Commonwealth v. J.A. “Fast & Furious” Attempted Murder

J.A. and her co-defendant were charged with attempted murder, conspiracy and related charges. J.A. went to a nightclub on 8th and Poplar to enjoy a neighborhood celebration. Unfortunately for her, she was about to experience the exact opposite. J.A. and the complaining witness’ children share the same father. The Commonwealth alleged that J.A. started a fight with the complainant and that both women were dragged outside by security. Once outside, the royal rumble continued. Eventually police interceded and the women were separated. At some point the fight continued as J.A. got into her friend’s car, the co-defendant. While in the car, the Commonwealth alleged that J.A. grabbed onto the complainant, pulled her head though the car window by the hair, beat her face with her shoe and told her co-defendant that “this bitch gonna die tonight” – all while the car was driving at full speed through lights and stop signs, with the complainant dangling outside of the car, her legs and feet dragging over the asphalt for nine city blocks… The complaining witness was eventually taken to the hospital.

The defense was able to shred that story into pieces. Mr. Shaffer brought up the animosity between the complaining witness and his client, which led to the complainant being arrested approximately eight times and convicted once for throwing a brick through a closed window of his client’s house and almost hitting her 3-year-old daughter. He further brought out her conviction for a crime of crimen falsi for theft. The complainant’s credibility continued to erode as she shot back that J.A. had been arrested for “biting her eyeball.” Mr. Shaffer was able to show through FBI background checks that J.A.’s only arrest had been for the incident being tried.

Several other issues were brought up by the defense including co-counsel having his client testify. Her testimony showed a completely different story, which matched up better with the medical records. Once character evidence was introduced for both defendants, closing arguments were heard. Mr. Shaffer pointed out that if the complainant’s story were true, she would be testifying as an amputee, not someone who fully recovered. The judge agreed and found both women NOT GUILTY of all charges!