Tampa Criminal Case – Video – High Profile Mistrial – Florida

Judge William Fuente, mistrial, jurors, premeditation, death penalty
Tampa Criminal Case
High Profile Mistrial
Criminal Defense experts agree that when the stakes are high, in a death penalty case, a Judge has to be extremely careful. 10, 15, or 20 years later when the ultimate price is to be paid the courts will be very careful to avoid executing someone who has not received a fair trial.


Judge William Fuente granted a mistrial in a high profile murder case where the alleged victim was a baby tossed from a moving car onto an Interstate highway in Tampa, Florida. “The jurors heard testimony they should not have heard under any circumstances. In this court’s conclusion, a mistrial is necessary,” Fuente said Tuesday morning. One juror was interviewed in the video clip below.

Radio Interview Clip





In this case, the witness, the alleged victim’s mother, brought into at least one juror’s mind the concept of premeditation. Premeditation is a essential element of a death penalty case under Florida criminal law. The statement was excluded during pretrial litigation. Judge Fuente’s ruling was spot-on. This is not the first time that Judge Fuente has been faced with issues that caused a mistrial in a high-profile case.

Recently, a juror had Googled a subject during the course of a trial. That caused Judge Fuente to declare a mistrial and to take action against the Juror. In another recent case, an emotional witness screamed out in front of the jury and the jury heard information that was not admissible. Judge Fuente had to grant another mistrial

It is not uncommon for lawyers to instruct Witnesses not to discuss certain matters that have already been decided by the court before the trial. In this case, I understand the prosecutor did not instruct the witness not to speak of certain matters. Consequently, the case will be tried again later this year.
Defense attorneys frequently must move for a mistrial when improper information has been in front of the jury. This is due to the general rule that the failure to allow the judge to correct a problem that has come before the jury during the trial renders that issue non-reviewable by an appeals court later on in the proceedings.
Judge William Fuente – Biography
Judge William Fuente was born in Key West, Fla. on May 21, 1945. He received his B.A. degree (in Biology) from the University of South Florida in 1974 and his J.D. degree from the South Texas College of Law in 1976. He also served in the U.S. Navy from 1967 to 1971.
Judge Fuente began his career in 1980 as an Assistant State Attorney, and was also in private practice lawyer until he was appointed to the Hillsborough County Court in 1994. In 1997, he was elevated to the Circuit Court. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Stetson University College of Law.

Boston Marathon Bombing Criminal Complaint Download PDF Here

Boston Marathon Bombing Criminal Complaint is available here:


Excerpts from Special Agent’s Affidavit:


bombing, Criminal Complaint Boston Marathon, terrorism, United States District Court,

Criminal Complaint Boston Marathon,

Boston Marathon Bombing
Criminal Complaint
Download PDF Here

“I submit this affidavit in support of an application for a complaint charging DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV with (1) unlawfully using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device) against persons and property within the United States …”


“I have reviewed videotape footage taken from a seculity camcra located on Boylston Street near the corner of Boylston and Gloucester Streets. At approximately 2:38 p.m. (based on the video’s duration and timing of the explosions) — i.e., approximately 1 I minutes before the first explosion –two young men can be seen turning left (eastward) onto Uoylsion from Gloucester Street. Both men are carrying large knapsacks.”


“Approximately 30 seconds before the first explosion, he lifts his phone to his ear as if he is speaking on his cell phone, and keeps it there for approximately 18 seconds. A few seconds afler he finishes the call, the large crowd of people around him can be seen reacting to the first explosion. Virtually every head turns to the east (towards the finish line) and stares in that direction in apparent bewilderment and alarm. Bomber
Two, virtually alone among the individuals in front of’the restaurant, appears calm.”


“In addition, from the scene of the shootout on Laurel Street in Watertown, the FBI has recovered two unexploded IEDs, as well as the remnants of numerous exploded IEDs.”
“The remnants of at least one of the exploded IEDs at the scene of the shootout indicate that a low-grade explosive had been contained in a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker was of the same brand as the ones used in the Marathon explosions. The explosive also contained metallic BBs contained within an adhesive material as well as green-colored hobby fuse. The intact low-grade explosive device found in the abandoned car was in a plastic container and wrapped with green-colored hobby fuse.”

“On April 21, 2013, the FBI searched DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV’s dormitory room at 7341 Pine Dale Hall at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, pursuant to a search warrant. The FBI seized from his room, among other things, a large pyrotechnic, a black jacket and a white hat of the same general  appearance as those worn by Bomber Two at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, and BBs.”

“Based on the foregoing, there is probable cause to believe that on or about April 15, 2013, DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV violated 18 U.S.C. $5 2332a (using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, resulting in death) and 844(i) (malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive devicc, resulting in death). Accordingly, I respectfully request that the Court issue a complaint charging DZHOKHAR  TSARNAEV with those crimes. Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation”

Federal Criminal Prosecutions on the Rise – By the Numbers

federal criminal defense, Middle District of Florida, Federal Criminal Defense Attorney,

Federal Criminal Prosecutions on the Rise

Federal Criminal Prosecutions are up for 2012 in the Middle District of Florida says a United States Department of Justice report. USDOJ  national statistics reveal in 2012, there were 84,307 criminal filings in the nation. In the Middle District of Florida for 2012 there were 1,505 Filings and 2011 had 1,290 filings.

Sadly, drug cases, including marijuana, remained by far the largest category  with 593  of the 1505 total (39%) cases. The next largest number of case filings – Immigration (241 cases) (16%) , then Fraud offenses right behind it at 227 (15%) ; Firearms (Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms –  ATF) Gun cases were next at 171 filings (11%).  In the 11th Circuit there were 2,064 criminal appeals filed in 2012 compared to 1,433 filed in 2011.

Pardon | Seal | Expunge

Presidential Pardons

Presidential Pardons

Presidential Pardons are at 22 and counting under President Barack Obama as of November 2011. A Tampa Bay, Florida resident benefited from a “presidential pardon this week [and]  called his earlier felony a “youthful indiscretion” that happened after he got mixed up in the wrong crowd.”

Pardon vs. Seal | Expunge

According to the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) “[w]hile a presidential pardon will restore various rights lost as a result of the pardoned offense and should lessen to some extent the stigma arising from a conviction, it will not erase or expunge the record of your conviction.

Free Florida Sealing and Expunge Web App

We have place a free Florida Sealing and Expunge Web App on SealMyFile.com. Check and See If You Are Eligible To Have Your Record Sealed Or Expunged. The contact The Law Office of Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer W.F. “Casey” Ebsary, Jr. at 813-222-2220.


Presidential Pardon Requirements


Federal Offense Only

“Under the Constitution, only federal criminal convictions, such as those adjudicated in the United States District Courts, may be pardoned by the President. ” Furthermore, “if you are seeking clemency for a state criminal conviction, you should not complete and submit [a Presidential Pardon] petition. Instead, you should contact the Governor or other appropriate authorities of the state where you reside or where the conviction occurred (such as the state board of pardons and paroles) to determine whether any relief is available to you under state law. ”

Five Year Waiting Period

“Under the Department’s rules governing petitions for executive clemency, 28 C.F.R. §§ 1.1 et seq., an applicant must satisfy a minimum waiting period of five years before he becomes eligible to apply for a presidential pardon of his federal conviction. “

Application Tip:

When completing the application, “you should state the specific purpose for which you are seeking pardon and, if applicable, attach any relevant documentary evidence that indicates how a pardon will help you accomplish that purpose (such as citations to applicable provisions of state constitutions, statutes, or regulations, or copies of letters from appropriate officials of administrative agencies, professional associations, licensing authorities, etc.). In addition, you should bear in mind that a presidential pardon is ordinarily a sign of forgiveness and is granted in recognition of the applicant’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime and established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or release from confinement. ”

USDOJ Has Penalty for False Statements

“The failure to fully and accurately complete the application form may be construed as a falsification of the petition, which may provide a reason for denying your petition. In addition, the knowing and willful falsification of a document submitted to the government may subject you to criminal punishment, including up to five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 and 3571.”

Source:  https://www.tampabay.com/news/business/presidential-pardon-brings-relief-stirs-regret-wesley-chapel-man-tells/1203163


Pardon?  Seal? Expunge? Call 813-222-2220

Search Warrant Gibson Guitars

Search Warrant, Gibson, Gibson Guitar, Gibson Search Warrant, The Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3372(a)(2)(B)(iii)

Search Warrant, Gibson, Gibson Guitar, Gibson Search Warrant

Gibson Guitar Search Warrant

Gibson Guitars and The Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3372(a)(2)(B)(iii)

Gibson Search Warrant? Feds with nothing better to do spent a lot of time and money drafting this Affidavit for Search Warrant. Somehow, I don’t feel any safer.

UPDATE: “Gibson, fearing a bankrupting legal battle, settled and agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty to the U.S. Government. It also agreed to make a “community service payment” of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation — to be used on research projects or tree-conservation activities. The feds in return agreed to let Gibson resume importing wood while they sought “clarification” from India.” According to Investor’s Business Daily.

Jump to End of Article to see Previous Federal Guitar-related Prosecutions.

Gibson Search Warrant Excerpts:

“The Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3372(a)(2)(B)(iii), makes it unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any plant taken, possessed, transported or sold, in violation of any limitation under any law or regulation of any State, or under any foreign law, governing the export or transshipment of plants. Section 3371 defines the term plant and plants to mean any wild member of the plant kingdom, including roots, seeds, parts, or products thereof, and including trees from either natural or planted forest stands.

Gibson Guitar Affidavit for Search Warrant Download Here
8. Title 18, United States Code, Section 545, makes it unlawful for anyone to knowingly import or bring into the United States any merchandise contrary to law, or to receive, conceal, buy, sell, or in any manner facilitate the transportation, concealment, or sale of such merchandise after importation, knowing the same to have been imported or brought into the United States contrary to law.
9. Countries generally establish laws and regulations related to the harvest (logging) and export of wood, timber or plants (forest products) in order to manage natural resources and regulate the commercialization of their nation’s natural resources.
10. The international community uses an “International Tariff Code” system or ITC, also known as the “Harmonized Schedule” or HS, to simplify international trade in commodities including plants and plant products. Most relevant to this case is HS Code 4407, “Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded, or end jointed, or a thickness exceeding 6mm.” India prohibits the export of products classified under HS Code 4407 for all plant species harvested in India, without exception.”
“14. Guitar bodies utilize veneers of various wood species. Veneers are typically large pieces of uniformly cut thin sheets of wood, defined by the harmonized tariff codes under the HS series 4408. Veneers are defined as being less than 6mm thick” 
Gibson Search

“The plant product imported was “Ebony fingerboards for guitars: Diospyros ebenum, harvested in India”. The final consignee was declared as GIBSON GUITAR, 641 Massman Dr, TN, with Herb Jenkins listed as the point of contact.”

“34. According to Matthews, since January 2010, GIBSON CUSTOM has used only Indian rosewood. Eugene Nix initially receives and inspects all the GIBSON CUSTOM rosewood and ebony upon import. Nix then kiln dries the wood andlor conditions the rosewood and ebony to prepare it for the manufacturing process. The rosewood and ebony is then shipped to GIBSON CUSTOM from the GIBSON ELECTRIC facilities when it is ready. Gibson purchasing managers are responsible for the order placement and purchase of specific species of sawn wood from selected venders. The following GIBSON GUITAR CORPORATION employees are responsible for the sourcing and procurement of rosewood and ebony for manufacturing at the different GIBSON GUITAR CORPORATION Divisions . . . .”

“31. SA Seiler conducted an interview with GIBSON GUITAR CORPORATION employee, Eugene Nix, on November 17, 2009. Nix is the wood products engineer for GIBSON GUITAR CORPORATION and is responsible for sourcing types and species of wood for manufacturing use by GIBSON GUITAR CORPORATION. In addition, Nix is responsible for inspection of the imported wood to evaluate its condition, properties, and quality. Nix also accomplished all kiln drying for imported wood received at the GIBSON ELECTRIC manufacturing facility in Nashville, Tennessee, including rosewood and ebony. Nix shipped dried wood to other Gibson divisions when the wood was ready for further manufacturing. The kiln used for drying wood is located in the rough mill, an adjacent building to 641 Massman Drive. The rough mill is marked as building 653 on Massman Drive. Nix stated that Gibson uses only Indian ebony in Gibson products (containing ebony). Nix further stated the following: Rosewood used by Gibson is Indian rosewood, although Gibson had used Madagascar rosewood and ebony in the past. According to Nix, all ebony and rosewood was stored at Red Arrow Delivery Service upon import and delivery to Nashville until GIBSON GUITAR CORPORATION was ready to have it picked up. Gibson’s purchasing managers are responsible for actually placing orders for rosewood and ebony from suppliers and Herb Jenkins was the senior purchasing manager at GIBSON ELECTRIC. Nix confirmed he kept electronic files and email correspondence concerning the sourcing, receipt, and use of rosewood and ebony by GIBSON GUITAR CORPORATION on his computer. ”
Computers Seized


