Monday, December 31, 2012

Seattle, WA: Seattle woman charged in boyfriend’s slaying

A Seattle woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death during an argument has been charged with murder.

King County prosecutors contend Christina D. Kasper-Lewis killed Dante Durant on Dec. 19 during an argument at Durant’s Skyway apartment. Stabbed in the chest, Durant died at the scene.

According to charging documents, Kasper-Lewis, 31, had stabbed Durant previously during other incidents of domestic violence. She allegedly told police she picked up the knife to show Durant she was serious about their argument, and then stabbed him once when he grabbed her by the lapels.

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to Durant’s home at 1:44 a.m. the morning of the killing. They arrived to find Kasper-Lewis standing over the dead 31-year-old.
Kasper-Lewis was arrested at the scene and later gave a statement to detectives in which she admitted to killing Durant, according to charging documents.

The two had been arguing and drinking much of the night when they returned to the apartment from a nearby bar. Arriving home, Kasper-Lewis armed herself with a large kitchen knife and continued to argue with Durant.

Speaking with detectives, Kasper-Lewis is alleged to have claimed she only hoped to scare her boyfriend with the knife and did not intend to kill him. Police contend she stabbed him once after he grabbed her shirt, slicing through the man’s lung and heart.

“She said (Durant) immediately fell to the floor,” a King County Sherriff’s Office detective told the court. “Assuming the victim was playing dead, (Kasper-Lewis) said she attempted to wake the victim up.”

Durant’s brother then called 911 at Kasper-Lewis’s urging. Kasper-Lewis is alleged to have told police she was afraid of Durant, but admitted he did not threaten her or assault her the night he was killed.

An examination of Durant’s body found several other small, relatively fresh stab wounds to his neck, chest and face, the detective told the court. Prosecutors contend Kasper-Lewis was responsible for those wounds.

Kasper-Lewis has been charged with second-degree murder. She remains jailed on $1 million bail.

Grand Rapids, MI: Woman who shot and killed boyfriend released

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The woman who told police that she shot her boyfriend on Christmas night has been released from custody.

Grand Rapids Police tell WZZM that the home where the shooting took place has been the scene of domestic violence in the past, and the woman has been released on the advice of the Kent County Prosecutor's Office. The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing and charges may still be forthcoming.

Darwin DeMarcus Weathers, 34, was killed Christmas night at the home on Leonard Street. Three children who were at the home at the time of the shooting were taken into custody by Child Protective Services.

Marietta, GA: Man arrested for killing ex's boyfriend

MARIETTA, Ga. -- A Marietta man is behind bars for shooting and killing a man he believed was seeing his ex-girlfriend.

Patrick Lamar Burr, 40, is accused of shooting the man outside a home on Griggs Street in Marietta at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Marietta Police spokesman David Baldwin said the victim, 24-year-old Arthur Moses Jr., and the ex-girlfriend were sitting in a car in the house's driveway when Burr approached and fired a pistol into the car.

The girlfriend, who was not identified, escaped unharmed. Moses was killed as he tried to run away, Baldwin said.

Burr was arrested on the scene and charged with murder and aggravated assault. He is being held without bond in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.

Lumberton, NC: Robeson County authorities: Lumberton man killed girlfriend, himself in murder-suicide

LUMBERTON - Robeson County Sheriff's Office investigators determined that a Lumberton man used a handgun to shoot his girlfriend and then himself in a murder-suicide Tuesday afternoon.

Sheriff Kenneth Sealey identified the two as Laurie Wheeler, 31, of 81 Thomas Drive, and her boyfriend, James Moore, 46, of 303 Lee Circle.

The Sheriff's Office received a 911 call about 3:30 p.m. from Wheeler's sister after she found the bodies in a mobile home on Thomas Drive on Tuesday afternoon.

Wheeler and Moore had been dating and neighbors told investigators that the couple had domestic issues, said Maj. Howard Branch. Investigators received information that the couple argued a lot, and they had done so in the days before they died. There were no reports of domestic violence to local law enforcement agencies.

Paterson, NJ: Man accused of killing ex-girlfriend day after leaving halfway house is arrested in Plainfield

PLAINFIELD — A Paterson man who allegedly killed his former girlfriend a day after being freed from a halfway house was arrested this morning, according to a report on

Raheem Jones was taken into custody at a home in Plainfield around 6 a.m. today by officers from the Paterson police department, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and United States Marshals Service, the report said.

Jones, 38, allegedly fatally stabbed Latasha Smith in Paterson on Dec. 12, one day after being released from Logan Hall in Newark.

Jones had previously served a six-year prison term for killing a Paterson man while manipulating a shotgun, authorities have said. His criminal history also includes convictions for drug possession, assault, and receiving stolen property.

Baltimore, MD: City police: Suspect killed girlfriend, then self

A 25-year-old man city police believe fatally stabbed his girlfriend Thursday died hours later after hanging himself in Catonsville.

Brandon Jerome Nowlin, whose last known address was in Halethorpe, killed Rebecca Ann Coughenour, 23, of Baltimore, inside her home Thursday, police said.

Police categorized the killing as an act of domestic violence. Nowlin and Coughenour had been in a relationship for several years, officers said. Police said the couple had a "prior history of domestic violence."

Investigators responded to the 200 block of Atholgate Lane in the city's Ten Hills neighborhood about 12:30 p.m. after a 911 caller requested help and found the woman unresponsive and suffering from multiple stab wounds, officers said. Coughenour was pronounced dead at the scene.

As detectives were conducting their investigation, they received word that Baltimore County police were searching for a man possibly linked to the killing in the 5500 block of Baltimore National Pike in Catonsville. At 4:21 p.m., Nowlin's dead body was found there by emergency crews inside a vacant office building, Baltimore County police said.

Police categorized Nowlin's death as "apparent suicide" by hanging.

Imperial, MO: Police: Meth-maker killed girlfriend near Imperial with hammer

IMPERIAL • Heather R. Beckley’s boyfriend hit her in the head six times with a hammer Sunday and left her body in a woods near Imperial where the couple had gone to make methamphetamine, authorities said Friday.

Beckley’s boyfriend, Brian E. Smith, 32, is being held on $1 million bail after being charged Thursday with second-degree murder. Beckley, 34, resided in Pevely.

According to court documents, Smith killed Beckley near Butler Valley Road.

A man who directed Smith and Beckley to the woods as a place to make meth told investigators he later saw Smith with blood on his face. He asked about it and Smith told the man he hit Beckley six times with a hammer, police say.

Smith then drove to a carwash and cleaned blood from his vehicle, court documents allege.
Police didn’t disclose a possible motive for the killing.

Detectives had sought charges of first-degree murder, but prosecutors issued the second-degree murder charge. Second-degree murder is knowingly killing someone, while first-degree murder is knowingly killing someone with deliberation, however brief.

The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was called in to investigate Beckley’s death after a passing motorist spotted Beckley’s body about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, near Butler Valley Road and Antonia Valley Court.

Capt. Mark Tulgetske of the Herculaneum Police Department was the lead detective for the Major Case Squad. He said about 20 detectives worked on the case. Police arrested Smith on drug charges on the first day of their probe.

The charges say Smith lives in the 9900 block of Arthur Lane in St. Louis County.

Sheriff Oliver “Glenn” Boyer said the meth investigation continues.

In court papers, Detective Bruce Gerard said that Beckley and Smith had met with a man at a home on Old Lemay Ferry Road near Imperial Sunday “under the pretense that they would manufacture methamphetamine.”

Smith got a hammer from the man’s property, according to court documents. The man showed them to the wooded area. Smith and Beckley then dropped the man back off at his home and returned to the secluded spot where Beckley’s body was later found.

Lancaster, PA: Lawyer of Lancaster County boyfriend acused of smothering, killing girlfriend: He's not as portrayed

Benjamin Klinger is not a jealous boyfriend who intentionally killed his girlfriend, the 19-year-old man's attorney said Friday.

Klinger has been at Lancaster County Prison for a week now, charged with homicide and other offenses for a Dec. 4 crash that resulted in Samantha Heller's death.

Defense lawyer Jeffrey Conrad, following meetings with his client, said the Elizabethtown teenager is "mourning" Heller's death.

And Klinger has been mischaracterized, Conrad says, by charging documents that allege he smothered Heller to death after realizing the car crash hadn't killed her.

