A pre-trial hearing was recently held in the Superior Court in Morristown, Morris County for a man accused of conspiring to have his wife killed two years ago in Boonton, according to an NJ.com article. The account that the defendant had given to law enforcement about the incident was that three men had approached the couple, called them "(expletive) terrorists" and then shot them both, killing the wife. At the pre-trial hearing, both testimony and a recorded interview with the defendant were used to back up the prosecutor's claim that the husband changed his story when describing the assailants to law enforcement. A Morris County assistant prosecutor asked for permission to use the statements as evidence in the trial.
The discrepancies in the defendant's first and second accounts of the assailants had to do with the description of their race. In the pre-trial hearing, a Parsippany detective who helped with investigation on the night of the fatal shooting testified that the defendant initially stated that one of the three men who approached them was black, according to the article. This statement was given during the ambulance ride following the shooting. However, in the recording that was taken once the defendant reached the hospital, the defendant stated that all three of the men were black. The detective also noted that the defendant first said he was shot first, and then he later said that his wife was shot first. At the hearing, the defendant's attorney cross-examined the detective, which led to the detective noting that he did not ask emergency personnel if the defendant was displaying signs of shock after the shooting.
An even bigger change in the defendant's story that could end up being used against him in his trial is the fact that he ended up admitting to hiring another person to kill his wife, according to the article, which cited information from the arrest affidavit. The man's defense counsel, however, is working to try and get those statements officially deemed inadmissible in court.
While the specific details of this case have yet to unfold, there are many reasons that individuals can give conflicting statements, especially after traumatic incidents. They could be in a state of mental shock or panic, making them unable to think clearly while being questioned. In this particular case, the man had actually been shot four times, and his wife was killed right in front of him. There are also many cases in which defendants are coerced in some way into giving false confessions, whether that is by law enforcement or an outside party. These are important factors that need to be considered in cases such as this one.
Anyone who has been accused of a crime in Morris County, New Jersey should immediately contact a competent Morris County criminal defense attorney. This is exactly what we offer at The Law Offices of Christopher G. Porreca, P.C. Our experienced criminal defense lawyer is able to handle a broad spectrum of cases, spanning from traffic offense cases to murder cases. Contact us so we can help you challenge your criminal allegations!