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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:55pm EDT - Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2013 7:55pm PDT
Guilty, your honor!
Florida -- In a sobering moment, a judge is expected to go to court today to say: Guilty, your honor.
Hillsborough Circuit Judge Tracy Sheehan intends to plead guilty to what she calls her truly terrible decision to drive home from Ybor City one night after drinking. She won't fight the charge nor try to get it reduced to reckless driving, as first-time offenders sometimes do. She spent a night in the county jail and finished two-day DUI school, a class that included people from all sorts of backgrounds and also two fellow lawyers.
Driving is off-limits except for work, so she rides her bicycle to the grocery store. In an odd moment, she found herself thinking the other day: no to that jar of pickles, because she would have to carry it in her backpack.
Because she is a Hillsborough judge, Polk County is providing the prosecutor and Pinellas the judge, Patrick Caddell. She faces a likely sentence of probation, license suspension, community service and no alcohol, among other things. A spokesman for the prosecution said it's expected to be a standard resolution to a standard case — no more, and no less.
Oath of Alcohol!
Posted: Jan 09, 2012 1:37 AM PST - Updated: Jan 09, 2012 11:46 AM PST
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WCJB) -- During her arrest for suspicion of DUI Sunday night, Atlantic Beach Mayor Retha Pierce (pictured above, center) allegedly refused to give a urine sample after officers told her she couldn't keep it. According to online booking records with the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, Pierce, whose full name is Retha Pierce Sturdivant, was booked at 9:21 p.m. Sunday night. Catina Hipp, spokeswoman for the Conway Police Department, told media sources Sunday night that Pierce had been detained on suspicion of DUI and was being questioned around 9 p.m.
In a police report, officers responded to the area of 9th Avenue and Main Street in reference to a reckless driver. A complainant told dispatch a white SUV kept stopping in the roadway. When an officer located the vehicle, driven by Pierce, at 4th Avenue and Main Street, they saw the vehicle stopped at a traffic light although the light was green. The officer said the vehicle stayed motionless for about 10 seconds before beginning to move slowly toward 3rd Avenue. "The vehicle straddled the dotted line at the turning lane and lane two," the report said. "The vehicle then stopped at a green light again."
A traffic stop was then initiated, however, the officer said Pierce did not stop at first and passed several safe stopping areas before finally stopping along the Main Street bridge. After the officer moved Pierce's vehicle to a safer location, several field sobriety tests were conducted. The officer said Pierce's eyes appeared glassy. Pierce was then arrested for DUI. According to the report, officers located three pill bottles in Pierce's purse for Flexeril, Toradol and Percocet.
Once at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, Pierce's blood alcohol content registered at 0.00 percent. When she was requested to give a urine sample, Pierce allegedly said she would give a sample if she could keep half of it with her and was told she couldn't keep the sample with her. Pierce then said she wanted to pay for her own test and wanted to keep her urine with her, according to the report. When she was told that couldn't happen, Pierce allegedly refused to give a urine sample.
During a hearing at the City of Conway Municpal Court, bond was set at $1,022 personal recognizance. Her initial court date was set for Feb. 8.
As she was being led into the courtroom, Pierce did not keep her voice silent on how she believes she is being treated by Horry County. "I was on my way from church," she said. 'And they put me in jail overnight, talking about a DUI, knowing I don't drink. And that's what it's all about. It's Horry County as usual with their corruption and with their evilness trying to do onto Retha Pierce. So they put me back in jail, after church." Again, on her way out of the courtroom after receiving a PR bond, Pierce continued her statement. "I think I've said it all," she added. "Horry County will forever stay on Retha Pierce and Atlantic Beach, SC until they get everything they want from Atlantic Beach."
On Nov. 22, 2011, Pierce was issued a traffic citation for driving left of center by the City of North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Office.
In 2009, Pierce was arrested on suspicion of DUI by a trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol after finding her taking a nap inside her car in a parking lot off Highway 76 while she was still in office. She was released from jail on a personal recognizance bond. Since her arrest, Pierce was removed from office and later reinstated to her post. The State dropped that DUI charge against Pierce back in May.
