Crime in the News - FindLaw Blotter
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What is resisting arrest, and what defenses can potentially be used to defeat the charge?

A San Francisco public defender was arrested Wednesday after she refused to let police photograph her client in a court hallway. Notably, a police officer told her before she was placed in handcuffs that she would be arrested for resisting arrest.

Eventually, Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson was arrested, though a cellphone video shows that, far from "resisting," she let police cuff her and lead her away. So how can she be prosecuted for resisting an arrest that hadn't happened yet?

Here's a good way to get your kids taken away from you: Let them play with a .40-caliber handgun.

A couple from Evansville, Indiana, is facing child neglect and criminal recklessness charges after police found a cellphone video of the woman's 1-year-old baby placing a gun in her mouth. The incident was apparently no accident: According to police reports, a man can be heard in the background of the video repeatedly encouraging the toddler to say "pow."

The second-ranking member of Maryland's Episcopal Diocese is facing criminal charges, including manslaughter, following a suspected hit-and-run DUI crash in which a man was killed.

Baltimore authorities say Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook was allegedly texting while driving when she veered off the road, hitting a bicyclist from behind, reports The Associated Press. The bicyclist, 41-year-old Tom Palermo, died from head injuries suffered in the crash. Cook reportedly fled the scene before returning 30 minutes later.

What charges is Cook now facing for the fatal crash?

A Long Beach man who allegedly killed multiple adopted cats will spend two years in jail after agreeing to a plea deal with prosecutors.

Steven Ullery, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty in December, reports the Los Angeles Times. He was sentenced Tuesday to two years in Los Angeles County Jail. Ullery had faced up to five years in prison if convicted at trial.

What led to the charges against Ullery and his plea deal with prosecutors?

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has been sentenced to two years in prison on corruption charges.

The sentence was imposed today by U.S. District Court Judge James R. Spencer, reports The New York Times. McDonnell was convicted in September of accepting loans and gifts from a businessman in exchange for political favors.

What should you know about McDonnell's sentencing? Here are five legal questions and answers:

An Arizona elementary school teacher is being charged with murder following a suspected DUI crash.

Erica Kristine Flynn was a third grade teacher at Frye Elementary School in Chandler, Arizona, reports Phoenix's KTVK-TV. But Flynn will reportedly not be returning to her job next semester after being arrested and charged with second-degree murder following a crash that a killed a woman December 27.

Why is Flynn being charged with murder in the crash?

FindLaw's Blotter attempts to cover the latest in criminal news as well as provide common-sense explanations of the legal intricacies of the criminal justice system. With 2014 coming to a close, we've tried to reflect on the stories that have caught our readers' attentions most -- both news-based and general.

With that, here are the 10 most popular posts from FindLaw's Blotter in 2014:

A sex offender working as Santa Claus in Jackson County, Missouri, was arrested more than a week before Christmas.

James R. Gray, 50, was arrested and charged with failing to register as a sex offender because he failed to report his employment -- which in this case was as a Santa in a "home decor-type store." The Kansas City Star reports that it's not illegal for a sex offender to portray Santa Claus, but not registering employment is another story.

Why are law enforcement coming down so hard on this sex-offender Santa?

Montana homeowner Markus Kaarma was convicted Wednesday of shooting and killing 17-year-old German exchange student Diren Dede, whom he caught in his garage.

The jury didn't buy that Kaarma had feared for his life when shooting the teen, as he had originally claimed, and found him guilty of deliberate homicide. ABC News reports that Kaarma is facing up to 100 years in prison, and sentencing is scheduled for February 11.

What does this deliberate homicide conviction mean for Kaarma?

Two girls accused of stabbing a friend because of a belief in "Slender Man" have been found competent to stand trial.

Anissa Weier, 13, and Morgan Geyser, 13, allegedly attempted a sort of ritualistic murder to please "Slender Man" -- a fictional, shadowy figure that began as an Internet meme. According to ABC News, the victim, a then 12-year-old friend of Weier and Geyser, was stabbed 19 times with a large kitchen knife last May, but thankfully survived.

What does competency to stand trial mean for these girls in the "Slender Man" trial?