Articles Posted in Celebrity Justice

From USA Today online, the Washington Huskies star tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, was suspended from the football team after his weekend DUI arrest.

According to head coach Steve Sarkisian, the football star will be immediately suspended from all team activities while the university completes its investigation. This most likely means that Mr. Seferian-Jenkins will not be able to finish spring football.

After Tuesday practice, head coach Steve Sarkisian released a brief statement. Sarkisian said the university “will make the decisions necessary based on our team rules and our school’s policies that are fair to him and fair to us, and we will move forward and we will support him,”

According to the Seattle police, the suspect was involved in a one-car accident Saturday night. Officers found the suspect outside his car, disheveled, with a bloody nose and he showed signs of being impaired. He was then arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Austin made second-team All-PAC Ten honors last year after his 69-catch, 850 yard performance. Only a junior, he is already his school’s all-time reception leader for tight ends. He is also a finalist for the Mackey award, given annually to the nation’s top tight end.

As of the time of this writing, Austin’s punishment is unknown. However it is a safe bet that he will be on the field August for his team opener.
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A late breaking story on ABC news, former soccer goalie and sex symbol Hope Solo was a victim of domestic violence from her boyfriend/fiance, former NFL bad boy Jerramy Stevens.

According to public sources, the former Seattle Seahawk’s tight end was arrested the day before the couples wedding on suspicion of assault. A Kirkland county Judge later released Mr. Stevens, saying their was not enough evidence to hold him. For her part, Hope Solo arrived in court but did not say a word, leaving before talking to the Judge or the press. Per the police, charges may be brought at a later time as more evidence develops.

The athletic couple, who had been dating for two months, had allegedly gotten into an arguement about whether to live in Florida or Washington.Police in the Seattle suburb arrived at the couple’s house around 3:45 a.m. on a call of a domestic disturbance.

Per the police report, there were several intoxicated people at the party and no one would cooperate with the police. The ex-NFL player was determined to be the guilty party based on circumstantial evidence and Hope Solo appeared to have a cut on her elbow, leading to the domestic assault charges. Jerramy Stevens also admitted to the police he was fighting with Ms. Solo and blood was found on his shirt. Hope Solo’s brother told police that there was a disturbance at the party started by several unknown men who left before the police arrived.

Besides Hope, another woman was taken to the hospital with a hip injury and a man had several cuts and bruises on his body.

This arrest is just the latest set back for Jerramy Stevens. The former first-round draft pick had one or two good seasons but is widly considered a bust, both on and off the field. He first received negative attention when he was charged with reckless driving for crashing into a nursing home!

He then began a whirlwind of arrests including a DUI charge in Arizona and another reckless driving.

His most recent arrest took place in 2010 while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was arrested for possession of marijuana the night before a game and was immediately kicked off the team. Continue reading

Singer and “The Voice” judge Cee Lo Green has been accused of sexual assault according to TMZ.

An unamed source claims that the woman, who has been dating Cee Lo Green (real name Thomas DeCarlo Callaway) has filed a complaint with the Los Angeles police department. The LAPD has taken the allegations seriously, going to a downtown L.A. restaurant where the crime allegedly occured and interviewing several of the wait staff.

The singer has denied the allegations, calining he has not been to the restaurant in months and nothing tokk place “there or anywhere else”.

It was only a few months ago when we last wrote of Bobby Brown’s DUI case. At the time, he was saying all the right things about getting better and how this had changed him. Now according to an article in the Mercury news, it looks like the former lead singer of “New Edition” and the ex of the late Whitney Houston has gotten himself in another DUI jam…

It appears that Bobby Brown was arrested for the second time this year for a potential Driving Under the Influence charge. The singer was pulled over in Los Angeles police pulled over the singer early Wednesday morning due to his driving pattern. He showed signs of impairment (which is police talk for things such as smell of alcohol on his person or breath, bloodshot, watery eyes among other “signs”). He was then taken to jail and was released. This is sad for Mr. Brown as he had just pled no contest to a DUI in March of this year and vowed to go to a rehabilitation clinic (obviously with mixed results).In Florida, laws governing drinking and driving can be very complicated. As Pinellas DUI lawyers, we have dealt with 1000s of these cases. In this state, statute 316.193 describes the act and punishment for drinking and driving. A quick look shows that the punishments can be VERY severe. For instance, If Booby Brown received this last DUI in Florida, he would be looking at a MINIMUM mandatory of 10 days in jail and up to one year in county lock up! There would also be a hefty fine, a mandatory drivers license suspension (five years) and possible probation.

In Florida, you can also get felony charges depending on the amount of prior convictions for driving under the influence you may have. A common misconception is that driving felonies are reserved for crimes such as vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter. In reality, if you have three DUIs in 10 years or four (or more) overall, you are looking at a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison! Something to think about before people decline a cab at the next party…
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After a domestic battery allegation in Florida, former NFL player and reality show “star” Chad Johnson has finalized his divorce per an article from The Washington Post.

