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Posted: Nov 16, 2016 06:27 PM MST ~ Updated: Nov 25, 2016 07:16 PM PDT
EL CENTRO, CA -- The El Centro Police Department claims it is investigating a video that shows officers using force on a suspect. Police claim Elizardo Saenz, 23, of El Centro, put several people in danger Tuesday afternoon. The video shows officers beating Saenz. It also shows a K-9 police dog attacking Saenz. ECPD said they are aware of the video that has been circulating social media. Officers said they take this matter seriously and a thorough investigation will be conducted.
ECPD said the incident stems from a call they received at 9:33 a.m. Officers responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in the 1200 Block of N. 18th St. The vehicle was described as a black Volkswagen. Officers responded but were not able to find the vehicle. Officers said they responded to the area of 1700 Scott Ave. at 3:37 p.m. A family member located the stolen Volkswagen being driven in the area.
Officers located the vehicle in the area. They confirmed it was in fact reported stolen. They attempted to make a traffic stop. Officers said the driver of the vehicle failed to stop and a vehicle pursuit ensued. Police say the driver put several people in danger during the pursuit. ECPD said during the pursuit the driver drove through crowded parking lots at unsafe speeds before driving against traffic. The driver caused several vehicles to pull off the road to avoid being struck.
Officers followed the driver in the stolen vehicle as he drove west on Scott Avenue and onto a frontage road near 1002 North Imperial Avenue. Police said the driver again drove into oncoming lanes and struck a parked vehicle causing the stolen vehicle he was driving to hit the curb. The vehicle came to a stop on the sidewalk, where it was disabled. Police said the driver then exited the vehicle and ran west to the back side of a local business as officers chased him. Officers found the driver and said he was physically combative. He was ultimately taken into custody.
The driver was later identified as Saenz. Police said Saenz was provided medical treatment on scene for a dog bite and cleared for booking by hospital staff. Saenz was transported and booked at the Imperial County Jail. Saenz is being charged with felony possession of stolen property, felony evading with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, misdemeanor hit and run and misdemeanor resisting arrest.
Posted: 6:51 PM EDT May 13, 2016 ~ Updated: 6:51 PM EDT May 13, 2016
ZANESVILLE, Ohio — A jury issued a quick verdict finding 21-year-old Emile Weaver guilty of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. The former college student stood accused of giving birth in a sorority house bathroom. She then killed her baby girl by disposing of her in a trash bag.
Weaver pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. However, a judge ruled that she was mentally competent. Weaver testified Friday that she had been in denial about the pregnancy and thought the baby was already dead when she discarded the trash bag. Weaver was found guilty of murder on Friday.
Prosecutors argued that Weaver purposefully caused the death of her newborn daughter. Prosecutors alleged she intentionally committed murder after giving birth in a bathroom at the Delta Gamma Theta sorority. They said the baby girl died from asphyxiation after Weaver put her in a plastic trash bag and left it outside the sorority house. Weaver texted the man she thought was the father hours after disposing of the baby. She texted "no more baby" and the situation had been "taken care of." She told him she had gone into labor the night before but the baby died of complications. The sorority is located at Muskingum University on April 22, 2015.
Weaver will face life in prison when she's sentenced later.
Published On: June 21, 2016 10:21 AM ~ Updated On: June 21, 2016 1:55 PM PST
Little Rock, Arkansas (WCJB) -- The trial of a Garland County circuit judge charged in the hot-car death of his son has been moved to August. Judge Wade Naramore initially was scheduled to be tried this week on a misdemeanor charge of negligent homicide, but Special Judge John Langston canceled that trial date earlier this month at the request of state prosecutors who said they would not be ready. On Tuesday, Langston rescheduled the trial for Aug. 15-19. Langston also denied a motion by the defense for an order either dismissing the case or requiring the state to present more facts than it has already presented to support the charge. He scheduled a pre-trial hearing for July 29. Prosecutors say that on July 24 Naramore forgot to drop off his 17-month-old son, Thomas, at daycare and left him in a hot car in Hot Springs for several hours, which resulted in the boy's death. If convicted, Naramore could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined up to $2,500. The Arkansas Supreme Court has ordered Naramore suspended with pay until all criminal and disciplinary proceedings against him are resolved.
Published On: Saturday, March 26, 2016 10:21PM ~ Updated On: Thursday, March 31, 2016 1:55PM
FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WCJB) -- A Fort Bragg soldier is in custody, charged in the brutal death of her 2-year-old child.
That soldier, Jeanie Kassandra Ditty, is locked up in the Cumberland County Detention Center.
Ditty, 23, was arrested Thursday evening. She is charged with first degree murder and negligent child abuse in the death of her daughter, Macy Ditty.
Her boyfriend, Zachary Earl Keefer, was arrested Saturday and also charged with first degree murder and negligent child abuse inflicing serious bodily injury. Police say he turned himself in and was processed at the Cumberland County Detention Center under no bond.
On Dec. 2, the child was rushed to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where ER doctors said the toddler arrived covered with bruises and "life threatening injuries."
"Once they determined that the child had severe injuries, they moved the child to UNC-Chapel Hill hospitals," said Lt. David McLaurin of the Fayetteville Police Department. "And they discovered the injuries were very serious. The child died a couple of days later (Dec. 4)."
Police issued arrest warrants for Jeanie Ditty and Zachary Keefer, 32, earlier this week after the state medical examiner ruled the child's death a homicide.
Keefer is not the father of the dead child.
Jeanie Ditty is being held with no bond.
Published On: Saturday, March 26, 2016 10:21PM ~ Updated On: Thursday, March 31, 2016 1:55PM
Owen County, Indiana ~ United States -- Man Charged With Murder, Rape in Connection to Toddler's Death. Kyle Parker, 22, has been charged with murder, kidnapping and several other offenses in the death of 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman. Court documents paint a disturbing picture of the death of 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman. Kyle Parker appeared in court Monday in the case. Charges against him include rape, murder, child molesting, strangulation, and aggravated assault. According to court documents, Parker tried to pin the girl's death on someone else and used bleach in an effort to destroy DNA evidence.
Published On: January 15, 2015 1:04 pm est ~ Updated On: January 18, 2015 12:48 pm pst
BAY MINETTE, Ala. – A judge has sentenced an Alabama woman to 219 years in prison for her role in an incestuous sex ring accused of molesting children for years.
Wendy Holland showed no emotion as the judge sentenced her to what amounts to a life sentence on Thursday. Jurors convicted the 35-year-old woman of sodomy, sexual abuse and other charges last month.
Another defendant, William Brownlee, got a 20-year prison sentence.
Authorities say the two were part of a group of relatives and friends who sexually abused multiple children in Baldwin and Mobile counties.
One of the alleged victims is Brittney Wood, who disappeared at age 19 in 2012 and is now presumed dead. Holland is the teen's aunt.
Published On: January 17, 2015 1:04 pm est ~ Updated On: January 17, 2015 3:48 pm pst
PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (WCJB) — Police responded to a Friday night call about a fire in the middle of a residential road in Pemberton Township, New Jersey. The township is about 30 miles east of Philadelphia. Officers found a baby in flames and put out the fire. Joel Bewley, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office said the child was alive and breathing at the time she was flown to a hospital in Philadelphia. She died about two hours later, he said in a news release. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
Dave Joseph, 45, of Pemberton Township told media sources that he saw a young woman get out of her car and light something on fire in the middle of Simontown Road. He said the woman told him she was burning dog waste. Joseph said the woman appeared calm and soon tried to flee the scene, but residents stopped her. "It was just mind-boggling," Joseph said. "It was a nightmare even if you have a strong heart."
Authorities say Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, put her newborn baby in the middle of a road and set the child on fire. Authorities believe Dorvilier doused her baby with an accelerant then set her on fire, Bewley said. They do not have a motive. The woman was taken into custody Friday night. Burlington County prosecutors said Dorvilier of Pemberton Township, New Jersey was charged Saturday with murder and jailed on $500,000 bail. It wasn't known if she has retained a lawyer.
Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said details of the baby's birth were still being investigated. The baby's age has not been disclosed. Bernardi would not comment on whether the mother has a criminal record. He would not say if she has been involved with child welfare officials.
Published On: December 17, 2014 2:04 pm ~ Updated On: 5:46 pm PST, Wednesday, December 22, 2014
Dallas, TX - Spencer Matthew Henderson, 23, of Dallas is accused of seriously wounding his infant daughter’s genitals during a diaper change. Dallas police officers responded to a possible child abuse report Dec. 8 at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. A 6-month-old girl had been taken to the hospital with wounds to her genitals, according to police records. Henderson’s girlfriend, who is also the baby’s mother, told police that she thought Henderson accidentally cut the infant with his long fingernail. The couple put the diaper on the infant, but she was still bleeding several hours later. That’s when they took her to a hospital, police records show.
During police interviews, Henderson said that he was rough with the baby while he was changing her diaper because he was having a bad day and had a lot on his mind, the warrant says. “I know I was being rough with her,” records show Henderson told detectives. He said that while he was trying to change the baby’s diaper, she was keeping her legs straight. He said that he aggressively pulled her legs apart and used a baby wipe to clean her “hard” and “fast.” He told police that he thinks he might have “ripped” her, the warrant says. He was arrested Tuesday and remains in the Dallas County Jail in lieu of $125,000. He has been charged with injury to a child.
Posted on: December 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM ~ Updated: Friday, Dec 14 at 6:42 AM PST
Los Angeles, CA -- The woman who survived an attack by serial killer Keith Jesperson accuses the television company, producer and scriptwriter of the "Happy Face Killer" movie of defaming her as a prostitute.
Daun Slagle was a 21-year-old mother of three on April 13, 1990, when Jesperson tried to force her to perform a sex act on him near Mount Shasta, California. When she refused, he attempted to choke and break her neck before she ran away and saved her life, according to court records.
Her attacker, who is now serving a life sentence at the Oregon State Penitentiary, killed at least eight women in a multi-state crime spree in the 1990s. Jesperson earned the Happy Face Killer sobriquet after taunting authorities with letters signed with smiley faces.
Slagle's depiction in the movie left her humiliated, according to her lawyers. She filed a lawsuit last month against A&E Television Networks LLC, Lifetime Entertainment Services LLC, scriptwriter Richard Christian Matheson and others of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invading her privacy.
"Despite having been portrayed (elsewhere) as the courageous victim and survivor of an attempted murder," Slagle's lawsuit alleges, "she was depicted in the 'Happy Face Killer' movie as a prostitute, a person who voluntarily orally copulated a serial killer, a mother who committed sex acts for pay in front of her infant child, an unfit mother and person who sought to extort money by threatening to file a false criminal rape complaint against Jesperson."
A&E Television, parent company of Lifetime Entertainment, has not yet answered the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles. A company spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment.
Slagle's movie character was named "Candy Smith," but her true identity in connection with Jesperson was well established in the public record, said her lawyer, Bryan Vereschagin. She appeared on "Oprah" in 2009 with Dr. Phil McGraw and Jesperson's daughter, Melissa Moore, who was promoting her book, "Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter."
"The likeness is there," Vereschagin said. "She's the only survivor. Do a Google search on 'Happy Face Killer survivor' and Daun Slagle comes up. ... This is taking a person who survived one of the most notorious serial killers in history and calling her a prostitute."
Slagle, a married mother of three at the time she was attacked by Jesperson, was never a prostitute, her lawsuit notes.
"Even Jesperson himself has never stated that plaintiff Slagle was a prostitute in any of the self-serving and twisted sociopathic explanations he has given for his brutal sexual assault and battery of (Slagle)," according to the suit.
Jesperson was a truck driver who launched a six-state killing spree in Oregon in January 1990. He later wrote a confession on the wall of a truck stop bathroom and drew a smiley face as a signature. A few years later, he began writing anonymous letters to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office and The Oregonian taking responsibility for his crimes. He signed his letters with smiley faces.
The "Happy Face Killer" movie, starring David Arquette as Jesperson and Jordana Largy as "Candy," was released on March 1, according to IMDb.
Posted: Dec 9, 2014, 7:16 AM ET ~ Updated: Dec 9, 2014, 8:54 PM PT
PHOENIX, AZ -- A Phoenix man is facing kidnapping and murder charges in connection with a body that was found wrapped in a blanket in an alley earlier this year.
Police arrested Christopher Paul Mason late Thursday morning. He made his initial court appearance early Friday morning. Bail was set at $1 million.
Investigators believe Mason killed Joshua C. Calkins, a known member of the Aryan Brotherhood, in April. Calkins' brutalized body was discovered April 16.
According to court paperwork, Calkins, 35, contacted police in November 2013, telling them he had been "green lit" by the group.
After Calkins' body was identified through fingerprints, police interviewed more than 20 people, which led them to Mason.
Investigators kept many details about the killing secret, releasing specific information only after Mason's arrest.
Among those details are the severity of Calkins' injuries. He not only had multiple lacerations on his body, neck and back, he also had been internally decapitated and his head nearly cut off.
This all goes back to when Calkins robbed a woman, referred to as "witness zero" in the probable cause statement, at gunpoint.
"Witness zero was interviewed and she admitted Joshua had robbed her and that Christopher Mason had bragged to her that he killed Joshua," reads the court paperwork.
"I got him 13 times with an ax," Mason, 31, reportedly told a different witness, according to the probable cause statement, and said in front of another that he "almost took this guy's [expletive deleted] head off."
One of the many interviewees told police that Mason said he got a "thrill" from watching Calkins die.
Based on witnesses' statements, police believe Mason murdered Calkins at a Glendale apartment and later asked another person to bring bleach, towels and gloves to that location. That person told police he did not know what had happened at the apartment until he got there.
Mason fled the Valley shortly after the murder, Sgt. Jonathan Howard of the Phoenix Police Department said in a statement.
Police recently learned that he returned and arrested him without incident.
While the content of what the witnesses told investigators is included in public documents, their identities and connections to Mason and Calkins are not.
"The witnesses are not listed by name for their protection," reads the probable cause statement.
The Aryan Brotherhood, also known as AB, is a white supremacist prison gang and organized crime syndicate that demands fierce loyalty from its members, referred to as kindred. The organization sees itself as a family and expects the kindred to behave accordingly, protecting each other and the AB as a whole.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, there are approximately 386 members of the Arizona Aryan Brotherhood in the system.
Posted: Dec 9, 2014, 7:16 AM ET ~ Updated: Dec 9, 2014, 8:54 PM PT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WCJB) - An eastern Tennessee father and stepmother of a 5-year-old girl who died after being forced to drink large amounts of grape soda and water as a form of punishment have been sentenced to 35 years in prison, authorities said.
Randall Vaughn, 42, and Mary Vaughn, 59, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated child neglect and were sentenced on Monday in Rogersville, Tennessee, District Attorney General Dan Armstrong said on Tuesday.
The Vaughns forced the girl, Alexa Linboom, to drink more than half a gallon of grape soda and water over two hours in January 2012 after they found she had consumed a soda or two they had told her were reserved for the adults, Armstrong said.
Armstrong said the consumption of the large amount of liquid caused the girl's brain to swell.
She was taken to a hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee, where she died two days later, authorities said. Rogersville is about 210 miles east of Nashville.
Her four siblings, who are now 7 to 16 years old, provided key details that led to the indictment of the Vaughns in February and would have had to testify at trial if not for their guilty pleas, Armstrong said.
He said the offer of a plea deal was made to ensure that the Vaughns would spend the rest of their lives in prison and to protect the girl's siblings from having to take part in a potentially high-profile trial.
Her siblings are in foster care, authorities said.
Posted: Dec 9, 2014, 7:16 AM ET ~ Updated: Dec 9, 2014, 8:54 PM PT
California -- A former Air Force pilot and pharmaceutical executive faces up to life in prison after he was sentenced for stabbing his wife to death with a pair of scissors in 2012.
A judge in California on Monday sentenced Todd Winkler to 26 years to life in prison two months after a jury found him guilty of killing his wife, Rachel Winkler.
In court, Winkler heard from his wife's grieving family and friends.
"How will I ever explain or even comment on the question, 'Why did daddy kill mommy?'" asked her father, Don Hatfield.
"Why Rachel? She had so much to live for," said her friend Shannon Thurman.
Rachel Winkler had been having an affair when an argument over the couple's crumbling marriage erupted into violence inside their home in northern California.
