Weird Criminal Law Stories # 344: Defend Yourself!

January 28th, 2015 by Leonard Birdsong

FLORIDA: So humane….A bandit carjacked a woman in a dangerous crime-ridden section of Orlando, but he didn’t want to leave her defenseless in that part of town. So, he handed her a box cutter to defend herself from other possible criminals. He then said, “take care of yourself” and drove away in her Honda vehicle.


FLORIDA:  No good deed goes unpunished. A Fort Lauderdale woman was arrested for calling 911 to report a bunch of drunken people

Weird Criminal Law Stories # 343: Send in the Clowns

January 21st, 2015 by Leonard Birdsong

MEXICO: Made-up merry-makers at a professional clown convention in Mexico City assured folks that they were not behind a recent slaying of feared drug trafficker Francisco Felix, slain by gangsters dressed like Bozo the clown. “The people who do that, they are not clowns. I can swear on my mother’s grave it wasn’t a real clown,” said one of the clown spokespersons.

ENGLAND: Flatulence city, maybe? A thief stole 6,000 cans of baked beans from a food delivery truck in England. The bandit struck when the driver fell asleep and he is still at large. Beans, beans, good for the heart, the more you eat the more you…


FLORIDA: A Boynton Beach motorist was so mad while a police officer was writing her an “unbuckled seat belt”

Professor Birdsong’s Allocution Case # 4

January 14th, 2015 by Leonard Birdsong


An activist abortion opponent was convicted of first degree murder and is awaiting sentencing for the killing of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

This case will be used to help you learn how to allocute.

Scott Roeder, 51, was  recently convicted by a jury in Wichita, Kansas of first degree murder.  Facts at trial revealed that Dr. George Tiller was a noted abortion provider.  His clinic in Wichita, Kansas was the only clinic in a several state area of the Midwest that provided late term abortions to women whose health problems prevented them from delivering a child.

Evidence further revealed that on Sunday, May 31, 2009, Scott Roeder entered Wichita’s Reformation Lutheran Church at the beginning of the 10 am service.  He then used a  handgun to shoot Dr. Tiller as he handed out church 

Weird Criminal Law Stories # 342: Key Chain

January 14th, 2015 by Leonard Birdsong

RHODE ISLAND: BANG, BANG.  A 12-year-old boy was suspended from school for three days after he was caught with a gun-shaped key chain. Although the key chain was no larger than a quarter, seventh grader Joseph Lyssikatos was suspended, school officials said they are sticking with their zero tolerance policy against guns and gun related items on campus.


FLORIDA: The bomb squad in Jensen Beach was shocked to learn that the suspicious package they were set to dismantle was only a sex toy.  “It was a pink plastic adult novelty item, with some type of a plastic rabbit attached to it,” the sheriff told reporters. The woman who received the package maintained she never ordered it. Riiiiiiiight….


 COLORADO: Shake down or shake up? A man allegedly impersonated an undercover police officer while trying to

Professor Birdsong’s Allocution Case # 3

January 13th, 2015 by Leonard Birdsong


Janet Mercereau, 40, is awaiting sentencing after having been found guilty by a jury of second degree murder of her husband Douglas Mercereau.

We will use this case to help you learn how to allocute.

Evidence at trial revealed that  Janet Mercereau had shot Douglas Mercereau, 38, a fire marshal, three times in the head as he slept in their bed on December 2, 2008.

Prosecutors argued that Janet had grown to hate her husband during their troubled, 12 year marriage in which the couple fought bitterly over her weight problem.  Janet  had weighed  only 105 pounds when they married but had ballooned up to 265 pounds at the time of the murder.  The couple had two children, both girls, aged 7 and 8.

Further evidence at trial revealed that Janet  had held her husband’s Fire Department issued Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistol just inches from his face when she shot him.  Evidence also revealed that Janet had attempted to cover up the shooting by laundering her clothes and placing the gun through the family dishwasher three times.