Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Columbus, OH: Man who killed his girlfriend gets 18 years

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 2:51 AM

Woman killed on North Side (Oct. 7, 2009)
A North Side man is to spend the next 18 years in prison for shooting and killing his girlfriend in October.

Judge Julie M. Lynch sentenced Ronald B. Williams, 28, in Franklin County Common Pleas Court yesterday for killing Chaunta' Serrano, 21, in her apartment at 4286 Dresden St.

"I don't know what type of man would do such a horrific act," Serrano's father, Melendez Carter, said in court. "He is not human. He is a heartless monster."

Williams, formerly of Vesta Avenue, pleaded guilty March 8 to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter. He had been charged with murder.

He was sentenced to 10years for voluntary manslaughter, five years for having a weapon after a drug conviction and three years for using a gun. The sentences will be served consecutively, Lynch ruled.

Williams shot Serrano in the head after an argument on Oct. 7. Her father said Serrano had decided to break up with Williams because he had been cheating on her. That's what the couple was arguing about, he said.

Serrano lived in the North Side apartment with her three young children and an aunt. Williams is not the father of the children.

Court records show that Williams had pleaded guilty in recent years to drug, gun and stolen-property charges.

Niagara Falls, NY: Falls man gets 12 years for killing his ex-wife

By Nancy A. Fischer

LOCKPORT — A Niagara Falls man forced to back away from his story that he killed his ex-wife accidentally last year while engaging in gunplay during sex was sentenced Tuesday to spend 12 years in state prison.

John A. Polley, 67, shot Julia Polley in the head while the two were in his bed together Jan. 11, 2009.

His ex-wife was 52.

More than 20 of her friends and family members were in Niagara County Court for the sentencing, including her older brother, Charles McGill, of Youngstown, who served as a family spokesman in the courtroom.

"For the past 15 months we've had to read in the papers and listen to John claim how his cowardly act ... resulted in Julie's death from a day of drinking and gun play gone wrong. We don't believe for one moment that [his] fabricated story contains a shred of truth. Anyone who knows Julie also knew her genuine fear and dislike of guns of any kind.

"Don't even try to get us to believe that she would try to play with a loaded firearm."

John Polley told police after the shooting that he and his ex-wife had spent the day drinking at an American Legion post and veterans post in the Falls, then went to his 78th Street home together.

He said his .44-caliber pistol accidentally went off while the two were engaged in a sex act, and he also told police the former couple was planning to get back together after six and a half years apart.

When he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Dec. 23, he had to accept responsibility for the shooting and admit it was an intentional act.

His ex-wife's family members, both inside the courtroom and after sentencing, disputed the idea the Polleys were close to a complete reconciliation, although the family did say the former couple occasionally spent time together.

In court, McGill spoke of history of domestic violence that his sister never reported to police.

"For some unknown reason," he told John Polley, "she always let you back into her life."

Outside court, McGill and his brother Rod, of Lewiston, told The Buffalo News they were unhappy with the 12-year sentence, but agreed that the outcome of a trial would have been uncertain.

John Polley originally was charged with second-degree murder and could have faced 25 years in prison had he been convicted on that charge.

He was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, an indictment his defense lawyer called contradictory.

Second-degree murder is intentional killing; second-degree manslaughter is defined as recklessly causing a death.

The first-degree manslaughter plea bargain forced Polley to admit he intentionally killed his former wife.

Assistant District Attorney Timothy Lundquist said the quality of evidence in a case like this makes it difficult.

"No one is ever happy," the prosecutor said, "but there are limitations of proof and we have to dispense it the best we can based on the circumstances."

John Polley did not speak in court when asked by County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza for a comment, but his attorney, Joseph M. LaTona, did.

LaTona said during the year he has worked with Polley, his client has expressed deep regrets and called Julia Polley a "wonderful, admirable woman."

In addition to the 12-year state prison term, Sperrazza also sentenced Polly to five years of post-release supervision.

"No amount of time is going to be enough to pay for what you have done," Charles McGill told his former brother-in-law before sentencing. "No, your ultimate punishment has yet to be determined. Your final fate is in the hands of God. May he have mercy on your soul."

Washington, DC: Boyfriend convicted of murder in '99 disappearance of D.C. woman

By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 31, 2010; B01

For the seven years that Yolanda Baker and Terrence Barnett dated, Baker's family watched a once loving relationship grow increasingly violent.

Baker would show up at family functions with bruises and bald patches on her head from having her hair pulled out. She took out a restraining order against Barnett but began seeing him again after a little more than a year. Baker also sought child support from Barnett on behalf of their then-5-year-old-twins, a boy and girl.

Then, after the two had seemingly made amends, Baker went missing from her Northeast Washington home Aug. 1, 1999. She has not been seen since. Authorities declared her dead last year and charged Barnett with killing her.

After Baker disappeared, her family members spent years trying to find answers, closure and accountability in the death of the woman they had nicknamed Princess.

On Tuesday, after three days of deliberating, a D.C. Superior Court jury found Barnett, 45, guilty of second-degree murder. He was charged with first-degree murder, but the jury was unable to determine during the three-week trial that there was enough evidence that he planned to kill Baker.

As the jury foreman announced the verdict, Barnett bowed and shook his head slightly. Cold-case detectives sitting in the back row of the courtroom fist-pounded each other and smiled. Members of Baker's family, who filled up three rows of one side of the courtroom, and members of Barnett's family, sitting on the other side, broke into tears.

"All these years, it's over," cried Andrea Flemmings, one of Baker's sisters.

"We are very pleased. Thank God for this justice," said Deon Haynes-Parker, another of Baker's sisters, as family members gathered outside the courtroom. Baker's twins, now teenagers, are being raised by her family.

Baker's brother-in-law Leroy Flemmings said that although his family mourns for Baker, they are also concerned about the twins.

"I'm glad the kids can now have some closure," Flemmings said. "They lost their mom and their dad the moment this happened."

Cold cases are challenging to prosecute, but murder cases in which a body is not found are even more difficult. This was only the fourth case without a body that the District's U.S. attorney's office has tried since the 1980s, officials said.

Lawyers, law students and trial watchers visited the courtroom during the trial to watch Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines square off against criminal defense lawyer Nikki Lotze.

Lotze insisted that Barnett was innocent, telling the jury that there was no evidence of Baker's death and no eyewitnesses linking Barnett to Baker's disappearance or death.

In her nearly 90-minute closing argument last week, Lotze reminded the jury that police questioned Barnett just days after Baker was reported missing and released him.

Baker's car was found blocks from her house days after she disappeared and after two other men had been seen driving the car around the District. Lotze dismissed as "cockamamie" the story that one of Baker's sisters saw Barnett hours after Baker had gone missing, standing on the 14th Street Bridge outside Baker's car and pulling a large plastic bag from the trunk.

Lotze called the case a "witch hunt" based primarily on Barnett and Baker's volatile relationship.

In her hour-long close, Haines suggested to the jury that a history of abuse could be used as a motive in a slaying in domestic cases.

Haines said Barnett killed Baker in the bedroom of the house they shared, cleaned the room with bleach, and ripped the bloodstained carpet up and got rid of it. Haines said Baker then "chopped up her body," put it in the trunk of her car and disposed of it. "Her car is her gravesite," she said.

During the trial, Haines called about 30 witnesses, including family members, court officials, prosecutors and police officers. All testified about the abusive relationship and Baker's efforts to seek help from police and the courts.

Prosecutors had sought first-degree murder charges, but Glenn L. Kirschner, head of the homicide unit for the District's U.S. attorney's office, said that securing first-degree convictions in domestic violence cases is difficult because, in most cases, such slayings are "spur of the moment" rather than planned.

Haines was assigned to the case last year. After the verdict, Baker's family showered her with hugs. "The jury gave this family the closure they have been seeking for the past 10 years," Haines said.

Barnett is scheduled to be sentenced June 18 by Judge Michael L. Rankin.

Post a Comment

Escondido, CA: Escondido officer kills man who opened door armed with shotgun

Associated Press
Posted: 03/30/2010 02:44:06 PM PDT
Updated: 03/30/2010 02:44:08 PM PDT

ESCONDIDO — Police in Escondido have shot and killed a man they say answered the door while holding a shotgun.
The 25-year-old man died at the scene early Tuesday. His name wasn't immediately released.
Police Lt. Bob Benton says officers went to a duplex at about 3 a.m. todaybecause of a report that a man and woman were having a heated argument.
Benton says a man who answered the door had a shotgun in his hands. An officer fired several shots, killing him.
Police didn't immediately say whether the man pointed the shotgun at the officer.
No officers were hurt.

Darien, IL: Ex-boyfriend indicted in Darien murders

Daily Herald Staff Report
Published: 3/30/2010 5:08 PM | Updated: 3/30/2010 5:09 PM
A DuPage County grand jury on Tuesday indicted the ex-boyfriend of a woman whose parents and brother were killed March 2 in their Darien home.

Johnny Borizov, 28, of Willow Springs, will be arraigned Friday on a 26-count felony indictment alleging murder, conspiracy and solicitation. The alleged shooter, Jacob Nodarse, 24, of Countryside, has not been indicted yet. He also is accused of murder. Prosecutors said Borizov convinced Nodarse to carry out a plan to kill members of Angela Kramer's family as the former couple battled over custody of their infant son.

She survived after hiding in a closet, but her parents and younger brother were fatally shot.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Alfred, ME: Maine man charged with wife’s murder

Says shooting was an accident
By Associated Press | March 30, 2010
ALFRED, Maine — A Limington man accused of domestic abuse told police he accidentally shot his wife in the head, hid her body in a freezer, and moved the body to his parents’ property miles away. Prosecutors say the shooting was the culmination of an abusive relationship.

Patrick Dapolito entered no plea yesterday during his initial appearance in York County Superior Court, where he was charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife, Kelly Winslow-Dapolito, on March 16 at their home.

Dapolito, 39, told police that his handgun went off accidentally while he and his 30-year-old wife were sleeping on a bathroom floor after he had gone on a cocaine binge and she had taken the prescription painkiller Oxycontin, according to a state police affidavit.

Prosecutors allege the shooting was the latest episode of domestic violence in the couple’s nearly six-month marriage. The two argued every day, and he had previously beaten her with a pool stick and burned the top of her hand with a cigarette, according to the affidavit.

