Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Davidson County Sheriff David Grice said Monday that the deaths of a husband and wife found last week were the result of a murder-suicide.
Timothy Shane Benbow fatally shot his wife, Emily Benbow, then killed himself, Grice said.
The sheriff’s office had declined to classify the deaths as murder-suicide last week but had said investigators were not looking for any suspects.
Ray Woosley, Emily Benbow’s father, called 911 Tuesday after he had gone to the house. He had gotten a call from a day care center, saying that his 3-year-old granddaughter had not shown up.
He found his granddaughter watching television, and she told him, “Mom and Dad are asleep,” The Dispatch of Lexington reported.
According to a search warrant, Emily and Timothy Benbow were each found shot once. Investigators seized a semi-automatic handgun along with a magazine containing three live rounds and one live round found in the chamber. They also seized a prescription for alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The prescription was made out to Timothy Benbow.
Grice declined to comment further on the case. He would not say whether the couple’s daughter witnessed the fatal shootings. The couple’s daughter is in the custody of other family members.
An Eastpointe business owner has been charged with the murder of his wife who was found shot to death in their home during the weekend.
Anthony Webster, 45, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of second-degree murder and was ordered held on a $500,000 bond, according to 38th District Court in Eastpointe. He did not post bond and was expected to be remanded to the Macomb County Jail.
He pleaded not guilty during the arraignment. A preliminary examination is set for Feb. 5.
Christina Lazzana-Webster, 33, was found in her home in the 23000 block of David Avenue about 2 p.m. Saturday, after police received a call that they should check on her welfare. They found the side door unlocked. She was shot in the chest.
Her white 2000 Lexus RX 300 had been taken.
Webster and Lazzana-Webster owned Big Top Popcorn in the East Brooke Commons Plaza at Gratiot and 9 Mile. The couple and the shop were profiled in the Free Press in October because of the business' colorful popcorn treats.
Contact Christina Hall:firstname.lastname@example.org
A Keller couple found dead Sunday at their home in what police say could be a murder-suicide have been identified as Ron and Susan Campbell, according to a relative and the Tarrant County medical examiner's website on Tuesday.
Susan Campbell, 66, died of a gunshot wound to the head, the medical examiner's office said.
The medical examiner's office has not released the name of her husband, but a relative identified him as Ronald Michael Campbell, 65. A ruling on his death is pending.
The medical examiner's office has not ruled on whether the couple's death was a murder-suicide.
Two large dogs also were found shot to death with the couple on the couple's bed, Keller police said.
Responding to a welfare check call, Keller police arrived at the home in the 1500 block of Chase Oaks Drive about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Officers found the home locked, but police forced their way in when they detected an odor.
Police said the man was lying in the bed with a gun and authorities also found a note. Authorities released no information on the note.
Based on evidence found at the scene, investigators say they believe the shooting may have happened 10 days earlier, on Jan. 17. A restaurant receipt dated Jan. 17 was discovered in the residence, police said.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/01/29/4584139/keller-couple-found-dead-in-their.html#storylink=cpy
Authorities in Eastern Oregon are searching for an Ontario woman charged with manslaughter in the stabbing death of a man from Payette, Idaho.
Sheriff Brian Wolfe of Malheur County said Tuesday that investigators are checking out places linked to Ketra Savannah Siuce-Hale.
The Ontario Argus Observer reports the victim was identified as 26-year-old Mark Samuel Rogers.
Wolfe says Rogers and the suspect were living together and on Monday had "some kind of an argument out in the middle of the roadway." Wolfe says Rogers was stabbed with a sharp object.
New numbers are out from the annual Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women Femicide Report and while they're down over the last few years, the numbers are not good: at least 18 Minnesotans lost their lives last year to domestic abuse. One of these murder victims was a man; three were friends or family members. The murders left 11 minor children without parents.
Those numbers do not include victims who were abused and survived.
