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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hurt, then hurt again by killer

9-3-2006 Washington:

BELLINGHAM – Her father's phone number is still programmed into Eve Vasquez's cell phone. She can't bring herself to erase it. It's as if the number and the word "Dad," preserved in the phone's memory, hold out the possibility that he's still alive, as if she can dial and they can again sit by the ocean, eating ice cream to take the edge off sad and bitter memories.

Once, in a dream, she called the number. Her father answered. He told her it was a special favor from heaven: He could talk to her one last time.

It was, she says, her best dream.

A year ago, on Aug. 26, 2005, Michael Anthony Mullen, claiming to be an FBI agent, turned up at the Bellingham home shared by three convicted sex offenders. He warned the men – all of whom had served their sentences – that someone with a "hit list" was killing Level 3 sex offenders.

That hit man, as it turned out, was Mullen himself. He'd found their names and address on a sex offender registry run by police. That night, after one roommate left for his night job, Mullen fatally shot each of the remaining two in the head. Vasquez's father, Victor, was one of those two men.

At the urging of family members, Mullen turned himself in to police a week and a half later. He was convicted and sentenced to 44 years in prison. The killings, he said, were an attempt to show child molesters that they wouldn't be tolerated.

"I want them to know that there are some of us in this World that will cross any boundry (sic) & law to stop them," he wrote in a recent letter to a Spokesman-Review reporter. "This includes murder."

To Eve Vasquez, 28, those pistol shots took away more than the life of her 68-year-old father. They cut short her long-hoped-for reconciliation with him, after he'd served more than a decade in prison for sexually abusing her as a young girl. After years of anger, then silence, then cautious contacts – wary and angry on her part, apologetic on his – the two were on their way to making peace out of a brutal, scarring history.

Then along came a 6-foot-5 stranger with an address, simmering fury over his own childhood molestation, and a stolen 9 mm pistol.

"Everything that I had done to try to make myself better and get the courage to confront Dad and make it better, all that was taken from me," said Vasquez. "After years of waiting for a dad and not having any sort of stability in my life, I finally had a dad.

"And it just kind of disappeared in an instant."

Eve Vasquez grew up in the Whatcom Valley, the oldest girl of seven children of "raging hippie" parents renting a rural home near Mount Baker. Her early memories include the smell of baking bread, berry picking, gardening with her mother, and of the family's cats, turtles, dogs, frogs and a tame raccoon.

"I just kind of remember a time when it wasn't too bad," Vasquez recalled.

Victor Vasquez was a logger. One day, his daughter says, he was caught by a moving log, badly injuring his back. He got disability pay, but it didn't go far.

"We got poor. Really, really poor," she said. Her mother, she said, became emotional and angry, frequently taking the youngest children and leaving. Vasquez remembers being hungry and hearing her parents fighting. A child with dirty clothes and bedraggled hair, she'd gawk at other children in stores.

Her mother's absences increased. Her father, drunk and enraged, would beat the children. He clubbed one of her brothers, striking Vasquez when she tried to intervene.

"I looked in his eyes," she said, "and there was nothing there."

Then, about age 8, she began being sexually abused by her father.

"It was almost as if my parents had lost everything, lost the ability to take care of themselves and their kids," she recalled. "It was as if they'd forgotten right from wrong."

Vasquez tried to escape, riding her bike for miles and finally working up the courage to tell neighbors what was happening. They returned her home, warning her not to lie again.

At the insistence of local officials, the children started going to school. Worried teachers pressed them to eat.

Somehow, distant family members got word of the abuse. They invited the family to visit Arizona. Vasquez's parents piled the seven kids into an old van, sleeping in the vehicle along the way. When they arrived, they got Christmas presents. They went to church. They ate three meals a day.

"It was like this life that I didn't know existed," Vasquez said.

Then, when Vasquez's parents left briefly, her relatives locked up the home and packed off the kids. She never lived with her parents again.

The children were shuttled among aunts in California, Arizona and Utah. In the end, she and her older brother Abe were put in separate foster homes in Bellingham. At age 12, she testified against her father, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for sexual abuse. Shortly afterward, overcome by guilt, she tried to kill herself with pills.

By 14, Vasquez was living in a juvenile group home in Spokane, attending North Central High School and later University High School. She learned to drive and was taken in by Dru Powers, a foster mother in Spokane. Vasquez was heartbroken when her brother – 18, broke, depressed and terrified of becoming like his father – shot himself to death in Bellingham.

"At that point, everybody had abandoned us," she said. "Everybody."

But Powers hadn't. She cared for Vasquez, letting her dye her hair blond and be a rebellious teen. Vasquez stayed there until 17, when she was stunned to get a phone call from her mother. Guilty at having grown so close to Powers, Vasquez ran away. She lived on the streets of Spokane, asking for spare change, raiding trash bins for old bagels, stealing shoes from Value Village. She finally got a job cleaning houses, then at Starbucks, and got her mother to move to an apartment in Spokane.

By 19, Vasquez was married and pregnant. As the marriage soured, she had a second child. She says her husband was abusive and cheated on her. She became depressed, overweight, overwhelmed. At her husband's insistence, she says, she agreed to let his parents adopt their two children.

"I can't even describe losing my children because I couldn't open my mouth to these people who were judging me," she said. "That was the most horrible feeling."

Three months later, the couple broke up.

"I never really saw my ex-husband or kids again," she said. She was 22.

She started life over: a new apartment, a job at a bowling alley. She spent a summer as kitchen help and a housekeeper at a Yellowstone lodge.

Her father was nearby, it turned out, serving his final years at the prison at Airway Heights. She never visited him. When he was released, he moved to the Bellingham home, owned by one of his sex-offender roommates. Vasquez, as a victim, was notified of his release.

She decided to confront him.

His daughter found Victor Vasquez the same way his killer did: by searching the Internet for sex offenders in Bellingham. There he was – his picture, address and crimes.

She got in her Hyundai and drove west.

The next morning, fearful and mentally reviewing a self-defense class, she stood on his doorstep.

"He just kind of looked at me with tears in his eyes," she said.

She asked if he knew who she was.

"Of course I do," she recalled him saying. "How could I forget you? You're my daughter."

They ended up spending the day together, careful to stay out in public at her insistence. But within hours, she said, she was convinced her father was not the same person who'd beaten his children and sexually abused her.

"I found this human being who was suffering greatly with guilt and pain," she said. "He knew that everyone hated him."

They ended up at a beach, the same spot where she'd later hold his memorial service. She told her father her memories. He cried and repeatedly apologized.

After years of feeling that the abuse and family breakup were her fault, she said, "I just kind of started to feel human."

That was the first of about half a dozen trips from Spokane to Bellingham that Vasquez took to talk to her father. They'd talk on the phone weekly.

"He never made excuses," she said. "He never said it was because of the drinking or the drugs or because he was in the war.

"He felt he'd lost control of his life and his mind. All these kids, a wife who hated him, poverty. He just said 'I lost control. Of everything.' "

The last time she saw him was Aug. 23, 2005. It was the same as other visits: the same beach, the same ice cream.

On Aug. 27, she called. His answering machine didn't pick up. Worried, she called back that night. No answer.

In Bellingham, the third roommate had returned from work at his 3 a.m. lunch break. Walking in the open door, he saw 49-year-old Hank Eisses lying in a pool of blood. The roommate fled and called police. Police found Victor Vasquez's body nearby. In Spokane that night, Eve Vasquez's phone rang. It was her Bellingham foster mother. She asked Vasquez if she were sitting down.

Yes, she said.

"I just saw your dad's house on the news," the woman said. "There was a shooting."

Vasquez fell to the floor.

As police chased leads – a partial fingerprint on a can of Coors Light that Mullen had drunk, a letter he'd written to a local newspaper promising more sex offender deaths – Eve Vasquez put her father to rest.

"I think I was actually the main suspect for a while," she said, "like I'd found someone to kill him."

She wrote to the local paper, defending her father's memory. She planned his memorial service, attended by friends, family members and detectives on the case. A victims' aid group paid for the ceremony and cremation.

She put some of his ashes in the bay, near where they'd talked. The rest sit in an urn on her shelf, awaiting a vacation when she hopes to sprinkle his ashes at Yellowstone and other spots she loves.

Shortly after the killing, Vasquez moved to Bellingham. She volunteers at a home for indigent people with AIDS and plans to attend community college this fall. She wants a nursing degree.

Vasquez testified at Mullen's sentencing, trying to convey what he'd taken from her. She joined a 10-week grieving group, which still, months later, gets together for coffee. She still goes to weekly counseling and says she feels good. She laughs easily, although Powers, her Spokane foster mother, says she wrestles periodically with deep depression.

"For the majority of the hours of the day, she stuffs down what happened. I don't know how you could face it 24-7," Powers said. "She has a good attitude on life and wants to give everyone a chance. I think that helps her."

There's been one unexpected benefit to the publicity surrounding the slaying: Four of Vasquez's siblings, raised by an aunt in California, found her. She hasn't seen them in 15 years. ..more.. by Richard Roesler, Staff writer

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

GA- Suspect in carjacking a molester (killed by passerby)

Posted in Related Deaths
9-17-2005 Georgia:

The carjacker-kidnapper shot dead Monday by a passer-by in Cobb County had a conviction for sex crimes and has been tentatively connected to a rape last week in Acworth, police said Tuesday.

Despite his conviction for child molestation and statutory rape, Brian O'Neil Clark, 25, does not appear in the state's database for sexual offenders, and state officials were at a lost to explain why.

