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  1. #1
    bman2011 is offline Junior Member
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    Attempt to Murder Charge

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New Jersey

    Hello,

    Long story short - Last October, me and my friend had an incident happen where her ex-bf stabbed both of us causing injuries to my hand and stab wounds all over her body and hands as well. We were saved thanks to neighbors who hit him with a bat over his head to get him off my friend. December he had a bail hearing date in which he did not show up for. He has been in jail since the incident on only 25,000 bail. He had an arraignment on the 26th of January where he plead not guilty.He's scheduled for a status conference on the 8th of this month.

    I have scanned a paper from the prosecutor's office that explains all the charges he has received. You can view it here [url]http://img.red-demon.com/images/chargeuru.jpg[/url]

    My question is why has he not been charged with attempt to murder and premeditated murder? He had 2 knives with him and threatened to kill her and would've killed me too had he not been stopped. What can I do to make sure he gets attempt to murder charge? I tried contacting the prosecutor last week about this but I have not received a call back yet, I'm going to call again tomorrow. Until then, any advice would be appreciated. This guy has been harassing her for over 2 months via phone and in person prior to the incident. She has a restraining order against him, but I'm afraid he will finish what he started once he gets out of jail. Also, what is the max jail time do you think he will get with the current charges?
  2. #2
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
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    As to the question why, it is only something the prosecutor can answer. Was he offered a plea deal, would be my first question. And the injuries you and your friend incurred, if left unattended by medical care, would have it been life threatening? What was the weapon? How big was it?
  3. #3
    bman2011 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isis1 View Post
    As to the question why, it is only something the prosecutor can answer. Was he offered a plea deal, would be my first question. And the injuries you and your friend incurred, if left unattended by medical care, would have it been life threatening? What was the weapon? How big was it?
    As far as a plea deal, I am not sure - I will try and find out from the prosecutor, if she ever responds.

    As far as the injuries, if we were left unattended, yes it would be life threatening from all the blood that we lost. We both have permanent tendon and nerve damage with both of our hands, and she has multiple scars all over her body. Neck, shoulder, chest, abdomen area, around her thumbs, palms, and hand.

    There were 2 knives involved, both the size of regular kitchen knives. I would have to say 8-9 inches if i remember correctly. He attacked us when we stopped in front of our house and right as we were getting out I saw him crouched in between two cars in front of us. He got up and started running towards us, I told her to get in the car while I held him back for as long as I could until I could hold no longer and he went straight for her stabbing and attacking her while she tried her best to defend herself.
  4. #4
    CJane is offline Senior Member
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    It's not the prosecutor's job to charge someone with the crimes that the victims WANT them charged with, but rather with the crimes that the evidence supports and that will likely lead to a conviction.

    An attempted murder conviction is considerably more difficult than an aggravated assault conviction. It's OBVIOUS y'all were attacked/battered/assaulted and that the weapon was potentially deadly. It's not so obvious that his intent was to kill either of you.
  5. #5
    bman2011 is offline Junior Member
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    Cjane, are you saying if by now he has not been charged with attempt to murder, then it is impossible for him to get that charge? Does this mean we should find a lawyer to help us prove it so that he is charged with it?
  6. #6
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bman2011 View Post
    Does this mean we should find a lawyer to help us prove it so that he is charged with it?
    Neither you nor any lawyer you hire will have any control over what the attacker is charged with. The prosecutor has reviewed the evidence, and has charged him with the most serious charges he can sustain by relying on his experience. (* I should say, presumably he has--I can't read his mind).

    From the prosecutor's perspective, it's better to charge him with the assault and have an extremely good chance that this guy will do some time, then it is to charge him with attempted murder and risk having the guy walk away. Because, after all, his punishment is ultimately not up to you, the defendant, the defendant's attorney, OR the prosecutor--it's up to a jury. You might think the case is a slam dunk, but you have no idea how this is going to be presented, or defended, in court. If the DA thinks they're not going to convict on an attempted murder charge, he'll bring the lesser charges to avoid the guy getting away with it altogether.

