Articles Posted in Weapons Charges

Published on:

Miami Beach Police arrested Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, 26, after they claim he shot his gun into the air early Saturday morning.

He was charged with discharging a firearm in public around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

A parking attendant told police that he saw a black Porsche Panamera with two men and two women inside. According to the arrest report, the two men got out of the Porsche and approached a white vehicle with several women inside.

15264159251_bb125ef477_zThe attendant told police that the discussion soon became hostile and that he then spotted Quarless walk up to the white car with a semi-automatic handgun. The witness then told police that Quarless pointed the gun in the air and fired off two rounds before taking off in the Porsche.

Police put out a “be on the lookout,” or BOLO, alert for the Porsche and eventually caught up with the vehicle parked on the 400 block of Washington Avenue with its lights on.

According to the report, Quarless was allegedly discovered nearby, “attempting to conceal himself and the black firearm in a nearby plant.”

A spokesman for the Green Bay Packers issued the following statement:

“We are aware of the matter involving Andrew Quarless and are in the process of gathering more information. We will withhold further comment.”

Discharging a firearm in public can lead to significant penalties, including prison time if convicted. If you have been arrested for discharging a firearm in public, you should immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney so that you can learn about your rights and the viable defenses that may be available to you.

Continue reading

Published on:

Former University of Florida Gator and New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez, 25, who once had a $40 million contract and a standout career ahead of him, will now be serving a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

The former football pro was also found guilty on weapons charges. The jury deliberated for 36 hours over seven days before rendering its verdict.

6566853359_6d069f2b0b_zLloyd was shot six times in the middle of the night on June 17, 2013, in a deserted industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough.

Police almost immediately began investigating Hernandez because they found a key to a car that the NFL player had rented in Lloyd’s pocket. Hours after he was arrested, the Patriots cut the former Pro Bowl athlete, who was considered one of the top tight ends in the NFL.

Prosecutors presented a great amount of evidence during trial that Hernandez was with Lloyd at the time he was killed, including home security video from Hernandez’s mansion, witness testimony and cellphone records that tracked Lloyd’s movements.

Hernandez’s lawyer also acknowledged for the first time during closing arguments that Hernandez was there when Lloyd was killed.

But, Hernandez’s attorney told the court that two of Hernandez’s friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, killed Lloyd. Wallace and Ortiz will stand trial later.

The prosecution never offered a motive other than Hernandez appeared angry with Lloyd at a nightclub two nights before the killing.

Hernandez still awaits trial on other murder charges. He is accused of gunning down two men over a spilled drink at a nightclub.

In the Lloyd killing, the defense argued that investigators pinned the murder on Hernandez because of his celebrity status.

Prosecutors believe that Hernandez organized the killing, made his two friends help carry it out and drove Lloyd and the others to the secluded spot in the industrial park. During closing arguments, prosecutors also allege that Hernandez shot the man, though under the law it is not necessary to prove who fired the shots to achieve a conviction.

Security video from inside Hernandez’s home showed him holding what appeared to be a gun less than 10 minutes after Lloyd was killed. The surveillance system also showed Hernandez, Wallace and Ortiz hanging out at his home hours after Lloyd was shot.

Hernandez was an All-American out of the University of Florida who was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round in 2010.

This case does not end with this guilty verdict. There will undoubtedly be an appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. There are many issues in this case that could be a strong grounds for appeal, including the fact that the judge allowed certain parts of the expert’s testimony on the Glock being the murder weapon, but excluded other parts. It could be asserted that the expert’s entire testimony was improper. The defense reminded the jury during closing argument that the expert’s testimony had been struck from evidence and should be disregarded. Because of the defense’s reference to this testimony during closing, it could be argued that asking the jury to ignore such incriminating evidence was unfairly prejudicial, which in turn would warrant a new trial.

It will most definitely be interesting to see how an appeal plays out for Hernandez.

Continue reading

Published on:

Prosecutors decided to drop charges against NFL free agent Chris Johnson this week for a January gun arrest in Orlando, according to court records.

The Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office stated that, “this case is not suitable for prosecution.”

The 29-year-old athlete was stopped on the night of Jan. 9 for running a stop sign while driving with a friend, when an Orlando police officer noticed a pistol on the floor between Johnson’s feet, according to reports.

2775186899_8c2a873539_zThe weapon was apparently a 20-shot Belgian pistol that fires a high-velocity 5.7 mm bullet that can pass through tactical vests worn by police officers. These handguns are legal to own, but police claim that Johnson also had a 9mm Glock pistol in a backpack next to his feet.

Orlando police charged him with open carry of a firearm, but Johnson said he had a valid concealed weapon permit.

Johnson played most recently for the New York Jets and was dropped last season.

Most individuals who are carrying a weapon or firearm on their person do so for protection, and must abide by guidelines of the law. The gun laws in Florida are known for being quite strict, and while these laws can be somewhat confusing, it is very easy for someone who was just trying to protect themselves to wind up on the wrong side of the law.

