Burglary Charges for Man Who Used Truck as Part of Crime

burglary charges for man and truck

Photo: Brian Reading/Wikimedia Commons

A man was arrested early Sunday morning, Dec. 14, after being caught in the act of burglary. He had used his truck to force entry into the business where he was caught, but apparently it wasn’t his first act of burglary committed that morning by him and his truck.

Too Much “Knight Rider.” Or “Dukes of Hazzard.”

At approximately 2:21 on Sunday morning, police responded to an alarm at Guitar Center. When the officer arrived, he saw Tyler Cook, 31, with his arms full of guitars. Cook had used his White Chevy Tahoe and a chain to pull the doors and a security gate off the building.

When Cook saw the officer, he dropped the guitars and made a run for his Tahoe, which was still running. The officer shouted for Cook to exit the vehicle, but instead Cook reversed the Tahoe and nearly ran over the officer. Another officer who arrived at the scene pursued Cook, eventually spinning the Tahoe out near 1900 W. and 5400 S.

Police booked Cook on charges of burglary, trying to run over an officer, and fleeing police. Later it was discovered that he was allegedly also responsible for using his truck to drive through the doors of a General Army Navy Outdoor Store just before heading to Guitar Center.

Cook is also suspected of the burglary of three other pawn shops in the past week.

Burglary is a Felony, No Matter What.

According to Utah Criminal Code 76-6-202, burglary is considered an “offense against property,” and is defined as entering and remaining unlawfully in a building with intent to commit theft, assault, lewdness, sexual battery, or voyeurism. Burglary is considered a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. However, if the burglary was committed in a dwelling, it is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years and up to $10,000 in fines.

The key phrase in these punishments is obviously “up to.” If you or someone you know has been charged with burglary, don’t leave your fate in the hands of a public defender. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will look out for your best interests.

North Carolina Lawyer Suspended for Sexting Clients

North Carolina lawyer sexting

Photo: Alton/Wikimedia Commons

A North Carolina lawyer was recently suspended for five years after accusations of sending sexually explicit texts, a practice known as sexting, to clients. In addition, the Disciplinary Commission of the North Carolina State Bar found that the lawyer, Christopher Rahilly, had had also had sex with one of the clients and written off legal fees without authorization. While unrelated to the incident, the law firm where the lawyer was formerly an associate has experienced more problems in recent months.

Sexting: The Good, the Bad, and the Unwanted

A quick internet search of the term “sexting” brings up more articles about how to successfully do it to enhance one’s love life than it does about the potential legal or personal ramifications. At the top of the search results is an article from New York Magazine for adults on how to “sext” like a teen. A Cosmopolitan article advises its readers on how to send sexy texts. A dating site gives tips on sexting etiquette. Of course, Wikipedia is in the top results, defining sexting as “the act of sending sexually explicit messages … a portmanteau of sex and texting, where the latter is meant in the wide sense of sending a text possibly with images.”

However, a little deeper search starts to reveal the darker side of sexting. Words start popping up like “revenge,” “unwanted advances,” and “non-consensual.” As recently as Dec. 10, a Colorado Springs band coach was convicted of sexting with a student, a criminal charge of sexual exploitation of a child. This isn’t the first case to make the news, and when teachers have been found guilty of exchanging sexts as opposed to just sending them, the possession of such texts often leads to child pornography charges.

A Question of Power

According to a report in the ABA Journal, Christopher Rahilly was working for the Twiford Law Firm when he was accused of sexting three separate clients. The Disciplinary Commission found that he had been sending “full-length nudes and graphic pictures of his erect penis”. In addition, he had sent sexually suggestive texts describing dreams he had with the client in question and propositioning her to have sexual intercourse with him in his office, something which allegedly happened, even while Rahilly continued to represent the client.

John Morrison of the Twiford Law Firm told the ABA Journal that his firm found about the sexting allegations in August of 2013 when a referred client said she didn’t want to be represented by Rahilly. Morrison said the law firm took immediate action, beginning an investigation which resulted in the firing of Rahilly and referral of the matter to the state bar. Besides the incidents of sexting, Rahilly allegedly also asked one of the firm’s bookkeepers to write off a $4,500 bill for a client who had apparently complained to Rahilly about the behavior. Morrison said that Rahilly had been working for Twiford Law Firm for approximately three years.

In the case of Christopher Rahilly, what is disturbing to many is the fact that he held a position of power. At the time of the incidents, Rahilly was representing clients in domestic cases, including divorce, child custody and adoption. The client with whom he allegedly had sex had sought Rahilly’s counsel in a child custody case. The ABA Journal report called these clients “particularly vulnerable” because of the sensitive nature of their court cases and the fact that so much depended on how Rahilly handled those cases.

Rahilly has been unavailable for comment from local news reporters or the ABA Journal.

Twiford Law Firm made headlines again in October of 2014 when the boyfriend of one of the firm’s previous clients lit his truck on fire and drove it into the offices of the Moyock, North Carolina, location. According to a family member, Alan Boyd Lanier felt that the firm hadn’t treated his former girlfriend fairly. Lanier died as a result of the incident.

Morrison called the incident with Lanier “totally unrelated” to the sexting incident involving Rahilly.

Faked Brain Cancer Will Bring Fraud Charges

faked brain cancer will bring fraud charges

Photo: Marvin 101/Wikimedia Commons

In a move that surprised friends, family, and coworkers, a woman in Logan faked brain cancer in order to raise over $17,000. Police say she will be charged with fraud.

Fraud Often Preys on the Sympathetic

According to a report from KSL News, in early November 2014, Lesley Jensen claimed that she suffered from advanced stage glioblastoma, the same form of cancer that afflicted Brittany Maynard, the woman who moved to Oregon because of their right to die laws.

As part of her perpetrated fraud, Jensen altered medical records and other documents to support the story. Even relatives of Jensen believed the lie. As the Logan community rallied around Jensen, her former employer, Café Sabor, held a fundraiser where her fellow employees worked for free, and approximately $17,000 was raised on her behalf.

When the news came to light that this was a fraud, Café Sabor owner Justin Hamilton said he was very surprised but that it shouldn’t change people’s behaviors when it comes to others in need.

“[W]e can’t let this deter us from helping and giving back to people,” Hamilton said.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, family of Jensen reported that she was missing. She was found in her car in a remote location at the south end of Cache Valley and is currently in a psychiatric ward. No details about her medical condition have been released.

Logan police are asking anyone with information on the case or who may have given money to her to contact them at fraud@loganutah.org.

Fraud Charges Depend on Amount

According to Utah Criminal Code 76-10-1801, what Jensen has done will most likely be considered “communications fraud.” Per this section of the code, a person of guilty of this form of fraud if they “devised any scheme or artifice to defraud another or to obtain from another money, property, or anything of value by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises, or material omissions, and who communicates directly or indirectly with any person by any means for the purpose of executing or concealing the scheme or artifice.”

In this case, fraud ranges from a class B misdemeanor when the value of the property or money obtained was less than $500, up to a second degree felony when the property exceeds $5,000. In the case of Jensen, it would be a third degree felony for amounts between $1,500 to $5,000. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

If you or someone you know has been charged with fraud, be sure to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure you are getting the best defense.