Justice Denied In the Long Island Drugstore Killings

By

Published September 09, 2011

| FoxNews.com

It was Father's Day and a beautiful Sunday morning in Medford, New York on June 21. The Haven drug store was relatively quiet when 33-year-old David Laffer walked in. What happened after that wreaked havoc on the lives of so many on Long Island.

Laffer a war veteran, approached the pharmacy counter and within seconds shot the pharmacist in the stomach. He then shot a 17-year-old high school student who was working part time at the pharmacy. 

Two customers walked in and they were both shot by Laffer from behind -- execution style. Laffer then wiped his fingerprints and went over to the pharmacist and shot him two more times.

This horrific scenario speaks to the national epidemic of drug store robberies by prescription drug addicts. But it goes far beyond that not only in terms of the high number of murder victims involved, four people, but because prosecutors made a plea bargain with the wife of the shooter.

Although Laffer pled guilty to four counts of what's known as "Murder 1" and will receive four consecutive life sentences. His wife Melinda Brady, however, was allowed to plead guilty to robbery and will receive just 21 to 25 years in prison.

Here's the problem: Brady admitted staking out the pharmacy the day before with her husband; planning the robbery; driving her husband to the pharmacy; waiting as his look out; driving the get-away car. 

She is every bit as responsible for the deaths of four innocent past as her husband the shooter. Why? Because of a simple rule known as "felony murder." The rule is that when someone who is guilty of a felony (in this case a robbery) and another person, other than a participant, is killed that person is guilty of murder irrespective of the intent to kill. Laffer's excuse that Brady "didn't know he intended to kill anyone" has no validity in law or common sense.

The District Attorney in this case denies there was a plea bargain but admits she was given a "minimal break" for her help in retrieving drugs and building a case against her husband! Are you kidding?

The D.A. had video surveillance recording the shootings, Laffer's fingerprints at the scene and a ballistics match between his gun and the evidence at the scene. Who needs her assistance? Why give her any break at all? She should have been charged with four counts of murder two.

The lives of so many have been effected forever by the senseless, vicious and evil acts of this husband and wife team. They gave their victims no mercy. They should receive the same justice.

Judge Jeanine Pirro is the host of "Justice with Judge Jeanine" which airs Saturday evenings at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel. She is also the host of a daytime courtshow "Judge Pirro." She is a former County Court Judge and District Attorney of Westchester County, New York .

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http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/09/09/justice-denied-in-long-island-drugstore-murders/