The New York Criminal Law Blog

June 2010 Archives

Officer David London Acquitted of Assault

The New York Times reports that Officer David London was acquitted by a Manhattan jury on Monday of second-degree assault, filing false records, falsifying business records and making a false written statement, which left New York community members with mixed feelings.

Officer David London had been accused of repeatedly striking an Iraq war veteran with his baton while the veteran was laying in the lobby of a housing project in Manhattan. The victim was identified as Walter Harvin, who had reportedly suffered from mental problems after returning from Iraq. The police officer was also accused of lying about the details of the confrontation between him and the victim.

Lawrence Taylor Indicted on Rape Charges

Former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor was indicted on a number of sexual assault charges on Wednesday and has been accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl for money in a New York hotel. The rape charges may aggravate some football fans, but the Montreal Gazette reports that the Pro Football Hall of Famer has a New York criminal defense attorney that vows that the man is innocent.

A grand jury of Rockland County formally charged Lawrence Taylor with rape, criminal sexual act, two counts of sexual abuse, and patronizing a prostitute, all of which are in the third degree. If convicted of these charges, the Gazette reports that the former Giant will face a maximum of four years in prison.

Mom Using Insanity Defense After Tossing Baby in Hudson River

A mother allegedly threw her 19-month baby into the Hudson River last month and has since been charged with attempted murder. However, the 33-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder charge on Monday and now has a New York criminal defense attorney that plans to argue that she is mentally insane.

The New York Post reports that Devi Silvia tossed her child in the river and jumped off the West 70th Street Pier to get back at her husband when she was angry with him, but her and the child were saved by NYPD marine units. Seema Iyer, who is representing Devi Silvia, told says that her client has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The criminal defense attorney is arguing that the mother is not guilty of the criminal charge because she was legally insane at the time the crime was committed. Since the incident last month, Devi Silvia has been incarcerated at the Elmhurst Hospital jail ward.

Carmine Gargano: Could Illiteracy Be A Defense For Welfare Fraud?

New York criminal defense attorney Joseph Mure says that his client is not guilty of welfare fraud because the defendant Rosa Gargano does not know any English. Because of the suspect's English illiteracy, the family may be able to get off the hook with taking $33,509 in Medicaid benefits.

Perhaps New York criminal defense attorneys feel that this case is very complex because one of the main suspects died 16 years ago in a mob hit. New York Daily News reports that that Carmine Gargano Jr. was shot by a hit man in 1994 and that the body was never found. In the this particular fraud case, it is Carmine Gargano Jr.'s wife, Rosa Gargano, and his mother Carmine Gargano that have been charged with fraud.

Trial of the 2008 Crane Collapse Begins on June 21

It's difficult for New Yorkers to forget about the deadly crane accident that occurred two years ago where a 200-foot tall rig came crashing down on a city block, killing eight people and injuring dozens more. So it may not be a surprise that a man seen by some as responsible for the accident is now facing manslaughter charges over the incident.

WPIX News reports that the manslaughter trial for rigging contractor William Rapetti will begin on June 21 with jury selection. In a case like this, the specific jury that is chosen can play a huge role in the trial's outcome.

NYC Can Withhold Police Surveillance Data

The New York Times reports that a panel of federal judges decided that the City of New York can keep police records secret. The surveillance data in question deals with 1,800 pages of information on the protests at the 2004 Republican National Convention. While this is mainly a civil rights case, it does concern a New York criminal defense attorney because it deals with arrests and detainments.

The opinion which was written by Judge José Alberto Cabranes, said that the release of the surveillance data "could undermine the safety of law enforcement personnel and would likely undermine the ability of a law enforcement agency to conduct future investigations."

Smurfs Owner Jailed Over Extortion Plot Against David Blitzer

Onetime Smurfs owner, lawyer Stuart Ross is in jail because of an alleged plot to extort over $11 million from his wealthy son-in-law David Blitzer. New York Daily News reports that his New York criminal defense attorney, Mr. Matthew Myers has said that Stuart Ross can't afford his $200,000 bail.

Stuart Ross allegedly thought he could get some money from his son-in-law by threatening to ruin his reputation. We all know that in-laws can sometimes be considered outlaws, but this father in law's alleged actions are a little obscene.

Alibi Trend: Sending Text Messages From A Victim's Phone?

New York criminal defense lawyers better let their clients know that law enforcement is on to some of their tricks.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there is a possible trend among criminals, especially murderers. They are sending text messages from their victims' phones to serve as an alibi.

The use of cell phones and texting to serve as an alibi is nothing new. According to a New York Times article back in 2004, cell phone technology has been used by cheating boyfriends in the past in order to have a reasonable alibi for their rightfully suspicious girlfriends.