Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jacksonville, FL: Death it is, jury says: Man killed ex-girlfriend in Jacksonville, later got in shootout with police

Death it is, jury says: Man killed ex-girlfriend in Jacksonville, later got in shootout with police

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By Kate Howard
A jury has recommended the death penalty for Justin Ryan McMillian in the January 2009 shooting death of his ex-girlfriend Danielle DeAnn Stubbs.

Stubbs, 26, had recently broken off her relationship with McMillian and was shot twice — once in the head — in her Pineverde Lane home in Jacksonville. McMillian, 26, testified in the death-penalty case that he fired two shots in a dark bedroom after Stubbs told him she killed his unborn child.

A couple of days later, he was being watched as part of the homicide investigation and jumped from a car and fired at officers, striking a police car twice on Firestone Drive. McMillian was shot multiple times while still firing his weapon, but survived.

McMillian was convicted of first-degree murder on June 17. The jury voted 10-2 Wednesday in favor of the death penalty after deliberating about 25 minutes, Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said.

“He was given opportunities to turn his life around,” de la Rionda said. “Despite that, he went and brutally killed this beautiful 26-year-old woman, an innocent lady.”

Judge David Gooding must now decide whether to accept the recommendation or sentence McMillian to life in prison.�

Dayton, OH: Teen Charged In Death Of Girlfriend

Posted: 2:58 pm EDT June 30, 2010
Updated: 8:38 pm EDT June 30, 2010

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office has charged a 16-year-old in connection with the death of his girlfriend.
Bobby Moore is accused of shooting Ronika Owens-Clemmons, 15, on a school playground in Dayton on June 16.
Prosecutors charged Moore with involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, two counts of tampering with evidence, carrying a concealed weapon, illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon on school grounds and underage purchase of a firearm.
Prosecutors filed a motion to have Moore tried as an adult; however, the case needs to go before a judge first.
If Moore is found guilty on the maximum charges, he could face 27 years in prison.

Reno, NV: Art appraiser appeals conviction in wife's death

The Associated Press
Posted: 06/29/2010 04:28:09 PM PDT
Updated: 06/29/2010 05:02:10 PM PDT

RENO, Nev.—A wealthy art appraiser from Lake Tahoe sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife by staging a crash off a cliff 12 years ago has again appealed his conviction.
Peter Bergna, 57, said in the new challenge filed Monday in Reno's U.S. District Court that he would have had to have been suicidal or schizophrenic to try to pull off such a stunt, and that he was neither.
Bergna, a son of a longtime former district attorney in Santa Clara County, Calif., also asked a federal judge to appoint him a lawyer because he only has $821 in the bank.
"The state's theory that (Bergna) could/would murder his wife by staging a vehicle accident which, by its 'design' placed himself in mortal danger, is weird," Bergna said in the appeal.
He claimed the brakes failed just before he jumped through a window from his 1997 Ford pickup truck. His wife, Rinette Riella-Bergna, did not escape and went over the side of a mountain to her death near the Mount Rose ski resort in June 1998.
At the time of the crash, Bergna was wearing sneakers, blue jeans and a windbreaker, not an "astronaut jump suit" worn by stunt-car drivers, the appeal said.
"The theory that this 'designed staged accident' featured him driving his truck straight into a guardrail in pitch darkness on a steep-pitched mountain road is even weirder," it said. "A person who would do that would have to be either suicidally depressed or schizophrenic."
He also claimed

that the guardrail, which was missing eight or nine bolts, also failed.
Riella-Bergna, a 49-year-old international tour guide, had just returned from a trip when Bergna picked her up at the airport and drove up the Mount Rose Highway toward their home at Incline Village before stopping on an access road near the ski resort to talk.
A Washoe County jury in 2002 found him guilty of murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with parole possible after 20 years.
In the federal appeal, Bergna said the prosecution claimed Bergna planned the crash and jumped from the vehicle seconds before it went down the mountain. They said Bergna strategically placed two 5-gallon gasoline cans in the back of the truck to ensure a massive fire.
Bergna said, however, prosecutors could not "explain away" the lack of footprints on the side of the road, or the cornstarch from the air bags that was found on both Bergna and his wife proving he was inside the truck when they deployed, or the blue paint on the guardrail where his truck sideswiped the metal.
He also said that at the time of the crash, 2,931 Ford pickup trucks had problems with anti-lock brakes. But before the indictment, neither the state nor the Ford Motor Company inspected his truck for brake problems.
After he was indicted, Ford and the prosecutors would not let Bergna's expert inspect the brakes, he said.
Bergna said the media portrayed him as being "guilty, guilty, guilty," and that the public "hate people with money."

Ephrata, WA: Not guilty plea entered in Washington man's death

A 29-year-old East Helena man accused of fatally shooting a Washington man has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

The Associated Press
HELENA, Mont. —
A 29-year-old East Helena man accused of fatally shooting a Washington man has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

David Emerson Nickels appeared in Grant County Superior Court in Washington on Tuesday and remains jailed on $5 million bail.

He was arrested in Helena last week and is accused of killing 35-year-old Sage Munro in Ephrata, Wash., on Dec. 29. Munro, who was dating Nickels' ex-girlfriend, was found dead from a single gunshot to the chest.

Court records say Nickels told investigators and friends he was in Great Falls at the time of the slaying, but cell phone records showed his phone registered a call from a cell tower in Spokane about two hours after the shooting.

He was extradited to Washington on Thursday.

Queens, NY: 109th Precinct Murder-suicide leaves one-year-old without a mom

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 5:04 PM EDT
A man who family reportedly said was obsessed with his friend allegedly killed her and her two dogs before taking his own life.

On Wednesday June 23, neighbors called police about a foul odor coming from 34-20 Murray Lane.

Upon arrival, police found 31-year-old Claudia Montoya, who had a one-year-old daughter, reportedly stabbed multiple times, with her throat slashed. Her two Yorkshire Terriers were also dead, reportedly overcome by fumes emitting from the stove that Wilmer Castano, 27, turned on.

Reports say that Castano, who knew Montoya from Francis Lewis High School, then made off with her Mercedes SUV, ramming it into Flushing Bay in an attempt to end his life.

When that didn’t work, say reports, he laid on the tracks of the No. 7 line at the Hunters Point station.

Bossier Parrish, LA: Possible teen murder suicide in Bossier Parish

Posted: Jun 29, 2010 11:17 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 29, 2010 11:46 PM EDT
BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) – Two teens are dead in Bossier Parish after what deputies say, could be a murder-suicide.

Cars of friends and family lined the street leading up to the scene.

Authorities found a pickup truck pulled into a remote driveway. Inside, the bodies of two 16 year-olds were found: one male, one female.

"We're told the pickup is the one the young man always drove," says Lt. Ed Baswell, Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office.

Deputies say they got a call about two bodies inside of a truck on Viking Drive near Bossier City.

"At this point we think it was probably a murder suicide, but of course that needs more investigation," says Dr. John Chandler, Bossier Parish Coroner.

A gun was found in the truck and collected for evidence.

When asked were there gunshot wounds, Dr. Chandler replied "yes." And when asked were the gunshot wounds the cause of death, Dr. Chandler also replied "yes."

The teens identities have not been revealed but we're told they were reported missing late last night or early this morning.

"We're going to get all their records, all their reports, and get the background on these two teenagers, and how they ended up here," says Lt. Baswell.

Stay with KSLA and for more on this developing story.

Scottsdale, AZ: Woman shot and man who barricaded himself in Phoenix home found dead

by Alicia E. Barrón

Posted on June 29, 2010 at 6:34 PM

PHOENIX – Police are investigating a double shooting in Scottsdale that took place near 7th Street and Greenway on Tuesday evening.

Police say a 52-year-old woman was shot several times inside her home at around 4 p.m. and was taken to the hospital. Her medical condition has not been released but she is expected to survive.

At about 6 p.m. the officers entered the home where they believed the suspect, whom witnesses said was the woman’s boyfriend, had barricaded himself and found him dead.

Dan Rayhorn, a neighbor, tells 3TV, “This normally doesn’t go on in this neighborhood. It’s usually pretty safe and pretty quiet so this is kind of a shocker. I really don’t know what’s going on other than I heard it was a shooting…that’s a little out of character for our street.”

Investigators are now trying to determine whether the man died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot or if he was also the victim of foul play.

Lyndon, WA: Lynden man gets 12 years for killing ex-girlfriend


Three-and-a-half years have passed since Dawn Ruger disappeared from Skagit County. Friends reported her missing in early 2007. More than a year later, authorities knew where her body had been dumped.
The 44-year-old’s former boyfriend, Ben C. Price, confessed in May 2008 and led investigators to Ruger’s remains. He had broken her neck on New Year’s Eve in 2006 in Skagit County and left her body in a shallow grave in a remote part of northern Whatcom County.
Price, 30, of Lynden, was sentenced June 18 to 12 years in prison for the slaying, after accepting a plea agreement in May. He was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in Skagit County Superior Court to a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter.

Price also was sentenced to 36 months of community custody. He was ordered to receive mental-health treatment in prison and while under supervision.
The plea agreement took into consideration Price’s diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. He also has a history of methamphetamine abuse, as did Ruger.
At the time of the killing, Price was suffering from hallucinations and delusions, said his attorney, Wes Richards of the Skagit County Public Defender’s Office.
Price thought Ruger was a witch who was putting demons in his head and practicing voodoo on him. He also thought the CIA was telling him that Ruger was Lucifer and that he needed to kill her, Richards said.
Ruger’s family said they were disappointed by the 12-year sentence.
Ruger’s father, Frank Riddle of Sedro-Woolley, told Superior Court Judge Dave Needy that Price “used the system” to get a lower sentence for killing Riddle’s only daughter.
Ruger’s stepmother, Cathy Riddle, agreed, saying Ruger didn’t get the justice she deserved.
“I don’t feel like he should ever be out because it could happen again,” Cathy Riddle said. “I don’t want another person to go through this with their daughter. Why do they let them out so soon?”
Ruger attended Sedro-Woolley High School and went on to study at Skagit Valley College. She briefly worked at a bank, then opened a day care in her home. The petite blonde was described by her family as “sweet and dynamic.”
Ruger had two grown sons.
“She’s never had a chance to live her life out with her kids because of (Price),” Carol Riddle said. “She didn’t make good decisions, but she didn’t deserve this.”
Before her death, Ruger bounced between friends’ homes in the Sedro-Woolley and Clear Lake areas. Friends had warned her about hanging out with Price because of his history of domestic violence. Skagit County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Erik Pedersen said in court that Price had written several letters to Ruger while he was in jail on other charges.
“She just trusted people too much,” her stepmother said. “That was her biggest fault. Basically, that’s why she’s dead.”
Price’s sentencing range was 12 to 16 years. His attorney asked for an exceptionally low sentence of six years.
The prosecution asked for the low end of the range — 12 years — as part of the plea agreement. Pederson felt it was fair because of Price’s mental health and drug history.
“It’s tragic that as a result of meth that a person would kill someone that they truly appear to care about,” Pedersen said after the hearing. “As far as the sentence, the sentence is never going to bring back Ms. Ruger.”

