Two Brothers Arrested in 25-Year-Old Michigan Murder Case

July 15, 2014
by The Law Office of Steven L. Schwartz

Old Melbourne Gaol

Michigan police recently arrested two brothers for their alleged involvement in a murder that occurred over 25 years ago. According to a report by Fox 17, the victim was an eighteen-year-old woman. Evidently, she lived at home with her father who worked the late shift. One day upon returning from work, he noticed that his daughter had not come home the previous evening.

He reported her as a missing person and, a few months later in October 1989, her decomposing body was found by a hunter in Manistee National Forest. Witnesses report that the last time they saw the victim was when she was with the two men who were just recently arrested for her murder.

Police arrested the brothers on first-degree murder charges, for which they face a sentence of up to life in prison if they are convicted. Police noted that, although the case is over 25 years old, there is no statute of limitations in first-degree murder cases.

First-Degree Murder in Michigan

First-degree murder in Michigan is the planned, intentional killing of another person. Although Michigan has abolished the death penalty, the crime carries with it the potential for the next most serious sentence: life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Statute of Limitations

For many criminal offenses, the State must bring charges against the defendant within a certain number of years. This is called the statute of limitations, and any charge brought after the statute of limitations has passed is subject to dismissal.

However, as the police in the article noted, first-degree murder charges do not have a statute of limitations in Michigan. In other words, there is no timeframe in which the prosecution must bring its case, no matter how long it takes the police to put their case together.

Statutes of limitation are just that, statutes. They are enacted by the State Legislature. Therefore, they vary according to the perceived seriousness of the crime. Because many legislators do not want a murder defendant getting off the hook because it took the police a long to time investigate the case, they have gotten rid of the statute of limitations as it applies to first-degree murder.

It is important to realize, however, that the lack of a statute of limitations does not do anything to interfere with the other defenses a defendant might introduce to a murder charge. It is consequently critically important for anyone facing a potential charge of murder to secure the assistance of a dedicated Michigan criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Are You Facing a Criminal Charge in Michigan?

Murder is viewed as the most serious offense one can commit. The penalties are extremely serious as a result, and police, prosecutors, and judges all take the crime very seriously. However, all criminal offenses are taken seriously in Michigan. If you are facing any criminal charge in Michigan, make sure you obtain the representation of an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney. With a skilled attorney’s help, you will be able to hold the prosecution to its burden of proving every element of the offense. Click here, or call (248) 930-5019 to schedule a free initial consultation with a passionate and dedicated Michigan criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Steven Schwartz.

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