“38. Your affiant is aware that computers are used to engage in business transactions that involve the trade of wildlife and plant species. A computer may have been used to store, generate, and print documents used in furtherance of the shipments of lndian ebony and lndian rosewood, which are in violation of the laws enumerated hereinabove. For example, THEODOR NAGEL GMBH would direct their United States sales representative, Hunter Trading Corporation, to send email notification to Red Arrow Delivery Service, to authorize the release of sawn rosewood and ebony to GIBSON GUITAR CORPOPRATION upon receipt of invoice payment. In another example, LUTHIER MERCANTILE INTERNATIONAL sent an email notification to Red Arrow Delivery Service to expect arrival of a 24 pallet shipment of lndian rosewood and ebony for GIBSON GUITAR CORPORATION.”

Previous Federal Guitar Cases

Guitar Hero Bandit Sentenced. A man who committed an … www.justice.gov/usao/cac/pressroom/pr2009/029.html

Second Texas man sentenced to 16 months in prison for …… Chinese nationals Fu Yiner and Wang Hong, who smuggled items made from sea turtle shell parts, including guitar picks violin bows, were … www.justice.gov/usao/co/press_releases/archive/2008/June08/6_20_08.html

Second Chinese National Pleads Guilty to  As set forth in the indictment and acknowledged in today’s plea agreement, Fu knowingly sent four shipments of raw shell and guitar picks made  www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2008/January/08_enrd_018.html

Source for Update: https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/gibson-guitar-raid-like-tea-party-intimidation/

Loud Car Stereo Law Silenced | Defense Attorney | Complete Opinion Here

Noise Ordinance Attorney

Noise Ordinance Decision is available Here

Criminal Defense | Noise Law Struck

Defense Attorney / Lawyer in Tampa, Florida has completed a review of the recent declaration by a Florida Appeals Court that  Florida Statute 316.3045(1)(a) was unconstitutional. The Traffic law made operation of radios or other mechanical sound making devices or instruments in vehicle plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more from the vehicle illegal.

The Feds have written a 50 page Manual on how to enforce laws like the Florida Statute that has been invalidated. You can check that tome about Car Stereo Law Enforcement out here.

The court found the statute unconstitutional. The statute exempted business and political speech and the exemptions do not serve a compelling state interest, the statute is not content-neutral, and is an unconstitutional suppression of protected speech.

The complete Noise Ordinance Decision is available here from a Criminal Defense Attorney as a Free Download.

Is the Law in your Traffic Case Valid? Call Me Toll Free to Discuss. 1-877-793-9290 .

Case Excerpts:
[S]ection 316.3045, Florida Statutes (2007). . . restricts the volume at which a car stereo system may be played on a public street, but it exempts vehicles being used for business or political purposes, which in the normal course of conducting such business use soundmaking devices. “
The statute provides: “Operation of radios or other mechanical soundmaking devices or instruments in vehicles; exemptions —
(1) It is unlawful for any person operating or occupying a motor vehicle on a street or highway to operate or amplify the sound produced by a radio, tape player, or other mechanical soundmaking device or instrument from within the motor vehicle so that the sound is:
(a) Plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more from the motor vehicle; or (b) Louder than necessary for the convenient hearing by persons inside the vehicle in areas adjoining churches, schools, or hospitals.
(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any law enforcement motor vehicle equipped with any communication device necessary in the performance of law enforcement duties or to any emergency vehicle equipped with any communication device necessary in the performance of any emergency procedures.
(3) The provisions of this section do not apply to motor vehicles used for business or political purposes, which in the normal course of conducting such business use soundmaking devices. The provisions of this subsection shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from regulating the time and manner in which such business may be operated.
(4) The provisions of this section do not apply to the noise made by a horn or other warning device required or permitted by s. 316.271. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall promulgate rules defining “plainly audible” and establish standards regarding how sound should be measured by law enforcement personnel who enforce the provisions of this section.
(5) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.”
“The circuit court carefully considered each argument and concluded that the issue ruled on by the two district courts was essentially the same, i.e., whether the “plainly audible” standard was too vague and overbroad to pass constitutional scrutiny. “

