Double jeopardy saves Dallas man from murder charge

Based on the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states, “a person can not be accused or convicted of the same offense twice,” the Dallas County district attorney dropped murder charges against 61-year-old Sharone Sylvester Brown, ruling that it would be double jeopardy if he was convicted.

Police records show that on April 10, Brown confessed to a misdemeanor assault, stemming from his attack on his 60-year-old cancer-stricken girlfriend Sherry Whitacre in a motel. A week later on April 17, Whitacre died.

The prosecution, unaware of Whitacre’s death or the official autopsy results classifying her death as a homicide, went on with the case and offered Brown a misdemeanor plea deal. On April 24, Brown accepted and was given a 60-day jail term.

On April 30, when autopsy reports were released, ruling Whitacre’s death as homicide. Police subsequently arrested Brown for murder the following day, with bail set at $500,000. However, having been already convicted of a “lesser included offense” to murder, Brown could not be charged with murder and was set free on May 15.

Being accused of assault or even homicide can mean serious penalties, including many years in jail. Fortunately, the attorneys from the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter can walk you through your legal defense options when you call 214-845-7007.

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