    You may want to hire an attorney, though, to consider civil charges after the criminal charges have been satisfied. Those would be monetary in nature, but you could seriously screw up a pretty big chunk of his future. That's something over which you would have some control.

    Edited. I realized I said civil charges would "likely" be monetary in nature. Not "likely". They would be monetary.
    Last edited by >Charlotte<; 02-08-2011 at 10:25 AM.
  7. #7
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by >Charlotte< View Post
    Neither you nor any lawyer you hire will have any control over what the attacker is charged with. The prosecutor has reviewed the evidence, and has charged him with the most serious charges he can sustain by relying on his experience. (* I should say, presumably he has--I can't read his mind).

    From the prosecutor's perspective, it's better to charge him with the assault and have an extremely good chance that this guy will do some time, then it is to charge him with attempted murder and risk having the guy walk away. Because, after all, his punishment is ultimately not up to you, the defendant, the defendant's attorney, OR the prosecutor--it's up to a jury. You might think the case is a slam dunk, but you have no idea how this is going to be presented, or defended, in court. If the DA thinks they're not going to convict on an attempted murder charge, he'll bring the lesser charges to avoid the guy getting away with it altogether.

    You may want to hire an attorney, though, to consider civil charges after the criminal charges have been satisfied. Those would likely be monetary in nature, but you could seriously screw up a pretty big chunk of his future. That's something over which you would have some control.
    Agreed. The only exception I might make where OP COULD influence the charge is if OP had additional evidence that the prosecutor doesn't have - and then brings it to the prosecutor's attention.

    For example, in the above situation, if OP had a witness or two who heard the perp say that he was going to kill them, it might be what the prosecutor would need to make an attempted murder charge stick. Essentially, the only influence that OP and his attorney would have on the prosecutor is any new evidence they might be able to bring forward.
  8. #8
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    What misto said
    Excellent point. Control, no. Influence, possibly.
  9. #9
    bman2011 is offline Junior Member
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    He did say he was going to kill her from what I heard. He first said it in English with me, then he said it in her language to her during the attack. No one was around close enough to hear him say it in english. No one understands the language he spoke in when he said it in her language.
  10. #10
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    If there is no one other than you and the other victim who actually witnessed (and understood) what he said, that may be why the D.A. is reluctant to depend too heavily on it. It will probably, however, be included in your testimony for the jury's consideration if you are examined at trial.
  11. #11
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Apparently the matter went to the Grand Jury and the Grand Jury apparently did not find the necessary elements of attempted murder. Understand that attempted murder requires proving some additional elements including intent. The Aggravated Assault with Serious Bodily Injury IS a serious offense.

    Whether the DA can add an attempted murder charge to the GJ indictment, I do not know. I would think they could not, but I do not know NJ's system.

    The victim can ask questions, can try to garner public support for pressure on the prosecutor, etc., but ultimately it is the Grand Jury and the DA that has control over the process.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  12. #12
    bman2011 is offline Junior Member
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    I found an article where the incident happened almost exactly like it did with us. [url=http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/man_sentenced_to_15-years_for.html]Red Bank man gets 15 years for attemped killing of ex-girlfriend | NJ.com[/url] . He was charged with attempt to murder.
  13. #13
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bman2011 View Post
    I found an article where the incident happened almost exactly like it did with us.
    You can't compare your case with that one. Even you, yourself, said "almost" exactly, not "exactly". The details are important.

    Look, for whatever reason, the charge is what the charge is. You can't force the prosecutor to do what you want him to do.
  14. #14
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by >Charlotte< View Post
    You can't compare your case with that one. Even you, yourself, said "almost" exactly, not "exactly". The details are important.

    Look, for whatever reason, the charge is what the charge is. You can't force the prosecutor to do what you want him to do.
    And the prosecutor may be stuck with what the Grand Jury handed down. I don't know if prosecutors in NJ can add or subtract from those indictments.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  15. #15
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    And the prosecutor may be stuck with what the Grand Jury handed down. I don't know if prosecutors in NJ can add or subtract from those indictments.
    When I read your previous post I gave myself a mental K(ick)ITA for not even thinking about the grand jury's involvement.

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