1. Articles in category: Criminal Law

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    1. "Church" Faces Criminal Charges After Selling Bleach as COVID-19 Cure

      "Church" Faces Criminal Charges After Selling Bleach as COVID-19 Cure

      The Feds have had enough of a Florida “church” selling bleach as a COVID-19 cure. On Wednesday, criminal charges were unsealed against the leadership of “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing,” allegedly a family business of sorts that, according to authorities, sold a half-million dollars in “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS) products to their devoted followers over the past year.

      The church’s “archbishop,” Mark Scott Grenon, is a household name in the household-cleaners-as-fake-medicines game. In 2016, ABC News covered his venture in a story on “the high priests of snake oil.”

      Grenon and his adult sons Jonathan, Jordan and Joseph now face criminal charges: Conspiracy to defraud the United States and criminal contempt — the latter for allegedly “willfully violating ...

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      Mentions: Florida Coronavirus
    2. Retired Major General Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing Daughter

      Retired Major General Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing Daughter

      James Grazioplene, a retired Major General in the United States, has admitted to sexually abusing his daughter in the 1980s. The victim, Jennifer Elmore, turned 49 on Wednesday, the same day Grazioplene pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery in a Prince William County, Virginia.

      The former officer has been in jail for approximately 18 months. He is expected to be released and will serve 20 years of probation, according to Elmore’s lawyer, Ryan Guilds.

      The counsel told CNN that “Jennifer cares more about the truth than the punishment”.

      In 2015, Elmore first reported to Army authorities that her father repeatedly molested and raped her throughout her childhood. The military launched an investigation in 2017. But two weeks before the ...

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    3. Trump Supporters Charged After Defacing 'Black Lives Matter' Mural

      Trump Supporters Charged After Defacing 'Black Lives Matter' Mural

      Two San Francisco-area residents accused of painting over a "Black Lives Matter" mural are facing hate crime charges. Nicole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53, both of Martinez, were charged Tuesday with three misdemeanor counts, including a hate crime violation, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

      The July 4 incident was captured on video that shows a woman splattering black paint on the yellow block letters on a downtown Martinez street and then using a roller to cover some of the letters in the mural, which was city approved.

      In the video, which had previously been shared on social media and by the Martinez Police Department, a man can be heard saying, "the narrative ...

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    4. FBI Investigating Black Man's Report of Attempted Lynching

      FBI Investigating Black Man's Report of Attempted Lynching

      A Black man's report of an assault by white men in an Indiana state park has triggered an FBI investigation. Vauhxx Booker, an activist and member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, says the men beat him and threatened him with a noose. The incident was partly recorded on video by witnesses – whom Booker credits with saving him. "The reason why I'm here today is simply because these folks, they didn't just stop and watch and film my execution," he tells NPR's Mary Louise Kelly, in an interview on All Things Considered. "They became involved. They became active participants. They put themselves in danger when they stepped forward for me."

      The incident took place on ...

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      Mentions: Human Rights
    5. Man Sentenced to 15 Years After Shooting Into Murder-Victim's Grave

      Man Sentenced to 15 Years After Shooting Into Murder-Victim's Grave

      A Chicago man with a long criminal history was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after he was convicted of firing a gun into the open grave of a man murdered just two days prior, authorities said.

      U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp Jr. handed down the sentence Wednesday after Elston Stevenson, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, according to a news release Monday from the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago.

      Stevenson, who has a criminal background dating to the 1980s, was accused of firing a single shot into the grave of Murad Talib during a November 2017 funeral service at the Evergreen Cemetery, 3401 W. 87th ...
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    6. University of Delaware and Police Sued After Student Arrested in Class

      University of Delaware and Police Sued After Student Arrested in Class

      A University of Delaware student who says an officer humiliated her while arresting her in class is suing the university and Newark Police Department.

      The lawsuit states that the student was purposefully plucked from her class, berated, humiliated and slammed against a wall to cause embarrassment — all over a potential underage drinking charge that was later dropped. 

      The lawsuit was filed at the end of June and names Newark Police officer Morgan Fountain, the University of Delaware and Newark city government as defendants. It seeks money for damages and injuries. 

