Arrests made in shark dragging case

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Replies

  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 3,907 Captain
    PP1 wrote: »
    Not at all, just don't discount or minimize the potential influence from those nitwits.

    I view it as situational. When I said they had no power, I meant in this situation. PETA doesn't have a chance on God's green earth of instituting a fishing ban, despite some having flat out suggested such.
  • BryanCBryanC Posts: 623 Officer
    kellercl wrote: »
    I do not, nor have I ever, hunted. So I cannot begin to address bear hunting in Florida. I suspect it had more to do with biologist/population then just PETA saying "no." But I'll concede, I don't really know the details, however I find your summary/view suspect at best.

    But more to my original point. PETA makes up less than 2% of the population... consider the combined lobby power of Diawa, Shimano, Penn, Fin Nor, St Croix, Crowder, Falcon, Hewes, Hells Bay, Carolina Skiff, Egret, Mako, Dead or Alive, Mirrolure, Suffix, Jerry Brown, Cabela's, Bass Pro, Academy Sports, local tackle shops, marinas... Columbia fishing clothes, Huk... Hobie, Feel Free, Yamaha, Mecury, Honda, Charter Guides, Head Boats.... the list goes on and on... Eagle Claw, Mustad, Owner.... you believe that combined influence is going to lose against PETA because of a single shark video? All those companies will no longer have a US market because PETA is going to ban fishing? Really? Uh huh.


    From the Orlando Sentinel:
    Florida wildlife commissioners Wednesday shot down a bear hunt this year — and next — although the chief of the state’s wildlife agency said the science backing another bear season is “absolutely rock solid.”

    While science supports a hunt, the public does not, said Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. FWC authorized a bear hunt in 2015 for the first time in 21 years.

    “We’re not ready to go back into another hunting season,” Wiley told the governing board during a meeting in Havana, north of Tallahassee. He said the agency “needed more time” to better explain itself and turn public opinion around.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-fwc-votes-no-florida-bear-hunt-2017-story.html
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 3,907 Captain
    BryanC wrote: »
    From the Orlando Sentinel:
    Florida wildlife commissioners Wednesday shot down a bear hunt this year — and next — although the chief of the state’s wildlife agency said the science backing another bear season is “absolutely rock solid.”

    While science supports a hunt, the public does not, said Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. FWC authorized a bear hunt in 2015 for the first time in 21 years.

    “We’re not ready to go back into another hunting season,” Wiley told the governing board during a meeting in Havana, north of Tallahassee. He said the agency “needed more time” to better explain itself and turn public opinion around.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-fwc-votes-no-florida-bear-hunt-2017-story.html

    Exactly my point. PETA didn't single handedly change the law. It obviously is deeper than PETA telling the FWC "no" and it being a done deal. Again, I don't know the details, I'd have to research.
  • BryanCBryanC Posts: 623 Officer
    I guess we probably agree for the most part. My takeaway however is "don't underestimate the power of the opposing side". PETA didn't singlehandedly change the law, but the hunt was not allowed on the basis of popular opinion opposing it, even in the face of scientific data regarding the population that supports a bear hunt.
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 3,907 Captain
    BryanC wrote: »
    I guess we probably agree for the most part. My takeaway however is "don't underestimate the power of the opposing side". PETA didn't singlehandedly change the law, but the hunt was not allowed on the basis of popular opinion opposing it, even in the face of scientific data regarding the population that supports a bear hunt.

    The whole thing reads screwy if not just flat out BS. I'm not sure what the general public's issue is. In my not so humble opinion science should drive 99%+ of the decisions this country makes, not personal feelings. Either way, I don't suspect fishing rights are in danger regardless of how this case plays out.
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,282 Admiral
    This can also be looked at from the opposite view....These guys do this and there's no investigation or charges filed so then PETA then is left to think that fishermen and L.E. accept this type of abuse, thus leaving PETA people to think all fishermen do this or at least accept it. You think PETA would act then?
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 3,907 Captain
    Westwall01 wrote: »
    This can also be looked at from the opposite view....These guys do this and there's no investigation or charges filed so then PETA then is left to think that fishermen and L.E. accept this type of abuse, thus leaving PETA people to think all fishermen do this or at least accept it. You think PETA would act then?

