Thursday, April 26, 2012

Morgantown, WV: Father-In-Law Charged In Woman’s Shooting Death In Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (KDKA) — A young mother is dead and her father-in-law has been taken into police custody following a shooting in the parking lot of a Walmart in Morgantown, W. Va.

Authorities say the victim, identified as 29-year-old Shannon Stafford, was on her way to meet up with a family member to do some shopping when the shooting happened.

It was just before 10 a.m. Saturday when the parking lot became the scene of the deadly shooting.

“There was a man out in the parking lot shooting, and they were locking the store down,” said Cherie Johnson, a customer at the store. “Nobody was allowed in or out.”

According to Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston, the suspect has been identified as 54-year-old Larry Mitchell, Stafford’s father-in-law.

“He shot her several times as she sat in her vehicle,” said Chief Preston. “Stafford exited her vehicle as Mitchell continued to fire until she fell and collapsed.”

According to police, Mitchell then went back to his truck. But before he could take off, officials say several Good Samaritans held Mitchell down until police got there.

“He was basically admitting to it, the shooting; and once we got over there, we ordered him to the ground and we tried to tell him to be quiet,” said David Frischknecht, a witness.

Officers credit those who held Mitchell for their heroics, saying their efforts were critical in this case.

“This is one of those cases where who knows where we’d be right now had they not done that,” said Chief Preston.

Officers say others were also trying to help Stafford when they arrived, but the mother of one was dead. They say Mitchell’s son was currently divorcing Stafford, and that an ongoing domestic dispute may have prompted the deadly shooting.

Mitchell is facing charges of murder and is being held in the Doddridge Regional Jail in W. Va.

Authorities say they’re looking into how Mitchell knew Stafford was going to Walmart, but believe that he acted alone.

Santa Fe, NM: Man killed after several altercations with ex-girlfriend's father in community near Espanola

Authorities in Rio Arriba County say a man who had several confrontations with his ex-girlfriend's family in a community outside Espanola has been shot by the woman's father.

Sheriff's spokesman Jake Arnold says the father was arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter after Marcos Atencio was fatally shot Friday afternoon.

Sheriff's spokesman Jake Arnold says the father was arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter after Marcos Atencio was fatally shot Friday afternoon.

Family members of suspect Martin Martinez told deputies that Atencio had gone to the family home multiple times throughout the day. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that each visit led to disputes and Atencio was ordered to leave each time.

Atencio also lived in the small community about 6 miles outside Espanola.

Wilkes-Barre, PA: W-B officials investigating apparent murder-suicide

WILKES-BARRE - Law enforcement officials are investigating an apparent murder-suicide that involved an 82-year-old woman fatally shot in the parking lot of a nursing home where she lived.

Mildred Welebob was pronounced dead about 11 p.m. Friday by Acting Luzerne County Coroner William Lisman. She was shot once, and the coroner has ruled her death a homicide. She was found in the parking lot of St. Luke's Villa in Wilkes-Barre.

Officials said Mrs. Welebob's husband, Chester Welebob of Wilkes-Barre Twp., had arrived at the nursing home Friday to take her outside in her wheelchair as he did almost every day.

But the couple did not return as expected Friday night. After Mrs. Welebob was found, officials began looking for Mr. Welebob.

Eventually, they found him in a field behind the old Wilkes-Barre Twp. High School, near his Wilkes-Barre Twp. home. He was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m., also of a single gunshot.

Assistant District Attorney Jarrett Ferentino said the investigation into the murder-suicide was still open Saturday. Wilkes-Barre police officer are investigating the case.

"It's a very, very unfortunate situation. It appears to be a murder-suicide of an otherwise loving couple who were elderly," Mr. Ferentino said. "The husband visited her regularly, really cared for his wife, that's what people are saying to us.

Investigators will try to determine a motive by interviewing family members and retracing Mr. Welebob's steps. "You try to ascertain the circumstances, but it's difficult because both parties are deceased," Mr. Ferentino said.

St. Luke's Villa administrators were not available for comment Saturday, an employee said. Officials from the Diocese of Scranton, which owns the villa, are cooperating with authorities in the investigation, said diocese spokesman Bill Genello.

Counselors from the Family Service Association will be available for staff members Monday, and diocese officials will review the incident, Mr. Genello said.

Reading, CA: Man suspected of killing girlfriend's baby dies after hanging himself in Shasta County Jail

A man arrested in connection with the killing and kidnap of an 11-month old boy died after the Shasta County sheriff said he tried to hang himself in his jail cell.

The Shasta Regional Medical Center said 23-year-old Christopher James McDonald was removed from life support Tuesday.

The Eureka Times-Standard reports that McDonald was arrested last week on suspicion of killing the boy, Sabastian McDonald, whose body was found on a roadside April 12. The boy was the child of the suspect's former girlfriend, and the two were not related.
Christopher McDonald attempted to hang himself in his cell on Sunday and was taken to the hospital.

The suspect's mother said he will be donating his organs.

Alamogordo, NM: Alamogordo man gets 18 years in infant death

A 30-year-old Alamogordo man was sentenced Thursday in 12th Judicial District Court to 18 years in prison for the 2009 death of a 7-month-old infant.

Bobby C. Hernandez, in a plea agreement with the state on Jan. 3, 2012, pleaded no contest to first-degree felony child abuse negligently resulting in death.

Hernandez will be placed on two years of parole following the completion of his prison sentence. He will also have to pay a $100 DNA sample fee and pay $5 into the domestic violence fund.
Hernandez has been jailed at the Otero County Detention Center since being charged on June 16, 2009, for the death of the infant.

He will receive almost three years of credit for time served while being jailed at OCDC since his arrest.

Alamogordo Department of Public Safety officers and American Medical Response paramedics responded to a 7-month-old infant fall victim around 8:26 p.m. on June 8, 2009.

At the time, ADPS Detective Sgt. Israel Trujillo said an investigation showed the child had been dropped, causing an injury to his head.

The child had been transported to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, then airlifted to University Medical Center in El Paso, where he was pronounced dead by medical staff.

At the time, Trujillo said an ADPS detective traveled to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque to observe the autopsy.

"During the course of the autopsy, we learned there was severe blunt force trauma to the back of the head of the child," he said at the time. During his sentencing hearing, Hernandez apologized to the court and the victim's family.

"I am really sorry," Hernandez said. "I loved Alex with all my heart. I never did anything (to him) out of anger. I didn't mind babysitting Alex. It was an accident."

During Hernandez's sentencing hearing Thursday, the state represented by Deputy District Attorney Peter S. Burns, argued that Hernandez had intentionally slammed the child onto the floor because he was upset over the recent break up with mother of the child, and was upset that the child had a dirty diaper.

Hernandez's defense attorney James Walker argued that it was an accident because Hernandez actually tripped over an inflatable bouncer, got his leg or foot caught up in it, fell forward while holding the child with his hand on the child's bottom area and forgot he was not holding the child's head.

Burns argued for 12th Judicial District Judge Jerry H. Ritter Jr. to rule that Hernandez had committed a serious violent offense by slamming the child on the floor and add 6 1/2 additional years to Hernandez's 18-year mandatory sentence.

Ritter, from the bench, said he believes the state was trying to base Hernandez's case on an intentional act out of anger after the state entered into a plea agreement of child abuse negligently resulting in death, then arguing it couldn't have been negligent -- but intentional -- because the child was badly hurt.

"I heard many times the word 'slamming' in this case," he said. "What does slamming mean in this case? The state has used the word slamming in context to reinforce the idea that it was intentional. I am not sure Hernandez used the word to describe it."

Ritter said he believes Hernandez used the term "slamming" to describe the amount of impact and ruled Hernandez's offense and actions were not a serious violent offense.

Burns said he believes the court gave a reasoned, well thought out and balanced opinion in sentencing Hernandez.

"The state had certainly moved the court to consider Hernandez's offense as a serious violent offense because we're dealing with the death of a human being here," he said. "We felt the circumstances under which this occurred lent themselves to a determination of this nature. However, the court did not agree with the state's rationale and determined we had not proven that in accordance with the existing state of New Mexico case law."

Chicopee, MA: Chicopee shooter Carlos Laguer had long record of domestic violence, possession of illegal firearms, assaults on police

Carlos Laguer, whose two-hour shootout with police wounded a state trooper and terrorized downtown last Friday morning, had a long record of violent crime in Massachusetts.

Preliminary autopsy reports show the 41-year-old Laguer likely shot and killed himself while holed up in the first-floor apartment at 102 West St.

Trooper John Vasquez, taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield for treatment of gunshot wounds to his hand and lower left leg, is now recuperating at home.

Investigators continue to probe Laguer’s violent attack that shaken witnesses described as something akin to the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral or something straight out of a Hollywood movie.

Hampden District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni said Laguer was armed with more than one weapon – including an “automatic-type weapon.” Investigators believe between 70 and 100 bullets were fired when Laguer and local and state police exchanged gunfire.

It started, Mastroianni said, as a reported domestic disturbance at about 7:45 a.m.

Laguer’s first known brush with the law as an adult in Massachusetts involved a domestic altercation as well.

According to Laguer’s conviction summary, provided by the state Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, he was convicted of domestic assault and battery in Northampton District court in 1994, when he was 24 years old. That summary lists his formal name as Carlos A. Gonzalez Laguer or Carlos Gonzalez-Laguer.

A clear pattern of domestic violence, break-ins, possession and discharge of illegal firearms and assaults on police officers and others ensues, according to the criminal offender records.

In a way, Laguer’s final burst of violence last Friday encapsulates all the elements of his long criminal history.

A year after that first Northampton conviction, Laguer was again convicted, in that same courtroom – this time of violating a restraining order.

More convictions ensued over the years, including two counts of possession of a firearm without an FID card in Holyoke District Court in 1997, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of violating a restraining in Northampton in 1998.

