For Two Moms, Crime is a Family Business

in Criminal Defense, on

Two Wake County families and their criminal endeavors were in the headlines this week. Authorities don’t know the full story behind either case.

In the first case, the subject of our December 22nd post, a mother and her two children are in jail in connection with the death of the children’s father. Authorities discovered his remains in a refrigerator in the family’s home; they believe the man died in 2009. The mother has been charged with murder. After some debate, the court ordered that the children, age 15 and 17, be tried as adults. The grand jury handed down the indictments this week, formally charging the children with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

The debate centered on the age of the daughter at the time of her father’s death. If investigators are correct that he died in 2009, she was under 16 and entitled to be tried as a juvenile. A Wake County judge found probable cause in December and ordered that both children be tried as adults. Because of their ages, the children are too young to face capital punishment; their mother, however, does.

The second case involves a woman who allegedly used her children to help her steal from a department store. According to police, the 34-year-old woman used her 12-, 10- and 8-year-old children in the theft of $600 in merchandise. In addition, police discovered three tablets of oxycodone in the possession of one of the children.

The mother was charged with one count of misdemeanor larceny and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A native of Guatemala, the woman now has the attention of federal immigration officials who believe she may be in the country illegally.

A larceny conviction could earn the woman up to one year in jail. The other charge carries a maximum sentence of six months. Experts vary in their opinions, but many say the maximum sentence is unlikely to be given in most cases.

Resource: Raleigh News & Observer website 01/07/11