An Orange County jury returned a second-degree murder conviction against a man who caused a deadly 2006 crash. Cole Alan Wilkins, 41, faces 25 years to life in prison following his second trial.
According to police and prosecutors, Wilkins stole a truckload of appliances from a home construction site in Riverside County. When he fled the area, an unsecured stove fell off the truck on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy David Piquette swerved to avoid the stove and collided with a cement truck. The cement truck crushed Piquette’s vehicle. Piquette was driving to work at the time of the accident.
Wilkins initially left the scene of the accident, but a witness followed him. Later, he provided a false name and contact information to California Highway Patrol accident investigators.
A 2008 jury initially convicted Wilkins of first-degree murder using the felony murder rule. The State Supreme Court overturned the decision, saying that the judge did not provide the jury with proper instructions. During his second trial
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This case underscores the intricacies of the law when it comes to murder. When you’re facing homicide charges at any level, your first move should be to hire an experienced murder attorney like Robert Helfend.
With homicide charges, your life is literally in the balance. Because the charges are so serious, a conviction can lead to execution, life in prison with or without parole, or an indeterminate sentence.
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Photo Credit: CJ Sorg, via Flickr.com