Friday, December 28, 2012

Lawyer, Wife Met Prison Terms for Scamming Disabled Veterans

Posted on Behalf of Attorney Ross Goodman for Criminal Defense

A 73-year-old longtime Houston lawyer, like his 72-year-old wife earlier this year, was handed a
46-month prison term for stealing from forty-nine disabled military veterans.

Joe Phillips on Wednesday was sentenced by Judge Lee H. Rosenthal to 46 months in federal prison. He was also ordered to repay $2.35 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which claims to have already compensated most of his victims, and to pay an additional $282,112 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for his income tax liability.

Phillips pleaded guilty in September to two of the 21 conspiracy to make false statements, misappropriation by a fiduciary and signing a false income tax return charges he faced and admitted that between 2003 and 2007, he had transferred over $1.36 million from client accounts to a joint checking account for himself and his wife Dorothy.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tips on Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Posted on Behalf of Attorney Ross Goodman for Criminal Defense

Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer that you can depend on is not an easy task as hiring the wrong one will result in you losing your case or worse, jail time.

Here are tips on selecting a criminal defense lawyer:

1. Ask questions

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Ask Questions

Asking questions like; “how many cases similar to mine have you won?” or “how many cases have you engaged in?” is very helpful, especially if you want to hire a lawyer that has experience in a case that’s the same as yours.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pedestrian Killed in DUI Hit-And-Run by Substance Abuse Counselor

Posted on Behalf of Attorney Ross Goodman for Criminal Defense

A man who opted to walk instead of drive home because he had three beers was hit and killed by a drunk driving alcohol and drug addiction counselor Saturday night in Torrance, California.

The 31-year-old Philip Moreno who spent his last day alive having beer and watching a college football game with friends at a bar called The Branch Office was struck head on by a Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible as he was crossing Torrance Boulevard. He was hit so hard he got knocked off his shoes and got lodged in the windshield of the car. He was carried writhing atop the hood and stuck in the windshield for two miles before other motorists managed to swarm the drunk driver at a traffic light at Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street and snatch the car keys away from 51-year-old Sherri Lynn Wilkins. When responding rescue workers arrived and pulled Moreno off the windshield, he still had a pulse. However, he died on arrival at the hospital.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

5 Traits of a Top Criminal Defense Lawyer

Traits of a Top Criminal Defense Lawyer

What separates the top lawyers from the rest? For some people, it’s how experienced they are in practicing their profession. But what about those who are still new to the profession?

Here are 5 traits of a top criminal defense attorney:

1. Workaholic

Good lawyers are always workaholics. The average law student studies an average of 90 hours a week and will be working through the weekend.

2. Aggressive

Lawyers who win cases are aggressive lawyers. There is no room in the court for pushovers especially in criminal defense.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teen in DUI Manslaughter Case Sentenced to 10-Year Church Attendance

A district judge in Oklahoma sentenced a 17-year-old boy to 10 years of church attendance for a DUI/DWI manslaughter offense. Tyler Alred, the teen offender, was driving a Chevrolet pickup in the early morning hours of December 4, 2011 when he hit a tree, in the process killing his passenger and friend, 16-year old John Dum. A breathalyzer test showed that his blood alcohol content then was under the state’s legal alcohol limit but he had been drinking underage which is also illegal. He pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in August.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Arresting Officer in DUI Incident Arrested for Contempt of Court

Florida Highway Patrol trooper John Costa, 41, was ordered thrown in jail this week after his failure to appear at a DUI trial forced the judge to dismiss the defendant’s case.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What To Do If Charged With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious case; once the police are called in for a complaint, someone is going with them (usually to jail) for questioning.

What To Do If Charged With Domestic Violence
Here are things you should do when charged with domestic violence: 


You have the right to remain silent, so practice that right by being silent and only talking to the officer when asked with a question.


When being taken to custody, cooperate with the officer and be polite. You will gain nothing by being rude and/or angering the officer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fox News Anchor Amanda Davis in Head-On Collision, Arrested for DUI

Amanda Davis, an award winning co-anchor for Fox 5 News in Atlanta, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of driving under the influence after she figured in a head-on crash with another car along Piedmont Avenue.

According to investigators at the scene, Davis was found driving her green Fiat northbound in the southbound lane of Piedmont Avenue when she struck a black Toyota Corolla driven by David Jarman. The head-on collision caused substantial front-end damage to both vehicles. Jarman was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What To Do When You are Charged with DUI

Being charged with DUI is a serious offence for everyone. Driving under the influence does not only endanger your life but others as well.

