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  #1  
Old 08-05-2017, 06:01 PM
shanectech shanectech is offline
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Question Nephew being charged with murder of a inmate. How can I get information?

I have a Nephew who is in

CDCR Kern Valley state prison in Delano



Got a very alarming letter saying he is being charged with murder of a inmate


he only had a few months left. how can i find out about more information


i called the prison they told me to call the county not getting any cooperation from anyone.



please advise
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Old 08-05-2017, 07:33 PM
yourself yourself is offline
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He'll be transferred to County at some point for arraignment. He'll get a lawyer, probably the PD. It should all be available online through the court system as it becomes available. There might not be the detail you want, but you'll get info including court dates and times that way. Remember, your lo may not be able to talk in any detail about this until the whole case is resolved.
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2017, 03:46 PM
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missingdee missingdee is offline
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Default Nephew being charged with murder of a inmate. How can I get information?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanectech View Post
I have a Nephew who is in

CDCR Kern Valley state prison in Delano



Got a very alarming letter saying he is being charged with murder of a inmate


he only had a few months left. how can i find out about more information


i called the prison they told me to call the county not getting any cooperation from anyone.



please advise


The prison will not give you information. Their internal investigations do not get shared with the public.

As yourself said, details will come at the County level.

Assuming the District Attorney has picked up the charge and will pursue it, this is what you should expect next.

Assuming he has not been transferred yet, at some point he will be transferred to the Kern County Jail. Once there, the court will arraign him on charges. By default they will appoint the Public Defender's Office. If you or your family want to get him a private attorney, that can be done. The attorney can get in touch with the court as soon as they have been retained, but ideally will be in place no later than the first pre-preliminary setting (the first court date after the preliminary hearing.)

Once charges has formally been filed and an arraignment brought, a case number should be available. You should be able to find out any scheduled court dates at that point in case anyone would like to attend.

The Public Defender will not talk about the case with you unless and until he gives them permission to do so. Even at that, the information they may have initially may be minimal. Catching them at their office can be difficult. If he sticks with the Public Defender, the best way to get basic details about his case is to get their attention after the hearing and ask if you can get a basic explanation of what is going on. They will not be able to disclose details of a sensitive nature but can explain the charges and the basic accusation being made. Again....it is important that he give them permission to speak to them as this will give them a little more room to explain things to you such as whether there is a plea bargain process or if there are things he has disclosed to the attorney (assuming he does not ask for some information to be withheld.)

In reality, unfortunately, even then you're not going to find out much. And he will need to be careful what he tells you. Even in explaining what he is being accused of doing he's going to want to make it clear that what's happening is an allegation. And he should be careful even then.

Keep in mind that not all attorneys handle families the same. Some are very willing to take a few minutes to explain a few basic elements of the case and sort of a best/worst case of sentencing based on what information they have, the charges, etc. others don't want to be bothered.

I am sorry to hear you are going through this. I hope you are able to get more information about what allegedly happened soon.

-E
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Last edited by missingdee; 08-09-2017 at 03:53 PM..
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by missingdee View Post
The prison will not give you information. Their internal investigations do not get shared with the public.

As yourself said, details will come at the County level.

Assuming the District Attorney has picked up the charge and will pursue it, this is what you should expect next.

Assuming he has not been transferred yet, at some point he will be transferred to the Kern County Jail. Once there, the court will arraign him on charges. By default they will appoint the Public Defender's Office. If you or your family want to get him a private attorney, that can be done. The attorney can get in touch with the court as soon as they have been retained, but ideally will be in place no later than the first pre-preliminary setting (the first court date after the preliminary hearing.)

Once charges has formally been filed and an arraignment brought, a case number should be available. You should be able to find out any scheduled court dates at that point in case anyone would like to attend.

