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USA Attorney News Archive

Los Angeles lawyers insist on client's release

Blair Berk and Leonard Levine, defense lawyers in Los Angeles, are arguing for the release of their client, Darren Sharper, who used to play in the National Football League.

Sharper has submitted a not guilty plea to sexually assaulting two women in Los Angeles.

However, Sharper remains on indefinite custody with no bail after prosecutors pointed out that he also has an arrest warrant issued by authorities in Louisiana.

Sharper's lawyers are insisting on his release because no case has been filed yet pertaining to the Louisiana arrest warrant.

Jury convicts man of killing ex-girlfriend

Wade Bradford's defense did not convince the jury as they found him guilty in the shooting death of Natalie Allan.

Bradford and Allan had met when Allan worked in one of Bradford's massage parlors. While they were dating, Allan was also dating Kevin Myles, her massage client.

During the trial, the prosecutors told the court that Bradford had shot Allan when she broke up with him and she and Myles had gone to Bradford's place to get her things.

This was countered by Phoenix defense lawyer Jamie Jackson saying that Bradford did not know that he had shot Allan.

According to Jackson, the gun accidentally went off because Myles had suddenly lunged at Bradford.

The jury, however, did not buy this.

Aside from Allan's death, Bradford is also facing charges for the death of another of his former girlfriend, Eleanor Su.

Irish nanny facing murder in death of 1-year-old girl denied bail

Aisling Brady McCarthy, a nanny from Ireland, will have to await her murder trial in jail after she was denied bail.

McCarthy is accused of the death of Remah Sabir, a one-year-old girl who had suffered a head trauma while under her care. She was brought in to the hospital and died two days later.

However, McCarthy may get a reprieve after the judge got frustrated with the prosecutors' delay in handing over medical proof which could prove critical for her defense.

David Meier, a criminal attorney in Boston defending for McCarthy, said that the evidence they were asking for is necessary to the case.

McCarthy's defense said they are not ready to go to trial in April because of the delay.

NSA employee accused in adopted son's death

Brian Patrick O'Callaghan is facing murder charges after it has been alleged that he had beaten his adopted son which resulted to the 3-year-old's death.

O'Callaghan is a former marine and a war veteran who now works for the NSA.

The suspicion against O'Callaghan started when police were called to the hospital where the boy was confined.

The boy was suffering from brain hemorrhage and fractures in the skull, injuries consistent with beating.

O'Callaghan had told police investigators that his wife had gone out of town thus he had been caring for the boy.

While under his care, O'Callaghan said the child had hit his shoulder in the shower after falling backwards. The next day, when he went to check on the boy who was napping, he said he noticed mucus coming out of the boy's nose and when he picked him up, the boy started vomiting so he brought him to the hospital.

Steven McCool, a defense lawyer in Washington representing O'Callaghan, is insisting on his client's innocence.

He said the allegations have no basis and that O'Callaghan is disputing that the child suffered several injuries in the head.

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.

Former FOX 5 anchor exonerated of DUI charges

A jury has exonerated Amanda Davis, a retired anchor of FOX 5, from charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Instead, she was held liable for not being able to maintain driving on one lane which resulted to an accident in 2012.

For her sentence, Davis will be serving the community for 20 hours.

She will also be made to pay $200 as fine.

Defending for Davis was Atlanta DUI lawyer William "Bubba" Head.

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 cleared of rape that happened in 1993

Stephen Cothran was acquitted of rape and kidnapping charges in connection to an incident that happened in 1993.

Cothran, 56, became a suspect when his DNA linked him to evidence gathered during the incident.

However, a negative test had the jury dismissing the charges against Cothran.

Reuben Sheperd, a criminal attorney in Cleveland defending for Cothran, said that the victim had agreed to have sex with his client.

Austin man convicted in shooting death of motorist

A sentence of life imprisonment looms for Darius Lovings after the jury found him liable for the death of William Ervin in 2012.

Court heard that Lovings had shot Ervin when the latter stopped to help him while he was pretending to have car trouble.

Austin criminal lawyer Jon Evans had asked the jury to consider that mental health issues have been at play during the incident.

Lovings had told the police after his arrest that he had heard voices.

Aside from Ervin's death, Lovings is also facing charges of robbery and attempted murder.

Melinda Muniz has been arrested and charged with the death of Grace Ford, the two-year-old daughter of her fiance, who reportedly broke up with her.

Aside from being the fiancee of the victim's father, Muniz was also the caregiver of the little girl.

Muniz's arrest has generated widespread anger with hundreds expressing their disgust for the suspect online.

Robbie McClung, a Dallas criminal attorney who will be defending for Muniz, urged the public to wait for all the facts before judging Muniz.

The police have also stated that Muniz is not considered guilty until proven otherwise.

Sexually abusing four differently-abled women nets man prison

William Walker was handed a minimum of 24 years and a maximum of 60 years in prison after admitting to rape charges.

Walker submitted a guilty plea to allegations that he raped four women who are disabled in a span of 12 days in 2012.

The judge said Walker is a danger to society and rehabilitating him may not help.

Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Catherine Berryman said Walker was abused while growing up.

Former Human Rights Commission employee enters plea deal in child pornography

Larry Brinkin, who used to work for the Human Rights Commission of San Francisco, entered into a plea deal agreement on his child pornography charges.

The plea deal saw a second charge of child pornography distribution dropped against the 67-year-old Brinkin.

