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Monday, May 14, 2007

Clash ends in stabbing by sword

5-14-2007 Florida: SEE UPDATE

A man confronts his wife and her new lover - sex offenders all - and it quickly turns deadly.

BRANDON - Willie Tarpley Jr. had just moved out of the home he shared with his estranged wife when he found her new lover in a sex offender database.

He was furious that she would allow the man near their two daughters, ages 3 and 14 months, said Lana Garcia, a neighbor and family friend.

About 8 p.m. Saturday, Tarpley, 46, drove to the posh Brandon home on River Rapids Avenue that he once shared with his wife, Jacqueline. He went into the garage, where, a neighbor said, he keeps a large collection of weapons.

He chose a 42-inch katana, a Japanese samurai sword, and went inside to confront Lee Alexander, a 25-year-old ranch hand from Polk County who was convicted in 2000 of a lewd and lascivious act on a person under 16.

Less than 15 minutes later, Alexander was dead.

- - -

Alexander, Jacqueline, her 14-month-old daughter and her mother, Matilda Dean, were inside the house when Tarpley entered, sword in hand.

Tarpley, 46, had lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident about 20 years ago, Dean said, but that hadn't stopped him from becoming a black belt martial arts expert.

Tarpley picked up his daughter, then menaced his wife with the sword, warning her not to defend Alexander, said Hillsborough County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

Then, while still holding his daughter, Tarpley held the sword against Alexander's throat and told him that if he didn't leave, he would cut off his head, Carter said.

Alexander went to his car in the garage, but in his panic to leave, he backed into Tarpley's Corvette, Garcia said.

At that point, Carter said, Tarpley, no longer holding his daughter, walked up and plunged his sword into Alexander through his open car window.

Tarpley told his ex-neighbor that he walked up to the car to demand Alexander's insurance information. Somewhere in the exchange he jabbed the sword toward Alexander to emphasize a point, Garcia said.

Alexander opened the car door and ran several feet before collapsing in the street.

At first, Tarpley laughed at his wife for dating a coward, but stopped laughing when he realized one of the jabs had killed the man, Garcia said.

Garcia added that Willie Tarpley seemed remorseful.

He lay facedown on the ground when he saw deputies arriving. Tears were streaming down his face as officers put him in the squad car, she said.

"He looked and me and said, 'Lana, I'm gone, I'm out of here, I did something wrong. I think I killed him.' "

- - -

Jacqueline Tarpley's mother said the couple had long planned to separate, though she wouldn't say why.

Court records revealed that the couple have a storied past.

Willie Tarpley pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges of domestic violence battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Hillsborough County records.

Willie and Jacqueline Tarpley are both registered sex offenders. They both served prison sentences for the October 1987 sexual torture of a 21-year-old woman.

Police said Willie Tarpley and another man kidnapped the woman in Fort Lauderdale, drove her to a Tampa house and handcuffed her hands and feet.

The next day, Jacqueline Tarpley and another woman tortured the victim while Willie Tarpley watched, prosecutors charged.

Police called Tarpley the ringleader for the kidnapping, which was apparently revenge for the victim's theft of Willie Tarpley's possessions.

Jacqueline and Willie Tarpley both pleaded guilty to a long list of charges, including sexual battery, and received 20 years in prison.

They were released early, however, and in 2001 they also secured early release from probation.

- - -

Alexander had dated Jacqueline Tarpley for months, her mother said.

Alexander was a teenager when he was convicted in 2000 of a lewd and lascivious act on a person under 16. The charge can apply to crimes including sex with a 15-year-old and fondling a 12-year-old.

He was sentenced to three months of community supervision, but no prison time.

Jacqueline Tarpley knew he was a registered sex offender, Garcia said, but he had persuaded her that he was not a pedophile.

The details of Alexander's Polk County conviction were not available late Sunday.

"He was very quiet, very nice, respectful, " she said. And, she added, he seemed to be good for Jacqueline.

"She's never been this happy, " Garcia said. ..more.. by MICHAEL A. MOHAMMED


Man Gets 40 Years For Samurai Sword Murder
5-17-2008 Florida:

TAMPA - A man convicted of using a samurai sword to kill his estranged wife's boyfriend has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Willie Tarpley Jr. faced 25 years to life for the second-degree-murder. Circuit Judge William Fuente said he took into account that the victim, 25-year-old Lee Alexander, was a sex offender – although he added that is no excuse for murder.

Tarpley was angered because Alexander was spending time with his children.

Tarpley, 47, and his wife are registered sex offenders as well.

On May 12, 2007, Tarpley drove to the house he once shared with Jacqueline Tarpley, grabbed a 42-inch samurai sword known as a katana and threatened to behead Alexander.

Alexander tried to flee in his car but struck Willie Tarpley's Corvette, which was parked in the driveway. Tarpley, prosecutors said, reached into the open car window and plunged the blade into Alexander's body, just below the armpit.

The Tarpleys had been married about 20 years.

At the sentencing hearing Friday, Alexander's relatives and friends told Fuente that they miss Alexander terribly.

