On July 15, 2014, felony murder charges against a Mark Sherman Law client stemming from a 2009 Stamford homicide were dismissed. After nearly 4 years of pre-trial motions and intense investigation by the Mark Sherman Law criminal lawyers, coupled with the unwavering strength and perseverance of our client and his family, he was finally vindicated, All charges related to this homicide were dismissed.
As any top Stamford criminal lawyer attorney will tell you, it is very rare for prosecutors to drop murder charges against a defendant. Yet it happened here. Here’s the story…
Those who have followed this particular homicide case recall that shortly after police arrested 4 individuals for felony murder, 3 of them elected to hold a Hearing in Probable Cause to take the prosecution to task. A probable cause hearing in Connecticut can only be requested by a defendant facing the most serious Connecticut criminal charges—basically, crimes which can be punished by a life sentence or death sentence. It is a hearing guided by a much more lenient standard—probable cause—in contrast to the high burden of proof in a criminal trial, which is reasonable doubt. In this case, 3 of the 4 defendants did not believe that State prosecutors could present sufficient evidence, even under a probable cause standard, to link them to this homicide. After a 3-day hearing, however, a Superior Court judge disagreed and the cases continued to trial.
Many of the top Stamford murder and criminal lawyers disagree on whether criminal attorneys should go forward with a Probable Cause Hearing in a Connecticut felony murder case. The most compelling reason not to go forward with one is that a murder case can sometimes take years to get to trial and during that time period, key government witnesses will sometimes not be available for trial. However, if these key witnesses testify in a Hearing on Probable Cause, then their testimony can be used in the criminal trial against the Stamford murder defendants, even if they are not available or in town for the trial. However, what happened in the probable cause hearing in this murder case turned out to be the lynchpin of his defense: under cross-examination by Stamford defense attorney Mark Sherman, a key prosecution witness testified that she saw Mr. Sherman’s client hundreds of yards away from the crime scene when she heard the gunshots go off. This testimony basically vindicated our client’s alibi defense and after a long pre-trial court battle, prosecutors were really left with no choice but to drop the murder charge.
This murder case highlights how important it is for your Stamford criminal lawyer to interview witnesses and carefully examine all of the prosecution’s police reports, witness statements, and surveillance recordings. As in this case, one single line of testimony can affect a person’s future. Therefore, you must make sure your top Stamford criminal attorney is paying careful attention to every detail throughout your entire case. The stakes are just too high to have your lawyer fall asleep behind the wheel of your Stamford murder arrest defense.
Finally, one last issue that arose in this case was that the Stamford police and Stamford press and media would not let go of a defamatory nickname. The continued dissemination of this nickname by Stamford police was irresponsible, unfair, and reckless. At the time of his arrest, our client had no criminal conviction record, and had never engaged in any conduct that was remotely connected to the nickname. This was “police propaganda” at best, intended to taint a possible jury pool and stack the chips against our client for a fair and unbiased trial. Having extensive experience in both criminal law and libel / slander law, the Mark Sherman Law team has put Stamford police and the Stamford media on notice that any further publication of this nickname will be met with a swift and severe libel lawsuit. Similarly, if you are a victim of a defamatory nickname being published on the Internet by an online media entity, or by any individual or business on the web or otherwise, then do not hesitate to call a Stamford libel, slander, or defamation lawyer attorney at Mark Sherman Law today.
Not all murder cases end as fairly as this one did. So if you have been arrested for murder or manslaughter in Stamford, Greenwich, Norwalk or anywhere else in Connecticut, understand and appreciate that you need a competent, careful, and diligent criminal defense lawyer by your side. Murder cases are complicated and involve years of investigation and legal acrobatics that must be carefully executed. So call a Mark Sherman Law murder and homicide attorney today to discuss your case. We will work aggressively to craft the most cost-effective defense strategy for your case with the sole goal getting you the best result possible.