Saturday, February 28, 2015


The Downtown Post Feb 28th

inside and out 
Mohamed Salameh, driver of the van when the World Trade Center was bombed on Feb. 26, 1993, at his arraignment. (Drawing by Elizabeth Williams)

Feb. 26, 1993 is a day that courtroom artist and Lower Manhattan resident Elizabeth Williams will not forget. As she recounted in her blog, "Illustrated Courtroom," "I was in the World Trade Center concourse purchasing tickets to 'Jelly's Last Jam' at the TKTS stand. I strolled my then 1-year-old son over the World Trade Center pass to the World Financial Center, where we sat down. Then about 10 minutes later a huge, booming sound rocked the glass-covered space where I was seated. The people in the atrium stopped talking, looked up, saw no glass was broken and then continued their conversations. I recall a security officer running up the Winter Garden stairs. No one knew what had happened and terrorism was the last thing on anyone's mind. Then the smoke started pouring out of the garage of the World Trade Center and chaos ensued."

About a week later, Williams said, she received a call late at night telling her to run over to the Federal courthouse. "I packed up my art supplies and learned that the FBI had determined who was responsible for the bombing and had made their first arrest - Mohamed Salameh - a Palestinian illegal alien who was the driver of the van. I recall he was very angry during his arraignment and I felt it was important to capture that."

Williams' drawing of Salameh made the cover of Newsday the next day.

"Many people have already forgotten about that attack," Williams said. "Now, I think to myself how lucky it was that no glass from the Winter Garden ceiling came loose and fell down. Many people - including my son and me - could have been hurt or killed. Trust me, the whole place shook. It was downright scary."

Like many people who were directly affected by the World Trade Center bombings, Williams has lived with an increased sense of vulnerability since then. "Life has really never been the same since," she said, "especially in New York City."

Williams is co-author with Sue Russell of "The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art," published in 2014. It was designated a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year and won kudoes from Kirkus as one of the best books of 2014. Williams' drawing of the Salameh arraignment appears in the book along with some additional information about his trial.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Also a story about NYPD police officer 
Detective James Rudolph 
NY Press article excerpt about the 93 bombing 
But the attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001 were what really made him understand what being a hero meant. "In 1993, [I was] on foot patrol, that afternoon, when we responded," Rudolph said. "There was a big boom that was heard all over Manhattan. We responded to the Trade Center and we were notified that someone from the Fire Department had fallen through a large crater and the mezzanine level into the garage area. So my partner and I helped carry all the equipment into the garage, which was all pancaked. We were standing in knee-deep water to try and rescue a [firefighter] out from under the debris. We [got him] out of there and just continued about the day. - 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

No prison for key informant in major insider trading case: Thomas Hardin sentencing

NEW YORK (AP) — A former hedge fund manager who wore a wire to help prosecutors build a massive insider trading case was spared a prison sentence Wednesday after the government called his cooperation extraordinary.
Nearly seven years after Thomas Hardin started aiding what became one of the nation's biggest insider trading investigations, he called his prior conduct "reckless, selfish and inexcusable" as he was sentenced to time served — a brief period he was in custody before an initial court date years ago.
Thomas Hardin, far left standing during sentencing with his attorneys Kimberly Yuhas and Larry Krantz
"I'm incredibly humbled and ashamed," he said. "I've done my best to make amends by helping the U.S. government."
Hardin pleaded guilty in 2009 to conspiracy and securities fraud. He made his former firm more than $1 million by trading on secret information about such companies as Google Inc. and Hilton Worldwide, and he passed the tips to other traders who profited off them, Manhattan federal prosecutors said in sentencing papers. 

