On Saturday evening September 26th, a 58-year-old Wayne man died after being struck in the head with an ax. Now his roommate, 26-year-old Jesse Gunderson, has been arraigned on charges of first-degree murder. Gunderson pleaded not guilty in the death of Danny Dart, according to news reports. iStock_000011602905_Large (2)

Gunderson had been staying at Dart’s home for several weeks; an altercation occurred in the backyard, according to neighbors. One neighbor found Dart lying in his driveway according to a resident in the area of the home located in the 4500 block of Chamberlain Street. An article at Clickondetroit.com stated that a couple lived at the home (presumably Dart and his wife), and that a relative (Gunderson) was visiting the couple from out of state. Gunderson had been at the home for several weeks. Authorities revealed the weapon used to strike Dart in the head was an ax.

Gunderson was denied bond; he is scheduled to appear in court again on October 6th.

Charges of first-degree murder are extremely serious, and may leave the accused facing life behind bars if convicted. This criminal offense occurs when one individual kills another in a deliberate or premeditated manner according to the Michigan Penal Code 750.316. In many murder cases, the prosecutor has a difficult time proving that someone’s death was indeed deliberate and premeditated, as arguments often arise in the heat of the moment and someone is killed with no premeditation or malicious aforethought.

Regardless of the circumstances of your case, it is imperative to work with a qualified Michigan criminal defense attorney who has a proven track record for success, even in cases involving violent crimes such as murder or manslaughter. A seasoned lawyer will work to prove that the death of the victim was not intentional, and bring in expert witnesses when necessary in order to prevent a conviction. Your legal rights must be protected, and police often make mistakes or violate your rights. Speak with a capable and aggressive attorney immediately in order to reach good results in your case.

Over the weekend, two 19-year-olds were arrested in Perry County in Illinois following a traffic stop in Tamaroa. Both of the men are from Union County, according to a news article at The Southern. iStock_000000341623_Large (2)

Nathan Sadler of Anna and Jason Goodman of Jonesboro were arrested after they were stopped by a Perry County Sheriff’s deputy for improper lane usage; Goodman was driving the vehicle in which marijuana, cocaine, and Adderall were found when the deputy searched the vehicle. The men admitted marijuana was present in the vehicle, which prompted the search after authorities thought the teens seemed nervous.

The two teens were taken to the Perry County Jail; both were charged with possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance. Goodman was also given a traffic ticket for improper lane usage.

Regardless of the state in which drug possession occurs, it is a serious matter that can impact a person’s life much more than he or she may believe. For example, in Illinois possession of controlled substances such as cocaine is considered a Class 1 felony possession; the incarceration period varies depending on the amount of drug involved. Even when someone is found to be in possession of only 15 grams of cocaine, the punishment may include from four to 15 years in prison along with fines of up to $200,000.

In the state of Michigan, possession of less than 25 grams of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug may result in a maximum of four years in prison along with fines of up to $25,000. Factors that affect the penalties a person may face if found guilty include the type and amount of drug involved, criminal history, and more. For instance, someone found in possession of between 50 and 449 grams of a Schedule I or II substance may be subject to 20 years in prison and/or fines of as much as $250,000.

A drug conviction cannot only steal away your freedom, it can also destroy your career, reputation, and future. If you have been charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana, a prescription drug, or any illicit substance, consult with a highly experienced Michigan drug crimes lawyer immediately. Taking quick action can change the outcome of your case.

Last week, a 53-year-old school bus driver who had been with the Hamilton Heights School Corporation since 2001 was suspended after she allegedly operated the bus while intoxicated. According to a news article at Fox59, Janet Kay Shaw was under the influence of drugs when the school bus ran off the side of the road with 23 students on board. bus-604402-m

The drugs found in Shaw’s handbag included Hydrocodone, Valium, and Soma. Parents of some of the students on the bus were alerted by their children via cell phones that the bus went off the roadway; the parents then contacted school officials. When the bus veered off the road, it was going approximately 40 mph according to investigators. Several power outages were reported, with one student who was waiting for the bus claiming he saw it go off the road when a “big green spark” flew in front of him. Noah Chapman, the 7th grade student who witnessed the crash, decided not to get on the bus. News reports indicate the bus struck a utility pole wire before returning to the road.

Several middle and high school students who were on the bus complained of headaches and minor aches and pains; they were treated by a school nurse. Upon arrival at the school, Shaw was removed from the bus immediately. She was suspended pending the next HHSC Board of School Trustees meeting where recommendation for termination will be presented.

Officials say Shaw had passed all previous random drug tests. She is charged with one count of leaving the scene of an accident, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, seven counts of leaving the scene of an accident with bodily injury, and eight counts of OWI with a passenger under 18 years of age.

Michigan DUI defense lawyers know that many people are under the assumption that OWI, DUI, OUI, and other similar charges involve the use of alcohol. The fact is, a person can face criminal charges for driving under the influence of prescription drugs or controlled substances, as these drugs can leave an individual impaired in much the same manner that alcohol does. A conviction for OWI, whether drugs, alcohol, or both are involved, may result in serious punishment including jail/prison time, fines, probation, community service, loss of employment is some cases such as the one above, driver’s license suspension, and more.

If you or someone you know has been charged with operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, or surrounding areas, consult with a qualified Michigan DUI attorney immediately. The outcome of your case could hinge on how quickly you obtain capable legal counsel.

On September 17, two women, both grandmothers, were carjacked at Detroit’s Motor City Casino according to a recent article at Mlive.com. The women, one from Sterling Heights and one from Clinton Township, were 68 and 78 years old respectively. Their names were not mentioned in the news article. slot-machines-1571555

The suspect, 49-year-old Wayne Darrell Jones, was arrested on September 21. The Wayne County Prosecutors Office said in a statement on the day Jones was arrested that he got into the vehicle with the two victims at about 5:30 a.m. on the day of the crime, pulled out a hand gun, took the women’s purses, and demanded money. He then ordered the younger of the two women to drive the car; when they reached the area of Appoline Street and Schoolcraft where a field was located, he forced the two victims out of the car and drove away. Police claim the victims were helped by a good Samaritan after walking two miles.

Jones was arrested and charged with two counts each of armed robbery, carjacking, felony firearm possession, and unlawful imprisonment. At his arraignment hearing on the 21st, bond was set at $100,000.

In the state of Michigan, an individual found guilty of carjacking could face a life prison term. Many who are charged with carjacking are also charged with kidnapping, another offense that may result in life in prison, along with fines of up to $50,000 under Michigan Penal Code 750.349. Regardless of the charges you face, if accused of carjacking you must work with an experienced and aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney who will protect your legal rights, explore all possible legal options, and work to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. This is a serious crime that requires serious legal representation.

In 2006, Dallin D. Fort who is now 39 years old was found guilty of raping a relative who was 9 years old at the time the alleged rape occurred in 2003. Now, the Washington Court of Appeal’s Third Division has overturned Fort’s conviction and granted him a new trial. gavel-952313-m

The decision was unanimous among the three-member panel, who vacated Fort’s 132-month sentence at Airway Heights Corrections Center because of the fact jurors were questioned by the judge in private prior to the beginning of the trial. The appeals court made its decision based on State v. Frawley, a previous Washington Supreme Court opinion that found unless the judge made a written ruling determining a court closure was justified, jury selection could not take place outside the courtroom. Prior to this decision, Washington judges presiding over sex crimes cases routinely questioned potential jurors in private.

Fort appealed his conviction twice, the first time just months following sentencing in early 2006. The appeals court found that because the issue of a public trial was not brought up in the first appeal, Fort’s lawyer at trial provided ineffective counsel. Fort’s conviction in the first appeal was confirmed.

No trial date has yet been scheduled for the new trial. One of the judges on the panel who voted to overturn Fort’s conviction wrote that although a new trial would be potentially traumatic for the victim and costly, “the sanctity of constitutional rights and Supreme Court precedence compel that we grant Dallin Fort a new trial.”

Michigan criminal appeals attorneys understand that having a conviction overturned is an extremely difficult process, however the effort is well worth it when a person’s constitutional rights have been violated or errors made, resulting in a prison sentence. Every person has the right to a fair trial, however there are times when that right is compromised. Judges, jurors, prosecutors, even defense attorneys make mistakes. However, when those mistakes or errors result in a verdict that could have potentially gone the other way or violate a defendant’s rights, it may be to the defendant’s benefit to appeal a verdict or sentence.

If you feel you have been unjustly convicted of a crime, consult with a highly experienced Michigan criminal appeals lawyer right away. A guilty verdict is not a dead end; there are often other avenues you need to pursue.

On Monday, September 14 three individuals were arrested after Dallas police searched what they called a ‘stash house’ in Mesquite where they allegedly found $94,000 in cash, hundreds of airline tickets, and pounds of marijuana. dutch-weed-2-jpg-1206038-m

Police seized nearly 12 lbs. (5,400 grams) of marijuana from the home located near U.S. Highway 80 and Belt Line Road. They also confiscated two laptops, a money counter, handgun, drug ledger, surveillance system, six cellphones, and marijuana treats/candy from Colorado in searching the home. The three individuals who were arrested include 36-year-old Adrian Clemons, 35-year-old Robert Davis, and 20-year-old Alexia Rey. Another woman was also present at the home; she and two young children were allowed to leave.

