Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Annapolis, MD: 1 dead, 1 critical after possible domestic altercation in Annapolis

A man is dead and a woman is in critical condition Monday after a possible domestic altercation at an Annapolis business, police said.
At 1 a.m., officers responded to a shooting in the 300 block of Harry S. Truman Parkway where they found Tracy Lynn West, 43, and her estranged husband, Calvin Cofield, 50, suffering from gunshot wounds, said Anne Arundel County Lt. Francis Tewey.

Article: INVESTIGATION: Allegations Arise That Some Domestic Violence Cases Take Backseat In Riverside County

Sources inside the Riverside County District Attorney's Office contend that under the leadership of Paul Zellerbach, the agency is compromising domestic violence victims in a drive to slash caseloads, limit jury trials and chalk up easy wins.
But Zellerbach fired back that such allegations are "politically motivated." He told City News Service his office is meeting its public safety obligations and doing so more efficiently than under his predecessor.
The ramifications of the district attorney's approach to case management has come into focus in the aftermath of the slaying of Kathryn Rose Sanchez, a 34-year-old mother of three killed in her Riverside apartment on June 15, 2012.
Sanchez was stabbed and strangled by 36-year-old Antonio Carreon Jr., who immediately took his own life by lying in front of an approaching train, according to police.
Carreon had a history of domestic violence and was alleged to have assaulted Sanchez on multiple occasions, spawning a police investigation that ended without any charges being filed.
Some career agency employees wonder why.
Sources who have served under three -- and in a few cases, four -- district attorneys contend that the way the Sanchez case was handled reflects a top-down change in values at the D.A.'s office that has resulted in a dismissive attitude toward domestic violence cases.
"Our district attorney has established a culture where victims of domestic violence are not important," according to a veteran Riverside County prosecutor, who spoke to City News Service on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
"That's clear in the statistics and in the filing decision in this case," the prosecutor said. "There have been orders, straight from the top, to maximize conviction rates regardless of the effect on victims of crime."
The prosecutor maintained that the order of the day in the D.A.'s Office is to dispose of cases with an eye to attaining easy wins, even if it means giving defendants "sweetheart deals," or rejecting -- on dubious grounds -- cases submitted by law enforcement.
"And you end up with tragic situations like this, where the woman is dead, and her children have been orphaned," he said.
A Riverside Police Department investigation into Sanchez's domestic violence allegations was completed before the murder-suicide. But the case was closed and no charges were filed in what remains a murky decision-making process. Police say the D.A.'s Riverside domestic violence unit decided not to proceed; the D.A.'s Office maintains that investigators never submitted the Carreon case for formal review.
Two former Los Angeles County prosecutors consulted by CNS for their assessment of the handling of the case said that, based on the police report alone, there appeared to have been sufficient grounds to file felony charges against Carreon in December 2011.
"Under Rod Pacheco and my first boss, Grover Trask, we had a deep commitment to victims of domestic violence," according to the deputy district attorney who spoke anonymously. "We knew they were the toughest cases. But we were OK with that because we understood that it's the tough ones where you prove you're a real prosecutor. Grover and Rod expected us to fight hard for victims. That standard doesn't exist under Paul Zellerbach."
Zellerbach said any suggestion he would seek to curtail the prosecution of domestic violence cases or other crimes to lengthen his office's win column is "personally offensive" and "makes absolutely no sense."
"The emphasis here is on trying to achieve justice and fairness and at the same time protect the public," he told CNS. "To say I'm soft on a particular kind of crime -- what's the basis for that?

Racine, WI: ' I killed my baby,' Racine murder suspect allegedly said

RACINE — At a county jail in Tennessee, a Racine man reportedly became emotional with a task force investigator who was explaining some paperwork that would send him back to Wisconsin.
Ryan G. King had turned himself in on Jan. 17 to the 18th Judicial District Drug Task Force investigator who stopped his sport utility vehicle in Millersville, Tenn. The convicted felon allegedly had confessed to having a gun beneath the driver’s seat.
But at the Sumner County Jail, King uttered “words to the effect of ‘my baby — I killed my baby,’ ” according to the criminal complaint, which Racine County prosecutors released for the first time on Wednesday.
King, 46, of the 1400 block of West Sixth Street, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon in the Jan. 17 death of his girlfriend, Lucinda White, 44.
King sat silently Wednesday, at times with his head in his hand, as Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set his bond at $500,000 cash during his initial appearance on those charges.
Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete said King chased White down on the night of Jan. 16 and shot her in the street, execution style.
“Mr. King basically hunted the victim down in a busy Downtown street,” Chiapete said in court.
King tried to shoot his girlfriend with one gun, Chiapete said. But “when that gun jammed up, he used the other gun to basically execute her.”
White’s death marks Racine’s first homicide of the year.
The Racine woman called one of her sisters at about 10:30 p.m. Jan. 16, saying she and her boyfriend “were getting into it,” according to the complaint. When White’s sister arrived at her home, in the 700 block of Villa Street, the residence was dark and White didn’t respond when she honked the horn. So she left.
But when police later arrived to check on White, officers found her lying in the middle of Sixth Street, suffering from a gunshot wound to her forehead, according to investigators. A witness reportedly told police that before they arrived, she heard two loud noises and a woman yelled “I (expletive) love you” before a man put a gun to the woman’s head and fired.
Autopsy results show White died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Assistant State Public Defender Ahmed Jenkins asked for “a reasonable cash bond” on Wednesday, saying King has worked at Racine Community Action for two years and has a degree in early childhood education.
Authorities extradited King back to Racine, and he only arrived at the Racine County Jail Tuesday morning, jail booking records show. Millersville, Tenn., is 531 miles from Racine.
White was shot near the 600 block of Sixth Street, according to Racine police. Officers responded at about 10:45 p.m. for reports of a person who was down and found White lying in the middle of the road — with the gunshot wound to her head and two in her arm, the complaint said.
She was pronounced dead the next day, at about 7:30 p.m., police have said.
King’s arrest in Tennessee came just a handful of hours before White died from her injuries, reports show.
King’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 7. Rudebusch ordered him to “have no contact whatsoever” with White’s family.
About a dozen people attended King’s initial appearance, but none wanted to comment after the hearing.
Chiapete said White’s domestic violence-related death is too familiar, similar to other recent cases.
“It’s obviously concerning to us that it’s another domestic violence-related homicide,” Chiapete said after the hearing. “We take these matters as seriously as any cases out there.”
But he said he couldn’t comment on whether police have ever been called to either of their homes for domestic-related incidents in the past.

