Jury Renders a "Not Guilty" Verdict for Former Orange County Gang Member Who Was Facing a Life Sentence for Gang Attempted Murder Charges

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In conservative Orange County, California, a jury acquitted a former gang member of all charges concerning an alleged gang attempted murder. Former NFL cheerleader now Criminal Defense Attorney Karren Kenney successfully presented an identity defense that saved her client from serving the rest of his life in prison.

"As a criminal defense attorney who is constantly fighting for my clients, I can't put into words how thankful I am that my client will not be spending the rest of his life in prison."

On October 16, 2013, an Orange County jury rendered a “not guilty” verdict on all counts related to an alleged gang attempted murder case in People v. Richard Trevino. Criminal Defense Attorney Karren Kenney represented Mr. Trevino during the three week jury trial, successfully presenting an identity defense to the jury.

In a post-trial statement, Attorney Kenney stated: “It’s extremely rare for an Orange County jury to render this type of verdict, especially for a defendant who does have a history of gang activity. I’m just extremely thankful that the jury was smart enough to look beyond my client’s past mistakes, and view the facts for what they were. Mr. Trevino was facing a life sentence, and since he was found “not guilty” on all charges and lesser included offenses, he was released the day the verdict came down.”

According to court records and testimony elicited during the trial, the charges stemmed from drug activity in an apartment carport area in Anaheim, California. An altercation occurred in the carport area where several individuals were purchasing and using drugs. During the altercation, a young black man was seen on surveillance video pulling out of the carport area. As he was driving off, a male Hispanic came from the carport area and fired 1 shot at the vehicle as it drove away. The bullet was lodged in the wheel well of the vehicle and no one was injured. The shooter then got into a black truck driven by Benavidez, and fled the scene. Benavidez was tracked down by his license plate 11 days later, where he told investigators Mr. Trevino was the shooter. Trevino maintained his innocence and evidence was presented to the jury that Benavidez had lied to the police about what was really going on in the carport area. The jury believed that Benavidez had lied and was unwilling to tell police who the real shooter was. Benavidez was not charged with any crimes related to the incident and was provided immunity during the trial. Mr. Trevino was facing a life sentence had he been convicted of the gang charges. (People v. Richard Trevino - Orange County Superior Court Case No. 12NF3159)

Attorney Kenney has been a criminal defense attorney for the past 13 years, and handles all types of aggravated and complex felony cases in state and federal courts, including murder, gang charges and white collar crime. For more information about Criminal Defense Attorney Karren Kenney, visit http://kenneylegaldefense.us or call (855) 505-5588.

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