FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

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


A man who allegedly planted a backback containing a rice cooker at the Boston Marathon finish line has been arrested and charged with possession of a hoax explosive device.

Later identified as Kevin Edson, 25, the Boston man was spotted on Tuesday night "barefoot, yelling, and holding a backpack." Bomb squads were called in to safely dispose of Edson's backpack and another unattended backpack left by a news crew, both of which were not deemed to be explosive, reports The Washington Post.

This alleged hoax on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing will be no joke when Edson appears before a judge.

Is it legal for police to read or search through your mail?

Your mail is one thing you'd probably prefer the cops not to peek at, but in many cases they can. Still, the Fourth Amendment protects our papers and effects from unlawful search and seizure. That potentially includes some of your most intimate letters and private correspondence, depending on the circumstances.

So when is it OK for law-enforcement officers to read or sift through your mail?

Today marks one year since the Boston Marathon bombing, and much has happened since April 2013.

As the nation reflects on that tragic day, let's take a moment to catch up on all the legal events surrounding the explosion that rocked Boston one year ago.

Making a Bomb Threat: What Can Happen?

What can happen to a person who makes a bomb threat?

Bomb threats are taken very seriously by local and federal law enforcement, as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith learned Sunday. Smith was arrested after allegedly making a false bomb threat during a dispute at Los Angeles International Airport.

Responding to a fake bomb threat is costly to law enforcement, and the legal system doesn't look too kindly upon it either. Here's what state and federal laws say can potentially happen to anyone who makes a bomb threat:

Was Jewish Center Shooting a Hate Crime?

The suspect of Jewish center shooting in Kansas has been charged with premeditated murder, but some groups believe that the killings were hate crimes.

Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, is accused of going on a shooting spree at a Jewish community center and nearby Jewish retirement home in Overland Park, Kansas. A 14-year-old boy, his grandfather, and an unrelated woman were killed, according to Reuters.

Cross allegedly has a long history of racism and anti-Semitism, but police say it's too early to determine if the killings were motivated by those factors.

A New York teen has been charged with murder after setting a mattress on fire because he was bored.

Marcell Dockery, 16, allegedly told the NYPD that he lit a mattress on fire in a Brooklyn high-rise because "he was bored," reports New York City's WABC-TV. Unfortunately, an NYPD Housing officer who responded to the blaze succumbed to smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Dockery now faces felony murder charges for his death. So what exactly is "felony murder"?

Getting arrested for DUI over the weekend can be tricky, seeing as most courts (and most lawyer's offices) are closed.

But even if you do get busted for drunken driving on Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday, don't panic. Here are five legal tips for dealing with weekend DUI arrests:

School Stabbing Suspect, 16, to Be Tried as Adult

A Pennsylvania teen accused of stabbing his classmates and school employees has been charged with four counts of attempted homicide and will be tried as an adult.

Alex Hribal, 16, allegedly stabbed 21 other students and a security guard at his high school. Although prosecutors are trying Hribal as an adult, his attorney wants a mental health expert to evaluate the teen's state of mind in hopes of getting him rehabilitated in a juvenile facility, Reuters reports.

So when can minors be tried as adults in criminal court?

A New York man wrongly convicted of murder more than 24 years ago was freed on Tuesday after a judge vacated the decades-old conviction.

Jonathan Fleming, 51, was found guilty in a Brooklyn killing in 1989, despite the fact that he had an alibi that placed him in Florida at the time of the shooting, reports CNN.

Now that he's been freed, what is Fleming's next legal move?

Stiletto Heel Killer Convicted, Awaits Sentencing

A Texas jury has convicted a Houston woman of murder for killing her boyfriend in a stiletto heel stabbing.

Ana Trujillo, 45, alleged that she was acting in self-defense against her boyfriend Alf Stefan Andersson, 59, but jurors saw it as a homicide. The sentencing phase of Trujillo's trial is currently underway, The Associated Press reports.

So what kind of punishment may be ahead for the stiletto heel killer?