"This 230-pound man comes into that room -- repeatedly stabs her with scissors, kicks her, punches her and bites her all over her body," said prosecutor Lisette Suder.
Winkler admitted to killing his wife but claimed he acted in self-defense and that he had suffered a psychotic breakdown. During the trial, he had a bizarre outburst, yelling, "You are not samurai! You do not speak truth! You only want to destroy!"
Before his sentencing, Winkler apologized for what happened to Rachel.
"I feel deep remorse for what's happened," he said.
The jury also heard about the death of his previous wife, Catherine Winkler, who was killed in a fiery car crash in Georgia in 1999. Winkler collected nearly $1.2 million in life insurance money after her death.
While he was cleared of any wrongdoing, her family hopes his conviction spurs a new investigation into her death.
"It's been a long time coming," said James White, who was having an affair with Winkler before her death. "He's not going to hurt anyone anymore."
Posted: 6:31 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 ~ Updated: 1:31 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014
"Gypsy Hill Murders!"
SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. — Rodney Halbower, 66, is serving time in Oregon on an attempted murder charge. He was recently named by the FBI today as a person of interest in a series of murders that took the lives of five women and teen girls between January and April in 1976. The murders of five women in San Mateo County nearly 40 years ago were dubbed the "Gypsy Hill Murders." In March, investigators announced that they had connected the case to a sixth woman, whose body was found in Reno during the same time period.
Halbower was fingered by the FBI on Monday. Investigators did not reveal Monday what they think Halbower's connection to the murders is. The FBI was previously seeking a possible witness in the case (a white man who was in his late 20s to early 30s and living in San Mateo County) who was seen at the time of the murders driving a car with Nevada license plates. There is no indication as to whether the FBI believes Halbower is that same White male.
The first Peninsula victim was 18-year-old Veronica "Ronnie" Cascio. She was last seen Jan. 7, 1976, walking from her home to a bus stop. She was last seen at Bradford Way and Fairway Drive in Pacifica. Her body was found the next day at the Sharp Park Golf Course. Two weeks later on Jan. 24, 14-year-old Tanya Blackwell disappeared. She had left her home on Heathcliff Drive in Pacifica, reportedly to walk to a 7-Eleven store at King Drive in South San Francisco. Her body was located months later, on June 6, off Gypsy Hill Road in Pacifica.
The next female to disappear was 17-year-old Paula Baxter. She was last seen leaving the parking lot of Capuchino High School in San Bruno on Feb. 4. Early the next morning, her car, a bronze 1972 Chevy Vega station wagon, was found parked on a nearby residential street. The day after Baxter's body was discovered hidden in brush behind the Latter Day Saints Church on Ludeman Lane.
The next Peninsula victim was a 26-year-old woman named Carol Lee Booth. She was also known as "Beedy." She was last seen walking from the bus stop on El Camino Real at Arroyo Street in South San Francisco toward her home. Booth disappeared on March 15, but her body wasn't recovered until May 4, 1976. She was known to use a common shortcut across an open area between Kaiser Hospital and Mission Road near the former El Camino Real Driving Range. Her body was found hidden in some vegetation in that area.
The fifth Peninsula victim was 19-year-old Denise Lampe. She reportedly left Serramonte Mall in Daly City on April 1 and returned to her vehicle. She was never to be seen alive again. Her body was found that evening inside her vehicle, a 1964-1/2 Mustang. The vehicle was parked in the same location at the mall, between a Macy's store and the Denny's restaurant.
In between two of the San Mateo County murders, was the killing of 19-year-old University of Nevada-Reno student Michelle Mitchell. At about 8:10 p.m. on Feb. 24, 1976, Mitchell's vehicle broke down at the intersection of Ninth Street and Evans Avenue in Reno. Someone assisted her in pushing the vehicle, a yellow early 1970s Volkswagen Bug, into a parking lot across from the university's agricultural building on Evans Street. Her body was found later that night in the garage of a nearby home.
Posted: 9:05 AM EDT, Tue August 16, 2014 | Updated: 02:39 pm, Sunday, October 11, 2014
ATLANTA, GA (WCJB)- A frightening 911 tape, domestic violence and pretrial diversion: Did the Judge escape justice?
"Help me, please. Please, help me. He's beating on me," a woman tells the dispatcher, followed by "I hate you. I hate you."
"I hate you, too," a man's voice can be heard in response. "She says that she's in a domestic fight, and I can hear him hitting her now," the initial dispatcher tells the ambulance dispatcher.
This is not an exchange involving a pro football player and his girlfriend. The woman on the call is Kelli Fuller. The male attacker is her husband, Mark Fuller, a U.S. district judge for the Middle District of Alabama. On a Saturday night at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, Kelli Fuller called the police for help from a hotel room. The Fullers both admit to an altercation while blaming each other for the incident, according to a police report. The altercation allegedly happened on Saturday, August 9 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Blood was discovered in the bathroom. In the report Fullers' stepson says the two had been drinking and this was not the first time such an incident has occurred.
The incident report says the victim accused Fuller of having an affair with a work colleague. The police report states "when she confronted him about their issues, he pulled her hair and threw her to the ground and kicked her. [The victim] also stated she was dragged around the room and Mr. Fuller hit her in the mouth several times with his hands."
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of the Middle District was appointed to the bench in 2002 by former President George W. Bush. Fuller is known in Alabama for presiding over the Siegelman-Scrushy bribery trial. He is known for being a tough law and order judge. But this past July in Atlanta, Fuller was accused of getting into an altercation with his wife. According to the police report the victim claimed Fuller hit her repeatedly in the mouth with his hand. Fuller left an Atlanta jail on a $5,000 bond.
A Former federal judge and Cumberland Law School professor said Fuller could face a complaint being filed against him over the charge. "Someone in the court system or a citizen could file a complaint. The complaint is with the eleventh circuit and the standard is whether the conduct is prejudicial in the expeditious imposition of the court," Carroll said. The battery allegation is a misdemeanor in Georgia. If it was a felony it would be step closer to an impeachment process by Congress. "The only way a federal judge get removed office is whether congress impeaches a federal judge and that happens periodically every year," the professor said.
A noted Birmingham defense attorney, said since this was a misdemeanor there is a likelihood that Fuller may face some sort of sanctions if the judge is found guilty of the charge. "As an individual these cases are generally dealt with going to classes to avoid further prosecution. Anger management and the indications are dismissed. Payment of court cost," the attorney said. The attorney said he believes Fuller can take steps to lessen the charge. "Go to anger management. Get counseling. Try reconciling wth his wife and follow whatever is dictated by the judge and prosecutor in the case," he said.
The police report also has Fuller's side of the incident. "Mr. Fuller stated grabbed her hair to defend himself. When asked about he lacerations, Mr. Fuller stated he just threw her to the ground and that was it." (PDF: Full police report.)
Posted: 10:51 AM EDT, June 14, 2014 ~ Updated: 11:35 AM PDT, Sat June 28, 2014
The Heat is On!
New Jersey -- Arthur Morgan III, was convicted this week of strapping his child into a car seat and throwing her into the creek to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend. In 2011, the New Jersey man was angry with his girlfriend at the time for breaking off their engagement. Morgan said he was taking his daughter, Tierra Morgan-Glover, to a movie. Instead, he took the little girl on a drive to a local bridge. Once there, he strapped her into her pink car seat and weighted it down with a tire jack to make sure it would sink. Morgan then flung the toddler over the rail and into the water below.
According to Morgan's own testimony, he did not even bother to wait around to watch what he had done. “I still heard some noises,” Morgan reported as he left the scene. “I heard her. She sounded like she was crying.” Morgan said he had acted because his girlfriend and the child’s mother wasn’t treating the little girl properly. He that he kissed the girl and told her he loved her before flinging her to her death. Tierra's body was eventually found. One tiny shoe was showing above the water, 20 miles from her home in a creek bed.
Experts said that the little girl may have been conscious and struggling for three minutes once submerged. They concluded she may have been alive a few minutes after that. However, the jury did not buy his story and instead believed Morgan was acting solely to seek revenge on Tierra’s mom. In a shocking display of callousness during the reading of the verdict, Morgan seemed to prove the jury right. Unable to resist one last dig at the little girls mother and family, Morgan winked and smiled broadly in the courtroom after he found he had been convicted of murder. “Oh God,” one woman wailed, coming face to face with the lack of remorse in Morgan’s face.
The prosecutor in the case said he was glad to know Morgan will likely never get out of jail for his heinous actions. “I hope she is in a better place.” he said of the little girl.
Posted: 10:51 AM EDT, Sat June 28, 2014 ~ Updated: 11:35 AM PDT, Sat June 28, 2014
The Heat is On!
Cobb County, Georgia (WCJB) -- Justin Ross Harris (pictured above, center) has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and second-degree child cruelty. The charges result from the death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper Harris. The boy died after he was left seven hours in a sweltering SUV on June 18. Harris is being held in jail without bond. He has an appearance before a judge set for next Thursday. As Harris sits in jail, his wife, Leanna, would not discuss the case with the media. Police in Cobb County, part of metro Atlanta, have been tight-lipped and haven't said whether what they found on his computer is one of the reasons they arrested Harris.
Harris, 33, now a criminal suspect in a Georgia toddler's death, told police he used the Internet to research child deaths inside vehicles, a search warrant said. "During an interview with Justin, he stated that he recently researched, through the internet, child deaths inside vehicles and what temperature it needs to be for that to occur," according to a sworn statement in the warrant from a police officer. "Justin stated that he was fearful that this could happen." Cobb County Police said the purpose of the search warrants was to find blood, DNA, writings, photographs relating to child abuse, child neglect, homicide to children, and cruelty to children. The search warrants issued by a Cobb County magistrate court detail a number of items investigators seized from the father's home. They include: An iPhone 5, Hyundai car, home laptop computer, computer tower, a "Google chrome cast internet searcher" and other electronic devices.
Police initially described the death of the toddler as the result of tragic absent-mindedness. They said the dad had apparently forgotten the boy was in the back seat of his Hyundai Tucson. Harris claimed he didn't remember Cooper was in the car until he was done with his workday, drove a couple of miles and pulled into a shopping center parking lot. However, suspicions grew as police investigated. "The chain of events that occurred in this case does not point toward simple negligence, and evidence will be presented to support this allegation," said Cobb County Police Chief John House.
The criminal warrant released Wednesday described the events that led to Cooper's death. Harris stopped for breakfast at a fast-food restaurant on the day Cooper died. Afterwards he strapped his son into a rear-facing child restraint seat on his SUV's back seat, police said. He drove to his workplace about a half-mile away. He works as a Web designer there. Usually, he would take his son to an on-site day care. But on that day, police said, Harris left him in the car seat. During his lunch break, he returned to his car, opening the driver's side door to put something inside, police said. After work, around 4:16 p.m., the 33-year-old father got in his car and drove away. A few miles away, he stopped the car at a shopping center and called for help. When it became clear Cooper was dead, Harris was so inconsolable police had to restrain him. "What have I done?" he wailed as he tried to resuscitate the boy.
The Cobb County medical examiner's office found the child's cause of death "consistent with hyperthermia and the investigative information suggests the manner of death is homicide," according to a Cobb County Department of Public Safety statement issued Wednesday. Temperatures hit 92 degrees Fahrenheit on the day of his death. The medical examiner's office is waiting for toxicology test results before making an official ruling as to the cause and manner of the toddler's death.
The funeral for Cooper Harris was to be held Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Harris won't be allowed out of the Cobb County Jail to attend, sheriff's office spokeswoman Nancy Bodiford said. The child's mother wanted to obtain photos of her son from seized computers for use at the funeral. However, Cobb County police turned down her request, said an attorney for Harris. Police spokesman Michael Bowman told media sources, "If we have evidence, we will not be releasing that due to chain of custody issues." Bowman would not confirm what, if any, evidence they had in their possession. Harris works as a web designer for The Home Depot. Harris' employer will pay for the funeral. The funding of the funeral from the Home Depot charity, the Homer Fund, is a "standard approach," said spokeswoman Catherine Woodling. Harris has been placed on unpaid administrative leave, she said. In an obituary for Cooper appearing in the Tuscaloosa News, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Homer Fund.
Posted: May 08, 2014 3:16 PM PDT Updated: May 09, 2014 2:03 PM PDT
Private Abortion Procedures!
North Carolina -- Dr. Ashutosh Ron Virmani was arrested early Thursday morning after he was accused of raping a 49-year-old woman, according to police. A police report indicates a woman told police that she was raped inside a home along the 4600 block of Charlestowne Manor Drive on Wednesday afternoon. The woman met with police at Carolinas Medical Center-Main and alleged that Virmani sexually assaulted her and prevented her from leaving the house.
Virmani was booked around 3:09 a.m. Thursday morning for second degree rape and two counts of second degree sexual offense. He was released on a $150,000 bond around 8:10 a.m. Thursday morning. He was expected in a Mecklenburg County courtroom on Friday afternoon, but waived his first appearance. He is due back in court on May 30, 2014.
Corrupt Justice™ has learned this isn't the first time Dr. Virmani has been in trouble. He has had several violations in the past. Dr. Virmani past legal troubles have not included any previous felony charges. All prior issues related to his medical license. Dr. Virmani, the man police say raped and kidnapped a 49 year old woman, previously lost his medical license in 1992. Court documents show Virmani previously admitted to having an improper personal liaison with a patient. However, once his license was reinstated in 1993, the North Carolina Medical Board still took actions against Dr. Virmani based upon other concerns.
In 1996, Presbyterian Hospital revoked Virmani's right to practice at the hospital. The hospital stated they found twenty-four "problematic" [medical] charts [attributed to Dr. Virmani]. In 1997, Dr. Virmani was again reprimanded by the North Carolina Medical Board for alleging in Medical Board hearings the Presbyterian hospital failed to provide him with board required reviews. In 2005, Virmani was again reprimanded by the same medical board. Court documents show he admitted to filling in blank drug prescriptions without a patient's name. His staff would later fill in the patient's name. The board found that one staff member gave those prescriptions to non-patients.
Dr. Virmani also made headlines in 2012 after he was confronted at his home by a conservative Christian organization. At the time, Dr. Virmani was a licensed gynecologist employed by "A Preferred Women's Health Clinic" in Charlotte. A video posted in 2012 shows Virmani standing in the doorway of his home. He can be overheard in the video saying "Don't put pregnancy and adoption on the taxpayers." The members of the group from Operation Save America are heard telling Virmani that they do want to pay for the babies. "Go ahead and pay for them. Let me see you adopt one of those ugly black babies," he yelled back at them. That phrase has sparked anger across the country. The clinic would not confirm on Thursday if Dr. Virmani was still practicing at the clinic "due to the nature of their business."
According to his medical license, Dr. Virmani is currently employed at a different "A Preferred Women's Health Clinic." The clinic would not say if he stills work there and had no comment about the arrest.
Posted: February 21, 2014, 12:09 PM EST | Updated: March 9, 2014 7:21 PM PST
ST. LOUIS, MO. (WCJB) — A middle-school football coach, Craig Michael Wood, 45, of Springfield, was charged Wednesday with kidnapping, armed criminal action and first-degree murder in the death of Hailey Owens, a 10-year-old girl in southwest Missouri. Hailey was reportedly snatched off a neighborhood street just blocks from her home as several neighbors watched in horror. Wood is accused of kidnapping fourth-grader Hailey Owens about 5 p.m. Tuesday as she walked to a friend's house, according to Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson, who filed the charges late Wednesday afternoon.
The Police Chief Paul Williams said that witnesses to the abduction called 911 to report the truck's license number. Witnesses told investigators that a man in a gold 2008 Ford Ranger pickup truck drove down the street several times before abducting Hailey. Resident Ricky Riggins told media sources he chased the fleeing pickup in his car after a neighbor tried to pull the girl away. "I couldn't keep up," Riggins told media sources. "He was probably five to six cars ahead of me. ... It was so fast." Wood was arrested inside the truck parked outside his small, single-story home Tuesday night.
About 30 Springfield police investigators along with an FBI evidence response team searched the area near Wood's home Wednesday morning, as well as a nearby coin-operated laundry. A body believed to be that of the missing girl was found Wednesday at a Springfield home owned by Wood. Official confirmation won't occur until after an autopsy, but Police Chief Paul Williams said "we have a high degree of confidence" in the preliminary identification. He did not disclose the child's cause of death. "There's no connection that we've been able to determine at this time between the victim and the suspect," he said. Williams said police have no idea of a motive for the killing. He said Wood has not talked to investigators since his arrest.
