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Saturday, April 21, 2007


6-12-1992 New York: UPDATED

John Valverde, 22, of Queens, who killed his girlfriend's alleged rapist, was sentenced Thursday to a minimum of 10 years and maximum of 30 years in prison by Acting State Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman, who denounced his "self-help" revenge effort.

Valverde, an honor student at Hunter College, was convicted May 21 of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon by a Manhattan jury. He shot Joel Schoenfeld, 45, a convicted sex criminal, through the head on Jan .... ..more..

Arrests in a Killing Police Say Was Revenge

9-8-1991 New York:

Revenge for a rape last year was the motive for the killing of a photographer in January, the police said last week, after they arrested two men and charged one of them with the shooting.

In announcing the arrest of John Valverde, 21 years old, the police said that the photographer, Joel Schoenfeld, had a history of abusing female models who posed for him, regularly luring young women to his studio through newspaper advertisements that promised a career in fashion modeling. He was found dead in his Greenwich Village studio on Jan. 5, shot once in the head.

Acting on a lead from the Tampa, Fla., police, officers tracked Mr. Valverde on Wednesday to his home in Ozone Park, Queens and charged him with second-degree murder.

A witness to the killing identified Mr. Valverde after his arrest, the police said. A second suspect, Arnell Medina, 22, was arrested for loaning Mr. Valverde the handgun that the police believe was used in the killing.

Mr. Valverde's 19-year-old girlfriend had answered a newspaper ad in June, 1990, and Mr. Schoenfeld apparently proposed that she perform secretarial duties in his studio in lieu of paying for photo lab and other fees as he prepared her portfolio.

After three days of work, the girlfriend told the police, Mr. Schoenfeld raped her during a picture-taking session. She did not report the assault at the time, the police said. They said they had received several other allegations of sexual abuse by Mr. Schoenfeld.

Mr. Valverde went to the photographer's studio at 375 West Street shortly after 10 A.M. on Jan. 5 of this year, the police said, telling Mr. Schoenfeld that he needed a photo portfolio prepared for his girlfriend.

An assistant to Mr. Schoenfeld, who was in the apartment at the time of the shooting, told investigators in January that after the suspect arrived, wearing a baseball cap and a blue sweatshirt, Mr. Schoenfeld spoke with him briefly and went into another room to check some records.

Mr. Schoenfeld became angry, the witness remembered, and started to argue with the suspect, who then pulled out a handgun and shot the photographer once in the head. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Saint Vincent's Hospital. Phone Call From Tampa

Capt. James O'Neill of the Manhattan Detective Bureau said that the police had not identified Mr. Valverde as a suspect when they received information on him from the police in Tampa on Sept. 3.

"It was a telephone call from the Tampa Police Department, saying that a Mr. Valverde from Queens, New York, may have been involved in the murder of a photographer in New York City," said Captain O'Neill. He declined to describe the original source of the information or to say how the information was received.

On the following day, Captain O'Neill said, Mr. Valverde was found and arrested at his home at 94-05 Forbell Street in Queens. He was then identified by the witness to the killing, Captain O'Neill added. Handgun Was Recovered

Mr. Valverde gave a detailed statement, the police said, but they declined to disclose the nature of his remarks.

The handgun was recovered from Mr. Medina, who was charged with weapons possession and criminal facilitation. He had been friends with Mr. Valverde since they were six years old, the police said. Each was enrolled as a non-matriculated student at Queensborough Community College for two semesters in the 1990-1991 academic year, a college official confirmed, studying biology and physics. Waited 7 Months

Captain O'Neill said he did not know why Mr. Valverde had waited until seven months after the original incident to act.

He said there was no evidence that the girlfriend was connected with the slaying in a direct way. He said she had been interviewed by the police, but he also said that the police had no independent evidence of the alleged assault in June, 1990. ..Source.. by Seth Faison Jr.


4-9-2007 New York:

A Queens man who shot and killed a serial sex abuser who'd raped his girlfriend has been denied parole three times, despite a sterling record behind bars.

John Valverde's exemplary conduct in prison - which includes earning college degrees, teaching other inmates and speaking out against violence - has gotten him letters of support over the years from prison guards, politicians and even the late John Cardinal O'Connor.

But the Parole Division keeps ignoring his pleas for freedom, saying he has "contempt for human life and total indifference for the law."

Nothing could be further from the truth, said Fernando Mateo, of Hispanics Across America, which is backing Valverde's bid for freedom, as are a group of Columbia law students who are filing suit on Valverde's behalf this week.

The suit calls the decision "irrational," and seeks to have a judge order a new parole hearing.

"He's shown remorse. He's rehabilitated. He deserves a chance to live again, to come out into society and show what kind of man he's become," Mateo said.

Valverde was a 21-year-old college student with no criminal record when he gunned down Joel Schoenfeld on Jan. 5, 1991.

Schoenfeld, 47, used his job as a freelance photographer to lure women into his Greenwich Village loft, where police said he'd sexually assault and rape them.

One of his victims was Valverde's 19-year-old girlfriend, whom he'd attacked after Valverde dropped her off at his Greenwich Village loft.

Valverde went to police on three occasions to try to get them to arrest Schoenfeld, who was on probation for sexually assaulting two other women.

They told him they couldn't do anything without the girlfriend's cooperation, but she was too traumatized to press charges. When Schoenfeld started calling the girlfriend, Valverde borrowed a gun from a friend and went to his loft.

After an argument, Valverde shot Schoenfeld in the head.

A jury cleared Valverde of murder charges, but he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 to 30 years.

While behind bars, Valverde finished college, got a master's degree, was certified as a paralegal, worked as a teacher's aide helping fellow inmates to read and write, taught theology and worked as an HIV/AIDS counselor.

Even a correction officer wrote a letter supporting his release, calling him "the perfect example of a model prisoner."

But Parole has been unmoved.

"The violence displayed in this crime outweighs everything else," the division said last year. ..more.. by DAREH GREGORIAN

The Politics of Incarceration

4-18-2007 New York:

Former Governor George Pataki's legacy of not freeing rehabilitated violent offenders is alive and well in New York State. Today thousands of parole petitioners are ready to return to society as productive citizens but remain stuck in prison because of the politics of incarceration.

This unwritten policy persists in spite of newly installed Governor Elliot Spitzer's attempt to correct the criminal justice sector, as evidenced by his recent calls to remove the exorbitant charges on collect calls made from prisons and curtail the expensive maintenance of half-empty prisons.

Statistically it is a not-so-well-known fact that offenders that commit crimes such as murder are actually less likely to return to jail than nonviolent offenders. Nevertheless, after completing their sentences and coming to terms with their crimes, they are still wasting away in New York State gulags. Time and again the parole board fails to weigh all of the relevant statutory factors together with the prisoner's positive accomplishments and productive behavior while incarcerated. Instead, the parole board focuses almost entirely on the nature of the petitioner's crime.

A case in point is the story of John Valverde, a 36-year-old Queens man who recently was denied parole for his third consecutive time. He has already served 15 years of a 10- to 30-year sentence for ending the life of a freelance photographer, Joel Schoenfeld, a 47-year-old West Village photographer with a history of enticing young female models to his studio and sexually assaulting them.

In 1991, Schoenfeld raped his 19-year-old model girlfriend. After unsuccessfully seeking help from the police - powerless to act without the brutalized and traumatized victim coming forward - John Valverde, then a 21-year-old student, confronted Schoenfeld. The ensuing argument turned violent and John shot and killed Schoenfeld. The single bullet fired that night changed not only John's life forever but also that of his family. His mother, brother and sister have fought endlessly to free John and themselves from the nightmare of his continuing ordeal behind bars.

John regrets the act he committed ending the life of an individual who took the honor away his former girlfriend many years ago. I know this because I was with John during his time of remorsefulness at Sing Sing prison when I was serving a 15-to-life sentence under the Rockefeller Drug Laws. In 1995, we both graduated from the New York Theological Seminary. Despite the negative environment that surrounded him, John managed to transcend the prison experience by finding purpose in his life through helping others. He taught religion, volunteered as a tutor for men who could not read, and worked with AIDS patients.

The hard time John served in a maximum security prison transformed him from the 21-year-old boy who had made the biggest mistake of his life into a man who now understands the horror of his crime. Apparently all inconsequential in the view of the parole board, which offered the following reasoning in John's case: "The violence displayed in this crime outweighs everything else." ..more.. by Anthony Pappa, The Huffington Post

No parole for New York vigilante

7-3-2007 New York:

ALBANY, N.Y. (UPI) -- A 36-year-old New York City man, jailed for killing a rapist 16 years ago, has been denied parole, despite his clean prison record.

John Valverde was sentenced to a 10- to 30-year prison sentence for killing photographer Joel Schoenfeld, the man who raped his girlfriend, in January 1991.

A college student at the time, Valverde has said the gun went off when he went to Schoenfeld's apartment to scare him so he would stay away from Valverde's girlfriend, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

An Albany, N.Y., judge recently rejected Valverde's request for parole, stating the parole board's decision to keep him in jail "does not exhibit irrationality bordering on impropriety."

While some people might find the ruling harsh, New York State Supreme Court Justice George Ceresia stated it is "also true that many other rational minds would reach the same conclusion."

Valverde's lawyer brother, Frank, told the Post he was "disappointed" by the decision. ..more.. by UPI

Friday, April 20, 2007

Standoff suspect shot dead

12-10-2006 California:
Chief requests external investigations

EUREKA -- Big Bar resident Jonni Kiyoshi Honda, 51, died in a police shooting late Friday night after failing to respond to orders and threatening an unarmed officer with a handgun during a standoff at the Super 8 Motel on N Street.

Humboldt County Coroner Frank Jager confirmed Saturday that Honda died of multiple gunshot wounds. An autopsy is set for Wednesday in Redding.

Mental Health personnel arrived at the scene around 4 a.m. Friday and negotiated with Honda throughout the day and into the night. When it was clear that Honda would not emerge from the motel room voluntarily, law enforcement turned to tear gas at about 8:55 p.m., according to interim Eureka Police Chief Murl Harpham.

