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Top News Stories ~ 2018!

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(Top video) Gloucester County Township, NJ · (@Wilabee) ~ United States (WCJB) (Originally Published: April 13, 2018 ~ Updated: April 14, 2018) -- Body-camera footage released Friday shows Gloucester County Township police officer John Flinn, 27, socking the girl twice in the head as he handcuffs her. The girl was face-down with both arms pulled behind her back when the blows were delivered, and could be heard crying out afterward.

"NYPD Street Brawls!"

Harlem, NY ~ ( Originally Published: July 1, 2015 ~ Updated: April 6, 2018) -- A cellphone video shows Saykour George getting arrested in Harlem. A plainclothes officer engaged George in a knockout fight. The video shows the arrest near 131st Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. Jun Iceaa, the man's friend, shot the video on his phone. Iceaa says he and George were leaving a pizza place down the street. They were enroute to the George's apartment. George was then stopped by plainclothes officers. One of the officers asks George for his ID. The NYPD said the police saw that George had a knife, which prompted the stop. George is facing several charges. They include assault on an officer, possession of a weapon and disorderly conduct.(Published Wednesday, July 1, 2015)
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Emotional Verdicts & Sentences! ~ 2018!
United States (WCJB) {PUBLISHED: April 10, 2018 at 02:10 pm | UPDATED: April 13, 2018 at 03:30 am} -- United States -- Watch as criminal defendants have emotional breakdowns during arraignments, verdicts and sentencing!
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Corrupt Justice™ ~ 2018
Oakland, California
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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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Thursday, October 24, 2013

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Los Angeles, CA, USA (T.A.D.) -- Law enforcement officials on Friday identified Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, of Pennsville, N.J., as the man believed to have opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport's Terminal 3, fatally shooting a Transportation Security Administration agent and wounding two others.

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Posted: 11/09/2013 03:18:41 PM PST - Updated: 11/10/2013 11:03:41 PM PST

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Home Depot issued [a phony] apology for a racist tweet and blamed the agency that sent it from the company account.

The home improvement retailer pulled the tweet and apologized on Twitter on Thursday, saying, "We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive. Deeply sorry. We terminated agency and individual who posted it."

In a statement provided to media sources, Stephen Holmes, director of corporate communications, said, "We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive. The outside agency that created the Tweet and The Home Depot associate who posted it have been terminated. We're also closely reviewing our social media procedures to determine how this could have happened, and how to ensure it never happens again.

Customers responded to the apology on various social media sites.

"Deflecting blame and now all is hunky dory? Hmm," one Facebook user wrote. "So even though you hired the firm responsible for the shockingly racist tweet, you bear/accept no responsibility? Here's to hoping your company uses your one 'do over' wisely."

Another Facebook user wrote: "Very respectful way for you to respond to that offensive tweet. I will continue shopping at the Home Depot. Thank you for firing whoever posted that!"

Dr. of Guilt!

Posted: 11/09/2013 03:18:41 PM PST - Updated: 11/09/2013 11:18:41 PM PST

Gypsy Willis, pictured right, the girlfriend of Martin MacNeill (pictured left) agreed to plead guilty to all charges and to testify honestly in case.

Provo, Utah -- A Utah jury has found Dr. Martin MacNeill Trial guilty of drugging and drowning his wife -- all so he could allegedly pursue an affair with a woman he met online.

MacNeill, 57, has been found guilty of first degree murder and obstruction of justice for the April 11, 2007, death of his wife, Michele MacNeill, 50. The former beauty queen's cause of death has been the main source of contention between the prosecution and defense.

MacNeill will be sentenced Jan. 7 at 1 p.m. His bail will remain at $1 million dollars until sentencing.

Full Coverage: Dr. Martin MacNeill Murder Trial

Prosecutors said MacNeill persuaded his wife to have plastic surgery so he could dope her up during her recovery and then drown her, clearing the way for his purported mistress, Gypsy Willis, to move in to the family's home.

MacNeill's defense lawyers said heart problems were a contributing factor in the mother of eight's death and that the Utah doctor was not guilty.

His defense attorney, Susanne Gustin, acknowledged at the start of the trial that MacNeill "has made poor choices in his life. We've heard he had affairs during his marriage," she said.

"We may think he is a total jerk, that is absolutely disgusting and that's natural. But it's very critical that during this trial you set aside your emotion," Gustin admonished the jury when the trial began a month ago.

During the three week trial, family fireworks flew as four of MacNeill's daughters testified. One of his oldest daughters, Alexis Somers, told the jury that she believes her father was guilty.

"Ever since the day my mom died, I was concerned that my father killed her," Somers said. "I've been fighting to get justice for this case ever since then."


Posted: 11/09/2013 03:18:41 PM PST - Updated: 11/09/2013 03:18:41 PM PST

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Macon, Georgia -- A Macon police accused of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old resigned from the force Friday. Precinct 4 Officer Rory Qualls, 23, resigned after being arrested on charges of statutory rape involving a 15 year-old female he met on an Internet dating site in July, according to a police news release. The incident was reported to Macon police Thursday by the mother of the girl, the release stated. Qualls was released from the Bibb County jail late Friday on a $11,200 bond, according to the jail website. Qualls, who moved to Macon for police training in September 2012, was sworn in as an officer in March.

Super Charges!

Posted: 11/08/2013 12:42:41 PM PST - Updated: 11/08/2013 7:20:41 PM PST

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HOUSTON, TX (WCJB) -- Disturbing allegations are being lodged against John Van Trump, 68, a retired veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office. The former sergeant is now in trouble with the law, accused of sexually assaulting a child. Van Trump was arrested Friday morning, accused of sexually assaulting a girl younger than six years old on or before July 2010. Van Trump appeared before a judge in a courtroom where, Ironically, the former Harris County Sheriff's sergeant used to process records. Van Trump retired from the Harris County Sheriff'S Office after serving for about 35 years. The department doesn't believe he committed any crimes while on the force.

His charge is considered a super crime. The details of the alleged attack are too gruesome to publicly share. "This is a new law in Texas that's patterned after Jessica's Law. And if people remember Jessica, she was a young lady that was sexually assaulted years ago in Florida," a legal analyst said. If convicted, Van Trump could face a minimum sentence of 25 years in jail and a max sentence of life in prison. "Unfortunately, we are going to see a lot more of these super charges because there's a lot of sick people, but the statute is in place to keep people like this, that have committed these crimes, in jail for a long time," the legal analyst said. "When you hear a police officer committing a crime as heinous as this, the you wonder how this gentleman ever served under the public for that many years without being noticed for peculiarities," the legal analyst said.

Van Trump will remain in jail without bond.

$3.6 million!

Posted: 11/08/2013 12:42:41 PM PST - Updated: 11/08/2013 2:42:41 PM PST

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PLEASANTON, CA -- A former Hayward police officer accused of sexually abusing four young girls and intimidating a witness pleaded not guilty Friday, moments before a judge increased his bail to $3.6 million.

While Richard Scott McLeod, 38, pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of lewd acts with a child and one count of dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime, Judge Christine Maruza opted to adjust his bail in accordance with an amended complaint.

"The court has read and considered everything submitted in writing," said Maruza, who acknowledged Wednesday that dozens of letters were sent to her from supporters of the ex-Hayward police officer, who resigned after his arrest.

The judge said she was "troubled" by the alleged witness contact and increased bail from $570,000 to $3.6 million. The amount took into consideration only one of nine victim enhancements to the charges, and could have been higher.

Shortly before, defense attorney Eileen Burke, made one last attempt to lower McLeod's bail so he could return to his family under the condition he be monitored by GPS. Maruza replied to that suggestion Wednesday "Does that monitor his phone activity? Because that's what I'm concerned about."

The concern, she said, stemmed from both intimidating phone calls to the witness, a former colleague from the after-school program where the abuse reportedly took place, and recent text messages between McLeod and two of the alleged victims.

Burke came back Friday with details about the suggested GPS, which she said would constantly monitor the man's whereabouts and track all activity on his landline. She said the GPS' lack of cellphone tracking was a nonissue, because various protective orders against the man "addressed that problem."

"It's a location monitor, not an activity monitor," argued prosecutors, who added that emails, letters and social media were all avenues where he could contact victims and intimidate witnesses. "It's a bracelet that can be removed."

Maruza surprised prosecutors by grilling them about their vehement belief that a GPS would not be appropriate, giving momentary hope to McLeod's courtroom supporters that he may be bailed out.

"What are people really afraid of when it comes to the GPS?" Maruza asked the prosecution, who replied with a list of possible threats to public safety. These fears, they said, included contact with the victims, interference with witnesses, and the possibility he may take extreme measures to avoid prosecution.

"So you're afraid he may try to run because he's facing a lengthy sentence?" Maruza asked, prompting a slight nod from prosecutors and closing down the discussion.

Burke deferred discussion on the 17 counts in the amended complaint, up from six in the original filed Oct. 1. She cited issues with a statute of limitations clause, and told the judge she would like to see the victims' date of birth in accordance with when the alleged abuse took place.

Maruza handed down her decision about the bail increase, eliciting surprised gasps from one full side of the courtroom. The large jump, she said, stemmed from only one of the nine enhancements she considered for the bail schedule.

McLeod remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail. His next court date has not been determined.


Posted: 3:52 PM EST, Tue November 5, 2013 - Updated: 8:52 PM PST, Tue November 5, 2013

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New Jersey -- Richard Shoop, the gunman who opened fire at a New Jersey mall Monday night, later holed up in a back room and shot himself in the head, authorities say. Several hours after he fired at least six bullets without striking anyone in the massive shopping center, Shoop's body was found in an obscure part of Westfield Garden State Plaza mall. Police made the discovery on Tuesday at 3:20 a.m. He acted alone, authorities say. No one else was injured in the mall shooting.

The melee started about 9:20 p.m. ET Monday night, just as the shopping center was about to close. Thousands of people were still in the mall, Molinelli said. Shoop, dressed all in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet, walked through the mall with a rifle modified to look like an AK-47. The rifle was taken from Shoop's brother, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said.

"He had more than enough opportunity to be able to shoot other people," including a group adjacent to him, but he didn't, said Molinelli. "Instead, he shot randomly at different locations." Shots hit the ceiling, an escalator, an elevator and a storefront, Molinelli said. "We know that his intent was either suicide or to do something that would cause police to shoot him, which we call 'suicide by cop,'" Molinelli also said. The reasons for the shooting remain unclear. The shooting sent panic through the mall and set off a frenzied hunt for the gunman. In the early hours of the search, officials weren't sure whether the shooter was still inside or outside the 2 million-square-foot building. Officers did not fire any shots, Molinelli said, and there was only slight damage to the mall.

Molinelli said Shoop left behind a note referring to the idea that the "end was coming." "That could mean going to jail, getting arrested, or it could mean suicide." Authorities don't know whether Shoop left the note immediately before going to the mall.

Shoop's brother, Kevin, called authorities after hearing about the shooting and said he thought Shoop might be the gunman, Molinelli said. Police did not confirm the shooter's identity until they found his body. "We're not sure exactly what caused him to do this, and we're all devastated," Kevin Shoop told reporters Tuesday. "My brother intended to harm nobody else but himself. He just, sadly, decided to make ... an act of self-indulgence by taking his own life publicly. And it's a tragedy to us all," he said.

Allie Cozic, who works in the mall, said everyone was "running to wherever they could." "It was almost like when you're watching a horror movie and the killer is walking slowly. That's what it seemed like," she said. "He was wearing all black. It almost looked like body armor of some kind. As soon as I saw the gun, I just turned and ran."

Eddie Kahmann, another mall employee, said he heard six or seven gunshots. "There was just people running like crazy, so I quickly just closed my doors, ran to the back, turned off all the lights, music and everything, just to stay hidden," he said.

Even as Shoop's body lay in a remote room in a construction area, fear permeated the mall. More than 100 shoppers were still hiding inside stores early Tuesday morning, unsure of whether they could safely come out. Officers worked to evacuate each store.

Shoop used narcotic drugs and sold drugs as well, Molinelli said. Shoop, 20, was known by local law enforcement. He had a history of drug use and abuse, Molinelli said. "He at least thought that he was reaching a point where there was no recourse but to take his own life," Molinelli said.

The owner of a pizza shop where Shoop had been working for about a year said he was a good, trustworthy worker. Dod Geges, owner of Victor's Pizza Shop, describes Shoop as a nice, quiet guy. But in the last two weeks, "something was off" about Shoop, Geges said, adding that he "wasn't his usual self." Geges' brother Robert Gega, who manages the restaurant, said Shoop was working 60 hours a week and "sobering up."

"He wasn't drinking or drugging," Gega said, adding that Shoop had good friends and never gave an indication of contemplating suicide. "He would never hurt anyone."

WWF Smackdown!

Posted: 10/30/2013 3:40 pm EDT | Updated: 11/6/2013 12:48 pm PST

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Skokie, Ill. - Michael Hart, a Skokie, Ill. police officer, has been charged with felony aggravated battery and official misconduct. Hart was captured pushing a female arrestee into a jail cell, resulting in the woman sustaining multiple serious facial injuries. According to Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, officer Hart, 43, of Gurnee, Ill., "became irate" after helping with the fingerprinting and photographing of 47-year-old Cassandra Fuerstein. Fuerstein had been disregarding Hart's commands, prosecutors say. Hart then shoved the 110-pound Chicago woman into a concrete bench during her March 10 arrest on DUI charges. The attack shattered several bones in Fuerstein's face and the woman required reconstructive surgery including a titanium plate in her cheek, according to media sources. She also has had vision and dental problems since the shoving.

Video of the shoving was released earlier this month by Feuerstein's attorney after Feuerstein filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officer. The video prompted an outcry and over 1,000 people signed a petition calling for Hart's arrest. Hart was ordered held on $75,000 bond and faces up to five years in prison if convicted. Hart's attorney told media sources his client "cannot believe after 19 years of serving Skokie that his career has come to an arrest. … I don't think pushing her into a cell is a crime."

As a result of the charges, Skokie officials have put Hart on administrative leave while they complete an internal investigation that could lead to disciplinary action. Hart filed a complaint against Feuerstein after the incident for resisting a peace officer. Those charges were later dismissed after Cook County prosecutors reviewed the evidence. Feuerstein pleaded guilty to drunk driving.

$500 Ma'am, or ...!

Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013, 6:31 pm PDT - Updated: 10/31/2013 03:35:32 AM PDT

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Hayward, CA -- A Hayward police officer solicited a $500 bribe from a suspect in exchange for letting the woman slide in a prescription forgery case, authorities said.

Romeo Aberin, 30, was arrested Monday after Alameda County prosecutors charged him with extortion under color of authority and receiving a bribe by an executive officer, both felonies. Aberin, a patrol officer since joining the department in 2007, posted $50,000 bail and turned in a letter of resignation, officials said.

Michael Rains, Aberin's attorney, said his client is an Army veteran and married father of two who has served on the SWAT team and has "an outstanding reputation for being diligent and very ethical. The conduct charged is really antithetical to the sort of reputation he has enjoyed in the department."

Aberin chose to resign because it was the "more honorable thing to do," Rains said, adding he would not permit his client to be interviewed by internal affairs given the pending criminal case.

The case stems from an investigation last month in which Aberin interviewed Tammy Spencer, an employee of a clinic, and determined that she had stolen blank prescription pads and forged prescriptions for friends, police said.

Instead of arresting Spencer, Aberin tried to use her as a confidential informant, telling her that she had two weeks to come up with information relating to drug trafficking and money laundering, police officials said.

However, Aberin "never notified the department of his actions or intent" and failed to follow policies mandating how officers deal with informants, said Hayward police Sgt. Mark Ormsby.

Two weeks later, on Sept. 13, Aberin allegedly arranged to meet Spencer at her workplace. The two met while Aberin was off duty, and he reminded her of what he wanted from her, officials said.

"When the victim advised Aberin there was no useful information to give him, he proceeded to ask for cash in exchange to dismiss reporting any criminal activity against the victim," Ormsby said. "Out of fear and duress, the victim complied."

Authorities said Spencer gave Aberin $500 that she withdrew from an ATM, police said, while secretly recording the interaction on her cell phone.

The next day, she reported Aberin to the San Leandro Police Department. Aberin admitted to taking the $500 but "contended she provided the money willingly," investigators said in an affidavit. Spencer was not arrested.

Aberin's arrest comes nine days after Livermore police arrested another Hayward officer, Richard McLeod, 38, on charges that he abused numerous girls when he previously worked as a teacher at an after-school program in Livermore. McLeod is being held without bail.

Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban said Monday that the response to the bribery allegation "reflects our enduring commitment to ensure criminal behavior is not tolerated."

Judge Thief!

Posted: 10/22/2013 06:12:45 AM PDT - Updated: 10/23/2013 01:30:32 AM PDT

OAKLAND, CA -- Paul David Seeman, 58, a former Alameda County Superior Court judge, was sentenced to five years probation Monday for stealing money from an elderly widowed neighbor who trusted him with her life savings. Seeman was accused of stealing from his now-deceased widowed neighbor, Anne Nutting, who was 97 when she noticed irregularities in her finances. Investigators originally believed Seeman stole more than $1 million from Nutting, a figure that also included the estimated value of possessions Seeman sold on behalf of Nutting when he controlled her estate. As a result, he was charged with 32 felonies, including financial elder abuse for stealing from Nutting and numerous counts of perjury for lying on state financial disclosure forms that all judges are required to complete.

A $250,000 "loan" Seeman claimed he took from Nutting was paid back just after police called Seeman asking questions about Nutting's finances. Investigators could not prove that Seeman took the money earned from the sale of Nutting's valuable possessions, court documents show. Court documents also revealed in the end that investigators could only prove that Seeman stole more than $5,000 from his neighbor. "Given the entirety of the case, this was the appropriate resolution," said deputy district attorney Jason Sjoberg. "He did commit a criminal act, and he has been held accountable for it."

Seeman, of Berkeley, was sentenced as part of a plea deal in which he was found guilty of one count of financial elder abuse and one count of perjury. Seeman also was forced to pay Nutting's estate the $5,600 that he stole.

While Seeman avoids jail time under the deal, his career in law, at least in California, is over. As part of the plea deal, Seeman loses his bar license and his right to practice law in the state. Earlier this year, Seeman agreed never to be a judge again. The former judge also cannot live with, care for, or act as a financial aide to any elderly person who is not a direct relative. In addition, he is not allowed to possess any "financial instrument" in any person's name but his own.

Seeman's criminal defense attorney, said in a prepared statement that her client has paid the price and agreed to a deal to end the case. "He appreciates that the sentence took into account the many good works he has accomplished in his life," the attorney said. Seeman, who appeared in court, turned down a request to make a comment.

Posted: 06/28/2012 03:22:54 PM PDT - Updated: 06/28/2012 04:11:14 PM PDT

It reads like an outline for a B-grade detective novel: A reclusive elderly couple with no close relatives lives in a house crammed with jewelry, stamp collections, stock certificates and dozens of pieces of art worth, conservatively, $3 million. Throw in a huge model train collection, too. And rats. Don't forget the rats.

Because it's the discovery of the rats by city health inspectors that eventually forces the couple to go live in a hotel, leaving their fortunes behind in their Berkeley home, intermingled with mounds of trash. But they assume they are taken care of -- their neighbor is a lawyer, soon to become an Alameda County Superior Court judge. The couple places him in charge of their belongings and money, trusting him to manage their estate while they are away.

It is not, however, a novel. According to new details revealed this week in an 71-page affidavit written by a veteran District Attorney inspector, it is how Superior Court Judge Paul Seeman, 57, came to be arrested June 14 and charged with elder theft and perjury. He is free on $525,000 bail after pleading not guilty. The case is scheduled for a court hearing next month; Seeman won a motion at his arraignment to not attend minor legal proceedings.

He "does not intend to return to the bench until this matter is resolved," his lawyer, Laurel Headley, said in a prepared statement issued Thursday. Headley declined to take questions, but the statement said the judge is looking forward to "all the facts in this case coming to light in a fair and complete" trial.

Seeman could also be impeached by the state Assembly, and the State Commission on Judicial Power is mulling suspending him as the criminal charges unfold. If convicted, Seeman, who then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed to the bench in 2009, would immediately be forced from office.

Seeman told police that he was just trying to help the couple, Lee and Anne Nutting. Lee Nutting, a chemist who worked for Hills Brother's Coffee, died in 1999. Anne Nutting, who headed the Berkeley Public Library's Art and Music Department, was still struggling with Seeman to regain control of her assets when she died in 2010 at 97, the affidavit states.

The case dates back to 1999, when police were called to the Nutting's home on Santa Barbara Road in Berkeley, where Lee Nutting had fallen and needed help. Rats were everywhere in the trash-strewn house, which was declared unfit for habitation. The Nuttings went to live at a hotel in the Berkeley Marina, according to the affidavit written by Inspector Kathleen Boyovitch, and gave Seeman, then a private lawyer who lived next door, control of their finances.

Lee Nutting died a few months later at the age of 90. But Anne Nutting stayed at the hotel for more than five years, the affidavit said, forming a close relationship with a waiter there, Ali Mehrizi, who years later would become her second husband.

In 2005 or 2006, Anne Nutting asked Mehrizi to help her move back to the home, which he found was still a ramshackle mess. Eventually, thanks to Mehrizi cleaning and repairing the house, Anne Nutting was able to return home in 2007. Upon returning, she found a lot of things missing.

While Anne Nutting was living in the hotel, Seeman did more than oversee her belongings, according to court records. He kept her from returning home for years by refusing to allocate money for repairs, the affidavit said, while pocketing the cash from selling off her belongings: The art. The jewelry. The coins. The trains. Seeman had taken $250,000 from the sale of art work, claiming it was a loan -- on which he stopped making payments, court documents said.

The last years of Anne Nutting's life seem defined by two things -- her marriage to Mehrizi on her 97th birthday and what the affidavit said was a long struggle with Seeman to gain control of her assets, which included checking accounts, rental properties in Santa Cruz and her own home.

Nutting no longer had "control" or "free will" over her finances and belongings, the affidavit said.

When police raided Seeman's home and court chambers earlier this month, they found Lionel collectible trains, coins, Asian art work and myriad financial and tax records believed to belong to the Nuttings, according to court records. The search warrant sought dozens of pieces of jewelry, stamp and coin collections and dozens of missing art prints among other items.

But Anne Nutting did not die without leaving police clues about what had allegedly happened. Prosecutors recovered phone messages she had left Mehrizi that pointed toward Seeman, the affidavit said. Those messages are now central to the case, which is being prosecuted with cooperation from the 53-year-old Mehrizi. Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, whose department assisted in the investigation, said Mehrizi is not a suspect in the case.

"This is Anne," one message said. "I just wanted to tell you that, aah, Paul (Seeman) was down to bring me some mail and for a little visit, and I think we are going to have problems because, aah, I couldn't stave him off from going through the house when he wants. ... I don't know how to discourage him any more than I tried."

Fabrication Patrols

Posted: Oct 17, 2013 3:32 PM PDT - Updated: 4:16 PM PDT, Sat. October 19, 2013

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MEMPHIS, TN - (WCJB) - Terry Butler, a Memphis police officer, is accused of wrongfully arresting two men after fabricating evidence against them. According to investigators, Officer Butler was off duty when he tried to frame two innocent men for a break-in that happened at his girlfriend's house. The woman's home was robbed several days before the arrests, but a DVD player the two men were "caught" with in their car that was not actually stolen from her home. The affidavit of complaint says that Butler called his girlfriend and gave her the serial number of the DVD player the two men had in their possession. He reportedly told her to claim it as property that was stolen during the break-in.

Officials confirmed that the woman told investigators she followed his directions because Butler had threatened her before. "Once we investigated, we found the facts that he coerced her," said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong. Armstrong added that MPD is better off since Butler's arrest because framing people is not an MPD practice. "I know when these things come up you might think I'm embarrassed but I'm not, it's been my contention since I've been here to weed out those that don't deserve to be here," said Armstrong.

The two men arrested in the burglary were released without being charged. Meanwhile, Butler was indicted for official misconduct, official oppression, and tampering with evidence.

Butler is on "non-enforcement status" after posting $10,000 bond. He has been employed with MPD for 13 years.

MPD! Shots Fired

Posted: Oct 16, 2013 3:18 PM PDT - Updated: 2:16 AM PDT, Fri. October 18, 2013

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MEMPHIS, TN - (WCJB) - Memphis Police Officers were serving a warrant at the South Memphis home where they believed Aaron Dumas (pictured above, center) who was wanted on attempted murder charges, was located. A neighbor recording video on a cell phone during the warrant execution on Worthington Street Tuesday captured the moment when TACT officer Paul Hutchison was shot in the leg by the suspect. The video shows Hutchison being shot from inside the house. He is then pulled behind a vehicle to safety by a fellow officer. Before Hutchison was shot, another officer, Timothy Jackson, was also shot in the leg. Immediately after the first shooting, Dumas ran back into the house and barricaded himself inside for several hours. According to police, Dumas then set the house ablaze. He was later found dead in a bathtub.

Jackson and Hutchison are both on leave as they recover from their injuries. Two other MPD officers were relieved of duty with pay after firing shots during the standoff. An administrative investigation is underway into their actions.

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Lewd Academics!

Posted: Oct 16, 2013 8:26 PM PDT - Updated: 10:17 PM PDT, Mon. October 21, 2013

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Memphis, TN - A Mid-South teacher was arrested Wednesday for reportedly having sex with boys under the age of 18, according to officials. Beth Scearce, 37 (pictured above, center) teaches at Christ Classical Academy in Dyersburg. According to police, Scearce is charged with aggravated statutory rape. She is accused of having sex with two students. Her charges are out of Lauderdale County, where she lives. Scearce has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Below is a statement sent from the school:

Christ Classical Academy is both surprised and shocked at the recent arrest of an employee of the Academy. Per School Board policy, the employee has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation and any subsequent criminal charges.

Initially, it should be noted that there is no indication that any students or other employees of Christ Classical Academy were either in any way involved or even aware of the underlying conduct leading to the criminal charges made public yesterday. Obviously, the Academy is not in a position to be aware of all conduct or communications between its employees and third parties or other persons not associated with the Academy in any way.

In the meantime, any further information regarding this matter, insomuch as it affects or relates to the Academy, shall be limited to that provided by counsel for Christ Classical with regard to this matter.

Lewd Constituency!

Posted: 2:01 AM EDT, October 15, 2013 - Updated: 1:16 AM PDT, Tues. October 15, 2013

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San Diego, CA -- Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner (Dem. (pictured above, center)) pleaded guilty Tuesday to false imprisonment and battery charges involving three women, according to an official with the San Diego Superior Court.

Court spokeswoman Karen Dalton said that Filner will be sentenced Dec. 9. She said the state attorney general's office had charged Filner "with one felony count for false imprisonment by violence, fraud, menace and deceit ... and two misdemeanor counts of battery." The victims are three unnamed women.

Filner resigned from office in August as part of a settlement of a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. At least 18 women have accused Filner of sexual harassing them.

Under his plea agreement, Filner will avoid jail time. But he will have to serve three months of home confinement and three years of probation, give up part of his mayoral pension, and agree not to run for office again, the attorney general's office said.

"This conduct was not only criminal, it was also an extreme abuse of power,” said California Attorney General Kamala Harris. "This prosecution is about consequence and accountability. No one is above the law."

The embattled ex-mayor, 71, served in the U.S. House for nearly 20 years before opting to run for San Diego's top job in 2012. He won a competitive contest, defeating Republican Carl DeMaio on the second ballot en route to becoming San Diego's first elected Democratic mayor in more than two decades.

This summer, he faced a flurry of accusations that he sexually harassed numerous women. For weeks, Filner refused to leave office even as members of his own party called on him to step aside. In late-July, he announced plans to enter a "behavior counseling clinic" for two weeks of therapy, and said he was committed to returning to office.

But the pressure for him to leave didn't subside, and weeks later, Filner announced that he would vacate the mayor's office, apologizing to "all the women I offended."

A special election for mayor will be held Nov. 19.

Lewd Keystrokes!

Posted: 2:01 AM EDT, Saturday, October 12, 2013 - Updated: 12:16 AM PDT, Tues. October 15, 2013

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Montgomery County, PA -- A recently retired music professor at Penn State Abington was arrested this week and charged with various crimes from allegedly exchanging naked photos and lewd e-mails with a 16-year-old girl in Spain.

Stephen Stace, 65 (pictured above, center) who retired as an associate professor of music and integrative arts in June, sent at least three nude photos of himself to the girl over about nine months, according to Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Jordan Friter.

Using his Penn State e-mail address, according to a district attorney's news release, Stace also asked for and received nude photos from the girl. The two continually exchanged sexually explicit e-mails, the release said, and Stace often said he wanted to meet.

A message left for Stace's attorney Friday was not immediately returned. Stace was arraigned Thursday and released on bail, Friter said. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 21.

Shooting in
the New Year!

Posted: 1:44 AM EDT, Sun October 13, 2013 - Updated: 2:16 AM PDT, Sun October 13, 2013

Tulsa, Oklahoma (WCJB) -- A man walked in and opened fire at a Hmong New Year's celebration in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday night, injuring five people, police said. Two attendees were hit in the upper body, while the other three were struck in the arm and leg, said Tulsa Police Capt. Mike Williams. "One of the individuals will probably lose his lower leg," Williams said. They were between the ages of 30 and 60. Authorities don't know what caused the man to begin shooting inside the Green Country Event Center.

A police helicopter that happened to be flying by saw a vehicle leaving the area. When officers tried to stop the car, they saw a passenger changing clothes, then throwing his hoodie and a gun from the car, Williams said. Police believe the passenger, 19-year-old Ming Mee, was the shooter. Both he and the driver, 21-year-old Boon Mee, were arrested.

The Hmongs are an Asian ethnic group. There are an estimated 210,000 Hmongs scattered across the united States. They were an important U.S. ally during the Vietnam War. Many fled the Communist government when combat ended.

Nuclear Fallout!

Posted: 1:44 AM EDT, Sun October 11, 2013 - Updated: 2:16 AM PDT, Sun October 13, 2013

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Washington, D.C. -- The Air Force’s two star general in charge of the units responsible for its 450 nuclear missiles has been fired “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment.”

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey (pictured above, center) has been removed from command of the 20th Air Force, according to an Air Force statement. That command is responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles scattered in missile silos across the northern plains.

Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, made the decision because of what the statement said was a ”loss of trust and confidence.

The statement added that Kowalski made the decision to relieve Carey based on information from an Inspector General investigation into Carey’s behavior during a temporary duty assignment which is the military’s term for business travel. “The allegations are not related to operational readiness or the inspection results of any 20th AF unit, nor do they involve sexual misconduct,” said the statement. Carey has been reassigned to an undetermined job within the Air Force pending the results of the investigation.

“20th AF continues to execute its mission of around-the-clock nuclear deterrence in a safe, secure and effective manner,” Kowalski is quoted as saying in the statement. “It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to relieve an officer who’s had an otherwise distinctive career spanning 35 years of commendable service.”

Brigadier General Les Kodlick, the Air Force’s chief spokesman, said the ongoing Inspector General’s investigation had been triggered by “reports of personal misbehavior” during that temporary duty assignment.

Kodlick would not specifically reveal where the personal misbehavior may have occurred or may have consisted of though he said it did not involve criminal behavior.

Kowalski’s command is responsible for two-thirds of the nation’s nuclear triad, including Air Force nuclear missiles and long-range bombers.

Kodlick explained that personal behavior is important in nuclear commands because “it’s a position of great trust and responsibility.” He added that “the nuclear deterrence mission is one of great focus and discipline. Personal behavior is vital to that, especially from a commander.

Earlier this week President Obama relieved of command the number two officer at U.S. Strategic Command, which among other things oversees the military’s nuclear forces. Vice Admiral James Giardina had earlier been suspended from that command following a criminal probe into his potential use of counterfeit poker chips at an Iowa casino.

Obama became involved because only the president can relieve a three- and four-star officer from his post. Giardina has been reassigned to an undetermined position within the Navy.

The Air Force statement indicated that the move was unrelated to the inspection results of the 20th Air Force.

Earlier this year, two of the three missile wings under Carey’s command received unsatisfactory ratings in regular annual inspections.

In August, the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, failed its third inspection in five years.

In May ,the 91st Missile wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota suspended 19 missile officers for retraining after that unit received an unsatisfactory rating for one aspect of its inspection.

Federal Confrontations!

Posted: 7:27 PM EDT, Wed October 9, 2013 - Updated: 5:24 PM EDT, Sat. October 12, 2013

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Wheeling, West Virginia (WCJB) -- 55-year-old Thomas J. Piccard (pictured above, center) a retired city police officer fired more than 20 rounds into the federal courthouse building in Wheeling, W.Va., before being shot dead Wednesday afternoon. U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld, who works in the federal building, identified the dead officer as Thomas Piccard, media sources reported. Another media source also said multiple sources had identified Piccard as the gunman. Piccard was a trained shooter who knew how to kill, yet federal officials said Thursday that he waved people away moments before he started spraying bullets into the glass facade and was later shot dead by law enforcement. City resident Carla Webb Daniels said she saw the gunman fire from the Chase Bank parking lot across from the building, then reload and fire at a nearby YWCA. She said he fired between 25 and 30 rounds. U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said Piccard did not appear to target either individuals or a particular office in the federal building just a few blocks from the Wheeling Police Department where he once worked. Nor was Piccard the target of any active federal investigation.

A Wheeling police officer and a U.S. court security officer killed the gunman after he opened fire with an assault rifle at 2:45 p.m., Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said at an evening news conference. Two federal court security guards were treated for cuts from shattered glass when the gunman opened fire. Schwertfeger said the motive was still unknown. He would not confirm the shooter's identity, saying only that he had retired from the department in 2000. Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie said police officials told him Piccard had worked on the force for more than 20 years.

Police Chief Schwertfeger said Piccard was armed Wednesday with a rifle and a handgun, but authorities refused to identify the weapons by model or caliber. Hambrick said only that the rifle "easily could be characterized as an assault rifle." Nor would they say how much ammunition Piccard carried as he stood in a parking lot across Chapline Street and fired as many as two dozen shots, reloading at least once. Schwertfeger did not say whether Piccard used both weapons during the assault or identify which law enforcement officer at the scene returned fatal fire. But he said that officer is being closely looked after, and that all of those involved in the shooting will get counseling.

Neither the FBI nor federal prosecutors would discuss the motive for Piccard's assault. But two possible theories emerged as investigators gathered evidence and neighbors revealed that Piccard had recently told them he was dying of cancer. McKenzie said police told him that Piccard had left the force in 2000 after serving more than 10 years. McKenzie said he didn't know the circumstances behind Piccard's departure, but that he didn't have enough service to qualify for retirement. Ihlenfeld said he knew Piccard from 1997 until the officer left the force. He said he had no reason to believe his office was targeted. About 40 percent of his staff has been furloughed under the partial government shutdown, so many weren't working when the glass began to shatter.

Cheerleading Captain!

Posted: Oct. 11, 2013 - Updated: Oct. 11, 2013 - 3:42 pm PDT

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Minnetonka, Minn. -- Montia Parker (pictured above, center) a former cheerleading captain from a suburban Minneapolis high school, was sentenced to three years in prison today for prostituting a younger squad member.

Parker, 18, will spend at least two of the three years behind bars before she’s eligible for release, said Chuck Laszewski, spokesman for the Hennepin County prosecutor. If she has good behavior, she will serve the remaining third of her sentence on probation, he said.

“After a fairly lengthy hearing, the judge sentenced her to 36 months in prison,” Laszewski said.

When Parker was interviewed by police on April 4, she admitted she knew the victim from cheerleading, created a adult ad for her, and drove her to perform sex acts on two separate occasions, for which she pocketed the payment, according to the charging affidavit.

“She really didn’t deny any of the allegations,” Raquet said.

Parker, of Maple Grove, Minn., allegedly contacted the fellow cheerleader after she overheard her talking with girls on the team about trying to make money, the complaint stated.

Parker, who attended Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn., sent texts to her sophomore teammate asking if she would be willing to have sex for money. The victim told Parker that she’d be willing to give men oral sex for money, according to the complaint.

Parker allegedly advised the teen to take photos of herself that were “not too nasty but kinda cute” and to send them to her. Parker told the girl to wear “different outfits” and “show a little skin,” the complaint stated.

Using the photos the victim sent her, Parker created an ad for the 16-year-old on an adult sex website, according to the complaint.

On March 5, Parker took the victim out of school and drove her, along with two other passengers, to an apartment building in Crystal, Minn., where she told the sophomore she was to go to an apartment and give oral sex to the man who was waiting inside, the court document stated.

“You’re up!” Parker allegedly said to the teen.

When the girl returned to the car, she handed Parker the $60 she had made, the complaint stated. Parker then took the cash and drove to a bank where she deposited the money. She did not give any of the money to the victim, according to the allegation.

Parker also took the victim out of school on March 6, calling into the school and pretending to be her mother, the complaint stated. She then drove her to an apartment in Brooklyn Park, Minn., and told her that the customer wanted to have vaginal sex with her, but the girl told Parker she did not want to, the complaint stated.

“You’ll be fine,” Parker allegedly said. “I didn’t drive up here for nothing, and eventually you will need to have sex.”

While the victim went into the apartment and allegedly offered oral sex instead of vaginal sex, the client declined, the complaint stated. The girl then left the apartment and Parker drove her back to school.

When the girl’s mother found out that she had an unexcused absence from school on March 5, she checked the teen’s cell phone, the complaint stated. When she saw text messages between Parker and her daughter revealing that Parker convinced the teen to prostitute herself, she contacted the police.

Authorities uncovered the adult ad featuring the teen in the pictures she had sent to Parker, as well as Parker’s contact information on the page, the complaint stated.

Coke Patrols!

Posted: Oct. 9, 2013 - Updated: Oct. 11, 2013 - 1:11 am PDT

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WINTHROP, Mass. — An auxiliary police officer with Winthrop Police Department is accused of distributing drugs while in uniform from a police cruiser. Bledar Naco, 34 (pictured above, center) was arrested by the FBI Thursday.

According to authorities, Nado is charged with distributing drugs in uniform and from an auxiliary police cruiser on several occasions.

Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty said the department became aware of Naco's alleged activity when other law enforcement sources told him. Naco was arraigned in Federal District Court on Friday and held pending a detention hearing at federal court.

Coke Budgets!

Posted: Oct. 9, 2013 - Updated: Oct. 10, 2013 - 9:11 pm PDT

Sunrise, Fla. -- Police in a Southern Florida community outside of Fort Lauderdale have been using a controversial tactic to conduct cocaine sting operations and have been raking in millions of dollars in the process.

For years, the Sunrise, Fla., police have been conducting what are called "reverse stings." Undercover police detectives play the role of cocaine dealers and try to lure in potential buyers who drive or fly in from all over the country with wads of cash. If the stings are successful, informants can receive large payouts and police can seize cash, cars and other non-monetary assets. The busts have pumped millions of dollars into local coffers.

The Sun Sentinel was the first to report the Sunrise Police's lucrative sting operations after the newspaper conducted a six-month investigation into the department's drug seizures.

"The police are not actually finding these drug dealers on their own but they rely on paid and unpaid informants to tell them about people that might be looking for cocaine, and it became obvious to us that the reason they are doing this is because of the money," said Megan O'Matz, one of the reporters who broke the story.

Sunrise, Fla., is a bedroom community, home to one of the country's biggest shopping centers and mile after mile of identical, coral-colored condos. But millions of dollars' worth of undercover drug commerce has occurred in this unlikely setting.

Gus Borjas, a nurse by profession and a father of four from Homestead, Fla., got caught up in one of the Sunrise Police's cocaine stings. Lured by a paid informant he had known for years who promised to repay an old debt, Borjas agreed to bring a satchel filled with $23,000 in cash to a parking lot and, when he got there, he walked straight into a trap, Borjas said.

Undercover video from the case shows a second paid informant aggressively drawing him into the action.

"In order for them to keep the money they have to make ... it look like I'm buying the drugs, obviously, you know," Borjas said.

Eventually, the female informant placed a kilo of cocaine in Borjas' bag to establish possession.

Suddenly, Borjas was now a drug offender and facing a possible mandatory 15-year minimum sentence for narcotics trafficking.

"As soon as I got arrested, as soon as they-- Just, everything clicked in my head," he said. "'Why this? Why that?' They set me up."

According to Miami attorney Alan Ross, who defended Borjas in court, the scale of the Sunrise Police cocaine stings seemed almost industrial.

"It's a huge business," Ross said. "It's a multimillion dollar business. It's been going on for years. It's been a daily event in the city of Sunrise."

Over the past two years, the police department has netted $5.8 million in seized money, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The money was used to purchase new equipment and to pay officers involved for overtime. Some officers even doubled their salary in overtime pay alone, and in Florida, the laws also permit police to seize non-monetary assets from suspects, the paper reported.

"They can take their cars, jewelry," O'Matz said. "One fella told us a cop said, 'Hey, I like the sunglasses you're wearing,' and snatched them, so there is a real profit motive for the police."

Informants in these stings can also make a lot of money. According to Sunrise police reports, one informant not connected to Borjas' case was paid a total of $800,000 over five years for bringing drug buyers into sting operations.

Sunrise Mayor Michael Ryan defended the practice and the police's tactics, denying that the stings were about the money.

"I do dispute that was going on here was trying to do anything other than fighting crime," he said. "They're doing the best they can do, and it happens throughout all of law enforcement."