Chicago, IL: Man suspected of setting fire that killed girlfriend, injured their kids dies

The 29-year-old man who police suspect set the fire that killed his girlfriend and critically injured their two children died at Stroger Hospital on Sunday afternoon.
Police said that the man, who was critically injured in the West Side blaze, possibly doused his girlfriend and the two children with an accelerant before setting them on fire early Saturday morning.
The children, Nariya Beller, 4, and Naciere Beller, 9, remained in critical condition Sunday night at Stroger, said Marisa Kollias, hospital spokeswoman. Fire officials said Nariya was burned over her entire body and Naciere suffered burns on 35 percent of his body.
Their mother, Taniya Johnson, 33, died at Stroger Hospital on Saturday after the blaze in the first-floor unit of a building in the 4200 block of West 21st Place. After an autopsy Sunday, the Medical Examiner’s office said Johnson also had been stabbed.
Nathaniel Beller died at 12:10 p.m. Sunday, said Kollias and a representative from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Police sources said they think an accelerant was used to intentionally set the fire. Police found three gas cans behind the West Side home.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said on Saturday that he thought police were dealing with a homicide that was part of a domestic dispute.
“The likelihood is it’s going to be a homicide because we believe that it is an arson,” McCarthy said.
On Sunday, police continued to investigate the fire.
Ron Averyhart, 53, who lives next door to the building where the fire occurred, described Nariya and Naciere as “fun-loving and well-mannered.”
After hearing the fire and the sound of fire trucks Saturday morning, he ran out of the building with coats for his aunt and cousin, who were evacuated from the building.
Johnson’s family said that Johnson, of the 4500 block of West Harrison, and the children were visiting the children’s father and other relatives in the 21st Place apartment . Johnson and her children were found near the Christmas tree; Beller was found in front of the building. Firefighters responded to the scene at 4:40 a.m. Saturday.
A family living in the second-floor unit escaped without injury. Joyce Rogers, 59, said Sunday morning that she and her mother Sally Jordan, 84, were taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital on Saturday but were not admitted. They and other family members evacuated from the building after smelling smoke. Their home was destroyed, she said.
“We were treated and released,” Rogers said. “We’re OK.”

Milwaukee, WI: Police: Man charged with killing wife, a Wis. officer, acknowledged he was jealous husband

MILWAUKEE - An Iraq War veteran charged with ambushing his wife Christmas Eve as she worked as a Milwaukee-area police officer told investigators he shot her in the head repeatedly because he didn't want her to suffer before she died.

Benjamin Gabriel Sebena, 30, acknowledged to detectives that he was a jealous husband, police said. Still, they declined to speculate on a motive for the killing, saying Thursday their probe was ongoing.

Investigators said Ben Sebena told them he had been stalking his wife, Jennifer Sebena, for a few days. He said he waited a few hours near the fire department where officers often take breaks, and when he saw her squad car he rushed her and opened fire. They said when the officer reached for her weapon, her husband grabbed it from her holster and used it to shoot her three or four times in the face.

"Benjamin Sebena stated that he wanted to make sure she was dead so she wouldn't suffer," the criminal complaint said.

He was charged Thursday with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Jennifer Sebena, who was also 30. During a brief court appearance, Ben Sebena was ordered held on $1 million cash bond. He wasn't required to enter a plea, and his attorney, Michael Steinle, didn't immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

Two hours after Jennifer Sebena was found dead, police monitored her husband on closed-circuit TV as he stood in an empty room at the police station. A detective heard Ben Sebena ask himself "How could I do that to her," after all the help she gave him, the criminal complaint said.

Officers went to check on Jennifer Sebena about 4:30 a.m. Monday after she didn't respond to radio calls. Sebena, who joined the Wauwatosa police force two years ago, was patrolling alone on the night she was killed.

"She was everything I could hope for in a young police officer: intelligent, energetic, willing to be of service and wanting to be a great police officer," Wauwatosa Chief Barry Weber said at a news conference.

Investigators said they found a number of details tying Ben Sebena to the killing. Surveillance video showed a vehicle that matches his in the area near the time of the shooting, and detectives who searched the couple's home found a gun in the attic that fires ammunition matching the bullet casings found at the scene. They also found Jennifer Sebena's service weapon hidden in the attic.

The investigation began when Ben Sebena called police Monday about 6:30 a.m. asking them to check on his wife's well-being. A police sergeant called him back five minutes later telling him to come to the station because his wife had been involved in an incident.

Ben Sebena didn't ask what happened, the complaint said. Later, when he was told at the station that his wife had been killed, he still didn't ask what happened to her.

During the interview, Ben Sebena "stated that he had been jealous of other men with regards to his wife," the complaint said.

Jennifer Sebena told a colleague earlier this month that her husband had acted violently toward her and put a gun to her head, prosecutors said.

The police chief said he wasn't aware of issues that would have been a cause for concern for Jennifer Sebena's safety. The state Justice Department is assisting in the investigation, and the director of the department's criminal investigation operations, Dave Spakowicz, said authorities are not speculating on what motivated the shooting.

Ben Sebena served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps. He was honorably discharged in 2005 after suffering severe arm and leg injuries in a mortar attack that year. The 10 medals or commendations he was awarded include a Purple Heart, a Good Conduct medal and a rifle-expert badge.

In a 10-minute video for his church made in 2010, Ben Sebena described his transformation from an angry teen into a decorated war veteran who rediscovered his faith in God.

"Before I went in I was pretty much a hippie. I was very laid back but the anger was there — it was just very hidden," he said.

He said he joined the military because he felt unloved and unimportant and that even though the Marines helped him centralize the anger, the rage persisted when he returned to the U.S. He said he would ignore red lights and tear down the freeway on his motorcycle at 150 mph.

He also discussed his blossoming relationship with Jennifer, whom he knew from high school and with whom he exchanged emails during his recovery.

"Our love flourished. We became actually infatuated with each other," he said in the video for Elmbrook Church in nearby Brookfield. The church's pastor, Scott Arbeiter, confirmed to The Associated Press that it was Ben Sebena in the video.

Jennifer Sebena's funeral is scheduled for Saturday.

Sylvester, GA: Worth County woman arrested in husband's death

SYLVESTER, Ga. -- Officials in Worth County have identified a 52-year-old woman who was arrested in her husband's death.

Jannie Mae Tweedy was arrested in the Christmas Eve shooting death of 57-year-old Carl Tweedy.

Authorities say Carl Tweedy suffered multiple gunshot wounds late Monday night and died at the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Sheriff's officials say the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute, and Jannie Tweedy is being held without bond on a felony murder charge in the Worth County Jail.

Tweedy had not been arraigned as of Wednesday afternoon, and it was not immediately clear if she had a lawyer.

Sylvester is about 20 miles east of Albany.

Wichita, KS: Wichita Man Charged With Murder In Wife's Death

A man arrested for the murder of his wife last weekend has made his first appearance in court.

Wednesday afternoon, 55-year-old Guy W. Palmer appeared in front of a judge and was charged with first degree murder.

Wichita Police said that around 7:45 a.m. Sunday, Palmer drove to the county jail and told them he had killed his wife.

Officers went to the man's home in the 6800 block of East Farmview and found 61-year-old Debra K. Palmer in the basement dead from multiple stab wounds.

Palmer was later arrested.

It's unclear what led to the murder, but police said the couple's marriage may have been ending.

This is the 25th homicide of 2012 in Wichita, and the 5th as the result of domestic violence.

Palmer's bond has been set at $250,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 2nd.

Sumerlin, NV: Grand jury indicts firefighter in estranged wife's death

Las Vegas firefighter George Tiaffay and the homeless man authorities say he hired to kill his estranged wife were charged in a murder indictment returned Friday.

Tiaffay, 40, and Noel "Greyhound" Stevens, 37, were charged with several counts, including murder with use of a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit burglary and robbery with use of a deadly weapon.

The two defendants were arrested in October in the Sept. 29 slaying of Shauna Tiaffay, 46, a Palms cocktail waitress whose body was found in her Summerlin home.

At the request of prosecutors, District Judge Linda Bell, who accepted the eight-count indictment from a county grand jury, ordered both men to remain behind bars without bail. They face a Jan. 3 arraignment before District Judge Jerry Tao.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo said in court that Stevens freely admitted his role in the slaying.

According to the indictment, Stevens was one of 14 witnesses who testified before the grand jury. He acknowledged being hired by Tiaffay and hitting the victim in the head 17 times with a hammer, DiGiacomo said.

Stevens also admitted making several "dry runs" during the murder scheme, the prosecutor said.
Tiaffay's attorney, Robert Langford, said afterward that the case is the result of the statements of a "crazy homeless guy."

"They're ignoring common sense to make this a sensational case," Langford said.

In a motion seeking bail for Tiaffay, the defense lawyer further attacked Stevens.

"The only evidence the state has is the fantastical claims of a deranged man, Noel Stevens, who also claims that he turned down a recent opportunity to commit a jewel heist of an Italian mobster at the Palms," Langford wrote. "Stevens is an addled drug addict whose far-fetched stories should not be believed, let alone support murder charges."

Langford added: "These stories are the product of an altered mind. Stevens consumes large quantities of alcohol, takes methamphetamine and smokes weed."

Until he was caught up in the murder case, Tiaffay was regarded as a "local hero" and a "stand-up dad" in the community with no criminal record, Langford wrote.

Tiaffay and his wife also had withdrawn divorce papers and were in the process of reconciling, the attorney said.

