25 Attorneys Talk About The Most Sickening Criminals They Were Forced To Defend

Defense attorneys are forced to deal with heartless murderers and child rapists. Here are some of the worst cases these attorneys on Ask Reddit have ever been given.
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1. He raped his stepdaughter and recorded it

“Worst had to be the ‘gentleman’ who spent years raping his stepdaughter. He videotaped it, so we had to watch at trial. We knew the reason he insisted on going to trial because he wanted to see video again.” — gettinareallawyer

2. He pointed an AR-15 at a police officer

“Oh. I also had a guy stand out of a sunroof and point an AR-15 at an undercover cop. Guy was on probation when this happened.

Co-worker represented a guy that beat and burned a kitten and recorded it. She had to watch the video and she came to my office crying after. Fuck that guy.” — schubox63

3. He beat his partner to death with his fists

“Lawyer who did criminal work experience whilst training:

I was part of the legal team that defended a man who killed his partner by beating her to death his fists in their living room. We argued diminished responsibility ie he was only guilty of manslaughter not murder as at the time of the assault he lacked the relevant mental capacity. Jury found against him and he was sent down for 25 years. Last thing he said to me was that he hopes he gets to go solitary with his guitar and that he would be better than Eric Clapton by the time he ever got out.

Edit: This is a UK case and the client had been in and out of prison all of his life so I assumed that he would know if he was allowed his guitar whilst inside. I took his word for it at least.

The jury didn’t believe that his previous and ongoing psychological problems well evidenced by expert witnesses had an effect on his mental state to such an extent that he lacked the mental capacity to commit murder. They believed that he committed the murder because he wanted to either kill or cause serious phyical harm to his partner at the time. This is the mens rea for murder in the UK.

No I don’t feel bad about assisting in his case. He was innocent until proven guilty and in the UK we have equality of arms in criminal cases ie his legal team has the same resources as the prosecution’s.” — ELPLRTA

4. He got his own granddaughter pregnant

“Long story short, guy was accused of molesting his granddaughter and she was pregnant from it. I, along with the State became confused on the DNA of the grandchild’s child.

We learned, that his grandchild was the product of rape on his own daughter, so he was the grandfather/father of the complainant and the great-grandfather/father of the complainant’s child.” — ObjectionThrowItAway

5. He set out to carjack someone and ended up murdering them

“Murder. Started out as a gang initiation carjacking turned murder when the juvenile initiate panicked. Juvenile committed suicide at the juvie. Client was torn up as well and wanted to plead guilty. Did psych evaluation and did a full pretrial motions practice that lasted a year before we scheduled the plea. He wrote a very heartfelt apology to the girl’s dad and I gave it to him after the plea. Still filed habeas against me 2 years later, but that was sort of expected.

Child molestation and incest. Was raping his daughter for about 5 years. After a vague outcry, police came to the house and recovered semen covered tissue from the girl’s bedroom in the trashcan. Almost got that evidence suppressed because the search was without a warrant but with permission from his wife. He had previously refused consent but was led away to the station for questioning (stories differ as to whether he did it voluntarily or was coerced or even just flat out arrested) and they re-asked for consent from the wife, with no husband to contradict her. This one went almost a year as well with a metric ton of motions. In the end, what the police got from the search corroborated the witness testimony to the tee, and he eventually decided to plea.

But the one that affected me the most was a little kid who literally grew into a man while locked up for two cases: two counts of aggravated assaults and another case of armed robbery. He stayed in jail almost 3 years while the cases worked themselves out. In the agg. assault case, he was alleged to have shot two lifelong gangbangers due to some dispute. He was a skinny kid, maybe 150 lbs soaking wet, and these gangbangers were all over 6 ft and heavily built. And a long rap sheet each. Cross examination on their records went fucking textbook. They had around 5 convictions each and I asked about the first 3 and then let them hang themselves by saying how they’re different now, and how that’s all old news, and they don’t do that no more. Right… Then you hit them with the subsequent convictions. You wouldn’t think that would work, that they would know what their own record is and wouldn’t fall for this trick. But they do. Every single time. Not guilty, but still locked up because of the armed robbery.

Armed robbery went to trial and we had an expert on eye witness testimony, prof. Brigham. He was a professor at FSU and along with Elizabeth Loftus, the pre-eminent expert in the field of human memory and eyewitness testimony. He dazzled the jury. Truthfully, I can’t take any credit for this. Not guilty again.

