Grand jury dropping charges? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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MrsKitty
01-14-2012, 12:09
In this case, a spouse was charged with murder, arrest warrants issued and served, suspect posted a very small bond (absolutely no flight risk nor priors). Later, it went before a grand jury (in less than a week from the time of the death) and all charges were dropped.

Also worth mentioning, instead of calling the cops or for help immediately, the suspect's former spouse (and the desceased's business partner who held multi-million dollar life insurance policies naming him as the sole benificiary) was called and once they arrived, they secured legal counsel and waited hours to notify the police. The defense attorney was actually the one who called the police.

collim1
01-14-2012, 12:15
I am not a fan of grand juries at all. My jurisdiction does a quarterly GJ for every single felony charge.

There may be more to it than you know at this point. It does not mean that they cannot refile charges if/when more evidence arises.

In real life, unlike TV, crime scene evidence can take 6mos+ to process.

They may have jumped the gun filing charges so quickly and are now waiting for more damning evidence.

Line Rider
01-14-2012, 12:16
Was the case found to have "no true bill" or ""no billed" ?

MrsKitty
01-14-2012, 12:22
Was the case found to have "no true bill" or ""no billed" ?

I'm not sure. The only thing I can find out is "grand jury dropped the charge" a few days later. This was not recent.

There is one person who might know. I'll update when I get their answer.

It's just an older case I find interesting. :)

Pepper45
01-14-2012, 16:24
Interesting. Here, every felony is presented to a grand jury. No arrest warrant can be secured without them. A person can be arrested on probable cause, and if held in jail, a grand jury must hear the case within 5 days, or the person is released. The case cannot proceed until a verdict of "true bill" has been issued.

Patchman
01-14-2012, 17:20
Oh how I wish I was the named beneficiary of anybody's multi-million $$$ life insurance policy.

Mayhem like Me
01-14-2012, 17:36
I'm not sure. The only thing I can find out is "grand jury dropped the charge" a few days later. This was not recent.

There is one person who might know. I'll update when I get their answer.

It's just an older case I find interesting. :)

Grand Jury can only "true bill"" indict

or Non True bill. Refuse to indict..

The good thing is if evidence come up in the future then can Indict at another time

This tells me the prosecutions case was very weak maybe not even to the level of good probable cause..

If a DA can't get a Grand Jury Indictment they either are Inept, in on it, or there just is no case.

larry_minn
01-14-2012, 18:02
Oh how I wish I was the named beneficiary of anybody's multi-million $$$ life insurance policy.

Far as I know you CAN take out a life insurance policy on another person. How much will decide if they need to take a medical exam. Far as I know the person being insured does not even have to know.

So find a "dead pool" and insure the most likely. (just make sure you are nowhere in area) :)

ateamer
01-14-2012, 18:49
In the mid -90s, California brought back grand jury indictments. They can be used to replace the preliminary examination in felony cases. A prelim determines if there is enough to go to trial; the standard of proof at a prelim is strong suspicion (for non-LE types, that is a higher standard than probable cause). Grand juries are rarely used because of the logistics involved. It's cumbersome, takes longer than a prelim and takes more preparation by the DA. A prelim pretty much always makes more sense.


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razdog76
01-14-2012, 21:38
The prosecutor may have dropped the charge to prevent the GJ from giving it a no bill, and requested follow up from the investigating officer(s).

MrsKitty
01-14-2012, 21:50
The prosecutor may have dropped the charge to prevent the GJ from giving it a no bill, and requested follow up from the investigating officer(s).

In this case, I don't think so as the DA himself said that the GJ dropped it.

I'm still waiting for an answer about the true bill/no bill question.

razdog76
01-14-2012, 21:58
In this case, I don't think so as the DA himself said that the GJ dropped it.

I'm still waiting for an answer about the true bill/no bill question.

Every once in a while, there are an exceptional percentage of goofy people in a GJ. The only no bill I have had in 15 years involved a trailer park manager that broke into a shed, and stole a bunch of tools. The victims noticed he was using the tools.

The GJ no billed it because they wanted to know if the park manager had something in the lease allowing him to enter the victim's shed.:faint:

It is hard to say without knowing all the details.

MrsKitty
01-14-2012, 21:59
In the mid -90s, California brought back grand jury indictments. They can be used to replace the preliminary examination in felony cases. A prelim determines if there is enough to go to trial; the standard of proof at a prelim is strong suspicion (for non-LE types, that is a higher standard than probable cause). Grand juries are rarely used because of the logistics involved. It's cumbersome, takes longer than a prelim and takes more preparation by the DA. A prelim pretty much always makes more sense.


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Yeah, and it's also a much simpler process, too. Since it's not done in "secrecy" it's also better from a media/public perspective, too.

I have an extensive background in CJC but there's no one I can really ask about this particular case because it was in a different state over 30 years ago (I know procedure has changed since then) and there's enough speculation around the case that those who do know of it won't comment.

I just haven't heard of a grand jury "dropping" charges before. I know they don't always indict but since the perp was already charged and arrested then posted bail, I thought it would be past the grand jury process.

MrsKitty
01-14-2012, 22:01
Every once in a while, there are an exceptional percentage of goofy people in a GJ. The only no bill I have had in 15 years involved a trailer park manager that broke into a shed, and stole a bunch of tools. The victims noticed he was using the tools.

