Tag Archive | trial

Man charged in gun-trafficking probe linked to murder case against Hernandez

federal grand jury has indicted a Florida man on multiple charges in a gun-trafficking investigation that is tangentially linked to the Massachusetts murder case involving former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

The investigation centers on the transportation of three guns — a semiautomatic rifle and two .22-caliber pistols — from Florida to the Northeast.

None of them, however, is the weapon used to kill Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semipro football player who was gunned down last June 17 in a secluded field less than a mile from Hernandez’s North Attleboro, Mass., home.

The search for that weapon, believed to be a .45-caliber Glock pistol, is ongoing.

Hernandez, 24, and two associates, Carlos Ortiz, 28, and Ernest Wallace Jr., 42, have been indicted on murder and other charges in Lloyd’s death. All three are being held without bail.

The man indicted in the gun-trafficking case is Oscar Hernandez Jr. He is not related to the former football star.

Prosecutors, who have said in court that Aaron Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd’s murder because he was upset about something the man had said at a nightclub, is accused of summoning Ortiz and Wallace from his hometown of Bristol, Conn., to his mansion in North Attleboro. Then, according to court documents, the three of them allegedly drove to Boston and picked up Lloyd before returning to North Attleboro.

Lloyd was gunned down in a field surrounded by mounds of gravel and dirt in an industrial park.

The case against Oscar Hernandez Jr. is focused on three weapons that investigators have linked to Aaron Hernandez:

–A .22-caliber Jimenez Arms pistol that was purchased April 16, 2013, at a True Value hardware store in Belle Glade, Fla. According to court documents, that gun is believed to have been in the car the night Lloyd was killed. According to court documents, the day after Lloyd’s murder, investigators believe Aaron Hernandez told his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, to get all the weapons out of their house. This pistol was discovered two days after Lloyd’s murder in the woods along a road near the football star’s home. According to court documents, it was “located on top of the ground cover and was a short distance from the roadway. This indicated to investigators that the .22 handgun may have been recently discarded.”

–A .22-caliber Jimenez Arms pistol that was purchased at the same hardware store on April 24, 2013. That gun was confiscated by police in Providence, R.I., last May 18 after an incident at a nightclub involving Aaron Hernandez. According to a Providence police report, officers went to a club to disperse a crowd after a man identifying himself as a New York Jets fan started taunting Hernandez. As Hernandez and his friends left, an officer saw someone in the group toss the handgun underneath a car before fleeing. Investigators later concluded that the man who ditched the gun was Wallace.

–A 7.62 x 39mm semi-automatic rifle that was discovered inside a Toyota Camry that was parked in the garage at Hernandez’s home. The discovery was made five days after Lloyd’s killing as investigators executed a search warrant at Hernandez’s home. That gun, according to a trace done by agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, had been purchased April 15, 2013, at the Delray Shooting Center in Delray Beach, Fla. Court documents do not identify the purchasers of the three guns.

It’s clear from the indictment issued against Oscar Hernandez that federal agents suspect that at least the rifle was moved across state lines in the Camry, and they suspect the man both purchased the car and arranged for it to be shipped from Florida to Massachusetts.

However, when he testified before a federal grand jury in Boston last Dec. 4, Oscar Hernandez denied buying the Camry or arranging for shipment to Massachusetts. In addition to three counts of lying to the grand jury, the indictment accuses him of trying to “influence, obstruct, and impede the due administration of justice in that the defendant did knowingly make misleading and false declarations … and concealed relevant information while testifying under oath before a United States grand jury for the District of Massachusetts.”

The indictment also said that he tried to “corruptly persuade” an unidentified individual from testifying before the grand jury.

Oscar Hernandez is expected to be moved to Massachusetts to face the federal charges.

Aaron Hernandez is not scheduled to be in court again until June 16.

