In reality, members of the BAU rarely leave their offices in Quantico, Virginia. While BAU members are full-fledged FBI agents, they rarely do fieldwork or make arrests. True Crime Magazine estimated that BAU criminal profilers spend about 90% of their time in the office and only 10% in the field. When they do go out in the field, it’s not to apprehend a suspect, and they’re never in danger.
On the other hand, one reason cop shows work is because they follow a very simple formula: Hero pursues bad guy, and hero catches bad guy. If Criminal Minds had stuck to reality, the audience would have never seen the heroes actually catch the bad guys themselves. Instead, that honor would have gone to a different random cop every week, whom the audience would never see again. It’s rare to have a dramatic cop show where the cops never arrest anyone, and after 15 seasons and over 300 episodes, it looks like Criminal Minds made the right bet.
TULSA, Okla. — A Green Country attorney will find out Thursday if he is a free man or if his fate will be put in the hands of a jury.
Winston Connor was arrested in early 2019 on numerous charges involving alleged crimes in three counties (Ottawa, Tulsa, and Pittsburg) where prosecutors said he worked with a prison gang leader on a murder for hire plot and a plot to assault a man who had stolen his secretary’s car in addition to recovering that car.
There are also charges related to whether or not he has ties to two massage parlors in the Tulsa metro area that have been busted for offering illegal sexual services.
On Wednesday, prosecutors tried to admit the tapes they said you could hear Connor planning with Tate a murder and an assault. Those tapes came from a wiretap the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics had on inmate Slint Tate’s cell phone he illegally was using in prison that had been sneaked in for him likely by a fellow gang member at an unknown earlier time. Tate was being investigated for drug trafficking in the maximum security prison in McAlester when state agents began to take note of Connor.
Tate’s gang operates both in and outside of prison, and on Wednesday, a state drug agent said there are people who do work for Tate once they get out of prison as a thank you for the protection he provided them while they were behind bars.
Prosecutors argue Connor wanted Tate to use his gang to kill a convicted murderer out of Tulsa County, Sterling Williams, because he killed the roommate of someone Connor is close to and that person barely escaped the incident. They also argue that Connor asked Tate to get back his secretary’s stolen car and beat up the man who took it. In exchange for these acts, Connor allegedly promised to look over Tate’s case and work hard to get him a reduced sentence.
Tate is in prison for life without parole for a murder he was convicted for back in 1999. Tate would be given an additional 20 years for a meth ring he ran behind bars in McAlester.
The tapes prosecutors claim prove Connor and Tate were working together were reviewed by Judge April Siebert in her chambers, and then were played in open court so a state drug agent testifying could identify who was talking to who. However, Siebert threw out some of the phone calls saying she heard nothing on them that proved a conspiracy to kill someone.
The defense claims that Tate likes to lie and exaggerate to motivate his crew to carry out what he wants. One of those lies was that Connor wouldn’t look at his case unless Tate’s gang did these two things for him. But the defense said the mention of Connor and what he allegedly wanted all came from Tate words and never from Connor’s own mouth.
Seibert said she did not clearly see how one of the main phone calls being used against Connor showed criminal conspiracy to commit a murder.
Testimony on other alleged crimes, including those related to two Tulsa area massage parlors busted for offering sex in addition to their services happened on Monday and Tuesday.
Closing arguments begin Thursday morning, and if not enough probable cause if determined, Connor could be a free man.
Amazon’s e-commerce empire relies on third-party sellers, but the company has long held that it is not responsible when products from these independent merchants turn up counterfeit, defective, or even dangerous. But a brewing lawsuit may change all that, and alter how Amazon and other e-commerce players do business forever.
In Amazon’s most recent Prime Day — postponed to October 2020 due to the coronavirus — the significance of third-party sales shone through. Third-party sales for the event topped $3.5 billion, eclipsing the company’s own retail business.
Meanwhile, third-party Amazon sellers are becoming a big business outside of the Seattle-based online giant, with private equity firms and other investors looking to buy up successful merchants for millions of dollars.
But an ongoing lawsuit could upend all that, and the ruling, in this case, could echo out to affect more companies than just Amazon. Walmart and other major players making a foray into third-party platforms could also be affected.
Plaintiff and Texas resident Morgan McMillan’s nineteenth-month-old daughter swallowed a battery to a remote control purchased on Amazon, from a seller called “USA Shopping 7693.” The baby was severely injured, but the Chinese-based seller or company couldn’t be found.
McMillan sued Amazon in Texas, even though the company has argued that it isn’t technically the merchant for the remote. Insider spoke with attorney and former Texas appellate justice John Browning, who has litigated product liability cases. He said that in the past, Amazon has tended to settle many cases before they get too far. Amazon declined to comment on the case.
“If I were a betting man, I’d probably give the edge to Amazon, but it’s a very real possibility, given our case law, that the ruling could go the other way,” Browning said. “There are huge implications.”
Texas isn’t the only state where Amazon has been sued over allegedly defective products sold on its website. In California, an appellate court ruled last August that a woman who was burned by a defective Chinese laptop battery sold through the “Fulfilled by Amazon” program could hold Amazon liable.
The case is currently set for trial in October, court records show. Jeremy Robinson of the law firm CaseyGerry, who represents plaintiff Angela Bolger in that case, said Amazon appears to have stopped allowing third-party sellers to do business under fake names after the decision came down, but he said it wasn’t clear whether it was prompted by the lawsuit.
“There’s basically a zero-percent chance of actually getting anything” from any defendants other than Amazon, said Robinson, who is also representing consumer advocacy groups in the Texas case. It could be very difficult to seize a shipment from a Chinese seller or to sue in Chinese courts, he added.
Legislators in California have proposed a new bill, AB 1182, that would clarify when electronic retailers can be held liable for defective products, although debate on the measure in its early stages. Amazon endorsed a similar proposal that passed the California senate in 2020, but other online retailers opposed it and that bill never became law.
Craig Crosby, who founded consumer advocacy group Counterfeit Report, told Insider that Amazon and other e-commerce players have long ignored the issue of counterfeit, pirated, and defective goods “through legal loopholes.”
“Let’s bring it down to just common sense. Do you really say, ‘Anyone can sell anything on my website and I am not responsible for it’? Whereas a brick and mortar store is?” he said. “When you walk into a Walmart store and buy food, you have an expectation that that food is pure and healthy. When you buy it online — anything goes.”
Are you an Amazon third-party seller with a story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.