2012

December 2012

Newsmakers: Jail policies unchanged since overdose death

BY ANNE STANTON

Note: The following article first appeared on Record Eagle on December 21, 2012.

Editor’s note: Part of a series of stories about people, places and events that made news in the Grand Traverse region in 2012.

TRAVERSE CITY — More than nine months have passed since Danny Whitney Jr., died at age 21 in the Grand Traverse County Jail from a methadone overdose.

The jail has not changed any of its policies toward inmates since then, but Brenda Strait, Whitney’s mother, hopes a lawsuit will persuade them to reconsider.

“The reason I got an attorney is this should never, ever happen again. If they are under observation, they should be under observation,” she said.

Whitney died in an observation cell about seven hours after being booked into jail on March 2.

Whitney told jail staff he had taken four tablets of methadone and one Xanax prior to his arrest. Yet Dr. Stephen Cohle, a forensic pathologist, reported it would have taken 20 to 40 tablets to reach the level of methadone found in Whitney’s system.

Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley said it’s hard to help people when they’re not truthful.

“On three separate occasions, he told three different people that he had taken four methadone pills. He was not real honest,” Bensley said. “We followed our policies and procedures. We did the right thing; we had the odds stacked against us.”

Bensley added that the jail staff follows the recommendations of the medical staff, which are contract employees.

Strait believes that the potentially fatal combination of Xanax and methadone should have prompted the jail staff to have taken her son to the hospital or at least monitored him much more closely.

“As a nurse wouldn’t you wake him up every hour to see if he was breathing?” she said.

She contends a share of the responsibility also lies with Dr. James Leete, who prescribed methadone and alprazolam (Xanax) to Whitney, who had battled drug addiction.

“Shame on that doctor. He should never have given it to him with his addiction history,” said Strait.

Two unrelated allegations were filed against Leete in July with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Bureau of Health Care, said Carole Engle, bureau director.

Engle said the investigation is ongoing and declined to release details of the allegations.

Leete is no longer practicing at his former office, but Engle said he still retains his license. Leete couldn’t be reached for comment.

Whitney, who had been living in a transition house and was due for release the next day, arrived at the jail at about 4 p.m. for a community corrections violation. He was found dead at about 11 p.m.

Bensley said a nurse physically evaluated him and a corrections officer observed him through the cell’s glass window.

A jail nurse relayed Whitney’s vital signs, behavior and consumption of methadone to an off-site doctor, who told her to let him “sleep it off.” The medical staff is contracted through Correctional Healthcare Companies.

An inmate who shared the cell said Whitney was “snoring very loudly and all the time when all of a sudden he stopped snoring.”

Strait said she assumed her son was using methadone to help reduce his drug addiction.

Although an effective pain medication, methadone doesn’t flush out of the body quickly or predictably, said Terry Baumann, manager of pharmacy at Munson Medical Center and a specialist in pain control.

Using Xanax with methadone increases the potential to cause more sedation or to stop breathing completely, he said.

“And yes, it would increase the potential for dying,” Baumann said.

Soon after her son’s death, Strait contacted Andrew Abood, a Lansing-based attorney, to file a lawsuit. Abood sent a letter to sheriff’s officials in September, followed by an extensive Freedom of Information Act request in November, said Undersheriff Nate Alger.

Abood said his firm is considering a civil rights suit against the sheriff’s office, and a negligence or malpractice case against the jail’s advising doctor.

Meanwhile, Strait deeply mourns her son.

“Do you know the saddest part? I’ll never see him get married, I didn’t get a grandchild. It’s very sad. He would have been a great father someday,” she said.

 


 

September 2012

We are on Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers provides Attorney Profile of Jeffrey Abood located in Birmingham, Michigan (MI) focused on Family Law and Criminal Defense.

Jeff Abood’s Profile on Super Lawyers

 


 

August 2012

Law firms move to town

By Hayley Beitman News Staff
August 28, 2012

The Abood Law Firm is moving one of its locations from 30600 Telegraph Road in Bingham Farms to 470 North Old Woodward in Birmingham and will open for business Tuesday, September 4. “The new space is gorgeous and with so many great retail, service and dining options in the immediate vicinity, it’s going to make the experience for our clients that much better,” attorneyJeffrey Lance Abood said. Attorneys Jeffrey Lance Abood, Andrew Abood and Carrie Cousino will serve the Birmingham area. The law firm also has a large office in Lansing which will remain open, with the Birmingham location primarily specializing in divorce and criminal cases. “I am thrilled that our new office space in downtown Birmingham is finally complete,” Abood said.

