Author Archives | J. Donatelli

OJ Simpson released from prison

The juice is loose! Once an embraced phrase, that is sure to bring many people’s blood to a boil when they wake up to this news.

Former NFL star O.J. Simpson is once again a free man. Simpson was released early this morning after spending nine years behind bars for his involvement in an attempted heist in Las Vegas. That incident led to another arrest and this time, conviction that included a long prison sentence.

Simpson’s lawyers said the long sentence was unfair while many people believe it was a make up call and justice for him avoiding conviction when he was accused of the duel murder of his ex-wife and her friend. That acquittal in 1995 in Los Angeles was called the “trial of the century” and caused an uproar around the country.

Simpson’s release occurred at 12:08 a.m. PDT from Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada and prison officials said this was planned to avoid a media circus.

Simpson, now 70 years old, was granted freedom and parole at a hearing in July this year and will face five years of parole supervision.

On Sept. 16, 2007, Simpson led five men to a Las Vegas casino to retrieve personal items that Simpson insisted were stolen after his acquittal in the 1994 murders. Two of Simpson’s accomplices were packing guns and this all led to his conviction.

A friend of Simpson’s recently said Simpson was planning to move back to Florida. Simpson is a former resident of Florida but lost his Miami area house in 2012 to foreclosure. His children, Justin and Sydney, also reside in the state so it appears to be his best option.

The Florida Department of Corrections said they have not received a transfer request while Pam Bondi, the controversial attorney general, said Florida doesn’t want him there. She said:

“The specter of [OJ Simpson] residing in comfort in Florida should not be an option. Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal.”

About the Vegas arrest that led to a conviction, Simpson told officials that leading the group of armed men into the 2007 hotel room confrontation was an error in judgment. He also told a Vegas parole board that he has led a “conflict-free life”. That comment fueled a social media blitz of anger because most people feel he got away with the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Simpson once known as “Juice”, won the Heisman Trophy while playing for USC in 1968 and became one of the NFL’s all-time great running backs and a fan favorite with the Buffalo Bills.

A jury swiftly acquitted him of those murders but Simpson was found liable in civil court for the killings and ordered to fork over more than $33 million to the Goldman family and others.

The Goldmans have been staying on top of this too, following most every move Simpson has made since being granted the case, and demanding any money he makes to go to the them and the civil judgment. The family says that judgment has doubled, escalating to about $65 million.

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Dodgers keep extending MLB record streaks

The Los Angeles Dodgers are on a roll like never before as they added yet another series win, this one coming in the hands of the San Diego Padres. Sunday’s rubber match win against the Padres marked the 19th straight series win.

The series win streak started in early June and the Dodgers have tallied a 28-5 record since that time, improving to a MLB best 83-34. When you calculate the numbers, they are also on pace to seriously challenge the MLB record 115 wins that was accomplished by the Seattle Mariners in 2001.

This latest Dodgers’ win, a 6-4 win against the Padres, came in Dodger Stadium with the help of home runs by Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal.

They also extended another record streak on Sunday. It was the 57th straight game that the team tallied two or more extra base hits, now putting the Dodgers well ahead of that old mark of 49 games that was owned by Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig’s 1937 Yankees.

Manager Dave Roberts clearly has his team in a zone and although there is still a long road ahead, if you don’t believe in a team peaking too early, then bet on the Dodgers making it to the World Series.

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Cowboys’ Garrett dead-end press conference

Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett just gave the most dead end NFL press conference we may see all season and we haven’t even seen a preseason kickoff yet.

Photo: Keith Allison Wiki Commons

It was clear from the beginning that media was interested in talking about one thing, and one thing only. The fact that wide receiver Lucky Whitehead was cut by the team, but then shortly after Prince William County Virginia police revealed that their announcement that Whitehead was involved in a shoplifting incident was due to mistaken identity.

Garrett only spoke for about three minutes but during that time was hammered with questions regarding the potential unfair treatment Whitehead received from the coach and team. Garrett repeated the same rhetoric ten times, not budging while answering all questions with the same response.

Police said the person charged with shoplifting in a June 22 incident, gave the name, DOB and social security number of Whitehead and it led to them announcing the Cowboys player was charged.

