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The Bacon Sentence

Now that Halloween is over I guess it means the end of the costumes.

costumes

It means that the Ninja, Superhero, Dorothy, or the Lion and Tin Man costumes can go into the closet. I’m guessing that no one wore a Meat Dress like the one once worn by Lady Gaga. I have always wondered why Hardee’s and Wendy’s have advertised entire campaigns around Bacon. But that’s just me.

bacon

However, as you know, there are obviously some religions that take pork and bacon very seriously. The Judaism and Muslim religion adhere to anything connected to the unclean pig to be off-limits.

This takes me back to the June story at BBC.com where an 18-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man were jailed after they thought that they had pulled a prank on an Edinburgh Mosque.

The couple from Scotland had attached bacon to the handles of the mosque and then opened the door and thrown more strips inside. As a result, the pair was charged with behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, likely to cause fear and alarm. One pled guilty and the other was initially found guilty. They both ended up getting sentenced to nine months in prison.

As one member of the Muslim congregation stated, “it hurt my feelings when I saw this meat hanging inside tthe mosque in the worshiping place”. As a result, of the criminal charge to the pair and the resulting sentences, it’s clear that throwing bacon in Scotland is taken very seriously.

I did not originally blog on this story because I thought that ultimately the sentences would be reduced. I don’t believe that there was any reduction. I understand taking religious beliefs seriously. I just hope that I never see this kind of case and punishment  in the United States.

And for pic o’ day, how about Homework dog?

homework dog

Hiding In Iraq

Greg Brown had worked in Florida in the family business of private investigation. He moved to Virginia and in 2008, he decided to open up his own  investigation company with the help of his stepson. To help ends meet, they also would serve lawsuits as private process servers.

In 2011, attorney Sherwin J. Jacobs of Harrisonburg, called Brown and asked him to come by the office to discuss some work. Jacobs then described a domestic case in which he had recently been hired. Attorney Jacobs asked Brown to follow Canadian citizen Ali Abid. Abid’s wife had told Jacobs that her husband was cheating on her and she even knew where his girlfriend lived. Abid was a former Iraqi national who now ran a construction company in the Weyers Cave area.

The plan was to have Investigator Brown actually serve the divorce papers on Abid at his girlfriend’s house. On  the morning of March 3, 2011, Brown left a voicemail for his stepson, to let him know that he would be late for their scheduled meeting that day because he was following Abid. Brown never showed up for his meeting. For the next three days, the family worried because Brown had disappeared. Then, his car was found in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Harrisonburg. In the trunk they found Brown’s body.

Brown had been shot three times. One of the shots was determined to be in close contact to the back of his head. On the same day that Brown had disappeared, Abid had withdrawn $11,376 from a bank and then traveled to Dulles Airport. There, the FBI determined that Abid had taken a series of flights to Iraq. To date, he has not been found. He is currently facing a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. In addition, Interpol has placed a computerized “red notice” to indicate an arrest warrant.

Court documents show that Abid has been in financial difficulties for some time. In 2009, American Express took a $22,000 judgment against him; In 2001, Augusta Medical Center filed a warrant in debt relating to medical bills; There is currently a case pending against him in Augusta County that was filed by Federal National Mortgage and his home is facing foreclosure proceedings. Abid’s bank was also in the process of repossessing his truck. Brown’s family (pictured below from nationalpost.com) are asking for help in the capture of Abid.

Brown

With the information now known about Abid, Brown’s widow has now filed suit against the lawyer that hired him to follow Abid and serve him with divorce papers.  According to the lawsuit, the lawyer knew that Abid was dangerous including the knowledge that Abid had recently purchased a gun. The lawyer failed to warn Brown despite knowing that Brown had made repeated attempts to serve the divorce papers, which also gave Abid knowledge that a process server was looking for him.

Initially, Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Jane Marum Roush dismissed the lawsuit against the lawyer, because she found that the allegations in the suit failed to establish a “special relationship” between lawyer and investigator that created a legal duty to warn that it was “reasonably foreseeable by Jacobs as an imminent probability of harm” to Brown, in following and serving the defendant. Now, the Brown family attorney  (former Attorney General candidate Mark Obenshain) has appealed that dismissal to the Virginia Supreme Court. There is no real prior case law that would address this as a claim for failure to warn a private investigator. A case with more to follow.  (Portions of this story also came from Virginia Lawyers Weekly)

DID YOU KNOW that Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike, claims to have gotten his first shoe idea after staring at a waffle iron? Bowerman credits the idea of using squared spikes from the iron, to help make shoes lighter. I wonder what he would have invented if he had been staring at a baked potato?

Pic o’ day… a pony never goes out of style!

pony

Pot Meets Kettle

First, as I noted in yesterday’s blog, I was at the North Carolina high school golf tournament. My nephew shot a first round 77 and was not satisfied. To me, it looked effortless. The temperature around 90 was pretty stifling. I have the fan blowing on high in the office today!