Brooklyn Men Arrested on ISIL-Support Charges: Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Akhror Saidakhmetov

Courthouse News Service
BROOKLYN (CN) - Three Brooklyn residents will appear before federal judges Wednesday on charges of conspiring to support the terrorist group ISIL.
     The complaint unsealed today targets three defendants - Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Akhror Saidakhmetov and Abror Habibov - for alleged attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
     U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom will preside over the initial appearances of Juraboev and Saidakhmetov in Brooklyn, while Habibov is scheduled to appear in before a Jacksonville, Fla., federal judge later today.
     Prosecutors say investigators caught wind of Juraboev, whom they describe as a 24-year-old Uzbeki national living in Brooklyn, because of posts he made on an Uzbek-language website that propagates ISIL's ideology.
Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Akhror Saidakhmetov arraignment by Victor Juhasz 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sokolow v PLO/PA: Jury Awards $218.5 Million in Terrorism Case Against Palestinian Groups: NY Times

NY Times article by Ben Weiser
The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization were found liable on Monday by a jury in Manhattan for their role in knowingly supporting six terrorist attacks in Israel between 2002 and 2004 in which Americans were killed and injured.
The jury in Federal District Court in Manhattan awarded $218.5 million in damages, a number that is automatically tripled to $655.5 million under the special terrorism law under which the case was brought.
The verdict ended a decade-long legal battle to hold the Palestinian organizations responsible for the terrorist acts. And while the decision was a huge victory for the dozens of plaintiffs, it also could serve to strengthen the Israeli claim that the supposedly more moderate Palestinian forces are directly tied to terrorism.

Kent Yalowitz, the attorney representing 10 families gives closing statement to jury
with image of Yassar Arafat on the screen 

Mark Rochon, a lawyer for the PLO and the Palestinian Authority give closing statement to jury
The financial implications of the verdict for the defendants were not immediately clear. The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, had serious financial troubles even before Israel, as punishment for the Palestinians’ move in December to join the International Criminal Court, began withholding more than $100 million a month in tax revenue it collects on the Palestinians’ behalf.
The verdict came in the seventh week of a civil trial in which the jury had heard emotional testimony from survivors of suicide bombings and other attacks in Jerusalem, in which a total of 33 people were killed and more than 450 were injured.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2nd Phase Of Jury Selection In Aurora Theater Shooting Trial Focuses On Insanity, Death Penalty « CBS Denver

2nd Phase Of Jury Selection In Aurora Theater Shooting Trial Focuses On Insanity, Death Penalty « CBS Denver
Artwork by Bill Robles
Wide shot of courtroom during jury selection by Bill Robles
Jury selection in the Aurora Theater Shooting trial has entered its second phase as attorneys began questioning potential jurors individually.
James Holmes with glasses drawn by Bill Robles
 Six prospective jurors were brought into the courtroom Wednesday morning where they were questioned one at a time.Attorneys are questioning the potential jurors in four areas, publicity, the hardship they may face, the insanity defense and the death penalty.
Profile of Holmes by Bill Robles. Bill noticed that Holmes had put on weight since he last saw him. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Etan Patz Murder trial: Defendant Pedro Hernandez confession tape


Associated Press story by Colleen Long

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jurors watched intently Tuesday as a videotaped confession of a man who said he killed 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979 played during the suspect's murder trial.
Pedro Hernandez, of Maple Shade, New Jersey, admitted in hours of video to choking Etan, shoving his body in a plastic bag and dumping it with some curbside trash a few blocks away. His attorney maintains that the confession is fiction, dreamed up by a mentally ill man.
"I was nervous. My legs were jumping. I wanted to let go, but I just couldn't let go. I felt like something just took over me," Hernandez said in the video. "I don't know what to say. Something just took over me, and I was just choking him."
Pedro Hernandez far right looks at his video taped confession describing
how he allegedly killed Etan Patz by strangling him
Hernandez was a teenage stock clerk at a convenience store a few blocks from where Etan was last seen on his way to school on May 25, 1979. It was Etan's first time walking to school alone.
"I don't know why I came up to him," Hernandez says on the tape, calmly. "I just approached to him, and I asked him: `You want a soda?' He didn't say nothing to me, even when I was choking him. He didn't kick. He didn't do nothing. He just kind of stood there, and I just felt bad what I did."

