Thursday, October 30, 2008

Devil's Night Incubates Juvenile Pranks and Misdemeanors

Tis the night before Halloween, commonly referred to as "Devil's Night." Who among us will be surprised to wake up tomorrow morning to find smashed pumpkins, toilet paper on trees or broken eggs on your property? Some call it Mischief Night. Others just call it hell. The night before Halloween incubates mischief and misdemeanors unlike any other night of the year. So are they just pranks of rambunctious youths or are they crime attributable to punks and thugs?

Devils Night or Mischief Night is more common in the northeastern United States, Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom. Keep in mind that it is not always kids. Who can forget Orson Welles' broadcast of "War of the Worlds." broadcast over the airwaves on the eve before Halloween? While Orson Welles prank may have been entertaining, such acts can get carried away. In the 1970s, Devil's Night escalated into a night of arson and mayhem in Detroit. It got so bad that the name was changed in 1995 to Angel's Night to discourage violence. In the Midwest, fires are rare. Corning cars not so rare.

Parents beware. Keep your teen age ghouls and goblins home on the night before Halloween and juvenile court will have a lighter load then usual on Monday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Michael Alfinez Guilty of Elder Abuse When He Forced His 85 Year Old Grandma To Appear In A Threatening Video.

Elder abuse may take many different forms. Consider Michael Alfinez. This 18 year-old has been sentenced to 18 months in juvenile detention for allegedly coaxing his 85 year-old grandmother into holding a gun and threatening to shoot "all the pigs" in a "gangster rap" video. Alfinez plead guilty too the charge of "elder abuse."

The 85-year-old grandmother held a handgun, wore a black mask and threatening to shoot "all the pigs" in the video. Alfinez was busted after police discovered the tape during a routine traffic stop. Alfinez and others shoot a pistol in the video which resulted in him pleading guilty to charges of firing out of a moving vehicle and into a building. Just what was this kid thinking?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Julian King, Darnell Donerson and Jason Hudson All Murdered Without Compassion! Update 12-2-08

Jennifer Hudson's 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, was found shot to death in an SUV on Monday. The FBI continues to investigate the murders. official said. Julian was identified by medical examiners at the request of the Chicago Police. Police are searching surveillance tapes from all over the city for clues. Police have yet to determine a motive.

Deputy Chief Cmdr. Wayne Gulliford said police found the body after responding to "a call about a suspicious auto" on Chicago's West Side. Julian has been missing since Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and her brother, Jason Hudson, were found dead on Friday. Julian King is Julia Balfour's son. Julia Balfour's estranged husband, William Balfour, may be a person of interest. William Balfour was questioned over the weekend. He was subsequently transferred to prison on a parole violation charge. However, no charges had been filed against anyone in connection with the murders. Balfour, 27, apparently spent over six years in prison for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possessing a stolen vehicle. Balfour's mom, Michelle Davis-Balfour has urged the public to find the real killer as her son had nothing to do with the killings.

Jennifer Hudson has appeared in "Dreamgirls" (2006); "Sex and the City: The Movie" (2008)and "The Secret Life of Bees" (2008)

As Michelle Davis-Balfour reminds us, all suspects are innocent unless otherwise proven guilty! Watch Davis-Balfour's emotional appeal

Update 12-2-08: Police arrested the estranged brother-in-law of Jennifer Hudson on Monday in the deaths of the entertainer's mother, brother and young nephew. William Balfour was arrested at Stateville Correctional Center and released to detectives as he awaited formal charges in the shooting deaths according to Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sibling Order As A Predictor Of Occupation?

Competitions, name-calling, hair pulling and blame shifting, why can't we all just get along? No, this is not about Obama and McCain. It is not even about the rift between Sarah Palin and John McCain aides. This is about sibling rivalry. Ask any first born and they will tell you that parents are stricter with first borns. Generally speaking, later-born kids probably do have fewer rules because parents grow weary. Middle children are sometimes overlooked. By the time the youngest comes along, near anarchy is tolerated.

So does birth order influence personality and the propensity to commit crimes? Well, sociologists and behavioral specialists pontificate that firstborn children tend to be more extroverted and confident. Second-born kids tend to be more rebellious and open to new experiences. The youngest child tends to be the most creative and manipulative. How does this translate into one's occupation? Some studies suggest that firstborns and only children tend to achieve higher education, obtain greater prestige and according to career, make more money. The middle child is more likely to be less educated and less wealthy. For more information consult, "Why Firstborns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It" by Michael Grose.

