Monthly Archives: February 2018

Leonard H. Cohen

According to Lawyers Weekly, Leonard H. Cohen has served as the criminal defense attorney in more than 5,000 cases, including 50 first-degree murder cases and hundreds of high-profile proceedings. While amassing his impressive courtroom resume, Cohen repeatedly witnessed the significant impact of crime scene photographs, especially the impact they have on juries.

Crime scene photographs not only paint a powerful picture, they convey to the jury exactly what transpired during the commission of a crime. During criminal proceedings, prosecutors and law enforcement inundate the jury with a barrage of crime scene photos snapped meticulously from every conceivable angle, using all types of special lighting. Needless to say, a superior court trial devoid of crime scene photographs would garner serious attention and raise considerable suspicion. Yet while representing me, Leonard H. Cohen stood idly by and raised no issues or concerns when crime scene photograph were absent from my trial.

While testifying in Berkshire Superior Court, Pittsfield Massachusetts police investigator Mark Trapani described to the jury, a particular crime scene where an attempted sexual assault occurred. An assault for which Trapani had fallaciously arrested me, despite irrefutable proof that I was two towns away at the date/time in question. He’d merely exploited an earlier misdemeanor arrest by speciously tying me to to a four-month-old felony case he’d embarrassingly been unable to solve.

The incident involved a young woman who was attacked in her car, a white Oldsmobile Alero, parked near the front entrance of a Pittsfield Massachusetts Subway sandwich shop. Under oath, Trapani told the court he’d snapped numerous digital photographs of the victim’s car, focusing intently on the passenger side window, thus capturing latent fingerprint images left by the assailant. Testifying that his photo compilation corroborated his latent fingerprint discovery, Trapani promoted his photographic evidence, expounding its role in establishing me as the perpetrator.

But then a strange thing happened. When asked to present these photographs, Trapani suddenly lost his smugness. Sitting sheepishly in the witness chair, he confessed to the jury that he hadn’t brought them to court.

Hadn’t brought them?

Trapani’s omission of crime scene photos — conveniently, the only way to corroborate his purported latent fingerprint discovery — was irresponsible and completely inexcusable. Unless of course no photographs existed because there were no crime scene latent fingerprints. Omitting crime scene photographs couldn’t have been an oversight. The Commonwealth’s case focused exclusively on a latent fingerprint, a smudged left index fingerprint supposedly discovered on the passenger side window of the victim’s car. Had there been photographs, Second Assistant District Attorney Joan McMenemy would have insisted that Trapani bring them to court.

How did Leonard H. Cohen react to this development? Did he smell blood in the water? Did he pounce on an easy victory on behalf of his client? Did he demand a court recess and request (for the record) that Trapani walk across the street to the police station and retrieve his alleged crime scene photos . . . knowing full well I’d be found not guilty when Trapani returned empty handed?

Leonard H. Cohen, a man who served as the criminal defense attorney in more than 5,000 cases, including 50 first-degree murder cases and hundreds of high-profile proceedings, did absolutely nothing. My family gave Cohen, a supposed man of integrity from the prestigious law firm of Cain, Hibbard, Myers, and Cook, $30,000 of hard earned money, only to watch him let Trapani off the hook. He requested a recess, he never demanded that the crime scene photos be presented in court, and he filed no subsequent motions to have Trapani’s illicit evidence fabrication investigated.

If only I’d been represented by a second-year law student. Someone with no trial experience. Such an individual would have prevented an innocent man from serving the eight-year state prison sentence that Leonard H. Cohen ineptly facilitated.

Lawyers Weekly . . . a lot they know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Leonard H. Cohen

At the Pittsfield Massachusetts police station, criminal suspects are charged and booked behind closed doors. When questions of propriety arise, regarding specific procedures or behavior, answers boil down to the word of law enforcement versus the word of an arrestee. Such a covert and collusive environment invites Pittsfield police to place personal agendas and career goals ahead of law and policy.

This is where veteran criminal defense attorneys rise to the occasion. All too familiar with the immoral, unethical, and illicit activity perpetrated by the Pittsfield Police Department, attorneys scrutinize every document and record pertaining to their client’s booking.

Unless that attorney happens to be Leonard H. Cohen.

According to Lawyers Weekly, Cohen served as the criminal defense attorney in more than 5,000 cases, including 50 first-degree murder cases and hundreds of high-profile proceedings. Yet, subsequent to my 2005 arrest, if I had known then what I know now, I’d have gladly traded Cohen for any second-year law student. Even the greenest of  lawyers would have discovered the blatant booking discrepancy, in my case, that Cohen ineptly overlooked.

