The following is a synopsis of Attorney McClenahen's trials in 2005 and 2006, with the most recent cases being listed first. For results of Attorney McClenahen's trials between 2001 and 2004, click here. Although all of this information is public record, the clients' names are not included in order to protect their privacy. McClenahen's current record in jury trials is 26-12-1. In non-felony drug cases, his record is 20-7-1. In felony drug cases, he is 6-5.
Unlike some law firms which only include their successes on their website, Attorney McClenahen has included both his wins and losses at trial. Even attorneys of marginal ability will have some successes if they handle enough cases and even the best attorneys will lose some trials if they handle enough cases. It is difficult to measure the skill level of an attorney if you do not know the ratio of wins to losses or the underlying facts of each case.
Each synopsis contains the charges, the plea offer and the trial result. The reason that the plea offer is included is to measure the client's success at trial. A result at trial more favorable than the plea offer is considered a win. For example, if the client was convicted of minor offenses, but acquitted of the more serious offenses, then he likely made out better at trial than under the terms of the plea offer. If, however, the client has only one charge and is convicted, Attorney McClenahen still considers it a loss for win-loss record purposes even if the sentence turned out to be more favorable than the plea offer.
It is important to note that the facts and witnesses of every case are unique, every jury is composed of a different group of people, every judge has a different style and the experience and skill levels of prosecutors vary tremendously. Attorney McClenahen's prior success in trials is no more of a guarantee that he will win any given future trial than a sports team's prior record is indicative that it will win future games. As in sports, there are no guaranteed wins in trials, no matter how impressive a team's or attorney's previous record is.
Attorney McClenahen's Trial Results for 2005 and 2006
Charges: Theft by Deception F3, Theft by Unlawful Taking F3, Receiving Stolen Property F3.
Plea Offer: 5 years probation, $45,000 in restitution, court costs
Trial Date: May 18 and 19, 2006
Result: Not Guilty of all counts.
This was a very strange case. Client allegedly conned a 63 year old gay man into giving him $45,000 over the course of 6 months. Client allegedly told Complainant that he was in a military training program for which the recruit must pay the United States Army cash up front. At the end of the program, the recruit enters the Army at a higher rank than if he simply enlisted. Interestingly enough, according to Complainant, the world's most powerful Army does not except checks and must be paid several times a week. Otherwise, the recruit is kicked out of the program and forfeits all the money already paid.
What actually happened is that the 27 year old Client was a crack cocaine addict. Complainant became Client's sugar daddy and would give him money for crack, as long as the two maintained a sexual relationship. Eventually Client decided that he did not want to be in a relationship with a 63 year old man and he did not want to use drugs any more. Therefore, he ended his relationship with Complainant. That is when Complainant made up this absurd story in retaliation.
Following a 2 days trial, Client was acquitted of all charges.
Charges: Burglary, Terroristic Threats, Defiant Trespass
Plea Offer: 3-23 months in county prison
Trial Date: May 10 and 11, 2006
Result: Burglary withdrawn at preliminary hearing in exchange for a waiver to court. At trial, jury found Client Not Guilty of Terroristic Threats. Judge found Client guilty of defiant trespass and imposed a fine. (Juries do not rule on summary offenses. If a defendant has a summary offense attached to misdemeanors or felonies, the judge decides whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty following the jury trial)
This charge arose from a rather unusual child custody dispute, in that the dispute was between the father of a 14 year old girl and this teenage daughter's best-friend's mother. Attorney McClenahen represented the father, who was charged with very serious offenses. Client's daughter was not getting along with her mother, who was Client's x-wife and who had primary custody of the daughter. Client and his x-wife made arrangements for Daughter to move in with him over the summer. Mother agreed to this, as long as she continued to receive child support. Daughter, who was a spoiled 14 year old girl, decided to move in with her best friend's family instead, without telling her father until she had already moved in.
Towards the end of the summer, Client and daughter got into argument as he was taking her back to her best friend's house, after he had taken her to ride the horse he had bought her. Client said he was going to put an end to her living with her best friend's family, and she would have to live with either him or her mother. This caused Daughter to throw a tantrum while in the vehicle with Client.
She ran into the house throwing a histrionic fit. Client followed Daughter into the house, got into argument with best friend's mother, who had previously pursued a relationship with Client, but Client had spurned her advances. Also present was Client's x-mother-in-law, who had animosity towards him.
The Complainants called 911 and claimed that Client was molesting his daughter. By the time Cop arrived, the allegation changed from child molesting to Client making a terroristic threat to kill daughter's best friend's mother. He was also charged with burglary because he followed Daughter into the house before allegedly making this terroristic threat.
Client came off as credible and sympathetic, while Complainants came off as evasive and non-credible. Attorney McClenahen presented numerous character witnesses who testified as to Complainant's reputation for truthfulness and had one witness testify as to x-mother-in-law's reputation for dishonesty.
The jury returned with a not guilty verdict after deliberating for less than half an hour. Client was not only happy to be acquitted and avoid jail time, but also felt vindicated.
Charges: Receiving Stolen Property (firearm) and possessing firearm without a license
Offer: Defendant was offered a package-deal for a state prison sentence for these charges and charges in 2 other cases.
Trial Date: March 22, 2006
Result: Not guilty. Client received a county sentence for his other charges.
Defendant was a rear passenger in vehicle occupied by 4 people. The vehicle was a "crack-rental." The vehicle owner admitted to the police that he leased his car for crack. When the car was pulled over for a traffic violation, the cops discovered a handgun in plain view at Defendant's feet. The other rear passenger fled the scene before he could be arrested.
McClenahen successfully argued reasonable doubt, as the gun could have belonged to anyone in the car or to the car's owner and most likely, it belonged to the guy who ran away.
Charges: Intimidation of Witness
Offer: 2-5 years
Trial Date: March 21, 2006
Result: Not Guilty of Third Degree Felony (threat of violence), Guilty of Second Degree Misdemeanor (no threat of violence)
Sentence: 11.5-23 months
Client was accused of intimidating a witness in an underlying case in which she was factually innocent and the charges were ultimately going to be dropped. The underlying case was possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. Client appeared at a convenience store late at night while intoxicated. Cop offered her a ride home, but first searched her purse. She had painkillers in the purse, but they were not in the prescription bottle.
Client kept calling the police station to explain that she had a prescription, but Cop never returned her call. A few days before the preliminary hearing, Client returned to the store and asked Clerk if she were going to the preliminary hearing. Clerk asserted that Client threatened her about testifying at the preliminary hearing. Client asserted that she merely asked Clerk if she would be at the preliminary hearing.
Client was acquitted of the felony, as she made no threat of violence, but was convicted of the M2, which entails trying to persuade someone not to testify, but without threatening the witness. The conviction of the lesser included offense greatly reduced Client's sentence. Client's sentence could have been even less, but she had a bad prior record and was charged with DUI while driving to the courthouse on the morning of her sentencing, which did not present her in a favorable light to the judge.
Charges: Delivery Cocaine and Conspiracy to Deliver Cocaine
Offer: Initial offer was 5- 10 years, reduced to 3-6 years right before trial.
Trial Dates: March 13 and 14, 2006
Result: Dismissal of Charges for prosecutorial misconduct.
This would have been Client's 5th drug felony conviction and he was facing a mandatory minimum sentence based on the weight of the cocaine. Client was accused of being the driver of the car, while his drug dealer cousin was the passenger in front seat. Client parked the car and his cousin sold cocaine to a confidential informant (CI) while the police watched the transaction. Client asserted that he did not know his cousin was selling drugs and did not see the transaction. CI testified that Co-Defendant Passenger handed him cocaine through back window, which would only make sense if he were trying to conceal the transaction from Client. Thus, McClenahen did not want to impeach the CI's credibility, as his testimony was helpful.
However, the next day, Prosecutor said that he would offer evidence that CI had seen Defendant with Co-Defendant on a half dozen prior occasions when he bought from Co-Defendant. Judge allowed this only as rebuttal if Client testified, as this information was not provided in discovery. Client chose to testify, thus opening the door for rebuttal and creating a need to impeach CI's credibility.
On cross-examination, McClenahen brought out fact that CI had a pending drug delivery in Adams County and was also charged with false reports/ falsely implicating another person. When the CI first testified, Prosecutor brought out other charges but not these more serious charges. Judge called a sidebar and asked how McClenahen discovered these other charges and whether Prosecutor had provided this information to the Defense. McClenahen discovered the charges through his own investigation and Prosecutor did not provide this information through discovery.
Judge called a recess and began questioning the State Cop, who conceded that he knew of the Adams County charges, but did not tell Prosecutor because he didn't think it was important. This really angered Judge, who then tried to determine the appropriate sanction. McClenahen argued that the only appropriate remedy is dismissal of charges. The judge agreed and dismissed the charges, which is a remedy granted only in the most extreme cases of prosecutorial misconduct.
Charge: Criminal Mischief
Offer: 12 months probation.
Trial Date: January 18, 2006
Result: Not Guilty
18 year old Client was hanging out with friends on the private, dirt road in front of his parents' house. There had been problems with people riding 4-wheelers on the dirt road and Defendant's parents had told him not to let anyone on the road.
