Articles Posted in Murder

Back in 2012, James Holmes terrified Colorado moviegoers and Americans nationwide when he opened fire inside a Colorado movie theater, killing 12 and injuring 70 during a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
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Holmes was essentially found guilty instantaneously in the court of public opinion; for one thing, as our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert know, he admitted to the killings by way of his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Nevertheless, his case eventually made its way in front of a jury. Yesterday, after a trial which lasted 6 months, a jury found Holmes guilty on 24 counts of premeditated murder, dealing a blow to the defendant and raising questions about the effectiveness of insanity pleas.
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“Murder” is a widely used and commonly applied word, especially in discussion of high-profile criminal cases. Based on the popular understanding of the crime of murder, you might think that anyone charged with murder is simply facing the consequences of having set out to unlawfully kill somebody (and having succeeded).
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As our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know, that belief is just not true. Florida’s so-called felony murder law, for instance, enables prosecutors to charge someone with murder even if they had no direct involvement in that person’s death.

As we will explore in this blog post, the Florida State Statutes can be truly unforgiving and sometimes outright unreasonable. According to state law, if someone is killed during the commission of a crime that you are a part of in any capacity, then depending on the crime being committed, you can be charged with murder.
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Late last week, a Palm Beach County jury acquitted 33-year-old Narcisse Antoine of murder and attempted murder charges in a case stemming from a 2009 shooting outside of a nightclub in West Palm Beach.
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The verdict was reached after 11 hours of thoughtful deliberations. As our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know, this was a retrial for Antoine, after an appeals court, last year, tossed a 2011 conviction of attempted second-degree murder and an 40-year prison sentence in the case involving one shooting victim, Jeffrey Thompson according to the Sun-Sentinel.

We know that this acquittal is an example of our criminal justice system working properly — when someone has been wrongly convicted and sentenced, a competent and dedicated defense attorney can help.
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This year, the story of two Florida sisters accused of shooting and killing their brother has gripped much of the country. Early reports indicated that the 15-year-old girl shot and killed the 16-year-old brother, while the 11-year-old girl served as a “lookout” while her older sister retrieved the gun from a bedroom.
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Initially, the two were going to be charged with murder. Then, in February, they were both released, with charges ruled out for the younger sister. Finally, last month, it was announced that the older sister would also be spared murder charges, a decision made in light of the alleged abuse the two sisters had suffered.

Our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale juvenile defense lawyers know that this case serves as a great example of how impressionable children are and how seemingly criminal and malicious actions are often just the consequence of abuse and neglect.
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People all across the country have been shocked by a seemingly senseless fatal shooting in Las Vegas, NV, one which apparently stemmed from an earlier road rage incident.
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As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, no case is straight-forward; one must consider all possibilities and angles when analyzing a criminal case, especially one involving charges of murder.

While first reported as a clear-cut road rage-fueled shooting, the defense attorney for the 19-year-old defendant is now saying that the shooting was in fact carried-out in self defense.
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Monday night’s announcement that the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri had failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson has sparked confusion throughout much of the legal community as well as protests throughout the United States.
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Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that a lot can be learned about and from the surprising decision by the Grand Jury. That said, for any lesson to be of value, one must understand the particularities of the Grand Jury process.

In this post, we’re going to explain some aspects of the Grand Jury’s decision process that many people are unfamiliar with; gaining a familiarity with these procedures can enable us to take away valuable information about the decision and the method by which it was reached.
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As reported by the Miami Herald, a widow, Janepsy Carballo, is on trial in Miami facing charges of second-degree murder in the shooting death of her late husband’s suspected killer.
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As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers understand, in April 2008, Ms. Carballo’s husband was gunned down on his front lawn, allegedly by two men, one of whom was Ilan Nissim, a business partner of the victim. Following the shooting, police urged Ms. Carballo to get close to Nissim in an effort to garner as many clues as possible.

Then, in May 2008, Ms. Carballo shot Nissim dead when he appeared at her house. Two years later, charges were brought against her, and two years after that her trial is underway. At the core of the case is the debate over whether Ms. Carballo shot and killed Nissim as an act of revenge, which might justify the charges, or whether she shot him out of fear and in self defense, in which case she would likely have been justified in shooting the man.
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The Florida criminal case of Michael Dunn, who shot at a car full of teenagers and ended up killing one of them back in 2012, attracted media attention in particular for its apparent similarities to the case of George Zimmerman.
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In both cases, a man shot and killed a black teenager in what they claimed to be self defense. George Zimmerman, who was ultimately found not guilty, was able to demonstrate to the jury that he had been involved in a physical altercation with the teenager and thus had reason to believe his life was in danger.

Dunn, on the other hand, fired 10 rounds at a car full of teenagers who refused to turn down the volume of their music. There was no fight, and although Dunn said he feared that the teens had a gun, no gun was ever found. And, as our criminal defense lawyers know, that is just the beginning of what led to Dunn’s guilty verdict.
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Back in 1983, an 11-year-old girl in North Carolina was brutally raped and murdered. Shortly thereafter, two brothers were arrested for, charged with, and convicted of the crime, and they have been in jail ever since. Until today, that is.
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Explosive new DNA evidence has implicated someone else in the murder of the child. As a result, the two brothers will leave prison today free men, having had the last 30 years of their lives stolen from them by a clearly flawed system of justice.

Our criminal defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert know that while a crime such as the one at the center of this 1983 case is heinous and emotion-fueling, it is critical to rememeber that careless prosecutions can not only fail to serve justice, but can also create a tremendous injustice, as was the case for the two wrongfully-convicted brothers.
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A thought-provoking legal argument from a courtroom in Palm Beach County is heading to the Florida Supreme Court. The case begs the question of whether or not a convicted criminal can invoke the state’s Stand Your Ground law as justification for shooting someone.
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The controversial law has been receiving a great deal of attention recently, playing crucial roles in the recent Florida criminal cases first of George Zimmerman and then of Michael Dunn, both of whom fatally shot an individual they claimed posed a legitimate threat to their safety. In those cases, as our Palm Beach and Broward criminal defense attorneys understand, the defendants might have done questionable things prior to the incident, but neither was a convicted felon.

The case to be decided by the Florida Supreme Court is that of 25-year-old Palm Beach resident Brian Bragdon, a convicted felon who shot and killed two people in 2012; Bragdon claims it was in self-defense but the prosecutors disagree. Without a doubt, this ruling — and the arguments to be made leading up to the decision — will have a lasting impact on the criminal justice system in the Sunshine State.
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