Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shaquan Duley, Columbia SC Mom who Killed two sons

      September 16, 2010  – If you missed “Oprah” this afternoon, Thursday (09/16/10), the country’s leading daytime television show featured a story that was first covered on HLN’s groundbreaking, “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell” over two weeks ago on the Orangeburg, South Carolina mother, Shaquan Duley, accused of killing her two young sons.        Her mother, Helen Duley, who spoke of the tragedy candidly to Oprah, brought the queen of talk to tears.  Mom Duley accentuated precisely what family law expert, DEBRA OPRI, voiced on “Issues with JVM” when the story first broke (which Velez-Mitchell brought to national consciousness).  According to Opri, the 29-year-old single mom who confessed to suffocating 2-year-old Devan Duley and 1-year-old Je'Van inside a hotel room at Orangeburg's Trumps Inn, then dumping them into the river, is textbook “massive depressive and obviously suffered a psychotic break.”
     A pathologist's report supported Duley's confession.     Helen Duley vocalized to the television audience today that she knew her daughter was depressed but never thought she would take such drastic action. "She was highly upset, raging, acting like a crazy person," Helen Duley told Winfrey when discussing her daughter’s mindset in the hours leading up to the drowning.
     "The thought never came in my mind that she would do anything like this," Duley's sister Adriane told Oprah on Thursday. "I'm totally shocked. She must of snapped," "
     Adriane said Duley was in a manic state before the deaths and became irate after a fight over her inability to take care of her children.
      Opri’s legal assessment of the accused mother broadcast nationally nearly three weeks ago was validated today by Duley's attorney, Carl Grant, who appeared alongside the family on “Oprah.”  He relayed that mental health workers met with Duley hours after the incident and diagnosed her with severe major depressive disorder with psychotic tendencies. He emphasized this diagnosis shows “Duley didn't know right from wrong” at the time of the killing.
     Grant also said Duley tried to slit her wrists with a box cutter that same day, took 12 headache powders and tried to drown herself in the river.
     Duley remains in jail after being denied bond on Monday, Sept. 13.  They are, as Opri predicated, presenting an insanity defense.
For more information on Debra Opri go to:
Press contact:  Monique Moss 310-858-8230; 310-994-4582

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Debra Opri Opinion on Britney Spears Harassment Case

Britney Spears' Ex-Bodyguard Must Prove Ongoing Harassment, says Nationally Known Expert Legal Analyst, Attorney DEBRA OPRI: Burden is on Fernando Flores to prove his hostile work environment.
(Los Angeles, CA September 10, 2010) After mounting a successful comeback and maintaining a relatively low profile in the press for the past year, Britney Spears must now deal with, what some are calling, a ridiculous bout of disturbing claims regarding her personal life.
On Wednesday (Sept. 8, 2010), Spears' former bodyguard, Fernando Flores, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit alleging that the singer made multiple unwelcome passes at him, exposed herself on numerous occasions and engaged in sex in front of her two young sons. Not surprisingly, a post on Spears' site denied the allegations.
"What filing this case and making these allegations by Flores means is that he will have to show he was subjected to a hostile work environment with solid evidence," says DEBRA OPRI. "If this even goes to trial - which is highly unlikely due to the fact of the exorbitant expense of bringing a civil case like this to a courtroom - a Judge, as well as a jury, will look for material evidence, in the form of official complaints from [Spears'] previous employees. There may be an outside chance that Flores' documented concerns and voiced these to friends indicating wrongdoing on the defendant's part," says Ms. Opri.
As an expert in the field, Opri states there is no question that California's sexual harassment laws are "employee-friendly" with no cap on punitive damages. However, the onus is still on Flores to demonstrate the extent to which his experience and employment status with Spears affected him.
The suit states that Flores reported an incident in which Spears called him up to her room "for no other purpose or reason than to expose her naked or near naked body to Plaintiff." According to the suit, Flores apparently voiced his issues several times to his superior, but "his complaints were ignored or mocked, and no action was taken to rectify the situation."
According to Opri, "What courts and what juries look [for] is: Did he act consistently with the way you would expect someone to act who was actually offended by this type of conduct? In other words, did he make complaints? Did he tell her to stop? Did he talk to his friends and colleagues? Is there corroboration that, at the time this was happening, it was actually bothering him and is there anyone willing to come forward and be able to testify?"
What is most disturbing to family law expert Debra Opri is the allegation of child abuse and/or child neglect. "The child abuse accusations Flores' threw into this legal filing are outrageous and if they were true," explains Opri, "wouldn't DCFS had different findings the last time they investigated the children? If the kids were negatively affected, wouldn't ex-husband Kevin Federline have noticed something wrong with their children and have reported it to DCFS?"
The fact of the matter is that the bottom line is always money. "Cash trumps all," Opri emphasized and moving forward with a suit like this in our justice system is going to cost all parties - including the Court for added staffing - to properly proceed.
More on Debra Opri go to her website.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Las Vegas D.A. Hardliner Unlikely to Give Paris Hilton Special Treatment

(Sept. 1, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA)  According to leading attorney DEBRA OPRI, Paris Hilton is about to discover what O.J. Simpson already knows – when it comes to justice, Las Vegas can be a lot tougher than Los Angeles.  Opri, the Los Angeles-based legal expert best known for high-profile cases from the Jackson family to James Brown and Anna Nicole Smith , she is certain (L.V.) District Attorney David Roger is highly unlikely to offer Paris a plea bargain deal that won’t include formal probation with mandatory community service which may involve (minimal)  jail time on her felony cocaine possession charge.
Can you imagine Paris Hilton picking up garbage on the side of the road in Las Vegas? “I can,” says Opri. 
(Note:  The veteran Clark County, Nevada prosecutor – David Roger – put Simpson behind bars on robbery charges after the former football great beat murder charges in Los Angeles.)
Hilton is facing a felony drug possession charge that possibly could carry a prison sentence of one to four years. The man who arrested Hilton, Lt. Dennis Flynn, said a small plastic "bindle" of the drug fell out of her purse when she reached for a tube of lip balm.
Hilton claimed the purse she was carrying, where the .8 grams of cocaine was found, did not belong to her.  She reportedly told a Las Vegas police lieutenant that she had borrowed the purse from a friend, but acknowledged owning money, credit cards and a broken tablet of the prescription drug Albuterol that was also found in the bag.
The Vegas bust was the third encounter in three months with law enforcement for Hilton. “You’d better believe that even though Hilton’s other infractions and as well as reported possession of illegal drugs – and her 2007 DUIs for which she went to Jail – were outside of Nevada jurisdiction, the presiding Judge will certainly take these earlier brushes with the law into serious consideration when Paris is in his court.  It's going to be extremely difficult for Paris to get out of these charges, even with the brilliant legal skills of her experienced criminal defense lawyer,” says OPRI.