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North River and its bail agent, Bad Boys, appealed the trial court's conditional bond exoneration order. In this case, the criminal defendant was found and extradited from Washington state. At issue was a portion of the award of costs awarded to the County to recoup the wages and benefits owed to the two law enforcement officers who transported defendant. The Court of Appeal affirmed and held that Penal Code section 1306, subdivision (b), entitles counties, as agents of the State of California, to seek compensation for the costs of returning a defendant to custody. The court held that appellants failed to meet their burden of presenting legal authority describing why the language of section 1306, subdivision (b), would not allow for the costs associated with the wages and benefits of officers engaged in the extradition process. Accordingly, the court affirmed the award of costs under section 1306, subdivision (b). View "People v. The North River Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The court held that the district court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized from the search of his vehicle where he consented to the search. The court also held that references to certain out-of-court statements by a confidential source were harmless. In this case, the confidential source placed defendant at the scene of the crime, but so did the officers who pursued the tip and caught defendant red-handed. View "United States v. Sarli" on Justia Law

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Eight men entered a Chicago rail-yard, broke into a parked cargo train, and discovered firearms being shipped to a distributor. They stole over 100 guns. The government claimed, and one robber (Turner) testified, that another robber (Walker), contacted Driggers to sell the guns. Turner and Walker took 30 stolen firearms to Driggers’s store and consummated the sale. Turner received $1,700 for six guns that comprised his share. Driggers was not on the lease but the store was his. Police searched Driggers’s store. An ATF Agent testified that the agents found a hodgepodge of merchandise (some apparently stolen), personal documents and items belonging to Driggers, and a gun hidden in the backroom--its serial number matched a gun stolen during the train robbery. Trial testimony and phone records showed that after Driggers allegedly purchased the 30 stolen guns, he contacted Gates. Before Driggers’s trial, Gates confessed. Gates’s storage units contained six stolen guns. Gates confessed to purchasing them, plus 11 others from the train robbery. In his own case, Gates stated that he purchased those guns from Lipscomb and Peebles; in Driggers’s case, the prosecution argued that Gates had bought them from Driggers. The Seventh Circuit affirmed Driggers’s conviction for possession of a firearm as a felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g). He was acquitted of possession of a stolen firearm. The court rejected arguments that the district court improperly allowed testimony about Gates and gave an erroneous jury instruction on joint possession. View "United States v. Driggers" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals upholding Defendant’s conviction of simple robbery, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction. Defendant’s conviction arose from his act of taking a bottle of brandy from a liquor store and assaulting the store manager. On appeal, Defendant argued that he could not be convicted of simple robbery because the bottle that he took belonged to the business and not to a person, and therefore, the property was not “personal property” within the meaning of Minn. Stat. 609.24. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the phrase “personal property” as used in the statute is a technical term that has acquired the specialized meaning of all property other than real property; and (2) therefore, the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction. View "State v. Bowen" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the superior court judge’s order vacating the district court judge’s Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 58A (58A) pretrial detention order of David Barnes and affirmed the denial of William Scione’s petition for extraordinary relief, holding that Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 275, 23A (23A) does not qualify as a predicate offense under section 58A in its current form and that Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 266, 102A (102A) qualified in this case. Barnes was charged with violating section 23A, and Scione was charged with violating section 102A. In both cases, the Commonwealth moved to detain the defendants pursuant to section 58A, the pretrial detention statute. The Commonwealth’s motions were allowed and the defendants were ordered held. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the superior court judge’s order vacating the pretrial detention order of Barnes and affirmed the denial of Scione’s petition for extraordinary relief, holding (1) rape aggravated by age difference, section 23A, does not qualify as a predicate offense under section 58A; and (2) use of an incendiary device in violation of section 102A qualifies as a predicate offense under section 58A. View "Scione v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