In addition to Ortiz and Wallace, Jenkins — the former player’s fiancee — has been charged with perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury, and Hernandez’s cousin, Tanya Singleton, has been accused of conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact to murder for allegedly helping Wallace flee to Florida in the days after Lloyd’s killing.

Hernandez himself has other potential legal troubles on the horizon.

He is the subject of an ongoing grand jury investigation in Boston into a 2012 drive-by shooting in the city’s theater district that left two men dead and another wounded. A Toyota 4Runner that police believe was used in those shootings was discovered in the garage of a home in Bristol owned by Hernandez’s uncle.

And he is the subject of a civil lawsuit filed in Florida by a man who alleged that Hernandez shot him in the face and left him for dead after they got into an argument at a nightclub.

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Source: Kevin Vaughn, Fox Sports

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Oscar Pistorius: ‘That’s the moment that everything changed’

Oscar Pistorius gave a dramatic account of the time leading up to the moment when he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, as he testified Tuesday in his murder trial.

He says he thought he was shooting at an intruder, but the prosecution accuses him of intentionally shooting her in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year after an argument.

Pistorius said he woke in the night to hear the sound of the bathroom window sliding.

“My lady, that’s the moment that everything changed,” he told the judge.

He described how he got out of bed on his stumps, found his gun under the bed and made his way toward the passage from his bedroom to the bathroom.

The emotion was clear in his voice as he told how he was overcome by fear.

“There’s no barrier between me and the bathroom window. I immediately thought that they could be there at any moment. The first thing that ran through my mind was that I needed to arm myself. I needed to protect Reeva and I and I needed to get my gun,” he said.

He said he whispered to Steenkamp to get down and call police.

Just before he got to the bathroom, he heard a door slam — the toilet door, he said. It confirmed to him that someone was in the bathroom.

Dinner and bedtime

Asked about events earlier in the evening, in his second day on the stand, Pistorius said Steenkamp had offered to cook for him on February 13.

When they went upstairs, Pistorius opened the sliding doors on to the balcony off his bedroom, as it was a very humid evening and the air conditioning was not working, he said.

He placed two fans in the doorway to the balcony, closed the doors as far as possible, and drew the blinds and heavy curtains to prevent insects from coming in.

He said he had locked the bedroom door and put a cricket bat there to block the way in case anyone tried to enter, as he did every night. Pistorius said he also switched on the alarm system in his house every night.

Earlier in the evening, he had placed his firearm under the bed next to a pedestal, he said. He was sleeping on a different side than usual because his shoulder was sore, he said.

He said he had asked Steenkamp to bring in the fan and lock the doors when she fell asleep. Steenkamp said she would.

He said he fell asleep between 9 and 10 p.m. and woke up later. Steenkamp then asked him if he couldn’t sleep, he said.

His lawyer asked for an adjournment so he could change out of his suit, allowing Pistorius to show how short he is without his prostheses on.

The detail is important to his defense because he has said he feels very vulnerable without them on.

Pistorius: ‘I was besotted with her’

Earlier Tuesday, the defense delved deeper into his relationship with Steenkamp as it sought to show they had a loving relationship.

“If anything I was more into her at times than she was with me … I was besotted with her,” Pistorius told the court in Pretoria, South Africa.

The couple met on November 4, 2012, Pistorius said, a little more than three months before Steenkamp died.

Defense lawyer Barry Roux took Pistorius through some of the texts and chat messages exchanged between the couple, as he sought to show that theirs was a loving relationship.

Some of the messages, including ones in which Steenkamp voiced unhappiness about Pistorius’ actions, formed part of the prosecution case heard last month. The prosecution contends that Pistorius, 27, intentionally shot Steenkamp, 29, after an argument early on February 14.

In one lengthy WhatsApp message previously cited in court, Steenkamp said, “I’m scared of you sometimes and how u snap at me and of how you will react to me.”

Pistorius sought to explain the background to the message Tuesday, saying it was sent on the day of their friend Darren Fresco’s engagement party.

