Hayzel Obando was found dead in her Fort Myers apartment on Valentine’s Day, 2016. Now, more than three years later, her husband has been arrested and charged with her murder. Earl Antonio “Tony” Joiner was arrested last week in Polk county and charged with Second Degree Murder. The case presented challenges from the start, as it was two months before her death was ruled a homicide. This week, a crew from the TV show ‘Cold Justice’ was in Florida, assisting with the investigation.
Tony Joiner played for the Florida Gators on their National Championship team in 2006, and was a captain his senior year in 2007. As NBC-2 points out, he’s the second member of that team to be charged with murder, after Aaron Hernandez.
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida, Fort Myers / Lee County / Southwest Florida #SWFL
Tagged aaron hernandez, cold case, cold justice, Earl Antonio Joiner, gators, hayzel obando, murder, polk, uf
The second murder trial of Aaron Hernandez has been underway in Boston, and the key witness against him recently took the stand. Holy cow the testimony was a doozy! Dan Wetzel did a great story detailing the testimony and the twisted background that let up to it. In short, after he allegedly shot the two men for the slight of spilling a drink on him at a nightclub, Hernandez grew more and more paranoid, and ultimately shot his friend in the face to prevent him from having a chance to turn him in. That friend, Alexander Bradley, survived only to refuse to break code and snitch on his friend. You should really go read the whole piece by Wetzel.
From a legal point of view, the case is fascinating. Bradley puts Hernandez at the scene, and describes him committing the murder. But Bradley’s testimony is going to be mercilessly attacked by defense attorney Jose Baez, who will claim that he’s the actual shooter. It’s his word alone that can convict Hernandez, and he has a motive to testify against the man he now says shot him in the face. The fact that Bradley initially refused to finger Hernandez as the man who shot him may actually help his credibility. The evidence suggests that these two men were in the car, and that one of them committed the crime. Bradley has his own charges, ranging from drug dealing and assault to shooting up a bar on another occasion. The State’s star witness is no angel. Regardless of the outcome, Hernandez is not likely to ever be released from prison, having already been sentenced to life for the murder of Odin Lloyd, though he is appealing that decision.
via Yahoo! Sports
Jonathan Clyde Davis
A man in North Florida was found in contempt of court last week and sentenced to 6 months in jail for posting a live stream of a trial on Facebook Live. Jonathan Davis was sentenced to 6 months in jail in Gainesville, which is the maximum possible sentence for contempt of court. Prosecutors indicated that witnesses were already reluctant to testify in the murder case that was going on, and that the streaming may have been a tactic to discourage participation.
However, there are several problems with this charge, primarily the First Amendment. People have a protected right to publish, and there’s nothing that would indicate that the courtroom had been closed. Generally open court is open court, and is not only open to the public, it is open to being recorded and being disseminated. (For that matter, all court proceedings are recorded). Apparently there is an administrative order that people must get permission to record or broadcast, but it is unclear if Mr. Davis knew about that order. There’s even an issue whether that order is Unconstitutional, though there is clearly an interest in the court in making sure cameras do not disrupt the proceedings.
At first blush this case is going to have difficulty holding muster on appeal. Apparently, he lied to the judge about what he was doing, and if the judge couched his conviction on that, he might be upheld. The Gainesville Sun spoke to UF Law professor Kenneth Nunn, who astutely points out that a Direct Contempt proceeding may not have even been appropriate since the Bailiff’s alerted the judge Mr. Davis’ activity. The fact that Mr. Davis was streaming is not itself inherently disruptive. One can appreciate why the court and the prosecutor are concerned, but the proceedings in open court are always public and subject to publication.
The State was still able to obtain a conviction on the second-degree murder charges.
Antonio Morrison Mug Shot
UF linebacker Antonio Morrison was arrested this weekend for barking at a police dog, and resisting/obstructing an officer. Florida has a statute dealing with police dogs which has several levels of offenses for what is done to the dog. Morrison is charged with the lowest level, which prohibits interfering, harassing, or teasing a police dog in the course of its duties. It can be a felony to kill or seriously injure a K-9. It doesn’t specifically say barking at the dog, but everybody knows that agitating a dog will cause that dog to react.
Morrison’s defense would be that the agitation did not occur in the course of the performance of the dog’s duties. The dog was apparently restrained in his handler’s squad car when the barking began. He did not prevent the dog from doing any of its duties if it was locked up in the squad car at the time of the incident. That’s a tough sell for the prosecutor. Morrison could also argue that he wasn’t intentionally or maliciously harassing the dog. He’s claiming that the dog barked at him, and he was only responding with a “woof woof” sound because the dog barked at him. He also has to deal with the obstruction charge.
This case would make a fun trial to watch, but it’s unlikely to go that far. Morrison probably has bigger concerns than this case, as he’s also facing a battery charge.
Antonio Morrison Mug Shot
UF Linebacker Antonio Morrison was arrested this weekend for barking at a police dog, and obstruction of justice, both misdemeanors. This is going to be bigger trouble due to a recent battery arrest, for which he received deferred prosecution. This new charge likely violates his diversion contract, and he will have to face charges for the original battery now. He has been suspended the first couple games of the season.
Coming Monday on this blog: Can they really arrest you for barking at a police dog? (yup)