April 22, 2014

Charles Oliver: Evidence at the last minute or later

Charles Oliver

— • In New York, Bronx County Criminal Court Judge John Wilson has banned prosecutor Megan Teesdale from his court. Wilson, himself a former prosecutor in the Bronx district attorney’s office, became irate when Teesdale announced that the prosecutor’s office was dropping rape charges against Segundo Marquez. Teesdale said her supervisor had just found a note in the case file where the woman claimed to have initially told police her sex with Marquez was consensual. Teesdale made the announcement just after a two-week trial had concluded and after Marquez had spent eight months in jail waiting on his trial. Wilson described Teesdale’s failure to turn the note over to defense attorneys in a timely manner “gross negligence” and said he could no longer trust anything she might say. But defense attorneys in the Bronx told local media that the district attorney’s office routinely turns over exculpatory evidence at the last minute, or later.

• Some parents at Kentucky’s Stanford Elementary School are complaining that they were not informed about a lockdown drill at the school conducted by the local police department. During the “surprise” drill, students were held in their classrooms, while armed cops “cleared” the building. Police officials say they don’t understand why some parents are upset. They say they conduct these drills regularly and the students never saw them because they were locked in their classrooms.

• A Milwaukee, Wis., police officer faces up to three years in prison after being convicted of misconduct in office. Rodney Lloyd was escorting a handcuffed prisoner into a booking room when he rammed the man’s head into a concrete wall. Video showed the man was not resisting Lloyd.

• Springhill, Nova Scotia, resident John Gray says he’s tired of police arresting him for being drunk. Gray has Huntington’s disease, a degenerative genetic condition that interferes with his muscular coordination and speech. He says he has repeatedly been stopped by police walking to places near his home and they never accept that he isn’t drunk.

• Joshua Rogers, 16, found a flaw in a Victoria, Australia, Transport Department website that allowed him to access the personal information, including credit card numbers, of about 600,000 people who use public transit. He reported the problem to the government, but he didn’t hear anything back from them. So he contacted a local newspaper. When reporters started asking about the problem, the Transport Department reported Rogers to the police.

• Former Troy, Ohio, police officer Kirt E. Wright was sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years probation after pleading guilty to theft in office. Wright stole about $13,000 from the police department’s anti-drug DARE program, which he oversaw from early 2008 to May 2013. He has already repaid the money and must also pay a $500 fine as well as court costs.

• Former Marcus Hook, Pa., mayor James Schiliro has been sentenced to 10 to 20 months in prison, five years probation and 50 hours of community service and ordered to pay $1,300 in fines and court costs after being convicted of reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, official oppression and furnishing alcohol to a minor. The conviction stemmed from an incident in which Schiliro had police bring a former neighbor, a 20-year-old whom he said he was attracted to, to him. Schiliro refused to let the man leave, threatened suicide and fired a gun into a stack of papers before the man was able to get away.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.