State Trooper Honored for Alabama's First Texting while driving manslaughter conviction

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An Alabama State Trooper was recently awarded for his investigation into a crash two years ago that led to what a prosecutor believes is the first manslaughter conviction based on the state's texting and driving law. Trooper Bruce Irvin recently received the citation from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Stan Stabler, according to the agency's Twitter and Facebook pages. Trooper Irvin is assigned to Highway Patrol's Mobile Post. Two years ago, USA student Miranda "Randi" Hamilton died in a crash that prosecutors blamed on another driver's cell phone use. On Wednesday, that man drew a potentially precedent-setting 10-year split sentence on his manslaughter conviction. Irvin was the traffic investigator for an April 14, 2014 crash on Lott Road, just west of Schillinger road that killed 24-year-old Miranda Hamilton of Mobile. A jury earlier this year found Jonathan Mikeal Raynes, 23, of Purvis, Miss., guilty of manslaughter in the wreck. Raynes was sentenced in April by Circuit Court Judge Robert Smith to a 10-year-split sentence with two years to serve in prison. Raynes is appealing his conviction and sentence to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Raynes, according to testimony at his trial, had told Irvin that it had not been his phone that distracted him, Irvin testified that he believed otherwise. Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich argued that Raynes was "fixated" on his phone at the time of the crash. Her case was built largely on the testimony of Paul Weathersby, an information technology specialist and digital forensic examiner for the FBI's Mobile division. Weathersby testified that Raynes had been using his cellphone in the hour before the crash mostly to send instant messages or look at profiles of women on dating sites. He used several social media apps, but returned repeatedly to a dating site called Badoo, which he apparently was using for the first time that morning. According to Weathersby testified Raynes last manipulated his phone at 8:57:36 a.m., or 32 seconds before the first 911 call about the wreck was logged. If the prosecution doesn't have a smoking gun in a manslaughter case based on Alabama's texting and driving law, will a warm one do? Based on the verdict in a Mobile case, the answer apparently is "yes.' No eyewitness testified that he was using his phone at the instant of the crash. Rich said earlier this year that she believes this is the first time Alabama's texting and driving statute has been applied in a manslaughter case. The state's texting and driving law went into effect in August 2012. Starting Wednesday in Alabama, car-driving texters, emailers, Facebookers and Twitterers will take on a new handle -- lawbreakers. That's when Alabama becomes the 38th state with a law banning texting and driving.Line

Alert State Trooper Locates Missing Child and Grandfather on Independence Day

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At approximately 3:00 am on July 4, 2016, the New Oreleans Police Departmentcontacted Louisiana State Police about a missing child from the New Orleans area. Roshei Selmon (3 years old) was last seen with his 45 year old grandfather, Roland Williams, and both had been reported missing by their family. Louisiana State Police issued a Level II Endangered/Missing Child Advisory due to the fact that Williams suffers from a medical condition which impairs his judgment. Williams was believed to have been traveling with the child in a beige/tan 2007 Cadillac DTS. Louisiana State Police broadcast the missing person information to all on-duty Troopers. Shortly after 6:00 am, an alert Trooper from State Police Troop A in Baton Rouge spotted the vehicle at a convenience store on Satsuma Rd. near I-12 in Livingston Parish. The vehicle was unoccupied, so the Trooper entered the building to search for the child and his grandfather. Upon searching the building, the Trooper located both Selmon and Williams in the restroom area of the store. Both were unharmed and in good condition. While awaiting confirmation of Selmon and Williams’ identity, the Trooper provided them both with food and water. The New Orleans Police Department and the family of Selmon and Williams were contacted about the recovery.Acadian Ambulance was dispatched to the scene as a precaution, and checked both Selmon and his grandfather for any injuries. Both were in good health, and were released to family members to return home. "Far too often law enforcement and other public safety agencies are called to respond to tragic events,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. "However, in this darkness, we never stop searching for the light of hope. The successful recovery of this young child and his grandfather are our beacon today. Working together with our public safety partners for positive resolutions are why we do what we do.”

