Is That A Banana In Your Hand, Or Are You Trying to Kill Me?

Somewhere near Grand Junction, Colorado, supposed would-be stand up comedian, Nathen Channing , was charged with Felony “Menacing” for allegedly pointing the insidious fruit at law enforcement Officers.

Channing allegedly drawing and pointing a banana at officers “in the same manner someone would draw a standard handgun from a concealed holster,” according to an officer at the scene.  Channing claimed he was simply joking, but the cops did not have a sense of humor.

Can piss-poor timing and innapropriate prop usage land a comedian in jail on a Felony?aaabanana-gun

Well…Channing was charged under Colorado’s Felony Menacing statute, punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison.  Under this law, to “menace” someone on the felony level in the Rocky Mountain State, you must:

  • Knowingly place or attempt to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; and
  • Use a deadly weapon or object used or fashioned in a manner to make a person reasonably believe it is a deadly weapon; or
  • Represent verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon.

THe second element is where Law enforcement are hanging their hat on this seemingly trumped up charge.  Sheriff’s deputies who encountered Channing contend that he drew the banana from his coat and pointed it at them like a gun. When Deputy Donald Love began to draw his own handgun, Channing yelled to the deputies “It’s a banana.”

Intent, Knowledge, and Bananas

Channing’s story is that the banana stunt was simply a joke material (not to mention, he was a standup comedian). Even if it was not Channing’s intent to cause the deputies to fear for their lives, all that is required in Colorado is that he knowingly put someone in fear for their life where they reasonably could have believed he was exhibiting a weapon.

Is it reasonable to believe that a yellow object pointed at you was a gun?  How many banana guns have you ever seen?

Have you been charged with a crime?

If you are accused of ANY CRIMINAL OFFENSE it is crucial that you have an aggressive criminal defense attorney in your corner.  You need someone that will fight for your rights. You need a tenacious lawyer that will put the state to their burden.

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande IMMEDIATELY by calling 281-684-3500.

Houston Criminal defense attorney Tristan LeGrande


Colorado Inmate Could Get 24 yrs for False Hair-In-Food Claim

A Colorado inmate may have bitten off a little more than he can chew my allegedly making a false claim of hair in food he was served in Summit County Jail.  Inmate Ray Wolfe is facing felony charges for allegedly planting the hair there himself and then making the complaint.

The details are none-too-apetizing: a dark hair was mixed in with the beef stroganoff he was served for dinner, and as a result officials at the hairy foodjail launched an investigation to discover just where that hair had come from.

The bad news for inmate Wolfe is that his hair brained scheme was caught on jail surveillance footage.

Now the culinary caper has Wolfe facing up to 24 additional years in prison for his allegedly false claim.

Is this legal – What on earth is he being charged with?

The crimes he is being charged with are obstruction of justice by tampering with physical evidence and false reporting.

In the state of Colorado, tampering with physical evidence includes knowingly making, presenting, or offering any false or altered physical evidence with intent that it be introduced in the pending or prospective official proceeding. Tampering with Evidence is a Class 6 felony.

The Colorado false reporting statute covers not just false reporting of crimes but also “other incidents within their official concern.”

Wolfe is also being charged with attempting to influence a public servant and a violating conditions of his bail bonds.

Normally he still would not be facing quite so much time, but in addition to the obstruction charges, Colorado’s habitual criminal sentence enhancement statute is implicated because of his criminal history.

In Colorado, a person qualifies as a habitual criminal by having sufficient prior felony convictions – and then they can be sentenced to up to THREE TIMES the maximum sentence for any subsequent felony, or in some cases life in prison.

Wolfe is sticking to his story – the hair was not his.

Wolfe needs to keep his mouth shut and speak with his attorney before he does anything.

Have you been charged with committing a crime?

If you’ve been accused of ANY CRIMINAL OFFENSE it is imperative that you have an aggressive criminal defense attorney in your corner.  You need someone that will fight for your rights. You need a tenacious lawyer that will put the state to their burden.

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande IMMEDIATELY by calling 281-684-3500.

Houston Criminal defense attorney Tristan LeGrande

NY Times: Legal Pot in Colorado “causes problems”

I put “causes problems” in quotes because, as an attorney, causality is an important thing for me. The recent story that ran in the New York Times about a man that supposedly consumed too much marijuana laced edibles, began hallucinating and ended up killing his wife with a gun.  Tracing the end result – a murder – back to a single cause: the legalization of marijuana in Colorado.

The article goes on to detail the story of the college student who ate too much pot and fell from a Denver hotel balcony to his death. It told of budchildren winding up in emergency rooms after sneaking into adult supplies of candy and other fun-looking snacks infused with THC. It told of neighboring states overwhelmed by drivers coming to Colorado for pot and returning stoned behind the wheel.

OBJECTION.  The problem with this story is the impression.  Legalization did not cause these problems.  Lack of proper regulation and irresponsible people caused these problems.

And legalization being the cause of the unfortunate murder of the man’s wife discussed earlier is a stretch.  What the story does not tell us is what else was going on this man’s life.  What mental condition was he in before he ate too many cosmic cookies.  Was he mentally ill?  Were there problems with his marriage.

Do we blame Jack Daniels when a man drinks too many shots of Kentucky Bourbon and beats someone to death in a bar fight – likewise, do would we blame the alcohol if that same man drove his car head on into a school bus full of kids?

Don’t blame the “demon weed” for the actions people take when they do not use it responsibly.  Besides, the ONLY HOPE we have at preventing tragedies such as these is by having 1) regulation and 2) education.

The alternative?  Leave it to the black market.  I am sure they will make sure everybody uses with a sense of level headed responsibility.

[The headline from the New York Times printed on June 1st – After Five Months of Sales, Colorado Sees the Downside of a Legal High ]

Arrested for a Possession of Marijuana?

Arrested for a Drug Crime?

If you’ve been accused of any offense involving Marijuana (including possession of Marijuana) or any drug crime,  contact attorney Tristan LeGrande by calling 281-684-3500.