Laguer’s most recent convictions – for one of his more violent acts – were handed down in Springfield District Court in 2004. The incident that led to those convictions is eerily similar to last Friday’s – minus the withering gunfire. It was a break-in, followed by an attack on those inside and on the responding police officers.

It started when Laguer broke into an apartment at 20 Healey St. in Springfield on May 21 of that year and assaulted his ex-girlfriend and a man inside.

The victims, according to a report written by Officer John D. Wilson, were able to push Laguer out the door, but not before he inflicted a two-inch scratch on the woman’s chest.

A few moments later, all the windows in the front of the home were smashed out.

When the man went outside to see what was going on, Laguer attacked him. As they rolled around on the broken glass, Laguer bit the man on the arms some 15 to 20 times, according to the report.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

East Manchester, KY: Clay magistrate stabs wife, kills himself

A Clay County magistrate stabbed his wife several times early Wednesday, then shot and killed himself, according to local authorities.

Police don't know why James "Jimbo" Lyttle attacked his wife, Manchester police Chief Chris Fultz said.

Sharon Lyttle, 47, survived the attack. She was in serious condition Wednesday afternoon at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, a spokeswoman said.

The attack happened just after 6 a.m. at the couple's home in East Manchester.

The couple's two sons were home at the time, and one of them called 911, Fultz said.

When emergency workers arrived, Sharon Lyttle said her husband had stabbed her, Fultz said.

James Lyttle, 51, went to an outbuilding after ambulance workers were called and shot himself, authorities said.

Lyttle died from a gunshot to the head from a .38-caliber revolver, Clay County Coroner Danny Finley said.

"We know what happened. We just don't know why," Fultz said Wednesday.

Finley said drug and alcohol use were not suspected as factors in the case.

Lyttle was in his first term as a magistrate.

County Judge-Executive Joe Asher said the case had shocked residents.

"Super-nice guy, well-liked throughout this community," Asher said of James Lyttle.

Asher said a relative of the Lyttles told him Wednesday that the couple had had dinner Tuesday with family and that nothing seemed amiss.

James Lyttle worked in maintenance for the county school system, and he and his wife also had a small store that sold items such as cigarettes and soft drinks, Asher said.

Gov. Steve Beshear will appoint a replacement for Lyttle, Asher said.

Read more here:

Crescent City, CA: Girlfriend arrested after Crescent City man shot, killed; motive in Sunday incident still under investigation

A Crescent City man died after apparently being shot by his girlfriend with a rifle Sunday night near the town of Smith River in Del Norte County.

The Del Norte County Sheriff's Office issued a press release Monday stating it received a call at about 9:50 p.m. Sunday reporting that a person had been shot with a rifle near a turnout on the rural Rowdy Creek Road, less than one mile from U.S. Highway 101 and Smith River.

Jeffrey Bartley, 43, was allegedly shot by 34-year-old Crescent City resident Misty Fitzhugh. Del Norte County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Bill Steven said the two were in a relationship. He said it's unclear what the pair were doing at the turnout. Bartley said that law enforcement officials have had prior contact with Fitzhugh.

The release stated officials with the Smith River Fire Department and Del Norte Ambulance treated Bartley once sheriff's deputies declared the scene safe. Bartley was transported to Sutter Coast Hospital, where he later died.

Fitzhugh was arrested and booked into the Del Norte County jail on suspicion of felony murder. The incident is still under investigation.

Steven said the sheriff's office is still trying to gather evidence and determine a motive.

”The detectives will be spending quite a bit of time on it,” Steven said. “They've been working on it all day.”

He said the sheriff's office will likely be sending out another press release later this week with more details.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office at 464-4191.

Del Norte County Deputy Coroner Mike Henderson said a full autopsy on Bartley is scheduled for today.

Pinellas County, FL: Couple Found Dead Inside Home

The adult children of a Palm Harbor couple made a gruesome discovery inside their parents' home Tuesday morning. The children found Donalyn Clark Walsh and Stephen Douglas Walsh, both age 53, dead inside the home, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The children told investigators they forced their way into the home at 1909 Forest View Drive because they had not heard from their parents since Sunday, April 22.

Investigators say Stephen Walsh shot Donalyn Walsh, then turned the 40 caliber semi-automatic gun on himself. Detectives say that on April 22nd, deputies responded to a call at the home to find the couple had been arguing. While deputies were on scene, Donalyn Walsh left the residence. Detectives say she returned home later that evening. The murder-suicide occurred the evening of April 22, according to investigators.

Greenville Co, S.C: Deputies: Couple dead after domestic dispute


A husband and wife are dead after a domestic dispute Wednesday morning, deputies said.

Master Deputy Jennings Autrey said the Sheriff’s Office was called about a domestic disturbance at about 9:15 a.m. He said deputies responded to the home within minutes.

Deputies said the shooting happened at a home on Geer Highway. Deputies initially thought a shooter might still be in the house, but later determined that both people involved had died.

Coroner Kent Dill said Donnie Roger Redding, 52, and his wife, Rebecca "Becky" Ann Redding, 49, died at the scene. Becky Redding was four days from her fiftieth birthday.

Autrey said Donnie Redding shot his wife with a long gun, and when deputies arrived, Redding shot himself with the same gun.

Speaking of his brother, Calvin Redding said, "I'd like everyone to remember him for the person he was. He was a good person. He always tried to do right."

A witness at the scene, Storm Hawkins, said that he went to the home this morning to help Becky Redding move out. He said she was his mother's friend. Hawkins said when he first arrived at the home, one deputy was there, but within moments a large number of deputies “swarmed” the home.

Hawkins said he was grateful he had not arrived earlier.

“God was looking out for me,” he said.

St. Augustine, FL: St. Augustine man charged in wife's stabbing death


A 47-year-old St. Augustine man is being held without bail after making his first appearance in court Wednesday morning in connection with his wife's stabbing death.

Stephanie Singleton-Gilliam, 44, was killed early Tuesday morning in her home in the 200 block of Duval Street.

Frederick Gilliam was arrested Tuesday evening and booked into the St. Johns County Jail on a charge of second-degree murder.

Deputies responded to the couple's home shortly after 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Gilliam called the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and reported an alleged home invasion in which he and his wife sustained stab wounds by two suspects who reportedly fled the home, deputies said.

Singleton-Gilliam (pictured right, photo courtesy of St. Augustine Record via Facebook) was found dead inside the home from stab wounds to the neck. Gilliam had minor injuries and was transported to Flagler Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Deputies said when they arrived at the home, they found Gilliam on the front porch with blood on his hands and holding a knife.

Gilliam was brought back to the Sheriff's Office after being released from the hospital, and he was questioned by robbery and homicide detectives before his arrest.

"He answered multiple questions with robbery homicide detectives," Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cpl. Catherine Payne said. "Those answers to the questions that were asked were very inconsistent with the evidence."

Singleton-Gilliam was a mother of three and grandmother of one.

"There were other people in the home at the time," Payne said. "The children were home, but they did not witness the event."

The official cause of death will be determined by the District Medical Examiner following an autopsy.

Singleton-Gilliam was the supervisor of the family law division for the St. Johns County Clerk of Courts, where grief counselors were sent to meet with employees Wednesday.

She worked there for more than 14 years and was promoted to supervisor about a year and a half ago, overseeing more than 20 employees who deal with restraining orders, child support and other family law matters.

"The employees are still in shock, as you can well imagine," said St. Johns County Clerk of Courts Cheryl Strickland. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family -- she has children -- her friends, and the community."

Gilliam coached youth sports in West Augustine and worked at the National Guard Armory for Military Affairs.

Singleton-Gilliam was very active in her church and was also the secretary for the West Augustine Improvement Association and the Athletic Association.

Employees at the courthouse held a prayer service for Singleton-Gilliam and her family Tuesday evening.

"She was very well-respected, very well-loved by all the employees," Strickland said. "It's a big loss to our family here at the clerk's office. She was well-liked by the judges, the attorneys, all the agencies that dealt with our office."

Frederick Gilliam worked in military affairs at the Florida National Guard armory. Channel 4 was told he coached youth sports teams in the West Augustine area.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

West Jefferson, OH: Police Search For Man Who Allegedly Shot, Killed Ex-Girlfriend

Police Monday night were searching for a man they considered armed and dangerous.

According to West Jefferson police, the man, identified as Tane Osborne, was involved in a fatal shooting near the intersection of Smith and Garfield streets.

Police said that Osborne, 24, and Paige Young were at Osborne's house on Smith Street to exchange items and Osborne, who police identified as Young's ex-boyfriend, shot Young three times.

According to police, Young was shot in the head, pelvis and torso.

Police said that Young was taken to Doctors Hospital West, where she died, 10TV's Jason Frazer reported.

Osborne was thought to be driving a 2004 two-door silver Honda with Ohio license plate No. FHV-6452.

Police said that they thought Osborne could be headed to his grandmother’s house in Mount Vernon.

Geanita Smith said that she heard the incident.

“My son was yelling, ‘He shot her, he shot her!’” Smith said. “He was running down the steps to get to the door to get to her, to Paige.”

Smith said that Osborne shot Young three or four times, Frazer reported.

“He got in the car like nothing even happened with the gun in his hand and just drove away, didn’t squeal or (anything), just drove away like normal,” Smith said.

Stay with 10TV News and refresh for the latest information.

Seattle, WA: Ken Schram: Judge's compassion totally misplaced

SEATTLE -- Misplaced compassion.

That's the kindest thing I can say about a Yakima County Superior Court Judge's decision to allow an accused killer out of jail.

Richard Roberson is charged with 2nd degree murder in the beating and strangulation death of his girlfriend.

He's being held on $1 million bail while awaiting trial. But not for much longer.