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baton Rouge, LA: Boyfriend receives 40-year sentence for girlfriend's stabbing death

Posted: Jun 29, 2010 1:13 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 29, 2010 3:46 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge man was sentenced Monday in connection with his teenage girlfriend's death.

District Judge Bonnie Jackson ordered Alexander Hooks, 23, to serve 40 years in prison in the death of Bionca Brown, 17.

Hooks was convicted of manslaughter in April.

The judge handed down the maximum sentence.

Brown was found stabbed to death in her condo at the Brandywine complex on June 9, 2007.

A family member made the discovery around 4:30 a.m.

Hooks was arrested later that evening after police found him in an abandoned house.

According to the Baton Rouge Police Department, Hooks had a handgun on him and lied about who he was.

Police later learned the gun was stolen.

St. Petersburg, FL: Fla. trial for Md. man in girlfriend's death

An Anne Arundel County man is on trial in the Tampa Bay area, charged with killing his girlfriend in 2007.

The murder trial for 26-year-old Matthew Dieterle began Monday in Pinellas County. Prosecutors say he beat, choked and stabbed 19-year-old Samantha MacQuilliam in August 2007 at a house they shared with two others.

MacQuilliam, also from Anne Arundel County, studied nursing at the University of Tampa. Authorities say Dieterle had followed her to Florida because he thought she was cheating on him.

Dieterle's attorney says authorities were rushing to judgment by blaming the boyfriend.

Authorities say MacQuilliam filed a domestic violence complaint against Dieterle about three months before her death. Investigators also reported finding Dieterle's bloody handprint at the scene.

-- St. Petersburg Times

Jackson, MS: Detective: Teen girl choked, threatened before being fatally shot

Jimmie E. Gates

Eighteen year-old Darion Givens argued with, choked and threatened to kill 16-year-old Jim Hill High School student Falisha Miller only hours before he allegedly killed her, according to testimony from a Jackson Police Department detective.

Givens, of Jackson, who is charged with murder in the June 13 shooting death of Miller, had his preliminary hearing Monday in Hinds County Court.

Authorities said Miller was shot in the left side of the head at close range in the bathroom of a room at the Metro Inn motel on Ellis Avenue.

Detective Shawn Sims testified that witnesses told authorities Givens and Miller, who he was dating, and others had gone to Club Elite on Ellis Avenue and came back to the Metro Inn.

Witnesses said Givens and Miller had a verbal confrontation at the club about her dancing with another male youth.

At the Metro Inn, hours before Miller was shot, she and Given apparently had a physical altercation, Sims said, citing witness statements.

"He choked her and said he would kill her about going through his phone," Sims said, citing witness statements.

There is no eyewitness to the actual shooting, Sims said.

Miller, Givens, Givens' brother Charles, Jasper Bell and Miller's sister, Shaquida Wingard, had been together that night at the club and at the Metro Inn.

Wingard told police she was sleeping and woke up after hearing the gunshot. Wingard said she saw Darron Givens coming out of the bathroom with the weapon, which apparently belonged to Bell, according to Sims.

The shooting was reported to authorities about 7 a.m. on June 13.

Before police arrived, Charles Givens, 19, took Miller to Central Mississippi Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Charles Givens hasn't been charged.

Motel owner Val Patel told The Clarion-Ledger after the shooting that the room, No. 234, was rented to Charles Givens, who often rented rooms there on the weekend.

Darion Givens' attorney, Hinds County Assistant Public Defender Alison Kelly, peppered Sims with questions about inconsistencies in witness statements.

Kelly said Bell told authorities he slept through the gunshot, but she wondered how that could be possible since a person in another room at the Metro Inn reported hearing a gunshot.

"No one says they saw Darion Givens shoot her?" Kelly asked Sims.

Sims replied, "I don't have an actual report that they saw Givens shoot the victim," Sims said.

Kelly asked Sims if a gunshot residue test was done on everyone in the room, including the victim. Sims said he didn't know if a gunshot residue test was done on the people in the room.

Kelly argued there wasn't evidence to send the case to a grand jury to decide if her client will be indicted.

County Judge William Barnett disagreed. He sent the case to a grand jury and set a $150,000 bond for Givens.

Meanwhile, Bell, 15, is charged with accessory after the fact in the slaying. Bell also is a suspect in the February robbery and shooting of Andrea Scott, a Jackson State University researcher.

Andrea Scott was shot twice in the back of the head in the parking lot of the John A. Peoples Jr. Science Building during an armed robbery. Police earlier arrested Randall Mason, 18, as one of three men who robbed her. Scott survived the shooting.

Orange County, FL: Boyfriend arrested in Orange woman's slaying

Carl Vance is charged in the February strangulation death of his girlfriend, Connie Lynn Asbury.

By Bianca Prieto, Orlando Sentinel

6:33 PM EDT, June 29, 2010

Orange County deputies arrested the boyfriend of a woman found dead earlier this year at an extended stay motel on South Orange Blossom Trail.

Carl Vance, 53, faces a first-degree murder charge in the Feb. 9 death of Connie Lynn Asbury. He is being held without bond at the Orange County Jail.

Detectives think Vance used a telephone cord to strangle Asbury, 50, inside the motel room, court records show. Asbury was strangled, according to the Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner.

Investigators responded to the motel around 7 a.m. that day after a man used Asbury's cell phone to dial 911 and report that "a women [sic] had been killed up in there," records show.

Detectives later determined it was Vance who used Asbury's cell phone to call for help.

Deputies arrested Vance last week, more than four months after Asbury's body was found inside of a room at SunStyle Suites.

Deputies responded and found the door to the bathroom had been forced open. Asbury's body was in the shower stall with clothing and food thrown on top of her. Detectives also found blood soaked clothing and towels in the room, according to court records.

During an interview with deputies, Vance said Asbury locked herself in the bathroom while doing drugs. When he barged in hours later, Vance said he found her with blood on her face.

He first told detectives that Asbury was still alive and moving when he found her, but then changed his story and said she wasn't moving, documents show.

After finding her in the shower, Vance told detectives he sat in the room and drank rum for a few hours before leaving the room to catch a bus to his sister's house, about 15 miles from the crime scene.

But detectives found Asbury's rental car parked in a shopping center about 1.5 miles his sister's house.

Asbury's death is the 15th domestic-violence-related homicide in Orange County this year.

Bianca Prieto can be reached at or 407-420-5620.

Douglas, AL: Marshall County authorities investigate murder/attempted suicide

Posted: Jun 29, 2010 5:11 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 29, 2010 5:18 PM EDT

Marshall County authorities investigate murder/attempted suicide

DOUGLAS, AL (WAFF) - An investigation underway into a deadly shooting in Marshall County.

Sheriff's deputies found one person dead and another wounded after responding to a domestic call on Hambrick Road in the Horton community early Tuesday morning.

"The female was deceased at this point and the male was transported to Huntsville Hospital by air ambulance and is currently under treatment there," said Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls.

Sheriff Walls said 46-year-old Lori Wigley was killed in the incident while her husband, 57-year-old Sherwin Wigley, is in intensive care. The Sheriff said there was no intruder.

"Well, it's a domestic situation, apparently murder-attempted suicide," said Walls.

Without a history of domestic violence, why is a big question.

"I have no idea. Have no previous calls to this residence and no issues that we know of," explained Walls.

Walls said Sherwin Wigley was a retired postal worker. According to a postal service website, Lori Wigley was recently named as the postal service's district manager for Alabama.

"Actually, investigators came out of Birmingham from the U.S. Postal Service. They were on scene," said Walls.

The town's mayor said the family is pretty well known in the area.

"I would just hope that God will give them peace and comfort and help them to cope with this," said Mayor Phillips.

Although no charges have yet been filed, Sheriff walls said they will be if Wigley recovers and is released from the hospital.

Salem, MA: Florida man gets life sentence for slaying

By Associated Press | Tuesday, June 29, 2010 | | Local Coverage
SALEM — A Florida man convicted of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend’s new lover in her Massachusetts apartment has been sentenced to life in prison.

Jose Collazo of Tampa, Fla., was sentenced Monday in Salem Superior Court to the mandatory term for a first-degree murder conviction. He was convicted June 18.

Authorities say the 23-year-old Collazo shot Jose Fuentes three times in the chest in February 2009 after the defendant found the victim in bed with his former girlfriend in her Haverhill apartment. The woman, who had broken up with Collazo a week earlier, is the mother of Collazo’s two children.

His defense lawyer questioned the reliability of some witnesses during the trial.

Anderson County, SC: Murder-Suicide Case Closed

Anderson Investigators Name Shooter

POSTED: 9:27 am EDT June 29, 2010
UPDATED: 11:53 am EDT June 29, 2010

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. -- The case of a woman killed over the weekend while sitting at a kitchen table has been closed, Anderson County sheriff's investigators said Tuesday.
Investigators ruled the incident a murder-suicide based on evidence collected from the residence, autopsies and witness statements, a statement from the sheriff's office said.
An examination of the autopsies confirmed that Larry Michael Stovall fatally shot Kathy Valkenburg before killing himself, the report said.
Witness statements also indicated Valkenburg died as a result of a murder-suicide, the report said.
The shooting happened at 200 Sleepy Hollow Road just after midnight Sunday morning.

Alton, MO: Man, woman die in apparent murder-suicide in Alton

BY TERRY HILLIG > > 618-659-2075 | Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 12:37 pm |

ALTON - A man and his ex-wife were shot to death Monday night in what police believe was a murder-suicide.
Police Chief David Hayes said police were called at 8:41 p.m. to an apartment in the 1100 block of Washington Avenue to investigate a report of an argument and gunshots. Hayes said officers looked through a window and saw a woman who appeared to be dead and immediately heard another shot.
When police entered, they found the bodies of 47-year-old Matthew Eubanks, who lived at the address, and 43-year-old Jennifer Eubanks of the 2100 block of Flight Drive in Florissant. Police Chief David Hayes said the two were married for 25 years, had separated about a year ago and had been divorced for about six months.
Hayes said police believe Matthew Eubanks shot his ex-wife several times, then killed himself with the same handgun when police arrived.


