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Top News Stories ~ 2018!


(Top video) Miami Beach, FL · (@Wilabee) ~ United States (WCJB) (Originally Published: March 26, 2016 ~ Updated: July 4, 2018) -- Watch as three men distract the store clerk and place card (reader) skimmer on ATM Point-of-Sale Machine.

"Black Cop Shoots 9 Y.O. White Girl!"

Wichita, Kansas ~ ( Originally Published: June 23, 2018 ~ Updated: July 9, 2018) -- (Photo) Former Wichita police officer Dexter Betts is charged with one count of aggravated battery in a shooting that wounded a 9-year-old girl on Dec. 30, 2017.
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"Golden [Guy] Killer Appears In Court!"
Sacramento, California ~ ( Originally Published: March 26, 2016 ~ Updated: July 4, 2018) -- The Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo, is one of the most prolific predators in U.S. history. He sometimes invaded different houses on consecutive nights. Deangelo sometimes returned to the same neighborhood so often that the people who lived there slept in shifts. He terrorized the suburbs of Sacramento. Later on, he continued his murderous crime spree, near Los Angeles, hundreds of miles to the south. (See: Full Hearing!)
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Corrupt Justice™ ~ 2018
Oakland, California
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin · (@Wilabee) ~ United States (WCJB) (Originally Published: May 23, 2018 ~ Updated: May 24, 2018) -- The video (Click here) shows an officer approaching Sterling Brown as he goes to get back into his car. The car was parked right in front of the Walgreens (the lot is essentially empty because it’s about 2 a.m.). Brown points out that he doesn’t see anything wrong with parking across two lanes since the lot is empty. The officer tells Brown to back away from him and calls for backup. When backup arrives, the officer (whose name was not released by MPD) says he “only wanted one [car for backup].” He claims that Brown got “right up in my face.” Several officers surround Brown. One angrily tells him to get his hand out of his pocket. When Brown points out that his hands are full, the officer wrenches Brown’s hand out, and a group of officers wrestle him to the ground and tase him. Brown can be heard groaning in anguish after an officer shouts “Taser! Taser! Taser!”

Parkland, FL {PUBLISHED: February 22, 2018 at 02:50 pm | UPDATED: February 23, 2018 at 02:45 pm} -- Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced Thursday that school resource officer, Deputy Scot Peterson turned in his retirement papers. Scot retired after being told he would be placed on leave without pay. Peterson was on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week during the fatal school shooting.Peterson was armed and in uniform during the shooting. Israel said there was video showing Peterson's actions, but the video would not be released because the investigation is continuing. He said the video showed Peterson take up a position outside the building, but "he never went in."

New York, NY {PUBLISHED: March 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm | UPDATED: August 24, 2017 at 01:53 am} -- The New York health department alerted doctors to the case of a newborn who fell ill after undergoing the ultra-Orthodox Jewish practice in which the circumcision wound is cleaned by the Rabbi's mouth. The baby boy was rushed to hospital when he developed herpes following the controversial ancient circumcision ritual. A rash is said to have spread across the child’s genitals, buttocks, inner thighs and ankle two weeks after the procedure. An estimated 3,000 babies are circumcised each year using the method in New York City. NYC is home to the largest Jewish population outside Israel. There have been six cases of herpes among children who have had the ritual known as metzitzah b’peh performed on them since February 2015. Of the six previously undisclosed cases, two occurred last year and three in 2015. Herpes, a highly contagious viral disease which can cause blisters and ulcers. Herpes is more severe in newborn babies as their immune systems are not fully developed. Since 2000, there have been 24 cases of infant herpes linked to circumcision, leading to two deaths and two cases of brain damage.

(Published: Thurs., April 13, 2017) — On Monday, Nandi Cain Jr. had just gotten off work and was headed to his Sacramento apartment when he noticed an officer approaching from behind him with his hand on his gun, according to police accounts, videos of the event and local news reports. Cain put his hands up as the officer approached, but continued to walk away slowly. He asked the police officer the reason for the stop, then protested when he heard it: “You were jaywalking,” the officer said on the dash-cam video released by the police department this week. “I looked both ways,” Cain replied. “You’re harassing me. I just got off work. You’re trying to pull me over for nothing.” Click here for video

EL CENTRO, CA (WCJB) ~ United States The El Centro Police Department said it's investigating a video that shows officers using force on a suspect who put several people in danger Tuesday afternoon. The video shows officers beating 23-year-old Elizardo Saenz, an El Centro resident. It also shows a K-9 police dog attacking Saenz. (Click here for video)

Oakland, CA (WCJB) ~ United States -- A sex scandal involving Oakland police officers and a then underage girl has all the makings of a TV thriller. The saga is full of twists and turns. The scandal erupted months after Officer Brendan O'Brien committed suicide. O'Brien left a note spilling the details, including names. Three Oakland officers were placed on paid leave. A source said O'Brien in his suicide note confessed to exchanging messages with a young woman who goes by the name Celeste Guap. However, the note says he did not have sexual contact with her. The same sources said she has met multiple officers. In the note, O'Brien named the officers, including one sergeant, involved in the alleged sexual misconduct with Guap. Guap is the daughter of a Oakland police dispatcher. The police investigation will look at whether Guap was under age during some of the encounters with officers. (Click here for video)

New Orleans, LA (WCJB) ~ United States -- On September 4, 2005, New Orleans police received a call from an officer at Danziger Bridge reporting gunfire. Several NOPD officers—including Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, Sgt. Robert Gisevius, Officer Anthony Villavaso, and Officer Robert Faulcon—arrived at the scene in a Budget rental truck. They proceeded to open fire with assault rifles and a shotgun on an unarmed family, the Bartholomews, who had been walking to a grocery store and were then sheltering behind a concrete barrier. 17-year-old James Brissette—a family friend—was killed, and four other people were wounded. The police shooters stated that while approaching the bridge, they had been fired on by civilians, and were forced to return fire. Homicide detective Arthur "Archie" Kaufman was made the lead investigator on the case. He was later found guilty of conspiring with the defendants to conceal evidence in order to make the shootings appear justified, including fabricating information for his official reports on the case. NOPD lieutenant Michael Lohman also encouraged the officers to "provide false stories about what had precipitated the shooting" and plant a firearm near the scene. (Click here for video)

Aiken, S.C. (WCJB) ~ United States -- A horrifying new dashcam video shows at least one white member of the Aiken, S.C. Police Department search inside a black man’s rectum for the apparent crime of being a passenger in a car with paper tags, which, it bears noting, is not a crime in the state of South Carolina. Driving a car with paper tags isn’t illegal either, as long as they aren’t expired. The car belonged to a woman named Lakeya Hicks, who had the paper tags because she had recently purchased the vehicle. Hicks’ tags weren’t expired, and a check on her license came up clean. However, the cops didn’t let her go. (Click here for video)

Brooklyn, NY (WCJB) ~ United States -- When an unmarked police car drove very close to mailman Glenn Grays in Brooklyn, Grays shouted at the car. Four plainclothes officers got out of the car and started to handcuff him. Grays initially tried to resist, and one of the officers said “Stop resisting! You’re going to get hurt if you don’t give me your fucking hands.” (Click here for video)

Fresno, CA (WCJB) ~ United States -- (Warning Graphic Video) Fresno Police shoot and kill mentally ill man within seconds of exiting their patrol vehicle! (Click here for video)

Royal Oaks, MI (WCJB) ~ United States -- Another case of police brutality in the city of Royal Oak. The man doesn't resist at all! The reason for his arrest remains unknown. It appears as if the officers wanted to rip a limb off of him! (Click here for video)

San Francisco, CA (WCJB) ~ United States (Feb. 29, 2016) -- Cops CAUGHT ON CAMERA brutally beating man. When they realize they've been FILMED they try to confiscate the camera and ID the guy recording them. WATCH the video and see how well that went for them. SPREAD THE WORD! THIS IS HOW YOU RESPOND when a VIOLENT COP tries to take your camera! CALL Internal Affairs Division, 415-837-7170 and ask them why their officers BEAT people and then ILLEGALLY try to confiscate evidence of Police Brutality? (Click here for video)
Chowchilla, CA ~ United States -- Tyler Hormel, arrested by Madera County Sheriff''s Office on Monday (Feb. 8, 2016) and accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, has been fired from the Chowchilla Police Force, and charged with sexual misconduct. (Click here for video)
Marion County, Florida ~ United States -- A federal grand jury in Tampa has indicted a former Florida sheriff’s deputy on charges of violating the civil rights of an unarmed Black man, who was brutally beaten after surrendering to him and other officers following a brief chase last year, reports Reuters. Former Marion County sheriff’s deputy Jesse Terrell, 33, is accused of using excessive force against Derrick Price during the incident in August 2014 that was captured on video, according to the indictment handed down late Tuesday. Four of Terrell’s former colleagues pleaded guilty to the charge after accepting a deal, according to media sources. (Click here for video)
Wake County, North Carolina ~ United States -- Shon Demetrius McClain died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck 13 days after prosecutors say he got into a fight with officer Markeith Council in Wake County, North Carolina.(Click here for video)
New York ~ United States -- Opening statements and testimony began this week in the long-awaited trial of New York City police officer Peter Liang for the killing of Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28-year-old African-American man walking down the stairs in his apartment building, part of the Louis H. Pink housing projects in the East New York section of Brooklyn. Jury selection in the case was completed last week. Gurley died more than 14 months ago, on November 20, 2014, as two cops were making a “vertical patrol,” checking the stairwells in the high-rise building. As Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Marc Fliedner put it, opening the prosecution’s case, “Akai Gurley is dead today because he crossed paths with Peter Liang.” Liang was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on manslaughter and other charges last February, and both prosecution and defense agree on the immediate events that led to Gurley’s death.(Click here for video)
Oklahoma City, OK ~ United States -- Daniel Holtzclaw has officially been sentenced for the rape and sexual assault of 13 Black women in Oklahoma. Will serve the rest of his life behind bars. He was sentenced to 263 years in prison. Holtzclaw, 29, was convicted in December of 2015, on 18 of the 36 counts he had been facing — including four counts of first-degree rape. (Click here for video)

United States -- Police officers physically outmatched by a combative male, resort to taser use. (Click here for video)

Chicago, IL -- Surveillance video (Click here for video) in connection with a Chicago police officer's fatally shooting 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman was released today by attorneys for the teen's family. A federal judge ordered the release of footage showing the 2013 shooting today after the city withdrew its objection to its being made public. Chicago police officer Kevin Fry fatally shot Chatman Jan. 7, 2013, in broad daylight during a foot chase, according to court records. Chatman’s family had fought for the video to be released as part of a wrongful death lawsuit they filed over the shooting against the city, Fry and Chicago police officer Lou Toth, who pursued Chatman along with Fry during the foot chase. Family members have argued the video will counter the city and police’s narrative that the 17-year-old was a danger to police. IPRA concluded the officers' actions were justified because they reasonably believed Chatman was armed at the time.

Brooklyn, NY -- A newly-released surveillance video (Click here for video) contradicts an undercover NYPD police officer who arrested four people in Brooklyn for allegedly trying to rob him on Dec. 26, 2015, according to a defense lawyer. Jean Scott, 33; Peterson Duplan, 28; Ricardi Joseph, 29; and Samantha Dabel, 24, said that they were approached by a man who tried to buy drugs from them at a hardware store. The undercover cop was identified as Winston McDonald, who testified in court that Duplan allegedly flashed a switchblade at him outside of the store, and said, "Give me your money or I will stab you," according to court papers.

Forth Worth, TX -- The mother of ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch was ordered released from a Tarrant County jail cell after a bond hearing this afternoon. She may be leaving the jail soon. Judge Wayne Salvant ordered her bond reduced to $75,000 with several conditions. The conditions include weekly visits with the Community Supervisions and Corrections Department of Tarrant County. She is also not to consume alcoholic beverages or use social media. “Let’s look at it for what it is, I understand everyone is concerned and there is outrage in the community… but as a judge I have to look at the law,” said Judge Salvant. Couch and her lawyers were present at a 2 p.m. bond hearing at the Tarrant County Justice Center hoping to have her bond reduced. It was originally set at $1 million since she was charged with Hindering Apprehension of a Felon. (Click here for video)

Salt Lake City, Utah -- Exactly one year after a man was shot and killed during an altercation with a Salt Lake City Police Department officer, a former Davis County Sheriff says new video (Click here for video)footage indicates the officer's actions may not have been justified. James Barker, 42, was shot and killed January 8, 2015 after officer Matthew Taylor responded to a 911 call about a suspicious person and an altercation ensued, during which Barker appeared to strike the officer with a snow shovel.

Philadelphia, PA ~ USA -- Corrupt Justice™ has obtained a video (Click here for video) of the police shooting that took place Thursday night at 60th and Spruce streets. Edward Archer, a 30-year-old Delaware County man who has allegedly claimed an allegiance to ISIS, shot and wounded Officer Jesse Hartnett at 11:41 p.m. last night, city police said. Stunningly, Hartnett can be seen in the video getting out of his patrol car and chasing down the shooter after being ambushed. Officials say Hartnett is in critical but stable condition.

Miami, FL ~ USA -- A Florida jury began weighing on Tuesday whether a man who killed his wife and posted a photo of her blood-spattered, lifeless body on Facebook committed first-degree murder. Attorneys for Derek Medina, 33, argued that he was acting in self-defense when he fired eight shots at Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in the kitchen of their Miami-area residence. The August 2013 shooting followed a fight in which she had threatened to leave, prosecutors said during closing statements. They argued that Medina retrieved a .380-caliber pistol from his bedroom and pulled the trigger repeatedly in a premeditated act of murder. "Every single shot hit her because he was aiming and he wanted her dead," said Assistant State Attorney Leah Klein in Miami-Dade County circuit court. Medina wrote on Facebook shortly before turning himself in: "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. My wife was punching me, and I am not going to stand any more with the abuse so I did what I did," he added in the post. (Click here for video)

Montgomery County, Pa. -- Bill Cosby, the comedian and entertainer once known as “America’s dad”, appeared in court (Click here for video) to face his first criminal charge for sexual misconduct on Wednesday, for an incident in which he allegedly drugged and violated a woman who considered him to be her mentor. In a hearing lasting less than 10 minutes, Judge Elizabeth McHugh read out the three second-degree felony charges of aggravated indecent assault. He did not appear visibly moved; when asked if he understood the charges, he replied simply: “Yes.” Bail was set at $1m, of which Cosby will have to pay 10% on Wednesday. Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison for each charge.

San Diego, CA -- (WARNING, GRAPHIC) Police officials released surveillance video (Click here for video) Tuesday showing the fatal shooting of a homeless man who was believed to be carrying a knife — which turned out to be a pen.

Los Angeles, CA -- Sheriff Deputies accused Noel Aguilar of having a gun after they shot him in the back at point blank range multiple times. Deputy Albert Murade was shot in the stomach during the melee by his partner Deputy Jose Ruiz. (Click here for video)

GIFFORD, Fla. -- An Indian River County Sheriff’s deputy is in the hospital with a gunshot wound after he was involved in a shootout with an armed suspect.(Click here for video)

Denton, TX ~ USA -- Police dash camera video (Click here for video) appears to show a 21-year-old UNT student say "shoot me" several times and an officer say "back away" at least six times just seconds before the student was fatally wounded.

Lynwood, CA ~ USA -- A witness's graphic video (Click here for video) appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies fatally shooting a man near a gas station in Lynwood. It was unclear what led to the incident, in which more than two dozen shots seemed to be fired. No deputies were injured. In accordance with protocol, a multi-agency investigation was underway.

Oklahoma City OK ~ USA -- A former Oklahoma City police officer was convicted Thursday of 18 of the 36 counts he faced, including four counts of first-degree rape, related to accusations that he victimized 13 women on his police beat in a minority, low-income neighborhood. Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, sobbed (Click here for video) as the verdict was read aloud. He could spend the rest of his life in prison based on the jury's recommendations, which include a 30-year sentence on each of the first-degree rape counts. Among the other charges he was convicted of were forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery and second-degree rape. The jury, which deliberated for about 45 hours over four days, recommended he serve a total of 263 years in prison. The judge will decide later whether he will have to serve the sentences consecutively.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- The Chicago police, facing almost daily protests and a newly announced Justice Department investigation, released footage (Click here for video) Monday night showing a 38-year-old black man being shocked by a Taser and dragged down a hallway by officers in 2012.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- The family of Ronald "Ronnieman" Johnson has ALWAYS said that he was brutally shot from behind by the Chicago Police. This new video (Click here for video) which was only released because of the public pressure on the city, shows they were right all along.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- Reports, released by the city late Friday, show that Officer Jason Van Dyke and at least five other officers claim that the 17-year-old McDonald moved or turned threateningly toward officers, even though the video (Click here for video) of the October 2014 shooting shows McDonald walking away, and the scenario sketched out by Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez in charging Van Dyke with murder contends he was walking away as well.

Miami, Fla. ~ USA -- A shocking video (Click here for video) captured by a bystander was recently uploaded to Instagram and sent to us this morning. That footage shows a Miami, Florida man being shot and killed by Miami Beach Police officers.

San Francisco, CA ~ USA -- Shocking San Francisco Police Shooting Video (Click here for video). Five officers unleash a hail of gunfire on a man with a knife.

Michigan ~ USA -- The family of an unarmed teenager fatally shot by an Eaton County Sheriff Deputy sues after son slain during traffic stop for flashing brights. Bodycam video (Click here for video) shows Deven Guilford stopped for flashing his high beams. It ends with a dizzying tumble of images and the sound of gunshots that killed the young driver.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Usual Suspects!

July 13, 2013

Oakland, CA (WCJB)

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"Rape is Rape!"

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Race & Police Brutality
in the USA - 2012!

Description: (Bottom of Page) Police brutality is the abuse of authority through the unwarranted infliction of excessive force by law enforcement personnel while in performance of their official duties. The term is also applied to abuses by corrections personnel in municipal, state and federal penal facilities including military prisons. The term police brutality is usually applied in the context of causing physical harm. However, it may also involve psychological harm through the use of intimidation tactics beyond the scope of officially sanctioned police procedure. Law enforcement who engage in police brutality have often acted with the implicit approval of the law; the local legal, or judicial system (see the Civil Rights era); the tacit approval of their superiors; or in some cases they may be rogue officers. In either case, officers who engage in police brutality, perpetuate their actions under color of law (or authority of the law), and more often than not engage in a subsequent cover-up of their illegal activity. Copyright © 2013 Corrupt Justice™. All Rights Reserved.

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Private Corrections!

Posted: Sept. 13, 2015 3:51 p.m. ET ~ Posted: Sept. 13, 2015 7:51 p.m. PT

Oklahoma -- A riot at a private Oklahoma prison on Saturday killed four inmates, the second time in three months that violence has erupted at the facility.

The fight at Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing, Okla., began Saturday afternoon and lasted for approximately two minutes, according to a statement from Corrections Corp. of America, which operates the facility and is the country’s largest private prison company. It then took prison staff around 40 minutes to secure the housing area where the incident took place.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company described the incident as a fight between inmates and said staff quickly quelled the disturbance.

As of midday Sunday, four inmates had died from the fight and three others were hospitalized in stable condition, officials said. It’s still unknown what caused the injuries, according to Alex Gerszewski, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

The facility, which houses medium- and maximum-security male inmates, remained on lockdown Sunday, meaning inmates were confined to their housing areas.

The riot was contained to a single housing pod in the 1,720-bed prison, and no staff members were injured, according to the CCA.

The incident is being investigated by the CCA and the inspector general’s office at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, officials said.

In June, hundreds of inmates were involved in a fight at the same prison, injuring around a dozen inmates, according to news reports at the time. That incident is still under investigation.

You got any ...?

Posted: Fri., Sept. 11, 2015, 9:46 AM ET ~ Updated: Mon., Sept. 14, 2015, 4:11 PM PT

STUART, Fla. (WCJB) -- The arrest of a local man is going viral after Martin County sheriff's deputies say a man mistakenly texted the wrong number to sell cocaine.

29-year-old William Lamberson was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell after meeting up with his so-called “hook up” to sell drugs.

Deputies say Lamberson mistakenly texted who turned out to be Captain Brian Bergen who oversees the Martin County Sheriff's Office's Narcotics Unit.

“His first texts were basically address me, ‘hey bro, this is Will”, what you normally would do,” Captain Bergen said.

Bergen says he and the texter exchanged messages off-and-on over the next few week weeks. There was eventually talk about buying marijuana and then cocaine.

“He immediately responded to that, eagerly jumped on it offering up a connection for some good cocaine,” Captain Bergen said.

COP: Who is this?
SUSPECT: 'Its Will, remember we met at 7-11' 'LOL"
COP: What's up
SUSPECT: Not much dude wanna smoke so bad u have any green
COP: I don't know you. Send me a pic.
SUSPECT: hey bro what good wit ya
COP: How much to lookin for
SUSPECT: Was just saying whassup lol

Then came the exchange that Bergen said he knew the texter was serious. He got his colleagues to set up a deal and waited until they say Lamberson showed up at an agreed upon location in Jensen Beach.

COP: Lol. Whassup. Chillin here. You got any hooks for sum blow
SUSPECT: I actually do man. Lol
COP: Can you get me an 8
SUSPECT: too =) and it's a solid connect too u looking for a ball
COP: Yah man. Hook a brotha up
SUSPECT: OK I gotchu bro. They're all bagged up in .6 bags that cool
SUSPECT: I just gotta swing thru my boys house. Its not stomped on either

William Lamberson was arrested, and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell.

Captain Bergen said he is concerned about what could have happened had Lamberson inadvertently texted a child.

“This was somebody that dialed the wrong number, did not know who I was, did not ask who I was, he was that eager to deliver cocaine to somebody it could have been somebody’s child or somebody’s kid who he mis-dialed and basically played it the same way I did,” Captain Bergen said.

Lamberson remains in the Martin County Jail where he is being held on a $40,000 bond.

"Operation Pandora's Box!"

Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 12:30 am | Updated: 11:39 pm, Mon Sep 22, 2014

 photo 48f94962-4478-4bdf-8eab-ba6fc0b18358_zpsa7c6700a.png

Los Angeles, CA -- A federal jury on Tuesday convicted a seventh Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy, James Sexton, 29. Deputy Sexton was convicted of obstructing a federal civil-rights investigation into excessive force and corruption inside the Los Angeles County jails. Jurors deliberated for just over two hours before returning guilty verdicts on conspiracy and obstruction charges against Sexton. The deputy stared straight down at a legal pad on the desk in front of him as the verdict was read. The judge set his sentencing for December. After court proceedings, Sexton calmly whispered to his tearful wife: "It's going to be OK."

A different jury failed to reach a verdict on charges against Sexton earlier this year, deadlocking 6 to 6. The conviction delivered a victory to prosecutors as they continue their probe into the lockups. Six of Sexton's colleagues, including a lieutenant to whom he reported, were convicted of obstruction charges in July 2014. The seven each had a role in what prosecutors said was a conspiracy to thwart the FBI's investigation into jail misconduct. They additionally attempted to ensure that any probe be conducted internally by the Sheriff's Department.

Prosecutors accused Sexton and the others of conspiring to hide a federal informant from his FBI handlers. The informant was an inmate at Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. Sheriff's officials became aware of the informant after they discovered a cellphone agents had smuggled into the inmate through a corrupt deputy. The seven convicted deputies hid the inmate from his FBI handlers by moving him around in the jails under fake names. Prosecutors alleged Sexton was instrumental in the conspiracy because of his knowledge of the inmate booking system. Prosecutor's bolstered this allegation using statements the deputy once made to an FBI agent regarding his ability to "keep [his] mouth shut."

Assistant U.S. Atty. Lizabeth Rhodes told jurors in closing arguments Tuesday the federal probe was necessary because the Sheriff's Department-run jails had a "systemic, overarching, major and widespread problem … a pattern of abuse, coverup, abuse and coverup.These potential thugs and criminals had a badge," she said. "It was James Sexton's name for the operation," she said. "James Sexton's intent was to keep everything in-house." Sexton was the most junior of the sheriff's officials accused in the case. However, his remarks in internal emails and in testimony before the grand jury made clear that he acted with the intent to get in the way of the federal investigation, Rhodes argued. She pointed to an email in which Sexton referred to the moving, renaming and standing watch over the inmate informant, Anthony Brown, as "Operation Pandora's Box."

Sexton's attorney countered that his client was an "inexperienced, eager deputy" in a quasi-military organization carrying out orders from above. He asked jurors to consider those who weren't facing charges, including then-Sheriff Lee Baca and his second-in-command, Paul Tanaka, now a candidate for sheriff in the November election. "Like many foot soldiers, [Sexton] didn't get to sit in on the meeting with the generals," his attorney argued. He dismissed Sexton's testimony before the grand jury in which he said deputies considered the federal government their adversaries and engaged in a "smoke-and-mirrors" scheme to keep the inmate hidden. The attorney said the young deputy had been "like Walter Mitty, puffing himself up."

Prosecutors noted that Tanaka, in his testimony at trial, said he did not give deputies orders to keep the informant hidden from the FBI. Nor did he order deputies to move him around within the jails. Tanaka, who prosecutors have previously identified as a subject in the ongoing investigation, also testified that he "didn't see anything improper" about the deputies' actions.

Sexton faces a maximum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 1. The six other convicted sheriff's officials — two lieutenants, two sergeants and two deputies — are scheduled to appear for sentencing Monday. Prosecutors are seeking prison terms of 28 months to five years for the six.

Dope Unity!

Posted: Friday, Jun 6, 2014 8:58 AM PDT ~ Updated: 1:58 PM PDT, Wed. June 25, 2014

San Diego, CA -- Husband and wife San Diego police officers have been arrested on multiple charges, including selling drugs, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. On Thursday, deputies arrested Bryce Charpentier, 32, and Jennifer Charpentier, 41 (pictured above, center) in the East County and 4S Ranch as part of a narcotics investigation. Bryce was booked into Central Jail on charges of selling, possessing and transporting drugs, possessing a loaded firearm while under the influence and conspiracy. He was released on bond. His wife Jennifer was booked into Las Colinas on charges of selling, possessing and transporting drugs and conspiracy.

Jennifer, an 18-year veteran of the department, works for the Western Division. Bryce has been with the department for six years and works with the Mid-City Division, according to the statement.

In a statement, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said both officers have been placed on leave. She did not say whether the leave were paid or unpaid. Chief Zimmerman said SDPD is fully cooperating with the sheriff's investigation. Bryce is scheduled to appear in court June 9, and Jennifer is expected in court June 10.

The couple lives in 4S Ranch with their four children. Media sources tried to reach the family for comment but was unsuccessful.

Benson Banks!

Posted: 9:47 am, June 22, 2014 ~ Updated: Sunday, June 22 2014, 09:57 PM PDT

BENSON, N.C. — Benson police have charged a former police officer in connection with a bank robbery. Media sources reported that Gregory Scott Corbett (pictured above, center) faces robbery with a dangerous weapon charges and three counts of first-degree kidnapping. Officials say Corbett went into the First Federal Bank in Benson on Friday and pulled out a gun before demanding money. They say he then forced employees into the bank vault.

Corbett was previously charged with a bank robbery back in the 1990s. He once worked as a police officer in Selma and Clayton before leaving in the mid 1990s. He is currently being held in the Johnston County Jail under a $500,000 bond.

Nyunt Business!

Posted: Wednesday, May 14 at 1:10pm - Updated: 5:39 PM PDT, Wed. May 14, 2014

Pacific Grove, CA -- John Nyunt, 51, a former Pacific Grove police commander (pictured above, center) has pleaded guilty to charges that he steered a possible crime victim to his private investigation firm with the intent to defraud her.Nyunt retired from the Pacific Grove force last year as the criminal investigation into his actions began. Nyunt admitted Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Jose that he never investigated the woman’s complaint that she was the victim of electronic surveillance and stalking. Nyunt admitted he merely pretended to look into her case after referring her to his private firm and accepting $10,000. Prosecutors allege Nyunt also pretended to provide the woman with security in the form of off-duty police officers. The woman paid Nyunt and a second investigator $10,000 “for their purported services,” federal prosecutors said.

Nyunt told another Pacific Grove police officer not to conduct an official investigation of the woman’s complaint. He ordered the officer to give any evidence that she provided to Nyunt, authorities said. “When the victim could make no further payments for the services of the investigative agency, Nyunt told her falsely that the police department and the FBI would continue to investigate her complaint,” prosecutors said. Nyunt admitted that he gave his accomplice his departmental password and access to a commercial law-enforcement database without authorization. The accomplice, who wasn’t named, presented herself falsely as an authorized user of the commercial database and obtained financial and personal information belonging to various people.

At a hearing last month in Monterey County Superior Court, Nyunt was sentenced to three years in prison. He pled guilty to one count of dissuading a person from reporting a crime by threats of violence. He pled guilty to one count of being an accessory after the fact to theft and burglary. He also pled guitly to one count of being an accomplice to the burglary of a business, all felonies. Nyunt was also charged in a separate federal case and pleaded guilty to extortion and wire fraud. He is to be sentenced in that case on Sept. 2.

Titan Thief!

4:51 pm - August 25, 2013 — Updated: 4:51 pm PDT - August 25, 2013

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Nashville, Tenn. -- Former Tennessee Titans linebacker and 2003 Pro Bowler Keith Bulluck, 36, was arrested on a felony robbery charge after a cab driver accused him of taking money during an argument in Nashville, Tenn., early Sunday. He was booked and released on $10,000 bond. Bulluck is scheduled to be back in court on September 26.

According to an affidavit, the cab driver told police a man had given him money to wait outside of Blue Jeans Bar but as he was putting his money away, Bulluck allegedly reached through the open passenger window, grabbed the driver by his shirt, and took a $100 bill out of his stack of cash. The driver claims that Bulluck hit him at some point during the confrontation and then fled. When officers arrived, they noted the cab driver's shirt and undershirt were torn. The cabbie took police to Bulluck in a parking lot on Church Street where police found two $100 bills on the former NFL player. One of the bills was taken as evidence. The report also noted that Bulluck smelled of alcohol.

"I was out with friends last night in Nashville and was taking a cab home," said Bulluck in a statement. "There was a misunderstanding between me and the cab driver about getting my money back for a service not rendered. At 2 a.m., things could easily get lost in translation, but regardless of who was right or wrong, I regret putting myself in that situation."

Bulluck played for the Titans for ten seasons and was an analyst on a television broadcast of their preseason game Saturday night against the Atlanta Falcons. He retired from football in 2012.

Welter Weight!

Posted: Aug. 3, 2013

Scottsdale, Ariz. -- Megan Welter, 29, an Iraq War veteran turned NFL cheerleader was arrested for aggravated assault, destroying property and disorderly conduct after she allegedly attacked her boyfriend, who captured the incident on his cell phone. Welter, 29, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is seen on the cell phone video obtained by media sources angrily questioning her boyfriend about text messages between him and a female friend. "Who is she!" Welter is heard screaming in the footage as her boyfriend, who has not been identified, tries to calm her down.

Police were called to the couple's home after Welter placed a 911 call and accused her boyfriend of attacking her. "He smashed my head into tile," she is heard saying on the recording. Video footage released by the Scottsdale Police Department that was shot at the scene of the alleged domestic dispute shows Welter pleading with officers to get her boyfriend out of the home. However, it was Welter who ended up being taken into custody on July 20 at approximately 3:15 a.m. after her boyfriend of six months countered with his side of the story.

"I was asking her to stop, I was trying to leave, she was pulling out my hair, she was scratching me, she was punching me in my face and I have everything on tape," her boyfriend said in the footage released by Scottsdale police. Welter's boyfriend had scratches along his arms, chest, shoulders, and back, according to the police report. Welter also reportedly cut up his photo ID and a credit card during the fight.

"I will admit, I did hit him, I did punch him," Welter allegedly said after authorities told her of the cell phone footage capturing the fight, the police report said.

Authorities said both parties admit to drinking heavily on the night of the argument. The couple went out earlier that evening to celebrate Welter's birthday at a Scottsdale, Ariz., bar. Welter was reportedly so drunk she could not say what had happened, the police report said.

Welter has cheered for the Arizona Cardinals for two years, according to the team's website. But she's recently made headlines for her service in the Iraq War, where she spent 16 months. "Our country has given us so many freedoms and to be a part of fighting for that and maintaining that, it means a lot," she told media sources. Welter was released from custody hours after her arrest, according to the police report. She is due in Scottsdale City Court on August 15.

Welter's boyfriend told media sources that he hopes the incident "doesn't take away from the good things she's done for the NFL and for her country." "I want people to know that she's a wonderful, beautiful woman who had a momentary lapse of judgment," he said.

A representative for the Arizona Cardinals did not immediately respond to a media request for comment.

Trooper Cab!

Posted: July 31, 2013, 6:52 AM EDT - Updated 1:12 AM PDT, Aug. 24, 2013

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two teenagers charged in a pair of fatal shootings were given a ride to the scene of another, non-fatal shooting by an Ohio state trooper who did not pat them down or check them for warrants after he found them walking along a highway ramp, authorities said. Sgt. Jeffrey Shane, a 29-year-member of the State Patrol, has been placed on administrative desk duty during an internal investigation to determine whether he violated any policies, patrol Lt. Anne Ralston has said.

The suspects, Nathaniel Brunner, 18, of Columbus, and 17-year-old Devonere Simmonds, also from Columbus, were arrested Saturday in Dayton on warrants charging them with murder in the slaying of store clerk Imran Ashgar on Wednesday night. They are also being questioned in the non-fatal shooting Saturday at a truck stop west of Columbus where the trooper dropped them off. The teens had been walking Saturday along a ramp at Route 42 and Interstate 70, the patrol has said. Patrol log information released Tuesday notes Shane was with an abandoned car on the interstate about 2:06 a.m. and out with the suspects on the ramp about 2:12 a.m., dropping them off at the nearby truck stop a few minutes afterward. Authorities have said that the motorist at the truck stop was shot a little over two hours later. The abandoned car appears to be the vehicle the suspects had been driving, Ralston confirmed Tuesday.

Normal procedure calls for troopers to pat down anyone being given a courtesy ride in a patrol car and check their names for any outstanding warrants, but it appears that didn't happen, Ralston has said.

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The young men were charged on Tuesday in the death of a teenager whose body was found last week on a sidewalk in Columbus, not far from the convenience store where they are accused of having killed a clerk a day earlier. They were charged Tuesday with murder in the slaying of Lamont Frazier, 17, Columbus police said. Police said Frazier's body was found early Thursday on a sidewalk in Columbus, a few hours after Ashgar was slain.

Court records don't show an attorney for Brunner, whose bail in the Ashgar case was set Tuesday at $1.5 million. It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors would seek to charge 17-year-old Simmonds as an adult.

Messages left for the sheriff in Madison County, home to the truck stop, to determine whether charges had been filed in the shooting there were not returned.

Insufficient Evidence!

Posted: 07/12/2013 01:27:43 PM PDT - Updated: 07/14/2013 02:16:07 PM PDT

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MARTINEZ, CA -- Citing insufficient evidence to go to trial, a Contra Costa County judge has dismissed the criminal case against a Concord police officer who was charged last year with domestic violence, attorneys say. San Ramon resident Ameet Patel was charged with battery upon his live-in girlfriend and false imprisonment by force following an incident at his San Ramon residence in February 2012. Judge Mary Ann O'Malley dismissed the charges at a June preliminary hearing.

"The judge had a different opinion about the evidence than the DA's Office," said Patel's prosecutor, deputy district attorney Scott Cunnae.

Patel was a patrol officer for three years before his arrest. Ameet's Defense attorney said that now that the case has been dismissed, he is working to get Patel back to work and off paid administrative leave at the Concord Police Department. "Obviously, I was pleased with the outcome, and I look forward to shepherding Ameet through the administrative process and his eventual return to full duty," the attorney said. "This case was a series of unfortunate misunderstandings from the onset."

'... well dressed'!

Posted: Jul 11, 2013 @ 01:51 PM - Updated: Jul 13, 2013 @ 11:51 PM PDT

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NORWOOD, MA — The former Westwood Police officer accused of rape had his bail reduced by $2,000 on Tuesday afternoon. Kevin McCarthy, a Norwood resident and former Westwood Police Officer, appeared at Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham on Tuesday, July 9 for a pretrial conference. McCarthy was arrested in June 2012 and charged with indecent assault and battery and two counts of rape. After a warrant for his arrest was released, McCarthy turned himself over to the police. When he appeared in Dedham District Court at the time, he pleaded not guilty to these charges. His attorney argued McCarthy’s $5,000 bail should be reduced. He said that McCarthy has no criminal record and is a former Westwood Police Officer with 12 years of service. He has a wife and kids, always arrives to court early and comes to court well dressed.

“Why should $5,000 of his be tied up with no purpose? Why should his finances be constrained by this?” McCarthy's attorney asked. “He has no defaults, he has no criminal record.” He added that McCarthy is paying him privately and is not asking the court to finance the costs associated with his defense.

District Attorney Erin Murphy, who is serving as prosecutor for the state, said that McCarthy is facing serious charges. She acknowledged that while McCarthy was a police officer, he isn’t anymore. “He was fired for misconduct, including abuse of authority.” Murphy argued that McCarthy was arrested on June 4, 2012, and was charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14. Murphy asked that the bail remain at $5,000.

On April 20, 2011, the alleged female victim reported to police that she was sexually assaulted overnight, according to police. The victim told police that she was parked on the side of the road when a man opened her passenger side door. The victim asked him to leave her alone and he allegedly replied that he was a police officer, according to the police reports. The man then allegedly looked through vehicle asking the victim for drugs. She pleaded with the subject to leave, he refused, and allegedly sexually assaulted her, according to police. The alleged victim described her assailant as a white man in his mid-40s wearing dark clothing. She stated that the way the suspect spoke, he sounded like a police officer. She also told investigators that the suspect had two small dogs with him.

Several weeks after this incident, Norwood Police Officer Andrew Jurewich was on patrol near where that assault occurred, when he encountered a man walking two dogs. Officer Jurewich spoke to the man and this encounter was relayed to the Detective John Gover. Gover, along with members of the Sexual Assault Unit of the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, was investigating the case. Jurewich’s efforts helped lead to the warrant against McCarthy. Through investigation, it was learned that McCarthy was formerly a Westwood Police Officer who was terminated several years ago.

The Honorable Robert Cosgrove opted to reduce McCarthy’s bail to $3,000.

McCarthy’s pretrial conference will continue on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. McCarthy previously went through the pretrial conference process at Dedham District Court. However, on March 21, McCarthy was indicted on these three charges by a Norfolk County grand jury. He pleaded not guilty at Norfolk Superior Court on April 3, Norfolk County District Attorney Spokesman David Traub said.

NYPD, Kids & Porn!

Posted: Thursday, Jul 11, 2013 | Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013 10:19 PM PDT

Staten Island, NY -- An NYPD officer has been arrested and accused of statutory rape after an encounter with a 16-year-old girl on Staten Island, police said. Police officer Peter Ciollo of the 120th Precinct was cuffed Wednesday in Staten Island and hit with a slew of felonies after he allegedly plied a 16-year-old girl with alcohol and sexually assaulted her before his wife found them in bed together. Ciollo, who is married and lives in Staten Island with his wife of four years, was off duty when he allegedly assaulted the 16-year-old girl on July 4.

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The 29-year-old officer knew the girl, according to authorities. The victim is his sister-in-law's sister or another immediate relative on his wife's side of the family. He allegedly gave her alcohol before letting her drive his car in the parking lot of the Staten Island Mall and around the neighborhood, police sources told media sources. They then returned to his home and he showed her pornography before kissing her and urging her to remove her shirt, the source reported. He then allegedly took her to bed and began touching her, sources said.

The girl said she doesn't remember what happened next, but she told police that when she woke up, she was in the bed and Ciollo's wife had walked in on them. Sources told the media that the encounter may have started out as consensual but 'eventually went too far'. The age of consent in New York is 17.

He was arrested Wednesday on Staten Island and faces charges of attempted rape, statutory rape, sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully dealing with a child, which is a charge related to alcohol. Ciollo was expected to be arraigned on Thursday. He has been suspended from his position with the 120th Precinct of the NYPD, where he has worked for seven years. The suspension is without pay. He was not on duty when he was arrested.

He married his wife in Staten Island in July 2009. He grew up in Oak Wood, Staten Island and completed a bachelor degree in network management from DeVry University in New Jersey. It was not immediately known if Ciollo has retained an attorney. Ciollo could not be immediately reached for comment.

NFL Body Fuel!

Published: July 11, 2013 at 09:14 a.m. EDT - Updated: July 11, 2013 at 01:43 p.m. PDT

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Lincoln, Neb. -- In a very troubling off-season for the New England Patriots, the team has encountered more bad news. Police say Alfonzo Dennard of Patriots arrested for DUI. According to Lincoln (Neb.) Police Department spokeswoman Katie Flood, Dennard, a Patriots cornerback was arrested and cited for driving under the influence. Dennard also was cited for refusal of a chemical test and straddling lane lines, Flood said, then released. He was not jailed.

