Weeks later the murder trial continues for Aaron Hernandez

Federal criminal lawyer discusses the murder trial of the New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez. For months Hernandez has been under investigation for orchestrating the death of Odin Lloyd a semi-pro football player. According to Fox Sports, on the evening of June 16, 2013, Hernandez and his two associates Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace drove to the Dorchester section of Boston and picked up Odin Lloyd in a silver Nissan Altima at 2:33 am.

Minutes after Lloyd was picked up he quickly texted his sister, Olivia Thibou, to make sure she knew who he was with just in case something bad happened. At approximately 3:23 am the cameras of an industrial park caught the silver Nissan Altima enter a secluded area surrounded by woods and mounds of dirt, gravel and asphalt. Minutes later an employee of a nearby business was sitting in his truck, on a lunch break, and what he heard was described as three gunshots and then a car door slamming, the Nissan then left the area. According to the Hernandez’s home surveillance cameras, the Nissan Altima arrived at Hernandez’s home at 3:30 am, Hernandez was driving, Wallace was in the front passenger seat, and Ortiz was in the rear driver’s-side seat. Where was Lloyd?

Lloyd’s body was discovered that next morning by a jogger and immediately the jogger called 911. Responding officers concluded that Lloyd had been shot several times, and they found five .45-caliber shell casings, two sets of keys to a black Chevrolet Suburban with Rhode Island plates, a phone and a driver’s license identifying the man as Odin L. Lloyd. Detectives contacted Enterprise Rent-A-Car at T.F. Green Airport outside Providence, R.I., and learned that the black Chevrolet Suburban was rented to Hernandez. The detectives ran a computer check on Hernandez’s driver’s license and discovered that his home is about 1.2 miles from the murder scene. At around 10:30 am the detectives from North Attleboro Police Department arrive at Hernandez’s home, Hernandez was then questioned about the black suburban and he told them that he let his friend Odin use it. They began trying to question him and he quickly went inside locked the door behind him and called his Criminal defense attorney. Days later the investigation continued and more and more evidence pointed to Hernandez.

On June 26, 2013, Hernandez was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd. After months of multiple investigations a grand jury indicted Hernandez on one count of murder and on five weapons charges. The murder charge and one of the weapons counts are based on the killing of Lloyd; the other four weapons charges are the result of the rifle, magazine and ammunition found during a search of Hernandez’s house on June 22, 2014. The murder trial began on January 29, 2015, with both the prosecution and defense laying out their opening arguments before the jury in Fall River.  Prosecutors have not said who pulled the trigger but said Hernandez orchestrated the killing. Ortiz and Wallace have pleaded not guilty and will be tried separately.  As the trial continues more and more evidence is being presented and people are testifying in court, but they still cannot prove who shot Odin Lloyd. According to U.S. News, Defense attorney Michael Fee’s opening statement was that Hernandez is an innocent man. “Aaron never had a chance,” Fee said. “They locked on Aaron and they targeted him.” He said the evidence would show that Hernandez did not kill Lloyd and did not ask anyone to do so. He said authorities could offer no motive for the killing.

 

When caught in situations such as these, it is always good to have a criminal defense attorney defending your rights. Our criminal defense attorneys have the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that your case will be defended properly. You will need someone who is experienced in the federal and or state court system. Our criminal defense attorneys have been defending companies and individuals in federal and or state court for many years. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, please call The Mace Firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers.

 

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Knock Out Game Case

Criminal defense lawyers across the country are learning of a new crime called the “knock out game.”  The “game” typically involves an unsuspecting pedestrian who is targeted, quickly pursued and then punched extremely hard.  The game has been growing in popularity and it has forced some states to review their laws regarding this type of hate, and has even gotten the attention of federal prosecutors.  Some of those states are seeking a minimum of 1 year in prison for anyone who is found guilty of participating in the violent acts.  Experts in bullying and violence prevention feel that those who seek out people to attack usually have “high levels of narcissism and violence and low levels of empathy.”  Although this type of crime involving a group of people who set out to cause harm or mayhem is not new to law enforcement, the use of cell phone cameras has helped to increase awareness.  In addition to that, law enforcement must be aware of the difference between the knock out game and a regular fight that happened in the street.  This is an important factor since, normally, a third-degree aggravated assault charge does not lead to federal prosecution unless the victim is a government official or law enforcement officer.  If a defendant were found guilty of a federal hate crime, they would face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

