One brother is providing testimony against the other for a 45-year sentence after the two were involved in a robbery/homicide outside of a convenience store. The younger brother testified that his older brother handed him the gun he used to shoot the man. The victim was targeted after he was seen counting money outside of the convenience store. The two men then split the $50 he had on him.
The brother who did not provide testimony on behalf of the state is facing a mandatory life sentence if convicted. The younger brother testified that he pulled the trigger, but his older brother handed him the gun. The younger brother took $30 for pulling the trigger.
Discrediting the Witness
It is not hard to discredit a witness who murdered a man to steal $50, but when your client helped arrange and benefited from the murder, no one is going to care how credible the murderer who pulled the trigger is. The younger brother has a long criminal record filled with armed robbery complaints. When confronted on cross-examination, he mentioned that he performed most of these crimes with the aid of his brother. He also was found incompetent to stand trial at one point.
However, there does not appear to be any doubt that both brothers were there during the robbery/homicide and that one of them pulled the trigger. Both benefited from the homicide. In a case like that, the defendant can still be convicted of murder even if they did not pull the trigger.
Understanding Felony Murder Charges
Felony murder is a type of prosecution in which the members of a group who commit certain types of crime are all charged with a murder when someone dies. For example, the getaway driver can be charged with felony murder for aiding and abetting a robbery in which a victim was shot and killed. If they had not aided the robbery, the victim would still be alive. Since they were involved in the underlying crime, they can be charged with the murder of the victim. That, essentially, is what happened here.
Even though the older brother did not fire the weapon, he is accused of plotting the attack on the victim to steal his money. The younger brother testified that the older brother gave him the weapon to use.
The state has secured the testimony of the younger brother by offering him a 45-year deal. The older brother would face life in prison without having fired a shot because of the degree of his orchestration of the crime. In this case, it appears likely that the jury will return a verdict of guilty and convict the older brother on felony murder charges.
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David Freidberg represents the interests of those facing serious charges in Chicago. Call today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.