A prosecutor must prove that the defendant shot, stab, cut, wounded or caused bodily injury by any means to another person and that such shooting, stabbing, cutting, or wounding or bodily injury was done with the intent to kill or permanently maim, disfigure, or disable another person. For malicious wounding, the Commonwealth must also show that the act was done with malice.
To show that it was an aggravated malicious wounding, the Commonwealth must prove those elements plus they must show that as a result of something the defendant did, the victim was severely injured to the point that they suffered permanent and significant physical impairment.
The prosecutors have to show that the serious injury occurred, so they will do that through the victim’s testimony or through medical records, or the testimony of doctors, EMTs or some combination thereof.
To explain what happened, the Commonwealth will use the victim’s testimony plus any other eyewitnesses that are favorable to their side of the case. They will use the police officers who responded to the scene to discuss what they observed as far as the injuries and how the parties were acting, and any statements made.
If a weapon is used and recovered, they will use that as evidence too. A bloody knife is very persuasive evidence to a judge or jury.
If there is a video of the incident that supports their theory of the case, they will introduce that into evidence.
Any statements the defendant made that suggest that he or she is guilty of the offense will always be used. Those can be either statements made to law enforcement or statements made to other non-police people. Any and all evidence the prosecution has to help prove their case they will use.
And because these cases are taken so seriously, the prosecutors take numerous steps to make sure that they have every piece of evidence that they need to prosecute the defendant.
Yes. They are vigorously prosecuted in Arlington. And that’s partially because they are fairly rare in Arlington. There just aren’t too many stabbings and shootings in Arlington. So when a case like this happens, the prosecutor takes it extremely seriously.
These cases by their nature involve someone who was seriously injured. That can be shocking for a prosecutor and can motivate an aggressive prosecution. The victim almost always wants justice, revenge, or retribution for the wrong they feel was committed on them, so that weighs heavily on a prosecutor.
Additionally the prosecutor often feels pressure from the community. No one wants stabbings, shootings, or even fights taking place in their neighborhood. When something like that happens, they want the perpetrators to be held accountable to send a message to other people that this is not acceptable behavior in Arlington.
So prosecutors attack these cases for several reasons. To punish the perpetrator, to make the victim feel like justice was done, to deter future conduct of the same kind, and from just a personal feeling that justice must be served.