Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Ever Eroding 4th Amendment

In an opinion released by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 22, 2014, the Court furthered the erosion of the 4th Amendment.  In Prado Navarette v. California, the Court essentially said that it’s “OK” to pull over a vehicle based upon an anonymous tip and little else.  The Petitioner was pulled over after an anonymous 911 caller stated that Petitioner ran her off the road five minutes earlier and gave an accurate description of the truck, which was found driving roughly in the area reported.  California Highway Patrol responded and followed the Petitioner’s vehicle for five minutes without any evidence of dangerous driving.

The Court stretched and stretched until it found the call was reliable, largely because it was a 911 call, based on a supposed eyewitness event.  The Court surmised that the 911 call was recorded and would prevent false reports, although absolutely nothing was gleaned about … Read the rest

Two Men Charged in State Trooper Shooting

Police have officially charged two men with attempted murder after an Alabama Highway Patrol officer was wounded in a shootout on Saturday evening.  Zachary Taylor Wood, 23, and Dillon Scott Rafsky, 21, are in custody at Geneva County jail after shooting State Trooper Lee Phillips during a routine traffic stop at around 5:30 p.m.

Authorities say Phillips pulled over a Toyota for a traffic violation when the vehicle suddenly came to an abrupt stop and a suspect opened fire on Phillips.  One of the suspects was taken into custody while the other suspect fled into the woods before being captured a short time later.  Trooper Phillips suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Flowers Hospital where he is in stable condition.

The two suspects were also taken to local hospitals where they were treated for gunshot wounds.  The Alabama Bureau of Investigation is still investigating this matter.

The sentence … Read the rest

Dothan Woman Charged with Robbery

The Dothan Police Department made a felony arrest after responding after responding to an assault complaint on April 8th at 900 Commons Drive.  Officers arrived at the scene to find that a loss prevention employee at Belk’s department store had attempted to stop an unknown female who left the store with merchandise that had not been paid for.  The store employee told investigators that the suspect hit her with a bag and then fled the scene in a silver passenger vehicle.

An alert officer spotted a vehicle fitting the description and pulled over Donna Lynn Simmons, 65, of Pinetree Drive.  Simmons was arrested and taken into custody on third-degree robbery charges.  A bond has been set at $15,000.

Third-degree robbery, also referred to as “Strong Arm Robbery”, is a Class “C” felony in the state of Alabama and is punishable by a minimum of one year in prison.  This … Read the rest

Headland Man Charged with Animal Cruelty

Jerry Michael Summers, 46, has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after beating two puppies with a baseball bat.  Summers was taken into custody over the weekend and is being held at the Henry County jail on $1,000 bail.

Deputies arrested Summers after his girlfriend reported the crime to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office last Thursday.  Summers told the deputies that he believed the dogs to be coyote puppies and Henry County Sheriff William Maddox believes alcohol was likely involved.  The two puppies had to be euthanized due to the injuries suffered during the incident.

Cruelty to animals is a Class A misdemeanor in the state of Alabama and on the first conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both fine and imprisonment.  Repeat offenses are punished … Read the rest