Whitehead made this comment in a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News:

“Let’s not sugarcoat anything. I was pretty much being called a liar [by the Cowboys].”

Here are Garrett’s answers to the questions he faced about the police mistaken identity and cutting Whitehead:

Garrett answer #1: Yesterday we made a decision that was deemed to be in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We’re standing by that decision. We’re going to move on.

Garrett answer #2: Yesterday we made a decision we felt was the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We’re going to stand by that decision. We’re going to move on.

Garrett answer #3: It’s the truth. We made a decision we felt was in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys.

Garrett answer #4: I’ll stand by the statement that I made. We made a decision yesterday that we felt was in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We’re going to stand by that decision. We’re going to move forward.

Garrett answer #5: Yesterday we made a decision that we felt that was in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We’re going to stand by that decision. We’re going to move forward.

Garrett answer #6: Again, guys, I’m not going to continue to address this. We made a decision that we felt was in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We’re going to stand by that decision and we’re going to move on.

Garrett answer #7: We know lot a lot of things about our players that you guys don’t know.

Garrett answer #8: Guys, we made a decision yesterday that we felt was in the best interest of our team. And in evaluating the particular situation and the context of that situation, we felt like we made a decision in regards to Lucky that was right for our team. And we stand by that decision.

Garrett answer #9: I think the best thing for Lucky is to have a clean slate. And he’ll have a new opportunity somewhere else. That’s good for him. And again, it’s in the best interest of our football team.

Garrett answer #10: We had a number of conversations regarding this. And again, we made a decision that we think is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys.

At this point the media still did not back down and asked why other players with issues are still on the team. Garrett said:

Guys, this will be the last time I’ll say it. We made a decision yesterday in regards to Lucky Whitehead that we think is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We’re standing that by that decision. We’re going to move forward. If you have any other football questions, I’m happy to answer them.”


Welcome to the Dallas Cowboys NFL 2017 season.

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Raiders cheerleaders win $1.25M lawsuit

The Oakland Raiders cheerleaders won a lawsuit against the team and may set a new precedent for pom-pom waivers across the league. The $1.25 million settlement is to be distributed to approximately 100 ladies who have worked as Raiderettes.

The suit alleged the Raiders failed to pay minimum wage, pay overtime or reimburse their cheerleaders for squad related expenses from the 2010-14 seasons.

Bottom line: All Raiderettes who performed for more than one season is expected to receive more than $20,000 from the settlement. To sum it up, according to their attorneys the girls are getting back pay “equivalent to minimum wage for all hours worked, all overtime pay and reimbursed for all out of pocket expenses”.

In a related story, back in July, the Raiders organization offered their cheerleading group a deal that nearly tripled their pay but before you jump up and start waving your pom-poms know this…that deal raised their pay to minimum wage of $9 per hour.

Nonetheless, both of these are wins.

With the Raiders planning their move to Las Vegas where a $1.9 billion stadium will house them, minimum wage for cheerleaders sure sounds like an underpayment. That stadium cost is like two Jerry’s houses and who would’ve thought Jerry’s house in Dallas wouldn’t be the biggest on the block?

The settlement and the increased pay moving forward is a win for the Raiders too because it removes future allegations of the team violating California labor laws that included failing to pay minimum wage, not reimbursing mandatory business expenses and dispersing paychecks once per year.

Raiderettes work hours are normally 350 hours per season so when you calculate the “raise” increases their pay from about $1,250 to approximately $3,200. Add in overtime and other appearances and well, it’s better than it was.

There are other suits against the NFL regarding cheerleading. There are class action and individual happening as we write this. Most of those suits are hitting on pay structure and unfair wages.

BTW, in case you’re wondering why mascot are not removing their heads, slamming them down in the end zone and fighting for better pay, they may not need to. According to sources, mascots earn up to $60,000 per year with benefits thrown in.

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Police release Aaron Hernandez suicide report

More info was released regarding the suicide of Aaron Hernandez and indicates he did the deed himself. An autopsy was also performed by the state medical examiner’s office that stated the cause of death was asphyxia by hanging and ruled the death a suicide.

