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Articles Posted in Criminal defense

Two 18-year-old men are facing charges of terrorizing two other men who had arranged dates on the popular Tinder App. Jahziah McDonald and Jeremiyah Mannie were denied bail after the prosecutors said that the attacks were organized. The men have been charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking, and aggravated robbery—all of which are felonies. The men did not have adult records. However, one faced juvenile charges related to auto theft. A third female teenager was used to lure the men to the attack. The teenaged girl will face juvenile charges. A fourth individual who attended the attacks was released uncharged. 

Hook-up Site Robberies Targeting Men

Men are not usually the target of hook-up site robberies. Generally, it is women who have to be more careful. However, anyone can be the victim of this sort of attack without regard to their gender. In this case, men hoping to hook up with a pretty girl were lured to a secluded place where the attack could be conducted. One man was forced to withdraw money from his account at an ATM. 

A Chicago police officer who instructed other Chicago police officers in the use of force was recently arrested in relation to an off-duty police shooting. The officer shot the man in the hand. 39-year-old Kevin Bunge is charged with aggravated battery and the unlawful use of a weapon. Both are felonies. Bunge was held on a $10,000 bond.

Police say that Bunge was on his way home from the police academy where he taught when a vehicle pulled up behind him. Bunge was parked, listening to a book on tape when the vehicle approached. The two men were going to meet a friend. The one man was providing directions to the other man using Google Maps. The driver did not believe that the directions were accurate, so they pulled their vehicle over. 

At this point, Bunge exited his vehicle with his gun and his badge. Although neither man was armed, Bunge fired into the vehicle. Both men inside the vehicle have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Bunge. Meanwhile, Bunge is facing criminal charges related to the incident.

An 18-year-old who ordered a ride from Lyft is now facing carjacking charges after police say he hailed the ride with the sole intention of stealing the car. Cornelius Carr has been charged with vehicular hijacking and armed robbery

According to the driver, he was on his way to pick up a fare when two teens approached his vehicle wearing masks and surgical gloves. They got into the back seat, and one of the teens demanded the driver’s keys and money. The driver complied, and the two teens drove off with the stolen car. The vehicle was recovered later with the plates removed. Police were able to track the account used to hail the Lyft driver back to Cornelius Carr. The Lyft driver then identified him in a lineup, according to police. The police did not say how this was accomplished when the teens were wearing masks.

The Case Against Carr

A woman described as a “serial stowaway” has been arrested yet again after her ankle monitor malfunctioned. Marilyn Hartmann, who claims she has taken over 30 free flights, will now face charges of criminal trespass after wandering off from her halfway house. She was spotted by TSA and authorities were notified that the woman was in the airport. Hartmann is facing felony charges from a prior attempt to stowaway aboard a plane. Prosecutors will likely file more felony charges against the woman. 

The same woman was the subject of an interview broadcast on television where she told reporters that she began hopping planes in 2002. Hartmann has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but that likely will not help her after repeated attempts to violate the same law.

Will a Mental Health Defense Work?

A Chicago man has been arrested for allegedly putting out a call on social media to loot during the civil unrest that gripped the city last August. James Massey, 22, has been charged with one count of inciting a riot. If convicted, he could face up to five years in federal prison

Calls for Violence Not Protected Under First Amendment

Calls to incite violence against either another person or their property is illegal. The First Amendment does not protect you from making credible, actionable threats, or encouraging others to do the same. The key words here are credible and actionable. If you have the means to carry out the threat or are calling upon others to help you carry out the threat, then you are in violation of laws that have been passed at both the federal and state level. 

A Chicago man is facing federal charges after police allege he hijacked a car at gunpoint, crashed it on the South Side of Chicago, and fired a shot at police before being apprehended. In 2018, the feds announced that they planned on trying more carjacking cases in federal court. David Johnson is the lucky beneficiary of that initiative. He is the first man to face charges under the federal initiative. 

At the time of the carjacking, David Johnson was on supervised release after he was found guilty of weapons charges. The US Attorney told the press that would-be carjackers had better watch out, “Committing a senseless act of violence like carjacking will earn you a home in federal prison for a long time.”

The Carjacking

A Chicago police officer is facing numerous charges related to an incident that occurred while he was off-duty and allegedly intoxicated. Joseph Cabrera, who is an eight-year veteran of the Chicago police force, was originally charged with the aggravated discharge of a weapon and disorderly conduct. However, the charges have now escalated to attempted murder, making a false report, and obstruction of justice. 

According to investigators, Cabrera told police he had been attacked before discharging his weapon. But prosecutors say that the officer was never attacked. 

The Prosecution’s Story

A week or two ago, we discussed the situation of a Chicago man who was being charged in connection with the Capitol riot that left one police officer and a couple of participants dead. It is important to understand that this individual was so divorced from reality that he actually posted photos of himself online outside Nancy Pelosi’s office. However, he later came to his senses and removed the photos. By that time, federal authorities had already caught up with him. They demanded that the man turn over video footage of the riots, which he gladly did. The charges against him have now escalated and include felonies.

New Felony Charges

Kevin Lyons of Chicago now faces three additional felony federal charges after turning over his phone to federal authorities. Those include:

A Chicago man is being held without bail after police pulled him over driving an SUV suspected in the murder of G Herbo’s friend at a South Loop barbershop. Christopher Mosley, 29, was pulled over carrying a Glock featuring a laser attachment. While the gun was not loaded when police pulled over Mosley, they noted that he was carrying a lot of ammunition. Police did not mention why Mosley was pulled over in the first place. They only said that an SUV matching the description of Mosley’s was seen pulling away from a barbershop shooting. Mosley has not been charged with the murder. However, a judge ruled there was enough reason to order Mosley held without bail.

How Will Police Conduct This Investigation?

First, they will test the gun against the shell casings. The FBI invented an entirely new science for determining whether or not a specific shell casing can be linked to a specific gun. Like most FBI “science” (see profiling and facial recognition), it was just a lot of made-up silliness. According to the FBI, every gun leaves a unique marking on a shell casing. Ideally, every shell shot from the same gun would leave an identical marking. With due deference to science, for the method to work, the markings would need to be identical in every case. They could not be, for instance, substantially similar, pretty close, or within tolerance. They have to be identical. Nonetheless, the FBI was able to bamboozle juries into convicting people based on their made-up science. This made-up science will likely feature prominently in the case against Christopher Mosley.

Law enforcement uses a number of techniques to convict criminal defendants that appear on the surface to be scientific, but really are not. No, we are not talking about DNA evidence, which has been used to exonerate many wrongfully-accused defendants. We are talking about other forensic techniques that were created by the FBI, but have scant scientific merit. In this article, we will take a look at some of that junk science.

Profiling and Behavioral Sciences

We all love Thomas Harris novels and TV shows like Criminal Minds, but the truth is profiling is useless. Not only is it basically stereotyping, but you can pull any Joe off the street and get a similar result to what a trained profiler would produce. 

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