Virginia residents who are charged with crimes can face serious consequences if they are convicted. Many of these charges get dropped or dismissed for a variety of reasons, including a solid criminal defense. One of the two defendants charged with the murder of an off-duty Norfolk police officer is no longer facing charges. However, he is currently serving time for other crimes. The other defendant’s charges were dropped earlier this year. With a dismissed charge under his belt, he is now a free man.
The officer was shot in late 2010 after a fundraiser at a gentleman’s club. One man was charged with capital murder in 2012 and the second man was charged with murder a few months later. That’s when the case against these men started to fall apart. Some of the witnesses for the prosecution were believed to have lied and there was no longer enough evidence for a trial.
The first man’s lawyer said that prosecutors had no scientific evidence and no gun to match a shell casing found at the crime scene. The prosecution had based a lot of their case on jailhouse informants. Approximately 17 jailhouse informants came forward over a year after the incident, but the man’s lawyer said that their testimony should not be relied upon in a case this serious. Informants in these situations usually reveal information with the hopes of reducing their own sentences. Defense attorneys worked hard to poke holes in the informant’s testimony by working with a private investigator and eventually succeeded. The informants’ stories didn’t always add up.
With no solid evidence linking these two men to the crime, the officer’s death is now considered a cold-case. Cases like these give hope to anyone charged with a crime. Those who are facing similar criminal charges should consider seeking the assistance of a legal professional who will fight for their best interests.
Source: Pilot Online, “Va. Beach drops charges in Norfolk officer’s slaying,” Elisabeth Hulette, June 3, 2014