Poker Raid Turns to Gunfight

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Once he recovers, a 72-year-old man will be charged with attempted murder after getting into a shootout with the SWAT team who raided the private poker game he was hosting. From the Pokerati blog:

A relatively routine raid of a low-stakes poker game in Greenville, South Carolina turned bloody yesterday night — as police tried to gain entry to a poker house. The game host, now known to be Aaron Awtry, 72, shot through the front door, striking sheriff’s deputy Matthew May with a bullet that went through his arm.

A vice squad in SWAT gear returned fire, hitting Awtry with multiple rounds in his arm and thumb … which was followed by a 20-minute standoff between cops and players, according to a spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department. Both shooting victims were taken to the hospital where they are in stable condition.

There were 12 people and Awtry in the house at 502 Pine Knoll Drive when police arrived at about 9:20 pm last night. According to frontline witnesses, they had just finished a small buy-in dinnertime tourney … and a 1/2 cash game was just getting underway when someone saw 5-0 approaching on a security monitor. Before he could clearly vocalize an alert, a battery ram begin slamming the front door and players froze. Awtry, who players say has notoriously bad hearing in his senior years and presumably believed the game was being robbed, began shooting at the door with his pistol, firing “at least once” according to a player, “multiple shots” according to police. At least four officers returned fire at the door with at least 20 bullets from their higher-powered assault weapons.

As Awtry fell back into the poker room entryway, he balked, “Why didn’t you tell me it was the cops?”

Local news coverage of the raid here. Police seized about $5,000 in cash. Everyone but Awtry was issued a $100 fine. Ironically, both the South Carolina Supreme Court and state legislature may soon clarify the state’s confusing laws about private poker games.

This is far from the first time police have brought the SWAT team to a poker game. Reason.tv covered a similar raid at on a charity poker game hosted by an American Legion post in Dallas.

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101 Responses to “Poker Raid Turns to Gunfight”

  1. #1 |  Cynical in CA | 

    From that petulant whiner Jefferson: “He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

    Democracy is better than absolute monarchy? Mmm hmm.

  2. #2 |  Nick | 

    You show up to my door beating on it with a battering ram without announcing who you are you’re likely to get shot too.

  3. #3 |  Nando | 

    Radley,

    SWAT team was totally necessary. You never know if Chris “Jesus” Ferguson is in the house and standing at the ready with a deck of cards, ready to flick them at the officers. Have you seen what a card thrown by Jesus does to a carrot? It’s practically a deadly weapon!

  4. #4 |  Lucy | 

    I played poker with real money when I was 12. It was some of the family’s yearly tradition in Ontario.

    That’s definitely why I started skinning all those cats and robbing grocery stores.

    Oh hold on, it had nothing to do with anything. Nor did my dad’s work-buddies’ poker games which were 100 buck wins, instead of 5s.

    The idea that this can go on — that there can be any restriction on what five people can do with their own money and a game in someone’s house and that we are still free is laughable.

    GO FIND SOME REAL CRIMINALS. AND REAL CRIMES.

  5. #5 |  Darth Fabulous | 

    If anyone again asks me why I’m a libertarian, I’ll send them this article. How exactly is use of this level of police resources, or any level of police resources, neccessary to bust up a poker game? I’m hoping there is someone here who can try to justify this. And not in a snarky way. Please inform me as to what I’m missing here.

  6. #6 |  SJE | 

    What does the NRA say about this? I mean, its defending your home and property.

  7. #7 |  Matt | 

    Bad headline on that local story.

    Should read “Cops put selves in danger by raiding local card game, one shot in self-defense.”

  8. #8 |  Cynical in CA | 

    OT, but another pet topic:

    http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-news-in-national/watchdog-blogger-arrested-for-filming-public

  9. #9 |  Comrade Dread | 

    Even if you feel the need to bring heavy weapons to raid a private small stakes poker game, why the hell wouldn’t you just knock, announce yourself as the police, and demand that they open the door?

    It’s not like you even have the excuse that someone might flush the evidence down the crapper.

  10. #10 |  Charlie O | 

    Welcome to the Insanity States of America. This is incredibly ridiculous. A SWAT team for a poker game? OOOOO bad ass criminals in there. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE who doesn’t believe this country has evolved into a police is either naive or stupid. Perhaps both.

  11. #11 |  none | 

    “The 12 people who were in the home were ticketed for unlawful betting and released.”

    Definitely worth risking all those lives.

  12. #12 |  Cynical in CA | 

    It gets worse, much worse:

    http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/us-military-trained-mex-drug-cartel-ops

    This is what you support when you support the State. Must stop reading now, this is no way to start the weekend ….

  13. #13 |  Marty | 

    Cynical-

    if ‘…possession of “attitude” is illegal…’, we’re all doomed!

    great links- my weekend wouldn’t be right without high blood pressure…

  14. #14 |  Nate | 

    And the cops will say this is justification. “Look! Those scofflaws are violent dangers to us all!” The fact they can look in the mirror without realizing they are the source of the problem is almost admirable.

  15. #15 |  Marty | 

    the poker raid is the precursor to more intrusions… as local departments look at alternative funding- federal grants, asset forfeiture, traffic cameras, etc- we’re going to see more intrusions. we need to put knox boxes on our houses to keep the fuckers from bashing our doors. we’ll be getting monthly inspections soon…

  16. #16 |  Joe | 

    The police use excessive force with no justification. Why? Gunfire and injury ensues. My guess is this is not going to turn like Mississippi /Cory Maye and Awtry has some defenses here.

    One thing is: Someone noticed “5-0″ on the monitor? So who ever noticed this did not tell Awtry it was the cops (or perhaps he did not hear it)?

  17. #17 |  Zargon | 

    Awtry, who players say has notoriously bad hearing in his senior years and presumably believed the game was being robbed

    And, as it turns out, he was right.

    Police seized about $5,000 in cash

  18. #18 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Let’s spike the sphygmomanometer Marty, with a few select quotes from 1984:

    “Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain.”

    “There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”

    “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power…. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end…. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

    200/160 yet?

  19. #19 |  Joe | 

    By the way, that observation is not a judgment call. I do not have enough facts for that. That is for the jury to determine. If it is a case of excessive force (which it certainly appears to be) I hope Awtry is acquitted.

  20. #20 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Cops then used the confiscated loot to purchase more weapons and Kevlar.

    Posted under “positive feedback loop” in the Odyssey Files.

