Friday, August 31, 2007

Astronauts Are Not Drinking Alcohol But Rich People Like Sumner Redstone Are Drinking MonaVie (Acai Berry)

Eighty four year old Sumner Redstone, the majority owner of Viacom, has been drinking like a fish lately. But what he has been drinking is MonaVie an antioxidant-rich drink containing Brazilian acai berry, pomegranate, blueberry and other juices. Some formulas of the juice add Celadrin and Glucosamine apparently for anti-inflammatory benefits. Sumner boasts the drink as a miracle and says, "I feel great." Redstone claims that since he has started drinking the juice, he no longer needs to take sleeping pills. The down side of this "miracle drink" is that it is $40 a bottle. Furthermore, you can not buy it in a store. It is sold by people out of their homes and over the internet.

MonaVie is based out of Utah and their CEO, Dallin Larsen, is quick to point out that it is not a drug. Redstone is quick to point out that he has recommended the drink to Bill Clinton, Wolfgang Puck, and Michael Miliken (king of junk bonds.)

So does it work? At $40 a bottle, a good red table wine can be bought and shared among friends. On the other hand, one would never be questioned about flying the space shuttle after a few drinks of MonaVie. Any readers drink MonaVie that want to comment?

Update 10-5-10: The new fad is drinking beetroot juice. It supposedly gives one more energy. "It is not going to turn a recreational runner into an Olympic champion, but it might make tolerating more exercise easier so you can train more," said Dr. Andy Franklyn-Miller, a sports medicine expert in London.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Astronauts were not FWI (Flying While Intoxicated)

Our nations capital has concluded that based on NASA investigations that there is no evidence astronauts had been drinking heavily before launching into space. Two unsubstantiated instances of heavy alcohol use before flights grabbed headlines in July. But NASA has been unable to confirm the allegations. "I was unable to verify any case in which an astronaut spaceflight crewmember was impaired on launch day," reports NASA safety chief Bryan O'Connor. (O'Connor is a former astronaut and shuttle accident investigator and as far as Legal Pub knows, never dated temporarily insane astronaut Lisa Nowak see Legal Pub Article dated 4-11-07 to refresh your memory about Lisa. )

However, O'Connor said flight surgeons should play a stronger "oversight" role in launch day activities. (Seems to be a clear invitation to play doctor which may cause serious problems... see Lisa Nowak case.)

NASA administrator Michael Griffin said pre-launch preparations for astronauts is so visible that it is nearly impossible to sneak a drink. (Let us toast to openness.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vicious Shark Attack Temorarily Ends 24 Year Old Todd Endris Quest For the Perfect Wave Update: 6-5-08

When Headline News first mentioned a shark bite attack, Many assumed it was another nasty divorce case with over zealous attorneys. Others associated bite with the recent Pitt Bull problems. When the story revealed it was a human beast encounter with a great white shark, legal advocates and pitt bull owners breathed a collective sigh of relief. But for the surfing community in Monterey Bay, little consolation came to those who witnessed a 24 year old California surfer get bit by a shark in Monterey Bay early Tuesday. The surfer was airlifted to a hospital with bite wounds to his torso and thigh. (While the surfers name has not been revealed, Legal Pub has unconfirmed reports that his first name may be "Eric")

The surfer was at Marina State Beach when the shark attacked him around 11 a.m.
The victim screamed and started punching the shark while trying to flee. Witnesses say that the shark took him down under the water. (Another unconfirmed report is that the suspect is a 20 foot great white shark.) Surfers pulled the victim out of the water. He was conscious and breathing when he was taken away by ambulance and then airlifted to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. The victim is expected to live and has apparently undergone surgery.

After the attack, state officials closed all the beaches from Monterey State Beach to Moss Landing. Hopefully, Surfer Dude will provide an exclusive update as I suspect he has nothing better to do today now that the beaches are closed.

Update 8-30-07 Courtesy of Poster Surfer Dude:
"The dude surfing was not Eric it was Todd. Todd Endris is 24 years old. He hails from Marina. He was surfing with a half dozen of his bros at Marina State Beach when the shark attacked him. It bit his board from behind. It was about an hour before lunch when it happened. Some say it was a 20 foot great white. Other dudes say it was closer to 12 or 15. Either way, narly wounds on Todd but they say he will be fine." Surfer Dude

Update 9-12 Todd is doing great. He has a 30 inch scar on his back. He plans to return to surfing in 6 weeks and will be back on his "Super Fish" board. While he says he will go back to Marina State Beach, he will no longer "surf alone."

Update 12-28:
An appreciative Todd Endris appeared on Larry King. LINK
Todd is doing real well. He is back to surfing and runs a little business on the beach. Follow the link and you will know why the Beattles were correct in singing "I get a little help from my friends..."
Update 1-4: Excellent video story with Todd Endris here: LINK
Update 6-5-08 Todd Endris stops by and shares his humor in comment #42!

Update 10-24-11:
American George Thomas Wainwright, 32, was attacked and killed by a great white while diving off a boat near Rottnest Island, a few miles from Perth in Western Australia state.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Harrell Franklin Braddy Gets No Mercy From Miami-Dade Jury As They Recommend Death For Throwing Quatisha Maycock to the Aligators! Update 10-24-07

Our previous story on Harrell Braddy generated numerous comments and can be read by clicking on the archives to the right (Should Harrell Franklin Braddy Be Fed to the Gators? 7-18-07) A Miami-Dade jury has reassembled in court 8-28, a month after jurors convicted Harrell Braddy of first-degree murder for tossing 5 year old Quatisha Maycock into the Everglades to be eaten by alligators. Only one issue is before the jury. Should Braddy be executed for murder.

Braddy is a 57-year-old felon. The jury will learn more about Braddy then what was revealed during his trial for murder of 5-year-old Quatisha Maycock and the kidnapping and attempted murder of her mother, Shandelle. Assistant State Attorney Abbe Rifkin plans to educate the jury about Braddy's extensive criminal record. Braddy has tried to kill before in the eyes of the prosecution.

Defense attorney Terry Lenamon will likely provide evidence of Braddy's subsequent reform and his involvement in his church. (Is this where Rev. J.J. chimes in with his two cents?) Circuit Judge Leonard Glick will also be presented testimony from Braddy's family who will be hurt by his execution. (See previous comments from supporters of Braddy in previous archive thread.)

The sentencing phase of trial was delayed Monday when juror Jose Ravelo revealed that since the end of the first trial, he had been charged with felony littering. Judge Leonard Glick promptly dismissed Ravelo from the jury. A second juror was also dismissed because he is enrolled in the police academy in Broward. The juror would miss too much time to qualify for certification if he continues to attend the trial. (Perhaps L.S. can shed light on this juror.)

There remains one more alternate juror.

Expect plenty of testimony about how Braddy has bettered himself in jail. He apparently has completed paralegal studies and professes his new found Christian faith. Braddy's family will no doubt be devastated by his execution. Is that enough to over come the heinous nature of this crime?

