In the summer of 2017, a minor, “Joe,” was sitting in a car directly behind his friend’s Infiniti. When the group in front of Joe saw a member from a rival gang cross the street, they stopped their Infiniti. One of Joe’s friends exited the Infiniti and shot the rival gang member. In the weeks to follow, the police recorded a conversation between Joe and a friend, where Joe said, “everybody touched that gun (from the shooting).”
With this information, a prosecutor charged Joe with possession of a concealed firearm. Three reasons led to this charge: (1) Joe’s statement about touching the gun; (2) Joe was close to the weapon when the shooting took place; (3) Joe knew about the gun before the shooting. These three facts were enough to convict Joe of possession of a concealed firearm.
In an effort to bolster their case, the prosecution used a jailhouse informant. Joe’s friends told the jailhouse informant that Joe had no connection to the gun. Additionally, his fingerprints and DNA were not found on the gun. No matter the lack of solid evidence, the prosecution was determined to try to get a conviction.