A man authorities have named as a suspect in the deaths of a Delray Beach woman and her two children recently pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of possessing an illegal handgun silencer, The Sun Sentinel reports.
The saga revolves around the fact that prosecutors believe the 34-year-old man killed his girlfriend because she would have been a key witness against him in the federal gun case. He has been held without bond on the charge as state investigators try to link him to the homicides.
Weapons charges in Fort Lauderdale require the experience of lawyers who have spent years as prosecutors and know how the state and law enforcement work. Understanding these tactics and knowing how case loads and office politics can affect cases are an advantage that Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorneys bring to the table.
It can be particularly dangerous when the state starts with a suspect and then attempts to work backward gathering evidence, as appears to be the case here.
The man was scheduled to go to trial in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, but instead entered the plea, which calls for a range of imprisonment of 2.75 to 3.4 years. The charge of possessing an illegal handgun silencer carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
The man has been in custody since March, when the bodies of a 10-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister were found stuffed in luggage that had been tossed into a canal that divides Delray Beach and Boca Raton. The siblings had been living with the man since their mother’s disappearance the previous summer, the newspaper reports.
The man’s on-and-off girlfriend was the children’s mother and she would have been a key witness against him on the gun charge. She was found at a Palm Beach County trash processing plant last August, the newspaper reports.
Federal prosecutors have said in court documents that they can prove the man killed the woman and that the motive was to eliminate her as a witness in the gun case. A judge admitted into evidence a secretly recorded conversation between the woman and her ex-husband, where she admitted to buying a .22-caliber revolver with a homemade silencer from the defendant in West Palm Beach.
It comes as no surprise that charges of homicide in Florida carry the most severe penalties. In fact, a person charged with murder in Fort Lauderdale can face the death penalty or at least decades or life in prison.
But gun charges can be extremely serious as well. Using a weapon while committing other crimes can lead to enhancements that add years to criminal charges. Possessing a gun if you are a convicted felon is also a crime.
But these charges can be beaten, depending on the facts of the case and the ability of the lawyer to get key evidence eliminated. Being able to disprove state witnesses, shoot holes in the police investigation and suppress statements made by the defendant are examples of ways an aggressive defense attorney can serve the client.
If you are arrested on gun charges in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.
More Blog Entries:
Bail Granted for man facing Gun Charges in Fort Lauderdale after incident at Broward County Courthouse: January 19, 2011
No. 1 suspect in children canal deaths pleads guilty in gun case, by Peter Franceschina, Sun Sentinel