Nasty, Brutish & Short

Crime Archives

Dusty Rhodes to Single Moms: "And your little dog, too!!!"

May 6, 2008 12:22 PM

From today's Enquirer:

Kathleen Akin of Wyoming was featured in The Enquirer April 24 for her decision to be a single mother. But it was her dog that got the attention of the Hamilton County Auditor's Office.

After a photo showed Akin, 45, and her children walking with Sophie, the family's King Charles spaniel, Akin got a letter from the Auditor's Office.

"We saw a picture from Thursday's Cincinnati Enquirer of you in the 'Single Women Who Choose Motherhood" article,'" stated the letter. "When we checked our dog registration database, we didn't find any references you had licensed your dog Sophie."

Obviously, something had to be done about these law breakers:


Dr. Kathleen Akin, Wyoming, walks with her children, Matthew and Claire, and their dog, Sophie.


Can you f***ing believe?  The Auditor justifies it thusly:

"We've done it six times so far," said Auditor, DEMOCRAT [ed.] Dusty Rhodes. "We've got a pretty hip staff and people are reading things."

His advice: "Keep your dog out of the picture if it's not licensed."

Since when is being an ass "pretty hip"?

Big lib implicated in prostitution sting...

April 2, 2008 04:14 PM

Stabenow's husband caught in Troy prostitution sting, police report says

Jennifer Chambers / The Detroit News

TROY -- The co-founder and former CEO of the liberal-progressive Democracy Radio and husband of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was caught in February by a Troy police sting aimed at catching prostitutes, according to a police report.

Thomas L. Athans was stopped Feb. 26 by undercover officers investigating a possible prostitution ring in a room at the Residence Inn near Big Beaver and Interstate 75. Athans paid a 20-year-old prostitute $150 for sex in a Troy hotel but was not arrested, according to police reports obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by The Detroit News. The police report said officers observed Athans enter a room under surveillance and leave 15 minutes later. Detectives followed and stopped Athans' silver 2002 Cadillac DeVille on Interstate 75 near Square Lake Road.

I do so love that he was arrested in a town called Big Beaver.  That's almost as embarrassing as the report that he left "15 minutes later."  You know they put that part in on purpose. 

And he drives a 2002 Cadillac DeVille.  How typical.  Wonder what he looks like?

Yep, he's pretty much as you would have guessed.

For the first time, I walked in to the polls not knowing who I was going to vote for.

March 4, 2008 09:07 AM

The temptation to cross party lines and vote for Hillary was very, very strong.  Having her continue to battle it out with Obama is very good for the cause.  But in the end, I couldn't do it.  The woman in front of me did, though.  And I know a lot of people who were considering it.  When you switch parties, you have to complete a form that says you swear "to uphold the principles of the Democratic party."  Well that wouldn't be too hard--since they have no principles. 

How's that for an obvious joke?

Anyway... I placed my protest vote for Mitt Romney.  Not that it will matter in the end.  My protest vote in the 2000 primary didn't matter either.

I did get to vote in all the down ticket Republican races.  For Congress, I voted for Jean Schmidt.  Over at WMD, they've pretty much summarized my thoughts on that race, so I won't repeat it all here.  The only other contested race was Pat DeWine v. Kathy King for Judge.  I voted for Pat, since he's pro-life, and Kathy is not.  For most of the other judicial races, I refrained from voting for the party's endorsed candidates.  Most of the people they put up are total chuckleheads--though it was a nice reminder of how glad I am that I litigate almost entirely in federal courts these days. 

And of course, I voted against the Cincinnati public school levy and the zoo levy.  The only way I'd get behind either of those two organizations would be if they switched missions.  Let the zoo put the CPS students behind bars, and let the schools educate the animals.  We'd end up with a safer community and a more intelligent workforce.

I'm kidding of course.  Well, slightly kidding.

Yale Med Students Celebrate 35 Years of Roe v. Wade

January 23, 2008 09:22 AM


Evans and Rasha Khoury MED ’08, another member of Medical Students for Choice, who said she plans to become a gynecologist and expects to perform abortions, went on to describe one of the most common abortion procedures, manual vacuum aspiration, which “creates suction to evacuate pregnancy,” Evans said. The technique is a good option because the device involved is reusable and relatively cheap, she said.