Last week, doctors told judge David Elofson that Roberson has only months to live, having been diagnosed with a failing liver.

Doctors say Roberson would be much better off out of jail where he'd be more comfortable and have more resources available to him.

The judge bought into this dribble and said that since Roberson does not pose a threat to the community, he'd soon be released to his sister's care.

The victim's family is outraged, and who can blame them.

Roberson reportedly beat the woman to a bloody pulp and then choked her to death.

Unless doctors have fresh batteries in their crystal ball, they can't accurately predict how long Roberson will live.

It could be 6 months. It could be 24.

He should remain in jail until his trial, or his death.

Whichever comes first.

The judge's compassion - entirely misplaced.

Oakland, CA: Murder trial begins against San Leandro man who stabbed wife to death in public with screwdriver

OAKLAND -- Rose Goulart lived in an abusive relationship for more seven years, constantly being tortured physically and emotionally by her common-law husband Luis Hernandez, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

In late 2008, Goulart, 46, finally gained the courage to leave and at 4:30 a.m. she packed her bags and left the home the couple shared in Castro Valley with her two teenage kids.

In the five months that followed, Hernandez, 49, harassed Goulart alternating between threats to her life and apologizes for his past actions in an effort to have her return.

While this pattern of behavior worked in the past, this time it did not and Goulart pressed on with a legal separation as she sought restraining orders, custody of her children and a payment from Hernandez for the house they shared.

All the while, Goulart kept meticulous notes of the threats, sending frequent emails to her attorney notifying him of the latest rant sent from Hernandez.

"I'm really scared, I really fear for my life now," she wrote in an email on May 28, 2009. "If anything happens to me, I want you to be aware."

The next morning, Goulart was killed, stabbed to death by Hernandez in the parking lot of the St. Rose Hospital campus in Hayward as about a half-dozen of Goulart's co-workers watched in horror.

The murder, prosecutor Lindsay Walsh said in opening statements, was premeditated and deliberate and occurred after Hernandez was lying in wait in a borrowed car to ambush Goulart as she walked to her office at Bay Area Medical Group.

Realizing that he no longer had control over Goulart, Walsh said, Hernandez planned a killing.

He borrowed an aunt's car so he wouldn't be noticed as he waited in the parking lot for Goulart's arrival to work. He outfitted himself in boots, gloves, a dark sweatshirt, camouflage pants and a dark blue New York Yankees cap. And, Walsh said, he molded two screwdrivers into sharp metal sticks that he would eventually use to killing the mother of his children.

"He's desperate and he is going to regain that control and dominance over her," Walsh said. "The defendant was desperate to regain the one thing he was losing control of. He made the conscious and deliberate decision."

Hernandez didn't just stab Goulart a couple of times, Walsh said, he attempted to mutilate Goulart, stabbing her 24 times using a screwdriver he fashioned into an ice pick. When he was done stabbing Goulart, Hernandez stuck the screwdriver into her chest and then turned it from side to side, the prosecutor said.

And, Walsh said, as Goulart lay dying in the middle of the parking lot with a screwdriver sticking from her chest, Hernandez walked over and kicked her twice in the head.

Hernandez was so focused on killing Goulart that he was able to fight off three of Goulart's co-workers who tugged on his clothing and hit him with shoes and a purse in an effort to stop the attack.

It was a murder so heinous that the Alameda County District Attorney's Office originally sought the death penalty against Hernandez but decided against it with no explanation just before the trial began.

Walsh declined to comment on that decision Tuesday but said Hernandez will face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged.

Hernandez's attorney, Deborah Levy, admitted her client killed Goulart and did not dispute how it occurred but said the action was done in a "heat of passion" and as a result should not be considered a special circumstances murder.

"Rage is a horrible, destructive, incredibly bad emotion but it is very human," Levy said to the jury. "We're not going to deny the act, we're not denying the actions but the evidence will also show you Mr. Hernandez's state of mind. The evidence will show beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Hernandez snapped."

But Walsh said evidence will prove that Hernandez did not simply "snap" and act in a heat of passion.

The numerous threats he sent in the months preceding the murder and his actions during and after the killing prove he had a deliberate plan to kill, she said.

"He never stops stabbing her," Walsh said. "And as she lay there lifeless with a screwdriver sticking out of her, he stood there calmly waiting to be arrested."

Brooklyn, NY: Alleged Gay Love Triangle Leads to Murder-Suicide in Brooklyn

New York police say that a love triangle has led to the death of two men in Brooklyn due to an apparent murder-suicide, the New York Daily News reported.

A police spokesman said Jason Lopez, 22, shot and killed Tory Curtis, 23, on Tuesday before taking his own life in an apartment in East New York, a neighborhood on the eastern edge of Brooklyn, in New York City.

The newspaper reports that authorities said Lopez found Curtis, his alleged boyfriend, with an unidentified third man. The newspaper also says that the third man hid in the closet while Lopez shot Curtis to death and then turned the gun on himself.

Curtis’ family was distraught when they came to the scene of the incident, the New York Times noted.

"Where’s my brother? Where’s my brother?" Devon Curtis, 18, said repeatedly. "Who shot my brother?"

Witnesses say that the third man fled the apartment in fear. Neighbors said they saw a man run out of the building around 3 p.m. yelling for help before falling to the ground.

"A man screamed, ’Help, help! They killed my best friend,’ " said Krystal Ortiz, who left her home, which is close to Curtis’, after she heard gun shots and screaming.

"He was very nervous," Lucy Sanchez, Ortiz’s mother said. "He had no sneakers on, and he was crying. He said they had locked him in the closet."

Neither Ortiz or Sanchez knew the the man or Curtis. But Curtis’ barber who cut his hair Monday saw Curtis arguing with a man that night. Curtis told him it was his roommate.

"He told me he was kicking out his roommate, his best friend," the barber said.

"Me, as a mother, I’m upset," said Theresa Curtis, Curtis’s stepmother. "I’m trying to figure out what happened."

The Daily News says that Curtis’ family said he was not gay and was not in a romantic relationship with Lopez.

Burnside, KY: Police: Assault rifle, knives, ammunition found in car after suspected murder-suicide

BURNSIDE, Ky. — Police in southern Kentucky say a man who allegedly shot and killed his ex-girlfriend and then himself had numerous guns, knives and several rounds of ammunition inside his car at the time of the attack.

Burnside Police Chief Craig Whitaker told The Commonwealth-Journal that 31-year-old Mark A. Willis of Ashland had a .223 assault rifle and a couple of combat knives in his car when he killed 37-year-old Robyn R. Sloan on April 11.

Whitaker said the shootings occurred at an apartment just off U.S. 27 in Burnside.

Whitaker said Willis, who had been Slone's boyfriend at one time, had gone to see her. He said Slone was staying in Burnside for a work project.

St. Petersburg, FL: Update: Police Arrest Man in Apparent Murder-Suicide Attempt, Victim ID'd

Update, 10:45 a.m.: St. Petersburg Police disclosed the identity of the woman suffocated in an apparent murder-suicide attempt as 61-year-old Judith Davis, the wife of the accused killer.

Albert Crandall was charged with first-degree murder on Sunday. Police allege that Crandall suffocated his wife with a pillow and then attempted suicide. He was found by police in bed with his wife. Police said her body had begun to decompose.

Police said Crandall’s sister had received an alarming email from Crandall, which tipped them off to a problem at their residence, at 661 77th Ave. N.

She advised that she had just read an email message from her brother that sounded as if it were a suicide note, and that his wife already was deceased.

Upon entering the unlocked apartment, officers and paramedics found the couple. According to police, Crandall was found to have wounds to both wrists that appeared self-inflicted, but was conscious. He was transported to Bayfront Medical Center where he was treated and later released.

A suicide note was also found inside the apartment.

During the course of his medical treatment, police said Crandall made statements indicating that he had suffocated his wife with a pillow due to a chronic and painful medical condition she had been experiencing.

The nature of that illness has not yet been ascertained, according to police.

Earlier: A St. Petersburg man has been arrested by St. Pete Police and charged with first-degree murder on Sunday.

Police say 55-year-old Albert Crandall suffocated a woman to death and then unsuccessfully attempted suicide.

Crandall of 661 77th Ave. N. left a suicide note at the scene of the crime, according to

The Tampa Bay Times adds:

"He had written a 'murder-suicide note,' police said. They did not explain how he tried to kill himself, but said he was treated and cleared at Bayfront Medical Center, then charged with first-degree murder."

According to police, the woman's name is not being released until next of kin are notified.

Crandall, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office records, had two previous run-ins with the law.

In 2010, Crandall was charged with a DUI following his refusal to take a BAC test. In 1998, Crandall was arrested by U.S. Marshals on charges involving drug manufacturing, according to court records.

According to Crandall's Facebook Page, he worked as a manager at the Daiquiri Deck, on Maderia Beach.

On March 23, Crandall's birthday, he posted the following message to Facebook.

"Thanks Everyone for the birthday wishes,I never anticipated 55 but its still SEX(not as frequent) DRUGS(ibuprofen) & ROCK n Roll (at least some things never change).O yeah proably my first SOBER birthday of my adult life."

Alexandria, MN: UPDATE TUESDAY: Relationship ends in murder-suicide

The investigation continues into a murder-suicide that happened last week in Alexandria.

Sharon Christina Love, 38, was found dead last Thursday in her home located at 1005 Eckert Street, just west of Alexandria.

Love’s landlord discovered her body around 3:30 p.m. and told authorities it appeared as though the woman had died of unnatural or suspicious causes.

While the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigated the murder scene Friday, they asked for the public’s help in locating David Dewain Everett, 51, of Osakis.

Love and Everett were reportedly in a relationship and going through a break up.

Everett was last seen leaving Love’s home around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18 driving her vehicle.