The former wide receiver finalized his divorce from fellow reality TV star Evelyn Lozada just a month after his arrest on a domestic battery charge against her.

The Ex- Pro Bowler was competing in the Miami Dolphins training camp for a roster spot when Ms. Lozada accused him of battery against her during an arguement over his alleged infidelity. The Dolphins immediately cut the ageing athlete and the former stand out for the Cinncinnatti Bengals has yet to find a football home. In a TV interview Jonson, who is still facing a misdeameanor battery charge, has claimed he is now taking anger management classes.Johnson’s Florida criminal defense lawyer said the divorce was covered by a confidential prenuptial agreement. Chad Johnson, in turn, has become more introspective. He has legally changed his last name back to Johnson from his previous tongue-in-cheek “Ochocinco” and has claimed remorse.

“Chad has to work on Chad,” he says. “Chad has to go deep down inside and figure out where he went wrong. At what point did you lose focus on what’s most important? Like especially the game of football. . At some point I had drifted off track away from that and being one of the best at what I do.”This latest domestic battery allegation could not have come at a worse time for Johnson’s fading career. He had a very disappointing year with the Patriots in 2011 and was not a lock to make the Dolphins roster, even before his arrest.
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South Florida rapper Flo Rida has entered into a deal in his DUI arrest on Miami Beach in June that will net him no jail time.According to Flo Rida’s attorney Daniel Lurvey, the rapper was allowed to enroll in the “Back On Track” program for first-time offenders. The program requires participants to perform community service and take classes. Flo Rida will also have to pay fees and court costs.

If completed, Flo Rida, whose real name is Tramar Dillard, will have his DUI charge amended to Reckless Driving with a “withhold of adjudication.” He will have no points on his license and could be eligible to have his arrest and criminal records Sealed.Dillard was charged with DUI and Driving with a Suspended License June 9 while in his 2008 Bugatti on the 500 block of Washington Avenue.While Dillard was being given a sobriety test, a crowd gathered, some asking that the police let Dillard go, others offering to give him a ride home.

Casey Anthony’s defense team has announced that they will be appealing her four (4) Misdemeanor convictions from her recent First Degree Murder trial.

Friday morning, Casey’s defense attorneys filed their Notice of Appeal for the four (4) counts of misleading law enforcement, for which she was convicted by the same jury that acquitted her of First Degree Murder.It was almost three (3) years ago that Casey told Orange County deputies the following:

(1) That she worked at Universal Orlando Resort in 2008,
(2) That she left Caylee with a babysitter named Zenaida Gonzalez,
(3) That she told Jeffrey Hopkins and Juliette Lewis that Caylee was missing,
(4) That she spoke to Caylee on the phone on July 15, 2008.

Casey was charged and convicted of a separate count for each of the above false statements. She was fined the maximum $1,000 for each count, totaling $4,618 after court costs.Judge Belvin Perry also sentenced Casey to a total of four (4) years in jail, which has already been shortened based on the time she has spent behind bars (awaiting trial), and her good behavior in jail. Casey is due to be released Sunday.

From a strategic standpoint, an appeal could have a huge effect on Casey’s civil case involving Zenaida Gonzalez, which took a bizarre turn Friday morning after a quick end to an emergency hearing.

Once the appeal is formally filed, she can legitimately assert her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in any deposition or interrogation until the appeal is exhausted!

As far as Casey is concerned, there is no downside to this legal maneuver. If she loses the appeal, she will still be released from jail on Sunday. She cannot be punished for appealing.Another bright move by her defense team to, once again, protect her from having to tell the truth about what happened to her daughter Caylee.
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Flavor Flav — real name William Jonathan Drayton Jr. — was arrested in Las Vegas last Friday after a routine traffic stop resulted in police officers finding four (4) warrants out for his arrest. The rapper took to Twitter on Monday to tell his side of the story.Drayton was pulled over by police at 10:57 p.m. Friday for a routine Traffic Violation east of the Las Vegas Strip. When an officer ran his name through the system, the warrants came up; he was arrested and taken to jail, where he was booked, got his mug shot taken and was eventually released, TMZ reported.

The 52-year-old Public Enemy alum’s four (4) separate misdemeanor traffic warrants include driving without proof of insurance, a parking violation and two (2) cases of driving without a license.It was unclear when the warrants were issued, the Las Vegas Sun reported. But in 2002, Drayton served nine (9) weeks at Rikers Island Jail in New York for various auto-related violations including Driving with a Suspended License (DWLSR), numerous parking tickets and being late for meetings with his probation officer.

The VH1 reality television star known for wearing quirky sunglasses and a clock around his neck aired his version of events online Monday, tweeting that he was on his way home from Benihana’s when he was pulled over.