When asked if the Sunrise Police seemed overzealous in trying to bring in potential drug dealers, Ryan called it an "unfair" allegation.

"There are occasions when errors are made. There are occasions when somebody goes too far and it doesn't go perfect," he said. "The reality is, hundreds of arrests were made, hundreds who pled. There were cases that were made, there were additional informants built up in further cooperation with the DEA and others. This was part of the operation to stop cocaine. It was an effort to stop cocaine and heroin from getting back to other communities and it worked."

Ultimately, Borjas got his $23,000 back and the prosecutor gave him a plea deal on a solicitation to purchase cocaine charge, because the female informant may have gone too far.

"These people only get paid if the deal goes down," Ross said. "Gus isn't the one who pulled off his backpack and opened it up. The informant did. She takes his backpack off, she unzips it, she's reaching in for the money. Gus isn't the one who took the cocaine, she took a kilo of cocaine stuffed it in his backpack. 'Here's the backpack, go get arrested.'"

"It's very unfair," he said. "Why should you go to jail if you're not a criminal? Why do they have to make up cases? Only criminals are supposed to go to jail, you know."

Ryan said that since reporters have revealed informants' identities and undercover locations, the reserve stings have stopped. He said the Sunrise Police Department will go back to what it always did -- fighting crime in Sunrise.

Fugitive Task Force
Coke Deals!

Posted: 11:38 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 - Updated: October 11, 2013 - 4:56 pm PDT

 photo OfficerDwaynePenn_zps97e643e7.jpg

Georgia -- A Clayton County Police officer is facing federal charges for allegedly scheming with a drug dealer to sell stolen cocaine, court officials said.

Nine-year officer Dwayne A. Penn is accused of working with a drug dealer to plan and conduct a fake narcotics arrest, and then sell the seized the drugs later , according to court records.

Penn was arrested Wednesday after an FBI investigation and sting. On Thursday, during Penn’s first appearance in federal court, Judge Alan J. Baverman said he is being held on charges of drug possession with intent to distribute, attempting to possess drugs for distribution, attempting to obstruct and affect commerce by unlawfully obtaining a controlled substance, and using a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Federal authorities said that a confidential FBI informant who was wearing a secret wire, helped record phone conversations and face-to-face meetings between Penn and Adrian Demetric Austin, who is accused of being a drug dealer. The authorities said the informant told Austin and Penn that he would meet a cocaine source Wednesday morning to buy 6 kilograms of cocaine.

The plan called for the three men to divide six bricks of cocaine evenly amongst themselves, prosecutors said.

Penn would lie in wait in his Clayton County Police squad car, then pull up to make the arrest within sight of the supplier, the informant said.

“I can put the lights on,” Penn told the informant, according to a federal arrest warrant affidavit. “I can put you in handcuffs.”

Austin was to be at the scene as well, although his role in the plan was unclear.

With FBI and DEA agents watching, according to the federal affidavit, Penn arrived around 10:40 a.m. on Wednesday at 4500 Memorial Drive in DeKalb County and began checking license plates against a national crime information database.

Around 11:30 a.m., the informant and the supplier arrived, and the pair made their deal, the affidavit said.

Penn rushed up, exited his car wearing a bulletproof vest labeled “Police,” and pointed his handgun at the informant, ordering the informant to the ground, prosecutors said.

The supplier fled, prosecutors said.

Penn put the informant in the back of the police car and retrieved four of the six bricks he believed to be cocaine from the informant’s car, the affidavit said.

Then Penn put the four bricks into the trunk of the police car and let the informant go, shouting, “get out of here” as the informant fled, the affidavit said.

Penn drove away, and federal agents arrested him and Austin separately, prosecutors said Thursday.

Penn, who has been with the Clayton County Police since 2004, was assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force at the time of his arrest. Penn has been placed on unpaid leave, pending an internal investigation, according to Gary Syblis, Clayton police public information officer.

He survived a gunshot wound to the face during his first year as a policeman, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Penn will remain in federal custody pending a probable cause hearing scheduled for Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Cop Coke Deals!

Posted: August 22, 2013 at 11:16 PM - Updated: October 11, 2013 - 4:46 pm PDT

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MOBILE, Alabama – A federal judge Thursday agreed to let a former Prichard police officer out of jail while a grand jury considers allegations that he helped deal drugs while he was on the force.

Edmond Kennies Burke, 33, of Mobile, has been in federal custody since Homeland Security Investigations agents picked up the local drug charges earlier this month.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sonja Bivins, who earlier this week found probable cause to send the case to a federal grand jury, approved the recommendation of the Office of Pretrial Services that Burke be released from jail. She granted a request by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that Burke be required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

“The conditions here appear to address the government’s concerns,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gloria Bedwell said.

Defense attorney Jeff Deen expressed concerns that his client would not be able to afford the cost of electronic monitoring.

“He’s not going to have a job if he gets out,” he said, suggesting that it is unlikely that the Prichard Police Department would rehire him.

Bivins said Burke will be under house arrest. She said she would leave it up to a pretrial services officer to allow exceptions if Burke finds a job.

Law enforcement authorities allege that Burke used his badge to deflect police attention while he transported cocaine in his squad car.

Authorities said Mobile County sheriff’s deputies arrested Burke and Raymond “Roc” Williams during a sting in which they went to Grand Bay thinking they would pick up 5 kilograms of cocaine from a drug supplier.

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Nightmares II!

Best & Brightest, Again!

Published: June 21, 2016 - Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 2:00 PM PST

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Oakland, CA – On June 2, 2016, the jury in the trial of Darnell Williams returned a verdict finding that Williams should receive the death penalty for his conviction of two first degree murders. Sentencing is scheduled for September 21, 2016. At the sentencing hearing, the trial judge will review the evidence and determine whether the evidence supports the jury’s penalty verdict.

On May 6, 2016, the same jury convicted Williams of first degree murder for the killing of eight-year-old Alaysha Carradine and the separate first degree murder of Anthony Medearis. Williams was also convicted of other charges, including attempted murders, assault with a firearm, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

“This defendant committed the most heinous of crimes. The senseless and brutal slaying of eight-year old Alaysha Carradine and murder of Anthony Medearis will forever devastate their loved-ones. The children who survived the injuries caused by Williams will always live with the memories of the horror he inflicted,” says District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley. “I hope that with the verdict in this trial, each victim and each family member will have a sense that justice was served and will, in their individual ways, begin to heal from the trauma they have suffered.”

On the evening of July 17, 2013, Williams went to an apartment on Wilson Avenue in Oakland, seeking retaliation for an earlier shooting the same day. Eight-year-old Alaysha Carradine was at the apartment for a sleepover with her seven-year-old friend. Williams rang the doorbell and waited for the children to open the door. As the door opened, Williams fired thirteen shots from a pistol into the apartment. Alaysha Carradine was struck and killed. Two other children and a woman in the apartment were wounded by gunfire. The jury found that the murder was committed intentionally by means of lying in wait, a special circumstance.

On the afternoon of September 8, 2013, Williams attempted to rob Anthony Medearis at gunpoint outside an apartment building on Eighth Street in Berkeley. Mr. Medearis ran away from Williams, yelling for help. Williams chased after Mr. Medearis and fired at him fifteen times. Mr. Medearis was struck by one bullet in the back and died. During the shooting, a seven-year-old child was struck in the face and injured by a bullet fragment. The jury found that the murder was committed during the commission of attempted robbery, a special circumstance. The jury also found that Williams committed multiple murders, a separate special circumstance.

“I am extremely gratified with today’s outcome and would like to thank the jury that worked so diligently to reach a just verdict in this matter, as well as the many law enforcement officers who investigated these crimes,” says prosecutor John Brouhard.

Published: Tuesday, Oct 1, 2013 - Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 10:20 PM PDT

OAKLAND, CA (WCJB) - Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said two people have been charged in connection with the murder of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine. Alaysha was shot during a sleepover at an apartment in Oakland’s Dimond District on July 17. Alaysha, who was about to enter the third grade at Fruitvale Elementary School, was killed when shots were fired through the front door of an apartment in the 3400 block of Wilson Avenue. O’Malley said at a news conference at Oakland police headquarters Tuesday morning that prosecutors believe the shooter was 22-year-old Darnell Williams. A second suspect, 27-year-old Oakland resident Joseph Carroll, has also been charged with murder for the killing. O’Malley said Carroll is believed to have helped plan the shooting.

Alaysha’s mother, Chiquita, spoke out at Tuesday’s arraignment. “I’m pissed, but I’m excited. I’ve been waiting for this day since I got the phone call that she was dead. I’m ready. I’m ready to fight.” said Chiquita. “I’m here at every court date, every parole hearing. She said she’s also angry at the father of Alaysha’s friends who she said never came forward to help police with the investigation. She said she hopes the people charged in connection with her daughter’s murder are convicted and spend the rest of their lives in jail. I don’t get to see no years, more with my daughter and I don’t want them to see anymore light on the street. I want complete justice for my daughter.”

O’Malley said it appears the shooting was an act of retaliation for a previous gang-related shooting. She said the suspects were targeting someone inside the apartment but she did not say whom. Three other people were injured in the shooting but survived, and Williams and Carroll were also each charged with three counts of attempted murder. O’Malley said Williams also is charged with murder for allegedly fatally shooting 22-year-old Anthony Medearis in the 1400 block of Eighth Street in Berkeley around 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 8, about seven weeks after Alaysha was killed. O’Malley said Williams and Medearis had been friends but for some reason Williams decided to rob and kill Medearis.

Berkeley police Officer Shan Johnson said in a probable cause statement that the shooting occurred at a dice game to which Williams brought his 7-year-old nephew. Johnson said Williams fired multiple shots at Medearis and a bullet fragment also struck his 7-year-old nephew in the face. Williams is charged with assault with a semi-automatic firearm for shooting his nephew. Laquana Nuno, 28, is also charged with murder for Medearis’ death. O’Malley didn’t disclose Nuno’s role in the killing but Johnson said in his statement that Williams advised her in a text message that he was about to commit a robbery and she agreed to pick him up afterward. Johnson said Nuno then picked Williams up after the shooting and evaded police for a short time when they tried to stop her vehicle. Williams later fled on foot when Nuno pulled over but officers were able to find and arrest him in a nearby shed, Johnson said.

Prosecutors allege that Williams has a prior conviction for assault with a semi-automatic firearm on Jan. 27, 2010. Williams faces three special circumstance murder allegations that potentially could result in the death penalty if he’s convicted: committing multiple murders, lying in wait in the fatal shooting of Alaysha and attempting to commit a robbery during the course of murdering Medearis.

During the course of the investigation into Alaysha's killing, OPD developed information that several related suspects were conspiring to commit an additional murder, which officers say they were able to prevent from taking place.The attempts to kill the two alleged potential victims occurred on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, according to a probable cause statement by Oakland police Officer Eric Karsseboom. However, Oakland police officers and special agents from the California Department of Justice set up surveillance teams at the locations where the shootings allegedly were supposed to occur and were able to prevent harm to the potential victims, Karsseboom said. O’Malley said Carroll and three other men also are charged with conspiracy to commit murder for making several attempts to kill two men they believed had “disrespected” Carroll and his brother, Coleon Carroll. Prosecutors also allege that Joseph Carroll, who was arrested in Harris County in Texas over the weekend, has two prior convictions: one for possession of a firearm by a felon on Jan. 14 of this year and one for evading an officer on Sept. 24, 2007.

Homicidal Infanticide!

Posted: April, 13, 2016, 2:17 PM ET ~ Updated: April, 14, 2016, 1:54 AM PST

LANSING, Mich. -- Melissa Mitin, 26, of Okemos has been sentenced to 27.5 to 40 years in prison. The 26-year-old learned her punishment Wednesday. The Lansing-area woman pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder as part of an agreement with prosecutors. Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James Jamo honored the plea deal during the sentencing hearing. Jamo seemed to consider setting the minimum higher or lower than the what was included in the plea agreement. He asked Mitin's attorney and Roth what would happen then. The consensus was that the case would proceed to trial. It was an alternative Jamo said he ultimately couldn't force on the parities.

The charges stemmed from the 2013 death of her newborn daughter. The infant was found face-down in a wastebasket with umbilical cord and placenta still attached. Mitin was freed on bond after being charged with first-degree murder in her daughter's death. Police began investigating the 2014 disappearance of Mitin's baby boy. The infant is presumed dead. Prosecutors said the boy was born while Mitin was free on bond. As part of her plea agreement, Mitin will not be charged in her son's disappearance.

Prosecutors said the cremated remains of the infant girl continue to sit at a funeral home. Ingham County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Roth said this fact sheds light on why Mitin was able to kill her second child (the infant boy) a year later. He said it shows a lack of remorse. Roth told Jamo that Mitin committed a "frighteningly heartless crime." He argued that hiding her relationship with the father of the children contributed to what happened. He also read a passage from Mitin's journal written about the anniversary of the first baby's death.

"'So Friday was the one-year anniversary of when this (expletive) happened. Crazy that it has been one year,'" Roth said, reading the passage. "She described the murder of her child as 'this (expletive)' because that child meant nothing to her. As the (pre-sentence report from the Department of Corrections) indicates, she felt no remorse for having killed this child."

"I'm very, very sorry for everything that happened," Mitin told Jamo before she was sentenced. "And thank you for your time." Jamo said he struggled with the balancing of punishment, rehabilitation and deterrence in setting Mitin's sentence. "The conduct is not understandable," he told Mitin. "It's not rational to me. It's not understandable. I can't really place it in a way that helps guide me as to what is appropriate for your sentence, as a result."

Mitin was facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder at trial.

Homicidal Paedophilia!

Posted: Nov 20, 2015, 2:17 PM ET ~ Updated: Nov 21, 2015, 12:54 AM PT

Scottsville, Kentucky -- Timothy Madden, 38, of Scottsville, has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting and murdering 7-year-old Gabriella "Gabby" Doolin (pictured above, center). Gabby was found dead after going missing last Saturday at a football game in Scottsville, Kentucky. The suspect was taken into custody by the Kentucky State Police Friday morning. Madden is charged with kidnapping, rape, sodomy and murder, police said. He is slated to be processed and lodged in Kentucky.