If you’re charged with DUI here is a list of things to consider,
You have rights

The patrolman will read you the “Miranda rights”, remember that you have the right to remain silent and you should exercise that right. Anything you say once arrested will be used to you on the court of law and since you are being charged with DUI you will need to control yourself and comply with what the officer is instructing you. Remember that you can refuse the field sobriety test and the breathalyzer test. When being questioned, do not lie to the officer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Drunk Driving While Texting Woman Slams into Construction Site, 2 Workers Hurt

Texting while driving
A woman has been arrested Wednesday on suspicion of texting while driving and drunken driving in connection with a crash that injured two construction workers near Reno.

Witnesses at the scene said the woman, later identified as 20-year-old Heather Dyer, drove straight into a construction site on I-580S and crashed into one of the construction equipment in a controlled work zone causing injury to two construction workers. The impact of the collision caused a wheel to fall off a vehicle and hit one of the two injured workers. Dyer, it would seem, got herself in trouble apparently because she was too distracted by her texting or she was too impaired or under the influence or she was both too drunk and too distracted while she was driving that she failed to see where she was going until it was way much too late for her to stop.

Monday, October 22, 2012

DUI Lawyer Asks Nevada Supreme Court to Set Aside Attorney General’s Order on Prison Terms for DUI Offenders

Nevada Supreme Court
The DUI defense attorney  for one of eight drunken driving offenders who were taken off house arrest and sent back to prison to serve a mandatory minimum two-year term asked the Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday to compel the director of prisons to release his 21-year-old client  and put her back on the house arrest program.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Aspiring Actress Dead in DUI-Related Car Crash

Sammi Kane Kraft, who was riding as a passenger in car driven by a 21-year-old woman suspected of being under the influence, died after succumbing to injuries suffered in an apparent DUI-caused accident on the Santa Monica Freeway early Wednesday.

The driver, Molly Adams of Santa Monica, reportedly rear-ended a tractor-trailer at about 1:30 a.m. near the Crenshaw Boulevard exit of the freeway with her Audi. After the impact of the initial crash, the Audi was then next struck by a Toyota Scion.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ross Goodman Cleared By Las Vegas Police on Downtown Lot Deal

Daughter of Christine Von Sturm upon further investigation conclusively determined there was no improper movement taken by Goodman and Palazzo.

On Sep 14th 2004, there was an article from the Las Vegas Sun suggesting that there may have been something improper about a real estate transaction involving lawyers Ross Goodman and Louis Palazzo.

However, the article does not reflect the investigation conclusively determining there was no such improper action and that Von Sturm’s daughter has made an official statement withdrawing any allegations.

The property in question was a $1.4 million downtown lot comprised of two parcels, located at 511 and 515 Las Vegas Blvd. South, belonging to then-85 year old Christina Von Sturm.

Friday, September 14, 2012

District of Columbia Businesswoman Pleads Guilty to Illegal Campaign Contribution Charges

Mayor Vincent Gray’s donor Eugenia "Jeanne" Harris, 75, of Washington, DC, pleaded guilty to disguising the source of campaign contributions in federal and local elections and to hiding those activities from federal investigators. She admitted guilt to three charges: one count of conspiring to violate federal campaign finance law and to obstruct justice; one count of engaging in fraud and making false statements; and one count of conspiring to violate District of Columbia campaign finance law.

According to the FBI, Harris allegedly used her two businesses and the buinesses of someone they dubbed as her "Co-Conspirator #1" to buy campaign supplies and make donations in the names of family members and employees without reporting such expenses or activities to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics’ Office of Campaign Finance.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall of the Ohio Bridge Would-Be-Bombers

On April 30, five self-proclaimed anarchists who had been active with the Occupy Cleveland Movement were taken into custody by the FBI on suspicion of hatching a plot to bomb a four-lane highway bridge in Ohio. The eldest of them, 35-year-old Anthony Hayne, pleaded guilty in July and agreed to testify for the government. On Wednesday last week, three of his alleged co-conspirators, namely, 26-year-old Douglas Wright, 20-year-old Brandon Baxter and 20-year-old Connor Stevens - also entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Court Judge David Dowd. The four thus all admitted guilt to the charges of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device to destroy property used in interstate commerce. The fifth suspect - 23-year-old Joshua Stafford, is still undergoing a psychiatric evaluation for competency to stand trial.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Three of “Agency Five” Publishers in Alleged E-Book Price-Fixing Conspiracy with Apple Settles Antitrust Lawsuits with Feds, States for $69 Million

In a press statement released Friday, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced that Hachette Book Group, CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster and News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers - three of the so-called “Agency Five” publishers, the other two being Macmillan and Penguin - which have been named along with Apple Inc. in government antitrust lawsuits alleging illegal e-book price-fixing conspiracy have agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement with the Department of Justice and fifty-four states and territories including the District of Columbia.

