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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Inquest probes pedophile's slaying by cellmate

6-19-2007 Canada:
Mentally ill inmates should be housed separately from other prisoners, a schizophrenic man who killed his cellmate four years ago told a coroner's inquest.

Daniel Labelle was testifying Monday via videoconference at the inquest in Ottawa into the death of 46-year-old Robert Hatton in 2003.

Hatton was intellectually disabled and had been convicted seven times for sexual offences against children, but was being held in the Ottawa Carleton Regional Detention Centre for a parole violation.

Labelle strangled Hatton in June 2003 and was later convicted of manslaughter. He's now serving an eight-year sentence at Penetanguishene Psychiatric Hospital.

Labelle, speaking from the hospital, said that before the slaying, he was scared that his cellmate, who weighed about 300 pounds, would try to rape him.

He said he asked repeatedly to be moved to another cell, but his request was denied.

Labelle apologized for what happened, and wanted the inquest to recommend that people with mental illness be housed separately.

Sister backs separate housing idea
As part of the inquest, Hatton's sister, Beverly Post, spoke from Ottawa to Labelle during the videoconference Monday.

She agreed that people with mental illness should be housed separately, and said so should people who have been convicted of sex crimes.

"Both of those types of individuals are ill in one way or another and really need to be segregated from the rest of the population," she told the CBC following the day's testimony.

Pedophiles, in particular, are often targets of violence by other prisoners.

Post said the inquest was useful, allowing her and Labelle to tell their sides of the story.

"I've explained to him … my brother that I knew and grew up with," said Post after testifying.

She described Hatton as being "like a monster bird in a little wee nest."

Despite his enormous size, she said, "he didn't have a mean bone in his body. He couldn't be riled, he couldn't be angered and he certainly would have fallen over if Daniel had even pushed him."

But she said she was not angry at Labelle, as she recognized he was a sick man.

"He expressed horrendous anxiety about being celled with my brother and he didn't feel that the powers that be listened to him," she said. "He didn't anticipate murdering, and I honestly believe that."

The inquest is expected to end Friday. ..more.. by CBC News

Construction put prisoner in killer’s way
6-19-2007 Canada:

Ideally, inmates with psychological problems are not supposed to be put in the same jail cell as high-risk offenders such as pedophiles, a coroner's inquest heard Tuesday. But crowding is often a problem at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre - and in the spring of 2003, construction made the situation even worse.

That is how Daniel Labelle, a schizophrenic inmate at the facility, ended up in the same cell as Robert Hatton, a convicted pedophile, Jean-Marc Joly, security manager at the centre, testified.

The match turned out to be deadly, as Mr. Labelle killed Mr. Hatton on June 8, 2003. An autopsy revealed Mr. Hatton died of asphyxiation.

"We just didn't have the cell space to have everyone who has a psychological disorder to have their own cells," Mr. Joly testified. A lack of cell space wasn't the centre's only problem.

A lack of communication between departments in the facility also may have been a contributing factor in Mr. Hatton's death. Tuesday, the psychiatrist contracted to assess Mr. Labelle once a month testified he did not have access to the inmate's psychological, health and criminal files.

Dr. Rufino Balmaceda, a psychiatrist with the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, said Mr. Labelle appeared "fit" and "not psychotic" just less than a week before he murdered his cellmate. It was determined only after the killing that Mr. Labelle suffered from serious psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and, on June 8, 2003, he was taking one-tenth of the medication required to maintain a healthy mental state.

Mr. Labelle, 33, is now serving an eight-year sentence at the Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre, after admitting to the crime in November 2006.

Mr. Labelle and Mr. Hatton shared a cell at the detention centre for nearly three weeks starting in late May 2003 as the facility was undergoing renovations. At that time, prison staff placed inmates in cells together based on their psychological problems and their behaviour in jail, but did not take their crimes into account, Mr. Joly said. He did not explain why the decision was made to place Mr. Labelle in a cell with Mr. Hatton.

In recent years, Ontario judges have declared illegal the practice of sending mentally ill people who have been charged with crimes to jail until beds come open at the forensic units of psychiatric hospitals. Yet, because of a lack of beds, the practice continues.

Mr. Joly testified that Mr. Labelle got into repeated fights with other cellmates, and often lashed out, exhibiting erratic behaviour. But Dr. Balmaceda said he was unaware of any such behaviour.

