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Criminal Defense News 05/2008



Private eye says he did not lead criminal enterprise (AP via Yahoo! News)
Indicted Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano said Wednesday he acted as a "lone ranger" while gathering information for his A-list clients and did not lead a criminal enterprise as prosecutors have alleged at his racketeering trial.

Israeli Army Urged To Probe Gaza Blast (CBS News)
An Israeli human rights group called Wednesday for a criminal probe into the deaths of a Gaza mother and her four preschool children, saying Israel appears to have violated international law by firing a missile at militants close to the family's home, despite high risk of harming civilians.

Patton seeks diminished-capacity defense (Morristown Citizen Tribune)
Gevon "G" Patton, a Morristown teenager implicated in the murder of Willie Morgan, will attempt to remain within the relatively safe confines of the juvenile court system by asserting a diminished-capacity defense, his attorney said Wednesday.

Closing arguments wrap up in trial of Hollywood private eye (AP via Yahoo! News)
Defense lawyers wrapped up their closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano, with two co-defendants' lawyers addressing jurors.

Mayor's camp: Offer to Beatty a desperate ploy (Detroit Free Press)
Prosecutor Kym Worthy's offer to meet with Christine Beatty and public assurances that witnesses are lined up to prove the authenticity of the mayor's text messages are ploys to save a thin case, defense lawyers said Thursday.

Jury not buying fear as defense (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)
An Allen Superior Court jury did not buy a 26-year-old man’s claims he shot and killed Dwan Gentry outside a video store last December because he was afraid.

ABA Criminal Justice Section Recaps Year Filled with White Collar Crime, Death Penalty and Detainee Cases (American Bar Association)
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 2, 2008 – State economic struggles, the war on terror and the continuing housing crises are each affecting the state of criminal justice in their own ways, as this year's report from the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section outlines.

Israel: Probe clears defense forces in family deaths (Adnkronos)
Israel: Probe clears defense forces in family deaths (AKI) - The Israel Defense Forces have released video footage clearing themselves of any responsibility for the deaths of a Palestinian woman and her four children in Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip on Monday.The video clip released on Friday shows that the deaths were caused by the detonation of explosives carried by an alleged Gaza ...

Rezko defense hits hard at pay-for-play allegations (Daily Herald)
It was tough going for star witness Ali Ata this morning in federal court as defense attorneys in the corruption trial of political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko chipped away at his credibility.

AP Enterprise: Pa. lawmakers got $111k-plus in travel, gifts (Centre Daily Times)
Pennsylvania state legislators flew to foreign lands, cheered on pro sports teams from the stands and even paid some criminal defense legal bills last year without having to crack open their own wallets.

AP Enterprise: Pa. lawmakers got $111k-plus in travel, gifts (WFMJ Youngstown)
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania state legislators flew to foreign lands, cheered on pro sports teams from the stands and even paid some criminal defense legal bills last year.

Pa. officials report gifts, subsidized travel (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania state legislators flew to foreign lands, cheered on pro sports teams from the stands and even paid some criminal defense legal bills last year without having to open their own wallets

Criminal Investigation - A Recession-proof Career Choice (Carteret County News-Times)
(ARA) - If you've always wanted to be the one to take down the bad guys, there's great news. According to the Department of Labor, careers in criminal investigation are looking better than ever, even with a recession looming. In fact, according to Yahoo!

Inver Grove Heights Liquor Store Gunman Had Criminal History (FOX 9 News Twin Cities)
The armed robbery suspect who was shot and killed at an Inver Grove Heights liquor store Thursday was identified as a St. Paul man with a long criminal history.

Judge in Carona cases upholds use of taped conversations (Los Angeles Times)
The ruling is a blow to the former O.C. sheriff's defense against corruption charges. In the recordings, Carona and an aide allegedly plotted to cover up illicit cash payments and gifts. In a significant blow to former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona's criminal defense team, a federal judge ruled Friday that prosecutors can play secretly recorded conversations between the ex-sheriff ...

R. Kelly's Attorneys Argue To Maintain Trial Secrecy (NBC 5 Chicago)
R. Kelly's defense attorneys say the R&B singer's right to a fair trial trumps the media's right of access to sealed court records in his criminal case.

For some state lawmakers, it's the land of the free (The Morning Call)
Legislators report items worth $111,000 gotten gratis or at discount. Pennsylvania state legislators flew to foreign lands, cheered on pro sports teams from the stands and even paid some criminal defense legal bills last year without having to open their own wallets.

