Tag Archives: defense

The insanity defense: We should try to help rather than simply punish

You may recall a story hitting the news in June 2014 about three girls in the woods in Wisconsin. Two 12-year-old girls lured a third into the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin, attacked her and left her for dead. This past week, the girl who carried out the attack, Morgan Geyser, was sentenced to 40 years in a mental institution. Her accomplice, Anissa Weier, was sentenced in December to 25 years in a mental institution. To provide a little context, Geyser didn’t merely attack the third girl, Payton Leutner. She stabbed her 19 times, all over her body. Why in the world would they do this? Apparently, they were trying to appease a character from a popular online horror game called “Slender Man.”

So, clearly, these two girls were not in their right mind at the time. Fortunately, the victim survived. As a result, Geyser was not charged with first-degree murder. Weier

Read more at: http://www.alligator.org/opinion/article_7bf2858c-0a90-11e8-8294-b3ff0ef755ee.html

Defense thinks evidence lost in slaying of Toyota plant supervisor

(WAFF) –

Attorneys representing a north Alabama man accused of killing his stepfather say key evidence could have been lost by investigators.

But the judge handling the case found no legal issues with it and is moving forward to trial.

Clarence Fearn is charged in the murder of George Woodard, Jr. He appeared before Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer to address a number of motions filed in the case Friday morning.

Fearn was arrested in 2014, five years after the killing. He is the victim’s stepson.

Woodard was fatally shot several times in the driveway of his Madison County home on Debbie Blvd. at 5:30 a.m. on September 30, 2009.

Woodard was on the way to work at the Toyota plant when he was killed. He had been an assistant manager in machining for seven years at the time of his murder.


Read more at: http://www.waff.com/story/36872271/defense-thinks-evidence-lost-in-slaying-of-toyota-plant-supervisor

Defense seeks to strike testimony from key witness in Kate Steinle murder trial – KGO

The defense in the Kate Steinle murder trial filed a motion to strike the testimony of a key prosecution witness. ABC7 News reported on Monday that a former crime scene investigator with the San Francisco Police Department was being sued for lying in another unrelated case where the defendant was wrongfully convicted.

RELATED: Prosecutor’s witness in Kate Steinle trial now being sued for lying

In the Steinle case, John Evans was brought in because of his experience in ballistic and firearms investigations. Evans testified that the defendant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate pointed the gun in the direction of Steine, pulled the trigger, and killed her. The prosecution asked him why and Evans responded, “It’s the only reasonable explanation.”

But lawyers in a completely different case will be in federal court in Oakland to argue that Evans and other SFPD officers violated their client’s constitutional rights. The case involves a man

Read more at: http://abc7news.com/defense-seeks-to-strike-testimony-in-kate-steinle-murder-trial/2648033/

Steinle Trial Defense Attorneys Question Credibility of Key Prosecution Witness

Defense attorneys for the man on trial for murder over the fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle say allegations against a key prosecution witness in an unrelated case call his testimony and conclusions about Steinle’s death into question.

Retired San Francisco police crime scene investigator John Evans is expected to testify again in the Steinle case Monday as a prosecution rebuttal witness. He testified on Oct. 30 that “a human being held a firearm, pointed it in the direction of Ms. Steinle, pulled the trigger and fired, killing her.”

He added: “That is the only way this could have occurred, that is reasonable.”

Evans’ conclusion directly contradicts the argument by attorneys for defendant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate’s, who say their client found a gun wrapped in cloth on the pedestrian pier where Steinle was shot. The attorneys say the gun went off before Garcia Zarate knew what he was holding and

Read more at: https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/11/13/steinle-trial-defense-attorneys-question-credibility-of-key-prosecution-witness/

Investigator testifes struggle unlikely in suspect’s defense – Times





Read more at: https://www.tmnews.com/news/local/investigator-testifes-struggle-unlikely-in-suspect-s-defense/article_d6bc0c3d-76de-5c28-8a73-8f424724a37a.html

‘Trigger’ Mistranslated: Defense Rests Case in Steinle Murder Trial

The man on trial for killing Kathryn Steinle sometimes agreed with a pair of San Francisco homicide inspectors during a 4½-hour interview the night of Steinle’s death in 2015. But exactly what defendant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was agreeing with might have been lost in translation, his defense attorneys argued Thursday, before resting their case in the high-profile murder trial.

Defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said that, among a “host of issues” with how the inspectors’ questions and Garcia Zarate’s answers were translated by a third officer, each time Garcia Zarate was asked if he “pulled the trigger,” it was translated as “shoot” or “fire.”

“The issue of whether Mr. Garcia Zarate admitted to pulling the trigger is a very important issue in this case,” Ugarte said outside court, “and the term ‘pull the trigger’ was literally never interpreted to Mr. Garcia Zarate.”

It’s a crucial point because of the defense

Read more at: https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/11/09/trigger-mistranslated-defense-rests-case-in-steinle-murder-trial/

Defense Expert: Shot That Killed Kathryn Steinle Fired From Low to the Ground

A firearms expert called by the defense in the San Francisco murder trial over the 2015 slaying of Kathryn Steinle testified Monday that the gun used to kill her was likely less than 2 feet off the ground when the fatal shot was fired.

James Norris, a former San Francisco criminalist and director of the police department’s forensics division, was the first witness called by attorneys for defendant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate.

The bulk of Norris’ testimony focused on the bullet’s behavior after it ricocheted off the concrete of a pedestrian pier and flew approximately 78 feet to hit Steinle in the lower back. He said the bullet’s path after the ricochet was impossible to predict, aligning with the defense argument that Garcia Zarate didn’t mean to shoot Steinle.

“It loses it’s accuracy immediately when it strikes the ground,” Norris said from the witness stand. He said it might have changed direction to

Read more at: https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/11/06/defense-expert-shot-that-killed-kathryn-steinle-fired-from-low-to-the-ground/

Defense deals blow to state’s case against Patterson

EDINBURG — After days of witness testimony and grueling cross-examination focusing on the procedural aspects of banking practices, a courtroom fatigued by numbers suddenly came alive Thursday when defense attorney O. Rene Flores dealt a blow to the prosecution’s capital murder case against Monica Melissa Patterson.

In the last hour before District Judge Noe Gonzalez dismissed the jury on the fourth day of a trial expected to last at least three weeks, Flores argued that there was no evidence linking Patterson, 50, to the January 2015 death of Martin Knell Sr.

“We can sum up your testimony by suggesting to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury that you have no evidence that Mrs. Patterson committed any crime?” Flores asked Sandra Rangel, a crime scene investigator for the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.

Rangel replied, “From my evidence recovered, no.”

Her testimony came after previously being asked by the prosecution to explain numerous photos taken

Read more at: http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_66e35a6e-a4c3-11e7-86c9-833a56ecda9b.html

Deposition pokes holes in father’s defense for 6-month-old’s death

A Des Moines police officer’s deposition pokes holes in Lance Williams’ timeline of events the day he left his 6-month-old baby in a hot van.

The emotion present during day one of the trial was removed Tuesday as law enforcement took the stand.

One detailed the story Williams told at the hospital and what was unveiled during the investigation, but there was a bit of a twist the attorneys had to handle first.

Only two witnesses for the prosecution were set to take the stand in Day 2 of the Lance Williams trial. Of those two, only one could make it.

Officer Abby Giampolo, a lead investigator on the death of Tyrese Washington, went into labor while walking into the courthouse Tuesday morning. A stand-in to help read her deposition.

According to the deposition, Williams initially told Giampolo that he fell asleep in his car.

Read more at: http://www.kcci.com/article/deposition-pokes-holes-in-father-s-defense-for-6-month-old-s-death/12016697