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Jezic’s client granted a mistrial after jury deadlocks in police shooting

Cape Gazette Jezic’s client granted a mistrial after jury deadlocks in police shooting

Jury deliberates in trial of man accused of assaulting officer

Defendant: I did what I had to do to save my life
By Melissa Steele | Jun 27, 2014

A Georgetown man on trial for assault and resisting arrest says he feared for his life when a trooper came into his home for a traffic investigation but after a scuffle drew his gun and shot him.

Michael W. Rogers, 54, is charged with third-degree assault of a police officer and resisting arrest; police say he fought with a trooper who had gone to Rogers’ home to investigate a traffic accident at a nearby bar. The assault charge was originally a felony, but it was reduced June 26 to a misdemeanor charge.

Taking the stand in his own defense June 26, Rogers said, “I felt like I did what I had to do to save my life.”

Rogers testimony capped a week-long trial in Sussex County Superior Court with Judge T. Henley Graves presiding. Following closing arguments June 26, jury deliberations began.

Rogers told the jury he began his Aug. 2 birthday celebration a day early on Aug. 1, 2013, ending up at a nearby bar about 8 p.m. While leaving the establishment, Rogers said he accidentally bumped into another car with his car. The owner of the car was nearby, and Rogers said he offered his insurance card, but the owner declined.

“The owner said not to worry about it,” Rogers said.

He returned home, ate a bit of dinner and called it a night, he said. About 10 p.m., Rogers’ mother, Lorraine, heard a knock on the door and opened it to Delaware State Police Trooper Matthew Morgan.

Morgan testified earlier in the week about going to Rogers’ home to investigate a traffic accident, intending to give him an $89 inattentive driving ticket. Once he was inside the home, Morgan testified, Lorraine woke Rogers, who appeared drunk and disoriented.

Rogers said Morgan asked him why he left the scene of the accident; Rogers replied it had been taken care of.

“I didn’t feel I was being smart,” Rogers said. “I told him I talked to the guy, and we worked it out. It was a done deal.”

Both men testified Rogers walked away from Morgan in answer to his questions about the traffic incident.

Their accounts differ on what happened next.

Morgan said he followed Rogers into his bedroom where a scuffle began after Morgan touched his tricep. Evidence submitted at the trial shows a Taser was deployed in or near the bedroom.

Rogers and Lorraine Rogers both testified that Morgan shot a Taser and hit Rogers in the back outside his bedroom door.

All three testified that Rogers put Morgan in a headlock during their fight; Rogers testified Morgan burst open the closed door of his bedroom and tackled him first.

Throughout the scuffle, Morgan said he was trying to get his gun, and Rogers said he was trying to stop Morgan from reaching his gun, biting him in the arm at one point.

“I did not touch him first. I did not move toward him … I felt like I did what I had to do to save my life,” Rogers said. “No one would want to be in a position that I was in.”

In answer to Lorraine’s pleading to let go, she said, Rogers eased up and Morgan went to the front of the home.

Morgan testified that Rogers never threatened him or tried to get a weapon. Morgan also said he never gave Rogers any command and, until the scuffle, had no reason to arrest him.

All three testified that after the scuffle, Morgan positioned himself near the front door.

“He was standing there holding that gun waiting for Michael to come out of the bedroom,” Lorraine Rogers said. Outside of the bedroom, Rogers told Morgan not to shoot his mother, she said.

Morgan testified that Rogers picked up the coffee table and came at him in the living room, using the table as a weapon. Morgan said he feared for his life.

“All I can recall is seeing a table coming at me,” Morgan said.

He said he fired seven shots at Rogers in self defense.

In his testimony, Rogers said he put his hands up when ordered by Morgan, who had drawn his gun. An instant later, Rogers testified he realized he had been shot and ducked behind the coffee table, which is now riddled with seven bullet holes.

Rogers said he was hit by five bullets and grazed by one. One bullet remains inside him, he said. “Bullets were flying; everything was flying,” Rogers said. “I felt like I was paralyzed. I couldn’t feel my legs.”

In closing arguments, Deputy Attorney General David Hume reminded the jury that Rogers brought the charges on himself through his combative actions.

“He’s 12 beers into his personal party. He’s not thinking rationally,” Hume said.

Defense lawyer Andrew Jezic questioned the rationale that brought a state trooper to Rogers’ home at 10 p.m. Aug. 1, 2013.

“This was all about an $89 ticket. Is that right? It’s not right,” he said.

Speaking during a break, Hume said the $89 inattentive driving ticket was never filed because of the charges resulting from the ensuing scuffle.




