Articles from July 2007



"The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers." Part 3

The reprieve is over, from ABC News [photo credit:Ibid]: Boys Face Sex Trial for Slapping Girls’ Posteriors [emphasis mine]:

Cory Mashburn Two middle-school students in Oregon are facing possible time in a juvenile jail and could have to register as sex offenders for smacking girls on the rear end at school.

Cory Mashburn [pictured right] and Ryan Cornelison, both 13, were arrested in February after they were caught in the halls of Patton Middle School, in McMinnville, Ore., slapping girls on the rear end. Mashburn told ABC News in a phone interview that this was a common way of saying hello practiced by lots of kids at the school, akin to a secret handshake.

The boys spent five days in a juvenile detention facility and were charged with several counts of felony sex abuse for what they and their parents said was merely inappropriate but not criminal behavior.

The local district attorney has since backed off — the felony charges have been dropped and the district attorney said probation would be an appropriate punishment. The Mashburns’ lawyer said prosecutors offered Cory a plea bargain that would not require him to register as a sex offender, which the family plans to reject.

But the boys, if convicted at an Aug. 20 trial, still face the possibility of some jail time or registering for life as sex offenders.

The boys’ families and lawyers said even sentencing them to probation would turn admittedly inappropriate but not uncommon juvenile rowdiness into a crime. If they are convicted of any of the misdemeanor charges against them, they would have to register as sex offenders.

“It’s devastating,” said Mark Lawrence, Cory Mashburn’s lawyer. “To be a registered sex offender is to be designated as the most loathed in our society. These are young boys with bright futures, and the brightness of those futures would be over.”

Cory Mashburn said he and Ryan Cornelison slapped each others’ and other kids’ bottoms every Friday. “Lots of kids at school do that,” he said.

Cory and Ryan were brought to the principal’s office Feb. 22, where they were questioned by school officials and a police officer. They were arrested that day and taken in handcuffs to a juvenile detention facility.

Court papers said the boys touched the buttocks of several girls, some of whom said this made them uncomfortable. The papers also said Cory touched a girl’s breasts. But police reports filed with the court said other students, both boys and girls, slapped each other on the bottom.

“It’s like a handshake we do,” one girl said, according to the police report.

The boys were initially charged with five counts of felony sexual abuse. At a court hearing, two of the girls recanted, saying they never felt threatened or inappropriately touched by the boys. The judge released the boys but barred them from returning to school and required that they be under constant adult supervision.

District Attorney Bradley Berry has since dismissed the felony counts. The boys face 10 misdemeanor charges of harassment and sexual abuse. They face a maximum of up to one year in a juvenile jail on each count, though Berry said there was no way the boys would ever serve that much time.

[…]

Depending on the terms of probation, it’s likely that the boys would not be allowed to have sexual contact with anyone or any contact with younger children, McFarlane [a supervising attorney at the Juvenile Rights Project in Portland, Ore.] said. For Cory Mashburn, that would mean he couldn’t be left alone with his younger siblings.

[…]

Cory, who said he now realizes what he did was inappropriate, spends his days playing video games and basketball. He said he’s scared. “I could go to jail. I could be registered as a sex offender,” he said. “I think it’s all crazy.”

Hat tip: Overlawyered

If you have any information, please call police.

From Fredericksburg.com: Shooting victim helped prosecution in drug cases police witness slain [emphasis mine]:

Marlo David McQuillar A man who was a key prosecution witness in a case against a major local drug-dealing operation last year was killed late Friday in Fredericksburg.

Marlo David McQuillar, 24, of Fredericksburg was found dead at the Forest Village apartment complex shortly before midnight, city police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said. He had been shot multiple times.

Bledsoe said police went to the apartment complex after a resident called at 11:43 p.m. to report hearing gunshots. The resident said he looked out his window and saw three black males running to a white car, which left at a high rate of speed. Three other vehicles sped away at the same time, the witness said, but no other details were provided.