As details came out about her abductor Tuesday, so too did a picture of the victim. Kimberly Boyd, 30, was kidnapped at gunpoint shortly after leaving her office Monday morning, police said. She died when Clark turned into the path of a cement truck, causing a collision.

Friends say she was considering a shift from working mother to stay-at-home mom.

Investigators also revealed that Boyd had been shot as she struggled with her abductor. The coroner did not detail the extent of her wound, but police believe she was alive when the cement truck hit her Toyota Sequoia broadside.

As Clark was fleeing that accident, he was shot dead by motorist Shawn Roberts, who had seen Boyd and Clark struggling and followed as the car careened down U.S. 41 in Acworth. Cobb police Lt. Kevin Flynn, said Tuesday that Roberts, 31, was cooperating and appeared to have acted lawfully.

Roberts said he believes that killing Clark probably saved more lives.

Clark had a history of criminal offenses in Cherokee and Cobb counties, according to police and court records.

In April 2002, he was arrested in Illinois and returned to Georgia to face child molestation, statutory rape and burglary charges in Cobb, where he received an 18-month sentence, jail records show.

In Cherokee, Clark was convicted in 2004 of first-degree forgery and was released June 13 after a year in state prison.

Family, friends mourn

Clark had been placed on the sexual offenders database operated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations after his conviction in Cobb, GBI spokesman John Bankhead said. He was removed from the list while serving time for the forgery conviction, but should have been added after his release three months ago, Bankhead said.

"It's very peculiar that he isn't" on the list, Bankhead said Tuesday. "We're investigating to find out why."

As the police probe continues, the stunned community is reaching out to Boyd's grieving family and friends, who remember her as a dedicated family woman.

"She wanted to stay home with her kids and just be a mom," recalled Kathy Key-Reynolds, who runs a Budget rental office in Kennesaw. Boyd had asked her about six months ago to take over her truck rental business.

"I keep going through what happened and wondering if I had taken her store, would she have been home [Monday] morning and this somehow could have been avoided? It's a real tragedy."

A steady stream of family and friends dropped by the five-bedroom brick home where Boyd lived with husband Michael, stepson Nathan, 13, and their children: Connor, 5, and Chloe, 2. Guests sobbed as they embraced family members in the driveway.

"Kim was a wonderful mother. She loved life, her children, her husband," longtime family friend Tom Boggess said, breaking down. "I don't know of an enemy she ever had."

About 9:30 a.m. Monday, 911 calls began coming in from motorists who saw Boyd fighting with a man inside her Toyota SUV and also along Cobb Parkway near Lake Allatoona, police said.

"She fought for her life in those final moments, I'm sure of it," Boggess said.

Roberts lives about a mile from the Boyd home. He stopped by Monday night, and Boyd's husband thanked him, Boggess said.

That same night, Michael Boyd sobbed as he told his children their mother wasn't coming home, Boggess said.

"They're torn to pieces," Boggess said. Connor "keeps saying his misses his Emmy," the nickname he gave to his mother, he said.

Through family members, Michael Boyd declined to be interviewed but thanked the community for its support.

"We must have received 300 calls so far," Boggess said.

"We're all still in shock," said Scott Ryder, Boyd's brother-in-law. "All I'm going to say is this is obviously something that girl did not deserve."

A 1992 Wheeler High School graduate, Kimberly Diane McCollum married Michael Boyd about eight years ago, Boggess said. Two years ago, they moved into a new home in Bentwater, a sprawling golf community that straddles Paulding and Cobb counties.

Suspect linked to rape

Tuesday afternoon, the Budget truck rental store on Cherokee Street in Acworth was closed. Key-Reynolds, Boyd's friend and business associate, placed a dozen roses on the sidewalk outside. The card read: "Kim, we remember you kindly."

Meanwhile, Acworth police said Clark meets the description of a man who raped and carjacked an Acworth woman last week.

"Further evidence has been confirmed linking Clark to the rape," said Acworth police Officer Wayne Dennard. "However, DNA results from the GBI Crime Lab confirming he is last week's attacker will not be available for some time."

In the Sept. 6 attack, a man confronted the victim as she walked out onto her front porch. He forced her back into the house, raped her and then made her drive to withdraw money from a bank ATM, Dennard said.

Instead, the woman ran inside the bank, and the man, who the victim said had a gun and a knife, drove off in her Honda Accord, Dennard said. A gun recovered at Monday's crime scene may have been taken in last week's attack, Dennard said. ..more.. by CHANDLER BROWN, DON PLUMMER


Reluctant hero recalls fateful day

As he raced on foot across busy Cobb Parkway last year, armed with a .380 semiautomatic pistol, Shawn Roberts thought briefly that his actions might not be viewed as politically correct.

On that September morning, Roberts was chasing a carjacker, hoping to rescue a woman who had been abducted along with her sport utility vehicle a short time before.

Unknown to him, Kimberly Boyd, the 30-year-old owner of the hijacked SUV, was already dead, killed in a traffic collision moments earlier.

From about 15 feet away, Roberts recalled, the carjacker climbed from the wreckage and headed toward a gas station. As Roberts closed in, he said, the man turned and pointed a .40 caliber handgun at him. Roberts fired, hitting Brian O'Neil Clark with three shots, killing him.

Clark, 25, had been convicted of child molestation, statutory rape and burglary. He'd been released from prison three months earlier.

Roberts said he realized, even at the time, that what he did was controversial.

"It's not [politically correct] to run around in public wielding a handgun, but it's sometimes necessary," he said. "And [it's] our moral responsibility — not just [that of] the police — [to] defend other lives when we can."

Roberts, who owns a company installing media rooms for metro businesses, said he didn't expect to be hailed a hero by people who called from all over the country.

He insists he simply did what he had to do.

"[Clark] was running toward a gas station wearing a bandana around his face and [with] a gun in his hand. He would have carjacked another person, and it could have been worse," Roberts said in a recent interview.

In April, a Cobb County grand jury cleared Roberts of possible criminal charges. A jury spokeswoman cited a section of Georgia law that justifies the use of deadly force by a person "who reasonably believes" it is necessary to prevent death or serious injury to themselves, another person, "or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

Kimberly Boyd, who owned a truck rental company in Acworth, had dropped her young son off at school that morning and driven to her office in a strip mall, where police believe she was carjacked in the parking lot.

Five miles from her office, Boyd used her ATM card to withdraw money from a machine outside a bank. Police say she was under duress at the time. On Cobb Parkway, the carjacker pulled over to the roadside, where he and Boyd struggled.

Roberts said he was passing in traffic when he saw Clark hit the woman with his fist and a gun. Roberts told police that when he saw Clark shove her into the back of the Toyota SUV, take the wheel and speed away, he chased them.

A half-mile into the chase, Clark tried to make a sharp left turn. A cement truck northbound on the parkway crashed into the SUV, killing Boyd.

The spot where she died is near a bridge over the Allatoona Reservoir — since renamed the Kimberly Boyd Memorial Bridge by the Legislature.

Clark scrambled from the wreckage after the accident and ran, Roberts said.

When Roberts saw Clark raise his pistol, he said, "I thought I was about to die in about five seconds ... I knew I had to shoot."

When Clark fell, Roberts said he dropped his pistol and waited for authorities.

The Glock pistol found near Clark's body linked him to another violent crime six days earlier, when he used similar methods, according to Acworth police Sgt. Wayne Dennard.

The weapon had been stolen from a woman who was confronted on her porch, raped at her home and then forced to drive to her bank's ATM to withdraw money. In that case, the victim escaped into the bank a block from Kimberly Boyd's business, and the rapist fled in her car.

Dennard said evidence showed that Clark was the offender. "He matched the description given by the rape victim, and by another witness in the neighborhood," he said.

Mike Boyd, Kimberly's husband, lobbied after her death for panic codes that could alert authorities when anyone used an ATM machine under duress. That effort has been unsuccessful, but Boyd did persuade state legislators to strengthen laws on sex offenders by mandating longer sentences and stricter monitoring once they got out of prison. Although state law at the time required all sex offenders to register after their releases, Clark never had.

The law passed in April imposes a mandatory minimum 25-year sentence for violent sex offenders and requires certain designated "sexual predators" to wear electronic monitors for the rest of their lives.

"This should significantly reduce the chances of any more Brian Clarks falling through holes in the system," Boyd said. "If we'd had it last year, proper registration and tracking of Brian Clark would have saved Kimberly's life." ..Source.. by (Archive)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Beheaded man's girlfriend testifies he planned to extort money

11-30-2007 Michigan

PLYMOUTH - The girlfriend of a man who was stabbed, beheaded and burned said he planned to extort money from someone just before his death.

Breana Milow, 20, testified today at the preliminary examination of two teenagers charged in the Nov. 7 slaying of 26-year-old Daniel Sorensen that he occasionally carried a revolver and a knife and expected to collect $3,000 on the day he was killed.

"It was for his protection," Milow said of the gun. "He used it whenever he went to do a job."


Canton High School senior Jean Pierre Orlewicz, 17, and 18-year-old Alexander James Letkemann of Westland face one count each of first-degree premeditated murder, felony murder and mutilation of a corpse.

Sorensen was stabbed at least 13 times in a Canton Township garage belonging to Orlewicz's grandfather, prosecutors say.

The Wayne County medical examiner's office says an autopsy revealed Sorensen already was dead before his body was burned and beheaded.

Milow testified that Sorensen had gone to the garage the day he was killed to extort money from someone Orlewicz knew.

Milow also testified that Sorensen told her he had gone to the garage earlier that week, and the floors and windows were covered with a tarp.

The defense argued it was hearsay, and District Judge Michael Gerou did not allow the statement into evidence.