Whether birth order can predict a propensity to break the law is still subject to debate. Intuition tells us that birth order has an impact on development. Firstborns are believed to be ambitious, assertive, dominant and disciplined. Firstborns have a strong desire to succeed yet are fearful of failure. As a result, they are defensive about errors and mistakes. The oldest tend to become involved in careers in the field of medicine, government, engineering or law. An Ohio State University study is in accord.

Middle children are often versed in the field of compromise. They tend to be more easy-going and diplomatic. According to, middle children tend to earn $35,000 per year less than firstborn or youngest children. Middle children can often be found in society as nurses, policeman, firefighters and factory workers. While they may make less, middle children generally have higher job satisfaction.

Youngest children seek the spotlight. They can be charming, creative, have a good sense of humor. But youngest children use their charm and humor to manipulate others to get their way.
Youngest children often become involved in art, outdoor jobs, journalism, advertising, sales and athletics. According to, most last borns work in administrative and clerical level positions. They tend to have the least amount of job satisfaction.
While the youngest are motivated to conform to parental expectations, they tend to have problems delegating work. While they are more confident, articulate and imaginative than other children, they are poor at handling any criticism. So does birth order predict a propensity to break the law? Look for the answer to be played out in your local court room as more data is gathered. In the mean time, a young child asked me what is the scariest costume that he could be for Halloween. My answer was simple. Dress as my 401 K!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Texas Woman In Pennsylvania Claims She Was Beaten By A Robber Because She Had A McCain Bumper Sticker

Elections can become nasty. If this one was not previously considered nasty, it is now. A Pennsylvania woman claims that she was attacked at an ATM in Pittsburgh because she sported a John McCain bumper sticker on her car. At this point, the Pittsburgh Police Department cannot confirm whether a man attacked this woman because she had a McCain sticker on her car. The investigation is ongoing.

According to the alleged victim, a man approached her Wednesday night at an ATM in the city's East End, put a blade to her neck and demanded money. After she gave him $60, the man "punched her in the back of the head, knocking her to the ground, and he continued to punch and kick her while threatening to teach her a lesson for being a McCain supporter." The woman also claimed that the attacker "called her a lot of names and stated that 'You are going to be a Barack supporter,' at which time he scratched into her face a backward letter 'B' on the right side of her face."

If this is true, this is ridiculous. It is an election, not a revolution.

*** Apparently, the woman's allegations were not true. She was apparently a frustrated McCain campaign volunteer who made up the story of this in a politically inspired attack. There is no such place in our system for false accusations or violence. ***

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Keifer Bonvillain Sues Oprah Winfrey

Keifer Bonvillain, a Houma, Louisiana man, has sued Oprah Winfrey, alleging that she and an attorney made false statements leading to his arrest. He seeks damages of $180 million. Charges were in fact filed against Keifer Bonvillain; however, they were dismissed.
Bonvillain was arrested in December 2006 after he allegedly recorded telephone conversations with a Winfrey's production company employee. Keifer allegedly said he wanted to publish a book based on the recordings and had offers for the tapes from publishers and tabloids.
Bonvillain was supposedly arrested when a company associate allegedly agreed to pay him $1.5 million. In the lawsuit, Bonvillain claims he did everything he could to avoid doing anything illegal.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Maryanne O'Neil Goes to Jail Rather Than Pay Her $7.45 Bill At Waffle House

Despite waffling on many key issues, Obama mania sweeps the land promising to bring relief to the middle class. A Fort Pierce Florida woman who apparently can't wait for the election is accused of taking the law into her own hands. Maryanne O'Neil, age 66, ordered a coffee and a sandwich at Waffle House. She apparently was not satisfied with the food and/or the service and refused to pay her $7.45 bill. When confronted by police, she decided to go to jail rather than pay her bill.e went to jail over: $7.45. When she refused to pay, she was taken to jail. Maryanne was released Monday from the St. Lucie County Jail. She was charged with obtaining food with an intent to defraud, a second degree misdemeanor.
If convicted, she could face up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $500. Will a jury convict her of trying to get a perk that some police officers customarily receive? Maryanne, if you are dissatisfied with the food or service, pay the bill but file in small claims court. Who knows, maybe your case will wind up on Judge Judy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Julio Diaz Saves Cole Puffinburger