The group held a press conference at the capitol Tuesday to highlight efforts to prevent more domestic violence deaths. Law enforcement officials from around the metro spoke along with victims advocates, calling for better intervention in domestic abuse situations. Here are a few cases from last year highlighted in the report:
-On Dec. 27, Lolitta Malone, 31 was murdered by an acquaintance, Honora Patterson, who was a frequent visitor to her home in north Minneapolis. While Lolitta was in bed, Patterson soaked her with gasoline and stabbed her several times. Lolitta is survived by her 26-year-old son. Patterson was charged with second degree murder and is awaiting trial.-On Oct. 25, Tensia Richard, 22, was killed by her estranged husband, Chevel Richard. Tensia was attacked outside Anytime Fitness center in Cottage Grove, chased across the parking lot over to the Jimmy John's restaurant where she tried to signal for help. Once inside the restaurant, the employees ran and hid inside the freezer, leaving Tensia alone and helpless with her husband who then shot her to death. After killing his wife, Chevel then shot and killed himself. Chevel had a long history of domestic violence and in the past, Tensia had also taken a protective order against Chevel. Just two weeks before the incident, Tensia had separated from her husband and was in the process of filling for a divorce. Tensia is survived by the couple's two young sons.-On Jan. 13, Vinessa Lozano, 18, had just finished a shift at the Pizza Ranch in Montevideo, when her co-worker, Darek Nelson, 24, stabbed her 30 times with a large hunting knife. She was brought to the hospital but died soon after. Vinessa had befriended Nelson after he started working at the pizza restaurant in 2011 but Nelson took her friendship to be something more, despite the fact that she had an 18-month old son and a fiancé. Just before the murder, Vinessa had refused Nelson's invitation to meet him at his mother's residence. A grand jury indicted Nelson on first-degree murder.-On Feb. 20, Christopher Fulmer, 37, his girlfriend CF and her three daughters were asleep in Fulmer's house when CF's estranged husband, Brian Daniel Freeman, broke into the house armed with a hammer. Freeman injured CF's two teenage daughters, beat Fulmer to death with the hammer, and severely injured CF who was lying in the bed next to Fulmer. CF and her two daughters were badly hurt and Fulmer was killed.
The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women is calling on lawmakers to consider domestic violence in any public safety legislation they pass this session. They say coordinated efforts to target the most lethal perpetrators of domestic abuse, and to help abuse victims, has shown success. The group plans to rally in what it's calling an "Action Day to End Violence Against Women," at the state Capitol March 12.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
MONITOR TOWNSHIP -- A Bay County man and his girlfriend are dead in what police are calling, a murder-suicide. Police found a weapon and suicide note at the crime scene.
"I guess I was shocked,” says Sandy Betzold. “I still don’t believe it.”
Neighbors is Monitor Township say they can't believe what happened in this home Wednesday night.
I can't believe it was a murder-suicide,” says Mickey Gowen.
The Bay County sheriff says Robert Burt, 52, shot and killed his girlfriend, Michelle Pischel, 48, before turning the gun on himself.
“I can't believe he did whatever they're saying he did," says Betzold.
Boone's Corner Store---next door to the crime scene---is closed. Burt was the manager of the shop owned by his mother. It seems everyone here knew him.
“Oh yea, I had his cell phone number in case anything went on. You know, so I could call him and let him know,” says Betzold.
“He was just a nice guy, you would've thought I knew the guy for years,” say Gowen. He always took time to talk to you. I would sit there and talk to him about the neighborhood,” she adds.
But something went terribly wrong at 1018 Midland Road Wednesday night. Police are still unsure of what led to the murder-suicide. Michelle Pischel's son found the two bodies.
“i'm still in shock, i can't believe he would murder his wife--or his girlfriend and then himself,” says Gowen.
Police are still analyzing the suicide note left behind and neighbors are trying to figure out why.
“it's just a hard thing to believe that this would happen,” says Gowen.
"I can't believe it, i still don't. Someone like that, i guess you never expect it,” says Andrew Hannan, a neighbor. “You always say you think you know people but i guess sometimes you don't.”
For more than three years, Deanna Mendoza dealt with a stream of stressful calls as a dispatcher for the Tampa Police Department.
On Thursday, another dispatcher took a 911 call. The dispatcher didn’t know it at the time, but the call involved Mendoza.
