Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the Patriots was charged in Palm Beach County with soliciting prostitution for allegedly going into a massage parlor and receiving sexual contact. His attorneys challenged the case on many fronts, but ultimately succeeded by attacking the validity of the search warrant that allowed them to place a video camera in the private areas of the massage parlor. The court was troubled by the fact that the cameras would film people in an intimate setting, many of which may not have been breaking the law. The State argued that the warrants were justified, in part because they could help fight human trafficking, but no trafficking charges were filed in relation to these cases.
The court suggested that such a warrant could potentially be possible if it included enough restrictions to prevent filming innocent individuals, but that it fell far short. Placing a video camera in such an intimate place is extremely invasive, and is the kind of thing that troubled the court greatly, and the court suppressed all the evidence obtained through these searches, which covered Kraft and several other co-defendants that were caught up in the same operation.
The State appealed the court’s ruling, and the case was on hold until the recent decision by the 4th DCA appellate court that agreed with the trial court. The court wrote, “The type of law enforcement surveillance utilized in these cases is extreme,” and set a precedent that will set limits on the use of “sneek and peek” warrants. The State declined to appeal the case to the Florida Supreme court, making today’s announcement that they were dropping the charges inevitable. Several other defendants, in multiple counties, who still had charges pending will see their cases dropped, and many of the others involved had already gotten their charges dropped by completion of a diversion program. Most importantly, this case, between the trial judge and the appellate court, has sent a strong message against law enforcement doing invasive searches like the sneek and peek warrants.
Katherine Nieves-Tavares of Vero Beach had been drinking when she allegedly pulled a knife and cut the face of her boyfriend, who had declined her repeated requests for sex. He had been sitting on the couch when she starting asking, and when she started yelling, he went out side. She followed him out with a large kitchen knife, and started slashing with the knife. Officers observed numerous cuts on his face, which was covered in blood. Nieves-Tavares was also bloodied when she answered the door. She claims that he already had a cut on his face, and that when she asked him about it, he attacked her. Officers indicated that she failed to give any specific information that would corroborate her story. She has been charged with Aggravated Battery.
This reminds me of another woman who attacked her lover for sex earlier this year in Minnesota. Samantha Mears allegedly subdued her ex-boyfriend with a machete and forced him to have sex with her. Since her arrest, Mears has been found to be unfit for trial due to mental health issues, and has been admitted to a state hospital for treatment. That will put a hold on her case, though she could end up being prosecuted if the treatment is able to restore her.
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida
Tagged battery, katherine nieves tavares, machete, minnesota, palm beach, samantha mears, sex offense, sexcrime, vero beach, weirdbattery
video buff Xavier Moran
Xavier Moran, a 25-year old from Royal Palm Beach, was involved in an accident and told deputies that he had been cut off by another vehicle and that he could prove it. He provided deputies with a dash camera that had been recording in his vehicle. However, when deputies looked back at the tape, they found something more interesting. Moran had taped footage of himself burglarizing a beauty store! The recorded video showed him take a bat out of the trunk and a man using the bat to bust out the store windows. Deputies charged him with burglary.
Moran is also facing charges for aggravated assault, resisting and escape, but its unclear if those are related to the crash (they are unrelated to the burglary.) Cops love it when criminals solve cases for them…
Alligator Warning Sign
Apparently it bears repeating, as a man was arrested this week in Palm Beach County for illegally killing an alligator. Yes, they are everywhere, but Florida has a complex wildlife management system, and you have to have a permit and tag before you can hunt for gators. If not, you can be convicted of a crime! Florida takes its wildlife regulations very seriously…
Front Page of the Sun Sentinel in 1990
In 1990, Marlene Warren was celebrating her birthday when the door rang and she went to answer it. Standing outside with a person dressed in a clown suit carrying balloons and flowers; apparently in celebration of her birthday.When Marlene reached for the gift, the clown pulled out a gun and shot her. She later passed away from the injuries and detectives began an investigation. They initially looked at Marlene’s husband, as they hear there had been marital difficulties.
The investigation soon centered on Sheila Keen, whom detectives discovered was having an affair with Michael Warren, Marlene’s husband. Not only that, witnesses stated they had seen Ms. Keen buying a clown suit two days before the murder and she was also seen purchasing flowers at Publix. In spite of these connections, detectives did not feel confident that they would be able to prove their case and did not make an arrest, and the case went cold
Sheila Keen Warren mugshot
Fast forward 24 years to 2014, and the Cold Case unit of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department reopened the case to take another look. New technology allowed them to uncover DNA evidence that was able to able to affirmatively link Sheila Keen to the crime. Detectives also discovered that she had since married Michael Warren, and that the two were living together in Tennessee. Detectives arrested Sheila Keen Warren on a warrant for murder this week in Virginia. Her husband was reportedly with her, but has not been charged with anything at this time. Sheila Keen Warren is notably smiling in the mug shot when she got arrest. There is no indication if she gave a statement to law enforcement when she was picked up, but she’s probably impressed to have gotten away with it all these years.