Subject to court approval, the settlement would eliminate Apple’s “most favored nation” status with the publishers. According to Masto, the three big publishers also agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to compensate consumers who purchased e-books during the period of April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012. Payments will begin 30 days after court approval of the settlement becomes final.   Consumers in Nevada are collectively expected to receive up to $600,000 in total compensation. Eligible Nevada consumers will receive funds in the form of a credit or check from the settlement’s proceeds. Consumers who are eligible will receive direct notice by email.  Notice will also be published in print and web media.  A web site, created and maintained by a claims administer, will also be available providing detailed information on the settlement, Masto’s office announced. The three publishers likewise agreed to pay approximately $7.5 million to the states for fees and costs.

The antitrust lawsuits came about as a result of a probe conducted by DOJ on deals made by Apple with the “Agency Five” publishers two years ago when it launched the iPad and entered into direct competition with and Barnes & Noble. Apple used an “agency model" in its e-book pricing strategy whereby publishers set prices and Apple would take a 30 percent commission. In theory, that pricing model should stimulate competition and encourage varied pricing among the publishers. However, the prosecutors maintain that the parties may have conspired or worked in concert to set or fix the prices of e-books with Apple acting as the "hub" of coordination. They contend that by moving from a "wholesale model" to an "agency model," and through collaboration with Apple, the publishers allegedly ended retail price competition. The lawsuit accuses Apple of facilitating the transition with the clear understanding that it would result in higher prices. The complaint in fact quotes the late Steve Jobs as saying, "We'll go to [an] agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway."

Recently, the DOJ has been taking on large tech companies like Apple to force some policy changes. Most notably, in 2010  it was able to come to a deal with Apple, Google, Pixar, and others to terminate their "no employee poaching" agreements with each other under threat of a possible lawsuit.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Supreme Court Rejects Death Sentence, Found Prosecution Lied, Withheld Vital Evidence

The California Supreme Court on Monday unanimously rejected a 25-year-old death sentence after it was found that the prosecution deliberately lied and withheld vital evidence favorable to the defense during both the guilt and penalty phases of the capital trial of Miguel Angel Bacigalupo who was convicted of the 1983 murders of a San Jose jewelry store owner and his brother.

Bacigalupo, a Peruvian immigrant, had admitted after his arrest on December 1983 that he shot Orestes and Jose Luis Guerrero but he maintained that a Colombian cartel had "contracted" him to do it and had threatened to kill him and his family if he refused.

The lead prosecutor then, Joyce Allegro, who is now a Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge, told the jury that the duress brought about by the alleged threat from a Colombian drug cartel was "a total fabrication" notwithstanding that an investigator for her office, Sandra Williams, had interviewed a confidential informant who admitted driving a Colombian drug kingpin to meet Bacigalupo the night before the crime, presumably to arrange the contract killings.

In 2001, the Supreme Court referred Bacigalupo's habeas case to retired Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Richard Arnason for an evidentiary hearing. Seventeen witnesses were called to testify, including Gail Kesselman, the confidential informant who had once been romantically involved with a Colombian drug kingpin who leased space to one of the murder victims. Kesselman testified that she had told Williams that she drove the kingpin to a meeting with a man who looked like Bacigalupo the night before the killings and that after the killings, the kingpin told her it was "an organized murder" because of "something that happened years ago.” Williams, when her turn came during the hearing, told Arnason that she did not consider Kesselman's testimony reliable.

The evidentiary hearing stretched over three years after which Arnason concluded that Kesselman was telling the truth and that Williams was lying. The retired judge also established  that Williams had instructed Kesselman to deny any knowledge of a contract killing at the 1985 in camera hearing before Judge Read Ambler. Arnoson further states in his report to the Supreme Court that as for Allegro, she "knew about the San Francisco meeting as she testified that she thought information about the meeting had been provided in discovery."

Justice Joyce Kennard who wrote the ruling for a unanimous court concurred with the evidentiary hearing finding that Williams "failed to disclose favorable and material evidence...  without this evidence, the jury likely disregarded as self-serving and implausible petitioner's claims to police that the Colombian Mafia had ordered him to kill the Guerrero brothers, and that his entire family would have been killed had he disobeyed that order.”

Justice Goodwin Liu concurred separately, saying  Arnason's finding that "Williams lied and induced Gale Kesselman to lie at the September 1985 ex parte hearing...that misconduct concealed the very information that would have led Judge Ambler to conclude that Kesselman was a material witness at least for the penalty phase of the trial...Thus, the prosecution did not simply suppress favorable, material evidence. It also affirmatively dissuaded the defense from pursuing a line of inquiry that would have uncovered such evidence."