Alexander's cousin, Christina Perez, questioned how Tarpley, a registered sex offender, could use Alexander's status as a sex offender as a reason to kill.

"I don't know how you can judge someone by something that you yourself was convicted of," she said.

Alexander's mother, Mary Perez Perryman, could not attend the hearing because she was too distraught, said Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Gabbard. She read a letter to the court, written by Perryman.

"I know we all must die," Perryman wrote. "But to be killed the way my son was killed is just unreal."

Alexander's sister, Raquel Alexander, addressed Tarpley directly, calling the killing "selfish."

"He was taken from us at the prime of his life, and you left behind his little daughter," she said. "You literally stole from her."

Several speakers today spoke on Tarpley's behalf, saying the violent man described by prosecutors is not the man they know.

Friend Lana Garcia described Tarpley as a level-headed person who always came to her aid when she needed help.

"You're a wonderful person," she said, looking toward Tarpley. "Don't ever let anyone tell you you are not."

Willie Tarpley III, 21, told Fuente that he only had known his father for the past 10 years and didn't want to lose him again.

"I'd really like the court to be lenient, because I miss him so much," he said. "I don't understand what happened that day, and I'm not here to judge."

Willie Tarpley Jr. served 10 years in prison, 1988 to 1998.

Tarpley and his wife were arrested in 1987 on charges that they abducted a woman they knew from Fort Lauderdale, drove her to Tampa and sexually abused her. They carved profanities into her forehead and used high-power glue to close her eyes. Both entered plea deals that included prison terms.

Tarpley was present for the abuse but did not actively participate, Assistant Public Defender Samantha Ward told the judge. She also pointed out that Alexander was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, whereas Tarpley's earlier victim was an adult. ..more.. by Thomas W. Krause

Saturday, May 12, 2007

10 years later, vigilante officer is finally happy

1-16-2005 Australia:
A former police officer, acquitted of murder after he shot dead an alleged child molester, has reinvented himself as a Sydney real-estate agent.

In May 1995, Fairfield detective Said Morgan took the law into his own hands and shot a man charged with having molested three girls, including two young relatives.

When a jury took 33 minutes to decide his actions were justified, public debate erupted over the implications of vigilante-style justice.

Mr Morgan assumed a low profile after he was refused reinstatement into the NSW Police force. But 10 years on from the shooting, he is running his own real-estate firm in Sydney's north-west.

"I'm happy again," he said yesterday. "I've worked hard and built a new life for myself. But I've only achieved that by learning to leave the past in the past."

A former employee at Morgans One Stop Realty in Castle Hill said: "Said remains happily married to his wife. They have three beautiful children and a tight knit extended family."

Concerned the alleged offender had received bail and that he might carry out a threat to kill the children, Mr Morgan illegally traced his target's address on a police computer, then gained entry to his Oakhurst home by flashing his detective's badge at a woman who answered the door.

He walked down a hall, passed a teenage boy watching television and found the alleged molester in bed.

In an action described in court as a "Clint Eastwood notion of justice", Mr Morgan emptied his service revolver, shooting the man six times. "It was bang, bang and then he kept coming forward and bang, bang; before I realised it, the fifth or sixth shot was fired," Mr Morgan told the court.

"I was more conscious of the last two [shots] than the first four. The first four were more instinctive."

When asked if he would do the same thing again, Morgan replied: "Without a doubt."

Mr Morgan was flooded with letters supporting his actions.

One eight-year-old boy wrote: "Dear policeman, I'm glad you shot a child molester. I hate them. I know how bad they are and what they do."

Another read: "Dear Constable, I'm a grandmother of two abused children whose father was found guilty by a judge and jury, only to win his appeal and be let off. We are all angry that these men get off with the dreadful behaviour and manage to destroy innocent children. All of my family supports you and your actions."

Another card, signed simply "Sarah", declared: "You are the champion, the protector of all children everywhere so, on their behalf, I thank you."

On August 1, 1997, a jury rejected the Crown argument it was a revenge shooting, finding Mr Morgan instead acted out of fear for the girls' safety.

Acquitted of murder and manslaughter, he said: "The reason why I believe my case gained so much public interest is because it's such a sensitive issue that involves something so close to people as a whole, irrespective of their background, race or social upbringing."

Three days after being acquitted, Morgan accepted $50,000 from A Current Affair for a tell-all interview.

As legal practitioners wrestled with the implications of the ruling, Mr Morgan said in August 1997 his focus would be to put "these two, terrible years" behind him.

"I am going to relax now," he said then with a grin as his wife, Laurice, clung to his arm and their sons, Robert and Michael played beside them.

Revealing an overwhelming desire to return to police duty, he added: "One third of my life was spent as a policeman. All I ever knew was the cops. Eat, sleep, cops - and I loved it. I love my job."

But while a jury exonerated him, the police recruitment branch rejected his application to rejoin.

Mr Morgan told The Sun-Herald he hadn't spoken publicly about the case "in years". He added: "For the sake of myself and others involved, it's better left that way."

A former work colleague, still in regular contact with Mr Morgan, said: "He's a terrific bloke both personally and professionally. He's very determined and has worked really hard to build his business up from scratch.

