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Criminal defense: Man acquitted of murder charges

A man accused in the shooting death of a noted crime boss has been exonerated, according to local sources. Criminal defense for an Alberta man was successful in convincing a judge that he had been acting in self-defense when he shot and killed a man in a parking lot back in April 2015. While he did plead guilty on a related robbery charge, his sentence will be considerably less severe than it would have been otherwise. 

The defendant claimed he met the alleged victim only three days prior to his death and somehow was dragged into committing criminal acts as part of his organization. On April 18, 2015, the defendant says he was approached by the man, who wanted access to weapons in the defendant's possession. He said the man threatened to kill him and reached for the gun bag. The defendant shot the man with a handgun he had on his person after the now-deceased man smashed out the window of his van. 

The judge ruled that reasonable doubt existed: a reasonable person could conclude the man was acting in a threatening manner. Added to this was his history of uttering similar threats. As a result, the judge dismissed the second-degree murder charge. The defendant was set to be sentenced in a related robbery, also allegedly concocted by the other man, at the end of April. 

Criminal defense cases often hinge upon the question of reasonable doubt. In this case, the defendant's representation was able to successfully argue that he acted in self-defense, thus helping the client avoid a potentially long and arduous prison sentence. This is why securing the support of experienced attorneys is so vital to Alberta residents facing serious criminal charges. 

Source: Calgary Herald, "Man charged in parking lot slaying acted in self defense, Calgary judge finds", Kevin Martin, April 21, 2017

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