Wednesday, December 23, 2009


for people who kill little children.

"For you sir, I have no sympathy." And with those words, Judge Marissa Tinkler-Mendez sentenced defendant Damon Darling to 50 years for firing a weapon whose stray bullet struck down nine year old Sherdavia Jenkins as she played with her doll in her front yard.

The Herald reported on the sentencing here. From the article:

`It was a selfish, violent act. Nothing I can do to punish you can minimize the pain of the family of the dead child,'' the judge told Darling, adding: ``For you, sir, I have no particular sympathy.''

For Judge Arzola's county court seat:

The Captain Reports:
The six finalists have been chosen for our next County Court Judge. They are:

Anita Margot Moss
Steven Lieberman
Tanya Brinkley
Tamara Ilene Gray
Andrea Ricker Wolfson
Lourdes Simon

Gov. Crist has sixty days. The Captain invites all comments and will personally forward them to Gov Charlie.

Captain Out.

Rumpole notes: Just one guy.

A reader writes in:

Anonymous said...

Pit PD's do there best to keep cases out of RCA's hands - but only because we see how those cases are handled after they leave ours.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 6:23:00 PM

Soon it will be harder to get a DL than a motion to suppress granted.

The Herald has the bureaucratic details here.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas from our vantage point high in the Sierra Nevada mountains.


Anonymous said...

Rump, Tinkler Mendez is one of the biggest hearts around, if she could find not sympathy for Darling, I'm sure very few other people will either. Darling should have negotiated a plea like Leroy Leroux did, and saved the family of this little girl the trial agony.

Anonymous said...

"Pit PD's do there best to keep cases out of RCA's hands - but only because we see how those cases are handled after they leave ours."

How good are "Pit PD's" when they cannot spell the word "their" or use it in proper context? How 'bout some double negatives? Duh, me and my friends can't wait to hear "there" next ignorant words.

Get over yourself and buy a grammar book.

-Regional Conflict Counsel Fan

Anonymous said...

In a certain county court division, the PD's can't wait to give up their cases to RCA. Less work, more time for Cuban coffee......and one less client to neglect.

Anonymous said...

no more judges with a juvi background, that will just be another Faber. Long winded and trying to save everyone.

Anonymous said...

Lourdes Simon should get it.

Anonymous said...

Lourdes, Andrea, Margot or Tammy would be wonderful.

My guess is Lourdes.

Anonymous said...

"Pit PD's do there best to keep cases out of RCA's hands..."

Did a PD write that? There? It's spelled THEIR.

CAPTAIN said...


PD Case Overload - it's happening in Michigan too .....

In The Detroit News:

"Top Mich. court takes case about defense lawyers."

"The Michigan Supreme Court is jumping into a major dispute over how publicly appointed lawyers represent poor people. The court has agreed to take an appeal in a case that challenges Michigan's public defender system. Three counties -- Berrien, Genesee and Muskegon -- are accused of violating the constitutional rights of defendants through an underfunded system that encourages plea bargains, not a vigorous defense against crimes. The lawsuit names the state of Michigan as the main defendant. Any changes in the defense system would be felt statewide."

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Former PD here. Frankly, this sounds like a whole lot of hot air. When I was at the PDO, conflicts were presented to your supervising attorney, who would or would not sign off on the conflict, depending on whether the supervisor felt the conflict actually existed. Some supervisors were real hard-asses about conflicts, while others were not. Personally, I never had problems conflicting off cases. And, I was at the PDO pre- and post-litigation, so as far as conflicts go, I can tell you that things really didn't change (re conflicts) from my perspective. Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

What crimes are capital crimes in Florida? Just first degree murder?

Anonymous said...

Anyone been in front of Judge Pinero lately? He has become so obsessed with keeping his caseload small that he is doing a true disservice to the accused in his courtroom. He has begun denying continuances when state witnesses fail to show for depo and no prior continuances just to force pleas.....something must be done

Anonymous said...

why does any of this surprise anyone? this state is run by a bunch of drooling retarded redneck republicans who hate government and think that god believes in lower taxes. as a result agencies like the sao, pdo and others suffer. this will never change ever

Rumpole said...

