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May 1, 2013

Do you like this?

So on January 3, 2012, a 31-year-old meth addict breaks into the home of a 90-year-old Marin County California man, holds him at gunpoint, ties him up, and when the old man frees himself and gets the opportunity to get his hands on a gun he had hidden as the bad guy is pillaging his bedroom, he draws down on the bad guy, who shoots the old man in the face (his jaw, specifically) first. Despite his wound, the old guy is able to return fire with his .357 revolver and hits his burglarizing, home-invading drug-addict attacker four times.

In the ensuing struggle, the burglar actually gets this revolver away from the homeowner and holds it against his head, pulling the trigger in an attempt to finally kill him…only to find the homeowner’s revolver now empty. The suspect flees, he is caught a few blocks away, and his initial story to police officers is that he “shot himself accidentally, and needs help.”

The natural response? The home-invading robber sues the old man for “causing him great bodily injury, and other financial damage, including loss of [the suspect’s] home, and also the dissolution of [the suspect’s] marriage.”

Let me end the suspense and the rage for the 60 percent of my readers that immediately and righteously call “bullshit” on this by saying that Mr. Samuel Cutrufelli was convicted 11 months later of two counts of attempted murder against 90-year-old Jay Leone, a World War II veteran and apparent gun owner, and this conviction will quite likely not help his lawsuit one bit—but tell that to the 90-year-old man who has to defend against it.

Imagine: AFTER being home-invaded and shot in the jaw, a nonagenarian not only has to recover from the physical wounds, he has to deal with the anxiety such a foolish legal act itself can have on one already in a fragile state of mind for the next 11 months.

The defense attorney, Sanford S. Troy, blamed the 90 year old for provoking the attack, stating it was based on jealousy on his part during a drug deal. No drugs were found, and Cutrufelli’s initial lies to responding officers were all indefensible, but the “shadow of doubt” was being cast like a Mediterranean fishing net, and why not?

This is our legal system, folks. Granted, that’s a California lawsuit if ever there was one (and as a former resident I have no small degree of pride knowing that this lawsuit will see an eventual ignominious death), but Tennessee is by no means immune to legalese stupidity.

I work closely with an officer who was deposed last year for comments he allegedly made on “the internet” six years prior, as depicted in a printout known as a “screen shot” in which there was no web address, no author, and referring to a nonspecific incident on a nonspecific time and day with no address, suspects or officers named, which was the basis of a local dipshit attorney’s “clear pattern of abuse” for a now-disappointed client. And when my co-worker bafflingly could not recall anything about the incident without names, dates, locations, suspects or victims from what may or may not have been day or night six years before? He was just called a liar and “part of the system.” Another widely cast Mediterranean fishing net: “Guilty.” Who needs facts when you have supposition and posturing, after all?

This case in question? Nimrod at Law lost it as he has very possibly every other anti-police case he has taken on (though headlines only display his proclamations, not his mathematically staggering losses), but my point in relating these two events is simply one of emphasis. No matter how ridiculous and likely a case is to be tossed for lack of merit—that doesn’t keep someone’s stomach lining from turning into an acid bath. And as one working for the interests of justice (and possessing a human stomach despite rumors to the contrary), this annoys me.

The 90 year old being sued by the burglar who shot him first? It happens. You need to know this to avoid becoming the next headline in his place. One good attorney canceled out that bad attorney (because like cops, the good attorneys FAR outweigh the bad ones), but still…I am grateful only for the fact that these frivolous lawsuits still shock me.

Beware, folks: “Stupid” is out there, and you don’t even have to be in the wrong to fall victim to it. You just have to be pulled into court.

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May 1, 2013

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