San Francisco Defense Attorney Successfully Defends Murder Case by Showing Weaknesses in Prosecution’s Case

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Last week a Solano County jury found San Francisco Defense Attorney Tim Pori’s client not guilty of first-degree murder and other serious felonies. Pori employed a strategy of discrediting the prosecution’s witness during careful cross-examination without presenting defense testimony.

Tim Pori, Attorney at Law

During cross-examination, I played several dozen excerpts of her audio recorded statement to the police, which flatly contradicted her trial testimony.

A murder trial [# FCR277400] in the Superior Court of California, County of Solano ended last Friday with a jury finding Raymon Sellers not guilty of first-degree murder for a 2010 shooting at the Parkway Gardens town houses in Vallejo. The acquittal came after San Francisco defense attorney Tim Pori made the decision to not present a defense case—a tactic Pori says is the best choice in certain circumstances.

“Some legal scholars contend that if you strongly believe that the prosecution has failed to prove its case, you lose credibility with the jury by putting on a weak defense, or for that matter any defense at all,” he said. “I believe that was true in this case.”

Juries receive instructions at the start of a trial, so they understand that the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. They also appreciate that the defendant has the right to remain silent, that the defendant is not obligated to testify against himself.

According the Daily Republic coverage, the sole prosecution witness, who claimed Sellers was at the shooting, was the girlfriend of Robert J. Dixon—a second man being tried for the same crime.

“The jury had heard over a month of testimony, and I selectively cross-examined the witnesses that pertained to my client’s defense,” said Pori.

The Daily Republic article reports that Pori credited as a major factor in his client’s acquittal a prosecution witness having told police a few hours after the shooting the name of a suspect other than Sellers.

The article quotes Pori as saying that while the key prosecution witness, Dixon’s girlfriend, identified Sellers as the second person whom she dropped off with Dixon at the Parkway Gardens just before the shooting, and that identification came after an inexplicable decision by authorities to turn off audio and video equipment for several minutes that had been recording her interrogation for hours.

Pori suggested to jurors that the girlfriend was afraid of retaliation if she identified the man who helped Dixon with the ambush shooting, according to the Daily Republic.

Pori provides additional comments on the case and a link to media coverage of the trial in his most recent article in the Legal Advice for Stupid Criminals series.

The San Francisco defense attorney is fond of saying that his target audience is “stupid criminals” because all of the “smart criminals” are on Wall Street running insurance companies, and they have the best legal advice money can buy. Stupid criminals, on the other hand, seldom have money—and so they are in greater need of quality legal advice.

For more information about defense of any state or federal criminal charge, visit or call Tim Pori at 415 495-4800.

About the Law Offices of Tim A. Pori
Tim A. Pori is a San Francisco criminal defense attorney who actively defends people accused of sex crimes, drug crimes, weapons violations, federal and state felonies (including murder), and all other violations, including misdemeanors and drunk driving.

Pori is a member of the California State Bar and has been certified by the California Board of Certification as a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. He has been practicing in the San Francisco Area for 14 years. The Law Offices of Tim A. Pori serves the communities of San Francisco, Vallejo, and the San Francisco Bay Area.


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