Articles Tagged with defense

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A former culinary arts school teacher, Nichole Noel Thiel, was accused by her former student of having sex with him when he was 16 years old at her condominium in Idaho for a period lasting over two years. Thiel was 46 years old when the incidents allegedly took place.

The teen said it all started when he came across the teacher crying and upset and he gave her a hug. He said that she kissed him on the cheek and later he claimed she picked him up from his father’s home to take him back to her Coeur d’Alene home to have sex. He wouldn’t report the incident to his school counselor until the following year.

Thiel maintained her innocence throughout the investigation and trial. Due to the time that had passed, investigators were not able to find any physical evidence of the crime, so prosecutors were forced to rely almost entirely upon the testimony of witnesses. Throughout the trial, Thiel relied upon the support of her friends, colleagues, and family. From others, opinions of Thiel were harsh. Allegations of adults having sex with minors creates a sense of disgust, hysteria, and drives a “guilty-until-proven-innocent” rush to judgement from many in the community. Simply being arrested for a crime is often enough to convince people of guilt. Throughout the trial, criminal defense attorney Michael G. Palmer fought for Thiel’s innocence and realized she was faced with a teen who said that the sex happened and the only way to be acquitted was to somehow prove it didn’t.

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Californians have just enacted the biggest change to the criminal justice system in a generation. Voters have approved Proposition 47, which will reduce most drug and many theft crimes from felonies to mere misdemeanors. This will reduce or eliminate thousands of jail sentences across the state.

Anyone who is currently serving a prison sentence that qualifies under this reclassification is eligible to petition for a new, lighter sentence, even if currently incarcerated under Californias “three strikes” law. Someone serving a 25-to-life sentence may, for example, be allowed to leave prison now with credit for time that has been served.

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Kevin Reilly has served his prison sentences, has paid $6,000 to voluntarily be castrated, and spent more than 10 years in treatment at state mental hospitals. He claims he is no longer a threat to society.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Carroll said that Reilly was charged with molesting six girls between the ages of 4 to 8. He served three prison sentences and was incarcerated at a state mental hospital 14 years ago. Carroll added that “despite the castration, he still has sexual thoughts about prepubescent girls.”

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Mclaren_mp4-12c_goodwood_festival_of_speed_2010Two teens were arrested in Sonoma County on June 5 and now face charges for credit card fraud, receiving stolen property, identity theft and vehicle theft after the teens allegedly rented a $240,000 McLaren 12C using one or more stolen credit cards.

The 19-year old teens were somehow able to rent the McLaren, which is unusual because car rental agencies do not usually allow drivers under the age of 25 to rent high-end sports cars. They reportedly paid the $13,000 rental payment for the car and were able to get the keys before the agency realized the credit card was stolen.

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On April 14, a woman was  admitted to a Pennsylvania hospital for treatment of a condition apparently unrelated to drugs. While she was in the intensive care unit, her multiple cell phones rang frequently, and she was visited by a large number of people, who would stay for only a few minutes. Many of the visitors who came to see her did not even know her last name.

When suspicion of her activities mounted, police were called. They set up an undercover informant to visit her room who was able to buy 30 bags of heroin from the woman. Police quickly moved in to make the arrest. In her hospital room, they found 380 bags of heroin with a street value of approximately $3800, along with $1420 in cash.

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Only one day after the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that took the lives of 20 children and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, Marcos Gurrola allegedly took out a .40-caliber Glock handgun in a crowded Orange County mall parking lot and fired 54 rounds toward the Macy’s building. He stopped shooting and surrendered when two Newport Beach police officers on bicycles arrived. Gurrola was in possession of six magazines for his handgun, with even more in his car.

He was charged with 54 felony counts of firing a weapon at an inhabited dwelling, 2 counts of assault, plus two firearm enhancements. The reasons for Gurrola’s actions are inconclusive. He reportedly claimed that when he fired his gun, it made him feel better. Police said in 2012 that Gurrola told a detective he fired his gun because he was angry, but was not aiming at anybody.

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With tax day coming tomorrow, it’s tempting to make a few tweaks to reduce the amount of tax you owe to the federal government. But allow yourself to get carried away and you may find yourself in federal prison on tax evasion charges. The former city of Bell chief administrator was convicted of allegedly falsifying losses on his taxes, but that’s only half the story.

As the city administrator, he reportedly misappropriated taxpayer funds to pay himself a salary far in excess of what he should have received, and then claimed more than $770,000 in non-existent losses to the IRS to inflate his take-home pay up to $1.18 million per year.

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When a man applied for a job selling life insurance, his potential employer pointed out a blemish on his background check that indicated he had an outstanding tax lien. Without missing a beat, the man replied that it had been taken care of and he would send proof. Shortly thereafter, a faxed letter was sent to the company indicating that the tax lien’s “amounts in question have been satisfied completely.” It concluded with, “there are no outstanding fees or penalties due, and your record has been cleared of any restrictions or liens.” The letter was signed in the name of a US District Judge.

The company was suspicious and sent the letter to Alicemarie H. Stotler, the judge indicated on his letter. The judge reviewed the letter and saw her forged signature on it. Surprisingly, the judge knew the man, since she once sentenced him to prison for filing a false tax refund claim. She reported the crime and FBI agents who later confronted and arrested the man, who “was cooperative and made a full confession.”

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When a judge orders you not to drive, it’s a good idea to not immediately get behind the wheel as you’re leaving court.

At Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, individuals charged with driving-related crimes such as DUI were brought before a judge who notified them that their licenses had been suspended. As such, they were no longer permitted to drive. As they were leaving, deputies followed them out of the courtroom to find out how they were getting home.

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The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents of Orange County to plan ahead for festivities tonight that involve alcohol. The agency will be deploying multiple DUI checkpoints throughout the area with the intention of arresting anybody who is driving a vehicle who is under the influence of alcohol.

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens recommends planning ahead to get a safe ride home at the end of the night. Such plans can include designating a sober driver, using a taxi service, or calling a sober friend or family member to give you a ride home. They also recommend taking car keys away from any individual who appears to be intoxicated so they are unable to drive.

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