There is no substitute for trial court experience for serious criminal cases. Below are some cases and outcomes I’ve had the privilege to bring about:
Commonwealth v. William Aranz, Jefferson Circuit Court (May 2018) Louisville Metro Police and Probation and Parole received tips from concerned citizens that William Aranz was illegally using and possessing handguns, assault rifles and other weaponry. William was a convicted felon. A search of his apartment resulted in a seizure of multiple firearms and ammunitions. The defense asserted the weapons did not belong to William but were ‘girl guns.’ William was a former Marine and proof showed that he would not likely possess small caliber weapons. Jury found William not guilty.
Commonwealth v. Joseph Shila, Jefferson Circuit Court – Judge Mckay Chavin (September 2018) Methamphetamine and PFO. Shila was charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Persistent Felony Offender 1st. Also charged were 2 co-defendants. The Metro Narcotics agent had his house under surveillance for drug activity. The police claimed Joseph was the ringleader and had arranged for a package of four pounds of meth to be delivered from Arizona. Police had intercepted the shipment and set up a controlled delivery. The defense of Shila was that he was simply a guest of the house and not involved in drug business. The case was tried before a jury. The defense of Shila attacked the veracity of the prosecution’s case. The co-defendants were convicted. Shila was acquitted of all charges.
Commonwealth v. Daniel Dilger, Jefferson District Court (March, 2018) DUI First Offense. Police came upon Dilge’s Ford Explorer as it was stopped in the fast lane of Interstate 265 in Jefferson County at 3:25 a.m. on October 30, 2017. Police found Dilger ‘passed out’ behind the wheel with his vehicle running and his foot on the brake. The entire matter was video taped. The police banged on the Explorer’s window, rocked the Explorer, they screamed at Dilger in efforts to wake him up. After 10 minutes the police shatter the Explorer’s window and removed Dilger. Dilger was confused and incoherent. Police confiscated beer cans from the Explorer. Dilger refused field sobriety tests and refused the breathalyzer. The defense was that Dilger suffered from a sleep disorder. Dilger was found not guilty.
Commonwealth v. Ian Smith, Jefferson District Court, (September, 2017) DUI, Speeding, Careless Driving, Improper Signal. Louisville Metro Police officer observed Ian speeding on Taylorsville Road at 3:00 a.m. Ian lost control of his car and nearly struck a concrete curb. He failed to signal a lane change. Police stopped him and administered field sobriety tests. According to the police he failed the test. The prosecution showed the jury the video of Ian’s car speeding and the alleged reckless driving. Ian was arrested and taken to jail. He refused the breath test. The defense was Ian was tired from working all day. He smelled like alcohol because he was in a bar earlier that night. The defense included attacking the integrity of the police’s field sobriety tests. Ian was found not guilty.
Commonwealth v. Diane Croudel, (August 31, 2017) Police stopped Croudel after they observed her car travelling the wrong way on Ormsby St. in downtown Louisville. Police alleged she accelerated at high speed and squealed her tires. She was stopped at 12:19 a.m. Police smell booze and claimed she had slurred speech. The prosecution had a video of her car speeding and the failed sobriety tests. Police claimed she failed the field sobriety tests. I thought she performed well on the field sobriety tests. She was arrested and taken to jail. At the jail she admitted to smoking marijuana. Her breath test was .075. The case was set for trial on August 31, 2017. She was found not guilty of DUI.
Commonwealth v Joe Hallender, (April, 2016) Child Sex Abuse. Hallender was charged with multiple counts of child sexual abuse. The Commonwealth alleged that he sexually abused his step daughter countless times over a five year period. The Commonwealth alleged he confessed to the allegations. Hallender faced the possibility of serving 15 years in prison without the possibility of probation . If convicted he would be forced to sign up as a lifetime sex offender on the nationwide sex offender registry . He would ineligible for probation until after he completed a sex offender class in prison. Attorney Nick Boggs and I tried the case the last week of March, 2016. Nick Boggs did a fantastic job with in limine motions , suppression issues, jury instructions and cross examination and jury selection (voir dire). On Friday April 1, 2016 the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts after a 2 hour deliberation . Hallender was overwhelmed his nightmare was over. He sobbed with joy as we left the court room.
Commonwealth v Edith Barber, (May 2016) DUI. Edith was visiting Louisville from North Carolina for business . After a long day of meetings she had a few happy hour drinks in the convention center bar. Later that evening Louisville Metro Police officers found her passed out behind the steering wheel of her parked car . The engine was running. Attempts to wake her by the police were unsuccessful. Police opened her car door and removed the car keys from the ignition. Police smelled alcohol and noted that Edith’s eyes were bloodshot red. Edith admitted to “drinking a few beers”. Field sobriety tests were administered along with a portable breath test. According to the police Edith failed all sobriety tests. The police dash board video cameras and body cameras recorded the arrest events. At the county jail Edith took a breath test on the Intoxilzer 5000. She blew over the legal limit. I was able to develop facts by investigating my client’s version which established that she Edith was not operating a car while intoxicated. I proved Edith was merely sleeping while intoxicated. The case law of Commonwealth v Pence and Commonwealth v Wells allowed me to beat the DUI. Edith was found not guilty of DUI and was convicted of reckless driving. Her driver’s license was never suspended. She was fined $100.