      The defendants either declined comment or did not reply to a request for comment. The plaintiff, who was 19 at the time, is named in the lawsuit, but will not ...

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    7. Georgia Governor Declares State of Emergency Following Violent Crime Outbreak

      Georgia Governor Declares State of Emergency Following Violent Crime Outbreak

      Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Monday, authorizing the deployment of  1,000 National Guard troops to Atlanta, in the wake of a violent weekend in which 31 people were shot in 11 incidents. 

      Kemp ordered the troops to safeguard government buildings, police headquarters, the governor’s mansion and the Georgia World Congress Center, according to WSB-TV Atlanta. 

      With the National Guard patrolling these locations, state troopers will be dispatched to the streets of Atlanta, according to the governor’s office via WSB-TV Atlanta.

      “This recent trend of lawlessness is outrageous & unacceptable,” tweeted Kemp on July 5, “Georgians, including those in uniform, need to be protected from crime & violence.”

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    8. Woman Faces Charges After Calling Police on Black Bird Watcher

      Woman Faces Charges After Calling Police on Black Bird Watcher

      Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 on a Black man who asked that she leash her dog in Central Park, is facing a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report, Manhattan's district attorney announced Monday.

      The incident went viral after a video of Cooper emerged showing the 41-year-old woman frantically calling police when Christian Cooper, a Black man who was bird-watching, told her to leash her dog in the area of the park where leashes are required.

      "Today our Office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said in a statement.

      Charging documents were not immediately available. Amy Cooper, who lost her job ...

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    9. Remains of Fort Hood Soldier, Vanessa Guillen, Have Been Identified

      Remains of Fort Hood Soldier, Vanessa Guillen, Have Been Identified

      The Army has identified the remains of missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, her family's lawyer said in a statement Sunday evening.

      Guillen, 20, was last seen in a parking lot on the Texas Army base on April 22, according to military officials. On June 30, investigators said they found unidentified human remains about 20 miles away from the Killeen, Texas, base.

      "The Army has confirmed that the bones, hair and other remains found are Vanessa Guillen," attorney Natalie Khawam said Sunday in the statement. "We are at a loss for words."

      The Army Criminal Investigation Division has yet to independently confirm the identification. ABC News has reached out to Army CID for comment.

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    10. 3rd Officer Charged in George Floyd's Death Released on Bond

      3rd Officer Charged in George Floyd's Death Released on Bond

      A third former Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd has been released from jail.

      According to Hennepin County jail records, Tou Thao was released from custody with conditions on Saturday morning after posting $750,000 bond.

      Thao, 34, faces charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony, as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence. He has not yet entered a plea.

      He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 11.

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    11. Jeffery Epstein's Confidant Faces Multiple Sexual Abuse Charges

      Jeffery Epstein's Confidant Faces Multiple Sexual Abuse Charges

      The FBI arrested Jeffrey Epstein’s long-time friend Ghislaine Maxwell in New Hampshire on Thursday on federal charges of conspiring with him to sexually abuse children as young as 14, and for lying about her alleged conduct as his procurer.

      The arrest of the wealthy British socialite following a six-count criminal indictment issued Monday in Manhattan federal court comes just days before the first anniversary of the now-dead Epstein’s arrest on child sex trafficking charges.

      A federal magistrate judge during a hearing Thursday afternoon ordered that Maxwell be sent to Manhattan in the custody of U.S. marshal to face the charges, to have another judge deterimine whether to grant her bail.

      Prosecutors are asking the 58-year-old Maxwell be ...

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    12. Nashville To Stop Prosecuting Minor Marijuana Charges

      Nashville To Stop Prosecuting Minor Marijuana Charges

      Nashville's District Attorney's office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession charges for less than half an ounce. 

      District Attorney General Glenn Funk announced the change Wednesday, effective immediately. 

      "Marijuana charges do little to promote public health, and even less to promote public safety," the DA's office said in a statement. 

      Low-level marijuana charges disproportionately impact minorities, the DA's office explained.

      "It's incumbent upon all of us in the criminal justice arena to look for ways to make sure the system is fair, and this seems to me a pretty obvious policy change that needed to happen. We all need to be introspective about our policies and procedures," Funk said in an interview. 