Bacigalupo is hence officially out of death row. However, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said he would review the decision and "will then decide whether to retry the penalty phase or simply allow Mr. Bacigalupo to die in prison."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

International Fugitive Arrested in Las Vegas

A 51-year-old German national wanted by law enforcement authorities in Germany for using his Florida-based financial firm to defraud investors of more than $100 million in a pyramid scheme was arrested last week in Las Vegas by special agents and officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), the U.S. Marshals Service and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Ulrich Felix Anton Engler is the subject of an international warrant issued December 4, 2007 in Mannheim, Germany. He is wanted on multiple criminal charges for jointly committing fraud on a repetitive and gainful basis, filed in the local court in Mannheim and Hamburg, Germany.

As gathered, Engler conducted the illegal scheme from his Florida office from June 2003 to December 2004 and used a marketing company which he had set up utilizing the Internet to defraud numerous investors in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. He falsely claimed to trade in shares and other securities in the form of so-called day trading through his company, Private Commercial Office, in Cape Coral. In total, Engler concluded 3,549 such contracts with investors involving a total sum of $100,896,836.61. The investors suffered damages in the amount of their investment capital. Once they had transferred the money to the United States, they no longer had any possibility to access the money.

At the time the arrest warrant was issued in Germany, Engler was believed to have been residing in Florida. In 2011, the U.S. Marshals Service in conjunction with INTERPOL Washington determined that Engler was perpetuating his fraudulent schemes in Nevada under the name of Joseph Miller. A fingerprint match in a Las Vegas-area drunken driving case in February led the authorities to the German fugitive. 

Engler is currently in ERO custody pending deportation to Germany where he will be turned over to law enforcement authorities. If convicted for his alleged crimes, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

More criminal charges related articles available at Criminal Defense Blog.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Reno Man Charged for Girlfriend’s Baby’s Death

A 22-year-old Reno man has been charged Wednesday with child abuse and first-degree murder in connection with the August 8 death of his girlfriend’s baby.

Donald Jackson was charged in the criminal complaint filed in court for the killing of Jayden Marion, who was the 19-month-old baby son of Jackson’s live-in girlfriend at her residence on Lakeside Ave. in Reno. He was also charged with child abuse for having allegedly struck the baby between June 15 and July 30 in previously unreported abuse that caused bruises and swelling. His court hearing has not yet been scheduled.

According to Reno Police, their investigation revealed that the baby’s mother had gone to work and had left her child with Jackson, who was then also watching his own young son, on the morning of August 8. Later that day, Jackson went to a neighbor saying the baby was “cold and not breathing”. The child was brought to Renown Regional Medical Center just before noon where it was pronounced dead. An autopsy showed that the baby suffered from non-accidental blunt force trauma to his abdominal area. The injury was so severe that it severed a part of his liver, and lacerated his spleen.

Jackson was arrested August 9 and was held at Washoe County Jail without bail. His girlfriend told investigators she had seen bruises on her son’s buttocks and legs during the past few months and that his feet and one of his hands were also swollen and bruised. 

Read more related articles and news at Ross Goodman Criminal Defense Attorney Blog

Friday, August 24, 2012

Murder Charge Filed vs. Henderson Woman for Strangling Boyfriend

A 36-year-old mother of five was arrested at her Henderson home and was charged with murder Thursday, about three months after she already admitted to police that she strangled her boyfriend until he died.

Tammy Lucero was booked into the Henderson jail and is being held there without bail for the killing of her 35-year-old boyfriend, David Hudson, whose body was found May 24 at their apartment near Lake Mead Parkway and Boulder Highway. She told investigators then that she acted in self defense. She is scheduled to make her appearance in court on Wednesday.

According to police report, Hudson punched Lucero in the face and was starting to choke her with both hands when she managed to push him off, grab hold of a computer cord, wrap it around his neck and hold on tight until he stopped breathing. Lucero told the police that she feared that Hudson would "beat or kill her if she let go” of the cord. She said Hudson had even stabbed her in the head two weeks before the strangulation incident.

Detectives assigned on the case noted that Lucero's injuries were consistent with her story of what happened on the day she killed her boyfriend. However, they apparently now feel that Lucero may have gone above and beyond self defense.

Both Lucero and Hudson have records of prior arrests, with Hudson for domestic battery and Lucero for drug charges. Neighbors told the police that the couple both seemed abusive toward each other, with Lucero being the more abusive of the two. They said Hudson seemed afraid of his girlfriend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Missing Person Case Becomes Murder

An almost three-year-old missing person case has been reclassified as a case of murder after police learned that the body found near a rural desert road outside Las Vegas on October 2011 turned out to be that of the person reported as missing since December 2009.

On December 8, 2009, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department started its investigation on the disappearance of 56-year-old Dragon Rnic, Sr. who was reportedly last seen on December 1 driving a white Honda Odyssey mini-van. The vehicle was found abandoned the next day on the side of the State Route 160 near mile marker 20. However, there was no trace of Rnic. The case went cold after a while.

