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Each lawyer in this firm has more than 25 years experience practicing criminal defense in Gainesville, Florida and surrounding areas, including Alachua, Levy, Bradford, Union and Gilchrist Counties.

(352) 378-1107

1800 N. Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32609
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Blog and News

"Current news and information concerning criminal law"

Trayvon Martin & The Rise Of A Lynch Mob Mentality

I suppose I should not write this.  I suppose I should just go with the flow created by the apparent overwhelming ground swell of the media and popular outrage over the Sanford Police Department’s failure to arrest George Zimmerman on a murder charge.  As a criminal defense attorney that knows well that the police are not only fallible but also capable of outright dishonesty, I still feel the need to speak in opposition to the idea that we can know with certainty the facts of this investigation by reading news reports or listening to popular media accounts.  As my friends and associates lineup on Facebook acknowledging that they have signed a petition essentially demanding that Zimmerman be immediately arrested, I can’t help but smell a lynch mob mentality that causes me to step back and urge caution.

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Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Arrests More Than 20 People In Internet Sting Operation

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with several other local law enforcement agencies, has arrested at least twenty different individuals for utilizing various Internet social meeting sites to allegedly attempt communication with a person believed to be a minor regarding sexual activity.   No actual children were involved - only adult law enforcement officers posing as minors.  The Gainesville television station WCJB reports that one of those arrested was an elementary school teacher.  This blog will not report the names of those arrested as all are presumed innocent.

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January 30, 1956, Martin Luther King Jr’s Home Bombed In Montgomery, Alabama - Today in Crime History

On this day, January 30, in the year 1956, the home of Reverend Martin Luther King was bombed in Montgomery, Alabama.  To this day no person has ever been prosecuted for this violent criminal act.

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U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Backs Privacy Rights In GPS Tracking Case

In a rare unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled on January 23, 2012, in U.S. v Antoine Jones,  that attaching a GPS device to a suspect’s vehicle is a search under the Fourth Amendment.   In one of the first major cases to test constitutional privacy rights in the digital age, the court ruled that police must obtain a search warrant before attaching a GPS tracker to a vehicle in a criminal investigation.

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January 18, 1981, Plasmatics’ Wendy O. Williams Arrested For Obscenity - Today In Crime History

On this day, January 28, in the year 1981, Plasmatics band member Wendy O. Williams was arrested on an obscenity charge for allegedly simulating a sexual act with a sledge hammer.  During her physical arrest, Williams was injured and was also charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.

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January 17, 1989, Patrick Purdy Kills Five School Children, Wounds Thirty Others - Today In Crime History

On this day, January 17, in the year 1989, at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California, Patrick Purdy shot and killed five schoolchildren, and wounded 29 other children and one teacher, before committing suicide.  This event became known as the Cleveland School massacre.

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Did You Know Florida Cops Can Stop Your Vehicle For Drinking A Beverage In A Paper Bag?

At least one Florida Appellate Court has ruled that it is lawful to stop a vehicle because the driver was seen drinking a beverage in a paper bag.

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January 12, 1991, Reverend Al Sharpton Stabbed While Protesting - Today In Crime History

On this day, January 12, in the year 1991, civil rights activist Al Sharpton was stabbed while leading a protest.  The attacker, Michael Riccardi, would later be convicted and sentenced to prison.

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January 11, 1794, Robert Forsyth Becomes 1st U.S. Marshal Killed In Line Of Duty - Today In Crime History

On this day, January 11, in the year 1794, Robert Forsyth became the first U.S. Marshal killed in the line of duty.

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January 10, 1994, Lorena Bobbitt’s Trial For Severing Husband’s Penis Begins - Today In Crime History

On this day, January 10, in the year 1994, Lorena Bobbitt's jury trial for cutting her husband’s penis off began.  She would ultimately be found not guilty by reason of insanity. 

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Jan 9, 1979, Supreme Court Strikes Law Requiring Abortion Doctors Preserve Fetus' Life - Today In Crime History

On this date, January 9, in the year 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Pennsylvania law that subjected abortion providers to criminal sanctions if they failed to attempt to preserve the life of a fetus when there is "sufficient reason to believe that the fetus may be viable" or when the fetus “is viable.”

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January 6, 1909, Young Afro-American, Arthur Davis, Lynched For Injuring Mule - Today In Crime History

On this day, January 6, in the year 1909, a young Afro-American, Arthur Davis, was lynched in Florence, South Carolina, for injuring a mule owned by a prominent white family.

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January 5, 1968, Dr. Benjamin Spock Indicted For Conspiracy To Aid Draft Dodgers - Today In Crime History

On this day, January 5, in the year 1968, a federal grand jury indicted child psychologist Dr. Benjamin Spock and four others for conspiring to aid draft dodgers.  Spock was tried and convicted, but his conviction was later overturned on appeal.

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January 4, 1923, White Mob Destroys Small Black Community In Rosewood, Florida - Today In Crime History

On this date, January 4, in the year 1923, a white vigilante mob began a two day rampage, resulting in the burning and dislocation of the small Afro-American community of Rosewood Florida.

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January 3, 1967, Beach Boy Carl Wilson Becomes A Draft Dodger - Today In Crime History

On this day, January 3, in the year 1967, Carl Dean Wilson, of the band the “Beach Boys,” refused to be drafted for military service, leading to his indictment and criminal prosecution for draft evasion.

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January 2, 1932, Two Brothers Kill Six Police Officers Near Brookline, Missouri - Today In Crime History

On this date, January 2, in the year 1932, two brothers, Harry and Jennings Young, killed six law enforcement officers who were trying to arrest them just outside Brookline, Missouri.  Known as the “Young Brothers Massacre,” it was the worst single gun battle killing of U.S. police officers in the 20th century.

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December 30, 1994, Abortion Foe John Salvi Attacks Clinics in Brookline, MA, Killing Two - Today In Crime History

On this day, December 30, in the year 1994, John Salvi, III, carried out fatal attacks at two Planned Parenthood reproductive health clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts.  During the attacks he shot and killed two receptionists and wounded five other individuals.

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December 29, 1975, Bomb Explodes At La Guardia Airport Killing 11, Injuring 74 - Today In Crime History

On December 29, 1975, a bomb, with the blasting capacity of 25 sticks of dynamite, exploded in the main terminal at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 and injuring 74 others.  The explosive device had been placed in a coin operated locker near a luggage pickup carousel.

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December 28, 1987, Ronald Simmons Kills 2, Later 14 Bodies Of Relatives Discovered, Today In Crime History

On this day, December 28, in the year 1987, Ronald Gene Simmons shot and killed two people and wounded three others in the course of a shooting rampage in the town of Russellville, Arkansas.  After police apprehended Simmons, they searched his home in nearby Dover, Arkansas, and discovered the bodies of 14 members of Simmons' family, all of whom had been murdered.

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Jury Power: Under Attack

A recent N.Y. Times editiorial exposes how prosecutors are charging a retired chemistry professor with jury tampering as a result of him handing out pamphlets providing information on the historical doctrine of jury nullification.

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