Practice Area: Criminal defense
Outcome: Not guilty verdict following a jury trial.
Description: Client charged with manslaughter after getting into a fight with his cousin. During the fight in the front yard of the defendant's home, the cousin attacked clent with a tire iron and client defended himself with a pocket knife. The cousin was cut during the fight and drove himself to the emergency room where he later died. Although the cousin's carotid artery had been nicked, medical evidence showed that his hematocrit level (basically blood volume) was normal moments before his death. Medical test results also revealed three times the legal level of alcohol and the presence of cocaine in the cousin's system, as well as evidence of a myocardial infarction (heart attack). The medical expert for the defense opined that the alcohol and cocaine, coupled with the cousin's morbid obesity, most likely caused the heart attack resulting in his death. Cause of death and self-defense were the main defense arguments.