An interesting case is developing out of Grand County near Kremmling, as reported by Kevin Torres, where a couple is accused of abusing a corpse, tampering with evidence, and criminal trespass. Essentially, the story revolves around a couple who were in the forest when they came across an abandoned vehicle. As they were about to leave the vehicle, they saw two dead bodies, one of a boy and one of the boy’s father. The police suspect that the boy’s father killed his son and then killed himself.
The two people who came across the dead body were interviewed and made admissions to taking money from the bodies and sawing off the dead father’s fingers to take a gun out of the dead father’s hand. It is not clear from the article where the criminal trespass charge comes from but it is most likely from entering the van of the dead father to look for things of value.
This story is interesting because it raises a couple of unique defenses. First, one of the individuals, charged in this case, spoke with the media and told them that he did it because he had to. He was in the forest and he says that he might not have made it if he had not robbed the body because he was low on gas and it was cold. Essentially, this is a defense of necessity which is a great defense in certain circumstances. The problem with the defense of necessity is that you are admitting to having done everything that the prosecutor says you did. The benefit of necessity is that when it works, it is a complete defense, and you will be found not guilty.
In this particular case, necessity is a terrible defense. In order to establish the defense of necessity, one of the requirements is that you have not put yourself in the situation requiring the necessity. In this particular case, the individual did not suddenly find himself out in the forest on a cold night. He had put himself out in the forest. His own decisions placed him in a situation where he was running out of gas and needed to rob a dead body to get the money. As such, the defense will not hold up because it was his own purposeful decision that put him in the situation, thereby nullifying the necessity defense.
This case is also interesting because the person accused of the crime is making statements. It is NEVER a good idea to make statements to the police, reports, or anyone else when you are facing criminal charges. At this point, the person has admitted that he did everything that he was accused of and has attempted to justify it by using a defense that will not hold up in court. If he had an attorney by his side, this never would have happened. Now, he is stuck trying to use necessity as a defense and will end up losing his case unless there is a technicality in his case. He has also put himself in a situation where plea negotiations will be difficult because the prosecutor is in such a good position to win this case. This case highlights the importance of hiring the best criminal defense attorney available to you as early as possible in your case so that you do not end up making mistakes that could land you in jail.
The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.