Do witnesses provide sufficient evidence for conviction in criminal cases?
Forty-two-year-old Nigel Smith has been found guilty in a homicide case that took place in 2013. Smith who faced six counts -- one count of second degree murder, one count of robbery in the first degree, two counts of robbery in the second degree, one count each of criminal trespass and resisting arrest -- has been convicted of five of the six charges, including second degree murder. Jurors assigned to the case deliberated for approximately 5 hours. At two points during their deliberations, they asked for clarifications, first of the definition of the second degree murder and robbery charges, and later for a read-back of testimony from a witness.
The witness, presently an inmate in the Broome County Jail, testified that the defendant had confessed to being involved in the murder while the two were incarcerated together in 2013. Smith is the second person to be accused of this crime. Prosecutors argued that the victim was a known drug dealer and that both defendants, Smith and a man named Calvin Bell, believed the victim had sexually assaulted Bell's girlfriend and were seeking revenge.
Calvin Bell was found not guilty of the crime this past June while Smith was still at large. Three months after the alleged homicide took place, Smith was arrested following a car chase. In spite of the evidence against him, Smith's attorney has maintained that the credibility of the witness, a convicted criminal, was questionable. Now that he has been convicted, however, Smith faces 25 years to life in state prison.
are not always as clear-cut as they appear and every defendant is entitled to a vigorous defense, no matter what the circumstances or the weight of evidence. If you face criminal prosecution and want the best defense possible, by all means contact Ianniello Anderson where experienced attorneys have been providing excellent legal services for over 40 years. Serving clients throughout the eastern upstate New York region and can be reached at 518.350.7755.