Our client was arrested on July 25, 2010 for a First Degree Murder which was alleged to have occurred on July 26, 2007. The client was held without bond. The case came to trial on October 3, 2011 and after a prolonged trial before a jury the client was acquitted of First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder and Second Degree Depraved Heart Murder. The jury could not reach a verdict as to the remaining counts of Manslaughter, Attempted First Degree Murder and First Degree Felony Assault. The client was released on bond.
The defense then appealed the Court’s denial of our Motion to Dismiss for Double Jeopardy and the Courts of Appeal returned this matter to the Circuit Court for trial after denying our appeal of the denial of our Motion to Dismiss for Double Jeopardy.
The Circuit Court set this matter on the remaining counts for trial on February 3, 2014. However this office was able to negotiate a final resolution of all the charges on February 3, 2014, just prior to the trial commencing.
The client entered an Alford plea to Second Degree Misdemeanor Assault and the Misdemeanor of Carrying a Dangerous Weapon Openly. The Court placed the client on 18 months probation. Both the client and the attorney must weigh the risks of trial versus the “no risk” of a misdemeanor plea with no incarceration and without admitting guilt. We believe the client made the right decision. Life in prison means life in prison!
We believe that the resolution of this case was precipitated by our relentless pursuit of exculpatory evidence; primarily our independent discovery of a $10,000 fee (reward) paid to a witness by Prince George’s County Crime Solvers Inc. at the request of the lead investigator. Initially the State, in court and on the record, denied any knowledge of this payment.
“And there’s been no funds given to [the witness] and I’ve disclosed to Mr. Kupferberg before that he was relocated. No funds were given to him, but there was funds paid to relocate him.” August 24, 2011 Motions Hearing.
However after our continued demands it became known just one month prior to the first trial that in fact this payment had been made to the State’s most critical witness more than six months (March 11, 2011) before the commencement of the trial.
The defense during trial subpoeaned the records of Prince George’s County Crime Solvers Inc. and for the first time found an email between the primary investigator and Crime Solvers showing that request was being processed by Prince George’s County Crime Solvers Inc. as early as January 31, 2011 some nine months before the commencement of the trial. The correspondence stated in pertinent part:
Crime Solvers to Investigator dated January 31, 2011
I was processing the reward payment request for the [case] and 2 questions came up?
1. You mentioned using this person in court at the trial. Is the State’s Atty’s office okay with this person being paid before they testify?
2. If it is okay… does your person want cash or a check made out to them?
Investigator’s reply to Crime Solvers dated January 31, 2011
Yes the State’s Attorney knows and it is OK to pay him. Either check or cash is fine.
Outside the hearing of the jury the Court held a hearing on this new revelation in which the Assistant State’s Attorney indicated that he became aware of the $10,000 payment from Prince George’s County Crime Solvers Inc. in late August of 2011.
When the primary investigator was questioned about his email response “Yes the State’s Attorney knows and it is OK to pay him.” to Prince George’s County Crime Solvers Inc. of January 31, 2011, the primary investigator stated under oath that he gave the Assistant State’s Attorney the payment information in July of 2011. CLEARLY THE PRIMARY INVESTIGATOR HAD MISLED CRIME SOLVERS WHEN HE TOLD THEM IN HIS EMAIL OF JANUARY 31, 2011 THAT THE STATE KNEW OF THE PROPOSED $10,000 PAYMENT.
Without the tireless efforts of our present and past associates, Anne Khirallah, Joshua Borean, Joseph Hainline and Joshua Goyden as well as our staff, Pat and Shelly, this result could not have been accomplished.
RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF THE TRUTH ALWAYS IS IMPORTANT IN THE DEFENSE OF THE INNOCENT.