“It was a bad day in our relationship,” he said. “I think I was just being sensitive, maybe I felt a bit insecure or jealous … I wasn’t kind to her like I should have been.”

Pet names and kisses

He sounded emotional as he read another upset message from Steenkamp, in which she said, “I can’t be attacked by outsiders and be attacked by you as well, the one person I deserve protection from.”

The message, sent on February 7, a week before Pistorius killed her, referred to an evening out after which they argued. He said that Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, had received hate mail for dating him.

But in other, affectionate messages read out in court, the pair used pet names like “baba” and “angel,” said they missed each other and exchanged many “x”s, or kisses.

In one such message, Steenkamp told Pistorius, “Baby I love spending time with you and sleeping next to you.”

He replied, “I love having you sleeping next to me baba.”

He also described how on one occasion when Steenkamp came to his house, he sprinkled roses on the floor and had chocolates and a heart on his bed to welcome her.

The messages show that Steenkamp slept at Pistorius’ house on February 12, 2013. She spent the next day — the day before her death — at his house doing laundry, while he had a meeting with his financial adviser and a physical therapy appointment. He asked her to stay that night, too.

Gun charges

Roux, for the defense, asked Pistorius about the three weapons charges he faces, separate from the murder charge.

One count concerns an occasion when it’s alleged that Pistorius shot a gun through the open sunroof of a car after it was stopped by police for speeding.

His friend Fresco, who was driving the car, and ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor, who was also present, have previously testified about it.

Pistorius told the court he always had his firearm on him. He said that a policeman who asked whose firearm was in the car was aggressive with him and that he himself was angry that the police officer had handled his weapon.

But he denied firing the gun through the sunroof after the stop.

Pistorius says the only gun paperwork he filed was in October, not September when this alleged incident happened. Fresco and Taylor said that after the sunroof incident, they went to someone’s house so Pistorius could file gun-related paperwork.

Asked about another count relating to an occasion when he fired a gun under a table in a restaurant, Pistorius said he had asked Fresco if he could see the firearm.

Pistorius said he wanted to double check that the gun wasn’t loaded. As he checked the chamber, a round came out of the breach and discharged, he told the court.

“I was overcome with fear that someone may have been hurt. I couldn’t really believe what had happened. I was quite angry initially that Mr. Fresco had handed me an unsafe firearm,” he said.

Pistorius said he was also partly to blame for asking for the gun.

Pistorius: ‘She felt loved’

When he first took the stand Monday, Pistorius began with an emotional apology to Steenkamp’s family, saying he woke up thinking of them and praying for them every day.

“I can’t imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that I have caused you and your family. … I can promise you that when she went to bed that night, she felt loved,” he said, his voice breaking as if he was fighting back tears.

Pistorius testified that he has been suffering nightmares since the killing and wakes up smelling blood.

He told the Pretoria court that he is afraid to sleep, and “if I hear noise, I wake up just in a complete state of terror.” He said he is on medication, including an antidepressant and sleeping pills.

It was the first time he has spoken in public about Steenkamp’s death, which he says was an accident. He pleaded not guilty to murder when the high-profile trial opened early last month.

June Steenkamp sat stony-faced as South Africa’s onetime Olympic golden boy choked out his statement.

Pistorius admits that he killed Steenkamp, firing four shots through a closed door in his house in the early hours of February 14, 2013. Three hit her, with the last one probably killing her almost instantly, according to the pathologist who performed the autopsy.

But Pistorius says he thought she was a nighttime intruder in his pitch-black house and believed he was firing in self-defense.

The defense team will call 14 to 17 witnesses, Roux said as he opened his case. The trial is scheduled to continue until the middle of May.

Judge Thokozile Masipa will decide the verdict in collaboration with two experts called assessors. South Africa does not have jury trials.

