Crime in the News - FindLaw Blotter

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Dog in a Hot Locked Car: Teen Faces 5 Years in Prison for Animal Cruelty

Dogs may be our best friends, but humans are not always very friendly to their dogs. One woman in Virginia, 19, left her pet puggle -- a cross between a beagle and a pug -- in a hot car parked outside a pet store in Falls Church.

According to a press release from the Fairfax County Police Department, someone spotted the dog and called the authorities, but not soon enough. Although officials managed to break into the car and get the animal to the veterinarian in the nearby pet store, the dog died soon after. The owner, Megan Kurtz Campbell, was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.

Police Hope 3D Printed Fingers Will Unlock Murder Victim's Phone

As technology becomes more sophisticated, the police too are increasingly creative. Michigan authorities, for example, recently commissioned a set of 3D printer fingers to unlock a murder victim's smart phone.

The police believe that the phone holds information about the crime, Fusion reports. Keeping in mind the difficulties of the FBI wrangling with Apple over defendant phone privacy, the Michigan authorities came up with a very creative workaround: copying the victim's fingers in the hopes of unlocking the phone.

Snapchat Crime: Teen's Conviction for Video Upload Upheld

New technologies often lead to new legal issues. So it is with Snapchat, a social media site where people post videos that disappear after 24 hours. A California appeals court this week upheld the conviction of a 16-year-old high school student who uploaded a 10-second video of a fellow student masturbating in a bathroom stall and was charged with misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

The boy who was filmed committed suicide two weeks later, reports Ars Technica, but he was not considered in the criminal case. At issue here is privacy.

The 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland has been the site of countless protests and counter-protests by both demonstrators and delegates inside and outside the convention. And if you're wondering about the legality of these protests, we've got you covered. (If you're wondering about the legality of plagiarizing a speech, or using a band's song without permission, we've also got you covered, here and here.)

To make sure you don't violate the laws while making your voice heard, check out these five things you need to know about legally protesting, at conventions and elsewhere:

Does Rising Heat Lead to Summer Crime Spikes?

The summer heat has various effects on different people. Some become lazy and want to lie in the shade all day, and some get hot and bothered, all riled up, which may be why crime rates rise with the temperatures during the summer season.

Scientists have found a connection between high temperatures and higher crime rates. But it's not clear why crime rises in the summer. No one knows the reason for the phenomenon but there is evidence that it happens, as well as two competing theories circulating. Wired examined the different studies of the climate crime connection and called the link between heat and violence hazy. Let's consider.

Just in case you needed a reminder about how to act on an airplane, here are a few: wear deodorant; keep your shoes on; don't lean your seat back; and, for God's sake, do not grope and kiss an unaccompanied minor who has fallen asleep in the seat next to you. And in case you require further edification, that last one is not mere etiquette. Your nonconsensual sexual advances are assault, possibly rape, and they will get you arrested and jailed.

Keep your elbows in, keep your carry-on stowed, and keep your hands to yourself.

Can a Spiked Drink Prompt a Crime Spree?

When people are in custody they may say strange things to be released. But the defense presented at the bond hearing in a Georgia case this month really takes the cake. The accused says her drink was spiked at a Chick-fil-A and that this led to a crime spree ending in a murder charge, among others.

Kristie Renee Nesby, 43, was reportedly denied bond and will be held in custody awaiting resolution of the charges arising from her dramatic and deadly day. So watch what you drink and where, lest your beverage be spiked, as this is not a nice story and there is probably no happy ending written into Nesby's future.

CA Lawmakers May Redefine Rape After Stanford Sex Assault Case

California's definition or rape could change thanks to the recent case of Brock Turner, sometimes referred to in the media as "The Stanford Rape Case." But that is technically a misnomer, as Turner was not charged with or convicted of rape.

Rather, he was convicted of three counts of sexual assault and what he did was not rape under California law. That's one reason why lawmakers are talking about changing the definition of rape in this state, according to CBS News in Sacramento. Let's consider the issue.

Another day, another hack. And while the target might not be as well-known as Sony or Anthem Blue Cross, the VerticalScope hack could have exposed personal information for an estimated 45 million users on 1,100 online forums.

What does this mean for the users involved, for VerticalScope, and the hackers? Let's take a look.

National Parks Art-Crime Spree Ends With Criminal Sentence

It's hard to make a mark on this crowded, busy world, and artists struggle to get noticed. But when your art is leaving marks on protected national park land, you will get attention. You just better be willing to pay a price.

This week, Casey Nocket, 23, pled guilty to seven misdemeanor counts of defacing national park property in a federal court in Fresno, California. She used acrylics and markers to draw on protected rock formations and will do 200 community service hours and spend two years on probation, with restitution to be determined at a later hearing. But that is not all the judge put on Nocket's docket, according to the Denver Post.