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Charges against South Carolina teens upgraded to murder

The death of a 73-year-old woman four days after two young men allegedly broke into her home and shot her has prompted authorities in Seneca to upgrade charges against the men to murder. She succumbed to her injuries at Greenville hospital. The two suspects, ages 19 and 17, had originally been charged with first-degree burglary and attempted murder.

A news release from the Oconee County coroner indicated that the woman who lived on Maple Avenue had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Police reportedly recovered shell casings inside her home.

Local journalists who interviewed neighbors said that one of the accused men was the son of the people living in the home where the crime took place. The motive for the killing remains unclear, but the men could face a minimum of 30 years in prison if convicted on murder charges. First-degree burglary calls for a minimum prison sentence of 15 years.

Any person confronted by the possibility of many decades or even life in prison may benefit from the representation of a criminal defense attorney. In addition to offering advice about how to plea in court, an attorney may challenge assumptions made by authorities. Evidence arising from eyewitness testimony, police informants or unlawful searches might be open to challenge. The elimination of invalid evidence might improve an attorney's ability to defend someone standing trial for violent crimes. The selection of a sympathetic jury and casting doubt on evidence might result in an acquittal. Alternatively, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal that reduces charges and enables a shorter prison term.

Source: The State, "Teens shot 73-year-old woman multiple times in deadly SC home invasion, cops say", Teddy Kulmala, March 12, 2019

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William G. Yarborough Attorney at Law
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William G. Yarborough Attorney at Law