PRIVATE EYES OF TEXAS

June of 2010 Edition

A Message from J.J.,

gradoni-jan-13This is our 2nd newsletter for 2010. We’ve enjoyed a very good start to the year in spite of the depressed economy. We’ve been working very hard with our clients, juggling investigations along with trial preparations on a number of Capital cases. The fact that we have such a large and diversified staff is what makes this all possible.

We have had some great results so far this year which are outlined in the newsletter. I sincerely appreciate our clients who continue to refer business to us. I would like to thank Katherine Scardino, David Adler, Bob Loper, Gene Tausk and Lynn Shannon for referring new clients. Special thanks to my old friend and buddy, Rob Fickman, who referred three new clients.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS

Since our office is only twenty miles from the Montgomery County Courthouse, we have started to get work in that jurisdiction. We have some experience in that area, having worked with James Rytting on the Swearingen Stay of Execution and working Capital cases with Robert Morrow, Gerald Bourque and Katherine Scardino. We have had a number of successes with local attorney, Gilbert Garcia.

The other day I was in Montgomery County with Katherine Scardino on a Capital case involving a Defendant who is deaf and only speaks sign language. While I was standing in the Reception area of the District Attorney’s office waiting to receive the file to review, District Attorney, Brett Ligon walked through the door, giving me a very warm greeting. My relationship with Brett goes back a number of years when he was the attorney for the Houston Policeman’s Union. We provided investigative support for his cases.

Also in the lobby was attorney Gilbert Alvarado. Brett introduced me to Alvarado as one of the best investigators in the business, who provided clients with very detailed reports and work product. Brett even made the comment that I put out a newsletter highlighting our results.

The accolade from Brett certainly was much appreciated and I could not resist putting what occurred in the newsletter.

TRUE OR NOT TRUE

A Family Law Judge was overheard to say, “Mr. Fickman, I have reviewed your case very carefully and I have decided to give your wife $775 a week.” The response that was heard throughout the courtroom was, “That is very fair Your Honor and every now and then I will try to send her a few bucks myself.”

NEW TEAM MEMBER

ANGELA WILLIS

Angela Willis came aboard in February of this year as an Investigator.

Angela grew up in La Marque, Texas, graduating from La Marque High School. She has nine years of Police experience as a Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant and Detective. As a result of her years in law enforcement, Angela has a firm grasp on Police procedures, the interaction of the Penal Code with what occurs on the street and how Police document their activities.

Angela has proven to be a very competent interviewer, who has the patience and skill needed when talking to witnesses that allows her to obtain any and all of the information they may possess.

Angela has training in the recognition of body language and other tell-tale signs that would indicate when an individual is being truthful or deceitful. In addition to all of Angela’s qualities, being female just adds another dimension to our already diversified staff. Another of Angela’s strong points is her ability to investigate, research and utilize all the Internet sources available, which some of us old timers are not very good at. Angela has also shown the ability to handle sexual offense cases with the delicacy it requires to gain information.

We are very happy she has come aboard as a member of our team.

HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS

We were all disappointed to hear that the Administrative Judges were going to cut Appointed Attorney fees for a 2nd time and now have included an hourly reduction for investigator fees. We plan to continue to do appointed work since our client base is diversified enough to allow us to continue these efforts.

It appears that our efforts on each defendant’s case may have to be more streamlined. It really has been amazing the number of successes we have had in this arena by pursuing these cases to their limits.

I HAD IT ALL… He Said

Recently, when interviewing a Capital Murder defendant, he bragged that prior to his arrest he “had it all.” When I asked what he meant by the statement he answered “I had plasma TVs .” When I responded with a straight face, “No way, you are twenty years old and you had plasma TVs?” He replied proudly, “I had three plasma TVs and Direct TV.

The defendant further lamented that when he lost his job and could not pay the Direct TV bills, the service was cut off and he decided to try a life of crime to earn extra money. I explained that his choice of how to earn extra money probably wasn’t a very wise decision and the Direct TV defense would probably not be sufficient for an acquittal.

World Investigative Conference

june-2010-1The World Investigative Conference was held in March at the Sheraton Inn in Dallas. The keynote speaker was John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted. In addition to myself and Carey Wellmaker, Benito Segura and George Wellmaker attended the Conference with us.

We attended lectures regarding interviewing and statement taking, international investigations, Internet profiling and intelligence, corporate fraud investigations and other subjects.june-2010-2

We left the Conference with a lot of newly acquired information and training. We also had an opportunity to network with current and new contacts.

Carey waited in line to have her picture taken with John Walsh. I did not wait in line to have my picture taken with Sherlock Holmes. At least I thought it was Sherlock Holmes but I later found out it was the curator of the National Private Investigator Museum located in California.

