In one of those cases that defies common sense, Defearious Cotton was arrested by the Clayton County Georgia Sheriff’s office in March. The Grio and 11Alive reported that Mr. Cotton had been arrested in 2017 on a misdemeanor charge and on traffic charges. At the time of the arrest, his gun was taken by the Sheriff’s office. Mr. Cotton received a probation sentence for the 2017 charges.
After the 2017 arrest, he became involved in a murder offense in a different county. For some reason known only to Mr. Cotton, he decided to ask to have his gun from the 2017 returned. Mr. Cotton would have been better off letting his desire to his gun back… uh, die. What he didn’t know is that the sheriff’s office was required to run a background check before returning any guns. When they ran the check, they learned there was an arrest warrant for Mr. Cotton.
Murder charges in Maryland
Of course, being charged with murder is normally no laughing matter. There is nothing worse for families than losing a loved one, and prosecutors place the highest priority on filing murder charges, seeking convictions, and demanding the maximum penalties in murder cases.
In Maryland, defendants can be charged with:
- Felony murder
- Vehicular manslaughter
- DUI manslaughter
- Second-degree homicide
- First-degree murder
Convictions for murder usually mean mandatory lengthy prison sentences. In first-degree murder cases, a conviction can mean a life sentence. Currently, Maryland does not have a death penalty for any crimes.
Experienced defense counsel assert all possible defenses.
Defendants do have rights. There’s the old saying that it’s better that 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man be convicted. Common defense strategies include:
- Seeking to have evidence excluded from trial because it violates the accused’s Constitutional rights. Police usually need a warrant to conduct searches. Defendants have the right not to give statements against their own interests.
- Holding the prosecution to its requirement that each element of their case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
- A thorough cross-examination of all witnesses. We’re not afraid to challenge the testimony of police officers and other government witnesses
- Investigating exactly what happened to determine if someone else may be responsible for the death or if there were extenuating circumstances. For example, someone who is charged with vehicular manslaughter may be able to show that the person who died was drunk and walked in front of their car.
- Self-defense. In some cases, such as a barroom brawl where the victim is killed by a punch, the defendant may be able to show that the person killed was the real attacker. There are other similar defenses that defendants may be able to use to show the blow or shot that caused someone to die was justified.
At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, we understand how frightening it is to be charged with murder. We immediately work to advise defendants about their rights including the right to be silent. We challenge every part of the government’s cases. I guide my clients through each stage of the trial process. To learn more about your rights and your defenses, if you are charged with any serious crime such as murder, call us today. Call 410.777.8103, or use my contact form to set up an appointment. We represent defendants in Maryland and have our office in Annapolis.
Just remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.