Murder Charges Case Study

A case study by an accredited criminal law specialist

The Facts: Circumstantial case against a person where fingerprints found within the deceased’s residence; DNA allegedly found on the murder weapon; where many witnesses claimed that if anyone could have killed the deceased, it would have been the accused, even describing his height and a peculiar hat that he wore.

The Result: Case dismissed at committal – client discharged. The DNA evidence was totally unsatisfactory and was initially presented in such a way that one might conclude that it must have been the accused. Upon cross examination, it was found that the type of DNA was not limited to the accused and could be found amongst different races of people rather than being specific to one individual. In fact, the DNA was more likely to originate from an American Indian than from the accused, a white Caucasian of English decent. The fingerprint evidence could have resulted from the accused’s frequent attendance at the deceased’s premises. Evidence trying to link the accused’s typical clothing was unsatisfactory. The time of death was explored and found to be so broad that the murder could have occurred earlier than first thought by investigators. Some of the witnesses were friends of the deceased and knew the accused. The deceased used to sell prohibited drugs from her apartment and the accused used to buy them from her. An inquest was originally held into the death, and the accused was named as a person of interest. He suspicion upon him by being named as the suspect reflected in the statements of witnesses who gave unsatisfactory evidence at the committal hearing.

This case was a perfect example of an experienced criminal lawyer (an accredited specialist in criminal law) recognizing the need for a committal hearing, successfully applying for the opportunity of cross examining witnesses and connecting that evidence in such a way as to persuade the Magistrate that the case could simply not be made out on the available evidence.