Attempted Murder Suspect Represented by Attorney Kerry Armstrong Acquitted of Charges

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Despite having video surveillance, possession of knives, and suspicious Internet search activity presented against him, a man represented by Attorney Kerry Armstrong—of the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC—was acquitted of all charges in attempted murder and assault case.

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney

San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer

A 29-year-old man who was represented by San Diego criminal defense attorney Kerry Armstrong was recently acquitted of charges for premeditated murder and assault with a knife causing great bodily injury, despite extensive evidence presented by prosecutors against the man in court. Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of stabbing a woman six times, including twice in the head and once in the chest. The trial (Case No. SCD240344; People v. Justin Wadell) was held in San Diego Superior Court in San Diego, Calif., and was heard by Judge Joan Weber.

According to Case No. CD240344; People v. Justin Wadell, the person claiming to be the victim was a 43-year-old transient woman who lives in San Diego. The woman claimed that Mr. Armstrong’s client drove up to her on Jan. 13 around 12:15 a.m. and told her he was depressed and needed to talk to someone. According to her account of the situation, they talked briefly and then she asked him for cigarettes. After he agreed to buy them for her, she allegedly saw him walk to a nearby Auto Mart, enter it, and then return. He then allegedly gave the woman three cigarettes, talked to her for a few minutes, and then started stabbing her all over her body.

According to the court documents, the woman’s injuries were very serious—she had to have a portion of her lung removed, and the stab wounds to her head penetrated her skull. A doctor said he did not expect the woman to survive through the day of the incident. The woman provided a statement to a detective three days after the stabbing, and various steps were taken that led to the arrest of Mr. Armstrong’s client. Video surveillance of the Auto Mart was used to find a suspect who fit the woman’s description, who she later identified through still photos from the footage. The detective used gasoline purchase records and bank records to further identify the suspect. As a result, Mr. Armstrong’s client was arrested in April 2012. It was found that he had purchased cigarettes (the same brand mentioned in the woman’s account of the crime) at the store about an hour prior to the stabbing.

There were various pieces of evidence that was used against Mr. Armstrong’s client, according to the court documents of the case People v. Justin Wadell. Law-enforcement officers ended up finding at least 17 non-kitchen knives in the man’s apartment. He also had a photo on his iPhone of seven knives lined up from longest to shortest, and searches of his laptop showed that he had done searches of the terms “homeless stabbing,” “serial killers,” “Dexter” and “how to hold a knife in a fight.” Other information presented against the defendant included confirmation that he was indeed depressed at the time of the stabbing, as well as discovery of his poetry that related to depression and knife usage.

While all these facts appeared to create a strong case against Mr. Armstrong’s client, the court documents showed that there was also evidence that brought the transient woman’s credibility into question. The woman ended up admitting to injecting drugs for more than 10 years. While she had testified at the trial’s preliminary hearing that she had not used drugs during the six months that came before the stabbing, it was discovered that she tested positive for methamphetamine on the night that the stabbing occurred. She had also been arrested 18 days before the trial began for being under the influence of drugs. During both the preliminary hearing and trial, the woman testified that methamphetamine made her “smarter” and gave her a “better memory.”

While the odds might have seemed stacked against Mr. Armstrong’s client, the attorney was still able to provide a strong line of defense for the accused individual. The jury ended up pronouncing the defendant not guilty of all charges after six hour hours of deliberation.

Mr. Armstrong is a highly experienced lawyer who has the skill and experienced to efficiently handle even the most difficult and complex of criminal cases. He has handled hundreds of felony and misdemeanor cases throughout California. More information about the attorney and his firm is available at

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