Category : Murder-Homicide
Wrongly Accused in Sex / Murder Case
Many innocent persons are wrongly charged victims as a result of police suspecting them of a crime based upon a wrong tip or bad evidence. Their lives are affected when their homes, businesses and personal property are searched, their names are put in the newspaper and their reputations are tarnished with being accused of a crime. Even after they are acquitted or charges are dropped, their lives can continue to be disrupted under the cloud of suspicion initially raised against them.
Matthew Hurayt Case
Take for instance the Matthew Hurayt Case. In 2006, Matthew Hurayt and his roommate John McDonough were arrested because a tipster told police that Hurayt had raped and killed De Jesus and buried her body under his new garage. Police searched Hurayt ’s house, dug up his yard and under his garage looking for De Jesus’ remains, which were not found. After spending a weekend in jail for suspicion of aggravated murder of De Jesus, who vanished mysteriously in 2004, Hurayt, a convicted sex offender, and his roommate were ordered released by a Judge on September 25, 2006, who rejected the assistant county prosecutor’s request to increase the bond on an unrelated assault case.
Hurayt subsequently filed a claim for compensation for $20,000 in damages to his property with the city’s Moral Claims Commission, but the claim was rejected. In 2006, he was convicted on an assault case and released in 2010. For the past three years, he has been harassed by people who broke his windows, set fire to his garage and harassed him with telephone calls thinking he was still connected to Gena De Jesus’ case.
Gena De Jesus along with victims Amanda Berry and Michele Knight were found alive on Monday May 6, 2013, after a 911 call led police to a house in Cleveland, Ohio where the three young women had been held in captivity for approximately 10 years. In a press conference, De Jesus’ mother called upon the community not to retaliate against the family of the three suspects arrested in the girls’ kidnapping case, referring to the Castro brothers.
Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Wrongfully Accused
If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime, an Ohio criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges and clear your good name and reputation to get the charges acquitted or the case dismissed. Your Ohio criminal defense attorney can also determine if your records can be sealed and help you with the process so that your life is not further disrupted, making it more difficult to find a place to live or a job. In the circumstance above, Hurayt was convicted of another case and had to register as a sex offender regardless of the false accusations surrounding the De Jesus case. Our legal system has a basic footing in which “the law presumes that persons charged with a crime are innocent until they are proven by competent evidence to be guilty.” This quote is found in the comments on Supreme Court case Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432 (1895).
Government authorities have apprehended and charged 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston marathon bombings, which took place on Monday April 15, 2013. The suspect was taken to an area hospital where he is recovering from gunshot wounds to his head, neck, legs and hand. The other suspect, 26 year old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and the older brother of suspect Dzhorkhar Tasrnaev, was killed in a gun battle between police on Thursday April 18, 2013, in Watertown after police found a car stolen earlier in the evening by the suspects during a carjacking. The man whose car had been carjacked told police that the suspects forced him to withdraw money from an ATM. He was later able to escape when the suspects stopped for gas.
Authorities were able to identify the suspects through security cameras with video and still images, which showed the two brothers carrying and placing two backpacks near the finish line of the Boston Marathon race containing pressure cooker bombs that exploded through the crowd, killing three people and wounding more than 200, many of whom lost limbs and some whom are still being treated at area hospitals. Authorities have decided to use the “public safety exception instead of giving Dzhokhar his Miranda rights in order to question and obtain information from him as to the motives and whether others were involved. According to government officials, although the suspect is unable to speak as the result of a wound to his throat, he communicated to investigators that he and his brother acted alone and that they learned how to make bombs on the Internet. A 10 page complaint has been filed charging Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with two federal charges – conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property with an explosive device and could face the death penalty.
A lawyer for the widow of deceased suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, says she knew nothing about her husband’s involvement in the bombings until she learned about it on television like everyone else. FBI investigators visited the lawyer at her parent’s home in Rhode Island on Sunday, April 21, 2013. Investigators are looking into possible motives and whether the brothers had ties to Islamic terror cells. Of particular interest to investigators is a sixth month period that Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent in a predominately Muslim province of Dagestan and Chechnya to determine if he may have been radicalized by militants in the area.
