Murder & Homicide

Strong Defense Against Murder And Homicide Charges

There is no way to describe the impact that a conviction for murder, homicide or manslaughter will have on you and your family. In capital cases, you could face the death penalty. In other cases, you could spend the rest of your life in prison. Being charged with murder is a harsh reality that you must address immediately with the assistance of a knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Although the charges against you are extremely serious, you should not give up hope. With a skilled advocate on your side, you can fight for your life and your freedom. With offices in Lancaster and Athens, I have successfully tried murder cases throughout Ohio. Every case is unique, but I understand how to create a strategic defense and how to present cases to judges and juries. As your attorney, I will stand by you all the way and utilize every legal means of defense.

Uniquely Qualified

I am uniquely qualified to successfully handle murder cases. I am certified by the Ohio Supreme Court as lead counsel in death penalty cases. I am qualified by the Supreme Court in terms of both skill and experience. (Qualifications for Death Penalty Lead Counsel Certification.)

Murders are unique among crimes in that the primary witness is usually the victim, so the story of "Who, What and How" has to be told through the forensic evidence. I have developed strategies and methods to effectively tell my client's story. I have a Ph.D. in criminology, a strong background in forensics and more than 20 years of experience handling these matters.

Success in most murder and homicide cases turns on interpretation of the forensic and physical evidence: DNA, fingerprints, toxicology, autopsy, blood splatter and other types of forensic evidence. I have been successful in many cases due to my understanding and interpretation of the forensic evidence.

Investigation And Expert Analysis

Preparing for a murder case requires an investigation that includes collecting and examining evidence, locating and interviewing witnesses, and working with experts. I have extensive experience with forensic evidence such as DNA, fingerprints, ballistics, shoe and tire tread impressions, and autopsy reports. When appropriate, I also work with experts in these fields as well as in psychology and psychiatry. Some cases benefit from expert opinions concerning temporary insanity, sudden heat of passion and psychological mitigation.

Examining the evidence has multiple purposes. It may reveal a client's innocence. It can also show that police procedure was not properly followed and that the evidence is not admissible. Suppression of evidence can result in the reduction or dismissal of the charges.

An Experienced Lancaster Murder Defense Attorney

I can represent you if you are facing homicide charges such as:

  • Murder
  • Capital murder with death penalty specifications
  • Reckless homicide and negligent homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Shaken baby charges
  • Aggravated vehicular homicide

Because you could be facing life in prison or the death penalty, your lawyer must have the skill to fight the prosecution and the experience to know when a trial is the right move. After investigating the case and examining the prosecution's evidence, I will discuss your options with you, explaining the potential risks and benefits of going to trial.

Qualifications For Appointment As Counsel In Capital Cases

I am qualified by the Ohio Supreme Court as lead counsel in death penalty cases. In order to obtain lead counsel designation, the Supreme Court requires that an attorney possess all of the following qualifications:

"(1) Admission to the practice of law in Ohio or admission to practice pro hac vice;

(2) Demonstrated commitment to providing high quality legal representation in the defense of capital cases;

(3) Substantial knowledge and understanding of the relevant state, federal, and international law, both procedural and substantive, governing capital cases;

(4) Skill in the management and conduct of complex negotiations and litigation;

(5) Skill in legal research, analysis, and the drafting of litigation documents;

(6) Skill in oral advocacy;

(7) Skill in the use of expert witnesses and familiarity with common areas of forensic investigation, including fingerprints, ballistics, arson, forensic pathology, and DNA evidence;

(8) Skill in the investigation, preparation, and presentation of evidence bearing upon mental status;

(9) Skill in the investigation, preparation, and presentation of mitigating evidence;

(10) Skill in the elements of trial advocacy, such as jury selection, cross-examination of witnesses, and opening and closing statements." Ohio Supreme Court Rules of Court App.Coun.R.3.01