A total of four canisters of high-strength tear gas were deployed into Honda's room before he crawled out feet first, Harpham said. The suspect was ordered to show his hands as an officer was standing by to handcuff him. Honda didn't follow orders and was subsequently hit with tasers twice, the police chief said, but fought through it.

”At that point, he rolled over and came up with a gun aimed at an officer, who jumped behind a shield,” Harpham said.

Three SWAT officers responded by firing at the suspect, who was subsequently taken to the hospital where, SWAT commander Sgt. Bill Nova said, he understood that Honda was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

”I wholly support and have absolutely no problem with how this event ended,” Nova said.

None of his team, the Sergeant said, go out looking to shoot someone.

”That suspect, last night, made a choice,” Nova said, “the officers had no choice but to react.”

The standoff began about 3 p.m. Thursday when officers attempted to serve a felony arrest warrant on Honda for alleged sexual assault of three girls under the age of 14 in Trinity County. It was then that officers discovered he was armed.

EPD Sgt. Lynne Soderberg, supervisor of the department's crisis negotiating team said the objective throughout the event was to get Honda to come to the conclusion that he wanted to come out of the room. The team concluded, she said, that Honda ranked very high in suicidal tendencies. While the team had hoped to talk him out of the room, they also understood that he might commit suicide or make law enforcement do it for him.

”We used every method we knew how,” Soderberg said. “He made the choice to make us do it.”

Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Mental Health Branch Director Donna Wheeler echoed those sentiments.

”We used all our best techniques that we could to get him to come out of the room peacefully,” Wheeler said.

In the few hours prior to the shooting, Harpham said it became apparent that the situation was not going to be resolved peacefully. The suspect had requested a pencil, possibly to write a will, and had made statements wondering what it would be like to meet his maker.

At the request of Harpham, two parallel teams will investigate the shooting: a state Department of Justice Criminal Investigations team and an investigative team from the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office.

”This request by no means should indicate to anyone that I think our officers acted outside of the law, outside of procedure, or unprofessionally,” Harpham said in a news release. “It is only because of the recent incidents our officers have been forced into and the negative reaction by some people and the spin by some media, that I am initiating this. It is my hope that by having two outside agencies investigate the shooting, it will calm the fears of those who believe that we acted wrong in these incidents.”

Harpham also had harsh words for those who take to Monday morning quarterbacking.

”We never do anything right in the eyes of some people, usually they don't know what the hell they're talking about,” he said.

At the same time, Harpham acknowledged his appreciation for many in the community who support the department. ..more.. by Jessie Faulkner, The Times-Standard. Many readers comments.

Woman sentenced for killing abusive father

8-27-2004 South Carolina:
YORK, S.C. - A woman was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison for killing her father.

Janice Clark Smith, 50, pleaded guilty to shooting George Manley Clark three times in the chest on Dec. 11. She said the man had abused her for nearly all of her life.

During five hours of testimony on Thursday, nearly 40 other people told Judge Howard King of Sumter that they either were molested by Clark or knew someone who had been.

All asked the judge to have mercy on Smith. ..more.. Associated Press

Parole brings her peace after killing abusive dad
January 2006 SOuth Carolina:

CATAWBA, S.C. -- Down a dirt road named Copperhead lives a woman who had good reason to kill the man who gave her life.

But Janice Clark Smith, who was paroled from prison last week for fatally shooting her father, George Manley Clark -- decades after he sexually abused his daughters and assaulted his grandchild, executed family pets and held a shotgun to his wife's head -- said it still wasn't good enough.

"I done wrong; I should not have shot him in the chest like I did," said the 51-year-old grandmother of eight as she held her squirming 3-year-old grandson Austin Lamb in her lap. "And now I'm a criminal. But someone had to stop that man before he hurt someone else."

Smith is flying this morning to Los Angeles to tell her story tonight on ... ..more.. by DAN HUNTLEY

Woman Convicted for Killing 73-Year-Old Father Who Molested Her, Dozens of Others

Aug. 28, 2004 – A South Carolina women was sentenced to seven years for killing her 73-year-old father, who she said abused her nearly all of her life.

About 40 other people told the judge that they either were molested by George Manley Clark or knew someone who had been. Clark was convicted in 1987 of molesting two girls. Witnesses testified that Clark executed family pets, invited drunken friends to his house where his daughters were abused and wreaked havoc on his children all their lives.

His daughter, Janice Clark Smith, 50, shot him three times in the chest last December. ..Source..

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Police Shooting: Victim (Sex Offender) Suffered From Schizophrenia!

6-20-2004 Oregon:

ASTORIA, Ore. -- An Astoria man shot and killed by police suffered from schizophrenia, according to his mother.

Neighbors called police Wednesday night after seeing Douglas Pollock on the roof, cutting live electrical wires.

Officers shot 41-year-old Pollock five times inside the home after he allegedly came at them with a baseball bat.

Pollock was a convicted sex offender and recently served jail time for failing to register as such.

"He was a kind and loving person. He wouldn't hurt anybody," Pollock's mother, Catherine, told KOIN.

Two officers involved are on leave until the investigation is complete. ..more.. by


Police killing in Astoria

6-17-2004 Oregon:

Catherine Pollock, the mother of Doug Pollock who was killed Wednesday by police, stands at the police line this morning. Patrice Stanley, a neighbor who talked with Cathy Pollock, said, "She looked at me and said 'I told them not to shoot him.'"

Pollock had record; officers on paid administrative leave

The man Astoria police shot dead in his home Wednesday night might have been mentally ill. A neighbor reported that the man's mother begged police not to shoot him.

An autopsy on the dead man, Douglas Eugene Pollock Jr., is scheduled for Friday, Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis said this morning.

Two Astoria police officers are on paid administrative leave while detectives from other agencies in Clatsop County investigate what happened. The names of the officers involved in the shooting have not been released.

Clatsop County court records show that Pollock has had extensive dealings with law enforcement agencies over the past few years. He recently served jail time for failing to register as a sex offender.

The incident that led to the death of 41-year-old Pollock began when a neighbor saw him on the roof of the house at 218 Franklin Ave. at 7:30 p.m. cutting electrical wires. He shared the home with his mother, Catherine Pollock.


Thursday morning, investigators gather on the deck of a Franklin Avenue duplex where an Astoria man, Douglas Eugene Pollock Jr., was shot and killed Wednesday night.

The neighbor, Astoria High School Principal Larry Lockett, who lives around the corner on Second Street, said he was watering his lawn,when he heard a pop and saw a big man with a beard "lumbering across the roof."

Lockett said live wires were on the ground, so he called police.

He said an Astoria police officer responded, then called for back-up. Two officers went up the steps, and another went to the back of the house, he said.

Lockett said he heard four gunshots come from inside the man's house. Neighbor watched. Patrice Stanley who lives across the street, watched the incident unfold.

Stanley said Cathy Pollock, said she told police her son was a paranoid schizophrenic who was unstable but not dangerous or violent. Stanley said Cathy Pollock told her she begged police not to shoot Pollock, and they said they were using a bean bag gun.

"But the next thing she knew, he was dead right there in her living room," Stanley said Cathy Pollock told her.

Police said the man had a baseball bat, Stanley said, and she saw one officer emerge from the house holding an injured arm.

Eamon and Cathy Pollock, the brother and mother of Doug Pollock Jr., stand together outside the police line.


"We were beside ourselves," Stanley said of herself and the victim's mother. "We didn't understand why they didn't mace him or 'Taze' him," she said. "But of course, I wasn't there," Stanley said. "I don't know what he might have said to the police."

Stanley said the usually quiet street was filled with emergency vehicles, including five police cars, an ambulance and a fire engine.

"It was the whole nine yards," Stanley said. "It looked like a circus."

Later, the victim's father, also named Douglas Pollock, arrived from Portland, Stanley said, and began yelling at police, "cussing up a blue streak." Stanley said he yelled, "You SOBs killed my son! Where's the weapon? Where's the baseball bat?"

Stanley said the woman who rents the other side of the duplex,was also very angry and said she would testify against police in court.

Astoria not involved in probe

The case is being investigated by the Clatsop County Major Crimes team, which includes Oregon State Police and the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office.

The Astoria Police department will not take any part in the investigation, Marquis said, because the case involves Astoria police officers.

"They are on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice and does not imply any wrongdoing," Marquis said. He said the Astoria Police Department has been very cooperative.

He declined to offer further details because of the preliminary nature of the interviews, but he confirmed that the incident started with the report of a person cutting a power line.

Marquis said he believed it was the first officer-involved shooting in Astoria in 50 years. ..more.. by SANDRA SWAIN

Witnesses: Girls recruited robbers who murdered sex offender

9-30-2004 Florida:

Three Fort Myers girls jailed on murder and robbery charges tried to convince four men to rob Maurice Larry before he turned up dead in a Dunbar yard, according to witness statements taken by police.

Police said Keasha Evans, 16, Veronica Joyner, 16, and Queenetta Marshal, 16, didn't pull the trigger July 16, but they were directly involved in the plot to kill Larry, 25, a convicted sex offender who was found slain outside 2604 St. Charles St. ..more.. by GRANT BOXLEITNER


Teen girls charged in fatal shooting

7-18-2004 Florida:

Three teenage girls face murder charges after investigators say they asked a fourth person to rob the man found dead Friday in a Dunbar yard, Fort Myers police said.

Officers are seeking the other suspect, Frederick W. Brown, 26, of Fort Myers.

Keasha R. Evans, 3045 Willard St.; Veronica S. Joyner, 3027 Second St.; and Queenetta Marshal, 2643 Blake St.; --all 16 --were arrested Saturday. Each was charged with one count of murder and one count of armed robbery.

Police say the girls asked Brown to rob the unidentified victim late Thursday but are not releasing details about the robbery and shooting until he is arrested.

