Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brandywine Hundred, DE: Woman arrested in husband's death

A Brandywine Hundred woman was
arrested Tuesday night for killing her 59-
year-old husband on Sept. 16, police said

Donna M. Sciglitano, 60, of the 200 block
of Beau Tree Drive in the Beau Tree
community, was committed to Baylor
Women's Correctional Institution on charges
of first-degree murder.

Nino Sciglitano Sr., owner of Kip Flooring in
Claymont, was found in the couple's home,
dead from a gunshot wound to the head,
according to court records. Police said
Donna Sciglitano was found in a second-
floor bedroom unconscious from a drug

Donna Sciglitano took a "deliberate
overdose of pills" after the shooting, police
said. She was taken to Christiana Hospital.

Donna Sciglitano allegedly told a hospital
staff member that she bought a gun, then
used it to shoot her husband as he slept,
according to court records.

The couple's son told police that he arrived
at the home with his sister about 1 p.m.
and did not initially see anyone. He said it
was not unusual for his mother to "stay in
her bedroom all day and not be seen,"
police said in court records.

He found his mother lying on the bedroom
floor, police said. She told him that "she
killed his father and pleaded with him not
to call 911 because she didn't want to go
to jail," police said in court records.

The son then went into the family room and
found his father dead on the couch. Police
arrived about an hour later.

Investigators found a Ruger revolver in the
master bedroom, about five feet from
where the wife was lying, according to court
records. The revolver contained three live .
38-caliber rounds and two spent rounds,
police said. An autopsy conducted by the
state Medical Examiner's Office confirmed
that Nino Sciglitano Sr. died from gunshot
wounds to his head.

Dekalb County, GA: Woman charged in the deadly shooting of high school boyfriend Continue reading on Woman charged in the deadly shooting of high school boyfriend - Atlanta Crime |

A woman allegedly shot and killed her high school boyfriend inside their DeKalb County home, police confirmed Wednesday.

But investigators said they don’t know why the 19-year-old would want her boyfriend dead.

The shooting happened about 3:30 a.m. inside the home at 3722 Kensington Court, DeKalb County police Lt. Pamela Kuntz said.

It’s unclear who called police, but officers arrived at the home to find Mr. Cameron Antoine Harris dead, Lt. Kunz said.

Police won’t say how many times he was shot or where.

They have charged his girlfriend Ms. Dezera Latrice Jackson, 19, with felony murder, Lt. Kunz said. Ms. Jackson was arrested Friday.

Police found a gun inside the home, but they have not yet confirmed if it was the same weapon used to kill Mr. Harris, Lt. Kunz said.

Mr. Harris was a senior at Frank McClarin High School in College Park, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

To get updates and read more local news stories, go to:!/pages/Atlanta-Public-Safety-Examiner/195837070474348?sk=wall

Article: Fatal Attraction

As the recent murders of two young women tragically demonstrate, it’s long past time this state got serious about teenage dating violence.
By Eileen McNamara
SHE DYED HER HAIR the color he liked. She shut out her friends after he ordered her to stop talking to them. She had sex before she was ready because he told her it was the only way to prove her love.

It wasn’t enough.

He called her a whore because she remained Facebook friends with boys she had known since elementary school. He slammed her into a wall of lockers because she did not return his text messages fast enough. He threatened to kill himself if she ever left him. She lost 20 pounds from her tiny frame. Her crying jags increased; her grades dropped. Her hair began to fall out. She kept a closed bedroom door between herself and the confused parents she had once considered her best friends.

This is the face of teenage dating violence before the coroner gets called, a high school girl in an oversize sweater and stretch pants, curled up defensively on a living room couch in an upper-middle-class Massachusetts town. It’s a story of help delayed and pain prolonged because doctors failed to recognize the signs of dating abuse, and because judges failed to put an immediate stop to it. It’s a story of second chances for him and emergency safety plans for her — a story without names because a Massachusetts juvenile court judge ruled last month that the boy remains a potential threat to the girl.

If not for her mother’s instincts and the vigilance of a school system, this could well have been the story of Lauren Astley and Nathaniel Fujita, or Allison Myrick and Robert Gulla. Fujita is the Wayland teen who today is being held without bail, charged in the slaying of 18-year-old Astley last July after she broke off their romance and made plans to begin college in North Carolina. Gulla, from Shirley, is scheduled to stand trial next month in Middlesex Superior Court for allegedly stabbing 19-year-old Myrick to death last year after the Fitchburg State student took out a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend.

MURDER GETS OUR ATTENTION. Dating violence does not. But federal statistics document its pervasiveness: Girls age 16 to 24 are the most likely victims, and one in five high school girls reports having been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. Yet we respond with bewilderment when good girls from good homes turn up battered or dead at the hands of boyfriends who seemed so nice. The problem is not just denial. It’s delusional thinking — that the kids will work it out, that she will walk away, that he will respond to warnings and move on.

It is rarely that easy. Until judges enforce the state law that makes violating a civil protection order a criminal offense, abusers will continue to ignore restraining orders. Until schools heed calls urging them to teach students how to respond to dating violence, abuse will remain in the shadows. Until parents and physicians educate themselves about the symptoms of abuse, they will continue to misread the problem, and the children involved will remain at risk.

Consider, for example, the cases of both Gulla and Fujita. Gulla was charged in multiple incidents of assault and battery in the months leading up to his alleged murder of Myrick. He was released twice by police on his own recognizance and was supposed to appear in court to face those charges. Instead, prosecutors say, he violated a restraining order and killed his ex-girlfriend. Fewer details have emerged about the Fujita case, but some simple facts are known: Astley broke up with her boyfriend and was headed out of state to college. Fujita responded by allegedly strangling her with a bungee cord, cutting her throat, and dumping her body in a swamp. Dating violence among teenagers may not be as well known as domestic abuse among adults is, but it’s a real problem, and the emotional and physical pain inflicted in young, toxic relationships is often devastating.

Illustration by Shout

IT WAS MONTHS before the particulars of the abuse emerged. In the interim, the girl’s parents had no explanation for her hostility and defiance, for her dramatic weight loss and thinning hair, for the sobbing they heard in her bedroom. Doctors responded by committing her to a psychiatric unit. But her mother didn’t believe them when they told her that her daughter, now heavily medicated, would be unable to finish high school in anything other than a residential therapeutic setting.

“I did not know what was wrong, but I knew my daughter was not mentally ill,” says the girl’s mother, whose persistent inquiries at school and decision to hire new doctors uncovered disturbing details of a relationship that had previously raised no red flags for her or her husband. “He had an Eddie Haskell thing going on,” the dad recalls of the boy, “always polite and caring in front of us.”

When the girl finally opened up to her parents and the new doctors, they quickly headed to juvenile court to seek a protective order to keep the boy away. That wasn’t as easy as it seemed, though.

“[The judge] was inclined to give the kid the benefit of the doubt,” says the lawyer who has represented the girl at several court hearings over the past six months. “He gave him a stern talking-to and hoped that would be the end of it.”

But the boy continued to harass the girl, enough that the school intervened on her behalf and the judge at last issued an order of protection. The police officer who notified the boy testified at a later hearing that he made clear that the boy was to stay at least 150 feet away from the girl, and that he was to cease all contact with her. Failure to do so, the officer instructed, would amount to a violation of a civil harassment order, a criminal offense that could land him in jail.

But he continued to bully her at school and online, anyway, and the school finally suspended him. Even after that, he persisted in bothering her, which drove her parents to go back to court. The judge extended the protective order for another year but, once again, did not refer the boy’s repeated violations for criminal prosecution.

“The burden of proof initially was on our family to prove all wrongdoings, and the predator initially was given lots of leeway by the courts and opportunities to get his act together,” says the mom. “But he continued to defy the school and the court with every step. We reported each and every incident to the police, and now we hope that with the court’s protection, we will be safe.”

NEARLY TWO YEARS after the murder of Allison Myrick, Robert Gulla’s trial is set to begin next month. Nathaniel Fujita, meanwhile, remains in jail as the Astley case winds its way through the courts. Their stories, and others, follow an all-too-familiar and tragic pattern: A relationship begins. The boy gets obsessed. The girl pulls away. The boy gets emotionally and physically abusive. Where it ends depends on the families, the courts, the police, and the boy’s stability — or lack thereof.

Today, the girl’s hair is growing back in its natural shade and her weight has stabilized. She is baby-sitting for the neighborhood kids again and hanging out with her old friends. She is more anxious and less trusting now — she keeps 911 on her cell phone speed dial. But the boy who stole a year of her life unwittingly strengthened her spine. “I am not a victim,” she says. “I am stronger now.”

The mom does what moms do — she blames herself for not seeing the signs, for not acting sooner. But parents — or schools, or doctors, or judges, for that matter — cannot eradicate dating violence alone. It will take a communal effort by all those parties. Instead of targeting specific unhealthy behaviors based on the headlines of the week — bullying, obesity, drug use, dating violence — we ought to be developing unified educational and public policies that model healthy behavior to young people and that attach real consequences when those standards are violated.

“I wish we were not so ignorant about dating violence when this began,” says the mom. “We are coming out the other side, but I stay awake sometimes thinking about what might have happened.”

Sioux Falls, SD: Murder-suicide victim had dated shooter

Nyamai Biliu, the victim in Tuesday night's
murder- suicide in northwestern Sioux
Falls, probably was shot to death because
she spurned the advances of her killer, her
father said.

Kun Garbang said Simon Maluil - the 35-
year-old man who police say shot Biliu to
death with a .45-caliber handgun before
turning the gun on himself - was a distant

Added to the family's grief, then, is a sour
note of shock that Maluil, whom Garbang
described as a quiet, polite young man,
would be capable of such violence.

"If you compare what he did with the way
we see him ..."

