Sunday, May 31, 2009
02:56 AM PDT on Sunday, May 31, 2009By ERIC ADAMS and KGW Staff
Originally printed at http://www.wkbw.com/news/local/46559077.html
An attempted murder-suicide sends a North Tonawanda woman to the hospital with eight gunshot wounds. Police later found her ex-boyfriend dead.
Buffalo Police found 48-year-old Richard Hance's body inside his car, which was parked in a parking lot off the I-190 near the Niagara River. North Tonawanda police tracked him down by triangulating his cell phone signal. They say he had shot himself after attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend.
A desperate 9-1-1 call from a woman at an apartment on Falconer Street in North Tonawanda came in early this morning. "She gave us the name of who her shooter was. When officers arrived we found her with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso," said North Tonawanda Police Chief Randy Szukala.
The victim had a prior order of protection against Hance, but it had recently expired. "What the relationship was currently I really don't know at this point. Even though he is deceased, it is still part of our investigation to determine what may have caused it," said Szukala.
This incident, however, is just the latest one in a strong of violent and deadly domestic violence attacks on women here in Western New York. "Since last July of 2008, we've had 13 murders in Erie and Niagara counties and now this latest attempted murder," said Linda Ray, Executive Director of the Family Justice Center in Erie County.
The situation is alarming victim's advocates who say there were over 7,000 domestic violence instances reported last year to law enforcement agencies in Erie County.
"What we know is that the economy, poverty, crisis doesn't cause domestic violence, it certainly can exacerbate it, which may be the case in these situations," said Ray.
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and Ray wants women to know that they are not alone, there are people out there who can help them. "Just trying to escape on your own, while courageous and admirable, may not be safe for you and your children. We want you to get safety planning with our advocates who know how to do that," said Ray.
The Family Justice Center's services are free and confidential. They offer child care and also translation into 161 languages so they can help all victims begin their safety plan to leave their abuser. The center's phone number is 558-SAFE.
They also have a crisis hotline that is available 24/7. That number is 834-3131. For more information, check out their website at: http://www.fjcsafe.org/
The victim in the North Tonawanda shooting remains in critical condition tonight at ECMC.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
A Harrodsburg doctor has been charged with the murder of his wife, who died after being run over by their pontoon boat and struck by its propeller as they spent Friday at Herrington Lake.
The incident happened about 4:30 p.m., sometime after witnesses saw the couple — Dr. Steven and Isabel Hall — arguing and physically fighting, said Trooper Chris Lanham of Kentucky State Police.
Lanham would not discuss what investigators think transpired between Steven Hall, 46, and his wife, except that she wound up in the water and was run over by their boat.
"It looks like the boat propeller hit her in the left side of her head," said Boyle County Coroner Dr. James Ramey. "It also hit her in the left forearm and upper arm, pretty deep cuts that caused instant death."
Lanham said Ramey commandeered a boat upon reaching the scene Friday and found Steven Hall in the boat with his 49-year-old wife in the water.
"He tied a rope around her arm to keep her from floating away," Lanham said.
"Based on what he told us and the witness statements, it gave us probable cause" for the arrest, Lanham said, declining to describe Steven Hall's statement.
Hall practices family medicine at 466 Linden Avenue in Harrodsburg, according to the state Board of Medical Licensure.
He is being held in the Boyle County Detention Center.
No one else is thought to have been involved in the incident, Lanham said.
An autopsy conducted in Frankfort on Saturday confirmed that massive trauma to the head killed Isabel Hall, according to Lanham.
He said police are investigating whether there are any incidents in the couple's past.
Her arrangements are being handled by Ransdell Funeral Chapel in Harrodsburg.
Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.
Police say 46-year-old Rose Marie Goulart was stabbed Friday morning outside the medical office where she worked in Hayward as more than a dozen people watched.
Officers called to the scene arrested Luis Albert Hernandez of Castro Valley after witnesses pointed him out.
Hayward police Capt. Darryl McAllister says Goulart was taken to an Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley where she was pronounced dead.
McAllister says Hernandez and Goulart have two teenage children together, but are not married.
Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
PLANTATION | MURDER-SUICIDE
Police said the killer of two young women at a Plantation gas station is now dead and once had a relationship with one of the victims.
BY SOFIA SANTANA AND ROBERT NOLIN
The victims: two women in their 20s, one a community college student with dreams of being a fashion designer, the other a recent arrival from Key West.
The killer: a jilted boyfriend with a history of domestic violence who within hours took his own life with a bullet to the head on the side of a road.
Under the harsh lights of an all-night gas station in suburban Plantation, Jillian Hauck, 27, and Brooke Pazo, 22, were gunned down early Friday by a man who had shadowed them in a black car. Both lived in Plantation. Pazo was less than a mile from her home.
Their killer, police said, was Robert J. Vaughan, 30, of Pembroke Pines, who had recently split up with Hauck. Plantation police spokesman Robert Rettig said Pazo was not specifically targeted, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
''It appears that the motive in the Chevron shooting was domestic violence related,'' Rettig said.
According to Rettig, at 1 a.m. a dark green, two-door Acura owned by Hauck turned into the Chevron station at the northwest corner of Pine Island Road and Broward Boulevard and pulled up to pump six. Vaughan followed, parked, got out and fired several shots into the car.
One woman died at the scene. The other died later at Broward General Medical Center. Police would not identify who died where.
Two hours later, Vaughan was found dead in the 5600 block of Hawks Bluff Avenue in Davie. He had a gunshot wound to the head.
In September 2007, Hauck filed papers in Broward County Court seeking a temporary restraining order against Vaughan, citing domestic violence. She withdrew the petition two weeks later, and Vaughan was never served with the order, court records show.
