Illy Samuels broke into a house, and shot the homeowner. Homeowner stumbled out to his lawn. Homeowner told his neighbor, the suspect was a man. Homeowner died at the hospital. Samuels was arrested by police two blocks from the house.
At trial, the officer who stopped Samuels testified that he was given a description over the radio that the murder suspect was male; the officer never was at the scene or talked to the victim. Based on that description, the officer stopped Samuels (after stopping 5 other males). The officer said, he frisked Samuels (like all the other people he stopped) as a matter of protocol. He then found a gun in Samuels’ pant pocket and arrested him for murder. The bullet that hit the Homeowner was never found. It went clean through his midsection. No other evidence was found on Samuels.
Primarily based on the arresting officer’s testimony, Samuels was convicted of aggravated burglary and murder.
Discuss what you would do as Samuels’ defense attorney, in light of the of the levels of proof of reasonable suspicion, probable cause, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Make sure to define the levels of proof and when they are applicable.
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