Ponder Man Sentenced to Life In Prison
On Thursday Denton County jury sentenced a Ponder man to life in prison for plotting to have his wife murdered. The trial had lasted three weeks and the jury heard testimony of numerous individuals that had been hired by the defendant to kill his wife. Some of the evidence presented involved the defendant’s long affairs and leading of a double life.
These types of cases can pose significant problems for a criminal defense attorney. Evidence of motive can be admitted in trials of this nature and salacious testimony of affairs, greed, and a double life are tantalizing to the public and jurors. It is also highly prejudicial to the client and has the practical effect of lowering the prosecution’s burden of proof. Once a jury dislikes a defendant and has sympathy for the victim the obstacles get higher for the defense.
In this case the defense attorney’s faced even a tougher battle after the guilty verdict because of the premeditation nature of this crime. The prosecution no doubt emphasized how much thought and planning went into the plot and urged the jury to return a life sentence. The defendant’s attorney’s made many objections during the trial and often that can be the best defense of a case of this nature. If there was a mistake in admission of evidence or in how the indictment was worded there may be a chance the case could be reversed on appeal.