A young person being killed by police officers has become a common news story in our world today. These police officers sometimes face criminal charges as a result of these incidents. One Portsmouth officer was recently arrested and charged with first-degree murder after the death of an 18-year-old.
The teenager was accused of shoplifting from a nearby Walmart in April of this year. The officer shot him in the head and chest during a confrontation outside the store. The teenager was unarmed at the time of the incident. The autopsy showed that the young man was shot from a distance.
Prosecutors filed a voluntary manslaughter charge against the officer in 2013 after he shot another young man 11 times. However, the grand jury returned the charge, after not finding enough evidence against him.
In addition to the first-degree murder charge, he was also indicted on the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The officer’s defense team says they are surprised by the charge of first degree murder because the facts do not support that charge. They say that they will formulate a strong criminal defense for the officer.
Being charged with a crime does not by any means guarantee a conviction. Coming up with a well-founded defense strategy can mean the difference between freedom and years in prison. The prosecutor will have to show that there is no reasonable doubt of your guilt. You as a defendant will need to concentrate on raising some reasonable doubt to fight against the prosecutor’s allegations. If you can do this, you may be able to successfully defend yourself and have charges against you dismissed.
Source: NY Daily News, “Virginia police officer charged with first-degree murder in teen’s shooting death,” Nina Golgowski, Sept. 4, 2015