“It’s not as scary as it seems. It’s just blood and mucus,” Khoury said, referring to the fetus remains in the device. She added, “You’ll be able to see arms and stuff, but still just miniscule.”

Evans and Khoury also explained the finer points of abortion-clinic etiquette, including some potentially sensitive terminology. Khoury said physicians performing abortions generally refer to the aborted fetus remains as “POC,” an acronym for “product of conception,” and refer to fetus’ hearts as “FH.”

The most complicated part of the procedure can be the emotional fallout some patients experience, she said.

“Often times, women are crying and cursing and saying they’re going to hell,” Khoury said. “It may be a quick and easy medical procedure, but it definitely is a very involved social-medical procedure.”

The presenters also urged the crowd to become involved in the abortion-rights movement by joining Reproductive Health Externships, a campaign in which volunteers are taught how to conduct abortions.

“It’s fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them,” Khoury said. “It’s pretty inspiring.”

So which is more disturbing, the quote about how you can see "arms and legs and stuff," or the guy who says "It's fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them.  It's pretty inspiring"?

UPDATE: Hmmm.  The article has been pulled from the website of the Yale Daily News.  I can't imagine why.

When I said I feared the NBS baby would be a Democrat, perhaps I misspoke.

January 18, 2008 11:35 PM

Though it is a pity Democrats would say it's child abuse to kick his ass.

Did you know that if you break American law and are overseas, the feds believe they can just come kidnap you?

December 4, 2007 08:15 PM

Even if you're not an American citizen.  I had no idea.  From FoxNews:

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by U.S. authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that U.S. law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.

It dates back aways, folks, so don't blame Bush for some imaginary crack down on civil rights:

The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.  Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

Wonderful news.  We can kidnap criminals from overseas and bring them here, but we can't won't send back the criminals who have come here just by walking over the boarder.  Lovely.

HT: The Llamas

Armed Robbery for Tuition...

December 3, 2007 04:37 PM

...uh, since when do you need $130,000 for tuition at UC and the University of Toledo?

Can we agree now to shoot the first person who writes the Enquirer to say this shows how higher ed costs too much?  Because someone will, you know.

An even worse thing to say to a judge than "well, that's your opinion."

October 20, 2007 02:52 PM

"I'm not a morning person."  Especially not good when that's your defense to child abuse charges.

HT: Althouse

This year's crime stats for Cincinnati are way down...

October 15, 2007 10:59 PM

...but what does it mean?  Homicides are down 21% from last year.  There have been 55 as opposed to 70 at this time last year.  I maintain that if you aren't involved in drugs, your chances of being murdered in Cincinnati are basically nil.  About the same as being struck by lightening or hit by a drunk driver.  Killed in the crossfire... sometimes it just happens.  But hardly ever to anyone who is not involved in drugs. 

Violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and assault) in Cincinnati is down 12% for 2007.  That's a recognizable difference.  

But what causes the improved stats?  Better policing?  More police?  Luck?  And what are the trends nationwide?  Is crime down in all the major cities?  If so, we can't claim we are doing something right here. 

If you want the neighborhood breakdown, things are getting much better in Over the Rhine, the West End, English Woods, Hyde Park, East Walnut Hills, Spring Grove Village (f.k.a. Winton Place) and North Avondale.  Things are worse in Mount Washington, Sayler Park and Bond Hill.

And now, we know how he died.

October 11, 2007 03:26 PM

Who, you ask?  Count Gottfried Alexander Leopold Graf von Bismarck-Schonhausen!  We profiled his obituary back in July, because it began as few obituaries do:

Count Gottfried von Bismarck, who was found dead on Monday aged 44, was a louche German aristocrat with a multi-faceted history as a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies.

It's an awful lot to put on a tombstone, but at least he managed to get in in the first sentence of his Telegraph obit.  And back in July, NBS commeter Dr. Mabuse asked, "But what did he die of?"  And now we know.  He'd injected himself with cocaine once an hour, for 24 hours.

And on a totally unrelated sidenote: This does kind of remind me of the time the Enquirer was interviewing my mom for my grandmother's obit and the reporter had never heard of "Vassar."  We still shake our heads in wonder over that.  [A weird obituary story is the only link between my grandmother and Count Gottfried von Bismark, lest you be wondering how he put me in mind of her.  She was not flamboyant waster or a reckless and extragagant host of homosexual orgies.  Well, not unless you count the times she'd have in her antiques appraiser.  That always got pretty crazy.]

