It seems the famed Pistorius family of South Africa just cannot catch a break lately. Oscar Pistorius, one of the most famous disabled athletes in the world, was charged with premeditated murder earlier this month after his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was shot inside the runner’s home. In this latest twist, the runner’s older brother, Carl Pistorius, has been officially charged with culpable homicide stemming from an alleged traffic accident in which a female motorcyclist collided with Carl Pistorius’ car in 2008. According to reports, blood tests showed that Carl Pistorius was not driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Charges in the case had been dropped once before, only to be reinstated later. Carl Pistorius is expected to be in court in South Africa later this month to deal with his criminal charges. It is unclear what type of punishment he could receive if convicted on charges of culpable homicide. As for Oscar Pistorius, the case against him has seen its own share of twists recently. Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder and released on bail last Friday after a bail hearing that lasted two days. Pistorius is accused of shooting his girlfriend to death in his Pretoria home. Some initial reports indicated that Oscar Pistorius may have mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder and shot her. Pistorius himself is claiming that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder and that he did not realize that it was Steenkamp in the bathroom when he shot four rounds through the door. Other sources, however offer different opinions. Reports indicate that Steenkamp was shot four times through a bathroom door in Pistorius’ home, including in the hand and the hip. Early investigations reported that Steenkamp had locked herself in the small bathroom, suggesting that she was afraid of some danger, possibly from an enraged Pistorius. Some accounts also say that Pistorius used a cricket bat to break down the bathroom door after shooting his 9mm pistol into it. Neighbors had reportedly heard the couple arguing loudly at times before the incident. In a strange twist, The South African Police Service removed the lead investigator in the Pistorius case, Hilton Botha, after attempted murder charges were reinstated against him. Botha is accused of chasing a minibus full of people then firing his gun at the bus in a drunken rage in 2011. Botha is being charged with seven counts of attempted murder as a result. Law enforcement officials also recently admitted that they may have contaminated the crime scene at Oscar Pistorius’ home and had also possibly failed to properly catalogue evidence collected from the area. Oscar Pistorius made history as the first disabled runner to compete in the London Olympics last year alongside able-bodied runners. Oscar Pistorius had been born without fibula bones in both legs and had had his legs amputated below the knees when he was a small child. Pistorius ran with the use of prosthetic legs, earning him the nickname of “Bladerunner.”
Tagged as: Murder, police misconduct
Actor Jason London was arrested outside an Arizona club this past weekend and allegedly took quite the beating in the process. According to police reports, the trouble started when London walked by a bouncer in a nightclub and sneezed on him. Whether or not it was intentional, the bouncer claims he asked the actor for an apology. In response, the actor allegedly punched the bouncer in the face. The 40-year-old actor was said to have been thrown out of the club while kicking and screaming and sustained injuries while being thrown out of the nightclub. Local law enforcement officers responded to a call from the club shortly before two o’clock in the morning on Sunday and found London outside the nightclub bleeding and nursing a swollen eye. Paramedics were called to the scene to treat London for his injuries, but the actor reportedly got aggressive with them and even shoved one. One of the officers admitted to having to deliver a knee strike to London’s right thigh in order to be able to seat the actor on the ground. The fun reportedly did not stop there, however. Officers at the scene handcuffed London and place him under arrest on suspicion of disorderly conduct and assault. The actor reportedly called the officers names and used homophobic slurs against them. After being seated in a police car, London complained to officers about the smell inside the car and proceeded to purposely defecate in the back seat of the vehicle For his part, London claims that what actually happened was very different from the police report that was filed. In the actor’s version of events, he claims to have been jumped by several big, burly club bouncers who knocked him unconscious and beat him for several minutes. London took to Twitter the day after the incident and told people that he would never say or do any of the things he was accused of the night before. London claimed that he was attacked because a man in the club thought he was hitting on his friend’s girlfriend. The actor even went so far as to call the police report a complete lie. London has worked steadily as an actor since the early 1990s. He is perhaps best known for playing both Court Foster in the film “The Man in the Moon” in 1991 and Randall “Pink” Floyd in the comedy “Dazed and Confused” in 1993. Most recently he has appeared on popular television shows “Dallas” and “Scandal.”