An officer arrived two minutes later and found no one at the scene. After looking around for a couple of minutes, Bledsoe said, the officer found McQuillar bleeding and lying in front of the 1200 building.

Rescue workers arrived a few minutes later and began performing CPR on the victim. Their efforts continued as he was put into an ambulance, but McQuillar died prior to being transported to the hospital.

Bledsoe said McQuillar had just gotten off work at Bob Evans restaurant and was at the complex to pick up his child, who was being kept by his sister. Detectives worked the case through the night and are continuing their efforts, Bledsoe said.

McQuillar testified last year in the prosecutions of Joni R. “Summa” Grizzard and Samuel T. “Capone” Ensley. They headed an operation that brought several kilos of cocaine per month into the Fredericksburg area, along with marijuana and Ecstasy.

Drugs were sold in Fredericksburg and Stafford, Spotsylvania and King George counties, witnesses said. The operation involved frequent shipment of cocaine from central North Carolina and New York City.

McQuillar sold drugs for Ensley and Grizzard and gave police insider information about how their operation worked. Ensley got a 10-year prison sentence, while Grizzard got 15 years.

McQuillar got a suspended sentence in return for his cooperation. He told a judge in October that he had seen the error of his ways and was looking forward to raising his son as a law-abiding citizen.

I refuse to let my son go down the same path of negativity that I went down,” he said at the time.

Anyone with information about Friday’s slaying is asked to call city police at 373-3122 or 372-1055. Callers do not have to give their names, and could receive a reward.

Poor guy.

From Fredericksburg.com: Teen gets 3 years on drug, sex charges [emphasis mine]:

A King George County teenager was ordered yesterday to spend three years in prison for having sex with an underage girl and providing marijuana to minors.

Donovan W. Woody, 19, was convicted earlier in King George Circuit Court of statutory rape, sodomy, taking indecent liberties with a child and distributing marijuana on or near school property.

He was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison with all but three suspended.

According to prosecutor Matt Britton, Woody went to King George High School in October and met up with some juveniles, including a 14-year-old girl. Woody and four students left the school grounds and went behind a nearby building, where they smoked marijuana, Britton said.

Woody and the girl later left the group and had sexual relations behind another building and in the woods behind Woody’s home, according to the evidence.

When school officials realized the girl was not in school, the Sheriff’s Office was called.

Sgt. Chris Giles interviewed Woody–who by then was back across the street from the school–and learned where the girl was.

When police found the girl, she told them what had happened and Woody was arrested.

As part of his bond, Britton said, Woody was supposed to stay away from the girl and the school.

But in November, school resource officer Butch Norris learned that Woody was back on school grounds, again with marijuana. He had also talked to the girl.

Woody was arrested at a nearby Subway. Police said he barricaded himself in the bathroom for about 10 minutes before being taken into custody. He has been in jail ever since.

Boo-freakin’-who, maybe next time you won’t violate the terms of your bond. Have fun in prison, a-hole.

I’m guessing the phrase “equal protection” doesn’t mean anything to you… Part 6

Return of the Jedi, from Fredericksburg.com: Kaine says abusive driver reimbursements are ’08 option [emphasis wholly mine]:

Amid ebbing legislative support for the state’s new abusive driver fees, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said Friday that reimbursing those who have paid them is an option the General Assembly can consider in 2008.

“We have a chance to fix it,” the Democratic governor told reporters.

“Look, we might have the ability to do reimbursements,” he said. “I’m not going to commit to that, but if there’s a decision made by the legislature, that’s one option they could consider.”

Virginians statewide have responded with outrage to the “civil remedial fees” payable in three annual installments that can range from $750 for driving with a suspended license to $3,000 for a driving-related felony. Nonresidents are exempt from the fees.

The possibility of refunds is a trade-off that may help Kaine and other supporters of the fees resist calls for a special legislative session to repeal the law this year. Kaine favors mending its flaws after the regular 2008 legislature convenes in January.