On May 28, in his last report before the killing, he wrote that Mr. Labelle was "not as anxious" and was "sleeping well. I didn't get any sense he was going to be acting up," he testified Tuesday, suggesting that the system would better serve inmates if there were just one health file accessible by all departments.

Currently, psychological, psychiatric and criminal files are not available between departments in order to protect the inmates' privacy, Dr. Balmaceda said.

The inquest also heard from Nick Kennedy, the corrections officer who first noticed Mr. Hatton was unresponsive on June 8, 2003.

Mr. Kennedy said he was serving lunch to the inmates just before 1 p.m. when Mr. Hatton, who appeared to be sleeping, did not respond. He said Mr. Labelle answered for his cellmate, saying that Mr. Hatton "doesn't want to eat."

Suspicious, Mr. Kennedy said he entered the cell and discovered Mr. Hatton was not breathing and did not have a pulse. He called for medical treatment and began to perform CPR.

Mr. Labelle appeared calm that day and seemed content with his cellmate, Mr. Kennedy testified.
But just the day before, the inquest learned Mr. Labelle approached corrections officer Pierre Patenaude at least seven times with written and verbal requests for a cell change.

On Monday, Mr. Labelle testified via video-link from Penetanguishene, saying he wanted to change cells because he didn't want to be housed with a pedophile. Because his numerous requests for a cell change were denied, Mr. Labelle told the inquest he planned to start a fight with Mr. Hatton to get the attention of jail officials. He said he never intended to kill Mr. Hatton.

Mr. Patenaude testified he was fed up with Mr. Labelle's constant requests and threw one of his written requests in the garbage can.

"You could never reason with inmate Labelle," Mr. Patenaude said. "There was always an issue. It was never smooth sailing, never a good day with him."

The inquest continues Wednesday. The five-member jury is expected to make recommendations on how to prevent a case like this from happening again. ..more.. by Ottawa Citizen

Monday, June 18, 2007

Palatka police kill man after 3-hour standoff

6-17-2007 Florida: (See UPDATE)
PALATKA - Most neighbors at the James A. Long Apartment Complex in Palatka were awoken to the sound of a barrage of gunfire early Saturday morning. The other neighbors say they will remember what they saw for the rest of their lives.

Witnesses say there were 40 or 50 people standing outside around 3 a.m. watching as a 19-year-old man was shot to death by police at the end of a three-hour hostage situation. In the first fatal shooting by Palatka police since 2003, Lawrence Michael Floyd, 19, was killed after authorities said he shot his estranged girlfriend, a police officer and a 10-year-old boy. Floyd also used two children, ages 1 and 6, as hostages, police said.

No other injuries were life-threatening.

Here's what police said happened:

The Palatka 19-year-old, a registered sex offender on probation, abducted his unidentified girlfriend during an argument just before midnight from the apartments in the 2100 block of Olive Street, leading police on a several-mile pursuit using two stolen vehicles.

Floyd dragged his girlfriend from her apartment at gunpoint and carjacked a vehicle. Police spotted him several miles away outside a house in San Mateo. When the police approached him, he used his girlfriend as a shield and fired at a deputy with his .38 revolver. The deputy took cover as Floyd forced the woman back in the car and drove back toward Palatka.

Officers tried to stop Floyd as he entered Palatka, but he kept firing at police. Floyd finally had to stop because of a passing train at a railroad crossing. He abandoned the car and carjacked another vehicle, still with the woman at gunpoint, and drove back to the apartment complex.

Floyd ran into an occupied apartment, firing his gun at officers as he held the woman and ran through the back door. Police said they could not return fire because young children were in the apartment. Putnam County Sheriff's Deputy David Ussery was shot, but was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not injured. A 10-year-old boy also was hit in the leg during the gunfire.

Floyd ran through the complex and barricaded himself in another apartment with his girlfriend and two children, 1 and 6 years old, as hostages. Officers from the Police Department, Sheriff's Office and Florida Highway Patrol were all called in to secure the area during the standoff.

Police got a number from a relative for Floyd and called him on his cell phone to negotiate. Eventually Floyd released the children unharmed but stayed in the apartment two more hours.

Around 3 a.m. Floyd left the apartment, pointing a gun at his girlfriend. Officers asked him to put down the weapon and he refused, shooting her in the torso, causing several officers to fire on him, killing him at the scene.