Tagged as: assault
Troubled actor Lane Garrison has successfully avoiding having to return to jail after striking a plea deal with prosecutors in a domestic violence case. Garrison was accused of striking his former girlfriend, former Playboy Playmate Ashley Mattingly in front of her apartment building during an argument. The incident took place last April and could have put the actor in serious legal trouble as he was on parole for a 2007 criminal conviction. Instead of jail time, however, Garrison has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor domestic battery and was sentenced to 36 months of unsupervised probation, eight hours of community service and a full years’-worth of weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and domestic violence classes. Garrison was also ordered by the court to stay away from Mattingly at all times. While video surveillance footage from Mattingly’s apartment building certainly seemed to show Garrison striking his then-girlfriend, Garrison has maintained his innocence since his arrest. Garrison claims he was simply trying to take his cell phone back from Mattingly after she had snatched it out of his hand. Garrison, who is perhaps best known for his work as David “Tweener” Apolskis on the hit television show “Prison Break,” had previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges in 2007. After an alcohol-related car crash in 2006 left a teenager dead, Garrison was charged with vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol and providing a minor with alcohol. Garrison was sentenced to 40 months in prison. He was released in 2009, well short of his sentence, for good behavior. Upon being released from prison, Garrison was said to have enrolled in a substance abuse program to deal with an alcohol and drug addiction. As Garrison’s case demonstrates, there are always two sides to every domestic dispute. While video footage may appear to show Garrison striking his then-girlfriend, even video footage is not always enough to convince a jury that domestic abuse occurred. Small details such as camera angles and lighting can trick the eye and make a person think they are seeing something that they really are not. If you have been accused of domestic violence, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. A good attorney knows that many types of evidence can be excluded from your trial because they were improperly or even illegally obtained. Even the police and law enforcement officials have strict guidelines as to how and when they can obtain evidence against you. If the evidence does not meet the requirements, it may be barred from being used in your trial.
Tagged as: domestic violence pc 273_5
Two teenage girls in Northern California were arrested this week after allegedly drugging one of the girls’ parents in order to use the internet past curfew. According to reports, two unnamed girls in Rocklin, which is 20 miles southwest of Sacramento, purchased milkshakes from a nearby fast food restaurant on December 28th, then crushed several prescription sleeping pills into each drink. Of the two girls, one is 16 years old while the other is just 15. The girls gave the drug-laced milkshakes to the 16-year-olds parents, who fell asleep about an hour later. Both the mother and father woke up in the middle of the night and reportedly felt extremely groggy and had hangover-like symptoms, though neither had consumed any alcoholic beverages that evening. The following morning both parents were still said to have been feeling “really odd,” so they went to a nearby police station and purchased $5 drug screening kits. The tests, which are usually used by parents to test their children for drug use, showed traces of drugs. It was at that point that the parents contacted local police and eventually brought their daughter into the police station. Investigators later that the girls had schemed to put the 16-year-old’s parents to sleep in order to have access to the internet after the 10 p.m. curfew. Both girls were booked into the Placer County Juvenile Hall on December 31st on suspicion of conspiracy and willfully mingling a pharmaceutical into food. It is still unclear whether or not prosecutors will formally charge the girls with a crime. Investigators involved in the case also did not know what websites the two girls had accessed on the night in question. As a spokesman for the Rocklin police said, “Kids are crazy these days.” While not all kids may be certifiably crazy, many kids find themselves in real legal trouble all the time. Minors committing crimes are very often dealt with in very different ways from their adult counterparts. Many crimes committed by juveniles are handled through the juvenile court system, which differs in several important ways from the criminal justice system that adults may be familiar with. First, the juvenile court system aims more to correct criminal behavior in children instead of simply punishing it. Several laws in the state of California, however, make juvenile punishments for criminal activity just as harsh as those for adults. Depending on the severity of the crime and the age of the child, their case may be handed over to the adult criminal justice system anyway. Whatever the age of your child, if they have committed a crime, they need an experienced attorney to handle their case right away.
