Category Archives:Criminal Defense

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Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty of 1st Degree Murder

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 5:  Casey Anthony reacts to...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Casey Anthony of Florida was acquitted of first-degree murder charges early last week. 
Anthony was being tried for the murder of her daughter, Caylee Anthony, who was found in the woods six months after she was first reported missing. 

Anthony’s attorneys maintained from the beginning of the trial that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool.  Prosecutors alleged that the toddler was suffocated with duct tape by Casey Anthony.  Jose Baez, Anthony’s attorney, maintained that Casey panicked when she was interrogated by police, but that act did not make her a murderer.

Jurors deliberated for less than eleven hours over two days before issuing the acquittal on the murder charges. Anthony was found guilty of four counts of lying to police officers investigating the case. She was sentenced to a year in jail for each of those charges and after time served during this trial, she will be released on July 17, 2011.

This case has polarized the nation, with a majority of people believing that Anthony was wrongly acquitted, similarly to O.J. Simpson almost two decades ago.  The minority believes that justice was served in this matter because it proved the American Justice system worked: the prosecution “bit off  more than they could chew” – attempting to procure a first-degree murder charge with the possibility of capital punishment. 

Why did this case attract so much media attention?  Were the facts so disturbing that it warranted media coverage not seen since the Simpson trial?  It is interesting to see how much fervor was created over this case.  Two of the jurors admitted to feeling sick about acquitting Anthony, but admitted that the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  Do you think the jury came to the right result with this case?  Was justice served or did a murderer go free?

All information taken from The Associated Press

LCH Law       Criminal defense attorneys serving Orange and Riverside Counties  

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Is it murder if you don't remember?

David Del Toro of Eagle Rock, California, was found guilty of killing a woman in his house and convicted to a charge of second-degree murder. Del Toro, 54, was a former Los Angeles fire captain. The victim, Jennifer Flores, was an acquaintance of Del Toro’s ex-roommate. Del Toro testified that when he found out Flores was homeless, he offered to let her stay in his home overnight.

He claims he drank heavily that night and does not remember large portions of the night, but admitted to grabbing her after getting into a shouting match, but he testified that he did not injure her. The Deputy District Attorney questioned his testimony, arguing that if Del Toro did not remember large portions of the night, how he knew for certain that he did not harm Flores.

So how could the prosecution be successful in procuring a guilty verdict when one of the elements of the crime of second-degree murder is intent to kill? If Del Toro claims that he never showed any intent because he does not remember most of the night, is that valid proof that he never had the intent to kill Flores? In most instances, it is not. Just because a person cannot remember an event does not preclude the possibility that the event did not happen. If someone gets drunk and attempts to drive and causes an accident, they are found to be liable for their actions, regardless if they remember or not. A similar principle applies here – Del Toro does not make the argument that someone else committed the crime, only that he does not remember committing it himself. That should not preclude him from being found guilty.

The Orange County law firm of Do Ho, LLP can assist you with murder or any other criminal charge.
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Drunk Driver in Angels Player Death Sentenced

In one of the more high-profile cases in Orange County in recent years, Andrew Thomas Gallo of Riverside was convicted of killing Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart and two friends and seriously injuring a fourth person. Adenhart had just made his fourth major league start, pitching six scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics. The friends were on their way to a bar in Downtown Fullerton when their silver Mitsubishi Eclipse was broadsided by the minivan driven by Gallo.
It was determined after the crash that the driver of the Eclipse, Courtney Stewart, was also intoxicated. An autopsy revealed her blood alcohol level to be 0.16 percent, or twice the legal limit. Gallo’s defense attorney attempted to make the argument that these facts should have been a contributing factor in the accident. Should the fact that Courtney Stewart was also legally drunk be a contributing factor? Does it change your opinion to know that she was only 20 at the time of the accident? Due to her age, Stewart is technically committing a crime by driving with a blood alcohol level over 0.01 percent.
In the end, the jury found Gallo guilty on 6 of the 7 charges brought against him. Gallo was convicted on three counts of second-degree murder and other felonies, including hit-and-run and DUI charges. He was sentenced to 51 years to life in prison, with the possibility of parole in 49 years. At the sentencing hearing, the families of the four victims spoke in open court about their respective losses. Gallo sat emotionless as the families spoke to the judge, only breaking down after his father spoke, asking the court for leniency.

The Orange County law firm of Don Ho, LLP can assist you with DUI or any other criminal matter.
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