Under the plea deal, Brinkin will spend six months behind bars and another six months of house arrest. Afterwhich, he will undergo probation for four years.

Brinkin, who is a staunch supporter of the LGBT advocacy, will also be entered in the list of sexual offender and is ordered to go through therapy.

Randall Knox, an attorney in San Francisco, said that Brinkin has been deeply sorry for what he has done and has fully understood the damage that child pornography can inflict on victims.

$600,000 bail set for man who threatened Seattle mayor

Neither the prosecution nor the defense got what they wanted when the judge ordered Mitchell Munro Taylor to remain in jail and set the bail at $600,000.

Eric Lindell, the Seattle criminal lawyer defending for Taylor, had asked for a $10,000 bail saying that his client has not been taking his medicines for Asperger's Syndrome.

This was countered by the prosecution, who sought a $1 million bail.

Lindell was jailed when he posted several threatening messages on Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's Facebook page.

He also posted a threat which authorities believed targeted Kshama Sawant, the first socialist to have become a member of the City Council.

Ex-cab driver agrees to plea deal in murder charges

A plea deal agreement has Broderick Kenyo Smith admitting to manslaughter instead of capital murder in the death of Arlando Maurice Pritchett in 2012.

The plea agreement will have Smith serving just a year in jail for a split sentence of 10 years.

His jail stay will be followed with probation for three years.

Should Smith violate his probation, he could be made to serve the rest of his 10-year sentence.

According to the police, Pritchett had an argument with a cab driver prior to his shooting while Smith admitted that he had been driving a cab during the time of the incident.

Birmingham defense attorney Charles Salvagio said Smith had shot Pritchett because the latter had robbed him.

Philadelphia Church official granted bail after his conviction was reversed

After 18 months in prison, Monsignor William Lynn, may be released when he was granted bail following the reversal of his conviction.

Lynn, who served as a secretary for clergy at the Philadelphia archdiocese, will have to give up his passport. He will also be made to wear an electronic device for monitoring.

The Roman Catholic official was sentenced to between three to six years after he was convicted for endangering an abuse victim of a priest.

However, appeal judges reversed Lynn's conviction because the child-endangerment law which he was accused of violating did not apply to him.

Following the reversal, Lynn's defense lawyers asked for his release which the prosecution opposed during the bail hearing claiming that the priest is a flight risk.

However, Philadelphia defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom said that Lynn would never run away from conviction.

No bail for man who knocked down a 79YO black man

The bail application of Conrad Barret, who is charged with a hate crime, was denied, something that Barret's lawyer said they have been expecting.

Houston criminal attorney George Parnham said that according to the judge, his 27-year-old client might avoid a criminal conviction. He also poses as a danger to the public.

Barret was charged after he attacked an old, black man; filmed the act and showed it to someone, who turned out to be an arson investigator.

Barrett is looking at more than a 10-year prison term and a fine of more than $200,000 should he get convicted.

Cuyahoga corruption snitch gets six years in prison

J. Kevin Kelley was handed a six-year prison sentence for his involvement in the Cuyahoga corruption case, considered as one of the biggest in the county.

Kelley was the first defendant to offer his cooperation to the FBI who was investigating the corruption issue.

He admitted to being the one who collects and pays off the bribes to county officials.

During his sentencing, Kelley issued an apology to his family as well as the taxpayers of Cuyahoga County.

Kelley has also been ordered to pay restitution of about $700,000.

Kelley's cooperation ensured the cooperation of other defendants in the case and the conviction of several people involved in the corruption.

Cleveland defense attorney John Gibbons said there is no excuse for Kelley's involvement in the corruption, however, his cooperation is the best way for him to make amends.

Famous dealer of wine convicted for fraud

The jury returned a guilty verdict against Rudy Kurniawan, a star wine collector, for faking vintage wines, which he apparently just manufactured from his home.

Kurniawan was convicted for fraud and is looking at a massive 40-year sentence.

Kurniawan was once known as among the top five collectors of wine in the world.

Prosecutors accused Kurniawan of earning millions from selling and auctioning fake vintage wines.

Found in the home that Kurniawan shared with his mother were unlabeled bottles and labels of Burgundy and Bordeaux wines.

Suspicions against Kurniawan started during an auction in 2008 wherein he offered to sell Domaine Ponsot wines.

But it wasn't until a 2012 wine auction in London that Kurniawan was arrested.

Los Angeles criminal lawyer Jerome Mooney, defending for Kurniawan, said his client was not trying to defraud people. Instead, all he wanted was to belong.

NFL player's non-cooperation sees theft charges dropped against woman who stole his jewelry

Theft charges against Subhanna Beyah were dropped after her victim, New York Giants' Shaun Rogers, refused to cooperate with the authorities.

Jonathan Meltz, Beyah's lawyer in Miami, could not be contacted to comment on the issue.

Miami prosecutors believed that Beyah did to Rogers what she did to two other men, wherein she drugged them before stealing their valuables.

According to the police, Rogers had met Beyah at the nightclub of the hotel where he was staying.

Together with another couple, they had gone up to his room where he went to sleep while the others were partying. Before he went to sleep, he put his jewelry inside a safe in the room. When he woke up, Beyah was already gone and so was his jewelry worth almost $500,000.

Rogers had told the prosecution that he was not willing to cooperate during the one time he spoke with them.

Despite the failure of the theft charges to prosper, the prosecution instead will go ahead with charging Beyah for violating her probation wherein she is looking at a 20-year prison sentence if convicted.