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Sudden plea deals in tire slashing case
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 1/20/05 | Greg Nunnaly

Posted on 01/20/2006 1:22:41 PM PST by mafree

In an unexpected twist in the Election Day tire slashing trial, four former Kerry-Edwards campaign staffers, including the sons of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt, have agreed to plead no contest to misdemeanors.

The plea agreements came in the middle of jury deliberations after an eight-day trial on felony property damage charges that carried potential 3 1/2 year prison terms upon conviction.

Michael Pratt, 33, Sowande Omokunde, 26, Lewis G. Caldwell, 29, and Lavelle Mohammad, 36, have all pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property. Omokunde is Moore's son.

Prosecutors will recommend probation sentences as part of the deal, and that the four together pay $5,317 in restitution for the damaged tires.

The surprise resolution was offered by prosecutors at 2 p.m., nearly 7 hours into deliberations and an hour after a jury note complained of an impasse.

Defendant Justin Howell, 21, was the only one of the five charged not included in the deal. The no contest pleas have not been formally made yet, but when they are, jurors will be left to deliberate the felony charge against Howell.

A note this morning from the jury to the judge about the verdict forms had hinted it was considering at least some convictions in the case, but the jury did not return a verdict before breaking for lunch.

Then around 1 p.m., the jury sent a second note suggesting they could not reach a verdict. “We have people that are adamant about their decision and are not budging. We don’t know what to do,” the note read in part.

Defense attorneys immediately requested a mistrial, which Circuit Judge Michael Brennan denied. He doubted that the jury was intractably hung, since testimony lasted close to seven court days and deliberations had only been going about six hours.

“That’s (an) insufficient amount of time to declare a mistrial,” Brennan said, and ordered the jury to continue deliberating.

Less than an hour later, news of the plea deals emerged.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: 2004election; brownshirtsforkerry; democrats; disenfranchisement; dummycrats; election2004; electionaftermath; electiondayviolence; electionlaws; fec; felony; goons; gramsci; gwenmoore; howtostealanelection; ibeenrobbed; justinhowell; kerryedwards; kerryvoters; lavellemohammad; lewisgcaldwell; marvinpratt; michaelpratt; milwaukee; rattricks; slaponthewrist; sowandeomokunde; tireslashing; unionthugs; vandalism; votefraud; wi; wisconsin
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Are they getting off easy or what?
1 posted on 01/20/2006 1:22:43 PM PST by mafree
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To: mafree

Who cares, they now are admitted cheaters.


2 posted on 01/20/2006 1:24:12 PM PST by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right >>>>>>>>>>>>>>)
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To: mafree

The Judge should take away their driver's licenses and make them walk everywhere for a year.


3 posted on 01/20/2006 1:24:42 PM PST by msnimje (Senate Democrats ----------- Sound and Furry Signifying INSIGNIFICANCE)
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To: mafree

You expected what? Justice? You mean to tell me you expected politically connected people to get into deep shit?


4 posted on 01/20/2006 1:25:08 PM PST by satchmodog9 (Most people stand on the tracks and never even hear the train coming)
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To: mafree

So, handing all of a state's electoral votes to the wrong candidate is a misdemeanor? Expect a lot more than tire slashing from the Dems in '08.


5 posted on 01/20/2006 1:25:14 PM PST by inkling
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To: mafree

Sandy Burglar Syndrome...if you do the crime as a Demonrat, you don't do the time.


6 posted on 01/20/2006 1:25:21 PM PST by peyton randolph (As long is it does me no harm, I don't care if one worships Elmer Fudd.)
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To: mafree

33, 26, 29 and 36

I knew about this story but hadn't paid attention to their ages before. I'd assumed these were high-school or college aged zealots, not adults.

My goodness. Do Democrats never grow up?


7 posted on 01/20/2006 1:25:29 PM PST by SittinYonder (That's how I saw it, and see it still.)
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To: inkling

And why isn't election tampering a federal crime?!


8 posted on 01/20/2006 1:25:51 PM PST by inkling
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To: mafree

Wouldn't look good for all these dems to have FELON appended to their names, would it? That would be an interesting election drive. "Please vote, because I can't."


9 posted on 01/20/2006 1:26:05 PM PST by domenad (In all things, in all ways, at all times, let honor guide me.)
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To: mafree

Lousy outcome that will have lame deterrent value and will minimize publicity.

Obviously the Rats got someone onto the jury -- either a die-hard Rat who doesn't care about the law, or an idiot they could manipulate.

