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Thread: Spotsylvania Teen Charged With Murder: My BS Detector is Sounding!

  1. #1
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Spotsylvania Teen Charged With Murder: My BS Detector is Sounding!

    This does not pass the smell test. All the initial reports indicated he was defending the life of his mother.

    Even if they drop the charges, doesn't this stain the kid for life, having been charged?

    Needs some sunlight.

    TFred

    Spotsylvania teen charged with murder in death of mother's boyfriend

    A 15-year-old boy who authorities said shot and killed his mother's boyfriend during a domestic altercation Tuesday afternoon in Spotsylvania County has been charged with second-degree murder.

    John Conroy Jr., 37, was found dead in the front room of his home in the 5300 block of Towles Mill Road about 3:50 p.m. Conroy, who shared the home with the teen and the boy’s 36-year-old mother, had been shot multiple times.

    Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Pearce said Tuesday that the boy had apparently intervened in a dispute between Conroy and his mother that had gotten physical. The mother had minor injuries when deputies arrived and was treated at the scene.

    [snip]

    Harris noted that all homicides in Virginia are initially presumed to be second-degree murder. He said that once the investigation is completed and all forensic evidence has been tested and confirmed, the charges against the boy could be raised, lowered or dismissed altogether.

  2. #2
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    A cop would get a week or two off with pay for doing the same thing.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  3. #3
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Another local story.

    Why can't we have public servants who will just tell the truth?

    If there are circumstances that may indicate charges are appropriate, then just SAY THAT.

    Don't give us this BS about all homicides are presumed to be Second Degree Murder, because we are smart enough to know that not everyone involved in a self-defense shooting is arrested and charged.

    TFred

    15-Year-Old Arrested in Homicide of His Mother's Boyfriend

    The 15-year-old who fired the shots that are believed to have killed his mother's boyfriend has been arrested.

    The teen is charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, according to Capt. Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office.

    [snip]

    When the Criminal Investigations Division completed processing the crime scene late Tuesday, Sheriff’s Office detectives, in consultation with the Spotsylvania Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, filed petitions for the arrest of the juvenile subject.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    In the most cut-and-dried self defense shooting in front of three stadia of unimpeachable witnesses along with video from every angle from 24 hours before the event to 24 hours after the event, the odds are 99 44/100th percent that the surviving shooter is going to be arrested and charged.

    "It's the way we do things." It also gives the cops both a starting point and direction in their investigation, leaving Our Hero with the burden of establishing the affirmative defense of excusable/justified homicide. Been that way pretty much since just after Cain in re Able.

    If found not to have had anything to do with the death there will be no injury to reputation because "the record" will show he was not involved. (And yes, I believe just as strongly in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.)

    If found not guilty by excusable/justified homicide there will be no injury to reputation because "the record" will show he was found not guilty. (See same note as above.)

    I'm seriously curious about what all y'all find objectionable or unfair or unjust or just downright mean, nasty, and terrible about the kid being arrested and charged.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    While I fully understand that news coverage is not a representation of all cases, the fact is that many self-defense news stories end with, "no charges are anticipated."

    And as I indicated in my subsequent posts, I have no problem with charges, if evidence points that way. But if that's the way it's going, say it.

    By not indicating that there is some evidence to investigate, the public will assume it was a justified shooting, and this will bring all kinds of PR grief to the local Sheriff.

    TFred

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    Eh - described as an alleged physical altercation, not he tried to kill her?
    Kid picks up a gun that was in the room?
    Kid shoots the aggressor multiple times? Shoot to stop the threat.
    Looks to me as if they're on track, willing to go where the evidence leads them, but starting with the questions they currently raise. Shooting the guy multiple times might not have been commensurate. The guy may have even been set up. At one point, I think that it was reported that Mom had no injuries? Maybe the boy's a hot-head. Maybe accounts aren't matching. There's a narrow window of justified killing.

    I neither want prolific gun rights to develop into the Wild West fable, nor to enable murderers. Liberty exercised needs greater scrutiny once someone has died at the hands of someone else. Carrying and shooting are different. It's why we carry, but justification should be investigated. Not prosecuted if not warranted, but not gone unchecked either.
    Last edited by ChristCrusader; 03-10-2016 at 06:07 AM.
    *I am not a lawyer. Nothing from me shall be construed as a magic cloak of legal advice. It's ultimately your tucas that's on the line. Keep examining the law anyway. The gov't, made up of people like us, is supposed to work for us, not against us. Let's find, correct, and avoid the wrongs before they're actively used against us, or we become innocently trapped by them. We're to be the masters. Let's vigilantly keep tabs on our servants who seek to rule us.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Does the 72 hour rule apply to the kid?
    Will the kid's school counselor speak for him free of charge?
    Whatever happened to "due to the ongoing investigation we will not be making any comments at this time" or "we must all give the process time and not jump to any unfounded conclusions."
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  8. #8
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Does the 72 hour rule apply to the kid?
    Will the kid's school counselor speak for him free of charge?
    Whatever happened to "due to the ongoing investigation we will not be making any comments at this time" or "we must all give the process time and not jump to any unfounded conclusions."

