Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CA: Father found not guilty of murdering his son: "A jury Tuesday found a Monrovia man accused of shooting his son to death with a shotgun not guilty of murder. Jurors in the Alhambra Court began deliberations at about noon Tuesday in the murder trial for Willie McGhee, 66. It took them only until about 4 p.m. to find him not guilty of shooting his 22-year-old son Robert McGhee to death following a drunken physical confrontation at the family's Monrovia home in August 2007. McGhee claimed he acted in self-defense when he shot his son following a backyard fight. His defense attorney, Csaba Palfi,became choked up twice during his closing argument, painting his client as a victim of a violent son who repeatedly assaulted him. Palfi argued that the McGhee was trying to defend himself after Robert "beat the crap out of his father," punching him in the face and kicking him while he was down during the altercation. "He went and got a shotgun because he was in fear for his own life," Palfi said.... Amber Bastian,Robert McGhee's girlfriend at the time, testified Monday that Robert physically assaulted her and his father and was carrying a gun the day he was killed. She also said Robert McGhee was a member of the Du Roc Crips, a local African-American gang that police have tied to murders in Monrovia and Duarte over the past few years".

FL: Man Set Free By Appellate Court: "Two years ago, Jimmy Ray Hair was arrested and charged with murder for shooting a man in self defense. Hair has been in jail ever since... arguing he was just standing his ground. On Tuesday, an appellate court agreed with him, and Hair was released tonight. Two years to the date... Jimmy Ray Hair has been behind iron doors... but now he's a free man.... "Jimmy was the passenger in a vehicle. Another person entered the vehicle, attacked him. There was some tussling and in the course of the tussling, Jimmy shot him," says John Leace, Hair's trial attorney. Within just a few hours, the court agreed that Hair was acting in lawful self defense. "It's unusual for a district court to grant relief just hours after an oral argument. That is fairly unusual," says Eddie Bauer, Hair's Appellate Attorney. When the appellate court overturned Circuit court's denial of Hair's self defense plea... it also ordered Hair to be released from jail. Jimmy Ray Hair had no prior record and lawfully owned the gun he used when he killed his attacker."

VA: Police charge man in convenience store shooting: "Richmond police have charged a 30-year-old South Richmond man in the aborted robbery of a convenience store that left him and the store owner wounded. James Grooms of the 2200 block of Chalfont Drive remains hospitalized after being shot by a friend of the owner of Golden Food Market at 2701 Jefferson Davis Highway in South Richmond. Grooms shot the store owner and fired at several customers, missing them, in the attempted robbery on Saturday just after 1 p.m. Police charged Grooms with attempted robbery, use of a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a felon. He remains in the custody of the Richmond Sheriff's Office while being treated for a gunshot wound to the torso at VCU Medical Center. No information was available on his condition. The attempted robbery was the second time in a month that a shopkeeper at Golden Market was shot. Said "Saim" Messaf was shot on June 12. The store's owner, who police did not identify, suffered non-life threatening wounds in Saturday's shooting. No information was available today on his condition."

AZ: Fish freed at last: "A retired Tolleson teacher whose murder conviction was overturned walked out of prison Tuesday to hugs from his family after serving three years of a 10-year sentence. Harold Fish, 62, left the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis near Buckeye where he was incarcerated for the fatal shooting of Grant Kuenzli, 43, on a forest trail north of Payson in May 2004. Fish claimed self-defense, and there were no witnesses. Fish's case rippled through the Arizona legal and political arena and drew national attention from gun-rights advocates. After Fish was charged, legislators rewrote Arizona's self-defense laws. The Arizona Court of Appeals last month ordered a new trial in the second-degree murder case, ruling that testimony was improperly kept out of Fish's trial. The Coconino County attorney then said he would not retry the case and agreed to Fish's release. Fish's legal ordeal is not over. As he was being set free, the Arizona Attorney General's Office announced plans to challenge the appellate-court ruling. The attorney general will ask the Arizona Supreme Court to review the case, said Steve Wilson, a spokesman for Attorney General Terry Goddard. Earlier this month, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that makes the new self-defense law retroactive to Fish's case. Though it seems unlikely Fish will face a new trial, if he were retried, prosecutors would be required to prove he did not act in self-defense. In Fish's trial, the burden was on the defense to prove Fish acted in self-defense. Fish was completing a hike May 11, 2004, when he encountered Kuenzli and Kuenzli's snarling dogs. Fish fired a warning shot that scared away the dogs, but then Kuenzli charged at him, Fish said."

No comments: