The Medlin Law Firm - October 2023

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albums until I found the ones that spoke to me. Scrolling through new music on my phone just isn’t the same. Kids today have no idea what a Walkman is or the massive sound systems we used to have to play different records. They will never get to experience sitting with their friends and exchanging albums, looking at the posters and goodies inside the vinyl or CD case, or how we used to record songs on tapes or burn them onto discs. This generation also won’t remember the feeling you’d get when you purchased your first album. The first record I ever bought was The Beatles’ 1969 album, “Abbey Road.” To me, this album stood the test of time, and I was over the moon when I got a physical copy of it. I then wanted to collect more albums from The Beatles and my other favorite musicians and expand my collection. Today, I have several milk crates full of vinyl, CDs, and tapes. I want to go through them and see what memories they conjure. I wonder how much my collection is worth. I can’t wait to listen to my collection once I set up my turntables and organize my records. There’s something special about listening to a physical copy of an album or having something from the band in your possession. It makes me feel connected to the musicians and that I’m supporting their passions. Today, dozens of artists have spoken out against streaming because musicians are barely paid for it. And when your livelihood comes from creating music, it’s challenging to make money if no one is technically buying your work. I encourage you to support your favorite bands and musicians by purchasing their merchandise. Even donating in their tip jar at their merch booth when you see them live will go a long way!


Has someone ever pulled up beside you at a stop light or passed you on the freeway with their music blasting? You may give them the eye, say something under your breath as they go by, or ask yourself how someone could play their music that loud. But I remember when I was the person blasting their music. I used to have a CD-carrying case on my sun visor, and I would listen to each disc until it was worn out. People used to walk the streets with massive boom boxes under their arms, playing their favorite tunes for all to hear. So, if you think about it, playing your music at what seems to be a deafening level has been around for years; the source just evolves with each generation. As new music, technology, and trends are developed, how we listen to music continues to evolve. And man, how things have changed! Today, I have thousands of bands and artists in the palm of my hands – literally! All I have to do is open Spotify and search for anything I want. I don’t have to carry around an MP3, CD, or cassette player or plug into a stereo either. I can do everything with a click of a button on my phone. While it’s very convenient to have my music collection in my pocket, I miss having turntables and displaying my vinyl collection. I loved going to record stores and searching through hundreds of

But now I want to know: How did you listen to music growing up? Do you remember your favorite songs, the first album you bought, or the first show you went to? I would love to hear about your experiences!

– Gary L. Medlin, Esq. | Pg. 1

The Shocking Truth Behind Sherri’s Kidnapping Revealed

Sherri Papini vanished out of thin air in November 2016. The day she went missing, her husband, Keith Papini, came home expecting to see his wife and kids but found the residence eerily empty. Keith called the children’s day care to ask when his wife picked them up, but they informed him she never did. While the kids were safe, Sherri was missing. Three weeks passed before Sherri was finally found alone on a freeway nearly 146 miles from her home on Thanksgiving Day. She was cut and bruised, her long hair chopped short, and her back branded with a Bible verse. When the police questioned Sherri, she was hesitant and frightened. She claimed two Hispanic women abducted her, took her to an unknown location, chained her up, and tortured her before planning to traffic her. The story horrified the community and made many Hispanic women fear wrongful persecution.

be used against you, and some questions could be misconstrued to confuse you. It’s always best to have your attorney present when giving a personal statement to law enforcement. Another right to keep in mind is that you’re free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Even if you have nothing to hide, it’s best not to consent when an officer asks to search your vehicle. Don’t be afraid to hold your ground — even if an officer asks questions and uses phrases that may make you feel like you can’t say no. Don’t believe everything law enforcement tells you. Many people don’t realize that law enforcement can legally lie to individuals in certain circumstances. If a detective investigates a crime, they may toy with the truth to tempt you into giving information. An officer might say they have enough evidence to convict you (when they don’t), so you will potentially admit to the crimes. Have you seen law enforcement videos telling one suspect that someone has already admitted guilt when they actually haven’t? That’s a tactic they’ll use to trick you into sharing information that could potentially harm you and your case. To avoid incriminating yourself, don’t answer any questions without your attorney present. We can spot these trick questions and ensure nothing can be held against you. Dealing with law enforcement can be scary, but incriminating yourself and making matters worse is even scarier. That’s why you should consider having Medlin Law Firm assist you and advocate on your behalf. Please call us today to get started. 2020, the authorities used genetic DNA technology to track down the man, Sherri’s ex-boyfriend, James Reyes. This was when Sherri’s tale began to fall apart. Reyes was questioned by police, who exposed the truth about Sherri’s vanishing act. He revealed that Sherri told him her husband, Keith, was abusing her, and she needed his help to escape. She convinced him to brand her, but all her other injuries were self-inflicted. Reyes had no idea about Sherri’s fabricated story involving two Hispanic kidnappers. At first, Sherri stuck with her story when questioned again but eventually admitted it was all a hoax. In 2023, Sherri Papini was charged with false statements and mail fraud and sentenced to 18 months in prison for her long-winded lies that wasted police resources and federal financial assistance. Her story resulted in numerous innocent Hispanic women being wrongly questioned by authorities. But now, these women can rest easy knowing the case is finally closed.