"I really didn't want to know the details about the job," Milow said.

Orlewicz's lawyer, James Thomas, says his client's ultimate defense is that Sorensen's actions resulted in his death.

The murder charges carry mandatory sentences of life in prison. Mutilating a corpse carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. ..more.. by Corey Williams, Associated Press

Georgia Rape Victim Fatally Stabs Attacker to Protect Daughter

11-7-2006 Georgia:

BALL GROUND, Ga. — A woman who was raped and beaten by an old acquaintance fought back, stabbing her attacker to death when he threatened to rape her 6-year-old daughter.

Deputies arrived at the woman's Cherokee County home Sunday night to find Gerald A. Lee, 38, lying dead in the backyard. The woman, whose name is being withheld because she was the victim of a sexual assault, told police Lee broke into the house wearing a ski mask and carrying a shotgun.

Capt. Ron Hunton with the Cherokee County Police said Lee beat the woman with the gun and raped her, then told her that he would move on to her daughter next. He had locked the daughter in the closet of the room where he raped the woman.

When Lee began rummaging through the woman's purse, she ran to the kitchen and grabbed a butcher knife. She fought with Lee, stabbing him several times, Hunton said.

At one point, the attacker threw a pot of boiling tea from the stove on her, Hunton said.

During the fight, Lee went out the back door and then re-entered the house by breaking a window, Hunton said. The woman and Lee fought again in the living room and the hallway, where she stabbed him several more times.

Lee crawled through the house into the back yard and died.

The woman was stabbed several times during the struggle. She was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where she underwent surgery Monday and remained in serious but stable condition Tuesday, Hunton said.

The daughter was not injured.

Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison said Lee and the woman went to the same high school about 20 years ago and apparently lost touch through the years. They bumped into each other a few weeks ago.

Garrison said investigators are waiting for the results of toxicology tests that he believes could show Lee was on drugs — perhaps methamphetamine.

Ball Ground is 40 miles north of Atlanta. ..more.. by Associated Press

Woman Kills Sex Offender

7-22-2002 New Mexico:

ALBUQUERQUE — A woman overpowered and killed a convicted sex offender who had broken into her home and had tried to rape her, police said.

The woman, identified only as being in her early 30s, told police she was home alone and was asleep in her bed when she was awakened about 1:30 a.m. Saturday by a flashlight pointed toward her face and with a man straddling her, Albuquerque police Capt. Marie Saenz said.

The man, 51-year-old Michael Magirl of Albu quer que, was listed as a convicted sex offender on a state Department of Public Safety Web site. Magirl was convicted of criminal sexual penetration in March 1984 in Curry County.

Saenz said when the woman woke up, Magirl had a gun pointed at her chest. When she screamed and struggled, he threatened to kill her, Saenz said.

The victim, who did not know Magirl, decided to fight her attacker. She wrestled the handgun away from him and fired it three times, hitting him twice in the upper torso, Saenz said.

Magirl died at the scene. The woman suffered minor injuries.

Police called the death a justifiable homicide.

"In this case, the victim made the decision to struggle and fight back," Saenz said. "She made the decision that she was going to survive this incident."

Saenz said the woman was in good shape, but she said every case is different and police don't encourage victims to fight back.

"We encourage the victim to do what she feels is right in her circumstance," she said. ..more.. by The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Coast Guard officer strangled after 'sexual moves' on men

12-13-2007 Trindad:

A Coast Guard officer was strangled at his Morvant apartment on Tuesday night, after he allegedly lured two young men into his apartment and attempted to sexually assault them.

The dead man was identified as Petty Officer Alister Joseph, also popularly known as "Big Joe", of Almond Court, Morvant.

Police said that around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the two men, one aged 20 of Jogie Road, San Juan, the other, 22, of Picadilly Street, Port of Spain, went to Joseph's apartment after he reportedly told them he wanted to hire them to paint his apartment for Christmas.

Police said that after the two men entered, Joseph, 46, locked the door behind him.

With the men inside, the heavily built Joseph offered them alcoholic drinks, which they accepted. He then told the men he was going into his bedroom to change his clothes.

The two men in the meantime were in the sitting room.

Joseph later emerged from his bedroom, reportedly naked, and began "making sexual advances" towards the men. They tried to avoid him and headed to the door, but Joseph had the keys. The men then began fighting back.

One grabbed a cord lying nearby and placed it around the Coast Guard's neck while the other stabbed him. It is believed that both men pulled the cord around Joseph's neck during the struggle and he died on the spot.

The men then called the police.

A team of investigators from both the Homicide Bureau and the Morvant CID, led by Acting Assistant Superintendent David Abraham, visited the scene where they conducted enquiries.

Joseph's body was later removed to the Port of Spain mortuary. A post mortem done at the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday confirmed that death was due to strangulation.

Yesterday, one female relative described Joseph as a "private person" who was devoted to his Coast Guard job. The two suspects remained in police custody up to last night being questioned.

PC Phillip of the Homicide Bureau is continuing investigations. ..more.. by Trindad News

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Five arrested for vigilante murder

12-11-2007 New Zealand

Five men were arrested yesterday for stoning to death a man they had accused of raping a three-year-old girl, Pretoria police said.

“The man, 29, from Winterveldt north of Pretoria, was pulled out of his home in Winterveldt during the early hours of Sunday morning. He was then stoned to death,” said Inspector Paul Ramaloko.

After the killing, the toddler was taken to a doctor and it was discovered that she had not been raped.

“All five men will appear in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court soon,” Ramaloko said. ..more.. by Sowetan News

Man Dies After Being Tasered By Deputies

12-10-2007 Georgia:

WALTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A man is dead after Walton County deputies say they had no choice but to taser him. Deputies say Leroy Patterson, Jr. was being questioned about a sexual assault and became belligerent. He died shortly after being tasered.

"Well, I'm confident that the deputies did everything they felt they needed to do in that situation at that particular time," said Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman.

Chapman is standing by a deputy, who he said tasered 41-year-old Patterson early Monday morning. Patterson died less than an hour later.

"We have some of the best trained deputies in the state of Georgia," said Chapman. "We're constantly training."

Chapman said the incident happened at the Green Acres subdivision on Virginia Court and Monroe. He said a patrol deputy and a detective approached the suspect's blue truck -- which he lived in. It was parked on a co-worker's property. Chapman said when they questioned Patterson about a woman's sexual assault charges, he became combative.

"He began throwing evidence out of the truck. He was subdued by the deputies and a Taser was used," said Chapman.

The sheriff said while the suspect was in custody, he began having seizures. He was pronounced dead at the Walton County Hospital.

The case is now in the hands of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

"I just ask that we don't make any judgments at this time. Let's wait until the Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducts their investigation and determines the facts and then go from there," said Chapman.

The sheriff said it's standard for the GBI to handle cases involving deputies.

Officials are not releasing the deputy's name but he has been placed on administrative leave with pay -- which the sheriff said is also standard practice.

The GBI said an autopsy on Patterson is planned for Tuesday. Toxicology reports could take several weeks. ..more.. by

Monday, December 10, 2007

Megan's Law listing may have led to slaying

12-10-2007 California:

Lake County prosecutors have investigated the possibility that information in the Internet database might have been the motive for the killing of a convicted sex offender.

LAKEPORT, CALIF. -- -- Convicted rapist Michael A. Dodele had been free just 35 days when sheriff's deputies found him dead last month in his aging, tan mobile home, his chest and left side punctured with stab wounds.

Officers quickly arrested Dodele's neighbor, 29-year-old construction worker Ivan Garcia Oliver, who made "incriminating comments, essentially admitting to his attacking Dodele," the Lake County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Prosecutors said they have investigated the possibility that the slaying of Dodele, 67, stemmed from his having been listed on the state's Megan's Law database of sex offenders. If so, his death may be the first in the state to result from such a listing, experts said.

Oliver pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, burglary and elder abuse when he was arraigned Nov. 30.

In a jailhouse interview Wednesday night, Oliver said he has a son who was molested in the past, and he took action to protect the child.

"Society may see the action I took as unacceptable in the eyes of 'normal' people," Oliver said. "I felt that by not taking evasive action as a father in the right direction, I might as well have taken my child to some swamp filled with alligators and had them tear him to pieces. It's no different."

Although Oliver did not say he killed Dodele, he said that "any father in my position, with moral, home, family values, wouldn't have done any different. At the end of the day, what are we as parents? Protectors, caregivers, nurturers."

In fact, Dodele was not a child molester. But a listing on the Megan's Law website could have left Oliver with the impression that he had abused children because of the way it was written.

Although Dodele's listing has been taken down since his death, a spokesman for the state attorney general said the site described the man's offenses as "rape by force" and "oral copulation with a person under 14 or by force."

"He was convicted of other bad things, but nothing involving a minor," said Richard F. Hinchcliff, chief deputy district attorney for Lake County. But "it would be easy to understand why someone might think so looking at the website."

Dodele's crimes involved sexual assaults on adult women, records show.

A neighbor at the Western Hills Resort & Trailer Park, a tattered collection of mobile homes and bungalows, said that two days before the killing, Oliver "told every house" in the park that he'd found Dodele listed on the website of convicted sexual offenders and was uncomfortable living near him.

"He looked it up on the computer . . . ," the neighbor said. "He said [Dodele] can't be around here."

The park resident requested anonymity because of a fear of reprisal, but reported Oliver's visit and statements to sheriff's deputies after the slaying. "A lot of people told them" about Oliver's claims, the person said.

Officials in Lake County -- a patchwork of wealth and poverty, vineyards and mobile home parks just north of Napa Valley -- would not offer a motive for the killing.

Hinchcliff acknowledged, however, that one possible motive investigated by the district attorney's office was that Oliver knew Dodele was on the Megan's Law list and did not want him as a neighbor.

According to court documents, Dodele committed his first offenses at age 15 and spent the last two decades either in prison or at Atascadero State Hospital receiving treatment.

His last attack was the 1987 knife-point rape of a 37-year-old woman on a Sonoma County beach.

Those were the charges that were listed on the Megan's Law website.

"I think [Oliver and Dodele] are both victims of the Internet," said Charlene Steen, a psychologist who examined Dodele on behalf of the defense in two 2007 trials about whether he should be recommitted to Atascadero.

Both ended in hung juries. Dodele was freed Oct. 16 and was hoping to start over in the crowded little mobile home park, where neighbors described him as open and friendly.

"The family is just sick," Steen said. "They finally got him back. They all thought he had made such great progress, and then this happened. It's pretty bad."

At 10:14 a.m. Nov. 20, an anonymous woman called 911 to report that a man was bleeding from his hands and directed medical personnel to Dodele's space at the mobile home park, according to a written statement from the Sheriff's Department.

When deputies arrived, they found Dodele's body.

The dead man's "immediate neighbors and other residents" sent the deputies to Oliver's home, the statement said, because "he had been seen recently leaving Dodele's residence with what appeared to be blood on his hands and clothing."

There was blood on a car in front of Oliver's house and at the front door of the concrete-block duplex. Inside, deputies reportedly found Oliver with blood on his hands and clothing and "injuries to his hands, consistent with having been in a physical altercation."

Authorities will not divulge exactly what Oliver said when he was arrested.

Steen wrote a letter to a local paper decrying Dodele's death "simply because he was a sex offender whose name and picture were on the registry."

Shortly after the letter was published, Steen said, a woman describing herself as Oliver's wife called to complain.

"She said, 'We have a child who was molested, and my husband is very upset to have a child molester living nearby'," Steen recounted, noting the irony that Dodele's crimes all involved adult women.

Steen said she had not talked to police about the phone call. Oliver said that the woman with whom he lived in the trailer park was his girlfriend, and the two were not married.

Attempts to reach the woman failed. One neighbor said she had moved away after the slaying.

Oliver is being held without bail, a police statement said, because he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in San Diego and was on parole when Dodele was killed.

Speaking from behind a thick glass divider in the visiting area of the Lake County Correctional Facility, Oliver said his son had been molested, but he declined to give the details of his son's assault or to give the child's name.

Although he spoke of "the action I took," he would not describe what happened in the aging mobile home the Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving.

Oliver would not comment on whether Dodele had ever approached his son.

But Oliver said he saw the older man looking at the boy.

"It was more than watching," Oliver said. "You could see his eyes. He was fantasizing, plotting. Later on down the line, who knows how many other children he could have hurt."

Research indicates that, in general, the older rapists get, the lower their risk of re-offending, said L.C. Miccio-Fonseca, chairwoman of the California Coalition on Sex Offenders, a group of treatment providers, probation and parole officers.

In addition, she said, sex offenders who target grown women over the course of many years are unlikely to victimize children.

But when told that Dodele's victims were women and not children, Oliver seemed unfazed. "There is no curing the people that do it," he said.

Oliver's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7.

Asked about what he thinks will happen to him, he said, "It's hard to tell at this point. There's no doubt I'm looking at a numerous amount of years. I'm not a lawyer. We haven't gone over the evidence."

But he also said that he "would never change who I am or what I do because of what society thinks is right or not right. I have always been who I am and always will be." ..more.. by Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer


New charge for Lakeport man
Police say Oliver, accused of killing neighbor, found with weapon in jail
12-20-2007 California:

A Lakeport man charged with fatally stabbing a neighbor he apparently thought was a pedophile now faces an additional charge of sharpening a toothbrush into a weapon while incarcerated.

Ivan Garcia Oliver, 29, has been charged with a felony count of possessing a weapon in jail, said Lake County Sheriff Rod Mitchell. He already was facing a first-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of Michael Dodele, a convicted rapist, in November.

In a jailhouse interview, Oliver told the Los Angeles Times he thought Dodele was a child molester, based on a faulty reading of the charges on an official sex offender Web registry. He said he acted to protect his son.

However, Dodele's sex crime conviction was for raping an adult Santa Rosa woman. Because he was a repeat offender, Dodele served nearly 20 years for the assault before being released two months ago.

Oliver previously was convicted in San Diego County of assault with a deadly weapon for stabbing a man multiple times, said San Diego County District Attorney's Office spokesman Steve Walker. In that 2003 case, Oliver stabbed a security guard who confronted him and and two other men after they left a restaurant without paying, he said.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, Walker said.

The discovery last week of the sharpened toothbrush was particularly troubling given Oliver's record, Mitchell said.

"Based on this man's history, I certainly think the discovery may have prevented a very serious injury to someone else, particularly a member of my staff," he said.

Mitchell said Oliver cannot claim to have made the device in order to protect himself because he was being held in protective confinement away from other inmates.

"He was in no danger," Mitchell said.

A corrections officer discovered the weapon last week while searching Oliver before moving him from one solitary cell to another, Mitchell said. ..more.. by Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or

Earlier Articles


Law enforcement officers testify in accused sex offender killer trial


Law enforcement personnel took the stand on the second day of testimony in the trial of a nearly five-year-old murder case against a Lakeport man.

Ivan Garcia Oliver, 34, is accused of using information obtained from the Megan's Law online sex offender registry to kill Michael A. Dodele, 67, a registered sex offender at the time, on Nov. 20, 2007.

Oliver faces three felonies, including murder. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied several special allegations in the case. Richard Hinchcliff, chief deputy district attorney, is prosecuting the case. Oliver is represented by attorney Stephen Carter. Judge Arthur H. Mann presided.

Four law enforcement officers testified Thursday, including the first Lake County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) deputy on scene and the lead investigator.

Thomas Andrews was the first LCSO deputy to arrive at Western Hills Resort trailer park that day.

Andrews testified he was dispatched to the trailer park at 10:15 a.m. for a report of a man with bleeding hands in front of space 19. He said he arrived on scene within five minutes.

Upon entering the driveway, he made contact with a man in front of space 31, whom Andrews said he later learned was Oliver. Andrews said he asked Oliver where space 19 was located, and Oliver allegedly told Andrews it was at the back of the trailer park.

Andrews said he saw a 19 on a trailer nearby, to which Oliver allegedly responded that the trailer numbers were mismarked and that it was at the back. Andrews said he then drove around the park and ended up on the other side of the trailer in space 19, which he said was the second trailer upon entering the park.

Andrews said he didn't see anyone in front of space 19 but noticed a sliding glass door was open. He said he announced himself as he approached the trailer and, as he moved aside some closed window blinds, noticed blood drops on the floor of the living room area that continued toward the kitchen and down a hallway.

Andrews said he announced himself again, entered the trailer and followed the blood trail to the hallway. After waiting for backup, he said the two deputies walked past the closed bathroom door, where the trail continued, and into the bedroom.

Andrews said they discovered Dodele's body at the foot of the bed in the fetal position. He said he checked for a pulse and found none, noting that Dodele was warm to the touch.

Andrews said he notified dispatch, requesting an ambulance and an LCSO investigation team.

During the investigation, Andrews said he noticed blood drops around the trunk area of a white car parked outside space 31 as well as on the front door handle to space 31B. He said he knocked on the door to 31B several times and received no answer. After other deputies arrived and further attempts to contact the residents of 31B went unanswered, Andrews said the deputies forced entry into the trailer. Andrews said Oliver was located in the residence along with his 4-year-old son and girlfriend.

LCSO Lt. Brian Kenner said he assisted in the forced entry of 31B. Upon entering, he said Oliver was discovered on the floor of the kitchen.

Kenner testified Oliver later allegedly admitted to the crime and said that he was defending his family after Dodele allegedly attacked them and went after his son. Kenner said Oliver "seemed agitated."

Kenner said Oliver had a wound on the back of his right hand around the webbing. He said he rode in an ambulance with Oliver to Sutter Lakeside Hospital, where Oliver received several stitches for the wound. Kenner testified that Oliver told the doctor treating him that he cut himself while shaving.

Brian Martin, a former LCSO lieutenant, testified a cellphone was discovered by another investigator between the mattress and box spring of the bed in 31B.

Martin said he contacted Dodele's sister, and asked for Dodele's cellphone number. Martin said he allegedly called the number she provided and the phone rang, leading the investigators to believe it belonged to Dodele.

Martin also searched an area behind 31B because the window screen in the bathroom was allegedly pushed out and there was blood on the window sill. Upon investigation, Martin said he discovered two knives. Oliver's then-girlfriend confirmed one knife belonged to Oliver, according to Martin.

LCSO Sgt. Corey Paulich, the lead investigator, described to the jury photos taken inside Dodele's trailer, many of which showed a trail of blood drops and other places where blood evidence was present. Paulich testified he smelled bleach upon entering Dodele's trailer. He said he allegedly saw an area of the rug where it was recently scrubbed or cleaned.

Hinchcliff provided more than 40 crime scene photos for the jury to look at before testimony concluded for the day. Paulich will resume testimony tomorrow at 9 a.m. in Department 3. ..Source.. by Kevin N. Hume


Trial in Lakeport sex offender's killing nears end


No one's denying Ivan Oliver stabbed a Lakeport neighbor 65 times after mistaking him for a convicted pedophile. The question about to be mulled by a Lake County jury is whether it was a case of premeditated murder, self defense or something in between.

