Saturday, June 13, 2009

Habeus Corpus For Bradshaw?

I don't know what to make of that guy in McKinleyville being arrested for the murder of his wife even though they can't confirm her death. Not that they actually need a body to convict him, but they do need some corroborating evidence. Do they have any?

No way of knowing from what's been in the papers but, circumstantially, his case doesn't look good. Still, I wonder if the Sheriff and District Attorney's Office jumped the gun in this case?


At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happens when CHP says there's no evidence of gross murderingness?
Will the charges be "reassessed"

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Fred said...

As I mentioned on Rose's blog, I'm wondering if they might be trying to pull off a Curtiz Huntzinger type deal: Scare him, then try and get him to confess to greatly reduced charges?

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummmm, that's called a virtually every case the
DA files type deal. Gunderson? The guy they just convicted for stealing clothes whom they charged with molesting a kid and then said in open court "just because there's no evidence doesn't mean it didn't happen"? To name a couple.

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, the legal meaning of habeas corpus isn't what you think it is. There is no unlawful detention. He's been arrested and is being processed through the legal system. Humboldt's pink house isn't gitmo. In America we are still allowed to process people according to the rule of law, not forced to let people go free just because they don't want to be arrested or detained for trial.

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Fred, the legal meaning of habeas corpus isn't what you think it is.

It might not be what you think it is, either. Part of the process of the rule of law involves government having to prove lawful reason to arrest someone: Habeus Corpus.

He has certainly been arrested, but they'll have to present evidence in court that they have reason to believe he committed a crime. The prosecution will have to come up with evidence of that crime. I'm not sure that they have any evidence, other than circumstantial.

I would think the guy's attorney will file a habeus corpus motion. If the prosecution can't come up with some pretty solid reasons for holding him, the guy might walk.

If the judge rules they have enough evidence to hold him, and they follow through and try him on the murder charge with scant evidence, if the jury rules Not Guilty, they can't charge him again for murder as it would be double jeopardy.

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya mean "corpus delicti"?
Body of the crime?

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Well, in a way. The defendant has the right to appear before the judge (habeus corpus) where the State must prove he committed a crime by proving corpus delecti or evidence of the crime.

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story says that he was arrested on a warrant, which means that a judge reviewed the police reports and decided there was probable cause to arrest him, for what that's worth. Same judge set the bail at a million. A petition for a writ of Habeas would be an unusual move procedurally at this point. He has a right to a prelim in 10 court days, anyone think PVG will be ready for that? No-corpse homicides are certainly triable (there was one in Lake County a couple years ago, but they had eyewitnesses to the murder) but the first hurdle in a case like this is proving the alleged victim is dead. Thousands of people go missing in the US every year, if she only disappeared in January, how you gonna prove that she just didn't go walkabout because her marriage was awful, or something like that. Unless they turned up something (bloody clothing, traces in his car, a hacksaw with her tissue and blood on it, stuff like that) then it's a tough sell. Fred, btw, circumstantial evidence is sometimes better then direct evidence - how many guys have been put on Death Row by eyewitnesses only to be released when DNA exonerates them?

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Fred said...

the first hurdle in a case like this is proving the alleged victim is dead".

And I can't help wonder if his attorney will be looking up that retired detective that does all the cold missing person cases. I'm sure he, or some of the other cops, must have found a few people years after they intentionally disappeared. That would certainly bring doubt into a juries mind if they don't have any hard evidence.

No word, so far, as to any hard evidence they found. Maybe they're keeping a lid on any evidence they have but they are required to advise the defense of all witnesses and evidence they have. I'd like to think we'll hear a summary of at least some of the evidence at the preliminary hearing. Then again, maybe not.

As far as the judge signing an arrest warrant, I can't help but wonder if he just figures the circumstantial evidence is damning enough by itself. Heck, to me it looks awful, especially changing his story so many times about his wife's whereabouts. But, the question remains, is that enough to convict?

Should it be enough to convict? I'm not so sure.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I suppose I should also ask, is that enough to warrant an arrest? I'm not sure.


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