Monday, November 30, 2009

Burlingame, KS: Man charged with capital murder in 3 Kan. deaths

2 hrs 58 mins ago

BURLINGAME, Kan. – Authorities have filed capital murder charges against a man accused of killing his wife and two teenage daughters in eastern Kansas.
James Kraig Kahler also faces charges of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of his wife's 89-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Wight.
The 46-year-old former director of the Water & Light Department in Columbia, Mo., was arrested Sunday in the deaths of his 44-year-old wife, Karen, and their daughters, 18-year-old Emily and 16-year-old Lauren.
The Kansas attorney general's office says Kahler also is charged with aggravated burglary because authorities suspect he broke into Wight's home to commit the crimes.
It was not immediately clear whether Kahler had an attorney.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
BURLINGAME, Kan. (AP) — The divorce attorney for a woman whose husband is accused of killing her and the couple's two teenage daughters in Kansas says he had no interest in the girls and only wanted to see the couple's son.
Attorney Dan Pingelton described suspect James Kraig Kahler as a misogynist.
Kahler, the 46-year-old former director of the Water & Light Department in Columbia, Mo., was arrested Sunday on suspicion of three counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of his 44-year-old wife, Karen, and their daughters, 18-year-old Emily and 16-year-old Lauren.
He also is accused of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of his wife's 89-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Wight.
Kahler was due in court Monday to face the charges. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Randolph County, AL: Husband kills wife, then himself on Thanksgiving

Posted: Nov 27, 2009 10:19 PM EST

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - A tragic Thanksgiving in East Alabama, as police investigate a murder-suicide.

Randolph County Sheriff Jeff Fuller tells WTVM, 28-year-old Tracy Ward shot his wife Thursday around noon, outside a house on County Road 7- that's in the Swagg Community, near Wedowee.

Other family members inside the home called 911 but Sheriff Fuller says Ward, armed with a rifle, kept medics from treating his wife.

Then, when deputies showed up, they say Ward shot and killed himself.

His wife was pronounced dead at the hospital. Her name has not been released yet, while officials contact her next of kin.

Tracy Ward and his wife leave behind two children, ages 3 and 5.

As for the murder-suicide, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation is now investigating, along with the Randolph County Sheriff's Department.

Forest Grove, OR: 3 Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide

FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Three people died in an apparent murder suicide in Forest Grove on Friday night.
Forest Grove police were called to the 2500 block of 21st Avenue at about 6:30 p.m. after a report of a shooting at a home in the area.
When they arrived, they found 52-year-old Cindy England dead and 28-year-old Kevin Coleman injured. Police said they found signs of forced entry into the home and then found 56-year-old Steven England dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Forest Grove police.
A gun used in the shooting was recovered by authorities, police said.
Investigators believe Steven England was the shooter and they're not looking for any other suspects.
A LifeFlight helicopter rushed Coleman to the hospital where he later died.
Officers said there has been a history of domestic issues involving the family.
The case is still under investigation.

Fort Benton, MT: Suspect in Fort Benton killing remains alive after apparent suicide attempt


The man who is suspected of shooting and killing his girlfriend inside a Fort Benton apartment remains alive, but in critical condition at a Seattle hospital.

Fort Benton Police Chief John Turner said Saturday that hospital staff planned a second follow-up surgery today on the man, who officers believe shot himself once in the head.

Investigators have not released the names of either the man or the woman. She was in her late 40s or early 50s and he was in his late 30s.

Turner said one had lifelong ties to Fort Benton and had recently returned to live there.

"We have details of the case that we are still working through," Turner said. "Right now those details we're not going to share."

Chouteau County Attorney Steve Gannon said that the couple had been dating for a couple of years and were living together in Fort Benton.

The shooting was reported about 5 p.m. Thursday at 1709 Chouteau Ave., a four-plex private residence that the couple was renovating into rentals.

Investigators wouldn't release the type of gun used, but said they had recovered the weapon and have no reason to suspect anyone but the man as the shooter.

"There is a suspect," Gannon said Saturday. "We don't have any reason to believe there's a danger to the community."

Such a crime is normally a rarity in a small town like Fort Benton, a community of roughly 1,500 people.

In its Old West heyday, Fort Benton was known for bloody bar brawls and mysterious murders, but the quiet hamlet is now more famous for float trips and museums.

However, just two years ago, Fort Benton was struck by another killing. Charles "Cal" Lundy is serving 50 years in Montana State Prison for shooting 26-year-old J.J. Hankins Wendell.

In September 2007, Wendell was giving Lundy a ride home from a Fort Benton bar when he was shot and killed. Lundy then hid Wendell's body in a coulee about 20 miles northeast of town, where he was found days after he was reported missing.

In April of that year, 13-year-old Mark Keeley died northwest of Fort Benton in a shootout with both state and county officers. An inquest revealed that the Rudyard teen fired at officers after leading them on a chase in a stolen car.

Turner said that before the 2007 crime, it had been a dozen years since Fort Benton had a murder.

"Crimes of this nature happen all over the world," he said Saturday. "It's a very unfortunate situation and especially heartbreaking in a small town."

Turner said the apparent murder-suicide is a crime without rhyme or reason, further baffling long time Fort Benton residents.

"I wish we had a crystal ball and were able to stop them, but I don't know how you stop someone like that."

Reach Tribune Staff Writer Kim Skornogoski at 791-6574, 800-438-6600 or

Chicago, IL: Newlyweds' deaths called murder-suicide

Man with criminal past kills self; wife found dead in home

By Erika Slife, Annie Sweeney and Jeremy Gorner

Tribune reporters

November 28, 2009

Antwone and Claudette Coleman spent their first Thanksgiving as a married couple shuttling between family get-togethers, where his relatives said they saw no signs of tension between the two.

Despite Antwone's criminal record of violence, abuse and drugs, Claudette wed him last month, telling a neighbor that he was "the one."

"They were just the happiest couple," said Antwone's sister, Dominique Coleman, 24. "Nothing seemed wrong. They were smooching and doing everything a couple is supposed to do."

At some point Thursday night, those displays of affection ended. Neighbors heard the couple's quarrels echoing from their Garfield Park apartment -- and then a popping sound, said Renee Hilliard, who lives on the same floor as the couple.

Police found Antwone Coleman's body first, on the street in the 3300 block of West Monroe Street, blocks from the couple's home in the 3400 block of West Madison Street. The 28-year-old had an apparent self-inflicted bullet wound in his head, authorities said.

Several hours later, police found his wife's body early Friday in the third-floor apartment that they shared with her 10-year-old daughter. Claudette Coleman, 30, died of multiple gunshot wounds, and the Cook County medical examiner's office ruled her death a homicide.

Police are investigating the shootings as a murder-suicide, authorities said.

The daughter was staying with her great-grandmother when the shooting occurred, family said.

"They were so good together," said Hilliard, who was in shock Friday. "I really don't know what happened. It all happened so fast."

The couple recently found out that Claudette Coleman was pregnant, friends and family said. At least part of Thanksgiving was spent at his grandmother's house in southwest suburban Lockport, where they played cards, ate a holiday meal and looked at newspaper ads in preparation for Black Friday.

It was a "beautiful day, beautiful day," said his grandmother, Beatrice Harden.

The couple then headed back to their Garfield Park apartment complex to continue their holiday celebration at Claudette Coleman's grandmother's home, which is across the courtyard. The two had been fighting on and off, Hilliard said the family told her Friday.

Court records show that Antwone Coleman had a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for drugs, domestic battery and aggravated battery to a police officer. He also was a registered sex offender after a 1998 conviction for molesting a young relative, court records show.

Claudette's brother, Artis Wilson, said that the family had not been aware of that criminal record. They knew of no violence between the two, he said.

"If anyone would have seen that, it would have been squashed," he said angrily Friday morning. "She's my baby sister."

Antwone Coleman also had been in a legal battle with the mother of his baby, with records indicating an order of protection and conflict over visitation rights.

But neighbors said that talk in the apartment complex of Antwone Coleman's violent past did not bother Claudette, who had known him for years. To the surprise of both families, the couple married on Oct. 10 in City Hall. He wore a tuxedo; she donned a black and gray dress.

"She was real happy," Hilliard said. "I asked her, 'Are you sure you're ready for this?' She said, 'He's the one.' "

Several neighbors remembered Claudette as an attentive mother who kept a chart on the refrigerator that outlined mother-daughter days, family days and other scheduled outings. Hilliard shared a back porch with Claudette and said that they liked to barbecue together and sit outside and talk.

She said that Claudette's daughter seemed to like Antwone, whom everyone called "Twenty" for his penchant as a youngster to beg for quarters.

"She was happy with him," she said. "I never heard him fuss at her or whup her or nothing."

Paterson, NJ: Man shoots family, kills one son

PATERSON, N.J., Nov. 29 (UPI) --
A New Jersey man shot his estranged wife and two sons, killing the younger son, before being gunned down by a police officer Saturday, police said.

Investigators said Edilmiro Gonzalez ambushed his wife as she was dropping the two boys off at her mother's house in Paterson just before 9 a.m., The Record of Hackensack reported.

Police responding to the shooting found Adrian Gonzalez, 7, dead, Edryn, 11, wounded in the neck, and their mother, Johanna, 31, shot in the shoulder. Johanna and Edryn Gonzalez were reported to be in critical but stable condition at St. Joseph's Hospital.

The gunfire erupted as dozens of witnesses watched, The Record said.

Witnesses said Paterson Police Lt. Washington Griffin confronted Gonzalez, identified himself as a police officer and told him to put his weapon down. Washington, who was off-duty, had been in a drive-through lane at a McDonald's with his son when he heard the shots, The Record reported.

Will Hayes, a witness, said Griffin identified himself as a police officer and told the gunman to put his weapon down.

"The guy didn't, and that's when he shot him," Hayes said.

Detective Lt. Ron Humphrey said Gonzalez was taken to St. Joseph's, where he died. Gonzalez was armed with two handguns, one of them .45 caliber, Humphrey said.

Chicago, IL: Murder charges in death of man who protected woman

Associated Press

6:18 PM CST, November 26, 2009

Authorities in Chicago say a 24-year man suspected of killing a man who protected a woman in an earlier attack was being held without bond pending a preliminary court appearance.

Terrell Cobbs, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Gregory Hampton.

Police say Cobbs fought with a woman on the street on Tuesday afternoon and was kicking her in the head when Hampton intervened and chased him off. Cobbs allegedly returned later and shot Hampton fatally.

Police located Cobbs at a West Side dwelling a short time later. Officers say that when he was being questioned, Cobbs initially told them his name was "Ernie Banks" -- apparently referring to the Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer -- but another resident identified him as the wanted man.

Otterbein, IN: Victim ID’ed in fatal shooting; suspect still sought


OTTERBEIN — Authorities were searching Friday night for a Lafayette man suspected of fatally shooting his girlfriend following a confrontation near the Tippecanoe-Benton county line.

Steven R. Farrell, 57, is considered armed and dangerous, according to Benton County Sheriff Butch Pritchett.

The victim, Christine R. Craig, 40, of West Lafayette, was pronounced dead at Fellure’s Foods in Otterbein, where her 16-year-old daughter drove her for help.

The daughter was not injured.

Pritchett said the shooting took place between 1:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. today near a cornfield on Benton County Road 1050 East, about a half-mile north of U.S. 52. No houses are in the vicinity of the shooting.

He said Craig and Farrell had been dating, and the incident began as a domestic disturbance.

Sgt. Kim Riley, public information officer for the Lafayette district of the Indiana State Police, described the events immediately leading up to the confrontation.

He said Christine Craig was driving her vehicle on the county road when she pulled up next to Steven Farrell who was driving his pickup. After the vehicles stopped, Craig's 16-year-old daughter got out of Farrell's pickup truck to speak to her mother.

Craig exited her vehicle and confronted Farrell. She then got back into her car on the passenger side. Her daughter got behind the wheel.

Farrell allegedly then walked over to the passenger's side of the car and shot Craig before returning to his pickup and driving off, Riley said.

Pritchett said Craig's daughter drove her mother to Fellure's Foods, a gas station and convenience store on U.S. 52, just east of the Tippecanoe-Benton county line.

The shooting scene and Fellure's are about two miles apart.

Investigators from numerous agencies and emergency responders spent several hours at Fellure's this afternoon. They roped off part of the parking lot and an entryway near a white, older-model Chevrolet Cavalier in which Craig was riding.

Benton County Coroner John Cox said Craig suffered a single gunshot wound to her shoulder.

The Indiana Department of Child Services was called to Craig's home to take custody of a young boy there, Pritchett said.

Markham, IL: Markham man kills himself after shooting woman, killing man

November 28, 2009
Sun-Times Media Wire
A Markham man, after shooting his ex girlfriend and killing a man she was with in Sauk Village, turned the gun on himself when police stopped him later Friday night.
About 9:10 p.m. Friday, Sauk Village police got a call of a shooting in the 22000 block of Jeffrey Avenue, according to a release from Sauk Village police. When officers got to the scene, they found a woman who had been shot. She was taken to a local hospital, police said.

Officers also found a second victim, 43-year-old Robert Allen of Carthage, Miss., dead in a nearby driveway.

Allen was taken to St. Margaret Mercy Hospital in Dyer, Ind. where he was pronounced dead at 10:45 p.m., according to the Lake County, Ind. Coroner's Office. Allen had been shot multiple times.

The suspect was identified and a flash message was broadcast over the Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network, with information on the suspect and his vehicle, the release said.

The suspect, identified as Paul Gunn, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, was later stopped by police in the area of 162nd and Dixie Highway in Markham. Gunn, who was armed, turned the weapon on himself and shot himself. He was taken to Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, where he was pronounced dead at 10:44 p.m., according to the medical examiner's office.

The woman who was shot was reportedly the girlfriend or ex-girlfriend of Gunn's, according to a source. Gunn lived at 49 W. 159th St., according to the medical examiner's office.

Police are continuing to investigate the shootings and had no further details Saturday morning.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Article: Slain abuse victims who had protective orders

CARISA WALZ, 30, Florence, June 6

Just two weeks before she was killed — run over by her estranged husband in his car — Walz had obtained a protective order from a court in Cincinnati ordering him to have no contact her — even with her permission.

But Paul Walz spent most of the evening drinking with his estranged wife on the night she was killed, Boone County sheriff's spokesman Tom Scheben said.

Paul Walz told police the two had just left a party when she opened the door to his car and leaned out to vomit. She fell out and suffered fatal injuries when he ran over her, police say.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, drunken driving and violating a protective order, and a trial is set for Jan. 18, 2010.

Deputy sheriffs in Hamilton County, Ohio, had charged Paul Walz two weeks before his wife's death with domestic violence and felony assault for allegedly running over her foot with his car. A protective order issued on May 25 ordered him to have no contact with her.

AMY DAVIS, 29, Jeffersonville, Ky., May 29

Amy Davis' family knew that her relationship with her ex-husband, Tony Patterson, was rocky, but they say they never suspected it would end violently.

She had taken out an emergency protective order against Patterson, but only because Amy's daughter — one of three children she'd adopted with Patterson before the two divorced — had told her that her ex-husband had made inappropriate sexual comments.

“It wasn't about violence to her,” said Davis' father, Ralph Davis.

Amy had a new fiancĂ©, William Cain, and was seven months pregnant. Her My Space page noted that thought she was “stressed” she was “ready to enjoy my weekend” with Cain and the children.

Patterson couldn't accept the fact that she had met another man, Ralph Davis said.

“He kept calling her at all hours of the night,” he said. “She would change her number, and he would still get a hold of it.”

Nine days before she and Patterson were scheduled to appear in Montgomery County for a hearing on the protective order, Patterson forced his way into her mobile home southeast of Mount Sterling, shot and killed Cain, then chased Amy Davis into the yard and shot her dead, before killing himself.

“This just blindsided everyone,” Ralph Davis said. “He was always making threats, but we didn't think he would deliver on them.”

DANA GABRIELLE MCDONALD, 26, Louisville. Feb. 20

A therapist and nurse at the Home of the Innocents, Dana McDonald had been living with 29-year-old Michael Elery for about two months when they got in an argument two weeks before Christmas last year.

He refused to leave, so she called police, at which point he warned her that he would beat her up when he got out of jail, she said in a petition for a protective order.

“I think Michael will harm me,” McDonald wrote. “I want Michael to stay away.”

After hearing Elery's side of the story, a judge issued a domestic-violence order for three years, ordering Elery to stay 1,000 feet from her, and away from guns.

On Feb. 20, 2009, Elery was picked up in Harrison County, Ind., on a charge of public intoxication and told police he had assaulted his girlfriend in Louisville, according to court records.

McDonald was found dead of blunt-force injuries and multiple stab wounds in the apartment and Elery was charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set for Aug. 27.

TASHA DYE, 35, Westport, Ky., Nov. 19, 2007

Tasha Dye was scared. Her estranged husband, Charles “Chuck” Dye whom she was divorcing, had threatened her and her family, she said in a petition for a protective order on Oct. 25, 2007.

That day, he had come to the home they had shared near the Ohio River, knocked on the door, and then barged in when she said to go away, she said. She locked herself in a bathroom and called 911, and he fled when he realized she'd called police.

But she had taken out a protective order against him in the past, and knew that other women had as well. “I am fearing he will do something to hurt me and my family,” she said in her petition.

Family Court Judge Tim Feeley had issued a domestic-violence order, instructing Dye to stay 500 feet away from Tasha and her mother, Carolyn Schildknesht, 55. There was no restriction placed on firearms.

The next month, three days after their divorce was final, Chuck Dye, 51, came to mobile home that Tasha Dye was sharing with Schildknesht, chased his ex-wife into the front yard and shot her in the head before killing himself.

“I really don't know what more could have been done to protect her,” said Joe Wells, her divorce lawyer. “The DVO was in place. All the boxes were checked like they're supposed to be.”

But Oldham County Police Detective Paul Kerr, who investigated the murder-suicide, said a GPS monitoring system — like the one proposed by House Speaker Greg Stumbo — may have saved Tasha Dye's life.

Although Chuck Dye lived close to his ex-wife — and could have beaten police to the scene if they had been alerted that he was approached her — Tasha Dye also would have gotten notice and would have had a chance to flee, Kerr said.

He said Chuck Dye would have been a perfect candidate for electronic monitoring.

“We knew him for years,” Kerr said. “We knew he was a violent person.”

THERESA CHEVELLE HICKS, 43, Hartford, Oct. 17, 2007

A waitress and mother of three children, Theresa Hicks once tried to get Robert W. Casey out of her life, then let him back in.

On Sept. 30, 2006, after Casey, a disabled former gas station worker, smashed the window of Hicks' van, cutting her and two of her children, she won an order requiring him to stay away from her for two years.

“He threatened my life,” she told District Judge John McCarty.

But four months later, she asked to have the order “completely dropped.”

McCarty refused to do that, ordering Casey to continue in anger-management counseling, and to refrain from further violence or harassment. At Hicks' request, though, he dropped the no-contact order, and the couple reunited.

“He persisted until she came back,” said Jennifer Anderson, Hicks' sister.

On Oct. 17, 2007 — a week before the protective order was to expire — Hicks and Casey went out drinking, got into a fight, and Hicks was pushed, fell or jumped from a moving vehicle, police said.

Hicks died of multiple blunt-force trauma and Casey was charged with murder, drunken driving, violating a protective order and assault of another person earlier the same night.

Casey eventually pleaded guilty to violating the order and second-degree manslaughter, and was sentenced to 10 years. His public defender, Lelah Rogers, declined to comment.

Anderson said her sister was “miserable” in her relationship with Casey.

“She didn't want to go back to him,” Anderson said. “She began living with him to get him to leave her alone.”

Danville, KY: Boyle man dies, state police officer involved in shooting

November 26, 2009

FORKLAND — A Boyle County man died of a gunshot wound to the head Wednesday at his home on Catholic Knob, and the shooting is being investigated by state police to determine if the wound was caused by a trooper.