Biliu leaves behind two girls, Violla, 5, and
Nana, 3, who will stay with their
grandmother for now.

"She is the best child I ever had," Garbang
said of his third-eldest. "No enemies. Very

Police released more details about the
shooting Wednesday, including that Maluil
and Biliu had dated in the past. A 1-year-
old child whom Biliu had been babysitting
was in an upstairs bedroom when Maluil
shot Biliu to death outside, then returned to
the downstairs living room and shot
himself, Capt. Greg Vandekamp said. The
child was unharmed.

Biliu, shot three times, was dead when
police arrived, he said.

Vandekamp said he was not aware of any
previous domestic disturbance calls at the
home. A state criminal history search for
Maluil returned no records.

Biliu graduated from Washington High
School and was taking classes at Colorado
Technical University in hopes of becoming a
police officer. A university registrar
confirmed her attendance but said she was
not enrolled at the time of her death.

The Argus Leader interviewed Biliu when
she was a contestant in the 2010 Miss
Sudan America pageant, which she called
"an opportunity that people back home
don't have.

"I want people to know, no matter how old
they are, you shouldn't give up on your
dreams," she said.

Garbang, fleeing war in Sudan, brought his
wife and seven children to the United States
in 2001 under a United Nations refugee
program. Two of his sons subsequently
joined the Marines.

They lived in Chicago for a month but
moved to Sioux Falls because they had
relatives here and because they thought it
would be safer, Garbang said.

"Sioux Falls seemed to be quieter than
Chicago," he said.

Garbang said his family wants to know how
Maluil got a gun in the first place, decrying
the ease with which people are able to
obtain lethal weapons.

"Did he buy it? Did he steal it? Who is
licensing him to have that gun?" he said.
"Where did he get it? That gun is now with
the police, and we want to know where he
bought it."

The shooting call came in about 20 minutes
after a motorcycle collided with a woman w
alking her dog, killing both pet and
owner. Although the patrol division had to
scramble to cover both scenes, no
additional officers had to be called in, Chief
Doug Barthel said.

"There's no question that when you have
two of these back to back, it's going to
strain those resources," he said.

Had the units on duty been required to
cover other serious calls, officers from the
next shift could have come on earlier. But
"there were still adequate resources to
answer 911 calls," he said.

"We certainly could staff for those times,
but 99 percent of the time, we wouldn't
need those resources out there, and it
would be wasteful," he said.

Reporter Sarah Reinecke contributed to this
report. Reach Cody Winchester at 331-

San Antonio, TX: Man On Trial In Wife's Death

John Benzing Claims Woman Was Abusive Cat Hoarder
Paul Venema, KSAT 12 News Reporter
POSTED: Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SAN ANTONIO -- The lead detective in the investigation into the death of Leona Benzing, 79, said the odor in the North side home the woman shared with her husband John Benzing, 61, was so overpowering that investigators were forced to wear masks.
"There wasn't much furniture in the living room and the odor was so strong it required masks," San Antonio police Det. Randy Jones said.
He said there were upwards of 50 cats in and around the home.
Benzing is on trial for his wife's Sept. 22, 2009, killing.
He called police and said he had killed his wife, according to police. The woman's body was found in her bed. She had been beaten with a hammer and stabbed repeatedly with a knife.
"I talked to John - I recorded it. I asked him if he called 911 and he said he did. I asked him about his wife and he said she was dead," Jones testified. "Detective Doerer talked to him at the station and he said he killed her."
At the trial's outset, prosecutors told the jury that Benzing had grown weary of his wife's cat hoarding and her physical and mental abuse.
Testimony will continue on Thursday in Judge Juanita Vasquez-Gardner's 399th District Court.
If Benzing is found guilty of murder, he is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.

West Palm Beach, FL: Man charged with second-degree murder in girlfriend's death

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 8:31 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011
Posted: 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011

WEST PALM BEACH — WEST PALM BEACH– A 35-year-old man was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail Wednesday after detectives say he pushed his girlfriend to the ground, causing her to hit the back of her head and die days later.

Terry Grau was picked up by U.S. Marshals Wednesday in the 7600 block of S. Dixie Highway while riding his bicycle after eating Chinese food for lunch. He was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder.

While sitting in a police car outside the West Palm Beach Police Department, Grau denied pushing Julie Harkins, his girlfriend of three months, on July 21.

"She was drugged out and fell," he said. "I fell on my face last night. That's what happens when you do drugs and alcohol."

Grau told police that 45-year-old Harkins was intoxicated and fell to the ground while walking along the 500 block of Avenida Hermosa. West Palm Beach Police Det. Lt. David Bernhardt said the couple was homeless.

Harkins was taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center and died July 26. She had a broken nose, multiple contusions, and bleeding of the brain. The Medical Examiner ruled her death was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma.

Bernhardt said from inconsistencies in Grau's story, the Medical Examiner's report, Harkins' injuries, and witnesses' statements, detectives had probable cause to arrest him.

"It is refreshing to see that citizens still care enough to pick up the phone," Bernhardt said.

Witnesses said Grau told them he pushed Harkins because she went behind a BP gas station with another man, possibly for sexual activity, said police Det. Craig Bryan, the lead detective on the case.

Grau has been arrested on battery, trespassing, burglary, failure to appear, robbery, larceny, and other charges since 2001, according to Palm Beach County Jail records.

Harkins was arrested in 2001 on charges of possession of Xanax, aggravated battery, and improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon, jail records show.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Toledo, OH: Oregon man found guilty in death of girlfriend

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Brent Peace appears in Toledo Municipal Court in February. THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY Enlarge | Photo Reprints
An Oregon man was found guilty Tuesday of charges related to the death of his girlfriend, who was found dead on an East Toledo street after being run over by a car.

Brent Peace, 39, of 2003 Autokee St., pleaded no contest in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to one count each of aggravated vehicular homicide, tampering with evidence, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He faces up to 11 years in prison when sentenced Oct. 31 by Judge Stacy Cook.

Per the negotiated plea agreement, charges of murder and felonious assault will be dismissed at sentencing.

Holly Zimmer, 31, was found dead just before 2 a.m. on Feb. 13 in the 2200 block of Consaul Street. She had been run over by a vehicle and suffered multiple blunt-force injuries.

Authorities said that she and Peace had been seen at local bars earlier that night and that the two began arguing.

No one witnessed the incident.

Lehigh, FL: Lehigh woman charged in death of boyfriend

On Aug. 24 Melissa Webb told a friend that
her boyfriend Bryan Sorendino went to
Jacksonville to visit his daughter.

A few days later, she told another friend
that Sorendino was in Orlando with Navy

But Lee County sheriff’s deputies say
Webb, 28, couldn’t keep her secret. She
confided in two people that she’d killed
Sorendino. And according to her arrest
report, one of them would help her load his
body - wrapped in a brown comforter and
a red sleeping bag - into the trunk of a

Webb remained in the Lee County Jail late
Tuesday. A judge withheld bond at her first

Deputies have been investigating the case
since Sept. 14, when Sorendino’s body was f
ound at the Lee and Charlotte County line.
His family and Webb’s mother did not
return calls for comment Tuesday.

Webb is the first woman to face a homicide
charge in Lee County this year. Two women
faced such charges in 2010 - Leatha
McSwain-James, who reportedly stabbed
her husband, and Maria Guadalupe Corsa-
Hernandez, who deputies say killed a child
in her care.

Experts say Webb, if guilty, is like the
majority of women who commit homicides
- they most commonly target romantic
partners or their children. But overall, w
omen murder far less frequently than
men, said Vickie Nelson, a a sociology
professor at California State University,
Northridge, committing about 10 percent
of homicides since 1965.

Nelson, an author of books on the subject,
said this is because of perceived gender

“This is some violation of some assumed
trait of women that we’re supposed to be
nurturing,” Nelson said.

Fred Schaerf said lower levels of hormones
like testosterone in women makes them
less prone to violence, noting the lack of
female sex offenders.

“Males are programmed to be more
aggressive, women to be more nurturing,”


Schaerf said.

On Aug. 20, Webb called a friend for help.

When he got to her house, she told him
there was a body in a red sleeping bag
next to the front entry way. She needed
help putting it in the trunk of Sorendino’s
Camry, the witness told deputies.

The two loaded Sorendino’s body, then
Webb told the man to wait at the house,
the report said. She returned a few hours

A few days later, Webb asked her friend to
dispose of a small-caliber handgun. He
refused, the report said.

Then Webb asked the man to help her
ditch the Camry. But after he agreed, she
left him to go see her mother and didn’t
return, the report said. When she didn’t
respond to phone calls, the man parked
the car in a lot, later telling detectives
where it was.

The unidentified man has not been
charged, and deputies have not said what
Webb’s motive could have been. Sheriff’s
spokesman Tony Schall said the
investigation is ongoing.

Webb admitted to her second confidant
that she shot Sorendino, the report said.
She also told the man, whom she’d known
about a year, she buried Sorendino’s body.

After their conversation, Webb called to
thank him for listening. When the man
asked what she was referring to, the report
said, she responded, “That I killed Bryan.”

Sorendino’s friends got suspicious when
they hadn’t heard from him.

One friend remembered Sorendino calling
Aug. 19 to say he’d ended things with
Webb a few days before, the report said.
Later that day, Sorendino called back to
say Webb had broken into his home.

After not hearing from Sorendino for five
days, the friend went to his house. Webb
told the friend Sorendino was in

Another friend whom Sorendino owed
money, also drove by the house around the
same time, the report said. Webb told him
Sorendino was in Orlando. and wasn’t
coming back.

After finding the body, deputies obtained a
search warrant for the Fort Myers home
Webb and Sorendino shared. There, they
found blood splattered on the stairs and


kitchen floor, as if someone had tried to
clean up, the report said.

