Newton neighborhood watch, day 3: Don Samuel, superlawyer

The soap opera that is the Newton County neighborhood watch case continues. Now the Newton neighborhood watch dudes’ attorney, Mario Ninfo, is blaming/crediting attorney Don Samuel with turning the case around. He says that his clients are scapegoats—in essence, claiming that they were arrested and charged to cover the Newton County Sheriff’s Department’s assets after lawmen’s faux pas. What happened to change things?  “Don Samuel happened,” Ninfo said. Here’s how it went down. Jean-Joseph and Angelica Kalonji, originally from Zaire, showed up one evening at the vacant house their son had purchased, intending to change locks. (White) neighbors Robert Canoles and his son Brandensaw them and, assuming they’re burglars, rushed over armed with assault rifles, held them at bay, and called the…

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Gun-toting neighborhood watch dudes kept in jail

AR15 Rifle The father-and-son combo who held their new neighbors at gunpoint will have a bond hearing this morning. Money quote: “I have to think if we didn’t have [noted criminal defense lawyer] Don Samuel and the media reporting the story, nothing would’ve been done,” the victims’ son said. See original post. In an interesting update, the Atlanta Journal-Contstitution reports: Robert Canoles said he was unconcerned Monday afternoon about a second interview with Newton County Sheriff’s deputies, who four nights earlier had praised his armed response to a suspected burglary next door. “What are they going to charge  me with?” Canoles told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before his meeting with the deputies. He soon got his answer. Authorities arrested Canoles and his son Branden…

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Say hello to neighborhood watch in rural Georgia

AR15 Rifle White guys with guns in Newton County, Georgia. A mature couple from Africa minding their own business. Sounds like a recipe for trouble. See any similarities to a recent case we’ve been following? Two Newton County, Georgia men have been arrested after holding their new neighbors at gunpoint.  But if the victims in this case–who were the ones arrested to begin with–didn’t know high-profile attorney Don Samuel, we might never hear about this case. And what if the victims had stood by their rights to be on their own property? This incident could have ended up a lot worse than it did. Meanwhile, the victims are wondering what kind of neighborhood they’re moving into, and their assailants are asserting their “Second Amendment Rights.” By the…

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Zimmerman out on bond; Sanford police chief keeps his job

George Zimmerman left jail early this morning on $150,000 bond and apparently went immediately into hiding, most likely to another state, to await his trial on second-degree murder charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman can be tracked through his ankle bracelet that he’s required to wear at all times. Several hours later, Sanford City Commissioners voted 3-2 to reject the resignation of Police Chief Bill Lee. who had temporarily stepped aside following widespread criticism of the police department’s failure to properly investigate Martin’s death. Read more.

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Zimmerman says he’s sorry; bond set at $150,000

George Zimmerman took the witness stand during his bail hearing Friday morning and apologized to Trayvon Martin’s parents for killing their son. The Associated Press reports that Zimmerman stated that he was “sorry for the loss of your son” and didn’t know that Martin was unarmed during their fatal confrontation in Sanford, Florgia on February 26. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense, saying that Martin assaulted him. Zimmerman’s bail on the second-degree murder charge has been set at $150,000.

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Cumming Mayor Ford Gravitt vs. Open Meetings Act

There were some habeas corpus issues in Brambleman, but this is real. Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens is taking a look at the actions of Cumming Mayor Ford Gravitt after he threw a local activist with a video camera out of a city council meeting Tuesday night. Nydia Tisdale, who runs the AboutForsyth.com blog (“Investigating Corruption in Forsyth County, GA”), has ruffled some feathers up there, and apparently she was up there doing some more ruffling the other night. She was there to record discussion about a water contract with Forsyth County; the mayor decided that she shouldn’t. He commanded the police chief to remove the camera (and her with it) from council chambers. You can see her Youtube posting of the incident…

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