In January of 2013, 23-year-old Myles Webster was convicted of attempted murder in the March 2012 shooting of Manchester Police Officer Dan Doherty. Webster allegedly shot Doherty seven times at near point-blank range as Doherty pursued Webster in a foot chase. Webster was sentenced to 60 years to life behind bars for the crime. Now, he is appealing his conviction to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
On September 11, justices at the supreme court heard Webster’s argument as to why his conviction should be overturned and he should get a new trial. Webster and his defense attorney, David Rothstein, maintain that the release of Webster’s booking photograph tainted eyewitness identifications. According to a news article at Valley News, the suspect’s booking photo was released five hours prior to his arraignment. Rothstein feels that the release of the photo may have influenced the identifications of his client by witnesses, particularly those who police had not yet interviewed. Rothstein told the justices that had Dan Doherty lost his life, his client may have been facing a capital murder charge. He urged the justices to understand the seriousness of the situation.
Doherty said that he was 100% confident that Webster was the shooter as he listened to arguments at Webster’s appeal.
The justices pointed out to Rothstein that video and still photos were generated at Webster’s arraignment. Stacey Pawlik, Assistant Attorney General, argued that the sheer volume of evidence against Webster rendered any error by the trial court harmless. The news report did not say when the justices would rule on the appeal.
Appealing a conviction or sentence is extremely difficult; anyone who was wrongly convicted or who feels mistakes were made at trial must work with a highly experienced Michigan criminal appeals attorney to ensure the best possible chance of success. Considering the defendant’s current age and the fact that he will spend a minimum of 60 years behind bars as the situation stands right now, he will be in his mid-80’s before there is even a possibility for release.
Whether you have been wrongly convicted of a drug or sex crime, or sentenced to life for murder, if you feel justice was not served it is imperative that you consult with an aggressive defense lawyer who is skilled in the area of criminal appeals.