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Tag: U.S. District Judge

Wounded Fed Judge Remains Example of Being Positive About Detroit

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit
DETROIT — U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg could be a spokesman for having a good attitude about Detroit despite being the victim of a shooting outside his home in city’s University District earlier this month during an attempted robbery.

“Overall, I have such a positive feeling about Detroit and where we live,” he told Steve Garagiola of WDIV.

Berg, 55, who was shot in the leg, and is moving about on crutches,plans to join a march on Friday at  6 p.m. the Gesu Catholic Church a 117180 Oak Dr, Detroit.

He said march will be about being positive about Detroit and speaking out against violence.

He was shot March 5 outside his home after he refused to let two robbers into his home where his wife and child were.

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Judge Still Not Satisfied That Drug Dealer’s Mercedes is Drug-Related Property

Judge Paul Grimm/ Baltimore CIty Paper photo

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — Maryland U.S. District judge Paul Grimm spent more than 15 years as a federal magistrate judge before being elevated to his current perch in 2012. That’s a lot of time to gain a nuanced understanding of the rules of evidence that must be met before law enforcers can lawfully seize or search property – one of a magistrate’s key bailiwicks.

So now that Grimm is a district judge with a docket that includes civil proceedings, called forfeitures, in which the government seeks to keep criminally derived property it has seized, he has a sensitive nose for the required legal thresholds – and in one case this year, he’s twice cited a dearth of evidence in denying the government’s move to keep convicted drug-dealer John Edward Butler Jr.’s 2003 Mercedes Benz CL500.

Butler was a St. Mary’s County drug dealer who pleaded guilty in a large federal cocaine conspiracy, and in 2011, the government filed a forfeiture case to keep his seized Mercedes. Grimm’s second denial, issued on Oct. 2, was in response to the government’s motion for reconsideration of his first, which was handed down in July. What’s clear from the second is that Grimm’s patience with the government’s arguments is wearing quite thin.

To read the full story click here.

Judge May Sanction Feds After DEA Agent Failed to Mention Use of GPS

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
The failure to disclose evidence to defense attorneys continues to be a nagging problem in the federal court system, according to the website FieldLogix.

In one of the latest incidents, U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett of Iowa is considering sanctions against prosecutors after a DEA agent failed to disclose that it used a warrantless GPS tracker on a suspect’s car, the website reported.

The judge declared a mistrial in the case in December after the defense raised the issue.

Subsequently, in January the Supreme Court ruled that agencies needed a warrant to use a GPS tracking system in an investigation.

The agent in the the Iowa case, David Jensen, referred in reports to what “surveillance showed” and failed to mention the GPS, the website reported. The judge has ruled that Jensen acted in bad faith by not disclosing use of the GPS.

A hearing on the matter is set for April 30.

 

Baseball Legend Roger Clemens Wants the Feds to Pay His Attorney Fees

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Major League Baseball legend Roger Clemens is making a bid for a second victory.

In July, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial in his perjury case because of a prosecutorial error.

Now, he wants the feds to pay for attorney fees and other costs in the trial, Business Week reports.

“An award of fees and costs will at least partially restore Mr. Clemens to the same position he was in before the prosecutors engaged in conduct meriting a mistrial,” Rusty Hardin, a lawyer for Clemens, said in a court filing in federal court in Washington, according to business week.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined comment, citing an order by Judge Walton not to discuss the case publicly, Newsweek reported.

 

Ex-CIA Official Gets 5 Years-Plus in Prison for Sexual Assault in Algeria on Embassy Property

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-CIA official Andrew Warren, who pleaded guilty last year to drugging and sexually assaulting an Algerian woman in 2008 on embassy property in Algiers, and using cocaine while possessing a firearm in Virginia, was sentenced Thursday to five years and five months in prison.

Warren’s sentencing in U.S. District Court in Washington capped an embarrassing international scandal for the CIA.

Last June, Warren, now 43, admitted that on Feb. 17, 2008, he had sexually assaulted the woman on the U.S. Embassy property in Algiers, the capital of Algeria.

The government alleged in court documents that Warren had made a drink for the woman, who “consumed part of the drink and suddenly became very ill.” She passed into “semi-consciousness,” at which point he took off the woman’s clothes and “engaged in a sexual act with her,” according to court documents.

After the incident, Warren told authorities he’d had sex with the woman but said that it was consensual, the government alleged.

The CIA recalled Warren — who was first stationed in Algiers in 2007 — to the United States in October 2008. He was fired in 2009.

A second woman had also made similar allegations about Warren, but his  plea last year only applied to the February 2008 incident, according to court records.