“Frankly, we don’t believe this was an accident,’’ said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese.

Police were notified of Winslow-Dapolito’s death on March 18 when they received a call from Dapolito’s attorney, David Sanders, who said Dapolito had accidentally killed his wife two days earlier.

Dapolito was charged Saturday after turning himself in to police and is being held at York County Jail.

Sanders said yesterday he had no comment on the case.

The affidavit describes how Dapolito wrapped his wife’s body in a blanket and plastic and put it in a basement freezer so his 13-year-old daughter wouldn’t see it when she returned home from school.

Dapolito later took the body in his older brother’s pickup truck to Upton, where he left it under a blue tarp at his parents’ home in western Maine about 80 miles from his house. His parents were in Florida at the time.

“Dapolito said he spent the next several minutes talking to Kelly Winslow telling her he would be back to get her in a few days,’’ the affidavit said. “He stated he also prayed and cried during this time.’’

When police found Winslow-Dapolito’s body, a pair of handcuffs was attached to one of her wrists. Dapolito told police his wife liked to be handcuffed to him at night in bed because she felt more secure.

Winslow-Dapolito’s 14-year-old daughter later told detectives that Dapolito was abusive toward her and her mother, and that her mother wanted to leave Dapolito but was scared of him, according to the affidavit.

Police attempted to serve Dapolito a protection-from-abuse order on behalf of Winslow-Dapolito’s daughter the day after the shooting, but Dapolito wasn’t home, the affidavit says.

Charlotte, NC: 2 Adults, 2 Children Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide

Posted: 5:15 am EDT March 30,2010
Updated: 5:27 am EDT March 30,2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide in south Charlotte. They said four people are dead and two of them are young children.
Police were called to the Berkshire Apartments on Providence Square Drive late Monday night, where a man allegedly committed suicide.
Police said they heard two gunshots, and then two children ran out of the apartment unharmed. When police entered the apartment, they said they found the man dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police searched the apartment and found two other children dead. Police said it appeared those children had died several days ago. One child was 12-years-old and the other was a 1-year-old.
Police found the man’s wife dead in another nearby apartment. They said the woman had also been dead for days.
Police haven’t released the victims’ names or how they died.

Ocala, FL: New details emerge in suspected murder-suicide of two area women

Report: Couple were found side by side in bed with one woman cradling revolver.

By Joe Callahan
Staff writer

Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 6:30 a.m.
The two women who were found dead Saturday in their southwest Ocala home had spent the previous night together drinking and dancing at a local pub, according to a report made available on Monday.

The report also said that the bodies of Donna Marie Groves and Wendy White Kucia were found lying side by side in bed. Kucia, 51, cradled a .38-caliber snub-nosed revolver while Groves, 43, had an aluminum takeout food container on her chest.

Each woman, described in the report and by friends as lovers, died of single gunshot wounds in what appears to be a murder-suicide, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office report.

It was 1:48 p.m. Saturday when Groves' stepfather, Jerry J. Deming, found the bodies at the Ocala home they shared, 7707 S.W. 81st St., in the Hibiscus Park subdivision off State Road 200.

Marion sheriff's spokesman Judge Cochran said detectives are awaiting autopsy results before issuing the official cause of deaths.

They are also awaiting results of ballistics tests to determine whether the gun found on Kucia's chest was in fact the weapon used in the shootings.

Michelle Everard, 39, who spent Friday night with the couple at Our Place Saloon, said her friends did not appear to be having any major relationship problems.

Everard, who doesn't drink, was the designated driver that night. She drove Kucia's car and dropped the women off at home at about 1 a.m. Saturday, she said Monday.

The couple told Everard to keep the car so that she could run errands Saturday morning. She was at Walmart when she received a call from detectives.

"I guess I was the last person to see them alive," said Everard, adding the couple had been dating for 12 years.

Groves and Kucia worked as a team in long-distance trucking. Groves was a U.S. Army veteran who served in the first Iraq war.

Groves' family members were too distraught to talk to the Star-Banner on Saturday.

However, they released a written statement about Groves.

It states that Groves was a former teacher at North Marion Middle School before joining the Army. She decided to "beat the recession by getting her CDL license," delivering goods from coast to coast.

The statement ended by saying, "She was the best friend, sister, and daughter anyone could ever pray for. We're going to miss our best friend."

Austin Miller contributed to this report. Contact Joe Callahan at

San Mateo, CA: Retrial due in slaying of ex-Raider's daughter

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

(03-29) 14:46 PDT SAN MATEO -- San Mateo County will retry the admitted killer of former football star Fred Biletnikoff's daughter for murder after losing a U.S. Supreme Court appeal over the removal of a juror at his first trial, a prosecutor said Monday.

The high court denied review Monday of a prosecution appeal of a July 2009 ruling that overturned Mohammed Haroun Ali's murder conviction for strangling Tracey Biletnikoff in 1999.

Biletnikoff, whose father was a Hall of Fame receiver for the Oakland Raiders, met Ali in 1997 at Project 90, a San Mateo drug and alcohol rehabilitation program where both were being treated. They started dating a year later while recovering from their addictions and helping younger patients.

According to trial testimony, Biletnikoff, 20, found out in February 1999 that Ali had relapsed into drug use and tried to get him back into treatment. They argued at the Project 90 office, where he was working, and he strangled her there with his hands and a T-shirt.

A defense lawyer argued for a manslaughter conviction, saying Ali had been consumed by a violent craving for crack and other drugs when he killed Biletnikoff.

Ali did not testify at the trial but apologized to Biletnikoff's family at his sentencing. He was sentenced to 64 years to life, including nine years for a previous kidnapping conviction in which his sentence had been suspended.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled last year that the prosecutor, Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe, had removed at least one black juror for racial reasons.

The trial judge and a state appellate court had accepted Wagstaffe's explanation that the juror might not be objective because her daughter had been the victim of an attempted molestation. But the federal appeals court said Wagstaffe had not objected to white jurors who gave similar responses.

The state attorney general's office argued that the appellate panel should have accepted the trial judge's detailed analysis of the juror removal, but the Supreme Court let the ruling stand without comment.

Wagstaffe said Monday that the prosecution still has a strong case for murder and is prepared to retry Ali, who remains in custody without bail.

The Supreme Court case was Cate vs. Ali, 09-894. E-mail Bob Egelko at

Lansing, MI: Local Woman Clings to Life After Attempted Murder Suicide

Posted: Mar 30, 2010 6:15 AM EDT

A man is dead and a woman is fighting for her life after an attempted murder suicide. It happened just before 7:30 Monday night at the Village Town homes, on the 5800 block of Haag in South Lansing. But, police say the community has no need to fear.

On a brisk March night, at the Village Town homes in Lansing, a family was destroyed.

"I had gone out the back door to try and get one of the cats in the house and heard the first shot." Resident Raini Majeske said. She then heard a women scream, followed by two more shots.

"That's when I went out the back door and noticed the bodies laying in the parking lot. I ran over to see if I could help anyone and the gun was laying there."

Police said the bodies were those of a man and women in their late thirties, who have three kids together. They said man died at the scene, but the woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

"There is indication that they were either married or divorced or going through a separation at this time, but it's too early to tell." Captain Mike Yankowski, of the Lansing Police Department, explained. He said it appeared the man shot the women than killed himself.

But, police are still trying to figure out why.

"There's no reason to believe there is another shooter or somebody that was responsible for the incident that we haven't located yet." Yankowski said.

Which is why Majeske said she's not scared... just a little shaken up.

"We're not scared, we're shocked. This is a relatively safe neighborhood. Never had an issue like this and I doubt we ever will again."

The incident is still under investigation. Police say they hope to learn the motive for this tragedy very soon.

Police will not release the names of the victims or the ages of their kids. At least one of the kids was home at the time... they are being interviewed by police.

Reston, VA: Reston man charged with murder in girlfriend's shooting death

A Reston man was arrested Saturday and charged with murder in the October shooting death of a woman inside his apartment, Fairfax County police said Monday.

Karen Deck, 42, of Reston, was found on Oct. 24 shot to death in the "upper body," meaning anywhere from her head to her stomach, inside the apartment of her boyfriend, Ronald Robertson, on Winterthur Lane in the Hunters Woods area.

According to court records Robertson, 45, had called his parents to report that "he had accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend," and his parents called 911.

Robertson. (Fairfax Police)
Police officers who arrived at Robertson's apartment "heard banging coming from inside," according to an affidavit by Fairfax homicide Detective Brian S. Colligan. The apartment door was closed but unlocked, Colligan wrote, so officers entered and found Robertson inside, along with Deck and a weapon on the floor.

Robertson was not charged immediately with the homicide, but he was charged four days later with being a violent felon in possession of a gun, court records show. A preliminary hearing in that case was held last week, and the charge was sent to the grand jury for possible indictment.

Court records show that Robertson pleaded guilty in 1989 to shooting at an occupied vehicle. He received a five-year suspended sentence.

-- Tom Jackman

Bolivar, MO: Flemington woman charged with murder

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 12:06 AM CDT
A Flemington woman has been arrested and charged with class A felony murder in the second degree and felony armed criminal action after allegedly shooting a man in the chest and killing him.

According to the court file, Tracy L. Steele, 47, is accused of shooting and killing David Ilo at Rt. PP near Flemington on Thursday, March 25.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to that location at 1:20 p.m. Thursday, according to a probable cause statement filed by Detective Billy Simpson. Patrol Supervisor Bobby McAntire arrived at the scene at 1:50 p.m. and spoke with Steele, who had reported that Ilo shot himself in the living room of the residence.

“McAntire advised that one of the first things Tracy Steele told him was that she did not kill David Ilo,” the statement said. “McAntire advised that Tracy Steele told him that David Ilo and herself had been arguing over money problems and that David Ilo had made the statement that he was going to kill himself.”

Steele reportedly told McAntire that she heard a gunshot coming from the bedroom while she was in the living room. She said she then went into the bedroom and found Ilo lying on the bed.

Simpson said in his statement that when he arrived at the scene at 2:08 p.m., Steele was sitting in the living room and he observed blood on both of her hands.

“I continued to the bedroom, located on the south end of the residence,” the statement said. “I observed a deceased, white male lying on the floor in the bedroom. The white male was later identified as David Ilo.”

