Napolean “Booda” Epperson Testimonial
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Napolean Epperson, but those who know me call me “Booda.” On December 23, 2013, I was hanging with some friends near my home in Cherry Hill. After a few drinks one of the dudes I was with caught an attitude with me and came after me with a knife. Luckily, I was able to get the knife from him, but he kept trying to fight me. In the confusion of the moment, he got stabbed several times. While I certainly did not intent to kill him, he ended up dead and I ended up catching a 1st degree murder charge.
As anyone knows, the State don’t play when it comes to murders. I couldn’t get a bail, so I knew I was going to be sitting for awhile. I also knew I had to have a lawyer to fight this thing or I was going to be spending the rest of my life in the DOC. On February 12, 2014, I hired Brad MacFee to help me defend this case.
The first thing that Brad told me was that I needed to be patient. There wasn’t going to be any bail and it was going to take a while for my case to be ready for trial. He said even if he was ready, which eh was going to try to be as quickly as possible, there would be postponements at the request of the State and there would be postponements for lack of available courts. He told me to count on sitting for 14-18 months.
After that, he told me that we would claim self-defense in order to beat the case. He said that while the State can make a case for 1st degree murder, or 2nd degree murder or manslaughter, the bottom line was that the dude pulled a knife and came at an unarmed man with bad intentions, and he would convince the jury that under the same circumstances, each of them would have reacted the same way I did.
The next thing Brad did was take what I assume was several hours, probably days, to go through all of the discovery information provided to him by the State. After that, he typed all of the information up and sent it to me so I could review it before he came to see me to discuss it. He sent me pages of information, all of which proved to be helpful as I researched the case on my own. Eventually, Bad and I would meet several times and thoroughly review each and every detail of the case.
After identifying and locating the eyewitnesses to the incident, Brad went out to Cherry Hill and talked with each of them. If they weren’t available, he went to their homes and talked to their family members. In the end he found, thoroughly prepared and subpoenaed each of the eyewitnesses before the State had met with them. In other words, they knew that when the State ultimately got in touch with them, they were going to represent that from what they saw, the killing was done in self-defense.
The months went by, but on August 10, 2015, after spending 17 months in jail during which time my daughter was born, Brad and I appeared before Judge Williams. The prosecutor came into court knowing that her witness wasn’t there. Of course, we knew that as well. We also knew that she wasn’t going to put a body attachment on him when she knew he was going to come to court and say that this was a case of self-defense. The State offered a plea to Manslaughter, which we rejected. Then the State offered me a Stet, which we also rejected. With that the State had no choice but to dismiss my case, meaning I was going home without having to ever go through a trial or be exposed to a conviction.
Brad told my family and I that sometimes “It’s better to be lucky than good.” I don’t believe that though. While luck is a great thing to have, murder charges don’t go away because you’re lucky, they go away because you’re prepared. In this case, it was the early and frequent meetings with witnesses, beating the State to the punch, that was the reason for the dismissal. Essential, Brad worked the street hard, and because of that effort he knew the State’s witnesses better than they did. He knew where they were, where they were going to be and what they were going to say if push came to shove. The prosecutor, on the other hand, had never met with any of them.
If I am not mistaken, mine is the 3rd murder in a row that Brad has beaten. While no trial was necessary, I believe a dismissal is a win for any defense lawyer. You could even argue that winning without the need for a trial is better because I never had to worry about the possibility that I might be convicted. That is some stress I was happy to live without.
The bottom line is, if you have a charge pending, whether it’s a big or small, hire Brad. He will work a petty theft like it’s a triple murder because the charge doesn’t matter, it’s the impact of the charge on you that matters. All I can say is that my family and I, and my daughter even though she doesn’t know it yet, are really happy we let Brad handle my case.
Napolean “Booda” Epperson