At a press conference in Bowling Green on Friday Trooper Barry Eaton said police are not releasing other details on the case, including the cause of death. A preliminary autopsy report ruled the girl's death a homicide. Eaton said the investigation is still ongoing. Eaton said Madden knew the Doolins. "I know they were acquaintances, I don’t know how in-depth but they do knew each other," he told media sources.

The Doolins were at a pee-wee football jamboree on Saturday when Gabby went missing at 7:40 p.m. At approximately 8:05 (25 minutes later) a search volunteer spotted her body in a wooded area on the edge of the Allen County Scottsville High School. The location of her body is about 400 yards from the school's football field where she was last seen alive.

It was not immediately clear if Madden had representation. He has not yet made a court appearance. Madden (pictured above, center) is being held without bond. Media source couldn't immediately reach Madden's family.


Posted: June 19, 2015 ~ Updated: June 19, 2015 11:35 pm pdt

CINCINNATI, OH (WCJB) — Cincinnati's police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell says Trepierre Hummons, 21, fatally shot Officer Sonny Kim. The Friday morning shooting occurred in the Madisonville neighborhood. Kim was a decorated 27-year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Department. Blackwell said Hummons apparently wanted police to kill him. The chief described it as "suicide by cop."

Blackwell said Kim was responding to two 911 calls about a man with a gun. The caller reported that the subject was belligerent and in his early 20s. The suspect was described as wearing a white T-shirt with a gun tucked in his waistband. Officer Sonny Kim was the first officer to arrive after the 911 calls. The chief said Hummons shot 48-year-old Kim. He then walked over to where Kim was lying wounded and began struggling with the wounded officer over Kim's gun. The suspect took Kim's gun. Another officer then arrived and a gunfight broke out.

Blackwell said that Hummons "engaged" Kim in a gunfight. A probation officer then arrived and the suspect began firing at him as well. Police specialist Tom Sandmann then arrived and became involved in gunfight with the suspect. Blackwell said: "Police specialist Sandmann was able to stop the threat, secure the suspect and maintain the scene." Hummons was fatally shot. Blackwell did not identify who fired the fatal shot. He said other officers arrived and began first aid on Kim.

Blackwell said at a Friday night news conference: "We now know that the caller himself was the shooter of our officer." Hummons' mother told police he had been having troubles with a girlfriend. She said he hadn't been behaving like himself. Blackwell said an alleged sex offense had been filed against Hummons earlier Friday morning. Blackwell said: "The suspect posted on Facebook just prior to the shooting. Hummons also sent several text messages to friends indicating or demonstrating that he was planning suicide by cop." Blackwell said the mother left the house looking for her son. She found him in the street just as officers arrived.

Blackwell said the suspect's juvenile history included aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary felonies. He had a history of criminal trespassing and several traffic violations as an adult. Blackwell also said Hummons was a gang member.

"High Pursuits!"

Posted: 3:08 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, 2015 ~ Updated: 4:08 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Georgia -- Montgomery County Sheriff Ladson O’Connor was killed early Tuesday. He crashed his patrol vehicle while pursuing an armed suspect. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the suspect, Jim Edward Lowery, 35, later surrendered after exchanging gunfire with authorities. GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang said the incident began around midnight in Toombs County. Toombs County is a rural community about three hours southeast of Atlanta. Montgomery County is about two hours southeast of Atlanta in southeast Georgia. The chase came to an end near the town of Uvalda. Lang said the GBI is investigating both the chase and the officer-involved shooting that occurred during Lowery’s apprehension.

Lang said Deputies were reportedly assisting a motorist when the driver of another vehicle “attempted to leave the area” after spotting them. The driver of the second vehicle piqued the deputies’ interest. They attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Lowery fled and O’Connor joined in the chase. The pursuit continued on Ga. 56 into nearby Montgomery County. Lang continued: “During the pursuit, Sheriff O’Connor lost control of his vehicle, wrecked and was dead on the scene.” Lang said an autopsy was being performed at the GBI’s crime lab in Savannah.

Southeast Georgia, Montgomery County Sheriff Ladson O’Connor was killed early Tuesday. (Credit: Georgia Bureau of Investigation)

What led O’Connor to lose control of his vehicle was unclear. However, Lang said either Lowery, or his passenger Nicole Dixie Best, 36, fired shots at officers during the chase. Lang said State troopers placed “stop sticks” on the road. Lowery crashed his vehicle and managed to escape (for a few hours, at least). Georgia State Patrol SWAT team members located Lowery in McNatt Falls at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. McNatt Falls is a town in Montgomery County. Lowery surrendered after an exchange of gunfire. Lang continued, saying: “Lowery had sustained an injury to his leg but it is unknown at this time if the injury is a result of the shooting or if it occurred while he was on the run from law enforcement.”

Lowery was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer; one count of fleeing; and attempting to elude a police officer. Lang said Nicole Dixie Best, the passenger in his vehicle, was also detained. She “is being held in the Montgomery County jail while warrants are being obtained for her arrest.” She was charged with four counts of aggravated assault on a police officer. Messages left with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday were not immediately returned.

Stolen Patrol!

Posted: May 6, 2015, 1:03 AM ET ~ Updated: May 6, 2015, 1:43 AM PT

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho -- Sgt. Greg Moore was a northern Idaho police officer. Moore was shot about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday after checking on a suspicious person in a neighborhood. Moore was shot by Jonathan Renfro, 26. Renfro then stole his patrol car. Police arrested Renfro after a car chase that reached speeds of 125 mph. The pursuit ended when a police dog dragged him from his hiding place underneath a commercial truck.

An officer from nearby Post Falls, Idaho, was listening to radio traffic about the shooting. He saw a Coeur d'Alene police car race by about 90 mph. The officer gave chase close to the Washington state line. Post Falls Police Chief Scott Haug said: "Pursuit speeds reached 125 mph." The officer found the patrol car abandoned. Haug said the Washington State Patrol and Kootenai County Sheriff's Office helped set up a perimeter.

Haug said a police dog found Renfro about two hours later hiding under a tractor-trailer. He was wedged off the ground between the axle area and the truck. The truck was located near a Wal-Mart in Post Falls. Haug continued: "He was engaged by the dog when he would not comply and taken into custody." Renfro appeared in court Tuesday afternoon and was charged with attempted murder: theft of a police vehicle; theft of an officer's gun; and being a felon with a gun. His bail was set at $2 million. He is being held in the Kootenai County jail. Renfro has a long criminal record and was on probation.

Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White said Moore died of his injuries Tuesday evening at 5:50 p.m. Police spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood said Moore died at Kootenai Health in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Wood told media sources: "He was out doing routine random patrols in an area that we have experienced some auto burglaries in. So he was doing what we do. It's just incredibly tragic." White said at an early morning news conference: "Moore called dispatch to get information on Renfro. Not long after, a resident called police." The chief continued: The resident "had heard a noise that sounded like a gunshot and they shortly after said that there was a body lying in the street. From the information I've received so far, it doesn't look like an ambush-style attack. This was just a bad guy doing bad guy stuff and our officers doing what they were trained to do — and that's trying to keep our communities safe." White said a motive for the shooting hasn't been determined.

Stu Miller is a spokesman for the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office. He said The Idaho State Police is the lead agency investigating the shooting. Miller said investigators are collecting evidence from multiple scenes, including dash cam video from Moore's car. Miller did not know if the weapon used against Moore had been recovered. Moore was married and had two children, officials said.

"Uncontrollable Lust!"

Posted: May 4 2015 12:51 PM ~ Updated: June 8, 2015 04:40 p.m. PDT

Wisconsin -- Inmate Christopher Scarver gained nationwide notoriety after he killed serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer in prison in 1994. After killing Dahmer, Scarver killed another inmate, Jesse Anderson. Scarver claims he killed Anderson for what he describes as racist antics. Scarver killed Anderson in November 1994 because the inmate vandalized a painting of Martin Luther King Jr. He also attempted to frame black men for his wife’s murder, for which Anderson was ultimately convicted.

“There was a picture in the arts and crafts room that a prisoner had spent a lot of time painting, and he hung it up in that room to dry,” Scarver recalled in a recent interview. “[Anderson] painted a blood dot on [MLK’s] forehead as if it were a bullet wound.”

Scarver said he was also mad when he realized that Anderson attempted to blame two black men for his wife’s death. Barbara Anderson was killed in a shopping mall parking lot after the couple had dinner at a restaurant. Anderson told authorities that a pair of black men killed her and pointed to a Los Angeles Clippers cap found at the scene that he said one of them was wearing. However, Anderson was later connected to the purchase of the hat, thanks to witness testimony, and he was ultimately convicted.

Posted: April 29, 2015 8:38 a.m. EST ~ Updated: April 29, 2015 02:11 p.m. PST

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was done in by his uncontrollable lust for human flesh, the man who whacked him in prison 20 years ago told The Post, revealing for the first time why the cannibal had to die.

Christopher Scarver — who fatally beat the serial killer and another inmate in 1994 — said he grew to despise Dahmer because he would fashion severed limbs out of prison food to taunt the other inmates.

He’d drizzle on packets of ketchup as blood.

It was very unnerving.

“He would put them in places where people would be,” Scarver, 45, recalled in a low, gravelly voice.

“He crossed the line with some people — prisoners, prison staff. Some people who are in prison are repentant — but he was not one of them.”

Scarver, who arrived at Wisconsin’s Columbia Correctional Institution around the same time as Dahmer in 1992, knew right away to keep a safe distance from the serial killer.

Scarver said the madman had a personal escort of at least one guard at all times when he was out of his cell because of his friction with other inmates.

“I saw heated interactions between [Dahmer] and other prisoners from time to time,” Scarver said, adding that he didn’t think much of Dahmer.

“There was no impression,” he said.

Like a lone wolf, Scarver watched Dahmer from afar on the prison yard, but never approached him, because he did not want to become a target of his sickening humor.

“I never interacted with him,” he said.

But that all changed on the morning of Nov. 28, 1994, when Scarver doled out his vigilante justice in a gymnasium of the Portage, Wis., prison.

Dahmer, 34, Scarver and a third inmate, Jesse Anderson, were led unshackled to clean the bathrooms by correction officers, who left them unattended.

Scarver, who was repulsed by the youth-molesting cannibal’s lust for flesh, kept in his pocket a newspaper article detailing how Dahmer killed, dismembered — and in some cases ate — 17 men and boys from 1978 to 1991.

Scarver, then a 25-year-old convicted murderer, had just retrieved his mop and was filling a bucket with water when someone poked him in the back.

“I turned around, and [Dahmer] and Jesse were kind of laughing under their breath,” Scarver recounted. “I looked right into their eyes, and I couldn’t tell which had done it.”

Morgue photo of Jeffrey Dahmer at the Rare Serial Killer Exhibit.

The three men then split up, and Scarver followed Dahmer toward a staff locker room.

Scarver grabbed a metal bar from the weight room and confronted Dahmer with the news story he had been carrying in his pocket.

“I asked him if he did those things ’cause I was fiercely disgusted. He was shocked. Yes, he was,” Scarver said.

“He started looking for the door pretty quick. I blocked him,” Scarver said.
Modal Trigger

With two swings of the bar, Scarver crushed Dahmer’s skull.

“He ended up dead. I put his head down,” he said.

He then casually crossed the gym and entered a locker room where Anderson, 37, was working.

“He stopped for a second and looked around. He was looking to see if any officials were there. There were none. Pretty much the same thing [happened] — got his head put out,” Scarver said of Anderson, who was serving a life term for killing his wife in 1992.

Scarver believes it was no accident that he ended up alone with Dahmer — since prison officials knew he hated the madman and they wanted him dead.

“They had something to do with what took place. Yes,” said Scarver, noting that the guards disappeared just before he clobbered Dahmer with the 20-inch, 5-pound metal bar.

But Scarver refused to elaborate out of fear for his own safety.

“I would need a good attorney to ensure there would not be any retaliation by Wisconsin officials or to get me out of any type of retaliatory position they would put me in,” Scarver said.

Wisconsin Correction Department spokeswoman Joy Staab did not return calls for comment about those claims — but an investigation following the killings determined he acted alone.

Scarver initially pleaded insanity to the murders but later changed it to “no contest” in exchange for a transfer to a federal penitentiary.

He was sentenced to two life terms on top of the life sentence he was already serving.

Scarver was locked up for killing his former boss during a robbery in 1990.

Scarver believes it was no accident that he ended up alone with Dahmer — prison officials knew he hated the madman and they wanted him dead.

After getting fired from a job-training program at the Wisconsin Conservation Corps, Scarver started drinking heavily and said he heard voices that called him “the chosen one.”

He returned to his former workplace with a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol and demanded cash from site manager John Feyen. When he gave only $15, Scarver put a bullet in the head of a worker, Steven Lohman.

He shot Lohman two more times before Feyen knocked the gun out of his hands and ran off.

Hours later, cops arrested Scarver sitting on the stoop of his girlfriend’s apartment building.

After the killings, Scarver bounced from prison to prison until he landed at his current home: Centennial Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colo.

Scarver says he has been evaluated by 10 to 20 prison doctors but still doesn’t understand his mental issues.

He partly blames prison food for his insanity.

“I found out in my own research what the problem is: Certain foods I eat cause me to have a psychotic break — bread, refined sugar,” he said. “Those are the main culprits.”

He now spends his days writing poems for his site. He also has self-published poetry books for sale on Amazon.


Posted: 02/06/2015 5:13 PM EST ~ Updated: 02/06/2015 5:37 PM PST

DISCOVERY BAY, Calif. (WCJB) -- William Shultz , 18, of Discovery Bay, is accused of fatally stabbing 9-year-old Jordon Almgren. Jordon was fatally stabbed inside his home on Frost Way on Sunday. Police say Shultz was a family friend and stayed at Jordan's home overnight. Police arrested Shultz at a local hospital on Sunday. The suspect confessed in a jailhouse interview given to media sources. Shultz admitted to killing the young boy. He said: "I wanted to see what it was like to take a life before someone tried to take mine." Shultz also said: "I wish that I hadn't. I think about what if that was my little brother."

