A Canton man was recently indicted by a Cleveland grand jury after a witness claimed to identify him leaving a U.S. Bank on Aug. 16. The 33-year-old suspect has been accused of robbing six banks in July and August. Specifically, he faces six counts of felony bank robbery.

Like anyone facing felony charges, he will need a strong criminal defense to ensure that his rights are protected and that the prosecution’s claims are called into question. Authorities would like us to believe that eyewitness accounts are always reliable, but that simply isn’t the case. Moreover, police must follow proper procedure when gathering evidence, and when officers make mistakes, then the evidence may be suppressed in court.

In this case, the suspect was taken into custody by the Safe Streets Task Force, which includes members of the FBI, the Canton Police Department and the Ohio Adult Parole Authority. A strategic criminal defense will look for holes in the version of events provided by law enforcement officials and prosecutors. If the suspect cannot be linked to the location of each bank in question, then he may see a reduction or dismissal of charges.

It is important to note that while one witness claims to have identified the man fleeing the one bank, guilt should not be presumed regarding the other suspected crimes. A defendant must be presumed innocent unless or until otherwise is proven in a court of law, and the so-called “court of public opinion” should not determine the outcome of a criminal trial. Nonetheless, anyone facing such serious charges will need to put forth a strong and meaningful defense.

Source: North Canton Patch, “Suspected Serial Bank Robber Indicted for 6 Northeast Ohio Holdups,” John Deike, Sept. 19, 2012