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Author Topic: My Cousin Was Stabbed to Death and the Alleged Killer's Trial Started this Week  (Read 3959 times)

TrojanChispas

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today was the jury selection for the trial and tommorrow starts with opening statements. 

this is from the Georgia thread:
1.  well IDK what to say so Ill start at the begining

2.  in early OCT of 2004 my cousing was murdered :'( :'( :'( :-\ :-[
a. I am still in shock/havent really some to terms with it all yet
b. today the reality of it all began to really set in
c. sometimes when things are really emotionally shocking, I can shut out my feelings
d. i am begining to hijack my own post with my ramblings >:(

3.  he had over 12 stab wounds

4.  his son witnessed some/all of it
a. appearantly he was a great help to the investigators

5. the man accused is an alleged drug dealer

6. i think the theory is that my cousin owed him money and he came to collect

7. the man accused has been charged with
a. murder 1 - murder with malice aforethought
b. and assaulting/threatening two other people with a knife within the same time frame

8.  today was the jury selection and opening statements start tommorrow

9.  i am going to start a thread about this since
a. it is helpful for me
b. i am going to everyday of the two week trial (hopefully it does not go a day longer)
c. i know that everyone here wants to be a lawyer and some of the issues (evidentiary/procedural) may be interesting and fun to disect

10. ill link the thread once i get it started
Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent
http://www.nysun.com/article/36110?page_no=1

Made4law

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Re: My Cousin Was Stabbed Over 12 Times...
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2005, 02:23:42 AM »
Man,...This is such a tragedy for your fam...I'll send my thoughts and prayers out for you. I know it's gonna be tough attending that trial everday...But, this a time when your family will need the support of their men.
"Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy."

dbgirl

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Re: My Cousin Was Stabbed Over 12 Times...
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2005, 02:25:07 AM »
So this was your cousin 3peat?

I'm sorry -- that's awful. I cover trials for a living (well, until Saturday). I am always amazed at these young people just destroying so many lives, including their own.

However, this is one of the biggest reasons I want to go to law school. I want to make sure that people who rape, maim and kill people are not given a "second chance" to do it ever again.
Good luck with the trial -- I hope they caught the right person and I hope that person goes away for a long time.

When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

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TrojanChispas

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Re: My Cousin Was Stabbed Over 12 Times...
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2005, 02:39:31 AM »
Yeah. Unfortunately.  Thanks for the support :-*  you guys are awsome.  I am working on posting the newspaper articles right now. Thanks again.
Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent
http://www.nysun.com/article/36110?page_no=1

dbgirl

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Re: My Cousin Was Stabbed Over 12 Times...
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2005, 02:42:06 AM »
Well 3peat I hope that you spend some time talking to reporters during courtroom breaks. It will help to remind everyone about who your cousin was as a person.
When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

-TMcGraw

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TrojanChispas

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Re: My Cousin Was Stabbed Over 12 Times...
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2005, 03:31:06 AM »
Ok, Here are the articles that have been written so far.  Click on the pics to read them


October 4, 2004

part 1



part 2

Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent
http://www.nysun.com/article/36110?page_no=1

TrojanChispas

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Re: My Cousin Was Stabbed Over 12 Times...
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2005, 03:34:23 AM »
Click on pic to read.

October 5, 2004


Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent
http://www.nysun.com/article/36110?page_no=1

TrojanChispas

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Re: My Cousin Was Stabbed Over 12 Times...
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2005, 03:41:35 AM »
Another longer article.


Dec. 8, 2004
Murder suspect will go to trial

By Kara D. Machado
Sentinel Reporter
HANFORD - Friends and family of a murdered man filled a courtroom Tuesday and watched as the suspected killer was bound over for trial.

A handcuffed Jimmy Earl Wilson Jr., 32, of Hanford, wearing a red-and-pink Kings County Jail jumpsuit, sat beside his attorney and listened intently to the testimony of two investigators during his preliminary hearing.

Three women, whom Wilson told he loved as he left the courtroom, sat in rows behind him during the proceedings.

After listening to testimony during the preliminary hearing, a judge found there was sufficient evidence to send Wilson to trial for murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon likely to cause great bodily injury.

The murder charge stems from the discovery of the body of Jason Garcia, 29, in his Hanford home on the evening of Oct. 4. Alone with Garcia's body was the victim's 3-year-old son.

