A Florida man who threatened to kill the lawyer who defended former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty, prosecutors said Thursday.
The man, William John Hartnett, 42, of Coral Gables, made the threats in a phone call to the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association on April 6 as Chauvin was on trial for the murder of George Floyd, officials said.
Hartnett called the organization, which funded Chauvin’s defense, and left a message that said in part: “you and your whole f—ing family are going to f—ing die … for representing Chauvin,” according to a criminal complaint.
Hartnett told investigators he was trying to reach Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, according to court documents.
Chauvin was convicted of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on April 20 for killing Floyd, a Black man, in May 2020.
Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9½ minutes, sparking outrage and protests across the country and around the world.
Hartnett pleaded guilty Wednesday to a count of transmitting a threat through interstate communications, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Hartnett is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 15.
A Bronx man has been indicted by a borough grand jury for the August 2021 stabbing death of a 65-year-old Jackson Heights attorney, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Friday.
Nando Perez, 64, was arraigned on Thursday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant on an indictment charging him with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Pandit-Durant continued to hold the defendant without bail and ordered him to return to court on Oct. 12.
According to the charges, sometime after 4:20 p.m. on Aug. 4, Perez entered the law office of Charles Zolot on 82nd Avenue near 37th Street in Jackson Heights. The defendant, who had once been a client of the attorney, allegedly attacked Zolot in his second-floor conference room, stabbing him approximately 20 times before fleeing the scene. The lawyer’s body was found the following morning by a custodian.
“This was a brutal killing that stunned the community. The victim was found dead inside his Jackson Heights office with multiple stab wounds and a former client is accused of settling a disagreement with violence,” DA Katz said.
The man accused of fatally shooting an El Paso lawyer and wounding her husband has “extremist religious beliefs” and believed Memorial Park was used as a “ritualistic satanic ground to conduct abortions by manner of magic,” according to court documents.
Joseph Angel Alvarez, 38, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the shooting of lawyers Georgette G. Kaufmann, 50, and Daniel L. Kaufmann, 47, at their home in the 3000 block of Copper Avenue in the historic Manhattan Heights neighborhood, El Paso Police Department officials said.
The shootings happened about 7:35 p.m. Nov. 14.
Alvarez said he was “executing and exterminating the pro-choice Jewish Satan worshippers” when he chose the Kaufmanns’ home to commit the fatal shooting, believing that four houses on the corners of Raynor Street and Copper Avenue were part of “satanic activities,” according to a complaint affidavit.
Alvarez targeted the four corner houses because they are near the park and he therefore believed they were part of a satanic cult, the affidavit states.
Legal organizations around the world, including bar associations, condemn Taliban takeover
Legal organizations around the world, including bar and judicial associations, are condemning the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the reports of human rights violations that have already taken place there.
The Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association (CSCJA), which represents nearly all of the federally appointed judges in Canada, was one of many associations releasing statements in the past week expressing concern and support for the people of Afghanistan.
“We note with particular concern the media reports about the safety and security of Afghan judges, particularly female judges,” the CSCJA said in its statement. For the past 20 years, it noted, Afghan judges’ focus as an independent judiciary was to render judgments based on the law, respect for human rights, and free of political influence or favour.
“While all judges are now in danger, female judges are particularly at risk because the Taliban has traditionally considered it unacceptable for Afghan women to sit in judgment of men,” the statement read. “Additionally, Afghan women in general now appear more vulnerable because of their apparent inability to move freely within or between cities.”
The American Bar Association is deeply saddened and concerned about the demise of the rule of law in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes control of the Afghan government and society.
We call on the United States and the rest of the international community to ensure the safety of the many people within Afghanistan who have worked tirelessly over the past 20 years to establish democracy and respect for the rule of law and human rights, including the judges, lawyers and law students who share our profession.
The ABA and all those committed to the rule of law condemn recent events that threaten the lives and liberty of millions of Afghanis.
The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
A dissatisfied client has been charged in the stabbing death of a lawyer found fatally stabbed in his New York City law office last week.
Nando Perez, 64, of New York City was charged with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Queens district attorney in New York City.
Perez is accused of killing 65-year-old lawyer Charles Zolot, who was found dead in his office by a cleaning person.
The charges allege that Perez entered Zolot’s law offices Wednesday and attacked the lawyer in his second-floor conference room. Perez is accused of stabbing Zolot all over his body, leaving at least 20 stab sounds.
