Many North Carolina residents are aware of a recent news story in which a local man is accused of killing his wife. Police interrogation tapes apparently reveal that the man claimed the violent crime occurred accidentally. He stated he picked up a gun from a bag that was on the floor. However, he told detectives he did not notice that his wife was bleeding after the gun fired. He claims his wife even stated she was OK after the weapon went off.
The man says that he went to sleep and believed his wife was still sleeping in the recliner when he got up. Authorities say they do not believe the man's claims about what happened surrounding the incident. Instead, they claim the bullet killed his wife instantly. The man allegedly did not contact 911 immediately and waited until the next evening before he called for help. Law enforcement believes the man intentionally committed the violent crime by shooting his wife while she watched television at the couple's home.
The man is currently in poor health, which has slowed down the trial. He has also been placed on suicide watch. At the time of the shooting, it is believed the man was under the influence of a combination of prescription drugs and brandy.
The man was interviewed by detectives after he was arrested. However, defense attorneys claim that portions of the interrogation tape could "unduly influence the jury." Some portions of the tape have been ruled inadmissible by a judge, but the jury will still hear some of the recorded interrogation.
The North Carolina man has insisted that he had no idea that his wife was injured or even dead after the gun went off and claims that the incident was unintentional.
Any time a murder or other violent crime occurs, the resulting legal battle can be lengthy and challenging. The burden of proof for the criminal charges is squarely upon the shoulders of the prosecution, and there is a significant difference between being charged with a crime and being convicted of one. Hopefully this man is aware of his legal rights in this case. Knowing them could help ensure he presents a valid and relevant defense as he works toward a fair and positive outcome.
Source: StarNews Online, "Judge green lights interrogation in wife killing case," Brian Freskos, Aug. 28, 2012