When prosecuting a case, the State will often attempt to introduce evidence of a motive or a scheme. There are limitations as to what is admissible, though, and if the State tries to submit evidence of other acts to the jury in an attempt to establish a defendant’s guilt, the defense can argue that it is prejudicial and should be precluded. Recently, Ellen K. Michaels of Ellen K. Michaels and Associates, PLLC, fought to prohibit the prosecution from introducing evidence of other crimes in a case in which the defendant is charged with first-degree murder, and her efforts were ultimately successful. If you are accused of murder or any other violent crime, it is advisable to speak to an assertive Michigan criminal defense attorney about your rights.
The History of the Case
Allegedly, the police were investigating the disappearance of the defendant’s co-worker, who, according to eyewitness reports, was last seen with the defendant. The police then obtained a warrant to search the defendant’s apartment and conducted an analysis that indicated the presence of DNA on the defendant’s carpet.
It is reported that the State then charged the defendant with the first-degree murder of the co-worker. Prior to trial, the prosecution moved to admit evidence that the defendant had previously strangled and attempted to rape another woman. The defense objected to the admission of other acts evidence, arguing the prosecution sought to introduce it to wrongfully demonstrate the defendant’s propensity to commit crimes. The trial court ruled in favor of the defense, and the prosecution appealed. Continue reading