Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is a common form of security used by businesses to prevent crime and to aid police if the cameras capture the commission of a crime. The CCTV cameras in a convenience store in Indianapolis recently captured the image of a man accused of murdering another customer in the store. While the evidence does not appear to be easily controvertible, the circumstances of a subsequent confession appear to raise significant doubt about the admissibility of the confession.
The alleged crime
The murder victim was in a convenience store on the east side of Indianapolis running an errand for his mother. The video cameras in the store caught an image of a man approaching the decedent from behind, grabbing a pistol from the decedent’s right front pocket, and shooting him in the chest when he turned around. Police have arrested and interrogated a man who they allege fired the shots that killed the decedent.
The suspect was incarcerated, but he initially denied any involvement in the shooting. In an interview that occurred more than a week after the incident, the suspect admitted to being the man shown in the footage. He told police that he and the decedent had an ongoing “beef.”
Media reports are unclear about whether the suspect actually admitted to the shooting. Also, no information has been released about the presence or observations of witnesses. Without corroboration from witnesses, the defendant’s admission to being “the man in the video” may be an overly slender reed on which to hang the prosecution in this case.
What happens next?
The fate of the defendant in this case is far from clear. Presumably, the counter attendant in the convenience store may be able to conclusively identify the murderer. Other persons may have been present in the store at the time of the shooting, and their observations will play a material role in a conviction or acquittal. Anyone who is facing similar charges may wish to consult a capable and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney for an analysis of the evidence and the formulation of potential legal arguments that may exclude evidence such as the CCTV footage.