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Guilty verdict in Columbia murder case


A Columbia man was convicted of murder this week after a jury came to a guilty verdict in the case. He was accused of stabbing a man in his home after that man spoke with his girlfriend. The dead man's body was found across a yard on the steps of a nearby home. The accused man claimed he knew nothing about the murder.

There was DNA evidence tying a knife found in the accused man's home to the victim, but there was contradictory evidence that there was no blood found on the accused man's clothing from that night.


But what is perhaps most notable about the story is how the prosecutor conflated the accused man's behavior with being indicative of guilt. The prosecutor said "rather than acting like an innocent person would have, he's making all kinds of statements like, 'I don't know nothing about nothing.'"

Of course, if he were genuinely innocent, perhaps he wouldn't have known "nothing about nothing." Case law and the records of exonerated victims are full of cases where people accused of crimes "act like an innocent person" and the prosecution uses that behavior as an indication of their guilt.

They are characterized as being callous and showing no remorse, or of cleverly hiding their guilt behind protestations of innocence. In reality, once law enforcement has focused its efforts on an individual, the only "cooperation" they expect from the accused is a full and complete admission of guilt.

If you want to truly "help your case," once you are under investigation, stop speaking to the police and demand to speak with an attorney. Nothing you say to the police will "help your case," but it could help get you convicted.

Source: columbiatribune.com, "Jury delivers guilty verdict in central Columbia murder case," Alan Burdziak, October 1, 2015 

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