Authorities allege Tiaffay, a Las Vegas firefighter since 2002 and a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, paid Stevens $600 to beat his wife to death with a hammer.

Tiaffay was with the couple's 8-year-old daughter when they found the body at the Willowbrook Apartments, 2601 S. Pavilion Center Drive, near the intersection of Sahara Avenue and the Las Vegas Beltway.

Shauna Tiaffay had been dead for hours by the time her husband and daughter made the grisly discovery.

Her body was cold and stiff, according to police. The hole from the hammer to the side of her head was so deep that paramedics first thought she might have been shot.

The 46-year-old mother had broken several fingers trying to defend herself from being bludgeoned to death in the early morning hours of Sept. 29, but the woman was caught off-guard after returning home from a graveyard shift at the Palms.

Before his arrest, Tiaffay spent time recovering in the hospital from injuries he suffered after he drove his truck into a wall near Summerlin Parkway and the Beltway.

Detectives said Tiaffay was trying to commit suicide after learning that he was a prime suspect in the slaying.

Stevens, who lived at vagrant campsites around town, told detectives that Tiaffay was a longtime friend whom he occasionally worked for as a handyman.

Detectives found several items of clothing from Shauna Tiaffay's home, including her underwear, in one of Stevens' tents near Charleston Boulevard on the west end of the valley.

Detectives also recovered a bloodstained T-shirt and pair of jeans during a search of a second tent near Town Center Drive and Tropicana Avenue. The blood tested positive for both Stevens and the victim, according to police.

Tiaffay and Stevens were linked to the crime using cellphone records that indicated the duo met a few hours after the killing, authorities have said. They were recorded on a store surveillance camera together buying a hammer, knife and gloves a few weeks before Shauna Tiaffay's death.

Marietta, GA: Man wanted in ex-wife's death arrested

The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals worked together to arrest a man accused of killing his ex-wife in Marietta.

According to a release sent by the U.S. Marshals, John Kristofak was arrested Thursday morning at a Union City motel. Kristofak was wanted in the death of his ex-wife, Donna Nations Kristofak.

Officials said John Kristofak was taken into custody after a brief struggle. A gun was found during the arrest.

Donna Nations Kristofak, 48, was found unresponsive in Marietta home on Saturday. She was taken to Wellstar Kennesaw Hospital, where she died from her injuries.

Sunday, Cobb County detectives issued a warrant for John Kristofak, 58, on aggravated assault and murder charges.

Monday, Channel 2 Action News found court records that reveal that John Kristofak sent his ex-wife a series of disturbing emails in March.

One read, "I warned you never to cut me off from my children -you did and you will pay. I am not living past tonight so I will do anything to get you back."

Another, written the same day said, "Have you ever been hit by a car going 140, not knowing where it is coming from?"

The paperwork showed Kristofak's ex-wife had a permanent restraining order against him, stating Kristofak should never come within 500 feet of his ex-wife.

Oak Forest, IL: Oak Forest man charged in wife's death

A southwest suburban man accused of strangling his wife and setting her body ablaze is being held without bail.

Police say Martin Rodriguez killed Erica Rodriguez on Dec. 18, set a fire and slashed his own throat at their Oak Forest home in the 15200 block of South Central Avenue.

The couple, married 17 years, had been arguing recently, Assistant State's Attorney Kim Przekota said during a bond court appearance Sunday. Prosecutors said Erica Rodriguez, 40, had removed her wedding ring and ordered her husband to eventually leave the home they shared.

That demand enraged Martin Rodriguez, 48, who allegedly asked his son to look through his wife's text messages on Dec. 14. The son told his dad that Erica Rodriguez was exchanging texts with another man and mentioned hiring a lawyer. Martin Rodriguez also believed his wife was connecting with male high school friends on Facebook.

On Dec. 17, prosecutors say, Erica Rodriguez sent a text saying she "better take the expensive lawyer" and that "things might get rough around here."

The next morning, after the couple's three children had left for school, police say Martin Rodriguez attacked his wife between 8 and 9 a.m. as she prepared to do laundry.

Erica Rodriguez's body was found on the bed, next to a Bible and a family photo. She was strangled and had second-degree burns on her head and body.

Martin Rodriguez cut his own throat after the attack and suffered burns to his hands and feet.

Emergency crews rescued him in an upstairs doorway. He was taken to Advocate South Suburban Hospital and then airlifted to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was treated for the cut on his throat and his burns.

Martin Rodriguez, charged with first-degree murder and aggravated arson, remained hospitalized Sunday when Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. denied him bail. He is due in court Wednesday.

Prosecutors say a former wife of Martin Rodriguez contacted police after hearing about Erica Rodriguez's slaying. The ex-wife told investigators that she had been choked repeatedly during their marriage. She also alleged that she had to perform CPR on an infant after she walked in on her husband choking the child. The woman told officers that she was too scared to report the crimes at the time.

Oklahoma City, OK: Aspiring Olympic rower, 25, shot dead by girlfriend's 'obsessive' ex-boyfriend just weeks after he was denied protective order against 'killer'

A former star rower for University of Michigan who aspired to compete in the Olympics was shot and killed by his girlfriend’s former partner in a murder-suicide last week, according to police.

William Schnittman, 25, a Bloomfield Hills native, died Friday. He rowed for Michigan’s national championship squads in 2008-10, moving to Oklahoma City after graduation to train with the National High Performance Center.

Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said 36-year-old Darrell K. Wilson shot Schnittman, then took his former lover who was dating the 25-year-old rower hostage and sexually assaulted her before letting the woman go.

Nelson said Wilson fled police and fatally shot himself after a car chase.

According to reporting by NewsOK, both Schnittman and his 32-year-old girlfriend had sought protective orders against Wilson. The Olympic hopeful was denied the order earlier this month.

In a statement, USRowing chief executive Glenn Merry expressed ‘shock and sadness’ at Schnittman’s death.

'He was consumed with rowing, it is fair to say, and completely dedicated himself to it,' according to his letter.

'I was extremely proud to have coached him, and his unique personality always kept coaches and teammates on their toes. Anyone who coached or rowed with Bill has many, many stories to tell about him,' Hartsuff's statement read.

Police responded to a home on NW 39th Street in Oklahoma City at around 3am after receiving reports about a home invasion.

Officers who arrived on the scene saw Wilson holding Schnittman's girlfriend hostage in a Jaguar outside the house, but convinced him to let the woman go. The suspect then sped away.

When police searched the home, they discovered Schnittman, who suffered two gunshot wounds to the head. He was later pronounced dead. His girlfriend told investigators that Wilson had sexually assaulted her.

The woman's four children, aged one, two, five and nine, were found unharmed inside the house where the deadly confrontation took place.

A high-speed chase ensued, coming to an end on Interstate 35 when the 36-year-old driver appeared to have lost control of his car. When police approached the vehicle, they discovered that Wilson had shot himself to death.

Three weeks before the tragedy, Schnittman had filed a protective order against Wilson, claiming that the man had threatened him multiple times since September, and had been stalking him and sending death threats, according to court records cited by NewsOK.

'He again told me that his problems were my fault, that he was going to kill himself, and that his death was on my conscience,' Schnittman wrote, adding that Wilson told him he would 'take care of me” before he killed himself.'

However, Oklahoma County Special Judge Lisa K. Hammond denied Schnittman's request because he had not failed a police complaint about being stalked by Wilson.

Such a complaint is needed for protective petitions when the person seeking protection does not have a relationship with the person the order is directed against.

Schnittman's girlfriend also filed a protective order against Wilson, claiming that he had been harassing and stalking her for five months. The mother of four wrote that he had become obsessive and made attempts to kill himself in front of her kids.

‘While I don't think anyone could have predicted he would do this,’ the woman told Fox25 in the aftermath of the tragedy, ‘everyone who knew him, knew that he was unstable.’

Police confirmed to News9 that since March of this year, they had been called out to that house on NW 39th Street 26 times over various complaints.

According to Wilson's brother Kevin, the 36-year-old was distraught about being away from the children, and his estrangement from his life partner had taken a severe emotional toll on him.

Darrell Wilson had worked at Tinker Air Force Base for a defense logistics company, but had recently taken time off to address his mental health issues.

'He left a note at the home saying he was sorry he ruined Christmas and had left food and water for the dog,' Kevin Wilson said.

The suspect's sibling added, 'My family is devastated that Schnittman's life was taken. He's definitely a victim in this situation and we feel horrible about this.'

Schnittman, described by those who knew him as a star rower and a 'character,' had been training at the OKC National High Performance Center in the Boathouse District on the Oklahoma River for two years in the hopes of making the national team.

He also coached young boys for the Oklahoma City Riversport Chesapeake Junior Crew program this past spring and had worked at two national team development camps, reported.

Between 2006 and 2010, Schnittman was an oarsman for University of Michigan's rowing team and served as a team officer for two years.