All three of the suspects were charged with felony marijuana possession and money laundering. Police also found nearly 300 Southwest Airlines companion passes in a safe, which Rey had given officers the combination to. Police said in an arrest warrant affidavit that the home was “obviously a marijuana and marijuana ‘stash house,’ where large amounts of illegal drugs are held for distribution to other dealers.”

While Clemons had no comment, Robert Davis, who is reportedly Rey’s boyfriend, claimed he was not involved in the money laundering or drug sales schemes, however he does have a criminal drug history.

In the state of Michigan, possession of pot is a misdemeanor offense that may result in fines of up to $2,000 and one year in jail, along with a criminal record. However, when an individual possesses a substantial amount of marijuana, police and prosecutors may believe that person intended to sell or distribute the pot, which may result in charges of possession with intent to sell or deliver. This charge is far more serious, and may result in punishment that includes fines of up to $10 million and a maximum of 15 years in jail depending on the amount of marijuana involved.

Regardless of the situation, a drug arrest can harm your reputation, employment, and impact your freedom if convicted. It is vital to consult with a skilled Michigan drug crimes lawyer early on to ensure your legal rights are protected, and that action is being taken to protect your freedom and future.

On Saturday evening September 19, 55-year-old Jose “Pepe” Diaz was stopped as he was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Key West for doing 74 mph in a 30 mph speed zone, according to NBC Miami. Diaz, who is the Miami-Dade County commissioner, was arrested on Roosevelt Blvd. after his motorcycle fell over when he failed to put the kick stand down. motorcycle-1549549

Although news reports do not reveal his blood alcohol content at the time, Diaz, an avid motorcycle rider, had attended the Key West Poker Run, a motorcycle event that draws thousands of bikers according to news reports. Diaz was elected District 12 commissioner in 2002 after serving as mayor of Sweetwater.

The commissioner was jailed in Monroe County Saturday night, and released just before noon on Sunday after posting a $1,000 bond according to Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin. Diaz would not discuss the details of his arrest at the time, but did say he looked forward to resolving the issue. He went on to say that he would continue to serve his community in the meantime, and that he requested the community’s patience during this time.

In the state of Florida, those convicted on a first DUI may face a maximum of six months in jail, fines, community service, probation, driver’s license revocation, DUI school, and more. Many people across the country are not aware of just how serious driving under the influence really is – it is a criminal offense, one that can leave the accused facing serious consequences.

In Michigan, as in most other states, the punishment an individual will face if found guilty of driving under the influence depend on a number of factors. These factors may include whether it is a first, second, or subsequent offense, whether a minor was in the vehicle at the time of arrest, whether anyone was injured/killed, and more.

Drunk driving is a very serious matter that can impact a person’s freedom, reputation, and career. If you have been arrested on charges of driving under the influence, contact an experienced Michigan DUI attorney immediately so that your legal rights can be protected, and work can begin to protect your freedom.

In August, 37-year-old Dante Nederveld of Farmington Hills was charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault and driving while license suspended after he allegedly punched 52-year-old Matthew Wegyn in the face after the two became involved in a fight. 12729_wpm_lowres (2)

Wegyn was hospitalized for his injuries, and died on September 3. According to the medical examiner, Wegyn died as a result of the punch to his face almost a month earlier. Now prosecutors have added a charge of manslaughter against Nederveld.

On August 9, police responded to reports of a fight at the Flamingo Mobile Home park on Middlebelt Road. The altercation reportedly occurred at approximately 1 a.m., according to a news report at the Farmington Voice. A police officer who responded to the scene was speaking with Wegyn and two others when Nederveld appeared suddenly from behind a vehicle and punched the victim in the face. News reports indicate Wegyn struck his head on the pavement after falling backward due to the blow. He was transported to an area hospital after being treated at the scene by fire department personnel, and Nederveld was arrested on the spot for assault.

After conducting an autopsy, the medical examiner determined Wegyn’s death to be a homicide.

Nederveld was arraigned on the involuntary manslaughter charge on September 15, and is expected to appear for a pre exam conference on September 25. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison, a $15,000 fine, or both according to news reports.

Now that the charges against Nederveld include manslaughter, the potential consequences have become far more serious. Aggravated assault, one of the charges Nederveld faced before Wegyn died, is a misdemeanor offense carrying penalties which include up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for those found guilty. He may now face many years behind bars if convicted.

