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Orange County, CA Criminal Defense Law Blog

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Evidence Goes Missing in California Murder Case

When errors occur during the legal process, an attorney can help identify and defend your rights

When you are charged with a crime, it’s natural to feel that a conviction is almost inevitable. After all, police officers and prosecutors already had enough information to make an arrest, so they’ll probably succeed in using that information and additional information obtained in their investigation to get your charges to stick. Right?

But, law enforcement officials sometimes fail to build a case strong enough to lead to a conviction. Sometimes, the evidence must be tossed out because it was obtained illegally. At other times, the evidence simply isn’t as strong as it seemed, and the case is dismissed. And sometimes, shocking procedural errors occur that potentially jeopardize the accused’s rights.

Such may have been the situation in a murder case being handled in Oregon against defendants David Pedersen and Holly Ann Grisby. The couple was charged in 2011 with four murders that occurred in California and Oregon; they were incarcerated as prosecutors and investigators gathered evidence against them in preparation for trial. However, the evidence never materialized.

A specialist with the U.S. Attorney’s Office grew frustrated with the slow progression of the case and how long it was taking to obtain evidence, so she visited the office of an Oregon police detective involved the case. During the visit, the specialist found:

  • “Whole boxes” of original evidence that sat untouched for nine months,
  • Recordings of jail phone calls that may have jeopardized the defendants’ attorney/client privilege, possibly rendering them invalid,
  • Notes indicating that the police detective in possession of the evidence knew that retaining the evidence was a serious and ongoing procedural error.

Defense attorneys were ready to respond to the errors, claiming that the government acted in bad faith and violated at least one of the defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights. These alleged errors have the potential to completely turn the case around, as defense attorneys will ask that the senior U.S. district judge dismiss the murder charges along with 14 other charges.

This case illustrates that, when criminal charges are filed, it’s important work with a skilled defense attorney who can capitalize on defense opportunities as they arise. Mark Raymond McDonald of Orange and San Bernardino, California, is a former deputy district attorney with more than 20 years of criminal defense legal experience and can provide knowledgeable and strategic assistance following any criminal charge. To contact The Law Offices of Mark Raymond McDonald, call 888-686-7874.

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Previous Posts

Man Could Go To Prison For Death of Wife 20 Years Ago

You Could Lose Your License For DUI Arrest, Even If Not Convicted

Rapper Arrested in Orange County, California on Gun Charges

Further Changes to California’s Three Strikes Law

Change in California Criminal Law Likely to Reduce Deportations

Convicted Embezzler Receives Light Sentence Over Prosecution Objections

Lab Error in Methamphetamine Testing

New Mental Health Law Proposed After Tragedy in Isla Vista

Crowd Sourcing Law Enforcement - Can It Result in Criminal Charges against Innocent Parties?

Understanding California’s Implied Consent Law

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Archived Posts

2014
September
August
Rapper Arrested in Orange County, California on Gun Charges
Further Changes to California’s Three Strikes Law
July
Change in California Criminal Law Likely to Reduce Deportations
Convicted Embezzler Receives Light Sentence Over Prosecution Objections
June
Lab Error in Methamphetamine Testing
New Mental Health Law Proposed After Tragedy in Isla Vista
May
Crowd Sourcing Law Enforcement - Can It Result in Criminal Charges against Innocent Parties?
Understanding California’s Implied Consent Law
April
March
The Impact of Additional Charges On a California Murder Case
"DUI" May Be a Matter of Opinion
February
Alternative Sentencing Options in the Orange County Area
Warrantless Cell Phone Data Searches: A Violation of the Fourth Amendment?
January
California Lawmaker Seeks Ban on 'Affluenza' Defense
Challenging the Accuracy of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Test Results
2013
December
California Supreme Court Deals a Blow to DUI Defense
Guns and Weapons Charges in Orange County
November
October
Domestic Violence in California
An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney can Help you Through the Toughest Situations
September
California Lawmaker Supports U.S. Attorney General’s Stance on Drug Crime Reform
Irvine Murder Investigation Reopened
August
2012 “Crime in California” Report Just Released. What Does the Information Mean to Offenders?
Child Pornography and Child Molestation Charges and Sentencing
Nationwide Sting Highlights Law Enforcement Officials’ Focus on Sex Crimes
Motions: Paving the Way to Defense Victory
Sex Crime Charges in California: What Can You Expect Following a Conviction?
The New Three Strikes Law
Probation, Parole and Ankle Bracelets: What Does the Future of Electronic Monitoring Look Like?
July


The Law Offices of Mark Raymond McDonald serves clients in Santa Ana, Irvine and throughout Orange County, California.



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