WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

FRITO BANDITO STRIKES AGAIN!



UPDATE: Woody Brooks, formerly an officer of the Surfside Police department and usually the lead arresting officer on most Surfside DUIs has been arrested for a felony: F10-003413.
Hat tip to DUI Ace Bobby Reiff.


UPDATE ON DISMISSAL OF MURDER CHARGE BELOW.

Now here's a client we would love to represent.

The Frito Bandito has struck again! Terror reigns among junk food junkies in South Florida as the Herald reports that a Frito Lay truck was stolen today in Ft. Lauderdale.

The title links to the Herald story.

Police are reported to be following several leads, including the purchase of a 100 cases of salsa from a Ft. Lauderdale Publix an hour after the theft, and the sighting of a group of loud drunken Super Bowl fans marching down Las Olas Boulevard singing "aye yi yi, I am the Frito Bandito." (click the link and check out the old commercial)

Further updates on this story as events unfold.

MURDER CHARGE DISMISSED NORTH OF THE BORDER.
(hat tip to El Capitan in the comments section.)

On a more serious note (although when you examine the acts of the prosecutor, perhaps not) Judge Leebow dismissed a first degree murder charge in Browierd yesterday when Prosecutor Gregg Rossman- apparently confused and thinking he was a defense attorney- stood mute after jury selection- refusing to make an opening statement or call any witnesses.
(This is like one of those stupid scenarios inexperienced attorneys try and tell jury panels during voire dire).

After what the Sun Sentinel (click here) termed "acrimonious" and "sarcastic" exchanges between the prosecutor and the Judge, the Judge granted a motion for Judgment of Acquittal. The story notes that the Defendant did not go free, as he is serving a life sentence for a probation violation.

After the Jury was sworn in, the prosecutor wanted a days delay to go to the 4th DCA and retrieve a box of evidence. (What in the world is evidence doing at the 4th DCA anyway?)

Before people get too hard on Judge Leebow, who has a reputation of being a moderate judge in Browierd, try and guess how the late/great Judge Ellen Morphonios would have reacted to such shenanigans from a prosecutor?

For those of you members of the Starbucks Generation, Judge Morphonios, known as "Maximum Morphonios" tolerated no delay from either side. If you announced ready for trial on a Monday, she stopped calendar- immediately started voire dire- and woe to you as a prosecutor who did not have all of his/her witnesses seated outside the courtroom and ready to testify.

A request for a brief delay usually earned you a "take all the time you want pal, we'll wait right here" from Morphonios, and the jury and the other side would sit quietly in the courtroom as you went outside and attended to your business.

Morphonios was a Judge who tried a defendant who murdered a police officer (and sentenced him to death) thirty days after the shooting. (The whole mess was reversed on appeal. Manual Valle if we recall correctly.)

The point is that in the current case, the prosecutor should have known better. But we'll be honest- we're not sure we would have had the guts Judge Leebow had- and we don't think she was correct. And despite the failings of the prosecutor- which might have merited a contempt of court sanction and sentence of community service for his failings- the court of appeals has consistently said that there is a strong preference in the law for having cases tried on their merits- and that's the way it should be.

See you in court, ready for trial.


48 comments:

fake david markus said...

Rump= this may be more serious than it might seem. If the Bandito takes the chips across state lines it violates the little known "Ray Kroc Act: ( Named for the founder of McDonalds) and it becomes a federal offense.

Further more, a holdover from prohibition days prohibits the distribution of stolen chips "wherever intoxicating liquors are consumed" and carries an unfortunate 90 day minimum mandatory "at hard labor in the local stockade". There's also a $45.00 fine.

This could be pretty serious, not to mention the deleterious effects on the thief's triglycerides levels.

PD Historian said...

Everybody knows that if the Bandito gets arrested in Dade and needs a PD that Henry Rausch is the designated "fast food/junk food" defender for the PDs. Henry successfully defended one of the Keebler elves in the early 1980s in an incident that happened at the old Biscayne Babys in Coconut Grove when the elf did a little too much cocaine one night.

Anonymous said...

PD Historian: Biscayne Babys?? You're dating yourself.

Anonymous said...

Once again the "fake" guy is just too funny ... and thanks for explaining who Ray Kroc was. I'm surprised you couldn't work in a reference to Shumie.
Witless and repetitious is no way to go through life, son.

Anonymous said...

Miami Beach police falsely accuse gay man who witness a police beating

see today's Herald

CAPTAIN said...

The Captain Reports:

They're at it again North of the Border .......

Judge Lebow dismissed a First Degree Murder case yesterday after the State attorney refused to give an opening statement and refused to call any witnesses.

