On Monday, the couple being accused of kidnapping and murdering Heather Elvis was denied bond following a two-hour hearing. The prosecution revealed additional evidence to the judge, including a timeline of events from the night Heather was last seen, text messages between Heather and the suspects, and video surveillance evidence from multiple locations in the areas near the suspects’ home. Their criminal defense attorneys tried to poke holes in the evidence so they could try to secure bond for each suspect. The pair will remain incarcerated until they reach the next phase in the process. One factor in this case continues to work against the prosecution: the body of Ms. Elvis is still missing.
Another murder case in Horry County is also missing that key piece of evidence. The case of Angie Pipkin is almost as mysterious as the Elvis case. Pipkin, however, was a bit older than Elvis. According to the arrest warrant in her case, Angie was allegedly hit and killed, then dismembered by a man she knew. That man is named Randy Robinson. At this time in the investigation, her remains are believed to have been dumped into the Pee Dee River. Even with key evidence missing, both cases have suspects in custody. Robinson was taken into custody related to Pipkin’s disappearance after his home was searched on March 6. Officials charged him with murder after they searched the residence, stating that “a homicide had taken place” at the location. Robinson was also charged with obstruction of justice because he provided police with misleading or false information during their initial investigation and search for the woman.
Some may wonder what happens in cases like these when officials have named a murder suspect without first discovering a body. In these types of cases, to prove a murder occurred without a body to point to, the prosecution must present witnesses to reveal patterns and routines of the victim. Any abrupt stop to those patters and routines would show that the victim likely did not intentionally disappear.
To expand on that, some will also be wondering the types of defenses that can be argued in cases like these. One defense could be an alibi. If any of the suspects have a strong, clear and proven alibi, they could prove they were uninvolved in the crime that took place. Other common defenses are self-defense and insanity. Another very common defense is simply denying the charges. When the charge is denied by the suspect, defense lawyers can use alibis or witness statements to support it.
Sometimes, a criminal defense attorney may suggest, at the judge’s knowledge and permission, to negotiate a plea. Plea bargaining is used to lighten case loads for courts. An example of this would be a suspect exchanging a guilty plea for a recommended sentence by the prosecutor. There are many opinions surrounding this widely-used practice. Those in opposition of plea bargaining feel that it puts the responsibility of determining guilt on the prosecutor instead of on the judge and jury. They may also feel that plea bargaining allows those who are guilty of a crime to get off with lighter sentences.
For those charged in any type of criminal case, it will be very important to speak with and hire a criminal defense lawyer who completely understands all the issues and complexities that go along with your charges. Myrtle Beach attorneys at The Mace Firm spend a significant amount of time in criminal courts throughout the United States. There are criminal defense attorneys all over the country, but few are like those at our firm who practice criminal defense in Charleston, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Surfside Beach, Columbia and several other areas.
If you or someone you know is facing federal criminal or state criminal charges, you will need to speak with an experienced Myrtle Beach criminal defense attorney. The Myrtle Beach attorneys at The Mace Firm is ready to speak with you about your case. Call a criminal defense attorney to schedule your free consultation.