During closing arguments Friday in the Lake County Superior Court trial, Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff told jurors the death is a clear case of first-degree murder.

He said Oliver went to Michael Dodele's mobile home with a knife and the intent to kill him. Oliver stabbed Dodele “over and over and over again” with enough force to fracture several ribs and vertebrae, he said.

“There was no way that was self defense. He was like a shark on a feeding frenzy,” Hinchcliff said.

He said Oliver, 34, killed Dodele, 67, in November 2007 because he hates child molesters and thought Dodele was a convicted pedophile after finding him on a Megan's Law sex registrant list. A confusing entry on the Megan's Law website was at the root of the mistake.

Dodele was convicted of raping multiple women in the 1970s and 1980s, not children. He'd served more than 20 years in prison for his crimes and had been released just a month before he was killed.

The misreading of the website led Oliver to think Dodele may have touched his 4-year-old son and to confront Dodele about the suspected incident, said defense attorney Stephen Carter. The attorney characterized Oliver as a doting, concerned father who was frantic with concern for his son's safety.

Recounting his client's trial testimony, Dodele said that when Oliver confronted Dodele, the older man became angry and tried to stab Oliver, he said.

Oliver was able to seize the knife and defend himself, Carter recounted. He said Oliver, eyes closed, “wildly” stabbed at Dodele. Oliver initially tried to cover up the crime but eventually admitted the slaying, according to court testimony.

Hinchcliff told jurors the self-defense scenario is implausible but Carter defended his client's story. He said Dodele was a dangerous man who had raped several women at knifepoint and was capable of using the weapon on another adult.

“Mr. Dodele lived by the knife and died by the knife,” Carter said.

Oliver also had experience with knives. He has a prior conviction for stabbing a security guard who confronted a group of Oliver's friends for leaving a Southern California restaurant without paying. He also is suspected of assaulting a young gay man the same day he killed Dodele.

Carter advised jurors to conclude that Oliver killed Dodele in self defense. At most, they should find him guilty of voluntary manslaughter, he said.

The jury will begin deliberations on Wednesday. In addition to murder, the counts they will be considering include a special allegation that Oliver used information from the Megan's Law sex offender registry to commit a felony, burglary, elder abuse and using a knife to commit a crime. ..Source.. by GLENDA ANDERSON

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

CA- Cellmate is suspect

The cellmate of a prisoner found dead at DVI is now a homicide suspect.
12-3-2007 California:

Officials at Deuel Vocational Institution are looking into the possibility that a man found dead at the prison Saturday was killed by his cellmate.

Lt. Ray Munoz, spokesman for the prison, said the California Department of Corrections has treated the death of Randy James Rabelos, 28, of Tuolumne County as a homicide. Munoz said the San Joaquin County Coroner reported that Rabelos suffocated after he was hit in the throat.

Investigators have not released the likely cause of the injury, but Munoz said that Rabelos’ cellmate, Rick Henry Kase, 39, of Santa Clara County, has been charged with the homicide under the prison’s administrative regulations. He has yet to be charged with any crime by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office.

Munoz said the prison’s nursing staff discovered Rabelos dead at 7:20 a.m. Saturday in the lower bunk of a two-man cell. The nursing staff checked in the cell during its morning rounds of the cell block, when it gives medication to those prisoners who require it.

Both men were in the prison’s special processing unit, a sort of protective custody separate from the general population for new arrivals, some sex offenders, ex-gang members, ex-police officers and some notorious criminals.

Rabelos arrived at the prison on Sept. 7. He had just started serving a three-year term after he was convicted on Sept. 4 in Tuolumne County for one count of lewd acts with a child.

Kase is serving 11 years for felony assault and weapons possession convictions. Munoz said he was in the special processing unit because he has been threatened by gang members.

Eric Hovatter, deputy district attorney from Tuolumne County who prosecuted Rabelos’ case, said Rabelos was convicted of committing a lewd act with a minor after he touched a 10-year-old girl’s breasts. He said the girl was a friend of Rabelos’ girlfriend’s daughter and was at the house for a sleepover when Rabelos reportedly got the girls drunk while the mother was at work.

Hovatter said the case went to trial in June and initially ended up with a 9-3 hung jury, and Rabelos agreed in July to a plea deal on the one count of lewd acts with a child. ..more.. by Bob Brownne call 830-4227 or e-mail


Inmate found dead in Tracy prison cell
Officials investigating incident as possible homicide
12-4-2007 California:

TRACY — An inmate was found dead inside his cell at Deuel Vocational Institution Saturday morning, prison officials said.

Prison staff handing out the morning doses of medication to inmates found Randy James Rabelos, 28, unresponsive in his cell around 7:20 a.m. who appeared to have been dead for a "couple of hours," Lt. Ray Munoz said.

Investigators from the prison, along with the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice, are investigating the matter and have questioned Rabelos' cell mate, Rick Henry Kase, 39, from Santa Clara County.

"They were in the cell together for the last 12 hours," Munoz said. "We got started into looking at how Rabelos died and immediately started to look at his cell mate. The case is being investigated as a possible homicide."

According to preliminary findings from the San Joaquin County Coroner's Office, Rabelos appeared to have died from asphyxiation with blunt force trauma. An official cause of death is pending a toxicology report which can take up to six weeks to complete.

Rabelos arrived at DVI in September from Tuolumne County and was serving a three-year sentence as a sex offender, Munoz said.

Kase arrived at the prison a little more than a month ago and is currently serving a term for parole violation, and being a convicted felon in possession of a deadly weapon. ..more.. by Staff Reports


Strange twist in case of slain San Joaquin County inmate

9-28-2008 California:

STOCKTON - If it weren't for the bald tires on a car he was riding in, Rick Henry Kase would likely be a free man today. Instead, he's in a state prison near Tracy facing a murder charge in the gruesome death of his cellmate.

Kase, 40, awaits trial for allegedly killing Randy James Rabelos, 28, of Turlock. They were housed together at Deuel Vocational Institution one December morning when Kase told jailers that his cellmate was dead, according to San Joaquin County Superior Court documents.

The ironic twist in Kase's story came about seven months after he allegedly killed Rabelos when a state appeals court overturned the conviction on a technicality.

In its decision that would have freed Kase from an 11-year sentence for an illegal weapon possession, the court said the arresting officer didn't have the right to pull over the 1980s Toyota Camry driven by another person simply because it had bald tires.

"Come to find out, he never should have been in prison in the first place," San Joaquin County Deputy Public Defender Keith Arthur said in a court hearing Thursday. Outside of court, Arthur declined to comment further on his client's case.

Kase - who has a long criminal history, including five earlier prison stints - faces a life sentence if he is convicted of Rabelos' death. Kase's attorney Thursday rejected a prosecutor's offer to resolve the case before trial if Kase took a sentence of 45 years to life in prison.

Kase's most recent tangle with the law began early last year when he was arrested in the San Jose traffic stop.

San Jose police Officer Macedonio Zuniga testified that he noticed a car's balding tires and made the stop, thinking he would write a fix-it ticket or give the driver a warning for her bald tires.

Then he learned that the passenger with tattoos on his neck - Kase - was on parole and searched the car. The officer found that Kase, whose foot was in a cast, had a cane that concealed a sword. He arrested Kase for possessing an illegal weapon.

Kase pleaded guilty in Santa Clara County Superior Court and got an 11-year sentence because of his long rap sheet. At Deuel, Kase ended up in a cell with Rabelos, a convicted child molester.

In an interview with an investigator, Kase confessed to killing Rabelos, giving details of how he carried out the crime that he is now fighting. Details of the interrogation are in a transcript of a court hearing held last year.

Kase told the investigator that Rabelos would become intoxicated after taking medicine and start shouting. Kase told him to quiet down, and moments later Rabelos again grew loud, court documents said.

Rabelos then disrespected Kase, calling him a gang dropout, and things turned violent, court papers said.

Kase "described punching Randy (Rabelos) in the throat," the investigator said. "He described knowing it was a lethal blow."

Kase said he knew Rabelos' gasps for breath were his last and quickened his cellmate's death. He pulled Rabelos from the top to the bottom bunk, held up his chin and punched Rabelos in the throat four or five more times, court documents said.

He then shoved a towel down Rabelos' throat, Kase told the investigators.

"He said he pinched Randy's nose and said, 'Goodbye, Randy,' " according to court papers, which describe the death as taking less than two minutes.

The last inmate murder at Deuel occurred in 1986, more than two decades ago, said Lt. Gilbert Valenzuela, a spokesman for the medium-security prison.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Valli Israels said the circumstances surrounding Kase's overturned weapons conviction have no bearing on her murder prosecution against him.

"We still have the tragic death of Randy Rabelos with which he is charged," she said. "I'm sure the family of Mr. Rabelos doesn't sleep any easier. They still miss their son and brother." ..News Source.. by Scott Smith at (209) 546-8296 or

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Police investigate fatal shooting in North Dallas

12-1-2007 Texas:

DALLAS (CBS 11 News) ― A registered sex offender is dead after a shooting in a normally quiet Dallas neighborhood.

It happened in the 12,000 block of Hoblitzelle, in the historic Hamilton Park neighborhood.

Neighbors tell us many of them knew Davion Crow was a sex offender. In 2005, he was put on probation after he was convicted of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old student at Cisco Junior College.

Police say Crow was killed by someone using at least two weapons. He was shot several times at the entrance to his house.

"Witnesses came by, saw the glass broken out of the front door, peered inside and saw the deceased there," said Dallas Police Sgt. Bruce McDonald.

Next door neighbor Lee Thomas called Crow quiet and no trouble.