The Springfield School District said Wood is a seventh-grade football coach and teacher's aide who supervises in-school suspensions at a school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Hailey did not attend that school, and Williams said the two apparently didn't know each other. She was a student at Westport Elementary School this year, and was at Bowerman Elementary School last year. Springfield School District Superintendent Norm Ridder said in a statement Wednesday that Wood began working for the district in August 1998 and is a paraprofessional and coach at Pleasant View School. Ridder said Wood has been suspended since his arrest.
School spokesman Teresa Bledsoe later said that Wood was initially hired as a temporary employee who worked as a substitute teacher before he was hired full time in 2006. He has coached football at Pleasant View since 1998 and was also an assistant boys' basketball coach. "He met all of our qualifications for employment," Bledsoe said, noting that the Springfield district has a more rigorous background check requirement than state law, with an additional screening designed to detect substantiated allegations of child abuse or neglect as well as any past criminal violations.
A records search shows Wood had little criminal history. He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in 1990 in Greene County and was fined $100. Wood also was convicted in 2001 for illegal taking of wildlife, the media reported.
Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014, 12:09 PM EST | Updated: Monday, February 4, 10:09 PM PST
Spanish Fork, Utah -- A 34-year-old Utah police officer shot and killed his wife, mother-in-law and two young children and turned the gun on himself, authorities said Friday. Police believe Joshua Boren, a 34-year-old patrol officer at the Lindon Police Department, shot and killed his wife Kelly Boren, 32, and two children, Joshua ‘Jaden Boren, 7, and Haley Boren, 5, along with his mother-in-law Marie King, 55, before turning the gun on himself. Officials said they didn’t find a suicide note. Police didn’t immediately have information on the events leading up to the shooting.
Spanish Fork police said the five were found dead about 11 p.m. Thursday, when co-workers reported Joshua Boren didn’t show up for his night shift as a patrol officer at the Lindon Police Department. Officers who looked through the window saw blood on the carpet and shell casings in the front room of the two-story home, police said. When they went inside, they found Boren’s 55-year-old mother-in-law Marie King dead in a bedroom, and Joshua Boren and his immediate family dead in the bedroom next door.
Spanish Fork Lt. Matthew Johnson said the couple had been experiencing marital problems in the past few months, but co-workers say Boren appeared upbeat and didn’t show signs of distress before the killings. “There were no warning signs,” Johnson said, adding that police had never been called to the home. “This was a total shock to everyone.”
Officials at the Lindon Police Department said Boren had been employed since October on their small force, which counts about 15 uniformed officers and patrols a city of about 10,000.
Posted: 12/16/2013 4:48 pm EST | Updated: 12/28/2013 7:20 pm PST
“Re-election in Texas!”
William Adams, the judge who was videoed whipping his 16-year-old daughter over computer file downloads and games is up for re-election in Texas. He’s up for re-election in 2014. A Facebook page has been set up to prevent Judge Adams re-election.
Aransas County, Texas -- In 2004, Aransas County Court-At-Law Judge William Adams took a belt to his own teenage daughter as punishment for using the internet to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time. She has had ataxic cerebral palsy from birth that led her to a passion for technology, which was strictly forbidden by her father’s views. The entire beating was caught on camera, as he and his wife, whip and beat their screaming daughter relentlessly. Judge William Adams confirmed the legitimacy of the video depicting him beating his daughter. Judge Adams said: “I lost my temper”. The beating occurred too long ago to bring a criminal case against Adams, so that limited the steps the Texas Judicial Commission could take.
In November 2012, the Texas Supreme Court lifted Adams’ suspension, during which he collected his $150,000 salary. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued Adams a public warning in September 2012 for the beating. This week, Adams was reinstated to the bench.
“In its one-page order Tuesday (12/17/13), the Texas Supreme Court approved an agreement between Adams and the commission lifting the suspension. As part of the arrangement, Adams waived his right to appeal [a Sept. 6] warning, which is essentially a public reprimand with no other consequences. … Also, Adams may no longer preside over the physical domestic abuse cases that previously comprised much of his court docket.”
The video below first gained media attention in 2011. In the video clip, at one point the father screams: “Lay down or I’ll spank you in your fuckin' face.”
Share your thoughts on whether you feel Judge Adams should be re-elected as a judge (Comment Above, or Visit Our Corrupt Justice™ Video Page on Facebook).
Posted: December 28, 2013 | Updated: Dec 29, 2013 at 12:33 AM PST
Chicago, Illinois -- An 18-year-old Chicago man has been ordered held without bail after he allegedly decapitated and dismembered his aunt's boyfriend in the early morning hours of Christmas Day.
Officials said Friday that Alexis Valdez called 911 after he killed 41-year-old Silvestre Diaz-Hernandez inside the basement apartment where the two lived with Valdez's aunt in the city's Belmont Gardens neighborhood, media sources reports.
Prosecutors say Valdez had been living in the apartment in the 2500 block of North Kildare Avenue for about six months on the condition that he would go to school, work and contribute to household costs. When he failed to do that, his aunt told him he needed to move out, angering the teen, according to media sources.
While Valdez's aunt was away at a party, Valdez was home drinking and, after accompanying Diaz-Hernandez to a drug store to buy more beer and returning to the apartment, he allegedly struck the man multiple times in the head with a hammer he had hidden.
The Chicago media further reports that, after Diaz-Hernandez was dead, Valdez proceeded to use a butcher knife to decapitate the man and cut off his ears, nose and mouth, as well as his arms. Prosecutors say he pulled Diaz's eyes out of his head using his bare hands.
The teen allegedly left the head and other parts in her aunt's bed because "he wanted to leave his aunt a present," prosecutors said on Friday, according to media sources.
When police arrived on the scene, the blood-covered teen admitted to the grisly slaying.
Posted: December 28, 2013 | Updated: Dec 29, 2013 at 12:33 AM PST
“Secret Sex Tapes!”
Washington, D.C. -- Metropolitan Police Department detective Keith Tabron, 51, formerly named "Detective of the Year," pleaded guilty to secretly taping his adult stepdaughter while she undressed. She was staying at his house in Prince George's County, Md. Authorities accused Tabron of setting up a network of surveillance cameras to spy on the daughter of his estranged wife during a nine-month period between October 2011 and July 2012. Tabron has been suspended from the D.C. police force without pay.
The victim told investigators she realized she was being spied on when she noticed fresh paint in her bathroom. Upon closer inspection, she found one of the cameras, pointed toward the shower. She called a cousin, who found a second camera in a bedroom. They traced the wires back to Tabron’s home office.
Tabron pleaded guilty on Thursday to multiple counts of video surveillance with prurient intent. As part of the plea deal, he was slapped with a 5 year suspended sentence and 5 years of probation, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesman Gina Ford told media sources. Although Maryland law requires people convicted of the crime to register as sex offenders, prosecutors did not request that Tabron do so because he had no previous criminal record, media sources reported.
Tabron joined the force in 1990 and was named 2nd District Detective of the Year in 2012 for his work getting a defendant to confess to 28 burglaries. “Tabron used his excellent interviewing skills to bring these crimes to a closure," the program for the ceremony read.
Posted: December 28, 2013 | Updated: Dec 28, 2013 at 1:33 AM PST
Terrebonne Parish, LA -- Authorities say an autopsy shows that the wife of a man accused of killing three people and wounding three others suffocated and drowned.
Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter released the results of the autopsy Friday afternoon.
Maj. Malcolm Wolfe with the sheriff's department said in an email that the evidence also indicates that Benjamin Freeman killed his wife, Denise Freeman, before he went on a rampage and killed others Thursday.
Denise Freeman's body was found Thursday in a bathtub by deputies hunting for Benjamin Freeman.
Benjamin Freeman killed himself Thursday with the shotgun he'd used to kill his former mother-in-law and the CEO of a hospital he left in 2011.
Posted: December 27, 2013 | Updated: Dec 28, 2013 at 1:33 AM PST
Houston, TX -- A judge has denied bail for a white Houston-area man charged with a federal hate crime for allegedly sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy said Friday that she was concerned about 27-year-old Conrad Alvin Barrett being free after hearing about the "vicious" crime. He's charged with a hate crime punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
George Parnham, Barrett's attorney, had argued that the Katy man has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was off his medication when he used his cellphone to record video of the apparently random attack.
