooting). Personally, if I was the State prosecutor, and I could sell the Feds on taking the case (good chance since a general was shoot), I'd give it to the Feds. Saves the state from spending money.

With high profile cases (in other words, front page news), definitely some politics is involved. And a US Attorney is going to like how this case plays out in the press. The minor charges you lose in going Federal aren't going to impact the sentence.

Normally, a crime has a finite worth. You do X, you have Y for a history, you go to jail for Z. Everybody in the system has some idea of that number. It's very rare that the Feds will charge unless the state doesn't nail the person enough. In other words, if he goes down for life in state court, it's unlikely the Feds would charge. Conversely, if he goes down for life with the Feds, then there isn't much benefit for the state to prosecute.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jack M Kaiser
01-09-2012, 10:27 PM
Best of Luck! Now write it!
I'm trying, really I am. I actually have 2 chapters done already and just started the third. I hit a HUGE hitch last night when I got to the part where they call his wife. I have no clue as to what the conversation would be. I absolutly hate it when those kind of walls pop up and I run smack into them.

Jack M Kaiser
01-09-2012, 10:30 PM
Even if there is concurrent Federal jurisdiction, it doesn't mean the Feds will exercise it. Or the state might waive their jurisdiction and let the Feds have the case (that's the situation in Arizona involving the Gifford shooting). Personally, if I was the State prosecutor, and I could sell the Feds on taking the case (good chance since a general was shoot), I'd give it to the Feds. Saves the state from spending money.

With high profile cases (in other words, front page news), definitely some politics is involved. And a US Attorney is going to like how this case plays out in the press. The minor charges you lose in going Federal aren't going to impact the sentence.

Normally, a crime has a finite worth. You do X, you have Y for a history, you go to jail for Z. Everybody in the system has some idea of that number. It's very rare that the Feds will charge unless the state doesn't nail the person enough. In other words, if he goes down for life in state court, it's unlikely the Feds would charge. Conversely, if he goes down for life with the Feds, then there isn't much benefit for the state to prosecute.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe
So then if he would only get 60 years with the state but he could get up to life with the feds and the feds would take case cause like you said they would like the press coverage, the state would allow the feds to take it?

jclarkdawe
01-10-2012, 03:22 AM
So then if he would only get 60 years with the state but he could get up to life with the feds and the feds would take case cause like you said they would like the press coverage, the state would allow the feds to take it?

Sixty years is effectively life. And the actual sentence would be 60 - 120, which means even if he gets released at 85 or 90, he'd still be on parole. He'd only get released if he was of good behavior. And the chances of an inmate getting to that age aren't that high. Health isn't too much of a concern with people who do big number crimes, and their bodies reflect this as they age.

I wish someone would do a study of average life expectancy of inmates. Although we've got an aging prison population, it seems like a significantly lower age than the rest of society.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jack M Kaiser
01-10-2012, 06:17 AM
Thanks for that.

I don't think that this guy will get out on good behavior. It would be like asking a rotten apple to become ripe.

I read an article a while back where they talked about why prisoners don't last long one they are inside. It said that with the increase in gang acitivity on the streets leading to high arrests of their members leads to the reforamtion of the gangs inside. That leads to high violence incidents and drugs. Add to that the spread of disease through drug use and homosexual behavior. And like you had mentioned the medical care isn't all that great in many institutions. Most prisons have corruption in their guards. The guards allow fights and murders to occur, sometimes even betting on the fights.