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Recapping The Silk Road Trial: words and images

from Tech Crunch by John Bush
Cold winds and snow buffeted the walls of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse last week as jurors heard more of the Government’s case in the Silk Road Marketplace trial against Ross WIlliam Ulbricht.
Ulbricht is being prosecuted for creating the Silk Road Marketplace and allegedly facilitating the purchase and sale of illicit goods and drugs.
In week three of the trial, the jury learned how a google search led the IRS to Ross Ulbricht and how activities referenced in Ulbricht’s personal emails were also found in private chats between Silk Road’s main administrator, Dread Pirate Roberts, and his associates. 

Ross William Ulbricht during opening statements 

Defense Attorney Joshua Dratel gives opening statement

On the final day of week three proceedings, the jury heard from former FBI Agent, Ilhwan Yum about the results of a bitcoin transaction analysis he conducted on Bitcoin wallets found on Silk Road servers and Ulbricht’s seized laptop.  Yum, who played a major role in the seizure of Silk Road’s servers, found a total of 2,105,127 bitcoin addresses on Silk Road servers and 11,135 on Ulbricht’s laptop.
 Former FBI Agent, Ilhwan Yum testifies about the results of a Bitcoin transaction analysis he conducted on Bitcoin wallets found on Silk Road servers and Ulbricht’s seized laptop

He then conducted an analysis on transactions sent from Silk Road wallets to bitcoin addresses on Ulbricht’s computer.  Yum found that there were just under 4,000 transaction originating with Silk Road wallets and sent to wallets found on Ulbricht’s laptop.  These transactions totaled 700,254 bitcoins ($13,359,552 when averaging bitcoin price over the duration of the bitcoin transfers).

FBI consultant Brian Shaw introduces material found on
Ulbrichts' computer including chats about a murder for hire plot.
 The Murder For Hire Plot Rears It’s Ugly Head
Before proceedings ended on Thursday, the Government began telling the story of Dread Pirate Roberts’ alleged murder-for-hire plot.  The Prosecution shared a string of messages between DPR and the apparent hitman that began following DPR’s receipt of threats to reveal thousands of Silk Road user identities.  In response to receiving the threats, DPR reached out to the supplier who was said to have been owed the $500,000 bounty from the original threat.  The supplier, who used username “redandwhite” was then hired to kill “FriendlyChemist” before he revealed any information that could damage Silk Road.  The jury heard a message from Dread Pirate Roberts to “redandwhite” that read, “In my eyes, FriendlyChemist is a liability and I wouldn’t mind if he was executed”.

Defendant Ross Ulbricht during murder for hire testimony with quote on screen:
" commissioned hit on black mailer with Hells Angels"

AUSA Serrin Turner gives closing statement

AUSA Timothy Howard give closing rebuttal statement.

Verdict story by Kara Scannelli of the

The jury took fewer than four hours to convict Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, of running a multimillion-dollar drug-trafficking operation from his laptop computer.
Ulbricht, 30, was convicted on all seven counts related to the trafficking and faces 20 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in May.

Wide shot with courtroom deputy Joseph Pecorino  reading guilty verdict

Family reaction to verdict with Ulbricht looking around to see his family.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Etan Patz murder trial begins 35 years after 'milk carton boy' disappeared

Etan Patz murder trial begins 35 years after 'milk carton boy' disappeared 


Decades after New York boy went missing on his way to school, ushering in an anxious new world for American parents, his alleged killer goes on trial

The courtroom in the New York supreme court, located just a mile from the Soho neighborhood where Patz went missing, was packed throughout the dramatic account. It was the opening gambit in a trial that prosecutors hope will finally bring resolution to a case that has foiled the city for almost four decades.
Wide shot of the courtroom with image on the screen of the bodega as it was in 1979 when Patz went missing. Hernandez allegedly killed Patz in the basement of the bodega, luring him in with the promise of a soda.  

Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi  Orbon gives opening statement in Manhattan Criminal Court. 
Assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon pointed to the defendant, Pedro Hernandez, who sat motionless a few feet away from her. As Stan Patz, the boy’s father, listened intently, she told the jury what Hernandez himself had said to detectives in a videotaped interview two years ago.

Hernandez, who is border line schizophrenic and retarded,  is brought into court handcuffed, the court officer removes the cuffs before the jury comes into court.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Q&A with AP's Linda Deutsch - LA Observed> Manson highlighted

Q&A with AP's Linda Deutsch at the Board of Supes - LA Observed
Bill Robles worked alongside Linda Deutsch for many years, starting with the Manson trial. Her experiences at the Manson trial and more are highlighted in the link above.

Below is a sampling of  Bill's artwork from the Manson trial.
More about his experiences at that trial are in  the book: The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art
Link to the book website:

Charles  Manson giving the infamous
“Manson stare” from the witness stand; a look observed by Bill Robles, Howard
Brodie, assistant district attorney Bugliosi and all in Manson’s sight line.  (Illustration: Bill Robles)

In August 1970, medical examiner Dr. Thomas T. Noguchi explained to the jury his diagrams of the Tate residence victims’ wounds. He showed a diagram of the 51 stab wounds and 7 head blows received by Abigail Folger’s lover Voytek Frykowski. While Dr. Noguchi told the jury what brought on death for the victims, Robles recalls, “the girls were chattering away, totally oblivious. Then they would stand up and go ‘Sieg Heil’ or whatever because Manson did it and they’d follow. He must have told them what to do through signals because they always, always mimicked him.  (Illustration: Bill Robles)

After the verdicts and while waiting to hear
if he would be executed for his crimes, Manson shaved his head. Defendants Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten (left to right) then 
followed suit in a show of solidarity.
 Against their lawyers’ advice, the women
wanted to testify that they and not Manson planned and committed the murders. 

(Illustration:Bill Robles)

Being led past the podium, Susan Atkins grabbed some of prosecutor
Vincent Bugliosi’s papers and tore them before he could grab them back. Some
news reports said he took a swing at her; something Judge Older called
absolutely false. Bugliosi wrote in his book “Helter Skelter” that he
involuntarily muttered “You little bitch” under his breath, nothing more.
(Illustration: Bill Robles)

Delorean Trial with Linda Deutsch by Elizabeth Williams

Below is a drawing of Linda Deutsch, at the Delorean trial, seated behind Delorean's former wife Cristina Ferrare. Linda is seated far left, with the red press tag.

Cristina Ferrare often sat alongside her
friend Margaret Weitzman, wife of DeLorean’s
attorney Howard Weitzman, or Cristina’s mother, Renata,. This drawing shows Cristina awaiting the verdict; to many surprised observers Delorean was  found not guilty. (Illustration: Elizabeth Williams)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Powerful NY politician arrested on bribery charges - The Sun Chronicle : Nation World

Powerful NY politician arrested on bribery charges - The Sun Chronicle : Nation World
NEW YORK (AP) - Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who bent state government to his will for more than 20 years as one of New York's most powerful and canny politicians, was arrested Thursday on charges of taking nearly $4 million in payoffs and kickbacks.
The 70-year-old Democrat was taken into custody by the FBI on federal conspiracy and bribery charges that carry up to 100 years in prison and could cost him his political seat.
He was released on $200,000 bail.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Silver, a lawyer by training, lined up jobs at two firms and then accepted large sums of money over more than a decade in exchange for using his "titanic" power to do political favors. The money was disguised as "referral fees," Bharara said.
Sheldon Silver listening to charges against him, read by Federal Judge Frank Maas,
flanked by attorneys Joel Cohen and Steven Molo. Artwork by Elizabeth  Williams

Monday, January 19, 2015

SELECTIONS FROM RICHARD TOMLINSON in Honor of his Birth Date: Jan 19th

RICHARD TOMLINSON not only was a wonderful courtroom illustrator he also created many drawings of different scenes and still lifes. Here is a selection in honor of his birth date. He has passed but his talent and beautiful artworks live on. EW.

