3rd year law student and extern here at crime fighting central, Bianca Deforest, is the host of a new feature “Knocking Out Crime.”
In it Bianca reports to all of our spanish speaking friends and visitors the recent Assault trial of Jarad McGargo. Who backed his SUV into the front the Beer Trappe on Euclid Ave and in the process, seriously injured National Guard Captain Noel Espino .
Bianca, formerly from Miami, has previously appeared on Telemundo a spanish language television network. We, here at Crime Fighter’s Central, are grateful to her for writing and producing her hard hitting report of this tragedy so that English and Spanish speaking citizens will understand the seriousness of drunk driving.
On Friday, October 2, I was able to participate in a ride-along with the Lexington Police Department. Having signed up two weeks in advance, I became more and more excited as Friday grew closer. To me, it seemed like almost everyone in the office had already done a ride-along so I was thrilled to see what all the hype was about.
When you sign up for a ride-along, you are asked to complete a short form that asks which shift and sector you would like your ride along to be in. Mary Houlihan, my supervisor, told me that if I wanted to see a lot of action, I should request central sector, second shift. Central sector is the general area of downtown Lexington and other surrounding areas and second shift stretches from 4:00 P.M. to 2:00 A.M. I knew I was bound to see something interesting if I signed up for central sector, second shift, and boy was I correct!
BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE WHAC-A-MOLE REPORT
By Intern Paige Fetters
Each week on lexingtonprosecutor.com & Raytheda face book page, Ray gives the weekly WHAC-A-MOLE Video Report on persistent felony offenders in Fayette County.
As someone with very little broadcasting knowledge and is camera shy, I thought shooting a video, editing, and uploading it to multiple media sites would take hours. However, with Ray’s expertise in front of a camera and Blerina’s knack for editing, the process from start to finish took about 10 minutes.
Ray had the repeat offender statistics he needed for the report. We went in to the LPN (Lexington Prosecutor News) studio. The studio itself nothing more than a green sheet hung on the wall for the green screen, and a Mac computer used for the editing and uploading. Blerina shot the video on a small hand-held video camera that can be plugged directly into the Mac and uploads it to the Mac. Blerina then deletes the old video from the website and uploads the new video. The music and background animation playing during the video are already saved so the only thing that has to change is the video itself.
Blerina already has a lot of experience for editing videos so she breezed through the process of making sure the music and animation played, the sound was consistent, and that the lighting was bright enough for different parts of the video. She edited small sections out of the beginning and end when Ray was not speaking and replaced them with the WHAC-A-MOLE image.
There are files already saved on the Mac for the specific content for the web site. Once Blerina finished editing the video, she uploaded the video to the top of the lexingtonprosecutor.com website. She also uploaded the video to YouTube and to Face book. It was very interesting to see the execution of the video and how quickly it can be completed.
Today I experienced my first jury selection. It was not like I imagined it would be. Before attending today I thought that they just chose twelve random people and told them to come to court. However, I was wrong there is way more that goes into this process. There is a group of random people selected and then the process begins to establish the final twelve. Not only is this time consuming, but it also a tedious process. Both the prosecutor and the defense attorney asked the potential jury a series of questions. In addition to being asked questions by the judge.
I now completely understand why this process is important. In order to keep the jury as fair as possible people that have prior assumptions and opinions before the trial begins must be eliminated. The case in which they were selecting a jury for dealt with a marine that was hit by a firefighter who was under the influence. So if anyone had any association with marines or felt strongly about being under the influence they would be asked to further questions by the judge. This was to ensure that these perceived notions would not affect their judgment.
Overall I am glad I received the opportunity to view this process. Now I have a better understanding how this works. As a journalist I feel like my understanding of crime and the judicial system has improved.
Earlier this morning, I was able to attend “In Touch” with Ray the D.A. and Victim’s Advocate Chase Barnett. “In Touch” is a radio show Ray records with Officer Don that airs every Sunday on all Clear Channel stations including 98.1 The Bull
Today, Ray the D.A. and Officer Don discussed interns in the office doing ride alongs with police officers. I was excited and interested to hear more about what they had to say because I plan on going on a ride along during my time here as an intern.
Ray the D.A. and Officer Don discussed the new possibility of adding a bullet proof film to the windshield of police cruisers; a topic of discussion due to the recent murder of Officer Cameron Ponder.
On September 16, 2015, I attended the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Training Conference with guest speakers, Dr. Neil Websdale, Matthew Dale, and Chief Jerald Monahan. This was an interesting training because we learned about domestic violence, red flags associated with DV, agencies that can be in contact with DV victims, and policies that are implemented. I learned that we will never be able to understand why domestic violence occurs, but what we can do is review DV fatality cases. Reviewing these cases helps understand what was occurring in the victim’s life prior to the event, what agencies could or should have done to possibly prevent the fatality, and use this information to help save someone else’s life. What I found to be the most helpful information from this training was how important is it to notice events/ red flags in DV cases, investigation is important to a DV case because it will help keep dangerous individuals off the streets/away from their victims, and we as a society need to be more aware of the world around us.
My name is Hillary Chambers, and I am a third-year law student at the University of Kentucky College of Law. This semester, I am participating in the prosecutorial externship taught by Ray Larson, which requires me, or I should say allows me, to spend ten hours each week working with the prosecutors at the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office here in Lexington. However, this is not my first time interning for Ray the D.A.; I participated in the undergraduate intern program in the summer of 2012, and enjoyed it so much that I stuck around until I graduated in May of 2013!
I cannot emphasize enough how much I have learned from working in this office. During my undergraduate internship, I learned how to learn. No, that is not a typo. I learned that if you are interested in something and want to know more about it, then it is your responsibility to make that happen. I learned to be aggressive about asking to be included in things like witness meetings, case investigations, and court proceedings, and I also learned to speak up when I don’t understand something and ask someone to explain it to me. The qualities I have just described are ones that would have benefited me even had I not chosen to go to law school or to pursue a legal career.
But I did decide to go to law school, and I plan to pursue a legal career. Interning at the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office now, with two years of law school under my belt, I have a very different perspective. I notice things that I didn’t notice before, like the fact that the same criminal defendants come through the court system over and over again, often times for committing the same crimes. Many of these defendants have extensive criminal records and are uncooperative with the court and even their own attorneys, yet they continue to get released into the community. Seeing this vicious cycle first-hand causes me to question the criminal justice system and wonder if it could be improved. This experience causes me to ask myself, “what changes could be made to improve the system?” It’s obvious that competing interests are at play, but there has to be a better way to balance the constitutional rights of criminal defendants and the protection of our communities from dangerous criminals.