Facing Terrorist Charges
After 911, federal and Massachusetts laws and penalties have become stricter regarding acts of terrorism in the United States. Law enforcement agencies have been working together to stop terrorism plots and activities and prosecutors are vigorously prosecuting those accused of committing terrorist acts.
If convicted of a crime of terrorism such as using weapons of mass destruction, you could face life in prison without parole or the death sentence when victims are massacred such as in the case of the Boston Marathon bombings. Even if you did not commit a terrorist act, you could still be charged with related charges of aiding a known terrorist or hindering a prosecution resulting in jail time and/or other penalties or fines. If you believe that you are the target of an investigation relating to a terrorist act or you have been charged with terrorism or related offenses, these are serious charges that require the representation of an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney
A 36 year old Sacramento man was arrested for allegedly killing his 9 year old son with a hatchet while his son was sleeping on a couch. Police were called to the scene of a North Sacramento home on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, where they found the victim dead. According to police, another resident of the home heard glass shatter and found the victim. The accused has served time in prison for domestic violence, and was involved in a bitter custody battle with the child’s mother. He is being held in jail and will be arraigned on Friday March 1, 2013.
California Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence incidents involve an assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any physical injury or death committed by an individual against a spouse or former spouse, family member or relative, person they are currently having a relationship with or have had a past relationship with, or someone living in the same house. You could face felony domestic violence charges, a misdemeanor battery charge or a murder charge if you kill the victim. Under California penal code Section 422, even making a threat to harm a victim is also considered a domestic violence crime.
Sentencing and Penalties
A conviction for a misdemeanor domestic violence offense means you could face a minimum 30 day jail sentence and/or community service as well as having to attend a mandatory 52 week batter’s class. You could receive one year in county jail or two to four years in state prison and/or a fine up to $6,000 for a felony domestic violence conviction. For a murder conviction, you could face 15 years to life in a California state prison or life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. Under California’s three strikes law, you could receive a mandatory 25 years to life prison sentence if you are convicted in California of three felony crimes.
Sacramento Domestic Violence Attorney
If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offense or murder in Sacramento, you will need the expertise of an experienced Sacramento domestic violence attorney to help you fight your charges. At Imhoff & Associates-Criminal Attorneys, we understand the seriousness of such charges and the impact a conviction can have on your life and your family. A good domestic violence criminal defense attorney will investigate the evidence against you, interview witness and negotiate with the prosecutor to either get your charges reduced to a lesser crime, get your alternative sentencing or get your charges dismissed, depending on your case situation.
Law Firm Shooting in Arizona
According to Phoenix Police Sergeant Tommy Thompson, a 70 year old suspected gunman named Arthur Douglas Harmon, killed Steve Singer, 48, chief executive officer at a call center and defendant in a lawsuit which Harmon filed over furniture that Harmon’s company, Reback Design, had refurbished, during a mediation session at a Phoenix office building on Wednesday, January 30, 2013. Also shot was litigator Mark Hummels of the Law Firm Osborn Maledon and President of the Phoenix Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Singer’s attorney. Mr. Hummels is not expected to survive. Thompson said the two men were targeted by the shooter. A 32-year-old woman was also treated for a non-life threatening injury and two additional persons people were taken to the hospital and treated for “stress related symptoms.”
Harmon fled the scene in a rental car, while firing a weapon at a witness who pursued him. The witness was not injured. Harmon’s body was found by a landscaper on Thursday January 31, 2013, in the bushes of a Mesa shopping center. He appears to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handgun was also found at the scene.
This shooting comes after heightened awareness and heated national debates over gun control as a result of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting incident in December 2012, which resulted in the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is also currently conducting hearings in Washington on proposed gun control measures, including background checks.
Arizona Gun Violence Crimes
Statistics reflect that Arizona ranks high in gun deaths. This may be explained by the fact that Arizona is one of the leading states in the nation for gun ownership. If you commit a gun violence crime in Arizona resulting in the death or serious injury of someone, you could be charged with murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, manslaughter, aggravated assault or other offenses. Prosecutors prosecute such crimes to the fullest extent of the law. You could face long prison sentences, including life in prison without the possibility of parole or even the death penalty, fines and have to pay restitution to the victim’s family. A good criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges.
