Friday, September 30, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
PUBLIC DEFENDER WATCHES!
Now YOU TOO can be one of the select few with their very own Public Defender Watch! I found it on eBay...don't ask me why I was looking for public defender stuff on their site but just know that if you're looking for something (computers, books, DVD's, software, love, money, or sex) there is a good chance you can find it on eBay.
It's not a bad deal for $25 but I think I'd be better off saving the cash for a haircut or a movie this weekend (yes, movies cost about $10 and if you don't sneak in your own drink...another 10 clams!). Not only that but the watches are a bit...how do I say it...chickish? Feminine? Not very manly? All of the above.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
You know, there are sooo many things that are going on in the world right now that are serious and quite honestly...depressing. I've decided to stop and take a step back with everything that is going on in my life and just think of something pure and well...wonderful.
Yup. I could just think of any of those things...but what reaaaally comes to mind is...hot chicks!
UPN's America's Next Top Model debuted last week and I found this interesting article that appeared in last weeks Orlando Sentinel. Apparently, the Orange-Osceola Public Defender has in their employ, a Public Defender Investigator who also happens to moonlight as a model and contestant in America's Next Top Model!
Here is a picture of Ms. Diane Hernandez (Photograph from UPN):
I am secretly hoping she loses the modeling thing, quits the public defender office and comes to work out here in California (where she belongs I might add). That way our office isn't made up of just a bunch of old dudes who like to talk about cases every living moment of the day...We can at least have a hot ex-model who works with us and doesn't give us the time of day.
A guy can dream, can't he?
Monday, September 26, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
Well, just one more thing...
I should first say that everyone had some good captions but after MUCH consideration and prodding by Downey to just pick what she narrowed down...The winner is:
"No, you can't have my hat, you Canadian Mountie Wanna-Be!"
Congratulations to JEN! If you email me (sancho at pdiblog.com) with a place you want your kit sent to, it will be in the mail on Monday! I can send it to an office, or wherever you wish, if you want I can pass it on to another entry winner...it's yours to do what you want!
Future contest will be decided by Blogpoll like I said in an earlier post...just to avoid accusations of favoritism. Good job everyone!
Thursday, September 22, 2005
In the future when I'm a little more organized, I will probably have my three regular readers (and whoever happens to come across the site) vote for the best caption using a Blogpoll. As it is, I'm asking the only person that knows my true, super secret identity, to help me pick the best caption...My best friend Downey.
I haven't posted too much lately because I'm backed up on reports. I've done about 7 interviews in the last two days (2 telephone and 5 in-person), and so far I've only finished one of the reports. I need to stop f*cking around and get to work.
NOTE: Downey has asked that I not use the word "Downey" to describe her, because she said it makes her sound depressed. I didn't think so when I thought of the nickname. I was associating her with laundry detergent (yes, I KNOW it's Downy with no "e"). She wore a sweater once that smelled so good I wanted to take a bite of it. She said she was using Downy and me being the simple guy that I am, I used it as a nickname for her.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Most recently, he has posted links to two (1 and 2) Meth related articles that I have read, re-read and emailed to my colleagues and family members. For me it really hits home because (unscientifically) about 75% of our clients are active users and most likely addicts. I have never met a "casual" user of Meth although I'm sure it's quite possible.
I guess I'm just fascinated about the damage it can cause to the human body in such a short period of time. I come in contact with most users during their downward spiral (both physically and emotionally) and I can't tell you how many times I've knocked on a potential witnesses door, or sat in someone's house/apartment only to catch a whiff of the telltale odor (I associate it with burned beans) that you can smell when somebody has been smoking it. Good articles, just go and check em out.
Anyhoot, I don't post any links in my links page that I don't actively read on a daily (or when updated) basis. I put them there because I find enjoyment/entertainment or just plain good info on them that I want to share with everyone I know. A & C is one of the sites that I can count on to be updated daily with posts on current events/criminal defense related news with a little humor and always a little something to make it personal...even when the goings on in his personal life are not so happy.
