Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Roanoke, VA: Police: Sheriff's deputy kills ex-wife, shoots Virginia state trooper

CNN) -- A county sheriff's deputy killed his ex-wife in a convenience store parking lot Monday, then shot a Virginia state trooper before being seriously wounded himself, police said.

Roanoke Police Chief Chris Perkins told reporters Monday that a murder warrant has been received for Jonathan Agee, who is now at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital after suffering multiple gunshot wounds following a shootout with a pair of Virginia state police officers.

The bloodshed began at 11:30 a.m., when Jennifer Agee, 30, pulled into a Sheetz convenience store parking lot in Roanoke, Virginia, Perkins said. Trailing behind her in a marked Franklin County sheriff's office car was her ex-husband, Jonathan Agee. The 32-year-old sheriff's deputy from Boones Mill was off-duty at the time.

Perkins said that Agee and his ex-wife both got out of their cars. Jonathan Agee then shot Jennifer Agee, while another person believed to be a child sat in her vehicle, according to the police chief.

Jennifer Agee, who lived in Salem, was then taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital where she died, Perkins said.

Almost immediately afterward, police issued an alert asking authorities to look out for Agee's sheriff's office vehicle.

Virginia State Police Superintendent Steven Flaherty said that Sgt. Matt Brannock spotted the marked car on Route 460 and followed it. At about 11:48 a.m., the two vehicles stopped at the Ironto exit ramp off I-81 ramp in Montgomery County.

There, Jonathan Agee opened fire and shot Brannock "at least once," Flaherty said.

Two other state police officers soon arrived at the scene, exchanging fire with Agee. They subdued the suspect after shooting him "several times," Flaherty said.

Both Brannock, a 35-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran who joined the state police force 13 years ago, and Agee were flown by helicopter to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Police said the suspect's injuries are considered life-threatening, but those suffered by the state trooper are not.

This incident tied up Memorial Day traffic in parts of western Virginia, after authorities closed several lanes on I-81 northbound to give them more space to conduct their investigation.

Those lanes reopened shortly before 7 p.m., said Virginia State Police spokewoman Corinne Geller. But in the subsequent hours, traffic still moved slowly through Montgomery County due to the earlier back-up and influx of holiday travelers.

Mt. Morris, NY: Police ID couple found dead in Mt. Morris home

MPNnow.com — Steven Mitchell, a father of three, says Glenn Morris Avenue in Mt. Morris is usually a very quiet block. But that wasn’t the case on Monday, when police were called to a home around noon for a murder-suicide.

"There was an EMS vehicle in front of the house and we got out of the car and troopers started pulling in," said family friend Andy Anzalone.

Neighbors on the block gathered around the crime tape as State Troopers and Mount Morris Police investigated.

The victims have been identified as 48-year-old James Layland and his wife, 47-year-old Mary Layland.

Police said it was Mary Layland’s mother who found the married couple shot to death in their bedroom on Monday.

"She came over to check on her daughter because she had been attempting to contact her and was unable to make contact with her, so when she checked on her, she was the one who made the discovery," said New York state police Captain Scott Crosier.

Police said this wasn't the first time they've been called to this home. In fact, they were just there a few weeks ago.

"The individual — the male subject was distraught over some marital issues that were going on," Crosier said.

Family members were at the house Monday picking up belongings and two pet cats.
Troopers said the shooting happened Sunday night. Their investigation is continuing, but officers said they found evidence in the bedroom confirming that the deaths were a murder-suicide.

Daytona Beach, FL: Woman seeks acquittal in stabbing

DAYTONA BEACH -- A woman who claims she was forced to stab her boyfriend to protect herself and her 11-year-old son will seek an acquittal on a second-degree murder charge Thursday.

Cindy Sue Gilliland, 41, had many supporters in court last fall when she convinced a judge to let her get bailed out of jail while awaiting trial.

Her lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Matt Phillips, will take his self-defense argument a step further Thursday in front of Circuit Judge R. Michael Hutcheson.

Phillips will argue Gilliland should be declared immune from prosecution for the Aug. 11, 2010, stabbing death of Bradley Stradtman. Gilliland claims she had been punched in the face and was in fear for her life.

"She armed herself with a knife to protect herself," Phillips said in a court document in which he seeks to have Gilliland's murder charge dropped.

Gilliland, the ex-wife of Daytona Beach City Commissioner Rob Gilliland, faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of killing Stradtman.

She is relying on Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law," which has been used with increasing regularity in Volusia County courtrooms.

Most of the time, records show, prosecutors beat such efforts by defense lawyers to use the right to protect oneself from harm to avoid punishment.

But in at least two cases over the past few years, people have avoided prosecution because they were defending themselves. Locally, a person charged with murder has not yet won a stand your ground motion since the law changed several years ago, records show.

James Burnette tried the stand your ground defense in his pending second-degree murder case. Accused of shooting Michael Corradini, 52, of Daytona Beach during a suspected drug deal, Burnette managed to convince a judge that Corradini was killed by his own gun. But Circuit Judge R. Michael Hutcheson said he wasn't sure the shooting happened the way Burnette described.

"If the person is no longer a danger (when he or she is killed), you're not going to get (immunity from prosecution)," said Peyton Quarles, a Daytona Beach defense lawyer who argued the stand your ground law in the unrelated Burnette case.

Records show that local judges have sometimes expressed a reluctance to be the finder of fact in such cases, preferring to let jurors decide whether the person charged should be prosecuted.

Some lawyers see that as "passing the buck."

"It's discretionary on the judge, but there are cases where appellate courts have reversed convictions," said defense lawyer Mitch Wrenn, who won an acquittal for a client in a stand your ground battery case last year. He says that arguing for immunity from prosecution for self-defense provides judicial economy, by resolving cases that should not go to trial.

"It separates the wheat from the chaff," Wrenn said.

Gilliland was in her Port Orange home on Aug. 11, 2010, with her son when Stradtman punched her in the face, according to testimony. A neighbor testified at her bail hearing that Gilliland had a bruise on her face, and told him she'd been hit by Stradtman.

Gilliland went back to her house, where she and Stradtman began fighting again. The two were standing in the kitchen when Gilliland grabbed a steak knife from a block knife-holder. Gilliland stabbed Stradtman once in the chest. He died at a hospital later.

Florida law in 2005 expanded what is known as the Castle Doctrine beyond the home, to allow a person to protect themselves with force anywhere they are entitled to be. The ability to retreat is irrelevant under the law. A danger must be present, the law states.

Since the law was broadened, there has been debate on both sides. Police officials, including Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood, have said the "good law" in some instances is being abused.

Last week, an Oklahoma City jury convicted a pharmacist of first-degree murder for the killing of a would-be-robber. The pharmacist, Jerome Ersland, 59, had sought to have the charge dropped because he was acting in self-defense.

Ersland was considered a hero in initial media accounts of the killing, in which he protected co-workers from a May. 19, 2009, robbery attempt.

But, the jury found, Ersland became a criminal when he acted as "judge and jury" by shooting the 16-year-old suspect more than five times.

Circuit Judge R. Michael Hutcheson will preside over Gilliland's hearing in the courthouse in Daytona Beach starting at 1:30 p.m. He will consider whether the weight of the evidence shows Gilliland was justified in using deadly force, to prevent death or "great bodily injury" to herself or another.

Gilliland, who is free on $150,000 bail while awaiting trial, will most likely be called upon once again to describe the events leading up to Stradtman's death.

Detectives have already said when they pulled up to the house, Stradtman was lying outside. Gilliland, neighbors said, was found "wailing and sobbing nearby."

Article: Murder-suicide ultimate form of control

Guns, mental illness, increased threats common in murder-suicide cases
By NOELLE PHILLIPS - nophillips@thestate.com
Men who are driven to murder-suicide are obsessed and controlling, leading them to take drastic measures when women decide to leave, experts in domestic violence say.

“The perpetrator thinks and believes he cannot live without her and he will not,” said Nancy Barton, executive director of Sistercare, which provides services for battered women in the Midlands. “He has got to have her, and you see this picture of real intense, constant jealousy. It’s ‘I’ve got to have her, and I’ll have her in death.’”

Since January, Richland and Lexington county police have reported at least five cases in which a man shot his wife or girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself. In those cases, 11 people died and one was seriously injured.

Two of those cases happened last week in Richland County. And earlier this month, Lexington County police and school officials intervened before a Saluda man, who was armed, reached his girlfriend at Gilbert High School. He shot himself as police were closing in but did not die.

The cases grab headlines and stick in people’s minds as the public tries to understand what drives a person to such extreme violence.

“To me, these first five months of 2011 seems like there is a disproportionate number of domestic homicides and murder-suicides,” Barton said.

Unfortunately, research on the causes of murder-suicide is limited because overall numbers of those cases are low. Also, it’s especially difficult to understand what happened when there are no survivors, experts said.

For years, South Carolina has ranked in the top 10 in the country in domestic violence rates, said Rebecca Williams-Agee of the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

The Violence Policy Council, which monitors gun crimes nationally, ranked South Carolina ninth in per capita cases of men killing women in its most recent “When Men Murder Women” report. That report studied 2008 statistics, finding that 39 women were murdered by men. Of those, only one woman was killed by a stranger.

The most common characteristics of murder-suicide in families are a prior history of domestic violence, access to guns, increased, specific threats and a prior history of poor mental health or substance abuse, according to the National Institute of Justice, which researches crime for the U.S. Department of Justice.

The most dangerous time for a woman is when she decides to leave the relationship, Williams-Agee said.

“The perpetrator has lost all control and is just trying to regain it and doesn’t care anymore,” she said.

When Brian C. Tindall in January shot and killed his wife, Victoria Williamson Tindall, and then himself, their relationship was ending, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department reported. He had moved out of their home three weeks earlier.

Mix that volatile situation of a breakup with guns, depression and drugs or alcohol, and there is a recipe for violence. And the lethalness has the potential to escalate to murder-suicide, including the killing of children, Williams-Agee said.

Laura Hudson, executive director of the S.C. Crime Victims Council, said the availability of guns leads to the violence. And South Carolina does not have strong gun control laws, including those that would limit access to firearms for people previously involved in domestic abuse cases, she said.

