Monday, December 30, 2013

Terrible accident with Semi-Truck leaves young man dead in Harvey County

A young man has lost his life after an accident in Harvey County Kansas.  According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, on December 28, 2013 at around 2:00 a.m. the accident occurred on Northbound Interstate 135.  According to the preliminary investigation it appears that Jeffery Ely of Lawrence, Kansas was fatally injured when a 2001 Freightliner semi-truck rear ended the 2004 Chevy Tahoe of the decedent.  Mr. Ely's body was taken to the Regional Forensic Science Center.  The driver of the semi truck was Michael Harbin of Guntown, Mississippi.  Further details of the accident are unknown at this time.  The police report will be made available online at the link below for the next 30 days.

Police Report Jeffery Ely

If you, a loved one, or a family member has suffered the devastating , and oftentimes tragic consequences of a car accident, please do not hesitate to contact Copley Roth and Wilson, LLC (913-451-9500) to address any questions or concerns you may have.  The initial consultation(s) telephone and in person, are always free.  We invite you to call and speak with our experienced personal injury lawyers in your time of need.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Need a criminal record expunged in Kansas?

If you have a criminal record and you are tired of the negative consequences of something you did a long time this video.  I have put together a video explaining the entire process from start to finish.  If you need help getting your record expunged contact our office today.  Don't live with the negative stigma any longer.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nidal Hasan gave his pay away to charity; Leaves victims high and dry

— Nidal Hasan collected nearly $300,000 in his military salary while awaiting trial for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, but his attorney said nearly all of it has been given to charity — likely making it impossible for his victims to get any of it.

Hasan's civil attorney, John Galligan, wouldn't disclose any information about the charities or proof that donations had been made. An Army spokesman said the military can't get back the money because Hasan, like any other service member charged with a crime, continued to receive his military salary until he was convicted last month.  "The great bulk of his income has been donated to charity," said Galligan, who also once represented Hasan in the criminal case. "There's really virtually no money in any bank that I'm aware of. There's really no property holdings."

The money would likely only be a fraction of what Hasan's victims and their relatives still need. Some have struggled to find jobs or pay medical bills since Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others when he opened fire inside a crowded building on the Texas military base on Nov. 5, 2009.
But his salary carries symbolic value.  "It's not about the amount. It's about principle," said retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was shot seven times by Hasan and testified at his trial. "During this time the man was incarcerated, he was still drawing full military pay, full military benefits. That money was spent on him, and we were denied — still — certain benefits."

Lunsford wants Hasan's salary to go into a scholarship fund for victims' children. He also is among the victims suing the government, in a lawsuit that also names Hasan, in an effort to get the shooting characterized as a terrorist attack rather than workplace violence. The designation would make them eligible for more benefits and recognition that they say they deserve.

But whether they can get any money from Hasan is unlikely, according to the military, Galligan and a lawyer for the victims. Along with a lack of bank accounts tied to Hasan, FBI agents found little more than a table, a folding chair and a prayer mat in his apartment after the shooting.  Given his rank as major, Hasan collected more than $7,000 a month in salary, according to the Army. That salary was subject to federal taxes, but Texas doesn't collect a state income tax.  His paychecks were revoked 14 days after he was sentenced to death last month, per Army regulations. But his case had dragged out for nearly four years, in part because he was forbidden to plead guilty to charges after prosecutors refused to take the death penalty off the table.

Hasan's expenses after the attack were limited, according to Galligan. About $10,000 was spent to hire a medical specialist to assess Hasan's life expectancy. Hasan was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in the back by a Fort Hood police officer during the rampage.  Hasan represented himself at his trial, and although he told the judge the shootings were necessary to protect Islamic and Taliban leaders from U.S. troops overseas, he presented no evidence or witnesses. The American-born Muslim had government-funded defense lawyers to help him, and Galligan said he has worked for Hasan mostly for free.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt said the military can't get back the money Hasan was paid while behind bars. Hasan's sentence included a dismissal from the Army and a forfeiture of all pay and allowances.  Galligan said Hasan's paychecks were not deposited in a bank, but he declined to say how Hasan handled them. He refused to hint at the type of charities Hasan allegedly helped.  Reed Rubinstein, an attorney helping victims sue the government, said he was exploring ways to get any money or assets he could out of Hasan. But he acknowledged that those efforts might not succeed.
"We have no way of knowing what he did with that money," Rubinstein said. "It's quite possible and likely that the money is long gone."

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

George Zimmerman's wife files for divorce

— George Zimmerman's wife filed for divorce Thursday, less than two months after her husband was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin and a week after she pleaded guilty to perjury in his case.   Shellie Zimmerman made the decision because of "disappointment," her attorney, Kelly Sims, wrote Thursday in a short email to the Associated Press. The 26-year-old Zimmerman told ABC's "Good Morning America" last week that she was having serious doubts about remaining married.