    not the nice LE's new modus operandi...judge in the press, to aid our investigation that ya'll are guilty as sin...before our investigation is finished.

    just saying

    ipse

    added...nawlll OC, no 72 hour hold...the lad has done been arrested...
    Last edited by solus; 03-10-2016 at 08:09 PM. Reason: corrected misspelled word
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    This does not pass the smell test. All the initial reports indicated he was defending the life of his mother.

    Even if they drop the charges, doesn't this stain the kid for life, having been charged?

    Needs some sunlight.

    TFred
    Spotsylvania teen charged with murder in death of mother's boyfriend

    A 15-year-old boy who authorities said shot and killed his mother's boyfriend during a domestic altercation Tuesday afternoon in Spotsylvania County has been charged with second-degree murder.

    John Conroy Jr., 37, was found dead in the front room of his home in the 5300 block of Towles Mill Road about 3:50 p.m. Conroy, who shared the home with the teen and the boy’s 36-year-old mother, had been shot multiple times.

    Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Pearce said Tuesday that the boy had apparently intervened in a dispute between Conroy and his mother that had gotten physical. The mother had minor injuries when deputies arrived and was treated at the scene.

    [snip]

    Harris noted that all homicides in Virginia are initially presumed to be second-degree murder. He said that once the investigation is completed and all forensic evidence has been tested and confirmed, the charges against the boy could be raised, lowered or dismissed altogether.
    Hmmmm.

    I think I'll trust User on this one. I recall a while back that he posted that all homicides start as Murder II, and its up to the prosecution to prove higher, or the defense to prove lower. I don't recall User saying anything about charges being raised or lowered.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Hmmmm.

    I think I'll trust User on this one. I recall a while back that he posted that all homicides start as Murder II, and its up to the prosecution to prove higher, or the defense to prove lower. I don't recall User saying anything about charges being raised or lowered.
    Where does the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law fit with this claim that the defense must "prove lower"?
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    (sarcasm on)

    Why just the other day, I was recalling with fond memories my Social Studies teacher explaining at great length the common law on self-defense. He delved deeply into each of Ability, Opportunity, and Intent. We spent hours reviewing imminent threat and necessity. Disparity of force appeared on all four quizzes and the final exam. Everybody aced the test. Why, as you live and breathe, we were walking, talking experts on justified lethal force at fifteen years old. Had someone attacked our mothers, we could have split legal hairs very fine before deciding whether to shoot.

    /sarcasm
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-10-2016 at 08:01 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    In the most cut-and-dried self defense shooting in front of three stadia of unimpeachable witnesses along with video from every angle from 24 hours before the event to 24 hours after the event, the odds are 99 44/100th percent that the surviving shooter is going to be arrested and charged.

    "It's the way we do things." It also gives the cops both a starting point and direction in their investigation, leaving Our Hero with the burden of establishing the affirmative defense of excusable/justified homicide. Been that way pretty much since just after Cain in re Able.

    If found not to have had anything to do with the death there will be no injury to reputation because "the record" will show he was not involved. (And yes, I believe just as strongly in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.)

    If found not guilty by excusable/justified homicide there will be no injury to reputation because "the record" will show he was found not guilty. (See same note as above.)

    I'm seriously curious about what all y'all find objectionable or unfair or unjust or just downright mean, nasty, and terrible about the kid being arrested and charged.
    If the kid is being treated as per standard practice in all claimed-self-defense homicides, nothing unusual about it.

    I note that the practice of charging all homicides as a crime and then going from there is not universal. In Utah it is common for clear cut self-defense cases never to be charged.

    I can understand how initially treating all homicides as 2nd degree murder gives a uniform starting point. I just don't think it is necessary. In fact, I wonder how it might cause some problems. While rarely exercised in murder cases, the defendant does have a right to a speedy (or at least timely) trial. Once charges are filed, the clock starts ticking.

