Depending on the circumstances, it can take several years for a case involving a violent crime to make its way to trial. This might be especially true if a suspect is unable to be reached for long periods of time. While fleeing after being charged isn’t an automatic indicator of guilt in a particular case, it can make that perception difficult to overcome via a criminal defense strategy.

That is what a man suspected in a fatal stabbing that took place in Trenton in 2009 is now facing. A native of Guatemala, the man left the United States for his home country in early 2010 after he was indicted and charged with murder in relation to his girlfriend’s death.

As a result, the man was charged with an additional felony charge of fleeing prosecution. By early 2013, he had been arrested in Guatemala. FBI agents then picked up the case, leading to the man finally being returned to New Jersey this week. FBI special agents turned the 38-year-old man over to officials with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

Obviously, if he is convicted, the man faces hefty penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence. Having an able criminal defense team is always essential for people who have been charged with serious crimes in New Jersey, but it can be especially true when jurors might have a perception that a defendant is guilty because of actions he or she might have taken in order to evade arrest — including fleeing to another country.

Source: The Times of Trenton, “Fugitive found in Guatemala to face murder charges in 2009 Trenton stabbing,” Keith Brown, June 11, 2014