At least 10 witnesses at the scene said they heard at least 30 shots fired from what sounded like automatic weapons. Some witnesses said Floyd shot only once while others said police fired first.

James Griffith, assistant chief of the Palatka Police Department, said Floyd fired at least seven times during the evening.

Ethel Ware, a 41-year-old resident of the apartment complex, said she saw the entire shooting and even tried to warn police about the suspect as he left an apartment to got to the one where he would barricade himself. She said she saw him walk by with the girlfriend in his arms and said, "You better not say a word." She said she pointed him out, but patrol officers drove by.

Ware said she heard police fire, stop, and then fire again at the suspect. After it was over, she said so much smoke filled the area "it looked like there was a fire over there."

Jammie Cooks, 19, who said he saw the shooting and went to school with Floyd, said so many people were watching the standoff that some neighbors even got out blankets and sat on their lawns. He said he heard family members talk to Floyd on the phone at the scene, asking for him to come out, promising he wouldn't be shot at.

Both Cooks and Ware, along with at least 20 other residents in the complex, said they thought police overreacted and shot too many times at Floyd.

"It was totally unnecessary. They didn't need to shoot that many times. All he had was a revolver," Ware said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting an investigation into the officer-involved shooting. Griffith said it hasn't been determined yet which officers shot Floyd because several officers fired.

Floyd was convicted April 16 in Putnam County of lewd or lascivious molestation of a victim younger than 12 years old by an offender 18 years or older. He was put on 10 years' probation for each of two molestation counts, according to a Florida Department of Corrections Web site.

Floyd's probation was a result of a plea deal, said Assistant State Attorney Robin Strickler, the supervising prosecutor in Putnam County. He said the child victim in the case was a runaway whom prosecutors couldn't produce at trial, leaving them with a weaker case.

Strickler said the sentence included a judge's order that Floyd would be under GPS monitoring to track his movements.

Putnam County Sheriff Dean Kelly did not return calls for comment Saturday. ..more.. by ADAM AASEN, The Times-Union


Officers Cleared in Fatal Shooting in Palatka
10-19-2007 Florida:

PALATKA, FL -- Seven officers involved in the fatal shooting of a convicted sex offender during a 2-day crime spree and standoff have been cleared by the State Attorney's office.

19-year-old Lawrence Michael Floyd had holed himself up in the doorway of the James Long Apartments, using his ex-girlfriend as a shield when police officers shot and killed him.

Authorities say Floyd refused numerous requests to surrender.

The State Attorney's office looked at all the reports and video of the standoff to make its ruling.

Investigators said Floyd carjacked two cars and exchanged gunfire with deputies in the hours before the deadly standoff. One deputy got hit, fortunately he had bulletproof vest on. ..more.. by First Coast News

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Stabbing victim (Sex Offender) had prior conviction!

6-13-2004 Indiana:

A man convicted of exposing himself to children was stabbed by a longtime acquaintance who told investigators he believed the man was a child molester, police said.

James Patrick Seldomridge, 54, was brain dead late Tuesday and being kept alive on life support at Ball Memorial Hospital so his organs could be donated, investigators said. Officers said they found Seldomridge about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday in his apartment, unconscious and covered in blood, along with a bloody kitchen knife. "It was a very violent scene," police Sgt. Al Williams said. "There was definitely a struggle between the victim and a suspect."

Police later arrested Jeremiah Brown, 21, at a nearby apartment and charged him with attempted murder and burglary. Brown admitted to detectives that he broke through Seldomridge's front window and stabbed him several times in the shoulder and back, according to arrest records.

Brown called Seldomridge a "child molester" and a "pervert" while talking with investigators, Williams said. ..more.. by Associated Press


Muncie man convicted in slaying returns

1-30-2011 Indiana:

A Muncie man serving a 40-year prison term for fatally stabbing an acquaintance was back in Delaware County last week continuing his pursuit of a reduced sentence. ..Source..


There is a good explanation of the events that led to the actual stabbing in the Appellate Court decision, summarizing, Brown contends that Seldomridge molested him and his brothers earlier in time. Assuming that to be true this is a victim based crime rather than "by Acq".

