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Posted: December 7, 2013 - Updated: 8:24 PM PST, Sun. December 8, 2013
CHANDLER, Ariz. - A valley correctional officer found himself on the wrong side of the law. 30-year-old Adam Munoz was arrested this week, after an undercover sting. Chandler Police say Munoz was running the house of prostitution amid family homes. They say he was running a house of prostitution in an apartment complex that neighbors describe as family-friendly -- and they can't believe what they're hearing because authorities say the alleged ring leader is a Maricopa County probation officer.
"With my family living right below with two young children, that angers me quite a bit," said Merrell Hughes. "None whatsoever, I would never have guessed," said Keith Allen. "I only seen him a few times, just around.. I didn't know anything like that was going on.. it's crazy."
"Pretty sad in my opinion, especially if you're supposed to be conducting yourself professionally.. especially if you work with kids, there's no room for that, especially in that field, you're supposed to be helping people, not hurting them," said Hughes.
Chandler Police say the massage therapists would give Munoz a cut of their profits. "He would have one or two massage therapists, one or two girls there working for him and they would offer massage along with sex acts," said Sgt. Joe Favazzo.
According to court documents, two undercover officers posed as massage customers, arriving at this apartment, meeting with a woman in one of the bedrooms, then agreeing on a price for the extra service. During one session, an undercover officer says the female therapist "got naked" and "agreed to perform a sex act for $200." The woman was arrested, and confessed to working for Munoz. Police say during the undercover sting, Munoz would collect $50 from the women after each sex act. "This wasn't what we would consider a large scale operation in Chandler," said Favazzo.
Munoz now faces six counts of running a prostitution house, police say he also had a gun on him when he was arrested.
At this point, police have not released details about the women who worked for him, nor about how long the illegal massage business had been operating out of that apartment complex.
Posted: 6:57 PM EST, Wed November 20, 2013 - Updated: 11:24 PM PST, Fri. November 22, 2013
Colorado (WCJB) -- A Colorado judge in El Paso County ruled last week that Army Officer, Aaron Gregory Lucas, 32, will be allowed to name his twin brother, Brian Lucas, as a suspect in his defense for the sex crimes against girls that he's now accused of. The defendant, Aaron Lucas, is also a suspect in sex crimes in two other states, authorities say. The twin brother, who hasn't been charged in the any of the crimes, could not be reached by media sources for comment. The soldier's defense rests partly on the fact he and his identical twin brother have virtually the same DNA, an attempt to undercut authorities' allegations that the DNA from the crime scenes belongs to the soldier.
Aaron Lucas, a decorated Army officer assigned to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, is accused of trying to lure 11 girls between ages 6 and 9 and sexually assaulting three of them, authorities said. In all, Aaron Lucas faces 27 charges in six cases, officials said. Prosecutors want all the cases to be heard together, but defense attorneys do not. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday to address the prosecution's request. The 27 charges include two counts of second-degree kidnapping with a sex offense on a child; one count of kidnapping with enticement of a child; two counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child; four counts of attempted sexual assault on a child; one count of sexual assault on a child; and other charges. Aaron Lucas is also charged with being a fugitive from justice in cases in Alabama and Texas. Both of the Texas and Alabama cases "involve DNA evidence that the prosecution states matches the DNA of Aaron Lucas," defense attorneys said in court papers.
When Aaron Lucas was arrested last year, Colorado authorities took his DNA and ran the findings in a national law enforcement database, said police in Madison, Alabama, and Texarkana, Texas. His DNA matched samples found in unsolved sex crimes in those jurisdictions, police said. But Aaron Lucas offers a different interpretation of those findings. "Aaron Lucas has an identical twin brother, Brian Lucas, who has (a) similar DNA profile," Aaron Lucas' attorneys said in court documents. "Additionally, witness statements from the Alabama case describe a vehicle matching that of Brian Lucas being in the area of the attack prior to the assault. "The defense believes that Mr. Brian Lucas contributed the DNA in the Alabama and Texas cases and that it is his DNA that was found during those crimes, not Aaron Lucas's."
