Category Archives: California

Could OJ Simpson get out of Prison this Summer

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OJ Simpson via NV DOC

OJ Simpson is coming up for parole this year, and might actually be able to get out this fall. He’s in prison in Nevada for his role in a robbery since 2008, when he was sentenced to up to 33 years. He came up for parole on some of those charges in 2013, and was granted parole to those charges, but was not eligible for every count for which he is imprisoned. The other charges will be parole-eligible in October and they will likely hold the hearing on eligibility this summer. It’s completely within the discretion of the parole board, but in light of his being granted parole earlier on the other charges, and due to his advancing age, I expect he will be able to get parole later this year. I am far from an expert on it, since I don’t practice in Nevada, but Sports Illustrated does a great job looking into the process.

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Web Page Publishers Charged with Pimping

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Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

Backpage.com is known among the criminal bar as a webpage that carries personal ads targeting ‘adult services’, like the old back pages of tabloid papers. It’s not unusual for that to be the source leading to prostitution arrests. California Attorney General Kamala Harris initiated these charges as part of a crackdown on human trafficking. As far as I know, it’s the first time a webpage publisher has faced criminal charges for a hosting-type situation. It will be interesting if these charges will hold up, and for the First Amendment ramifications for charging a publisher. Some of the facts cited by the LA Times are damning, as these men were making millions from the website, and there are shocking numbers of minors being trafficked by pimps on Backpage.

Former Harvard Law Attorney Pleads Guilty to Bizarre Kidnapping Plot

Matthew Muller

Frmr. Atty. Matthew Muller

Matthew Muller was admitted to practice law in California in 2011 after graduating Harvard Law. A decorated former Marine, he could have accomplished anything with his life, and now he is facing life behind bars. Muller pled guilty on Thursday to a kidnapping and ransom plot, and his attorney is concerned that he could be sentenced to life in prison. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to recommend no more than 40 years in prison, but the ultimate sentence will be up to the judge.

When Denise Huskins and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn reported that they had been kidnapped, investigators did not believe them, and developed a theory that the report was a hoax. That was finally shot down when Muller was caught in another home invasion/attempted robbery and discovery the trappings of this offense. He had demanded $17,000 in ransom payments that he never collected, and Ms. Huskins was ultimately dropped off safely at her family home.

Huskins and Quinn have filed a lawsuit against the Vallejo police department for their mishandling of the case, and claim that they had to move our of town after the department’s allegations of a bogus kidnapping. Police doubted Ms. Huskins because they thought she didn’t act like a kidnapping victim: going as far to require Mr. Quinn to provide DNA samples. The whole case is crazy: I look forward to seeing it on ’48 Hours’ or even in a movie.

 

 

 

 

Holy Police Car! Batman Arrested in Seattle

I should say “wanna be Batman”, as I have a feeling it wasn’t Bruce Wayne. Police in Washington were called out to a bar regarding a man assaulting the bouncers with a knife affixed to a pole. After threatening an employee with his spear, the man fled with officers in pursuit. He threw something at the vehicle, and officers later discovered it was a Batarang: a sharpened ninja star in the shape of a bat. This Batman didn’t get away, and was arrested for felonious assault, and more charges expected.

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The Batarang recovered from the police vehicle

From SPD blotter via Jalopnik.

batman_arrestWe’ve covered some superhero arrests on Crimcourts before, and in researching this, I discovered that there had been some Batman arrests that I had missed. None of them involved a Batarang, however.

Did they find the O.J. Simpson Murder Weapon?

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

O.J. Simpson Prison Photo

In a bizarre twist, LAPD announced today that they have a knife in place that was possibly recovered from O.J. Simpson’s estate. Apparently, a retired officer says that a construction worker gave it to him when we was off-duty, but working a detail across the street. It’s unclear, but it may have been when the home was being destroyed in 1998. The officer says that he kept the knife at home, and was getting it framed when he asked a colleague for some details of the case, at which point the colleague informed the higher ups, who ordered the retired cop to turn it over.

The L.A. police department indicate they are going to forensically test the knife, checking for blood, hairs, or anything that might determine if the knife was involved in the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. It’s doubtful there will be definitive evidence after so many years, and the knife apparently being buried for some time. Not that it matters, as double jeopardy prohibits O.J. from being tried again for the murders.

Self-driving Car Pulled Over… Who Gets the Ticket?

The Google autonomous vehicle was recently pulled over driving in California. Not for bad driving so much… it was driving too slowly. Google has capped their vehicle at 25 MPH while they test it. No ticket was given; the officer was apparently concerned that something may be wrong, and reminded the Google operator (who was in the passenger seat) to be careful so as not to obstruct other traffic. The Google cars have done very well, most of the accidents they’ve been involved with were getting rear-ended by other vehicles not expecting such a cautious driver.

As to my headline question, “Who gets the ticket”… I don’t know the answer to that. California has drawn up a set of laws specifically to deal with driver-less cars, and the testing of them, so I suspect there is a provision to cite the operator, if it becomes necessary. In theory, having computers control the cars should all but eliminate many driving infractions, like speeding. I welcome our Google overlords, as long as I still get to drive for fun sometimes…

Twitter photo claimed credit by: https://twitter.com/zandr

Prominent California Defense Attorney Arrested for Murder

Frank Carson

Frank Carson

Frank Carson, a defense attorney in Modesto, California, has been arrested for first degree murder for a man suspected of stealing irrigation pipes from him in 2012. Korey Kaufman’s body was found in 2013. Carson ran for DA of his county just last year. In addition, eight other people have been arrested in the plot, including two California Highway Patrol Troopers, and Carson’s family. It’s a Dateline episode waiting for a trial.

This is apparently Carson’s actual mug shot on the left.