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    13. Fort Lauderdale Officer Faces Criminal Charges After Shoving Protester

      Fort Lauderdale Officer Faces Criminal Charges After Shoving Protester

      A Fort Lauderdale police officer captured on video last month appearing to push over a kneeling protester who had her hands up was charged with battery on Tuesday, authorities said.

      Charging documents filed in Broward County circuit court allege that the officer, Steven Pohorence, 29, intentionally struck or touched the protester on May 31. The charge, a first-degree misdemeanor, was filed after an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail, the office of state attorney Michael Satz said in a statement.

      The demonstration, held in the wake of George Floyd’s May 25 death while in Minneapolis police custody, began on a Sunday afternoon with hundreds of protesters peacefully ...

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      Mentions: Florida
    14. Man Charged After Shooting Woman Who Tried Removing Nazi Flag

      Man Charged After Shooting Woman Who Tried Removing Nazi Flag

      A US woman has been shot while trying to remove a Nazi flag from someone's front yard in the state of Oklahoma. Garfield County Sheriff's office said the woman had been at a party nearby when she took one of two flags being flown outside Alexander Feaster's home. Mr Feaster, 44, then reportedly shot her in the back with a semi-automatic rifle as she ran away.

      The 26-year-old woman is expected to recover from her injuries and Mr Feaster is being held in custody.

      Sherriff Jody Helm said the woman was found lying in a ditch with four gunshot wounds after deputies responded to a call early on Sunday morning. Sherriff Helm initially suggested the woman had ...

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    15. Criminal Charges Dropped Against 14 Black Lives Matter Protesters

      Criminal Charges Dropped Against 14 Black Lives Matter Protesters

      Criminal charges against 14 people arrested following the Black Lives Matter protests in Salem have been dismissed. The Salem Police Department arrested 14 people involved in the protests on charges of riot and interfering with a peace officer on May 31 and June 1.

      Many of those arrested said they were peacefully protesting and were unable to leave in time after police began enforcing a citywide curfew. The protests marked the first time the city instituted a curfew and used tear gas on residents. 

      Officials with the Marion County District Attorney's Office said the cases were dismissed in order to serve the "interests of justice."

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    16. Photos Taken at Elijah McClain Memorial Lead to Officer Investigation

      Photos Taken at Elijah McClain Memorial Lead to Officer Investigation

      The police department in Aurora, Colo., is investigating several officers who posed for photographs near the site where Elijah McClain was forcibly arrested as he walked home from a convenience store last summer. The site became a memorial to the 23-year-old who died in police custody. He was not suspected of committing any crime.

      Vanessa Wilson, the interim police chief, announced the investigation Monday night, saying that when she learned about the photos Thursday, she "immediately ordered Internal Affairs to make this investigation their top priority."

      The photos came to light after an Aurora police officer reported them to the department's internal affairs unit. Summarizing that initial report, Wilson said that "multiple Aurora Police officers were depicted in photographs ...

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    17. Golden State Killer Pleads Guilty to 13 Murders

      Golden State Killer Pleads Guilty to 13 Murders

      Wearing an orange jumpsuit and a clear face shield to protect against the coronavirus, former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. pleaded guilty on Monday to 13 counts of first-degree murder. The string of murders in the 1970s and '80s terrorized California, and the suspect who committed them became known as the Golden State Killer.

      DeAngelo, 74, sat in a wheelchair as he rasped out "yes" and "I admit" to the charges, after prosecutors described the grisly circumstances of each crime. Otherwise, he hardly spoke and did not look at the victims' families. "Mr. DeAngelo is acknowledging his guilt for the heinous crimes he has committed," said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton. "There is really nothing that could ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    18. Judge Threatens to Move Trial in George Floyd Death

      Judge Threatens to Move Trial in George Floyd Death

      A Minnesota judge on Monday warned that he's likely to move the trials of four former police officers charged in George Floyd's death out of Minneapolis if public officials, attorneys and family members don't stop speaking out about the case.

      Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill stopped short of issuing a gag order against attorneys on both sides, but he said he likely will if public statements continue that make it hard to find an impartial jury. Cahill said that would also make him likely to grant a change-of-venue motion if one is filed, as he anticipates.

