Significant Cases

As a criminal defense attorney at my practice, the Law Office of Steven Rocket Rosen, I have represented clients in many controversial and well-known cases. Each of these has presented unique challenges, but when a case is the focus of intense media interest then the pressure on client and attorney alike increases substantially.

Some of the significant cases I have handled include:

The Branch Davidian Case

Beginning in 1993, I started representing two members of the Branch Davidians, Kevin Whitecliff and Livingstone Fagan. They were among those charged with killing two Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents during the standoff at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Originally charged with first-degree murder, I got the charges reduced to manslaughter. Mr. Whitecliff and Livingstone Fagan were sentenced to 15 years in prison, and they have since been released.

Madelyn Toogood

Madelyn Toogood was getting into her car in a South Bend, Indiana parking lot when a surveillance camera filmed her apparently striking her child repeatedly. She was arrested and the incident received intense national attention due to constant exposure on the 24 hour a day cable networks. She hired me to defend her against felony charges. Had she lost, she very likely would have lost custody of her child. Despite the notoriety of the case and the negative publicity generated because of Ms. Toogood’s association with a group of itinerant migrants called the Irish Travelers, I was able to convince the judge and prosecutor to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. My client admitted her mistake in court and in lieu of jail time enrolled in an anger management class.

The Shovel Case

Joseph Sybille, 48, was a retired Coast Guard lieutenant living in First Colony, Texas. He and his family had experienced much conflict with a neighbor. While these disputes began as minor arguments involving alleged property infringements and the like, they escalated due to the neighbor’s openly racist opinions and verbal abuse of Mr. Sybille, who is African-American. The neighbor became so consumed by these disputes that he placed a video camera on the roof of his house to document the alleged trespasses. On one occasion when Sybille was doing some landscape work in his yard, an argument between Sybille and the neighbor became heated and erupted into a fight. Mr. Sybille was filmed beating the neighbor with the shovel he was using, and the film was used as evidence when Sybille was arrested on felony assault and battery charges. Joseph Sybille hired me to defend him. My representation resulted in a reduced misdemeanor charge, and one year probation for Mr. Sybille.

For a consultation with criminal defense lawyer Steven Rocket Rosen, call 713-227-2900 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or contact us online.