He had been evaluated for possible mental health issues twice in the 24 hours before the incident. Shultz was at his family's home in Discovery Bay on Saturday. Contra Costa Sheriffs were called. Contra Costa Sheriffs Department spokesperson Jimmy Lee said: "Apparently the family wanted the deputies to check his mental health status. So the deputies spoke to him and based on that contact, they determined that he did not meet the criteria for welfare and institutions code 5150. You have to have some kind of threat to themselves or to others or that they are gravely disabled." Shultz did voluntarily go to the county hospital in Martinez for evaluation. However, he was released a few hours later.

Shultz is being held at the Martinez jail on $1 million bail.


Posted: 02/06/2015 5:13 PM EST ~ Updated: 02/06/2015 5:37 PM PST

Albany County, NY -- Tiffany Van Alstyne, 20, is accused of killing her five-year-old cousin. The Albany County woman has been indicted on second degree murder charges. She is accused of strangling Kenneth White in December. Alstyne then lied to police, claiming masked men had kidnapped him. In addition to murder, the indictment also charges Van Alstyne with manslaughter. She's due to be arraigned sometime next week.

Merritt a McStay!

Posted: Nov 8, 2014, 5:07 PM ET ~ Updated: Nov 9, 2014, 7:43 PM PST

FILE - This undated file image provided by the San Diego Police Department shows members of the McStay family whose abandoned SUV was found near the Mexico border near San Diego. Authorities say they will release new information Friday, Nov. 7, 2014 in the murder investigation of the family of four whose bodies were found in shallow graves late last year. (AP Photo/San Diego Police Department, File)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (WCJB) — Charles "Chase" Merritt, 57 (pictured below, center) made a brief court appearance on four counts of murder Friday in the deaths of Joseph McStay, 40, his wife, Summer, 43, and their sons, 4-year-old Gianni and 3-year-old Joseph. Investigators believe McStay vanished with his wife and two young sons in 2010. Authorities said Merritt, of Homeland and a former business associate of Joseph McStay, bludgeoned the family to death before he buried their bodies in the desert in 2010. Merritt did not enter a plea and was due back in court next week. His attorney did not immediately return a call or email.

Joseph McStay designed and installed home water features. Investigators said he had asked Merritt, who owned a waterfall company, to design some special waterfalls, and the two met at a restaurant on the day the family is believed to have been killed. They say the family members were killed in their home in the San Diego County community of Fallbrook on Feb. 4, 2010. Investigators found their dogs outside with no food or water, eggs rotting on a counter, and bowls full of popcorn in the house. Investigators said there were no signs of forced entry at the family home or in their SUV. Nothing was missing from the home, and the couple's credit cards and tens of thousands of dollars in bank accounts were untouched.

The long, convoluted investigation began when the family vanished from their home without a trace. At the time, San Diego County sheriff's detectives said it appeared they had fled at a moment's notice. Four days after the family vanished, their white Isuzu Trooper was found at a San Diego shopping mall just steps from Tijuana, Mexico. A dark surveillance video shows four people walking across the border. Authorities initially thought they might have been the McStays but later discounted that theory. The family's skeletal remains were found late last year by someone riding an off-road vehicle in the desert outside Victorville. The gravesite is not far from heavily traveled Interstate 15, which connects San Diego and Las Vegas. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said they were victims of blunt-force trauma.

Investigators served new search warrants on the house after the bodies were found, Fisher said, but declined to say what they revealed. Authorities also refused to discuss a motive or any further details of how the family was killed, or evidence found at the home or at the site of the shallow graves. There was no "smoking gun" that helped solve the case after so many years, San Bernardino County sheriff's Sgt. Chris Fisher said. The agency re-examined 4,500 pages of evidence handed over by authorities in San Diego County, where the probe began. They served 60 search warrants and did 200 interviews. Evidence found at the gravesite also helped, Fisher said, declining to elaborate. "Our job is to look at everyone and eliminate who we could and see where this was going to take us — and it led us to him," he said of Merritt. Merritt's name had surfaced previously in the investigation. In 2011, Merritt told investigators that Joseph McStay's last cellphone conversation was to him. Fisher said investigators had interviewed Merritt several times but declined to say what information he provided.

"Joseph was a great brother, a great father," Joseph McStay's brother, Michael McStay, said as he choked back tears. "He would've done anything to protect those boys and Summer and he tried to help Chase and provide work for this guy and this is how he was repaid. ... He'll get what he's got coming to him." Family members said the arrest brought them some peace but left many questions.

Merritt was arrested Wednesday in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles. Merritt, who has served prison time for burglary and receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to a total of more than two years in prison in the 1970s and 1980s for convictions on burglary, receiving stolen property and violating parole, said Bill Sessa, a prison spokesman. Court records in Los Angeles County show he also was sentenced for grand theft and burglary in 2001. Bennett Merritt, Merritt's brother, said in a brief phone interview that his sibling was "absolutely not guilty."

Cellie Pics!

Posted: Oct 18, 2013 4:43 PM PDT - Updated: October 20, 2013 - 4:10 PM PDT

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Bryant, Ark. -- A tip helped lead Bryant Police to arrest a man for rape and sexual indecency with a child.

Investigators received a tip two weeks ago that John Arthur Hewitt, 49, had inappropriate pictures of a 14-year-old girl on his cell phone.

Officers managed to identify the girl and interview her. After talking with the girl and gathering other evidence, investigators arrested Hewitt at the Fairway's Apartments in Bryant where he lives with his wife.

Hewitt is charged with rape, five counts of fourth degree sexual assault, five counts of sexual indecency with a child, and endangering the welfare of a minor.

He is also charged with unauthorized use of another person's property to facilitate a certain crime because police say the crimes took place at a rental property.

Burnin' Down da' Howse!

Posted: October 8, 2013 - 5:12pm - Updated: October 9, 2013 - 4:43pm PDT

Webbers Falls, Oklahoma -- A former Gore reserve police officer entered a blind plea of no contest to a first-degree arson charge Tuesday in Muskogee County District Court, according to a District 15 District Attorney’s Office representative.

Charles “Mark” Shamblin, 46, of Webbers Falls faced the arson charge for allegedly having attempted to burn his house with his wife and stepdaughter inside.

Associate District Judge Norman Thygesen accepted Shamblin’s plea, ordered a presentence investigation and set sentencing for Dec. 18. Under Oklahoma law, Shamblin would have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

A blind plea is done without a pre-existing agreement with the state. Presentence investigations allow judges to examine a defendant’s past for mitigating or exacerbating circumstances before determining sentencing.

Gore Town Administrator Horace Lindley said Shamblin, a Gore reserve officer for several years, resigned from the police department shortly after the March 30 incident.

According to court records, Cherokee Nation Marshals arrested Shamblin on April 3 in Webbers Falls and booked him into the Muskogee County jail.

According to an affidavit by District Attorney Larry Moore, Webbers Falls Police Chief Aaron Gage said Shamblin allegedly brought a can of gasoline into his house and told his wife and stepdaughter he would burn the house down. According to the affidavit, Shamblin had already set a fire inside the home, allegedly using a cigarette lighter to set a pillow case on a bed and a shirt on fire.

According to court records, Shamblin waived a preliminary hearing on June 17, and pleaded not guilty at his formal arraignment on July 11. He was released from jail on a $50,000 bond on April 8, conditioned on his surrendering his firearms to the Gore Police Department, staying out of Webbers Falls and undergoing a competency evaluation.

Best & Brightest!

Published: 2:25 PM EDT, Sun September 29, 2013 - Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 10:20 PM PDT

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Chicago, Illinois -- Chicago police have arrested a fifth suspect in connection with a shooting that injured 13, including a 3-year-old child, earlier this month. Bullets from an assault rifle and another gun wounded the 13, all survived. Two of the victims were 15 years old. Deonta Howard, a toddler, was the youngest hit. Authorities think the violence may have been gang-related.

David Logan, 22, faces charges of unlawful use of a weapon and obstructing justice, police said Saturday. The arrest happened on Wednesday. Before Logan's arrest, four others had been arrested in connection with the shooting. Those four have been charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, police said. Police said two of the suspects -- Tabari Young, 22, and Bryon Champ, 21 -- fired shots onto a full basketball court. Champ is a documented gang member, according to authorities. Young is accused of firing the assault-style rifle. Police say Champ also fired a gun of some kind.

A third suspect, Kewane Gatewood, 20, is accused of supplying the assault weapon, and Brad Jett, 22, was allegedly the lookout during the shooting, police said.

Boiling Point!

Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013, 7:51 PM - Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 12:20 AM PDT

PITTSBURGH, PA — A two-decade family feud came to a violent end when a man shot dead the two home invaders that killed his wife and son, not knowing the assailants included his long-estranged daughter, authorities said Sunday.

Though the investigation of Friday’s shootings continues, authorities said it appears Josephine and Jeffrey Ruckinger planned to murder her family at their rural central Pennsylvania home — but it remains unclear what exactly led to the deadly confrontation.

“They parked at the bottom of a long driveway, and walked up, heavily armed,” said Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan. Josephine Ruckinger was armed with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun and her husband had a Derringer pistol and a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun as they approached the Frew family home in Ashville, about 40 miles southwest of State College, according to investigators.

John Frew, his wife Roberta, and their son John Jr., 47, had just returned from dinner out, and were watching TV in the living room of the white mobile home when there was a knock at the door, authorities said.

Police say Roberta, 64, answered the door, and cried out something like “Oh my God, they have guns!” before her daughter shot her at point-blank range. John Jr. then may have attempted to arm himself with a gun, but Jeffrey Ruckinger shot him multiple times in the chest, killing him, police said.

The elder Frew, 67, grabbed a .22 revolver and came out from the bedroom to find the daughter he didn’t initially recognize pointing the shotgun at him. Frew fired once, hitting her in the head, then turned and exchanged fire with Jeffrey Ruckinger, killing him. He then called police.

Josephine Ruckinger was still alive when police arrived, but later died at an area hospital. John Frew was not hurt.

Callihan said that the preliminary investigation suggests that the elder Frew and his family were victims “of a pre-planned murder” plot, and that he acted in self-defense. Police also found a can of gas and lighter fluid in the Ruckingers’ car.

Ballistics and toxicology tests are pending, investigators said.

Authorities are still exploring possible motives, but say there may have been burglaries and robberies at the Frew residence in the past.

A relative, Virginia Cruse, said the daughter and mother did not get along, but that she had no idea what spawned Friday’s tragedy. The daughter had “a hatred toward the family,” she said.

When Josephine was about 20, she and a boyfriend trashed her parents’ home and stole items including a pistol, then fled to Pittsburgh, Cruse said. After that, she said, “more or less, they disowned her.”


Posted: 09/20/13 03:34 PM ET EDT - Updated: 2:12 PM PDT, Wed. October 9, 2013

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A grand jury has indicted a man and his girlfriend on murder charges in the shooting deaths of a woman and three teenagers in what prosecutors called a robbery during a pot deal in Tennessee.

On Friday, a Cumberland County grand jury indicted 26-year-old Jacob Allen Bennett (pictured below, center) and 25-year-old Lina Yvonn Moser (pictured above, center) on four felony murder and two attempted aggravated robbery charges. Bennett, who is accused of being the gunman, was also charged with four counts of premeditated murder.

Media reports that Bennett said during his arraignment Friday that he wanted to plead guilty, but the judge instead assigned him an attorney.

Bennett and Moser are accused of trying to rob two of the victims during what the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation described as a marijuana exchange.

Posted: 4:12 PM EDT, Fri September 13, 2013 - Updated: 2:12 PM PDT, Fri September 13, 2013

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Tennessee -- John Lajeunesse, 16, said he was heading to Renegade Mountain to go four-wheeling in rural Tennessee. He and three other young people ended up shot dead inside a car on a mountain road not far from the small community of nearby Crossville. Lajeunesse and a pair of 17-year-olds, Steven Presley and Dominic Davis, were the passengers. Danielle Jacobson, 22, was in the driver's seat. A passerby discovered the car with the four victims, including a young mother, on Thursday.

Michael Rick, who lives with Lajeunesse's family, said he dropped the 16-year-old at Presley's house on Wednesday afternoon. Lajeunesse mentioned that the pair were going to go four-wheeling at the mountain and spend the night at his friend's house. The next day, Lajeunesse didn't call Rick to be picked up. "You just get that gut feeling when nothing is right," Rick said. It wasn't until Thursday night that police were able to confirm what they feared: Lajeunesse was among those killed. "This is something traumatic that has never happened before in our county," Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess said. Authorities previously named a lone suspect: Jacob Allen Bennett (pictured above, center). Bennett has not been charged in the killings but was arrested on an unrelated charge as investigators continue their work.

The local community "can rest assured that we believe that we have this person that committed these crimes in custody," Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said. "We identified him as a suspect pretty quickly," he added. Crossville is a small town, and along with messages of condolence, rumors of what might have happened also began to spread. Was it a drug deal gone bad? A theft? A fight? Residents want to know, but police refuse to speculate. "There's a lot of emotion that goes into this case just simply based on the age of these children," said Casey Cox, the chief investigator for the sheriff's department.

According to the Cumberland County Board of Education, Lajeunesse was a former student at two local high schools who most recently was home-schooled. Three of the victims were current or former students of the local school district. A friend of Jacobson's said the 22-year-old lived for her son. "She loved her little boy more than life itself. She talked about her child a lot. That's what saddens me the most," said the friend, who asked not be named because they had not been friends for too long. The two other victims, Presley and Davis, were also locals. Davis was a student at Cumberland County High School, and Presley graduated from Phoenix High School just months ago.

Bag of Torture Tricks!

Posted: September 12, 2013 11:54 AM - Updated: 8:02 PM PDT, Thu September 12, 2013 PDT

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Edward Bagley (pictured above, center) a southwest Missouri man, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for keeping a young woman as a sex slave for six years.

