Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Ruffalo Shooting And The Beverly Hills Police Investigation

Beverly Hills, CA—It was an awful and tragic event that brought Beverly Hills police to the home of actor Mark Ruffalo’s brother Scott Ruffalo. He suffered a gunshot wound to his head and was unconscious. Ruffalo later died.

Police became aware that others were present and put out a dragnet to locate and detain them.

There is a big rub here. Witnesses or offenders are not required to talk to police. Witness can be compelled by court order to testify unless they assert their rights against self-incrimination. The primary suspect was 26 year-old Shaha Mishaal Adham. This woman did not hang around the scene nor was she required to do so. A 911 call was made and help was on the way.

The apparent evidence indicated that Ruffalo was playing Russian Roulette and that the wound was self-inflicted. Generally this can be proven by tests for gunshot residue. Positioning evidence of the gun to skin can and generally will show either contact or close to contact gun muzzle distances.

Suspect Adham entered the Beverly Hills Police Department later, and was arrested. She retained lawyer, Ronald Richards. After hours of discussion police released Adham and announced she had been cleared.

That clearance is not set in stone if other evidence can establish Probable Cause. I don’t expect that to happen.

Toxicological testing is a painfully slow process and will eventually show if and what intoxicating chemical substances Ruffalo has been using if that were the case.

Not every violent death is a murder and innocent people often leave the scene of frightening events. Leaving the scene of such an event and the failure or refusal to talk to police is no crime, but your absolute right. Talking to police without an attorney present is always a terrible idea.

No comments: