Criminal Defense Case Results

Murder in the First Degree in Lansing, Michigan

Mr. Clark represented a State police officer who was a person of high interest. The police officer and his wife were going through a divorce when his wife was shot to death at a local zoo. Defense counsel was able to organize a defense team and was able to diffuse the situation and to this date no charges have been brought against their client. This was headline news in Newsweek magazine, National TV, and multimedia locally both statewide and nationwide.

OWI II in Clinton County. 2 Day Trial. Result = NOT GUILTY

Mr. Clark’s client, a driver of an automobile, was accused of driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .20. He was driving down a winding road. It was alleged that Mr. Clark’s client lost control of the vehicle, went through a fence due to the fact that he was intoxicated, and that he had a blood alcohol content greater than .08. Later, Mr. Clark’s client went to a gasoline station to retrieve a wrecker to help him with the car. He was then arrested by the police and charged with drunk driving. After two days of trial, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, finding that the defendant was not guilty. Mr. Clark was able to show that it was not unusual for persons to miss the curve where the accident happened and that the farmer had to admit that the fence had been knocked down multiple times by persons who had missed the turn. They jury also returned a verdict of not guilty on the blood alcohol because they did not believe the prosecution was able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alcohol content was illegal at the time of the driving.

1st Degree RAPE/CSC and Kidnapping in Lansing, MI. 7 Day Trial. Result = NOT GUILTY

Mr. Clark’s client was charged with raping and kidnapping a young woman that he had been dating. He was facing 20 years to life in prison. The parties had been drinking heavily the night of the incident. It was the contention of the victim that Mr. Clark’s client, while the victim was intoxicated, forcibly took her from the bar where they were drinking back to his house, hit her breaking her collar bone and nose, raped her, and then after doing all that, offer her a ride home. The she claimed he put her in his truck and took her to a deserted field and kicked the victim out of his truck.

At trial, Mr. Clark was able to demonstrate that the victim and his client knew each other and had had a stormy relationship in the near past and that the victim had been drinking and voluntarily went home with his client. While at home, the parties did have intercourse, but a fight ensued when Mr. Clark’s client threatened and did call her new boyfriend about the evening. It was the position of Mr. Clark that his client wanted to apologize, but the parties started a new fight, that she pushed him, he pushed back and that a large stereo speaker fell and hit the victim causing her injuries. It was raining and it was Mr. Clark’s client’s position that he offered to the victim a ride back home, they got in another fight in the truck on the way back home and he got mad and kicked her out of the truck. It was also demonstrated at trial that the alleged victim had offered to drop the charges, if Mr. Clark’s client would give her his house and his boat. After a one week trial a verdict of not guilty was entered.

20 Year Arson Felony in Manistee, Michigan. 14 Day Trial. Result = NOT GUILTY

Mr. Clark represented a prominent husband and wife who were both charged with arson to their business. The business, at the time of fire, was unfortunately in foreclosure and there were two policies of insurance on the property. It was the theory of the prosecution that the couple needed money and that they set fire in the attic of the business next to the furnaces. They thought they used flammable liquid gasoline to start the fire and the delay mechanism was the thermostat that was turned down. The thermostat then came on when the building cooled thus giving Mr. Clark’s clients a chance to get out of the building and then “discover” the fire. It was the claim of the prosecution that flammable liquid patterns could be found on the walls and that there was flammable liquid found on top of the water in the room below the furnaces. Photos were produced to provide evidence of this point.

It was the position of Mr. Clark’s clients that they did not know what caused the fire but they did not set it. After hiring an expert in cause and origin of fires, it was Mr. Clark’s position that the furnaces were faulty and caused the fire by setting fire to boxes stored next to the faulty furnace. Using photographs of the police, Mr. Clark was able to prove the “flammable liquid” patterns found on the wall came from a burnt out waste basket, and other patterns were caused by papers stored on top of file cabinets, and the burn marks were too even to come from “flammable liquids”. The flammable liquid found on the water was kerosene from a heater tipped over in putting out the fire and the insurance companies had made a mistake in providing two policies of insurance at the same time. Lastly, Mr. Clark argued to the jury that furnaces had an open and continuous pilot and gasoline would catch fire before his client could even get out of the attic.

After a two week trial a verdict of not guilty was returned. A civil suit was filed after the verdict against the insurance companies and Mr. Clark was able to collect from the insurance companies over $400,000 for the loss his clients suffered due to the fire.

Delivery of Cocaine Second Felony. Result = CASE DISMISSED

Mr. Clark’s client was arrested after he had been frequenting a drug house that was staked out by the police. After Mr. Clark’s client left the home, he got into a car that the police say was swerving and the driver acting strange and Mr. Clark’s client appeared to be stuffing something in his pants. A stop of the car was effectuated by the police and a pat down search of Mr. Clark’s client took place. The police found no indication of drugs on Mr. Clark’s client after the first search. It was claimed by the police, later on after Mr. Clark’s client was arrested, that Mr. Clark’s client admitted that he did have cocaine in his pants. At the time of the preliminary exam, Mr. Clark raised the issue of illegal search, no Miranda warnings after the arrest, and the police were not telling the truth about an alleged confession. After this matter was bound over to Circuit court, a hearing was noticed on the issues raised at the preliminary examination, the matter was dismissed at the time of the circuit court hearing.