8-31-07 Update:Harrell Braddy's family testified Wednesday in a desperate attempt to try to save him from execution. Braddy has spent nearly 22 of the past 23 years in prison. Braddy's children and brothers acknowledged under cross exam that they barely know him. One such witness was Braddy's daughter, Alexis, 22. Her father was in prison when she was born. Alexis met him in a prison visitation room. Most of her contact with Braddy has been by telephone.

Braddy's attorney, Terence Lenamon, has done a good job showing how devastated the family will be if he is executed. Throughout the testimony, Braddy seldom looked up.

Harrell Braddy Jr., (Braddy's son) testified that his father was a good dad until he was 11 and went to prison. Assistant State Attorney Abbe Rifkin gently cross examined Braddy's son. Braddy's brothers Irwin and Thomas also testified how they would be "devastated" by Braddy's execution. Rifkin elicited from cross examination that Braddy had been raised in a loving family.

The families testimony is in contrast to the corrections officer's testimony that Braddy choked him during an escape. Braddy pleaded guilty to the 1984 escape and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Braddy was released on parole in 1997. He went back to prison in 1998 for killing five year old Quatisha Maycock and tried to kill her mother, Shandelle. The prosecution will ask for the death penalty as testimony in front of Judge Glick comes to a conclusion.

Update 9-1-07: Harrell Braddy's 85-year-old mother could not hold back the tears as she learned that the jury voted 11 to 1 to recommend the death penalty. Braddy's face revealed no emotion as the jury's decision was read. Assistant State Attorney Abbe Rifkin had argued hard in closing for the death penalty because of Braddy's record and because of his torturing Quatisha Maycock. "We know he commits violent felonies... This is a guy who cannot live in the community without hurting someone,'' Rifkin told the jury.

Rifkin bombarded the jury with Braddy's history of felony convictions (attempted murder of a corrections officer, kidnapping an elderly couple, attempted murder and kidnapping of Shandelle Maycock). The imagery of Quatisha cruel death was etched in the jurors minds. (The medical examiner testified that the Quatisha was still alive when alligators bit her head and stomach.)

Braddy's defense attorney, Terence Lenamon, (perhaps a reader of Legal Pub) questioned the mechanism of how and when Quatisha died. He argued that she may have suffered the fatal injury when her motherand her jumped out of Braddy's car. Lenamon refuted Rifkin's argument that Braddy planned for the child to die. He questioned why only one detective said that Braddy said he had to eliminate the little girl as a witness. Rather, Lenamon claimed it was more probably all a "horrible mistake." He also told the jury, ''You have the right to say no more killing.'' (In a way, the jury just did.)

Braddy's ultimate fate is now in the hands of Circuit Judge Leonard Glick. He will likely follow the jury's recommendation.

Update 10-24 07 : To no one's surprise, Harrell Franklin Braddy, who was convicted of murder for leaving a 5-year-old girl to be eaten alive by alligators in the Everglades, was sentenced to death last week by Judge Leonard Glick. Potential appeals will be exhausted before any exectution is carried out.

Rafael Izquierdo Fights Foster Parent Jo Cubas For Custody of His Daugher

Rafael Izquierdo is fighting for his Cuban daughter's custody. He allowed the mother to take his daughter to the U.S. The state took custody of the child after the woman attempted suicide.

Rebecca Kapusta, attorney for Florida's Department of Children & Families, argued that custody should remain with former baseball agent Joe Cubas and his wife. Cubas plans to adopt the child if successful.

"Our experts have told the father to remove this young girl at this young age would result in permanent injury and she would never recover," Kapusta told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen.

Izquierdo, 32, wants his daughter to return to Cuba. Cubas argues that the father abandoned his daughter by allowing her to come to the U.S. and by not paying child support.

Senator Larry Craig Apparently Not Sorry For Lewd Conduct. Alleged Lewd Conduct Update 8-29-07

Senator Does Not Appear Sorry!

Thanks to the AP

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of disorderly conduct. He had been arrested at an airport and charged with lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis Airport. (He now says he regrets his decision to plead guilty!)

Larry Craig is a three-term senator who is up for re-election next year. He hasn't said if he will run for a fourth term in 2008. A spokesman, Sidney Smith, said it is too early to know if Craig's guilty plea would affect his re-election plans."It's too early to talk about anything about that," Smith said. Sorry Senator, it is later then you think!

Update 8-29:
Craig pleaded guilty on August 8 to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The arresting plainclothes officer (Karsnia) alleges that Craig entered the stall next to him and blocked the door with his suitcase."My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall... The senator then tapped his right foot, "a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct," Karsnia reported. Craig ran his left hand several times underneath the partition dividing the stalls. He also moved his right foot so that it touched the side of the officer's left foot.The senator apparently initially resisted the officer's request to go to the police station. Congress will investigate the Senator's conduct.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sharon Graham a Wiccan Witch of Salem or Just Another Business Woman?

Are witches alive and well in Salem? As Halloween approaches, a busy time in Salem, one begins to wonder if the Wiccans are for real or just a bunch of good marketers. An alleged high priestess of Salem witches and an accommplice were accused of tossing raccoon parts on the doorsteps of a local businesses as part of a Wiccan community feud. Sharon Graham, 46, and Frederick Purtz, 22, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of littering and malicious destruction of property. Graham is also charged with intimidating a witness. They allegedly put a raccoon head on the doorsteps of Angelica of the Angels and the Goddess' Treasure Chest in May.
Salem is famous for holding witch trials in the 17th century. It still has an active Wiccan community and witch-related tourism. David Gavegnano reprensents Graham, and Sean Wynne represents Purtz. They deny that their clients put the raccoon on the victim's property.

Richard Watson, allegedly accompanied Graham, Purtz and other people when they put the raccoon head on the doorsteps. Watson alleges that Graham had a disagreement with the owners of the two targeted businesses over regulations that would limit the number of psychics who come to the city during the Halloween. The Boston Herald reported that there may be "internal issues within the Wiccan community," but the tossing of raccoon entrails may be a "bastardization" of Wiccan practice because the religion doesn't condone harming others.

In the mean time, is it time for a renewal of the 17th Century Salem Witch Trials or just time for a trip to Salem to celebrate Halloween?
1-27-10: Thanks to the investingblog unauthorized univited spam, comments are now closed. Please thank this spammer by never visiting their site or purchasing their goods or services!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

If Jesus Smoked Cigarettes, Did He Inhale?

