Laurel County Dad Arrested
Prosecutors expect a murder indictment to be handed down in the case of a Laurel County dad arrested and charged with the murder of his son. The child’s body was found inside the washing machine. The father claims to have searched for his son, but left the property without him.
Details are sketchy as to how a fire thereafter started. Some news reports indicate the father fell asleep and woke up to find the house on fire. The defendant’s mother wonders if the young boy could have accidentally set the fire, while the father was asleep.
As a Louisville criminal defense attorney, this could be a key way of positioning reasonable doubt. As tragic as it is, there’s only one side to this story. That side will be explained by the father via his attorney. Based on the evidence presented by the arson investigators and prosecutors, there could be reasons to doubt the father’s account. The grand jury will make its decision as to whether enough evidence exists as to whether there is probable cause to believe that criminal acts were committed and that this defendant committed them.
What Is a Grand Jury?
The grand jury is a panel of local citizens who will listen to the prosecution’s case, including the explanation of evidence and expert testimony. The defense attorney and the defendant are typically not present for this hearing. If the grand jury agrees that there’s enough evidence to support the prosecutor’s case, an indictment will be issued. This is an important step in a Kentucky criminal case.
Interestingly, if the grand jury does not believe enough evidence exists, the prosecution can come back several times as more facts become known.
The Laurel County dad arrested for murder and arson could potentially avoid a murder conviction if the grand jury finds reason to doubt the prosecution, although it is frequently said that since that the presentation of the case to the grand jury is such a one sided affair, most grand juries would indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutors asked them to do so. However, that isn’t likely in this case given what we already know. The grand jury is simply determining if enough evidence is there to support probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that this defendant committed it.
Once probable cause has been established, it will be up to the defense attorney who handles this murder case to argue why murder charges aren’t warranted in this particular situation. I’ve previously posted articles outlining the difference between murder and manslaughter. Obviously, a lot is riding on the skill of the defense attorney and his/her legal ability.