Can Patterson be charged with murder if no body is found? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/5/09

Can Patterson be charged with murder if no body is found?

Judge Rusty Ladd Judge Rusty Ladd

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The man charged with the murders of two Lubbock State School workers is now behind bars at the Lubbock County Jail and is awaiting arraignment there.

Mickey Patterson, 59 was transferred Sunday afternoon from Bend, Oregon back to the hub city for the murder of Kay Harrelson and the suspected murder of Peggy Merimon back in 2006. 

Kay Harrelson's body was found 11 days after her disappearance, but the question remains - where is Peggy Merimon. That raises a second question - how can Patterson face murder charges for Merimon's death if her body hasn't been found?

County Court at Law Judge Rusty Ladd has been in this situation before back in 1991. Ladd was the prosecutor against Leisha Hamilton for the murder of Roger Scott Dunn. His body was never discovered, but Hamilton was still found guilty. "The fact you don't have a body, you may not have a weapon, and may not have any eye witnesses does not mean there's no evidence," said Ladd.

Judge Ladd says in these rare circumstances it's all about the evidence that is found, and relying on details. "Usually there's more attention you have to give to details. Scott Dunn's case was a very highly detail oriented prosecution. There were really a lot of individual pieces that had to be woven together," said Ladd.

For Patterson to be proven guilty for Merimon's death, Judge Ladd says certain steps have to be taken. "You have to prove the death occurred and who it was, then who did it. You have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, for the fact the body hasn't been found does not keep you from being able to do that," said Ladd.

Judge Ladd says cases like these are more complicated but not impossible to prove. "If you had a law that said if a person successfully disposes of a body, you can never try them for homicide, that would be unreasonable and unacceptable," said Ladd.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

10/4/09

Mickey Patterson brought back to Lubbock

An accused killer is back in Lubbock following more than three years of his alleged crime. Authorities transported Mickey Patterson from Oregon to Lubbock where he arrived Sunday afternoon. 

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • After school shooting, Florida leaders propose new gun laws

    After school shooting, Florida leaders propose new gun laws

    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:34 PM EST2018-02-23 04:34:46 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:46 PM EST2018-02-23 22:46:36 GMT
    (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect,...

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect, other issues.

  • Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

    Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

    Friday, February 23 2018 12:14 AM EST2018-02-23 05:14:34 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:46 PM EST2018-02-23 22:46:08 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - in this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Rick Gates departs Federal District Court in Washington. In a dramatic escalation of pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - in this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Rick Gates departs Federal District Court in Washington. In a dramatic escalation of pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday...

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed additional criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed additional criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

  • 2nd Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

    2nd Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

    Friday, February 23 2018 5:34 AM EST2018-02-23 10:34:42 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 4:58 PM EST2018-02-23 21:58:10 GMT
    (AP Photo/Michael Sohn). Driver Nadezhda Sergeeva and Anastasia Kocherzhova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia take a curve in their third heat during the women's two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, ...(AP Photo/Michael Sohn). Driver Nadezhda Sergeeva and Anastasia Kocherzhova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia take a curve in their third heat during the women's two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, ...

    A second Russian athlete has failed a doping test at the Pyeongchang Games, a day before the International Olympic Committee's executive board is to decide whether to reinstate the country for Sunday's closing...

    A second Russian athlete has failed a doping test at the Pyeongchang Games, a day before the International Olympic Committee's executive board is to decide whether to reinstate the country for Sunday's closing ceremony.

Powered by Frankly