According to the Sun-Sentinel, Lisa Spence went missing from Miramar, Florida on October 7, 2009. There is no doubt now that her ex-boyfriend, Paul Edwards, needs the best criminal defense lawyer he can find.
After leaving her job on Oct. 7, Spence headed home and was never heard from again. That is until suspicious text messages were received from her cell phone by family members. The text messages indicated that Spence had moved to Jacksonville and that she felt sad “…because I will miss Paul. With all that happened he still was good to me in the end.”
According to Spence’s boss, she and Edwards had a cycle of abuse that had gone on for quite a while. However, it is unknown whether or not there was an actual history of domestic violence.
With the exception of these bizarre texts, Spence’s regular phone calls to family members stopped the day she went missing. Yet, cell phone records indicated that Spence’s phone was nowhere near Jacksonville. In fact, her phone was always within proximity of Edwards’ phone.
After having Spence’s cell number reassigned to a different phone, detectives sent a text to Edwards that read, “Just wait til I got better.” Within minutes of sending the text, police surveillance teams saw Edwards drive to different locations between Dade and Broward counties.
A subsequent police investigation involving the use of cadaver dogs led to the discovery of Spence’s decapitated remains inside a barrel at one of the locations allegedly visited by Edwards. Police claim that Spence’s body was riddled with multiple stab wounds. According to CBS-4 News, detectives used DNA samples provided by Spence’s daughter to confirm the identity of the remains.
Spence’s blood was also found inside Edwards’ apartment and in a rental car that Edwards was driving around the time of Spence’s disappearance.
Edwards was arrested on Wednesday and is being detained without bond in the Broward County Jail.
Based on the information provided in media reports, it seems as though Edwards’ fate is sealed. However, it is in cases like these that the best defense work is often times done. At this stage of the proceedings, Edwards’ defense team will need to mount its own independent investigation.
This investigation will consist of two elements. First, defense lawyers will begin by collecting the facts of the case. Second, lawyers will look to see if the police violated the law when conducting their investigation. For example, did the police have a warrant when they searched Edwards’ home? If so, was it a valid warrant premised on a valid warrant application? If not, any evidence collected may be suppressed.
The tougher the case, the harder the defense team must work to uncover the defenses. Even the smallest crack in the prosecutor’s case can cause huge differences in the outcome for the accused.