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Source:  Richard Allen Greene, Laura Smith-Spark and Emily Smith, CNN / Photo: World 3 News

Accused Colorado movie theater gunman seeks change of venue

James Holmes sits in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colorado June 4, 2013. REUTERS/Andy Cross/Pool

(Reuters) – Lawyers for the man charged with mass murder in a 2012 shooting frenzy that left 12 people dead at a Colorado movie theater have asked that his upcoming trial be moved out of the suburban Denver county where the case has been prosecuted.

Defense attorneys argued in their motion for a change of venue that James Holmes’ right to a fair trial in Arapahoe County has been compromised by “pervasive media coverage” of the case locally and “the undeniable impact of the tragedy on the community itself.”

Holmes, 26, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murder and attempted murder charges stemming from the July 2012 massacre at an Aurora, Colorado, cinema during a midnight screening of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Twelve moviegoers were killed and 70 others were injured in the shooting rampage, one of the deadliest outbursts of U.S. gun violence in decades.

The case made international headlines, but has drawn especially intense news coverage in the Denver area.

In their 37-page motion, Holmes’ public defenders cited a survey of news reports conducted by social psychologist Bryan Edelman in arguing that the extreme glare of publicity makes it virtually impossible to avoid prejudicing the pool of potential jurors in Arapahoe County.

“The pretrial news coverage has been at best consistent and comprehensive,” the motion said. “At worst, the media has been incessant and unrelenting.”

Jury selection in trial is scheduled to begin October 14.

Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty for Holmes if he is convicted.

There was no immediate response by prosecutors to the change of venue motion, which was filed in court on Holmes’ behalf on Friday and made public on Monday. But the defense said in its filing that prosecutors object to moving the trial.

Holmes’ lawyers have acknowledged that the one-time neuroscience doctoral candidate was the lone gunman who committed the shooting, but they say he suffers from a chronic mental illness and was experiencing a psychotic episode when he opened fire in the crowded theater.

Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos Samour has ordered Holmes to undergo a second sanity evaluation after finding that the first examination was “incomplete and inadequate.” However, the new battery of tests have been put on hold to allow defense lawyers time to appeal that ruling.

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Source: Keith Coffman, Reuters / Photo: Andy Cross, Reuters

Names of six jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman made public

The names of the six-member jury panel that acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin have been made public for the first time, after a new court order, records show.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, who had previously ordered the jurors’ identifying information be kept confidential, granted access to the names in a ruling March 21.

Zimmerman’s defense asked the judge in June to keep the names secret until six months after the verdict. The judge set no timeline then, but noted in her new order they have been withheld more than eight months.

Attempts to reach the jurors by phone and in-person Thursday were unsuccessful.

In Florida, the names of jurors are typically public and are announced and used by the judge and attorneys during jury selection.



Nelson’s order follows an inquiry last month by the Sentinel.

In a letter, Sentinel attorneys asked Nelson for a specific ruling on how long she planned to maintain the jurors’ anonymity, noting it was already “well past the six month ‘cooling off’ period requested by the defense.”

The defense, in its motion, argued a delay was needed beyond the trial to allow “for any community passions to cool.”

The Sentinel and other media outlets opposed that delay.

On July 13, Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder in Trayvon’s death. The Feb. 26, 2012, shooting in Sanford renewed national debate on a range of issues, including profiling and self-defense.

The not-guilty verdict sparked protests across the country.

Prosecutors alleged Zimmerman profiled, pursued and killed the unarmed Miami Gardens teenager. Zimmerman, now 30, said he fired in self-defense while being pummeled by Trayvon during an unprovoked attack.

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Source: Jeff Weiner and Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel

 

New trial date set for man in Arias stalking case

PHOENIX — A new trial date has been set in Arizona for a New York man charged with threatening two national TV commentators via Twitter over their coverage of the Jodi Arias case.

David Lee Simpson’s trial is set for May 8.