Davidson County, NC: Sheriff says husband shot wife, then killed himself

Davidson County Sheriff David Grice said Monday that the deaths of a husband and wife found last week were the result of a murder-suicide.
Timothy Shane Benbow fatally shot his wife, Emily Benbow, then killed himself, Grice said.
The sheriff’s office had declined to classify the deaths as murder-suicide last week but had said investigators were not looking for any suspects.
Ray Woosley, Emily Benbow’s father, called 911 Tuesday after he had gone to the house. He had gotten a call from a day care center, saying that his 3-year-old granddaughter had not shown up.
He found his granddaughter watching television, and she told him, “Mom and Dad are asleep,” The Dispatch of Lexington reported.
According to a search warrant, Emily and Timothy Benbow were each found shot once. Investigators seized a semi-automatic handgun along with a magazine containing three live rounds and one live round found in the chamber. They also seized a prescription for alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The prescription was made out to Timothy Benbow.
Grice declined to comment further on the case. He would not say whether the couple’s daughter witnessed the fatal shootings. The couple’s daughter is in the custody of other family members.

Eastpointe, MI: Eastpointe business owner charged with murder in wife's death

An Eastpointe business owner has been charged with the murder of his wife who was found shot to death in their home during the weekend.
Anthony Webster, 45, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of second-degree murder and was ordered held on a $500,000 bond, according to 38th District Court in Eastpointe. He did not post bond and was expected to be remanded to the Macomb County Jail.
He pleaded not guilty during the arraignment. A preliminary examination is set for Feb. 5.
Christina Lazzana-Webster, 33, was found in her home in the 23000 block of David Avenue about 2 p.m. Saturday, after police received a call that they should check on her welfare. They found the side door unlocked. She was shot in the chest.
Her white 2000 Lexus RX 300 had been taken.
Webster and Lazzana-Webster owned Big Top Popcorn in the East Brooke Commons Plaza at Gratiot and 9 Mile. The couple and the shop were profiled in the Free Press in October because of the business' colorful popcorn treats.
Contact Christina

Miami, FL: Florida man kills wife after she refuses to cook hamburger: police

An irritable Florida man allegedly killed his wife with a kitchen knife after she refused to cook him a hamburger.
Bartolo Gelsomino, 78, provided a video-taped confession to the murder of Ana Gelsomino, 71, his wife of 52 years, before showing investigators where he disposed of the murder weapon and his bloodied clothes, according to the arrest affidavit.
The Sicily-born man, who primarily speaks Italian, was arrested 11 p.m. Jan. 21 after his daughter found Ana's body lying in a pool of blood inside the couple's Miami home, police said.

"That day it was a hamburger, another day it was eggs," their daughter, who wished to remain anonymous, told CBS Miami. "Another day the water was too cold or too hot. It didn't matter, anything that wasn't right or didn't feel right, he used it to control my mother."
The daughter hopes that justice will be served for her mother's sake but she refrained from specifying what punishment she would deem appropriate. No sentence will ease the pain of losing their beloved mother.
"She was my mother and my best friend and my confidante and I lived for her and I took care of her … She was a saint," the daughter said.
Ana lived through years of domestic violence and is now dead because of her silence, said the daughter, hoping that other victims will speak out against such abuse.
"I don't want my mother's death to go down in vain," she said. "Don't let it take you that long to see if you need help. Please reach out to someone if you need help."
The couple's son, likewise, told detectives that his father had a "history of domestic violence," reported The Miami Herald.
Gelsomino, who told police he wants to die, now faces second-degree murder charges as he awaits his Feb. 11 arraignment in Miami-Dade County Jail, police said.