The interview came just after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge for lying during a bail hearing following her husband's arrest for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012.  Her husband, who was acquitted on second-degree murder and other charges in July, wasn't in the Sanford, Fla., courtroom as she was sentenced to a year's probation and 100 hours of community service — even though she supported him and lied about their finances.  ABC first reported the divorce filing. Email messages and phone calls to Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, were not immediately returned.  Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman, wrote on Twitter: "Pray 4 them."  George Zimmerman said he acted in self-defense when he killed Martin and the polarizing case opened up national discussions on self-defense laws and race. Martin was black. Zimmerman has a white father and Hispanic mother.

Shellie Zimmerman's felony perjury charge came after she lied about the couple's assets when her husband was trying to be released on a lower bond. If convicted, she had faced up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.  Court records show that in the days before the bond hearing in June 2012, Shellie Zimmerman transferred $74,000 — broken into eight smaller transfers ranging from $7,500 to $9,990 — from her husband's credit union account to hers. It also shows that $47,000 was transferred from George Zimmerman's account to his sister's in the days before the bond hearing. Amounts of over $10,000 would have been reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

Four days after he was released on bond, Shellie Zimmerman transferred more than $85,500 from her account into her husband's, records show. They also show that the jail recorded George Zimmerman instructing her on a call to "pay off all the bills," including an American Express and Sam's Club card.
Most of the money had come from donations to a website that had been set up to pay for George Zimmerman's defense.  Despite the large transfers, at the bail hearing, Shellie Zimmerman testified that the couple, who married in 2007 and had no children, had limited funds because she was a full-time student and her husband wasn't working. Prosecutors say they actually had then already raised $135,000 in donations from the website.

Shellie Zimmerman admitted to ABC that she did not tell the truth during the bail hearing.  "I can rationalize a lot of reasons for why I was misleading, but the truth is that I knew I was lying," she said.  She said she plans to do her community service with a Christian ministry.  "I've made mistakes and I want to own them right now," Shellie Zimmerman said.  During her appearance on "Good Morning America" following her husband's acquittal, Zimmerman refused to say if she and her husband were still together.  She added that she "wants to have children and stay married."
"With George?" the interviewer asked.  "That's something I'm going to have to think about," Shellie Zimmerman replied.

Earlier this week, her 29-year-old husband was ticketed for speeding in Lake Mary, Fla. Police say he was going 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.  In the ABC interview, she also revealed she wasn't at their home the night of Martin's shooting in their gated community outside Orlando because she'd had a fight with her husband.  "I was staying at my father's house," she said. "We had gotten into an argument the night before and I left."  Shellie Zimmerman says that while she believes her husband's version of the events leading to the shooting, "I can't tell you how many nights I've gone or laid awake at night just thinking that I wish to God the circumstances had been different."

She says the couple lived in hiding while awaiting his trial.

"We have pretty much lived like gypsies for the past year and a half. We've lived in a 20-foot trailer in the woods, scared every night that someone would go and find us and that it would be horrific," she said.  She also told ABC she is deeply sorry for the Martin family's loss. "I can't even begin to understand the grief a parent experiences when they lose a child," she said.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Man fatally injured in dump truck accident in Allen County

Daniel Heimerman of Hutchinson Kansas was fatally injured in an August 31, 2013 accident in Allen County.  According to the Kansas Highway Patrol the accident occurred on Highway 59 just one mile north of Moran, KS.  The facts are still under investigation, however, the preliminary report from the Kansas Highway Patrol claims that a 2008 Kenworth Dump Truck was involved.  According to the police report, the dump truck was traveling north and a 2006 Chevy Truck driven by Daniel Heimerman was stopped in the northbound lane of 59 highway waiting to turn west onto North Dakota Road.  The dump truck driven by Zachary Rose rear ended the Chevy truck and pushed it into an oncoming vehicle headed southbound.  The oncoming vehicle was a 2000 GMC Jimmy driven by Della Dallavalle of Leavenworth.  She was also injured in the accident.

Police Report (Online for 30 Days)

If you, a loved one, or a family member has suffered the devastating , and oftentimes tragic consequences of a car accident, please do not hesitate to contact Copley Roth and Wilson, LLC (913-451-9500) to address any questions or concerns you may have.  The initial consultation(s) telephone and in person, are always free.  We invite you to call and speak with our experienced personal injury lawyers in your time of need.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In some states Rapists have rights to child custody

Copley Roth and WilsonI stumbled across this article on CNN.  It presents an interesting topic, that I have not came across in my practice.  Any thoughts?  (Leave a Comment)

(CNN) -- When an Ohio judge denied a request for Cleveland kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro to visit the 6-year-old girl he fathered with one of the women he kidnapped and raped, the reason seemed pretty clear cut.