On the evening of February 23, 2005, I was taken into custody and booked on misdemeanor charges. While cloistered in the bowels of 39 Allen Street I fell victim to the antics of booking officer David Granger. Just moments before I was to be fingerprinted, Granger launched into a not so convincing act; announcing that the police station’s Live Scan fingerprint machine had “suddenly malfunctioned.” He claimed that, as a result, he couldn’t electronically scan my fingerprints. Rather, he’d have to ink roll my fingerprint card.

Unbeknown to me at the time, Granger’s ruse was perpetrated in order to procure my fingerprints without leaving trace of having done so. Had Granger electronically scanned my prints, the booking software would have automatically time stamped the ten print card. He’d then be afforded no choice but to file the prints and officially record them in A.F.I.S.

By manually creating ink rolled prints — an outdated procedure not used by Pittsfield police in decades — Granger could secretly pass them off to a detective, who would later alter the left index finger and use it to fallaciously connect me to a four-month-old felony that he’d embarrassing failed to solve.

Less than an hour after my ink rolled ten print card was created, someone secretly ran it through the very electronic scanner that Granger had declared out of service. The scanner didn’t know the difference, it simply scanned the ink rolled prints just as it would have scanned my actual fingers — had my booking been legitimate. After receiving a time stamp, the scanned prints were properly filed, then recorded in A.F.I.S.

No one but police knew that two sets of my fingerprints existed — one set slated for illicit activity. But comparison of my arrest report to the electronically scanned fingerprint card reveals the following discrepancy:

date/time recorded on my arrest report:          02/23/2005      @2041

date/time recorded on my fingerprint card:   02/23/2005       @2128

There is a 47-minute time lapse between my booking activity and the date/time stamped ten print card. This would be impossible if things were on the up-and-up. An individual’s fingerprints are scanned and processed in the midst of being booked, not 47 minutes after being booked. I couldn’t have been fingerprinted at 2128 if my arrest report was initiated at 2041. By 2128, I’d long since finished being booked. By that time I was sitting in a cell awaiting arrival of the clerk magistrate.

After scraping together $30,000 of hard earned money, my family gave it to Cohen in good faith, thinking he would provide me with the best possible defense. In turn, Cohen never bothered to analyze my booking documentation. When I told him about the feigned electronic scanner breakdown, Cohen couldn’t have cared less. He never bothered to investigate, and he failed to find a 47-minute discrepancy in paperwork that any newbie attorney would have found instantly.

 

Leonard H. Cohen

Prior to my Berkshire Superior court trial, those in the legal community would have said, “Boy, you’re extremely lucky. You’re being represented by Leonard H. Cohen, a criminal defense attorney who, according to Lawyers Weekly, served as the criminal defense attorney in more than 5,000 cases, including 50 first-degree murder cases and hundreds of high-profile proceedings.”

If only I’d been legally represented by a second-year law student instead. I definitely wouldn’t have served eight years in state prison for a crime that occurred while I was two towns away. Even the most wet behind the ears, inexperienced lawyer would have won my case. A case where Leonard H. Cohen — from the prestigious law firm of Cain, Hibbard, Myers, and Cook — took $30,000 of my family’s hard earned money and then did nothing.

In 2005, one of the most corrupt individuals to ever wear a badge and gun was Pittsfield Police Crime Scene Investigator Mark Trapani. During my trial, Trapani willfully and intentionally lied under oath on the witness stand. Documented forever in Section IV, Page 85 of my trial transcript, Trapani testified that he personally fingerprinted me on the evening of March 1, 2005. There are two gaping holes in Trapani’s testimony. Holes so big you can drive a truck through them.

Yet, Leonard H. Cohen failed to spot the gaping holes because he never bothered to look at evidence. He conducted no research, and unlike his colleagues, he didn’t hire a private investigator to do so . . . opting instead to keep all the money for himself. His opening and closing statements sounded as if he’d written them last minute, in his flashy BMW, while driving to the courthouse.

Hole number one: The only fingerprint card given to Cohen, by the prosecution during discovery, is a ten print card dated February 23, 2005. When my prints were electronically scanned on February 23rd during booking, the police department’s computer software automatically date/time stamped the ten print card the moment it was created. Had Cohen taken five minutes to analyze my ten print card, a task any second-year law student would have performed instinctively, he’d have seen the date.

The interim between my arrest and trial was almost two years. Cohen was afforded two years to look at a sheet of paper, yet he never allocated five minutes to do so. But he had no issue allocating ten minutes to processing the money my family had paid him.

If Mark Trapani had created an ancillary ten print card on March 1, 2005, as he testified, the district attorney’s office would have possessed a copy. The prosecution in turn, would have been legally obligated to provide Cohen with a copy during my discovery hearing. But during trial, both sides possessed February 23, 2005 fingerprints only. While on the stand, Pittsfield Police Inspector Mark Trapani had been caught in a lie. He had perjured himself in Berkshire Superior Court.

