Oral Sex Defendant Found Not Guilty by Jury
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Richard Patterson

Summary: A jury found the defendant who believed he accidentally killed his girlfriend during oral sex not guilty of murder.

Richard Henry Patterson believed his girlfriend died while performing oral sex on him. The 65-year-old Margate, Florida man tried to allege that his 60-year-old girlfriend Francisca Marquinez choked to death performing the sex act on Patterson.


Patterson was facing a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of her murder but the jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder. The jury deliberated for less than five hours before coming to the verdict.

Marquinez’s body was found decomposing in her condo on October 28, 2015. The last time anyone saw her besides Patterson was on October 25. Her body was found after Patterson contacted a lawyer. He never called for help from emergency services. Because of this, medical experts are not exactly sure how long she had been dead. When investigators were able to examine her body, her face, neck and arms were so badly discolored that finding bruises during an autopsy would not be possible. The one thing they were able to determine was that her neck bone was not broken and the cartilage surrounding the neck was still intact.

Patterson found his defense attorney, Ken Padowitz, after first reaching out to his ex-girlfriend for help. Holly Graff testified that Patterson called her saying he had choked Marquinez. Prosecutor Peter Sapak focused on this and other evidence during his closing arguments. In text messages, he admitted to doing “something terrible” and was “really sorry.”

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Sapak explained that Patterson was recorded repeatedly telling Graff not to talk about the case, saying he couldn’t go to jail. While he focused on the evidence that could be presented during the trial, Padowitz did the opposite and it paid off.

Padowitz said, “They still don’t know how she died.” A medical expert agreed that strangulation was not likely though not completely impossible. Padowitz stressed that another medical emergency could have happened like a stroke or heart attack. He admitted that choking from oral sex was not likely. For death to occur that way, a victim would have to be without air for at least 30 seconds before passing out and then have another two to three minutes pass before fully dying. He said, “That’s not the way she died. But that’s the way Richard Patterson thought she died.”

The one thing that made the defense claims tricky was the fact that Patterson did not take the stand. Without his testimony, there was no one to state that her death was preceded by a sex act. There was also no testimony to back up Padowitz’s claims that Patterson failed to call for help because he was embarrassed and humiliated about her dying from giving him oral sex.

The defense team originally claimed that Marquinez choked while performing oral sex, if requesting for Patterson’s penis to be shown as evidence. However, Padowitz changed their angle to stress the fact that a cause of death was unknown so she could have died from a heart attack or stroke that went unnoticed by Patterson during sex.

What do you think of this case? Do you believe the defense team’s story or is the fact that Patterson didn’t call for help or notice her go unresponsive during sex a sign? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about the case, read this article:

To learn more about unusual defenses, read these articles:




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