Few days later, he came to see me at my office. I still remembered a little skinny kid. Not anymore. In street clothes, this dude was built. Somehow I missed all of that, either looking through the partition glass at the jail or being preoccupied with other stuff in court. We always had a good rapport so we spent a good hour talking about future plans. That’d be the last time I’d see him however. A year or so later, he got arrested for murder and is now serving a life sentence. I think that if he had been convicted of some of the other charges, maybe he wouldn’t have that murder. Maybe if he went away for 5 or 10 years, he could have come out more mature. Not a 20 year old jacked up kid who’s been deprived of fun things the past 3 years. I deliberately kept myself ignorant of the specifics of the murder. Maybe he killed a useless gang banging psychopath. Maybe he killed a nun. I think it’s better not knowing.” — juicius

6. He shot a rival gang member in the face

“Defended a guy that walked up to a rival gang member and shot him in the face. Then he and his buddies fled and got involved in a high speed chase and he was shooting out the window at the chasing cops. I had to interview him alone at the downtown Modesto county jail which is a total shithole. It was the first murderer I defended and I was scared. He turned out to be very polite.” — starlinghanes

7. He drowned an underaged girl

“The gang murderers are pretty routine at this point. As a young lady, it’s the ones who aren’t killing in the name of territory, street cred, etc. that get to me. I was really affected by a particularly brutal, cold, calculated, sick 30-something man accused of murder. He was eerily calm and cocky about his an encounter with an underage girl he met and chatted up for about 20 minutes that resulted ultimately in her drowning with suspicious surrounding circumstances. He was obviously disturbed and it was very unsettling just being near him. Images of him smiling for the news cameras in the courtroom will weirdly pop into my head on a somewhat random basis and it still gives me the heebie jeebies. The act he put on when he INSISTED upon being put on the stand in trial ruined him. He would have walked but for his ridiculous testimony. Within seconds the jury, who had been paying close attention previously, looked horrified as he told these stories and stopped taking notes. Their minds were made up as soon as he opened his creepy mouth. He was quickly convicted. We did a really stellar job in his case, but he dug his own grave. Justice was served.” — [deleted]

8. He shot a dog due to road rage

“I had a client who was a narco in Colombia extradited to the US. Killed more people than he could count. Actually lost track.

A guy who made video tapes of himself having sex with his six year old daughter.

A guy who killed another person in a road rage incident and shot his dog. Strafed bullets across the windshield to scare the guy’s wife then went home and went to bed.

I could go on for days.” — BroadwayJayEsq

9. He decapitated his grandmother

“Worked on a case in which the defendant was accused of decapitating his Grandma with a bread knife. Gruesome and scary.” — NAbsentia

10. He was a serial child molester

“I’m a law clerk at a criminal defense firm. We take cases on appeal after the client has already pled guilty or been found guilty at trial. One of our clients is a convicted serial child-molester, but some of the offenses occurred when he was a juvenile himself (under 17 in my state), which the law treats differently.

I was tasked with going through the paperwork we received and figuring out which victims he molested when he was an adult, and which victims he molested when he was a juvenile, to calculate his correct punishment range.

Problem is, the official court documents all name the victims with pseudonyms (“John Doe ,” etc.), while the police reports use their actual names. There is no legend or index in the file to tell me which victim is which, and it’s cheaper for my bosses to pay me to figure it out than to force the Government to turn over a list. So I had to match the child victims to their codenames based on their biographical details and their accounts of the abuse.

‘Attn: Boss – Child A is black, around age 9, and was touched around the genitals and anus with the Defendant’s fingers. Timmy Smith is black, and matches Child A’s time frame, but his report only mentions the Defendant’s tongue on his anus, not the fingers. There are no other black victims. I believe there is a 90% chance that Child A is Timmy Smith.’ And so on.

I am so glad that I will be moving into prosecution in a month or so.” — PopeHatSkeleton

11. He sexually abused an animal

“Prior public defender.

Child assault/sexual assaults are the worst. That aside, I once defended a very, very nice 80ish year old man who had been married like 50 years – several kids – grandkids – and great grandkids. He’d been charged with sexual acts with a horse. Turns out most of the community knew he’d been sexually interacting with livestock for many years and they’d usually look the other way but I guess he went too far with the horse. He pled guilty to the felony but of course got no jail time.” — Care_esq

12. A child sodomized another child

“Public Defender here:

I once represented an 11 year old charged with forcible sodomy against another 11 year old. You will often see kids charged with molesting other kids, but its rare to get a juvenile defendant that young. Sometimes the parents are overreacting to two kids “playing doctor,” sometimes its evidence that the kids themselves have been molested by an adult.

Juvenile cases get complicated, juvenile sex cases get absurdly complicated. Between draconian laws that aren’t really designed for juveniles, competency issues (how do you get a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary plea from a child?), and moronic parents, it can get pretty overwhelming.” — Fictional_Idolatry

13. He threatened to kill his former attorney

“Immigration law often intersects with criminal defense law, since having criminal convictions will get you banned from or kicked out of many countries.

In my first year of practicing, I had to argue for a man convicted of molesting his young daughters to be allowed into my country… in order to help care for his disabled young step-granddaughter. Reading the details of what he did to his daughters (who were around the ages of 6-8) was horrifying. The now-adult daughters wrote letters saying they’d forgiven him and had no problems trusting him around their own children. I just couldn’t stop thinking that this guy was possibly going to be left alone with a little girl who couldn’t move or talk, let alone defend herself from a convicted pedophile (not that children should be expected to be able to defend themselves from a grown man).