“There is a lot to be said about an emotional moment to have that available when you’re not thinking,” Hudson said.

In 591 murder-suicides studied by the U.S. Justice Department, 92 percent were committed with guns. And states with less restrictive gun control laws had nearly eight times the rate of murder-suicide than other states.

All of the recent cases in the Midlands involved guns. In March, Chancey Foy Smith killed 27-year-old Amanda Peake and her two children, Cameron, 9, and Sarah, 6, with a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun. He used the same gun to kill himself.

Lexington County Sheriff’s investigators said Smith, 32, had driven to the Peake home with violence on his mind. They found one assault rifle, two hunting rifles and more than 200 rounds of ammunition in his truck. Police reported that Smith had been drinking the entire day of the shooting.

Hudson also said the poor economy could be behind an apparent spike in domestic violence. Women are less likely to leave a bad situation when they do not have financial independence, she said.

The National Institute of Justice report said economic distress is a factor in murder-suicides although it is hard for researchers to understand exactly what role the economy plays because overall those types of crimes are rare.

Almost all cases of murder-suicide have prior incidents of domestic violence, experts said.

In Monday’s deaths of Amanda Ruth and Joseph Jarrard, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department had never been called to their Marbun Road home to deal with domestic disputes. But after Joseph Jarrard shot his wife in the back and then himself on the head sometime during the night, family members told investigators they knew the couple had been having domestic issues, the sheriff’s department reported.

It’s important for families and friends to recognize the warning signs of a potentially abusive relationship and try to get the couple to seek help, Williams-Agee said.

Warning signs include:

• A relationship that is fast and intense
• Increasing isolation from family and friends
• Public humiliation
• Physical and verbal threats

Clyde Flanagan Jr., a psychiatry professor at the USC School of Medicine, said therapy is essential. Undiagnosed mental problems such as depression or obsessive compulsive behavior can lead to an increase in violence in abusive relationships.

Flanagan said he can relate to that depression and obsession. When he was younger, Flanagan caught his wife cheating and went into a rage.

“I can remember I was pacing up and down in our downstairs and I didn’t know what to do and I was thinking about suicide,” he said.

Flanagan did not have an impulse to hurt his wife. And his medical training led him to seek therapy.

“That was a lifesaver,” he said.

Without help, however, he said, domestic violence will not end.

Monday, May 30, 2011

League City, TX: League City: Murder-suicide victims identified

LEAGUE CITY, Texas—The victims of an apparent murder-suicide have been identified.
Dead are Arjomarie Ruiz, 33, and her husband, Waldemar Ruiz, 35. A Galveston County Medical Examiner’s report said the pair died from gunshot wounds. The weapon used was a .38 caliber pistol.
The couple was found in the master bathroom of their home in the 6700 block of Hidden Colony Friday night. A League City Police Department statement said the apparent murder-suicide occurred between 6:50 p.m. and 7:05 p.m.
The police statement also said preliminary investigations show Waldemar Ruiz shot his wife before turning the gun on himself.
KHOU-TV reported that two children were also found at the scene. The boy and girl were strapped into car seats and were unharmed.
Click here to read more of the story from the Galveston County Daily News.

Green Cove Springs, FL: No warning signs in apparent murder-suicide in Green Cove Springs

Neighbors of Clay County resident Robert Church said Sunday his tangled history with Gary Ward — Church's ex-wife later married Ward — had not shown any signs of ill will or confrontations over the years.
They shared parenting of the children from Church's marriage to Netty Sue. Neighbors would see Gary Ward drop off Church's son for visits to his father.
But on Saturday, Ward arrived at Church's trailer home with just a gun in his hand, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
Inside the trailer home, Ward pointed the revolver at Church, who fled toward the back of the home. In a corner of the bedroom, Ward shot Church once in the head, authorities said.
Ward, 49, of Lawtey then pointed the revolver at his wife, Netty Sue Ward, who had recently told Ward she was leaving him, authorities said. But instead of firing at her, Ward turned the gun and shot himself in the head.
The sheriff's office called the killings a murder-suicide.
Netty Sue Ward's marriage to Church had ended 13 years ago, authorities said Sunday. She then married Ward but, in the past two weeks, had left him, according to the sheriff's office. On Friday, she decided to move back in with Church at his trailer home, authorities said.
The shooting occurred about 5 p.m. Saturday at the trailer home in the 1600 block of Warfield Avenue in a rural part of Green Cove Springs.
Kenneth Eiland, a longtime neighbor of Church, said when he previously saw Ward at Church's house, the relationship between them did not seem tense. He said Ward was stepfather to several of Church's children.
"The times I met [Ward], he seemed laid back," Eiland said. "There was never any hostility."
He said he thinks Ward "just couldn't handle" his wife's decision to move back in with Church.
"That was the breaking point," he said.
On Sunday, neighbors and friends gathered outside Church's trailer. In better times, it would have been a joyful scene because Church, nicknamed "Bones" because he was tall and thin growing up, welcomed people coming over and hanging out.
His friends remembered him Sunday as someone who had a "big heart," always in a good mood and willing to give a helping hand. He often rode his motorcycle, a Honda he jokingly called a "Honda Davidson."
"Everybody was family," said Chad King, 24. "If he liked you, you were good. He would do whatever he could to help you. I've never seen him mad at anybody."
It was the second murder-suicide this year in the Green Cove Springs area.

Mt. Pleasant, MI: Man to stand trial for wife’s murder

MOUNT PLEASANT - A downstate man will stand trial for the murder of his wife, a former Perkins resident, ordered an Isabella County judge Thursday.

Judge William Rush ruled after a short hearing there is sufficient evidence for Gary John Reen, 56, to be tried for the April 1 murder of Cheryl Kristine Reen, 51.

The former Cheryl Johnson previously lived in Perkins. She graduated from Mid Peninsula High School in Rock in 1978. Following graduation, she served in the U.S. Navy as a cryptologic technician from 1979-85. She most recently worked for a veterans administration center in Saginaw.

During Thursday's court hearing, the prosecution called three witnesses to the stand, including the sheriff's deputy who found Cheryl 's body in the garage of the couple's home in Chippewa Township and the forensic pathologist who determined Cheryl's manner of death was homicide.

Isabella County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Hosking testified that Reen turned himself in at the sheriff's department on April 1 and confessed to killing his wife.

Hosking also said that he spotted a gun in the couple's garage before finding Cheryl's body.

Most of Thursday's testimony came from Stephen Cohle, a forensic pathologist at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, who said Cheryl bled to death from two gunshot wounds.

Cohle estimated the shots fired at Cheryl came from more than four feet away because he did not find gunshot residue or gunpowder on her clothing during his initial examination. Cohle said Cheryl was shot twice; once in the left front abdomen and once in the left upper back.

Cohle testified the gunshot wound to Cheryl's left upper abdomen was the more severe of the two, passing through several organs including the pancreas and into the artery and vein that supply blood to the right kidney.

That shot also hit her 11th right rib and was recovered in her right flank area, Cohle said, adding he believed the bullet was shot from a medium-caliber gun "in the realm of" 30 to 38, or a 9 mm.

Cohle testified the other shot passed through the space around Cheryl's left lung, grazed her right lung and went into her right arm, indicating that her arm was extended from her body at the time of the shooting.

Although Cohle could not determine which shot was fired first, he said Cheryl might have lived if the shot to the back was the only wound.

Both injuries bled heavily, Cohle said, testifying the cause of death was gunshot wounds and that the manner was homicide.

Other testimony came from Gary Reen II who is Reen's son and Cheryl's stepson.

The younger Reen testified his father called his cell phone several times on April 1 and that in their first conversation, his father seemed nervous and worried. During the second conversation, Reen II said his father confessed to killing Cheryl.

Reen II also testified he contacted a relative to call police because he was in the Detroit area and could not reach local law enforcement and that his father said his younger son, Eric, was at home at the time of the shooting but did not know about it.

Reen is charged with open murder, punishable by life in prison, and using a firearm in the commission of a felony, a two-year felony.

Cheryl is survived by her teenage son, her mother and three brothers.

Calera, AL: Bibb Co. man charged with capital murder in 1999 shooting death of wife

CALERA, Ala. — Twelve years after a Bibb County woman was found shot in the head in her driveway, authorities have charged her husband at the time in her death.

William Jody Byrd was arrested Friday and charged with capital murder in the death of Desta Byrd, Fourth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Michael Jackson's office announced Saturday.

Assistant District Attorney Jim Ransom told The Birmingham News that he could not discuss what evidence led them to charge Byrd 12 years later. He did say that the husband had already been a person of interest.

"He's been one of the persons of interest we've been looking at," Ransom said.

The case had troubled the family for years and Friday's arrest comes months after the family unveiled a billboard campaign in January offering a $30,000 reward for information on her death. It's not immediately known whether the campaign led to the arrest.

On Feb. 25, 1999, Desta Byrd, 29, was found shot in the head, laying in the driveway at her home in Brierfield. Her husband's gun was found nearby.

Her father, Ronald Dodson, told the newspaper he had "mixed emotions" upon learning of his daughter's ex-husband in the arrest.

"I don't know what to say," he said. "I'm glad he's arrested. I'm sad to think that as much trust as we put in him, he could even think about doing something like that to her."

Dodson said a new investigator took over the case and was scheduled to talk with Jody Byrd, but he did not yet know what new developments led to Byrd's arrest.

Tullahoma, TN: Tenn. police say estranged husband stabs wife to death outside store, kills himself

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. — Police in south-central Tennessee say a man stabbed his estranged wife to death in the parking lot of a store, before shooting himself to death a short time later.

Tullahoma police told The Tullahoma News they received a 911 call from an employee of Office Max, who reported that a man was assaulting 46-year-old Melody Martin on Saturday afternoon. Police say her husband, 43-year-old Benny Martin rammed his wife's car multiple times, then pulled out a gun and knife and started beating and stabbing her.