Frontier Justice

4-19-2003 California:
DANIEL MARK DRIVER, 35, HAD JUST TAKEN HIS SEAT in a rural California courtroom for a hearing on charges that he had sexually molested four boys when Ellie Nesler, the 40-year-old mother of one of the victims, quietly walked up behind him. According to police, she pulled out a small-caliber pistol and fired five shots into his head.

The fatal shooting quickly plunged the tiny gold-mining town of Jamestown into turmoil. Reporters poured in, tabloid-TV shows pressed for details, and local supporters took up a collection for Nesler's defense. Donna Brewer, who runs a cafe next to the courthouse, said Driver "deserved what he got. That's the worst crime there is." And Nesler's sister claimed that Driver, who had a previous conviction for child molestation, had "smirked" when he entered the courtroom. Almost lost in the hubbub was the district attorney, who called the shooting "reprehensible." Nesler, who was freed on $500,000 bond, will enter a plea this week. ..more.. by Time Magazine

Son of vigilante mother now subject of California manhunt
7-29-2004 California:

SONORA, Calif. (AP) -- In 1993, Ellie Nesler walked into a courtroom, pulled a gun from her purse and killed the man accused of molesting her 11-year-old son, William. Now William, who has had numerous brushes with the law over the years, is himself wanted for murder.

William Nesler, 23, allegedly beat David Davis to death Sunday just minutes after being released from jail in another attack on Davis last month. Nesler is now the target of an intense manhunt in this mountainous area of California.

Authorities say Nesler — booked in jail on 18 separate cases in the last five years — is 6-foot-2, weighs 225 pounds and is covered in tattoos; he's considered armed and dangerous.

"Investigators are following leads. He could be anywhere," said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Roger Dittberner.

On Wednesday afternoon, three officers with guns drawn returned to the one-acre lot where Nesler has lived, searching in the collection of trailers and shacks on the property. A reporter's car parked in front of a "No trespassing" sign had triggered the search, a deputy said.

A worker at a former rock crushing operation next door, Cory Njirich, said Nesler had seemed like he was trying to get his life in order. "He didn't get too far," he said.

Ellie Nesler burst into public view April 2, 1993, when she shot a twice-convicted child molester, Daniel Mark Driver, 35, five times in the head as he faced trial for seven molestation charges, including one related to her son. Nesler, derided for vigilantism and praised for exacting her own justice, is now in a California prison for charges related to manufacturing methamphetamine.

She received a 10-year prison sentence for murdering Driver, but was released after three years because of juror misconduct in the sanity phase of her trial.

Davis, 45, died Monday at a Modesto hospital. ..more.. by Associated Press

The story of Ellie Nesler offers a real-life gloss on the figure of the avenging mother. In 1993 Nesler walked into a California courtroom and with five shots from a palm-sized semi-automatic pistol killed a man charged with molesting four young boys, including her son. The incident was reported nationally, with some people hailing Nesler as heroic and others understanding her impulse but deploring her act. The shooting was both punitive and preemptive. According to the Los Angeles Times, the defendant "smirked" at Nesler as he entered the courthouse. Apparently in a rage, she took the gun from her sister's purse moments before the shooting and somehow carried it into the courtroom. Following her arrest Nesler said, "The man's sick. He deserved to die. Maybe I'm not God, but I'll tell you what -- I'm the closest thing to it for all the other little boys" (see Arax and Fuller). Four years later, released on parole, Nesler saw her action as a mistake, something that had afflicted the lives of her two children and compounded the pain of the initial situation. She saw, in other words, the consequences of what she had done.



4-4-1993 NY:

A man charged with molesting five boys at a church camp was shot to death during a court hearing on Friday by the mother of one boy, the authorities said.

The woman, Ellie Nesler, 40, was being led to the witness stand after a recess in a preliminary hearing for Daniel Driver, 35, when she pulled out a small handgun. She then shot him in the back of the head, said Mike Costa, an assistant sheriff here in Tuolumne County.

Mrs. Nesler surrendered immediately, he said. Witnesses said she appeared calm as she was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.

"You might think that somebody who did something like that would be shriveled up, but she was proud," said Rick Shackley, a shop owner in this town in the Sierra Nevada about 120 miles southeast of San Francisco. Convicted in Earlier Case

Mr. Driver had been charged with molesting the boys from July 1986 to September 1988, when he worked at a church camp. He had a previous conviction for child molestation, said the Acting District Attorney, Michael Knowles.

