Sunday, February 28, 2010

Article: Gut instinct shouldn’t be ignored in stalking cases

Last updated: February 27th, 2010 12:31 PM (PST)
Listen to your gut.

If you’re afraid or nervous about a person’s unwanted phone calls, text messages or gifts, tell someone and get help, said Karin White Tautfest, of YWCA Pierce County.

Such persistent contacts are “really a red flag for danger,” said Tautfest, director of shelter and advocacy services.

Stalking, she said, “isn’t like a little crush or infatuation.”

“This is an unhealthy and dangerous obsession of one person to try and have power and control over another person,” said Tautfest, who helps victims of domestic violence.

Jennifer Paulson, 30, who was shot and killed Friday outside a Tacoma elementary school, had obtained an anti-harassment order in September 2008 against Jed R. Waits.

Waits, 30, was booked into the Pierce County Jail on Feb. 19 after violating the order. He was released on Monday and killed Paulson on Friday, Tacoma police said.

“This case is a tragic reminder that stalking is an extremely dangerous thing that happens,” Tautfest said, adding Paulson “was doing everything that somebody could do.”

About 3.4 million adults are stalked each year in the United States, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime. Three out of four victims are stalked by someone they know.

Victims sometimes don’t realize what’s happening to them is stalking, Tautfest said. Or they’re afraid to report the behavior, fearing increased danger, including retaliation, to them or their loved ones, she said.

People being stalked need to develop a plan to stay safe, Tautfest said. They also need to keep text messages, e-mails, gifts and other evidence of stalking and seek legal intervention.

That evidence is helpful in obtaining a court-ordered anti-harassment or domestic violence protection order, she said.

Stalking can escalate into following victims, spying on them and showing up unexpectedly.

Stalking is a crime. Court orders put stalkers on notice they can be arrested if they go near their victims.

Stalkers sometimes quit after court orders are issued or get arrested and are put in jail for violating the orders, Tautfest said. About 60 percent of stalkers violate protection orders, the Journal of Forensic Sciences reported in 2006.

“Nothing is 100 percent fail-safe,” Tautfest said.

Steve Maynard: 253-597-8647

What to do if being stalked

• Trust your instincts.

• Tell someone and get help.

• Change your daily routine and switch vehicles to throw off the stalker.

• Change your phone number and e-mail address.

• Disable the global positioning system on your cell phone.

• Get a security escort to and from a work parking lot.

• Get a protection order.

Where to get help

• Call 911.

• Domestic violence hot line, YWCA Pierce County, 253-383-2593.

• Domestic violence help line, Crystal Judson Family Justice Center, 253-798-4166.

• State domestic violence hot line, 1-800-562-6025. The state hot line also has contacts for agencies that treat people with controlling or abusive behaviors.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guest Post: When Cops are Busted for Domestic Violence by Brooklyn White

If you look at a newspaper today, it’s mostly filled with news of crime and politics. Crime is rampant everywhere, not just on the streets but in most homes as well in the form of domestic violence. It’s arguably the worst kind of crime and ranks right up there on the horror scale with incest and child abuse because it’s perpetrated by people the victims consider family or close relatives, people they trust and love and who abuse these emotions by taking advantage of them when they’re weak.
A recent domestic violence case that was in the limelight was worse than usual because the criminal belonged to law enforcement – Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Hedges was arrested and charged with 4th degree assault for domestic violence against his girlfriend of four months who accused him of kicking her in the stomach besides abusing her verbally as well. Hedges belongs to the Louisville Metro Bomb Squad, and the arrest was made by Chief Deputy Danny Thompson at Hedges’ home in Bullitt County. Officers also confiscated several guns and rifles from Hedges’ home and also a device that looked potentially dangerous.
The problem with cops turning criminals is that:
You lose trust in the system when those who are supposed to protect turn out to be the perpetrators.
With their easy access to and legitimate use of weapons like guns and rifles, they are potentially more dangerous than unarmed criminals.
You don’t expect them to be the bad guys, and so you end up trusting them more than you should.
They are known for their violent methods when handling and interrogating suspects.
For now, Hedges has been suspended without pay and is awaiting trial. But he is just one among the hundreds and thousands of cops and others in law enforcement who break the law, one of the miniscule numbers who are arrested and actually tried. Others get away scot-free because their victims are too intimidated to complain against them or because cops tend to protect their own. They have been known to withhold evidence and generally do what they can in order to protect one of their own, forgetting that they are duty-bound to protect the public because of the uniform they wear.
Domestic violence is related to rage and anger – two emotions that take over your senses and make you abuse a fellow human being, someone who you profess to love, just because they don’t comply with your demands. It’s an issue that needs psychiatric treatment and counselling, besides time spent in the penitentiary as punishment. Cops and other men in law enforcement don’t want to admit that there is something wrong with them, and this makes the problem of cops and domestic violence harder to solve.
This guest post is contributed by Brooklyn White, who writes on the topic of Forensic Science Technician Programs . She can be reached at

Here's the link:

Bowling Green, KY: Jury considers sentence after finding Ky. man guilty in beating death

The Associated Press
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Jurors have found a south-central Kentucky man guilty of kidnapping and murder in the death of his girlfriend four years ago.
The Daily News of Bowling Green reports a Warren County jury deliberated for five hours on Thursday before convicting 50-year-old Lawrence Robert Stinnett on both counts in the beating death of 29-year-old Christina Renshaw.
The jury began hearing evidence in the sentencing phase of the trial on Friday morning. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Renshaw was found dead Feb. 3, 2006 by Bowling Green police officers, who went to her apartment to investigate a domestic violence call.
Stinnett acted as lead counsel in his own defense during the trial after having conflicts with his attorneys over strategy.

Marietta, OK: Boyfriend formally charged with death of girlfriend

MARIETTA, OKLA -- Joshua Moore stood in court Fri. as a judge read the first degree manslaughter charges against him. Loved ones of Keiona Hubbard - the woman Moore is accused of killing - say the initial appearance marks the beginning of the closure they're searching for.
Posted: 10:24 PM Feb 26, 2010
Reporter: Shelby Levins
Email Address:
Shelby Levins reports

MARIETTA, OKLA -- Joshua Dewayne Moore stood in court Friday as a judge read the first degree manslaughter charges against him. Loved ones of Keiona Hubbard -- the woman Moore is accused of killing -- say the initial appearance marks the beginning of the closure they've been searching for. Shelby Levins reports.

Joshua Moore sat with his attorney, as Keiona Hubbard's family lined the Love County courtroom. Moore is accused of beating Hubbard -- his live-in girlfriend -- to death.

"Mr. Moore should not be let out to harm some other lady,” Gertrude Tatum said.

Tatum, Hubbard's former mother-in-law and the biological grandmother of her three young girls, said last year she believed Hubbard was the victim of domestic abuse.

State prosecutors now think Moore killed Hubbard by hitting her in the head with his hands or another object. But say building that case with sufficient evidence took time.

"However when I felt like we had obtained enough evidence to proceed with the filing of charges we acted promptly,” District Attorney Craig Ladd said.

Now Hubbard's family says all they have left of their loved one is her three children. Tatum is fighting for custody of the girls. She says the young girls had already lost their father to a heart attack, now they don't have a mother either.

"I would like for the kids to be put with their family - the biological family - the grandmothers, the aunts and the uncles, the people they've known since the time they came into this world,” Tatum said.

Tatum says she's praying justice will be served for her former daughter-in-law, saying Moore's conviction would not only bring closure to her family - it might save someone else.

"Then I feel that her soul can rest - she will have peace knowing - they got him,” Gertrude said.

Moore's preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 12, 2010 - one day after the one year anniversary of Hubbard's death.

Moore is currently serving time for an unrelated weapons charge. He was sentenced to five years in prison for possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. According to court records he's also done time for burglary and drug charges.

Moore's defense attorney declined to comment on the current first degree manslaughter charges at this time.

Grand Rapids, MI: Accused kidnapper says 2 year old is dead

Bob Brenzing Chris Fleszar
Updated:2/26/2010 11:48:40 PM - Posted: 2/26/2010 9:58:26 AM Comments (32) Recommend
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Grand Rapids, MI (WZZM) - Grand Rapids police are still not saying how they think 2 year old Jozlynn Martinez died but they say they are convinced it's true.

They say the man accused of kidnapping the child told them she is dead and what he did with the body.

"Suspect Jeffrey Malmberg has told investigators Jocelyn Marie Martinez died on Monday evening and he disposed of her body in a nearby trash receptacle," says Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk.

40 year old Malmberg disappeared with the 2 year old girl late Monday or early Tuesday. He shares a home on Nagold Street in Grand Rapids with the child's mother Consuela Martinez and the 7 month old son they had together.

Malmberg was captured Wednesday in Lansing but 2 year old Jozlynn was not with him.

But police aren't saying Malmberg admits he killed her.

"What I'm releasing right now is he's told us she died," says Chief Belk. "I'm not able to give details on how she died."

By the time police captured and questioned Malmberg the trash in the dumpster where he says he hid the body was collected and taken to the Kent County Waste To Energy Incinerator.

70 officers and a cadaver dog have searched but not found the body.

"Have searched through 200,000 pounds of trash," says Chief Belk. "Unfortunately we know some of the material was incinerated before our search began."

Malmberg and Consuela Martinez have lived together, off and on, for one and a half years.

But at one time she took out a personal protection order against him.

Just prior to the disappearance of her daughter she says she told Malmberg she wants him to move out.

"There are no charges against the mom," says Chief Belk. "They are not anticipated."

Malberg is charged with kidnapping 2 year old Jozlynn and stealing almost $3,000 dollars from Martinez.

Police say soon he may face additional charges.

Cleveland County, NC: ‘It did not have to happen': Murder/suicide spotlights fight against domestic violence

Friday, Feb 26 2010, 6:28 pm
Rebecca Clark
The glow of a hundred candles illuminated the faces of the somber crowd gathered in front of a small blue house on Churchill Drive Thursday night.

The flames revealed the grief-stricken faces of friends and family mourning the loss of Karon Barrow. Police say Barrow, 21, was shot and killed a week ago by her boyfriend, Ja’cole Wilson, 22, who then turned the gun on himself.

“This candle will go out when we blow it out, but don’t let Karon’s memory be extinguished,” said Donnie Thurman, one of the evening’s speakers. “Let’s remember Karon in the best possible way, and lets even remember Ja’cole in the best possible way.”

