FindLaw Blotter: May 2011 Archives
FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

May 2011 Archives

Is Rep. Anthony Weiner's Twitter Hack Criminal?

Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's Twitter hack has him running to an attorney. As part of the Twitter hack on Weiner, a lewd photo of a man wearing bulging boxer briefs was sent to a female college student in Seattle, reports Reuters.

Weiner dismisses the incident as a prank. The college student in question, Gennette Cordova, is one of his Twitter followers, but she says that she has never met the congressman before.

Weiner is married to Huma Abedin, who works for Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, reports ABC News. So, does a Twitter hack warrant criminal - or civil - investigation?

Curfew Laws: Can Teens Really Be Arrested?

Most everybody remembers a parent's curfew--"Be home by 11:00!" But juvenile curfew laws have legal teeth seldom contemplated by the average teenager.

Juvenile curfew laws usually apply to individuals under 18 years old. These laws bar underage individuals from being in public or in a business establishment during certain hours, such as between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Although several exceptions allow underage individuals out and about after a certain hour at night, curfew laws do remain on the books. Occasionally police do enforce these laws, and teens can end up arrested.

Baltimore Teens Charged in Transgender Beating

Two teens have been indicted by a jury in Baltimore for hate crimes and assault. The accused allegedly beat Chrissy Lee Polis, 22, in a transgender hate crime in April that made national headlines.

Polis says that Polis was targeted by the two teens, Teonna Brown, 18, and a 14-year-old minor, because she is a transgender.

The entire incident was captured on a cell phone video camera, and the footage was posted online. The camera caught around 3 minutes of the assault against Polis, reports WMAR-TV.

Lawyer-Magician Arrested in Child Sex Sting

Both an attorney and a magician, Howard Scott Kalin of Maryland was arrested on Monday after traveling to Florida with plans to have a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old boy he had spoken to over the internet.

Even though the boy and his caregiver were actually undercover police detectives, Kalin's mistake of fact is not sufficient to override his intent to commit what he knew to be a crime, making him liable under federal child prostitution statutes and local battery law.

Family law attorney and owner of a children's entertainment company, Howard Scott Kalin first contacted the undercover detectives in January. At some point he made plans to visit the boy and his caregiver to engage in sexual conduct.

Video Game Stabbing: 2 Stabbed After Smack Talk

Video game smack talk: it can lead to real bloodshed.

Matthew DeJesus, 24, was charged with first-degree reckless injury and first-degree reckless endangerment for stabbing two men  in his apartment. The video game stabbing occurred when their smack-talking became heated.

The two victims had been hanging out at DeJesus' apartment when the video game playing became competitive. First, it escalated into a fist fight, reports the Wisconsin State Journal.

Then as one of the victims retreated into the kitchen saying it was time to leave - DeJesus allegedly stabbed him in the left thigh.

Judge Charged in New Mexico Political Bribe Scandal

Though allegations of political misconduct have been floating around the state for quite some time, prosecutors have only just charged state Judge Mike Murphy in the ever-present New Mexico political bribe scandal.

Indicted on four felony counts, the judge is accused of telling an attorney that she must make large donations to then-Governor Bill Richardson and the Democratic Party if she wished to be appointed to the bench.

When Can You Conduct a Citizen's Arrest?

There may come a point in your life during which you're walking down the street only to witness a crime. You may or may not consider stepping in and conducting a citizen's arrest.

It's okay if you choose not to--it is, after all, a risky move.

But what if you want to initiate a citizen's arrest? In which situations is it allowed?

The important thing to remember about a citizen's arrest is that, though you are not law enforcement nor are you bound by strict Constitutional limitations, you may not step in whenever you so desire.

DSK's Defense: Consensual Sex with Maid?

Ex-IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's (or DSK as the French call him) presidential aspirations may come down to a he-said, she-said. DSK's defense, consensual sex with the victim, might soon be used in his high-profile rape case involving a New York hotel chambermaid. DKS's rape defense might turn out to be as simple as the victim had consented to the former IMF chief's advances.

DSK's attorney has said that he believes the evidence will not show that there was a forcible encounter, reports the AP.

But, a rape defense based on consent is something that is tricky - and difficult to prove.

