Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

South Boston Man Faces Homicide Charges After Throwing Beer Mug; Needs Experienced Lawyer

Homicide can occur during the most unlikely of events. As a Boston criminal defense attorney, not to mention a Brooklyn prosecutor, I have seen my fill of events in which people acted in ways that they admittedly should not have and were left with totally unexpected results.

Deadly results.

Here is a tragic example from this past weekend.

Hector G. of South Boston (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) was in Lansdowne Pub on Lansdowne Street near Fenway Park. At the same time, Mike D., 23 from New York (hereinafter, the “Deceased”) was up from the Big Apple and visiting with some old college friends.

According to investigating officers, the Defendant became angry with a member of the Deceased’s group because of a brief “run in”.

And so it was that the Defendant did something stupid. He threw a beer mug at the Deceased’s table.

This, of course, would be assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, to wit: the beer mug among other things. But it became much more.

The mug hit a partition and the impact shattered the glass container, sending shards flying through the air inside the well-lit pub.

Two of the Deceased’s friends sustained cuts from the flying glass. However, one piece struck the Deceased, perforating his jugular vein, according to authorities. Bleeding profusely, he was rushed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he died less than 30 minutes later.

Instant…one would imagine unintentional…homicide.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

If you intend to take some else’s life, it is a homicide. If you do so recklessly, it is a homicide. If you do so negligently…it will be investigated and then likely be a homicide.

As you know, and as you can read on our site, a homicide need not be intentional at all. One doesn’t even have to know that the deceased ever existed. Take, for example, a car accident wherein it is decided that one driver drove negligently and the other driver is dead. That can be a vehicular homicide. Add an allegation of OUI into the picture on the part of the survivor of the crash and you have an even more serious level of homicide.

While murder in the first degree carries the potential sentence of life imprisonment with parole, the lesser variations of homicide carry severe jail sentences as well…some with mandatory minimums of their own.

Once something like this happens, of course, one would imagine that the perpetrator of the deed will face his or her own ghosts of guilt for the rest of their lives regardless of a potential jail sentence. This, however, is not enough for the justice system. After all, the deceased will have loved ones who have been deprived of the deceased for the rest of their lives (which will probably mean civil litigation as well for wrongful death). And of course, there is the deceased…who, perhaps simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time, lost their life.

And so the government acts accordingly.

You don’t get much more serious than that.

If you, or someone you know, have found themselves in this tragic situation, the best thing one can do is to try to minimize the damage. What is done cannot be undone. The accused may be guilty of simply making a mistake or even not even guilty of anything. The laws regarding homicide cases are complex, yet the accused’s life now stands in the balance. You want to have as much on his/her side of the scale as possible.

This starts with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Expensive? Probably. But then, if you put that on the scale balanced against the rest of the defendant’s life…well, I guess you will have to make that calculation.

If you are interested in discussing such a case with me, feel free to make an appointment for a free initial consultation by calling 617-492-3000.

To view the original story upon which today’s blog was based, please go to http://mobile.boston.com/art/30/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/08/17/pub_tiff_allegedly_resulted_in_death/

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