    Agreed. My thoughts exactly.
  • MathGeekMathGeek Posts: 366 Deckhand
    kellercl wrote: »
    I'm just not that paranoid. Fishing with the intent to catch dinner isn't going to be viewed as equivalent to dragging a shark at 30 knots for no apparent reason. Harvesting meat in this country is legal, and there is absolutely zero indication that will change anytime soon. Too many of you are jumping to unsubstantiated extremes.

    Edit
    Also PETA is a tiny organization with no real power. They have 6.5 million members worldwide... the U.S. population alone is 300+ million. The idea that PETA is going to shut down the multi billion dollar fishing industry because of a single video.... yeah, I can't even find the words to explain how absurd that is.

    No one is concerned that this single incident will give one group the power to change law. But I've seen animal rights thinking erode hunting and fishing rights gradually over decades, and I think whether that continues quickly or more slowly depends on cases like this.

    An important aspect is whether rights are eroded by actual changes in law or by new interpretations and precedents with existing statutes. This case opens the door with a new precedent in existing law. And my suggestion that some consider it cruel to put a fish in the cooler and die on the ice is not unfounded - I've fished on charters that kept a small baton on board to smack fish in the head to kill them instantly so they don't die cruelly on the ice.

    Every change in fishing and hunting laws is subject to public pressures and pressures from lobbying groups. As animal rights thinking grows the erosion of rights is a real probability through spurious prosecutions and more restrictive laws that are based on sympathy for the quarry rather than sound conservation science.
    “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" - The Messiah
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 3,907 Captain
    MathGeek wrote: »
    No one is concerned that this single incident will give one group the power to change law.

    Then I am confused by your earlier comment:

    "This case is really setting dangerous precedents for PETA for judicial activism against hunting and fishing."

    Because it sure sounds like you said this case will give PETA the ability for judicial activism....

    Regardless, I am still with Westwall on this one. Sticking up for these guys makes it appear that dragging sharks at 30 knots is what fisherman do, that some how this behavior is normal. If anything, fisherman should be all for these guys getting locked up, to prove the point that we (as fisherman) don't torture wildlife for no apparent reason. That we don't approve of this behavior and we don't act this way. Sticking up for these guys sends absolutely 100% the wrong message, IMHO.
  • MathGeekMathGeek Posts: 366 Deckhand
    Westwall01 wrote: »
    This can also be looked at from the opposite view....These guys do this and there's no investigation or charges filed so then PETA then is left to think that fishermen and L.E. accept this type of abuse, thus leaving PETA people to think all fishermen do this or at least accept it. You think PETA would act then?

    I have no problem with an investigation. But the charges under the existing animal cruelty law are bogus. There were some legitimate violations (the spearing) that they could have been charged under.

    But what's wrong with the prosecutors admitting there is not really a good statute for charging the act of dragging as a crime and then suggesting a new statute that would cover future events that were similar? It would not be hard to write a good law preventing abuse of wild animals after they had been captured and writing in exceptions for "normal and legal hunting and fishing practices." This would be a rock solid defense against the erosion of rights, because a defense against hooking up live bait would be "it's been done that way for decades."
    “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" - The Messiah
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • MathGeekMathGeek Posts: 366 Deckhand
    kellercl wrote: »
    Then I am confused by your earlier comment:

    "This case is really setting dangerous precedents for PETA for judicial activism against hunting and fishing."

    Because it sure sounds like you said this case will give PETA the ability for judicial activism....

    I probably should have written PETA-types to indicate the animal rights movement as a whole rather than one specific group.
    “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" - The Messiah
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 3,907 Captain
    MathGeek wrote: »
    I have no problem with an investigation. But the charges under the existing animal cruelty law are bogus. There were some legitimate violations (the spearing) that they could have been charged under.

