Written by attorney Jeffrey Tyson Hammerschmidt

Homicides in Fresno, California Increased in 2012

Homicides committed in Fresno increased in 2012 with a total number of murders reaching a level not seen since 2007, according to a report in the Fresno Bee. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said that murders rose sharply from 35 in 2011 to 51 in 2012 largely due to “interpersonal homicides" where victims were close relatives, neighbors or friends. In 2011 there were four such homicides. In 2012 there were 18.

“These kinds of murders are very difficult to prevent," Dyer said, adding that the mix of drugs, mental illness and deadly weapons often sparked the homicides. He further said that it is more difficult to stop a boyfriend from killing his girlfriend when there are no warning signs than it is to assign extra police officers to task forces which seek to reduce gang violence.

In remarks which aroused memory of the recent elementary school massacre of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, Connecticut, Dyer said that many of the Fresno homicide cases involved the use of a firearm by someone with anger issues or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“There is no shortage of firearms in the hands of the wrong people in the city of Fresno," Dyer said. “Very few (of the accused) were entitled to possess a firearm." He also said that preventing such crimes is almost impossible “unless we put a police officer in every household."

If you are in need of criminal defense lawyer in California, please contact the Fresno based law firm of Hammerschmidt Broughton Law Corporation. Our attorneys can be reached at (559) 772-4614. We are also on the Web at

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