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Suspect faced by feds with Facebook

White-collar defense lawyer Patrick O’Donnell used a war story to warm up the crowd yesterday at the Norfolk-Portsmouth annual bench-bar conference.

During a discussion of e-discovery with a panel of state and federal judges, several jurists showed they work to keep up their tech skills, even though they’re not online as much as the average teenager.

You’ve got to keep up, or you’ll pay the price. Or your client will pay the price.

Some time back, O’Donnell was defending a young man charged with a break-in and theft of 10 guns. Not nine guns, but 10, a threshold for a more serious penalty. But the government had to prove that number.

After the alleged offense, the defendant went out joyriding, met up with some girls and posed for pictures, brandishing the guns, gangsta-style. No, the defendant was not foolish enough to post those pictures online.

The girls, however, posted the photos on their Facebook pages, tagged them with the defendant’s name, and “everyone they know sees them.”

Everyone, that is, but O’Donnell.

“The FBI called me in to show me their case. It was pretty demoralizing,” O’Donnell said.
By Deborah Elkins

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