My client was charged with Murder and a Gang Enhancement, charges that carry a sentence of 50-years-to-life.  After a long trial, the jury hung in favor of the defense (9 to 3) and the judge dismissed the case.

The Situation: My client was charged with Murder with an enhancement that the murder was done for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang.

My client was facing a life sentence on a gang homicide.  The prosecution alleged that he and two other gang members beat and shot a 13-year-old boy in a park in South East San Diego.

The prosecution’s main evidence was DNA obtained from gloves that were found near the crime scene.  The prosecution alleged that the my client was wearing the gloves when he beat and later shot the victim.  During the trial, I challenged the state’s DNA expert on various grounds.  The cross examination of this one witness took multiple days.  I also called a separate DNA expert to testify at trial who stated that it was inconclusive whether my client’s DNA was contained in the gloves.

The Result: In the end, the jury was not convinced.

The jury hung in favor of the defense.  The final count was 9 votes for Not Guilty and 3 votes for Guilty.  The jury indicated that the DNA evidence was successfully challenged and they were not confident that my client’s DNA was contained in the gloves beyond a reasonable doubt.  The judge finished the job when he refused to set the case for a new trial and dismissed it in the interest of justice stating on the record that the District Attorney had failed to meet its burden of proof.

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