U. S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE RECUSED IN MAJOR GANG/MURDER CASE

James J. Bulger was indicted on numerous gang charges in the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts including 19 murders and RICO charges. It is alleged that he led the Winter Hill Gang. He claims, with a significant amount of evidence to back him up that he was given immunity by the Justice Department in exchange for his assistance to the government as an informant. The charges were brought against Bulger by the New England Organized Crime Strike […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT GRANTS ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY TO GRAND JURY WITNESSES

The question in Rehberg v. Paulk is whether a grand jury witness enjoys immunity for his/her testimony before the Grand Jury. James P. Paulk, an investigator for the Albany Georgia District Attorney’s office testified three times before a grand jury. In each instance the grand jury indicted Charles A. Rehberg and in each instance the indictment was dismissed. After the final dismissal Rehberg sued Paulk for violating his civil rights. The Supreme Court upheld Paulk’s claim to absolute immunity for […] Read more »

NEW CHARGES IN BILLINGS MURDER CASE

On April 9, 2009 at least three people invaded the Beulah, Florida residence of Melanie and Byrd Billings, murdering them and stealing a safe. Ten of their children, eight of whom were special needs children the couple had adopted were home at the time but none of them were injured. Escambia County authorities charged eight people in the case. Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr., Leonard Gonzalez, Sr., Donnie Ray Stallworth, Wayne Thomas Coldiron, Frederick Lee Thornton Jr., Gary Lamont Sumner, and […] Read more »

TENTH CIRCUIT DENIES IMMUNITY TO PROSECUTOR FOR REVIEW OF SEARCH WARRANT AFFIDAVIT

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals denied immunity to a prosecutor who reviewed a search warrant affidavit for the residence of an on-line journalist at the University of Northern Colorado. Thomas Mink published The Howling Pig. For its editorial column he chose the name of Junius Puke with an altered photograph of Junius Peake, a professor at the school. Mr. Peake was not amused. He contacted the Greeley police. They drafted a search warrant affidavit for the home that Mink […] Read more »

U S ATTORNEY DENIED ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE ROLE

Lawyers for U. S. Attorney Daniel Zachem filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court challenging a D. C. Circuit Court decision denying him immunity in a case in which Zachem and Suzanne Bailey-Jones, a District of Columbia Superior Court official removed Peter Atherton from the grand jury. The rule allows only the presiding judge or his/her designate to remove grand jurors. But after complaints from other members of the grand jury that Atherton was disruptive Zachem went to […] Read more »