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Friday, December 19, 2014

Gold Medalist Michael Phelps Pleads Guilty to DUI


Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps pleaded guilty to drunken driving on Friday, almost three months after he was arrested after leaving a Baltimore casino.

Phelps, 29, was arrested Sept. 30. Documents show he was stopped for speeding and crossing the double yellow line while driving in the Fort McHenry Tunnel. Police say Phelps registered a .14 percent on a blood-alcohol test. The legal limit is .08 percent in Maryland.

He was sentenced to a year in prison, but the prison sentence is suspended. He must be on probation for a year and a half.

Phelps arrived at the courthouse in a green Mercedes with his attorney and sat with his mother and sisters in the courtroom, wearing a suit and tie. His attorney said Phelps began a treatment program immediately after his arrest, including 45 days of inpatient treatment in Arizona. A letter from his doctor there was glowing, saying he was forthright and cooperative.

Phelps also is attending Alcoholics Anonymous and is continuing with therapy in Maryland.

"I now have the tools to move past this. What I did was wrong, and I made a bad mistake. I'm looking forward to having a much brighter future than I had in the past," Phelps told the judge.

Judge Nathan Braverman told Phelps that success overcoming alcohol would not come overnight, and warned him of the consequences of another slip-up.

"You don't need a lecture from the court," Braverman said. "If you haven't gotten the message by now, or forget the message, the only option is jail."

The officer who interviewed Phelps noted in his report that he pulled Phelps over for going 84 mph in a 45 mph zone. The officer wrote that he smelled alcohol in the car and on Phelps' breath, and that the swimmer's speech was "mush-mouthed" and his eyes were red and bloodshot.

During this year's arrest, when the officer asked the 18-time gold medalist to stand on one leg as part of a sobriety test, Phelps replied, "that's not happening," according to a police report. Phelps also appeared "disoriented and argumentative" when placed under arrest and asked to take the sobriety test again, this time by the side of the road. Ultimately though, Phelps did not re-attempt the test and was taken to the station for processing.

Afterward, an officer dropped Phelps off at his home in Baltimore, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.

It was not Phelps' first brush with the law, or with drinking and driving. His first DUI arrest came in 2004 on the Eastern Shore of Maryland when he was 19. He was sentenced to probation and required to talk to high school students about alcohol awareness. Phelps pleaded guilty to the charges, but as a young first-time offender he avoided conviction.

"I recognize the seriousness of this mistake," he said at the time. "I've learned from this mistake and will continue learning from this mistake for the rest of my life."

Another embarrassment for Phelps came in 2009, when a British tabloid newspaper published a photo of him using a marijuana pipe at a party in South Carolina. Afterward, Phelps was suspended from USA swimming for three months and one of his major sponsors, Kellogg Co., dropped him.

Before the latest arrest, Phelps came out of retirement with his sights set on competing at a fifth Olympics in Rio. The plea is not expected to have any impact on those plans.


Source - AP

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bob Bashara found guilty on all counts, including first degree murder


DETROIT, MI - After two months of testimony, more than 70 witnesses and a week of deliberation, a jury on Thursday found Grosse Pointe Park's Bob Bashara guilty of premeditated first-degree murder.

The 57-year-old will automatically be sentenced to life in prison under state law.

Bashara was found guilty of first degree murder, solicitation to commit murder, homicide murder first degree premeditated, obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.

Detroit media reported just after 2:40 p.m. Thursday that a verdict has been reached in murder trial of Grosse Pointe Park's Bob Bashara after a nearly two-months of deliberations.

Judge Vonda Evans asked that the courtroom remain silent just before the verdict was read at 3:10 p.m., afterwards applauding the jurors for their work.

Sentencing will be January 15.

Source - mLive Michigan
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Court hearing Thursday for Oxford grandmother charged with murder in deaths of son, granddaughter


A court hearing is scheduled Thursday morning for a 65-year-old woman who authorities say slashed her son's throat and then fatally beat her 7-month-old granddaughter.

Sylvia Majewska is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 29-year-old Daryne Gailey and his 7-month-old daughter Charley Hendrick. Their bodies were found Nov. 23 when Oakland County deputies went to Majewska's Oxford home after Gailey failed to return Charley to her mother on time.


"For whatever reason she came to the conclusion that the son and the child would be better off if they weren't alive, sadly," said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

He said investigators found several handwritten notes and other documents in the case.

Bouchard also said Majewska tried to kill herself by slashing her arms.

The following is from an earlier article

A 65-year-old grandmother is charged with two counts of premeditated first degree murder in the case of a father and his infant daughter who were found killed inside a home in Oxford.

The deaths of 29-year-old Daryne Gailey and 7-month-old Charley Hendrick were ruled homicides last week. They were found killed Nov. 23 in Gailey's home.

Gailey's mother, Sylvia Majewska, was the only person found alive at the home. She has been at a hospital since the killings. She's still in the hospital under police guard.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said during a Monday news conference that the woman had planned to kill her son and his daughter.

"For whatever reason she came to the conclusion that the son and the child would be better off if they weren't alive, sadly," said Bouchard.

Bouchard said it appears the grandmother may have attempted suicide after the murders. She was found bleeding when deputies arrived at the home.

Police found a box cutter at the scene. They say Gailey's throat was slashed. Charley died from blunt force trauma to her head.

Majewska's preliminary examination is scheduled for the morning of Dec. 18.


Source - Click on Detroit
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

George Stinney, 14-year-old convicted of '44 murder, exonerated


ALCOLU, SC (WIS) - Seventy years after he was convicted of murder and executed by the state of South Carolina, a 14-year-old Alcolu boy was exonerated by a circuit court judge on Wednesday.
Judge Carmen Mullen vacated the decision against George Stinney, who was convicted of beating Mary Emma Thames and Betty June Binnicker to death in 1944.

Stinney was executed in June 1944 by electric chair. The teen was so small he had to sit on a phone book to be executed by the chair.
Judge Mullen's ruling effectively clears Stinney's name. In her ruling, Mullen said she found Stinney was never given any kind of defense and his due process was violated.

"Given the particularized circumstances of Stinney's case, I find by a preponderance of the evidence standard, that a violation of the Defendant's procedural due process rights tainted his prosecution," Mullen said in the ruling.

Stinney's family and judicial advocates have spent the past several years doggedly trying to get the case re-opened because they believe Stinney was forced into a confession by police.

Stinney's trial lasted about 3 hours. According to reports, the defense presented no witnesses, no physical evidence, and did not file an appeal. It took a jury of 12 white men 10 minutes to decide Stinney's fate.

Defense attorney Steven McKenzie applauded the judge's ruling.

"By not putting the state's case to the test at all, by not cross examining witnesses, not putting up a defense at all, not giving a closing argument, George was never afforded effective council and as a result his Sixth Amendment rights were violated," McKenzie said.

Judge Mullen also stated clearly that this ruling does not necessarily open the door for other long and completed cases to be revisited. The relatives of the two young girls that were murdered were not happy about the news. Attorneys say at this point they don't believe the true murderer will ever be caught.

Source - Wave 3 news
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