FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

FindLaw Blotter - Crime Blog - Crime News - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog


An Oklahoma man has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly beheading a co-worker from whom he sought revenge.

Alton Nolen, 30, was charged with murder in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, on Tuesday in addition to two assault charges. Prosecutors allege that Nolan beheaded his coworker after being suspended from work; the FBI is looking into possible ties between the gruesome act and terrorism.

Now that Nolen has been charged with first-degree murder, what's next for the Oklahoma beheading suspect?

Tasers and other brands of stun guns are commonly used by law enforcement for subduing fleeing or combative suspects.

Increasingly, however, interest in Tasers is extending beyond law enforcement, with regular citizens looking to possess or even carry a Taser on their person for their own protection.

Is it legal to possess and potentially use a Taser? Here's a general overview:

Jodi Arias is approaching the final phase of her murder trial, but like many trials, this ultimate step will begin with jury selection.

Arias had a 12-person jury for her last trial -- a jury which was unable to reach a verdict with respect to her punishment. The woman convicted of murdering Travis Alexander will now participate in picking a second jury, one that will only deliberate on how Arias may be punished.

Will it be difficult to pick a jury for someone who's already been found guilty?

A DUI arrest can lead to a wide range of penalties: jail time, fines, a suspended license, and being forced to install an ignition interlock device, just to name a few.

But DUI charges can also cause trouble in other areas of your life, as one Florida woman discovered when her DUI arrest led to an investigation by the state's Department of Children and Families, reports WCTV.

How did this woman's drunken driving charge lead to potentially losing custody of her children?

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today he will be stepping down as soon as his successor can be nominated and confirmed.

Holder, the first African-American to hold the post, took office shortly after President Barack Obama began his first term in 2009. Holder leaves on something of a high note, reports The New York Times: Earlier this week, he announced that the federal prison population declined for the first time since 1980 on his watch, and should continue to do so for at least the next two years.

What the story behind Holder's time in office and his forthcoming departure? Here are five things you should know:

In any court proceeding, witness testimony can be an important source of evidence.

It follows, then, that courts take calling witnesses pretty seriously. How seriously? Seriously enough that those who refuse to testify can, in some situations, be held in contempt of court, which may result in penalties including fines and even jail time.

What are the rules for testifying in court and how can you keep yourself from running afoul of them?

Reporting crime is certainly a public service, but is there any legal obligation for you to report a crime if you see one?

You may recall the series finale of "Seinfeld," in which the four New Yorkers were arrested in Massachusetts under a fictional law that made it an arrestable offense not to rescue someone whom they see being carjacked. And while that episode devolved into a comical courtroom scene, many viewers may have been left wondering if they could be arrested for doing the same.

So do you have to report a crime if you see one?

A Northern California man has been sentenced to a year in jail for a distracted-driving crash that killed two women in March.

Nicholas Tognozzi, 30, of Rohnert Park, pleaded no contest to two felony gross vehicular manslaughter charges in August, reports San Francisco's KPIX-TV. The charges stemmed from allegations that Tognozzi was checking a cell-phone text message moments before his SUV rear-ended into the victims' car, killing them both.

How did Tognozzi get such a light sentence?

Cook County probation officials are making a technological upgrade for juvenile probationers, implementing 24-hour monitoring for those on house arrest.

Up until now, young offenders placed on electronic home confinement faced only part-time monitoring, enforced manually by juvenile probation officers doing in-home checks. The round-the-clock monitoring of these offenders will now be handled by a private company based in Irvine, California, reports Chicago's WMAQ-TV.

Why the sudden change in monitoring juvenile offenders?

The grand jury considering the officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has been granted an extension, giving them at least until early January to decide how to proceed.

The St. Louis County grand jury has been evaluating evidence since late August, and though they were originally slated to reach a decision in mid-October, they have been granted more time. The Washington Post reports that this is the second time the grand jury has been granted more time to decide what, if any, charges are appropriate for Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown multiple times.