This past November (2013), David Nenner secured an acquittal for a client who was accused of shooting two victims at a bar in North Philadelphia.
In this case, there were two victims: a 19 year old female and her boyfriend. The female was shot 7 to 8 times in an attempt to eliminate her as a witness to her boyfriend’s shooting which occurred outside the bar. The boyfriend ran from the scene after suffering multiple gun shots.
The DA claimed that Mr. Nenner’s client and his friend committed the shooting. Mr. Nenner’s client had been playing pool with the female victim prior to the ambush.
The DA presented a theory that the motive for the shooting arose out of an old dispute over a drug corner between a cousin of Mr. Nenner’s client and the boyfriend-victim. The dispute was alleged to have occurred several years earlier.
On the night of the shooting, it was clear that the two victims were drunk. Mr. Nenner was able to present evidence that the boyfriend had been shot multiple times, both before and after this shooting by drug dealer competitors, therefore casting doubt on the identity of the shooter. In other words, since the boyfriend was a drug dealer and had been shot at before, the shooter could have been someone else.
In addition, the female victim/girlfriend was unable to identify Mr. Nenner’s client in a lineup conducted over a year after the shooting. As a result of the victim’s faulty identification at the lineup, in addition to Mr. Nenner’s effective cross examination during trial, Mr. Nenner’s client was acquitted.
Lineup Issues in this Recent Attempted Murder Trial
How is a lineup ordered?
A lineup is a procedure that may be ordered by the judge presiding over the preliminary hearing. Lineups are often ordered when there are factual issues related to witness identification of the defendant. It is within the court’s discretion to order a lineup. This means that it is entirely up to the judge to order a lineup or not.
What is a lineup?
Depending on the sex of the person charged with the crime, there are 8 males/females in the lineup. Those individuals are supposed to look similar to defendant.
Lineups occur at the prison and are conducted by a detective who only does lineups. The lawyers for each side and the defendant are present. The defendant and his lawyer pick 7 other people to be included in the procedure.
In this criminal case, it was dark out during a freezing night in January, when the shooting occurred. Also, the female victim had been drinking and was originally approached by her assailant from behind. Although she had played pool at the bar with Mr. Nenner’s client for about a half hour, she failed to mention a key detail: facial hair which Mr. Nenner’s client had on the night of the shooting. He had a thin mustache and beard.
During the interview and investigation, the female victim failed to mention this key detail. Therefore, at the preliminary hearing, the judge ordered a lineup. At the lineup, the victim failed to identify Mr. Nenner’s client. In fact, she failed to identify anyone as the shooter in the lineup. Therefore, at trial, a jury found Mr. Nenner’s client not guilty.
Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer – Specializing in Murder, Guns & Drug Cases. FREE INITIAL CONSULTATIONS
If you or a loved one was charged with murder or attempted murder in Philadelphia, you owe it to yourself to hire an experienced defense attorney. David Nenner has been trying criminal cases in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties for nearly 25 years. Call (215) 564-0644 for a free consultation.