Category: Criminal law

“Doing Stupid Stuff”: Vegas Driver Arrested After His Friend Kills A Cyclist and Himself By Hanging Out Of Speeding Van

There is a bizarre and tragic case out of Las Vegas. Rodrigo Cruz, 22, is under arrest after he drove a speeding van down Hollywood Boulevard as his friend, Giovanni Barajas, 20, leaned out of the window to smack a bicyclist. He hit Michele Weissman, 55, who died from her fall.  The hit caused Barajas to fall out of the van and die.  Now Cruz could face a murder charge, if prosecutors change their minds and increase the charges levied against him. Continue reading ““Doing Stupid Stuff”: Vegas Driver Arrested After His Friend Kills A Cyclist and Himself By Hanging Out Of Speeding Van”

New Hampshire Woman Charged With Impersonating Prosecutor To Drop Her Own Case

Lisa Landon

We have seen plenty of people arrested for impersonating police officers but Lisa Landon, 33, is accused of the fairly rare crime of impersonating a prosecutor to get her own charges dropped in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.  It may have worked except for an expert who inquired if she was no longer needed for a competency evaluation on Landon.  It turns out the need may be greater than ever.

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Business Litigator Charged As Serial Bank Robber In Florida

When a detective on October 20th spotted a man who looked like a serial bank robber being pursued by police, they quickly deduced that they had the right man from prepared notes for bank tellers and a ball-peen hammer in his waistband. They also learned that the suspect, Aaron Patrick Honaker, 41, is a lawyer who previously represented parties in business and creditor cases. Continue reading “Business Litigator Charged As Serial Bank Robber In Florida”

Witness: Joe Biden Was “The Big Guy” [Updated]

A former business partner to Hunter Biden, Tony Bobulinski, has made a bombshell statement that not only are the emails on the Biden laptop authentic but the reference to giving a cut to “the big guy” was indeed a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden. More emails are emerging that show Hunter Biden referring to his family as his asset in these dealings. Continue reading “Witness: Joe Biden Was “The Big Guy” [Updated]”

“My Swagger For EDD”: Rapper Charged After Boasting on YouTube About Defrauding The Government

We have previously discussed bizarre cases of self-incrimination from tattoos to rap lyrics.  A federal case out of California is based on another rap-song-to-rap-sheet scenario.  Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, of Memphis, Tenn. (aka “Nuke Bizzle”) cut a music video posted on YouTube that bragged about getting rich from an unemployment scam. What is interesting is that, while he allegedly defrauded California Employment Development Department (EDD) and sang about his “my swagger for EDD,” he was actually charged in the federal system with fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits.

Continue reading ““My Swagger For EDD”: Rapper Charged After Boasting on YouTube About Defrauding The Government”

The Biden Scandal In Three Barks: Why The Most Telling Elements May Be What We Were Not Told

Below is my earlier column on the Biden controversy and the notable omission of three responses that one would have expected in the days following the disclosure in the New York Post. As I have said repeatedly, the timing and manner in which this information came to the public is highly suspicious and could well be the work of foreign intelligence. Even Rudy Giuliani now puts the chances that he worked with a Russian agent at “50-50.”  However, that would still leave the question of whether the underlying emails are authentic. The Clinton emails were hacked by the Russians but they were also true.  These emails show clear influence peddling, if they are authentic. Instead of addressing the specific emails or even denying their authenticity, figures like Rep. Adam Schiff simply dismissed the story as a Russian hit job.  For his part, Joe Biden dismissed reporters asking him about the emails as participating in a smear campaign.  There are legitimate questions about how this information was produced (questions that the FBI is reportedly investigating). However, there are also legitimate questions about the content of some of these emails and what they say about an alleged influence peddling scheme related to a presidential candidate.

Here is the column: Continue reading “The Biden Scandal In Three Barks: Why The Most Telling Elements May Be What We Were Not Told”

Louisiana Priest Arrested In “Demonic” Act With Two Women On Church Altar

Whitmer Lashes Out At Barr Over Kidnapping Plot Despite The FBI Uncovering The Plot And The DOJ Prosecuting The Plotters

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was the target this month of a plot of extremists to kidnap her and storm the state capitol.  After the arrests of the primary suspects, Whitmer lashed about at President Donald Trump for failing to condemn right wing violence. That is certainly a common criticism. However, Whitmer also attacked Attorney General Bill Barr and suggested that he knew about the plot.  It was a curious attack since the FBI uncovered the plot and the DOJ is prosecuting the plot. There is no indication that the DOJ was delaying action. To the contrary, it acted to thwart the plot and protect Whitmer.  The other question is why would Barr lie about his knowledge?  To what logical end? He was not asked about any threats but specifically if he knew about signs and statements made a protest in Lansing, Michigan in June — a protest that was under state, not federal, jurisdiction.