Hiring an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney
Facing gun violence charges in Arizona are considered quite serious. It is recommended you hire an experienced and knowledgeable Arizona criminal defense attorney to represent you. At Imhoff & Associates-Criminal Attorneys, we have years of experience representing clients charged with murder, homicide, aggravated assault, robbery or related gun violence crimes. We work aggressively to achieve the best case results for our clients. Your Imhoff criminal defense attorney will investigate the evidence against you, interview witnesses and build a strong defense arguing a variety of defenses to get your charges reduced to a lesser crime, get you alternative sentencing or raise reasonable doubt so you may be able to avoid a conviction or get your charges dropped.
Domestic Violence not Hate Crime
Eight months of investigation regarding the beating death of Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi woman, led to the arrest of the victim’s husband, 48 year old Kassim Alhimidi on Friday November 9, 2012. Mr. Alhimidi has been charged with murder. El Cahon police say the slaying was the result of a domestic violence incident and not a hate crime. According to sources, Mrs. Alawadi was planning to divorce her husband and take the children to Texas and her husband was aware of her plans for quite some time.
A threatening note that called the family terrorists and telling them to go back to where they came from was found near Mrs. Alawadi’s body. The family confirmed that a similar note had been left at their door several weeks earlier, but the incident had not been reported to the police nor did they keep the note.
The crime sparked international intention, especially among the Muslim community, when earlier reports indicated that it might be a hate crime. In a tearful interview with media after the incident, Mr. Alhimidi’s claimed to the Arabic Al Arabiya News that: “My wife was a victim of xenophobia.” However, evidence police found in Alawadi’s Ford Explorer revealed that she was in the process of filing divorce papers, which were partially completed in her own handwriting.
Alhimidi has denied the murder charges and insists that it was a hate crime. Police advised him that pings from his cell phone place him near the home at the time of the homicide. The couple’s four youngest children are currently in protective custody. Hanif Mohebi, the executive director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on Islamic-American Relations said, “Since the beginning our ultimate goal was to get justice for Sister Shaima Alawadi.”He also referred to the case as “a family tragedy,” and said that domestic violence “has no place in our faith.”
California Domestic Violence Offenses
A domestic violence incident involves an assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any physical injury or death committed by a person against a current spouse, former spouse, girlfriend, fiancée, a person involved in a dating relationship or other family member. You could be charged with a felony domestic violence crime or a misdemeanor battery in San Diego if you commit domestic violence or with murder if you kill the victim. Threatening to harm the victim is also considered domestic violence under California Penal Code Section 422.
Sentencing and Penalties
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense, you could face a minimum jail time of 30 days and/or community service as well as mandatory attendance of a 52 week batter’s class. For a felony domestic violence conviction, you could receive one year in county jail or two to four years in state prison and/or a fine up to $6,000.
Hiring a San Diego Domestic Violence Attorney
If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offense or murder in San Diego or the surrounding areas, it is important that you hire a San Diego domestic violence attorney immediately to defend you.
Nationally known tennis referee, 70 year old Lois Ann Goodman, appeared at a pre-trial hearing in Los Angeles, CA on October 3, 2012, in connection with her arrest by Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives in August, 2012, while she was in New York getting ready to work at the U.S. Open, for allegedly killing her 80 year old husband, Alan Goodman.
On April 17, 2012, Mrs. Goodman called police and told officers when they arrived at her home that she found her husband dead at the bottom of the stairs. According to Lt. David Storaker, chief of detectives, LAPD Topanga station, police officers did not find any signs of forced entry at the scene. They became suspicious of Mrs. Goodman’s statements and made further investigations. On August 2, 2012, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office ruled Alan Goodman’s death a homicide caused by multiple injuries to the head. The arrest warrant reflected a coffee cup as the murder weapon.
According to Prosecutor Ransom: “It was a very violent crime. The victim suffered multiple stab wounds to his head and was left there to die…”She left him in the bed dying, went to a tennis event and had her nails done … We see no remorse…” Defense attorney Alison Triessl claims her client, Lois Goodman, is physically unable of committing the crime because she has had knee and shoulder replacements.