Mrs. Nesler's son, who is 11, was among the boys Mr. Driver was accused of molesting, Mr. Costa said.

The authorities said courtroom spectators and witnesses were not checked for weapons.

Sgt. Bob Wolfgang of the sheriff's department said investigators from the State Attorney General's office would review the case before any charges were filed against Mrs. Nesler. Blaming Man's Smirk

Mrs. Nesler's sister Janette said Mr. Driver had set off the shooting with a smirk at the family as he was led into the courtroom.

"She wouldn't have done it if he didn't have that cocky look in the beginning," she said.

Mrs. Nesler used her telephone call from jail to talk with her son, who is staying with family members, said Marrietta Adams, another of Mrs. Nesler's sisters.

Ms. Adams did not fault her sister for the shooting. "What's a mother going to do?" she asked.

The shooting was the main topic of conversation in this town of about 2,200 people. "They were saying she deserves a medal and they want to be on the jury so they can let her go," a waitress, Denise Wested, said about the customers at the restaurant where she works here. ..Source.. by NYTimes


Ellie Nesler, Mother Who Killed Her Son's Accused Molester, Dies at 56


Ellie Nesler, who sparked a national debate about vigilantism after killing her son's accused molester in a courtroom in 1993, has died of cancer. She was 56.

Nesler died Friday morning at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, according to hospital spokeswoman Phyllis Brown. She had battled breast cancer since 1994.

Nesler made headlines when she shot Daniel Driver five times in the head in a Tuolumne County courtroom during a break in his preliminary hearing for allegedly molesting four boys, including her then-6-year-old son William, at a Christian camp. Some hailed her for exacting her own justice, while others condemned her for taking the law into her own hands.

Nesler was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, but her 10-year sentence was later overturned because of jury misconduct. She cut a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to manslaughter and get out after serving three years because she had breast cancer.

The case became a 1999 TV movie, "Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story," on the USA cable network.

After the shooting, the Nesler family remained entangled in the legal system. In 2002, Nesler was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to selling and possessing methamphetamine. Outside the courtroom, she maintained her innocence, saying she felt she couldn't get a fair trial in Tuolumne County.

She got an early release from a women's facility in Chowchilla in 2006.

Meanwhile, her son got into legal troubles of his own and was convicted of first-degree murder in 2005 for stomping to death a man hired to clean the family's property in Sonora. The 23-year-old said he believed David Davis was letting people pick through the family's belongings.

William Nesler killed Davis less than an hour after he was released from a 30-day sentence for an earlier assault on him. He is serving a 25-year-to-life sentence.

Prison officials allowed William Nesler to speak with his mother on the phone until she became too ill Christmas night, said Terry Thornton, spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"He knew she was very ill, and he knew her death was impending," Thornton said.

William Nesler has asked for a temporary leave to attend the funeral, and the request is being reviewed by prison officials, Thornton said. ..Source.. by Fox News

Friends: Take Sex Offender's Murder Seriously

4-10-2006 Minnesota:
Minneapolis Friends of a murder victim say his murder is not getting the attention it deserves because the victim had a criminal record.

Garey A. Hannah Jr., 28, of Minneapolis, was killed early Saturday morning after being shot in the head.

"I'm very numb still," said Hannah's friend Rachel Parsons. "I cry on a dime. I never know when I'm going to cry."

The shooting happened behind a SuperAmerica store on East 25th Street and Bloomington Avenue South, which is in the East Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis.

Hannah was a convicted level three sex offender. His picture is on the state's sex offender Web site and is listed among those considered most likely to re-offend.

Hannah's friends said his crimes were in his past and he had paid is debt to society by serving his time.

His friends said they want police to take his murder seriously, like other recent crimes in Minneapolis.

"So please, treat this just like those other two murders that happened in Downtown and Uptown," said friend Norma Parsons. "(Be)cause there is no difference, there are lives lost."

Police have not arrested anyone in connection with Hannah's murder. Anyone with information is asked to call the Minneapolis Police tip line at 612-692-8477. ..more.. by WCCO


Homicide victim had a troubled past; Garey Hannah Jr. had served time for rape and kidnapping. His girlfriend said the killing was probably a drug deal gone bad.(NEWS)


When Minneapolis police found Garey A. Hannah Jr. shot to death on a sidewalk in the Phillips neighborhood early Saturday morning, he was wearing white New Balance sneakers, Puma socks, a black coat and dark blue jeans. In his pocket were business cards he'd acquired that day reading, "Felonious Entertainment."