The 48-year-old from Bath, N.Y., has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Authorities say Simpson was in New York when he sent the tweets, but Arizona asserted jurisdiction since the threats were made against individuals for conduct during their coverage of a case that was occurring in Maricopa County.

Authorities also say both TV personalities — Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell — were in Arizona at times.

They’re hosts on Turner Broadcasting’s HLN network who covered the Arias trial.

Investigators say Simpson also threatened an Arizona woman.

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Source: AP

Marissa Devualt jury ends day four of deliberations; still no verdict reached

Four days of deliberations and still no verdict in the Marissa Devault murder by hammer trial. Outside of some interesting court shenanigans that played out in a victim’s impact hearing earlier in the week and one juror question never revealed, the thirteenth floor of the Maricopa County Courthouse has been fairly quiet. The jurors have arrived each day with a few of them carrying what appears to be a lunch and unless there are party favors inside those bags, this gives an idea they are prepping for a long day.

The interaction between each member of the seven female, five male jury appears to show them as getting along. Their demeanor is jovial leaving one to think there is no sign of contention, yet at this point it is becoming more and more apparent that there could be a strain going on behind the walls of the courtroom than meets the eye. As The Trial Divas and everybody else on the outside attempt to guess exactly what is going on, we really don’t know the truth. At this point we are willing to predict the jury is struggling between first degree murder and second degree. The thought of an acquittal just is not in anyone’s mind or sight and we would be completely shocked if that were to happen. Especially since Marissa has indeed admitted to the gruesome murder of her husband herself.

Many of you wonder what happens next? As the jury left the courthouse today, they will return on Monday, April 7th at 10:30 am AZ time to resume deliberations. If they are still stuck and no resolution is in sight, the judge will advise them to move from first degree murder and deliberate on the second degree murder charge. Inside the jury instructions, they read that if they cannot come to an agreement on the murder one charge, they must move to the second degree charge. With the domestic violence issue raised in this case, that may end up being a factor for some of the jurors. While the prosecution did a fantastic job on motive, there was a lack of showing that Dale Harrell was also a victim of domestic violence in the relationship between him and Marissa Devault. Even though the defense did do a decent enough of a job in showing some domestic violence, one can’t help but go back to that almighty motive of the money. It is a huge factor in this case and even with the domestic violence issue raised, The Trial Divas still feel the motive by far outweighs any evidence presented for abuse.

We will be back live for the deliberations when they resume and will bring you firsthand coverage of what comes next and eventually a verdict in the trial of a woman who murder her husband by claw hammer, while he slept in his bed. Until then, enjoy the weekend and grab that bottle of chilled wine. Pour it into a Trial Divas wine glass while wearing your new fancy Trial Divas t-shirt, and sparkle away for the next three days. Until deliberations resume, The Trial Divas xoxo

Oscar Pistorius Not Sprinting to Testify

Champion sprinter Oscar Pistorius will not be the first witness out of the blocks when the defense begins it case, receiving prosecution permission to delay his testimony, a move which may help the Blade Runner’s defense.

Pistorius’ attorney has said the legless paralympian will testify in his trial for the alleged murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. In South Africa legal precedent dictates that when a defendant agrees to take the stand, the defendant is expected to the first witness unless an application to have witnesses testify out of turn is approved by the court.

Brian Webber, Pistorius’ attorney said it is likely that forensic pathologist Jan Botha will be called to the stand first when the trial resumes Monday. It’s understood Botha cannot testify later during the trial and the prosecution has agreed to let him go first. The judge must still approve the delay, but she is not expected to oppose it since the prosecution has already agreed.

It’s unclear whether Pistorius will take the stand after the pathologist.

Prominent defense attorney Roy Black told ABC News it would be in Pistorius’ interest to testify later in the trial rather than earlier. “You always want (the) defendant testifying at the end, rather than at the beginning,” Black said.