If convicted, Mrs. Goodman could face life in a California state prison. She is currently free on a $500,000 bail and confined to home arrest, except for being allowed to visit her attorney’s office, without advising the court. A judge scheduled the next hearing for November 8, 2012.
Los Angeles Murder Rates Down
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for January 2011 through December 2011, violent crimes were down slightly in Los Angeles from 2010, although murder numbers remained around the same. In 2011, there were 20,045 violent crimes of which 297 were murders compared with 2010 with 21,484 (per population of 3,837,207) violent crimes of which 293 were murders.
California Penalties for Murder
Under California Penal Code 187, murder is defined as “unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.” In California, there are three different degrees of murder that you can be charged with:
· Capital murder with special circumstances (the most serious murder charge)
· First Degree Murder
· Second Degree Murder
A capital murder with special circumstances charge means that you allegedly killed someone for financial reasons, killed multiple victims, killed a law enforcement, firefighter, judge, prosecutor an elected official or a witness to prevent them from testifying, or you killed someone in connection with a hate crime. If convicted, you can face stiff penalties ranging from 15 years to life in a California state prison, or life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
First Degree Murder charge means that you planned to kill someone, you waited for a victim and tortured them, or you killed them while committing a felony crime (first degree felony murder rule) or killed them by the use of a destructive device or explosive. Penalties for a first degree murder conviction in California range from 15 years to life in a California state prison or life without the possibility of parole.
Second Degree Murder charge means you committed any other murder which does not fall under a first degree murder or capital murder with special circumstances. Murders involving alcohol or drugs are considered murders in the second degree because they are willful, not premeditated and without malice. Penalties for a second degree murder conviction in California range from 15 years to a life sentence in a California state prison, to life without the possibility of parole if you have served any previous time for a murder conviction.
Penalties may be enhanced for drive-by-shootings which cause death or serious injury to the victim, especially if the victim is a police officer. You could expect to receive 25 years to life or life without the possibility of patrol for crimes involving a police officer and 20 years to life for death or injuries to other victims. You may also have to pay fines up to $10,000 and pay restitution to victims.
California Three Strikes Law
Under California’s three strikes law, you could receive a mandatory 25 years to life prison sentence if you are convicted in California of three felony crimes.
Violent crimes such as murder are considered very serious offenses in California. If you are facing a California murder charge, it is important to hire an experienced California criminal defense attorney to defend you. At Imhoff & Associates-Criminal Attorneys, we have years of experience successfully defending clients charged with murder in California. Your Imhoff California criminal defense attorney will argue strong defenses on your behalf such as self-defense, mistaken identity, accidental death, insanity, or that your Fourth Amendment constitutional rights were violated regarding search and seizure of your home or personal property in order to get your charges reduced to a lesser crime or get your case dismissed.
Murder is a horrible, heinous crime. All agree to that. Prior to this week, 28 states had laws on their books that mandated to sentencing juvenile offenders to life in prison without parole.
The issue is that the justice system views juvenile offenders as too young and tender to appreciate the consequences of these crimes. In other words they cannot fully understand and comprehend their actions and the resulting circumstances that they have made because of their actions. Justice Elena Kagan, who wrote the opinion for the Supreme Court, stated “Children are different” then adult offenders when it comes to crime and punishment. The cases before the court concerned two 14-year-old boys one from Alabama and one from Arkansas.
On Mondy, June 25th, in the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision (Kagan, Bader-Ginsburg, Breyer, Kennedy & Sotomayor for the Majority and CJ Roberts, Alito, Scalia & Thomas for the Dissent), the court struck down the mandatory life sentence scheme for juvenile offenders. The Majority’s opinion shows that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are cruel and unusual punishment even if it occurred to over 2,000 US citizens (which doesn’t seem unusual) nor does it forbid life terms for youths convicted of homicide. This opinion will not release any one person from prison, or automatically grant anyone a new parole hearing. However, it does create a need to resentence a lot of juvenile offenders.
