The Dad of the 14 year old approached the podium in Judge Rice’s Courtroom. He looked like he had just finished a shift at a foundry from the look of the dust on his work jeans and boots. The Defendant, Regina Turner, dressed in an orange jump suit, her blond hair down on her shoulders, stood just feet away. It’s always remarkable to see what courage ordinary people possess when it comes to defending their children. The courtroom in Trumbull County, Ohio was full with the usual rabble of those attending pre-trials, defense lawyers waiting their turn and prosecutors plowing through countless drug- related cases. This one stood out. The weight of the moment could be seen in the Judge’s face. The Dad talked about the therapy his son continues to undergo ever since that night when Turner disappeared upstairs at the boy’s house and raped him. At that age there is no issue of consent. It wasn’t his choice that Turner came over to his parents’ house for a relatives’ birthday party and got so drunk that her most primal urges were going to be satisfied.
She left two of her young children sleeping downstairs and another out at the bonfire. Her defense was that she was too drunk to remember what happened and that she usually knows when she has sex even after being drunk. This wasn’t a moment the boy would one day brag about to his friends. He was in bed and at that age knew too little about life. But his Dad knew what it meant. You could hear it in his simple words. “I hope she humbles herself.” Wow those words were powerful. He meant life cannot be about what she wants regardless of the effects on others.
Then the Judge told her how she would spend the rest of her life registering as a sex offender. The Prosecutor prepared the paperwork. He then looked blankly at Turner, who in another time and place would be an attractive young mother, and told her that for the next six years she would be jailed in an Ohio prison. We all learn in law that criminal sentences have a multiple effects. They are to rehabilitate. They are to deter future conduct. And they are to punish. Sentences are always imperfect. It’s the best as a society that we can do. But for this one day justice was had.
According to Ohio recommended sentencing statutes, violations of §2907.04(A) & (B)(3) Unlawful Sex With a Minor, a third degree felony to which the defendant plead guilty, carries a minimum sentence of 9 months to a year in jail with a maximum recommendation of 3 to 5 years. Further, a violation of §2907.02 (A)(2) & (B) Rape, a first degree felony to which the defendant also plead guilty, carries a minimum sentence 5 years in custody.
Our offices for many years have filed civil actions against sex offenders or people who employ them. If you know anyone that has been affected by circumstances such as these, please direct them to contact our office at (330) 729-9777 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help.
Jaywalking by itself does not lead to a search of a person. But if when you are stopped and start to run and throw a punch at an officer then you got troubles. Also tip for would be bad-guys: try not to run from the cops with a shirt over your head. Also if you wear your pants down low even the slowest officer can out run you because your jeans will slide to your knees and you trip. The police call this catching a penguin.
Here is an excerpt form a recent bust in Warren, Ohio from the Tribune Chronicle:
McKeithen fled on foot, throwing the box to the ground, where the officer was able to see a large sum of money and suspected narcotics as he grabbed McKeithen’s shirt and McKeithen tried to pull his shirt over his head in an attempt to get away, also throwing a punch and nearly striking Green in the face.
With his shirt over his head, McKeithen ran into a telephone pole head-on, according to reports, which noted he was ordered to stop but continued running into traffic. Green ran after him, also nearly being struck before deploying his Taser at McKeithen.
Ouch! Try standing still and ask for your jaywalking ticket next time.
I added a poll and a picture. getting used to WordPress. So easy to use!
Restraining orders have exploded in the last five years across the country as both a tool to protect and a sword to attack in divorce or custody cases. The last thing I tell my clients before going into court to defend a restraining order is not to react. Just because someone walks through a courthouse door does not mean they will tell the truth. My client found out that her best friend was sleeping with her husband and was counseling her during the difficult times of her marriage to leave the marriage. It wasn’t until after the divorce did she found a string of sext messages so hair-curling that it would make the most jaded person blush. SO one day the two find themselves at the same school event in Canfield. In the parking lot a year’s worth of frustration leads to…
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Restraining orders have exploded in the last five years across the country as both a tool to protect and a sword to attack in divorce or custody cases. The last thing I tell my clients before going into court to defend a restraining order is not to react. Just because someone walks through a courthouse door does not mean they will tell the truth. My client found out that her best friend was sleeping with her husband and was counseling her during the difficult times of her marriage to leave the marriage. It wasn’t until after the divorce did she found a string of sext messages so hair-curling that it would make the most jaded person blush. SO one day the two find themselves at the same school event in Canfield. In the parking lot a year’s worth of frustration leads to my client throwing out more than a few sharp remarks rhyming with “hut, hut hut.” A cell phone is either dropped or snatched and next thing you know the “other woman and Judas of a friend is filing a restraining order to keep the client/mom from going to any future school events. Snatching her husband wasn’t enough. So I said don’t react in court. But the first ting the Magistrate says to the ex-husband and the ex-aunt who came to support the skank’s victimization is “Oh are you here to support your daughter’”. This causes my client to emit a large burst of laughter at the thought of the scarlet woman be mistaken for her ex’s daughter. A short kick under the table to help her gain her bearings and the hearing continues. The Magistrate will take testimony from both sides and the one point litigants forget is that there needs to a pattern of conduct that causes such mental distress or fear of physical harm to the party seeking the restraining order. It is not enough to have your feelings hurt.
