Friday, May 10, 2013

American Injustice: In the State of Connecticut Double jeopardy doesn't apply

   Senior Assistant State's Attorney Paul Ferencek at the murder trial of Carlos Trujllo, at state Superior   
   Court in Stamford on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. Photo: Helen Neafsey

Double jeopardy is a legal provision that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction. This provision is based on the Roman Law principle "Ne bis in idem" which translates literally from Latin as "not twice in the same person"

This two thousands years old provision doesn't apply in the State of Connecticut, where a Legal Genius: Paul Ferencek Senior Assistant State's Attorney, he thought  it would be fine to prosecute Colombian born Carlos Trujillo for the murder of his boss: Con Artist/Ponzi Scheme fraudster Andrew Kissel

The problem is Carlos Trujillo was charged with two counts: murder and attempted murder.

The story premise is: How can you prosecute a defendant under the American Law for murder and attempted murder of the same victim at the same time? Let's see it:

Andrew Kissel was an American former real estate developer who was found murdered at his rented Greenwich, Connecticut estate. Kissel had been accused of defrauding a New York co-op board of millions of dollars. His body was found by workers from a moving company. He had been stabbed to death in the basement of the home. The motive for his murder was a mystery and it's still a mystery, as there were many people who had problems with him, including those from the U.S. Justice Department, several multi-billion dollar corporations/conglomerates, some unknown New Jersey investors which included some of his relatives and his own wife.

Usually in a murder investigation, the first Person of Interest to those who are supposed to investigate is the victim's spouse.Three years before the murder of Andrew Kissel, his brother Robert was murdered by his wife Nancy in their apartment in Hong Kong. For sure there was something wrong about the Kissels that made their loved ones mad about.

Indeed Andrew Kissel's wife had filed for divorce a year before his murder, and at the time of the murder they shared the same house but they were in the process to move out of their Greenwich CT home because she asked the Court to remove him from the house as at the time of the murder she was totally fed up with him. The moving men overheard the Kissels having a heated argument days before the murder, a fact that could attest to her feelings about Andrew.

In a revealing email message that Hayley Kissel had sent to her sister-in-law, Jane, Hayley vented her frustrations. "GOD I HATE YOUR BROTHER," 
In that same email Hayley wrote "Do you know last night in bed, I could actually see myself pummeling him to death and just enjoying the sensation of each and every shot and then this morning as I pulled out of the garage... all I wanted to do was crash into his Ferraris." In the email she characterized her husband as "an awful awful pathetic person."

But despite all the evidence of her hatred for her husband would had lead towards that direction even a blind, authorities have not pursued Andrew Kissel's wife as a suspect.


Because the victim's wife was nothing less than  Hayley Wolff, whose father is CEO of  The Louis Berger Group a $2 billion group that currently ranks as the third largest USAID private sector partner which has contracted some of the government’s largest post-conflict redevelopment projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Too much for the Greenwich Police Department and for the Senior Assistant Paul Ferencek, although they had to find someone to impersonate the guilty murderer.

Having potentially an infinite number of suspects and an enormous pressure from the media, after one year of investigations that led them nowhere,  the State of Connecticut made its move.

Greenwich Police Chief James Walters, detectives Pasquale Iorfino and Timothy Powell of the Greenwich Police Department under the superior leadership of legal genius Senior Assistant State's Attorney Paul Ferencek decided to head towards the easiest way out and go for the victim's driver: Carlos Trujillo, a Colombian born who was the only person who actually cared for the victim.

Nobody would care less about the Colombian driver, in America the prosecution machine works this way: if you can't find who has done the crime, just charge someone who can impersonate the guilty so that the Public Opinion is happy, the victim's family is happy and the Prosecutor's political voters are all happy because they have the perception that justice has been served as someone is in jail. It doesn't matter if he's guilty or innocent. Someone has to pay for this crime because otherwise people are not happy and happiness is our God here in America.

During the trial, Attorney Lindy Urso, who represents Carlos Trujillo,asked lead Detective Pasquale Iorfino, of the Greenwich Police Department, how thoroughly his team investigated a group of nearly 30 people who Kissel defrauded. "Some of the individuals were defrauded of up to a half a million dollars," Urso said. "Did you speak to any of these people about any connection to the homicide?"Iorfino said he only spoke with Kissel's mother-in-law, who had lost money in the real estate scam. "I'm not too sure how many of these people knew he was home alone that weekend," Iorfino said.