Read more about Abood Law’s new Birmingham location

———————————

OWI – Reduced to Careless Driving

Just left the 48th district court with a victory. Abood Law Firm client was a physician charged with drunk driving in the city of Birmingham, an offense in a jurisdiction that is known for sending first-time drunk driving offenders to jail. After numerous court hearings and an evidentiary hearing, we were successful in getting evidence suppressed which triggered the prosecution to offer us a plea deal. However, persistent that we were prepared to go to trial, at today’s final Jury Pre-Trial, I was successful in getting my client’s charge reduced to a civil infraction, which carries a fine of only $170! Client stays out of jail, keeps her medical license, and walks out of court happy!

Questions or Comments?  Contact Clinton Van Nocker at CLINT@ABOODLAW.COM

 


 

July 2012

Jury selection complete in Drew Peterson murder trial

Drew Peterson carefully appraised every prospective juror who took a seat in a Joliet courtroom Tuesday, then later nodded or shook his head when his attorneys asked whether to fight to keep them. He remained closely involved as the final jurors were selected, setting the stage for opening statements and testimony in his murder trial next week. Though Peterson’s defense team had aired concerns early on about being able to find an impartial jury for the highly publicized case, the 12 jurors and four alternates were selected from the first 47 candidates, part of an unusually large pool of more than 200 convened three years ago. Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, is charged with the 2004 drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. He is the sole suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, but has not been charged. As he did Monday during the first day of jury selection, Peterson stood to greet the second pool Tuesday. He wore a navy sports jacket, a plaid tie and — after the proceedings were delayed briefly so he could get a pair that fit — gray pants. “Good day, ladies and gentlemen,” Peterson said after being introduced by his attorney Joel Brodsky. “As they said, my name is Drew Peterson. I’m the defendant in this case. I’d like to take this time to thank you for your time and wish you all a nice day.” Attorneys on both sides said they were happy with the jurors selected to hear the trial, scheduled to begin with opening statements Tuesday. “We’re anxious to get the trial started,” said Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow. “We’ve finally come to the point where we’ve all been aiming for.” Peterson will spend the next few days meeting with the defense team, reviewing witnesses and testimony, Brodsky said. “He’s all business now. He’s getting ready. The quipping is over,” Brodsky said. “When it’s time to be funny, he’s funny. When it’s time to be serious, he’s serious.” The jury of seven men and five women includes a divorced secretary who writes poetry, a semiretired Lockport crossing guard who likes reading mystery novels, a Plainfield man who sold his construction company and enjoys flying, and a college student who lives with his parents. Nancy Marder, a Chicago-Kent College of Law professor and author of “The Jury Process,” said jurors tend to obey instructions to base their decisions on the evidence presented at trial. Members of the public often don’t follow news stories in great detail, she said. “Even in a high-profile case, you can find people who haven’t been saturated by the coverage,” she said. The tension between Glasgow and defense attorney Steve Greenberg flared again at day’s end during a discussion that started over how objections would be handled at trial. Glasgow became annoyed when Greenberg mispronounced his last name and then asked Judge Edward Burmila to ban Glasgow from emphasizing his role as the county’s chief prosecutor during opening statements. The state’s attorney is appearing in court as the lead attorney on the case. “Mr. Glasgow can say, ‘I am the state’s attorney of Will County,’” Greenberg said. “Anything beyond that, Judge, I think is improper.” Glasgow responded by saying he wouldn’t engage in “this rambling nonsense” that had happened in other top prosecutors’ opening statements that Greenberg cited. “I’m not going to introduce myself (that way),” he told the judge. “I’ll say, ‘I’m Jim Glasgow.’” Burmila said he wasn’t going to issue a “road map” for either side to use in opening remarks and tried to get the attorneys to behave a little more politely. “We’re done commenting on each others’ comments,” he told the attorneys. Some faces that were present for the first trial, which had been set to start in 2010 before a long appeals process over hearsay statements, were back in court observing Tuesday. Andrew Abood, a former Peterson defense attorney, and Domenica Osterberger, a former Peterson prosecutor who is now a Will County judge, sat in the courtroom gallery. Questions or Comments? Contact Clinton Van Nocker at clint@aboodlaw.com