McAntire showed Simpson a shell casing he had found on the living room floor, according to the statement. It appeared to be of the same caliber as the handgun reportedly found on the bed in the bedroom.

Simpson and Dan Nash, an investigator with the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control, interviewed Steele at the sheriff’s office and Steele said again she was in the living room at the time Ilo allegedly shot himself.

“Tracy Steele continued to change her statements of what had occurred,” the statement said. “Tracy Steele later advised that she was in the bedroom when David Ilo shot himself. Tracy Steele then changed her story to being assaulted by David Ilo in the bedroom.”

Steele allegedly told the officers that Ilo was in possession of a handgun and a struggle ensued over it, according to the statement. She also said her hands were on the gun when it fired and Ilo was struck and killed.

“I was not able to observe any signs of injuries that supported the assault described by Tracy Steele,” the statement said.

Detective Kari Hargus with the sheriff’s office asked Steele the next day to show her any injuries Ilo caused during the alleged assault.

“I do not feel like the markings on Tracy Steele supported the assault that had allegedly occurred prior to David Ilo’s death,” the statement said.

Forensic pathologist Keith Norton, M.D., conducted an autopsy Friday and determined cause of death to be from a gunshot wound to Ilo’s chest, striking his heart.

Steele is currently held on $250,000 bond. No court date has been set yet.

Compton, CA: Calif. driver who hit pregnant woman gets prison

COMPTON, Calif. — A California woman convicted of hitting a pregnant woman with her SUV during an argument and killing the unborn baby has been sentenced to 32 years to life in prison.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says Monica Mercado was sentenced Monday in a Compton court after being found guilty of one count each of second-degree murder and attempted murder.
On April 5, Mercado and a woman who was eight months pregnant got into an argument over a mutual boyfriend who was in Mercado's car. The boyfriend has two children with Mercado and was the father of the victim's baby.
The argument culminated with Mercado hitting the pregnant woman with her vehicle. The baby was born alive by Caesarian section but died of head trauma.

Troy, MO: Man Kills Girlfriend, Then Self Inside Troy, MO Home

TROY, MO ( - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department is investigating a murder suicide. The bodies of an estranged couple were found Monday morning in a home in Troy, Missouri. Investigators say the young couple was involved in an on again off again relationship that ended tragically. Lisa Daugherty was shocked to learn her neighbor shot and killed his girlfriend then killed himself. The incident occurred just two doors away from her Troy, Missouri home.

Daugherty says, "Everybody around here is so friendly and even the people that lived in that house, I didn't personally know them, but they always waved seemed friendly and nice."

Family and friends searched for the girlfriend Sunday night after she didn't come home. They found her Chevy Cavalier parked in the driveway of her boyfriend's house in the 200 block of Autumn Oaks Drive, then looked through the window in the front door and made a gruesome discovery.

At this point, investigators don't know what lead up to the shooting, but say the young couple was involved in a heated relationship.

"We were advised by family members that the relationship had been some what tumultuous... on again off again. However specific to that evening and what happened we're not able to disclose just yet," says Det. Shayne Duryea with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department.

News of the horrible crime spread through Ashley Estates Subdivision quickly leaving residents, like Daugherty, deeply saddened and puzzled.

Daugherty says, "Crime doesn't always happen in bad areas. It happens a lot of times in nice areas too. And who knows what the reason is behind this was and who knows if we'll ever know."

Mankato, MN: Burnsville man in custody in fatal shooting of ex-wife in Mankato

Monday, 29 March 2010
Burnsville resident Joel Marvin Munt, 33, is in custody awaiting charges in the Mankato shooting death of his ex-wife., Mankato’s Department of Public Safety reports.

Munt was captured and arrested Sunday on probably cause of second-degree murder in the death of his ex-wife, 32-year-old Svetlana Vladimirovna Munt of Mankato.

The shooting occurred shortly before noon Sunday in Mankato’s Rasmussen Woods Park, police said in reports on the city’s Web site.

Police responding to reports of gunfire in the park’s cul-de-sac area found a car pinned against some trees by a sport-utility vehicle that was still in gear, with one of its rear tires spinning on the blacktop and spewing smoke. The SUV had collided with the car and forced it off the road.

The victim was found face-down in the car and declared dead at the scene, police said.

Witnesses told police the shooter had fled the park in another SUV. Police say Munt stole the vehicle at gunpoint from a passerby who stopped to help after seeing smoke from the spinning tire.

He fled the scene with three children who were in the victim’s vehicle, according to news reports.

A Blue Earth County sheriff’s deputy spotted the SUV, which had traveled south and west on two county roads. The deputy stopped the vehicle and arrested Munt without incident. The three children were inside the vehicle, according to news reports.

A handgun was found during the investigation, police said.

The investigation remains open as police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension seek witness accounts and try to piece together the events, police said.

— John Gessner

Country Club Hills, IL: Country Club Hills Couple Dead In Murder-Suicide

COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) ―

A man shot a woman multiple times before turning the gun on himself Sunday afternoon in a home in south suburban Country Club Hills in what police are investigating as a murder-suicide.

Willie J. Watkins Jr. of 18056 Birch Ave. and Maria Davis, 49, of 3820 172nd, both of Country Club Hills, were found dead Sunday in Davis' home, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

Country Club Hills Police Chief Regina Evans said in a release Monday afternoon that preliminary results of autopsies conducted by the medical examiner's office indicate an apparent murder-suicide.

Davis was the victim of a shooting that occurred at her home, and died of multiple gunshot wounds, the release said. The second body was identified as Watkins, 55, died of a single gunshot wound to the head, the release said.

The nature of the relationship between the two remains unclear, the release said, and the police investigation of the shootings continues.

Police initially responded to a call at 2:57 p.m. Sunday, when a Davis family member reported finding two bodies at the family home, the release said

Davis was employed as a secretary at Southwood Junior High School in Country Club Hills and the school was offering grief counseling Monday morning for staff and students.

"Some of the staff have been sent back home due to the shock of the situation," village spokeswoman Marge Seltzer said.

A Cook County Medical Examiner's office spokesperson could not immediately confirm the autopsy results at 1 p.m. Monday.

New Galilee, PA: Boy faces adult trial in death of Pa. woman, fetus

Posted: Mar 29, 2010 3:45 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 30, 2010 5:08 AM EDT

Associated Press Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A judge's ruling that a 12-year-old boy will be tried as an adult on charges of fatally shooting his father's pregnant fiancee is an unprecedented move, an advocate for defense attorneys says.

Jordan Brown is charged with criminal homicide in the death of 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk in their farmhouse in New Galilee, in western Pennsylvania, on Feb. 20, 2009. Houk was 8 1/2 months pregnant when she died of a shotgun blast to the back of her head as she lay in bed; the male fetus died from a resulting lack of oxygen.

Cynthia Orr, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, said she's never heard of someone as young as Brown charged with fetal homicide. Brown's attorneys are expected to appeal.

"It's simply inappropriate to put a 12-year-old child in the adult prison system, it won't work," said Orr, a Texas attorney. "It won't benefit society or this child."

In his opinion Monday refusing to move the case to juvenile court, Lawrence County Judge Dominick Motto called Houk's death "an execution-style killing of a defenseless pregnant young mother.

"A more horrific crime is difficult to imagine," he wrote.

Brown's attorneys, Dennis Elisco and David Acker, have argued the boy's case would best be dealt with in juvenile court, where he could receive treatment and incarceration specifically aimed at younger offenders.

Under state law, the attorneys had to convince the judge that he was more "amenable" to rehabilitation in the juvenile system - which would have jurisdiction only until he is 21 - than as an adult.

But the judge said the testimony of defense psychologist Kirk Heilbrun didn't convince him that Brown was best tried as a juvenile.

Motto focused on findings by a prosecution psychiatrist, Dr. John O'Brien, who found that Brown tended to "minimize" the allegations against him. Brown denied killing Houk when examined by both doctors.

Kevin Harley, spokesman for the Pennsylvania attorney general, said prosecutors agree with the decision but stressed that prosecutors could still decide to move the case to juvenile court themselves if he admits he committed the crimes.

"Our position is he isn't amenable (to juvenile court rehabilitation) because he didn't admit he did it and hasn't accepted responsibility for his actions," Harley said.

Orr said Harley's comments show that Pennsylvania's system is flawed if a child must, for all practical purposes, admit guilt to have a chance to be tried as a juvenile.

"That means this whole process is inappropriate and, certainly, unconstitutional," she said.

Debbie Houk, the victim's mother, said she doesn't understand why there would be debate about the decision.

"There was no reason for uncertainty in our eyes," Houk said. "We're pleased."

Prosecutors have said they will seek a conviction on first-degree murder charges, for which Brown could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors have suggested the boy was jealous of Houk and her unborn son. Police had said Brown hid the weapon under a blanket so Houk's 7-year-old daughter wouldn't see it as he entered her mother's room. Later, authorities say, he threw the spent shell casing along a path on his way to a bus and went to school.

A state trooper testified that tests showed the shell was fired from Brown's youth-model 20-gauge shotgun.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Edisto Island, SC: Wife allegedly stabs, kills husband on Edisto Island

Posted: Mar 28, 2010 2:11 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 28, 2010 3:21 PM EDT
EDISTO ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A domestic dispute between a husband and wife ended in a homicide early Sunday morning when the woman allegedly stabbed and killed the man.

At 12:22 a.m., the Charleston County Sheriff's Office responded to 8154 Palmetto Road on Edisto Island where Nancy Elizabeth Fontaine advised deputies that she had stabbed her husband, Robert Fontaine, after an altercation in their driveway.

She was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the incident.

Officials say Mr. Fontaine was transported to MUSC where he died of wounds from the stabbing.

Mrs. Fontaine will have a bond hearing on Monday morning.