One Year Ago on NBS, Six Years Ago in New York

September 10, 2007 11:16 PM

Last year for the 5th Anniversary of September 11, I participated in the 2,996 Project, in which small websites came together to honor each victim of September 11.  It was easy to sign up for, but harder to do.  There's really nothing you can say that does the subject matter justice.  And I struggled in my research, because I couldn't find the material I thought I needed.  Here's what I came up with:

As we mentioned last week, this website is honored to participate in the 2,996 project this year, which commemorates the individuals who were murdered on September 11, 2001.  The response to this project has been so overwhelming, that far more than 2,996 private websites have signed up to participate, and the organizers have started through the list a second time.  We encourage everyone to spend some time today, and review some of the tributes that are appearing on the internet.  Each of the lives that were lost five years ago were precious.  We encourage our readers to reflect on those individuals today, and what they meant to those who loved them.

David Ortiz was one of those individuals.  He was a locksmith from Nanuet, New York, who worked for the Port Authority.  He had a wife named Lillian, and two children: Richard, who was 14 years old in 2001, and Crystal, who was 6.  He was very close to his brother, Martin, and his sister, Maria.  We encourage you to think about Lillian, Richard, Crystal, Martin and Maria today.  They think about David often, and you can read some of their thoughts at the guestbook.

David was a family man, with a sense of humor.  When David wasn't working overtime to pay for renovations to their house, he was fishing with his son, spreading joy to those around him, or riding his blue Harley Davidson.  He enjoyed playing practical jokes on his co-workers in the WTC Lock Shop.

David was also one of the heroes of September 11th.  He knew the layout of the World Trade Center complex like the back of his hand.  And after the attacks came, he went back in, to help.  He was one of 13 civilians who was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor for his service on September 11, 2001.

On September 14, 2003, David's brother Martin and his wife became parents.  Their new son is named David Ortiz.

One year ago on NBS, six years ago in New York, and three years, 362 days ago for a family who lost, and gained.

Still MORE on Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby

September 9, 2007 09:56 AM

Kudos to Dan Horn and the Enquirer for writing a story about the Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby case that actually explains the legal issues involved.  Newspapers rarely look at these matters in depth, and it's definitely unusual to see the popular press analyze mental states and what they mean under criminal law.  Oh sure, Dan doesn't throw out the Latin, so I will:

Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea.

It means "the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty."  There are different mens rea (i.e. mental states) and culpability is based on whether the offending party possessed the mental state that comports with a particular crime.  In the Nesselroad-Slaby case, the necessary mental state is recklessness, and to prove that, you need to show that the offending party perversely disregarded a known risk.  That is different than forgetting something.  As the Prosecutor explained:

"Here's my challenge to anyone who thinks she should have been charged: Do you believe she left her child in there on purpose?" White said. "That's what I have to believe as prosecutor to charge her. That's what the law is."

The law he's referring to is child endangering, which in Ohio requires a parent or guardian to act recklessly by disregarding a substantial risk.

To many, there is little doubt the mother was reckless. But the legal definition of reckless requires proof the mother perversely disregarded a known risk.

"When people hear the word reckless, they say, 'Well, certainly this person was reckless,' " Piper said. "But the legal definition of reckless is way, way higher than the definition we use every day."

White decided the evidence supported Nesselroad-Slaby's claim she forgot her child was in the car. Once he made that decision, criminal charges were out of the question.

If the mother forgot, White said, she could not have disregarded a risk because she didn't know the child was there.

That is why this is completely different than cases where someone leaves a baby in the car while running errands.  In those cases, they haven't forgotten the baby.  They're just leaving it the car, and assuming (wrongly) that nothing is going to happen to it.  When someone does that, they are perversely disregarding a known risk, and they can be charged with child endangering.

One other quick legal point: The purpose of criminal law is two-fold.  It is designed to punish the offending party, and to deter future conduct (either the offending party's future conduct, or someone else's).  In this case, prosecuting Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby would not have a deterrent effect on her or anyone else.  There's zero chance she'll leave a baby in a hot car again.  And as for members of the public, no one is more likely to leave their baby in a hot car just because Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby wasn't prosecuted.  If anything, people are going to look at this tragic situation and be more cautious about their kids, not less.

