Chris - The Legal Issues - A Prosecutor's Perspective

I am the Muffin Maker

kiwifarms.net
Just like a prosecutor not to understand the Corpus issue.

Minus other evidence (pics, DNA, Barb herself testifying (but she might be "unavailable" if she's not competent to testify)) Chris' confession can't be used against him in Virginia until independent evidence of a crime has been committed is submitted to the court. I'm not autistic enough to delve into the VA caselaw to know if independent evidence of a crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, as it must be in some jurisdictions, before his words can be used against him but that is the standard in some states.

I still maintain there is no way this dude doesn't have CP on his devices and nothing will happen at the state level. A Fed CP conviction is so much easier and straightforward. And as exciting as this is for the internet I don't think the cops/feds/local DA will say much about it until there is an indictment.

Additionally Barb might not want to cooperate which again makes a conviction pretty hard. You can't force her to submit to a rape exam, and even the shittiest local prosecutor usually balks at forcing a rape victim to the stand.

I just want to say-- imagine going to school for years to be a lawyer, and then you get the Chris Chan case. I know PDs must deal with crazy shit all the time but I wonder if this one knows they're going to get ween calls a hundred times a day.
I'm not familiar with this part of VA enough to know if they have a local PD office or if, like many other parts of the Commonwealth, criminal defense cases are farmed out to local attorneys who take court appointments (as is the case for some rural parts of VA). So it could actually be a lot worse than you think. Some local, general law practitioner, who tries the occasional DUI but mostly writes wills is suddenly saddled with this case. Or - someone with no real familiarity with criminal law at all.
 

Learned Hand

kiwifarms.net
Just like a prosecutor not to understand the Corpus issue.

Minus other evidence (pics, DNA, Barb herself testifying (but she might be "unavailable" if she's not competent to testify)) Chris' confession can't be used against him in Virginia until independent evidence of a crime has been committed is submitted to the court. I'm not autistic enough to delve into the VA caselaw to know if independent evidence of a crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, as it must be in some jurisdictions, before his words can be used against him but that is the standard in some states.

I still maintain there is no way this dude doesn't have CP on his devices and nothing will happen at the state level. A Fed CP conviction is so much easier and straightforward. And as exciting as this is for the internet I don't think the cops/feds/local DA will say much about it until there is an indictment.

Additionally Barb might not want to cooperate which again makes a conviction pretty hard. You can't force her to submit to a rape exam, and even the shittiest local prosecutor usually balks at forcing a rape victim to the stand.

I think there is merit in your first paragraph but I don't think you are correct on the others. Your second point is pure conjecture, and on your third point, there is a relevant question of competency, if the prosecution feels a crime was committed against Barb and she lacks the capacity to press charges on her own behalf they have multiple avenues to do just that anyway. And there is probably some VA statutory provisions that might compel them going forward with charges.

I'm not familiar with this part of VA enough to know if they have a local PD office or if, like many other parts of the Commonwealth, criminal defense cases are farmed out to local attorneys who take court appointments (as is the case for some rural parts of VA). So it could actually be a lot worse than you think. Some local, general law practitioner, who tries the occasional DUI but mostly writes wills is suddenly saddled with this case. Or - someone with no real familiarity with law at all.

The Model Rules still control. If a lawyer feels truly incompetent to represent a specific case or has other similar burdens he can withdraw from that representation or prevent the court from appointing him. This is basic MPRE stuff at this point.
 

DeadMansHand

The reincarnation of Antonio Stradiuarius
kiwifarms.net
They have nothing listed for anyone when you search by day despite being days when court is in session which tells me they might not be updating their website.
Greene County only has sessions on Wednesdays. There are pages of stuff scheduled tomorrow.

Possibly due to pandemic, possibly because nothing interesting ever happens in Greene County. Other than Chris.
 

Alexander Hamilton

kiwifarms.net
Just like a prosecutor not to understand the Corpus issue.

Minus other evidence (pics, DNA, Barb herself testifying (but she might be "unavailable" if she's not competent to testify)) Chris' confession can't be used against him in Virginia until independent evidence of a crime has been committed is submitted to the court. I'm not autistic enough to delve into the VA caselaw to know if independent evidence of a crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, as it must be in some jurisdictions, before his words can be used against him but that is the standard in some states.