And on the dining room floor, they found a
brown pillow case that matched the
comforter Sorendino’s body was encased

Using that evidence and the witness
statements, deputies had enough probable
cause to take Webb into custody late

Colorado Springs, CO: Stop for treats ends tragically when ex-boyfriend appears, widow says

September 27, 2011 10:30 PM
A family’s trip to buy ice cream ended tragically Thursday evening when the father was shot and killed by one of his wife’s ex-boyfriends as their children ordered dessert, the woman said.

Oscar “James” Frias’ wife, Julia, said she and her children have spent the past week in fear while police search for her ex-boyfriend, 41-year-old Roy Saldivar, whom police suspect pulled the trigger.

“She’s just terrified,” said Julia Frias, speaking of her youngest child. “All of us are. If this guy did this to him, what would stop him from hurting us now?”

Colorado Springs police have not released details of the shooting, which happened around 9 p.m. Thursday near Tremont and Fillmore streets. They have issued an arrest warrant for Saldivar.

Julia Frias said the family was on its way back to Thornton after a youth hockey game when they decided to stop for treats at Dairy Queen, 315 W. Fillmore St.

Julia Frias said she waited with her husband on the restaurant’s patio while three of their children ordered ice cream inside.

That’s when she saw a man out of the corner of her eye, Julie Frias said.

“It was like he was trying … to run up from behind,” Julia Frias said, adding that initially she did not know who it was.

James Frias ran behind a car parked about 100 feet from the restaurant, using it “like a shield” while the man stood at the other end, Julia Frias said.

The man pulled out his gun and fired, dropping James Frias to the ground, she said.

Then, he walked around the car and fired two more times before fleeing, she said.

“I started screaming ‘No, no no,’ and he shot him again,” said Julia Frias, who ran toward her husband as the gunman fled. “I was saying ‘It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s not that bad.”

James Frias died at the scene as bystanders performed CPR.

Born in Denver, James Frias married Julia a little more than two years ago. The marriage created a large familiy — James Frias had three children, ages 17, 16 and 11. Julia had two, ages 15 and 14. The oldest and youngest children were not with the family on the night of the shooting.

He had no problem easing into his ever-expanding role as father, Julia Frias said. He enjoyed playing video games but spent most of his time watching the children play sports.

“With my kids, they just adore him,” Julia Frias said. “He spoils them (the children) rotten.”

Julia Frias said she recently began receiving harrassing text messages from Saldivar, a man she dated several years ago while living in Colorado Springs.

She left the relationship after Saldivar became abusive, she said. Saldivar has been arrested several times for domestic violence in recent years, however each case was dismissed, according to court records.

One day, Saldivar appeared at their Thornton house claiming to have fallen on tough times, she said. He left peacefully when James Frias offered to give him money and a ride.

The next time the couple saw Saldivar was Thursday evening, Julia Frias said.

“It just kind of feels like it’s all a dream,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Brooklyn, NY: Rejected Boyfriend Suspected Of Fatally Stabbing Teen In Brooklyn

Investigators are focusing on the spurned boyfriend in the murder of 16-year-old Kyanna Thomas, who was stabbed in the throat and left to die on a street corner in Brownsville early Sunday morning. Thomas, who lived in Queens with her mother, a Department of Correction captain, was staying with her aunt on the night of the murder. Her family says she sneaked out to attend a party, and sometime after 3 a.m. she used her cell phone to call 911 as she lay dying in a pool of her own blood.
Thomas's friends tell the Daily News a boy she had recently spurned had sent her a threatening text message, and police sources say they believe the unidentified boy is the killer. As it happens, Daily News editor Alexander Nazaryan was Thomas's English teacher two years ago when she was in ninth grade at Brooklyn Latin, a specialized school in Bushwick. Nazaryan, whom you may recall from his benighted anti-cyclist screeds, has penned a moving reflection on Thomas's death:
Kyanna Thomas was an ordinary kid, but she did not have the luxury of an ordinary life. She did not have someone to pick her up from the party, gently admonish her about drinking, and drive her safely home. She was one of those kids for whom every decision is fraught, whose every choice carries far too much weight, for whom a trip to the corner store could become a matter of life and death. Sometimes they make the right choice, and sometimes they don't. More often, fate and circumstance make their own brutal decisions.
Yesterday outraged community members took to the streets, handing out fliers in the neighborhood where Thomas was murdered. "We're out here tonight because we're sick and tired of our children being killed senselessly for foolish reasons out here," Harold Crawford from 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care told WPIX 11. The local news channel also reports that community advocate Tony Herbert gave the media a pat on the back: "Well, since we've been out here this afternoon and with the great reporting you guys are doing, I've got to give a lot of credit to that, someone said that they saw a guy in all white who apparently was attacking her, they saw the scuffle."
There's a $4,000 reward for information that leads to her killer's conviction, and anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit

Gastonia, NC: Girlfriend pleads guilty in boyfriend's killing (updated)

September 27, 2011 5:20 PM
Diane Turbyfill
A 21-year-old Gastonia woman will spend the next 14 to 17 years in prison for killing her boyfriend.

Christian Nichole Bates was charged with first-degree murder for stabbing Lebrandon Octavious Lee. She accepted a plea deal Tuesday morning that reduced the charge to second-degree murder.

The tragic incident was the result of a volatile relationship and a hard life, according to Bates’ attorney, Dan Roberts.

Bates dropped out of high school.

She went to seven different schools in about three years, bounced between relatives’ houses and got tangled up in drugs.

She had previous drug and solicitation convictions.

In two years she went to the emergency room five times as a victim of assault, four of those instances were at the hands of a boyfriend, said Roberts.

“You have an individual here who has lived a rough life with violence against her and she has been affected by that life,” Roberts said to Superior Court Judge Forrest Bridges. “This was an overreaction partially based on her past experience, and the overreaction ended tragically.”

Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hamlin described the night Lee died. Police responded to a call for help in the early morning hours of Oct. 30, 2010.

Lee and Bates had lived together at 904 W. Sixth Ave., Gastonia. An argument changed their status. Lee moved out. He returned to the apartment that night to pick up some clothes.

A battle of words began.

A friend of Bates inside the apartment watched as an angry Bates went into the kitchen, got a knife, then marched into the bedroom where Lee was packing.

The witness heard a scream then saw Lee stumble out of the room with a knife in his chest. The blade pierced his heart and lung. He made his way outside.

Neighbors called police and attempted to help the bleeding man, but the 5 3/8-inch blade created too much damage.

Police took Bates into custody and interviewed her. She did not yet know her boyfriend was dead.

Hamlin described the young woman’s reaction as lacking remorse. Roberts said his client was in shock at the time.

During her initial interview, Bates told police that Lee pulled her hair and rammed her head into a wall before she stabbed him.

Bridges called upon Gastonia Detective Mike Chambers to talk about the evidence in the case.

Chambers said he was the second detective on the scene. He observed Bates in a blood-soaked shirt and an area on the floor where it looked like she might have balled up.

Police took pictures of her head because of her account of the events, but Chambers did not remember seeing any bruises on her.

Three rows of Bates’ friends and family filled the courtroom Tuesday, but none of them chose to speak to the judge before sentencing.

Eugene Lee, Lee’s father, opted to talk about his son.

“He was just an outgoing, giving person,” Lee said.

Lee played football in school and volunteered at the Salvation Army in middle school, according to his father.

He had parents, brothers and a daughter.

Talking about his son and seeing his son’s killer brought back a lot of pain, Lee said. Some family members couldn’t force themselves to come to the courthouse.

Lee said he’s glad the matter can be put to rest, but he thought a stiffer sentence could have been enforced.

Bates family declined to talk to media.

Bates was led back out of court in handcuffs and shackles.

You can reach Diane Turbyfill at 704-869-1817.

Sandy, UT: Sandy police believe couple’s shooting deaths murder-suicide

First published Sep 27 2011 09:57AM

Detectives believe the gunshot deaths of a Sandy couple last week were a case of murder-suicide.

Sandy police Sgt. Jon Arnold said evidence indicates that Beckie Boudreaux, 66, shot and killed her husband, Stephen Boudreaux, 69, and then turned a handgun on herself.

"Our preliminary investigation does indicate homicide-suicide," Arnold said Tuesday. "There is no indication that Stephen was aware of Beckie’s plans or the financial struggles that appeared to be the motive behind Beckie’s choices."

Arnold also said Boudreaux family members had found "documentation that indicated she had been researching this for several months."

The shootings occurred late Sept. 22, and the couple’s bodies were found just before 1 p.m. Friday in the Boudreaux’s garage by a neighbor near 1900 Quail Crossing Lane. The neighbor had gone to investigate after noticing the Boudreaux’s garage door had remained open overnight.

The couple were found dead in one of the two cars parked inside the garage.

Arnold said that early last week Beckie Boudreaux had called her lawyer asking what would happen to debt in the case of suicide.

The couple’s son, Doug Boudreaux, issued a statement reading: "As you can imagine, this incredibly unfortunate event has greatly impacted our family, including 16 grandchildren, as well as many loved ones and friends. At this point in time, we are asking everyone who knew Doug and Beckie to remember and celebrate the people they were and the life they lived. We appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support from friends and neighbors. It is making all the difference in the world."

Findlay, OH: Findlay man charged in death of wife

FINDLAY — Before his wife's body was found on Tuesday, a Findlay man was arrested and charged with her death.

Evan Donoho, 26, 626 Hull Ave., was arrested and charged Monday night — he is being held in the Hancock County Jail. Findlay police say he has no prior criminal history.

His wife, Danielle Donoho, 29, was found in a field off of Township Road 168 about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Family members reported the couple missing on Monday afternoon, according to police. Mrs. Donoho’s two children — ages 13 and 6 — were accounted for, police said.