He was asking for a 24 hour delay, the jury had already been sworn, but the asa needed the time to gather a file of evidence that had been sent to West Palm Beach. The Judge would not budge and dismissed a case where the defendant could have been sentenced to death.

The entire story is in the Sun Sentinel.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/hollywood/fl-murder-dismissed-20100203,0,2875715.story

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

The Broward story is interesting. Lebow will take a lot of flak for this but she shouldn't. The prosecutor made it seem like a snafu in the clerk's office. But the question is this: how in the world could you answer ready for trial, pick a jury, and then realize your evidence is sitting in the clerk's office in another county. I think the prosecutor was grossly unprepared. This happens all the time with misdemeanors and third degree felonies. I guess Lebow was imitating Fast Gerry Klein on steroids.

Rumpole said...

I was known to have a few cold ones at Biscayne Baby's after work back in the day. Never saw a Keebler elf - though I drank enough that I should have.

Rumpole said...

I can't publish that post that has allegations against former MB Officer Greg Blue unless you can show me if they were proven. Sorry.
You can re-write it as allegations if those allegations were made against him. I don't recall the incident.

The Frito Bandito said...

Rumpole, I want you to represent me--provided you will take 1000 bags of fritos as your retainer. Meet me at Publix at noon.

Anonymous said...

Lebow is a moderate judge? Has she changed in the last few years? I don't know what happened in her courtroom, and clearly what occured in this case is not a reflection on her normal leanings, but a moderate? Are you smoking crack? Her nickname is "Let 'em go Lebow". Have you forgotten? Or is she such a good judge for the defense that you feel the need to protect her?

Anonymous said...

Valle shot and killed a FHP trooper at the old toll plaza westbound on 836.Ellen's court was a great place to get trial experience. Many times I had a jury deliberating while I was picking another jury. She was one of a kind. She was fortunate that she did not get indicted in the "market connection" case or court broom like Shenberg who was a proscutor in her court.

Anonymous said...

Another day, another cop arreested. Woody Brooks of Surfside.

Anonymous said...

Is Al Sepe still alive?

Anonymous said...

Do the opening statements at least. Something to reach some form of compromise. But to flat-out refuse to follow two judge's orders, in combination with poor attitude? A judge can't let that just go without taking some action.

Anonymous said...

Then remove the Greg Blue stuff and publish it.

I don't have the file. I had nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Lebow has been known in the past to be what some call a liberal judge but, lately she is just a middle of the road judge.

I have tried numerous cases before her and she did not favor one side over the other and she was rather nice to everyone.

Maybe the fact that the guy already got life in prison affected her decision. Maybe there was more to this story.

Why the hell did the prosecutor simply not get help and move on with other parts of the trial?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

morphonious was a criminal

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but refusing to grant a one day delay during a death penalty homicide case is asinine. The community shouldn't be punished because of an error by the prosecution (the fact that the defendant was serving life on a probation violation doesn't change anything in my mind). A one day delay is nothing and wouldn't prejudice anyone. When we prioritize expediency or punishing a prosecutor over community need (and by dismissing a first degree murder) it is a sad day indeed (seriously, a defendant gets away with murder because the judge is angry at the prosecutor? That doesn't upset you as a member of the community? If the judge wants to punish a prosecutor, the judge should use his or her contempt powers or refer the prosecutor to the Bar. This really is ridiculous).

BTDT

PS---obviously, I'd say the same thing if it was a defense attorney asking for one day. ;-)

PS---this is the first time I ever saw Let 'Em Go Lebow called a moderate. Thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...

PS---the defense didn't even object to the prosecutions request for a one day delay.

This really is an unbelievable abuse of discretion and an insult to the community and next of kin (can you imagine? Doesn't anyone care about that?).

Oh, and one more thing, the reason the prosecution didn't have the evidence is because the probation case is on appeal (yeah, that's right. I can't wait to hear Lebow's explanation if it's reversed) and the evidence went with it.

BTDT

Rumpole said...

2:42 PM- I can't- believe it or not- I cannot edit comments- they either go up or not. Sorry.

As to Leebow- she has her good days and bad. She can be very liberal one moment- and very harsh the next. A difficult Broward Judge who in my opinion doesn't like Miami lawyers one bit. She once didn't give me a second continuance (a second) on a robbery trial on a day I had out-patient surgery. I had surgery at 9am- her JA called at 1 and by 3 I was picking a jury.

As the not guilty came in she tried to apologize and said she didn't realize I was in such pain- I told her with all due respect to not try and make amends for what I thought was a careless and thoughtless ruling and that I expected nothing different as a Miami lawyer in Broward. That was more than a dozen years ago- since then she has been a bit nicer to me. Not much though. You can have her and the entire Broward Judiciary. New Courthouse? They all belong in tents until they can earn their way up to a building in my humble opinion.

