Our Blog

Legal News Roundup: March 17

Here’s a roundup of recent legal stories in the news.

Florida Teen Pleads Guilty to Hacking Twitter Accounts of Biden, Celebrities

Tampa Bay Times – The teen who took control of well-known Twitter accounts last summer and used them to solicit more than $100,000 in Bitcoin pleaded guilty to state charges Tuesday in exchange for a three-year prison sentence.

In a deal with prosecutors, Graham Ivan Clark agreed to serve three years in prison, followed by three years probation.

Clark was 17 when he was accused of masterminding a brazen social media hack that targeted some of the world’s most famous names, among them: President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg, Warren Buffet, Floyd Mayweather, Kim Kardashian, Apple, Uber and other companies.

Read the full story.

Michigan man charged with threatening to kill Biden, Pelosi and Whitmer

Reuters – Michigan state prosecutors have charged a 21-year-old man with threatening to kill President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, saying he claimed to “be the catalyst” for an American revolution.

The office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel charged Joshua Docter, 21, with threatening terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime. Each count carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

FBI Director Christopher Wray has warned of the growing threat of homegrown violent extremism in the United States.

Read the full story.

Ex-officer wants jury to hear about 2019 George Floyd arrest


WDIO – A lawyer for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd, wants to bring up Floyd’s history of drug use, as well as a prior test.

Attorney Eric Nelson is attempting to show jurors that Floyd was partly to blame for his own death. In the May 6, 2019 arrest, a panicked Floyd swallowed several opioid pain-killer pills as police approached. He was later treated at a hospital.

Nelson has argued that the main cause of Floyd’s death a year later, which was ruled a homicide, was the opioid fentanyl found in his blood at autopsy.

A prosecutor says it’s irrelevant and that Derek Chauvin’s lawyer is trying to smear Floyd to excuse his client’s actions.

Read the full story.

Ariana Grande Settles Lawsuit

CMU – A song-theft lawsuit that accused Ariana Grande of ripping off an earlier song on her 2019 hit ‘7 Rings’ has been settled.

Grande and her co-writers on the 2019 track were sued last year by Josh Stone. He said Grande’s hit lifted elements of his song ‘You Need It, I Got It.’

The lawsuit stated that “a layperson listening to the ‘hook’ and chorus of both songs can hear the strikingly similar and, at times, identical beat, rhythm and lyrics of both songs”.

No details of the settlement have been revealed.

Read the full story.