Maryland Personal Injury Forces Drunk Driver to Accept Responsibility for the Injuries He Caused

Maryland Personal Injury Attorney, Jonathan Carroll, won a hard-fought case for his client who was injured after crashing into a disabled car on a busy highway. The disabled car was left behind by a drunk driver who previously crashed into a guardrail. Carroll argued that even if he was not in his car at the time of the accident, the fact that a drunk driver left his car sitting in the middle of a busy highway was negligence in and of itself. The insurance company for the drunk driver tried to argue that he was not responsible since he was not inside his car when the accident happened. The Court disagreed and sided with Carroll. The Court noted that the drunk driver was not only negligent in causing the accident, but also negligent in not moving his car out of the road. Carroll’s client was awarded all of his medical bills, lost wages, plus more than double that amount in pain and suffering.

By Jonathan R. Carroll




Dismissal and little Jail time for DWI number three and four.

Howard County DUI lawyer

Defense attorney convinced a Howard County district court judge to sentence the Defendant to only four days of incarceration for his client’s third and fourth DWIs. The Jezic & Moyse client had been charged with driving under the influence two times within 30 days. In each case, the client had submitted a breathe test over .20, an amount almost 3 times more than the legal limit in Maryland. The defense attorney forced the Howard County State’s Assistant State’s Attorney to dismiss one of the cases and following a plea, where the state was asking for 6 months, convinced the judge to sentence the Jezic & Moyse, client to only 4 days in jail.




Maryland Injury Attorney Wins Trial Based on Key Photographic Evidence.

Maryland personal injury attorney, Jonathan Carroll, fought hard at trial after his client had been sideswiped by another car that unlawfully merged into his lane. The at-fault driver tried to argue at court that our client was the one who unlawfully left his lane. Our client prevailed, because he had photographs of the scene that showed the at-fault driver in his lane. If you are involved in an accident, it is important to take as many photos at the accident scene as possible. If you have been in accident and have any questions, call the attorneys at Jezic and Moyse, LLC.




DUI dismissed due to speedy trial violation.

Maryland DUI Attorney

In April 2014,  Maryland DUI Attorney David Moyse convinced a Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge to dismiss his client’s DUI due to a violation of the client’s right to a speedy trial. It was the client’s second DUI and he had already been sentenced to six days in jail by a District Court Judge.

Moyse convinced the district court judge to stay the jail pending appeal. The Circuit Court victory means that Moyse’s client has no conviction on his record, no fines, and does not have to serve any jail time at all.




Woman pleads guilty to vastly reduced charge of Manslaughter in 2007 killing of D.C. paralegal.

Portada Washington Post 300x64 Woman pleads guilty to vastly reduced charge of Manslaughter in 2007 killing of D.C. paralegal.

By Keith L. Alexander, Published: July 30, 2012

An Argentine woman charged in the 2007 slaying of a Washington paralegal pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Monday shortly before a jury was to be selected for her murder trial.

Prosecutors had charged Blanca Ortiz, 47, with first-degree murder while armed in the Jan. 8, 2007 fatal stabbing of Gabriela Jose Lopez Hernandez, 29. They had previously offered Ortiz a plea of second-degree murder that was rejected; over the weekend, prosecutors offered the lesser charge, and Ortiz accepted Monday.
Ortiz agreed to an Alford plea, acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict her but not admitting the killing.

She is scheduled to be sentenced in October, when she will face a prison term of between five and eight years. She cannot appeal, and could face deportation when her sentence ends.

Lopez’s naked body was found in the bathtub of her Kalorama Triangle efficiency apartment. She had been stabbed at least 15 times and had suffered a blunt-force head injury. An area near her body had been scrubbed with bleach.

Ortiz had repeatedly told detectives and prosecutors she was not involved in the killing since she was first questioned in the days following the death of Lopez, a friend she met during tango lessons in 2005.

But authorities had maintained that Ortiz killed Lopez during a domestic dispute; the women, prosecutors said, were romantically involved. Ortiz is married to a man who lives in Saudi Arabia and repeatedly denied having a romantic relationship with Lopez.

Ortiz, a native Spanish speaker, stood next to an interpreter and defense attorney Andrew Jezic on Monday as Jezic explained to D.C. Superior Court Judge Ronna L. Beck that he, his client and a therapist met several times during the weekend at the D.C. jail.

On Sunday, Jezic said, Ortiz decided to take the plea and acknowledged that she “could” have suffered memory loss and forgotten the events surrounding Lopez’s death.

Ortiz was charged in Lopez’s slaying in 2008, but by then had returned to Argentina. She told police there that she “barely” knew Lopez, according to court records. She was extradited to the United States last year.