The widely-reported case against former Speaker of the House Ray Sansom came to an abrupt end on Friday when State prosecutors dropped all criminal charges.

In a dramatic end to a Jury Trial nearly two (2) years in the making, criminal charges against Sansom were dropped, in Court, Friday after prosecutors said a judge limited evidence of an alleged Conspiracy to get $6 million in state funding for an airport building a developer wanted to use.Flanked by friends and his lawyers, Sansom, 48, said it was vindication.

“First I want to thank God,” he said, then praised his attorneys. “When I first met with them, they said ‘Ray, the truth will set you free’ and we saw that today.”

Asked if he would have done anything differently, Sansom replied, “absolutely not.”

Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs also dropped the case against Sansom’s co-defendant, developer Jay Odom. Both men had been charged with Grand Theft and Conspiracy to Commit Grand Theft. According to the prosecution, the $6 million was steered to Northwest Florida State College, where Sansom took a job (coincidentally) on the same day he was sworn in as speaker of the Florida House in 2008 .Sansom and Odom agreed to pay about $103,000 each to Northwest Florida State College — two-thirds of the amount the college spent on planning the airport building. The trustees scrapped the project after Grand Jury indictments were handed down in April 2009 and then-Governor Charlie Crist asked for the money back.

The State’s case unraveled on the fifth day of Sansom’s Jury Trial, just before a lunch break.

The jury was out and defense lawyers raised objections to testimony State Attorney Meggs planned to introduce to establish a Conspiracy. He was going to bring up a key witness, former college president Bob Richburg, who was also criminally charged but two (2) weeks ago agreed to testify (otherwise known as “snitch”) against Sansom and Odom.

Richburg, Meggs later said, would have described conversations with Sansom and Odom about the airport project prior to Sansom getting the money. Meggs also planned to introduce e-mails showing conversations about the building.

But the defense mounted a challenge, saying the state had to prove there was an illegal agreement.

“There’s no evidence of conspiracy because there’s no evidence of an illegal agreement,” attorney Larry Simpson said.

After a lengthy discussion, Circuit Judge Terry Lewis said, “I don’t think you have enough to show a conspiracy.” He said several college employees and an architect said they were aware of the private use.

Meggs had argued that college trustees did not (two testified during the trial) and neither did other legislators.

But if he could not lay the ground for the conspiracy — the planning for a hangar and attempts to conceal its nature that he said were clear before Sansom got the money — Meggs said his case was damaged.

What’s more, Meggs said he was limited because the proposed jury instructions would have said, “the passage of legislation, including an appropriations bill, by itself, cannot constitute theft by any of the defendants.”

So during lunch, Meggs offered “a plea deal” to both defendants. He would drop the charges if they agreed to wrongdoing, did community service and paid restitution (otherwise known as buying their way out of the criminal charges?).In the end, Sansom and Odom only agreed to pay the money, and Sansom’s attorney, Steve Dobson, said his client resisted that as well. Sansom blamed Meggs and the news media.

Dobson declared, “They were not guilty.”

Meggs maintained there was wrongdoing and attributed the defeat to “fundamental” differences in understanding of conspiracy law with Lewis.

“I agree the State was not able to carry its burden of establishing a conspiracy with the court,” Meggs said. “And so if I can’t establish a conspiracy with the court before the appropriation, I can’t get in statements of co-conspirators after the appropriation. And that’s what all our evidence is about, is what they did after the appropriation was put into place.”

The trial started Monday and more than a dozen witnesses had testified for the State of Florida, leading up to its primary witness, Richburg, who agreed March 11 to testify for the prosecution (“turn State’s evidence”).

Meggs had argued that the three (3) men worked together to accomplish Odom’s goal of getting an airplane hangar then worked to conceal it as an educational facility, contending that college officials scrambled to find a use for the building and even then planned to use half of the space. Meggs presented documents and testimony showing the bulk was for a hangar.

Noting that Meggs first charged the men with Official Misconduct then changed it to Grand Theft after the charges were mostly gutted in court, Dobson said, “I would say the state attorney lost big time.”

As if this wasted prosecution hasn’t cost the citizens of the State of Florida enough already, Florida law allows a public official who is charged with a crime to seek payment of legal fees if he’s not convicted when the charges arose from his public duties. Dobson said he plans to seek payment from the Legislature.

Dobson said he did not know yet what the total fees would be but “because of Mr. Meggs’ dogged pursuit, it’s going to be big.”

Federal investigators have been looking at some aspect of Sansom and Odom’s dealings (an FBI agent sat in on some of the depositions of witnesses in the state case). Asked about that, Dobson said “if they are charged in Federal Court, we’ll fight that, too. If I am retained.”

I particularly love how that last quote was quickly modified…
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