And as for punishing her, I have to say that the people who think she needs to be punished more are just creepy.  I can think of no worse a punishment than having your child die and have it all be your fault.  The idea that something more should be piled on top of that is just vile.  People need to keep their blood lust in check.  And, they need to watch out for bad karma when they demand that someone else be prosecuted for what was obviously an accident.  It's not something you would want to have happen to you. 

The woman who forgot her child in the car...

September 5, 2007 08:10 AM

...will not face criminal charges.  The Clermont County Prosectutor took two weeks to arrive at a decision that was perfectly obvious from the beginning: She did not have the requisite mental state, and thus committed no crime.  Horrible accidents happen.

Already, people are screaming racism.  Take it away, Chris Smitherman

"Here today, we have a white woman down in Clermont County who killed her daughter, clearly endangerment of a child and we have the prosecutors saying not one charge will be levied against this woman," said Smitherman.

"And, at the same time, we have a an African-American woman in Avondale who's locked up right now for leaving her children in the closet," said Smitherman. "We have a prosecutor saying he's going to lock her up for 100 years."

Is it possible that he does not see the difference between these two cases?  Does he understand "intent" at all?  Or is creating racial discord all part of his plan?

I will say though, that Nate Livingston over at the Cincinnati Black Blog is right about one thing: It is ridiculous that Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby's attorney is a Clermont County Commissioner.  Talk about creating an appearance of impropriety!  I'm mortified that a county commissioner is acting as a criminal defense lawyer in any case pending in his county's courts, much less this one.  It's almost as bad as Butler County, where you have Judges who operate as criminal defense attorneys.

Update: Wow, it's even generated allegations of sexism.  Still unexplained?  Why someone should be charged with a crime just because a man would be, or because an ethnic minority would be (even assuming that is true, and I don't believe it is).  If that were happening, the right thing to do would be to stop charging similarly situted men or minorities with these kinds of crimes--instead of just charging this poor women because others have not been.  But apparently cries for guillotine justice aren't limited by the two wrongs don't make a right concept. 

Bette Midler, one of Hollywood's most prominent "environmentalists"...

August 22, 2007 12:26 PM to be fined for cutting down more than 230 trees on her estate on Kauai.  She also had a road built without obtaining necessary permits.  Reminds me of John Travolta.

Not exactly what you expect from the NYT's "Vows" Column

August 20, 2007 04:48 PM

I started out wanting to make fun of this, but I ended up rather impressed.  Here's the NYT profile on newlyweds Donnie Andrews and Fran Boyd:

In 1987, Mr. Andrews was sentenced to life in prison for murdering a man on the troubled streets of West Baltimore, where Ms. Boyd, a former junkie, said she got high on heroin and exchanged sex for other drugs....

This is not, by the way, how the typical NYT "Vows" Column begins.

Their first conversation took place on Jan. 21, 1993. The connection had been set up by Edward Burns, a former Baltimore homicide detective whom Mr. Andrews had surrendered to in 1986, and David Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter who had written about Mr. Andrews’s criminal activities....

They had a hunch Mr. Andrews, who was turning his life around by earning a general equivalency diploma, taking college-level courses and studying the Bible, could influence the life of Ms. Boyd, who was still nodding out in the old neighborhood. They gave Mr. Andrews her phone number.

“From that very first call, I could hear in her voice that she wanted help,” said Mr. Andrews, who was in the Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix. “She was looking for a way out.”

Mr. Andrews, also a former heroin user, understood her struggle and her pain. His first wife was murdered three years after he went to prison. He began calling Ms. Boyd frequently. Their conversations were sometimes “four and five hours long,” he said. After a $2,900 phone bill, limits were set on their calls. He used less expensive communication, too, sometimes writing three or four letters a week.

Okay, this is getting to be a nice story of redemption, but can we just pause a minute and ask why prison officials were allowing such excessive phone time in the first place?

“I was often in bad shape when I answered that phone, but no matter what I did or what I said, Donnie never criticized me,” Ms. Boyd said. “He just kept giving me reasons why I should be doing something else, saying that if he can change, I can change. Through the worst of times, I kept holding on to that.”

Indeed, there was little else that Ms. Boyd could hold on to for 28 grueling days later that year at the Baltimore Recovery Center. For six of those days she said she “lay on a cold, hard floor, all alone, just shaking and detoxing.” “On that sixth day, I got up and took a shower,” she said, “and that was that.”

