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Tales from the Brown Desk – Episode 18 – Sentencing in a Criminal Cases & Florida Man

Weekly Criminal Law Podcast, Tales from the Brown Desk, brought to you by Rigney Law LLC. Tales from the Brown Desk is a free flowing conversation involving two foul-mouthed attorneys. It may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity, violence, and traffic law. It may not be suitable for children. Listener discretion advised.

Episode 18 continues a series – A Walk Through the Criminal Justice System in Indiana. In this episode, Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys Jacob Rigney and Kassi Rigney will walk us laypeople through sentencing in criminal cases in Indiana. And of course, the latest Florida Man news.

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Podcast Transcript

Jacob Rigney – It’s Friday afternoon. We’ve locked the door in order to more accurately depict the jail we have created for ourselves with our mind. And also because it’s time for another edition of our weekly podcast, Tales From the Brown Desk. I’m Jake Rigney of Rigney Law LLC. With me as usual as my law partner, wife, and the destroyer of all dress shoes, Kassi Rigney. The poor soul tasked with listening to this mess is our host Teri Ulm. Friendly reminder, Tales from the Brown Desk is a free-flowing conversation involving two foul-mouthed attorneys. It may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity, violence, and the kind of bad jokes that keep a married couple from strangling each other. It may not be suitable for children, in-laws, ex-girlfriends, on-again off-again slam pieces, and that guy you hooked up with at prom. And that includes me, by the way. I totally almost hooked up with a guy from prom. I’m kidding. I didn’t go to prom. Listener discretion is advised. Here’s Teri.

Teri Ulm – Hello everyone. Hi, Jake. How are you today?

Jacob Rigney – I’m good, Teri. How are you?

Teri Ulm – I’m pretty good. Thanks. Hi Kassi. How are you?

Kassi Rigney – Hi, Teri. Great. Thank you.

How Sentencing Works in Criminal Cases in Indiana

Teri Ulm – Good. So we’re jumping right into this today, and we’re gonna continue our series. This is like part 10 of 79: A Walk Through the Criminal Justice System in Indiana. Last week we talked about trials, and this week we’re going to continue our adventure through the swamp, and take the next step. Which I believe is sentencing. Would you agree?

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. That is usually what comes after a trial if the verdict is guilty. Obviously. If the verdict is not guilty, then the next step is you go out and have beer with your client. But for those people who are found guilty at trial, the next step is… Well, actually it’s probably the pre-sentence investigation is really sort of the next step. The next thing in court, is the sentencing hearing. But before that, in Indiana there’s a pre-sentence investigation.

Teri Ulm – On all sentencing?

Kassi Rigney – All felonies.

Teri Ulm – How about misdemeanors?

Jacob Rigney – I believe you can request one on a misdemeanor, if you want, but that is very rare. At least in Marion County. It might happen some other places.

What is a Pre-Sentencing Investigation?

Teri Ulm – What is the purpose of the pre-sentencing investigation, and who is putting that report together?

Kassi Rigney – The probation department does the investigation, and they compile information from all over. Your criminal history, your personal history, medical history, family history. And the purpose of it is to give the judge an idea of who you are. This is particularly important if there are open terms in a sentence. If there’s a plea agreement, you want it for those open terms. If you’re convicted post-trial, everything is open from the minimum to the maximum. And, that’s a standardized way that every person that comes before that judge is going to have the same evaluation done on them. So they can get a global picture of this person to help them decide what is appropriate to happen in this case.

Teri Ulm – They get your medical history? Is that not a HIPAA violation?

Kassi Rigney – They’re not getting your surgical records or anything like that. They’re going to interview you, and you certainly wouldn’t have to disclose that it. Would be you know beneficial to disclose some stuff and maybe not other stuff.

Jacob Rigney – But there is medical information in there, and that’s one of the reasons, along with private other private information, that they’re confidential. The pre-sentence investigation report gets filed by the probation department after the interview, but it is not available to the public. It’s made available to the lawyers, the judge, the defendant obviously to make sure that it’s accurate, but beyond that it is not available to anyone else, and not anyone else can just go to the court and request it. It’s protected by Administrative Rule 9.