The assault charges are derived from an incident, just prior to the murder, involving a man who was holding his 4-year-old daughter when Wilson allegedly threatened and swung at him with an item believed to be a knife.

The Kings County District Attorney's Office filed an amended complaint, asking for an alternate charge of attempted murder regarding the incident with the man and his 4-year-old. However, the judge at Tuesday's proceedings did not feel there was sufficient evidence to bind Wilson over for trial on that charge.

Wilson, according to his preliminary hearing attorney, Laurence E. Meyer, is denying the charges against him.

"The defendant states he is innocent because this is his best friend," Meyer said.

Hanford Police Investigator Daren Matteson testified that it was Sunday, Oct. 3, at 5:50 p.m. when he was dispatched to a residence located in the 1000 block of Kaweah Street for a homicide.

When he arrived, he was shown into the house by officers. In the house, he saw Garcia lying on his back on the living room floor, unclothed from the waist up, with what appeared to be numerous stab wounds to his upper body.

Matteson testified he was present at the autopsy when the forensic pathologist determined Garcia bleed to death. The time of death , Matteson testified, was determined to be at around 11 p.m. on Oct. 2.

"I believe (Garcia) had 20 stab wounds to his upper body, Matteson testified.

During Matteson's investigation, it was discovered that Wilson was with Garcia in the days prior to the murder, as well as the day of the crime.

According to a witness, Matteson testified, Wilson had threatened Garcia with two knives on the morning of the murder.

Garcia and the witness were sitting on Garcia's back porch when Wilson allegedly drove his vehicle to the back. Wilson then allegedly took out two large butcher knives, Matteson testified, threw them at Garcia's feet and said, "pick your weapon."

Allegedly, Wilson was angry at Garcia, suspecting Garcia had slept with his girlfriend, Matteson testified.

Wilson and Garcia were later seen together, however, Matteson testified.

Matteson also testified that another witness stated he had taken Wilson to Garcia's house about an hour before Garcia's estimated time of death. Apparently, Wilson had left his car at Garcia's and had claimed he had lost his keys.

During the time that witness was with Wilson, Wilson was said to have acted strangely and had plastic bags under his clothing.

The morning after the murder, at about 5 a.m., the witness who dropped off Wilson saw him again.

That witness said Wilson appeared to be covered in feces, believed to be human, and asked if he could take a shower. After Wilson showered, he borrowed clothes and left.

A neighbor of Garcia's told investigators, Matteson testified, that he last spoke with Garcia about 10 p.m. Oct. 2 when he asked Garcia if he wanted a beer.

The neighbor said Garcia "said no because he had his son with him," Matteson testified.

About an hour later, Matteson said, the neighbor noticed Garcia still had his television on and he walked over to Garcia's house. The screen was closed, but the front door was open. In the house, the neighbor saw Garcia, lying on his back, unclothed from the waist down. Garcia's son was seen sitting on the couch. Thinking Garcia was asleep, the neighbor left, Matteson testified.

Matteson said a couple of searches were conducted on Wilson's residence, which he shared with family in the 1000 block of Goleta Way.

In one of the searches, items were taken that included clothing that appeared to have blood on them. Also taken from various items were swabs of blood, Matteson testified.

District Attorney Investigator Bill Kuntz was the only other person to testify at Tuesday's preliminary hearing. He said Wilson's then-ex girlfriend/now wife - "They were married in jail," he said - told him that she knew Wilson to carry knives. Wilson had also been sleeping with knives, Kuntz testified.

She said "she had gone over and he had knives in bed with him," Kuntz testified.

Kuntz also testified that when he asked Wilson, after the murder, how he received a quarter-inch laceration by one of his index fingers and long, linear scratches on his upper body, he didn't want to talk about it.

Just prior to Wilson being led back to jail, he spoke up. He asked the judge if there was any way he could either represent himself or get a new attorney, as he was not happy with Meyer's representation. After he was told how to go about representing himself and was told that Meyer would no longer be representing him anyway, Wilson made a couple of derogatory statements to Meyer and was taken away.

Meyer said Wilson was just taking out his anger out on him.

"Mr. Wilson is highly upset that he's being charged with killing his best friend and is taking that out on everyone, including his attorney," Meyer said.

As for Tuesday's outcome, Meyer said he believes the DA's Office has merely a circumstantial case.