The Supreme Court followed the reasoning of Mary Barthelme whose work was instrumental in establishing the USA’s first Juvenile Court system in 1899 in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) and other early advocates for juvenile justice. These proponents of juvenile justice come at crime and punishment for children from the angle of rehabilitation and not punishment. Punishment is still meted out for juvenile offenders; however, the focus is on making the child offender into a productive citizen and not to simply remove them from civilized society. The basic premise is that these offenders are immature and less deserving of the country’s harshest punishment.
The Supreme Court has been moving in this direction since 2005 when they struck down the death penalty for juvenile offenders. Then, two years ago the Supreme Court invalidated laws that sentenced children to life without parole for crimes that were less serious than murder.
In a justice system that deals in mandatory life sentences, the “whys” of a crime’s occurrence are not dealt with by the court, only the “hows” of the crimes are presented to the trial judge or jury. Justice Kagan in a footnote stated that life sentences can still be handed down to the most heinous of the juvenile offenders, however those sentences cannot be mandatory. The justice system must make accommodations for the juvenile offenders to present mitigation for the circumstances surrounding their crimes. That means that they can explain why these crimes occurred and not merely dispute how these crimes occurred. Judges need to consider factors such as juveniles are less culpable, less responsible for their actions and they’re immature compared to adults. Judges also need to consider the context of their homes and the environment in which they grew up.
This reasoning is in agreement with the very first proponents’ view of juvenile offenders and their crimes. Children now have a better chance of receiving a sentence that is rehabilitative in scope and not merely punishment.
For more information on the criminal defense attorneys at Imhoff & Associates, visit http://www.CriminalAttorney.com. The criminal law firm attorneys practice in Juvenile Law as well as all other areas of criminal law. Interested parties may also contact a criminal lawyer at the firm by calling 1-888-726-0574.
On July 5, 2011, an Orlando jury at the Orange County Courthouse found defendant Casey Anthony not guilty of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child regarding charges filed against her in 2008 regarding the death of her two year old daughter, Caylee Anthony. She was convicted of four lesser misdemeanor crimes of providing false information to law enforcement officers. If Casey had been convicted of first degree murder, should could have faced the death penalty in Florida. Judge Belvin Perry sentenced her to the maximum four year sentence for her misdemeanor convictions of lying to authorities. He denied the defense’s request to combine the misdemeanor counts into one which could have meant that she would have been released immediately. She was given time served and good behavior and is expected to be released on July 17, 2011. An unnamed juror who was interviewed after the decision said the reason the jury found Casey not guilty of the more serious crimes of murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter is that the prosecutors failed to show how Caylee was murdered.
The circumstances surrounding the case began when Cindy Anthony reported her granddaughter, Caylee Anthony missing on July 5, 2008. Casey Anthony was arrested on July 16, 2008 on circumstantial evidence and charged in October of 2008 with first degree murder. In December of 2008, almost six months after Caylee was reported missing, police investigators found parts of the decomposed body of Caylee with duct tape in the woods near the Anthony residence. It was established by the prosecution and admitted by the defense team, that Casey Anthony lied to sheriff deputies about working at Universal Studios, about employing a nanny that took care of Caylee and that the nanny, whose name was Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez took the child (it was later determined that no such person existed, about telling two imaginary people Caylee was missing and about receiving a telephone call from Caylee the day prior to when she was reported missing). Photos were presented showing Casey at a Florida nightclub partying with friends prior to the child being reported as missing.
At trial, Casey’s lead defense attorney Jose Baez claimed that Casey had lied to cover up the family tragedy that Caylee had accidentally drowned in her grandparents George and Cindy Anthony’s pool. He also claimed that Casey did not tell the truth because she was frightened of her father George Anthony, who her attorney Baez claimed started molesting Casey at age eight. Baez also claimed that Casey’s brother might be Caylee’s father, and that the meter reader who found Caylee’s remains may have moved them. None of these allegations were ever proven. Casey’s defense team was able to raise enough reasonable doubt about the duct tape that showed no evidence of Casey’s DNA on it, which prosecutors argued was allegedly used to suffocate Caylee. They also raised doubt about conflicting testimony regarding the odor inside the Anthony car. It had not been established whether it was a decomposing body or trash left in the car. The prosecutors did not clarify why chloroform was so important to the case.