————————————

Ex-Red Wing Enforcer Darren McCarty Drops Protection Order Against Ex-Lover

Former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty and his wife agreed to drop a personal protection order against one of his ex-girlfriends. The action took place Wednesday in Oakland County Circuit Court. WWJ-AM reports attorney Jeffrey Lance Abood said his client, 37-year-old Tonya Juhl of Clawson, was never a threat to McCarty, and the judge saw that. “It’s unfortunate that athletes and their spouses believe they are entitled to special treatment even far long after they’ve been out of the spotlight,” Abood told the station. “Fortunately, for us in this case, in the courtroom justice was blind and ultimately the correct decision was made.” Abood said Judge Joan Young found no merit to the claim that McCarty was afraid of Juhl. Abood said McCarty’s wife had an issue with the ex-girlfriend. Juhl agreed to remove any posts about the McCartys from social media. Questions or Comments? Contact Clinton Van Nocker at clint@aboodlaw.com

————————————

MBS H1S5 – Attorney Andrew Abood, Tru TV Network & Drew Peterson jury selection observations

Andrew Abood discusses the Drew Peterson jury selection on MIBigShow with Michael Patrick Shiels!! http://soundcloud.com/mibigshow/mbs-h1s5-attorney-andrew-abood

————————————

Darren McCarty drops personal protection orders against former friends

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Darren McCarty went to an Oakland County court Tuesday to drop the last of four personal protection orders he had obtained against former friends.

McCarty and his wife made no comments Wednesday while in court. They were letting their attorney, Paul Addis, speak for them.

“Not so much a change of heart but a stipulation between the parties that at this point in time regarding this matter that we are no longer going to pursue it,” Addis said.

Read more

————————————

Former Red Wing Drops PPO Against Ex-Girlfriend

CBS Detroit
July 25, 2012

DETROIT (WWJ) – Former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty and his wife agreed in Oakland Circuit Court on Wednesday to drop a personal protection order against one of his ex-girlfriends.

Attorney Jeffrey Lance Abood said his client, 37-year-old Tonya Juhl of Clawson, was never a threat to McCarty, and the judge saw that.

————————————

Former Wing McCarty agrees to terminate PPO against ex-girlfriend

Mike Martindale
Detroit News

July 25, 2012

Pontiac — Ex-Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty and his wife, Sheryl, agreed in Oakland Circuit Court on Wednesday to terminate a personal protection order against one of his former girlfriends they had claimed harassed and threatened them by phone and on the Internet.Their voluntary action, accepted by Judge Joan Young, ends a personal protection order (PPO) they had obtained against Tonya Juhl, 37, of Clawson. As part of the agreement, Juhl agreed to remove any reference of the McCartys on social media.

Read more

————————————

Jury selection complete in Drew Peterson murder trial

Andy Grimm and Steve Schmadeke
Chicago Tribune
July 24, 2012

Drew Peterson carefully appraised every prospective juror who took a seat in a Joliet courtroom Tuesday, then later nodded or shook his head when his attorneys asked whether to fight to keep them.

He remained closely involved as the final jurors were selected, setting the stage for opening statements and testimony in his murder trial next week.

Read more

————————————

McCarty, wife drop protection orders against 3 of 4 ex-friends

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News
June 20, 2012

Pontiac — Former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty and his wife dropped personal protection orders against three ex-friends Wednesday, but legal matters involving a fourth person — Tonya Juhl, 37, of Clawson — are still to be decided.

The 40-year-old retired hockey star and his wife, Sheryl, 37, claim the four have been harassing and threatening them over the past two years because McCarty has tried to distance himself from his past lifestyle of women, booze and drugs.