For those who are interested, more of Richard's work can be found on Tumblr @

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sokolow et al v. PLO: Suicide Bomber's Reeboks Explored in Terror Trial By NICK DIVITO

Suicide Bomber's Reeboks Explored in Terror Trial
Story link
Courthouse News Service

 MANHATTAN (CN) - Amid data-driven testimony from a terrorism expert, a federal jury heard Wednesday about a 2002 suicide bomber who went "to Paradise with Reebok shoes."
     Sa'id Ramadan and his sneakers emerged as Israeli judge advocate Nick Kaufman testified about the convictions of various accomplices in six different attacks between 2001 and 2004 that killed dozens and injured hundreds.
     Kent Yalowitz, an attorney representing American families injured in those Jerusalem attacks during the Second Intifada, called Kaufman to the stand for the second day of what's expected to be a six-week trial against the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

Lead plaintiff attorney Kent Yalowitz  questions Israeli legal expert Nick Kaufman

     Kaufman said Ramadan had been driven on Jan. 22, 2002, to a busy intersection in downtown Jerusalem for his mission: shoot and kill as many civilians as possible.
     As he crouched in the back of the Isuzu, an M-16 machine gun in one hand and three magazines in his other, Ramadan complained that the new shoes he bought for the mission were too tight, according to the trial documents.
     That's when Mohammed Abdullah, one of the two men who drove him there, pulled off his shoes and handed them over."Go up to Paradise with Reebok shoes," Abdullah told the gunman, according to the court documents read by Kaufman.
"Go up to Paradise with Reebok shoes," Abdullah told the 
gunman, according to the court documents read by Kaufman.

Nitzana Darshan-Leitner  attorney for the Israeli plaintiffs  seated far left,
the assistant to the Palestinian Finance minster seated right, next to a PLO Ambassador

    The PLO was created in 1964, three years before Israel's war with Jordan, Egypt and Syria that led to military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The PA was formed in '90s as part of the Oslo Accords.
     U.S. District Judge George Davis is presiding over the trial before a jury of six women and six men, who will determine if the PLO and the PA bankrolled the operations and provided supplies to the terrorists.
     Yalowitz filed a $1 billion lawsuit nearly a decade ago. The lead plaintiff in the case, Mark Sokolow, is a lawyer who escaped the south tower of the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, only to later survive a bombing in Jerusalem.
     Sokolow and his family were among 150 injured on Jan. 27, 2002, when a woman named Yafa Idris arrived at a busy downtown street in Jerusalem and blew herself in the middle of the day. There was one fatality, an 81-year-old man.
     The Sokolows suffered "severe burns, shrapnel wounds, fractures and other serious injuries as a result of the explosion," according to the complaint.
Brian Hill attorney for the defendants speaking to judge

Friday, January 9, 2015

Islamic cleric gets life in plot to kidnap tourists in Yemen

Islamic cleric gets life in plot to kidnap tourists in Yemen 
 Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

NEW YORK (AP) — An Egyptian-born cleric who turned a London mosque into a training ground for extremist Islamists was sent to prison for life on Friday by a judge who cited his lack of remorse for "barbaric" acts that included aiding kidnappers who killed four tourists in Yemen in 1998 and sending two men to the United States to open a terrorist training camp in Oregon.
"If released, you would do it again," U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest told Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, a former engineer who was jailed by Great Britain on separate charges in 2004 and extradited to the United States in 2012.
The white-haired Mustafa remained composed as the judge announced the sentence, saying it was significant "you have not expressed sympathy or remorse for the victims of the Yemeni kidnapping."

