Jurors convicted a San Dimas man earlier this month for his role in the brutal 1991 stabbing death of his wife. Prosecutors charged Shanker Chhaganbahi Patel with arranging his wife’smurder through a middleman, who has also been charged in the case.
According to police, Patel hired Stanley Medina to find someone to kill Usha Patel, a 27-year-old law student and the mother of Patel’s three children. The woman was attacked in her garage, and stabbed several times, before being put in the trunk of her own car. The killer abandoned the car and Patel’s body at a nearby school.
The case went cold, but investigators re-evaluated the evidence in 2010. They matched DNA from the crime scene to Miguel Angel Garcia, who pleaded no contest to a charge of first-degree murder. Investigators then built a case against Medina and Patel. Police allege that Patel was having an affair at the time of his wife’s murder. They also say that Usha Patel told her husband shortly before she died that she would leave him after she passed the bar exam.
Prosecutors tried the case in 2015, but that resulted in a hung jury. They retried the case earlier this year after Medin agreed to testify against Patel. Jurors convicted him of first-degree murder and the special circumstance of lying in wait. The judge pronounced a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. According to his attorneys, Patel plans to appeal the conviction.
San Dimas murder lawyer
Murder is the most serious criminal charge you can face in California, because a murder conviction carries with it the possibility of death. While California has not executed a prisoner in more than a decade, judges and juries in California continue to apply it to people convicted of murder in the state. While Texas has a reputation for using the death penalty regularly, more death penalty sentences are handed down in Los Angeles County than in any other part of the country.
If nothing else, that explains why you need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney fighting for you in court. Robert Helfend has practiced criminal defense law in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years. He knows what it takes to defend you successfully in court.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County murder case.
Photo Credit: Nancy, Flickr.com