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Victories For Clients: Acquittals, Reversals, Verdicts, Settlements, Et Al

Trial By Combat

Experience in the arena matters.  On my first day as a public defender I had three jury trials:  One resulted in an acquittal, the second a directed verdict, and the third was dismissed prior to seating a jury.  That was over 20 years ago.  Since then I have handled hundreds of criminal cases and tried dozens to judges and juries. A few come to mind.

  • Com. v. Fortune Williams, M.D., Lewis Circuit -- Dr. Williams was charged with overprescribing narcotic medications.  He was convicted following a week long trial; however, prior to trial, the groundwork was laid for a successful appeal.  At trial we challenged the warrantless search of his clinic.  The government argued that the police did not need a warrant because they were accompanied by an investigator from Kentucky's medical board.  The Kentucky Supreme Court disagreed, ruling the search was primarily for law enforcement purposes as opposed to administrative purposes, and reversed his conviction. 
  • Com. v. Angel Diaz, Mason Circuit -- Angel was a migrant farmer working on a local tobacco farm.  His roommate was arrested for selling cocaine and a search of the tenant home they shared uncovered more drugs.  He was charged with trafficking along with his other roommates.  The arresting officer testified before the grand jury that he discovered a journal with "prayers" to gang drug lords and records of drug sales.  After having the journals examined by a translator, it turned out to be a poem in the vein of Robert Frost and records of how many sticks of tobacco each worker had cut on a given day.  After the jury returned a not guilty verdict, we requested that his cell phone be returned so he could call his family in Mexico.  The prosecutor refused and stormed out of the courtroom.  The judge signed an order compelling the return of his phone.  
  • Com. v. Amy Baker, Mason Circuit -- Perhaps the most controversial case of my career, it involved the highly publicized murder of an Ohio child by his foster parents.  Amy was a cooperating witness in the Ohio murder case and Ohio prosecutors assured her they had spoken with Kentucky prosecutors about not prosecuting her for crimes arising out of disposing of the child's remains in the Ohio river within Kentucky's jurisdiction.  Kentucky prosecutors denied the existence of any such deal.  The Kentucky judge deciding our motion to dismiss the case against Amy disagreed and dismissed her Kentucky charges.   

Practice area(s): Criminal Defense

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