Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Trooper David Morikawa - Appeal granted - conviction overturned

Also See
Trooper David Morikawa - Charged with criminal sexual conduct with his cousin [a minor]

Trooper David Morikawa - Sentenced - Criminal sexual conduct http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/trooper-david-morikawa-sentenced-iron.html

Trooper David Morikawa - Filed appeal on CSC conviction http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2012/01/trooper-david-morikawa-filed-appeal-on.html

Trooper David Morikawa - Paroled

Trooper David Morikawa - Appeal granted - conviction overturned http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2013/08/trooper-david-morikawa-appeal-granted.html

New trial for former Iron River trooper
October 30, 2013
The Iron Mountain Daily News
By NIKKI YOUNK - Staff Writer http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/543075/New-trial-for-former-Iron-River-trooper.html?nav=5002

IRON MOUNTAIN - The Michigan Attorney General's Office will not contest the Michigan Court of Appeals' decision to grant former Michigan State Police trooper David Morikawa a new trial on criminal sexual conduct charges.

In August, the Michigan Court of Appeals found that Morikawa, 39, had ineffective assistance of counsel during his July 2011 trial in Iron County on two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct-second degree.

Judges Michael Talbot, Kathleen Jansen, and Patrick Meter ordered that the case be reversed and remanded for a new trial.

Joy Yearout, spokeswoman for the office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, said that the office had until Oct. 22 to file an application with the Michigan Supreme Court to request that it hear the case.

However, the office has decided that it will re-try the case in Iron County Trial Court, she said.

"It's still early in the process, we're still waiting on details," said Yearout. "There's no trial date set yet."

She added that an attorney in the Michigan Attorney General's criminal division will prosecute the new case. Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell did not handle the original case, due to a conflict of interest.

Following Morikawa's conviction in 2011, he was sentenced to serve a minimum of one year and eight months in prison.

He is currently out of prison and on parole.

Morikawa, who used to work as a trooper at the now-closed Michigan State Police Iron River post, was accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl at his home in Crystal Falls in July 2009.

Appeals court grants retrial
August 30, 2013
The Mining Journal

IRON MOUNTAIN -The Michigan Court of Appeals has granted a new trial to a former Michigan State Police trooper who was convicted by jury in Iron County Trial Court in 2011 of two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct-second degree.

David Morikawa, 39, won the appeal on grounds that he had ineffective assistance of counsel.

Grant Carlson of Iron Mountain served as Morikawa's defense attorney during the 2011 trial. Due to a conflict of interest for the Iron County Prosecutor's Office, Special Assistant Attorney General Michael Stein of Traverse City prosecuted the case.

Appeals Judges cited the jury's deadlock and eventual juror substitution and Carlson's failure to "object properly to improper character testimony" from Morikawa's former co-worker F/Lt. Christine Grabowski of the Michigan State Police.

Ex-Michigan state trooper's sex case conviction overturned on appeal
7:20 PM, August 30, 2013
Detroit Free Press

A former Michigan State Police trooper convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct had his conviction overturned and a new trial ordered by the Michigan Court of Appeals earlier this week.

David Morikawa was convicted in 2011 of two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 12-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison and was granted parole in March. He was a trooper at the Iron County post when convicted.

In its ruling, the court said Morikawa’s attorney during the trial didn’t do his job when the jury initially deadlocked.

According to the ruling, issued Tuesday, the jury deadlocked after several hours of deliberating. Jurors were brought back the next day for more deliberation and then sent the judge a note.

"Approximately an hour later, the court received a note indicating that one of the jurors, Juror K, had disclosed a sexual-misconduct investigation in his past," the court wrote in its ruling. "Juror K revealed that four or five years before the trial, he had been at a Christmas party and had touched a young girl during a group picture. He later learned he had been investigated and cleared of any wrongdoing.

"Juror K did not reveal the incident during (juror questions) because he did not believe it would affect his judgment and he did not want to bring attention to himself. He then indicated that he had received a lot of peer pressure in the jury room, and, without prompting, he volunteered to the court that he was one of the holdouts."

The judge at the original trial dismissed that juror and brought in an alternate. The judge then told the jury to renew deliberations. Morikawa’s attorney didn’t raise any objections.

However, state law says that the judge should have instructed the jury to begin its deliberations anew, and the attorney not pointing that out was an error.

"Given the intense debates and ‘peer pressures’ that had obviously been occurring in the jury room, with numerous individuals arguing for conviction, we find the accession to the improper jury instruction by defense counsel to be below an objective standard of reasonableness. Given the existence of the original two ‘holdouts,’ this was obviously a close case, and when viewed in light of the error ... we find that it could have had an effect on the outcome of the trial if the jury had begun deliberations anew with a new member and the fresh perspective that member would bring."