A handful of red balloons were released, one for Karon, Ja’cole, and one for each of their children. The remaining balloons were released for the community.

Cierra Brown, Karon’s friend, let the balloons go and the crowd watched as they drifted away into the night sky.

“We’ve got to stick together and come together as a community,” she said.


Many people who knew the couple said they were inseparable. They had two children together, one born six weeks earlier. The couple had dated since middle school.

“Most everybody who knew Karon knew Cole and most people who knew Cole knew Karon,” said Titus Hopper with Faith Harvest Church.

But the relationship was not always a happy one.

Court documents show that in 2006, Wilson was arrested for assaulting and striking Barrow by hitting her on the forehead. It was later dismissed .

In 2005, according to court records, Wilson was arrested for hitting Barrow in the nose and causing it to bleed.

A month ago, a warrant was issued for Wilson’s arrest after documents claim he assaulted Barrow’s mother. Documents read that he hit “her about the face and head, knocking her to the ground, and trying to pull out her dialysis tube.”

Those events culminated early Sunday morning when, shortly after a family gathering at his home, police say Ja’cole shot Karon and then himself.

Cathy Robertson, executive director of the Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council, said the tragedy could have been averted

Robertson was invited to speak at Thursday’s service by Brown.

“It did not have to happen,” Robertson told the group. “There is help for couples who are having problems.”

“I see this [Barrow’s case] as the same kind of event that happened on Shannonhouse street last summer. Even though the young man was killed by police, we really looked at it as suicide by police,” she said.

Last June, Jermaine Farmer was shot to death by police after he opened fire on an officer. Later that night, the body of his ex-girlfriend, Tanisha Strong, was found in a nearby home. Strong’s family believes she died at Farmer’s hands.

Love should not hurt, Robertson said. When it does, something is wrong.

Robertson said, in many cases of domestic violence, the abuser desperately wants to stop the abusing but cannot. The cycle continues to get worse until it explodes.

“Only way to stop is for someone to leave,” she said.


Tott Griffin, pastor and funeral director of Genesis Funeral Services, spoke about stopping the violence in the community.

“For over 5 years, I’ve had a real concern about violence in Cleveland County,” he said.

As a funeral home director, he has seen his fair share of preventable deaths.

That concern motivated Griffin to develop The Center for Non-Violence

“We don’t have to wait till we get to a situation like this,” he said. “A lot of things could be handled through communication.”

Other community members spoke Thursday about building relationships and focusing on God.

“I’m going to challenge everybody to live harder and live smarter,” said Hopper.

“If we don’t focus on God…you have nothing,” said Thurman. “We can overcome this thing.”

Robertson said counselors at the Abuse Prevention Council have seen 56 domestic violence clients so far this year and at the courthouse 446 restraining orders were filed since last July.

The average age of those who come in seeking counseling is 31 to 40, according to Robertson.

Robertson said many women don’t leave a domestic violence situation because they don’t know anything else.

There are also economic reasons to stay in an abusive relationship, particularly when there are children involved.

She said fear plays a part as well.

“Most people who are perpetrators have threatened suicide in the past and that’s a powerful coercion, to have someone threaten suicide,” she said.

Robertson said there can also be societal pressure to stay and outsiders might see the couple as so much in love, and the situation as “romantic.”

There are also misconceptions about abuse.

“Domestic violence is not about someone having a temper, it’s about one person having the feeling of power or control over the other person,” she said.

Robertson said friends and family need to get involved if they suspect someone of being abused.

Warning signs of domestic violence:

Someone who tries to limit who their partner can interact with, limit friends and communication with family. An abuser might control the activities of their partner, not allow them to go out, or have friends.

They also display excessive jealously are critical of how their partner dresses and is not respectful of their views and opinions.

For help or more information on the Abuse Prevention Council, call 704-481-0081.

Tulsa, OK: Tulsa police officer shoots and kills suspect

Last Update: 2/26 10:04 pm

A Tulsa police officer shot and killed a domestic violence suspect Friday night. It happened shortly before 9:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of North Florence Place.

Police told 2NEWS that when officers responded to a domestic disturbance, they could see that a woman had been abused. When an officer tried to arrest a man at the house, police say the suspect began struggling with the officer.

Police say the suspect then reached for the officer's gun. At that point, a second officer shot and killed the suspect.

Detectives are now interviewing the officers. Their names have not been released. The suspect has not been identified, either.

New haven, CT: Police: Man Shot Himself In Front Of Ex

Police Looking For Witnesses
POSTED: 12:32 pm EST February 26, 2010
UPDATED: 9:21 pm EST February 26, 2010

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Police said a man shot himself in front of his ex-girlfriend in New Haven late Friday morning.
Police said they received a call about a domestic situation on Friday on Clinton Street.
When officers arrived, police said the man had already shot himself in the chest while his ex-girlfriend sat in her car. Police are not sure if he was intending to hurt himself, or if the gun went off accidentally.
The unidentified 30-year-old was taken to a local hospital where he later died.
Police said the man was standing outside the car his ex-girlfriend was in on Clinton Avenue and he did not want her to leave.
Neighbors said several people rushed the the aid of the man to try and help before officers arrived on scene.
One witness said, "I think they were yelling, 'Junior! Breathe Junior, Breathe.' Pretty sad."
Police are looking for anyone who might have witnessed the shooting.

Huntsville, AL: Police release names of man killed, woman injured in Winchester Road shooting

By The Huntsville Times staff
February 26, 2010, 4:26PM
View full sizeGlenn Baeske / The Huntsville Times
Police investigate a shooting on Winchester Road in which a man apparently shot a woman inside the moving vehicle, then turned the gun on himself.
HUNTSVILLE, AL -- Huntsville police have identified a man who killed himself after shooting his girlfriend in the head this morning.
Police spokesman Sgt. Mark Roberts said 41-year-old Marvin Pease of Huntsville was driving on Winchester Road when he pulled out a gun and shot his girlfriend, 38-year-old Donna Johnson.
Pease then turned the gun on himself and crashed the black Chevrolet Trailblazer into a mailbox near Rolling Hills Road. The car came to a rest on the sidewalk in front of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, emergency workers said. The incident happened at 9:30 a.m. today.
Pease was pronounced dead shortly after the 9:30 a.m. shooting. Johnson was taken to Huntsville Hospital, and her injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, Roberts said.

Mount Morris, MI: Man Shoots Estranged Wife, Fatally Shoots Self

Woman Shot While Picking Up Daughter
POSTED: 11:24 am EST February 26, 2010
UPDATED: 11:39 am EST February 26, 2010

GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. -- Mount Morris Township police are investigating an incident where a man allegedly shot his ex-wife and then shot himself.
Police said the 31-year-old Flushing Township woman went to pick up her daughter from her ex-husband’s North Elms Road home about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
When she arrived at the house, police said the man came out from the garage firing shots at her.
She was struck in the chest, but was able to drive to a nearby Rite-Aid drugstore to get help.
Police said her six-year-old son who was also in the vehicle was not injured in the shooting.
The man was found in the driveway of his home with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and pronounced dead.
The woman was last listed in critical, but stable condition.

Chester, CT: Man Charged In Estranged Wife's Death

Police Say 911 Call From Victim Went Dead

POSTED: 10:16 am EST February 26, 2010
UPDATED: 11:08 pm EST February 26, 2010
CHESTER, Conn. -- A man was arrested Thursday night in connection with the fatal stabbing of his estranged wife in Chester.
State police said troopers received a 911 call from a woman at a home on Bailey Road reporting that her husband was forcibly breaking into her home. The woman told police that she had a protective order against her husband. State police said the phone went dead and troopers were dispatched to the home.
Police said the woman, identified as Bonnie MacKay Belanger, 51, was found suffering from multiple stab wounds. She was taken to Middlesex Hospital, where she died, police said.
Police said MacKay's husband, identified as John Belanger, was found on Route 9 near exit 2. John Belanger was taken into police custody and taken to Shoreline Clinic for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries before being admitted to Yale New Haven Hospital, where he remained under state police guard Friday morning.
"They're really nice people, I don't understand why this happened," said neighbor Steven Merola, of Chester.
According to court documents, MacKay filed for divorce in December, and before that, she took out a protective order against Belanger. Records show Belanger violated that order in November.
State victim advocate Michelle Cruz said she wonders why the bond for violating the order in November was the same as the bond for the initial harassment incident in October.
"The message clearly sent was, 'No consequences because of violating protective order,'" she said.
Cruz said there should be more tools in place to help protect women who are trying to protect themselves, such as GPS monitoring.
"The system failed her," Cruz said of MacKay.
John Belanger was charged with murder in connection with his wife's death. His bond was set at $1 million and he is scheduled for arraignment when he is medically cleared.

Monsey, NY: Man, accused of abandoning girl, charged with murder

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - A New Jersey man accused of abandoning his toddler daughter at a gas station in Delaware has now been charged with killing a woman believed to be her mother.
Middlesex County prosecutors filed a murder charge against Dwayne Jackson, 25, of Edison, Thursday night. Bail was increased from $750,000 to $2,000,000, and he remained in the county jail yesterday.

Jackson - who was charged with kidnapping and child endangerment in New Jersey and reckless endangerment in Delaware - is now also charged in the slaying of a woman whose burning body was found in a park in Monsey, N.Y. Her name has not been released. Jackson's 20-month-old daughter was found Sunday at a Shell station in Newark, Del. - AP

Tacoma, WA: Jed Waits, Infatuated Man, Kills Teacher Outside School In Tacoma, Washington

GENE JOHNSON | 02/26/10 09:14 PM |
TACOMA, Wash. — A man apparently infatuated with a special education teacher he knew from college shot and killed her as she walked into her elementary school Friday, shortly before students began arriving.

The suspect was killed in a shootout with a deputy a short time later about 10 miles away, said Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer.

The man had been released on bail Monday after being arrested a week ago for violating a protective order the teacher, Jennifer Paulson, obtained in September 2008, said Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum.

The victim's father, Ken Paulson, said she was kind and loving, and that's probably why she was a special education teacher. He described the 30-year-old as a devout Christian.

The father said the man who killed his daughter was Jed Waits, of Ellensburg. The two had apparently known each other since she was in college, when they worked together at a cafeteria at Seattle Pacific University.

In her petition for the anti-harassment order filed in Pierce County District Court, Paulson said she and Waits occasionally socialized with co-workers and friends outside of work as a group but "never had any sort of romantic involvement."

She said she heard from Waits about once a year since she graduated from college in 2003, but on the days she heard from him, he would sometimes call 10 to 15 times in one day.

Then in spring 2008, he showed up at her school, walked into the building and passed the office, where he was stopped by a secretary.

"I never told him where I work and do not know how he found out," Paulson wrote.

He also sent roses and a bear to her at the school. Paulson's principal called Waits' commander in the National Guard to inform him of the harassment, she wrote.

The anti-harassment order banned Waits from going within 1,000 feet of Paulson's home or school. But she saw him as she was leaving work Friday, so she called 911 from her car. Waits was arrested that night, and after he made bail, Paulson stopped staying at her home, at least temporarily, her father said.

Fulghum said there had been no indication that Waits had a weapon or had threatened Paulson with a weapon, but it "sounds like he had a pretty good infatuation with her."

The shooting happened at Birney Elementary, which has about 400 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Classes were canceled for the day, and officials had not made a decision about Monday's classes.

The shooter was waiting for the teacher when she arrived at 7:35 a.m. and shot her multiple times as she was trying to enter the school, Fulghum said.

Omar Moreno, 22, who lives across the street from the school, said he heard three gunshots.

"I heard a teacher screaming at the top of her lungs – just screaming," he said. "I looked out my window and I saw the guy. He started running down the middle of the street and got in his car."

Moreno said the man, wearing a white snow cap and white gloves, drove off in a tan car. Soon after, Moreno said, a custodian barreled out of the school screaming for someone to call the police.

Moreno said he saw the victim laying on the ground, bleeding from the mouth. It was clear to him she had died, he said.

A deputy pulled over the suspect's car in the parking lot of a daycare, and he came out firing a handgun, Troyer said. The deputy returned fire and killed the man.

"We're lucky our guy's OK. The guy did have semiautomatic and did fire a round," Troyer told KCPQ-TV.

School district spokesman Dan Voelpel said Paulson worked in the language resource center helping students one-on-one with reading problems. She had been with the district since 2004 and at the school since 2007.

Paulson's death "knocked everyone flat," Voelpel said. "It's going to hit this community hard."

The shooting occurred three days after a 32-year-old man with a history of mental illness opened fire in a middle school parking lot in Colorado, wounding two students.


Associated Press Writer Donna Blankinship in Seattle contributed to this report.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Arlington, TX: Arlington woman arrested in stabbing death of boyfriend

Posted Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010

A 26-year-old Arlington man died Wednesday afternoon after he was allegedly stabbed by his girlfriend that morning.

Gary T. Hill was pronounced dead at Arlington Memorial Hospital at about 4 p.m., said Tiara Ellis Richard, Arlington police spokeswoman.

Police said that the girlfriend, Tonicita E. Henderson, drove Hill to the hospital at about 10 a.m. with a stab wound.

Henderson initially told police that her boyfriend was stabbed during an altercation with an unknown person at an apartment complex in the 1500 block of Summer Bay Circle.

She told police that she did not witness the altercation and that she arrived at the scene after Hill called her to take him to the hospital.

However, after further questioning by police, Henderson eventually confessed to stabbing Hill, Richard said.

Henderson is being held at the Arlington Jail on a charge of murder.

This is the first homicide in Arlington this year.

NATHANIEL JONES, 817-390-7742

Orange County, CA: Iraq vet charged with killing girlfriend is found dead in Arizona

The Orange County man had been free on $1-million bail while awaiting trial in the 2008 beating death of the 19-year-old woman.
February 25, 2010|By Robert J. Lopez
John Wylie Needham, an Orange County man and decorated Iraq combat veteran charged with the murder of his girlfriend, was found dead last week in Arizona, authorities said Thursday.

Needham, 26, was free on $1-million bail posted by his family while awaiting trial. His body was found in Pima, Ariz., the Orange County district attorney's office said.

Silver Spring, MD: Md. man guilty of murder in wife's stabbing death

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 26, 2010; B04

Claude Harrison, 49, was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday for killing his wife last summer in their Silver Spring apartment. He stabbed Lamour A. Harrison, 37, five times while stalking her from room to room, according to prosecutors.

The evidence was so strong that Harrison's attorney, Brian D. Shefferman, was left to argue that Harrison's actions didn't amount to premeditated murder but to a less serious crime. The attack lasted perhaps 20 to 30 seconds.

To establish premeditation, though, prosecutors do not have to show that the defendant engaged in weeks or even minutes of planning. They can argue that the time someone takes to weigh whether to kill need only be a matter of seconds. In cases such as Harrison's, when someone is accused of stabbing or shooting repeatedly, prosecutors will argue that subsequent attacks are themselves a matter of premeditation because the defendant had a chance to stop.

Using a 12-inch knife, Harrison delivered one wound 7 inches deep and another 8 inches deep -- doing so in front of the couple's college-age daughter, Shanoy, who tried to lift her father off her mother.

"What he did was completely wrong. . . . We know that," Shefferman said. "But this was not a premeditated and deliberate act. It was the result of raw emotion and frustration. Once he got control of that knife, he clearly lost control."

Prosecutor Peter Feeney, in his closing argument, described how Harrison had talked in the past about hurting his wife. On the day he killed her, his deliberate actions went well beyond a one-time snap, Feeney said.

He described Claude Harrison's first assault, in a bedroom. He told jurors about what witnesses heard his wife say.

"He forces his way in. 'Why are you following me? What are you going to do?' " Feeney said. "And he plunges the knife into her back."

Harrison then followed his badly wounded wife into the kitchen.

"He's talking to his wife. . . . And she says to him, 'Please, please.' His response: 'Please what?' "

Chester, CA: Woman in Chester Killed, One in Custody

A Chester woman called State Police Troop F in Westbrook around 7:15 last night to report that her husband--against whom she had a restraining order--was forcing his way into her home. The phone line suddenly went dead.

Responding troopers say the victim had been stabbed multiple times. She was rushed to Middlesex Hospital, where she later died.

The suspect's vehicle was spotted on Route 9 near Exit 2 in Old Saybrook. He was quickly taken into custody.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy today.

Tampa, FL: Husband, wife dead in apparent murder-suicide

TAMPA, Fla. -- Two children were home at a Tampa apartment when their father shot their mother and then himself.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports that deputies responded to the home Thursday morning and found the man dead from a what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The wife was taken to a hospital, where she later died.

The girls, ages 10 and 14, reportedly hid in the bathroom during the shooting and ran for help when it was over. They have been placed in state custody.

A manager at the apartment complex said the family had lived there for more than three years. He said the couple were friendly and involved in the community.

Garner, NC: Two found dead in Garner

GARNER It was about 10:30 a.m. Thursday when a man called 911 and told a dispatcher that he wanted to confess to a murder.

When officers arrived at 217 Whithorne Drive - a one-story, wood frame home with a long front porch off Timber Drive - there was no answer when they knocked on the front door. Officers forced their way inside where they found a man and woman, dead.

Police declined to identify the victims or to say how they died, but neighbors identified the couple who lived there as Daniel and Doreen Powell. Police did confirm the deceased were an African-American male and a Caucasian female, a description that fits the couple's Wake County voter registration records.

"It's a homicide investigation, but we are not looking for a suspect right now," Garner police Sgt. Chris Clayton said Thursday afternoon.

Clayton declined to say whether they found a weapon in the home.

Susan Senter Lowe, who resides at 206 Whithorne, said the Powells moved to the neighborhood a little over 10 years ago. She described them as a quiet couple who did not do a lot of socializing. They have a teenage daughter who lives at the home, and grandchildren who visit.

"I haven't seen them today," Lowe said.

'Very kind people'

Neighbor Cathy Mason said the Powells have four daughters and described them as "very kind people." She said her two boys, ages 8 and 5, would play with the Powells' 9-year-old grandson, Jalen, when he visited.

"Dee [Doreen Powell] would walk them through the woods and take them to the Pizza Hut or to the movies," Mason said.

Mason said her sons were at the Powells' home on Monday to play with Jalen. Doreen Powell fixed the boys grilled cheese sandwiches, she said.

"I just talked with Dan yesterday morning," Mason said. "He was in the yard raking [sweet] gum [tree] balls. We had a long conversation. It's almost surreal."

News researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this report.

thomasi.mcdonald@ or 919-829-4533

Corpus Christi, TX: Jury begins deliberating in Spanutius murder trial Man accused of killing woman says she passed out, died in a headlock

By Elaine Marsilio

Originally published 12:33 p.m., February 25, 2010
Updated 02:01 a.m., February 26, 2010

CORPUS CHRISTI — A man accused of killing a Coast Guard aviation mechanic told jurors Thursday he put her in a headlock to settle her down during a fight, but ended up killing her.

“I wanted her to calm down. I wanted this to stop,” said Micah Spanutius, who is being tried in the May 31, 2008, death of Amy Ignatowski.

Jurors deliberated about three hours Thursday and will continue deliberations today. In addition to a charge of murder, jurors also are considering the lesser charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

Spanutius testified he first met Ignatowski hours before her death while she was sitting alone at a bar, which was near her apartment. He said the two later hung out with some of her friends there.

When the bar was closing, Spanutius said he couldn’t find a ride home and Ignatowski asked if he wanted to walk with her. The two then sat on the grass near her apartment and he used her cell phone to call a friend for a ride, but the friend didn’t answer, he said.

Spanutius said later helped Ignatowski open her front door because she was too drunk to do so and went inside with her. They kissed and began a sexual encounter, he said. But, Ignatowski kicked him out when he said he became forceful.

Spanutius, who repeatedly testified that he was drunk that night, said he accepted her decision and left. Then he said he realized that he had her cell phone and he had misplaced his iPod.

He said he was using the light from her phone to look for the iPod outside when Ignatowski came out and they struggled. At some point, Spanutius said Ignatowski hit him across the face.

Prosecutor Mike Gordon questioned how Ignatowski hit Spanutius if she was, as he said, too drunk to open her front door.

“It doesn’t take much to throw an arm,” Spanutius replied.

Spanutius said the two fell to the ground during the struggle, and he had her in a headlock for what felt like two minutes until she passed out.

He dragged her into her living room, he testified, and that’s when he realized he may have killed her.

He said he cleaned her hands and wrists and the doorknobs and threw her purse into the fireplace. He said he was drunk at the time and wasn’t thinking clearly.

“I was in complete disarray,” he said.

He left and threw her phone in a bush.

“It was a hazy, chaotic situation.” he later said.

During closing arguments, Gordon reminded jurors that a witness testified Spanutius didn’t want to turn himself in because he had dreams and goals.

“Amy’s hopes, dreams, plans — they are gone,” he said.

At that point, Ignatowski’s parents walked out of the courtroom with at least one of them in tears. They came back shortly after.

Spanutius’ attorney John Gilmore told jurors his client isn’t a coldblooded killer. He is a kid who made a mistake, he said.

“He did not intend for this to happen,” Gilmore said.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grand Island, NE: Two Arrested in Grand Island Homicide

Posted: Feb 25, 2010 12:53 AM
Updated: Feb 25, 2010 01:07 AM
Two Arrested in Grand Island Homicide

A Grand Island man was killed early Tuesday morning. Police arrested his girlfriend and her son.

At around 2:30 in the morning, police say a passerby found 51-year-old Paulo Rodriguez
dead on the street just about 200 feet away from his home.

Ruby Haumont, Rodriguez's neighbor, said, "(I'm) scared to death."

It's a neighborhood in shock after residents woke up to police knocking on their doors in
the middle of the night.

Jamie McDonald, a neighbor, said, "I did not see or hear anything until 4 o'clock when police knocked on the door and asked if we heard anything and we didn't."

A wounded Paulo Rodriguez walked out the front door of his South Eddy home and down the block to the West Phoenix intersection. Drops of blood mark his steps.

At around 2:30 am, a passerby saw him lying down at the corner and where police pronounced him dead.

Haumont believes he was at her door a half hour earlier since there is blood spatter up and down her driveway.

Haumont said, "He just knocked on my door. He didn't ask for any help. There was no yelling. There was nothing. I was just too scared to answer the door."

Police aren't commenting at this time on Rodriguez's injuries or what might have lead up to the murder.

His two roommates are under arrest --- 52-year-old Virginia Grant and 21-year-old Jeremy Grant.

Officer Roger Philbeck, with the Grand Island Police Department, said, "Apparently, he was the boyfriend to Virginia Grant. The Grants are mother and son."

Neighbors told NTV News that Rodriguez didn't cause any trouble and pretty much kept to himself.

"Nope. Never met him or anything. They lived here for probably six months or so," said Jamie McDonald. "Just liked to party. That's all they like to do."

"They've had quite a few people in and out partying," said Haumont. "They'd go and come back and they had quite a few people."

Footprints in the snow and blood stains in the street are evidence of a domestic dispute turned violent.

Both Virginia and Jeremy Grant will appear in Hall County Court Wednesday morning for their

An autopsy was performed on Rodriguez on Tuesday.

Raytown, MO: Raytown woman shot and killed while her children watched

When a mother of three was shot to death Tuesday in Raytown, her children were just steps away.

Shukriyyah “Shu” J. Simmons, 29, of Raytown, was in her driveway watching as two of her children, ages 8 and 9, were getting on a school bus. A toddler was standing in the doorway of her home, said Kansas City Detective Tom Prudden with the Kansas City Metropolitan Major Case Squad.

They saw a man approach their mother on foot and shoot her multiple times before he ran behind the house, Prudden said.

“We have no motive,” Prudden said. “There was no apparent robbery. There is nothing to say this was a case of domestic violence.”

Simmons’ mother, Arthurine Simmons, said the children were doing OK. The youngest was unaware of what he saw, she said.

Arthurine Simmons said her daughter was a stay-at-home mom who at times helped manage her family’s restaurant.

“My daughter was a lovely daughter and a lovely mother, a lovely sister. She was a joy to be around for her family. She loved her family. She was kind-hearted and giving. I couldn’t ask for a better daughter,” she said. “She was a sweet, loving person to anybody who knew her. If she was a friend, you had a real friend.”

The shooting occurred about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 7300 block of Ash Street. Police found Simmons’ body on the driveway. The Metro Squad is working with Raytown police to investigate the homicide.

Anyone with information about Simmons’ death is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (474-8477) or the Metro Squad at 816-737-6034.

Read more: Raytown woman shot and killed while her children watched -

Tampa, FL: Man dead, woman injured following attempted murder-suicide, deputies say

By Kim Wilmath, Times Staff Writer
Posted: Feb 25, 2010 07:09 AM

TAMPA — A man is dead and a woman injured after an apparent attempted murder-suicide at an apartment near the University of South Florida, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were called to the back of a wooded condo complex at Stone Creek Pointe, 13374 Arbor Pointe Circle, at about 6:15 a.m. When they got there, they found a man dead. A woman was transported to the University Community Hospital on Fletcher Avenue.

Hillsborough Captain Alan Hill said the woman is the victim.

Authorities had marked off an area surrounding Apartment 104, a first-floor unit, with yellow crime scene tape by 7:30 a.m. About a dozen deputies and CSI units were investigating the scene.

No other details are yet known.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winfield, KS: Man gets maximum sentence in girlfriend's death

Associated Press - February 24, 2010 7:44 AM ET

WINFIELD, Kan. (AP) - A south-central Kansas man has been sentenced to nearly 24 years in jail for the choking death of his girlfriend.

David Webster was sentenced Monday in Cowley County Court for second-degree intentional murder. He was convicted in January in the death of 46-year-old Lenora Diane Chambers.

She disappeared last March from her Winfield home. Webster reported her missing but later admitted to investigators that he had choked Chambers after an argument. He said he threw her body from a bridge about 14 miles east of Winfield.

Information from: The Winfield Daily Courier,

Dodge Center, MN: Life in prison for SE Minn. man who killed wife, son

By PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune
February 24, 2010

A southeastern Minnesota man will spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering his wife and son -- and failing to kill his two daughters only because the son intervened.

Ismael Bugarin, 35, of Dodge Center, pleaded guilty in Dodge County District Court to first-degree premeditated murder and other charges Tuesday. He was immediately sentenced to life without parole and another 61 years in prison, which he will serve concurrently.

Bugarin stabbed and shot his wife during a domestic dispute at their home on Nov. 8, 2008, then stabbed their three children. His wife, Teresa, 27, died in their home.

Their 12-year-old son, Nick, collapsed and bled to death at the neighbor's home from a stab wound to the neck.

The two girls survived, authorities say, thanks to their brother. Nick wrested the knife from his father and fought back, giving the girls -- ages 8 and 6 -- time to flee to the home of neighbors.

The boy stabbed his father twice in the back after the elder Bugarin had shot and stabbed his wife because she had decided to leave with the children and seek a divorce, according to the criminal complaint.

Authorities say Bugarin tried to kill himself by slitting his wrists after the attack. He was hospitalized for more than a week.

Ismael Bugarin was employed at McNelius, a truck manufacturing company. In the late 1990s, he was arrested at least twice on allegations of domestic assault.

Star Tribune staff writer Chao Xiong contributed to this report.

Austin, TX: Boy, 11, who was stabbed by man who killed his mother, testifies

By Steven Kreytak | Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 06:03 PM

An 11-year-old boy who was stabbed in an attack that left his mother dead in 2003 took the stand today in the trial of Milton Dwayne Gobert, who is on trial for capital murder.
Demetrius Cotton spoke with a soft voice from the witness stand in state District Judge Bob Perkins’ court while 30 people in the courtroom gallery looked on. The microphone on the witness stand came to his forehead until it was adjusted by prosecutor Allison Wetzel.
Gobert, 37, is accused of killing Demetrius’ mother, Mel Kernena Cotton, 30, on Oct. 6, 2003 in her North Austin apartment. He could receive the death penalty if convicted.
Gobert’s lawyers have said that he killed Cotton only after she drew a knife on him. Gobert, his lawyers said, stabbed the boy accidentally when he tried to enter the fracas. They said that Gobert went to the apartment that night to continue what they described as an intimate relationship between the two. Prosecutors have said that Gobert was angry at Cotton for helping his ex-girlfriend move out of their apartment while Gobert was at work, and that he thought some of his things were taken during the move.
While Demetrius testified in state District Judge Bob Perkins’ court, Gobert was seated about 50 feet away at a table next to his two lawyers.
In testimony that lasted about an hour, Demetrius told the jury that he did not know the man who killed his mother. He said the man had a black duffle bag and had demanded money from his mother.
It started, Demetrius said, when he awoke that night in 2003, when he was 5, to the screams of his mother coming from her bedroom.
He got up and found a man who he described as “tall and bald and buff” standing over her, stabbing her with a knife, he said.
His mother had duct tape on her mouth; the man was wearing gloves, Demetrius said under questioning by Wetzel.
“I went over there and tried to pull him down by his leg,” Demetrius said.
The man put duct tape on Demetrius’ mouth and legs, cutting the tape with the knife, Demetrius said.
Then the man pushed him out of the room and locked the door. The screaming continued inside.
Demetrius returned to his room and fell asleep, he said. He awoke when the man came in, got on top of him and choked him with two hands, Demetrius said.
He passed out.
When he woke up Demetrius was bleeding from a hole in his chest and the man was gone, Demetrius said.
He went into his mother’s room and felt her neck, he said.
“When you felt her neck what did you feel,” Wetzel said.
“Nothing,” Demetrius said. “She was gone.”
The boy said he kneeled next to his mom for a while, holding her cold hand before going to find something to stop the blood that was flowing from his chest.
He got a washcloth from the bathroom, tried unsuccessfully to put a Band Aid on his chest and retrieved a Popsicle from the refrigerator before returning to his room and falling asleep again, Demetrius said.
He thought of calling for help but the man had cut the phone cord and smashed his mother’s cell phone, he said.
He awoke to his aunt’s knock at the door.

Royce City, TX: Suspect in chase, shooting may have planned domestic violence in Greenville

By Brad Keller
Herald-Banner Staff

ROYSE CITY — By Brad Kellar

Herald-Banner Staff

Among other details, investigators have been attempting to determine why a Dallas man lead law enforcement officers on a chase through Greenville Saturday afternoon before ramming his pickup truck into another vehicle.

Edward Markeist Wheaton was shot and killed by officers following the pursuit.

Wheaton’s estranged wife, who works in Greenville, believes she knows why he came to town. It may have been to kill her.

“He was here for a reason,” said LaSharon Taylor Wheaton. “I’m the reason why he was here, more than likely.”

LaSharon works at the Schlotzsky’s Deli at Crossroads Mall, 6834 Wesley Street in Greenville, which was where Wheaton was initially cornered by units from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Greenville Police Department.

Joe Mabry is the manager of the restaurant and has no doubt it was where Wheaton was headed Saturday.

“That was my first thought,” Mabry said. “What are the odds he would end up in my parking lot?”

Mabry contacted the Herald-Banner Monday, in response to reports Wheaton was the victim of an unprovoked police shooting.

“The whole story needs to be out there,” Mabry said.

Wheaton, 39, died at the scene of a multi-vehicle crash near the intersection of Wesley and Stanford Streets.

Officers from three law enforcement agencies were reported to have fired on the 1979 Chevrolet Silverado which Wheaton was driving. Witnesses told the Herald-Banner they heard approximately two dozen shots fired at the scene of the crash.

The investigation underway by the Texas Rangers had determined White was not armed at the time of the shooting, and that “multiple rounds” had been fired.

According to accounts of the incident, Trooper Alex Hunt with the DPS office in Greenville was notified at 1:17 p.m. Saturday of a reckless driver on Interstate 30. Hunt observed the Silverado westbound on the highway and attempted to make a traffic stop. Wheaton did not stop and was followed into the parking lot at Crossroads Mall, where he rammed Hunt’s vehicle, then turned northbound on Wesley Street.

The Silverado struck the back of a Hyundai Sonata just south of the intersection with Stanford Street. Law enforcement officers surrounded the vehicle, at which time Wheaton was said to have backed into a DPS vehicle behind him and then drove into the back of the Hyundai a second time.

The driver of the Hyundai was not injured and was escorted to safety by officers.

Wheaton died at the scene.

Mabry said he was familiar with Wheaton, based on the outcome of the violent incidents with his estranged wife.

“He just really mistreated her,” Mabry said, adding he watched as Wheaton’s pickup stopped just outside of the Schlotzsky’s and was met by DPS and Greenville Police vehicles.

“They had him kind of hemmed in from all directions,” Mabry said.

“We just separated like six months ago,” LaSharon said, adding she had not talked to Wheaton for about a month, but explaining he often would call and threaten her.

Wheaton had not contacted her Saturday, but had been contacting her relatives Friday night and was asking where she could be found.

“I’m hurting right now,” LaSharon said. “I didn’t know it was him until the next morning. I’m really shocked about what happened.”

Piney Flats, TN: Police say Piney Flats man shoots girlfriend, kills self

By Becky Campbell, Johnson City Press

Published February 23rd, 2010

PINEY FLATS – Neighbors around Stage Coach Trailer Park were surprised and concerned when law enforcement descended on their community following a domestic shooting Tuesday afternoon. The incident at 405 Austin Springs Road, Lot 8, started around 3:15 p.m., when a man shot his girlfriend, then waved the gun around until deputies retreated.

It wasn’t over until just before 8 p.m. when Sullivan County S.W.A.T. members found 48-year-old Terry Stonecipher dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Sheriff Wayne Anderson.

The shooting happened when Stonecipher said he “accidentally” shot 58-year-old Kathy Barnett twice while cleaning his gun, Anderson said. Stonecipher apparently shot himself a short time after deputies backed away from his mobile home and after he stopped talking to them by cell phone.

Jackson, MS: Woman killed in murder-attempted suicide

Posted: Feb 24, 2010 11:54 AM EST
Updated: Feb 24, 2010 5:59 PM EST

Woman killed in murder-attempted suicide


JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A Jackson woman is dead and her husband is in the hospital, in what appears to be a botched murder-suicide attempt.

Jackson police were called to 121 Valley Ridge in northwest Jackson just before 8:30 Tuesday morning. A family member had discovered the body of Sharon Kelly, 45.

She was pronounced dead on the scene with a gunshot wound to the head. With her, was her husband Louis Kelly, 56, who suffered a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

Police believe Louis Kelly shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself. He was taken to the U-M-C. His condition is not available.

The couple has a young son, who was at school at the time.

Copyright 2010 WLBT. All rights reserved.

Kauai, HI: Kauai police classify two deaths in Lawai as murder-suicide

By Star-Bulletin staff

POSTED: 11:55 a.m. HST, Feb 24, 2010

Kauai police have classified the death of two people at a Lawai residence yesterday as an apparent homicide-suicide.

The man whose body was found is Duane Bukoski, 38, of Lawai. police said. The female victim, an acquaintance of Bukoski, has been tentatively identified but police are withholding her identity pending verification.

An autopsy will be scheduled and the investigation is on-going.

Kauai police urged anyone with information about the case to contact Detective James Kurasaki at 246-8101, Police Dispatch, 241-1711, or CrimeStoppers, 241-1887.

San Diego, CA: Choked Puppy May Not Survive

Updated 4:31 PM PST, Wed, Feb 24, 2010

Department of Animal Services
The owner of a 10-week-old chocolate lab was arrested Wednesday.
David Hale Warner, 50, is accused of choking his puppy Coco on Tuesday night.
Coco was brought to an emergency veterinary clinic by Warner after the incident, according to officials with the county department of animal services. After workers at the clinic determined Coco could not walk, had difficulty breathing, and has red-tinged saliva and blue-ish gums, they notified animal services.

Warner was questioned by animal control officers after he returned to the clinic on Wednesday morning. The officers said Warner was arrested after he admitted choking the puppy and pinning it down for 20 seconds in an effort to punish it and teach it a lesson.

Warner was booked on felony animal cruelty charges, and faces imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $20,000. During booking, officers discovered Warner had a warrant for spousal abuse, authorities said.

"History has shown that there is a definite correlation between people that abuse animals and domestic violence”, said Dawn Danielson, the director of the county department of animal services. "We encourage people to report cases of animal abuse and help us break the cycle of violence."

Coco is in intensive care at an unnamed veterinary hospital. If the dog survives, it will presumably be available for adoption.

Brownsville, TX: Police: Brownsville man strangled wife

By Mary Avila
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 8:07 a.m.
Last updated: Today at 12:45 PM

Read more: Local, Crime, Alfredo Ibarra, Murder, Brownsville, Breaking News, Brownsville Police Department, Cameron County, Rio Grande Valley, Texas

A Brownsville man is expected to face murder charges after allegedly strangling his wife and stabbing himself.

Brownsville police told Action 4 News that they received a call from Alfredo Ibarra last night around midnight.

Officers responded to the Palacio Real Apartments near the intersection of Barnard Road and Wild Rose Lane.

Ibarra allegedly told officers that he strangled his wife and then stabbed himself several times in the neck and torso.

Police said Ibarra has a history of violence with at least two prior arrests.

The couple has four children, who are now with other family members.

Police said Ibarra remains said hospitalized where he is listed in stable condition.

Investigators said he will be facing murder charges upon release from the hospital.

Crest, CA: Man Exiting Car During Argument Struck, Killed

Cary Floyd Conner Of El Cajon Died At The Scene

POSTED: 7:27 am PST February 24, 2010
UPDATED: 10:22 am PST February 24, 2010

CREST, Calif. -- A 43-year-old man was killed after he hopped out of a car during an argument with his girlfriend and stepped into the path of an oncoming vehicle in the rural community of Crest, the California Highway Patrol reported Wednesday.
Cary Floyd Conner of El Cajon died at the scene of the accident at La Cresta Boulevard and Mountain View Road at 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to the CHP.
Conner was riding in a Toyota Corolla with his girlfriend, Donna Anselmi, as they left a convenience store parking lot, CHP Officer Brian Pennings said.

He said Conner and Anselmi were arguing as she pulled into the road to turn left. Conner reportedly opened his passenger door and got out, right in the path of a vehicle driven by Jan Burrell, 60, of El Cajon.
Burrell was unable to avoid striking Conner, who suffered major injuries, Pennings said.

Longview, WA: Man pleads guilty to killing ex-girlfriend's mother, wounding her father in Highlands shooting

By Tony Lystra / The Daily News | Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 1:16 pm | (2) Comments

A 21-year-old Longview man admitted Wednesday to killing his ex-girlfriend's mother and wounding her father in a 2008 shooting in the Highlands.
Anthony Michael James Scott pleaded guilty to first-degree murder with a firearm and attempted first-degree murder.
Authorities said that on the morning of Oct. 7, 2008, Scott knocked on the door of Robert and Kathleen Tubbs and was told to leave. Scott shouted, "Die!" and shot Robert Tubbs in the arm. Scott then entered the home, at 262 24th Avenue, and shot Kathleen Tubbs in the back as she tried to flee through a back door.
Kathleen Tubbs collapsed on the stoop of her mother's home, which was next door, the prosecutor's office said. Before she died, Kathleen Tubbs told her mother Scott had shot her. Robert Tubbs survived his injuries.
The Tubbs' 4-year-old grandson was in the home at the time of the shooting.
Scott fled on foot and left a voice mail on his ex-girlfriend's phone, saying: "Hey bitch, this is big A.Z. Hope you like the gift."
Scott lived in Longview but went by the nickname "Az Joker" because he was born in Arizona, according to his MySpace page.
Longview police arrested him about an hour later in the 3200 block of Oak Street. The gun Scott used to shoot the couple never was recovered.
Prosecutors said the Tubbs's daughter had ended a two-year relationship with Scott days before the shooting, and Scott had been expected to move to Arizona.
Separately, Scott also pleaded guilty Wednesday to custodial assault. He admitted he spit in a Cowlitz County corrections officer's face while he was being held on the murder charge.
The prosecutor's office said Scott has previous juvenile convictions for first-degree malicious mischief and bail jumping.
Scott is scheduled to be sentenced March 3.

Pittsburg, CA: Woman Accused Of Killing Ex-Boyfriend

Vallejo Resident Arrested In Pittsburg Slaying

POSTED: 1:54 pm PST February 24, 2010
UPDATED: 2:11 pm PST February 24, 2010

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PITTSBURG -- Police have arrested a Vallejo woman suspected of shooting her ex-boyfriend near his home in Pittsburg early Tuesday morning and then trying to kill herself, Pittsburg police Lt. Brian Addington said Wednesday.
Jennell Wright, 34, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in the death of 31-year-old Pittsburg resident Andrew Green, but remained at a hospital in Concord Wednesday recovering from her apparent suicide attempt.
Green was found shot to death next to his car in the 100 block of Pelican Loop at about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday.
Green and Wright have a 3-year-old son together and although they broke up two years ago, family members said Wright was still depressed about the breakup, according to police. Addington said she had made several unsuccessful attempts to get back together with Green.
Investigators learned that Wright called her employer in Richmond on Monday and said she couldn't come to work because of a family emergency. Family members said she left home at about 9 p.m. Monday and never returned.
Police believe she arrived in Pittsburg at about 10 p.m. Monday, rented a hotel room, and then went over to Green's neighborhood and waited for him to get home from work.
Green, who was a bus mechanic, had worked the swing shift that night and returned home at about 1:20 a.m., parking in a lot two doors down from his house. He had turned off his car but had not yet gotten out when police said Wright walked up to him and started shooting.
After being shot, Green stumbled out of his car and collapsed, leaving the keys in the ignition, Addington said.
At about 3 p.m. Tuesday, police received a call from a hotel in the 1900 block of Railroad Avenue reporting that a guest was refusing to leave.
Officers arrived at the hotel and found Wright with a revolver in her purse, Addington said. Although the gun still needs to be tested, police believe that it was the weapon used to kill Green, Addington said.
When officers took Wright back to the police station, she told them that she had consumed psychiatric drugs and antifreeze in an attempt to kill herself.
She was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Concord, where she is listed in stable condition.

Fort Worth, TX: Man arrested in connection with girlfriend's death

Posted Monday, Feb. 22, 2010

FORT WORTH -- A 29-year-old man was arrested Monday on a murder warrant in the death of his girlfriend, who police say was assaulted in her apartment last month.

Anthony D. Turner was taken into custody by SWAT officers and U.S. Marshals at his job, said Sgt. Pedro Criado, a police spokesman.

Ashford "Monique" Sneed died from "arrhythmic sudden cardiac death during an assault by another person," the Tarrant County medical examiner's office ruled Feb. 10.

A spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office said the ruling essentially means that Sneed died from an irregular or altered heartbeat prompted by an assault.

Turner called police the afternoon of Jan. 7, reporting that he had found Sneed dead inside her apartment in the 500 block of King George Drive, police have said.

Sneed was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:27 p.m. Her body showed no obvious signs of trauma.

Investigators later connected Sneed to a phone call that had been placed to her daughter's school less than an hour earlier.

Police said employees at Lowery Road Elementary School called police shortly before 4 p.m. after receiving an "open-line" call, meaning that no one responded when the school employee answered.

All the employee heard was a male threatening and possibly assaulting a female, police said.

Sneed's daughter went to the school office a short time later, reporting that her mother had not picked her up after school.

ALEX BRANCH, 817-390-7689

Northumberland County, PA: Judge: Pa. man can stand trial in wife's death

A northeastern Pennsylvania judge says a man charged with killing his wife and dumping her body into a creek is competent to stand trial.

Northumberland County President Judge Robert B. Sacavage decided Monday that 49-year-old Steven Wolfgang of Mount Carmel can stand trial on homicide charges in the January 2007 death of his 42-year-old wife, Sherry.

Police say Wolfgang beat his wife to death then put her remains in a metal box and dumped them in Schuylkill County's Mahanoy Creek. Her body was found five months later.

Investigators say Wolfgang set his wife's vehicle on fire then attempted suicide.

Wolfgang pleaded no-contest to third-degree murder in May but withdrew his plea in September. His trial is scheduled for next month.

Schenectady, NY: Animal abuse suspect faces contempt charge Hendricks accused of intimidating estranged wife to make drive

By PAUL NELSON, Staff writer
First published in print: Wednesday, February 24, 2010
SCHENECTADY -- Thomas Hendricks II, who is charged with torturing to death his estranged wife's two small dogs and badly burning a third animal, faces new accusations that he violated a restraining order to stay away from the woman.

He was arraigned Tuesday in City Court on the new felony criminal contempt charges and sent to the Schenectady County jail in lieu of $30,000.
In arguing against bail, the prosecutor had told Judge Christine Clark that Hendricks, 28, has had other brushes with the law since being arrested last month on the animal-cruelty charges. He is accused of a drug offense and motor vehicle violations after being stopped on Jan. 31 by police near Rochester, according to Assistant District Attorney Jessica Lorusso. She said he bolted from a car and tried to flee after being pulled over in the town of Victor, Ontario County. He also allegedly had marijuana and was driving without a license, Lorusso told the court.

Additionally, Hendricks is wanted on an arrest warrant from Montgomery County and has a 2007 conviction for criminal contempt, according to court papers.

The prosecutor also said the defendant lied about his employment and was using his mother's Schenectady address.

Hendricks' attorney, Leslie Lewis, didn't dispute the prosecutors' assertions. Bail was set $30,000 cash.

The new criminal complaint charges alleges that earlier this month Hendricks went to his estranged wife Melissa Hendricks' Front Street home and intimidated her into driving him to New Hartford in Oneida County, flouting a stay-away order of protection issued by Clark following his arrest on a misdemeanor menacing count for allegedly punching her in the head.

A grand jury is looking into the criminal case.

In January, Henricks was charged with three counts of felony aggravated animal cruelty and misdemeanor menacing in connection three incidents over the past two months.

Police learned of the alleged animal abuse after responding to a domestic dispute call at the Hendricks home in Schenectady's Stockade neighborhood. Police say the first dog was killed sometime during the second week of December after Hendricks apparently became upset when a long-haired dachshund urinated in the house.

Hendricks is accused of drowning the animal in a bathtub. A second animal, a female toy poodle, was badly burned on Jan. 12 when Hendricks allegedly held her under scalding hot water. Police also said he pulled the hair from the dog's legs. On Jan. 24 he allegedly killed another dachshund by hitting the animal once with a pool stick. Police say two of the dogs were targeted because of excessive barking.

Lehigh, FL: Mendez gets 2 life sentences in Lehigh murders

Convicted of killing his wife, her mom in 2006


Expanded coverage of domestic violence:>Visit our special page for resources, video, databases and more

Juan Mendez spoke directly to his former uncle-in-law in court Monday.

John Carlson didn’t like what he heard and stood as if to stare down the man who was convicted of killing his sister and niece in Lehigh Acres 3 1/2 years ago.

But Carlson got what he wanted and what Mendez fought against — two consecutive life sentences for the murders of Lorena Stone and Whitney Mendez.

Juan Mendez, 31, was sentenced by Lee Circuit Judge Mark Steinbeck three months after a jury found him guilty of two second-degree murder counts.

Carlson was the first to speak to the judge and others in the courtroom. He said Javon Mendez, Juan and Whitney’s son, has suffered because he will grow up without either parent.

Juan Mendez later stood to talk and at first spoke directly to Carlson, who was sitting in the gallery by then.

“To the brother, John, don’t you ever use my son as a coverup,” he said. “First of all, I probably know your sister more than you have.”

Carlson stood as family members tried to get him to sit.

“You need to stop talking to me, is what you need to do,” Carlson shot back at Juan Mendez as deputies swooped in to try to maintain order.

The exchange and talk of lengthy prison sentences also caused deputies to escort a Mendez supporter out of the courtroom after she began swearing loudly and yelling at a deputy to keep his hands off her.

Mendez and several of his supporters begged the judge for mercy, saying he was unfairly convicted of the charges.

“All I ask, do not let this end,” Mendez said. “Let it continue and let them find whoever committed those crimes because it was not me.”

Mendez’s relatives said repeatedly that Mendez, whom they described as loving and caring, would never have harmed his wife and mother-in-law.

“He was convicted before he even went in there,” said his father, Juan Mendez Sr. “I did not see any justice, your honor.”

The victims’ family said Mendez should be punished.

“For everything we do, there is a price to pay. If you’re not willing to pay that price, don’t do it,” said Carol Orr, Carlson’s sister. “What happened to them shouldn’t be allowed to happen to anybody, ever.”

Mendez was convicted of going to a duplex at 4968 24th St. SW on July 22, 2006, and stabbing Whitney and her mother.

Javon, who was 2 at the time, was found dehydrated and sitting in a high chair outside the home where his mother and grandmother were killed.

According to testimony at trial, Mendez was upset that his estranged wife was trying to get custody of their son.

DNA evidence didn’t conclusively link Mendez to the murder weapons, defense attorneys argued, and they slammed the investigation, citing holes in the case.

The prosecution banked its case on two of Whitney Mendez’s co-workers, who testified that they received phone calls from her the night of the murders. In one of the phone calls, a witness heard Whitney Mendez mention that she had a restraining order against the intruder, who wasn’t allowed to be there. Weeks before the murders, she took out a protective order against Juan Mendez.

Juan Mendez is expected to appeal the convictions, the result of a back-and-forth, weeklong trial in November.

Mendez’s attorney, Gary Bass, asked for 40 years in prison, but he expected the life sentences.

“The sentence is irrelevant if the person is innocent,” Bass said. “It doesn’t matter if he got six years, 60 years or 600 years.”

Vineland, NJ: Webb-McRae: Vineland police shoot, kill man who beat woman to death

VINELAND -- City police shot and killed a domestic-violence suspect after responding to Regency East apartment complex at around 3:30 p.m. today, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said tonight.

The domestic-violence victim has also died, the prosecutor said.

Authorities were not releasing the names of the two police officers who fired their duty weapons or of the now-deceased domestic-violence suspect and victim -- the suspect and victim are believed to be grandson and grandmother -- tonight.

Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office investigators are handling the investigation into the officer-involved shooting, per New Jersey Attorney General's Office guidelines.

It is believed the suspect was beating his grandmother when police arrived to the East Chestnut Avenue adults-only apartment complex.

Webb-McRae, who took office last month, visited the crime scene at 1123 E. Chestnut Ave. in the 5:00 hour.

She indicated tonight her office would be issuing a press release on the incident Wednesday morning.

The gunfire reportedly occurred in one of the apartment complex's buildings, but not in an apartment unit.

It is unknown how many shots the two Vineland police officers fired at the domestic-violence suspect.

Vineland police were not commenting on the incident this evening.

