Category Archives: Gray Menace

Accused Killer Grandma Lois Riess could be on her way to Florida, Soon

lois reiss

Lois Riess

Lois Riess, who was arrested in Texas and facing murder charges in Fort Myers and her native Minnesota, had an extradition hearing today. She waived her right to fight extradition to either state: so whoever comes to get her first can bring her back. It is expected that Florida will collect her first: Lee County filed murder charges while the murder case from Minnesota was still under review, and she could potentially be facing first degree murder charges for the tourist she allegedly shot to steal hear identity on Fort Myers Beach.

Apparently, some authorities are calling her “Losing Streak Lois”, due to her gambling losses at casinos… but she might have been apprehended to quickly for that to stick. This silver fox was not sly enough to avoid capture. The Star Tribune has good details of the alert restaurant employees that spotted her and helped authorities capture her in Texas. Likely, the prosecutors in Lee County and in Minnesota will talk and decide who will prosecute her first, and it would not surprise me if she ends up headed to SW Florida.

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Will the Juice get Loose? O.J. up for Parole Hearing Tomorrow…

oj-simpson-doc-photo

OJ Simpson, via NV DOC

Tomorrow the State of Nevada will hold a parole hearing for O.J. Simpson, who’s been incarcerated there since he was convicted of an armed robbery in Las Vegas in 2008. He was previously granted parole on some other charges, but the more serious charges were not eligible until this year. Since he was successful at the last hearing, there is a good chance he will be granted parole this time, which should allow his release in October. He’s apparently even telling friends that he feels good about his chances.

Interstingly, even the victims support his release. One of them already passed away, but his family indicates that the would have supported his release, and the surviving victim indicates he has forgiven Simpson and feels he’s served enough time. In a crazy anecdote, a former prison guard recounts that OJ nearly got written up for an illicit cookie, which could have derailed his parole chances.

A Collier County Man was the World’s Biggest Child Porn Kingpin

steven chase

Steven Chase

Last week a Gold Gate Estates man was sentenced to 30 years in prison after a September trial in North Carolina. The story didn’t get much coverage here, since the case was tried out of state (where the websites were being hosted), but he was running his dark-net website Playpen from his computer right here in Southwest Florida. The website may have been the largest child pornography distributor in the world, with up to 250,000 members.

The bust led to an international sting, dubbed “Operation Pacifier”, that netted almost 900 child pornography arrests around the world and some 250+ children victims were identified and/or rescued. That operation has led to a lot of coverage, both due to the success in taking down such a large number of child predators, but also for the criticism of the techniques used by the government. The FBI kept the Playpen site up and running and continuing to distribute child pornography as investigators sought to trace the sites users, going as far to infect them with malware that allowed them to be tracked. We have discussed the legal privacy concerns, and the concerns the federal government running child porn sites (a LOT of them), previously on this blog. The concerns are not unfounded, as there have already been cases where judges rejected using malware to search computers even when the location is unknown.

That didn’t save Chase, who has been locked away for 30 years, with a lifetime of supervision when he gets out. This will qualify him as a sex offender, and the additional sex-offender reporting that legally requires as well.

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.

Florida Man Arrested for Shuffleboard Fight

  • It was a real Shuffle-scuffle!
  • 81-year Old charged with Battery
herbert-hayden

Herbert Hayden- 81

Herbert Hayden, 81, a resident of St. Petersburg, got in an altercation at the Pinellas Park senior center over a game of shuffleboard and was charged with battery. Police allege Hayden struck another man, and that both of their sticks, or cues, as they are known amongst shufflers, were damaged. Unfortunately for prosecutors, officers indicate the “weapons” were not seized for evidence. I do not know how old the victim was, but if he is over 65, Mr. Hayden could potentially be facing a felony for battery on a senior citizen. I have seen prosecutors charge the felony on other senior citizens, but hopefully cooler heads will prevail.

This is the first charge I have seen using a shuffleboard cue as a weapon! #weirdbattery #graymenace

Florida Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Right to Remain Silent

I was actually kind of surprised they had to litigate this issue, what with the right to remain silent being a Constitutionally protected right. Last week, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously agreed with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal that it is  improper for the state to comment on the the pre-Miranda silence of a Defendant who does not take the stand. Basically, if someone exercises their right to remain silent… it cannot be used against them. I suspect the Florida Supreme Court was suprised the issue needed to be litigated, the 4th DCA opinion that they upheld was just issued on February 18. The appellate court certified the question as one of great public importance, but that is still an impressive turnaround at the highest court in the state.

donna horwitz

Donna Horwitz, via FL DOC

The Court sent back the conviction of Donna Horwitz, convicted of first degree murder in the death of her husband. When police responded to the shooting, they asked Ms. Horwitz several questions, and she stood mute. The prosecutor successfully argued at trial that her silence was indicative of a consciousness of guilt, and she was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. The Court ruled, consistent with longstanding precedent around the country, that his is unfair comment on the right to remain silent. It would essentially force a defendant to testify to rebut the assertion, which is improper.

Further, the court observed that the evidence of silence would not be relevant and is inadmissible under basic rules of evidence. While silence potentially could indicate consciousness of guilt, the meaning is ambiguous. It could be shock, or a concern that officers would not believe the story, or many other things. Due to the ambiguity, it is not relevant to the elements of the crime, and would also be inadmissible for this reason.

You have a right to remain silent… use it. The State cannot use it against you if you do.

The Opinion

Naples Man Busted with Pants Down after Pooping on Floor #graymenace

Robert Predmore

Robert Predmore

Robert Predmore, 61, of East Naples, was caught after a burglary, his pants still down when the cops showed up. They found him lying outside Joey D’s bar, passed out on the ground… pantless. The bar looked “like a hurricane” had gone through: with thousands of dollars in damage, stolen liquor… and a poop on the floor next to an empty bottle of Sambuca. His soiled pants matched the evidence inside the store. The also found a handful of  prescription pills and a baggie of marijuana on Mr. Predmore.

That’s a helluva party to have by yourself.