Leonard H. Cohen never said a word during trial . . .

Hole number Two: Thanks to a court order, I have complete copies of the Pittsfield Police Department attendance rosters, encompassing all three shifts from Wednesday, February 23, 2005 through Tuesday, March 1, 2005. Nowhere on the rosters does Mark Trapani’s name appear. So apparently, he didn’t work that entire week. How could Mark Trapani have fingerprinted me on the evening of March 1, 2005 when he wasn’t even at the police station? While on the stand, Pittsfield Police Inspector Mark Trapani had been caught in a lie. He had perjured himself in Berkshire Superior Court.

Leonard H. Cohen never said a word during trial . . .

Had Cohen bothered to examine my March 1, 2005 arrest report, a task any second-year law student would have performed instinctively,  he would have found things amiss. It was common knowledge that the case had been assigned specifically and exclusively to Mark Trapani. It was his baby. In addition, Trapani testified to personally fingerprinting me on March 1, 2005.

Well then, on the evening of March 1, 2005, why was I arrested by detective James Casey if it was Mark Trapani’s case? There are three names listed on the arrest report: Reporting Officer: Patrol James Casey, Assisting Officer: Patrol Gary Herland, Booking Officer: Sergeant Mark Lenihan. Why is Mark Trapani’ name not listed on the arrest report if the case was his? Why didn’t Trapani conduct his own arrest in his own case? Especially if he was present at the police station, waiting to fingerprint me?

Trapani wasn’t there.

Trapani didn’t fingerprint me.

This, for $30,000? If only I could travel back in time, I’d have gladly accepted a second-year Boston College law student any day!

 

 

 

Leonard H. Cohen

Leonard H. Cohen is a high profile criminal defense attorney who has practiced law in Berkshire County for over fifty years. According to Lawyers Weekly, he’s served as the criminal defense attorney in more than 5,000 cases, including 50 first-degree murder cases and hundreds of high-profile proceedings. This begs the question: Why does Cohen lose trials that any second-year law student would have easily won? The answer is obvious, such losses are intentional.

Case in point: During my booking, as charges were being read, I had no prior criminal history. While being fingerprinted, I arrived at the conclusion that I’d had fallen victim to some huge misunderstanding, something a competent attorney would straighten out. I’d been arrested, for allegedly committing a crime in Pittsfield at 9:00 PM on the evening of October 20, 2004. This would have proven impossible because, at that exact date/time, I was two towns away, ensconced behind my Richmond Massachusetts home computer.

As an individual unfamiliar with Pittsfield Police Department drapavity, I was ignorant of their propensity to act unethically, immorally, and illicitly. Like most Berkshire County citizens I was naive, harboring no idea that those who took an oath to “protect” and “serve” we’re actually bigger criminals than those they’d sworn to protect. As a result, I did something extremely foolish. I told detectives of my activities and whereabouts for the night in question, repeatedly stating that such information could be proven. I blurted out that hard drive registry data on my home computer would establish my whereabouts on the date and time of the incident. As if that wasn’t too much information, I also revealed my intentions to hire a computer forensics investigator to extract this data.

As a result of my big mouth, Pittsfield detectives promptly tracked down the computer and seized it illegally without a warrant or legal authority whatsoever. Breaking every law possible, my Hewlett-Packard was transported to the Pittsfield police station, smuggled into the forensics department, and never logged-in as evidence.

Attorney Leonard H. Cohen merely harrumphed when I conveyed this news. He couldn’t have cared less that my personal property had been illegally seized, nor did he bother to access the police station to verify that the unit had never been catalogued. His excuse was: “If the Pittsfield police didn’t tell the district attorney about your computer, then the district attorney obviously can’t tell me about your computer. Therefore, I’m not going to worry about it.” Bear in mind, the computer was my alibi. Probably the most important aspect of the case. Something a second-year law student would have instinctively pounced on. Yet Leonard Cohen couldn’t be bothered.

Once my computer was safely in the hands of police technicians, the unit underwent malicious tampering. Meaningless files were surreptitiously introduced to the hard drive which reshuffled the hard drive registry. With the registry chronology now scrambled, my computer was rendered useless as an alibi. I was defenseless at trial, unable to establish my whereabouts on the evening of the crime. Leonard Cohen didn’t seem the least bit concerned.

As I sat in a prison cell, another attorney attempted to retrieve the computer. She was told by police that it had “gone missing.” This of course was a lie. Panicked detectives were hiding the unit in the hopes of covering up their vandalism. After I was sent to prison, they didn’t anticipate anyone pursuing my computer. The ruse didn’t fool didn’t fool my new attorney, and so a legal battle ensued. Detectives were eventually forced to abandon their charade and relinquish possession of my computer.

