Monthly Archives: September 2013

Florida Text and Drive Ban Effective Tomorrow

It’s October 1, 2013… new law day! The big one that will affect people is the ban on texting while driving. Everyone be safe out there! Here’s my story on when the law was passed.

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Amanda Knox’s Retrial Began Today

Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox

The retrial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito began today in Italy. Knox was convicted of her roommate’s murder, but that conviction was overturned. The courts then ordered a new trial for she and Sollecito, for which they are not required to attend in person. Another man, Rudy Guede has also been convicted for the murder, and his conviction upheld.

Paul Bergrin Given 6 Life Sentences

Paul Bergrin

Paul Bergrin

Been busy around these parts, and haven’t gotten to keep up on the blog, but this warranted a note. Paul Bergrin, former prosecutor and high-profile defense attorney, was sentenced to life in prison earlier today. Specifically, he was given concurrent life sentences on 6 of the counts, and sentences on the other convictions as well. One life sentence is sufficient, as the Federal system does not allow for parole under such circumstances. Bergrin intends to appeal the convictions.

Barry Bonds Conviction Upheld

The Ninth Circuit Court has upheld the Federal conviction of Barry Bonds for obstruction of justice. Bonds will now have to serve his sentence, which is only some house arrest followed by probation. He was acquitted of related perjury charges. This minor conviction is still notable as one of the few steroid related cases to actually result in a conviction. Most famously, Roger Clemens was acquitted of all charges in the perjury prosecution he faced related to his alleged steroid use.

Just an update on Lenny Dykstra, who wasn’t so lucky and was sentenced to three years in prison… he’s out as of a few weeks ago. Hope Nails can turn it around, but he kind of seems like a jerk.

Busy week at the office, I’ll try to get updates on Gonzalez soon for those who haven’t been able to follow. It didn’t finish today, and will continue into Saturday.

Gonzalez Trial: Defense Points the Finger at Two Unknown Men

Opening statements were yesterday afternoon. As I anticipated, the primary defense will be to challenge the State’s circumstantial case that Gonzalez was the driver. Although the case is circumstantial (no witness saw the collision that killed Tia Poklemba), it is still fairly strong for the state. Ms. Poklemba was seen getting into Gonzalez’s car not long before she was killed. The State says forensics will prove that she was killed by that car, and that he told officers he took her to 7-11 and dropped her off, but video shows nobody getting out of his car there.  Finally; that since Gonzalez fled afterward, leaving his pregnant girlfriend behind, that shows he was guilty. The Defense said there were two more men that got into the car with them, and that those men later forced out Gonzalez, prior to Poklemba’s death. The Defense also challenged the findings of the accident reconstructionist, which they may use to argue that the state cannot prove the intentional act necessary for manslaughter. A true accident won’t be a manslaughter, but could still lead to a conviction for leaving the scene.

Both the Naples News and News Press are live-Tweeting the trial:

@NDN_Victoria and

@MarisaKendall

Jury Selection Underway in Luis Gonzalez Manslaughter Trial

From Wink News. They should be able to select a jury today in the Manslaughter with a Weapon charge against Luis Gonzalez. The State will likely try to use evidence of his flight to Mexico to demonstrate consciousness of guilt. Normally these types of trials last at least a few days. 

No Charges Likely in Zimmerman Domestic Dispute

Police were called to a home in Lake Mary yesterday by George Zimmerman’s wife Shellie, in regards to a domestic dispute of some sort. Mrs. Zimmerman, who recently filed for divorce, made numerous allegations including violence by Mr. Zimmerman toward her father, and allegations that he was threatening both of them with a gun. She can be heard on the 911 call saying that he was putting his hand on the gun. Authorities responded, as did the lawyers, and after conducting an investigation, that included a temporary detention of Mr. Zimmerman, police declined to file any charges.

More details have emerged today. According to police, they did not recover a firearm. Apparently, Mrs. Zimmerman then backed off of that statement and changed her story about what happened. Mr. Zimmerman claimed that she and her father started the fight. Due to the conflict in evidence, law enforcement was unable to determine that a crime occurred. I am reluctantly including the USA Today link today for the updates, because the 911 recording posted there is defamatory to Mr. Zimmerman. Keep in mind that Mrs. Zimmerman is a convicted perjurer.

I encouraged people yesterday not to jump to conclusions. Social media blew up with cracks about Mr. Zimmerman, and firearms, when it turns out that there was no gun involved. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed at the incident, and nobody was hurt. I expect the case report will be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for review, but would not expect charges to be picked up against Mr. Zimmerman. Frankly, in light of the statements made by Mrs. Zimmerman, she could be facing charges for giving false information to the police, which would also violate her probation. Mr. Zimmerman does not wish charges to be filed, and it’s unlikely the State will want to pick it up.