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Ex-NFL WR Hurd pleads not guilty to new charges
Criminal Law Updates | 2012/10/08 22:56
Former NFL receiver Sam Hurd pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a new indictment accusing him of trying to obtain cocaine and marijuana while he was out on bond awaiting trial on charges of trying to start a drug ring in the Chicago area.

The indictment filed last month is based on allegations that Hurd asked a cousin, Jesse Tyrone Chavful, to buy drugs. Chavful signed a guilty plea agreement Monday to one count of conspiracy to possess five or more kilograms of cocaine — documents in which Chavful said Hurd contacted him at his T-shirt shop in San Antonio and asked to "get him cocaine and marijuana."

According to the documents, Chavful said he set up a deal to purchase the drugs but was arrested.

Hurd's attorney, Jay Ethington, has said Chavful is lying, but Chavful's attorney, Laura Harper, said her client simply wanted to come clean.

Hurd entered his plea in federal court in Dallas, appearing in an orange jail uniform and standing next to Ethington. He's been in custody since August after failing two drug tests and the Chavful allegations surfaced.

Ohioan to plead guilty to defrauding fellow Amish
Criminal Law Updates | 2012/03/14 16:14
An Ohio man will plead guilty in federal court to defrauding fellow Amish in 29 states out of nearly $17 million as part of a case the man's church had hoped to shield from publicity and outside involvement, the government said Tuesday.

The attorney for Monroe L. Beachy, 77, owner of A&M Investments in Sugarcreek, filed a recent notice informing federal court of his "intention to plead guilty as charged."

U.S. attorney's spokesman Mike Tobin confirmed the pending guilty plea. Beachy declined to comment Thursday, and his attorney didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

Beachy is accused in an indictment of promising investors safe securities but moving money to riskier investments. According to the indictment, nearly 2,700 people and entities, including an Amish community loan fund, lost about $16.8 million since 2006.

The investments directed by Beachy "were not the 'safe' investments as reported to his clients or investors," the indictment said.

Beachy, bearded with a shock of white hair, is a member of an Amish church near Sugarcreek.

He is charged with one count of mail fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors stopped short of saying whether Beachy had personally profited or just made bad investments but noted he had made a living for years offering investor services to the Amish.

Iowa man pleads not guilty to bestiality charge
Criminal Law Updates | 2012/03/08 11:16
A northern Iowa man who allegedly performed a sex act on a dog has pleaded not guilty to a bestiality charge.

The Globe Gazette says 50-year-old Steven Schindler, of LuVerne, waived his right to a preliminary hearing set for March 15 in Hancock County District Court. He entered a written plea of not guilty. No new court date is set.

The sheriff's department says Schindler, an employee of a farm cooperative in Ottosen, was delivering LP gas to a resident in rural Britt on Feb. 20 when the alleged incident occurred.

If convicted of the aggravated misdemeanor, Schindler faces up to two years in prison, fines and a mandatory mental health evaluation.

Driver acquitted in deadly Megabus crash in NY
Criminal Law Updates | 2012/02/28 15:37
A bus driver was acquitted Tuesday of homicide charges in the deaths of four passengers killed when his double-decker crashed into an overpass in upstate New York.

A judge announced the verdict after a non-jury trial for 60-year-old John Tomaszewski of Yardville, N.J. Tomaszewski would have faced up to four years in state prison on each of four counts of criminally negligent homicide. He sat with his head bowed and showed no reaction as Onondaga County Court Judge Anthony Aloi read the verdict.

"It was a tragic accident and four people lost their lives," Tomaszewski said as he left court. "It's something I'll have to deal with the rest of my life."

There were 29 passengers on the Megabus when the top of the bus hit the railroad bridge in Salina, just outside Syracuse, early on the morning of Sept. 11, 2010.

Tomaszewski was driving from Philadelphia to Toronto with a planned stop at the Regional Transportation Center in Syracuse when he missed an exit from Interstate 81 and ended up on the parkway instead.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Bednarksi said during the trial that Tomaszewski was using a personal GPS device as he tried to find his way to the bus station and passed 13 low-bridge warning signs, some with flashing yellow lights, before the wreck.

Eugene and Portland Criminal Defense - Coit & Associates, P.C.
Criminal Law Updates | 2012/02/26 16:49
Coit & Associates, P.C., with offices in Eugene and Portland, have criminal defense lawyers acknowledged for providing the highest quality representation in the greater Eugene and Portland metropolitan locations. No matter the size or seriousness of your case, a lawyer at Coit & Associates, P.C. will aggressively tackle the case and understand its importance to you and your family.

Our attorneys at Coit & Associates, P.C. not only have the experience to represent you but we will not b ack down from anyway. Our goal is to provide our clients with efficient, aggressive, and affordable criminal defense that is effective. We care for our defendents charged with or suspected of committing crimes and will fight for you.

Call us at (541) 685-1288 to schedule an appointment or visit us on for more information.

Fugitive sibling to appear in Colo. court
Criminal Law Updates | 2012/02/09 16:32
One of the three siblings accused in a multi-state crime spree is scheduled to enter a plea deal in court on Thursday.

Prosecutors and Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, are scheduled to present a plea deal to Judge Claude Appel during a hearing, spokesman Rob McCallum said.

Prosecutors and her attorney aren't commenting, citing a judge imposed gag order. Prosecutors last week dropped attempted-murder charges against her and instead charged her with eight felony first-degree assault and menacing charges. Each charge corresponds to an officer involved in a high-speed chase Aug. 10 in southern Colorado.

Dougherty and her two brothers — Ryan Dougherty, 21, and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty, 26 — are accused of shooting at a police officer in Florida, as well as robbing a Georgia bank before being captured in southern Colorado on Aug. 10.

There's no word yet on whether the brothers have also reached plea deals. Colorado, federal and Florida prosecutors have been discussing possible plea deals involving them.

Attorneys for the siblings have questioned whether prosecutors' evidence could prove that the siblings were trying to harm or kill officers, pointing to an apparent lack of bullet holes on police cruisers involved in the chase.

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