Read more

 


 

June 2012

McCarty, wife drop protection orders against 3 of 4 ex-friends

Pontiac — Former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty and his wife dropped personal protection orders against three ex-friends Wednesday, but legal matters involving a fourth person — Tonya Juhl, 37, of Clawson — are still to be decided.
The 40-year-old retired hockey star and his wife, Sheryl, 37, claim the four have been harassing and threatening them over the past two years because McCarty has tried to distance himself from his past lifestyle of women, booze and drugs.
After about an hour of testimony Wednesday, Oakland Circuit Judge Joan Young stopped proceedings until July 25, leaving the protection order against Juhl — a former girlfriend of Darren McCarty — in effect.
Personal protection orders were dismissed against Kimberley Mitchell, 38, of Clawson; Anne Marie Samulski, 22, of Royal Oak; and Louis Barbato, 40, of Shelby Township. All had come to court to contest information in the orders as either false or exaggerated.
The McCartys and Juhl declined to be interviewed after the proceedings. Their attorneys said they are hopeful matters will be resolved by the next hearing date — if not sooner.
“We resolved three of these today by mutual agreement of attorneys,” said the McCartys’ attorney Albert Addis.
Darren McCarty, who helped the Wings win four Stanley Cups with his physical play, testified that he ignored things being said about him in private and in public for nearly two years until it involved threats to him, his wife and their six children that left him “looking over my shoulder.”
Juhl — who testified she had an intimate relationship with McCarty for about six to eight months that ended in 2010, repeatedly denied under questioning that she ever threatened the McCartys by phone, email or in person. She said she had received threatening emails from Sheryl McCarty, who she suspected broke a passenger window on her car.
Juhl, a cocktail waitress at Greektown Casino, said she filed a police report about her concerns on May 21 — three days after the McCartys filed a police report about concerns for their own safety.
Asked by Juhl’s attorney, Andrew Abood, if he was “afraid” of Juhl or her friends, McCarty testified:
“Yes … I don’t know who the Big Bad Wolf is going to be coming around the corner that she knows.”
McCarty testified that Juhl had shown up at a radio show and “gave (me) the finger” in front of about 5,000 peopleAbood suggested the protection orders were simply an effort by the McCartys to “cut off” people they didn’t want to associate with anymore, rather than a product of genuine fear.
At one point, when Abood asked McCarty how many fights he had been in, the judge interjected: “He’s a hockey player.”
McCarty and his wife got personal protection orders last month against three Oakland County women and a Macomb County man for stalking and harassment, Oakland Circuit Court records show.
The McCartys accuse the four of trying to get the couple fired from their jobs, threatening both through text messages and phone calls, posting malicious comments on McCarty’s work and appearance websites, and threatening violence against them.
The protection orders, issued on May 22, were good for a year, and barred Juhl, Mitchell, Samulski and Barbato from approaching, following or contacting the McCartys or going to their home or workplaces. McCarty works for the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association, and worked in the past year for a Detroit pawn shop; his wife is a nurse at Beaumont Hospital.
In his Wings career, McCarty was known as a brawler, part of the “Grind Line” with Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper.
McCarty spent 13 seasons with Detroit, from 1993-2004 and 2007-09. Fans still talk about how he pummeled Colorado Avalanche star Claude Lemieux during a fight in March 1997.
But behind the glory was a man battling demons. McCarty liked to party and went through alcohol rehab in the 1990s.
He also ran up $185,000 in casino debts and filed for bankruptcy in 2005 to clear more than $6 million in debts. By then, he was divorced from his first wife.
In a letter filed in Oakland Circuit Court, Sheryl McCarty said her husband underwent regular drug and alcohol testing while with the Wings and “basically rebelled” after retiring in 2009.
“Darren started partying and surrounded himself with bad people due to the choices he was making. … Louis Barbato, Kimberly Mitchell, Tonya Juhl and Anne Marie Samulski are four of those people,” she wrote.
In her letter, Sheryl McCarty said after her husband cut off contact with them, Mitchell began calling and sending her emails threatening that they were “going to kill me” or “hit me so hard my neck would break.”

