Domestic violence disputes are quite common in Los Angeles, California. Sometimes what starts as a verbal argument spirals out of control leading to physical altercations. The Compton police department is equipped to handle almost any situation, but few could have predicted the scene that was uncovered at a residence in Compton on December 23rd, 2013.
Authorities responded to a potential domestic violence dispute around 10:30 p.m. at a home in Compton, California. The officers explored the home, during which one officer noticed a fresh mound of dirt in the backyard. After further investigation, the officers and the Compton Fire Department unearthed a recently buried body that turned out to be the home owner’s girlfriend.
The homeowner, Devon Anderson, has since confessed to killing and burying his girlfriend in the backyard and is in custody. His bail amount is $1 million for which he is not expected to pay.
How Did the Murder Happen?
Very little information has been released by authorities other than the following facts: police responded to a domestic violence call, authorities searched the home that was reported, authorities identified a suspicious pile of dirt, the dirt turned out to be the body of the homeowner’s girlfriend, and the homeowner has since confessed to the crime. Information detailing what the argument was about or why Anderson felt the need to kill his girlfriend is unknown.
How Common Are Intimate Partner Murders?
According to the most recent statistics provided by NOW.ORG, more than 1,180 people were murdered by an intimate partner the previous year. That computes to an average of three victims per day. More often than not, murders are committed between people who know each other. Having represented a number of people who were facing criminal charges for murder, I can say from experience that the motives for murder usually stem from revenge or greed. The following are common reasons for which one person kills another:
For me, it usually does not matter what the motive was for killing since death is tragic regardless, but it is important for the courts to determine whether or not the killer is chemically imbalanced. Many murders are committed by persons who are not mentally stable. Even for two people that are in a very close relationship, it can be difficult to notice signs of mental instability. Anyone who is unsure of the mental stability of their loved one should be very cautious and take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of themselves and their children.
How Long Will Anderson Go to Prison?
As of now, Anderson is innocent until proven guilty, regardless of reports that he confessed to murdering and burying his girlfriend. Anderson may choose to plead not guilty and fight his charges in court. Due to the fact that he confessed, it is not very likely that he would be successful, but there is still a chance.
In California, murder offenses are governed by California Penal Code 187 (which has become common knowledge due to popular media). There are two types of murder under California law: first-degree murder and second-degree murder, both of which carry very different penalties. First-degree murder and second-degree murder are differentiated by whether or not the murder was deliberate.
If Anderson were to be charged with first-degree murder stemming from his alleged domestic violence dispute, he could face a sentence of 25 years-to-life in a California state prison. There are circumstances that can result in a 25 years-to-life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Domestic Violence Defense
Since very little information has been released about this case, there is very little that can be said to determine what possible defense strategies are available for Anderson. If you or your loved one are facing domestic violence charges in Los Angeles, speaking with one of our skilled defense attorneys can help.