By their very nature, homicides and other major felonies present a prosecutor with a multitude of highly complex issues. These crimes extract a cost to the community greater than that of any other criminal activity: loss of human life. Further, the successful prosecution of these crimes results in the harshest punishments issued by the courts – up to and including the loss of life by the defendant. Major felony cases, therefore, necessitate considerably more investigation and preparation for the prosecution than any other crime prosecuted by this office. Also, trials in these cases are lengthier and the results more closely scrutinized by the appellate courts of this state and of the United States.
The Major Felony Unit continues to provide 24-hour assistance to law enforcement agencies upon request. A deputy prosecutor is available on a rotating basis each day of the year to provide legal help to law enforcement agencies investigating homicides or other complex cases. The deputy prosecutor on duty reports to homicide scenes upon notification and assists with legal issues that arise during the investigation. Such activities include preparing arrest and search warrants, providing direction in the gathering of evidence, and answering legal questions in regards to search and seizure. Deputies may also provide legal advice regarding suspect and witness interviews, admissibility of evidence, and probable cause to arrest.