Source:Louisiana State Police Facebook page

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Ohio State Patrol:15 year old drives van with intoxicated parents as passengers

Two parents have been charged with child endangerment after police say they had their 15-year-old drive them to Cedar Point - while they were in the car legally intoxicated. An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper pulled a mini-van over on State Route 2 shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday morning for speeding. When the trooper asked for the driver's information, he discovered that the male was 15 and didn't have a license or even a driver's learning permit. The driver's mother, father and 12-year-old sister were also in the van, with the father in the passenger seat next to the 15-year-old. The trooper noticed "obvious signs of impairment" with the parents and gave them a portable breath test. The father, Timothy McCoy of Reynoldsburg, tested at .184% alcohol content and the mother, Michelle Kirk, also of Reynoldsburg, tested at .265%. The legal limit for blood alcohol in Ohio is .08%. The family said that they had been driving to Cedar Point, had left early in the morning with their 15-year-old driving, and had gotten lost and had been driving all night. Police report that the teen drove all the way from Columbus to Vermilion before they stopped the van. The parents were placed into custody and the family was taken to the Ohio State Patrol post in Sandusky. A grandmother came to pick the children up. McCoy was charged with child endangerment and was taken to the Erie County Jail. Kirk was charged with child endangerment and wrongful entrustment of a vehicle. She was released with her children when her mother arrived to pick them up. Both parents will be in court on July 5th. Children Services in Columbus was notified about the incident and will be given a copy of the report.

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In the "Some People Never Learn" Category……. Man sentenced to prison for trying to hire someone to kill state trooper…

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A federal prosecutor saya a Massachusetts man charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill his estranged wife has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for trying to hire someone to kill the undercover state trooper who posed as the hit man. Fifty-gour-year old Andrew S. Gordon, a financial planner in Chelmsford, was convicted in March of using the mail and telephone to try to hire a New Hampshire gang member to kill the state trooper and another man, both of who were witnesses in the state case against Gordon. The gang memeber was actually another undercover office. U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz in Boston said in a news release that Gordon was sentenced Tuesday to the prison term plus three years' supervised release and a $20,000 fine.

 

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Head of Louisiana State Police stands by Trooper

13508844 1372387059444547 5812769637651632048 nThe head of the Louisiana State Police voiced unequivocal support Tuesday for a trooper who body-slammed an apparently drunken Illinois man in the French Quarter over the weekend, describing the officer’s use of force as commensurate with conditions on Bourbon Street at 4 a.m. Col. Mike Edmonson, responding to a cellphone video viewed more than a half-million times on Facebook, said the off-duty trooper reacted appropriately under the circumstances and that State Police have not opened an internal investigation into the arrest. “It’s easy to take a tape and pick it apart, but my troopers are dealing with a lot of people who are intoxicated and a lot of unknowns,” Edmonson said in a telephone interview. “Unless you’re in the heat of the moment, you don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know who these individuals are, where they’ve been and what they’re doing.” The arrest happened after 4 a.m. Saturday in the 200 block of Bourbon Street. The trooper, whose name was not released, had just finished a 12-hour shift and was headed to his vehicle when employees at the Beach on Bourbon flagged him down “asking for help with an intoxicated subject refusing to leave” the bar, said Trooper Melissa Matey, a State Police spokeswoman. The Illinois man, 39-year-old Michael Hoffman, apparently had complained that he had not received his debit card back from bartenders, said Joshua Plauche, a Florida photographer who happened upon the incident and filmed it with his cellphone. “In my opinion, it was a misunderstanding,” Plauche said, “but I don’t know on which end.” Hoffman can be heard in the video inquiring about pressing charges and asking the trooper, “How is this OK?” Another man, Hoffman’s brother, initially tried to defuse the situation but later appeared to raise the tension when he stepped between the trooper and his brother. That maneuver prompted the trooper to throw Hoffman’s brother into a row of trash cans lining the street before forcefully taking Hoffman to the ground inside Willie’s Chicken Shack, a business next door to the bar. Hoffman was treated for a cut to the hip but has lodged no complaints about his arrest, Matey said. He received a summons to appear in New Orleans Municipal Court on counts of criminal trespass, public intoxication, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. Plauche said he had been impressed by the trooper’s patience and demeanor throughout the first several minutes of his dealings with Hoffman. “The cop did a great job in the beginning, when they were talking,” he said, adding that he intends to upload additional footage of the incident. “I respected that.” But the body slam seemed like an overreaction, the photographer said, noting the trooper had not even called for backup. “It was an emotional decision by the officer,” said Plauche, who has not been contacted by any law enforcement officials. “I think of it as the conversation being Point A and the body slam being Point C. The trooper skipped over Point B.” Edmonson said he had no concerns about the trooper’s use of force, adding it was clear from the footage that Hoffman had been resisting arrest. He said the trooper used a common police tactic known as an “arm-bar takedown” to gain control of the situation.

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