Skip to comments.Sudden plea deals in tire slashing case
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 dont 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.
Thats (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.
Come on down to the red states.........
That's what I was thinking ~ this trial proves that slashing tires pays.
Which now means they are qualified for high office in the Democrat party.
Special Rules For Special People. Always been that way for the liberals.
If they did they wouldn't be Democrats.
You're right- that's what no contest basically means.
Remind me again how this is different from the crimes alleged against that mega-monster Richard Nixon ?
It should be.
"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.
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.
Im getting sick of all politics.
This kind of crap is pathetic.
OK, if they plead no contest, does that make them eligble for federal election tampering charges?
No doubt there were jurors who wouldn't find the perps guilty if they had seen them slashing tires with their own eyes.
I'm shocked! Here I thought it was those national Dem campaign workers that did it and left town!
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.
They tried to fix the Presidential election, and they get off on a misdemeanor?
Sounds to me like the defendants were worried about a conviction. No contest is a polite way of saying "I did it".
"My goodness. Do Democrats never grow up?"
That's a rhetorical question, right? We all know the answer.
LOL, yeah, it was.
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