It's a mind-boggling surprise in whodunit mysteries and soap operas, but Aaron Lucas is using the defense for real in a criminal courtroom: his "evil twin" may be responsible for the sexual assaults. In addition to raising his twin brother as a suspect, Aaron Lucas also claims that a third man may be the culprit in some of the crimes, court papers say. The judge also allowed the defense attorneys to use the name of a third man as a suspect, too.
The so-called "evil twin" defense has been used before in courtrooms, experts say. Defendants with an identical twin have sometimes accused the sibling as the real culprit to try to create reasonable doubt and seek acquittal, but the finger-pointing isn't a sure-fire strategy, said a media legal analyst, who's also a criminal defense attorney. "No two of us have the same set of DNA -- with one exception and that is identical twins," the analyst said. "Cases like this are interesting," he added. "Each twin essentially has to come up with an alibi, and we're seeing that in this case and seeing it in other cases. It comes down to whose alibi is a little bit better. You can imagine the complexity if both twins are in the same geographic area at the same time of the crime."
In fact, both Lucas brothers lived in Alabama and Texas, where the other sexual assaults occurred, but authorities in Alabama, Texas and Colorado say Aaron Lucas is the focus of their investigations, Colorado prosecutors said. Brian Lucas has been to Colorado only once in the past decade and didn't visit El Paso County, according to media sources, citing a police detective's testimony last week. The Colorado crimes occurred in Fountain, Colorado Springs and unincorporated El Paso County from summer 2010 until late 2012, when Aaron Lucas was arrested, media sources reported last year. The Colorado crimes began at the same time that Aaron Lucas was first stationed at Fort Carson, the affiliate reported.
Aaron Lucas also argues that some of the Colorado Springs sex crimes may have been committed by a man who had been arrested for indecent exposure, defense attorneys said in court papers. That man, whose name is listed in court papers, also "bears a striking resemblance to the descriptions provided by several of the complaining witnesses (and) owned and drove vehicles matching the descriptions of the vehicles driven by the alleged perpetrator," the attorneys said.
Aaron Lucas's attorneys said it is unclear whether the twin brother will be compelled to appear during the trial, expected to begin in January.
Posted November 20, 2013 - 9:40am - Updated November 20, 2013 - 9:47pm PST
Gig is Up!
BONNE TERRE, Mo. — Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist who targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980, was put to death Wednesday in Missouri, the state’s first execution in nearly three years.
Franklin, 63, was executed at the state prison in Bonne Terre for killing Gerald Gordon in a sniper shooting at a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977. Franklin was convicted of seven other murders and claimed responsibility for up to 20, but the Missouri case was the only one that brought a death sentence.
Mike O’Connell, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections, said Franklin was pronounced dead at 6:17 a.m.
The execution began more than six hours later than intended, and it took just 10 minutes.
Franklin declined to make a final statement. Wearing black rimmed glasses with long hair tucked behind his ears, he swallowed hard as five grams of pentobarbital were administered. He breathed heavily a couple of times then simply stopped breathing.
Guards closed the curtains to the viewing area while medical personnel confirmed Franklin was dead.
“The cowardly and calculated shootings outside a St. Louis-area synagogue were part of Joseph Paul Franklin’s long record of murders and other acts of extreme violence across the country, fueled by religious and racial hate.” Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement read to reporters by George Lombardi, director of the Department of Corrections, after the execution.
Franklin’s lawyer had launched three separate appeals: One claiming his life should be spared because he was mentally ill; one claiming faulty jury instruction when he was given the death penalty; and one raising concerns about Missouri’s first-ever use of the single drug pentobarbital for the execution.
But his fate was sealed early Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal appeals court ruling that overturned two stays granted Tuesday evening by district court judges in Missouri.
The rulings lifting the stay were issued without comment.
Franklin, a paranoid schizophrenic, was in his mid-20s when he began drifting across the country. He bombed a synagogue in Chattanooga, Tenn., in July 1977. No one was hurt, but soon, the killings began.
He arrived in the St. Louis area in October 1977 and picked out the Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel synagogue from the Yellow Pages. He fired five shots at the parking lot in Richmond Heights after a bar mitzvah on Oct. 8, 1977. One struck and killed Gerald Gordon, a 42-year-old father of three.
Franklin got away. His killing spree continued another three years.