The case became one of the most watched and talked about cases since the O.J. Simpson murder trial and attracted a crowd of spectators and national and international media coverage. In fact, outside the courthouse the day the verdict was read, people expressed their outrage that justice had not been served for Caylee. Casey Anthony could profit from the case by selling her story to publishers, filmmakers or by signing a television contract.
If you are arrested for murder, aggravated child abuse or aggravated assault of a child, these are serious crimes. Depending on your state laws, you could face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted of first degree murder. You should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you. The attorney can argue such defenses as circumstantial evidence or lack of evidence, mistaken identity, self defense or defense of others to either create enough reasonable doubt to get you acquitted or have the charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser crime.
California has some of the strictest penalties for murder convictions. The California Penal Code 187 defines murder as the “unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought”. There are several different degrees of murder charges you could face in California. The most serious murder charge is a capital murder with special circumstances. You can also be convicted or first degree murder or second degree murder. California murder conviction penalties range from 15 years in a California state prison to life, life without parole for such crimes as hate crime murder or the death penalty for capital murder crimes with special circumstances.
Capital Murder with Special Circumstances Conviction
Capital murder with special circumstances is the most serious murder crime you can be convicted of in California. You must have killed someone either for financial gain, killed more than one victim, killed a law enforcement officer, firefighter, judge, prosecutor or an elected public official, killed a witness to prevent them from testifying in a case, committed a felony and killed someone which subjects you to the first degree felony murder rule, killed someone under the definition of a hate crime, killed someone in a drive by shooting or killed someone for the benefit of a street gang. You face stiff penalties ranging from 15 years to life in a California state prison, life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
First Degree Murder
California first degree murder convictions involve the use of a destructive or explosive device that kills someone, waiting for a victim and then torturing them, killing them deliberately in a premeditated and willful manner, or killing them while committing a felony crime under the felony murder rule. Penalties for a first degree murder conviction range from 15 years to life or life without the possibility of parole in a California state prison.
Second Degree Murder
A California second degree murder conviction means you committed any murder which does not fall under the first degree murder or capital murder with special circumstances categories. Incidents such as alcohol or drug related killings are considered murder in the second degree because they are willful, but not premeditated and without malice. Penalties for a second degree murder conviction in California range from 15 years to a life sentence in a California state prison, to life without the possibility of parole if you served time previous for a murder conviction.
California murder penalties may be increased to 20 years to life if you use a weapon in a drive- by-shooting causing or intending serious injury to someone. Penalties may be increased to 25 to life for crimes involving a peace officer and life without the possibility of parole if you intended to kill the peace officer, caused great bodily harm or used a deadly weapon or firearm to kill the peace officer. You may be subject to paying fines up to $10,000 and paying the victim restitution. The California three strikes law requires a mandatory prison sentence of 25 years to life if you are convicted of three felony crimes.
The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco issued a ruling of 3-0 on Monday August 23, 2010, to uphold the 2008 lower court ruling of a second degree murder conviction of Marjorie Knoller, a San Francisco attorney, whose Presa Canario dogs, Bane and Hera, fatally mauled and killer her neighbor Diane Whipple in 2001, as she was attempting to enter her apartment. Whipple lived 50 ft. from where the dogs resided. Both dogs were subsequently euthanized. The First District Appeals Court found that Knoller’s conviction of second degree murder was a proper conviction.
The trial court jury found her guilty of second degree murder in 2002. The trial judge reduced the conviction to involuntary manslaughter. She was paroled initially after serving four years on the involuntary manslaughter conviction. Then in 2008, a lower court ruling reinstated her second degree murder conviction and sentenced her to 15 years to life in prison. Knoller was the person in control of the dogs and admitted to being there at the time the attack occurred. She is currently serving her 15 year to life prison sentence for her second degree murder conviction. She resigned from the California State Bar in January 2007.