And now we know for certain that the scum were guilty.

Pathetic.


10 posted on 01/20/2006 1:26:10 PM PST by California Patriot
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To: mafree

So now election fraud that had the potential to affect who was elected President of the United States doesn't even deserve a day in jail?

Sick, misplaced priorities. The prosecutor should not have cut any deals with them.


11 posted on 01/20/2006 1:26:21 PM PST by thoughtomator
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To: satchmodog9

plus one!!!! No body with money in there family ever has to deal with the results of there actions. A million dollar laywer sees to that. LoL that they even call it a JUSTICE system.


12 posted on 01/20/2006 1:27:03 PM PST by Habble Gabble
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To: UB355

Friday afternoon liberal cabal settlement.


13 posted on 01/20/2006 1:27:21 PM PST by samadams2000 (Remember our Founding Fathers were REAL men- Unlike today's Rinos)
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To: inkling

Cause the Milwaukee County DA is a DUmmy.


14 posted on 01/20/2006 1:27:22 PM PST by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right >>>>>>>>>>>>>>)
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To: SittinYonder

Correct, Democrats are generally those who have not grown up.


15 posted on 01/20/2006 1:27:25 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: UB355

Probably cost the tax payers 50K and they skate. Those hippies should have paid.


16 posted on 01/20/2006 1:28:05 PM PST by samadams2000 (Remember our Founding Fathers were REAL men- Unlike today's Rinos)
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To: mafree
. . . and an hour after a jury note complained of an impasse.

[Sigh] Where are all the jury-nullification proponents now?

17 posted on 01/20/2006 1:28:17 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: mafree; Watery Tart; KRAUTMAN; reformedliberal; Mygirlsmom; codercpc; s2baccha; ozaukeemom; ...

Well, don't say I didn't warn you that they'd skate. That was a very real possibility and is now proof positive of how hard we have to work to get these people OUT of power in Wisconsin and all across our God-fearing Nation!

To say I'm seeing red, steam is pouring out of my ears, and my head just did an "Exorcist Spin" would be an understatement!


18 posted on 01/20/2006 1:29:39 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: inkling

The jury was a joke. Prospective jurors were removed if they admitted they listened to talk radio.


19 posted on 01/20/2006 1:29:52 PM PST by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right >>>>>>>>>>>>>>)
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To: mafree

Best jury money can buy.............


20 posted on 01/20/2006 1:30:07 PM PST by Red Badger (LUKE 22:36 JESUS: "........and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."........)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Come on down to the red states.........


21 posted on 01/20/2006 1:31:01 PM PST by Red Badger (LUKE 22:36 JESUS: "........and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."........)
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To: inkling

That's what I was thinking ~ this trial proves that slashing tires pays.


22 posted on 01/20/2006 1:31:33 PM PST by muawiyah (-)
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To: UB355

Which now means they are qualified for high office in the Democrat party.


23 posted on 01/20/2006 1:32:32 PM PST by MarcusTulliusCicero
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To: mafree

Special Rules For Special People. Always been that way for the liberals.


24 posted on 01/20/2006 1:33:01 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: SittinYonder

If they did they wouldn't be Democrats.


25 posted on 01/20/2006 1:35:24 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: UB355

You're right- that's what no contest basically means.


26 posted on 01/20/2006 1:36:31 PM PST by mafree
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To: thoughtomator
So now election fraud that had the potential to affect who was elected President of the United States doesn't even deserve a day in jail?

Remind me again how this is different from the crimes alleged against that mega-monster Richard Nixon ?

27 posted on 01/20/2006 1:37:41 PM PST by oldbrowser (No matter how cynical I get, I can't seem to keep up)
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To: inkling

It should be.


28 posted on 01/20/2006 1:37:54 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: mafree
Prosecutors will recommend probation sentences as part of the deal, and that the four together pay $5,317 in restitution for the damaged tires.

"NO SOUP for you!"

This is what, $1,330/person. Big deal. I'm sure some "Soros" type will pick up the tab.

No sugar for their cereal for a year would have been a harsher punishment. Then again, Cashman's sentence of Mark Hulett was more lenient.

30 posted on 01/20/2006 1:40:22 PM PST by Fruitbat
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To: satchmodog9
You expected what? Justice? You mean to tell me you expected politically connected people to get into deep shit?

Actually, I think a plea deal this late in the game indicates that they were looking at some convictions. Otherwise, they could have worked out a deal early on.

