Murder suspect has charges dropped, record expungement
My client, an 18-year old high-school senior, was charged as an adult in Allegheny County with conspiring with her boyfriend to murder her mother. The prosecution’s theory was that my client lured her mother to their home in Pittsburgh, where the boyfriend would kill her with a knife. The alleged plot failed when the mother arrived at the house with a male friend, who was slashed while protecting the mother from the attack. Initially, only the boyfriend was arrested; however, months later, after a lengthy interrogation at the police station, my client was arrested after she allegedly confessed to active participation in the conspiracy. My client’s alleged admission was the only evidence to support a criminal conviction. Subsequently, I filed a petition to have the jurisdiction of the case transferred from the Court of Common Pleas to Juvenile Court, which was supported by expert testimony by a psychologist, and granted. In Juvenile Court, the case was vigorously defended in part by my filing a Motion to Suppress Statements. Once again, I utilized expert testimony to question whether my client’s purported “admission” was knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily made. If not, then the Commonwealth would be precluded from offering it into evidence and its case against my client would collapse. Ultimately, I was successful in negotiating an agreement that the charges would be resolved by a Consent Decree that would allow my client to earn a dismissal and expungement of all records of her case.