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Criminal defense: Former farm worker charged with murder

A former migrant worker from Guatemala is facing serious charges following the death of his former employer in northern Westchester County. New York state authorities took part in a massive international effort to apprehend the man, believed to have murdered an 83-year-old socialite whose farm he used to work on. It is unclear whether the man has sought criminal defense representation at this time. 

The report spans the last two years, back to Nov. 9, 2015 when the body of the socialite was discovered in the laundry room of her 300-acre horse farm in North Salem. The authorities believe her death was caused by blunt-force trauma to the head. No sign of forced entry was discovered, and while police did not find the murder weapon, they believe it may have been a small fire extinguisher that was missing from the property. 

Witnesses say the 32-year-old worker, who was no longer employed by the deceased woman, visited the farm on the day of her death. He returned to Guatemala shortly afterward, prompting an international effort to bring him back to the United States to stand trial. He now faces charges of second-degree murder, for which he could serve 25 years to life if convicted. 

However, New York prosecutors have their work cut out for them in proving the man guilty of the crime of which he has been accused. They will have to present evidence placing him at the scene during the window of time the woman is believed to have been murdered. The article did not divulge whether there was forensic evidence linking him to the crime. Criminal defense representation will carefully review the evidence the prosecution intends to offer in court, will scrutinize all police records of the investigation, and may initiate an independent investigation on behalf of the defendant. The focus will be on protecting the man's legal rights while strongly representing his interests throughout every stage of the criminal proceedings.

Source: The New York Times, "Ex-Farmworker Charged in 2015 Killing of Westchester Socialite", Sarah Maslin Nir and Winnie Hu, Nov. 13, 2017

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