Lawyers argue about tears during Jennifer Crumbley trial testimony

OXFORD, Mich. – The Oakland County prosecutor and the defense attorney for Jennifer Crumbley got into an argument in the courtroom over “sobbing” during evidence that showed video of the Oxford High School shooting.

The dispute took place between Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald and defense attorney Shannon Smith after the prosecution called assistant principal Kristy Gibson-Marshall to the stand.

Gibson-Marshall talked about walking through the hallways and crossing paths with the shooter near an injured Tate Myre, who was killed in the shooting.

“Your Honor, is there any way we could have a minute?” Smith asked after the court watched surveillance video from the hallways of Oxford High School during the shooting. “I’m so sorry, can we just have a minute, like a break or — could we have a 10-minute break, please?”

Judge Cheryl A. Matthews granted the break and dismissed the jury from the room. Before Oakland County deputies could escort Jennifer Crumbley from the room, McDonald asked to briefly go back on the record.

“Are we on the record?” McDonald asked. “Can we go back on the record?”

“You want to be on the record?” Matthews asked.

“Yes,” McDonald said.

“Your Honor, this court upon the defense’s request, instructed the prosecutors not to show emotion. You instructed the prosecutors to tell our witnesses not to tell emotion, and you instructed us to let our victims know –”

“I don’t think that’s actually what I said,” Matthew said.

“I understand the ruling, Your Honor, I do,” McDonald said. “You’re concerned about influence of the jury. I take no issue with it. But it was a difficult thing. It’s difficult, and we’re doing it. And then to have, not just the defendant, her lawyer sit there sobbing so that–”

“I did not sob,” Smith said.

“I just want

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Gilgo Beach killings: Lawyers involved in suspected serial killer Rex Heuermann’s case share close connections to each other

John Ray, the Miller Place-based attorney who has represented the estate of Shannan Gilbert, has been a public face of the Gilgo Beach case for the last 13 years.

Rarely seen without his signature fedora and low-slung ponytail, the former high school history teacher-turned trial attorney has clung to his contention over the years that Gilbert, whose disappearance initiated a search that led Suffolk police to find the remains of 10 people along Ocean Parkway, was a murder victim even though Suffolk police have determined she died accidentally.

But with the July 13 arrest of Rex A. Heuermann, the Massapequa Park resident charged in the killings of three women whose remains were discovered in 2010 near Gilgo Beach, the case has broadened the number of lawyers involved beyond Ray, and many of them have a shared history — a common occurrence in Suffolk County’s small and cliquish legal community.

Michael J. Brown, the lead defense attorney representing Heuermann, is a veteran lawyer whose connections in the Suffolk legal community run deep.

Unlike Ray, Brown has declined most interview requests, but he has vigorously defended his client publicly after Heumerann’s court appearances, saying he is innocent and picking apart summaries of the evidence that prosecutors released in a bail letter after Heuermann’s arrest.

Brown, who has been in private practice since 1995, started his legal career as an assistant district attorney in the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office with Ray Tierney, now the elected district attorney. Tierney, a former federal prosecutor who is leading the team of prosecutors trying the case against Heuermann, will likely square off against Brown in a Riverhead courtroom if the case eventually goes to trial.

Also in the mix is Robert Macedonio, a longtime criminal defense attorney and matrimonial lawyer who shared a legal practice with Brown

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Defense attorney points to ‘lack of hard evidence’ in gruesome slaying of Prince George’s Co. teacher

The lawyer for a Maryland man charged in the gruesome slaying of a Prince George’s County elementary school teacher says there’s a lack of “hard evidence” tying him to the crime.

“We are very confident that we have the right person. And we are very confident that we have a strong case against Mr. Landon,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy told reporters outside the courtroom Wednesday during a news conference.(WTOP/John Domen)

The lawyer for a Maryland man charged in the gruesome slaying of a Prince George’s County elementary school teacher says there’s a lack of “hard evidence” tying him to the crime.

The remarks came during a bond review hearing in Prince George’s County Circuit Court during which Judge John Bielec ruled that 33-year-old Harold Landon III would remain behind bars as the case continues, calling details of the crime laid out by prosecutors “horrific.”

Landon was arrested earlier this month in the killing of 59-year-old Mariame Toure Sylla.

The third-grade teacher at Dora Kennedy French Immersion School went for a walk in Schrom Hills Park in Greenbelt on the evening of July 29 and was never seen again. Sylla was listed as missing for more than a month. Her dismembered body, missing its head, neck and limbs, was later found near a pond in Clinton, Maryland, some 20 miles away.

During the hearing Wednesday, defense attorneys sought to downplay much of the evidence against Landon.

According to charging documents, a witness saw a man driving a white-colored older model Chevy pickup driving near the pond

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Water Protector Defense Attorneys Warn of “Breakdown in Separation of Powers”

From late 2019 through 2021, at least 115 Water Protectors were arrested in Aitkin County, Minnesota (population 15,800) for their resistance to Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline. Today, 50 defendants continue to face charges, according to Marla Marcum of the Climate Disobedience Center, which has been tracking cases and offering support to defendants. Open cases include seven social media-based prosecutions including of Winona LaDuke, co-founder of the Native advocacy organization Honor the Earth, and Tara Houska, an administrator of the Giniw Collective. These cases, which reference social media activity in charging documents, have produced trumped-up charges ranging from “harassment of law enforcement” for yelling to charges that derive from Minnesota’s 2002 Anti-Terrorism Act, which was passed in response to the September 11 attacks.

“When Minnesota and other states passed Anti-Terrorism laws in the wake of 9/11, we were deeply concerned that they would be used to stifle protest and dissent. That’s clearly what is happening in this case,” Sue Udry, executive director of Defending Rights & Dissent, told Truthout. “The fact that a law meant to arm law enforcement and prosecutors with the tools to ‘ensure that terrorists who commit atrocities in our state are brought to justice and receive maximum punishment to match their dastardly crimes,’ has been deployed against protesters engaged in civil disobedience is dangerous, and disingenuous,” she continued.

Other open cases include felony “aiding attempted suicide” charges that defense motions have characterized as a “misinterpretation of the law” by the Aitkin County Attorney’s Office, warning that the cases could set broadly harmful precedents for protest rights.

Writing in response to Aitkin County Atorney James Ratz’s pursuit of aiding attempted suicide charges against protesters who crawled into a segment of non-functioning pipeline, defense attorney Jordan Kushner argued:

Under the state’s misinterpretation of the law,

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Colleagues, lawyers remember Jeff German, late Las Vegas journalist

Every day, for upwards of eight months, as authorities pieced together the circumstances around the 1998 death of casino executive Ted Binion, then Clark County District Attorney David Roger knew to expect a phone call from a reporter.

Like clockwork, he said.

Jeff German, then with the Las Vegas Sun, was always on the other end of the line.

“There weren’t a lot of things I wanted to talk about,” Roger said. “Every day and every afternoon, Jeff would call me.”

And Roger knew that German was calling others, digging into whether Binion could have been the victim of foul play.

“There is one person who had the inside of the entire case, and that was Jeff,” Roger said. “He just would not give up.”

German’s relentless pursuit of that story exemplified the kind of dogged work he practiced throughout a roughly four-decade journalism career in Las Vegas, and his chronicling of the Binion case led to his book “Murder in Sin City: The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Bosses.”

A day after German, an investigative reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was found dead of a stabbing outside his home in the northwest valley, many of his fellow journalists and sources recalled his tenacity as a reporter.

German exposed the corruption and crime of politicians, police, attorneys, judges, casino industry leaders and mob figures.

“Quite truthfully, he was a fearless reporter,” said veteran criminal defense attorney Tom Pitaro, reflecting on his decades-long relationship with Germany. “If a story was there, he didn’t care who it was. Christ, look at the people he went after, that he’s written stories about. Let’s face it, there was no one he would back off. … He was sort of the embodiment of the First Amendment. To have a vigorous First Amendment you

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