Recent Charlotte Area Criminal Case Illustrates Important Role of Evidence

Posted by Christopher Shumate | Dec 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

On January 23, 2012, a Cleveland County jury was taken to the apartment where Jeremiah Swafford was murdered on February 13, 2009. The jury had seen several diagrams and photos of the apartment, but the jury was taken to the apartment to see the apartment as part of the State's presentation of evidence. Swafford's stepfather Dwight Justice was on trial for first degree murder and child abuse of Swafford. The Defendant's trial began on January 18, 2012.

The Charlotte Observer article does not examine how determinative the visit to the scene of the crime was as compared to the rest of evidence in the case. In fairness, such an examination would be almost impossible for anyone other than those most intimately familiar with the trial. However, the article does illustrate the importance that evidence can play in a criminal trial and the importance of obtaining a competent attorney well versed in the Rules of Evidence. According to the Rules of Evidence, such information that is unduly prejudicial to the Defendant is not admissible. Although the article does not indicate whether Mr. Justice's defense attorney objected to this presentation of evidence, it should be noted that traveling to the scene of a crime could have been unduly prejudicial to Justice. As noted, one would need to be intimately familiar with the facts of the case, the presentation of the State, the defense strategy etc. to begin to analyze both the State's request and the Defendant's response.

About the Author

Christopher Shumate

Mr. Chris Shumate is a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, and worked various jobs while pursuing his undergraduate and Juris Doctor education, including several heavy manual labor and skilled trade positions. In his practice, Mr. Shumate often encounters circumstances where these prior experiences are helpful in representing you. Upon graduating law school from the University of South Carolina, Mr. Shumate joined one of the Carolinas' larger defense firms, where he represented a diverse set of employers and insurance companies in civil cases and workers' compensation claims across the Carolinas. Chris utilized this experience to obtain a working knowledge of the insurance industry, and build personal contacts used today in representing you. Mr. Shumate ultimately decided he wanted to focus his law practice on assisting those who have been injured, and doing so with the focus on a personal relationship that is uncommon in the bigger firms. Mr. Shumate's also has a passion for assisting those facing the challenges of the criminal legal system. By representing individuals in a variety of criminal and traffic matters, Mr. Shumate works to achieve the best possible result for each client regardless of the charges levied by the prosecution. Chris has tirelessly pursued his mission of helping people from all walks of life throughout the Carolinas with a variety of legal matters. If you are interested in learning more about Chris Shumate and The Shumate Law Offices, please contact us at 704.371.5059. We look forward to assisting you to achieve a positive result in your legal concern. Education J.D., University of South Carolina B.S., University of South Carolina Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice N.C. State BarS.C. State BarU.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina Professional & Bar Association Memberships N.C. Bar Association S.C. Bar Association Mecklenburg County Bar N.C. Academy Of Trial Lawyers American Association For Justice


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