According to Coach Hartsuff, the rower 'pulled the 4th best Freshman 2K ever his freshman year, and Bill was the 5-seat in one of the fastest varsity eights I have coached here.'

'Anyone who coached or rowed with Bill has many, many stories to tell about him,' Hartsuff wrote.

OKC Riversport coach Jim Andersen said in a statement, 'Bill was a lovable character with his wild hair and goofy smile. He did a fantastic job coaching the kids and everyone loved him.'

Schnittman is survived by his parents, Arthur and Virginia, and his identical twin brother, Bob, who also briefly rowed for UM.

Mahanoy, PA: Family Seeks Answers in Murder-Suicide

MAHANOY CITY – A husband and a wife are dead, neighbors are shocked, and the victims’ families are in disbelief about the Christmas Day murder-suicide in Schuylkill County.

Neighbors said Richard and Stephanie Weikel of Mahanoy City seemed happy.They say the couple married over the summer.

But, investigators explain, on Christmas Day, something went terribly wrong. Police said Richard murdered his wife with a gun and then turned the weapon on himself in their 10th Street apartment.

“I didn’t hear nothing,” said neighbor Elvira Eavarone. “It’s unusual for me because I hear stuff, and I wake up and get panicky, and I never heard nothing.”

According to Mahanoy City police, Richard Weikel called his ex-wife and admitted to her that he just murdered his current wife, and because of that, he couldn’t see himself being arrested and spending the rest of his life in jail.

What puzzles the victim’s family is, hours before the shooting, the couple was at a Christmas party and nothing appeared wrong. Stephanie’s father, Mike Siliekus, said he was there.

“There was no problem. We had a Christmas party. My wife’s family, we usually get together Christmas Eve, and everything was fine, and I had no idea what happened.”

Mike Siliekus said his daughter was a treasure.

“She worked at the Rite Aid. All the people loved her there. We couldn’t walk by without people telling us what a wonderful daughter we had.”

A deputy coroner who pronounced the couple dead says he can usually separate his job from his emotions. Dave Truskowsky said it was tough to do that in this case because it was Christmas Day.

“It’s very difficult to determine what happened, why it happened. Why is the question everybody is going to be asking themselves forever, and sometimes there is no answer.”

Stephanie’s father said he hopes for an answer some day.

“This is senseless. I am sorry I can’t do anymore of this. I have to make funeral arrangements.”

South Houston, TX: Mother killed in S. Houton murder-suicide

A man fatally shot himself after allegedly stabbing the mother of his children to death at her south Houston apartment early Saturday morning, authorities said.

Steven Hancock allegedly got into an argument with 29-year-old Delena Anderson around 7 a.m. at an apartment in the 4000 block of Griggs, said Houston Police Department spokesman Victor Senties.

At some point during the argument, Anderson's younger brother, who was asleep in another room with the pair's children, heard the noise and walked into the living room, where he saw his sister being assaulted by Hancock, Senties said.

Hancock then allegedly threatened Anderson's brother with an ice pick and pointed a pistol at him before fleeing the apartment. Anderson's brother called 911 and paramedics took his sister to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where she died of stab wounds, Senties said.

Shortly after the 911 call, patrol officers received a call about a shooting in the 5400 block of Scott, about a half mile from Anderson's apartment, where they found Hancock dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Senties said.

No further information was immediately available. The case is still under investigation.

King and Queen Court House, VA:Husband and wife found dead in possible murder-suicide

KING AND QUEEN COURT HOUSE, Va. (WTVR) – Officers are investigating what could be a murder-suicide in King and Queen County.

Saturday night, the King and Queen County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Virginia State Police, West Point Police Department and King William Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Elsom Mascot Road in reference to a possible shooting.

Chief Deputy Balderson told CBS 6 that upon arrival authorities located two subjects who had suffered fatal gunshot wounds. Robin Stout, 48, and Thomas Stout, 42, both of King and Queen County, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr. and Mrs. Stout were the only occupants in the home at the time of the shooting and preliminary findings are that Mr. Stout shot his wife and then himself with a hand gun.

Their daughter was not at home at the time. She is now with family members.

Police said that they had been called to this home in the past for domestic issues.

The motive for the shootings is unclear and remains under investigation. Police said that there will not be any further information releases until the medical examiner has made their determination.

Grand Rapids, MI: Victim’s Family Doubts Christmas Shooting Was Self-Defense

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — New information from social media is shedding more light on what may have happened Christmas Day when Taneesha Smith shot her boyfriend Darwin Weathers in her Grand Rapids apartment.

Smith told police it was self-defense. However, Weathers’ family isn’t so sure.

“I was hoping to see him on Christmas Day,” said Darwin’s mother, Yvonne Weathers. She said she last talked to Darwin about four hours before Taneesha shot and killed him.

When she heard the news, she was devastated. “I didn’t think. I just started screaming.”

With tears in her eyes, Yvonne read from a Christmas card she had bought for her son: “When a son is as wonderful as you, you just can’t help but love him more every year. Wishing you a very, very, merry Christmas.”

“And I didn’t get to give it to him,” she said. “When I give it to him, it’s going to be in his casket, and that’s not fair because that’s my baby. She didn’t have to do that to my baby. She took my son down there and killed him.”

Jiteshia Taylor, Darwin’s sister, said she talked to him on Christmas Day, and there was no hint anything was wrong, except that Darwin was planning to leave for soon for Saginaw. “He wanted to bring everyone their Christmas gifts,” she said.

But Taneesha wrote a somewhat chilling post on Facebook at about 3:05 p.m. Christmas Day. “I thank God for letting me wake up today an i was happy to see a smile on my kids face but far as my personal life if I had to wake up to this BS I could have stayed sleep all day lord u now my heart but I’m sick of this cause I’m bout to have a brake down sick of not being happy where is my happiness in life smh merry Christmas everybody.”

Taneesha and Darwin had company until about 5:00 p.m., Jiteshia said. The shooting took place just over two hours later, at 7:30 p.m. Then came the arrest and the alleged confession.

“The person she called with the one phone call, she told them that my brother was dead, and she asked what happened, and she said, I guess, they were supposedly arguing,” said Jiteshia. “First she said she pulled out the gun, and then she said it fell out of his pocket, and as they went for it and they were tussling and it went off and he ran out of the apartment, which there was no blood in the apartment.”

Darwin’s family says the story doesn’t make sense.

“I went to the apartment,” said Jiteshia. “If he was shot in the apartment and ran out, there was no traces of blood. It was a carpeted stairs no blood anywhere. And I can’t understand why she would shoot him three times in self defense.”

Neighbors heard the couple running down the stairs the night of the shooting. They said it did sound as if someone was trying to escape. “You could hear them coming down the steps like a commotion, like he was trying to get away,” said a neighbor.

“To me it felt like she shot my son when he was trying to leave, and that’s not self defense,” said Yvonne.

When Jiteshia went to identify her brother’s body, she said he had no bruises, scratches, or signs of a struggle. “The only injuries he had was the wounds from where she shot him,” said Jiteshia. “She missed once.”

Jiteshia said a bullet grazed Darwin’s head and the other went into his side.

Darwin Weathers did have a criminal record stretching back about 10 years, including at least one felony gun charge and three domestic violence reports. He served prison time for a weapons violation.

Taneesha had previously filed a report with the Buena Vista Township Police Department in September stating Darwin had threatened her after an argument over custody of their child. She claimed he pushed her down, pulled out a black semiautomatic pistol from his back, racked the slide, and pointed it at her saying, “I’m not messing with you, I’ll kill you.” The report said she planned to press charges.

However, just about a month later, after moving to Grand Rapids, Taneesha asked Darwin to move there with her, Darwin’s family says. They say she helped arrange for the transportation to get him there.

A Facebook post from October appears to back up his family’s claims that she wasn’t afraid of Weathers. In the post, Taneesha spoke of her happiness over an alleged engagement: “He purpose to me wit a diamond ring I started crying he slip it on my finger an I said yes (in my Kelly price voice) –”

“I believe my brother was planning to leave her, and she didn’t want him to,” said Jiteshia

Taneesha’s family declined comment when we tried to talk to them Friday in Saginaw. Darwin’s family said police shouldn’t let his past record cloud the facts of the case. “You shouldn’t use someone’s history,” said Jiteshia. “I mean, any reports she was supposed to have was hearsay. Never was he taken into custody for anything she said he did.”

“He had a birthday on January 11,” said Yvonne. “He would be 35. He was my first son, my only son, and I loved him dearly.”

Darwin’s family said his funeral is scheduled Thursday in Saginaw.

The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office says they are still working to see if charges should be filed against Taneesha Smith.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crown Point, IN: Illinois man charged with killing pregnant girlfriend

— A Chicago man has been arrested in northwest Indiana on charges of killing his pregnant girlfriend.

The Times reports that 28-old Isiah Barker was in custody Friday on preliminary charges of murder and feticide. It wasn't clear whether he was being held in Lake County or Illinois.

