Serious Domestic Violence Incident in Lake Worth Beach Airbnb
A 33-year-old man faces multiple criminal charges after he allegedly beat his wife’s lover with a baseball bat.
The man was carrying an aluminum bat when he confronted his wife and his wife’s lover, according to surveillance video. The man allegedly hit the boyfriend three times before his wife stopped the attack. “Don’t come near my f—ing wife again!” he allegedly threatened before he walked out the door. When police responded to the Airbnb on South Federal Highway, they found the victim on a bed holding a towel to his profusely bleeding head. “I felt like he was out to kill me,” the man told investigators.
When investigators contacted the woman’s husband, he claimed he didn’t leave home all day except to go to the grocery store. He admitted he owned a bat but denied ever striking anyone with it. When the video evidence undermined the defendant’s story, along with additional evidence, such as hairs in the defendant’s bat, police arrested him.
The man pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and burglary with battery.
Levels of Assault
Attempted murder is the most serious form of assault, and also the most difficult form of assault to prove.
These charges only hold up in court if the state proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant wanted to kill, and tried to kill, the alleged victim.
In the above story, some evidence indicates that intent. The alleged victim said he believed his life was in danger. Additionally, the woman supposedly pulled her husband off the alleged victim.
But most evidence points the other way. Often, prosecutors use conduct to prove intent. When officers arrived at the scene, the alleged victim was wounded yet fully conscious, and also sitting up. A person who was almost literally beaten to death would probably be in much worse shape. Furthermore, the defendant told the alleged victim to stay away from his wife. This statement implies a lack of intent to kill the man at that time.
Given the lack of intent evidence, a Tampa assault & battery attorney would probably be able to reduce the charges to aggravated assault, or perhaps even ordinary assault, depending on the strength of the other evidence.
Usually, aggravated assault is any assault with a deadly weapon, like a baseball bat, or any assault that causes serious injury, which is basically an ER visit. Ordinary assault is any intentional injury, regardless of the severity.
The evidence in this case looks bad for the defendant. But it’s almost all security camera footage. Such evidence is inadmissible unless the prosecutor authenticates it and proves the camera was working right.
Authentication usually requires testimony from the person who owned the camera. Many times, civilian witnesses don’t want to get involved in domestic disputes. Prosecutors could subpoena the witness and force him/her to testify, but they rarely do so, except in extreme cases.
Proof of good working order requires just that. Prosecutors must place current maintenance records, which may be unavailable, into evidence.
Brief jail or prison sentences are very rare in assault cases. Extended probation is much more common. Usually, once incarcerated prisoners serve their time, they’re done. Extended probation often includes requirements like substance abuse counseling and anger management classes.
Domestic assault cases, even if the alleged victim wasn’t a domestic partner, often involve protective orders. These orders create a whole other set of problems for a Tampa criminal defense attorney.
Probation conditions are quite harsh in Florida. The good news is that the Sunshine State has a very liberal early discharge law. According to Section 948.05, at any time, the judge may discharge an offender from probation or modify the terms and conditions of probation. Frequently, this modification means transfer from judicial probation to less-restrictive administrative probation.
If the defendant’s probation officer agrees to an early discharge petition, the judge often signs it without requiring a hearing.
Reach Out to a Hard-Working Hillsborough County Attorney
A criminal charge is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact the OA Law Firm. We routinely handle matters in Pinellas County and nearby jurisdictions.