This wasn't an ass kissing session although it looking back here it may read like one. I've been meaning to post this for a while but I just hadn't. I have one brother and I don't know what I'd do if I were to wake up one morning and he was gone. Sorry to ramble, this is all stuff I just wanted to get out there.
Hope everyone is having a great day. Let's see. It's 5:00pm and I'm headed over to do some interviews in a nearby city. Supposedly this witness helped our client hide from the victim of his case who was chasing him with a knife...should be interesting.
Monday, September 19, 2005
I was scouting the river for some good fishing spots when I came across a black t-shirt that was laid out on a rock. I am a curious kinda guy and after picking it up I was grossed out to find that 80,000 spiders had made their home in it. I quickly dropped it and when I looked down I was even more freaked out to find a black snake curled up on the rock where the shirt had been laid out (yes, I know it was blurry but I was in a hurry and camera kept focusing on the grass).
All I could think of was...please jeezus don't let it bite me. I don't want to die in such a beautiful place by myself. I'd rather die alone, in a disgusting city surrounded by strangers. Luckily the snake lost interest in me as I was about to take the photo and as he took off, the click of the camera combined with the flash freaked him out (I'm guessing) and he came back at me rather quickly. I yelled (at mostly myself for being an idiot) and attempted to get safely in the river when all of a sudden, this happened...
SWEET JEEEEZZZUS! SNAKES CAN SWIM! ARE WE SIMPLE HUMANS NOT SAFE ANYWHERE? GOOD GAWD PLEASE LET ME SURVIVE THIS HORRIFYING ORDEAL!
After I calmed down and watched the snake float peacefully down river, I ran back to my campsite (in my sandals) as quickly as humanly possible, all the while looking out for more snakes and sleeping grizzly bears. I made it back just in time to find that half of my camping friends had eaten "special brownies" and I spent the next 2 hours laughing at them.
Good times, good times.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Have a PIG PICTURE CONTEST!
I am ready to send this new (maybe played with once...I can't find the unopened boxes) LATENT FINGERPRINT KIT! It comes complete with fingerprint powder (very messy, so I don't recommend giving it to your kids!), tape, fingerprint cards, and a professional fiber duster which I will send to the reader that can come up with best caption for this photograph:
Sure, it's not very nice, but it will hopefully amuse the three regular readers of this blog and keep them around for just a little bit longer!
I'm still waiting for some cool photographic scales that I ordered to come in that are great for showing measurements (scale) in photographs for use in court. I ordered some extra ones so I could use them as the prize in another caption contest. If any of you attorneys win, you can keep it for yourself or give them to a nice, deserving investigator in your own office.
Note: This contest will run until next Friday (09/23/05) and you can enter as many times as you want, Just put your caption in a comment or you can email me at the contact info provided on my profile. If I can't pick one, I'll have the readers vote on their favorite. Also, I can't credit the photo because it was emailed to me in some stupid forward. If you know where it came from, let me know so I can give the photographer credit.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Let's just break it down:
Not Guilty = Innocent, Guiltless, Not at fault, not responsible, not culpable, blameless...I think that's all my MS Word could come up with...I personally like the Spanish translation Sin Culpa or No Culpable.
Actually, I admit I was a little nervous about this case for several reasons, one being that it was the first time I'd worked on a case that actually went to trial for this particular attorney and he surprisingly hasn't lost a trial in three years! I didn't want to be his investigator on his only loss before he retired at the end of the year (actually he has like three more major trials coming up).
The biggest thing is that our client was simply not guilty. He entered a home belonging to a friend of his and took some clothes that he had there along with his Sony Playstation. Unfortunately the complaining witness called the cops when he saw stuff missing from his house and a neighbor said our client had broken into the home. The cops called our client, told him they wanted to talk to them and he told them he'd meet them at a nearby mall.