Neighbors called police to 2604 St. Charles St., around 11:45 a.m. Friday after they spotted a body lying in the grass on the east side of the house. The victim was described as a black man wearing a blue-and-white shirt and black shorts. Residents told officers they heard what they believed to be gunshots late Thursday but did not call police.

Officers said Saturday they believe they know who the victim is but are awaiting fingerprint comparisons for a positive identification. His family also has not been notified, they said.

The man's death is the 11th homicide in the city this year and the sixth in Dunbar.

An autopsy on Saturday confirmed the man died from gunshot wounds, but police will not disclose details about his injuries until Brown is in custody. ..Source..


Delphine Rayner, 39, of Fort Myers wipes a tear away as she talks about her daughter, Keasha Evans, 16, who has been arrested in connection with the death of Maurice A. Larry, whose body was found Thursday night. Rayner is holding the outfit that Keasha wore on her birthday, the same day as the incident. At left is Linese Weaver, 45, Keasha's aunt. ..Source..

Blaze attack victim was a child abuser

TRAGIC AFTERMATH: The scene at the house in Foley

11-8-2006 Ireland:
THE man who died from burns on Friday, following the horrific incident in which a gang burst into his home in south Armagh last week, was a convicted sex offender who was suspected locally of abusing an eight-year-old boy.

Thomas O'Hare, 33, was in the bungalow in Keady on Monday night with his girlfriend, 21-year-old Lisa McClatchey, when four men burst in and doused the couple and their living room with petrol.

McClatchey, who knew nothing of O'Hare's past, was described by local people as a complete innocent caught up in the apparent revenge attack. She is critically ill in hospital suffering from 80 per cent burns.

She and O'Hare were at home in his house near the village of Keady on Monday night when the four men burst in.

A struggle ensued in which the petrol was ignited, and all six were engulfed in flames. Neighbours said they heard an explosion, then saw Miss McClatchey running from the house with her clothes and hair on fire. One witness said she was like a fireball.

Four men were then driven off towards the border by two others.

Some hours later, four men, all brothers, were admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Two of them, aged 24 and 34, were transferred to St James's Hospital in Dublin where their conditions yesterday remained serious. All four are from Newtownhamilton in south Armagh, but two have been living in Dublin.

Gardai are investigating the case in co-operation with the PSNI, but have yet to make any arrests. They are awaiting the recovery of the two less-critically injured brothers before they are questioned.

According to some sources, their injuries were sustained at a site about a mile and a half away from the house, and the two incidents were a terrible coincidence.

On Friday, the PSNI arrested a 43-year-old man. A spokesman said the man was arrested in Co Armagh and was being questioned about murder, attempted murder and arson.

Thomas O'Hare had been placed on the PSNI's sex offenders list following a conviction in 1999 relating to the sexual assault of a young boy from south Armagh. He served a three-year jail-term, and had been living in the Craigavon area until recently. It is understood that while in Craigavon he struck up a relationship with Lisa McClatchey. Miss McClatchey's uncle, Harold Gracie, was the local senior Orangeman who led the Drumcree protest for several years until his death last year.

Local people said yesterday that O'Hare and McClatchey had only moved into the house at Foley, outside Keady, in recent months. It is understood that O'Hare inherited the bungalow from a relative who died earlier this year. Locals said the couple only stayed at the house a few days a week, and that O'Hare was believed to be refurbishing the house with the intention of selling it.

A local SDLP councillor, Sharon Haughey, said she believed that Mr O'Hare was the target of a vigilante attack, and it is understood that he may recently have had a "confrontation" in the area. ..more by JIM CUSACK

Four men to be quizzed over Armagh attack
11-15-2006 Ireland:
The PSNI is seeking to interview four men, currently undergoing treatment in St James's Hospital, in connection with the death of a couple in an attack in Co Armagh last week.

Thomas O Hare, 33, and 21-year-old Lisa Mc Clatchy, died as a result of burns they received when a group of masked men doused her house in petrol and set it alight.

The gang beat the couple with a sledge hammer and doused them with petrol before setting them on fire.

Mr O'Hare died three days after the attack, and Ms McClatchy succumbed to her injuries in the Royal Victoria Hospital this morning.

Four men, who are believed to be brothers from the same area in Co Armagh, presented themselves at a hospital in Dundalk with serious injuries an hour after the attack.

They were transferred to St James's Hospital in Dublin where they are described a being 'seriously ill'.

The four suffered burns ranging from 35% to 55%, and it is expected that they will require treatment for some time.

The PSNI also confirmed it is still looking for at least two other individuals in connection with the double murder.

It is seeking information on a dark coloured Vauxhall Vectra car, a Rover 200 series car and a BMW 3-series car seen in the in the Foley Road area of Ballymacnab on the evening of 6 November. ..more.. by RTE News

Youth charged in bloody slaying

11-8-2006 Wisconsin:

A 15-year-old boy was charged with bludgeoning a man to death with a hammer after the man said he would pay him to pose nude and then asked the boy for sex, according to a criminal complaint issued today. Corey J Kleser was charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Ronald O Adams, 57. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. According to the complaint:

Kleser told police that he had gone to Adams' residence in the 7100 block of N. 60th St. on Oct. 29 because Adams had offered him $40 to $50 to model nude in front of him. When Adams wanted to have sex, Kleser said, there was a physical altercation and he hit Adams in the head more than eight times with a hammer until Adams fell to the floor. He told police he then grabbed a scissors and stabbed Adams in the neck multiple times.

Adams' body was discovered by the building manager, who used her pass key to enter his apartment Friday after residents reported not seeing him for several days. A security camera in the common hallway taped Adams walking into his apartment with Kleser at 1:49 a.m. on Oct. 29 and Kleser leaving the apartment about an hour later.

Within hours after the slaying, the boy called his father and asked for a ride home to Fox Point from the area of W. Mill Rd. and N. Green Bay Ave, the petition states. The father, who was interviewed by police on Saturday, said he had noticed that there was "a large amount of blood splattered" on his son's blue-and-white plaid shirt. ..more.. by Mary Zahn, JS Online


Jury deliberating hammer homicide case


The prosecutor in the Corey Kleser trial told jurors Friday that even they believe he was fearful of his victim, he's still gulty because he went way too far for any legitimate self defense.

"He had many otheroptions," said Assistant District Attorney Kevin Shomin in closing argument. "He didn't have to do what he did."

Kleser, then 15, struck Ronald O Adams, 57, more than 20 times with a hammer, and stabbed him more than 30 times with scissors in October 2006. The case is only now going to trial because of disputes over whether Kleser would be tried as a juvenile or adult. The state Supreme Court ruled that he must be tried as an adult.

In his closing, Shomin recounted the severity of Adams' injuries, and suggested they were not inflicted because Kleser truly feared for his safety during a surprise attempted sexual assault and physical attack, as he testified, but because Kleser was just angry at Adams over money.

Kleser's attorney, Samuel Benedict, told jurors that when children's parents can't or won't protect them, chldren "have to do what they can to survive."

He reminded the jury about an expert's testimony about how a 15-year-old's brain hasn't fully developed in areas that control impulse and reaction to stress and danger.

"What Corey did that night was reasonable," Benedict said. "The danger was real. He didn't have time to think about escape. It was a time for reacting."

Kleser is charged with first degree intentional homicide. The jury could find him guilty of second degree intentional, first degree reckless or second degree reckless homicide instead, or acquit him of any charges if they accept his self-defense argument.


Corey Kleser tried to tell a jury Friday how, when he was 15, he wound up killing a man with dozens of hammer blows and scissor stabs.

Now 21, Kleser calmly described his confusion and fear after a surprise sexual attack by Ronald O. Adams, a 57-year-old man for whom he said he had modeled nude for money -- and without any touching or even talk of sex -- in the past.

Early on Oct. 29, 2006, Adams pressed him to "try something different," and jumped on Kleser's back when he kept saying no, Kleser said.

He said Adams wrestled him and was choking him over a desk when Kleser grabbed a nearby hammer and began striking Adams. He said when Adams finally went down, he also fell to the floor to pull up his own jeans, but thought he saw Adams moving for the hammer. That's when Kleser said he grabbed scissors that were on the floor of Adams' bedroom, and stabbed him repeatedly.

He followed up with an explanation of how his friends and family didn't seem to believe him when he told them later that morning that he might have killed someone, that they didn't ask any questions despite the blood on his shirt.

If the testimony helped his self-defense, the theory then took some hard shots during Assistant District Attorney Kevin Shomin's cross-examination.

He suggested Kleser was a cold-blooded killer who thought he could rob Adams, who others described as a frail crackhead, not someone who could easily overpower Kleser just because of their age difference.

Shomin pointed out the many variations in Kleser's account to detectives in 2006, and how his testimony Friday added more new details. He asked how Kleser's jeans had so much blood on the thigh if they were in fact bunched around his ankles during the attack.

He asked Kleser why he washed off the hammer and scissors after the attacks, and returned to Adams' bedroom to look for money if he had been so afraid of him and what had just happened.

Kleser said he took the weapons because he thought it was safer than leaving them near Adams. He said they just got rinsed coincidentally when he washed his hands. He said by the time he went looking for cab fare, he was finally pretty sure Adams was no longer a threat.

He denied taking Adams' prescription pills, the bottles for which were later found in Kleser's father's car, saying that Adams had given them to him during an earlier meeting, and said he could take them to get high.

Shomin also displayed a photo of the bloody crime scene that included a clean piece of paper near Adams' body. On it was written the word "Surrendered."

"You didn't write this and throw it down next to him?" Shomin asked.

Kleser said he had not, but admitted it was a very unusual thing to find there.

His apartment manager discovered Adams' body in his unit five days after he was killed. ..Source.. by Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Four charged with murder of homeless man

7-26-2006 United Kingdom: UPDATED
A 16-year-old girl has been charged with murder following the brutal beating of a homeless man. The teenager, along with three others, is accused of killing Brian Kitching at Southsea seafront last year.