Refunds are possible, Kaine said, because the revenue from the fees has not been budgeted.

“The dollars from the abuser fees were not scheduled to be used for another year-and-a-half,” he said. Besides refunds, legislators could decide to suspend payment of the second and third installments of the fees, he said.

[…]

Kaine’s remarks came one day after Sen. Charles J. Colgan called for not only repealing the prohibitive surcharges Virginia began imposing on its worst drivers July 1, but refunding the fees to all who have paid them.

“I’ve thought this was a lousy bill all along,” Colgan, D-Prince William, said in an interview Friday. He voted against it consistently, but supported the amended version the House and Senate accepted in April.

Then you didn’t vote against it consistently, you moron.

Colgan and other legislative Democrats have parted with Kaine over the abusive driver provisions in the past three weeks. Unlike many of them, Colgan does not favor a special legislative session this year.

In a news conference with House and Senate Republican leaders last week, Kaine resisted growing calls for a special session to repeal the bill, asking for more time to study the effectiveness of the fees in reducing traffic accidents and dangerous driving.

In addition to political opposition to the fees, the first effort to have courts declare them unconstitutional got on track Thursday. A Henrico County General District Court is expected to render the first ruling on the law by Aug. 2, the first step toward a state Supreme Court decision.

Virginia modeled its penalties against egregious driving on those already in effect in Michigan and New Jersey. But there is no data in either of those states that conclusively demonstrates that roads became safer as a result.

Kaine on Friday cited unspecified “anecdotal evidence” since July 1 that he said suggests the fees are working.

Uh, Kaine can you open your mouth without removing any doubt that you’re an idiot? What “anecdotal evidence”? Do I have to file a freedom of information act (FOIA) request for it?

I have a question, Governor, are you going to pay interest for the reimbursements? How much will it cost to reimburse people in administrative fees for the original collection and then reimbursement?

You sir, are a bold face liar, you have not intention of repelling the law, otherwise, you would have requested a special session. You’re hoping that people forget completely about by January. I, for one, won’t have.

Remember this crap in November people.

More stupidity…

From News 5 (KPHO) in Phoenix: 2 News Helicopters Collide; 4 Dead [emphasis mine]:

Two television station helicopters tracking a high-speed police pursuit in central Phoenix collided in midair and crashed Friday, killing everyone on both aircraft.

[…]

Air conditioning contractor Rick Gotchie told CBS 5 News he saw channel 15’s helicopter flying underneath the channel 3 aircraft. He said channel 15’s rotors hit the tail of the channel 3 helicopter. Gotchie said channel 15’s helicopter went down nose first and channel’s chopper crashed tail first.

“The choppers exploded a couple of time on the ground,” Gotchie said. “It was like a vacuum. They just got sucked into each other and they both exploded and pieces were flying everywhere.”

“I was standing out on Central Avenue and I was looking over to the park and saw the helicopters get close,” Jerry Fender, another witness, said. “The blue one split and went down. The red or orange one went right after it.”

[…]

The helicopters were covering the police pursuit of a work truck.

[…]

The man was arrested about three hours later after SWAT officers stormed a home in far west Phoenix where he had barricaded himself.

A SWAT team with canines made a forced entry, police said. The man suffered a number of dog bites and is being treated for the wounds, police said.

[Phoenix Police Chief Jack] Harris said he believes the man will be held responsible for the deaths of the four TV station employees.

What the hell? This on the heels of someone being responsible for a death from an accident forty miles away.

How is the man that was fleeing responsible for helicopter pilots not maintaining proper control of their aircraft?

Hell, in this case you don’t even have the requirements for felony murder more than likely.

Great police chief there for you people in Phoenix.

Hat tip: Overlawyered

Nothing that would make people prejudicial there

From WTVR 6 in Richmond: Kaine: Vick Indictment Details “Will Make Your Blood Run Cold” [emphasis mine]:

Governor Tim Kaine has a few words about the federal dogfighting charges against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

Vick is scheduled to be arraigned in Richmond federal court this afternoon.

