On July 24, 2014, four teenagers were charged with the murder of Xinran Ji, a 24 year-old USC student. Police say that Ji was attacked walking home from studying on campus. Most recently, the four teenagers pleaded not guilty to the murder charges stemming from the beating death of Ji. To read the full story, go to http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-usc-attack-defendants-plead-not-guilty-20140812-story.html.
Murder is considered the most serious criminal offense a person can commit. Under California Penal Code Section 187, murder is defined as "the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought." Facing charges of murder can be terrifying. Without the guidance of a skilled Criminal Defense Attorney, a person facing murder chargers will probably not fully understand Penal Code Section 187.
For a prosecutor to prove Murder, certain facts must be made clear. First and foremost, a defendant must have acted in a way that caused the death of another person. Secondly, the prosecutor must show that the defendant acted with "malice." Lastly, a prosecutor must prove that a defendant acted without a justifiable reason.
The law is very complicated however. Certain actions during the offense may lead to different charges. For example, premeditated murder will usually be charged as First Degree Murder. If the death of a person occurred as a result of a DUI accident, the defendant may be charged with DUI Murder.
There are endless defenses to murder. The attorneys at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP have experience with murder cases. When a client was facing 65 years to life in prison for First Degree Murder, Lessem & Newstat, LLP received a verdict of not guilty on all charges after trial despite two eyewitnesses and an alleged confession. The attorneys at Lessem & Newstat, LLP are skilled at defending murder and other similar charges. Call now to have your case reviewed if you or a loved one is in trouble.