Loose tongues can get convictions underlines Fairfax criminal lawyer
Loose tongues can get suspects in big trouble, says Fairfax criminal lawyer
Loose tongues are what police love with criminal suspects. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I read with sadness how blabbermouthing with police in 2012 is the only thing that got Ruben Edward Moore convicted of a 1981 murder in a cold case. Moore v. Virginia, Record No. 190856 (Va. S. Ct. May 14, 2020) (unpublished order). The guts of Moore’s own conviction-friendly language with the police include: [Police Officer] “'[I]t’s not like you sat at home saying, you know what I’m going to do tonight. I’m going to **** somebody over and just kill them. That’s not you.’ Moore responded, ‘I don’t even have the mindset anymore. If you rush out there and try to get a conviction on me, this is ridiculous, because I’m trying to move past my past.’ Moore first stated that he would have been asleep at 7:30 a.m. on September 4, 1981, but then stated that he would have worked a night shift until 7:00 a.m. He then began referring to himself in the third person, saying ‘Ruben wouldn’t have killed nobody. I know that.’ When Mayer told Moore that a witness had seen him at Christian’s apartment complex the morning of her murder, Moore immediately responded, ‘I don’t remember seeing nobody.'” Moore. Talk about a loose tongue.
Second degree murder conviction affirmed based on circumstantial evidence and Moore’s loose tongue.
Moore should have Krazy Glued his loose tongue. When interviewed by the police in 2012, that was over thirty-one years after the murder. Moore perhaps felt too comfortable with that passage of time, when deciding to answer police questions. However, Virginia has no statutory deadline / statue of limitations for prosecuting murder nor any other felony. It may be excruciatingly uncomfortable to commit a crime and then to wait for decades possibly to be discovered. However, even despite the “confession is good” concept, any such confession should not be told to anyone other than a clergyperson.
Criminal suspects play with fire by speaking with prosecutors or police without a defense lawyer present
Many police officers are masterful at convincing criminal defendants to exercise loose tongues. Those approaches include emphasizing that the cop cannot help the suspect in speaking with the prosecutor, if the suspect will not talk with police. Another police ploy is to reassure the defendant that the police officer realizes that the suspect was not involved in the alleged crime as deeply as others may claim, lulling the suspect into admitting crime A, hoping that the more serious crime B will not be charged.
Criminal defendants are playing Russian roulette by having loose tongues with police — beyond identifying oneself — without a lawyer present, First, a qualified lawyer’s default approach will be for the criminal defendant / client to assert his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent with police and prosecutors. Second, a qualified lawyer will typically insist on being present during any client communication with the police, and will know how to limit the scope and timeframe for any discussion by the suspect with the police.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz defends against evidence of loose tongues, and pursues your best defense against felony, misdemeanor, DUI, sex and drug prosecutions. Call 703-383-1100 to schedule a confidential consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending criminal or DWI case.