“Pattern of conduct” is defined as “two or more actions or incidents closely related in time, whether or not there has been a prior conviction based on any of those actions or incidents.*** [t]he posting of messages or receipt of information or data through the use of an electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to, a computer, computer network, computer program, computer system, or telecommunications device, may constitute a “pattern of conduct.” Revised Code §2903.211(D)(1). “Mental distress” means “[a]ny mental illness or condition that involves some temporary substantial incapacity or mental illness or condition that would normally require psychiatric treatment; or [a]ny mental illness or condition that would normally require psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services, whether or not any person requested or received psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services.” R.C. §2903.211(D)(2).
After the conclusion of the testimony and after further considering the manner of testifying of each witness; the reasonableness of the testimony; the opportunity each witness had to see, hear and know the things concerning which that witness testified; and the interest and bias of each witness; together with all the facts and circumstances surrounding the testimony; the Magistrate has to find that the person seeking the restraining order has proved, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Respondent knowingly engaged in a pattern of conduct consisting of two or more incidents closely related in time, which caused Petitioner physical harm or mental distress; or caused Petitioner to believe Respondent will cause her physical harm.
Of course in this case the Magistrate found that there was no pattern of conduct. The case was dismissed. But in every case where someone is seeking a restraining order and the issue iinvolves custody or leading up to a divorce it is important to consult an attorney to see how your rights might be effected.. Pease contact my offices at 330-729-9777 or email me at email@example.com if I can help.
By Attorney David Engler
The decent looking guy is telling the YPD officer not to come closer or he will jump. It is not known exactly if the officer knew that John Sylvester had 16 years earlier held his girlfriend in a headlock and shot her point blank in the face. He did 10 to 28 years for attempted murder but on this Sunday he was sitting on the edge of the Market Street Bridge spanning the Mahoning River. Of course no one in the Valley wants to go swimming in the Mahoning since its waters have long ago been polluted by the mills that once lined the river from Lowellville through Struthers, Youngstown, Girard and Warren. And John wasn’t interested in swimming. He told the police that he had forgotten what happened earlier that day. (The insanity defense didn’t work 16 years ago but maybe this time he could…
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On Monday, June 6, 2011, I had the privilege of delivering the Commencement Address for the 2011 Graduating Class of The Mahoning County Career and Technical Center.
I wanted to do something that would be remembered by the graduates, have significance to them and keep their attention. I chose to deliver my comments by Twitter! While I spoke, the live feed from my Twitter account was projected using an overhead projector so they and the audience could see my words as they were delivered.
As I thought about this event, it occured to me that it might actually be the first time such a speech was delivered by Twitter. So I checked on Bing! and Google and could not find a prior event of this sort. My public relations people wrote up the press release below:
June 7, 2011
For Immediate Release
The World’s First Commencement Speech delivered on Twitter!
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By Attorney David Engler
Yesterday, an ICU physician gave me the concept of “The Documentation of The Demonstration of Love.” It is a beautiful concept and especially useful when trying to determine at the end of life, who is truly acting as the next of kin.
This came up because I am litigating a case for two adult daughters and adult son-in-law who were taking care of their father at the end of his life. To their shock, Adult Protective Services jumped in without a court order and took the ailing father off to live with a longtime “lady-friend.” The father, completely incompetent because of long term COPD, told APS and hospice that he wanted to go back to a friend’s home outside of the county. The man was being loved by his only daughters and son-in-law as well as his grandchildren. The government brought in a local police officer and literally strapped the dying man to a stretcher and carted him away. The scene was emotionally charged as Father and Grandpa was being loaded into the back of an ambulance. They would never see him again. He would die two months later, but not before the lady-friend changed the life insurance, power of attorney and will.
Is there a value for losing the presence of your dying parent for the last two months of his life? How do you measure the loss of ability to provide loving care for your dying parent? Maybe the better question is, whether a value can be placed on this sacred time.
But, back to the Doctor’s comments about “The Documentation of The Demonstration of Love.” His thought was brilliant. Just being related by blood. as opposed to friendship, does not mean your loss of time with a dying person has value. The physician who sees life and death on a daily basis had a keen intuition as to the relationship between the patient and those who have come to be near at the moment of death. Some might be there looking at their smartphone in the lobby dealing with the guilt of not having been there enough for Mom. There is the family member who is counting down the minutes to inheritance, big or small. They are there to make sure the troublesome sibling isn’t getting one over. There are those who are inconvenienced by the process of death. Imagine the mind of the Doctor whose sole interest is the patient. He is looking for the Documentation of the Demonstration of Love. Was the family member at the rehab center every day? Was Mom’s hair brushed by her daughter no matter what meanness came out of the Mother’s mouth controlled by a progressing dementia? Did the family turn their family room into a hospital room? Was money spent? Are there pictures of smiles and a hand being held? Or was the grieving “lady-friend,” twenty years his junior, constantly on the receiving end of money from the older man? Were his clothes clean?
Now, the government agency should never have come in and taken a dying elderly man from his only daughters without some court order. It was a screw up when it happened and that is why we have a lawsuit. But having a legal point is not the same as proving the damage that comes from not being their when your Dad is dying. We have to dig deeper. We need proof to show; where was the love?
And as we go through life, maybe it’s not a bad idea to live as if you were preparing for a jury trial. One day there will be a judgment day and someone will ask to see the documentation of the demonstration of love. If it is important to you that you be seen as having loved, then make sure your life is filled with proof. Did you leave a smile? Did you sacrifice your time? Did you do the tasks that were difficult; like changing a soiled sheet or holding a person’s hair back when they were sick? Did you bring gifts? Did you send cards? If we live our lives knowing that we will be asked to document our love then we will live in peace with our self and the ultimate finder of fact.