I have specialized in complex criminal litigation since 1982, including Murder, Murder for Hire, Rape, Sex Offenses, Statutory Rape, Statutory Sex Offenses, Assaults, Robbery, Embezzlement, Larceny, Identity Theft and Credit Card related offenses. The key to succeeding in a criminal trial is to litigate every possible pre-trial motion and gain every possible advantage before the jury is selected. We focus on narrowing the issues and limiting the state's evidence to get the best result for our clients.
I entered private practice in 2005, after twenty five years as a prosecutor and six years as a law enforcement officer. I am a sole practitioner and share my building with two other attorneys who practice primarily family law. I have an experienced investigator to assist me in trial preparation.
I recently defended a young man who was prosecuted for first-degree murder. The state contended that he entered a birthday party and gunned down an acquaintance in front of thirty witnesses. Our defense team was able to convince the jury to return a verdict of manslaughter. This is how the media reported the case:
"A jury convicted 19-year-old Trevon Taylor of voluntary manslaughter late Friday afternoon in Rockingham County Superior Court. Taylor, of Eden, had been charged with the first-degree murder in the death of an Axton, Va. man three years ago. Taylor, who was 17 at the time, shot 22-year-old Dominique "Jemelle" McDaniel at McDaniel's 15-year-old sister's birthday party on Sept. 23, 2005. "It was supposed to be a night of celebration and fun," Prosecutor Julia Hejazi, Rockingham County's chief assistant district attorney, told the jurors. The celebratory night turned tragic when Taylor entered the Boone Road Community Center, pulled out a gun and shot McDaniel in the heart, Hejazi recounted.
The jury deliberated all day Friday before deciding to convict Taylor of voluntary manslaughter, commonly defined as "an intentional killing in which the offender had no prior intent to kill." First and second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter were the conviction choices that appeared on the jurors' ballot.
"We're not asking you to consider 'not guilty,'" defense attorney Richard Panosh told the jurors in his final statement Thursday afternoon. "My client tells you that what he did that night was wrong, that what he did was criminal. Although Trevon's ready to accept responsibility for his actions, he asks that you convict him for what he did, and what he did that night was voluntary manslaughter." "Trevon maintains to you that what he did was an act in self-defense. He thought Mr. McDaniel had a gun," Panosh told the jurors. Panosh said McDaniel went back into the community center to check on his younger brother Quincy because he heard someone angrily yelling his brother's name. When Taylor walked back into the building, McDaniel was "charging at him," and Taylor acted in self defense, believing his life was in danger, Panosh maintained. Panosh told jurors Taylor was afraid of McDaniel because of hostile encounters he had had with him in the past, including a verbal argument the two had had at McDaniel's sister's birthday party just minutes before Taylor re-entered the building and shot McDaniel.
Julia Hejazi, Rockingham County's chief assistant district attorney argued that Taylor had time to premeditate killing McDaniel from the time he left the birthday party and the time he re-entered the party and shot McDaniel. She also maintained that McDaniel was unarmed when Taylor shot him.
In 2010, I also defended Stacey Webster. Stacey was accused of the first degree murder of Jonathan Lanier Blackwell, who disappeared on October 7, 2004 and was found buried in Guilford County on October 16, 2004. In December of 2006, Stacey was charged with the murder of Mr. Blackwell.
Our defense team was able to convince the state to reduce the case to second degree murder, thereby avoiding the possibility of a death penalty sentence and limited negotiate a sentence of 197 months in prison, with credit for his 1,830 days served while awaiting trial.
1701 South Scales Street
Reidsville NC 27320
All initial consultations are free.
Our initial consultation is free. At the conclusion of the consultation, I can provide the client with an accurate projection of the costs of the litigation and the options available for paying for my legal services.
If applicable, $150 per hour, plus costs. Most cases are billed at a flat rate, depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of time necessary for trial.
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
All calls are forwarded after hours; leave a message any time.
More than thirty years of experience in the criminal justice system.
I provide free consultations to assist a potential client understand the risks, the legal issues and the impact of a conviction on that client's life.
I would be glad to review any client's documents and explain them without charge, during our initial consultation.
During our initial consultation I will be glad to explain the trial process and the risks that any criminal defendant takes when he decides to represent himself.
I spent twenty five years as a prosecutor in Rockingham and Guilford Counties, specializing in felony prosecution. Prior to that, I was involved in the criminal justice system as a law enforcement officer for six years, and as a technician for the FBI. for one year.
I spent twenty five years as a prosecutor in Rockingham and Guilford Counties, specializing in felony prosecution. Prior to that I was involved in the criminal justice system as a law enforcement officer for six years and as a technician for the F.B.I. for one year. I know the criminal justice system at all levels.
I know people.
I understand my clients' needs, weaknesses and strengths. That allows me to present them to a jury or the court in the best possible light.
I can establish a rapport with jurors, which allows me to select the best possible jurors, and relate to them individually during my arguments. In a criminal trial, if you can convince one juror of your position you almost always prevail.
I know the judges backgrounds and particular views on the law. In order to prevail you must know how to convince the judge to give you a level playing field.
I understand the motivation and needs of a prosecutor. Understanding your opponent is the first step to winning.
I enjoy boating, fishing, gardening, woodworking and generally making a mess in my garage.
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