Richard Molezzo successfully defended Gregory “Shane” Poole against open murder charges brought by the State of Nevada, resulting in a defense verdict in favor of Mr. Poole.
On October 23, 2014, Jerome “Skinny” Neal became agitated with a group of acquaintances over the loss of his cell phone. Neal attacked one of the acquaintances, hitting him in the head with a portable speaker causing a large gash; an injury that ultimately required 9 stitches to close. In an effort to help the victim, his friend, Mr. Poole came to the victim’s aid and tried to stop the assault. While trying to stop Neal’s violent confrontation, Mr. Poole attempted to push the aggressor away and ultimately ended up stabbing Neal in the buttocks with a small knife about three inches in length in order to stop Neal’s attack. Neal was transported to Renown Hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries as a result of a severed artery where he was stabbed.
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office charged and asked the jury to convict Mr. Poole with open murder with a deadly weapon and included an additional charge known as a “race enhancement,” a charge that could have resulted in life in prison without the possibility of parole for Mr. Poole, had he been convicted. Despite the State’s murder accusations, the jury found Mr. Poole’s conduct in trying to assist his friend did not rise to the level of first-degree murder with a deadly weapon, second-degree murder with a deadly weapon or voluntary manslaughter and instead found Mr. Poole guilty of only involuntary manslaughter. Upon inquiry, Mr. Poole’s attorney Richard Molezzo, Esq. stated, “While no verdict can replace the life that was lost in this unfortunate sequence of events, we believe that justice was served.” When asked how his client was feeling about the jury’s verdict, Mr. Molezzo said, “Mr. Poole is grateful that the legal processed worked and is eager to put this difficult and painful ordeal behind him.”
Ultimately, the jury determined that Mr. Poole’s involvement in the altercation did not constitute murder, nor was race an issue.
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