Morikawa’s new attorney, Mitchell Foster, said his client was pleased with the ruling.

"It’s nice to see that the Court of Appeals will uphold a defendant’s right to a fair trial."

Former state trooper convicted of sex crime gets new trial
by Ty Czarnopis
Posted: 08.28.2013 at 4:17 PM
Updated: 08.29.2013 at 11:30 AM

MARQUETTE -- The former Michigan State Police trooper that was originally sentenced for criminal sexual conduct will be getting a new trial due to ineffective legal counsel.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has granted a new trial to 39-year-old David Morikawa. He was originally sentenced to prison on two charges of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a 12-year-old girl.

The court of appeals acknowledges Morikawa's claim that he had "ineffective assistance of counsel and shown a fundamental unreliability with respect to his trial."

The original incident responsible for the charges against Morikawa happened in July 2009. His original sentence was for two concurrent prison terms of 20 months to 15 years. Morikawa was granted parole on March 14, 2013.

Monday, August 26, 2013

[Sheriff] William Hackel - Masonic Temple Head of Security - Registered sex offender

Also see:

[Sheriff] William Hackel - Registered sex offender - Released from prison
April 24, 2005

[Sheriff] William Hackel - Denied new trial
September 19, 2007
[Sheriff] William Hackel - Appeal
June 6, 2000
[Sheriff]William Hackel - Sentenced
May 15, 2000
Sheriff William Hackel - Trial: Convicted
April 17, 2000
Sheriff William Hackel - Charged w/ CSC
October 11, 1999

In October 1999, Macomb County Sheriff William Hackel was investigated for raping an acquaintance during a Michigan law enforcement convention. Sheriff Hackel maintained that the sex was consensual.
In November 1999, Sheriff William Hackel was charged with rape, after he failed a polygraph exam.
During his trial in April 2000, Sheriff Hackel falsely maintained that the sex had been consensual. The jury convicted Hackel of rape.
In May 2000, Sheriff Hackel was sentenced to at least 3 years in prison for the October 1999 rape. He served 5 years and was released in 2005.
In June 2000, Sheriff Hackel filed an appeal on his rape conviction...He was still falsely claiming that the sex had been consensual. Hackel's appeal was denied.

 In 2007, the Detroit US Federal Court turned down Sheriff Hackel's request for a new trial on his rape conviction. Hackel was still maintaining that the sex had been consensual.

Sheriff William Hackel has been throwing the words "consensual sex" around for years. In 1991, when male jail inmates broke into the female inmate section of the jail, the male inmates did not rape the women: "There's no question that they had sex," Hackel said, "It was consensual".

Although former Sheriff William Hackel is a convicted and registered sex offender, he was hired as the head of security for the Detroit Masonic Temple.

Accusations fly in Detroit Masonic Temple lawsuits
Aug. 26, 2013 - 7:00 AM
Written by Eric D. Lawrence
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer http://www.tennessean.com/article/C4/20130826/NEWS01/308260041/Masonic-Temple-lawsuit-Detroit

An ugly legal battle that pits the owners of the Detroit Masonic Temple against the building’s former management company has thrust the iconic landmark into the spotlight in the last year, ensnaring several prominent businesspeople in the case and prompting embarrassing headlines for the 87-year-old facility.

The Masonic Temple Association, which owns the Masonic Temple, booted the management company, Halberd Holdings, out of the facility last year. The association claims, among other things, that Halberd was ruining the temple’s reputation by not paying its bills and hiring felons, such as former Macomb County Sheriff William Hackel, who was convicted in 2000 of two counts of criminal sexual conduct and is a registered sex offender, as head of security.

The financial issues led DTE Energy to threaten last year to shut off the entertainment venue’s power, because of a more than $300,000 overdue bill, and required rocker Jack White’s intervention to save the temple from tax foreclosure.

Dueling lawsuits were launched beginning in November, when the association sued Halberd in Wayne County Circuit Court on allegations that included breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Halberd filed a countersuit in January, making its own claims of breach of contract and unjust enrichment. But Halberd also claims it has an ownership stake in the Masonic and wants a judge to force the association to negotiate a purchase agreement with the company.

Jason Abel, the attorney representing the Masonic Temple Association, dismissed Halberd’s claims as bogus.

"I think all of their claims are egregious and without merit. The fact that they’re contending that they have any right to take ownership of the Masonic Temple is wholly baseless," Abel said. "The Masonic Temple is an important fixture in the Detroit community, and it’s unfortunate that certain individuals are trying to undermine its effective operation in an attempt to obtain monies that they’re not entitled to."

