Gang Enhancements in 5 Defendant Murder Case Dismissed at Preliminary Hearing

May 2019

Michael’s client was charged with accessory after the fact to Murder following a shooting at a strip club.  This particular shooting was a spontaneous shooting of a known gang member by another gang member.  However, our client did not know the shooter or the victim and is accused of assisting a 3rd party in concealing evidence.  In addition to the underlying charge, the District Attorney further alleged that the offense was committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang making it a serious felony (strike offense) that requires mandatory state prison.  During the preliminary hearing, the DA elicited testimony from two different gang experts to support their theory that this was a gang related offense and the enhancement should apply to all 5 defendants.   During cross-examination of one of the gang experts, Michael elicited testimony confirming it would be counterproductive for his client to assist a rival gang member in concealing a murder committed against another rival gang member.  More specifically, the gang expert acknowledged such assistance could bring violence upon the gang assisting the rival.   The court agreed and dismissed the gang enhancement against our client making him probation eligible.

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