Commonwealth v. J.O.
Philadelphia criminal lawyer Mark D. Copoulos obtained another outstanding verdict of Not Guilty. Copoulos represented two co-defendants simultaneously who were accused of Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Conspiracy. Both co-defendants were found not guilty of all charges by waiver trial.
J.O. and C.L. faced misdemeanor assault charges. According to the government, co-defendants met the complainant for a child custody drop off at the 15th District Police Station in Philadelphia. At the drop-off, the Complainant claimed she was assaulted by both defendants. Allegedly, the male co-defendant held the complainant down while the female co-defendant repeatedly beat her over the head. The complainant then allegedly ran into the 15th District Police Station, where she made a police report and was transported to Temple University Hospital. Complainant was released and proceeded to press criminal charges. Both co-defendants were arrested and promptly called Mark D. Copoulos, Esquire to prepare their defense. Mark D. Copoulos agreed to represent both co-defendants after advising them on any conflict-of-interest issues. Accordingly, both defendants proceeded to the same trial with Copoulos as their lawyer.
Attorney Copoulos immediately subpoenaed the medical records from Temple University Hospital. In addition, he requested additional discovery such as the photographs alleged injuries, the domestic violence report, and other standard police paperwork. He also obtained paperwork filed in conjunction with a Protection From Abuse (“PFA”) petition for the same matter, which was ultimately denied by the presiding judge. Armed with this evidence Copoulos began to prepare his defense.
It became immediately apparent to Copoulos that the complaining witness had a motive to lie. The complainant was locked in a vicious custody dispute with one of the co-defendants. In addition, the complainant had a long record of animosity towards the defendant. Moreover, the police paperwork suggested that the police did not immediately press criminal charges. This was because the complainant had limited physical injuries. The photographs of the complainant showed very little actual injury, if any whatsoever. It was also discovered during the investigatory phase that complainant first went to Hahnemann Hospital but was not seen right away. Complainant then travelled to Temple University Hospital where her mother worked to obtain medical treatment. Copoulos highlighted this issue in a brutal cross-examination that lasted nearly forty-five minutes. By the conclusion of the government’s case in chief, the sitting judge had heard about the dismissed PFA, pending custody issues, the limited injuries, and the motive for bias between the complainant and the co-defendant.
Copoulos then called both co-defendants to testify at trial, as well as character witness. The co-defendants testified that no harm was caused to the complainant. Additionally, it was the complainant who was verbally and physically abusive to the co-defendants. Copoulos produced a visual map of the 15th District Police Station, and had the defendants identify for the court where the altercation took place. It became obvious that if this incident in fact occurred, there would have been police officers and other bystanders to witness the attack. The complainant was the only witness to testify for the government.
In his closing statement, Copoulos vehemently argued for a full acquittal on all charges. He cited the total lack of corroborating evidence, including other witnesses, bystanders, physical evidence such as photographs of substantial injuries, or any other documentation. Moreover, he drew the Courts attention to the Philadelphia police officers decision not to arrest the co-defendants on the scene. It was only after the complainant returned from the hospital that the co-defendants were arrested. Copoulos suggested that this hesitance to arrest arose from the PPDs reluctance to believe the complainant. The sitting judge accepted the argument and found the co-defendants not guilty of all charges.
If you have been charged with a crime, contact our Philadelphia Criminal Defense attorneys for a free consultation. Mark D. Copoulos, Esquire has successfully litigated hundreds if not thousands of Philadelphia Misdemeanor and Felony charges. Results like these are no accident. You need a zealous and committed advocate in your corner to obtain the best result possible. Call 267-535-9776 (tel: +1-267-535-9776) to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney who has been rated one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Criminal Defense representation in Pennsylvania.