According to the prosecution, DSK accosted the 32-year-old maid in his suite at a New York hotel, pulled down her pantyhose and forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to the AP.

Kidnapper Brian David Mitchell Sentenced to Life

Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in U.S. District Court Wednesday, reports Reuters.

Smart, now 23 but only 14 when kidnapped by Mitchell, testified in excruciating detail about the nine months she was held by Mitchell. The kidnapping period included four months in Utah and five months in California, Reuters reports.

Utah state courts refused to prosecute Mitchell, on grounds of mental illness, reports Reuters.

So other than Judge Kimball finding Mitchell sane, why did federal law allow prosecution?

Jared Loughner Incompetent to Stand Trial

Jared Loughner is incompetent and will not stand trial for now, a federal judge ruled at Wednesday's mental incapacity proceeding. Loughner was arrested in the fatal Tucson shootings that wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people.

Loughner had to be removed from the mental incapacity proceeding after an outburst. A reporter said he heard Loughner lower his head and say, "Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me," reports CNN.

After his removal from the courtroom, Loughner watched the rest of the proceeding on a TV screen in a nearby room.

John Edwards Prosecution for Affair Cover Up Looms

For former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, prosecution looms. Federal prosecutors seem set to indict Edwards for the Rielle Hunter affair cover up, citing sources that Edwards misused campaign funds in order to hide his mistress and her pregnancy.

"DOJ has made its decision to move forward with charges," a source told The New York Times.

It is unclear if prosecutors will move for an indictment, which would drag Edwards' name and reputation through the mud once again, or a more low-key plea bargain, reports The Times.

Do You Have to Consent to a Vehicle Search?

Imagine that you're speeding down the highway when you're pulled over.

Come on, it's bound to happen at least once.

But then something different happens--the officer asks if he can look inside your car.

Do you have to consent to the requested vehicle search?

No.

There are three ways in which police may conduct a roadside vehicle search.

1982 Tylenol Poisonings: Feds Want Unabomber's DNA

Ted Kaczynski is receiving an inordinate amount of media attention lately, but this time, instead of selling off his possessions, the FBI is requesting the Unabomber's DNA, hoping that the biomaterial will end its investigation into the 1982 Tylenol poisonings.

With a denied request, the FBI's only option now is to obtain a court order compelling Kaczynski to provide a genetic sample.

This applies even though he's already in prison.

California Prison Overcrowding: Must Shed 30K Inmates

A sharply-divided U.S. Supreme Court has found California prison overcrowding requires the state to reduce the California prison population by 30,000 prisoners.

Writing for the five-vote majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy, a native Californian, found California's 33 prisons so overcrowded that conditions violated the 8th Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, reports the San Jose Mercury-News.

The Court's order means that California will have to start releasing prisoners. Since the federal trial court's original order in 2009, California's prison system has already released about 9,000 prisoners.

Giovanni Ramirez Arrested in Bryan Stow Beating

Giovanni Ramirez, a documented gang member, was arrested Sunday and charged with assault with a deadly weapon for his involvement in the Bryan Stow beating that occurred during the season opener between the Giants and Dodgers.

Tipped off by Ramirez's parole officer, police are still looking for two more suspects--a man involved in the attack and a woman who allegedly drove the getaway vehicle.

Depending on the facts, the other aggressor, once apprehended, may not necessarily be facing the same charges.

Student, 13, Drugged Teacher Who Yelled at Him

Spurred on by embarrassment, a 13-year-old Florida middle school student has been arrested after word got out that he was involved in an incident that had transformed his lucid teacher into a nauseated, drowsy, drugged teacher.

That's right--with the help of prescription sleep aids, the teen managed to knock teacher Danielle Jones off her feet.

And now he's facing felony charges.

Dharun Ravi Pleads Not Guilty in Tyler Clementi Case

Tyler Clementi, then a freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey, committed suicide last September. Investigators believe that the primary instigator for these crimes was Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi. Hate crimes, invasion of privacy, and other charges have all been levied against Ravi.

Ravi reportedly secretly used a webcam operated in another Rutgers University student's room to tape Clementi, who is gay, kissing another man and streaming the video online.

Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge when he realized he had been "outed" by Ravi. Ravi has now pled not guilty to the charges, reports the New York Daily News.

