Dumb Criminals - FindLaw Blotter

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Perfectly reasonable laws can sometimes lead to some wacky lawsuits. Usually, it's due to some lawyer with a novel theory on how to apply the law. Recently, a Pennsylvania judge dismissed one such wacky lawsuit against the Sands Casino.

Basically, a Pennsylvania man sued the casino claiming that he suffered damages because he was convicted of battering his fiance there. He claimed that the casino was at fault for serving him too much alcohol. Fortunately, the judge in the case wasn't having any of that nonsense.

You'd think certain places would be out-of-bounds, even to criminals. At least, that's what Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey thought, after the arrest of two thieves accused of breaking into 15 churches across 5 North Carolina counties. "It takes a special kind of criminal to target a church as a place to steal," Cathey told the Charlotte Observer. "A church should be off limits."

But pastors and parishioners can rest easy now that Justin Ray Patterson and Amanda Nicole Hickey are behind bars, and their weeks-long crime spree has come to an end.

Woman Faces Life in Prison for Fake Rape Fantasy Ad Responses

Some people can't take a break up and they want to make their exes pay when their love doesn't last. But a 29-year-old California woman is learning the hard way that revenge is a dish best not served at all.

Michelle Hadley could spend her life in state prison after responding to rape fantasy advertisements on Craigslist in the name of her ex-boyfriend's wife, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's Office. She is charged with numerous felony offenses, including six counts of attempted forcible rape.

Sure, you can physically hand your ID or driver's license to your friend. And your friend may hold it in her hands momentarily, while pointing and laughing at the goofy look you're sporting in the picture. That friend can even pass it to another friend, while pointing and laughing and saying, "Look!" All of that is perfectly legal.

It's normally what happens after you give a friend your ID that matters.

All rape is bad. Raping a person is bad and witnessing a rape and doing nothing makes you a bad person. But witnessing a rape and deciding, "Yeah, I need to livestream this" makes you a bad and dumb person.

Raymond Boyd Gates is the bad person who allegedly raped a 17-year-old. Marina Alexeevna Lonina is the bad and dumb person who allegedly livestreamed the rape on Periscope. Fortunately, both bad people are currently in jail and have been indicted for crimes that could keep them there for 40 years.

A Texas judge sentenced Ethan Couch to a tentative 720-day jail sentence related to the "Affluenza" teen's probation conditions stemming from his 2013 drunken driving accident that killed four people and injured two more. Couch celebrated his last teenage birthday in the maximum security Lon Evans Correctional Center in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, and could spend his remaining teenage days there.

But District Judge Wayne Salvant did give Couch's attorneys two weeks to come up with an argument to reduce the jail sentence. Can they do it?

'Tis the season for furiously clicking that "Track Package" button in sales confirmation emails. Whether you're worried about outgoing gifts making it to their destination on time or excited about an incoming present, tracking a package online can become a daily or even hourly obsession.

And it can get you arrested, if you happen to be tracking a package full of drugs from China.

Criminal Consequences for Christmas Vandals

A rash of Christmas vandals, determined to take the fun out of kitsch, are attacking inflatable Santa Clauses and other outdoor holiday displays around the country. But yes Virginia, it is a crime.

Police do prosecute vandals of all kinds, and those who attack outdoor holiday displays are in no way exempt from being charged with a crime. In fact, some citizens are so offended by the abuses that they have set up their own surveillance to help cops catch these culprits.

Let's look at two recent cases.

Criminal Consequences of Stealing Packages

It is a federal criminal offense to tamper with the mail. So no matter how delightful and intriguing the neighbor's deliveries seem, avoid the temptation to pilfer a package from their porch because you're short on Christmas gifts.

Theft of a letter, post card, package, bag, or mail from a US post office or a collection center associated with USPS is subject to fines and up to five years imprisonment, according to the United States Code, Section 1708. Receiving mail that was stolen is similarly punishable.

Phone Thief Uploads Selfies to Victim's Cloud Storage

A California high school student whose phone was stolen provided police with a perfect description of the thief. Selfies appeared on the victim's cloud storage days after the robbery, showing the suspect smiling, pouting, and posing happily, NBC News Bay Area reports.

The victim noticed the images uploaded a few days after the incident and gave them to the police. Now they are all over the web, and the cops are asking for the public's help in identifying the thief.