Our client drove to the mall with his (to show them that he didn't steal anything) property that the complaining witness had been storing at his home. Our client got the the meeting place and the cop was running late. Our client called the investigating officer on his cell phone asking him what was taking so long. Imagine that...a suspect calling the cops!
The cop said that he had never had someone suspected of stealing something be so ready to meet with him before (NO SHIT SHERLOCK! Our client didn't steal anything!). When the cop showed up at the mall...he arrested our client.
Turns out that when our client had taken a bunch of his own clothes from the apartment, he supposedly took a pair of the complaining witnesses shoes. Our client told the cop it was an accident and at that point it didn't matter. There was also an issue regarding a Sony Playstation that both the CW and our client claimed belonged to them but we were able to bring in witnesses that I'd tracked down that said they had lived with our client in the past and it was HIS Playstation...not the CW's.
Long story short, we got our Not Guilty verdict this afternoon!
Damnit I'm a horrible story teller....this could have been sooo much better. I think I need someone to help me write about my cases to make them easier to understand. Alrighty, I'm bushed and I'm looking at renting a new place soon and I'm gonna go check it out tonight!
I am by no means a supporter of President Bush but I'm not quite sure what's so bad about writing a note that you need to pee! Sure it's amusing (asking permission), so maybe that's all it is. I'm posting the pick from the Reuters for y'all (A weekend with the southern folk have me wanting to add a southern accent to my Spanish/English) to see for yourselves.
I just had a jury go out on one of my 459's that I've been working on these last couple of weeks. The facts are brief and interesting so I will hopefully be able to talk about it later tonight. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I need a bit of time to decompress but I assure you all that I will be back to my irregular posting as usual!
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
TRENTON — She's a beachy rock-and-roller from Manasquan, a Jersey Girl right down to her bullet-proof nails, a leather-tough liberal, a wife, a mom, a dreamer, a Disney World addict and a defender of the dreadful.
Allegedlydreadful, she would hasten. Really dreadful, her opponents would say. She is Robin Lord, who, aside from defending peepers, molesters and killers, could be the only New Jersey lawyer who once displayed her thoughts about a judge by flashing him her middle finger.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Ok, before I continue, make sure you've read Part 1 and Part 2 before you resume reading. Quite honestly you could start anywhere in the story, it's just about something that happened while I was working a case....no big thang!
Okay, so Mr. X begins to tell me how he was home one day, working on his computer, when he heard what sounded like firecrackers going off in his backyard. He looked out back and didn't see anything and he didn't know anything had happened until the cops showed up next door and informed him that someone had been killed.
While, Mr. X is telling me this, I'm thinking, Sweet Jeezus. I think I can see this dudes wee willy winky sticking out of his boxer shorts...oh gross. Wait a minute...What the hell does he have on his feet? He is wearing little athletic socks but I can hear a crunchy sound everytime he moves his feet on the floor.
Mr. X goes on to tell me a few more details about the murder that are both good and bad for our client then he tells me something I had suspected but had no way of confirming until now. He says, "You know, there were two other men involved in the murder than the ones that were arrested." I say, "Really? Why do you say that? " Mr. X had started to scratch his feet with a pencil through his socks and I could hear the distinct sound of aluminum foil and before he could answer me, I said, "Wow, you have some very crunchy feet." Did I just say that? Can I sound like a bigger fucking idiot?
Mr. X pulled off one of his socks to reveal a foil wrapped foot and goes on to explain that in ancient China, when farmers would develop serious cases of foot rot or in his case, the most horrendous case of Athlete's foot a man can have and still be able to walk, the farmer would smear farm animal feces on his feet and wrap them in bandages.
Mr. X said he didn't have any farm animal feces available so he decided to use his own. He was told that any foot ailment would be cured in a couple of days. As he was about to pull off one of his foil socks to show me, I told him it really wasn't neccessary.
In between controlling my gagging, I managed to tell him that it smelled like he was going on a couple weeks of shit therapy but he insisted he had just started a couple of days ago and his feet were improving, I just took his word for it.