Life Without Parole for Wisconsin Boy, 14

Omer Ninham was only 14 when he was involved in the death of Zong Vang, 13, in Green Bay. His sentence - juvenile life without parole - has been severe.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that live without parole for juvenile offenders is not appropriate if they committed a crime that was not a homicide. Now, after an appeal, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has determined that juvenile life without parole is appropriate for juveniles who commit homicide.

Ninham and several other teenagers cornered Vang in 1998 when he was riding home on a bicycle from the grocery store. He was carrying a bag of tomatoes for his family, reports the AP. What happened next seemed like a senseless tragedy.

When Can Juveniles Be Tried As Adults?

It's common knowledge that persons under the age of 18 (and sometimes 17) are considered to be juveniles in the eyes of the law.

But it's equally known that sometimes juvenile offenders are tried in adult court and receive adult punishment.

So what's the difference between juvenile and adult crimes? And when are juveniles tried as adults?

Serial Rapist's Requested DNA Test Backfires

There are often stories about how the use of post-conviction DNA testing has exonerated a wrongfully convicted defendant. But, on the flip side, such testing also has the ability to reconfirm a rightful conviction.

And lead to a new one.

At least in the case of convicted serial rapist Timothy Boles, whose request just connected him to an unsolved case.

Will SF Police Carry Arrest Cameras?

How do you fight allegations of abuse against the San Francisco police? With arrest cameras, apparently. After another video surfaced allegedly showing police misconduct, SFPD's new chief Greg Suhr is looking to equip his officers with cameras that will capture arrests on film.

The SFPD would not be the only Bay Area police department to have police arrest cameras. Neighboring city San Jose uses the TASER AXON recorder, reports The San Francisco Examiner.

Equipping the officers with arrest cameras has gotten widespread support, since many police officers believe that they have nothing to hide, according to The San Francisco Examiner.

New York City Library Porn Law Proposed

New York library porn may soon have its shelf life shortened. Two New York City councilmembers have announced they will introduce a bill to criminalize viewing porn in New York City's public libraries.

The library porn ban would apply when a minor is within 100 feet, reports the New York Post.

Unlike many city libraries, the New York City library system currently makes no restriction on adult Internet use, other than filtering out illegal obscenity and child pornography as required by U.S. federal law, reports the Post.

City Council Members David G. Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) and Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) announced "bi-partisan legislation" this week to criminalize adult viewing of pornography within 100 feet of a minor in a public library, reports TheYeshivaWorld.com.

Juror Misconduct: Don't Ask for a Cut of Potential Verdict

We can all learn from other people's mistakes. And it turns out back alley courtroom dealings don't just happen in movies. Deonarine Persaud, 53, was recently arrested on felony bribery charges and for juror misconduct in New York.

Persaud was serving as a juror in a civil case. The plaintiff in the case, Bridget Wigand, had brought a medical malpractice suit against her physician. The case was later declared a mistrial, reports CBS-2.

Persaud contacted Wigand's parents, telling them that he had important information about their daughter's case. Wigand's father met with Persaud, who told him that he would help sway other jurors to his daughter's side if he was paid a "fee." Wigand's father recognized him as a juror, and then called his attorney.

Texas Teacher had Sex with 5 Students, Cops Say

Meet Brittni Nicole Colleps, English teacher, high school girls' basketball coach, and alleged sexual predator.

Accused of having sex with 5 male students at Kennedale High School in Arlington, Texas, the 27-year-old is now facing 5 felony counts that carry decades worth of jail time and $50,000 in fines.

There's visual evidence of her alleged crimes, too.

According to one of the male students, he began trading "sexts" with Brittni Nicole Colleps, eventually ending up in her bedroom reports the Star-Telegram. Somewhere along the line, 4 other male students were drawn into the mix.

What Qualifies as Shoplifting?

Shoplifting. Almost everyone tries it once, but only some get caught.

However this statement fits into your life, the truth is that what you think you know about shoplifting is probably not the entire picture.

The crime may seem fairly cut and dry, but the fact is that it's not.

Though shoplifting generally refers to the theft of merchandise from a retailer, it's actually a type of larceny. What this means is that, in order to be prosecuted for shoplifting, there needs to be evidence of intent.