Melody Martin was killed in the attack. Witnesses told police that Benny Martin left. Police say they found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Martin was pronounced dead at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Fort Meyers. FL: Woman killed in Fort Myers shooting, suspect on the loose

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Sunday at approximately 3:45 p.m. the Fort Myers Police Department responded to a call in reference to a shooting in the 1400 blook of Brookhill Drive. Upon arrival, police located a female victim with a gunshot wound to her leg. EMS responded but all attempts to stabilize her were unsuccessful. She died as a result of her injury.
The victim is identified as 22 year-old Nicole L. Smith. Police are now looking for 32 year-old Connell L. Carroll. He is wanted for Second Degree Murder. Anyone with information about Carroll's whereabouts is asked to call FMPD at 321-7700, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS or text message C-R-I-M-E-S (274637) Keyword FMPD. Tipsters can remain anonymous. Carroll may be armed and is considered dangerous.

Enumclaw, WA: Couple found dead in Enumclaw house identified; wife was a teacher

A couple found shot to death Friday in their Enumclaw house have been identified as Amy and Zachary Erwin, both 42. Enumclaw police found the husband and wife inside their home in the 1700 block of Washington Avenue about 7:30 p.m.
A handgun was found at the scene, and detectives are treating the deaths as a possible homicide-suicide. They are still investigating.
Amy Erwin was a teacher at Victor Hills Elementary School in Sumner.
The couple had children, but they were not home at the time of the shootings.

Gulfport, MS: Couple found dead in Gulfport apartment

GULFPORT -- Police discovered the bodies of a couple at their apartment on Pass Road on Sunday morning.
Police said a woman went to check on her parents at the Gulf Mist apartments near Hardy Court and she discovered their bodies just after 11 a.m. Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove identified the victims as David Moore, 68, and his wife, Shirley Moore, 69. Investigators said it appears the couple died of gunshot wounds.
“It’s under investigation, but from all appearances of the forensics we have now, it appears that this is a murder-suicide,” Hargrove said.
Gulfport Police Capt. Ken Brown said notes were found to relatives, which lead them to believe the case may be a murder-suicide. The couple had been experiencing severe health problems, he said.
“There were some notes from the deceased individuals about what all they had gone through and what they wanted,” Brown said.
Police released no further details about the case Sunday and said they were still investigating.

Affton, MO: Surviving Son Of Victim Speaks: Four Bodies Found In Affton Home

There is shock and mourning after four bodies were discovered inside an Affton home Friday morning in what police are describing as a domestic dispute turned violent. Among the dead was an 18 year old who was supposed to graduate Friday night.

St. Louis County Police stopped short of calling the tragedy a murder-suicide but are treating it as a homicide case. They're terming it a domestic incident.

Emily Dreiman, 18, was just one of those found in the home on Vine near Gravois. She was set to graduate from Affton High School on Friday night. Also discovered dead was Emily's mother, 44 year old Dianna Worden, another one of Dianna's children, 26 year old Brandon Greene, and Dianna's husband 50 year old Dennis Worden. Investigators won't say how the four died but do say guns were found in the home.
Neighbors are stunned-one woman put up an angel in front of the house Friday night to honor the victims.

Dianna's surviving son says he knew of no domestic issues. But Emily's best friend says Emily confided in her about problems she had with her mother's husband.

"She would come to school and tell me how he would call her fat and all this and that's not right whether she was big or not that's your step daughter. He goes I don't like kids, I don't want kids," said 18 year old Chelsea Clifton.

Jeremy Greene, Dianna's surviving 27 year old son, added about his mom, "She was a kind woman who didn't have a hateful bone in her body... (I) just don't understand how, why, you know all those questions that people go through in their mind about how could this happen."

County police responded to the home a little before 9:30 Friday morning after receiving a call from family members who were worried because no one would answer the phone at the house.

When officers went inside, they made the gruesome discoveries.

Police tell us there is no search for any suspects and whatever happened was isolated to inside the home.

Investigators say officers responded to home last November for an attempted suicide call but they would not say who was involved. Detectives tell us there was no history of domestic violence calls at the house.

Kershaw County, SC: Man Charged with Homicide in Killing at Meth Lab

Kershaw County, SC (WLTX) - The identity of a woman found shot to death by Kershaw County Sheriff's Deputies Saturday afternoon has been released, and a man has been charged in her killing.

The Kershaw County Coroner's Officeidentified the woman killed as 59 year-old victim Debra Tyler. The woman was shot to death Saturday in a home on Highway 601 south of Lugoff.

She was discovered after deputies had responded to the home on a call of a domestic dispute. Before they arrived though, they got a second emergency call of shots fired at that location.

Sheriff James Matthews says when his officers arrived, they found 49-year-old Greg Smith, who they say had tried to leave the scene, and deputies took him into custody. They also found and questioned 56-year-old David Tyler, Debra's husband, who investigators say was uncooperative.

Debra's body was found in the home, dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

Matthews says Smith will be charged with killing her.

Tyler later died at the jail when he apparently went into cardiac arrest.

When deputies searched the home, Matthews said his officers also found a fully functioning meth lab, and a marijuana grow lab.

Matthews says six deputies had to be taken to the hospital because they were exposed to chemicals from the lab.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating David Tyler's death, because it took place in police custody.

Montgomery County, MD: Prosecutors: Man accused of killing roommate grew upset while watching soap opera

A man who stabbed and killed his new roommate Wednesday night is being held without bail after prosecutors described how the killing allegedly stemmed from watching a soap opera love triangle.

Carlos Tiul-Tiul, 29, of Bowling Green, Ky., is charged with first-degree murder for the stabbing death of Tomas Mo-Choc, 27, of North Potomac. Tiul-Tiul confessed the killing to police after he was found with a knife down the road from where he lived on Travilah Road, according to Montgomery County police charging documents.

Montgomery County District Court Judge Patricia L. Michell ordered Friday that Tiu-Tiu be held without bail because he does not live in Maryland or have family in the state and because of the seriousness of the crime.

Tiul-Tiul was represented in court Friday by public defender Brian Shefferman.

Tiul-Tiul and Mo-Choc, both landscapers, and their coworkers were watching a soap opera episode involving a love triangle shortly before 9:30 p.m. Tiul-Tiul began thinking about his own wife and whether she was involved with Mo-Choc, grabbed a knife and stabbed him, Deputy Maryland State's Attorney John Maloney said at the court hearing Friday.

Tiul-Tiul had arrived to work for the landscaping company from his home in Kentucky earlier that day, Maloney said.

When police found Tiul-Tiul down the road with the knife, he refused to drop the weapon and instead attempted to stab himself in the abdomen, according to court documents.

Police were called to the scene at about 9:30 p.m. by Adrian Guerra, owner of Adrian Lawn Care LLC, the landscaping service that employed both Tiul-Tiul and Mo-Choc.

Property records show the home, and the one adjacent to it, is owned by Guerra.

Guerra could not be reached for comment. The woman working at the Adrain Lawn Care office declined to provide her name Thursday.

Tiul-Tiul is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing June 17.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call police at 240-773-5070.

Lebanon, PA: Manslaughter plea for Pa. woman in stabbing death

A central Pennsylvania woman has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault in the stabbing death of her boyfriend last summer.

The Lebanon Daily News says 30-year-old Gina Melendez entered the plea Thursday before Senior Judge Robert Eby in Lebanon County Court.

She faces 3 1/2 to seven years in prison when she is sentenced June 22.

Lebanon police say Melendez stabbed 36-year-old Roderick Dunham with a kitchen knife in their city apartment on July 28.

They said she told investigators that the stabbing followed an argument and physical altercation between the two.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vancouver, WA: WA man arrested in woman's death held without bail

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A Vancouver, Wash., man arrested for investigation of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his estranged girlfriend has been ordered held without bail.

Prosecutors say a blood-covered Dennis L. Wolter was arrested Thursday morning, not far from where the body of 41-year-old Kori Fredericksen was found down a steep embankment along a highway. The Columbian says lawyer Therese Lavallee was appointed Friday to represent Wolter, a 43-year-old maintenance man. Police say he has denied any role in the slaying.

Court documents say he explained the blood to police who pulled him over for speeding by saying he'd just taken his injured dog to a vet. They learned that wasn't true. Vancouver police found a pool of blood and a broken knife blade at Wolter's home.

Fredericksen's sister, Tammi Murphy, says her relative was about to move away.


Houston, TX: Man Charged in Fatal Stabbing of Wife

HOUSTON - An alleged domestic dispute between a married couple ends with the wife stabbed to death inside their northeast Houston home as the couple's three children watched.

Officers arrived after 11 p.m. Thursday to the home on Orleans Street near Catherwood Place in response to a reported disturbance and found the woman had been stabbed and died inside the house.

Homicide investigators say the victim's husband, identified as 40-year-old Jesus Gonzalez, had been drinking before the couple began to fight. As the fight escalated, investigators say Jesus Gonzalez stabbed Alicia Saldana Gonzalez, 36.

The children, who investigators say witnessed the stabbing, were between the ages of 11 and 16 years old.

Jesus Gonzalez has been charged with murder.

Homicide investigators say the couple had a long history of fighting.

St. Louis, MO: St. Louis man charged in shooting death of girlfriend

ST. LOUIS • A St. Louis man has been charged in the shooting death of a woman who lived a few blocks away.
Monir Aziz, 56, of the 3600 block of Sullivan Avenue in St. Louis, was charged today with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Yvonne Robinson, 35.
Robinson was fatally shot in the head inside her apartment in the 4000 block of Sullivan Avenue early May 18, police say. Police say they believed the killing was drug-related. Court documents say Aziz admitted shooting Robinson.
Police say a witness said he heard Robinson talking with someone inside her home about 12:15 a.m. Then he heard gunshots but didn't see who shot Robinson.
Aziz was being held on no bond. Court records say he has previously pleaded guilty to burglary, stealing, tampering, and drug charges. In 2000 he pleaded guilty in St. Louis to drug distribution and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

West Palm Beach, FL: Man who slit his dog's throat gets year and a day prison sentence

By Cheryl Hanna, Pet Rescue Examiner
May 28th, 2011 9:37 am ET
West Palm Beach, Florida - Kenneth Hall, 40 slit his dog's throat last May and will spend a year-and-a day- thinking about his actions in prison. Animal cruelty is a third-degree felony in Florida.

Last year, Hall took his pitbull and Labrador retriever mix to a friend's home in nearby Lake Worth. The friend's dog and Hall's dog began to fight, although neither dog was hurt. Hall then took his eight-year-old white and beige dog named Fancy outside and tied her to a lamppost.