Roger King, 61, died at his home at 8115 Forkland Road as the result of a gunshot wound to the head, said Boyle Coroner Dr. James Ramey, who pronounced King dead at 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

Kentucky State Police Post 7 Richmond, is currently investigating whether King’s death was caused by a state trooper.

According to a press release from the state police post, at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, Trooper Eric Taylor, along with five members of the Boyle County Sheriff's Department, arrived at King’s home.

“They were attempting to serve an arrest warrant and Emergency Protective Order on Roger King. Officers knocked on the front door of the residence and identified themselves. King did not answer the door. The officers then went to the back door, and identified themselves again. The officers peered through the window of the door and observed King inside the residence. He was armed with a handgun. King then brandished the weapon at the officers. KSP Trooper Eric Taylor then fired a single shot through the window of the door, striking King,” the press release said.

King’s body was taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Frankfort, where an autopsy will be conducted. The shooting remains under investigation by Detective Mark Young, Detective Monte Owens and Lieutenant Blake Slone. No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident.

Ramey said King will be taken to Preston-Pruitt Funeral Home in Danville after the autopsy.

Jimmy Wilcher, Boyle County sheriff’s deputy, was one of five deputies called to assist state police. Wilcher, who worked with King for 20 years on the railroad, said he was not present when the shooting occurred. He was called about 9:45 p.m.

Wilcher said the warrant stemmed from a couple of days ago when King had gone to an ex-wife’s home.

“He pulled a weapon on her and threatened to kill her and she took out the EPO and warrant for his arrest,” he said.

Wilcher said when officers went to the back door they saw King lying on a couch.

“When he rolled over, he whipped out a pistol and fired a round through the patio door. Trooper Eric Taylor returned fire. He fired a round and it struck Roger in the face.”

Wilcher said when he was called he tried to make contact with King over a loudspeaker.

“We couldn’t get him to acknowledge us and we called the SWAT team.”

When the SWAT team went into King’s home, he was found dead.

Wilcher said he had to leave the scene to assist with a mental patient at the hospital, but at that time about 20 members of the SWAT team were preparing to enter the house.

Wilcher said there is some confusion about whether King could have shot himself, but he expressed doubt about that.

“We’re not 100 percent sure the trooper shot him. Nobody will know until they get done in Frankfort.”

Wilcher said the events unfolded rapidly when the trooper went to the back door of the home.

“The officer told me, ‘I had him in my sights, and I fired a round and tried to get out.’ Nobody had time to stand there and see if he would return fire.”

Wilcher said King’s gun was a .45-caliber long barrel Colt. “It was an old gun like from the old West. It also would shoot a .410-shotgun shell.”

He also said officers suspected King might respond violently. About four years ago, there was an incident at King’s home where King fired a shot at a trooper’s car. The trooper had been sent to King’s home about a dispute with neighbors.

Chapmanville, WV: Shooting Investigation Continues In Logan County

Chapmanville, Logan County

Investigators in Logan County say they believe a Chapmanville man shot his wife on Wednesday night before turning the gun on himself.

Chapmanville Police were identifying that man as Otis Bowling. He was found dead at his home.

His wife, Emmy Bowling, was wounded and taken to Charleston Area Medical Center for treatment where she died on Thursday morning.

The shootings happened at about before 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

West Valley, UT: Fight over ex-girlfriend leads to man's death

Published: Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009 10:04 p.m. MST

WEST VALLEY CITY — A man died from stab wounds received during an argument over his ex-girlfriend Thursday afternoon.

Sandy Police later located the man believed responsible for the stabbing when they found his car parked near 8800 South on State Street.

West Valley City Police said the incident began when the victim, Steve Doolittle, 41, walked across the street from his residence near 3600 South and 5400 West after his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend, came over sometime before noon.

The new boyfriend and Doolittle began to fight, during which Doolittle suffered multiple stab wounds in the upper body, said West Valley City Police Sgt. Trudy Cropper. Doolittle was transported to Pioneer Valley Hospital where he later died from injuries.

Sandy Police booked Justing Guymon, 28, who is from the Salt Lake area, into Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of murder and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.

A Utah court records search found that Guymon was convicted of four counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, from an incident in June 2004, and sentenced to less than 5 years in the Utah State Prison.

— Lana Groves

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tucson, AZ: City man guilty of murder in '08 strangling Could get life term for killing girlfriend

By Kim Smith

A Tucson man accused of strangling his girlfriend in August 2008 was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday and faces a potential life sentence.
Paul Michael Beam, 36, called his father at about 9 p.m. on Aug. 12, 2008, and asked him to come to his apartment, in the 8800 block of North Oracle Road.
When Beam's father arrived, he found Lisa Berrie, 25, unresponsive and bloodied on the floor of the master bathroom. Beam's father called 911, and police and paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but Berrie was pronounced dead at 10:15 p.m. at University Medical Center. An autopsy revealed Berrie had been strangled.
Darlene Edminson-O'Brien, assistant Pima County public defender, asked jurors to convict Beam of manslaughter, saying Beam acted in the heat of passion after Berrie told him that she was leaving him and taking their 2-year-old daughter.
Although prosecutor Nicol Green argued that Beam had time to reflect on his actions while strangling Berrie — thus making him guilty of first-degree murder — Edminson-O'Brien reminded jurors the medical examiner testified that no one can say just how long it takes to strangle someone.
"This is a case of snapping, of anger and of losing control," Edminson-O'Brien said during closing arguments Tuesday.
Green told the jurors the case didn't even come close to being a manslaughter case.
Someone guilty of committing manslaughter during the heat of passion has to prove he were provoked enough to lose control, and he has to prove that any "reasonable" person would have been provoked under the same circumstances, Green said.
Berrie telling Beam she was leaving him didn't give Beam adequate provocation, Green said.
The prosecutor said she found it convenient that Beam said he doesn't remember beating and strangling Berrie. He knew that if he remembered it and testified about it, he'd be convicted of first-degree murder, Green said.
Beam said he remembers a struggle, but there was no physical evidence of such a struggle in the apartment, Green said. Also, Beam had no injuries.
Green pointed to Beam's actions after the incident as further evidence of his guilt.
Instead of calling 911, he called his father, Green said.
When he saw the police arrive, he went back inside and turned off all the lights, Green said. When officers knocked on the door, Beam told them everything was OK and they could leave.
The officers testified they heard a toilet flush while standing outside the apartment, and when they got inside they found a plastic grocery sack inside the master bathroom's toilet and the floor flooded, Green said.
The evidence indicates Beam used the sack to try to wipe down blood in the bathroom, Green said.
Berrie, who also was survived by an 8-year-old son, was a manager at the Starbucks inside a Bashas' supermarket where Beam was a produce manager.
Beam will be sentenced in January by Pima County Superior Court Judge Clark Munger.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lexington Park, MD: Suspect in murder faces federal charge, Man arrested after wife's death and his claim that they had been abducted

Friday, Nov. 27, 2009

Staff writer
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A former air traffic controller stationed at Patuxent River Naval Air Station has been indicted by federal grand jurors, five months after he was arrested on the Eastern Shore upon the discovery of his wife's dead body.

Ryan Dave Holness, 28, was taken into custody last June in Kent County and later indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Serika Sandra Dunkley, whom he married six years ago.

Holness claimed that his wife was attacked by a masked gunman who abducted the couple at a travelers' service area in New Jersey, where the couple stopped while driving home from visiting relatives in New York. Maryland State Police reported finding "inconsistencies" while investigating his claim, but their probe took a new twist when they learned that the couple's car had turned up in Washington, D.C.

Holness' trial in Kent County Circuit Court has been postponed to next January after a series of courthouse conferences and a motions hearing, which recently led to his waiver of his right to be tried within 180 days after his arraignment. Court papers state that defense lawyers have sought sanctions while pursuing pretrial discovery issues with county prosecutors, and that DNA records have become an issue in the case.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office obtained an indictment accusing Holness of traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to kill his spouse, and committing a crime of violence against his spouse.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said Tuesday through a statement that the decision to use the federal interstate domestic violence statute to prosecute Holness "was made jointly by federal and state authorities."

A conviction for the offense carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Holness remains in custody on the original charges filed in Kent County.

Police found Dunkley stabbed to death on June 5 along a state highway on the Eastern Shore county. Holness told police that the carjacker forced the couple to drive to a dirt lane near Crumpton, ordered them out of the car and assaulted him and bound him with duct tape — before chasing, catching and assaulting his wife as she tried to run away.

Holness told police that he tried to assist his wounded wife, and that their assailant knocked them down in a field, stabbed the woman and kicked Holness in the head.

Holness later appeared at the doorway of a nearby home, and he told police that he'd been struggling to free himself from the duct tape before he walked to the house.

He was treated at a hospital in Chestertown for a wound on his left arm and other cuts, and a nationwide lookout was broadcast for the car, before police further questioned him and charged him with the homicide.

Charging papers filed by a police investigator state that the area where Holness said the attacks occurred was very muddy and wet, but police found no signs of a struggle there, and the condition of the woman's clothing showed no evidence of an attack in a muddy field. The woman's purse was found zippered shut on the ground, court papers state, and its contents were intact.

Holness was accused in 2007 in court papers of digitally recording a sexual encounter with a girlfriend at the couple's home in Lexington Park. Court papers state a former girlfriend found the incident's video file while babysitting his children.

Holness admitted to police investigators after his wife's death that he'd recently been exchanging cell phone text messages with a girlfriend, court papers state, and police determined that Holness affirmed during one of those text message conversations that he would divorce his wife. He told police that he and his wife were "somewhat separated," court papers state, but he had no plans to get a divorce.

The charges filed last year against Holness, including a "peeping tom" offense and the illegal use of a camera in a private residence, were placed on an inactive docket after he requested a jury trial in the case.

Holness told police that he was having sex with the girlfriend when he might have accidentally touched a remote control that activated the video recorder in his bedroom, court papers state, and that he later tried to delete the video file.

Martinsburg, WV: Surber deemed competent to stand trial in Sharp’s death

NOVEMBER 24, 2009
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A man charged with killing his ex-girlfriend during a two-day standoff with police in June near Martinsburg has been deemed competent by a West Virginia University physician, according to Berkeley County Circuit Court records.

Donald B. Surber Jr., 37, of Winchester, Va., last month pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, burglary, felony destruction of property, domestic assault, attempted escape, attempt to disarm a law enforcement officer and attempt to possess a weapon by inmate of jail.

The charges relate to the kidnapping and slaying of Katherine Nicole Sharp, who was found dead in her home by West Virginia State Police on June 15, and Surber’s alleged attempt to flee from correctional officers at City Hospital in Martinsburg after being arrested.

Surber’s trial is scheduled for Feb. 9.

Police allege Surber held Sharp hostage in her home at 10 Raider Lane in the Ridgefield subdivision off W.Va. 9 west of Martinsburg on June 14 and 15. A warrant charging Surber with murder said Sharp was killed June 14. The standoff ended on the afternoon of June 15, according to court records.

After his arrest, Surber attempted suicide by cutting his wrists while in Eastern Regional Jail and tried to escape from police guards after being treated for his wounds at City Hospital in Martinsburg, according to court records.

Attorneys handling the case Nov. 2 received the results of a competency evaluation by WVU Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry Assistant Professor Christie Cooper-Lehki, according to an order signed by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes and filed Nov. 10 with Berkeley County Circuit Clerk Virginia M. Sine’s office.

The order rescinded the judge’s previous order that a second evaluation be performed by Drs. Rosemary L. Smith and Ralph S. Smith Jr. of Charleston, W.Va.

At Surber’s arraignment hearing Oct. 29, Wilkes ordered a second evaluation to be completed because Cooper-Lehki’s report had not been received in a timely fashion.

After Surber’s arraignment, Cooper-Lehki contacted the attorneys in the case and told them she was “confused” by the direction of the court and the attorneys, which were expecting the results of the competency evaluation.

Cooper-Lehki was unable to complete a second portion of her evaluation of the defendant’s criminal responsibility/diminished capacity because not all of the state’s evidence was available for her review, according to the judge’s order.

Baja, CA: Woman beaten to death in Tijuana by her American boyfriend

Robert Alan Frascarelli confessed to officials that he was tired of cleaning dog waste, washing carpets, doing laundry and being insulted constantly.

By Tania Navarro, SDNN
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 no comments | be the first to comment!

Robert Alan Frascarelli (PGJE photo)
TIJUANA — An American citizen used a hammer to murder his girlfriend in Tijuana, the Baja California Attorney’s Office (PGJE in Spanish) said Wednesday.

Helena Kaija Kauppinen Conway, 54, was found dead in her Tijuana home Sunday night.

Robert Alan Frascarelli, 49, a U.S. citizen, was arrested Wednesday morning after admitting he killed her, officials said. Frascarelli previously told detectives that Kauppinen was killed in an alleged assault by gunmen.

Frascarelli confessed to officials that he took his girlfriend’s life because he was tired of being humiliated by cleaning dog waste, washing carpets, doing laundry and being insulted constantly.

He told investigators that the night of the murder, he was angry about $7,000 Kauppinen won at a casino that was missing.

Officers who searched the home found the victim’s body with multiple wounds over her face and skull. They also found remains of duct tape on her head and an electrical cord tying her ankles.

When police officers first interviewed Frascarelli, he told them that a half-hour before detectives arrived, two gunmen entered the home looking for money and tied them in separate rooms, officers said.

He stated that when he no longer heard any noise in the other room, he went to check on Kauppinen, but she was already dead.

Prosecutors said a search of the home didn’t turn up any evidence of the alleged perpetrators or anything to support Frascarelli’s initial statements.

During a subsequent interview, Frascarelli changed his version of events, falling into contradictions, the PGJE said.

Frascarelli said he beat Kauppinen over the face and skull leaving her unconscious on the floor. He proceeded to strangle her with his own hands until he killed her, prosecutors said.

Once he realized she was already dead, he hid the hammer in the back of the house without washing it to remove the blood, prosecutors said.

He then washed his hands and used the duct tape to tie the hands and feet of his dead girlfriend. Then he tied himself, to be able to invent the story of the two masked men that arrived to assault them, the PGJE said.

Frascarelli also told authorities he is addicted to crystal meth and lives off money provided to him by elderly women.

He has a criminal record in the U.S. for armed robbery, assault and DUI.

According to Baja California law, he could receive a penalty up to 50 years in prison.

Frascarelli told prosecutors that he was dating Kauppinen, a Finland native, for the last three months.

Tania Navarro is an SDNN contributing writer who reports from Tijuana.

Tags: Helena Kaija Kauppinenen, murder, PGJE, Robert Alan Frascarelli, SDNN, tijuana

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 at 4:38 pm and is filed under Mexico. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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Washington, DC: Northeast D.C. man injured in beating dies

By Martin Weil and Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An 85-year-old Northeast Washington man died Monday after being injured while reportedly trying to break up an argument in which a woman was fatally beaten.

George McKoy, of the 3100 block of 35th Street NE, died after suffering blunt force trauma in the incident at his house this month, the D.C. police said.

Kenneth Lee Ross, 52, of Northeast Washington has been charged in the death of the woman, Rosa May Fludd-Ross, 55, his wife.

Police said that Ross was charged under a warrant Tuesday with first-degree murder while armed in the death of McKoy.

Charging documents said Fludd-Ross was found Nov. 15, on the living room floor of the house where she lived, which was owned by McKoy. McKoy was also found beaten, authorities said, and he was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The charging documents described a bloody scene in the house. It appeared that the living room telephone cord had been pulled from the wall jack, the papers said.

Ross told police that he and Fludd-Ross had argued at the house and that he struck her with a vase, the charging documents say. Ross said that McKoy tried to break up the argument and that he pushed McKoy, the documents say.

At a court hearing, Ross's attorney, Ronald Horton of the District's Public Defender Service, said there was no evidence that Ross planned to kill his wife before what he described as a "brief scuffle" among his client, his client's wife and McKoy.

The charge in connection with his wife's death was reduced to second-degree murder, and Ross was ordered jailed pending a hearing. Police said he was taken Tuesday to the homicide office for processing in McKoy's death.

In an interview Tuesday, a former neighbor of McKoy's recalled the 85-year-old man warmly.

"All I know is that he's a good man and tried to help everybody," the neighbor said.

Describing him as a worshiper at a Baptist church in the Brookland area, the neighbor said that McKoy would occasionally do odd jobs and that he lent a hand "to anybody that needed help."

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Chicago, IL: 4 Found Dead in Chicago-Area Home in Apparent Murder-Suicide

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Four people, including two children, were found dead Wednesday in a home in suburban Chicago in what police believe was a murder-suicide, reported.

Addison authorities are investigating the deaths of a man, woman and two boys discovered just after 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers went to the scene after getting a 911 call.

Police aren't providing details on how the people died or when they were killed.

"The preliminary investigation indicates this was not a random act of violence, but an isolated incident at this location," said Addison Police Officer Megan Freeman. She said it appears that no one outside the home was involved and neighbors shouldn't be concerned.

Another law-enforcement source told that the crime was being handled as a murder-suicide.

Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday.

Lawndale, IL: Man killed after confronting girlfriend's attacker, police say

A Lawndale man was fatally shot at his home Tuesday night after confronting a man who beat up his girlfriend.

Police responded to a call of shots fired in the 3400 block of West Douglas Boulevard about 8:45 p.m. and found Gregory Hampton, 31, unresponsive, police said. He was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital.

The incident began when police say a man beat up Hampton's girlfriend. Hampton then confronted the alleged attacker, who shot him, police said.

A man was in custody early Wednesday.

Bellingham, WA: Man admits to 'sympathy' killing of Bellingham woman

Police say a 41-year-old woman who was found dead near a homeless camp was strangled, and the suspect admitted to detectives he killed her to put her out of her misery.
More local news
Story Published: Nov 25, 2009 at 11:09 AM PST Story Updated: Nov 25, 2009 at 11:09 AM PST
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BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- A 45-year-old man admitted to detectives he strangled a Bellingham woman near a homeless camp Monday night because he wanted the victim to "stop hurting."

James "Kevin" Schultea is being held in the Whatcom County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder.

The body of Rubey Erickson, 41, was found in a wooded area common to several homeless camps Monday evening. An autopsy concluded the woman had been strangled and the medical examiner ruled the death a murder.

Schultea was the one who called police to the scene of Erickson's body, where he told detectives he had met up with her about three hours earlier and knew her from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting last year, police said.

The suspect told detectives he, Erickson and a third person were talking about Erickson's past failed relationships and at one point in the conversation, Erickson got angry and walked away. He said he later found Erickson's body near a pond in the woods, and suggested the third person was responsible, detectives said.

Police interviewed and ruled out the third person and asked Schultea to come back for further questioning on Tuesday. During that interview, Schultea admitted to killing Erickson, police said. In his statement to detectives, he said he and Erickson went to a tent in the homeless camp around 2:30 p.m. on Monday and began drinking. When Erickson got emotional about her past relationships, Schultea said he decided he wanted Erickson to stop hurting.

After Erickson fell asleep, Schultea strangled Erickson, then left her body nude near the pond in order to throw off police, detectives said.

Schultea's next court appearance was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Corning, CA: Corning Woman Murdered

The community of Corning is in shock over the violent murder of a teacher's aide, and the arrest of her boyfriend for the crime.

Police say 49 year old Steven Piazza called them early Monday to say he had killed his girlfriend...55 year old linda griggs, in the home the two shared with their ten year old daughter.

Neighbor Mary Hall learned of the crime when she went to get the morning paper, "He's a truck driver, gone all the time, leaves one in the afternoon, back ten oclock at night. I didn't know nothiing about what was going on."

Griggs, a teachers aid at Olive View Elementary School, was found dead in the kitchen of the duplex. She had been beaten, with obvious head trauma.

Corning Police Chief Tony Cardenas," We haven't established what was used. The cause of death. Waiting for autopsy results. It wasn't a shooting? No, it was not."

A long time friend and co worker of Griggs lives on the other side of the duplex, and said she never saw trouble . The night Griggs was killed she heard nothing."

Piazza is a big rig driver...his truck, is still parked outside the crime scene. Police say he has admitted to the crime, but they wouldn't elaborate much on what sparked the violence. "He, obviously domestic dispute, he uh, been something apparently ongoing for some time."