    But what's wrong with the prosecutors admitting there is not really a good statute for charging the act of dragging as a crime and then suggesting a new statute that would cover future events that were similar? It would not be hard to write a good law preventing abuse of wild animals after they had been captured and writing in exceptions for "normal and legal hunting and fishing practices." This would be a rock solid defense against the erosion of rights, because a defense against hooking up live bait would be "it's been done that way for decades."

    I take issue what that, at least potentially. None of us have all the evidence, so none us know if the charges are appropriate. Remember there is a fourth guy (on the boat) who is testifying against the three. There could be text messages or social media verbiage where these guys admit to torturing the shark for fun. Maybe not. Nobody knows. I'm not saying the Law is right, but in the same breath I take issue with people assuming they are in the wrong. Oh and they are being charged for the spearing via "illegal take."

    I generally take issue with the assumption the law is wrong, especially when nobody knows the full story. It reminds me of all these cop shootings, where the public assumes the cop is guilty... to only find out later the guy had a gun and was a threat. Charlotte was perhaps the best example of assuming the law was wrong... to later find out, nope, they did a fantastic job.

    I am rambling at this point, but perhaps we shouldn't assume the charges are "bogus".. perhaps the fourth guy will testify the shark was alive? Maybe not, nobody knows. We should let this play out before assuming the law is acting inappropriate. We should also let this play out before assuming these guys deserve to be convicted.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,198 Captain
    Tarponator wrote: »
    Bullfrog,

    Thank you for the thoughtful response. Upon reading the statute and your argument, I tend to agree -- it would be tough to convict on clause (2) if there is a reasonable argument the shark was already dead.

    However, it seems to me that the "cruelty" seen in the video (and let's presume for a moment the shark was already dead) could be still be subject to misdemeanor charges as per clause (1) of 828.12:

    "(1) A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, commits animal cruelty, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both."

    Reading that statute and reviewing what we know (while admitting our knowledge of the facts of this case is hardly complete), this seems to be to be a rather clear cut violation of this clause that would allow for an arguably postmortem mutilation to be punishable under the misdemeanor animal cruelty statute, yet presumably no charges were filed under it.

    To me, this seems like an easy conviction on the misdemeanor, yet they went for the felony -- and I wonder what evidence the public is not privy to that supports this position....or is it a case of prosecutorial overreach as has been suggested.

    Time will tell, but in the meantime, your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    Thanks again...Mike

    There's not a lot of caselaw on the misdemeanor subsection. There's more case law on the felony section. There are a couple of cases that interpret the difference between the two. State v. Morival 75 So.3d 810 is a reference point to start from. I'm going to quote that case quoting another case:

    "Despite the trial court's expressed difficulty with the construction of this statute, the statutory scheme is clear. If a person does the acts described in subsection one, he has committed a misdemeanor. If, however, the person intentionally commits an act which results in a cruel death or in excessive or repeated pain or suffering, a felony is committed. In other words, it is a misdemeanor to fail to feed a dog under the described circumstances; it is a felony to starve a dog to death, or deprive it of sustenance to the point where, like Pepsi, it has no *812 muscle mass and is too weak even to stand."

    Reading between the lines, the courts find the statutes poorly written. They both have some overlap. Subsection (1) is focusing on the act done irrespective of the suffering of the animal. For instance, depriving an animal of food could fall under subsection 1 even if it doesn't result in suffering or death. If, however, depriving of food causes suffering or death, then the same act covered in (1) can then fall under (2).

    (2) does specifically require an effect on a living animal. (1), on its face, doesn't necessarily. For instance, "carries in or upon any vehicle... in a cruel or inhuman manner" isn't necessarily requiring the animal be alive during the carrying. One might counter argue that its impossible to be do something cruel or inhumane to a dead animal. But the "aliveness" of the animal required for the felony isn't so clearly written into the misdemeanor. So I agree with you that the misdemeanor is a stronger charge.

