Just before the new year, a 15-year-old girl allegedly shot and stabbed her mother along with her mother’s boyfriend, according to news reports at The New York Times. The girl, Destiny Garcia, is charged with the murder of her mother, 38-year-old Rosie Sanchez, and 40-year-old Anderson Nunez, Sanchez’s boyfriend. The bodies were discovered a few days later when police were brought to the apartment the couple shared on Batchelder Street in Brooklyn.
Garcia’s mother sustained multiple gunshot wounds, and was found in an easy chair; her boyfriend had both gunshot and stab wounds, and was discovered on the floor. The girl has been charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of second-degree murder.
Prosecutors said that Garcia had confessed to the murders on videotape; it was also revealed that another individual helped her in the killings. Garcia told detectives that her actions were self-defense, and that she had been abused physically by her mother in the past.
Police were made aware of the murders when a man who had noticed the door to the apartment was ajar approached a nearby squad car and reported the matter. Upon entering, police found the two were dead.
Neighbors were shocked by the news, saying the family always did things together and seemed very happy and warm. Police were continuing to investigate whether other individuals were inside the apartment with Garcia, and where the gun used in the shootings originated. The young woman was ordered held without bail.
Murder is an extremely serious criminal charge, regardless of age. Did the girl act in self-defense, or for other reasons? Regardless of what triggered the unfortunate situation, having a capable criminal defense attorney is critical to the best possible outcome. There is no valid excuse for taking the lives of others other than self-defense, however at the same time it is a tragedy to imagine a 15-year-old girl possibly facing much of her life behind bars.
Penalties vary when someone is found guilty of second-degree murder depending on the state in which the crime occurs, criminal history, and other factors. In Michigan, anyone convicted of second-degree murder may face any number of years or even life in prison, depending on the decision of the judge.
Even when the charge is as serious as murder, a skilled Michigan criminal defense lawyer can help. In every case the defendant’s legal rights must be protected; thorough investigation can also help to determine whether mistakes may have been made by police, or the offender’s rights violated. Every person is innocent until proven guilty, regardless of the charges he or she faces. In order to limit the damage to the accused person’s reputation and life and protect his or her freedom as much as possible, it is crucial to work with a seasoned defense attorney.