Cardenas said there is no record of past domestic abuse. He confirmed the couple's daughter was asleep at the time of the crime, and said she had no knowledge of what happened. He says Piazza woke her up and took her to her older sister's house before he called to turn himself in.

Grigg's older daughter called action news today to say a memorial service is planned for Saturday at eleven, at the Rolling Hills Casino.

Meanwhile, Piazza is scheduled to be arraigned on murder charges Wednesday.###

Riverside, CA: SoCal man charged with killing wife, 6-year-old

The Associated Press
Posted: 11/24/2009 07:34:16 PM PST
Updated: 11/24/2009 07:34:17 PM PST

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—A Riverside County man has been charged with killing his wife and her 6-year-old daughter.
Prosecutors charged 52-year-old Michael Barbar with two counts of murder with special allegations of multiple murders and lying in wait.
The district attorney's office says Barbar killed his wife, 43-year-old Maysam Barbar and her 6-year-old daughter, Tamara, who were found in their home in Perris on Nov. 14.
Prosecutors say he gave his two teenage stepchildren money to stay out late the night of the murders.
Michael Barbar was arrested in New Mexico the next day.
Prosecutors say he waived extradition to California and will return by the end of next week.
Authorities have not revealed how the victims were killed.

Corona, NY: Suspect: "Alter Ego" Killed Wife, Son Faces 50 Years to Life

CORONA, NY(AP) - Otto Herrarte,48, of Corona is accused of killing his wife and son by slitting their throats yesterday, wrapping them in black plastic, and stuffing them in a closet. Herrarte says it wasn't him. He says it was his alter ego, Roberto.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced today that Herrarte has been charged with the murder of his wife and youngest son.

"The defendant is accused of a particularly horrific and brutal crime - the murder of his own wife and child," said District Attorney Brown. "It is difficult to imagine the anguish being suffered by the surviving son in knowing that his mother and brother died such violent deaths and his father is charged with killing them. This case will be vigorously prosecuted."

Herrarte, who has been employed for nineteen years as a steward at the Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel at 569 Lexington Avenue and has held a second job as a cleaner at the New York Helmsley Hotel at 212 East 42nd Street for the last four years, is presently being held pending arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on two counts of second-degree murder, one count of tampering with physical evidence and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to 50 years to life in prison.

District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, Herrarte slit the necks and throats of his wife, Edna Herrarte, 55 and his son, Daniel, 14, with a knife sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Friday, November 20, 2009. Afterwards, it is alleged that he cleaned the knife and placed it back in the kitchen. An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the two victims died as a result of deep cuts to the throat and neck, in which the carotid artery and trachea of each individual had been severed. The Herrartes' other child, David, 15, was not home at the time of the alleged attack.

According to District Attorney Brown, Herrarte allegedly told police at the time of his arrest that he had a person named Roberto inside of him and Roberto was responsible for everything that was bad. That Roberto killed Edna and Daniel Herrarte while they were on their beds. Herrarte also allegedly told police that he (Otto) went to the store and bought black plastic and duct tape and that he put his wife and son in the black plastic bags and put them in the closet.
The investigation was conducted by police officers assigned to the New York City Police Department's 115th Precinct detective squad.

Dale, SC: Sheriff Tanner gives more details in Dale double murder

Sheriff Tanner gives more details in Dale double murder

By Jaime Dailey bio | email

DALE, SC (WTOC) - Earnest Daise remains in jail without bond. Beaufort County investigators say he shot and killed his girlfriend and her four-year-old son. He also shot and injured their toddler.

Sheriff P.J. Tanner says while they have made an arrest in this case, it's still an on-going investigation and couldn't reveal the motive in this case. But, he did confirm that the couple had a history of criminal domestic violence.

More than a week ago, friends and family members lined Player Road waiting for answers after a someone murdered Jeanine Mullen and her four-year-old son Waltfredo Davis-Mullen the same day he was celebrating his 4th birthday.

Investigators say Earnest Daise is the killer. They say he also shot their two-year-old son Jeremiah Daise. Jeremiah is now at Memorial University of South Carolina in stable condition.

"It's a horrible, horrible case," said sheriff Tanner. "Its a very heartless individual who would do what defendant Daise did, it's tough on everyone."

Sheriff P.J. Tanner said while the victim's weren't discovered until 7pm November 15, they believe the murders could have happened much earlier in the day. Tanner says they suspected Daise early on and searched his home and found more than just evidence in the murder case.

"Crack cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphenallia were found in the residence belonging to the defendant Daise and he was charged on these drug charges that night," said Tanner.

Now he's facing murder charges. While Tanner couldn't comment on the motive in this case, he says Daise was on parole at the time of the murders and has a long criminal history, including two pending counts of criminal domestic violence. Jeanine Mullen was the victim in both cases.

"South Carolina has suffered greatly because of the amount of Criminal Domestic Violence cases we have in this state," said Tanner. "We have led those stats for years. If motive as an example of domestic related to this case, it's just a terrible example of just how bad domestic violence cases were in South Carolina. Domestic violence cases do escelate."

Tanner says unfortunately, they're not notified in many cases of Criminal Domestic Violence until it has escalated.

Daise has a lengthy criminal history, dating back to 1998. He's had a number of drug charges over the years including posession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. He's also been charged with assult and battery with intent to kill in to separate incidents, not including this one.

His next bond hearing on the murder charges is scheduled for next month.

Ft. Meyers, FL: Man guilty of killing wife, mother-in-law

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A Lee County man has been convicted of killing his estranged wife and mother-in-law.

A jury deliberated for two hours Tuesday before finding 31-year-old Juan Mendez Jr. guilty of two counts of second-degree murder in the 2006 deaths of his wife, Whitney Mendez, and her mother, Lori Stone.

Prosecutors say Mendez stabbed both women to death at their Lehigh Acres home.

Mendez faces two life prison terms at his sentencing in February.

Tiki Island, TX: Police: Despondent Tiki Island man kills wife

Nov. 24, 2009, 9:37PM

GALVESTON — A Tiki Island man burdened by financial problems, including the impending loss of his home, shot his wife to death and confronted police with a pistol in hopes that they would kill him, a Galveston County sheriff's officer said Tuesday.
Police officers talked Fred Leonard Wallace, 66, into giving up his firearm, then arrested him in the slaying of his wife, Joann Jones Wallace, 64, sheriff's Lt. Tommy Hansen said.
Wallace, who owns a Houston scrap yard with his son, had suffered business setbacks, and his wife was in poor health, Hansen said. They both suffered from depression and were about to lose their home, he said.
“Apparently a lot of things in their world were upside down,” Hansen said.
Wallace dialed 911 at about 3 a.m. and told the dispatcher that he had shot his wife, Hansen said. A Tiki Island officer and a Bayou Vista officer arrived and found Wallace standing in the driveway with a gun in his hand. Hansen said it was clear from Wallace's later statements that he wanted to provoke the officers into shooting him. Instead, they cajoled him into turning over his weapon.
“A situation that turned terrible could have gone worse,” Hansen said. “They kept it from happening.”
Wallace is being held in the Galveston County Jail on a murder charge. His bail is $75,000.

Barnegat, NJ: Barnegat man is accused of beating ex-girlfriend's two cats, one fatally

By The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk
November 24, 2009, 8:59PM
BARNEGAT -- A Barnegat man was indicted for allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend's cats, killing one, according to a report by the Daily Record.
Frank J. Dominick, of Barnegat Boulevard, was charged with two counts of animal cruelty, the report said. Dominick is accused of fatally beating one cat, Nox, and breaking the ribs of a kitten, Max, around July 10.
The cats have been returned to Dominick's girlfriend, after she moved out of the apartment they shared.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sarasota, FL: Sarasota man convicted in shooting death

Posted: Nov 24, 2009 09:35 AM
Updated: Nov 24, 2009 09:35 AM

SARASOTA - A Sarasota man has been convicted in the death of Cornell Harris.

Robert Cummings Jr. was found guilty on Friday in Harris's death and the attempted murder of his girlfriend, Whitney Torres.

According to police reports, on March 7th, Harris had been talking on the phone with Cummings, when Cummings burst into the victim's apartment on North Orange Avenue. Cummings then shot Harris multiple times in the head, and shot Torres three times.

Torres survived and was able to testify against Cummings at trial. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January. A second suspect in this case is still at large.

If you can any information about that person, call the Sarasota County Crime Stoppers.

Mt. Morris, NY: Mt. Morris Man Charged in Girlfriend's Homicide

Mt. Morris, N.Y. - A Mt. Morris man is charged with murder in connection with the stabbing death of his live-in girlfriend.

Police say they were called to a home on Patio Lane around 5 a.m. on Monday for the report of a death. There, they found the body of Sonia Valera, 40. It appears she had been stabbed to death.

Police say Augustin Lebron-Morales, 50, lived with Valera.

They say Lebron-Morales walked into Highland Hospital in Rochester around 3 p.m. Monday and asked for help contacting police. He was taken into custody by Rochester Police and turned over to police in Mt. Morris.

Lebron-Morales was remanded to the Livingston County Jail without bail. He is due back in court on November 27th.

Blanco, NM: Blanco man wanted in girlfriend's death

Updated: Monday, 23 Nov 2009, 5:41 PM MST
Published : Monday, 23 Nov 2009, 5:41 PM MST

Web Producer: Bill Diven
BLANCO, N.M. (KRQE) - San Juan County sheriff's deputies are searching for a murder suspect believed to have shot his live-in girlfriend and run from the scene.

Manuel Gutierrez III is accused of killing Kristin Chavez, 28, about 6:45 p.m. Sunday at the couple's home in Blanco. Deputies believe Gutierrez, 28, and then fled on foot.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Gutierrez on an open count of murder. The warrant carries at $100,000 bond.

The murder weapon was not located at the residence, and investigators said they had no information on where Gutierrez might have gone or what he might be driving.

Deputies questioned Gutierrez's father, who was at the home at the time of the shooting, and said he is not a suspect.