  21. #21 |  Cappy | 

    #6 – The NRA’s position is gun ownership/possession by LAW-ABIDING citizens. If gambling, even if done in the confines of one’s home for small amounts of cash, is illegal, then clearly the gambler who defends his home against law enforcement (or any other thug) is not LAW-ABIDING since he was engaged in an unlawful activity when he defended himself.

    But it makes me wonder where the NRA was in the shooting death of Isaac Singletary.

    Oh, wait, the NRA kowtows to politicians and licks the boots of law enforcement.

  22. #22 |  Frank Hummel | 

    So I would expect it from an old geezer to file his weapon thru a door without id’ing his target. But then I see “highly trained” SWAT officers did the same thing. Methinks someone lacks training.

    That, of course, doesn’t excuse the fact that the use of a SWAT team was totally unnecessary in this situation.

  23. #23 |  Southern Man | 

    The more I read stories like this, the more I assert that what consenting adults do behind closed doors is simply not the State’s business. What harm were these old geezers doing? Were they disturbing the peace? What possible good did this raid accomplish? Oh, I can tell you – it makes people like me angry, and that affects how we vote.

  24. #24 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #19 | Joe — “By the way, that observation is not a judgment call.”

    I’m going to counter that Ryan Fredericks is the model case here. And that bodes ill for Mr. Awtry.

  25. #25 |  André | 

    Just some outlaws getting their due for stepping out of line. Absolutely nothing to see here. Move along.

  26. #26 |  Highway | 

    I like the characterization of “a relatively routine raid on a low-stakes poker game”. So these clowns dress up and do this routinely?

    It’s like the cops think they’re in some cheesy movie about the prohibition era, where if they show up at someone’s house and knock, the ‘perp’ is gonna push a button and all the gaming tables and cards and everything are going to flip over and slide into the floor to be replaced by sofas and a TV, and a bunch of guilty looking guys just watching a game, cracking wise at the cops who can’t catch ‘em red-handed.

    Here’s a hint, you thug SWAT goons: You’re not after Al Capone or Lucky Luciano. You’re ‘raiding’ the house of a 72 year old guy who can’t hear well, and likes to play poker with his friends.

  27. #27 |  fwb | 

    Typical government overreaction but then I’m sure it’s just about the taxes these players should be paying. It couldn’t be that playing poker is EVIL.

    Bet everyone of those cops got a boner out of this.

  28. #28 |  KristenS | 

    If it is a case of excessive force (which it certainly appears to be) I hope Awtry is acquitted.

    To quote one of my favorite movies: shit in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up faster.

  29. #29 |  Joe | 

    Cynical I hope you are wrong, but you may be right.

    BTW, what ultimately happened to Fredricks?

  30. #30 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Hey, good thing they came in full swat gear – sounds like it was a dangerous volatile situation.

  31. #31 |  Dave W. | 

    Bad story, but I was glad to see this part:

    After deputies arrived on the scene Wednesday night, announcing themselves and parking a patrol car outside with blue lights and a siren on . . .

    Now if that car has a camera we may be able to tell whether an announcement was made. Doesn’t excuse the tactics, but mitigates them. This guy may have known that he was shooting at police.

    I didn’t know that bullets go through reinforced doors very well (the door was supposedly reinforced).

  32. #32 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Oh, wait, the NRA kowtows to politicians and licks the boots of law enforcement.

    That’s partly true, but not 100%. Remember that plenty of people in law enforcement want to disarm the population.

  33. #33 |  Cynical in CA | 

    @ #28 | KristenS

    Geek Stink Breath by Green Day (1995) was the first time I heard that expression. It predates Bad Santa (2003). Trying to find the original source, but it seems like it’s anonymous and old.

    @ #29 | Joe

    http://hamptonroads.com/2009/02/verdict-reached-ryan-frederick-trial-details-come-0

    10 years for manslaughter. Can’t find any more recent info (appeals, etc.)No charge for the research.

  34. #34 |  Nathan A | 

    Much like marijuana, the worst thing about playing poker is what happens if the government catches you doing it…

  35. #35 |  Dave W. | 

    Oh yeah, and they supposedly found drugs (which may or may noy have been planted).

  36. #36 |  Dan Danknick | 

    From the website of the Greenville County SWAT team:

    Formed in 1977, the purpose and mission of the SWAT team is to handle high-risk operations in a manner that reduces the chance of violence, injury, or death. High-risk situations include hostage incidents, barricaded suspects, sniper/active shooters, high-risk warrants, manhunt operations, or other tactical problems.

    Not to ever defend these mooks but you have to wonder what the SWAT commander told his guys about who was inside the house. And I think it would be great to enforce mandatory drug testing of SWAT teams as an after-action response if anyone is shot. Would love to know how many of those guys were hopped up on “performance enhancers.”

    One final clarification, Lt. Shea Smith: perhaps to you, “…the first emotion is we’re all fearful for that deputy’s safety…” but to many more the first emotion was “Man, we need to buy Mr. Awtry some heavier firepower.”

  37. #37 |  EH | 

    Dave W.: Or prescription.

  38. #38 |  KristenS | 

    Cynical…yeah, but it was Bad Santa, which is much funnier than Green Day.

  39. #39 |  Bob | 

    Here’s the part that pisses me off… This is from the comments in the linked article:

    I am sure the DA of the county/city where this occurred is going to throw the book at this guy mainly because he shot Police Officers whe were serving a search warrant on the location that a JUDGE gave them permission to do. Politics…These Cops are just doing what they get paid to do. They may not agree with breaking up a home game of Poker but this is an illegal activity in South Carolina and those sworn to serve and protect were following orders.

    Awwwww!!! The cops were just doing their job! Isn’t that cute? Of course, this absolves them of any blame whatsoever. As well as their superiors, who wasted months of effort and put over a dozen people at risk of getting killed just to stop a poker game. Just who are these guys “serving and protecting?”

    The very definition of a Police State is when the police can act with no regard to their stated mission and do so with total impunity.

    So! Let’s tally the bill!

    1) Months of surveillance. Gotta be 10s of thousands of dollars.
    2) Operational costs for the raid itself. More thousands of dollars.
    3) Administrative costs of processing 11 mickey mouse 100 dollar misdemeanor citations. More thousands of dollars.
    4) Trial for the shooter. Could be a hundred grand.
    5) Incarcerating a 72 year old for the rest of his life. Hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    And this is a “relatively routine raid”. Yeah, I feel so protected and served.