Judge Katherine Forrest reading transcripts of Abu Hamza speeches.

Abu Hamza making his statement to Judge Forrest, prior to being sentenced to life imprisonment 

Wide shot of Abu Hamza flanked by his attorneys in court. 

Friday, January 2, 2015 THE MADOFF FIVE: History's Greatest Fraud Yields One Of The Greatest Legal Slugfests Of Our Time

THE MADOFF FIVE: History's Greatest Fraud Yields One Of The Greatest Legal Slugfests Of Our Time by Richard Behar

Excerpts from the Richard Behar story( link above)
and images from the trial by Elizabeth Williams
    “What?! For Annette? How the hell did that happen?! Oh my God, I can’t believe Annette got only six years. Don’t tell me it’s gonna be like two months for [co-defendants] Jerry and George. That pisses me off, I’m sorry. I thought she was more guilty than all of them. The prosecutors must have been devastated. It’s kind of like a slap in the face to everybody who worked so hard getting these guys convicted, and for the jury who had to listen to the evidence for nearly six months.”
    — Juror Sheila Amato, on sentence imposed on Annette Bongiorno, a former top manager at Madoff Securities
Courtroom deputy reading verdict in Madoff 5 case
    “Richard, these five loyal and dedicated employees were following the instructions of their immediate supervisor. They were not SEC-registered brokers and therefore had no reason to believe that they were violating any SEC regulations. They were always led to believe that the trades and the client assets were effected and held in Europe, as was common in our industry for this type of transaction. I alone am responsible for any wrongdoing on their part and will always suffer for the pain I caused my clients, my employees and their families.”
    — Bernard L. Madoff, to author 
Awaiting his sentence, Bernard Madoff seated in ceremonial courtroom ( same courtroom where the Madoff 5 were tried) June 2009


Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District typically have a five-year run, at which point they jump to prestigious criminal-defense law firms. Not so the 37-year-old Schwartz, who became the lead investigative prosecutor of the Madoff Five case. He’s spent nearly twice that amount of time honing his skills there, on cases such as the JP. Morgan Chase/Madoff anti-money laundering prosecution and a lengthy tug-of-war with Madoff customer Jeffry Picower’s estate. He’s a graduate of Columbia Law School, which is typically ranked among the top five law colleges in the U.S. He also clerked for two top judges, including late Connecticut governor Thomas (“Tough Tommy”) Meskill, who was known for rarely walking away from a good fight.
Throughout this trial, Matt himself was a buttoned-up assassin in the courtroom
Madoff 5 defense table
AUSA Matthew Schwartz during opening statements

As stated before, the government’s main witness in the case was Frank DiPascali, Madoff’s right hand, who joined the company in 1975. If the jury needed a lifeline in this complex and interminable case, Frankie was it, as he fingered each of the defendants. If the jury believed he was telling the truth, they’d convict all five, perhaps quickly. If they thought he was a liar, as the defense went to great pains to try and show, then they might be deliberating a very long time. The five jurors I interviewed all say they found him credible, although Judge Swain—more on this below—had some problems believing him.
Larry Krantz cross examining Frank DiPascali
The most exciting part of most wars is the climax. So it was with the closing rebuttal by the third prosecutor, Randall Jackson, who colleagues have aptly nicknamed “Action Jackson.” Like an elephant with a propensity for china shops, he rampaged through his summation—sometimes upsetting the judge, and almost always infuriating defense lawyers, who rose and objected 42 times, which is about 40 times more than what is typical in a federal criminal case rebuttal. When it was all over, the courtroom had the pleasant atmosphere of a stalled subway train.

AUSA Randall Jackson cross examines Daniel Bonventre

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Illustrated Courtroom Presentation by Elizabeth Williams

The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art 
a Kirkus Review's Best Book of 2014
a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year
On sale now for 30 dollars on Amazon