A weird one was a guy who had a felony conviction for threatening and planning to kill his previous attorney. He needed to clear up this issue because of a job opportunity in my country. He sent me this bizarre manifesto about the government’s conspiracies to poison people via tap water, and how it was all the fault of the homosexual ‘girly men’ in powerful positions. I was scared I’d be his next target, because he clearly had severe untreated mental health issues and all it would take was one lazy or sloppy border officer to let him slip through.” — immlawthrow

14. There was a Skype group that fucked children

“I had to defend an individual who was part of a massive infant raping group. This group would video chat via Skype about their plans and how much they loved to fuck kids. So anyway I had to take instructions and be professional whilst my client told me all the horrific details of what he did, how, why, when etc. I have dealt with all sorts of outrageous and horrible offenses yet this one always sticks out for me.” — Sk3pticz

15. A preacher raped boys from his youth group

“Let’s see… most serious criminally? Attempted 1st degree murder. Worst overall… preacher accused of raping the boys in his church youth group.” — fingawkward

16. He kidnapped, raped, and tortured his girlfriend

“This guy kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed his then girlfriend while his other girlfriend helped. He recorded the whole thing on video. He also was recorded talking with the girlfriend who helped him about ‘moving the thing in the back yard’, which during his defense he said they were talking about a safe that was buried.

He was acquitted on all counts and a couple years after the trial he moved to a new house. The people who bought his house took up some carpeting and found an air conditioning vent. Inside the vent were the videos of him killing his victim but he can’t be retried due to double jeopardy. I think they might have gotten him for perjury since he obviously lied during his first trail but that’s it.” — asfdjjhljh

17. He strangled a hooker to death

“A friend of mine’s dad is a defense attorney. He once had a client who strangled a hooker to death because she laughed at him because he couldn’t get a boner after shooting heroin directly into his dick. Her dad’s half-assed defense was, ‘Well, your honor, in his defense, he was really high from heroin, so he wasn’t thinking very clearly.’ The guy was quickly sentenced to many years in prison.” — sonofabee

18. He murdered his partner’s young son

“Murder of his partner’s 18 month old son. I had an 18 month old at the time. The trial never went ahead though as the Defendant passed away not long after his arrest.” — mutharunner

19. He anally raped an elderly woman

“Oh I just remembered this one. This was probably the nastiest case I remember in all my time at the PD’s office. Wasn’t my client but a friend of mine’s in the office. Guy’s name was Ramone (they called him Ramone the bone)

He violently raped a 70+ year old woman. He beat the shit out of her. Put his finger in her ass then wiped it on her face. Anally raped her and then made her perform oral sex on her. Real fucked up stuff. Guy was a total asshole. Went all the way to trial, jury selection was fun.

He was found guilty. Can’t remember what his sentence was but it was many years.” — schubox63

20. He killed a clerk inside of the firm’s office

“In St Paul, someone had to defend a guy who was charged with assaulting a police officer. Not that bad right?

Well, the guy didn’t like how his case was being handled, so we went to the firm’s office and shot and killed one of their clerks (he thought it was his lawyer apparently).

So yeah, that’s probably one of the worst people you would have to defend.” — pragmaticbastard

21. He beat his own child with a board

“A guy who beat his 16 year old daughter with a board and insisted on invoking his Christian values as a defense. Not the worst crime ever by any measure but seriously? Fuck off, dude.” — arizonabob

22. He raped his daughters for years

“My client raped his daughters over a period of years. It went to a full jury trial. Cross-examining the children was…very unpleasant. My client was convicted, the evidence was overwhelming. I made clear before trial that he was going down, but the defendant would not take a plea. The Judge, in an unrecorded discussion held while the jury was out, told the prosecutor and me to do our utmost to make certain there were no appealable issues since the defendant was a monster. I hated every minute of that trial but I did my utmost to represent my client.” — lobido

23. He was convicted of sexual assault

“Public Defender here. Matter of public record, still owe a duty of confidentiality, all that jazz. A client of our office was convicted of assault (defined as a non-consensual physical contact) with sexual motivation, the alleged victim being the six year old niece of the defendant making it also a crime of domestic violence. It’s by far the darkest case I’ve been assigned. I can say, without reservation, that he got a fair shake.” — snowman818

24. He brought a bag of cocaine to his drug test

“I had a brilliant gentleman on probation for narcotics trafficking and was not permitted to own/use a cellphone. He went in for a drug test with his probation officer, and his cell rang in his pocket. The PO went to take the phone from his pocket and also pulled out a large baggie of cocaine. THAT HE BROUGHT TO HIS DRUG TEST.” — underwriter

25. An elderly man accidentally killed a young girl

“Defended an old guy/driver who hit and killed a mentally challenged girl who had run across six lanes of traffic against the signal. The guy did nothing wrong. The worst part about the situation was that we were being paid by the dead girl’s family’s insurance company, who the family was suing for benefits.” — PoopLion TC mark

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