Hall told his friend that he was going to put his dog out of her misery. Hall untied the dog and cut the dog's throat twice with his pocket knife, and then stabbed the dog in her sides. And according to his friend, Hall picked up Fancy and began to cry telling his friend he loved his dog and didn't want Fancy to suffer anymore. He stabbed her in the sides "to speed up the process."


At the sentencing hearing yesterday, Hall told the court he had been treated for mental illness.

There is more to the story, however according to Hall's girlfriend who told the police she had a domestic altercation with Hall the evening before he killed the dog. She called the Atlantis police. According to a police record, Hall told the girlfriend he was going to kill the dog if the girlfriend called the police. Allegedly, the next day Hall stated,

"I told you if you called the cops, I was going to kill her."

Hall was handcuffed and taken into immediate custody.

Huntington Beach, CA; Police ID bodies in apparent murder-suicide

May 26, 2011 | 3:28 p.m.
Police have released the names of the two bodies found in the upstairs bedroom of a Huntington Beach home Wednesday after an eight-hour standoff.

John Steven Raeuchle, 55, died from a self-inflicted single gunshot wound, said Lt. Russell Reinhart.

Valerie Ellen Pare Estes, 58, died from two gunshots that appear to have been inflicted by Raeuchle, Reinhart said.

Both resided in the home in the 8600 block of Garfield Avenue.

Preliminary investigation results indicate the deaths were a murder-suicide, he said.

Explosive charges were used to enter the residence where neighbors heard arguing and gunshots in the morning.

A SWAT team set off the first charge about 2:30 p.m. to open an iron security gate, which had prevented police from entering the property.

More security gates were found inside the house. Additional charges were used before police entered shortly before 4, Reinhart said.

The person who called police about 8:30 a.m. described hearing arguments followed by gunshots, then someone shouting, "Oh my God," before another gunshot, he said.

The same account was given to police by other residents.

Officers blocked off four streets, including Garfield. Six homes were evacuated, Reinhart said.

Scott Osterhout, who lives around the corner in the quiet neighborhood, said he heard shots about 8:30 a.m. before leaving for work, but didn't think much of it at the time.

"It was loud. I thought it was a car," he said.

Osterhout said he heard three shots before a pause and then a fourth shot.

The investigation is ongoing.

— Mona Shadia

Hawaii: Hawaii Releases Autopsy Results of Bellevue Woman Killed At Resort; Bellevue Man Held in Death In Court Tuesday

A Bellevue woman who died in Hawaii after what local police call a domestic violence incident died from multiple blunt force and sharp force trauma to the head and neck, according to an autopsy performed Friday.

The woman, Susan Brockert, 44, died early Tuesday morning after being attacked at a resort in the Kohala Coast of Hawaii's big island, according to Hawaii Police.

Her boyfriend, Howard Philip Zimmerman—also known as Philip Howard Zimmerman— of Bellevue faces charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and second-degree criminal property damage, according to a press release from the Hawai'i Police Department.

Zimmerman and Brockert were registered at the resort, The Fairmont Orchid,

According to a story printed in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joyce Seelen made a motion for no bail based on Zimmerman's criminal history, noting that he is on probation for misdemeanor domestic violence and cyber-stalking and had been ordered to take anger management courses, according to documents filed Thursday in South Kohala district court. At least four orders of protection have been taken out against him.

Brockert took out an order of protection against him in November, as shown in an email filed with court papers in Hawaii, according to the story.

New Orleans, LA: U.S. Navy chief petty officer will be charged in wife's stabbing death inside Algiers home

Published: Saturday, May 28, 2011, 9:51 AM Updated: Saturday, May 28, 2011, 2:12 PM
By Kari Dequine, Times Picayune
A chief petty officer with the U.S. Navy stationed in Virginia will be charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his wife, whose body was discovered this week in the couple's Algiers home, according New Orleans police.

Hugh David Marx, 43, was arrested Friday in Norfolk, Va., by members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, two days after the body of Mary Lou Marx, 51, was found dead inside the home in the 700 block of Nunez Street, Officer Hilal Williams said late Friday in a news release.

Marx, who has been in the Navy since 1987, worked as an aviation ordnanceman, Navy spokeswoman Terry Davis said. Davis said she had no idea what Marx would have been doing in New Orleans.
Mary Lou Marx suffered two "very serious puncture wounds," one to the face and one to the chest, and died from those injuries, Williams said. According to the NOPD Major Offense Log: "The perpetrator stabbed the victim, possibly with an ink pen, in the chest and nose."
Hugh Marx will be transported to New Orleans, Williams said, though an estimated time of arrival was not given.
Police on Thursday said they had identified a suspect in the murder, and a neighbor said authorities were searching for a man dressed all in white who was seen leaving the scene, though the timing of the sighting was uncertain.
Police have not said what drew them to the house Wednesday, but confirmed that the victim's 12-year-old son was at home when officers arrived. The boy was being held by the Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services.
Officers had to force their way into the residence because the front door was locked, Fourth District Commander Heather Kouts said Wednesday, adding that the home was in disarray when officers arrived, as if someone had searched through several cupboards.

Meadow Lake, NM: Man charged in wife's death called 911

Detectives said couple's kids were home

Updated: Friday, 27 May 2011, 12:38 PM MDT
Published : Thursday, 26 May 2011, 5:21 PM MDT

Reporter: Crystal Gutierrez
MEADOW LAKE, N.M. (KRQE) - Detectives said a man shot his wife in the head and then called 911 while his two children were inside the home. He is now facing murder and child abuse charges.

Valencia County Deputies arrested Brandon Casias, 19, early Thursday morning. Sheriff Louis Burkhard said Casias called 911 and told dispatchers he had just shot his wife.

When deputies arrived at the home in Meado Lake they discovered Amber Casias, 20, mortally wounded in the living room.

“They found Amber Casias with a gunshot wound to the head,” Burkhard said.

Burkhard said the young mother was pronounced dead a short time later.

Deputies said the couples’ two sons, a 1-year-old and 2-year-old, were inside the home during the shooting.

Investigators believe one of them was in the room where his mother was shot.

Detectives will not say how many times the victim was shot, but one neighbor said she heard more than one gunshot overnight.

“I was talking to my boyfriend on the phone, and I heard a shot and maybe two or three minutes later there was another shot,” the neighbor said. “That’s very heartbreakig because they lost their mother.”

The children are now in state custody.

Georgetown, OH: Robert Crane charged in wife's death

Staff report

GEORGETOWN -The husband of an Aberdeen woman who died of an apparent drug overdose has been indicted on a number of criminal charges, including involuntary manslaughter, in relation to her death.

Christine Crane, 41, was pronounced dead at Meadowview Regional Medical Center in Maysville, Ky., after her husband, Robert Crane, called 911 from their Aberdeen home on March 17 to report that she was unresponsive and turning blue. A forensic analysis ordered at the request of Mason County Coroner Robert Brothers identified a heroin overdose as the cause of Christine Crane's death.

Robert Crane was arrested in a Maysville, Ky. bar in the early hours of March 18, on a failure-to-appear warrant unrelated to her death. He later posted bail.

Following extensive investigation by law enforcement officials with the Brown County Sheriff's Office, a Brown County grand jury indicted Robert Crane on 11 criminal charges, including eight felony and three misdemeanor counts, according to a statement released by Brown Count Prosecuting Attorney Jessica Little.

The charges and the prosecutor's announcement allege that Robert Crane provided the drugs that killed his wife.

Among the most significant charges in the indictment are two counts of involuntary manslaughter. The involuntary manslaughter charges take a different perspective on how Ohio Revised Code may apply the the situation that resulted in Christine Crane's death. The first of the involuntary manslaughter charges accuses Robert Crane of causing Christine Crane's death by committing the offense of Permitting Drug Abuse. That count is a third-degree felony punishable by one to five years in prison if convicted.

The second involuntary manslaughter charge accuses Robert Crane of causing his wife's death by allegedly committing the crime of Corrupting Another with Drugs. Conviction on that charge, a first-degree felony, carries a significantly stiffer maximum sentence of three to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Permitting Drug Abuse and Corrupting Another with Drugs are each listed twice as separate charges in the indictment.

Both Permitting Drug Abuse charges accuse Robert Crane of allowing property that he owned, leased, rented or supervised to be used in the commission of the felony drug offense Possession of Heroin by Christine Crane. The only difference in those charges is the time-frame - the first covers March 16 and March 17, while the second alleged the permission of drug abuse between Nov. 1, 2010 and March 15 of this year. Both counts are first-degree misdemeanors.

The Corrupting Another with Drugs charges alleged that Robert Crane "knowingly, by any means, administered or furnished to Christine Crane or induced or caused Christine Crane to use a controlled substance with purpose to cause serious harm to Christine Crane, or with purpose to cause Christine crane to become drug dependant," and further alleges that the drug involved was heroin. The separate counts also cover different time-frames - the first alleging the corruption occurred between March 16-17, and the second alleging the crime was committed between Jan. 1 and March 17.

Robert Crane was additionally indicted on two charges of possession of heroin, both fifth-degree felonies; one count of possessing drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor; one count of complicity to trafficking in heroin, a fifth-degree felony; and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony.

The online jail roster provided by the Brown County Sheriff's Office did not display Robert Crane as an inmate as of 6 p.m. Thursday, May 26.

Prior to Thursday's indictments, Robert Crane has a criminal history in Brown County, including a 2009 conviction for Domestic Violence in which his wife was the victim.

Brown County Court of Common Pleas records indicate Robert Crane was sentenced to six months in prison in June 2009 after pleading guilty to a felonious assault charge filed in September 2007. Aside from the charge of felonious assault with specification, a second-degree felony, three other charges in the indictment, including vandalism, aggravated menacing and a separate felonious assault charge, were dismissed.

The sentence was ordered to run concurrent with a six month sentence for Robert Crane's conviction on a fourth-degree felony domestic violence charge stemming from allegations filed in January 2009. Court records indicate Christine Crane was the complaining witness in the case.

The sentence also included up to three years of post-release control.