Barker was arrested in the death of Cynthia Funches of Highland, Ind., whose body was found in a storage bin at a home in Chicago in June 2011. An autopsy found she had died from blunt force trauma and that she was about 20 weeks pregnant when she was killed.

A Chicago Police Department report says Funches told officers that Barker struck her about the face and body with his hands and a metal pole about two weeks before she died.

Read more here:

Louisville, KY: Man sentenced to 50 years in prison for murder of girlfriend

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A judge gives a New Albany man 50 years in prison for killing his girlfriend earlier this year.

27-year-old Ivan Chambers pleaded guilty to the crime in October.

Police said Chambers shot 23-year-old Amanda McAnelly in the head, in her apartment at the Plaza Square complex in New Albany on July 20th.

It was a domestic dispute.

They also said Chambers had a child with the victim.

Prosecutors: Man killed ex-girlfriend with knife she gave him as gift

A man who authorities say killed his ex-girlfriend Saturday in Woodridge with a knife he received from her as a present was ordered held without bail today on murder and sex assault charges.

Adam Belmont was charged in the weekend stabbing death of Alyssa Van Meter, 25, of Woodridge, and appeared at a Monday afternoon hearing before DuPage County Judge Alex McGimpsey, who denied bail after hearing prosecutors outline how Belmont climbed a balcony to enter his girlfriend’s apartment before he killed her.
Once inside, Belmont confronted Van Meter, who had ended their relationship, Assistant State’s Attorney Tim Diamond said. Belmont later choked her and then stabbed her to death before sexually assaulting her, Diamond said.

Prior to the attack, Van Meter had sent a text message to her new boyfriend about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night, according to prosecutors.

It read: “Adam just broke into my apartment.”

Van Meter’s brother discovered her body later Saturday night in her bedroom at the apartment in the 2400 block of Forest Drive where she and the brother lived. Prosecutors said Belmont, 23, had previously lived there, too, but had moved out after his relationship with Van Meter ended about a week ago, Diamond said.

Woodridge police traced Belmont to his mother’s home in Northlake, Diamond said, and he was taken into custody later the same night.

Over the next 24 hours, the prosecutor said, he gave several statements describing what had happened. Friday night, Belmont came to the apartment to talk to Van Meter and before he left, he placed a knife on a shelf in her bedroom. It was a gift from Van Meter and had their names inscribed on it, along with an anniversary date, Diamond said.

Saturday night, Belmont returned and scaled a balcony support to reach the second-floor apartment. He then used a different knife to slice through a screen and enter via an unlocked window. Van Meter confronted him, they spoke for several minutes, and when it appeared she would not be willing to get back together, Belmont “snapped” and choked her into unconsciousness, Diamond said.

When Van Meter started to regain consciousness, Belmont took the gift knife from the shelf and stabbed her once in the chest, piercing her heart. He then removed most of her clothing before he stripped and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

Police recovered a bloody knife and a set of Van Meter’s keys at a shed at his mother’s house. During a police interview, Belmont told authorities that he put the items there, Diamond said.

Van Meter and her brother both worked as tow truck operators. She had recently been in the New York area volunteering with relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy victims, authorities said.

In addition to first-degree murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault, Belmont is also charged with felony murder and home invasion.Before this afternoon, authorities had released no information about Van Meter's slaying, although it took place Saturday.

 "We knew early in the investigation that this was an isolated incident which led us to the victim’s ex-boyfriend," Woodridge Police Chief Ken Boehm said in the release. "At no time was public safety at risk."

Eaton Township, OH: Ohio man charged with killing girlfriend

Eaton Township, OH, United States (4E) – A 25-year-old man has been accused of killing his girlfriend in Lorain County, Ohio Tuesday night.

Police said a concerned citizen called for help after Adams Grimes claimed he did something awful to his girlfriend, 29-year-old Melanie Hruby, and believed he killed her.

Responding deputies arrived at the suspect’s home located at Avon-Belden Road in Eaton Township around 11 p.m. and detained Grimes, who waiting outside his residence, when officials arrived.

Deputies found the body of Hruby when they entered the home. She reportedly sustained obvious signs of blunt trauma.

Grimes was brought to the Lorain County Correctional Facility and is scheduled to appear in the Elyria Municipal Court Wednesday morning on charges of aggravated murder and felonious assault.

Smyrna, GA: Smyrna man arrested in Nevada for wife's strangulation death

Smyrna police said a man was arrested in Reno, Nevada early Wednesday for his wife's murder.

Derrick Williams, 30, was wanted for killing his wife 33-year-old Finesse Dawson, according to police.

Police said Williams tried to cover it up. They said he cleaned up Dawson's body, then wrapped her in bedding to hide the crime.

Autopsy results from the Cobb County Medical Examiner revealed evidence of strangulation as a cause of death.

Warrants were issued for malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery and concealing the death of other, along with other charges.

Williams resisted arrested, according to police.

Cornwall, NY: Cornwall man killed wife, self, police say

CORNWALL — A husband shot his wife to death and then killed himself, state police said.
Joseph Oliva, 58, and Sandra Oliva, 54, were found dead on Friday by troopers responding to a suspected murder-suicide at their residence on Mine Hill Road in the Town of Cornwall, police said.
The bodies were taken to Orange Regional Medical Center in the Town of Wallkill for autopsies.
"They were wonderful people," said Donna McMahon, whose backyard overlooks the Olivas' property. "I just don't understand."
Police have not said what prompted them to check on the residence. But McMahon said she first noticed officers knocking on the windows and trying to get into the home sometime between noon and 12:30 p.m.
Another neighbor, Patricia Wemmer, at first noticed the police cars parked outside the house. Her son then called home after he began hearing rumors about the shooting.
Wemmer did not know the Olivas. But "even if you don't know them you feel horrible," she said.
"After listening all day to what was going on with the school shooting, and then to have that was almost like having a double whammy at your doorstep," Wemmer said.
The Olivas bought their two-bedroom contemporary-style home in 1995, McMahon said. The couple had a daughter in college and were known to have regular summer pool parties, she said.
Just a week ago Joseph Oliva decorated the house with Christmas lights.
"They were really beautiful lights," McMahon said.

Madison County, NC: Deputies: NC man shoots and kills wife, mother-in-law

MADSION COUNTY, N.C. — Officials said a North Carolina man killed his wife and elderly mother-in-law while their children hid in the basement Friday night in Madison County.

WSOC reported that James Lagrua, 61, was arrested in the death of 58-year-old Stephanie Lagrua and her mother Hilma Barnett.

Deputies said they found the bodies in the kitchen and a bedroom. James Lagrua is also accused of killing the family pet.

Authorities said the couple had no record of domestic violence at the home.

Lagrua was reportedly charged with two counts of murder and cruelty to animals.

Atlanta, GA: GA woman to serve life sentence in husband's death

ATLANTA -- The Fulton County District Attorney announced a 45-year-old woman has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting her 26-year-old newlywed husband.

Jurors Thursday found Arelisha Bridges guilty of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses in the death of Anthony Rankins Jr.

Authorities say Bridges shot Rankins five times near a popular Atlanta restaurant in March of 2010.

Investigators recovered the gun from the pocket of the woman's bathrobe, and say the shooting stemmed from an argument over a pair of house keys.

Officials say the couple had been married for six days.

Long Beach, IN: Long Beach man charged with voluntary manslaughter

MICHIGAN CITY — The La Porte County Prosecutor’s office has charged John Brennan Larkin, 47, 2913 Lothair Way, Long Beach, Ind., with voluntary manslaughter in the death of his wife, Stacey R. Larkin, 41, who was found dead at their home at about 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11.

According to Long Beach police, at about 7:15 p.m. Dec. 11, police responded to 2913 Lothair Way in Long Beach on a report of a woman being shot in the chest. The shooting was reported by an unknown caller who told police that a woman had been shot, and then hung up.

As police officers were dispatched, it was reported that children in the home had fled to a neighbor’s home nearby. Long Beach Police Chief Bob Sulkowski later said the couple’s children were being cared for by neighbors and members of the victim’s family.

Neighbors expressed sadness and surprise at what occurred.

“It’s just a horrible thing,” said Jane Scott, who lives across the street from the home where the shooting took place. Scott said four children all under the age of 14 were living in the home.

She didn’t know the family very well but did say hello to them whenever she saw them while checking her mail or doing something else outside.

“They seemed like normal people,” said Scott.

“They had four lovely kids,” said another neighbor, Richard Sweney, who was familiar enough with the family to know the couple’s children on a first-name basis.

“I went out to turn on my Christmas lights and saw the street was full of police cars,” said Sweney.

Sweney said fatal shootings are reported in the news from different areas of the country on a regular basis, and to have someone shot to death so close to his home is disheartening.

“It’s a bummer because we are in a nice neighborhood and then you have the same thing next door. It’s pretty awful,” said Sweney.