The good news is that Cole Puffinburger, age 6, has been found and reunited with his parents. The bad news is that the investigation into his disappearance may cause some major trouble for his family. 6-year-old Cole Puffinburger was taken from his Nevada home last week. The FBI speculate that his 51 year old grandfather, Clemens Tinnemeyer, may have been involved in "significant drug dealing." A companion of Clemens, Terri Leavy, 42, has been issued a warrant to appear as a federal material witness in Las Vegas, Nevada, related to Cole's disappearance. A similar warrant was directed to Cole's grandfather. The pair are currently detained by U.S. Marshals and will be questioned under the warrants.

No charges have been filed.

Julio Diaz, a bus driver picked up Cole as he was walking alone in Las Vegas.
Julio Diaz knew it was a police matter right away even though he did not recognize the boy.
Cole is healthy and was not harmed by the kidnappers. While police are focusing on a possible drug link to Cole's abduction, at this point it is speculation. In the mean time, Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper has speculated that Tinnemeyer may have stolen money from a Mexican drug cartel believed to be involved with methamphetamine. For more on Coles recovery see KVVU: Missing boy found alive

It is believed that there were three kidnappers. Authorities are seeking a man for questioning called Jesus Gastelum. In the interim, most are just glad that the child was not harmed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Maryland Sex Offender's Homes Are Marked For Halloween Pursuant To Child Protection Law

Halloween is good for children. Sex offenders are bad for children. Maryland's new law is designed to protect and preserve the positives of Halloween. The Maryland law in issue requires a pumpkin shaped sign on the door of all sex offenders stating that candy is not available there. Legal Pub has learned that the signs state: "No candy at this residence." The Washington Times reported that approximately 1,200 violent and child-sex offenders across the state will receive the signs. A letter will accompany the signs explaining what the sex offender must due to comply with the law. The letter instructs the offender to stay at home on Halloween, "turn off all outside lights and do not answer the door."

Perhaps, some one should have suggested that Sarah Palin stay home too. Video:

Sarah Palin Drops In On "Saturday Night Live"

Friday, October 17, 2008

McCamey, Phillips, Tuggle & Fordham Law Firm Rocked By Explosion

This is not our system of justice! One person was killed in an explosion at a Dalton, Georgia law office Friday morning. The victim has not been identified; however, he is believed to be the one who is responsible for the explosion. Some type of explosive device was apparently used by the culprit. The explosion rocked the McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle & Fordham law firm. Dalton police Lt. Bruce Frazier indicates that there is a person of interest but no official suspects. Apparently, Lloyd Cantrell has been questioned; however he has yet to be named as a suspect. Legal Pub cautions that Cantrell is to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven.
The explosion happened around 10 a.m. this morning and Legal Pub delayed publishing this story until more facts were known. At this point, it is believed that there was some sort of altercation at the law office prior to the blast.

McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle and Fordham was founded in 1932. It has eight lawyers who work out of the office. Their web site indicates that the firm handles personal injury and wrongful death cases. It is not currently known the reason for the altercation. However, attorney, James Phillips, apparently suffered severe hand injuries and burns. He was airlifted to the Still Burn Center in Augusta. Three other victims were in stable condition at Hamilton Medical Center. Court proceedings were suspended at the Whitfield County Courthouse.
Update 2-10-10: Ashlae Stinnett was kind enough to update this story with a comment. (Please see her 2-10-10 comment.) Ashlae indicates that her mother was injured while working at the McCamy law firm. According to Ashlae, Mr Cantrell caused the explosion and died during the incident. Ashlae Stinnett is apparently writing a book about the incident and we do wish her well. Ashlae apparently blames both Mr. Cantrell and his son for the incident; however, the son was never charged. The elder Cantrell may have committed this crime because of the suit filed by his son. This may just be an educated guess. Furthermore, all are presumed innocent unless they are proven otherwise in a court of law.
Ashlae adds that the Mccamy Law firm is one of the oldest and most respected law firms in Georgia. Ashlae, thanks for the update!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Emirati Rulers Outlaw Romance For Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors By Extending Their Vacation By Three Months in Jail

Has romance been officially outlawed? Michelle Palmer (36) and Vince Acors think so. They were arrested for allegedly having sex on the Dubai beach. Has this caused Michelle Palmer to become depressed and disillusioned because of a legal ban on romance? Perhaps the British woman is simply depressed because of her sentence of three months in jail and $350 in fines courtesy of Judge Hamdi Mustafa Abu el-Khair. After the couple serves their sentence, they will be deported from Dubai. Palmer's depression is real. Too stressed to attend court.

