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We represented an individual recently who during the course of an evening the allegations were discharged a firearm at his house excessive number of times. This caused the bringing together of approximately four or five law enforcement agencies due to the physical proximity of the house. What came together were literally 50 or more law enforcement officers responding to the complaints of the discharge of the firearm.
The investigation of the case ultimately was determined was totally out of hand, lacked any form of professionalism, and unfortunately approximately an hour after our client was arrested for discharging the firearm and discharging it when he was intoxicated, a police officer at the scene was shot and killed by another police officer.
Because this case was high profile in the sense of the tragedy to the police officer, there was tremendous scrutiny on our client with attempting to figure out at least from many of the investigator’s perspective as to is there any way we can charge who resulted in being my client with some way contributing negligently or otherwise to the death of the police officer.
This was initially addressed by myself with the district attorney, and I will say from a professional standpoint the district attorney did the right thing. They did not charge my client with anything related to the shooting and the death of the police officer, and ultimately I was able to establish at later hearings approximately 100 different points of negligence directed towards the investigation that attributed the death directly to the circumstance and the manner in which the case was investigated.
Having said that, my client was nevertheless charged with certain felonies, multiple misdemeanors with regard to the firearm, and the district attorney at sentencing and the police officers, at least one that testified at sentencing, were looking to get a multi-year sentence as to my client, not withstanding the fact we ended up pleading to a minor misdemeanor charge. The prosecution was still seeking … I don’t recall exactly but somewhere between six and ten years in jail.
We ultimately prevailed. The court agreed that our client did not have anything to do with the greater event, and here again my client was ultimately convicted of a misdemeanor and did a minimal amount of time in that manner, much less than what the state was attempting to obtain at the time of sentencing.