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Articles by Monte McCoin

$600,000 Awarded Missouri Man in Legal Malpractice Verdict After 17 Years in Prison

by Monte McCoin

In May 2018, jurors in a Newton County Circuit courtroom awarded $600,000 to a man who spent 17 years in a Missouri prison before his conviction was overturned by that state’s supreme court.

Dwight D. Laughlin won the verdict in a malpractice lawsuit against his public defender, ...

Maryland Couple Questioned After Police Misidentify Mushrooms in Facebook Post

by Monte McCoin

On May 11, 2018, John Garrison and girlfriend Hope Deery spent a day in the mountains, hiking and foraging for wild morel mushrooms, which were common near Darlington, Maryland.

Like many people do without a second thought, they posted pictures and descriptions of their adventure on Facebook, ...

Louisiana: No Charges for Cops Who Shot Alton Sterling, Despite Body-Cam Evidence

by Monte McCoin

Two white police officers who were involved in the 2016 death of an unarmed black man at a Baton Rouge convenience store were disciplined, but not criminally charged, for their roles in the incident, despite body-cam video evidence that appears to show the use of excessive force.

Although Alton Sterling’s death by police shooting was captured by at least six video sources, including footage from Baton Rouge Police Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II’s body-worn cameras.

On March 27, 2018, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced that no state charges would be filed against the pair for their roles in Sterling’s death. “This decision was not taken lightly,” Landry said. “We came to this conclusion after countless hours of reviewing the evidence.” Federal prosecutors previously declined to press charges in May 2017.

The two officers had separate disciplinary hearings on March 30, 2018. Salamoni was fired for violating use-of-force policies, while Lake was suspended for three days without pay for “losing his temper” during the incident.

The same day, video footage was released to the public on what Sterling family attorney L. Chris Stewart called “a day for truth.” Stewart clarified, “And what that truth is, ...


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