One suspect in a knock out crime was denied bail in Houston last week.  27 year old Conrad Barrett allegedly sucker punched a 79 year old black man on November 24.  The attack was caught on a cell phone camera but was not connected to the attack until 12 days later.  Barrett was at a restaurant and ended up meeting a couple, one of them happened to be an off duty arson investigator.  The video does not show the attacker’s face, but the attacker could be seen and heard.  Once the investigator saw the video, he left the restaurant and waived down a uniformed police officer across the street.  According to his criminal defense lawyer and court documents in his case, Barrett had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was taking heavy medications to treat it.  His defense attorney stated that when “look[ing] at the mindset behind the action you soon realize there’s a mental issue.”  Barrett is now facing federal hate crime charges since he shot video of himself using racial slurs stating his intent to hit a black person to gain national media coverage.  Barrett’s victim lost three of his teeth and had his jaw broken in two places as a result of the attack; he stayed in the hospital for four days.

According to experts, several knock out game cases would not be considered a hate crime because prosecutors would be required to have evidence that the victim was targeted due to their race or religion.  But some are wondering why this case has the attention of the Feds instead of other knock out game cases.  In fact, there have been numerous knock out game attacks on Jewish people in New York with no word of any federal hate crime charges.  In fact, after an attack on a Jewish person, police stated that he would be charged with a hate crime, but that never happened.

Some who fall victim to the knock out game never see their attackers, and as a result, their attackers never face any criminal charges.  For instance, a couple from Charlottesville was attacked just before the Christmas holiday as they took a walk in the city’s downtown area.  Jeanne Doucette and her boyfriend Marc Adams were randomly attacked by three black men.  Adams was left with a broken ankle, cracked ribs and a missing tooth as a result of the beating.  Doucette suffered from bruising to her head and a torn ear cartilage.  As the men attacked Doucette and her boyfriend, they continued to laugh and joke, and even stopped to hug in the middle of all the commotion.  Jeanne and Marc attempted to escape the brutality several times, even throwing a purse into the street hoping they would take that and leave them alone.  But the men had no interest in robbing the couple, they only seemed interested in the assault.  Jeanne was able to get some blurry photos of the men, but she is confused as to why authorities are not trying to capture the men.  The police didn’t release the photo of the men, in addition to failing to report anything to the public about the incident.  Doucette phoned the Charlottesville police on December 29 to inquire about the ongoing investigation, but was told that the case had been suspended “due to lack of information” and it had yet to be re-assigned to another detective.

For the defendants charged in any type of criminal case, it will be very important to speak with and hire a criminal defense lawyer who completely understands all the issues and complexities that go along with your charges.  The Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyers at The Mace Firm spends a significant amount of time in criminal courts throughout all over the United States. There are criminal lawyers all over the country, but few are like those at our firm who practice criminal defense in Charleston, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Surfside Beach, Columbia and several other areas.

If you or someone you know is facing federal criminal or state criminal charges, you will need to speak with an experienced Myrtle Beach criminal attorney. A criminal defense lawyer at The Mace Firm is ready to speak with you about your case. Call one of our criminal defense attorneys to schedule your free consultation.

Odom’s Legal Woes

It has been a rough month for basketball star and husband of Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom.  Early last week, media reports revealed that Odom has been battling a drug addiction; which drug he is addicted to still remains unknown to the public.  However, rumors surrounding Odom’s drug use have linked him to many different drugs including crack cocaine and prescription pills.  Now it has come to light that he has been seeking the help of a criminal defense lawyer.

After these rumors surfaced about the player, news broke that he had been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles.  He allegedly did not respond to the officer’s attempt to pull him over, driving an additional three exits before coming to a stop.  According to Odom’s arrest report from the DUI, he showed “objective signs of intoxication and was unable to perform field sobriety tests as explained and demonstrated.”  Officers were under the impression, based on Odom’s appearance and actions, that he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.  Odom also refused the chemical test for drugs or alcohol which resulted in his license being suspended for one year.

This is not the first of any troubles surrounding Odom:  he violated the leagues drug policy twice within one year.  Odom is also no stranger to the drug world since his father was addicted to heroin.  Odom has even been quoted stating that he wonders if he fights his father’s demons.  Late last month, news broke that Odom had a clandestine meeting with drug counselors who work with the NBA.

Following the DUI arrest, Odom hired high-profile criminal defense lawyer, Robert Shapiro to work on his case.  Shapiro worked on the defense team in the OJ Simpson trial.  Shapiro was hired by Odom due to the advice of his mother-in-law.  Shapiro’s son overdosed on drugs in 2005, so Shapiro is familiar with the issues that drug addiction entails.  Shapiro will not only defend Odom in his DUI case, but hopefully be a strong voice and shoulder to lean on as he moves forward with overcoming his addiction.  Some reports claim that Shapiro said he would not take the case unless Odom agreed to treatment.

