Dec 7

Commonwealth v. A.M.

Commonwealth v. A.M.

On January 9, 2015 a man was shot three times in the back in Kensington as he was in the area to buy K2. Before he had the opportunity to purchase his drugs, a man came around the corner with a gun and fired multiple shots at the victim. On the way to the hospital as the victim thought he was dying, he told police that he was shot by a Hispanic man wearing a mask and all black clothes. However, once in the hospital he told detectives that A.M. shot him and that he was positive of that fact. The victim provided two written statements identifying A.M., testified at a Grand Jury that A.M. shot him, and then at trial again identified A.M. in the courtroom as he tearfully described what had happened to him. The DA also attempted to establish that the shooting was committed with a revolver, and introduced evidence that a revolver was found in A.M.`s home, and played recorded prison calls where A.M. mentions a `six shot revolver’ and also discusses plans to prevent the victim from going to court to testify. The victim indeed testified that he had been paid money by A.M.’s family not to go to court and claimed that A.M.’s family members had also apologized on A.M.’s behalf for shooting him. However, on cross examination the defense challenged every statement the victim made to detectives and successfully pointed out to the jury that the victim was wildly inconsistent in his version of events (signifying that the victim was lying). The defense was also able to prove that the victim had no more than a split second opportunity to observe the shooter and that he was actually high on K2 at the time of the shooting. The defense was also able to successfully point numerous fallacies in the police investigation. On a case that the DA’s Office was so confident in their chances of securing a conviction that their pretrial offer was to plead guilty to the lead charge of attempted murder without any promise as to what the sentence would be, the jury found A.M. not guilty of ALL charges, including the gun that was found in the house (the defense had argued that the gun should have been tested for DNA- instead, the police misrepresented the facts and circumstances surrounding the recovery of that gun).

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