Questions or Comments?  Contact Clinton Van Nocker at CLINT@ABOODLAW.COM

————————————

McCarty, wife claim harassment, threats

Published: June 6, 2012 at 12:40 PM PONTIAC, Mich., June 6 (UPI) — Former Detroit Red Wings star Darren McCarty and his wife have protection orders against four former friends who allegedly harassed them. McCarty, 40, and his wife, Sheryl, 37, were granted the orders by an Oakland County Circuit Court judge last month, The Detroit News reported. McCarty and his wife, whom he married this year, said the three women and a man had threatened violence against them, tried to get them fired from their jobs and posted malicious comments on Web sites. Oakland County Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Brennan granted the protection orders against Tonya Juhl, 37, and Kimberley Mitchell, 38, both of Clawson; Anne Marie Samulski, 22, of Royal Oak; and Louis Barbato, 40, of Shelby Township. The orders, which remain in force for a year, forbid the four ex-friends from approaching, following or contacting the McCartys or going to their home or workplaces. In an interview, McCarty said: “They don’t like me because I’m not running around with them anymore, and they don’t like [his wife] because we got married and just want to get on with our lives.” The couple said in court papers the four began targeting McCarty, who went through alcohol rehab in the 1990s, and his wife after failing to lure him back into a life of partying. McCarty, who spent 13 seasons with the Red Wings, now works for Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association. His wife is a nurse. Mitchell denied the McCartys’ claims as “totally false” but would not elaborate. Court records say Juhl and Samulski are waitresses who dated McCarty — apparently unknown to each other — off and on from December 2009 to March 2010. “We don’t know what [the McCartys] are attempting to accomplish. There seems to be some vindictive ulterior motive to this because my client and another are former girlfriends of his,” said Jeffrey Lance Abood, an attorney for Juhl. “I don’t know if Tonya even knows Sheryl.” The News said Samulski and Barbato could not be reached for comment. Questions or Comments? Contact Clint Van Nocker at clint@aboodlaw.com

———————————

Darren McCarty and wife Sheryl obtain personal protection order against former friends

Kimberly Craig
ABC Action News
June 6, 2012

(WXYZ) – Off the ice drama is unfolding for Retired Red Wings star Darren McCarty and his wife, Sheryl.

The newly married McCartys have obtained personal protection orders against four of Darren’s former friends including two women he once dated.

In court documents, the McCartys accuse the four of threatening their safety.

Read more

———————————

Darren McCarty Says He’s Getting Death Threats

CBS Detroit
June 6, 2012

DETROIT (WWJ) – Former Detroit Red Wings fan favorite Darren McCarty, 40, and his wife say they’re getting death threats from former friends.

The McCartys have been granted personal protection orders against three Oakland County women and a Macomb County man. The PPO request reportedly says the former pals have sent threatening text messages, written nasty things about the couple on social media, and threatened to harm them.