Then, just after noon on Friday, DCSO investigators received a tip from the public that led them to discover Everett dead in Love’s car, parked inside a storage unit at Westside Storage in Osakis. Authorities reported that he had committed suicide in the garage.

According to Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Dave Ahlquist, the couple was living together before the break up and Everett returned to Love’s apartment April 18 to pick up some of his belongings.

During the meeting, Love was attacked and killed in her apartment, Ahlquist reported.

Love’s funeral will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Osakis Friday, April 20 at 11 a.m. Arrangements are with Roy-Hetland Funeral Home in Osakis.

Dep Creek, VA: Mother of slain teen recounts hostage ordeal

An I.C. Norcom High senior died Sunday morning trying to save his mother from an angry ex-boyfriend with a history of domestic violence, according to the teen's family and court records.

Derwin "DJ" Watts, 19, died after a hostage situation in the 1300 block of Canal Drive in Deep Creek that also left Tanisha Watts' current boyfriend, Michael Temple, dead and the suspect injured.

"He was trying to protect his mom," Tanisha Watts' mother, Miriam Sharon Bazemore, said by phone, sobbing as she spoke.

It was not the first time the suspect, 44-year-old Charles Collins, had turned violent toward the family, according to online Chesapeake General District Court records. He was due in court Wednesday on an attempted malicious wounding charge related to his alleged attempt to stab DJ earlier this year.

The Pollocksville, N.C., man also has two previous convictions for assaults on women in North Carolina. He was released from prison in 2009 after serving time for stabbing an ex-girlfriend he had been trying to get back together with, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Correction.

Collins is in Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where police said his condition is serious after a SWAT team member shot him in the head during the standoff. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, five counts of abduction and multiple firearms charges in Sunday's incident, police said.

On Monday, a shaken Tanisha Watts recalled the events that claimed her son and boyfriend.

Watts said Collins, whom she had dated for three years until January, had called her Saturday night while she was out to dinner with Temple. She told him to stop calling but said it was a calm exchange.

When they returned from dinner, she and Temple, whom she'd known from high school and had been dating since March, were playing with her 4-month-old granddaughter, Brooklyn, in her bedroom.

Unbeknownst to the couple, Collins had snuck into the apartment, she said.

Temple, a 40-year-old from Elizabeth City, N.C., walked down the hallway, and that's when Watts heard the first gunshots.

"I just heard pop, pop, pop," she said.

Temple staggered back to the bedroom, gasping for air, his T-shirt soaked in blood from a bullet wound in the chest. Watts tried to give him an inhaler he used for acute asthma and some water.

Shortly after, Collins entered the bedroom, pointing a gun at her. He grew angry while she tended to her boyfriend, Watts said.

Watts dialed 911 on her cellphone and blurted out the address before Collins snatched the phone and shoved her in a closet.

"I wasn't sure the call had gone through," she said.

It had. When police first arrived at the apartment complex, officers heard screaming and gunshots inside. Unable to get anyone to answer the door and unable to get in, they retreated and waited for the SWAT team.

Inside, Collins paced up and down the hallway, Watts said. He alternately pointed the gun at Watts, her son and even at himself, she said.

"I'm begging him, 'Let me and DJ alone. Let's get help for Michael,' " she said, sighing. "He wasn't hearing anything."

She said that at one point, Collins fired a shot above her head.

She distanced herself from Temple, who by then was on the bed and barely breathing. She hoped that would calm Collins, but nothing worked.

Her son also pleaded with him.

"Charles, man, you don't want to do this. Just calm down. You know us."

DJ tried to calm his mother, too.

"My baby did so good. He was so calm. 'Just do whatever he says,' " she remembers DJ saying. "I don't understand how he could remain like that because I was falling apart."

Watts eventually managed to persuade Collins to let her and DJ go. She told him she would tell the police everything was OK.

Collins walked her to the end of the hallway into the living area, where a couch and chairs blocked the door.

Watts said she pretended to faint. DJ stayed by her side, and she tapped his foot to let him know she was OK.

When Collins ran to the bathroom to get her water, Watts said, she saw her chance. She jumped up and moved the couch enough to open the front door.

Out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed her son tackling Collins.

"I saw both bodies move," she said. "He came running past me, (saying), 'C'mon, Mom.' "

She ran out behind her son but noticed blood on his back. He had been shot in the neck and chest, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.

As the SWAT team entered, Watts said, police outside grabbed DJ and handcuffed him in the confusion. She said she yelled to the police: "That's not him! That's my baby. That's not him."

"They didn't know if they were the good guys or the bad guys," police spokeswoman Kelly O'Sullivan said. "When you don't know the situation, and it's unfolding like that, they don't know who he is. As soon as they determined he was not armed or not at risk, that's when they immediately started medical attention."

Watts saw the medical personnel working on her son.

"He left in the ambulance," she said. "That's the last I saw of him."

Pottstown, PA: Murder Details Discussed At Carrero Preliminary Hearing

Edwin Carrero will stand trial in Norristown for the murder of Pottstown resident Alicia Schmidt.

Edwin Carrero II used a rug and other objects to cover a trap door over the basement where he hid the dead body of Alicia Schmidt before he stole her car, money and went on a gambling spree, he allegedly told police during an interrogation in February.

Those and other details were recounted by police who testified at Carrero's preliminary hearing before District Court Judge Edward C. Kropp Sr. in Lower Pottsgrove Township on Monday.

Members of Schmidt's and Carrero's families sat on opposite sides of the courtroom and were teary-eyed during the hearing, which included graphic description of Schmidt's death.

Carrero, 32, on Feb. 2, allegedly strangled Schmidt, 31, to death in a house they shared at 424 Cherry St. in Pottstown.

On Monday, Pottstown Police Sgt. Michael Ponto testified he and other police officers found Schmidt dead in her home on Feb. 2.

"I responded ... to check the well-being of Alicia Schmidt," he said and added police were called by Carrero's ex-wife who told them Carrero said he might have killed Schmidt. "We ... discovered that the front door was open."

Ponto said police found two children asleep upstairs and Schmidt's body in the basement of the house.

Police say Carrero killed Schmidt, then headed to Florida. On the way, he used Schmidt's father's bank debit card nearly 30 times, stayed in hotels and went to casinos to gamble and play poker, police said.

On Feb. 7, police in Broward County, Florida found Carrero in Schmidt's car at a casino parking lot and apprehended him.

During Monday's hearing, Montgomery County homicide detective Todd Richard said he interviewed Carrero soon after he was picked up in Florida.

Carrero told Richard he and Schmidt argued and "I choked her with my hands ... in our bedroom on the second floor," Richard said. "I realized that she wasn't breathing anymore."

During the interrogation, Carrero said after he killed Schmidt, he left her body in the upstairs bedroom for about 20 minutes, then dragged her downstairs, pushed her down basement steps, closed and covered the basement trap door with a rug and other objects, Richard said.

Carrero also allegedly said he took a video game system before he left the house, drove to Atlantic City, bought a bus ticket to "throw you guys off" and wanted to get to Florida to "blend in."

He also said he stole a Florida license plate from a parked car and installed it on Schmidt's Volkswagon Jetta, Richard said.

Items in the car included the video game system, Schmidt's prescription medication and Carrero's identification that he said he wrapped in foil in case it had a tracking device, Richard said.

Carrero's attorney, Sharon Meisler, argued that Carrero "overreacted" during the argument and did not intend to kill Schmidt.

"Malice is not proven," she said.

Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Wallis Brooks, prosecutor for the case, disagreed.

"This was an intentional killing," she said. "He strangled her until she was dead."

The case will proceed to formal arraignment in Norristown on June 6.

Richard said he responded in the past to domestic dispute calls involving Schmidt and Carrero.

Kristine Wickward, a legal advocate and domestic violence counselor at the Women's Center of Montgomery County in Pottstown, said that did not surprise her. Wickward was also at the hearing Monday. She said she hopes people will become more aware of the seriousness of domestic violence.

"It's heartbreaking that something so tragic can happen," she said.

Crestview, FL: Husband charged in Crestview homicide

CRESTVIEW — A 32-year-old man with an extensive history of domestic violence has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his 28-year-old wife.

Officers with the Crestview Police Department discovered the body of Alissa Couch on Sunday afternoon after they had spoken with her and her husband, Jerome Couch-Parrish, earlier that day. The Crestview man has had multiple domestic violence injunctions and was under a no contact order at the time of his wife’s death.

He had been arrested as recently as April 6 for domestic violence battery against Couch. His court record includes several charges of domestic violence and other violent crimes. He is currently booked in the Okaloosa County Jail without bail.

Carly Lima, who lives across the street from Alissa Couch, said the two had met only once.

“She came to our house about a month ago around 2:30 in the morning barefoot and screaming. It was a domestic disturbance that time, too,” Lima said.

“It’s strange that one day she’s here and now she’s gone. It’s sad, and what’s worse is this kind of abuse happens more than we know.”

Michelle Sperzel, executive director of Shelter House, said that her organization has worked with 787 women who have experienced domestic violence in Okaloosa and Walton counties since July 2011.

“Domestic violence happens every day,” Sperzel said. “Domestic violence touches an entire community. It touches her kids’ life, the community of Crestview and this whole county.”

On Monday, officers released additional details into Couch’s death. She and her husband had been involved in an argument when officers were called to the home at 308 1st Ave. E. at 7:20 a.m., according to the probable cause affidavit.

When officers left Couch on Sunday morning, she was “alive and well,” the document states.

A second call was placed to officers just before 11 a.m. by Couch-Parrish. He said he and his wife had been in an argument when she pulled a knife on him, and he cut his right pinky finger when he tried to grab it from her. He said they stopped arguing after the injury and he left her home.

He then told officers that Couch had told him she was going out of town and that he did not wish to pursue charges against her. Officers attempted to contact Couch but were unsuccessful.