Two years after they were introduced, their relationship turned a romantic corner, and the telephone soul mates decided to exchange photographs. When his landed in her mailbox, she pulled the photo from the envelope and peeked at it through her fingers. “I thought, ‘Dear Lord, please make this man be good looking,’ ” she said, laughing. “When I saw how nice looking he was, I just said, ‘Thank you, Jesus.’ ”

By now, Ms. Boyd had fallen hard for Mr. Andrews, but she was afraid to be in love with him.

“I didn’t want to be one of those woman in love with a guy in prison who was never coming home,” she said. “But I knew that Donnie really cared about me and that we were in this thing together, so letting him go was no longer an option.”

In the ensuing years, Ms. Boyd, guided by the steady influence of Mr. Andrews, began standing firmly on her own feet. She became a guardian for two nieces and a nephew, while providing for her own two sons. She began doing outreach work for drug addicts at New Hope Treatment Center in West Baltimore, a methadone clinic associated with Bon Secours Hospital. And she began visiting Mr. Andrews....

In April 2005, Ms. Boyd’s unwavering love and loyalty was rewarded with Mr. Andrews’s release after 17 and a half years of time served.

The roads that took Mr. Andrews from central booking to central casting, and Ms. Boyd from heroin to heroine, led to their wedding at the Forum, a Baltimore catering hall. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Frank M. Reid III, pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, the church where Mr. Andrews is head of security and works doing anti-gang outreach programs.

“Love never fails,” Mr. Reid told the nearly 200 guests, “You see with all the tragedies of their lives that love brought them up.”

Awwwwwww!  It sounds like these two have completely turned their lives around.  Best wishes to the happy couple.

The Consumerist Rips Macy's...

...after someone (an anonymous employee, presumably) leaks an internal Macy's document to the consumer protection website:

Recently, a Consumerist tipster sent in an internal memo from Macy's explaining that the store was "flipping" 3.5 million inactive store accounts into Citibank Mastercards. The memo reads:

"Approximately 3.5 million inactive (24-48 months) Macy's accounts have been selected to "flip" to the Citibank Mastercard. That means the customer will be sent a Citibank Mastercard to replace their inactive Macy's card. "


The "flip," as they call it, was "opt-out"—which means that if you missed a recent letter from Macy's explaining that they were going to open a credit card for you, you can expect a Citibank Mastercard in the mail.

We hadn't heard of this questionable-sounding practice before, so we showed the memo to Elizabeth Warren, consumer law expert and Harvard professor. She hadn't heard of it either, but expressed concerns about what this action by Macy's might do to a customer's credit score.

As far as we can tell, Macy's is taking advantage of an "information sharing" clause in their original store card agreement. The clause states that Macy's is allowed to share information with Citibank as an "affiliate" of Macy's. Opting-out of the information sharing agreement requires calling or writing Macy's. We suspect few card holders bothered.

Nowhere in the clause does it say that the term "information sharing" means that Citibank has the right to open new credit card accounts for inactive Macy's store card holders. So why are they doing it?

Good question.  I had an inactive Macy's card for years, but it was reactivated last year when our wedding registry was at Macy's (that was a customer service nightmare in and off itself).  If you've had a Macy's account in the past--and I'm guessing lots of Cincinnatians have--you may want to look into this Citibank MasterCard matter.  There could be a credit card out there with your name on it that you don't know anything about.

HT: Amy Alkon

Evil, leg-breaking Steelers must be in bed by 11:00, and no drinky-poo

August 15, 2007 09:07 AM

The Smoking Gun has obtained the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2007 "Hotel Requirements."  Among the highlights:

No other hotel guests on the players' floor.

No alcohol in hotel rooms; mini-bars are NOT to be stocked.

No room service delivery of alcohol.

Hotel security is needed to assist with "bed check."

Players are not permitted phone calls after 11:00 p.m.

Hmmmm.  Why do they have to try so hard to prevent drinking, raping and pillaging?

Michael Vick: The other shoe drops!

July 30, 2007 11:13 AM

In the form of this pro se lawsuit, filed last week by Jonathan Lee Riches, Inmate No. 42948-018.  He seeks $63,000,000,000 "backed by gold and silver."  He alleges that Michael Vick stole his pit bulls, his identity (and used it to by dogfood) and his copyright.  And check out Count IV.  That one's a doozy.