The GJ no billed it because they wanted to know if the park manager had something in the lease allowing him to enter the victim's shed.:faint:

It is hard to say without knowing all the details.

There's several of us who would give anything to know those details. :)

Sometimes all you can do is look at a (grand) jury's actions and just say "WTF?!!?"

scottydl
01-14-2012, 23:51
Interesting. Here, every felony is presented to a grand jury. No arrest warrant can be secured without them. A person can be arrested on probable cause, and if held in jail, a grand jury must hear the case within 5 days, or the person is released. The case cannot proceed until a verdict of "true bill" has been issued.

Similar for my area, except warrants can be issued without GJ first. But for the prosecution to go forward beyond the initial PC from the SAO/judge, the GJ must indict on true bill. I've probably testified in 30-40 GJ sessions, and honestly if the group did NOT indict I would blame the prosecutor presenting the case. Our SAO would always have case summaries tied up with a neat little bow, so the GJ decision was pretty much guaranteed. Just a legal formality.

merlynusn
01-15-2012, 12:28
Ours is done differently. We have GJ scheduled every week and you appear when you have a felony case that needs to be heard (the DA's office schedules your appearance). We can get warrants and arrest for felonies without the indictment. The case does not go forward until the GJ issues a true bill. You can also get the indictment without getting a warrant if you want to present it to the GJ first.

We testify in front of the GJ. The DAs don't. There is someone from the DA's Office there. But we testify and give the case synopsis. They then ask us any questions they have. We leave with either a true bill or no true bill.

scottydl
01-15-2012, 13:15
We testify in front of the GJ. The DAs don't. There is someone from the DA's Office there. But we testify and give the case synopsis. They then ask us any questions they have. We leave with either a true bill or no true bill.

Ours is done the same way... but by the "neat little bow" comment, I meant that our SA/DA's pretty much ask us as many "yes" or "no" questions as possible. Makes it easy. We still answer questions that are posed by any GJ member, but they are rare.

DaBigBR
01-15-2012, 15:20
I love living in a place that makes sense.

Grand jury is an option, but 99%+ of all indictable offenses (> simple misdemeanor) are handled by trial information and 99%+ waive the preliminary hearing. No grand jury BS, no prelims, just a trial information filed by the prosecutor.

Tvov
01-15-2012, 18:53
In this case, a spouse was charged with murder, arrest warrants issued and served, suspect posted a very small bond (absolutely no flight risk nor priors). Later, it went before a grand jury (in less than a week from the time of the death) and all charges were dropped.

Also worth mentioning, instead of calling the cops or for help immediately, the suspect's former spouse (and the desceased's business partner who held multi-million dollar life insurance policies naming him as the sole benificiary) was called and once they arrived, they secured legal counsel and waited hours to notify the police. The defense attorney was actually the one who called the police.

This sounds familiar. Did it happen in Connecticut? or at least New England?

collim1
01-15-2012, 19:23
I love living in a place that makes sense.

Grand jury is an option, but 99%+ of all indictable offenses (> simple misdemeanor) are handled by trial information and 99%+ waive the preliminary hearing. No grand jury BS, no prelims, just a trial information filed by the prosecutor.

We can make an arrest and book, but EVERY felony in our county goes to grand jury before it sees court.

In my state it is the DA's choice. Ours chooses to use a GJ.

MrsKitty
01-16-2012, 08:41
This sounds familiar. Did it happen in Connecticut? or at least New England?

No, it was in Virginia.

The suspect told them they did it but said the victim was falling down drunk. Less than 30 minutes prior, the victim had spent a good while talking to a LEO at a gas station who said the deceased was not intoxicated and did not smell of alcohol. No toxicology tests were run nor was an autopsy performed. Body was buried within 24 hours of death.

MrsKitty
01-16-2012, 11:15
I just found out what happened. The charges were not dropped. The person was tried for murder1 and found guilty of defensive manslaughter. Received probation.

That's a hell of a lot different than I've been told the last 36 years. :fist:

CJStudent
01-16-2012, 11:24
I just found out what happened. The charges were not dropped. The person was tried for murder1 and found guilty of defensive manslaughter. Received probation.

That's a hell of a lot different than I've been told the last 36 years. :fist:

:rofl: Gotta love how word of mouth works!

Dukeboy01
01-16-2012, 12:58
Every once in a while, there are an exceptional percentage of goofy people in a GJ. The only no bill I have had in 15 years involved a trailer park manager that broke into a shed, and stole a bunch of tools. The victims noticed he was using the tools.

The GJ no billed it because they wanted to know if the park manager had something in the lease allowing him to enter the victim's shed.:faint:

It is hard to say without knowing all the details.

I think this happens everywhere. Our Grand Jurys sit for a month. About once a year we get one so stacked with goofballs that the prosecutors start holding complicated and/ or important cases until the next month rather than take a chance with the goofs. After the first week of a new GJ you can usually tell if they are normal people or if the room is stacked with clowns. Actually, it's usually just one or two dedicated clowns, but they manage to warp the others pretty quickly.

That old saw about a good prosecutor being able to indict a ham sandwich is generally true, but definitely not 100% guaranteed. Sometimes you get a room full of nuts.

MrsKitty
01-16-2012, 13:12
:rofl: Gotta love how word of mouth works!

Wasn't word of mouth as much as denial of events by the one spreading this BS.