———————————

Ex-Red Wing McCarty seeks safety from ex-pals

Pontiac — Darren McCarty has battled financial and substance abuse problems, but the retired Red Wings star and his new wife say in court papers that four ex-friends are harassing them after failing to draw McCarty back into a partying lifestyle. McCarty, 40, and his wife, Sheryl, 37, got personal protection orders last month against three Oakland County women and a Macomb County man for stalking and harassment, Oakland Circuit Court records show. The McCartys accuse the four of trying to get the couple fired from their jobs, threatening both through text messages and phone calls, posting malicious comments on McCarty’s work and appearance websites, and threatening violence against them. Oakland Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Brennan granted the protection orders on May 22 against Tonya Juhl, 37, and Kimberley Mitchell, 38, both of Clawson; Anne Marie Samulski, 22, of Royal Oak; and Louis Barbato, 40, of Shelby Township. The orders, good for a year, bar Juhl, Mitchell, Samulski and Barbato from approaching, following or contacting the McCartys or going to their home or workplaces. McCarty works for the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association, and worked in the past year for a Detroit pawn shop; his wife is a nurse at Beaumont Hospital. “All we want is to be left alone,” McCarty said in an interview. “I ignored some of the things they were doing and was willing to let it go, until they started threatening my wife and me. Death threats. “They don’t like me because I’m not running around with them anymore, and they don’t like her because we got married and just want to get on with our lives.” Sheryl McCarty described the four as “delusional, obsessed hockey fans.” “We like all the real fans, but these people don’t love Darren, they love No. 25,” she said, citing her husband’s number. “And when they no longer had him around, they got mad.” Sheryl McCarty said she filed a complaint about harassing threats and emails with the Royal Oak police in late April, weeks after the couple married. “We get a lot of these types of complaints, but there really isn’t enough to warrant criminal charges at this time,” said Royal Oak Police Lt. Thomas Goad. “We have contacted the people, and it remains under investigation.” Police recommended the McCartys seek the protection orders, Goad said. Violation could mean up to 93 days in jail. Mitchell denied the couple’s claims but would not elaborate. “I can’t say anything because of the personal protection order,” she said. “What they say is totally false, and I have a lot more to say, but I don’t want to go to jail.” Jeffrey Lance Abood, an attorney for Juhl, said he is looking into the claims. According to court records, Juhl and Samulski are waitresses who dated McCarty — apparently unbeknownst to each other — off and on from December 2009 to March 2010. “We don’t know what they are attempting to accomplish — there seems to be some vindictive ulterior motive to this because my client and another are former girlfriends of his,” Abood said of the McCartys. “I don’t know if Tonya even knows Sheryl.” Samulski and Barbato could not be reached for comment. McCarty battles demons In his Wings career, Darren McCarty was known as a tough guy, part of the “Grind Line” with Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper. McCarty spent 13 seasons with Detroit, from 1993-2004 and 2007-09, and helped win four Stanley Cups. Fans still talk about how he pummeled Colorado Avalanche star Claude Lemieux during a brawl in March 1997. But behind the glory was a man battling demons. McCarty liked to party and went through alcohol rehab in the 1990s. He also ran up $185,000 in casino debts and filed for bankruptcy in 2005 to clear more than $6 million in debts. By then, he was divorced from his first wife. In a letter filed in Oakland Circuit Court, Sheryl McCarty said her husband underwent regular drug and alcohol testing while with the Wings and “basically rebelled” after retiring in 2009. “Darren started partying and surrounded himself with bad people due to the choices he was making. … Louis Barbato, Kimberly Mitchell, Tonya Juhl and Anne Marie Samulski are four of those people,” she wrote. In her letter, Sheryl McCarty said after her husband cut off contact with them, Mitchell began calling and sending her emails threatening that they were “going to kill me” or “hit me so hard my neck would break.” Sheryl McCarty also wrote that Barbato said Darren “needs to watch his back” and threatened to have people “throw a bomb through Darren’s window.” In their protection order request, the McCartys allege Samulski made phone calls to both of them threatening their lives. No incidents of violence were ever reported. But Sheryl McCarty said her husband’s former associates were “slandering him everywhere,” including on radio station websites. She said they showed up at an event where her husband appeared on behalf of Danielle Probert, wife of his deceased teammate Bob Probert, took photos of him signing books and posted it along with “slanderous and threatening things.” At a DTE Mayhem Fest concert, Sheryl McCarty alleged that Juhl approached her husband with three men and yelled the guys were going to fight him. “When they realized who he was, they changed their minds and walked away,” she said. “But because of this, we don’t go to a lot of concerts we would like to see because we don’t want to run into these people.” Other charges The couple also allege the four: Stalked McCarty at Joe Louis Arena and personal appearances. Posted photos of his children on Facebook. Spread a rumor that McCarty was selling drugs out of his basement, prompting a radio announcer to contact then-Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom. “Darren works with the Ilitch organization and Red Wing alumni, including making personal appearances, and they have all been wonderful — we can’t say enough about how they have stuck by him and tried to help him,” Sheryl McCarty said. “But at one point, he had to sit down with (general manager) Ken Holland and explain what was happening, the rumors these people were spreading and how he was clean.” Sheryl McCarty, who describes herself as a “country girl from Clare,” said she met her husband through a mutual friend at an Irish festival in March 2010. “I didn’t know anything about hockey,” she said. “I wondered who the big guy with the missing tooth was.” Sheryl McCarty said he was “very honest with me about his lifestyle.” “I told him I would never date him until he cleans up his life and gets all the bad people out of his life and makes better choices,” she said. “It took him a few months, but he did.” Sheryl McCarty said she keeps her husband on vitamins and protein shakes. She has two children, and he has four from prior relationships. “We have a real Brady Bunch going,” she said. “My job is to keep him healthy and keep the crazies away.” McCarty, meanwhile, said he enjoys being home rather than closing bars and is writing a book about his life on and off the ice. “I guess it’s a price of celebrity,” he said. Questions or Comments? Contact Clinton Charles Van Nocker at clint@aboodlaw.com

