Bakersfield Murder Trial - Murder Charges Dismissed After Two Hung Juries
After William Routsis had acquitted a defendant in Bakersfield, California of first degree murder, he then tried the case referred to as the “Tool Box Murder” in Bakersfield, California. In what can be described as a John Grisham like scenario the following occurred. The defendant had an appointed defense attorney assigned to represent him on a first degree murder charge, where the defendant was facing a life sentence. The defendant pled guilty to a reduced charge of second degree murder with his appointed counsels advice, due to the unfortunate truth that his attorney had not prepared his case properly. The defendant was bullied into a plea due to the ineffective preparation of trial counsel.
William Routsis was contacted before the sentence was imposed on defendant’s plea to second degree murder. After numerous visits to the Bakersfield County jail William Routsis was convinced that the defendant was innocent. The defense now with William Routsis as counsel successfully petitioned the court to withdraw defendant’s plea; a trial date for first degree murder was set in the Bakersfield Superior Court.
After literally walking the streets of Bakersfield with his trusted investigator Mr. Routsis was finally prepared for trial on a case which looked unbeatable. Law enforcement had horribly investigated the case and written misleading and even fraudulent police reports which almost got defendant convicted of murder. After close to a month of trial the jury came back 10-2 in favor of not guilty. The defendant who had little money to begin with was now broke and in jail and was forced to go to trial for the second time due to the mistrial. William Routsis would not walk away from what he believed was an innocent man. Mr. Routsis took the case “pro bono” or free of charge. In what was called the “Tool Box Murder”; Mr. Routsis established that the murder was in fact committed by members of a motorcycle gang, and the jury again hung 10-2 for not guilty. Under California Law, the Case was dismissed, as a finding was made that “no reasonable juror could find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”. The Judge found that the State had two opportunities to convict the defendant and failed and 20 jurors believed the defendant was not guilty. The case was dismissed. The defendant was now a free man!