AP Enterprise: Pa. lawmakers got $111k-plus in travel, gifts (Centre Daily Times)
Pennsylvania state legislators flew to foreign lands, cheered on pro sports teams from the stands and even paid some criminal defense legal bills last year without having to crack open their own wallets.

Rezko trial at halfway point (Chicago Tribune)
Prosecution faces uncertain road as it prepares to rest case Monday The government's corruption case against Antoin "Tony" Rezko has reached its climax with the kind of hard-hitting eyewitness testimony that at a more routine criminal trial might make a guilty verdict a slam dunk.

The best defense: Real estate and leasing agents learn safety techniques (St. Charles Journal)
O'Fallon Police Officer Michael Doerge weighs 420 pounds, and is more than 6 feet tall.

As federal presence at county jail grows, so do numbers of immigrant detainees (Austin American-Statesman)
For the past 30 years, federal immigration agents have regularly popped in the Travis County Jail and other correctional institutions, combing records and quizzing inmates to identify deportable immigrants and those with criminal records.

Travel, tickets, gifts add up to $111,000 for state lawmakers (The Indiana Gazette)
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania state legislators flew to foreign lands, cheered on pro sports teams from the stands and even paid some criminal defense legal bills last year without having to crack open their own wallets.

The best defense: Real estate and leasing agents learn safety techniques (St. Charles Journal)
O'Fallon Police Officer Michael Doerge weighs 420 pounds, and is more than 6 feet tall.

Drafted for case, a lawyer objects (The Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
Criminal defense attorney Joe Campoli is stuck with a case that will pay him around 5 an hour for three months.

Defense reform needed for poor (Reno Gazette-Journal)
A recent Supreme Court panel's declaration that the criminal defense offered to Nevada's poor is in crisis, along with its order for new standards to improve the system, has sent prosecutors, public defenders, county officials and others scrambling to assess the level of justice the indigent receive and offer solutions to protect tight budgets and constitutional rights.

Jail takes its toll on polygamist leader's authority (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
By JACK DOUGLAS Jr. As his polygamist followers in Texas undergo one of the most intensive child abuse investigations in the nation's history, sect prophet Warren Jeffs sits in a small jail cell in Arizona, emaciated and under a suicide watch, as he awaits trial on charges of criminal incest and sexual assault in a desert town that was once the home of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. ...

DA Urges Sanctions for Prosecutors Who Withhold Evidence (FOX 4 News Dallas - Fort Worth)
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, whose office leads the nation in wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing, says prosecutors who intentionally withhold evidence should face criminal charges or other harsh sanctions.

Case challenges typical notion of gangs (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Ask authorities to name local neighborhoods plagued by gang violence, and chances are La Jolla won't make the list. Although not immune to crime, the affluent San Diego enclave hasn't been viewed as a magnet for gangs, nor as territory claimed by any specific criminal group. Until recently.

Dallas DA: Prosecutors who withhold evidence from defense should be punished (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)
DALLAS - A district attorney whose office leads the nation in wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing says prosecutors who intentionally withhold evidence from the defense should face criminal charges or other harsh sanctions.

DA urges sanctions for prosecutors who withhold evidence (Las Vegas Sun)
Sun, May 4, 2008 (12:47 p.m.) A district attorney whose office leads the nation in wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing says prosecutors who intentionally withhold evidence from the defense should face criminal charges or other harsh sanctions.

Dentist shoots wife in self defense, police say (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
A Lake County dentist acted in self defense this weekend when he shot and critically wounded his estranged wife, who was coming at him with a pickax, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Department.

DA urges sanctions for prosecutors who withhold evidence (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
A district attorney whose office leads the nation in wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing says prosecutors who intentionally withhold evidence from the defense should face criminal charges or other harsh sanctions. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said he's considering a campaign to mandate disbarment of any prosecutor who doesn't reveal evidence that could help a ...

Reporter's Notebook: Bill Conroy (The Narco News Bulletin)
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is an official sounding name for a fraud-busting detective agency funded by the insurance industry. In fact, NICB investigators refer to themselves as "special agents," the same title used by criminal investigators with federal agencies like the FBI and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (formerly the investigative arm of U.S. Customs).

The best defense: Real estate and leasing agents learn safety techniques (St. Charles Journal)
O'Fallon Police Officer Michael Doerge weighs 420 pounds, and is more than 6 feet tall.