In his monthly call-in show this morning on the Virginia News Network, Kaine called the allegations … quote … “an outrageous, outrageous offense if it’s true.”

The governor said some of the details in the federal indictment about the alleged killing of dogs … quote … “will make your blood run cold.” Federal prosecutors claim that Vick and three others accused in the case ran a dogfighting operation and killed dogs or had knowledge of their execution.

Kaine says he doesn’t have any sympathy for anyone who is convicted of such a crime.

He hasn’t been convicted yet, Governor.

Can you explain why an elected official, a Governor of a state, is making comments regarding an ongoing trial? An elected official that is a former lawyer no less.

When will he learn to keep his mouth shut?

This is satire, right?

From the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): Action: Contact the Giuliani Presidential Committee [emphasis mine]:

GIULIANI TO DEMS: USE THE WORDS ‘ISLAMIC TERRORISTS’

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani took Democratic White House hopefuls to task Monday for being soft on terrorists and hard on capitalism.

Speaking to an invited audience of about 100 local GOP members, the former New York mayor said he was concerned that if a Democrat wins the White House the nation would take a defensive stance in “the war on terror” and become more vulnerable to a domestic attack.

“At no time during their three debates have they used the words ‘Islamic terrorists,'” Giuliani said of the Democratic contenders who as he spoke were debating at The Citadel military college in South Carolina. “If they do tonight, I will take credit for it.”

ACTION: CONTACT THE GIULIANI PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE

CONTACT the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee to express your concerns about his promotion of linking the faith of Islam to terrorism.

CONTACT: (As always, be POLITE.)

Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee
295 Greenwich St, #371, New York, NY 10007
Tel: 212-835-9449, 646-943-7890
E-mail: webteam@joinrudy2008.com

Right…because the terrorists on 9-11 weren’t Muslims, right? The terrorists that bombed the USS Cole weren’t Muslims either, right? The terrorists that planned the millennium attacks weren’t Muslims either, right? The terrorists responsible for the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania weren’t Muslims either, right? And John Allen Muhammad (the beltway sniper) wasn’t Muslim either, right? The suicide bombers in Hamas and Hezbollah aren’t Muslims either, right?

And yes, this is the same CAIR that were unindicted co-conspirators in the funding of Hamas.

Contact for CAIR: (As always, be POLITE.)

The Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003-4034
Tel. 202.488.8787
Fax. 202.488.0833
Email: info@cair.com

Hat tip: The Jawa Report

Jury convicts suspect in highway patrolman’s death – even though the suspect was forty miles away.

From KSDK 5 in St. Louis [photo credit: Ibid]: Jury Convicts Suspect In Highway Patrolman’s Death [emphasis mine]:

Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Ralph Tatoian If it hadn’t been for Massigh Stallman, Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Ralph Tatoian would still be alive, and Stallman is responsible for his death, a jury has ruled.

In April of 2005, Trooper Tatoian was driving on Interstate 44 to the scene were police were looking for Stallman, a wooded area in Gasconade County. As he drove with his lights and siren on, he came over a hill near Pacific, and slammed into a tractor trailer. Trooper Tatoian was killed.

Meanwhile, more than 40 miles away in Gasconade County, police from several agencies continued the manhunt for Stallman. They eventually found him and arrested him.

The manhunt began after Stallman held up a convenience store, robbed a woman, and shot a Gasconade Sheriff’s Deputy. The deputy survived the shooting, and Stallman led police on a chase that ended along Highway 50, where Stallman ran into the woods. The jury also convicted Stallman of charges related to those crimes.

Stallman’s attorneys planned to appeal the conviction for second degree murder in Trooper Tatoian’s death, saying he should not be held responsible for the crash.

Stallman, 28, is from High Ridge. He now awaits sentencing, which could include life in prison.

As much as I would like to see this POS in prison for the less of his life, this is absurd. What next? Charging someone with that was pulled over with second degree murder if an officer is killer by another vehicle during a traffic stop?

