Last week, a case that began in November of 2008 came to a likely end. A Baltimore jury was faced with a crucial decision that would greatly affect the life of a defendant who faced the most serious of criminal charges: first degree murder.
Earlier last week, the jury said it couldn’t make its decision without learning a few more details about the fatal domestic violence incident. The questions were important as they would help the jury decide whether the defendant committed either first degree murder or whether he was guilty of manslaughter.
According to reports, the defendant fatally attacked his wife with a knife in 2008 outside of a courthouse. The defense argued that the homicide victim was the first to attack that day, motivating the defendant to react with violence. The jury wanted to see a picture of the defendant’s wound before making its decision.
Even the defense attorney in this Maryland case admitted that the defendant wasn’t fighting to be found innocent of a crime. Instead, the legal battle came down to the prosecution’s ability to prove that the defendant planned the murder and, therefore, warranted a first degree murder conviction.
The prosecution claimed that the defendant had a plan, which is why he brought his knife with him that day to the courthouse. Some people, however, do regularly carry knives, which is likely why the jury wanted to examine the knife before making its decision. It’s possible that they wanted to determine whether the weapon looked like something that would regularly be carried. One of the jurors reportedly went so far as to check how sharp the knife was.
Though the jury’s thorough deliberation might have given hope to the defense team, The Baltimore Sun reports that the defendant was ultimately found guilty of first degree murder. He has not yet been sentenced for the crime but could serve life in prison.
WBALTV.com: “Jury to Decide Between Murder, Manslaughter,” 22 Feb. 2011
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