Vanessa Barcelo, the 2017 Miss Miami Lakes that competed in the Miss Florida pageant, had been charged with battery from an incident that occurred at a party at her home several months ago. She hosted a party to promote her baking business, One Love Cakes, and her cousin over-indulged. She and other party-goers became concerned that the DJ was going to take advantage of the cousin, and grouped together to escort him out. That’s when the real trouble started…
Vanessa Barcelo, via facebook
Barcelo said she took an aluminum baseball bat and brandished it to intimidate the DJ, though she never touched him. She says he proceeded to grab the bat out of her hand and swing it around, before he handed it to a community security guard. A friend of Barcelo’s then struck the DJ, knocking him to the ground, at which point Barcelo jumped on top of him and slapped him. She testified in court that she did not know if he still had the bat, and she was afraid for herself and her guests. The court found her actions to be reasonable, and dismissed the battery charges against her.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law gives the Defendant a chance to have their charges dismissed at a hearing prior to having to go to trial. Governor Scott recently signed a new law that shifts the burden to the State to demonstrate they are justified in going forward at that hearing, a change opposed by prosecutors, for obvious reasons. A judge in Miami found the law change to be unconstitutional, but that won’t affect other cases until it is subject to appellate review.
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida, Miami / South Florida, Stand Your Ground
Tagged baseball, battery, miami, miami lakes, self defense, stand your ground, vanessa barcelo, weirdbattery
O.J. Simpson was granted parole at his Nevada DOC hearing yesterday. He has to stay in custody until October, and will continue to be supervised when he’s released. Regular readers of this blog were not surprised at the result, as I’ve stated for months that he was likely to be granted parole, based on his past track record. The next big question is where he’s going to go, with some friends speculating he may move here to Southwest Florida. He was a Florida resident for years prior to being incarcerated, as Florida provides homestead protection so it’s difficult to take someone’s house away, for instance when they have a large civil judgment against them, as O.J. does for the civil suit finding him responsible for the deaths of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.
OJ Simpson, via NV DOC
Tomorrow the State of Nevada will hold a parole hearing for O.J. Simpson, who’s been incarcerated there since he was convicted of an armed robbery in Las Vegas in 2008. He was previously granted parole on some other charges, but the more serious charges were not eligible until this year. Since he was successful at the last hearing, there is a good chance he will be granted parole this time, which should allow his release in October. He’s apparently even telling friends that he feels good about his chances.
Interstingly, even the victims support his release. One of them already passed away, but his family indicates that the would have supported his release, and the surviving victim indicates he has forgiven Simpson and feels he’s served enough time. In a crazy anecdote, a former prison guard recounts that OJ nearly got written up for an illicit cookie, which could have derailed his parole chances.
Cape Coral announced they will be conducting a high-visibility DUI operation tonight. They plan to be out in force and looking for impaired drivers to bust. Part of the purpose of these operations is to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, and to remind everyone to stay safe!
Tails Seized by Monroe SO
A Miami man caught with a bunch of undersized lobster tails was arrested and given bond totaling 1.4 million dollars in Monroe County. Now, to be sure, he got caught with a lot (246) of undersized lobsters, and he has actually been caught stealing undersized lobsters before, so this isn’t his first rodeo. Still, a bond as high as the annual salary for an NFL player might be a little on the high side.
Unless this guy, Jorge Vargas, has massive independent wealth (which I doubt, since he’s stealing seafood), this is essentially a no bond hold. The court is directed to take into account a lot of things when setting bond, including his means to pay, his likelihood of showing up to court dates (he’s apparently missed them before), the threat to the community, and prior record. While his record of similar offenses, and especially if he’s missed a court date on criminal charges, would suggest a higher bond, that is an awful lot of zeros to put up there on a fish case. To be entitled to a no bond hold (pretrial detention without bond), the state has to make a showing of the strength of their case, and why no bond could protect the community. There’s no indication that this guy is violent or anything like that, so the bond is likely too high under Florida law.
This case may be ripe for a habeas corpus, essentially an appeal to the higher court to order the lower court to reevaluate the bond on the case. Even if he gets the bond lowered, it will still be relatively high due to his record, and the volume of lobster he had taken. And even if he can post bond, that’s just to assure his presence in court… he may be facing some substantial incarceration if he is ultimately convicted of 246 counts of possession of undersized lobsters!