The Trial – Not Guilty!
M.T. just got 31 years of his life back because he was found not guilty. In an instant, after being found not guilty of the attempted murder of a witness in his brother’s murder investigation. After 5 days of testimony by the State’s witnesses. After a day of contentious questions to family members. Even after the witness identified my client as the shooter in open court. The jury was not convinced of the State’s case against him and returned a verdict of not guilty. A single witness identification? Police responded to the area almost instantly, my client nowhere to be found. With a strong alibi defense. Specifically, M.T. was attending his uncle’s funeral the day of the shooting.
The State presented a ballistic expert whose testimony was that the bullets fired were all fired from the same gun. The detectives took statements from M.T. and as any lawyer would say about their client, he talked too much. Still he was found not guilty because the jury was a Cook County jury. And as they saying goes, “ain’t no jury like a Cook County jury.” Comprised of 7 women and 5 men. Black, Mexican, Polish, Filipino, Indian and Asian. Old and young. Most importantly, a wonderfully diverse jury.
But still, you never truly know your jury until you hear the verdict. M.T. was facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and witness intimidation therefore, all class X felonies that carried sentences of 6-30 years in prison. On top of that, M.T. faced a sentencing enhancement because of the discharge of the firearm and the firearm causing serious bodily harm. Because of those conditions, M.T. was facing a minimum of 31 years in prison. As a 24 year old, M.T. had his best years ahead of him. A conviction would take all of that away. He wouldn’t be released until he was 55 years old.
The jury didn’t roll over and believe the State just because they made an arrest. The jury forced the prosecutors to present the evidence thereby proving they had M.T. as the one who shot their witness. The State could not. In the end, with prosecutors who were high-fiving each other and a judge who rolled his eyes after reading the “not guilty” verdict forms, the jury found M.T. not guilty and most importantly, sent M.T. back to his family.
Purav Bhatt is a criminal defense attorney practicing in Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties. He is located in Chicago, Illinois near most Chicago and suburban courthouses including: Markham, Bridgeview, Skokie, Maywood and Rolling Meadows.
If you or a loved on has been arrested for a criminal offense please contact Mr. Bhatt at 773-791-9682 to discuss your matter.