Tales from the Brown Desk – Episode 22 – Recent Court of Appeals Opinions and Florida Man
Weekly Criminal Law Podcast, Tales from the Brown Desk, brought to you by Rigney Law LLC. Tales from the Brown Desk is a free flowing conversation involving two foul-mouthed attorneys. It may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity, violence, and traffic law. It may not be suitable for children. Listener discretion advised.
Episode 22. In this episode, Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys, Jacob Rigney and Kassi Rigney, talk about the defund the police movement, how an appeal over $335 is worth taxpayers money in Chandler v. State of Indiana, waiving the right to a jury trial in Gogarty v. State of Indiana, how the State didn’t present sufficient evidence that an officer was lawfully engaged in the execution of his duties when he entered a home and made an arrest in Brown v. State of Indiana. Also, get the latest Florida Man news.
Jacob Rigney – It’s Friday afternoon. We’ve locked the door because all the pizza goes in my tom tom and you can’t have any. And also because it’s time for another edition of our weekly podcast, Tales from the Brown Desk. I’m Jake Rigney of Rigney Law LLC. With me as usual as my law partner, wife, and the foxiest member of my household, Kassi Rigney. The poor soul tasked with writing our emotions and laughing convincingly at my jokes is Teri Ulm. Friendly reminder Tales from the Brown Desk is a free flowing conversation involving two foul mouth attorneys that may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity, violence, and other things people do with no pants on. It may not be suitable for children, Melania Trump, Scott Bayeux, Newt Gingrich, or Tucker Carlson. Listener discretion is advised. Here’s Teri.
Teri Ulm – Hello, everyone. Hi, Jake. How are you today?
Jacob Rigney – I am okay, Teri, how are you?
Teri Ulm – Pretty good. That was probably the shortest answer to that question ever.
Jacob Rigney – Well, lawyers tend to give long answers. That’s sort of our jam. People think we get paid by the word. Some of us maybe do. I doubt at least not for this podcast.
Teri Ulm – Hi, Kassi, how are you?
Kassi Rigney – Hi, Teri. I’m fine. Thank you.
Teri Ulm – Good. So last week, we talked about marijuana metabolites and the law surrounding it.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah.
Teri Ulm – And this week, we’re going to talk about some recent Court of Appeals opinions.
Jacob Rigney – Okay. Case law update.
Teri Ulm – Yes. But before we begin, I have a question.
Jacob Rigney – Oh, okay. The answer is yes. You can have Monday off.
Teri Ulm – Great. Perfect. Well, that wasn’t my question, but I’ll take Monday off.
Jacob Rigney – Okay.
Criminal Defense Attorneys’ Stance on the Defund the Police Movement
Teri Ulm – So anyway, I’m sure you too, have heard of this movement, defunding the police?
Jacob Rigney – Yeah.
Teri Ulm – It is a movement that’s going on right now all across the country. And Forbes reports that at least as of August, 13 cities across the country have done so at least in part. Some of the studies have cut public Police Department funds, and they’re reinvesting some of that money into social programs, including food access, violence prevention, and abortion access. What is your stance on this movement?
Jacob Rigney – Well, here’s the thing. It is a very complicated issue, so you’re gonna have a hard time, especially from a lawyer getting like a simple, I agree with it or disagree with it kind of thing. But the word defund means to cut off all funding. And most of the time, most of the people who are using that word don’t actually mean that. What they mean is we ought to cut funding from the police or divert funding from the police, to other social services, so that the police don’t have to deal with all of these things that they’re not very well equipped to deal with, rolling in their squad car with their gun and their bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. So, my short answer, this is the short answer, is that I think it is a very good idea to take some of these things off of the police’s plate. The police officer is not a mental health professional. It should not be his job to go track down every autistic person or mentally ill person who’s walking through the street and figure out what to do with them. Because police officers usually, they do one of two things. They either let you go and nothing happens. Or they put you in handcuffs and take you to jail. Those are the two most likely outcomes from a police encounter. And that is not always what society needs. So I think it’s great to have other options for people in those types of situations, take that burden off of the police, so that they can spend more time chasing down who they really want to be getting after anyway. The bad guy guys, the mythical bad guys who are out there, causing so many societal ills. So in that sense, I like it. To the certain extent, there are some people who are saying like that we ought to just not have police anymore. No. I don’t think that’s a good idea there. And you’ll get this even from criminal defense attorneys. There are bad people in the world who will do bad things to you and not having police around to either come catch them or stop them is not is not good for society either. So that’s the short version.
Teri Ulm – Kassi, any comments?
Kassi Rigney – Other than I just generally agree. The police do provide an important service and I do think that they’ve been burdened with a lot of things that they shouldn’t be. And appropriate funding of other resources can sort that out, I think.
Jacob Rigney – Right. And that burden is real. It exists. It does not excuse certain police officers whose behavior has been egregious. The guy up in Minnesota, I forget his name now, Golfing or something like that. Whatever. That guy is probably going to prison, and that guy probably should go to prison. The burden that other officers carry, does not excuse them from what he did.
Chandler v. Indiana – Why an Appeal Over $355 is Worth the Taxpayers Money
Teri Ulm – Now on to our topic of the day. Some recent Indiana Court of Appeals opinions. The first Court of Appeals opinion that we will talk about today is Chandler v. The State of Indiana. In this case, Chandler appealed the trial court’s imposition of fees and costs after a jury had found him guilty of theft. A little background on this case. In July of 2019, Chandler stole a donation box from inside Indianapolis VA hospital.
Jacob Rigney – Oh no.
Teri Ulm – Yeah.
Jacob Rigney – That’s almost Florida Man material.
Teri Ulm – It is. The state charged him with theft, class a misdemeanor, and a jury found him guilty. At his initial hearing, the court found Chandler indigent and appointed a public defender. They also found that he could pay part of the fees to represent him so they asserted a $50 Public Defender fee right. At sentencing, the court sentenced Chandler to 365 days with all but time served suspended to probation. The court also asserted fees and cost against Chandler in the total of $355. Included in that sum is the original public defender fee and a $4 fee to an unknown arresting agency. Which I believe is the VA hospitals internal police. The court did not suspend Chandler’s obligation to pay the $335 and did not hold a hearing to determine his ability to pay. And so an appeal ensued. He raised two issues on appeal, whether the trial court erred when it imposed fees and costs without holding a hearing. And whether the court erred when it imposed a fee that was not authorized by statute and that fee was that $4 fee. The state conceded on appeal that the trial court erred in both respects and the Court of Appeals agreed. They reversed and remanded with instructions. What are your thoughts on this case?
Kassi Rigney – I mean, it’s pretty cut and dry. I don’t know. What are your questions about this case? I mean, you read it, it seemed the court got it wrong. Everybody agreed.
Teri Ulm – Okay, so my question is…
Jacob Rigney – This is the classic Kassi, turn it back on you routine? What questions do you have about it? You just explained it all.
Kassi Rigney – You seem to understand everything about the case, Teri
Teri Ulm – Here’s my question. Okay. So the appeal ensued over a $335 fee.
Jacob Rigney – Yes.
Teri Ulm – That the defendant was required to pay.
Jacob Rigney – Yep.
Teri Ulm – And I wonder… My mind goes to, how much did the taxpayers pay the public defender to prepare the appeal brief?
Jacob Rigney – Right.
Teri Ulm – How much did the taxpayers pay the state of Indiana when they replied to that brief? How much did the taxpayers pay the public defender when he replied to their response?
Jacob Rigney – He may not have filed a reply.
Teri Ulm – He may not have. How much did the taxpayers pay three judges in the Court of Appeals to sit down and read all these briefs, and then to write an opinion?
Jacob Rigney – Yeah.
Teri Ulm – This doesn’t seem right, in my eyes, for taxpayers for is $335. Us taxpayers could have paid that, and then, I don’t know, maybe remove this judge from her from her seat since she’s making all these rulings that don’t go with the law. Like how much do we have to pay for justice?
Jacob Rigney – I’m gonna tell you something that you’ve probably heard before, Teri, but I’m going to say it in a southern accent so it sounds familiar. Okay. Are you ready?
Teri Ulm – Yes.
Jacob Rigney – Freedom isn’t free.
Teri Ulm – No, it’s not.
Jacob Rigney – $335 is not an enormous amount of money, but it’s not nothing either, right? And the bottom line is the Constitution guarantees this guy. I forget his name already. But they guarantee this guy procedural due process. And we have laws written about how this is supposed to be handled. And when the judge doesn’t do it, what’s he supposed to do? Is he supposed to just take it? Is he just supposed to say: “Well, they broke the law, but okay. I’m gonna pay it anyway”. Or is he supposed to appeal? He’s supposed to appeal, right? But yeah, it cost the state of Indiana, way more money to litigate this issue than they would have made if he had paid the money.
Kassi Rigney – A couple of comments, one, in defense of this judge, they call it practicing law for a reason. If it was as easy as two plus two equals four we’d be paid differently, I assume. So, in their defense. Now, the other thing, this case is value, or the ruling in this case’s is value is beyond the $300. Because what these case laws do… You can’t go to the court with a hypothetical and get rulings. It has to be a legitimate claim in front of the court. So while this case was only $334, all lawyers in Indiana, and all courts across now… This is a very clearly written opinion. It was laid out very well. And now that is a resource for all lawyers and judges going forward to use in their cases. So hopefully, this error is not made again. So while this case was only $335, how many mistakes other mistakes is that preventing?
Jacob Rigney – Right? And not only that, but this is gonna blow your mind even more, the most important part of that entire opinion isn’t 332, or four or $5, or it’s the $4. The $4. The court ordered him to pay $4 to the VA for their investigative costs. That is not an authorized fee that you can impose on someone. But imagine if it were. Now the police can start charging you money for how long their investigation takes. Then the next one’s not going to be $4. Is it?
Teri Ulm – No.
Jacob Rigney – The next one is going to be hundreds or thousands, and it’s going to turn into a new forfeiture, right? Just like the problem we have with forfeitures now in the United States where the police use it, to buy themselves the fanciest stuff, and they take money that they don’t really have evidences related to crimes and just wait and see if they can prove it. They’ll do the same thing with investigative costs. And so this opinion is very important for that, because it says to the police, do not come to the court and ask them to make the defendant pay your costs of investigation. That’s a government function. We pay taxes for it. Do your job. Don’t come back and try to take it from the defendants. I’ve had that argument with police officers before, back when I was a prosecutor. And I told him they weren’t allowed to do with then. But that will not stop the next young enterprising law enforcement officer he wants to pad his budget a little bit, from trying to lay these fees on to defendants. And for that reason alone, this opinion is important. And it’s good that we spent thousands of dollars in judges and attorneys salaries so that we have that in black and white and we can point to it the next time some police agency wants to try to hang their bill around the defendants neck.
Gogarty v. State of Indiana – The Defendant Must Personally Waive Their Right to a Jury Trial
Teri Ulm – That’s a very good point. So now we’re going on to our next Court of Appeals opinion. And this is Gogarty v. The State of Indiana. How do you say that?
Kassi Rigney – It’s a Goharty?
Teri Ulm – Gogarty?
Kassi Rigney – Goharty. Goharty.
Jacob Rigney – You can’t even agree on how to spell the name and it’s in black and white. I’m pretty sure it’s Gogarty. I don’t think there’s an H in it Kassi. I think…
Kassi Rigney – Okay. Well, I’m reading what I wrote. Which I wrote it incorrectly, which was Goharty is what I wrote.
Jacob Rigney – Right. Because even you can’t read your handwriting.
Teri Ulm – So Gogarty. Right? Gogarty?
Jacob Rigney – Go. Go. Gogarty. Go, go, go, Gogarty. Sorry. Go ahead.
Teri Ulm – Can I call him Go for short?
Jacob Rigney – You can call he Chad if you want.
Teri Ulm – We’re switching Gogarty to Chad for the sake of me getting through what I got to say here. So in July of 2019, Chad was taken into custody and charged with the level six felony for failing to register as a sex or violent offender.
Jacob Rigney – Okay.
Teri Ulm – A preliminary hearing was held in February of this year. During the brief hearing Chad’s counsel told the magistrate judge: “I had offered to waive jury trial and so we’re here today to do it formally”. The state offered no objection and the magistrates simply pronounced, in open court, that the parties waive jury. Chad was present at this hearing, but he did not speak. The magistrate therefore ordered that the jury trial was now a bench trial. The bench trial was held, and the trial court found Chad guilty as charged, and sentenced him to 547 days with 427 days suspended to probation, minus credit for time served. This appeal ensued. On appeal, Chad asserted that he did not personally waive his right to a trial by jury, and therefore the waiver was invalid. The state conceded that reversible error occurred, and the Court of Appeals vacated Chad’s conviction, reversed, and remanded it for a new trial. What are your thoughts on this case? Like Chad was there sitting. Did he personally have to say it? His attorney can’t speak on his behalf?
Kassi Rigney – Well, with your right to trial by jury, that is one of the things where the defendant has to be more involved. It’s just so sacred of a right that the court has to make sure that that representation is coming from the defendant and not his attorney. And that it’s full of knowing and really from him. It’s just one of those things. Most of the time, you’re right, an attorney can speak on behalf and act on behalf of the client without having to double check. But this is one of those topics that they take a more careful stance with.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah, there are just certain things that the lawyer cannot do for the client. One of those things is plead guilty, for example. You cannot have a guilty plea in the United States of America without the defendant speaking up and making it clear that he is waiving his rights, not the attorney is waving them for him, but that he understands what he’s doing that he’s waving his rights. And it’s the same with waiving your right to a jury trial. So in that case, he had decided, apparently or his lawyer decided for him, that he was going to have a bench trial. And the judge was going to decide whether he was guilty or not guilty. But case law has been pretty clear on this for a while. So I guess what I’d say is that this judge, kind of had a boneheaded move there. Because I think almost all judges know. And he or she probably knows, too, and just didn’t think about it. But you always have to inquire of the defendant themselves specifically, to make certain that they understand what a jury trial is, and that they’re waiving it, and that instead, a judge will be deciding whether they’re guilty or not guilty. It’s it’s not a long hearing to do. But you have to do it on every case where the defendant waives jury.
Teri Ulm – So this kind of takes me to waiving an initial hearing. Where instead of going to the initial hearing, and the judge telling you what your charges are, and the maximum and minimum penalties, than an attorney can do that on certain offenses. I was surprised to learn that that Chad won his case here, because I pictured him in court, and he had the opportunity to speak, but he didn’t speak. And I think maybe as counsel would have advised him, with an initial hearing of what it means to waive this.
Kassi Rigney – It is also the responsibility of the court and the state to protect these core constitutional rights of the defendant. And the fact that he didn’t speak up, he’s represented by counsel. None of the lawyers that were there handle this properly. Not his counsel. Presumably, the judge was a lawyer. And your right to trial by jury is just so sacred, that they treat it that way. And that’s different. Think about it. In the waiver to initial hearing, an initial hearing as an information only hearing. So what you’re waiving is a statutory requirement that you be on the record for that advisement. So you’re not giving up any of your rights in that, you’re passing on the requirement that that be done on the record. So there’s significantly different waivers. I mean, it says waiver, waiver, waiver. But one’s really, really important, and one is less important.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah, there’s no constitutional right to an initial hearing. You don’t have the right to go in front of the judge, and be informed of, in person, be informed of what the charges are against you and things like that. You have the right to know what the charges are against you, and they can do that by providing you a copy of the charging information. But you do have a constitutional right to a jury trial. And Kassi right. It isn’t just the judge who sort of had a boneheaded move there. It’s all three of them. He’s didn’t say anything. You’re right that Chad. didn’t say anything, but he’s not the legal professional in the room. There’s three legal professionals in the room, at least, and probably some court staff too. And they all should have known that he had to be questioned specifically about giving up his rights in that fashion, and he didn’t do it. None of them did that. And so that’s why the Court of Appeals overturned it. The Court of Appeals had this issue before, and they’ve already told the courts, you have to do that on the record. You have to inquire of the defendant. So this time around with Chad, the Court of Appeals didn’t really even have an option, because there’s precedent. There’s already appeals court precedent saying that they have to do it. And they didn’t do it. They didn’t really have any choice but to overturn his conviction.
Teri Ulm – So now he gets a jury trial, and I’m sure he’s hoping for a different outcome.
Jacob Rigney – I don’t know if he is or if he isn’t. He got probation, right? On a level six felony? Well, you know, it doesn’t matter. I don’t know if he is or he isn’t looking forward to having another trial. The bottom line is that sometimes these things get overturned and reset for trial, and then they plead again. Or something else happens. Who knows. He probably won’t go to trial again. Right? Because he already knows how that’s going to go. Although, sometimes evidence disappears, too. And it’s possible the state doesn’t have all the evidence that they had when they tried it the first time. So, who knows, but just because it got overturned on appeal doesn’t mean that he won’t end up pleading guilty to it. It’s hard to say.
Brown v. State of Indiana – Police Did Not Present Sufficient Evidence of a Lawful Arrest
Teri Ulm – Interesting. Now we have one more case to talk about, and that is Brown v. The State of Indiana. In this case, following a bench trial, Brown appealed a conviction of a class a misdemeanor, resisting law enforcement, claiming that the state presented insufficient evidence to convict him. Brown’s issue on appeal was did the state present sufficient evidence that the officer was lawfully engaged in the execution of his duties when he entered Brown’s home and arrested him.
Jacob Rigney – Right. Keyword being lawful.
Teri Ulm – And a little background here on Brown’s case. In March of 2019, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was dispatched to a home later determined to be Brown’s residence. The officers made contact with Brown at the front door. Brown was inside of his home, with the door open, but behind the screen door, and the officers were on the porch. The officers asked Brown numerous times to step out on the porch to speak with them so he would be out of the presence of the children that were inside. They didn’t want to make an arrest of him in front of his kids. Brown refused to do so stating that they can converse just fine from where they were. Eventually, Brown turned and he said he asked one of his children to get him a shirt and shoes because he wasn’t dressed properly to go outside. And when he did that, the officers came in, in stack, and tackled him. He ended up being arrested and then charged with a handful of things. Let me see. The state charge Brown was six counts, counts one two and three alleged strangulation domestic battery and battery resulting in bodily injury for acts that he committed against his wife. Counts four and five alleged battery and domestic battery for acts committed against another individual in the household. And then count six alleged that Brown committed a class a misdemeanor, resisting law enforcement. On October 7 of 2019. the state dismissed all charges except the resisting law enforcement after their witness failed to appear for a tape statement. Now, Brown waived his right to a trial by jury and the court held a bench trial in January of this year. The officers testified to their facts that they greeted him and asked him to come out and he was very belligerent with them and would not cooperate. Brown denied those allegations. And eventually the cops came in and arrested him. The trial court, after taking the matter under advisement, found Brown guilty and sentenced him to one year. All suspended and no probation. And Brown now appeals. He asserted that the state presented insufficient evidence to convict them. And the Court of Appeals agreed and reverse the judgment. What do you think about this case?
Kassi Rigney – Well, it was the right ruling. It highlights how complicated is for the police when serving warrants, and when they need one, and where they can go, and what level of offense, and all that. And I dealt with that when I was a prosecutor working with police. From their perspective, they had probable cause to arrest him. It laid out there wasn’t an exigency, but it’s very nuanced area of the law. And it’s complicated. It’s tough for officers to keep it all straight, and especially in the heat of the moment. I think is a good opinion. As far as bringing us back to the other conversations we had. Notice the sentence. And he appealed it. Well think about here, arguably, that could be wasted taxpayers time because they undo it, and so what. He walked out. He had the conviction, but he didn’t have probation. He didn’t get any jail time, any of that. But think about how this opinion can be used in the future to keep police officers and prosecutors in check in their behavior in these kind of situations. I thought it was a well written opinion and clearly laid out the law.
Jacob Rigney – The thing I took from this… And I’m going to try to phrase this as delicately as I can. You probably heard me on the podcast many times before talk about how important it is to have a good defense lawyer fighting for you, right? Because you don’t know what you don’t know. And you need somebody who’s got experience and understands all these things. Right? Well, the flip side of that is also true. Which is that it’s very important that you have good prosecutors working on your criminal cases in the county where you live, right? If you have to choose between somebody who’s got a lot of experience and somebody who’s got little to no experience, you usually want the person with experience working on that case. The Court of Appeals overturned this conviction, because they said: “Yes, the police had probable cause. But, no. They didn’t have exigent circumstances”.
What is Exigent Circumstances?
Teri Ulm – What is exigent circumstances?
Jacob Rigney – Some important reason why they couldn’t go get a warrant, instead of just busting in and arresting him. Now, did those exigent circumstances exist in a domestic run with kids in the home? And the husband getting arrested and the wife being outside? Yes. They probably did. I mean, I can’t say for sure, because I wasn’t on the case. Those exigent circumstances probably existed, that probably would have justified what the police did in this case, but it was not in the record. There was no testimony about it during the trial. And that’s the prosecutors job. That’s on them to present that evidence when it exists. Now, if it didn’t exist, and I’m guessing incorrectly, then I apologize. I don’t know who the prosecutor is on this case. But my guess is if you talk to those police officers, they’ll tell you that there was exigent circumstances, and that they can enunciate those things if you ask them about it. But if you don’t, and you just assume they’re the police, so what they do is lawful, then this is the kind of opinion you get, sometimes. It’s unfortunate, but this is what happens when you don’t fund the prosecutor’s office, and they have a constant churn of new people, right? The prosecutor that worked on this case is probably less than a year from law school. Probably doesn’t have a lot of experience. They’re trying a misdemeanor bench trial. And when you don’t pay the prosecutors enough money, they leave. And that causes a lot of churn. Especially in the low levels, because there’s a few high level positions, and then a lot of medium and low level positions. But the more people high up in the chain leave, the more they have to push these young people up before they’re ready. And next thing you know, you have no one in the bottom levels who have any experience at all, except their supervisors. And, there’s 15 or 20 baby prosecutors for one supervisor. And these sorts of things happen in those low level courts, when you don’t produce the kind of environment for prosecutors where they want to stay, and where they want to stay and keep working there. And they don’t get burned out by the stress. And trust me that’s coming from a former prosecutor. So I know a little bit about what I’m talking about.
What are the Elements for the Offense of Resisting Law Enforcement?
Teri Ulm – What are the elements for the offense of resisting law enforcement?
Jacob Rigney – It’s a long statute. I don’t know if I can remember him off the top of my head. It’s: you have to prove that the defendant knowingly or… Because there’s two different kinds of resists too. There’s resist by force and there’s resist by flight. So, this isn’t a flight. I don’t think it was charged as a flight. It was charged as a force. And it’s the defendant knowingly or intentionally, forcibly obstructs, resists, or something else. I don’t remember that part
Kassi Rigney – Interferes.
Jacob Rigney – Interferes! That’s right. Forcibly, obstructs, resists, or interferes with a police officer in the execution of their lawful duties as a law enforcement officer. That’s not quite it, but it’s something like that. And so fighting while they’re trying to arrest you, either by tensing up or putting your hands under your body while you’re down on the ground, that counts as resisting. The sole issue on this appeal was that the police officers were not acting lawfully because they have to have exigent circumstances to go with probable cause if they’re going to arrest you in your own house.
Florida Man Brought to You by Hydroxychloroquine.
Teri Ulm – Now we’re going to cut to a short commercial break and when we come back, we will bring you the latest Florida Man news.
Jacob Rigney – Today’s update on Florida Man is brought to you by Hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine. Remember me? That lupus medicine that the President said would totally work on Coronavirus.
Kassi Rigney – Spoiler alert. It didn’t work. On the other hand, though, that’s probably not worse than meth. Right?
Jacob Rigney – Do we have science to back that up yet? I mean, I know there aren’t a bunch of lupus patients running around scratching their faces off. So we’ve got some solid anecdotal evidence. But I’m gonna need a couple of months long double blind experiments where some people get meth, some people get Hydroxychloroquine, and some get a placebo. And I also need video of the whole thing because that sounds awesome. This message not actually brought to you by Hydroxychloroquine.
Florida Man Claims God Told Him to Break into His Neighbor’s House
Teri Ulm – So, God doesn’t talk to me and I’m really glad about that. Because apparently he’s ordering Florida Man to break into his neighbor’s home. Newsweek reports that authorities
Jacob Rigney – Newsweek? Florida Man made Newsweek?
Teri Ulm – Yes, he did. Well, they report that authorities arrested Florida Man…
Jacob Rigney – Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I’m sorry to interrupt. But did he make Newsweek or did he make newsweek.com?
Teri Ulm – That’s a good question.
Jacob Rigney – Because they’re not the same. They’re not the same at all.
Teri Ulm – Are you asserting that newsweek.com is not owned by Newsweek?
Jacob Rigney – No, I think it is, but I don’t think any of the same people write for them.
Teri Ulm – Okay. Okay. Well, anyway, Newsweek probably .com reports that authorities arrested Florida Man after he claimed that God ordered him to break into his neighbor’s home and he threw a Bible at the officers when they arrived on scene. Florida Man’s neighbor reported that Florida Man asked if he could borrow some clothing. But the neighbor declined, and shortly after that, he left his house. Upon returning approximately and an hour later, he found his front door kicked in. While he was checking out the damage. Florida Man came over, wearing only his underwear, and he said I fucked up man. I was mad. When deputies arrived at the scene, Florida Man shouted as he approached them. He raised his hands from behind his back revealing a Bible and said: “I condemn you”, and he threw the Bible at the deputy.
Jacob Rigney – Hmmm. Yeah. This all makes sense. Because as we know, Jesus said that with regard to your neighbor, you should definitely kick, you should love your neighbor, but you should also kick in his door and steal some of his clothes. And this also lines up perfectly because Jesus said when when they slap you in the face, you should definitely throw your Bible at them. Works done perfectly.
Kassi Rigney – So, if you go to the trouble of kicking in the door, and I thought you were going to say, which would have been better is if he said well, he was inspecting the damage. That the Florida Man walks up in some of the neighbor’s clothes, but he was just in his underwear. Like you go through the process of kicking in the door, but then you don’t take the next step of going to get the clothes?
Teri Ulm – Right. Yeah, so Florida Man threw his Bible at a deputy with force and momentum.
Jacob Rigney – That is some cop talk right there. You put that in the report, because he wanted to make it sound worse than it was.
Teri Ulm – Right.
Jacob Rigney – You can’t throw something without, momentum.
Teri Ulm – Those are quotes from the report. Force and momentum.
Jacob Rigney – Throwing a thing requires force and momentum, physics major.
Teri Ulm – And striking the left side of the officers face and jaw. Records show that deputies fired a taser at Florida Man to seduce him and handcuff him.
Jacob Rigney – The deputies didn’t turn the other cheek either.
Teri Ulm – No. No. But as Florida Man continued to approach after being tased, in an aggressive manner, and ignored all commands, another deputy had turned the other cheek and pulled his taser and tased him. Deputies place Florida Man under arrest and transported him to jail. He was charged with burglary, petty theft, battery on an officer, resisting arrest, and property damage. Deputies asked Florida Man why he entered the neighbor’s house in Florida Man told him because God told him to.
Jacob Rigney – Do we get any more details about exactly how this discussion went? Was it like: “Hey I really need some clothes, and my neighbor won’t give me any. Go break into his house. Hahahaha”.
Kassi Rigney – I think Florida Man just mistakes all the voices. They just call them all god. They’re not. They just misidentify all of them as…
Jacob Rigney – Mental health issues. Yeah. That tracks.
Florida Men Get into Knife Fight Over Which is Better: Whole Milk or Almond Milk
Teri Ulm – Now CBS 47 reports Florida Man is in jail after a fight with his cousin over which was better, whole milk or almond milk?
Jacob Rigney – Whole milk is clearly better.
Kassi Rigney – Obviously. And I’m a vegetarian.
Teri Ulm – Well I would say almond milk, so it might get a little…
Jacob Rigney – Let’s fight!
Teri Ulm – Let’s fight! This merits a fight. With the knife mind you.
Jacob Rigney – What? I withdraw from this fight.
Kassi Rigney – Was one of them trying to force the other one to exclusively consume the lesser product for the rest of their lives? I mean, it just seems like why don’t they just drink their preferred drink and move on with their lives?
Teri Ulm – Right. But, I guess Florida Man… It didn’t say which one was for… I don’t know if the guy with the knife was for the almond milk or the whole milk, but. So a criminal complaint states that a deputy responded shortly after 2pm Sunday to a home where Florida Man and his cousin were arguing over which was better. The whole milk or the almond milk.
Kassi Rigney – So Florida Man and his cousin, they’re not just both Florida Men?
Teri Ulm – Well, Florida… Florida Man is the one that gets arrested.
Jacob Rigney – The one who gets arrested is Florida Man.
Teri Ulm – The one breaking the law is Florida Man.
Jacob Rigney – Was this just this week? Or was a while ago?
Teri Ulm – Yeah, Sunday.
Jacob Rigney – Like so? Six days ago?
Teri Ulm – Six days ago.
Jacob Rigney – Well, football was on.
Teri Ulm – Football?
Jacob Rigney – Football was on and they’re still to… Their fighting over milk. By the way, I’m pretty sure the whole milk guy is the one who had the knife. If you think about it.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. That’s what I would assume.
Jacob Rigney – Almond milk guy would not threatened to stab somebody, because he’s obviously vegetarian. Well, he might just be lactose intolerant. I don’t know. That’s toss up.
Teri Ulm – Well, their verbal argument became physical when Florida Man became enraged at his cousin for disagreeing with him.
Jacob Rigney – That tears it!
Kassi Rigney – Well, I’ll admit. I’ll agree with Florida Man here that any milk is better than almond milk. Nut juice.
Teri Ulm – But that’s cow titty juice.
Kassi Rigney – It is.
Teri Ulm – Compared to nut juice. I don’t know.
Kassi Rigney – It’s called milk. We call it milk when…
Jacob Rigney – Sitll doing this phrasing?
Kassi Rigney – We always like to laugh at… Should be talking about Justin’s nut butter?
Jacob Rigney – We shouldn’t. It’s not actually what it’s called. You just like saying Justin’s nut butter. It’s called like Justin’s peanut butter.
Kassi Rigney – But he has almond butter and… I know he at least has almond butter as well. So I just called it as an umbrella term for the Justin’s nut butters.
Jacob Rigney – And we have we have come to a grinding halt because we cannot get over talking about nut milk.
Teri Ulm – Almond products.
Jacob Rigney – Nut butter.
Kassi Rigney – My point ultimately was that I agree with Florida Man that whole milk is better. But this is just an example of where you just kind of leave these things alone. I mean, this is a true topic where you can say well, we just agree to disagree. We can still be friends and like different milk.
Jacob Rigney – Right. Leave Britney alone.
Teri Ulm – Yeah.
Jacob Rigney – You don’t have to stab Cletus over his love of almond milk. It’s it’s not that deep, man. It is not that deep.
Kassi Rigney – Isn’t his time consuming almond milk in the future punishment enough?
Teri Ulm – Now, Florida Man proceeded to punch his cousin with a closed fist…
Jacob Rigney – Right.
Teri Ulm – … to the left side of his forehead.
Jacob Rigney – Okay.
Teri Ulm – The cousin tried to punch back but missed.
Jacob Rigney – Of course. Because he is an almond milk drinker.
Teri Ulm – Then he became scared and ran.
Jacob Rigney – Of course, because he’s an almond milk drinker,
Teri Ulm – Florida Man pulled out his pocket knife and chased him.
Jacob Rigney – See that’s just too much. It’s too much man.
Teri Ulm – Yeah, Florida Man.
Jacob Rigney – You made your point.
Teri Ulm – Florida Man… No. He wasn’t done. Florida Man caught up with his victim, with his cousin, and struck him with a knife causing a small cut to the man’s torso. The uncle intervened at this point grabbing Florida Man and separating the two.
Jacob Rigney – So, we just got to stop on that fact for a second because I just want to back up and recap here. Two Florida men get new argument about which kind of milk is better. One punches the other in the face over it. The other one tries to punch in response, misses, runs. First guy, puncher, then pulls out a knife, and uncle is just watching. He’s like I don’t see any reason to get involved in this at this point.
Teri Ulm – Not yet.
Jacob Rigney – And only after the stabbing, is the uncle like well, I guess I better go break them two up.
Kassi Rigney – Well, I find it interesting that I’m not wishing that the cousin or Florida Man B got stabbed, but then he pulled a knife and then hit him with it? Instead of… I mean, I guess obviously if you pull a weapon on somebody, you should plan to use it. But I mean, I guess I have a gun at home and if I got caught in the house with it, I probably just throw it at the person and run away. So I guess I understand that, but I’ve never out of anger gone to a weapon and then I mean it’s for stabbing and then he hit him with it.
Jacob Rigney – Why? Why hit him Chad when it’s made for stabbing? I mean the whole point is to cut meat off of human bodies. Come on.
Kassi Rigney – Well, and didn’t prove his point when the guy ran away in fear?
Jacob Rigney – That’s what I was talking about.
Kassi Rigney – He had to punch his point home.
Jacob Rigney – You’ve made your point. You punched him. He failed to punch you back and he ran away. You are the victor. You have successfully persuaded everyone watching that milk drinkers are more manly. No need to chase him down and hit him with a knife that’s just overdoing it. The police probably wouldn’t have even gotten called.
Teri Ulm – Yeah, but they did. And when they came Florida Man said he was defending himself when he was punching his cousin and he denied using the knife during the fight. The deputies found the pocket knife in his pocket. And he was arrested on battery, charged, and booked into jail.
Jacob Rigney – Didn’t have blood on it? That would make it better.
Teri Ulm – The report does not say.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah, okay. Well hopefully Florida Man and his cousin can get some couples counseling and learn to resolve their disagreements without puncture wounds.
Teri Ulm – Maybe uncle could be a better mediator?
Jacob Rigney – Yeah, or at least step in man. Get involved.
Kassi Rigney – People should just use this tool to learn. Remember cool heads. Because we get a lot of calls from people and these things spiral out of control. You get worked up. Maybe had two drinks. Maybe you just had a bad day or whatever and they spiral out of control and then you you got a conviction you got probation and they are just like this is not me. Well in that moment, that was them. But trying to keep a cool head. What’s really important? Was winning the milk dispute worth it? Now he’s gonna have to hire some lawyer over milk when he could have just said almond milk sucks man.
Jacob Rigney – He could have said even worse things about almond milk than that, but we’re going to hang on to our last shred of dignity here today. We’ve already had enough discussion about nut butter. But yeah, that’s a strange hill to die on. And now we’re digging a grave. That’s a bummer.
Teri Ulm – Yeah, I’m we’re going to end this episode in the grave, because that’s all the time we have for the day.
Jacob Rigney – Alright, thanks, Teri. And thank you, dear listener for listening to Tales from the Brown Desk. Please remember while we may discuss legal issues and provide information regarding the law to our listeners, we do not intend to create an attorney client relationship with any listener. Our advice may not be applicable to some legal issues. Please consult with an attorney you’ve hired to review your legal situation before you attempt to apply the things we have said to your case. Tales from the Brown Desk is produced by Rigney Law and edited by Teri Ulm. If you want to ask a listener question email Teri at email@example.com, and entitle your email: “Podcast question” and we’ll read it on our next podcasts. Unless we start getting too many questions and then we’ll just read the good ones. Give us new content for free you suckers. Give us reasons to keep talking. Buzzsprout says we have 33 listeners. Now that’s 33 people out there who could be writing email questions. This thing is going to make us rich 33 people. How much do you think each one of them are paying? When do we get our money? It’s not going to make us rich?
Teri Ulm – No.
Jacob Rigney – Shit. Our newest faraway listener is in Norton Shores, Michigan. It’s just north of Grand Haven on the Lake Michigan side. This is probably one of Kassi’s friends. I know this because the listeners in Michigan and also because I have no friends. So it couldn’t possibly be one of mine. The attorneys Rigney Law do not comment on their current pending cases. Nothing we’ve said in this podcast is a comment on a case we are currently working on, even if your name is Chad, or if you just caught a virus that you said would go away on its own months ago. Bye, everyone.