Having been a seasoned trial attorney since 1981, Mr. Yampolsky has tried virtually every type of serious criminal matter, including numerous murder cases. Some of Mr. Yampolsky’s many successes include: obtaining three murder acquittals; a dismissal of a capital murder case on a procedural issue; an acquittal in the nationally recognized “Computer Gang” case; and successfully arguing before the United States Supreme Court in Nevada v. Riggins (1992), a death penalty case. Click here to download the official decision (PDF)
In that case, Riggins’ conviction was reversed and remanded for a new trial. Mr. Yampolsky literally saved the life of his client, David Riggins. The Case of the Rockabilly Shootings is another very high-profile matter that was handled by Mr. Yampolsky. The murder case was dubbed by the media as the “Rockabilly Shootings.” Mr. Yampolsky’s client was accused of killing someone who had tried to kill him. The victim was a gang member, and Mr. Yampolsky’s client stated that the victim was known to have a gun on him. Mr. Yampolsky’s defense was clearly one of self-defense. After much investigation, Mr. Yampolsky found the car that was driven by a cohort of one of the decedents. It had two bullet holes, which supported the defense theory that the decedent had a gun and that his client had in fact fired in self-defense. Jury verdict: Not Guilty.
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Another high-profile case Mr. Yampolsky handled was a Federal matter with 13 co-defendants and 541 counts involving the use of computers and inside knowledge to wager large sums of money to their advantage. The end result was a Not Guilty verdict for each of the thirteen co-defendants on all 541 counts.
Mr. Yampolsky handled a murder case on behalf of a friend’s nephew. The shooting was a result of a drug deal that went very badly. His client, Chris, had a full plate indeed. One victim was shot three times (by Chris) and died, another victim was shot and killed by Chris in a struggle, and Chris himself was shot. Wisely, Chris elected not to speak with the police after he was arrested. Certainly applicable in this case, Mr. Yampolsky’s contention was that he needed a theory of the case in order to win. Merely relying on reasonable doubt or on the prosecution not meeting their burden of proof may not be enough to win. Mr. Yampolsky believes you need to give the jury “something to hang their hat on.”
It became apparent to Mr. Yampolsky quite early in the case that this would be argued as self-defense. Mr. Yampolsky immediately retained the services of an investigator, who interviewed several witnesses within days, including the soon-to-be co-defendant. The statements of the witnesses proved invaluable as the case progressed. Mr. Yampolsky believes that a thorough investigation is quite often the key to a good result, in addition, of course, to having the right investigator. Based in large part on the testimony of Mr. Yampolsky’s client and the State’s first witness, it became clear that there had been a struggle for the gun that had actually killed the decedent, which supported the defense theory of an accidental killing.
During final argument, Mr. Yampolsky often pulled out the murder weapon and asked the jury, “What would you do if this gun was pointed at you?” Mr. Yampolsky showed the jury the self-defense instruction that said if there was evidence of self-defense presented, then the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that self-defense in this case did not exist. To illustrate this point, he enlarged this jury instruction to poster size and circled “must.” Mr. Yampolsky further enlarged an accidental killing instruction that said if you have a doubt whether this killing was intentional or accidental, then you shall (also circled) find the Defendant not guilty. The jury deliberated for 6 hours and found Mr. Yampolsky’s client Not Guilty on all counts. Chris was looking at consecutive life sentences if convicted.
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