In October, a body was found in a desert area next to where the van had been found two years before. The Clark County coroner's office has yet to officially release the identity and cause and manner of death although the police already believe the body to be Rnic. In fact, they have already named 54-year-old Blazenko Jurasek as a suspect in Rnic's disappearance and probable murder.

A grand jury has indicted Jurasek for murder and the police said this Friday that they have already issued a warrant for his arrest.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Ross Goodman offers free consultation. Call 702 383 5088 today!

Monday, August 20, 2012

‘Innocence Lost’ Nets 23 in ‘Hot August Nights’ Sting

Twenty-two women and one man were arrested or cited on suspicion of prostitution during two days of an undercover sting during the ‘Hot August Nights’ classic car and nostalgia event across the Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe areas.

The sting came in the heels of the Innocence Lost National Initiative aimed at addressing the growing problem of domestic sex trafficking of children in the United States which was launched by the FBI, in conjunction with the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. As part of the initiative, detectives in the regional Street Enforcement Team on Thursday and Saturday arrested or cited some of the suspected prostitutes contacted on the Fourth Street corridor,  those contacted through online escort advertisements and those found at a Sparks hotel-casino.

The youngest suspect nabbed was an 18-year-old male from Reno while the oldest was a 45-year-old woman. Many told investigators they had children. Several admitted they were drug addicts. A sizeable number say they live in California and travelled to Las Vegas to take advantage of the ‘Hot August Nights’ classic car event.

Police surmise at least some of those arrested were working for pimps. Aside from suspicion of solicitation for prostitution, charges filed against some include obstructing or resisting a peace officer and those for drug-related offenses.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Las Vegas Defense Lawyer Charged for Having Sex with Client in Jail

A Las Vegas defense attorney was arrested and charged Monday with a felony offense for having oral sex with his client while on a visit at the Clark County Detention Center.

Curtis Cannon, 58, a member of the State Bar of Nevada since 2007, and his client, Crystal Wallis, 23, who was serving time at the detention center on drug charges and a charge of attempted possession of a stolen vehicle, were both indicted with voluntary sexual conduct between a prisoner and another person.

Responding to reports of Cannon’s alleged misconduct with his jailed female clients, detectives of the Criminal Intelligence Section of the Metropolitan Police Department installed a hidden  camera, with the audio turned off to avoid listening to private attorney-client conversations, in the visiting room where Cannon met Wallis last Thursday afternoon. They were able to get a detailed footage of the two kissing and while engaged in the sexual act.

When separately confronted with the evidence, both the defense attorney and his client admitted to having committed the alleged impropriety which will likely draw one to four years in prison. Cannon was expected to post the $5,000 bail for his provisional release.

Nevada’s State Bar, the organization that regulates lawyers, will also be looking into Cannon’s case.

Facing criminal charges? Hire criminal defense lawyer Ross Goodman to defend you. He has proven track record of results. Click the link to view his site. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hells Angels’ Trial Dismissed on Technicality

For failure on the part of the prosecution to observe proper procedures, a Nevada court judge declared a mistrial in the felony attempted murder and gang-related activity case against eight Hells Angels arising from a well-publicized December 2008 brawl with rival Mongols motorcycle club members at a wedding chapel in downtown Las Vegas.

Clark County District Court Judge Michael Villani ruled Wednesday that prosecutors failed to fully turn over to defense attorneys evidence, including photographs and documents to be used during the trial for eight of thirteen members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club who have been charged with bludgeoning three Mongols at the A Special Memory Wedding Chapel. The eight defendants on trial are Dominic Orlando, Frederick O'Dell, Brandon Young, James Sexey, John Dawson, Jeffrey Murray, John Merchant, and Armando Porras.

Villani made his decision after being told that a lead police detective in the case had testified in a child custody hearing for one of the victims years after the brawl. The detective's testimony has to do with the issue as to whether the victim remained a member of the Mongols after the brawling incident with the rival motorcycle club. The prosecutors apparently thought the testimony had very limited relevance to the case.

The defense lawyers maintained otherwise. They said not knowing about the testimony beforehand hampered the defense's ability to impeach or cross-examine witnesses. One of the Hells Angels’ attorney, Jim Oronoz argued that, "The government, like everyone else, has to play by the rules and turn over the evidence."

Friday, August 10, 2012

“Plaid Bank Robber” Nabbed

Officers from the Henderson and Las Vegas police departments and agents from FBI arrested a Nevada resident whom they say was the man the media dubbed as the “plaid bank robber.”

Maximilian Kvetan, 30, was apprehended and taken into custody Tuesday morning at a house near Hacienda Avenue and Sandhill Road in Henderson. He faces federal charges in connection with three bank robberies committed last month. He confessed to two bank robberies in Henderson and another one in Las Vegas. He denied any involvement in the July 18 robbery of the U.S. Bank branch inside a Smith's grocery store at 830 S. Boulder Highway.