The schoolgirl, from Southsea, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is believed to be one of the youngest ever to be charged with murder in Hampshire. Three others have also been charged with his murder following the attack in which Mr Kitching was set upon by a gang of yobs.

Lewis Hoare, 19, of Samuel Road, Portsmouth, Amie Bartholomew, 19, of no fixed abode, and Paul Dewar, 26, also of no fixed abode, but originally from Taunton, Somerset, are also accused of murder.

Mr Kitching, 68, suffered serious head injuries when he was attacked in the Rock Gardens near the Pyramids on Clarence Esplanade, on September 6, 2005. He was beaten senseless in the attack and lay in a coma at Queen Alexandra Hospital for weeks.

Mr Kitching, who had lived in the Milton area of Portsmouth, suffered multiple broken ribs, a collapsed lung, massive cuts and bruising to his face and bleeding on the brain. He was eventually transferred to a nursing home where he died on March 8 this year.

The two females appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court yesterday afternoon. They were released on bail. The two men appeared before city magistrates today and were remanded in custody. All four will appear at Winchester Crown Court on Monday. ..more.. by The News


Gang 'killed falsely-accused man'

A man was murdered in an unprovoked attack by a gang because one of them falsely accused him of being a paedophile, a court has been told.
4-18-2007 United Kingdom:

Brian Kitching, 68, from Portsmouth, suffered brain damage in the attack in Southsea in September 2005.

Paul Dewar, 27, of no fixed address, Amie Bartholomew, 19, and a girl, 17, both from Portsmouth, denied murder at the Winchester Crown Court trial.

Lewis Hoare, 19, from Portsmouth, has pleaded guilty to murder.

Paedophile taunt

Mr Dewar and Ms Bartholomew also deny causing Mr Kitching grievous bodily harm.

Mr Kitching was walking through a rock garden at Southsea seafront when he was attacked and repeatedly punched and kicked.

The jury was told that one of the gang, Amie Bartholomew, then 18 and pregnant at the time, started the attack when she shouted to Mr Kitching that he was a "dirty paedophile" and punched him.

Anthony Donne QC, prosecuting, said a girl, who was 16 at the time and cannot be named for legal reasons, Mr Dewar, then 25, and Mr Hoare, then 18, all joined in the attack on Mr Kitching.

One witness said they were kicking him like a football and afterwards they robbed him of his cash, the jury heard.

Victim's 'misfortune'

Mr Kitching died in March 2006 in a nursing home because his brain damage meant he could not cough and he suffocated on his own vomit.

Mr Kitching was not known to the group and there was no evidence at all he was a paedophile.

Mr Donne said he just had the "misfortune" of running into the gang.

Some of the group, who had been drinking heavily, had attacked two other people during the day and, straight after beating Mr Kitching, the two men punched and kicked another man in another unprovoked attack, the court was told.

All four then washed their clothing in the sea but witnesses had recognised some of the group and they were arrested shortly afterwards.

In interview, Mr Dewar said he had not attacked the man and that the others had.

The 16-year-old girl said she kicked Mr Kitching only once and Ms Bartholomew said she had not been involved in the attack and denied calling Mr Kitching a paedophile.

The case was adjourned but is expected to last three weeks. ..more.. by BBC News

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Deputies kill man wanted on molestation complaint

12-11-2006 Oklahoma:
NORMAN, Okla. Cleveland County sheriff's deputies fatally shoot a man they were trying arrest six complaints, including incest and child molestation.

Sheriff's Captain Doug Blaine says 41-year-old Glen Bell was shot about 11 A-M yesterday near his home about two miles south of Norman.

Blaine says deputies had an arrest warrant for Bell, who was sought on a child molestation complaint, an incest complaint, two rape complaints and two forcible sodomy complaints.

He says when deputies arrived, a witness told them Bell was armed and about to barricade himself inside the home. Deputies reported seeing a man armed with a rifle run out the back of the house into a wooded area.

Two deputies fired several shots at the man -- later identified as Bell -- striking him.

Bell was taken to Norman Regional Hospital, where he died shortly after noon.

The deputies have been placed on paid leave pending an investigation into shooting. ..more.. by KTEN 10

Suspect fatally shot during arrest attempt

10-1-2004 Florida:
RIVERVIEW - It was still dark Thursday morning when Madeline Grimes and her daughter April heard the two detectives across the street shout:

"He's got a gun! He's got a gun!"

Then, Grimes heard five shots pierce the quietness of her neighborhood of big, towering trees and modest homes.

Later, she would learn that a veteran Hillsborough sheriff's detective fatally shot her neighbor John Stanley Lewis, who is accused of possessing child pornography. According to the Sheriff's Office, Lewis pointed a gun at detectives and refused to drop it.

"We have a very peaceful neighborhood, and this is just the kind of thing you see on the news," Grimes, 56, said with tears in her eyes. "I don't like to witness somebody die like that."

Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Rod Reder said detectives Albert Padron, 44, and David Atkinson, 42, went to Lewis' home at 8202 Oakwilde St. about 6 a.m. to pick up Lewis, who was wanted by the State Attorney's Office on 30 counts of Internet child pornography.

The detectives knocked and identified themselves, Reder said. Lewis was carrying a gun when he came out to his screened porch, which was dark because the street is still without power following Hurricane Frances.

"He's aiming it at the detectives, and he wouldn't put the gun down," Reder said. "So Detective Padron fired several times."

Reder said Padron has been trained to use a Taser, a device that shoots aggressive subjects with jolts of electricity. He said he didn't know if Padron was carrying a Taser at the time of the confrontation, but said, "I don't expect we'd rely on the Taser for people who are pointing guns at us."

Lewis, 55, died on his porch while his wife and three dogs were inside the one-story home.

Padron, a 20-year veteran with only minor blemishes in his personnel history, is on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, Reder said.

Lewis' death comes just four months after he tried to commit suicide following an arrest on one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a 13-year-old girl, according to State Attorney's Office spokeswoman Pam Bondi. Lewis was arrested May 26 and released the same day after posting a $15,000 bail. During the Memorial Day weekend, Lewis went to a Tampa motel and shot himself in the head, Bondi said.

He survived, and prosecutors in July decided not to pursue the case because the teenager refused to cooperate, Bondi said.

Reder said a search warrant obtained for that May arrest led to the 30 pornography counts filed last week by the State Attorney's Office.

Detectives seized a digital camera and computer from Lewis' home and sent them to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's computer crimes analysts in Tampa. The analysts found evidence of child pornography, Reder said.

Neighbor Debi Wilson said Lewis and his wife moved to the neighborhood about four years ago. She said she didn't know him well, but said they sometimes chatted when Lewis was out walking his three dogs.

"He seemed to me like a nice person until that whole thing came down," Wilson said, referring to the lewd and lascivious charge filed in May. "The day before yesterday was the first day I saw him since he shot himself. Oh, you should have seen the scars on his face."

Florida criminal records show the May arrest was Lewis' first here. He has lived in Hillsborough County for several years, and before that he lived in Texas.

He worked at an envelope-making company, Silver Envelope, in Tampa. But Wilson said the company owner recently died, and Lewis has been worried about his job future.

April Grimes, 29, is a dispatcher for the Sheriff's Office. When she heard detectives yell that Lewis had a gun, she pulled her mother Madeline inside their house.

"He pointed that gun because he wanted to be shot," the younger Grimes said. "That was suicide by cop. You point a gun at a deputy, you get shot."

Padron, a graduate of Jefferson High School, joined the Sheriff's Office as a jail deputy in 1984 after a short stint in the Air Force and work as a personal trainer at a gym. He became a street deputy in 1989. In 1995, he became a detective.

In 1990, Padron was one of several deputies involved in a shootout with bank robbers who came from Orlando and hit a Thonotosassa bank, then fired dozens of rounds at deputies' cars. One of the suspects was killed, one was paralyzed and two were arrested, Reder said. Padron was cleared in that shooting investigation, and it was never determined which deputies' bullets hit the suspects.

Padron's personnel file has numerous commendations from supervisors and Hillsborough residents. Recently, he received commendations for helping arrest three violent felons and for his role in apprehending two suspects accused of trying to kill law enforcement officers.

Padron had one written reprimand in 1992 for failing to establish probable cause in a Baker Act case. In 1990, he was suspended for a day after failing to show up for traffic court.

In his annual evaluations, supervisors described Padron as "hardworking," "experienced," "very knowledgeable" and "a team player." ..more.. by SHANNON COLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER

Freeport man killed in shooting

11-8-2004 Illinois:

FREEPORT -- A Freeport man was shot early Sunday morning and died shortly after his arrival to FHN Memorial Hospital. Isaac Hall Jr., 26, of 227 W. Pleasant St., was found by Freeport Police lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds in the 100 block of North Adelbert Avenue. Freeport police had responded to several 911 calls at approximately 1:11 a.m. Sunday.

Hall had been shot less than three months ago under unusual circumstances, and an arrest was never made in that incident, that occurred Aug. 26. Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 400 block of East Winneshiek Street in Freeport to find that Hall had been shot twice - once in the foot and once in the hip. He was taken to FHN and recovered from his injuries.

In 1998, Hall had been sentenced to four years at the Illinois River Correctional Center near Canton on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Illinois Department of Corrections records show that he had been released on parole from the facility in November 2003. ..more.. Pam Eggemeier, The Journal-Standard

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

St Mary mob kills man accused of murder-rape

7-11-2003 Jamaica:

POLICE IN Annotto Bay, St. Mary, have launched a search for persons involved in a mob killing on a man accused of raping and murdering a teenage girl in the community of Enfield on Tuesday.

The man, 21-year-old Damion White, died Wednesday night in the St. Ann's Bay Hospital, after he was transferred from the Annotto Bay Hospital. He was beaten and chopped by the residents, after they discovered the body of 16-year-old Althea Dick in Enfield on Tuesday morning.

White is from Golden Grove in St. Thomas.

The police report that White, who was wanted by the police in connection with the death of Dick, was held by residents on the St. Mary Banana Estate.