But police say Crow was wearing an ankle bracelet that tracked his whereabouts.

Detectives say they found narcotics in the house.

"We have found drugs in the house," said McDonald, "and we'll be looking at that angle." ..more.. by CBStv11

Police investigate fatal shooting in North Dallas

A 22-year-old man was shot and killed early Friday when bullets tore through his home in the 12000 block of Hoblitzelle Drive, Dallas police said.

Davion Crow was found dead about 10 a.m. by a friend who noticed Mr. Crow’s glass door was shattered.

Neighbors reported having heard shots between about 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.

Police say they found drugs inside the home.

The case still is under investigation. ..Source..

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Registered sex offender victim of fatal stabbing

UPDATE: Psychologist says registry contributed to death

By Dr. Charlene Steen -- Letters to the Editor
Article Last Updated: 11/27/2007 10:48:49 PM PST

Thanks to the internet registry, which has done nothing to decrease recidivism, a client of mine is dead murdered in Lake County, simply because he was a sex offender whose name and picture were on the registry.

He had recently been released from the hospital after years of treatment. He had changed his life, and, at age 68, had plans for a positive future, family love and support, a job, etc. A man broke into his trailer, stabbed him numerous times someone he didn't even know, only because he was on the registry.

I am sickened, not only because of his murder, but because we have not condemned the stigmatization of offenders through useless laws which will not decrease reoffense, and may even increase offending.

I am sickened by our lack of humanity. How many more such murders will there have to be? Will no one stand up and change these draconian laws which protect no one, and cause pain, suffering, and even death to persons who have committed no new crimes?

Charlene Steen, PhD, Licensed psychologist, Napa ..more..

ORIGINAL REPORT: 11-26-2007 California:
LAKEPORT -- The victim of a homicide last Tuesday morning had served time behind bars for sex offenses he committed prior to 2001, the Lake County Sheriff's Department (LCSD) confirmed. He also was committed to a maximum-security hospital reserved for patients who are categorized as sexually violent predators, mentally ill, not guilty by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial.

The murder of Michael A. Dodele, 67, took place in his residence at Lakeport's Western Hills Mobile Home Park on Lakeshore Boulevard. Dodele, who also went by the alias Michael Salta, was dead when deputies arrived shortly after 10 a.m.

"Dodele was a registered sex offender but his status as such has no impact on the manner in which we conduct the investigation," Lake County Sheriff Rodney Mitchell said Monday.

Dodele was convicted by Sonoma County Superior Court on Nov. 29, 2001 for rape by force and oral copulation with a person under 14. He was listed as a registered sex offender on the office of the Attorney General's Megan's Law Web site. Dodele was in compliance with his registration and was listed at the Lakeshore residence where he was found dead.

The only suspect, Ivan Garcia Oliver, 29, was booked on suspicion of murder and parole violation. Oliver had previously been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in San Diego County. No other arrests were made. "We do not anticipate that our investigation will reveal any others (suspects)," Mitchell said.

Witnesses reported hearing the victim and suspect arguing before Oliver was seen leaving Dodele's residence that morning with blood on his hands and clothing. Deputies arrived at Oliver's residence and immediately detained him. At that time, Oliver made several incriminating comments, essentially admitting to attacking Dodele, LCSD said.

Oliver was taken to Sutter Lakeside Hospital and treated for a minor cut on his hand before being booked at LCSD's jail, where he is currently being held.

A knife believed to be the murder weapon was recovered at the scene, according to reports from the Press Democrat. An autopsy set for today will determine the cause of death.

The investigation is ongoing. Mitchell estimates more than 200 staff hours were spent investigating the case. "I am satisfied with the progress of the investigation and proud of the way that my staff has handled this case. I am confident that we will submit a solid case to the district attorney for prosecution," Mitchell said. ..more.. by Elizabeth Wilson at

Man Serving Sex Assault Sentence Killed

Inmate Died From Head, Chest Trauma
11-26-2007 South Carolina:

RIDGELAND, S.C. -- Department of Corrections officials said that a Spartanburg man who was serving a sentence for sexual exploitation of minors was found dead at the prison.

An autopsy found that Thomas Walter Turner, 40, died of head and chest trauma.

Authorities said that they had initially thought that Turner died of natural causes. He was found dead at Ridgeland Correctional Institution about 8:45 p.m. on Nov. 20.

South Carolina Department of Corrections Communications Director Josh Gelinas said an investigation was begun immediately after the autopsy results were released.

In October 2005, Turner started serving a 16-year sentence for criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Ridgeland is a medium security facility.

Turner was arrested in May 2005 after State Law Enforcement agents found pictures of boys and girls having sex on Turner's home computer.

At the time of that arrest, Turner was a registered sex offender, having been convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in 1998. ..more.. by


Inmate found not guilty of murder


RIDGELAND - An inmate accused of killing another prisoner at the Ridgeland Correctional Institution was acquitted on murder and armed robbery charges at trial last week.

Wendell Wilkins, who was 20 when he allegedly beat, choked and stabbed Thomas Walter Turner, 40, at the Ridgeland prison on Nov. 20, 2007, was found not guilty after a three-day trial.

Another inmate, Thomas Lee Pelzer, 20, is also charged and scheduled to go to court in October if there is enough court time following a separate murder trial.

At the time of the slaying, Wilkins was serving 10 years for an armed robbery in Spartanburg County and Pelzer was serving six years for assault with intent to kill conviction in Orangeburg County.

Turner was serving 16 years for criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Wilkins and Pelzer allegedly robbed Turner for a watch at the medium-security facility in Ridgeland which houses about 1,300 inmates.

The attack allegedly happened in a cell while other inmates had freedom to move around within the pod. ..Source.. by Stephanie Ingersoll

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Body found near stolen vehicle

No case has more people and events involved than this one (See below).
11-20-2007 Minnesota:

Body, Porsche both burned; man arrested

A suspected sex offender found dead and burned next to a flaming sports car north of Windom was living in Mankato before he was killed, according to the mother of a man who she said was arrested and jailed in Blue Earth County as a result of the murder investigation.

The death of 20-year-old Alberto Samilpa Jr. is being investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Department, the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies, said Mike Mauer, Blue Earth County chief deputy.

Samilpa’s death was discovered after a family traveling north for the Thanksgiving holiday saw the car burning near the intersection of Highway 71 and Cottonwood County Road 3 and reported it to the Sheriff’s Department sometime around 1 a.m. Monday, authorities said.

The 1999 Porsche that was found burning next to Samilpa’s partially burned body had been stolen from a house north of Mankato. Another vehicle that had been stolen from the same Lime Valley Road house, a 2000 Lincoln Navigator, was found burning in Watonwan County at 5:17 a.m. Monday, or about four hours after the Porsche fire was reported, authorities said.

“It was the Porsche that was found at the murder scene,” said Doug Storey, Cottonwood County attorney. “Why an attempt was made to burn the body with the car, we don’t know.”

About 15 guns, cash and other items also were missing from the rural Mankato house when that incident was reported by the owners just before 9 p.m. Saturday, a Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department report said.

Hans Paul Hottel, 20, formerly of Windom, was booked into the Blue Earth County Jail on a second-degree murder charge at 10:18 p.m. Monday, according to the jail roster. Capt. Rich Murry of the Sheriff’s Department said Hottel was being transported to Cottonwood County Tuesday night. Murry said he couldn’t comment about the reasons for Hottel’s arrest.

“At this point, our investigation is ongoing and in conjunction with the BCA,” Murry said.

Hottel’s mother, Lita Hottel of Windom, said her son’s arrest was connected to Samilpa’s death. She said her son, who volunteered to serve in the military in Iraq and recently returned from a tour there, lived with Samilpa and other roommates at an apartment in the immediate Mankato area.

“He was his friend and he was his roommate and he was trying to get him a job,” Lita Hottel said, describing her son’s relationship with Samilpa. “Hans was the only one who was arrested because the other ones involved are gone.”

Hans Hottel recently started working at Corporate Graphics in North Mankato and had applied to enroll at Minnesota State University, Lita Hottel said. He plans to start classes next semester if he’s released.

Samilpa was scheduled for trial next month in Nicollet County District Court for a felony charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and a gross misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charges were filed on Oct. 17, 2006, two days after a Sleepy Eye woman reported he had raped her at a party at a rural residence about three miles north of North Mankato on Oct. 15, 2006.

About a week after he was charged, Samilpa was released on $25,000 bond. His trial was scheduled to start on Dec. 19 and service papers for several subpoenas that had been issued to potential witnesses for the trial were returned to Nicollet County Tuesday, according to court records.

The victim in that incident was at a party with a friend, also from Sleepy Eye, when she was approached by Samilpa, the criminal complaint said. Samilpa allegedly separated her from her friend, forced her into a car and raped her before leaving with a group of his friends.

She was able to identify Samilpa as the man who attacked her by looking at his picture in a Madelia High School yearbook, the criminal complaint said. ..more.. by Dan Nienaber, Free Press Staff Writer


Witness reaches plea in '07 murder case

1-28-2009 Minnesota:

WINDOM — For his part in a 2007 murder that left 20-year-old Alberto Samilpa Jr. stabbed, shot and burned on a roadside north of Windom, Hans Paul Hottel will pay a fine of $3,000.

In exchange, Hottel, 21, has agreed to become a key witness against three other Mankato men who are now facing first-degree murder charges for the Cottonwood County killing. The men were scheduled to go to trial early this year for the murder, which is directly connected to a burglary near Mankato.