Felony Assault on a Police Officer in Lansing, Michigan. Client was Facing a 2 Year Felony and a One Year Mandatory Sentence. 3 Day Trial. Result = NOT GUILTY

Mr. Clark’s client was upstairs in his house that he shared with his girlfriend. His current girlfriend and his former girlfriend were downstairs and got into a very heated argument. The police were called and the two women were subdued by the police and the police knew that a male was upstairs, and immediately went upstairs. Mr. Clark’s client was upstairs in bed at the time of the incident. It was the position of the police that when they went upstairs to find the male, Mr. Clark’s client was awake in the bed with a pit bull and refused to come downstairs. Then the police claim Mr. Clark’s client was upset and attacked them and that they subdued Mr. Clark’s client with two police officers, billy-clubs, and pepper spray. It was the position of Mr. Clark’s client that he was a heavy sleeper, could not see well and being grabbed by the police to awake him he struck back in self-defense, not knowing that the party trying to awaken him was the police. After three days of trial, Mr. Clark proved, via an open mike tape, that the police were acting very quickly and if the dog was in fact in the room it would have attacked the police. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

20 Year Arson Felony in Okemos, Michigan. 14 Day Trial. Result = NOT GUILTY

Mr. Clark’s client had retired due to a disability. He and his wife had a child with down syndrome that they were taking care of in their elder years. Mr. Clark’s client home caught on fire and was destroyed. Mr. Clark’s client’s daughter was in the residence at the time of the fire and his client went back into the home to save her and then started saving his personal property when he collapsed in the front yard. The insurance company refused to pay claiming that this was arson. Mr. Clark filed suit and was able to get the insurance copay to pay for the $110,000 loss. After settling the insurance claim, Mr. Clark’s client was charged with arson and defrauding the insurance company. It was the theory of the prosecution that Mr. Clark’s client attempted to start the fire because he was having financial problems and his special needs daughter was a burden to him. It was the claim of the prosecutor that Mr. Clark’s client spread gasoline throughout the house and set the fire as he was leaving through a door that led to the garage, and that he left the gas can near the back porch door which was adjacent to the door that led to the garage. During trial, it was demonstrated via photographic evidence that the gas can was probably moved and that the fire really started in a faulty light fixture. Mr. Clark entered evidence that his client did not need money and that the gas can was moved probably by the fire fighters trying to put out the fire and that the flammable liquid patterns on the floor were not in fact caused by flammable liquids. After two weeks of trial, the verdict of not guilty was rendered after the defense was able to prove or indicate that the fire stemmed from a faulty light fixture. After the case was over, Mr. Clark and his attorney filed suit against the local and state fire marshal claiming that they moved evidence. This case was settled for an amount not to be disclosed.

20 Year Felony Robbery. Result = CASE DISMISSED

Defendant was accused of attempting to steal a coat by way of threats of a knife. After the preliminary examination, this matter was dismissed.

20 Year Arson Felony in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. 3 Day Trial. Result = NOT GUILTY

Mr. Clark’s client was young farmer who was charged with arson of a barn. Defendant was undergoing financial difficulties at the time and it was the claim of the prosecution that he burned the barn for money. This matter was tried for 3 days week before the prosecution dismissed the case and offered misdemeanor charges.

Arson 20 Years/ 3rd Habitual /Life in Prison in Jackson County, MI. 5 Day Trial. Result = NOT GUILTY

Mr. Clark’s client was charged with arson and habitualized under Michigan law so that the penalty would be life in prison. Mr. Clark’s client was alleged to have burned a home that he owned as a rental and was under construction. It was the claim of the prosecution that Mr. Clark’s client was in financial need and that he burned the property for money. At trial, it was demonstrated by Mr. Clark that his client had been assaulted and confronted by a next door neighbor who did not like the idea that he might be renting to African American people and that the next door neighbor had been found to be legally insane in the past. Much research was conducted into the next door neighbor’s past, and it was found that when he was released from the sanatorium several years prior to this fire, another unsolved fire had been started after the neighbor had had a fight with an African American in a bar. An African American home was burned down after the dispute in the bar near the insane neighbor. Much of the discovery issued went to the Court of Appeals prior to trial. After five days of trial, a directed verdict of not guilty was entered by the trial court.

4 Year Felony for Manufacturing Marijuana in Clinton County, MI. Result = Civil Infraction $116 Fine

This is a medical marijuana case. Mr. Clark’s client was growing medical marijuana outside in an unlocked and unsecured place, his front yard. Mr. Clark fought the charge based on an illegal search with the result of a plea to a civil infraction.