Rachel Parsons, of Minneapolis, who said she was Hannah's girlfriend, said she made the cards for him to advertise his "occasional" marijuana dealing. "He was a big Teddy bear," she said. "He had a big heart."

Police said Sunday that there were no arrests or known motives in Hannah's homicide - the city's 16th … ..Source.. by Chao Xiong; Staff Writer

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Man bullied to his death, court hears

6-13-2007 United Kingdom:
A man with severe learning difficulties was subjected to hours of violent torture before being forced to eat 70 paracetamol tablets and bullied off a viaduct where he fell to his death, a British court heard today.

Steven Hoskin was beaten, forced to wear a dog collar and "walked" around on a lead and forced to confess to being a paedophile before he was killed on July 6th last year.

Mr Hoskin, 39, who was illiterate and had the reading ability of a six-year-old, suffered hours of "terrifying torture" at the hands of Darren Stewart, Martin Pollard and three teenagers who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Mr Hoskin, from St Austell, Cornwall, had taken an IQ test three years before his death and came in the bottom 0.4% of the country.

Stewart, 30, Pollard, 21 and a 17-year-old girl, all from the St Austell area, deny murder. The three have pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and Stewart and Pollard have pleaded guilty to a charge of false imprisonment.

Two teenage boys, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old, deny assault occasioning actual bodily harm and all three teenagers deny false imprisonment. Stewart also denies one charge of intimidating a witness.

At Truro Crown Court, Cornwall, prosecutor Sarah Munro QC said that Mr Hoskin's death "came at the end of an evening during which he was subjected to hours of humiliating, painful and terrifying torment, violence and abuse in which all five played a part."

"These five treated Steven Hoskin like a slave in his own flat," she said. "They literally treated him like a dog, forced to wear his own dog's collar and lead, they found it funny."

Ms Munro told the court that Mr Hoskin was forced to confess he was a paedophile and made to sit on the floor under graffiti that read "nonce" and "should be hung".

After the initial violent abuse had finished, the court heard that the two teenage boys and Pollard left the flat.

Stewart and the teenage girl then forced Mr Hoskin to eat the tablets, the court heard. Ms Munro said that when Pollard returned to the scene, and with Mr Hoskin clearly sick, the three then hatched a plan as to how he should die.

The court heard that at about midnight they took him on a 20-minute walk to the top of a viaduct.

Ms Munro said: "Steven Hoskin fell 35 metres, 100 feet, from a viaduct.

"He was forced and bullied into falling to his death.

"Add to that the fact that over the months his will, his ability to stand up to anyone, had been completely overridden by the treatment he had received.

"He was easy pickings for bullies, he was the perfect target."

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow. ..more.. by The Irish Times

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Waltham man’s murder stuns family

7-15-2006 Massachusetts:
.Claire Cochran said she didn’t believe the news when she heard rumors her brother had been murdered in a Roxbury apartment. "I just didn’t believe it was true," she said yesterday. "I don’t know what brought this about. I don’t know why he was there."

Ronald Perry, 37, was a Level 2 sex offender and drug addict who was born and raised in Waltham, Waltham Police and his family said. He was found stabbed to death in a Cheney Street apartment June 22 by officers who went there around 7 a.m. to conduct a well-being check, Boston Police said.

"There is no indication that this victim has any ties to, or resides at (72 Cheney St.)," police wrote in a press release. A Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman referred all questions to Boston Police. A police spokesman could not be reached for further comment yesterday. "When something like this happens, people talk about it," said Cochran, a Myrtle Street resident.

"I just didn’t believe it was true." She said police have told her family little about the investigation. "I had never heard that (Roxbury) address before," she said. "I wish I knew. I’m hoping at some point, somebody has some answers for us." [snip]

James Perry Sr. said his son was dead for about a week before anyone found him. His body was identified through fingerprints and a description of his tattoos, but family members were not allowed to see him, he said. Waltham Detective James Auld said Perry was a Level 2 sex offender. He was charged with indecent assault and battery on person 14 or older in October 1994. He said Perry was "cooperative" and "a gentleman" who often came to him for advice.