    Are they overcharging, or are they relying on undisclosed evidence? I don't really have a gut feeling either way. One seems as likely as the other. The PC isn't required to list all the evidence. The defense is entitled to all the evidence, but it may not be in either sides' interest to go out of their ways to let the public know that. Generally actual evidence isn't placed in the court file until trial. Therefore, tapes or other evidence that might make things clearer only exist in the prosecutor's and defense attorneys' internal files.

    Shooting a little high to get a compromise plea isn't all that unusual though. Any defense attorney worth their salt will have the boys jump on a plea to a MM if it gets offered. A felony conviction is to be avoided at all costs.

    It seems, based on a public records search of at least a couple of the boys I've looked at, that they have minor records. Looks like they're pot smokers. Another MM conviction won't be that damning for them.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,198 Captain
    MathGeek wrote: »
    "A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death..."

    The intent to be cruel is not a required element under the law.

    Only the act itself needs to be intentional.

    An intentional act + the result of a cruel death (even if the cruel part was unintentional) fulfill all the required elements of the law as it is written.

    So, an angler need not have any intent for a cruel death when he hooks a baitfish up or puts a live harvested fish in his ice chest. But since the act is intentional, this case sets a precedent for charging him under this law if the subsequent death can be portrayed as cruel.

    You're 100% right. Only the act need to be intentional, no intention for the act be cruel is required.

    Unfortunately, the case I posted already set the precedence. The appellate court in that case actually asked the legislature to rewrite the statute so lawful sportsman would be excluded. That hasn't happened yet.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,198 Captain
    kellercl wrote: »
    Then I am confused by your earlier comment:

    "This case is really setting dangerous precedents for PETA for judicial activism against hunting and fishing."

    Because it sure sounds like you said this case will give PETA the ability for judicial activism....

    Regardless, I am still with Westwall on this one. Sticking up for these guys makes it appear that dragging sharks at 30 knots is what fisherman do, that some how this behavior is normal. If anything, fisherman should be all for these guys getting locked up, to prove the point that we (as fisherman) don't torture wildlife for no apparent reason. That we don't approve of this behavior and we don't act this way. Sticking up for these guys sends absolutely 100% the wrong message, IMHO.

    Not so much this particular case, but the case I already linked has set the precedence to let PETA type prosecutors and judges prosecute hunters for a bad shot. It would just take someone with the will to do it and the wrong jury to follow thru with a conviction.

    I have seen attempts to use animal cruelty to prosecute legal hunting activities, although he reason the activities come to the forefront is usually because a person is doing something boneheaded like shooting a **** in their back yard in the city limits up a tree. So far, I've seen those cases come in as felonies and go out as misdemeanors like improper exhibition of a firearm. Which would be a proper resolution if the person is being dangerous when doing an otherwise legal activity (**** hunting) in the city limits. But the potential is there to rack them up for a felony for the wrong reasons (because someone finds the act itself cruel).

    The slippery slope can also be stopped with a change in the statute to require a specific intent to be cruel when doing the act in question. That would still rope these boys in if the case could otherwise be proven.
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,282 Admiral
    MathGeek wrote: »
    I have no problem with an investigation. But the charges under the existing animal cruelty law are bogus. There were some legitimate violations (the spearing) that they could have been charged under.

    But what's wrong with the prosecutors admitting there is not really a good statute for charging the act of dragging as a crime and then suggesting a new statute that would cover future events that were similar? It would not be hard to write a good law preventing abuse of wild animals after they had been captured and writing in exceptions for "normal and legal hunting and fishing practices." This would be a rock solid defense against the erosion of rights, because a defense against hooking up live bait would be "it's been done that way for decades."

    You truly need to get a grip
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 12,153 AG
    Bullfrog, Thanks for the response. Appreciate it...Mike
  • MathGeekMathGeek Posts: 366 Deckhand
    kellercl wrote: »
    I generally take issue with the assumption the law is wrong, especially when nobody knows the full story.

