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Criminal Defense News 02/2007



State funds drying up for some poor defendants (Miami Herald)
John Sutton got so frustrated with the slow pace of the prosecution against the man accused of killing his wife, he recently offered to pay some of the defense costs out of his own pocket.

More fallout from Cunningham scandal (MSNBC)
Federal prosecutors are preparing to seek indictments against a former top CIA official and a San Diego defense contractor at the center of the bribery scandal that sent former U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham to prison. [!]

Defense wants change of venue for corruption case (Roanoke Times)
Lawyers for former sheriff Frank Cassell say their client can't get a fair trial in Roanoke. Attorneys for former Henry County Sheriff Frank Cassell argued Wednesday for a change of venue in his criminal case, calling media coverage "massive, concentrated and highly prejudicial." "We don't believe we can have confidence in an untainted jury pool," said Roanoke lawyer John Lichtenstein.

Charges near in Calif. bribery case (AP via Yahoo! News)
Federal prosecutors are preparing to seek indictments against a former top CIA official and a San Diego defense contractor linked to the bribery scandal that sent former U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham to prison, two government officials familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.

New charges could prevent Khodorkovsky's early release - lawyer (Interfax)
MOSCOW. Feb 1 (Interfax) - New criminal charges could prevent former Yukos (RTS: YUKO) head Mikhail Khodorkovsky being allowed an early release from prison, defense lawyer Yury Shmidt said.

Stronger self-defense law backed (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Lawmakers plan to strengthen the law protecting property owners who defend what's theirs.

Carmel Valley couple fatally shot in land dispute (Contra Costa Times)
A criminal defense lawyer and his wife were shot to death in their home and a 72-year-old neighbor was being held Tuesday on suspicion of murder in what investigators said was a crime sparked by a land feud.

Carmel Valley couple fatally shot in land dispute (Contra Costa Times)
A criminal defense lawyer and his wife were shot to death in their home and a 72-year-old neighbor was being held Tuesday on suspicion of murder in what investigators said was a crime sparked by a land feud.

Lawyer arraigned on kissing charge (Boston Globe)
A criminal defense attorney has been arraigned on a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a kissing incident in the Waterbury Superior Court building.

Conn. Lawyer Arraigned On Kissing Charge (WCBS-TV New York)
A criminal defense attorney has been arraigned on a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a kissing incident in the Waterbury Superior Court building. There is a surveillance video showing attorney Ralph Crozier, 55, kissing a female judicial marshal three days before Christmas. "This was nothing here other than another ordinary day before Christmas in the courthouse where everyone was greeting ...

Ham defense fund a hoax (The Saginaw News)
A call for a defense fund for Saginaw Mayor Pro-Tem Wilmer Jones Ham in her fight against criminal charges is a hoax, her lawyer says. "We have no knowledge of anybody starting any kind of defense fund," said Saginaw attorney James F. Piazza. "We don't know if anybody is trying to smear her."

Britain to increase forces in Afghanistan; U.N. considers greater political presence (USA Today)
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday he may increase the United Nations' political presence in southern Afghanistan, where resurgent Taliban militias are engaged in fierce fighting against NATO forces. Ban spoke as Britain announced it will increase its military presence in southern Afghanistan by about 800 troops to 5,800 this summer, Defense Secretary Des Browne said.

Jury Deliberates in AOL Fraud Case (Washington Post)
An Alexandria jury began deliberating conspiracy and securities fraud charges against a pair of former America Online Inc. executives this morning, setting the stage for a conclusion in one of the courthouse's longest criminal trials.

The Defense (Daily Southtown)
Michael Deutsch, an old civil-rights law warhorse, clearly relished the chance to defend someone such as Mohammed Salah, especially in a post 9-11 world.

General Assembly to Consider Streamlining of Illinois Criminal Code (U.S. Newswire via Yahoo! News)
Legislation has been introduced to clear up confusion and to eliminate redundancies and inconsistencies in the Illinois Criminal Code.

2 Men Cleared of Charges of Aiding Hamas Violence (New York Times)
The jury convicted the men of lesser charges, including obstruction of justice and, for one man, criminal contempt.

Charges initiated in retaliation, defense lawyer contends (The Norman Transcript)
The Drug Enforcement Agency initiated criminal charges against a Moore man in retaliation for a civil suit filed against the DEA by the man 11 days earlier, the man's attorney charged Friday in Cleveland County District Court.

Site Tools (Daily Bulletin)
CHINO - Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education members voted 3-1 Thursday to approve a $50,000 contract to pay for a criminal defense attorney to represent board member Bobby Grizzle.

Video undercuts Libby's defense (Los Angeles Times)
His assertion that he was a scapegoat clashes with the White House stance that he had no role in leaking a CIA operative's identity. WASHINGTON — Former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's defense in his perjury trial relies on his contention that he was made a scapegoat to protect White House political strategist Karl Rove from charges of leaking the name of a CIA officer. ...

Sheppard defense begins in HomeGold case (The Greenville News)
LEXINGTON -- The prosecution rested its case Thursday in the criminal trial of HomeGold Financial Inc.ʼs former chief executive officer, and a judge refused to dismiss two of the three charges against him.

Documents Reveal That Players in Tiller Criminal Case Dismissal Have Campaign Finance Ties (Christian News Wire)
WICHITA, Kansas, Feb. 2 / Christian Newswire / -- Operation Rescue has obtained documents showing ties between the principles involved in the Tiller criminal case dismissal through campaign contributions.

Couple Get Probation After 'Stupidity' Defense (The Louisville Channel)
COLUMBUS, Ind. -- A judge said he sentenced a Columbus, Indiana, couple to probation for delivering a 20-pound package of marijuana because the pair acted out of stupidity.

Judge: Couple qualifies for stupidity defense (The Indianapolis Star)
COLUMBUS, Ind. -- A judge who sentenced a couple to probation for delivering a 20-pound package of marijuana to a friend said he did so because the pair acted out of stupidity.

Defense says someone else killed 2 teens (The Davis Enterprise)
Published Feb 02, 2007 - 14:09:39 CST. SACRAMENTO — The Richard Hirschfield preliminary hearing concluded its second week Thursday as defense attorneys for the accused murderer elicited testimony suggesting that someone else killed John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves on the night of Dec. 20, 1980.

Indiana Judge Approves Couple's 'Stupidity Defense' in Drug Delivery (News 25 Evansville)
COLUMBUS, IN - A judge says he sentenced a Columbus, Indiana, couple to probation for delivering a 20-pound package of marijuana because the pair acted out of stupidity.

Connecticut lawyer arraigned after courthouse kissing (USA Today)
A criminal defense attorney has been arraigned on a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a kissing incident in the Waterbury Superior Court building.

Indiana Judge Approves Couple's 'Stupidity Defense' in Drug Delivery (News 25 Evansville)
COLUMBUS, IN - A judge says he sentenced a Columbus, Indiana, couple to probation for delivering a 20-pound package of marijuana because the pair acted out of stupidity.

Senate unanimously confirms Maui judge (Honolulu Advertiser)
The state Senate yesterday voted unanimously to confirm Keith Tanaka, a criminal defense attorney, as a district court judge in Maui's 2nd Circuit.

Appeals court upholds preacher's sexual abuse conviction (NBC 15 Mobile)
The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the conviction and 23-year prison sentence of a Mobile County preacher in the sexual abuse of a father and son in incidents ...

Bereaved activist seeks stronger voice for crime victims (Daily Yomiuri Online)
Crime victims and bereaved family members will be allowed to participate in criminal trials under certain conditions if a proposal by the Legislative Council, an advisory body to the justice minister, becomes law.

Libby Prosecutors Hope to Show Marked News Articles (Washington Post)
The day of his interview with the FBI, Vice President Cheney's then-top aide hand-marked copies of two Washington Post articles about the breadth of a criminal leak investigation -- and underlined were passages suggesting that any official who had told reporters about a CIA officer could be in legal...

Stronger self-defense law backed Post a comment (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Lawmakers plan to strengthen the law protecting property owners who defend what's theirs.

Sex Crime Suspect In Court (WLUC TV 6)
An Ishpeming man facing possible life in prison for alleged criminal sexual conduct was in District Court in Marquette Friday. 50 year old Michael Arvid Tarvainen has been charged with engaging in sex acts with a child under 13 years of age.