Almost an hour later, Couch-Parrish requested officers contact him and asked if anyone had heard from his wife. He then asked the officers if they had checked local hospitals to see if she was a patient and said that law enforcement should “put him in handcuffs because something bad had happened,” according to the affidavit.

Officers took Couch-Parrish back to 1st Avenue where they found his wife’s mother, Linda Brown, who said she was worried about her daughter when she couldn’t get in touch with her. Brown then agreed to go to her home to get her spare key to the home.

Shortly after Brown left, Couch-Parrish said, “She found her dead, didn’t she?”

At that time, Couch’s body had not been discovered.

Couch-Parrish then went on to say he knew Couch’s mother and brother and was nervous to stay at the house. When officers assured Couch-Parrish that while in custody he was safe, he stated, “You can’t stop a bullet.”

When Brown arrived, officers discovered there was blood throughout the home from the hallway to the bathroom and in multiple rooms.

The mother of three was found dead in her bedroom hidden under a comforter. According to the affidavit, she had multiple defensive knife wounds on her hands and four bloody knives were found in the home.

She had cuts on her face, neck, arms, back and chest.

Officers believe Couch-Parrish cut and stabbed his wife until she died from the wounds. According to the affidavit, he then covered her body with the bedspread before locking up and leaving the home.

Couch-Parrish was arrested around 7 p.m. Sunday. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 5.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Paterson, NJ: Apparent Domestic Dispute Ends in Fatal Stabbing

PATERSON, NJ - A 21-year-old city woman was stabbed to death Wednesday morning at her Highland Street home by the father of her 1-year-old daughter while the infant was nearby, authorities said.

The victim, Katera Robinson, called police at 11 am and said she was being stabbed by Kerry Richardson, according to authorities. Officers arrived at the scene within two minutes and found her with multiple stab wounds, according to a press release issued by the Paterson Police Department. Richardson a

Robinson was rushed to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, but she was pronounced dead at 11:57 am, the press release said.

Meanwhile, five officers rushed to the suspect's home on Lyon Street, a few blocks away in the 4th Ward, and arrested him by 11:07 am, the press release said.

Richardson has been charged with murder and weapons offenses, police said.

The victim's mother, Latrese Robinson, works at City Hall in the mayor's office.

The press release praised the quick response of the officers who rushed to the scene, tried to save the victim, arrested the suspect, and conducted the follow-up investigation. The release did not provide full names. Responding to the victim's home were Sgt. Louis Esposito and Officers J. Torres, Robert Chalice, G. Ciarla, Gabe Spallacci, and Gary Destefano. Making the arrest were Officers F. Diaz, K. Matos, A. Alba, A. Bermudez, and S. Judeh. Investigating the case are Detectives Stephen Iacuzzo, Jackk DeSalvo and Stephen Leishman.

Tulsa, OK: Tulsa Police: 'Significant Amount Of Carnage' In Domestic Dispute Death

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Police said it didn't take long to determine that the 50-year-old woman found dead Friday morning was murdered.

They quickly turned to the man who called EMSA.

The woman's partner, Joseph Mitchell, 43, was arrested after an interview with homicide detectives, and he was later booked into the Tulsa County Jail on a homicide complaint.

EMSA was called to a home in the 11000 block of East 28th at about 7:30 a.m. Friday, and found a woman dead upon arrival.

After noticing signs of a domestic struggle, paramedics called Tulsa Police to the scene.

Police said there was a lot of blood in the home and woman's body showed signs of trauma. The body has been sent to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office to determine an official cause of death.

"There's a significant amount of blood and a significant amount of carnage in the home to indicate a struggle has occurred inside," Sgt. Dave Walker, TPD Homicide.

Police say Mitchell was covered in blood, but barely injured while inside the house. The furniture was turned over and broken glass covered the floor.

Detectives say the pair had fought before, and the victim had a permanent protective order against Mitchell.

Mitchell is an ex-convict with a prior record of drug possession, illegal possession of a firearm and two DUIs.

Lititz, PA: Lititz couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide

Lititz Police have identified a man and woman found dead in their home Tuesday, in an apparent murder-suicide.

They are Susan and Keith Macferran of 5 W. Second Ave.

Police said both died from gunshot wounds. It appears that Keith Macferran, 48, shot his wife, Susan, 62, while she was asleep Sunday, then turned the gun on himself.

Both were found in the couple's bedroom.

Newspaper records indicate the couple was married in 1991. Mrs. Macferran worked in food service for Hempfield School District, at Rohrerstown Elementary School.

Susan Macferran's son discovered the couple Tuesday when he went to the home, police said.

Lititz Police were assisted by the Lancaster County Crime Scene Forensic Unit, the Lancaster County District Attorney's office and the Lancaster County Coroner's office.

Autopsies are being done today. Additional details will be released when they are available, police said.

Brooklyn, NY: Angelo DeVito charged in wife's slaying at Brooklyn home

A 75-YEAR-OLD man was busted after he shot his wife to death during an argument Wednesday in Brooklyn, police said.

Cops found Angela DeVito, 71, shot twice in the chest in the first-floor kitchen of their Neptune Ave., Sea Gate, home at 1:50 p.m., police sources said. She died at the scene.

The woman’s husband, Angelo DeVito, was arrested and charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

As police were questioning DeVito at the 60th Precinct stationhouse, neighbors said the woman constantly confided in them about her stressful relationship.

“She would tell me he was demanding, like most husbands,” said Joanne Francis, 65, who has known Angela for eight years. “She used to say it all the time.”

Francis said Angela cooked and cleaned for her husband every day, and said she’d often cook one meal for her husband and a separate meal for her son.

“Based on the conversations we had, they reached a point of frustration,” Francis said.

“She worked, she cooked, she cleaned and she was intent on pleasing her family,” Francis said.

“She once said, ‘I’m tired and he’s going to want to know what I’m making for dinner,’” Francis recalled.

Police said there have been no record of domestic issues at the home, and Angelo DeVito does not have a criminal record.

The couple had three children together, including one who is in the Army, according to neighbors.

One 47-year-old man, who works at a nearby store but declined to give his name, said the husband came into his store every week and never seemed troubled.

“She was nice and quiet,” the man said. “He was quiet, too. He’d come in, buy his stuff, and leave out. I never had a problem or incident or nothing.”

Fayetteville, N.C.: Same gun in murder-suicide, N.C. shooting

CUMBERLAND, N.C., April 19 (UPI) -- A handgun used in the murder-suicide of two doctors in southern New Jersey last week had been used to kill a North Carolina woman, ballistics tests show.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Giocondo Navek, 39, a former resident physician at Virtua, a non-profit healthcare system in southern New Jersey, fatally shot former colleague Payman Houshmandpour outside his home April 11.

Navek killed himself as officers tried to take him into custody, The (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post reported.

Five hours after the murder-suicide, authorities found the body of Shawna D. Givens, 35, in her Fayetteville, N.C., apartment.

Ballistics tests showed the same gun had been used in the murder-suicide and in the fatal shooting of Givens, said Debbie Tanna, a spokeswoman with the Cumberland (N.C.) Sheriff's Office.

Investigators, The Courier-Post reported, said Navek had blamed Houshmandpour for the loss of his job at Virtua but did not provide details.

After Givens' body was found, authorities suspected Navek had killed her but Tanna didn't directly link him to her death.

Givens had been dating Navek for four or five months, the Inquirer said. They had met at the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., where Navek, who was a captain in the Army Reserve, had been a physician since September.

The Inquirer said Givens and Navek had visited his family in Philadelphia during the Easter holiday and they left for North Carolina April 8.

Tanna wouldn't identify the type of handgun. Officials in the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said they recovered a Sig Sauer .357 handgun from Navek's vehicle and at least 11 rounds of ammunition.

Auburndale, FL: Apparent Murder-Suicide Involved Auburndale Couple

AUBURNDALE | An Auburndale couple found dead in their home Thursday night died in an apparent murder-suicide, deputies said.

Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives identified the couple as Stephanie Dawn Jakey, 36, and her husband, William Howard Jakey, 61.

They were found on a bed in the bedroom of their home at 456 Jeans Road about 7:45 p.m. Thursday, deputies said.

The sheriff's office said both apparently died of gunshot wounds.

Autopsies were expected to be finished Friday.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said William Jakey shot and killed his wife with a bullet to the head from a .38-caliber revolver, then turned the gun on himself. William Jakey also had a gunshot wound in the head.

“There was no suicide note” and investigators have not learned anything so far about what might have sparked the shooting, Judd said.

Judd said the findings are preliminary and could change pending further investigation. He said there is plenty more to investigate, which could lead to a better understanding of what happened.

The couple had not been seen or heard from for several days, the sheriff's office said. Judd said a concerned friend went to the residence to check on the couple and found them dead, lying on their bed.

He said the couple was apparently dead about three days before being discovered.

“There were no signs of forced entry into the residence, nor were there any signs of a struggle,” according to a news release.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood said deputies were never called to the Jakey home to respond to a call about domestic violence.

The Jakeys lived on a quiet road in northern Auburndale.

A neighbor said William Jakey worked at Grenelefe, a golf course and resort area in Haines City.

A man who answered the phone at the office of the Grenelefe condo association said Janke worked at the association as a carpenter for several years, but he declined further comment.

Ray Wiertzema lives next door to the Jakeys' home. He said the couple had been renting the home for about a year.

Wiertzema said he sometimes chatted with William Jakey, but it was lighthearted conversation.

“He seemed to pretty much keep to himself,” Wiertzema said.

The couple “had two little, bitty dogs,” he said.

It was a surprise to see investigators show up next door, Wiertzema said.

“This is a nice, quiet little neighborhood.”

San Jose, CA: Police: Man sets wife on fire, kills her on a San Jose street

A homeless man will likely face a murder charge after reportedly setting his wife on fire, killing her, on a San Jose street Monday, police said.

