Tag Archives: judge

Judge calls man accused of plotting mass shooting in Jacksonville ‘serious, serious danger’

The man
accused of plotting a mass shooting
at a Jacksonville Islamic center will stay in federal custody.

At 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Judge Joel Toomey decided not to release Bernandino Bolatete, denying his attorney’s request that he be let out on bond.

Toomey called Bolatete a “serious, serious danger” to our community.

No new trial if the judge falls asleep

An Illinois Appellate Court panel recently decided that if a judge falls asleep during crucial evidence or motions during a trial, the defendant does not get a new trial. 

During trial for spree-killer Nicholas Sheley in Rock Island in May of 2014, Judge Jeffrey O’Connor fell asleep while reviewing security footage. The lights were dimmed so the court could see the footage, after the evidence was played, the defense attorney asked the judge to turn the lights back on. The judge didn’t reply because he was asleep. The defense attorney was Jeremy Karlin. “I say in kind of my loud, outdoor court voice: Judge?…..And there was no response,” Karlin said. “The prosecutor did the same. So I approach the bench and yell: Judge! And he still no response. Then the judge got nudged by the clerk, and he woke up. (Then) as I would note in

Read more at: http://www.wgil.com/2017/11/13/no-new-trial-if-the-judge-falls-asleep/

No new trial if the judge falls asleep | WGIL 93.7 FM & 1400 AM

An Illinois Appellate Court panel recently decided that if a judge falls asleep during crucial evidence or motions during a trial, the defendant does not get a new trial. 

During trial for spree-killer Nicholas Sheley in Rock Island in May of 2014, Judge Jeffrey O’Connor fell asleep while reviewing security footage. The lights were dimmed so the court could see the footage, after the evidence was played, the defense attorney asked the judge to turn the lights back on. The judge didn’t reply because he was asleep. The defense attorney was Jeremy Karlin. “I say in kind of my loud, outdoor court voice: Judge?…..And there was no response,” Karlin said. “The prosecutor did the same. So I approach the bench and yell: Judge! And he still no response. Then the judge got nudged by the clerk, and he woke up. (Then) as I would note in

Read more at: http://www.wgil.com/2017/11/13/no-new-trial-if-the-judge-falls-asleep/

No new trial for Sheley: Appellate court says judge’s nap doesn’t warrant relitigation

Nicholas Sheley looks around the courtroom during opening arguments May 19, 2014, at the Rock Island County Justice Center. An Illinois appeals court has ruled that the judge falling asleep during one of Sheley’s murder trials doesn’t warrant a retrial, saying Judge Jeffrey O’Connor’s nap was harmless as long as he wasn’t sleeping during crucial evidence or motions.
Judge Jeffrey O’Connor listens to prosecutor Bill Elward in May 2014 during Nicholas Sheley’s trial in Rock Island. An Illinois appeals court ruled that the former Whiteside County judge falling asleep during one of Sheley’s murder trials doesn’t warrant a retrial, saying the nap was harmless as long as he wasn’t sleeping during crucial evidence or motions.
Convicted murderer Nick Sheley enters the Jefferson County Courthouse in Hillsboro, Missouri, for his hearing Oct. 4 afternoon.

OTTAWA — An Illinois appeals court has ruled

Read more at: http://www.saukvalley.com/2017/11/09/no-new-trial-for-sheley-appellate-court-says-judges-nap-doesnt-warrant-relitigation/as37bri/

Judge refuses to release man held in mass shooting plot at Milwaukee Masonic center

A Milwaukee man the FBI says had planned a mass shooting but whose lawyers argue is merely a blowhard “Palestinian Walter Mitty” will remain jailed until his trial, a federal magistrate judge has ruled.

“It comes down to this,” wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge David E. Jones. “It should not take the spiritual guidance of two religious leaders to dissuade a person from committing mass murder.

“A person whose moral compass depends so heavily on the advice of others on such a  fundamental question of human decency presents an unacceptable risk.”

Samy Hamzeh, 25, has been detained since his arrest in January 2016 when he bought two machine guns and a silencer from undercover FBI agents after months of conversations Hamzeh had with a pair of FBI informants.

