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United States Attorney News
Plea deal for drunk driver who crashed boat and killed a soon-to-be wed man
A plea deal had Richard Aquilone pleading to lesser charges and getting just a probation for the death of Jijo Puthuvamkunnath.
Puthuvamkunnath was to be married in a few weeks but he never got to tie the knot as he got killed when a drunk Aquilone rammed his boat with his yacht.
The impact was so great that Puthuvamkunnath's boat was split in two.
Aside from the probation, Aquilone will also be made to serve the community for 250 hours.
Marc Agnifilo, New York criminal attorney defending for Aquilone, said his client has expressed regret for the loss that he has caused the Puthuvamkunnaths.
Judge denies third trial for man convicted of murder
Nicholas Christopher Ferro was denied a third trial for the death of Marques Butler in 2009.
Ferro's first trial had ended in a hung jury. In his second trial, he was convicted of murder in the second degree last September.
However, he had asked for a third trial with Miami attorney Carlos Gonzalez pointing out several things, the main of which is that the charges should not have been murder in the second degree because of the scant amount of time that Ferro and Butler have known each other before the incident happened.
According to Ferro's defense, a murder in the second degree charge would require that the perpetrator and victim are familiar with each other thus the need for a time requirement on how long they have known each other basing on the murder laws of Florida.
However, the judge said the amount of time is not required.
With Ferro's demand for a third trial denied, a life imprisonment sentence looms for him.
Man cleared of theft charges
Kevin Keheley can breathe a sigh of relief after a jury exonerated him of theft.
Keheley was accused of defrauding a man after entering into a contract of developing an application for a smartphone, which he was never able to produce.
The contract was for $17,000 and Keheley was paid up front with $10,000.
Keheley then relocated to Austin but promised to finish the application. This, however, never happened.
Denver criminal lawyer Laurie Schmidt, who defended for Keheley, said that what happened was a business dispute.
Schmidt added that Keheley had no intention of running away from giving back the money that he received as evidenced by emails showing his intention to pay the money back.
Man found guilty in beating death of infant
David Christopher Cruz was found guilty in the death of an infant, who is still five months shy of turning one years old.
The infant victim, the son of Cruz's girlfriend, was taken off life support a few days after he was brought into the hospital unconscious.
He suffered head injuries, several fractures and had bruises on his body.
Court heard that Cruz was the infant's baby sitter while the mother goes to work.
Cruz told the police that he had hit the baby because he keeps on fussing.
Michael Begovich, a criminal lawyer in San Diego defending for Cruz, said that the baby's mother also has a responsibility in her son's death because she had not consulted a doctor when the baby had an ear infection.
Man avoids manslaughter conviction
Donnell Deshawn Stean was cleared of manslaughter charges for the death of Bernard Howard Jr. whom he shot during an altercation.
The jury had found that Stean had only shot Howard in defense.
Howard was found to have more than the legal limit of alcohol in his blood while Stean had tested positive of an ingredient found in marijuana.
Howard was one of the people whom Stean found in his apartment when he went home on the night of Nov. 3. They were drinking and helping out a roommate of Stean's who was moving out.
The group got upset when Stean hit an older man who was also living in the apartment.
Howard had punched Stean, who retaliated by pulling out his gun.
Sacramento defense attorney Alan Whisenand said his client, Stean, had felt threatened by the group thus his actions.
Stean was also cleared of seriously wounding the female roommate's brother during the incident.