Tuesday, April 14, 2015

. . . It's What you Can Prove in Court.

An earlier post employed a movie clip from the movie, Law Abiding Citizen, featuring a prosecutor's explanation that, "it's not what you know, it's what you can prove in court" to explain to a victim's father the agreement to a plea bargain for her accused killer.  That story was fiction.  This story is fact.

In Kansas, a man originally charged with murder for severing the head of an acquaintance with a guitar string was sentenced to just over 4 years in jail following a plea agreement to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter.

According to the Topeka Capital Journal:

On March 14, 2014, a former girlfriend of [the defendant] testified he told her he killed [the victim], by using a guitar string to sever the victim’s head, then disposed of the body and kept the head in a bag. A part of the victim’s skull was discovered March 24, 2012, at a house in rural Carbondale in Osage County when [a woman] who lives with . . . the defendant’s father, said she was searching for mushrooms. Instead, she found the top of [the victim’s] skull. 

However, as it came time to proceed to trial: 

Other than a portion of the victim’s skull, prosecutors didn’t have the victim’s body, the murder weapon hadn’t been recovered, not all the prosecution witnesses were available, and prosecutors faced “credibility issues” with a major witness, [the prosecutor] said.

Not suprisingly, the family of the victim was outraged.  But, "it's not what you know, it's . . . "

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