Tagged as: juvenile crime, juvenile law
Local law enforcement agencies in the San Diego County area have released a statement asking for the public’s help in two recent thefts from local elementary schools. According to reports, thieves broke into Cardiff Elementary School in Cardiff by the Sea on Sunday morning. A similar burglary occurred at Ada Harris Elementary School in Encinitas on Monday morning. In both cases, the unidentified thieves made off with roughly $12,000-worth of iPads. Police responded to burglar alarms at both schools and say that the thieves, whoever they were, broke several classroom windows and broke a lock off of a cabinet to get to the iPads. It is estimated that the thieves took roughly two dozen iPads during the heist. Stealing technological devices is not always the smartest idea these days since many iPads, iPhones and smartphones come equipped with GPS tracking devices and can often be accessed remotely from computers that connect to the devices. In some cases, people have had their expensive gadgets stolen, only to use the available technology to help local police track down the thieves within days of the theft. No word has been released as to whether or not the iPads stolen from the two elementary schools had been equipped with such technology or if law enforcement agents were using these programs to locate the stolen items. In most cases, these programs only work if the device is turned on and in use. However these thieves are eventually identified and apprehended, they face an uphill battle in fighting what will likely turn out to be grand theft criminal charges. Theft crimes in California are often divided into several categories, and the consequences someone must pay tend to hinge on the value of the items stolen and any prior criminal history a defendant may have. Thefts where the value of the items stolen totals less than $400 and there are no weapons or violence involved may be labeled simple theft. Often, these are misdemeanors and can include thefts such as shoplifting. Theft crimes where the value of the items stolen is more than $400 is typically labeled Grand Theft and can be considered a felony criminal offense, which can land you in jail. The term “theft,” however, also tends to encompass a number of crimes besides shoplifting and Grand Theft; often, robbery, burglary, fraud, identity theft and even embezzlement. If you find yourself in the unenviable position of facing accusations of theft, find yourself an experienced attorney to consult with before you say a word to police.
Tagged as: theft
Local law enforcement agents have released statements to the public that they will be actively seeking to arrest people who are driving under the influence of alcohol this New Year’s. While people all around the world like to ring in the New Year with parties that include a fair amount of alcohol consumption, drinking and driving is still very much a danger to other people on the road as well as a real crime that can land you in jail. According to statistical information released by the Los Angeles Police Department, nearly 15,000 people were arrested last year on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Nearly 2,500 crashes last year were alcohol-related and 17 people died as a result of drinking and driving. Those numbers do not even include arrests or incidents handled by the California Highway Patrol, which also does a fair amount of work in handling drivers impaired by alcohol. Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department have stated that they will have several sobriety checkpoints running on New Year’s Eve and in the early hours of New Year’s Day as well as extra officers on patrol in an effort to catch anyone suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol that night. Additionally, officers will also be combing local bars and restaurants on watch for bartenders who are over-serving alcoholic beverages as well as people leaving public places who are in no condition to be driving home. Outside of efforts by local law enforcement agencies, local buses and train services will be free from 9 o’clock on December 31st through 2 o’clock the next morning. Popular towing service AAA will also be offering free car towing between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. that same night. The tow must be to your own home and is free within a seven-mile radius. While it is undoubtedly safer to have extra law enforcement agents patrolling the streets in an effort to keep drunk drivers off the road, some of the tactics mentioned above can appear to conflict with the spirit of “innocent until proven guilty” that is said to be the foundation of our legal system. Local police are working on the assumption that people will be breaking the law on New Year’s Eve, and perhaps rightly so. That said they still have very strict rules that they have to follow in terms of how they set up sobriety checkpoints and how and when they can stop a person who they suspect may be breaking the law. If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, you need an experienced attorney to help you with your case right away. An experienced criminal defense attorney can tell you whether or not you were unlawfully stopped by police, which can make a huge difference in winning your criminal case.
