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Parental Alienation Awareness Day to be April 25th
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/10 16:24

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher Join the Governors of Maine, Iowa, and Nevada in Recognizing and Proclaiming April 25th as Parental Alienation Awareness Day

Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) is pleased to announce that Nebraska and Kentucky are among the states that recognize the importance of Parental Alienation awareness.

Parental Alienation Awareness Organization is working towards having the behaviors involved in Parental Alienation recognized on a statewide level.

Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting inolve a series of behaviors that can effectively alienate a child from a parent. They are often seen in the context of
high-conflict divorce or custody cases and are done by a third party, such as a parent or extended family. Such behaviors interfere with the bond between a loving parent and child.

These behaviors can include: speaking negatively about a parent to, or in front of, a child; interfering with communication and visitation; moving and leaving no contact
information; and discussing inappropriate information with a child, such as details of the marriage, divorce, or court proceedings.

The most common response of a child exposed to alienating behaviors is extreme resistance to contact with, or fear of, a parent without any justifiable cause.

These behaviors are both painful and destructive and can leave deep and long-lasting emotional scars on a child. Research has shown that children who have been alienated from a parent show a greater percentage of depression, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol problems, and difficulties in their own relationships.

While not everyone agrees on the terminology, mental health professionals, legal professionals, and especially adult children who have experienced such behaviors in childhood acknowledge and agree that alienating behaviors are damaging.

These behaviors, designed to take advantage of a child's suggestibility and dependency, leave a child feeling confused, frightened, and insecure.

They can result in the loss of a relationship with a previously loving, supportive, and nurturing parent and in fact send a message that the half of the child that is that
parent is unworthy. The child has "lost" a parent but is given no permission to grieve.

"We are urging the governors of all of the states to learn more about Parental Alienation," states Sarvy Emo, PAAO co-founder.

"Parental Alienating behaviors, under the term Parental Alienation, must be recognized, understood, and addressed to allow a child to love and be loved by both parents, regardless of the parents' relationship to each other," adds Robin Denison, PAAO co-founder.

PAAO urges governors, the professionals who work with children and families, and the public to learn more about Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting by visiting http://www.parental-alienation-awareness.com - for the sake of all children to be able to give and receive all of the love they deserve.

About PAAO

Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) is an organization dedicated to increasing the awareness and education of the public and professionals who work with families and children about the causes and effects of Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting, and suggests guidelines as to how to eliminate or ameliorate the effects of these behaviors.



Man to plead guilty to slaying of 10-year-old girl
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/10 07:56

A man accused of killing his family will plead guilty to the abduction and murder of a ten-year-old girl, his attorney said. Simon Rios, 35, will plead guilty in Delaware County in the death of Alejandra Gutierrez to avoid the death penalty, attorney Michelle Kraus said Monday. Prosecutors will agree to sentence Rios to life in prison, she said. Rios' trial was scheduled to begin April 23. He is charged in the murder and rape of Gutierrez, who lived in Rios' neighborhood and went missing Dec. 8, 2005. Her body was found in a wooded area near Muncie.

Rios also is accused of killing his 28-year-old wife, Ana Casas, and the couple's three daughters on Dec. 13, 2005, after he and Casas argued over his household duties. His trial is scheduled for October, and prosecutors in that case are seeking the death penalty.



Teenager pleads guilty to killing deli owner
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/09 16:58

A 16-year-old Buffalo youth has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing a deli owner during a robbery.

Robert Gwynn was 15 when he and a 13-year-old accomplice robbed Myheeb's Deli in November. Gwynn shot the deli owner, Mike Saeed, in the chest. He died soon after.

Because of his age, Gwynn was prosecuted as a juvenile offender. State Supreme Court Justice Timothy Drury told him he'll likely impose a sentence of eleven years to life when he is sentenced in July.

The 13-year-old is being prosecuted in Family Court. His identity hasn't been released.



Verdict: Guilty but mentally ill
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/09 16:58

A jury found Gregory Nurrenberg Jr. guilty but mentally ill when he killed 45-year-old Sherry Dickey.

