Showing posts from 2018

Navy Charges Formerly Presumed Dead Sailor

At the beginning of June, Petty Officer 3rd Class Peter Mims from the USS Shiloh went missing which triggered a man overboard search in the Philippine Sea. American and Japanese ships searched over 5,500 square miles of sea for over 50 hours. A week later, he was found alive on the ship.  Mims has admitted that he intentional tried to hid and took precautions to avoid being detected by other saliors. Since he is small in stature, he had been hiding in the ship's engineering spaces where his fellow sailors didn't think he could be.  The Navy has charged Mims with abandoning watch and dereliction of duty. His actions violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice's Article 86, abandoning watch, and Article 92, dereliction in the performance of duties. The details of the punishment were not released, but the maximum would be loss of pay and detention in the brig for six months. The Navy is looking into pursuing additional actions against Mims. That could mean that he would get…

"How To" Author Murders Husband

Writer of romance novels, murder mysteries, and a blog titled, "How to Murder Your Husband" is facing charges in Oregon for allegedly shooting and killing her husband. Nancy Crampton-Brophy was arrested at the beginning of September for allegedly shooting her husband, Daniel Brophy, at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland where he worked.

Crampton-Brophy immediately went on Facebook to write a post about he late husband.

“My husband and best friend, Chef Dan Brophy was killed yesterday morning. For those of you who are close to me and feel this deserved a phone call, you are right, but I’m struggling to make sense of everything right now,” Crampton-Brophy wrote June 3.

After a couple months of investigating, the detectives came to the conclusion that Crampton-Brophy is a suspect in the murder of her husband.

Crampton-Brophy was arraigned in Multnomah County Court.

Her alleged motive was not made public, as the judge approved a request by prosecutors to seal key court do…

Pot Brownies for Homecoming Queen?

A letter was sent out to Hartford Public Schools because the police received an anonymous tip at the end of September that students were consuming marijuana-laced brownies.

Apparently the 17 year old female made the brownies and distributed in goody bags for football players in addition to using to get votes for the homecoming queen contest at the high school in Hartford, Michigan.

The wishful queen and baker in question left the state following the incident.

Police Chief Tressa Beltran said that they got a hold of three of the brownies and sent them to the Michigan State Police for testing. Then they will go ahead a seek charges.

The school is encouraging parents to take time to discuss with their children about their duty to report to a staff member or the anonymous tip line any time they become aware of a potential danger to themselves or others.

The students involved could get serious charges against them. Officials said that having drugs is one matter, but distributing them…

Mother Takes Europe Vacation-and Leaves Behind 4 Kids

Erin Lee Macke, a 30 year old Iowa mother, left the United States and planned to leave her four young children home alone unsupervised for two weeks. She has 1 six year old, 1 seven year old, and 2 twelve year olds. The Police received a tip about her leaving the children alone and checked on them the day after she left.The officers found the four children alone that evening, and the older twins were preparing to feed their sisters.They found the four children alone. The kids told the officers that their mother didn't arrange for anyone to watch them while she was gone.

Macke was contacted by police over the phone while she was in Germany, and was told to return to the states. She told the police that none of her babysitters could watch the kids, so she decided to leave her preteens in charge.

She returned to the States, and she was charged with four counts of child endangerment and one count of making a firearm available to a person under the age of 21 because there was a gun i…

Haunted House Stabbing

A group of four friends went to the Nashville Nightmare haunted house a couple weeks ago. It was supposed to be a fun adventure, but it turned sour when a man in skull make up, believed to be one of the actors at the haunted house, walked up to them and handed one of the women a knife.

In the spirit of getting into the experience, they wanted to play along. So when the man asked if one of her friends was "fucking around with her," she said yes. Then he proceeded to hand her a knife and say, " Well, here, stab him".

The 29 year old women took the knife, which she thought was fake, and pierced straight through her friend's left forearm. She quickly realized it was real when she saw the blood on the knife and the blood gushing out of her friend's arm.

Her friend, 29 year old James Yochim, went to a local hospital to be treated. His wound required nine stitches. Luckily, it missed the major arteries, bones,  and tendons in his arm.

According to the police repor…

The Kavanaugh Conundrum

There has been much in the news about women supporting and opposing Brett Kavanaugh. Republican women generally support him, Democrat women generally oppose him. One group particularly disturbs me, as an attorney who frequently represents men who have been falsely accused of sexual misconduct: female victims of rape. It appears that victims of rape, Republican or Democrat, have been speaking out against Judge Kavanaugh.

I have read blogs posts and stories with comments from all over. Invariably, there will be one woman posting "I believe Dr. Ford because I was a victim of rape! No one like that should sit on the Supreme Court." This comment will be followed by a second, then a third similar post. These women will go to their graves believing Dr. Ford was groped by Brett Kavanaugh 36 years ago.
What is disturbing is that these women do not believe Dr. Ford because the evidence weighs in favor of the charge; they believe Dr. Ford because they were victims of rape or some other…

Brock Turner Files Appeal in Stanford Sexual Assault Case

Former Stanford student Brock Turner who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman after a fraternity party is now appealing his conviction. Witnesses saw Turner lying on top of a half-naked unconscious woman. The victim didn't wake up until three hours later and had a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit for driving.