State Photo

In the report released by state police, it states Hernandez’s right middle finger had a fresh cut and there was blood on adjacent fingers. He also wrote “John 3:16” on his forehead and created circles of blood on both feet, possibly imitating the marks that would have been left on Jesus’s feet if he were hanging from a cross.

Police also found “John 3:16” written on the walls of his cell, possibly from blood he used from a self-inflicted cut on his finger. Near the wall police also found a bible opened to the John 3:16 verse that was also marked in blood, shown in the photo in this article.

Correction officers told investigators Hernandez was locked in his cell approximately 8 p.m. on April 18 with one officer last seeing Hernandez about five hours later at 1 a.m.

A few hours later, the same officer noticed a bed sheet hanging in front of the window, blocking the view into Hernandez’s cell. The officer said he asked Hernandez to remove the sheet. The officer poked at the sheet until it fell to get a view and discovered Hernandez hanging from another bed sheet from the window.

Police said they listened to the last five phone calls Hernandez made and the prisoner did not make any indication he would harm himself.

One of the inmates also told police that Hernandez told him that when you die your soul gets reincarnated. Other parts of the report also indicate Hernandez may have also been aware of the fact if he died in prison with his open appeal happening then his case would get thrown out.

After all the speculation, this case seems pretty cut and dry; although his attorney Jose Baez vowed to have his company do its own investigation.

This athlete’s life took quite a turn after he signed a $40 million contract with the best team in the NFL.

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Joshua beats Klitschko – TKO in 11th

Heavyweight division boxing just got the boost it desperately needed, compliments of Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. The two heavies went toe-to-toe and put on an awesome display, reminding the world how heavyweight boxing used to be, and can be.

In the end, Joshua remained standing after a commanding performance that earned him an 11th-round technical knockout of ex-champion Klitschko. The fight took place in London at Wembley Stadium in front of a frenzied packed record audience of 90,000.

Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) retained his IBF heavyweight title while adding the WBA belt in a fight that sent both fighters to the canvas in the middle rounds. But both fighters showed grit and managed to get back onto their feet to take the fight deeper until it ended in the 11th.

Joshua decked Klitschko in the 5th round but the 41-year-old got back onto his feet, recovered and swung the momentum. That momentum carried into the next round when Klitschko knocked Joshua down and had the Brit in trouble.

Joshua composed himself and came back, later dropping Klitschko to the deck twice, prompting referee David Fields to stop the fight at the 2:25 mark of the 11th.

After the fight, the judge’s cards showed mixed results with Don Trella (96-93) and Nelson Vazquez (95-93) having Joshua ahead and Steve Weisfeld having Klitschko on top 95-93.

After dominating the heavyweight division for a decade in a run that included 23 title defenses, Klitschko suffered his second defeat in a row, both coming against British fighters.

During the post fight interview, Klitschko complimented both Joshua and the British fans, saying:

“I’m really sad I didn’t make it tonight. But all the respect to Anthony. Congratulations. Love and respect to you guys. 90,000 people. You’re awesome.”

Joshua was guaranteed $20 million for this fight but is now set up for even a larger payday and after seeing these warriors go at it, don’t be surprised if we hear a buzz about a Joshua and Klitschko rematch.

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Aaron Hernandez found dead in jail

Former NFL star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was found dead hanging in his jail cell early this morning. The former player’s life has been in a tailspin since being arrested, convicted and slapped with a life sentence for a murder conviction in 2013.

Aaron Hernandez mugshot

The bizarre factor regarding this hanging is the fact just days ago, Hernandez was fighting to beat a double-murder charge; a court battle he won with an acquittal.

After that court victory, his defense attorney, Jose Baez, indicated Hernandez could win an appeal of the earlier conviction and be back with his family in the future. So if the game plan was to beat all convictions and charges and get back on the street, why would Hernandez suddenly shift gears and kill himself?

Was there foul play involved in this hanging? If so, it would take an army to beat down Hernandez and do the deed. But according to a statement released by the prison, guards at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Massachusetts found Hernandez hanging from a bed sheet attached to a window in his cell at about 3 a.m. and the inside of the cell had items crammed against the door to stop or delay an attempted entry.

After hearing the news of the hanging, Hernandez’s former agent Brian Murphy said there was “absolutely no chance” his former client would commit suicide.

