By this time, North Carolina readers are probably familiar with the ongoing murder-for-hire trial in Raleigh. The federal case revolves around a man who is being put on trial for allegedly conspiring to have three people who testified against him and his brother in an earlier case murdered.
The current case stems back to a 2011 trial that resulted in the man being convicted for a terror plot. Despite still serving time in prison on the earlier conviction, the accused man is facing charges for another set of serious charges.
One key decision the man made was to represent himself in this high-profile case. During the trial the defendant allegedly spoke at length about his religious commitments, but did little to address the facts of the case or his criminal defense.
Beyond the man’s choice to represent himself in court, his brother and a local teacher, both of whom were tied to the first conviction, could end up testifying against the defendant. This could further harm his ability to receive a fair trial.
The man at the center of the trial has already been convicted of a highly-publicized crime, so that is unlikely to help keep the trial fair and the jury impartial. This fact alone raises the importance of ensuring that the man is presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.
As this trial moves forward, it serves as a reminder as to why it’s vital to have your rights and best interests protected while dealing with criminal charges. Retaining the services of a knowledgeable, trustworthy attorney is one way to make sure that you are aware of your rights and legal options when accused of a crime. Ensuring that defendants’ rights are safeguarded is one of the cornerstones of our criminal justice system.
Source: The News & Observer, “Defendant in murder-for-hire case representing himself,” Anne Blythe, Nov. 5, 2012
Our firm has experience working through the details of criminal charges, including murder. To learn more about your legal options, please visit our Raleigh murder defense page.