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Law Office of Ronald G. Brower Blog


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

24 People Charged With Distributing Methamphetamine & Cocaine

Pictured Above: Methamphetamine seized from smugglers. Source: U.S. Border Patrol.

Twenty-four (24) people were arrested and indicted in San Diego for being involved in a "lucrative criminal ring with ties to the Mexican cartel." They were arrested after investigators conducted a year long investigation that lead to the seizure of more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.7 pounds of cocaine from the criminal ring. The ring-leaders Julie Muriel Peterson and Jose Marino Garcia were using their house to package and store the drugs. Of the 24 people arrested and indicted, 19 of them are in custody and are expected to be arraigned in San Diego Federal Court later this week.

In California, it is a felony to possess drugs with the intent to sell them. It is also a felony to transport, import and sell/distribute controlled substances. If a person is caught transporting drugs through states or countries, they will also be charged with a federal crime. Penalties for selling or transporting drugs include fines, jail/prison time, and drug treatment programs. A possible defense to drug offenses is wrongful search and seizure. If you are charged with a drug crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Son Shoots and Kills Mother in His Apartment

Pictured Above: Christopher Shumey. Source: San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Last weekend, officers were called to an apartment building after neighbors heard gun shots. Christopher Shumey was in his apartment holding a gun and allegedly fired on officers as they entered the apartment. Officers got Shumey to surrender his gun and no officers were hurt. After officers investigated the apartment, they saw the dead body of Karen Lee Shumey, Christopher Shumey's mother. Karen had allegedly been shot by Christopher after they had gotten into an argument at the apartment. Christopher was arrested on suspicion of murder and assault with a firearm against an officer.

California Penal Code Section 187 defines murder as the unlawful killing of another human with malice aforethought. Malice can be express or implied. It is express when there is a deliberate intention to kill. It is implied when there is an abandoned and malignant heart. A person convicted of murder faces the death penalty, life in prison without the possibility of parole, prison/jail time, probation, and fines. The severity of the punishment is dependent on aggravating or mitigating factors as well as prior convictions.

Common defenses to murder include self defense, insanity, insufficient proof of evidence, and factual innocence. If you are charged with murder, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Man with 28 Restraining Orders Arrested for Violating Restraining Orders

Source: Orange County Register.

An Autistic man in Huntington Beach was arrested last weekend for violating several restraining orders. John Patrick Rogers sat by the swimming pool in his apartment complex, where he was not allowed to be, and then started posting messages on Twitter about his neighbors. His neighbors claim that they have been harassed by Rogers for years and have gone to the courts to seek restraining orders against Rogers. The judge granted 28 restraining orders against Rogers because of his harassing Tweets and Youtube messages in which he complains about his neighbors and posts private information about them for the public to see.

Restraining orders limit people from taking certain actions that might adversely affect another and are usually issued by the civil courts. A protective order prohibits someone from coming into contact with another person and is issued by criminal courts, usually in domestic violence situations. Violations of protective or restraining orders come with the possibility of jail or prison time, probation or fines. Crimes committed while violating a restraining or protective order come with even steeper penalties. Therefore, if you are charged with a violation of a protective order or restraining order, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Ex-Playboy Playmate Charged With Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter

Source: Angela Dorian's 1968 Playboy cover. Source: Playboy Magazine.

This week, ex-Playboy playmate Victoria Rathgeb plead no contest to attempted voluntary manslaughter of her husband in 2010 and was sentenced to nine years in prison for the offense. She admitted to using a gun on her husband to cause great bodily injury last year, while her and her husband were under the influence of methamphetamines and alcohol. In exchange for her plea, the judge dismissed the attempted murder charge and sentenced her to nine years in state prison and  ordered her to pay $70,000 in fines to pay to the state victim restitution fund.

Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter is when one intends to kill another person with a conscious disregard for human life and takes a step towards committing that murder, but does not actually kill that person. There are a variety of legal defenses that can be used if one is charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter, including: self defense, defense of others, insanity, or accident.

Voluntary Manslaughter is a serious charge that comes with steep penalties. Therefore, if you are charged with manslaughter, murder or attempted murder, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.
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