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Purse Snatching Incident Raises Question About Murder vs. Manslaughter Charges

Posted on in Criminal Defense

charged with murder, San Jose criminal defense attorneys, manslaughter charges, purse snatching, facing criminal chargesWhen a crime is committed, innocent people can get hurt. A recent case in the Bay area involves a man who committed a purse snatching. An otherwise minor crime in which he likely would have faced minimal time in jail became far more serious when the victim fell and died as a result of the incident. Charged with murder, the man now faces a potential life sentence, though an experienced criminal defense attorney may argue that the crime itself amounts to a case of involuntary manslaughter.

East Bay Man Accused of Murder in Death of 93-Year-Old Victim

In mid-July, 2018, the NBC Bay Area News reported on the tragic death of an elderly woman, due to a fall that occurred during a purse snatching. The victim, a 93-year-old woman, was walking into a Bank of America with a friend, when she was allegedly approached by the accused — an East Bay man.

Witnesses at the scene claim that the man snatched her handbag, thus causing the woman to fall to the ground and break her hip. Due to her age and the nature of the injury, her health declined quickly and she died weeks after the altercation.

The man now faces charges of murder and elder abuse in the attack, for which he claims he is innocent. While he claims he never touched the woman, the friend who was with her at the time disputes his statement. She claims he snuck up behind them and, at the very least, meant to cause them some type of physical harm.

Murder vs. Manslaughter Charges

Under Title 8 of the California Penal Code, Section 187 defines murder as the intentional killing of another human being. Intent, or malice aforethought as it is referred to in the statutes, indicates that you specifically meant to kill or harm the individual — a key factor in any homicide case.

In the purse snatching incident, the man claims he had no intent to actually harm the elderly, but simply aimed at taking her handbag. If testimony, evidence, and his background supports this version of events, his criminal defense attorney may be able to get the charges dropped to involuntary manslaughter, based on the argument that he did not have intent to kill the woman, and did not reasonably suspect his actions would result in her death. This is a key difference, which has the potential to reduce the prison sentence from life to a period of four years or less.

Contact Us Today for Help

When facing criminal charges, the details surrounding the crime and your motivation make a significant difference in the potential penalties you could be facing. At Jachimowicz Law Group, we explore every aspect of your case, gathering the evidence needed to help get your charges dropped or reduced. If you have been charged with a crime, contact our talented San Jose criminal defense attorneys immediately to discuss your situation and how we can help.

Sources:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=187.&lawCode=PEN

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Accused-Purse-Snatcher-Faces-Murder-Charge-After-Death-of-Elderly-Concord-Woman-488453421.html

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