Crime in the News - FindLaw Blotter

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News broke last week that a Connecticut Republican politician, 71-year-old Christopher von Keyserling, was arrested and charged as a result of a sexual assault he allegedly committed a month prior. The incident, captured on a security camera, involved the politician pinching a woman's backside, who then admonished him. The politician, through his attorney, asserts that the action was a playful gesture and trivial.

Nevertheless, the politician was arrested last Wednesday for the assault which occurred on December 9, 2016. The victim stated that Keyserling allegedly said to her during an exchange prior to the incident that in "this new world," he "no longer [had] to be politically correct." Also, Keyserling allegedly threatened, after the incident, that if she complained, it would be his word against hers, implying his word carried more weight. Now, it really is, but unfortunately for Keyserling, police believe the video evidence backs up the victim's story.

Seven members of a non-profit organization in Tampa, Florida, with a mission of feeding the homeless were arrested last week for feeding the homeless, again. The organization, Food Not Bombs, has gotten in trouble regularly for this exact problem, like many other individuals and small groups that seek to make an immediate impact by feeding the homeless. In Tampa, in order to legally serve or share food in a public park, a group must obtain a special permit to do so. Technically, the group's members were arrested for not obtaining that special permit.

In Orlando, half a decade ago, the same group faced this exact same issue of a local ordinance requiring a permit to feed the homeless in a public park. The court reasoned that because the restriction imposed by the city was reasonable in time, place, and manner, that there was no constitutional violation.

Despite the rigorous regulations designed to protect against fraud in the medical and drug treatment industry, greedy individuals will always find ways to perpetrate scams. In Palm Beach, Florida, operators of sober homes, also known as halfway homes, as well as drug treatment centers, have been swept up in a recent sting operation designed to target a dangerous unregulated nexus between the two types of facilities. Sober homes have operated largely unregulated in Florida, and as a result, have been ripe for criminals looking to take advantage of the system.

Over ten individuals have now been arrested thus far in the Florida sting. Most of the arrests are centered around the crime of patient brokering and insurance fraud. Patient brokering involves medical facilities, like drug treatment centers, paying other facilities, such as sober homes, kickbacks, or referral fees, for sending patients with good insurance their way.

Freedom of speech has its limits, and some speech can be considered criminal. Fraud, threats, and lying to the police can all land you in jail, so deciding what expression is legal and what is not can be a difficult exercise in line-drawing.

So where does providing "emotional and legal support" to people who choose to end their own lives fall on that spectrum? On the criminal end, according to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which upheld the conviction of a national right-to-die group for assisting in a woman's suicide in 2007.

While it may be common knowledge that caffeine is considered a drug, one California man may be facing an unheard-of DUI charge. After allegedly cutting off an officer from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, he was arrested for DUI. However, his breathalyzer results were clear of any alcohol. When his blood sample was taken, it also showed no trace of any drugs or alcohol, excepting caffeine.

The driver was arrested in August 2015, and the charges were not filed until June of 2016. While the district attorney in charge of prosecuting the case insists that the charges are not based upon caffeinated driving, the driver’s attorney explains that there is no evidence whatsoever of drugs or alcohol in his client’s system.

If you thought shoplifters were lone wolves who either couldn't afford food or were looking for a cheap thrill, think again. Just like in any industry, pooling your resources leads to increased profits. And shoplifters have learned that certain consumer products become very valuable when they hit the street and have begun coordinating attacks on stores designed to get the most bang for their robbery buck.

It's referred to as "organized retail crime," or ORC, and according to one California police sergeant, it works "just like a Fortune 500 company."

As everyone should know by now, school shooting threats, even if intended as jokes, are not cool and can get you arrested. For those still unaware, look no further than a 17-year-old high school student in California who allegedly left a "very crude" note in the school's office that included a specific threat to "shoot up the school and kill staff and students."

The student was promptly identified and arrested, and the school was shut down for a day.

Four more public officials are facing criminal charges due to the scandal over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, discovered in mid-2014. These four new defendants bring the number of people charged with a crime in a relation to the scandal up to 13. The four officials include two former state emergency managers, Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose, and two Flint city water plant officials, Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson.

The two state employees are facing felony charges that could land them each 20-year prison sentences. The state level employees are the highest level officials charged thus far in the scandal. Both Earley and Ambrose reported directly to the state governor. The charges stem from knowingly endangering the public and failing to protect the public from the health hazard. The two water plant officials also face serious felony charges as well for conspiring with Earley and Ambrose.

A Charleston jury found self-avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof guilty on 33 counts of federal hate crimes in the massacre of nine black church parishioners in the city last year. It took less than two hours for the twelve jurors to agree on guilty verdicts for each criminal charge, and they must now move on to the penalty phase of Roof's trial.

At stake is whether Roof will be put to death for the slayings or spend the rest of his life in prison, and he has requested to represent himself.

After 29 years, police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of Kae Robinson. Robinson was only 19 years old, and was sunbathing at Lake Weatherford in Weatherford, Texas when she disappeared and was later discovered murdered. While investigators continued to follow up on leads over the decades, the case had seemingly gone cold. That is, until this past January when the case was reviewed and a new approach taken.

The renewed investigation culminated in finding a suspect. The newly discovered suspect, Ricky Lee Adkins, is now 59 years old, and lived in the area during the time of the murder. While information connecting Adkins to the murder is scant in the news, a grand jury returned an indictment on capital murder charges. However, DNA evidence linking Adkins to the murder is currently being tested by authorities.