Judge tosses fraud charges against lawyer whose wife died after raid on their home
A California judge has granted a prosecution motion to dismiss fraud charges against a lawyer whose wife collapsed at the courthouse and died a month after their home was raided in January 2014.
Judge W. Kent Hamlin of Fresno County apologized on Wednesday to lawyer Sheldon Feigel, who had been charged with another lawyer in an alleged scheme to obtain title to abandoned homes through adverse possession. The Fresno Bee covered the court hearing and Hamlin’s remarks.
Hamlin granted the prosecution request to dismiss the charges with prejudice, so they cannot be refiled. “Honestly,” Hamlin said, “as I look at this case, I am puzzled as to how you were ever charged in this case and I’m disturbed by everything I’ve read about this case and how you and your family were treated in this case.”
A key witness in the case who pleaded guilty testified that Feigel never told her to lie in court papers, and he didn’t know she was lying.
Feigel was disbarred last year in connection with his representation of a facility that trains and boards thoroughbred race horses, according to a discipline summary published in the California Bar Journal. He currently sells solar panels.