In February, 2009 a local convenience store was robbed at gunpoint. Two fully-masked men entered the store. Both carried handguns and backpacks. The men pointed their firearms at the clerk and demanded money from the register. The clerk complied. The men took the money and fled. The clerk called the police. Despite the men’s faces being obscured and their bodies being fully clothed, the clerk was able to describe the men. Specifically, he estimated their age, height, weight and skin tone. The clerk told police that the men were “tan or olive-skinned, white or hispanic males.”
A week later, a shoulder-bag was discovered by detectives less than a block away. The clerk ID’d the bag as consistent with the bag that one of the men was carrying. The store’s surveillance video corroborated the clerk’s identification. The police submitted the bag to the state police crime lab. The bag was analyzed for DNA. Four months later the analysis was complete. According to the analysis, the bag contained DNA traces from several people. One of the DNA profiles belonged to my client, SD. SD is a chef at a south florida restaurant. Though most of his family lives in Florida, his father lives in the greater Boston area. The police obtained an arrest warrant for SD. However, SD had since moved to Florida. No effort was made to arrest SD and extradite him to Massachusetts.
Fast-forward to April, 2015. SD attempts to renew his driver’s license at the Florida DMV. The DMV employee tells SD that he may not renew his license because of an “outstanding warrant from Massachusetts.” SD is confused. He inquires with the local court in Massachusetts about the warrant. The court clerk’s office verifies that there is indeed an outstanding arrest warrant for SD. SD travels from Florida to Massachusetts in an attempt to clear the warrant and resolve the case. The Massachusetts court terminates the warrant. However, SD now must face the very serious charge of “Armed Robbery While Masked.” A conviction for that particular crime carries a mandatory-minimum sentence of 5 years in state prison. He is lucky enough that he can afford to post the bail.
Attorney Henry Fasoldt comes onto the case. SD insists that he was not in town on the day of the robbery. Instead, he was at his grandmother’s home with several other family members. He remembers this because it was his mother’s birthday; the family gathered to celebrate and have dinner. The home is more than an hour away. Henry provides the police and prosecutor’s office with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the “alibi” witnesses. The police investigate the alibi. After many witness interviews and a thorough investigation, the prosecutors decide to dismiss the case.