At the time of this article there has been no mention of a suicide note and prison officials said there is an active ongoing investigation.

Attorney Baez also made a statement, saying:

“Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence… The Baez Law Firm will participate in its own examination into this tragic event.”

Just last Friday, Hernandez was emotional after being acquitted of the 2012 double-murder shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Although he was still serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his earlier murder conviction, he appeared to be poised to fight that conviction with an appeal.

So Hernandez is found hanging in a cell on the same day his former Patriots team is visiting the White House to celebrate their latest Super Bowl win. Hmm, that’s just another bizarre thought to throw into this unforeseen incident.

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MLB slams Marte with 80 game suspension

Photo: Sports Crazy UCinternational Wiki Commons

Performance enhancing drugs snagged another victim in MLB.

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte has been suspended for 80 games. The suspension starts immediately and runs well into July.

The 28-year-old Marte tested positive for a drug called Nandrolone after coming off his best season ever. Marte earned a Gold Glove and batted .311 with nine home runs last year with that performance earning him an All-Star nod.

At the time of the suspension, Marte was hitting .241 with two home runs and seven RBIs this season.

Marte is in his 6th season with the Pirates who, after a slow 6-7 start, cannot afford to lose their All-Star outfielder. Marte’s steady glove is expected to be replaced by Andrew McCutchen who last season owned the infamous title of worst fielding center fielder in MLB.

Marte released a statement through his player’s union saying:

“I apologize to my family, the Pittsburgh Pirates, my teammates, my fans, and baseball in general.”

BTW, in case you were wondering how this suspension is without pay and affects the postseason for the Pirates as well. MLB added a rule a few years ago stating suspended players cannot play in the postseason of any year they are suspended, even if that suspension ends prior to the start of postseason. And that will be the case with Marte.

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Jackie Robinson statue at Dodger Stadium

The Los Angeles Dodgers will unveil a bronze statue of Jackie Robinson outside Dodger Stadium today to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Robinson breaking the MLB race barrier. Above is a peek at the statue in a Twitter post by ESPN sportswriter Arish Markazi yesterday.

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson emerged from the tunnel at Ebbets Field in a Brooklyn Dodgers’ uniform bearing the number 42. It was that very instant he broke Major League Baseball’s infamous color line.

This statue takes the exposure of Robinson’s historic moment to the next level on a day when every MLB player wears his Number 42. The number 42 was retired by MLB 20 years ago so April 15th is the only day players ever take the field wearing it. Prior to the retirement, many players wore it throughout the league.

A major film called “42” was released in 2013 and if you haven’t watched it, it’s a great time to see the difficult challenges Robinson faced when he first broke into the league.

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Former Patriots Hernandez acquitted of two murders

Photo: Jeffrey Beall Wiki Commons

Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of two murders this week but don’t let that headline fool you. The gun slinging former New England Patriots tight end is still serving a life sentence without parole for another murder. This double murder acquittal involved two other men who were killed in Boston in 2012.

The 27-year-old Hernandez was at this latest trial, this time accused of killing Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu in a drive-by shooting after an altercation at a bar.

Hernandez pleaded not guilty and the jury acquitted him of seven out of eight charges on Friday after 37 hours of deliberation. The one charge that stuck was a illegal firearms charge. The acquitted charges included armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

After the acquittal, D.A. Daniel Conley said:

“We’re disappointed the jury just didn’t see it our way.”

Well, a lot of other people are disappointed as well. A slew of evidence was presented against a guy with a serious criminal history yet the D.A. still lost the case.

It was reported that Hernandez was emotional after the verdict was read but he’s serving life in prison without parole so why would he be so moved and why is this decision of so much importance? Well Hernandez’ attorney who also represented Casey Anthony is going around saying Hernandez will get out of prison so that may explain the importance of this verdict. Good luck with that, though.

After murdering Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player in June 2013, Hernandez was slapped with the life sentence so although he walked on these latest charges, people can look at the 2015 life sentence he was dealt as some type of justice.

Hard to believe that not long ago, Hernandez was living the life of an NFL star with a $40 million contract with the best team in football but now can only sit and watch his former Patriots team hoist Super Bowl trophies.

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