Obviously the jury  aquitted Trujllo for the murder of Andrew Kissel, but the State of Connecticut under the legal genius guide of Senior Assistant State's Attorney Paul Ferencek had charged Carlos Trujillo also for attempted murder and here's the greatness of the American legal system. How can it possibly happen that a defendant is acquitted of murder but indicted and eventually convicted for attempted murder of the same victim? It is at least confusing how someone can attempt murder when murder actually has happened!

How can the American legal system and in particular the Connecticut Legal system tolerate such an asinine,  dumb, foolish, harebrained,  imbecilic, insane, moronic, silly, unintelligent legal contradiction?

Superior Court Judge Richard F. Comerford Jr allowed the two counts of murder and attempted murder, so if a Court Judge allows the prosecutor to present the two counts, that means the Connecticut Law goes against the legal principle of Ne Bis in Idem or Double Jeopardy as it's called in America.

Eventually during the trial, prosecutors even said that they do not know who actually killed Andrew Kissel, but believed Trujillo was involved as an accessory.

After such an amount of stupidity and dumbness of the Greenwich Police Department and of the Prosecutor, how can you possibly trust the Connecticut Legal system and consequently the American legal system?

The United States Law gives the Judge the faculty to allow the prosecution of a circumstantial case when the evidence is enough solid to prove the defendant he's guilty although in any proceedings the court may refuse to allow evidence.

In one of the landmark cases about Evidence Admission, specifically Taylor Weaver and Donovan (1928), the Lord Chief Justice Gordon Hewart, observed that:  

It is evidence of surrounding circumstances which, by undesigned coincidence, is capable of proving a proposition with the accuracy of mathematics. 

In State of Connecticut vs. Carlos Trujillo, the accuracy was the same of the dancing elephant in a crystal shop. Not only the Trujillo case was absolutely "circumstantial" (by using an euphemism) which was eventually acknowledged by the Jury, but the Prosecutor had the impudence of defying the Double Jeopardy rule and charge the defendant with murder and attempted murder at the same time. How can a Professional Lawyer who went to an Ivy League University make such an offensive statement against not only the American Legal system but the whole Western Legal tradition?

These are the actions that go against the Western Tradition and bring not only America but humankind back to the primitive world of the Wild Jungle.

A savage primitive man like Paul Ferencek should not be conceded to enter a Court nor to be called a "lawyer", because lawyer is someone who knows the Law and respect its principles. All of them.

Paul Ferencek is a primitive wild man who tries to destroy not only the American Legal system but the whole Western legal tradition. How can the State of Connecticut allow such a legal havoc?

Certainly part of the problem about the American Injustice lies on the fact that the Public Prosecutor is a Political figure who is elected by the people and as such he's influenced by the Political spectrum, by the political pressures and consequently by the media.

Certainly this kind of system goes against the weak side of the society, those like Carlos Trujillo who are the weak side of the social spectrum and they are unable to defend themselves.

Even if Carlos Trujillo has pleaded guilty of attempted murder and at this time he's probably free and back to Colombia (where I suggest him to stay) I think his lawyer should start think about a civil action against the State of Connecticut for wrongful conviction, because these kind of things should never happen and in order to serve justice, those who are responsible for these legal atrocities should be punished without pity, starting from the Prosecutor Mr. Paul Ferencek, a man who clearly made a statement to destroy the Western Legal System.

Shame on the State of Connecticut!

E Pluribus Unum

Gianluca D'Agostino


  1. I just watched a 48 Hours episode on this. They talked all about the crime, the evidence, and the trial, and showed the dramatic moment where the jury foreman announced "Not guilty". Then the narrator of the show suddenly started talking about how disappointed the prosecutor was, and whether he was planning to "retry" him. I couldn't believe my ears. I thought I must have missed something. Then, just like that, the narrator is talking to Trujillo's attorney who is explaining why he pleaded guilty to attempted murder after claiming he didn't murder the victim in the first trial. I'm still thinking, "Are there two victims? If not, how can you be accused of 'attempted' murder for someone who was actually murdered? How is this not double-jeopardy to make two counts, have the jury pick the worse one and acquit, and then actually refile the charges against the same individual for the same event?" So, I Googled "carlos trujillo murder double jeopardy" and found this, and I agree with you, the author, 100%. This is an unbelievable flaunting of a fundamental right established not just in common law for centuries, but written in our very Constitution. Unbelievable.

  2. 'Ne bis in idem' actually translates to 'not twice in the same case'.