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Man charged with felonies following a shooting in Portland

In North Portland, a man was recently arrested for violent crimes and on weapons charges. Specifically, the felonies against him included unlawful possession of a firearm, attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon.

According to police, the man was in the parking lot of a Portland area strip club when he open fired. No one was injured in the shooting. Authorities say the 25-year-old man is a known gang member and that the shooting was likely gang related. Police have submitted a probable cause affidavit to the court in which they claim that the man was seen at the Sandy Boulevard business before and after the shooting by a surveillance video. At this time, the man denies being involved in the shooting but admitted to being at the club. Police say the investigation into the shooting will continue.

Just because people were at the scene of a crime does not mean that they are automatically guilty of committing that crime. It may simply be a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While prosecutors can use evidence of being on the scene to prove that a person committed a crime, usually they will need more than that to convict someone -- especially of a felony.

In fact, prosecutors will need to prove all the elements of each charge beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a guilty verdict. Those facing felonies should understand that it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove the crime, not just that a person was present at the crime scene. By knowing this, people should also understand that they do not automatically need to make a deal with the prosecutor, or plead guilty to a crime just because they were at a crime scene -- other criminal defense options are still available.

Source: The Oregonian, “Man accused in shooting near Northeast Portland strip club,” Everton Bailey Jr., May 20, 2013

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