Both shocking and concerning, the recent incidents of children dying after being left unattended in vehicles is a topic near and dear to many Americans. Tuesday July 15th, Patrick McDonough was asked to join the Nancy Grace Show as an expert defense attorney to offer his insights on these recent tragedies and explain the potential outcomes of these criminal cases. Filling in for Nancy Grace, Jean Casarez facilitated discussion surrounding these latest cases.
Cooper, a 22-month-old baby boy was left for dead in his father’s car after a long, hot summer day. Cooper’s father, Justin Harris, is currently imprisoned, waiting for what will most likely lead to a Grand Jury Trial. However, if the District Attorney’s Office does not make an indictment in the next 62 days, Harris may walk on bond. While many are focused on the potential conclusion of Harris’s case, Casarez looked to McDonough for his unique insight as to what might happen to Leanna, Cooper’s mother.
McDonough told Casarez that the DA’s Office will be conducting a rigorous investigation along with the Cobb County Police Department to determine the association that Leanna had in conjunction with this heartbreaking death. Employing a wealth of knowledge and a plethora of legal experience, McDonough explained to listeners that it is simply “too early to tell” what will happen to Leanna. While authorities were busy gathering evidence against Leanna, McDonough offered a unique perspective on the challenges the state faces in charging Leanna:
If authorities decide to indict Leanna and she becomes a co-defendant, she could invoke her 5th amendment and the prosecution would not be able to use testimony against her husband. “They’ve got a balancing test that they are weighing. First, do they have enough evidence to arrest her – which it doesn’t appear that they do at this time. And second, if its close, do they even want to go that route?”
Next, Mr. McDonough was asked to weigh in on his opinion concerning another disastrous case in which a father left his 3-month-old child in the car to die. While there are two sides to every story, McDonough dissected the facts, analyzed the situation, and communicated the important balance of justice when dealing with emotional cases such as the one at hand.
While court officials have claimed his statements to be inaccurate, the Forest Park, Georgia resident was allegedly told he was not allowed to have his child with him when he entered the Clayton County Courthouse Monday afternoon. Based on this understanding, Courtney Lamont Kidd took his daughter back to his vehicle and proceeded to attend his court hearing. While many are quick to attack Kidd for his actions, McDonough offers a logical and reasonable justification for people like Courtney.
While he believes these stories are positively raising awareness for child safety, McDonough knows, “It was still a poor choice and he should have tried to make other arrangements, but he’s facing and bench warrant if he doesn’t go to court.” In McDonough’s long tenure as a highly proficient defense attorney, he understands that some people think they can just run in, sign a guilty plea, and be done. McDonough has seen this in the past and has also represented clients similar to Kidd in the past – “god-fearing, wonderful, good people” who sometimes think ‘Hey, I can just go in quickly and get something done and come back out.” Kidd is one of these people – a good man who simply made a mistake – and even worse, he was trying to obey the rules.
Congratulations to Matt Smith for being chosen to be part of the 30th Class of Leadership Gwinnett!
Matt will soon join the number of attorneys at ATC that have graduated from the Leadership Gwinnett program over the years, with the skills to educate, equip, and engage in the community. Those attorneys include: Ethel Andersen, Tom Tate, Brad Carr, Kathleen Guy, Scott Duncan, Jim Joedecke, Pat McDonough, Don Swift, Amy Bray and Matt Reeves .
With a strong history of creating a legacy of success in Gwinnett and metro Atlanta, the 30th class of Leadership Gwinnett is set to begin in August 2014 to drive positive change in the region. From the nearly 350 nominations received for the nine-month experience, Leadership Gwinnett alumni selected the final group of 40 based on work experience, accomplishments, community involvement, education and other information from their individual applications. The program year is comprised of two overnight retreats, seven learning days covering leadership in a world class community, infrastructure, economics, education, health & human services, justice and regional relations, as well as monthly study groups and other activities.
ATC’s 2014 United Way inititave continues! We want to thank everyone who has contributed – whether with products, shoeboxes, decorations or online donations – to make this year’s drive another success for us. We are so grateful for what we are blessed to have, and it’s always a pleasure to share with others in need.
January 27, 2014 – In this episode, Patrick McDonough weighs in on video evidence in a case involving a 23-year-old girl killed over an alleged photo bomb incident and how the suspect’s defense might approach the case. McDonough hammers home that the video will become Defense exhibit 1 since it appears from the video that the person they arrested was actually hit by the alleged victim and fell to the side when the real perpetrator kicked the victim while on the ground.
Next, McDonough responds to Grace’s claim a 14-year-old boy shot her sister over dirty laundry by pointing out that scenario is speculation and the more likely case was the young boy was showing off with the gun when it accidentally went off shooting his sister by accident and then running because he was a scared kid.
December 9, 2013 – Patrick McDonough spars with Nancy Grace pointing out there are mere allegation with multiple explanations as to whether or not a Kentucky mother tried to sell her newborn child. McDonough explains this could all be about a disgruntled cousin who was watching the child. Grace claims there is an admission when McDonough counters there has not been a statement produced merely supplemental report.
Next, Grace introduces “the killer bride” trial where a newlywed bride is accused of pushing her husband off of a cliff on their wedding day. McDonough explains how this could have easily have been a case where the new husband fell and the young bride merely did not react quickly enough reporting this to authorities for fear they would rush to judgment and misinterpret what happened.
On March 14, 2014, ATC Partner Trinity Hundredmark was a speaker at the Trial and Error CLE held in Atlanta, GA. The CLE focused on trial and appellate practice and covered a broad range of topics. It was broadcast live to 15 locations across the State. Trinity addressed the topic of Evidence. On May 3, 2011, The Georgia General Assembly enacted legislation to revise the Georgia Evidence Code. The purpose behind the change was to adopt the Federal Rules of Evidence to the extent those rules are consistent with the Georgia Constitution. The last time Georgia saw a wholesale revision to the Code was in 1863. Effective January 1, 2013, Title 24 of the Georgia Evidence Code was completely replaced.
Join us April 24th, 2014 for our annual “Kickin’ Cancer Cookout“
to raise funds for the Gwinnett County Relay for Life!
the cookout will be at One Sugarloaf Centre
1960 Satellite Blvd.
Duluth, Georgia 30097
from 11:30am to 1:30pm
Your $10 donation includes: hamburger or 2 hot dogs, chips, a side item, a dessert, and a drink.
ALL proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.