While there was no immediate indication of a motive for the shooting, a sheriff's spokesman said the couple had a history of domestic-violence and child-custody issues. Chavez had obtained a restraining order against Gutierrez in 2000, but it had expired.

Edna, TX: Edna man charged with murder in wife's death



WHEN: Thursday, 6 - 8 p.m.

WHERE: Oaklawn Funeral Home, 900 Navidad St., Edna


WHEN: Friday, 10 a.m.

WHERE: St. Paul Lutheran Church, 108 E. Gayle St., Edna



WHEN: Thursday, 6 - 8 p.m.

WHERE: Oaklawn Funeral Home, 900 Navidad St., Edna


WHEN: Friday, 10 a.m.

WHERE: St. Paul Lutheran Church, 108 E. Gayle St., Edna

HOW TO HELP: Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank to the Wendy Kirk Memorial Fund

EDNA - A crowd of solemn co-workers and friends gathered in front of the home where Wendy Smiga Kirk, 37, of Edna, died early Monday morning.

Her husband, James Donald Kirk Jr., 45, of Edna, was charged with murder.

"She was sweet," said Melisia Bryan, who worked with Kirk. She arrived to pay her respects at the candlelight vigil and to help remember Kirk as she was in life.

"Happy, smiling as usual," she said forcing back tears and clutching a candlestick. "She didn't talk much, she just smiled."

The gathering faced the home on the opposite side of the street, where Wendy Kirk's parents live.

Wendy Kirk was found in her bedroom in the 1100 block of North Kleas Street about 4:12 a.m.

Her husband called 911 and told police he had just killed his wife, said Edna Police Chief Clinton Wooldridge.

Wendy Kirk was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Dwayne Taylor at 5:20 a.m. Preliminary autopsy results from Travis County indicate it was a homicide, Wooldridge said. He would not release the cause of death or the motive.

Authorities also located a weapon on the scene believed to be used in the incident, but will not release the type of weapon found.

James Kirk remained in the Jackson County jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Wendy Kirk, a registered nurse, worked as the director of nurses for Southbrooke Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Edna for a little more than a year. Co-workers remembered her as a pleasant person.

"Wendy was a very caring, outgoing and spunky person in both her professional and personal life," said Mindy Curlee, a spokesperson for the facility in a prepared statement. "The residents and families loved her. She will be missed beyond words. She was a wonderful mom, friend and co-worker."

The couple had been married 14 years and had two children, ages 13 and 8.

Wooldridge does not believe the couple had a history of violence.

"To my knowledge, neither party had any history with the Edna Police Department," Wooldridge said. "They were both upstanding citizens, quietly living their life and raising their family."

Although the children were at home when police arrived, they had no knowledge of the incident, Wooldridge said.

Neighbors said James Kirk appeared to be a family man and was often seen watching his children play, maintaining his yard or hosting family barbecues. Many agreed the incident was completely unexpected.

"I was shocked and couldn't believe it," said Angie Santellana, who lives across the street. "It's just so crazy I can't believe."

Santellana, who also works at Southbrooke, said she was concerned mostly for the children.

"I know they're going through a lot right now," she said. "It's horrible."

As the vigil continued, the soft flicker of candles lit the darkness on North Kleas Street as the people faced the Smiga home and sang a soulful "Amazing Grace."

Kent County, MI: Kent Co. man, 73, headed to trial in death of wife

Associated Press

2:01 AM CST, November 24, 2009


A 73-year-old Grand Rapids-area man is headed to trial in the death of his longtime wife.

Agostino Comella of Byron Township waived a probable cause hearing Monday and will be tried on a second-degree murder charge.

Authorities tell The Grand Rapids Press Comella became increasingly frustrated by caring for his dementia-stricken wife, 70-year-old Ella May Comella, and pushed her, causing her head to strike either a wall or a ceramic tile floor last month.

WOOD-TV reports Agostino Comella's lawyer asked for a reduction in bond, but the prosecutor fought that request Monday. He remained jailed on $500,000 bond.

Article: Report: 1 In 3 Va Homicides Domestic-related

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) ― The Virginia Department of Health says about one-third of the homicides that occurred in the state between 1999 and 2007 were domestic-related.

In a report released Monday, the agency says males were more likely to die in what it called the "crossfire" of intimate partner violence. Females were more likely to be killed by an intimate partner.

The findings are based on an examination of 1,232 domestic-related homicides that occurred during the nine-year period.

According to the report, about 56 percent of such homicides involved the use of a firearm. Sharp instruments such as knives were used in 16.4 percent of domestic-related homicides.

Crucible, PA: Police: Man killed wife who was Pa. jail guard

The Associated Press

CRUCIBLE, Pa. - A man allegedly killed his estranged wife, a guard at a county jail in southwestern Pennsylvania, then tried to make it look like a robbery gone awry.

Thirty-seven-year-old Scott Baker, of Nemacolin, is in the Greene County Jail where his wife had worked.

State police say he killed 30-year-old Melissa Baker, of Crucible, sometime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday. Police say the suspect's young son was with him at the time and that the couple's 18-month-old child was also at the home when she was killed.

Police aren't saying how old the suspect's son was, but he told them his father was on top of his stepmother on the floor. She had throat injuries, but autopsy results haven't been released.

Two county guards found the victim when she didn't show up for work Friday afternoon.

Bellingham, WA: Bellingham Man Person Of Interest In Ex-Wife's 1994 Disappearance

Chris Egert
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News
Posted: 9:37 am PST November 24, 2009
Updated: 10:38 am PST November 24, 2009

SEATTLE -- A Bellingham man is a person of interest in the disappearance of his ex-wife, who vanished in Florida in 1994, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reported.
Over the weekend, detectives in Orlando searched for the woman, Melisa Sloan, who was 23 years old when she disappeared.
Sloan's mother, Merle Brady, said she has lived with great pain ever since.
"(It was) like the earth had just, just opened up and swallowed her," Brady said. "It is just hard to live this life and not know where she is."
Sloan was last seen in surveillance images, withdrawing $20 from an ATM in Florida.
Police questioned her husband at the time. He currently lives with a new wife and children in Bellingham.
"His statement at the time was, 'She left me for another man, about a week ago,'" said Andre Boren, an Orlando police detective.
Orlando police said there's no evidence of that and that two weeks after the woman disappeared, her husband divorced her. Sloan disappeared at the same time she was scheduled to testify against him in a domestic battery case.
Orlando Police confirmed to KIRO 7 on Monday that the missing woman's former husband, who graduated from Western Washington University in 2008, has yet to cooperate with them.
Police identify him as a person if interest. KIRO 7 is not revealing his identity because he's not a suspect.
Detectives from Orlando traveled to Bellingham in the past year to question him. They said he avoided contact with them, saying he couldn't afford a lawyer, and that "You know what has to happen for me to get a court-appointed attorney."
By phone, detectives in Orlando told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News anchor Chris Egert that the weekend search turned up no new clues.
An e-mail to the man was not returned on Monday.
There is a $10,000 reward in the case.

Bridgeville, PA: Bridgeville man says he killed puppy, faces charges

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
By Jim McKinnon and Dan Majors, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Bridgeville man told police he killed his girlfriend's puppy Sunday afternoon because the animal would not behave before the broadcast of the Steelers game.

William Woodson, 22, was being held on $25,000 bail in the Allegheny County Jail, on a charge of animal cruelty.

The puppy, a 13-week-old pit bull named Flip, had been the focal point of recent arguments between Mr. Woodson and his girlfriend, Christine Gielarowski, 21, with whom Mr. Woodson lives on Jane Way.

Sandy Marion, who lives at 188 Union St., said she saw Ms. Gielarowski with the dog just before the start of the Steelers game.

"I saw her down at the gas station, and she was playing with this little black puppy," Ms. Marion said last night. "It had this little gold ribbon around its neck, you know, like Steeler colors? And she was dressed in Steeler colors. And she was walking it, and I thought, 'How sweet.' "

About 20 minutes later, Ms. Marion was in her home with her boyfriend, M. Belcastro, when they heard a woman screaming outside.

"I was just grabbing a beer because the game was going to start, and I heard the girl screaming and wailing," Mr. Belcastro said. "I looked out the window and she was on her knees, and I see this 6-foot man launch something. To me, it looked like -- this sounds ridiculous -- but it looked like a bowling ball with rags attached to it. Bingedy, bangedy, boom, 20 or 25 feet.

"I thought, well, it can't be a bowling ball with rags attached to it. It must be a backpack or something like that with something important to her inside it.

"So I run down there and [Mr. Woodson was] moving up the hill pretty quickly. And then I realize it was a little dog. It was the size of a loaf of bread. I yelled for him to 'Come here!' but he kept going."

Mr. Woodson went up over the hill to 1272B Union St., the home of Gilbert Maldonado, 24, a friend who had invited him over to watch the Steelers game. Meanwhile, Mr. Belcastro and Ms. Marion tried to assist Ms. Gielarowski.

"The dog did not make a sound," said Ms. Marion, who got a box from her home for the dog. "It wasn't breathing. It was horrible. It was the saddest thing I've seen.

"Just about everybody on this street owns a pet. And they walk their dogs and you see them and say hello."

Ms. Marion, who owns four cats, said she offered to take the dog to a veterinarian, but Ms. Gielarowski refused because she and her boyfriend were docking the animal's tail, meaning they had tied it off in an attempt to shorten it.

"[Ms. Gielarowski] was confused, upset and scared," Mr. Belcastro said. "She didn't know what to do, so we called the police."

When police arrived, Ms. Gielarowski initially gave them a false name and refused to identify her boyfriend. Eventually, however, she gave her real name and police contacted her parents to learn Mr. Woodson's name.

Police were told Mr. Woodson was at Mr. Maldonado's home and called Mr. Maldonado's mother in an attempt to reach him.

"I got a phone call from my mom stating that the police were coming over here," Mr. Maldonado said. "I told Will, and he went out the door, and as soon as he walks out, he gets arrested. I asked the officer what was the reason, and he said, 'Cruelty to animals.'

"I was shocked. I didn't know anything about it. It didn't sound like him, and he seemed totally normal," Mr. Maldonado said. "I said, 'You're lying.' That's the exact words I told the cop, 'You're lying.'

