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Calla Lily
12-04-2013, 05:40 AM
I went back to threads from 2009 and didn't find these answers, so I'm asking for AW's collected wisdom.

MC and GF get hammered, pass out in bed. MC wakes up next morning and finds GF murdered on their 2nd-floor apartment balcony--strangled with one of his neckties. Small hole in their glass balcony door, both wallets missing. No prints or any other indication of someone else in the apartment. Police arrest MC. MC gets out on bail. After 3 months, MC is charged with GF's murder.

MC insists that only he can prove innocence since there were no witnesses. His lawyer argues this with judge. Judge agrees to a 2-week space for MC to hire a PI at his own cost and prove it.

My question: What documents/recordings/evidence/other trial stuff would the lawyer give to the PI as ammunition for this 2-week race?

Right now I have emails and eyewitness depositions(?) of neighbors and co-workers, plus (from past GFs) restraining orders and 911 call records from all GFs, including murdered one--MC has bouts of violence, and dates girls who do too.

But there must be more official documents, yes?

Many thanks!


(This story idea came from a real news item in which a guy repped himself at his murder trial to prove his innocence because there were no witnesses. I don't know how it came out.)

jclarkdawe
12-04-2013, 06:37 AM
I went back to threads from 2009 and didn't find these answers, so I'm asking for AW's collected wisdom.

MC and GF get hammered, pass out in bed. MC wakes up next morning and finds GF murdered on their 2nd-floor apartment balcony--strangled with one of his neckties. Small hole in their glass balcony door, both wallets missing. No prints or any other indication of someone else in the apartment. Police arrest MC. Eh, maybe, maybe not. Not a whole lot of evidence either way. They're going to want autopsy for GF blood/alcohol level. This is an iffy case and the police can wait. MC gets out on bail. Not likely without a whole boatload of money. After 3 months, MC is charged with GF's murder. He was charged when the police arrested him. He was indicted by the grand jury three months later. They'd have a couple of hearings if it took them this long and they're holding him in custody.

MC insists that only he can prove innocence since there were no witnesses. Huh? First off, he doesn't need to prove innocence, just not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Break in and murder are consistent with the evidence you've provided so far. His lawyer argues this with judge. Judge agrees to a 2-week space for MC to hire a PI at his own cost and prove it. If he's indigent, the State pays for the investigator. Murder trials take months to set up. From the initial evidence, defense counsel knows this case is a variation on an alibi defense. He's going to request an investigator to review the apartment, and copies of the police evidence to check further. He's going to request other break-ins reported. If it takes them three months to indict this guy, the day after the indictment comes down, I'm going to a prosecutor with my first discovery request.

My question: What documents/recordings/evidence/other trial stuff would the lawyer give to the PI as ammunition for this 2-week race? Why in the world would there be a two week race. I want a DNA expert, a fingerprint expert, I want the PI investigating related break-ins. This trial is going to take months to put together.

Right now I have emails and eyewitness depositions(?) of neighbors and co-workers, plus (from past GFs) restraining orders and 911 call records from all GFs, including murdered one--MC has bouts of violence, and dates girls who do too. I'm not interested in what makes my client bad for the PI to investigate. I want to look for similar break-ins.

But there must be more official documents, yes? You give the PI the entire discovery file, which has the autopsy, the police reports, and everything the police discovered. I particularly want them looking at the DNA and fingerprint evidence.

Many thanks!


(This story idea came from a real news item in which a guy repped himself at his murder trial to prove his innocence because there were no witnesses. I don't know how it came out.) Send me a link to the story, because I have no idea what you're talking about. Sounds like the reporter is an idiot. Anyone has the right to represent themselves at a trial. People who don't use lawyers usually do so because their argument is so bat-frap crazy that the attorney can't argue it without rolling on the floor, laughing his ass off.

Take a look at Sam Sheppard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Sheppard)

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Calla Lily
12-04-2013, 06:54 AM
Link (http://www.krem.com/news/local/Accused-Spokane-killer-represents-himself-gets-victory--226975781.html)

Going offline for the night. Many thanks!

jclarkdawe
12-04-2013, 07:19 AM
I watched the link and did some research. His argument is that his girlfriend killed herself with a dog leash.

Callihan was appointed counsel, who discussed the case with him. Defense counsel told him that his theory of the case was crazy, especially with DNA evidence of his on her throat. Callihan told them to find people to support his theory. Defense counsel said, "No can do, because there's nothing to support your theory."

Without have a good faith belief in his or her motion, defense counsel can't apply for funds to investigate Callihan's claims.

When all of this was explained to Callihan, Callihan's response was "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on," and I'm guessing Callihan requested new counsel, which the judge would give him. New counsel says the same thing, and Callihan demands to represent himself.

Judge makes sure he's competent, and let's him. Stand by counsel is appointed to provide Callihan any assistance that he requests, which probably included explaining how to file for funds for a private investigator.

This happens a lot more often then one would think. Nidal Malik Hasan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidal_Malik_Hasan), who is the Fort Hood shooter, represented himself. His defense of justified homicide to prevent US soldiers from killing his comrades in Afghanistan can't be made by an attorney, as there is absolutely no legal basis for it. Hence he represented himself.

From the sounds of Callihan's case, he's a couple of months away from actually going to trial.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Calla Lily
12-04-2013, 04:59 PM
Thanks, Jim. That will work for this plot, since [spoiler!] the guy is actually the killer and he's manipulating my detective and the lawyer in a stall for time to fetch the embezzled money and disappear.

You've been a big help. :e2flowers

jclarkdawe
12-04-2013, 05:25 PM
It's not hard to get a defense attorney to want to stall a case. Every one of us believes in the "old wine defense," and that no case should be tried before its time. My record, with the very able assistance of the defendant, was over five years.

The longer the wait, evidence disappears, victims disappear, and my personal favorite, the defendant dies from unrelated causes (yes, this happened to one of my clients -- I get paid and my client doesn't go to jail).

A friend of mine had a client that stalled for four years. Every time the defendant's trial came up, he'd stop taking his meds and have a heart incident and be in the hospital when jury selection happened. Finally the judge got pissed enough that he empaneled a jury for as soon as the guy got well, and required a daily report from the guy's doctor. Prosecutor got 20 years on the defendant for kiddie porn, so you really can't blame the defendant for wanting to miss having a trial.

More likely your defendant is going to be manipulating the judge and the prosecutor. Defense counsel really doesn't care, and is more likely amused by the antics of the defendant.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe