The case was suppose to be a straight forward one for the prosecutor. They had a witness who saw my client and another boy jump on the hoods of cars with their bodies causing damage to them. He stopped them from getting away and called the police. There were no other boys outside. Nevertheless, we went to trial.
When then their key witness came to court, he said, “I don’t remember. I don’t know if it was him.” During cross-examination, he told us that he was sure that my client had done it, but then he talked to his co-worker the week before. His co-worker convinced him that he was wrong and that the other boy had jumped on the both cars. The reluctant witness gave us the first name of his co-worker, but claimed that he did not know his last even though he had worked there for years.
In the middle of the trial, I had my investigator go down to his workplace and subpoena his co-worker. He told the investigator that it was the same boy had jumped on both cars. When I returned to the office, he called to complain that he could not testify because he didn’t have the time to come to court. I told him that a warrant would issue for his arrest if he didn’t appear. He accused me of trying to lock up African-Americans, which was ironic given that my client was one.
The co-worker came and testified. His testimony was crucial to the case, and lead to the acquittal of my client. Even person accused of a crime deserves a defense where every step is taken to ensure that the best defense is presented. In this case, the turning point was investigating a lead that only became apparent in the middle of trial.