Several of his victims were interracial couples. He also shot and killed, among others, two black children in Cincinnati, three female hitchhikers and a white 15-year-old prostitute, with whom he was angry because the girl had sex with black men.
He finally stumbled after killing two young black men in Salt Lake City in August 1980. He was arrested a month later in Kentucky, briefly escaped, and was captured for good a month after that in Florida.
Franklin was convicted of eight murders: two in Madison, Wis., two in Cincinnati, two in Salt Lake City, one in Chattanooga, Tenn., and the one in St. Louis County. Years later, in federal prison, Franklin admitted to several crimes, including the St. Louis County killing. He was sentenced to death in 1997.
He also admitted to shooting and wounding civil rights leader Vernon Jordan and Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, who has been paralyzed from the waist down since the attack in 1978.
In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday, Franklin insisted he no longer hates blacks or Jews. While he was held at St. Louis County Jail, he said he interacted with blacks at the jail, “and I saw they were people just like us.”
He has made similar statements to other media but has denied repeated interview requests from The Associated Press. Franklin’s attorney Jennifer Herndon said his reasoning exemplified his mental illness: He told her the digits of the AP’s St. Louis office phone number added up to what he called an “unlucky number,” so he refused to call it.
Posted: Nov 19, 2013 2:23 PM PST Updated: Nov 20, 2013 12:47 AM PST
Victorville, CA -- The FBI is investigating the killing last week of an Aryan Brotherhood leader David Snow, 53, from Ohio. Snow was killed inside a high-security federal prison in Victorville last week, officials said. Snow was pronounced dead at the scene last Wednesday. An autopsy on Snow's body was scheduled to be performed Tuesday. Snow had served as president of the Aryan Brotherhood in Ohio, media sources reported. He was convicted of possessing 50 tablets of oxycodone and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Snow was sentenced to 180 months and was scheduled to be released Sept. 24, 2018.
According to Snow’s 2005 federal indictment filed in Ohio, he had also been convicted of robbery in 1979 and aggravated assault in 1988. Had Snow been released, he would have been prohibited from associating with other Aryan Brotherhood members, according to his plea agreement.
Since his death at the Victorville Federal Correctional Complex, inmates’ movements have been restricted and relatives have been prohibited from visiting. “It is typical for institutions to restrict inmate movement while a serious incident is investigated,” said Chris Burke, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Snow’s death is at least the third in recent months. On Thursday, a convicted murderer was found dead of an apparent suicide in his cell. On Oct. 1, Javier Sandez, 38, was killed in an inmate assault. He was serving 120 months for drug charges.
Posted: Nov 18, 2013 2:23 PM PST Updated: Nov 19, 2013 11:47 PM PST
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Three Roman Catholic priests were forced out of Rhode Island parishes in the last year and a half. All of them were credibly accused of sexually abusing children. In each case, a letter detailing allegations of sexual abuse was sent to Rhode Island State Police by the Diocese of Providence. The diocese began the practice around 2003, although there's no legal mandate requiring the letters.
Media sources wondered, how many other letters are out there and what exactly did the documents say? To find out, our sources began a series of public records requests over a six-month period, asking state police to search its files. The source found 88 pages detailing sexual abuse by Rhode Island priests, going back more than 30 years. A total of 45 letters were sent to state police between 2003 and 2013.
The documents were heavily redacted by state police. The names of priests were blacked out, even those people who are already dead. Dates and locations were blacked out. The names of the churches were blacked out too. However, what remained in the letters were allegations from victims, including children, forced to have oral sex with priests. Others said they were repeatedly raped. Some of the victims said no one would believe them if they reported the assaults.
"The letters themselves only tell us the tip of the iceberg. And it's an ugly iceberg," said Helen McGonigle. McGonigle grew up in East Greenwich where she said she was sexually abused over a four-year period at Our Lady of Mercy by a priest visiting Rhode Island from Ireland. The priest was the Rev. Brendan Smyth. Smyth died in prison in Ireland in 1997 after being convicted on more than 140 counts of child molestation. But from 1965 to 1969, he spent part of each year in East Greenwich, working directly with children in Rhode Island as a priest, coach and scout leader.
