Viewing ‘Murder’ Category

Joran Van der Sloot charged with First Degree Murder in Peru

Joran Van der Sloot has been formally charged by Peruvian authorities with first degree murder for the killing of Stephany Flores.  Van der Sloot met Flores, 21, at a casino in Lima Peru.  Prosecutors are asking for a 30-year sentence if Van der Sloot is convicted as well as damages exceeding $70,000.

Van der Sloot also remains the sole suspect in the disappearance of American Natalee Holloway who vanished from Aruba in 2005.  She was last seen alive with Van der Sloot.  The killing of Flores came exactly 5 years to the day after Holloway disappeared.


Boyfriend and Mother on trial because their pet python strangled their 2 year old child


ORLANDO, Fla – Trial proceedings began on Monday for a central Florida mother and her boyfriend who are accused of allowing their pet python to strangle a 2-year-old girl in her crib.

Jaren Hare, 21, and boyfriend Charles Darnell, 34, were charged with manslaughter, third-degree murder and child neglect after the July 1, 2009, death of Hare’s daughter, Shaianna Hare, in Bushnell northwest of Orlando.

Darnell found the couple’s 12-foot-long albino Burmese python named Gypsy wrapped around Shaianna’s head and body, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. The medical examiner found bite marks on the child’s head and arms.

Darnell estimated that Shaianna weighed 22 pounds compared to the snake’s 45 to 50 pounds, the incident report said.

Darnell told deputies that he woke up in the middle of the night, found the python in the hallway and returned it to its 200-gallon aquarium where it spent most of its time. He thought he had secured the snake by placing it in a laundry bag, which had a small hole in it, and then covering the aquarium with a quilt held on by safety pins.

But Hare told deputies that the snake had escaped from the tank and laundry bag 10 times in the previous two months, and she was planning to make a locking lid for the tank.

Florida state law requires owners to keep pythons under lock and key. Neither Darnell nor Hare obtained a state permit to keep the python.

Darnell said the snake was due for its monthly feeding, but he didn’t think the animal wanted to eat the little girl. Darnell said he stabbed the snake while trying to pry the toddler from its grip but the child was already dead, the sheriff’s report stated.

The couple told deputies they often took the snake out of the tank to play with it and would place it around the shoulders of the children in the home without incident.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission took possession of the python and a red-tailed boa constrictor in the home. After the python was treated for stab wounds, both reptiles were placed with a licensed facility.

Lawyers selected a jury on Monday and were scheduled to begin opening statements Tuesday morning.

Update:  Thursday, July 14th – Jaren Hare, 21, and her boyfriend, Charles Darnell, 34, were found guilty of third-degree murder, manslaughter and child neglect in the 2009 death of Hare’s 2-year-old daughter Shaiunna.


Breaking News: Casey Anthony found Not Guilty of 1st Degree Murder

After deliberating for a day and a half the jury of 7 women and 5 men has found Casey Anthony not guilty of the murder of her 2 year old child Caylee Anthony.

Casey Anthony – Not Guilty Verdict

The final verdict was as follows:

  • Count 1:  1st Degree Murder – Not Guilty
  • Count 2:  Aggravated Child Abuse – Not Guilty
  • Count 3:  Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child – Not Guilty
  • Count 4:  Providing False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer – Guilty
  • Count 5:  Providing False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer – Guilty
  • Count 6:  Providing False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer – Guilty
  • Count 7:  Providing False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer – Guilty

Providing False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer is a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in jail.  See Florida Statutes §837.055.  Sentencing is set for Thursday at 9 am.  Casey Anthony will likely receive credit for the time she has served and be released from custody.  She has already served 3 years pending her trial.



Criminal Law Update

Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case is falling apart for the Government

Strauss-Kahn is the former IMF leader (and French future presidential candidate) who was charged with attempting to rape a maid in his $3,000 per night hotel suite in New York City on May 14,2011.

According to numerous published reports, the sexual assault case against the former IMF leader is very near collapse.  There will be a court hearing today, July 1, to determine whether there will be a change in Strauss-Kahn’s bond as he is presently on house arrest in New York.  It is also possible that the charges could be dismissed.

Numerous new revelations about his alleged accuser have surfaced that will make it nearly impossible for the Prosecution to move ahead with a case.

Some noted revelations:

  • When the accuser came to the United States for Guinea, she alleged that she had been raped in her native country on her political asylum application.  She has since admitted that this was a lie.
  • Prosecutors have discovered possible links between the accuser and criminal activities which include money laundering and drug dealing.
  • The accuser had a recorded telephone conversation with an incarcerated man where she discussed the potential benefits of bringing a case against Strauss-Kahn.
  • Over the past two years, the incarcerated man, as well as numerous other individuals, have deposited over $100,000 into the accuser’s bank account.

It appears that it will be very likely that this case will be ultimately be dismissed.  It is certainly headed in that direction.

UPDATE:  Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest today.  He is now free  to come and go as he pleases in New York and his $6 million dollar bond has been returned.  As of now, he will not be returned his passport to allow international travel back to France.


Defense Rests in Casey Anthony Trial, will not call her to the stand

The defense finished their case in the Casey Anthony trial without calling the her as a witness.  Earlier in the week, the defense asked to have Ms. Anthony evaluated for competency.  This may or may not have been due to a desire by her to testify.  After reviewing the evaluating doctor’s reports, the Judge found Ms. Anthony to be competent and the trial continued.


There are certainly times where it is a good idea for a defendant to testify on their own behalf.  This case definitely is not one of those times.  Casey Anthony has told far too many outrageous stories since this investigation began to risk putting her on the stand.  The prosecution would likely have destroyed any credibility Ms. Anthony has left if she had taken the stand.

The prosecution will put on a brief rebuttal case today and closing arguments could begin as early as Saturday.