Yesterday I posted a blog critical of George Huguely’s defense counsel for coming out of the gate and describing this murder an “accident with a tragic outcome”. I suggested that such a statement, if not supported by the facts, would forever undermine the credibility of the defense. Newly disclosed developments have boldened my position.
Today it is being reported that Huguely has two (2) prior run-ins with the law in Florida dating back to 2007. First he was charged with possession of alcohol as a minor in Palm Beach, and then police were called to intervene in a “very heated” argument involving his father and cousin.
These incidents proceed a 2008 arrest and conviction in Lexington Virginia where he was Tasered by police while shouting “I’ll kill all you bitches” to a female officer.
A lawyer needs to be very carefull about what he says in the early stages of a high-profile murder case that has peeked a communities interet or rage. I was cognizent of this in my statements to the media after the bail review in the Nicholas Browning multiple homicide case. I am surprised the Huguely defense was not tempered as well. The Huguely defense team, by calling this an “accident” has done irreputable harm to the goals of the defense, but arguably not to the ultimte goal of justice.
Correction: In my previous blog on this subject, I stated that Felony Murder stemming from burglary may result in the death penalty. Although true in Maryland, the maximum penalty for this type of felony murder in the State of Virginia is life imprisonment. Thank you for those who caught this. Notwithstanding, Huguely still faces the potential for the death penalty for First Degree Murder, if convicted.