An overnight pooper had been striking at a track at a New Jersey high school. Feces had been found on the track daily, and authorities set up a surveillance operation to determine who had been leaving the presents every morning. Holmdel, NJ police caught the serial pooper in the act, and it turned out to be Thomas Tramaglini, who just happened to the superintendent of the neighboring Kenilworth school district. There’s been no comment, and no explanation as to why Tramaglini felt the need to leave little gifts on his morning run.
Tramaglini, 42, has been charged with lewdness and, naturally… littering. He may have a defense to the lewdness charge, which generally requires doing so with the intent of it being observed by other people, and there’s no indication that he wanted to be observed. The littering charge… that’s the kicker!
This one leaves me speechless. Normally our weird battery stories don’t involve significant injury (excepting the death by wedgie), but this one tragically ends in death. Laciana Tinsley, a 42-year-old woman from New Jersey, beat her elderly husband to death with a fire extinguisher. She has been charged with murder, after he died as a result of multiple blows to the head.
Her attorney has indicated that she claims to have been acting in self-defense. He says there was a history of violence, and that the alleged victim was trying to suffocate her when the killing occurred.
New Jersey Man Leaford Cameron, apparently fooled dozens of people for a decade, purporting to practice law for 10 years. He’s now facing multiple federal charges, relating to fraud from his represenation. The Philly media has started calling him ‘Scary Man‘ due to his ‘hypnotic eyes’. He has a previous conviction for unauthorized practice of law from 1993.
I’m not sure that fraud charges are really the appropriate way of attack: certainly he should be charged with practicing without a license. And while he was fraudulently holding himself out to be an attorney, if he actually worked on the cases, he was not necessarily defrauding the clients’ of their money. Ten years of this ought to get him locked up, but his crimes are less of a fraud then the attorney who takes someone’s money and doesn’t do anything on their case.
This may be an excellent plot point for the TV show ‘Suits‘ when they run out of ideas… imagine Mike facing 75 years in prison for impersonating a lawyer.
Buddy, say it ain’t so!
Elf on a Selfie
New Jersey officers were called out to a suspicious vehicle in a Target parking lot. They found a man passed out inside, and he was dressed like the Elf on the Shelf. 23 year-old Brian Chellis performed poorly on Field Sobriety Exercises, and was arrested for DUI.
Reminds me of a client I represented a few years ago who played Santa Claus. The cop who arrested him admitted under oath that he was a “jolly” fellow. Somebody is getting a lump of coal this year.
Full story: http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2014/12/cedar_grove_man_dressed_as_elf_arrested_for_dwi.html
- Major Appellate Court Ruling: the 3rd Circuit Rules that a warrant is required to place a GPS tracking device on a vehicle
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Jones, (132 S.Ct. 945, 2012,) that placing a GPS tracking device on a vehicle does constitute a search. The Supreme Court declined to rule whether such a search required a warrant, or if such searches are therefore unreasonable under the Constitution. The lower courts had punted on the issue since then, allowing good faith exceptions for GPS devices placed prior to the Jones ruling. This week, the 3rd Circuit issued a ruling that declared that not only does the placement of a GPS tracking device on someone’s vehicle constitute a search, such searches do require a warrant. United States v. Harry Katzin, et. al. (Docket No. 12-2548, Fed. 3rd Cir, 2013). [Case text included in linked Wired story.]
This does not prevent the government from using GPS tracking devices, it merely requires that the Constitutional warrant requirement be adhered to before they do so. The agents and prosecutors in the Katzin case knew about the Jones ruling, but did not bother to even ask for a warrant, even though they probably could have gotten one. Now, the evidence obtained as a result of the search will be excluded from any future trial, due to the government’s willful disregard for the Defendants’ Constitutional rights. This case will likely set a strong precedent, as it is in line with recent Supreme Court holdings.
In Florida, the Jones case has been followed in appellate cases refuting warrantless searches of cell phones [Smallwood v. State, 113 So.3d 724 (Fla. 2013)], and limiting officers who come onto property without warrants for investigatory purposes [Powell v. State, 120 So.3d 577 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013)].
via drudge: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/10/warrant-required-gps-trackers/
Posted in 4th Amendment - Search & Seizure, Criminal Law, Federal, Supreme Court
Tagged delaware, federal, gps, jones, maryland, new jersey, pennsylvania, search, supreme court
Been busy around these parts, and haven’t gotten to keep up on the blog, but this warranted a note. Paul Bergrin, former prosecutor and high-profile defense attorney, was sentenced to life in prison earlier today. Specifically, he was given concurrent life sentences on 6 of the counts, and sentences on the other convictions as well. One life sentence is sufficient, as the Federal system does not allow for parole under such circumstances. Bergrin intends to appeal the convictions.
His motions for a new trial have been denied, and Paul Bergrin’s sentencing is set for Monday. He faces up to life in prison for his numerous convictions. Apparently, there will be a request to continue the sentencing on another date, so the case may not be resolved tomorrow. Note, the article states his appeals were denied, but such motions are distinct from appeals. He will still have the right to file direct appeal after the sentencing.
Lauryn Hill, multi-platinum, grammy-winning singer, turned herself in today to begin serving her three-month prison sentence for three counts of failing to file her tax returns. She plead to three counts, but apparently failed to file for a few years before that, though she apparently reported a loss for that period. After her incarceration, she will have house arrest followed by probation, and will have to pay $60,000 in fines in addition to repayment of the outstanding tax dues.
Failure to file tax returns has tripped up quite a few otherwise successful people, including other musical artists. Rapper Fat Joe was recently sentenced to incarceration for his own failure to file tax returns. The government wants its money!
Paul Bergrin Illustration
The verdict is in, and Attorney Paul Bergrin has been convicted of all 23 counts he was facing, including murder, racketeering, and promoting prostitution. Bergrin, a former prosecutor and later hotshot defense attorney, represented himself at trial. He previously got a hung jury on a couple of counts, before the new judge agreed to try them all together. He faces life in prison for his convictions.
New Jersey attorney Paul Bergrin’s second trial for murder, plus racketeering and other charges, is underway. Mr. Bergrin continues to represent himself, and vehemently denied the charges in his opening statement. The prosecutor had gotten the new judge on the case to try 26 counts at the same time, and came out firing in his opening statement, as well. He is alleging that Bergrin was using his practice as a racketeering enterprise, and calls Bergrin a “drug dealer, a pimp, and a murderer.” The primary charges are for murder, alleging that Mr. Bergrin arranged for hits on key witnesses against his clients. He also allegedly was involved in drug trafficking and running a call-girl ring.