Three week trial
People of the State of California Vs. 3 Defendants
Penal Code Section 187, Murder
The accused were 2 brothers (age 22 & 27) and their brother-in-law.
The 2 accused brothers' older brother has been in a long term marriage of 15 years with 4 children. Unfortunately, it is a very toxic, violent, dysfunctional marriage. They fight constantly. When they fight, the wife moves home and tells her family. She also has two brothers. When they find out about it, they usually track the husband down and beat him up in defense of their sister.
This fight was no different.
3/24/14 - Both families were invited to a first communion dinner party. The husband & wife of the dysfunctional marriage had too much to drink. The wife was extremely intoxicated and fought with family members including her husband and the husband’s other brother, the 3rd brother of the family (who would later become instrumental to the actual crime).
The wife's daughter, age 14, misperceived the fight and thought her dad and uncle (the 3rd brother) were beating on her mom.
The 14 year-old called her aunt (who would later become the victim) and her 2 uncles (the wife’s 2 brothers) to inform them of what she thought she saw.
3/25/14 - The next morning, Sunday, the wife’s sister and 2 brothers traveled to the husband's house and beat him bloody for the treatment of their sister, the night prior. (This was captured on video surveillance).
The 3 brothers of the husband, along with their brother-in-law, found out and went over later in the evening on Sunday to talk to the wife’s brothers about why they beat up the husband.
The discussion with the family turned into a fist fight, with the wife’s sister involved, as well.
As everyone fought with each other, the 3rd brother of the husband pulled out a gun and fired. The bullet struck the wife’s sister, instantly killing her.
The 3rd brother of the husband (the shooter) fled the scene and our clients, the 2 other brothers of the husband and their brother-in-law were arrested under the "natural and probable consequence doctrine".
This was a very complex area of law.
If the District Attorney could prove that our clients went to the victim's house with the specific intent to commit some non-target offense, in this case, cause a fight, and an unintended consequence occurs (the 3rd brother pulling out a gun and killing his sister-in-law) they are all liable for the shooter’s actions if it can be shown that it was foreseeable that the fight would escalate into a murder and it was reasonable for a finder of fact to conclude that our clients knew or should have known that would have occurred.
Three week trial - The jury took two hours to deliberate.
Not Guilty, all counts, all defendants!