Irvine Faces Murder Charge Without a Victim's Body
The family of a Laguna Beach man is asking for the public's help locating the man's body, which has been missing since last summer, The Orange County Register reports.
Yet authorities have arrested his business partner and charged him with the murder.
This will be an interesting case to watch, as authorities have no physical evidence against the defendant to charge him in this Orange County murder case. Murder is the most serious crime on the books in California, as it's punishable by the death penalty in certain cases.
Therefore, hiring an experienced Santa Ana Defense Attorney to defend these charges is extremely important. Motions can be filed to suppress evidence or statements that the state intends to use against the defendant and an aggressive attorney can scrutinize all aspects of the prosecution's case.
According to the newspaper account, the two men ran an ad agency in San Juan Capistrano and detectives believe the two had a falling out and the victim wanted to split. He was supposed to get $1 million to buy his half of the company, but authorities believe his business partner killed him instead.
After the time authorities believe he was killed, they received messages and emails from his accounts, which described vacations. For months, family members thought it was strange but didn't take any action until they finally reported him missing.
A month before authorities believe the man was killed, his business partner was convicted of embezzlement and ordered to pay restitution and he was sued by the victim. Police believe that was motive enough for the killing.
They say the man confessed to killing the man in their San Juan Capistrano offices and an assistant helped get rid of the man's vehicle, which was found in San Jose, as well as the man's possessions.
Yet officials still don't know where the body is. So, without that evidence, it may be difficult to get a conviction. Police often tell the media that a person confessed, but what exactly they said won't be made public for a while.
And if the state manages to get the man's assistant to become a witness, his testimony must be scrutinized. He is likely going from a possible prison term to maybe probation or less serious sanctions and will probably say just about anything the prosecutor tells him to say.
If the defendant tells a different story in his own defense on the stand and was possibly so nervous at the thought of being questioned in connection with a homicide that he said things construed by police as a confession, he may be able to avoid a conviction.
What the general public fails to understand sometimes is that sitting in a tiny cinder block room with two detectives who want nothing but a full admission to a murder is daunting. To know that you may be going to jail and to have police officers screaming at you is nerve-racking beyond belief. People sometimes say things that aren't true.
These things must be explained at trial in order for a jury to understand. This isn't a police television show; this is real life. And in real life, the state must prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt.
Contact an Orange County criminal defense attorney at (714) 705-6701 as soon as possible if you are charged with a crime. Protecting your rights and setting up an aggressive defense at the beginning stages is critical in defending against criminal charges.More Blog Entries
Murder Trial Involving Inmate Beaten to Death Begins in Santa Ana: August 15, 2011
Family asks for help locating businessman's body, by Salvador Hernandez, The Orange County Register