A jury trial might have been challenging for Deborah Sines and Glenn Kirschner, among the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s most senior homicide prosecutors. No DNA linked Ortiz to the killing, and investigators had found no weapons or eyewitnesses.

But at Monday’s proceedings, Sines outlined various pieces of evidence that she thought would have convinced a jury of Ortiz’s guilt.

Security video showed Ortiz entering Lopez’s apartment the morning prosecutors think she was killed, then leaving three hours later. Ortiz told detectives in separate interviews that she was only inside for a few minutes and then, later, that she was there for about an hour.

Ortiz told detectives she was wearing a brown overcoat when she visited Lopez. But in the video, prosecutors say, she was wearing a blue coat. Police never found it, leading them to think Ortiz discarded the coat after killing Lopez.

Hours after prosecutors say Lopez was attacked in her apartment, Sines said Ortiz told her landlord that she wanted to break her lease and planned to return to Argentina.

Sines also spoke of pictures on Lopez’s cellphone and computer that showed the women kissing, embracing, vacationing and spending holidays together.

“They had an extremely close, personal relationship,” Sines said. Authorities asserted that the number of stab wounds indicated a crime of passion committed by someone in a close relationship with Lopez.

In a court filing last week, Jezic said he planned to present alternative theories of how Lopez might have been killed by discussing at trial three men who could be responsible: an ex-boyfriend of Ortiz’s and another of Lopez’s, plus Lopez’s former boss, an Arlington County immigration lawyer.

Neither Sines nor Kirschner would discuss the manslaughter plea. But one prosecutor familiar with the case said Ortiz’s previously clean record, and the fact that domestic violence cases in which an individual appears to have “snapped” frequently result in voluntary manslaughter convictions, might have influenced their decision.

At one point during the proceedings, Ortiz began to sob. Jezic sat her down and tried to console her, then asked Beck for a glass of water for his client. “We don’t have any water,” said Beck, who denied the request.




Judge Throws Out Drugs Found in JM Client’s Car Despite Testimony of 3 Officers.

Maryland criminal defense lawyer

In February, 2014, Maryland criminal defense attorney Rand Lucey convinced a District Court Judge to discredit the testimony of three police and rule that the police search of the client’s vehicle was illegal. The three officers had testified, independently, that the client had consented to the search of his car, but Mr. Lucey convinced the Judge to believe his client, who testified that he had refused to consent. As a result, the drugs the officers found were suppressed, and his client was acquitted of all charges.




Restoring TPS Benefits before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Maryland Immigration Attorney, Himedes V. Chicas, is currently representing two different clients who are in the process of reclaiming their Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).

Generally, TPS is conferred to: (1) nationals from select countries designated by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) who timely register for TPS benefits as authorized by federal regulation; (2) who can prove that they have been continuously residing and physically present in the U.S. as of certain dates designated by the DHS Secretary; and (3) admissible as an immigrant and not ineligible under various provisions of the immigration laws. Those individuals granted TPS after the initial registration period, are required to re-register annually as per criteria set forth by the DHS Secretary and published in the Federal Register. Failure to timely re-register or respond to requests for evidence (“RFE”) during the re-registration process can lead to a revocation of TPS benefits.

One of Mr. Chicas’ clients failed to timely re-register during the last re-registration period; however, the regulations allow for USCIS to accept a late re-registration filing based upon good cause and Mr. Chicas is pursuing this option for his client.

Mr. Chicas’ other client failed to respond to a RFE during his last re-registration period because it was not properly mailed to him. As a result, USCIS revoked his TPS. Mr. Chicas is now moving to reopen this client’s TPS application with USCIS along with the requested evidence establishing his continued TPS eligibility. If you have any questions regarding TPS benefits or eligibility please call Mr. Chicas at 202.384.2647.




Attorney David Moyse convinces Judge to dismiss DUI.

Maryland DUI lawyer

In April 2014, Moyse’s client was facing significant incarceration for his third DUI. However, Moyse successfully argued that the State had violated mandatory discovery rules by failing to provide a video tape to the defense. Moyse had made multiple requests for the trooper’s video, but despite two court dates, the State failed to produce the video. The District Court Judge found that the State had failed to comply with the rules, and completely dismissed all charges, despite the presence of all necessary police officers.




6 figure settlement for Bicyclist.

JM’S personal injury Attorneys, was able to convince insurance company to give the maximum allowed settlement under the policy for a bicyclist who was hit by a negligent driver in Washington, D.C. The cyclist sustained severe injuries to his right hand and knee and had to undergo two extensive surgeries. Our personal injury attorneys fought for the maximum in this case due, in part, to the fact that the client’s hand injury will cause permanent limitations on his ability to work as a chef.




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