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Seattle Defense Attorney | Benjamin Lopez Case And Miller v. Alabama

Motion Filed In Central Washington State Relies On Recent Supreme Court Decision Miller v. Alabama In Yet To Be Tried Case

The recent Miller v. Alabama ruling by the Supreme Court, prohibiting life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of crimes, and sentenced under mandatory LWOP laws, is already finding application in the real world of criminal defense law. 

A case to be tried in rural Grant County will be affected by that recent Supreme Court decision.  It will be interesting for being one of the first of Washington State’s court readings and application of the Supreme Court’s Miller v. Alabama decision. The Crowley Law Firm in Seattle, where principal attorney John Crowley has practiced law for twenty years as a Seattle defense attorney, is representing Benjamin Lopez charged with murder in a reported gang-style shooting. The case is State of Washington v. Benjamin Lopez and Abraham Lopez: one adult and two juveniles were arrested.

The crime took place in Quincy, Washington – named for Quincy, Illinois and founded as a railway camp in 1892 — the area is now known as the home for large Microsoft, Yahoo! And Intuit data centers using the hydroelectric power from the Columbia River. 

The trial is to be held in the Superior Court of Grant County. Unlike many cases immediately affected by the SCOTUS ruling, Benjamin Lopez (one of the juveniles) has not been convicted and sentenced. He is still charged, however, with aggravated murder which would necessitate a LWOP sentence by Washington State law.

Not only will this be one of the early cases to see how Miller will be applied in local courts, but a case of forensic evidence. The main witness against Lopez is another member of the group in the car at the time of the shooting and whose fingerprints were found on the murder weapon.

The Honorable Evan Sperline will hear the case which will be tried before a jury.  Judge Sperline is well-known as an excellent jurist with intellectual curiosity.

You can read some of the press coverage of the crime here: 

Wenatchee World

You can read more about Grant County here: 

Grant County/Quincy

John Crowley’s biography is here: 

Attorney John Crowley

 

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