"In my parish I know of at least a dozen victims of Father Brendan Smyth," McGonigle said. McGonigle said she reported her abuse to the church in 2006, just after her sister, who she says was also abused by Smyth, committed suicide. McGonigle said she was interviewed by two diocesan officials for more than an hour. But when she read the letters uncovered by media sources, she found no record of her case being reported to state police. McGonigle said she was frustrated and angry. "I can't understand the logic in how they've selectively reported certain accused priests," she said. Our sources asked Bishop Thomas Tobin for an interview to explain the letter writing policy, but a representative said Tobin wasn't available.
McGonigle filed a lawsuit against the diocese in 2008 joined by her childhood neighbor Jeffrey Thomas. Their case is working its way through the court system as they fight the state's three-year statute of limitations and seek financial damages. "It's not about money. It's about exposing the truth, which is vitally important to me and really should be important to the diocese," McGonigle said.
"The letters were heavily redacted. Effort was made so that you couldn't even understand what year it took place, or what parish it took place in or what town," said Anne Barrett Doyle. Barrett Doyle heads Bishop Accountability, a watchdog group that collects and publishes documents about priest sexual abuse. She worries some of the priests described in the letters could still be working in Rhode Island churches. "Even if the statute of limitations has expired on some of these alleged crimes, the diocese is under a moral imperative to remove priests suspected of misconduct from the ministry," Barrett Doyle said.
The diocese said in a statement it has been and continues to be very aggressive in responding to allegations of sexual abuse of minors, while respecting the rights of all involved parties. In the statement to media sources, the diocese said, "there are no priests currently in ministry of any sort in the Diocese of Providence who have had credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors lodged against them."
State police told media sources that none of the priests in the 45 letters was prosecuted, in some cases because they were dead or because the statute of limitations ran out or because there wasn't enough evidence. State police declined to release further details.
Posted: Nov 18, 2013 2:23 PM PST Updated: Nov 19, 2013 4:14 PM PST
CRANSTON, R.I. - An East Providence police officer's son has been charged in connection with the theft of his father's service gun, sources allege. Chief Joseph Taveras of the East Providence Police Department said the officer's son was charged over the weekend and is expected to be arraigned in Family Court on Tuesday. Taveras said the gun has not been recovered. Taveras said the gun was stolen from the officer's home while he was off duty. The officer reported it missing Wednesday.
On Friday, members of the Cranston Police Department and the Rhode Island State Police were asked by East Providence police to search a home on Denver Avenue in Cranston in connection with the case. Police arrested 18-year-old Michael Machado on a fugitive from justice charge. Machado was wanted in connection with a breaking-and-entering case in Rehoboth. Media sources reports that police questioned Machado about the gun reported missing, but sources say he wasn't cooperating with detectives. Machado is currently being held at the ACI on the fugitive charge. He has not been charged with the theft of the missing gun.
Published: Monday, November 18, 2013, 2:07 AM PST - Updated: Monday, November 18, 2013, 9:07 PM PST
Florida -- George Zimmerman, 30, was arrested today after a "domestic disturbance" with his girlfriend. Zimmerman's girlfriend, who the Seminole County Sheriff's Office identified as Samantha Scheibe, told a 911 dispatcher that the incident began when the former neighborhood watch captain grew upset during an argument and brandished a weapon at her. He now faces a felony charge of aggravated assault and the lesser charges of battery domestic violence and criminal mischief. Monday's incident is Zimmerman's latest run in with the law since his acquittal in Martin's death. In September, he was released after being arrested without charges after his wife called 911 to say Zimmerman punched his father-in-law in the nose and threatened to shoot him and his wife. Zimmerman claimed that he was acting in a "defensive manner" during the incident, according to police, who later added that they never found a gun on Zimmerman. He has also been pulled over for speeding, once in July and once in September. During the July incident, he alerted the officer that he had a gun in his glove compartment. Zimmerman is now in a Florida prison cell awaiting his first appearance before a judge Tuesday in the same courthouse where he was acquitted this summer of murdering Trayvon Martin.
On Monday, police received a call from Scheibe claiming, "He's in my house, breaking all my s--- because I asked him to leave," Scheibe told the dispatcher. "He's got a freaking gun breaking all my stuff right now." Scheibe said Zimmerman then pushed her out the home that they have shared ever since Zimmerman became estranged with his wife and locked her out.