Nurrenberg, 24, admitted killing Dickey during Memorial Day weekend 2006, but pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jurors deliberated approximately 4 ½ hours before reaching a verdict about 7 p.m. Monday. The trial in Lawrence Superior Court II lasted five days.



Credit Card Counterfeiter Gets Five Years In Prison
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/06 18:29

United States Attorney Scott N. Schools announced that defendants Ming Li and Zhou Ru Tan have been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay fines in connection with their roles in a counterfeit credit card scam. Mr. Li was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine as well as more than $10,000 in restitution for possessing counterfeit access devices. Ms. Tan, who had a minor role in the scheme, was sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. These sentences were the result of a four-year investigation by the United States Secret Service in coordination with local law enforcement in the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

Mr. Li, 35, of El Monte, California, was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on June 15, 2004. He was charged with possession and use of counterfeit access devices as well as possession of access-making equipment. Mr. Li pleaded guilty to possessing over fifteen counterfeit credit cards. Mr. Li also admitted to using counterfeit credit cards to fraudulently purchase merchandise in retail stores in the Bay Area that resulted in a total loss of between $1,000,000 and $2,500,000.

Ms. Tan, 36, of Richmond, California, was indicted by the same grand jury with the same violations of federal law and pled guilty to the same violation as Mr. Li. Ms. Tan admitted that her actions in using counterfeit credit cards resulted in loss of more than $5,000.

"These sentences embody the United States Attorney’s Office ongoing commitment to work closely with the United States Secret Service to investigate and prosecute credit card fraud," U.S. Attorney Scott N. Schools stated. "The possession and use of counterfeit credit cards is a scourge on our modern society. Counterfeit credit cards threaten the integrity of our banking system and result in higher costs to businesses and consumers. Those who choose to engage in such fraud will be prosecuted, and if convicted, face lengthy jail time. The Department of Justice commends the dedication of the Secret Service in bringing Mr. Li and Ms. Tan to account for their crimes."



Charge upgraded after lieutenant's death
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/04 07:17

A man accused of driving drunk and fatally injuring a Gainesville Police lieutenant in the aftermath of Tuesday morning's national championship celebration could be prosecuted under a law passed following the death of another GPD officer in 2001.

Attorneys with the State Attorney's Office are reviewing whether Austin J. Wright, accused of DUI manslaughter in connection with Gainesville Police Lt. Corey Dahlem's death, could be prosecuted under a law known as the Scott Baird Act.

Gainesville Police Officer Scott Baird, 23, died in 2001 after he was struck by a vehicle while trying to remove a batting cage that had been dragged from a field at Gainesville High School onto NW 16th Terrace. Baird had been with the department two years when he was killed.

The year following Baird's death, Florida legislators passed an act that makes manslaughter of a law enforcement officer punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison rather than 15 years.

Prosecutors plan to review crash investigation reports and other records before determining if Wright will be tried under the Scott Baird Act, said State Attorney's Office spokesman Spencer Mann.

Wright, listed by troopers as an Atlantic Beach resident, was being held at the Alachua County jail late Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday, Wright had made his first court appearance, at which a $500,000 bond was set for his release, said Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Mike Burroughs.

Charges originally filed against Wright after the crash were driving under the influence with serious bodily injury to another and failure to stop or remain at an accident involving injury, Burroughs said. But, after Dahlem's death Wednesday afternoon, the charge was upgraded to DUI manslaughter aggravated by leaving the scene of a traffic crash involving death. Wright also was cited for careless driving and violation of a traffic control device.

Wright's prior criminal history and driving record show he had received tickets for speeding and was charged with minor drug-related charges.

Misdemeanor charges against Wright out of Highlands County for marijuana possession, possession of narcotics equipment and possession of alcohol by a person under 21 were dismissed, according to records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He also had been cited for speeding in Hernando and Duval counties last year, a report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showed.

Wright appeared to have a bruise on his cheek in a jail mug shot taken after his arrest. Police spokesman Lt. Keith Kameg said officers on the scene when Wright was stopped and later arrested said the bruise was present when he was taken into custody.

The name of an attorney representing Wright was not immediately available Wednesday.



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