The Defendant Inadvertently Confesses During Trial
I presided over a jury trial where the defendant had sold drugs to an undercover police officer. As we started with testimony, the prosecutor called the undercover officer as his first witness.
As the officer walked up to the stand, the defendant jumped up, pointed at the cop, and excitedly exclaimed to the entire court: “That’s the guy! That’s the guy I sold the dope to!” He just sabotaged his case.
Neither the defense lawyer, the prosecutor, nor I could figure out what the defendant was thinking at the time he blurted out a confession. It was probably just another case of a stupid criminal, or a case of “this is your brain on drugs,” or both.
“These Guys are Narcs!”
I arraigned an in-custody defendant charged with obstructing the police. Two undercover cops were sitting in an unmarked car conducting surveillance at a large apartment complex infamous for drug activity.
The dumb defendant walked up next to the car, looked at the undercover officers, turned around, and kept shouting to the neighborhood, “Hey, these guys are narcs!”
The cops yelled for him to “shut up.” When he didn’t, one of the officers pepper sprayed him.
He suddenly went into shock, collapsed, and stopped breathing. He also went into cardiac arrest. The horrified officers administered CPR until the paramedics arrived.
The defendant survived, and was taken to jail after spending several days in the hospital. He also spent several days in jail before being brought to my court.
I suspended any further jail time. In essence, I gave him “credit for injuries received.” Almost having died, I think he learned his lesson about the consequences of interfering with a police investigation.
There are always consequences of our actions. Whether we do what’s right, or we do what’s wrong, the consequences will follow. Therefore, we should strive to choose the right.