About two hours after being reported missing, Mr. Donoho was found at another Findlay residence and later charged with murder.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday with the Lucas County Coroner’s Office.

According to Mrs. Donoho’s Facebook profile, she married her husband on March 27, 2010.

Hattiesburg, MS: Hattiesburg Police Arrest Patrick Stephon Lang

an Accused In Wife's Shooting Death

POSTED: 9:49 am CDT September 27, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Hattiesburg police have arrested in a 49-year-old man and charged him with murder in the shooting death of his wife.
Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict told The Hattiesburg American that Pamela Lang, 50, was pronounced dead by a physician at Forrest General Hospital at 1:10 p.m. Monday. An autopsy was being conducted.
Police said officers responding to a call about a shooting found Pamela Lang in the carport of a home.
Police said Patrick Stephon Lang was found lying in tall grass at the edge of a nearby field. He was arrested without incident.
Patrick Stephon Lang was being held without bond in the Forrest County Jail pending an initial court appearance.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Article: Domestic violence epidemic in Kern County

Published: 9/26 6:17 pm
Updated: 9/26 7:23 pm
Throughout the year, local law enforcement responds to
thousands of domestic violence calls. So far this year, four
people in Kern County have died from domestic violence.
October is Domestic Violence Abuse Awareness Month and a a
local woman is using her tragic experience to encourage others
to break the cycle.
A Bakersfield family had its world turned upside down this
summer when Tabasha Criado and her four children were
murdered in Medford, Oregon. "Her husband killed her, stabbed
her, stabbed the children and then set the house on fire, and
then tried to kill himself as well, but was not successful," said
Evelyn Young, Criado's Great Aunt.
Criado grew up in Bakersfield. Young says Criado's husband, a
convicted sex offender, was controlling. Criado stayed in the marriage which eventually cost her, her life and the lives of of
her children.
"People don't talk about it. It's something that's hidden, kept secret behind doors. There's an element of shame, fear, a
great fear. But it's something that we need to have a very frank community conversation about," continued Young.
Young will touch on the tragedy Tuesday, September 27th at the kick off event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault has dedicated the month to the family of Tabasha Criado.
Domestic violence is an epidemic in Kern County. It is a problem that is under-reported.
"The individuals who are out there who may not know or understand how to stop the cycles. We want to get that
information out there to them because what we do know in this job is that knowledge is power." said Taniel Green-Wood,
a counselor with the Alliance.
The Alliance dedicates the month of October to reaching out to victims who may be too scared to speak for themselves.
"We all think that it's something that happens in someone else's home. Whether it's your sister or a co-worker, it effects
us all and we all need to know that we play a part in combating this," continued Green-Wood.
Evelyn Young will be speaking at 5:30 P.M. on Tuesday, September 27th at 1300 17th Street in downtown Bakersfield.

Milwaukee, WI: Domestic dispute victim identified

Milwaukee police have identified a man who died in a domestic violence-related case Sunday.

Jarvis J. Nash, 29, was found shot in a house in the 6500 block of W. Villard Ave. at 6:08 p.m. Sunday.

Police said in a news release Monday that the death "stemmed from a domestic dispute which led to the shooting."

Wichita, KS: Valley Center woman was strangled in south Wichita, police say

The Wichita Eagle
A Valley Center woman was strangled to death in her boyfriend's bedroom in south Wichita over the weekend, police said Monday.
Dana Arnold, 46, was pronounced dead at a fourplex in the 800 block of South Beverly, near Lincoln and Edgemoor, Lt. Ken Landwehr said.
Her boyfriend called 911 shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday, and he was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder after being questioned.
"No one else was at the residence at the time," Landwehr said.
Police aren't sure yet when Arnold was killed, he said.
"She was last heard from on Friday morning," he said.
Arnold's three children, who range in age from 12 to 18, were with her husband in Valley Center. She was separated from her husband and had been dating her boyfriend off and on for about two years, Landwehr said.
"We have no motive," he said. "We don't know what would have occurred" to precipitate the killing.

Sunrise, FL: Police: child witnessed double murder, suicide

SUNRISE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Police said a 5-year-old child witnessed a horrific act after a domestic dispute ended in a double murder and suicide.
Sunrise Police said, Sunday night, the child heard the fatal shots from inside a downstairs bedroom that claimed the lives of her mother and grandmother, at the townhouse near Del Rio Way and University Drive. According to Sunrise Police, 25-year-old Marcus Nathaniel Trotman shot and killed his wife, 30-year-old Danielle Lorenzo and her mother, 56-year-old Linda Scudera, before turning the gun on himself.
Trotman and his mother-in-law died at the scene. Lorenzo was transported to Broward General Hospital and later died.
Authorities said Lorenzo's 5-year-old daughter was inside the apartment when the shooting happened. "There had been a 5-year-old child in the residence who went next door to the neighbor, alerted the neighbor that a shooting was taking place, and that neighbor was the one who placed that 911 call," said Sunrise Police Sergeant Rodney Hailey.
The child was not injured. Police found a handgun inside the apartment. Outside a family member's home, a sign was hung on a palm tree in the front yard refusing comment.
What exactly motivated this shooting remains unclear, but in August of 2010, Sunrise Police, arrested Marcus for domestic violence against his wife. They married last year.
Neighbors described another side to Trotman. "[He] dressed up as the Easter Bunny for the kids in the community on Easter Sunday," said Alex Colon, "and I have pictures of my daughters. He's holding my daughters in the bunny outfit. I mean, he seemed like a nice guy."
But some people who knew the victims paint a different picture. "I would go over there and sit with them," said Paul Nugent. "Just the way that he talked to them and how he acted, I knew that something wasn't right with him ... I just can't believe it."
A babysitter is currently caring for the little girl and the Department of Children and Family is supervising this arrangement.

Morgan Township, PA: Police Investigate Murder-Suicide Of Husband, Wife, Children

Teagarden Family Found Dead In Morgan Township, Greene County

POSTED: 6:57 am EDT September 26, 2011
MORGAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The Teagardens -- a husband, wife and two children described by a friend as "the perfect little family" -- were found shot to death Sunday night at their rural home in Morgan Township, Greene County.
At a news conference, Trooper Bart Lemansky said state police from the Waynesburg station were sent to the house on Chartiers Road just after 10 p.m. to check on the family. The wife had been reported late for work, and a relative called 911 after looking through a window and seeing someone lying on the floor.

All four victims were found dead in the house. Police believe 42-year-old Kevin Teagarden killed his wife, Tammy, and their kids, 7-year-old Madison Mae and 1-year-old Kevin Jr., then took his own life, but they have not yet said how the killings were done.
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Rocky Nelson, a friend, said the Teagarden father was "a nice guy. He didn't party. He worked. He was really into his family, so it was a big shock to me when I heard about this."
Nelson added, "To me, they was like the perfect little family."
"He never mentioned any problems of any kind," said neighbor Don Bates, who, like Nelson, said the Teagardens seemed to be "a very happy family."

The couple was recently estranged, but other than that, police said there were no red flags like a protection from abuse order or a criminal history to show any trouble within the family. Police also said Teagarden's wife, Tammy, had not filed for a divorce.
News spread quickly to Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School, where Superintendent Donna Furnier was moved to tears upon learning that a third-grade student was one of the victims.
"Despite tragic times, it's a wonderful, warm community," Furnier said. "People care about each other, and this is just a dark time for everyone ."

Dundalk, MD: Witness to Dundalk shooting: Police fired through glass door Man dies at hospital; police reviewing shooting

By Liz Bowie and Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun
8:54 p.m. EDT, September 26, 2011

A man fatally shot by a Baltimore County police officer Sunday through a closed glass storm door had charged at the officer while brandishing a large knife after his girlfriend told a 911 operator that he was "fixing to get someone hurt," authorities said.

Officers had also been told that the man was suicidal and his girlfriend had told dispatchers that the "first person who comes near him will get stabbed."

"He was a very dangerous individual," said police spokeswoman Elise Armacost, who quoted from a transcript of the emergency call to blunt criticism from witnesses who called the shooting unjustified.

"They killed an innocent man who needed help," said Sandra Jacobs, who saw the shooting and whose daughter, Melissa, dated 40-year-old Nathaniel McCormick. "That's all he wanted, was some help. He was the sweetest guy."

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A neighbor, Ashley Wetherbee, said the officers on the porch of the rowhouse in the 7000 block of Berkshire Road in Dundalk had no reason to shoot through the door at a man inside his own home.

"'Put the weapon down. Put it down,'" she said the officers screamed; then, she said, they "just started firing. They were standing outside. I just think it was wrong. There was no attempt to talk him out."

Police say the shooting is being investigated internally and also will be reviewed by the Baltimore County state's attorney's office. Authorities declined to identify the officer who shot McCormick until the investigation is complete, a policy at odds with the city Police Department, which names officers within 24 hours of a police-involved shooting.

Armacost would only say that the officer was a seven-year veteran of the force. She said the first officer to respond, shortly before 9:30 p.m., went up to the porch and saw McCormick standing inside with his back to the storm door.

The officer could see him "definitely holding a large knife," described by police at the scene as having a blade about 9 inches long. A 911 caller had said the man was armed with "knives," indicating more than one.

Police said McCormick refused demands to drop the knife. Armacost said a female officer began to turn the door knob, then McCormick "turned and began charging."

A male officer backing up the female officer fired several times through the glass door from a few feet away, Armacost said. McCormick was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Jacobs, the mother of McCormick's girlfriend, disputed key details provided by police and denied that her daughter had told police that McCormick was dangerous to anyone but himself.

"She just wanted to get help," Jacobs said. She also said Monday that McCormick wasn't armed with a large knife, but perhaps with a penknife, and said an officer did not go to the door and try to open it.

