“NBC Channel 7 News reported on December 10, 2012 in its online news edition the imposition of 25 years to life in the sentencing hearing of a nursing student after a jury found her guilty of first degree murder in the killing of a former fellow high school student who prosecutors opined occurred as a result of jealousy because she was having sex with her previous boyfriend.
The defense attorney argued the crime was not premeditated, occurred in the ‘heat of passion’ and, therefore, should not have been deemed first degree murder. The Superior Court Judge disagreed and in reading the verdict stated the crime was ‘cold blooded’ and the defendant showed no remorse.
There are whole panoply of elements that are critical to the defense that can and should be presented in court if not previously in a written format for the Judge to consider in sentencing, such as the absence of a criminal history and mitigating evidence. However, none of these factors were reported in the article for a balanced account to better evaluate the case.”
COMMENTARY BY SAM SPITAL, CRIMINAL LAWYER:
“On November 12, 2012, the UT San Diego described a father who moved his family to a different county in an effort to help his teenage son who had drifted into gang associations. It meant the father’s daily commute to work as a security officer would be as much as two hours each way for his son to have a chance outside of the gang he was a member. Just when it looked like the young boy had turned the corner, however, he was stabbed to death in a gang fight between two rival gangs only a day after he gave an anti-gang presentation at a local college. This is a tragic loss for a family that tried to use every measure available to protect their son. And, the police have not been able to solve the homicide since they have received no cooperation from potential witnesses. Hopefully, the father’s efforts to use advertisements on bus benches will eventually assist in identifying the offender(s) and help the family obtain closure.”
SAM SPITAL, CRIMINAL LAWYER
“In the UT San Diego News, October 2, 2012, the author reported the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari filed by the California Attorney General’s Office, who sought review of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision that reversed the 2004 voluntary manslaughter conviction of Richard Tuite for the killing of Stephanie Crowe in 1998. This is the case in which the police first investigated Stephanie’s brother, Michael Crowe, and his two friends, but just before trial dropped the charges against them when they found the 12 year old girl’s DNA on Tuite’s clothing. If the AG’s Office does not seek another trial of Tuite, he will be released from State Prison. On the other hand, if the Supervising Deputy Attorney General handling the case seeks a new trial, he cannot file murder charges as that would be double jeopardy since Tuite was acquitted of murder in the San Diego Superior Court trial in 2004.”
SAM SPITAL, CRIMINAL LAWYER