State v. J.M. ; Case No. 312009CF001180 (Indian River County)
Theft and Property Crimes
Indian River County Sheriff’s Office
Our client was accused of cashing a forged check. In other words, the check was made out to someone with an account at the local bank, but the person cashing the check was not the person who owned the account. The amount of the check was about $400. A bank teller picked our client out of a photo-lineup and identified him in open court, but we were able to shed doubt on her ability to identify a black man in a vehicle from over 50 feet away. We argued that she picked out a person who resembled the actual perpetrator, but that it was not our client. We also cast doubt on the integrity of the identification procedure by comparing the procedure used by the deputy sheriff to the best practices identification procedures suggested by the Department of Justice many years ago. Our client was picked up by the police because the license tag of the vehicle driven to the bank was rented in his name. However, after a tireless investigation we located an alternate suspect and pinned the blame on that person. We also substantiated an alibi with birth certificates and work records. Our client testified that he was not there and was very convincing after we spent countless hours making sure he was prepared. The Jury came back with the verdict after less than 30 minutes. NOT GUILTY.