Jacobs said McCormick had been laid off from his job as an electrician, his mother had died and he had broken up with and gotten back together with his girlfriend several times over the past two weeks.

Jacobs said her daughter begged a police dispatcher to call an ambulance: "She wanted someone to come and take him to the hospital and calm him down."

After her daughter spoke to police, Jacobs said, she and her daughter walked outside with her two granddaughters. She said her daughter wanted to get the children into a neighbor's house before the police came. They were on the lawn when the shooting happened.

Charles "Joe" Key Sr., a retired Baltimore police lieutenant and firearms trainer who wrote the city department's rules on using deadly force, called it a "a tough call, a terrible situation," but he defended the shooting.

"Hindsight speculation is that the door would have held him, but there is no way to predict that the door would've stopped him," Key said. "The officers could've talked to him longer. They could've run. But cops have no duty to retreat. They have to make sure this guy doesn't hurt anybody else."

Several local police departments have been criticized in the past for shooting people who are mentally disturbed, and mental health advocates have said police officers are often ill-equipped to handle sometimes volatile situations involving people who don't behave according to societal norms

In 2006, Anne Arundel County police defended themselves after officers shot three mentally unstable men, including an unarmed naked man and another armed with scissors. Other Baltimore-area departments have seen similar situations.

Steve Johnson, the associate director for adult services for Baltimore Mental Health Systems Inc., said that police typically have difficulty communicating with the mentally ill. If a person is depressed, Johnson said, "he might not be able to follow directions well."

The health company trains Baltimore police cadets "to help them understand what it might be like to be a person experiencing mental health symptoms," Johnson said. "Our goal is to reduce injury to both police officers and to others."

The Baltimore County Police Department has similar training programs. But Johnson said that training doesn't always help, particularly in fast-moving, dangerous situations.

"We know that police have very specific procedures about the use of force," he said. "We're not trying to replace that. We're trying to help them understand there are some strategies they can potentially use to de-escalate situations. We also recognize there are situations when force needs to be used."

Pineville, MO: Sheriff: Woman’s ex-boyfriend shot, killed by current beau

By Jeff Lehr

PINEVILLE, Mo. — A woman’s efforts to retrieve her possessions from the home of an ex-boyfriend with the help of her current beau led to the fatal shooting of one man and the wounding of another, according to McDonald County authorities.

Sheriff Robert Evenson said John Bevill II, 34, died after being shot twice with a pump shotgun about 9:30 p.m. Friday in the driveway of his home at 445 Cecil Epling Way in southeastern McDonald County.

Deputies responding to a report of a shooting at the address found Bevill dead at the scene and a second man, Kendrick Long, 22, of Rogers, Ark., with a gunshot wound to his arm, the sheriff said. Long was flown by medical helicopter to a Joplin hospital, he said.

Investigators with the Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol later went to a home on Highway 90 near Route E and detained a Bentonville, Ark., man and his girlfriend in connection with the shooting.

Brian J. Clapper, 31, eventually was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action.

Evenson said that Clapper’s girlfriend, who had been in a relationship with Bevill before their breakup about three months ago, was released without any charges.

A probable-cause affidavit states that Clapper accompanied the woman on a trip to Bevill’s home to retrieve some of her belongings early in the day. They moved some of her possessions into a nearby storage building owned by another man before driving a load to her home in Bentonville, the affidavit states.

They returned to the storage building about 9 p.m. Friday to get the remainder of her belongings and were spotted by Bevill and Long, who drove by as the couple were loading items into Clapper’s pickup truck, according to the affidavit. The sheriff told the Globe that the affidavit is based primarily on accounts provided to investigators by Clapper and the woman.

The affidavit states that Bevill and Long turned around, went back and parked blocking Clapper’s truck. Bevill reportedly approached the woman and grabbed her by the throat. Clapper told investigators that he warned Bevill several times to let go of her, but Bevill would not and instead walked her around to the driver’s side of Clapper’s truck, holding her by the throat.

Investigators say Clapper told them that he saw a knife in Bevill’s left hand as well as his right hand on the woman’s throat. Clapper said he reached into his truck and grabbed his shotgun, which he knew was loaded with seven rounds, and warned Bevill that he would shoot if he did not let her go, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states that Clapper fired a shot, striking Bevill in the arm, and shot him a second time in the groin as the woman pulled away from him. The document states that Clapper then turned and fired two shots at Long, striking him in an elbow with one of the shots. It does not state why he allegedly shot Long.

The couple left the scene in Clapper’s truck. The sheriff said they later placed a call to 911 and let authorities know that they had been involved in the shooting and where they could be found.

Evenson declined to comment on any potential claim of justifiable shooting inherent in Clapper’s and the woman’s accounts. He said investigators were still looking into those accounts.

“I don’t want to muddle the issue for the prosecutor,” the sheriff said.

He said several knives were recovered, and investigators were trying to determine what role, if any, they may have played in the matter. An autopsy was performed on Bevill’s body on Monday in Springfield, but the sheriff had yet to receive any information regarding preliminary findings.

In jail

BRIAN J. CLAPPER remained in custody Monday at the McDonald County Jail in Pineville on a cash-only bond of $50,000.

Marshfield, MA: Woman is fatally stabbed in Marshfield; police arrest suspect after manhunt

By Akilah Johnson and Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

The Big Story: Marshfield stabbing suspect arrested

MARSHFIELD -- Police have located and arrested a suspect this morning in the fatal stabbing of a woman in a domestic violence incident.

Police released this photo of Almeida
State and Marshfield police found him about three and a half hours after the attack was reported. He was hiding in a shed in a back yard not far from the stabbing scene at a local apartment complex.

He was injured and taken to an area hospital under police guard, State Police said in a statement. Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz identified the suspect as 41-year-old Marcelo Almeida. The victim was identified by friends and relatives as 24-year-old Patricia Frois.

“Obviously, domestic violence is a terrible crime, and it doesn’t really have any boundaries, ” Cruz said. “Obviously, these two individuals had a relationship. You can only see the unfortunate circumstances that can occur.”

The arrest took place just before 11:30 a.m., according to State Police radio transmissions.

The assault was reported at around 8:01 a.m. in a building at the Village at Marshfield, an apartment complex of 20-unit buildings off of Route 139.

The victim was found with multiple stab wounds in the building foyer. She was treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead at about 8:30 a.m., Cruz said.

State and local law enforcement officers rushed to search the area. Federal agents also joined the investigation.

Almeida was eventually found in an area off of School Street. He did not put up a fight when officers found him, said Cruz.

Cruz said Almeida had a Brazilian passport, but he did not know yet whether Almeida was in the country legally.

Cruz had no comment on whether there had been earlier reports of domestic violence involving the couple.

“He’s a bad guy. I know he’s hit her a couple of times,” Claudia Da Silveira, Frois’s cousin, said at the scene. She said she would be calling Frois’s mother, who lives in Brazil, to inform her of her daughter’s death.

Cheri Howell, who has lived at the apartment complex for about three years, said she knew Frois, who had been trying to get out of an abusive relationship.

Martine Bernier, who said she used to work with Frois at a local Wendy’s, said Frois would come to work sometimes with a swollen face, but would deflect inquiries, saying the swelling was due to allergies.

Three schools nearby, the Martinson Elementary School, Furnace Brook Middle School, and Marshfield High School, were placed in lockdown as a precaution as police hunted for the suspect, said School Superintendent Scott Borstel.

Globe correspondents Amanda Cedrone and Jaime Lutz contributed to this report.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Broome, NY: Police shot and killed Broome man after standoff

BROOME, NY (WTEN) - A Broome man was shot and killed after a domestic dispute lead to a standoff with police.

Richard Welden, 27, of Rt 145, was shot and killed after he fired his weapon at police.

New York State Troopers and the Schoharie County Sheriff Deputies responded to domestic dispute at Welden's home.

Officers found Welden armed with a shotgun.

Welden refused to comply with officers and fired his weapon at them. Officers fired back at him and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident is still under investigation.

Brazos County, TX: Investigators release names of couple found dead Saturday

Investigators identified the two bodies found Saturday afternoon in a rural Brazos County home as 22-year-old Chance Schneider and 20-year-old Ashley Lenz.

The bodies of the estranged couple were found by a roommate, authorities said.

A gun was found near the bodies at the home off Caroline Drive and investigators do not believe there was an immediate threat to the public, Sheriff Chris Kirk said.

"Our investigation continues at this point," he said. "We're not looking for any outside suspects."

The roommate returned to the home, which belonged to Schneider, around 2:50 p.m. and found the bodies, Kirk said. He was scared, went to his mother's house and then contacted the sheriff's department, Kirk said.

Kirk said he's hoping to put out conclusive findings by mid week. No other information was immediately available.

Columbus, OH: Early Morning Shooting Leaves One Dead

COLUMBUS--Police said a man was shot to death, early Sunday morning, inside an apartment home on the far east side.

Patrol officers were dispatched to 371 Heatherbridge Lane, about 4:33 a.m.
Inside they found 27- year- old Quentin Walker, shot in the chest. Medics pronounced him on scene.

Police said the victim went over to his ex-girlfriend's home. Investigators said the two got into a fight and she shot the victim in self defense.

"With the information we have from her, we are not going to charge her at this time." Sgt. Dana Norman said.

Detectives said the couple's young son was inside the apartment home when the shooting occurred.

"That is pretty sad." Neighbor Roger Bryant said. "I feel really bad for everybody."

Police are not releasing the name of the shooter. This case will be presented to the Franklin County Grand Jury for review.

Reporter: Chelby Kosto
Web Producer: Lisa Shepherd

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mustang, OK: Fire chief's wife arrested in husband's death

MUSTANG, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma woman who frantically told police in a 911 call that a hooded intruder gunned down her husband was herself arrested in his shooting death, authorities said Friday.