The 46-year-old Bagley was sentenced Wednesday after a federal court judge in Kansas City accepted a plea agreement.

He pleaded guilty in January to one count of using an interstate facility to entice a minor into illegal sexual contact.

Bagley, of Lebanon, Mo., originally faced 11 federal charges.

He was accused of enticing an underage girl to be his sex slave, torturing and mutilating her, and allowing others to view the torture sessions.

Bagley and his wife, Marilyn, said the woman voluntarily engaged in bondage and sadomasochism after she turned 18.

"Even though Ed pleaded guilty, he still hasn't told the truth," the victim said in court during Bagley's sentencing Wednesday, reports the Kansas City Star.

As part of his sentence, Bagley also agreed to pay about $123,000 toward counseling and medical care for the victim, who is now 27, the paper reports.

Three other men have also been sentenced in the case. On Wednesday, Bradley Cook received a 20-year sentence and Dennis Henry was sentenced to 10 years, both were found guilty of sex-trafficking charges. James Noel was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday for his role in the case.

Marilyn Bagley and Michael Stokes, another defendant, are scheduled to be sentenced later Thursday.

Black & White Streets!

Posted: 8:33 PM EDT, Thu September 12, 2013 - Updated: 8:02 PM PDT, Thu September 12, 2013 PDT

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Brunswick, Georgia -- De’Marquise Elkins, the teenager convicted of malice murder in the shooting death of a 13-month-old boy in Brunswick, Georgia, earlier this year was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole, plus 105 years. A jury convicted Elkins, 18, on August 30 of 11 charges, including aggravated robbery, cruelty to children and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Elkins was also convicted of aggravated assault and other charges for shooting pastor Wilfredo Calix-Flores during a separate mugging 10 days before West's son, Antonio Santiago, was killed. Elkins' mother, Karimah Elkins, who was tried along with her son, was convicted of tampering with evidence for her role in trying to cover up the shooting. Elkins was spared the death penalty, because he was 17 when he shot Santiago. A Georgia law prohibits anyone who is under 18 years old during the commission of a crime from being executed. His mother could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for her conviction.

Before Judge Stephen D. Kelley delivered Elkins' sentence, Sherry West, the victim's mother, read a poem about her child in open court. "The love my life was taken away, far away." West said. "All I can do is cry and wonder when I am going to die. All that is near is fear." West wept on the stand last month during the trial as she recounted how Elkins shot her son in broad daylight on March 21, after he and another teen tried to mug her.

“I told him I have a baby and I have expenses and I didn't have it. He asked me if I wanted him to shoot my baby. I told him, 'Please don't shoot my baby.' He shot a warning shot into the ground," West said, weeping. "I asked him, 'Why are you doing this? Please don't do this.' It felt like he shot me in the ear. Then he shot me in the leg. My left leg." West said one of the teens then did the unthinkable -- he aimed for the baby. "I tried to stop him. I put my arms over my baby but he still shot him," she said. "He walked over and shot my baby."

During his closing argument, Elkins' attorney attacked West’s recollection of the shooting, saying she couldn’t confidently identify Elkins as the shooter. He also accused her of plotting her baby’s death to profit from a life insurance policy. “Sherry West is a woman who was very distraught, who was very emotional. But also who acted in a rather bizarre way. You saw the video of where she is laughing and cutting up with officers, and making jokes with them just after her child was murdered,” Elkins' attorney said.

“Incidentally, does anybody know what the protocol is for how you are supposed to act when you watch your child get shot in the face,” prosecutor Jackie Johnson said during her closing argument. Johnson called the defense attorney's accusation that West planned her baby’s death a “grand conspiracy” and an attempt to distract from the reality that his client is guilty. “We have a defendant who preyed upon the weak. He preyed upon the weak when he was looking for Mexicans to rob, because he knows lots of times they can’t speak English. They are afraid. They might be here illegally. They may not even report to police,” said Johnson. “They don’t see any more Mexicans that morning. They see something even better, something even more weak, something even more vulnerable, a mother and a child.” Johnson ended her closing argument with an emotional plea to the jury to find Elkins guilty of murder. “This case cries out for malice,” Johnson said.

The teenager accused of being Elkins' accomplice is Dominique Lang, who was 15 at the time of the shooting. Although Lang is a minor, media sources are identifying him because he is charged as an adult, and media outlets have been naming him since his arrest. Lang has pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges against him, which include felony murder. He will go on trial later, separately from Elkins, and also faces life in prison. Lang testified against Elkins during the 18-year-old's trial, identifying him as the shooter.


Posted: 4:24 PM EDT, Thu October 18, 2012 - Updated: 11:17 PM PDT, Thurs. September 12, 2013

Colorado -- On November 1, 2011, police received a 911 call for a report of a child not breathing. When authorities arrived, they said the baby’s father, Dylan Kuhn, told them he awoke to his daughter, Sailor, hanging over the side of the bed with a blanket wrapped around her neck, according to the affidavit. During an interview with police, Kuhn admitted Sailor had fallen off the couch a couple of days before she died. An autopsy revealed Sailor had “subdural hematomas and hemorrhaging in her optic nerve sheath which was a recent injury.” A medical examiner determined the baby’s injuries were “consistent with a baby being slammed against a soft but unyielding surface similar to that of a firm mattress,” the affidavit states. The medical examiner explained to Kuhn that the baby’s “injuries were not caused from Sailor falling off the couch and bumping her head,” according to the affidavit.

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Kuhn eventually admitted to slamming his daughter down on a bed the night she died, but said he “did not mean to hurt her,” police said in the affidavit. When asked if the blanket was ever wrapped around Sailor’s neck, Kuhn admitted the “blanket was not wrapped around her neck.” Kuhn said he walked away after he forcefully put his daughter on the bed and she “became quiet afterwards,” the affidavit states. Authorities said when they asked Kuhn why he lied to them, he stated “he was scared” and that his girlfriend, Sailor’s mother, was going to “hate him when she finds out what happened.”

Kuhn was subsequently charged with child abuse causing death and manslaughter. In a plea deal, prosecutors said they agreed to drop the child abuse charge in exchange for Kuhn pleading guilty to manslaughter. Kuhn, who admitted to causing the death of his 6-month-old infant daughter was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to manslaughter. At his sentencing, District Court Judge Douglas Walker cited Kuhn’s lack of a criminal history, his age and the likelihood that he would not be a repeat offender as some of the reasons for not sending him to prison. Judge Walker told Kuhn at his sentencing to “Make this best of this opportunity, if nothing else, to honor your daughter.”

In addition to his 90 day sentence, Kuhn must complete four years’ probation, submit to a mental health evaluation, and substance abuse evaluation. He is not allowed to be alone with any child under age 10 and must complete a parenting class.

“The public record shows that I strongly advocated in court for a prison sentence because of what the Defendant did to Sailor Kuhn,” District Attorney Russell Wasley told media sources. “The Court disagreed with my position. I respect the Court, but the Office of the District Attorney felt prison was appropriate, and was deeply disappointed in the sentence.”

“We will let the record stand on its own,” Rob McCallum of the Colorado Judicial Department told media sources,

"Twang Bangers!"

Posted: 11:17 AM EDT, Sat. September 7, 2013 - Updated: 11:17 PM PDT, Thurs. September 12, 2013

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Dallas, Texas -- A country musician has been sentenced to 17 years in jail for arranging to have sex with two young girls, a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old. What banjo player Abraham Spear didn't know was that the girls' "mother" -- whom he made the grotesque "deal" with online -- was actually an FBI agent. The 30-year-old Banjo player, who was set to perform with the Josh Thompson band at the time of the incident, was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison in Dallas, Texas.

Abe had traveled to Dallas in September, 2012, for a show at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill with a Nashville band. The musician, who went by the name Abe Spear, had been based in Nashville. According to his Facebook page, he had performed with Thompson Square, Joe Nichols, and Eric Church for a show in July, 2012. Spear, a 30-year-old former member of the band Twang Bangers, had logged onto a website, using the screen name MUSICMAN30 and began communicating with the FBI agent he thought was the mom of two young girls. He asked the woman to send photos of the girls -- and in exchange, he sent back a photo of himself in his underwear, and offered to be the girls' "teacher". He then reportedly said he wanted to "admire them and rub on their legs" and some other sexually explicit suggestions. Instead of finding it horrible that the girls' "mom" would agree to this, he arranged to meet up with her and the children.

Spear was arrested at the restaurant in Dallas on September 20, 2012, where he arranged to meet the undercover FBI agent, posing as the mother of the two young girls. As soon as he arrived as the destination for the illegal rendezvous, he was arrested.

He reportedly broke down sobbing and said he "wasn't actually going to do anything." Oh boy. How many times in your life have you heard this excuse? Someone is basically completely set up to do something immoral or wrong, and when caught, tries to claim it was all a joke, or a test, or that they had no plans to actually go through with it.

Spear also reportedly admitted he had a "problem." Spear also admitted that he had engaged in sexually explicit communications with other mothers of minor girls, including one in which he offered to pay $200 to engage in sexual acts with the mother’s minor daughter,' according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. According to court documents, he has expressed remorse and said he 'feels he has a problem.'

He faced between 10 years to life, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervision if he was released.

Bored to Death!

Posted: Sun, Jul 14th, 2013 - Updated: 5:24 PM PDT, Fri. September 13, 2013

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North College Hill, OH -- Pat Mahaney (pictured above, center) a man assaulted and robbed by six teens during a “boredom beating” in North College Hill has died. Mahaney, age 46, passed away Friday at University of Cincinnati Medical Center a little less than a year after the vicious beating that caused him to suffer internal bleeding and put him in the hospital for four days.

Marty Korte said he still doesn’t understand why anyone would want to hurt his neighbor. “He was a good boy. He was taking care of his mother,” said Korte, who has lived on the Dallas Avenue block where Mahaney was attacked for 50 years.

Investigators determined the teens instigated the August 2012 attack because they were “bored” and looking for something to do. North College Hill Police Chief Gary Foust said the juveniles jumped Mahaney from behind, hit him in the head and knocked him to the ground with a six-pack of beer he had just purchased. “As they were approaching the individual they actually discussed this event, before actually doing the event,” Foust said.

Mahaney was released from the hospital within a couple of weeks after the attack. If the man’s autopsy points to the attack as a cause of death then further charges against the teens will follow.

Hot in Sommerville!

Posted: 11:17 AM EDT, Wed September 4, 2013 - Updated: 11:17 PM PDT, Tues. September 10, 2013

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Massachusetts (WCJB) -- Galileo Mondol, a Massachusetts teen and one of three Somerville high school junior varsity soccer players accused of raping a fellow student at a summer sports camp, pleaded not guilty Tuesday. At Tuesday's hearing, prosecutors said the three went into the freshman cabin searching for victims, using a broomstick to assault them. Mondol, 17, authorities allege, entered a cabin occupied by freshman students and assaulted three victims at a camp in western Massachusetts. The assaults occurred last month at Camp Lenox near Otis, a town in western Massachusetts, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office. Mondol is being tried as an adult and faces charges that include aggravated rape of a child under 16, indecent assault and battery on a person who has turned 14, assault and battery and intimidation of a witness.

A criminal investigation began after the allegations were reported to members of the Somerville High School athletic department. Two other JV soccer players, both 16, face similar allegations, prosecutors said in a statement. It was unclear Tuesday whether they had been arraigned or entered pleas in response to the charges. Frederick Lantz, a spokesman with the Berkshire District Attorney's office, said he could not reveal details about their cases because they were minors.

Mondol's Attorney told media sources that Mondol was an innocent bystander and actually tried to stop the other students from getting involved. On Tuesday, he should have been heading to school for the first day of classes. "I imagine he planned on getting dressed for his first day of school, and instead he had to get arraigned on felony charges," the attorney said. "He's very mature for his age. He understands the severity of the charges, but he's also confident because he knows he didn't do anything. He knows he will be exonerated."

Mondol is being held without bail pending a "dangerousness" hearing Friday, Korman said. If Mondol is found to be dangerous, the judge can continue to hold him without bail for 90 days. If the judge finds him not dangerous, his bail will be set at $100,000.

The city of Somerville, just northwest of Boston, rented the facility for team-building activities for its fall sports teams. "We are disturbed and appalled that these crimes may have taken place," Somerville's mayor and schools superintendent said in a joint statement, "and our thoughts and concerns are with the victims and their families."

American Infanticide!

Posted: 8:40 AM EDT, Mon September 2, 2013 - Updated: 12:00 AM PDT, Mon September 3, 2013

New York City (WCJB) -- A 1-year-old boy was shot and killed as his parents pushed his stroller across a Brooklyn street Sunday evening, New York City police said.

The parents of Antiq Hennis were pushing the stroller across Livonia Avenue, near their home, about 7:19 p.m. when the child was shot in the left side of the head, a police statement said. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Brookdale Hospital. The police statement offered no details on the circumstances of the shooting and said no arrests had been made.

The shooting came two days after a Georgia jury convicted an 18-year-old man of murder in the shooting of a 1-year-old baby in a stroller in the coastal city of Brunswick. De'Marquise Elkins faces a mandatory life sentence in the March 21 killing of Antonio Santiago. The child's mother said Elkins shot her and the baby after demanding money.

Teen Depravity!

Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013, 12:38 PM EDT - Updated: Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, 08:55 PM PDT

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Texas -- Tyler Holder, 17, the Texas teen suspected of raping and murdering a 6-year-old girl from his neighborhood was transferred Wednesday from the hospital to jail. Holder is still receiving treatment for a gunshot wound to the head. Holder will only interact with medical personnel at Tarrant County Jail. Doctors from John Peter Smith Hospital are repairing injuries Holder received after an officer shot him in the head.

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"It is common for accused child offenders to be housed separately from the general population because typically other inmates target them," sheriff's office spokesman Terry Grisham told media sources. Other prisoners — like those on the outside — recoil in disgust when they hear how Holder allegedly sexually violated Alanna Gallagher in a manner too gruesome to detail, suffocated her with white Walmart bags that he fastened with red duct tape, dumped her body in a black trash bag and hid her beneath a large gray tarp on the side of a road in their town of Saginaw. "Even if he had no medical issues, he would be housed in a single cell by himself," Grisham said.

