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Monday, December 22, 2014



When trying a criminal case in court, there are two sides to the case;  the Prosecution (which represents the "people" or the State) and the Defense (which represents the Accused person or persons).  These two sides will carefully and deliberately show standing, cause and action that the people they represent are either guilty or innocent of the crime.  The Burden of Proof, rests with the Prosecutor.  The Prosecutor must be able to show, in accordance with State and/or Federal Law (depending on which Jurisdiction the case is being heard in) and build a case against the Accused the specific elements as outlined by State or Federal Criminal Codes.  In Connecticut, for a charge of Murder, the following elements MUST be produced by the Prosecution:

1.  That a CRIME has been committed;
2.  That the ACCUSED intended to commit the crime;
3.  That the ACCUSED committed the crime, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.


CT Criminal Jury Instructions:  5.1-1  Murder -- § 53a-54a (a)

The defendant is charged [in count __] with murder.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:  
a person is guilty of murder when, with intent to cause the death of another person, (he/she) causes the death of such person or of a third person.1
For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:  

Element 1 - Intent to cause death
The first element is that the defendant specifically intended to cause the death of another person.  There is no particular length of time necessary for the defendant to have formed the specific intent to kill.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>
The intent to cause death may be inferred from circumstantial evidence.  <See Evidence of Intent, Instruction 2.3-2.>
The type and number of wounds inflicted, as well as the instrument used, may be considered as evidence of the perpetrator's intent, and from such evidence an inference may be drawn that there was intent to cause a death.  Any inference that may be drawn from the nature of the instrumentality used and the manner of its use is an inference of fact to be drawn by you upon consideration of these and other circumstances in the case in accordance with my previous instructions.2   [<Insert if warranted by evidence:> Declarations and conduct of the accused before or after the infliction of wounds may be considered if you find they tend to show the defendant's intent.]  This inference is not a necessary one; that is, you are not required to infer intent from the defendant's alleged conduct, but it is an inference you may draw if you find it is reasonable and logical and in accordance with my instructions on circumstantial evidence. 

Element 2 - Caused death
The second element is that the defendant, acting with the intent to cause the death of another person, caused the death of <insert name of decedent>.  
[<If transferred intent is applicable:>   It is not necessary for a conviction of murder that the state prove that the defendant intended to kill the person whom (he/she) did in fact kill.  It is sufficient if the state proves that, acting with the intent to kill a person, (he/she) in fact killed a person.]
This means that the defendant's conduct was the proximate cause of the decedent's death. You must find it proved beyond a reasonable doubt that <insert name of decedent> died as a result of the actions of the defendant. <See Proximate Cause, Instruction 2.6-1.

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant intended to cause the death of another person, and 2) in accordance with that intent, the defendant caused the death of <insert name of decedent>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of murder, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.


The above is provided for your reference when looking at Connecticut State law as it pertains to a person accused of committing the Crime of Murder.  That is the Crime for which Adam Lanza has been accused posthumously.  Since the accused is deceased, there is no need for a criminal trial, and therefore, this high level Burden of Proof will never need to be met.  This is convenient in the sense that there won't be anyone to charge, and no Defendant to state an alternate case or lodge a defense.  Why is this important?

Because there will NOT be a criminal trial, and because there is no alive person to be accused, we are left with whatever documents and narratives are provided by the State of Connecticut to lay out their case, without any opposition.  There is now a Civil case filed by several victims against the firearms maker "Bushmaster" in a "Wrongful Death" suit.  The standard of proof is LOWER in a Civil trial, in that the Plaintiff (those who are bringing forth the lawsuit) only need to show a "Preponderance of Evidence"which is generally described as JUST ENOUGH evidence to show that a wrongdoing has occurred and that the Plaintiff suffered a loss or injury (generally financially or emotionally).  Civil Court Trials may invoke "Clear and Convincing Evidence" which is a higher standard of proof, but still far less than "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt."


This is the official case against the accused, Adam Lanza, who is accused of the crime of Murder against 27 persons:

1.  On the morning of December 14, 2012, the shooter, age 20, heavily armed, went to Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) in Newtown, where he shot his way into the locked school building with a Bushmaster Model XM15-E2S rifle. He then shot and killed the principal and school psychologist as they were in the north hallway of the school responding to the noise of the shooter coming into the school. The shooter also shot and injured two other staff members who were also in the hallway.

2.  The shooter then went into the main office, apparently did not see the staff who were hiding there, and returned to the hallway.