The residents continued to pursue White after he was admitted to hospital. The police say there was a major disturbance at the Annotto Bay Hospital on Wednesday night, when scores of residents showed up searching for him.

An official at the hospital said the angry residents converged on the hospital, demanding that White be released to them in order that they may avenge Dick's death. ..more..

Friends 'beat pensioner to death over child sex claims'

12-14-2004 United Kingdom:
John Fallen, 69, of Dunfermline, was found dead early on January 2 following the New Year’s Day attack.

A neighbour told the jury that she heard heated conversation in Mr Fallen’s flat and then the fearful cries of the elderly widower, known to his friends as Jack.

The High Court in Dunfermline was told that Neil Dougal, 36, of Glenrothes, and his friend Mark Hunter, 39, of Dunfermline, who both deny culpable homicide, had been drinking vodka with their partners on New Year’s Day when they decided to visit Mr Fallen to “find out the truth” about the child abuse claims.

The pensioner, whose wife had died two years earlier, lived alone with his dog. His flat was just a few minutes’ walk from Mr Dougal’s home, where the two accused had been drinking.

Jacqueline Gorniak, 28, Mr Hunter’s partner, who was giving evidence yesterday, said that the two men had returned after about ten minutes. Mr Dougal described how he punched and kicked Mr Fallen and stamped on his head, she said. Later he phoned a friend and bragged that he had “done the business”.

Ms Gorniak said she felt sick when she heard what they had done. She said she was not convinced that the sexual assault allegations were true. She said that the men told her that Mr Hunter had been the first to throw a punch. “Neil had asked (Mr Fallen) if the allegations were true and that’s when Mark hit him,” she said.

Later at about 4.30am Mr Hunter and Ms Gorniak left Mr Dougal’s house to return home and passed Mr Fallen’s flat, where police were erecting a scene-of-crime tape. She said that Mr Hunter had wished the policeman a happy new year and asked him what had happened, but the policeman had refused to say.

Earlier Mr Fallen’s American neighbour, Dorothy Todd, 70, said that she heard the pensioner cry out in terror shortly before he was found dead. She said she had heard voices in Mr Fallen’s flat from about 9.30pm and they suddenly got louder at about 11.30pm. At that point, she said, her whole flat shook for a few minutes as if it had been hit by an earthquake. After watching two people leave, she tried to call Mr Fallen but got no answer so she rang his daughter, who called police.

Christine Atherton, Mr Dougal’s sister, said that her brother “loved” Mr Fallen and treated him like a member of the family. “Michelle (her brother’s partner) and Neil were very close to him. They saw each other every day. They were very upset at the allegations. But Neil said he would let the police deal with it,” she said.

The trial continues. ..more.. by Shirley English

Attacker 'left footprints on skull of dead pensioner'
12-15-2004 United Kingdom:
A PENSIONER kicked to death in his own home was struck with such force his attacker left several footprints imprinted on his skull, a court has heard.

A pathologist yesterday told the High Court in Dunfermline that John Fallen, 69, died after a single blow to the head caused a massive brain haemorrhage.

Professor Derek Pounder said he was in no doubt that the fatal blow had been struck while Mr Fallen had been lying on the ground. He added that, before Mr Fallen died, he had been kicked at least 15 times in the head.

Prof Pounder told the High Court: "Mr Fallen sustained a number of punches, kicks and stamps targeted around the eyes, ears and cheeks. Some of the injuries had the pattern of a shoe imprinted on the victim’s skin surrounding the skull."

Mr Fallen was found dead in his Dunfermline flat just after midnight on January 2 this year. The court was told that the two men accused of killing him, Neil Dougal, 36, and Mark Hunter, 39, had been drinking on New Year’s Day when they decided to confront Mr Fallen about rumours he had molested a girl.

Dougal’s brother, John Dougal, told the court that while his brother had admitted visiting Mr Fallen, he said the pensioner was alive and standing when he had left.

Dougal, of Glenrothes, and Hunter, of Dunfermline, both deny assaulting Mr Fallen, repeatedly punching him, kicking him, stamping on his head and body and killing him. The trial continues. ..more.. by Evening News

Suspect in death trial 'threatened co-accused'
12-17-2004 United Kingdom:
THE trial of two brothers-in-law accused of beating a pensioner to death has heard claims that one had threatened the other with repercussions in jail.

David Burns QC made the allegation yesterday as he defended landscape gardener Mark Hunter. Hunter, 39, is jointly accused with 36-year-old Neil Dougal of the culpable homicide of 69-year-old John Fallen at his home in Dunfermline on New Year’s Day this year.

Each has blamed the other for giving Mr Fallen a severe beating after hearing rumours that he had sexually abused a young girl. In evidence, Dougal admitted being at Mr Fallen’s house on the night he died and said he "couldn’t believe it" when he learned of his death.

He said his wife had phoned Hunter, who came round to his flat and they agreed to tell police that they had all been drinking together on the night of the incident and that none of them had left at any point. The court heard that Hunter broke the pact and told police that they had visited the old man. Hunter said that while he had hit Mr Fallen once and kicked him twice, Dougal "lost it" and kicked and punched him repeatedly.

Mr Burns, cross-examining Dougal, accused him of threatening Hunter as the two arrived at court yesterday. Dougal replied: "He’s also threatened me. My whole family got threatened today."

Dougal, of Glenrothes, and Hunter, of Dunfermline, both deny the charge of culpable homicide. The trial continues. ..more.. by Evening News

Men jailed for vigilante killing: Dougal and Hunter were jailed for a total of 20 years
1-18-2005 United Kingdom:
Two men have been jailed for a total of 20 years for battering a pensioner to death after hearing he had been accused of being a paedophile. Neil Dougal and his brother-in-law Mark Hunter were found guilty of the assault on 69-year-old Jack Fallen at his home in Dunfermline last January.

The retired dockyard worker was kicked and stamped on up to 20 times.

At the High Court in Forfar, Dougal, 36, and Hunter, 39, were each jailed for 10 years. At their trial, the High Court in Dunfermline heard how the pair had conned their way into Mr Fallen's home after hearing he had been arrested for abusing a young girl.

Some of the blows received by Mr Fallen, who lived alone, were so fierce that training shoe imprints were left on his body. He died of a brain haemorrhage.

There is no question, but that I have a duty to impose custodial sentences of a significant length

Lord Brodie

Dougal, a house painter, and Hunter, a landscape gardener, were found guilty of killing the elderly widower on New Year's Day 2004.

They had blamed each other for landing the fatal blow.

Sentencing them, Lord Brodie said: "You must both understand you have been found guilty 'art and part' for the culpable homicide of the late Mr Fallen and the sentences I impose must reflect that.

"There is no question, but that I have a duty to impose custodial sentences of a significant length.

"The jury were entitled to find you both went, not with the intention of killing him, but to seriously assault him.

"The evidence from the post-mortem report and from the witness in the upstairs flat from what she heard, point to a very severe assault on an elderly man who was alone in his house. I do not see significant differences between your positions."

'Ugly conversation'

Mr Fallen had been arrested over Christmas 2003 and accused of sexually abusing a child, which he admitted to police was true.

When news of Mr Fallen's arrest as a suspected paedophile reached the close-knit community around Haig Crescent, Dunfermline, Dougal and Hunter hatched a plan to beat up Mr Fallen, who had been released on bail six days earlier.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice said the duo had an "ugly conversation" and then decided to "go round and sort old Jack out".

Each claimed the other had been "jubilant", having "done in a beast" and that they had left the house first while their victim was still alive.

Fife Constabulary launched a murder hunt, but six days later Hunter came forward and confessed what he and his brother-in-law had done.

From the start he tried to blame Dougal, telling police he had "lost it" and "wellied" the old man, but Dougal claimed Hunter had egged him on.

Vigilante action is not noble and is never justified

Det Insp Alex Watson

However, after an eight-day trial the jury took less than 90 minutes to find both men guilty of culpable homicide.

Dougal, now of Julian Court, Glenrothes and Hunter, of Robertson Road, Dunfermline, showed no emotion as they were led away from court.

Counsel Matt Jackson, representing Hunter, said his client was "a man who felt a very heavy burden of conscience upon himself".

Detective Inspector Alex Watson said: "We were convinced Mr Fallen knew his killers and had let them in. There was very little sign of any disturbance.

"Every time Mark Hunter looked out of his bedroom window in Robertson Road he would have seen the police incident bus.

"He obviously couldn't live with what he had done. Vigilante action is not noble and is never justified." ..more.. by BBC News

Women kill rape suspect in court

8-13-2004 India:
A man standing trial for rape was killed by a group of women and children in court in the city of Nagpur in central India on Friday, reports say.

Initial reports said about 14 women and several children forced their way into the courtroom and knifed the accused, Appu Yadav, to death.

The attackers then escaped from the scene of the crime. Police, who have launched an investigation, admit that they were caught unawares.

Second case
However, the BBC's Zubair Ahmed in Bombay says they also admitted they had to throw a security cordon around the defendant last week when he was jeered by angry women as he arrived in court. Yadav was facing 24 counts of molestation and rape. ..more.. by BBC News

Rapist-murderer lynched by women
8-14-2004 India:
Even as Dhananjoy Chatterjee awaited the walk to the gallows, another rapist and murderer met a painful end in a courtroom. Appu Yadav a k a Bharat Kalicharan Yadav was lynched and castrated by 50 women when he was produced in court.

Yadav and three other criminals were taken to court at 2.20 pm for remand extension by three police constables. The women, who were waiting for Yadav with some youths, started shouting and attacked him with stones and sticks. The youths had hatti knives. The ruckus spiralled and the enraged women castrated Yadav.

A police source said that the constables fled the scene. “The police should have taken proper care and made adequate arrangements. It was a mistake to have three constables escort four criminals,” said a senior police officer.