Rebecca Louise Bryan, 52, was booked into the Canadian County Jail on a first-degree murder complaint in connection with Tuesday's shooting death of Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan at the couple's home in Mustang, said Jessica Brown, a spokeswoman with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. She was arrested about 12:20 p.m. Friday at a south Oklahoma City hotel.

Formal charges have not been filed.

"At this point, we believe we have the person who killed Keith Bryan," Brown said.

Rebecca Bryan called police Tuesday night and said a young man wearing a hooded sweatshirt "walked into our living room and he shot my husband in the head," according to audio of the 911 call released by police.

Keith Bryan was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital, where he died Wednesday morning.

On the call, Rebecca Bryan told police the intruder apologized for the shooting and added: "Your husband should have hired me."

But a search of the Bryan's home uncovered a handgun in a dryer that Brown said police linked to a slug taken from a couch where Keith Bryan's body was located. The utility room where the dryer was located was not near the garage door entrance where Rebecca Bryan told police the intruder entered the home, Brown said.

Police also discovered a box for the handgun under the couple's mattress, Brown said.

Brown did not discuss a possible motive. Court records show Rebecca Bryan filed for divorce from her husband in January 2010, citing irreconcilable incompatibility, but there had been no further action taken in the case. The couple had two adult sons, Brown said.

Canadian County jail officials said there is no record of an attorney being assigned to the case. A telephone message left with Rebecca Bryan's attorney in the divorce case was not immediately returned.

Mustang, with a population of nearly 18,500, is surrounded by southwestern Oklahoma City.

Varney, WV: Varney woman indicted for husband’s death


Staff Writer

A Varney woman has been indicted by the Mingo County Grand Jury in connection with the shooting death of her husband.

Crystal Clark was indicted for first-degree murder of her husband, David Clark, at their home in Varney. The couple’s 13-month-old daughter, Chloe Clark, was reported missing at the time of the murder.

The child was later found unharmed with Crystal Clark in a motel room in Jackson, Tenn., after United States Marshals and the FBI apprehended her.

Crystal Clark is facing no charges in connection with the child.

On April 26, a relative found former Williamson businessman David Clark at his home in Varney shot to death.

David Clark owned the A-1 Computer store in downtown Williamson that closed in March.

A search was put on for Crystal Clark, who fled to Jackson, Tenn., with her daughter.

An Amber Alert had been placed for the child.

On April 28, United States marshals and the FBI apprehended Crystal Clark in a motel room in Jackson.

Chloe Clark was found unharmed in the motel room and was turned over to Tennessee Child Protective Services.

Read more: The Williamson Daily News - Varney woman indicted for husband’s death

Jersey City, NJ: Body of Montreal woman found in drum in New Jersey; husband charged

By: The Canadian Press, The Associated Press
Posted: 09/25/2011 5:17 AM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - A New Jersey man has been charged with killing his Canadian-born wife after police found her remains in a cement-filled drum.
Prosecutors say Steven Acuna was charged after police found the remains of Randy Lehrer on Friday in the basement of a Jersey City building where she lived with her husband and infant daughter.
Lehrer, 32, is originally from Montreal and still has family in the city.
Police say Acuna reported her missing Aug. 17 after an argument and investigators in Hudson County say they believe the killing was a domestic violence situation. Acuna is now being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in lieu of $1 million bail.
About 200 people gathered Saturday evening for a candlelight vigil held outside the apartment building.
A Facebook group was created Saturday to raise money to help bring Lehrer's body back to Montreal for a funeral and pay for legal fees that would return her child to the city.
"I hope they bring that baby to Canada," a woman who identified herself as Amie Scarola wrote on Facebook.
"At least they will always let her know who her mom is (and) how much she loves (and) cares about her."

Van Ormy, TX: Argument Between Couple Ends In Fatal Stabbing

Beatrice Ibanez Expected To Be Charged In Slaying Of Alfredo Ramirez

VAN ORMY, Texas -- Murder charges were pending Friday against a 42-year-old woman in connection with the fatal stabbing of her 46-year-old boyfriend, Bexar County sheriff's officials said.
Sheriff's officials said Beatrice Ibanez and Alfredo "Fred" Ramirez had been arguing all day Thursday at a home on the 13400 block of Quintana when the fight took a deadly turn when the woman stabbed her boyfriend twice in chest with a kitchen knife.
Ibanez's neighbor, Ana Gonzales, said that Ibanez showed up at her door crying, "He's dead, he's dead. I stabbed him."
"I go, 'You did what?" Gonzales said. "She said, 'I stabbed him.'"
Gonzales said she then to Ibanez's home and found Ramirez on the couch.
"He was just like, slumped," Gonzales said. "I mean, to me, he was asleep. I mean, I didn't think he was dead, and he had two cuts here on the side. But there was no blood coming out."
Gonzales said she called 911 and tried to perform CPR on Ramirez, but he was already dead.
Sheriff's officials said Ibanez had several bruises and possibly a broken jaw and was transported to University Hospital. Despite Ibanez's injuries, sheriff's officials said they do not believe the incident was a case of self-defense and plan to charge her with murder.
"At the time of the stabbing, we believe that she may not have been defending herself," said Sgt. Raymond Pollard of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. "She became aggressive."
Sheriff's officials said Ibanez and Ramirez had been arrested before for domestic violence.

Royal Oak, MI: Man charged in Royal Oak woman's murder is former boyfriend

Published: Saturday, September 24, 2011

By Michael P. McConnell
Daily Tribune Staff Writer

ROYAL OAK - A Clinton Township man is charged with open murder in the stabbing death of a Royal Oak woman after police said he admitted killing her to a friend who recorded the confession.

Christopher Michael Hearn, 23, was ordered jailed without bond at his arraignment Friday before Royal Oak 44th District Judge Terrence

Brennan and requested a court-appointed attorney.

Hearn previously lived with Ranae Ann Chupick, 41, who was found brutally beaten and stabbed to death Monday night in her apartment above a beauty salon on Rochester Road by two coworkers, police said.

The suspect was arrested in March 2010 for domestic assault against

Chupick, but never convicted, said Royal Oak police Chief Corrigan


Hearn was arrested about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday outside a Clinton Township apartment complex near Metro Parkway and Groesbeck where a male friend lives.

The suspect was reportedly living with the friend at a residence in the Charter Oaks Co-op in the area.

Royal Oak police Detective Don Swiatkowski said police first got a call about 3 p.m. Wednesday from the mother of the suspect's friend indicating Hearn had confessed.

Forty minutes later, police got another call from Hearn's friend who told police the suspect had repeated the confession to him and he had recorded it.

Hearn also made an incriminating statement to a Royal Oak officer in an elevator at the police station Wednesday, police said.

"He said, 'I believe I remember this place,'" Swiatkowski said. "He said he was there before and said 'Same chick, different problem.'"

Police confirmed that Hearn was taken to the Royal Oak lockup after his arrest for domestic violence last year when he and Chupick lived together at a different location than where she was killed.

Chupick's coworkers went to her apartment Monday after she failed to show up for work and were met with a grisly scene.

When police arrived, they said her body was in the living room near a couch with a significant amount of blood.

Her body was "partially covered with a blanket and partially nude,"

Swiatkowski said.

There was blood on her head and an autopsy later showed she suffered blunt force trauma and 12 stab wounds, including a 4-inch gash across her neck, he added.

There were no signs of forced entry at the apartment.

Police noted that there was a set of black-handled steak knives in the apartment, but would not comment on whether one of the knives was used in the killing or if they had recovered the murder weapon.

"This was an especially heinous crime and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Chupick family," O'Donohue said.

Hearn was convicted of two counts of second-degree home invasion in

Livingston County in 2006 and was released from prison in January 2010, just two months before he was arrested for domestic violence against Chupick.

A pre-exam conference was scheduled for 9 a.m. next Friday in Royal Oak District Court.

Tucson, AZ: Police identify victims of Tucson murder-suicide

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Police have identified a man and woman found dead inside a Tucson home in a murder-suicide.

Tucson detectives said Saturday that it appears 38-year-old Thad Hall Jr. fatally shot his 40-year-old girlfriend Misty Hall before turning the gun on himself.

The weapon was found at the scene along with a 1-year-old girl who's believed to be the couple's biological child. Police say the baby escaped injury and now is in the custody of state Child Protective Services.

A woman called police Friday to say her brother phoned her and claimed he was suicidal. Officers went to his residence and knocked on the front door, but didn't get a response. They opened the door, which was unlocked, and found the two bodies inside.

The victims were declared dead at the scene.

Milford, CT: Two people found dead in Milford home in possible murder-suicide

Published: Saturday, September 24, 2011

By William Kaempffer
Special to the Bulletin

Police outside a home on Branca Court in Milford Friday.

MILFORD — Two people were dead Friday after what sources say police are investigating as a possible murder-suicide in a quiet, working-class development in the city’s northern end.

Police spokesman Officer Jeffrey Nielsen said detectives were investigating the deaths as “domestic in nature,” and said police were withholding the identities of the victims until all next of kin are notified.

He said he couldn’t confirm the murder-suicide theory, saying the investigation was in its early stages.

Police had been to the Branca Court home before on domestic complaints, however, according to court records.

The office of the chief medical examiner said autopsies were scheduled for this weekend for Kenneth Fox and Catherine Fox, who according to court and phone records, lived at 123 Branca Court, where the bodies were discovered.

Bridgeport police Officer Tom Minar, who lives on the street, said he had seen the husband early Friday.

“I actually saw him walking the dog this morning,” he said. The husband, identified in court documents as Kenneth Fox, 50, kept to himself, neighbors said.

Minar’s wife, Joyce, said the man, who lived in the house with his wife and son, never said much, even when they encountered each other walking their dogs.

