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3 people plead guilty to murder charges

On Feb. 6, two individuals pleaded guilty in a California courtroom to two separate first-degree murder charges. The accused individuals are a 24-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman who were described as transients. Both of the incidents occurred in San Francisco in 2015, but the incidents were two days apart. A third individual, a 25-year-old man, had already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges for his involvement in the incidents.

According to reports, a 23-year-old woman and a 67-year-old man were both robbed and killed by the accused individuals. The woman was a tourist from Canada who was attending a music festival and camping in Golden Gate Park, and the man was a yoga teacher who was hiking with his dog on a popular trail. Prosecutors say the 24-year-old man shot both of the alleged victims.

The 25-year-old man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder is expected to receive a 15-year prison sentence. The man who is accused of pulling the trigger during both of the incidents agreed to serve a 100-year prison sentence while the accused woman agreed to serve a 50-year prison sentence.

People may be charged with murder even if they were not the person who actually pulled the trigger during the incident. However, if they were present present at an alleged murder, they may be able to dispute their charge by arguing that they did not do anything to assist the actual perpetrator. A criminal defense attorney could attempt to strike a deal with the prosecutor that would entail a plea of guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for a reduced penalty.

Source: FOX News, "Transients plead guilty to 2 Northern California murders," Feb. 6, 2017

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