Continue reading “Whitmer Lashes Out At Barr Over Kidnapping Plot Despite The FBI Uncovering The Plot And The DOJ Prosecuting The Plotters”

More Trick Than Treat: Yakuza Barred From Handing Out Halloween Treats This Year In Japan

A Sign of Our Times: Police Search For Culprit In Booby Trapped Trump Sign

Police in Michigan are looking for the person responsible for a booby-trapped Trump-Pence sign that cut a worker who was removing it because it was too close to the road. The worker required 13 stitches. In torts, we cover a long line of cases involving “snare guns” and “man traps” going back centuries. This case presents an ironic twist under that precedent. Continue reading “A Sign of Our Times: Police Search For Culprit In Booby Trapped Trump Sign”

No Friend of the Court: Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Arrest For Warning “Cops Ahead” In Connecticut

ACLU of Connecticut

In Connecticut, U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello has dismissed a free speech challenge that could have sweeping implications for protests against police operations or policies. Michael Friend was arrested in 2018 after he held up a sign warning motorists “Cops Ahead.” The police were looking for distracted drivers in Stamford. Covello ruled that Friend did not have a free speech right in making such a protest. As will likely surprise few on this blog, I disagree. Covello’s decision dismisses the obvious political and social viewpoints reflected in Friend’s protest. Under this standard, a wide variety of speech could be curtailed as inimical to police operations.

Continue reading “No Friend of the Court: Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Arrest For Warning “Cops Ahead” In Connecticut”

Cutie Indictment: Netflix Charged in Texas For Promoting “Lewd Visual Material”

Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin has secured a grand jury indictment of Netflix for promoting “lewd visual material” of a child in its controversial film “Cuties.” As discussed earlier, I found images from the film to be deeply disturbing.  However, the criminal charge in Texas is in my view a violation of the First Amendment and a dangerous return to a period of film censorship and criminalization. Continue reading “Cutie Indictment: Netflix Charged in Texas For Promoting “Lewd Visual Material””

“There Is No Evidence”: Professor Publishes Book On Domestic Terrorism While Denying Antifa’s Involvement In Violence

As we have previously discussed, there has been a bizarre denial in the face of Antifa violence throughout the country. It is particularly difficult to understand since one can acknowledge the violence of Antifa groups while recognizing the violence of far right groups. Yet, that does not fit the narrative in this political environment where every allegation seems to be part of a some zero-sum game of blame.  The latest example is Professor of Criminology and Terrorism Studies at UMass-Lowell Arie Perliger, who told The Lowell Sun, that there is absolutely no evidence of organized violence by Antifa.  The assertion is astonishing given the extensive evidence of such violence for years on the campuses and streets of the country. Continue reading ““There Is No Evidence”: Professor Publishes Book On Domestic Terrorism While Denying Antifa’s Involvement In Violence”

McCabe: I Will Not Testify Out of Fear For My Health … Even Remotely

Former FBI Deputy Director (and CNN contributor) Andrew McCabe has long said that he was willing to answer questions under oath about his controversial actions in the Russian investigation. He was scheduled to do so on Tuesday, but he now has refused — citing the infection of three senators with Covid-19.  However, McCabe also refuses to testify remotely as did both former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.  He simply says that “fairness” dictates that he not testify at all. The basis for his refusal to appear remotely is utterly and almost comically absurd.

Continue reading “McCabe: I Will Not Testify Out of Fear For My Health … Even Remotely”

What Rings Comey’s Bell: The Former FBI Director’s Casual Testimony Confirms the Worst About His Tenure

In his long-awaited testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony proved as casual as his appearance in an open shirt from his home office. Comey was hammered with embarrassing findings of errors under his watch in the handling of the Russian investigation, including the reliance on information that FBI agents warned might be Russian disinformation supplied by a Russian agent. After years of investigation, the FBI was unable to show that a single Trump official conspired or colluded with the Russians. Instead, investigations found extensive errors, irregular and criminal conduct, and statements of intense bias by key FBI figures. Yet, Comey proceeded to give what amounted to a series of shrugs in either denying any recollection of such information or deflecting responsibility to others. Continue reading “What Rings Comey’s Bell: The Former FBI Director’s Casual Testimony Confirms the Worst About His Tenure”