Prosecutors say the attack happened Nov. 24 in Katy, but it wasn't until 12 days later that authorities connected it to the cellphone video. Barrett was arrested Thursday.
Posted: Dec 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM EST | Updated: Dec 26, 2013 at 11:04 AM PST
Valentino "Tino" Bagola wasn't the kindly babysitting, casket-carrying cousin his family thought he was. He was a cold-blooded killer who stabbed his 6- and 9-year-old cousins some 100 times. The 2011 murders of Destiny Shaw, 9, and her brother Travis DuBois Jr., 6, were a mystery for more than a year until cops were able to pin them on Bagola, the older cousin who often babysat for them. Bagola played himself off like a model family member, even offering to carry the casket when his young cousins were laid to rest.
Showing up at the children's funerals is bad enough, but taking part In the funeral is further proof that monsters walk among us. At the very least, you'd think someone who'd just murdered a family member would be ashamed, or would be uncomfortable to be around family after committing such an horrific crime. Apparently not, Bagola volunteered to be one of the pallbearers at the funeral of two young siblings who he stabbed more than 100 times. Bagola has shown no remorse for his actions ... which also apparently included raping 9-year-old Shaw before her murder. It's just unthinkable that he is sick enough to stab two kids to death. Most of us will never know what goes on inside the mind of a psychopath.
Bagola has been sentenced to life in prison. Bagola was facing back-to-back life sentences, one for each of the children he murdered, but in the end the judge went "easy" on him. He is headed to prison for life ... just one sentence. But as the judge said, he will never get out.
Posted: 11/19/2013 4:48 pm EST | Updated: 12/18/2013 7:20 pm PST
“Life for Sigg!”
Colorado -- Austin Reed Sigg, the Colorado teenager who killed, sexually assaulted and dismembered a 10-year-old girl was sentenced to life plus at least 86 years in prison on Tuesday. During his sentencing, Sigg showed no visible emotion. Jefferson County District Court Chief Judge Stephen Munsinger ensured that 18-year-old Austin Reed Sigg would spend the rest of his life in prison despite objections from the defense. "Evil is apparently real. It was present in our community on Oct. 5, 2012," Munsinger said, after thanking Sigg for pleading guilty and sparing Jessica Ridgeway's family the ordeal of trial. Sigg had pleaded guilty to all of the counts against him in October, almost exactly a year to the day that fifth grader Jessica disappeared while on her way to school.
Sigg was 17 years old at the time he committed the crime and could not be eligible for the death penalty. Citing Colorado juvenile laws and U.S. Supreme Court rulings however, his defense also argued that the judge must give him a sentence that makes him eligible for parole after 40 years. "Your honor, you are sentencing a child today," Sigg's Defense attorney said. "Life with the possibility of parole in 40 years is the only possible and legal sentence."
"This case cries out for a life sentence," Munsinger said. In his sentence, which spanned 15 counts, Munsinger gave Sigg life in prison with a statutory eligibility for parole after 40 years for Jessica's murder, and the additional 86 years were for other crimes including sexual assault on a child, and the attack on the 22-year-old jogger at Westminster's Ketner Lake. Those extra charges however essentially eliminated his possibility for parole.
Munsinger also read a statement by Sigg in which he called himself "a monster." Just days after she was kidnapped, authorities found Jessica's backpack abandoned in a suburb in nearby Superior and then on Oct. 10, her torso was found inside of a black trash bag discarded in a secluded park. "I don't know about society because I've never really been that great with it, but I know that personally I am a monster," read the statement. "There's no better word to describe what I've done than evil." Prosecutors also revealed that Sigg cut Jessica's hair after kidnapping her and made her change clothes before he strangled her. After she was killed, Sigg dismembered her and took out her organs, kept her skull, and placed a small wooden cross in her body.
It wasn't until about a week before Halloween that authorities received a 911 call from Sigg's mother. "I made the phone call, and he turned himself in. That's all I have to say," the then-17-year-old's mother Mindy Sigg told media sources. On the 911 call, Sigg could be heard telling the dispatcher, "I murdered Jessica Ridgeway, I have proof that I did. I'm giving myself up completely, there will be no resistance whatsoever." When he was asked by the 911 dispatcher about his criminal history, Sigg said, "The only other thing that I have done was the Ketner Lake incident where the woman got attacked. That was me." Sigg lived within one mile of both Jessica's home and the lake where the female jogger was attacked.
When officers arrived, they took Sigg's confession and were told that some of Ridgeway's remains could be found in the crawlspace of the home he shared with his mother. Authorities say Sigg's DNA was found on Jessica's clothing, and that he described abducting her as she walked past his car. According to police, Sigg bound her legs and arms, drove around for a while and then took her to his house where he strangled her and dismembered her body in the bathtub. An investigator later testified that Sigg had used a homemade chloroform recipe that he found on the internet to try to subdue a woman, and additional testimony revealed that child pornography was seized from Sigg's laptop.
In hearings earlier this week, it was revealed that Sigg had been taken by his step-mother to get treatment for an addiction to violent internet porn at the age of 12. Dr. Anna Salter, a psychologist who had never formally examined Sigg, testifed on Monday that she believed Sigg had psychopathic tendencies, but wasn't a psychopath. "Records suggest he is sadistic and a necrophiliac -- you can tell from his pornography and behavior," Salter testified. Salter also called his behavior "rare" for a juvenile.
Testimony from Jessica's mother Sarah Ridgeway drew tears from Sigg. "I don't think that the defendant has a right to hear how he's affected me," Sarah Ridgeway said in court. "Once we walk out of this courtroom, we will no longer remember his name, only the legacy Jessica left behind."
In a press conference following the sentencing, District Attorney Pete Weir said, "the damage, the hurt, the loss remains. We hope for closure for families, but at times I think that's a hollow term." Weir added, "The full weight of the law has come to bear on Austin Sigg, it's not enough."
Updated 11:35 AM EST, Wed November 27, 2013
Colorado (WCJB) -- In a soft voice, teenager Austin Sigg confessed in gruesome detail how he snatched a 10-year-old girl from his Colorado neighborhood and dismembered her. "It was a random place, a random time. Random everything," Sigg told officers in interrogation video released this week. "I was just driving and just kind of looking. And I saw her ... found the place to park. And I parked, and I waited. And she walked by, and I grabbed her." I told her everything would be OK. He took the bespectacled, blond girl back to his house. What happened there may have been very graphic. Parts of the interrogation tape were redacted by authorities.
Sigg told police during the interrogation that he got her into his car. He tied her hands and legs together and drove around for 20 minutes as she frantically screamed and asked him questions. "I would lie to her," Sigg said. "I would tell her everything was going to be OK. I would just lie to her."
But what Sigg could not explain to police detectives is why. Sigg is going to have a lot of time to think about it. He was sentenced to life in prison last week. The tapes released this week by the Jefferson County District Attorney give a chilling look into Sigg's thoughts.
Sigg made girls in the area uneasy. Sigg was 17 when he grabbed Jessica Ridgeway off the street in October 2012. Sigg will be eligible for parole after 40 years for the murder. But a judge sentenced him to close to 100 additional years for the other charges against him. Along with Ridgeway's murder, Sigg also confessed to the attack and attempted kidnapping on a jogger that occurred earlier in the year. Using all those charges against Sigg, the judge said he expects Sigg to be confined to a cell for the rest of his natural life.
Jessica Ridgeway was missing for five days and authorities were searching everywhere in October 2012. The break in the case came after Sigg told his mother what he had done. His mother, police said, called 911 and handed the phone to her son.
During the trial, Ridgeway's family members were in court wearing the little girl's favorite color, purple. "This monster took away from me the light of my life," said Christine Ridgeway, Jessica's grandmother. "It shattered the core of my family."
Posted: 10/01/2013 5:31 pm EDT | Updated: 10/07/2013 10:30 am EDT
Colorado -- In front of a packed courtroom on Tuesday, a Colorado judge accepted the guilty plea of Austin Reed Sigg, 18, in both Jessica Ridgeway's case and a previous attempted kidnapping case involving an unnamed female jogger at Ketner Lake in Westminster. Against the advice of his attorney, the teen accused of kidnapping, killing, sexually assaulting and dismembering 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway decided to plead guilty to all charges. The plea deal comes after Sigg initially entered not guilty pleas despite early media and police reports that he'd confessed to both crimes.
