Two siblings are facing murder charges over the death of a Broward County man who had been missing since September. On September 25, the man was last reported seen exiting his apartment. He did not return. Four days later, a search for the man began. A friend told police that the man had traveled to Palm Beach County to meet a longtime friend. The same person who offered the tip told the police that the man had been shot and killed by the longtime friend’s brother, wrapped in a tarp, and then discarded in a dumpster.
Cellphone activity indicated that the deceased was in Palm Beach County until his cellphone stopped transmitting at about 10:48 pm, the night that he died. Someone identifying themselves as one of the siblings implicated in the murder, the female friend whom the deceased was attempting to visit, phoned in the tip. Police attempted to stop the woman, but she refused to stop. Eventually, they towed her car and found blood evidence.
According to the sister, the man had visited her and they began smoking marijuana together, but he “inexplicably” got up and left. The brother, who is believed to have pulled the trigger, said he never met the deceased. Later an unnamed witness tipped police that they saw the siblings kill the man. The witness said the three were attempting to organize a robbery, but when they returned there was a disagreement over the money. This burst over into the shooting death and the alleged conspiracy to cover it up. The witness says later that night, the sister attempted to clean the blood evidence from the backseat of the car where the descendant’s body was placed.
Detectives were able to corroborate some of the witness’s story. They found pieces of blue tarp in exactly the place where the witness said the defendants left the body. DNA tests later confirmed that the blood in the backseat of the car belonged to the missing Broward man. The two siblings are being held without bond.
Witness testimony in criminal cases
A strong witness can form the backbone of a prosecutor’s case even when there is no corroborating evidence to implicate a defendant. In fact, there are many who are now in jail based on witness testimony alone even after other evidence turned up that cast doubt on the prosecution’s version of events.
In this case, the witness has provided very specific testimony such as the color of the tarp, the place where the deceased’s body was placed, and the police have blood evidence linking the descendant to the vehicle in which he was transported. While all of this sounds damning, it remains unclear what specifically happened.
Here, the defendants have committed themselves to a narrative of “I didn’t do it, he walked away, we don’t know what happened to him after that.” However, arguments about money could often result in self-defense arguments. This is why attorneys coach our clients to say nothing to police concerning the crime. Essentially, other, better arguments have been taken away from them or are now more doubtful because of other testimony provided.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
You’ll want a criminal defense attorney present while you are being interviewed by police. Ideally, you would contact an attorney as early in the process as you can to give yourself more options later. Call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at the Skier Law Firm, P.A. today and we can begin preparing a strong defense immediately.