Mystery Maine Boy's Mother Confesses to Killing

Julianne McCrery has confessed to killing her 6-year-old son, then dumping his body along a rural road near South Berwick, Maine.

The 6-year-old, referred to prior to identification as the Mystery Maine Boy, was Camden Pierce Hughes, reports ABC News.

McCrery, of Irving, Texas, told Massachusetts State Police after they questioned her at a roadside stop near Chelmsford, Mass., that she had killed her son. She also said she wanted to kill herself.

"At 10:20 this morning, we received a call from a citizen who had seen prior coverage of this investigation...we responded with several troopers there and engaged...the lone occupant of the vehicle and that's why we're here now," said David Procopio, of Massachusetts State Police, reports ABC News.

Is it Illegal to Rank People on Facebook?

According to law enforcement officials in Illinois, creating a sex ranking list of female high school students and posting and distributing the list a crime.

An Oak Park River Forest High School student, 17, was arrested recently for posting the offensive list last January. The list ranked the girls' sexual performances, described their body parts, and contained offensive and derogatory language.

Not only was the list posted online on Facebook, but was also distributed to students during their lunch break before school officials caught wind of the situation, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

But, in the end - was this illegal?

Can I Shoot a Burglar in Self Defense?

We've all heard stories supposedly out of Texas where a mean ol' cowboy, when faced with an intruder, made use of his rifle before he made use of his phone.

While it's common knowledge that Texas (and some of its neighbors) is fairly lenient towards homeowners who shoot a burglar to protect their property, the fact is that, in most states, this is not the case.

Instead, in most of the country, you can only shoot a burglar in self-defense.

Facebook Affects Casey Anthony Trial Jury Pool

If you want to get on the jury in the Casey Anthony trial, be careful what you write on Facebook.

The Florida court trying Anthony for the murder of her daughter Caylee dismissed one juror this week after he posted on his Facebook page that "book coming soon," reports CNN.

It seems potential jurors will need to take care what they say on social media sites like Facebook in the future.

Facebook has already been called the divorce lawyer's best friend. Now that potential juror's loose-lipped statements on Facebook has led to his dismissal from the jury pool in the high-profile Casey Anthony trial.

Spitting Saudi Woman Charged with Hate Crime

Walmart may be world-renowned for its discounted toiletries and cheap toys, but its location in Palm Bay, Florida has a new import:

A spitting Saudi woman.

After hocking a loogie at one too many "pushy Americans," Nuha Mohammed Al-Doaifi is being charged with a hate crime.

Over the weekend, police arrested the Saudia Arabian student after she spat on a Walmart customer who told her she was going in the wrong door, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Botox Mom Kerry Campbell's Child Removed by State

Last week, Botox mom Kerry Campbell made headlines when she appeared on Good Morning America to explain an unusual grooming procedures for her 8-year-old daughter: 

Botox injections and bikini waxes.

Soon after she appeared on TV, Kerry Campbell became the subject of investigation by the San Francisco Police Department and Child Protective Services. According to a source with "knowledge of the situation," Campbell's daughter was taken away from her by authorities, reports ABC News.

On TV, Campbell had claimed that her daughter was fine with the procedure, and that other pageant moms also injected the Botox into their children to remove "wrinkles," according to ABC News.

IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn Denied Bail in Sex Case

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the current head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and front-runner for the French presidency.

He is also accused of attempting to rape a hotel maid. Strauss-Kahn was pulled off an Air France flight on Saturday and booked into a New York jail.

And on Monday, his situation got worse when a judge in Manhattan Criminal Court denied him bail, forcing him to remain behind bars.

Here's why.

New Bicycle Law Adds Protection for Cyclists

The passage of a new bicycle law in Maryland has created steeper fines and harsher penalties for motorists who injure or kill cyclists.

Now, the maximum penalty for criminally negligent drivers is $5,000 a manslaughter charge, and up to three years in jail. Previously, the maximum penalty was a trip to traffic court and a fine of $300.

The new bicycle law (House Bill 363) comes at a time of high-profile bicycle accident cases. In one, a cyclist is still in a coma after being hit by an 83-year-old driver. The driver received two traffic citations. In another, a cyclist died after being run over. The driver was punished by getting 3 points on her license and was required to pay a fine. In another case, a State Highway Administrator was struck and killed by a motorist. They received a $280 fine and three points against their license.

Man Traded Tattoos for Sex, Abused Kids Ages 4-17

Exchanging a tattoo for sex with a 15-year-old girl has put Walter Meyerle in criminal court in suburban Bucks County, outside Philadelphia, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

And then, after Meyerle was arraigned on March 16, more tattoo-for-sex transactions with minors allegedly involving Meyerle emerged.

Way, way more.

After Meyerle was arraigned on March 16, 13 additional minors and two adults came forward to complain of multiple and repeated tattoo-for-sex trades.

Now Meyerle faces 195 felony charges of sexual assault against minors aged 4-17, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

'Botox Mom' Kerry Campbell Investigated

Would you inject a drug that essentially causes facial paralysis into your 8-year-old child? Botox Mom - and pageant mom - Kerry Campbell would.

Campbell made news last week when she went on Good Morning America and Inside Edition in an effort to defend her unconventional methods, reports SFist.

Parents, as you might imagine, express outrage at the Botox Mom's actions.

She is now going to be investigated by Child Protective Services and the San Francisco Police Department.

HS Student Arrested for Facebook Sex List

A student at Oak Park River Forest High School in Illinois was arrested earlier this week for allegedly making a Facebook sex list.

The offensive list contained the names of approximately 50 female Oak Park River Forest High School students, and detailed their sexual behaviors, sexual characteristics and physical appearance. The list contained both explicit and derogatory language.

The Facebook sex list gained the attention of school officials and students in January. Not only was the list posted online on Facebook, but it was also distributed in paper form to students during their lunch break until school officials caught wind of the situation, reports Chicago Sun-Times.

Murder Conviction Tossed over Judge's Misconduct

Serving a life sentence since 2009, Oklahoma City prison resident Kassie Bills is about to get a new trial.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reversed her murder conviction on Wednesday, ruling that presiding Judge Ray Elliot improperly influenced jurors when he told them not to be "one of those hard heads."

Despite claiming that she shot her friend due to mental insanity, an Oklahoma jury convicted Kassie Bills of first degree murder for which she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prior to deliberations, Judge Ray Elliot had a discussion with jurors in which NewsOk reports that he said the following:

Man Arrested over Facebook Threat to Governor

Note to self: do not post violent threats on Facebook. Michael Adams, 36, wrote a Facebook comment reading "I hope that Governor [Dannel] Malloy will be shot by an angry New Yorker during his visit to New York."

Can you guess what happened next?

Why Mr. Adams was arrested, of course. He was picked up by Connecticut police on charges of harassment, inciting injury, and breach of peace. Police said that they were taking all threats seriously considering the timing of the visit.

Midwife Pleads Guilty in Baby's Death

After the tragic death of a baby during a home delivery, a Baltimore midwife has pled guilty to criminal charges. Karen Carr has pled guilty in Alexandria, Virginia, to felony child endangerment and performing an invasive procedure without a license.

The unnamed mother wished to deliver her baby at home, despite it being a breech birth and the fact that another midwife turned the case down, reports Slate.

Prosecutor Krista Boucher said Carr's responsibility arose from the facts of this case. The baby's head was trapped during the delivery for 20 minutes. Then Carr and two assistants tried to revive the baby for 13 more minutes before calling 911. The baby expired two days later in a hospital, reports Slate.

Amanda Knox Trial: DNA Review Requires More Time

It seems as though the Amanda Knox trial, which was the subject of a trashy Lifetime movie earlier this year, is never-ending

In the latest news, the two court-appointed DNA experts who are assigned to analyze evidence that is the subject of Knox's appeal have requested that the Italian court extend their deadline by 40 days.

What are my Rights During a Traffic Stop?

Imagine you're driving to a party, dancing along to the music on the radio. You swerve a bit on the road. Suddenly, you see the tell-tale flashing red lights behind you. It's the police. What should you do in a traffic stop? And more importantly, what are your rights?

While police officers are given a high level of authority, they must abide by certain rules. With this in mind, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about traffic stops:

Sequester Casey Anthony Trial Jurors 6-8 Weeks?