    I try and keep an open mind. But I've followed trends in wildlife violation cases for over 20 years, and I've noticed a pronounced increase in the tendency to overcharge. Rather than simply bring charges supported by the available facts (usually misdemeanors), prosecutors bring exaggerated charges (often felonies), not because the felonies are supported by the evidence, but to bring more pressure on the defendants to accept plea deals for the misdemeanors for which there is actually compelling evidence. I've seen enough of this trend, that if there is not compelling probable cause for the felonies in the charging documents, I have a reasonable suspicion that overcharging may be occurring.

    Taking a conservative view of government as a whole, until there is compelling evidence that government agents are acting within the reasonable scope of their powers, I keep an open to the possibility that they might not be.
    “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" - The Messiah
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • HooganHoogan Posts: 544 Officer
    Remarkable how ALL OF YOU contributing to this thread are oblivious to a few facts of life in the USA, mr. Heintz (reportedly one if not tha’ ring leader) of the savage act works for Heintz&Becker biggg law firm... don’t you think that perhaps daddy is Mr. Heintz himself? and daddy know all the judges and all the prosecutors of this given jurisdiction and how all of them after the court house closes for the day go play golf or go to happy hour, handsome Heintz JR. aint paying for his actions. If mr. Heintz (boy) was Mr. Diaz or Mr. Leroy they would be shiiittt.Nothing more nothing less, all of you with the law degrees in this thread are just dancing with legal gymnastics, none of what’s on the books matters... during litigation behind close doors all will be arranged...
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,198 Captain
    Hoogan wrote: »
    Remarkable how ALL OF YOU contributing to this thread are oblivious to a few facts of life in the USA, mr. Heintz (reportedly one if not tha’ ring leader) of the savage act works for Heintz&Becker biggg law firm... don’t you think that perhaps daddy is Mr. Heintz himself? and daddy know all the judges and all the prosecutors of this given jurisdiction and how all of them after the court house closes for the day go play golf or go to happy hour, handsome Heintz JR. aint paying for his actions. If mr. Heintz (boy) was Mr. Diaz or Mr. Leroy they would be shiiittt.Nothing more nothing less, all of you with the law degrees in this thread are just dancing with legal gymnastics, none of what’s on the books matters... during litigation behind close doors all will be arranged...

    That’s conspiracy theory baloney. That’s not how it works in real life.

    First, prosecuters usually enjoy digging it in to people who try to throw their privilege around. The more names you drop, the harder the hammer is dropping on you.

    Second, attorneys in south Florida **** sure don’t get along with each other. It is NOT the enviroment where they all go play golf after work. Attorneys in small rural communities can be that way. But not in south Florida. Its the most cut-throat legal community on earth. The fact that he may be connected to a law firm there is going to hurt him, not help him.

    He wouldn’t have been arrested if his connections were going to save him. The State needed some one to be a State’s witness, thus the reason the 4th guy didn’t get charged. There was a reason they didn’t give that out to Heitz.

    Heitz was probably being groomed to be sent off to law school and take over the family firm. That’s all gone now. The Florida Bar will never give him a license with this on his record. Even the arrest and the notoriety of the case is enough for them to find him unfit for practice. How does that fit into your conspiracy theory?
  • HooganHoogan Posts: 544 Officer
    That’s conspiracy theory baloney. That’s not how it works in real life.

    First, prosecuters usually enjoy digging it in to people who try to throw their privilege around. The more names you drop, the harder the hammer is dropping on you.

    Second, attorneys in south Florida **** sure don’t get along with each other. It is NOT the enviroment where they all go play golf after work. Attorneys in small rural communities can be that way. But not in south Florida. Its the most cut-throat legal community on earth. The fact that he may be connected to a law firm there is going to hurt him, not help him.

    He wouldn’t have been arrested if his connections were going to save him. The State needed some one to be a State’s witness, thus the reason the 4th guy didn’t get charged. There was a reason they didn’t give that out to Heitz.