August 4, 2011
A San Diego police officer facing hit-and-run and drunk driving charges was found dead in the backyard of his home Monday morning, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. David Hall, 41, was discovered slumped against the rear wall of his home in the Clairemont Mesa neighborhood of San Diego. His wife called police shortly after the 10 a.m. shooting. Hall, a motorcycle officer, was off duty in February when he allegedly struck another car on a freeway onramp, injuring a female passenger, and fled the scene. Police later arrested him at his home. He was awaiting trial after pleading not guilty in May.
His death was the latest blow to a department that has suffered a spate of tragedies and misconduct allegations in recent months. Last month, veteran detective Donna Williams, 52, was found dead in her home, the victim of a knife attack that also killed her daughter. Her son was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Several officers have been accused of misconduct, including spousal abuse, rape, stalking and excessive force. The department has beefed up its internal affairs unit and supervisors now receive "early intervention" training on how to spot troublesome officers.
Hall, a father of three, had been placed on paid administrative duty. During his 14-year career, he had been a patrol officer and served on specialized narcotics and parole apprehension teams. In 2008, he began to work in the traffic division and in 2010 he became a motorcycle officer, according to the department.
After his arrest, Hall was ordered by a judge to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Police Chief William Lansdowne said Hall had met with a mental health professional Sunday and was scheduled to appear in court again Thursday for a pretrial hearing.
"The San Diego Police Department was very aware of the stress he was under and had taken every effort to get Officer Hall the help he needed," Lansdowne said. "Unfortunately, even with the help and support provided, Officer Hall unexpectedly decided to take his own life."
July 13, 2011
KINSTON, NC -- Three former correction officers pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony charges in the 2008 beating of an inmate at a maximum security prison in Greene County, avoiding sentences of hard time in a state facility like the one they once helped run. Superior Court Judge Paul L. Jones said the staffers from Maury Correctional Institution were "overzealous in carrying out their duties" when they conspired to repeatedly beat David G. Richardson with nightsticks while the inmate was handcuffed and shackled at the ankles. "Prisoners have rights, too," Jones said, shortly before passing his sentence. "The law requires they be treated humanely, not be assaulted. You overdid your job."
Capt. Gregory Allen Beck (pictured left) who prosecutors said gave the order to carry out the beating, pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of conspiracy to commit assault, inflicting serious bodily injury. A former Marine and Gulf War veteran, he received a suspended prison sentence of 10 to 12 months, with 36 months of supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine.
Sgt. Terry Lynn Bell (pictured left) who cooperated with investigators, also pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge, receiving the same suspended sentence, probation and fine as Beck.
Beck, Bell and Officer Brian Steve Bostick were arrested following an SBI investigation into how Richardson sustained serious injuries to his head and legs at Maury in March 2008. It is not clear what triggered the investigation and the SBI's report on the incident has not been made public. But a federal lawsuit filed on Richardson's behalf by N.C. Prisoner Legal Services earlier this year provides an account of what happened.
Bostick (pictured left) who prosecutors said repeatedly struck Richardson with his baton, pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious bodily injury. He received a suspended sentence of 20 to 24 months, 36 months supervised probation and a $2,500 fine.
Prosecutors said the men also chose to assault the inmate in sections of the prison they knew were not covered by security cameras.
If they had been convicted at trial, rather than agreeing to plead guilty, each could have received up to seven years of active prison time.
Of the three, only Bostick chose to address the court before he was sentenced. "I feel this is an unfortunate situation, bad judgment on my part," said the former officer. "I have changed since then."
Richardson (pictured left) still serving a nine-year sentence for robbery with a dangerous weapon, sat silently under guard in the courtroom as the sentences were read. He declined the judge's invitation to speak. Mamie Barnette, Richardson's mother, said she was disappointed the men were not sent to prison. "They beat my son nearly to death," said Barnette, who lives in Charlotte. "They broke the law. Anybody else who did what they did would have gotten time. Justice was not served."
On March 21, 2008, Richardson got in an altercation with a correction officer, who placed the inmate in handcuffs and took him to his cell. A Lawsuit tells the tale. The lawsuit says Beck, Bostick and a third officer told Richardson, who was uninjured, that he was going to be taken to the prison's medical facility for an evaluation. Using a waist chain, they secured Richardson's hands behind his back and shackled his ankles.
Once in a hallway unmonitored by a video camera, the lawsuit alleges, Bostick choked Richardson and slammed his head into a concrete wall before pushing him to the ground, kicking him in the mouth and upper body. The lawsuit alleges Bostick, who is white, used a racial slur as he beat Richardson, who is black.