The sheriff’s office said Mendoza was confronted by her armed, estranged husband outside his mother’s home, 8361 Galewood Circle in Tampa.
A neighbor heard gunshots at about 9 a.m. and ran to the driveway to find Mendoza slumped over in the front seat and her husband, Pedro Mendoza, slumped over in the back seat of her Hyundai Sonata, said Cristal Bermudez Nuñez, a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s spokeswoman.
Deanna Mendoza was the victim of a murder-suicide, the sheriff’s office said.
Tom Wolff, Tampa police communications manager and Deanna Mendoza’s supervisor, said the office staff is shaken over the news.
“We’re used to dealing with the calls coming in, meaning somebody on the outside, not somebody within our own family here at communications,’’ Wolff said.
Mendoza’s father, Lou Litus of Tampa, said his daughter never thought Pedro Mendoza would harm her. They had been married about two years, he said. She had filed for divorce in July, but he kept calling her, sometimes 10 to 20 times a day, he said.
“He’d sweet talk her into staying,” Litus said. “He never changed his ways.”
Litus said he’s in shock.
“You’re talking to her one day; next day there’s no more,” Litus said. “I don’t think it’s caught up with me yet.”
Sheriff’s detectives think Deanna Mendoza drove to the home, and at some point, Pedro Mendoza came out and the shooting occurred, Bermudez Nuñez said.
“It’s hard to tell if she was just arriving or trying to leave,” said Bermudez Nuñez.
She was a professional at work who came to the office in good spirits and with a smile, Wolff said. She handled 911 calls, dispatch calls and trained new employees.
She started working for Tampa police in October 2009 as a communications technician I and had been promoted to communications technician III. Mendoza was the agency’s employee of the month in January 2012 and was acknowledged for her ability to remain calm and upbeat during emergency situations.
She had three children; Pedro Mendoza had four.
Pedro Mendoza, 42, had a criminal history and had been in prison several times, according to Florida Department of Corrections records.
It was a murder-suicide that took the lives of two people in a Laveen area home early Thursday, authorities have determined.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Joaquin Enriquez said in a statement that Mario Ramirez, 41, shot Teresa Beltran, 38, then proceeded to fire deputies before turning his .44 caliber handgun on himself.
Deputies had arrived at a large rural property near 65th Drive and Southern Avenue after a woman caller reported shots fired at about 5 a.m.
The caller said she heard shots coming from the home where her son lives on the same piece of land, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Someone from inside the house fired two shots when deputies arrived at the location.
Deputies called for back up, and the SWAT team arrived. Someone continued to fire shots.
“Over 20 rounds were fired during the entire incident,” Enriquez said. “It is believed this tragic event was domestic violence related.”
Deputies threw a flash grenade into the home at approximately 7:20 a.m. They eventually approached the home and found Ramirez’s and Beltran’s bodies.
'We're all in shock'
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Golden years? Not every senior citizen thinks so.
Murder-suicide is occurring with alarming frequency among the elderly. This week a 93-year-old man reportedly stabbed his 95-year-old wife to death early Wednesday morning in their south Kansas City, Mo. home. Then he tried to stab himself in the chest, but failed to kill himself and woke up in the hospital.
Harry Irwin told a paramedic, “Yes, I killed her. And then killed myself. Why am I still awake?”
The couple’s 70th wedding anniversary was last month. They have seven children who live in the area.
The Jackson County prosecutor has charged Harry Irwin with second-degree murder. “No victim deserves someone else deciding when they will die,” Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement released to the media.
The Kansas City murder-attempted suicide is hardly an isolated incident.
Two weeks ago Roy Boldt, 81, visited his wife at a Tequesta, Fla. nursing home. He shot and killed 75-year-old Virginia Boldt and then turned the gun on himself. Family members told a reporter the couple had known each other since she was 5 and he was 12-years-old.
In October James Stanton, 75, shot his wife, Patricia Stanton, 68, during a visit to the Jacksonville, Fla. inpatient rehabilitation facility where she had been admitted after suffering injuries from a fall. She survived the murder attempt, but he died after shooting himself at the scene.
