The suspect in connection with the stabbing death of a Dodgers fan last Wednesday has been released without charges. The death of Jonathan Denver, 24, was linked to two suspects -- Michael Montgomery, 21, of Lodi, California, being one of them. Montgomery was released from jail on Friday, Reuters reports.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement that there wasn't enough evidence to bring a charge against Montgomery, according to Reuters. Gascon also stated that there was an obligation to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Montgomery did not act in self-defense.
What does this mean for the criminal investigation into the Dodger fan's fatal stabbing?
Burden of Proof Is High
There are different standards that must be met by the evidence in a trial. In a criminal case, the highest standard of proof is required. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt essentially requires that the prosecutor must demonstrate that there is no other logical explanation that can be derived from the evidence, except that the suspect did commit the crime.
In turn, if the jury does not find any reasonable doubt regarding the defendant's guilt, then the defendant will likely be pronounced guilty and convicted.
Charges Still Possible
However, just because proof beyond a reasonable doubt has not yet been met in this case, doesn't mean that it may not eventually be.
"The San Francisco Police Department has provided us an initial investigation," Gascon said in his statement, according to Reuters. "However, not all witnesses have been interviewed, nor have any independent witnesses of the incident been interviewed. We have requested this and other evidence be collected before we can make an assessment on whether charges should be filed."
Along with the SFPD collecting more evidence, the father of the victim is trying to do the same, USA Today reports. Last week, Denver's father Robert Preece spoke in front of AT&T Park, home to where the San Francisco Giants play, and made a plea, calling for witnesses to come forward to help.
- Suspect in fatal stabbing of Dodgers fan released from custody (Los Angeles Times)
- Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (FindLaw's LawBrain)
- Criminal Trial Overview (FindLaw)
- Bryan Stow Lawsuit: Family Blames Dodgers for Brutal Beating (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)