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The Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVPA) provides the court with discretionary authority to involuntarily medicate an incompetent person placed with the State Hospital pre-commitment. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's order finding that defendant lacked the capacity to refuse treatment and compelling him to undergo the involuntary administration of antipsychotic medication by the State Department of State Hospitals. In this case, although defendant has not been committed to the State Hospital, the trial court had the discretionary authority under Welfare and Institutions Code section 6602.5 to order his involuntary medication upon a proper finding he was incompetent to refuse medical treatment. Defendant was represented by counsel, provided with a full evidentiary hearing on request, and the trial court expressly found that defendant lacked the capacity to refuse treatment. View "State Department of State Hospitals v. J.W." on Justia Law

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In 2006, police arrested defendant Daniel Marquez in Ventura County on a drug possession offense. Without his consent, authorities collected Marquez’s DNA sample and entered his DNA profile into a statewide database. Marquez was never charged with the drug offense. In 2008, investigators retrieved DNA evidence from an Orange County robbery, and that evidence matched Marquez’s DNA profile in the database. Police contacted Marquez, and with his consent they collected a second DNA sample, which matched the DNA evidence from the robbery. The State filed two robbery counts and a related offense. The trial court denied Marquez’s motion to suppress the DNA evidence, and a jury convicted him of the charged offenses. The court sentenced Marquez to 25 years to life in state prison, plus an additional 15 years for three alleged prior serious felony convictions. The Court of Appeal held that the 2006 collection of Marquez’s DNA sample was unlawful under the Fourth Amendment; the prosecution failed to prove that Marquez was validly arrested or that his DNA was collected as part of a routine booking procedure. However, the trial court properly admitted the 2008 DNA evidence under a well-established exception to the exclusionary rule: the attenuation doctrine. Additionally, due to a recent statutory change, the Court remanded for the trial court to consider striking the additional punishment for Marquez’s three prior serious felony convictions. The Court also ordered the trial court to modify Marquez’s custody credits. In all other respects, the judgment was affirmed. View "California v. Marquez" on Justia Law

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Alexander Pittenger appealed after a jury found him guilty of corruption and solicitation of a minor and from an order denying a motion to dismiss the charge. At the beginning of the trial the prosecutor requested closure of the courtroom during the juvenile complaining witness' testimony because it was "common practice, and it's provided by statute that the courtroom be closed." Pittenger's attorney objected because "my client has a right to an open and public trial." The district court did not conduct a hearing, make findings, or analyze the appropriate factors, and considered only that the complaining witness was a minor. The North Dakota Supreme Court concluded this was a structural error that required reversal of the criminal judgment. View "North Dakota v. Pittenger" on Justia Law

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Melinda Strom appealed an amended criminal judgment and order for restitution. Strom pled guilty to misapplication of entrusted property in excess of $50,000 in violation of N.D.C.C. 12.1-23-07(1). Strom was sentenced to five years, all suspended for three years of supervised probation. Strom argued the district court abused its discretion in awarding restitution because it did not consider her ability to pay as required by N.D.C.C. 12.1-32-08(1). The North Dakota declared the statute unconstitutional in part and affirmed the restitution order and judgment. The Court concluded the district court did not abuse its discretion in fixing the amount of restitution without regard to the defendant's ability to pay. "To clearly state the scope of this decision, it is necessary to articulate what we do not decide here. In this matter, we examine only an award of restitution and not a contempt hearing or probation revocation for non-payment, and thus we limit consideration of ability to pay only in the context of setting the total amount of restitution. We do not completely preclude consideration of ability to pay. There may be times when such consideration may be appropriate, i.e., when determining the time or manner of payment or whether a defendant's failure to pay is willful." View "North Dakota v. Strom" on Justia Law

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Michael Foster appealed his conviction on one count of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief, one count of criminal mischief, and one count of criminal trespass. On appeal, Foster argued the district court erred in admitting or excluding certain evidence and that there was insufficient evidence to support the criminal mischief and conspiracy convictions. Finding no reversible error, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "North Dakota v. Foster" on Justia Law