Friday, October 21, 2016

The sad case of the death of a young man!

Summerfield and Carr
Forsyth MO. – As of this post, little in the way of actual facts are known surround the death of one Eric Summerfield at a home in Forsyth Missouri on the evening of October 15, 2016.

Here's what is factually known:
  1. Mr. Summerfield died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.
  2. The police arrested one Tristan Carr at his home where the shooting took place.
  3. Mr. Carr was later charged with armed criminal action and murder in the first degree.
  4. Mr. Carr is being held on half a million dollars bond in the Taney County jail.
  5. Mr. Carr has pleaded not guilty.
  6. Mr. Carr's next hearing is scheduled for Oct 25 at 9AM before Judge Williams.
That's the facts as best I knew them as of October 21st.

Here's what is not known:
  1. What was the official cause of death as determined by the coroner's exam?
  2. What kind of firearm was used and was Mr. Carr legally in possession of it?
  3. What witnesses were present at the time of the shooting?
  4. Were words exchanged just before the shooting? If so, what was said.
  5. What was the motive behind the shooting? A woman, money, something else, or was it just a terrible accident? 
These questions should come to light in the days to come, but no matter what, this was a tragic event that impacted not only Mr. Summerfield and Mr. Carr, but many others as well. Hopefully, justice will be correctly served and the circle of friends both these kids had will make such a disaster never happens to themselves or those they love.
Update: As Mr. Carr has already been arraigned and given a probable cause statement, the next order of business would be the Preliminary Hearing:

In criminal law, a hearing to determine if a person charged with a felony (a serious crime punishable by a term in the state prison) should be tried for the crime charged, based on whether there is some substantial evidence that he/she committed the crime. A preliminary hearing is held in the lowest local court (municipal or police court), but only if the prosecutor has filed the charge without asking the Grand Jury for an indictment for the alleged crime. Such a hearing must be held within a few days after arraignment (presentation in court of the charges and the defendant's right to plead guilty or not guilty).

Since neither side wants to reveal its trial strategy, the prosecution normally presents only enough evidence and testimony to show the probability of guilt, and defendants often put on no evidence at all, unless there is a strong chance of getting the charges dismissed. If the judge finds sufficient evidence to try the defendant, the case is sent to the appropriate court (variously called superior, county, district, common pleas) for trial. If there is no such convincing evidence, the judge will dismiss the charges.

Put another way, A preliminary hearing is best described as a "trial before the trial" at which the judge decides, not whether the defendant is "guilty" or "not guilty," but whether there is enough evidence to force the defendant to stand trial.

I'll have more late breaking info on Monday, October 24...

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