Articles Posted in Evidence

In attempting to establish a defendant’s guilt, the State will frequently try to introduce evidence of a scheme or motive. There are restrictions as to what is admissible, however. For example, in most instances, the State cannot introduce evidence of other crimes to show a defendant’s guilt. This was demonstrated in a recent Michigan case in which the court ruled that evidence of other crimes was inadmissible in a case in which the defendant is charged with first-degree murder. If you are charged with murder or any other violent crime, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney about your rights.

The History of the Case

Reportedly, the defendant’s co-worker, who per eyewitness reports was last seen with the defendant, was missing. The police began investigating her disappearance and questioned the defendant. He advised them that he was working when she disappeared, even though he was not. Thus, the police became suspicious of the defendant and obtained a warrant to search his apartment. As part of the search, they performed a DNA analysis that indicated the presence of the skin cells on the defendant’s rug.

Allegedly, the State charged the defendant with the first-degree murder of the co-worker solely due to the DNA evidence. Before the trial, the prosecution filed a motion in limine asking the court to permit the introduction of evidence that the defendant had a prior conviction for strangling and attempting to rape another woman. The defense attorney argued such information was inadmissible other acts evidence, which would be used to unjustly indicate the defendant’s propensity to commit crimes. The trial court found in favor of the defendant, and the State appealed. Continue Reading ›

In many assault cases, the prosecution relies on testimony from the victim and any witnesses to the incident to establish the defendants’ guilt. Thus, if they testify that the defendant was not the person who committed the alleged offense, it may be challenging for the prosecution to prove its case. In matters in which witnesses recant earlier statements in which they indicated the defendant’s guilt, however, they may be found to lack credibility, and the defendant may be convicted despite their favorable testimony. This was shown in a recent Michigan ruling in which the court denied the defendant’s motion for new trial after his assault conviction. If you are accused of assault or any other crime, it is advisable to meet with a Michigan criminal defense lawyer to discuss your potential defenses.

The Assault and Subsequent Trial

It is reported that the defendant and the victim were involved in a verbal altercation, after which the victim got into a vehicle and began to drive away. The defendant then began to shoot at the vehicle. He was charged with assault with intent to commit murder and other crimes. At his trial, the victim and his mother, who was at the scene of the incident, both testified that they did not know who shot at the vehicle.

Allegedly, the prosecution then presented evidence of earlier statements made by the victim and his mother in which they identified the defendant as the shooter, including a letter from the mother to the police. The defendant was ultimately convicted as charged. He then moved for a new trial, arguing in part that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. The court denied his motion, and he appealed. Continue Reading ›

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