Those found guilty of serious crimes often face punishment including jail/prison time, fines, a criminal record, and more. However, the punishment doesn’t stop there. Careers and reputations may be ruined, as well as family relationships. A conviction for manslaughter or any violent crime can change a person’s life forever – and in some cases, those who are innocent of the allegations against them are innocent.

Regardless of the circumstances, the first step anyone should take when arrested or under investigation for a crime is to consult with a skilled and dedicated Michigan criminal defense attorney who knows how police and prosecutors work, who will protect your legal rights, and who will fight vigorously from the beginning in order to obtain the best possible result.

A recent article at the Detroit News states that over the weekend, three drunk driving arrests were made in Macomb County; in addition, all three individuals had prior DUI convictions, and each had higher than usual BAC levels. bottle-wine-507990-m

An unnamed woman was first to be arrested for OWI after her vehicle was reportedly crossing into oncoming traffic and weaving. This arrest took place on Saturday evening in Macomb Township. The 36-year-old woman was reportedly operating on a temporary driver’s permit due to a previous OWI arrest on August 7 in St. Clair County. Her BAC registered 0.39 percent when given a breathalyzer at the jail, nearly five times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Just before 10 p.m. on Saturday, Jonathon Alhakim, 47, was arrested after the pickup he was driving became stuck in a ditch in Ray Township. Alhakim had six prior OWI convictions and numerous license suspensions and revocations. His BAC registered 0.25 percent, more than three times the legal limit. He was charged with OWI third offense, having open intoxicants in a motor vehicle, and driving with a suspended license (second offense).

The last person to be arrested within the 9-hour time span was 34-year-old Lesh Gorvokovic of New Haven, who was stopped at approximately 2:30 a.m. when his pickup was noticed by a sheriff’s deputy to be swerving. At the jail, the suspect’s BAC registered 0.18 percent. Gorvokovic’s driver’s license had been revoked, and he had three prior convictions for OWI. He was charged with driving with a suspended license (second offense), and a third offense OWI.

A third offense OWI is a felony, leaving the defendant to face serious criminal penalties if found guilty. In addition, all three had previously had their driver’s licenses suspended or revoked.

Michigan driver’s license reinstatement attorneys know that living a normal life without the privilege to drive is nearly impossible. While no one should be behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming the amount of alcohol these three individuals apparently did, a driver’s license is a must. If your license has been suspended or revoked for driving under the influence or for any reason, consult with an experienced lawyer who is skilled in the DAAD process, recently renamed the AHS, or Administrative Hearings Section.

Last week, a police officer with the Dumas Police Department in Arkansas was arrested for alleged drug conspiracy. According to several news sources 37-year-old James Ivory Edgerson, who has worked with the department for 14 years, is charged with drug conspiracy, a drug offense that could land him in prison for life if found guilty. illegal-drugs

U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer’s office announced the arrest on Thursday, September 10 after a lengthy investigation revealed Edgerson was making drug deliveries to confidential sources between May and September. During the investigation, Edgerson’s phone was also tapped. Upon his arrest, the suspect allegedly had an ounce of crack cocaine and three ounces of powder cocaine in his possession. Upon searching his home, authorities found $16,000, several firearms, and an unregistered suppressor.

Several other people were arrested in the drug conspiracy including Kendrick Lamar Edgerson, Rodney Lariel Edgerson, and Gregory Lamont Charles, all of Little Rock, Eli Haynes III of Arlington, TX, and Steven Sherrod Miles of Dumas. In total, police seized $222,000 in cash, five firearms, one pound of marijuana, one ounce of crack cocaine, and 28 ounces of powder cocaine after searching officer Edgerson and two other defendants’ homes.

Kendrick and Rodney Edgerson are both related to James Edgerson, who according to the complaint bought methamphetamine in Arlington from Haynes and sold it in Arkansas. The complaint also alleges that James and Kendrick Edgerson were discussing drug trafficking during a phone call federal agents intercepted.

Drug distribution and conspiracy are extremely serious charges. Although they are two separate offenses, these crimes often go hand in hand and can result in severe consequences for those convicted. Not only will the offender face a substantial number of years or even life in prison, he/she will have a criminal record, a ruined reputation, and broken family relationships. A conviction for drug conspiracy will literally ruin someone’s life.

Regardless of whether someone is charged with a less serious offense such as marijuana possession or a crime as serious as the one described above, it is imperative to consult with a Michigan drug crimes lawyer. It is important to take action immediately to protect your legal rights and freedom, learn about potential legal options, and work with your attorney in developing a strong and effective legal strategy. When your freedom is at risk, never take chances.