"I just think that would be inappropriate," Cuyahoga County Judge Michael Russo said last month.
The idea that Castro -- who will be sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to 937 counts -- would have any parental rights is hard to believe. But in 31 states, rapists do enjoy the rights of a father.
Ohio currently has no laws that would take away Castro's parental rights for fathering the child with Amanda Berry, who he abducted in 2003 when she was a teenager.

"I was astonished," said Shauna Prewitt, who was raped when she was a senior in college.
Her daughter was six months old when she found out that the man who raped her wanted partial custody.  "How could I possibly entrust my beautiful ... baby to him," she wondered, "but beyond that I didn't know how to spend the next 18 or more years of my life tethered to my attacker."

Legislation introduced
Prewitt, who was raped at the age of 21, is now a custody rights attorney, and is working to enact new federal guidelines that would push states to pass laws to strip rapists of their parental rights to children they fathered through rape.

Legislation introduced last week -- the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act -- would do just that.
The bill would provide incentives for legal initiatives on the state level to help women secure full custody of children conceived through rape.  "Without such a law, woman can endure years of being tormented by an abuser," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida.

Pregnancies from rape
Each year, there are approximately 32,000 pregnancies resulting from rape, according to a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  While the majority of those pregnancies were terminated, as many as a third of the women give birth.  Prewitt kept her daughter, in part, because being pregnant helped her get through the pain of being raped.  "Just not feeling so alone, not feeling so dead inside, because I had this life growing inside me and it was a comfort to me," she said.

Not clear cut
But critics say, most cases aren't so clear cut. They also argue that judges currently have enough power to prevent unfit fathers from seeing their children.  "There are lots of solutions that are short of this (bill) and I think a lot of time when things come in this top-down fashion, based on one or two truly tragic stories, we end up making bad law," said attorney Aviva Orenstein. Prewitt said there are other women like her, who had no idea when they decided to keep their children that their attackers had parental rights.

"If we knew that this possibility loomed on the horizon, that we could spend the rest of lives tethered to our attackers because of our decision to have our children, would we have made the same choice?" Prewitt said, pausing a moment to think.
"I think that's hard to answer."

Monday, August 19, 2013

Accident in Allen County Kansas leaves brother and sister seriously injured

A brother and sister were seriously injured in an semi-truck accident in Allen County, Kansas.  According to the Kansas Highway Patrol on August 16, 2013 at approximately 12:35 p.m. the accident occurred.  The accident took place in a construction zone on US highway 169 and Minnesota street.  According to the accident investigator a 2002 semi truck licensed in Tennessee and pulling a flat-bed trailer rear ended a 1992 Chrysler Lebaron driven by Joe Lehenbauer.  The 1992 Lebaron also had an occupant Whitney Lehenbauer.  Both the occupants were taken to Neosho Memorial Hospital and listed in serious condition.

Online Police Report

If you, a loved one, or a family member has suffered the devastating , and oftentimes tragic consequences of a car accident, please do not hesitate to contact Copley Roth and Wilson, LLC (913-451-9500) to address any questions or concerns you may have.  The initial consultation(s) telephone and in person, are always free.  We invite you to call and speak with our experienced personal injury lawyers in your time of need.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thinking of trying to represent yourself in a divorce? Think again.

I came across this article in the Huffington Post. It talks about the dangers of doing a divorce without a lawyer.  The video in the link at the end paints a pretty good picture of why it is not smart.

More and more people are choosing to divorce without the help of a lawyer. Sites like and allow users to prepare divorce papers without any legal consultation, and now it appears that some people are using sites like Craigslist to
advertise divorce paperwork help for a discounted rate.

Although approaching a divorce without the help of an attorney can save money, it may also make the divorce process more difficult. Brent Chesney, a Texas judge, told 6 HD News in Corpus Christie, Texas, that when a person without a lawyer is divorcing someone who has an attorney, it can complicate the divorce for the party without legal representation.

"If the lawyer over here knows how to object properly, which most lawyers do, then they're going to want to exclude all kinds of evidence and they're not going to let things in," he said. "And you may not even get your story told in front of a judge."  Using divorce prep services found on Craiglist can bring up other issues as well, including more legal problems.

"There is a law that says non-lawyers are not to [dispense] legal advice, and if someone is simply telling you how to fill out a form, is that dispensing legal advice? That would be in the eyes of the beholding judge that hears the case," Chesney said.  6 HD News looked into one Craigslist posting that advertises divorce paperwork prep for $65 to $95 dollars and found that the number is not registered with the Better Business Bureau.

Marilyn Stowe, a divorce lawyer in the UK, created a list of the pros and cons of DIY divorce and pointed out that without a lawyer to help explain divorce proceedings, people may agree to terms they don't actually want.  "You may agree to demands only to discover, sometime later, that you were 'bilked' of your rights and entitlements," she said.

Check out the link below to hear more about 6 HD News' investigation, then click through the slideshow below to see what items some jilted spouses have advertised on Craigslist.