Yadav, who was arrested by the police last Friday, was produced in the First Class judicial magistrate’s court on Sunday. A group of people had staged demonstrations then. Appu had 40 cases of murder, rape, attempted murder against him and was also arrested earlier under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

The other three accused were injured and have been admitted to a local hospital. Nagpur Joint Commissioner Rajendra Sonawane said an inquiry would be done by a DCP rank police officer and the report would be submitted to D Sivanandhan, police commissioner, in 10 days. ..more.. by Yogesh Naik

Police suspect vigilantism in man's murder

4-25-2001 Canada:
Laval police are investigating whether four men took the law into their own hands on Tuesday night. A 48-year-old man died after being brutally beaten and stabbed. Police say they were called to the scene of a fight behind an apartment building at about eight o'clock.

They were told four men were beating another man with baseball bats.

"When we arrived on the scene, the four people were not there," says Sergeant André St-Jacques of Laval police. "But the victim was able to go into his apartment. When we arrived and we saw him, he was unconscious."

The man, Michel Latendresse, 48, died later in hospital, possibly from a stab wound. A 25-year-old man is in custody and police are still looking for the other three men.

Victim known to police
Sergeant St-Jacques says it could be a case of vigilantism.

Police received a complaint against the victim two days ago for sexual assault on a minor. "He was a supect in that case, and there's a possibility there's a relation with that sexual assualt and the murder," St-Jacques says.

The suspect will appear in court in Laval on Wednesday afternoon. ..more.. by CBC News

Two arrests in suspected vigilantism killing
4-26-2001 Canada:
Two men have been charged in connection with what could be a case of vigilante justice. Michel Richer and Eric Savard have both been charged with assault with a weapon. The victim, Michel Latendresse, was beaten with baseball bats and died in hospital soon after.

Latendresse was being investigated for sexually touching a minor.

Crown Prosecutor Pierre Teasdale says the men may face more severe charges later. "I know very partially what happened," says Teasdale.

"I know that someone died, and people have different implications, that's the reason why the accused ... is charged with assault. Armed assault," he says. Teasdale points out that based on the evidence police have to date those are the only charges which could have been laid.

Police are still searching for the other men they suspect took part in the attack.

Family ties

Laval police say Michel Richer has close ties to the family of the alleged sexual assault victim.

Eric Savard of Laval was arraigned just hours after Richer, on the same charge. He does not have any apparent connection to the alleged sexual assault victim.

Authorities were still seeking two other men in the death of Michel Latendresse. He was battered with a baseball bat and stabbed behind his apartment building on Tuesday evening. ..more.. by CBC News

Third suspect in possible vigilantism killing steps forward
4-27-2001 Canada:
A third suspect has turned himself in to police in connection with the beating death of Michel Latendresse. Pierre-Luc Sirois-Favreau surrendered late on Thursday night in the murder that police suspect might be a case of vigilantism.

Laval police are still looking for a fourth man by the name of Michel Chatillon. Two other men arrested in the case, Michel Richer and Eric Savard have been granted bail.

They have both been charged with assault with a weapon. The victim, Michel Latendresse, was beaten with baseball bats and died in hospital soon after.

Latendresse was being investigated for sexually touching a minor.

Crown prosecutor Pierre Teasdale says the two men already charged may face more severe charges later. "I know very partially what happened," says Teasdale.

A third suspect has turned himself in to police in connection with the beating death of Michel Latendresse.
Pierre-Luc Sirois-Favreau surrendered late on Thursday night in the murder that police suspect might be a case of vigilantism.

Laval police are still looking for a fourth man by the name of Michel Chatillon. Two other men arrested in the case, Michel Richer and Eric Savard have been granted bail.

They have both been charged with assault with a weapon. The victim, Michel Latendresse, was beaten with baseball bats and died in hospital soon after.

Latendresse was being investigated for sexually touching a minor.

Crown prosecutor Pierre Teasdale says the two men already charged may face more severe charges later.

"I know very partially what happened," says Teasdale.

"I know that someone died, and people have different implications. That's the reason why the accused ... is charged with assault. Armed assault," he says. Teasdale points out that based on the evidence police have to date, those are the only charges that could have been laid.

Police are still searching for the other men they suspect took part in the attack.

Family ties

Laval police say Richer has close ties to the family of the alleged sexual assault victim.

Savard of Laval was arraigned just hours after Richer, on the same charge. He does not have any apparent connection to the alleged sexual assault victim.

Authorities were still seeking two other men in the death of Latendresse. He was battered with a baseball bat and stabbed, behind his apartment building on Tuesday evening. ..more.. by CBC News

Angry Mob Kill Alleged Pedophile in Noida

4-5-2007 India:
In India a 50-year-old man who allegedly raped a five-year-old girl, died in hospital after being lynched by an angry mob reported to number 1,000.

According to The Hindu the child was also taken to hospital where she underwent surgery for her injuries.

A police officer told The Statesman:

"The locals saw the girl, dragged Arjun [Singh] out of the shelter and started beating him up...The accused has been selling ice-cream in the village for the past few years."

The attack happened in Nithari village in Noida, near New Delhi, on Tuesday. ..more.. by The Statesman

Gay porn producer slain

Coroner says Bryan Charles Kocis had been stabbed to death. Fire may have been set in attempt to cover up killing, police say.

1-26-2007 Pennsylvania:
DALLAS TWP. – A convicted sex offender who owned a company that produced gay pornographic movies was dead at the time a fire ripped through his township home, authorities said.

The burned body of Bryan Charles Kocis, 44, also known as Bryan Phillips, was found by firefighters Wednesday night after they responded to the blaze at his home at 60 Midland Drive. The fire was reported around 8:30 p.m.

Kocis was identified by dental records during an autopsy on Thursday, Luzerne County Coroner Dr. John Consalvo said. He ruled the death a homicide.

Consalvo said Kocis died from multiple stab wounds and was dead before the fire broke out. The coroner based his determination on the absence of burnt particles in the victim’s pharyngeal airway and lungs.

“There were multiple stab wounds to the body, to the torso and neck, and we believe that the victim was dead at the time of the fire,” Consalvo said at a Thursday afternoon news conference at the Dallas Township Police Department.

Autopsy results couldn’t determine how long Kocis was dead before the fire started, Consalvo said.

District Attorney David W. Lupas and state police Lt. Frank Hackin, the criminal investigation unit supervisor for Troop P, said Kocis’ background and his business is being looked at as a motive to his murder.

Kocis’ company, Cobra Video, with an address on the Dallas Memorial Highway, produces and sells gay pornographic movies. Established in 2001, the company sells films and clothing on its Web site,

When police raided Kocis’ home during a 2001 child pornography investigation, they seized video cameras, photos, magazines, computer discs and more than 600 videos and uncovered a video production studio in Kocis’ basement.

“We’re definitely interested in any people he associated with,” Hackin said. “We need to know as much about this victim as we can, his timeline, people he’s been associated with, people he’s been talking to. The victim’s past is going to lead us to solve this crime.”

Hackin said it’s a strong possibility that the fire was set to cover up Kocis’ killing.

Neighbor Jennifer Hughes said Kocis kept to himself, and had many friends visit his home, mostly young males. Kocis also had parties at his house and would sit in a hot tub on his deck with friends, Hughes said.

“I knew what he was involved in unfortunately, it was not nice at all,” Hughes said. “All the time we saw him he would wear the same aviator glasses, baseball cap and jeans. He wouldn’t say hello to anybody. He would just keep to himself.

“I know his background so I’m not totally shocked. He had boys over all the time, young boys,” she said.

A witness said a white or silver sport utility vehicle was seen leaving Kocis’ driveway at the same time smoke alarms were heard sounding inside the home.

“My daughter’s friend saw a SUV back out of the driveway and when she got out of her car, she heard smoke alarms go off,” Hughes said.

Kocis was arrested on several felony and misdemeanor sex offenses, including the July 2001 rape of a 15-year-old boy from South Whitehall Township.

The boy told authorities that he met Kocis in a gay Internet chat room. Kocis took the boy to his home in May and early June 2001, where they engaged in sexual acts that Kocis videotaped, according to court records.

All of the charges were dropped except for a single count of sexual abuse of children. Kocis was sentenced in May 2002 to one year probation.

On Thursday, state criminal investigators and fire marshals combed the remains of Kocis’ charred home and removed evidence, including a box of gay pornographic movies.

Several investigators could be seen through a large broken window concentrating their search at the front of the home.

Hackin wouldn’t say where inside the home Kocis was found, and declined comment on whether investigators know how the fire was started.

Cobra Video filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of California for breach of contract and trademark violations against an actor in several of its movies. The actor appeared in four Cobra Video titles while underage and forged documents in order to work for the studio, the suit alleges.

A settlement conference involving the suit is scheduled for Feb. 21. ..more.. by EDWARD LEWIS


Two face porn-boss murder charges


Adult film's Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes will be extradited Thursday for trial in the death of porn producer Bryan Charles Kocis.

Two alleged escorts from Virginia are facing murder changes for the brutal killing of gay porn producer Bryan Charles Kocis.

In January, Bryan Charles Kocis, 44, was found dead in his burning home in Dallas Township, Penn. Although his body was badly burned, a coroner ruled that he had been stabbed and his throat slashed. Dental records were used to prove his identity.

Harlow Cuadra, 25, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, will be extradited Thursday from Virginia, where they have been jailed, to Pennsylvania for the court case.

Cuadra and Kerekes are charged with homicide, accomplice to murder, burglary, robbery, arson, theft, tampering with evidence, abuse of corpse and criminal conspiracy to commit such crimes.

They were arrested in May after evidence found on Kocis' computer (which survived the fire) revealed that Cuadra arranged a meeting Kocis the night of the killing.

Described to investigators as "flashy and flamboyant," the suspects were apparently rising stars in the gay porn industry. Police claim that the motive of the killing had to do with Kocis' rival porn company. The pair were keen to hire Kocis' lead actor Sean Lockhart, 19.

Cuadra and Kerekes lived together in a $500,000 home in Virginia Beach and "enjoyed exotic vehicles and extravagant dinners, and traveled the country making contacts for their escort and adult video businesses," prosecutors claim.