 Michael Vick Pro Se 1 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg



HT: Above the Law

It's summer, so it's terrorist dry run time

July 25, 2007 09:10 AM

Lovely.  The TSA has sent out a memo to airport screeners and air marshals warning them to be on the lookout.  Apparently they have had several people who have tried to get some strange items through airport security recently:

  • San Diego, July 7. A U.S. person — either a citizen or a foreigner legally here — checked baggage containing two ice packs covered in duct tape. The ice packs had clay inside them rather than the normal blue gel.
  • Milwaukee, June 4. A U.S. person’s carryon baggage contained wire coil wrapped around a possible initiator, an electrical switch, batteries, three tubes and two blocks of cheese. The bulletin said block cheese has a consistency similar to some explosives.
  • Houston, Nov. 8, 2006. A U.S. person’s checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a 9-volt battery, wires, a block of brown clay-like minerals and pipes.
  • Baltimore, Sept. 16, 2006. A couple’s checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a block of processed cheese taped to another plastic bag holding a cellular phone charger.

Over at National Review's media blog, Greg Pollowitz wants to know "what happened to the four people who had these odd items taken from them?"  A very good question.  I would like to think they've all been tortured and forced to give up what else they know.  Such as: Why were they doing this?  Who asked them to do this?  How can we find these people if we'd like to speak to them?  You know, the kind of information that maybe it would be good to have.

But I'm quite confident these people have only been asked polite questions, which they dodged before going on their way.  Why?  Because innocent people always travel with blocks of cheese wrapped with wire coil, batteries, electrical switches and tubes.  I know I never leave home without my improvised cheese bomb.

Hummer is vandalized in upscale tree-hugger neighborhood

July 19, 2007 01:11 PM

From the Washington Post:

On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage.

So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighbors looked on in disapproval at his "dream car."

It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON."

Oh the open-mindedness of the modern American environmentalist.  You don't like something, destroy it.  Can't sensible people simply agree that Hummers and Priuses are both tacky, and have no place in our common life?

Judge Lipps rules that the case against Chad Metzgar...

June 28, 2007 08:39 PM

...will stay in juvenile court.  Key to the judge's reasoning?  He had not been in trouble before.

But this part is weird: 

[Judge] Lipps said it’s still unclear exactly what happened that afternoon.

He turned to Dustin and Derek [two other friends who were in the car, and injured], asking, “Do you have enough courage to tell investigators what happened that day?”

Derek Linderman said he doesn’t remember.

He doesn't remember?  That's disturbing.  What's he covering up?  And what did Dustin say?  Nothing, apparently.  But due to the Enquirer's crack reporting, we'll never know.

If I were the prosecutor, I'd actually consider charging Derek and Dustin with obstruction of justice.  I'm not buying any memory loss crap, either.

In other coverage:  The Cincinnati Black Blog describes this as "white justice."

PREVIOUSLY: Local Examples of Prosecutorial Misconduct

Local Cases of Prosecutorial Misconduct...

June 21, 2007 08:06 AM

...are all over the paper this morning.  First up is Butler County Prosecutor's decision to prosecute the Miami students who got drunk with the girl who died on the railroad tracks:

Three of the accused women - Christine Carr, Kathleen Byrne and Kristina Sicker - have court appearances today on charges of permitting underage consumption at a private place.

Danielle Davis faces the same charge in court July 5. Maureen Grady is to appear June 28 on a charge of furnishing alcohol to an underage person while at an uptown bar.

Like Speidel, the women were themselves too young to drink legally.

How on earth do any of these woman share any more responsibility for this tragedy than the girl who died?

And second up is the Hamilton County Prosecutor's horrific decision to prosecute 16 year-old Chad Metzgar.  He's the kid from Northwest High School who was driving when Lauren Dietz and Miranda Phelps were killed last week.  That community is appalled by Joe Deters' decision:

"Nobody wants to lose anybody anymore in any type of manner," said Jeanne Glore, a close friend of the Dietz family.

Glore called on the community to continue to come together each Wednesday to grieve and bond. The gatherings will also be a sign of solidarity for Metzcar.