According to reports, in each bank robbery, a man dressed in a plaid shirt handed a note demanding money to a teller. After receiving cash, he took back the note. He did not present any weapon and no one got hurt in any of his capers. Witnesses described the robber as a male Caucasian in his late 20s or early 30s, between 6-foot and 6-foot-2 and weighs around 180 pounds. At the time of the latest robbery, he was seen wearing a baseball cap, a blue and white plaid shirt, blue jeans and black tennis shoes. Police say Kvetan fit the description.

The amounts involved in the robberies have not yet been disclosed.

Follow this blog for more news & events. Criminal Defense Lawyer Ross Goodman offers free consultation. Contact him today to discuss your criminal charges.  +1 702 383-5088.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

25 Years in Prison for Florida Man Convicted of Killing Wife in 2010 DUI Accident

A Florida resident who dismissed his criminal defense lawyer and opted to represent himself in court for the accidental death of his wife during a drunk driving incident two years ago was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the maximum allowed by law.

Charles Peoples, 60, was found guilty of having his wife killed in a drunk driving accident in 2010 when he veered into the path of an oncoming car on Interstate 75. At the time of his arrest, he had a blood alcohol level of 0.204, which is well above the legal limit of 0.08 in Florida. He was then also already on probation and driving with a revoked license. Aggravating matters further, police said  he cut his wife’s seat belt and moved her behind the steering wheel in an apparent attempt to mislead investigators from learning that he was driving unlawfully.

Given his record of multiple arrests over the past 40 years, Circuit Judge Gregory Holder last week sentenced Peoples to 25 years in prison for having been found guilty on charges of DUI manslaughter, driving on a revoked sentence, and violating probation.

Representing himself at trial, Peoples initially pleaded not guilty. Later, he switched to a guilty plea apparently to avoid trial. A third motion to change his plea back to not guilty was already disallowed by the judge. When Peoples requested a delay in sentencing so a doctor could testify on his behalf, Judge Holder refused. Instead, the judge simply read the doctor’s written report.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nevada U.S. District Court Convicts Fugitive on Money Laundering Charges

After two years on the lam, a leading member of the anti-government “Sovereign Movement” was convicted July 24 in federal court in connection with a $ 1.3 million money laundering scheme.

Nevada U.S. District Judge James Mahan found Shawn Rice, 49, of Seligman, Arizona, guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, 13 counts of money laundering and four counts of failure to appear after a two-day trial. He could receive up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy and money laundering counts, and 10 years for each count of failure to appear. Rice will be sentenced October 24.

Based on testimonies during the trial, Rice and co-defendant Samuel Davis, 57, of Council, Idaho, had laundered $1.3 million, believed to have come from theft and forgery of stolen official bank checks, from March 2008 to March 2009. The two accused laundered the money through a nominee trust account controlled by Davis and a religious organization controlled by Rice. Reportedly, Davis received $74,000 for the laundering while Rice got $22,000.

Rice had originally been charged in March 2009, but he failed to show up in court for the next two years until he was rearrested in December 2011. Davis until now is still a fugitive.

Rice,a self-proclaimed rabbi and lawyer, waived his right to a jury and represented himself during the 1½-day trial before Judge  Mahan. He contended that he was entrapped and that the federal court had no authority to take action against him.

The evidence presented during the trial showed that Rice had laundered more than $705,000 of $1.3 million for undercover FBI agents. Rice argued that he had no predisposition to get involved in the conspiracy and was the victim of "unscrupulous" federal agents.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Las Vegas Man Arrested on Burglary, Attempted Sexual Assault Charges

Police arrested a 30-year-old man Thursday on allegations of burglary and attempted sexual assault.

Joseph Laurente, also known as Joe Lamrenje, a resident of Las Vegas, was booked at  the Clark County jail pending a court appearance on charges including battery, burglary, attempted sexual assault with weapon and coercion with force.

Authorities say Laurente was suspected of entering neighbors' apartments through sliding doors, attacking a sleeping woman in one unit and taking a purse from another woman in another unit.

Metro Police responded Tuesday to a report that a woman had been attacked in her home in the 8100 block of West Flamingo Road. The woman told police she was roused from sleep after finding an unknown man on top of her. She said the man put a pillow over her face and attempted to sexually assault her. The victim was able to fight off the man but she sustained several injuries to her face, neck and wrist. The suspect ran from the apartment.

On Wednesday, police responded to a reported robbery that happened at the same building as the attempted sexual assault. The victim in this incident reported that on July 19 she confronted a man who had entered her apartment. She told police she struggled with the suspect who threatened her with a sharp-edged weapon before he left the apartment with her purse.