Police say Holder opened fire on officers serving his arrest warrant, so they fired back. The suspected child rapist's bullet struck Arlington Police Detective Charles Lodatto, who was released from the hospital Tuesday. He thanked God and his colleagues his survival. "The bullet is still lodged in his pelvic area… he is at home recuperating," said Grisham.

Holder is charged with capital murder for Alanna's death and attempted capital murder for shooting Lodatto.

1st View of Rage!

Posted: Aug 29, 2013 8:22 AM PDT - Updated: Aug 29, 2013 10:04 PM PDT

CLEARWATER, FL (WCJB) - Police have been trying to figure out who killed a 22-year-old man for eight months. Now, they say a 16-year-old has confessed to the murder.

Jason Paul died in January of this year after he was stabbed while riding his bicycle home from work near Crest Lake Park. Police say Mychal King has confessed to killing Paul.

King, 16, allegedly told them he did it because he had been fighting with his family that day and "just wanted to kill the first person" he saw.

The case is the latest in a string of high-profile acts of violence by teenagers. A 13-year-old St. Petersburg boy was charged with shooting a 15-year-old after being taunted. In Oklahoma, one of three teenagers charged with the murder of a jogger said they acted out of boredom.

Despite the headlines, USF professor of criminology Kathleen Heide told media sources that juvenile homicide is down after peaking in 1993 during the crack cocaine epidemic.

Heide is the author of three books on homicidal adolescents and said physiology plays a major role.

"The last area of the brain to develop is the pre-frontal cortex, which is the area of the brain associated with thinking, and deliberation and judgment," Heide explained.

Offenders also lack any empathy or connection with their victims.

"It's as if that individual, for that moment, meaning the victim, is simply an object in their way, or an object toward their gratification, or an object on which to act out," she continued.

Jason Paul's mother knows how wrong that misperception can be. Describing her son, Renee Langfritz said Paul, "...had good friends, had a girlfriend he was madly in love with. They were getting ready to move in together...he wanted to go to school to be a vet tech."

Paul was riding his bicycle home from one of his two jobs when King confronted him. Clearwater police chief Anthony Holloway said, after the murder, King gave the knife used in the crime to a friend, who later turned it over to detectives.

Detectives say King has a long criminal history and was already in jail on other charges.

"He just had a whole bright future ahead of him," Langfritz added. "It just makes me sick that someone could do this to someone who's so innocent and so full of life."


Posted: August 23, 2013, 9:17 AM - Updated: August 23, 2013, 5:06 PM PDT

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LAS VEGAS, NV - David Allen Brutsche (pictured above, center-right) and Devon Campbell Newman (pictured above, center-left) attended training sessions about sovereign citizen philosophy, shopped for guns, found a vacant house and rigged it to bind captives to cross beams during interrogation, and recorded videos to explain their actions and why officers had to die. The movement they were intending to promote does not follow U.S. laws. The couple spent hundreds of hours over four months plotting to abduct, torture and kill Las Vegas police officers as a way to attract attention to their anti-authority "sovereign citizens" movement, police said. Brutsche 42, an ex-con child sex offender from California, practiced stalking Newman, posing as a police officer and putting a gun to her head to take her into custody, the report said. Newman, 67, of Las Vegas was a bit nervous, according to a police report. She asked at one meeting to unplug the television because she thought authorities could use it to listen to their conversations. According to police Thursday, at every step, an undercover officer was with them, documenting and recording the alleged plot.

Police said the investigation began when the unidentified undercover officer befriended Brutsche and Newman in April. Authorities haven't released video evidence, but the 10-page police report states that every one of the 30 meetings with the undercover officer was recorded by audio or video. "We need to arrest the police and take them to our jail and put them in a cell and put them on trial in a people's court," Brutsche said July 9, according to the arrest report. "If we run into the position that they resist, then we need to kill them." During a tour of gun stores the next day, Brutsche said that what they were planning was going to be big, "and that they would really get a large following once they started because of the publicity," the report said.

The SWAT arrests of Brutsche and Newman this week at their apartment about three miles east of the Las Vegas Strip, scuttled a carefully planned operation to draw the world's attention to the sovereign citizen cause, Las Vegas police Lt. James Seebock told reporters. "They were furthering their `sovereign citizen' ideology by committing criminal acts toward law enforcement," Seebock said. "The suspects believed that once the first kidnapping and execution was accomplished, they would be compelled to keep repeating their actions, kidnapping and killing multiple officers." He characterized the case as a domestic terror plot. Police said that when Brutsche was arrested, he denied that police had authority to hold him.

Federal authorities regard sovereign citizen extremists as domestic terrorists. Authorities have linked sovereign citizen groups with violent confrontations in recent years, including deadly police shootings in Louisiana and Arkansas. In Louisiana last year, police said that at least some of the seven people arrested after a shootout that left two deputies dead and two others wounded had links to a sovereign citizen group. In Arkansas in 2010, a father and son identified as sovereign citizen followers shot and killed two police officers before being killed by authorities in a separate shootout.

Brutsche and Newman were held Thursday at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas pending court appearances on charges including conspiracy to commit murder and attempted kidnapping. It was not immediately known if they had lawyers.

Newman told a media source in a jailhouse interview Thursday that she didn't really think Brutsche was serious about kidnapping and killing police, and that officers overstepped their authority in arresting her. She also denied being involved in the "sovereign citizens" movement, but agreed with people that believe in restrictions on the government outlined in the Constitution.

"Money Team!"

Posted: August 23, 2013 - Updated: August 23, 2013, 8:04 PM PDT

OAKLAND, CA -- Five suspected members of an East Oakland gang believed responsible for shootings, robberies and other violent crimes were arrested Thursday morning during raids across the East Bay.

Other suspected members of the Money Team gang were still being sought, police said.

The 10 search warrant raids were conducted because the suspects failed to abide by terms laid down by Operation Ceasefire, Oakland interim Chief Sean Whent's main crime-fighting strategy.

Under Ceasefire, known violent criminal offenders or representatives of the gangs and groups they belong to are told by police that unless they stop the violence and change their lifestyles, they will be arrested.

Money Team members are believed responsible for numerous killings, shootings, armed robberies and residential home-invasion robberies, police said. They have been involved in a bloody feud since last year with another East Oakland gang known as Case Boys, many of whose members were rounded up in a similar operation in March.

Another One!

Posted: August 21, 2013, 7:01 PM - Updated: August 21, 2013, 11:32 PM PDT

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LITHONIA, Ga. -- Michael Brandon Hill (pictured above, center) the suspect in Tuesday's Atlanta-area school shooting took a photo of himself with an AK 47-style rifle. Police said he then packed up nearly 500 rounds of ammunition — enough to shoot more than half the school's students — and proceeded to the school. "We have to make a reasonable assumption he was there to do harm to someone," said DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric L. Alexander. No one was injured Tuesday, but the suspect exchanged gunfire with police who surrounded Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur. The school's 870 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade were evacuated.

Police said Hill, 20, got the gun from an acquaintance, but it's not clear if he stole it or had permission to take it. Investigators said Hill may not have gone into the school with the idea of killing students, media sources reported from Decatur, Ga. They said that Hill had another motive, but what that was, police won't say.

On Wednesday, media sources obtained a police report showing Hill was arrested earlier this year for allegedly threatening on Facebook to shoot his older brother in the head "and not think twice about it." The Henry County police report shows that Hill's older brother, Timothy Hill, told police last New Year's Eve that threats Michael made a day earlier made Timothy "fear for his life." Timothy Hill told police that he knew his younger brother had "mental issues" and was under a doctor's care but that he didn't know where Michael was living at the time. "Mr. Hill advised his brother stated on Facebook that he would shoot him in the head and not think twice about it," a police officer wrote in the report. More than two months later, in March, Michael Hill turned himself in on the outstanding warrant for making "terroristic threats."

Hill's brother told media sources the suspect is bipolar and schizophrenic and has tried to kill himself several times. In June 2009, he admitted to setting his parents' house on fire.

In a 911 tape that was released Wednesday, emergency dispatchers were told during the standoff that Hill was off his medication and that he thought he should have gone to a mental hospital instead of a school. Hill held two staff members in the front office captive for a time, the police chief said, making one of them call a local TV station. The gunman demanded that police pull back. Hill can be heard on the call giving orders to police through his hostage. "Tell them stand ..," Hill told Tuff, before she told the emergency dispatcher: "Tell them to stand down now. 'Tell them to stand down now,' he said." McNair school bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff spoke for the 20-year-old Hill. She told dispatchers that Hill said he had nothing to live for and wanted police to call the DeKalb County probation office. "He doesn't want the kids," said Tuff. "He wants the police. So back off, and, um, and what else, sir? He said he don't care if he die. He don't have nothin' to live for. And he said he's not mentally stable."

"I just want you to know that I love you, though, OK?" Tuff was heard telling Hill on the 911 recording. "And I'm proud of you. That's a good thing that you just given up and don't worry about it. We all go through something in life."

At some point, he fired into the floor of the school office. As officers swarmed the campus outside, he shot at them at least a half a dozen times with an assault rifle from inside the school and they returned fire, police said. Police came into the school office, and Hill surrendered.

Meanwhile, a woman whose family once took Hill in said Wednesday that he was mentally ill but never violent in the past. Natasha Knotts told media sources that Hill lived with her and her husband for a time when he was in his late teens. She said she served as a mother figure for Hill in after he started coming to the small church where she and her husband are pastors. Knotts said Hill called her sister Tuesday afternoon before the shooting and said he had a rifle but didn't say what he was planning to do. She said she believes that Hill acted out as a plea for help. "This is something that's totally out of his character. This is not him. This is not the Mike that I know. For anyone that knew Mike, this was a total devastation," she said in an interview at her home in Lithonia. Knotts said she thinks of herself as the 20-year-old Hill's adoptive mother. Hill told her that his birth mother was dead and that he didn't know his father. He also has a brother.

Police questioned him for hours at headquarters, but declined Wednesday to discuss what he said. DeKalb County Police Detective Ray Davis said a court date could take place in the coming days. Davis said Hill's motive was unclear but he'd had contact with the school office before. Hill had an address listed in court records about three miles from the school in Decatur, but no clear ties to the school.

Hill is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Posted: August 20, 2013, 9:22 PM - Updated: August 20, 2013, 4:38 AM pdt

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DECATUR, Ga. -- Just a week into the new school year, more than 800 students in pre-kindergarten to fifth grade were evacuated from Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, a few miles east of Atlanta. A man, identified later as 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill, armed with an assault rifle and other weapons exchanged gunfire with officers Tuesday at the Atlanta-area elementary school before surrendering, a police chief said. No one was injured. Dramatic overhead television footage captured the young students racing out of the building, being escorted by teachers and police to safety. They sat outside along a fence in a field for a time until school buses came to take them to their waiting parents and other relatives at a nearby Wal-Mart. When the first bus arrived about three hours after the shooting, cheers erupted in the store parking lot from relieved relatives, several of them sobbing.

Though the school has a system where visitors must be buzzed in by staff, the gunman may have slipped inside behind someone authorized to be there, Alexander said. The suspect, who had no clear ties to the school, never got past the front office, where he held one or two employees captive for a time, the chief said. A woman in the office called media sources to say the gunman asked her to contact the Atlanta station and police. Media sources said during the call, shots were heard in the background. An Assignment editor said she spoke with the woman who said she was alone with the man and his gun was visible.

The suspect, Hill, fired at least a half-dozen shots from the rifle from inside McNair at officers who were swarming the campus outside, the chief said. Officers returned fire when the man was alone and they had a clear shot, DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric L. Alexander said at a news conference. They observed the shooter firing into the air, he then went inside the building to the school office where he saw the deputies and apparently immediately dropped his weapon and got on the ground. Hill surrendered shortly after and several weapons were found, though it wasn't clear how many, Alexander said.

"It didn't take long to know that this woman was serious," the editor said. "Shots were one of the last things I heard. I was so worried for her." School clerk Antoinette Tuff in a television interview said she worked to convince the gunman to put down his weapons and ammunition. "He told me he was sorry for what he was doing. He was willing to die," Tuff told media sources. She told him her life story, about how her marriage fell apart after 33 years and the "roller coaster" of opening her own business. "I told him, `OK, we all have situations in our lives," she said. "It was going to be OK. If I could recover, he could, too." Then Tuff said she asked the suspect to put his weapons down, empty his pockets and backpack on the floor. "I told the police he was giving himself up. I just talked him through it," she said.

DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond praised faculty and authorities who got the young students to safety, staying calm and following plans in place. All teachers and students made it out of the school unharmed. "It's a blessed day, all of our children are safe," Thurmond said at the news conference. "This was a highly professional response on the ground by DeKalb County employees assisted by law enforcement."

School volunteer Debra Hayes said she encountered the suspect without knowing it. She stopped by the office at the end of her shift and saw a man talking to a secretary but she did not see a gun. "I heard him say, `I'm not here to harm any staff or any parents or students. He said he wanted to speak to a police officer."

"By the time I got to 2nd Avenue, I heard gunshots," she said.

Police had no motive for the shooting. An arrest report obtained by media sources late Tuesday found he was arrested on March 13, 2013 for making "terroristic threats." It was not clear Tuesday what those threats involved. Hill is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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L.A.P.D. Stephanie Lazarus'
Homicide Interrogation (Full)!

Description: Los Angeles -- Detective Stephanie Lazarus was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole for killing her ex-boyfriend's wife nearly three decades ago in a fit of rage and jealousy. Prosecutors said in a "statement of views" filed in court that "Lazarus misused her police training in the most profound way imaginable by utilizing that training and experience to commit murder and to cover up her crime. Lazarus betrayed the trust placed in her by the Los Angeles Police Department and by people of Los Angeles in order to pursue her own murderous ends."!

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