Earlier this year in the Washington, D.C. area, Charles D. Snelling killed his wife and then himself a week after their 61st wedding anniversary. Snelling, who’d written an essay for The New York Times on the love story he shared with his wife, had once chaired the authority overseeing Reagan and Dulles airports and the construction of Metro’s new $6 billion Silver Line. Adrienne Snelling, a fine arts photographer, had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for years, and her condition had deteriorated.
Adrienne explained, in a letter written three years earlier to the couple’s children, “We are both in agreement that neither one of us wants to live after all reasonable hope for a good life is over.”
“Might more support have made a difference? Or did he just not want to go on without her?” wrote Paula Spencer Scott on Caring.com about the Snellings.
Murder-suicides among people 55 and older have increased from 21 percent in 2002 to 25 percent in 2011 of the total murder-suicides in the United States, according to the Violence Policy Center.
A murder-suicide involving an elderly couple occurs about every two weeks in Florida, Donna Cohen, a professor at the University of South Florida, told the Kansas City Star. The author of several scholarly research articles on the topic, Cohen estimates that 20 older Americans die each week as the result of murder-suicide.
The typical case? A depressed, controlling husband who shoots his ailing wife — without her permission, according to Cohen. For most, this isn’t the romanticized Romeo and Juliet suicide pact with the couple agreeing on the time and place to ride off into the sunset together.
Although the Snellings might have agreed to end it together, the majority of murder-suicides among older couples are not suicide pacts, reports Sonia Salari, a sociologist at the University of Utah. Salari analyzed data from 225 murder-suicides in which one member was age 60 or older.
Experts say depression, exhaustion and isolation all play a role; often, it’s men who are thrust into the unfamiliar role of caregiver. They may suffer from undiagnosed clinical depression. And if they learn their own health problems put them at risk of dying before their spouses, they may believe that no one else can take care of their wives as well as they can.
And they don’t bother asking their wives for permission; in fact, the spouse is often unaware of the plan — and probably wouldn’t agree to it.
Grace Irwin’s brother, Salvatore Privitera, told the Kansas City Star, “My sister was very much interested in living,” he said. “She was very content.”
Tulsa County prosecutors Wednesday, Jan. 23, charged an Owasso-area woman with first-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 11 death of her husband.
ROUZERVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) -
Police believe a former police officer shot and killed his wife and injured her 18-year-old son before killing himself Tuesday night in Franklin County.
State police said their preliminary investigation determined 45-year-old Cathy Fleagle and 50-year-old John Fleagle died in an apparent homicide-suicide.
Trooper Rob Hicks said John Fleagle apparently shot and killed his wife in their Rouzerville home with a handgun and then shot her son, 18-year-old Mitchell Robinson, in the arm. John Fleagle then shot and killed himself, Hicks said.
Police said Robinson was able to call 911 for help following the shooting.
The motive for the shootings currently is unknown. Police said they will interview Robinson as a part of their investigation.
"Obviously having a witness in this situation is going to help us get the facts and be able to solve this crime," Hicks said.
State police were called to the couple's home in the 13000 block of Mar Pen Avenue at around 5 p.m.
Hicks said the incident occurred in the jurisdiction of the Washington Township Police Department, but state police are handling the investigation because both John and Cathy Fleagle had an affiliation with the township police department.
Cathy Fleagle was an office administrator for the police department and John Fleagle was a former police officer for the township.
HAZLETON – City police on Tuesday charged the ex-boyfriend of a Hazleton woman in connection with her December strangulation death, but the suspect remains at large, most likely in Mexico.
Oscar Lozano Garcia, 35, with a last-known address of 343 E. Diamond Ave., Hazleton, has been charged with an open count of criminal homicide, Police Chief Frank DeAndrea said at a press conference at City Hall.
Police have been trying to locate Lozano Garcia since Dec. 18 – the day they discovered the body of 32-year-old Maria Brea in the apartment she had once shared with her alleged assailant. Brea recently had ended a relationship with him, police had said, and sought him for questioning; no suspect was named.
After obtaining a search warrant on Dec. 18, police found Brea’s body in the attic of her apartment. Her body had been bound with tape, wrapped in plastic and bound with tape again. The door to the attic had been padlocked with Lozano Garcia’s padlock and the seam to the door sealed with tape, police said.