Catawba County, NC: Woman killed by boyfriend, how to spot red flag warnings in a relationship before it's too late

March 28, 6:05 PMRaleigh Headlines ExaminerLoretta Arnold

What are the red flag warning signs of a dangerous relationship? Who should you contact if you are experiencing an abusive relationship? What can you learn from the past?
We turn to Catawba County.
Ryan Ansley Rendlemen, 39, was arrested last weekend on traffic violations and fleeing from cops. He posted the $3,000 bail on Sunday. Rendlemen failed to mention he killed his girlfriend to the authorities before his release.
Christy Dawn Whitmore, 32, was murdered in her Sweetwater Park mobile home. Whitmore had been stabbed and suffocated.
When the police arrested and released Rendlemen, Whitmore was already dead. Whitmore was found by a family member last Monday by which the date of death was confirmed as Saturday.
Rendlemen has turned himself over to police after Whitmore's body was found.
Whitmore called the police when Rendlemen tried to take her car back in November. Signs such as a vehicle threat does not seem to be red flag, but a potential sign of Rendlemen's control issues.
Rendlemen also has a rap sheet of assault and felony drug charges.
Not all past felons with control issues go around killing girlfriends. But in Rendlemen's case he proved to be a liar when not coming forth with this information before posting the $3,000 bail on Sunday.
Randy Inman, experienced writer for various publications, shares gripping details surrounding Whitmore. Whitmore's son is friends with Inman's daughter. His parents had conducted business in a home purchase of Whitmore a couple of years ago.
Inman shares of Whitmore's assistance as a nurse. A woman that "did not deserve to be murdered by a crime of passion." And many can agree.
Visit Killed in a Crime of Passion for more.
North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, NCCADV, is stepping up their game in assisting victims of domestic violence situations. North Carolina is one of 14 states funded by the CDC in connection to creating a state plan to prevent Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Visit the 10 year plan in pdf form here.
But what are the red flag signs when a person should discontinue a relationship?
If you have children that have experienced or witnessed physical or emotional abuse from the one within your relationship.
If you are with someone who tries to keep you away from the ones you love or friends that offer positive direction.
If you are with someone that controls you more than their own temper.
If you are with someone that enjoys watching you cry.
If you are with someone that thinks of you as a property rather than a living human.
If you are with someone that is so jealous that it creates anger within them without reason.
If you are with someone that will lie to cover their end on multiple occasions.
If the person you are with blames you or your children for their doing on multiple occasions.
If you tend to have personality changes in fear of as a result of the relationship you are in.
If your children begin to imitate by way of violent behavior or way of fear by anxiety.
If you are with someone that has physically beat you.
If you are with someone that has mentally cornered you into feeling less of yourself just so they can feel better about themselves.
All of these listed flags should tell you something. They do not always lead to a deadly relationship. However, manifesting from a troubled relationship to a potentially deadly one can depend upon what sparks the fire. A fire that does not come from you, but from within them. Leave before you get burned.
As for Christy Dawn Whitmore it's too late, or is it? Through one tragedy can come awareness before it's too late.
Contact North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence for assistance.

Amarillo, TX: Two deaths investigated

Amarillo police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman found Sunday in a home as a possible murder-suicide.
Police received a call from family members of a man living at 6205 Gainsborough Road, according to a police news release. Relatives told police they had received a phone call from the home that caused them to become concerned.

Officers forced their way into the house about 3 p.m. and found a male and female dead in a back bedroom of apparent gunshot wounds, the release said.

A justice of the peace ordered autopsies be performed, authorities said.

The preliminary investigation indicates a murder-suicide but officials said more work must be done to confirm what happened. It was not clear what time the shootings occurred.

Gainsborough Road is just south of Interstate 40 and the 6200 block is west of Bell Street.

Investigators were still in the ranch-style home Sunday evening and yellow crime tape stretched across the front.

- Globe-News staff

Copy Cat : Suspect in Lauderdale Murder Turns Gun On Self

Posted: March 28, 2010 05:11 PM

An update from our Shoals Newsroom, where Lauderdale county shooting case has turned into a murder-suicide.

James Christopher Robertson shot himself in the head while on the run from federal and state authorities.

Saturday afternoon, he led state troopers to a home on County Road 472, where he then got out and turned the gun on himself.

He was air-lifted to Huntsville Hospital, where he died.

Robertson was accused of shooting to death Lauderdale County Sheriff's Dispatcher, and former girlfriend Regina Russell.

Her body was found Friday night at the Shoal Creek Nature Preserve.

We've now learned that where Robertson shot himself is the same house where Robertson's brother committed a double murder-suicide.

Back in January, Jackie Robertson shot his wife and nephew, before turning the gun on himself.

Beckville, TX: Man kills girlfriend mistaken for intruder

March 28, 12:07 PMShreveport Headlines ExaminerWeldon Thomas

A Panola County, Texas, man who was hiding in a closet shot and killed his girlfriend today, thinking she was an intruder.
He has been charged with manslaughter and drug possession.
The shooting happened about 2 a.m. today near Beckville.
Panola County sheriff's deputies said Jordan Melvin LaGrone, 25, fired one shot as Shasta Nicole Dulaney opened the bedroom door. LaGrone was hiding inside a bedroom closet when he fired, deputies said.
Sheriff's investigators did not say why Lagrone was hiding in the bedroom closet but noted they found methamphetamines in the house on County Road 266.
LaGrone called 911 to say he had just shot an intruder, deputies said. Deputies said he told them he mistook Dulaney for an intruder who was going to hurt him.

North Port, FL: North Port police: Woman shot, killed ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend

charlotte sun

NORTH PORT — Police say when Daryl Smith and Andrea Stranko returned home early Sunday morning from a neighborhood party, Daryl's ex-girlfriend, Morgan Jane Smith, 35, was waiting for them with a shotgun.

Witnesses say Daryl, 44, jumped in front of Andrea, 46, when he saw Morgan holding the gun. She fired a single shot, hitting Daryl in the shoulder and continuing through his back, striking Andrea in the upper body and killing her instantly, North Port police said.

Sgt. Eric Stender was at Fire Station 81 on Price Boulevard and heard the shotgun blast, according to Detective Lt. Kevin Sullivan. Stender responded within two minutes to the South Salford home near Wooley Avenue.

A witness who was at the party next to Daryl's home on the 2700 block of South Salford Boulevard wrestled Morgan to the ground. When Stender arrived around 1:50 a.m., two people were holding her down in the front yard, Sullivan said. Daryl was found in the home's front lanai, and Andrea was just inside the house.

The couple had spent the evening watching the mixed martial arts "Ultimate Fighting Championship" at the party, according to the neighbor who held the get-together.

Daryl was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with serious injuries, police said. He was in stable condition late Sunday.

Morgan, who lives at the Toledo Club Apartments on Island Club Drive, off Toledo Blade Boulevard, was charged with premeditated murder in Andrea's death and attempted murder in Daryl's shooting.

Sullivan said he believes Daryl and Morgan were involved "a while ago." It appears their same last names are a coincidence. The couple have a daughter together, and Andrea had an adult son from a previous relationship.

"You could say (Morgan) may have been stalking the couple, since she knew where they were at nearly 2 a.m.," Sullivan said. "We are going to follow up and put all of the pieces together."

According to the neighbor who threw the party, Daryl and Andrea, who lived together at the South Salford home, were "great people who were both very happy." The neighbor called Andrea "a beautiful and pleasant person."

Police say Morgan likely did not intend to shoot Daryl, an unemployed contractor whose birthday was Sunday.

"We believe the female victim was the target," said Sullivan, who added the investigation is ongoing. Police have been unable to speak to Daryl.

In November, Morgan was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and battery, according to Sarasota court records.

On Friday morning, police responded to Morgan's apartment for a possible suicide alert after she reportedly e-mailed her will to Daryl, sent him text messages and sent her daughter up north the night before. She allegedly had a shotgun in the apartment.

However, police determined that Morgan was stable and no threat to herself, and elected not to Baker Act her. The action temporarily detains someone while a mental health evaluation is done to provide treatment if needed, on a voluntary or involuntary basis.

After officers arrived at the scene early Sunday, Morgan reportedly surrendered without further resistance.

She is being held at the Sarasota County Jail without bond. Her next court appearance is set for April 23.

Sunday's shooting was the first murder in North Port this year.

Deland, FL: Investigators: Woman killed by mom's ex-boyfriend

The Associated Press

A central Florida woman is dead after investigators say she was shot by her mother's ex-boyfriend.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says 42-year-old Sarah Hille was shot and killed by 57-year-old Richard Dano on Saturday evening at her home near DeLand. Dano then shot and killed himself.

Investigators say Hille's mother, Barbara Jane Price, is the shooter's ex-girlfriend.

Price and Hille's 5-month-old daughter, who were at the home, were not injured.

A motive for the killing has not been revealed.

Read more:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Queens, NY: Queens man arrested in toddler death admits he punched his girlfriend, causing her to drop baby

By Jonathan Lemire
Sunday, March 28th 2010, 4:00 AM
The Queens man arrested for killing his girlfriend's 19-month-old daughter admitted he punched the child's mother - causing her to drop the toddler to the floor, law enforcement officials revealed Saturday.

Anniyah Levant fell Wednesday at her mother's apartment in Corona. She suffered a broken jaw, a lacerated liver and spleen, and massive internal injuries, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Allen Shannon, 27, hung his head as he was led from the 110th Precinct in handcuffs Saturday. He was held without bail on second-degree murder charges Saturday night at his arraignment in Queens Criminal Court.

Prosecutors allege Shannon asked a female friend to claim he spent Tuesday and Wednesday with her.

When the friend asked why, Shannon admitted he hit his girlfriend, 22-year-old Candice Jones, causing her to drop Anniyah, Brown said.

"His alleged actions are incomprehensible and should result in him spending the rest of his life in prison," Brown said.

Jones initially denied that Shannon hit her or that she dropped her daughter, instead claiming the toddler had fallen off a bunk bed, officials said. It was not clear if she would face criminal charges.

Read more:

Canton, MS: Canton Man Charged In Ex-Wife's Death

Police: Couple Fought Over Child

CANTON, Miss. --

Police in Canton said a man killed his ex-wife Tuesday after a domestic dispute over their child.
Police were called to the Links Apartments in Canton off Links Drive and Highway 51, where they found the body of a 32-year-old woman, who had been attacked with a knife and beaten with an iron wrench, police said. The woman's ex-husband, Joseph Reith, 32, was arrested and charged with murder, police said.
Canton Police Chief Vicki McNeil said the couple, who have been divorced for eight months, began arguing at Reith's apartment over custody of their 5-year-old child, during which time Reith attacked his ex-wife, killing her, police said. The child was not at the apartment during the attack, police said.
Police said Wednesday that they will not release the woman's name until her family is notified.
Tenants at the apartment complex gathered Tuesday night near the scene. Many were speechless while others were baffled by a brutal crime close to home.
"The Links are nice apartments. These are supposed to be nice. I don't know anything. I'm shocked," said Geneva Alexander, a neighbor.
Police would not say if officers had responded to previous domestic violence calls involving the couple.

Neighbors told 16 WAPT News that there had been a number of disputes in recent weeks. Police said they knew why the woman was in Reith's apartment, but would not release that information.
"It's unreal. What can you do? A baby has lost her mother, over what?" said Yolanda Ellis, a neighbor.
The child was staying with family members Wednesday, police said.
The Links Apartment complex manager declined to comment.
Reith was being held without bond Wednesday at the Madison County Detention Center.

Greensboro, NC: Cops: NC man killed wife after she admitted affair

The Associated Press
A North Carolina man who police say didn't report his wife missing for four days after she disappeared has now been charged with first-degree murder.

Multiple media outlets report 40-year-old Winfred Scott Simpson is being held in a Greensboro jail without bail.

Authorities say Simpson reported his 42-year-old wife Retha missing Tuesday, saying he hadn't seen her since she admitted she had an affair four days before.

Investigators found what they think is Retha Simpson's body Wednesday. It was dismembered and burned and placed in trash bags on a Guilford County road.

Police say they found Winfred Simpson shampooing the rugs at the couple's home when they came to question him Wednesday.

It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Article: When heroes become villains

March 27, 2010 09:42 pm

— The murder-suicide of Robin Miller and her husband, Sunbury Police Cpl. Michael Miller, is a shocking tragedy that has devastated friends, neighbors and community members. By all accounts given to reporters, Cpl. Miller was a well-thought-of police officer.
Things were apparently different at home. After he shot and killed his wife, then turned the gun on himself, investigators reported that the couple had a “tumultuous relationship.” Police Chief Steven Mazzeo said he was aware of the couple’s problems. The chief noted, though, that he had not been aware of physical violence between the Millers prior to their murder-suicide.
Researchers say the tragedy is reflective of the combustible combination of factors that too often damage or destroy the personal lives of those who don a badge and uniform and take an oath to serve and protect.
Police officers work in stressful conditions with long and unpredictable hours and emotionally-demanding circumstances. An oft-quoted study in Arizona found that 40 percent of police officers surveyed said they had been involved in incidents of domestic violence in their personal lives, compared to 25 percent of the general population.
When trouble arises in their personal lives, police officers can become particularly dangerous. They are trained in the use of deadly force, they know where women’s shelters are and they know the ins-and-outs of the legal system. A victim of domestic abuse may feel like there is no refuge if a call for help goes to the department that employs her attacker. Also, a complaint could cost the job of the police officer, adding another layer of stress to a family in crisis.
Nationally, law enforcement officers have struggled to come up with adequate policies and protocols to handle domestic violence involving police officers. These include psychological testing to weed out potential abusers before they are hired and on-going training, accompanied by access to counseling, once officers are on the force.
Police officers are rightfully accorded special authority and respect. They are, more often than not, everyday heroes. However, we hope that police departments across the region use the attention to the Miller case to examine whether they have adequate training and policies in place to handle domestic discord before it becomes domestic tragedy when it involves one of their own.

Indianapolis, IN: NE shooting leaves one man dead

Updated: Sunday, 28 Mar 2010, 6:43 AM EDT
Published : Sunday, 28 Mar 2010, 6:43 AM EDT

Lindsay Eckert
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) - Metro police are investigating a deadly shooting on the North East side.

Police were called around 12:30 this morning after a man suffering from a gunshot wound died at Community East Hospital.

Investigators said the victim was arguing with his girlfriend most of the day and police suspect one of the residents in the shared 1928 Audubon road shot the victim in the chest.

Police said the victim’s girlfriend transported the 30-year-old man to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Frederick Allen is undergoing questioning in reference to the shooting.

The victim’s name has not been released.

Clarksville, TN: Triple murder followed fight in Clarksville

The Leaf-Chronicle

The smiling faces of Diamin Shanklin, 8, and Paul-Nellom Vullo, 3, greet their grandmother Linda Shelton every morning as she looks at her bedroom dresser scattered with their pictures, angel figurines and candles.

Every day Shelton, 62, lights a candle. Often she sobs, knowing that the pictures are all she has left of Diamin, Paul and her daughter Natalie.

Among the memorabilia is a blue urn filled with the ashes of her 30-year-old daughter, Natalie Ann Vullo, who, along with her children, was found murdered inside her Cal Court home on Feb. 20, 2009.

Gerrard E. Robinson, a man with whom Vullo had had a sexual relationship, was charged with the murders. He later confessed to strangling Vullo and her children.

Two months after Robinson’s arrest, he hanged himself in his jail cell — a cell where he’d scribbled his victim’s names and his desire to die by lethal injection.

After Robinson’s death, the story went off the front page and the case was closed several months later. But Shelton was left with only questions and anger that involved every aspect of criminal justice — the Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the Board of Probation and Parole and Montgomery County Jail.

While Shelton’s grief is driving her forward, the case does raise many questions about how the system dealt with Robinson’s 1998 rape case, 2008 probation, domestic violence, and finally, threats of suicide.

“People say, ‘Why are you doing this? It’s over, it’s done,’” Shelton said. “But it’s not, because I’m not the only person this will happen to.”

The investigation

Shelton takes issue with the Clarksville Police Department’s investigation of a domestic violence incident on Feb. 7, 2009, involving Robinson and Vullo a week before the slayings. Vullo was arrested when Robinson accused her of scratching him in the face.

The family said the little girl, Diamin, scratched Robinson as she tried to get her mother’s cell phone. She said neighbors told police Vullo never got out of the car during the incident.

“Natalie called me and said she was going to Memphis ... and meet some guy and Gerrard wasn’t going to let her go. I said, ‘I know.’ I remember being worried that whole day,” Shelton said.

“She called me and said Gerrard had blocked her in the driveway, and her and the kids were going away. Natalie said he took her cell phone and threw it on the ground. He picked up the phone after he slammed it on the ground. Diamin got out of the car and went to get her mom’s cell phone and scratched him accidentally when she did it,” Shelton said.

She said she watched as officers arrested her daughter. “I was yelling at them, ‘This is wrong, you’re wrong what are you doing’ — the kids are standing out there crying and screaming,” Shelton said. “They put her in handcuffs and put her in the police car. I called the officer later and said, ‘You did this all wrong.’ He said, ‘Take it up with the courts lady,’ and that was it.”

Shelton said she made a formal complaint with CPD and received the following letter from Deputy Chief Frankie Gray on March 4, 2009:

“Dear Mrs. Shelton,

“Your complaint of misconduct involving members of our department has been thoroughly investigated. The investigation revealed there were no violations of police department rules or regulations. It has been determined that the officers acted properly in handling the incidents. The department has made every effort to provide the best possible service and that our employees conduct themselves in a professional manner. We understand the nature that surrounds your complaint. If you have any further questions you may contact me.

“Sincerely, Frankie Gray.”

Jim Knoll, spokesman for the Clarksville Police Department, said officials did not wish to comment on Shelton’s allegations.

Lost protection

Shelton said because Vullo was the one arrested, she lost her right to be protected from Robinson. Instead, an order of protection was placed against Vullo, prohibiting her from contacting him.

Peggy Macias of the Domestic Violence Unit at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said the COR (or conditions of release) in domestic cases prohibits the accused from contacting the victim as well, but gives the accused little protection.
“If a victim is harassing the accused, it’s called facilitation,” Macias said. “In rare cases they could get in trouble.”

Shelton is still brought to tears at the thought of her daughter losing the only protection she may have had. Shelton also believes the lack of domestic violence detectives at the time, attributed to what she calls poor investigations of such cases.

CPD has increased family protection since the murders. In December 2009, the department received a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice that allowed the hiring of four domestic violence victim’s advocates and addressed the needs of the growing number of victims of domestic violence and child physical and sex abuse. They opened the Domestic Violence Division and Child Physical and Sexual Abuse Division at 106 Public Square.

of problems

Vullo and Robinson met as ninth-graders at Northwest High School. They ran into each other at a Fort Campbell Boulevard gas station following Robinson’s release from prison in April 2008, after he finished serving 10 years on a rape charge.

Shelton said the family didn’t know he was a registered sex offender, and Vullo was told he’d gone to jail for a different crime.

Shelton doesn’t dispute that her daughter had problems. Natalie had ADHD, was bipolar and often chose men who weren’t good for her. She became obsessive and jealous, which made choosing good men difficult, Shelton said.

“I did it myself — a lot of women do,” Shelton said. “I’d tell her to not repeat my mistakes, but she just did. Natalie had history with men. It was a series of mess. From the day she learned about (Robinson), it was nonstop trouble.”

But there were signs that Vullo was working to improve her life.

Timothy W. Grant Sr., senior pastor at Deliverance Outreach Temple Church, said Vullo had joined his church the summer before she was killed.

“They would attend the services, and she got involved with the sisterhood ministry. She was really trying to get connected to the spiritual part.” Grant said. “I think she was ready to start anew, and she wanted to make sure her children were in church. I think she was excited about a change and excited about changing her life.”

Things began to spiral out of control as Vullo was faced with choose between Robinson, her son’s father Paul Nelloms, and another man named Desmond who lives in Memphis.

Stephanie Nelson, Vullo’s best friend, said the last time she talked to her, Vullo didn’t seem scared, but Nelson believes she was.

“She called me at 10 a.m., she said, ‘Steph, man what do I do? I got these three men. I don’t want none of them, but Paul ain’t having it. Gerrard ain’t having it. ... What do I do?”

Nelson jokingly told her friend to get it together. “I said, ‘Girl you better leave them alone before one of them kills you,’” Nelson said. She said Vullo agreed and they laughed it off.

Shelton has no doubt in her mind that Robinson was the killer. With access to police records, Shelton was able to read the confession Robinson gave police on Feb. 20, 2009.

For Shelton, the detailed description brought pain along with some relief to know her daughter and grandchildren had not suffered long.

Robinson told police the homicides happened at the “spur of the moment,” according to the confession. He described a relationship with Natalie where they both suffered “jealously and insecurities.”