Stacey Larkin was a registered nurse at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in the Intensive Care Unit.

John Larkin was a candidate for one of the Long Beach Town Council at-large seats in 2011, but lost by three votes. Public records indicate he worked in real estate. A John Larkin was listed an as “office associate” on the website for Crawford Group Sotheby’s International Realty in New Buffalo.

La Porte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi interviewed John Larkin on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 13, before notifying the media by phone of the charge he planned to file in the case. At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Lt. Todd Bullis and Officer Michael Chastain, assisted by Deputy Prosecutor Rob Neary, testified in a probable cause hearing in La Porte Superior Court 1 before Judge Kathleen Lang, who found probable cause for the voluntary manslaughter charge.

Voluntary manslaughter is defined as the unjustified unexcused intentional killing of a human being by another person without malice aforethought and with heat of passion.

On Dec. 13, La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan said Stacey Larkin’s manner of death is being listed as “homicide” as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.

Sulkowski said the incident appeared to be a domestic dispute. Sulkowski said police are continuing the investigation and could not comment further on the details of what led up to the shooting.

John Larkin reportedly bonded out of the La Porte County Jail on Friday, Dec. 14, by posting a $10,000 cash bond with the La Porte County clerk. He had been in custody in the La Porte County Jail since early Wednesday morning, Dec. 12.

His initial hearing in La Porte Superior Court 1 in Michigan City was set for Thursday, Dec. 20.

Assisting Long Beach Police in the investigation, in addition to Michigan City Police and La Porte County Sheriff deputies, were the prosecutor’s office, coroner’s office, La Porte County Emergency Medical Service and the Long Beach Fire Department.

Rockford, IL: Katrina Smith case: Todd Smith pleads not guilty in wife's death

ROCKFORD — Todd C. Smith today entered a not guilty plea to a Winnebago County Grand Jury bill of indictment charging him with first degree murder and other crimes in the beating death Katrina Smith, his 30-year-old wife.

If convicted of the most serious charges of first degree murder in a heinous and cruel manner, he could be sentenced to life in prison. He is also charged with first degree murder while committing aggravated domestic battery, unlawful restraint and concealment of a homicide.

Wearing a red jail jumpsuit, Smith, 45, answered Judge John Truitt in a near whisper that he understood the charges against him.

They include allegations that he forced his wife into the trunk of a car on or about Oct. 22, beat her to death with a baseball bat and threw her into the Rock River, where she was discovered weeks after he reported her missing.

Family, friends and dozens of volunteers aided police in a massive search for Katrina or any evidence of her location. Her body was found Nov. 9 by an off-duty Byron firefighter fishing in the Rock River south of Byron.

Smith who had participated in the search for his wife and had made statements of concern for her, was arrested Nov. 20 for her murder. He is being held in the Winnebago County Jail on $4 million bond, which means $400,000 would need to be posted for his release.

Atlanta, GA: Georgia Man Wanted in Wife's Death Arrested in Reno

ATLANTA (AP) - A northern Georgia man who was wanted in the death of his 33-year-old wife has been arrested in Reno, Nevada.

Authorities say 30-year-old Derrick Williams, of Smyrna, was arrested late Tuesday night on a bus leaving Nevada for Sacramento. He was wanted after his wife, Finesse Dawson, was found dead Dec. 5.

The Cobb County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy and determined Dawson had been strangled. Police say Williams tried concealing the evidence.

Authorities issued a warrant for Williams and learned he was traveling by bus from Chicago to Sacramento.

U.S. Marshals say Williams resisted arrest but was subdued and taken into custody. Authorities say he was carrying a handgun at the time of his arrest.

It is not known if Williams has an attorney.

Anchorage, AK: Army specialist charged in wife’s death

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Army specialist has been arrested in the shooting death of his wife.

KTUU reported that 24-year-old David Lopez has been charged with first- and second-degree murder, terroristic threatening and resisting arrest after the shooting death of his wife, Sara Lopez.

Charging documents said the Rochester, N.Y., man also threatened to kill social workers who took his daughter away Wednesday after a report of child abuse.

The documents said that shortly after that call, he called police from their East Anchorage apartment, saying he thought he had shot his wife. The documents allege he said he shot her because she was responsible for their daughter being “taken away.”

Responding medics declared Sara Lopez dead at the scene. Police said among the many weapons in the home was an AK-47-style rifle.

Wichita, KS: Husband arrested in wife's death

WICHITA, Kansas -- A 61-year-old woman is dead, and her husband is under arrest for allegedly killing her.
Homicide detectives discovered Debra K. Palmer in her home in the 6800 block of East Farmview shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday morning.
Officers went to check on her welfare after receiving a call.

They found Palmer with multiple stab wounds in her basement.
"It appears possibly the marriage may have been coming to an end which may have been a motive for the homicide," said Detective Randy Reynolds, Wichita Police Department.

Wichita police say Palmer's husband turned himself in and was booked on charges of first degree murder.

The case will now be turned over to the district attorney.

The homicide is the 25th in Wichita this year, and it is the fifth homicide involving domestic abuse.

Kalamazoo, MI: Marital issues preceded murder-suicide

MIDDLETON, Mich. (WOOD) - The mother of the victim in an apparent murder-suicide said her daughter and son-in-law were having some marital problems in the weeks before they were found dead early Sunday.
Nawful and Andrea Rachdi, ages 25 and 29, were found dead around 2 a.m. after police responded to reports of a fight in their Kalamazoo home.

Andrea's mother and father, Terry and Joseph Loynes, were informed of their daughter's death Sunday morning when an officer knocked on the door of their home in Middleton.

"I first heard somebody pounded at the door," Terry said, recalling the Gratiot County deputy who put them in touch with a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety lieutenant.

"That's when we got the news that Andrea had been killed," Terry said, adding the family only knew details from reading 24 Hour News 8 coverage online and what little information police have told them.

"Andrea was the victim, and her husband was the one that shot her," Terry said.

On Monday, authorities said an 8-inch kitchen knife was found next to the couple. Autopsy results revealed Nawfal Rachdi used an "edged weapon" to kill Andrea, then himself.

Investigators have not said what caused the reported fight between the couple.

The Rachdis married a year and a half ago, and had one son together. Andrea had two other children from a previous relationship.

"They were having some problems, but they were working on them," Terry said.

Andrea's mother knew her son-in-law was getting increasingly angry in recent weeks and suggested to her daughter that the couple go to counseling.

"I know she was going to try to do that," she said. "Unfortunately, she didn't get a chance."

Andrea was a nurse and Nawfal was going to school full-time.

"She was always smiling," Terry said. "She just wanted to help people."

Andrea's parents said they are grateful their grandchildren were not in the home when the violence happened.

Now, with few answers about why the children's mother is gone, the family's focus is on them.

"Our biggest concern is our grandchildren growing up without a mom and dad," Terry Loynes said. "We just want to make sure they are provided for."

The family will eventually set up a memorial fund for those three children. Details on that are not yet available.

Grand Rapids, MI: 3 people names in murder-suicide in Grand Rapids

Police say 27-year-old Marvin Lockridge killed the women Monday before shooting himself in the same vehicle. The victims were 31-year-old Quiana Phillips and 21-year-old Chelsea Magoon, both from Grand Rapids.

Lockridge and Phillips had a child together.

Grand Rapids police said Lockridge and Phillips had a counseling session at Arbor Circle Counseling before the shooting. The president of Arbor Circle said he can't talk about the couple's counseling.

Las Vegas, NV: Gunman in Vegas murder-suicide was from Lake Forest

Police have identified the gunman in a murder-suicide that took place in Las Vegas Friday: Edward Brandt of Lake Forest.

Police say Brandt walked up to the concierge at the Excalibur Hotel around 8:30 Friday night -- and shot employee Jessica Kenny.

Brandt then pointed the gun at his head and took his own life.

Police say the two had dated in the past, but not recently.

One of Kenny's co-workers says, Kenny knew that Brandt was coming to Vegas; and that she said she didn't want to get back together with him because he was "crazy."                                                                                                                               

Butler Township, PA: Investigation continues in Butler Twp. murder-suicide

It will take weeks before investigators will be able to confidently say what events led to the murder-suicide deaths of a Butler Township husband and wife.

Township police Chief David Pavelko said his department continues to investigate the crime involving John Walton, 51, and Stacy Walton, 41. Both were found deceased Monday morning in their home at 470 E. Butler Drive, next to Hi-Tor East Terrace.

Pavelko said further testing is being done at a crime laboratory and because the results might not be available for weeks, it could take that much time for police to determine exactly what happened.

Acting Luzerne County Coroner William Lisman said each victim died of a single gunshot wound, but that he is unable to say who the murder victim was until further testing is completed.

"It's a lengthy process to gather the facts," Pavelko said of the investigation.

The couple were found by their son, John Jr., and Stacy's father, who went looking for them after it appeared they hadn't left their home in the Hi-Tor East development as expected Monday morning, Lisman said. Pavelko said the Waltons were found in the same room of the ranch-style home but declined to say which part of the home they were found in.