Jessica, a fifth-grader, disappeared from her home almost exactly one year ago on Oct. 5 while on her way to school. Just days after she was kidnapped, authorities found Jessica's backpack abandoned in a suburb in nearby Superior and then on Oct. 10, her torso was found inside of a black trash bag discarded in a secluded park. It wasn't until about a week before Halloween that authorities received a 911 call from Sigg's mother.
At the time of his arrest, Sigg was enrolled at Arapahoe Community College.
Since Sigg was legally a minor when the crime was committed, he is not eligible for the death penalty, according to Colorado law. Sigg faces a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.
Posted: 10/26/2012 - Updated: 10/27/2012 7:39:05 PM PDT
DENVER, CO - Police in the Colorado town where the body of missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway was found want to question suspect Austin Sigg (pictured above, center) in two unsolved child enticement cases. Arvada police spokesman Sgt. Mark Nazaryk said Friday a sketch developed in the unsolved September incidents bears some resemblance to Sigg, who's being held on suspicion of first-degree murder and kidnapping in the Ridgeway case. Nazaryk notes the sketch and Sigg's mug shot aren't an exact match.
He also says that investigators are trying to determine if Sigg had access to a royal blue, four-door sedan described by witnesses in both cases. The September child enticement cases involved a man who tried to lure two boys about the same age as Jessica into a car. No suspects were identified in those incidents.
Police say Sigg, 17, confessed to them shortly before he was taken into custody on Tuesday night and told them where to find some of Jessica's remains in a crawl space under a home, CBS Denver reports.
Posted: 10/24/2012 11:23:19 AM PDT - Updated: 10/24/2012 1:29:05 PM PDT
WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Police have arrested a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of the kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway (pictured above, center). Austin Reed Sigg was arrested Tuesday night after police received a tip that led them to a home near the open space area where the girl's body was found Oct. 9, according to a news release from the Westminster Police Department. According to police documents, Sigg is a student at Arapahoe Community College. On March 23, he won second place in the Crime Scene Investigation division of the Health Occupation Students of America State Leadership Conference competition.
According to arrest documents, Sigg (pictured above, center) lives about a block west of Ketner Lake Open Space and about 1½ miles south of where Jessica Ridgeway was snatched from the street as she walked to school the morning of Oct. 5. Jessica disappeared after she left her Westminster home to walk to school. Her dismembered body was found 11 miles away in an Arvada open space on Oct. 9.
"This morning the Ridgeway family was notified of this arrest," Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk said. "We hope and pray this arrest gives them some measure of closure in dealing with their horrible loss and tragedy."
The media has reported that Sigg's mother said the boy turned himself in. "I made the phone call, he turned himself in. That's all I have to say." Authorities also said that charges will be filed against Sigg for the May 28 attempted abduction of an adult jogger near the same open space area, Ketner Lake. Sigg will be charged with two counts of murder in the first degree and a second-degree kidnapping charge, among others. He will make his first court appearance Thursday at 10 a.m. in Jefferson County.
Police are blocking access to Sigg's home. A search warrant is being served on the home, Westminster police investigator Trevor Materasso said. Investigators are examining the contents of what looks like a construction dumpster across the street from Sigg's home.
On Monday, police confirmed the link between Jessica's disappearance and the attempted abduction of an adult jogger on Memorial Day near Ketner Lake. That woman told authorities that a man attempted to cover her face with a chemical-soaked rag. The woman said she initially jogged past the man before he grabbed her from behind, "trying to put a rag over her mouth. She said the rag had a chemical smell on it. She was able to get away and call 911 from her cellphone," police documents say. The woman described the man as white or light-skinned and between 18 and 30 years old, with brown hair and a medium build. He was about 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Posted: 6:52 PM EDT, Tue October 23, 2012 - Updated: 12:11 PM PDT, Wed October 24, 2012
Clayton, N.J. (WCJB) -- Two teenage brothers were arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Autumn Pasquale (pictured above, center) the 12-year-old-girl found dead Monday in Clayton, New Jersey, according to authorities. "The brothers are ages 15 and 17 years old, and both are in police custody at the present time," Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said Tuesday, adding that the younger brother had also been charged with one count of luring. Police were aided by the suspects' mother, who contacted police because of Facebook postings, according to Dalton. The young suspects turned themselves in, accompanied by their attorneys, Tuesday.
Autumn's body was found in a recycling container. Dalton said she was strangled and died from blunt-force trauma, but based on preliminary findings, there were no signs of sexual assault. She was last seen riding her bike from her home, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office. Prosecutors say Autumn was lured to the boys' home, where they murdered her -- possibly for her BMX bike, which police found among some of the girl's belongings when they searched the site early Tuesday. In New Jersey, authorities are not permitted to release the names of juveniles charged with a crime. "We're strongly considering waiving them to adult court. However, we want to let the process take its part," Dalton said.
Pasquale would have celebrated her 13th birthday next week. A Facebook page was created after Autumn went missing Saturday, and many neighbors and friends donated their time to help 200 law enforcement members search for her. Neighbor Joyce Fisher described to media sources in New Jersey how she felt after volunteering and handing out fliers for the search effort, only to find out that those accused live just across the street. "I'm exhausted," she said, and was especially unnerved when she saw investigators bring the girl's bike out of the suspects' house. "Scared ... devastating ... unnerving. Nice quiet town. We know everybody's move around here. We never had any issues like this," she said. "Everything is shattered."
"At this point, we have to put our anger aside," Dalton said. "We have to let justice take its course and through the support of all the caring families in Clayton, with the support of the law enforcement community. ... We'll get past this, because we are strong."
Posted: 7:20 AM EST, Tue November 26, 2013 - Updated: 7:20 AM EST, Tue November 26, 2013
Oakland, CA -- Seven people were wounded Monday evening in a shooting on an Oakland, California, sidewalk, police said. The shooter or shooters approached a group and started firing, said Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson. Authorities do not have a motive. The wounded are all men, ranging in ages from 23 to 31. Two of them are in critical condition, she said. Police hope that witnesses will come forward, so they can piece together what happened. Residents said a barbeque was being held at the time of the shooting, local media sources reported. "This is really kind of outrageous," Oakland police Chief Sean Whent told the newspaper. "Six o'clock at night isn't that late at night. So, really pretty brazen stuff on the street corner at that time of day."
Posted: 7:02 PM EDT, Wed September 18, 2013 - Updated: 11:02 PM PDT, Thurs. September 19, 2013
DeLand, Fla. -- In a graphic video moments before his death, Marlon Brown (pictured above, center) was sprinting through a vegetable garden in a residential area. DeLand police cars with sirens blaring were not far behind. As Brown neared a fence that enclosed a backyard, he was cornered. Brown, 38, tripped then threw his hands in the air and turned to face police a moment before he was struck by the cruiser on May 8. That video was enough to convince DeLand Police Chief William Ridgway that rookie Officer James Harris should be fired immediately. As shown in a video released by Brown's family on Wednesday (09/18/13) two police cars driven by other officers stopped. But Harris, third in line in the chase, kept going. "On May 31st I was shown the video of the incident," Ridgway said in an email statement. "I terminated the probationary employment status of Officer Harris on that same day."
The city of DeLand reached a $550,000 settlement with the Browns but did not admit to any wrongdoing in the deadly chase that began with a traffic stop for a suspected seat belt violation. "We feel very betrayed by our criminal justice system," said Brown's ex-wife, Krystal Brown at a news conference Wednesday. Last week, a grand jury found that Harris should not face criminal charges. She spoke to media along with her attorney, Benjamin Crump, who also represented the family of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford in 2012.
"This video is important," Krystal Brown said. "It's the truth." Now, they want an independent investigation and review of the evidence. The Brown family hopes, despite the grand jury denial, that vehicular manslaughter charges will be filed against Harris.
Published: 29 October 2013 10:18 PM ~ Updated: 30 October 2013 02:49 PM
Dallas, TX -- Larry Dunn believed he was a walking dead man. So, he told police, he killed the woman he held responsible.
