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"They rape, ... They rape a 100 white women a day, ... that's FBI statistic from 2005."
-- Dylann Roof, explaining to FBI Agents why he entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015 and killed nine members of the black congregation attending a Bible study inside.
Top News Story!
PUBLISHED: June 6, 2017 at 12:06 pm | UPDATED: September 6, 2017 at 1:00 PM PST
Philadelphia -- PHL17’s Colleen Campbell was caught on video unleashing a profane tirade against a stoic Philadelphia police officer outside the Helium Comedy Club on Sunday night. Campbell spent two minutes throwing out relentless profanity and insults.
“That’s why everyone hates you guys!” the handcuffed reporter yells in the officer’s face. “That’s why society hates you!”
She continues to insult the officer before letting him know that she worked at PHL17, which described her as a news production employee.
“I work at a fucking news station, motherfucker. I work at PHL 17!” Campbell yells. “I’m not a fucking hood rat.”
The seemingly patient officer finally handcuffs and arrests her. It appears she spit on a manager and attempted to shove her shoe in his face.
Police say Campbell kicked the officer several times in the leg while being escorted to the police vehicle. They say she also kicked the doors and windows of the car.
Campbell says she might have been drugged prior to her outburst at the club. “Everything was foggy,” Campbell said. “I do remember coming in to Helium. I do remember getting into an altercation there, but I don’t remember what it was about.”
PUBLISHED: January 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm | UPDATED: January 21, 2017 at 4:37 PM PST
Vienna, Austria -- Estibaliz Carranza, 38, is a Spanish murderer dubbed the “ice cream killer.” She is so dangerous, she’s being moved to an all-male prison to serve out her life sentence. Carranza earned the chilling nickname after she shot her boyfriend and ex-husband to death in 2008. She cut up their bodies up with a chainsaw. She then hid them in the freezers of her ice cream store in Vienna, Austria.
The Mexican-born Spanish national stored the body parts in ice cream tubs filled with concrete. She disguised the smell with air freshners. Prison officials say because she shows an “advanced reduction of the relevant dangerousness,” she’ll spend the rest of her life in an all-male prison in Asten, Austria. The prison houses 91 men and allows inmates to freely move around and cook their own meals together. Prisoners can also join a lounge area with a TV.
An American Tale!
PUBLISHED: April 5, 2017 at 9:19 am | UPDATED: April 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm
An American Bail!
REDWOOD CITY, CA — Tiffany Li is accused with two others of murdering her ex-boyfriend Keith Green. The Hillsborough woman was released from custody on Thursday after posting a staggering $35 million in bail. The bail amount is an unprecedented amount in San Mateo County. District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said the total value of bail for is $66 million. Wagstaffe said: “Somebody told me it’s one of the largest bails to be posted in the United States. I have to imagine it’s one of the larger ones. Certainly for San Mateo County it’s without precedent.”
On Thursday Judge Donald Ayoob approved the bail and set of bail conditions agreed upon by prosecutors and Li’s defense attorneys. Li surrendered all passports to law enforcement. She is to remain under house arrest and electronic home monitoring at all times. She is not be in possession of any passport for her children and must remain at least 100 yards from any airport. Li has been in custody since SWAT officers arrested her in May, 2016 in her Hillsborough mansion. A fleet of luxury cars often sat in the driveway: including a Rolls-Royce; Land Rover; Mercedes; and Ferrari. Prosecutors allege Li killed Green over fears she was going to lose a custody battle over their two young daughters.
Li’s family put up $4 million in cash. Due to the fact the remainder is in the form of equity in property (from family and friends) it must double the remaining $31 million. Wagstaffe said the San Mateo County Counsel reviewed all the properties and verified their values. Wagstaffe said if Li fails to show for any of her court appearances: the court will forfeit the cash bail; and the property will be subject to forfeiture by the county. The cash and equity will be returned if Li makes all her court appearances.
Tiffany Li, Olivier Adella, 41, and Kaveh Bayat, 30, have all been charged with killing Keith Green (San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office)
Li and her co-defendants Olivier Adella, 41, and Kaveh Bayat, 30, have all been charged with killing Keith Green. Green's body was found May 11, 2016 in a wooded area near Healdsburg in Sonoma County. Each defendant faces a charge of felony murder, along with a special allegation that one of them was armed with a gun while carrying out the homicide. Adella and Bayat remain in custody in no-bail status. The case for all three defendants is set for jury trial on Sept. 18, 2017.
Prosecutors contend the trio murdered Green on April 28, 2016. On that day Li and Green had met for an hour in the parking lot of the Millbrae Pancake House to discuss a custody dispute involving their two young daughters. Green did not return home that day. He was reported missing the following day. A hiker later found Green’s cellphone in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Green was found dead from a gunshot wound on May 11, 2016. Green was studying to become a chef at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco while working two jobs. One of his friend’s previously told media sources: [Green was] “trying to make ends meet to get a place for them.”
Mitri Hanania, an attorney who briefly represented Green, previously told this newspaper the couple broke up in 2015 after he discovered Li had been having an affair with Bayat. Li accused Green of striking her and stealing a Landrover she had given him that was insured in his name, said Hanania. Green was exonerated by text messages between the two and the District Attorney’s Office ultimately rejected the case, the lawyer said.
Posted: Mar. 3, 2017 at 2:57 PM PDT ~ Updated: Apr. 7, 2017 at 12:26 AM PDT
REDWOOD CITY, CA — Tiffany Li and her boyfriend Kaveh Bayat, 30, have been ordered to stand trial for the murder of Li’s ex-boyfriend, Keith Green. The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office contends the duo and another man murdered Green on April 28, 2016. Green's naked and decomposing body was found along a dirt road near Highway 101 in Sonoma County last May. San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Lisa A. Novak ruled that enough evidence exists to try Li and Kaveh Bayat on felony murder charges. Bayat also faces a special allegation that he used a firearm to kill Green.
The court's ruling followed a five-day preliminary hearing that ended Wednesday. During the preliminary hearing, prosecutor's argued that Li and Green met for an hour in the parking lot of the Millbrae Pancake House. They met to discuss a custody dispute involving their two young daughters. Green never returned home. A detective testified that video surveillance footage showed Adella’s 2005 Chrysler trailing Li’s Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 after the meeting on April 28, 2016. The Chrysler was later traded in and its new owner said it smelled of bleach. The detective also testified that Green’s iPhone 6 also made contact with a cellular network from inside Li’s luxury home in Hillsborough. A second detective said records for a FasTrak transponder recovered from Adella’s Burlingame apartment showed the device crossing the Golden Gate Bridge headed south around 3:30 a.m. on April 29, 2016. Green was found dead from a gunshot wound on May 11, 2016.
Li’s attorney questioned detectives about Li’s actions on the night of the murder. He suggested her text exchanges with a tenant of an apartment building owned by her mother were not those of a woman participating in a murder. A lawyer for Bayat noted he was not evasive when talking to detectives about a dispute he had with Green. A third defendant, 41-year-old Olivier Adella, waived the preliminary hearing and is scheduled to be arraigned next week. Li, Bayat, and Adella are scheduled to return to court Thursday for an arraignment. In addition to ordering Li and Bayat to stand trial, Novak granted a defense motion to set bail for Li. Bail was set at $35 million, but Li and her co-defendants remain in custody.
Posted: Apr. 3, 2017 at 2:57 PM PDT ~ Updated: Apr. 6, 2017 at 12:26 AM PDT
MIAMI, FL - Detective Robin Pinkard said two Miami-Dade undercover officers were ambushed by four armed assailants. The UC officers were conducting surveillance at an apartment complex in the 1900 block of Northwest 59th Street. The two were working as part of a multi-agency operation on gang activity. The gunmen approached the officers' unmarked vehicle and opened fire. Detectives Terence White and Charles Woods were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center late Monday night after they were ambush.
Miami-Dade police said the wounded officers were taken to the hospital in the bed of a pickup truck. They were able to limp inside with the help of their colleagues. Woods was shot in the leg. White was shot in the arm. White is a 26-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department. Woods is an 11-year veteran. Detective Daniel Ferrin said Thursday that White has been released from the hospital.
Damian Thompson, 19, was arrested in the shooting of the two Miami-Dade police officers. Police received several tips at Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers. Police on Tuesday raided room 328 of the Hyatt Place on LeJeune Road. Thompson and three other people were staying in the room. Police say Thompson was lying in bed with his hands under his body. According to the report, police ordered Thompson to show his hands. However, he refused and leaped off the bed while threatening the officers. Police said Thompson charged at the officers and was punched several times in an attempt to subdue him. He was subdued and taken into custody.
Jamal Daniels, 25, Jessica Pierre, 22, and Mikequesha Simmons, 22, were arrested on unrelated charges.
The three others who were in the room -- Jamal Daniels, 25, Jessica Pierre, 22, and Mikequesha Simmons, 22 -- were also arrested. However, they were arrested on unrelated charges. Police said Daniels rented the room using a fraudulent credit card. He let Thompson and the others stay there. He faces charges of credit card fraud, grand theft and defrauding an innkeeper. Police said Pierre was arrested on an outstanding warrant for not having a valid driver's license. Simmons was arrested on drug charges after officers found marijuana and Xanax in her wallet. Police said Tuesday night that a third man was in the room. He was identified as Alexander Stalling, 18. He was also arrested on unrelated charges.
Thompson's mother told media sources that her son wasn't involved in the shooting because he was in a recording studio at the time. Woods identified Thompson as the shooter from a photographic lineup. According to an arrest affidavit: "Investigation revealed that Detective White had previously arrested the defendant earlier this year." Thompson faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He was in court Thursday morning on a bond hearing. Miami-Dade County Judge Mindy Glazer denied bond for Thompson during his initial court appearance.
Posted: Mar. 31, 2017 at 2:57 PM PDT ~ Updated: Apr. 1, 2017 at 9:59 PM PDT
BROKEN ARROW, OK – Oklahoma police authorities are still investigating a deadly home invasion. The robbery/murder occurred earlier this week inside a Broken Arrow home. On Monday, shortly before 12:30 p.m., authorities say three teenagers dressed in black and wearing masks and gloves broke in to a Broken Arrow home. The three teens entered through a back door. However, they did not know that a young man was home at the time. Officials say the homeowner’s 23-year-old son was home. He killed all three teens with an AR-15 assault rifle. He then barricaded himself inside his bedroom.
Authorities released that man’s 911 call on Wednesday. During the call, he told dispatchers that he shot two of the intruders before running to his bedroom and locking the door. The man told dispatchers: “I shot two of them and now I’m barricaded in my bedroom.” At the time, he he apparently thought he had only shot two intruders. He told dispatchers that third intruder had run outside. Deputies later found that man’s body in the driveway of the house. Police say one of the alleged suspects was found to have a knife. The another was carrying brass knuckles. The intruders were identified as 19-year-old Maxwell Cook, 17-year-old Jacob Redfern and 16-year-old Jaykob Woodriff.
Posted: Feb 27, 2017 at 2:57 PM PST ~ Updated: Feb 28, 2017 at 9:34 PM PST
San Jose, CA -- The preliminary hearing for a man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend in Milpitas last fall because “demon” voices told him to has been scheduled for May 19.
Kevin Van Nguyen of San Jose pleaded not guilty Feb. 29 in Santa Clara County Superior Court to charges of murdering ex-girlfriend Danica Bascos.
After listening to witnesses and reviewing evidence, Superior Court Judge Allison Danner will determine after the hearing whether there’s sufficient evidence to try Nguyen before a jury.
Because the burden of proof in a preliminary hearing is “less than beyond a reasonable doubt … it is typical to expect less witnesses and evidence presented than during a trial,” Deputy District Attorney Kalila Spain said.
Nguyen was arraigned Oct. 8 on one charge of murder with a deadly weapon and intentionally lying in wait; one charge of battery against a person with whom the defendant has, or previously had, a dating or engagement relationship; and one count of battery — against Bascos’ then-boyfriend, John Souza. He is being held without bail following his Oct. 6 arrest.
In response to a question by the Milpitas Post in November about information it received suggesting Nguyen, 26, is suffering from a mental disability, Deputy Public Defender Kelley Kulick said: “At the time of the incident Kevin was receiving services from San Andreas Regional Center, which is known to assist with developmental disabilities. We need to know who Kevin is and what his disabilities may or may not be before interpreting the facts.”
She said this week, she could not clarify the “not guilty” plea, citing “privilege and confidentiality issues, I can tell you that at this stage the plea is not guilty.”
Police reported receiving a phone call at 3:59 p.m. on Oct. 5 about an unresponsive adult inside a home at 598 Manzano St., near Milpitas High School. Arriving officers found Bascos dead from multiple stab wounds, police said. Detectives were called in to begin a homicide investigation.
According to police, the victim’s father, Daniel Bascos, returned home from work and found his daughter lying in her bed, unresponsive. He asked his sister, who was also home, to call police.
“He rolled the victim onto her side and pulled her shirt up. He noticed she had several stab wounds to her back,” Milpitas Sgt. Abbie Serrano said in the police report.
When asked why he had killed Bascos, Nguyen said “demon” voices told him to do it. He also indicated he was “mad” that she lied to him about cheating on him. Although stating his “demons” told him to kill the victim, he admitted the “demons” did not tell him to purchase the knife, mask or the gloves three weeks earlier when he decided to kill the victim, the report states.
This was the first and only reported homicide in Milpitas in 2015.
The preliminary hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. May 19 at the Santa Clara Hall of Justice, Department 33, at 190 W. Hedding St., San Jose.
Posted: Feb 27, 2017 at 2:57 PM PST ~ Updated: Feb 28, 2017 at 9:34 PM PST
Queens, NY -- Detective Sasha Cordoba, 33, joined the NYPD in 2007. Detective Kevin Desormeau, 33, joined NYPD in 2006. Cordoba and Desormeau were assigned to the Queens South Gang Squad. They both arrested Jamal Choice, 38, for gun possession on November 6, 2014. The arrest was made at a building on W. 175th St. Choice had a gun in a suitcase in his Washington Heights apartment. However, he never threatened anyone with it. Choice claims he got into a fight with a neighbor. He said the neighbor worked as a confidential informant for the police. Choice said that neighbor knew about the gun.
Choice says ten minutes after that argument: “I heard somebody knocking at the door. My girlfriend opened the door and they walked in right past her. She didn't invite them in or nothing... they entered my house without a warrant or search warrant. One of the cops identified himself as a police officer. The other as an “ACS officer. They said, 'We have a report of someone pulling a gun.” Choice said he told the officers that “never happened.” Choice claims Desormeau offered him an ultimatum: “Well, I'll make this simple. If you don't tell us where the gun is, we'll take your kids.” Choice continued saying: “What choice did I have? I told him in was in the suitcase. He went and got it, and I was hauled off after that.”
An NYPD police spokesman said: “Following a thorough investigation by the NYPD's internal affairs Bureau, Detectives Sasha Cordoba and Kevin Desormeau were arrested for making false statements on a gun arrest in 2014. Those officers have now been suspended.” The two NYPD detectives were arrested Thursday on accusations they fabricated seeing Choice with a gun in Washington Heights. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said: "These defendants are charged with fabricating the details of an arrest — seemingly out of thin air — in gross violation of their training, NYPD protocol, and the law." They pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday in front of Justice Melissa Jackson. Jackson released them both without bail Thursday. They hustled out of the courthouse without commenting.
Detective Kevin Desormeau admitted to the lies in text messages with a friend. Desormeau was awarded the NYPD’s Combat Cross by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2011 for his role in a Queens gunfight. The Combat Cross is one of the department’s highest honors. Prosecutor Kaegan Marie Mays-Williams said: “Interviews with other witnesses, surveillance video and a copy of text messages [between Desormeau and another person] reveal the defendants lied about the circumstances of the arrest and the defendants had unlawfully searched the apartment and recovered a firearm from another room inside the apartment.” They repeated the lie on a search warrant and before a grand jury. The two cops falsely claimed to a prosecutor and in arrest paperwork that the man had threatened someone else with the gun. They claimed to had seen the gun in his waistband. Cordoba is accused of lying in a criminal complaint: in a search warrant; and in testimony before a grand jury.
Prosecutors dismissed the gun charges against Choice. Choice is now 40 and who now lives in South Carolina. He told media sources on Thursday that he couldn’t make the $75,000 bail in his case. The officers’ lie cost him eight months on Rikers Island. “But the D.A., bless her soul, looked at my case and knew something was wrong,” Choice said. “She said, ‘You can't let them get away with this because if they did this to you how many others have they done it to?’”
Posted: Feb 27, 2017 at 2:57 PM PST ~ Updated: Feb 27, 2017 at 7:34 PM PST
Mama's Meth House
ST. CHARLES, MO • The mother of a 2-year-old boy who died after being left near a space heater while his parents allegedly used methamphetamine has pleaded guilty to neglect and manufacturing a controlled substance.
Kathleen Marie Peacock, 23, of St. Charles, pleaded guilty on Friday to two felonies: child abuse/neglect and manufacturing methamphetamine.
Her son, Braydon Barnes, died of hyperthermia, or overheating, in December 2015. She and the boy's father are accused of leaving the boy in his crib in a back room of the family's mobile home in the 3700 block of Baden Street for 38 hours near a space heater that did not have a thermostat to shut it off when it got too hot.
The couple were using meth at the time, authorities allege.
A trial for the boy's father, Lucas Russell Barnes, 26, of St. Charles, is set for April 18. He is facing similar charges.
Peacock is scheduled to be sentenced on May 19 before St. Charles County Circuit Judge Jon Cunningham.
Posted: Feb 21, 2017 12:57 PM PST ~ Updated: Feb 25, 2017 9:34 PM PST
OPELOUSAS, LA - Marcus "Hitler" Etienne, 35 (pictured above, center) was indicted last week in federal court in San Francisco. He is under indictment on drug charges for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana in California and Louisiana. He was indicted along with his wife, Elizabeth Gobert, 33. They were arraigned on Tuesday. Etienne was ordered held without bail because he was a flight risk: because he is a danger to the community; and because he has a history of not showing up for court.
Etienne has been named by the FBI in court papers as linked to a St. Landry Parish murder. The FBI in that case filed an affidavit claiming Etienne is also linked to the murders of two Louisiana men: Trince Thibodeaux; and Rodney Savoy. Thibodeaux was shot and killed in Oakland in March 2016. Savoy of Lafayette was shot and killed in August 2016 in Nuba, Louisiana. The affidavit lays out an ongoing investigation of the FBI and the DEA. It also details the investigations of local law enforcement in California and Louisiana.
The investigation delves into a "multi-state violent drug trafficking organization." The FBI believes this "multi-state violent drug trafficking organization" is "lead in part" by Etienne and his wife. The affidavit says that both Thibodeaux and Savoy are suspected to have been members of the drug operation. The affidavit alleges that their conspiracy traffics marijuana between California and Louisiana. The affidavit also alleges that the operation's product exceeds 100 kilos of pot. The conspiracy allegedly operates, in part, out of a home in Opelousas. The home is attached to a a daycare facility, Fran's Daycare, the affidavit states.
The affidavit filed in federal court in San Francisco lays out the following alleged incidents involving Etienne and Gobert:
•» Etienne and Gobert Boarded a plane in Lafayette, Louisiana in January 2016. The plane was headed to San Francisco. The flight made a stop in Houston. They were stopped at the Houston airport. Police found "bundles of money" totaling more than $23,000 both in Etienne's carry-on and his wife's Louis Vuitton purse. Police said the couple told them to just keep the money, because they wanted to catch their flight.
•» Thibodeaux was shot to death in March 2016. After his death a Lafayette's DEA reported that a confidential informant had provided information about a meeting he had with Thibodeaux two days before his murder. They met in a car. In the car was a prescription bottle with Etienne's name on it. Upon further investigation, DEA agents learned the car that was the site of their meeting had been rented by Gobert.
•» A law enforcement officer interviewed Savoy at the end of March 2016. Savoy said that he had grown up with Etienne. He said he knew him to be the "shot caller" of the narcotics trafficking organization that was under investigation. He identified a man named Mario Robinson as the "enforcer."
•» Etienne and Gobert were stopped by St. Landry Parish narcotics agents while they were traveling on Interstate 49, in May of 2016. Their stories didn't match. Gobert finally told police they had just left her mother's day care, Fran's Daycare in Opelousas. She said they were on their way to Youngsville to purchase a drug detection and protection dog. Police found a postal receipt In her purse. Police say that they later connected the postal receipt to a 47-pound marijuana shipment. Gobert told narcotics agents that her husband is a marijuana dealer. She said he has been dealing marijuana since before they were married. She said she held large sums of money for him. In some cases she held up to $20,000 for him. She also said she helped him sell marijuana a couple of times.
•» Narcotics agents also interviewed Etienne. Etienne said that the $10,000 they found in his car was the result of a marijuana sale he had just made in Los Angeles. He also said that Thibodeaux and Savoy both were working for "some guy" in Oakland dealing marijuana. Narcotics agents got a search warrant for the couple's home on Highway 31 in Opelousas. The day care also operates on the property. During the search agents found suspected drug ledgers. Savoy's name appears repeatedly in the ledgers.
•» FBI agents came to Lafayette to meet with the DEA, FBI, St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement in the area in August 2016. They went over the items obtained during the May 2016 stop in St. Landry Parish. As a result, they were able to intercept six packages of marijuana. The marijuana had a total weight of almost 50 pounds.
•» Savoy was shot to death in Nuba a few days after the August 2016 Law Enforcement meeting. A memorandum requesting that Etienne be denied bail states that Etienne allegedly admitted that Savoy owed him money when Savoy was shot.
POSTED 8:41 PM, FEBRUARY 11, 2017 ~ UPDATED AT 10:40 PM, FEBRUARY 12, 2017 PST
Rape in Concert!
Long Beach, CA -- Police say Sophia Yim, 31, of Lynwood, is a suspect and accomplice in a weeklong string of robberies in Long Beach. One of the robberies involved the rape of an elderly woman. Yim was arrested Friday morning along with Melvin Earl Farmer Jr. According to the Long Beach Police Department, Farmer is accused of carrying out a string of robberies. Farmer is responsible for five robberies. Police said four of the robberies occurred at a senior housing center near Atlantic Avenue and Via Carmelitos.
Yim was previously being held on $20,000 bail. She has now been booked on suspicion of robbery. As a result she is now being held on $100,000 bail. Police said Friday that they were withholding her name due to “investigative reasons.”
Oakland, CA -- The Alameda County district attorney alleged that ex-Livermore Police Officer Daniel Black took the teen to restaurants in April of 2016. He then had sex with her in his motor home in Berkeley and Albany parking lots. The former officer faced five misdemeanor counts for lewd conduct in a public place: engaging in an act of prostitution; and giving alcohol to a minor.
Prosecutors accused Black of reaching out to Jasmine through Facebook and setting up meetings with her. On April 8, he told Jasmine, “Just to be clear, I’m not going to pay you, but I will buy you dinner,” according to court records. Later that night and the next morning, they engaged in oral copulation and sexual intercourse inside his recreational vehicle, visible from a public street, according to records. Black told Jasmine that she could drink his alcohol, prosecutors say. “‘Go ahead and help yourself. I’m going to turn my back,’” Farrell said in court, quoting what Black allegedly told Jasmine, who is the daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher. Five days later, Black paid for Jasmine’s dinner at an Albany restaurant before they again engaged in oral copulation near the waterfront and Interstate 80 in his motor home.
Deputy District Attorney Sabrina Farrell told Flanagan that the former police officer had been the subject of complaints before, including an incident where he recorded himself having sex with someone without asking her permission. Black was also placed on desk duty this year because of a complaint over how he handled a report from a victim, Farrell said. Black had recorded someone without her permission while they were having sex, and in another instance had sex with someone under the influence, Farrell said.
PUBLISHED: February 8, 2017 9:54 am ET | UPDATED: Friday, February 17, 2017 02:51 PM PST
Troup County, GA — Quadruple murder suspect William "Billy" Boyette is dead. Authorities in three counties from Florida to Alabama say Boyette is suspected of killing Alicia Greer, Jacqueline Moore and Peggy Broz last week. His suspected accomplice is Mary Rice. Rice was taken into custody. She is being held with no bond. The extent of her involvement in Boyette's crimes is unknown at this time. As of Monday morning, it was unsure whether Rice was being held against her will or an accomplice to Boyette. However, that changed Monday afternoon.
Escambia County Sheriff (ECSO)David Morgan said surveillance photos from convenience stores showed that Rice had an opportunity to flee and seek help. However, she stayed with Boyette. Florida State Attorney Bill Eddins said: "She's been upgraded to a suspect regarding the crime where two people were killed in Santa Rosa County." Investigators said that Rice is also a suspect of accessory after the fact in the shooting of 28-year-old Kayla Crocker of Beulah on Monday morning.
Crocker was Boyette's fourth victim. In the last week she succumbed to her injuries and died Tuesday. According to ECSO, Boyette shot Crocker and stole her car after a home invasion Monday morning. Crocker's 2-year-old son was inside the home at the time of the attack. However, he was not harmed. Authorities say Boyette and accomplice Mary Rice took off in Crocker's 2006 white Chevy Cobalt bearing a Florida tag. Sheriff David Morgan said after the crime Boyette and Mary Rice drove to a nearby Shell gas station on Beulah Road. The duo then went to Hardee's for breakfast.
PUBLISHED: March 14, 2017 at 2:12 pm | UPDATED: March 20, 2017 at 9:27 am
Ho In Prison!
“She is far too young for the rest of her life to be wasted. The court sincerely hopes that this becomes your opportunity to turn your life around.”
-- Judge Tara Desautels in sentencing Melissa Ho to a meager six years in prison for killing a Black male.
OAKLAND, CA -- An Alameda County judge on Monday sentenced a 25-year-old Fremont woman to six years and eight months for fatally running over one man and injuring a tow truck driver in 2014 after a sleepless night doing drugs, and less than an hour after causing another accident.
Melissa Fan Ho was also ordered to partake in comprehensive mental health and drug rehabilitation programs during her incarceration at an emotional two-hour hearing on Monday. Many friends and family of the slain man, 22-year-old Sacramento resident William Sampson, and volunteers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving attended the hearing. Ho did not make a statement.
Ho told police that she did cocaine during her night shift at Dave & Busters and then stayed up all night doing drugs with a friend. Cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, THC, and medication that Ho used to treat a heroin addiction were among the drugs detected by a urine test after the accident.
While prosecutor Angela Backers argued that Ho was criminally negligent for driving under the influence of drugs, Ho was not prosecuted for or convicted of DUI in connection with Sampson’s death. Ho wasn’t blood tested after the accident. Had she tested positive for drugs, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office could have considered charging her with murder because of a prior DUI conviction.
“You had chance after chance to make a good choice. To stop driving, to stay at your friends, to get sleep, to call into work, not to ingest all those party drugs,” Sampson’s mother, Angel Parker told Ho in court Monday.
“You have affected my life and so many people’s lives by taking our William away,” Parker said. “I hope that every single second you serve is hell because I have a life sentence of hell. I am numb. I am in gut-wrenching pain.”
Family, friends and supporters of William Sampson hold a protest outside the Fremont Hall of Justice in Fremont, Calif., Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Sampson, 22, of Sacramento, was fatally struck by a car on Interstate 880 in Fremont in August 2014. The driver of the car Melissa Ho, of San Jose, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and is due to appear in court for a preliminary hearing.
Sampson was supposed to take a Greyhound train back to Sacramento that morning, but stayed in the South Bay to help his friend who was having car trouble. Sampson was helping a tow truck driver on the shoulder of Interstate 880 by Dixon Landing Road when Ho drove into them.
Sampson was killed instantly. The tow truck driver suffered severe injuries to his leg, and a broken nose.
The court received high number of victim impact letters — more than 65 — from friends and family of Sampson, who was described as very kind, fun-loving and great with children.
Less than an hour before the fatality, Ho rear-ended another car and disabled her own vehicle. Her mother met her at the accident scene and waited for a tow truck for Ho’s car while Ho left in from mother’s Volvo so she could get ready for work. Ho was driving the Volvo when she killed Sampson.
Judge Desautels told Ho on Monday that the first accident should have convinced her that she was too intoxicated to drive.
Oakland, CA -- On the morning of Thursday, June 5, 2003, Patricia E. Humphrey, 46, of Berkeley, was driving a friend's Ford F150 on a suspended license. She struck bassist Matthew Sperry, 34, with the truck. Sperry was riding his bicycle to work at LeapFrog in Emeryville, CA, just outside of Oakland, CA. Sperry was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, Stacia Biltekoff, says police never tested the driver to see if she was under the influence of alcohol, or drugs.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge John M. True wrist-slapped Humphrey, who hit and Killed Matthew Sperry, with a $211 fine. The Alameda Deputy District Attorney (at the time of the vehicular manslaughter) Stuart Hing, said he couldn't charge Humphrey with manslaughter just because the lethal accident occurred when she wasn't supposed to be driving. Hing says his office asked for the harshest penalty it could under the circumstances -- a misdemeanor for driving on a suspended license. A misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of six-month jail time and a $1,000 fine. "We asked for the max and didn't plea-bargain," he says.
Stuart Hing and Tara Desautels were both employed by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. They were both appointed to judgeships in 2008 by ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (who slept with and impregnated his illegal immigrant maid, ... without legal recourse). Judge True is married to US District Court Judge Claudia Wilken. Wilken ruled (in January 2010) that the Oakland Police Department used "reasonable force" when they shot an unarmed black man in the back.
PUBLISHED: February 9, 2017 at 2:25 pm | UPDATED: February 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm
Ho Found Guilty!
OAKLAND, CA — Melissa Fan Ho, 25, appeared stunned as bailiffs handcuffed her and took her into custody. An Oakland jury deliberated for just a few hours before convicting the Fremont woman of vehicular manslaughter. Ho killed William Sampson of Sacramento, while he was trying to help a tow truck driver on the side of Interstate 880 in Fremont. She was convicted of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for killing Sampson. She was also convicted of two counts of reckless driving causing great bodily injury related to Sampson and the tow truck driver.
On Aug. 16, 2014, Sampson had forgone a planned train trip back home to Sacramento. He decided to help a friend who was having car trouble. He was helping the tow truck driver with his friend’s car on an Interstate 880 on ramp shoulder. Ho rear-ended another car while driving an Audi to her Fremont home. She had planned to stop home before going back to work. The first accident occurred about 11 a.m. that day. Ho's mother brought her a Volvo to that accident scene and waited on Ho’s behalf for a tow truck driver for the Audi. At approximately 12:13 p.m., Ho rammed into the the tow truck driver and Sampson. The impact killed Sampson and badly injuring the tow truck driver. Ho killed Sampson while driving the Volvo.
It was an unusual trial. The prosecution argued Ho was criminally negligence for killing William Sampson after she spent a sleepless night doing drugs. Prosecutor Angela Backers told jurors that Ho had a cocktail of drugs in her system. Backers said Ho admitted to doing cocaine the night before during her shift at Dave & Busters in Milpitas. She also admitted to staying up all night doing drugs with a friend. A urine test found cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, THC, and medication that Ho used to treat a heroin addiction.
However, Ho was not charged with driving under the influence. Ho had been out of custody on $75,000 bail. After the verdicts were read she was jailed without bail in advance of her March 13 sentencing. Ho faces up to six years in state prison. Judge Tara Desautels on Thursday ordered a through probation report of Ho. She noted the court had “a lot of unanswered questions” and wanted to “do the right thing for Ms. Ho.” The judge said that Ho “unquestionably does pose a danger to the community.”
Angel Parker, 40, of Sacramento, is Sampson’s mother. She broke into tears as the verdicts were read. A tearful Parker said in the courtroom hallway after the verdict: “I just appreciate everybody so much. I mean, it’s never going to bring my son home, and I know that, everyday I’m going to be in horrible pain but I’m glad she’s off the street, she’s not going to kill anyone else’s child. I had him when I was only 15, and he was my best friend. He was so much more than a son, he was the glue to our family. He was my happiness, a great kid.” She was effusive in her gratitude to the jury, the prosecution team, and court staff.
Parker said a mistake by hospital staff in not testing Ho’s blood for drugs prohibited prosecutors from elevating the charges against Ho to murder. Ho is a prior DUI offender. Parker and her son’s friends protested outside Alameda County courthouses several times while Ho’s case slowly moved through the justice system. Parker said she prays that Ho won’t be given drug treatment over prison time. She said Ho was on probation for DUI at the time of the deadly crash. She wasted previous rehabilitation opportunities provided to her by the justice system. Parker said that the jury was precluded from hearing these things.
POSTED: 8:45 PM, FEBRUARY 2, 2017, ~ UPDATED AT 03:40 AM, FEBRUARY 14, 2017 PST
Fadi Chaiban, left, and Tina Saunders are shown in booking photos released Feb. 2, 2017, by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Ladera Ranch, CA -- Fadi Boulos Chaiban, 53, and co-defendant Tina Lorraine Saunders also 53, reside in Ladera Ranch. The two were hit with numerous felony charges Thursday. The charges are in connection with a prostitution business prosecutors say they were operating for nearly two years at luxury apartments in Irvine. Officials said both were taken into custody on Tuesday as they were leaving their home.
Authorities call Chaiban the “brother ringleader.” He is accused of pandering at least 29 women to commit prostitution. Chaiban was charged with one felony pandering charge for each woman. Chaiban was also charged with three felony counts of pimping and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit pandering. Prosecutors say Chaiban ran a “sophisticated brothel operation” at various high-end apartment complexes in Irvine between April 2015 and January 2017. He allegedly recruited adult women to work for him by posting internet ads to meet potential victims. The “ringleader” allegedly took sexually explicit photos of more than 28 different victims that were posted to websites commonly used to advertise prostitution. He also posted them to a website he ran. Chaiban is additionally accused of pretending to be a woman online to communicate with clients and set up prostitution dates. Chaiban is accused of possessing more than $469,000 in cash in a storage locker at the time of his arrest.
Saunders was charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit pimping, conspiracy to commit pandering, pimping, and pandering, the DA’s office said. Saunders is accused of aiding Chaiban’s operation by renting an apartment for him to use as a brothel. Law enforcement located several luxury apartment buildings in Irvine where Chaiban allegedly arranged for clients to pay for sex. During their probe, investigators saw dozens of men enter and exit the apartments in 30-minute and one-hour intervals before victims left in the evening. Chaiban collected cash earnings left behind in the apartments by victims at the end of each day. He kept the majority for himself. He is also accused of maintaining a detailed client list.
If convicted Chaiban faces a maximum sentence of 45 years and four months in state prison. Saunders faces a maximum of six years in state prison. Chaiban's bail has been set a $3 million. Saunders' bail has been set at $500,000. Both must prove bond money is from a legal and legitimate source.
PUBLISHED: February 7, 2017 9:54 am ET | UPDATED: Thursday, February 09, 2017 06:33 AM PST
Guns of Love!
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — FBI agents arrested San Francisco sheriff's Deputy April Myres, age 52 and Antoine Fowler, a jail inmate. Prosecutors say Myres met Fowler last year at a San Francisco jail. He he was being detained on unrelated charges. The pair began a romantic relationship. Fowler was released from jail in January 2016. Deputy Myres allegedly gave Fowler her department-issued Glock 17 9mm firearm pistol to Fowler after his release. Myres then allegedly reported that the gun had been stolen during a burglary of her San Francisco home located at 333 Tocoloma Aveune, in San Francisco.
Myres then allegedly filed a claim with her insurance company. She claimed that numerous items had been taken from her home. The items listed included the firearm: a ballistic vest; handcuffs; a mink jacket; and several designer shoes and bags. Federal officials learned (from unconfirmed sources) that the items may not have been stolen. FBI officials, with help from the San Francisco's Sheriff's Department, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and San Francisco police, began investigating Myres. FBI agents arrested Myres and conducted a search warrant operation at her home on February 2, 2017. Prosecutors said FBI agents located several of the items Myres claimed had been stolen.
Myres and Fowler were both arrested last Thursday. Fowler was arrested in Oakland. Agents allegedly found the gun that Myres said had been stolen inside his car. The couple made their initial appearances in federal court Friday. Myres has been charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. Fowler had been charged with being a felon in possession of a gun. Myres has been released on $1 million bail. Fowler remains in custody. Myres is due back in federal court on February 15, 2017. Fowler is due back in court on February 7, 2017.
PUBLISHED: February 1, 2017 9:54 am ET | UPDATED: Thursday, February 07, 2017 06:33 AM PST
Bath Tub Babies!
HOUSTON, TX (WCJB) -- Joshlyn Guy is charged with endangering a child. She tried to drown a young child in a bathtub. The alleged incident happened in the 8000 block of Wilcrest Drive. Guy allegedly duct taped the hands and mouths of three children, ages 5, 6 and 7. She then drew a bath and tried to drown the youngest girl in the bathtub. Guy allegedly told the children: "You're going to meet God." Sources say the child fought and screamed until another adult stopped Guy and told the children to run away. All three children are in the custody of Child Protective Services. According to CPS spokeswoman Tiffani Butler the children were unharmed. Butler said the alleged incident happened in October 2016.
PUBLISHED: JANUARY 25, 2017 AT 6:33PM EST | UPDATED: JANUARY 26, 2017 AT 9:33PM EST
Draper, Utah -- Brianne Altice is a former Utah teacher. Altice is a former English teacher at Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah. She a mother of two. Altice pleaded guilty two years ago to sexual abuse. The plea came after having sex with three of her underage students. She pleaded guilty to three counts of forcible sex abuse in April 2015. In exchange, 11 charges were dropped, including three first-degree felony rape charges. Altice was first arrested in October 2013 after one of the victims came forward to police.
Altice sought parole this week during an emotional hearing. Altice detailed her crimes. Altice said Tuesday during a hearing with the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole: “I clearly lost sight of all my values and my principles and was seeking inappropriate means to address my own issues, issues I’m very aware of now.” During her parole hearing Tuesday, Altice admitted to inappropriate sexual conduct with the victims. The male victims were 16 and 17 at the time. She also acknowledged she’d had sex with a then 16-year-old student in a church parking lot and during the school lunch hour. Altice also confessed to having sexual encounters with a 17-year-old boy after she was arrested and out on bail.
Altice was occasionally in tears as she discussed her past acts (as she was, repeatedly, during court appearances). The 36-year-old said: “This was my doing. This was no one else’s fault but my own. This was not my ex-husband’s fault, or the school’s fault, or my students’ fault. These were my poor, poor decisions. I’m very aware of it and I am very remorseful. I regret the decisions I made that brought us here.” Robert Yeates, the parole board’s vice-chairman asked: “Did you grasp the gravity of the situation at this time?” Altice responded: “No, I do not believe I did. I had extreme self-esteem issues, and they [the victims] said things that made me feel good about myself,” she said. “I just started to justify everything. I wasn’t functioning in a healthy adult manner at all.” Altice said at Tuesday’s hearing that she has earned a paralegal certificate and has been taking life-skills classes. She says she has been receiving therapy while at Timpanogos Women’s Facility in Draper, Utah. She said she plans to live at a home owned by her parents and continue her therapy if she is released.
Prosecutors say Altice’s crimes had a “really substantial impact” on her victims. Davis County Deputy District Attorney Cristina Ortega told media sources: “I think it was the sentiment in the public that this was any boy’s dream to have a relationship with an older woman like a teacher, and I didn’t see it that way because she impacted the lives of all three of these boys. I think she took advantage of each of the boys and what issues they may have had, whether it was their family or drugs or that sort of thing.” Ortega continued saying: “I think she took advantage of that and she made their problems even worse. And on top of that, they had to deal with the public scrutiny of a lot of people saying, ‘You are not a victim because you are a boy.’ I think she layered on the impact with these boys.”
The mother of one of the victims explained it this way in 2015: “I think people don’t see how it really affects the kids, the boys. It’s not a ‘tie the boy down and rape him’ sort of abuse. You don’t know until you’re a parent, really, what it is, and it’s more of an emotional abuse.”
A five-member board will now deliberate and make a decision in about two weeks to determine how much time Altice will spend behind bars. The spokesman says Altice’s current release date is 2045.
PUBLISHED: January 25, 2017 at 3:48 pm | UPDATED: January 26, 2017 at 12:05 am PST
MARTINEZ, CA — Shellie Farnham, 47, was convicted Wednesday of involuntary manslaughter and dependent endangerment causing death. The jury reached its verdict after slightly more than a day of deliberation. The jury convicted the Oakley woman of involuntary manslaughter in the 2015 death of her boyfriend Rodney Lee Moss, 43. Farnham is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. Feb. 24, 2016, in Martinez. She faces nine years in prison.
Moss was recovering from a traumatic brain injury suffered in a December 2014 vehicle crash. He had extreme memory loss and needed help performing daily tasks. At the time of his death, on Sept. 12, 2015, Farnham checked Moss out of the care home where he stayed. She told staff the two were going to a dinner date. However, she instead took Moss to a hotel. She let him leave the room on his own to smoke a cigarette. Moss ended up walking away. Farnham left the area to run an errand shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, Moss wandered onto Kirker Pass Road. He was subsequently struck by a car and killed. Moss’s family maintained from the beginning that Farnham was at fault.
Pam Bellanca is the mother of Moss. She said hearing the jury’s verdict was a relief. She said: “I felt like there’s finally justice for my son, for what happened.” It was a bizarre case from the beginning. A grand jury indicted Farnham last year. The indictment was based partially on Bellanca’s testimony. She also testified during trial about her son’s mental state. Farnham was nowhere near the car crash that killed Moss. However, prosecutors successfully argued she put Moss in harm’s way. Bellanca said: “I did it for my son, and I’d do it all over again, because I knew (Farnham) was responsible.” Prosecutor Jill Henderson said: “It’s always a hollow victory, because we can’t bring Rodney back. All we can do is seek justice.” Farnham’s attorney argued that Moss was in better mental shape than prosecutors portrayed him to be. He argued that Farnham shouldn’t be found criminally liable for his death simply because she allowed him to smoke outside.
PUBLISHED: Jan 24, 2017, 12:37 PM ET | UPDATED: January 24, 2017 at 7:17 PM PST
Vermont Crack Trade!
Barre, Vermont -- Desiree Cary, 22, was arrested in Barre on Sunday night. Her arrest came as part of an ongoing drug distribution investigation by the Vermont Drug Task Force. Cary was subsequently charged with selling crack cocaine and heroin. She remained jailed for lack of $10,000 bail. Cary is due back in court in April. It’s unclear if she has hired an attorney, or if she has entered a plea.
Investigators learned that Cary lives with Jayveon Caballero in an apartment in Barre, Vermont. Caballero is currently wanted on murder charges. Vermont State Police searched the residence on Monday in an attempt to locate Caballero and to search for evidence.
PUBLISHED: JANUARY 19, 2016 AT 4:35PM EST | UPDATED: JANUARY 25, 2016 AT 4:35PM PST
San Bernardino, CA -- San Bernardino Police had trouble locating Nakasia James, 18, after discovering her boyfriend dead. Dorian Powell, 21, was discovered stabbed to death inside a San Bernardino apartment early last week. Detectives say a woman with the same name took to Facebook hours after the murder and confessed to the crime. The alleged posts claim the couple was “really” fighting. The posts continued saying the woman grabbed a “knife and stabbed him,” not thinking “I would hurt him.” The post also claimed, “he died and I’m on the run.” The posts have since been removed from Facebook.
Police in California now say they have finally caught up with Nakasia. Nakasia was arrested on Sunday in Hemet, California. The arrest was the result of a phone tip. San Bernardino Police say she was arrested without incident. Nakasia has been formally charged in the stabbing death of Dorian Powell, age 21. She is being held on an unspecified amount of bail. It was not immediately clear Tuesday if James had secured legal representation.
PUBLISHED: January 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm | UPDATED: January 21, 2017 at 9:37 PM PST
WILLIAMSBURG, KY –- Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell says deputies were called to the home of Larry, 51 and Courtney Taylor, 41, on Friday night. The call came after a relative went there to check on the family. Harrell says deputies shot Courtney Taylor after she brandished a handgun at Deputies. Harrell told media sources that Courtney Taylor pointed a gun at two deputies who arrived at the home. One of the deputies shot her.
She was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Her condition was not known Saturday afternoon. Deputies say Courtney allegedly killed her husband and two teenage daughters at their home. Sheriff deputies found three people dead inside the home: Larry Taylor; and the couple's two teenage daughters. Harrell says they had been dead for several hours before being found.
PUBLISHED: January 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm | UPDATED: January 16, 2017 at 1:37 PM PST
New Orleans, LA -- Detectives have identified two women suspected of using credit cards that belong to Mark Bakotic II, 21. The man has been missing since December 30, 2016. Bakotic went missing late after leaving a night club in the 800 block of South Peters Street in the Warehouse District. As of Thursday night (January 12, 2016) police identified the women as Karima Peters, 34, and Brittany Pinera, 31. The women are now considered persons of interest in the missing-persons case.
Several hours after Bakotic was last seen, Peters and Pinera used Bakotic's credit cards in the Lower 9th Ward. The two used the cards around 2:45 a.m. (December 31, 2016) at the Magnolia Discount Supermarket off North Claiborne Avenue, according to the NOPD. Investigators want to speak with Peters and Pinera.
PUBLISHED: January 13, 2017 at 11:33 AM | UPDATED: January 13, 2017 at 12:05 PM PST
On Da' Hood!