Posted: Jun 28, 2010 9:42 AM

BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A northern Kentucky man, who police say fatally shot his former wife before critically wounding himself, has died at a hospital.

The Kentucky Enquirer quoted the Boone County Sheriff's office in reporting the death on Sunday of 42-year-old Dean Pauly of Petersburg.

Investigators say Pauly shot and killed his ex-wife, 40-year-old Denise Pauly, of Burlington on Saturday and then shot himself in the head.

Sheriff's spokesman Tom Scheben said the couple was seen walking out of a woods early Saturday afternoon and Denise Pauly called out to a neighbor who was outside. Scheben said Dean Pauly then shot his former wife before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities said the Paulys had three children together


Posted: Jun 28, 2010 4:52 PM
Updated: Jun 28, 2010 5:21 PM

The man accused of hunting down, kidnapping and killing his ex-girlfriend in Morgan County after escaping from jail appeared in court Monday.

Robin Mapel was flanked by two state troopers and was in handcuffs and shackles when he appeared in Morgan County circuit court for a hearing on his murder and kidnapping charges. Police say Mapel escaped from the Montgomery County jail while working as a trustee and went to Melissa Patrick's Morgan County home, where he allegedly kidnapped and shot her.

An August 23 hearing was set for Mapel. The prosecutor says he may seek the death penalty in the case.

Broomfield, CO: Boulder man suspected of killing stepfather, shooting into estranged wife's apartment

By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post
POSTED: 06/29/2010 03:07:56 PM MDT
UPDATED: 06/29/2010 04:13:10 PM MDT

A 53-year-old Boulder man is in custody, suspected of killing his stepfather in a Broomfield apartment complex and then going to another apartment and firing through the front door of his estranged wife's residence.

The suspect, Thomas Ansley Holloway, was apprehended later in Boulder by Boulder police who were looking for him on an unrelated matter, said Broomfield Police Sgt. Scott Swenson.

Swenson said Broomfield police became aware of the situation when they were called to the Summit Apartment Complex in the 200 block of Summit Boulevard shortly after 8 a.m. today on reports of shots fired.

Swenson said that Holloway apparently had attempted to contact his estranged wife and when he failed to make contact he used a shotgun to fire twice through her apartment front door. Neither of the occupants inside the apartment was seriously injured, said Swenson.

Broomfield police are not releasing the identities of the two people inside the apartment.

After the shots were fired, Holloway fled the area.

After learning that Holloway's stepfather lived in the same apartment complex, officers checking on him and found him dead inside his apartment. He died from what appeared to be a gunshot wound, said Swenson.

According to Boulder Deputy Chief of Police Greg Testa, Holloway drove back to Boulder, went to his adult daughter's residence in the 900 block of 14th Street, broke in and assaulted his daughter's roommate.

The roommate was struck on the head and cut with a bottle. As Holloway fled, his daughter was arriving back at her residence, said Testa.

After speaking with the people at the 14th Street address, the Boulder SWAT team responded to an 11-floor apartment complex in the 800 block of Folsom Street where Holloway lives.

There, said Testa, a perimeter was set up. SWAT members eventually knocked on the door of Holloway's 9th floor apartment. Holloway answered and was taken into custody without incident, said the deputy chief. By that time, Boulder was aware that Broomfield was looking for Holloway in connection with the homicide, he added.

Holloway is currently being held in Boulder County Jail. He is being held for investigation of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault in connection with the Boulder incident. He is also being held for investigation of the incident in Broomfield, including the fatal shooting.

Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939 or

Glen Arm, MD: Woman accused of killing husband testifies

Former teacher calmly describes Glen Arm man's murder, says she was 'in a fog'

Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun

7:00 PM EDT, June 29, 2010


Calmly, and in a clear if subdued voice, a 60-year-old murder defendant told a jury Tuesday that she could not fathom how her .38-caliber revolver ended up in her grasp on the morning her husband was killed, and said she "never heard the gun."

"I saw myself like I was in a movie," Mary C. Koontz said to the Baltimore County Circuit Court jury that has been hearing the case against her since last Wednesday. She acknowledged buying and learning to use the gun, and checking it in with her luggage on flights to Baltimore from her condominium in Florida, where she was living after her marriage had dissolved.

On June 19, 2009, having returned to Maryland and made her way into the bedroom in Glen Arm she once shared with her husband of 20 years, Ronald G. Koontz, she recalled the scene as though she had been removed from it — "from the perspective of the ceiling."

"The next thing I remember is seeing the gun in my hand, and shaking it, like: 'What is this gun doing here?' " she testified. "I was in a fog."

Koontz spent about two hours on the witness stand, the first time she had spoken publicly about the events of that day, when, prosecutors say, she shot her estranged husband four times. Koontz also is accused of firing toward her daughter Kelsey, now 17, but the girl was uninjured.

The defendant's appearance as a witness, rare in a murder trial, was part of a defense strategy to persuade jurors that her actions were due to a disturbed mind and that she is not responsible for the crimes. She answered questions slowly and precisely, recalling intricate details of her life all the way back to her childhood, but her memory grew vague when asked to describe the morning of the shootings.

On cross-examination, she told prosecutor Robin C. Coffin that her real intent was to kill herself, but could not explain how her husband died. She said she barely recalled leaving her Towson hotel some time after 5 a.m. and driving the six miles or so to her former home. But she admitted that she must have packed her gun for the trip, since she always had it loaded by her side as she slept.

"Everything was really unclear," she said. "I just remember ending up at the stream behind our house."

The stream, she went on, held special significance because she and her husband had sometimes prayed there after building the four-bedroom house on Manor Springs Court in 1990. She considered the water to have healing properties.

On the morning of the killing, Koontz said, she "prayed a little bit" at the stream. She did not recall leaving her rental car there or her gun case on the front passenger seat, where police later found it. Nor did she recall carrying the weapon as she walked to the house, but she remembered letting herself in with a key she had kept since leaving 19 months earlier.

Koontz did not attach special significance to the fact that her shoes were found by the front door, a detail that prosecutors took to mean she intended to sneak inside without being heard. "I always took my shoes off before I stepped on the white carpet," she told the jury. Then, she went on, "I think I went upstairs and walked into our bedroom and I saw Ron standing at the bottom of the bed."

At that point, under gentle questioning from defense attorney Richard M. Karceski, she described seeing herself as a movie character, someone whose actions she was merely observing. Koontz said nothing about firing the gun at either her husband or daughter. But under cross-examination she did not dispute Kelsey's testimony last week that her mother had crouched into a two-handed firing stance before pulling the trigger.

Koontz recalled going into her daughter's room, but it looked very distorted, she said.

After leaving the room and closing the door behind her — the girl testified earlier that she immediately locked it and called police — Koontz went into her daughter's bathroom, where, she said, she "lost consciousness" and came around to find herself lying on the floor with her husband on top of her.

"He said, 'I've always loved you,' " the defendant recalled. "I said, 'I've always loved you.' The next thing, he's banging my head on the door frame. I don't understand — he just said he loved me."

Koontz then described struggling for the gun, and her desire to use it to kill herself. She said she and her husband "slid down the steps together, side by side," grappling for the weapon on the grass outside the house.

Police officers ran up to the couple and disarmed her. The officers testified last week that both Mary and Ron Koontz were covered in blood. She was arrested, and he was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Mary Koontz was initially taken to Franklin Square Hospital Center, where she was questioned by detectives, and eventually to Clifton T. Perkins State Hospital, a maximum-security forensic psychiatric facility, where she spent six weeks.

Born in Clarksburg, W.Va., in 1949, Mary C. Minehart was one of three siblings, she told the jury. While she described herself in childhood as "daddy's little girl," she had a "strained relationship" with her late mother, a judge.

When she was almost 11, Koontz said, she was molested by a cousin, and on an earlier occasion was dragged behind a bicycle by a group of boys. Both incidents have inspired nightmares throughout her life, she said.

An English teacher at Sparrows Point High School, she met Ron Koontz, a Baltimore County schools supervisor who was to become her second husband, in 1988, when she applied to him for a transfer to another school. They had several things in common, she said, chiefly a dedication to a charismatic Christian faith. They married in December the following year, after her divorce from her first husband, with whom she had two sons.

The first few years of the Koontzes' marriage — Kelsey was born in December 1992 — were "wonderful," the defendant said, with "no big problems." But her growing physical and emotional ailments began to take their toll, and the marriage began to deteriorate.

"It was a lot to put up with," she said, "for myself and for Ron."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pawtucket, RI: Man charged in death of girlfriend

By The Associated Press

Police say 30-year-old Brooke Verdoia was found dead in her home Saturday.

A 30-year-old Pawtucket man was charged Monday in the weekend killing of his girlfriend.

Armando Garcia was arraigned in Providence District Court on a murder charge and ordered held without bail.

The medical examiner said 30-year-old Brooke Verdoia died of multiple traumatic injuries. She was found dead in her Rufus Street home Saturday and her car was gone. The car was found about 12 hours later in the city.

Garcia told the court "I got scared" after the judge read a charge of failing to report Verdoia's death.

While the judge was reading the murder charge, Garcia shook his head and said "not guilty."

People in the courtroom were crying, and as Garcia was being led out of the courtroom, someone yelled out to him.

Garcia is also accused of violating probation. He served time for stealing a car and breaking and entering.

Sioux City, IA: Sioux Cityan who killed wife dies while serving sentence

By Molly Montag and Michele Linck - Journal staff writers | Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010
DES MOINES -- Timothy Leon Sohler, 51, a Sioux City man convicted of killing his wife nearly two years ago, died Wednesday at University Hospitals in Iowa City, an Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman said Friday.
Sohler was taken to the hospital from Anamosa State Penitentiary, where he was serving a 25-year sentence.
Spokesman Fred Scaletta said that the cause of death remains unknown and will be determined following the results of an autopsy performed on Thursday. He said the autopsy included toxicological testing, so it could take up to six weeks to receive results.
Sohler pleaded guilty to attempted murder and willful injury last year in Woodbury County District Court for the fatal stabbing of his wife, Susan Sohler. The crime took place on Dec. 22, 2008, in the kitchen of their home on Fieldcrest Drive.
Sohler allegedly prevented his 13-year-old twins from calling 911 until their mother had stopped breathing. He began serving his sentence on Dec. 3, 2009, Scaletta said.
Sohler was initially charged with first-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to lesser charges, so the case never went to trial. As part of the plea agreement, Sohler was required to serve at least 17.5 years before he was eligible for parole.

Article: Choking seen as prelude to murder

By Marisol Bello, USA TODAY
More states are trying to reduce fatal domestic assaults by increasing penalties against abusers who choke their victims.
New Hampshire and Delaware in May become the latest states to pass laws making it a felony to choke someone. A similar law that passed both houses of the New York Legislature this month awaits the signature of Democratic Gov. David Paterson.

States are targeting choking incidents because when an abuser tries to strangle someone in a domestic assault, it is a leading indicator that he will escalate his attacks and eventually kill his victim, says Gael Strack, a former prosecutor and founder of the Family Justice Center Alliance, which helps abuse victims.

Strack says states also need to train officers and prosecutors to look for evidence of strangulation, which can be hard to prove without bruises on the victim.

A 2008 study in the Journal of Emergency Medicine found 43% of women who were murdered in domestic assaults and 45% who were victims of attempted murder had been choked in the past year by their male partners.

Twenty-nine states have laws that make strangulation a crime, says the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, a program of the National District Attorneys Association.

New Hampshire passed its law after Melissa Cantin Charbonneau, 29, a mother and nurse, was killed by her husband two days after he tried to strangle her.

Jonathan Charbonneau, 32, shot and killed her in October. He also shot his father-in-law and then killed himself, a report by the state attorney general found. He was out on $30 bail after being charged with a misdemeanor for throwing her down a flight of stairs and trying to strangle her.

Her father, John Cantin, who survived the shooting, says his daughter would still be alive if her killer had been in jail, charged with a felony.

"I'm doing this for my daughter," he says. "I don't believe this bill will stop the person doing the choking, but at least when it does happen and they are arrested, they are put away."

In Delaware, two state troopers who tracked domestic abuse cases found that over a four-month period, more than half of the cases in one county involving strangulation were prosecuted as misdemeanors, says Brian Selander, a spokesman for Democratic Gov. Jack Markell. The troopers pushed for the new law, which carries a penalty of up to five years.

In New York, Democratic State Sen. Eric Schneiderman introduced a strangulation bill after chairing a commitee that investigated a state senator for domestic abuse. During the hearings, he learned there was no penalty for strangulation, even though women who were choked have a higher risk of being killed by their partner.

"I'm just sorry it took us so long in New York state to do this," he says. "I think this will save a lot of lives."

Honell, NY: Police: Hornell man kills wife, then claims she died in ATV accident

Bradford faces murder charges after 7-month investigation

By Ray Finger and Jason Whong

The husband of a Lindley woman who initially reported his wife's death as an ATV accident has been charged with murder and other felonies, state police in Painted Post said Friday.

Daniel Bradford Jr., 32, of Hornell Street in Hornell, also was charged with criminal contempt, aggravated criminal contempt, offering a false instrument for filing and tampering with physical evidence in the death of his wife, Jennifer S. Bradford, 28, of Gibson Road, police said in a news release.

The charges are a result of a grand jury indictment handed up Thursday in Steuben County Court and a seven-month investigation, police said. Police said Daniel Bradford staged the accident in order to cover up her slaying.

"His story is it's an ATV accident. Our story is that he killed her," Investigator Steve Crouch said. "Blunt-force trauma to the head is the cause of death."

State police initially investigated reports that Bradford was operating an ATV at an unknown location on Nov. 22, 2009, when his wife was a passenger and had been ejected from the vehicle.

She was initially treated at St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell and later transferred to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where she died the following day.

Over the seven-month investigation, Bradford faced other charges.

On Dec. 1, police charged him with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree criminal trespass. Those charges stemmed from his apparent violation of a restraining order.

In early March, police charged Bradford with fourth-degree witness tampering. Police said he tried to influence a witness that police were about to interview in the accident investigation.

Bradford was released on bail in the previous charges, Crouch said.

On the indictment, the criminal contempt charge alleges Bradford violated an order of protection by repeatedly following his wife, subjecting her to physical contact and intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury to her, police said.

The charge of offering a false instrument for filing alleges Bradford gave a false written statement during the investigation, police said.

The evidence tampering charge alleges he tampered with physical evidence associated with the investigation.

Crouch said the arrest was "pretty simple." Police found him driving in Hornell, pulled him over and arrested him.

Bradford was arraigned without an attorney Friday in Steuben County Court by Judge Marianne Furfure and sent to county jail without bail, Crouch said. He is scheduled to reappear in county court for arraignment with an attorney on Thursday.

Jennifer Bradford had been a nurse's aide at Founders Pavilion in Corning, according to an obituary.

Ocala, FL: Husband calmly tells dispatcher “I shot my wife”

By Jackie Alexander
Staff writer

Published: Monday, June 28, 2010 at 6:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 28, 2010 at 6:04 p.m.
An Ocala man called the Marion County Sheriff's Office early Sunday to report that he had shot and killed his wife, officials said.

Robert A. Duclos, 68, was waiting for Marion County Sheriff's Office deputies at the Cherrywood Estates home, located at 6310 S.W. 100th Loop, at 7 a.m., officials said.

When deputies and paramedics arrived, they found Mariella Duclos, 67, dead from gunshot wounds.

She was found in the kitchen of the 1,254-square-foot home in the quiet age-restricted retirement community just off Southwest 60th Avenue, about three miles south of State Road 200.

Marion sheriff's spokeswoman Jenifer Lowe said Robert Duclos told detectives the shooting was not a part of an argument or dispute. The reason for the killing, Duclos told detectives, was that t was an “internal conflict and personal issues within Mr. Duclos and he felt that this was a resolution to that conflict,” Lowe said Sunday afternoon.

Robert Duclos felt that “killing his wife was the only resolution to those conflicts,” Lowe added.

Though initially it was thought a shotgun may have been used in the shooting, Lowe said the murder weapon had not been recovered and verified.

Lowe said no more details, including the 911 tape, would be released Sunday. Robert Duclos was booked into the Marion County Jail on a first-degree murder charge and is being held without bond, jail officials said Sunday afternoon.

In October 2006, Duclos had been arrested on aggravated domestic violence without a firearm charge in connection with an altercation with his wife, Lowe confirmed.

Robert Duclos later pleaded no contest to a lesser battery charge nearly a year later.

He completed domestic violence counseling and received one year of probation.

Adjudication of guilt was withheld, according to Marion County Clerk of Court's online records.

Beavercreek, OH: Police in Ohio suburb kill man they say charged with a knife during domestic violence call

By Associated Press
11:37 AM EDT, June 28, 2010
BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (AP) — Police in the Dayton area say an officer shot a man to death who charged at police with a knife in his hand during a domestic violence call.

Police in suburban Beavercreek said in a statement Monday that it was first time an officer from their department has killed a suspect in the city of nearly 40,000 people. Police say they were called Sunday evening to a domestic disturbance at an apartment complex in which a woman was hurt by her husband.

Police offered condolences to the family of the man identified as 45-year-old Scott Brogli. The Montgomery County coroner's office planned an autopsy, and the unnamed officer who fired the shot was placed on administrative leave as a standard procedure.

No other details were available immediately.

Grant County, WA: Slaying suspect was dating Grant County victim's girlfriend

The suspect in the shooting death of a Grant County man in December was secretly dating the victim's girlfriend, court documents say.

By Meghann M. Cuniff
The Spokesman-Review
GRANT COUNTY — The suspect in the shooting death of a Grant County man in December was secretly dating the victim's girlfriend, court documents allege.

David E. Nickels, 29, is in jail on $5 million bond for first-degree murder in the Dec. 29 slaying of Sage J. Munro at Munro's home in Ephrata.

The six-month investigation took detectives to six states before Nickels was arrested this week in his hometown of Helena, Mont.

That's where investigators say he met Munro's girlfriend, 21-year-old Marita Messick, more than five years ago. Nickels and Messick had a child together when Messick was 15, according to court documents filed this week in Grant County Superior Court.

Munro, 35, and Messick had been dating about seven months. Munro had a 13-year-old son and coached youth football.

When first interviewed, Messick told investigators Nickels was a jealous ex-boyfriend who harassed her and once called Munro and said they were still together.

"Messick said the harassment got to the point where she had to change her phone number because she was afraid of Nickels and thought he was crazy," investigators wrote.

But police say Messick left out a key detail during that first interview — she'd been seeing Nickels without Munro's knowledge. She later said "she was ashamed of the relationship," and didn't want to admit to it.

Court papers show Nickels was a suspect from the beginning. A team of detectives from across the Columbia Basin used cellphone records and witness interviews to track Nickels, who was described as having an extensive criminal history and was known to move frequently and drive different vehicles.

The break came June 16 when DNA found on a pair of handcuffs outside Munro's home was determined to belong to Nickels, documents say.

"Literally thousands of hours and thousand of miles in multiple states and they were able to track that (guy) down," said John Turley, Grant County undersheriff.

A Seattle attorney who spoke with detectives on Nickels' behalf in February did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Messick said she and Nickels met in Montana the week before Christmas but she left without saying goodbye to Nickels. That angered Nickels, Messick told investigators.

Along with Utah and South Dakota, detectives traveled to Colorado and interviewed Nickels' mother, who said she learned of Munro's death when Messick called "saying if her son had anything to do with the murder she would kill him."

Nickels' mother said her son was in Montana at the time of the shooting.

But cellphone records led detectives to a woman who said she met Nickels at a bar in Marbleton, Wyo., on Dec. 29 and he said "he was heading back from Washington state en route to Montana," according to court documents.

Investigators also spoke with an acquaintance of Messick's who said he'd heard Nickels "bragging about shooting a boyfriend of hers" while drinking in a Helena bar.

The man told detectives "he kind of thought Nickels was joking up until he found out Messick's boyfriend really was shot and killed."

Investigators began tracing Nickels' cellphone May 3, then traveled to Helena May 5 to obtain a warrant for Nickels' DNA sample. They obtained the sample May 10 after Nickels was arrested on suspicion of driving on a suspended license.

Brooks, ME: Brooks man charged with wife's murder


BROOKS -- A local man was charged with murder over the weekend after his wife was found shot to death in their home Friday evening.