Continue reading

Published on:

A pretrial hearing has been scheduled Monday for former New England Patriot and Florida Gator Aaron Hernandez.

His murder trial is set to start next month.

The hearing at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River will focus on jury issues. Jury selection is scheduled to start Jan. 9.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the June 2013 killing of a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.

Hernandez also has pleaded not guilty in a separate case involving the fatal shootings of two men in 2012 after an encounter at a Boston nightclub.

6566853359_6d069f2b0b_zProsecutors preparing for the murder trial have sought to admit a range of evidence related to Hernandez’s other alleged crimes, including the Boston homicides and unlawful possession of firearms.

However, Judge E. Susan Garsh has ruled that prosecutors cannot mention the Boston killings.

The judge also has ruled that prosecutors cannot submit as evidence the final text messages the semi-pro football player sent to his sister, including one sent minutes before he was fatally shot at an industrial park near Attleborough.

Garsh also has ruled that prosecutors cannot introduce the shooting of a former associate of Hernandez who has filed a lawsuit claiming Hernandez shot him in the face after an argument in Florida in 2013.

Courts are usually more inclined to allow previous evidence from other cases when it can be sufficiently connected to the facts of the present case. Admissible evidence of prior criminal acts is always circumstantial, and merely provides support for the prosecution to prove that the defendant could have committed the present act. Due to the fact that this evidence is strictly circumstantial, the purpose is to prove intent, identity or motive.

Continue reading

Published on:

The State Attorney’s Office has made the decision to charge a Marion County juvenile as an adult for a robbery that happened last month.

According to jail records, at 12:01 a.m. on a Friday night, on his 18th birthday, a teen was charged with robbery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a delinquent and carrying a concealed firearm.

6444319887_9045628534_zThe teen and another 16-year-old juvenile were taken into custody Nov. 17 after they were accused of robbing a man in Silver Springs Shores the day before.

The alleged victim told sheriff’s deputies he was approached by two people, each armed with a handgun, when one of them took his cell phone, ear buds and wallet.

His description of the two teens lead to their arrest.

The 18-year-old’s court date is scheduled for Jan. 13.

When it comes to juvenile crimes, it is up to the court to decide whether the juvenile case is transferred to adult criminal court. The court considers many factors when making its choice, including the nature of the crime and the juvenile’s previous delinquent history. If the case is transferred to adult court, the juvenile will be subject to the law in the same manner as an adult.

Continue reading

Published on:

Our criminal defense lawyers at Whittel & Melton are very pleased to announce that, according to Governor Rick Scott, Florida is on a path to a 44-year crime low.

The actual number of crimes across the Sunshine State is showing that crime rate is steadily on the decline.

8258120342_5be09894b2_zThe Florida Department of Law Enforcement has released its numbers for the first half of 2014, which shows there were more than 8,000 fewer crimes committed in the first six months of this year than in that same time period in 2013.

However, while the number of non-violent crimes is down, including robbery, burglary and stalking, the number of murders, forcible sex offenses, aggravated assaults and domestic violence are all on the rise.

In Central Florida, most of the counties are in line with the overall report, seeing a drop in criminal activity across the board.

The biggest decline occurred in Flagler County, with crime dropping nearly 11 percent. Sumter County actually saw the biggest rise in crime, with an increase of 2.4 percent.

Continue reading

Published on:

State Attorney Angela Corey announced Thursday afternoon that she is prosecuting a 13-year-old boy accused of second-degree murder of a homeless Jacksonville man as an adult.

This is the second time she’s charged a young juvenile with murder.

The 54-year-old homeless man was found dead in a shopping center parking lot on 103rd Street in June. Police said he was shot in the head.

A month later they arrested the then-12-year-old juvenile after a 16-year-old friend was charged in an armed robbery and motor vehicle theft and implicated him.

A grand jury indicted the boy Thursday in the homeless man’s death allowing the adult charges to be filed by the State Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors did not provide a motive for the killing and they did not discuss the case in detail or explain why they filed second-degree murder charges.

According to police, surveillance videos showed the youths at the scene. There was no apparent motive for the shooting, it was described as spontaneous.

Corey said her reasoning for trying the boy as an adult is because even if he was convicted of murder in juvenile court, he could be released in as few as 18 months, but he would have to be released in 36 months.

In the meantime the boy is being housed in the Duval County jail in a wing for juvenile defendants.

The juveniles are not housed with adult offenders even though they are in adult jail. There are 10-minute checks by corrections officers and a school inside the facility.

Juvenile crime is defined as any illegal act that is committed by an individual who is under the age of 18. In most cases, juvenile crimes are governed by a separate court system, with a separate set of rules from the adult court system. However, as this case shows, there are some cases where a minor will be charged as an adult. The main factor in deciding how the juvenile will be tried all boils down to the type of crime that has been committed. In recent years, there has been increased regularity of minors in Florida and across the country being tried and punished as adults due to the types of crimes that have been committed.