New Orleans, LA -- Quintella Williams, 30, struck and killed a pedestrian on October 24, 2015. She then drove away from the scene with the victim's body on the roof of her car. Williams actually drove several blocks with the dead woman's body on her vehicle's roof. New Orleans police said Williams was intoxicated when she struck Sakanah Franklin, 37, in the right lane of westbound traffic on North Claiborne Avenue near Kerlerec Street in Treme. The incident occurred around 5 a.m. Police said Williams struck Franklin and continued driving about six blocks with the woman's body on top of her 2007 Jeep Compass. Eye Witnesses pursued the Jeep driven by Williams. They forced Williams to stop on the on-ramp of Interstate 10. Police said Williams was arrested and Franklin was pronounced dead at the scene.
Williams was indicted Thursday (Dec. 17, 2015) by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Williams (age 29 at the time) was charged with one count of vehicular homicide in connection with the October 24, 2015 death of Ms. Franklin. Williams entered her guilty plea January 9, 2016, before Criminal District Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson. Williams was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday (January 13, 2017) after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide. She faced a sentencing range of 5 to 30 years. The Orleans Parish grand jury indictment did not reveal Williams' blood-alcohol content percentage at the time of her arrest. However, the indictment revealed her blood-alcohol content percentage was greater than 0.15. This ensured that the first five years of her [mandatory] prison sentence be served without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
However, In court Friday it was revealed that Williams blood alcohol level was less than .20. A .20 blood-alcohol content percentage at the time of her arrest would have designated her offense as a crime of violence. The state agreed not to have Williams sentenced as a repeat felony offender as part of a plea agreement negotiated by her defense attorney and District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office. Williams has a previous conviction for theft. The plea agreement makes Williams eligible to earn a good time reduction from her sentence if she complies with Department of Corrections regulations.
Willaims made no statement in court regarding her responsibility for the death of Ms. Franklin. The victim's father declined an invitation to speak. However, the defendant's mother said she previously spoke with the dead woman's sister. They tearfully came to terms with a tragedy that struck at the hearts of two families. Williams' mother, Bridgette Perry said: "We are deeply sorry, and so sad about the whole situation. They lost a little one, and we did, too, in that she won't see anybody for a while." Williams' aunt Karen Robinson said: "She has grown a lot, spiritually," since her arrest. "She's come to believe that God has a plan and there is a reason for everything." The mother of three children aged 7, 11 and 12, Williams will be credited with time served since her arrest. She has remained jailed in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
Williams' Attorney said: "This situation was an utter tragedy for everyone involved. On the one hand, you have a woman (Franklin) who had been kind of cast off and was living the street life, who had her life accidentally and tragically taken. On the other hand, you have (Williams) a mother and daughter who was well-loved who is deprived of her family. This wasn't intentional and is something that could happen to almost anybody. It just goes to show how quickly things can happen, how quickly lives can be taken or changed forever. We just hope the victim's family also can make peace with the result."
PUBLISHED: October 18, 2017, 7:43 am | UPDATED: October 18, 2017, 11:43 am PM PDT
She Had Me!
California -- Angela Diaz, 31, was sentenced to prison for framing husband’s ex-fiancée in Craigslist ‘rape fantasy’ case. Diaz was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for framing her husband’s ex-fiancée in what authorities called a “diabolical” rape-fantasy scheme on Craigslist. The story made national headlines this year.
PUBLISHED: January 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm | UPDATED: January 13, 2017 at 11:37 PM PST
Fullerton, CA -- A California criminal case became even stranger and more bizarre this week. Angela Diaz, 31, the alleged victim of cyber-stalking was accused of concocting a complicated plot to frame her husband’s ex-fiancee, Michelle Hadley, 30, of Ontario in Orange County. Hadley was accused of using “rape fantasy” ads on Craigslist to send strangers to the home of Diaz. Diaz is married to Hadley’s former fiance. Prosecutors at the time said Hadley also sent Diaz numerous emails threatening her life and the life of her unborn child. Hadley was arrested in July of 2016. She was released from jail on her own recognizance in October of 2016. If Hadley had been convicted she could have faced life in prison.
A timeline released by prosecutors said Hadley starting dating a man in 2013. The man was identified in court records as U.S. Marshals Service agent Ian Diaz. In May 2015 Hadley and Diaz bought a condo in Anaheim. They planned to marry. However, three months later they split up. Ian Diaz met Diaz, his new girlfriend, on a dating site in January 2016. She moved in to the Anaheim condo the following month. In May 2016 Angela Diaz said she was pregnant with twins by Ian.
Diaz then filed a restraining order against Hadley in June of 2016. She accused Hadley of stalking her. Hadley was accused of posing as Diaz on Craigslist. Hadley was allegedly seeking partners for sexual acts resembling rape. Diaz told police that Hadley sent the men photos of Diaz. Hadley allegedly told the men that she wanted them to have forcible sexual intercourse with her: “even if she screamed or resisted.” Prosecutors said Diaz even called 911 last year and alleged a man came into her garage and attempted to rape her.
Prosecutors now say it was Diaz who responded to the Craigslist ads. However, police said men did show up, including a 17-year-old boy. They also say that she scratched her own neck and ripped her own shirt before making the 911 call. Prosecutors said the case was complicated based upon the fact Diaz allegedly sent the emails to herself from eight accounts using private networks and third-party servers. The purpose was to disguise her internet protocol address.
Investigators began serving search warrants to uncover the IP addresses linked to the emails after Hadley’s arrest. IP search warrants can take several months. Prosecutors say they got a break in September of 2016. Prosecutors said one IP address came back linking emails to Diaz’s Anaheim condominium. Investigators began uncovering more emails allegedly sent from Diaz’s condo: a cellphone; and her father’s home in Arizona.
The case against Hadley unraveled after authorities investigated Diaz for allegedly altering a paycheck from an employer. Police say they then uncovered other alleged fraud activity on behalf of Diaz, including: faking cervical cancer; faking a pregnancy; pretending to be an attorney; forging doctor’s notes; and impersonating two of her husband’s ex-girlfriends over email. Diaz and her husband have since separated and are going through a divorce. Diaz is awaiting extradition from Arizona. She faces up to 23 years in custody if convicted.
Hadley’s attorney said his client had to drop out of the MBA program at Chapman University. She has been afraid to leave her home because of intense media coverage. Hadley appeared briefly on Monday in Orange County Superior Court in Fullerton. She was flanked by her parents. A judge dismissed all of the charges against her. In a statement outside of the courthouse, Hadley said: “Obviously, this has been a huge nightmare for me, probably the most traumatic experience of my life. I’m glad it’s finally over, and I can move on with my life.” Hadley's lawyer said that Anaheim police should have investigated the case more thoroughly before arresting her.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said authorities had good reason to arrest and charge Hadley for safety concerns. He said Hadley's arrest was based upon the continuing email threats and repeated responses on Craigslist. Rackauckas said Hadley spent more than three months in jail before investigators determined she was an “innocent victim of a diabolical scheme.” Authorities now believe that Diaz was actually behind the Craigslist ads and emails in an effort to set up Hadley. All charges were dropped against Hadley. Diaz has been charged with kidnapping: false imprisonment; and perjury. Rackauckas said: “As important as the filing of charges against Ms. Diaz is the dismissal of the previous complaint and full exoneration of Michelle Hadley. I wanted to make sure … that Ms. Hadley is cleared in every possible way – in the courtroom, and in the court of public opinion.”
Police spokesman Sgt. Daron Wyatt said he could not go into details because of anticipated litigation. The sergeant said in a statement: “D.A. Rackauckas said APD did everything right. There was a public-safety concern with strong evidence indicating Hadley was committing the crimes alleged.”
Posted: Jan 11, 2017, 1:49 AM ET ~ Updated: Jan 11, 2017, 1:46 AM PT
NORTH CANTON, OH — Jackson Township Police say the body of Ashley Zhao, 5, was found hidden at Ang's Asian Cuisine in North Canton on Tuesday. The child's body was found in the family's restaurant. The couple initially reported that Zhao went missing after taking a nap at the back of the restaurant on Monday evening. However, police say Chen struck the child several times with her fist on Monday morning. The injuries Ashley sustained resulted in her death.
Police have charged the parents of the Ohio girl. Mingming Chen is Zhao's mother (pictured above, center). She has been charged with murder. Liang Zhao is the girl's father. He was charged with complicity to murder. He is also charged with complicity to commit felonious assault. Court records do not list attorney information for Chen and Zhao.
Posted: Jan 10, 2017, 4:02 PM ET ~ Updated: Jan 10, 2017, 1:02 PM PST
HOUSTON, TX (WCJB) -- The Houston Police Department's Special Victims Child Physical Abuse Unit are asking for your help in locating fugitive Ashley Noelle Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick is wanted for an injury to a child. Investigators say on Saturday, October 8, 2016, at approximately 10:30am, Kilpatrick brutally assaulted a juvenile victim in an apartment complex located in the 2100 block of Ella Boulevard. Kilpatrick is the mother of the victim. She is allegedly responsible for hitting the child in the face and head more than ten times. She allegedly struck the child with a closed fist. Witnesses say she slammed the juvenile victim's head into a wall and attempted to choke her. The beating caused the child injury. Kilpatrick is described as a 31-year-old black female, 5'6" tall and weighing approximately 130 pounds.
Posted: Jan 10, 2017, 4:17 PM ET ~ Updated: Jan 20, 2017, 3:52 PM PST
Kenner, LA -- Dana Williams, 32, of Metairie was arrested last week. Kenner police said she barged into an elderly couple's hotel room while carrying a squeegee on Friday, January 6, 2017. Williams allegedly entered the Fairfield Inn & Suites Hotel at 1801 32nd Street in Kenner. She "began pounding" on a guest door. As the door opened Williams forced her way inside with "a commercial type squeegee in hand. The report said she was holding the squeegee like an axe weapon. Williams then allegedly tore apart their bathroom.
The 71-year-old guests tried to wrestle the squeegee from her grasp. However, police said they were unable to do so. The frightened couple was forced out of their room with their belongings still inside. The victims told the front desk what was happening before they tried to return to the room. They told police they could hear things inside the room being broken. They added that Williams appeared to be intoxicated.
Kenner police tried to get Williams to open the door as "the sound of things breaking" inside the room continued. The hotel gave police a master key to get inside. However, the report said a deadbolt held the door in place. Williams eventually opened the door. Police entered and noticed she damaged the bathroom. Glass shards covered the floor of the bathroom and a picture frame from the wall was broken on the ground. The top and back portion of the toilet was also broken on the floor. Williams admitted to police she "recently" ingested cocaine, but she could not tell them exactly when, according to the report.
Williams was was arrested at 5:06 p.m. She was taken to Kenner jail where she was booked Jan. 7, 2017, with home invasion, simple criminal damage to property, and disturbing the peace. She was also arrested and booked on three outstanding fugitive charges. She is in jail on a $53,000 bond.
Posted: Jan 9, 2017, 4:17 PM ET ~ Updated: Jan 10, 2017, 1:52 AM PST
Horsham Township, Montgomery County, PA -- Sara Packer is charged with killing her adoptive daughter last year. She worked as an "adoption supervisor" for Northampton County before being suspended in 2010. Throughout that time she also took in several foster children, authorities said Monday. Packer, the adoptive mother of 14-year-old Grace Packer, is charged in Bucks County along with Jacob Sullivan, Sara Packer's boyfriend, in the brutal death of the teen who had been reported missing last summer. Prosecutors said Packer and Sullivan acted out a rape and murder fantasy when they killed Grace Packer in Richland Township last summer and dismembered her body. Packer, 41, of Horsham Township, Montgomery County, was charged Sunday with homicide, rape, conspiracy, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse. Authorities also charged Sullivan, saying he and Packer plotted for nearly a year before the girl was killed in July.