Six latent fingerprints found on the tape binding Brea’s body were analyzed and compared with a fingerprint card for Lozano Garcia obtained from the Department of Homeland Security. All six prints matched, authorities said.
Luzerne County Acting Coroner Bill Lisman determined the cause of her death to be asphyxiation due to strangulation.
Detective Lt. Ken Zipovsky on Tuesday said he was confident Lozano Garcia is not in Pennsylvania.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that Lozano Garcia entered Mexico on Dec. 17, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint.
Talked to sister Dec. 14
Family members last spoke to Brea, 32, on Dec. 14, the same day she failed to pick up her children from school and her family reported her missing to police.
According to the affidavit: Brea’s sister, Wendy Rodriguez, told police she spoke with Brea at about 1:30 p.m. that day and that Brea was at home in her pajamas cooking food. Brea had told Rodriguez she had just broken up with Lozano Garcia and was surprised at how well he had taken the news. That was the last time the sisters spoke.
Rodriguez then received a call from the Hazleton Area School District at about 3:35 p.m. notifying her that Brea had not picked up her two children. She could not reach Brea by cellphone, so she picked up the children and took them to Brea’s apartment.
Rodriguez opened the door and found food on the stove, music playing and lights on, but no sign of Brea. Brea’s daughter called Lozano Garcia’s cellphone and no one answered.
Lozano Garcia eventually called Brea’s daughter back and, when asked where Brea was, replied, “I left her in the house. Maybe she went shopping.” Rodriguez and Brea’s children left around 4:30 p.m. and Rodriguez returned at about 5:30 p.m. with Rodriguez’s sister, Wendy DeJesus, Brea’s daughter and another woman, Aura Santiago.
Lozano Garcia returned a call to Santiago at about 10 p.m., said he had been at work, tried to reach Brea all day by phone and that he would be at the apartment within an hour. She waited until 2 a.m.; he never came.
Affidavit: Suspect left town
Police said Brea’s and Lozano Garcia’s cellphone records showed Lozano Garcia had not called Brea that afternoon. The records also showed that the pair’s cellphones were interacting with cell towers in the same geographical area in the same stretch of time after Rodriguez’s last contact with Brea.
According to a neighbor, Lozano Garcia was in the apartment with Brea at 1:45 p.m. Dec. 14 and was still there when the neighbor left for work at about 2:15 p.m.
Lozano Garcia’s managers and co-workers told police Lozano picked up his paycheck at 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and told them he would not be returning to work and that he was going back to Mexico because he had a fight with his girlfriend and police were looking for him. Four of them said they saw scratches on his face and arms, according to the affidavit.
They also said he had not worked that day. Lozano Garcia’s supervisor told police Lozano Garcia might be going to Mexico with co-worker Juan Cervantes.
District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said investigators met with Brea’s family members Tuesday and updated them on the case. “Of course, they’re still devastated over this,” she said. “They lost a loved one, and our hearts go out to them.”
Lozano Garcia might be driving a red-and-black Chevrolet pickup with a Pennsylvania license plate YYF-5939. He is described as Hispanic, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 165 pounds with black hair.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911.
A 24-year-old Lake Charles, La. man has been arrested for allegedly attacking his girlfriend and killing her dog.
According to Tuesday's KATC News, a violent domestic dispute took place between Sean L. Collett, and his girlfriend, who was not named.
According to a press release from theCalcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, an argument between the couple turned violent on Jan. 18, when Collett began to physically attack his girlfriend, and later, her dog.
The victim advised the authorities that she had been dragged, choked and hit in the jaw and back.
The victim also informed the deputies that her dog began to bark at Collett when she was being attacked.
According to the victimized girlfriend, Collett turned his rage towards the barking dog, who was was repeatedly slammed against the wall. The dog did not survive the vicious attack.
Collett's girlfriend was taken to a hospital to be treated for her injuries and she was later released.
Collett was arrested on charges of 2nd degree battery and aggravated animal cruelty.
The judge set Collett's bond at $30,000.