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STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — "NOT GUILTY" VERDICT

Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Could the Human Body Be Considered a Deadly Weapon?

Allegations of any crimes associated with a deadly weapon can raise the stakes for the potential consequences significantly. Therefore, it is important to realize that if you have been accused of any crime involving a deadly weapon, you need the support of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. This is often considered an aggravated circumstance that can raise a misdemeanor crime into a felony or lead to enhanced punishments.

You probably already understand that vehicles, knives and guns maybe classified as deadly weapons but sometimes the courts may even consider your body a deadly weapon as well. Even ordinary items that may not be considered inherently dangerous could be considered deadly or dangerous when they are used to threaten or hurt someone else. Courts have found basic items such as stones, walking sticks, or even pocket knives to be classified as deadly weapons based on the individual circumstances of the case.

The determination of this rests on the presentation of evidence and how that weapon was used and the amount of harm that resulted. Although a couple of states specifically exclude the human body from being classified as a deadly weapon, such as California, other states have determined that if particular circumstances apply, the body can be a deadly weapon. Various parts of a body have been categorized as deadly weapon(s) in an assault case including the teeth, hands, feet, knees, elbows and the mouth.

The courts will consider a number of different factors such as the extent of the victim’s injuries, the location of the injuries on the victim’s body, the degree of force used in the attack, and the manner of kicks, hits or blows. If you have been accused of a crime that alleges that your body was a deadly weapon, you need the insight of an attorney who has been practicing in this field for years.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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