The prosecution claims Pistorius killed Steenkamp before dawn on Valentine’s Day 2013 by firing through a locked bathroom door after a loud argument. Neighbors have testified they heard what sounded like shots, a woman screaming, then more shots. Pistorus claims he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he fired through the door.

Black said Pistorius will have to answer several questions when he testifies. “The most important part of his defense is to convince the court that he did not hear Reeva screaming after he began shooting,” the lawyer said.

Ballistics and forensic experts testified for the prosecution that Steenkamp was standing behind the locked door when Pistorius fired four shots. The first shot hit her in the hip, with other shots hitting her in arm, hand and head, prosecution witnesses told the court.

Botha, a retired chief pathologist, is expected to refute this evidence. The defense claims Steenkamp was sitting on the toilet when Pistorius heard sounds and fired the shots.

Pistorius, 27, could be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison if convicted.

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Source: LIEZL THOM and , ABC News

 

Defense: Bradley waived rights while on drugs

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Brandon Bradley was on drugs when he waived his Miranda rights and spoke with police after the shooting of Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy Barbara Pill, his defense lawyer argued Friday.

Dr. Susan Skolly-Danziger, who reviewed Bradley’s records, was the second witness in the second day of defense testimony. Friday’s court session lasted less than three hours, and the judge told the jury the case is likely to be wrapped up Tuesday. After that, the jury will deliberate and deliver a verdict.

The doctor testified Bradley told her he started smoking marijuana at age 12 and fit the pattern of drug addiction. She said marijuana affects a developing mind, and the effects are more pronounced the younger someone uses it. It affects memory, impulse control, behavior and “executive planning,” she said.

Bradley was smoking about 10 “blunts” — marijuana cigars — per day in the two weeks before the shooting, Skolly-Danziger said. The day of the shooting, she said he took eight to 10 Xanax, and an amphetamine-like drug the night before, as well as psychedelic mushrooms and cocaine.

Pill was shot on March 6, 2012, at about 11:15 a.m. That evening, Bradley waived his rights and told police he shot her. Bradley’s blood was taken at about 6 p.m. the next day.

Skolly-Danziger testified that the amount of Xanax in the tested blood was at a level considered to be therapeutic. She said the level of THC was above the amount at which someone would be considered impaired in states that have legalized marijuana. But she said the levels of drugs in Bradley’s system would have been higher at the time of the shooting and the interview than at the time of the blood draw.

At the start of the day, Judge Morgan Reinman told the jury that Bradley is on psychotropic medication for a mental or emotional condition. Friday, and throughout the past several weeks of trial, Bradley looked glazed and expressionless and his motions appeared slow.

Previously, Jeffrey Dieguez testified in court that he was on the phone with Bradley’s co-defendant and he overheard a man ask for a gun and say he would kill the deputy because he didn’t want to go to prison. On cross-examination, the defense pressed him about his recollection of hearing a siren. Dieguez said he wasn’t sure what he told the police the first time they spoke to him, because he had just been stabbed and was in Palm Bay Hospital.

Friday, the defense called a Palm Bay police officer who said Dieguez was in the hospital under the Baker Act and never mentioned being stabbed or robbed.

Looking back

The state laid out its case against Bradley chronologically, starting by establishing how he obtained a stolen gun. Then they called witnesses from the Econo Lodge motel on U.S. 192, who said Bradley and his co-defendant had random pieces of motel property in their car and Bradley drove off, hitting one employee with the car.

They called BCSO Deputy James Troup, who was the first to respond after Pill was shot. They played jurors the video of the shooting from Pill’s in-car dash camera. They brought in witnesses who testified about the car chase that came after the shooting and Bradley’s arrest at gunpoint.

The defense opened their case Thursday with witnesses who collected, handled and analyzed Bradley’s blood and urine. Experts found Xanax and cannabanoids in his blood and cocaine and hydrocodone in his urine.

Looking ahead

The judge told the jury that they could have the case by mid-week.