Dennard, who was alone in the vehicle, was stopped just before 2 a.m. CT on Thursday, after a sergeant with the Lincoln Police Department observed a red Honda Accord sedan straddling lane lines. Upon contact, Dennard emitted an odor of alcohol and displayed signs of impairment, Flood said. Standardized field sobriety tests were conducted at the scene, and Dennard, 23, was transported to Cornhusker Place, a licensed substance abuse treatment center, for a formal breath test, but he would not provide an adequate breath sample for testing, according to Flood.

This isn't Dennard's first run-in with the law. Three months ago, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 24 months of probation after he was found guilty of felony assault on a police officer and resisting arrest in connection to an April 2012 incident. The judge in that case said she would permit Dennard to wait until March 1, 2014, to serve his sentence. It's unclear if this incident will alter that decision, but either way, Dennard faces the possibility of punishment from the NFL.

Dennard has a court date scheduled for Aug. 12, and Flood added that the Lincoln City Attorney's Office will determine what charges Dennard will face, if any.

Father & Son!

PUBLISHED: 12:56 EST, 8 July 2013 | UPDATED: 19:19 EST, 8 July 2013

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Powder Springs, Georgia -- The son of NFL star Lawrence Taylor has been accused of statutory rape and sodomy just three years after his father faced charges for sexually assaulting a minor. Police were called to a home in Powder Springs, Georgia, at 5 p.m. Saturday, where an underage female claimed Lawrence Taylor Junior had forcibly performed oral sex on her.

The first accuser said the son of the ex-New York Giants star 'asked her if he could (perform oral sex on her) repeatedly in which she stated no,' according to media sources. Next, he allegedly 'with force spread her legs then pulled her bathing suit to the side and gave her oral sex.' Another minor at the scene told officers Taylor Jr., 32, had sex with her five or six times in February 2012, according to a warrant.

Taylor Jr. was charged with aggravated sodomy and child molestation for the alleged forced oral sex on the first young girl. 'Sodomy' generally refers to anal sex but can also refer to oral sex. He was also arrested on July 7 on suspicion of statutory rape for allegedly having repeated sex with the second minor.

The NFL legend's son was born in 1981 and is listed at 6'1" and 230 lbs. According to media sources, he has a Japanese symbol tattooed on his back and multiple tattoos on his shoulders. When he was 18, Taylor Jr. acted as 'presenter' when his father was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in 1999.

The former Giants linebacker was arrested in 2010 after having sex with the then-16-year-old girl in a hotel room in Montebello, just north of New York City. During his trial, Taylor Sr. admitted that he paid for sex with a 'very, very pretty' prostitute in 2010 but denied accusations that he ignored obvious signs she was a teen runaway in distress. His accuser, Cristina Fierro, claims that an abusive pimp forced her to have sex with Taylor for $300. Taylor, 54, eventually pleaded guilty to one count of patronizing a prostitute and one count of sexual misconduct. He was sentenced to six years probation with no jail time and was added to the sex offenders register.

Fierro sued Taylor in federal court in Manhattan, claiming he should be held accountable. Fierro testified that the aggressive pimp forced her to sleep with Taylor. The Brooklyn-born Fierro, 19, wept while testifying in the 2012 trial that a hulking Taylor refused to stop having sex with her, even after she told him it hurt and tried to push him away.

'I kept telling him I didn't want to be there,' she said. 'He's much bigger than me. I couldn't do anything.' She added that she told him it was her 'first time' and he replied, 'Just relax.' 'It was really rough and painful,' she said in court, adding that she felt suicidal several months later and began taking medication for depression, insomnia and anxiety. Fierro testified that when the sex was over Taylor 'just pulled out money and said, "Here, can you turn the TV off on your way out?"'

Taylor told a Manhattan jury at the civil trial that he had a history of hiring women for 'company' when on the road but didn't expect them to automatically have sex with him. 'I still like the chase,' Taylor testified. But he added, 'I like to stack the odds in my favor... I don't like to work too hard.'

Blue Hands of Death!

Posted: 07/08/2013 08:28:50 AM PDT - Updated: 07/08/2013 10:58:53 AM PDT

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OAKLAND, CA -- Streets were blocked off early Monday in an East Oakland neighborhood where police said a man collapsed while being taken into custody and later died at a hospital. An autopsy will determine the cause of death for the man, police said. His name, age and place of residence were not released. Officers had been summoned at about 1:41 a.m. to a disturbing the peace call at a duplex in the 2300 block of East 21st street.While police were trying to get the man out to a patrol car, he suddenly collapsed. Officers began giving him first aid, but he died later at Highland Hospital.

When a person dies in police custody, the incident is investigated by the police department's major crimes section and internal affairs division.

Posted: 07/03/2013 07:58:10 PM PDT - Updated: 07/08/2013 06:38:54 PM PDT

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HAYWARD, CA -- A 33-year-old man who died while in police custody Monday night has been identified as Willie Joseph Evans III of Hayward, police said. Police said Evans had caused an unspecified disturbance about 10:55 p.m. Monday at the McDonald's Restaurant at 23989 Watkins St. and when officers arrived they found him in front of the eatery. When police ran his name and discovered he had an outstanding warrant, he was arrested, said Hayward police Sgt. Eric Melendez said. Police have declined to say why Evans had the warrant.

While in custody at the Hayward Police Department, Evans had a "medical emergency" while struggling with jail staff, police said. Evans collapsed in the jail, and staff and paramedics were not able to resuscitate him, Melendez said. He was taken to Saint Rose Hospital in Hayward, where he was pronounced dead, Melendez said.

A spokesman from the Alameda County Coroner's office said Hayward police have a hold on what information can be released, including the man's cause of death. Police investigators were not immediately available Wednesday night.

Police Lies!

Posted: July 3, 2013 — Updated: 12:57 PM PDT - July 7, 2013

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Patterson, NJ -- Two northern New Jersey men are reportedly using footage from a surveillance camera to help support their allegations of police brutality in 2011. Alexis Aponte and Miguel Rivera claim that Paterson police used undue force against them when they were arrested, according to media sources. The video appears to show Aponte being kicked by Paterson officers and then dragged down the street during a 2011 arrest. Aponte and Rivera allegedly got into a fight with off-duty police officers at a sports bar hours before they were arrested, sources reported.

A federal lawsuit filed Friday in Newark claims Aponte, of Paterson, and Rivera, of Prospect Park, were beaten while on the ground handcuffed. Aponte was a passenger in a truck driven by Rivera when police stopped them. Their attorney says the video was from a camera outside the Rivera family's home. It mostly captured what happened on the passenger side. Aponte is currently in prison for charges related to a weapon he was carrying during the altercation at the sports bar.

The lawsuit names Paterson police and specific officers. The suit claims authorities punched and kicked Aponte and Rivera, nearly knocking them unconscious. It also claims that neither man resisted arrest and that officers took their money, jewelry and other personal items that were never returned. Police declined to comment, saying the case has been referred to the Passaic County prosecutor.

House of Fire & Lies!

Posted: June 11, 2013 — Updated: 12:57 PM PDT - July 7, 2013

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Brett Seacat (pictured above center) is a former Sedgwick County deputy who was an instructor at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center when his wife's body was found.

Kingman, Kan. -- After less than a day of deliberations, a Kingman, Kan., jury found former sheriff's deputy Brett Seacat guilty of murdering his wife and then torching the family home in an attempt to hide the evidence. The jury convicted the ex-cop on a charge of first-degree murder. Seacat was also found guilty of aggravated arson and two counts of child endangerment stemming from the fire prosecutors said he set as his two young sons slept down the hall from their mother's dead body. Sentencing was set for the morning of Aug. 5, and the state indicated it would seek a sentence of 50 years in prison.

Prosecutors presented the 37-year-old Seacat as a "controlling, manipulative" husband who planned the murder of his wife, Vashti Seacat, in April 2011. During her closing arguments on Monday, prosecuting attorney Amy Hanley told jurors that Seacat had relied on his law enforcement background to stage the crime scene to make it look as though his wife had killed herself, just two days after she served him with divorce papers. Hanley called Brett Seacat "a little reckless" and said he needed the fire to destroy evidence at the crime scene. "He banked on that fire," she said. Prosecutors said Vashti Seacat wouldn't have put the lives of her two sons in jeopardy by setting the house on fire, while the defense said Brett Seacat wouldn't have risked his boy's lives by starting a blaze.

The defense presented a contrasting story of a woman who had battled depression since high school and set her home on fire before taking her own life. Seacat's attorney, told the jury on Monday that after months of reviewing police reports and crime scene photos, even the coroner had "reasonable doubt" that the mother of two young boys was murdered. "Someone with over 3,000 autopsies under their belt sat here and told you, based upon all of their experience and training, 'I can't tell if this is suicide or homicide,'" his attorney said.

Seacat's behavior around the time of his wife's death, including the destruction of hard drives and old cell phones, has been a key element in the prosecution's case. However, Seacat took the stand last Thursday to explain his actions. "That's what you're supposed to do with hard drives. If you leave a hard drive in the trash, most identity thieves would not have any problem at all accessing the hard drive in some form or another," Seacat said. As for the discarded cellphones prosecutors found in the trash of his Kansas office, Seacat said that he was simply trying to protect his identity. "Websites that said, 'Don't sell your old cellphones,' said, 'Destroy them,'" he said.

After closing arguments Monday afternoon, the jury was handed the case but opted to go home and begin a full day of deliberations today at 9:30 a.m. Jurors worked through the lunch hour, ordering pizza to the courthouse as they continued to weigh the charges.

State Extortionist!

Posted: 5:22 pm - May 21, 2013 — Updated: 10:57 pm - May 21, 2013

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — State Treasurer Martha Shoffner resigned Tuesday, a day after appearing in federal court to face an extortion charge. In a letter to Gov. Mike Beebe, Shoffner said she tendered her resignation “with great sadness.” The two-term state treasurer had been under FBI investigation for more than a year because of financial dealings in her office before agents arrested her at her home Saturday. In a criminal complaint filed Monday, federal authorities accused her of taking kickbacks for directing state bond business to a single broker. Shoffner is accused of taking at least $36,000 in kickbacks, delivered covertly in a pie box, for directing the bulk of bond transactions made by her office to a single broker, according to federal authorities. After a hearing in federal court Monday, she was released on her own recognizance but ordered to surrender her passport. A federal grand jury will decide whether to indict her.