Fort Worth, TX: Keller couple found dead in their home Sunday are identified

A Keller couple found dead Sunday at their home in what police say could be a murder-suicide have been identified as Ron and Susan Campbell, according to a relative and the Tarrant County medical examiner's website on Tuesday.
Susan Campbell, 66, died of a gunshot wound to the head, the medical examiner's office said.
The medical examiner's office has not released the name of her husband, but a relative identified him as Ronald Michael Campbell, 65. A ruling on his death is pending.
The medical examiner's office has not ruled on whether the couple's death was a murder-suicide.
Two large dogs also were found shot to death with the couple on the couple's bed, Keller police said.
Responding to a welfare check call, Keller police arrived at the home in the 1500 block of Chase Oaks Drive about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Officers found the home locked, but police forced their way in when they detected an odor.
Police said the man was lying in the bed with a gun and authorities also found a note. Authorities released no information on the note.
Based on evidence found at the scene, investigators say they believe the shooting may have happened 10 days earlier, on Jan. 17. A restaurant receipt dated Jan. 17 was discovered in the residence, police said.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

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Ontario, OR: Ontario, Oregon, woman sought in stabbing death

Authorities in Eastern Oregon are searching for an Ontario woman charged with manslaughter in the stabbing death of a man from Payette, Idaho.
Sheriff Brian Wolfe of Malheur County said Tuesday that investigators are checking out places linked to Ketra Savannah Siuce-Hale.
The Ontario Argus Observer reports the victim was identified as 26-year-old Mark Samuel Rogers.
Wolfe says Rogers and the suspect were living together and on Monday had "some kind of an argument out in the middle of the roadway." Wolfe says Rogers was stabbed with a sharp object.

Article: Domestic abuse highlighted at the state capitol

New numbers are out from the annual Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women Femicide Report and while they're down over the last few years, the numbers are not good: at least 18 Minnesotans lost their lives last year to domestic abuse. One of these murder victims was a man; three were friends or family members. The murders left 11 minor children without parents.
Those numbers do not include victims who were abused and survived.
The group held a press conference at the capitol Tuesday to highlight efforts to prevent more domestic violence deaths. Law enforcement officials from around the metro spoke along with victims advocates, calling for better intervention in domestic abuse situations. Here are a few cases from last year highlighted in the report:
-On Dec. 27, Lolitta Malone, 31 was murdered by an acquaintance, Honora Patterson, who was a frequent visitor to her home in north Minneapolis. While Lolitta was in bed, Patterson soaked her with gasoline and stabbed her several times. Lolitta is survived by her 26-year-old son. Patterson was charged with second degree murder and is awaiting trial.
-On Oct. 25, Tensia Richard, 22, was killed by her estranged husband, Chevel Richard. Tensia was attacked outside Anytime Fitness center in Cottage Grove, chased across the parking lot over to the Jimmy John's restaurant where she tried to signal for help. Once inside the restaurant, the employees ran and hid inside the freezer, leaving Tensia alone and helpless with her husband who then shot her to death. After killing his wife, Chevel then shot and killed himself. Chevel had a long history of domestic violence and in the past, Tensia had also taken a protective order against Chevel. Just two weeks before the incident, Tensia had separated from her husband and was in the process of filling for a divorce. Tensia is survived by the couple's two young sons.
-On Jan. 13, Vinessa Lozano, 18, had just finished a shift at the Pizza Ranch in Montevideo, when her co-worker, Darek Nelson, 24, stabbed her 30 times with a large hunting knife. She was brought to the hospital but died soon after. Vinessa had befriended Nelson after he started working at the pizza restaurant in 2011 but Nelson took her friendship to be something more, despite the fact that she had an 18-month old son and a fiancé. Just before the murder, Vinessa had refused Nelson's invitation to meet him at his mother's residence. A grand jury indicted Nelson on first-degree murder.
-On Feb. 20, Christopher Fulmer, 37, his girlfriend CF and her three daughters were asleep in Fulmer's house when CF's estranged husband, Brian Daniel Freeman, broke into the house armed with a hammer. Freeman injured CF's two teenage daughters, beat Fulmer to death with the hammer, and severely injured CF who was lying in the bed next to Fulmer. CF and her two daughters were badly hurt and Fulmer was killed.
The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women is calling on lawmakers to consider domestic violence in any public safety legislation they pass this session. They say coordinated efforts to target the most lethal perpetrators of domestic abuse, and to help abuse victims, has shown success. The group plans to rally in what it's calling an "Action Day to End Violence Against Women," at the state Capitol March 12.

