Missouri held an extradition hearing today, and granted Florida’s request for Curtis Wayne Wright to be extradited to stand trial for the murder of Dr. Theresa Sievers in a Fort Myers court. Wright ended up waiving his extradition fight, though it is unlikely he could have defeated the request.
Curtis Wayne Wright and Jimmy “The Hammer” Rodgers
The case is a long way from going to trial, if it does, and this is an early step in the process. It also means that we are closer to being able to see the discovery documents on the case that will shed more light on the case against Wright and his co-defendant, Jimmy Rodgers, who is serving a Federal sentence before his extradition issue is heard.
Joyce Mitchell, the prison employee who gave assistance New York prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat- who were both serving prison sentences for murder was sentenced yesterday for her involvement in their escape. In July, she pled to promoting prison contraband, and criminal facilitation. Today, declaring that she had done very bad things, the court sentenced her to up to 7 years on the most serious offense.
She could have been facing more time if the prosecutors had charged her with conspiracy to murder her husband, which had apparently been discussed. She accepted a plea agreement that helped avoid additional charges. Now, she will be a client of the same prison system that she let down, and cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in cost for the ensuing manhunt for the weeks while Matt and Sweat were on the run.
Frank Mann Jr.
Lee County Judge Frank Mann Jr., son of Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann Sr., resigned from his post today. His last day of work was today, and nobody knows the reason for his resignation. Crimcourts will have our ear to the ground, but so far, nobody knows. It’s unusual for a judge to resign without notice, and as Judge Mann was relatively young, this certainly will be a shock to the local bar. Mann was well liked, and will be missed.
His replacement will be named by the governor after a standard application and review process. In the meantime, other judges will likely be called upon to cover his docket, possibly getting some assistance from Senior (retired) judges.
UPDATE: I heard from someone in court that he made a brief statement after docket sounding that he had enjoyed working there, but that it was time for him to move on to something else.
UPDATE 2: The News-Press has obtained Judge Mann’s resignation letter: apparently it was filed with the governor’s office on January 22. The decision was made at least a week ago, but it was not public knowledge around the courthouse. This will be the hot topic of discussion in the courthouse Wednesday. Mann cites a variety of personal reasons for his resignation, though he doesn’t specify any. He does say that he feels that 5 years was enough and he was ready for a change, which is similar to what he told the courtroom personnel yesterday.
UPDATE 3: the Naples News cites testimony from his pending divorce proceeding that indicates his estranged wife has accused him of financial improprieties and substance abuse issues, and says that she had filed a JQC complaint against him. Nothing can be confirmed about the complaint, but the judge on the divorce made a specific finding that there was not evidence to support
Last night in Fort Myers, police allege Erin Kilch called 911 to report that her drug dealer didn’t give her as much marijuana as she had paid for. Police responded and arrested her for misuse of the 911 system… and for the bag of marijuana that was in her vehicle. Andrea Hubbell from NBC-2 owned this story by find local man Michael Atherton to comment on this situation. He said she needs to, “Cut it back a little bit. She’s smoking a little bit too much… That’s pretty ridiculous, that’s pretty smart of her.” Well said, Michael.
Michael Spiegel Mug Shot
Michael Spiegel, convicted a few weeks ago in the double murder of his ex-wife send her fiance, was scheduled to be sentenced on Monday. However, he did not wait around for the judge, and committed suicide in the Lee County jail. He faced life in prison, and due to his age, probably faced a de facto life sentence, even if the judge did not mad him out.
I enjoy hockey, thouigh I am certainly not the most ardent fan. It’s offseason, but there have been major accusations around Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, namely that the sexually assaulted a woman at his Buffalo, NY home. He has not been arrested, and the case has been under review by law enforcement authorities. Apparently there was positive DNA on the victim’s shoulder area, but not in her genital area, which is not strong evidence of sexual assault. As no decision had been made, and facts are still spotty, I had only been tangentially following the case. Until this week when things took a turn for the weird.
Thomas Eoannou, the attorney who was representing the family of the accuser, called a press conference the other day, and presented what credibly appeared to be an evidence bag that had contained the rape kit collected at the hospital from the alleged victim. Prosecutors announced today that it was not the actual evidence bag from the kit. But the Eoannou was apparently misled, apparently by the mother of the accuser, into believing that the mother found the bag after an unknown person placed it on her doorway, suggesting that the negative DNA evidence was the result of tampering. Now, her attorney has quit, saying he can no longer handle the case because of misrepresentations that had been made to him. He made a point to state that it was not the young woman, and intimated that the mother had lied about the propriety of the evidence bag. It was embarrassing for the attorney, who was apparently sincere, and further reduces the likelihood that the State will purse charges.
Which brings us back to our subject: never lie to your lawyer. Your lawyer literally works for you: you have hired him/her to give you advice, but if you aren’t honest with your lawyer, the advice will be bad. I have seen other situations like this, where people misrepresent things to an attorney, and when it comes out in the wash, it ends up hurting the cause. This ridiculous situation certainly makes it much less likely that charges will be filed. I don’t know what happened, but I do know the prosecutor will not want to go forward on a case where the accuser’s family fabricated evidence. Unlike lying in court… or to a Federal Agent, or something… it is not a crime to lie to your lawyers, as prosecutor Frank Sedita dramatically pointed out. But when you give bad information to the person you are paying to represent your interests, bed things are likely to happen.
Collier County recently made a major heroin bust, estimated at 2.7 million dollars in street value, an 18th suspect was just arrested. So much narcotics were taken off the streets that health officials are now dealing with an influx of people suffering from withdrawal. Hopefully those affected will take the opportunity to get help for their addictions.