I still maintain there is no way this dude doesn't have CP on his devices and nothing will happen at the state level. A Fed CP conviction is so much easier and straightforward. And as exciting as this is for the internet I don't think the cops/feds/local DA will say much about it until there is an indictment.

Additionally Barb might not want to cooperate which again makes a conviction pretty hard. You can't force her to submit to a rape exam, and even the shittiest local prosecutor usually balks at forcing a rape victim to the stand.

Agreed, official authorities won't be making many statements during the life of the case.

If in fact they find CP then yes, that changes the whole ballgame. CP cases at either level are easy, and under the seperate sovereigns doctrine both the State and Feds could prosecute. This rarely happens though, one or the other will likely take it.

As far as the corpus issue - that's mostly an issue for the rape/incest charges. There's definitely available other evidence of the financial abuse/exploitation issue and the violation of the epo.

I was actually autistic enough to look up the Virginia caselaw on this issue. The controlling case, that sums up previous caselaw, appears to be Watson v..Commonwealth.

The important take aways from that case are that you don't need extra evidence to prove all the elements of the confession or even all the elements of the crime. When an accused has furnished a full confession - which Chris likely will under police interrogation - you only need slight cooberating evidence.

Perhaps most importantly they say that "the confession is itself competent evidence tending to prove the corpus delicti, and all that is required of the Commonwealth in such a case is to present evidence of such circumstances as will, when taken in connection with the confession, establish the corpus delicti beyond a reasonable doubt." and that such evidence can be circumstantial rather than direct.

Is it possible they won't be able to get any of that evidence? Potentially. But the corpus rule isn't going to protect Chris as much as you seem to think, especially in a jurisdiction that says the confession itself is competent evidence of the corpus.
 

I am the Muffin Maker

kiwifarms.net
The Model Rules still control. If a lawyer feels truly incompetent to represent a specific case or has other similar burdens he can withdraw from that representation or prevent the court from appointing him. This is basic MPRE stuff at this point.
Oh I'm aware. I just find it horrifying when it happens. People with no business trying serious cases get them, and fuck them up. It's a mess.

I'm oddly cheering for federal charges, at least then he'd have good representation.
 

Alexander Hamilton

kiwifarms.net
Oh I'm aware. I just find it horrifying when it happens. People with no business trying serious cases get them, and fuck them up. It's a mess.

I'm oddly cheering for federal charges, at least then he'd have good representation.

And let's be real, federal prison - especially for sex offenders - is way better than state prison.

Not sure how much we care about that but it definitely adds to your point that federal charges are the best of the probable outcomes for Chris in this situation.
 

Lancelout

kiwifarms.net
Chris , day 2 of state prison
 

Attachments

  • 1627865694443m.jpg
    1627865694443m.jpg
    130.8 KB · Views: 123

Thomas Talus

Εκ λόγου άλλος εκβαίνει λόγος
kiwifarms.net
Are you a lawyer, by any chance?
Yes, only reason I didn't put in the usual disclaimers is that I was talking about rules specific to lawyers, not things that apply to the public at large. I'm a private, general practitioner, who does some criminal defense and has in the past been on an indigent defense list.
they're an undercover federal agent and this is some sort of conspiracy and the prosecutor is in the KKK.
Okay, but where's the part where they're supposed to be crazy?

On the subject of guardianships (notVA/probablynotyourjdx/notyourlawyer/notqualifiedlegaladvice), that would be more of a possibility if someone with a genuine, non-ween connection to Chris were to file a petition with the probate department asking to be appointed. However, at least where I practice, the petitioner would have to show that Chris was "incapacitated" and unable to adequately make decisions required to obtain food/shelter/health care or otherwise avoid injury to herself or her assets, and while I'm not a regular follower of Chris' doings, from what I've seen he doesn't fall under that category; believing that anime being made real is imminent doesn't mean you're unable to heat up a Hot Pocket in your parent's house. Also, the reason I brought up someone with a genuine connection to Chris is that he doesn't have an estate of the sort needed to finance a professional fiduciary, so you'd need someone willing to serve without compensation. Maybe a charitable group might be willing to step in, but I wouldn't put good odds on that, even if he were a genuine candidate for a protective proceeding, which I don't think he is. Now Barb, on the other hand, might end up the subject of a guardianship, because she's shown herself to be unable to protect herself from Chris, and is more likely to be a candidate for a non-profit to be willing to step in. If she has some equity in the house and sole title to it, they might liquidate it, and try and get her into a Place that takes Medicaid to cover the expenses of long-term care.
 