Paul Nelloms, the father of Vullo’s son, was to be released from jail, which created friction between Vullo and Robinson, he told investigators. On Feb. 18, Robinson said he went to Vullo’s home to spend the night, and to bring her a plate of steak and rice from the restaurant where he worked. They began to argue about Paul Nelloms.

“We started talking about the situation with Paul coming back. We must have gotten pretty loud because the kids woke up and came in there and Natalie told them to get back in bed,” Robinson told police. “I don’t know what happened next but I was angry and hurt more than anything, and I choked her.

“I put my hands around her neck and strangled her. It was for a few minutes and she struggled a little bit. It was like my mind was telling me to stop, but I physically could not.”

Robinson said he used a blanket to continue to strangle her, then put her on the floor, stripped her, turned off the lights and went into her daughter’s room. He said he took Diamin to the kitchen, sat at the kitchen table and talked. Diamin asked for her mom, and Robinson said he asked to see her hands. After tying them together, he walked her down the hall and strangled her, he said.

Police reports said he used a pair of tights to kill Diamin and stripped her. He later poured bleach on her and Natalie to cover up fingerprints. He denied sexually assaulting any of the victims, and investigators found no evidence that he did so. Robinson then went to “Paul-Paul’s” room and tied him up with a sheet. “I told him that everything was fine, and it would be OK. He didn’t really know what was going on. He didn’t say much.”

Robinson said he stood the child up, made him face the wall and strangled him, then laid his lifeless body face-down on the floor.

“I didn’t know what to do after that. I thought, ‘I just did this,’” Robinson told police. “I was trying to make it look like something else had happened.

“I don’t know why I killed the kids. I didn’t know what to do with them. I didn’t want them to see their mom like that. After I killed Natalie, I was thinking that people had seen me over there and my car over there that day. I guess the kids were two more witnesses.”

He used Vullo’s cell phone to text his phone that someone was outside her window.
Robinson talked also about his cool demeanor during the confession.

“You know, they say I have no affect or emotion,” Robinson told police. “I just accept things though, you know? My thinking is that when you do something, you did it and it’s done. You can either deal with it or beat yourself up about it. I have never done anything like this before in my life. I have asked Allah to forgive me, and I believe that I have been forgiven.”

Shelton faced Robinson on March 3, 2009, during his preliminary hearing. It was also the last time she saw him. He turned and smiled at her as he left the courtroom, wearing orange Montgomery County Jail scrubs.

One man’s rape, murders and jail cell suicide spin off anguish and accusations.
Today: The murders of a woman and her children show the depths of domestic violence.
Monday: Taking a plea in a 1998 rape put Gerrard Robinson back on the streets 10 years later.
Tuesday: Robinson was on probation when the murders happened, and he failed a drug test.
Wednesday: A troubled life began with the loss of his father in the Gander crash.
Thursday: Robinson left messages of remorse and fear in his jailhouse suicide.

To answer the questions of family members, friends and others about the Gerrard Robinson case, The Leaf-Chronicle requested and reviewed about 550 pages of public documents.
This Special Report is based on the following records, requested from law enforcement and public service agencies through the Tennessee Public Records Law:
• Murder investigation records on Gerrard Robinson from the Clarksville Police Department, released by Detective Tim Finley.
• Records on the investigation into the death of Gerrard Robinson, released by Sheriff’s Investigator Billy Batson and Montgomery County Attorney Austin Peay.
• Autopsy reports for Natalie Vullo, Diamin Shanklin, Paul Vullo-Nellom and Gerrard Robinson, released by the Tennessee Medical Examiner’s Office and Clarksville Police Department.
• State probation and parole records of Gerrard Robinson, released by Melissa McDonald, public information officer for the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.
• Court records for Natalie Vullo and Gerrard Robinson, released by the Tennessee 19th Judicial District Court Records Department.
• Rape case file of Gerrard Robinson for the 1998 rape of a woman in her home, released by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Deland, FL: Official: Man shoots, kills ex, then himself

A new mother and her ex-boyfriend are both dead after a murder-suicide Saturday night in the Glenwood area near DeLand, a Volusia County sheriff's dispatch supervisor said.

The shootings occurred shortly after 8 p.m. at 1775 Carr St., sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught confirmed late Saturday. The home is listed by the Volusia County Property Appraiser as belonging to Barbara Jane Price.

Haught said an adult male shot and killed an adult female and then himself inside the home. Names of the victims, both found dead at the scene, won't be released until family members are notified, Haught said. The sheriff's dispatch supervisor said the resident's daughter has a 4-week-old baby.

Investigators were still at the scene late Saturday night; no other details were available.

Waterloo, IA: UPDATE: Bodies of two found dead in Waterloo apartment identified

By JEFF REINITZ, | Posted: Saturday, March 27, 2010 9:00 pm

WATERLOO - Waterloo police are investigating the deaths of two people who were found in an apartment Friday night.
Officers and paramedics were called to a downstairs apartment at 1109 Sycamore St. at 8:38 p.m. and found the bodies of a man and a woman inside, according to authorities.
The victims in the incident have been identified as Machelle Lynn Nichols-West, 46,and Gregory Charles West, 55, both of 1109 Sycamore Apt A, Waterloo.
Waterloo police report the incident is believed to be a murder-suicide, but the investigation is ongoing. Autopsies have been scheduled with the State Medical Examiner's Office Sunday.
Neighbors said the couple hadn't been seen for days.
A woman who lives next door said she heard screaming from a person who was apparently the daughter of the female victim.
The daughter was yelling "he killed her," the neighbor said.
Scene described
Courtney Mazur, another neighbor who lived upstairs for about three weeks, was home Friday night when her neighbor's daughter came to her door frantic and seeking help because she hadn't seen her mother for some time.
A man who was with the daughter was trying to force his way into the apartment to see if they were all right, Mazur said. He ran at the door, bashing his shoulder against it and broke the door open on the third try, she said.
Mazur said the female resident was seated in a chair with what appeared to be a gunshot wound. The male resident was on the bed - a simple mattress and box spring on the floor - near a shotgun. He had a massive wound to the head, she said.
Mazur said it appeared they had been dead for some time.
"The smell will make you throw up, the decomposing smell," she said.
She said she had been smelling a foul odor - not as intense as the one she noticed after the door was open - in the area for about two days, and earlier heard an alarm clocking going off in the apartment.
The female resident worked third shift but had been feeling ill, so Mazur assumed she was just sleeping through the alarm.
She said the couple had been quiet in the short time she knew them. The woman introduced herself once. The man never spoke although Mazur would say "hello" as a courtesy when she saw him.
Then on Wednesday, she passed him in the entryway and said "hi."
He let out an unsettling chuckle, she said.
"It kind of creeped me out," Mazur said.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fall River, MA: Fall River kin grieve as officials search for clues

By David Abel and John R. Ellement
Globe Staff / March 27, 2010
E-mail|Print|Reprints|Yahoo! Buzz|ShareThis Text size – +
FALL RIVER — She was a former emergency medical technician who doted on her autistic 3-year-old son, a bespectacled boy who loved to attend preschool and watch Disney movies.

Authorities found Ginger and Andrew Dilworth dead Thursday inside their Fall River apartment, about eight days after they were last in contact with family and neighbors.

“She was a kind, loving person,’’ said Barbara Lucianno, Ginger Dilworth’s sister, as she welled up with tears during an interview at her apartment in Fall River. “She would do anything for anyone. She was generous, outgoing, and a devoted mother.’’

Investigators called their deaths suspicious yesterday, but they had yet to establish how they died.

The state medical examiner’s office was expected to perform autopsies yesterday, but the conclusions might not be available for several days, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol district attorney’s office.

He said several people “connected to the family’’ were being questioned, but no one had been charged as of last night.

After four years of marriage, Dilworth, 37, recently separated from Stevan M. Dilworth, 38, an Army captain who served 17 years, including a recent tour in Iraq, until suffering a knee injury a year ago, Lucianno said.

Earlier this month, Stevan Dilworth was arrested after an alleged altercation with his wife, according to court records. On March 11, the records show Ginger Dilworth called police to report that her husband hit her and took the keys to her car.

“Ginger stated that her husband wanted to go out drinking, and she did not want him to drive their auto,’’ according to a police report of the incident. “Ginger stated that during the argument her husband then struck her in the nose with the palm of his hand as he attempted to push her away from an area [where] the car keys were located. As she stumbled backward, he took the keys and left the apartment.’’

Police later arrested Stevan Dilworth on charges of assault and battery. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Medi Salas, who lives next door to the Dilworths, said she often heard the couple arguing through the shared walls. She described Ginger Dilworth “as a good person,’’ but said she did not know her husband well.

Stevan Dilworth could not be reached for comment.

Lucianno said Ginger was Dilworth’s third wife. She was a Fall River native who worked as an emergency medical technician until she hurt her back about seven years ago, her sister said. After her son’s birth, she became a full-time mother.

She and her husband “fought every day,’’ Lucianno said.

Although there was domestic strife, Ginger Dilworth did not let that interfere with the caring of her son. Lucianno described the boy as a “ham.’’

“He had such a beautiful smile,’’ Lucianno said.

Galveston, TX: 2 indicted in separate slayings of mother, girlfriend

March 26, 2010, 7:44PM

GALVESTON — A Galveston County grand jury has indicted two men on murder charges in two separate cases, a Santa Fe man in the slaying of his mother and a Texas City man in the slaying of his girlfriend.
Willard Clay Mobley, 56, of Texas City was arrested at his home Friday after being charged with the Jan. 13, 2008, slaying of his girlfriend, Carla Sue Blankenship, 55.
Blankenship's son found her body in her trailer in the 7600 block of Second Street in Hitchcock. She had been stabbed in the neck.
Thomas Lipton Mahoney II, 36, of Santa Fe was arrested at his home after being charged in the Dec. 22, 2005, death of his mother, Mildred Weed Campbell, 55. Sheriff's deputies found the victim dead from a gunshot outside her residence in the 13100 block of Bethel Court near Santa Fe.
Sheriff's spokesman Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said the indictments were signed on Thursday.
Both were being held in the Galveston County Jail on $100,000 bail each.

Bisbee, AZ: Trial date set in wife’s death

BISBEE — A man accused of fatally shooting his wife in Mescal is to go on trial Aug. 16.