Pavelko said police have completed their investigation of the scene after spending hours at the home Monday. Officers initially were dispatched to the home at about 7:30 a.m. and remained there until about 6:30 p.m.

The Waltons were together since about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, but investigators were unsure when they died, Lisman said. Pavelko said earlier Monday that he did not believe anyone else was in the home Sunday night or Monday morning.

Stacy Walton was a well-respected elementary and middle school English as a second language teacher in the Hazleton Area School District, according to school officials. She worked at the Freeland, Drums, Arthur Street and Valley schools, and was employed by the district for 10 to 12 years, officials said.

John Walton was a local contractor specializing in paving.

According to Luzerne County Court records, John Walton filed for divorce Nov. 28. According to a county property database, the couple purchased their home in August 2009.

Longmont, CO: Gunman Released From Jail Hours Before Killings

Investigators were unable to immediately determine when a shooter purchased a gun used to kill three people, including his ex-girlfriend, who was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher when she was killed.

The gunman who had just been released from jail on domestic violence charges then shot and killed himself Tuesday, Weld County Sheriff John Cook said. Investigators searching the gunman's home found the original box the handgun had been sold in, but they did not find a receipt, and it was unclear when he bought it, Cook said.

The victims included the ex-girlfriend's sister and the sister's husband. All were found dead in a home in unincorporated Weld County outside Longmont, about 35 miles north of Denver.

Cook identified the dead as 25-year-old Beatriz Cintora-Silva; her sister, Maria Cintora-Silva, 22; and Max Aguirre Ojeda, 32, who was Maria Cintora-Silva's husband.

The gunman was identified as Daniel Sanchez, 31.

Sanchez had just been released from jail on domestic violence charges.

Authorities said Beatriz Cintora-Silva called 911 shortly after 4 a.m. to report shots fired. The 911 dispatcher heard her cry, "No, no, no," followed by a gunshot.

Sanchez took the phone, told the dispatcher he had killed three people and that he was going to kill himself, authorities said. The dispatcher then heard a single shot followed by silence.

Cook said Sanchez had been arrested Saturday in Longmont on charges of domestic violence, kidnapping and false arrest for allegedly holding his ex-girlfriend against her will after their relationship ended.

Sanchez was released on bail from the Boulder County jail at 10 p.m. Monday and drove to the home where Cintora-Silva had taken refuge with her sister and brother-in-law, Cook said.

"He shot out the back door," Cook said. "He shot that out then gained entry into the house."

The bodies of Ojeda and his wife were found in one bedroom. His sister-in-law and Sanchez were found in another, Cook said.

Authorities found a .45-caliber Glock handgun near Sanchez's body and 16 spent shell casings around the house, Cook said, adding that investigators were still examining the house and might find more.

Cook said Sanchez had two magazines for the gun, and each held 13 rounds of ammunition.

Sanchez had been living in another house in the same neighborhood of tidy modular homes, winding walkways and parks.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Queens, NY: Police arrest man in stabbing death of girlfriend, 62, in Queens over weekend

Cops Monday night busted the man suspected of stabbing his 62-year-old girlfriend to death in Queens.

Police charged Robert Wall, 63, with murder and criminal possession of a weapon after discovering Lorraine Cetrone's stabbed and decomposing body in the couple's 54th Ave. apartment in Corona Sunday morning.

They also found Wall in the home with a self-inflicted stab wound to the chest and wearing only a pair of socks and underwear.

Baton Rouge, LA: Man booked in stabbing death of girlfriend

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Baton Rouge police have arrested a man in the stabbing death of his girlfriend following an argument the two had in her home.
Cpl. Tommy Stubbs said in a news released received by The Advocate  48-year-old Mark Turner was booked Monday with second-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Shalonda Green.
Stubbs says police were called to Green's home after 1 a.m. and had to chase Turner who tried to run away.
When police caught him, Stubbs says they saw Turner was covered in blood and had cuts on his hands, arms and abdomen.
It was unclear whether Turner has an attorney.

Flagstaff, AZ: Police arrest man who killed girlfriend near Flagstaff

FLAGSTAFF -- According to ABC15, the search for a Arizona man who allegedly killed his girlfriend in a residential neighborhood east of Flagstaff this morning has concluded.

Detectives with the Coconino County Sheriff's Department arrested 19-year-old Maurice Holmes Friday night and charged him with one count of first-degree homicide in connection with the murder of his girlfriend Alisha Joe.

Joe, a 27-year-old, was found dead in a home off of Black Horse Road early Friday morning.

Holmes was present at the residence in Cosinino when police found Joe lying in a back bedroom, and following a series of questions he was arrested a short time later.

While Holmes has been detained, the Coconino County Sheriff's Department has said it's still an on-going murder investigation.

Ewing, NE: Neb. man charged with killing ex-girlfriend, man

EWING, Neb. (AP) — Prosecutors say a northeast Nebraska man killed his ex-girlfriend and the man she was living with before setting fire to their mobile home last weekend.
Those new details emerged as 33-year-old Matthew Hinrichsen, of Ewing, was preparing to make his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
Hinrichsen is accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of 25-year-old Victoria Lee, of Missouri Valley, Iowa, and 30-year-old Gabino Vargas, of Omaha.
Court documents say Hinrichsen had been having problems recently with Lee, who was his ex-girlfriend.
Officers arrested Hinrichsen early Saturday morning at his parents' home after he admitted to his father that he had killed two people.
Hinrichsen was naked when police took him into custody because his clothes had been burned.
Court records don't list the name of Hinrichsen's attorney.

Stockton, CA: Man killed girlfriend, lived with rotting corpse, officials say

Prosecutors say a Stockton man lived with his girlfriend's rotting corpse for months after killing her.

In court last week, prosecutors alleged that the man hit is girlfriend on the head with a a metal table pedestal, raped her and stabbed her 32 times.

Devon Epps was evicted from his apartment in December 2011. The next day, when the apartment manager stopped by, they found a dead body in the bathroom.

Epps was arrested and then arraigned a few days later. At an earlier hearing, he yelled at a San Joaquin County judge, according to Fox 40.

Investigators identified the body as Veronica Jones, who was last seen at a family function with Epps in May 2011.

In court, prosecutors showed photos of Jones' rotting corpse in the apartment.

Upper Darby, PA: Upper Darby man pleads guilty to third-degree murder of wife

MEDIA COURTHOUSE — An Upper Darby man accused of strangling his wife in an alleged suicide pact pleaded guilty last week to a single charge of third-degree murder, a felony of the first degree.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Gurinder Singh, 53, and Jaswinder Kaur, 47, of the first block of Winfield Avenue, were found fully clothed in their bed on the afternoon of Feb. 22 by their son, who had received voicemails form his father to come home. The husband and wife had scarves tied tightly around their necks, which the son untied before calling 911, according to the affidavit.

Jaswinder Kaur was pronounced dead at the scene and Singh was transported to Delaware County Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Assistant District Attorney Sam Yim indicated at a preliminary hearing that he would be prosecuting Singh for first and third degree murder based on bruises found on the dead woman, which pointed to signs of a struggle.
As Judge James Nilon explained to Singh during the Dec. 4 hearing, Yim would have to show that Singh had killed his wife with malice to prevail on the third degree murder charge to which he was pleading.

Singh, a soft-spoken man, said he understood and wished to continue with his plea. Under the agreement worked out by Yim and Scott Kramer, sentencing will not go outside the standard range of 90 to 240 months. Both sides are expected to present evidence at that hearing, scheduled for Jan. 23.

Deer Lodge, MT: Deer Lodge man turns self in connection with wife's death

DEER LODGE – A Deer Lodge man who turned himself in to police Sunday in connection with the death of his wife late Saturday night has been identified.

The husband is 65-year-old Dennis Schowengerdt, according to Powell County Sheriff Scott F. Howard.

Howard confirmed that Schowengerdt, a retired mechanic, drove to the station at about 8 a.m. Sunday and told officers he killed his wife, 66-year-old Tina Schowengerdt, at their home near Racetrack outside of town.

Dennis Schowengerdt confessed to the crime and did not show any remorse, Howard told reporters. The murder was committed in the couple's living room using a large "Rambo-style" knife.

Howard described the attack as violent and angry. The Schowengerdts had a troubled relationship, he added, and police had been called to their home numerous times in the past.

Dennis Schowengerdt waited until morning to feed horses and sheep on their property before turning himself in. He did explain his motive, but Howard declined to comment pending further investigation.

The couple owned the MRC Station on Main Street. Tina Schowengerdt was also involved in the Powell County Chamber of Commerce.

Dennis Schowengerdt is currently held in the Powell County Detention Center without bond. Charges have not yet been filed, but County Attorney Lewis Smith is working on documents that would charge Schowengerdt in district court with felony deliberate homicide and committed with a weapons enhancement.