Deborah Littlefield, 49, was already dead when emergency crews arrived at the family's Veteran's Highway residence at 7 p.m. in response to a 911 call made by a relative, according to Sgt. Anna Love of the Maine State Police said.

Love said Saturday that following a search, police located Michael Littlefield, 48, who was reportedly speaking with a friend inside his truck at a nearby residence on the Back Brooks Road. Police also recovered a rifle they believe was used in the shooting, according to a press release sent by the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Littlefield, who Love said has been cooperative with investigators, was being held in Waldo County Jail on Sunday. He will be arraigned today or Tuesday in Belfast District Court.

"It's early stages," Love said Saturday outside the couple's home, the white evidence response team truck parked in the driveway. "We've got to get to the bottom of things."

There is no indication that drugs are involved, she said, adding that police are treating the case as a domestic violence homicide.

"They had no history that we're aware of," Love said.

Deborah Littlefield worked at the Residence in Tall Pines, a retirement home in Belfast, where she helped care for elderly residents. News of her death has been "devastating" to the community there, said Cindy McIntire, the resident services director and Littlefield's supervisor.

"She is the most wonderful person I have ever known in my entire life," McIntire said Sunday of Littlefield. "For all the residents that she cared for, and for everyone's life that she touched, she made their life better. She made it special. She was a jewel, a gem, a diamond."

Littlefield's family meant everything to her, McIntire said.

"She loved her children, she loved her grandchildren, she loved her husband very much," she said. "It's a horrible tragedy for everyone involved."

Crews from the Maine State Police criminal investigation division spent much of Friday night and Saturday working at the blue-and-white home where the slaying happened. Troopers kept the press and others away from the home, a well-kept property screened from the road with a line of trees.

A for sale sign on the road said the single-family house was listed for-sale for $199,000. Photographs on the website of real estate agency Jaret & Cohn show a spacious, immaculate home that the agency describes as "exceptionally nice."

After the couple's children moved out, they wanted to make a change, and that's why the home was for sale, McIntire said.

Outside, laundry hung on a clothesline Saturday morning and a newer-looking Wilderness RV trailer was parked in the driveway, close to a sporty-looking black car. A child's toy truck could be spotted on a stone wall. According to Love, the couple's grandchildren visited them occasionally, but police believe no one else was home when Deborah Littlefield was shot.

Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said Sunday afternoon that there is no new information about Littlefield's death.

"Anything new will come out in the form of court documents," he said.

Outside J.P. Wentworth's General Store in Brooks, the news of yet another murder in rural Maine -- just two days after two men and a 10-year-old boy were stabbed to death in Amity -- provoked shock and worry from several people who were chatting in the parking lot.

"I don't know what the hell is happening in this state," Rob Roberts of Swanville said Saturday morning. "I've never seen so many murders. It's ridiculous."

Bristol, VA: Both victims known to him, Oadis White denies any involvement in their deaths

By CLAIRE GALOFARO | Police Beat Reporter - Bristol Herald Courier
Published: June 27, 2010

BRISTOL, Va. – First it was his co-worker’s wife, found dead in his family’s abandoned, crumbling house. Eighteen months later, this past March, his embattled ex-girlfriend turned up dead in another patch of woods, 10 miles away.
Oadis William White III – 52, tall, thin and blind in one eye – has been named a suspect in both cases. No charges have been filed against him.
In recent interviews with the Bristol Herald Courier, the registered sex offender admitted knowing both victims, but denies any involvement in their deaths.
White believes Bristol has a serial killer, but, he says, he is not it.
“Somebody’s out here doing it,” he said. “But I didn’t. If I had, then why aren’t my ex-wife dead and my other girlfriends dead?”
White’s late stepfather is the listed property owner of the forsaken house in Washington County, Va., where Meranda Faith Hayden’s body was found in October 2008. Police say White was the last person known to have seen her. White says she was just an acquaintance, his co-worker’s wife.
But White and Angela Statzer, who turned up dead from asphyxiation on a wooded hillside in Bristol, Va., dated and lived together for two years. They were in court, over a crossfire of violated protective orders, exactly one week before her body was discovered, according to court records.
The two deaths are the most recent in a string of unsolved murders in the Bristol area, the victims all young local women found dead in woods and fields spanning three jurisdictions.
In February 2007, the bones of 20-year-old Leah Feltner were discovered in the brush off Blackley Road in Bristol, Tenn. Ten months later and just 100 yards away, a man playing with his grandkids came upon the remains of 21-year-old Jill Cunningham Pope. Feltner and Pope were good friends, police said, and Hayden was linked to them through habits and associates.
Bristol Tennessee Police Lt. Debbie McCauley recently declined comment on whether White is considered a suspect in the deaths of Pope and Feltner.
He says he never knew them.
Months and years passed from the days the first three women disappeared to when their bodies were discovered, leaving them so decomposed that authorities couldn’t determine how they died.
But in March, a dog got away from its owner in a patch of woods across from Aerus Electrolux on East Valley Drive in Bristol, Va. The dog sniffed out Angela Statzer’s body just a day after she died, police estimate.
They called it lucky that she was found so quickly.
Matching DNA
Angela Statzer, 22, listened to a little red MP3 player, her prized possession, as she wandered around town for hours each day. Police searched White’s apartment June 2, specifically looking for the red music player, according to a search warrant. They did not find it, but they swabbed White’s cheeks for DNA and hauled off his journal, handwritten on loose-leaf paper, police said.
White, born and raised in Bristol, keeps a detailed chronicle of his daily comings and goings. “Left for hospital at 9:16,” he read from a recent entry. “Back at 3:20. Undercover police – looking, looking, looking.”
Police refused to comment on the journal’s contents.
White says he has evidence that would exonerate him, but that information must be kept secret until the right time.
“It’ll come out – exactly why I’ve been accused, why they’re putting the finger on me,” he says. “I have proof everything is a lie, and they’ll get it when it’s needed.”
He did not specify when that time would be. A Virginia State Police trooper and Tennessee Highway patrolman are willing to back him up in court, he says, though he declined to name them or describe their testimony.
Police say White has not presented them with any evidence. Still, no arrest has been made, no charges filed. Police refuse to provide specifics about their investigation, now nearing four months old.
Bristol Virginia Police Capt. Darrell Duty said the state forensic lab in Roanoke found DNA in Statzer’s body that matched White’s, based on information in the sex offender registry. They are still, more than three weeks later, waiting for the results of this month’s test.
“There ain’t no way they found my DNA in her,” White said, concluding that he is being set up, his DNA planted in Statzer’s body.
On June 8, White told two Herald Courier reporters that he had sex with Statzer for the last time two days after their final round of emergency protective orders – he took one against Statzer on Oct. 29 and she responded in kind the following day. But in a follow-up interview several days later, he recanted. They hadn’t “slept together” in his bed since then, he explained. But they did have sex in the alley behind his house just three or four days before Statzer’s body turned up. A security camera at the apartment complex adjacent to White’s house caught their coitus, he said. He learned this, he said, when he told Sgt. Steve Crawford about their romp in the alley, and Crawford replied that he saw them on video. White said Crawford “smiled, said ‘I know, I saw you. I saw y’all having sex.’ “
But Crawford said he never saw a video, that it doesn’t exist.
Long rap sheet
White, disabled in a car accident years ago, now spends most of his days on the front porch of his run-down apartment house – brick on its sides and painted blue gray on its front – at an intersection splitting Bristol, Va., public housing.
He sits in a plaid chair, hoisted a foot from the ground by four cinder blocks, greeting familiar passers-by. He wears flashy rings and several studs in his ears, one a golden zipper pull dangling from his left lobe. White admits a fondness for Wild Turkey and once, according to court records, told a probation officer he began his daily alcohol habit at the age of 11.
White has no teeth, a 10th-grade education and a rap sheet that dates back almost 40 years.
At age 15, in 1972, he was convicted of assault and put on probation. Two years later: larceny, making threats and being unruly. In 1976, he was fined $25 for carrying a dangerous weapon. A month later, he was fined another $249.53 for grand larceny.
The next year, White was convicted of forgery and sent to Tennessee’s Turney Center Industrial Prison for a year. Upon release, he absconded probation only to be arrested in Elmore County, Ala., for carrying a concealed weapon, court records show.
In 1981, according to news reports, White and a juvenile picked up a man on State Street, offered him a ride, then showed him a badge and pistol and claimed to be undercover officers. They stole his $80 and beat him unconscious with the butt of the gun. He was convicted of armed robbery in that case, sentenced to 14 years in prison and paroled in 1986. The next year brought a dismissed assault charge and a fine for injuring property.
In 1987, White dated a woman and lived with her son. The son had a 22-year-old girlfriend, who, White claims, he was seeing on the side. She told police a different story, outlined in court records: One night in late December, White stopped by her Pennsylvania Avenue house and asked her to get in the car; he had something to tell her about her boyfriend. He drove to a remote area near South Holston Lake, choked her and yanked her hair, threatening to kill her and her children. He pulled off her blue jeans, sneakers and her yellow underwear, then raped and sodomized her. He also “forced her to perform oral sex on him.”
She promised she wouldn’t tell and White took her home, according to newspaper accounts. She called police immediately.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated rape – for the three ways he violated her. But he composed a disclaimer, according to court records, claiming she bartered sex for drugs during their secret affair and he pleaded guilty only because, as a black man, he would never have been tried by a jury of his peers: “I would not of had a Fair Trial and I would have been hung Because she is White and I Am Black!”
He later appealed to the judge to reverse his conviction, citing a prejudicial system, newspaper coverage of the crime and an incompetent attorney who he said failed to preclude the state from using his criminal record against him. Had his lawyer told him the victim wavered in testifying against him, he wrote, he would not have pleaded guilty. But the judge dismissed him. So from 1988 to 1999, White lived at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tenn., said Dorinda Carter, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Correction.
To date, White maintains he is innocent of that rape.
“There’s too many females for anybody to have to rape anybody,” he told the Herald Courier. “Prostitutes, homeless women willing to give it up just to have a place to stay.”
White said he does not know why, several times now, he’s been suspected of crimes he denies committing.
“Women scare me, and I let them know,” he says. “Every single one of them.”
Several hundred feet deep in a field of poison ivy and waist-high weeds off Wyndale Road in Abingdon rots an old white farmhouse. It is invisible from the road, which police say made it a popular party spot before a body turned up inside. Frank M. Broady owns the parcel of land, according to county records. He is the second husband of White’s mother, Hattye B. Broady, who declined to comment.
Meranda Hayden was found in an upstairs bedroom in October 2008, so badly decomposed it took 10 days to identify her.
“That’s what really burns me up,” says her father, Jimmy Wampler. “Somebody leaving a human being like that to rot; ain’t nothing to them.”
Hayden disappeared on the evening of April 5, 2006, when she left her parents’ Abingdon home. Washington County Sheriff’s Capt. Jack Davidson said she and White met somewhere in Bristol, Tenn., although he declined to provide specifics. White was the last person known to be in her company.
White says that Hayden’s ex-husband accused them of having an affair. Mark Hayden, though, reached by phone at the home he shares with his new wife and children, said he never made that accusation.
“I introduced them, and that’s the last I ever heard of it,” said Hayden, who worked with White at HBA Cast Products Co., in Bristol, Va. “I didn’t know if anything else was going on. Outside of work, we never did hang out or anything.”
Meranda Hayden’s parents, Jimmy and Debbie Wampler, are raising the couple’s two boys, who are 9 and 7 years old.
“I’d rather not say much right now,” Jimmy Wampler said the day after police confirmed White’s connection to both their daughter and Statzer. “There’s just some stuff I can’t tell; it might interfere with the investigation, and I don’t want to flub up nothing.”
Wampler believes the person who killed his daughter killed the other young women, too.
“In my heart, that’s just too much coincidence,” he said. “It’s just like an alcoholic. He does it one time and, it might take him a while, but sooner or later he’ll go back and do it again.”
Protective orders
On her MySpace page, a 25-year-old woman named Mary McCready displays White’s mugshot from the Virginia Sex Offender Registry, framed in pink with roses and hearts. The mugshot is captioned, “my daughter’s dad.” Several years ago, McCready had nowhere to go and White offered his bed. He slept on the couch exactly 47 days, he recalls, before proposing that the two become lovers. White fathered his first child, at the age of 49, with then 23-year-old McCready. Their 3-year-old daughter lives with White’s mother.
At some point, McCready moved out. Then, in February 2008, McCready moved out, accused White of stalking her and filed a criminal complaint. In the complaint, she wrote that White drove by shouting profanities and calling her names.
“He said if I ever come around him he would hurt me really bad or he would hit me with a truck or hit me with his fist,” she wrote. “And I’m really scared and I don’t even go around him!”
White says, again, he was innocent. The case was dismissed in court and now McCready, sitting earlier this month on White’s porch, says she lied, that somebody put her up to it.
White admits a penchant for young, indigent, volatile women.
“They don’t have a place to go, except under my roof,” he says. “They just pop up. Sometimes, you have to take what’s presented.”
Angela Statzer happened past White’s porch about two years ago, around the time her foster father said she abruptly left their Abingdon home. At first, the foster father said, she kept in touch. Statzer grew up in foster care after a “rough, tragic” childhood, said her brother, Chad Camper. She was unemployed, quiet, mousy, he said. Everyone called her Angie.
She and White spent a few nights together, then she moved in two weeks later. She was a sweet girl who, according to White, had a violent temper when she didn’t get her way. She threw his stereo over the porch rail, punched holes in his door, beat him and gave him a black eye, he claims.
Their tour through Bristol Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court began in July 2009, when Statzer filed for an emergency protective order against White.
“I went to the bathroom and came out, as I was going through the hallway, he said ‘hurry, I got to go,’ ” she wrote. “After I didn’t hurry as fast as he wanted, he made me fall on the floor and drug me out the door by my feet and I started bleeding.”
Two weeks later, White filed for an emergency protective order against Statzer. He told police she “punched him very hard with her fist in the back and while he was going out the door, she kicked him.”
The commonwealth’s attorney declined to prosecute both cases, without objection from either victim.
Statzer’s foster father said she cut off contact with them last summer. She skipped the family’s Fourth of July party. “My wife kept telling me, there’s something wrong here,” he said.
Then on Oct. 29, White reported that Statzer punched him in the gut.
The next day, Statzer reciprocated with her own protective order against White. Three days later, police arrested Statzer and accused her of violating the order.
She skipped Thanksgiving and Christmas with her foster family.
On Jan. 17, White contacted police again. He wrote that Statzer arrived in his alley, followed him inside and he “ate a bunch of pills.” He said she watched him down four bottles of them. “I took the pills wanting to avoid her and the love I do have for her and wanted to die,” he wrote, then listed the names of three men who he’d “told why I did try to take my life and it’s because of Angela Statzer.”
Statzer was charged with curse and abuse. She was found not guilty Feb. 24. Exactly one week later, she was found dead in the woods.
White says he learned of Statzer’s death on the noon news. A day or two later, he was on a city bus going to the doctor’s office and two young girls sat in the row behind him. As the bus drove down East Valley Drive, one of the two, “a big-boned girl, maybe 13 or 14 years old,” pointed to the woods and said “that’s where Angie was killed.” That, he said, is how he learned where it happened.
But, according to Transit Manager Danny Hunt, no city bus travels along East Valley Drive. The closest goes straight up Lee Highway.
White isn’t fazed; he says he’s not worried. “The Lord will see to it that the truth comes out,” he said. “I do wrong, we all do wrong. But I’ve paid for my so-called wrongs and they’ll have to pay for putting my name in shame. They’ll get theirs from the man up above.” | (276) 645-2531

