NOT GUILTY IN MURDER CASE IN NORWALK COURTHOUSE
I tried a big murder case in Norwalk courthouse in the 1990s where my client and two of his friends went into a bar, ended into getting into a fight with some other patrons in the bar, guns were pulled out, fired, one person ended up dying and my client ended up getting charged with murder along with one of his co-defendants.
The case went to trial. The prosecutors wanted a life sentence, basically, so they were offering 25 to life and they would not move on their offer. It really wasn't an offer because 25 to life at that time was you would probably never get out again, so the client figured he might as well go to trial.
We went to trial. It took about a week to try. One of the key pieces of evidence for the prosecutors in the murder case was one of the co-friends that with the bar was there to testify against my client. Him and his brother, when they were tested for gunshot residue, gunshot residue came up on their hands. It did not come up on my client's hands and that ended up being a key piece of evidence in attaining the not-guilty verdict.
It was interesting because at one point there was a discrepancy over whether the Spanish interpreter who had taken the statement from my client and the co-defendant that was cooperating with the prosecutors, whether they had accurately given the information.
It ended up coming into evidence that the testifying co-defendant — whose brother by the way was claiming that he was insane and was in Patton Mental Hospital and not being tried for the case — he had indicated that at one point he fired the weapon which we were able to prove was the murder weapon and my client's story about him also firing the weapon and then the co-defendant who was testifying taking it away from him and shooting a shot, ended up coincided with this individual statement that he had fired a weapon.
Of course, at the trial he denied that he fired the weapon even though he had GSR on his hands and that statement came out through the investigating officer. I think that hurt the prosecutor's case very badly.
Ultimately though, the jury came back not guilty and I believe the prosecutors gave immunity to the one brother that ended up testifying. So, he didn't get prosecuted for the murder. I never did find out what happened with the other brother who was claiming that he was insane. He probably ended up getting tried. I'm not sure if he got convicted.
That was an interesting case because my client was willing to take a deal, but their offer was so bad that it really left him no choice but to go to trial. Fortunately, he ended up with a not guilty verdict and I believe in the long run, justice was done.