Oscar Ocampo was recently released from prison. Odds are, he will be headed right back after he stabbed his own brother, apologized to him, and then went upstairs and stabbed his brother-in-law. His brother-in-law died as a result of the stabbing.
According to his brother, Ocampo was upset that his wife had been disrespected. The brother attempted to calm him down, but Ocampo was inconsolable. Ocampo proceeded to stab his brother, apologized, and went upstairs and killed his brother-in-law. He has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
Is Ocampo Being Overcharged?
The question of whether or not Ocampo committed first-degree murder will come down to a jury interpreting his state of mind. The prosecution will argue that Ocampo knew what he was doing when he went to knock on the door of the apartment where his sister lived with her husband and children. It is not clear if or how anyone made a direct insult to his wife, but the defense will argue that this triggered a rage in Ocampo that resulted in his attacking of his brother and brother-in-law.
The defense will attempt to argue that Ocampo proceeded to harm his brother and his brother-in-law in a diminished state of mind and that he was not carefully considering his actions when he attacked. However, Illinois is a state in which a voluntary manslaughter charge cannot be raised unless the deceased is an unborn child. In other words, the best-case scenario for Ocampo is second-degree murder and attempted.
Second-degree murder is charged when the defendant is in an intense state of rage, passion, or some other emotionally compromising state.
Proving Second-Degree Murder
The prosecution will argue that Ocampo’s attack against his brother-in-law was a calculated move. The brother-in-law had not just insulted his wife. Ocampo had to go and get the knife, go up to the apartment, and engage with the brother-in-law. Because Ocampo’s outburst required a thinking through of steps, the defense is left to argue that he was so intensely upset by the insult to his wife, that he could not think clearly while he was taking those steps.
Proving Attempted Murder
In the case of attempted murder, the law defines an “attempt” as any act that constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of a crime. Ocampo stabbed his brother several times result in severe injuries that could have life-changing consequences. One of the wounds nicked his heart. He is, however, expected to survive.
However, the prosecution must be able to prove intent. If Ocampo raged out and just started flailing with the knife, that would not constitute attempted murder. It would still, however, constitute aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Even if Ocampo manages to get the murder charge reduced to second-degree murder and the attempted murder charge reduced to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, he could still face up to 35 years in prison for both charges.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If someone insults your wife, the last thing you want to do is stab two people. But if you do, you should not be overcharged for the crime. A criminal defense attorney ensures your rights and protects you from being charged with a more serious crime, even when that crime is terrible. Call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100.