State of Tennessee vs. Mary Winkler
Mary Winkler, a preacher’s wife, was charged with first degree murder of her husband. The case garnered national attention from every possible media outlet including CNN, LARRY KING, NANCY GRACE, OPRAH WINFREY, & PEOPLE MAGAZINE. The Winkler trial, covered by COURT TV, was considered the most highly publicized murder trial in the South. After a lengthy trial, the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, a lesser crime which carried a maximum of six years incarceration vs. the possible life imprisonment sentence under first degree murder. Winkler was later sentenced to three years with 67 days to serve.
State of Tennessee vs. Peter Nicholson – Nicholson, a white police officer, was charged with the “execution style” murder of Roadie Dale Gossett, a 17 year old black male, after a high-speed chase. This case, covered by Court TV, resulted in a criminally negligent homicide conviction. Nicholson received one-year probation and later, his record was expunged.
State of Tennessee vs. Michael Mullins – a Federal Express captain was accused of killing his Federal Express captain wife in Memphis and taking her body to a remote location in Mississippi and burning it inside her van. The trial lasted nine days and some 50 witnesses testified. The jury returned a not guilty verdict in less than an hour. This was a capital case. A year later the State of Mississippi tried Mullins on an arson charge concerning the vehicle which contained his wife’s charred body. The Trial Judge granted a directed verdict on the second day of trial. Mullins, who was on unpaid suspension until the cases were determined, was reinstated with back pay. He still flies for Federal Express.
U.S. vs. Danny Dillard – Tony represented Deputy Sheriff Danny Dillard of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi where he was charged with two counts of violating the civil rights of Billy Ray Stone. Stone had kidnapped a woman at gunpoint, stripped her and taped her up when he encountered a routine roadblock. He shot at officers and lead them on a high speed chase which resulted in a manhunt. Stone was found hiding in a shed where he shot and killed Lee County Sheriff Harold Ray Presley, a popular Sheriff who was a distant cousin of Elvis Presley. Deputy Dillard, along with another Deputy, was charged with beating Stone to death with a flashlight. This case was prosecuted by lawyers from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice out of Washington, D.C. A seven day trial ensued in Greenville, Ms., with Dillard being found not guilty of all charges.
State vs. Tonya Brown – Dr. Norman Asa Garrison, Jr., of Corinth, Mississippi, was accused of killing his ex-wife, Leigh Ann, in Missouri. The prosecution alleged that evidence at the scene included a surgical glove, a foot print (matching Dr. Garrison’s foot print), blood (matching Dr. Garrison’s blood type) and a finger print in the victim’s blood on a fence in the back yard (matching Dr. Garrison’s finger print). John B. Farese and John Booth Farese led the defense team that forged a successful defense of Dr. Garrison which resulted in a “Not Guilty” verdict.
A preliminary battle over Dr. Garrison’s extradition from Mississippi to Missouri was the subject of argument before the Mississippi Supreme Court, Taylor v. Garrison, 329 So. 2d 506 (3/26/76), and the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Garrison v. Smith, 413 F. Supp. 747 (4/30/76).
U. S. v. Thruman Clayton – Thurman Clayton, a seventeen year veteran of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, from Potts Camp, Mississippi, was charged in the United States Court for the Northern District of Mississippi with conspiring to “rip-off” a drug dealer (actually FBI undercover agent) another defendant. The evidence presented by the U. S. included taped conversations planning the deal, the marked money given to Clayton, taped radio communications the night of the event, testimony of FBI agents, testimony of an informant, and a signed confession. During a week long trial John B. Farese and John Booth Farese created substantial doubt that Clayton had intended to commit any crime. A tearful jury returned a verdict of “Not Guilty”, and, after the Court adjourned, the jury in an unprecedented outpouring of emotions greeted Clayton and his family with hand shakes and hugs.
State of Mississippi v. Rick Razzano – Steve Sr. represented this Ole Miss fullback (now with Tampa Bay) for two (2) counts of aggravated assault on some Ole Miss Law students. The jury hung 9-3 for acquittal. The case was not retried.
State of Mississippi v. Timothy Bilbro – After a three (3) day trial and numerous witnesses’ testimony Steve Sr. obtained a Not Guilty verdict on murder charges stemming from a shotgun slaying of Bilbro’s neighbor.
State of Mississippi v. Buck Burroughs – Burroughs, who had been convicted, had this case reversed on appeal due to a technicality. Steve Sr. represented him in the re-trial and obtained a Not Guilty verdict on two (2) counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (High Powered Rifle) on two (2) Delta State students.