———————————–

Best of Detroit 2012

Hour Detroit Best of Detroit 2012

Best Divorce Lawyer
Jeffrey Lance Abood

Read more

 


 

May 2012

Witness: Defendants in Lansing beating death were like ‘pack of wolves’ with ‘piece of meat’

Brandon Howell
MLive
May 18, 2012

LANSING, MI — Austin Smith and Donald Suttle were among a group of five that chased down, beat and bludgeoned Travis Peterson during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day in downtown Lansing, ultimately causing his death, according to witness testimony.

Brian Selleck testified in Lansing District Court at Smith’s and Suttle’s preliminary hearing Friday morning he witnessed the incident unfold. He said he and a group of friends first saw Peterson, 30, walking north along Washington Square away from Brannigan Brothers about 1 a.m. One of Selleck’s friends knew Peterson from work.

————————————-

Ingham County medical examiner: Victim in Lansing New Year’s Day beating death sustained blunt-force trauma to head, baton strikes to arm

Brandon Howell
MLive
May 18, 2012

LANSING, MI — Ingham County Medical Examiner Joyce DeJong detailed in court Friday internal and external injuries she found during Travis Peterson’s autopsy shortly after his Jan. 3 death.

She said Peterson, 30, sustained blunt-force trauma to the mouth and to the right backside of his head, where radiating fractures occurred.

April 2012

Abood Law Firm Represents Man, 31, Charged in New Year’s Day Killing

A 31-year-old Grand Ledge man was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Travis Peterson on New Year’s Day in Lansing.

A 31-year-old Grand Ledge man was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Travis Peterson on New Year’s Day in Lansing.

Austin Smith, an employee of the downtown Lansing bar Brannigan Brothers at the time, was arraigned in 54A District Court on the charge. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Smith has posted 10 percent of a $20,000 bond, court records show.

Another man also is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the case, but that man has not been arraigned, records show.

Prosecutors say both Smith and the second man committed an assault and battery on Peterson, 30, in downtown Lansing.

Peterson, of Lansing, died from injuries suffered during the incident, which happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, after Peterson and a cousin were asked to leave Brannigan Brothers because of an argument, family members have said. Peterson never emerged from a coma and died Jan. 3.

A preliminary hearing, which determines if Smith will stand trial, is set for April 20. His attorney, Andrew Abood, said Wednesday evening without discussing specific facts that all circumstances in the incident will need to be placed into context. “We’re reviewing the evidence,” Abood said. “We believe that ultimately that he’s going to be vindicated.”

A Brannigan Brothers manager Wednesday could not be reached for comment.

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said a “unique set of facts” in the case led to the length of time it took to file charges.

“Often, the more witnesses you have, the more complicated things become — in particular, at 1:30 a.m. on New Year’s,” Dunnings said. He also said his office didn’t receive toxicology reports until a few weeks ago.

Dunnings would not get into specifics about what he believes happened.

Questions or Comments? Contact Clint Van Nocker at CLINT@ABOODLAW.COM

 


 

January 2012

Former Fab Five star Jimmy King’s child support case dismissed as payments made

The Oakland County child support case against former University of Michigan “Fab Five” star Jimmy King was dismissed Friday when he paid more than $17,000 in back support.

King, 38, was arrested last August on accusations that he failed to pay more than $17,000 in child support for his 17-year-old son, Jalen King, who currently lives in Kansas. The felony charges could have involved a four-year maximum sentence.

Appearing in Circuit Court before Judge Rudy Nichols, King, who lives in Oakland County, paid $17,248.45 at his pretrial, said his attorney, Jeffrey Abood.

In October Abood noted that King had paid more than $3,000 in back child support — and had paid more than $60,000 to date, Abood said.

Abood said King is the athletic director for H.Y.P.E. Athletics, a non-profit organization which will allow King to work with children.

“Jimmy King is grateful that he is able to provide for his family,” said Abood. “He has always loved and taken care of his family. Unfortunately, he was greatly impacted by the economic downturn.”