Nassau, NY: Bitter arguing preceded murder-suicide, friends, family say

A couple argued bitterly over the wife's weight loss and socializing in the months before police say he shot her to death at their Elmont home, then turned the gun on himself, neighbors and family said Tuesday.
The couple, identified as attorney Karen Rodgers-Dennis, 46, and Audley Dennis, 58, were found dead early Monday evening in the home on Sussex Road, Nassau police said.
"She was basically really enjoying her life at the time and it didn't sit too pretty with him," said Audley's brother Ken Dennis. "I know she was just a lot more active after she lost the weight. . . . She was going out with the girls." He said it was "mostly 'girls night out.' "
Neighbor Simone Dolabaille, 35, a stay-at-home mom, said, "She was very heavy before. And in the past two years, lost a lot. It changed her life. She looked great." She said the effect of the weight loss on Rodgers-Dennis' social life appeared to be a point of contention.
On Monday afternoon, the youngest of their three children tried to get into the home, but he couldn't and went to a neighbor's house. Later, authorities responding to a report of a possible gas leak went inside and found the bodies with gunshot wounds. Rodgers-Dennis was shot in the upper torso and found in a bedroom; her husband was also found in a bedroom, shot in the chest, said Nassau Homicide Squad Det. Sgt. James Skopek. The case is being classified as a murder-suicide, said police spokesman Det. Vincent Garcia.
According to neighbors and family, the youngest child is a student at nearby Elmont Memorial High School; their older children are students at Williams College, in Massachusetts, and Villanova University, in Pennsylvania.
Skopek said the only other domestic incident involving the couple appears to be a 5-year-old case that didn't result in arrest.
Ken Dennis, 54, of St. Albans, Queens, said his older brother was frustrated over his wife'sFacebook posts and would complain that "she was having fun doing her thing."
"He was a little frustrated," he said. "Maybe he saw his world just breaking up in front of him and he couldn't take it."
Close friend Patrick O'Connor, 46, of Valley Stream, said he, the couple and others had gone out Friday night for a friend's 50th birthday. "They were great," he said, weeping.
But neighbors said the couple would argue -- loudly -- not only about the weight loss, but also their children, groceries and money.
Neighbor Dejon Nemorin said Rodgers-Dennis used to say hello when she'd pass him, but stopped. "I'd seen that she had stress on her face," Nemorin said. "I'd seen on her face that she was struggling."
With John Valenti

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Monitor Township, MI: Neighbors shocked over Bay County murder-suicide

MONITOR TOWNSHIP -- A Bay County man and his girlfriend are dead in what police are calling, a murder-suicide. Police found a weapon and suicide note at the crime scene.
"I guess I was shocked,” says Sandy Betzold. “I still don’t believe it.”
Neighbors is Monitor Township say they can't believe what happened in this home Wednesday night.
I can't believe it was a murder-suicide,” says Mickey Gowen.
The Bay County sheriff says Robert Burt, 52, shot and killed his girlfriend, Michelle Pischel, 48, before turning the gun on himself.
“I can't believe he did whatever they're saying he did," says Betzold.
Boone's Corner Store---next door to the crime scene---is closed. Burt was the manager of the shop owned by his mother. It seems everyone here knew him.
“Oh yea, I had his cell phone number in case anything went on. You know, so I could call him and let him know,” says Betzold.
“He was just a nice guy, you would've thought I knew the guy for years,” say Gowen. He always took time to talk to you. I would sit there and talk to him about the neighborhood,” she adds.
But something went terribly wrong at 1018 Midland Road Wednesday night. Police are still unsure of what led to the murder-suicide. Michelle Pischel's son found the two bodies.
“i'm still in shock, i can't believe he would murder his wife--or his girlfriend and then himself,” says Gowen.
Police are still analyzing the suicide note left behind and neighbors are trying to figure out why.
“it's just a hard thing to believe that this would happen,” says Gowen.
"I can't believe it, i still don't. Someone like that, i guess you never expect it,” says Andrew Hannan, a neighbor. “You always say you think you know people but i guess sometimes you don't.”

Tampa, FL: Tampa police dispatcher victim of apparent murder-suicide

For more than three years, Deanna Mendoza dealt with a stream of stressful calls as a dispatcher for the Tampa Police Department.
On Thursday, another dispatcher took a 911 call. The dispatcher didn’t know it at the time, but the call involved Mendoza.
The sheriff’s office said Mendoza was confronted by her armed, estranged husband outside his mother’s home, 8361 Galewood Circle in Tampa.
A neighbor heard gunshots at about 9 a.m. and ran to the driveway to find Mendoza slumped over in the front seat and her husband, Pedro Mendoza, slumped over in the back seat of her Hyundai Sonata, said Cristal Bermudez Nuñez, a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s spokeswoman.
Deanna Mendoza was the victim of a murder-suicide, the sheriff’s office said.
Tom Wolff, Tampa police communications manager and Deanna Mendoza’s supervisor, said the office staff is shaken over the news.
“We’re used to dealing with the calls coming in, meaning somebody on the outside, not somebody within our own family here at communications,’’ Wolff said.
Mendoza’s father, Lou Litus of Tampa, said his daughter never thought Pedro Mendoza would harm her. They had been married about two years, he said. She had filed for divorce in July, but he kept calling her, sometimes 10 to 20 times a day, he said.
“He’d sweet talk her into staying,” Litus said. “He never changed his ways.”
Litus said he’s in shock.
“You’re talking to her one day; next day there’s no more,” Litus said. “I don’t think it’s caught up with me yet.”
Sheriff’s detectives think Deanna Mendoza drove to the home, and at some point, Pedro Mendoza came out and the shooting occurred, Bermudez Nuñez said.
“It’s hard to tell if she was just arriving or trying to leave,” said Bermudez Nuñez.
She was a professional at work who came to the office in good spirits and with a smile, Wolff said. She handled 911 calls, dispatch calls and trained new employees.
She started working for Tampa police in October 2009 as a communications technician I and had been promoted to communications technician III. Mendoza was the agency’s employee of the month in January 2012 and was acknowledged for her ability to remain calm and upbeat during emergency situations.
She had three children; Pedro Mendoza had four.
Pedro Mendoza, 42, had a criminal history and had been in prison several times, according to Florida Department of Corrections records.