  • The Lawyer Who Was On Parole
    Attorney Denis Ducran of Cokinos, Bosien & Young was trying to find an individual who had fraudulently represented himself as an attorney. Attempts to serve this individual were not successful. Gradoni & Associates Investigate Polly Korzekwa went to work with her magic
  • The Active Catatonic
    Attorney Lynne M. Shannon of Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith was defending a company against a Plaintiff who claimed that as a result of his injury, he was catatonic. He could no longer operate a computer, count to 10, enjoy TV, etc. The Plaintiff’s quality of
  • Missing Children: Mom’s Call Leads to Service
    Attorney Laura Dale represented a doctor in Sweden, who had been given custody of his son in the Swedish Courts. The mother, an American, took her son to the Houston/Beaumont area for a vacation and never returned. Gradoni Detectives Take on The Case Our mission was to locate
  • Busted! Mom, Daughter Date New Boyfriend, Son
    We were asked by an individual to surveil his wife while he was out of town in order to identify her boyfriend. Gradoni Investigates Infidelity Claims During the course of a week-long surveillance, we obtained video on a daily basis of the wife with her boyfriend. On one Friday
  • Polly: If It’s There I’ll Find It
    Attorney Frank V. Panzica represented a father who had primary custody of his child. The child’s mother became very sick and her new boyfriend showed up with Power of Attorney over all of her matters. Frank believed that the new boyfriend had a number of issues in the State of
  • “Challenged” College Student Falsely Accused of Rape
    Attorney Scott Ballard and Attorney Travis Fleetwood represented a mentally challenged college student who was charged with the sexual assault of his dormitory resident advisor, a female. Team Gradoni Investigates We were able to document that the Defendant’s mental condition,
  • The Case of the Serial Road Ragist
    Attorney Gilbert Garcia represented an Airline Pilot who became the focus of Road Rage by an individual who actually followed him to his house, after tailgating him for some distance. The Pilot, fearing for his safety when the individual would not leave, went into his house and
  • Crackhead-Involved Shooting, Failed Extortion Ploy
    Attorney Gilbert Garcia represented a Defendant who was charged with the shooting of his brother during a disagreement at their father’s house. Our Private Investigators Take The Case Investigators were able to assist Gilbert in putting together a package, which showed that
  • Revelations of Record Retrieval
    Attorney Julie Ketterman and Attorney Colin Amann were representing an individual who was stopped by a DPS Trooper in the Valley for operating a suspicious vehicle. The Trooper claimed that he became suspicious of the vehicle after he had run the license plate and did not get
  • Fast Food Employee Acquitted of Robbery
    Attorney Lana Gordon represented a female defendant charged with Aggravated Robbery. The defendant claimed from the onset that she was innocent because she was working at McDonald’s at the time the robbery occurred. Gradoni Detectives Look Into the Matter George Wellmaker was
  • Aggravated Assaults & Misunderstandings
    Attorney Thomas A. Martin represented a Defendant with numerous priors who was charged with stabbing her husband in a domestic dispute. Our Investigation Team Gets Involved George Wellmaker was able to determine that the only witness to the incident was homeless and could not be
  • Robbery of Bicycle at Gunpoint, They Claimed
    Attorney Gary Polland represented 1 of 3 Juveniles charged with stealing a bicycle and then shooting at the Complainant after the theft occurred. The State wanted to certify our Defendant as an adult. Gradoni & Associates Investigates Said Robbery Our Investigation
  • The “Saved Ass” Criminal Defense Investigation
    Attorney Patricia Sedita represented a Defendant in Fort Bend County, who was charged with Aggravated Assault during a robbery attempt at an individual’s apartment. The Defendant admitted he had come by the apartment shortly after the incident to see the Complainant, his dope
  • The Double Intoxication Manslaughter Case
    Attorney Tom Martin represented a young lady charged with 2 counts of Intoxicated Manslaughter as a result of a traffic accident. Gradoni Detectives Investigate the Killings After interviewing all of the witnesses to the accident, it was apparent that a jury would find the
  • The Legitimized Narcotics Investigation
    Attorney Thomas A. Martin represented a Defendant charged with Possession of Hydrocodone tablets. Gradoni Investigates for the Law Firm During the course of our investigation, we were able to obtain valid prescriptions for half of the pills in the Defendant’s possession. The
  • Robbery Investigation: ID Manipulation Suspected
    Attorney Robert Morrow and Attorney Gerald Bourque represented 2 brothers charged with the Aggravated Robbery of a large retail pharmacy. Morrow’s client was alibied on a farm in Madisonville at the time the robbery occurred. Bourque’s client was actually a victim of
  • Investigation Results in Rape Charge Dismissal
    Attorney David Adler represented the brother of Robert Fickman’s client in Juvenile Court, also charged with fondling the same Complainant. After Fickman beat up the State so bad in his Trial, David’s case was Dismissed. RESULT BASED ON INVESTIGATION: Sexual Assault Charges
  • Investigation Results: Not Guilty of Sexual Assault
    Attorney Robert Fickman represented an individual charged with fondling one of his father’s girlfriend’s daughters during the time they were living together. Attorney Demands an Investigation Rob was on a mission, leaving no stone unturned, directing us to gather supportive
  • Iraq War Veteran Vs. Gang Banger… Aggravated
    Attorney Patricia “Patti” Sedita represented an Iraq War Veteran who was charged with shooting an alleged gang-banger. As the story went, the person who was shot was assaulting one of the defendant’s friends at a Pool Hall in the Houston area. Gradoni &

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