Commonwealth v. Taylor Riley, (March 2015) Domestic Violence, Assault. Taylor discovered his 15 year old daughter was texting naked pictures of herself to strangers on the internet. According to the police, Taylor slapped his daughter and pulled her hair. The police claim he dragged her from her bedroom and to the living room by her neck. When police arrived, he was screaming at her while she cried. Taylor’s wife told police that Taylor’s actions were child abuse. Police photos were taken of Taylor’s injuries. The police failed to preserve the naked pictures his daughter sent. I filed a motion based on tampering with evidence and failing to preserve evidence. The court suppressed so much of the evidence the Commonwealth was afraid to go to trial. The Commonwealth moved for a continuance on the morning of trial, so they could appeal the trial court’s ruling. The case will soon be dismissed after I win the Appellate Court.
Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Mulsawho Alsawha, Drug Trafficking. Police raided Mulsawho Alsawha’s home and his smoke shop business. Police confiscated over 200 pounds of counterfeit marijuana in his garage. Mulsawho Alsawha was on probation for drug trafficking. Police confiscated over $300,000.00 in cash and also took vehicles and flat screen TVs. Alsawha was indicted for being a repeat drug trafficker. He faced years in prison and deportation. Alsawha’s defense was that the marijuana which was confiscated was old marijuana from his previous conviction. Alsawha never intended to sell or transfer the 200 pounds of marijuana which he had already been prosecuted for. After 8 months of hearings, negotiations, evidence review and suppression issues, the prosecutor dismissed the felony charge and returned over $100,000.00 to Alsawha along with vehicles and flat screen TVs and other property.
Commonwealth v. Jim Eflin, (2015) Kidnapping, Assault and DUI. Eflin was a former police officer who was charged with kidnapping a woman in old Louisville. According to the Louisville police officer, M. Judah, Eflin forceably held a young girl against her will, beat her and threatened to take her home and have sex with her. All charges were dismissed on the morning of trial. I filed a Motion to Disclose evidence of prior sexual activity of the victim under the Kentucky Rape Shield law. The Commonwealth offered 10 years in prison the morning of trial, case dismissed.
Commonwealth v. Gregory Huff, Jefferson District Court, (May 2014) DUI, Possession of Cocaine, Failure to Maintain Auto Insurance. Huff was charged with Failure to Maintain Auto Insurance, Possession of Cocaine and DUI First. Police responded to a one car crash on West Broadway. Huff’s car had left the roadway and crashed into a retaining wall. Huff was found behind the steering wheel. He was unable to follow police orders to get out of the car. Police removed Huff. Huff ‘had a hard time forming sentences and could not maintain his balance.’ Police searched Huff and found two bindles of crack cocaine in his pocket. Field sobriety test were not performed because of Huff’s level of intoxication. After pretrial challenges and discovery requests were made; all charges were dismissed on.
Commonwealth v. Grenitti (2014) Domestic Violence. Grenitti was charged with three counts of Harassing Communications. The prosecutor alleged she had an extramarital affair with a married man. After the married man ended the affair Grenitti allegedly send dozens of emails, text messages, photos and Facebook messages to the ex-lover’s wife in effort to harm his marriage. On morning of trial the prosecutor moved to dismiss the charges due to insufficient evidence. The Court dismissed all three counts.
Commonwealth v. Zulumendier (2014) DUI. Zulumendier was stopped after a police officer spotted her car weaving in the roadway and travelling 10 MPH over the speed limit. The weaving and speeding violations were recorded on the LMPD dashboard video camera. According to the police officer, Ms. Zulumendier smelled of alcohol, had blood shot eyes, slurred speech and admitted to drinking 4 beers. She failed all Field Sobriety Tests and the portable BA. At the jail she blew almost twice the legal limit. After six appearances in District Court and numerous challenges to the admissibility of the government’s evidence the DUI charge was reduced to Public Intoxication. Ms. Zulumendier did not lose her license. The case was resolved once I discovered that the jail technician who operated the breath test machine had initiated improper contact with female inmates.
Commonwealth v. James Seyda (Oct., 2012) DUI Case. Seyda was arrested after midnight on December 3, 2011 after he lost control of his car and ran over a mailbox. He failed all field sobriety tests and blew a .15 on the breath test. I suppressed the breath test and used a prior medical condition defense to explain Seyda’s impaired appearance. The prosecutor amended the DUI to a mischief charge. Seyda did not lose his license or go to jail. The mischief charge is expungeable.
