MARGATE — A second-degree murder case in Broward County has taken a turn for the bizarre, with the defendant petitioning to add—of all things—his penis into evidence.
Richard Henry Patterson, 65, is standing trial for the October 2015 death by asphyxiation of his girlfriend, Francisca Marquinez, 60. Patterson has never denied choking Marquinez, but has only recently shared the sordid details as to how it happened.
Patterson is claiming that Marquinez asphyxiated while in the act of giving him oral sex and—what’s more—says that he can prove it. How, one might ask?
Simple. He just needs to show the court his penis.
Patterson maintains that by displaying the “murder weapon” as it were, he can definitively prove his own innocence.
The request isn’t as outlandish as it might initially seem. Ken Padowitz, Patterson’s lawyer, referred to his defense as an offshoot of the sort of consensual-and-accidental “rough sex” approach taken by many defense attorneys with similar circumstances in recent years (albeit—it should be noted—with infrequent success).
Brooklyn, New York defense lawyer Joyce David weighed in on the tactic, having employed it herself for a client.
“The backlash is something you need to get in front of during the jury selection process,” David explained, suggesting that Padowitz needed to stand strong on the defense, even in the face of inevitable disapproval of the court and public.
She concedes that the legal maneuver did not work well for her own client, a man accused of raping and killing a woman. In David’s 2009 case, though, the defendant denied any involvement in the death altogether, claiming the “rough sex” in question was actually with someone else. The jury disagreed.
Patterson’s peep show—if green-lit—won’t be for all to see, and will only have a select few attendees.
“Padowitz requested that it happen [somewhere] outside of public view,” said a court decree, “with only Broward Circuit Judge Michael Ian Rothschild, lawyers, a bailiff, the jury and [Patterson] present.”