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Friday, February 18, 2011

High Stakes Attempted Murder Trial in Orange County

A fight at an Irvine home sent one man to the hospital with a stab wound to the chest back in April of 2009. The victim was Andre Murillo, and on February 8, 2011, a trauma surgeon, Dr. Nastanski, testified at the preliminary hearing of Defendant Abdullah Wahadi. The defendant is charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Dr. Nastanski explained that the cut had severed the outer layer of Mr. Murrillo’s heart and further explained that such a cut could cause bleeding into the chest which could have been fatal. Mr. Wahadi’s defense attorney asked the doctor about traces of marijuana and amphetamines in the victim’s blood. According to the Orange County Register the defense attorney asked Mr. Murillo about a previous incident involving him and his father. Specifically, whether or not Murillo pushed or head butted his father, which Murillo said “I don’t believe that happened”. An Irvine police officer testified as well, giving accounts from two of Mr. Murillo’s friends. Officer Flores described how one witness described seeing Wahadi punching Murillo several times, and on one occasion saw a knife. Also one witness said that the physical altercation occurred outside of the house, after an argument between the two inside the house. The article did not explain why the men had been arguing.

Generally questions about whether a victim was under the influence of drugs is only admissible where if the Defendant intends to claim self defense toward a drug crazed assailant-victim. Otherwise, such questions are usually irrelevant, not admissible and may not be asked. It is unclear what relevance asking the victim about an incident with his father since that would not appear to be relevant unless the Defendant was trying to show he was acting in self defense and the victim had a propensity for violence.

Mr. Wahadi’s only possible defenses to this case are that it simply did not happen or that he was acting in self defense or defense of others. Notably, self defense usually only permits like force with like force to be applied. So if Mr. Murillo was using his fist and Mr. Wahadi used a knife that may not qualify as self defense.

Irvine is generally considered one of the safest places in America and is consistently on top 10 lists for American cities with little crime. For such a serious crime to have been committed there has been a shock to the locals. If convicted Mr. Wahadi could face life in prison. See Penal Code Sections 664-187, 245(a) (1).

Criminal Law Updates by the Law Offices of Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636

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