Thanks @AlexanderHamilton for the great write up. Do you have any perspective on the general timeline of upcoming events like arraignment and trial?

Also, are past trolling sagas at all relevant for determining his level of responsibility for his own action? Admittedly, I’m definitely asking this as a way of wishful thinking to imagine a jury having to watch classic videos. However, I’m also genuinely curious about if the long track record of being extremely easily manipulated is relevant.
 

failson-lawguy

kiwifarms.net
And let's be real, federal prison - especially for sex offenders - is way better than state prison.

Not sure how much we care about that but it definitely adds to your point that federal charges are the best of the probable outcomes for Chris in this situation.
Also federal sentencing guidelines are so fucking clutch honestly, back when I interned the guidance table really did help in priority of charges, plea negotiation, etc. absolutely brain-frying that most states don't do sentencing guideline tables but keep the pure judicial discretion model based on mandatory minimums.
 

Learned Hand

kiwifarms.net
Also federal sentencing guidelines are so fucking clutch honestly, back when I interned the guidance table really did help in priority of charges, plea negotiation, etc. absolutely brain-frying that most states don't do sentencing guideline tables but keep the pure judicial discretion model based on mandatory minimums.
You can rest the blame squarely with the state legislatures for the state of affairs on sentencing, though Virginia is less of a disaster than most. Which in of itself should illicit a certain depression when you really dive into it.
 

Mariposa Electrique

October 4-18, Chris Will Be Happy!
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Yes but that's a different thing.

What we're talking about when it comes to legal competency to stand trial isn't the same thing as the standards for indigency. And one of the things we worry about is someone able to assist in their own defense - for example can they tell their lawyer about alibis and favorable witnesses they may have and make decisions about whether they want to plea or go to trial, or are they too busy ranting about how they shouldn't even be here because they're an undercover federal agent and this is some sort of conspiracy and the prosecutor is in the KKK.
When do they have probable cause to search the house? Could the fact that the local news covered this and asked for info from the public mean they don't have enough evidence?
 

failson-lawguy

kiwifarms.net
Thanks @AlexanderHamilton for the great write up. Do you have any perspective on the general timeline of upcoming events like arraignment and trial?

Also, are past trolling sagas at all relevant for determining his level of responsibility for his own action? Admittedly, I’m definitely asking this as a way of wishful thinking to imagine a jury having to watch classic videos. However, I’m also genuinely curious about if the long track record of being extremely easily manipulated is relevant.
arraignment would have to have happened already or be happening soon considering the general law is 72 hours for felony charges for detainment without formal filing. From there, it's bail hearing if that's on the table, pre-trial discovery/investigation, amendments to the charges based on new information, and all the fun pre-trial procedural motions on evidence suppression, depositions, jury selection, and far, far more. Trial if we get one is probably months away at best. At any stage of pre-trial you can start trying to negotiate a plea, and boy do I think Chris should get on negotiating a plea fast if there's already evidence of at least one sexual contact with his mom, and potentially rape charges pending investigation.

Past trolling sagas are at best tangentially relevant, but I have good money on them not being in any way relevant to the proceedings considering they are irrelevant to the facts of Chris having sex with or raping his mother, it would maybe be character evidence at best, which is only useful in establishing the personal propensities of a party or witness, and generally only available on cross-examination. I doubt that a sensible judge would admit almost any of the moments of christory. Also there's basically no chance of there being a jury because again, I don't think that this is going to trial barring chris adamantly demanding a trial and refusing pleas because of merge bullshit.
 

