The trial of Daron Harrell has come to a conclusion. The 35-year-old man was found guilty of shooting 36-year-old Kevin Lamar Stevens. Keith Edwards, the father of Stevens, addressed Harrell directly in the courtroom. In a strange display, he told Harrell that his life mattered and was also purposeful.
It only took the jury two hours to find Harrell guilty of killing Stevens, a father of three and a barber. Harrell will spend the rest of his life in prison as is compulsory with a first-degree murder charge. His defense attorneys asked the court to postpone sentencing so that Harrell’s family could attend. Harrell was also found guilty of being a felon in possession of a weapon.
The Facts of the Case
The police say that Daron Harrell approached Stevens’ vehicle after spotting him, reached into the passenger side window, and shot him twice. Harrell then fled in his own vehicle. Stevens’ vehicle was still on when the shooting occurred and it rolled into a parked car in front of it. Stevens died at the scene.
Witnesses testified on behalf of prosecutors to finger Harrell as the shooter. He was tracked down to a motel on Hypoluxo Road where he was staying with his family.
The one fact that eluded prosecutors was the motive behind the shooting. Typically, prosecutors speculate as to motives when there is none, but establishing a motive is not necessary to gain a conviction. In this case, the witnesses and physical evidence against Harrell were enough to put him in prison for the remainder of his life.
The defense attempted to poke holes in the prosecution’s investigation. They cited the fact that DNA swabs were never taken from Stevens’ vehicle even though Harrell would have come into contact with it. They also pointed out that the busy neighborhood only managed to produce three witnesses that identified Harrell. The attempt was made to argue to the jury that there simply wasn’t enough physical evidence to tie Harrell to the shooting.
The Defense Strategy
In a case like this, the defense doesn’t necessarily need to make a case. They can sit back and snipe at the prosecution’s case and try to pick apart the evidence used against their client. This is a difficult strategy to employ because jurors are only being told one story that makes sense. The defense is not providing them with a reliable narrative that is equally as likely as the narrative being presented by the prosecution. Instead, they rely on the jury to determine what is or is not reasonable doubt and whether or not the prosecution has met its burden. In other words, they simply state that the prosecution’s case isn’t strong enough to convict. Obviously, that approach failed here.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a serious crime, the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. can manage your case. Call us today to learn more about how we can help.