  40. #40 |  Medicine Man | 

    I’m speechless. Never mind the absurd over-the-top tactics, just what were the police defending society from in this case. Dangerous felons? Moral decay? Oh wait! Redistribution of wealth! There we go. Lunacy.

    The really depressing part is you know how things got this way: a significant portion of the populace is just pants-wetting scared, about crime or you name it, and in love with authority. I don’t envy libertarians; you’re not only crying foul on the natural tendency of intrusive bureaucracy to self-perpetuate, but also fighting the wishes of people who only want to be protected and told what to do. Its just maddening.

  41. #41 |  Joe | 

    Cynical, thanks. It is depressing stuff.

    BTW–Costco and other retailers have some DVR camera set ups (they work at night too) that you can position around your house. They continuously record and can down load via the internet. It might be good to have for burglaries, malicious mischief, watching what animals come into your yard at night, or over eager police.

  42. #42 |  JS | 

    Medicine Man “The really depressing part is you know how things got this way: a significant portion of the populace is just pants-wetting scared, about crime or you name it, and in love with authority.”

    This reminds me of a post I made a few days ago on another thread that is worth saying again:

    I have a friend who is a minister on staff at a huge Baptist church, which seems more republican than Christian. Anyway, the people there have an almost reverent worship of anyone in a government issued uniform, both cops and military. I’m not sure why this is, maybe because they are white and affluent and afraid that if it weren’t for cops all these evil minorities would invade their neighborhoods? Same with the military-they really seem to believe that if we weren’t over there killing muslims they would be sailing up the potomac by now. Maybe that kind of moral panic plays a part in the law and order conservative mentality and explains why they tend to see the cop or soldier as almost incapable of doing wrong.

  43. #43 |  Bob | 

    #41 Joe

    Cynical, thanks. It is depressing stuff.

    BTW–Costco and other retailers have some DVR camera set ups (they work at night too) that you can position around your house. They continuously record and can down load via the internet. It might be good to have for burglaries, malicious mischief, watching what animals come into your yard at night, or over eager police.

    Ain’t no way I’m buying a surveillance system from Costco.

  44. #44 |  Marty | 

    #18 | Cynical in CA-

    I’m just gonna lie down and have my stroke. thanks!

  45. #45 |  Mattocracy | 

    This is another example of Libertarianism happening to someone.

  46. #46 |  Ben | 

    I am in no way defending the cops, however, Mr. Awtry failed to abide by one of the first rules of gun safety: Know your target and what is beyond. The THOUGHT he was being robbed. He blindly discharged his weapon through a door and injured the person on the other side.

    Regardless of the intent of the people on the other side of the door, it was not a smart action.

  47. #47 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    BTW–Costco and other retailers have some DVR camera set ups…

    And yet, when police shot Erik Scott at Costco, they weren’t able to salvage any of the surveillance footage. Ironic.

  48. #48 |  Aresen | 

    Police seized about $5,000 in cash

    When my friends and I played “Cops and Robbers” as kids, we were on two different teams.

  49. #49 |  albatross | 

    Aresen:

    See, that’s where the notion of public-private partnerships comes in….

  50. #50 |  aJOHNymous | 

    I can’t click on the links or view the video here at work (company firewall happens to block these things, but not this site) so I can’t verify this or not, but what are the odds that this gentleman is a veteran? If so, I wonder how he feels about “fighting for our freedoms” all those years ago and now getting stinkpalmed by the same government he swore to protect because he happened to be behind closed doors PLAYING CARDS WITH SOME BUDDIES. I can’t believe there are people out there trying to paint him as the bad guy here. Ugh. Happy Friday, fellow agitatortots.

  51. #51 |  LibertarianBlue | 

    Some thugs bust down my door I would’ve opened fire on them too. I don’t blame the old man one bit, cops are nothing but a bunch of government backed punks nothing more. Sadly you wont see accountability unless it’s an election year (and even thats a stretch) because they are supported by both thug “law and order” conservatives and statist liberals.

  52. #52 |  Bill | 

    Happy Friday to you, too, and happy Guy Fawkes Day. Just sayin’.

  53. #53 |  Bryan | 

    Not that it justifies the raid, but to be clear, it looks like this was more than a regular card game among friends. From the news report it looks like it was a regular casino/business.

    “The release said that deputies seized $4,785, two poker machines, two poker tables, three surveillance cameras, 3.7 grams of cocaine and about $2,000 worth of gambling paraphernalia.”

    I agree that having a casino in your house should not be illegal, but unfortunately it is. If the cops thought that it was a larger stakes operation going on there, there is a little more justification for a SWAT raid. I don’t know if simply staking the place out would have caught the guys, how long it would have taken or if they could have preserved the evidence.

  54. #54 |  goober1223 | 

    #46 | Ben | November 5th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I am in no way defending the cops, however, Mr. Awtry failed to abide by one of the first rules of gun safety: Know your target and what is beyond. The THOUGHT he was being robbed. He blindly discharged his weapon through a door and injured the person on the other side.

    Regardless of the intent of the people on the other side of the door, it was not a smart action.

    His target was a person or persons that were already attempting to break down his door. That’s enough knowledge for me to know that I’m not going to ask them upon entering, “Can I see some ID, gentlemen?”

  55. #55 |  Michael Chaney | 

    I have a friend who is a minister on staff at a huge Baptist church, which seems more republican than Christian. Anyway, the people there have an almost reverent worship of anyone in a government issued uniform, both cops and military.

    I’ve often pointed out that people like that (Baptists especially, it would seem) are “conservatives” first and “Christians” second. Where the two are in conflict – and there are plenty of beliefs conflicted between the two – they go with conservativism every time. Worship of authority is part of it.

    The distrust government, though, so when you point out that policemen are the front lines of government it makes their heads explode. Try it sometime.

  56. #56 |  omar | 

    @Cynical

    Trying to find the original source, but it seems like it’s anonymous and old.

    My grandmother used to say this to me this when I was a small child. She said she learned it from her mother. Although, she used the word “poop” for my small ears.

  57. #57 |  omar | 

    If the cops thought that it was a larger stakes operation going on there, there is a little more justification for a SWAT raid. I don’t know if simply staking the place out would have caught the guys, how long it would have taken or if they could have preserved the evidence.

    The larger the operation, the harder it is to destroy the evidence on the spot. I’d be hard pressed to shove $4,000 and a couple of slot machines down my toilet while the boys in blue wait 30 seconds for me to answer the door.

  58. #58 |  JS | 

    Michael Chaney “’ve often pointed out that people like that (Baptists especially, it would seem) are “conservatives” first and “Christians” second. Where the two are in conflict – and there are plenty of beliefs conflicted between the two – they go with conservativism every time. Worship of authority is part of it.

    The distrust government, though, so when you point out that policemen are the front lines of government it makes their heads explode. Try it sometime.”

    Yea I do get into that conversation with them once in a while and yea, you are totally right about that. You know what it is? They’re not Christians, they’re nationalists. Their religion is an mix of Bible and American patriotism. I pointed out to one some things just the other day. I said “Where in the New Testament does is say that the church needs to get conservative Christians on the Roman senate?” or “Where in the New Testament do we find a local church having roman soldier appreciation day or praising the Roman army for protecting our freedoms? Why is the relation of a Christian to America any different from the Christians in Bible times towards the Roman government?”

    They don’t mind me not going to their church so much!

  59. #59 |  Joe | 

    Bob, you can buy your electronic protection gear from whoever you wish! But the best defense is to be prepared. Guns on the front end, video documentation and lawyers for the legal battles to come.

    Protect your rights.

  60. #60 |  Cyto | 

    The police/state’s position in making these raids is utterly irrational. No one’s model of the universe should have to include potential responses to their door being knocked in. I have a hard time expecting that, asleep or not, one can expect well-thought-out rational responses to a battering ram suddenly taking your front door out.

    Let’s just follow that line of reasoning for a moment – the one that the prosecution will enforce with the full power of the state. You are sitting on the couch watching Jeopardy with your wife. You keep a gun near the couch because you and the wife are getting old and frail, and the neighborhood is pretty rough. A couple of friends got mugged at the Kroger last week!

    Suddenly, the room is shaken by a series of very loud bangs. You look to the source and your front door is splintering to pieces, glass is showering in from the little skylight.

    Do you think to yourself – “hey, I bet this is just the police executing a no-knock search warrant on the wrong house. I’ll wait here on the couch with my wife while they let themselves in.”?

    Or do you go “Holy shit, run to your room Honey!” as you grab your gun, certain that a couple of those rough looking thugs you saw down on the corner are kicking your door in?

    Which response is more rational? Is it at all rational to expect (with the full force of law) that faced with such circumstances one should stop and fully consider what is happening? Take a moment to calmly assess your assumptions as the door is coming in… Hey, it might not be those thugs…It could be a rapist!… or it could be some guy from down the street who thinks I’m having an affair with his wife… Oh, wait, it might be the police! Because the police come busting in front doors all the time, so I expect that this could happen to me! I’d better calm down and try to have a conversation with them to fully ascertain who is coming through my door with a battering ram, just to be safe.

    Because that makes sense….

    We really need to re-evaluate our police procedures and legal structure with this in mind. If you put citizens in a situation where the only sane, rational response puts people’s lives at risk (both police and citizens) as a matter of policy, your policy must change. It is reprehensible to routinely place people in a fight-or-flight scenario in their own home and expect that they will instantaneously process what is happening and fall prostrate before the police. Sure, in a majority of cases the police will be able to enter the dwelling quickly enough to take advantage of confusion and the resultant inaction on the part of the residents, but in the minority of cases someone will respond as they reasonably should in such circumstances – grabbing a weapon, sprinting for an alternate exit, generally responding as if they are being threatened with immediate and severe violence. And then even if he doesn’t grab a gun you are expecting that every one of the police officers present will respond with restraint when presented with someone jumping over the couch, or running for the fire poker, or digging in the chair for a phone. The entire policy is criminally stupid.

    The only rational thing to do is to end all raids on private dwellings unless a violent standoff is already under way. The marginal chance that some evidence might be destroyed while you are standing on the front porch knocking is not worth the risk to life and property and liberty posed by no-knock or announce and enter raids. We ended the practice of shooting “fleeing felons”, we can certainly end the “shock and awe” paramilitary raids. And how about not immediately returning fire through a closed door, huh? How about we back off and reassess instead? They are lucky they didn’t kill 3 or 4 people in that hail of 20 rifle bullets.

  61. #61 |  Cyto | 

    The interesting twist to this raid is that they backed off and negotiated the surrender of everyone in the house after the shots were fired. If they had used this tactic in the first place nobody would have gotten hurt.

    The SWAT team’s manifesto is that they exist to handle situations where armed standoffs and hostages are in play. Yet they didn’t use SWAT raid tactics once armed standoffs and unarmed bystanders were in play. There’s got to be a lesson in there somewhere….

  62. #62 |  Joe | 

    Cyto you are correct in principle. But you still have to protect yourself on the practical. Sometimes it takes a while for the principle to catch up.

  63. #63 |  Bryan | 

    “The larger the operation, the harder it is to destroy the evidence on the spot. I’d be hard pressed to shove $4,000 and a couple of slot machines down my toilet while the boys in blue wait 30 seconds for me to answer the door.”

    My comment about destroying evidence was directed at a scenario where the cops staked out the house for a period of time to catch the owner peacefully as he left. That could have provided him an opportunity to destroy evidence.

    I am sorry, but if you are going in immediately to a house that you suspect is a larger scale gambling den, I would not require them to knock and wait for someone to answer. Depending on the size of the operation, I can understand the fear that the inhabitants might prepare themselves for a shoot out. There were clearly security cameras for them to know that cops were coming.

    Man, I really hate that I am defending cops here. I just don’t think this one is as clear cut as some of the swat raids Radley has profiled before. And again, my point has nothing to do with whether the gambling should have been legal in the first place (it should be). But once it is criminal, it is more understandable for the police to expect that a criminal element may be running the gambling operation and might not peacefully turn themselves in.

  64. #64 |  Bryan | 

    To further clarify though, I don’t think the home owner should be charged with much for attempting to defend his home. Unless its clear that he knew these were cops, it was an honest mistake and the natural result of the police’s tatics. It is the risk that they take in conducting these raids, which is why they should make sure that what they are busting is worth it.

  65. #65 |  Mannie | 

    #61 | Cyto | November 5th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    The interesting twist to this raid is that they backed off and negotiated the surrender of everyone in the house after the shots were fired. If they had used this tactic in the first place nobody would have gotten hurt.

    They initially thought there would be no resistance, and it was a completely safe raid. Once they were shown there might be danger, the brave cops backed off and didn’t endanger themselves.