At the time, male DNA was found on Sherri’s clothing, despite her insistence no men were involved in her kidnapping. Years later, in

When a police officer issues you a ticket or arrests you, your actions can cause further harm or lead to new charges. Due to this unforeseen circumstance, your adrenaline may be pumping as your emotions run high, which can cause you to act and do things you normally wouldn’t do. Getting in trouble with the law is never ideal. However, no matter how nervous you may be, you must remain calm and avoid these costly two costly mistakes. Don’t forget you have rights! A common but serious mistake many people make when speaking with law enforcement is providing additional information when asked questions. Always remember, you have rights that can and will protect you! Whether you’re being asked questions during a traffic stop, during an arrest, or at the police station, keep in mind that you can plead the Fifth and ask for your lawyer. Anything you say can Police Encounters 101 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SPEAKING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT | Pg. 2

It’s Spooky Season! TRY OUT THESE 3 DIY HALLOWEEN DECOR IDEAS As you walk through your local supermarket, aisles are flooded with Halloween candy, decor, and costumes. Decorating for the holidays is a great way to live in the moment and into the spirit of Halloween. However, some decor pieces can be pricey and leave a dent in your wallet. Fortunately, you can easily make tons of decorations to spice up your home for spooky season! Here are some of our favorite DIY projects you can try this month. Create your own Halloween painting. To start, you want to get a painting you don’t mind messing up or painting over. We suggest heading to your local thrift store and buying an old piece of artwork. Don’t worry; the older it looks, the spookier it will be! Once you find a painting you like, you’ll want to pick up some acrylic paint — preferably black, white, brown, and orange. Once you have your supplies, draw ghosts, pumpkins, bats, and anything else that reminds you of Halloween onto your canvas. When you’re finished, you’ll have your own spooky and festive painting you can display during the holiday! Release your inner witch by making a light-up cauldron. All you’ll need for this project is a large plastic cauldron, a medium-size bowl, paper bags, clear ornaments, purple or green string lights, and hot

glue. Place the bowl inside the cauldron and wrap paper bags around the bottom of the base. Then, hot glue the iridescent ornaments inside the cauldron. When you’re almost at the top of the pot, gently add the lights. To secure everything in place, hot glue more ornaments onto your cauldron until you’re satisfied with its appearance. Once you’re happy, turn on the light strip, and voila, you have your own bubbling potion! Share food on pumpkin platter trays! Easily decorate your kitchen by purchasing plastic pumpkins and platter trays at your local supermarket. Carefully remove each pumpkin’s stem, and add hot glue around the circumference. Quickly place the tray on top and gently press down to secure both pieces. Make as many as you want, and store cookies, candy, and utensils, or place flowers on top to spice up your kitchen counters.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte


• 2 shots espresso (or 1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee) • 1 cup milk of choice • 3 tbsp pumpkin purée

• 1–2 tbsp maple syrup • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice • 1 tsp vanilla extract • Whipped cream for topping (optional)


1. In a small pot on medium heat, heat milk until simmering but not boiling. 2. Make your espresso (or coffee) and pour into a large mug or Mason jar. Add pumpkin purée, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and stir until well combined. 3. With a milk frother, froth the heated milk until foamy. Then, pour into your pumpkin espresso mixture and top with whipped cream. For decoration, you can sprinkle more cinnamon or pumpkin spice on top!

For resources, practice areas, and more, scan the QR code to visit our website,

Inspired by | Pg. 3

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1. If Only My Car Had a CD Player …

2. The Troubling Saga of Sherri Papini’s Disappearance

Think Twice Before Answering Questions From Law Enforcement


3 Wickedly Creative Halloween Crafts

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte


Lucca, the Explosive-Sniffing Dog


Sometimes, dogs are more than just a man’s best friend — they are heroes. When the Israel Defense Forces brought Chris Willingham, a Marine specializing in training military dogs, a small German shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix puppy in 2006, he knew she was special. Willingham named her Lucca, and in 2008, the pair deployed for their first tour in Iraq, where they spent countless hours together searching for improvised explosive devices or IEDs. When Lucca smelled a bomb, she’d lie down and wait for Willingham, an action they repeated so many times that the pair seemed to read each other’s minds. In fact, the duo became so successful that when platoons suspected they were heading into especially dangerous territory, they requested the team by name.

Marines were restationing him at the Marine Security Guard School. But before he had to leave, he was allowed to choose a new handler for Lucca. Willingham chose Corporal Juan Rodriguez, whom he sensed was the perfect match for Lucca. And he was right. Lucca and Rodriguez picked up where she and Willingham left off until one day in 2012. The pair were four hours into their patrol in southern Afghanistan when Lucca located her second IED of the day. However, when she moved closer to the device to lie down — it exploded. Rodriguez quickly ran to Lucca, where he discovered she had lost one of her front paws in the explosion. He applied first aid, a tourniquet, and called for a medevac, never leaving her side. She had suffered burns to her neck and torso, and doctors had to amputate her front left leg.

However, in less than a month, Lucca was back to running around with the same spirit as before her injury but was now retired from her day job. She was reunited with Willingham and lived the rest of her days with him and his family peacefully until her passing in 2018. Lucca led more than 400 patrols during three combat tours in her career. She found 40 confirmed insurgents and countless explosives, and she never had a single human casualty during her six years of service.

After returning from their second tour in Iraq, Willingham received orders that the | Pg. 4

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