Monthly Archives: January 2013

Hung Jury in Sarah Jones’ Defamation Case

Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones

Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones

The jury deadlocked after their second day of deliberation in the former Bengal cheerleader Sarah Jones’ defamation case against TheDirty.com and it’s owner, Nik Richie. According to wcpo.com, the jury was 9-1 in Jones’ favor, though this would only indicate liability, not what amount would be awarded. I have previously speculated that even if TheDirty is found liable, the 11 million dollars requested seems exhorbitant. Jones’ attorney, Eric Deters, has previoiusly indicated he would try the case again if the jury deadlocked. The results of this trial will have little to no bearing on any retrial of the case.

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Two of Casey Anthony’s Convictions Overturned

Two of the four convictions Ms. Anthony received for lying to police have been thrown out for double jeopardy. The Courts ruled that the state could not convict someone of multiple statements during the same interrogation. Thus the court rejected the theory argued by prosecutor Jeff Ashton in his book, and again by the appellate counsel. The Court also rejected the Defense argument that the interview was single episode. The 5th District Court found that since there were separate interviews, with a significant temporal break between them, that constituted two separate occasions of giving false information. The Court upheld two convictions, and threw out the other two. This doesn’t have a major impact for Ms. Anthony, as she has already served her time for those misdemeanor offenses.

Also, Crimcourts got a chance to watch the movie about Miss Anthony’s case, Prosecuting Casey Anthony, which was based on Jeff Ashton’s book. It was not as one-sided as I was afraid, being based on the prosecutor’s book. Rob Lowe was fine as Ashton, though I have come accustomed to his comedic roles. Oscar Nunez (Oscar from the office) was excellent as Anthony’s attorney Jose Baez… perhaps too polished for Mr. Baez. The movie didn’t capture the tension the case carried in the courtroom. It did show that there was some ambiguity in the evidence but, true to life, Mr. Ashton had his prosecution blinders on. It’s probably only worth watching if you followed the case closely.

http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2013/012113/5D11-2357.op.pdf

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2216088/

Crazy, Naked Guy Freakout in North Fort Myers – Best 911 Call Ever

The story of the naked-man freak out in North Fort Myers (which is very near my neighborhood) made some national news the other day. Gregory Bruni stripped down, ran around on a family’s roof, ran inside freaking out, and was held at gunpoint until the police came. He dumped over a TV, pooped on the floor, and rubbed clothing on himself. At that point, he began pleasuring himself. The police had to taser him when they arrived. 

The 911 call from the incident has now been released, and you can hear it on NBC-2.com. This guy clearly has some mental health issues, and hasn’t even been booked in because he was taken to the hospital. I commend the deputies for recognizing his mental health issues. They suspect he was high on something, but have not determined what it was. This guy was bath salts-level crazy. He will be charged with Burglary, Criminal Mischief, Battery, and Resisting an Officer. There may be a proof problem, if he was so crazy as to not understand what was going on. He potentially could argue insanity. It sounds like this guy needs help more than he needs jail, I was unable to find any prior record on him here or in Sarasota County where he apparently is from. Go listen to the 911 call on the link. Only in Florida.

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/20649108/naked-assailant-terrorizes-nfm-family

Sarah Jones’ Defamation Case Goes to Jury – UPDATE

Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones

The jury is now deliberating whether TheDirty.com is liable for defamation for the posts about her. She is seeking $11 million in damages. The jury could be back this afternoon, or it could continue late this evening or even another day.

http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/news/local_news/day-2-ex-bengals-cheerleader-sarah-jones-lawsuit-trial-with-thedirtycom

UPDATE: The jury has not reached a verdict today, and has broken for the night. They will be back to deliberate tomrrow:
 

Paul Bergerin Trial Underway

New Jersey attorney Paul Bergrin’s second trial for murder, plus racketeering and other charges, is underway. Mr. Bergrin continues to represent himself, and vehemently denied the charges in his opening statement. The prosecutor had gotten the new judge on the case to try 26 counts at the same time, and came out firing in his opening statement, as well. He is alleging that Bergrin was using his practice as a racketeering enterprise, and calls Bergrin a “drug dealer, a pimp, and a murderer.” The primary charges are for murder, alleging that Mr. Bergrin arranged for hits on key witnesses against his clients. He also allegedly was involved in drug trafficking and running a call-girl ring.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/Opening_statements_heard_in_murder-racketeering_trial_of_attorney_Paul_Bergrin.html

Sarah Jones’s Civil Trial Continues

Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones

Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones

TheDirty.com blogger known as Nik Richie testified today, as did Ms. Jones. Regardless whether he is liable for the comments of others, Ms. Jones will have a difficult time proving damages, as today she testified that she did not lose either job after the post was made. She is almost certainly a public figure, providing Mr. Richie more leeway for commentary, and a higher burden on her to prove her case. Also, she could come across as greedy for asking for 11 million dollars. She may be entitled to some money for the harm to her reputation, but not 11 million dollars. This case is essentially unrelated to her criminal case for sleeping with her student.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hCLTt20ZBaZYIkWx8VESOfSm0Mfw?docId=1d5dbc68661a4eeaaa955d47de1141ad

The Voice of ‘Charlie Brown’ is Facing Felony Stalking Charges

Sadly, the first thing that popped into my mind when I heard that the man who had voiced Charlie Brown in several of the classic TV specials had been arrested for stalking was, “Was it the little red-haired girl?” What a horrible thing to think, and no, it was not even a romantic-related stalking issue. He is charged with threatening a police office, a doctor, and two others with death. So far, there are not many more details available. Weird.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/23/showbiz/charlie-brown-actor-arrested/index.html?hpt=hp_bn9