Denial for fear
When I was a reporter working in courts I had to attend to lots of trials against criminals of all kind. Once, the defendant was a very dangerous man. Former assassin, now thug for hire. He was so violent during the trial, trying to intimidate the witnesses yelling at them and even trying pushing them, that the judge had to expelled him from the court room for a while, and after the pledges of his defence lawyer about that the defendant would behave he readmitted him, but handcuffed just in case.
The defendant strategy was effective. The victim of a beating who was seriously wounded, was so scared that he didn’t even went to testify. He simply disappeared from the earth. The police couldn’t find him. His wife, that had seen everything, took the stand, but was so intimidated, that changed his testimony and said that she didn’t know a thing about what happened the night her husband was attacked. She prefered persist in her denial and risk an accusation of perjury than face a vendetta by the defendant. She evidently believed her life and the lives of her children were at stake.
All the witnesses behaved similarly. Only a friend of the victim had the courage to confront the defendant and testify against him. But wasn’t enough.
The criminal was set free because of lack of evidences.
Months later he reappeared in town and began to follow me to scare me I had to call the police for protection.