Patricia Storey, 64, was rushed to a hospital after officers and firefighters found her suffering from severe burns and lying in the street on the 100 block of South Second Street.

Storey was pronounced dead the next day, said police Sgt. Jason Dwyer.

Based on statements from witnesses and other evidence, detectives identified Storey's husband, 49-year-old Barton Williams, as the suspected killer.

Police got a warrant for his arrest and nabbed him Wednesday at St. James Park in San Jose, said Dwyer. The park is a couple blocks north of where she was found.

Dwyer said it's not clear what led to the violence, but because the victim and suspect were married, investigators are looking into whether it was the result of a domestic dispute. He wasn't sure if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the killing. Investigators didn't find any evidence of gunshot or knife wounds.

Police said that Storey and Williams are both transient.

Storey's killing is the ninth in San Jose for 2012, police said. Williams was booked on suspicion of homicide.

Anyone with information about the killing can contact Det. Sgt. Craig Storlie or Det. Sgt. Stewart Davies of the San Jose Police Department's Homicide Unit at 408-277-5283.

Fort Campbell, KY: South Bend native dies at Fort Campbell in apparent domestic violence incident

Friends and family of a South Bend native shot to death on a Kentucky Army base are searching for answers after she was found dead inside the home she shared with her husband. It appears to be an act of domestic violence, but military police have been tight-lipped about their investigation.

Photos of a vibrant, spontaneous young woman are all Jessica Roberts Rawls’ friends and family have.

“She’s a very, very intelligent, outgoing individual,” said Rawls’ former step brother, Rain Williams.

“Jessica was a fun person, a free spirit, she didn’t let anybody keep her down. [She] was always on the go, was a wonderful mother,” said friend Rica Clay.

Rawls grew up in South Bend and was the only girl to ever play football at Jackson Intermediate School. She graduated in the final class from LaSalle High School in 2002.

Those who knew and loved the 27-year-old mother of three young girls ... ages 11, 8 and 1 years... have so many questions.

“How could this have been prevented? What happened? Who was there? Why? What? Who? When? You know, just want to know,” said Clay.

Here’s what WSBT does know at this point:

  • Police found Army Reservist Jessica Rawls dead Friday night at her Fort Campbell home while responding to a suspected domestic dispute there. She lived there with her husband, Army Specialist Rico Rawls Jr., and their 1-year-old daughter. Fort Campbell, a U.S. Army base, is on the Kentucky/Tennessee border.
  • The Army would only confirm the deaths of Rawls and her husband are under investigation and stopped short of calling it a murder-suicide.

Jessica’s mom, Dawn Sult-Williams, told WSBT the couple’s daughter was asleep upstairs when Jessica was shot to death.

While wanted for questioning, Spc. Rawls reportedly led police on a high speed, 80-mile chase into Georgia.

When police put down spike sticks to stop Rawls’ vehicle, he apparently shot himself. The Army said he died Monday at a hospital.

Sult-Williams told WSBT she just found out about her daughter’s death Tuesday, four days after it happened.

“That was my friend, you know?” Clay said, wiping away tears.

As much as she wants answers, Clay refuses to jump to conclusions.

“We’re going to hear stories and, you know, hear everything, but we’re never going to know what really happened. They were the only ones there, you know?”

Sult-Williams believes Rico Rawls shot and killed her daughter. Sult-Williams claims Rico served two tours of duty in Iraq and came back a different person. She believes he never got the help he needed.

Sult-Williams is driving to Fort Campbell to sign papers so she can bring her daughter's body back to South Bend for the funeral and burial.

Buffalo, NY: Abuse no secret before boy was killed

Abdifatah Mohamud had told other youngsters about how his stepfather beat him, but those words alone could not prevent the 10-year-old from being murdered

There were warning signs that all was not well in Ali Mohamed Mohamud's home on Guilford Street, where Mohamud allegedly beat his 10-year-old stepson to death after gagging and restraining him in the basement.

The stepfather struck Abdifatah Mohamud about 70 times with an 18-inch hardwood baker's rolling pin, pulverizing the boy's skull, before throwing a blanket over him and fleeing late Tuesday night, authorities have told The Buffalo News.

When the boy's mother returned home from her job as an office cleaner, she called police to report her son missing.

That was not the first time Buffalo police were summoned to 30 Guilford. Since the family moved there in 2009, officers responded to 16 calls, some minor, but others involving incidents of domestic violence.

Authorities believe that the family was well aware of Mohamud's propensity for violence but never dreamed that it would explode into a situation where he would kill one of them.

Abdifatah had told other youngsters whom he played with in the East Side neighborhood that his stepfather was abusive to him. He also had let his complaints be known to classmates, but those complaints never made their way to adults or teachers, school officials said.

It is also clear that the boy's death was not a case of discipline, as Mohamud told police. Abdifatah had good grades and was never a problem at school.

"We have classmates coming in to us today and talking about what he said to them, kid-to-kid. He didn't want to go home at times because of his father," Kevin J. Eberle, principal of International Preparatory School, said Thursday.

Neighbors on Guilford also recalled fights between Mohamud, 40, and one of his older, teenage stepsons, who ended up moving out of the house.

"I watched one night when one of the older sons ran out of the house and the police were called. I told him not to leave, but he ran away," neighbor Johnny Alexander said.

So why weren't steps taken to thwart the violence from spinning out of control?

Police and other community officials say that it might be traced to the fact that this was an immigrant family from a country where the male patriarch rules the household.

The same level of rights in the United States, particularly for women and children, often do not exist in other countries around the world, they explained.

But others point out that the characteristics of an abusive household are universal.

"Children, by definition, are helpless and cannot be expected to report abuse because they're frightened and powerless," said Judith G. Olin, director of the child advocacy program at Child & Adolescent Treatment Services in Buffalo.

She added that families often keep secrets.

"It is a hallmark of abusive families to keep secrets about what is happening. They will urge children to keep family business within the family and not tell outsiders," Olin said. "Children are often threatened that, if they tell about the abuse, they will be taken away from their parents."

Olin pointed out that America has the worst record among developed countries for children who die from abuse.

And what happened to Abdifatah, authorities agree, should never have occurred.

"Mohamud came from a dominant male culture, and discipline was strict, but his actions went to a whole new level of abuse and brutality," Eberle said in condemning the death and dismissing Mohamud's contention that he was disciplining his stepson for falling behind in his homework and grades.

School officials, he said, were never told about the abuse and saw no outward signs of it on the boy, a fifth-grader.

If they had, Eberle said, they would have pounced.

"We have psychologists, social workers and school counselors trained to spot this," Eberle said. "We're really distraught over this. It was devastating to hear the news of the killer's excuse of Abdi not doing his homework. Abdi was a great student with an 86 grade average."

It is difficult to say who missed the signs of abuse, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said, but they were missed.

"Obviously, there were signs out there, and it is a terrible tragedy that it came to this," Derenda said, urging citizens in general to never shrink from "reporting abuses if they are aware."

An imam who ministers to Buffalo's Somali community, which numbers more than 1,000, said he was not aware of Mohamud's "evil" side.

"He had two faces. There was the nice side, and the other side that abused this kid," said Imam Yahye Omar, who spent all of Wednesday consoling the dead boy's family.

A native of Somalia, Omar said that while it is not possible to pry into the private lives of his countrymen, he urged them to be fearless in standing up for their rights when it comes to abusive situations.

"We want every single kid to say what their problems are, to go to the schoolteacher, police, even the imam," said Omar, who is chairman of the Imams Council of Western New York. "We have the right to stop this kind of evil."

Toni Poole, Abdifatah's primary teacher at the Clinton Street school, said the boy was bright and loving.

"There wasn't one time Abdi failed to complete his homework assignments," Poole said. "He told me his goal was to be a doctor so he could take care of me when I was old. I told him it was a good thing his mother spotted him first because I would have taken him."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Schertz, TX: Charges filed against man who shot pregnant girlfriend

SCHERTZ, Texas - Police have released new details on the shooting of a pregnant woman in Schertz. Her unborn baby died and her boyfriend is now behind bars.

The March 22 shooting was first believed to be an accident, but an investigation has revealed that may not be the case. Officers now say the man did not shoot his girlfriend on accident.

Sergio Chavez, 26, is in the Guadalupe County jail.

The shooting took place on the porch of the couple's home on Tulip Road. Sergio Chavez told police he saw a rabbit in the yard and grabbed a rifle. Back in March, he said he missed his target, because his pregnant girlfriend, 21-year-old Michelle James, nudged him.

Police say Chavez shot James in the abdomen and took her to the hospital, where she recovered. The baby was initially expected to survive but the four-month-old fetus died a week later.

Meanwhile, officers learned new details that changed the course of the investigation.

"They were able to interview a lot of people associated with the family as well as the victim," City of Schertz spokesman Brad Bailey said. "Of course, she was hospitalized. At that time, it was decided charges should be looked into."

Chavez was charged with aggravated assault-family violence. He also has an ICE hold against him.

Schertz Police says the death of an unborn baby is a gray area in Texas law, but the District Attorney will consider additional charges against Chavez, including capital murder.

An autopsy will be performed on the fetus.

Ashland, KY: Ashland Couple Dead from Apparent Murder-Suicide

PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- An Ashland couple are dead following an apparent murder-suicide.

According to a release from the Burnside Police Department, officers responded to a possible shooting incident at 100 Stone Crest Drive, Apt. #2 about 11 p.m. Wednesday.

When officers got to the apartment, they found two people inside that had been shot. According to the release, Robyn Slone, 37, and Mark Willis, 31, both of Ashland, Ky., were found dead.

Both bodies were sent to the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

According to the release, the medical examiner ruled their deaths to be a murder-suicide. Slone's death has been ruled murder and Willis' death has been ruled suicide. Both died from fatal gun shots.

