Vanessa Barcelo, the 2017 Miss Miami Lakes that competed in the Miss Florida pageant, had been charged with battery from an incident that occurred at a party at her home several months ago. She hosted a party to promote her baking business, One Love Cakes, and her cousin over-indulged. She and other party-goers became concerned that the DJ was going to take advantage of the cousin, and grouped together to escort him out. That’s when the real trouble started…
Vanessa Barcelo, via facebook
Barcelo said she took an aluminum baseball bat and brandished it to intimidate the DJ, though she never touched him. She says he proceeded to grab the bat out of her hand and swing it around, before he handed it to a community security guard. A friend of Barcelo’s then struck the DJ, knocking him to the ground, at which point Barcelo jumped on top of him and slapped him. She testified in court that she did not know if he still had the bat, and she was afraid for herself and her guests. The court found her actions to be reasonable, and dismissed the battery charges against her.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law gives the Defendant a chance to have their charges dismissed at a hearing prior to having to go to trial. Governor Scott recently signed a new law that shifts the burden to the State to demonstrate they are justified in going forward at that hearing, a change opposed by prosecutors, for obvious reasons. A judge in Miami found the law change to be unconstitutional, but that won’t affect other cases until it is subject to appellate review.
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida, Miami / South Florida, Stand Your Ground
Tagged baseball, battery, miami, miami lakes, self defense, stand your ground, vanessa barcelo, weirdbattery
Acquitted Obstructionist Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds, whose appeals are finally over after his conviction was reversed, cost American taxpayers a pretty penny. Bonds was prosecuted federally, so we are all paying: this was not a local jurisdictional exercise. This was a substantial expenditure by the United States government. The notice filed yesterday that the government would not attempt to appeal the case to the Supreme Court effectively ends the case, and avoids any additional cost. However, the cost of that final appeal would have been a drop in the bucket of the total cost of prosecuting this case.
Estimates back in 2009 put the cost of the trial at around $6 million. But the trial was the culmination of many years of investigation, whose tally was estimated several years back to be from $55 million up to $100 million. I have not been able to find any more recent estimates, nor any estimates that include the ongoing appellate tally, which included the original appeal, then the larger panel appellate rehearing which finally reversed the one charge of which Bonds was convicted. The Roger Clemens trial may have cost another $10 million or more. That’s a lot of money which was ultimately put toward proving cheating in baseball. While it may be the national pastime; it is not a public interest that needs a government referee (or umpire). The conclusion of Bonds’ case may finally have put an end to this costly undertaking. An undertaking whose bill was paid by U.S. taxpayers.
Posted in California, Criminal Law, Federal
Tagged appeal, balco, barry bonds, baseball, drugs, jeff novitsky, mlb, obstruction, perjury, roger clemens, trial, witch hunt
LA Dodgers’ star outfielder Yasiel Puig was arrested yesterday coming of the Alligator Alley for Willful and Wanton Reckless Driving. So far the reports I have located indicate Puig was going 110 in a 70. unless there was more to the driving pattern, that means this is a bad arrest. In Florida, case law dictates that speed alone is insufficient to constitute reckless driving. This case doesn’t even qualify as a 50 over speeding ticket. Maybe later reports will indicate that he was doing something else reckless, otherwise this charge should not hold up.
The Ninth Circuit Court has upheld the Federal conviction of Barry Bonds for obstruction of justice. Bonds will now have to serve his sentence, which is only some house arrest followed by probation. He was acquitted of related perjury charges. This minor conviction is still notable as one of the few steroid related cases to actually result in a conviction. Most famously, Roger Clemens was acquitted of all charges in the perjury prosecution he faced related to his alleged steroid use.
Just an update on Lenny Dykstra, who wasn’t so lucky and was sentenced to three years in prison… he’s out as of a few weeks ago. Hope Nails can turn it around, but he kind of seems like a jerk.
Busy week at the office, I’ll try to get updates on Gonzalez soon for those who haven’t been able to follow. It didn’t finish today, and will continue into Saturday.