31 posted on 01/20/2006 1:41:09 PM PST by mafree
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To: SittinYonder

Im getting sick of all politics.

This kind of crap is pathetic.


32 posted on 01/20/2006 1:41:10 PM PST by Former MSM Viewer ("Some of our successes will be known only to a few." W 2001)
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To: mafree

OK, if they plead no contest, does that make them eligble for federal election tampering charges?


33 posted on 01/20/2006 1:42:22 PM PST by T. P. Pole
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To: mafree

No doubt there were jurors who wouldn't find the perps guilty if they had seen them slashing tires with their own eyes.


34 posted on 01/20/2006 1:42:43 PM PST by OldFriend (The Dems enABLEd DANGER and 3,000 Americans died.)
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To: mafree

I'm shocked! Here I thought it was those national Dem campaign workers that did it and left town!


35 posted on 01/20/2006 1:45:21 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: mafree

Blame it on the Bush-Bashers on the jury. They are the ones that hung it up. Getting so these days we get politically partisan juries.


36 posted on 01/20/2006 1:45:27 PM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: mafree

They tried to fix the Presidential election, and they get off on a misdemeanor?


37 posted on 01/20/2006 1:46:33 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: OldFriend

Sounds to me like the defendants were worried about a conviction. No contest is a polite way of saying "I did it".


38 posted on 01/20/2006 1:46:34 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: SittinYonder

"My goodness. Do Democrats never grow up?"

That's a rhetorical question, right? We all know the answer.


39 posted on 01/20/2006 1:46:48 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: popdonnelly
That's a rhetorical question, right?

LOL, yeah, it was.

40 posted on 01/20/2006 1:49:11 PM PST by SittinYonder (That's how I saw it, and see it still.)
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To: mafree

How close was the Wisconsin vote, anyway?

This doesn't quite pass the Smell Test.


41 posted on 01/20/2006 1:50:23 PM PST by IslandJeff
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To: mafree

Can the Republican Party of Wisconsin go after them for restitution or civil damages?

(I know nothing about the law and could't even pretend to be one on TV!)


42 posted on 01/20/2006 1:55:48 PM PST by listenhillary ("Mainstream media" is creating it's own reality~everything sucks)
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To: mafree

bump


43 posted on 01/20/2006 1:57:20 PM PST by VOA
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To: California Patriot

"Obviously the Rats got someone onto the jury -- either a die-hard Rat who doesn't care about the law, or an idiot they could manipulate."

Maybe they just found someone who could be bought.


44 posted on 01/20/2006 2:00:11 PM PST by BeHoldAPaleHorse (Tagline deleted at request of moderator.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

When I heard the jury's first question about how to assign specific guilt to a defendant I knew their attorney's would be recommending a deal.


45 posted on 01/20/2006 2:01:14 PM PST by OldFriend (The Dems enABLEd DANGER and 3,000 Americans died.)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
Most likely someone who could be intimidated.

Remember when Johnny Cockroach brought in the Nation of Islam freaks to stand there in the courtroom.

That was a message to the black jurors.......

46 posted on 01/20/2006 2:02:25 PM PST by OldFriend (The Dems enABLEd DANGER and 3,000 Americans died.)
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To: mafree

You are correct. I wonder how the average vandal would have been treated. Would they have been offered the deal or would they have been convicted. That is my problem. I do not like it when people are treated differently because of money, skin color or connections.


47 posted on 01/20/2006 2:02:55 PM PST by satchmodog9 (Most people stand on the tracks and never even hear the train coming)
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To: mafree
Image hosted by Photobucket.com give these scumbags 5 years on probation and drug test them every week... fail and send them to jail. as if that would ever happen
48 posted on 01/20/2006 2:04:24 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: T. P. Pole

I'm not sure you can tie slashing tires to election tampering, even if you know that the tires were on vans which were going to be used to transport voters to the polls.

If you slashed the tires while they were picking up voters, such that a voter in the van no longer had access to the polls, you'd have a stronger case.

This was a "simple" vandalism case in state court.


49 posted on 01/20/2006 2:04:37 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: SittinYonder

"My goodness. Do Democrats never grow up?"

No.

And the sudden plea deal was because the DNC wanted this debacle out of the headlines.


50 posted on 01/20/2006 2:11:51 PM PST by Let's Roll ( "Congressmen who ... undermine the military ... should be arrested, exiled or hanged" - A. Lincoln)
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