Former McGruff the Crime Dog actor, John R. Morales, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison following his guilty plea three years after police seized 1,000 marijuana plants, 27 weapons – including a grenade launcher, and 9,000 rounds of ammunition from his home.
The man who played the famous “Take a bit out of crime” dog was arrested in 2011 after Galveston police and drug-sniffing dogs pulled over the McGruff actor for speeding, the Houston Chronicle reports. Authorities found diagrams of two indoor pot-growing operations sitting on the front seat, and multiple pot seeds stored in the trunk of his Infinity.
Police raided Morales’ home and found the multitude of marijuana plants, ammunition and weapons, which included a grenade launcher, according to court documents obtained by News Fix Now.
On Monday, the now 41-year-old former actor pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Morales insisted that he was nonviolent, but U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore stated that, “Everything I read about you makes you seem like a scary person.”
McGruff the Crime Dog is a cartoon bloodhound that was created by global advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi and the Ad Council in the early 1980s for the National Crime Prevention Council used by U.S. police in spreading crime awareness. The dog is often played by actors wearing the character’s rain-coat costume as McGruff visits schools, does commercials and engages children through educational videos.
The beard Maj. Nidal Hasan had been growing in the years after the massacre prompted delays to his court-martial because it violated Army grooming regulations.
The Army psychiatrist sentenced to death for the Fort Hood shooting rampage has been forcibly shaved, an Army spokesman said Tuesday.
Maj. Nidal Hasan began growing a beard in the years after the November 2009 shooting that left 13 dead and 30 wounded. The beard prompted delays to his court-martial because it violated Army grooming regulations. He was convicted of all charges last month at his court-martial at the Central Texas Army post and sentenced to death.
Now, Hasan is an inmate at the U.S. Detention Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., home to the military death row. Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, an Army spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday that Hasan had been shaved. He did not specify when or provide details, however.
Officials at Fort Leavenworth previously had said Hasan would be subject to Army regulations.
Hasan dispensed with all criminal defense counsel and represented himself during his trial. A message left with John Galligan, Hasan’s first criminal defense attorney who still represents him in civil matters, was not returned.
Hasan said he grew the beard because his Muslim faith required it and was not meant as a show of disrespect. However, Col. Gregory Gross, the original judge presiding over Hasan’s court-martial, ordered Hasan to be clean-shaven or be forcibly shaved before his trial.
The dispute over that decision led to appeals that delayed the trial by more than three months before the appeals court ousted the judge. The appeals court ruled that Gross did not appear impartial while presiding over Hasan’s case and that the command, not a judge, is responsible for enforcing military grooming standards.
Col. Tara Osborn, assigned to replace Gross as the judge presiding over the case, allowed Hasan to keep the beard for the course of the trial last month. However, she warned that although she would not hold the breach of grooming regulations against the 42-year-old American-born Muslim, the military jurors might.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday after being convicted of espionage and other charges in connection with a massive leak of classified material.
He also received a dishonorable discharge, will forfeit his pay and benefits and was reduced in rank.
Manning faced a maximum of 90 years in prison after his conviction last month on charges of espionage, theft and fraud.
Manning was convicted of one of the largest leaks of classified material in U.S. history and was at the center of a growing debate over government secrecy.
Supporters of Manning consider him a whistleblower whose exposures served the public interest. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized his sentencing.
The government said Manning was a traitor who hurt the country.
The judge in the case, Army Col. Denise Lind, announced the sentence in a military courtroom in Fort Meade, Md.
Prosecutors urged the judge to sentence Manning to 60 years as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to leak secret documents.
“He betrayed the United States, and for that betrayal, he deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in confinement,” Capt. Joe Morrow had said during the sentencing hearing.
Manning’s defense had urged the military to sentence Manning, who served as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, to no more than 25 years in prison.
Manning leaked secret documents, which included battlefield reports and State Department cables, to WikiLeaks, which posted them on the Internet.
The U.S. government said his actions jeopardized U.S. interests and exposed informants and sources to danger. Manning’s defense painted him as a misguided idealist who opposed the war in Iraq.
“He had pure intentions at the time that he committed his offenses,” defense attorney David Coombs said during the sentencing hearing. “At that time, Pfc. Manning really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference.”
Manning’s defense attempted to “play up the human aspect” of Manning by highlighting mental health issues, said Phil Cave, a former military lawyer now in private practice
Defense witnesses testified about Manning’s “gender-identity disorder,” which contributed to the mental stress he was under.
