Client acquitted on Felony Murder and Second Degree Murder Charges
Michigan criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel’s jury returned a not guilty verdict on felony murder and second degree charges that were brought against Mr. Kessel’s client. The verdict came down after a two week trial which featured more than 20 witnesses and over 90 pieces of evidence. The alleged homicide took place after a robbery that “went wrong” according to the prosecutor.
Mr. Kessel’s client was alleged to have been a member of a 7 person crew that committed a robbery on the East side of the Detroit in the summer of 2012. According to the prosecutor, Mr. Kessel’s client and several other young men planned to rob a home for – depending on which witness you believed – money, guns, pills, video game systems, and other various property. After the robbery took place, the men were exiting and encountered a man calling the police, who was then shot. Almost immediately after the shooting, one of the suspects was taken into custody and immediately cut a deal with the prosecution. Soon after a second suspect was also taken into custody. The case against Mr. Kessel’s client began to form around the information provided by the suspects who were first taken into custody. Despite the shooting taking place in August of 2012, Mr. Kessel’s client was not taken into custody until the Spring of 2013.
The collection of evidence continued for months and trial did not begin until the middle of June, 2014. The prosecution’s case was separated into three segments: police witnesses, civilian witnesses, and co-conspirators. The prosecution began by calling several officers who arrived at the scene and collected various pieces of evidence, including ballistic remains of bullets that were fired after the robbery. After cross examination, it was revealed that none of these witnesses were able to connect any of the evidence to Mr. Kessel’s client. The second group of witnesses, the civilians, were comprised of some actual witnesses to the actual shooting and robbery. Some of these witnesses testified that they witnessed the shooting. However, again, none of these witnesses were able to point to Mr. Kessel’s client as the shooter.
Finally, there were two witnesses who had confessed to the police that they had been involved in the robbery and that Mr. Kessel’s client had taken part in the robbery that lead to the shooting. After vigorous cross examination, Mr. Kessel forced both witnesses to admit that they had lied several times during their conversations to the police. The witnesses were also forced to admit that they could not change their story to remove the lies because then they would lose the deals that they made with the prosecutor.
After two days of deliberations the jury returned with a not guilty verdict on the charges of felony murder and second degree murder.
When a client retains a Michigan criminal defense attorney at Nessel and Kessel Law we immediately begin to develop a comprehensive strategy for success. Sometimes success means convincing the prosecutor to dismiss the charges completely, or have them greatly reduced. Other times it means a motion to suppress evidence to have the case dismissed by a judge, or fully preparing for trial and securing a not guilty verdict. Each client, case and set of facts are different. That’s why you need a Michigan criminal defense attorney who is prepared to handle any situation that comes across their desk. Contact Nessel and Kessel Law today so that you can talk to a criminal defense attorney and see what success can mean for you.