For the blog,  I titled this after the idea of  silly criticism. In this instance it led to an arrest.

This story  (USA Today) is about a woman who was ticked at her drug supplier. The marijuana was apparently a fraud.  So, she called the police, just as she said she would. Guess who paid the price! Some 911 calls are just not an emergency!

DID YOU KNOW  that Thomas Jefferson was once given a 1235 pound block of cheese for a gift?  Supposedly, that’s where we get the expression “The Big Cheese”.

For pic o’ day, some good ole-fashioned friendliness.

Giraffe laugh

Man Who Stole Meals

It’s a story fit for a fiction crime novel and told by A Brussels newspaper. (Buffalo News) Titus Clarysse was a 35-year-old man from the northern Belgian town of Ghent. He was known  for walking into any restaurant of his choosing, ordering whatever he desired; and then, eating it and leaving without paying for it. (Clarysse 2009 photo)

Meal stealer

In those parts, he was called a “tafelschuimer”. It’s defined as someone who takes everything, even the crumbs off the table.  It is estimated that he failed to pay for over 100 meals over a period of 5 years. He was even able to do it multiple times at some of the same restaurants.

“In the end, we knew his face, but you know, on a busy terrace in summer, full of people, he knew how to blend right in.”, said one restaurant owner. “We’re not talking about an aggressive guy. He was just happy-go-lucky about it. He would sit and wait after the meal.” According to the report, he would even try to order another drink until he had to face the issue of not paying his bill.

Clarysse depended on government aid and often ate extravagant meals that even far exceeded his weekly paycheck. In fact, he was arrested and convicted multiple times and even spent several nights in jail. It didn’t seem to bother him because he had eaten a good meal before his arrests.

Now, here’s the mystery. This past week he was found stabbed to death in his apartment. There currently is no indication from the police of any motive. The owners of the restaurants admittedly did not know how to deal with the man who would not pay for his lavish meals. The question is whether that led someone to kill him.

DID YOU KNOW that Paulding, Ohio has a law that allows police officers to bite a dog to quiet him. Conversely, Maine’s law makes it illegal to bite a landlord under any circumstances.

And for pic o’ day, I laughed when my Mom sent this one:

Horse on couch

The Controversial Sentence

A Montana judge previously sparked outrage when he sentenced a former teacher to 30 days in jail for the rape of a 14-year-old girl. Now, according to NBC News, this same judge is in the news with another curious sentencing.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Pace Anthony Ferguson to a writing exercise after Ferguson physically assaulted and punched his girlfriend, causing her face to be fractured in three places. First, he sentenced Ferguson to the maximum of 6 months in jail and ordered him to pay $3800 in medical bills. No surprise.

Next he ordered him to do an exercise that was reminiscient of elementary school. He ordered him to write “Boys do not hit girls” 5000 times.

The Chief Deputy who prosecuted the case was asked what she thought of the sentencing. She replied, “We’ll continue to prosecute domestic violence cases no matter the outcome. We’ll continue to fight that fight because that’s why we’re here… for the protection of the community”.

It certainly makes you wonder about that judge and whether that represents a way of thinking in Montana.

For pic o’ day, I thought that this picture was filled with curious things. The police seem to be paying litttle attention and the horse seems uneffected. The “other horse” seems completely out of place. A pic o’ with its own imaginery story:

horsing around

A Bootlegger Trial

The ABA Journal had an interesting trial story from Christmas season 1931. Then Governor Franklin D Roosevelt was hopeful that justice would put Jack “Legs” Diamond away for a long time, on charges of kidnapping and assaulting a driver who was not part of his organization.

Diamond was a popular gangster who was known for handing out bills from the large wad of cash that he carried. As he walked into New York’s Rensselaer County Courthouse each morning for his trial, he was greeted with cheering throngs.

Not surprisingly, Diamond had hired two well-known lawyers, who as part of their strategy, had gotten the trial moved to Troy. One of his defense lawyers had previously been a well-liked District Attorney in that very courtroom. During the trial, the tabloids continued to portray Diamond as a local hero.

Diamond trial

Over the course of several trial days, it became increasingly clear that the jury was going to have a hard time returning a guilty verdict. On December 17, 1931, the verdict of not guilty was announced. Diamond reached for his wad of cash, ready to pay his attorneys’ bill of $30,000. In today’s money value, that is roughly $500,000. His attorneys told him to go celebrate and to bring the fee by their office, in the morning.

In the wee hours of the morning, Diamond was killed in a still-unsolved homicide. As soon as the lawyers heard the news, they sent a runner  by Diamond’s room to try to locate the $30,000. Unfortunately, all of Diamond’s money had been stolen. Looking back on that case now 82 years later, the common theme of lawyers discussing it is “In a criminal case…always get your money up front!”

DID YOU KNOW that the number “57” on a Heinz ketchup bottle represents the number of different kinds of pickles that the company once sold?

And for pic o’ day… realization

inside the house

The Value of Freedom

We hear stories of defendant’s being found guilty and put in jail; then, years later, some evidence comes out to prove that the defendant wasn’t at the scene and everyone debates the value of being wrongfully convicted.

Well, a story from Pennsylvania’s The Patriot News once again shines a light on the value and fault of improper incarceration. A Mexican man who was jailed by mistake and held there for 129 days, has filed a lawsuit against the police and court officials of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

The plaintiff’s brother had borrowed the plaintiff’s car when he was pulled over by police. He gave his brother’s plaintiff’s passport and Mexican driver’s license to the officer, which led to the plaintiff being imprisoned on a bench warrant. Plus, while in jail, the plaintiff was not provided a spanish interpreter. So, he sat there unable to tell anyone his predicament. Finally, it was determined that he shouldn’t have been arrested.

Now, a lawsuit seeks “unspecified financial damages on claims of false arrest and imprisonment and unlawful search and seizure. So far, the judge has dismissed most of the listed defendants including Pennsylvania’s Attorney General under a governmental sovernign immunity defense. Only the arresting corporal remains.

In explaining her rulings, the Judge pointed to the person that she felt was really at fault. “It cannot be overlooked that the mistaken identity and subsequent arrest…was the end result of…Jose’s (brother) masquerading as (Ever) during a traffic stop”. (Judge Rambo) Guess family gatherings could be tough from now on.

DID YOU KNOW that the average life-span of a major league baseball is 5-7 pitches. We should be thankful for who we are!

And for pic o’ day, how about a good argument?

a good argument

 

The Butterball Operation

This blog combines a real turkey story with my Thanksgiving blog. First, the “Butterball operation”.

According to the LasVegas Review-Journal, drivers have been regularly violating crosswalk laws. So, the police decided to do something about it. They dressed up as turkeys.

Butterball

These officers assumed that it wouldn’t be difficult for motorist to spot a life-size turkey in the crosswalk. Officers decided to make a last effort of safety because of the amount of fatalities that had occurred at this same intersection.

Apparently, it did get some attention. Still, the officers found that some motorist still ignored giant turkeys in the crosswalk. They were cited and now face $191 fines for failure to stop. Officers hope that the action and the story will have long-term safety effects. No word on whether this turkey safety measure is moving to other crosswalks. Still, a good turkey news story.

DID YOU KNOW that every year the President pardons a turkey. That tradition started with President Abraham Lincoln. Initially, the South viewed Thanksgiving as a “Yankee Holiday” and did not celebrate it until after the Civil War. Thankfully, the South did join in, because they contributed Pecan Pie and sweet potatoes!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I so enjoy this time of year. I will be back on Monday.

thanks

No Marijuana Smell to Stop

Chesapeake police officer James Garrett testified that he was driving with his windows down on Campostella Road, on the evening of April 10, 2012. (Hamptonroads.com) About that time, he turned onto Berkley Avenue and passed a Chrysler 300 that was being driven by Aaron Anderson of Norfolk.

The officer said that through his window, he smelled marijuana. So, he turned around and followed the Anderson car. The officer testifed that he smelled raw marijuana again a couple of minutes later and then stopped the Anderson car. At that point, he made Anderson get out of the car. Anderson then confessed to having the drug on him and proceeded to pull 2.5 grams out of his pants, according to the officer.

The officer then testifed that he also smelled marijuana in the car, but a search yielded nothing but a few seeds and leaf fragments. Based on that evidence, Garrett issued an arrest summons and Anderson showed up in Court wearing a marijuana themed “Pineapple Express” T-shirt.

Judge Marjorie A Taylor Arrington listened to the evidence of the officer. Then, she announced that “This is a case of common sense” and dismissed the drug charge against Garrett. She found that the testimony that the officer could smell raw marijuana as a basis to stop the car, simply did not pass the sniff test! As the public defender put it, “Are they also going to say that they smell the odor of alcohol and stop people for driving under the influence?” Apparently… not in Chesapeake.

DID YOU KNOW that “triscadecaphobia” is the fear of the number 13? I was going to type a response to that but I am stumped by it. Yet, is that called “triscadecastumpia?” No… no it’s not.

And for pic o’ day…

gloating

Friday Motivation and Energy

When I sit down for Friday’s blog, I usually try to think of something that revolves around energy and motivation… or something like that.

So, here is some energy:

travolta

 

And how about some motivation!

chicken weights

 

I know, I probably should throw in some law for the law blog. Well, in Massachusetts it is against the law to snore unless all bedroom windows are securely shut and locked. Interestingly, it is also illegal to give beer to hospital patients. Maybe they were having a real problem with that. (I wonder if their bar exam is difficult?)

And for our DID YOU KNOW… the words “Silent” and “Listen” are spelled with the same letters…. Hmm.

And for pic o’ day….

hidden

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