Posted: Feb 7, 2017, 3:17 PM ET ~ Updated: Feb. 24, 2017, 4:53 PM PST
Florida -- Jameis Slaughter's $500,000 bond was reduced to $25,000. The former girlfriend of Markeith Loyd faces two charges of acting as an accessory after the fact. Her bond was set at $20,000 for this charge. She also faces charges for providing a false name to law enforcement. Her bond was set at $5,000 for this a misdemeanor. Slaughter's defense team said she is expected to be able to bond out jail sometime today. Slaughter was released from jail on bond Tuesday night.
The state also recommended to reduce the bond for Zarghee Mayan. Mayan is a manager at the Orange Blossom Trail fast-food restaurant where Loyd worked. Mayan's bond is set at a $400,000 collateral bond. However, it would be reduced to a $20,000 normal bond if a judge approves the request. Last week Mayan asked to have his bond reduced. However, that request was denied.
The State Attorney said it has dropped the charges against Loyd's niece, Lakensha Smith-Loyd. She was charged with accessory after deputies said she helped her uncle. The state said there was insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. She had posted bond Wednesday, January 25, 2017. Her bond was reduced from $750,000 to $10,000.
All three had been arrested on charges of helping Loyd evade authorities. Police sought Loyd in connection with the slayings of two people. Loyd was arrested Tuesday, January 17, 2017. His arrest came after a nine-day manhunt. During this time period, Loyd was placed on the U.S. Marshals' 15 most wanted list. Loyd is charged in the slaying of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton. She was shot at an Orlando Wal-Mart as she confronted him about the December 13, 2016 shooting death of Loyd's pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon. He's also charged with killing Dixon.
Posted: Jan 11, 2017, 3:17 PM ET ~ Updated: Jan 12, 2017, 4:53 PM PST
Orlando, FL -- Police authorities are arresting people who may have helped Markeith Loyd as anxieties grow and the search for him continues. Three people have been arrested so far in the search for Loyd. Zarghee Mayan (pictured above, center-left). She was arrested Tuesday. Zarghee Mayan gave the hungry Loyd some free food Saturday. He did so knowing his former employee had been on the run since police said he killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon and wounded her brother December 13, 2016. Loyd's niece, Lakensha Smith-Loyd (pictured above, center). She and his ex-girlfriend Jameis Slaughter (pictured above, center-right). She were arrested Wednesday. All are charged with being accessory to first-degree murder after the fact in Dixon's death.
Orlando, FL -- (WCJB) Markeith Loyd is the man accused of killing an Orlando police officer. Most defendants appear with an attorney and remain silent the first time they go before a judge. Loyd was combative and used profane language while offering a defense to his accused crimes. In an unusual first court appearance he said he plans to represent himself and yelled "f--- you!" to the judge as he left the room. It was the first time Loyd, who also had white gauze covering his left eye and a bandage on his head, appeared in court since his arrest Tuesday night. His arrest ended a nine-day manhunt for him.
Judge Jeanette Dejuras Bigney attempted to stop Loyd from talking and reminded him that everything he said was being recorded. Loyd, 41, said he understood and continued, saying police were "making up shit, like I just went in there and shot this girl." Loyd was referring to the night his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon was shot to death.
"Y'all portraying this shit to the news people like I just went there and shot this girl when there were other guns found on the scene," he said. "...A gun was pulled on me first, but y'all acting like I just went there and shot her."
When Bigney asked if he realized the punishment he faces and the seriousness of his accused crimes, Loyd said, "It don't matter."
Bigney ordered Loyd, who was wearing a protective dark green vest and handcuffs that were wrapped around his waist, remains in the Orange County Jail without bail. Two corrections officers stood on either side of him, holding his arms.
Posted: Jan 9, 2017, 4:17 PM ET ~ Updated: Jan 9, 2017, 1:17 PM PST
ORLANDO, FL — An Orlando Police officer shot in the line of duty Monday morning has died from her injuries as the search for the accused shooter continues. That search has also claimed the life of an Orange County Sheriff's Office deputy. The deputy died as a result of a related traffic crash.
Posted: Jan 6, 2017, 2:17 PM ET ~ Updated: Jan 9, 2017, 1:17 AM PST
CHICAGO, IL - Four Eighteen year old suspects identified as Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Covington, Tanishia Covington, all of Chicago and Jordan Hill, of suburban Carpentersville, were charged with hate crimes Thursday. The charges are in connection to a video broadcast live on Facebook that showed a mentally disabled white man being beaten: taunted; threatened with a knife; and forced to drink from a toilet. The assault went on for hours. Chicago police later found the disoriented victim walking along a street. The four suspects can be heard on the video using profanities against white people and President-elect Donald Trump. The suspects are jailed without bond.
The details of this crime are sickening to describe. The victim is a mentally-challenged white man. The torture included having his hair cut with a knife until his scalp bled. He also had cigarette ashes flicked onto him by his taunting assailants.
The victim was dropped off by his parents at a McDonald’s restaurant a suburb northwest of Chicago, on Saturday, in Streamwood. Streamwood is a suburb northwest of Chicago. They believed he would be spending the night with Hill. Hill was believed to be his friend and school acquaintance. Hill allegedly picked up the victim in a stolen van. The victim assumed the van was Hill’s. The two drove to Chicago’s West Side. They visited with friends for two days and slept in the van overnight. The victim’s parents went to Streamwood police and reported him missing on Monday night. They told police they had not heard from their son since Saturday when they dropped him off.
On Tuesday the victim and Hill went to the Covington sisters apartment. Several hours later, a “play fight” between the victim and Hill escalated. The suspects then bound him and began to assault him. The video shows the victim with his mouth taped shut as his captors appear to repeatedly assault him. Video of the incident was posted live on Facebook but was later removed.
The victim was bound and gagged as he was kicked and slapped by the suspects. The brutal beating streamed live on Facebook. During the assault the black attackers yelled “Fuck Trump!” and “Fuck white people!” The boy's parents were receiving text messages form the perpetrators throughout the ordeal. Police were alerted.
Officers eventually found the boy wandering the streets of the West Lexington area of the city on Tuesday afternoon. Chicago Police say he was in a disoriented state of mind and condition. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. A statement from Chicago Police said: “At 5:26 p.m. officers then responded to a battery at a residence on the 3300 block of W. Lexington where they discovered signs of a struggle and damage to the property and where able to link this evidence to the disoriented male. Officers later became aware of a social media video depicting a battery of an adult male which is believed to be the same individual.” It is believed the victim, aged 18 and mentally handicapped, knew one of the attackers. Police believe he initially went with them willingly. Police also believe he had been with the group for 24 hours.
The four suspects were arrested Wednesday. They were charged the next day in connection with what a police official called a “brutal act.” The four are charged with hate crime: aggravated kidnapping; aggravated unlawful restraint; and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Hill, Cooper and Brittany Covington were additionally charged with residential burglary. Hill also was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle. In video statements to investigators, the suspects admitted to beating and kicking the victim and making him drink toilet water, police said.
Posted: Jan 6, 2017, 2:17 PM ET ~ Updated: Jan 9, 2017, 1:17 AM PST
Chicago, IL -- Jon Graham Burge is a convicted felon and former Chicago Police Department detective and commander who gained notoriety for torturing more than 200 criminal suspects between 1972 and 1991 in order to force confessions.
Posted: Dec. 27, 2016, 2:17 PM ET ~ Updated: Jan 9, 2017, 1:17 AM PST
SAN LEANDRO, CA — Tikisha Upshaw, 37, is an East Bay marijuana grower. She was charged Tuesday with murder and other crimes. Upshaw allegedly hired two hitmen from Tennessee to kill her business partner. She is suspected of hiring Johnny Wright Jr. and Chariott Burks of Memphis, Tennessee to kill Adan Katami, 38.
Katami was a father from Antioch. He was fatally shot on a July afternoon while waiting in his truck to turn at Meekland Avenue and West Blossom Way in Cherryland. Katami was on his way to pick up his 4-year-old daughter. Police say Wright Jr. allegedly got out of a car driven by Burks and shot Katami. Wright Jr. and Burks were arrested a short time later. They are facing multiple charges, including murder.
An investigation into why the alleged killers traveled from Memphis to Alameda County led sheriff’s homicide detectives to Upshaw. Upshaw is a San Leandro resident who also goes by Tikisha Ong. Sheriff’s spokesman, Sgt. Ray Kelly, said a search of Upshaw’s San Leandro home uncovered a “sophisticated illegal [pot] grow” operation. Upshaw and Katami went into business together and “at some point that business relationship turned hostile.” Kelly continued: “As a result, Upshaw put a hit out on Katami. We have pretty solid evidence that that’s the case.”
Kelly declined to elaborate on the evidence. The murder weapon was never found. Police said the attack was targeted: almost like they knew his route; his lifestyle; and his daily operations. Authorities have also charged Wessley Brown, 38 (pictured below, center-right) of Berkeley with murder. Brown allegedly acted as a middleman between Upshaw and the hitmen.
Upshaw was working to open Green Gods Compassion earlier this year. The business is a medical marijuana business. The location of the business was reportedly in San Francisco near the Daly City border. Rev. Amos Brown, president of San Francisco’s NAACP, endorsed Upshaw’s application with the city. He said at the time "the Bay Area lacked African American-owned cannabis businesses." On Wednesday Brown said: “I’m really shocked to hear this.” Brown said Upshaw volunteered at the NAACP. “My goodness.”
Upshaw also met with prominent San Francisco politicians. However, she ultimately did not get the permit. Wayne Justmann is an adviser and consultant for medical marijuana dispensaries. Justmann said: “I thought she was always very charming, very professional. Every time we had a meeting at City Hall she would have a briefcase and a lovely suit on.” Justmann said in recent months Upshaw deleted her social media accounts and either turned off her phone or got a new number. He said: “I kind of thought that was odd.”
The news also stunned Robert Tankson, a founder of Presto Doctor. His company allows patients to get medical marijuana cards through online appointments with doctors. Tankson said his company was partnering with Upshaw to open her dispensary. Tankson said: “She seemed like a stand-up person. I would have never expected that.”
POSTED 5:28 PM, FEBRUARY 6, 2014
Memphis, TN -- Memphis mom Chariott Burks is locked up on $50,000 bond. She is accused of trying to run down the father of her child and his fiance. She is charged with two counts of aggravated assault. The alleged crime happened in the 3400 Block of Metropolitan near the airport area. Police said Chariott Burks went to Derrick Taylor's apartment to pick up their three-year-old daughter. She got upset when Taylor asked her why she was late.
Witnesses say Burks put her car in reverse and tried to hit Taylor's fiance with her car. She then drove around a dumpster to try to hit Taylor. Danielle Taylor-Tate says Burks has tried to hit her brother before with a car and just missed him this time. Taylor's sister says the three-year-old was in the car with Burks at the time. She also says Burks came close to hitting an 11-year-old girl who also outside. She continued saying: "I know she's got things going on in her life, but everyone has problems. You aren't suppose to take it out like that."
Court records show Burks was arrested in 2011 for domestic violence.