After the assault, Richardson was escorted to the medical facility and treated for a split lip.
As they returned to Richardson's cell block, a dozen inmates told investigators they saw Richardson being beaten again for about five minutes. According to the lawsuit, Bostick hit Richardson with his baton in the head, legs and back as the inmate curled in a fetal position on the floor and begged him to stop. Beck and Bell were standing nearby but did not intervene. Richardson was then dragged to an empty cell, where Bostick continued the beating, according to the lawsuit. Thirty minutes later, another correction officer found Richardson curled on the floor of the cell and bleeding, still in restraints. He called for nurses, who put Richardson in a wheelchair. Several hours later, Richardson was taken to the emergency room at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where doctors closed three large gashes on his legs and a wound behind his ear.
Following the beating, the officers wrote reports saying Richardson assaulted two officers with a weapon. He was found guilty of three infractions of prison rules and isolated in solitary confinement for 120 days, according to correction records. While in isolation, Richardson appealed, filing an official grievance with administrators at Maury on March 23, 2008. His complaint was dismissed as being without merit. "You came out of your cell and assaulted two staff members and another inmate," wrote Harold Person, the assistant superintendent for custody and security at Maury, in an April 8 letter. "Staff acted in a professional manner. The incident was controlled with the minimum amount of force."
Records show Beck, Bostick and Bell lost their state jobs only after the SBI launched its investigation of the incident, nearly four months later.
Cedar Junction Pike!
July 8, 2011
A Cedar Junction prison corrections officer now finds himself on the other side of jail bars after being arrested on charges of raping a child. The arrest of 39-year-old Matthew Pike June 30 came after a show of police force outside his secluded West Walpole home. Numerous local officers and a SWAT team attempted to arrest Pike at his 8 Wind Chime Way home – a cul-de-sac off Cedar Street – but it was determined at about 8 p.m. that no one was home. As authorities staked out the area, a local officer reportedly spotted Pike driving down Main Street. The officer and backup authorities pulled Pike over in the Department of Public Works yard on Washington Street in what police called a “felony stop.”
Pike is charged with 10 counts of rape of a child with force, two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person under 14, and one count each of assault and battery and intimidating a witness. The brawny man – standing six feet tall and weighing 260 pounds – appeared in handcuffs at his arraignment this afternoon at Wrentham District Court. Details of the case are being impounded until the next slated hearing on July 7, 2011.
Pike was deemed dangerous by the court and is being held without bail at the Dedham House of Corrections until that court date at which times attorneys will likely discuss the terms of a potential release. In an unrelated incident, Pike hospitalized four Boston police officers in March during a brawl on Centre Street in West Roxbury after police say he tried to force his way into a closed pub.
The SWAT team and a state police helicopter were called out to Wind Chime Way last night as a county crisis negotiation team stood by for the arrest based off that information, said Walpole Deputy Police Chief John Carmichael. “For the particulars of this case, we deemed this a high risk situation,” Carmichael said.
During the same month as the alleged fight with police, Pike was “detached with pay” from his job as a corrections officer at MCI-Cedar Junction, Department of Correction spokesperson Cara Savelli told the Walpole Times. She said the suspension was due to a non-work related incident, but didn’t elaborate on what that incident was.
Pike had worked at Cedar Junction since May 1996, according to the DOC. Savelli couldn’t comment on his work behavioral record. The Department of Correction would not be commenting on Pike’s new charges, said Savelli, adding his employment status would be reviewed following these legal proceedings.
District Attorney spokesman Mike Connolly said the child rape dated back to 2008. Authorities couldn’t comment on the exact age of the child or the child’s gender. Carmichael did confirm that the incidences took place in Walpole. Assistant District Attorney Matt Friedel acted as the prosecutor during the arraignment but Connelly said a sex crimes expert would likely be brought in to take over the case for the Commonwealth. Pike plans to hire his own attorney.
New Haven PD!
July 7, 2011
NEW HAVEN, CT — A incident — in which police are seen on video punching and kicking a man who allegedly pulled a sawed-off rifle from his pants, fled and then fought with officers — has triggered an internal affairs investigation and a protest against police brutality.