After all this commotion, media outlets are reporting that Odom has now willingly checked into a rehab facility.  According to sources close to the couple, Odom’s reality television-star wife, Khloe Kardashian, has been as supportive as possible while her husband deals with the results of his arrest and ongoing drug addiction.  One source mentioned that Khloe seems “more concerned about saving Lamar than ending their marriage.”

Odom’s legal issues remind us that, should the need arise, hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer should be a top priority.  A good criminal defense lawyer will help you in many ways, including discussing your legal options, determining aspects of your case which work in your favor, potential problems that can be foreseen and what to expect at the different stages of the process.

Having the support of a skilled criminal defense lawyer is beneficial because it can provide security that you are dealing with someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly.  Call a South Carolina criminal lawyer to schedule your free consultation.

“Actual Innocence” Appeals

Federal appeal lawyer discusses actual innocence.  Last week, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 to give another chance to prisoners who have strong, new evidence that they are innocent, but failed to file an appeal within the proper time frame.  The Supreme Court justices ruled to lift the one-year time limit for filing these appeals in federal court.  However, it has been stated that only in rare cases will this new leniency be a benefit.

To benefit from the Supreme Court’s decision, “a prisoner must make a convincing showing of actual innocence. The new evidence must be strong enough to persuade a judge that ‘no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find him guilty’ at his trial had the jury known of it.”

This new ruling has come after years and years of hundreds of prisoners being found innocent due to the availability of new DNA tests.  Under the old decision, the new evidence and potential new statements would run up against the appeals time limit.  In fact, in 1996, “Congress set the one-year deadline for state inmates to lodge federal appeals, partly because some prisoners had filed endless appeals that had prevented state officials from carrying out executions.”

Ten years later in 2006, a Tennessee murderer was allowed a new appeal by the Supreme Court right before he was to be executed for his crime.  Three years following this allowance, the murderer was released from prison because new DNA tests on the victim showed that someone else had committed the crime.  The Supreme Court cited this case in its decision because it “helped establish the principle that claims of actual innocence sometimes call for relaxing the rules that limit appeals.”

More recently, a Michigan prisoner serving a life term for murder came forward with sworn statements from three witnesses who pointed to another man as the killer. But the defendant, Floyd Perkins, had waited five years to reopen his appeal in federal court, well beyond the one-year limit for such claims.  It is not yet clear whether this defendant will benefit from the new Supreme Court decision because the new evidence may not be strong enough to prove his innocence.  It is clear that this decision will not affect a ton of cases, but for the cases it will affect, it will have a great impact.

There are those who do not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision, saying that it “dealt a body blow to the state’s role in the criminal justice system and the victims’ interest in finality for criminal convictions.”

If you or someone you know would like to file a federal criminal appeal in the Federal appeals court or state appeal, they should speak to an experienced federal appeal lawyer.  Please call a federal appeal lawyer at The Mace Firm for a free consultation today.

Trial in 2011 Assault Begins

Criminal defense attorney discusses murder case.  While at his cousin’s birthday party in Conway near the Coastal Carolina University campus, 22 year old Kenall Williams died from being violently assaulted by Christopher Cooper. At the time of Williams’ death, Horry County police said officers arrived at the scene at about 4:15 a.m., where they found Williams in the house.  He was unconscious and not breathing. Williams died about an hour later while being treated at Conway Medical Center.

Cooper’s trial began this week in Horry County.  A jury of eight men and six women, including two men as alternates, took their seats on Monday to hear the case and to decide Cooper’s fate.
Testimony came from William’s cousin, Kelli, on Monday.  She testified that she was cleaning the kitchen after her birthday celebration and had been speaking with Cooper, who was an “associate,” but not a friend.  Cooper had attended the party with another invited guest. She said Cooper attacked Kendall Williams after another couple had been ushered out of the apartment following an argument.  Kelli revealed that Cooper appeared to be leaving as well, then he just turned around and hit Williams.  Williams was on the floor, in the fetal position to protect himself from the assault, as Cooper continued to kick him.  Kelli said Cooper looked as if he “was in a rage or a whole other zone, like he was intending to do this the whole entire time.”  The fight was unwarranted because, according to authorities, Williams was asleep on the couch when Cooper started attacking him.  Witnesses said another man stopped the assault and Cooper left the apartment, but Kendall Williams had trouble breathing and then went unconscious before police and EMS arrived.
Also yesterday during the trial, prosecutors told the jurors that Cooper had disliked Williams and used the birthday gathering as an opportunity to take out his aggression on the him.  Prosecutors also mentioned that Williams was gay, another reason it is believed Cooper did not like Williams.  Recent articles related to this story do not reveal the identity of Cooper’s criminal defense attorney.
Prior to his arrest and subsequent murder charge, Cooper was a football player for Greensboro College.  The school released this statement following Cooper’s arrest:  “Chris Cooper is a student in good standing at Greensboro College. The incident in which he has been charged took place over the weekend, out of state, and we have no first-hand information about it; therefore, it would be inappropriate for the college to comment on the charges. This is a tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with both families.”
When someone is facing criminal charges, even crimes classified as misdemeanors can seem frightening. Having the support of a skilled criminal defense attorney is beneficial because it can provide peace of mind and someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly.  Call one of the criminal attorneys in Myrtle Beach to schedule your free consultation.

