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Roanoke, VA Attorneys, Lawyers and Law Firms
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United States Attorney News
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.
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.
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.
Jury clears King of Pop's concert promoter of negligence
A jury rejected a negligence lawsuit brought by Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael Jackson, against AEG Live LLC, the This is It concerts promoter of the King of Pop.
Katherine Jackson's lawyers claimed that the promoter erred when it failed to verify if Dr. Conrad Murray was qualified when it hired him as the singer's doctor.
AEG denied the allegation but said that Murray was hired by Michael Jackson himself.
Murray is already serving a jail sentence for the death of the popstar.
Los Angeles lawyer Marvin S. Putnam, AEG's lead defense counsel, said the jury made the right decision.
The Jackson lawyers had pointed out that the promoter was only after its own profits thus it did not bother to make sure that Murray was a qualified physician.
Putnam and his defence team claimed Murray's hiring was the singer's choice and that if their client had known about what Murray and Jackson were up to they would not have gone on with the series of concerts.