      “The court is not going to be happy about hearing comments on these three areas: merits, evidence and guilt or innocence ...
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    19. DNA Aids Investigators in Solving 1982 Murder Case

      DNA Aids Investigators in Solving 1982 Murder Case

      Nearly 40 years ago, eight-year-old Kelly Prosser left her elementary school in Columbus, Ohio. She never arrived home. Two days later she was found dead in a cornfield in a case that puzzled the community and police for decades.

      But on Friday, her family finally got an answer about who killed the child. Columbus police investigators who never gave up on the cold case matched a dead man's DNA to the rape and murder of Kelly.

      "Our family has spent many long years waiting for Kelly Ann's murder to be solved," according to a statement released by Kelly's family after police announced the news. "But Kelly's family is not unique. Those who have suffered the murder ...

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    20. Minnesota Attorney Opts Against Charging Low Level Offenses Amid Pandemic

      Minnesota Attorney Opts Against Charging Low Level Offenses Amid Pandemic

      Essentially, it looks like a lot of cases languishing without any resolution in sight. That’s untenable, Choi said, as defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial. As a solution, the Ramsey County attorney’s office staff started informally opting not to charge some lower-level offenses.

      The practice became formalized last month. Under a temporary policy — set to end when the pandemic does — fifth-degree drug possession won’t be charged. While there will be room for exceptions, prosecutors won’t charge such offenses and will strongly consider dismissing older fifth-degree possession cases that have been idle in the system for months.

      The policy will allow the court system to better handle the mounting backlog of cases created by ...

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    21. NYPD Officer Faces Charges After Putting Man in Chokehold

      NYPD Officer Faces Charges After Putting Man in Chokehold

      A New York City police officer seen on video putting a man in an apparent chokehold on a Queens boardwalk was arrested and charged Thursday. Officer David Afanador, who was suspended without pay following Sunday's incident with Ricky Bellevue, faces charges of strangulation and attempted strangulation, the New York City Police Department said.

      The NYPD and the city's Police Benevolent Association, which represents officers, did not immediately return requests for comment on Thursday.

      Police were called to the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach on Sunday morning for a report that a man was harassing people and throwing objects at them. In body-camera video released by police, several officers are seen talking to Bellevue, who is Black, and two other ...

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    22. Prosecutors Charge 'Grand Wizard of the KKK' with Hate Crimes

      Prosecutors Charge 'Grand Wizard of the KKK' with Hate Crimes

      Henrico prosecutors have charged the self-proclaimed Grand Dragon of the KKK with four hate crimes in connection to a June 7 incident in which Harry Rogers is accused of hitting Black Lives Matter protesters with his truck.

      "I have no doubt Mr. Rogers was motivated by bigotry and racism and should be severely punished for his egregious criminal behavior," Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said following a court hearing Thursday. "I am charging Mr. Rogers with the strongest form of assault and hate crimes permitted under Virginia law."

      Rogers, 36, of Hanover, is now charged with:

      4 counts of assault with hate crimes (as permitted by Virginia Code § 18.2-57 A)
      2 counts of felonious attempted malicious wounding
      1 ...

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    23. 3 Men Indicted on Murder Charges in Ahmaud Arbery Killing

      3 Men Indicted on Murder Charges in Ahmaud Arbery Killing

      A prosecutor on Wednesday announced that three men have been indicted on murder charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in coastal Georgia. Speaking to reporters outside the Glynn County courthouse, prosecutor Joyette Holmes said a grand jury has indicted Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. on charges including malice and felony murder in the death of the African American man.

      “This is another positive step, another great step for finding justice for Ahmaud, for finding justice for this family and the community beyond,” Holmes said during the news conference, which was streamed online by news outlets. Lawyers for the McMichaels have cautioned against a rush to judgment and have said the full story will come out ...

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    24. US Appeals Court Dismisses Criminal Case Against Michael Flynn

      US Appeals Court Dismisses Criminal Case Against Michael Flynn

      A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

      The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said in a 2-1 ruling that the Justice Department’s decision to abandon the case against Flynn settles the matter, even though Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

      U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan had declined to immediately dismiss the case, seeking instead to evaluate on his own the department’s unusual dismissal request. He appointed a retired federal judge to argue against the Justice Department’s position and to consider whether Flynn could be ...

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