Category Archives: Murder

Detroit Puts Desk Officers On Street Duty

The Detroit Police Department, facing a fast-growing murder rate, is shifting desk officers’ duties so they can spend time patrolling streets, officials said.  The department’s “Operation Inside Out: Night Angels” will place officers in desk jobs on street patrols 8 hours a week, The Detroit News reported.  “That will put an extra 40 to 50 officers on the street per shift,” Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said.   “We’re going to saturate targeted problem areas so we can have a strong police presence around these places: liquor stores, gas stations and other high-crime areas.”

The News said the redeployment comes amid one of the city’s most violent summers in recent years. Homicides have climbed 15 percent since the same time last year The city had 182 homicides as of July 10, a pace that would bring the year’s total to 350. The city had 366 homicides in 2003 but at least 205,000 more residents then.

At least two more homicides were committed in Detroit Friday.

Read the full story here

If you are seeing legal representation contact Ambrose Law Group at (248) 624-5500

You can also learn more about our defense of Reginald Burks, a man charged with 2nd-degree murder in Detroit, at our website www.thelegendofreginaldburks.com

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Caffeine Intoxication, A legal defense?

A man kills his wife.

His reasoning, he had too much caffeine that day.

Sounds pretty ridiculous right? Well for defendant Woody Will Smith, a man facing life in prison for the death of his wife, this is his legal defense.

On the day he killed his wife, he claims he was hopped up on caffeine due to the consumption of coffee, diet pills and energy drinks and  the large amount of caffeine caused him to be too insane to have consciously and intentionally strangled his wife to death. He also alleged that he was suffering from chromic insomnia, and was worried about his wife leaving him, and on the day he killed his wife he was “in a daze.”

So does having too much caffeine have any legal basis? Surprisingly yes, it’s called caffeine intoxication.   A caffeine overdose is classified as consuming more then 300 milligrams of the substance.   Smith claims he consumed around 400 milligrams of caffeine that day; however, according to blood tests taken that day it was concluded that he was not as over-caffeinated as he claims.

What are the symptoms of caffeine intoxication? Well, mainly you can expect irregular heartbeats, jitters or nervousness, and even euphoria and muscle twitches. However, if you go way over the limit of ‘normal caffeine consumption’ more serious results can occur ranging from temporary insanity and mania to the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue that causes kidney failure.

Regardless of the medical proof that Caffeine intoxication is an actual illness, it still seems like a pretty far stretch that caffeine was the reason Woody Will Smith killed his wife. However, there is actually precedent that this defense has worked. In 2009, Daniel Noble actually won a dismissal of charges for running down and injuring several pedestrians with his car due to the fact that he drank two large Starbucks coffee’s before the incident and was consider to be “caffeine intoxicated.”

So what do you think? Does caffeine intoxication sound like a viable defense strategy?

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New Crime Series, Detroit 1-8-7, Filmed In Detroit

Last night was the red-carpet premiere for TV’s newest crime show “Detroit 1-8-7”. Hosted at Detroit’s MGM Grand, the premiere brought celebs to Motown and questions about what the show will do for Detroit’s image.

How do you feel about the crime show being filmed here in Detroit? Good or bad?

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Death Penalty In Michigan?

Last week, the possibility of a criminal defendant being sentenced to the death penalty was put before a federal jury in Detroit. The case involved a man who had been convicted of murdering an armored-truck courier and the jury was charged with deciding whether the defendant should be given the death sentence or life in prison.

The jury could not unanimously decide on either option so under the applicable law, the judge will automatically impose a sentence of life in prison without parole on the defendant.

The legal community followed this case with interest because it showed the contrast between federal law, which allows the possibility of a criminal defendant being sentenced to death for murder, and Michigan law, which forbids it.

Read the full story here

What are your thoughts on the death penalty in Michigan??

Ambrose Law Group

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I’ve been reading up on this story the past week or so and thought I would post some of the info on the blog.  It’s attracting national news now, as I just saw an update about it on CNN.com

Here is the story I found at freep.com and a sketch of the suspected murderer

Police said today they are now investigating whether a serial killer suspect targeting African-American men in Flint has taken his attacks outside Michigan, with eerily similar stabbings and assaults reported in Leesburg, Va., and Toledo.

