A homeless man is being held on a $2 million bond in connection with the killing of a 93-year-old Connecticut woman. The Stamford resident was found in her home by her daughter on Sept. 25. Police initially believed that she had fallen down a flight of stairs, but they began to suspect she was a homicide victim when they discovered that her purse was empty and a jewelry box in her bedroom had been pried open.
The investigation intensified after a medical examiner declared the woman’s death a homicide. Police identified a suspect after studying footage that had been recorded by surveillance cameras in the area. On Sept. 27, police observed a man who appeared to be wearing the same clothing as the suspect in the surveillance camera footage. Officers say that they seized the man’s clothes based on exigent circumstances after speaking with an assistant state’s attorney. The man was charged with murder after forensic scientists allegedly discovered traces of the victim’s blood on the man’s pants.
Police believe that the man entered the woman’s home because he planned to rob her. They claim that he once worked for a home maintenance company owned by one of the victim’s family members and visited the residence several times to repair drainpipes. The man faces counts of murder and felony murder according to media reports. Both charges carry maximum prison sentences of 60 years.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may challenge evidence obtained due to exigent circumstances when police officers could have obtained a search warrant. Police may act without a warrant to protect themselves or others, to hinder the escape of a suspect or prevent evidence from being destroyed. When presented with facts like these, attorneys might argue that murder charges should be dismissed because police had sufficient evidence to detain the suspect and obtain a search warrant.
Source: The Stamford Advocate, Stamford homeless man charged in ‘heinous and vile’ murder of elderly woman, John Nickerson, Nov. 20, 2019