Manteca, CA: Police Investigate Possible Murder-Suicide

MANTECA, CA - Manteca police detectives are investigating the deaths of a man and woman found in their home Monday morning. The homicides are Manteca's first in 2008.

The couple, who were related, were in their mid 40s, said Manteca police spokesman Rex Osborn. He said they were found about 9:30 a.m. in their home on the 1000 block of Gladiola Place by a person believed to be a relative.

Osborn said the man and woman had been shot. Investigators think the deaths may be a murder-suicide.

It didn't appear as if children were living in the home, Osborn said.

The victims' names have not been released.

Neighbors told police they believed the couple's home was in foreclosure. News10 checked and found the home was bought new in July 2004 for $440,000 and the owner had been trying to sell it for $305,000 since September.

Chehalis, WA: Chehalis Man to be Charged With Manslaughter in Girlfriend’s Death

Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 10:08 am
By The Chronicle | 0 comments
Jesse Carr: Handgun Allegedly Fired and Killed Girlfriend While He Was Cleaning It
By The Chronicle

The Chehalis man who allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend by accident while cleaning a handgun Sept. 3 has been issued a summons and will face manslaughter charges in Lewis County Superior Court, according to Prosecutor Michael Golden.
Sara Whitson, 28, was found partially conscious when police arrived following a report of a gunshot at an apartment in the 1700 block of South Market Boulevard that day. She was eventually airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she died.
Her boyfriend, Jesse Carr, will face charges of first-degree manslaughter with a potential sentencing enhancement because the crime involved a firearm, Golden said.
The sentencing range for manslaughter is between six and a half years and eight and a half years, Golden said. The use of the firearm could result in an additional five years, he said.
“Cases like this are really a tragedy,” Golden said.
The handgun that killed Whitson was tested and found to be operable with no indication of any malfunctions, Golden said.
Carr is scheduled to be in Lewis County Superior Court for an initial appearance today at 4 p.m.

Nodine, MN: Nodine couple shot to death

By Nolan Rosenkrans | Winona Daily News | Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:05 am | 1

NODINE, Minn. - A couple married for about five months was found shot to death Tuesday afternoon in their home, Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said.
Deputies found the bodies of Morgan Nederhiser, 47, and wife Debrah Nederhiser, 59, in an upstairs bedroom at 42341
Hwy. 12.
Investigators still are piecing together Tuesday's events, but the sheriff said there were no signs of forced entry and the Nederhisers were the only ones involved.
"We're not positive yet what exactly took place," Brand said.
Deputies went to the house about 1:30 p.m., after being asked to check on the Nederhisers, Brand said. Deputies were told someone in the home may have a gun.
The Nederhisers probably had been dead since Tuesday morning, Brand said.
Authorities carried a shotgun and handgun from the house, but Brand declined to say if they were involved in the shootings. Deputies also removed evidence bags containing bedding.
The deaths left neighbors and residents in this normally quiet, rural community shaken and in disbelief.
The Nederhisers had married in September and seemed happy, neighbor Mike McGuire said.
"I drove by and said, ‘Uh oh, something bad happened,'" he said. "It's just unbelievable."
McGuire said he's known Morgan Nederhiser for more than a decade and called him "one of the most caring guys I know."
He said there were no signs anything might be amiss between his neighbors. Police had no history of calls to the Nederhiser home, Brand said.
Two assistant Winona County attorneys were at the house for more than an hour with members of the sheriff's department.
Both bodies went to a forensic pathologist in Rochester, Minn., for autopsies.

Unionville, VA: Estranged wife denied bond in slaying of deputy

February 23, 2010 12:36 am


The estranged wife of an Orange County deputy sheriff accused of his slaying will not be granted bond.

Orange County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Frank Somerville denied bond for Brenda Lee Canosa, 49, yesterday. She will remain in Central Virginia Regional Jail charged with first-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

She was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder after allegedly shooting Investigator Bob Canosa, 55, at his residence in Unionville. He died Dec. 20 at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Diana Wheeler described how Brenda Canosa had called Bob Canosa at 5:40 a.m. from her car outside the building where he was living. She told him to come out to her car, said Wheeler, and when he did, she shot him and left the scene.

“She went home and showered,” said Wheeler. “She didn’t wait to see where the bullets went.”

Authorities say Brenda Canosa fired all nine rounds in the handgun and Bob Canosa was struck with five of them.

He lay for 30 minutes waiting for help but apparently no one had heard the shots. He called the Sheriff’s Office for assistance, according to Chief Deputy Tim Murphy.

Murphy owns and operates the Professional Canine Training Center, the facility where Canosa had an apartment. Murphy built the facility on land he owns and where his mother and his ex-wife and daughter live.

“She has exhibited classic stalking behavior,” said Wheeler, “and we have complaints and evidence of that. She lured him out of his home and she thinks other deputies were on his side during the marital split. She made allegations about his relationship with a female deputy.”

Defense attorney Dana Slater argued that allegations of infidelity “don’t necessarily mean there’s a threat to others.”

Longtime friends Deborah and Mark Baker testified that they would put up their Culpeper County farm as collateral for a bond.

The Canosa children, Caitlin, 22, and Joe, 20, testified that their mother was “a wonderful mom” and a person who would “do anything for anyone.”

“That’s nothing any child wouldn’t say about their mother,” Wheeler said. “She planned this, set it up and carried it out. She emptied a gun into him.”

“This is not a random act against an unknown person,” said Slater. “The kids might not know the situation. She’s not known to be a person who flies off the handle.”

When Somerville asked each if their mother had been under any stress, both responded that she had not.

“The kids said their mother was not under unusual stress,” said Somerville, “so where’s the evidence that this is a domestic violence case? It’s not like they met at the 7–Eleven, he slaps her and she shoots him.”

“Starting with the presumption that there’s no bond high enough to guarantee her good behavior,” he said, “the question is, can I protect the community with bond?”

After denying bond, he added that Canosa could appeal his ruling and that it will be reviewed next week when Canosa is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in his court.

Cases of domestic violence are first heard in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court before being heard in a higher court. Somerville is expected to certify the case to the grand jury in Circuit Court when he rules at her preliminary hearing next week.

Robin Knepper: 540/972-5701

Oakland, CA: Oakland man convicted in Fish Ranch Road slaying of estranged wife

By Malaika Fraley
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 02/23/2010 01:55:01 PM PST
Updated: 02/23/2010 01:55:02 PM PST

MARTINEZ — An Oakland man was convicted Monday of stabbing to death his estranged wife on Fish Ranch Road above the Caldecott Tunnel in 2008.
A jury deliberated for about an hour before finding Robert Woods, 48, guilty of second-degree murder with use of a knife in the death of Oakland resident Elnora Caldwell, 46, on Oct. 25, 2008.
The defense, which was arguing for a manslaughter conviction, contended that Woods was desperate to reconcile with Caldwell and that the killing occurred in the heat of passion.
Woods faces 16 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on March 19.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Columbus, OH: Man pleads guilty in death of woman whose body parts were scattered at Ohio apartment complex

By Associated Press

10:40 AM PST, February 22, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man has admitted to a charge that he bludgeoned his girlfriend to death with a hammer before dismembering her and scattering her body parts around the apartment complex where they lived.

Fifty-one-year-old Robert Knight of Columbus pleaded guilty to murder Monday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. It's the same day his trial was set to begin. He faces 15 years to life in prison when sentenced March 3.

Investigators say Knight killed 44-year-old Tracey Moore in June after an argument. Police found her head and arms in Knight's freezer, and maintenance workers found other remains in his backed-up toilet, throughout the apartment and in woods, a pond and a trash bin.

Defense attorney George Luther says Knight passed psychological testing and was competent for trial.

Loganville, GA: Victims identified in Walton County murder-suicide

By Larry Hartstein
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

9:42 a.m. Monday, February 22, 2010
Autopsies will be conducted Monday morning on a Loganville couple after an apparent murder-suicide, the Walton County Sheriff's Office said.

The incident happened Friday night in the 3600 block of Pointer Road. The sheriff's office received a 911 call from the home about a domestic disturbance.

When deputies arrived, they found Ralph Dillion, 58, and Shirley Snyder, 39, dead of gunshot wounds in the master bedroom. A handgun was found nearby.

"It appears to us it was a murder-suicide," Chief Deputy Bruce Wright told the AJC. "I don't want to speculate further yet."

Snyder's two children lived in the home, but they were not there at the time of the killings. The children have been taken in by relatives, Wright said.

Queens, NY: Four Dead in Queens Murder-Suicide, Police Say

A family of four were found dead with gunshot wounds to the head at a home in southeast Queens on Monday in what was believed to be a murder-suicide, the police said.

Investigators believe that a man killed his wife and two daughters before taking his own life, the police said. Officers found a note on the kitchen table at the house, on 230th Place near Kennedy International Airport, that read “I’m sorry. Love, Mark.”

A rifle was recovered at the scene and believed to have been the murder weapon. The man, who was identified by a law enforcement official as Mark Bailey, was found in the living room with a gunshot wound to the forehead. Mr. Bailey was believed to be in his 40s, according to a law enforcement official.

The man’s teenage daughters and his wife were found in their bedrooms with gunshot wounds, the police said. The law enforcement official identified the wife as Dionne Bailey, 42, and the daughters as Yanique, 19, and Yolanne, 14.

The police responded to an emergency call that someone needed medical attention around 7 a.m. Monday. When officers arrived at the home, they discovered the four bodies.

Columbia, TN: Columbia woman accused of murdering estranged husband

A Columbia woman has been arrested on a charge of murder in connection with the shooting of her estranged husband, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Shawn Michelle Armstrong, 38, was arrested Saturday night. Earlier that day, the TBI said in a news release, Armstrong was engaging in some target practice in a wooded area near Mount Pleasant when her husband, Maury Armstrong, 42, came into the area.

The two got into a fight, and Maury Armstrong was shot and killed. The TBI said Monday it was still investigating the events leading up to the shooting.

The wife was charged with second-degree murder. She remained behind bars at the Maury County Jail Monday morning.

Trenton, OH: Woman Found Shot To Death, Husband In Custody

Man Shoots, Kills Wife in Trenton

Photographer: Nick Graham, Middletown Journal
Police have arrested a man who shot and killed his wife at their home in the 800 block of South First Street.

The unidentified man barricaded himself inside the home for more nearly an hour before police entered the house, and used a taser to bring him under arrest. The victim was shot in the head. Her name and age have not been released.