Jeff Sternshein, of Fort Lauderdale, said his 23-year-old son witnessed the shooting at the station. The son said one woman was in the driver's seat and the other was preparing to pump gas when the killer approached and fired about nine shots from close range. He got back in his car and sped away.
Sternshein said his son ran from a vehicle about 15 feet away to the injured woman in the driver's seat. ''He held her hand, and he stayed with her'' until medics arrived.
Sternshein declined to identify his son by name.
The case was Plantation's second highly public domestic killing in 14 months.
Last April, Olidia Kerr Day, 45, sought refuge at the Plantation police station after being chased by Carlos Cevallos, 48, whom she had rebuffed. Cevallos killed Day outside the station and turned the gun on himself.
Hauck was identified in an online profile as an aspiring fashion designer who attended Broward College and American Intercontinental University. She attended Plantation High School, where she played soccer. Family and friends gathered throughout the day at Hauck's apartment to grieve and comfort her parents, who declined to comment.
Public records show Pazo moved to Plantation in 2007 from Key West, where she was a cheerleader at Key West High School and a member of the Beta Club.
In 2003, Pazo was among 42 Conch students certified by the Literacy Volunteers of America to be tutors in the English as a Second Language program, helping other students who had problems reading, writing and speaking English. Brooke's mother Carrie is a fourth-grade teacher at Poinciana Elementary School. Pazo's parents, Caridad and Louis, live in Key West along with her brother and older sister.
Caridad Pazo teaches fourth grade, and Louis works at Fausto's Grocery, where police notified him of his daughter's death.
Louis Pazo collapsed upon hearing the news. ''Tell me she's not dead, Tell me she's not dead,'' store manager and former Key West Mayor Jimmy Weekley recalled the father saying. His daughter was supposed to have visited this weekend.
Anyone with information, call Crime Stoppers, 954-493-TIPS. Sun-Sentinel Staff Writer Juan Ortega and Sun-Sentinel staff Researchers Gilbert Medina and Barbara Hijek, and Key West Keynoter reporter Sean Kinney contributed to this report.
A judge in Victorville Friday sentenced Gustavo Perez to 15 years to life in state prison.
Perez, 46, of Sugarloaf, was convicted last fall of second-degree murder in the August 1992 killing of his wife, Gina.
Perez had claimed to find her body after returning home. He was arrested after cold-case investigators reopened the case in 2006.
Perez's defense lawyer argued at trial that the wife's boyfriend may have been the killer. But that man testified that he loved her and had asked her to marry him.
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Glendale police say 29-year-old Michael Miller killed his wife and 10-year-old daughter, and critically injured his son.
Police say Miller called 911 early Saturday morning and told police to come to his house near 77th Avenue and Camelback Road.
"When officers went inside the house, they discovered three victims," said Sergeant Jim Cunningham. "Two had been deceased, and the other one received serious but not life threatening injuries. That person was sent to the hospital and is in serious condition."
Miller's son is in the hospital and is expected to survive.
Miller was arrested without a struggle and charged with two counts of First Degree Murder.
Police have not released how the people were killed.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Jose Maurice Castenada could face the death penalty if he is convicted of the murder of Cesar Razo, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.
During opening statements Wednesday, a prosecutor described Castenada as a brutal man who often assaulted Maria Razo and her children. Lucy Weismantel said the attack on Cesar, 2, in 2005 was carried out in front of the boy's mother and sister.
"This child was beaten, kicked, bitten, strangled and whipped at the hands of the defendant," she said.
Allen Bloom, Castenada's lawyer, argued that Razo was the real killer. She pleaded guilty in 2007 to voluntary manslaughter and child abuse and agreed to testify against Castenada
WINTERS, CA - A Winters man who local and federal authorities believe murdered his wife last month was captured Thursday night in Dixon with his 10-year-old daughter.
Felipe Cruz Hernandez, 39, was arrested at an AM-PM store in Dixon around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, just minutes after the Yolo County Sheriff's Department issued a full-scale search for Hernandez and his daughter Lisa Cruz-Barrales, Winters police Chief Bruce Muramoto said.
Investigators said Hernandez's wife Leticia Barrales Ramos was last seen April 12 after allegedly fighting with her husband.
"(Neighbors) could hear fighting and yelling, crying. Then they heard a car door slam," Ramos' co-worker Evangeline Matthews said. "That was the last time anybody's seen her."
When Ramos didn't report to work the next day at Dixon's Lester Farms Bakery, Matthews said the store's owner called her home and spoke to Hernandez.
According to Matthews, a distraught Hernandez said his wife was missing and he had no idea where she was. By the time police were contacted later that day, Matthews said Hernandez was telling friends and neighbors that his wife was called away to attend to a family emergency in Mexico.
"He just kept changing his story," Matthews said.
Muramoto said a joint investigation between Winters police, Yolo County sheriff's detectives and agents with the FBI determined there was no family emergency and a search warrant was served on the family's East Baker Way home Thursday.
The search turned up evidence that Ramos may have been murdered, prompting a search for Hernandez, Muramoto said.
Muramoto said Ramos is missing and presumed dead.
Hernandez was taken to the Yolo County Jail. The couple's daughter was unharmed and was in the custody of county child protective services officials.
by Dave Gershman | The Ann Arbor NewsFriday May 29, 2009, 11:39 AM"He said he got into it with Kisha," Nkrumah Burrell testified. "I guess he strangled her."
"This was an accident, a horrible occurrence that never was intended," Roberts said.
A charge of open murder allows prosecutors to argue at trial that the defendant committed any type of murder, from first-degree to manslaughter.