A new series launches on A&E featuring Best And Brock and a controversial murder "Accused: Guilty or Innocent?" offers an intimate account of what happens when someone is formally charged with a crime and sent to trial – all solely from the perspective of the accused, their legal team and family members. Each episode follows the accused person’s journey through the planning of their legal defense, the trial and, ultimately, the verdict. As evidence mounts and the trial approaches, these emotional stories provide a first-hand look at what it is like when your freedom is on the line
"The Accused: Guilty or Innocent" aired on April 21, 2020. The eight-part series offers an intimate account of what happens when someone is formally charged with a crime and sent to trial – the story is told from the perspective of the accused, their counsel, and their family members. Each episode follows the storyline of an individual accused of a crime from the initial appearance through the verdict. Every emotional story is meant to give insight to the general public about what it is like to have your freedom on the line and in the hands of a jury.
In October 2019, Andrea Hayduk and Garth Best represented a young girl (24) named Angel Bumpass, on charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. Angel was a nursing student and mother of two precious little girls living a quiet life in KY when she failed to appear for a speeding ticket. When she was booked, her prints were linked in the system to prints recovered from duct tape at a crime scene for a murder case that had gone cold. An elderly man was found duct-taped to a chair in his home, during what was believed to be a robbery, and left to die by suffocation. He had blunt force trauma to his head. Angel was 13 years old at the time of the incident and a small framed young girl with no criminal record or history of violence.
Quiet and shy, in those years, she kept to herself and did little else outside of school and home. She had no connections to the deceased, no means of transportation and lived more than 2 miles from his residence. Angel was tried for his murder as an adult and a twelve-member jury convicted her of both charges after four days. The ONLY evidence of her involvement was two fingerprints found on duct tape years later. Her co-defendant, an adult male, with a prior criminal record and a drug habit, was found not guilty. Angel is currently serving life in prison. Having no criminal record, she remained free on bond while the case was pending. When the verdict was read, she was taken into custody on the spot. Barring the case being overturned on appeal, she is ineligible for release for 51 years. This case will haunt us for decades to come.
A&E joined us during Angel's trial and has made a documentary of her story. Angel’s episode of "The Accused: Guilty or Innocent" will air in late May. We believe now more than ever that it is critically important for the public to know what goes on in our criminal system. (I will no longer refer to it as the “justice system”) We are convinced that Angel does not belong in jail for the rest of her life. Watch her story and those of others similarly situated. The stories of the accused need to be told and we need to listen. The system does not always work as it should and there are people in jail serving sentences that are not just.