Shoffner, 68, was arrested Saturday by FBI agents at her Newport home and charged with extortion. After a hearing in federal court Monday, she was released on her own recognizance but ordered to surrender her passport. A federal grand jury will decide whether to indict her on these charges as well.

“I am proud to have been elected by and to have served the people of the state of Arkansas and regret that I can no longer perform the duties and responsibilities owed to the public,” she said in the letter. She said her resignation was effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Her letter made no mention of the charge she faces. Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said Tuesday evening that the governor plans to appoint a new state treasurer “as soon as possible.”

Shoffner, became the first state constitutional officer to resign under pressure from office since former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, a fellow Democrat, stepped down in July 1996 following his conviction on federal charges in the Whitewater investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s business dealings in Arkansas.

“Obviously (the governor) is glad she took this action relative quickly,” DeCample said, adding that Beebe has indicated he has some possible candidates for the constitutional office in mind but did not want to discuss it with them until Shoffner officially stepped down. DeCample declined to say who the governor was considering. The new treasurer will be barred from seeking the office in 2014.

Calls for Shoffner’s resignation, from fellow Democrats and Republicans alike, had been mounting since before her appearance in U.S. District Court on Monday. Both the Republican and Democratic House leaders Tuesday called for Shoffner to resign and for Beebe to call a special legislative session to remove her from office if she refused. Beebe said earlier Tuesday he would consider calling legislators into special session to remove the embattled state treasurer but wanted to give her a chance to step down on her own.


Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 | Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2:40 PM PDT

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Oakland, CA -- A federal judge on Monday sentenced Norman Wielsch (pictured above, center) to 14 years in prison for his role in a police corruption case that rocked the East Bay in 2010. Wielsch cried and told the courtroom he was so ashamed for his behavior. His attorney told media sources before the sentencing hearing that Wielsch was suffering from depression and despair which made him go "haywire" and commit some "bonehead" crimes. Wielsch could have faxed a maximum of 17 years in prison, and his lawyer had been arguing for ten. But U.S. District Court Judge Saundra Armstrong chose the middle range - 14 years.

Wielsch, the former commander of the Contra Costa County drug task force, pleaded guilty in December to felony charges including narcotics possession and conspiracy to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine. Wielsch admitted in court to stealing the drugs from law enforcement evidence lockers before selling them for cash. They are felonies that could have put him in prison for more than 17 years. During his December plea, Wielsch explained to the court how he got involved in the high-profile East Bay crime spree that began in 2010 when he said he stole marijuana that was due to be destroyed. He then went down the list of crimes he committed. During the court hearing, Wielsch apologized to the law enforcement community for his conduct. He said he tarnished the badge.

"Most of all I'd like to say I'm sorry to my dad who I let down and brought disgrace to my family name. I'm very sorry," Wielsch testified sobbing. Wielsch had faced 11 felony counts and life in prison prior to the plea bargain. "I take full responsibility for my actions," he said. During a previous court appearance prior to his sentencing, Wielsch made a tearful plea to the judge, asking for leniency. "My failure was I put up a strong front, but I was breaking down mentally and emotionally," Wielsch said in a statement. Besides a debilitating medical condition and bouts with depression, Wielsch argued he acted under duress in committing his crimes.

Wielsch was a CNET commander when he and former Concord private investigator Christopher Butler were caught on tape making a drug deal. CNET has since disbanded. Wielsch and Butler both pleaded guilty to charges they stole drugs and money from evidence lockers and from people Wielsch arrested over a two year period.

Federal sentencing guidelines mandated a sentences from 14 years to 17 years. Even after his client was sentenced to prison, Wielsch's attorney insisted his client was not motivated by greed. "There's no defense here. He knew right from wrong. The problem is, is that he was making decisions not as a hardened criminal, he was making decisions based on impulse," he said. He claims a private investigator named Chris Butler blackmailed him with a claim that there was a videotape of him having sex with a prostitute. Wielsch is married. "Said that he had a tape of Norman in a compromising position with a young lady and that that tape was useful and maybe his wife would see it," Wielsch's attorney said.

An Attorney who says she represents one of Wielsch's victims said: "If you want to, you know, go out and steal and sell dope and rob people, don't be a police officer."

The police-corruption investigation led to the arrests of two other Contra Costa County law enforcement officers. Butler was sentenced in May after pleading guilty to six charges, including extortion, robbery and conspiring to deal drugs. Wielsch's co-conspirator, Christopher Butler, was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in the scheme last September. The judge said she considered Wielsch's medical and mental conditions when sentencing him. He will serve at least 10 of his 14 years sentence. Butler will serve eight years.

Full House (of Cards)!

Posted: Monday, Mar 18, 2013 | Updated: Saturday, July 12, 2013 2:40 PM PDT

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Santa Clara, CA -- A former Santa Clara County supervisor and a longtime public servant of the South Bay - recently marred by allegations of stealing to pay off his gambling addiction - entered a guilty plea on Monday, sparing himself a possible eight-year prison stint. George Shirakaway Jr. (pictured above, center) pled guilty to 12 counts, as part of an agreement to spend no more than one year in county jail. He is now barred from holding any public office. His sentencing date is scheduled for April 30. Shirakawa declined public comment at his high-profile court hearing, arriving and leaving silently in a black pinstripe suit.

In court, he did say, "Guilty, Your Honor" - 12 times in a clear and stoic manner - when asked by Superior Court Judge Philip Pennypacker to enter his plea. Shirakawa's plea was not a surprise. Hours before he was charged on March 1, the longtime public servant appologized for his behavior in a letter, which stated that he would not fight the charges.

Those charges include: Four felony counts of perjury, one felony count of misappropriation of public fund, and seven misdemeanor counts for failing to file accurate reports.

Shirakawa has not given in-person interviews since the charges came to light. But he did issue an open letter when he announced his resignation from his seat representing District 2.

"For years, I have suffered from depression and a gambling addiction," Shirakawa wrote in his resignation letter. "Unfortunately, my gambling addiction went untreated for too long which led to bad decisions and actions that I deeply regret."

Prosecutors allege that Shirakawa funneled about $130,000 in campaign money in and out of his personal accounts over a five-year period, which mostly went to casinos from Southern California to Vegas. He used his county credit card and filed inaccurate reports, he acknowledged in his letter.

Shirakawa wrote in his letter that he had paid most of the money back already, and would pay the rest as well. "The charges never should have been made," he wrote. "I apologize for my actions." According to his county website, Shirakawa is one of the longest running elected leaders in Santa Clara County. He started as a Franklin McKinley School District board member in 1992, and has also served as a San Jose vice mayor and councilman, and was also board president of the East Side Union High School District board of trustees in 2007.

In light of the resignation, the board of supervisors voted on March 5 to spend $1 million to hold a special election to replace Shirakawa, who was elected in 2008.

A Family Plan II!

Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 11:24 a.m. - Updated: Saturday, July 13, 2013

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Pennsylvania -- Former State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin will pay for her corruption convictions with humiliation and house arrest rather than prison time, an Allegheny County Common Pleas judge decided on Tuesday.

As part of Melvin's sentence, Judge Lester G. Nauhaus ordered a county photographer to take her picture in handcuffs and told her to pay to send a copy to every member of the state's judiciary and to write each an apology.

“You brought shame to the judiciary,” Nauhaus told Melvin and her sister Janine Orie, whom he also sentenced. “There are 500 members of the judiciary who have been tarnished by your behavior.”

A jury in February found each sister guilty of six counts of theft of services, misapplication of public property and conspiracy for misusing public employees to aid Melvin's campaigns for the high court. They deadlocked on one count of official oppression for Melvin.

As Nauhaus pronounced sentence, Melvin, 57, of Marshall was silent and emotionless, just as she was when the jury convicted her in February.

Nauhaus ordered Melvin to serve three years of house arrest in her five-bedroom, 41⁄2-bath home, which Allegheny County assessed at $555,000. She'll serve two years of probation and pay $55,000 in fines. She must volunteer at a soup kitchen three days a week.

The judge sentenced Orie, 58, of McCandless to serve one year of house arrest and two years of probation for the role she played in ordering Melvin's judicial staffers to spend time working on the judge's election campaigns in 2003 and 2009. Nauhaus didn't order Janine Orie to pay restitution.

About three-dozen people — mostly family, friends and legal observers — sat in the courtroom during the hourlong hearing. Melvin, wearing a navy suit, did not address the judge but turned to apologize to her four daughters in the front row.

“I'm sorry for all the pain and suffering you have endured in the past five years,” she said. Her husband, Greg Melvin, an investment banker, sat silent behind their daughters.

Orie, wearing a teal blazer and black skirt, appeared relieved and surprised after sentencing. She cried in the hallway afterward and declined comment.

“I'm sorry for everything that has happened in this case,” Orie told the judge.

University of Pittsburgh law professor John Burkoff said Nauhaus crafted a punishment that, while unusual, reflects the judge's thinking behind the purpose of sentencing. “By making her apologize to all of the sitting judges and all of the people on her staff who more specifically were victimized, he is sending to public officials a stark reminder of what can happen to you if you think you're above the law.”

The sentence “is as much to try to be able to deter other public officials as to reflect the severity of what she did,” Burkoff said. “If she had been before a more traditional judge, she would be going to prison very soon.”

Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Claus, who had asked the judge to incarcerate the sisters, said the crime was about more than the $33,000 they diverted from taxpayers.

“This involved people,” Claus said. “People who ended up losing their jobs.”

Nauhaus ordered the sisters to write letters of apology to their relatives and former staff members. After sentencing, he ordered a sheriff's deputy to put Melvin in handcuffs and then had a county photographer take her picture, which she is to include with an apology to every member of the Pennsylvania judiciary.

Melvin must pay to produce and mail the photos, Nauhaus ordered.

Melvin and Orie will be permitted to attend church services during house arrest. Allegheny County Adult Probation will install a monitor inside their homes and fit each with a tracking bracelet within three days. The units cost convicts $5 to $25 a day.

Melvin's Allentown defense attorneys, Patrick Casey and Dan Brier, submitted more than 40 letters supporting the judge. Melvin's brother, daughter and the family's spiritual adviser testified on Melvin's behalf.

“She means the world to us,” Nina Orie, a junior at Brown University, told Nauhaus. “She's the glue that keeps our family together. She's always just a phone call away. She's not just our mother. She's our best friend and confidante.”

The Rev. Scott Steelhaler, a Capuchin-Franciscan priest, said he got to know the family after the November 2011 death of Melvin's sister, Judith Orie.

