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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    4

    Default Capital Murder Charge and Coercion

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Texas

    My girlfriends half sister was charged with Capital Murder yesterday. The story we have heard so far was it was a group of six people $ males and two females. They planned to break in and rob a drug dealer. The news states that My girls sister knocked on the door when the man answered the 4 boys ran in and shot the guy. I say boys because 3 of them were only 18 and the third was 22. The two females were 16 and 18. The guy shot was pronounced dead at the hospital. Two days after the shooting two of the 6 people were caught, questioned and charged with Capital Murder 1 million dollar bond. My girls sister admitted to knocking on the door but claims she was held at gun point and forced to knock. 10 days later she was detained on 750k bond and charged with capital murder as well. My question is as follows....

    In the state of Texas you are guilty by association but if she didn't know one of the boys had a gun and had no idea someone was going to get shot is there a chance her charges can be changed and lowered to a lesser offence like burglary or something. Also her family doesn't have the money to get her a good lawyer. I just need some type of insight in this type of case and maybe a little more of an understanding as to what to expect.. I have done some research and im scared that this being the first offence she has ever committed that her life is over as we know it..

    Chapter 7.02 of the TX Penal Code says a person can be criminally responsible for another's actions if that person acts with "the intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense" and "solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense, whether the defendant actually caused the death of the deceased or did not actually cause the death of the deceased but intended to kill the deceased or another or anticipated that a human life would be taken".Furthermore, "If, in the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one felony, another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators are guilty of the felony actually committed."In other words, the LOP means that you can be convicted of guilt by association, even if you didn't actually commit the crime, and even if you were not present at the crime scene, if you were involved in the planning or commission of the crime, although you did not know a murder was going to be committed

    If anyone can help me understand a little more. She is a victim of her own doing hanging with the wrong crowd and we have all warned her to stay away and do right not wrong.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: Capital Murder Cahrge

    She needs to talk to absolutely no one about this except an attorney. If she cannot afford one, she can request a public defender.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Capital Murder Cahrge

    She needs to STOP talking to you or anyone else about this! Anyone she talks to can be subpoenaed to court to testify for the prosecution.

    If she cannot afford one, a public defender can be appointed for her.

    Oh, and no one is likely to buy the "held at gunpoint" line.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Capital Murder Cahrge

    None of us have asked her anything all we have done was tell her we love her and we will be here no matter what. We tried to get to her before the detective but i think she had said to much. My words exactly " do not talk to anyone without a lawyer or attorney there. They may tell you if you confess they will help you but dont talk to me no matter what..." I think the first two boys pretty much told on everyone and got the better deal because they were caught first... I'm not sure what she said to the detective. The story i posted on here was that of her mothers and what she over heard her daughter telling the detective. I think the held at gun point may have screwed her. We told her she needs to tell the truth the whole truth as long as an attorney was there. My thought was if she lies about one thing her trust and honor is gone out the door and they will not believe anything she says. I know shes scared to death and as long as i have known her i honestly thing that if she knew someone had a gun and was going to kill someone she would have some how gotten out if it...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Capital Murder Cahrge

    I'm sorry, but they're not "boys". They're grown men. They're adults. They chose a course of action knowing full well there would be adult consequences.

    By using a term reserved for minors whether you realize it or not you're actually coming close to somehow excusing (at least to a degree) their actions based on their age and maturity. Sorry, but no.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Capital Murder Cahrge

    I'm in no way trying to excuse them by any means. They will have to become men very quick. The term boys is widely used to describe immature males and that the context i was using it as. They took a life no matter color or lifestyle a life is a life no matter what....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    8,019

    Default Re: Capital Murder Cahrge

    First, there’s an inconsistency in the story. She can’t claim that she had no idea that one of them had a gun and at the same time claim she was forced to participate in the scheme at gunpoint. After all, if she was forced to participate at gunpoint then she knew they had a gun. So she’ll have to pick one story and stick with it. Both stories have problems.

    If her story is that she agreed to help them rob the drug dealer but had no idea anyone had a gun, she faces two hurdles. First, under the law she didn’t have to know he had a gun or have any idea he would use the gun. Once she agreed to be part of the criminal enterprise she becomes guilty of everything that anyone in the group does to further that crime. In short, if someone is murdered as part of the commission of the robbery she was participating in then she is as guilty of the murder as the guy who pulled the trigger. Second, it’s a hard to believe she had no idea that no gun would be used. They were planning to rob the guy. Just how were they going to do that without some kind of weapon in hand? I think she had to suspect a gun was likely going be carried as that is the most common weapon used in robberies. Again, though, it doesn’t really matter if she knew the guy was carrying a gun. It was enough that she agreed to participate in the robbery with them.

    If the story is that she was forced to participate at gun point, she has the problem of trying to sell that claim to a jury. If she had been kidnapped by these guys and there was evidence of that then the claim may be believable. But my guess is that these were friends and acquaintances of hers; people that she had known sometime prior to this. In that case, it’s very hard to believe that they forced her to do this at gun point. The far more likely circumstance would be that they talked her into going because they were her friends. Teens in particular are vulnerable to peer pressure. Unless she’s got evidence beyond her own testimony to back up her claim she was forced at gun point it’s extremely likely the jury isn’t going to buy it.

    She got mixed up in the wrong crowd. She knew what sort of people they were, she knew they were going to rob someone, and she went along with it. She likely gave little thought to the consequences. Now she may well find that the rest of her life will be spent in prison. That will be a very hard lesson learned in picking good friends, and unfortunately one learned a bit too late. If she has any chance to get out of this with something less severe she’ll need a good lawyer to help her. If she can’t afford a lawyer the state will appoint her one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    3,025

    Default Re: Capital Murder Cahrge

    Quote Quoting TDStrop
    View Post
    None of us have asked her anything all we have done was tell her we love her and we will be here no matter what. We tried to get to her before the detective but i think she had said to much. My words exactly " do not talk to anyone without a lawyer or attorney there. They may tell you if you confess they will help you but dont talk to me no matter what..." I think the first two boys pretty much told on everyone and got the better deal because they were caught first... I'm not sure what she said to the detective. The story i posted on here was that of her mothers and what she over heard her daughter telling the detective. I think the held at gun point may have screwed her. We told her she needs to tell the truth the whole truth as long as an attorney was there. My thought was if she lies about one thing her trust and honor is gone out the door and they will not believe anything she says. I know shes scared to death and as long as i have known her i honestly thing that if she knew someone had a gun and was going to kill someone she would have some how gotten out if it...
    Everything you say here, and everything she says to you, can be used against her in court. Three things need to happen now:

    1. She obtains a public defender.
    2. She stops talking about this to anyone except her public defender.
    3. You stop talking about this - here and anywhere else.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Capital Murder Cahrge

    Good advice i will make sure she does this. Thanks everyone for your help...

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