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"Does this sound fishy to you?" Topic


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622 hits since 20 Oct 2013
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Space Monkey21 Oct 2013 12:20 p.m. PST

OK, this is in no way asking for legal advice… I'm not directly involved in any way. I'm just curious.

A friend of ours (more a friend of a friend) was picked up a while back for a murder that happened decades ago.
He and another guy were suspects originally but questioned and let go.
But the crime was never solved and the investigation was revived. So they're back on the list.
Our friend heard his friend (previous co-suspect) was picked up a week or so earlier… in another state… so he arranged to have a lawyer ready to go if/when the police came for him.
So he was taken in by the local police and extradited to the state where the crime took place.
He's been incarcerated for several months now. He's was being 'held for investigation' (whatever that means).

We know all this because we've been writing to him and talking to another friend who has been to see him.

Here's the part I don't understand…
He's been in jail for months, had hearings, and supposedly was cleared. Based on what he told us we expected him back any day.
But there is some final hearing he needs to happen before he'll be released and the date for that has been set back repeatedly.
How is it that he's still in jail? Has been in jail for months AFTER (supposedly) being found to have not been involved in the crime?
He's a single guy… no direct dependents… but still, that's a serious disruption to anybody's life and it seems like the process would expedite getting 'innocent' people out of jail.

My first suspicion is that our friend is not giving us the whole story, tweaking the facts somehow… though I don't know why. Criminal or not we wouldn't just turn our backs on him. He kept a secret from us but it was long ago and nothing came of it (till now).

Alternatively the legal system seems to be working in a way that I just had no awareness of… and it's kind of terrifying to think that anyone could just be accused of a crime and swallowed up like that for the better part of a year (so far).

Something seems fishy but I don't understand the process of murder investigations/suspects/jails/courts enough to know if what he's told us is even plausible.

Any thoughts?

Cincinnatus Inactive Member21 Oct 2013 3:52 p.m. PST

It does sound odd but I've never been involved in any type of situation like this. I hope someone with knowledge posts.

Is it possible he's actually serving time for a smaller offense and doesn't want you to know that he actually was convicted of that since it is something he did recently?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2013 4:05 p.m. PST

Any thoughts?

He needs a lawyer?

It's bad enough when people ask for FREE legal advice on TMP regarding "intellectual property" (whatever THAT might be…), but murder? That's beyond the free legal advice pay grade.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2013 4:25 p.m. PST

In the US you are not held for investigation. You are arrested on suspicion of a particular crime, such as murder. You have to be arraigned within three working days. Weekends and holidays don't count. Then you are held for trial. The main reason these things take a long time is the defense often waives their right to a speedy trial so they can review the evidence against them. He may also be held on more than one charge, which is typical.

He may have done a murder, but if he left the state to avoid being arrested, you have interstate flight to avoid prosecution, a Federal Charge, and perhaps weapons charges, kidnapping and other charges. Few murders happen in a vacuum and often involve drugs, murder for hire, sex crimes and other charges like conspiracy.

So he may be held on another charge, even if the murder charge has been dropped. Google his name, and the state where it happened and you may find news reports that are more helpful then your friend.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
SGT Says blog

Cincinnatus Inactive Member21 Oct 2013 5:11 p.m. PST

Wow John. Did you even read the whole post or just the first two lines?

It's a legit question and one I'd probably ask here too if I wanted an answer but didn't know a lawyer.

Space Monkey21 Oct 2013 7:23 p.m. PST

Yeah, like I said, he's got a lawyer.
I'm not asking for my friend, and I'm not asking for 'advice'… I just thought somebody might have a clue why a person who has supposedly been cleared of a crime would still be waiting, for months, in jail for paperwork to be completed (which is basically the story we've been given).

I have looked up his case online, there was a newspaper report too, and I see nothing to suggest any other charges… he entered a plea of 'not guilty' and the online info lists his plea as 'not guilty' and the case as 'active'… but I'm not sure if 'active' means he hasn't finished trial yet or what.

Perhaps it's something to do with the other suspect?

Anyway, it's weird and who knows if I'll ever find out.

GR C1721 Oct 2013 8:07 p.m. PST

Sounds like he needs a better lawyer.

DesertScrb22 Oct 2013 6:09 a.m. PST

Perhaps your friend hasn't told you everything. If he's been charged with a crime, and the case is active, then he is no longer a suspect, but a defendant. Thus the "not guilty" plea--you don't enter a plea after you've been cleared of the accusation.

The reason he is still in jail is probably because he has not made bail, or the judge has not granted bail in his case.

Dn Jackson22 Oct 2013 7:22 a.m. PST

If he was extradited then there was a warrant out for his arrest. We can't hold someone for questioning. He was arrested.

It should b possible to find a court website that will give you his case status. For example her in Virginia it is courts.state.va.us

Ron W DuBray Inactive Member22 Oct 2013 9:14 a.m. PST

There have been cases where people have been kept in jail for years even after other people have been convicted or confessed of doing the crime.

Space Monkey22 Oct 2013 10:31 a.m. PST

Oh yeah, he was arrested… entered a plea… and seemingly there is no bail, or bail is set to high for him to make it.

If he's entered a plea I'd think that would be there was/will be a formal trial… but that's not mentioned in any version of the story I've heard.
I'm left assuming that communications are garbled and that he's in jail waiting for a hearing… and despite his assurances (and his lawyers) that he will be returning home shortly… nothing is certain.

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