Trenton, Middletown, Monroe and Butler County police and EMS units were all on the scene. Local 12 has a crew there as well and will share any new information as we learn more.

The photo of police taking a suspect into custody was taken by Nick Graham, a photographer for the Middletown Journal.

Dallas, TX: Man who killed girlfriend for television pleads guilty, gets life sentence

4:15 PM Mon, Feb 22, 2010
Jennifer Emily/Reporter
A man who killed his girlfriend when he tried to steal her TV pleaded guilty to murder today in exchange for a life sentence.

Danny Hollis and Mary Cleveland had been together for 13 years and Cleveland, 65, wanted to end the relationship, said Dallas County prosecutor Liz Rogers. Hollis, 49, had taken her money and had stolen several televisions throughout their relationship.

But on Feb. 26, 2009, Cleveland wasn't going to let Hollis take any more.

"Danny Hollis was in her life for 13 years and after 13 years she'd had enough," Rogers said. "She couldn't take it anymore."

Hollis shot her in the face after Cleveland fought back when he tried to strangle her and smother her with a pillow.

Cleveland was found dead the next day by her son at her apartment on Cockrell Hill Road near Camp Wisdom Road in the Red Bird area of Dallas.

Hollis pawned the television but the remote was found under Cleveland's body.

Hollis had Cleveland's blood on his coat and the remote had Hollis' blood on it.

West Milford, NJ: West Milford man sentenced in pellet gun death of wife

Sunday, February 21, 2010
Suburban Trends
A 50-year-old township man was sentenced Thursday to alcohol rehab and five-years probation after pleading guilty to third-degree aggravated assault causing the unintentional pellet-gun death of his wife.

His head downcast, Frank McDonald had no words for Judge Marilyn Clark as she got set to hand down the sentence in state Superior Court, Paterson.

His lawyer Richard Baldi told the courtroom, "It's a very, very sad case and I don't know if there's ever a happy ending at the end of the rainbow but if everything that Mr. McDonald is supposed to do, he does, it will be somewhat of a happy ending.

"He has expressed nothing but remorse for what happened," he said, adding, "The only thing one can do in life is make the best of a tragedy and try to move on."

Calling the sentence a "fair resolution," Baldi also pointed out that it is in the best interests of McDonald's 13-year-old son Kevin, who already lost his mother, Cheryl and would be doubly hurt by losing his father to a prison term. Originally McDonald was indicted on a more serious charge of reckless manslaughter, which carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

"I can tell you he is a good father. He's clearly a hands-on father and he wants to do what is best for this child," Baldi said.

Before handing down the sentence, Judge Clark read letters from 44-year-old Cheryl's family and friends. The sentiment of one close friend was "this is a tragedy on top of tragedy and a meaningless end for a very meaningful life." At least two writers also called for the strictest monitoring of McDonald during probation.

Because treating a fatality as an aggravated assault is a bit "unusual," Judge Clark felt the need to go over the history of how the prosecution and defense attorney Baldi reached the plea agreement that called for no jail time.

At her request, Chief Assistant Prosecutor George Davey Jr. relayed how it was standard practice in the McDonald household on Weedon Drive to use a pellet gun to shoot out the back window and curtail nuisance squirrel activity.

On the morning Cheryl died, Jan. 3, 2009, her husband had "refreshed" a vodka drink from the night before and consumed some, but according to police was not intoxicated, when the gun went off accidentally and penetrated Cheryl's left lung, shredding it.

"Mr. McDonald didn't see his wife and actually made contact with her and the BB did discharge," he said. Then he began CPR even though he wasn't trained in it and called 911 to help his wife. Before Cheryl died, Davey said, she said to their son Kevin that his dad didn't see her and that it was an accident.

Cheryl died a short time later, before she could be airlifted to the hospital for care.

Given the accidental nature of what occurred, the prosecution did not clamor for a prison sentence, but did note the need for rehab if McDonald is going to be a fit guardian for his son, Kevin.

Commenting further on how the plea bargain came about, Baldi said, "This was a situation where many, many hours were spent deciding the matter." Besides discussing the matter with the prosecution, Baldi said he also flew up a gun expert from Ohio who showed that the pellet gun had a defective safety on the trigger and a "sloppy trigger mechanism," which could have contributed to the mishap.

"The State of New Jersey took this case extremely seriously and considered all the facts," he said.

Family members and their concerns were also taken into account in reaching the plea deal.

Also in court on Thursday, Judge Clark considered some past legal issues concerning McDonald, including a temporary restraining order that Cheryl had requested in 2003 and later had dropped. None of the legal issues had resulted in any conviction, it was noted.

Finally, Judge Clark shared her own sentiments, saying: "This is an immensely tragic case. Every indication was it was an accident but the defendant admitted to recklessness. This was very preventable in my opinion."

It was stressed to McDonald that he must complete at least six months at an in-house alcohol rehab program, which he was set to begin Thursday in Jersey City, and that he cannot consume any alcohol or drugs (other than prescriptions) while on probation.

"If he were to consume any alcohol while on probation, it would result in a prison sentence," Davey said.

During his six-month stay at the treatment center, Kevin McDonald will be under the care of his step-brother, Scott, 23, and possibly his grandmother as well.

Further, McDonald, who owns a waste disposal company, agreed to provide reimbursement of $5,000 for his wife's funeral expenses.


Pascagoula, MS: Carr convicted in wife's stabbing death

PASCAGOULA, Miss. -- A 68-year-old man will be sentenced March 10 after being convicted of manslaughter in his wife's 2008 slaying.
A jury convicted Thomas Carr Friday after nearly six hours of deliberation.
Testimony revealed that 66-year-old Margie Faye Carr was stabbed 19 times, and Thomas Carr confessed to the killing in a taped police interview, according to the Mississippi Press.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson will sentence the St. Martin man March 10.
Carr was on trial for murder, which carried a sentence of life in prison. Because he was convicted of the lesser charge, he faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

Indianapolis, IN: Man, 63, held in shooting deaths of 2 Indianapolis women

By Tania E. Lopez

A 63-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder after he told police he shot and killed his girlfriend and her son’s fiancĂ©e after their bodies were found in the couple’s Far Westside home.

The two women, 61-year-old Linda Nickle and 24-year-old Elizabeth Newcomer, were found about 5 p.m. Saturday in the 6800 block of Westdrum Road.

Sgt. Paul Thompson, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police, said Elwin Hart, Indianapolis, called police from a nearby church to turn himself in about 20 minutes after the bodies were discovered.

Thompson said a domestic dispute might have been the cause of the shootings.

The couple lived together in the home. The couple, he said, bought the house to rehab it and that there may have been an argument Friday possibly related to the house that spilled over to Saturday afternoon.

Police said Nickle’s son, who was out of the city at the time, knew about the argument and became worried when he was unable to reach his mother and Newcomer, so he had a friend break into the house in an attempt to make contact. The bodies were discovered at that point.

Newcomer also resided at the house.

Hart was arrested at the Lynhurst Baptist Church, 1250 South Lynhurst Drive, about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Thompson said Hart also faces charges for possession of marijuana after police found several bags of the controlled substance and a one-hitter pipe in his possession.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Maury, TN: Maury Man Sentenced In Girlfriends Murder

Posted on February 20, 2010

A former male nurse at Maury Medical Center was sentenced yesterday in the killing of his girlfriend two years ago.

Mark Hinkle was charged with second-degree murder but convicted of manslaughter. He admitted to injecting his girlfriend, Samantha Rumbaugh, with a fatal dose of the anesthetic Propofol.

In a Lawrenceburg court room yesterday, Hinkle received 10 years probation, but must serve one year in confinement. He must report March 22 to begin serving that confinement.

According to a story on the WSMV-TV website, Hinkle was interviewed shortly after Rumbaugh's death. He told them he bought the drug that killed Rumbaugh at a yard sale in a tackle box.

Dallas, TX: Man held in beating death of girlfriend

A 53-year-old Dallas man faces a murder charge in the death of his girlfriend, according to police documents.

Michael Joseph Parker was being held at the Dallas County Jail late Tuesday in lieu of $250,000 bail. Police believe he beat 43-year-old Tara Lynne Starling to death.

Starling was found dead in a room at the Tampico Motel in the 7200 block of East Grand Avenue near Gaston Avenue on Saturday morning, police said.

Scott Goldstein

Appleton, WI: Former Appleton firefighter Scott Schmidt files motion claiming he killed wife Kelly Wing Schmidt to stop her from committing adultery

By Jim Collar
Post-Crescent staff writer

APPLETON — A former Appleton firefighter accused of shooting his estranged wife to death claims he was trying to stop her from committing the felony crime of adultery.

Scott Schmidt's attorney plans to argue that Schmidt thought force was necessary to prevent Kelly Wing Schmidt from meeting another man at a hotel and committing the felony because prosecutors don't take adultery seriously, according to a notice of intent filed in Outagamie County Court.

Sacramento, CA: 17-Year-Old Rebecca Layson Murdered During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Congressional DeskFebruary 20, 2010
Sacramento, CA — Just weeks after California Assembly Resolution 100 (Jones) was introduced to declare February, 2010 National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, 17-year-old Rebecca Layson was brutally murdered, allegedly by her teenage boyfriend and another teen male. Last Friday Layson´s body was found in a Citrus Heights park, showing evidence of blunt trauma. The alleged attackers, her 17-year-old boyfriend and 18-year-old Anton Adolf, are now also accused of raping her.

This tragedy highlights the epidemic of violence in teen couples, said Tara Shabazz, Executive Director of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV). According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience intimate partner violence at a rate nearly three times higher than the national average.

"Rebecca Layson´s murder reminds us that we as a community must do more to educate and protect our young people," Shabazz said. "Her death, coming in the midst of a month dedicated to raising awareness about teen violence, should be our wake-up call. We cannot continue to ignore this serious threat to the safety of young people."

Assemblymember Dave Jones, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee and author of the teen dating violence resolution, agreed that the problem of intimate partner violence among teens is a health threat we must confront.

"Teen dating violence is a serious problem in our society," he said. "Violent relationships, particularly during adolescence, put the victim at greater risk for other serious health problems such as substance abuse, eating disorders and adult re-victimization. It is important to recognize that dating violence can occur regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We must do everything possible to protect our children from violence."