The description of the burglary suspect and the sexual assault suspect were found to be matched. Police believe the suspect may have lived in the complex because there had been other reported incidents of burglaries in the same apartment building.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pimp Gets 13 Life Sentences

A Las Vegas man convicted on numerous charges relating to the operation of a prostitution ring was sentenced to thirteen life prison terms Tuesday last week in Clark County District Court.

Raymond Christopher Sharp, 48, was sentenced by Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish to 13 life terms, 10 of which would run concurrently.  He will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole on the charge of kidnap with the use of a deadly weapon. He received twelve more sentences of life in prison with the possibility of parole for his conviction on 18 other charges, most of them felonies.

Sharp, a registered sex offender, was arrested last July 2 of last year after police responded to reports of an almost naked hysterical woman knocking on doors in a northwest valley neighborhood asking for assistance. Witnesses said they saw a black adult man, later identified as Sharp, drag the woman by the hair back into a residence.  When responding patrol units realized the disturbance involved prostitution-related activities, LVMPD Vice detectives were summoned to the scene. Armed with a search warrant on Sharp’s residence, police said they found evidence of prostitution-related activities.

The investigation further revealed that the victim in this particular crime was just one of numerous prostitutes being pandered by Sharp. It was also discovered that Sharp, a convicted person prohibited from legally possessing firearms, had numerous weapons including assault rifles, some of which were loaded at the time of his arrest.

Arrested in Las Vegas? Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Ross Goodman today! He offers free consultation. Call +1 702 383-5088.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Former Las Vegas Police Detective Sentenced for Montana DUI Car Crash

A former detective at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was sentenced Thursday in Montana District Court after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI and felony criminal endangerment in connection with a car crash which happened on Old Highway 10 near Laurel on May 26, 2011.

Timothy Nicothodes, 47, on the day of the accident, was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup at 98 mph at about 10:30 p.m. when he slammed into the rear-end of a Ford Focus going 50 mph. A test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of between 0.192 percent and 0.219 percent, well above the 0.08 legal limit for driving. The occupants of the car, 19-year-old Baylee Brooks, and passenger Keenan Weatherford, 20, received numerous cuts and bruises. Nicothodes himself was also seriously injured, with broken ribs and a broken back.

Nicothodes reached an agreement with prosecutors in February and entered a no-contest plea to the single felony charge and admitted guilt to the DUI.

Judge Gregory Todd sentenced Nicothodes to a 3-year deferred prison sentence and ordered him to pay a $3,000 fine for the criminal endangerment charge. The judge also sentenced him to a concurrent six-month jail sentence, with all but three days suspended, and a $500 fine for DUI. He was given credit for the three days that he has already served in the county jail.

Todd said the sentence he imposed reflected a fair punishment for a man who has no prior criminal record, not even a traffic ticket, and who had a "sparkling record" as a law enforcement officer. He also said that a deferred sentence is consistent with the sentences imposed in similar cases.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Las Vegas Couple, 1 Other, Arrested in Watford City on Counterfeiting Charges

Watford City police arrested a Las Vegas couple and a local resident for counterfeiting and other serious felony charges according to a statement released Friday.

Kasi Switzer, 18, and her boyfriend, Shawn Patton, 31, both of Las Vegas, were arrested July 14 for five separate offenses of counterfeiting, each a Class C felony. Patton, in addition, was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a Class A misdemeanor, for having  a switchblade knife in his possession at the time of his arrest.

Another person, Travis Linseth, 27, of Watford City, in whose house the couple occupied a bedroom, was arrested July 15 for five separate offenses of counterfeiting, each a Class C felony. In addition, he was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia methamphetamine, a Class C felony, possession of drug paraphernalia marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor, and ingesting a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor.

During a consent search of Linseth's residence, items such as a laser printer, different qualities of paper, rubber cement, aerosol sprays and other articles used in the manufacture of counterfeit bills were found in the bedroom occupied by the Las Vegas couple. Counterfeit currency in excess of $10,000 was also recovered, including some $20 bills along with $50 and $100 bills in the couple’s quarters.

Patton and Switzer remained in custody in the Williams County Jail. Linseth posted bond and was released from jail.

The counterfeiting case has also been forwarded to the U.S. Secret Service for possible federal prosecution.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Death Sentence for 2008 Killing of Man, Fetus in Las Vegas

A man was sentenced to death July 12 for shooting his pregnant estranged wife, killing her fetus and her boyfriend.

William Keck, 29,  was convicted the previous week of five counts, including first-degree murder, attempted murder, and manslaughter-killing of an unborn quick child for the November 3, 2008, shooting. It was established that on said day, he fatally shot Jonathan Lestelle, 26, during an early morning attack at the Fountains at Villa Cordova apartments, at 2800 S. Eastern Ave., near Sahara Avenue. According to police, Keck used a chain saw to cut a hole in the apartment door. He then shot the door knob off and fired multiple rounds through the hole. He next shot his estranged wife, Angel Reyes, eight times. The fetus, which was 18 weeks old and fathered by Lestelle, was struck by at least one bullet during the attack and died.

