FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

February 2018 Archives

Teen Given Probation for Starting Oregon Wildfire

Fires can cause a lot of damage from destroying nature and people's homes to killing people. When an individual starts a fire intentionally, he or she may end up facing an arson charge, which is usually classified as a felony. But, even if the act of starting the fire doesn't rise to the level of arson, engaging in conduct that causes a fire can have serious consequences.

Just ask the teen in Oregon who's been sentenced to 5 years of probation and 1,900 hours of community service for causing a fire after tossing firecrackers into a forested ravine above a hiking trail.

Is It Illegal to Let a Friend Borrow Your Gun?

Your gun, your rights, your problem? It's pretty common in America to let someone borrow, use, try, or otherwise handle a firearm. Hunters do it in the woods, shooters at the range, purchasers at trade shows, and kids at summer camps.

Put those scenarios to one side, then consider the other side: criminal defendants arguing about who used whose gun to shoot so-and-so, or an otherwise responsible owner having to explain how his gun ended up in a kid's backpack at school.

So what's the law on letting someone borrow your gun?

Is It a Crime to Mail White Powder Even If It's Harmless?

You can never be too careful, opening your mail. Sure, much of it is junk and some of it may include requests for money from your long lost third cousin you never knew you had. But the U.S. Postal Service delivers 506.4 million pieces of mail each day, sent by and to people of all walks of life. So some crazy stuff can get sent through the mail. Including stuff sent by crazy people, like ricin, anthrax, narcotics ... and corn starch, as Donald Trump Jr.'s wife has recently discovered.

Florida Woman Sentenced for Kidnapping Newborn

Kidnapping is a serious crime, usually classified as a felony in most states. Just ask Gloria Williams, who was arrested in January 2017 for kidnapping Kamiyah Mobley as a newborn. Instead of going through a trial for the kidnapping, Williams has decided to plead guilty to the crime she committed 20 years ago.

Teen Arrested for Throwing Kitten in Water, Joking About Abuse

There seem to be a lot of videos of animals doing cute or funny things on the internet these days. Unfortunately, that's not the case in one video that was posted on social media. The video is of Garratt Haile throwing a kitten into a body of water while joking about it. Shot about a year ago, it was recently shared on social media, at which point several people contacted the police, and Haile was arrested.

Pharmacist Gets 8 Year Sentence for Meningitis Outbreak

Glenn Chin, the pharmacist convicted for his role in the 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 76 people and sickened hundreds more, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison. Even though this may sound like a long time, Chin should consider himself lucky. He was being prosecuted for mail fraud, racketeering, and second-degree murder.

While he was convicted of mail fraud and racketeering, he was cleared of the second-degree murder charge, which could've resulted in a maximum sentence of life in prison. But, what exactly happened to cause such a devastating outbreak of fungal meningitis?

Elon Musk Sells Flamethrowers: Are They Legal to Own?

Watch out for flamethrower bearing BBQers this summer. Elon Musk, the attention-grabbing entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX, has fired up Twitter and legions of his loyal followers with a brand-spanking new toy -- a commercially available flamethrower.

Past Marijuana Convictions in San Francisco to Be Wiped Clean

It's rare for prosecutors to voluntarily dismiss cases. But thousands in one swoop? That gets headlines. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon announced Wednesday that his office will review and move to expunge thousands of Marijuana-related convictions in the city going back to 1975.