"But despite all that, the only thing that really matters is his family. He counts them above everything, as I think he always has." ..more.. by Eamonn Duff

Regina v Said Morgan Matter No 70064/95 (28 July 1997), Supreme Court of New South Wales

Saturday, May 5, 2007

MI- Background on Scott Woodring

Posted in Related Deaths
7-8-2003 Michigan:
Scott Alan Woodring, the man who kept police at bay in Fremont, is 40 years old. He is perhaps best known to many in the Fremont area for his stringent anti-government views.

Woodring's family describe him as a "non-violent" member of the Michigan militia and said that he does not trust the government. His family says he prepared heavily for Y2K and has stock piles of food and supplies in the house.

Reports indicate his only income was from a paper route. In 1996 he ran for Dayton Township Supervisor on an anti-government campaign. His family says he is religious and would spend hours studying the bible. His past criminal record includes receiving several tickets for not registering his car.

Late Sunday night authorities tried to serve an arrest warrant for soliciting sex from a minor.

His father was quoted as saying he didn't think his son would come out alive.

State police had said all along they wanted to end the standoff peacefully but were unaware of what Woodring had inside his home as far as weapons or explosives. Police had been engaging in so-called "scare tactics" such as using armored personnel carriers to circle the house, as well as detonation devices to keep their suspect on edge. Helicopters hovered day and night for surveillance and intimidation. Police never ruled out the use of force.

Woodring's family had wanted to negotiate directly with him. They said that's the only way to prevent further bloodshed. ..more.. by WOOD TV


Medical Examiner: Woodring shot as many as four times

7-14-2003 Michigan:

New information on the autopsy of Scott Woodring shows he was shot as many as four times. The alleged killer of a Michigan State trooper was shot and killed by police Sunday morning.

According to the Kent County Medical Examiner, the autopsy reveals that Scott Woodring died within seconds after being shot.

Woodring was hit as many as four times, in Dr. Stephen Kohl's early estimate. Twice by a shotgun and once or twice with a rifle. The shot-gun blasts were fatal. One hitting Woodring in the head, the other in the throat. Dr. Cohle says Woodring does have a wound on his arm that is consistent with police reports that say he was turning and raising his rifle towards the officers.

Other information revealed in the autopsy shows that Woodring had apparently been eating. He wasn't emaciated, but there was no food in his stomach at the time of his death.

Monday police revealed more information about the week long search for Woodring. They believe he left the house around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 7th. They know that because an officer saw him, but no immediate action was taken.

"At that time we had the original team, that included Kevin Marshall, and were in the process of withdrawing them and inserting a fresh team. And during that confusion is when the call was made that someone was out on the north side," said Inspector Barry Getzen with the Michigan State Police.

Police say Woodring was finally located in Brunswick Sunday morning after he spoke to someone who knew him. That person quickly called police.

Police are now focusing their attention on anyone that may have helped Woodring in his attempt to escape police. If you have any information, you're asked to call 1-800-991-8477. ..more.. by WOOD TV See Also: Target 8 Investigation uncovers new information about deadly standoff in Fremont


Police Shoot, Kill Michigan Fugitive

7-14-2003 Michigan

FREMONT, Mich. (AP) - A fugitive who slipped away from his home during a deadly police standoff early last week was shot and killed by police Sunday morning, officials said.

Scott Allen Woodring, 40, had been charged with killing Trooper Kevin Marshall during the 40-hour standoff. He had barricaded himself in his rural home July 6 as police attempted to serve a felony arrest warrant.

On Sunday, police received a tip that Woodring was in a vehicle behind a house, about four miles southwest of his Dayton Township home.

When officers arrived and ordered Woodring to remain inside the vehicle, he emerged with an assault rifle and turned toward them, state police inspector Barry Getzen said.

Police would not say how many times officers fired at Woodring, how many times he was hit or who owned the property where he was found.

Woodring was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the earlier standoff at Woodring's home, State Trooper Kevin Marshall was shot four times as he and other officers tried to storm the house July 7. Marshall, a 33-year-old married father of two, died in surgery later that day. Police don't believe Marshall was hit by another officer's fire, Getzen said.

Woodring escaped from the home sometime between July 7, when the team tried to stormed the house, and the afternoon of July 8, when fire swept through the home shortly after police shot a percussion device into the home in an attempt to stun Woodring.

Family members have said Woodring held strong anti-government and anti-authority views. ..more.. by AP

Friday, May 4, 2007

Sex offender killed in Granite prison

5-4-2007 Oklahoma:

An inmate at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite was found dead in his cell Tuesday evening. Donald Sullivan was serving 600 years for sex crimes.

Greg Brooks, spokesman for the prison, would not comment on how Sullivan died, but said Sullivan had multiple wounds.

Brooks said Sullivan was found by a staff member around 6:45pm Tuesday, around the time when all the cell doors are open just prior to the evening head count.

Sullivan did share a cell, but so far, the prison isn't saying anything about a suspect.

The prison was put on lockdown after Sullivan's body was discovered, and remained locked down as of Thursday evening. ..more.. by KSWO TV