Malaysia's government halted publication of a Tamil-language daily newspaper publication for a month as punishment for printing an image of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette. The newspaper caters to Malaysia's ethnic Indian minority. A spokesman said his office received the directive by fax from the Internal Security Ministry. "Of course we are shocked by this. My entire staff are all in tears. They will lose a month of income," Periasamy said. The newspaper plans to appeal the suspension.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi slammed the picture as hurtful and an insult to Christians. "If the Christians get to know about it, it will create problems," Abdullah said. ( Ethnic Indians comprise 10 percent of Malaysia's 26 million people, and are mostly Hindus with a sprinkling of Christians and Muslims; Chinese, who follow Christianity and Buddhism, 25 percent; Malay Muslims, 60 percent.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mike Flynt at 59 Years Old To Play College Football For Su Ross State. New Meaning of College Senior? Update 9-16-07

Mike Flynt at age 59 has returned to Sul Ross State this month, 37 years after he left college. He is elgible for Medicare in six years. On Wednesday, he made the Division III college team's roster. He could play as soon as Sept. 1. Flynt is giving new meaning to being a college senior. Flynt is a card-carrying member of AARP who is a grandfather. (He is eight years older than his coach.) Flynt has made a living out of physical fitness. He has been a conditioning coach at Nebraska, Oregon and Texas A&M. For the last several years, he has been selling the "Powerbase training system" that he invented. With Flynt's youngest child starting at the University of Tennessee, he and his wife Eileen have moved to this remote patch of West Texas so Flynt can play ball and inspire others.When he suits up, he will become the oldest player in college football history.
9-16-07: While Flynt dressed for the teams third game, due to pulled muscles, he still has yet to play in a game. He should play soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Heather Johnston, Blond Barbie Bandit, Pleads Guilty And Shows Remorse Update 3-24

Heather Johnston, one of the Barbie Bandits who gained national notoriety plead guilty on Wednesday to theft and drug charges. Heather (the smiling blond in the photo) made a dramatic, tearful apology for her actions.
Heather Johnston, 19, cried as she entered a pleas to theft by taking, a felony, and misdemeanor marijuana possession. The hearing was in Cobb County Superior Court. "I regret what I did. I wish I could take it back every day." Judge Mary Staley noted that Johnston wanted to take responsibility for what she did. She did not have a deal with prosecutors. Johnston and Ashley Miller, the Barbie Bandits, wore sunglasses and laughed when they stole nearly $11,000 from a Bank of America in Acworth, Ga., on Feb. 27. The Barbie Bandits were arrested two days later. Can you say T.V. Movie?
12-17-07 Major Update. See Comments. The Barbie Bandits apparently had inside help from Benny Allen! Ashley Miller withdraws her plea...
3-24-08 Update Plus: Master mind, Michael Dearrell Chastang was convicted by a jury as a participant in the so-called "Barbie Bandits" bank robbery. Chastang and three other defendants were sentenced March 19 for the February 2007 heist. Chastang was apparently behind the robbery. He apparently put Ashley Miller and Heather Johnston in touch with the bank teller who police claim was in on the crime. Miller testified Thursday during Chastang's trial that stealing money from a bank was the "worst decision I ever made." Miller and Chastang were supposedly romantically involved. Johnston, Miller and the teller, Benny Herman Allen III, has all previously pleaded guilty to theft charges and testified against Chastang at his trial.
Ashley Nicole Miller, 19, received a two-year prison sentence and eight years probation. She received credit for three months already served. Miller pleaded guilty to theft by taking and possession of Ecstasy with intent to distribute.
Judge Staley gave Heather Johnston, 20, 10 years' probation, community service, an order to repay the bank and a $2,000 fine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

No Defense For Pitbulls Attacking Sue Gorman or Pedophiles Like Jack McClellan Stalking Children in The Court of Public Opinion? Update 8/27

After the last Pit bull story, Legal Pub received emails and comment posts about how unfair we were about Pit bulls. They contend that statements like "they can unexpectedly become psycho without warning" is unfair because it is "how they are trained" that counts. Our response has always been that most owners of Pit Bulls never anticipated that they would become violent. An example out of Gig Harbor, Washington will likelly cause nightmares for Sue Gorman for the foreseeable future. Two pit bulls apparently entered her house through a pet door and attacked her while she lay in her bed. The Pierce County woman was able to shoot at the dogs, run out to her car and call 911. Sue Gorman, 59, was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. The pit bulls killed Romeo, a Jack Russell terrier owned by the neighbor, who entered the house during the attack. Officers pepper sprayed the dogs until they were detained. The dogs were taken to the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County.

Zack Martin owns the 2-year-old female (Betty) involved in the attack and was taking care of the male (Tank). Martin said Tank was chained up in his backyard because of a past incident but Betty was allowed to run loose in the fenced backyard. "We never saw it coming," he said. "They're the kinds of dogs you'd let play with your babies." Animal Control Officer Brian Boman, said animal control officers have had past run-ins with pit bulls.

Jack McClellan

While in the eyes of the public, there may be no defense for pedophiles, Jack McClellan is currently free on charges that he violated a restraining order. Jack McClellan, an alleged pedophile, was released from jail after prosecutors dropped a criminal case accusing him of violating an order prohibiting him from being within 30 feet of children anywhere in California for three years. The order was invalid because the judge failed to give McClellan proper notice of a hearing required to argue the merits of imposing such a long-lasting order before it is issued. McClellan was arrested Aug. 13 for violating the order when he was found near a child care center at the University of California. McClellan had a camera but claimed there wasn't any film in it. McClellan was arrested a few hours later for trespassing after he did an interview with the TV station on university grounds. Prosecutors did not pursue the trespassing charges. Superior Court Judge Melvin Sandvig issued the order Aug. 3 requiring McClellan to stay at least 30 feet away from every person under age 18 in California for a three-year period.

McClellan previously maintained a Web site in Washington where he posted photos of children he had taken in public places. He lives on supplemental security income and apparently suffers from depression. McClellan has always contended that he wouldn't do anything illegal with regard to children. McClellen has a hearing set for Friday concerning a temporary restraining order which would prevent him from coming within 10 yards of children in the city of Santa Clarita. As always, all suspects are innocent until proven otherwise!

Update 8-27: McClellan has announced he will move from California due to the unreasonable restrictions placed on his freedom!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Natacha Kampusch Apparently Forgave Wolfgang After His Death Update 4-28-08

Natacha Kampusch, a teenager in Vienna, Austria who was kept prisoner for more than eight years in a dingy cell now says that her captor was a "poor soul." Natascha spoke to the media Tuesday, a year after her dramatic escape. She was 10 years old when she was kidnapped in Vienna on her way to school. She spent the next 8 1/2 years confined by her captor, Wolfgang Priklopil. She was mainly kept in a tiny underground dungeon in his home. At age 44, Priklopil committed suicide within hours of Kampusch's escape on Aug. 23, 2006. "All I can say is that, bit by bit, I feel more sorry for him," Kampusch, now 19, said in a Austrian documentary. She referred to Priklopil as a "poor soul - lost and misguided." Kampusch said goodbye to Priklopil as he lay in a coffin. He committed suicide hours after her escape by throwing himself in front of a commuter train hours. She said, "It was always clear there could only be one of us and it was me in the end - and not him."
Update 4-28-08. Similar story about an Austrian engineer that allegedly kept his daughter locked up for over 20 years. LINK.