Atwater lawmaker targeted in recall draws wide support (Los Angeles Times)
After Republican Jeff Denham refused to vote for the state budget, Democrats began a campaign to unseat him. But the move has brought sympathizers to his defense. Donald Benart runs a business in Rialto, hundreds of miles from the Central California district of state Sen. Jeff Denham, and has never met the Republican lawmaker who represents this farming area.

Lawyers in Alabama Rep. Sue Schmitz's two-year college case battle in court filings (Birmingham News)
The criminal case against a north Alabama lawmaker accused of taking two-year college money for work she never did has erupted into a bitter exchange between defense lawyers and prosecutors.

Defense puts focus on role of informant in Toledo terror trial (The Toledo Blade)
His true identity cloaked for months under the assumed name "the Trainer," Darren Griffin spent years gathering information in Toledo's Muslim community - information that federal prosecutors say revealed a plot by three local men to create a terrorist cell and that defense attorneys contend was nothing more than "fishing."

Criminal Investigation - A Recession-proof Career Choice (Carteret County News-Times)
(ARA) - If you've always wanted to be the one to take down the bad guys, there's great news. According to the Department of Labor, careers in criminal investigation are looking better than ever, even with a recession looming. In fact, according to Yahoo!

Criminal Investigation - A Recession-proof Career Choice (Carteret County News-Times)
(ARA) - If you've always wanted to be the one to take down the bad guys, there's great news. According to the Department of Labor, careers in criminal investigation are looking better than ever, even with a recession looming. In fact, according to Yahoo!

Merkel's Coalition Clashes Over Defense, Security-Policy Revamp (Bloomberg.com)
May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Germany's ruling coalition clashed over security and defense policy, after Chancellor Angela Merkel 's Christian Democratic Union proposed a wholesale revamp including setting up a U.S.-style National Security Council.

Supreme Court hears death sentence appeal in bat slayings (Miami Herald)
A defense lawyer says three men convicted of killing six people over an Xbox video game system should have received separate trials.

Both sides rest at Rezko trial, no defense witnesses called (The Charlotte Observer)
Less than two hours after prosecutors rested their case Monday in political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko's marathon fraud trial, defense attorneys did the same without calling a single witness. It is not unusual for the defense portion of a major criminal trial to be fairly short, though attorneys often call at least a few witnesses. "We do not believe the government has met their burden in ...

Both sides rest at Rezko trial, no defense witnesses called (AP via Yahoo! News)
Less than two hours after prosecutors rested their case Monday in political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko's marathon fraud trial, defense attorneys did the same without calling a single witness.

Sides rest at Rezko trial, no defense witnesses called (Boston Herald)
CHICAGO - Less than two hours after prosecutors rested their case today in political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko's marathon fraud trial, defense attorneys...

Defense contractor admits obstruction, will pay $9.5M (San Francisco Chronicle)
A defense contractor accused of overcharging the U.S. government for radar components pleaded guilty Monday to obstruction and will pay $9.5 million in fines, federal authorities said. Herley Industries Inc., based in Lancaster County, admitted to two counts...

Pa.-based defense contractor pleads guilty to obstruction (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
PHILADELPHIA -- A defense contractor accused of overcharging the U.S. government for radar components pleaded guilty today to obstruction and will pay $9.5 million in fines, federal authorities said. ...

Defense contractor admits obstruction, will pay $9.5M (AP via Yahoo! News)
A defense contractor accused of overcharging the U.S. government for radar components pleaded guilty Monday to obstruction and will pay $9.5 million in fines, federal authorities said.

Both sides rest at Rezko trial, no defense witnesses called (Journal Gazette & Times-Courier)
UPDATED 4:00 PM CHICAGO (AP) — Defense attorneys rested their case at political fundraiser Antoin ``Tony'' Rezko's marathon corruption trial Monday without calling a single witness.

Both sides rest at Rezko trial; no defense witnesses called (AP via Yahoo! News)
Less than two hours after prosecutors rested their case Monday in political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko's fraud trial, defense attorneys did the same without calling a single witness.

Rezko defense rests (Chicago Tribune)
Closing arguments to start Monday Heard only in brief recordings during the course of his two-month fraud trial, Antoin "Tony" Rezko finally spoke up in person Monday—but only to tell a judge he had no intention of taking the stand in his own defense.




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