Friday, June 10, 2005

Monday's Court Docket

Another slow news day at the courthouse .... various conferences and hearings, but no trials, no sentencings and no guilty pleas in Kansas City, Springfield or Jefferson City.

Most Americans support the Patriot Act

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll indicates there is considerable public support behind President Bush’s call to renew the USA PATRIOT Act.

From the ABCNews.com report:
Fifty-nine percent in an ABC News/Washington Post poll favor continuing the additional investigative authority in terrorism investigations that was granted to the FBI starting in 2001. President Bush urged such an extension of the Patriot Act today.
More about ABC News/Washington Post poll.

More about the Patriot Act at Preserving Life and Liberty.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Friday's Court Docket

Slow news day at the courthouse ... no trials, no sentencings, no guilty pleas in Kansas City, Springfield and Jefferson City.

Conviction Upheld

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the goverment today in the case of USA v. Jay Charles Wantland, who was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison without parole after being convicted by a trial jury in a nearly $260,000 fraud scheme that involved a bank construction loan and a credit card account. Here's our news release.

The court ruled that the evidence at trial was sufficient to support Wantland's bank fraud conviction under an aiding and abetting theory; evidence was also sufficient to support the bank fraud conviction of Wantland's co-defendant (and wife) Suzanne M. Keisling for either a scheme to defraud or a scheme to obtain money by false or fraudulent representations; applying Pirani's plain error analysis, defendant Keisling was not entitled to Booker relief as the district court's imposition of an identical alternative sentence establishes the court would not have imposed a lesser sentence under Booker.

Here's the court's published opinion.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Patriot Act

The Springfield News-Leader published a guest editorial from U.S. Attorney Todd Graves, headlined Patriot Act Provision Protects People's Rights. The editorial begins:
Three years after the Patriot Act was passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, America is safer and more secure. After adopting the Patriot Act by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, Congress is now considering whether to renew some provisions that are scheduled to expire. While even critics agree that the Patriot Act has been an effective tool in the war against terrorism, some specific provisions have been challenged.
Read More

For the latest information related to the Patriot Act and the war on terrorism, check out Preserving Life & Liberty.

Thursday's Docket

Kansas City:

  • Mark W. Caldarello, who pled guilty to participating in a meth conspiracy and illegally possessing a firearm, will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 7B.
  • Dentury D. Sallard, indicted for illegally possessing firearms, change of plea hearing at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 7B.

Springfield:

  • David Wayne Robbins, indicted for illegally possessing firearms, change of plea hearing at 10:30 a.m. in the magistrate courtroom.

On The Courthouse Steps

Welcome to the new blog for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Missouri. Consider this an on-line press briefing, sort of a virtual courthouse steps, where reporters and editors can find more information they need to make coverage decisions. This site doesn't replace our existing "official" Web site, where we will continue to post news releases and other information. Instead, this site will operate more informally, mostly to provide information that doesn't typically generate a news release -- such as motions filed or hearings scheduled.

Our ambitious intention is to post a daily summary of court activity (trials, sentencings, etc.), as well as tracking some of the more significant cases to give you a heads up on upcoming events. We'll link to Department of Justice news releases and reports that have local interest, as well as to on-line news coverage of our office. Along the way, we'll try to explain some of the laws and policies that govern our media relations.

I'm sure we'll find even more uses for this blog. I'd like to hear your suggestions. Hopefully, by doing our job better, we'll make your job easier, too.