Sacramento Man Omar Ameen Accused of Fighting for ISIS

Omar Ameen, a Sacramento man, was arrested earlier this week for allegedly working with ISIS during his time in Iraq several years ago.

Since moving to the United States, Ameen has led a quiet life as a welding student at nearby American River College and worked at an area auto body shop. He was granted asylum in the united states in 2014.

But a few weeks after his asylum request was approved, authorities claim Ameen went back to Iraq where he allegedly murdered a police officer.

Mark spoke with FOX40 News about the case, saying the case represents a “failure of the system.”

 

“The (asylum) screening process is meant to prevent this,” Reichel said.

A spokesperson for a refugee resettlement agency said it’s the first time an alleged terrorist has been resettled in the Sacramento region.

“The commitment of those who come here under refugee status who work hard, who attend our schools, who contribute to our local economy, who are raising their families,” the spokesperson said.

Read the full story on FOX40’s website here.

Solano County Public Defender Accused of Raping Fellow Attorney

A Solano County grand jury handed down an indictment accusing former Deputy Public Defender Rahul Balaram of getting a colleague drunk, then raping her, following an office holiday party in Vallejo.

Now in private practice, Mark spoke with FOX40 News about his experience as a public defender, though he is not representing either client in the Solano County case.

 

“It’s already a really difficult job,” Mark said of the public defender role. “This is the worst possible thing that could happen to a public defender agency, something from within being so significant and being so inflammatory.”

Read the full story and see the complete interview on FOX40’s website here.

Idling Cars, Sacramento Police and the Craig Williams Arrest

Officers with the Sacramento Police Department arrested Craig Williams, a local resident who allegedly left his car idling in front of a 7-11 convenience store. Cell phone video captured a wild encounter between Williams and officers outside of the store.

Mark spoke with ABC10’s Madison Wade about the case and what steps Williams can take next:

“”It says no one, no one, can leave a vehicle on a public highway or public road unless the engine is actually turned off and in the brake position,” Mark said about California vehicle code. “You can’t walk away or leave it running unless the brakes are set.”

See the full video and article by clicking or tapping here. 

WATCH: Appellate Court Overturns Conviction of Isaiah Fowler

A state appellate court overturned the conviction of Isaiah Fowler, a 12-year-old Stockton boy who was accused of murder in connection with the death of his sister.

Mark Reichel spoke with KCRA 3 about the court’s decision in an interview later aired on KTVU FOX 2 News:

“They vacated the prior conviction,” Mark said, “So there’s currently no conviction against this young man…the big point in the opinion today was that the interviews of Isaiah Fowler were absolutely, blatantly unconstitutional.”

Mark, who represented Isaiah and the Fowler family during the case, told KCRA deceptive interview tactics were used against Isaiah who was questioned three times by police before he was arrested. During Isaiah’s third interview, he was questioned for three hours with his father present.

“He made a statement, which was ambiguous at best, and that’s when he was arrested,” Mark said. “Something along the lines of, I guess I did it, but I don’t remember if I did. He also said, before he was finished with that phrase, but I really didn’t do it. His father hugged him and said, I know you didn’t, son.”

Read the full story at KCRA’s website by clicking or tapping here.

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions Opens Door for Pot Crackdown

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy this week that de-prioritized marijuana enforcement throughout the Department of Justice, a policy that largely paved the way for states like Colorado, Washington and California to open the door for ballot measures that legalized recreational pot use at the state level.

By rescinding the so-called Cole Memo, Sessions has opened the door for federal prosecutors to begin enforcement of the 1970s-era Controlled Substances Act, something former Attorney Generic Eric Holder had put on the back burner.

Mark spoke with FOX40 News about what the policy could mean for California residents and businesses.

“There’s no defense,” Mark said, adding that the Attorney General’s move could be devastating for those in the state-legal cannabis industry. Mark said in his experience, most people charged with marijuana-related crimes only have two chances of avoiding conviction: “Number one is, is it marijuana? Number two is, did you possess or sell it?”

But Mark said it’s premature to panic over the rescinded policy because it’s ultimately up to local Department of Justice prosecutors to decide if they’re going to enforce the law. So far, few have signaled a willingness to.

“It’s definitely wait and see,” Mark said.

Read the full story on FOX40’s website by clicking or tapping here.

Picnic Day Five Appear in Yolo County Court

Mark is representing Elijah Williams, one of five individuals charged over an incident during Picnic Day in Davis.

Prosecutors in Yolo County claim Williams was caught on camera hitting a police officer twice, something Mark said isn’t supported by any evidence he’s reviewed.

 

“The only evidence that we’ve seen…comes from a dashcam video from a civilian who happened to be following and on the scene,” Mark said. “We’re anxiously awaiting any other [evidence] that may exist.”

Read the full story on KCRA 3’s website here

UPDATE: The felony case against Williams and four other suspects were completely dismissed in December 2018, according to a report by the Davis Enterprise.

“Bradley Manning Being Mistreated” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Says

Yep, the 24 hour a day isolation, lights on, stripped naked treatment by the military– prior to the upcoming trial of Private Bradely Manning, a “suspect” not yet tried (so legally he cannot yet be punished)– has caught the emotions of the U.S State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley. Spokesperson Crowley has been the person at the State Department who has been very vocal about the alleged damage caused American interests by wikileaks. Yet, yesterday, when speaking at MIT he denounced Manning’s treatment in the brig. When asked by a BBC reporter if his comments were “on the record” he stated yes. Story here

On the other end of the spectrum is the pro torture US President. No, dummy, not George Bush. You know who I am talking about. Remember, the guy who won in 2008 and in his election night acceptance speech where we all wept as he spoke in front of the bright lights outdoors in Chicago and declared “We no longer torture people in this country.” That guy. He has not just completely broken his “Gitmo” promise, not only has he not refused to defend the hundreds of lawsuits regarding rendition, but yesterday he heard of Crowley’s statements and said

President Obama told reporters on Friday that he’s been assured by the Pentagon that its treatment of the private charged with giving information to WikiLeaks is “appropriate.”

Obama declined to “go into details” about the detention of Private Bradley Manning but said that he “actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards.”

“They assured me that they are,” Obama said.

Asked about Crowley’s comments at his press conference, Obama didn’t mention the spokesman. “I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well,” Obama said.

David House, a spokesman with the Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund, responded in a statement: “Anyone who reads Manning’s attorney’s rebuttal can see that there is no justification for Bradley’s inhumane treatment. I agree with Mr. Crowley that it’s just stupid and unproductive.”

Obama’s tough stance against torture and in depth investigation into the situation of Manning is reported here.