Laveen, AZ: Police: Laveen deaths were murder-suicide

It was a murder-suicide that took the lives of two people in a Laveen area home early Thursday, authorities have determined.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Joaquin Enriquez said in a statement that Mario Ramirez, 41, shot Teresa Beltran, 38, then proceeded to fire deputies before turning his .44 caliber handgun on himself.
Deputies had arrived at a large rural property near 65th Drive and Southern Avenue after a woman caller reported shots fired at about 5 a.m.
The caller said she heard shots coming from the home where her son lives on the same piece of land, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Someone from inside the house fired two shots when deputies arrived at the location.
Deputies called for back up, and the SWAT team arrived. Someone continued to fire shots.
“Over 20 rounds were fired during the entire incident,” Enriquez said. “It is believed this tragic event was domestic violence related.”
Deputies threw a flash grenade into the home at approximately 7:20 a.m. They eventually approached the home and found Ramirez’s and Beltran’s bodies.

Madison, WI: Murder-suicide stuns family of SLU grad

MADISON, Wisc. - Jennifer Boyce and Bernard Grosso were to have been in court on Friday to officially end their marriage. Instead, their lives ended before they ever got to the courthouse as a result of what Madison police categorized as a domestic-related murder-suicide.
Police discovered the body of Boyce, 31, a former St. Louisan, Thursday morning at her apartment in Madison. That led police to look at her estranged husband, Grosso, 34, who was found dead Thursday night of an apparent gunshot wound when police searched his home.
The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office said Friday night that Boyce's death was the result of injuries from an edged weapon. Additional testing is under way.
"Certainly, we can speculate that this pending divorce hearing may have played a part in the motive," Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said. "But we'll never know that for sure."
Boyce and Grosso, who were married in 2008 in St. Louis, had filed for divorce last March. She moved into her apartment in July.
DeSpain said the couple had no record of domestic violence.
Boyce's stepmother, Dixie Boyce, 68, of Ballwin, Mo., said there was no indication of physical violence in their relationship. She said Grosso "had hurt her very badly psychologically" before she left him, but "Jennifer said that he wouldn't hurt her."
Boyce, an only child, was very close to her father, Donald, 69, according to Dixie Boyce. Jennifer Boyce's mother died of cancer when she was 13. Her father married her step-mother when she was 17.
Jennifer Boyce was in Ballwin for the holidays and went back to Madison on New Year's Day.
Boyce said she and her husband were in disbelief when they received news of her death.
"We were quite shocked," she said softly. "She was loyal, funny and she was smart."
Jennifer Boyce attended St. Joseph Academy and received her undergraduate degree Truman State in Kirksville. She went on to St. Louis University for a master's in epidemiology and was offered a grant from the CDC and placed in Madison, Dixie Boyce said. She was later hired by the Wisconsin public health department.
Boyce said her step-daughter met her husband at Lake of the Ozarks. His sister and brother-in-law live in O'Fallon, Mo. He later found a job in Madison and they were married.
"All of the (divorce) details were settled and they were to go court on Friday," she said. "it seems he broke into her apartment early Wednesday and killed her. We just heard that he went to work afterward and was there part of the day then shot himself."
Boyce said the family plans to bring her step-daughter's body back to St. Louis this week. Funeral arrangements are pending.

'We're all in shock'

Boyce was an epidemiologist with the department of public health.
"This is a tragic loss of a wonderfully talented and kind individual," the department said in a statement Friday afternoon. "Jennifer was loved dearly by everyone she worked with and our thoughts and prayers go with her and her family. Though she will be greatly missed, she left us with the best possible memories, which we will continue to cherish."
Gov. Scott Walker's office also released a statement of condolences about Boyce's death.
Boyce was an avid participant in endurance sports and competed in her first Ironman Wisconsin in 2011 because it fell on her 30th birthday on Sept. 11 of that year.
She also worked part-time at Endurance House since the triathlete specialty store opened its East Side location last January.
"Jenny was a very active person," said Kyle Larson, who owns Endurance House East along with his wife, Michelle. "She was a very friendly person who always had time for people.
"We're still trying to come to grips with it. I don't know that we will ever fully understand it. We're all in shock and can't believe that it happened."
If Boyce was feeling any particular anxiety in advance of her divorce becoming final, she never showed it around her Endurance House co-workers. "We knew that she was separated, but we didn't know that anything was troubling her," Larson said.
Grosso, a graduate of the University of Illinois, was an analytical chemist at Virent, a Madison-based company that creates fuel from renewable resources. A Virent spokeswoman would only confirm that he worked there, but according to his profile on social networking site LinkedIn, he had been with the company since September 2007.
He also listed experience as a marine science technician with the Coast Guard from 2002 to 2007.