For those unfamiliar with the definition of second degree murder, from Black’s Law Dictionary (Third Pocket Edition):

murder, n. The killing of a human being with malice aforethought.

second-degree murder. Murder that is not aggravated by any of the circumstances of first-degree murder.

Malice aforethought, you may ask?:

malice aforethought. The requisite mental state for common-law murder, encompassing any one of the following: (1) the intent to kill, (2) the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, (3) extremely reckless indifference to the value of human life (the so-called “abandoned and malignant heart”), or (4) the intent to commit a dangerous felony (which leads to culpability under the felony-murder rule).

(1) and (2) do not apply. Also, depraved-heart murder (3) should be noted:

depraved-heart murder. A murder resulting from an act so reckless and careless of the safety of others that it demonstrates the perpetrator’s complete lack of regard for human life.

An example of depraved-heart murder would be the firing of a rifle into an occupied building (doesn’t apply here).

For those wondering about felony-murder (4), depending on the definition of the statue in Missouri, it would still require proximate cause [emphasis mine]:

proximate cause. 2. A cause that directly produces an event and without which the event would not have occurred.

An accident forty (40) miles away from the suspect is not directly produced by the person.

Prediction: overturned on appear.

Hat tip: Overlawyered

I’m guessing the phrase “equal protection” doesn’t mean anything to you… Part 5

The Empire Strikes Back, or something, from The Washington Post: Va. Enacted Bad-Driver Fees Despite Red Flags [emphasis wholly mine]:

Virginia lawmakers imposed steep new fees on bad drivers this year despite warning signs from states with similar programs that they cause a surge in unlicensed motorists and have crippling effects on the poor.

The licenses of tens of thousands of motorists in New Jersey and Michigan have been suspended because they cannot afford the fees, and little evidence has emerged that such fines improve highway safety, according to state officials and studies.

Numerous lawmakers, judges and social activists in both states have sought to either repeal the fees or make major changes in how they are collected. But once the programs are implemented, they are difficult to get rid of, because state lawmakers are unwilling to give up the revenue they raise, judges and lawmakers said.

Which is why Kaine and those coward Republicans refuse to have a special session to do anything about them.

[…]

Lawmakers predicted that the measures, in effect since July 1, would improve highway safety and raise $65 million a year, to be used for new road and rail projects. On Monday, however, Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William) joined a growing list of legislators calling for repeal, saying the measures are “beyond repair.”

But you were supporting them a couple weeks ago, are you saying you didn’t read the legislation you voted on, Mr. Lingamfelter?

At a news conference last week defending the fees, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said they had no information to suggest that there were problems in states that use such fees.

Yeah, I bet, you weasels.

When Buhl heard that Virginia lawmakers were considering the fees last year, he e-mailed all 140 legislators, explaining why he thought the program was a failure in Michigan, which began assessing the fees in 2003. No one responded, Buhl said.

Officials in Michigan and New Jersey say Virginians should brace for problems, including clogged courts and the prospect of thousands of residents having to choose between keeping their licenses and paying their bills.

[…]

Under pressure to repeal the fees, the state [New Jersey] commissioned a study last year that found that although only 16 percent of residents live in low-income areas, those neighborhoods house nearly 40 percent of the people whose licenses have been suspended for failure to pay fees and fines.

[…]

Cathleen Lewis, a New Jersey motor vehicle agency spokeswoman, said there is no way to determine whether the fees “conclusively impact highway safety.”

In Michigan, traffic fatalities declined 12 percent from 2003 to 2005, compared with a 2.2 percent increase nationwide during that period, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A spokesman for the Michigan State Police said it is too early to tell whether the decline can be attributed to the fees.

[…]

In Virginia, Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Bob Bushnell said state prosecutors are bracing for similar problems.

