D'Amore Law Firm Articles Prosecutors Realize Suspect Can only be Charged with Misdemeanor Assault in Homicide Case

Prosecutors Realize Suspect Can only be Charged with Misdemeanor Assault in Homicide Case

By D’Amore Law Firm  Jun. 10, 2013 10:15a

Murder charges against a Dallas man were dismissed recently after prosecutors realize he had already accepted plea deal for misdemeanor assault in the same case. S.B., 61 years old, was taken into custody after police responded to a domestic dispute call in April. S.B. had been living with a 60-year-old woman, S.W., who was undergoing treatment for cancer in the throat and head. Police had responded to the couple's residence where S.W. told them that the two had been drinking and then got into a fight. S.B. allegedly punched her in the head and then threw her out of the room onto the walkway at the front door. She was in her underwear and said she landed on her leg and hip. She complained of pain in her hip and head but refused to go to the hospital. Medical personnel on the scene bandaged a bump on her head and then she went back inside. S.B. was arrested and charged with Class A misdemeanor assault. Several hours after his arrest, however, S.W. called 911 due to experiencing continuing pain. She was transported to a local hospital where she died. Make sure you have the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a serious crime!

"Double Jeopardy" Laws Prevent Second Charge in Same Case

Prosecutors on the case had no idea that S.W. had been taken to the hospital and then passed away. Her death had been listed as unexplained until an autopsy could be done. Hospital personnel that had treated the woman were unaware of the assault charges against S.B. Several days after S.B. had been charged, he agreed to a plea deal and was sentenced to 60 days in jail for assault of which he only needed to serve 20 days—prosecutors were still unaware that the alleged victim had died. About a week after S.B. was sentenced, prosecutors discovered that S.W. had died and an autopsy report stated that the death was a homicide because a broken thigh bone and other injuries aggravated her already weakened condition caused by the cancer. S.B. had served his sentence and was released but then arrested again on homicide charges. It was then that prosecutors realized that double jeopardy laws protect the man from being charged with another crime in the same incident. As he had already pled guilty to assault and served his sentence, the murder charges were dismissed.

Contact a Dallas criminal defense lawyer now!

Contact a skilled defender at the D'Amore Law Firm immediately if you have been arrested for assault, homicide or other violent crime. We may be able to help you avoid serious incarceration and fines.

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