Gator at Wendy’s
This is the purest “only in Florida” case yet. A man from Jupiter was going through a Wendy’s drive-thru. He received his drink, and then grabbed a live, 3 and a half foot alligator and chucked through the open window. An FWC officer was able to corral the gator in the kitchen, and it was able to be safely returned to the wild.
It actually took officers several months to make an arrest. The Defendant, Joshua James, was tracked via surveillance footage and vehicle tags, and he has been charged with taking a gator and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The alligator is the weapon. While such a small juvenile gator may not be lethal, it qualifies as a deadly weapon since it is capable a causing serious bodily harm (he could take off a digit!) In the meantime, we get to enjoy this guy’s mug shot!
Crimcourts continues to be the world leader on criminal related alligator news!
- It sounds like a bad rap to me…
Robert Van Winkle, Vanilla Ice mug shot
“Police were on the scene…” Robert Van Winkle, best known as a rapper who went by Vanilla Ice, and had a hit with “Ice Ice Baby” in the 90’s, was arrested yesterday in Lantana, Florida. It appears TMZ broke the story. He is accused of taking items from an unoccupied home next door to a home he is renovating for his DIY Network show “The Vanilla Ice Project”. Apparently the police found the items in home that he “controls” and believe he took some part in the taking. Florida has a very broad Principle Theory, which holds anyone involved accountable, even if they play a very minor role.
Ice says the charge is a misunderstanding, and is blown out of proportion. I hope it is for his sake, as burglary of a dwelling is a second degree felony in Florida, which scores out to a presumptive prison sentence. Unfortunately for him, the police didn’t pass him up this time. Full disclosure, I kind of like the “Vanilla Ice Project” show.
This is part of the front page of the Vanilla Ice Project website. I scrolled through, but there don’t seem to be any photos or arrestable hijinx…
ON DIY Network
Golfer Mike Rich Mug Shot
A Labor Day golf outing turned really sour for a Florida foursome. Michael Rich allegedly became enraged over a joke about marking a putt. He allegedly proceeded to tear up the green with his cleats, and then attack his playing partners with his putter, snapping while thrashing one man, and then brandishing it like a sword toward another. He’s facing aggravated battery charges.
I always wondered what would happen if Lloyd in “Sideways” wasn’t joking when he took off after the rude golfers behind him… I guess now I know. Felonies happen.
via Deadspin: http://deadspin.com/florida-man-allegedly-attacks-men-in-his-golf-group-wit-1631159784
Here’s the Sideways scene, because it’s awesome. Both of these characters could have been facing charges!
Russell Cooper was attempting a getaway from a bank robbery, but was caught in the act. He wasn’t moving very fast, as the 77-year-old walks with the assistance of a walker. He
tried to rob robbed the bank upon being told that his account had been closed of lack of funds. He pulled out a small pocketknife and demanded $130, which the bank teller handed over. Cooper then refused to drop the knife when police ordered, and was subsequently tasered and arrested.
Cooper Attempting to Escape, with Hostage
You have to watch the video on the link. The bank manager is an absolute bad-ass; he doesn’t even flinch. The knife is clear on the video when it is brandished near the counter camera. Cooper is facing life in prison for armed robbery. That scores out to a minimum four year sentence under Florida law, though prosecutors may be willing to do something lesser under these circumstances. He has a second life felony for kidnapping, his combined scoresheet will score about 82 months, provided he doesn’t have a prior record.
David Boston mug shot
I nearly missed this the other day, it hasn’t gotten much coverage in the national media, but David Boston pled guilty to charges of aggravated battery. Boston was allegedly drinking in his home, when he punched a woman and inflicted injuries requiring 10 stitches. He is apparently slated to be sentenced on December 7, 2012.
First of all, reports that he is facing up to 35 months in prison are incorrect. Aggravated battery is a second degree felony in Florida, and any conviction for it can subject the defendant to up to 15 years in prison. There is a lesser charge, known as felony battery, which is the more likely charge, as no weapon was used, is a third degree felony, subjecting the defendant to up to 3 ears (36 months) in prison. It’s possible that his criminal punishment code scoresheet scores hm out to 35 months, but that would generally be a minimum sentence that binds the judge at sentencing. There are a few exceptions that could allow the judge to go below the scoresheet minimum. It may be a negotiated plea, which would be grounds for going below, known as a downward departure. Perhaps both sides have already agreed to the 35 months, meaning he knows what to expect at the upcoming sentencing. There aren’t enough details available: it seems everything else out there just cites the AP story.
Boston made the news a few years ago for a DUI arrest in Tampa. There was a compelling video of his arrest online for a while, but it appears TBO has taken it down. Reports indicate that charge was reduced to reckless driving. #davidboston
UPDATE: According to the Palm Beach Clerk’s web page, he was charged with Aggravated Battery, and under the provision that does not involve a weapon. Not additional details were up on the Clerk’s site yet.