Bob Filner, Michael Vick, Cory Mashburn, and Ryan Cornelison Are All Apparently Sorry Now? Update on Vick 9-25

Bob Filner

The public may not have known before he was elected what Representative Bob Filner (Democrat from California) meant when he said he was "tough." Perhaps we now know. Rep. Filner has been summoned to court on assault and battery charges after an incident at Dulles Airport on Sunday night. Apparently Filner pushed a United Airlines bag claim employee. Filner should know better, he is an eigth-term Democrat. He allegedly entered an employees-only area at Dulles Airport and pushed a bag handler aside according to Courtney Prebich, assistant media relations manager for Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Filner disputed the charges. His camp has issued the following statement, "Congressman Bob Filner is on his way to Iraq , visiting our troops, and will have a full statement when he returns. Suffice it to say now, that the story that has appeared in the press is factually incorrect, and the charges are ridiculous." The incident happened after Filner "experienced a delay in claiming his bag," according to a United Airlines. Assault and battery is a misdemeanor charge. Filner chairs the Veterans Affairs Committee. This is not the first time he has lost his temper. A year ago, Filner shouted obscenities at two V.A. officials after a briefing concerning the burglary of a laptop with military personnel information. The VA officials termed the briefing a "publicity stunt," which upset Filner.

Michael Vick

After three associates turned State's evidence and were ready to testify that Vick brutally executed dogs and bankrolled gambling, Vick agreed to "accept full responsibility" for his role in dogfighting. He will plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges.

Michael Vick will likely serve one year in prison. The offense has a penalty of one to five years and a $250,000 fine. Federal sentencing guidelines will likely indicate the least penalty possible. Prosecutors will likely recommend a sentence of a year to 18 months since he is a first-time offender. U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson is not bound by prosecutors' recommendations or the sentencing guidelines.
Only 25 days ago, Vick said he looked forward to clearing his name. But with the help of his lawyer, Billy Martin, he will now plead guilty and that he is "sorry." The plea will be finalized Aug. 27." The NFL noted in a statement, by commissioner Roger Goodell, "We totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons."

Update: 8-27-07: It is now official. Vick is plead guilty and on the same day apologizes as he turns to Jesus to save his career...
Update: 9:25:07
Vick's problems are not over. Tuesday he was indicted on additional dog fighting related charges by a grand jury, including one count of beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs and one count of engaging in or promoting dogfighting. Each count is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Update 8-14-09: Vick having served his time in jail has been given a second chance by the NFL. Vick has signed to play for the Philadelphia Eagles for 1.6 million dollars this year. Next year he will receive in excess of 5 million dollars. Perhaps crime does not pay: but the NFL sure does!

Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison

Perhaps taking Michael Vick's lead in public relations management, two infamous thirteen year old boys (Mashburn and Cornelison) told Oregon judge, John Collins, that they were "sorry" for inappropriately touching girls at school. In accordance with the remorse, the Judge dismissed criminal sexual harassment charges against the boys. They were accused of slapping female classmates' bottoms and poking their breasts at school. Pressure had been place on prosecutors to drop the charges because the matter had been "blown out of proportion." Four girls listed as victims joined in the request for charges to be dropped. Judge John Collins said Monday his decision was in the "interest of justice." Accusations included swatting girls on the bottom, grabbing girls' breasts on at least two occasions, poking girls' breasts and mimicking sexual intercourse while dancing according to police reports.

The boys were originally charged with felony and misdemeanor sex abuse charges. Public opposition against sending the boys to prison and putting them on a sex offenders' registry, caused prosecutors to drop felony charges and added misdemeanor harassment charges. Prosecutors later dropped all sex abuse charges, leaving only the harassment counts. The judge dismissed the final charges following negotiations between prosecutors and the defense. The boys apologized to the girls in the courtroom. Mashburn said, "I never intended to hurt you in any way." Cornelison said, "I hope we can still be friends." McMinnville News-Register reported that a "civil compromise" called for both boys to apologize and pay each of the four girls $250.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Snake Eyes in Gambling Can Be Good But It May Mean Murder When Gambling Debts Are Involved! Steelman and Beck Face Charges

Last night HBO "Big Love" ended with rattle snakes having been put in the bed of a Polygamist who had bought a gambling business. Off the t.v. screen, Christopher Steelman, 34, and Herbert Beck, 56, are charged with scheming to collect on a gambling debt by using rattle snakes. Colorado investigators said Matthew Sowash (the alleged victim) is the owner of Amateur Poker Tour in WheatRidge. The accused are allegedly involved in an illegal poker operation. Sowish apparently did not pay the money he owed them, so Steelman and Beck apparently planned on dropping the victim into a container with rattlesnakes. After the victim was bit, then they could dump the body on a trail and make it look like an accident. Matthew Sowash is the owner of Amateur Poker Tour in Wheat Ridge. Apparently Sowash owed the accused men $60,000 according to Jim Shires of the Jefferson County Sheriff's office. Sowash's company apparently staged Texas Hold'em-style poker games in Denver area bars.

"You can get together with your friends and bet on your poker hands, that's ok. But if somebody charges you to play in that game, that's an illegal operation," said CBI spokesperson Lance Clem who is quoted on CNN.Com. The alleged victim apparently received threatening e-mails. Steelman's and Beck's bail is each $500,000. They are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and extortion. Beck and Stelman are innocent until proven otherwise.

Will Medicare Rule Changes End Up Costing the Patient?

Medicare will no longer pay the extra costs of treating preventable errors, injuries and infections that occur in hospitals. The move will save medicare millions of dollars. (Private insurers are likely to make similar changes.) Medicare will no longer pay hospitals for the costs of treating “conditions that could reasonably have been prevented.”These conditions include bedsores, pressure ulcers, injuries caused by falls, and infections from prolonged use of catheters. Medicare also will no longer pay for treatment of “serious preventable events” like hospital fall downs, leaving a sponge in a patient during surgery or providing a patient with incompatible blood. Herb B. Kuhn is the acting deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Hospital executives question who will pay the costs of these extra tests and services if Medicare does not. (Can you feel someone reaching into your pocket book?)
1.7 million infections develop in hospitals each year. Infection causes or contributes to the death of 99,000 people a year. Susan M. Pisano, America’s Health Insurance Plans, said, “Private insurers will take a close look at what Medicare is doing, with an eye to adopting similar policies.” Some fear that some hospitals will try to pass on the costs to patients. That is technically forbidden. “The hospital cannot bill the beneficiary for any charges associated with the hospital-acquired complication,” according to the Medicare rules. However, Dr. Kenneth W. Kizer, who was the top health official at the Department of Veterans Affairs from 1994 to 1999, said: “I applaud the intent of the new Medicare rules, but I worry that hospitals will figure out ways to get around them."