When Robert Crane was indicted for the 2009 Domestic Violence charge, the grand jury found an additional specification that Robert Crane had been convicted of Domestic Violence in 2008 in Brown County Municipal Court. The Brown County Municipal Court online docket indicates Robert Crane was charged with Domestic Violence July 2008, September 2008, December 2008 and May 2010.

An indictment is not a finding nor verdict of guilt. By law, all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trenton, NJ: Police charge man in death of girlfriend

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Joshua Rosenau
TRENTON -- Police arrested David Lopez, 28, yesterday on charges of killing Gladiz Polanco-Ramos, 33, his girlfriend, whose unclothed body was found in a waste disposal bin on Freudenmacher Alley last Thursday.

Police arrested Lopez at a residence in Fairview yesterday morning. He also was charged with tampering with evidence for allegedly attempting to dispose of the body, according to a police statement.

Lopez was apprehended by Detective Sgt. Luddie Austin, who worked in conjunction with the U.S. Marshall's New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force in the manhunt, according to authorities.

At the time of Polanco-Ramos' death, the couple had been living together on Roebling Avenue. Police recovered the woman's body following an anonymous tip that led them to the trash container.

Subsequently, Lopez was named a suspect in the woman's death and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Lopez is being held on $1 million bail, according to police.

The cause of death in the case, the seventh homicide in Trenton this year, has not been released.

Detective Edgar Rios and Detective Bryan Cottrell also have worked on the investigation.

Staff writer Joshua Rosenau can be reached at (609) 989-5707 or jrosenau@njtimes.com.

Phoenix, AZ: Phoenix police: Man accused of killing girlfriend, leaving body in truck

by Shala Marks - May. 25, 2011 01:16 PM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

Phoenix police have arrested a man investigators suspect killed his girlfriend in Phoenix Tuesday, then left her body in a truck at a convenience store, according to court documents and the Phoenix Police Department.

Paul Lavon Hamilton, 38, was arrested Tuesday after police found the body of Stephanie Joyce, 46, in a Ford Ranger pickup outside an am/pm store near 27th Avenue and Northern Avenue, Sgt. Tommy Thompson, spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, said.

Hamilton was Joyce's boyfriend, Thompson said.

Police arrived at the store shortly before 5 a.m. after receiving reports that a woman was a passed out in a pickup.

Fire officials later determined the woman, Stephanie Joyce, was dead, Thompson said.

She had bruises on her face, arms and legs and an apparent bite mark on her chest and torso, according to a Maricopa County Superior Court documents.

According to the documents, a female friend drove the pickup to the store around 3 a.m. The woman initially told police Joyce was in the passenger seat and was passed out drunk.

She later told police she had been staying with Hamilton and Joyce at his apartment near the 1600 block of West Osborn Road.

The woman heard Hamilton and Joyce arguing Monday while she was trying to sleep in another bedroom. According to the court documents, the woman told police she could hear Hamilton apparently hitting Joyce and eventually heard a loud noise as if someone fell to the floor.

The friend said she entered the room to see Joyce on the bedroom floor as Hamilton knelt over her body, according to the court documents. She left, keeping her door ajar, and heard Hamilton giving "rescue breaths" to Joyce, the document said.

According to the documents, the woman said Hamilton told her that Joyce was dead and that he had killed her. Hamilton put her body in the pickup ordering the friend to sit between the two of them.

He drove around and threw various items into dumpsters, according to the documents.

The woman told authorities that Hamilton forced the woman to hold Joyce's head up, which was moving back and forth, or he would kill her as well, according to the documents.

He stopped around Northern Avenue, gave the woman $4 for gas and she fled fearing for her safety.

After the woman talked to police, authorities set up surveillance at the apartment. Hamilton was arrested as he left his apartment.

Police used a search warrant and discovered his apartment appeared to have been cleaned, according to the documents.

According to those documents, investigators discovered blood on a man's shirt and drops of blood on top of Hamilton's bed. The bed was stripped of sheets.

Hamilton told police he and Joyce had been in a relationship for several years, even living in a hotel for six months at one point, according to the documents.

Hamilton said police often came to their homes around the Valley due to disputes.

Hamilton was previously convicted for assaulting Joyce in an domestic-violence incident. One case she had marks on her face, arms and legs and an apparent bite mark on her stomach, the file said.

Police said he admitted to being in Joyce's truck Monday and that he last saw her after she left his apartment after an episode of "Dancing With the Stars."

He denied injuring Joyce, but told police the two had had a loud argument that day, according to the documents.

Hamilton had numerous scrapes, scratches and bruises on his face, chest and arms.

He was booked into the Maricopa County Sherriff's Office on suspicion of second-degree murder and other drug-related offenses.

Auburn, WA: Police: Grownups' breakup fueled fatal shooting of teen in Auburn

By Martha Kang May 25, 2011
AUBURN, Wash. -- A breakup between two adults fueled tension between the families that led to the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy earlier this month, according to police.

Prosecutors have charged 16-year-old James A. Mills with second-degree murder in the May 22 death of Adrian Wilson. KOMO News typically does not name minor defendants, but has made an exception in this case as Mills has been charged as an adult.

Police said the fatal victim had been attending a barbecue in the common area of the Aspen Meadows Apartments when trouble began. The suspected gunman had arrived at the complex with another resident, and began exchanging words with Wilson.

Tensions mounted until Mills pulled out his weapon and opened fire, hitting Wilson, according to the statement of probable cause. Mills' companion said he ran into his apartment, and when he looked out his window, he saw Wilson lying on the ground. Mills' companion said someone then opened fire at his apartment unit, narrowly missing his mother, who was inside.

Police arrested Mills at his mother's apartment in Kent on Tuesday. The suspect was disguised as "a thin black female wearing sunglasses," investigators said, but when the woman "took off her purse, sunglasses, and wig," officers recognized the person as Mills and placed him under arrest.

When questioned by detectives, Mills said he had brought a gun to the Auburn apartment complex "to protect his girlfriend's mother" who was reportedly having trouble with Wilson's father.

Investigators learned the victim's father had been dating the woman, but had recently broke up. Wilson's father, Gabriel Wilson, had reportedly been threatening the woman, who was in the process of trying to obtain a protective order against him, the document said.

Mills claimed the fatal victim was "a bully", and said he believed the group was having a barbecue right outside the woman's apartment unit to taunt her. At one point, Wilson came over and began calling him names, Mills said, prompting him to open fire.

When asked why he didn't just leave to avoid trouble, Mills said, "I'm not gonna run away from my problems. I'm not gettin' punked, not gonna intimidate me. I'm gonna stay right there and do what I planned to do," the statement said.

Investigators said Mills is a documented member of Marvin Gangster Crips, and Wilson's father is a known member of the Nortenos, a Northern California-based criminal street gang. There is no known rivalry between the two gangs; however, the two gangs are often known to clash, detectives said.

When officers arrived at the scene of the shooting, they saw the fatal victim's father rushing toward another person. When an officer attempted to stop him, the man slammed the officer to the ground. Other officers jumped in and subdued Wilson and placed him under arrest.

The victims' father, Gabriel Wilson, told detectives it was he who opened fire at the unit of the suspected gunman's friend. "They killed my (expletive) son! What do you expect," he told investigators.

The 45-year-old father has been charged with first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree. He has prior convictions for violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act and cocaine delivery.

Mills is being held on $1,000,000 bail, and scheduled to be arraigned next month.

Gabriel Wilson is being on $750,000 bail.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coral Gables, FL: Fugitive charged in slaying of American Airlines worker

May 24, 2011|By Danielle A. Alvarez and Juan Ortega, Sun Sentinel

A fugitive recently extradited from New Jersey to South Florida has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his live-in girlfriend, an American Airlines employee, court records show.

The murder charge against Joel Rodriguez, 49, who also worked for the airline, is the latest development in the case of Ruth Delia Fuentes, 49. She was found shot in the head and chest in their Coral Gables home on Jan. 21, the records show.

During police questioning after his capture in February, Rodriguez said he and Fuentes were arguing at home on Jan. 18, possibly the night she was killed, but he didn't remember whether he had killed her, according to a police affidavit.

He told police he "blacked out" that night, and when he recovered, he drove to Miami Beach to buy some drugs and then trekked to New Jersey, where his relatives and ex-wife live. Then he checked himself into a mental facility in Philadelphia.

Chatttanooga, TN: Man pleads guilty in dragging death of girlfriend

Posted: May 24, 2011 3:43 PM EDT
Updated: May 24, 2011 5:29 PM EDT
By Sarah Wilson, Nightside Assignment Manager - email

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- A man pleaded guilty in the dragging death of his girlfriend.

John Thomas White will be sentenced on vehicular homicide charges on July 25th.

In January 2010, he got in an argument with his girlfriend, Marie Oliver.

Oliver tried to climb into the bed of his truck as he left a bar and hung onto the tailgate for more than a mile. She eventually lost her grip and was run over.

White was originally charged with second degree murder, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

Trenton, NJ: Abuse may be key in stabbing case

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Lisa Coryell

TRENTON -- A city man accused of fatally stabbing his wife and dumping her body in a Hamilton cemetery in 2009 was in court yesterday as prosecutors argued that his history of domestic abuse should be allowed into evidence during his murder trial.

Clarence Kelsey, 66, of South Clinton Avenue told police his wife, Colleen Kelsey, 46, died when she fell on a knife she pulled on him during a domestic dispute on June 20, 2009. Her badly decomposed body was found in North Crosswicks Cemetery nine days later.

Assistant Prosecutor Lew Korngut is seeking to thwart Kelsey's accident defense by showing jurors that Kelsey had a history of beating his wife and his ex-wife.

Under the rules of evidence, a defendant's prior acts are not admissible in trial to impeach his character but they are admissible to impeach testimony that his crime was accidental or without forethought.

In a hearing to determine whether Kelsey's history of abuse will be introduced at his trial, Korngut called Kelsey's ex-wife, Penny Graff, to the stand. Graff, of Allentown, testified that her marriage to Kelsey from 1974 to 2001 was fraught with verbal and physical abuse from a drunken Kelsey.

"He beat her, he broke her fingers, he hit her over the head with a phone," Korngut said. In one instance Kelsey threatened to kill Graff with a knife, he said.