Questions or Comments? Contact Clinton Charles Van Nocker at clint@aboodlaw.com

—————————————–

Child support case against Jimmy King dismissed

Click On Detroit
January 27, 2012

DETROIT – The child support case against former University of Michigan basketball star Jimmy King has been dismissed.

King, a former member of Michigan’s “Fab 5,” was arrested Aug. 10, 2011, on accusations he failed to pay $17,000 in child support for a 17-year-old son and was ignoring attempts by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office to contact him about it since 2008.

—————————————–

Former Fab Five star Jimmy King’s child support case dismissed as payments made

Carol Hopkins
The Oakland Press
January 27, 2012

The Oakland County child support case against former University of Michigan “Fab Five” star Jimmy King was dismissed Friday when he paid more than $17,000 in back support.

King, 38, was arrested last August on accusations that he failed to pay more than $17,000 in child support for his 17-year-old son, Jalen King, who currently lives in Kansas. The felony charges could have involved a four-year maximum sentence.

—————————————–

2012 Birmingham Bloomfield Lifestyle Magazine Winter Issue

See our ad on page 1.

—————————————–

Investigators looking into disappearance, death of JoAnn Matouk Romain say evidence points to murder

K. Michelle Moran
C and G News
January 16, 2012

January 2010 was a far cry from January 2012, especially along the shores of Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Farms. Ice and snow covered the ground, and frigid winds whipped across the water.

But while the weather this year might be milder by comparison, there remains a distinct chill in the air thanks not to Mother Nature, but to mankind: Was this place of such scenic beauty the site of a very ugly murder?

—————————————–

Michigan family fights to find truth in Grosse Pointe Woods mother’s death

Follow this link to view the story.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/Michigan-family-fights-to-find-truth-in-Grosse-Pointe-Woods-mother-s-death/-/1719418/7917204/-/8iu3kt/-/

GROSSE POINTE FARMS, Mich. – Two years ago on this day, Joann Matouk Romain was last seen by her family.

The 55-year-old Grosse Pointe Woods woman’s body later was found in the Detroit River. Grosse Pointe police ruled her death a suicide.

Now, family members believe that they have new information which will reopen the case.

“It’s difficult but, you know, this keeps us going. Justice will be served at some point in time,” said Romain’s daughter, Michelle Romain.

New witnesses have come forward with information that could prompt police to reopen an investigation into the cause of Romain’s death.

“The police indicated and made the public believe that it was a suicide when, as you can see now, it clearly was not,” said Michelle Romain.

She was last spotted along the Detroit River in Grosse Pointe Farms. It was after an investigation that police ruled she committed suicide.

But her family, lead by Michelle Romain, was never convinced this was the way Joann died. Michelle Romain hired an attorney to sue both Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Farms police.

Since the lawsuits, Michelle Romain said several witnesses have come forward claiming they saw Joann along the Detroit River on the night of her disappearance and that she looked like she was a victim.

“(A witness) saw Ms. Romain’s car parked on this side of the road with two other vehicles, one in front of it and one behind it. One of the gentlemen signaled, indicating as if he had a gun in his pocket and told them to keep moving along,” said family attorney Jeffrey Lance Abood.

Michelle Romain said her mother told her she believed she was being followed in the weeks leading up to her death, but she didn’t go into detail about who was following her.

The family’s lawsuit with police is still pending.

Questions or Comments? Contact Clinton Charles Van Nocker at clint@aboodlaw.com

—————————————–

Woman Says Local Police Failed To Investigate Mom’s Murder

GROSSE POINTE – The family of a Grosse Pointe Farms woman who disappeared from the lakefront two years ago is urging State Police to investigate the case.

Standing in the spot where her mother was last seen, Joanne Matouk-Romain’s daughter Michelle Romain told reporters that local police turned away witnesses.

Romain said those witnesses have come forward suggesting foul play.

“And she was murdered,” Romain said. “I never thought for one second that that wasn’t the case.”

A witness says police have never investigated his claim that he saw Matouk with two suspicious men on the lakefront two years ago. He says one man waved him away, making a motion with his coat like he might have had a gun in his pocket. An attorney for the Romain family said that witness is credible and they have other witnesses as well.

Romain’s body was found a couple of months later in the Detroit River. Police have said they suspect suicide.

Questions or Comments? Contact Clinton Charles Van Nocker at clint@aboodlaw.com