Payson, AZ: Husband in Murder-Suicide was a 'Freak'

A tragic murder-suicide took place in Payson, Ariz. on Wednesday, but in this story it appears that there aren't many nice things being said about the husband. In fact, he's being labeled a "freak" among other words. The incident horrified neighbors in the late afternoon hours when a gunshot rang through the neighborhood. It was the shot that killed Payson realtor Marjeane Easley -- who died instantly in the garage of the home in which she sought refuge away from her husband.

Neighbors watched in terror as the man fumbled with a pistol in the driveway of the home before turning the gun on himself and pulling the trigger. Unlike his estranged wife, Easley didn't die instantly but was pronounced dead later at a nearby hospital.

This murder-suicide was one that was probably expected, seeing as though one family member labeled Thomas Easley a "freak" who had an obsession with guns and was a heavy drinker. It's also reported that Marjeane had been trying to leave the man for years but he was allegedly abusive. She finally left him, filing for divorce, but he had supposedly been stalking her.

This is a truly tragic case that should have never happened. The woman who died as a result of this man's erratic behavior had expressed concern in the past, but nothing could be done to protect her. Was he seeking treatment for his apparent mental issues or was this a display of the utter failure the mental health system is in this country?

Waipahu, HI: Recently wed couple involved in Waipahu attempted murder-suicide

Residents of a Waipahu neighborhood say the couple involved in Sunday night's attempted murder-suicide were quiet neighbors.

Neighbors say the couple recently got married and kept to themselves.

"It's usually quiet here," said Rhona Ramos, neighbor.

"It's a dead-end street, rarely people come here and make trouble," said Jayna Muao, neighbor.

But the scene at Apii Place in Waipahu, was much different Sunday night. At 11:00 p.m., police were called to a domestic dispute at this house.

"As we come outside, there were a lot of cops, we heard people cursing and stuff," Muao said.

Police say 40-year-old Anthony Kaai repeatedly hit his 23-year-old wife in the head with a hammer. Neighbors describe a chaotic scene.

"An older lady running out of the door and she was hysterical and screaming. And I heard a man say "it's a hammer," " Ramos said.

According to police, Kaai fled on foot to the nearby Hiapo Street Bridge. That's where police tried to negotiate with him. They say he refused to cooperate, jumped, and later died.

Police closed nearby streets as they investigated the incident.

Neighbors are shocked. They say, they've never witnessed anything out of the ordinary at the house.

"I know they recently just moved in," Ramos said.

Another neighbor believes the couple got married earlier this year. The neighbor says the woman moved here from the Philippines, and the couple lived with her relatives.

"I see them going to the store and leaving the house but fighting, no," Ramos said.

The victim went to the hospital Sunday night in critical condition, but has been upgraded to serious.

Cleveland, OH: Victim identified in Ohio airport murder-suicide

CLEVELAND (AP) — The medical examiner has identified the airport security officer killed in a murder-suicide at an employee parking lot at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
She was identified Monday as 20-year-old Kimberly Alkahder (AL'-keh-dehr) of Strongsville.
Police say 28-year-old Ahmad Alkahder fatally shot his estranged wife — a Transportation Security Asministration officer — before killing himself Sunday.
The wife and a second TSA employee were commuting to work. Police say Ahmad Alkahder apparently followed her to the off-site lot, blocked her in her car with his vehicle and began firing.
Police say he fired at the other TSA agent but missed.
The shooting occurred at a lot north of the airport.

Danbury, CT: Connecticut man charged in wife's death arraigned

Robert Bell was arraigned Monday in Danbury Superior Court and bail was set at $750,000. He is charged with first-degree manslaughter with a firearm and other offenses.

Authorities say Bell allegedly shot his wife, Svetlana, four times after an altercation Saturday night.
Police say they found Svetlana Bell unresponsive on the kitchen floor, with apparent gunshot wounds to her chest area. She was transported to Danbury Hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

A message was left with a public defender representing Bell.

The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence says the killing highlights the serious problem of domestic violence in the state.

Las Vegas, NV: Woman Murdered in Domestic Dispute Identified

LAS VEGAS -- Nichole Nick, 29, of Las Vegas is the victim of a weekend homicide at the Canyon Points Apartment Complex in the 5400 block of E. Harmon Avenue.

Patrol officers discovered the front picture window of the apartment broken out and found two women suffering from multiple gunshot wounds inside the residence.

Nick died at the scene. The second victim, described as an elderly female, was transported to an area hospital for treatment of her injuries and the third victim was a juvenile that was found uninjured inside of the residence.

Homicide detectives determined the shooting is the result of a domestic dispute, and have identified Robert Brown Jr., 42 years of age of Las Vegas, as a person of interest in this crime.

Brown and Nick had been involved in a dating relationship prior to the shooting.

The suspect is described as a white male adult standing 5-foot-8 and weighing approximately 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He is believed to be driving a red 2006 Nissan Pathfinder with Nevada personalized license plates "ARIYL".

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the LVMPD Homicide Section at 828-3521 or Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.

Washington, DC: Woman’s slaying at D.C. bus stop haunts others fleeing domestic violence

“Could’ve been any one of us,” said one of the women,who is in hiding at a House of Ruth-operated safe house for victims of domestic violence. She looked behind me or around the corner when she was talking, only occasionally stopping to meet my eyes.

“Every day, this is what we’re all afraid of. He got her. And there’s another child without a mother,” she said.

On Sunday, 20-year-old Selina Brown was shot in the face in Southeast Washington, allegedly by the father of her toddler daughter, police said.

Brown, who lived in Northeast Washington, collapsed dead as she was boarding a B2 bus. She had been holding her daughter. Witnesses said the little girl was covered in her mother’s blood, and police said she had been injured by a bullet.

The toddler’s physical injuries were not serious. But her emotional well being? Forever scarred.
“I know I have memories from when I was that young. That child will remember this forever,” said one of the hiding mothers.

On Monday, police were searching for Javon S. Foster, 27, who is wanted on a second-degree murder count in Brown’s killing. But later in the day, police sources said that they believed Foster had killed himself on Long Island.

Witnesses said Brown argued with the gunman before boarding the bus about 5:40 p.m. in the 1800 block of Minnesota Avenue SE.

The bus driver, who police said was injured during the incident, went a block or so, fleeing the gunfire, with the dead woman on the bus, then stopped.

Brown is the stepdaughter of D.C. Police Officer Derrick Ferguson, said D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier.

It had to be especially hard to see that even a police officer can’t protect his own child from a bad — a fatal — relationship.

Lanier made it to the bus stop Sunday night.

“Horrible,” Lanier said. “Very disturbing scene last night.”

Brown was not a resident at the safe house where I stopped to talk to women. As soon as they heard about the shooting, they checked in with one another and made sure they were all accounted for. They didn’t know her name, but they all figured they knew her story.

“Our families don’t even know where we are, but every day at the bus stop, walking on the street, you’re looking around, worried he’s gonna find you. Just like that,” said one of the mothers, who kept pulling up her shirt to cover the scarring on her neck as she was talking to me.

She is staying at a place far from her neighborhood, far from the man who hurt her. But she’s still on edge.

Another woman, a mother of four children, said she is always nervous because she’s not too far from her old place.

“You’re just always afraid of who might see you,” she said.

At that moment, in the morning mist when a few breaths of fresh air felt like a tiny bit of stolen freedom, the women were ushered inside.

“Come in. If you want to talk, let’s talk inside,” said the director of the battered women’s shelter.
“We don’t want our location, our name, anything in the paper, okay?” the director told me, after closing the door.

Of course.

The small group of women I talked to had been in hiding for about two to three months. They ran for safety, leaving behind the horror, but also leaving behind their clothes, their kids’ clothes, toys, favorite blankies.

“This time of year, it’s really hard to explain to them why we’re not home. Why we don’t have all their things, their clothes and what not,” another woman told me.

So places such as the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence holds toy drives and clothing collections to help.

“You want them to feel as comfortable as they can this time of year,” said Lynea Woody, communications and development director for the coalition.

The temptation “to have the family together” at this time of year is there, for sure. Especially for the women I talked to, who left their abusive relationships mere months ago.

And that is why the violent incidents always increase around the holidays. Overall, the approximately 30,000 calls for domestic violence that D.C. police have received this year are a little fewer than the number of calls they received in the past, Woody said.

But in the past week, two women were killed in what appear to be domestic violence cases. On Thursday, 63-year-old Shirley Renee Tucker was shot dead. Police arrested her 73-year-old boyfriend, Joseph Chandler.

“The holidays are a difficult time, in general, but especially if you have children,” Woody said. “We sympathize with how difficult it may be to up and leave the family, but in some cases, the alternative can be a loss of life.”

And the women grabbing a few minutes in the fresh air Monday morning know that. Right now, they have their lives. And hearing the story of Brown on the B2 bus, the baby, the blood. They’ll take what they’ve got today.