• We are now running on a new, and hopefully much-improved, server. In addition we are also on new forum software. Any move entails a lot of technical details and I suspect we will encounter a few issues as the new server goes live. Please be patient with us. It will be worth it! :) Please help by posting all issues here.
  • The forum will be down for about an hour this weekend for maintenance. I apologize for the inconvenience.
  • If you are having trouble seeing the forum then you may need to clear your browser's DNS cache. Click here for instructions on how to do that
  • Please review the Forum Rules frequently as we are constantly trying to improve the forum for our members and visitors.

Officer finally charged with 2nd Degree Murder

Grapeshot

Legendary Warrior
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
35,336
Location
Valhalla
Sometimes justice can be a long time coming.

I'll still withhold any personal opinion(s) and follow the court proceedings.
 

skidmark

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
10,449
Location
Valhalla
Dayum, that was fast! [/sarcasm]

Now to sit back and enjoy. Wonder if the FCPD's first few responses will be brought into the testimony?

stay safe.
 

Citizen

Founder's Club Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
18,283
Location
Fairfax Co., VA
I wonder if there isn't an "arrangement."

I don't see Murder 2 in the facts. I can't help but wonder if something wasn't worked out to charge him with something from which he can walk. A political settlement, if you will.

A couple unrelated comments:

FC Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova was quoted today as seeing she was convinced effective reforms would prevent a repeat. Comment: I think the same was said in 2006 after optometrist Culosi was shot and killed by FCPD SWAT while unarmed.

The defendant, former FCPD officer Torres, was quoted today as saying he respects the grand jury's decision. Great lawyer behind that comment, I'll bet.
 

The Truth

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
1,972
Location
Henrico
John Geer is a name none of us should ever forget. Pathetic that a $3M settlement is supposed to "compensate" the family for a life lost for absolutely no good reason except some beta human was "afraid." I'm all about waiting for the facts, court proceedings, protecting the lawful use of lethal force, yada yada, but it was pretty clear from the beginning that this was not a justified use of deadly force.

Hopefully this scumbag as well as FCPD will be held accountable for their actions.

Isn't it somewhat abnormal that a wrongful death settlement was made before any criminal proceedings happened?
 

skidmark

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
10,449
Location
Valhalla
.

Isn't it somewhat abnormal that a wrongful death settlement was made before any criminal proceedings happened?
No. And the settlement probably was the wedge that forced the criminal prosecution.

While "preponderance of the evidence" (50% plus a smidgen) is well less than "beyond a reasonable doubt" FCPD and its chief have made statements that go way beyond "we are sorry", "we never broke the law and promise never to do it again", and also stated that he was fired for improper use of a firearm. Pretty much an admission that this was not an"accident"

I'm still amazed that the Commonwealth attorney brought a charge of 2nd Degree Murder

second degree murder

a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility. Second degree murder is different from First Degree Murder which is a premeditated, intentional killing, or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape, or armed robbery. Exact distinctions on degree vary by state.
as instead of dropping it to Manslaughter

Manslaughter

The unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection.

Manslaughter is a distinct crime and is not considered a lesser degree of murder. The essential distinction between the two offenses is that malice aforethought must be present for murder, whereas it must be absent for manslaughter. Manslaughter is not as serious a crime as murder. On the other hand, it is not a justifiable or excusable killing for which little or no punishment is imposed.
I smell bus wheels.

stay safe.

At Common Law, as well as under current statutes, the offense can be either voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter. The main difference between the two is that voluntary manslaughter requires an intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm while involuntary manslaughter does not. Premeditation or deliberation, however, are elements of murder and not of manslaughter. Some states have abandoned the use of adjectives to describe different forms of the offense and, instead, simply divide the offense into varying degrees.[/quote]
 

peter nap

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
13,556
Location
Valhalla
No. And the settlement probably was the wedge that forced the criminal prosecution.