Perry even built front steps at Auld’s mother’s house last summer. "I feel like I had a good relationship with Ronald, but his problems were greater than anything I could do for him," said Auld. "He seemed like he wanted to be in compliance. He seemed like he wanted to get his life back in order and couldn’t get it done. It seems like he had a lot of demons he just couldn’t conquer." ..more.. : by Jennifer Roy, Daily News Staff

Son indicted in murder of father

9-14-2006 New Mexico:
GRANTS — A 19-year-old Gallup man has been indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in the Aug. 12 death of his 47-year-old father.

The 13th Judicial District Grand Jury for Cibola County returned its true bill Wednesday against Arthur Baca Jr., accusing him "without lawful justification or excuse by any of the means with which death may be caused, and did so knowing that such act which caused the death created a strong probability of great bodily harm or death to Arthur Baca Sr., and did not act upon sufficient provocation, a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion."

If eventually convicted and given the maximum punishment Baca Jr. would serve nine years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine.

Baca Sr. allegedly abused his son and wife, Joyce Estrada, 44, near the Laguna Pueblo that Saturday, although Lt. Rick Anglada of the New Mexico State Police Division said in a story in The Independent on Aug. 15 that authorities found no signs of abuse on the son or mother.

The family spent time in Albuquerque that Sunday and allegedly began arguing on the way back to Gallup. The family stopped near the junction of State Hwy. 6 (the Belen cutoff) and Interstate 40. The mother and son then beat the elder Baca, stabbed him, then left him still alive on the highway. State police said the wounded man managed to walk about 400 feet before collapsing, then died.

When state police contacted Estrada and Baca Jr., as the next of kin, they became suspicious and obtained confessions, first from the mother, then the son and arrested both on the second-degree murder charges.

Estrada's case remains pending. ..more.. by Jim Maniaci

Man Charged With Shooting Grandfather Arraigned

9-14-2006 Connecticut:
.A man charged with murdering his grandfather Tuesday in Plainfield had planned the attack for several days as he drove up from Louisiana armed with a shotgun and a .45-caliber handgun, according to state police.

Joseph Basley, 35, was arraigned today in Superior Court in Danielson on murder and kidnapping charges. He was ordered held on $2.5 million bond.

State police detectives reported that Basley told them "he had to do this because he was tired of being abused." He also said his grandfather, Leonard Basley Sr., 75, was a pedophile and that his father, Leonard Basely Jr., had physically abused him, according to police.

Joseph Basely was arrested Tuesday evening after an hour-long standoff at his grandfather's house. Police said he shot his grandfather and briefly took his father hostage, then released him unharmed. A relative said that the grandfather had been terminally ill.

Court records indicate that during the 1990s Leonard Basley Sr. was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, and that he was convicted on the risk-of-injury charge. Police said Joseph Basley told them that he is "mentally screwed up" and that he had been in mental institutions.

When he shot his grandfather, he was wearing a T-shirt that said "Have A Nice Day" and had a picture of a hand with its middle finger extended. ..more.. : by TRACY GORDON FOX, The Hartford Courant

Elgin Murder Victim Was Sex Offender, Alleged Gang Member

9-20-2006 Illinois:

STREAMWOOD, Ill. (STNG) -- Police are investigating the death of a registered Elgin sex offender and alleged gang member who was found shot once in the neck in his car early Sunday.

Officers on patrol found Juan A. Fernandez, 29, in the passenger seat of his yellow 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt just off of Illinois 59 south of Bode Road shortly before 2 a.m., according to Streamwood police.

The Cook County Medical Examiner determined Fernandez's death was a homicide. No weapon has been recovered, and police said they are not sure what type of gun was used in the shooting.

Fernandez, of 344 McClure Ave., the upper apartment, in Elgin, had been convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and bodily harm in a case involving a victim under the age of 18, according to information on the state's sex offender registry.

As a child sex offender, he also was found guilty of being unlawfully present in a school zone, according to the registry.

Deputy Chief James Gremo said Fernandez did not have a fixed residence but rather "stayed at different people's homes, night-to-night kinds of things."

Police were looking into the possibility that Fernandez's death was gang related, Gremo said.

"He's associated with some gangs in Elgin, but we're still following up on some leads," he said. "We're not sure at this point."