“The experience she has had throughout the trial and through the verdict has changed her life,” he told the court.

She is only the second sitting state Supreme Court justice convicted of a crime. The other was Rolf Larsen, who got probation for conspiracy in a prescription fraud case in 1994.

Melvin surrendered her law license, resigned her seat on the bench in a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett effective May 1 and will never be eligible to hold public office again, her lawyers said. She might lose her $140,000-a-year pension, although a spokesman for the State Employees' Retirement System declined to comment.

Corbett said he needs to nominate someone who can get at least eight Democratic votes for confirmation in the Republican-controlled Senate. A two-thirds vote is required for confirmation by the 50-member Senate.

“We are looking now at a number of names,” Corbett said.

The seven-member Supreme Court has been operating with six members — three Republicans like Melvin, and three Democrats — since the court suspended her last May. The Court of Judicial Discipline ended her $195,309 annual salary in August.

Posted: February 22, 2013

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Pennsylvania -- A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, a court aide, and a former state senator — all three sisters — have all now been convicted of public corruption charges, accusing them of using state employees for political campaign work. Justice Joan Orie Melvin and older sister Janine Orie were convicted Thursday of theft-of-service charges and other crimes. Former Sen. Jane Orie, the youngest of the three, was convicted last year and is serving 2½ to 10 years in prison. The staunchly Republican, Catholic sisters from a Pittsburgh suburb say the charges were overblown or outright lies whipped up by a Democratic prosecutor. A sentencing date for Melvin and Janine Orie has not yet been set. A lawyer for Orie said he didn't like the verdict and planned to appeal.

Jail Babies!

Posted: Wednesday, 02/20/2013 07:38 PM EST - Updated: Thursday Feb 21, 2013 02:42 PM PT

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- A corrections officer has been arrested after State Police say she was having a sexual relationship with one of the inmates she was charged with overseeing. State Troopers say Tyshinia Love Brewster, 39, was having an intimate affair with an inmate since 2010 and that she's pregnant with that inmate's child. They say she has been working at the Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill for more than seven years. Brewster was arrested for rape and official misconduct and is due back in court next month. She is also facing disciplinary charges out of the Inspector General’s Office.

Flash Play!

Posted: 5:09 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 | Updated: 3:59 p.m. PST Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013

Cobb County, Ga. -- An arrest for public indecency may cost Mount Vernon Presbyterian School’s head football coach his job. Reginald Burnette, who played three years in the NFL for Green Bay and Tampa Bay, was arrested Jan. 29 in an east Cobb subdivision for allegedly exposing himself to an adult female, a misdemeanor, said Cobb County police spokesman Officer Mike Bowman. Mount Vernon responded by placing Burnette on indefinite leave until his case is adjudicated, school spokeswoman Allison Toller said. The school, located in Sandy Springs, educates students in preschool through the 12th grade, according to its website. The alleged incident did not involve Mount Vernon students or any school employees, Toller said. Parents were informed last week in a letter sent by headmaster Brett Jacobsen. Burnette, an All-American at the University of Houston, is out of jail on $1,000 bond.

Hot & Racy Calls!

Posted: Wed. Feb. 6, 2013, 9:28 AM - Updated: Thurs. February 7, 2013, 1:48 AM PST

Tucson, Ariz. -- A female cop who sent sex videos and pictures of herself in uniform to her lower-ranking officer lover has been demoted. Diana Lopez, who was in a relationship with the man at the time, used her personal cell phone to send the sexually explicit content. The public information officer for Tuscon Police Department was demoted from the rank of lieutenant to sergeant after an investigation.

The probe was initially sparked by anonymous letters to her department in August 2012, reports Arizona media sources.

Police said her actions had violated several department regulations, its code of ethics and professional standards. Assistant Chief Kathleen Robinson wrote: "Lopez used extremely poor judgment in sending these images undermining her credibility as a commander. "Her actions have negatively affected not only her reputation, but the reputation and mission of the Tucson Police Department."

Police said Lopez's boyfriend, who has never been identified, showed the content to other officers between May and August 2011. The investigation revealed that 13 people saw the footage, but the racy clips were never uncovered. Lopez also admitted to kissing an individual in a station locker room. Lopez, who is now working in the operations division, is believed to be considering a civil lawsuit against the city. Her attorney said the case brought up “constitutional issues over lawful off-duty behavior and violation of privacy.”

Seal[ed] Fate!

Posted: February 3, 2013 - Updated: February 5, 2013 10:06 PM PST

Erath County, Texas -- A former Marine has been charged with three counts of murder in the killing of former Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle (pictured above-center, left) the most deadly sniper in U.S. history, and another man at an Erath County, Texas, gun range, police said. Kyle and a neighbor of his were shot at a gun range in Glen Rose while helping a former Marine who was recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome, another media source reported. Authorities identified the other man who was killed with Kyle as 35-year-old Chad Littlefield, who Cox said was Kyle's neighbor and friend. The fatal shooting comes after week filled with gun-related incidents, as the national debate heats up on what to do about gun violence. In the past week, a teen who participated in President Obama's inaugural festivities was shot to death in Chicago, a bus driver was fatally shot and a 5-year-old was taken hostage in Alabama, and a Texas prosecutor was gunned down outside a courthouse.

The suspect, identified as Eddie Ray Routh, 25 (pictured above-center, right) was arrested in Lancaster, Texas, after a brief police chase, a Lancaster Police Department dispatcher told media sources. Routh was driving Kyle's truck at the time of his arrest, police said. Investigators told the sources that Routh is a former Marine said to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Kyle, 38, served four tours in Iraq and was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. From 1999 to 2009, Kyle recorded more than 150 sniper kills, the most in U.S. military history. After leaving combat duty, Kyle became chief instructor training Naval Special Warfare Sniper and Counter-Sniper teams, and he authored the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine, the first Navy SEAL sniper manual. He left the Navy in 2009.

"American Sniper," which was published last year by William Morrow, became a New York Times best seller. "We are devastated by the news of Chris Kyle's death," William Morrow executive editor Peter Hubbard said in a statement. "It was an incomparable honor to help share Chris's story of service and faith with the world. Chris was a hero as much on the home front as on the battlefield -- a man who dedicated his life in recent years to supporting veterans and donated the proceeds of American Sniper to the families of his fallen friends. He deserves our deepest respect. Our prayers are with his family and the entire military community. He will never be forgotten."

Brandon Webb, a fellow SEAL who knew Kyle from SEAL Team Three then later when Webb was an instructor at the SEAL sniper course, called him a "larger than life Texan" and said he "will go down in history as one of the world's most accomplished military snipers, right next to Carlos Hathcock, and Lyudmila Pavlichenko."

"Chris was very adamant about supporting veterans issues," Webb said. "This was an subject close to his heart, and not many in our community realize how much of his time was spent on veterans' causes. ... Chris will be remembered as a great American Hero, and another friend lost but not forgotten."

Kyle was also an advocate for his fellow service members suffering from PTSD, creating a foundation to help with their treatment. In an interview with an online gun dealer, he discussed the difficulty troops face coming home from combat zones. "All of a sudden you don't have no identity," he said "And you have to learn a whole new way to act." Kyle also helped found a nonprofit that provides at-home fitness equipment for emotionally and physically wounded veterans, but the director of the foundation said Kyle and Routh had not met through the organization. "Chris was literally the type of guy if you were a veteran and needed help he'd help you," Travis Cox, the director of FITCO Cares, told a third media source. "And from my understanding that's what happened here. I don't know how he came in contact with this gentleman, but I do know that it was not through the foundation."

Cox said Kyle's wife Taya and their children "lost a dedicated father and husband" and the country has lost a "lifelong patriot and an American hero."

"Chris Kyle was a hero for his courageous efforts protecting our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL during four tours of combat. Moreover, he was a hero for his efforts stateside when he helped develop the FITCO Cares Foundation. What began as a plea for help from Chris looking for in-home fitness equipment for his brothers- and sisters-in-arms struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) became an organization that will carry that torch proudly in his honor," Cox said in a statement.

Routh was arraigned Saturday evening on one count of capital murder and two counts of murder. He was brought to the Erath County Jail this morning and was being held there today on a combined $3 million bond, Officer Kyle Roberts said.

Bunker Buster!

Published: Tues. Feb. 5, 2013, 12:53 PM - Updated: Wed. Feb. 6, 2013, 12:27 PM PST

Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, was killed when FBI agents stormed his Midland City bunker Monday. Homemade bombs have been found in an Alabama bunker where a demented survivalist held a kidnapped autistic boy captive for nearly a week. It was unclear what Dykes intended to do with the bombs, but authorities had feared he would blow up himself and the boy if the crisis continued. Officials said four armed agents shot and killed the suspect when he fired a shot at them. As soon as the rescue mission of declared a success, FBI bomb technicians entered the bunker and began disarming the explosives.

The boy, who has only been identified as Ethan, celebrated his sixth birthday Tuesday watching Spongebob cartoons in a hospital and being showered with affection by loved ones. Dykes abducted Ethan Jan. 29, pulling the boy off a school bus and fatally shooting the driver. Ethan was rescued Monday after hostage negotiators convinced Dykes to open the door of his bunker so they could deliver supplies he asked for. He was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon after doctors determined Dykes had not physically harmed him.

Posted: February 4, 2013 9:30 PM PST - Updated: February 5, 2013 10:42 PM PST

Midland City, Alabama (WCJB) -- A 5-year-old boy freed Monday after being held captive in an underground bunker for six days is laughing and smiling and playing with his favorite toy dinosaur after being reunited with his family, authorities said. FBI Special Agent in Charge Steve Richardson visited Ethan at a hospital, where he was in a private area with heavy security. "He is doing fine," Richardson told reporters at a late-night news conference. "He's laughing, joking, playing, eating." Ethan looks great but will be hospitalized overnight, an uncle told people at a prayer vigil earlier Monday. Ethan suffers from Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit disorder, state Rep. Steve Clouse said during the week. Ethan has siblings, but none of them were on the bus last week.