Tagged as: driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI)
An Orange County, California church volunteer has been arrested by local police on suspicion of sexually abusing several children. Christopher Bryan McKenzie, who is 48 years old, was arrested originally in cases involving the ongoing abuse of two young boys. Once pastors at Rock Harbor church announced McKenzie’s arrest to the congregation, two other families stepped forward and made similar allegations against him. According to statements from investigators, McKenzie is said to have sexually abused one boy from the late 1990s until 2005, then another from 2005 until sometime in 2007. Neither boy has ties to Rock Harbor, according to authorities.
Of the two families from the church who claim McKenzie behaved inappropriately with their children, McKenzie is thought to have had sexual contact with one of the children on at least three different occasions and used the other child to distribute obscene materials. The ages and genders of the alleged victims from Rock Harbor have not been released.
In all, McKenzie has been charged with 10 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, four felony counts of using a minor to distribute obscene materials and two felony counts of distributing pornography to a child under the age of 18. McKenzie is also facing sentencing enhancements for substantial sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14, as well as committing lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 against more than one victim. If convicted on all counts, McKenzie is facing up to 45 years in a California State Prison. He is currently in police custody with bail set at $1 million.
Tagged as: lewd acts upon a child, los angeles sex crime defense attorney, sex crimes
Another day, another scandal for actress Lindsay Lohan. As reported in several news outlets, the troubled actress was charged with lying to Santa Monica Police about a traffic accident on the very same day when she was arrested in New York City for allegedly punching a woman in a night club. Lohan was reportedly involved in an accident on Pacific Coast Highway in June in which a Porsche collided with a dump truck. At the time, Lohan told police that she was not driving when the accident occurred, though police involved with the case say they have found evidence that the troubled starlet lied about her involvement. She is being charged in Los Angeles with obstructing an investigation, giving false information to an officer and reckless driving. These charges in particular may land the actress in jail again as she was said to have been on probation at the time of the accident for a 2011 shoplifting conviction. Lohan had already endured multiple stints in jail for violating her probation in that case. As for her nightclub incident in New York City, things appear to be a bit murkier. Lohan is accused to punching a professional palm reader in the face at Club Avenue in the city’s fashionable meatpacking district. Lohan was uninjured in the incident, while no actual injuries were revealed by the alleged victim. According to reports from police, Lohan was sitting inside a black Sport Utility Vehicle when they arrived and she was later arrested around 4 o’clock that morning. She was booked into a local jail on suspicion of third-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor in New York.
After being released from police custody later that morning, Lohan was also seen forcing her long-time friend and personal assistant Gavin Doyle out of her vehicle, in spite of the fact that Doyle claims he was the one to bail her out of jail. Doyle later tweeted that he hoped Lohan gets the help she “so desperately” needs.
The troubled former “Mean Girls” star has had several other run-ins with law enforcement in the New York area recently. In September the actress claimed she was choked by a political aid in a hotel room. In October local law enforcement agents responded to a domestic disturbance call at the home of Dina Lohan, Lindsay’s mother, in Mineola, which is just outside of New York City. It was reportedly a heated argument between mother and daughter in which no injuries were reported. In both cases, no charges were filed and no arrests were made.