Continue reading

Published on:

Law enforcement agencies from Hendry and Lee counties were sent on a manhunt Thursday after it was reported three teenage boys had allegedly stolen a car from Lee County.

Officials claim the trio took the vehicle on a joyride that eventually ended in Pioneer Plantation in Central Hendry County.

The three young men allegedly drove the vehicle from Lee County to Pioneer Plantation, where they stopped at the Shell Station located at the intersection of Hendry Isles Boulevard and State Road 80. Reports indicate that the trio then attempted to rob another man by putting a gun to his side, demanding money from him.

home burglaryAccording to police, the victim refused to give up his bank bag and instead grabbed the barrel of the gun. The trigger of the gun was allegedly pulled three times, but failed to fire.

According to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, the men then ran into a wooded area and were flushed out by K-9 units after a two and a half hour search.

All three suspects were taken into custody. Deputies are still questioning two suspects in the case, but one 17-year-old has been charged with attempted armed robbery, attempted carjacking, possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated assault with a firearm, destruction/tampering with evidence, petit theft and grand theft.

Several agencies helped with locating the three suspects, including Hendry County deputies and K-9 units, Clewiston Police Department K-9 units, Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies, K-9 units and helicopter, as well as the Florida Highway Patrol.

Juvenile crimes are prosecuted at a very high rate. In the state of Florida and across the country there is an increasing trend for juveniles to be tried in adult court. It is quite common today to see 16 and 17-year-old children being charged as adults.

A robbery charge can bring about serious penalties for a young offender. In the state of Florida, if a person is possession of a firearm when committing a crime or even when attempting to commit a crime, then the 10-20-Life statute can be applied. Anyone convicted under the 10-20-Life statute is ineligible for gain-time and must complete the entire 10 year prison term without the possibility of early release.

Continue reading

Published on:

According to reports released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Wednesday, crime in Broward and Palm Beach counties took a plunge in 2013 and stayed in line with the state’s total decrease in criminal offenses.

In its 2013 Annual Uniform Crime Report, the state agency concludes that criminal activity, ranging from rapes and murders to robberies and burglaries, have steadily dropped in Florida over the past five years.

The overall crime rate fell by about seven percent in Broward County. With that said, the report relays that there were 46 more forcible rapes in 2013 compared to 2012. The biggest category of crimes to drop was robberies, decreasing by about 13 percent.

crime sceneIn Palm Beach County, the overall crime rate plunged by about three percent in 2013. Conversely, there were nearly 100 more vehicle thefts than in 2012.

FDLE computed the same number of murders in 2012 and 2013 in both counties — 80 in Broward and 74 in Palm Beach.

When you are charged with a crime in Florida, the consequences can be devastating. Criminal charges have the ability to haunt you for the rest of your life, sometimes going as far as limiting your ability to find a job, own or rent a home and even maintain or build new relationships. Even if you do not serve any jail time, a criminal conviction can still negatively impact your life.

A criminal investigation can progress rather quickly. What you may think is nothing right now could lead to your arrest tomorrow. The sooner you involve a criminal lawyer with your charges, the better the outcome for you. A South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can thoroughly analyze every aspect of your case and begin evaluating possible defenses and strategies right away. From early on, we will look for ways to help you avoid a criminal conviction.

We handle all of the following types of criminal cases, including:

  • Sex offenses, including rape, child molestation, child pornography, prostitution, indecent exposure, child abuse and sexual assault
  • Drug crimes, including possession, sale, distribution, grow house and trafficking
  • Violent crimes, including kidnapping, burglary, assault, battery, robbery, domestic violence, murder, manslaughter and weapons charges
  • White Collar Crimes, such as Internet crimes, fraud, forgery, identity theft and RICO
  • Juvenile Offenses
  • DUI Charges, including DUI Manslaughter and DUI Serious Bodily Injury

Continue reading

Published on:

Polk County detectives allegedly discovered 15 pounds of bagged marijuana in a grow house operation inside a barn in Frostproof last month.

Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office claim they received a tip about starved animals on the property. They apparently went to check out the site and found 37 pot plants growing inside a barn. They also found high intensity grow lights and grow light hoods, electric ballasts, air conditioners, air filters, plastic pots used for cannabis cultivation and cannabis stalks and roots.

They also located five horses on the property and determined that the animals were not malnourished or abused, however, did need improved care. The animals were turned over to a family member.

grow house 3Detectives decided to check out the mobile home on the property where they apparently uncovered a 30-30 rifle and two 357 magnum handguns.

Detectives arrested a 49-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman.

The pair has also been accused of stealing electricity to run the barn.

Both were arrested and taken to the Polk County Jail.

Charges in illegal marijuana cultivation cases are based on the number of plants captured by law enforcement officers. Most grow houses contain large quantities of marijuana plants and processed marijuana, so you could be facing serious felony charges that carry substantial prison time. Additionally, police tend to seek asset forfeitures when it comes to drug crime cases, so you could also be looking at frozen bank accounts, the loss of cash and even your home.

Continue reading

Contact Information