Joe Deters wants to have Metzgar tried as an adult, which means if he is convicted, he will be serving hard time in a state prison with the worse of the worst.  He faces 13 1/2 years.  I heard Joe Deters speak about this issue yesterday, and his explanation was basically that they have brought similar charges in similar cases.  What kind of excuse is that?  Where's the introspection about whether the charges in those cases were excessive, too?

One of the fundamental principles of criminal law is that the punishment is supposed to match the mens rea (mental state) of the offending party.  For centuries, criminal law has recognized that accidents happen.  But in Hamilton County, prosecutors have made it a policy to always seek jail time whenever there is a fatal car accident.  This means all of us are always one wrong turn away from a lengthy jail sentence.

It used to be that prosecutors would excercise discretion, and not bring charges when there was an accident.  When I heard Joe Deters speak yesterday, the principle of prosecutorial discretion seemed lost on him.  It's a shame. 

Dr. McChild-Baker

June 19, 2007 04:19 PM

From the Enquirer:

DEERFIELD TWP. -- A man who drives a yellow Porsche sports car with the vanity license plate, “KEPT GUY,” is accused of leaving two small children locked inside the car on a hot afternoon.

Jeff Betts, 41, was charged with child endangering, authorities said today, following an incident Friday at a hardware store.

He told police that he went inside the Lowe’s store on Mason-Montgomery Road for only a few minutes, a Warren County Sheriff’s report says.

But deputies told him that the car could become dangerously hot rather quickly because of Friday’s temperatures in the 90s.

After attempts to rouse the children with knocks on the window, a deputy broke a window and freed the children. Paramedics examined the two girls, ages 2 and 4, and found they were uninjured.

A police report says Betts is a self-employed physician.

He was arrested at the scene and later released.

Don't the folks at the Enquirer even read themselves?  From John Kiesewetter's Enquirer blog on November 10, 2006...

Are you looking at the real Dr. McDreamy?
Dr. Jeff Betts, a pediatric interventional radiologist at Children's Hospital Medical Center, is one of 10 semifinalists in the "Access Hollwood" contest, "Are You The Real Dr. McDreamy?"
Dr. Betts' two-minute video entry, submitted by a coworker, will air on "Access Hollywood" at 7 p.m. today (Ch. 5). It also will be posted on after 4:30 p.m. today.
Two contestant videos will be posted and televised today. Viewers will chose one of the two docs, who will advance to the final five late next week.
Voting opens at 4:30 p.m. today, and runs through 1 p.m. Saturday. The winner will be announced on the 7 p.m. Monday show.

Sadly, I can't find the video he his "co-worker" submitted to Access Hollywood.  But still, wouldn't this bit of color enliven the whole "I left my kids to bake in the Porsche" story that the Enquirer ran with today in the online edition?

Perhaps they'll pick up on this before they go to print.

UPDATE:  The Enquirer has updated their story to include my Access Hollywood scoop.  Among the other revelations... the Dr.'s Porsche vanity plate used to say "HUGE EGO," and that was shown in his Access Hollywood video, which apparently also showed him stripping his scrubs to reveal him wearing a speedo.  He left the employ of Children's Hospital a week after the show aired, and now is "self-employed."

Hence there vanity plate revision to "Kept Guy"?

"Mommy's in the rug"... Nightmare in Stark County

June 18, 2007 12:05 PM

From the Akron Beacon Journal:

While his grandmother speaks to yet another reporter, little Blake takes aim at his coloring book.

As he scribbles, the 2-year-old reminds everyone his mommy remains missing.

And at times, he has continued to repeat the startling words that his grandmother Patty Porter heard when she came looking for her daughter Friday morning.

``Mommy's in the rug,'' Blake says.

He was also saying "Mommy was crying,'' and "Mommy broke the table."  The grandmother found the two-year old "soiled, thirsty and hungry."  His mother, who was nine months pregnant, hasn't been seen since Wednesday.  Things do not sound good:

Stark County sheriff's detectives have classified Davis as a missing person. But the signs inside her home are ominous. A large red and gold comforter and white sheet are missing from her bedroom, where parts of a gallon jug of bleach was poured over the floor. A back sliding glass patio door was unlocked, but there was no sign of a forced entry.

Sheriff's detectives are questioning the boy's father, who had an "on again off again" relationship with the mother.  The father is a Canton police officer.  The father's wife--who is not the mother of the two-year old or the unborn baby--has also been interviewed by the detectives.