I stood up to go and told Mr. X that maybe I could come by another time. He said that would be fine but next time he wanted a tape recorder brought to the intervew to record the conversation and assure that none of his statements are made into lies. I told him a tape recorder would be a great idea.
At this point, I was feeling weak, queasy, and confused from all the shit smell in that house and I just wanted to get out of there. Before I walked out the door he told me, "You know, I was saying earlier that there were two other men that were involved in the murder. Do you want me to tell you where you can find them?" Well, if you know where they are, it would be a good idea to tell authorities or someone, but I would love to know where to find them.
He stood in the doorway of his home again and said, "No, no authorities. I found the two men in my tool shed back behind my house. They broke into it after the murder and hid in it for two days before I found them. I saw some food wrappers near the shed door, that's how I knew someone was inside. When I opened the door, I didn't give em a chance to say anything. I told them I knew what they had done. They said they would pay me to keep my mouth shut. I told them it wouldn't be a problem...keeping my mouth shut, that is."
So where are they? Did they tell you their names? Mr. X says, "They're both still in my shed."
What the fuck? Now I'm queasy, irritated and fucking confused.
"They're still in your shed? I don't understand, it's been like two months since the murder? Mr. X just kind of looked at me like I was a moron and said, "I know. I killed them. I killed them...with ice bullets."
Sunday, September 04, 2005
In case you have no idea what I'm talking about...read THIS. I posted it a few days ago after I came back from doing some field work on a murder case I was working. Read the first part then come back and continue the story.
Alrighty, so Neighbor X (I will now refer to him as MR. X) has let me into his home and I'm sitting on his funky couch. He asks me if I'm thirsty, and I tell him, "no thanks, I'm fine." Seeing as it's a warm day outside he presses the issue and says he's going to get me some ice cold water anyway. I told him I appreciated it, and he waddles off into his kitchen. PDI NOTE: I never accept food or drink in a witnesses home. Not only for reasons that will soon become apparent but also because I don't want to impose upon them to have to treat me to anything. Sometimes our witnesses don't have very much and I don't want to take anything away from them. I accepted this time because I knew he wouldn't stop offering and I was becoming thirsty just thinking about it.
The first thing I really noticed about MR. X and his house was how bad he and his house smelled. The house was in really, really good shape with a ton of books in bookshelves, a big fancy television, some great bottle of wine in a wine fridge, lot's of family photos, I would consider him upper-middle class. If you were a person with absolutely no sense of smell, you would have thought, "Gee, what a great house, I'll bet this guy really has his shit together!"
The problem was, the house smelled like shit. It smelled like someone took a dump somewhere in the room every day of the week, swept it under the couch, and left it there. The more I thought about it the worse it got. I was almost gagging before MR. X came back outta the kitchen with my bottled water. I controlled the gagging, put on my I'm here on serious business face, and explained why I was there.
I told MR. X I was at his house because of the murders that had occurred next door (and in part of his backyard) a few months ago. He told me he knew that's why I was there and he was ready to talk to me.
But first, he had to make an important phone call.
I told him, "sure, no problem!" He waddled over into another room,and I heard him pick up the phone and start talking to someone. Meanwhile, I made sure I had the portions of the police report that I wanted to go over with him ready to pull out and sat down on the funky couch, waiting patiently for MR. X to get off the phone.
Well, not that patiently.
Something wasn't quite right about the photographs though. What was it? Oh, maybe that's it...HIS FACE LOOKED THE SAME IN ALL OF THEM!
Someone's face should look the same in all their photos right? Well, I mean that his face was quite literally the same in every photograph. He had pasted his face onto everyone of the photographs...100's of photos and he was in all of them, with this weird creep smile (this was probably his normal, nice smile...but at that time I just thought it was plain old creepy). He was with all sorts of famous people, some were of his face with former President Clinton and Carter, bunch of sports stars, a few celebrities and the rest I had no idea who they were.
