Saturday, October 3, 2009

Civil Case Judgment

Trenton, NJ.

“Do you believe that the defendant, Destiny Blande, willfully or wrongfully caused the death of Edgar Stahl by a preponderance of the evidence?”

“Yes, we do.”

The epic story that has captivated the public’s attention since the first few written pages has added a new chapter. Destiny Blande, the accused but recently acquitted Satin Strangler, was found guilty of wrongful death in the civil suit filed against her by the family of victim Edgar Stahl just moments ago.

Blande was acquitted in a criminal case for the NJ murders of Edgar Stahl and Grant Leighton earlier this year. The media frenzy of that trial gave us live feeds and constant coverage. To the disappointment of millions of spectators, Blande did not take the stand in the criminal case. Instead, audiences across the country watched her sitting silently, periodically piercing the cameras with her viridian laser-like eyes. This civil case would have been the moment we were waiting for, since by law she had to take the stand in the civil case, but it all happened behind closed doors.

The civil case loss was also different from the criminal case, resulting in an award of $8 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages to be paid to the Stahls.

Blande’s legal expenses from the civil trial, estimated at up to a million dollars, were fully funded by donations through a website called DestinyIsInnocent, paid in increments from $5 to $10,000, according to the website creators. Despite the name of the website, most of those donations are reported to come from people who believe Blande is guilty but are still supportive of her.

Further proceedings are scheduled to determine the value of Blande’s current assets owed to the plaintiffs. Traditional estimates place Blande’s net worth in the range of $150,000-250,000, but her personal items are predicted to sell for a premium in auction, perhaps fetching more than a third of the $38 million in damages owed to the Stahls. Regardless, Blande would most likely be forced into bankruptcy in the wake of the court decision, and could easily spend the rest of her life paying off the balance.

“This was Edgar’s last chance for justice,” a spokesperson for the Stahl family told reporters. “The criminal court blew the case, but now Destiny Blande is going to pay. She walks the streets with the appearance of a free woman, but we now own her. She’ll never keep another dollar. That’s what she deserves. It’s only a fraction of the price this killer should pay.”

“We vehemently contest the decision,” Blande’s attorney Barbara Randolph said. “We will definitely appeal.”

Blande was unavailable for comment.

That’s the dirt on the civil case.


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