Being charged with murder in Greenbelt is extremely serious. Just facing a criminal charge, especially one that is as serious as murder, can put a lot of strain on an individual. He or she may lose a job, housing and family and friends because people are frightened. Even if an individual is cleared of all charges, that mark may still be on him or her, making it very difficult to rebuild a life that was shattered by murder charges.
Sadly, two teenagers may have that mark on them for the rest of their lives after they were recently arrested and charged with first-degree murder. The 17- and 18-year-old were with a 16-year-old when the youngest teen punched a man in the jaw. Though the older teens recorded the assault on their friend's phone, it does not appear that they were responsible for the man's death. Despite this, police have arrested and prosecutors have charged the teens with murder.
Police first identified the teens after someone posted the video on the 16-year-old's Facebook page. Though the video shows the younger teen beating the 62-year-old man and leaving him unconscious, it does not show the 17- or the 18-year-old injuring the man who eventually died.
There is a heavy burden on police and prosecutors to find enough evidence to charge someone with a crime. This is to prevent law enforcement from just charging whomever they feel like charging with serious crimes, disrupting their lives, only to have the charges be eventually dropped.
It remains to be seen what evidence will directly link these teens to this man's murder.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Cops: 2 more charged in deadly attack posted on Facebook," Jim Jaworski and Bridget Doyle, July 16, 2012
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