During the sentencing hearing Manning had apologized for hurting the United States.
Under military law, the sentence will be automatically appealed. He would probably be eligible for parole after he served one-third of his sentence.
Eugene Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School, said he thought the sentence “was a bit on the high side,” but that defense attorneys had a tough case.
A tearful Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges related to illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal purchases.
Federal Judge Amy B. Jackson reprimanded Jackson for using his campaign as his “personal piggy bank” as she handed down the sentence, which will be served in North Carolina. Jackson could have received as many as four years in prison.
The former Democratic congressman from Illinois choked up before the judge as he expressed remorse for his crimes, saying that he was “wrong” and had “misled” the taxpayers he represented.
“I take responsibility for my actions and am very sorry for what I’ve done,” Jackson said.
With a bevy of friends and family looking on, including his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the former lawmaker and his wife, Sandi Jackson, were sentenced in Washington, D.C., on a felony conspiracy charge and for lying on tax forms, respectively.
In an interview following the sentencing, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said his son remains in treatment for bipolar disorder, which causes his family to fear for his life. The Rev. Jesse Jackson added that he believes his son is strong enough to serve out his prison term.
“He did not even use that as an excuse for his behavior. He was remorseful… and he is still recovering. Jesse has been very sick. This time a year ago, I really thought we may have lost him. I think he is strong enough now to accept the challenges put before him by the judge. But this has been a very painful journey for our family.”
U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, who was responsible for prosecuting Jackson, said the case should be a “wake-up call” for other politicians and that Jackson squandered his career for personal gain.
“Jackson’s political potential was unlimited, but he instead chose to treat his campaign account as a personal slush fund, stealing from the people who believed in him so he could live extravagantly,” said Machen.
“He squandered his great capacity for public service through outright theft. The prison sentence imposed today should serve as a wake-up call to other public officials who believe there are no consequences for betraying the public trust.”
Earlier this year, Jackson admitted to living off of his campaign funds for years, buying televisions, appliances, a Michael Jackson fedora, movie tickets and a $43,000 watch. Jackson’s wife pleaded guilty to failing to report $600,000 in taxable income.
Jackson’s lawyers argued for leniency, citing his reported health concerns, his two children and his continued treatment for bipolar disorder.
The Chicago lawmaker resigned from Congress last year following an enigmatic and prolonged absence from Capitol Hill, which landed him at the Mayo Clinic.
While a handful of his former constituents wrote the sentencing judge, asking her to bring down the full weight of the law on Jackson, some of his former colleagues and political associates have stood by him.
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, asked the judge for leniency, as did an Illinois Teamsters representative who called on the judge to “be merciful.”
God help us, we have lost our minds
A Texas teenager who has been in jail since March faces an eight-year prison sentence because of a threatening joke he made while playing an online video game.
In February, Justin Carter was playing “League of Legends” — an online, multiplayer fantasy game — when another player wrote a comment calling him insane. Carter’s response, which he now deeply regrets, was intended as joke.
“He replied ‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk,” said Jack Carter, Justin’s father, in a statement to a local news channel.
The statements “lol” and “jk” — meaning “laughing out loud” and “just kidding” — indicate that Justin’s statement was entirely sarcastic, said his father.
But a Canadian woman who saw the post looked up Carter’s Austin address, determined that it was near an elementary school, and called the police. Carter was arrested one month later, and has been in jail ever since. He recently celebrated his 19th birthday behind bars.
Authorities charged him with making a terrorist threat. If convicted, he will face eight years in prison.
“These people are serious. They really want my son to go away to jail for a sarcastic comment that he made,” said the elder Carter.
Good Freaking Grief
Former Democrat New York state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison Friday, the Albany Democrat-Herald reported.
Espada ran a taxpayer-subsidized health clinic called Soundview, which closed last year after 30 years.
While still in the Senate in 2010, Espada was arrested on federal charges that he stole more than $500,000 to pay for lobster dinners, vacations and pony rides at a granddaughter’s birthday party while letting Soundview’s clinics go into decline.
A jury convicted Espada last year on four counts in the embezzlement case but deadlocked on four others. Espada later pleaded guilty to a separate tax fraud charge after prosecutors agreed not to retry him on the undecided counts.