A 911 operator also testified that she had received a call from Colleen Kelsey in August 2008 reporting that Kelsey had "busted her lip" and headed into a local bar.

A neighbor on South Clinton Avenue also testified that she often heard screaming, yelling and sounds of Kelsey beating his wife and accusing her of cheating on him. The woman said she had called the police numerous times.

Kelsey tried to report his wife missing July 17. Police searched his apartment after becoming suspicious that this missing person description was similar to the dead woman found in the cemetery, prosecutors said.

Kelsey told police he had not seen his wife since June 19. He said he had not reported his wife missing earlier because he believed she was in a drug rehabilitation program. But he filed a report after family members urged him to, he said.

When confronted by the blood evidence in the apartment, Kelsey first told police his wife had stabbed herself but then changed his story to say she had fallen on the knife during a struggle.

Lockhart, TX: Lockhart man charged with murder

Angie Mendez died after domestic dispute

Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2011, 12:12 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 24 May 2011, 12:12 PM CDT

LOCKHART, Texas (KXAN) - Lockhart police charged one man with murder after a woman died from injuries in a weekend domestic dispute.

Angie Mendez, age 37, was pronounced dead on Monday according to Lockhart PD Captain John Roescher.

Michael Perez turned himself in to Lockhart Police and is in the Caldwell County jail.

Perez and Mendez were walking home from Lily's bar early Sunday morning when Perez shoved Mendez to the ground according to witnesses. Witnesses told police that Perez was angry that the two had missed their ride home.

Mendez went home, but her condition worsened. Ambulances were called to her home on Sunday afternoon and she was transported to Seton Kyle Hospital.

She was later taken by helicopter to Brackenridge Hospital.

Hospital personnel told police officers that Mendez's injuries appeared to be from an assault.

Rock Hill, SC: Zaylen comes home to family

Victim's family finds solace and hope in presence of child
Andrew Dys - Columnist
For the first time in days Tuesday afternoon, a little boy who has been through far more in 72 hours than any child every should have to endure, smiled.
He smiled when his grandmother held him. And she smiled - a real smile - for the first time in days, too.
The boy smiled when his great-grandmother who watches him so much held him. He smiled when he ate pizza - his favorite - and he smiled when his aunt held him.
But little Zaylen Carlik White could not smile at his mother, 25-year-old Shrece Robinson. Because those same people - his granny and great-granny and auntie who love him so - are readying to bury his mother today.
Zaylen's father, police say, killed Zaylen's mother Saturday night.
"Finally, my grandson is home where he needs to be, with me and my mother and his family that will never, ever let anybody hurt him," said Zaylen's grandmother and Shrece Robinson's mother, Estelle Robinson.
"No child should ever have to deal with what he did the last few days. But he's home now, and we are never going to let him go."
Zaylen's father, Carl White Jr., grabbed Zaylen after the shooting and took off into the wee hours Sunday, heading southwest into the night.
The hours after Shrece Robinson was gunned down lasted forever for Estelle Robinson, her mother, Lena Robinson, and her surviving daughter, Ladrena Robinson.
No one knew where White and Zaylen were, or even if Zaylen was alive.
A trucker who saw a sign for an Amber Alert issued by police spotted the truck driven by White, called the police, and followed him for dozens of miles before cops could swoop in near the Georgia state line.
White, a convicted felon with a history of booze and guns and drugs, was pulled over - vodka bottle in hand, little Zaylen standing unrestrained in the back seat of that SUV.
"I can't even think about my nephew riding in the truck," said Ladrena Robinson, Zaylen's aunt. "If he was scared. What he saw."
After White was arrested for drunken driving and child endangerment in Aiken - but before he was charged with the murder of Shrece Robinson in the driveway of his Rock Hill home - the family at least knew Zaylen was safe.
But they had to wait to get him home because the S.C. Department of Social Services took temporary custody of Zaylen to ensure his well-being after his father was booked into jail for drunken driving - and now much worse.
And while the family dealt with police over Shrece Robinson's death since Sunday - and the arrest of Carl White Jr. on murder charges after police say he confessed - they had to wait to get Zaylen home.
It was bad enough to cry and struggle with the murder of Shrece, a nursing student at York Technical College who also worked a full-time job at a Chester brick and stone factory. They also had to fret over Zaylen.
"We worried about the stress of that little boy, seeing all those strange faces ever since the police found him with his father," Estelle Robinson said. "He must have been so scared."
Ladrena Robinson, Shrece's younger sister and also a student at York Tech, said few in the family have slept since the shooting - mourning over Shrece's death, worrying over getting Zaylen home safely.
"We knew Zaylen was safe," Ladrena Robinson said, "but you never can really believe it until you see him and hold him in your arms."
On Tuesday, DSS workers brought Zaylen from Aiken to Columbia, then to the Rock Hill DSS office. Then the family brought him to the Rock Hill apartment that his mother had shared with his grandmother.
"Look who I have here - the man of the hour!" shouted Estelle Robinson, who held that little boy so tight as she rushed down the sidewalk with Zaylen in her arms.
Cousins and other family gathered, giving hugs and support.
Inside that apartment, Lena Robinson, the great-grandmother, waited for her hug - a wait that had kept her sleepless since the shooting.
Ladrena, the aunt, came in from the other side and both kissed little Zaylen at the same time. No child has ever looked so happy or smiled so wide.
"It seemed like he would never get here," said Lena Robinson, 73. "He stayed with me when his mother was at work and at school.
"She was such a good mother to that boy. She worked so hard, studied so hard at school. And he loved his momma, too."
Before picking up Zaylen Tuesday, Estelle Robinson and Ladrena Robinson had to drive to Chester, to the funeral home, to make sure Shrece looked how they wanted her to look for the funeral.
Next Sunday, June 5, Zaylen turns 2. The family will have a cake, and dozens of people will reassure him that his mother loved him so much and wanted to be there - but cannot.
They will not say what Zaylen will learn, someday, when he is older and can be told why his mother, and his father, were not at his birthday party.
Only when Zaylen is older will his grandmother and great-grandmother and aunt who love him so much tell him that his mother comes to no parties because she is dead - and his father can attend no parties anywhere because he is accused of pulling the trigger that fired the bullets that killed his mother.
Wilbur "Bubba" DeGraffenreid is a cousin and friend of the family all their lives, more than 60 years.
He stood under a funeral home tent Tuesday outside that apartment and spoke for everybody who has ever loved a child so unconditionally that the love cannot even be spoken - but shown and felt as it spreads through muscle and bone like electric shocks.
"The little boy is back where he belongs - home with his family that loves him," DeGraffenreid said. "He's been through too much for a little boy to ever have to see.
"They are going to bury his momma, and his grandmother is going to raise him and love him. Right now he just needs love - and this family will make sure he gets all the love in the world."
Want to help?
A bank account for Zaylen Carlik White has been established at Wachovia. Visit any branch to donate to a fund in his name.

Winter Haven, FL: Man Killed Three Baby Rabbits Following a Fight With Wife

By Jeremy Maready

Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 7:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 7:09 p.m.
WINTER HAVEN | A 34-year-old Winter Haven was arrested after he killed three baby rabbits following a fight with his wife, according to Winter Haven police.

Reginald Owen Sear, Jr., 34, of 2118 Whispering Trails Boulevard, was charged with three counts of animal cruelty and two counts of child abuse, police reported.

The incident happened Tuesday when police were called to the home for a disturbance.

Police said they learned that Sear and his wife had an agreement about who would wake up to feed the bunnies. When the wife awoke, she and Sear argued because he was supposed to have awakened her.

"He was so outraged that he took the cardboard box into the bathroom and killed the baby bunnies by twisting them, resulting in their deaths," said Jamie Brown, Winter Haven police spokeswoman.

While the couple's two children, who both younger than 12, didn't see the killing of the animals, they saw their father emerge from the bathroom with blood on his face, police said.

Police said the event was so traumatic for the children the child abuse charges were warranted.

Big Bear Lake, CA: Big Bear Lake murder/suicide victims identified

JESSE B. GILL, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/24/2011 02:51:17 PM PDT

BIG BEAR LAKE -- The San Bernardino County Coroner released the names today of an elderly couple who died Monday in what the Sheriff's Department called a murder/suicide.

Officials say 78-year-old Robert Foose called San Bernardino County Sheriff's dispatchers about 3:15 a.m. Monday, saying he killed his wife, Mona Foose, 80.

When deputies arrived at the couple's home in the 200 block of Knoll Road, they found both suffering from gunshot wounds.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Both were found with "upper body trauma," according to the Coroner's office.

The Coroner will conduct autopsies to determine the cause of death in both cases.

Sheriff's detectives are conducting a homicide investigation.

Anyone with information about the case can call sheriff's Detective David Johnson or Sgt. Frank Montanez at 909-387-8313 or 909-387-3589.

Callers wishing to remain anonymous may contact the We-Tip hot line at 800-782-4763 or leave information at www.wetip.com.

San Diego, CA: Police: Motive unknown in Calif murder-suicide

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The parents were hard-working owners of a towing business. Their 17-year-old daughter was excited about this weekend's prom and preparing for college. Their 9-year-old girl played with children in the neighborhood.
All four were found dead in a backyard swimming pool and a bathtub in what police are calling a murder-suicide, stunning neighbors and friends who said they saw no signs of trouble.
Police said one of the four family members committed suicide but declined to say which one. The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office was expected to rule on the causes of death as early as Wednesday.
Police didn't name any suspects and said the motive was undetermined.
Police identified the victims as Alfredo Pimienta, 44; his wife, Georgina Pimienta, 38; Priscilla Pimienta, 17; and Emily Pimienta, 9.
A relative reported finding the bodies after Alfredo Pimienta called to ask that he visit the home in a quiet southeast San Diego neighborhood, police said. The relative came to discuss a business transaction shortly after dawn.
Police responded to find Alfredo Pimienta and two females — one apparently a child — in the pool and another female in the bathtub.
Neighbors and friends said nothing seemed amiss with the couple, known for logging long hours at work, or their two girls. Georgina Pimienta's stepfather, Jose Villa, said he and his wife picked up Emily from school Monday. He said the family owns a towing business.
Priscilla Pimienta was preparing for college. She was to graduate next month from San Diego's High Tech High School, a charter school that has earned national acclaim for its high graduation rate, said classmate Alex Jasmund.
"There was no one like her," Jasmund said. "She was loveable, she was hateable, she was all in one."
About 100 people, mostly teenagers, gathered on a San Diego beach Tuesday night to remember Priscilla. The youths held hands around a fire pit and some were seen embracing and talking quietly.
Jasmund said he, Priscilla and two other friends went to a theater Monday afternoon to see the 3-D vampire-hunting movie "Priest," a graphic-novel adaptation. Priscilla met with friends for frozen yogurt after the film to plan for Saturday's prom, including details like ordering a limousine and having a party with about 20 classmates.
Jasmund said everything seemed normal when he saw Priscilla, her parents and her younger sister at a pool party at the home Saturday for Priscilla's friends.
Marlon Soriano, who lives two doors away, said the family had been renting the home for no longer than two years. They hosted pool parties for relatives in the summer.
The house is one of the few rental properties in the safe, family-oriented neighborhood, said Soriano, 22, who has lived in the area since he was born. New tenants arrived at the home every two or three years.
Soriano waved hello to the family but generally didn't talk to them. The younger girl often played with other children in the neighborhood.
"The children were happy," he said. "They always seemed to be smiling."