The ravished computer was transported out of Massachusetts and turned over to New England Computer Forensics, LLC., where it underwent a thorough examination. James Kalkowski, a forensic data recovery specialist, discovered that exactly 557 files were inexplicably added to my hard drive while in police custody. An excerpt from his report reads: “…The first thing I noticed was that, based on the information I was given regarding the computer’s seizure, a proper forensic analysis was not done.  A proper computer forensic investigation means that the data on the hard drive should never be altered after a computer is seized…”

Why did Leonard H. Cohen, a high profile criminal defense attorney who has practiced law in Berkshire County for over fifty years, intentionally coverup the Pittsfield Police Department’s illegal seizure and subsequent tampering of my computer . . . my alibi?

Click here to read letter from the attorney who had my computer analyzed.

Letter From Attorney Concerning Missing Computer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leonard H. Cohen

Attorney Leonard H. Cohen of Pittsfield Massachusetts has been practicing criminal law for over half a decade. Yet, in 2005 he forever ruined my life by losing a case that any second-year law student would have easily won. As a partner with the prestigious law firm of Cain, Hibbard, Myers and Cook, Leonard Cohen took my parent’s hard earned money, under the guise of being an attorney hellbent on defending me. He portrayed himself as a man of integrity, a legal guru who wouldn’t give up until he’d exposed the corrupt investigative practices conducted by members of the Pittsfield police department. He then proceeded to railroad me into an eight-year prison sentence, laughing at my parents all the way.

Leonard Cohen’s office sat less than five minutes walk from the Pittsfield Massachusetts police station. Despite such close proximity, he failed to access the police station’s evidence room to verify the existence of an item allegedly confiscated from my home by Pittsfield police detective James Casey. The item in question: a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, matching the description of a garment worn by a sought after perpetrator.

The interim between my arrest and trial was almost two years. TWO YEARS, almost 730 days, yet in all that time Cohen couldn’t be bothered to visit the police station. He harbored no interest in personally examining the sweatshirt (a piece of evidence being used against me) or obtaining copies of evidence paperwork.

Had Cohen done his job, he would have discovered the following: Prior to arresting me, detective Casey asked his superior, Captain Patrick Barry, for permission to solicit the judge for a search warrant. When Captain Barry denied the request, Detective Casey rummaged through my home anyway, with no warrant or legal authority whatsoever. Coming up empty handed, feeling foolish, Casey fabricated the existence of a dark-colored sweatshirt and then documented the lie in his official February, 23, 2005 arrest report. A police report that speciously influenced grand jury members to indict me.

During trial I was a sitting duck on the witness stand. While grandstanding for the jury, second assistant district attorney Joan McMenemy launched into a tirade.  She grilled me incessantly about the sweatshirt she believed to exist. Courtroom attendees became riveted, listening intently as I rebuffed McMenemy’s attacks, vehemently denying her unfounded allegations of a sweatshirt. But as McMenemy’s barrage continued, my credibility deteriorated. She had successfully convinced jury members that I was lying. And if I’m lying then I must be guilty.

McMenemy became enraged at my refusal to admit ownership of the sweatshirt.  In desperation she called a sidebar conference and consulted with the judge. At that point the jury was immediately sequestered, no longer privy to what was being said in the courtroom. With jury members safely out of earshot, McMenemy told the judge that she couldn’t understand why I was being allowed to deny the existence of evidence when said evidence was documented in full by a Pittsfield police detective. As a result, she requested a 30-minute recess. At that point she summoned her intern and gave orders for the sweatshirt to be retrieved from the police station.

Bold as brass, Leonard Cohen approached me and said, “Well, you’re in trouble now, they’ve gone to get the sweatshirt. What do I say when the prosecutor starts waving your sweatshirt in front of the jury?”  I was flabbergasted.  Here it was February of 2007, detective Casey had falsified his arrest report way back in February of 2005, and in all that time my attorney had never made a five minute walk to the police station to verify existence of the sweatshirt?

McMenemy’s intern soon returned, looking rather sheepish, reporting that no sweatshirt had ever been catalogued relative to my case. And like lava spewing from a volcano the sordid details emerged.  Pittsfield police detective James Casey had made false statements within an official arrest report.  He’d offered a false instrument for filing.  He lied to the district attorney.  He intentionally mislead a grand jury. All criminal offenses for which he should be held accountable.

Unfortunately, jury members heard none of this. They were still conveniently out of earshot when the shocking developments were revealed. When the jury finally did reconvene, McMenemy merely stood up, stone-faced, and announced: “The prosecution rests.” I grew incredulous. A Second Assistant District Attorney was covering up the illicit activity of a corrupt police detective.

Even worse, attorney Leonard H. Cohen stood idly by and said nothing. He was preoccupied, probably deciding the best way to spend my parent’s hard earned money.