Leave it to the good folks of Salem, MA, to find an original, if macabre, way out of a legal problem! Unfortunately, such bright ideas , when tried in the criminal justice system in lieu of just getting a good attorney, do not tend to meet with ultimate success.
Let’s take the case of Michael R., 42, (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). He was originally simply wanted on charges for the white collar crimes of forgery and counterfeiting . Now, he stands also accused of faking his own death to get out of his pending criminal woes.
According to law enforcement, his approach to Lady Justice included going to Salem District Court with what he represented to be a death certificate in his own name. Representing himself to be his brother ( hereinafter, “Brother”), the Defendant said that he ( the Defendant) had actually died the week before. A clerk put the certificate in the Defendant’s file, and the pending case against him was dismissed.
Unfortunately for the Defendant, he had also been on probation for other offenses, including drunk driving. When the probation officer learned of the dismissal and untimely death, he became somewhat intrigued given that he had just spoken with the Defendant alittle earlier and he seemed fine, not to mention alive.
Meanwhile, a fellow probation officer noticed that the death certificate listed the cause of the Defendant’s death as “cardio-respiratory” arrest. The officer, whose mother is a nurse, knew the term normally used is “cardiac-respiratory.” Upon further investigation, it was noticed that the certificate had no raised seal and was printed on the wrong kind of paper.
Additionally, “Saugus” was misspelled on the certificate, and the cemetery was spelled “Temple Isreal” instead of Israel.
Suspicions only grew when the listed cemetery was contacted. They confirmed that no one with the Defendant’s name was buried there.
To put the final nail in the coffin (sorry) of the Defendant’s apparent scheme, his roommate was questioned as to the Defendant’s existence. He explained that the Defendant had taken off in the roommate’s Jeep a few days ago. Further, the Defendant called said rommate on Monday promising to return the vehicle.
No evidence was released that indicates the call came from the afterlife.
Attorney Sam’s Take:
The Commonwealth, like most states, does not prosecute dead people. Even in places like Salem, where the dead are reputed to walk on certain occasions.
As I have often told you, the “self-help approach” to legal problems tends to be frowned upon. Trying to get out of criminal prosecution by defrauding the court is illegal and tends to be a pretty bad idea.
Because he will have been re-arrested for this little fraudulent act and being re-arrested while out on bail tends to bring that result. Further, this re-arrest will also trigger a probation violation hearing. Of course, there is also the matter of the new criminal charges against him.
Further, the Defendant has given the Commonwealth the gift of “consciousness of guilt” evidence to use at trial in the matter that had been pending.
Yesterday, we spoke of the Craigslist Killer and his apparent suicide as his trial date approached.
Wouldn’t it be simpler to just face trial with an experienced criminal defense attorney in whom you have faith rather than killing yourself , whether said homicide is actual or theoretical ?
If you are interested in discussing your case with me, why not make an appointment for a free initial consultation by simply calling 617-492-3000 before trying one of these more…original solutions?.
To view the original story upon which today’s blog was based, please go to http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/24645946/detail.html