Knoller’s husband, Robert Edward Noel, also an attorney, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and keeping a mischievous animal that killed a human being, which is considered a separate felony. Noel appealed his conviction and was sentenced to four years in prison. He served a portion of his time and was paroled on good behavior and performance of his work duties in prison. Noel was subsequently disbarred by the California State Bar. He is currently on parole and has no right to further appeals.
Murder is a very serious crime in California. If you are charged with a murder, you should immediately hire a California criminal defense attorney who is skilled and experienced at defending murder charges in California. The attorney can raise doubt in your case and argue defenses such as self-defense, mistaken identity, accidental killing, insanity or illegal search and seizure to get the crime dismissed or reduced.
California Penal Code 187 defines murder as the “unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought”. You face serious jail time and penalties if convicted of first degree murder, capital murder with special circumstances or second degree murder in California. Penalties for murder in California range from 15 years in state prison to life or life without parole or even the death penalty. If the murder was a hate crime, you face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
First Degree Murder Conviction
To be convicted of a first degree murder in California, you must have:
· Used a destructive or explosive device
· Waited for a victim and inflicted torture on them
· Killed someone in a willful, deliberate and pre-meditated manner
· Killed someone while committing a felony or attempting to commit a felony under the felony murder rule
You face 15 years to life or life without parole in state prison.
Capital Murder with Special Circumstances Conviction
To be convicted of capital murder in the first degree with special circumstances, you must have:
· Killed someone for financial gain
· Killed multiple victims
· Killed a police officer, firefighter, prosecutor, judge, juror or elected official
· Killed a witness to prevent them from testifying
· Killed someone while attempting to commit or committing a felony which subject you to the first degree felony murder rule
· Killing someone because of their race, color, religion, nationality or country of origin which is considered a hate crime
· Killing someone by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle (drive-by-shooting
· Murdering for benefit of a street gang (186.22 Penal Code)
You face 15 years to life, life without parole or the death penalty.
Second Degree Murder Conviction
To be convicted of a second degree murder charge in California, you must have committed any murder that does not fall under the category of first degree murder or capital murder with special circumstances. Examples of second degree murder are when you discharge a weapon into a crowd and kill someone, or you get into an argument or kill someone while you are intoxicated with alcohol or under the influence of drugs. Second degree murders are considered willful, but without pre-meditation or malice.
You can face up to a 15 year to life sentence and life without possibility of parole if you served time previous for a murder conviction. Sentences for murder can be increased to 20 years to life if you shoot a firearm from a vehicle with the intent of causing serious injury, or 25 to life if a peace offer is involved and life without the possibility of parole if you intended to kill a peace officer or to cause great bodily harm to a peace officer or used a deadly weapon or firearm in killing the officer. You may also have to pay a fine of $10,000 and also have to pay victim restitution. Under the California three strikes law, if you are convicted of three felonies, there is a mandatory prison sentence of at least 25 year to life.
On June 11, 2010, a Montebello jury acquitted 17 year old Angel Sosa of two murder charges, which included a special circumstance of multiple murders and assault with a firearm. Although the boy was tried as an adult, he was not facing the death penalty because he was under the age of 18 at the time of the murders of 44 year old Juan Garcia and his 12 year old son Albert at a high school graduation party on June 21, 2008. Sosa could have faced life in prison if convicted of the first degree with special circumstances or second degree murder charges.
The defense attorney, Jeri Polen, argued that dozens of witnesses were unable to identify Sosa as the shooter and witnesses identified someone else. The DA, Michele Hanisee, argued that a witness identified Sosa as the gunman and saw him fire a 9 mm from behind a van into a crowd of people beyond the backyard fence of a home located at the 100 block of East Madison Avenue, where the party occurred. The victims who had nothing to do with an earlier confrontation that had taken place at the home died at Beverly Hospital in Montebello. Sosa’s family described the defendant as “the best kid you could want to know and a “pretty good football player”. He plans on returning to high school in the fall.
A murder charge in California is a very serious crime. You should hire a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney to represent you. The attorney can defend you by raising doubt and using other defenses such as self- defense, defense of others, accidental killing, insanity, false and coerced confessions, illegal search and seizure or mistaken identity to get the charges reduced or dismissed.
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