"If it is true, it's a stupid mistake," he said. "Everybody makes mistakes. If anything, it was a fit of rage. But that doesn't make it right."

Mr. Woodson declined to acknowledge the reading of his rights as he was arrested, but while waiting in the cruiser at the police station, he spoke, unsolicited, with one of the officers.

According to the affidavit, Mr. Woodson said he argued with Ms. Gielarowski about buying the dog.

"He admitted the dog would not behave prior to the Steelers game, and that he became upset at it," according to the affidavit.

Ms. Gielarowski still may face charges for giving police a false name and address and initially refusing to cooperate, officials said.

Jim McKinnon can be reached at or 412-263-1939. Dan Majors can be reached at or 412-263-1456.

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Brocton, MA: Brockton man convicted of killing ex-girlfriend

BROCKTON — A Brockton man who was out on bail when he shot his ex-girlfriend to death as she slept has been convicted of first-degree murder.

Amaral Montrond, who is already serving a five-year prison term in another shooting, was convicted Monday in Brockton Superior Court of killing Carlita Chaney in August 2007 after the jury deliberated about eight hours over two days.

Prosecutors say Montrond shot Chaney because he was angry that she told police he was hiding in South Carolina while he was wanted for a shooting outside a Brockton bar.

Montrond’s lawyer said in court that the gun discharged accidentally.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 4. First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Monday, November 23, 2009

San Antonio, TX: Did calmness hide trouble? San Antonio student charged with killing the father of her son

Nov. 22, 2009, 10:39PM

SAN ANTONIO — If the teenagers' relationship was troubled, Tiffany James showed no hint of unease at school Friday morning.
The senior at Sam Houston High School entered her culinary arts class carrying a Thanksgiving-themed writing assignment from another class: “I am most thankful for my son,” her paper read.
She showed a visitor a photo of the 2-year-old mugging for the camera and talked about plans to visit relatives in Houston during the holiday break from school. Her mother and the baby's father would look after the child while she was gone, James said.
But after she got home from school Friday, San Antonio police say, James stabbed her 18-year-old boyfriend, Antwan Wolford — her toddler's father — several times, killing him in an East Side apartment that she, and sometimes Wolford, shared with her mother.
Police were called to their apartment in the 4600 block of Dietrich Road around 4 p.m., when a neighbor walking upstairs past the apartment spotted the man's body in the doorway and notified apartment management, who called 911.
Officers saw blood outside the apartment and found Wolford lying on his stomach just inside the open door.
James was kneeling near his right leg, crying hysterically, according to an incident report.
As James repeatedly screamed, “No,” and “We were just fighting,” officers realized Wolford was dead.
Charged with murder
Police arrested James, who was charged with murder Saturday. The incident report states James told officers a verbal argument the couple was having escalated to a physical fight, which led to the stabbing.
“She stated she had used a knife to stab him,” the report said.
As Wolford's family gathered Sunday to make funeral arrangements, they said they remained shocked by his death. Wolford's mother, Eshonne Wolford, said the young family had a good relationship.
“It was lovable,” she said.
Wolford's stepfather, Dawayne Huggins, said the pair had an occasional argument.
“But that's with any relationship,” he said. Wolford split his time between his family's home and the apartment James shared with her mother, his family said, but he had recently been spending less time in the Dietrich Road apartment.
His mother said he dropped out of school to get a job and provide for his son. He also had a second child with a different woman, his mother said.
Shared a close bond
A slight, quiet girl, James had nonetheless emerged as a leader in her culinary arts class.
James had hoped to pursue a career in the field after attending St. Philip's College.
Culinary arts instructor Sherry Logan taught James during her junior and senior years, and the two shared a particularly close bond. She called James a promising student.
“That's what hurts me the most,” Logan said, breaking down.
“I was stunned. Every five minutes I think of how nice Tiffany was. It was always, ‘Yes ma'am, no ma'am.' She's such a humble kid. I don't understand it. I'm still trying to figure it out. I can't get her out of my mind. ... She's always been a clear-headed and calm-minded person.”
Authorities said James has no criminal history, and it did not appear that the couple had been involved in any domestic disputes prior to Friday afternoon.
“I know he loved her a lot,” said Wolford's aunt, Destiny Terry, of her nephew's relationship with James.
Staff writer Eva Ruth Moravec contributed to this report.

Arlington, TX: Police: Arlington woman shot, killed estranged husband

Posted Monday, Nov. 23, 2009
A wife shot and killed her estranged husband last Sunday at a west Arlington home, police said.

Colette Reyes was being held in the Arlington jail on a charge of murder, according to the police department's jail report.

The Tarrant County medical examiner's office has yet to release the name of the husband.

Police were called to a shooting report at the home in the 1800 block of Lakeside Drive at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

After arriving, police found the man dead inside the garage of the house, said Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard.

The couple had been going through a divorce, said added.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Memphis, TN: Memphis Man Admits to Killing Girlfriend

Reported by: Marcey Evans
Last Update: 11/21 10:29 pm

MEMPHIS, TN - A Memphis man is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Jarvis T. Payne gave police a typed statement admitting to shooting his girlfriend, LaPorsha Hailey. Hailey was shot multiple times on Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Doral Apartments in the 3600 block of Macon.

Hailey was taken to a fire station in the 2200 block of Chelsea in a private vehicle. She was taken in an ambulance to The MED, where she later died.

Payne will be in court on November 23, 2009.

Cumberland, PA: Boy, 12, testifies Nemacolin father strangled wife

About the writer

Paul Peirce can be reached via e-mail or at 724-850-2860.

By Paul Peirce
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Last updated: 2:47 pm

A 12-year-old boy testified this morning that his father used the ruse of a rash on his infant son to lure his estranged wife close enough to fatally strangle her.

After two hours of testimony from the boy, Scott Joseph Baker, 37, of Nemacolin, was ordered to stand trial for homicide in the death of Melissa Baker, 30, a former Uniontown resident who worked as a Greene County corrections officer.

The boy was steadfast throughout his testimony, never looking at his father. The boy's voice wavered only once, as he described the killing.

The boy testified that Scott Baker went to his estranged wife's home on Nov. 20 with the 12-year-old and his 18-month-old half-brother.

"He said he needed me there as an alibi so he could say we were together the whole day," the boy testified before District Justice Louis Dayich at the Greene County Courthouse in Waynesburg.

The boy said his father instructed him to ask to use the bathroom when they arrived at Melissa Baker's mobile home on Crucible Road in Cumberland Township. The boy said he went to the bathroom and he could hear his dad asking Melissa Baker to come closer to examine a rash on the baby.

From behind the bathroom door, the boy testified, he could hear his stepmother scream.

A few seconds later, Scott Baker called his son to come get the baby, who was crying, according to testimony. The boy said he saw Scott Baker sitting on top of the woman, with his hand over her mouth.

The boy said he took his brother to a bedroom and calmed him down as his father staged the home to appear as if the victim had been robbed.

As they were leaving the house, Baker instructed his son, "Don't look down."

But the boy said he looked and saw the victim had a gun in her hand. He later asked his father why Melissa Baker had a gun and his dad said "he was trying to stage the murder like a robbery," the boy testified.

Police allege Baker slashed his wife's neck during the assault. Dayich ordered him to stand trial for criminal homicide, criminal solicitation, intimidation of a witness and tampering with evidence.

Sunday, November 22, 2009
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Greene County man has been charged with killing his wife in her home Friday, apparently by strangulation.

State police charged Scott J. Baker, 37, of Nemacolin, in the death of Melissa Ann Baker, 30, of Cumberland, Greene County.

Police said Ms. Baker died sometime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

According to police, a witness saw Mr. Baker's vehicle at the victim's residence twice Friday. Following arraignment, Mr. Baker was placed in the Greene County Jail without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 1.

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Columbus, OH: Shooting victim lived on dark side

Sunday, November 22, 2009 3:41 AM

Police say Ashley Baldwin, 20, left, and Shannon Tackett, 34, killed James A. Davis during a robbery on Nov. 10. Baldwin, who lived with Davis, feared him, her lawyer said.

Businessman James A. Davis, 47, faced 25 criminal cases within 13 months.

She was taken in like the others, her mother said, seduced by the big houses in Dublin and Brown Township, the money, the drugs.

She had lived with James A. Davis, a man nearly twice her age, despite her family's protests that he was abusive and controlling. In September, deciding that her family was right and that the beatings weren't going to stop, she left him for good.

"It's just a matter of control with Jim," the girl's mother said last week. "He went after the young ones in trouble.

"He had good talk, he had beautiful houses. That's their dream, and he promises them the world."

Story continues below

The mother asked that her name and that of her daughter's not be used in the story.

But another young woman who stayed with Davis is now accused of killing him. Ashley Baldwin was charged with murder on Nov. 11.

She told Columbus police on Nov. 10 that her husband had been shot during a soured drug deal. But she led officers to the wrong North Side apartment complex and told them Davis was in a white car. Early the next day, a resident of another complex a half-mile away called to report a man in a green Chevy Blazer who hadn't moved in at least 12 hours. That's when police found Davis' body.

Detective Wayne Buck of the homicide squad said Baldwin, 20, and a man -- 34-year-old Shannon Tackett -- killed Davis during a robbery. He said Tackett, who is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated murder, knew Baldwin from the South Side.

"We've got a good idea" who shot the 47-year-old Davis, Buck said, adding that it was too early in the investigation to disclose that or other information about the killing.

The detective rebutted the self-defense claims that Baldwin's attorney, Paul Scott, raised in court last week. Scott said Baldwin feared Davis and believed that she was in imminent danger.

Relatives of Baldwin's said she had been with Tackett on the night Davis was killed. But a woman who said she is Tackett's wife of 14 years insisted at their home last week that he would not have harmed Davis.

"He's not capable of this," she said, sobbing. "He's not. He's got four children. Those babies mean the world to him."

Although questions about Davis' death remain, it is clear that he had changed drastically in recent years.

Davis was born in Indiana and graduated from Gibsonburg High School in the Sandusky County town where his parents still live. He graduated from Ohio State University and, according to his obituary, had two daughters and was a self-employed businessman.

