Highly Publicized Cases Call for an Experienced Defense
News of a particularly gruesome murder has South Florida residents on edge as four young people face serious charges. According to the Miami Herald, four students allegedly worked together to lure a 17-year-old into the woods and kill him.
The accused individuals all attended a federally operated job corp program. Law enforcement asserts that they planned the killing for two weeks before it occurred. In the days prior to the incident, the group allegedly hid a machete near the planned attack location and dug out a shallow grave. On June 28th, the suspects left campus and allegedly lured the victim into the woods. According to the police report, they then hit him in the face repeatedly with a machete before forcing him to lie down in the grave. Once suspect allegedly hit him several more times, stopping when his face caved in. The police assert that the students then buried the victim and burned his belongings along with their bloody clothes. The victim’s body was reportedly discovered by his brother.
Thus far, four individuals are in custody, ranging in age from 18 to 20 years old. Law enforcement officials allege that one of the accused is a suspected drug dealer and that the motive behind the killing may have been an outstanding debt. While three of the arrested parties confessed, one refused to cooperate with the police. A fifth arrest is expected, according to the Miami Herald report.
The state charged three of the suspects with first degree murder, conspiracy charges and evidence tampering. First degree murder is a capital felony under Florida law, so the state may seek the death penalty if a conviction is secured. The fourth arrestee faces a second degree murder charge, as well as conspiracy charges. A second degree murder conviction can result in a maximum life sentence. The only female arrested in the case also faces charges of resisting arrest, battery of an officer and criminal mischief. These charges stem from her alleged actions following her arrest.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
The highly public and grisly details of this incident will likely result in an immediate rush to guilt in the court of public opinion. But the United States justice system is not dependent on public opinion and every person is entitled to a defense under laws of the Constitution. Cases like these are not popular, but the accused parties are entitled to their day in court. When faced with highly publicized accusations, it is important to secure the services of a capable lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer may be successful at asking the court to implement certain rules to minimize the amount of information presented in the press. Your lawyer may also act as your media representative, dealing with the probing questions of the press so that you don’t have to.
If you or a loved one is facing charges in a highly publicized case, it is vitally important to contact a skilled lawyer in Miami. Call Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.