Only time will tell if this will hit the consumer in the pocketbook or lead to poorer health care.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Paris Hilton Demonstrates Superior Investment Judgment and Strategy Despite Mistakes in Personal Life

Our gal Paris knows how to get a return on an investment. Say what you might about her mistakes, even she admits to lack of judgment in her personal life. But in the face of a near crisis real estate market, Paris Hilton sold her L.A. home in just 10 days. The sale was for the full asking price of $4.25 million. Hilton bought the home in 2004 for $2.9 million. While I have never seen it, I am told the pool area is elegant. However, the inside apparently needs to be remodeled.The home is of Spanish-style decor and contains many pictures of Paris. The name of the buyer has not been released.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Patrick O'Brien Learns That Real Robbers Hurt More Than Practical Jokers

Patrick O'Brien found out in Fort Gratiot Township in Michigan that walking up to a robber thinking that he is a prankster loving friend can be a big head ache. Patrick was a customer in Sandler's Party Store when he mistook a man holding up the store for a friend who he thought was playing a practical joke. An armed robber the store about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and demanded money. Patrick O'Brien, 21, grabbed him in a playful way. The robber hit O'Brien in the head with his gun and fled with some cash. O'Brien was not seriously injured. Fort Gratiot Township is approximately 55 miles northeast of Detroit.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Did Lack of Health Insurance Cause Stanley Reimer to Kill His Wife, Criste Reimer?

Does the country need a uniform health insurance plan? How about euthanasia planning? Stanley Reimer, 51, apparently threw his seriously ill wife four stories to her death because her medical expenses exceeded his ability to pay. He is charged with second-degree murder. Pleadings in Jackson County Circneeuit Court, allege that Reimer walked his wife to the balcony, kissed her and then threw her over the rail to her death. Criste Reimer, 47, was discovered dead outside the apartment building, near Country Club Plaza shopping district in Kansas City, Mo. Stanley Reimer is in jail on $250,000 bond. The probable cause affidavit indicated that Reimer could not pay for his wife's treatment for neurological problems and uterine cancer. Reimer apparently admitted to investigators, "She didn't jump." Criste Reimer could barely walk. It is unlikely that she could have climbed over the balcony railing, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Criste Reimer had been ill for years according to Jackson County Probate Court records. Criste weighed just 75 pounds and was partly blind. The Reimers had no health insurance. Her medical bills were approximately $700 to $800 per week. In April Reimer petitioned the Probate Court to allow him to sell personal property in Wheeler County, Texas, for $20,000. Criste's assets were listed at approximately $6,700, with monthly income of $725.

Is this an example of why we need legal euthanasia or an example of domestic violence?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Leroy Greer a Victim of Privacy Infringement or Does a Rose By Any Other Name Still Smell the Same?

Unlike the attorney client privilege, to my knowledge, there does not exist a customer- florist privilege absent some contractual agreement. Leroy Greer, a man going through a divorce in Texas, may disagree. Leroy Greer is suing 1-800-Flowers for $1 million for apparently revealing to his spouse that he sent flowers to his girl friend.

Apparently, Leroy Greer was going through a divorce at the time he sent the flowers. In his federal lawsuit, he claims that he bought flowers through 1-800-Flowers for his girlfriend. He further claims that he requested the company to keep his purchase private. Leroy Greer alleges he was entitled to privacy because the company's "privacy policy" allows customers to ask 1-800-Flowers not to share personal information with "third parties." But, Greer says the Defendant sent a thank-you note to his house. Greer's estranged wife apparently saw the note. She then apparently called the company which faxed her a copy of the receipt.

The receipt confirmed that Greer had sent another woman a dozen long-stemmed red roses. The note read, "Just wanted to say that I love you and you mean the world to me!" according to the complaint. At the time Greer claims he was going through an amicable divorce. (Learning of the girl friend apparently ended the amicability.) Greer claims that his wife became more demanding in the divorce settlement negotiations. Kennitra Foote represents Mr. Greer.

Greer seeks $1 million for breach of contract and deceptive trade practices.

Does Greer have a beef or is he just busted?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What Do Mary Winkler, Roy Pearson and Jose Offerman Have in Common?

On a day when one learns Mary Winkler, the woman who killed her preacher husband, is out free and during a week where Roy Pearson has appealed his lost lawsuit against the dry cleaner, it is only natural to turn to America's past time for relief. Doing so, we learn former major league All-Star Jose Offerman apparently hit an opposing team's pitcher and catcher with his bat during a brawl during an independent minor league game. According to the A.P., Long Island Duck's Jose Offerman, who plays for the Long Island Ducks, attacked pitcher Matt Beech during the first inning of an Atlantic League minor league baseball game in Bridgeport, Conn.
Offerman is charged with two counts of assault and is out on $10,000 bond. Offerman is to report to Bridgeport Superior Court on Aug. 23, 2007. Offerman homered in the first inning of Tuesday's game. But he was later hit by a pitch from Bridgeport Bluefish starter Matt Beech. So being a former major league player, what did he do? As an example to all children playing Little League, he charged the mound with his bat. Catcher John Nathans sustained a concussion after he was hit in the head. Matt Beech sustained a broken middle finger on his right hand.Both treated at and released from the local hospital. Offerman was an All-Star in 1995 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and in 1999 with the Boston Red Sox.
So what do they all have in common? They are all making news for the wrong reasons! Roy Pearson presses on in his suit against the Dry Cleaner for the pants they were suppose to press but allegedly lost. Mary Winkler apparently pressed the "cure button" and was released from mental health facility. Offerman, presses at the plate, gets hit by an inside pitch and then shows he is still a "hitter" when pressed into duty. Each of the three is subject to a whole lot of bad press today!

David Boling Tasers William Lewis While He Holds his Baby Daughter at Woman's Hospital In Texas

In Houston, a hospital security guard (David Boling) fired a stun gun at a father (William Lewis) to prevent him from taking home his newborn baby. Both father and daughter fell to the floor. William Lewis claims his daughter suffered from head trauma from the incident. Lewis, age 30, claims that in April of this year he and his wife were mistreated by the Woman's Hospital in Texas. Lewis decided to leave the hospital; however, doctors would not allow them to leave. Lewis walked to the the elevators with his daughter. The elevators would not operate because of the electronic wristband sensors on the baby. Nevertheless, the hospital security guard, David Boling, tasered Lewis.

George Kirkham, a former police officer and a criminologist at Florida State (FSU) states his initial impression, "I've got to wonder what kind of moron would Taser an adult holding a baby. It does not take rocket science to realize the baby is going to fall...The taser is a legitimate law enforcement tool. The problem is the abusive use of them. They're supposed to only be used to protect yourself or another person from imminent aggression and physical harm. They are over used now..."