The Public Defender will not talk about the case with you unless and until he gives them permission to do so. Even at that, the information they may have initially may be minimal. Catching them at their office can be difficult. If he sticks with the Public Defender, the best way to get basic details about his case is to get their attention after the hearing and ask if you can get a basic explanation of what is going on. They will not be able to disclose details of a sensitive nature but can explain the charges and the basic accusation being made. Again....it is important that he give them permission to speak to them as this will give them a little more room to explain things to you such as whether there is a plea bargain process or if there are things he has disclosed to the attorney (assuming he does not ask for some information to be withheld.)

In reality, unfortunately, even then you're not going to find out much. And he will need to be careful what he tells you. Even in explaining what he is being accused of doing he's going to want to make it clear that what's happening is an allegation. And he should be careful even then.

Keep in mind that not all attorneys handle families the same. Some are very willing to take a few minutes to explain a few basic elements of the case and sort of a best/worst case of sentencing based on what information they have, the charges, etc. others don't want to be bothered.

I am sorry to hear you are going through this. I hope you are able to get more information about what allegedly happened soon.

-E
Even this is a stretch. We're talking a nephew. It's one thing if the Aunt and Uncle were the primary caregivers to the nephew throughout the guy's life. It is quite another if the nephew is just a nephew, especially if the extended family is large.

Look, if an attorney is expected to take 5-10 minutes out of every month to talk with each and every relative, it becomes untenable. The attorney cannot do their job because they are dealing with every relative of your nephew, and relative of every other client rather than practicing law. Use a family point person to get basic information. Do not ask about the facts of the case. Do not try to discus strategy. No matter what the nephew says in as far as permission goes, talking to you will simply not happen.

Do not encourage your nephew to talk about the facts of the case. If you do, you could very easily wind up on the witness list for the PROSECUTION. This does two things - first, communications with non-clients are not confidential. Anything the defense attorney tells you is discoverable. anything your nephew tells you is discoverable. If there's any difference between those two stories, then you may get placed on the stand to demonstrate that the State's theory of the case is much more accurate as the Defendant is not telling consistent stories. Second, by placing you and the rest of your family on the witness list, you are subject to what's called the Rule of Sequestration of Witnesses. The Rule keeps witnesses out of the courtroom for the duration of the trial. The State has to play by this rule, and so does the Defense. Where this really harms the Defendant is in having actual support there for him during the course of the trial. Nobody's in the courtroom for him. Further, it looks horrible to the juror. There's the State with people behind the prosecution side of the bar, relatives of the victim, etc. On the other side of the aisle is the Defendant at his table with his lawyer and nobody behind the bar in the audience there for him. This makes a difference, a subtle, psychological difference to the judge, and to the jury. It basically says that this guy's so bad that not even his family will stand with him.

Don't ask about the facts of the case. Do not ask about the theory of the case. Do not ask about strategy. Stick to what happened just now in court, and what happens next. And always have at least one family member, the member designated to handle information distributed from the attorney to the family, in court at each session. The judge wants to see support - consistent family support. It's a subtle thing, but it's the judge ruling on motions and the judge who may be sentencing him, so getting it through the judge's mind that the defendant is a loved, integral part of a family now is a good thing.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:09 PM
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missingdee missingdee is offline
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...always have at least one family member, the member designated to handle information distributed from the attorney to the family, in court at each session. The judge wants to see support - consistent family support. It's a subtle thing, but it's the judge ruling on motions and the judge who may be sentencing him, so getting it through the judge's mind that the defendant is a loved, integral part of a family now is a good thing.

I defer to yourself's talking points on the other issues but I want to re-emphasize this part. This went a very long way in handling Dee's in-prison offense. Not only did it leave impressions on the judge but in our case the Deputy DA even spoke to me and said my presence in court (including on a day where I stayed from 8 am almost until 5 pm for her to be heard due to numerous delays) touched him (his words: "I never see anyone show up for these girls who are facing in-prison charges, they're always alone, this makes me think....maybe your girlfriend has a chance of getting it right...) and actually led him to offer a better deal. It's not a guarantee, but that steady, constant presence can have a positive impact not only on a defendant knowing they have support but on the attorneys and judges involved who may be weighing a plea bargain or whether or not to cut someone a break on some level.