Posted: December 16, 2016 at 12:19pm PST ~ Updated: Jan. 9, 2017 02:25 AM PST
Hercules, CA -- Desire Borela, 19, is the Hercules teenager who police say killed her her ex-boyfriend by running him over with her vehicle. She is accused of then dragging him around in circles around the parking lot of an apartment complex. Her ex-boyfriend, Ian Irby, 22, was pronounced dead in the parking lot. The estranged couple didn’t live together. They just lived in the same complex. Borela was charged with vehicular manslaughter with an enhancement for fleeing the scene on Friday. Investigators originally asked prosecutors to charge Borela with second-degree murder. It unclear why the charge was lessened.
Posted: Jan 6, 2016 12:19pm PST ~ Updated: Jan. 9, 2017 03:12 AM PST
EAST PALO ALTO, CA — Danielle Matko, 33, of Belmont, is a female teacher at an East Palo Alto charter school. She is facing several charges that she performed sexual acts on two teenage male students over a two-and-a-half-month span last fall. Matko was arraigned Tuesday on four counts of lewd and lascivious acts covering three encounters with the boys. Both boys are 15 years old. She allegedly performed oral sex on the boys in her classroom at East Palo Alto Aspire Phoenix Academy on Garden Street.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said that between Sept. 1 and Nov. 14, 2016, Matko engaged in sexual conduct on two occasions with one of the victims. She allegedly engaged in sexual activity on one occasion with both victims. The allegations cover sexual contact between the defendant and the teens. In one instance she is suspected of performing oral sex on the first victim. All of the purported crimes are believed to have taken place in Matko’s classroom, during free periods and after school.
Wagstaffe said the allegations surfaced after the boys told friends about them. One of the friends contacted a legal-aid attorney, who in turn notified police. Wagstaffe said authorities have not identified any other victims. He said: “As it sometimes happens, people may come forward; we don’t know yet. If there are more, we are certainly interested in speaking to them.” He added that the county “rarely” comes across cases of teacher-student sexual conduct involving a female teacher and male students.
Matko denies the allegations. She was arrested December 1, 2016. She was soon freed after posting bail. Matko pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Tuesday. Judge Mark Forcum increased Matko’s bail from $150,000 to $250,000 after prosecutors alleged she attended a soccer game in which one of the boys participated. Matko is out of custody after posting the new bail. She also faces two additional charges because she allegedly committed the crimes while serving as a caretaker for the victims. The judge also issued a protective order barring her from contacting the teens.
Neither Matko nor her attorney could be immediately reached for comment. Aspire officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Matko is next scheduled to appear in court March 23, 2017 for a preliminary hearing. Wagstaffe said the boys may testify at the preliminary hearing.
PUBLISHED: Posted: 10:35 AM, December 14, 2016 ~ Updated: 02:16 AM, March 10, 2017
WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- Dalia Dippolito is the Boynton Beach woman accused of hiring an undercover police officer to kill her husband, Mike Dippolito. Dippolito is accused of paying an undercover police officer to kill her husband in 2009. The undercover officer was posing as a hit man. The Boynton Beach Police Department staged a crime scene and recorded her reaction on the day her husband was supposed to be killed. Prosecutors alleged that Dippolito offered the undercover officer $7,000 to kill her then-husband.
Defense attorneys claimed the Boynton Beach Police Department wanted to gain attention by soliciting the "Cops" television show. The defense claimed the police violated Dippolito's constitutional rights by setting her up with the help of former lover Mohamed Shihadeh. Shihadeh became a confidential informant for police. Her former attorney argued in the 2011 trial that Dippolito thought she was being recorded as part of a hoax to get her husband on a reality TV show. She was convicted of solicitation to commit first-degree murder in 2011. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The verdict was thrown out because of a mistake during jury selection. The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the conviction in 2014.
During the retrial this time around, defense attorneys sought to move the trial to another county, or bring in a jury from outside of Palm Beach County. However, Palm Beach County Judge Glenn Kelley denied the requests. Kelley and attorneys for both sides screened 200 prospective jurors before settling on the six. The jury was comprised of four women, two men and two alternates.
Prosecutors only called two witnesses to testify during the trial. The first was Officer Widy Jean. Jean posed as the hit man in his recorded conversations with Dippolito. The other witness was Detective Alex Moreno. He was the lead investigator in the case. Shihadeh testified last week for the defense. He testified that he was coerced into helping police. He said he never believed that she would actually follow through with the alleged plot. However, when questioned by the prosecution during cross examination, Shihadeh admitted that he believed Dippolito truly wanted her husband dead.
Defense attorneys questioned Boynton Beach Police Department spokeswoman Stephanie Slater. slater posted footage of the phony crime scene on the department's YouTube channel. Former police Sgt. Frank Ranzie testified that he would have done things differently if he had been in charge of the investigation. The final witness for the defense was Tim Williams. Williams is a retired Los Angeles police detective. He said he disagreed with the tactics used by the Boynton Beach Police Department. Dippolito didn't testify in either trial. However, she said in a hearing earlier this year that she was acting for a television show and wasn't really plotting to kill her husband.
Dippolito's attorney revealed to the jury during his closing arguments Monday that Dippolito, 34, has an infant son at home. Dippolito has been on house arrest since her conviction was. The attorney told the jury: "They tossed Dalia Dippolito under the bus. They made this way more than it ever was, and they could care less about her constitutional rights." Assistant state attorney Laura Laurie told jurors during her rebuttal that the Boynton Beach Police Department isn't on trial. Laurie said: "This is the case of the state of Florida v. Dalia Dippolito" Laurie reminded jurors of what Dippolito told the undercover officer. Laurie repeating Dippolito's words, said: "You can do the hit and you can take the money." Laurie continued saying: "She wants her husband to finance his own murder."
On Monday defense attorneys for Dippolito asked Judge Kelley to declare a mistrial. They cited a report from a local television news station that there was a lone holdout on the jury. Judge Kelley questioned jurors individually about whether they had spoken to the media: watched, or read anything about the trial in the news. All six jurors said no. Judge Kelley then instructed the jurors to continue deliberations once more. Kelley told the jurors: "After you have done that, if you simply cannot reach a verdict, return to the courtroom and I will declare this case a mistrial and I will discharge you with my sincere appreciation for your service." Judge Kelley then sent the jury home after almost a full day of deliberations. The jury said that they were unable to reach a unanimous decision.
They returned for more deliberations Wednesday morning. By noon they told Judge Kelley that they remained deadlocked. Judge Kelley was declared mistrial (Wednesday, Dec. 2016) in the retrial. Kelly said the jury was deadlocked 3-3. He made the announcement after the jurors handed back verdict forms showing how they would have voted.
After the jury left Dippolito started weeping. She hugged her attorneys and her mother. Her attorney told reporters outside the Palm Beach County courthouse he wasn't completely satisfied with a mistrial. However, he did say he was encouraged that his message that Dippolito was a pawn of the Boynton Beach Police Department didn't fall on deaf ears. He said: "We are encouraged that our moral message of holding law enforcement accountable was received. The other mixed feelings we have are we wanted a not-guilty verdict."
Dippolito's ex-husband also spoke to reporters after the mistrial was declared. He told them that he was disappointed by the outcome. He listed off all the ways she tried to hurt him in the past. "The girl tried to get me put in jail by planting drugs on me. The girl stole money from me. She poisoned me with antifreeze." Mike Dippolito said he was also disappointed by the state's presentation of evidence. He said: "They showed probably a quarter of the facts of this case."
Liz Parker was the prosecutor in Dalia Dippolito's first trial. She now represents Mike Dippolito. She said a mistrial is essentially a victory for the defense. She said: "The state definitely lost today. You know, it's hard. It's hard to see this happen. It's hard to see Mike go through this." Palm Beach County state Attorney Dave Aronberg issued a statement Wednesday saying prosecutors will seek another trial.
PUBLISHED: October 6, 2016 at 11:41 pm | UPDATED: October 7, 2016 at 6:00 PM PST
PALO ALTO, CA — Jenny Shi’s body was discovered at her Creekside Drive home by a family member on the night of July 7, 2016. An autopsy by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office was conducted four days later. The medical examiner determined that the 65-year-old acupuncturist died of multiple stab wounds. Jingyan Jin is Shi’s 41-year-old sister-in-law. Evidence collected at the crime scene eventually pointed detectives to Jin.
Detectives obtained a warrant for Jin’s arrest after presenting that evidence to prosecutors. Lt. Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department said Jin was arrested just after 8 a.m. Thursday at her home on the 700 block of San Antonio Road in Palo Alto. She was booked on suspicion of homicide at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose. A search warrant was also executed at Jin’s home. Perron said the investigation is ongoing. He said detectives are still sifting through a “significant” amount of evidence related to Shi’s real estate holdings, including several acupuncture clinics.
Perron said: “This was a complex case from the beginning. We had no idea who the suspect was. The victim had a lot of business endeavors. There were a lot of business associates and we needed to delve into the complexity of relationships. That was part of what made the investigation challenging. With any luck, this brings some closure for the family and it brings some closure for the neighborhood.” he said.
Perron said the homicide rattled the close-knit Greenmeadow neighborhood. The case was particularly rattling since it wasn’t clear from the start that Shi was acquainted with her alleged killer. Perron said there is no evidence to suggest additional suspects are involved. However, he said the possibility has not been ruled out. Additional details about the homicide used to tie Jin to the alleged crime were not released by police. The police were tight lipped about a possible motive, or the specific evidence police used to implicate Jin.
Posted: March 24, 2016 at 12:19pm PST ~ Updated: Jan. 9, 2017 02:25 AM PST
Los Angeles, CA -- Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey has accepted more than $10,000 worth of gifts over the last four years from criminal defense attorneys, police unions, business owners, prosecutors in her office and others who could have an interest in influencing her decisions as one of the most powerful law enforcement officials in the county, according to state records. The gifts include necklaces and a pearl box, sporting event tickets, bottles of wine, clothing and a glass rose dipped in 24-carat gold, the records show. A media review of state disclosure records found that Lacey’s gift taking exceeded the amount disclosed over the same time period by the district attorneys of other large California jurisdictions. These jurisdictions include Orange County, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón disclosed more than $18,000 worth of gifts. Approximately $17,000 of the gifts Gascón's received were for travel payments from organizations for speaking and panel events. The state’s political ethics law allows public officials to accept gifts totaling $460 from any single source in a calendar year. However, the law requires officials to disclose the gifts on public forms. These forms are known as statements of economic interest. In Lacey’s case, the forms reveal dozens of gifts over the last three years.
PUBLISHED: 12:13 PM PST Nov 24, 2016 | UPDATED: 12:13 AM PST Jan. 24, 2017
Citrus Heights, CA -- Rebecca Thomas and Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman were arrested more than a month after her 2-year-old son died inside a home. Police said an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for both Thomas and Gutzman. The Citrus Heights mother and her live-in boyfriend who were booked into the Sacramento County Jail on a murder charge. Investigators determined the child did not die of natural causes after combing through evidence and interviewing a number of people. Citrus Heights police received a report about 5:30 p.m. on October, 13, 2016, that a child was not breathing inside a home in the 8000 block of Auburn Boulevard. The child was taken to a hospital, where he died. No additional details about the child's death have been released.
POSTED: Nov. 21, 2016 06:09AM PDT ~ UPDATED: 1:12 am, Nov. 26, 2016 PDT
Impregnated Jr. High!
Houston, Texas -- Alexandria Vera, 24, is the Texas middle school teacher who was impregnated by a 13-year-old student. Vera was arrested in June. Police said Vera had sex with her 8th grade English student ‘on almost a daily basis.’ The former eighth-grade English teacher taught at Stovall Middle School in Houston. She told police that she fell in love with one of her students after the two began a relationship through Instagram messages. Vera said that the boy’s family was supportive of the affair.