Lewis claims his daughter now "shakes a lot and cries a lot and is not real responsive." He claims that something is definitely wrong with his daughter. (It was not clear whether Karla (the baby) received any electrical shock.) Karla is currently in the custody of Child Protective Services because of a history of domestic violence between Lewis and his wife, Jacqueline Gray. Estella Olguin (C.P.S) apparently has not noticed any abnormalities in the child she associates with the fall.

David Boling is an off-duty Houston police officer who was working security at the hospital.
He claims that Lewis was hostile and uncooperative. Lewis was arrested and charged with endangering a child; however, a grand jury refused to indict him on that charge. The grand jury did charged him with retaliation apparently based on making threats against Boling. Lewis has also been charged with a second count of retaliation after he allegedly made a threatening phone call to Boling. Lewis denies all charges and is considering suing the hospital.

Does a patient and/or a parent have the right to leave a hospital? Or is hospital like jail?Update 2-21-08 A new L.E.D. bright light which temporarily disables would be criminals may make tasers obsolete!

Update 4-14-14:  TMZ reported a man tried to use an umbrella against police tasers.  Guess who won?
follow the link to watch the confrontation.   Taser V. Umbrella

Update 6-25-14:  Are laws limiting the use of Tasers appropriate?  As you  may recall, Tasers are "electronic control weapons." Inspired by the 2012 Taser death of MacAdam Lee Mason in 2012, Police in Vermont now have stricter rules when using electronic stun guns under bill H.225,  The bill requires a police oversight committee to develop a policy for how and when police should use Tasers. It also requires police to attend Taser additional training. Under the law, Tasers may only be used against subjects who exhibit active aggression or actively pose a risk of injury to others or themselves. Seems like a good law.  However, should police have to also wear a camera when they carry Tasers? Tasers can be deadly!

Update 7-12-17:    The debate about the use of Tasers has changed little since the original story. Recently, Zachary N. Bearheels was allegedly Tasered 12 times by the Omaha police before he died. Bearheels was an Oklahoma man with a history of mental illness.  Granted, Bearheels was apparently resisting arrest on June 5, 2017. Ironically, the electric shocks apparently failed to incapacitate the 29-year-old Bearheels and therefore an officer pulled Bearheels to the ground, grabbed his ponytail, and dragged him to the police car.  Supposedly, another officer also punched Bearheels in the head several times. While the incident apparently violated Omaha Police procedure, the actual cause of death is still not known.  The community in Omaha did not take the death of Bearheels well.  Bearheels was a bipolar, schizophrenic who may not have been accountable for his actions.

An autopsy will determine the cause of death and a grand jury will investigate whether the officers’ used excessive force.  Omaha World-Herald   There apparently are video clips of some of the confrontation but they will be sealed for the grand jury's review. The officers involved all had less than five years of experience which may have been a factor in how this matter was handled.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska released a statement saying in part that the incident served as “a reminder that Tasers are lethal weapons and that they should only be used as a last resort.”   The officers names have been withheld from this story. They are to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Are Mike Moore and Charlotte Moore Another Example of Families in Jeopardy?

All over the globe, families are in jeopardy. The hazards take many forms, but common themes seem to emerge. As previously discussed on Legal Pub, a mother and her 4 year old daughter are injured watching a Napa Monster Truck demonstration in Dekalb, Illinois. A father and son die on a failed amusement park ride in France. Carlos Flores, age 4, drowns at Great America Amusement Park in Santa Clair. Kaitlyn Lasitter is injured on a ride that malfunctions in Oshkosh. Now, in Busan, South Korea family members died when a Ferris wheel car unexpectedly overturned at an amusement park.

Photo Courtesy of AP
A 68-year-old woman and a 7-year-old boy died instantly after they fell 65 feet. A 28-year-old woman died at a nearby hospital. Two other family members survived by holding on to handholds on the ride. There were seven relatives riding in the Ferris wheel car, but the other two were able to cling to handholds and avoid injury, police officer Yoon Jae-man said.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, Jeon Un-sung, 70, who was rescued, , said "the slowly moving gondola suddenly stopped and turned upside down and family members fell. " The ride was part of the World Carnival mobile amusement park that opened in Busan last month after arriving from Hong Kong.

Families are also struggling with domestic relations issues. Legal Pub has discussed stars like Alec Baldwin, David Hasselhoff, and Britney Spears who have battled long on going custody disputes. Michael Polsky who must pay his ex-wife 184 million dollars as a property settlement. Families of Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and others have had to adddress alcohol or other substance abuse issues. A poor Sheriffs Deputy in Elko County must address multiple domestic relations issues with his "current" wife.

Charlotte Moore, A 36 year old off-duty Elko County sheriff's deputy (jail deputy) was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after her husband, Mike Moore who is a fellow deputy, arrested her. Apparently, Charlotte had been drinking for two hours at a downtown business wine walk. Deputy Mike Moore reported that his wife was initially was pulled over for either speeding or making an illegal turn. Charlotte Moore allegedly fled the scene without submitting to a portable Breathalyzer test according to the Elko Daily Free Press. Being a persistent officer and perhaps a typical husband, Mike Moore pressed the issue and pulled his wife over a second time and called for backup. Mike Moore, following procedure (and perhaps regaining some common sense) left the scene after the backup officer arrived.

The Elko County Undersheriff is Rocky Gonzalez. Charlotte Moore was released and placed on paid administrative leave.
Legal Pub is not sure that Chkarlotte Moore deserves a paid vacation at the tax payer's expense!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dale Underdahl Obtains Source Code For CMI Intoxilyzer. Step In Determining Reliability of Breathalyzers?

In Florida and in Minnesota, some DUI suspects are challenging the accuracy of the breathalyzer. Dale Lee Underdahl of Minnesota, like his predecessor in Florida, has won a petition to get the breathalizer source code. (Breathalyzers are computers with blow holes. The source code runs the computer.) As Underdahl's lawyer argued, "for all we know, it's a random number generator." Underdahl's obtained the source code for Intoxilyzer 5000EN, built by CMI. This breathalyzer is used in more than 20 states. Allegedly, the 5000EN is based on the ancient Z-80 processor, used by the Radio Shack TRS-80 which was first sold in 1977. (We all know how great computers were in 1977. )
Will this save the Lindsay Lohans of the world? Not likely. Should Breathalyzers be updated and continuously certified? Yes. The difference between .08 and .07 is 90 days without a license and $1,000 in most states! In the mean time, Piss Screen ( is a German company that makes a video game that may discourage drunks from getting behind the wheel. You test your ability to safely operate a video game car by aiming your urine in diffent spots in the urinal. (Unfortunately it would not work for Lindsay Lohan unless there is something that the tabloids don't know yet...)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Alleged Terrorist Threats Come in Different Forms, Was Almontaser's Resignation Appropriate? Update 3-19-08

A low credibility source warned of a possible "dirty bomb" attack in a major U.S. city. As a result only one City apparently took action. Specifically, police in New York screened vehicles near Wall Street today (8-11) in an attempt to detect any radioactive activity. The precaution taken because of an unconfirmed threat on the internet of a possible radiological attack on U.S. cities. Photo below courtesy of CNN.