Authorities said when they arrived Scheibe gave them keys to the home, and that they had to push through obstacles by the door to get in. "When we arrived, the victim indicated that she and George Zimmerman were having a verbal dispute and at that time she alleged that he had broken a table and pointed a long-barrel shotgun at her," Seminole County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference. Zimmerman appeared hesitant to speak with officers who were trying to get in the home.
However, Zimmerman tells a different tale. "I never pulled a firearm. I never displayed it. When I was packing it I'm sure she saw it. I keep it next to the bed," Zimmerman said. He said he agreed to leave the house to diffuse a tense conversation, and at first she agreed but then became upset. "When she changed, she just started smashing stuff. Taking stuff that belonged to me. Throwing it outside. Throwing it out of her room. Throwing it all over the house. She broke a glass table," said Zimmerman.
In Zimmerman's 911 call he says his "pregnant" girlfriend instigated the altercation and that no guns were used. Police later noted that his girlfriend was not pregnant. He told police in a separate 911 call that she instigated the incident. "My girlfriend has ... for lack of a better word, gone crazy on me," said Zimmerman while police knocked on the door trying to speak with him. "The police is already there and so why are you calling? What happened?" the dispatcher asked. Zimmerman replied, "I just want everyone to know the truth."
Dispatcher: Is she still outside with the officers now? Zimmerman: I don't know ma'am. I'm inside. Dispatcher: You're inside? And you're still not willing to go out and speak with the officers? Zimmerman: I can talk to one of the officers. But I don't want to go outside. Zimmerman asked to speak with an officer on the phone. He was unarmed when police got to him and "rather passive," Lemma said. He offered no resistance and was taken into custody. He is being held without bond and if a judge decides to let him go free, authorities have requested that he once again be outfitted with an electronic monitoring device. Zimmerman has a concealed carry permit in Florida that was re-instated after the trial, making him legally entitled to transport and possess a weapon in most states. Police have requested a search warrant of his home and have not yet recovered the weapon or weapons.
On July 18, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of a family who became trapped inside their Ford Explorer after it rolled over on the side of the highway. By the time police arrived, two people -- including Zimmerman -- helped the family get out of the overturned car, according to the sheriff's office.
Zimmerman became a controversial figure when he shot and killed unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin. He was acquitted of second-degree murder in July. Zimmerman conceded he shot and killed Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012, but maintained he fired in self-defense. His acquittal caused widespread anger. Though Zimmerman's defense did not invoke the "stand your ground" law, the case sparked a national debate about race and "stand your ground" laws, which exist in at least 22 states. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, testified on Capitol Hill in October that "stand your ground" laws must be reviewed and amended.
A spokesman for lawyer Mark O'Mara, who represented Zimmerman in the murder trial, noted that O'Mara "is not representing George Zimmerman in today's matter or any new matters, and as such it is not appropriate for him to make any comments."
Published: Sunday, November 17, 2013, 3:14 PM - Updated: Monday, November 18, 2013, 2:07 AM PST
“That nigga dead!”-- Statement by the man filming the video, which shows Sgt. Mohammed Dean lying unconscious in the street as a man believed to be Hayden Holder punches him repeatedly and smacks his head on the pavement
Ozone Park, Queens -- Sgt. Mohammed Dean was assaulted outside a restaurant in Ozone Park, Queens, a witness told police. The off-duty NYPD sergeant was viciously beaten early Sunday while his wife watched helplessly from their car, police and witnesses said. A graphic cell phone video appears to show Deen taking a brutal thumping from Hayden Holder, 29, who was charged with felony assault in the 5 a.m. attack. The fight outside St. John’s Express restaurant and bar on Liberty Ave. in Ozone Park left Sgt. Mohammed Deen, 40, in a medically induced coma Sunday night, cops said. The attacker also tried to smash car windows where Deen's wife was cowering. Hayden Holder, 29, was arrested about a block away and charged with felony assault.
“That n---- dead,” said the man filming the video, which shows Deen lying unconscious (pictured above, center) in the street as a man believed to be Holder punches him repeatedly and smacks his head on the pavement. The video clip, posted on Facebook, also shows the attacker attempting to punch out the windows of Deen’s BMW sedan after the initial assault while Deen’s wife cowered inside. Failing to do so, Holder then returns to his unconscious victim - who is lying motionless of the ground - before continuing to punch and kick his body. Holder, from Jamaica, attempted to flee the scene, but was later arrested and charged with felony assault.