    Heitz was probably being groomed to be sent off to law school and take over the family firm. That’s all gone now. The Florida Bar will never give him a license with this on his record. Even the arrest and the notoriety of the case is enough for them to find him unfit for practice. How does that fit into your conspiracy theory?

    I see you have Ocala as your location, so I gather you resided in South Florida prior, based on your opinion about South Florida politics? I totally disagree with you and I reside in South Florida for a long time and have personally witnessed the complete opposite, lawyers married to lawyers with fathers-in-law judges and lawyers with brother-in-law judges dismissing 15 felonies of family members including concealed weapon by a felon and eluding and escaping and drug possessions and many more instances where you just have to shake your head and accept it for what it is... Defence attorneys playing golf and fishing with state attorney, are you serious? We used to tell ourselves “hey it’s just a job...they have the ability to separate the two” that’s how often we use to see that happen.
  • HooganHoogan Posts: 544 Officer

    He wouldn’t have been arrested if his connections were going to save him.

    I see how experienced you are about the process...
    Arresting officers make arrests as required, they do not know before hand who they are arresting nor what they do for a living or whom that are connected with. Arresting officers have no control of what takes place during litigation after the arrest, they just do their job.
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 607 Officer
    That’s conspiracy theory baloney. That’s not how it works in real life.

    First, prosecuters usually enjoy digging it in to people who try to throw their privilege around. The more names you drop, the harder the hammer is dropping on you.

    The fact that he may be connected to a law firm there is going to hurt him, not help him.

    He wouldn’t have been arrested if his connections were going to save him. The State needed some one to be a State’s witness, thus the reason the 4th guy didn’t get charged. There was a reason they didn’t give that out to Heitz.

    Heitz was probably being groomed to be sent off to law school and take over the family firm. That’s all gone now. The Florida Bar will never give him a license with this on his record. Even the arrest and the notoriety of the case is enough for them to find him unfit for practice. How does that fit into your conspiracy theory?

    I hope you are correct.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 12,153 AG
    Hoogan wrote: »
    I see how experienced you are about the process...
    Arresting officers make arrests as required, they do not know before hand who they are arresting nor what they do for a living or whom that are connected with. Arresting officers have no control of what takes place during litigation after the arrest, they just do their job.

    Who do you think directed the officers to arrest these individuals? Or are you under the (mistaken) impression the officers acted under their own volition?
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,198 Captain
    Hoogan wrote: »
    I see how experienced you are about the process...
    Arresting officers make arrests as required, they do not know before hand who they are arresting nor what they do for a living or whom that are connected with. Arresting officers have no control of what takes place during litigation after the arrest, they just do their job.

    Let me teach you about the process.

    Like Tarp points out, the defendants were arrested at the direction of the State Attorney.

    Generally, a person can be arrested three ways; directly by a LEO (called a warrentless PC arrest), by a warrant issued by a judge based on a PC affidavit filed with the judge by a LEO, or by a capias issued by the Clerk or Court and directed by the State Attorney.

    These three guys were arrested by capias. Which means the State Attorney’s Office ordered their arrests. Capias arrests are the preferred kind of arrest on high profile, complicated cases because the person won’t be arrested until the SA says so. That gives everyone plenty of time to investigate and research charges. Speedy trial doesn’t start running until after arrest. If the arrest happens before the investigation is complete, everyone is under the speedy trial clock to complete the investigation. In a case like this, it was to the SA’s advantage to delay making an arrest until they were ready to.

    I attatched the capias and information in a previous post. The information is the charging document by which the SA charged the boys.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,198 Captain
    Hoogan wrote: »
    I see you have Ocala as your location, so I gather you resided in South Florida prior, based on your opinion about South Florida politics? I totally disagree with you and I reside in South Florida for a long time and have personally witnessed the complete opposite, lawyers married to lawyers with fathers-in-law judges and lawyers with brother-in-law judges dismissing 15 felonies of family members including concealed weapon by a felon and eluding and escaping and drug possessions and many more instances where you just have to shake your head and accept it for what it is... Defence attorneys playing golf and fishing with state attorney, are you serious? We used to tell ourselves “hey it’s just a job...they have the ability to separate the two” that’s how often we use to see that happen.

