Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When Reason is Gone with the Wind

I understand that life can throw you a curveball. Maybe you had too much wine at a wedding and were subsequently pulled over. Perhaps you got into a shouting match with your neighbor after he trampled your prize winning azaleas for the 15th time. Things happen. With life's hiccups aside, is it really that difficult to stay out of jail?  Aside from an occasional speeding ticket, I have basically managed to spend my entire adult life outside of the state's penal system. Call me crazy, but is it really that hard to do?  

Within my own law practice, I often cannot believe what the individual sitting across from me has done to get arrested.  In recent months I have had a wealthy client steal a raw salmon by shoving it down his pants. I had a young female client steal a wheelchair from a police officer's grandmother. I had an elderly man who was accused of shoplifting the complete season 5 DVD set of the Golden Girls.  I always find myself wondering "what were you thinking?"  If you practice criminal law, you have undoubtedly come across your own share of criminals that are a few pages short of a legal brief.  

Courtesy of Bristol Police Department
Sitting in New Britain Superior court today, I came across a unique one.  I observed a young man waiving his rights to a probable cause hearing. If you've been following this case, you may recall that Bristol resident Marc Higgins was charged last month with stabbing several people at a local house party.  Higgins was accused of wounding 19 year old David Klett, 19 year old Sandra Ranger and 18 year old Tyler Basso.  21 year old Matthew Walton would die from his wounds.  The reason for his senseless act?   Higgins was being teased for his excessive flatulence.  

Apparently, the 21 year old Higgins became enraged after people began criticizing him throughout the night for passing gas.  He reached his breaking point.  He stormed out of the party and returned 45 minutes later armed with three knives.  According to reports, he then began stabbing party goers randomly.   Higgins allegedly told police that he did it to show people that they shouldn't make fun of him.  According to the Bristol Press, Higgins would plead not guilty to murder and assault charges. He was being held on two million dollars bond.  He is scheduled to appear in court on April 4th.

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