10/5/06 - Dismissed

The defendant came home early from work one evening. Upon entering his house, he found a man sitting in his living room, drinking a beer. The defendant demanded to know what he was doing there. The man stood up and became confrontational. A fight ensued and the man left the house after the defendant's wife discovered the two men fighting. The state charged the defendant with aggravated assault because the man said he saw the defendant holding a gun.

Our investigation discovered that the wife had invited the man over, but had not informed the defendant. The defendant believed the man to be an intruder. The 'gun' the man saw was actually a special key the defendant used for work.

Aside from having a weak case, the state chose to charge the 'victim' with damage to property because the man came back moments later and smashed in a car window with a concrete block because he was mad he lost the fight. The state also charged the wife with concealing that a 'gun' was present in the home. Due to Fifth Amendment protection, neither the wife nor the 'victim' was able to testify against the defendant without being at risk for being convicted themselves.