Stafford, NJ: Stafford man gets 18 years for shooting girlfriend at home

Published: Saturday, June 26, 2010, 9:52 AM Updated: Saturday, June 26, 2010, 2:19 PM
The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk

STAFFORD — A Stafford man was sentenced to 18 years in prison for shooting his girlfriend inside their then-home in 2009, a report on said.
John Carnesi, 61, said in court Friday he never wished harm on the victim, 50-year-old Frances Marsh, according to the report. Carnesi was found guilty in April of the Jan. 24, 2009 shooting, the report said.
In the April trial, Carnesi said he drank so much on the day of the shooting that he could not remember what happened, saying Marsh might have hit him with the gun before a struggle. reports that Carnesi on Friday also blamed Marsh's alleged mental health problems for what happened.

Grayson, County, KY: KSP investigating apparent Leitchfield murder-suicide

The News-Enterprise

Kentucky State Police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide at a Grayson County residence.

Police responded to a shooting on Salt River Road in Leitchfield Saturday, where they found 43-year-old Troy Vincent and his wife, Jeannie, 40, dead from gunshot wounds.

According to KSP, further investigation indicated Troy Vincent shot his wife, who he was estranged from, and then turned the gun on himself.

The investigation is ongoing. Autopsies were scheduled at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville.

Anyone with information pertinent to the investigation is encouraged to contact KSP at (270) 766-5078 or (800) 222-5555

La Puebla, NM: NM father, 2 sons die in apparent murder-suicide

LA PUEBLA, N.M. — New Mexico State Police are investigating the deaths of two boys and an adult in an apparent murder-suicide.
State Police Lt. Eric Garcia says two boys — ages 12 and 10 — were apparently shot with a handgun by their father, who then killed himself. Investigators say it happened Sunday or early Monday in the small community of La Puebla, about 25 miles north of Santa Fe.
The man was identified as 44-year-old Melvin Martinez, who authorities say was a state Department of Transportation employee.
Garcia says a family member alerted authorities at 2 p.m. Monday. State police are talking to relatives and neighbors to gather more information.
Investigators say the bodies were found lying on the same bed. They have been transported to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque to determine an official cause of death.

Rowlett, TX: Texas Judge Killed by Husband in Murder-Suicide

A Texas judge was killed by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide, the Dallas Morning News reported Monday.

Rowlett Juvenile Court Judge Belinda Loveland, 59, was found dead Sunday evening in her home. The body of her attorney husband Richard, 59, was also found.

The couple’s son called 911 after receiving a text message from his father that read “I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think I just killed your mother,” according to the paper.

Police arrived at the couple’s Rowlett, Tex., home and were unable to contact anyone inside.

“It appears that Richard Loveland shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself," the paper quoted the Rowlett Police Department as saying.

No motive for the crime has been given.

Long Branch, NJ: Long Branch man, 34, admits fatally strangling girlfriend during argument


A Long Branch man admitted he strangled his girlfriend during an argument in their city home last year.

Noel Montes Lopez, 34, of Westbourne Avenue, pleaded guilty on Thursday to an accusation charging him with aggravated manslaughter, said First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw Jr.

In entering his guilty plea, before state Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully, sitting in Freehold, Montes Lopez admitted that he and his 33-year-old girlfriend, Yesenia Hernandez Osorio, argued on April 5, 2009, and then he struck her and strangled her.

At his Sept. 17 sentencing, Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Julia Alonso will ask the judge to give the city man a 12-year prison term.

Jeffrey Coghlan, of the Monmouth County public defender's office, represented Montes Lopez

Flat Rock, AL: Police: Depression cause of murder-suicide

By Mark Harrison
The Times-Journal
Published June 28, 2010

A 29-year-old Flat Rock woman who shot and killed her 9-month old daughter and then killed herself apparently suffered from untreated depression, authorities said.

The names of the mother and daughter still haven’t been officially released, but family members identified the woman as Celeste Williams Patterson and the baby as Leigh Ann Patterson, according to WAFF.

Reports show Patterson and her child were living with the child’s father in Etowah County until last week, but after a series of domestic disputes, Patterson moved in with her mother in Flat Rock.

The incident happened in the backyard of Patterson’s mother’s home on Jackson County Road 705, around 9 p.m. Thursday, when Patterson shot her infant daughter with a high-powered rifle, then turned the weapon on herself.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Chuck Phillips said it appears the woman was in the middle of a divorce and feared the child would be taken away from her. He said she apparently suffered from some type of depression. He said there is no indication the woman was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident.

“We think mentally it disturbed her to the point she couldn’t live anymore,” Phillips said.

Santa Barbara, CA: SBSO Calling SY Incident Murder Suicide

updated: Jun 28, 2010, 3:18 PM

Source: SBSO

Santa Barbara--Santa Barbara Sheriff's Detectives are investigating the discovery of two bodies in a Santa Ynez Valley home as an apparent murder-suicide. Members of the Sheriff's Special Enforcement Team discovered Guy Sydney Erway Jr. (DOB 10/25/61) and his wife, Ruth Jochum Erway (DOB 1/12/68) inside the couple's home on Friday, June 25, 2010.

