When a person is murdered, the community in general is often desperate for answers and reassurance that a continuing threat does not exist. In turn, police and other officials are often just as desperate to provide answers, even if it means they must rush to make a judgment. Unfortunately, a young man in California is now left to contemplate his criminal defense after he was charged with murder following the death of a former high school classmate.

The victim, a 19-year-old male, was reportedly in town staying with family while on break from college. Reports indicate that a 20-year-old who was a former classmate picked him up from his home after the two communicated on social media. Police believe that the young man now accused of murder drove the alleged victim to a shopping center before taking him to a park.

The man charged with murder claims that the teeanger entered the woods at the park and never returned. He states that he then left to visit a girlfriend and then returned to the park but still did not see the teen who was reported missing the next day after he missed a dentist appointment. He was found in a grave in the park approximately a week after his disappearance. Although comments made by the district attorney indicate that there are many details missing — including a potential murder — reports claim that the defendant was connected to the scene through DNA evidence.

The criminal justice system can be overwhelming to anyone in California facing charges. This is likely especially true for someone so young with no legal experience. Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney can help the young man make the decisions that must be made in the coming days.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, “Former Classmate Charged With Murder in Stabbing Death of Pennsylvania Student“, Jonathan Lloyd, Jan. 18, 2018