Manufacture and Possession 7 year Felony of MJ Branch County

Client charged with manufacture of MJ.  Search was found to be illegal, and the prosecutions claim of open view doctrine was denied.  Case Dismissed

Manufacture of Marijuana, Possession of MJ w/ Intent to Distribute.  7 year Felony.  Forfeiture of Property Ingham County

Client was charge with Manufacture of marijuana and Distribution/possession of more than 7 pounds of marijuana. Client was medical marijuana cardholder and caregiver.  Manufacture case dismissed as client was within plant count.  Possession of more than 7 pounds was reduced to simple possession a misdemeanor awaiting decision of the court on search and seizure motion and motion to dismiss. Client was also HYTA eligible and court agreed to HYTA.  Most property and cash was returned.

Manufacture of MJ Four Year Felony Clinton County

Client medical marijuana had MJ seized by Metro for improper grow. Case reduced to civil infraction.

Manufacture of MJ Four Year Felony Clinton County

Client marijuana card holder. Case dismissed.

Manufacture of Meth 7 year and Arson 20 year Clinton County

Client charged with Manufacture of Meth and Arson to house that burned down.  Reduced to possession of meth.

Distribution of MJ Four Year Felony Isabela County Seizure of $7,000

Client charged with Sale and distribution of MJ in Soaring Eagle parking lot.   Transfer of material on video and arrest taped on security camera.  After filing motion for illegal search and seizure, case reduced to possession of marijuana, delayed sentence, case dismissed.

Manufacture of Meth and Possession with Intent to deliver Clinton County

Client offered to work with police, absconded to California, was captured and returned to Michigan. Trial and jury returned verdict of guilty on Possession of Meth only.

Fleeing and Alluding Police Four year Felony Livingston County

Client on motorcycle on I-96 traveling at 100 MPH, eventually pulled over by state and county police.  Case Resolved -misdemeanor.

Hit and Run Fleeing and Alluding a Police Officer

Client leaving MSU football game, alleged failed to follow directions of police officer and hit police car and left scene.  Trial by jury not guilty.

Malicious Destruction of Property Over $20,000.  5 Year Felony and Double Restitution Ingham County

Client charged with malicious destruction of Property of Comcast, destroying optical cable worth over $25,000.  Destruction was done with backhoe with numerous witnesses.  Jury trial, jury returned a verdict of not guilty, on defense theory of trespass by Comcast.  Civil trial for restitution of damage dismissed.

Simple Assault and Malicious Destruction of Property less than $5,000 Ingham County

Client was charged with assault and keying of car.  Trial by jury verdict of Not Guilty.

Distribution and Sale of Cocaine and Marijuana Clinton County

Client raided by Metro, and TV coverage of raid was coordinated by Metro.  At preliminary examination possible improper conduct by police was raised.  Case resolved plea to Possession of MJ a misdemeanor.

Multiple Counts of Fraud Ingham and Eaton County

State Police of Michigan sting operation into used cars over 12 possible counts for multiple defendant “ring” in Ingham an Eaton County for tampering with value of vehicles.  First trial of leader was declared mistrial, motion for dismissal due to double jeopardy, one defendant only plea to two misdemeanor counts, court cost, and fine no jail time.

Domestic Violence

Case Dismissed

Two Counts Distribution of Cocaine and Marijuana Third Felony Offense

Client as part of drug sting, caught with other members of “ring” after controlled buy’s by police. Client represented by court appointed counsel, waived preliminary exam and agreed to a plea wherein he would receive five to seven years in prison.  After substitution and motions filed in circuit court to remand due to ineffective assistance, matter remanded to district court for preliminary exam.  After conducting preliminary examination one of counts was dismissed and plea to Possession of marijuana no prison time.

Distribution of Cocaine and Marijuana Ingham County

While under surveillance by police, client was arrested in car after entering a “drug house”.  Motions to dismiss was filed due to illegal search and violation of Miranda warnings calling for exclusion of statements to police. Charges reduced to possession of marijuana misdemeanor.

Manufacture and Sale of Marijuana 4 Year Felony Clinton County

Client arrested for improper grow and sale of marijuana to persons with medical card.

Reduced to possession of marijuana

Assault

Landlord accused of assaulting tenant, case dismissed

Manufacturing Marijuana more than 100 plants.  Federal Court Mandatory 4 years in Prison.

Client alleged to part of Conspiracy to for large grow of over 400 plants. Client raided by Federal Marshall and Metro squad. Placed on bond and still under surveillance was found to have over 100 plants in alternate facility while on bond.  Plea – Sentenced to one year and one day.  Most other co-conspirators received 2 years to 7 years.

Sale of Distribution of Marijuana and Vicodin Eaton County

Matter resolved possession of marijuana, 7411 granted not record.