72 year old Complainant had just purchased land further down the road, but Client was not aware of this. Client's vehicle was parked on the road and he refused to move it to let Complainant pass. Complainant was accompanied by his son, who was in his late teens. Complainant became angry, drove around Client's car and stepped on the gas. Client was hit before he could get out of the way and was knocked up onto the hood of car. The impact caused the windshield to break.
Client's friend called the police, but the State Cop actually encountered the Complainant first at the end of the road. Complainant's account was that Defendant took a running start, jumped onto the moving car and deliberately smashed the windshield. Client and his friends testified that Complainant drove his car towards Client in an apparent attempt to scare him, but the car came at him so fast that he couldn't get out of the way and was knocked up onto the hood. Apparently, the jury found the testimony of Client and his friends to be more credible than that of Complainant and found him not guilty.
Charge: Delivery of Cocaine
Offer: 27-54 months
Trial Date: January 12, 2006
Sentence: 33-66 months
Client was a self-described crack-addicted male prostitute, accused of being the middleman to a drug transaction, in which he procured a $20 rock for undercover State Cop. Client allegedly handed the cocaine directly to Undercover Cop, who identified him at trial. Another cop took photos of Client right before the transaction. Yet another undercover cop testified that he arranged the deal with Client. Client was not arrested until about 5 weeks after the transaction and asserted that the police arrested the wrong guy. The jury apparently found the testimony of three police officers to be more credible than that of Client and he was convicted.
Charges: Delivery 1 oz. Cocaine and Conspiracy to deliver Cocaine
Offer: 3-6 years
Trial Date: July 13, 2005
Result: Not Guilty on each count. This was a 5 minute verdict.
Client was accused of being the middleman in a drug transaction. The actual dealer was never caught and the buyer was a sleazy Confidential Informant (CI). The key to this win was that CI came off as very evasive and non-credible. CI denied things which could not be denied, such as his pleading guilty to his own deliveries and agreeing to work with the Prosecution in exchange for a reduced sentence. McClenahen then confronted him with the transcript of the guilty plea colloquy.
Another factor in this case was that CI had sold Client a car for $600, took his money, but then sold the car to someone else. Client was threatening civil action at time of this alleged delivery. CI even slipped up on direct and referred to Client as "the plaintiff," which McClenahen jumped all over during cross-examination.
State Police did not take adequate precautions to verify CI's account of events. There was really no surveillance and Client was not arrested until some time after transaction.
Client testified and denied being involved in a drug transaction. He came off as very credible. This Client also was a US Army Veteran and good citizen, volunteering for various charities and teaching English to Mexican migrant farm workers.
McClenahen argued that the deal was between CI and one of his cohorts, and that CI was simply pointing the finger at Client, to avoid civil or criminal penalties associated with defrauding Client in the used car deal.
Charges: 2 counts of delivery of cocaine. There was also another Felony Drug charge, for which he was represented by private counsel.
Offer: 7.5-15 years for all three counts.
Trial Date: July 13, 2005
Result in McClenahen's Trial: Guilty 1st delivery of 2 oz. Cocaine
Not Guilty 2nd delivery cocaine, thus avoiding a 5-10 yr mandatory on 2nd delivery.
Result in trial with private counsel: Guilty.
Sentence: 3-6 year mandatory minimum for McClenahen's case. 5-10 year mandatory minimum for private counsel's case. Sentences concurrent for an aggregate sentence of 5-10 years.
Client allegedly sold to a CI on two occasions. Client had favorable jury, including some people, who Prosecutor should have struck. One juror was a young female whose father was serving a life sentence in federal prison for drug offenses. Another juror had a grandson serving a state prison sentence for possession with intent to deliver cocaine. Quite frankly, this should have been a very easy case for the prosecution, but Prosecutor made numerous mistakes during trial, which McClenahen exploited. Client was convicted of the first delivery, which State Cop actually observed from a hidden location. Client was acquitted of the second delivery, which State Cop did not see, but where CI wore a body wire and Police recorded the transaction. Prosecutor played audio recording of transaction involving body-wire, but Client was still acquitted of this charge.
Charges: Aggravated Assault (Attempts serious bodily injury w/ deadly weapon) and lesser included offenses
Offer: Plea to simple assault. 11.5-23 months with work release
Trial Date: July 7, 2005
Result: Guilty of aggravated assault
Sentence: 4.5-9 years
Client was accused of stabbing is pregnant girlfriend on forehead with knife, pushing her onto ground and kicking her in abdomen while Client was drunk. Client confessed, which McClenahen persuaded Judge to suppress, because confession was induced by questioning after Client had asserted his Miranda rights. Client and girlfriend reconciled, and she wanted charges dropped. Charges were too serious to simply be dropped, but Client was offered very favorable plea agreement. Client was set to take the plea agreement, but Girlfriend spoke up in court and said she didn't want Client to go to jail. Judge would not take the plea at that time and Prosecutor would not offer a lesser sentence. Client elected to go to trial.
