In many criminal trials, the prosecution relies on testimony from victims and eyewitnesses to prove its case against the defendant. As such, if a key witness for the state later recants their testimony, it may constitute grounds for reversing a defendant’s conviction. A change in an eyewitness account will not always result in a favorable outcome for a criminal defendant, though, as demonstrated in a recent Michigan case in which a jury convicted the defendant of assault with intent to murder. If you are accused of a crime, it is critical to retain the assistance of a skilled Michigan criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Procedural Background of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant was charged with assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. During his trial, the prosecution’s case hinged on testimony from the alleged victim; he testified that the defendant shot at him numerous times following an altercation. A jury found the defendant guilty, and as he was a third-offense habitual offender, he was sentenced to 20 to 60 years in prison for his assault crime and two years for his firearm offense.
Reportedly, almost ten years after his conviction, the defendant moved for relief from judgment, his second motion for relief, on the grounds that the victim completed an affidavit in which he recanted his testimony. The trial court initially granted a stay but later denied the defendant’s motion following the victim’s death. The defendant appealed. Continue Reading ›