A 44 year old male suspect was charged with murdering his family in the Orlando, Florida area.
Unrelated search leads to the discovery of multiple bodies
Law enforcement almost did not find the evidence of the murders before the suspect attempted to alter or destroy it. Police entered the property to serve a warrant for an unrelated crime related to fraud and the suspect’s physical therapy practice. They happened to enter the home because no one was around to answer the door. If not for the timing of these events, the bodies would have probably never been found.
When police officers began to search the suspect’s home in the town of Celebration, they found his wife and three children’s bodies had been wrapped in blankets. They also noticed a strong odor in the home, and the suspect happened to be in the upstairs part of the house, where he likely did not hear them knocking on the door. The police report described how the odor became even stronger as they proceeded through the home. The suspect claimed that he thought his wife and kids were at a friend’s house, but when the police entered the upstairs area, they noticed a decaying foot sticking out from underneath a blanket. Eventually, all three of his children and his wife were discovered. Multiple stab wounds were on each of the bodies.
He is facing multiple first degree murder charges. Celebration is located southwest of the city of Orlando.
What is a felony?
All crimes are classified as either felonies or misdemeanors based on the maximum sentence in the state statute that describes the crime.
Felonies are serious criminal charges because they allow for sentences of one year or more in state prison. A misdemeanor’s maximum sentence is 364 days of prison time or less. Almost all of the worst violent crimes such as murder and aggravated assault are always prosecuted as felonies. For non-violent crimes, theft or destruction of large amounts of property, as well as trafficking in drugs, are prosecuted as felonies as well.
Defending against felony charges
Once someone is charged with a felony, a strong defense becomes very important because the prospect of spending over a year in jail can be life changing, and the most serious felonies can cause a defendant to spend several years or decades behind bars.
To minimize this possibility, it is important to get in touch with an attorney who has experience defending against the state’s charges and negotiating favorable plea deals with local prosecutors.
Get immediate help after being charged
If you have recently been arrested, you should speak with a local defense attorney in the Orlando area to try to avoid a conviction. To learn more, contact The Law Office of Donald A. Lykkebak.