At trial, Victim testified that Client pushed her to ground and knocked over a table, on which a knife was sitting. The knife rolled off table and hit her on head. Prosecutor introduced photos of her bruised abdomen, which Victim could not explain. Prosecutor also brought out Victim's original story, which was that Client straddled her on couch while stabbing her in head. Client did not testify, as this would have opened the door for Prosecutor to introduce his confession.
Jury believed Victim's original story and Client was convicted.
Charge: Simple Assault
Trial Date: May 13, 2005
Result: Not Guilty.
Offer: 24 months probation.
This case arose from a dispute between 2 neighbors concerning property line. Client was also upset that Complainant graded his property in a way that sent flood waters onto Client's property, flooding his basement. Initially both Client and Complainant were charged with simple assault, but Client failed to appear at preliminary hearing. Therefore, the charge against Neighbor was dropped, but Client's case went forward when he was given a chance to waive his preliminary hearing so that a warrant would not be issued for his arrest for failure to appear at the preliminary hearing.
Client was accused of throwing rocks at Neighbor while Neighbor was riding a tractor. The major problem for Commonwealth's case was that Neighbor was originally charged with simple assault, by threatening Client with a club. However, at trial Prosecutor argued that Neighbor never threatened Client. Thus, the Commonwealth's perception of reality changed based on Client's failure to appear at his preliminary hearing. This was a quick not guilty verdict.
Charges: Possession with intent to Deliver Cocaine (PWID),
Receiving Stolen Property (RSP) (vehicle)
Result: Guilty of PWID, acquitted of RSP vehicle
Conviction Overturned on Appeal
Offer: Client had a packaged deal encompassing 2 other PWID cases, which he rejected.
Sentence: 2-4 year school zone mandatory
Ultimately, the verdict and sentence were vacated on appeal. The Superior Court held that the evidence was not sufficient to sustain convictions against either Defendant for PWID cocaine.
Client and Co-Defendant were pulled over in a vehicle that had been reported stolen. The vehicle was actually a "crack rental," meaning that an addict leased his car for crack. Defendant had a massive amount of cash, despite working part time at a low-paying job. Co-Defendant had a single piece of crack cocaine less than the size of an "8 ball" (3.5 grams). Both asserted that the cocaine was for personal use and not for sale.
Charges: PWID Cocaine, Heroin and Marijuana and Conspiracy for each offense
Trial Date:March 10, 2005
Result: Not Guilty on all counts. 5 minute verdict.
Offer: Short state prison sentence if Client would testify against Co-Defendants
This case involved a factually innocent defendant and the stakes were very high, as mandatory minimum sentences would have applied for both the cocaine and heroin charges.
Client and her boyfriend arrived at motel parking lot and got into an altercation. Boyfriend hit Client in face. Motel maintenance worker called police and told police which motel room the 2 had entered.
Police knocked on door to check on Client. A third party who was renting the room answered the door. Police testified that as soon as the door was opened, they saw drugs in plain view. They entered the room and arrested all 3 people.
There was nothing to connect Client to the drugs other than being in the same room for 5 minutes. The defense theory was that Boyfriend was a dealer who was going to buy drugs from his supplier, who had come from NYC and was staying at the motel. Boyfriend and the NYC dealer made bail and failed to appear at trial, while Client remained in jail. The judge granted McClenahen's request for a jury instruction that the Co-Defendants failure to appear could be construed as evidence of consciousness of guilt.
This victory was very satisfying because Client was factually innocent, but the York County District Attorney's Office insisted on prosecuting her anyway.
Charge: Forgery of Dr.'s excuses for Defendant's children
Trial Date: January 4, 2005
Offer: 3-23 months for this charge, plus 6 months for a probation violation
Sentence: 5 years Probation
Client was accused of stealing a pad from a physician's office and using it to write doctor's excuses for her children. The children had missed so many days of school that Client had to provide doctor's excuses for any of their absences.
Client testified that her sons stole the Dr.'s pad and forged the excuses. Defendant's one son was an 8 year old boy and her other son was a teenager in special education. However, Latin and Greek derived medical terms were properly spelled on the excuses and the excuses looked very authentic. Client had previously been a nurse, which was made known to the jury. Also, because Client testified, the jury was permitted to consider her prior forgery conviction, for which she was on probation at the time of this offense, in judging her credibility.
This is considered a loss based upon the jury verdict, even though Client was happier with 5 years of probation than 6-9 months in prison.