A 25-year-old Illinois man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a 2011 shooting that occurred outside a bar. The accused has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Witnesses claim that the suspect shot another man during an altercation in front of the bar.
However, police believe that the man who was killed was not the intended victim. They think that a fight inside the bar turned into a physical confrontation. At some point later, the accused allegedly produced a weapon and fired, hitting the innocent bystander.
It appears that police relied on eyewitness accounts. However, that may not always be wise. In some cases, witnesses may have a hard time remembering specific details. In addition, there may be instances when an individual is wrongly identified in cases where a crime took place around a large group of people.
A criminal defense attorney representing this man may try to plead the case down from first-degree murder to a lesser charge. The man would likely need to agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for lighter sentencing.
On the other hand, if the man claims he acted in self-defense, the criminal defense lawyer may try to present a defense to the case so that the accused has a possibility of acquittal. No matter what is ultimately decided, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will work with the accused to achieve the most positive outcome possible. Until then, the accused remains innocent unless prosecutors can prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: The Southern, "Williamson County: Smith murder case continued," Jan. 15, 2013
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