“Additionally, while recognizing our agreement with the reasoning and conclusion reached by the circuit court, we note that section 316.3045 suffers from a more fundamental infirmity.  ”

“A case that is directly on point, and was cited favorably in Cannon, is People v. Jones, 721 N.E.2d 546 (Ill. 1999).  In that case, the court held that a sound amplification statute, which prohibited the use of sound amplification systems in motor vehicles that could be heard from a specified distance away from a vehicle and which contained an exception for vehicles engaged in advertising, was a content-based regulation of speech, in violation of the First Amendment.”

“Turning our attention to the Florida statute at issue, on its face it is not content neutral.  The statute excepts from its provisions “motor vehicles used for business or political purposes, which in the normal course of conducting such business use soundmaking devices.”  § 316.3045(3).  In other words, an individual using a vehicle for business purposes could, for example, listen to political talk radio at a volume clearly audible from a quarter mile; however, an individual sitting in a personal vehicle that is parked next to the business vehicle is subject to a citation if the individual is listening to music or religious programming that is clearly audible at twenty-five feet.  Clearly, different forms of speech receive different treatment under the Florida statute.  That is, the statute in question does not “apply equally to music, political speech and advertising,” which is what the Supreme Court requires in order for the statute to be deemed, “content-neutral.”  See City of Cincinnati, 507 U.S. at 428.”

“Additionally, we conclude that the statute is a content-based restriction on free expression which violates the First Amendment.”

Is the Law in your Traffic Case Valid? Call Me Toll Free to Discuss. 1-877-793-9290 .

Source: 36 Fla. L. Weekly D991a
Criminal Defense Attorney | Lawyer

Gasparilla Arrest Report Update | 359 Arrests

Gasparilla Arrest Report Update: “Tampa police reported 349 arrests, most for alcohol violations and all but three misdemeanors. The felonies were charges for grand theft auto, resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer. Hillsborough County deputies made an additional 10 arrests on disorderly conduct or open container charges.” 

Original Report Gasparilla Arrest; 222 Arrests

Source: https://www.tampabay.com/news/bigger-crowds-fewer-arrests-and-a-continuing-clamor-for-beads-mark/1148560

Surveillance Cameras in Tampa Florida

Eye on Crime
Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney notes that twenty surveillance cameras were installed in an area bounded by Fowler Avenue, Bearss Avenue, Nebraska Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. The cameras offer 360-degree views of street corners and parking lots. Arrests have been made during the cameras’ test runs.

Camera Surveillance Questions? Ask Me at 1-877-793-9290


“I hate to use the anecdote ‘It’s like shooting fish in a barrel,’ but it is,” Deputy Burton of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. According the Tampa Tribune, “The cameras were funded with a $1 million federal grant called Eye on Crime. The University Area is a pilot project for Hillsborough County, but the cameras are used in other cities such as Chicago and New York.”

According to the Sheriff, “Twenty cameras, remotely operated by deputies, will be watching out for the safety of residents in the University Community neighborhoods. The cameras will be mounted on utility poles at various locations. The cameras are in a tinted dome; a box, emblazoned with the Sheriff’s Office star on three sides for added visibility, will sit atop the cameras. Each box will be fitted with an amber strobe light to draw attention to its purpose and position. The camera project is called Eye On Crime. The project has been about two years in the making. By this summer, the cameras will be operating, allowing deputies to keep an eye on trouble spots, monitor streets for emergency situations and give residents a better feeling of safety.”

The portable cameras are high-resolution cameras and record 24 hours a day. Images are stored for 30 days and are monitored from the sheriff’s office’s district station. Deputies may also will be able to see views from the cameras in their cars and in a helicopter.

Camera Surveillance Questions? Ask Me at 1-877-793-9290

Source: https://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/apr/09/university-area-gets-view-surveillance-cameras/news-breaking/

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