Charge: 1st Degree Reckless Homicide. Client was accused as a result of a “Cold Case” stemming from an unsolved homicide investigation from 1990. The defendant and the victim knew each other well and she was like a mother to him. The state attempted to introduce numerous “other acts” including 1) that he sexually assaulted 3 different woman by abducting a choking them and placing his knee in their backs, 2) that he was convicted of 1st degree intentional homicide in 1994 in the strangulation death of another neighbor, 3) that he was seen outside the victims home by a drainpipe around the time of death and had been seen using that to access that victim’s apartment in the past, and 4) that after being informed that the police were taking fingernail clippings of various suspects, he picked up a fingernail file and began cleaning his fingernails. The court allowed one of the sexual assaults and the nail cleaning to be admitted. John’s DNA expert threw into doubt the possibility that John’s client committed the crime in question. Thus, the argument became a simple “reasonable doubt” argument about the viability of their theory and the credibility of their witnesses – particularly the ones on the “other acts.”
Venue: Milwaukee County
Result: Not Guilty
Charge: 1st Degree Intentional Homicide. Client accused of killing a rival drug dealer even though he was an informant for the police at the time. No direct eyewitnesses but only vague descriptions of 3 black males and a partial licence plate. Numerous statements of co-actors implicated client but the state was barred from calling them as witnesses based on defense motions.
Result: Hung Jury
Charge: 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, Armed Robbery and Possession of firearm by Felon. Client faced life sentence. 4 young men driving around Racine stopped at a gas station where the other 3 individuals robbed and shot a man. Client was in the back seat and never exited the car. The other codefendants made statements indicating that he was involved. We were able to prove that the client was not a part of the robbery after extensive investigation and interviews of witnesses including the victim.
Venue: Racine County
Charge: 1 count 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, 1 count 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, 1 count False Imprisonment, 1 count Battery, 2 counts Carrying a Concealed Weapon. Client ran estranged wife off road. She accused him of choking her and trying to smash her head. He denied this – was actually trying to help her out of accident. She recanted and admitted that she was hopeful that getting him convicted would leverage her position in their custody battle.
Venue: Brown County
Result: Not guilty