Abel filed a motion in Wayne County Circuit Court asking that sanctions be imposed against Halberd and its law firm, Norman Yatooma and Associates, citing delays in turning over documents as part of the discovery process. During a court hearing Friday, the firm was given 30 days to turn over documents. Yatooma, perhaps best known for his spirited advocacy on behalf of the family of slain stripper Tamara Greene, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Severed ties
The legal case represents a dramatic undoing of a relationship that was supposed to provide stability to the Masonic Temple’s operations but instead ended up in court. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and touted as the largest Masonic temple in the world.

Halberd, hired in 2011, is accused of having accrued more than $1.2 million in debt related to expenses tied to the Masonic Temple the month before it was booted from the facility, but Masonic officials paint the facility’s current finances as stable.

Halberd, which denied many of the allegations in the initial suit, says in its countersuit that the Masonic owed $900,000 when Halberd took over management and that the company was brought in both to pay down the debt and develop new business for the temple. It says Halberd was entitled to manage the temple for two years, which should have given it until this coming fall.

In addition, Halberd claims that when it was locked out of the temple, the company lost access to production equipment and other items as well as $50,000 in cash in a safe on the premises. Halberd says the equipment is worth $2 million, but Masonic officials say it is worth a fraction of that.

The legal case also hasensnared several prominent individuals, including former Detroit Lions star Mel Farr and Donald Foss, the founder of Southfield-based Credit Acceptance Corp. Both men had ties they have since severed to Halberd — Farr as a named investing member and Foss through another company called Longstock III.

Foss, who was listed by Forbes Magazine among America’s wealthiest people in the 1990s, withdrew Longstock III from Halberd in March 2012.

The date of Farr’s separation from Halberd is unclear. In a brief phone conversation, Farr said he would need to check with some people before he could talk but then did not respond to follow-up requests for comment.

Halberd’s remaining investing membersaccording to court records are attorney Michael J. Smith, who has an office in Mt. Clemens, and Matthew Mazer, a New York filmmaker. In a copy of an April 2012 e-mail sent from Farr to Smith, he lashes out, saying he felt like he had been taken for a fool.

"I want my ... money back," according to Farr’s e-mail. "I want the management of the MTA (the association) to know exactly how you and Matt took them, and the investor I brought to the table, on this horrific ride."

It’s unclear how Smith and Mazer are connected, and neither responded to multiple requests for comment.

Mazer’s Internet Movie Database page credits him with being a producer and writer on "Buried Prayers" in 2010 and "Keepers of Eden" in 2007, and it lists him as co-executive producer on the 1994 animated film, "The Swan Princess." Mazer’s personal life was in the news after his nanny, Patricia Francois, sued him in 2009, saying he had attacked her for telling him to stop berating his daughter about her preparation for a holiday skit. Mazer filed a counterclaim, alleging an assault by Francois, who was eventually awarded almost $14,000 as well as attorney fees for the assault and associated overtime claims.

The case, according to various news outlets, sparked a protest outside Mazer’s Manhattan apartment over the treatment of domestic workers.

A list of accusationsHalberd’s claims to an ownership stake in the Masonic Temple rest on whether it is allowed to assume the role of Longstock III. The Masonic Temple Association and Longstock III had held out the possibility that the Masonic could eventually have been sold to Longstock III under certain conditions. That never happened, and Halberd, which was only the management company, announced that it was stepping into Longstock III’s shoes after Foss pulled Longstock out of Halberd. But Masonic officials say such a sale is off the table when it comes to Halberd.

Halberd had set up its own company, Detroit Masonic Temple Theatre Co., to manage the Masonic, which the association claims was not authorized and was designed to shield Halberd from its creditors. DMTTC was incorporated in November 2011, with Smith as the incorporator. In January 2012, Foss sent a letter to Smith asking that Halberd dissolve itself. The letter cited "a number of recent unauthorized activities" and a failure to provide certain financial reports. In March, after Smith replied that Halberd could not dissolve, Foss withdrew Longstock III from its membership in Halberd.

DMTTC filed for bankruptcy protection in June of this year. News of that filing prompted a flurry of news reports that incorrectly assumed the owners of the Masonic Temple were the ones filing for bankruptcy protection. DMTTC also was sued by the temple owners but its involvement in the lawsuits is likely sidelined by the bankruptcy filing.

The lawsuits themselves are a treasure trove of accusations. In making its case that Halberd failed to manage the Masonic as a first-class entity, the temple referenced a performance in the Masonic parking lot in May 2012 by DJ Pauly D, whose real name is Paul DelVecchio. The suit claims that Halberd investing member Smith tried to force DJ Pauly D to provide a private concert afterward but let him go when Smith realized he could not legally hold the performer.

The suit also claims that Halberd failed to pay payroll taxes for its employees regularly and that Halberd replaced whistle-blowers with felons. The suit says at least one member of Halberd is believed to have taken Masonic Temple revenue for his own personal account.