Monthly Archives: November 2016

Accused Babysitting Killer was Fresh Out of Prison

rafael-carrionThe first thing that sprung to mind when I saw the mug shot of the man accused of beating to death a baby he was watching was, “Who would let that guy watch their kid?” I looked a second time, and thought, those sure look like prison tattoos… I wonder if that guy has done some time.

Sure enough, a quick search on the DOC website indicated he has just finished serving time for Burglary out of Hillsborough County. He was just released on October 31, less than 2 months before his new arrest in this tragic case. The Lee County Sheriff’s database indicates he has been arrested 14 times here in Lee County, including a couple juvenile arrests related to sex-offense charges. Presumably he was not convicted as charged on those offenses, as he is not a registered sex-offender.

ID Photo

Carrion’s prison photo

His bond has been set at $600,000 on manslaughter and second-degree murder charges. The mother who left her child with him has had her other children placed into foster care by the court until it can be determined that they can be safe. Carrion’s father disputes the charges, saying the mom bears some responsibility and that Carrion tried to save the child. His arraignment is set for December 27, and I’d expect the charges to be amended to one murder and one child-abuse charge if the state determines to go forward.

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Be Safe on the Roads this Holiday

 

The holiday season, in particular Thanksgiving week, tends to accompany in increase in drinking, which may also correlate to an increase in drunk drivingcorrelate to an increase in drunk driving / DUI situations. Be sure to be safe out there, use a designated driver or rideshare system. I’m a fan of Uber, but right now you can get a $50 credit toward your first rides on Lyft. Plan ahead, and be safe- it’s no fun to get arrested ever, but even less fun the night before your family get-together. And keep your attorney’s number with you! 239-333-4686

Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney Spencer Cordell

Friday Fun- Attack with a Pool Noodle!

pool-noodleThis happened a few years ago, so we’ll add it to the #weirdbattery only in florida archive (and even the #graymenace ) …

karl-eichner

Alleged Noodler Karl Eichner

A man was arrested in Naples after allegedly attacking a woman with a pool noodle. Police say he got mad when she threw his watermelon in the ocean, and he filled up the noodle with sea water and dumped it on his head. He then punched her and authorities got involved. He was charged with misdemeanor battery. According to Collier Clerk records, he skipped his court date, and has not been heard from since… over 5 years on the lam, now.

What Can be Done About the Unsolved Murders in Fort Myers?

An NBC-2 Investigative report yesterday examined the unsolved homicides, and discussed cases that have suspects, but that the State does not think there is enough evidence to pursue charges. It sounds like there is some finger pointing between FMPD and other members of the community and the State Attorney’s Office as to who is to blame here. I think the story doesn’t even get into the biggest issues.

The biggest issues are not the law enforcement disputes. Rather, it is:

  1. There are way to many unsolved murders in Fort Myers. NBC found 253 homicide investigations since 2010 (That’s a lot!) and found only 146 charges have been filed for those crimes. That is a lot of victims and their families who have not seen justice.
  2. The far-and-away-number 1-biggest problem, is witness cooperation… or lack thereof. Mr. Russell does talk about the issue, and stresses that it is important to continue to work to support victims.

We definitely need more murderers off the streets, but it’s not just an issue of the State not wanting to take chances… Mr. Russell points to the Zhi Huang case, where an arrest was made without SAO input, and a grand jury failed to indict the evidence was so lacking. And the greater problem with doing that is that if evidence comes up later implicating the person who was arrested, it may be too little too late due to double jeopardy. Fortunately, the State was later confident to charge Eugene Johnson in that recent case that initially suffered from a lack of evidence. It’s not right to point the finger at the State on cases where evidence is lacking, though more cooperation and communication may help solve the cases, and it could help prevent the aforementioned finger pointing.

andrew-faust-jr

Andrew Faust Jr.

The case that best encapsulates the greatest problem fighting violent crime in Fort Myers was the case of Andrew Faust Jr. Andrew was a five-year-old little boy who was shot in his home; an innocent killed by the wayward bullet of a drive-by shooting. After weeks without charges, a witness finally came forward and two men were charged in the case. However, the witness became uncooperative, and ultimately the charges had to be dropped. Since they were previously charged and speedy trial has run, they can never be charged again.

Here’s the thing about that case… the State did not handle as well as possible. While Mr. Russell is right when he tells NBC that we need to work with, support, and protect victims, his office tried to arrest the essential witness, the only person who could implicate the Defendants (after erroneously serving her sister with a subpoena). The attitude toward the witness likely contributed to her later uncooperativeness. It’s up to law enforcement at all levels, from the State Attorney to the street-level cop, to build up trust in the community, and to get the community to work together. Chief Diggs has already spoken about that need, and started outreach efforts to start building that trust. He said he didn’t know how bad it was before he got here and got to work, but it’s good to see him digging in. Hopefully he and the State Attorney, and the Sheriff, and all of the relevant agencies can work together to improve the problems in Fort Myers.

We’re all in it together! Community outreach like the efforts of Chief Diggs is the first step to reducing crime in Fort Myers, and we should all support those efforts.

So, the FBI May Have Been Running a Lot of Child Porn Websites

We previously covered that the FBI operated a major child porn website a while back, but new papers indicate the operations may be even more extensive. Unsealed documents refer to “Websites 1-23”,  which seems to suggest almost two dozen child pornography websites that were operated from a government facility. Apparently the procedure was to attach malware to the distributed files to identify the users. Details are still sketchy, but as with the earlier disclosures about the government actively distributing child porn, the ramifications could be troubling.

via gizmodo

Man Arrested for Attacking Man with Ramen Noodles

michael-herrick

Michael Herrick mug shot

We’ve had a lot of #weirdbattery cases that we’ve covered on Crimcourts, and quite a few of those have involved food. TSG reports a new one, as Michael Herrick was arrested this week for battery with ramen noodles. Apparently he’ll be claiming self-defense, as he told officers that his boyfriend threw water at him, first.

For the record, throwing water on someone could also be charged as battery. In Florida, battery is any unwanted, unlawful touching.. be it, food, drink or shopping cart.

Sadly, even though The Smoking Gun tracked down the police report, it doesn’t tell us what kind of ramen noodles were involved. I suspect Cup Noodles, but I’ll confess to being a Top Ramen guy…

ramen.jpgonly in Florida…