While "preponderance of the evidence" (50% plus a smidgen) is well less than "beyond a reasonable doubt" FCPD and its chief have made statements that go way beyond "we are sorry", "we never broke the law and promise never to do it again", and also stated that he was fired for improper use of a firearm. Pretty much an admission that this was not an"accident"

I'm still amazed that the Commonwealth attorney brought a charge of 2nd Degree Murder



as instead of dropping it to Manslaughter



I smell bus wheels.

stay safe.

At Common Law, as well as under current statutes, the offense can be either voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter. The main difference between the two is that voluntary manslaughter requires an intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm while involuntary manslaughter does not. Premeditation or deliberation, however, are elements of murder and not of manslaughter. Some states have abandoned the use of adjectives to describe different forms of the offense and, instead, simply divide the offense into varying degrees.
[/QUOTE]


It's an election year.
 

TFred

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
7,750
Location
Most historic town in, Virginia, USA
I suspect Citizen hit it on the head. Charge him with a crime that the facts do not support. He walks, as he should, since he didn't commit Second Degree Murder, and the real crime becomes that he was not charged with the actual crime he committed.

My ignorant question: Will the jury be allowed to find him guilty of Manslaughter even though he is charged with 2nd Degree Murder?

TFred
 

The Truth

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
1,972
Location
Henrico
I suspect Citizen hit it on the head. Charge him with a crime that the facts do not support. He walks, as he should, since he didn't commit Second Degree Murder, and the real crime becomes that he was not charged with the actual crime he committed.

My ignorant question: Will the jury be allowed to find him guilty of Manslaughter even though he is charged with 2nd Degree Murder?

TFred
Good points guys. Sorry about my emotional response.
 

OC for ME

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
12,376
Location
White Oak Plantation
In the last decade, Fairfax police have logged 37 officer-involved shootings. None of those cases have resulted in charges against law-enforcement officials.

"It's pretty remarkable for Fairfax County, I think this is the first indictment against a police officer in their entire history," says Mike Curtis, who is among the many people who have been pressing the police department and the county government for more information. "Now we'll see what happens when it goes to trial. I mean that's an even bigger hurdle than getting an indictment is getting a conviction."
Hmm...interesting.

It seems to me that the political masters were frustrated and a good minion should not bite the hand that feeds him. Would we be here if the political masters were on the "same page" as the chief from the get-go?
 

Grapeshot

Legendary Warrior
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
35,336
Location
Valhalla
I suspect Citizen hit it on the head. Charge him with a crime that the facts do not support. He walks, as he should, since he didn't commit Second Degree Murder, and the real crime becomes that he was not charged with the actual crime he committed.

My ignorant question: Will the jury be allowed to find him guilty of Manslaughter even though he is charged with 2nd Degree Murder?

TFred
I'm not sure TFred if Manslaughter is a lesser included charge or not, BUT a petition to the court to amend the charge to Manslaughter is a defense option - less risk and more defense options IMHO.

"Criminal Charges in Virginia Homicide
In Virginia whenever a person is criminally charged with killing another person the courts in Virginia will presume it is second degree murder.

Why?

Second degree murder is punishable by 5-20 years in prison and a $100,000.00 fine.This means that state must only prove you committed the homicide to make the case for second degree murder. To increase the charge the prosecutor must prove: ‘BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT” that the special conditions (willful, deliberate, premeditated or other actions) of first degree murder were committed. It is up to the defendant (Person who pulled the trigger) to prove that the lesser homicide was committed. The lesser charges are manslaughter which is still a crime, punishable by 1-10 years in prison and a $2,500 dollar fine, or justifiable or excusable homicide, which are not crimes. This may seem like "guilty until proven innocent" but it is a long established standard in Virginia."
http://www.ccjatraining.com/articles/criminachargesinva.pdf
"The second half of Virginia Code §18.2-32 says that second-degree murder is all murder other than capital and first-degree murder. Generally, second-degree murder charges are made for killings committed in the heat of a moment without premeditation or planning, but with malice.