Day 2 of jury selection in the Casey Anthony trial has been completed, and presiding Judge Perry is whittling the pool down to people who are free for the next 6 to 8 weeks.

As part of the process, he explained to potential jurors that they will spend their afternoons and weekends stuck in an Orlando hotel room, cut off from most of society.

Utah Grandma to be Freed After 17 Years in Prison

After missing countless graduations, marriage and births, Debra Brown was released from Utah State Prison Monday after spending 17 years behind bars.

A belated Mother's Day celebration ensued.

She is the first inmate to successfully take advantage of a new law that allows convictions to be judicially reconsidered based on factual evidence.

Sex Offender Moved Out of Dumpster, Got Arrested

Homeless sex offender Charles Mader was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico recently after failing to notify authorities that he had moved from a neighborhood dumpster bin to an abandoned house nearby.

It's a strange story centered on a serious sex offender registry law.

Mader was convicted in 2000 for trying to rape a 6-year-old boy. After his release, he had nowhere to go. His official address is listed as a dumpster on the corner of 8th and Central in Albuquerque.

Casey Anthony Trial Beings Amid OJ-Like Frenzy

Jury selection in the Casey Anthony murder trial started today amongst intense media frenzy.

While jury selection is taking place in Tampa Bay, the trial, which presiding Chief Judge Belvin Perry hopes to get started on May 17, is expected to occur in Orlando, about 100 miles away.

Ohio to Reduce Criminal Drug Sentences?

Is a recent policy shift that has caused states to rethink drug laws a sign that the war on drugs is over?

Ohio, the latest state on the path to reduced drug sentences, doesn't think so. Instead, legislators considering the current bill point to the need to reduce prison costs and refocus resources on violent, hardened criminals.

Florida Passes Anti-Bestiality Law

If you were planning on getting down and dirty with an animal, now there's one more state you should avoid.

Lawmakers have taken an important break from balancing budgets and keeping crime in check by passing a law banning bestiality in Florida.

Universal Studios Employee Stole $1M in Tickets

A Universal Studios ticket theft by Florida woman Carmen Kunstorf shows that a day at theme park is no day in the park.

Kunstorf, 43, a former employee at Universal Studios, allegedly stole 1,862 complimentary tickets to the theme park over an 18-month period.

How to Avoid a Cinco de Mayo DUI Charge

Cinco de Mayo may be the perfect time for a fiesta, but it certainly isn't time for driving under the influence.

So if you're going out for a few margaritas or a round of beers tonight, heed the following advice, 'cause seriously, the last thing you need is a Cinco de Mayo DUI.

Texas Executes First Inmate with Animal Drug

Unable to secure a stay of execution before Tuesday, Texas death row inmate Cary Kerr became the state's first inmate to be executed using a new sedative, pentobarbital.

The shocking part of this story isn't that Cary Kerr was executed--after all, Texas executes more prisoners than any other state.

No, it's that, in the United States, pentobarbital is most prominently used in veterinary medicine.

Teens Sentenced in Phoebe Prince Bullying Case

Teenager Phoebe Prince hung herself after months of bullying on January 14 last year in Massachusetts. She was 15 at the time.

Prince's mother, Anne O'Brien, was present in the courtroom on Wednesday when two of her daughter's former bullies were sentenced.

Can I Beat a Breathalyzer?

From sucking on pennies to chewing gum, there are a lot of urban legends purporting to share proven ways by which a person can beat a breathalyzer.

Guess what?

None of them are true.

Man Acquitted of Stealing 99-Cent Hot Dog

Should court resources be used on a case about the hot dog theft? A 99-cent hot dog at that?

Well, a jury in Cheney, Washington was tasked with just such a job, and recently acquitted a man who was accused of stealing a "bronze" German sausage from a local grocery store.

Man Drugged Rival Dog Show Husky, Cops Say

Ralph Ullum, a Pennsylvania resident, has been implicated in a dog show drugging.

Facing up to a year in jail, it has been alleged that, in order to give his girlfriend's dog a leg up in a Wheaton, Illinois dog show, Ullum drugged a rival dog with Benadryl and Protonix.

Indeed, the seedy underbelly of the dog show world has been revealed.