Bakersfield, CA: Police release details of officer's weekend shooting

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Police released a full account Tuesday of a weekend shooting involving one of their officers.

Officer Keith Cason was sent to the area of Ming Avenue and Gosford Road around midnight Saturday on an assault and domestic-violence call.

The suspect, 25-year-old Victor Florentino Chavez, had been out to a restaurant that evening, Friday night, with his girlfriend. The two began arguing at the restaurant and carried their argument into the drive home, police said.

The couple stopped their car multiple times, with the woman getting out and Chavez reportedly assaulting her and forcing her back into the vehicle. Chavez even allegedly choked his girlfriend so hard that she vomited, police said.

Eventually, they pulled over on a residential street called Calle Salida, which is near Ming and Gosford. The girlfriend, who hasn't been publicly identified, ran, but Chavez caught her and forced her to the ground. A pair of 15-year-old boys witnessed this and tried to help, but Chavez allegedly threatened to kill one of the boys and hit him in the face and body several times.

The boys and girlfriend managed to get away and called for help at a nearby home.

Police said Chavez himself also called 911, telling the dispatcher that he assaulted his girlfriend and indicated that he was armed. He told the dispatcher that officers had better start shooting when they arrived, police said.

When Cason arrived, he found Chavez sitting in the car. The officer ordered Chavez out of the car, but he allegedly refused, responding instead with obscenities, police said.

Eventually, Chavez kicked open the door and got out, but then reached back into the car and pulled out what the officer thought was a handgun.

Police said Chavez ran toward Cason with the object, and Cason shot four times, striking Chavez three times.

The object turned out to be a cell phone, police said.

Cason was placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting.

Chavez was hospitalized and faces possible charges of attempted murder, spousal abuse, kidnapping, false imprisonment, criminal threats and battery.

Columbia, SC: Deputies: Man Shot Girlfriend, Killed Himself at Daycare

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Richland County deputies say a man shot his girlfriend, then killed himself, outside a daycare in Northeast Richland County.

The crime took place around 9:45 a.m. at 1612 Summit Ridge Drive outside Tucker's Daycare, an in-home daycare facility

Deputies say that 18-year-old Henry Ellison III shot 21-year-old Kiara Smith after the two had an argument, then turned the gun on himself.

According to Captain Chris Cowan with the Richland County Sheriff's Department, the man's mother, who owns the daycare, drove Ellison over to the house.

Detectives say Smith works at the daycare.

Deputies say the two got into a verbal fight, and at some point during the confrontation, the man pulled out a gun and fired at Smith, wounding her.

According to deputies, the woman was able to drive herself to the hospital, where she is said to have non life-threatening injuries. The man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

There were children at the daycare at the time of the incident, but it's not clear if they witnessed the shooting. None of them were physically harmed.

Late Tuesday, deputies confirmed that several children were in the car Smith drove to the hospital.

The shooting location matches DSS records of Shirley Tucker's Family Child Care Facility, a daycare run out of a home. DSS reports the facility has a capacity for six children.

Catina Greene lives in the neighborhood, and said that the daycare is well regarded in the community.

"She has never had any complaints outside of her home daycare center," said Greene. "The babies loved her and she loved the babies. We really don't know what really happened there. All we know is that a mother has lost her son and that's a heart breaking situation."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grand Haven, MI: Man kills two horses

GRAND HAVEN (AP) -- A western Michigan man who authorities say slit the throats of two horses belonging to his wife and a stable owner as retribution for his belief that the two were having an affair has pleaded no contest in the case.

Dennis Finkler of Conklin entered the plea Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court to two counts of torturing and killing an animal and a charge of malicious destruction of property. The 47-year-old faces up to 5 years in prison when sentenced on July 5.

Authorities say on Feb. 11 Finkler argued with his wife at the stable owner's property in Jamestown Township, about 10 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, and returned the next day with a knife that he used to kill a 12-year-old quarter horse and a 6-year-old Palomino.

Richlands County, SC: Couple found shot to death in Richland Co. home

by Chris Abbotts
Posted: 05.23.2011 at 2:18 PMUpdated: 05.23.2011 at 5:45 PM
Read more: Local, Crime, Husband, Wife, Shot to Death, Richland County, Sheriff's Department, Home, Deputies

100 Marburn Road / Adam Pinsker

RICHLAND COUNTY (WACH) -- Officials say two people have been found shot to death in a northeast Richland County home.

Deputies with the Richland County Sheriff's Department say they were called to 100 Marbun Road, near Alpine Road, around 11:15 a.m. Monday.

Officials say they arrived to find the 24-year-old woman and 28-year-old man dead. Both victims, husband and wife, died from gunshot wounds according to investigators.

The mother of one of the victims discovered the bodies Monday morning.

Deputies say there was no sign of forced entry and they did found a weapon at the scene. There's no word whether it was the gun used in the deaths.

Investigators continue to look into the case and say they have not been called to the house before. However, they say there has been a recent history of domestic violence.

WACH Fox News has a crew on the scene and will keep you updated with any information that becomes available.

Richland County, SC (WLTX) - Richland County Coroner Gary Watts has released the names of the husband and wife who died in an apparent murder-suicide.

The killings took place at a home on Marbun Road in Northeast Richland County late Sunday evening or early Monday morning.

Deputies and Watts say 28-year-old Joseph Jarrad shot 23-year-old Amanda Jarrad multiple times in the back. Investigators say he then shot himself in the head.

Investigators believe some type of domestic dispute led up to the shooting.

Norcross, GA: Police: Domestic clash fueled slaying

NORCROSS — Police have charged a Norcross woman with murder in the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend Sunday.
Reporter: By Josh Green, Staff Writer
Email Address: josh.green@gwinnettdailypost.com

NORCROSS — Police have charged a Norcross woman with murder in the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend Sunday.

A heated domestic dispute after 3 a.m. between Tyress Malcome, 32, of Norcross, and his girlfriend, Tiquonda Campbell, 30, turned violent at the Highland Lake Apartments on Ashley Lakes Drive near Norcross.

Campbell is accused of retrieving a knife from the kitchen during the argument and stabbing Malcome. Wounded, Malcome was driven by a friend to a Doraville home on Beechwood Avenue, where the stabbing was reported to police.

“He informed officers that his girlfriend ... stabbed him in Norcross,” said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter.

Malcome was transported to Atlanta Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival, Ritter said.

Investigators developed probable cause to arrest Campbell, charging her with felony murder and aggravated assault. The investigation continues, Ritter said.

Cape Vincent, NY: Upstate N.Y. man Mikel Odle charged with killing woman, stabbing daughter, the mother of his 11-month-old child

CAPE VINCENT, N.Y. - State Police in Watertown have arrested 20-year-old Mikel Odle for fatally stabbing 51-year-old Mary Burkman and wounding her daughter, Amber Englebert, who is the mother of Odle's 11-month-old child.

According to police, the stabbings occured in Burkman's home in upstate New York Saturday, shortly before midnight.

Odle then took the infant out of the house and fled in his car, reports CBS affiliate WTVH.

Amber was able to call 911 after the attack and Odle was later arrested after a brief pursuit in which he crashed his car.

The infant was airlifted to a Syracuse hospital and is expected to fully recover. Amber is being treated for her injuries.

Police took Odle into custody at the hospital.

He's facing charges including second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and unlawfully fleeing a police officer, reports the Watertown Daily Times.

Odle is being held without bail and is awaiting a preliminary hearing Thursday, according to police.

Dixon, WI: Dixon Police Investigate Possible Murder Suicide

The Dixon Police Department is releasing the identities of the deceased individuals pursuant to the homicide investigation that occurred at 407 Sherman Avenue in Dixon on Sunday, May 22, 2011. The male subject has been identified as James R. Partington, age 75, and the female subject is Mona L. Partington, age 73. James and Mona Partington had been married to each other for approximately 38 years.

The Dixon Police Department received the initial call to the residence at approximately 9:40 a.m. on Sunday. Dixon Police Officers and Dixon Fire Department personnel responded to the residence after receiving a report of an unresponsive male laying in the backyard of the residence. Police and fire personnel arrived and noted that the male was deceased from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handgun was found in close proximity to the body. Officers then entered the residence and located a female in a bedroom that was also deceased from a gunshot wound. The residence was secured and the Illinois State Police – Crime Scene Services was contacted to assist with the investigation. Preliminary results of the investigation indicate that the male appears to have shot the female and then turned the firearm on himself.

The Department was further assisted at the scene by the Lee County Coroner’s Office and an autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 24th.

Previous release:

The Dixon Police Department is currently conducting a homicide investigation that occurred at 407 Sherman Avenue in Dixon earlier today, Sunday, May 22, 2011.

