Los Angeles Criminal Courts Buliding – 7/2014
Not guilty verdict in main downtown Los Angeles courthouse. Client was charged with murder following a fight in a downtown L.A. bar in 1997. He was arrested 16 years later in another state, extradicted back to California and recently a jury found him not guilty of both First and Second Degree Murder. The defense argued that our client was playing pool and drinking after a soccer match with friends. The alleged victim entered the bar and threatened the defendant and his friends, claimed to be from a local gang, punched the defendant multiple times and challenged him to a fight. All parties to the incident were extremely intoxicated and the bartender kicked them out of the bar. Once outside, a fight irrupted and the victim was stabbed multiple times and struck with a bottle in the head. One of the knife wounds killed the victim. It was argued to the jury that this was not a murder, but instead a crime that was committed in the heat of passion, the defendant was provoked and alcohol cloud the defendant's judgment such that he could not from the specific intent / malice aforethought necessary to convict him of murder. The jury agreed with the defense and found the defendant guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter.