Friday, August 31, 2007

Verdict In; Sentencing Phase Tuesday 9 a.m.

Around 3:40, after about 14 hours of deliberation over 2 days, the jury returned with its verdict:
Not Guilty on the 3rd-degree felony Hindering Apprehension
Guilty of the lesser-included Class A Misdemeanor Hindering Apprehension
Guilty of the 3rd-degree felony Tampering with Evidence

I'm virtually positive, but not entirely because I'm not a lawyer, that the Tampering w/Evidence conviction carries a sentence of 2 to 10 years, any amount of which could be probation instead. If the jury recommends probation, the judge must accept it.

The Class-A misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to a year, & is likely to be of no consequence because it would be rolled into the other sentence. (I guess it's technically possible they could recommend probation only on the felony count but recommend the year in jail for the misdemeanor.)

The sentencing phase begins Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., with witness testimony expected to last about an hour before the jury begins sentencing deliberations.

Before the verdict was read, Judge Flowers gave a strong warning that anyone who felt they wouldn't be able to contain their emotions at th announcement should leave the courtroom right then & there & someone would tell them the verdict outside ASAP. No one left, & there was nothing remotely close to an outburst when the verdict was read. The prosecution then requested that Hall's bond be revoked & that she be put in custody. The judge denied that.

The Cave family looked relieved & satisfied & hugged each other and the prosecutors before they left the courtroom. When the courtroom was fairly empty, Hall's mom cried. Laura sat by her boyfriend, who hugged her & rubbed her back, and she cried some, too.

I'm worn out now. I'll try to fill in some holes or answer questions later this weekend.


texasmom said...

We have now reduced ourself to judging a book by its cover? This was not a fashion show or do's & do not's of the court room. Although gruesome I agree, what proff that LH did this.

Bud said...

Obviously your connected to LH, so it must be hard to hear. That said remember the term "preponderance of evidence". In other words, to many people told the same thing on LH. There is a pattern and although she might now change her story - to many things point to her guilt. She is a very scary person and I lean towards hoping she gets the maximum time in jail, without parole. She is simply to dangerous. The way she talked about JC, was like a serial killer talks of her victims.

Iris said...

Just for the record, in criminal trials, the jurors must find that, based on the evidence, the defendant is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." This is a much higher burden than what's used in civil cases, "preponderance of the evidence", which I believe translates to "more likely than not."
--Iris (not a lawyer)

Bud said...

Good point Iris, should have said the overwhelming circumstantial evidence (ie: facts and circumstances surrounding a action from which the jury or trier of fact may infer other connected facts which reasonably follow). Guess I was just thinking most folks would understand it as a perponderance - but your right - perponderance is more of a civil term. Circumstantial is actually a higher standard, few people outside the legal profession catch that. Good call! LH's case did showed a great deal of circumstantial evidence and testimony.

Iris said...

Glad you didn't take it as a criticism, Bud. And, since you brought up "circumstantial evidence"... MANY, if not most criminal cases rely upon circumstantial evidence versus direst/eyewitness evidence.

I'm under the impression that lots of people have thought, "oh, phooey, that's only a circumstantial case"; but in reality, so many cases are made up of putting together "circumstantial" pieces of the puzzle. Especially because eyewitnesses are often not available and are certainly not always reliable, just by virtue of being human beings. Thanks.

texasmom said...

No connection to LH. Just a past battered woman that almost served time for a crime in which I did not commit. Although I did drive the car that took him out of state after he commited a simular crime as CP. Does that make me just a guilty as LH? Also I did not turn him in due to fear I would be next. After sitting i jail until trial I have realized the only crime I commited was against myself buy being "in love" and being in fear of my life.

katmom said...

Texasmom, I understand being in fear for your life and maybe I can understand NOT calling the police--in that moment--however, this girl has bragged about being a part of this, she's tormented family members of Jennifer, she still refuses to see what "all the fuss is" over Jennifer's death. She believes herself to be superior and above condemnation. If she were in fear for her life, why didn't she say something like, "Oh thank God you guys came and saved me from that Monster Colton!" to the US Marshall's after they hauled him off. She didn't say any such thing! She wasn't in fear for her life, she was pissed off because her "summer had been ruined" as she said on FaceBook. Your story is not her story. You may be a wonderful person who got wrapped up with a bad guy, these were two bad people who believe they are superior to others, especially Jennifer Cave. Remember, LH did say that this was a victimless crime and that statement says it all.