The official charges were: "sex outside marriage, public indecency and drunkenness."
The couple could have been sentenced to several years in jail! (This seems like a great advertising strategy for enticing tourists desiring a romantic vacation!) The conservative laws enforced by Emirati rulers constitutes a real hinderance on tourism. The lighter sentence was given to show Westerners that Dubai still wants their tourist dollars. Yeah, right...
Update 10-21-08: The couple have been released onbail pending their appeal. Both Michelle Palmer, 36, and Vincent Acors, 34, deny that they had intercourse. Their attorney, Hassan Mattar, will handle the appeal. The first appellate hearing will be on November 18 in Dubai.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Passengers Overcome Would Be Hijacker

Advice to hijackers: It will no longer work. Passengers will no longer just sit back and do nothing. Lessons from 911 have carried on throughout the world. For example, A drunk hijacker threatened a Turkish Airlines flight to Russia. The passengers brought the would be hijacker under control. The Turkish Airlines jet was flying from Turkey to Russia when the would be hijacker made his gross miscalculation. There is no official word as to how the passengers brought the hijacker under control, but behind closed doors the words seem to translate into "good old fashion butt beating."

The flight was apparently transporting 164 Russian nationals. This is not the first hijack attempt. In August 2007, two men hijacked an Istanbul-bound flight with a claim they had a bomb. The crew landed in Antalya. Both hijackers surrendered to Turkish authorities.
In April 2007, Mehmed Goksin Gol, attempted to hijack 178 passengers and crew aboard the Pegasus Airlines flight. The flight landed at Ankara's airport, and the suspect was detained.
In October 2005, a Turkish man hijacked a Turkish jet and forced it to fly to a military airfield in Brindisi, Italy. No passengers or crew were injured.

Message: hijacking does not work. Use violence and the passengers will fight back.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Balthasar Kreischer Home The Site Of A Real Murder Or Just Another Tall Tale?

Sometimes it becomes hard to draw the line between fact and fiction. You see, this is not just another Halloween haunted house story. Because, at least from the State of New York's perspective, some of the eerie allegations are true. A Victorian-style home on Arthur Kill Road on Staten Island is legendary for odd clanging noises and weeping sounds late at night. Ghost tales have centered around the Kreischer mansion for decades. Rather then simply chalk it up to fiction, federal investigators claim that the Kreischer mansion was used as a mafia execution site. Charges actually followed an investigation. Specifically, Joseph Young was charged with stabbing, strangling and dismembering Robert McKelvey in April 2005. Young allegedly carried out the execution in exchange for an $8,000 payment from a member of the Bonnano family.

Dozens of fictional stories predate the alleged murder. For example, the scratching heard in the closet is not mice, rather it is the ghost of children who were supposedly locked in the closet when they were bad. Other tales involve ghosts appearing, sounds of weeping and doors slamming. Unfortunately for tourists, a nonfictional history of the mansion is less impressive.

Around 1885, Balthasar Kreischer built two identical homes on the hilltop. One was destroyed by fire. Sons, Edward and Charles, lived on the grounds and worked at the family brick factory. Balthasar Kreischer died in 1886. In 1894, Edward Kreischer shot himself in the head at the factory. His weeping wife is among the alleged ghosts (but they had lived in the mansion that burned down.) By 1899, the factory had closed. After a few sales, the mansion became a restaurant which subsequently failed. In the late 80's, the mansion was bought by Isaac Yomtovian. Yomtovian restored the home. He would like to build senior citizen housing around the mansion and use the mansion as a clubhouse. Unfortunately, Yomtovian has not had much luck with investors. At some point, the home may become a museum. In the mean time, it remains the haunted house that children point to as a place to avoid after dark.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Clara Meadmore Correlates Virginity With Longevity! Does Obama Fail To Qualify As A Natural Born Citizen?