Details emerge

DeSpain said Boyce apparently was killed early Wednesday morning from multiple injuries. He declined to elaborate on the nature of her injuries.
Police were not alerted until the next day when someone from management at her apartment at Prairie Stone Commons, 6809 Milwaukee St., reported a glass door had been broken.
When police began to attempt to make contact with Grosso, they became aware there were firearms inside the residence on Atwood Avenue, DeSpain said. Police obtained a search warrant and brought in the SWAT team and a robot from the Dane County Bomb Squad to begin a methodical approach to the house.
Once they were inside, Grosso was found dead with a shotgun nearby. Investigators were still trying to determine when he apparently killed himself.
Police also recovered a loaded assault rifle, DeSpain said, adding there was nothing on Grosso's record that would preclude him from owning firearms.

Article: Murder-suicide disturbing trend among the elderly

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Golden years? Not every senior citizen thinks so.
Murder-suicide is occurring with alarming frequency among the elderly. This week a 93-year-old man reportedly stabbed his 95-year-old wife to death early Wednesday morning in their south Kansas City, Mo. home. Then he tried to stab himself in the chest, but failed to kill himself and woke up in the hospital.
Harry Irwin told a paramedic, “Yes, I killed her. And then killed myself. Why am I still awake?”

This did not appear to be a mercy killing, intended to relieve pain and suffering. Irwin told a nurse his wife, Grace Irwin, had been “arguing and screaming at him all night,” and he couldn’t take it anymore.
The couple’s 70th wedding anniversary was last month. They have seven children who live in the area.
The Jackson County prosecutor has charged Harry Irwin with second-degree murder. “No victim deserves someone else deciding when they will die,” Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement released to the media.
The Kansas City murder-attempted suicide is hardly an isolated incident.
Two weeks ago Roy Boldt, 81, visited his wife at a Tequesta, Fla. nursing home. He shot and killed 75-year-old Virginia Boldt and then turned the gun on himself. Family members told a reporter the couple had known each other since she was 5 and he was 12-years-old.
In October James Stanton, 75, shot his wife, Patricia Stanton, 68, during a visit to the Jacksonville, Fla. inpatient rehabilitation facility where she had been admitted after suffering injuries from a fall. She survived the murder attempt, but he died after shooting himself at the scene.
Earlier this year in the Washington, D.C. area, Charles D. Snelling killed his wife and then himself a week after their 61st wedding anniversary. Snelling, who’d written an essay for The New York Times on the love story he shared with his wife, had once chaired  the authority overseeing Reagan and Dulles airports and the construction of Metro’s new $6 billion Silver Line. Adrienne Snelling, a fine arts photographer, had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for years, and her condition had deteriorated.

Adrienne explained, in a letter written three years earlier to the couple’s children, “We are both in agreement that neither one of us wants to live after all reasonable hope for a good life is over.”
“Might more support have made a difference? Or did he just not want to go on without her?” wrote Paula Spencer Scott on about the Snellings.
Murder-suicides among people 55 and older have increased from 21 percent in 2002 to 25 percent in 2011 of the total murder-suicides in the United States, according to the Violence Policy Center.
A murder-suicide involving an elderly couple occurs about every two weeks in Florida, Donna Cohen, a professor at the University of South Florida, told the Kansas City Star. The author of several scholarly research articles on the topic, Cohen estimates that 20 older Americans die each week as the result of murder-suicide.
The typical case? A depressed, controlling husband who shoots his ailing wife — without her permission, according to Cohen. For most, this isn’t the romanticized Romeo and Juliet suicide pact with the couple agreeing on the time and place to ride off into the sunset together.
Although the Snellings might have agreed to end it together, the majority of murder-suicides among older couples are not suicide pacts, reports Sonia Salari, a sociologist at the University of Utah. Salari analyzed data from 225 murder-suicides in which one member was age 60 or older.
Experts say depression, exhaustion and isolation all play a role; often, it’s men who are thrust into the unfamiliar role of caregiver. They may suffer from undiagnosed clinical depression. And if they learn their own health problems put them at risk of dying before their spouses, they may believe that no one else can take care of their wives as well as they can.
And they don’t bother asking their wives for permission; in fact, the spouse is often unaware of the plan — and probably wouldn’t agree to it.
Grace Irwin’s brother, Salvatore Privitera, told the Kansas City Star, “My sister was very much interested in living,” he said. “She was very content.”

Owasso, OK: McNeely charged with murder in husband's death

Tulsa County prosecutors Wednesday, Jan. 23, charged an Owasso-area woman with first-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 11 death of her husband.


Rouzerville, PA: Police: Rouzerville man killed wife, self

Police believe a former police officer shot and killed his wife and injured her 18-year-old son before killing himself Tuesday night in Franklin County.
State police said their preliminary investigation determined 45-year-old Cathy Fleagle and 50-year-old John Fleagle died in an apparent homicide-suicide.
Trooper Rob Hicks said John Fleagle apparently shot and killed his wife in their Rouzerville home with a handgun and then shot her son, 18-year-old Mitchell Robinson, in the arm.  John Fleagle then shot and killed himself, Hicks said.
Police said Robinson was able to call 911 for help following the shooting.
The motive for the shootings currently is unknown.  Police said they will interview Robinson as a part of their investigation.
"Obviously having a witness in this situation is going to help us get the facts and be able to solve this crime," Hicks said.
State police were called to the couple's home in the 13000 block of Mar Pen Avenue at around 5 p.m.
Hicks said the incident occurred in the jurisdiction of the Washington Township Police Department, but state police are handling the investigation because both John and Cathy Fleagle had an affiliation with the township police department.
Cathy Fleagle was an office administrator for the police department and John Fleagle was a former police officer for the township.

