Defense Attorney Charles Magill was recently asked to comment on the release of a suspect of a recent shooting.
Last month, 9 year old Janessa Ramirez was fatally hit by a stray bullet from a gang-related crossfire on January 18. Two suspects were arrested in connection with the shooting: Brian Cooks, 22, and Isaac Stafford, 19.
Cooks is accused of firing the bullet that killed Ramirez. He is currently being held at Fresno County Jail, his bail set at $2.2 million. In 2013, Cooks was sentenced to 16 months in prison after pleading no contest to possession of a sawed-off shotgun. The same year, he also pleaded no contest in a case of burglary and concealed weapons.
Stafford, the other suspect in the shooting, was released from jail February 2, as no charges had been filed against him. Under California law, defendants can be kept only for 48 hours in custody before they must be released if charges are not filed. While Stafford admitted to being in a passing car during the time of the shooting, he did not have a gun on him, and his relation to the shooting is still under investigation. He has no prior convictions.
Charles Magill, when interviewed, explained that if more evidence and witnesses are uncovered that support Stafford’s involvement in the case, then it is likely that he will be re-arrested. In high-profile cases such as a shooting, it is important to be methodical, which results in the need to try suspects separately.
Cooks and Stafford have a history of feuding, with Cooks taking to calling Stafford a “snitch” in regards to a shooting that Cooks’ friend, Diandre Robinson, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for.
Due to these circumstances, trying both men at the same time will likely complicate the case. Magill said, “By trying the two of them together, they can lose on both counts by them pointing the finger at each other.”
View the original article at The Fresno Bee
Charles Magill also spoke on KGPE CBS 47 Fresno about the release of Stafford: