Friday, May 29, 2009

Too cool!


Boy, when I was a kid (Li'l Man o' Law) I wish they would've had something like this for me to go to.

Do they get badges?

I wonder if they'll take me now?

Deadline extended for Junior Deputy Academy
-

The Comal County Sheriff’s Office is extending the date for children 9 to 11 years old to join the Junior Deputy Academy.

The CCSO announced its first Junior Deputy Academy Program starting this summer. The program will give children a chance to interact with sheriff’s deputies and learn from positive role models, CCSO Cpl. Tim Kolbe said.

CCSO Sgt. Rick Cardenas said the date for applications was extended until June 4.

“We’re filling these spots quickly,” Cardenas said. “We just wanted to let people know they still have time to get their kids signed up.”

He said officials are expecting at least 50 kids to sign up.

Deputies will introduce the children to different aspects of the CCSO, including patrol, SWAT, crisis negotiations, honor guard, criminal investigations, crime prevention and narcotics and drug awareness, Kolbe said.

The first academy session is from June 8 to 12 at Church Hill Middle School. The second is from June 22 to 26 at Bill Brown Elementary School. Both academies are half-day and free of charge.

For information or to get an application, call Cardenas or Kolbe at (830) 643-5846 or (830) 643-5841. All applications must be completed by June 4.

Hey I got a great deal on a car!


Big city crime coming to a small town near you soon.

Thank you Deputies for breaking this up.

Deputies uncover organized crime activities
From staff reports - The Herald-Zeitung

Police arrested four San Antonio residents Wednesday who they allege engaged in organized criminal activity.

The four people —Ronald Copeland, 32, Gary Pfeuffer, 40, Shanaya Spencer, 23 and Felicia White, 46 — allegedly attempted to sell two 2009 Ford dually diesel pick-up trucks to an undercover officer in New Braunfels, Comal County Sheriff’s Office Detective John Bailey said.

The two trucks were worth more than $100,000 combined, Bailey said.

Through investigations, CCSO officials found that Pfeuffer once worked at a San Antonio car dealership, Bailey said.

“He learned the ins and outs of the dealership,” Bailey said. “He knew what security they would have (Wednesday) morning and manipulated it.”

Pfeuffer took the trucks and attempted to sell them to someone in New Braunfels, a CCSO news release said.

The arrest was a joint operation between the Texas Department of Public Safety, CCSO, New Braunfels Police Department and the Sheriff’s Combined Auto Theft Task Force, according to the release. It was carried out in the Wal-Mart parking lot at Walnut Avenue and Interstate 35.

All of the suspects are currently in Comal County Jail. As of Thursday, no bond had been set.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Is it just me or is it getting warm in here?


No wonder things are heating up.








Climate conference sex-boom

Politiken.dk

The global climate challenge may have been on the daytime agenda during the recent World Business Summit climate conference in Copenhagen, but in the evenings many businessmen, politicians and civil servants are reported to have availed themselves of the capital’s prostitutes.

“We’ve been extremely busy. Politicians also need to relax after a long day,” says ‘Miss Dina’, herself a prostitute.

Good for the economy
Nyhedsbrevet 3F called various escort agencies and prostitutes to hear whether they had been busier than normal during the climate conference – and all agreed; summits in Copenhagen are good for the economy.

Dorit Otzen, who leads Reden International says that major events in Copenhagen attract more sex workers.

“A lot of men in one place means more work for prostitutes. At the same time we have a government that will not ban prostitution, so in fact we invite visitors to avail themselves of prostitutes,” Otzen says.

Return the medals


This is a crying shame and a slap in the face.

Please call and help if you have any information.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the New Braunfels Police Department at (830) 608-2179.


Marine loses 9 medals after vehicle break-in

- The Herald-Zeitung

As U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Chris Stokes walked back to his car after a relaxing river float with his wife on Memorial Day, he discovered broken glass and that he had been robbed of nine irreplaceable objects: his medals honoring his military service.

The windows of Stokes’ Chevrolet Tahoe SUV were smashed Monday night at the Recreation Center parking lot in Landa Park.

Cell phones, wallets, purses and his military honor medals were among the things stolen, he said.

He said nine medals — a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement, Iraqi Combat Medal, Marine Combat Action medals and others — were taken out of his glove box while he was floating the Comal River between 2:30 and 8:30 p.m. Monday.

They were still in his car after a weekend Color Guard demonstration in San Antonio, he said.

“It’s ironic that someone would steal something like this on that type of holiday,” Stokes said.

“It’s just very disappointing.”

He said the action was a slap in the face on a holiday he considers very important.

“There are several young men and women who go above and beyond,” he said. “Some of them have given their lives for this country. It’s just sad and ironic that someone would do this on Memorial Day.”

Stokes was in town for the holiday weekend visiting his in-laws. He said he was a recruiter at the New Braunfels Marine station for years, but now lives and works in Victoria.

Stokes’ mother-in-law, Dana Lehman, said she was shocked by the act. She said Stokes’ service was a source of pride.

“He’s been a Marine for about nine years,” Lehman said. “He had two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. I think this is something people need to hear about. Those are medals he earned fighting for this country.”

Stokes filed a police report and has been checking up with local pawn shops for any signs of the gold-plated medals, he said.

New Braunfels Police Department spokesman Lt. Michael Penshorn said officers are actively following the case.

“There is someone assigned to the case and we’re following up on it,” Penshorn said. “We’re checking with the pawn shops too and any other leads we can get.”

He said NBPD currently did not have any leads on the case.

Though cars are often burglarized, Penshorn said this was a rare case.

“We don’t usually have very many vehicle burglaries in the park since there’s so many people around,” he said.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the New Braunfels Police Department at (830) 608-2179.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

They got more than they bargained for


Holy smokes!!

This is just simply incredible.

I imagine there will be criminal charges pending soon.


Bodies Found In Funeral Home Bought At Tax Sale

GARY, Ind. (Post-Tribune) ― Four bodies in a funeral home isn't unusual. Four unidentified bodies left behind in a vacant funeral home is "unbelievable."

That's what the Rev. Reginald Burrell thought Sunday when he and deacons from Northlake Church of Christ went to visit their newly purchased building.

"What in the world is a body still doing in this building?" Burrell thought when he saw a body bag on a table inside the former Serenity Gardens Funeral Home at 934 E. 21st Ave.

He notified Lake County Coroner David J. Pastrick, who arrived Tuesday morning with a crew to investigate the scene.

They found four bodies, including one in the bag, one in a corrugated burial box and two in caskets.

Pastrick believes they could have been there since 2006, when the Indiana State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services revoked the business license for Serenity owner Darryl Cammack.

"They are unidentifiable," Pastrick said of the remains.

Cammack, who lost his funeral home license in Illinois in 2003, had been sanctioned by the Indiana board in 2005 after at least eight customers filed complaints against him.

"That building has been vacant since I started coming over to that church in Gary in 2005," Burrell said.

His church bought the building at a tax sale and intends to renovate it.

"We have lots of plans and goals we want to pursue," Burrell said. The church now is located next door to their proposed new site.

Gary police are working with state agencies in the investigation.

Lake County Commissioner Roosevelt Allen, who was chairman of the state board in 2005, said Cammack could be charged with breaking several laws.

Pastrick said he doesn't know the origin of the bodies, but believes if the deceased were local, he would have been contacted by relatives about a delay in burial.

"I can't even imagine a funeral director doing something like this. This is my field. It's unbelievable," Pastrick said.

Nice clean fun


Well, that is nice.

Thank you for being law-abiding while having fun.

See? It can be done.


Crime down over Memorial Day weekend
-

While it was another busy Memorial Day weekend for local law enforcement agencies, officials said the annual mass of river visitors was relatively tame this year.

Memorial Day kicks off the tourist season on both the Guadalupe and Comal rivers, and typically also brings with it a rash of work for both the Comal County Sheriff’s Office and the New Braunfels Police Department, with thousands of alcohol-fueled visitors making it traditionally one of the highest-volume weekends for arrests made and citations issued.

But both agencies reported statistics Tuesday that were down from last year.

NBPD arrested 18 people from Friday through Monday and wrote 206 citations, after arresting 24 people and writing 268 tickets a year ago.

“For it being a holiday weekend, people behaved themselves,” said NBPD Chief Ron Everett.

Similarly, the CCSO arrested 30 people over the weekend — down from 37 last year — and wrote just 60 tickets after issuing 176 of them in 2008.

Lt. Mark Reynolds, spokesman for the Comal County Sheriff's Office, said the Memorial Day holiday wasn’t a “normal” weekend, but it wasn’t one in which there was an abundance of crime.

“It was a nice weekend,” Reynolds said. “The word around here was that it was a large crowd and they were well-behaved. Most of the citations were traffic offenses, and most of the arrests had something to do with alcohol.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let the games begin


Unfortunately, politics will raise its ugly head and all hell will break loose.

A pox on both parties.


Obama readies Court announcement
WASHINGTON (AP) - Several officials say President Barack Obama has settled on his pick for the Supreme Court and intends to make a midmorning announcement.

Obama is widely expected to name a woman to replace retiring Justice David Souter, and perhaps a Hispanic.

Souter has announced plans to retire at the end of the court's current term.

Two federal appeals court judges have figured prominently in speculation about Obama's pick. They include Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Wood.

The officials who described Obama's plans did so on condition of anonymity.

I'll have the tall explosion please


By all accounts then it was a Tall explosion as a larger one would have been a Grande or even a Venti explosion.

No, I know it isn't funny.

NYPD investigates IED explosion

New York (CBS)- It was loud and terrifying for some residents on the Upper East Side early Monday morning.

An explosion rocked a Starbucks on 92nd Street and Third Avenue.

Now, investigators are wondering if it was the work of teenagers or the latest in a string of high-profile bombings.

It happened before 3:30 Monday morning outside the Starbucks. Somebody put some kind of small pipe bomb-type device under a bench on the street that blew out windows at the store, but did not cause any injuries. Still, the sound startled more than a few people.

"It was a really, really loud bang and it shook all the windows. Never occurred to me it could be a bomb. I thought it was a methane gas explosion. This is crazy," neighbor Emily Battles said.

But before it went off, Esam Hage told detectives he was looking out the window. He lives above the Starbucks. He said he saw two teenagers running, and then, he said he heard the bang.

"I saw them approaching the area. They were the only ones around. It's not like there were a lot of people or anything. And then a few seconds later I heard the explosion. Then I looked back out of the window and I saw them running out, running across away from Starbucks," Hage said.

Governor David Paterson described the device.

"There was an explosion improvised explosive device tied with black tape around a sort of foil. It was not a high-impact explosion. It blew out two of the windows, put a burn on the side of building, destroyed the bench on the side of the building that it was on," Paterson said.

Crime scene investigators found shards of plastic that was taken to the lab.

The first thing police thought of, of course, was three recent bombings over a three-year period.

"They all happened between 3:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "That's the immediate similarity that we're looking at."

On May 5, 2005, someone on a bike threw an old grenade filled with black powder that exploded outside the British consulate on the East Side. On Oct. 26, 2007, someone threw a similar homemade bomb that went off outside the Mexican consulate. And on March 8, 2008, someone on a bike -- again, before 4am -- set off a crude bomb outside the armed forces recruiting station in Times Square. That person was picked up on surveillance cameras and the bike was found about eight blocks away.

If this was some sort of political statement you may be wondering why Starbucks? Well, many years ago those groups opposed to global capitalization singled out Starbucks as, they say, part of the problem. And that same philosophical thread may follow why bombs were placed at the consulates and in Times Square.

And that has gotten the attention of the NYPD's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which spent a good part of Monday at the site of the explosion.

Hoping you had a good Memorial Day


I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend.

I saluted all of those who are currently serving, those who had served, and those who made the ultimate price to serve our nation.

May we continue to be blessed by the men and women who give of themselves to serve our country.

Man o' Law

Sunday, May 24, 2009

C'mon jump already!


I guess he just got impatient with it all.

Not a very empathetic fellow is he?

Passer-by pushes suicide jumper in South China

BEIJING (AP) - Chen Fuchao, a man heavily in debt, had been contemplating suicide on a bridge in southern China for hours when a passer-by came up, shook his hand - and pushed him off the ledge.

Chen fell 26 feet (8 meters) onto a partially inflated emergency air cushion laid out by authorities and survived, suffering spine and elbow injuries, the official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday.

The passer-by, 66-year-old Lai Jiansheng, had been fed up with what he called Chen's "selfish activity," Xinhua said. Traffic around the Haizhu bridge in the city of Guangzhou had been backed up for five hours and police had cordoned off the area.

"I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish. Their action violates a lot of public interest," Lai was quoted as saying by Xinhua. "They do not really dare to kill themselves. Instead, they just want to raise the relevant government authorities' attention to their appeals."

Xinhua said Lai was "taken away by police" but did not elaborate.

A police officer who answered the telephone Saturday at a station close to the bridge confirmed the incident and said it was under investigation. He refused to give any other details and hung up.

According to Xinhua, Chen wanted to kill himself because he had accrued 2 million yuan ($290,000) in debt from a failed construction project.

On Thursday, he made his way to the Haizhu bridge, where 11 other people have tried to take their lives since April.

Lai volunteered to talk Chen down but was turned away by police, Xinhua said. Lai then broke through the cordon, climbed to where Chen sat, greeted him with a handshake, then pushed.

Photos in the Beijing Morning Post showed Lai, shoeless and in a T-shirt, saluting after Chen fell.

The paper said Lai was released on bail Friday but did not give any details. It said he had been on medication for "a mental illness" for decades and had been on his way to a hospital for his pills.

Chen was recovering in the hospital, Xinhua said.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Can we call a mulligan and start over?


Wheeee!

The US Treasury is having a garage sale I guess to raise funds?

Why did you run up the huge deficits and now realize you effed up?

I really don't understand all of the dynamics of the economic system but I think its busted.

Oh yeah, the pun was intended.


Geithner vows to cut U.S. Deficit
(Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner committed to cutting the budget deficit as concern about deteriorating U.S. creditworthiness deepened, and ascribed a sell-off in Treasuries to prospects for an economic recovery.

“It’s very important that this Congress and this president put in place policies that will bring those deficits down to a sustainable level over the medium term,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday. He added that the target is reducing the gap to about 3 percent of gross domestic product, from a projected 12.9 percent this year.

The dollar extended declines today after Treasuries and American stocks slumped on concern the U.S. government’s debt rating may at some point be lowered. Bill Gross, the co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said the U.S. “eventually” will lose its AAA grade.

Geithner, 47, also said that the rise in yields on Treasury securities this year “is a sign that things are improving” and that “there is a little less acute concern about the depth of the recession.”

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield jumped 17 basis points to 3.36 percent yesterday and was unchanged as of 12:18 p.m. in London. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index fell 1.7 percent to 888.33 yesterday. The dollar tumbled 0.5 percent today to $1.3957 per euro after a 0.8 percent drop yesterday.

Gross’s Warning

Gross said in an interview yesterday on Bloomberg Television that while a U.S. sovereign rating cut is “certainly nothing that’s going to happen overnight,” markets are “beginning to anticipate the possibility.” Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, speaking in Hong Kong today, nevertheless argues it’s “hard to believe” the U.S. would ever default.

Britain’s AAA rating was endangered when Standard & Poor’s yesterday lowered its outlook on the nation’s grade to “negative” from “stable,” citing a debt level approaching 100 percent of U.K. GDP.

It’s “critically important” to bring down the American deficit, Geithner said.

In its latest budget request, the administration said it expects the deficit to drop to 8.5 percent of GDP next year, then to 6 percent in 2011. Ultimately, it forecasts deficits that fluctuate between 2.7 percent and 3.4 percent between 2012 and 2019.

Early Stages

Ten-year Treasury yields have climbed about 1 percentage point so far this year, in part after U.S. economic figures indicated that the worst of the deepest recession in half a century has passed. The yield on 30-year bonds has jumped to 4.31 percent, from 2.68 percent at the beginning of the year.

The Treasury chief said it’s still “possible” that the unemployment rate may reach 10 percent or higher, cautioning that the economic recovery is still in the “early stages.”

“The important thing to recognize is that growth will stabilize and start to increase first before unemployment peaks and starts to come down,” he said. While “these early signs of stability are very important” this is “still a very challenging period for businesses and families across the United States,” he said.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 12,000 in the week ended May 16 to 631,000, according to Labor Department statistics released yesterday. Still, the number of workers collecting unemployment checks rose to a record of more than 6.6 million in the week ended May 9.

As of April, the unemployment rate was 8.9 percent, the highest level since 1983. The economy has lost 5.7 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007.

Municipal Bonds

Also yesterday, Geithner said the U.S.’s $700 billion financial rescue package can’t be used to aid cities and states facing budget crises.

The law “does not appear to us to provide a viable way of responding to that challenge,” Geithner told a House Appropriations subcommittee in Washington. Among the hurdles: money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program was designed for financial companies, he said.

Geithner said he will work with Congress to help states such as California that have been battered by the credit crunch and are struggling to arrange backing for municipal bonds and short-term debt.

The municipal bond markets are “starting to find some new balance and equilibrium,” he said.

Heavy heart


No matter what the sentence he will live with the memory of killing his friend.

The toll? One life lost and two other lives forever changed.


Former SAPD officer pleads guilty
By Michelle Mondo - Express-News

Former San Antonio Police Officer David Seaton pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury Thursday in connection to a November crash that killed a fellow officer and sent a civilian to the hospital.

The plea agreement calls for a term in prison of up to 10 years, but because Seaton, 43, has never been convicted of a felony he is eligible for probation, according to a press release from Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed.

The release said 226th District Court Judge Sid Harle would decide Seaton's punishment at a hearing set for Aug. 31.

As part of the agreement, Seaton is permanently surrendering his peace officer certification, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors filed charges against Seaton for a Nov. 28 accident, in which he was accused of traveling at 102 miles per hour in his patrol car when he ran a red light at Potranco Road and Hunt Lane.

Seaton's patrol car hit another vehicle and then spun out of control and struck fellow Officer Robert Davis, who was picking up road flares from a separate minor accident.

Davis and Darrell Lampkin, the driver of the vehicle Seaton hit, were both hospitalized with serious injuries. Davis died at the hospital.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Get him the treatment he needs


I truly can't fathom how a parent can reject treatments that have proven effective and can stop cancer, and run-off with the kid because of her religious belief that the child shouldn't have the treatments.

Police look for Minn. mother, son who fled chemo
By
Amy Forliti and Patrick Condon

SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (AP) - A courtroom clash between medicine and faith took a criminal turn, with police around the country on the lookout Wednesday for a Minnesota mother who fled with her cancer-stricken 13-year-old son rather than consent to chemotherapy.

Colleen Hauser and her son, Daniel, were seen as recently as Tuesday morning in Southern California and might be headed to Mexico to seek treatment for Daniel's Hodgkin's lymphoma, authorities said Wednesday night. They would only say the pair's location was based on "reliable information."

A court-ordered X-ray on Monday showed a tumor growing in Daniel's chest, and doctors said it will probably kill him without conventional medical treatment.

Before she took off, Hauser told a judge that she wished to treat her son's cancer with natural healing methods advocated by an American Indian religious group known as the Nemenhah Band. But even that group's founder said Hauser made a mistake by running from the law.

"I just wish we could get to Colleen and tell her to come in. This is not going to go away. It's a court order," Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann said. He said Hauser's husband was cooperating with investigators.

Hodgkin's lymphoma is a highly curable form of cancer when treated with chemo and radiation. But the teen and his parents rejected chemo after a single treatment, with the boy's mother saying that putting toxic substances in the body violates the family's religious convictions.

Read more HERE

Stop! thief!


Please call if you have any information. Contact number is (830) 608-2179

Mucho gracias.

Robbers targeting RV dealers
- The Herald-Zeitung

New Braunfels police are warning RV dealers along Interstate 35 about ongoing thefts for the past several months.

Camping World, along with several other RV dealerships along the I-35 corridor from San Antonio to Austin, have been victims of repeated thefts in the past two months, New Braunfels Police Department spokesman Lt. Michael Penshorn said.

Camping World sales manager Bill Lay said his store as been broken into four times in two months with someone stealing TVs and microwaves from the model RVs in the lot.

“They’ve hit all the RV dealers,” Lay said. “We have someone out watching every night now.”

Down the highway at Evergreen RV Center, manager Mike Vowels said he was hit by the thieves, too.

“It basically seems to be TVs and microwaves that they’re taking,” Vowels said. “It’s a substantial amount of money and time lost by this.

“It’s very frustrating. Though it’s a business and not a home, you still feel violated. These people are breaking in and taking things that don’t belong to them.”

Penshorn said New Braunfels police have no suspects, but are working with the RV dealerships to find a lead.

“It’s been an ongoing thing along the IH-35 corridor,” Penshorn said. “There’s been a string of them from San Antonio to Austin that are getting hit. It’s something we’re working on solving.”

Anyone with information on the thefts is encouraged to call the New Braunfels Police Department at (830) 608-2179.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Problem this morning


Dear readers;

It seems that the Internet connection is overloaded this morning.

I will try to post more later if i have the chance.

Please stayed tuned.

Best wishes;

Man o' Law

On the wrong side of the road


Why oh why is my government purchasing a car company?

Is anyone else the least concerned?

Is GM now Government Motors?

Sheesh!


GM bankruptcy plan eyes quick sale to gov't
By Chelsea Emery and Tom Hals

NEW YORK, May 19 (Reuters) - General Motors Corp's (GM.N) plan for a bankruptcy filing involves a quick sale of the company's healthy assets to a new company initially owned by the U.S. government, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

The source, who would not be named because he was not cleared to speak with the media, did not specify a purchase price. The new company is expected to honor the claims of secured lenders, possibly in full, according to the source.

The remaining assets of GM would stay in bankruptcy protection to satisfy other outstanding claims.

GM has about $6 billion in secured debt, including a secured revolving credit and bank debt.

The government's plans include giving stakes in the new company to GM's union and bondholders, although the ownership structure of the company is still being negotiated, said the source who is familiar with the company's plans.

In addition, the government would extend a credit line to the new company and forgive the bulk of the $15.4 billion in emergency loans that the U.S. has already provided to GM, the source said.

The government has given GM until June 1 to restructure its operations to lower its debt burden and employee costs.

If those talks failed, the company has said it would follow rival Chrysler LLC into bankruptcy.

Setting up a new company to buy the healthy assets is aimed at reassuring consumers who might not be willing to make a major purchase from a bankrupt company, fearing it would not honor warranties or provide service.

The board of the new company would be established with the tacit approval of the government. Fritz Henderson, who took the helm of GM earlier this year after the government pushed out Rick Wagoner, would likely head the new company, the source said.

GM could not be immediately reached for comment.

GM shares were up about 9 percent at $1.29. (Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wild and wooly chase


Well that is one ride she'll be able to tell her cell mates about for years to come.


Police bring wild pursuit to wild end
CBS13.com

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) ―
A high-speed chase that spanned nearly 50 miles was brought to an end by CHP intervention in Sacramento, and the wild ending was caught on tape.

Police were forced to crash into the fleeing GEO Tracker when the driver refused to stop, even after the vehicle's tires were destroyed during the pursuit.

The lengthy chase began when the suspect, 47-year-old Annette Hurd, allegedly struck another car on Highway 12 in Rio Vista on Sunday afternoon, according to authorities. Solano County Sheriff's units began to pursue the woman westbound on Highway 12, and at one point she allegedly turned around and drove the wrong way.

The chase eventually moved to northbound Interstate 5 as speeds topped more than 100 miles per hour at times. Hurd managed to avoid several attempts to destroy her tires with spike strips, but couldn't evade strips set up between 43rd Avenue and Sutterville Road in Sacramento.

Even with her tires destroyed, the chase continued, and with the interstate cleared of traffic both in front and behind the pursuit, units ended the chase by performing a PIT-maneuver, using one of the patrol units to strike Hurd's car and spin it out on the road.

Hurd finally surrendered to authorities and was taken into custody on charges of evading police with disregard to public safety, driving with a suspended license, throwing objects from the vehicle while moving, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving, and felony hit and run. She was booked into the Sacramento County Jail, but was later booked into the Solano County Jail where she is being held without bail.

Hurd faces an arrest warrant in Contra Costa County.

Drugs or alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the incident.

Monday, May 18, 2009

If I give you fake money will you pretend to take your clothes off?


Now how embarrassing would this be?

Busted for using fake money at a peep/strip show?

Bawahahahahaha! *snort* Hahahahahha!

Police: Stripper spotted suspect's fakes

NEW YORK, (UPI) -- Police in New York said a man accused of using counterfeit money was reported by a stripper who suspected the customer's $10 bills were frauds.

Authorities said Michael Harris, 40, was arrested in the early hours May 5 after a stripper at the Gotham City peep-show parlor determined that his $10 bills were counterfeit and told a manager, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

Harris threw 21 of the fake bills on the floor of the establishment and attempted to flee, but he was caught by the manager and held until officers arrived, police said.

Investigators found a few more of the bogus bills stashed in Harris' boot. They said he walked into the business with 28 of the fake notes, which appeared to have been made on an Ink Jet printer.

Harris, who has three previous arrests, was charged with 28 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony. He was released after posting $2,500 bail.

Authorities said they are investigating the suspect's claim that he received the counterfeit bills from a friend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Going to pot


Oh my!

This was pretty stupid.


Attorney gets arrested at Courthouse for possession of marijuana

KENS-TV

Attorney Regina Criswell was arrested at the Bexar County Courthouse after deputies say they discovered two ounces of marijuana and a chrome-colored marijuana pipe in her bag.

Deputies say Criswell was heading into the Courthouse to go to work. As is standard, security guards went through everyone's bags including Criswell's. That's when they say they found the baggie and pipe. Deputies were called over, and questioned Criswell. The 50 year old woman admitted she knew the drugs were in her bag, but said they belonged to a client.

Deputy Ino Badillo said, "It doesn't matter who you are. You can't be in possession of narcotics. Period."

Badillo says this is the first time he can remember an attorney being arrested for drug possesion at the Courthouse.

Very a peeling


What about filing a tampering with evidence charge too?

Teen accused of using banana in robbery attempt

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Authorities say a North Carolina teen who was thwarted as he tried to rob a store with a banana ate it before they could arrive.

Winston-Salem authorities say 17-year-old John Szwalla held the banana under his shirt when he entered the store Thursday, saying he had a gun and demanded money.

Owner Bobby Ray Mabe says he and a customer jumped Szwalla, holding him until deputies arrived. While they waited, Mabe says the teen ate the banana.

Mabe says deputies took pictures of the banana peel. Forsyth County Sheriff's office spokesman Maj. Brad Stanley says deputies joked about charging Szwalla with destroying evidence.

Szwalla faces a charge of attempted armed robbery. Jail officials say he doesn't have an attorney.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I see dead people


Great, just great.

Dead People Get Stimulus Checks

MYFOXNY.COM - This week, thousands of people are getting stimulus checks in the mail. The problem is that a lot of them are dead. A Long Island woman was shocked when she checked the mail and received a letter from the U.S. Treasury -- but it wasn't for her.

Antoniette Santopadre of Valley Stream was expecting a $250 stimulus check. But when her son finally opened it, they saw that the check was made out to her father, Romolo Romonini, who died in Italy 34 years ago. He'd been a U.S. citizen when he left for Italy in 1933, but only returned to the United Stated for a seven-month visit in 1969.

The Santopadres are not alone. The Social Security Administration, which sent out 52 million checks, says that some of those checks mistakenly went to dead people because the agency had no record of their death. That amounts to between 8,000 and 10,000 checks for millions of dollars.

The feds blame a rushed schedule, because all the checks have to be cut by June. The strange this is, some of the checks were made out to people -- like Romonini -- who were never even part of the Social Security

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mea Culpa


Many apologies for missing yesterday's postings I was in Austin at dark 0 thirty to do an oral argument before the Third Court of Appeals. Hey, it was good because I had a toasted bagel at Katz's Deli first.

I then went to San Antonio for an AACOG Criminal Justice Advisory Committee meeting.

Busy busy busy.

So my apologies Dear Reader and now, let's get busy!

Man o' Law

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pendejo? Si!


Just too funny.

Add this to the manual.

Cops: Alleged liquor thief fills out lottery ticket

HARTFORD, Wis. (AP) - An alleged shoplifter with a bottle of whiskey in his pants decided to take one more gamble before leaving a Washington County liquor store: filling out a raffle ticket. But the gamble led police right to him. The man was charged Thursday with misdemeanor retail theft, resisting an officer and disorderly conduct.

After filling out the raffle ticket to win a ticket to a Slinger Speedway race, the 20-year-old also allegedly snatched two more whiskey bottles before he fled B&S Liquor in Hartford.

Owner Steve Jost said the store clerk saw the suspect fill out the ticket and wasn't going to chase him. The ticket box had been emptied the previous day, so the clerk opened the box after calling police.

Give him the stupid award


Hey! At least the man's got ambition and dreams, right?

Aspiring rapper robs store for "street credibility" police say

(AP) — Authorities say a 21-year-old aspiring rapper robbed a Gainesville convenience store and shot a clerk with a BB gun to gain “street credibility.”

Police say Steven Gilmore Jr. has confessed to the Friday night robbery. He also confessed to a restaurant robbery that occurred last week.

According to the Gainesville police, Gilmore shot the clerk in the temple with a BB gun during the robbery.

Gilmore is being held in the Alachua County jail on robbery and aggravated battery charges. According to the Gainesville Sun, a 16-year-old accomplice was also arrested.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Say it ain't so!


OMG!

Gasoline prices going up and now this!!??

If I didn't have to work I'd go hide under the covers.

Shortages stir coffee and sugar prices
FT.Com By Javier Blas and Jenny Wiggins in London

Caffeine addicts face higher prices for their daily fix as the wholesale cost of both coffee and sugar rise sharply because of poor crops and robust demand.

“We are in a dangerous situation,” Andrea Illy, chief executive of Italy’s leading coffee ­company, told the Financial Times, warning that prices could “explode” due to supply shortages.

His comments echo those of other industry players – and point to a sharp shift in sentiment among analysts.

Until recently, it was widely assumed that the global economic crisis would damp consumption and prices for coffee. However, that forecast proved wrong, since demand for coffee has remained high, even while consumers have moved from cafés to home drinking.

International coffee prices last week hit a seven-month high, rising to $1.28 per pound, up 22 per cent from their December low, in New York trading.

Meanwhile, the spot price of Colombian coffee – which commands a premium because it is sought by gourmets – jumped to almost $2.20 a pound, a 12-year high, due to supply constraints.

The crop in Colombia was damaged by heavy rains and the scarcity of supplies from the country is now “absolute”, says Néstor Osorio, head of the International Coffee Organisation.

Kraft, owner of the Maxwell House coffee brands, raised retail prices on its Colombian blend by almost 19 per cent last month due to the rising prices of Colombian coffee beans. Nestlé declined to comment on whether it has been raising prices on Nescafé.

Separately, sugar prices in New York and London rose last week to their highest in almost three years. White sugar prices rose above $450 a tonne, a 52 per cent gain from mid-December, as traders bet that India, the world’s largest consumer, will require hefty imports to compensate for the failure of the local crop.

Swings in Indian sugar output, which move the country back and forth from exporter to importer, are a critical factor in global prices. Traders forecast that the country’s output will drop 40 per cent to about 15m tonnes in the 2008-09 season, well below the country’s consumption of about 23m tonnes a year.

Peter de Klerk at London-based sugar merchants Czarnikow said that importing countries will “need to see retail prices rise to match the surge in the cost of sugar in the wholesale market”.

Traders said that the mood at last week’s sugar dinner in New York, the industry’s annual gathering, showed the market is bullish overall. At present, the International Sugar Organisation predicts a second consecutive market deficit in 2009-10.

Peekaboo where are you?


Geeze, talk about timely.

I just got the tracking devices activated in daughter's phones so I am glad that no warrant is needed as I pointed out this article to them.

Although I imagine this will go to the US Supreme Court. (No, not tracking my kid's cell phones)


Wisconsin court upholds GPS tracking by police
By RYAN J. FOLEY |Associated Press Writer

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin police can attach GPS to cars to secretly track anybody's movements without obtaining search warrants, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

However, the District 4 Court of Appeals said it was "more than a little troubled" by that conclusion and asked Wisconsin lawmakers to regulate GPS use to protect against abuse by police and private individuals.

As the law currently stands, the court said police can mount GPS on cars to track people without violating their constitutional rights -- even if the drivers aren't suspects.

Officers do not need to get warrants beforehand because GPS tracking does not involve a search or a seizure, Judge Paul Lundsten wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel based in Madison.

That means "police are seemingly free to secretly track anyone's public movements with a GPS device," he wrote.

One privacy advocate said the decision opened the door for greater government surveillance of citizens. Meanwhile, law enforcement officials called the decision a victory for public safety because tracking devices are an increasingly important tool in investigating criminal behavior.

The ruling came in a 2003 case involving Michael Sveum, a Madison man who was under investigation for stalking. Police got a warrant to put a GPS on his car and secretly attached it while the vehicle was parked in Sveum's driveway. The device recorded his car's movements for five weeks before police retrieved it and downloaded the information.

The information suggested Sveum was stalking the woman, who had gone to police earlier with suspicions. Police got a second warrant to search his car and home, found more evidence and arrested him. He was convicted of stalking and sentenced to prison.

Sveum, 41, argued the tracking violated his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. He argued the device followed him into areas out of public view, such as his garage.

The court disagreed. The tracking did not violate constitutional protections because the device only gave police information that could have been obtained through visual surveillance, Lundsten wrote.

Even though the device followed Sveum's car to private places, an officer tracking Sveum could have seen when his car entered or exited a garage, Lundsten reasoned. Attaching the device was not a violation, he wrote, because Sveum's driveway is a public place.

"We discern no privacy interest protected by the Fourth Amendment that is invaded when police attach a device to the outside of a vehicle, as long as the information obtained is the same as could be gained by the use of other techniques that do not require a warrant," he wrote.

Although police obtained a warrant in this case, it wasn't needed, he added.

Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, said using GPS to track someone's car goes beyond observing them in public and should require a warrant.

"The idea that you can go and attach anything you want to somebody else's property without any court supervision, that's wrong," he said. "Without a warrant, they can do this on anybody they want."

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's office, which argued in favor of the warrantless GPS tracking, praised the ruling but would not elaborate on its use in Wisconsin.

David Banaszynski, president of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, said his department in the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood does not use GPS. But other departments might use it to track drug dealers, burglars and stalkers, he said.

A state law already requires the Department of Corrections to track the state's most dangerous sex offenders using GPS. The author of that law, Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, said the decision shows "GPS tracking is an effective means of protecting public safety."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Doing jury duty would've been easier


I am all for folks reporting for jury duty and for some sanction if they fail to report but this crossed the line.

It appears that somebody or some folks sure screwed the pooch on this matter and deprived this guy of his Constuitutional rights.

Good luck defending your actions.

Texas man jailed for skipping jury duty

McKINNEY, Texas (AP) - A man arrested for allegedly failing to appear for jury duty was released Saturday after spending 83 days in jail, a length of detention that a judge called "unacceptable."

Douglas Maupin was released a day after The Dallas Morning News brought his plight to the attention of a Collin County judge.

Maupin, a masonry contractor, was arrested Feb. 15 after police pulled him over for speeding. Police then detained him on a 2003 warrant for failure to appear for jury duty.

He wrote a letter to the newspaper about his lengthy jail stay, then said in a jailhouse interview that he, his friends and family could not afford his $1,500 bail.

He said his attempt to get a public defender was rebuffed by a jail clerk.

District Judge Chris Oldner said he was unaware of Maupin's detention until Friday, even though the case was assigned to his court. The judge who signed the original 2003 warrant had retired, and officials said the case was assigned to the court of his replacement but the offense didn't fall under that court's responsibility.

"He should not have spent that much time. This is unacceptable," Oldner told the Morning News. "I don't know why the process failed to notify us."

Oldner also said that Maupin should have been allowed to apply for a public defender.

Maupin, 34, said he just wanted his day in court.

"I do know I have the right to due process and a speedy trial," he said. "I've had neither. It's not right."

The judge said he was "disappointed this has happened," and promised to investigate.

C u l8r


Another reason to put in automated trolley cars?

Sheesh! Texting while running a trolley? OMG!!

MBTA: Operator texting at time of trolley crash
BostonHerald.com

The operator of a Green Line trolley that slammed into a train stopped at Government Center was apparently text messaging his girlfriend when the crash happened, said MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskus.

“Two detectives have interviewed the operator of the train in the hospital and in the course of that interview he admitted to texting at the time of the crash,” Grabauskus said. The crash happened in a tunnel between Government Center and Park Street stations, sending more than 40 people to area hospitals with cuts, head wounds, and neck and back injuries. None of the injuries was life threatening.

The most seriously injured person was the texting operator of the bullet trolley. He was able to walk out and was taken to a hospital in stable condition. The cars were damaged at the point of impact, but bounced off one another and were still upright when emergency crews went aboard.

Boston Fire Department District Chief Richard DiBenedetto said the crash occured about 7:20 p.m. Because of the number of people on board the trains and a few trapped inside the cars, he called for a second alarm, he said.

Boston EMS Deputy Superintendent John Gill said many of the wounded were able to walk out of the cars, but about 40 people were placed on backboards and carried to the surface by EMTs and firefighters. The injured were laid side by side on City Hall Plaza and triaged by emergency crews while music blared from inside the Big Top Circus - also in the plaza - which was putting on its nightly show.

Grabauskas said if, after an investigation, the operator’s text messages are determined to be the cause he will certainly be fired, and may face criminal charges.

He said it was unclear last night when the stations would reopen.

Last May the operator of a Green Line trolley that crashed in Newton was killed while several passengers were hospitalized with serious injuries. Passengers in that crash reported her using a cell phone prior to the crash, however prosecutors said there was no evidence it contributed to the collision.

The MBTA will be suspending service in between Park Street and Government Center through the weekend.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bzzzzzzzz! Zappp!


I thought it was pretty funny too.

No, I'm kidding.

Okay, maybe not, but it should only be used on teenagers.

Dad accused of using dog shock collars on his kids
Breitbart.com

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A father was accused of using a dog shock collar on his four children. Salem Police Lt. Dave Okada said the 41-year-old man was jailed Tuesday on charges of criminal mistreatment. He said the father acknowledged putting the electronic dog collar on his four children and shocking all of them at least once.

According to Okada, the father didn't do it as a punishment. Rather, he thought it was funny.

The children, all younger than 10, are in the custody of their mother.

The case has been referred to state Department of Human Services.

Stop the fighting


C'mon guys get on the same page here.

We are all on the same side.

Of course the dispute involves what happens to the seized money.

Crime initiative threatened
By Janet Elliott - Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN — It's the latest crime-fighting tool lawmakers want to wield against gangs that traffic in drugs, weapons and humans — go after the lucrative proceeds with civil lawsuits to freeze and seize assets.

But because the authority to file those actions would go to the state attorney general instead of local prosecutors, a rare rift between the district attorneys and Attorney General Greg Abbott's office threatens the legislation.

Prosecutors are worried that a judge would freeze a suspected gang leaders' bank account, tipping off the suspect that authorities are closing in and possibly jeopardizing a local criminal investigation.

They also are concerned that most of the money from seized bank accounts would go into a state victims' compensation fund instead of being used locally for law enforcement.

“This is cast as a crime-fighting bill, but the folks who do the crime fighting in Texas aren't in the bill,” said Rob Kepple, executive director of the Texas District & County Attorneys Association, which is working to kill it.

The fight is delaying Senate floor debate on the proposed Texas Racketeering and Corruption Act.

The bill's author, Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, said much of the prosecutors' opposition is unwarranted. He has modified the bill to require the attorney general to halt a civil action if it would compromise a criminal probe.

Also, Williams said, Abbott's office cannot step in unless there's a pattern of criminal activity that crosses more than one county line.

Gangs such as MS-13 and the Texas Mexican Mafia need to be “hit where they hurt — in the pocketbook,” Williams said. He believes the program could generate significant money.

“I think we are talking tens of millions of dollars once the program's up and running,” Williams said. “Unfortunately, drug smuggling, arms smuggling, human trafficking — it's big business.”

Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos and prosecutors from Bexar County and El Paso spoke out against the Senate version of the bill last month.

“What is so egregious is that the attorney general wants to take 80 percent of the money and give only 20 percent to law enforcement,” said Lykos, a former judge and police officer. “Our office gives 70 percent to law enforcement.”

Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for Abbott, said the legislation creates an entirely new mechanism for pursuing more criminal proceeds that are beyond the reach of a single-county district attorney.

“Ultimately, Lykos' remarks miss the point. The law is not about a money grab or turf; this measure is about making Texas safer,” Strickland said.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio and co-author of the bill, said local prosecutors often prosecute individual gang members but don't go after those at the top.

“In human trafficking, the person who does the transport, that's a little minnow in the organization,” she said. “Does it behoove us to go after the criminal there? Yes, but only if you can get to the huge ringleaders. That's what this does. It allows us to get to those profits.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and the AFL-CIO also have opposed the bill because they believe it gives too much power to the attorney general that could be used against political or labor groups.

A similar House bill was filed by Rep. Aaron Pena, D-Edinburg. It was left pending in a Criminal Jurisprudence subcommittee after a public hearing last month.

A brief respite


We're catching up on cases and things get back to "normal" next week.

Whatever normal is.

Jury trials remain closed until Monday
-

Though Landa Park, Camp Comal and the New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center reopened Wednesday, county and municipal courts still are running limited operations.

To prevent the spread of swine flu, all four district courts, both county courts at law and Municipal Court ceased jury trials this week.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course on Tuesday, announcing that swine flu was not as dangerous as originally anticipated and that closed schools were allowed to reopen.

Still, the courts did not follow suit and will remain closed, at least to jury trials, through the rest of the week.

Court coordinator Savanna Maurer said jury dockets will pick up again Monday for district and county courts. For now, Maurer said, the courts will continue with non-jury dockets.

Municipal Court will begin court proceedings again on Monday, New Braunfels Assistant City Manager Robert Camereno said.

Comal County Criminal District Attorney Geoffrey Barr said the lack of jury trials did not slow the attorneys down.

“If anything, it’s given us an opportunity to get behind our desks and work on some cases,” Barr said. “They’re still moving cases through. I don’t think we’ve been hindered much by this actually.”

Justice of the peace courts continued with usual proceedings throughout the week.

An apology


My apologies for not posting yesterday but I was slammed and trying to get a grant application out yesterday.

Man o' Law

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Irresponsible diplomacy


Is our foreign policy really now going to condition our stance towards Iran developing nuclear weapons on Israel making nice with the folks who shell it with rockets?

Really?

This is utterly irresponsible and a way for the present administration to say look "We did all we could but the Israeli's wouldn't play nice."

This is shameful and a step away from 61 years of supporting the region's only democracy.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is very proud of us now.


Emanuel: Thwarting Iran easier with Israeli-Palestinian talks
JPost.com

The task of forming an international coalition to thwart Iran's nuclear program will be made easier if progress is made in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has said, according to sources in Washington.

Israeli TV stations had reported Monday night that Emanuel had actually linked the two matters, saying that the efforts to stop Iran hinged on peace talks with the Palestinians. The remarks were reportedly made in a closed-door meeting previous day with 300 major AIPAC donors on Sunday.

Last month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Israel that it risks losing Arab support for combating threats from Iran if it rejects peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Clinton said Arab nations had conditioned helping Israel counter Iran on Jerusalem's commitment to the peace process.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, former US House speaker Newt Gingrich blasted the Obama administration for setting itself on a collision course with Israel and endangering the Jewish state.

He called US President Barack Obama's program of engagement with Iran a "fantasy," and his Middle East policies "very dangerous for Israel." He summed up Obama's approach as "the clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter."

Moving too quickly?


Are we perhaps rushing this a bit?

I mean President Obama, look at how well your vetting process worked with other appointments and choices you made.

Lead, Sir, lead.


Orrin Hatch: White House may announce Supreme Court nominee this week
Politico.com

After talking to President Barack Obama on the phone today, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch says he believes the White House will move swiftly on its Supreme Court nominee, perhaps making an announcement by the end of this week.

Obama made no timing commitments to the Utah Republican, but the senator, who has been in the middle of several pitched Supreme Court battles, said: “I’d be surprised if it went beyond this week. ... I would think by the end of this week or over the weekend, he’ll nominate somebody. I’m sure they’ve discussed this internally, back and forth for months now.”

White House spokesman Ben LaBolt declined to comment on the president's timeline, but a pick doesn't appear to be imminent.

No names were discussed during the Monday telephone call, but Hatch, a senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said Obama promised to get back to him and “will let me know who he thinks ought to be considered. ... Sure I’d like him to chat with me, because I think I could save him a lot of pain.”

Hatch raised concerns initially that Obama was using “buzz words” for a liberal activist justice by suggesting he wanted someone who had “empathy” for the country’s problems. But Obama told Hatch “that was not what he meant, and I take him at his word ... and that he assured me that he would not be picking a radical or an extremist for the court that he was very pragmatic in his approach and that he would pick somebody who would abide by the rule of law.”

More Here: Justice selection

Monday, May 4, 2009

Heh! Oh yes he did


There is no 5th Amendment right to avoid stupidity.


Sometimes, defendants do the darndest things

Timothy Lee Williams' lawyer, Frank C. Walker II, stood next to him, powerless.

He had advised Mr. Williams not to testify, but his client didn't listen.

"All I really wanted to do was express myself," the defendant began, launching into an incoherent diatribe about his life and the circumstances surrounding a Hill District homicide.

His testimony Tuesday -- during which Mr. Williams, 40, admitted to the killing and revealed that he was a "swinger" with 17 girlfriends -- sealed his first-degree murder conviction.

Mr. Williams' testimony also is a classic example of a client who doesn't heed legal advice, say defense attorneys.

In fact, defense attorneys have plenty of war stories to share when it comes to uncooperative defendants. They agree that sometimes there's nothing an attorney can do to save a client from himself.

"You have to look past the defendant and look directly at the Constitution," Mr. Walker said. "What rights does this defendant have under the Constitution, and how do I make sure he can exercise them?"

One right that can cause conflict between lawyer and client is the right to testify. Many defendants -- especially ones who have stewed in jail for a long time -- want a chance to tell their side of the story. But from a legal perspective, it often does more harm than good.

"Very few defendants who take the stand actually help themselves," said Sumner Parker, who has worked in the Allegheny County public defender's office for 22 years.

"The lawyers have a great deal of experience trying cases. For the defendant, this is one of the few times they will ever be in a courtroom. [But] they think they have the answers."

The answers often come from "jailhouse lawyers" -- fellow inmates who advise on legal matters but don't have the training -- or family members, rather than a defendant's attorney.

The contradictory advice comes most often when an attorney is a public defender or court-appointed.

"[Defendants] view the system as being all against them and a lawyer -- defense or prosecution -- is part of the system," said John Elash, who has been court-appointed to represent numerous indigent criminal defendants.

"They don't view you as somebody who's on their side. They view you as somebody who's part of this big machine who is oppressing them."

Private clients, Mr. Elash said, can be difficult, too, but there's an easy way to silence dissent.

"I always tell people, 'If you're not going to listen to me, don't pay me money. Once you pay me money, your obligation is to do everything I tell you,' " Mr. Elash said.

Whether privately or publicly funded, attorneys can go to great lengths to develop a rapport with a difficult client.

Mr. Elash said he once went to visit a client in state prison and asked to be locked in a cell with him. He then stared down his client for 15 minutes in silence to show that he wasn't intimidated by the client's bluster.

"I'm a little bigger than most and a little crazier than most, so the physical and psychological effect of this probably wouldn't be the same for other attorneys," Mr. Elash said.

If the distrust becomes so bad that lawyer and client can't form a decent working relationship, then they part ways. Attorneys can petition to withdraw from a case or, more often, a client will elect to fire the lawyer.

Curt Kosow, the former owner of a Strip District strip club who faced tax evasion charges in federal court, was prolific in that regard. Mr. Kosow fired 11 different attorneys and finally represented himself at trial.

"[U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab] ruled he had effectively waived his right to counsel because he'd been so uncooperative with the many attorneys he'd hired and fired," said Patrick K. Nightingale, who was appointed to sit with Mr. Kosow during the trial as standby counsel to help him if needed.

Mr. Kosow's performance at his 2007 trial was, in Mr. Nightingale's words, "the weirdest thing any of us had ever seen." He introduced bizarre conspiracy theories of why the government was prosecuting him and attempted suicide before the jury convicted him of eight tax-related counts.

Mr. Williams, the homicide defendant, made it through only two lawyers. He fired veteran public defender Christopher Patarini, resulting in the appointment of Mr. Walker. Mr. Williams tried to fire Mr. Walker mid-trial, but Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Randal B. Todd wouldn't allow it.

Mr. Walker's defense rested on the fact that Mr. Williams' girlfriend had been cheating on him with the victim, 30-year-old Kenneth Woods. Mr. Walker argued that it was a passion killing and asked for a voluntary manslaughter verdict.

Standing before Judge Todd in the nonjury proceeding, Mr. Williams swiftly torpedoed Mr. Walker's argument by saying the girlfriend meant little to him because they were in an open relationship. He said he knew about several more homicides, but he would never snitch. He said he wrote raps and poetry and he had been close to signing a $1 million contract before his arrest.

And Mr. Williams admitted to the killing but said police "sabotaged" a surveillance video that captured the shooting.

Assistant District Attorney Rob Schupansky, who could barely contain his glee, was brief in his cross-examination.

"Did you shoot Kenneth Woods on the 16th of June, 2008?"

"Yes," Mr. Williams replied.

After Judge Todd delivered the first-degree murder verdict, Mr. Williams piped up, insisting that his counsel was ineffective.

"I think if I assigned you Johnnie Cochran, you would still be dissatisfied," Judge Todd said, referring to the lawyer who represented O.J. Simpson in a double homicide trial. "You insisted, against [Mr. Walker's] advise, to testify and that hurt your case quite a bit, do you understand that?"

Mr. Williams replied, "Yes, I do."

I saw it on the Internet, it must be true!


A 'new' way to annoy and harass folks apparently.

Someone is liable to get hurt or shot.


Bogus web ad is invitation to steal
by Chris Hawes - WFAA-TV

MANSFIELD — Sherry Johnson Huwitt recently woke up to see what looked like robbers in her yard.

"These two guys were loading up my basketball goal," she said. "I went outside and started yelling, 'What are you doing with my things?' And they said, 'It was on craigslist.'"

The men showed Huwitt the ad from the popular Internet classifieds Web site which invited readers to collect outdoor sports equipment from her address. "Do not knock," the ad instructed. "It is placed out there for you to come and get."

Huwitt hadn't posted the invitation; she didn't know anything about it.

The ad appeared to have been posted around 4 a.m., so Huwitt thought the person who did it must work the night shift. She heard that a neighbor, Chad Hickey, had been asking about her things, so she confronted him.

Hickey initially denied having anything to do with the ad, but Huwitt kept pushing, e-mailing craigslist to learn the identity of the person who placed the notice.

An hour later, a name came back: Chad Hickey — her neighbor who is also an Arlington police officer.

"I just don't understand it," Huwitt said. "He brought strangers to my house. I could have gotten myself killed; I could have killed somebody."

In a letter to their homeowners' association, Hickey explained his action this way:

"Due to the items needing to be rmoved since they were not properly taken care of, I thought of a solution that was wrong to a valid issue. I regret my decision and wish I could take it back ... I feel horrible about what has transpired and have just been sick over it."

Arlington police don't know whether a crime was committed, but Hickey is still on the job until they figure it all out.

Yeeehawwww!


Ahh, The old West ain't what it used to be.

Cowboy ticketed for "Riding under the Influence"

ARVADA, Colo. (AP) - A man in a cowboy hat who rode a horse through a Denver suburb has been cited for riding an animal under the influence.

Police said Brian Drone was given a $25 traffic violation ticket in a strip mall parking lot Friday. Drone told KUSA-TV that he was out for a "joyride" in Arvada with his horse, Cricket.

Sgt. Jeff Monzingo says the citation was the first he'd seen in 15 years of working in law enforcement.

Police say deciding what to do with the horse was a "tricky call" because "you can tow a car" in typical drunk driving cases.

A stable owner eventually offered Drone and his horse a ride home.

A phone number listed for a Brian Drone in Arvada was disconnected.