The statute makes second-degree murder an unclassified felony, and sets the penalty at a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
The statute doesn’t really give a firm definition of second-degree murder, but Virginia courts as far back as 1846 in McWhirt v. Commonwealth made malice a defining characteristic of murder as compared to other killings."
http://www.roanokecriminalattorney.com/violent-crimes/murder/
 

skidmark

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
10,449
Location
Valhalla
I suspect Citizen hit it on the head. Charge him with a crime that the facts do not support. He walks, as he should, since he didn't commit Second Degree Murder, and the real crime becomes that he was not charged with the actual crime he committed.

My ignorant question: Will the jury be allowed to find him guilty of Manslaughter even though he is charged with 2nd Degree Murder?

TFred
As previously stated, all homicide is murder.

Read jury instruction 21.42 http://www.ocalynchburg.com/Jury Instructions/Index of Instructions.htm#_Homicide to see how the lesser included offenses are delineated from 1st degree murder. (emphasis added)

If you find from the evidence that the Commonwealth has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the first two elements of the offense as charged but you do not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was willful, deliberate and premeditated, then you shall find the defendant guilty of second degree murder ....


If you find that the Commonwealth has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was malicious but that the Commonwealth has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant killed [name of person] and further:
(1) That the killing was the result of an intentional act; and
(2) That the killing was committed while [in the sudden heat of passion upon reasonable provocation;in mutual combat]
.
then you shall find the defendant guilty of voluntary manslaughter....
First, Alex, I'd like "drawing your gun and shooting someone in response to what you thought was them going for a gun is not premeditated" for $1,000.

Next, I'll take "Drawing your gun and shooting at somebody is pretty much an intentional act" for $2,000, Alex.

So, based on my extensive education, training, and practical experience (all 35 seconds of it in this case:shocker:) I'd say 2nd degree murder has a good chance, and if it fails they can fall back on voluntary manslaughter.

stay safe.
 

peter nap

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
13,556
Location
Valhalla
As previously stated, all homicide is murder.

Read jury instruction 21.42 http://www.ocalynchburg.com/Jury Instructions/Index of Instructions.htm#_Homicide to see how the lesser included offenses are delineated from 1st degree murder. (emphasis added)



First, Alex, I'd like "drawing your gun and shooting someone in response to what you thought was them going for a gun is not premeditated" for $1,000.

Next, I'll take "Drawing your gun and shooting at somebody is pretty much an intentional act" for $2,000, Alex.

So, based on my extensive education, training, and practical experience (all 35 seconds of it in this case:shocker:) I'd say 2nd degree murder has a good chance, and if it fails they can fall back on voluntary manslaughter.

stay safe.
But, but...he meant well. :uhoh:
 

countryclubjoe

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,505
Location
nj
Did this murderer have a history of being trigger happy or have a history of acting out with violence against citizens? I would venture to say "yes"... I am sure his file was exposed in the civil litigation however it may not be addressed in his criminal trial... My .02

Regards
CCJ
 

Grapeshot

Legendary Warrior
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
35,336
Location
Valhalla
Did this murderer have a history of being trigger happy or have a history of acting out with violence against citizens? I would venture to say "yes"... I am sure his file was exposed in the civil litigation however it may not be addressed in his criminal trial... My .02

Regards
CCJ
Likely we shall never know.
 

skidmark

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
10,449
Location
Valhalla
Did this murderer have a history of being trigger happy or have a history of acting out with violence against citizens? I would venture to say "yes"... I am sure his file was exposed in the civil litigation however it may not be addressed in his criminal trial... My .02

Regards
CCJ
He was either still a trainee or still a probationer - I misremember which. As such he was supposed to be under some sort of scrutiny if not actually under someone's control. His training and performance record (whether a trainee/rookie/old-timer) is open for inspection by the CA (as well as the defense). In any case, what history there is will be pretty short.

He says there was a furtive movement towards the waist. Three eyewitnesses (IIRC one was almost directly behind the shooter) say Greer's hands were up. Who are you going to believe?

As "legal scholars" we understand the difference between "the preponderance of the evidence" (50% + the smallest scintilla) and "beyond a reasonable doubt". Do you think a jury is going to even care after the fact of the wrongful death settlement is introduced?

stay safe.
 
Top