A man who crashed his car into an SUV in Southern California, killing the driver of that SUV, while fleeing a residential burglary, pleaded no contest to first-degree murder and burglary and was sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison.

The men involved in the burglary were implicated in a residential burglary where a witness called 911 after seeing two of the three men involved kick down a door of a home while another waited in the getaway car.  When sheriff deputies spotted the getaway car, a police pursuit ensued and the car ultimately crashed into an innocent driver in an SUV.  The driver of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “how can this guy be charged, and convicted, of murder?  He never meant to kill anyone.”  Well, in California, we have the felony-murder rule which makes a defendant guilty of murder if he/she or a fellow co-conspirator kills a person while committing certain felonies, even if the killing was an accident.  Generally, someone is only guilty of murder if there intent to kill or someone acted with reckless disregard for human life.  The felony-murder rule allows for a murder charge even when there is no intent or reckless disregard.  The underlying felony must be one that is listed in California’s first-degree murder law (for first-degree felony-murder) or one that is “inherently dangerous” (for second-degree felony-murder).

As with all first-degree murder charges, first-degree felony-murder is punishable by 25 year to life in California state prison, life in state prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.

If you, a friend or family member is facing a charge of murder, felony evading, resisting arrest, fleeing, burglary, home invasion or any other criminal charge in Los Angeles, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible.  Opening lines of communication with the district attorney during the early stages of the case can oftentimes be beneficial for the client.  Additionally, there may be the need to conduct our own investigation and preserve any surveillance footage, recordings, witness statements or other items to be used at a later date.

These felonies are often charged in the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building (CCB), Van Nuys Courthouse, Airport Courthouse, Pasadena Courthouse, San Fernando Courthouse, Long Beach Courthouse and other courts throughout Orange County and San Bernardino County.

Nathan Campbell, accused of ramming pedestrians on the Venice boardwalk over the weekend and killing one, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to one count of murder, 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run.

Campbell was in custody in front of Airport Court felony arraignment judge Keith Schwartz who set bail at $1.48 million.  Campbell is currently being represented by a Los Angeles County Public Defender who told press he does not believe his client intended to kill anyone.

For those unfamiliar with this incident, Campbell was arrested after police say he intentionally drove his car around barriers on the Venice boardwalk and aimed his car at pedestrians.  One woman was killed as a result of the impact.

It has since been discovered that Campbell has had arrests in Colorado and Florida for shoplifting and reckless drivings under the influence of alcohol.  Further details reveal that Campbell may have been living out of his car and has ties with the homeless community in Malibu.

Campbell is facing some serious charges at the Airport Courthouse and, if convicted, could be facing life in prison.

If you have been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon or hit and run in the Airport Courthouse, it is important for you to consult with an attorney before making any statements to the police or other law enforcement personnel.  Communicating (through your attorney) with law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office early may help you either avoid having any charges filed against you or get a reduction in what would have been originally charged.  Sometimes hit-and-run’s can be resolved through a civil compromise which permanently suspend criminal proceedings against the accused.

Serious charges requires a serious criminal defense attorney.  If you have been charged with a crime in the Airport Court, CCB, Criminal Courts Building, Pasadena Court or any other court in Los Angeles County, contact attorney Ross Erlich 24/7 for a free case consultation.

After more than a week of deliberations, jurors acquitted Kelly Soo Park of murder in the death of aspiring model Juliana Redding.  The reading of the verdict sparked emotional and vocal outbursts by Redding’s family and supporters who were inside of the courtroom.

The reason this verdict was so surprising was that Park’s DNA was all over the crime scene where Redding lay strangled and dead.  Specifically, Park’s DNA was on the victim’s clothing and inside of the locked door of her apartment.  It was also on the victim’s cell phone, the knob of the stove that was left on and even found on the victim’s neck, seemingly overwhelming evidence for a conviction.

Jurors were not interviewed and thus, there is no explanation for their verdict of not guilty.  Experts and reporters believe that the case was solely based on DNA evidence and that the District Attorney’s office was never able to explain why a person with no record of violence would commit this type of crime.

There were also many pre-trial issues that the jury was never able to hear about.  For example, in a pre-trial hearing, the judge ruled that the prosecution could not argue that Park worked as “hired muscle” for a doctor who was angry with the victim’s father over a business deal gone wrong.  Additionally, the defense was not allowed to introduce testimony that Redding’s boyfriend could possibly be the killer due to a pattern of jealous and violent behavior leading up to the time of the murder.

This case just goes to show that you are truly innocent until proven guilty.  Even with DNA evidence against you, that still may not be enough for a conviction if you have a smart and aggressive attorney.  If you have been charged with murder, manslaughter or any other violent crime, it is important to contact attorney Ross Erlich right from the start.  Having representation right when the investigation gets underway can prevent incriminating statements and other damaging items of evidence from ever materializing.

Attorney Ross Erlich handles serious and violent crimes in Downtown Los Angeles, CCB, Metropolitan Court, Hollywood, Central Los Angeles, Pasadena, Beverly Hills and all of Los Angeles County.

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