For the last few years, a major trend is to justify lifestyle decisions with health reasons. So, it should not be surprising that Clara Meadmore has correlated her longevity with her virginity. The British woman is 105 years young. She claims that remaining a virgin all these years has kept her young.
Legal Pub sincerely doubts that celibacy will make you live forever, but it is our speculation that going without sex may make each day seem like forever! Clara's photo is courtesy of Splash News.
While we ponder the possibilities of immaculate conception, a Pennsylvania lawsuit against Presidential candidate Barack Obama questions whether he is a natural born citizen. Is Obama's birth certificate being hid from the public?
Worth watching:

Update 4-27-11: President Obama publishes his Hawaii birth certificate.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Depressed Markets Top ACORN Investigations

Okay, it's officially an opportunity! When the market is down, your monthly pension contribution buys more. The Dow has declined nearly 40 % since its all time high last year. But if you haven't sold, you haven't lost anything. In fact, if you are fortunate enough to be 10 years away from retirement, this is the time to become financially secure. Buying discounted index funds in times or market depressed stocks can translate into a comfortable retirement. For those at or close to retirement, hopefully you had a large % in cds. An example of the current times is the $42 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot in Michigan. He is considering taking the money in installments rather than getting a smaller, one-time cash payment. State lottery spokeswoman Andi Brancato thinks that may be a first since the game was launched in 2002.
Hang in there. Even if the market falls below 7,800, it will be back. Think of a fire sale and keep investing in your 401 k's and IRAs.

Now for the article. ACORN. ACORN in Indiana. The investigation continues. A preliminary investigation has uncovered approximately 2,000 improper voter registrations in Indiana. Many of these names appear to be dead people. How could a Republican state like Indiana turn democrat so quickly? Perhaps it is more than Obama's charisma. Perhaps it is not. Obama has nothing to do with possible improprieties allegedly associated with ACORN. But it does serve to remind everyone that improper means never justify the ends. Obama will win in 2008. But his supporters should want to win the right way.

Even Democrats are wary that the sheer size of ACORN's operation lends itself to control issues. Huge numbers of new voters are entering the system. The vast majority are Democrats. While technically ACORN's voter reg. projects are non-partisan, they help Democrats disproportionately.

ACORN is also being investigated in Nevada. Allegedly members of the Dallas Cowboys football team were allegedly registered to vote in Nevada. Where will it all stop?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A House Divided That Still Stands! Does Wesley Powell Serve As An Example That The Ignorance Of Prejudice Still Remains?

Divorce shatters lives. It splits homes. Sometimes literally. A Cambodian couple who separated after 40 years of marriage literally split their household in two. (The husband cut the house in half!) The story has been written by May Titthara for The Phnom Penh Post, an English- newspaper in Cambodia. The remaining half of the house is in Prey Veng province of southern Cambodia. Reportedly, the husband and his friends moved his belongings to one side of the house and sawed off the other side. The divorce did not follow the appropriate steps but was effective nonetheless. The wife continues to reside in her half of the home.
On a less pleasant note, a reader has sent in a link to a police video in which the officer apparently makes some racial derogatory comments. Just when you think society has outgrown such distasteful behavior. The Georgia police officer, Wesley Powell, resigned after authorities discovered the profanity, sexual comments and racial slurs. For those interested here is the link: OFFENSIVE COMMENTS.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Skylar Deleon Faces Possible Death Sentence For Murders of Jackie and Tom Hawks Update 10-21-08

It does not seem like much of a defense. But maybe California is different then the Midwest.
Gary Pohlson, the attorney for Skylar Deleon, a former child actor, said his client is guilty of three murders but should not be put to death. Wow. Skylar is accused of throwing Jackie and Tom Hawks off their yacht bound to an anchor. Their yacht, was called the "Well Deserved" but I doubt that figures into the defense strategy.

Pohlson's 15-minute opening statement apparently was designed to prevent the death penalty. But saying, "Skylar is guilty of all three murders" may still be controversial. A concession is not necessarily a guilty plea; however, it may be a distinction without a difference. Pohlson said his client should not face the death penalty because others involved will have different outcomes of their cases. He urged life in prison.

