Meet 27 y/o Melissa Schneider. Yes, that’s her below…
And that is her husband, 25 y/o Jonathon Kokontis, cuffed and seated next to her in the backseat of a Seminole County, Florida police cruiser.
As the image suggests, back in September (09/06) of 2014 the pair were detained together in a police vehicle, suspected of multiple burglaries, which just so happened to be (as many are) wired with excellent digital audio and video recording equipment. As they spent approximately 30 minutes in the back of the cruiser an escape plan was hatched, recorded, and ultimately effectuated.
Jonathon, a two-time ex-con, is heard telling Melissa, who is the mother of their four (4) year old boy, that he’s going to be going to jail for a long time due to his lengthy criminal record. When she started crying he suggested an escape plan.
First Jonathon suggests that Melissa try to reach through the bars and open the car’s door.
Apparently the pair never watch TV because even my 9 y/o son knows that backseat police car doors are “child locked” (just like in my Ford Edge…. but I digress). So, when escape plan Alpha failed the pair defaulted to plan Bravo. If at first you don’t succeed…
Plan Bravo involved a passionate kiss, which wriggled one of Melissa’s earrings free, permitting Jonathon to attempt to jimmy the lock on his cuffs. Sadly, Jonathon is neither a trained spook nor a competent Houdini impersonator, so plan Bravo fell just as short as Plan Alpha.
Jonathon managed to wriggle the cuffs from behind to in front of his torso and, thinking quickly Jonathon advises the Deputy that the cuffs are too tight and asks that they be loosened. It was at this point that the Deputy spotted and confiscated the earring. Again, if at first you don’t succeed… When the Deputy took him out of the car to reposition the cuffs behind Jonathon sua sponte calculated and effectuated escape plan Charlie.
As soon as that door opened Jonathon pushed his way past the Deputy and fled like a bat outta Hell on foot.
Needless to say not only was Jonathon captured, but he compounded his problems by earning additional charges reference his escape including another attempted automobile burglary (he tried to steal another car, plan Delta) and during that process he got himself bitten by a K-9 for his effort. On December 17th, 2014 Jonathon pled guilty to escape, battery on a LEO (law enforcement officer) and four (4) counts of burglary, earning himself a 30 year prison sentence.
Yesterday, January 8th, 2015 Melissa was offered, and accepted, a plea deal where she admitted to assisting the escape and received eighteen (18) months of house arrest with a GPS monitor, together with the special condition the she complete an inpatient drug (heroin) rehab program.
Memo to the Folks: Getting arrested sucks, but it sucks (and potentially hurts) a lot more if you fight it. Consider the process to be akin to a rip tide. Tough as it may be psychologically, if you chillax and go with it then ultimately it will release you, permitting you to make your way back to solid land safe and sound, even if tired and freaked out. However, if you fight it, well, the odds are that nature (very much like the criminal process) is a stronger force than your will. While some survive swimming against a rip current most don’t, and then, well, two (2) words: Fish food.
Since 1991 Michael A. Haber, P.A. has an unblemished record of providing boutique criminal defense litigation services to many folks who have been accused of criminality.
Michael A. Haber, Esq. has creatively, effectively and zealously represented clients on a wide variety of criminal matters ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder.
Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case! At Michael A. Haber, P.A. “its all about reasonable doubt”!
THIS BLOG POST (AS ARE ALL OF HABERPA BLOG POSTS) IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT WHICH IS PRIMARILY DESIGNED, BY WAY OF REAL WORLD EXAMPLE, TO ASSIST THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN AVOIDING CONDUCT WHICH COULD FORESEEABLY RESULT IN ARREST AND PROSECUTION!
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