The 61-second video, recorded from a second-floor window across Blake Street, shows two police officers struggling with a suspect on the ground. One officer, kneeling next to the man, can be seen punching the suspect several times, while the second officer is seen kicking the man at least five times in the grainy, amateur video.
At a protest at police headquarters Wednesday, a woman who said she and her two young children witnessed the episode said the man was on the ground defenseless as he took a beating.
N.M. State Trooper!
July 8, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The N.C. Highway Patrol announced Friday that its internal investigation has cleared Senior Trooper Edward S. Wyrick of any wrongdoing in the mistaken drunken driving arrest of a Raleigh woman last month. The patrol will suspend Trooper Andrew M. Smith (pictured below, left) who exchanged a series of profane text messages with Wyrick ridiculing the woman, Gina Tessener, after she twice blew a 0.00 on a breath alcohol test. The length of Smith's suspension has not yet been made public. Wyrick was cleared to return to the road immediately.
The woman's husband, Hoyt Tessener, released a statement shortly after the patrol's decision was announced. "I am disappointed in the results of the Highway Patrol’s investigation of the Highway Patrol," Tessener said in an e-mail. "As a citizen, I trusted that a “zero-tolerance” policy meant zero tolerance. Unfortunately for the citizens and visitors of North Carolina and for the vast majority of honorable Troopers, nothing has changed.
"Trooper Wyrick wrongfully arrested my wife as evidenced by the tests and I believe most people would come to the conclusion that Wyrick orchestrated the stop of me. I understand now why people are afraid to bring their complaints forward. We hope by coming forward other women who are wrongfully stopped by Trooper Wyrick will be vigilant," he said.
In a statement, patrol commander Col. Michael Gilchrist said several discrepancies were discovered between Tessener's June 24 written complaint and what the internal investigation found through witness accounts and other information.
"The information and evidence obtained during the investigation does not support Mr. Tessener’s allegations," Gilchrist said in a written statement. "However, the investigation did show that Trooper Smith violated Patrol policy, and he will be disciplined accordingly."
July 7, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Text messages released by the N.C. Highway Patrol Tuesday confirm that two troopers communicated about Gina Tessener, a Raleigh mother who was wrongfully arrested for drunken driving in Wilmington last month. But the messages, peppered with four-letter words, do not show whether the troopers colluded to make a subsequent traffic stop of Tessener's lawyer husband.
"This woman refused all roadside testing, and blew .00," the arresting officer, Senior Trooper Edward Wyrick (pictured left) texted about Tessener at 12:03 a.m. on June 22 "Her husband is a trial lawyer and told me I should be ashamed of myself." The recipient of the message, Trooper Andrew Smith, then responds: "Hahahaha fuck her and fuck him. She say how much she'd had to drink?" Wyrick writes back: "She said 1 drink at 7pm."
"Fuck her," Smith responds.
N.C. State Trooper!
March 19, 2011
ALBANY, N.Y. (WCJB) — Albany, N.Y., police officers have arrested their own spokesman on charges he was driving while intoxicated in an unmarked police car.
The Albany police department says public information officer James Miller was driving without headlights at around 9:25 p.m. Friday. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to a chemical test and driving without headlights.
Miller did not return telephone calls for comment.
Albany police Chief Steven Krokoff says Miller was suspended without pay. He is scheduled to appear Monday in court for arraignment.
Officer James Miller!
On Sunday, February 27, 2011 Lance suffered heart failure that ultimately took his life.
The chief spokesman for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association has been arrested in San Joaquin County on suspicion of drunken driving.
Lance Corcoran was taken into custody [September 29, 2008] at 7:20 p.m. after a California Highway Patrol officer found him in his car that was pulled over on Eight Mile Road near Interstate 5 with the motor running, according to CHP Assistant Chief Mike Champion.
Corcoran, 44, was booked into the county jail and released the next day. The CHP, as a matter of policy, did not release his blood-alcohol level. The case was submitted Wednesday to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office, which by late afternoon had not made a filing decision.
Mr. Corocoran was an officer at the prison in Susanville, and later became the union's lobbyist, spokesman and executive vice president.
Mr. Corcoran's time in the public spotlight was often under a harsh glare. His job required speaking for CCPOA during its pitched labor fights with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
His attorney declined comment Wednesday.
Story by: Andy Furillo
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