Las Vegas, NV: Police: Las Vegas officer kills wife, son and then himself in burning home

(CNN) -- Even for stone-faced, seen-it-all-before officers, the act that took place at a police lieutenant's Las Vegas-area home Monday was deeply distressing.
The 52-year-old lawman, police said, killed his wife and child, called 911 to say he was burning his house down and warned he would take the life of anyone who tried to stop him.
Then he waited.
When a SWAT team arrived at the lieutenant's Boulder City home, they found Hans Pieter Walters outside with what looked like a handgun.
Officers asked him to drop the weapon -- commands the lieutenant must have screamed many times before in his 20-year career. He ignored them and ducked back into the blazing home.
It was then, police believe, that he killed himself.
Once firefighters put out the blaze that tore through the home, they found Walters's body, his 46-year-old wife's, and their five-year-old son's.
The lieutenant worked for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where he supervised patrol officers, CNN affiliate KVVU reported.
The station had interviewed him before about other crimes.
The wife, Kathryn, worked for some time as a Las Vegas police officer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal said.
She won a community service award and a lifesaving award before leaving the department in 2004.
"Anyone involved with law enforcement for any amount of time is usually prepared for any scenario, but nobody can prepare for something like this," Las Vegas Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie told reporters.
Last year, 126 police officers killed themselves, according to the National Study of Police Suicides by the nonprofit The Badge of Life.
It's a steep drop from the other two years the survey was conducted: 143 in 2009 and 141 in 2008.
Yet, it's cause for concern.
"In spite of this encouraging news, the fact is that police suicides continue at a rate much higher than the number of police officers killed by felons," the group said.
Folks who knew Walters were also trying to make sense of it. The soul-searching was agonizing for some.
Retired Las Vegas lieutenant Randy Sutton told KVVU he had worked alongside Walters for years.
"There's no rhyme or reason," Sutton said, saying the lieutenant was hard-working and seemed well-adjusted.
This is "the most unconscionable, dishonorable thing to do I can ever imagine," he added.
"The memories I have of him, they mean nothing to me anymore."

Kansas City, MO: Elderly Kansas City man charged with killing his wife in attempted murder-suicide Read more:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 93-year-old Kansas City man has been charged with killing his 95-year-old wife in what investigators are calling a homicide and attempted suicide.
The Jackson County prosecutor filed the second-degree murder charge Wednesday against Harry Irwin, who remained hospitalized with self-inflicted stab wounds in his chest.
Police have not said how Grace Irwin died. Paramedics who were called to the couple's home around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday found her in bed, with blood on her head.
A paramedic told police Harry Irwin was unresponsive in a chair, with blood on his shirt and arms. The paramedic says Irwin regained consciousness and said he had killed his wife and himself, then asked, "Why am I awake?"

Neighbors said the wife had been in poor health. The couple's children and grandchildren visited them often.

Hazelton, PA: Ex-boyfriend charged in Hazleton woman’s strangulation death

HAZLETON – City police on Tuesday charged the ex-boyfriend of a Hazleton woman in connection with her December strangulation death, but the suspect remains at large, most likely in Mexico.
Oscar Lozano Garcia, 35, with a last-known address of 343 E. Diamond Ave., Hazleton, has been charged with an open count of criminal homicide, Police Chief Frank DeAndrea said at a press conference at City Hall.
Police have been trying to locate Lozano Garcia since Dec. 18 – the day they discovered the body of 32-year-old Maria Brea in the apartment she had once shared with her alleged assailant. Brea recently had ended a relationship with him, police had said, and sought him for questioning; no suspect was named.
After obtaining a search warrant on Dec. 18, police found Brea’s body in the attic of her apartment. Her body had been bound with tape, wrapped in plastic and bound with tape again. The door to the attic had been padlocked with Lozano Garcia’s padlock and the seam to the door sealed with tape, police said.
Six latent fingerprints found on the tape binding Brea’s body were analyzed and compared with a fingerprint card for Lozano Garcia obtained from the Department of Homeland Security. All six prints matched, authorities said.
Luzerne County Acting Coroner Bill Lisman determined the cause of her death to be asphyxiation due to strangulation.
Detective Lt. Ken Zipovsky on Tuesday said he was confident Lozano Garcia is not in Pennsylvania.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that Lozano Garcia entered Mexico on Dec. 17, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint.

Talked to sister Dec. 14

Family members last spoke to Brea, 32, on Dec. 14, the same day she failed to pick up her children from school and her family reported her missing to police.
According to the affidavit: Brea’s sister, Wendy Rodriguez, told police she spoke with Brea at about 1:30 p.m. that day and that Brea was at home in her pajamas cooking food. Brea had told Rodriguez she had just broken up with Lozano Garcia and was surprised at how well he had taken the news. That was the last time the sisters spoke.
Rodriguez then received a call from the Hazleton Area School District at about 3:35 p.m. notifying her that Brea had not picked up her two children. She could not reach Brea by cellphone, so she picked up the children and took them to Brea’s apartment.
Rodriguez opened the door and found food on the stove, music playing and lights on, but no sign of Brea. Brea’s daughter called Lozano Garcia’s cellphone and no one answered.
Lozano Garcia eventually called Brea’s daughter back and, when asked where Brea was, replied, “I left her in the house. Maybe she went shopping.” Rodriguez and Brea’s children left around 4:30 p.m. and Rodriguez returned at about 5:30 p.m. with Rodriguez’s sister, Wendy DeJesus, Brea’s daughter and another woman, Aura Santiago.
Lozano Garcia returned a call to Santiago at about 10 p.m., said he had been at work, tried to reach Brea all day by phone and that he would be at the apartment within an hour. She waited until 2 a.m.; he never came.