It was unclear what sparked the row - however, Facebook users have speculated that Sgt Deen accidentally bumped into Holder. 'This was a vicious, savage beating,’ said a shocked police officer who was called to the scene. Dean was taken to Jamaica Hospital and has now been placed in a medically induced coma, according to sources. Holder was taken to the police station in a hospital gown after being treated for injuries to his hand. Holder has been remanded in custody.
Sgt Deen, who is currently assigned to the 32nd Precinct in Harlem, is believed to have argued with the thug at Maracus nightclub, about a mile away, earlier in the night.
Published: Friday, November 15, 2013, 11:27 PM MST - Updated: Sunday, November 17, 2013, 03:04 PM PST
71 mphr/55 mph zone!
TAOS, N.M. (WCJB) - It all started Oct. 28 on a state highway south of Taos, New Mexico. A State Police officer pulled over Oriana Ferrell's minivan for going 71 mphr in a 55 mph zone. In the minivan with her were her five kids. The News reports the children range in age from 6 to 18. This seemngly simple traffic stop quickly turned into a wild scene. A 14-year-old rushing a state cop, a high-speed chase and another officer firing at a fleeing minivan full of kids. The driver, Oriana Ferrell and her son are facing charges while New Mexico State Police are investigating the officers involved.
On the police dash cam video released to media sources you can see Ferrell and the officer argue after Ferrell couldn't decide whether to pay the $126 fine or contest it in court. The officer instructs her to turn her vehicle off and stay put before walking back to his car. However,Ferrell drives off instead and the officer has to pull her over again. He doesn't appear happy as he approaches the driver's side door of the minivan. The officer yells for Ferrell to get out several times before reaching into the minivan to try and pull her out.
In the dash cam video, you can hear her children yelling for the officer to leave their mom alone and get off of her. At one point Ferrell's 14-year-old son gets out of the minivan and starts walking towards the officer, but the boy thinks better of it after the officer draws his Taser and points it at the boy. He gets back in the van while the officer continues his struggle to get Ferrell out of the minivan.
"Look, I'm going to ask you one more time to get out of the vehicle and then I'm going to pull you out, OK?" the officer said. "You're already facing evading charges. You ran away from me."
"Sir, I pulled back over, I didn't run away," Ferrell responded. "You see my children. I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm just trying to take them to the Rio Grande." Finally, Ferrell agrees to get out and talk with the officer behind the minivan. The conversation doesn't last long. When the officer tells her to turn around, Ferrell bolts back towards her minivan. The officer grabs her and a struggle ensues. Ferrell's 14-year-old son gets out of the car again and rushes the officer. The boy and the cop have a short tussle. The officer draws his Taser again while the boy runs back into the minivan and closes the door.
As backup officers pull up, the officer pulls out his baton and smashes one of the rear windows as the family screams again. The minivan speeds off while another officer fires what appears to be three shots at the fleeing vehicle. Ferrell leads State Police on a high-speed chase into Taos. She gives herself up in front of a hotel. Ferrell and her 14-year-old son are both arrested.
The mother gets child abuse and fleeing charges as well as a misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia. The News reports that State Police claim they found two marijuana pipes in the minivan. Her son is charged with battery of an officer. State Police are not releasing the names of the officers involved but say they are both under investigation for the incident.
The family is reportedly from Memphis and was visiting New Mexico on an educational trip.
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 11:52 AM EST - Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2013, 12:52 AM PST
New York -- High-ranking Mafioso Joel (Joe Waverly) Cacace, the reputed consigliere of the Colombo crime family, allegedly ordered the murder of NYPD Police Officer Ralph Dols because the victim had "dared" to marry the gangster's ex-wife, according to federal prosecutors. Cacace was the reputed consigliere of the Colombo crime family when he put out a contract on the doomed cop, said Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Sam Nitze. "The defendant use the Mafia's twisted code to take the life of a 28-year-old police officer," Nitze said in his opening statement of Cacace's murder trial. He looks like an aging hippie, but federal prosecutors say Joel (Joe Waverly) Cacace is a lethal gangster who has repeatedly broken the cardinal rule of gangland: Don’t murder a prosecutor or a cop.