No word on the reasoning behind the shooting.

Additional testing will be done in the next few days.

Clovis, N.M: Police arrest wife in stabbing death

CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) - An arrest has been made in the stabbing death of a Clovis man.

Clovis police say there was enough probable cause to arrest the victim's wife, Elizabeth Betancourt.

Last weekend, police got a call that Santiago Betancourt had been stabbed he later died in the hospital of his wounds.

They say the investigation showed that the two were in a physical fight earlier.

Elizabeth is in jail on a no bond hold.

Lewisburg, TN: Wife stabbed repeatedly, husband arrested

A court date has been set in Marshall County for a man accused of fatally stabbing his wife.

Kenneth Colvett, 56, Lewisburg, is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Marshall County General Sessions Court. He is charged with one count of criminal homicide after officers with the Lewisburg Police Department discovered the body of his wife, 56-year-old Kay Colvett, in an outbuilding on the couple’s property.

According to a press release from the Lewisburg Police Department, officers responded about 3:10 p.m. Sunday to the couple’s residence, located at 606 Woodcrest St., to check on the welfare of Kay Colvett at the request of concerned family members. The homicide occurred Saturday, according to the release.

While on the scene, officers made contact with Kenneth Colvett, who provided information that led officers to the outbuilding where they discovered Kay Colvett’s body.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the release, she was stabbed multiple times, but no official cause of death has been determined pending the completion of an autopsy, scheduled for Monday at the State Medical Examiner’s office in Nashville.

Kenneth Colvett remains jailed without bond.

Middletown, OH: Middletown jail inmate’s death being investigated

MIDDLETOWN — Butler County Coroner’s Office is investigating an apparent suicide at the Middletown Jail.

James Kelhoffer, 51, was pronounced dead at 1:12 a.m. Wednesday, according to Butler County Coroner’s Office investigator Clint Nigg.

Nigg said Kelhoffer’s death is an apparent suicide, but the cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday morning.

Middletown Division of Police Lt. Scott Reeve said Kelhoffer was found not moving in his cell around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday.

“He was leaning forward in the seated position with a shoe string around his neck and attached to the phone on the wall,” said Reeve.

He said there was no indication during the arrest or booking process that he was suicidal.

Kelhoffer was arrested around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday on a domestic violence charge after fighting with his wife and stepson at their Riverview Avenue home. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Middletown Municipal Court Wednesday morning.

According to the police report, Kelhoffer’s wife, Lorilee Kelhoffer “had been having problems for approximately three days” and she told police he “had been binge drinking for approximately three days.” During an argument Tuesday, she reported to police he had been throwing beer cans around the house, and threw a cable box at her. She also told police she had recently filed for divorce and told Kelhoffer during their fight.

Police report that 23-year-old Tyler Smith, Kelhoffer’s stepson, heard the disturbance while in the shower and went to the kitchen and Kelhoffer reportedly began taunting him. After pushing each other once each, police report Kelhoffer allegedly punched Smith in the face three times and that began fight between the two.

Suicide attempts are not uncommon for inmates at the Middletown City Jail, said supervisor Sgt. Rick Bowling, “but successes are what’s uncommon.”

The last someone committed suicide in the jail was in July 2009.

Staff Writer Richard Wilson contributed to this report.

Goleta, CA: Pair who died in apparent murder-suicide identified

The two people who died in Friday's apparent murder-suicide in Goleta have been identified as Heidi Nicole Hubrecht, 23 and Luis Avila DeDios, 23, of Goleta, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff's deputies discovered the bodies at approximately 2:32 a.m. Friday after being dispatched to an apartment unit in the Camino De Vida/San Gordiano area for the report of a stabbing involving a man.

Following an investigation by deputies and detectives, it is believed that DeDios was waiting for Hubrecht when she arrived home with her 21-year-old roommate and attacked both women with a hunting knife before stabbing himself multiple times, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Hubrecht and DeDios reportedly died at the scene.

The roommate survived and was transported to the hospital for treatment of several lacerations. A second roommate, a 23-year-old female, was asleep in her room and did not see the attack.

Hubrecht and DeDios had reportedly dated for approximately 18 months before their relationship ended in recent weeks.

The Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau will examine the bodies todayMarga Cooley 04/16/2012 Tuesday to determine a cause of death, which appears to be the result of laceration(s). A final coroner’s report is not expected for several weeks pending the results of toxicology tests.

Suwanee, GA: Suwanee standoff ends with 3 shot, 1 dead

A standoff in Suwanee between police and a man alleged to have shot two women, killing one, ended Monday afternoon when the suspect shot himself, authorities said.

The condition of the suspect, 29-year-old Shuaib Omar, was unknown Monday evening but Suwanee police told Channel 2 Action News he was in "bad shape" at an area hospital. Earlier, police incorrectly told reporters he was dead.

One of the two women Omar shot in an apparent domestic dispute at an Auburn apartment died after being transported to Gwinnett Medical Center, Auburn Police Chief Paul Nadeau said. The other victim was in critical condition at the hospital, he said.

The women's names were withheld pending notification of family members.

Police said one of the victims was Omar's girlfriend.

After the shooting, Omar fled from the apartment, at 186 Parks Mill Road, to his home on Scales Road in Suwanee, where he told SWAT units he was going to kill himself, police said.
Please return for updates.

Santa Clara, OR: UPDATE: Santa Clara Couple Found Dead in Home

UPDATE (4/16/12, 12:07 p.m.): Police have identified the man and woman found deceased. They are 84-year-old Leonard Hart and 82-year-old Lois Hart of Eugene. Both died of gunshot wounds, according to the Lane County Medical Examiner's office. Investigators say Lois' death was a homicide and Leonard committed suicide, but there is no known motive and no one else was involved.

SANTA CLARA, Ore. -- Deputies are investigating what led to the death of a elderly Santa Clara couple.

The couple's daughter found them dead in their home Sunday morning when she went to go check on them.

She said she became concerned when she hadn't heard from them in a couple days.
Deputies say the couple died of gunshot wounds and so far it seems that no one else was involved.

Investigators won't release their names until they have been positively identified.

Dundalk, MD: Wife sentenced in husband's death

DUNDALK, Md. (WMAR) - Jaclyn Martin pled guilty on January 13, and was sentenced today for the first degree murder of her husband, Lee Martin. Lee Martin was killed as he left his bar, the Hops Inn on Railway Avenue on May 22, 2010. He was shot eight times. The investigation revealed that Martin solicited her brother, Robert Garner, to kill her husband. Jaclyn gave money to Garner to buy a gun and called her husband just before he stepped out of the bar. Garner with the assistance of Brandon Roth and Strum Davis, ambushed and shot Lee as he was walking to his house, next to the bar. Roth, who drove the getaway car, pled guilty to first degree assault and was sentenced to 20 years with all but 7 suspended. Davis pled guilty to armed robbery and use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and was sentenced to 30 years with all but 10 suspended. Davis thought the victim was only going to be robbed. Garner pled guilty to first degree murder in November 2011, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Santa Barbara, CA: Man, woman identified in Calif. murder-suicide

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Investigators say they've identified a man and a woman who were found dead in what appeared to be a murder-suicide at a Santa Barbara County apartment.

Sheriff's Lt. Drew Sugars said Monday the bodies of Heidi Hubrecht and Luis DeDios of Goleta, both 23 years old, were discovered at around 2:30 a.m. Friday. A third woman was also stabbed with non-life-threatening wounds.

The victims were found after sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a stabbing involving a male suspect. Sugars says DeDios was waiting for Hubrecht when she arrived home with her 21-year-old roommate and attacked both with a hunting knife before stabbing himself multiple times.Hubrecht and DeDios died at the scene.

The two had dated for about 18 months and their relationship had recently ended.

San Jose, CA: Police identify pair killed in San Jose shopping center murder-suicide

The identities of the father and mother who died in a murder-suicide at a San Jose shopping center, with their young daughter sitting nearby, were released Monday afternoon.

San Jose police say Trung Quoc Nguyen, 32, walked up to Emanuel Tran Phoung Nguyen, 39, at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Gould Center, located near McLaughlin Avenue and East Capitol Expressway. He fired a single shot to her head, then turned the gun on himself.

Both Nguyens, who each lived in San Jose, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers found their 17-month-old girl strapped into a car seat in a silver vehicle just a few feet away. She was unhurt and was placed under the custody of Santa Clara County Child Protective Services.

Police say the motive for the murder-suicide remains under investigation, but they have said the two were a former couple.

"They're not releasing anything else right now," said Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a department spokesman.

Tuan Dinh, 37, a childhood friend of the purported killer, said Trung Nguyen was an educated former IBM worker who had brought the infant, his only child, by their home recently. Dinh saw the father on Friday, the day before the killing, and said he "seemed normal."

Dinh said Trung Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam and moved to Indonesia before coming to the United States, never mentioned the mother of his child.

"I can't imagine that he'd do something like this," Dinh said Monday. "He's a nice guy; a lot of people depend on him."

On Monday, Emanuel Nguyen's family members locally and in New Jersey were too distraught to talk. Her cousin, who declined to give his name, said her parents do not speak English.
"They're in a very bad mood right now," the cousin said.

Leaders in the Vietnamese community said they could not find out anything about either the suspect or the victim Monday. Councilwoman Madison Nguyen said officials and local community members are especially concerned about finding local family members for the sake of the child.
"We definitely want the child to be in a good place," Madison Nguyen said.

Queens, NY: 2-year-old discovers bodies of parents after murder-suicide in Queens

A 2-year-old boy found his parents dead in their Queens home after a macabre murder-suicide, police and neighbors said.

Mom Roxanne Lambert, 41, was shot by her younger boyfriend, who then turned the gun on himself about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, sources said.