Teri Ulm – Good.

Kassi Rigney – Well, and this is kind of where if you went and had your record expunged and you land in front of a criminal court again, that kind of thing would come up. It would mark the record would show that maybe it was expunged. But, the authorities would still be able to see that. I think we when we discussed expungements, the record’s not really gone. It’s just not disclosed publicly.

How Soon After a Plea Deal or Verdict is Sentencing in Criminal Cases in Indiana?

Teri Ulm – When somebody is sentenced, does this happen immediately after they enter a plea agreement or the jury trial or is it set for another day and time?

Jacob Rigney – Every case is a little different and every court, as I’ve said before, is quite a bit different. The short answer to your question is, yes. It can happen either way is the more full answer. There are many times, especially in misdemeanor courts in Marion County, where you’ll do the guilty plea hearing and the sentencing hearing one right after the other. You won’t even notice the difference. Essentially the judge will just do the guilty plea and then say: “Okay. I’m sentencing you pursuant to the terms of the agreement,” and he sentences you and you’re done. So a lot of times, if you plead guilty and you get sentenced in a misdemeanor case, that just happens all at the same time. Now on felonies, it’s a different story. Sometimes the court will set it out for a guilty plea and sentencing hearing and do them both at the same time after they order a psi and after they’ve reviewed it. But, sometimes the court will go ahead and take the factual basis, and do the guilty plea first, and then set the sentencing hearing out. It’s just kind of the judge’s discretion. Sometimes the judge asks the prosecutor what they want. Sometimes they even ask the defense attorney which way they prefer it, with an eye toward at least making sure that the defendant pleads guilty while the defendant is inclined to do so. Because sometimes people change their mind in between guilty plea and sentencing, and the court wants to avoid having to go back to having a trial when they didn’t need to have one. So, typically they’re done together, especially on minor cases. But, they can be split up.

How are the Sentences Determined by the Judge in a Criminal Case in Indiana?

Teri Ulm – How are the sentences determined by the judge?

Kassi Rigney – I think, as we’ve discussed before, each charge, each level of offense, has a sentencing range. Each felony level also has an advisory sentence, and the judge knows the minimum and maximum. The law says for them to start their consideration at that advisory sentence and then based on this global review of this person and the weight that the judge would give those mitigators and aggravators, the sentence moves closer to the minimum or closer to the maximum.

Why Would One Person Get a Different Sentence than Someone Else who Committed the Exact Same Crime? Why can Sentencing be Different for the Same Crime?

Teri Ulm – This is kind of a touchy subject, the racial disparities sometimes in sentencing. Do you think that’s a lot of times because of the person’s background and in the pre-sentencing investigation? Why would sometimes one person committing a crime could get a different sentence than someone else committing the same crime?