(pictured left, makeshift aqueduct Law Enforcement officials used to communicate and deliver supplies to Dykes and captive boy) The boy's kidnapper, 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes (pictured above-center, left) is dead, but officials offered no details on the raid that freed the boy -- identified only by his first name, Ethan -- and left his abductor fatally shot. Richardson earlier said an FBI team went in to get Ethan after negotiations had broken down with Dykes, who also was "observed holding a gun." Believing the child to be in imminent danger, an FBI team entered the bunker at 3:12 p.m. CT (4:12 p.m. ET) and rescued the boy, Richardson said. Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson had no new details about Ethan's rescue, and when asked if the boy saw his abductor, Dykes, killed during the rescue operation, Olson replied, "He's a very special child. He's been through a lot, he's endured a lot." Olson said it became very difficult to deal with and even communicate with Dykes over the past day.

Last Tuesday, police said, Dykes boarded a Dale County school bus and demanded the driver hand over two children. The driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., refused, blocking access to the bus's narrow aisle as at least 21 children escaped out of the back emergency door, authorities said. The gunman killed Poland, then grabbed the kindergärtner before barricading himself and the boy inside a nearby bunker he had built. Neighbors and officials had described Dykes as a survivalist with "anti-government" views. Meanwhile, residents and business owners in Midland City put up blue, red and black ribbons in support of the boy and Poland. Blue and red are the local school colors, and black is in honor of the slain bus driver.

In the ensuing days, officials said little about what was going on in the bunker (artist rendition: pictured above-center, left) or in their strategy, or what -- if anything -- Dykes wanted. "Based on our discussions with Mr. Dykes, he feels like he has a story that's important to him, although it's very complex," Olson said Monday before the hostage situation ended. He didn't elaborate. Dykes told authorities that he had blankets and a heater in the bunker, and authorities have previously said the bunker -- built 4 feet underground -- has electricity. Authorities did not say how they were communicating with Dykes.

(pictured right, a tent covers the entrance to the underground bunker where Dykes holed up with a captive 6-year-old boy) One neighbor said he was outside when he was startled by the sound of an explosion. "I heard a big boom and then ... I believe I heard rifle shots," said Bryon Martin, who owns a home near the bunker where the boy had been held since Tuesday. It was a loud noise that "made me jump off the ground," he said. Authorities wouldn't say whether the blast was set off as a diversionary tactic or whether Dykes had planted explosives around the bunker. Authorities said they were still working on the crime scene and the investigation should continue for several more days. The sheriff's office said the bomb squad was checking the bunker for potential explosive devices.

The FBI had borrowed from the U.S. military high-tech detection equipment similar to the technology used to discover homemade bombs in war zones, three Defense Department officials told media sources. It was unclear whether the equipment, which is not readily available to civilian law enforcement, had been used by the FBI. One of the defense officials said no members of the military were involved in the rescue. They would have been acting a technical advisers, the official said.

The U.S. Navy confirmed Monday that Dykes served in the military from 1964 to 1969. Naval records list him as an aviation maintenance administration man third-class who served with units based in California and Atsugi, Japan. The job entails clerical work related to aircraft and aircraft maintenance, according to the Navy's job description.

Even as the hostage situation continued Monday morning, plenty of police were on hand as schools in neighboring Ozark, Alabama, reopened for the first time since the incident began. Dale County schools remained closed but were to reopen on Tuesday, the district said. In Ozark, school officials decided to begin strictly enforcing a 15-foot safety zone around school buses required by state law. The law prohibits any unauthorized adults, including parents, from approaching within 15 feet of a school bus stop. If an unauthorized adult gets too close, bus drivers are supposed to close bus doors or drive away, if necessary, school officials said.

January 30, 2013, 10:07 PM

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. -- (pictured right, a FBI agents stands at the entrance to Dykes' property where he engaged in a standoff with officials in an underground bunker, holed up with a captive 6-year-old boy) A gunman holed up in a bunker with a 6-year-old hostage kept law officers at bay Wednesday in an all-night, all-day standoff that began when he killed a school bus driver and dragged the boy away, authorities said. SWAT teams took up positions around the gunman's rural property and police negotiators tried to win the kindergärtner’s safe release. The bus driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, was hailed by locals as a hero who gave his life to protect 21 students. The gunman had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to answer charges he shot at his neighbors in a dispute last month over a speed bump.

The boy's classmates, their parents and other members of this small Bible Belt community gathered in several churches and held a candlelight vigil in the town square Wednesday evening to pray for Poland and for the boy's safety. Some in the square joined together to sing "Amazing Grace."

The gunman, reported to be a 65-year-old retired truck driver, was known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun. The standoff along a red dirt road began on Tuesday afternoon, after the gunman boarded a stopped school bus filled with children in the small town of Midland City, population 2,300. Sheriff Wally Olson said the man shot the bus driver when he refused to hand over a 6-year-old child. The gunman then took the kindergärtner away. "As far as we know there is no relation at all. He just wanted a child for a hostage situation," said Michael Senn, a church pastor who helped comfort the traumatized children after the attack.

Media sources in the nearby town of Dothan reports that contact has been made with the unidentified child (pictured right, "Ethan," a captive 6-year-old boy) and that the hostage is safe, but still being held captive. Police communicated with the boy through a PVC pipe in the bunker. The suspect was believed to be holed up with the boy at his rural property in an underground bunker of the sort used to take shelter from a tornado. Authorities gave no details on the standoff as it dragged on through the night and into the afternoon Wednesday, and it was unclear if the suspect had made any demands. At one point, authorities lowered medicine into the bunker for the boy after his captor agreed to it, Clouse said. The lawmaker said he did not know what the medicine was for or whether it was urgently needed.

State Rep. Steve Clouse, who met with authorities and visited the boy's family, said the bunker had food and electricity, and the youngster was watching TV. He said law enforcement authorities were communicating with the gunman, but he had no details on how. About 50 vehicles from federal, state and local agencies were clustered at the end of a dirt road near where the suspect lived in a small travel trailer. Nearby homes were evacuated after authorities found what was believed to be a bomb on his property.

Mike and Patricia Smith, who live across the street from the suspect and whose two children were on the bus when the shooting happened, said their youngsters had a run-in with him about 10 months ago. "My bulldogs got loose and went over there," Patricia Smith said. "The children went to get them. He threatened to shoot them if they came back."

"He's very paranoid," her husband said. "He goes around in his yard at night with a flashlight and shotgun."

"Everybody up the hill tried to avoid him," he said.

Patricia Smith said her children told her what happened on the bus: Two other children had just been dropped off and the Smith children were next. The suspect stepped onto the bus and grabbed the door so the driver couldn't close it. The suspect told the driver he wanted two boys, 6 to 8 years old, without saying why. According to Smith, the suspect started down the aisle of the bus and the driver put his arm out to block him. The suspect fired four shots at Charles Albert Poland, the school bus driver (pictured above-center) with a handgun, Smith said. "He did give his life, saving children," Mike Smith said.

Patricia Smith said her daughter, a high school senior, began corralling the other children and headed for the back of the bus while the suspect and the driver were arguing. Later, Smith's son ran inside his house, telling his mother: "The crazy man across the street shot the bus driver and Mr. Poland won't wake up."

Patricia Smith ran over to the bus and saw the driver slumped over in his seat. Her daughter used another child's cellphone to call 911.

Another neighbor, Ronda Wilbur, said the suspect beat her 120-pound dog with a lead pipe for coming onto his side of the dirt road. The dog died a week later. "He said his only regret was he didn't beat him to death all the way," Wilbur said. She called animal control, who came out and talked to the suspect, but nothing else happened. "If a man can kill a dog, and beat it with a lead pipe and brag about it, it's nothing until it's going to be people."

The suspect had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday to face a charge of menacing some neighbors as they drove by his house weeks ago. Claudia Davis said he yelled and fired shots at her, her son and her baby grandson over damage the suspect claimed their pickup truck did to a makeshift speed bump in the dirt road. No one was hurt.

"Before this happened, I would see him at several places and he would just stare a hole through me," Davis said. "On Monday I saw him at a laundromat and he seen me when I was getting in my truck, and he just stared and stared and stared at me."

Deadly Lies!

Bell Theft Curve!

Posted: 01/13/2013 01:40:45 PM PST - Updated: 01/13/2013 11:46:33 PM PST

LOS ANGELES, CA — Six former officials of the scandal-ridden city of Bell go on trial this week in a massive corruption case that nearly bankrupted the Los Angeles suburb. They have been accused of making millions while hiking taxes and fees for residents in the modest, blue-collar suburb where many live in poverty. Jury selection begins Tuesday and the trial is scheduled to last seven weeks. Key witnesses are expected to be former city employees and officials who discovered the shady dealings and were granted immunity from prosecution for their testimony.

Those set to go on trial Tuesday are former Mayor Oscar Hernandez, former vice mayor Teresa Jacobo and former council members George Mirabal, George Cole, Victor Bello and Luis Artiga. Two major figures in the scam are not part of this trial. Former City Manager Robert Rizzo and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia are scheduled to be tried separately.

The former mayor and vice mayor and four former City Council members are charged with misappropriation of public funds in a 20-count felony complaint. Prosecutors claim they looted the city's treasury in order to pay themselves exorbitant salaries. The complaint says sham commissions were created to enrich the defendants. Prosecutors contend that Rizzo had an annual salary and compensation package worth $1.5 million and masterminded a scheme to loot the city of Bell of more than $6 million. His assistant city manager, Spaccia, was paid $376,288 a year.

A judge who presided at a preliminary hearing for the officials concluded they had shirked their responsibilities and sold out their constituents for financial gain. "These people were elected to be the voice of the people, to be a safeguard," said Superior Court Judge Henry Hall, who ordered them held for trial. "And they basically sold that off." Council members drew salaries of about $100,000 a year, which Hall said was about 20 times more than they were entitled to make. He said the city's Solid Waste and Recycling Authority was never legally created and, in any case, met only one time in 2006 -- to vote its members a pay raise. "It was a sham agency," said the judge.

Defense attorneys had argued that the council members earned their salaries, working full time on the city's behalf, not only attending monthly council meetings but taking part in community projects that benefited low-income people, the aged and numerous others. The six defendants are expected to claim they worked hard for the city and were unaware of Rizzo's financial manipulations.

Testimony at the trial is expected to focus on the creation of sham boards and commissions such as the city's Surplus Property Authority which met a handful of times between 2005 and 2010 and never for more than a minute or two. Hall calculated that resulted in council members being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars an hour for sitting on the authority's board.

Former District Attorney Steve Cooley, who filed the Bell corruption cases, said more than $5.5 million was taken from the city coffers.

After disclosure of the scandal, Bell residents revolted, turning out in the thousands to protest at city council meetings and ultimately staging a successful recall election at which they threw out the entire City Council and elected a slate of new leaders.

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