    On the other hand, there is not statute of limitation for murder in the jurisdictions of which I'm aware. Cops can investigate and prosecutors can charge if and when evidence indicates that the homicide is a murder. No ticking clock until charges are filed. And with no arrest, and no charges, the most obvious cases of self-defense don't even require the defender's name to be released to the public. Which can be a big benefit if the deceased has a few fellow gang members accustomed to exacting revenge. It also eliminates the need to believe in the tooth fairy in terms of preserving a man's good name.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    (sarcasm on)

    Why just the other day, I was recalling with fond memories my Social Studies teacher explaining at great length the common law on self-defense. He delved deeply into each of Ability, Opportunity, and Intent. We spent hours reviewing imminent threat and necessity. Disparity of force appeared on all four quizzes and the final exam. Everybody aced the test. Why, as you live and breathe, we were walking, talking experts on justified lethal force at fifteen years old. Had someone attacked our mothers, we could have split legal hairs very fine before deciding whether to shoot.

    /sarcasm
    An independent police force with no stake in a case might be relied upon to investigate objectively while prosecutors might be expected to exercise appropriate discretion. Save for current voir dire practices, one might place some last hope in jury members to consider on the mental capacity and state of any person claiming to have acted in self-defense. But alas, there seems to be growing distrust of government...not entirely unjustified I must concede.

    A 15 year old who believed a man was beating his mother to death ought not be convicted of murder because a doctor says the injuries were nowhere near life threatening, or because a cop says 2 shots would have likely ended the attack but the kid pulled the trigger 3 times.

    On the other hand, nobody with morals or decency wants to see a claim of self-defense be a get-out-of-jail-free card for a 30 year old who guns down some kid for swiping his lawn ornaments.

    But we must make attempts to define the standard by which prosecutors decide whether to charge and by which juries decide whether to convict. While the legal elements of self-defense may devolve into a jumbled, "I must either act or die" in the heat of the moment, those elements do provide a logical framework within which to evaluate the justifiability of the shooting after the moment has passed. It is what gives any hope that a jury might reach the same verdict given the same set of circumstances, without regard to the race, economic status, or other irrelevant characteristics of deceased or claimed defender.

    Have you a better system to propose? One that has actually been implemented somewhere and demonstrated to yield better, more consistent results?

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
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    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  14. #14
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Charles -

    Are you referring to the practice (in Uthah apparently as well as in Texas) of submitting the case to a grand jury which returns a "no true bill" decision

    Stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Where does the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law fit with this claim that the defense must "prove lower"?
    I have a small paperback book by a super-pro-gun writer from (Arizona?) that I will dig out and cite if you want--just let me know. Here is how (according to my recollection) he describes it. He was giving the legal rationale. He did not say he supported or believed that rationale--he merely passed along the legal rationale. Here is what I recall:

    If somebody is shot, the law knows a crime has been committed. Out the outset, the legal system may not know who committed the crime--the defender or aggressor--but it knows somebody committed a crime. Either somebody was attacking another--a crime--and gave the defender the right to shoot; or, the defender isn't really a defender and committed a crime by shooting another. Either way, there are only two options; and one or the other was committing a crime.

    So, we have a defender. A genuine defender. (But, the legal system doesn't know that until it sifts the facts.) The first thing he tells the police is: "I shot him in self-defense." Well, as that writer pointed out, that statement starts with, "I shot..." So, the defender has just stated he was the shooter. In one sense, he just confessed to shooting the dead body and making it dead. At the time he makes the statement, the legal system has only his word about it being a defensive shooting. On the other hand, the legal system can then interpret the facts according to its pre-existing inclination. It can interpret the facts to support a confession of wrong-doing, or it can interpret the facts to support a genuine, legal defensive shooting.

    Simply put, the legal system has evolved in the direction of making the defender prove his innocence. That is to say, the legal system has stacked the deck in the prosecutor's favor. If the prosecutor's pre-existing inclination is to attack the defender, then the defender has to prove it was self-defense by introducing evidence that shows that.

    In my non-professional view, it hinges on the defender shooting. Either he declares he fired in self-defense (in which case he also declares he did the firing);* or, the facts alone point to him as doing the firing. Either way, the legal system is now in the position of having evidence he was the shooter. From that point forward, the prosecutor gets to interpret the facts according to his own pre-existing inclinations.

    I'm not saying that is the best system. All I am saying is that is the way it stands today and how it got there, relying in part on the book I mentioned.


    *I suspect this why veteran defense attorney, forum member User recommends reporting to 911 that "a man has been shot" instead of "I shot a man in self-defense." The first comment is a confession that can be used against you if the prosecution is so inclined. If you say instead the second comment, at least you haven't handed the prosecution a statement it can use against you on a silver platter.
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-10-2016 at 10:48 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  16. #16
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    Citizen, i was not questioning you just the rational of Officer Harris suggesting that one must prive their innocence
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
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    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
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    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

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  17. #17
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Here's the problem I have with this story: If Harris is telling the truth, that "all homicides in Virginia are initially presumed to be second-degree murder," then why is it that some who are involved in a self-defense shooting are not arrested and charged with at least second degree murder immediately after the incident?