The 72-year-old pony-tailed mobster sipped from a cup of water as the prosecutor explained how Cacace allegedly gave the order to a hit team to whack Dols on Aug. 25, 1997 outside the Sheepshead Bay apartment building where he lived with wife Kim Kennaugh and their infant daughter. Colombo snitches Dino Calabro and Joseph Competiello testified at the earlier trial that they were not told in advance of Dols' murder that he was a cop. Calabro testified that he wanted to whack Cacace for fooling them.
Prosecutors won a small legal victory when Federal Judge Brian Cogan ruled that jurors will be able see a photograph of Kennaugh (pictured above, center) she was not called as a witness and her image barred from the evidence at last year's trial of former Colombo soldier Thomas Gioeli and associate Dino Saracino who were cleared of Dols' slaying.
A Defense lawyer for Cacace called the government's case a "fable" and claimed there is no evidence to support the jealousy motive. "Fifty percent of American marriages end in divorce…so everybody who remarries doesn't run the risk of being killed by a husband even if he is in the Mafia," the lawyer told the jury. The attorney said her client had no contact with Kennaugh after they divorced. "They each moved on," the lawyer said.
While Kim Kennaugh Dols is not being called as a witness at the trial of Cacace, but the feds are seeking to admit a stunning omission into evidence. The widow denied that she was previously married to the high-ranking Colombo gangster the day after her husband’s murder, prosecutors say. She had married Police Officer Ralph Dols in Las Vegas in 1995 — he was her fourth husband — one year after she divorced Cacace, who was the crime family’s consigliere. Ralph was fatally shot by two Colombo hit men outside his Sheepshead Bay apartment building on Aug. 25, 1997. The gunmen testified that they were carrying out Cacace’s orders to kill Dols but were not told why or that he was a cop. Investigators questioned Kennaugh Dols the next day and asked her about two previous husbands — Colombo gangster Thomas Capelli, whom she married as a teen, and Enrico Carini, who was slain in 1987.
“Her omission indicates that at the very least she knew (Cacace) was jealous of Dols and was capable of murdering him,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Gatta, Allon Lifshitz and Sam Nitze wrote. Prosecutors filed court papers Friday referring to the police statement: “ ‘Questioned about living with or being married to any other men . . . she denied she had and never mentioned the name Joel Cacace.’” Kennaugh Dols has since remarried and could not be reached for comment.
Cacace wore a pullover V-neck sweater in court and walked with a cane. He revealed the possible causes of his many health problems in frank, off-the-cuff comments to an NYPD sergeant. "I'm tired of being told every day that I'm going to be assassinated. It takes its toll on you," he said, according to court papers. "I've been eating like an animal," he said. "I almost got everything in except for a lobster. I wanted to eat a lobster before I went in," Cacace said.
Cacace is halfway through serving a 20-year-sentence for orchestrating the bungled 1987 hit on the former mob prosecutor William Aronwald, killing the intended victim's elderly father by mistake. That murderous order came from jailed Colombo boss Carmine (The Snake) Persico who believed Aronwald had prosecuted mobsters in a disrespectful way. Aronwald, who waited 17 years to get justice for his father, said the idea that a conviction brings closure is an illusion. "You can't undo what has been done, but there's a relief that the why and how and by whom has been answered," Aronwald said.
Dols' mother and sister, accompanied by a uniformed police officer from Dols's former command in Brooklyn, listened stoically to the opening arguments. The trial is expected to go to the jury this week in Brooklyn Federal Court.
PUBLISHED: 03:50 EST, 15 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:35 PST, 18 November 2013
Los Angeles, CA -- Mark Berndt (pictured above, center) a former Los Angeles elementary school teacher charged with blindfolding students and spoon-feeding them cookies laced with his semen, has agreed to plead no contest to all charges, an attorney for some of the victims said Thursday. Berndt plans to enter the legal equivalent of guilty pleas to 23 charges at a hearing Friday, according to an attorney who represents 30 Miramonte Elementary School students and their parents. The attorney said he was notified of the plea by prosecutors. The plea agreement calls for Berndt to be sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The attorney called the agreement a victory for his clients and said they are grateful for being treated 'with decency and dignity' by prosecutors. 'He's going to jail essentially for the rest of his life,' he said of the 62-year-old Berndt. 'You can't ask for more than that.' He said prosecutors urged a plea deal because 'they were concerned about re-traumatizing the children at trial.' The district attorney's office and Berndt's lawyer declined to comment.