The trials were postponed after a grand jury handed down first-degree murder indictments. Those indictments wouldn’t have happened without Hottel’s cooperation, so it was in the county’s best interest to reach a plea agreement, said Douglas Storey, Cottonwood County attorney.

The agreement was worked out between Hottel’s attorney, Michael Kircher of St. James, and Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Alfred Zdrazil, who is assisting with the prosecution, Storey said.

“It was what the attorney general’s office felt they had to do,” Storey said. “Without someone at the scene who was involved, it was difficult to prove premeditation. We did what we felt we had to do to strengthen our case.”

Hottel was the first suspect arrested and charged after the Nov. 19, 2007, murder. Gerard Irving Holt, 23, Lionel Benavidez, 22, and Axel Rene Kramer, 21, all of Mankato, were arrested and charged later. Holt and Kramer were arrested after being spotted in a car parked at a hotel in Albert Lea. Benavidez was arrested in Texas.

Hottel was arrested in Mankato the same day as investigators found Samilpa’s body next to a burning Porsche 911 car off Highway 71 near Delft, a small community north of Windom. The 1999 sports car and a 2000 Lincoln Navigator, which was found burning in nearby Watonwan County, had both been stolen during the burglary of a Lime Valley Road residence north of Mankato two days earlier.

Hottel became a suspect after investigators learned he had used his credit card at a convenience store in St. James. A surveillance camera showed he used the card to pay for fuel pumped into the Porsche, Navigator and a car Hottel owned. When Hottel’s car was found in Mankato and searched, Samilpa’s wallet was found inside, court records said.

Interviews with Hottel’s roommates in Mankato eventually led to the arrests of the four suspects.

Hottel pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of aiding an offender on Dec. 22. Prosecutors agreed to not request jail or prison time and have charges related to the Blue Earth County burglary dismissed, Storey said.

On Jan. 7, a grand jury was called in Windom to examine the remaining second-degree murder charges against Holt, Benavidez and Kramer. On Jan. 16, four days before Holt was scheduled to go to trial, all three men were indicted for first-degree premeditated murder. The second-degree murder charges, which allege there was intent to kill without premeditation, also remain for the three suspects.

New trial dates have not been set, but Hottel will likely be called as a witness when they do take place, Storey said.

“He is going to be testifying at the trial,” Storey said. “He will be an important witness.”

Both Storey and Kircher said they couldn’t comment on whether Hottel was called to testify before the grand jury. A grand jury indictment is required to file first-degree murder charges in Minnesota.

During the plea hearing, Hottel admitted to driving the three other men back to Mankato after Samilpa’s murder, Kircher said. Hottel also admitted to stopping with the others to burn the Navigator.

A second-degree murder charge that had been filed against Hottel was dismissed in May after Cottonwood County District Court Judge Bruce Gross ruled there wasn’t enough probable cause to justify the charge.

Hottel witnessed the murder, then went along with the others because he was concerned about his own safety, Kircher said.

Hottel also was charged with aiding and abetting the Blue Earth County burglary. Benavidez and Hottel’s 24-year-old brother, Lars, are also facing felony charges for the burglary, which also involved Samilpa, according to court records.

In addition to the two vehicles, a total of 21 handguns, rifles and shotguns; a diamond bracelet and other jewelry; electronics including televisions, DVD players and computers; ammunition; $150 in cash; and passports were allegedly stolen from the house. ..Source.. by Dan Nienaber


Man shot in head after breaking clutch on hot Porsche

11-22-2007 Minnesota:

A stolen Porsche, an SUV and firearms led to a killing, questions and an arrest near Windom, Minn.

For breaking the clutch on a stolen Porsche he was driving, Alberto Samilpa Jr.'s conspirators in crime shot him four or five times in the head, stabbed him in the neck and set his body and the car ablaze on a rural highway early Monday.

"It's just sad to think that somebody would kill somebody for that," said Nick Anderson, Cottonwood County assistant county attorney.

Hans P. Hottel, 20, of Mankato has been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding an offender, according to the county attorney's office.

Two other men have been charged via warrant but remained on the lam Wednesday night: Lionel Benavidez, 21, of LeCenter is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding an offender.

Gerald Holt, 23, of Madison Lake is charged with second-degree murder. Holt is also known as Ivan Lopez and "Latin."

A fourth suspect, known only as "Alex," is implicated in the case but has not been arrested or charged, Anderson said.

According to the criminal complaints filed Wednesday:

The Porsche, a sport-utility vehicle and eight firearms were reported stolen from a Mankato home on Nov. 17. The suspects' roommate later told authorities that he saw Samilpa and Holt at their shared Mankato home with firearms and a television.

The next day, Samilpa, Holt, Hottel and others were at the residence, where they talked about moving the stolen vehicles, according to the charges. Hottel was supposed to pick up the five men after they stored the vehicles, Anderson said.

The group stopped to get gas and discovered that Samilpa had somehow broken the Porsche's clutch, angering Holt.

According to the charges, Holt, "Alex" and someone named "Blaze" (Benavidez's nickname) shot Samilpa and burned the car.

Samilpa's body was found at 1:39 a.m. Monday lying on the ground near the car on County Rd. 3 just east of U.S. Hwy. 71.

When Hottel was arrested Monday, he had small stains consistent with blood on his tennis shoes, sweatshirt and T-shirt, according to the complaint.

The county coroner told authorities that Samilpa, who was dead on the scene, was shot at least once in the back of the head and that the bullet came out his right eye socket. Authorities describe Holt as Hispanic, 5' 6" and 185 pounds with brown hair and eyes. Benavidez is Hispanic, 6 feet and 185 pounds with brown hair and eyes. ..Source.. by Chao Xiong , Star Tribune


Murder victim's wallet found


MANKATO — A wallet with identification for a man found shot to death and burned in Cottonwood County Nov. 19 was discovered in a car confiscated in Mankato the following day, according to court documents filed this week in Blue Earth County.

The 1997 Oldsmobile Delta 88 was the same car 20-year-old Hans Hottel allegedly used to drive three other men to Madelia after Alberto Samilpa Jr. was killed and two stolen vehicles were burned. Hottel was arrested the same day as Samilpa’s murder in Mankato. The car was found parked at 429 Warren St. in Mankato, where investigators kept it under surveillance until three juveniles attempted to leave with it Nov. 20, according to a search warrant application.

Investigators had been hoping to catch 22-year-old Gerald Holt, one of three men now charged with murdering Samilpa, with the car. However, the three teens inside told them they had been instructed to pick Holt up at a nearby park. Holt ran from the area before he could be arrested, the affidavit said.

The car was towed to a Blue Earth County evidence garage, then transferred to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensic Science Laboratory in St. Paul. During a search, BCA agent Micheal Anderson found Samilpa’s wallet, blood stains, a gas can, .22-caliber cartridges, a laptop computer, jewelry and other items in the car, the affidavit said. Tread impressions also were taken from the car’s four tires.

Samilpa was found dead after travelers reported seeing a burning car off Highway 71 north of Windom at 1:30 a.m. Nov. 19. The flaming Porsche 911 found next to Samilpa’s burned body had been stolen from a house on Lime Valley Road north of Mankato on Nov. 17. A 2000 Lincoln Navigator, stolen during the same burglary, was found burning in Watonwan County about four hours later.

Hottel was arrested later that day after investigators identified him through a credit card that was used to buy gas for the Porsche, Navigator and Oldsmobile in St. James. The investigation shifted to Mankato after Hottel’s mother, Estralitta Hottel of Windom, told BCA investigators he was living there.

They later learned Hottel, Samilpa and Holt were living together in the Mankato apartment. A fourth roommate, Colt Bergendahl, told them his roommates and two other men had been planning to move the two stolen vehicles on Nov. 18, and Hottel was going to pick them up in his Oldsmobile so he could bring the men back to Mankato.

The two other men were later identified as 20-year-old Axel Rene Kramer of New Ulm and 21-year-old Lionel Benavidez of Le Center. Holt and Kramer have each been charged with second-degree murder. Hottel and Benavidez have each been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Holt, Kramer and 18-year-old Aimee Jo Palmer, charged as an accomplice after the fact, were arrested in Albert Lea on Nov. 23. Benavidez was arrested in Crystal City, Texas, on Nov. 24.

During interviews with suspects and witnesses, investigators were told Samilpa was shot and stabbed after he broke the clutch on the Porsche. His body was burned along with the Porsche, then the Navigator was driven into Watonwan County and burned. The four men allegedly stopped at a Madelia apartment to get rid of bloody clothing before splitting up, court records said.

The affidavit filed Wednesday also includes a list of all the known property stolen from Richard Kakeldey’s residence at 23525 Lime Valley Road.

The items stolen included a total of 21 handguns, rifles and shotguns; a diamond bracelet and other jewelry; electronics including televisions, DVD players and computers; ammunition; $150 cash; and passports. ..Source.. by Dan Nienaber


Gun stash linked to car theft-murder

12-13-2007 Minnesota:

MANKATO — Guns and other valuables stolen during a burglary related to a murder in Cottonwood County last month were found last week at a house in Mankato.

The house at 626 N. Fifth St. was searched Dec. 4 after Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department Detective Paul Barta received a tip from Denise Rients, a probation officer with the county. Rients reported that one of her clients, 30-year-old Bradley Scott Junker, told her he had been asked to store a stolen Porsche at the house for people involved in the Nov. 17 burglary of a Lime Valley Road house north of Mankato.

The Porsche stolen during that burglary was found burning in Cottonwood County at about 1:30 a.m. Nov. 19. The body of 20-year-old Alberto Samilpa Jr. of Mankato was found next to the car. He had been shot in the head, stabbed in the throat and burned.