"It was obvious these were two individuals who led an extravagant lifestyle and followed through with it in all facets of their life," police Cpl. Leo Hannon said.

Kocis' company, Cobra Video, produces and sells gay porn, specializing in bareback films starring twinks. Titles include "Brent Corrigan's Fuck Me Raw," "A Boy's Raw Urges" and "Bareback Twink Orgy."

In 2001, police raided Kocis' home as part of a child pornography investigation and seized video cameras, photos, magazines, computer discs and more than 600 videos.

At the time of Kocis' death, neighbor Jennifer Hughes commented that he wasn't the most pleasant of neighbors, and that he was notorious for hosting large gay parties.

"I knew what he was involved in, unfortunately, it was not nice at all," Hughes said.

"All the time we saw him he would wear the same aviator glasses, baseball cap and jeans. He wouldn't say hello to anybody. He would just keep to himself.

"I know his background so I'm not totally shocked. He had boys over all the time, young boys," she said. ..Source..


Harlow Cuadra Spared Death Penalty, Gets Life with No Parole


A jury deadlocked over death penalty sentencing means Harlow Cuadra will spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance for parole for the brutal murder of rival porn producer Bryan Kocis in 2007.

Kocis' neck was slashed before being stabbed 28 times and burned over 90 percent of his body by a fire set to cover up the murder. Cuadra's co-conspirator and former lover Joseph Kerekes is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty at an earlier date. The jury deliberated over Cuadra's sentencing for five hours. Cuadra eventually received two consecutive life sentences. ..Source..

Homeless man's death in Bangor ruled homicide

4-27-2006 Maine:
A homeless man whose body was found on fire beneath a Bangor bridge last month was the victim of a homicide, the state medical examiner said Thursday. Flames had enveloped the body of Trevor Sprague, 34, when he was found March 7 beneath a bridge where he went occasionally to drink alcohol. Initially, the medical examiner had withheld the cause of death at the request of prosecutors.

Authorities said it is too early to say whether the killing was a hate crime. "You don't want to jump to conclusions," Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said. "You don't want to make assumptions . . . that aren't warranted by the evidence and that may mislead you." Sprague's death raised concerns that he may have been targeted for his vulnerability as a homeless person with substance abuse and mental health problems or for his criminal history.

He was convicted last year for unlawful sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy and an assault stemming from the same incident. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, with all but five suspended. His probation was revoked Jan. 25 and he was ordered to serve the rest of his sentence. Sprague was twice convicted of indecent conduct in 2000, once for an incident near the bridge where his body was found, authorities said. ..more.. : by DAVID HENCH, Portland Press Herald Writer


A year after man's burning body found: 'We'll get this one solved'

3-6-2007 Maine:

It’s a lonely, secluded spot.

Stand beneath the Harlow Street bridge on the banks of Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor and you can feel an eerie sense of emptiness, even as you hear the rhythm of cars and trucks crossing the metal grates overhead.

A year ago Wednesday, a passing driver spotted smoke that led to the burning body of 34-year-old Trevor Paul Sprague under the concrete-and-metal bridge downtown.

Sprague’s body was in flames when rescue crews arrived.

Police have determined that he was the victim of a homicide, but no one has been arrested in the case.

Authorities have disclosed few other facts, including whether the fire was the cause of Sprague’s death.

That the homicide remains unsolved after a year of investigation is frustrating for investigators as well as for Sprague’s friends and family.

"If you never had it happen, you can’t imagine" the pain, said Jeffery Sprague, 61, Trevor’s father, in a phone interview last week from his home in Machias. "It hasn’t been good. You think about it once in a while — quite often, actually, but you keep on going."

During last week’s telephone interview, Sprague said he was standing in his den with a picture of his murdered son in sight.

He said he immediately thought of his son a year ago when he read the Bangor Daily News story about the discovery of an unidentified burned body under a bridge.

"Knowing Trevor, it entered my mind," he said.

After Sprague put the newspaper down, a daughter who lives in Portland called to tell him about her brother.

"I guess that’s how everybody found out," he said.

Trevor Sprague’s body was burned so extensively that investigators had to use DNA from his father to positively identify him.

The horrifying circumstances of Trevor Sprague’s death jolted many in the city, especially homeless members of the community who knew him, said Mike Andrick, program director of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.

In the days after the discovery, people who monitor the area’s homeless made extra checks on people who sleep on the streets.

"[We’re] really like everyone else: We’re waiting patiently" for the crime to be solved, Andrick said recently.

Sprague’s death got groups and agencies that work with the homeless talking about how to address their problems, and it helped unify their efforts, Andrick said.

Beneath the bridge last week, past a low green steel beam, charred remains of paper products, food containers and old clothing could be seen, suggesting that somebody may have had a fire or two recently at the site to keep warm.

"It’s one of those cases that we just can’t get into a lot of the details," Lt. Tim Reid, who leads the Bangor Police Department’s detective division, said last week.

The department still gets new information and leads, Reid said.

Still, the transient nature of the city’s homeless people, who often have alcohol, drug or mental illness problems and are sometimes wary of police, is the biggest factor impeding the investigation, Reid said.

While Jeffery Sprague described his son as a friendly but sometimes reserved man who "wouldn’t hurt a flea," he acknowledged that his son showed signs of trouble.

Some of the homeless people his son associated with were a bad influence, he said.

"He drank quite a lot once he got in with that crowd," Sprague said.

He said he and other family members and friends often worried about his son’s safety.

"He’d say, ‘I’ll be all right. I’m a big guy,’" he said.

"He was just a friendly, easygoing guy," his father said. "Anyone who knew him — people at the [Bangor Area Homeless] Shelter would have told you that. If you didn’t know him, all you know is what you read in the paper."

Trevor Sprague suffered from mental health problems.

He was convicted of assault and unlawful sexual contact in 2005 after he improperly touched a teenage boy who was sitting in a park near the Bangor Public Library. He was convicted of two counts of indecent conduct in incidents that occurred in 2001, according to a prosecutor.

His mother, Sonia Olson of Lubec, was his legal guardian, his father said. She declined requests for an interview last week.

A month before his death, Trevor Sprague was at his father’s house in Machias.

Sometime after that, Trevor Sprague traveled to Bangor, then visited his mother in Florida before returning to Maine about a week and a half before he was killed, his father said.

From Florida he called his dad to talk about the weather, his favorite subject.

"He always wanted to tell you what the weather was," Jeffery Sprague said.

Asked why his son chose to live a transient lifestyle, his father said: "It was just Trevor. You had to know him. At Christmas dinner, he’d get up before the presents. He’d say, ‘I’ve got to go’ and off he’d go.

"I can’t really tell you why," his father said. "He always had a place to go, but he never stayed that long."

Lubec, a Washington County town, is like a closely knit sweater, and the death of Sprague hit the community hard, said family friend and Lubec resident Debra McConnell.

"We’re all linked together," she said. "Trevor was one of our children."

About 150 Lubec residents as well as people from Bangor joined Sprague’s family when his cremated remains were interred at Olson Cemetery in Lubec late last spring.

The bridge where Sprague’s body was found is one that recently retired Bangor Police Chief Don Winslow crossed numerous times — and minutes before the body’s discovery that March 2006 afternoon.

"I had just gotten on the highway when I heard the Fire Department call," Winslow said. "Fifteen minutes later, I got the call."

His department has pursued hundreds of leads in the past 12 months and will not stop until it can answer the question: Who killed Trevor Sprague?

"It is somewhat frustrating because it has been a year," Winslow said. "The longer it goes, the colder the case … and the more difficult it will be. I’m confident we’ll get this one solved eventually."

Winslow went to the Harlow Street bridge that evening a year ago, bending to get under the steel beam at the site that is inscribed with dates and people’s names. It includes the words of an old English law: "The rich as well as the poor are forbidden to sleep under bridges and steal bread." ..more.. by Bangor Daily News


Burned man’s homicide still unsolved

3-7-2009 Maine:

Cold wind whips along the banks of Kenduskeag Stream in March, but beneath the low green steel beams of the Harlow Street Bridge, there is some refuge.

It’s underneath that downtown bridge that 34-year-old Trevor Paul Sprague, a homeless man from Lubec, was known to hang out and it also was where his body was found engulfed in flames three years ago Saturday.

A passing driver spotted smoke coming from underneath the concrete-and-metal bridge on March 7, 2006, and called the Fire Department. When crews arrived they found Sprague face-down with 2-foot-high flames shooting up off his 6-foot-7-inch body.

Sprague’s body was burned so extensively that investigators had to use DNA to positively identify him.

Police have determined that he was the victim of a homicide, but have disclosed few other facts about the grisly killing, including whether the fire was the cause of Sprague’s death.

Those facts are the key to finding the killer, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Thursday.

No one has been arrested in the case, but more than a dozen have confessed, he said.

“We’ve had quite a few people who say they did this, and it proved to be not true,” the sergeant said. “Only the person that did it and the officers involved” know the details behind how Sprague was killed.

“We do not know who did this,” Edwards said. “We’re waiting for the right tip, for the right evidence.”

The unsolved homicide remains frustrating for investigators, who continue to work the cold case, as well as for Sprague’s friends and family.

“It’s been hard,” family friend Debra McConnell said Thursday by phone from her Lubec home. “There is no closure.”

Sonia Olson of Lubec, Sprague’s mother and his legal guardian, declined to talk about her son on Friday, but exasperation could be heard in her voice.

“I don’t want to talk to anybody,” she said. “Bye.”

A month before his death, Trevor Sprague visited his father, Jeffery Sprague, in Machias, the elder Sprague said during an interview two years ago.

Sometime after that trip to Machias, Trevor Sprague traveled to Bangor, then visited his mother in Florida before returning to Maine about a week and a half before he was killed, said his father, who described his son as a friendly but sometimes reserved man who “wouldn’t hurt a flea.”