The CNN photo was taken in Manhattan. Al Qaeda Web sites are becoming more bold. While the threat is unconfirmed, it illustrates the point that life is changing in the U.S. DEBKAfile, an Israel web site has reported increased terrorist chatter directed to the U.S. on the web. But some local messages may be even more direct.

An Arabic-themed school (Khalil Gibran International Academy) is set to open in New York this September. The school's principal, Debbie Almontaser, recently resigned after she was criticized for being part of group selling shirts which displayed the words "Intifada NYC." The Arabic root apparently means "shaking off." However, word has been associated with the violent uprising in Palestine.

45 students are enrolled in Khalil Gibran International Academy. The school intends to teach 6th through 12th grade. The language spoke in the school will be Arabic. Almontaser resigned Friday after refusing to condemn the T-shirts. A New York Post Editorial helped bring attention to the issue. Some argue the purpose of the shirts is to call for a Gaza-style uprising in New York. While Mayor Michael Bloomberg would not call Almonstaser a terrorist, he did feel her resignation was the "right thing to do." But even without Almonstaser as the principle, all her supporters are still present and the T-shirts are not going away any time soon.

Are "Intifada NYC" T-shirts a threat of terrorism? Would other nations allow such "free speech?"

Update 3-19-08 : Legal Pub was asked what constitutes the crime of a terrorist threat. The following should not be construed as legal advice:

Since 9/11, the crime of terrorist threats has become a serious offense. Terrorist threats are usally defined as threats to commit an act of violence intended to threaten or intimidate another individual with reckless disregard of the risks. Even if threats are hoaxes, the consequences can be very serious. Federal statutes make criminal threats punishable by fine of $250,000 and five years in a federal prison.
A common legal definition of a terrorist threat includes:
-Willfully makes a threat

a. to commit a crime that will result in death or great harm.

b. with the intent that it be taken as a threat.

c. that is so unequivocal and specific as to convey a grave purpose and immediate prospect for execution.

d. that caused reasonable fear in the victim.

State and federal law enforcement agencies may use the charge of “terrorist” or “criminal” threat to prosecute a variety of different crimes, including: hate crimes, domestic violence, bomb threats, and school violence. (State law may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.)
Those charged with any crime are encouraged to contact an experienced lawyer in their local jurisdiction.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Will Dekalb, Illinois Residents Have Nightmares About Monsters... Monster Trucks ?

In Dekalb, Illinois both children and adults may have future nightmares about monsters... monster trucks. Patrick Sheridan A monster truck roll onto and over four crumpled cars and then apparently went into the crowd during a show sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts. Officials had apparently asked observers to stand back after the truck's first few passes. According to Pat Sheridan ( a 16 year old spectator) the last pass "was like a full-out jump." The truck apparently went into the crowd and injured at least nine people - two seriously. After hitting the crowd it apparently went through a wooden fence and stopped on the railroad tracks. It is speculated that perhaps the driver experienced a problem with the accelerator.

DeKalb resident James Vesely reported to the DeKalb Daily Chronicle that a woman and a small girl were hurt. (Three adults and six children from the crowd were apparently treated at Kishwaukee Community Hospital for injuries. Seven were treated and released. However, the mother and her 4-year-old daughter were apparently transferred to trauma hospitals in Rockford.) OSF St. Anthony Medical Center and Rockford Memorial Hospital are believed to be the trauma hospitals utilized. OSF Saint Anthony spokeswoman Therese Michels declined to release any information. The 44-year-old truck driver did not appear injured. City Manager Mark Biernacki said the demonstration was a monster truck tour sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts. Jerry Nix, a spokesman for NAPA's parent company, Genuine Parts Co., did not comment on the incident.
This could be an expensive accident for NAPA!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Is Hollywood Suicide Rate Explained by Increased Risk of Suicide in Patients with Breast Implants?

Recent studies suggest that women with cosmetic breast implants are nearly three times as likely to commit suicide as other women according to a story published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery. This confirms previous studies linking the cosmetic surgery to higher suicide risks.

Loren Lipworth (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) studied 3,527 Swedish cosmetically enhanced women between 1965 and 1993. 24 of the women had committed suicide after an average of 19 years (triple the risk compared to the average population.) At least 38 deaths (22% of all deaths) were associated with alcohol abuse, drug abuse, suicide or psychological disorders.

Lipworth theorizes that some cosmetically enhanced women may have had psychiatric problems before the surgery such as lower self-esteem or body image disorders. Cosmetically enhanced women also had a tripled risk of death from alcohol and drug use.

The good news for Hollywood is that there was no increased risk of death from cancer. Women with breast enhancement may be more likely to die from smoking related diseases only because this group of women have a higher percentage of smokers.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the sale of silicone breast implants after a 14 year ban on the product. The FDA found no convincing evidence that breast implants were associated with cancer or other disease. Women tend to prefer the silicone implants to the saline ones used during the past fourteen years. Nearly 400,000 women had breast augmentation in the U.S last year according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Breast implant surgery was second only to liposuction as far as cosmetic surgery.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Oops Britney Spears Does it Again: Further Proof Stars Should Give Up Driving and Start Taking Limos

Britney Spears ran into a car that was parked at a Hollywood pharmacy. Then she door dinged a silver Mercedes. Spears was driving her own black Mercedes. As the paparazzi descended, Spears exclaimed, "I'm a brainiac!" Please Brit, tell us something we do not already know. Of course, the internet has video of the incident. But Legal Pub asks, "Why do celebrates continue to drive? Why not take a taxi, limo or hire a driver?"

Furthermore, why do celebrates breed? Britney's bizarre behavior (strip-pole dancing, botched photo shoots, and threatening paparazzi) have called into question her fitness to be a parent. U.S. Weekly reported gossip that she frequently puts soda in Sean Preston's and Jayden James' baby bottles. Britney also allegedly asked a Los Angeles dentist to "whiten her kid's teeth." Sean Preston apparently has dental problems because Britney gives him a bottle of juice all the time to stop him from crying.

Can all this self destructive behavior be good for her children or for the rest of society?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Margaret Wegner Had a Hole in Her Head or At least a Pencil in The Brain

In Berlin, no one can ever say Margaret Wegner did not use her head. For 55 years she had a pencil lodged in her head. The pencil apparently caused chronic headaches and nosebleeds.

CT SCAN of Weger's Brain Courtesy of A.P.

According to Weger, "It hurt like crazy" when she fell and the pencil went through her cheek and into her brain. She was four years old at the time! The pencil was 3.15-inches long. Weger is now 59 years old for those who are not good with math.

On Friday, Dr. Hans Behrbohm, took most of it out. The operation was difficult because it was an old injury. The remaining four-fifths of an inch pencil that could not be removed does not pose a danger according to Dr. Behrbohm.