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. So there are a lot of reasons why two people who committed the same crime would receive different sentence. The biggest reason is that everyone’s criminal history is usually a little bit different. But, there are aspects of sentencing that are sort of concerning and certainly racial aspects of the criminal justice system that can be very concerning. The system tends to punish African Americans at much higher rates compared to their percentage in the population. Right. So, African Americans, they certainly aren’t 50% of the population. I don’t have the number off the top of my head, but I don’t think they’re 25% of the population in the country, but they are incarcerated at significantly higher rates. The prison population has a much higher percentage of African Americans than the population at at large, and you have to ask why that is. I’ll tell you why it isn’t. It isn’t because there are judges sitting on the bench in 2020 in the United States who are thinking: “Oh. That guy’s black. I need to give him more time”. Now that isn’t the only kind of racism that exists in the United States though. So, even though I’m saying I don’t think any particular judge that I’ve ever seen or talked to has ever said: “Well this person’s black”. That sort of overt racism that we would associate with the south and the 50s. I don’t think that exists very much on the bench anymore. But, there are all sorts of implicit bias that remains in effect and we’re also dealing with the fact that African American communities, because of redlining, have not had the opportunity to gather the same type of wealth that other communities have. And because of that, they tend to be higher crime neighborhoods which causes them to get policed more. Because politicians are always trying to say they drove crime down. So, you send more police into any particular neighborhood, there are going to be more arrests in that neighborhood. That’s the nature of policing. When the vast majority of people in this country have committed a crime at one point or another in their lives. And, look. How do we fix that? How do we change these facts? I don’t know off the top of my head. I do know that we need to reverse a lot of the things that we did to get ourselves into this situation, and to at least admit it and be aware of it, and admit that it’s still a problem. And, right now I think that’s the issue that this country is reckoning with. Is trying to figure out how to come to terms with all these things. Slavery ended for most people in the 1860s, but that doesn’t mean nothing bad happened to African Americans for over 100 years. As long as 30 and 40 years ago there was still overt racism where people were allowed to make laws explicitly punishing black people. And even in the 80s with the way we punished cocaine differently depending on whether it was crack, which was predominantly an African American drug of choice, or powdered cocaine, which was much more a white person’s drug of choice. We’re slowly coming to terms with all that. We’re slowly reckoning with it. As you can see, it’s causing more violence and reckoning with those things is continuing to cause our country growing pains. I know it. It seems funny to talk about something that’s 200 and some years old and say it has growing pains, but we’re still growing, and we’re still learning how to deal with the problems we’ve created for ourselves that we’ve been struggling with since the beginning.

Does Sentencing Mean Jail Time?

Teri Ulm – Does sentencing mean jail time?

Kassi Rigney – No. We’ve talked before. You can even have a totally suspended, no probation, sentence if it’s the right charge with the right history. Sentence is just what’s gonna happen to you.

What is a Suspended Sentence?

Teri Ulm – You said suspended? So a suspended sentence, can you?

Kassi Rigney – When you suspend a sentence, like when the judge gives you time, you may say: “Okay. You’re guilty of a misdemeanor. You’re sentenced to three-hundred and sixty-five (365) days. Three-hundred and sixty-five (365) days suspended. What they’re leaving out there, you’re sentenced to three-hundred and sixty-five (365) days in jail, but they are suspending. That meaning they’re not going to have you serve that, and have you do probation instead. And, then assuming you successfully complete your probation, the jail time remains suspended.

What does Executed Time Mean?

Teri Ulm – What does executed time mean?

Jacob Rigney – So, executed time is the time on your sentence that you’ll be required to serve. When you’re sentenced, or shortly thereafter, sometimes they’ll let you come in on the weekend. So, if a person was sentenced to three-hundred and sixty-five (365) days but they were required to serve ten (10) days, then there would be ten (10) days executed and three-hundred and fifty-five (355) days suspended. So the executed portion is the portion you serve right away. That can be in jail. It could be in a work release facility. It could be on home detention. It depends on the sentence and the type of case you have, whether you’re eligible for that or not. And, in some jurisdictions, there probably are other ways to serve an executed sentence besides those three. But those are the three common ones in Indiana that judges typically give people.

Sentences Running Concurrently and Consecutively

Teri Ulm – Now let’s say someone, either by plea agreement or by trial, they’re found guilty on numerous counts, and they’re being sentenced on these counts, do each of those sentences… like say they get three-hundred and sixty-five (365) days executed time on one of them, and three-hundred and sixty-five (365) days executed time on another. Is that two years in jail or can they serve the one year and one year together?

Kassi Rigney – What you’re talking about is whether sentences are running concurrently or consecutively. Concurrent means they run at the same time. Consecutive means one after the other. And, in the state of Indiana, what they look to is was this a single course of criminal conduct. So, if it’s all one thing, it’s all gonna run concurrently. All at the same time. If they’re separate incidences, they’ll generally run one after the other. One caveat to that, it could be the same course of criminal conduct. If there’s individual victims who have been injured, there’s potential for those counts to run consecutive instead of concurrent.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. The analysis on whether a judge can can sentence consecutively or not, is very complicated. The statute starts by giving the judge a lot of discretion. And then there are some times when the judge doesn’t have discretion, and the judge either has to run them concurrently, or the judge has to run them consecutively. And it’s so complicated that I can’t really say if this, then that, because there are so many different permutations. But that’s just the statute. That’s before you get into the Constitutional aspect of it. Because what Kassi is describing is essentially double jeopardy jurisprudence where they can’t take the same crime and punish you two different ways. Two different times for it. But that plays a role in it too. And it is even for people who practice criminal law for a long time, it is very complicated. Sometimes I still have to go back to the sentencing statute, check again to see what it says. Because there’s entire lists of crimes that are called crimes of violence, and those can be run consecutive even if they are in the same course of conduct. And then some of them are capped at the next highest advisory level. It’s really complicated. I know you didn’t probably expect a 10 minute answer when you ask that question, but it’s so difficult to figure out that without looking at an individual case, and then the statutes, and then maybe even reading some case law. It’s really hard to to figure out exactly what a person’s maximum sentence is. Unless they’re only charged with one count, and if they’re only charged with one count. Then it’s easier. Unless they’re habitual eligible, and then it’s complicated again.

What is an Enhanced Sentence and Why Would Someone be Given One?

Teri Ulm – It does sound complicated. What is an enhanced sentence and why would someone be given one?

Kassi Rigney – When you’re talking about sentence enhancements, those are the habitual laws. We have habitual traffic violator, habitual substance offender, and then just a regular habitual offender in Indiana. And in all three instances, when you’ve picked up, the requisite number of prior convictions in those categories, then it stands alone as a sentencing enhancement. So you get a new case. They added if they prove it, you’ll get an additional set amount. And it demands executed time.

Sentence Reductions

Teri – Say you only got in trouble one time, can it be a sentence reduction?

Jacob Rigney – No. If you’d never been in trouble before, or if you’d only been in trouble maybe once before, and it wasn’t serious, that would be a mitigating circumstance. So, when Kassi was talking earlier about aggravating and mitigating circumstances, that’s something that would likely be a mitigating circumstance that would cause the judge to think that maybe they ought to issue you a lower sentence in the range rather than a higher sentence.

Do Judges Go Easy on First Time Offenders?

Teri Ulm – Is it safe to say that judges go easy on first-time offenders?

Kassi Rigney – I wouldn’t say easy. I don’t think there’s any of my clients have ever thought what they’ve been through was easy. And that includes when I’ve gotten complete dismissals. It’s taken in consideration, and you would expect them to get a lighter sentence relative to someone who has prior contacts with a criminal justice system.

Jacob Rigney – Your question is, don’t take this the wrong way, your question is not stupid, but it’s similar to a conversation we have with our daughter a lot where we explain to her that easier is not the same as easy, right. Right. So, if you have no history, will they be easier on you? Yes. Will it be easy? No. Even a year on probation is not easy. It’s a pain in the ass. You got to go down and meet with your probation officer. Imagine if you don’t have a driver’s license, how much fun that is. They don’t come pick you up. You have to take drug tests. You have to report when they tell you to report. Even if it’s for no reason at all. If they want to come search your house, they can come search your house. If they find a bottle of beer in your fridge, you’re gonna get violated. The nature of a probation department, as well, is that there’s a lot of civil servants working there. Some of them I’m certain love their jobs and are super nice to deal with, and like everyone they meet. Some of them do not. And some of them are not easy to get along with. Some of them don’t want to be easy to get along with. Some of them want to make it hard for some reason or another. And so probation even, which is generally just about the lightest sentence you’re gonna get, but probation is not easy. Home detention is even harder. And we haven’t even talked about work release or prison, and the trouble you can get into in those places. So, yeah. No matter what it is not easy.

What are the Different Types of Sentences?

Teri Ulm – What are the different types of sentences? Maybe not all of them, but I know you can go to jail. Maybe get put on probation, but what other things can a person that’s found guilty face?