Fake Mendy the dancing fool said...

gay kaken afen yam

Anonymous said...

Remember That gambling case that David o Marcus and Dore Louis had in Broward... they beat Rossman in that case pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

Officer Wood Brooks arrested. Well it is about time.

He was fired from his current department and got the job back.

He was fired by Aventura.

He was asked to leave some other department.

He also did not last as a SAO investigator.

Boy, did many of us see this coming.

abe laeser said...

To 12:25.

Your facts are all wrong about the Valle case. I know, I prosecuted Valle III.

The primary reason that there was a need for Valle III was Morphonios, who decided that Valle I should go to trial before the defense was ready - so she could sentence this cop killer [CGPD officer]. Making the case go faster just meant that the case was tougher each successive time - with more transcripts of essential witnesses.

P.S. Valle has been on the Row for about 30 years now. Trying Valle I within three months of indictment really did not speed the process.

Anonymous said...

What was Brooks arrested for? What happened?

Anonymous said...

BTDT - you haven't answered two simple questions. Why not at least
do the opening statements? And why
not call witnesses through which no evidence would be introduced?
State could always recall some witnesses to introduce evidence
later. You're making excuses for
an ill-prepared prosecutor. How
could he not have known before
trial that his evidence wasn't there. He didn't know because he
was not prepared for trial. Stop
making excuses BTDT.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the following current or former Justice Building personalities who finished the Miami Marathon on Sunday:

Bronwyn Miller-- 3:55:18

Cristina Pereyra--4:31:20

Clayton Kaeiser-- 4:52:05

Edith Georgi-- 5:00:27

Robert Lesperance-5:09:29

Stephen Kramer-- 5:30:27

Melissa Beigel-- 5:55:47

Sorry if I missed anybody, but feel free to amend these results. Once again, kudos to everyone for finishing this brutal race on an extremely humid morning. And special kudos to Judge Miller for breaking four hours and beating the rest of the field by over half an hour. Rumpole, I think that she deserves some sort of special Blog recognition.

Rahm E said...

R have u checked the cbo figures on school lunch -head start, the NEA and the revised NSA estimates on Iranian oil prod that I sent you?
I need your input= the budget is almost ready to go.

R u still doing that ridiculous blog? Come here to DC and get on the team. 7 yrs left and a lot of work left for you.
Rahm.

Anonymous said...

ok, Abed one maybe I was wrong on the naeme. However, there was a case where a FHP trooper was killed at the toll plaza on 836 by a bad guy. the trooper had a rider with him at the time. Ellen tried him within 30days. I believe that Von Zampt, (mad dog) defended the def before he went to the dark side.carol king the proscutor?

Rumpole said...

I do not print unfounded accusation against people- including judges- especially ones who have passed away and cannot even defend their reputations. S/he has already answered to a higher court.

Anonymous said...

Actually, rossman is a pretty good prosecutor. He is dedicated and straight. Tough, but reasonable. I would have no problem with Greg being an Asa in Miami, he would serve the people well.

Anonymous said...

7:59..........Obviously, you didn't understand my posts. I'm not making excuses for the prosecutor and am not defending him. Rather, I am criticizing the judge for a terrible decision.

I don't know why the prosecutor couldn't proceed that day. My point wasn't that the prosecutor was right. My point was that the judge should have punished the prosecutor and not the community if the prosecutor did something wrong.

As I posted before, "if the judge wants to punish a prosecutor, the judge should use his or her contempt powers or refer the prosecutor to the Bar."

It's really that simple.

BTDT

PS----As for my comment that the evidence was with the 4th because the probation case was on appeal, I pointed that out as part of my criticism of the judge. At least one earlier post suggested that the impact of her horrible decision amounts to nothing since the defendant is serving life because of the prior probation violation on the same facts. That fact is irrelevant because it doesn't change how her decision impacts the next of kin and could change on appeal (how any member of the community could accept that a killer could be released because a judge wanted to punish a prosecutor by denying a one day continuance is beyond me). I can't wait until she's up for re-election. And, I am one of the folks who will actually do something.

The Straw Buyer said...

GREAT NEWS!  The Department of Justice is hiring!

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Judge Morphonios, she was a true REGJB original. And funny as hell off of the bench.

Anonymous said...

Harvey Shenberg was the attorney appointed by Judge Morphnious to represent the defendant in the case referred to,not Michael who I believe was still a p.d. at the time.

Anonymous said...