Wegner is the wife of German boxing coach Ulli Wegner. Hopefully, she will no longer have the headaches and nosebleeds. Her sense of smell should also return according to Dr. Behrbohm.
Now we all know why our Mom's always told us not to run around with pencils in our hand!

Terrance Aeriel, Iofemi Hightower and Dashon Harvey Murdered in Gang Style Shooting an Example of Broken Campaign Promises? Arrest Update:8-19

(Update on all arrested suspects to date is at the bottom of the original article: Carranza, Godinez, Alfaro, and undisclosed minor(s).

When Mayor Booker was running for office in Newark, he promised a crack down on crime so that good people could live and improve their lives without fear. But an election later and four friends had their promising lives end because of crime. They all planned to be at the same college (Delaware State) in a few days. But that all changed with a few gun shots associated with an apparent robbery attempt. Several assailants ended the dreams of these individuals in Newark where the murder rate has risen 50 percent since 1998. The three victims were shot at close range while they were forced to kneel against a wall. A young woman was also wounded.
There have been 60 killings in Newark's this year to 60. Mayor Cory A. Booker promised last year to reduce crime. "He doesn't deserve another day, another second, while our children are at stake," said Donna Jackson, president of Take Back Our Streets organization.

Terrance Aeriel, 18, Iofemi Hightower, 20, and Dashon Harvey, 20 were killed with so much life ahead of them. Aeriel's 19-year-old sister, Natasha, was hospitalized in fair condition with a gunshot wound to the head. Authorities are investigating the crime but have made no arrests. "They were good kids," said Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow. This is an understatement. By all accounts, they were great kids who served as an example that one could improve their lives by education and working within the law. They will be sadly missed.
Update: 8-9-07: Jose Carranza age 31 turned himself in on three counts of first degree murder, one count of attempted murder and other charges. A 15 year old is already in custody and will be charged as an adult. One or more other suspects are being sought. All our innocent until proven guilty.
Update: 8-10-07 A finger print on a beer bottle and testimony from Natasha have apparently helped police identify suspects and/or person of interest. Apparently one more adult and two teens are being sought for questioning.
Update: 8-13-07
Police issued a warrant for Rodolfo Godinez, 24. Three others have been arrested. Godinez (a.k.a. Rodolfo Gomez) is a Nicaraguan national who lived in Newark's Ivy Hill section.
Update: 8-19-07 Two more suspects were found in suburban Washington. Rodolfo Godinez, a 24-year-old Nicaraguan immigrant, was arrested in Oxon Hill, Md. He is held on $1 million bail and charged with three counts of first degree murder said Carolyn Murray, first assistant prosecutor for Essex County. Alexander Alfaro, 16, allegedly Godinez's half brother, was arrested in Woodbridge, Va. on similar charges. Authorities are still searching for an additional suspect.
Update 4-30-10: A 19 year old woman who was shot and stabbed, is a trial witness for the prosecution. Two other defendants were charged with sexual assault. The young woman "was also marched to her death that night" but fortunately she survived. According to the prosecuton, Terrance Aeriel (T.J.) texted the woman that "it's time to go," after he saw four more men show up at the playground. The victims were forced to lie on the ground and surrender their money and cell phones before they could leave. Three were allegedly taken down a set of stairs and shot. The lone survivor was apparently sexually assaulted and cut. When she ran, she was shot in the head.
Attorney Roy Greenman represent defendant Godinez. He claims Godinez did not participate in the attack. The surviving victim apparently identified the other defendants as the shooters.
Suspects ranged from 15 to 28 years old at the time of the killings. Three juveniles will be tried as adults. All six suspects face murder, felony murder, robbery and weapons counts in addition to the sexual assault charges against Jose Carranza, the oldest defendant, and Shahid Baskerville, who was 15 at the time. Prosecutors believe that the killings were part of a gang initiation. After the killings, Newark installed surveillance cameras in some neighborhoods. 2008 statistics suggest that Newark's murder rate had dropped by nearly 40 percent. For more on the trial read:
Update 1-18-11: Due to Halo spamming, any future comment on this thread must be mailed to for prescreening. Sorry, but as Legal Pub has become more popular, the spamming has increased to the point that editors can't write as many new stories or update old articles.

Senior Duo Rafael Echeverri and John McMullan Chase Down Robber

John McMullen and Rafael Echeverri want the world to know that Senior Citizens are not easy marks. John McMullen, an 87 year old retired Suffolk County police officer, was robbed coming out of the North Folk Bank in Patchogue, New York. He was hit over the head and the proceeds from his social security check taken. Once he regained his bearings, he took off running after the thief. Unfortunately, McMullen stumbled. That is when another senior citizen, Rafael Echeverri assumed the chase. Suspect Murray Martin was later apprehended at the appartment complex where the chase had ended. Rafael is 69years old. Martin, age 33, faces second degree robbery charges.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Matthew Savage and Zalman Friedman Spin the Wheel of Fate and Win While Austin Haley Dies from a Stray Bullet?

A six year old falls from a ride at Six Flags and dies. A father and son die as a result of a snapped cable on a fair ride in France. Legal Pubs previous stories detail other tragic deaths at amusement parks. Austin Haley, a five year old boy, was fishing with his grandfather, Jack Tracy, this weekend when a stray bullet hit Austin in the head. Apparently, a Noble police officer had discharged his weapon in an attempt to kill a snake in a tree. A state investigation has been launched into the shooting but it appears the fatal shot was fired by the officer, said Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown. Yet Matthew Savage, a 17 year old Georgia teen, fell six stories from a hotel balcony in Myrtle Beach and sustained only bruises and scrapes. Savage was reaching up to a balcony one floor above to grab a bathing suit that had fluttered down from the 11th floor when he tumbled over the railing. Friday. Matthew hit other balconies on his way down and slammed onto a slanted rooftop, then into bushes. After landing in the bushes, Savage got up and started walking back to his room. Paramedics flew him to a hospital, where tests showed he sustained no major injuries.
Also testing fate and winning was Zalman Friedman, an 8-year-old Israeli boy, who floated in the Dead Sea alone for six hours at night. His father accidently left him there during a family trip. The Dead Sea, (literally and figuratively the lowest point on earth) has a high salt concentration that helps swimmers float. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the family was visiting a beach reserved for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men (they do not bathe in the presence of women or in public areas.) His father only noticed the boy was missing as darkness fell. Friedman was found about 2 miles from the shore. Yehuda Meshi-Zahav of the Zaka rescue organization indicated that the boy was dehydrated and frightened but otherwise healthy. Omer Cohen of the Megilot volunteer rescue unit said, "We were surprised to find the boy alive and well."

Apparently Matthew and Zalman do not need any additional proof that God exists and is alive and well. On the other hand, the family of Austin Haley have got to be wondering why fate in the form of a serpent led to their loss...