Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pork Chops, Partying, and Paramours: Motives in Criminal Cases

[Photo from myrecipes.com]
Can you imagine murdering someone over a pork chop!?  As a former federal and state prosecutor, (and currently, as an Augusta, Georgia criminal defense lawyer), I have always been amazed at some of the motives, or reasons, why criminal defendants committed various crimes.  For instance, we have recently seen, in the Casey Anthony murder trial, a lot of evidence offered by the State concerning why she allegedly murdered her daughter, Caylee Anthony.  The state's evidence of motive reportedly centered around Casey Anthony's alleged desire to kill her daughter, so she could return to a single, partying lifestyle.  Of course, the defense attorneys deny such proof of motive existed.

But as a former prosecutor and criminal attorney, I have seen many other, even stranger, motives for crimes.  For example, as alluded to above, I once prosecuted a man for murdering his son because the son had come home from work and eaten the last pork chop which the father had cooked. 

Also, as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, I once prosecuted a greedy bookkeeper for stealing elderly nursing home patients' money, so she could satisfy her clothes shopping addiction. 

Finally, in one of my strangest murder cases, I also once prosecuted a father for murdering his daughter's paramour, because of jealousy.  Incredibly, the father, who had had an intimate relationship with his adult daughter, simply wanted to eliminate his competition for her favors and affection.

Perhaps there are as many motives for crimes as there are crimes.  Don't you agree?  Have you ever heard or read about any unusual motives for crimes?  By the way, I claim the last pork chop!

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