Dunn, 37, was cheating on his wife with Cicely Lee Bolden when Bolden revealed to him that she was HIV positive. A week later, in September 2012, Dunn went to Bolden’s house seeking revenge, according to testimony Tuesday at his murder trial in a Dallas County courtroom.
They had unprotected sex one last time. Then, while Bolden lay in bed, Dunn went to the kitchen, grabbed a steak knife, got back in bed and plunged the blade into Bolden’s neck, killing her, Dunn said in a video confession that prosecutors Jennifer Sawyer and Dalerie Moore played for jurors.
“In my mind, I’m already dead,” Dunn said in the video. “She killed me, so I killed her.”
So far, Dunn has not tested positive for HIV. But his attorney, George Ashford, said Dunn is still undergoing tests. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison unless his attorneys can convince jurors he acted with “sudden passion.” Then, Dunn would face two to 20 years in prison.
Bolden’s body, which was naked from the waist down, was found by her 7-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. The children ran out of the apartment crying and screaming “my mama, my mama,” testified neighbor Latoya Arnett. The children now live separately with relatives.
Arnett heard the commotion and left her apartment to check on Bolden, a 28-year-old hairdresser who had been her neighbor for a little over a year. She found her covered in blood and called 911.
Arnett testified that earlier that day she had seen Dunn, of Irving, enter the apartment in the 5900 block of Highland Village Drive in southeast Oak Cliff.
Police were quick to question Dunn after Bolden’s family and friends told police that she had started dating a man named Larry. They told police that they thought there had been a heated discussion about her being infected with HIV, which causes AIDS. Police found Dunn’s number in Bolden’s phone. He agreed to talk with detectives, as well as provide a DNA sample and his fingerprints.
At first, Dunn denied killing Bolden, though he admitted — in frequently graphic terms — that the two had sex that day. He also denied knowing that Bolden was HIV positive when Dallas police Detective Brian Tabor told him.
Tabor said on the witness stand Tuesday that Dunn was “pretty convincing” about denying any involvement. It seemed unlikely that anyone else would have killed Bolden, though, so Tabor said he kept pressing.
In a second interview, Dunn admitted what he had done, saying: “I was enraged, man … . She knew she had HIV.”
There was little to no struggle, he said.
“She didn’t see it until it was in her throat,” Dunn told Tabor. “She wasn’t very strong.”
Dunn told police he burned his clothes. They were never found. The knife was found in the trash bin of an Irving Waffle House.
Dunn said he had sex with Bolden that day because it wouldn’t matter. He believed he was already HIV positive and was worried he had infected his wife.
“I wanted to make her pay,” Dunn said in the recorded interview. “Killing her wasn’t on the menu. That’s just how it ended up.”
Published: Jul 23, 2013 at 4:25 PM PDT Last Updated: Jul 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM PDT
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (WCJB) — Kern County's third try to prosecute a woman for murder proved successful.
A jury on Tuesday found Angelique Nash guilty of first-degree murder with a special circumstance related to burglary. Two previous jury trials ended in deadlock.
A different jury last fall found sister Katila Nash and David Moses guilty of murder in the same case.
Dorothy Session, 81, was killed in April 2010 inside her home on Camino Sierra. The Nash sisters and Moses murdered Session during a burglary, juries decided. The runaway teens were seen knocking on doors in the neighborhood before the attack. Authorities said that's a common tactic for burglars looking for targets, although nothing was stolen from Session's home.
All three defendants were charged as adults, even though they were under 18 when Session was killed. Katila Nash was 15 at the time of the murder. David Moses and Angelique Nash were both 17 at the time.
Angelique Nash faced a maximum punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole during a scheduled Aug. 20 sentencing hearing. A judge sentenced Nash to 25-years to life without the possibility of parole.
Posted: May 3, 2013 3:09 PM EDT - Updated: 12/24/13
Small Town Horrors!
Manchester, Illinois (WCJB) -- Illinois State Police issued a report Friday afternoon with more information on the April 24 mass shooting in Manchester, Illinois which left five people dead. On the morning of Wednesday, April 24, 2013, officers from five police departments responded to a home on East Street in Manchester. Police said they were called to an apartment building in Manchester -- roughly 40 miles southwest of Springfield -- at about 4:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m. ET). Five people were found shot to death and a 6-year-old girl was taken to a hospital after the shooting in the tiny western Illinois village. The bodies of the five victims – three adults, a boy, and an infant – were found at the home. A 6-year-old girl was transported to a hospital with gunshot wounds after the gunman "put her in the hands of a neighbor," Illinois State Police Lt. Col. Todd Kilby said. She was in critical condition, he said.
The victims were identified as 66-year-old Jo Ann Sinclair, 23-year-old Brittney Lynn Luark, 29-year-old James Roy Ralston, 5-year-old Nolan James Ralston, and 1-year-old Brantley Jack Ralston.
According to the ISP report, Winchester Police and Illinois State Police then identified and located Rick Odell Smith who they believed to be the shooter. Smith, last known to live in Morgan County, Illinois, forced his way through the back door of an apartment and shot six people inside with a shotgun, police said. Witnesses gave police a description of the vehicle in which the attacker fled, and police found Smith in an undisclosed location at about 7:15 a.m., Kilby said. Police chased and eventually exchanged gunfire with Smith, who was wounded. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Kilby said.
Among the most important revelations in the ISP new report is that Smith planned his attack. According to the report, Smith believed the relatives of Rita Luark were “interfering with their custody dispute.” He said that Smith and the victims were acquainted, but not related to any of the victims. The victims inside the apartment were related, Kilby said.
“Based on witness statements from family members and other known acquaintances, ISP investigators confirmed that Smith planned his attack and was seeking to resolve a domestic dispute between himself and the Sinclairs involving the custody of his 3 year old daughter,” the report states. “The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department also confirmed that on March 27, the office facilitated an exchange of custody between Smith’s 3 year old daughter and her mother, Rita Luark, which occurred without incident.”
The village of Manchester had a population of 354 as of the 2000 census and 292 by more recent estimates. Manchester is in sparsely populated Scott County. The county had fewer than 6,000 residents as of the 2010 census. It is about 85 miles from St. Louis. The last homicide reported in Scott County prior to April 24 was in 1993 and the Manchester mass shooting was the first mass shooting known to occur in Scott County. The incident disrupted the village of about 290 people and surrounding communities, with area schools closing for the day, according to police in nearby Winchester.
Posted: 03/20/2013 10:51 am EDT - Updated: 12/24/13
Newtown, Connecticut -- A federal judge sentenced a Connecticut man to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a toddler and two other young girls and videotaping the abuse.
Between 2006 and 2009, David Csanadi, 36, of Newtown, sexually abused the three female children of friends and kept the tapes at his home in Newtown, according to court.
Csanadi was charged with three counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
He pleaded guilty in November to one count of production of child pornography.
One victim was approximately 18 months old, another was 4-and-a-half years old at the time of the abuse and the third was identified as being under the age of 12, according to the U.S. Attorney, District of Connecticut.
"The sexual abuse of children and production of child pornography are detestable crimes, and the harsh reality of it all is that those who commit these unspeakable crimes live and work among us," said Kimberly Mertz, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division.
"The Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force's devotion to identifying those who commit these monstrous crimes and to bringing them to justice remains, and always will remain, resolute.”
According to prosecutors, the abuse happened in his home in Newtown and in Rhode Island.
Csanadi has been detained in state custody since April 15, 2011, when he was arrested on three counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of risk of injury or impairing the morals of children, three counts of illegal sexual contact with a child, and one count of third-degree possession of child pornography.
Upon his release, Csanadi will be subject to 15 years of supervised release. He will be sentenced on state sexual abuse charges in April.
Reader Pageviews by Country Movie Intermission! Police Interrogation
Description: Shaun Fairman, of Washington Township, showed up at the house just after midnight, armed with a 30.06 caliber rifle and a .45 caliber handgun, and exchanged words with Dick Shotts, who had been sleeping on a couch in the living room. At the same time, others in the house phoned 911 for help, according to state Trooper Shawn Compton of the Punxsutawney station. Jessica Fairman was telling the dispatcher about the restraining order she had taken out against her husband, and a 911 dispatcher heard another voice reporting Shaun Fairman was trying to break in.