Deleon is accused of killing Tom and Jackie Hawks in 2004 to steal their yacht. He also allegedly killed another man from whom he stole thousands in 2003. Skylar has pleaded not guilty to murder and murder for financial gain. The fall from fame may not have been so far as Skylar imagined. Deleon, 29, allegedly boasted that he was a star on the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers." However, the best Legal Pub can discover is that he apparently only appeared in one episode. Apparently, Deleon and his former wife, Jennifer Henderson, had a great deal of debt and a bank account containing only $2,619 on the day of the cruise. Orange County prosecutor Matt Murphy told jurors the couple took a cruise showing off their yacht to a possible buyer. According to the prosecution, the couple ended up "begging for their lives." Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Henderson was convicted in 2006 of murder for financial gain for her role in the deaths. She is serving two terms of life in prison without parole. Three other men have pleaded not guilty to murder and murder for financial gain and will be tried at a later date.

Deleon also allegedly murdered a man he met in a work furlough program in 2003. Murphy said Deleon got $50,000 from John Jarvi, then drove to Mexico where he slashed Jarvi's throat and dumped his body. Not a favorable fact scenario. While Deleon and the others are presumed innocent until proven guilty, after the opening statements, that presumption as to Deleon may not last for much longer.
Update 10-21-08: Surprise. Surprise. An Orange County California jury has convicted Skylar Deleon of murdering three people, including Mr. and Mrs. Hawks. Deleon was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances for financial gain and multiple victims. Deleon could be sentenced to death.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Woodstock Residence Suspicious Deaths Bring Back Memories of Orville Lynn Majors The So Called Angel of Death

Ms. Calabaza sent a story about some suspicious deaths in a Woodstock nursing home in Illinois. It brought back memories of a male nurse accused of killing residence in an Indiana town. Orville Lynn Majors in the mid 90's was accused of being "the Angel of Death." Majors, now 48, was a licensed practical nurse in the western portion of Indiana. The Linton, Indiana man (who worked at a hospital in Clinton, Indiana) was convicted of murdering patients at Vermillion County Hospital. He was only tried for six murders: however, he may have been involved in as many as 130 deaths between 1993 and 1995. Prosecution.

Prior to the Majors employment at Vermillion County Hospital, around 26 patients died annually. After Majors began caring for patients, the annual death rate increased to more than 100 per year. (More than one out of every four patients admitted to the hospital died. Almost twice as many patients died when Majors was on duty than with any other nurses.
Majors was the only treating nurse present with seven of the patients who died. Majors was accused of injecting potassium chloride into his patients. The license of Majors was suspended in 1995. In 1999, Majors was found guilty of murdering six patients, and was sentenced to 360 years in prison.

Recently, in McHenry County, publicity of five suspicious deaths at a nursing home, have raised public concern. Woodstock Residence, a McHenry County Nursing home, recently fined nearly $360,000 after regulators alleged that an employee used drug cocktails to ensure residents "would not be bothering her during her shift." The Illinois Department of Public Health concluded that use of drugs like morphine sulfate contributed to 5 deaths in 2006 at the facility. "She won't make it through the day," Marty Himebaugh, a 57 year old worker, allegedly told a co-worker. (Illinois state law prohibits using drugs to discipline nursing home patients or use of drugs for staff convenience.)

Himebaugh, a licensed practical nurse at Woodstock Residence, was fired Oct. 31, 2006. Himebaugh and Penny Whitlock, 59, the former director of nursing at the facility, were indicted in April on criminal charges alleging they endangered the lives of residents. They were not charged with directly causing resident deaths. Prosecutors believed there was not enough evidence to prove any of the patients were killed. (Himebaugh and Whitlock are pictured above courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.)

Himebaugh was charged with four counts of criminal neglect of a long-term care resident, one count of obtaining morphine by fraud and one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.Whitlock of Woodstock was charged with five counts of criminal neglect of a long-term care resident and two counts of obstructing justice. Both women have pleaded not guilty and are presumed to be innocent unless otherwise proved in a court of law!

Woodstock, now Crossroads Care Center of Woodstock is appealing the fines. The facility is represented by attorney Meyer Magence.

Like the Majors case, civil litigation seeking monetary compensation has apparently been filed against woodstock. LINK.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Michelle Allen Arrested For Clowning Around As A Cow?