6:22- I sincerely hope my post was not taken as a criticism of Judge Tinkler-Mendez. I have none. I find her to be hard working, intelligent and fair. I would have given the bastard 5o years without blinking, and this is from a guy who doesn't believe in life sentences except in the rarest of cases.

Anonymous said...

Give it to Tanya Brinkley. Lots of experience in both the civil and criminal arenas.

Anonymous said...

I see some of the RCA fan club is getting defensive. Well, as a line PD, it is obvious that some of the RCA attorneys are good attorneys, some of them were PDs and I know a few of them well. Others are people who could not get hired at the PDO.

But this is not a knock on RCA or any particular attorney, but RCA simply doesn't have the resources in place to represent my clients as well as I do as a line PD. AS line PDs, we can also ask a co-worker about a legal issue, staff a case with some of the best trial lawyers anywhere, send out an investigator, have developed relationships with prosecutors, RCA simply can't do the job as well as the PDO can.

Maybe Silent Charlie doesn't feel the need to dignify Rump's latest posts with a response.

Anonymous said...

You must not have kids Rump.

Anonymous said...

1:12 has an excellent point about Pineiro and it is a topic that should have been addressed in this forum a while ago. I used to love Pineiro because he always knew how to cut through the B.S. and he was not afraid to get involved in plea negotiations if he felt the state was being unreasonable. Lately however, he seems concerned with NOTHING other than closing cases. It is unfair and unreasonable for him to expect that defense attorneys allow their clients to enter guilty pleas without having adequate time to engage in the discovery process, just because the state is offering a plea that he thinks sounds reasonable. Some defense attorneys may be happy with any plea for their client that does not involve jail time. However, those of us who feel obligated to conduct meaningful investigations and file motions where appropriate, should not be punished by a judge who has lost sight of his true role.

Anonymous said...

Tamara Gray personifies what is wrong with the JNC. Pretty much felt like she was the least qualified on the initial list, but not shocked she made it this far. While I am all for diversity, whatever happened to the most qualified getting a shot? I'm for Lieberman on this list.

The Name of the Game is Closing a File. said...

APDs love to conflict out! Nothing was better than seeing co-defendants come in to an IA, finding out who was the least guilty and talking with him first.

"Sorry judge, I have a attorney-client relationship with the getaway driver. My office can not represent the triggerman or the brains of this robbery. Sorry."

First thing Monday morning; I'm on the phone working a probation to testify deal. My guy has proffered, plead and is out of jail before the conflicts even open a file.

Anonymous said...

6:22 here

No criticism, just adding some background. And, expressing my also non-sympathetic stance.

Anonymous said...

all 6 choices are horrific. Not a truly qualified one among them.

Anonymous said...

The thing is both Darling and Leroy
both deserve 50. This is an obvious case of the trial tax being imposed. The disparity is

How can Tinkler Mendez look at herself in the mirror? Both guys
are just as guilty as each other.
Only real difference is one guy pleads guilty and agrees to testify. How in the world does that mean he deserves 40 years
less in prison than the other?
Both of their actions caused the death. Insane really.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 10:25:00 PM:

Did you ever think that maybe he was the only witness against the shooter and without him the shooter walks?

I am confident that if the State could have convicted both without a plea from the other it would have happened and both would be getting the 50 years.

Judges do not make the facts or create the witnesses they simply sentence for the crime. In this case the Judge gave the max.

Anonymous said...

10:25----You agree that both deserved 50, but complain that one got a lot less on a plea? Sorry, but your complaints ring hollow. I have no sympathy for Darling. He got what he deserved (as you yourself admit). I hate that Leroux got so little time, but sometimes the State has to offer sweetheart deals to one co-defendant to get the other.

I do, however, appreciate your honesty. Your complaint is a perfect example of a bogus "trial tax" argument. The defendant didn't get time he didn't deserve for going to trial. He got what he deserved because he eliminated everyone's incentive to give him less. There's absolutely nothing unethical about that. Why shouldn't a defendant get what he or she deserves after trial?

Arguments like yours are common and unfortunate because they take away from true examples of injustice........cases where offenders are given much more than they deserve simply because they went to trial.


PS----I'm sure the judge sleeps perfectly fine knowing that one less selfish, violent AK-47 toting criminal is off our streets for a long time (and, of course, knowing that even you think she gave him what he deserves).