Fort Lauderdale Murder Suspect in Custody, Awaits Trial

A Sunrise man faces a charge of second-degree murder for allegedly strangling his roommate to death, NBC News reports.

Police believe the motivation for the killing was a disagreement over their bills. Yet in Florida, motive isn’t an element the prosecution must prove. When police speculate on these things, it can be an advantage for the defense because it is another thing that can be brought up at trial in opposition to the state’s theory.
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Charges of murder in Fort Lauderdale, or anywhere else for that matter, are the most serious on the books and can result in decades to life in prison or even the death penalty in select cases.

Yet, these cases can be won by defendants whose Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorneys puts in the work necessary to show that the defendant doesn’t fit the charges. This takes a lot of work, but in cases like murder, it must be done every time without exception.

The 45-year-old defendant faces a charge of second-degree murder, which is a felony punishable by up to life in prison in Florida. To prove the crime, prosecutors must show the man actually caused the death.

NBC News reports that the man called 911 to report that he found his friend dead on the couch. Police are saying he changed his “story” several times over the weekend. When officers arrived at the apartment, they found a ransacked place, including the female victim’s purse dumped out.

The man later told police, the news channel reports, that the two had an argument over bills and the cost of a refrigerator. He allegedly said he held the woman in a choke hold for two minutes, thinking he only knocked her unconscious. He allegedly staged a home-invasion robbery to throw off detectives.

What must be looked at here is the purpose of a suspect giving a statement to detectives. In this scenario, police would probably look to the defendant first because he lived with the victim.

But because he allegedly changed stories over time, he was arrested. A suspect and their attorney must make sure the police and state have enough evidence to prove the case and giving police a statement — more ammunition against them — doesn’t help matters. Sometimes, these statements can be held out of trial if the defendant’s rights weren’t upheld, but that is sometimes an uphill battle.

The best scenario for a suspect is that they don’t talk to police in the first place. Detectives are allowed to and encouraged to lie to suspects in order to get a confession. That is their only purpose when they get into an interrogation room. They can confuse a person on purpose and do what it takes to get them to say they did the crime. There is very little benefit to giving a statement. In fact, most of the time, it hurts the client at trial.

If you are arrested on grand theft 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:

Broward Shooting at Check-Cashing Store Turns Deadly: August 18, 2011
Suspect in Delray Beach Homicides Pleads to Gun Charges: August 5, 2011
Additional Resources:

Man Strangled Roommate Over Bills: Cops, by Todd Wright, NBC News

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