Tag: criminal defense

Florida Supreme Court: cops can’t search cell phone without a warrant

Today, the Florida Supreme held that while law enforcement officers properly separated and assumed possession of a cell phone from a defendant’s person during the search incident to arrest, a warrant was required before the information, data, and content of the cell phone could be accessed and searched by law enforcement.

Smallwood v. State, 38 Fla. L. Weekly S271a (Fla. May 2, 2012)

People want dad to escape

Read this article about a guy who got his kids from his mother-in-law, and disappeared.

Read the comments – seems most folks want him to succeed. Most if the comments are positive and supportive. Some even criticize the State.

Obviously more to this than we know, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

"Deadbeat dad scrambles to explain driving without a license" (LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE, sayeth the bLAWgger)

This is on the front page of www.tbo.com. Another story that no one gives a rat’s butt about. So the guy owes back child support. So he’s driving. So the ex-wife is sour grapes about who-knows-what. Big fat hairy deal. What else ya got? LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE, TBO!

Mark Douglas finds this story newsworthy? His editors think he’s on to something? And, it’s on the freakin’ front page??? Please.

NEWS FLASH: No one cares about this type of case. Why not investigate DCF as to why Richard McTear was allowed around a 17-year-old mother before grabbing her baby and running off with it (allegedly)? Why not investigate why the County Commission is cutting the Sheriff’s budget on a yearly basis, and for what? Why not hold public officials accountable for where our money goes, what decisions they make, and more salient social issues?

Mark, we are no so dumb that all you have to bring us is Springeresque stories. Or, what YOU think is Springeresque. Jerry Springer would laugh you out of the studio with this case. No one hit anyone with a chair, so you are missing the mark, kid.

No, no. . . . nothing important to report. Instead, Mark Douglas is going to chase around a guy who has to drive to make a living, who has ponied up $10K to the ex, and who spent 112 days in jail because HIS LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED FOR CHILD SUPPORT. That’s the only law he broke – driving with a suspended license. And. apparently, the current wife likes him and the ex is the only one . . . complaining (yeah, that’s the NICE word for it).

Scott Andringa is a fine attorney, and apparently, a gentleman. The bLAWgger would have given you some words that would have required blue ink. That means cussing, for those of you in Pinellas Park.

Is it a slow news day in Tampa, or what? Leave people alone, and bring us something newsworthy. Yes, I read your paper. I read it FOR FREE online, and do not have a subscription. So, please don’t start charging for Internet access – I won’t be able to call you out on your lousy stories.

Deadbeat dad scrambles to explain driving without a license

Bodiford gets murder conviction overturned!

Click here for the news article!

Benjamin Smith was accused of shooting several people at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando in 1996. He was identified by the sole eyewitness a year and half later. He went to trial in 2000, and was convicted.

In 2004, the eyewitness recanted her testimony. She said that Smith was NOT the shooter, and that she had been pressured by law enforcement and the prosecutor to implicate him. She was told by the prosecutor not to mention that she was paid ($4000!) for her testimony.

Smith’s first post-conviction attorney quit the practice of law, left the country, and was disbarred. I got the case shortly before the deadline to file the post-conviction motion. I remember driving it to Orlando myself to get it in under the wire.

The court took over almost 2 years to rule on the motion. And then, IT WAS DENIED.

We appealed the ruling to the Fifth District Court of Appeal, and WON. It was reversed, and sent back for an evidentiary hearing on the witness recantation issue.

Another 6 months passed before we were able to have the hearings, which took 2 days. The judge asked for more evidence, regarding whether the eyewitness had actually received they payment she claimed that she had gotten in exchange for her testimony. Two more hearings took place.

The Central Florida Crime Line resisted my subpoena, and I had to file a response and fight them. ON Friday, May 8, 2009, the judge granted my motion, and ordered Crime Line to produce the records.

Guess what? The payment of $4000 was made to her almost to the day Ben Smith was indicted! The judge immediately granted my motion, and set aside the murder conviction. The case is now set back for trial.

I am happy for Ben, whom I know did not commit this crime. I am happy that all the hours of research and writing, persistence, and continued battling in the face of repeated obstacles has paid off.

Justice delayed is justice denied.