The judge began Friday’s sentencing by dismissing Espada’s motion for a new trial. The defendant had based the request on a sworn statement he obtained from a juror at his trial, despite the judge’s warning last week to stay away from jurors. The juror had claimed he was “100 percent” certain that the judge had entered the jury room to goad jurors into reaching a partial verdict.
Former City councilman Larry Seabrook will spend five years in prison for misdirecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for community projects to his girlfriend and family members.
Seabrook, 61, was sentenced Tuesday. His surrender date is March 8.
“I will continue to fight in the service of people. I truly love the northeast Bronx,” the Bronx Democrat said during his sentencing.
He described himself as a “proud man” to Judge Deborah Batts, who acknowledged his many years in public service as she addressed him from the bench.
Batts said his many achievements had been irrevocably tarnished by his own “sense of entitlement and greed.”
Seabrook had “held himself above the law and betrayed the public trust by using his public office to enrich himself and others,” Batts said.
Seabrook was convicted of 9 of 12 counts in a trial last summer in Manhattan federal court. The conviction came a year after another jury deadlocked on fraud charges.
Before he was arrested, Seabrook also had served as a state assemblyman and a senator. He has continued to deny wrongdoing.
The government says Seabrook diverted money from 2002 through 2009.
It says he directed more than $2 million of funds to nonprofit organizations he controlled but were not doing legitimate work.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Seabrook “sacrificed the public trust on the altar of greed.”
He applauded the 5-year sentence, saying it vindicated the taxpayers that Seabrook had cheated.
“We remain committed to making those who are corrupted by power pay the price, and the public can expect more arrests of politicians who have not learned this lesson,” Bharara said.
When you read this from Gateway Pundit
A Mississippi NAACP official was jailed recently on 10 counts of voter fraud including voting for her dead relatives.
A Mississippi NAACP executive is in jail after being convicted of voter fraud for fraudulently casting absentee ballots, including for four dead people.
Lessadolla Sowers, who is a member of the Tunica County NAACP Executive Committee, was convicted and sentenced in April for what a judge said were crimes that cut “against the fabric of our free society.”
She was given a five-year sentence for each of the ten counts of voter fraud for which she was convicted, but the sentencing judge allowed her to serve the terms concurrently, according to the Tunica Times.
Matthew Vadum, author of Subversion, Inc., notes Sowers’s DNA was found on the inner seals of five envelopes that contained the absentee ballots, and liberal groups like the NAACP and ACORN have had a history of such shenanigans.
Stacy McCain has the news that Little Brett just wants to be left alone now that he is getting some of his own medicine. I ask, is there anything more pathetic than a bully that whines when someone stands up to them?
FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
The post title is a quote from the transcript of Brett Kimberlin’s June 29 ”peace order” hearing against John Norton. Kimberlin made this plea under questioning by Norton’s lawyer:
Lawyer: The only questions I have, the only… you are [a] convicted perjurer, correct? Correct?
Kimberlin: Yes, when –
Lawyer: All right.
Kimberlin: — I was nineteen years old. Thirty and forty years ago.
Lawyer: All right, and you’ve been in prison for bombings, correct?
Kimberlin: Sir, we are talking about the last thirty days.
Kimberlin: That’s what this issue is about, you know you can try to attack my credibility. Your client took the picture, your client –
Kimberlin: — was at my house.
Lawyer: Sir, answer the question.
Kimberlin: I want to be left alone.
Kimberlin: I want to be –
Kimberlin: — left alone.
Lawyer: You’ve been in prison for bombings, correct?
Kimberlin: No, I haven’t.
Lawyer: Where you served prison time, correct?
Lawyer: [louder, more stern.] Correct?
Lawyer: Okay. And it was related to bombings out of state, correct? Multiple bombings.
Kimberlin: No. You know, I’m not going to get into that. You know, if you want to talk about—
Lawyer: No further, no further questions.
Read the rest of Aaron Walker’s post. Keep in mind that the only reason Kimberlin became an object of widespread attention since May 17 is because Kimberlin has pursued a campaign of legal harassment of bloggers, including a false accusation of assault against Walker.
Brett Kimberlin is a liar, and his dishonest attempts to evade responsibility for his own actions by pointing the accusing finger at others is a remarkably consistent trait of his warped personality. Kimberlin has never admitted his guilt for the heinous crimes of which he was convicted, and has tried to portray himself as a victim of injustice — a political prisoner!
Go read the rest