Police in Leesburg, Va., said today that three recent attacks in that city near Washington, D.C., fit the pattern of 13 attacks on Flint-area men – five fatal.

On Thursday, a 15-year-old black male was stabbed in an attack as he was jogging around 9:45 p.m. in Leesburg, police said. Two days later, a 67-year-old man was stabbed as he sat on a porch outside an apartment building.

Both were African Americans, said Leesburg Police spokesman Chris Jones, and both remain hospitalized.

A third man, a dark-skinned Latino, was attacked in a shopping center parking lot in Leesburg on Friday, but this time with a hammer, Jones said.

In all three cases, the suspect was described as a stocky white male who, Jones said, was driving a late-model four-door green Chevy Blazer with a cream color trim.

The vehicle description is nearly the same as the vehicle Flint Police believe a suspected serial killer drove as he attacked 13 men in Flint.

Michigan State Police said today that, based on interviews with victims who survived stabbing attacks, they believe the killer drives a 1995 to 2006 four-door Chevrolet S-10 Blazer, GMC Jimmy or similar type of vehicle, two-tone green over beige or gold.

Authorities plan a press conference for 4 p.m. today at the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office to update the public on the investigation. State Police 1st Lt. Patrick McGreevy said police are still working to find the killer, but he said no other information would be released before the news conference today at the offices of county prosecutor David Leyton.

Police in Leesburg also were planning a press conference for 4 p.m. today.

The suspect is described as a muscular white male in his late 20s or early 30s, between 5-foot-11 and 6-foot-2 and 180 to 210 pounds, with light-colored hair and usually wearing a baseball cap. Police say the man approaches his victims, asking for help or directions, and then engages in short conversation before stabbing them repeatedly.

Meanwhile, Toledo Police said today they’re looking at the stabbing of a church custodian by a passer-by who asked him for directions Saturday night, the Toledo Blade reported.

The newspaper said Anthony (Tony) Leno, 59, of Toledo was stabbed while taking a cigarette break in an alley of Collingwood Presbyterian Church in Toledo when he was approached by a man who drove up in a older model green Chevy Blazer. The attacker was described as about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds.

Toledo Police Sgt. Bill Wauford said today that Leno described the man as possibly of Middle Eastern descent, which left investigators cautious about whether the incident is related to the Flint stabbings. “It is being considered,” Wauford said.
Anyone else following this story besides me?
Holly@ambroselawgroup.com

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Our Voice: Should Reality TV Camera Crews Film Live Home Raids?

Aiyana Jones of Detroit, who was 7 years old, was killed this past Sunday when the police were conducting a raid on her home.  During the raid, the crew of The First 48, a television reality show about cops, was filming the raid.

Some people are questioning whether the police would have used the same tactics during the raid if they were not being filmed.  Sources say that the police entered the home on a no-knock warrant, threw a flash-grenade into the house, and then burst through the door.  It is reported that simultaneously, a shot was fired that hit Aiyana in the neck and killed her.

The incident has some people wondering whether police act differently when they are being filmed.  An attorney for Aiyana’s family (who has now been replaced by Geoffrey Fieger) has blamed her death on the presence of the cameras.  She believes that if the crew had not been filming, the police would not have used a flash-grenade to enter the home where they knew children were residing, or would have entered with at least a little more care.

This raises the question: Would you do your job the same if you were being filmed for a reality T.V. show?

Should reality shows be allowed to follow and film police during live police raids and criminal events?  We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

kim@ambroselawgroup.com

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Man Charged in Detroit Police Officer’s Death

Here is the article from today’s Oakland Press

DETROIT (AP) — A 25-year-old man has been charged with murder in the slaying of a Detroit police officer and four counts of assault with intent to murder in the shootings of four others.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Tuesday that Jason Gibson was to be arraigned at St. John Hospital where he was being held on a separate warrant and treated for a gunshot wound to his buttocks.

Worthy said he does not yet have an attorney.

Gibson is accused of killing 12-year police veteran Brian Huff on May 3. The 42-year-old Huff and other officers had answered a report of “shots fired” inside the northeast Detroit duplex.

Huff was inside the house when he was shot multiple times. The other officers were outside providing backup.

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