"And, I believe the circumstantial evidence against the defendant is weak," Meyer said. "However, if they are able to shore their case up with forensic evidence such as fingerprints on the alleged murder weapon, DNA of the victim on the defendant or his clothes, or fingernail DNA scrapings" either from the victim or defendant "that would substantially, substantially strengthen their case."

Deputy District Attorney Michelle Winspur said the case against Wilson is still under investigation and she is happy with Tuesday's results.

"This was a brutal stabbing ... quite brutal," Winspur said. "And, one of the most severe parts of this homicide is that the victim's 3-year-old child was there.

"This child will live with that for the rest of his life as well as grow up fatherless."

Brea Hayes, the child's mother, who was present at Tuesday's proceedings, agreed, saying Wilson has damaged her child in more ways than one.

"It's one thing to take a child's father," Hayes said, "and another to do it in front of him."

Hayes described Garcia as a beautiful person who was loved by many.

"There is no reason for this to happen to anyone," she said.

(This reporter may be reached at kmachado@pulitzer.net)
Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent
http://www.nysun.com/article/36110?page_no=1

TrojanChispas

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Re: My Cousin Was Stabbed Over 12 Times...
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2005, 04:27:05 AM »
DAY 1: July 25, 2005

JURY SELECTION

The court room quickly filled with prospective jurors, but over the course of a full day almost all were excused.  The way jury selection works in Hanford is a panel of about 50 prospective jury members are brought into the court, and 16 randomly selected prospective jurors are seated in the jury box.  The judge swears in the whole room and then begins to explain the charges and the role of a jury.  In this case, the defendant is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon (a knife) and murder with malice aforethought (again, with a knife).  Then the judge begins to prod the jury box members with questions regarding impartiality in general.  He asks questions like: "Do you know the defendant, victims, any of the witnesses or attornies, or investigating officers? and  Can you aply the law to a set of facts even if you disagree with that law?, Do you have anything in your history that would bias you for or against either party in this case?, etcetera"

In a small town like Hanford, CA (pop 41,686) almost everyone knows everyone.  Many of the jurors knew the family of the victim, some had worked with the police on different matters, others knew a witness from their profession.  Almost everytime that a juror knew someone he/she was excused and a new random juror was selected from the panel and was asked the same questions.  After the panel was cleared of general bias, wach juror was asked to stand up and state their name, job, and jury experience.

It finally gets interesting when the lawyers begin their voir dire.  There were about 3 extraordinary key issues that were raised by the defense, only one of which seemed to matter to the prosecution: graphic evidence/testimony/pictures and the ability to keep that from necessarily incriminating the defendant, drug use as a mitigating circumstance for the defendant or as negative character evidence against a testifying witness, and how a violent act that involved a child would affect the presumption of innocence.

The defense lawyer starts right in: Do you think that a person who commits a crime while under the influence of drugs is completely cuplable?  A conservative town like this has no shortage of people who loathe drug addicts nor, ironically enough its share of drug addicts.  A white female juror raises her hand, "I think that a person who uses drugs us just as cuplable as someone who doesn't.  After all, drugs are illegal to use in the first place."  The prepared lawyer returns, "Even if that is what the law says?" In so many words she say yes, it is not a mitigating circumstance and she's gone with the defense's first available challenge. 

The prosecution had a completely different angle:  What effect would the use of drugs affect the credibility of testimony by witnesses?

I think all this talk about dgus is a clear foreshadowing into what is going to unfold in the trial.  I could be wrong, but it seems the defendant was on drugs at the time of at least one of the incidents.  It will be interesting to hear the defense theory in opening statements, because if he uses this kind of affirmative argument I doubt he will earn sympathy from the jury. 

Can a lawyer tell me their thoughts on what they think the defense planning and why they would make such an issue out of this if he is not going to raise an affirmative defense?

Jurors were dismissed one by one, replaced with new randomly picked jurors, and the process was started over from the begining.  After going through the whole panel and right at 4pm both sides passed their turn to challenge. All that's left is finding two more replacements from a different panel which will begin at 930am tommorrow THEN

OPENING STATEMENTS!!!
Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent
http://www.nysun.com/article/36110?page_no=1

Rudy Huckleberry

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Re: My Cousin Was Stabbed Over 12 Times...
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2005, 08:39:06 AM »
Hey 3peat, it's mobell...sorry to hear about this.  My thoughts and prayers are with your family.