Alger Frederick Hellard is charged with the second-degree murder of Tammy Hellard on April 28, 2009. He appeared in Cochise County Superior Court for a hearing Friday.

The defense sought a status hearing in two to three months. Judge Wallace Hoggatt said the court will set a date.

Alvin, TX: Police: Man shot wife, killed himself

By John Tompkins
The Facts
Published March 27, 2010

ALVIN — A woman shot three times was recovering in a Houston hospital Friday, and her husband was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The 56-year-old man called police about 10 p.m. Thursday and said he accidentally shot his 67-year-old wife, Alvin Police Lt. Todd Arendell said.

“A male caller said he was cleaning his firearm and it discharged,” Arendell said.

Police are not releasing the names of those involved because they cannot verify other relatives have been notified, Arendell said.

When police arrived at the home in the 25000 block of Highway 6 West, they found the woman inside with gunshot wounds to her leg and torso, Arendell said. The man later was found in a vehicle under a carport with a gunshot wound to his head, he said.

A preliminary autopsy report states the man’s wound appears to be self-inflicted, Arendell said.

The woman was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston by LifeFlight helicopter. She was listed in serious condition Friday, hospital spokeswoman Ann Brimberry said.

Before she was flown to the hospital, the woman told officials at the scene her husband was cleaning his gun when it fired, but investigators are not sure that’s what happened, Arendell said.

“She was shot three times,” he said.

Police did not have a chance to interview the woman by Friday because she was at the hospital recovering. Arendell said no further details were available.

John Tompkins is senior reporter for The Facts. Contact him at 979-849-8581.

Article: Murder Victim's Dad Fights For Tougher Laws

Melissa Charbonneau's Father Recalls Deadly Night, Five Months Ago
Christina Hager MANCHESTER, N.H. (WBZ) ―
Click to enlarge
1 of 3
Melissa Charbonneau
Related Stories

Standoff After Manchester Murder Ends In Suicide
Five months after he witnesses his daughter getting gunned down by her estranged husband, John Cantin is on a mission to save others from the same fate.

It was October 22. Melissa Charbonneau and her father went to pick up some belongings from her home in Manchester, New Hampshire. Her estranged husband, who was waiting inside, suddenly shot and killed her.

"I stooped way over to grab her," recalled Cantin. "I was probably within an inch when I got popped in the back. The noise, the pain, the kick all at once. It's like you don't even know what the hell is going on."

Jonathan Charbonneau then turned the gun on himself.

Cantin says stiffer domestic violence penalties would likely have saves both lives that night.

Two days before that incident, Jonathan Charbonneau had been arrested for allegedly trying to strangle his wife to the point where she lost consciousness. It was only a misdemeanor charge.

"Her husband was out on a $30 bail. He was out on the streets right away," said Cantin, who is now asking New Hampshire lawmakers to classify strangulation as a felony.

Domestic violence experts say it's a crime that often leads to murder.

"They use it as a means of control and so there are other people, victims out there that are going through this over and over again," said Cantin. He plans to tell his story to state legislators in Concord, New Hampshire next week.

"I feel I shouldn't have even gotten out of that house. I should have died there as well," Cantin said. "There must be a reason why I'm here. I'm lucky to be here just talking about it, so I'm going to talk for Melissa, because she didn't just die for nothing."

Omaha, NE: Bail set at $1.1M for suspect in Omaha shooting

Associated Press - March 26, 2010 6:35 PM ET

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Bail has been set at $1.1 million for an Omaha man suspected of fatally shooting his girlfriend.

Mark Beckwith appeared Friday morning at a court hearing. He's charged with manslaughter in the Tuesday death of 41-year-old Tamatha Coppock.

Beckwith with still in the Douglas County jail later Friday. It was not immediately know whether he had an attorney.

Police say officers responding to reports of a shooting Tuesday afternoon at a midtown apartment building found Coppock suffering from a gunshot wound. She was taken to an Omaha hospital, where she died.

New Britain, CT: Police Call Shooting Attempted Murder-Suicide

Neighborhood Evacuated After Shooting
POSTED: 11:15 am EDT March 26,2010
UPDATED: 7:18 pm EDT March 26,2010

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. -- One man is dead and two women remain hospitalized after being shot inside a home on Chestnut Street in New Britain on Thursday evening.
Police said they received a 911 call around 5:40 p.m. Thursday reporting a disturbance at the home. When officers arrived, they located three people who had been shot. Two women were removed from the home by police officers and were transported to a local hospital, and one man was dead inside the home.
Police said Friday it may have been a murder-suicide attempt.
Police said Nick Salza was found shot and killed inside the home on Thursday. Police said they also found Tobi Salza and her friend, Tiffany Sitaro, suffering from gunshot wounds as well. Police described Tobi's injury as a serious, life-threatening gunshot wound. She remains hospitalized.
Tobi is the ex-wife of Nick Salza, and the two had been married about 20 years.
Police said Sitaro's injury was not considered to be life-threatening, but she still remains hospitalized in guarded condition.
An autopsy that was conducted Friday determined that Nick died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Friends and family were visibly upset when told of the triple shooting. Many are concerned about the children who are left without a father.
Family friend Fran Merritt had no idea what happened when he went to the home on Thursday night. When he arrived at the home he saw the police and SWAT teams, then was told what happened.
Merritt said, "I found my goddaughter crying and she said her mother had been shot."
Now Merritt is worried about the ex-couple's four children. Three they had together, and one step-child. Merritt said Nick loved all of the children equally.
Merritt said, "He was a great friend. He loved the kids immensely."
Though the couple divorced almost a year ago, Merritt said the pair had some rough times but they were close.
Merritt said, "Yeah they argued. They always made up. So, yea they argued but it wasn't anything other than what it always was."
Merritt said he doesn't know how the shooting happened, but he said he just hopes the children can get through this. "I think it's going to be a long, hard road for them," Merritt said.
On Friday afternoon, Channel 3 Eyewitness News spoke with Sandra Gerber, who represented Nick in the couple's divorce last year. She said the couple agreed Nick would have custody of their three children.
Gerber said, "They were not a high-conflict couple. When there were issues that came up, that they disagreed on, we discussed them and they resolved them."
While Gerber and others describe Nick as a jovial, wisecracking person, people in the bail bonds industry, what Nick did for a living, said in the past few weeks, Nick had not been himself. They said he was distressed due to financial issues and that his ex-wife, whom he was still friends with, had met someone else.
In a recent Facebook posting, Tobi had said, "You think you own me? Ha! Not on your life. U don't like the fact that u can't control me anymore. Well get over it and move on baby."

Fort Wayne, IN: Sniper kills man in hostage standoff; victim flown to Fort Wayne

By Holly Abrams and Michael ZennieThe Journal Gazette
One man was dead Friday after a standoff in DeKalb County, the sheriff's department said.

Police had been trying to negotiate with a man who shot his estranged wife in the leg and was holding her hostage in her home east of Waterloo, police said.

Just after 5 p.m., an Indiana State police sniper shot that man, Wayne King, killing him, DeKalb County Chief Deputy Jay Oberholtzer said.

King was believed to be armed with a shotgun. He had refused to let medics treat his wounded wife, Oberholtzer said. After the fatal shot was fired, he said, King's wife was removed from the home and was being flown by medical helicopter to a Fort Wayne hospital.

Police were called shortly after 11:30 a.m. to the 4100 block of U.S. 6 when the woman's daughter ran to a neighbor's house and said that her father was beating her mother, Oberholtzer said.

The two were going through a divorce and King's wife had a protective order against him, police said.

For more on this story, read Saturday's print editions of The Journal Gazette or visit after 3 a.m. Saturday.

Oklahoma City, OK: Woman convicted, given life imprisonment term for death of ex-boyfriend during 2007 robbery

3:40 PM CDT, March 26, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma County jury has convicted a woman of first-degree murder for the death of her ex-boyfriend during a robbery.

The panel found Sharee Asberry guilty Thursday and recommended life in prison.

According to court records, Asberry told police she helped plan the Nov. 26, 2007, robbery of Jerrell Simmons because she needed money.

She drove two robbers to Simmons' house but told them to just tie him up. Instead, Simmons was shot and the gunmen took $16,000.

Dejuan Penn and Harrold Johnson Jr. were convicted of shooting Simmons and sentenced to life in prison.

Asberry's attorney, Larry Tedder, couldn't be reached for comment on Friday.

Upper Darby, DE: Ex-boyfriend guilty in murder of Upper Darby woman

Saturday, March 27, 2010


MEDIA COURTHOUSE — With a picture bearing the smiling face of Amber Jackson reflected on a screen behind him, a prosecutor Friday charged there was no phantom assailant — as the defense claimed — and that the more than 30 slashing and stabbing wounds were inflicted by her ex-boyfriend.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Dugan argued that Frederick Cleveland was motivated to kill the 20-year-old Jackson because the victim had broken off their relationship.

“If (Cleveland) couldn’t have (Amber), no one else would,” said the prosecutor.

“This case is nothing, nothing, nothing but first-degree murder.”

A jury later found Cleveland, 23, of the first block of Plumstead Avenue, Lansdowne, guilty of all charges in Jackson’s Dec. 30, 2008 stabbing death.

As the verdict was announced in the packed courtroom, there was silence. But as the defendant’s family was being ushered out, emotions erupted and there was some kind of outburst that brought sheriff’s deputies and courthouse police converging at the front of the courthouse.

The victim’s family was ushered out through another corridor.

Amber Jackson’s parents, Wayne and Michelle Jackson, kept their composure.

“Justice was served,” said the mother. “But at the end of the day our daughter is never coming home.”

First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Judge Patricia Jenkins set formal sentencing for May 3.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated 90 minutes. The panel rejected the defense’s contention that some mysterious third party also broke into the house, stabbed Cleveland once and then repeatedly and savagely stabbed Jackson.

Dugan had presented testimony during the four-day trial that Cleveland’s wound was self-inflicted — part of a murder and attempted suicide.

According to testimony, Cleveland had shattered a window and gained entrance into Jackson’s parents’ home. He was found bleeding in a stairwell off the kitchen, shortly before Amber’s body was discovered upstairs by her father.