The 32-year-old lover was identified as Everol Ellington who had three prior arrests, including one last year for possession of stolen property.

The dead couple lived in the Jamaica home with Lambert’s 17-year-old son, Roy, and 20-year-old daughter, Raven, from a previous marriage.

“The big son ran over here and told me: ‘My mom and dad are dead,’” family friend Rene Bryan said.

“He said the little baby — who is 2 — woke him up and told him.”

Bryan, who lives two houses over from the family on Dillon St., said Lambert had visited her a few hours before she was killed and everything seemed fine.

“She was just here. We were right here talking,” she said. “It’s so unreal. It’s so close to home.”
The dead woman’s two older children were being interviewed by officers at the 113th Precinct stationhouse while Bryan took charge of the toddler Sunday night.

The children also called their biological father, Roy Shaw, in East New York, to tell him the news.
“I still don’t believe it, I think everybody is lying to me,” Shaw, 43, told the Daily News.

“I don’t want to really talk bad about somebody that has passed away ... I just want to see my kids, that’s it.”

Lambert worked at a group home for the mentally impaired run by the Brooklyn Development Disabilities Services Office, colleagues said.

“She cared for the guys greatly,” said one colleague, who did not want to be identified. “She did what she had to do. She was a good person.”

She met Ellington at work, friends said. Lambert’s ex-husband’s family described her as a volatile woman who had started an affair with Ellington about five years ago, breaking up the marriage.

“She was a piece of work,” said Shaw’s sister, Yolanda Shaw Wellington.

One neighbor said Lambert and her new beau had a rocky relationship and were spotted fighting in the street outside her previous home in Mill Basin, Brooklyn.

In Queens, the couple tried to keep any troubles private but friends were aware they often fought.

Police said there was no history of domestic violence at their Jamaica address but Lambert had four prior arrests, including one for third-degree assault.

“I know they’re not crazy, but there was too much jealousy between them,” neighbor Bryan said.

“They were hard-working people. They got up and went to work every day ... She was nice. The kids were drawn to her.”

“It’s a tragedy,” Bryan added.

Petaluma, CA: Family member: Petaluma shooting victim feared estranged husband

Petaluma second-grade teacher Kim Baucom Conover knew her estranged husband, Kevin, owned a gun but may have been the only member of her family who failed to anticipate what he might do with it, a close family member said Monday.
Their troubled marriage of less than two years included episodes of physical violence, an Easter Day domestic abuse report and recent episodes of stalking in the wake of the couple's separation about two months ago, the family member said, on condition her name and relationship not be revealed.
Kim Conover, 43, was “absolutely” afraid of her husband and had tried to leave him several times before, the family member said.
On Sunday, she visited her divorce attorney to get a restraining order against her husband, police said.
But she apparently did not foresee the level of violence that exploded Sunday afternoon.
Kevin Conover, 41, was waiting for her outside her lawyer's office in downtown Petaluma. Police said he accosted her on the street, then shot her and killed himself.
“I think everybody but her thought he was capable of this,” the family member said.
Her attorney, Jeff Zimmerman, was among several witnesses to the 2 p.m. shooting, police said. On Monday, Zimmerman said he was unable to say anything because of attorney-client privilege.
“My hands are tied,” Zimmerman said.
Kim Conover, a graduate of Petaluma High School like her husband, was a well-loved teacher for more than 12 years at Meadow Elementary School in the Waugh School District.
The flag was flying at half-staff over the Petaluma school, where staff and students were grieving Monday with chaplains and counselors on hand to help, Superintendent Robert Cmelak said.
Students were invited to spend time “loving up” two service dogs brought in to provide comfort. Numerous kids created colorful pictures and letters that were taped to a window on the principal's office above a row of vases filled with flowers.
The Conovers had 21-month-old twins, a boy and a girl, and Kim Conover had two older daughters from a previous marriage, a 15-year-old and 12-year-old who attend Petaluma schools, police and school officials said.
Kevin Conover's mother, Jean Conover, declined comment Monday, but his sister, Bonnie, issued a written statement a short time later saying the family “was devastated by Sunday's events.”
“Our hearts go out to the Baucom and Sullivan families for their senseless loss; especially to Kim's daughters,” the statement read. “We appreciate and are eternally grateful for the love and support being shown in the community for all of us impacted by this tragedy.”
Until their separation, Kim Conover lived in the same home Kevin Conover had shared with his late wife, who reportedly died of cancer, in a neat neighborhood off Rainier Circle in northeast Petaluma. She most recently was staying with her parents in Petaluma.
A friend said Kevin Conover retired on disability from PG&E about five years ago.
Neighbors on Searles Way said the couple was friendly but didn't interact much with others on the street.
“There's always been something off over there,” next-door neighbor Margaret Corderman said, citing blinds that were closed “24-7.”
Corderman said she heard the couple argue a few times, and was surprised when she suddenly realized two young children lived there.
Another neighbor also remembered seeing police at the house, but said the Conovers “were good neighbors, and they were very peaceable to everyone, though I don't know what went on privately.”
Police Lt. Tim Lyons said police were still compiling information about the couple's history, but had records of two domestic violence complaints made by Kim Conover, one on April 9 at the Searles Way house and the other on June 2, 2011. No arrests were made on either occasion.
But Lyons said investigators had several witnesses and no real doubt that Kevin Conover was responsible for Sunday's shooting, though they were eager to talk with any additional witnesses who may have seen him in the time before the gunfire.
A ripe, red apple had been placed at the base of an impromptu memorial to Kim Conover containing numerous bouquets of flowers and a button saying “Until Violence Stops” that had been left Monday in front of the Keller Street building where the shooting occurred.
Lyons said Kevin Conover reportedly was waiting outside the lawyer's office for his wife. There was a brief exchange, and Kim Conover turned and walked away from him, southbound. Kevin Conover followed, and then fired, Lyons said.
It was unclear how many rounds he shot or how many times she was struck before he turned the gun on himself, Lyons said.
Both were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where Kevin Conover was pronounced dead around 5 p.m. and Kim Conover around 9 p.m., Lyons said.
Autopsies were being conducted on the two on Monday, but there were no preliminary results available, Lyons said.
A “gifted teacher” who taught hundreds of children in the primary grades at Meadow School, Kim Conover was “a teacher of teachers” who traveled around the country training others in language arts instruction, including reading comprehension, fluency and vocabulary, Cmelak said.
He said police informed him of the shooting in time for him and Meadow principal Melissa Becker to call every staff member in the district and then each student family from Conover's class to impart the news.
It was agreed students would only be told that Conover had passed away, without details, Cmelak said. Any specific questions about domestic violence or her husband's role would be answered with, “We certainly don't know all the facts,” he said.
But it was a challenge given the number of children who arrived at school already knowing certain details about the shooting, and it was a rough day all around, Cmelak said.
Many of the staff shared tears over Conover's death, as well, and the school day closed with many exchanging hugs out front of the school.
Conover “had a smile that lit up the room,” Cmelak said, “and that's how we're going to remember her.”
Suns, butterflies, birds and many hearts populated the students' drawings posted at the school office.
“Dear Conover Family,” one note read, “I'm really sorry what happened to your mom. I really loved her, too.”

Sunday, April 15, 2012

O'Fallon, MO: Michael Rone charged with murdering wife

O'Fallon, MO (KSDK) - Michael Rone has been charged with 1st degree murder in the strangulation death of his wife.

Relatives found Stacey Rone, 38, dead in her O'Fallon, MO home just after 10p.n. Thirsday evening. Rone lived in the 1100 block of St. Matthew Ave.

An autopsy determined Rone had been strangled to death.

Michael Rone, 42, was last person to see his wife before her death. Police arrested Rone when he returned to the home on Saturday afternoon.

Rone admitted to police that he strangled his wife during an argument.

His bond has been set at $250,000.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Greenland, NH: Attorney general: Mutrie killed girlfriend, self

GREENLAND -- Chief Medical Examiner Thomas Andrew has concluded suspected cop-killer Cullen Mutrie killed his girlfriend before taking his own life.

The N.H. Attorney General’s Office issued a statement Saturday afternoon stating an autopsy confirmed the manner of death for both Mutrie, 29, of 517 Post Road in Greenland, and Brittany Tibbetts, 26.

They both died following a drug bust gone bad involving members of the N.H. Drug Task Force and former Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney. Four officers were wounded in a blaze of gunfire that claimed the life of Maloney, 48. Maloney had a week to go before retirement.

According to Attorney General Michael Delaney, State Police Col. Robert Quinn and new Greenland Police Chief Tara Laurent, a Saturday autopsy concluded Mutrie’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. The medical examiner ruled the manner of death a suicide, authorities said.

Mutrie also sustained a bullet graze wound to his arm, according to authorities.

The statement from the attorney general confirmed the identity of the deceased woman found at 517 Post Road as Tibbetts. The Portsmouth Herald learned Friday morning Tibbetts was killed during the hours-long standoff at Mutrie’s home and verified it via an interview with her mother, Donna Tibbetts of Berwick, Maine.

Brittany Tibbetts was shot in the head in what authorities declared a homicide. She did not have any additional wounds, according to the attorney general.

Donna Tibbetts told the Herald her daughter had left Mutrie in the weeks before the carnage out of concern for her own safety but returned to his side just days before Thursday’s shooting because she was worried about his mental state.

Brittany Tibbetts was a graduate of Noble High School, played softball and was named Gatorade Pitcher of the Year in 2003-04. She worked at Hair Excitement in the Fox Run Mall in Newington for five years and had dreams of opening her own salon, her mother said.

Mutrie had previously been charged with possession of liquid and powder forms of steroids. Police officers from multiple regional departments responded to his house Thursday to serve a search warrant and were greeted with gunfire.

No additional information was immediately available and no further briefings on the investigation are anticipated at this time.