Atlantic Beach Killer Still At Large, Police Still Investigating

The person responsible for killing one and injuring three others on Atlantic Beach still remains at large, as police have released few additional details, The Florida Times-Union reports.

Murder charges in Jacksonville are among the most serious in the criminal justice system. In Florida, they are punishable by life in prison or possibly death by lethal injection, making it all the more important to quickly consult with an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney, who is able to defend the charges and preserve the defendant’s rights.
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According to the news article, 36-year-old Andrew Larry Swift was transported to Shands Jacksonville, where he died after the July 29 shooting on Atlantic Beach. Three others were injured. Atlantic Beach police don’t believe the crime was random, but they haven’t discovered a motive.

News4Jax.com reports that the four men were playing cards that afternoon when a man walked up and opened fire.

A neighbor who called 911 said the noise first sounded like firecrackers and then another witness allegedly saw the shooting. Three men were found lying on the ground. Swift, who later died, had run to a nearby house. The three survivors told police they didn’t know the shooter.

The difficulty for police and prosecutors with many shooting cases is that witnesses can’t correctly identify the perpetrator. If there is a crowd of witnesses around a shooting, most are likely ducking behind cars, buildings or other obstructions as not to get hit. If a person is shooting near a crowd, no one wants to be seen looking at the person to get a description.

And therefore, these types of cases can be difficult to prosecute. That means an advantage for the defendant, whether falsely accused or not. What some people don’t completely understand is how important holding the police and State Attorney’s Office accountable is to ensuring the credibility and honor of our criminal justice system.

Some people believe that when they see a person is arrested on the news or in the newspaper the person is automatically guilty. Some in the public believe that police never make mistakes and if a person is arrested, they are automatically guilty. This isn’t always the case.

Obviously, it may be the case a majority of the time, but they make mistakes. And sometimes if they don’t make mistakes, they break the rules in gathering evidence and therefore, the evidence can’t be used. A person is either found guilty or not guilty at trial, not guilty or innocent. That’s an important distinction to make because the burden is on the state to prove the charges beyond all reasonable doubt.

And that’s why hiring an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to dispute the state’s theories and evidence is critical. Accountability for the state and defense for the client is required in every case, regardless of the charge. The faster the consultation with an attorney the better, so that the client is well-informed about their rights and have an advocate standing by their side.

If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.