    Brave cops. It shows you what SWAT tactics are really for.

  66. #66 |  Dante | 

    Bryan said:

    “The release said that deputies seized $4,785, two poker machines, two poker tables, three surveillance cameras, 3.7 grams of cocaine and about $2,000 worth of gambling paraphernalia.”

    In an unrelated story, the Policeman’s Charity Poker night is now back on the schedule. It’s gonna be fun.

  67. #67 |  Marty | 

    ‘Man, I really hate that I am defending cops here. I just don’t think this one is as clear cut as some of the swat raids Radley has profiled before.’

    it’s exactly as clear. people were gathered and peacefully participating in consensual activities. no one was being harmed until the swat team arrived. pretty clear to me…

  68. #68 |  Bob | 

    As far as I can tell, this is where the whole “Use SWAT to bust poker games” paradigm is especially heinous… this section of the South Carolina gaming code:

    SECTION 16-19-80. Forfeiture of wagers.

    All and every sum or sums of money staked, betted or pending on the event of any such game or games as aforesaid are hereby declared to be forfeited.

    This is conjunction with the maximum penalty being a misdemeanor means that SWAT is just raiding games to rob them.

    That’s right. Machine guns out, “Comply or die” right in your face, No-Knock raid with the express, beforehand knowledge that there is unlikely to be any crime being committed other than misdemeanors.

    Are you angry yet?

  69. #69 |  croaker | 

    Philadelphia cops enforce non-existent law on Lese Majesty.

    http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-national/should-insolence-be-cause-for-losing-guns

  70. #70 |  Highway | 

    The argument that all of a sudden a shootout might erupt if they know the cops are there is pretty ludicrous. I think pretty much everyone knows that there’s a HUGE difference between being on trial for running a small gambling operation and even attempted murder of a police officer.

    The reasoning by the cops who conduct these raids is always shown to be faulty. Why do they bust in and make the situation far more dangerous for everyone involved? Because they need to ‘preserve evidence’. Yet, as soon as they encounter any resistance, usually resulting from their initial escalation, they back off and have a standoff. So if it’s ok AFTER you meet resistance to back off and let them destroy the evidence, which at some point if you have any idea what it is is silly. Like in this case, poker machines and tables? They aren’t going anywhere. A lot of cash? Feh.

    “Why did you do the SWAT raid?”

    “Because we wanted to take control of the situation, it’s for officer safety.”

    “So why as soon as an officer was put in danger by gunshots from inside did you back off and go to a standoff?”

    “For officer safety.”

    “So which method is better for officer safety, then?”

    “The ‘dynamic entry’, of course.”

  71. #71 |  Bob | 

    Highway,

    they need the dynamic entry to preserve the cash. They get to take the cash that’s out, but money in people’s pockets might be harder to get. The wording on the statute that allows forfeiture of bets makes it clear that the money they get to take is the money on the table, or in any house box. You would have to be able to show that the money in a guy’s pocket is “Pending on the event.”

    Once people started getting hurt, they backed off. After all, they’re only there to steal the money. Not hurt people.

    That’s right, that’s the kind of good judgment the cops displayed.

  72. #72 |  delta | 

    #55: “Worship of authority is part of it.”

    Super well-put.

    “The distrust government, though, so when you point out that policemen are the front lines of government it makes their heads explode.”

    If only that literally worked, we could solve a lot of problems right quick.

  73. #73 |  JS | 

    Cyto “We really need to re-evaluate our police procedures and legal structure with this in mind.”

    Who’s we? This is a big part of the problem-the government at every level is almost completely unaccountable to the people. The idea that “we” can re-evaluate anything is a bit naive imo.

  74. #74 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Sorry for OT, but..

    BART cop Mehserle gets 2 years (minimum possible sentence) for shooting unarmed man in the back

    http://www.boingboing.net/2010/11/05/bart-cop-mehserle-ge.html#comments

  75. #75 |  InMD | 

    The dumbest part as usual is that they probably could have literally rang the door bell and given everyone the citations with no resistance or violence ensuing. Not that poker games are something people should be getting in trouble (much less drawn into a gun battle) over but I suppose that’s merely a side note at this point.

  76. #76 |  croaker | 

    @74 So this asshole ex-cop is going to do less time than Michael Vick?

    I’m surprised Oakland isn’t burning.

  77. #77 |  Donald | 

    Dear civics teachers-can I have all the time back that I wasted while you lied to me telling me I lived in a free country? Any students reading this-smoke all the weed you want and stay up late. Anything they teach you in school beyond how to read and do math is a waste of fucking time.

  78. #78 |  Bob | 

    #75 InMD

    The dumbest part as usual is that they probably could have literally rang the door bell and given everyone the citations with no resistance or violence ensuing. Not that poker games are something people should be getting in trouble (much less drawn into a gun battle) over but I suppose that’s merely a side note at this point.

    That would be true… especially since no one there is guilty of more than a misdemeanor.

    except for one thing.

    They’re also going to confiscate all money found on the premises.

    If they rang the doorbell… that would give the players time to grab their money and pocket it.

    This is all about the money. No amount of gambling is more than a misdemeanor in South Carolina. Yet… they sent a SWAT team to bust a misdemeanor game. All because South Carolina law allows for the forfeiture of ALL WAGERS in a misdemeanor crime.

  79. #79 |  JS | 

    Bob “except for one thing.

    They’re also going to confiscate all money found on the premises.”

    Then it’s just an armed theft pure and simple.

  80. #80 |  BamBam | 

    BART cop “I shot the guy in the back because I claim I thought it was my taser even though that wasn’t a justified action” gets minimum 2 year sentence

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/11/05/ex-transit-officer-gets-year-prison-sentence-bay-area-station-shooting/

  81. #81 |  TC | 

    If might be time for a new arms race?

    Security by Clay Moore

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=image+%22claymore%22&FORM=IGRE5#focal=a98377a9e297ac44579b9012e52a82e7&furl=http%3A%2F%2Fbasic-weapons-and-tactics.com%2Fb3_1512.gif

  82. #82 |  MPH | 

    Cappy said “Oh, wait, the NRA kowtows to politicians and licks the boots of law enforcement.”

    Join the Gun Owners of America. It isn’t nearly as old as the NRA, and perhaps not as effective, but when it comes to your second amendment rights, they refuse to compromise.

  83. #83 |  ClubMedSux | 

    Not that it justifies the raid, but to be clear, it looks like this was more than a regular card game among friends. From the news report it looks like it was a regular casino/business.

    “The release said that deputies seized $4,785, two poker machines, two poker tables, three surveillance cameras, 3.7 grams of cocaine and about $2,000 worth of gambling paraphernalia.”

    I think Bryan makes a good factual point, though I disagree with the conclusion he reaches. I’ve only played poker once so maybe my idea of low-stakes is different than a hardcore player’s idea, but clearly this wasn’t a regular neighborhood card game. It sounds to me like the difference between having some buddies over for beers and operating an unlicensed bar in your basement.

    Now that being said, it still doesn’t justify the use of SWAT. But the bigger point that *I* would take away is that this guy probably wouldn’t have $5k in cash and $2k in equipment in his house if GAMBLING WAS LEGAL!!! There are credible public policy reasons to not want a guy hosting these types of tourneys in a private residence (at least in the view of most politicians and many citizens) but my guess is that if gambling weren’t illegal then these types of tournaments would be taking place at local casinos, bars, card houses, whatever. Once again, we see how when you make something illegal you don’t get rid of it; you just drive it underground and make it more dangerous for the participants (not to mention the cops who put themselves in danger executing a completely needless raid).

  84. #84 |  Cynical in CA | 

    @ #58 | JS

    Brilliant comment. Hits the nail on the head. I am in convention services and the group in house this morning is exactly as you described — Christian, right wing, NATIONALISTIC. The subject was “Religion, Government and Money.” There is big money in this now, this synthesis of religion and politics. The daily double — the two imaginary concepts that hold people’s interest like nothing else, except sex, but at least sex is real.

    George Will, Mencius Moldbug both wrote essays this week about the true conflict in America, something Joe Sobran once characterized as nativism (conservatives) vs. alienism (progressives).

  85. #85 |  Cynical in CA | 

    The answer to this particular case was to have proactively invited members of the police force to participate in the gambling — then there would have been no raid. In fact, I suspect the entire premise of the raid was that the operators were not cutting law enforcement in on the action.

    Tony Soprano was smart enough to have politicians and such at his high-stakes games.

  86. #86 |  JS | 

    Cynical “The answer to this particular case was to have proactively invited members of the police force to participate in the gambling — then there would have been no raid. In fact, I suspect the entire premise of the raid was that the operators were not cutting law enforcement in on the action.”

    This is absolutely right. I have a friend who went out with his older brother and some of his friends fishing in Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. One of the friends that went them was a cop. No one on the boat had a fishing license (permission from the government) and the game wardens boarded them angry and rude until the cop showed them his badge, then it was all smiles and no one got a ticket for fishing without permission from the government.

  87. #87 |  JS | 

    Hey Cynical check this out:

    http://www.gregboyd.dreamhosters.com/books/myth-of-a-christian-nation-3/

    They need more like this guy

  88. #88 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Good read, JS. I personally disagree with all organized religion, but the need to keep religion out of politics, as impossible as that may be, is obvious.

  89. #89 |  Bryan | 

    “it’s exactly as clear. people were gathered and peacefully participating in consensual activities. no one was being harmed until the swat team arrived. pretty clear to me…”

    You missed the point. No one said that the poker game should be illegal. Unfortunately, it is. So the question becomes one of police tatics. My point is only, if you think its larger scale gambling operation, the SWAT raid is not necessarily out of line. Sure they could go up and knock and wait for an answer, but depedning on the size of the gambling operation, that tatic could (more often then not) put more people at risk. Again though, I agree with you that the best course of action is to legalize the underlying conduct. Then no one gets hurt.

  90. #90 |  Pinandpuller | 

    I’m suprised some enterprising person on the GA border hasn’t put together a recreation of the bar scene from “Sergeant York”.

    If that doesn’t ring a bell, TN was dry and KY could sell booze so they had a bar on the border with a line down the middle. Buy it in KY, drink it in TN.

  91. #91 |  A time for CHANGE | 

    I’ve read every post that I could find with my inadequte internet “lack of” skills, on this most unfortunate incident… that NEVER had to happen. I would first like to wish Matthew May a very speedy and complete recovery of his injuries he sustained in this incident. I would also wish Aaron that same result. This is difficult for me, as Aaron is a very good friend of mine,and like family, you hope no harm ever comes to the people you love & care about. The obvious injuries, pale in comparison, to the lifelong tragedy they BOTH will carry for the rest of their God given days in their minds. I used to play in some of these games,for me the risk was not worth the reward. So, I choose to play in well secured legal casino’s,not becuase it is “unlawful”, (Remember daily numbers were also “unlawful”, until the states realized the revenue it could “rake” if they made it legal…ah hah… let’s start a lottery !) Many of these local games are in fact ROBBED at gunpoint usually by men usually 2 or more that bolt through the door in dark clothing w/masks worn. I’ve never seen a SWAT outfit…someone please describe it for me. I know that Aaron has been served previously with this same crime at another location. No shots were fired,money was taken (confiscated) and tickets were issued. So, for me it’s difficult to understand why this level of force was deemed necessary. Think about it. This was allegedly investigated for 30 days,don’t you think by then, that they knew EXACTLY who they were dealling with? SOMEONE gave those orders,SOMEONE made a decission on “The best way to execute this warrent, with the SAFETY of EVERYONE in mind. This is an example of a poorly thought out ( I HOPE) decission. This person has hopefully learned from a bad decission that was directly partially responsible for the injury to one of his/hers greatest assets… an officer who is trained to carry out orders given by hopefully a LEADER who begins with the end in mind and providing solutions and plans that will ackomplish the most important objective… KEEP your PEOPLE as safe as possible, as well as the general public. How would we be reacting to this if that poker table was within target area of the door and 20 shots fired and KILLED people who were only playing cards and lost their lives for a CRIME that carries a $100.00 fine. For me …it’s not about the details of what happened…. It’s about what ABSOLUTELY DID”NT HAVE TO HAPPEN…if a more prudent leadership decission had been made. I know I’m all over the place with this post…. It’s not my strong suit.These affected people will carry thoughts of how this went down,for me …IT never should have happened. I’m certain that all directly involved, their families, and friends, wish there was somehow,a different PLAN that evening. Now,as far as the “fortified door” and cameras, I’m sure by now after all the robberies that have happened, this a standard deterant anywhere the games are held. “All that gambling equiptment… most carry lots of poker chips, that can be purchased online and even at good ‘ole Walmart for tourneys where several players are involved. Knowing Aaron as I do, and yes the poor hearing is REAL,believe me I know!He reacted to a situation to protect “his” players. It was probably his reaction based on past robberies he’s endured, Inever knew him to have a gun, I’m guessing it was fear of what has happened in past situations. Selfishly for me, I saw years ago, that the risk of violence was not rewarding enough for me to continue to play at private games and feel fortunate to come to the RIGHT DECISION for me, given all the potential consequenses. I hope WE AS A PEOPLE will empower (VOTE into office) the right people with proven, prudent, judgement decissions for the SAFETY FIRST, EVERYTIME, LEADERSHIP that I feel played the biggest part in this unfortunate escallation that NEVER had to occur.