Most of the recorded talks were in Arabic, and

Read more at: http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/crime/2017/10/27/judge-refuses-release-man-held-mass-shooting-plot-milwaukee-masonic-center/806478001/

Orange County Judge Removes Death Penalty Option For Mass Murderer Scott Dekraai

ScottDekraai_DeathPenaltyRemoval_MainAsset.jpg
Scott Dekraai in an Orange County courtroom during a March 2014 hearing (Photo by Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images)

Scott Dekraai, who opened fire inside a Seal Beach salon in October 2011, killing eight and wounding another, has been spared the death penalty.

On Friday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals removed the option of the death penalty from Dekraai’s potential sentencing, citing the inability of law enforcement to ensure Dekraai a fair penalty trial, notes the Orange County Register.

The decision comes after the Orange County Sherrif’s Department’s mishandling of Judge Goethals’ request to turn over all evidence procured from a jailhouse informant regarding Dekraai’s case. According to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Goethals issued a request for the evidence nearly five years ago, but only earlier this year did the Sheriff’s Department testify that there

Read more at: http://laist.com/2017/08/18/judge_death_sentence_dekraai.php

No Death Penalty For Seal Beach Mass Murderer Scott Dekraai, Judge Rules

Confessed mass murderer Scott Evans Dekraai, who committed the deadliest mass-shooting in Orange County history, will likely be sentenced to life in prison after Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals Friday blocked him from receiving the death penalty.

In a decision announced in a packed courtroom, Goethals sharply rebuked both the Orange County District Attorney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) for “chronic obstructionism” and failures to turn over evidence to his court. Those failures, he ruled, mean Dekraai cannot receive a fair jury trial to determine his sentence.

It effectively blocks attempts by the California Attorney General, which took over prosecution of the case from the OC District Attorney in 2015, to pursue the death penalty at a trial.

“The truth is,

Read more at: https://voiceofoc.org/2017/08/no-death-penalty-for-seal-beach-mass-murderer-judge-rules/

Judge throws out death sentence against OC mass killer

After years of protracted legal proceedings, an Orange County superior court judge on Friday threw out the death penalty against Scott Dekraai, perpetrator of the county’s worst mass killing who confessed to gunning down eight people, including his ex-wife, at a Seal Beach hair salon.

Judge Thomas Goethals ruled that OC prosecutors and sheriff’s deputies had violated Dekraai’s constitutional rights by withholding evidence and improperly using a jailhouse informant while building the case against him following the shooting on Oct. 12, 2011.

“Ongoing prosecutorial misconduct … has effectively compromised this defendant’s right to procedural and substantive due process and prospectively to a fair penalty trial,” Goethals wrote in his ruling, part of which he delivered orally to a packed courtroom of reporters, victims’ family members and other onlookers.

Goethals is expected to sentence Dekraai to life in prison without possibility of parole on Sept. 22.

Dekraai looked steadily at the judge during most of

Read more at: https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/08/18/74803/judge-throws-out-death-sentence-against-oc-mass-ki/

Judge rules out death penalty for Scott Dekraai in Seal Beach mass murder case

Scott Dekraai, 47, is lead to his seat beside his attorney Scott Sanders, right, in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana on Friday, August 18, 2017. In a ruling, Orange County Superior Court Judge Judge Thomas Goethals took the death penalty off the table for the confessed killer because he concluded law enforcement would not ensure the defendant a fair penalty trial. Dekraai pleaded guilty to killing eight people and wounding another in an October 2011 shooting spree at a Seal Beach salon. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Scott Dekraai, 47, is lead to his seat beside his attorney Scott Sanders, right, in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana on Friday, August 18, 2017. In a ruling, Orange County Superior Court Judge Judge Thomas Goethals took the death penalty off the table for the confessed

Read more at: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/18/judge-rules-out-death-penalty-for-scott-dekraai-in-seal-beach-mass-murder-case/

Judge weighs removing death penalty for mass killer

A California judge is expected to rule Friday whether a convicted mass killer should be spared the death penalty because of a long-running scandal over authorities’ use of jailhouse informants.

Judge Thomas M. Goethals will decide whether 47-year-old Scott Dekraai should remain eligible for the death penalty or sentenced to life without parole for killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at an Orange County hair salon.

Defense lawyers want Goethals to take death off the table for Dekraai, arguing that repeated failures by sheriff’s authorities to reveal records related to informants show the agency can’t be trusted to turn over evidence favoring their client.

The California attorney general’s office says there’s no indication authorities have evidence that would assist Dekraai in the limited scope of a penalty phase hearing and that the former tugboat operator can still get a fair

Read more at: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-weighs-removing-death-penalty-mass-killer-49289732