Vera told police that she met the boy during summer school in 2015. She said she initially resisted the boy’s advances until sometime last fall. At this time she agreed to hang out with her student. Prosecutors say Vera and the teen had sex almost every day for nine months. She told investigators that they love each other. Vera told her neighbors that the boy was her brother during the relationship. The boy’s parents had known of the relationship since October of last year. Vera told police they accepted it.
A police investigation began earlier this year after the school principal received a tip about Vera. She told police that she had gotten pregnant. Vera told police she had an abortion after Child Protective Services questioned her about the relationship in February. The boy is now 14-years-old. He also admitted to the sexual relationship. He is in foster care and will remain there at least until August. The boy’s mother also was investigated by Child Protective Services.
Vera was initially charged with continuous sexual assault of a child. Continuous sexual assault of a child carries a maximum punishment of life in prison. Vera pleaded guilty on Wednesday. She pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child. She could face up to 30 years in prison. The plea of guilt to the lesser charge capped her sentence at 30 years. She is also eligible for deferred adjudication. If the court grants deferred adjudication, she will be placed on probation. Vera will have not have felony on her record if she successfully completes the terms. Vera’s attorney said: “We’re very much hoping for deferred adjudication.” Vera has been free on a $100,000 bail and has been wearing a GPS ankle monitor. She’s scheduled for a sentencing hearing in January.
PUBLISHED: November 16, 2016 at 1:06 pm | UPDATED: January 22, 2017 at 9:07 AM PST
Oakland, CA -- Dana Rivers, 61, formerly known as David Warfield is former Sacramento County teacher. Rivers made headlines nearly 20 years ago when [s]he was fired for discussing his/her sex change operation in class with students. Rivers was fired from her teaching job at Center High School in Antelope in 1999. The one-time "Teacher of the Year" later settled with the district for $150,000. [S]he then began traveling. Rivers shared his/her experiences growing up and coming to terms with herself.
Rivers was arrested (Friday, November 11, 2016) in connection with a triple homicide in the Bay Area. Rivers has been charged (as of Tuesday, November 15, 2016) with three counts of murder in the shooting and stabbing deaths of three people early Friday morning. Rivers confessed to killing two women in their 50s and their son.
The homicides occurred at an East Oakland house (Friday, November 11, 2016). Police have not released a motive for the killings. [S]he was found at the home, covered in blood and carrying a pistol and knives. Records show that Rivers was a licensed security guard and was licensed to carry a gun. Investigators said [s]he also tried to set the house on fire.
Originally Posted: January 6, 2006
Sacramento, CA -- When David Warfield, a Sacramento, Calif. teacher, told his boss about his summer plans, the school asked him not to come back in the fall.
The school's action was a response to David's announcement that he would return as a woman. David, now Dana Rivers, is a transsexual and from childhood she believed she was born a woman in a man's body — a condition known as gender identity dysphoria.
Dana had finally decided to take the steps to transform her body into the gender she feels she was born with. Like others who seek such surgery, she was required by her doctor to first live in the role of a woman for a year prior to the operation. She also had to take female hormones and obtain a psychological evaluation.
Growing up, Dana hid her anguish of living in a male body by acting as manly as possible. Her macho, daredevil spirit earned her the nickname "Mountain Man." But beneath the façade, she was suffering. "I lived a lifetime full of depression," she says. "I was suicidal. My life had been a train wreck."
In spite of her personal turmoil, she had professional success as an acclaimed high-school teacher. But her plans to have a sex change operation ignited a national controversy. Some parents worried about the children being prematurely exposed to transgender issues.
20/20 first reported on Dana's story when she was suing the school district to get her job back. She had not had the surgery yet, but she had shed her identity as David and was living full-time as a woman. The controversy ended with a settlement, and Dana received $150,000 from the school district in exchange for her resignation. Ironically, the settlement ended up paying for the $50,000 surgery.
Though Dana was eager to have the operation, she says that it doesn't make her more of a woman. "I've always been a woman," she says. "I've always felt like a woman. A penis does not make a man. A vagina does not make a woman, at all."
Dana finally underwent the surgical procedure in June 2000.
Her doctor, Eugene Schrang, has helped transform more than 1,000 transsexuals. He is among the handful of plastic and reconstructive surgeons who specialize in sex change operations. His patients have been of all races and have included pilots, accountants and doctors.
"My goal as far as aesthetics are concerned is to make the genitalia so genuine that no casual observer can tell the difference. As far as I'm concerned it's the ultimate cosmetic operation," says Schrang.
Dana's surgery took about five hours. After a breast enlargement, Schrang performed a penile inversion. This involves removing the male genitals and creating a vaginal cavity, lined with the inverted skin from the penis.
Schrang says the procedure enables the patient to have "trouble free" and "effortless" intercourse. By preserving the genital nerves, the patient can climax during sex.
After the operation, Dana was elated. "I was relieved that I finally made it," she says. Upon seeing her afterward, her partner Michelle said, "Welcome back."
The discussion of sexual preference is a touchy subject for Dana. She argues that her sexual preference it is not necessarily related to transsexuality.
"[Transsexuality] is a gender-related condition," she says. "Sexuality is who I am attracted to."
Though Dana is still technically married to her wife Tara, who is heterosexual, her partner at the time of her surgery was Michelle, who is also a transsexual. Recently, Michelle and Dana have parted ways and Dana is currently dating another woman.
Though she was supportive of Dana's decision to have the operation, Tara was sad to lose her husband — then named David Warfield. "Anybody who knew David Warfield would be crazy not to love him," she says.
Since she is currently with a woman, Dana accepts the title of lesbian. "It's easiest to define me if you need to," she says. "Two women that sleep together and enjoy life together are lesbians and that's where we are." However, she doesn't rule out the prospect of one day being with a man. "It's just about impossible to pigeonhole us," she says. "I know that just frustrates people."
In addition to speaking out against prejudice against transsexuals, this fall Dana will be returning to her work as a schoolteacher at a different California school.
PUBLISHED: December 8, 2016 at 1:06 pm | UPDATED: Feb. 12, 2017 at 10:51 PM PST
Stick 'Em Up!
Burbank, CA -- Police are looking for a woman in connection with the bank robbery that occurred in Burbank. Burbank police said no one was injured during the incident. The woman is described as being between 40-50 years old. She stood about 5 feet 6 inches tall. She weighed about 110 pounds. She was wearing a gray long-sleeve sweater: gray pants; an aqua blue scarf; black shoes; and thick rim glasses.
U.S. Bank branch employees told reported to police that a woman handed a teller a note demanding money and left the bank with the cash. The incident reportedly occurred on Thursday at about 2:30 p.m. at a U.S. Bank branch along the 1700 block of Olive Avenue. A similar robbery occurred at a Bank of America branch in Los Angeles. However, police did not say if the suspect in that incident was a woman. Investigators are working with the FBI and Los Angeles Police Department to determine if the incidents are related.
PUBLISHED: October 16, 2016 at 1:06 pm | UPDATED: January 22, 2017 at 9:07 AM PST
Bryan, Texas -- A Texas 19 year-old A&M student, was arrested after crashing into a police car while taking a topless Snapchat picture for her boyfriend. Bryan police Officer John Sartell responded to a disturbance call Thursday night. Sartell said he heard the sound of a vehicle's brakes and a collision. Miranda Kay Rader crashed into his patrol car with her SUV, police say. When he approached Rader, he saw that she was wearing an "unclasped brassiere" and was trying to put her blouse back on, according to the report. He also found an open bottle of wine in the vehicle.
Posted: 1:23 PM, July 19, 2016 ~ Updated: 3:36 PM, July 19, 2016
DETROIT, MI - Shamicah Burton, 20, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years on the assault charge and 2 to 5 years on the weapons charges. The Detroit woman was captured on surveillance video hiding a gun in her underwear before opening fire on a car at a gas station. She has been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison. She apologized in court Tuesday after being convicted of assault with intent to murder and weapons charges. Burton said: “I apologize to the people that I robbed. I have nothing to say about the attempted murder."
Video from the gas station's cameras showed Burton and three other people standing outside a Dodge Charger on March 20, 2016. A Pontiac Grand Prix pulls into the station. Words were exchanged. Burton then allegedly retrieves a handgun from the Charger's glove box.
Burton's friends tried to hold her back in the video. However, she rushed to the Grand Prix and started shooting. Police said she struck the driver several times. Burton was also charged in an armed robbery that occurred the day before. She's accused of robbing two women at gunpoint on Fenkell Avenue.
Published: July 1, 2016, 9:26 pm Updated: July 2, 2016, 10:01 am
ROSWELL, N.M. (WCJB) – Valerie Palombi, 24, is a former Roswell Police Officer. Palombi was fired from the Roswell Police Department early 2016 after a violent incident with law enforcement. She is now sitting behind bars accused of holding up a restaurant Tuesday night. Palombi is now charged with armed robbery and is being held on a $25,000 bond.
Police say surveillance video shows Palombi and Kevin Blake, 24, robbing a Subway restaurant on North Main Street Tuesday night. Officers say Blake pulled a gun on employees while Palombi cleaned out the register. The pair was arrested Thursday night at a trailer park. Roswell Police say news of this latest incident is upsetting.
Palombi was a Roswell Police Officer for two years. She was fired back in January 2016. Her termination came just weeks after a police standoff. Officer say she started shooting outside her house while threatening suicide. She was eventually taken down with beanbag shots.
Posted: March 24, 2016 at 12:19pm PST ~ Updated: April 4, 2016 10:25 AM PST
New York -- Former Miss Jamaica World contestant and JetBlue flight attendant Marsha Gay Reynolds left behind 70 pounds of cocaine worth up to $3,000,000 after flinging off her heels and running from security. Reynolds surrendered to federal authorities at John F Kennedy International Airport, though it wasn't immediately clear how she reached New York. Reynolds is a resident of New York. She is expected to be in federal court in Brooklyn on Thursday, according to US Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek.
PUBLISHED: December 30, 2016 at 12:02 am | UPDATED: December 30, 2016 at 4:19 pm
MILPITAS, CA — Leah Kaye Costa, 45, of Sunol, California, was arrested last week on suspicion of identity theft. She was found with a U.S. Postal Service master key and stolen mail. Police say Costa was taken into custody on a warrant on December 23, 2016, outside a 7-Eleven at 15 S. Abbot Avenue. Officers found her gray 2004 BMW illegally parked in a handicap stall. Police said Costa appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the time. A police search turned up methamphetamine: a U.S. Postal Service master key; homemade postal keys; mail; and checks belonging to victims throughout the Bay Area. Costa was booked at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose, California. she was booked on suspicion of possession of narcotics: being under the influence of a controlled substance; the outstanding warrant; and identity theft.
[Ex-mayor charged in 4-year-old’s rape said girl was a willing participant, records say]
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Description: Chicago, IL – Four Eighteen year old suspects identified as Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Covington, Tanishia Covington, all of Chicago and Jordan Hill, of suburban Carpentersville, were charged with hate crimes Thursday. The charges are in connection to a video broadcast live on Facebook that showed a mentally disabled white man being beaten: taunted; threatened with a knife; and forced to drink from a toilet. The assault went on for hours. Chicago police later found the disoriented victim walking along a street. The four suspects can be heard on the video using profanities against white people and President-elect Donald Trump. The suspects are jailed without bond.