Local Success: Trial Court Successes: December, 2015 and January, 2016

We continue our series on trial court victories that are reported in the Forum, SADO’s online community for criminal defense attorneys.  Subscription information is available at www.sado.org.

Jennifer J. France won suppression of custodial statements made in violation of Miranda in a CSC case.

Michael J. Nichols and Stephanie N. Tzafaroglou won reversal in the circuit court of a district court decision upholding a traffic-stop in an OWI case.

Joel D. Kershaw secured an extra 181 days of sentence credit for his client on December 7, 2015, making his client eligible for release before the Holiday Season. 

Lisa Kirsch Satawa won a not guilty verdict in a CSC2 case in the 51st Judicial (Lake County) Circuit Court.  The jury was out deliberating for about ten minutes.

Matthew Evans won a not guilty verdict from a jury in a first-degree murder case in the 3rd Judicial (Wayne County) Circuit Court. 

Susan K. Walsh secured an extra 54 days of sentence credit for her client in the 56th Judicial (Eaton County) Circuit Court. 

John W. Ujlaky successfully argued for a recalculation of several offense variables in a case in the 17th Judicial (Kent County) Circuit Court.  Similarly, in the 7th Judicial (Genesee County) Circuit Court, Mr. Ujlaky obtained lower scoring of several offense variables in an armed robbery plea case, where the minimum range was reduced from 108 months to 81 months, and the agreement called for a sentence at the bottom of the minimum range.

Kenneth M. Malkin won a not guilty verdict from a jury in an embezzlement case in the 16th Judicial (Bay County) Circuit Court. 

James R. Samuels obtained dismissal of a harboring or concealing charge in the 77th Judicial (Mecosta County) District Court.

Several attorneys won sentencing relief after Lockridge [People v. Lockridge, 498 Mich. 358 (2015)] remands, including Adil N. Haradhvala, who obtained a reduction of a 14 – 60 month sentence to probation in the 2nd Judicial (Berrien County) Circuit Court; Terence R. Flanagan, who obtained a reduction of five years off of a 40-year minimum sentence in the 21st Judicial (Isabella County) Circuit Court; and Jeffrey A. Chip, who obtained a reduction of two years off of a ten-year minimum sentence in the 13th Judicial (Antrim County) Circuit Court.

SADO attorneys obtained some notable successes, including Assistant Defender Anne M. Yantus getting Lockridge relief for her client in the 5th Judicial (Barry County) Circuit Court, which resulted in a reduced minimum sentence for maintaining a meth lab from 51 to 36 months.  Assistant Defender Malaika Ramsey-Heath secured a guilty plea withdrawal in the 36th Judicial (Van Buren County) Circuit Court in an OWI causing death case where the client pled guilty with the mistaken belief that he could still appeal the denial of a suppression motion.  Assistant Defender Christopher M. Smith obtained Lockridge relief for his client in the 54th Judicial (Tuscola County) Circuit Court resulting in a reduction in the CSC3 minimum sentence from 87 months to 36 months.  Also, Mr. Smith obtained a 71-month minimum sentence for a client in a CSC2 case in the 34th Judicial (Roscommon County) Circuit Court, down from the original minimum sentence of 86 months.

Henry L. Greenwood obtained dismissal of fraud, uttering and publishing, and fraudulent conveyance charges in the 3rd Judicial (Wayne County) Circuit Court.

David L. Moffitt and Omar Rashad Pouncy (pro se) secured the granting of a conditional writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court on the basis of an invalid waiver of counsel.  Mr. Pouncy had been forced to try his own case due to counsel being unprepared.

Joshua P. Rubin won not guilty verdicts from a jury in the 31st Judicial (St. Clair County ) Circuit Court in a case with charges of CSC1, accosting a minor, and distributing obscene material.

Patricia S. Slomski won not guilty jury verdicts in the 3rd Judicial (Wayne County) Circuit Court in a case with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to rob while armed, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, and felony firearm.

by Neil Leithauser
Associate Editor