State of Mississippi v. Thomas J. Watkins – Not Guilty was the verdict in this manslaughter charge stemming from Watkins shooting the ex-husband of his girlfriend twice with a 9mm pistol. The decedent was unarmed. Steve Sr. was his attorney.
State of Mississippi v. James Gregory Young – Steve Sr. got a directed verdict of Not Guilty on a Sexual Battery of a Minor case after three (3) days of trial.
State of Mississippi v. Sarah Edmondson – In a fill-in-the-blanks immunity deal, which was reluctantly signed by the District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District in Mississippi, Steve Sr. was able to obtain immunity from prosecution in the “Natural Born Killers” case. The defendant still had to answer to charges which were pending in Louisiana.
State of Mississippi v. Ron Stern – Not guilty on a murder charge in Union County – one (1) shot at an unarmed decedent.
State of Mississippi v. Joe Moore – Assault with weapon (knife) Jury trial found Not Guilty.
State of Tennessee v. Anthony Anderson – While filming “Hustle and Flow” in Memphis, Anderson was charged with forcible rape. Steve Sr. was co-counsel with Leslie Ballin and the case was dismissed at Preliminary Hearing. No indictment was sought by the State.
State of Tennessee v. Ridley Reese – Steve Sr. with co-counsel Leslie Ballin represented Mr. Reese on a First Degree Murder charge after a man was found beat to death with a fire extinguisher some 17 months prior. Mr. Reese was found Not Guilty by a jury after four (4) hours of deliberation.
State of Tennessee v. George Hughlett – Reputed Gang leader who was charged with First Degree Murder after the victim moved onto his turf. However, the jury doubted the dying declaration implicating the Defendant. The Defendant was acquitted.
United States v. Clyde Wade – Wade, a University of Memphis basketball player, was acquitted after a week long trial in Federal Court in an identity theft conspiracy case. Steve Sr. was his attorney.
United States v. Randul Hill – Steve Sr. filed a Motion to Suppress in a Meth case based on the traffic stop and the search of Mr. Hill’s RV. The motion was granted after a hearing in Federal Court. The case was dismissed.
United States v. Marcellus Hunt – Mr. Hunt took a conditional plea on a drug charge and received a 15 year sentence when the District Court Judge overruled his suppression. The 5th Circuit reversed and the case was dismissed. Steve Sr. represented Mr. Hunt.
State of Mississippi v. Loretha McCracken – Tony represented this 53 year old female charged with the murder of her married boyfriend while she was a passenger in his automobile traveling 70 m.p.h. down U.S. Highway 78 in Desoto County, Ms. He was shot in the neck with Ms. McCracken’s .38 caliber pistol. She gave multiple statements to police which were recorded by audio and video tape. Tony maintained that this was an accidental shooting case. The trial lasted three days with the State presenting fifteen witnesses and the defense presenting no witnesses. The jury deliberated for three hours and found her not guilty.
State of Mississippi v. Thomas Chew– Tony represented this Vietnam veteran who was charged with the crime of manslaughter for killing his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend who was at her house in Desoto County, Ms. Mr. Chew went to his girlfriend’s house to pick her up for a Saturday night date when he was attacked and beaten by the ex-boyfriend. Chew finally got away and went to his truck and returned to the house with his pistol to defend his girlfriend. A jury trial resulted with Chew being declared not guilty of the charge.
State of Mississippi v. Sammy McKenzie -Tony represented this client who was charged with the crimes of sexual battery and robbery in Union County, Ms. McKenzie was accused of giving a female a ride from Pontotoc, Ms., to New Albany, Ms., wherein she accused him of making her strip naked, sexually assaulting her, robbing her and leaving her naked on the side of the highway. The case resulted in a three day trial with the client being acquitted of all charges.
State of Mississippi v. Chas Brown – Tony represented the son of a State Senator from Columbus, Ms., indicted in Lowndes County, Ms., for sexual battery of a beautiful seventeen year old girl from Vernon, Alabama. Tony investigated this case and obtained sworn statements from fourteen witnesses that the State had not interviewed proving that the sexual encounter was consensual. The District Attorney’s office dismissed all charges on the day of trial.
U.S.A. v. W.H. “Buck” Tatum, Jr. -Tony represented the C.E.O. of the Bank of Falkner in a federal criminal action involving charges of bank fraud and money laundering in the Northern District of Mississippi. Mr. Tatum had allowed nominee loans to be made at the Bank which assisted customers in evading lending limits by allowing them to receive loans in family members names. He also allowed M. Thurston Little to disburse money through his Bank that Little had received from Martin R. Frankel of Connecticut. (Frankel had embezzled millions of dollars from insurance companies in Connecticut and other states in an unrelated Ponzi scheme.) The Bank of Falkner was closed by the F.D.I.C. in September of 2000. Tony was able to negotiate a plea agreement wherein Tatum received a sentence of 24 months in prison and reached a restitution agreement with the Government.
State of Mississippi v. Edward Crawford -Tony represented his client who was charged with selling cocaine during an undercover drug trafficking operation by the Ms. Bureau of Narcotics in Holly Springs, Ms. If convicted, the client could have faced incarceration of up to 30 years in the penitentiary and a fine of up to $1 million. A jury trial ensued and the client was found not guilty of the charge.
State of Mississippi v. Bobby Eppenger – Tony represented his client who was charged with selling cocaine hand to hand to an undercover agent for the Panola County-Tate County Drug Task Force in Tate County, Ms. The undercover agent was wearing a body-wire and the area was surveyed by supporting law enforcement agencies and agents. A jury trial resulted with the client being found not guilty of the charge.
U.S.A. v. John Phillip Berryhill – Tony represented this client in the United States District Court for the Northern District in Aberdeen, Ms., where he went to trial on the charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and the charge of possession of a sawed-off shotgun not registered to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. A jury deliberated for forty minutes before finding the client not guilty of all charges.
State of Mississippi v. Bonnie Little -Tony represented this 30 year old mother charged with the crime of manslaughter for the killing of her estranged husband in Tippah County, Ms. The testimony showed that the estranged husband went to Mrs. Little’s apartment and took their infant son from her. When Mrs. Little attempted to retrieve her son, Mr. Little struck her several times and dislocated her shoulder. Mrs. Little pulled a .25 caliber pistol from her coat and demanded that Mr. Little release her son. Mr. Little grabbed the gun and it discharged hitting him in the chest which resulted in his death. A jury deliberated for three hours and 15 minutes before returning a verdict of not guilty.
State of Tennessee v. Brenda Hamer – Tony was co-counsel with Steve Farese, Sr. where they represented this 32 year old client charged with the first-degree murder of her boyfriend in Hardeman County, Tennessee. Hamer claimed she shot her boyfriend in self-defense of her thirteen year old daughter. A jury deliberated for 56 minutes before finding the client not guilty.
State of Tennessee v. Brian Ernest -Tony was co-counsel with Steve Farese, Sr. where they represented this client on a second-degree murder charge in McNairy County, Tennessee, which arose out of a bar fight. This matter went to a jury trial with the client being found guilty of the lesser included offense of criminally negligent homicide.
State of Mississippi v. Harold Michael Mullins – Tony was co-counsel with Steve Farese, Sr. and Leslie Ballin defending the Federal Express pilot on the charge of third degree arson in Desoto County, Mississippi, for the burning of the family van where his wife’s charred body was found. A year after he was acquitted in Memphis, Tennessee, on the charge of first degree murder, he went to trial on the arson charge. At the end of the State’s case, the Judge granted a directed verdict of acquittal.
State of Mississippi v. Dustin Dill – Tony was co-counsel with Steve Farese, Sr., defending Dill, an Ole Miss student and Florida resident, on the charge of D.U.I. Death in Lafayette County, Ms. The decedent was a local resident and college student and officials named the highway where the accident happened in her honor. Dill’s blood alcohol at the time was 0.12% at the time of the accident. A five day jury trial ensued and a verdict of not guilty was returned.
State of Mississippi v. Raymond Patrick -Tony represented an elderly grocery store owner charged with the murder of a patron in Marshall County, Ms. The patron got mad at Mr. Patrick and left the store vowing to return to kill Mr. Patrick. The patron did in fact return to the store and an altercation occurred with Mr. Patrick shooting the patron in the back of the head outside the store. A jury trial was held and the judge instructed the jury on the charge of murder and on the lesser included offense of manslaughter over Tony’s objection. A hung jury resulted and a mistrial was declared. It was discovered that the jury had acquitted Mr. Patrick on murder but had hung up on the lesser included offense of manslaughter. An interlocutory appeal was granted to the Mississippi Supreme Court on the question of law of whether jeopardy had attached to the charge. While the appeal was pending, the District Attorney made the client an offer that he could not refuse. The client pled guilty to the reduced charge of manslaughter and was given probation.