As I was looking at the photographs, MR. X unexpectedly came in from the other room where he was on the phone, sees me looking at his photo wall and he says, "Oh, see anyone you recognize?" I told him I did, but I was really pressed for time and I just wanted to ask him about the murder next door. He said,"Oh, yeah sure. I just received authorization to speak with you."
Authorization? I don't understand, from who? MR. X sat down on the funky couch and says, "I received authorization from my controller, I work for the government." I sat on the couch sipping the bottled water and said, "Oooookay."
Oh crap. This guy is as nutty as a fruit cake.
Oh crap, I just realized that while he was on the phone talking to his "controller" that he got out of his pants and is now sitting on the couch in a dress shirt and dirty, faded blue boxer shorts.
Oh crap. In my hand, I'm holding the plastic screw cap to a Sprite soda bottle. The water bottle I'm drinking from is NOT a Sprite soda.
Oh crap. I'm drinking from a water bottle that this fruit cake just refilled with his OWN PERSONAL WATER!!!
Oh crap. I love this job, just not right at this very moment.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Just kidding. I just wanted to add that I WILL be finishing my Ice Bullets experience this afternoon. I got caught up in a certain pre-season football game (San Francisco 49'ers can kiss my ass!) last night and fell asleep early...sorry, I just really needed to re-charge my batteries...it's been a tough week!
Greg has really developed a great site with great Criminal Defense related RSS feeds. He has really put a lot of time and effort into the PDI Network and the most important thing of all (you Public Defender offices out there will understand)...IT'S TOTALLY FREE TO USE! Nuff said.
Read about it and check him out!
The Public Defender Investigator Network website is celebrating its first anniversary this month. The site has gone through multiple changes and has finally settled down, with a new hosting service and lots of additions. The site is, as the title implies, an attempt to pull together resources, links and information specifically for public defender and indigent-defense investigators. While the site gets hits from across the country, I'm still trying to reach investigators who could use it but don't know about it. If you know of anybody who might benefit, please let them know about the site.
Greg Worthen, Investigator
Colorado Public Defender
Thursday, September 01, 2005
I was working one of my murder cases yesterday, canvassing the neighborhood where it occurred and I guess what? I may have broken the case WIDE OPEN! Let me explain.
I have a list of everyone the cops have interviewed (we've done our own interviews with them) and now I'm going through the neighborhood talking to people they didn't interview (or at least didn't document that they interviewed) and talking to them if possible. Pretty standard stuff right?
Most of the time, especially on murder cases, I don't leave cards on people's doors when I'm canvassing, because people aren't inclined to contact a Public Defender Investigator working for the individual who is accused of killing a neighbor. Especially when the accused is a Black male and the decedent is Caucasian (along with the entire neighborhood) dude with a long history in the area.
The idea is that people (aka: witnesses) are more inclined to talk to you if you show up at their front door. It's easier for someone to say they don't want to talk to you over the phone and hang up on you but when you have to say it to someone's face, it's a whole different story. Anyhow, the point is depending on the neighborhood, this can be extremely laborious and time consuming, but when you get positive results, it makes it all worth while.
I had just finished interviewing Neighbor #1 who provided some critical information (I can't get into details). On my way out of her house, I asked Neighbor #1 if she'd ever seen Neighbor X at home. I had been trying to reach Neighbor X for weeks with no luck and had even left a card on his door to reach me (again, something I never do). Neighbor #1 says Neighbor X is always home but never answers the door. She adds that he's "kinda weird" as I'm walking back down to my car.
When I get to my car I find a post-it note stuck to my window, directing me to Neighbor X's house. I go knock on the door and an older Caucasian male, about 5'10", and pudgy opens the door and says he knows why I'm there and it's very important that he talk to me. He opened the front door a little wider, and let me into his home. Just before he closed the door behind me, I caught him waving at someone down the street. He then turns to me and says, "He's worried, he wants me to watch what I'm saying to you."
I should have said, "I need to get the fuck out of your house....RIGHT NOW!," but my curiosity got the best of me and I sat down on his really funky leather couch."