Kassi Rigney – Well sometimes there are treatment programs. It’s really just those handful of things. Work release, home detention, jail prison, and when we separate home detention and work release. Home detention is when basically you’re stuck at home. You can leave your house for approved ventures like work school. Otherwise you have to be at your house. Work release. You lay your head at the work release facility, but then again you get to leave like you would for home detention. But, you’re not at home. I remember a prosecutor got in trouble for making someone do push-ups for his sentence.

Jacob Rigney – I remember that.

Kassi Rigney – I think it might have been on a diversion. So, as long as it’s lawful and accepted by the court and the parties agree to it, it really could be anything in that range.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. As long as it doesn’t violate the rule against cruel and unusual punishment. But, yeah. I remember this made the front page of the Indianapolis Star back when we didn’t have a national pandemic and a very interesting President who wanted to make the news every day. Yeah. A prosecutor had a defendant, and he was charged with some minor misdemeanor. I remember the prosecutor’s name was Dan something.

Kassi Rigney – And former military.

Teri UIm – Yeah. Former drill sergeant or something.

Kassi Rigney – Do you remember this?

Teri Ulm – No. But that’s totally what a former military person would do is think push-ups is a…

Jacob Rigney – I don’t know if he was. but here’s the thing, the kid the defendant, was getting ready to go into the military. So normally they would have him do community service or something like that for a diversion. So he does a little community service work. When he proves he did it they dismiss his case. But I think he was like shipping out in a couple of days, so he didn’t really have time to go do all the community service work. I think the prosecutor was like: “Oh. He’s going into the military. Oh, cool. He’s getting… Great fine. You know what? Do 20 push-ups. I’ll dismiss your case. Go to the military.” Not a big deal, right?

Teri Ulm – Right.

Jacob Rigney – Especially because the kid obviously was fine with it. He did the 20 push-ups, went and joined the military, but somebody was watching that day and they did not like it. They reported it to the Star, and the Star ran it on the front page. It really turned into a big problem for that prosecutor.

Kassi Rigney – It was one of those things, and I think he probably just wanted to drop it, and let the kid go. But I think he felt like he probably couldn’t just do that. So we wanted something. I mean there was no ill will. I remember that prosecutor. I remember feeling that that situation went totally out of control, and he ended up losing his job.

Jacob Rigney – Now he didn’t get fired, but he he quit over all the hullabaloo about it. Oh my god. I’m so old. Hullabaloo. I just used hullabaloo.

Kassi Rigney – In a sentence, with a straight face.

Jacob Rigney – Holy crap. Anyway, I know that it all affected him quite a bit and he quit. That was back when my wife and I were part of the cool kids who used to go outside and smoke. And he smoked too, so we saw him out there sometimes. Just always looking super bummed about this. About his job, because of what happened. He didn’t last too long after that. I think he quit within a month or two.

Teri Ulm – When was this?

Kassi Rigney – It was in the odds, because I remember I wasn’t… Was that out of Court 10?

Jacob Rigney – I think he was a prosecutor in Court 8.

Kassi Rigney – 8? Then that was my court.

Jacob Rigney – It must have been after you.

Kassi Rigney – Maybe. It was in the odds. I was a baby prosecutor.

Jacob Rigney – Would have been 2005 or so. But he was not like a 25 year old. He was a, I think, a new lawyer, but had been a second career. Yeah. Second career kind of thing. It’s a sad story. Yeah. It’s a sad Tale from the Brown Desk, today. I like that. Sorry, Dan.

Can a Sentence be Modified?

Teri Ulm – So can a sentence be modified?

Kassi Rigney – Sometimes.

Teri Ulm – I love these lawyer answers.

Kassi Rigney – Maybe.

Jacob Rigney – Prepare to get lawyered.

Kassi Rigney – It depends. One of the first questions is what kind of plea? If was a plea, was it a set term plea? Plea agreements are contracts. So, if you sign away for three years with the Department of Corrections, you can’t go behind the back of the other part of that contract and say: “Hey, judge. Undo this contract”. You’re kind of stuck with it. I think we’ve talked about that, but then if it’s after a trial where there’s no limit on the court or there were open terms, potentially. There are some other requisites. Ultimately, a modification puts the judge back in the same position they were on the original day they sentenced you. So, if the judge, at that day, never had any options, it was five years in the Department of Corrections, going back for a modification doesn’t get you any other options. The judge will be able to do whatever he could do on an original day of sentencing.

Jacob Rigney – The only exception to what Kassi said is if the prosecutor agrees to it. If the prosecutor agrees to modify the contract, then you can go back and change it to something else. But they loathe to do that. Because it’s just more work for them. If they have to go back and renegotiate all sorts of contracts they already negotiated, and that’s more court time, they’re not typically looking to do that. And a lot of times they’ll say the sentence was appropriate, and tough. I’m not changing it now.

How Credit Time Works in the Indiana Criminal Justice System

Teri Ulm – As far as credit time, and this may be jumping into actually serving the sentence and not being sentenced, but if you’re sentenced to say a year, three-hundred and sixty-five (365) days in jail, can you get like good time if you’re really good in jail? Can you get out earlier? Do you have to do those three-hundred and sixty-five 365 days?

Kassi Rigney – Well, there’s good time credit, assuming you earned it. I don’t know which judge you go and kick a guard every day, you don’t get it. But, yes. You can get credit time, and depending on your charge you might be able to get credit time on home detention or work release.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Based on the credit time calculations, that were in place in 2010, I have been married for 20 years. Just kidding. Yeah. And poor Kassi has also been married for 20 years. It depends. These days, it depends on what type of crime you get convicted of how much credit time you get back. Before the criminal code was changed in 2014, everyone got a day for a day. So, if you were good every day you were in prison, your prison sentence would get cut in half. Now it’s usually a quarter. And sometimes less depending on what you were convicted of.

Kassi Rigney – When you get to the Department of Corrections, there’s additional educational and treatment credits that you can get above that.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. And those aren’t available in my marriage, unfortunately.

Pilot Pens Commercial

Teri Ulm – So, we’re going to cut to a short commercial break and when we come back we will bring you the latest Florida Man news.

Jacob Rigney – The update on Florida Man is brought to you by Pilot pens. Pilot pens come in blue ink, black ink, probably some other colors. We don’t know. We just mention it because we want them to send us some free pens. Seriously, the Ronna got us on here begging for shit.

Kassi Rigney – For real. I love Pilot pens. I get the best plea agreements ever when I ask for them with Pilot pens.

Jacob Rigney – Right. They don’t smear or smudge on paper, but the ink wipes right off when I accidentally write on my computer screen. What a country! This message not actually brought to you by Pilot pens.

Teri Ulm – Jake. Why are you writing on your computer screen?

Jacob Rigney – I need to put a comma in this brief, and it’s just a period. So I figure if I just write a little comma on it and over the period the judge won’t notice the difference. And then I’ll print it out and it’ll be fine. All right.

Florida Man Tries to Cash-in Lottery Ticket at Same Place he Stole it From

Teri Ulm – So, the Insider reports that Florida Man was arrested this past week for attempting to cash a winning scratch-off ticket at the same convenience store he stole it from. Yes. Florida Man stole 13 scratch off tickets from a Speedway convenience store. He immediately started scratching him off to see if he won. And, when he found a winner, he went back to into the same store to cash it. The store workers immediately called police, and Florida Man was arrested. The lottery ticket he was trying to cash in was worth thirty dollars. I think it’s safe to say that it was not his lucky day.

Jacob Rigney – Oh that’s great pun there. Great job, Teri. So here’s the thing, right. Stealing a $30 winning lottery ticket is not the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. People steal things worth way less than thirty dollars sometimes. Meat. How many times have I seen a case where somebody stuffed meat in their pants? It happens a lot.

Kassi Rigney – More than you would ever think. It’s a regular thing, apparently.

Jacob Rigney – Kool-aid. Packets of Kool-aid. So, I really wish that… It is amazing that Florida Man was so stupid that he couldn’t even wait till shift change.

Teri Ulm – Right.

Jacob Rigney – Wait till it’s not the same lady, bro.