3.  After leaving the main office, the shooter then went down the same hallway in which he had just killed two people and entered first grade classrooms 8 and 10, the order in which is unknown. While in those rooms he killed the two adults in each room, fifteen children in classroom 8 and five in classroom 10. All of the killings were done with the Bushmaster rifle.

4.  He then took his own life with a single shot from a Glock 20, 10 mm pistol in classroom 10.
Prior to going to the school, the shooter used a .22 caliber Savage Mark II rifle to shoot and kill his mother in her bed at the home where they lived at 36 Yogananda Street in Newtown. 

This is the case, as stated by the State's Attorney, Stephen J. Sedensky, III, Judicial District of Danbury in his "Final Report" issued on 11/25/2013.  In this case, Adam Lanza is accused of committing the following crimes:

1.  In Sandy Hook Elementary School, the crime of Murder under Special Circumstances, in violation of C.G.S. Sec. 53a-54b, was committed twenty-six times and Attempted Murder under Special Circumstances in violation of C.G.S. Secs. 53a-49 and 53a-54b was committed twice as it relates to the two individuals who were shot by the shooter and survived. 

2.  The crime of Murder in violation of C.G.S. Sec. 53a-54 was committed by the shooter in killing his mother.


Taking a look at the above charges as levied by the State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky, we see that there are 26 charges for Murder under Special Circumstances (because children were involved) and 2 counts of Attempted Murder under Special Circumstances.  An additional count of Murder was added for the death of Nancy Lanza.

Without using any "smoke and mirrors" (i.e. making wild assertions, or using conspiracy theories, etc) I will provide basic elements of "reasonable doubt."  This would be the most obvious and easiest defense to take regarding the narrative about Adam Lanza and are as such (going solely on the above counts):

1.  The STATE claims that Adam Lanza drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, shot his way in through the front doors/windows and killed the Principle and School Psychologist.  
                A.  Who witnessed Adam Lanza drive to the school?  No witness statements exist that name Adam Lanza as the driver of the vehicle;  no one saw Adam Lanza exit the vehicle despite contrary statements from "parents" who arrived right around the same time.  All statements provided allege that the car was in front of the school and the windows were already broken.    
                B.  Who witnessed Adam Lanza shoot the front doors / windows and enter the school?  No witness statements exist that place Adam Lanza at the front of the school shooting windows.  No witness statements exist that claim Adam Lanza shot and killed the Principal and School Psychologist.  There only exists firearm forensic evidence which "suggests" but does not prove, that the bullets found in the bodies of the Principal and School Psychologist were from the Bushmaster that Adam Lanza was stated to have carried into the school.  No witness statement exists that states anyone saw Adam Lanza carrying a Bushmaster rifle.
               C.  The "Final Report" includes several items regarding the GPS of the black Honda, up through 12/13/2012.  Yet on 12/14/2012, it appears that Lanza removed the GPS unit from the Honda.  Given "ritualistic" behavior of a person like Adam Lanza suffering from OCD / Autism, it is unlikely that the GPS would not have been used on 12/14/2012.

2.  The STATE claims that Adam Lanza then shot two other school employees (non-fatally) in the hallway.
           A.  There are no witness statements that Adam Lanza was positively the gunman.
           B.   Firearm forensics "suggest" but do not prove, that the two staff members received their injuries from the alleged Bushmaster rifle.  The ballistic tests were inconclusive as to if the rounds were in fact fired from the Bushmaster rifle, although the probability is high, it is not definitive. 
           C.  When the shooting allegedly started, staff members called 911.  During these calls, we know that staff members reported more than one shooter.  During these calls, staff members reported seeing another person running outside the school.

3.  The STATE claims that Adam Lanza went into the main office, did not see anyone, and returned to the hallway.
          A.  How can the STATE possibly know WHAT Adam Lanza saw, or did not see?
          B.  There are no witness statements placing Adam Lanza in the main office.  No one actually witnessed Adam Lanza enter the main office.

4.  The STATE claims that Adam Lanza left the main office, went back into the hallway where he killed 2 people, then went to classrooms #8 and #10 where he killed the remaining 24 victims using a Bushmaster rifle.
          A. There are no witness statements to confirm this chain of events.
          B. No witness statements exist that place Adam Lanza in room #8.
          C. No witness statements exist that state anyone saw Adam Lanza shoot any persons.
          D. Firearm forensics "suggest" but do not prove, that the 24 victims in rooms #8 & #10 received their injuries from the alleged Bushmaster rifle.  The ballistic tests were inconclusive as to if the rounds were in fact fired from the Bushmaster rifle, although the probability is high, it is not definitive.
           E. The only items we can "reasonably know" (if we believe Dr. Wayne Carver, Medical Examiner) is that the body of Adam Lanza was found in room #10 with a single gunshot wound to his head.  There are no witnesses to the shooting of Adam Lanza.  There are no witness statements that Adam Lanza took his own life.  There are no law enforcement affidavits that Adam Lanza took his own life.  There are no law enforcement affidavits that Adam Lanza was killed by the police.
           F.  According to the CT State's Attorney Final Report, regarding the Bushmaster rifle and all forensic evidence regarding the firearm remains generally inconclusive.  To quote:

          "No positive identification could be made to any of the bullet evidence submissions noted ... ... in 5.56 mm caliber. The physical condition of the bullet jacket surfaces were severely damaged and corroded. They all lacked individual striated marks of sufficient agreement for the identification process. The test fires also exhibited a lack of individual striated marks on the bullet surface for comparison purposes. This condition can be caused by fouling in the barrel of the rifle and the ammunition itself. The Bushmaster rifle cannot be eliminated as having fired the 5.56 caliber bullet evidence examined,” quoting from the 6/19/13 Forensic Science Laboratory report."

         "Cannot be eliminated as having fired the 5.56 caliber bullet..." is significantly different than if it could be 100% confirmed that it did fire the 5.56 caliber bullet.

5.  The STATE claims that Adam Lanza, using a .22 caliber rifle, shot and killed his mother at their place of residence, 36 Yogananda Street, Newtown, CT.
            A.  There are no witnesses to this murder.
            B.  Adam Lanza was not positively identified by any witness statements or affidavits as the murderer of Nancy Lanza.  There are no witness statements or affidavits that Adam Lanza was seen leaving the residence of 36 Yogananda Street, despite witness statements that claim to have heard "gunshots" around the early morning hours on 12/14/2012.  The garage door of the home is also heavily damaged, and would have made a loud noise, yet no witness statements are on file or affidavits that state Adam Lanza created said damage.
            C.  There was no motive proven by Psychologists and Psychiatrists in the Office of Child Advocacy Report for the killing of Nancy Lanza by Adam Lanza.
            D.  There are no affidavits from any family member, including Ryan Lanza (brother) and Peter Lanza (father) that Adam Lanza was a danger to himself or others.
            E.  There are no affidavits or witness statements from ANY PERSON that claims Adam Lanza was a danger to himself or others prior to 12/14/2012.
            F.  The home of Nancy Lanza appears to have signs of forced entry.
            G.  Firearm forensics can accurately match the bullet that killed Nancy Lanza to the .22 caliber rifle found on scene, but there is no connection that proves Adam Lanza was the shooter based on this information.
            H.  According to data forensics, Adam Lanza had plans to move with his mother to Washington State and was planning on attending a new school.  There was no evidence that Adam Lanza was upset about this information.
             I.  In the home of 36 Yogananda Street (Lanza's residence) DNA evidence exists of a third-party that is listed in the NY State Database of Convicted Offenders (left unnamed) on a letter addressed to Sandy Hook Elementary School.  This third-party DNA, puts into question a third person in either the home of Adam/Nancy Lanza at the very least. 
            J.  DNA issues arose in other areas as well as quoted from the Final Report:  
                       "Two of the items examined from outside the building of SHES, one from the shotgun in the shooter’s car and a second from 36 Yogananda Street yielded DNA profiles consistent with the DNA profiles of two victims killed in SHES, one in each. It is strongly believed that this resulted from an accidental transference as a result of the unique circumstances of this case."

                 The seriousness of the potential break in the chain-of-custody of evidence for DNA testing is a concern and calls into question all of the DNA sampling taken.

The above items numbered 1-5, are merely starting points in establishing the minimum requirements to meet "reasonable doubt."  This does not include the myriad of circumstantial evidence that would be equally important in establishing "reasonable doubt."  Additionally, there are likely several more defenses that could be applied to items 1-5 above, but in the interest of keeping this topic at a very basic and elementary level, more advanced legal defenses to establish "reasonable doubt" are excluded.  Again, the key point here, is that in order for this event to have occurred as outlined by the State of Connecticut, and the State's Attorney, there should be little doubt at all that Adam Lanza was the shooter, that he had intent to commit the crime, and that he did, beyond a reasonable doubt commit the act of Murder.  Looking at the above items, we quickly can determine that there is a level of Reasonable Doubt even on the most basic level of this case.


While the above merely looks at the charges and official chain of events as described in the official narrative of the Final Report from the State's Attorney Office, there are multiple, in the hundreds most likely, of circumstantial doubts that can easily be lodged.  While not as strong as hitting the main charges and narrative directly, combined, this partial list of items starts to create another full cloud of "Reasonable Doubt" independent of the Reasonable Doubts already listed above.