Zolot practiced family, bankruptcy and real estate law.
Lawyer Mark Drucker, who had an office in Zolot’s building, told CBS New York that legal assistants heard a loud argument around closing time Wednesday.
A civil rights attorney alleges Washington police entered his home without a warrant, detained him, and later retaliated against him following a 911-call mistakenly reporting a kidnapping, according to a complaint filed in a federal court in Washington.
Jared Fishman is a former Department of Justice attorney who now runs a nonprofit “dedicated to developing data-based solutions for a more equitable criminal justice system.” He alleges that Officer Marck Jaeger confronted him at his home following a 911-call reporting that the lawyer had abducted his own daughter outside of a restaurant.
Jaeger encountered Fishman “sitting on the front stoop, shoeless, playing Bob Dylan’s ‘Simple Twist of Fate’ on an acoustic guitar,” the complaint says. The officer then allegedly followed Fishman inside his home, grabbed him, and forced him to the ground in front of his children, according to the complaint.
“No reasonable officer could have believed that there was any justification for detaining Fishman after his wife and children confirmed that he did nothing wrong,” according to the complaint filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Fishman also alleges that Lieutenant Patrick Loftus retaliated against the attorney’s protestations by filing legal and ethics complaints with the Maryland State Bar, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility, and the U.S. Inspector General.
A defrocked Catholic priest accused of systematic child abuse in East Timor has been reported to police for allegedly threatening to kill the human rights lawyer representing the victims.
The claim against American-born Richard Daschbach was made in a statement released on Tuesday night by law firm JUS Juridico Social Consultoria.
“At around 11.15am [on Tuesday] inside the Oecusse District Court, the accused of the case of 14 counts of sexual abuse against children, one count of child pornography and domestic violence, ex-priest Mr Richard Daschbach threatened to kill Ms Barbara Oliveira, partner of JU,S Juridico Social,” the firm said in the statement.
“This threat was made inside the court building, directly witnessed by one member of the national police. While Ms Oliveira was sitting and working in the waiting area of the court waiting for the conclusion of the hearing, Mr Daschbach left the defendant waiting room to go to the toilet.
“Upon his return, Mr Daschbach walked across the open area and stood right in front of her while she remained sitting, at a distance of approximately 1.5m to 2m, and clearly uttered in English, ‘Barbara, you know we are going to kill you’. After that, he went back to the defendant room.”
The incident was reported to police and because Oliveira is a Brazilian and Portuguese national, their embassies in Dili have also been informed about the alleged death threat, the statement said.
Miguel Faria, one of the lawyers defending the sacked priest, told Portuguese news agency Lusa his team “were not aware of the situation”.
Daschbach, 84, is facing charges of child pornography, domestic violence and 14 counts of alleged abuse of girls under 14 at a shelter he operated in the country between 1991 and 2018.
Friday marks the sixth anniversary of the “709 crackdown,” but some of the human rights lawyers that were arrested back then were still serving jail sentences. Additionally, while many of them have been released, the government has revoked their licenses, which makes it hard for some of them to raise their families.
While many human rights lawyers arrested during the “709 crackdown” have been released six years after the mass arrest, Yu Wen-sheng, who was the defense lawyer for several of them in 2015, is still serving his jail sentence at the Nanjing prison.
According to his wife Xu Yan, he has multiple health problems, including trembling and powerlessness in his right arm, which causes him to lose the ability to write, brush his teeth or pick dishes with chopsticks with his right arm. Additionally, he also suffers from high blood pressure, spine issues and kidney stones.
“In fact, his health condition isn’t really good and usually, he would already qualify for compassionate release, but the prison hasn’t approved my application for almost a year,” she said.
Xu said even though she continues to demand the prison to take Yu Wen-sheng to doctors for treatment, authorities at the prison have only taken him to the doctor twice in more than three years.
“He’s only been to the doctors twice in more than three years and the authorities still haven’t allowed him to get dental implant surgeries for the four teeth that he has lost,” she said. “If he fails to get dental implants for too long, it will start affecting his ability to eat food and other teeth nearby might start to get looses too.”
When the Chinese government initiated the “709 crackdown” six years ago, they arrested and detained hundreds of human rights lawyers, activists and their family members across 23 provinces in China. Yu Wen-sheng became the first lawyer to openly sue the government for the mass arrest on July 30.