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.