Although it appears Mr. Erway shot Mrs. Erway before shooting himself, this case is still considered open as Sheriff's Detectives continue to gather facts in their investigation. The Sheriff's Coroner's Bureau is expected to perform autopsies on both bodies this week.

The original News Release from Friday, June 25, 2010 is shown below.

Man and Woman Found Dead in Santa Ynez Residence Sheriff's Office Releases Identities of Couple

Santa Barbara-The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office has identified the couple found dead in a Santa Ynez residence as Guy Sydney Erway Jr. (DOB 10/25/61) and Ruth Jochum Erway (DOB 1/12/68).

At approximately 11:02am on Friday, June 25, 2010, Sheriff's Dispatchers received a report of a verbal argument occurring at a home at 3440 Manzana Street in Santa Ynez. Shortly after, the Sheriff's Dispatchers received information that gunfire was heard inside the private residence.

Sheriff's Deputies attempted, but were unable, to make contact with anyone inside the home located near the end of a cul-de-sac. Deputies immediately formed a perimeter around the home and closed off nearby streets before summoning the Sheriff's Special Enforcement Team, better known as S-E-T or the SWAT Team.

Homes in the immediate area were evacuated as the Sheriff's Office made repeated attempts to contact anyone inside the home. Members of S.E.T. eventually entered the residence where they discovered the deceased married couple shortly after 1:15pm.

Sheriff's Detectives and the Sheriff's Forensics Team gathered evidence through much of the day. The Sheriff's Coroner's Bureau removed the bodies this evening. Earlier in the day, Animal Control removed two dogs from the residence that did not appear to be harmed.

The Sheriff's Coroner's Bureau will continue to work on the couple's cause of death, while Sheriff's Detectives investigate the circumstances of the incident. If any more information becomes available, it will be released on the Sheriff's News Line at (805) 681-4138.

Crown Heights, NY: Two Bodies Found; Murder-Suicide Is Suspected

Police responding to a call about an unconscious woman in Crown Heights early Sunday morning found what appeared to be a murder-suicide, police said.

Rose Limada, 51 years old, was "unconscious and unresponsive," police said.

Kenneth Hines, 46 years old, appeared to have hanged himself.

A Police Department source said officers weren't sure what killed Ms. Limada.

The city's medical examiner is investigating the deaths, police said.

—Andrew Grossman

Orlando, FL: Man gets 45 years for Orlando bra strangling

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A central Florida man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for strangling his girlfriend with her bra.
A judge sentenced 38-year-old Abdullah Aziz Khalig on Monday. He pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder. He had initially been charged with first-degree murder.
Authorities say Khalig's girlfriend, 49-year-old Lolitta L. Flores, was found strangled at her Orlando apartment in March 2009. She had last been seen a few weeks earlier, and police found the body after receiving a tip from a friend of Khalig.
When Flores was killed, Khalig had just completed a sentence for an earlier attack on her.

Pendleton, SC: Anderson Co. Sheriff's Office Investigating Murder-Suicide

By staff
Published: June 27, 2010
Updated: June 28, 2010 - 12:41 PM

The Anderson County Sheriff's Office is investigating an apparent murder-suicide.

Deputies responded to 200 Sleepy Hollow Road in Pendleton early Saturday morning. When deputies arrived they found 2 people dead on the kitchen floor, one male and one female.

Anderson County deputy coroner Charlie Boseman says the female victim was 46-year-old Kathy Valkenburg.

Valkenburg at at the incident address. The male's identity hasn't been released at this point.

The Coroner's office says Valkenburg and a friend were inside the home when a man came in the home.

Boseman says the male shot Valkenburg and the friend of Kathy left the residence jumped the fence and went to the next door neighbors home to call 911.

The coroner says the man victim turned the gun on himself.

Tacoma, WA: Police investigate apparent murder-suicide


TACOMA, Wash. -- Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide in north Tacoma.

Police Capt. Mike Ake says officers found a 37-year-old woman shot to death and a seriously wounded 43-year-old man at a home Sunday morning.

The man was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.

He says the two were a couple and that the woman was two months pregnant.

A roommate of the couple heard a shot and found the bodies when he went to investigate.

No other details were immediately available and it wasn't clear which of the two did the shooting.

St. Louis, IL: Highway Horror: Boyfriend Murders Fleeing Girlfriend in Traffic, Kills Himself

Posted by Naimah Jabali-Nash 8 comments

ST. LOUIS, Ill. (CBS/WBBM) A woman hemorrhaging from a gunshot wound staggered to dozens of cars in the heat of mid-day Father's Day traffic pleading for help, while her boyfriend trailed behind before finally shooting her in the head, then turning the gun on himself, said CBS affiliate WBBM.

Tommie Hill of East St. Louis, Ill. shot and killed girlfriend Ashley Oliver of Chaokia, Ill. on Interstate 64, 50 feet away from his 7-year-old daughter, reported the station. Hill's daughter was unharmed and is now in the custody of her mother.

At approximately 2 p.m. Sunday, June 20, police began receiving calls from witnesses reporting the fatal shooting. According to eyewitnesses an injured Oliver leapt from the car, which police believe may have still been in motion, and starting running to northbound cars on the freeway, Sgt. Dave Wasmuth told WBBM.

WBBM. Oliver pounded on windows--begging for help. Hill closed in on Oliver and pulled the semiautomatic gun from his pants, shooting Oliver in the head before pointing the gun to his own head and pulling the trigger, said the station.

Oliver, 25, was rushed to a hospital in East St. Louis where she was pronounced dead. Hill, also 25, died on the pavement.

According to WBBM, an autopsy indicated that Oliver was shot three times: once in the right side of her neck, once in her right shoulder, and the final shot on the right side of her temple.

Scott Cross, 38, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he attempted to help Oliver, "until he saw that gun."

What led to the horrific scene on Illinois Interstate 64 remains unsolved.

Tyrone Cameron, Hill's uncle, told authorities that he spoke to Hill about an hour before the incident, but nothing in his conversation with Hill alluded to what transpired. Cameron told the Post-Dispatch that the couple "had their ups and downs, but I never thought it would come to this."

Denville, NJ: Local tip leads authorities to find ex-husband of slain Denville woman in Washington state

Published: Friday, June 25, 2010, 4:00 PM Updated: Friday, June 25, 2010, 8:57 PM
Victoria St. Martin/The Star-Ledger

DENVILLE — Morris County authorities said today a local tip led to the arrest of Anthony Novellino at a Washington State motel, six days after his ex-wife was found stabbed to death in her Denville home.
Judith Novellino, 62, a teacher at Morris Catholic High School, was stabbed more than 80 times, authorities have said. Anthony Novellino has been named as a "person of interest" in her slaying, but has not been charged.
Novellino, 63, is charged, however, with threatening his ex-wife's attorney, and is awaiting extradition to New Jersey.
Authorities say the Denville man, who drove the two-day trip to Washington state, had been difficult to track. After receiving the tip, investigators later found Novellino's Miata convertible outside the motel in Washington.
“I will tell you that this was a little bit of a stubborn individual to track,” said Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi. “This was not an easy, typical scenario.”
When deputies from the U.S. Marshal’s Office knocked on the motel room door, Novellino, did not answer, authorities said. Investigators forced their way into his room around 6 p.m. Thursday and found Novellino sitting inside, authorities said.
Bianchi said Novellino is being held in Pierce County. At a press conference today Bianchi would not elaborate on the investigation into Judith Novellino's death, saying that it was ongoing.
Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi held a press conference regarding the capture of Anthony Novellino in Washington state. U.S. Marshal District of New Jersey Marshall James Plousis looks over his shoulder.
Novellino was arrested on a warrant issued out of Boonton Township for terroristic threats that were allegedly made against Judith Novellino’s former divorce attorney.
Authorities said Novellino threatened to kill the attorney and said “I will get even with you and you will pay,” according to the criminal complaint filed Sunday. The Novellinos divorced earlier this month.
Bianchi said investigators wanted to ensure that Novellino, whom they believe has ties to Washington state, did not cross the border. He said once Morris County authorities received information on his whereabouts, officers used old-fashioned police work and searched hotels and motels for Novellino’s car.
Bianchi said an update on the homicide case could come sometime this weekend.
News of the arrest spread quickly in Denville. At the Cornerstone Café, a popular restaurant in the township’s Indian Lake neighborhood, diners were curious about the details of Novellino’s capture.
By noon today, a handout attached to the restaurant’s sandwich board that had advertised Novellino's fugitive status was replaced by sheets that trumpeted the man's arrest.
“I’d say it’s about time (Novellino was apprehended),” restaurant worker John Dellorso said.
Cornerstone owner Allen Wilson said he was “glad” Novellino was in custody, adding that the man would often harass his customers.
“It seemed like he was hostile to the world,” he said.
Judith Novellino's funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Parsippany’s St. Ann Church, on Smith Road.
Photo courtesy of motel
Exterior of the Motel Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington where Anthony Novellino was staying when he was arrested. His former wife Judith Novellino was found stabbed to death last week.

Dayton, OH: Man faces charges in shooting death of ex-girlfriend

By Darren Tandy @ June 28, 2010 4:54 PM
DAYTON, Ohio (Dayton Daily News) -- The sole suspect in the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend has been charged with her murder.
The Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office filed the charges against Damien Brown Monday afternoon. He faces one count of murder, two counts of felonious assault and a weapons charge in the Friday shooting death of Marquita Brown.
Damien Brown, 26, had been held in the Montgomery County Jail over the weekend after his arrest on a probation violation by U.S. Marshals.
It was that warrant U.S. marshals arrested him on around 11 a.m. Friday, some five hours after Ms. Brown was found dead by her 5-year-old son in the upstairs bedroom of her apartment at 4646 Midway.
The child called 911 and identified Damien Brown as the person who shot his mother.

Exeter, NH: Autopsies detail apparent murder-suicide in Exeter

Union Leader Correspondent

EXETER – A couple found dead in an apparent murder-suicide inside their mobile home died of gunshot wounds, the attorney general's office said Monday afternoon.
Results from autopsies performed earlier Monday showed that William G. Burke Sr., 67, died of a single gunshot wound to the head while his wife, Judith 66, suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest that entered through her abdomen, according to the findings by State Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie Duval.
The manner of the deaths is still pending and the case remains under investigation.
The Burkes were discovered dead by their son inside their mobile home at 33 Hayes Park Saturday afternoon.
A neighbor said their son, William, hadn't heard from them in about a week so he stopped by to check on them.
Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati said he couldn't comment on statements from neighbors who said the couple had experienced health issues. He said he hoped that the autopsy would reveal whether they had health problems.
Agati said investigators still believed that the deaths resulted from an apparent murder-suicide.
Rita Hutchinson, a neighbor across the street, had just arrived home from grocery shopping Saturday afternoon when she saw the Burkes' son screaming after finding his parents.
"I immediately went over there," said Hutchinson, who didn't know the Burkes too well but had been told by William Burke Sr. that he and his wife had suffered from some health issues.
Hutchinson was handed the phone and stayed on the line with a 911 dispatcher until police and emergency personnel arrived at the house where the couple's cream-colored PT Cruiser still sits in the driveway and two metal chairs still sat together Monday facing the flowers on the porch.