“The way this thing works out, it is going to have an absolutely ruinous effect on financially challenged Virginians,” he said. “To my knowledge, no one from the police was consulted. We weren’t consulted. The court clerks weren’t consulted. Had it come up, I think the General Assembly would have been aware of all kinds of concerns from Virginians about the unanticipated downside to this program.”

Well, it’s nice to see the Republicans are going to lose the General Assembly this year (note the sarcasm). However, it might be worth it since Kaine has just Gilmored himself.

Hat tip: Overlawyered

Sticks and stones may break my bones…

But words will never hurt me, unless a nut hunts you down and burns your trailer down because you called him a “nerd”, from the AP via Fredericksburg.com [photo credit: Ibid]: “Nerd” comment set off former Dahlgen [sic] worker:

Russell Tavares A Navy man who got mad when someone mocked him as a “nerd” over the Internet climbed into his car and drove 1,300 miles from Virginia to Texas to teach the other guy a lesson.

As he made his way toward Texas, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Petty Officer Russell Tavares posted photos online showing the welcome signs at several states’ borders, as if to prove to his Internet friends that he meant business.

When he finally arrived, Tavares burned the guy’s trailer down.

This week, Tavares, 27, was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading no contest to arson and admitting he set the blaze.

“I didn’t think anybody was stupid enough to try to kill anybody over an Internet fight,” said John G. Anderson, 59, who suffered smoke inhalation while trying to put out the 2005 blaze that caused $50,000 in damage to his trailer and computer equipment.

The feud started when Anderson, who runs a haunted house near Waco, joined a picture-sharing Web site and posted his artwork and political views. After he blocked some people from his page because of insults and foul language, they retaliated by making obscene digitally altered pictures of him, he said.

Anderson, who went by the screen name “Johnny Darkness,” traded barbs with Tavares, aka “PyroDice.”

Investigators say Tavares boiled over when Anderson called him a nerd and posted a digitally altered photo making Tavares look like a skinny boy in high-water pants, holding a gun and a laptop under a “Revenge of the Nerds” sign.

Tavares obtained Anderson’s real name and hometown from Anderson’s Web page about his Museum of Horrors Haunted House.

Tavares took leave from his post as a weapons systems operator at the AEGIS Training and Readiness Center in Dahlgren, Va., and started driving. Investigators say he told them he planned to point a shotgun at Anderson and shoot his computer.

Instead, when he got to Elm Mott – after posting one last photo of a “Welcome to Texas” sign – Tavares threw a piece of gasoline-soaked plastic foam into the back of Anderson’s mobile home and lit a flare, authorities say.

Tavares’ attorney, Susan Kelly Johnston, said his trip to the Waco area was a last-minute decision during a cross-country trip to visit his parents in Arizona. She said he never intended to hurt Anderson and did not think he was in the trailer when he set the fire.

James Pack, an investigator with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, caught up with Tavares after talking to people in several states and Spain who had been involved in the online feud. Tavares’ cell phone records showed he was in the Waco area at the time of the fire, Pack said.

Tavares told investigators that Anderson had spread computer viruses and insulted his online friends for too long, Pack said.

“He lost everything _ all over an Internet squabble,” the investigator said.

Tavares was discharged last year from the Navy, where he earned several medals – including the pistol expert and rifle expert medals – in his nine-year career, said Navy spokesman Mike McLellan.

Tavares would not let the feud go even at his sentencing. According to Pack, Tavares took cell-phone photos of Anderson in the courtroom while the judge was hearing another case. Authorities ordered the photos erased.

Anderson, an ex-Marine who served in Vietnam, said he continues to be harassed online, has been startled by people knocking on his window late at night and found bullet holes in a door to his business.

He said he is convinced the harassment is related to the Internet feud and plans to spend $30,000 on more fencing topped with barbed wire.

“Before this happened, the rule was: Nobody messes with the haunted house guy,” Anderson said.

What a nut, hell just look at his picture. Would you piss someone off that looked like that?

The use of arson was ironic considering his Internet alias was “PyroDice”. At least he didn’t use those expert pistol and rifle medals.


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