Lancelout

kiwifarms.net
When do they have probable cause to search the house? Could the fact that the local news covered this and asked for info from the public mean they don't have enough evidence?
Not necessarily

This is a bizarre situation where they are tryong to figure what charges would stick and possibly what reasonable goal should be. They are trying to gather as much relevant evidence as possible to learn about chris and what potential dangers he presents
 

Alexander Hamilton

kiwifarms.net
Thanks @AlexanderHamilton for the great write up. Do you have any perspective on the general timeline of upcoming events like arraignment and trial?

Also, are past trolling sagas at all relevant for determining his level of responsibility for his own action? Admittedly, I’m definitely asking this as a way of wishful thinking to imagine a jury having to watch classic videos. However, I’m also genuinely curious about if the long track record of being extremely easily manipulated is relevant.

Yeah, the general perspective is long. These cases always take way longer than people realize. It looks like that in Virginia there's the right to a preliminary hearing before indictment, or a grand jury indictment, so that will add time. It's pretty normal for major cases to drag on for several years before resolution.

What this means is that, yes, this is gonna go cold and stale for a while and updates will be in terms of months between.

The past trolling sagas are not really relevant. None of this was duress or the like. It's similar to the kid who steals because everyone else was doing it - does that kid probably have a susceptibility to peer pressure/manipulation that's above what we see in average people? Sure. Does that get them out of choosing to commit a crime? No.

Also federal sentencing guidelines are so fucking clutch honestly, back when I interned the guidance table really did help in priority of charges, plea negotiation, etc. absolutely brain-frying that most states don't do sentencing guideline tables but keep the pure judicial discretion model based on mandatory minimums.

This also really aids in and encourages plea-bargaining. When you have a very set range, from which upward and downward departures have to be justified, and basically every factor for consideration that will show up in pre-sentence investigations has a 'value' attached to it, it really makes it easy to know what the case is worth.
 

A Random

Lappy's on the case, partner!
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Honestly, at this point I just want to know how likely an outcome where Chris and Barb never live together again and Chris is left alone to rot will be.
 

failson-lawguy

kiwifarms.net
When do they have probable cause to search the house? Could the fact that the local news covered this and asked for info from the public mean they don't have enough evidence?
my guess is that they already have probable cause for a search on 14BC if they brought an incest charge already. Sex crimes generally aren't formally charged unless there is already some amount of direct evidence already gathered to support the claim, and with that alongside the texts from chris claiming that there might be further evidence by the use of condoms in the house would probably be enough to persuade a judge to give a search warrant. Local news coverage asking for help 'if you know any information" probably is just a formality for a news station being informed that further charges might be pending in case other people have information regarding unknown crimes or additional evidence of those crimes not yet brought to light.

Honestly, at this point I just want to know how likely an outcome where Chris and Barb never live together again and Chris is left alone to rot will be.
its very likely one of the terms of whatever probation that Chris eventually gets has a no-contact order regarding Barb. From my experiences in PD there's generally an interest by the state placed in incest and family abuse cases just to sever contacts in the hopes that similar circumstances don't arise again
 

Alexander Hamilton

kiwifarms.net
When do they have probable cause to search the house? Could the fact that the local news covered this and asked for info from the public mean they don't have enough evidence?
Probable cause for a search warrant is a pretty easy bar to clear.

Oversimplifying it some, you basically have to show that a crime has been committed, what specific things you're looking for and why, and where you believe they are and why.

So in this case, there's the issue of the condoms and the book. You could probably get a search warrant to go get those from the house. In sex crimes cases if, for example, the victim or suspect indicates the sex happened on a particular bed we might seek a warrant to get the sheets etc for testing.

Anytime you're dealing with a big or complicated case you want info from the public even with a lot of evidence. Example of why might be a drive-by. Let's say we can place our suspect's car at the scene via video. Gunshot residue on his hands. And we know the suspect owned a .45, the same caliber used in the shooting. A member of the public coming forth and saying "Oh yeah he bragged to me about doing this crime" or "I brought a 45 from that guy at the flea market the weekend after the shooting." would be very useful.
 
Top