While the investigation is still pending, police have already decided that a Springfield man lost his life to his live-in companion.
The police responded to the home of 45-year-old Joel Echols shortly before midnight on Friday. They found Mr. Echols suffering from various stab wounds.
Police responded to the Vinton Street home of 45-year-old Joel Echols shortly before midnight on Friday to find Echols suffering from multiple stab wounds in his chest. He was rushed to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where he was pronounced dead.
Police believe that there had been a domestic disturbance involving the Mr. Echols and his girlfriend/wife (this has not been established yet apparently). It is further believed that she won the argument by the deadly assault to his upper chest.
The companion, Beverly Caldwell, 41, has been arrested and charged with murder.
Throughout my many years in criminal practice, I have handled many of these cases. They are very tragic. Usually, you have two people who generally love each other and a very bad moment that effectively ends both their lives…or at least changes it dramatically.
The neighbors who were questioned in this matter were shocked. It is a quiet neighborhood. The people involved in the altercation were not thought of as trouble makers.
While state of mind can effect what level of homicide is charged, there is no “Look, he just pissed me off so much this time…” defense under the Massachusetts criminal law. Some form of homicide charges will be pursued.
“But what if it was a matter of self-defense?”
Often, this is the defense. However, a defense is all it is. It will not prevent the Commonwealth from bringing charges against you. They will let the judge or jury decide on the facts.
The bottom line here folks is that when a tragic thing like this happens, whatever the circumstances do not be deceived. Investigating officers who want to get a nice statement to hang you with will make all kinds of promises. They will make all kinds of statements indicating that they “understand” and they simply want to hear your side of things to “clear things up”.
Particularly at a time of tragedy, it is easier than ever to mislead people by telling them what they want to hear…particularly when they are in a desperate situation. To assume that the investigators simply sympathize with you and so would not try to trap you is similar to believing that Elvis has really been hiding all this time and will be returning to the stage shortly.
The officers are interested in building the case for the prosecutors.
As laid out last week, prosecutors prosecute.
It may not be the way it is supposed to be, but it is the way it is.
If you really want to improve your chances of getting a fair shot in seeing the light of day again (without looking through bars, that is), you want to get an experienced criminal defense attorney involved on your behalf as soon as possible.
Or even sooner.
If you want to talk to me about a case, feel free to call me at 617-493-3000.
To view the original story, please go to : http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2011/02/springfield_man_2.html