Monthly Archives November 2016

Court Blocks Release of Brendan Dassey

November 17, 2016 heralded a new development in the case featured in Netflix’s hugely popular 10-part series, “Making a Murderer.” CNN reported that a federal appeal court refused to allow the release of Brendan Dassey, a teen who provided a confession under questionable circumstances in the murder case that was the focus of the Netflix documentary. Dassey was convicted of murder charges in 2007, but the conviction was overthrown in August 2016 when a judge found that the interrogation techniques which evoked the confession were improper. The Wisconsin Attorney General who fought against his release considered the decision a victory,
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Law Enforcement Officers Shot and Killed

Two Iowa towns are mourning the loss of law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty on November 2, 2016, reports The Los Angeles Times. A suspect is in custody for the shootings after flagging down authorities a county away from where the crimes originally took place. As police continue to investigate, they revealed gruesome details in the case which demonstrate that the separate crimes were no accident: The officers were ambushed while sitting in their patrol cars. The man will face murder charges, and likely prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law considering that he
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Teenage Girls Responsible for Bay Area Strong Arm Robberies

Suspects in a string of robberies were finally arrested by police after terrorizing victims in the Bay Area for almost three weeks over late October and early November. The Los Angeles Times reported that the perpetrators are five girls between 14-16 years of age, though the individuals were not named because they are minors. Charges had not been filed as of the press date, but it’s likely the group will face “strong arm” robbery offenses due to the nature of the crimes, which share certain similarities. The Robbery Scheme: According to police, the group of teenagers operated as a crew
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Kidnapping and Multiple Murders Shock South Carolina

What began as an investigation into the kidnapping of a missing woman expanded into a grisly murder case for Spartanburg County, South Carolina law enforcement. As recently reported by CNN  the discovery of the woman on the property of a real estate agent led the Sheriff’s Office to dig deeper into the matter. Bodies were uncovered and murder charges continue to pile up as the investigation proceeded into a number of cold case homicides. The accused, a registered sex offender, was arrested, but the full extent of the charges may not be known for some time. The Initial Investigation Police
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Parents Facing Criminal Charges After Injecting Children With Heroin

Child abuse and endangerment can take many forms, as evidenced by a recent case making headlines out of Tacoma, Washington. According to the Washington Post a couple injected their three children with heroin over an extended period of time and engaged in other behaviors that led authorities to remove the boy and two girls from the home in November 2015. The two parents each fact three counts of unlawful delivery of a drug to a minor, as well as criminal mistreatment and assault of a child; there are also multiple charges for drug crimes, including possession of a controlled substance.
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University of Wisconsin Sexual Assault Scandal

When a woman was sexually assaulted after a date with a fellow University of Wisconsin student, she reported the incident to police. She had no idea that other women would come forward with similar claims about the man, opening up several other cases that police continue to investigate. CNN reported that the perpetrator was arrested the day after the first victim reported the assault on October 12, 2016, but disturbing facts emerged about his behavior and he has been placed on emergency leave from the University. If the allegations are true and the facts support a conviction for sex crimes,
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Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty After Murder of Two Officers

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office announced this week that they would seek the death penalty against a man charged in the deaths of two police officers. Los Angeles KTLA 5 News reported that the accused had killed two police officers in Palm Springs on October 8, 2016. While not all violent crimes in California will include such a harsh sentence, the circumstances in this case justify the death penalty, according to attorneys prosecuting the case. Officers Respond to Call: Police received a call regarding a family disturbance from a woman who identified herself as the accused’s mother. When the
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Police Arrest Suspect in Trump Star Vandalism Case

No matter what your political affiliation in the upcoming presidential election, it’s still illegal to vandalize property that doesn’t belong to you. The point was demonstrated in a matter involving Republican candidate Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as reported by Los Angeles’ ABC 7 Eyewitness News. The vandalism damage was severe, as the words were almost completely etched and the iconic brass medallion is missing. Surprisingly, the police investigation was brief and a suspect was already in custody on charges of felony vandalism as of October 25, 2016. Police Respond to an Unusual Call: Officials received
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Seven Acquittals in Oregon Stand Off Case

The criminal case captured headlines on CNN and other news outlets for several weeks in early 2016: An armed group took over an unoccupied building on a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, as part of a demonstration against federal land policies. The group was showing support for two men that had been arrested for arson on the Maleur National Wildlife Refuge in protest of what they perceived as unconstitutional overreaching by the federal government. One occupier was actually shot and killed by police during a traffic stop, which prompted others to surrender to authorities. After 41 days, members of the
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Governor Signs Law Making It Easier To Overturn Convictions

Good news arrived in early October 2016 for anyone that’s been wrongfully convicted of a crime in California. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the governor signed into law a measure that would make it easier to overturn wrongful convictions. When the law becomes effective next year, it will open the door to challenge the results of a criminal case in the event that new evidence would change the outcome. If successful, a person could overturn a conviction and have it removed from their criminal record. However, it’s possible to clear a conviction from your past history even if the
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CEO of Backpage has been arrested on Pimping Charges

The CEO of the company backpage.com has been arrested as he flew into Texas on a felony warrant. Surprisingly the warrant is out of the state of California. California is known to be the leader in sex offense prosecutions but this one seems like they could be stretching the law a little bit. Backpage is a company where items can be sold much like the more well-known craigslist. Years ago one could go on craigslist and they could obtain prostitution services from an ad they saw on the website. Eventually craigslist stopped this because they didn’t want the negativity associated
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Judge McKeon orders 60-day sentence for child rape

A judge in Montana has handed down a 60-day sentence for the repeated rape of a 12 year old girl. In Montana this man pled guilty to this offense and did what is considered a “lid” or an open plea. There was a maximum or around 25-30 years but the judge could sentence him to anything below that proposed sentence. The judge handed down a 30 year stayed sentence, which means if the individual violates on probation he could do the 30 year term. With credit for time served in this case, its likely the offender will do just around
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