She recalled a loud incident about a month ago, in which the husband and wife shouted at each other outside. He implored her to let him back inside because he didn’t want to lose his job, Joyce Minar said.

It never got physical and Minar didn’t call police, which she said she regrets now.

Some neighbors did call police, however. Kenneth Fox, 50, was arrested after a domestic dispute with his wife and 19-year-old son on Aug. 16. Police said Kenneth and Catherine Fox got into a verbal argument while in the car and, back at home, the father got into a physical altercation with his son. Both were arrested and later released on promises to appear in court.

A protective order against Kenneth Fox was issued barring any contact with the wife and son and requiring him to stay away from the house.

He returned the next day and was arrested for violating conditions of his release. According to a police report in the court file, when an officer told Fox his bail was $50,000 and offered him a phone call, Fox responded that he had “no one to call” and that he could not make the bond anyway. Court documents show bail was reduced to $2,500 in court but he still couldn’t afford to post it. On Sept. 13, a judge granted a motion for a further reduction and set bail at $1,000. Fox posted through a bondsman and was released after nearly four weeks in jail.

Court records show Fox worked for Pepsi Co. in Stratford.

The deaths rattled the quiet development, which was built about 20 years ago off Burnt Plains Road, north of Route 1.

oyce Minar called her son’s school and asked administrators not to send the 10-year-old home on the bus.

“I’m unnerved. I know we’re safe because the violence stayed inside the home. But it’s still a very unnerving feeling,” she said.

Gary Gauruder, president of the York Village Association of the neighborhood, said he knew the male victim to say hello to, but “not on a day-to-day basis.”

Asked to describe the complex, resident Bryant Nolan said just the word: “Quiet.”

Register Metro Editor Ed Stannard contributed to this story.

Southbury, CT: State police: Two bodies found in Southbury are possible murder-suicide

SOUTHBURY -- Authorities are investigating the suspicious deaths of two people whose bodies were found Friday morning in a home here, authorities said.
"Preliminary information indicates that it may be a murder-suicide," said State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance, who would not provide further details.
Police were called to the home, on Chain Trail, about 9:30 a.m., Vance said. Authorities forced their way inside, where they discovered the bodies.
The three-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1,000-square-foot home sits just south of the Russian Village Historic District, according to the online home tracker
The victims, whose names have not been released, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to Vance.
Land records show the home is owned by David and Sharon Detlefsen.
An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be conducted by the Office of the Chief State's Medical Examiner.
Authorities also discovered two bodies in Milford on Friday morning, in what police are also calling a possible murder-suicide, although the two incidents appear to be unrelated.
Vance said detectives from the Major Crimes Unit are leading the investigation in Southbury.
No further information was immediately available.
Contact Libor Jany at or 203-731-3350. Follow him at

Hidden Valley, IN: Murder-Suicide In HVL

(Hidden Valley, Ind.) - An apparent murder-suicide is under investigation by Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit detectives.

On Wednesday, deputies were dispatched to a home at 1808 Fieldcrest Drive in Hidden Valley Lake to do a welfare check, according to the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department.

Inside the home, they made a shocking discovery. The two residents, Arlene Reardon, 64, and Jerry Reardon, 68, were dead.

Preliminary investigation revealed that both subjects died of gunshot wounds to the head.

Investigators said one of the gunshots were self-inflicted, but did not specify which one of the Reardon’s had pulled the trigger.

It is also unclear how long the couple had been dead before being found.

The investigation continues by the Special Crimes Unit.

Pocono, PA: Parrish to learn sentence for killing girlfriend, infant

By Andrew Scott
Pocono Record Writer
September 25, 2011
Dressed in his light-colored, loose-fitting inmate outfit and with his hands cuffed in front of him, Michael Parrish sat on the inmates' side of the glass at Monroe County Correctional Facility.

Gone were any traces of the uncontrollable rage that Parrish says fueled him to kill his 21-year-old girlfriend and their 18-month-old son two years ago. Instead, Parrish picked up the phone on his side of the glass and spoke serenely.

Mother/grandmother of murder victims hopes for executionSentencing postponed for Michael Parrish in Effort double-murder caseTwo years after daughter and grandson murdered, Kim Adams wants closure
Pocono Crime Files: Victoria Adams Murder

Michael John Parrish will learn his fate Monday.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled before Monroe County President Judge Ronald Vican.
Parrish has pleaded guilty in the July 6, 2009, shooting deaths of his girlfriend, Victoria Marie Adams, 21, and their 18-month-old son, Sidney Michael Parrish, in their Effort home.
Parrish, 25, has pleaded guilty to two first-degree murder counts, one for each victim. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty because the case involves a double-murder with one of the victims being under the age of 12.
A death penalty case involves two phases. The first phase involves the defendant pleading guilty or being convicted by a jury.
In the second or "penalty" phase, the prosecution argues for execution while the defense argues for life in prison. If the defendant has been convicted by a jury, the jury decides the penalty. If the defendant has pleaded guilty, the judge decides.
Parrish has pleaded guilty, so the judge will decide the penalty.
The sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for April 2010, after Parrish entered the guilty plea. But because Parrish, at his attorney's request, revealed certain details about his state of mind and the circumstances surrounding the murders, Vican rejected the guilty plea.
Parrish said he shot Adams in a blinding, jealous rage because he suspected she had been cheating on him. Feeling his "life was over" at that point, he said he then shot Sidney.
On July 19, 2011, Parrish successfully entered a guilty plea. Through public defender Wes Niemoczynski, Parrish said he had enough time between the onset of his rage and the killings to form the intent to kill Adams and their son.
Parrish, 25, is scheduled to stand before county President Judge Ronald Vican on Monday to learn if he will spend the rest of his life in prison or be executed by lethal injection.

Parrish so far has given no indication of wanting to withdraw his guilty pleas and said he knows nothing about anyone advocating for him to be spared from execution should that be the penalty.

"I've pleaded guilty, but I've been misconstrued as saying I want to be executed," he said. "I'm not asking to be executed, but I won't contest execution if that's to be the decision. I'm at peace with whatever happens. I accept it."

'Ashamed' of tattoos
Parrish said an uncontrollable fit of jealous rage, fueled by the suspicion that Adams was cheating on him, led him to kill both victims.

He keeps his head bald and his beard long in the tradition of the Islamic faith he said he converted to three years ago — prior to killing Victoria Marie Adams and their son, Sidney Michael Parrish.

This contradicts reports at the time of the murders that he was a white supremacist. Police said Nazi memorabilia was found in his home.

His body tattoos still include a swastika on his left arm and Confederate flag on his right arm.

"I'm ashamed of them," he said. "Maybe one day, Allah will erase them."

Remorseful but stoic
Since murder under Pennsylvania law is a charge on which no bail is allowed while defendants await the dispositions of their cases, Parrish has spent more than two years and two months in county jail since his arrest. Prior to Thursday's interview with the Pocono Record, Parrish's only visitor had been his father, who had come to see him four times.

Parrish said he has spent his time in jail praying, studying the teachings of his faith and trying to be a model inmate.

"Yes, I do accept responsibility for what I've done, and I do wish more than anything that I could bring back Victoria and Sidney," Parrish said. "I think about them every day, and it doesn't get any easier.

"Yes, I am remorseful, but I don't believe I have to show that remorse," said Parrish, who in 2009 wrote a guilt-ridden letter from jail asking Adams' family to forgive him. "I don't believe I have to break down in tears before the public. I know how I feel, regardless of whether anyone else does."

Turning to Islam
Parrish's reportedly attempted suicide in October 2009 in the Carbon County Jail, where he was being held at the time. Rather than talking about this attempt, he instead said his strengthened religious faith has given him the courage to continue facing his current situation and use it to help others.

"I first became interested in Islam because I wanted to know more about the religion, partly because of the stigma that's been attached to it since 9/11," he said. "As I learned more, I came to see that truth is a major component of Islam. No matter what else you are, you must be truthful, and that's something I've always strived to be."

Islam's teachings have replaced the white supremacist ideals that attracted a younger, more impressionable Parrish seeking a sense of belonging in his native Brooklyn, N.Y. It was during that period in his life, in 2006, when he met fellow native New Yorker Adams, with whom he had their son in November 2007.

Remembered as a monster
By the time Sidney was born, Parrish was working as a corrections officer in the very jail where he is now an inmate.

He had cleared a background check and been hired by the jail despite his tattoos, which officials said did not appear offensive during the interview process.

Adams' family has said Parrish was jealous and controlling to the point where she feared leaving the house to be with other family members or friends, especially men.

Her family believes this jealousy is what led him to finally go too far that fateful night.

"My actions that night were so out of character for me," Parrish said. "I normally take a step back and think things through. That night into the following day, for whatever reason, I didn't."

As he now lives with the consequences while awaiting his own fate, Parrish said he now focuses on making whatever time he has left on this earth count for something.

"People will remember me as a monster, the guy who killed his girlfriend and baby, the supremacist," he said.

"I accept that because I don't deny being all those things, which I regret. Knowing I can never undo what I've done, I'm going to try to live by my faith and be an example to other inmates if I can, so I can also be remembered in that way."

Grass Valley, CA: Hostage safe after Grass Valley standoff

1:25 AM, Sep 25, 2011
Grass Valley, CA - A standoff situation in Nevada County results in SWAT shooting a killing a 53-year-old male who held his girlfriend hostage.

The Nevada County Sheriffs department responded to Wolf Road around 12:30 on Saturday afternoon for a domestic dispute situation, says Captain Jeff Powell.

When deputies arrived at the home they forced entry and found the suspect standing at the top of a stairway with his arm around the neck of his 55-year-old girlfriend with a knife to her throat.

The suspect told officers that if they advanced any closer he would kill the woman. It was then that the suspect made his way to a bedroom and barricaded the door.