Affidavit: Suspect left town

Police said Brea’s and Lozano Garcia’s cellphone records showed Lozano Garcia had not called Brea that afternoon. The records also showed that the pair’s cellphones were interacting with cell towers in the same geographical area in the same stretch of time after Rodriguez’s last contact with Brea.
According to a neighbor, Lozano Garcia was in the apartment with Brea at 1:45 p.m. Dec. 14 and was still there when the neighbor left for work at about 2:15 p.m.
Lozano Garcia’s managers and co-workers told police Lozano picked up his paycheck at 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and told them he would not be returning to work and that he was going back to Mexico because he had a fight with his girlfriend and police were looking for him. Four of them said they saw scratches on his face and arms, according to the affidavit.
They also said he had not worked that day. Lozano Garcia’s supervisor told police Lozano Garcia might be going to Mexico with co-worker Juan Cervantes.
District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said investigators met with Brea’s family members Tuesday and updated them on the case. “Of course, they’re still devastated over this,” she said. “They lost a loved one, and our hearts go out to them.”
Lozano Garcia might be driving a red-and-black Chevrolet pickup with a Pennsylvania license plate YYF-5939. He is described as Hispanic, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 165 pounds with black hair.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911.

Lake Charles, LA: Dog killed in violent domestic dispute in Louisiana

A 24-year-old Lake Charles, La. man has been arrested for allegedly attacking his girlfriend and killing her dog.
According to Tuesday's KATC News, a violent domestic dispute took place between Sean L. Collett, and his girlfriend, who was not named.
According to a press release from theCalcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, an argument between the couple turned violent on Jan. 18, when Collett began to physically attack his girlfriend, and later, her dog.
The victim advised the authorities that she had been dragged, choked and hit in the jaw and back.
The victim also informed the deputies that her dog began to bark at Collett when she was being attacked.
According to the victimized girlfriend, Collett turned his rage towards the barking dog, who was was repeatedly slammed against the wall. The dog did not survive the vicious attack.
Collett's girlfriend was taken to a hospital to be treated for her injuries and she was later released.
Collett was arrested on charges of 2nd degree battery and aggravated animal cruelty.
The judge set Collett's bond at $30,000.

Wesley Hills, NY: Wesley Hills man, 66, killed girlfriend, 68, cops say

A 66-year-old Wesley Hills man is facing a murder charge for the killing of his 68-year-old girlfriend early Friday morning inside the couple's Grandview Avenue home, Ramapo police said.
Riad Dib was due in Ramapo Town Court Friday afternoon to face a charge of second-degree murder, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in prison upon conviction.
Police responding to the home at 171 Grandview Ave. about 12:45 a.m. found Cecile Garbarino dead on the bedroom floor, authorities said. Dib was taken into custody at the scene.
Police were summoned to the home by a 911 call.
The couple lived together but were not married, according to a news release from Ramapo police.
Wesley Hills Mayor David Goldsmith said he did not know the victim or suspect but he had been informed by police of the alleged crime before dawn Friday morning, according to News 12.
"It's tragic. It's a terrible thing," Goldsmith said. "Obviously bad things happen and we don't know much of the details of what was going on but there isn't a good reason for something like this."
Dib was arraigned Friday afternoon before Ramapo Town Justice Rhoda Schoenberger and ordered held without bail at the Rockland County Jail. No information on an attorney for Dib was available Friday afternoon.

St. Louis, MO: Police: Stalker killed Dogtown woman, injured her boyfriend

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – St. Louis police say a stalker was responsible for killing a woman in the city’s Dogtown neighborhood and critically injuring her boyfriend.
Tequila Sandford, a nurse, was shot to death outside of her condo in the 6600 block of Oakland Ave. on Dec. 27.
Her current boyfriend was shot in the head but survived. He was taken to an area hospital, where he was initially listed in critical condition, but survived.
The suspect is in custody but not yet charged.
Police allege the suspect, a former boyfriend who was the father of Sandford’s child, called Sandford about 150 times in the 12 hours before she was killed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Barton County, KS: Two Dead in Barton County Murder / Suicide

The Barton County Sheriff's office says a couple died in an apparent murder-suicide at their rural home.
Sheriff Brian Bellendir says in a news release that the bodies of 35-year-old Justin Heggemeier and 39-year-old Michelle Heggemeier were found Tuesday night at a farm northeast of Hoisington.
Officers went to the house after a juvenile called to say shots had been fired at the home.
Bellinder says it appears Justin Heggemeier shot his wife at close range and then killed himself. The juvenile apparently hid in the closet and was not injured.