An 80-year-old woman was attacked after police say a suspect cut her cable line, causing her to go outside to check it, leading to a Fort Lauderdale home invasion robbery.
NBC News reports that police are still looking for the person who allegedly committed the crime December 30.
Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys recognize that this is a scary situation and one that police will be diligently trying to solve. At the same time, we would be skeptical of evidence police may have to find a suspect, especially given that the main witness is old and the crime happened at night.
Witness reliability has come up time and time again in courts across the country as police attempt to use shaky witnesses to convict people. Some courts, including the New Jersey Supreme Court, have created rules and allowed for hearings when witnesses may not be so certain of what they actually saw.
Eye witnesses to crimes sometimes have motivations to lie, often put pressure on themselves to tell police what they want in order to try to protect their community. Or they end up being told inaccurate facts through the grapevine before police talk to them, which distorts the truth.
Defendants require a fair trial and for the state to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt if it is to get a conviction. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen, but an experienced and aggressive Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer will be able to scrutinize all evidence that the state attempts to bring into play at trial.
According to NBC, around 8 p.m. that day, the woman walked outside the back door of her house to check the cable connection. There, she was met by a man, assaulted and taken back into her house, where the suspect went through the house. The woman ran away to her neighbor’s house, where she called police. She was taken to Broward General Medical Center and was later released after only suffering from facial abrasions.
The only additional information CBS News provided is that police believe the suspect was black. It’s unclear if the suspect was wearing a mask or any clothing to conceal his identity. It’s also unclear if the woman was able to provide any meaningful description or whether any physical evidence — such as DNA or fingerprints — were found in the house.
This will be a tough case for police to solve, given the circumstances and, from what it appears, lack of solid eye witnesses. Depending on the layout of the woman’s backyard and whether anyone else could have seen what happened or if any neighbors may have seen a getaway vehicle or anything else, detectives may not have much to work with.
Home invasion robbery cases in Fort Lauderdale come with a felony tag and serious potential penalties, so police must do their due diligence in investigating these cases. An arrest can be a life-changing experience and a conviction even more so, meaning detectives must have solid facts before moving forward against a defendant.
If you are arrested in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.
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