At approximately 9:40 a.m., Dixon Police Officers and Dixon Fire Department personnel responded to the residence after receiving a report of an unresponsive male laying in the backyard of the residence. Police and fire personnel arrived and noted that the male was deceased from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A handgun was found in close proximity to the body. Officers then entered the residence and located a female in a bedroom that was also deceased from a gunshot wound. The residence was secured and the Illinois State Police – Crime Scene Services was contacted to assist with the investigation. Preliminary results of the investigation indicate that the male appears to have shot the female and then turned the firearm on himself.

At this time, the Department is not releasing the identities of the deceased individuals pending the notification of next of kin. The male subject is approximately 75 years of age and the female victim is approximately 73 years of age. The male and female were also married to each other. The Department was further assisted at the scene by the Lee County Coroner’s Office and an autopsy is currently being scheduled for the individuals.

Lufkin, TX: Lufkin Police: Aug. '10 Davis Street deaths a murder-suicide

Posted: May 23, 2011 7:57 PM EDT
Updated: May 23, 2011 7:57 PM EDT

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) -
Lufkin Police have determined the deaths of a Lufkin man and woman found dead on Davis Street to be the results of a murder-suicide.

Evidence indicates Artha Griffin, 64, shot and killed Brianna Shaw, 23, before turning the gun on himself.

That was what detectives initially believed, but could not make that conclusion because they could not locate the gun used in the incident.

According to police spokesman J.B. Smith, detectives made the conclusion based on the following evidence:

* Laboratory testing of evidence collected from the scene found DNA of only Griffin and Shaw.

* Gunshot residue indicated Griffin fired a gun.

* Gunshot wounds indicate Shaw was murdered and Griffin committed suicide.

* Blood spatter experts from an independent forensic consulting firm evaluated the scene and corroborated the Detectives' finding of murder/suicide.

Smith said detectives believe they have identified the person responsible for removing the gun from the scene following the deaths but have not developed enough probable cause to charge that person with a crime. Police will not release the name of this person because a criminal charge is not pending.

Police say the dead bodies were found the morning of Aug. 29, on the 300 block of Davis Street.

Lake Charles, TX: Authorities investigate apparent murder/suicide in Lake Charles

Sheriff's deputies are investigating a possible murder suicide in Lake Charles, after an 11-year-old discovered the bodies of his mother and her boyfriend in their home.

Calcasieu Parish authorities responded to a call regarding a shooting around 7 a.m. Monday.

The victims are identified as 38-year-old Sheree Lynn Cruz and 39-year-old Adam Keith Brown.

Investigators say both died from gunshot wounds.

Chesterfield, VA: Chesterfield man fatally shot after encounter with ex-girlfriend

Published: May 24, 2011
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Police are investigating the circumstances of an early-morning shooting that left a Chesterfield County man dead after he forced his way into his ex-girlfriend's home, took her cellphone and was confronted by a neighbor.

Gordon T. Ragland, 41, was shot in the chest Monday about 1 a.m. during what police described as a domestic disturbance in the 13800 block of Buck Rub Drive in Chesterfield's Deer Run subdivision.

Officers responding to the disturbance found Ragland in the roadway, where he died a short time later, police said.

"It's very upsetting," said Dawn Bonura, a close family friend of Ragland's.

Bonura, who said Ragland was an employee of her family's construction business and had stayed with them for three weeks, said the confrontation occurred after Ragland went to his ex-girlfriend's house about 1 a.m. to talk.

"I think they were basically ending their relationship, but they had seen each other in the past couple of weeks," she said.

The two had traded text messages earlier in the evening, with Ragland having done so at Bonura's house, said Bonura, who discussed the incident with Ragland's former girlfriend after the shooting.

After Ragland arrived, he broke through his ex-girlfriend's front door, and they talked briefly inside before Ragland took the woman's cellphone to see whom she had been calling or texting, Bonura said.

Ragland then went out into the street with the phone, while his former girlfriend went next door to have her neighbor call 911, Bonura said. The neighbor then went outside, and a confrontation ensued, leading to the fatal shooting, Bonura said.

"She didn't know what went on after that," Bonura said. "All that she knows is that he was killed."

Police declined to provide details of the fatal encounter, saying the incident remains under investigation.

After Ragland was shot, the neighbor — whose identity was not released and who apparently has some training as a paramedic — "was running around looking for" his emergency medical gear to tend to Ragland's injuries, Bonura said.

Bonura said Ragland, also known as "G.T.," had been drinking that night but wasn't intoxicated. She also says he was unarmed. "He doesn't own guns. He's not that type of person. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body as far as physically hurting anyone."


Shaler, PA: Police ID Pa. man who fatally shot girlfriend, 2 young daughters before killing himself

By Associated Press, Published: May 23
SHALER, Pa. — Police investigating a triple murder-suicide have released the names of the two adults and two children killed.

Police say Barry Hardesty and his girlfriend, Lynette Gasparre, were found dead in their rented home Sunday night, along with her daughters, 7-year-old Quinn and 1-year-old Nina.

Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press ) - A home at 404 Beulah Road in Shaler, Pa., Monday, May 23, 2011 is where Shaler police believe a man shot and killed his wife and two daughters before killing himself Sunday evening. The man shot his wife and children once each in the head late Sunday night, according to Shaler Township Police Chief Jeff Gally.

Shaler Township Police Chief tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Hardesty appears to have shot and killed the Gasperres before turning the gun on himself.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A father killed his wife and two daughters — one an infant, the other about 8 years old — before turning the gun on himself inside the family’s rented suburban home, police said Monday.

The man shot his relatives once each in the head late Sunday night, but investigators had “no indication of what caused this tragedy at this point,” Shaler Township Police Chief Jeff Gally told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Neighbors told the newspaper that they heard sounds of a loud argument, followed by gunshots about 15 to 20 minutes later.

The body of one girl, approximately 8 years old, was found in a hallway and the bodies of the mother and an infant daughter were found on a bed. The father’s body was found on the bedroom floor. Police said he may have still been breathing when authorities arrived but soon died.

The family appeared to have moved into the rented home in the last three or four weeks, Gally said. Police have not released their names.

Police described the neighborhood as quiet and largely crime-free. The home where the shooting occurred is one of about 10 houses on a dead-end street.

On Monday, crime scene tape was wrapped around the property of the split-level home, which had a Chevy Silverado pickup truck and Dodge Challenger sitting in the driveway. Outside, several people stood and watched investigators move in and out of the house.

Investigators recovered a .357-caliber handgun from the house, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Shaler Township is a residential community of nearly 30,000 just minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Gov. Tom Corbett lives in a farmhouse in Shaler, but a spokesman said Monday the shooting was not near his home.

Corbett was in Shaler last week as he recuperated from back surgery, and had returned to Harrisburg by Saturday, his spokesman said.

San Diego, CA: Man held for extradition to Mexico in wife's death

MONDAY, MAY 23, 2011 AT 5:48 P.M.

SAN DIEGO — A U.S. citizen arrested in San Diego and accused of killing his wife in Baja California appeared in federal court Monday pending extradition to Mexico, authorities said.

According to a federal complaint, Victor Ernest Childs, 52, is wanted in the shooting death of his wife, Caryn Childs, at the couple’s home in San Felipe, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy said.

Caryn Childs' decomposing body was found in Mexico on Dec. 20 with bullet holes in the front and back of her head, the complaint said.

Victor Childs was stopped in San Diego on Jan. 3 while driving a vehicle that belonged to his wife, the complaint said. A concealed firearm was found in the car. Childs was charged with vehicle theft and carrying a concealed weapon. A forensic analysis of the gun showed that the weapon matched the bullet casings found near his wife’s body.

The complaint states that Childs confessed to Mexican authorities that he killed his wife, but claimed that she gave him the gun, pressed his finger against the trigger, and begged him to shoot her because she was dying from an insulin injection.

Childs appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo on Monday in San Diego and was held without bail pending another court hearing July 21.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jackson, TN: Family has doubts if death was accidental

Husband says gun went off inadvertently during struggle
2:29 AM, May. 23, 2011

Family members of a Chester County woman killed in January question her husband's statements that he shot her accidentally.

Two daughters and the father of Donna Shelby say they believe charges should be filed against Shelby's husband, Bradley Shelby, who has told investigators he accidentally shot the 50-year-old at their home on Jan. 8. No charges are being filed without evidence showing the shooting wasn't accidental, said District Attorney General Jerry Woodall.

Donna Shelby's daughters, Jennifer Wood and Rachael Crump, and her father, Charles Roland, said they believe there is more behind the incident than what her husband says happened.

"We don't for a second believe this was an accident," Wood said.

Bradley Shelby did not return phone messages seeking comment. He has told authorities the gun accidentally went off while he and his wife were fighting over the weapon at their Mayfield Road home. He told investigators his wife was carrying the gun at the time and was upset because she believed she had been locked out of their home, according to the police report.

He said the gun inadvertently went off after she grabbed a stick that was in the room, the report said.

The couple often fought with each other, her family said. Wood and Crump lived with the couple from ages 5 and 6 before leaving their home while they were in junior high school.

"She would call the police, bless her soul, they would fight," Wood said. "They would fight the entire time we lived with them."

While altercations weren't uncommon between the couple, in the last six months of her life, she seemed to be ready to move on from the marriage, they said.

Although the couple still lived together, there were talks about them separating and they lived on opposite sides of their mobile home, her family said.

Several hours before she was shot, Wood said she received a text message from her mother that ended in a smiley face.

"She was just in a good mood," Wood said.

"She was a loving mother while we were growing up, just the epitome of being there helping us study for tests," she said.

"(Bradley) never showed remorse or said, 'I'm sorry, I wish it wouldn't have happened,'" Crump said.

Pittsburgh, PA: Police believe Pa. man killed wife, 2 girls, self

Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 2:56 am | Updated: 7:00 am, Mon May 23, 2011.

Police say they believe a man fatally shot his wife and two young daughters inside their suburban Pittsburgh home before turning the gun on himself.
Shaler Township police say neighbors reported hearing gunshots inside the home at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

Police Chief Jeff Gally told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that officers discovered the body of an 8- or 9-year-old girl in a hallway. Her mother, father and baby sister were found in the master bedroom.
The victims' names weren't immediately released.
The chief says the family had lived in the rented home for a few weeks and there was no indication of what might have prompted the shooting. He says the father didn't have a criminal record in Allegheny County.
Shaler Township is a residential community of nearly 30,000 just minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.