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Brooklyn Criminal Law Blog

Man sentenced to 15 years for plotting kidnap, murder

On Jan. 29, a 65-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in a New York prison. The man, formerly a high school librarian, was found guilty of conspiring to rape, kidnap and murder women. He had been in custody since he was detained in 2013.

The man was one of four taken into custody in a case in which they were all members of an online forum where they detailed sexual fantasies. One of the men, a police officer, was convicted in 2013 for conspiring to kidnap and torture women. However, the police officer's conviction was overturned on the grounds that there was no evidence he intended to carry out the acts he described by the same judge who sentenced the ex-librarian. According to that judge, the former librarian was clearly a danger to the community. The man had purchased tools, including a stun gun, and had planned a kidnapping of an undercover FBI agent with another undercover FBI agent.

From our Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins P.C. Partner Barry

From our Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins P.C. Partner Barry Kamins who is a New York Law Journal Law.com Criminal Law and Procedure columnist, and author of New York Search and Seizure (Lexis/Nexis 2017) as well as a former New York Supreme Court Judge.

Alleged former mob boss on trial for involvement in fraud

The federal trial of an alleged ex-mob boss turned restaurateur opened on Jan. 30 in New York. The man is accused of collecting gambling debts for an East Coast crime syndicate and running a health care fraud that involved bribing doctors to write fake prescriptions. The man's defense attorney says he is being framed by other people who have an interest in trying to benefit themselves with the accusations. According to the man's attorney, he simply has a gambling problem that has made him vulnerable.

The man once controlled an East Coast crime family of his own. However, after being targeted repeatedly in murder plots and serving time first for an armored truck heist and later for racketeering, he says he retired from the mob.

CRIMINAL LAW BLOG

CRIMINAL LAW BLOG from #ABKLaw Attorney Michael Jaccarino:

The trial in a road-rage shooting that left former NFL football player and New York Jets running back Joe McKnight dead began with jury selection last week in a New Orleans suburb. Ronald Gasser, 55, is charged with second-degree murder in the Dec. 1, 2016, shooting of the local high school football star.

Untreated mild brain injuries are job destroyers

When a worker suffers a blow to the head, he or she may face much greater difficulty than expected. Even seemingly minor head injuries may generate severe symptoms for victims, often dismantling their work and community relationships.

Mild traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are not the most severe brain injuries a victim might suffer, but they are still very dangerous, and can easily disrupt a victim's employment. Unlike other, more obvious injuries like a broken arm, mild TBIs may create symptoms that make it seem as though the victim chooses to be difficult or lazy.

2 pulled over in tractor-trailer for weapons, DWI

According to the New York State Police, two men were taken into custody after a traffic stop of a tractor-trailer on I-87. The incident happened near Colonie on Jan. 19.

Troopers were alerted by reports of a big rig that was allegedly weaving on the interstate. The officers saw a Volvo tractor-trailer that they stated was moving unsafely in and out of lanes. The truck was pulled over. A 46-year-old Texas man was driving the commercial vehicle, and a 25-year-old Texas man was a passenger.

New York City records lowest murder rate in years

New York City has reached its lowest per-capita murder rate in decades with 290 people killed in the city in 2017. According to Police Commissioner James O'Neill, the last time the murder rate was lower was during the Korean War. In 1990, there were 2,245 murders. O'Neill said it had been assumed that the murder rate in the city could not drop lower than 300.

Other cities have seen a sharp increase in murder rates including Chicago with 650 and Baltimore with 343. There was a drop in other types of crime in New York City as well including grand larcenies auto, robberies, shootings and burglaries. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the last year in which crime was so low was 1951. Overall, crime dropped 5.4 percent from 2016. There were more than 102,000 reported crimes in 2016 compared to 96,517 in 2017.

'Jackass' star pays $15,000 bail after drunk driving arrest

Bam Margera, one of the stars of "Jackass", is well known by fans in New York who enjoyed the wild stunts on the show. Although one of his close friends died while driving drunk in 2011, Margera apparently continues to struggle with alcohol. The new father has expressed in the recent past his desire to become sober.

California Highway Patrol officers arrested him earlier in January after he apparently failed a field sobriety test. This resulted after he drove by highway patrol officers engaged in another traffic stop. As he passed them at a low rate of speed, officers reported that they signaled for him to pull over as well because they saw him on his phone. When officers spoke to him, they said that he smelled of alcohol.

Brooklyn man accused of murdering young wife

A husband was taken into custody for the alleged murder of his wife on December 27, 2017. The 22-year old victim was found in the basement of their brownstone. The husband is accused of pushing the victim down the stairs leading to the basement. They had been married for just nine months.

Police say he fled the home, leaving his 2-year old daughter behind. Police also say there were bruises on the victim's neck. Upon hearing the news, one neighbor didn't recall the couple having any problems and remembered the couple and their young child as a pleasant family who did their laundry together.

Man accused of terrorist attack facing 22 charges

On Nov. 21, a grand jury handed down an indictment featuring 22 charges against the 29-year-old man accused of killing eight people in a New York terror attack. It was believed that the New Jersey resident became inspired by an ISIS video.

The attack occurred in lower Manhattan on Oct. 31. Authorities said that the man rented a Home Depot truck and drove from New Jersey into the city. When he reached the West Side Highway, he reportedly turned onto a bicycle path, striking multiple people before driving the truck into a school bus. The man then allegedly left the truck with handguns. He was eventually shot by a police officer, ending the attack. In addition to the eight people who were killed, an additional 12 individuals suffered injuries.

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