SWAT and negotiators were dispatched to the scene. Powell says that the suspect refused to speak to anyone and little communication was made between the man and SWAT.

Powell says that based on information obtained by friends and the suspect's refusal to cooperate, officers felt it was critical to make entry into the bedroom. SWAT shot and killed the suspect and removed the woman from the home.

The victim had been severely beaten, according to Powell, and was transported to a hospital.

Sheriff's had been called to the home the night before on another disturbance call.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Houston, TX: Houston man arrested in girlfriend's 1982 killing

Suspect had a violent past
Updated 12:22 a.m., Saturday, September 24, 2011

For more than 30 years, Manuel Richard Pena has been accused of acts of violence against one family member or another.

In 1976, he allegedly shot one of his now ex-wives in the genitals during an argument.

In 1989, Pena, who has been married seven times, was accused of punching his 72-year-old stepfather before he dragged him down a driveway after the elderly man verbally corrected one of Pena's children.

And in 2004, he beat his 7-year-old grandson so severely he gave the child a bloody nose after the boy wouldn't get out of bed for school.

Although police were called and charges were filed in these incidents, Pena, 69, almost always managed to walk away without a conviction or severe punishment.

On Friday, the law caught up with Pena again.

Harris County Sheriff's Office investigators announced they charged Pena with murder in the 1982 death of his 19-year-old girlfriend, Sherri Strong.

That slaying occurred June 16 that year. Sheriff's deputies arrived to Pena's home in the 10700 block of Hazy Valley around 3 a.m. to find Strong lying facedown, nude and with a rope around her neck in Pena's garage. Detectives later would learn that the young woman was two months pregnant.

Deputies had been called to the residence by Pena, 34 at the time, who told them that he awoke to find Strong in the garage.

"Clearly a staged (suicide) scene," said Harris County sheriff's investigator Sgt. Eric Clegg, who investigated the nearly 30-year-old murder.

Detectives who initially investigated the case appeared to have the same idea and presented it to the Harris County District Attorney's Office as a homicide with Pena as the suspect.

However, prosecutors felt the evidence collected at the time was not strong enough and did not accept the charges, Clegg said.

Abuse accusations

Sgt. Dean Holtke and Clegg, who together make up the sheriff's cold case squad, learned from family members that Pena and Strong had been seeing each other for about eight months but broke up a month prior to the woman's death because of physical abuse in the relationship.

Strong's parents told investigators the woman feared Pena so much she had even started carrying a gun, which was found in her car the day of her death, Clegg said.

Pena, who was married to another woman but separated while seeing Strong, also gave conflicting stories to both initial and recent investigators. He initially said he knew Strong was pregnant only hours before he found her dead, but he since has recanted, Clegg said.

A motive in the killing is still unknown.

Father-in-law shot

It was only about a month after Strong's death that Pena was again questioned by police, but in connection with another case. Pena was accused of firing a shotgun into the home of his then-father-in-law, Abel Deltoro, after he became angry that the man wouldn't allow him to speak with his wife, according to investigators and court records.

Deltoro was struck by one of the bullets and seriously injured.

The case was later dismissed at Deltoro's request in exchange for Pena giving him custody of his grandchildren, Clegg said.

Six years later, Pena was again before police, this time for allegedly assaulting his elderly stepfather, Ralph Sorrentino. And again, the case was dismissed at the victim's request because he feared Pena would deny him access to his grandchildren, Clegg said.

Strong, a pretty, red-haired girl who graduated from Conroe High School, was not the first woman Pena had been violent against. On three occasions between 1974 and 1976, police questioned Pena about reports of abuse from his now ex-wife, Yolanda Pena.

Over the course of those years, he been accused of giving Yolanda Pena two black eyes, beating the woman while she was five months pregnant and shooting her in the genitals with a shotgun. Yolanda Pena survived.

In that incident, Manuel was found not guilty after investigators said he convinced a jury it was an accident.

Grandson's beating

The only case in which Pena had received significant punishment was when he was convicted of beating his 7-year-old grandson in 2004. For that, Pena, who is currently married to his seventh wife and runs a photography studio out of his Houston home, was given six years' probation.

Cold case investigators picked up the case in January.

Clegg said it was Pena's past that hinted there was more to be reviewed in the case. They then spent months, re-examining all the cases and interviewing numerous people who had been involved. Eventually, investigators were able to gather enough witness statements to make a case against Pena.

"When I ran his criminal history and saw the dispositions on those (prior) cases, I felt he had been really lucky," Clegg said.

Pena was arrested at his home Thursday. He is being held in the Harris County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Investigators noted that Pena seemed surprised during the arrest.

"My partner asked him (Pena) did he think we would be back," Clegg said. "He said 'no.' "

Friday, September 23, 2011

Richmond, CA: Richmond cops wound suspect in restaurant killing

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, September 23, 2011

A suspect in the slaying of a woman found dead in a Richmond restaurant was shot and wounded by a police SWAT team in San Leandro early Thursday when he brandished an apparent rifle, police said.

Rafael Zarate, 42, was shot at a duplex on the 12500 block of Central Avenue in San Leandro at about 1:40 a.m. by a Richmond police SWAT team at the end of a nearly 14-hour standoff, said Richmond police Lt. Bisa French.

Zarate was taken to a hospital. His condition was not released.

He is suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend, Jensy Romero, 30, an employee of Angie's Bakery and Restaurant. Romero's body was found by the restaurant owner at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a restroom of the business at 12889 San Pablo Ave. in Richmond.

Zarate and Romero had recently broken up, but Zarate had been stalking her for at least a month, police said.

San Leandro police received a tip that Zarate was in an upper floor of the duplex at about 10 a.m. Wednesday and called in their SWAT team when Zarate refused to surrender, authorities said.

The Richmond police SWAT team took over at about 10 p.m. and shot Zarate when he walked downstairs with what appeared to be a rifle, French said.

E-mail Henry K. Lee at

Melbourne, FL: Melbourne woman charged with murder after investigators unearth husband's body

MELBOURNE — Late this summer, Jennifer
Lynn Hearn announced on Facebook that
her husband had left her again but that she
had found someone new.

Neighbors were aware that her marriage
had been turbulent: There were allegations
of abuse, infidelity and drug use against
her husband. The parents of three
daughters had separated, then reunited
several times.

But about six weeks ago, it seemed over
for good.

Hearn told friends that her husband had
moved out to live with a girlfriend. And
within weeks of his departure, Hearn also
found a new love.

"Wow. I am so glad one person walked out
of my life so others could walk in," she
posted on the social-networking site. "I love
being single."

But the 40-year-old mother was harboring
a secret, sheriff's agents said. In the
backyard of her Ann Avenue home, inside
a hog pen behind a storage shed, 2 feet of
soil covered the decaying remains of 41-
year-old Carl "Cliff" Hearn.

Tip leads to arrest

At some point, Jennifer Hearn had confided
a story in someone. It made its way to
others, who tipped off the Brevard County
Sheriff's Office. According to sheriff's Lt.
Tod Goodyear, Hearn then told
investigators that she had shot her
husband at the height of a nighttime
argument, then buried his body.

She was arrested this week on a charge of
second-degree murder. The Hearns do not
have criminal histories in Brevard, and
deputies had no past issues with them.

"Her story was that he left her high and dry
and moved out," Goodyear said. "They had
a history of problems. We never had any
domestic-violence calls, but people have
said he was abusive."

A judge denied her bond Thursday and
scheduled an arraignment for Oct. 25.

Meanwhile, deputies strung crime-scene
tape around a large area stretching from
her house to the back of St. Timothy
Lutheran Church near Croton and Aurora

Starting early Thursday, technicians
painstakingly -- layer by layer -- dug into
the ground where her husband's remains
were located. The body was placed on a
stretcher and removed from the property
about 6:30 p.m. Officials said Hearn had
cooperated with their investigation.

"She gave us some information in reference
to her being responsible, that no one else
was involved," Goodyear said. "But we can't
confirm everything she said until we
examine the body."

In the Melbourne area community, the two
had lived together in a 1,700-square-foot,
mustard-color house since the 1990s.
Their daughters had moved out before the

As avid outdoorspeople, the couple kept
hunting dogs in backyard cages and an
airboat beneath a carport. Hogs and deer
were their chosen game. Homicide
investigators found several firearms in the
home, including a handgun they think was
used the evening of Cliff Hearn's death.

Neighbor puzzled

Even with her husband out of the house,
Jennifer Hearn continued operating their
landscaping business, Clifton's Professional
Lawn Care. On Facebook, she once
bemoaned a rainy day, which had halted
her lawn mowing.

"It can stop now!" she wrote.

A next-door neighbor, Kevin Young,
worked for the couple by performing
weed-eating and lawn-mowing. They
maintained at least 30 lawns in the
Melbourne area and in beachside

Young said the two appeared to be a
"regular couple" and that he never noticed
anything suspicious, such as a gunshot. But
still, something didn't seem right.

"She told me he had a girlfriend and he
went up north to live with her," Young said
as he pointed out a maroon Ford F-150. "I
thought that was kind of funny because he
didn't take his truck."

Hearn met a man in early September, according sheriff's agents. In Facebook
posts, she described him as an "amazing"
man who restored her faith that "there are
good men out there."

She talked about visiting her mother, who
was hospitalized last week with kidney
failure and heart problems. She talked
about enjoying time with her daughters.

A friend of Hearn's, contacted by telephone
Thursday, described her as a wonderful
mother and a humorous person. And in the
past few weeks, she finally seemed happy
with a man.

"I got work, beautiful children, great
friends, and the possibility of being happy
even if it ain't with him now," she posted on

"If this is what being on top of the world
feels like," she wrote, "I'm staying like this."

Contact Knapp at 321-242-3669or