Kassi Rigney – Well, what I can tell you is that I worked on a case as a prosecutor and on the state side, and somebody was opening up a gas station. And what you don’t know, all of those have serial numbers. So once those were logged. No. You weren’t going to win those anyway. But what this owner of this gas station had done, they tried to say the entire roll. They knew there was a winner in there. And they went and scratched the whole roll and tried to claim the ten thousand dollar winner or whatever. I think the extra part to this story is that they didn’t turn off the inside surveillance.

Teri Ulm – Oh my gosh.

Kassi Rigney – So, they were actually on video, scratching it off, and winning, and see them jumping. There’s no audio, but that was where I learned there are serial numbers associated with all of those. So those can be tracked through what the lottery commissioner or whatever.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. And there was a case several years ago, when I was a prosecutor, I remember because it was in the court I was assigned to. I didn’t work on it, but there was a case of sort of insider theft from the lottery where someone who worked at the lottery had gotten info on what scratchers were gonna have big winners on them. And, somehow they managed to get somebody to go out and buy them. I don’t know how this plot unraveled, because it sounds friggin genius once you find somebody inside the lottery who’s willing to work with you, but somehow it unraveled. They all got caught and I don’t know remember what happened to them. But that was one of the smarter theft schemes I ever saw.

Kassi Rigney – Sounds like a movie plot.

Teri Ulm – It does.

Jacob Rigney – Ocean’s Lottery 11.

Florida Woman Gets into a Stranger’s Home and Tries to Abduct Florida Baby

Teri Ulm – Now, the New York Times reports Florida Woman entered a stranger’s home to abduct Florida Baby.

Jacob Rigney – What?

Teri Ulm – Yes.

Jacob Rigney – That’s not cool.

Teri Ulm – No it’s not cool. A Ring doorbell video captured Florida Woman knocking on a door at 2:15 this last Tuesday morning before making it into the house. This is one of two abductions Florida Woman attempted that night. Florida Woman was seen entering the home after a child opened the door at 2:15 in the morning. And inside she was allegedly trying to snatch a nine-month-old baby from a 12 year old that was holding the baby. The mother heard all the commotion and chased the Florida Woman away.

Kassi Rigney – What are your children??? You said two in the morning?

Teri Ulm – 2:15 in the morning, and the children are answering the door. But just moments earlier, Florida Woman had been in another nearby home and allegedly tried to snatch a one-year-old. And after Florida Woman was arrested, the police found two scared kids, both under the age of five, at Florida Women’s home. She has two children of her own that she left at home to go try to steal more kids.

Kassi Rigney – It sounds like mental illness to me.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. I keep waiting for this to turn funny, Teri.

Teri Ulm – Yeah. I’m sorry. It’s not funny.

Kassi Rigney – You know we have children at home. So do you. I don’t have any jokes I can make about this.

Jacob Rigney – Hey! Baby stealing. Okay. That’s so Florida. Well, I’m glad they caught her. I guess… I don’t know.

Florida Cop Burns Old Florida Lady With Scolding Hot Handcuffs

Teri Ulm – Yeah. Now, Channel 8 in Florida reports that a 92 year old Florida Woman says she was burned, bruised, and is struggling to sleep after she was handcuffed during a traffic stop. Old Florida Woman was driving back from the store when she turned on her street. Like she’s not Florida Woman. She’s old. She’s Old. She’s 92. She was getting close to her home when she saw flashing lights behind her. She says what happened next makes her struggle to sleep at night. Old Florida Woman says the deputy followed her to her home and asked her for her license. The deputy put scolding hot handcuffs on her as he questioned her about a rolling stop. This caused EMS people to come and bandage up the woman. And nine days later, she still has bandages on her arms.

Jacob Rigney – I think… I could be wrong. I think she’s gonna sue somebody.

Teri Ulm – Yeah.

Kassi Rigney – We hear complaints about officers behaviors on traffic stops all the time. That sounds extreme if she still has bandages on, but frankly it doesn’t sound all that bad. Probably couldn’t have known. Sounds like what, if you have really… I mean those handcuffs had to be really hot, but I can’t imagine that the officer was intentionally like roasting them on his dashboard just to put on this old lady’s thin skin. You know what I mean?

