A federal appeals panel ruled in favor of a teen murder suspect last week and invalidated his conviction. According to the appeals court, the LAPD violated the suspect’s rights by denying him access to a lawyer. In addition, the panel found that the LAPD pressured the suspect into confessing.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that officers continued to question the 14-year-old after he requested an attorney. The 2005 case involved a gang-related shooting that left one person dead and another person seriously injured.
Prosecutors tried the suspect, who had an I.Q. of 77, as an adult. A psychological assessment conducted in 2006, found that the suspect was susceptible to coercion. Based on his confession, a court found him guilty of second-degree murder and attempted murder.
The panel said the detectives threatened the suspect by telling him that he would be charged with murder. They also suggested that a confession would produce a lenient sentence. The ruling allows prosecutors to retry the defendant.
The defendant’s attorney initially filed a writ of habeas corpus, which the district court denied. The appeals panel overturned the district court ruling. In their ruling, the appeals panel said that detectives failed to prove the suspect voluntarily waived his right to counsel. Additionally, the failure tainted his confession, and granted the suspect’s habeas corpus petition.
Los Angeles murder lawyer
This case illustrates the importance of having an experienced murder lawyer when you’re facing homicide charges. Whether you’re a juvenile or an adult, the investigation and court process can be overwhelming. Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense, and takes cases in Los Angeles County.
Don’t rely on an inexperienced or overworked attorney when the stakes are this high! Choose an experienced, aggressive attorney who will fight for your rights and freedom.
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: Paul Kehrer, Flickr.com