Investigators were no longer looking for the Porsche but reported finding at Junker’s house several handguns, ammunition, a 46-inch plasma television, computers and other items matching the description of items stolen in the burglary. They also found an address book with a business card for lawyer Richard Kakeldey, the owner of the house burglarized, court records said.

Samilpa, 22-year-old Gerald Holt and brothers Lars John Hottel, 23, and Hans Hottel, 20, were identified as suspects in the burglary, according to the search warrant affidavit citing probable cause to search Junker’s house.

Hans Hottel, Holt and two other men, 20-year-old Axel Kramer of New Ulm and 21-year-old Lionel Benavidez of Le Center, were identified as suspects in Samilpa’s murder. Kramer and Holt have been charged with second-degree murder. Hans Hottel and Benavidez have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. No charges had been filed as of Wednesday for the burglary.

On Dec. 4, Junker allegedly told Rients he had heard about Samilpa’s murder after being asked to store the Porsche. He told her he hadn’t heard back from the people involved in the burglary since the murder and was concerned about being hurt by the suspects or getting into trouble with police. Rients told Junker to report the information to the Sheriff’s Department just before 10 a.m. When the search warrant request was being made more than two hours later, no report had been made, Barta reported.

Junker’s house was searched about six hours after he met with Rients. Investigators originally planned to search a house across the street, but realized they had the wrong house when they called Junker on his cell phone shortly before executing the search.

Junker was released from prison a year ago after serving four years behind bars for selling methamphetamine in Cottonwood County. He was scheduled to remain on supervised release through Oct. 10, 2008. Junker is in the Blue Earth County Jail on a Minnesota Department of Corrections hold.

Investigators actually had a cellular telephone number that would have led them to Junker Nov. 23, the day Kramer and Holt were arrested in Albert Lea. Kramer told an agent with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that Holt had taken his cell phone from him shortly before their arrest, the search warrant affidavit said. He told the agent Holt called someone named “Brad” and told him to “keep the guns as an early Christmas present.”

Kramer also told investigators Holt had removed the guns from a residence in the 100 block of State Street and moved them to another location in Mankato.

On Nov. 30, investigators received a search warrant to check the record of phone numbers on Kramer’s cell phone. A call to someone identified on the phone as “Brad Jay” was made at 3:37 p.m. on Nov. 23.

A subpoena requesting information about the number listed for “Brad Jay” was sent to Alltel, but the cell phone company had not responded before investigators received the report about Junker from Rients, court records said. Rients reported Junker’s cell phone number was the same as the one found on Kramer’s phone. ..Source.. by Dan Nienaber


Another plea deal reached in murder after Porsche theft

1-4-2010 Minnesota:

Holt to serve 30 years in prison for 2007 case involving stolen, burned cars, murder of accomplice

WINDOM — Prosecutors have reached a plea deal with the second of four Mankato men arrested in 2007 after a fifth man was found shot to death and burned with a stolen Porsche.

Gerard Irving Holt, 24, will serve 30 years in prison according to a plea agreement reached in Cottonwood County District Court last week. He pleaded guilty to murdering 20-year-old Alberto Samilpa on Nov. 19, 2007, and leaving his body next to a burning Porsche 911 that had been stolen from a residence north of Mankato.

A Lincoln Navigator that had been stolen from the same residence was found burning in Watonwan County later the same day. Holt was arrested along with Hans Hottel, 22; Axel Rene Kramer, 22; and Lionel Benavidez, 23; after surveillance video from a St. James convenience store showed Hottel had used his credit card to purchase fuel for the stolen vehicles and his own car. When Hottel’s car was found in Mankato, it was searched and Samilpa’s wallet was found inside, court records said.

Witnesses later told investigators the suspects said Samilpa was stabbed, shot and burned because he had broken the clutch on the Porsche.

Hottel was arrested in Mankato shortly after his car was found. Holt and Kramer were arrested after being spotted in a car parked at an Albert Lea hotel. Benavidez was arrested in Texas. Authorities had launched a nationwide manhunt for the men after they became suspects in the murder.

In exchange for Holt’s guilty plea to a second-degree murder charge, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a second charge of first-degree murder. They also agreed not to oppose Holt’s request that he serve his sentence in an Indiana prison. His sentence will run concurrently to a sentence he will receive for a burglary conviction in Blue Earth County, which is related to the vehicle thefts.

Trials have not been scheduled for Kramer and Benavidez, who are still facing first-degree murder charges. Both men had originally been charged with second-degree murder, but the charges were increased to first-degree murder shortly after Hottel reached a plea deal in December 2008.

Hottel pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of aiding an offender on Dec. 22, 2008, and was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine. In exchange for Hottel’s plea and promise to testify against the remaining defendants, prosecutors agreed to not request jail time.

Without Hottel’s cooperation, prosecutors would not have been able to get the grand jury indictments required by Minnesota law for the first-degree murder charges.

“Without someone at the scene who was involved, it was difficult to prove premeditation,” Cottonwood County Attorney Douglas Story said after Hottel’s plea. “We did what we felt we had to do to strengthen our case.”

Hottel was arrested on Nov. 2 in Anoka County for an unrelated incident. He has been charged in that county with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and obstruction of the legal process. A trial has been scheduled for June 28. ..Source.. by Dan Nienaber


Holt gets 30 years for Samilpa murder

2-5-2010 Minnesota:

MANKATO — A former Mankato man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in a 2007 murder in Cottonwood County.

Gerard Irving Holt, 24, was sentenced Thursday for killing 20-year-old Alberto Samilpa and attempting to burn Samilpa’s body with a stolen Porsche.

Holt, who pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder on Dec. 28, is the second of five suspects arrested after the murder to enter a plea.

The Porsche 911 had been stolen from a residence north of Mankato. It was found burning with Samilpa’s body on a road near Delft, a small town north of Windom on Highway 71, on Nov. 19, 2007. A Lincoln Navigator stolen from the same residence was found burning in rural Watonwan County later that day.

Hans Hottel, 22, was arrested in Mankato after he was identified as the person who paid to fuel the stolen vehicles and his own car in St. James. Hottel, who testified he witnessed the murder, pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of aiding an offender in December 2008. He promised to testify at the trials for Holt and the others in exchange for no jail time.

With Hottel’s testimony, prosecutors were able to charge Holt, 24-year-old Lionel Benavidez and 22-year-old Axel Rene Kramer with first-degree murder. Benavidez and Kramer are scheduled to go to trial in June.

A woman who was arrested outside a hotel in Albert Lea with Holt and Kramer, 20-year-old Aimee Jo Palmer of Eagle Lake, also is scheduled to go to trial in June for felony charges of aiding an offender. The three were arrested after investigators put out a statewide notice saying they were wanted for their connection to Samilpa’s murder.

Benavidez was arrested later in Texas after investigators found him there.

Holt’s sentence for the murder will run concurrent with a 38-month prison sentence he received in July in Blue Earth County for an aiding and abetting burglary conviction. That charge stemmed from the burglary where the burned vehicles were stolen along with jewelry, electronics and cash. ..Source.. by Dan Nienaber


Convicted murderer returns to Mankato to face burglary charges

6-5-2010 Minnesota:

MANKATO — A Mankato man who was sentenced to 24 years in prison Monday for a November 2007 murder in Cottonwood County made a stop in Blue Earth County Tuesday before going to the correctional facility in St. Cloud.

At the request of Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Chris Rovney, Axel Rene Kramer will be staying at the jail in Mankato for awhile.

Kramer, 23, was scheduled to go to trial this month for murdering 20-year-old Alberto Samilpa Jr. on Nov. 18, 2007. The trial was canceled in March after he reached a plea deal.

Samilpa’s body, which had been both shot and stabbed, was found north of Windom next to a Porsche sports car that had been stolen from a residence north of Mankato. A Lincoln Navigator stolen from the same residence also was found in nearby Watonwan County.

Four men were charged with murdering Samilpa after investigators learned Hans Paul Hottel of Mankato, who was 20 years old at the time, had used a credit card to purchase gas for his car and the two stolen vehicles. Hottel later pleaded guilty to reduced charges and was fined. He also became the witness prosecutors needed to file first-degree murder charges against the remaining three men, including Kramer.

All three men have since reached plea agreements that reduced the charge to second-degree murder again.

Kramer appeared in Blue Earth County District Court Tuesday for felony charges related to taking the vehicles and other valuables from the residence outside Mankato. Rovney asked District Court Judge George Harrelson to set bail for Kramer as a technicality. Rovney said Kramer had no chance of being released, but setting bail would keep him from being turned over to the Department of Corrections.

It’s cheaper for the state to keep Kramer in Blue Earth County than to keep him at the prison in St. Cloud, then transfer him to court hearings, Rovney said.

“It’s a roundabout way, but we’ll save the court money,” he said.

Rovney expects the case to be resolved quickly. Whatever sentence Kramer receives for the Mankato burglary will run concurrently with the prison sentence he received for Samilpa’s murder. That’s required by state law, Rovney said.

The remaining two men also have been sentenced for the murder.

Lionel Benavidez, 24, of Mankato was sentenced to 25 years in prison in May for the murder. He has not yet appeared for the burglary charges.

Gerard Irving Holt, 24, of Mankato pleaded guilty to the burglary charges about a year ago and was sentenced to three years in prison. He pleaded guilty to the murder charge in February and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The victims of the burglary are requesting restitution. One man has filed a claim saying he lost more than $41,000. Another victim estimated his loss at $2,000 for an insurance deductible, and his insurance company is estimating losses at nearly $54,000, court records said. ..Source.. by Dan Nienaber