U.S. District Ellen S. Huvelle on Thursday ordered that Warren be placed on 10 years of supervised release after his prison term and register as a sex offender.

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Atlanta Fed Judge Busted With Drugs and Stripper Suffered Depression and Brain Damage, Sentencing Memorandum Says

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Federal Judge Jack Camp is hoping to stay out of prison, hoping a judge considers his sentencing memorandum that focuses on his mental health and problems in life on March 11.

In a memo filed in federal court in  Atlanta on Friday,  Camp’s attorney William Taylor of Washington writes that Camp has suffered from acute depression,  brain-damaging from a bicycle accident and personal family tragedy that may have contributed to him getting busted for buying cocaine for a stripper he was having an affair with.

“They do not excuse his conduct,” his attorney wrote.” They do help explain, however, how in May of 2010 a lonely man in the twilight of his life became entangled with a seductive prostitute more than willing to take advantage of his needs and of his misguided impulse to be her friend and protector.”

The memo notes that Camp entered a psychiatric hospital after his arrest last year.  The physician in charge of his evaluation and treatment, Dr. Miles Quaytman talked to the probation office.

“In brief, since he sought pyschiatric care in 1999, Mr. Camp had been treated with standard antidepressant medications when his conditions actually involved a mood cycling or bipolar disorder,” the sentencing memorandum said. “Mood cycling disorders have both depressive and manic phases. Characteristic features of the manic phase are the excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have high potential for painful consequences and impairment of judgment about those consequences. Mr. Camp’s recent conduct is certainly consistent with that characterization.”

On Nov. 19, Camp, who was on senior status, pleaded guilty to aiding a felon in possessing illegal drugs, possessing illegal drugs and giving his government issued lap top to the stripper he was having an affair with. He has resigned as a federal judge, which is lifetime presidential appointment.  Camp bought drugs for the stripper, who was cooperating with authorities.

The papers also noted that  Dr. Qaytman found that Camp suffered serious head injury in a bicycling accident in 2000 and he has no memory of that.

“In addition to his mood cycling disorder and the physical damage to the brain, Mr. Camp has faced a number of difficult and stressful personal challenges,” the sentencing memorandum said.

Plus, he had prostrate cancer, his mother has dementia and his sister has stage four colon cancer.

The document asked that he be sentenced to probation and community service.

“No one can assess precisely how these features of his personal mental health and the sorrows and stress of his life interacted,” the filing said.

Read Sentencing Memo

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Judge in Blago Case May Get Jurors No-Trespassing Signs for Homes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is a federal judge going too far by restraining the media or just being considerate?

The Chicago Tribune reports that U.S. District Judge James Zagel  in Chicago said Thursday he may have the U.S. Marshals Service offer no-trespassing signs to jurors to put up at their homes following the verdict in the retrial of ex-Ill Gov. Rod Blagojevich to keep reporters away.

“We have clear evidence that some members of the media will disregard the ordinary rights of citizens … to get the story,” Zagel said, according to the Tribune.

The judge made the remark at a hearing in which media outlets argued against proposed restrictions to keep the media away from jurors, the Tribune reported. The judge said he was bothered by the media hounding jurors after the first trial in which Blagojevich was convicted on 1 of 24 counts. The jury deadlocked on the other counts.

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, called the idea distressing because of the message it would send to jurors, the Tribune reported. She said the post-verdict interviews provide the public a better understanding of the process.

“Passing out signs is signaling to them the media is going to make your life miserable,” Dalglish said of Zagel’s comments, ” according to the Tribune. “I don’t think that should be his role.”

Dalglish also noted the importance of post-verdict media interviews of jurors, saying they provide important understanding to the public and the legal system about how a case was handled.

The trial is set for April 20.

Legal Wrangling in ex-Cong. Jefferson’s Conviction Continues; Oral Arguments Set for May

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Nearly six years after the FBI launched a sting and 1 1/2 years after he was convicted on public corruption charges, the legal wrangling goes on and ex-New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson remains a free man.

The latest: Oral arguments for Jefferson’s appeal in the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., have been set for the week of May 10, according to Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The paper reports that, according to experts, a three-judge panel could issue a ruling by the summer, but that’s not likely to resolve the matter considering the losing side will appeal that ruling.

Jefferson was convicted in August 2009 of 11 of 16 corruption-related counts and was subsequently hit with a 13 year sentence. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of Alexandria, Va., has allowed Jefferson to remain free pending his appeal.

The paper also reported that the 4th Circuit granted a Justice Department request to allow its attorneys 21,000 words in the appellate brief instead of the normal 14,000 word limit.