A company that operates a chain of drug and alcohol addiction centers in California and various parts of the United States has filed several pleadings seeking to dismiss the second-degree murder charge against five of its current and former employees. The pleadings stem from charges filed by the Riverside County attorney general, for the alleged mistreatment of an alcoholic who died in one of the company’s treatment centers.

Alleged Cause of Death

Government investigators maintain that the accused personnel failed to provide an oxygen tank for the patient who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema. In their murder defense, the accused employees maintained that they offered to fill the patient’s tank twice but that the patient did not let them.

Other Factors Raised as Criminal Defenses

  • The failure of the prosecution to call the coroner who ruled that the incident was a natural death, inconsistent with the findings of intentional death
  • Prosecution’s presentation of inadmissible evidence
  • Second degree murder

In California, prosecutors may charge a person for either first-degree or second-degree murder in relation to a killing. First-degree murder is generally defined as the willful killing of a human being by another.

The presence of circumstances such as premeditation, use of weapons of mass destruction, or the commission of another felony during the killing, can lead to a charge of first-degree murder. Anything that does not fall under first-degree murder may be charged as second-degree murder.

Punishment for Murder

Facing a murder charge, whether first-degree or second-degree, is a serious situation. Both carry heavy penalties such as life imprisonment although if convicted of second-degree murder, there is the possibility of parole.

If you are charged with murder, it’s important to seek legal counsel immediately. A criminal defense attorney can examine your case, weigh the evidence against you, and take concrete steps to protect your rights.

In Los Angeles, California, the Kestenbaum Law Group has years of proven experience in murder defense cases, obtaining dismissals of, or reducing, charges for clients. As a former prosecutor, lawyer David Kestenbaum has the added advantage of anticipating the prosecution’s legal moves and of creating a strong defense strategy for clients.

Our firm has a network of experts such as investigators, psychiatrists, and psychologists, who can testify in your defense. We invite you to call our attorneys at (818) 616-4312 and talk to us about your situation.