The land of criminal defense has been rather busy this week, with weird and celebrity news stories cropping up right and left. Here are four of the top news stories of the week:
- Fear not American Idol fans! Your favorite reality television show host Ryan Seacrest is safe for another day. Chidi Benjamin Uzomah was sentenced to two years in prison by an L.A. Superior Court judge, and was also ordered to stay at least 500 yards away from Mr. Seacrest and his places of work for ten years. Mr. Uzomah, a six-foot-four, 200-pound, former special forces reserve for the U.S. Army, was arrested in October of last year when he tried to approach Mr. Seacrest with a knife. The judge reportedly denied his request for probation with the response that “prison time was warranted.”
- A California judge has ruled that Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s former doctor, can still treat patients, and will not be losing his medical license, or at least he won’t as of yet. His defense lawyer made the point that suspending his medical license would take away his income, which would mean he couldn’t afford his defense attorneys or expert witnesses. Dr. Murray is still prohibited from using anesthesia with patients.
- While growing up, don’t you remember your mother constantly reminding you, “Be sure to wear appropriate undergarments when going to jail, honey!” Probably not, but attorney Brittney Hosrtman learned that very lesson when trying to see her client in the Miami Federal Detention Center on June 4, 2010. The underwire set off the metal detectors at the prison’s entrance, and the security guards refused to permit her to enter. Even after reminding the security guards of a memo from the Florida Public Defender’s office that allowed female attorneys to enter with an underwire, they still turned her away. Rather than leaving, she removed her bra in order to see her client. Security then told her she was dressed too provocatively to enter. Ms. Horstman circulated an e-mail about this event to her peers, and eventually the warden of the jail lifted the restriction. Now that’s a defense lawyer committed to her clients!
- Not everyone likes to read, but one woman may have taken her dislike of the written word a bit too far. A 74-year-old Boise, Idaho, woman was arrested after allegedly pouring mayonnaise in the Ada County library’s book drop box. Joy L. Cassidy was caught in the act one Sunday afternoon. She was released from jail and faces a misdemeanor charge of malicious injury to property. She is also under investigation for ten other condiment-related crimes. Librarians have reported that they have come into work to find their books covered in corn syrup and ketchup.