Turner was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault while he was a high performing swimmer at Stanford. He was sentenced to six months in jail, three years of probation, and to register as a sex offender. Prosecutors had asked for six years in prison.

His lawyers said that the initial trial was a detailed and lengthy set of lies, and they are hoping that a new trial will also overturn his mandatory lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. Turner's legal advisor believes that what happened was not a crime, and that the facts do not reflect the verdict. The brief filed argued that the prosecutor incorrect…

Michael Cohen To Enter Two "Guilty" Pleas

It was announced today that attorney Michael Cohen will enter two "guilty" pleas for violating campaign finance laws by paying off porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougall, to keep them silent during the last presidential campaign. Apparently Cohen will state that he paid these women at the direction of Donald Trump.

Regardless whether you do or do not support Trump, there are many thorny issues in this case, the type I deal with as a defense attorney on a regular basis:

1. Before I take any case, I have to ask myself whether my interests conflict with those of the client who wishes to hire me. In the case of Mr. Cohen, he hired Lanny Davis, an attorney who has been a spokesman for Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Democrat National Committee. In Mr. Cohen's case, Mr. Davis has a very strong interest in destroying Donald Trump and using confidential information in the possession of his client against President Trump. It would be in Lanny Davis'…

Grumpy Cat Awarded $700,000 in a Lawsuit

The internet famous, Grumpy Cat, is a minor celebrity who became popular due to memes about her particularly angry face in 2012. She became a cash cow to her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, in Arizona. The cat's fame allowed Bundesen to quit her waitressing job at Red Lobster. 
Bundesen has created a company that processes branded clothing, pillows, mugs, pens, bags, and books "written" by the annoyed looking cat. Grumpy Cat even "wrote" a New York Times bestseller. Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, has appeared on "Today," "Good Morning America" and "American Idol." She also starred in a commercial for Honey Nut Cheerios and became spokescat for Friskies cat food in 2013.  The company has generated somewhere between $1-100 million within the first couple years.  The cat found itself in an intellectual property dispute between the Grumpy Cat Limited company and the Grenade beverage company. An eight person jury in Santa Ana, C…

King of Pop Suing Disney & ABC

Michael Jackson's estate sued ABC and Disney because a two hour documentary on Jackson's last days improperly used his songs, music videos, and movies.

The lawsuit filed alleges that the special illegally uses significant excerpts of his most valuable songs. It also says that ABC used clips in the 2016 Spike Lee directed documentary, “Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall,” and from the 2009 feature film “Michael Jackson’s This is It.”

It cites Disney's aggressive defense of its own copyrights and its normally narrow view of fair use, the doctrine in copyright law that says short excerpts can be used for news, criticism and research.

Representatives from ABC said that the special was a piece of journalism and that it did not infringe on Jackson's estate rights. Since the special could be regarded as a form of news, they would be entitled to fair use of excerpts of Jackson's work, but the lawsuit says that the documentary did not have any news value and…

The Pardoning of Alice Johnson

Kim Kardashian West recently went to the White House to discuss the pardoning of Alice Johnson, a 62 year old woman who is serving a life sentence for a first time non-violent drug offense.

Johnson was sentenced to life in prison in 1997 after she was convicted of eight criminal counts related to a cocaine trafficking ring. Since appellate judges and the US Supreme Court have since rejected her appeals, Johnson would need to be granted clemency by the president to be discharged.

Johnson has serves over twenty years of her life sentence without parole. So far she has become an ordained minister, a playwright, a mentor, a counselor, a tutor, and a companion for inmates who are suicidal. She hasn't committed a single disciplinary infraction in two decades in prison.

Johnson's case began around 1990. She started getting addicted to gambling, then she lost her job while she was trying to raise five children. Then she was faced with divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and the death o…

Fertility Doctor Fathers 11 Kids With His Patients

A formerly respected fertility doctor in Canada used his own sperm to father 11 children or more over the course of decades with his patients, according to a class action lawsuit.

The complaint says that Doctor Norman Barwin agreed to use an anonymous donor's sperm in some cases or samples from one member of the couple, but he used his own instead. Recent DNA tests show that as a a result Barwin is the biological father of at least 11 children.

In other cases, Barwin treated 16 women who had chosen intended fathers and later gave birth to children who are not biological matches for those men. The complaint says that the fathers are unknown. The inseminations in the lawsuit are from 1970's to the early 2000s.

The first lawsuit was filed in 2016, but was granted a class action status in April 2018 meaning that the attorneys believe that more people may have been affected by Barwin's actions.

Some sperm samples entrusted to Barwin became contaminated with other sperm which m…