Brooklyn, NY: Couple found dead in Brooklyn home

BY Kate Nocera, Sam Levin and John Lauinger
Monday, June 28th 2010, 4:00 AM
COPS ARE investigating the apparent murder-suicide of a Brooklyn couple whose bodies were found early yesterday by the dead man's son, police and neighbors said.

Investigators believe Kenneth Hines, 46, killed his wife, Rose Limada, 51, and then hanged himself with wire in their Weeksville apartment, police sources said.

Limada's body, found in her bed, bore obvious signs of trauma, the sources said.

The bodies of both husband and wife will be examined by the medical examiner today to determine whether autopsies are necessary.

Neighbors said they heard screaming and a thumping sound during the night, but the man's son made the only 911 call received, police said.

After cops arrived at the tragic scene on Sterling Place shortly before 4 a.m., the couple's family was huddled in a building stairwell.

A woman who identified herself as Limada's daughter was wailing hysterically.

Read more:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cathy's been on Vacation

I took the week off from murder, mayhem and bullys.

I feel much better now and will return to blogging in the next few days.

After a year and a half of collecting these horrible, nightmare-ish articles, I needed a break.

Cathy Church

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Saginaw, MI: Saginaw County prosecutor won't charge girlfriend for strangling James Township man

Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 1:50 PM

Police say Michael A. Smith, 41, broke into the bathroom of his home at 5120 Stroebel in James Township, where his girlfriend, Misty Harris, 34, was hiding during an altercation Sept. 1, 2009. Once inside a struggle ensued and Harris strangled Smith with the cord of a hairdryer.
JAMES TWP. — Misty A. Harris, 34, spent several days in jail after she strangled her boyfriend, Michael A. Smith, with a hairdryer cord last September, but she won’t be charged with any crimes, Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas says.
Thomas declared Smith’s death a justified homicide, saying Harris was threatened and frightened for her life.
“There was a kicked-out and broken-down door, she had bruises and cuts on her body, and she was naked,” Thomas said. “All I can tell you is what her explanation was as to why she strangled him and where it happened, and that’s exactly what the evidence supports.
“We found nothing in the investigation that led us to conclude that the original victim, the woman who defended herself and strangled the decedent ... should be charged with any type of criminal homicide.”
Thomas said Harris was staying with Smith, 41, of James Township, who according to state police toxicology reports had amphetamines and Lorazepam, an anxiety medication, in his system at the time of his death. Harris attempted to leave the home after Smith assaulted her, investigators said.
“She ran out of the house,” Thomas said. “He ran after her. He physically ripped all of her clothes off of her outside and dragged her by her hair back into the house and continued to assault her.”
Back inside Smith’s rental home at 5120 Stroebel in James Township, Harris took refuge in the bathroom.
“He broke a hole through the door and was able to get into the bathroom to continue the assault,” Thomas said. “And she grabbed a hairdryer cord ... put it around his neck and strangled him until he quit fighting, and that’s where he died.”
Harris ran, bloodied and naked, into the street, where two passersby stopped to help.
The Saginaw News couldn’t reach Harris or family members of Smith for comment.
Since this article was published, Hannah Smith, 15, of Saginaw Township, Michael Smith's daughter, said "it doesn't add up" and she disputes the prosecutor's decision.
She said she is meeting with investigators to review the case file and evidence next week.
Thomas said Smith has a documented history of violence, and on the day Harris killed him, he was facing a third-offense domestic violence charge stemming from an alleged assault against Harris in April 2009.
The state offender website, which tracks felons up to three years after their release or completion of parole, lists Smith as a habitual felon. His record indicates he was sentenced for two breaking and entering charges in 1991, first-degree retail fraud in 2000 and two instances of check fraud in 2003.
Harris’ ex-husband, Michael J. Kowalski II, sought and received a one-year personal protection order against Harris on Oct. 27, 2008 through the Saginaw County Probate Court. Saginaw County courthouse officials said they could find no criminal records for Harris.
© 2010 All rights reserved.

Muskogee, OK: Deaths officially ruled murder-suicide

The deaths of Amy Vazquez, 35, of Fort Gibson and Rodrigo Mejia-Mejia, 55, of Muskogee were officially declared murder-suicide Thursday.

Sheriff’s Investigator Faye Banks said all evidence points to Mejia-Mejia shooting Vazquez Wednesday while he was sitting in the passenger seat of her vehicle.

A witness had seen them arguing 15 minutes before their bodies were discovered, Banks said.

She was standing near him in the edge of a corn field on West 40th Street North, 7/10 of a mile west of North Main Street, when the shooting took place, Banks said.

The gun that killed the couple, who allegedly were dating, was found under Mejia-Mejia, and “two spent shells” were found at the scene, said Muskogee County District Attorney Investigator Richard Slader. “It is a closed case.”

Vazquez and Mejia-Mejia had been shot in the head.

San Diego, CA: Elderly Calif. man kills rival, is shot by police

By The Associated Press

Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 3:33 p.m.

SAN DIEGO — A 68-year-old man killed by San Diego police after he gunned down a rival in a love triangle had left a note foreshadowing his death, his friend said Thursday.

Deborah Ellis said she worried John Evans was suicidal when he came to her crying and saying he could not live without his ex-girlfriend the night before he confronted his ex and shot her 64-year-old boyfriend at a City Heights apartment.

"I told him to leave it alone, but he would tell me: 'I can't leave it alone. I would much rather die if I can't have her,'" Ellis said, referring to Evans' 50-year-old ex.

Ellis said he left a note at his wood shop, where he also lived, detailing his wishes should anything happen to him.

After the shooting at the apartment, Evans fired on at least one of the officers who responded to the scene, and police returned fire, Lt. Kevin Rooney said.

Nearby complexes were evacuated during the confrontation. Rooney said Evans fell down but raised himself and pointed the gun toward officers. Two officers then fired more shots.

The officers involved have been identified as T.J. Andrews, a K-9 officer with 28 years in the department, and Natalie Stone, a lieutenant with 21 years on the force.

They have been placed on administrative duty, which is routine after officer-involved shootings, police said.

Kalamazoo, MI: Man who allegedly stabbed, killed girlfriend had history of domestic violence; Her sister said, 'Someday, he's going to kill you'

Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 6:58 PM Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 8:37 AM
Kathy Jessup | Kalamazoo Gazette
View full sizeScott Harmsen | Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Officers were still at the scene of a fatal stabbing on 633 West North Street this morning.

KALAMAZOO — ”We told her, ‘Someday, he’s gonna kill you’.”

Those words from Bessie Dixon, the older sister of 46-year-old stabbing victim Delores Givhan, allegedly became reality late Tuesday night.

Givhan’s family members say Richard Douglas Riddle, 55, of Kalamazoo, repeatedly stabbed Givhan to death late Tuesday in the last of what they claim was a series of violent domestic confrontations involving the pair.

Riddle is on parole for earlier attacks on Givhan.

As of late Wednesday, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety had not officially released Riddle’s name as the suspect they had in custody. The case was scheduled to go to the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office for charges early today.

Michigan Department of Corrections records show Riddle was paroled from state prison in November on a conviction stemming from 2006 and 2008 domestic assaults involving Givhan.

“He went to prison for beating her up really bad and was out on parole,” Dixon said Wednesday. “She was very frightened of him and he wouldn’t leave her alone. We told her he was going to kill her.”

View full size
Richard Riddle
Scott Overholt, Kalamazoo County’s personal protection order intake coordinator, said there is no record of Givhan seeking a restraining order against Riddle.

Dixon said her conversations with a person who allegedly witnessed Tuesday night’s stabbing painted shocking images of her sister’s final moments.

“She was begging him and asking him what did she do?” Dixon said a witness told her. “He didn’t have no regrets. He stood over her dying body and say she deserved it and then he walked over her body and left out the door.”

Dixon said she didn’t know what might have touched off the confrontation, but said Riddle may have been looking for her sister for several days.

“He would always go off on her,” said Howard Givhan, of Kalamazoo, the victim’s younger brother. “That’s one of the reasons I told her to stay away.”

According to Dixon, her sister had four children — the youngest, 11, who lives in Kalamazoo with her father — and nine grandchildren. She’s also had two brothers and four sisters.

Dixon described her sister as a “sweet person, the joker of the family.”

“She was not a saint ... and had been in some trouble, minor things,” Dixon said. “She would run away from a fly and maybe that’s why he treated her that way.”

View full size
Delores Givhan
Dixon and Howard Givhan both said later Wednesday that they had not slept since being called around 1 a.m. with the news their sister was dead.

“It hurts when you lose a loved one, period,” Dixon said. “But to lose someone so gruesome like this, you can’t get it out of your head.”

Kalamazoo Public Safety Assistant Chief Brian Uridge said the murder weapon has been recovered and that witnesses are cooperating with investigators and have identified the man police have in custody as Givhan’s attacker.

Uridge said the original 911 call around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday indicated a victim had sustained a stab wound to the arm.

“But the victim was dead at the scene when officers arrived,” he said. “We’re still trying to put it all together. We’re not sure yet what set this off. It’s tragic.”

According to Uridge, investigators are rechecking an earlier department statement that said the assailant left the crime scene in a car with another subject. “We don’t know for sure if there was a second person,” Uridge said.

Killing No.3

Delores Givhan becomes at least the third area woman allegedly killed by a boyfriend in Kalamazoo County since April, while another woman remains missing.

On April 8, Jenny Bickings, 26, was shot in the head in Texas Township by her boyfriend of five years, Michael Cowling, 40, of Kalamazoo, police said. Cowling then killed himself.
On May 22, Courtney Delano, 19, was shot and killed at a Portage apartment complex. Her boyfriend, Rollon Marko, 26, is charged with killing her and her unborn baby.

Contact Kathy Jessup at or 269-388-8590.