The victim, just a day before, had moved back to her parents’ Drexel Hill home after her relationship with Cleveland soured. Her body was found in the bathroom of the family home in the 400 block of Foss Avenue.

Defense Attorney James Lyons, in his turn before the jury, contended there was reasonable doubt. He presented testimony from an expert during the trial who disputed the commonwealth’s theory of the case.

Dugan countered that the defense expert offered an opinion in the case based on evidence that he viewed more than a year after the slaying and some of the items had been compromised by chemical testing.

The prosecutor further charged that if he said the sky was blue, the defense expert would have challenged him.

He termed the defense’s claims as “incredible.”

Key testimony against the defendant was given by Upper Darby Detective Capt. George Rhoades, who said Cleveland admitted the killing when he was questioned at the hospital a day later.

Rhoades testified that during his interview with the defendant, Cleveland first denied any memory of what happened. “I don’t remember anything. I woke up in the ambulance or the hospital.”

Rhoades said, however, he pursued the matter, stating that this wasn’t his first murder investigation and added: “But this is the first murder you (Cleveland) committed.

“Without hesitation, he (Cleveland) said ‘yes it is,’” testified Rhoades.

During the trial, the prosecutor presented autopsy photos that showed some of the wounds inflicted on the victim, but he did not show them to the panel during the closing, stating they “are burned in your brain.”

Referring to testimony from Amber’s father, Wayne Jackson, who found her body, Dugan described the gruesome discovery as “every father’s worst nightmare.”

Amber’s teenage sister also told of cowering in a closet frantically trying to summon help on her cell phone the day of the Dec. 30, 2008, killing. April Jackson, now 15, testified stoically how she called her father to come quickly while also hearing her older siblings screams like something out of “scary movie.”

She testified Amber’s first words that evening were “go away Freddie” and the last were “don’t hurt (April).”

“He (Cleveland) walks into that kitchen, picks up that knife and goes up the stairs,” said Dugan. “(The killing) was deliberate — 25 plus plunges,” he said regarding the number of wounds inflicted on the victim.

Dugan said that the victim’s hand was almost severed in the brutal stabbing as she tried to ward off her assailant. He said no similar defensive wounds were suffered by Cleveland.

“Frederick Cleveland broke into (the victim’s) home, chased her down and killed her,” said the prosecutor.

Dr. Bennett Preston, who performed the autopsy and serves as assistant county medical examiner, said a tooth was also knocked out, indicating the victim was punched as well as savagely stabbed. He said her hands were sliced on the knuckles showing she put them up in a futile attempt to fight off her attacker.

“There were 26 to 28 stab wounds and five to 10 slashing wounds,” testified Preston.

Clarkesville, GA: Deaths of Former Ga. Lawmaker, Husband Probed as Murder-Suicide

Former Georgia state Sen. Nancy Schaefer and her husband were found dead in their home in north Georgia and it is being investigating it as a possible murder-suicide.

CLARKESVILLE, Ga. - Former state Sen. Nancy Schaefer and her husband were found dead in their home in north Georgia and it is being investigating it as a possible murder-suicide, authorities said Friday.

Six GBI agents were at the home investigating at the request of the Habersham County Sheriff's department, GBI spokesman John Bankhead said.

The preliminary investigation is looking at the case as a murder-suicide, but he did not have further details.

Schaefer, 73, was a Republican who represented a north Georgia district for two terms. She was a prominent conservative known as a vocal opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage.

State Rep. Rick Austin announced Schaefer's death to a packed House chamber Friday night and led lawmakers in a moment of silence.

"Nancy Schaefer was a great lady, and she served Georgia and her constituents with honor and grace," Austin, a Republican from Demorest, said.

State Sen. Don Thomas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he knew the couple well and that he believed Bruce Schaefer was suffering from cancer.

"In those moments, you are not at your complete sanity," said Thomas, a physician and Republican from Dalton. "Some people figure the best way is to end it for both of you. They were married for so long. Loved each other so much. When you see somebody that you love so much, every now and then, you think the best way out of it is to go and be with the Lord."

Schaefer moved to Turnerville after more than three decades in Atlanta, where she was a former candidate for mayor. She was also GOP nominee for lieutenant governor in 1994.

In 1986, Schaefer founded a nonprofit foundation, Family Concerns Inc., which focused on opposition to abortion and the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

Tacoma, WA: Jury deliberating in Orting ax killings

A jury in Tacoma is deliberating in the aggravated murder trial of a man accused of killing his estranged wife and stepdaughter with an ax.

The Associated Press
TACOMA, Wash. —
A jury in Tacoma is deliberating in the aggravated murder trial of a man accused of killing his estranged wife and stepdaughter with an ax.

Fifty-three-year-old Charles Nettlebeck faces life in prison if convicted as charged for the March 2009 killings of Barbara Joe Nettlebeck and Bretta Joan Hawkins during a garage sale at a home near Orting.

Deputy prosecutors Mary Robnett and Sunni Ko say he argued with his wife over the proceeds.

His defense lawyer says Nettlebeck suffered a "psychotic break" when he killed the women.

The News Tribune of Tacoma reports a conviction on a second-degree murder charge might allow Nettlebeck out of prison some day.

Watch the Video Confession! Burke County, NC: Husband Surrenders, Confesses Estranged Wife's Murder

Posted: 10:42 pm EDT March 26,2010
Updated: 11:36 pm EDT March 26,2010

BURKE CO., N.C. -- Deputies arrested a Burke County man after his wife's body is found in a creek.
David Hunt confessed to Eyewitness News he shot his wife Sherry.
Hunt said, "I'm just so sorry about it. I can't handle it. I just killed the one I loved more than anything."
Landscapers found his wife's body Friday in a McDowell County creek. She had been shot multiple times. At first authorities only called Hunt a person of interest, but the estranged husband told Eyewitness News he pulled the trigger.
"Yeah, I sure did, but I didn't mean to. I mean the first shot, it was an accident. And then after that I just went berserk," Hunt said. Hunt also said he was so upset about what he did, he thought about killing himself. Instead he left the murder scene.
The sheriff found him at his parents home. He said Hunt walked out, broke down and confessed the crime.
On his way to jail, Hunt said he has already found forgiveness for killing her. "God's done forgiven me for it. I'm a saved man. I'm going through hell right now, but the Lord's going to take me to heaven some day, so don't anybody worry about that. I'll go to heaven," Hunt said.

Eureka Springs, AR: Boss says Alvard admitted to killing woman

Published: Saturday, March 27, 2010 6:07 AM
EUREKA SPRINGS — Wendell Parton, a Lampe, Mo., homebuilder, told a jury here Friday that his employee, Marty Alvard, 40, of Green Forest told him on April 25, 2008 that he had killed Janice Allen.

Parton said he had wanted to send paramedics to check on Allen at her daughter’s Green Forest apartment, but Alvard said it was no use:

“I’ve killed enough deer that I know when something’s dead.”

Deputy Medical Examiner Stephen Ericson testified that he was a deer hunter and he had seen deer bled out with a slash to the side of the throat like the one that opened Allen’s aorta and the windpipe.

Alvard’s lawyers don’t deny that he killed Allen, whose daughter, Jo Ann Alvard, was his estranged wife.

Instead, they say they will prove that he should be found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Much of Friday was spent following Marty Alvard’s steps after the killing. There has been testimony that he forced his wife through the living room where her dead mother was on a chair with a beige throw blanket over her head and chest.

She said he threatened to kill her when she tried to call for help from neighbors and again from a secretary she knew as they drove by the nearby school superintendent’s office.

Wendell Parton said he called Marty Alvard to check on the earache that had taken him away from a job site near Golden, Mo., and was told “I messed up.”

When Marty Alvard drove up, he asked Parton to take Jo Ann Alvard, who was still in her pajamas and recuperating from brain surgery.

When he hesitated, Parton said, Marty Alvard spat and said “if you don’t, I’ll kill her.”

He said he arranged for them to meet Rev. Todd Rogers to at the Harvest Assembly of God Church near Oak Grove, where Parton and the murder victim were members. Jo Ann Alvard often came with her mother and sometimes Marty Alvard came.

Co-worker Randy Waggoner, who was with Parton that day, testified that Marty Alvard once told him “If I could get away with it I’d kill” Jo Ann Alvard.

Another time he complained that Allen wouldn’t allow him to talk with his estranged wife after she had brain surgery and about other slights through the nearly 20 years of marriage to her daughter.

While Alvard’s lawyers contend that he had been hoping to reunite with his wife and children, Waggoner said Alvard had brought an old girlfriend he brought to a Christmas party and said he was seeing a teacher.

Terry Hutchison said Marty Alvard stopped by his Oak Grove home before going to the church and said, “I killed Jo Ann’s mother” using a baseball bat and a knife.

He asked Hutchison to “see to it the boys went hunting,” Hutchinson said, because he probably wasn’t going to be able to take his three sons hunting himself.

The preacher said when he got to the church, Jo Ann Alvard was inside and Marty Alvard was in the parking lot.

“I messed up bad,” Marty Alvard told him twice while waiting for police to arrive, Rev. Rogers said.

He said Parton had asked for and received Marty Alvard’s gun and he held it in the church safe until police picked it up later that afternoon.

The medical examiner’s testimony included enlargements of autopsy photos showing Allen was both beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed.

A male juror collapsed during the display but was tended first by the medical examiner, who is also a doctor, then had his blood pressure checked by paramedics before trial resumed with him in his seat.

The state’s case ended at 1:45 p.m. Friday and when the jurors left, Alvard’s lawyers made the standard request that the judge hold him innocent because the state hadn’t made its case that Marty Alvard committed capital murder or any other crimes in the death, hadn’t kidnapped Jo Ann Alvard, hadn’t made terroristic threats and hadn’t been guilty of anything that would require an enhancement for use of a firearm.

Prosecutor Tony Rogers noted Alvard’s “numerous admissions” to killing Allen, including statements to Green Forest Police Chief and Officer Shannon Hill when they picked him up, said Alvard’s both beating and stabbing Allen showed his acts were deliberate and cited Jo Ann’s testimony about his threats to her life before and during the drive after the killing.

Circuit Judge Kent Crow ruled that the case would continue.

Alvard’s lawyers will begin presenting their case Monday. They have said they will prove that Alvard was not by law responsable for his actions because of mental disease or defect.