Monthly Archives: November 2013

O.J. Simpson’s Motion for New Trial Denied

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

Months after the hearing on Simpson’s request for a new trial in his robbery convictions, the court issued a ruling denying his motion. He will appeal this ruling, but it is an even longer shot that an appellate court will overturn this type of decision. The article doesn’t give much detail on the ruling, merely that the judge found overwhelming evidence of his guilt. That’s not usually the standard for a motion for new trial, but that may just be that the report seized on that colorful language. I am not able to tell how sound the ruling is, but it is definitely a blow for O.J.’s attempt to get out of his robbery conviction.

Friday Fun: Update on Jill and Kent Easter

  • Update on the California attorney-couple that allegedly tried to frame PTA volunteer from their kids school
  • Jill Easter pled guilty to false imprisonment
  • Kent Easter went to trial this week

Jill and Kent Easter

Jill and Kent Easter were charged with planting drugs in the vehicle of a volunteer at the school their kid attended, apparently due to some earlier beef with her. I have to again commend the excellent work of the police department, who saw through the hoax, and pursued the frame job, instead of doing the easy thing and arresting the lady with drugs in her car. Kent Easter allegedly was caught on video using a pay phone to call in the car to cops, who located drugs. Not only were the couple both attorneys, Jill Easter had published a crime novel under the name Ava Bjork: a suspense story about the perfect crime.

Jill Easter recently pled out to a single charge of false imprisonment, for which she will serve about 120 days of a year long sentence. Kent Easter took his case to trial this week, alleging that he was a pushover and a cuckold, and for the jury to feel sorry for him. Well, he alleged that Jill did the planting, and made him call without telling him she had planted drugs in the car. He claims she took his phone, which is why it pinged in the area of the car when the drugs were planted, and that she had always worn the pants in the family, and that she was cheating on him again at the time of the offense. Something worked, as the jury could not reach a unamimous verdict, and a mistrial was declared yesterday. He faces a possible retrial in the coming weeks. OC Weekly’s summation is excellent.

George Zimmerman Is in Trouble Again : Update

CBS is reporting Zimmerman has been arrested following a disturbance at his home: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57612824-504083/george-zimmerman-arrested-following-disturbance-at-fla-home/

George Zimmerman, 11/18/13

George Zimmerman, 11/18/13

UPDATE: CNN is reporting that the arrest is for pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend. Aggravated Assault with a firearm carries a 3 year mandatory minimum sentence in Florida. The cases are notoriously hard to prove, as they are often he said/she said scenarios with little physical evidence. There is also a criminal mischief charge (destruction of property), but there are not any facts available yet. 

Spencer Cordell, Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Attorney Spencer Cordell, B.C.S.

Attorney Spencer Cordell, B.C.S.

Melissa Webb Guilty of Murdering Boyfriend : Stand Your Ground Defense Falls Short

Melissa Webb

Melissa Webb

Melissa Webb was found guilty of second degree murder yesterday by a Lee County jury. Her former boyfriend, Bryan Sorrendino, was found dead in the woods in Charlotte County. Over the following weeks, Webb made admissions regarding shooting him to people, and she was charged in the murder. It’s rather unusual for a woman to kill a man, and I am unaware of any history of violence for either she or the victim, though they both have criminal histories, including drug charges.

The Defense argued self-defense, and filed a Stand Your Ground immunity motion. They alleged that Webb felt her life was in danger. They claimed in the motion that Sorrendino pulled the gun on Webb, and he slipped and she was able to get the gun from him. They claimed she only shot him because she was afraid he was going to get his shotgun to kill her. She first made the claim in a motion to dismiss under stand your ground, but the judge found that she didn’t meet her burden and denied the motion. The same defense was used at trial, and the jury didn’t buy it, either. The fact that she took great lengths to hide the body in the woods in another county certainly affected her credibility with the jury. She faces life in prison, and a 25-year minimum sentence under 10/20/Life. She definitely has an appellate issue that there is only circumstantial evidence to rebut her claims of self-defense, as the only other witness is deceased.

Lee County Man Named to US Marshals’ Most Wanted List

Wesnel Isaac

Wesnel Isaac

Long a resident of the Lee County Sheriff’s  most wanted, former Lee County resident Wesnel Isaac has been added to the US Marshal’s 15 most wanted list of fugitives around the country. With the designation comes an increased reward of $26,000. Isaac was thought to have fled to his native Haiti, but may have returned. One of the co-defendants from the triple homicide did manage to leave the country, only to be caught sneaking back in from Mexico. Loubert Jules was convicted of 3 counts of murder, and sentenced to life in prison. The other two co-defendants in that case were given lesser sentenced in exchange for their agreed cooperation, including testimony in Jules’ trial. Isaac remains at large, and is considered armed and very dangerous.

Wesnel Isaac Wanted Poster

Florida Couple Charged with Robbing 15 Banks

Immanuel Williams

Immanuel Williams

Cara Williams

Cara Williams

This Florida couple, Immanual Williams and Cara Lee Williams, has been accused of robbing 15 banks, mostly around Florida, including one here in Southwest Florida. They allegedly hit the Edison Bank near Bell Tower Shops back in August. They face federal robbery charges, and were tracked by their cell phone use.