  92. #92 |  Joe | 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Iwp1d7eKbA

    propaganda.

  93. #93 |  Ed Dunkle | 

    If you’d like to express your opinion to the sheriff:

    Steve Loftis, Sheriff

    4 McGee St.
    Greenville, SC 29601

  94. #94 |  Duncan20903 | 

    Back in 1984 in Falls Church VA I had the unpleasant experience of a fellow who was high on PCP decide that he should kick in the door to my home and express himself in a violent and totally irrational manner, claiming that he wanted his guitar and that I had it hidden from him. Just FYI I was and am clueless why this guy thought I had his guitar. It seems the police don’t have much trouble tracking down gibbering lunatics and set up a nice room for him at the local Graybar Hotel. When the trial came around all of the prosecution witnesses were excluded from the court room until finished with all potential testimony. That included myself and three cops. After they led us out and closed the courtroom one cop says, hey let’s play poker, looks at me and says “do you play poker for money?” Normally I don’t but it was intriguing to sit in the waiting area of the Fairfax County VA courthouse and play poker for money with 3 Fairfax County cops just to kill some time, two of them detectives not beat cops. They explained to me that it was perfectly legal in VA to have parimutuel wagering in a poker game. It only became illegal gambling if there was a ‘house’ taking a cut of the kitty. That’s over 25 years ago so it could well have changed just like the parole eligibility did.

    I actually ended up winning about $5. No it wasn’t a particularly high stakes game. Not as high stakes as trying to find your guitar in a stranger’s home when high on PCP. That guy ended up getting a 5 year term for the instant offense and another 3 on top of that because he was already on felony probation. This was before Virginia did away with parole so he was likely eligible to get paroled after about a year and a half, though with a very low chance of getting paroled on the first or second try because he had violated the terms of his previous release. I never did actually find out how long they kept him. I did and do ponder from time to time why I had such a total lack of interest in what happened to the guy after the trial, but in fact I really didn’t give a chit. I felt pity for his poor mother. It was suggested by a number of ambulance chasers that I could get some money in a settlement but I’d have had to have sued the man’s mother and ultimately I didn’t care what the law was, I couldn’t justify trying to hold her liable for her lunatic son. I’m really skeptical that she would have been liable as her ‘involvement’ was lending him her car with which he drove to my neighborhood, and that she knew or should have known that he was a deranged lunatic that used PCP. Even if the law did hold her responsible, I couldn’t as it just seemed to me that suffering the fate of having this deranged idiot for a son was punishment enough. I’d have been pleased to take his money but as a PCP user on felony probation he really didn’t have even the proverbial pot for urination containment and disposal.

  95. #95 |  Marty | 

    #89 | Bryan |

    ‘You missed the point. No one said that the poker game should be illegal. Unfortunately, it is. So the question becomes one of police tatics.’

    I’m not arguing legalities. I said the activity was consensual and peaceful and that violence was introduced by the police. You’re trying to justify this by calling their actions ‘tactics’. They initiated force against peaceful people- that’s not ‘tactics’. If it would’ve been a hostage situation, then tactics comes into play. I believe you originally stated that this doesn’t fit Radley’s critique of SWAT usage and I feel this is exacty what Radley means when he talks about unnecessary deployment of SWAT teams.

    My buddy brewed beer by cooking the wort on his patio- he stepped out his back door and was looking at 2 swat team (drug task force team) members pointing rifles at his him. A neighbor called the drug hotline and reported that ‘someone might be cooking meth’… this is so common and innappropriate. This was a nice neighborhood and there were no other issues with him. is this justifiable to you?

  96. #96 |  Bob | 

    #85 Cynical in CA

    The answer to this particular case was to have proactively invited members of the police force to participate in the gambling — then there would have been no raid. In fact, I suspect the entire premise of the raid was that the operators were not cutting law enforcement in on the action.

    Tony Soprano was smart enough to have politicians and such at his high-stakes games.

    Not only that, but you’d have armed guards on hand in case non-police affiliated robbers tried to jack your game.

    Just make sure you ‘let’ the visiting cops win some money each time. They’ll look at it as “paid overtime” and you’ll get the protection you need. The department as a whole will view your game as an asset and leave it alone. In fact, they may even drive past it a few times to make sure it’s safe from being robbed.

  97. #97 |  Bob | 

    Jesus Christ, Marty.

    Do they even HAVE regular cops where you live? Are they ALL SWAT? It could be a pilot program to test out the all SWAT Police Force of the future.

  98. #98 |  Bergman | 

    I’ve been drawing up plans off and on, for renovations to the house I’m currently saving for. Among them, are things like steel pocket doors for external doors, shatterproof windows too small to climb through, fireproof siding and a good audio/visual security camera system that triggers when the fence gets breached.

    I’m not particularly afraid of street gangs or home invasion robbers, but I would love to be able to post footage to youtube of a SWAT raid trying to batter down my front door, rebounding off of it, and falling on their collective asses.

  99. #99 |  Poker Raid Turns to Gunfight - INGunOwners | 

    […] Poker Raid Turns to Gunfight Three things went wrong here . One . That AAron Awtry is charged with a crime . Two . That the round he fired only hit the thugs arm . Three . That more citizens in the room were not armed and opened fire . Poker Raid Turns to Gunfight | The Agitator […]

  100. #100 |  Bill Koehler | 

    Time for some jury nullification…

  101. #101 |  freekory | 

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    Current Criminal Case:

    January 23, 2010- Kory robbed at gunpoint at his house by two unknown males. Pistol whipped and kicked in the head until unconscious. No police report filed, but did go to hospital. Total loss of approx. 20,000 in cash, electronics, and valuables.
    March (towards end of month, not sure exact date), 2010- Kory was notified that persons who had robbed him were planning on returning. And would possibly be wearing fake police uniforms to gain entry.

