Man Kidnapped During Bogus Craigslist Dealing (Sam Spital)

Commentary by Criminal Attorney Sam Spital:

“A suspect is facing kidnapping and attempted robbery charges in a plot that began with an advertisement on Craigslist by a seller who intended to find a buyer for his camera lens &/or photography equipment. The NBC Channel 39 online news reported on January 16, 2013 the male adult suspect who has not yet been caught was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and may have been 25 years old. The article revealed the victim met the suspect at a hotel in Pacific Beach; he had a gun and then forced the victim to drive to his bank in La Jolla to have him withdraw his money. The suspect did not like that the bank was taking too much time to get the money so he demanded the victim drive away without obtaining any money.

There have been similar robbery crimes as well as at least one murder incident related to ads placed on Craigslist and, therefore, the unsuspecting public needs to be more cognizant of the risks of meeting someone they do not know and/or to allow a would-be buyer to come to their residence. These offenses have escalated and represent a further sign of the economic crisis the country has been facing far too long; some pundits have opined the current economic decline is due to a lack of appropriate and timely leadership to obtain solutions via bipartisan consensus.”

–Sam Spital

Jury selection under way in Paradise Hills Craigslist slaying

Commentary by Sam Spital, San Diego Criminal Attorney:

“On October 23, 2012, the ABC news online edition reported the trial of three teenage gang members began by with the initiation of jury selection. They are charged with murder, robbery, auto theft and shooting into an occupied vehicle; there also is a special allegation that the crimes were committed for the benefit of a street gang. The victim was a college student who in 2010 graduated from La Jolla High School, who responded to a $600 computer for sale on Craigslist. After being lured to a South Bay residence, one of the defendants is reported to have pulled out a gun and demanded the victim’s money. When the defendants drove away, the victim followed. Soon thereafter, one of the defendants fired into the victim’s automobile, shot the victim who was taken to but died at a local hospital.

The defendants face between 50 and 60 years in prison for the crimes in question. Unfortunately, the reporter did not relate a discussion with any of the defense counsel to provide an account of a possible defense or mitigation. Perhaps in the days that follow, a more fair and balanced article will be forthcoming.”SAM SPITAL, FORMER DEPUTY ATORNEY GENERAL