Local Upper Marlboro officials indicted a man this past week for seeking to have a witness in his upcoming manslaughter trial killed. According to reports, a Fort Washington man, awaiting trial in connection with a police chase that left an officer dead, sent a letter from jail soliciting a hit on one of the expected witnesses. The target already testified against the accused in a previous mistrial.
The man's retrial is scheduled for next month. Prince George County prosecutors have suggested that they will consolidate the witness retaliation charge with the other charges. As a result, the man's criminal defense strategy for trial will need to be readjusted to account for this new charge.
This scenario is not uncommon. Prosecutors try to gather as much evidence and bring as many charges against an accused as possible. This process, importantly, does not stop upon an arrest. Rather, authorities will continue to investigate a suspect and bring additional charges after the primary arrest.
Given the nature of this process, with all its pitfalls and potential for significantly prejudicing an accused's rights, suspects are strongly encouraged to get counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney. These attorneys not only help attack the authorities' theory for an underlying offense but will also ensure that an accused avoids additional charges leading up to their trial.
Their expertise has been applied over and over to avoid unnecessary charges which will eventually harm plea negotiations and result in higher penalties for the accused. The help of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be vital to protecting one's freedom and ensuring that past mistakes are not compounded.
Source: CBS DC, "Man Facing Trial IN Cop's Death Charged With Witness Retaliation," May 9, 2014