If they come back with a guilty verdict for first-degree premeditated murder, they’ll go into a penalty phase that would resemble a second trial in which the jurors will decide whether to recommend a death sentence.

The state would try to prove “aggravating circumstances” or factors of the crime that justify a death sentence — there’s a fixed number and they’re defined by law. For example, if the victim was a law enforcement officer, that’s an aggravating circumstance. Or if the murder was committed while the person was fleeing from committing a robbery.

The defense would try to show “mitigating circumstances” or factors of the crime that suggest life in prison without parole is more appropriate. Anything a juror wants to consider mitigating can be taken as a mitigating circumstance. The defense has repeatedly pointed out during the trial that Bradley was on a lot of drugs at the time. During jury selection, questions the defense asked potential jurors suggested they might try to show evidence of brain damage or abuse as well.

The jury will then deliver a recommendation to the judge, who can choose either life or death, but must give the jury’s recommendation great weight.

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Source: Andrew Ford, Florida Today

 

Ana Trujillo, stiletto murder trial begins jury selection

It has finally come….jury selection begins today in a trial The Trial Divas have followed from the beginning. After all anytime someone mentions a stiletto our ears perk up, toes instantly get polished and a pedicure is procured. While we do love a fabulous Jimmy Choo, there is a sad side to this stiletto talk, as this shoe was the weapon involved in a murder. Ana Trujillo will be facing a jury as they are tasked with the duty of ultimately deciding her fate. She is accused of first degree murder for the bar room fight in June of 2013 that turned deadly inside the condo she lived in with her boyfriend, Alf Steffan Andersson. The prosecution claims Ana “Unlawfully intentionally and knowingly cause the death of Alf Stefan Andersson by striking the complaintant with a deadly weapon, namely a shoe”.  Ana says she was fighting for her life, claiming self-defense. During the volatile altercation between the two, Alf was left dead with 10 puncture wounds to his head, while his face, arms and neck were laced with 10 to 20 stab wounds.

This trial will be one to watch as the evidence is revealed and the details of what really happened on the deadly night are presented. Will Ana be found guilty of murder or was she really defending herself in a domestic violence situation? We will make sure to keep all you Divas and Divos up to date on the trial and exactly what is happening. We do not believe there will be a livestream, yet if there is you know we will make sure to add it for all of you to watch.  While The Trial Divas were planning on attending the trial in February, there was a delay that interfered with the Marissa Devault trial. So, as we finish Marissa up over the next week, we will also be bringing you updates on the death by stiletto murder trial. Until opening arguments, The Trial Divas xoxo

Pistorius murder trial adjourned until April 7

Pistorius arrives ahead of his trial at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

PRETORIA – The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius was adjourned on Friday until April 7, when the South African Paralympic and Olympic track star is expected to take the stand in his own defense in a high-stakes bid to prove his innocence and avoid life in prison.

Judge Thokozile Masipa postponed proceedings for more than a week due to the illness of one of the legal assistants who has been sitting at her side throughout the trial, one of the most high-profile in South African history.

Prosecutors took 15 days to lay out their case against the 27-year-old, arguing he deliberately killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year by firing four rounds from a 9 mm pistol through a closed toilet door.

Several neighbors testified to hearing a woman’s terrified screams before a volley of shots, countering Pistorius’ assertions that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder hiding in the toilet cubicle in the middle of the night.

If found guilty of murder, Pistorius faces at least 25 years in prison.

The trial has gripped South Africa and millions of athletics fans around the world who saw Pistorius as a symbol of triumph over physical adversity.

The sprinter’s lower legs were amputated as a baby but he went on to achieve global fame as the “fastest man on no legs,” winning gold medals at the Beijing and London Paralympics.

He also won a battle against athletics authorities for the right to compete against able-bodied men, becoming the first amputee runner at an Olympics when he reached the 400 meters semi-finals in London 2012.

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Source: Reuters