:::- ARAB TIMES -::: (Arab Times)
KUWAIT CITY: First Deputy Premier, Interior and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah has issued a directive for setting up a comprehensive security plan to maintain peace and order during the Hala February Festival celebrations, reports Al-Watan.

Longtime Lehigh ADA joins race for county judge (The Morning Call)
Maria L. Dantos has worked as defense and prosecuting attorney. Almost all of the more than 150 people who gathered at the Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Allentown Saturday morning were involved in the criminal justice system by choice.

Polygraph test focus of sexual battery case (Akron Beacon Journal)
An Akron defense lawyer is claiming Summit County prosecutors bowed to political pressure by allowing the complaining witness in a sexual battery case to block a stipulated polygraph test of her alleged violator after he had already passed two previous tests, court records show.

Neighbors' feud turns tragic (San Jose Mercury News)
Squabbles between a no-nonsense geophysicist and a criminal defense lawyer-surfer and his artistic wife end in deaths in Carmel Valley.

Marked articles at issue in case against Libby (Contra Costa Times)
The day of his interview with the FBI, Vice President Dick Cheney's then-top aide hand-marked copies of two Washington Post articles about the breadth of a criminal leak investigation -- and underlined were key passages suggesting any official who had told reporters about a CIA officer could be in legal jeopardy, prosecutors said in court filings Saturday.

Libby prosecutors await judge's rulings (CNN.com)
Prosecutors in the criminal trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby plan to rest their case as soon as Tuesday.

Defense says someone else killed 2 teens (The Davis Enterprise)
Published Feb 02, 2007 - 14:09:39 CST. SACRAMENTO — The Richard Hirschfield preliminary hearing concluded its second week Thursday as defense attorneys for the accused murderer elicited testimony suggesting that someone else killed John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves on the night of Dec. 20, 1980.

Wingfield's escape trial on hold (The Celina Record)
A state district judge in the escape trial of convicted murderer Raymond Wingfield temporarily put the proceedings on hold after his state-appointed defense attorneys requested fees that are above what the law allows.

Memo provides rare look at N.O.'s City Hall (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
Much like a football coach draws up a scheme for exploiting the enemy defense, Johnson Controls Inc. came to New Orleans armed with a game plan as the energy-management giant positioned itself to land a major City Hall contract in 1999.

Legislators seek to ease claims of self-defense (Arizona Daily Star)
PHOENIX — State lawmakers are working to overturn one man's murder conviction and make it easier for a Tucson man facing similar charges to escape prosecution — all in the name of self-defense.

Civil trial about to begin in death of teen in '03 (Sun-Sentinel)
Manslaughter plea accepted in criminal case West Palm Beach · Accountant Jay Levin has admitted that he committed felony manslaughter in October 2003 when he fatally shot a 16-year-old neighbor in the back. He has called the shooting a mistake.

'Oz' guy says it was self-defense (New York Daily News)
The "Oz" actor charged yesterday in a fatal Chelsea club fight insists he never pushed the man who fell to his death down an elevator shaft - but thrust him off his back in self-defense, his lawyers said.

Indiana Judge Approves Couple's 'Stupidity Defense' in Drug Delivery (News 25 Evansville)
COLUMBUS, IN - A judge says he sentenced a Columbus, Indiana, couple to probation for delivering a 20-pound package of marijuana because the pair acted out of stupidity.

Motion to dismiss sex abuse case denied (Saipan Tribune)
The Superior Court has denied a motion to dismiss a criminal case filed by a defendant who is charged with sexually abusing a minor two years ago.

Rwanda: Rusesabagina Mortgaging Our Future? Don't Let Him (AllAfrica.com)
Writing in the Washington Post in defense of Paul Rusesabagina, May 10th 2006, Hotel Rwanda's Terry George had this to say: "To make a film of a true story you must compress timelines, create composite characters and dramatize emotions."

Indiana Judge Approves Couple's 'Stupidity Defense' in Drug Delivery (News 25 Evansville)
COLUMBUS, IN - A judge says he sentenced a Columbus, Indiana, couple to probation for delivering a 20-pound package of marijuana because the pair acted out of stupidity.

Supreme Court refuses to boot defense lawyer in man's slaying (Deseret Morning News)
The Utah Supreme Court has denied a request by the Utah Attorney General's Office to boot the defense lawyer for accused killer Carole Alden.




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