    March 31st:
    Police get affidavit signed. . Start surveillance at Kory’s residence at 9:45pm. Warrant signed at ________ by _______________.

    April 1st
    (Kory and Lauren (who is 2 months preg. With Kory’s child) both in Kitchen- preparing to leave to go to a friends house- then to winstar)
    3:00am:
    Friend leaves house and calls Kory and Lauren’s phone to inform them that when he left he saw a black SUV outside the house, with someone inside. Lauren ask Kory to go and check it out but he blows it off.

    3:11am:
    Sudden loud banging on door- caught of guard,

    Kory immediately assumes that he is being robbed again. He gets his gun from on top or the fridge and shoots three rounds in to the side wall of house (directly in front of him) as a warning to whomever is coming in that he has a gun too.
    As they continue to enter residence both Kory and Lauren retreat to the garage through the laundry room.
    As they retreat Kory fires three more rounds (two in ceiling and one out the window)
    NO SHOTS WERE EVER FIRED TOWARD THE DIRECTION OF THE FRONT DOOR WHERE POLICE WERE ENTERING.
    While retreating over 30 rounds were shot at both Lauren and Kory. If he had not only pointed, but fired at two separate officers, wouldn’t they have shot him?
    Once in garage they decide they are going to try to run for help(still unaware its police)
    KORY THROWS HIS GUN UNDER THE TAHOE and then opens garage.

    When garage door is opened Kory retreats. (HOWEVER WITH NO WEAPON IN HIS POSSESION HOW COULD HE BE CHARGED WITH AGG ASSLT> HOW COULD HE POINT HIS WEAPON AT AN OFFICER WHO WAS LAYING ON THE LAWN IN THE DARK IF HE NO LONGER HAD IT????)
    He makes it less than 3 ft, then is shot in the thigh by an officer that was stationed on front lawn ( this is the officer he SUPPOSEDLY aimed a NO-LONGER-LOADED gun at).
    The gunshot hit the main artery of Kory’s leg and an officer had to put his finger in the wound so Kory wouldn’t bleed out at the scene. (They continued to search the house until 10pm that evening.)
    Once we were notified that the house was raided his mother immediately went to the house for Kory’s and Lauren’s dogs(2).
    When she got there the officers were still wearing masks and one officer was very hostile towards her stating that “he couldn’t care less where those damn dogs were “ and that he “couldn’t tell where Kory was”. Another officer let her know that she could pick the dogs up from the pound when it opened. And that “there was only one jail in Arlington”- implying that he was at the Arlington Jail (which he wasn’t). It wasn’t until his mother went to pick up the dogs at the pound where she was met by Lauren’s mother who informed her that Kory had been shot. Once we found out we began trying to find him at several different Hospitals and Jails. We were then informed that we were not allowed to know ANY information about Kory (including his location, where he was shot, if he had had surgery, if he was critical, ect.) for FIVE days, due to their POLICIES. Couldn’t go near house due to the fact it was an active crime scene.
    April 2:
    I was the first one to go into house after police had left. Didn’t touch anything but notice they hadn’t taken any computers except for Korys brand new Mac Book Pro. Also notice how sloppy Police were (left drug test kits, paraphernalia, and bullets that they had shot in house) Informed Kory’s mother that they had left the house- she promptly comes over with Lisa (Kory’s son’s mother) and take over 100 pics of the house.
    Later that week- Hire an investigator from ER investigations (referred to us by Shaw)- under the pretense that he would be collecting forensic evidence on our behalf (to prove through bullet trajectory that Kory wasn’t shooting at Officers) A couple days later he came to Kory’s house and met with Lauren and I. When he was there he said it was obvious that he wasn’t shooting at the police, but that the only way we could clear Kory of any charges would be if he snitched or if we snitched and it could be credited to him.
    Later the same day- Lauren and I go to Lori’s house to get paperwork for Lauren’s probation check in. When we were about to leave we were told that someone who had just left Lori’s house had been pulled over on 287. Then Lori leaves and is also pulled over on 287. Then Lauren and I leave and are pulled over on 287 (for speeding-but we had cruise control on). We were detained at 7-11 where at least 7 different officers and a k-9 unit search the car (including engine) looking for large amounts of money???? We were both searched once by a male officer and then again by a female. Were held there for over an hour- after finding only a GHB test kit (left by police at Kory’s house that we were bringing to Shaw’s office) and synthetic urine. We were never given a ticket- however an officer did call Lauren’s probation officer and told him that she was involved in a drug raid and had synthetic urine in the car she was driving.
    Kory’s bond reduction/setting court date set on____. Charges that had no bonds set were set, however both the Att. Capital Murd. Charges were kept at a million dollars each. PER D.A. LISA CALLAHAN. Also- notified that both Billy and Lauren would have a future court date to decide whether or not Shaw could represent them due to conflict of interest. Shaw files appeal on bond settings.
    On April 23rd 2010, Billy and Lauren’s court date about conflict of interest- both are told they need new lawyers-and subsequently given court appointed lawyers. (Why? If Billy and Kory had both been represented by Shaw for the past five years on that case? Why NOW is it a conflict??) Lauren arrested at this court hearing for probation violation.
    A coupleof months later Callahan decided to force Jim Shaw off of Kory’s case as well. Ststing conflict of interest… but he was no longer representing any other parties in this case. Jim Shaw has since been removed from his case and he was given a court app. Lawer who has still not made contact with Kory. As of 11/14/10 it has been over a month and he has yet to hear from his attny at all. And he can not afford another attny b/c shaw refuses to refund any of the 35,000 dollars that Kory had given him for his legal defense. Yet he did NOTHING to defend him, nor did he file a timely appeal to his outrageous bond ammts as promised.

    So many things wrong with the whole situation. I am very aware that Kory has made very poor judgement in his lifestyle, as is he. I’m not in anyway trying to deny that he was involved in criminal activity and in illegal substances- I’m just trying to get him legal justice for the charges alleged against him which are totally unfounded. 2 att capital murders- when he never shot toward police (and thought he was being robbed) and in police swarn statement NOTHING ABOUT ANY SHOOTING WAS MENTIONED- and when looked up the actual offence report of the shooting LAUREN WHAYLEN is the only one listed as the offender? And an agg asslt against a police officer?? that he never even saw? When he no longer had a weapon?? who actually shot him and almost took his life?? Please someone help.

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