Prosecutors in the Brian Walshe case laid out a trove of circumstantial evidence against the man accused of murdering his wife, Ana Walshe, who's been missing since New Year's Day.
Though there's no body in the case, legal experts believe the prosecution has plenty of evidence to secure a conviction through circumstantial evidence.
“Anytime you have a ‘no body’ case, the defense is always going to exploit the idea that there is no concrete evidence the alleged victim is actually dead. They can lean on the idea that this was a troubled marriage, each partner likely wanted out, and maybe Ana decided this was her opportunity to run away," Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Joshua Ritter, a partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers and a former Los Angeles County prosecutor, said.
"They also may try to create alibi evidence by saying he wasn’t in the area she might have been, using cell phone data where they can. But in most instances the cell phone data favors the prosecution because when she was supposed to be on her way to the airport her phone is pinging at home."
Criminal defense attorney Rachel Fiset, co-founder and managing partner of Los Angeles-based Zweiback, Fiset & Zalduendo LLP, went as far to say "he did it" and that he will be convicted.
“Brian’s defense attorneys will try to argue that everything is circumstantial. That investigators don’t have the body, can’t show the body, and don’t have videos of Brian committing the crime," Fiset said. "But, the cameras are starting to place him at the scene, and when you combine that surveillance footage with the evidence they do have, I don’t see a lot going in Brian's favor in this case right now.
"They found this guy, he did it. At some point, I think he will plead guilty, because his case will be too weak to fight this.”
Trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor, Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, said he believes the prosecution will soon nail the case down further.
“It’s probably just a matter of days before authorities find Ana Walshe's body, and then they’ll have everything sewn up in this case," he said.
Prosecutors will be relying on evidence such as DNA, a bloody knife and alleged Google searches made by Brian Walshe on his son's iPad.
“This case runs very high on what I would call consciousness of guilt evidence. And the prosecution has done a good job highlighting the motive, showing that Brian Walshe was going through financial and legal trouble, and he wanted out of this marriage. The evidence of motive is key, because often prosecutors give too little attention to a defendant’s possible motive, and that’s a mistake," Ritter said. "When you add all the elements presented by the prosecution, it’s a tapestry of circumstantial evidence that can really create a strong case. But they still lack some direct forensic and eyewitness evidence.”
Become a Front Page Detective
Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.