Michelle Allen apparently made a mistake. Besides having horrible taste in attire, Allen is accused of public intoxication while chasing children and urinating on a neighbors garden. She was arrested in Ohio on September 27, 2008. The above photo is her mug shot. While milk may be good food, it apparently does not mix with alcohol. No one was injured in the incident and of course Allen is presumed to be innocent of all charges.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mixed Martial Artist Benji Radach K.O.s Man Assaulting Restaurant Employee Whereas Consequences of An Accident May K.O. Ambiorix Burgos

Watching a mixed martial arts contest at BW3s, a comment was overheard saying, "all that fighting is just a waste." Well, maybe not. Benji Radach is a mixed martial artist. MMA. He has a fight coming up with Murilo "Ninja" Rua this Saturday. The purpose of this article is not to plug the Radach fight. Rather it is to share Radach's dinner time story. Apparantly, (once upon a time), Radach was dining at Elmer's Restaurant in Vancouver. Radach saw a man pointing a gun in the face of the counter attendant. So, Radach grabbed the robber's wrist and punched him in the face. Radach interview. Witnesses to this incident include Dennis Hallman, Radach's girlfriend and her sister. "...I just aggressively walked up quietly and fast and grabbed the gun out of her face and wrist-locked him to his back and dropped one big right hand and fractured his jaw and knocked him unconscious and moved him off to the side and saved the day."

If the surveillance camera videotape that if discovered would probably make some money on pay per view! Congratulations Benji!

A contrary example of an athletes behavior in public may be New York Mets pitcher Ambiorix Burgos. Burgos was allegedly driving an SUV when it slammed into two women who later died of their injuries. Burgos may be in big trouble.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Polygraph Questions And Answers With Legal Pub

Reader: Legal Pub, You have tried many jury trials. How is it that you have developed a knack for deciding whether a witness is telling the truth?

Legal Pub: First, thanks for the question. Second, contrary to popular belief, lawyers do not always know whether a witness is telling the truth unless they have impeachment evidence available for contradiction. Impeachment evidence in the form of prior statements or physical evidence is demonstrative evidence of fabrication. Without such concrete evidence, the discussion turns to nonverbal communication which is not always reliable.

The first nonverbal signs often discussed in criminal cases is polygraphs. Unfortunately, the polygraph is not as reliable as many people think. The so called lie detector test measures nonverbal signals such as increased perspiration, increased heart rate, blood pressure, changes in respiration, voice inflection, and/or skin conductivity to identify signs consistent with fabrication. Some polygraphs now measure changes in the pupil thought to correspond with not telling the truth. Other non verbal signs include failure of the witness to look the cross examiner in the eyes. Pupil dilation may also give a clue to the veracity of ones statement. However, like a polygraph, the reliability of such findings is questionable.

Reader: How reliable are polygraphs?

Legal Pub: In my view, they are not reliable and a client should not submit to a lie detector test even if he is innocent because scientific data calls into question the reliability of polygraphs. ("Scientific Validity of Polygraph Testing: A Research Review and Evaluation". Washington, D. C.: U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment (1983). ) Advocates may argue that the test is 90% - 95% reliable, but too often the polygraph is just a means to launch an aggressive interrogation. In 1997, 421 psychologists concluded that the accuracy of polygraphs is about 61%. (USA Today LINK).

Our Supreme Court in United States v. Scheffer, concluded: “There is simply no consensus that polygraph evidence is reliable” and “Unlike other expert witnesses who testify about factual matters outside the jurors' knowledge, such as the analysis of fingerprints, ballistics, or DNA found at a crime scene, a polygraph expert can supply the jury only with another opinion...”. An Also, in 2005 the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals stated that “polygraphy did not enjoy general acceptance from the scientific community."United States v. Henderson (May 23 2005).

False positives on innocent people remains a genuine concern. .William G. Iacono, from the University of Minnesota, published a paper titled “Forensic “Lie Detection": Procedures Without Scientific Basis” which concludes that polygraphs may be useful as a tool to induce confessions; however, it not a scientifically credible test.

Polygraph testimony can be admitted by stipulation in many states. Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993) provides the standard for admitting such evidence if the "underlying reasoning or methodology is scientifically valid and properly can be applied to the facts at issue." Currently no state can force a defendant or witness to undergo a polygraph. In Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and Iowa an employer may not require a polygraph either as conditions to gain employment or as a condition to remain employed. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA) is generally in accord.

Reader: So what is a lawyer to do?

Legal Pub: Ultimately, the real finder of truth is a jury or judge.