Before Berndt was sentenced, a parade of sobbing mothers denounced him, saying he had ruined their lives and the lives of their daughters. The women were not named in court. They said they could not understand how the school district did not know about the incidents. Some said their daughters could no longer eat cookies or anything sweet unless they knew their mothers had baked the items for them. They spoke of girls who had now become unable to socialize and locked themselves in their bedrooms. Berndt taught at the south Los Angeles school for more than 30 years. He was removed from the classroom in January 2011. Even though his defense attorney said his client was remorseful and apologetic, the 62-year-old man in an orange prison jumpsuit showed no emotion and stared straight ahead during the impact statements.
The allegations against him came to light when a drugstore photo technician noticed dozens of odd photos of blindfolded third-graders and reported them to authorities. Investigators said they discovered a plastic spoon in Berndt's classroom trash bin. Tests found traces of semen on it. According to prosecutors, Berndt used the semen-coated cookies for "tasting games" with students. Berndt was fired and the Los Angeles Unified School District then paid him $40,000 to drop his appeal, which officials said was the most immediate way to ensure he wouldn't be a threat to other children. The move still brought heavy criticism. The attorney for the students denounced the district for allowing Berndt to continue teaching after there had been complaints about him in the 1990s. 'For all intents and purposes , this man murdered these children emotionally,' he said, noting all of the children are in therapy. He said some have developed severe eating disorders as a result of the abuse with cookies.
The Miramonte case led to a wide-ranging overhaul of how the nation's second-largest school district handles allegations of sexual abuse after it was revealed that previous complaints about Berndt's behavior were ignored. It also showed how slowly state officials act to censure teachers and led to a flurry of allegations of teacher-student sex abuse in the district and in other school systems.
Shortly after Berndt's arrest, the school district temporarily removed all 76 of the school's teachers, along with staff and administrators, putting them on leave and having them report to an empty high school nearby. Six months later, when the new school year began, 43 of them returned to a restructured Miramonte with a new principal. The rest either retired or went to new schools. None was accused of any wrongdoing.
Dozens of lawsuits and claims were filed on behalf of victims. Sean Rossall, a district spokesman, said 63 cases have been settled for a total of $29.5million, and 71 are pending. He said the district has not seen the plea agreement and won't comment until it's approved by a judge. 'We're focused on the civil cases and settling them in a manner that is respectful of the health and educational needs of students and their families,' he said.
Another Miramonte teacher, Martin Springer, is charged with lewd acts on a child in a case involving a second-grader that authorities said was fondled in class in 2009. Springer is awaiting trial.
Posted: 6:11 pm, August 16, 2013
Des Moines, Iowa -- The wife of a former Des Moines police officer, Bobbi Jo Wojewoda, 46, has been sent to prison. A federal judge sentenced Wojewoda to 18-months behind bars for conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Wojewoda admitted she used her position as an appraiser to inflate home values to help her and others qualify for mortgages. She also failed to disclose conflicts of interest to the mortgage lender when she appraised her own home. The sentence includes 60-months supervised release following the completion of her prison term. Her husband and former police officer Wade Wojewoda pled guilty to receiving loans knowing they had been obtained under false pretenses. He’s currently serving three years probation.
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épisode 2 saison 1
épisode 2 saison 1
Description: HBO -- Generation Kill est une mini série télévisée américano-britannique produite pour HBO, basé sur le livre du même nom par Evan Wright au sujet de son expérience en tant que journaliste embarqué avec l'US Marine Corps' - épisode 2 saison 1: Sous les ordres de considérer toute irakiens portant un hostile d'armes, bravo bustes nord vers Nasiriyah. Ronge son frein tandis que d'autres mènent la lutte, le peloton obtient finalement «éclairée» dans une escarmouche violente mais réussi à Al Gharraf..