Commonwealth v. Ellen Deweese, Jefferson Circuit Court Div. 12 (Oct., 2012) Theft Case. Dewees was indicted for receiving a stolen $10,000.00 Bayliner speed boat. Text messages from the defendant’s family established that Dewees possessed the stolen boat. The court dismissed the indictment on October 23, 2012 after the boat was returned.
Commonwealth v. Dontay Harris (Oct., 2012) Drug Trafficking. Harris was stopped by the Kentucky State Police on I-65 outside Bowling Green, Kentucky. His car was searched. Marijuana and pain pills were seized. Police discovered he was staying at a local motel. The room was in Harris’s name. Police searched the motel room and found 65 oxycotin pills, 44 hydrocodone pills and a cell phone with text messages referencing drug deals. Harris and two others were indicted for Trafficking in Control Substance, 1st Degree, Trafficking In Control Substance 2nd Degree and Possession of Marijuana. I was able to get Harris released on bond. Case against Harris was dismissed in October, 2012. Co-defendants were found guilty.
Commonwealth v. William Glasscock, Jefferson Circuit Court (2012) Sex Crime. Glasscock was charged with indecent exposure. The prosecution alleged he regularly exposed his penis to schoolchildren at a bus stop. If convicted Glasscock faced the probability of serving a five year sentence due to his felony probation status. After a one day trial Glasscock was found not guilty. He did not serve any time in jail. His probation was not revoked.
Commonwealth v. Ernie Forrest, Jefferson District Court (2012) Assault Case. Forrest faced multiple assault charges for a fight with a waitress and security guard in a bar. The jury determined the security guard used excessive force and the waitress was unprofessional. Forrest was found not guilty.
Commonwealth v. Jeremy Jump, Jefferson County Circuit Court (2010). Burglary, Persistent Felony Offender First Degree. Police traced a recent string of burglaries to Jump’s home. In a search of Jump’s home police discovered property taken in the burglary. Jump confessed to the burglary. Jump signed a written confession. Commonwealth offered 15 years because Jump was a persistent felony offender. After a one week trial the jury discounted the ‘confession’ after proof of police coercion. Jump was found not guilty of all felony counts. Jump was convicted of the misdemeanor Criminal Trespassing. Jury thought the court and prosecutor denied Jump an opportunity to present evidence and ignored the government’s evidence.
Commonwealth v. Jerome Dodson, Jefferson County Circuit Court (2009) Heroin Trafficking. Jerome Dodson was charged with trafficking in heroin in what narcotic detective Brian Nunn testified was the largest heroin case in Louisville in over 15 years. Evidence included guns, a cocaine press and an eyewitness to trafficking. Dodson did not testify and the jury found Dodson not guilty of trafficking.
Commonwealth v. Jerome Dodson, (2009), Jefferson County Circuit Court Criminal Syndicate, Stolen Cars. Represented Jerome Dodson in a Criminal Syndication indictment. Commonwealth alleged he was the leader of a stolen car/chop shop. Multiple stolen cars and other property were found in a storage unit in his name. A co-defendant testified against him. The jury was hung and the other defendants were found guilty. Indictment was later dismissed (2009)
Commonwealth v. Dewayne Anthony Willis (2009), Jefferson Circuit Court Sex Case- Rape. Willis was a supervisor at a factory that manufactured NERF Products. A worker claimed Willis raped her on a foam pad and threatened to fire her if she reported the crime. First trial ended in mistrial; second trial Willis was found not guilty of all charges. The pre-trial offer was 15 years.
Commonwealth v. John Starling, (2005), Jefferson County Circuit Court Sex Case- Rape-PFO2. Starling was charged with First Degree Rape and Persistent Felony Offender 1st Degree (repeat offender). ‘Victim’ claimed she was a stranger to Starling, Starling claimed she was an old girlfriend. Jury found Starling not guilty. Prosecutor offered Starling 12 years sentence before trial. Starling walked away a free man.
Successfully sued the Jefferson County Corrections Department and Jefferson County in a 1983 Civil Rights wrongful death case involving the beating of inmate Adrian Reynolds. (1999) Settlement Confidential
Commonwealth v. Michael Thompson Murder Case
Thompson was charged with First Degree Murder regarding his involvement in the baseball bat beating with co-defendants. Thompson and was acquitted in Jefferson Circuit Court before Judge Thomas Wine. Two co-defendants were convicted and sentenced to 5-10 years in prison (1998).
Commonwealth v. Puckett Murder Case
Co-Counsel with Donald M. Heavrin in representing Gary Puckett on appeal. Puckett was charged with murdering his mother by house fire and he received a life sentence after being represented by attorney David Kaplan. Olash and Heavrin convinced the trial court to set aside 25 years plus life sentence after the Kentucky Supreme Court denied the appeal. We represented Puckett at retrial and he was found not guilty. (1995)
If you need a lawyer, call me so I can help you with your case.