Category: Archive

Meath man acquitted of San Francisco murder

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Monaghan was charged with the murder of Lionel Voillatt, a Swiss national living in the Bay area, during a Halloween party cruise in San Francisco Bay last October.
The prosecution alleged that Monaghan threw Viollatt overboard after an argument when Viollat saw his girlfriend Viva Taylor and Monaghan together on deck.
Defense attorney Ken Quigley, in his opening statement, claimed that his client acted in self-defense when he was attacked by Viollatt, who was in a jealous rage because he saw the couple in a farewell hug as they were about to part after a conversation.
After two days of deliberation, the jury came back to announce Monaghan not guilty of first- and second-degree murder, but asked for further instructions for Judge Philip Moscone, on the remaining charges of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
The jury told the judge that they were split 10-2 for acquittal on the voluntary manslaughter and had not even got to discuss the charge of involuntary manslaughter. At the judge’s request, they returned to deliberate on the charges but returned a short time latter to announce that they were deadlocked. Judge Moscone dismissed the jury and instructed counsel to return the following morning.
On Friday, after discussion with the defense and prosecution, the judge announced that the court would meet again on June 23. The prosecution have 10 days to decide if they wish to call for another trial on the voluntary and involuntary manslaughter charges.
When asked by the press why his client was not being immediately released, attorney Brandon Wen said: “The judge has continued bail in the amount of $5 million and that there were immigration issues to be resolved.”

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