    I’ve practiced law in over two dozen counties in Florida and I’ve seen it all.

    In general, south Florida is cut throat. There’s way too many attorneys for the area so its tight competition with very little professional curtesy. Past Florida Bar presidents have had platforms of attempting to reform the hateful behavior of south Florida attorneys, its so bad. Many of the south Florida attorneys are basically living stereotypes for greedy, slimy attorneys you’d make jokes about. Within the legal community we describe rude and sleezy attorneys as “south Florida types” and that generally tells the hearer everything he or she needs to know.

    Sure they’re going to have friendships and family relationships within the legal community. All a judge is is an attorney that was elected or appointed to an office. Attorneys who become judges don’t divorce their spouses or disown their children just because they become a judge. But those people should never appear before the judge in contested matters. The judge can be removed if that happens. Its also true that many prominent attorneys try to make family dynasties. I went to law school with a lot of the privileged kids from south Florida who were carrying on the family name to take over the firm and the fortune.

    But for every friend a south Florida attorney has, they have two enemies. Another attorney they wronged in a case or someone they ran against for a judgship and lost. That’s what keeps judges honest. Any, ANY, act of misconduct that can be proven will be exploited by an enemy to remove the judge from office. Every act of judicial misconduct I’ve ever known about involving judges in my areas always came from another attorney who either wanted to remove the judge to open up the slot for election/appointment or who had actually lost against the judge in the election and was seeking revenge (or was mad about a court ruling or dressing down that came from the judge).

    I’m sure the odd instance happens on occation of charges being swept away due to a connection. But its not the norm in the system. That kind of conspiracy theory is a pet peeve of mine because its usually expoused by convicted criminals trying to minimize their own convictions and continue the blame game to eveyone but themselves for their actions.

    Benac is the son of a county commissioner and Wenzel is the son of someone high up in the county and best friends with some MTV reality star. There’s plenty of locally prominent names involved.

    If this was going to be swept under, we wouldn’t still be talking about this now and the arrests wouldn’t have ever happened.
  • SaltySardineSaltySardine Posts: 159 Deckhand
    I am from a small town....friends uncle chief of police, friends with city commissioners son, dated mayors daughter, people knew people. yea that is how it worked there...we didn't get arrested...we got the police that would call our parents who would think talk to the school and we would do extra laps in practice. Now if you were a trouble maker with bad grades and were a burn out - nothing was going to save you. You had a reputation and that is it. The good kids that got caught in a little mischief here and there as high schoolers do - they got saved. Good grades, sports, members of community. They got saved. So it all depended.


    also spent a lot of time in a town in south florida that was cattle/groves country. THAT was a good ol boy network. That was an eye opener even for me.

    I then spent time in Boca....people hated people with money. Each attorney wanted the others work. So there was no friendly gestures. Most of the people in that town were from NY, NJ, etc so they never "grew" up together. There wasn't such a tight knit good ol boy network there.

    So it all depends where you are at.
  • TwinTurboJoshTwinTurboJosh Posts: 24 Greenhorn
    Color me shocked; the main guy in this case is getting 10 days in jail. Not bad, even if it will be served on the weekend and. Privilege has its privileges after all. 

    https://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/boat-captain-in-shark-dragging-case-gets-10-days-jail-for-animal-cruelty-20190228/


  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 3,339 Captain
    Looks like they got lucky. From what I read about the guy that got off, the fact the “expert” said the shark was already dead may have played a part. The 10 days was part of a plea deal w some probation and community service. The third guy didn’t take the deal, he’s going to fight it apparently. Hope it cost a bundle and he gets what’s coming 
    You should have been here yesterday
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 1,059 Officer
    Suspension of fishing license for 5 years!
    Jason :USA
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