If the prosecutor did the opening statement, wouldn't there be double jeopardy concerns?

I feel like everyone is missing something very basic here

Disturbing 911 call said...

Please listen to this 911 call from a Gay man reporting beating of Gay man by Miami Beach Police Department.

The ACLU have threatened to sue.

Click to read the ACLU letter said...

Here is the letter from the ACLU to the City of Miami Beach Mayor.

The cops lied in the deposition and in the police report and the ACLU is going after the police and demanding they refer the case to KFR for perjury charges against the cops.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole can we get a counter as to how many days it takes the State to arrest these cops for perjury

Anonymous said...

An interesting e-mail exchange between Miami Herald reader Jeffrey Garcia and Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega:

From: Jeffrey Garcia
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 1:38 PM
To: Noriega, Carlos; Mejia, Dolores; Walker, Patricia; Middaugh, Bob; Gomez, Jorge; Fernandez, Hilda; srothaus@MiamiHerald.com; Aller, Michael
Subject: What Is Happening on Miami Beach?

When I read the Miami Herald's article this morning concerning the arrest of a man on Miami Beach, who was reportedly calling 911 as a witness to a beating, I was was appalled. Even if we assume there are two sides to every story, some of the facts are disturbing to say the least. If a man was on the phone with 911 and reporting an attack he witnessed it would impossible for the arresting officers to have witnessed the same man possibly breaking into cars thirty minutes later. If the State Attorneys Office dropped the charges after looking into the matter, that would lead us to believe that the arresting officer had no legitimate cause for arrest.

Miami Beach has prided itself on being one of the most progressive and open minded cities in the state of Florida and the country. This type of behavior by law enforcement officers is simply unacceptable.When did the officers superiors become aware of the incident ? What type investigation resulted from the charges being summarily dropped by the State Attorney's office? Was the City Manager made aware of the case and pending liabilities to the city of Miami Beach ? Did the City Manager make the Mayor and Commissioners aware of the incident ? Why are the officers still on the force ?

These are just some of the questions I have for those in leadership positions at the City of Miami Beach. I would appreciate a response to this ugly and unfortunate incident which embarrasses all of us here in South Florida.
Thank you,

Jeffrey Garcia

The chief’s response:

Mr. Garcia,

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. This incident in question, which occurred a little less than one year ago, was brought to our attention for the first time yesterday by the ACLU. The incident was immediately forwarded to the Internal Affairs Unit for follow up investigation. The MBPD thoroughly investigates (due process) all complaints made against our officers before we issue discipline in cases that are substantiated. For the record, City Hall is aware of this complaint, Also for the record, the MBPD maintains an emphasis on accountability and also has a strong partnership with the gay/lesbian community. Thank you,

Carlos

Anonymous said...

Maximum Miller strikes again

Rumpole said...

When you call someone's writing style like "a little girl" and that individual is also gay, its hard for me to ignore that you're not attacking them for their sexual orientation, so I didn't print the comment.

seen it all said...

To Jeff Garcia
cc: Chief Noriega:

Here's a Justice Building classic that's been around for decades:

How many City Of Miami Beach Police Offices does it take to throw a gay defendant down a flight of stairs?

A: NONE. According to the a-form, he tripped and fell. Woops!

Surfside law said...

Woody Brooks arrested? What about Surfside police officer John Davis who was set up by Brooks and bumped off the force?

Where is jay Senter when you need him? Setting fires at Alan Soven's office?

Anonymous said...

What's the state doing on Woody Brook's cases? Do the County Court prosecutors know that they can't proceed when he's the stop officer?

Anonymous said...

Miami Beach police officers have been beating people for no good reason for years and years. At one point, Miami Beach was paying more money to settle police brutality lawsuits than all other Dade municipalities and the county put together.

One reason not to go to Miami Beach, beside the parking situation and the crowds, is the risk of getting falsely arrester and/or beaten by Beach cops.

Clearing the Air said...

"Blogger Rumpole said...

When you call someone's writing style like "a little girl" and that individual is also gay, its hard for me to ignore that you're not attacking them for their sexual orientation, so I didn't print the comment."

My reference to 5:24 pm's writing style was that it was similar to a junior high school girl, not a little girl. And, I make no reference to his sexual orientation. That wasnt my point or intent at all.

Writing like a little girl/junior high girl is a reference to a petty and juvenile view on issues with people. Its like the diary of a 13 year old chick, not the comments of a 52 year old lawyer. Its the nyah nyah nyah way writes about stuff. I could care less about 5:24s sexual orientation.

What do mean by a "gay writing style anyway"? Do you believe that I think that Truman Capote had a gay writing style, like a little girl. Of course you don't.