Your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, theft, as defined by the Florida State Code 812.014, is when a person knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently: (1) deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property OR (2) appropriate the property to his or her won use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property. In addition, it is a felony, as well as grand theft, of the third degree if the property stolen falls under one of 14 qualifications, one of which is a stop sign.
In the time between the last week of January and the first week of February, after a night of hanging out with friends, our client, Thomas Miller, along with co-defendants, Chris Cole and Nissa Baille, went on, what some might refer to as a, sign-stealing spree. Basically, they went joy riding around the streets of Hillsborough County and took multiple railroad signs, street name signs, a "dead end" sign, a "do not enter" sign, and, from the neighboring Polk County, one stop sign. In the end, a night of teenage fun turned into a pile of 19 road signs in the back of Chris Cole's pick up truck.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are not here to argue these events. Our clients and the co-defendants have owned up and confessed there crimes. The issue here is that our client is being tried for manslaughter and forced, by the prosecution, to bare the burden of blame for the tragic deaths of 18-year-old Kevin Farr, Brian Hernandez, and Randall White.
Today, the prosecution has painted a picture of events that led up to the tragic accident that occurred on February 7, 1996. They told a story with crossed T's and dotted I's. And they a story the blood of three young men in the hands of my client strictly based on inference and circumstantial evidence.
circumstantial evidence is defined as evidence that proves a fact by means of inference, beyond reasonable...
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