Remember, circumstantial evidence is just as critical as DNA, forensics, etc. and can be used to obtain convictions. With that said, the Supreme Court as well as nearly every State Court has recognized that while circumstantial evidence is important, it is only as strong as it's weakest link.  Therefore, an error anywhere in testimony, in forensic reports, DNA reports, firearm/ballistic reports all must be 100% accurate and must be consistent.  This is critical, as a case can be destroyed based on a small error that seems either inconsequential or so small that it causes a person to say "well, so what?"  

THE RESPONSE TO THIS IS SIMPLE:  If the police / investigators are capable of making significant errors on a small item, what else did they make errors on?  Did they make errors on possibly much larger / critical parts of the investigation?  How are we to know?

When looking at circumstantial evidence, Courts recognize the following as defenses and allowable areas to explore and aggressively defend:

1. Inconsistencies in a witness’ testimony and/statements 
2. Inconsistencies between the witnesses
3. Timelines that don’t make linear sense
4. Physical facts that don’t match the subjective testimony. 

5. Half-truths
6. White lies
7. The “CSI” effect.
8. What was the motive 

There is little debate among those who have reviewed the "document-dump" provided by the State of Connecticut that there are severe conflicts in statements, witness accounts, law enforcement affidavits and public statements made by family members, the Chief Medical Examiner Wayne Carver, MD, as well as the timeline of events.  I will outline just a few below, although there are literately hundreds of items in this case which, if taken collectively, would not bode well for the Prosecutor had this been a case that ended up in a trial by jury.

The main areas to look at can be broken down by either "Intent," "Cause" or "Character." For the crime of Murder, in the first instance, there must be Intent to Murder (meaning, with foreknowledge and the means to carry out the crime).  In the second instance, there must be Cause, meaning, Lanza's actions directly caused the death of 27 individuals on 12/14/2012.  Lastly, because this is dealing with circumstantial evidence, character of all witnesses, investigators, police, medical examiner, and all other persons who have provided sworn testimony all come into play.  

1.  INTENT:  There is no documentation anywhere within the investigation that is able to show that Adam Lanza had any intent to commit the crime of murder.  There are no statements obtained either in his personal affects or on his computer that he had any conversation with any person that he was planning to commit murder.  The STATE is resting its case on INTENT solely on the amount of ammunition found on scene and the type of weapon found.  None of this, actually amounts to the Intent of Adam Lanza as no one really knows if his intent was to kill anyone.  If we believe Wayne Carver's testimony as obtained from Lanza's autopsy report, we know Adam Lanza was found deceased in Room #10 with a single gunshot wound to his head.  Other than that, we do not definitively know that Adam Lanza was the shooter, nor that he killed anyone, nor that he definitively ended is own life.  We are to assume that all based on circumstantial evidence alone.

2.  CAUSE:  Due to the unknowns of item #1 above, it is impossible to actually prove Cause.  Since there are no witnesses stating positively that Adam Lanza definitively was the shooter, and since no law enforcement officers witnessed Lanza as the shooter, and since there is no video footage of Lanza as the shooter, it can not be definitively proven Lanza was in fact the one who committed this act.  It can be assumed he did, but again, this is all based on circumstantial evidence.  (Refer to ballistic evidence above when trying to put the murder weapon into the hands of Lanza... the ballistics were not conclusive).

3.  INTENT:  Internet searches on Columbine shootings in 1999 found on Lanza's hard-drive, as well as other information about school killings and firearms are all circumstantial, however, none rise to the level of beyond a reasonable doubt those searches proved intent.  There is legal precedence for this in the Casey Anthony case (no relation) in Florida whereby Casey Anthony was tried on circumstantial evidence for the death of her toddler daughter.  There was no direct evidence but the Prosecution did have internet searches for chloroform and other methods to suffocate a person.  In the Casey Anthony trials, the jury would not be able to convict based on searches alone.  Similar in this case.  While on the surface it would appear that the internet searches about firearms, school massacres and other violent acts would seem "smoking gun" evidence, there is nothing recovered from Lanza's hard-drive that indicated he had intent to act on anything he downloaded.  In fact, only days prior it appears investigators were able to determine that a conversation did take place between Lanza and another online friend, yet, nothing in that conversation led to any substantial evidence of what was about to happen on 12/14/2012.

This article will be continued once a further review of all circumstantial evidence can be reviewed....
Last copy: 12/22/14 18:09

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