Asked why his son chose to live a transient lifestyle, his father said: “It was just Trevor. He always had a place to go, but he never stayed that long.”

Jeffery Sprague also acknowledged that his son showed signs of trouble, and said that some of the homeless people his son associated with were a bad influence.

“He drank quite a lot once he got in with that crowd,” he said.

Bangor Area Homeless Shelter officials have said that Sprague stayed at the shelter on occasion, but as a loner who liked his seclusion, and that he was known to stay under the Harlow Street and other bridges.

The slain man also suffered from mental health problems and had a criminal history that included his conviction for assault and unlawful sexual contact in 2005 after he improperly touched a teenage boy who was sitting in a park near the Bangor Public Library. Sprague also was convicted of two counts of indecent conduct in incidents that occurred in 2001, according to a prosecutor.

There are three other unresolved homicides on the books in Bangor — one in 1997, one in 1988 and one in 1965 — but with murder there is no statute of limitations, and all cold cases typically remain open until solved.

“It’s not forgotten, that’s for sure,” Edwards said of Sprague’s death. “We’ll continue to review it, and review it again and again.”

The transient nature of the city’s homeless people, who often have alcohol, drug or mental illness problems and are sometimes wary of police, has been listed as a factor impeding the 3-year-old investigation.

While the initial intensity of the investigation has slowed, Detective Brent Beaulieu is assigned to the case and “he continues to get leads,” Edwards said. “The file just keeps getting thicker and thicker.”

Investigators have pursued hundreds of leads over the last three years, but are still open to more, the sergeant said.

“We’ll take any rumors or information people have,” he said. “That’s what we do. It’s a big puzzle. We’re just waiting for the right piece” to complete the puzzle and find the killer.

About 150 Lubec residents as well as people from Bangor joined Sprague’s family when his cremated remains were interred at Olson Cemetery in Lubec in the spring of 2006.

In Lubec, a small Washington County town, everybody knows everybody else and “Trevor was one of our children,” McConnell has said. The horrifying circumstances behind his death hit the community hard, she said.

“We’re all still very sad,” she said. ..News Source.. by Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff BANGOR, Maine


Bangor Police Release New Info On Cold Case Homicide

3-8-2009 Maine:

BANGOR (NEWS CENTER) -- Three years after the body of a homeless man from Lubec was found burning beneath a bridge in Bangor -- police are releasing new facts about the case.

Fire crews arrived at the scene on March 7, 2006 to find 2-foot flames shooting up from the body of 34-year old Trevor Paul Sprague.

Sprague's body was burned so badly investigators had to use DNA to positively identify him.

Although the case has been declared a homicide, police haven't yet determined whether the fire was the cause of Sprague's death.

At this point - no arrests have been made, though Sgt. Paul Edwards says more than a dozen people have confessed to the killing. None of the confessions have turned out to be true.

Many still question, whether Sprague's death was part of a hate crime. Sprague was openly gay and a convicted sex offender. ..News Source.. by Amanda Hill


Man pleads not guilty to setting transient on fire 5 years ago

6-22-2011 Maine:

BANGOR, Maine — The South Dakota inmate charged with setting a homeless man on fire along the Kenduskeag Stream more than five years ago pleaded not guilty to intentional or knowing murder Wednesday morning at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Kenneth John Bruning, 25, of Rapid City, S.D., is charged in the death of Trevor Sprague, 34, of Lubec in March 2006.

A trial date has not been set.

Sprague’s mother, Sonia Olson, and her husband, George Olson, both of Lubec, attended the arraignment but declined to speak to reporters.

Bruning, a South Dakota native and member of the Lakota Indian tribe, waived a bail hearing.

Last month he waived extradition from South Dakota, where he was serving a two-year sentence for burglary and possession of methamphetamine, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor.

The time he is held at the Penobscot County Jail awaiting trial on the murder charge will be credited toward his South Dakota sentence, Silverstein said outside the courthouse after the arraignment.

Silverstein said his client may have mental health problems and it was possible Bruning’s plea would be changed to not criminally responsible by reason of insanity.

“Mr. Bruning has not made any admission or confession,” the attorney told reporters. “I understand there may be forensic evidence that indicates he was at the scene [of Sprague’s death].”

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson declined Wednesday to comment on the case.

Although police have not said what led them to Bruning, it appears that once convicted of a felony in South Dakota, his DNA was placed in a national database. It’s possible that DNA from the crime scene in Maine matched Bruning’s DNA once it was in the database.

Maine collects DNA from individuals convicted of felonies but not misdemeanors.

In October 2009 in Bangor District Court, Bruning was convicted of a misdemeanor assault that occurred at what is now the Hope House, a homeless shelter near the University of Maine at Augusta, Bangor campus. The assault took place two weeks after Sprague’s death, according to previously published reports.

In addition to the murder charge, Bruning is facing a local charge of failure to pay the for fine the assault.

Bruning was returned to Maine late Friday night and taken to the Penobscot County Jail by two Bangor police detectives.

Sprague’s body was found face down and on fire under the Harlow Street Bridge on March 7, 2006. The 34-year-old Lubec native and Bangor transient was known to camp along the Kenduskeag Stream.

Details about the circumstances surrounding Sprague’s death and what led investigators to Bruning have not been released.

Bangor police confirmed last year that Bruning was a member of Bangor’s transient population when Sprague was killed. ..Source.. by Judy Harrison, BDN Staff


Maine trials worth watching in 2012

1-6-2012 Maine:

State v. Kenneth Bruning

Trevor Sprague’s death was on the list of unsolved homicides for nearly five years before Kenneth John Bruning, 26, of Rapid City, S.D., was charged in November 2010 in connection with the death. Sprague’s body was found face down and on fire under the Harlow Street Bridge in Bangor on March 7, 2006. The 34-year-old Lubec native and Bangor transient was known to camp along the Kenduskeag Stream. Police have not released information about how the two men might have known each other or what led investigators to Bruning, who was serving a sentence in a South Dakota prison when he was arrested. He was returned to Maine in June 2011. In most cases, the circumstances surrounding the crime and the investigation have been made public. Bruning’s trial, which has not been set but could be held as early as July at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, finally may reveal what happened to Sprague. ..Source.. by Judy Harrison, BDN Staff


Man gets seven years for killing homeless man (Former Sex Offender) in Bangor

6-10-2012 Maine:

BANGOR, Maine — The South Dakota man charged with slaying and setting ablaze a local homeless man camping along the Kenduskeag Stream six years ago was sentenced Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to 15 years with all but seven years suspended for manslaughter.

Kenneth John Bruning, 26, of Rapid City, S.D., also was sentenced to four years of probation in the death of Trevor Sprague, 34, who was homeless at the time of his death.

In exchange for pleading guilty to manslaughter, the murder charge against Bruning was dismissed.

Bangor police confirmed last year that Bruning also was a member of Bangor’s transient population when Sprague was killed.

Information about how Sprague died was made public for the first time during Friday’s 45-minute hearing before Superior Court Justice William Anderson.

The Lubec native died of strangulation and then was set on fire, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said. The prosecutor said that DNA obtained from blood found on one of Sprague’s shoes matched a sample of DNA taken from Bruning. DNA from droplets found in a trail of blood that led from the scene toward the Intown Plaza at the intersection of Kenduskeag Avenue and Harlow Street also matched Bruning’s DNA.

Although Benson said that Bruning’s DNA was matched to DNA from blood found at the crime scene in 2010, it appears that Bruning’s DNA was not entered into a national FBI database until after he was convicted of a felony in South Dakota.

He was serving a two-year sentence for burglary and possession of methamphetamine in South Dakota when he was interviewed by Bangor police in summer 2010. He admitted knowing Sprague but denied harming him, Benson said.

Bruning was indicted in November 2010 by the Penobscot County grand jury for murder. He was returned to Maine the following June and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

On Friday, Bruning waived indictment, pleaded guilty to what is called an information and entered an Alford plea, named for the U.S. Supreme Court case North Carolina v. Alford decided in 1970. It is “a guilty plea that a defendant enters as part of a plea bargain, without actually admitting guilt,” according to Black’s Law Dictionary.

The defendant did not address the judge but the victim’s younger sister, Terry did. Struggling to control her emotions, she cried as she read a statement she said was the result of many drafts.

In one, she criticized the defendant “because he does not have the courage to take responsibility for my brother’s death and plead guilty to murder. But I decided that the amount of time he serves will not bring my brother back.

“I hope he understands what he did wrong and regrets the pain he has caused me, my family and his own,” she said. “I hope the defendant makes changes in his life and takes advantage of this tremendous opportunity he’s been granted and turns his life around.”

By pleading guilty to the lesser charge, Bruning admitted that with the evidence the state had, a jury could find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of manslaughter. He did not, however, admit that he killed Sprague or set him on fire.

Sprague’s body was found face down and on fire under the Harlow Street Bridge on March 7, 2006. The Lubec native and Bangor transient was known to camp along the Kenduskeag Stream.

Bruning’s trial on the murder charge had been scheduled to begin July 30 at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Both Benson and defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor told Anderson that they worked out the plea agreement to avoid going to trial and risking a verdict in the other side’s favor. The judge accepted the plea agreement and imposed the recommended sentence but called Sprague’s death “a horrendous and horrible crime.”

If convicted of murder, Bruning would have faced a sentence of between 25 years and life. The maximum sentence for a manslaughter conviction is 30 years.

In October 2009 in Bangor District Court, Bruning was convicted of a misdemeanor assault that occurred at what is now the Hope House, a homeless shelter near the University of Maine at Augusta, Bangor campus. The assault took place two weeks after Sprague’s death, according to previously published reports.

In addition to the murder charge, Bruning faced a local charge of failure to pay the fine for the assault.

Anderson said he would have to pay those fines while on probation for the manslaughter charge.

He has been held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail since being returned to Maine from South Dakota nearly a year ago. That time is expected to be credited to his manslaughter sentence. ..Source.. by Judy Harrison, BDN Staff