It should go without saying that a murder charge is serious. This type of charge sets in motion a chain of events over which a defendant has little control. To make matters worse, the court of public opinion often declares a murder suspect guilty long before the defendant steps into the courtroom. However, it is important to remember that a defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty.

An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury has recently indicted a Louisiana man in the death of a 27-year-old man in a park near Metro Airport. The grand jury charged the 21-year-old defendant with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of the other man.

According to the authorities, the defendant and the deceased were having a discussion in Scotlandville Parkway Linear Park under Interstate 110. At one point, the two men began to argue, and the defendant allegedly then shot the other man several times.

This particular case illustrates how important it is to fight a murder allegation. If this defendant is convicted, he will receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Obviously, this will impact not only his own future, but also that of his family. When someone is incarcerated, spouses, children and others are left to deal with the changes.

As with various other criminal cases, certain factors can enhance murder charges. Being charged with multiple crimes, using a weapon and having a previous criminal record can impact a murder charge. In some instances, it is possible to challenge the evidence supporting the actual murder. Other times, it is possible to challenge the evidence relating to any aggravating factors which may enhance the sentence. Either way, a defense attorney will carefully evaluate the situation and move forward in a way designed to protect a defendant’s best interests.

Source: WXVT15, “Man charged in park death,” 29 April 2011