A 27-year-old Santa Ana woman is the second woman arrested in connection with the brutal beating death of a 23-year-old Westminster woman. According to an Associated Press news report, the 23-year-old woman was found unconscious on the sidewalk near The Crosby nightclub in Santa Ana during the early morning hours of January 22. Officials say the woman was leaving the club with a group when a fight ensued. Police say that only women were involved in the fight and they have arrested a 25-year-old woman who pleaded not guilty to the murder. It is unclear if the 27-year-old woman will be charged with murder as well. Officials are also seeking a third woman who is considered a “person of interest.”
Murder is defined by California Penal Code Section 187 (a) as “the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.” Malice in a California murder case may be expressed or implied. That means that an individual could face murder charges if he or she deliberately intended to take a life or when there was no apparent provocation. In other words, an individual can face the same charges for intentionally killing someone or for killing someone while acting “with wanton disregard for human life.”
Possible defenses for a murder charge include:
- Self-Defense: The accused acted in a reasonable manner because they or another person was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury.
- Mistaken Identity: Witnesses often fixate on the weapon or the violence and miss getting a good look at the perpetrator. Mistakes can be made and the wrong person can be accused.
- Accidents: The accused had no criminal intent to do harm and was not acting negligently.
- Insanity: The accused defendant did not understand the nature of his or her actions.
- Coerced and False Confessions: Police are required to follow protocols and procedures, and coercive tactics may not be used to obtain a confession.
If you or a loved one is facing murder charges, it is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. The stakes are extremely high in murder cases.
David A. Stein is a distinguished criminal defense attorney and trial lawyer. He handles criminal matters in all Orange County, CA. cities.