Paula Sladewski Murder Investigation

WSVN 7 News: Miami/Ft. Lauderdale: Final Hours in Murder Mystery

ABC News: Model’s Final Moments Caught on Tape

‘On Friday, the attorney for Paula Sladewski’s boyfriend released the grainy clip to the media, but at the time police said they could not confirm Sladewski was on the video.   By Monday, the police agreed.“Without a doubt that is her in that video leaving the club,” said Lt. Neal Cuevas, a North Miami police spokesman.’  ~ The Miami Herald, Jan. 11, 2010

Case Dismissed – Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Cocaine: Federal Court

Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substance Lawyer - MichiganCharge (Count 1): Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Cocaine
Felony: Imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years and a fine of up to $2 million dollars
Court: United States District Court – Eastern District of Michigan
Motion to Dismiss or for a Bill of Particulars: DENIED (three times)
Disposition: DISMISSED, via agreement with the Assistant U.S. Attorney, under a six month diversion program.
Note: In a case with over 100 defendants involving a major criminal enterprise, with thousands of pages of discovery, evidence concerning the Defendant only appeared on three of those pages. The issue was whether the Defendant simply received and possessed cocaine for his personal use or intended to deliver it to a third party. There was insufficient evidence that the Defendant ever intended to deliver the cocaine.

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Not Guilty – Assault With a Dangerous Weapon (Felonious Assault), Felony Firearm: Detroit

Felony Firearm Lawyer - MichiganCharge (Count 1): Assault With a Dangerous Weapon (Felonious Assault)
Felony: Imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both
Charge (Count 2): Felony Firearm
Felony: 2 Years consecutively and preceding any term of imprisonment imposed for the felony or attempted felony conviction
Charge (Count 3): Possession of Marijuana
Misdemeanor: 1 year jail
Charge (Count 4): Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
Misdemeanor: 90 days jail
Court: Wayne County Circuit Court
Motion for Bond Reduction: GRANTED; $75,000 cash bond reduced to $10,000/10%.
TRIAL: One day Bench Trial
Disposition: NOT GUILTY as to all felony charges, guilty as to misdemeanor charges. Nine months probation, no jail.
Note: This case involved the issue of whether or not the Defendant “knowingly” pointed a handgun at a police officer.  After the conclusion of the trial, the judge determined that the Defendant lacked the requisite intent to commit the crime of Felonious Assault (i.e., he did not “knowingly” point a gun at the officer). Because Possession of Marijuana and Reckless Discharge of a Firearm are both misdemeanors, the Defendant could not be convicted of Felony Firearm (i.e., he didn’t possess a firearm during the commission of a felony), thereby avoiding an automatic two year prison term.  The fact that the “gunman” was accused of barricading himself in his home for 8 hours after the incident, was not relevant to the determination.  

Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Robbery/Assault: Pima County, Arizona

Kidnapping Attorney - Michigan Charge (Count 1): Kidnapping
Felony: Class 2 Dangerous.  Imprisonment for not less than 7 years and not more than 21, presumptively 10.5 years.
Charge (Count 2): Armed Robbery
Felony: Class 3 Dangerous.  Imprisonment for not less than 7 years and not more than 21, presumptively 10.5 years.
Charge (Count 3): Aggravated Robbery
Felony: Class 3 Dangerous.  Imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not more than 15, presumptively 7.5 years.
Charge (Count 4): Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Felony: Class 3 Dangerous.  Imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not more than 15, presumptively 7.5 years.
Charge (Count 5): Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Felony: Class 3 Dangerous.  Imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not more than 15, presumptively 7.5 years.
Court: Pima County Superior Court, Arizona
Disposition: Plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and aggravated assault with sentencing agreement of two years prison, six years probation.
Note:  Defendant had no criminal record, which accounted for the sentencing ranges above pursuant to Arizona law.  Absent a plea agreement, and if convicted as charged, Defendant was facing a minimum sentence of 7 years in prison, but most likely at least 10.5 years. 