Davis had been owner and president of Gateway Management Services, a business founded in 1994 that specializes in medical evaluations relating to injury and disability claims. It is on Emerald Parkway in Dublin. An employee there said after the homicide that Davis hadn't been involved in day-to-day business in a year or two.

Davis' mother would say only that she and her husband were not aware of her son's recent troubles. His sister, Cleveland lawyer Laura Nemeth, said he had been a decent, productive man for "90 percent" of his life, but she would not comment further.

Before 2008, Davis had only four traffic tickets and an open-container violation, according to records in Franklin County Municipal Court. The last charge occurred in the Tuttle Park Place parking garage during an Ohio State football game on Sept. 20, 2003, in Ohio Stadium.

But in the past 13 months, police had filed 25 criminal and traffic charges against Davis, including domestic violence and drug possession. At the time of his death, three felony drug indictments were pending in Common Pleas Court.

"He, unfortunately, had a substance-abuse problem," said Davis' attorney, David Young. "That was a concern of the courts."

Dublin police had grown concerned in the past two years about increasingly strange activity at Davis' Winchell Court home, valued at $454,000. Neighbors reported the constant presence of young women, assorted nighttime disturbances, even shots being fired from the back deck in June.

Police reports from Dublin detail Davis' rocky relationships with young women, including Baldwin, one of the people police found him with on the night the shots were fired.

In interviews this week, two of Baldwin's relatives echoed that Davis was controlling and abusive with her and confrontational with her family.

Police documents back the claims made by the South Side woman whose 24-year-old daughter left Davis in September, about the time he moved out of the Dublin house and into his other house, in western Franklin County, valued at $390,000. The Dispatch is withholding their names because the younger woman is trying to get sober, has not been implicated in the homicide and fears retaliation.

In one report, Dublin police said they were told that Davis had strangled the woman's daughter on April 10 until she passed out and urinated on herself. In her request for a civil protection order, she wrote that "past violence included but is not limited to strangled, punched, pulled, dragged, threatened to kill, controlled, put gun to her head." She and Davis told police they were engaged.

He was charged with domestic violence and assault. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and paid a fine.

The mother said her daughter told her that Davis sometimes locked women in a basement room, allowing them out only to use the bathroom or eat. The daughter once stayed in the room for three days, her mother said.

Her mother told police about the room but said they told her they could not corroborate the story and had never found anyone locked inside it during their repeated visits there. Dublin spokesman Michael Racey said police could not comment because of the homicide investigation.

The mother said she had confronted Davis repeatedly in the past two years in an effort to keep tabs on her daughter. She said the younger woman had done well in high school and landed some scholarship money for college before throwing it away for drugs.

"She wasn't no angel, and she wasn't no angel when she was with him," her mother said. But Davis used his money and drugs to control users, the woman said.

"The kids, they're so vulnerable when they're on drugs. He had access to money, access to free drugs, access to a lifestyle they would dream about.

"He was messing with young people -- young, crazy people," she said. "Something's going to happen, either to him or (them)."

London, OH: Can DNA tests free ex-Akron captain?

Prade, with support from Innocence Network, will make case that bite-mark analysis could exonerate him in ex-wife's killing. But prosecutors say mountain of evidence still proves guilt

By Ed Meyer
Beacon Journal staff writer

Published on Sunday, Nov 22, 2009

LONDON, OHIO: He still has the bearing of a police commander and the charismatic voice of a seasoned public speaker, despite spending the past 11 years in a state penitentiary.

It is only when Douglas Prade begins talking about the woman who has believed in him for all those years — his sister, Caralynn Prade, a legal secretary from Pearland, Texas — that his voice begins to crack and tears fill his eyes.

''She has done everything for me in this case . . . everything . . . and it's just amazing,'' he said, barely able to get out the words during an interview at Madison Correctional Institution.

Douglas Evans Prade, now 63, said his sister has never wavered in her belief that he was wrongfully convicted of the murder of his ex-wife, Dr. Margo Prade, on the morning before Thanksgiving in 1997.

Next month, the case will be running on a more powerful level than brother-sister emotions.

It is scheduled for oral arguments before the Ohio Supreme Court on Prade's claim that the newest DNA testing methods used in the analysis of bite-mark evidence might reveal the killer's identity.

Prosecutors tied Prade to the bite mark in his 1998 trial primarily with the testimony of Dr. Thomas Marshall, a retired Akron dentist. Using photographs of the bite mark and comparing those to dental impressions of Prade's teeth, Marshall testified that the bite mark was Prade's.

He told the jury: ''Every mark lined up with every'' one of Prade's lower-front teeth.

Marshall's testimony, however, had nothing to do with the science of testing the bite mark for the killer's DNA.

The high court — with the exception
stressed Prade's convictions on six counts of wiretapping and the number of shots fired by the killer inside the van.

The Prades were divorced in April 1997 after 18 years of marriage. The couple had two daughters together.

Prosecutors at the trial hammered away at the theory that Prade was electronically stalking his ex-wife and killed her because he had lost control over her.

''I think that's what the jury went on, clearly,'' Kovach said.

She called it a classic murder case involving domestic violence.

''He was very possessive of her, and he had to know, through the wiretapping that he was doing, that she had a new relationship and she was about to announce her engagement to a lawyer in Columbus that she was seeing,'' Kovach said.

''I think in Prade's mind, their relationship hadn't ended. Usually, when there are multiple shots like this, it's an indication of anger, resentment, frustration, lack of control — all of the signs of a stalker or a person involved in domestic violence exerting dominance . . . over the victim.''

Former Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Mike Carroll, now in retirement, was co-counsel in Prade's trial. ''We got the right man, and we didn't screw it up,'' he said.

''The evidence is so compelling, and it's not based on DNA. When you look at the wiretapping he did . . . and all the things he told people about how much he hated her, that's pretty good evidence in total. The verdict came back in two or three hours after a lengthy trial, so there wasn't much issue with the jurors.''

Evidence piles up

Attorneys from both sides at Prade's trial called 52 witnesses in 12 days of testimony and offered 243 pieces of evidence in a case ''based almost solely on circumstantial evidence that was so compelling, jurors needed only four hours to return a guilty verdict,'' the Beacon Journal's 1998 story stated.

Caralynn Prade, however, said she sat through the entire trial and cannot understand why Summit County has so strongly resisted new DNA testing for all these years.

''Why not let somebody test the DNA? Why not? There has to be DNA in a bite mark,'' she said.

She also disputed the prosecution theory that her brother lost control when he realized he was about to lose his ex-wife and their two daughters to another man.

''I undoubtedly, without a smidgen of doubt, believe in Douglas' innocence. He would not have been capable of hurting his daughters' mother,'' she said.

Prade's two daughters, now in their 20s — one is a nurse in St. Louis, the other an aspiring singer in Los Angeles — exchange letters with him frequently, he said.

They were the focus of his last words in his prison interview before corrections officials led him back to his compound.

Prade said he has challenged the system for new DNA testing for so long ''because I need to get this baggage out of their lives.''

''I don't want my kids to go through the rest of their lives thinking I killed their mother,'' he said.

''And Margo, she deserves better. She deserves justice, because they screwed it up.''

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yucaipa, CA: Girlfriend's son arrested in killing of boyfriend in Yucaipa

Created: 11/21/2009 03:42:17 PM PST

YUCAIPA -- A man died from head trauma, allegedly at the hands of his girlfriend's son, at a mobile home park late Friday afternoon, authorities said.
Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call at 5:53 p.m. at the mobile home park, in the 12300 block of Fourth Street. They found 58-year-old David Kirkpatrick laying on the floor and suffering from a head wound, according to a sheriff's news release.

Kirkpatrick's girlfriend and her 26-year-old son, David Matteson, were present at the scene upon deputies' arrival. Both lived at the residence with Kirkpatrick, sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Beavers said.

Kirkpatrick was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies arrested Matteson in connection with the death.

Matteson was booked into the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, where he is being held without bail. He is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Greene County, PA: Husband Charged In Greene County Jail Guard's Death

Affidavit: Children Present When Woman Attacked By Husband

CUMBERLAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Authorities arrested and charged a Greene County man Friday with the murder of a jail guard -- his wife.

The body of Melissa Baker, 30, was discovered inside a mobile home on Crucible Road in Cumberland Township some time after 6 p.m., according to police reports. Police said Baker died of apparent trauma to the throat.
It was after Baker didn't appear for work as a corrections officer at the Greene County Prison when she was found.
"I was devastated when I got the phone call yesterday that they had found Officer Baker deceased. She's a very good officer, had been with us about a year," Greene County Prison Warden Harry Gillispie said.
Neighbors told WTAE Channel 4 Action News that Baker had just moved in a month ago with her 18-month-old son.
"She has a little boy. She would let him stand up on the railing and look at the dogs because he liked the dogs. Other than that, she was a very nice person, you know?" said Theresa Rankin, a neighbor.
Gillispie said Baker was an exceptional officer.
"I was devastated when I got the phone call yesterday that they had found Officer Baker deceased. She's a very good officer."
- Greene County Prison Warden Harry Gillispie
"She had been to the Department of Corrections Training Academy (and) did an excellent job there. As a matter of fact, we were looking at training her to become a shift supervisor down the road because of her work ethic, her work attitude, that type of thing," Gillispie said.
After interviewing witnesses, police arrested the victim’s husband, Scott Baker, 37, whose vehicle was witnessed at the scene, and charged him with criminal homicide.
According to a police affidavit, Scott Baker took his 12-year-old son and the couple's boy to Melissa Baker's home Friday afternoon. The couple were going through a divorce, and Melissa Baker already had a protection from abuse order against Scott Baker.
The affidavit states Scott Baker ordered his son take the baby to his room. When the 12-year-old came out, he heard Melissa Baker scream and saw Scott Baker on top of her with his arm over her mouth.
Melissa Baker lay motionless on the ground as Scott Baker left with the two children, the affidavit states. When they returned to the home, the affidavit alleges Scott Baker told the children to wait in the truck while he made the scene appear like a robbery.
On her MySpace page, Melissa Baker wrote she had a wonderful husband and two great boys. Her husband faces a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 12 and remained held Saturday at the Greene County Jail without bail.