Monthly Archives: February 2014

Personal Breathalyzers

A rough comparison of a personal breathalyzer and one from the police:
Note, cops in Florida don’t give you the option to blow until you’re already incarcerated. Don’t drink and drive, even the law enforcement machines have reliability issues.


No Verdict Yet for Michael Dunn

The jury is still out in the ‘loud music shooting’ case. They will continue to deliberate, starting today at 9:00 a.m. in addition to the 1st degree murder charge, there are several lesser offenses and attempted murder charges for the other boys in the truck. The first degree murder charge is probably a reach, any premeditation was minimal at best. If the prosecutor tries to oversell the case, they lose credibility on the lesser charges. That may help Dunn’s attorney on his self-defense claim. This is the same prosecutor that overcharged on the George Zimmerman.
Un fortunately, I wil be out of town this weekend, so I may not get to comment right away when the verdict comes in.

Jury is Still Out on Michael Dunn

Accused killer Michael Dunn mug shot

Accused killer Michael Dunn mug shot

Closing statements were yesterday, and the jury broke for the night, to continue deliberations today for Michael Dunn, accused of murder and three attempted murders in the so-called loud music shooting.

Friday Fun: Amazing Attorney Commercial that ran During Super Bowl

Jamie Casino

Jamie Casino

If you haven’t seen Savannah, Georgia personal injury attorney Jamie Casino’s crazy 2-minute commercial yet, you should immediately go check it out. It only ran in the local market, but has garnered national attention for how over the top it is. Also, it’s pretty well done. It looks like a full Hollywood movie trailer: and something I’d go see.

A lot is unexplained: why is he trashing defense work? Is it ethical to refer to your clients as cold-hearted villains? Apparently he still does defense work, per one of the commenters where I first saw the story, on Deadspin. Look closely for the personal attacks on the police chief. And, why does he vandalize he brother’s grave. This ad couldn’t run in Florida per our bar rules. Consider yourselves lucky, Georgia, and we can all appreciate the over-the-top “art” that is this commercial!


Accused Child Molester Lives Next to School, on Church Property

Robert Little Mug Shot

Robert Little Mug Shot

74-year-old Robert Little is out on bond facing charges for Lewd or Lascivious Behavior with a minor. It has been discovered that he is living right by a school in Fort Myers. The Church that owns the property can’t just kick him out, as he has a valid lease. He would not be allowed to live so close to a school if he ends up being convicted of a sex-related offense, but right now, he has not been convicted of anything. Little reportedly admitted to inappropriate touching, and doing so in the past to other children. Though Little is out on bond, he is also on electronic monitoring so authorities can track his whereabouts at all times.

Michael Dunn’s Murder Trial is Under Way

Accused killer Michael Dunn mug shot

Accused killer Michael Dunn mug shot

After three days of jury selection, opening statements were today in the first degree murder trial of Michael Dunn. It’s being referred to as the Loud Music Murder, as Dunn’s complaint about loud music being played by the alleged victim, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, and his friends precipitated the congrontation. What happened next is up for debate, and how much proof the state can provide regarding the next moments will decide the case. The state says Dunn became incensed from the disagreement about the bass, and intentionally shot at the car with the young men. Dunn claims that he was afraid for his life, thought he saw a weapon, and was justified in firing to protect himself.

It sounds like there are some inconsistencies in the witnesses’ different telling of events, which is a hurdle for the state to overcome. No weapon was ever found, which hurts the Defendant’s story. It should be noted that there would have been time for the young men to have disposed of a weapon, or that Dunn could have been afraid for his life if he thought there was a firearm. Still, without a gun, it will be hard for the defense to convince a jury that Dunn was justified in shooting the young man. Also, he drove several miles to his hotel, and never contacted police.

The story has gained national attention due to the similarities to the George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin case. As in Zimmerman’s defense, a white man shot and killed a young black man. It happened in the same region of Florida, and this case is being handled by prosecutor Angela Corey,

State Attorney Angela Corey

State Attorney Angela Corey

who oversaw the prosecution of Zimmerman. This is also a self-defense case, and no motion to dismiss has been filed under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. That’s the Stand Your Ground Motion that people often think of, though Zimmerman’s defense did not argue it, either. Dunn will be helped by the law, because another provision removed the ‘duty to retreat’ requirement. If Dunn was in reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm, he is allowed to use deadly force. He does not have to try to get away under Florida law. It will be up to the jury to determine whether his stated fear was reasonable.

More details on the case can be found on our earlier post, or click the Michael Dunn tag for the full Crimcourts treatment.

FDLE Analyst May Have Been Stealing Evidence, Hundreds of Cases Called into Question

It was recently revealed that a chemist (in the drug unit) at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) may have been stealing the drugs he was paid to test. Further analysis revealed that the actual drugs in several cases were missing, replaced by over-the-counter pills. Joseph Graves, the subject of the investigation, has since resigned his post and invoked his right to remain silent. The evidence so far suggests that he may have been stealing the drugs he was supposed to test, either for abuse, or to traffic to other dealers and buyers. There are approximately 2600 cases that he worked on, and potentially some from southwest Florida.

The fallout from this scandal will takes months or years to sort out. They will try hard to charge him, but the burden of proof will be difficult: a lot of trust is placed with FDLE and other evidence custodians. How can they prove he took the drugs? The thing working in investigators’ favor is that chain of custody procedures dicatate that any time an evidence bag is opened, the person going in should intial it when they reseal it. He may have signed his own warrant. #badcops

UPDATE ALREADY! He has been arrested on drug charges! So far he’s charged with theft, evidence tampering, and multiple counts of trafficking. The trafficking charges will be nearly impossible to prove: how can they say how much volume of drugs he possessed, when the drugs are gone, and he’s the only one who can say what the drugs were. Ironically, his own reports confirming the content of the evidence bags will be used to try to show he possessed drugs!