prime suspect

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The prime suspect is the person believed by law enforcement officers to have most likely perpetrated a crime being investigated. Generally, when a person is considered to be a prime suspect, there is evidence or a motive that leads officers to believe that person committed the crime. For example, in Farmers New World Life Insurance Co. v. Rees, a woman was found dead in the street outside the home she shared with her husband. The husband, who was a gambler and the sole beneficiary on wife's life insurance policy, was at one point considered a prime suspect.

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]