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Homestead man held without bond on child abuse case

Posted on August 05, 2010 3:00 AM EST

In the majority of murder cases, bond hearing judges will normally hold defendants charged with this crime without bail. However, one of the elements the prosecution has to prove is that the victim is dead. The recent case involving a Homestead man that beat his two year-old son within an inch of his life is a bit strange. Lee De Jesus is accused of punching a little boy 15 times in the face, head and torso during a fifteen minute time span. The young victim was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he was examined by neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon declared the child/victim brain dead. The interesting part of the story is that the defendant was initially arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect. Child abuse and child neglect are both bondable offenses. Once the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office was apprised of the victim's status, they placed the case on calendar to address the bond status of the defendant.

The prosecution requested that the circuit court judge find probable cause for the offense of 2nd degree murder despite the fact that the child remained on life-support. The Miami criminal defense lawyer from the public defender's office representing the defendant argued that the victim had not yet expired and that his client was entitled to bond. The circuit court judge presiding over the case questioned the lead homicide detective and inquired as to the status of the child. The lead detective informed the judge that a neurosurgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital has declared the child brain dead. Once the child is taken off life-support he will expire. The judge found probable cause for the charge of second degree murder and held the defendant without bond despite the fact that the child is still alive.

Now that the judge has found probable cause to believe that the defendant committed second degree murder, an offense punishable by life in prison, he is being held without a bond. Other offenses like armed robbery with a firearm, sexual battery on a minor, and armed drug trafficking are also offenses that are punishable up to life in prison. Just because a defendant is being held without a bond for a particular offense, does not mean that an experienced criminal attorney can't secure a bond for his client. There are two ways to get a bond for a defendant charged with a non-bondable offense. The first way is to convince the prosecutor that their case is weak and that a bond is appropriate based on the facts and evidence supporting the case. The second way to receive a bond is to appear at an Arthur hearing which will be heard by the circuit court judge presiding over the case.

At an Arthur hearing, the prosecution must prove that the crime was committed under the standard of proof evident, presumption great. The standard is higher than beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor can meet this burden, they must also convince the judge that the defendant is flight risk or a danger to the community. The court will also consider the past criminal record of the defendant in determining whether or not to issue a bond. Due to the fact that De Jesus confessed striking the victim 15 times in the face and body with boxing gloves and the heinous nature of the crimes, any defense counsel will have an uphill battle securing bail at bond hearing for this particular defendant.

Sister Criticizes Boxing Father's Temper, NBC Miami.com, August 5, 2010.
Categories: Violent Crimes