Yesterday, we discussed the latest example of a man arrested after posting an incriminating picture on Facebook. He is now joined on this list of alleged Facebook felons by Willie Davis Hines Jr., 23, of San Bernardino County. He was arrested after publishing an account of his beating his pregnant girlfriend, who later died.
Hines has been charged with the death of Tatjana Cruz, 24, and her unborn child.
After Hines took Cruz to the hospital and she was pronounced dead, he post a statement on his Facebook page explaining that she died after a fight that began when he found that they were no longer in a “monogamous relationship.” He apologized for the death of Crus and her baby.
Notably, Hines turned himself in to a security guard at a mall in San Diego — not the usual method of surrender. However, Hines told the mall cop that he was being sought for questioning in a murder. The fact is that he would always likely to be the prime suspect in such a case, even without the Facebook posting.
This sounds like someone who is riddled by guilt and his surrender should help in any sentencing if he is convicted. What is fascinating is how normally solitary people have come to embrace the Internet as a means of opening up to others. For this man, the natural impulse after the death of his girlfriend was to go to the Internet and apologize.
He wrote: “I know there is no way to believing anything I have to say but just know I am not armed nor am I dangerous. I fled the scene, because I don’t think there is any way to prove that this is not just a act of pure hate.”
There is still room for a defense in that comment, though it is primarily a defense that would help on sentencing or perhaps in a plea lowering the murder charge from first-degree to second or third degree. His counsel could even argue that Cruz died unexpectedly (and unintentionally) from a struggle and the charge should be manslaughter.
Police will have to link the posting to Hines with a forensic expert, but the rest is likely to be an argument over intent.
Source: LA Times
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