    Does Harris expect us to believe that for every case of a self-defense killing in which nobody is arrested and charged, it was possible to completely investigate the incident on the scene sufficiently to absolutely acquit the person who shot the decedent?

    TFred

  18. #18
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    citizen, excellent analogy and 'recollection' of the material...

    while user's advice is almost right on...i have practiced this mantra in the event i need to notify the nice LEs: dial 911 and say 'i need medical assistance and the sheriff at xyz' and then to set the fone down, still open to the 911 operator and plan on occasionally coughing or sneezing or blowing my nose loudly so the dispatcher knows the line is open (which is of course will still be recording when the nice LE's arrive on the scene)

    additionally, user's advice of keep your mouth shut when the nice LEs arrive will prevent the 'i shot the...' (sung by marley of course!) and the nice LEs can investigate the facts w/o bias.

    pm, inbound.

    ipse
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Charles -

    Are you referring to the practice (in Uthah apparently as well as in Texas) of submitting the case to a grand jury which returns a "no true bill" decision
    Actually no.

    A prosecutor in Utah can submit a case to a grand jury and the grand jury can refuse to indict. But given what we know about grand juries and ham sandwiches, such a tactic would normally be political cover as the prosecutor gets to "take a dive" in the privacy of the grand jury rather than publicly acting of his own accord not to bring charges.

    In Utah, a prosecutor has full discretion not to bring charges and not to take anything to a grand jury. This is what happens here in the case of a police or citizen shooting that a prosecutor rules to be legally justified (or self defense for a private citizen).

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
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    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  20. #20
    Regular Member wrearick's Avatar
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    Here in Virginia, what does it take to decide to charge a minor as an adult? Is that decision made by the police or does it require the DA or a Judge, or even a Grand Jury to determine the seriousness of the crime warrants treating the accused as an adult even though 15 is normally a minor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrearick View Post
    Here in Virginia, what does it take to decide to charge a minor as an adult? Is that decision made by the police or does it require the DA or a Judge, or even a Grand Jury to determine the seriousness of the crime warrants treating the accused as an adult even though 15 is normally a minor?
    "While most juvenile criminal offenses in Virginia are resolved entirely within the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDR Court), there are certain circumstances where cases are transferred and certified to the Circuit Court for resolution. Cases transferred and certified to Circuit Court result in the juvenile being tried as an adult, and resulting convictions can have substantial and lifelong effects on the juvenile."
    http://www.livesaymyers.com/juvenile...ults-virginia/
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  22. #22
    Regular Member wrearick's Avatar
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    Thanks. Not sure if there has been time for that or not. Wonder if the cops are wishing out loud.

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  23. #23
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    Keep in mind that all that's required for the charge against the kid is probable cause to believe a crime's been committed and that he was responsible. Also that, as a matter of law, if one is not acting under color of authority as a law enforcement officer, there is a rebuttable presumption that a homicide is a murder. So they've got the dead guy, the kid who's either confessed to the fact of the shooting or factual evidence that demonstrates that fact, and the presumption of murder. That's probable cause, and has nothing to do with whether the kid's actually guilty or not.

    However, he'll probably get some plea-bargain factory down there who'll convince him to plead guilty to manslaughter, because that's the quickest buck for the lawyer.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Keep in mind that all that's required for the charge against the kid is probable cause to believe a crime's been committed and that he was responsible. Also that, as a matter of law, if one is not acting under color of authority as a law enforcement officer, there is a rebuttable presumption that a homicide is a murder. So they've got the dead guy, the kid who's either confessed to the fact of the shooting or factual evidence that demonstrates that fact, and the presumption of murder. That's probable cause, and has nothing to do with whether the kid's actually guilty or not.

    However, he'll probably get some plea-bargain factory down there who'll convince him to plead guilty to manslaughter, because that's the quickest buck for the lawyer.
    No new developments have been published in any local media that I have seen, but I'll tell you this: Judging from the overwhelming outrage over these charges, as expressed in the news story comments by local media consumers, the sheriff better have something pretty significant up his sleeve that nobody knows about, or he's going to lose his job come next election.

    TFred

  25. #25
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Update: 15 year old to be tried as adult, case goes to Grand Jury

    15 year old to be tried as an adult. Case goes to Grand Jury later this month. Comments on social media still overwhelmingly outraged over the fact that this boy is being charged with a crime.

    From article: "During Wednesday’s preliminary hearing, the judge ruled that Doggett did not have the right to use deadly force because the victim wasn’t armed."

    TFred

    Spotsylvania teen who shot and killed his mother’s boyfriend to be tried as an adult

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