In March, jurors in New Orleans convicted Isaiah Doyle of a 2005 murder and were listening to evidence in the penalty phase of the trial when Doyle decided to take the witness stand (as defendants sometimes do in a desperate attempt to avoid the death penalty). However, Doyle said to the jurors, “If I had an AK-47, I’d kill every last one of y’all with no remorse.” The jury recommended lethal injection.
DRUNK DRIVING: ‘A WAY OF LIFE’
The Montana House of Representatives passed a tough drunk-driving bill in March to combat the state’s high DUI rate, but it came over the objection of Rep. Alan Hale (and later, Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy). Hale, who owns a bar in Basin, Montana, complained that tough DUI laws “are destroying small businesses” and “destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years.” (Until 2005, drinking while driving was common and legal outside of towns as long as the driver wasn’t drunk.) Furthermore, Hale said, people need to drive home after they drink. “They are not going to hitchhike.” Sen. Windy Boy said such laws put the legislature on “the path of criminalizing everyone in Montana.”
Firefighters in Gilbert, Arizona, rescued Eugene Gimzelberg, 32, in March after he had climbed down a 40-foot sewer hole—naked. Gimzelberg said he had smoked PCP and marijuana and consumed hallucinogenic mushrooms. He was hospitalized in critical condition.
THE CAR SIDE
(1) Shelly Waddell, 36, was cited by police in February in Waterville, Maine, after “a couple of” drivers reported seeing two children riding on the roof of the van she was driving early one morning. Waddell told police she was in fact delivering newspapers to customers, but denied that the kids were on the roof. (2) At the Niceville, Florida, Christmas parade on December 4, a municipal employee was arrested when he stepped up onto a city truck that was part of the parade and challenged the driver (who apparently was a colleague). The employee accused the driver of “taking [my] overtime” hours for the previous two years and ordered him out of the truck so he could “whip your ass.” (The employee was charged with disorderly intoxication.)
UPPING THE PANTY
Louis “Shovelhead” Garrett is an artist, a mannequin collector and a quilter in the eastern Missouri town of Louisiana, with a specialty in sewing quilts from women’s underwear, according to a report in the Hannibal Courier-Post. After showing his latest quilt at a women’s luncheon in Hannibal in March, he told the newspaper of his high standards: “No polyester. I don’t want those cheap, dollar-store, not-sexy, farm-girl panties. I want classy—silk or nylon.”
Arifinito (who goes by one name), a member of the Indonesian parliament, resigned in April after a news photographer in the gallery zoomed in on the tablet computer he was watching to capture him surfing Internet pornography sites. Arifinito’s conservative Islamic Prosperous Justice Party campaigned for a tough anti-pornography bill in 2008.
WE HIT YOU NOT
Marissa Mark, 28, was indicted in March in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for hiring a hit man in 2006 via the then-active website HitManForHire.com, agreeing to pay $37,000 to have a California woman killed (though prosecutors have not revealed the motive). Mark allegedly made traceable payments through PayPal (which in recent years has righteously refused to process transactions involving online gambling or the WikiLeaks document dumps). The hit-man site was run by an Egyptian immigrant, who told the Las Vegas Sun in 2008 that he would never contract for murder but sought to make money by double-crossing clients and alerting (for a fee) the intended victims.