Tagged as: assault
A Los Angeles man who was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list was apprehended by local authorities in Mexico last Friday, according to reports. Joe Luis Saenz, who was originally from the Los Angeles area, was apprehended by Mexican Federal Police on Friday in the city of Guadalajara in western Mexico. Saenz got onto the FBI’s infamous Most Wanted List by allegedly committing several violent crimes including multiple murders, rape and kidnapping in both 1998 and 2008. Saenz was sought by American law enforcement authorities after allegedly shooting two members of a rival Los Angeles gang in 1998. Less than two weeks later, Saenz is said to have kidnapped, raped and murdered his ex-girlfriend. Saenz has also been accused of committing a fourth murder, also committed in the Los Angeles area, in 2008. Law enforcement officials had had such little luck in tracking Saenz down and apprehending him that they had been offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and capture. Mexican authorities expect to begin the extradition process this week.
Saenz, along with a now-deceased accomplice, is said to have lured two members of a rival gang into a trap by promising a drug deal. Saenz is then said to have shot both men several times in the Aliso Village area of Boyle Heights. Saenz, who was on parole at the time of the murders, then fled the scene and went into hiding. He is said to have gone to Sigreta Hernandez, his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his two-year-old daughter. Saenz is then said to have kidnapped Hernandez and taken her back to his grandmother’s home in an unincorporated area of East Los Angeles where he allegedly raped her. Hernandez’s half-naked body was found by Saenz’s grandmother with a gunshot wound at the temple. Saenz’s accomplice in the earlier two murders was arrested after an anonymous tip and unexpectedly gave a detailed confession of the crimes. Saenz was then charged with three counts of murder, as well as kidnapping and rape. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but investigators in the case were unable to find any clues as to his whereabouts until a decade later when he was captured on video surveillance footage shooting a known drug smuggler in the head at a home in Whittier after a drug run had been stopped by a Missouri State Trooper. After the 2008 murder, Saenz was thought to have fled to Mexico, where he allegedly worked as an enforcer for a drug cartel and crossed the border into the United States several times using various aliases and fraudulent traveling documents.
The 37-year-old Saenz was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list in 2009.
Tagged as: arrest warrant, gang allegations, kidnapping, Murder, violent crimes defense
Computer software developer John McAfee is being charged with murder according to local reports in Belize. McAfee, who created the anti-virus program that bears his name, is accused of murdering another American ex-patriot by the name of Gregory Faull. According to local law enforcement agents, Faull was found in a pool of his own blood last Saturday at his home in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye off the coast of Belize. Faull, who had worked as a builder from Florida died of a gunshot wound to the head. A computer and a phone were said to have been missing from his home. According to reports, Faull had recently filed a complaint with the local mayor’s office about McAfee claiming the ex-software mogul was exhibiting “roguish” behavior and shooting off guns. The two men reportedly got into a heated argument Saturday before the violence started. Police investigating the case, however, have not released statement as to what they believe the official motive for the crime was. McAfee is said to have fled the scene of the crime and is still being sought by local police on suspicion of murder.
McAfee issued a statement to Wired magazine saying that he fears for his life and has gone into hiding rather than turn himself in to police. The 67-year-old claims local police poisoned his four dogs and had some sort of vendetta against him, though for what, exactly, he did not say. Local police were said to have raided McAfee’s home last April looking for firearms and illegal drugs. By McAfee’s account officers did, indeed, find guns in his home, which he claims were legal. McAfee says he was detained for several hours then released with no criminal charges being filed against him. In spite of the rough treatment McAfee felt he had been subjected to by local police, he still donated weapons and other equipment to local police and even attended a public ceremony with the mayor and police officials just before Faull’s murder.
McAfee has been living in Belize for several years after selling his stake in his software development company in the 1990s for as much as $100 million. The company was sold to Intel in 2010 for $7 billion. There has been speculation in recent years that he had, perhaps, been using illegal drugs. Statements from neighbors claim McAfee was “standoffish” and had been drifting further and further away from friends and family members of late. McAfee told the New York Times in 2009 that he had lost most of his fortune in the financial crisis that afflicted so many others in 2007 and 2008.
Tagged as: firearms crimes, high profile defense, los angeles violent crime defense attorney, Murder, violent crimes defense
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