Two men are standing trial in Upper Marlboro for the killing of a Howard University student. The student was killed in October 2011 as he walked to a friend's house in Mt. Rainier. Prosecutors believe he was shot by the suspects during the course of a robbery.
As a result, the men are on trial for first-degree murder charges. Prince George County authorities said opening arguments would begin Monday. These would be followed by the State's case against the men. In any criminal case, including this one, the accused then has the opportunity to present his criminal defense before closing arguments and the jury's deliberation.
Despite all the headlines about killings in the greater Maryland, Virginia and DC areas, a murder trial is relatively rare. In fact, criminal trials also are rare in relation to the number of criminal charges that are filed every day.
This is because those charged with a crime have time to evaluate their case and engage in plea negotiations with prosecutors. These negotiations can result in reduced charges or even in the dismissal of charges altogether. While a trial may ultimately reveal the truth, the truth also may get lost by the jury. In the end, it can be a risk, depending on the circumstances.
Local Upper Marlboro attorneys understand that risk and can help the accused evaluate whether to go to trial or accept a plea deal. These experienced criminal defense professionals are accustomed to gauging the potential results and potential penalties relating to different outcomes of criminal charges. This insight can help those charged with crimes determine the best course and, ultimately, avoid unnecessary penalties.
Source: WUSA9, "Michael Jordan and William Knight on trial for murder of Howard University student Alonzo Guyton," Jan, 6, 2014