Myrtle Beach Shoplifter

I am a college student in Myrtle Beach.  My friends and I went to a department store in the mall over the weekend to shop for new summer clothes.  While we were there, we checked out all the newly released bathing suits and shorts, plus some designer handbags.  Since my friends and I are college juniors, our budgets were limited.  We definitely didn’t have enough money to spend on designer bags; unless Mom and Dad would foot the bill!  We each ended up buying a few items that day and ended up leaving the mall after we had some lunch in the food court.

Once we returned to our apartment, we all opened our shopping bags to display and try on our new clothes.  Everything was fine until one girl, Amanda, pulled out one of those designer bags we were eying at the store!  I thought we had all said that we couldn’t afford those bags, maybe she had extra money?  I was wrong in thinking that, because Amanda admitted to us that she had tucked the designer purse in her shopping bag on our way out of the store.  She actually stole a bag that’s worth over $200.00!  I wondered how often she shoplifted since none of us had any clue that she had taken the item until we got home.

I thought, how did Amanda even get away with this?  I had never stolen anything; I am way too scared to get caught and possibly arrested.  How embarrassing that would be; especially to a college student.

The next weekend, Amanda and I were alone in our apartment as the other two girls had gone home for the weekend.  She and I decided to go to the home-goods store to buy some summer decorations to surprise our roommates when they arrive back on Sunday.  We found some great items to purchase and loaded our card, then headed to the candle section of the store as our last stop.  Amanda told me to put these three jar candles in my bag, as she was going to do the same.  She told me that since we were going to make a purchase, no one would suspect that we had these candles hidden in our purses.

I decided to make the move and go for it.  She does it all the time and never gets caught; so I thought, what would be the harm in me trying it out?  Once we had loaded our purses with the candles, we made our way to the check out counter to pay for the other things we had picked up.  I felt alright about this because Amanda also had candles in her purse.  I thought that if we got in trouble, at least we’d be together.

Boy was I wrong!  Amanda and I paid for our items and she told me that she needed to use the restroom before we left the store.  I told her okay, sort of forgetting that I had stolen items in my possession.  As I walked toward the exit with my cart full of shopping bags, I heard the store alarm start to sound.  It was so loud, but I kept walking.  A store employee caught up with me in the parking lot and checked my receipt with the items, then she noticed that my purse looked a little swollen.  That is when she asked me to empty my bag, revealing the stolen candles.  Amanda apparently saw the whole thing going down, and put her candles back so that she wouldn’t get in trouble like me.

The store employee asked me to come back inside with her, as she would have to report this incident to the police.  I couldn’t believe she was going to have me arrested for shoplifting instead of giving me a warning!  I had never stolen in my life!

I spent a few hours in  jail before my Dad arrived to bail me out.  He said that he had already contacted a Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyer for me and we have a consultation on Monday afternoon.  Once I got home, I did some research on the Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyer that I would be meeting.   I felt better knowing that I would have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on my side.

 

Police Officer Arrested

An Horry County police officer was arrested for Driving Under the Influence near Glenns Bay Road just South of Myrtle Beach. DUI arrests are common place in the Myrtle Beach area, along with many other alcohol related violations. Public intoxication is a very common case for Myrtle Beach lawyers to defend. Many good lawyers in Myrtle Beach specialize in these types of cases in municipal and city courts.

The need for an attorney in this type of criminal case depends on the value it may have for the particular defendant. Many people do not care about having a conviction on their record, but many cannot afford the increase in the insurance and possible court fines for being found guilty of a DUI.
This particular Horry County officer (Parker) would do well to hire a reputable attorney to represent him in this case. He is now suspended without pay most likely and will need to get the case resolved as soon as possible. A good Myrtle Beach criminal lawyer could handle the case quickly for him.

A Myrtle Beach criminal lawyer will help with many DUI arrests. There are also lawyers in North Myrtle Beach that may help with this type of arrest.