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14 years later, a man begins his criminal defense for murder

On April 20, 2000, a young woman was found dead in the townhouse that she lived in with her boyfriend. The Maryland authorities arrested the man who they believed to be responsible for killing her in 2012, but they suspected that her boyfriend was somehow involved in the crime. Now, 14 years after her death, her boyfriend will begin his formal criminal defense against the accusations of murder.

The authorities hypothesize that, in 2000, the boyfriend emailed the first suspect as well as another man and asked them to kill his girlfriend in exchange for an unspecified amount of money. Reportedly, months before the girlfriend's death, the couple took out life insurance policies on each other, hers being worth $700,000. The boyfriend allegedly promised the two men a portion of the life insurance payout if they killed her.

One of the men allegedly entered through the back door of the house, where he supposedly found a key left for him, and he then strangled the girlfriend and slit her throat. When the police responded to the crime, the boyfriend appeared highly distraught. The girlfriend's family sued the boyfriend for $575,000 of the life insurance money in 2004. In 2012, when the police arrested the first suspect, the boyfriend claims that the investigators harassed him, but he did not think they were looking for anyone else in the case, especially not him. The first suspect allegedly told the authorities that the boyfriend was involved, leading to his arrest.

Over a 14-year time period, much of the potential evidence that the investigators found at the crime scene may no longer be usable, a recurring problem in cold case prosecutions. Moreover, it seems as if the Maryland prosecution will need to produce much more evidence against the boyfriend than just the word of the first suspect. If sufficient evidence is not presented against the boyfriend that meets the stringent requirements of the criminal justice system, then it is likely that the charges against him could be dropped or reduced as his criminal defense fights for an outcome that is in the man's own best interests.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, Man charged in girlfriend's death 2 years after another suspect arrested, Jessica Anderson, March 21, 2014

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