Family support, at minimum, helps a defendant not feel alone. It means something. It doesn't guarantee a better outcome but maybe, just maybe, it makes him look more human in the eyes of people who may decide his fate and what happened to him and maybe, just maybe, it helps in some way beyond basic support.

I wish your family and your nephew luck.

-E
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:50 PM
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I have to think family support helps the inmate as well. Connection to the outside world, love, and the fact that family is behind him no matter what has to mean something to most inmates. It's hard for a guy to stand before the full weight of the state and say anything - whether it's I'm not guilty to an allocation pursuant to a plea bargain to a sentence by a judge. We defense attorneys can only do so much. It is the family and the people who love the inmate that really propa guy up.

Never underestimate the value of what loved ones do in court and through the whole court process by being there and supporting them through thick and thin. I had a stone cold felon with a record as long as your arm tear up as he told me about a conversation he had with his 5 year old nephew. The Nephew wanted to lock him in a closet so that the State couldn't get to him, sliding pancakes under the door when he was hungry. His sister was there almost every court date, telling him, "pancakes" or mouthing it to him when he looked at her. The one day that she wasn't able to make it was the one day that the case against him was dismissed after a few hours deliberation on a motion argument. I sat with him until his sister and his nephew could show up as he told me why his sister said the word, "pancakes" to him at every appearance. And I saw tears slide out of his eyes as he related the story to me. Amazing.

This is why I firmly believe that the presence of family and loved ones doing their thing, propping the defendant up psychologically, especially an inmate defendant, has incredible, if intangible value.

missing, so glad you were able to be there for Dee, and that your court recognized the value of this support. I'm sure Dee did, too.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:46 PM
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I have to think family support helps the inmate as well. Connection to the outside world, love, and the fact that family is behind him no matter what has to mean something to most inmates. It's hard for a guy to stand before the full weight of the state and say anything - whether it's I'm not guilty to an allocation pursuant to a plea bargain to a sentence by a judge. We defense attorneys can only do so much. It is the family and the people who love the inmate that really propa guy up.

Never underestimate the value of what loved ones do in court and through the whole court process by being there and supporting them through thick and thin. I had a stone cold felon with a record as long as your arm tear up as he told me about a conversation he had with his 5 year old nephew. The Nephew wanted to lock him in a closet so that the State couldn't get to him, sliding pancakes under the door when he was hungry. His sister was there almost every court date, telling him, "pancakes" or mouthing it to him when he looked at her. The one day that she wasn't able to make it was the one day that the case against him was dismissed after a few hours deliberation on a motion argument. I sat with him until his sister and his nephew could show up as he told me why his sister said the word, "pancakes" to him at every appearance. And I saw tears slide out of his eyes as he related the story to me. Amazing.

This is why I firmly believe that the presence of family and loved ones doing their thing, propping the defendant up psychologically, especially an inmate defendant, has incredible, if intangible value.

missing, so glad you were able to be there for Dee, and that your court recognized the value of this support. I'm sure Dee did, too.
It absolutely was recognized. The day she took the plea bargain on the in-prison drug charge, through some unusual serendipity, a woman who she had been cellmates with for most of the time in County Jail who had been released maybe 2-3 weeks earlier on a Prop 47 issue (a California state initiative that reduced some felonies to misdemeanors and also shortened a lot of sentences) happened to have a court date scheduled for the same day to clarify post-release terms. She recognized me from some pictures I had sent into Dee of my kids and myself around Halloween. She said to me "me and Dee had a lot of conversations, and you've always been special to her, but she told me that you standing by her through these last few months are what made her realize exactly what your value was to her. I don't think she would have gotten through this without you."

So on all fronts...family support, loved on support...can be huge, if even only for the accused. Granted, mine and Dee's relationship is of a different nature, but a time like this, as hard as it can be, can be a great time to solidify a bond. Hopefully the outcome will be good for him. But even if the worst-case hits....I'd argue ESPECIALLY if the worst-case hits....he's never going to forget who was there for him during this time. And it will help him get through whatever time is left.
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