violent crimes Archives

Murder suspect arrested after $3 crime

The suspect in a 2012 California murder has been arrested in Utah after years of searching for him. Unlike other cold-case arrests that have been linked to advanced scientific technologies like genetic genealogy and other DNA techniques, this case involved relatively straightforward police work. The man had been on the Alameda County Sheriff's Office "most wanted" list until he was found in Utah, where he was living under an assumed name.

Man awarded $13.1 million after being framed for murder

A California man has been awarded $13.1 million by the San Francisco's Board of Supervisors for being framed for murder by the two detectives who initially investigated the incident that led to his arrest. The payment settles a civil lawsuit the man filed against the city and four police officers after being cleared of the charges that resulted in his five-year incarceration. While the board unanimously approved the settlement payment, they have not commented on the matter.

Governor orders DNA testing in 35-year-old murder case

A 61-year-old man who has spent decades in prison after being sentenced to death for the murder of four people in 1983 was thrown a lifeline on Feb. 22 when California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered DNA testing of evidence that he claims will prove his innocence. The case garnered national attention in 2000 when the CBS show "48 Hours" ran a story suggesting that key evidence had been overlooked or destroyed by law enforcement.

Parole recommendation for Manson family murderer

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten has been recommended for parole. However, there is a 150-day waiting period that includes a period of review for board staff. Furthermore, her parole must still be approved by the governor. The parole board also recommended her release in 2016 and 2018, but the decision was reversed by the governor at the time.

New law could help hundreds obtain their release

Individuals who are serving time for murder convictions in California may be eligible for release after a change to state law. The change went into effect on Jan. 1, and it says that only killers can be convicted of murder. Previously, those who were indirectly related to such a crime could be charged as if he or she actually killed the victim.

Viable defenses to involuntary manslaughter depend on the facts

Unlike most crimes, involuntary manslaughter is not a crime in which the accused's state of mind or intent is an element. The California Penal Code defines it as an accidental homicide committed either during the commission of a non-felony crime or as the result of reckless conduct during a lawful activity. Under either theory, there is no allegation of intent by the accused to kill the victim. If the case is based on an allegation involving a lawful act, the prosecution must, however, prove the accused/defendant knew or should have known the conduct was such that it posed a potential danger to others.

California man faces life in prison for hate crime

A 21-year-old California man could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted of killing a gay and Jewish University of Pennsylvania student. Prosecutors say that they are considering the homicide a hate crime because the man's phone contained large amounts of anti-Semitic and homophobic material. The man entered a plea of not guilty during a Nov. 9 hearing in Orange County Superior Court.

Man faces murder charge for allegedly killing sailor on I-5

A 21-year-old man sits in San Diego County Central Jail for the alleged shooting death of one man on Interstate 5 and shooting another man about 10 minutes earlier on Boundary Street in Mount Hope. After these incidents, the California Highway Patrol located the suspect's vehicle on northbound I-5 and alerted the San Diego Police Department.

Man linked to murder and series of burglaries

A 42-year-old man has been taken into custody in connection with a string of recent burglaries in the Malibu Canyon area of California. He is also suspected of fatally shooting a man in front of his 2 and 4-year-old daughters in Malibu Creek State Park in June. The man is being held on a number of parole violations while investigators build homicide and burglary charges against him according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department representative.

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We do not recommend a watch-and-wait approach when you are facing a criminal charge. It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to start your defense right away. Schedule your free initial consultation at our Redwood City, California office today by calling 866-410-0465. You can also reach us via email to learn more.

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Chuck Smith, Attorney at Law
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Redwood City, CA 94063

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