Second Degree Murder, Assault with Intent to Murder, Felony Firearm: Southgate

Second Degree Murder Lawyer - MichiganCharge (Count 1): Second Degree Murder
Felony: LIFE or any term of years
Charge (Count 2): Assault with Intent to Murder
Felony: LIFE or any term of years
Charge (Count 3): Assault with Intent to Murder
Felony: LIFE or any term of years
Charge (Count 4): Assault with Intent to Murder
Felony: LIFE or any term of years
Charge (Count 5): Felony Firearm
Felony: 2 Years consecutively and preceding any term of imprisonment imposed for the felony or attempted felony conviction
Court: Wayne County Circuit Court
Preliminary Examination Held; Motion to Dismiss: DENIED
Motion to Quash and Suppress Evidence: DENIED
Disposition: Plea agreement; dismissal of Murder and Assault with Intent to Murder charges, plea of guilty to two counts of Assault with Intent to Do Great Bodily Harm (10 year felony) and Felony Firearm. Sentencing agreement to six years prison plus two for Felony Firearm.
Note: The Defendant allegedly shot into the ground twice to protect his cousin during a brawl outside a Southgate bar, which was the basis for the Assault with Intent to Murder charges. For the Second Degree Murder charge, the Defendant was charged on a theory of accomplice liability based for allegedly providing the murder weapon to his co-defendant, who shot and killed a third party. The co-defendant was convicted of Second Degree Murder and is currently serving a minimum 45 years in prison. A primary issue on the murder charge was whether the Defendant “gave” the handgun to the co-defendant or whether the co-defendant “took” it from the Defendant. The plea agreement acknowledged some culpability of the Defendant without facing the uncertainties of a trial and a prospective life-long prison term.

Unarmed Robbery, Assault With a Dangerous Weapon (Felonious Assault): Detroit

Robbery Felonious Assault Lawyer - MichiganCharge (Count 1): Unarmed Robbery
Felony: Imprisonment for not more than 15 years
Charge (Count 2): Assault With a Dangerous Weapon (Felonious Assault)
Felony: Imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both
Court: Wayne County Circuit Court
Disposition: Plea to no contest to Felonious Assault, dismiss Unarmed Robbery, agreement with prosecutor and Cobbs agreement with court, no jail, two years probation.

Stealing/Retaining Financial Transaction Device: Rochester Hills/West Bloomfield

Financial Transaction Device Lawyer - MichiganCharges (Court I/Counts 1- 11): Stealing/Retaining Financial Transaction Device
Felonies: 4 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both
Charges (Court I/Count 12): Driving While License Suspended
Misdemeanor: 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both
Charges (Court I/Count 13): Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle
Misdemeanor: 90 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both
Charge (Court II/Count 1): Larceny from a Motor Vehicle
Felony: 4 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both
Charge (Court II/Count 2): Stealing/Retaining Financial Transaction Device
Felony: 4 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both
Charge (Court II/Count 3): Breaking and Entering Motor Vehicle to Steal Property < $1,000
Misdemeanor: 1 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both, or 3 times value of property
Court: Oakland County Circuit Court
Motion for Bond Reduction: GRANTED; $1,150,000.00 cash bond reduced to $10,000/10% with tether/house arrest
Disposition: Plea to no contest as charged, agreement with prosecutor and Cobbs agreement with court, no jail, two years probation.
Note: A plea of “no contest” is treated as a guilty plea except that it is not an admission of guilt.

Failure to Notify of Change of Address Pursuant to Sex Offender Registration Act: Livonia/Canton

Failure to Notify Sex Offender Lawyer - MichiganCharge (Court I): Failure to Notify of Change of Address Pursuant to Sex Offender Registration Act
Felony: 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both
Charge (Court II): Failure to Notify of Change of Address Pursuant to Sex Offender Registration Act
Felony: 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both
Court: Wayne County Circuit Court; District Court Proceedings
Disposition: Plea bargain to two counts of Failing to Report, Misdemeanors, no jail, one year probation.
Note: Sometimes defendants face numerous charges in multiple courts which must be coordinated among differing jurisdictions, with different prosecutors and judges.

Case Dismissed – Larceny By Conversion $1,000 – $20,000, False Pretenses $1,000 – $20,000: Woodhaven

Larceny By Conversion False Pretenses Lawyer - MichiganCharge (Count 1): Larceny By Conversion $1,000 – $20,000
Felony: Imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater, or both
Charge (Count 2): False Pretenses $1,000 – $20,000
Felony: Imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or 3 times the value, whichever is greater, or both
Court: Wayne County Circuit Court; District Court Proceedings
Motion for Bond Reduction: $200,000.00 cash bond, motion filed but not heard due to dismissal
Preliminary Examination Held; Motion to Dismiss: GRANTED
Disposition: DISMISSED based on failure to establish that actual crimes were, in fact, committed.
*Update: Subsequent to the dismissal, the prosecutor refiled the charges against the Defendant with new evidence. The Defendant entered a plea in district court to a misdemeanor, with probation, no jail, and restitution.