The New York Criminal Law Blog

March 2012 Archives

L Train Killer Located, Arrested, and Charged With... Assault?

The man who allegedly berated fellow straphangers while intoxicated and yelled, “It’s show time!” before picking a deadly fight with a stranger has been identified and taken into custody.

The so-called “L-Train Slayer” was identified via surveillance video as 33-year-old Ryan Beauchamp, a homeless man with a history of mental illness.

Beauchamp has been charged with attempted assault after starting a fight with 20-year-old college student Joshua Basin, which resulted in Basin being hit and killed by the L-Train, reports the New York Daily News.

Long Island Fire Marshall Arrested for Child Sex Abuse

First, there were the priest scandals of 2002, then Jerry Sandusky and Bernie Fine, then the creepy elementary teachers in Los Angeles, and now a Fire Marshall?

Morgan Davis, 36, was arrested Monday on charges of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl, reports NBC New York. Davis is a Fire Marshall in Long Island, as well as a volunteer fire fighter in Deer Park. The alleged abuse happened earlier this month.

Because the incidents were recent, there will not be statute of limitations issues, like there was in the Bernie Fine case. There are also no known allegations that the events happened over time, or were enabled by his workplace. Criminal charges will likely be limited to Davis himself.

L Train Subway Slayer Video Information Released

The L Train subway "slayer" from Friday night was unknown until recently released images put out by law enforcement, reports New York Post.

He is described as a 30-something with thin build, light complexion, and dirty blond hair with pock marks on his face. Police are hoping that someone will recognize the individual.

The incident that brought the L Train subway slayer to attention occurred on a Brooklyn subway platform when a college student named Joshua Basin was killed after a fight with a drunken passenger at Bedford Avenue Station.

What is the Stand Your Ground Law in New York?

As a result of the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida, there is considerable discussion about “stand your ground” laws and “castle” laws.

It also makes one wonder what is New York’s stand your ground law, also known as New York’s castle law (a home is a castle, right?).

Well, New York’s “defense of justification” laws are under Article 35 of the Penal Code. It means that New York doesn’t have a so-called “stand your ground” law like Florida, but these laws cover the same issues.

Former Miss Russia Prescription Pill Problem Persists

The former Miss Russia and 1998 Miss Universe finalist (which makes her the second most beautiful woman in the world that year?), Anna Malova, has been having trouble with the drug rehab program that her prescription pill legal problems led her to, reports New York Post.

In fact, she allegedly slapped a female patient at the Bronx rehab program, and made unauthorized trips to the fridge. Her lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, tried to explain to the Manhattan Criminal Court that she is struggling with the program.

But Anna Malova has to get through the program, otherwise her pill prescription fraud and shoplifting indictment could potentially have her facing jail time.

Staten Island Anthony Lacertosa Killed After Engagement Party

It was supposed to be a happy time for Anthony Lacertosa in Staten Island, who had just gotten engaged to his fiancee Bridgette Schneider, but it turned tragic when Anthony Lacertosa was killed, reports the New York Post.

The strange circumstances giving rise to the killing occurred when the engagement party was milling about outside the Staten Island eatery in Annadale, owned by Ridi Zeneli.

Brandon Marshall Gives Birthday Girl Black Eye?

Two third round picks for Brandon Marshall?!? The trade of the star receiver nicknamed the "Beast" made no sense when it was announced yesterday morning. But later in the day when it was reported that Marshall had slugged a woman outside a Chelsea nightclub, the trade by the Miami Dolphins to the Chicago Bears actually seemed wise.

The Brandon Marshall assault allegedly happened early Sunday morning at the Marquee nightclub around 4:00 a.m. when Marshall fought another pro football player, reports the New York Post. The melee spilled out into the streets, where Marshall apparently decked a 24-year-old woman celebrating her birthday.

Chelsea Florist Killed by Prostitutes?

Chelsea florist John Laubach was found dead in his home bound to his bed and gagged. At the time, it was not reported what killed Laubach and the possible motives ranged from sex play gone bad, to residential burglary.

Now NYC detectives believe they have a motive and have two suspects in custody. It appears that Laubach had hired two young men "to look after him" and sometime during the apparent gay sex encounter, the two men decided to kill and rob him.

How to Fight a Red Light Ticket in NYC

Say "cheese," because you may have been caught on camera. At certain intersections throughout New York City, red light cameras are set up to catch traffic violators. However, red light cameras are not perfect and it is not unheard of for someone to receive a ticket for the violations of another driver.

So how do you fight a red light ticket in NYC?

Surprisingly, the City makes it relatively easy to fight a red light ticket. You can dispute them over the Internet, by mail, or in-person. You just have to make sure to file the dispute within 30 days of the Notice of Liability to avoid paying additional penalties.

Second Boy In Shopping Cart Throwdown Learns Fate

Late last year, a 12-year-old and 13-year-old boy decided to throw a shopping cart off a four-story parking lot onto a woman who was Halloween candy shopping with her son. The woman, Marion Hedges, suffered serious injuries and had to be placed in a medically induced coma. She is currently going through rehabilitation.

For the crime, we had written earlier that probation officials had surprisingly only recommended probation for the younger child. Probation means that the child would have avoided serving time in a juvenile detention center and would essentially be free to live his life with the exception that he would have to check in with a probation official every so often.

This week, we finally learned the fate of that child after the shopping cart throwdown.

Morgan Stanley Broker Identified with Upper East Side Madame

Last week, Anna Gristina was arrested and charged with running a brothel for the rich in the Upper East Side. At the time of her arrest, an unidentified Morgan Stanley broker was allegedly with the accused Madame.

Now, that broker has been identified as David Spencer Walker, a long-time Wall Street veteran, and it is being reported that the two were discussing financing for a new business venture.

So is the newest hot IPO a whore house?

Chelsea Florist Dead, Foreplay Gone Wrong?

Chelsea florist John Laubach was found dead bound and gagged on his bed. Police are not sure what happened, but there were no signs of forced entry. It is reported that Laubach was known for hooking up with men in their 20s and police believe this may have been an encounter of sexual play gone bad.

Laubach was a 57-year-old florist who was often seen walking around his Chelsea neighborhood with a white cockatoo on his shoulder. He was described as kind and outgoing and a bit of an eccentric. It is possible the eccentricities spilled over into the situation that caused his death, reports the New York Post.

Representing himself at the Brooklyn child rape sentencing hearing, convicted rapist Adam Wright cross-examined his victim and told her to embrace God and “let it go” in arguing for a light prison sentence. By “it”, Wright was referring to his 2002 rape of the 12-year-old girl on a Brooklyn rooftop.

Ten years ago, the 44-year-old Wright followed the preteen girl into her apartment building, reports the New York Post. He then took her up to the rooftop of the building where he raped her in an elevator equipment room. After the rape was done, he let the girl get dressed before he raped her again.