Jacob Rigney – I’ll show you old lady. Try not being so old next time.

Florida Man Arrested After Shooting Himself and Lying About it

Teri Ulm – One more story out of Florida. ABC 7 in Florida reports that Florida Man was arrested after shooting himself and then lying about it.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah.

Teri Ulm – Yeah. Deputies responded to a report of a man coming to a hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg. They say the Florida Man told them he and his girlfriend were at a boat ramp when two black men pulled up and tried to rob him. He told deputies one of the men had a gun and shot him in the leg. The deputies began their investigation. They seized the cell phones of both Florida Man and his girlfriend, and they found incriminating evidence on the phones. Such as photos Florida Man taken with a gun that he described being shot with. When questioned about it, he admitted that he lied, and he shot himself, and threw the gun in the river.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. This reminds me of a case I had when I was a prosecutor. As almost every story does. Where a guy shot himself with his own gun in line at a Mr. Dan’s Hamburger stand. So, he had this glock, it was a small one, and he shot himself with it. And so obviously, he didn’t like the gun after that. He sold it. It ended up in the hands of a murderer who killed a guy in a street argument. And that was the case I prosecuted. And it was weird because they only retrieved part of the gun months later out of a pond. But they knew that it was the same gun that had fired the bullet that killed the kid, because they’d already test fired it from when the guy shot himself. Oh. So I don’t know how it is in every jurisdiction, but in Indianapolis if they take a gun from you, for just about any reason, they test fire it, and they just put the bullets away, and they keep them. So they’ve got them. They know what bullets coming out of
that gun look like. So if you use a gun later on, for any other thing, and they already have that profile. They’ll match it. So that guy shot himself. Then like four years later a guy used in a murder. But because they already had a test fire from it, they could say that was definitely the gun that killed the kid.

Teri Ulm – Wow. And that is all the time we have for today.

Jacob Rigney – All right. Florida was dark this week. It was a little dark.

Teri Ulm – It was. I don’t choose the what the people in Florida do.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Neither do I.

Teri Ulm – Because if I did it would be different stories to report here.

Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Well, look. Here’s the challenge to all our Florida listeners. Side note. We have zero Florida listeners. Come up with something funny. Bust the nudity back out for us. It’s still gotta be hot down there. Maybe it’s because there was a hurricane going by. There were two hurricanes going by. Maybe everybody stayed in this week, because of the hurricanes. That might have been it. Anyhow, thanks for listening to Tales from the Brown Desk. Please remember, while we may discuss legal issues and provide information regarding the law to our listeners, we do not intend to create an attorney-client relationship with any listener. Our advice may not be applicable to some legal issues. Please consult with an attorney you have hired to review your legal situation before you attempt to apply the things we have said to your case. Tales from the Brown Desk is produced by Rigney Law and edited by Teri Ulm. You can ask us questions. Just email Teri at teri@rigneylawindy.com, and title your email “Podcast question” and we’ll read it on our next podcast. Unless we start getting too many questions. Then we’ll just read the good ones. We’ll never get too many good ones though. Buzzsprout says now we have 22 listeners. Up five from last week. That’s right. Our ratings have improved. Even my poor relatives in Philadelphia stopped listening. But we still have one listener in Paris, France. Not Paris, Texas. Paris, France.

Teri Ulm – We’re international.

Jacob Rigney – We are the international phenomenon. Tales from the Brown Desk. Our newest listener from the furthest away appears to be San Jose, California. I do feel like mentioning that I hate the San Jose Sharks. I hate them. Go red wings.

Teri Ulm – Now we’ll have 21 listeners next week.

Jacob Rigney – But thank you, San Jose. Thank you for listening anyway. The attorneys at Rigney Law do not comment on their current pending cases. Nothing we’ve said in this podcast is a comment on a case we are currently working on, even if your name is Chad or you had sex with one of us at prom. Goodbye.

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