The two-week trial of the case was followed by a two-day-long penalty phase that featured wrenching testimony from Reyes and Lestelle's family. Reyes herself testified that prior to the shooting Keck had threatened to shoot her in the stomach and kill her baby.

Keck's criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas tried arguing that he suffered from a mental disorder.

The jury deliberated about an hour and a half before handing down the death sentence.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Still No Prison Term for South Dakota Man on 5th DUI Conviction

A man who has been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol five different times in the past five years has been released from jail without having to serve any time in prison according to a report from The Argus Leader, a South Dakota newspaper.

The man, 57-year-old Randall Gene Hoogendoorn, received a sentence last week that only requires him to spend two years under intense supervision.

Sioux Falls prosecutors had asked for a lengthy sentence due to Hoogendoorn’s criminal history, but Judge Robin Houwman felt that a lesser sentence offered the man “the best opportunity for rehabilitation.”

Judge Houwman however established strict guidelines that Hoogdendoorn must obey. He must for example have to call his probation officers up to 50 times a day in order to meet the terms of his probation. If he fails to regularly report to his probation officer, Hoogdendoorn could face a term in prison of up to 10 years. He will also be placed under house arrest during the initial portion of his probation and that he will be required to call his probation officer when he wakes up, when he eats, and even when he leaves his room.Apparently, the judge believed that a heavily supervised probation would best serve the public interest as it keeps another person out of prison and saves taxpayer dollars.

Friday, July 13, 2012

50-Year Old Killed by DUI Hit & Run Driver on Boulder Highway

A 50-year old man from Reno who was crossing Boulder Highway south of Harmon Avenue at around 11 p.m. late Tuesday was hit by a 2004 Nissan Sentra which fled the scene without stopping according to Las Vegas law enforcement authorities.

The Clark County coroner has identified the fatality as Frank Harry Martini. Investigators said Martin was outside of the crosswalk when he was struck by a car just before 11 p.m. Tuesday near the Eastside Cannery casino-hotel.. He was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center where he later died. The coroner said Martini died of multiple blunt force trauma and ruled the death an accident. His death was reportedly the 63rd traffic-related fatality in the jurisdiction of Las Vegas police this year.

Las Vegas police officers tracked down the Nissan and identified its driver as 44-year-old David Nieto,.Police allege that Nieto drove away after the crash. He was found and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and fleeing the scene of an accident. Pending a court appearance, he was booked for felony drunken driving and hit & run charges.

Charged with DUI? Call DUI Lawyer Ross Goodman and schedule a free consultation. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Las Vegas Lawyer Ross Goodman Shortens Navy SEAL Sentence from 15 Years to 60 Days

Luke Shawley, an ex-Navy SEAL who went on a rampage in Las Vegas last March 2010, received a shorter sentence with the help of Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer Ross Goodman.

The sentence was given last December 15, 2011 by Clark County District Court Judge James Bixler, cutting what would have been 15 years in prison down to 60 days. Goodman was able to successfully show that Shawley’s violent behavior was a result of being unknowingly drugged with MDMA while he was drinking in the nightclub Tao, located on the Las Vegas Strip.

Events of the rampage unfolded as follows: Shawley was out for dinner and drinks with his Navy SEAL friends during his night off, with him being friendly and sober outside. Video footage from surveillance cameras showed what appeared to be Shawley picking up someone else’s drink that Goodman contends has to have the MDMA-like substance. After this accidental ingestion, Shawley then experienced a break in reality and went on a rampage in the backrooms of the club.

Video footage shows Shawley hitting people with an aluminum pipe. Victims said that they were struck out of the blue and some were knocked immediately unconscious. As a result, 3 people were hospitalized and several received bruises and wounds.

Judge Bixler noted that Shawley was indeed scary in that footage, but sided with the defense as it was totally out-of-character for Shawley due to his exemplary SEAL record.

Shawley said that he does not remember the attack and that he only had about 8 or 9 drinks during the night, and believes that one of his drinks may have been laced with MDMA. However, Tao records show that he bought at least 18 drinks that night. Also, no traces of the drug were found on his blood but some were discovered in his hair.

Ross Goodman comments to news media outlets, “I don’t think anybody disputes Shawley’s character. The jury didn’t dispute it. It was just an unfortunate incident that has a good explanation for about what we saw on video, about him grabbing a third party’s drink, and at that point it caused him to react that way.”

Shawley has been under house arrest ever since being convicted last August 2011 but has plans to go back to North Carolina to finish school and serve probation there.