Man Charged With Murder of Dance Instructor

A Chicago man has been charged with the murder of an area dance instructor. Police do not know why the shooting occurred, but the dance instructor was shot outside of his studio and pronounced dead at the scene. He operated the studio as a non-profit and marketed it as a safe space for children. 

The suspect has been tied to the shooting through his vehicle and a distinctive gold bracelet he was wearing at the time of the shooting. Police officers also have shell casings that match the weapon used, and three cell phones that place him at the shooting when it occurred. They were able to track the suspect through his vehicle, which was caught on surveillance at the time of the shooting. 

Police do not know if the pair had interacted prior to the shooting, or are unwilling to tip their hand on the matter. It seems likely that the dance instructor was targeted for some unknown reason. In some cases, a criminal may put pressure on an individual to do something under the threat of death. If they fail to do what is demanded of them, then the criminal has to execute the consequence for not complying. 

At present, the suspect is charged with first-degree murder, which would place him in prison for at least 45 years. The forensic evidence appears strong enough to gain a conviction. You do not need to know why someone committed a murder to convict them on it. But it is rare that the prosecution does not explain what the motive could be.

The Role of Motive in Criminal Prosecutions

The jury wants to know why the murder was carried out. They usually need a reason behind it. This is especially true when the forensic evidence is not as strong as it could be. Folks are convicted on circumstantial evidence all the time, but forensics does the heavy lifting. 

Folks are used to watching hit TV shows on which forensic scientists make brilliant deductions based on sparse evidence to catch the bad guys. In real life, these brilliant deductions are questioned by other scientists who can present evidence of their own that those deductions are in error. Folks do not see that on their shows. When confronted with multiple experts testifying to opposite interpretations of the facts, the jury may not know whom to believe. But one thing is for sure, the forensic testimony will not be as strong as it is in their TV shows. 

Hence, motive becomes an important element of the story when the prosecution makes its case before a jury. If forensics can be made to seem ambiguous, motive and opportunity can fill in the blanks. While the forensics do not appear to be ambiguous in this case, they may turn out to be much weaker than what has been reported by police in the papers. 

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Chicago criminal defense attorney David Freidberg routinely defends clients from Class X felonies like armed robbery and first-degree murder. Call our office today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing your defense immediately. 

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