Elgin police are assisting with the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Streamwood police at (630) 736-3700. ..more.. by WBBM NewsRadio 780


Elgin men charged in year-old murder
11-20-2007 Illinois:

Three Elgin men have been charged in the year-old slaying of a man found shot dead in his car in Streamwood.

Without a gun, shell casings or witnesses, police had few clues in the Sept. 17, 2006, death of Juan Fernandez, who family had said was rebuilding after a life of tragedy and trouble.

On Saturday, after a year of investigating by the Streamwood and Elgin police departments and a major case assistance team, charges were filed against three men who Streamwood police say took part in the 29-year-old Elgin man's killing, or helped try to cover it up.

Adrian Pesina, 23, 418 Center St., is charged with one count each of first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide, police said in a statement.

Edgar Juarez, and Martin Zavala, both 19, are accused of concealment of a homicide, police said.

Pesina was ordered held on $1 million bond.

Juarez, 628 St. John St., had a bond set at $400,000. Bond for Zavala, also of 418 Center St., was set at $10,000.

The three men are due in court again Nov. 30.

Streamwood police officers were patrolling on Route 59 about 2 a.m. Sept. 17, 2006, when they saw Fernandez's new Chevrolet Cobalt parked in the grass just south of Bode Road.

Fernandez was in the passenger's seat, bloodied and, according to a Cook County medical examiner, dead from a gunshot wound in the neck.

At the time, grieving relatives had said the father of three was attempting to put a life of setbacks behind him.

Fernandez's father died a few months earlier, and in 1995, he'd lost a brother in a gang-related killing, relatives said a week after his murder.

A registered sex offender in Illinois, Fernandez had just started a new job at an Elgin concrete firm and bought a new car, signs he was vying for a fresh start, relatives said last year.

Saturday's charges in Fernandez's killing were filed in Kane County. ..more.. by Adam Kovac | Daily Herald Staff


Murder suspect may bond out of jail
2-2-2008 Illinois:

An Elgin man who police say killed a convicted sex offender, then tried to dispose of the body, had his bond reduced in 16th Circuit Court recently.

Adrian Pesina, 23, of the 400 block of Center Street, was charged in November with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicidal death in connection with the September 2006 shooting of Juan Fernandez. Judge Timothy Sheldon lowered Pesina's bond from $100,000 to $25,000 this week. Pesina also will be put on GPS monitoring if released. According to the Kane County Sheriff's Department inmate database, Pesina still had not bonded out Friday afternoon but was waiting to be fitted with a GPS monitor.

According to authorities, Pesina shot 29-year-old Fernandez -- an Elgin resident -- once in the neck, then placed the body inside Fernandez's vehicle with the help of two friends. Edgar Juarez, 20, of the 600 block of St. John Street, and Martin Zavala, 19, of the 400 block of Center Street, both of Elgin, also are charged with concealment in connection with the incident. Police said the three men doused the vehicle with gasoline but never ignited it. The vehicle was discovered in Streamwood by police.

Fernandez previously had been convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Illinois Sex Offender Registry. Assistant State's Attorney Greg Sams said no evidence has been presented that the shooting had anything to do with Fernandez' sex offender status. Pesina contends that the gun went off accidentally, Sams said.

According to the sheriff's database, Zavala is out of jail on $1,000 bond and Juarez remained held on $40,000 bond. ..more.. by DAVID GIALANELLA Staff Writer


Elgin men charged in year-old murder

11-20-2007 Illinois:

Three Elgin men have been charged in the year-old slaying of a man found shot dead in his car in Streamwood.

Without a gun, shell casings or witnesses, police had few clues in the Sept. 17, 2006, death of Juan Fernandez, who family had said was rebuilding after a life of tragedy and trouble.

On Saturday, after a year of investigating by the Streamwood and Elgin police departments and a major case assistance team, charges were filed against three men who Streamwood police say took part in the 29-year-old Elgin man's killing, or helped try to cover it up.

Adrian Pesina, 23, 418 Center St., is charged with one count each of first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide, police said in a statement.

Edgar Juarez, and Martin Zavala, both 19, are accused of concealment of a homicide, police said.

Pesina was ordered held on $1 million bond.

Juarez, 628 St. John St., had a bond set at $400,000. Bond for Zavala, also of 418 Center St., was set at $10,000.

The three men are due in court again Nov. 30.

Streamwood police officers were patrolling on Route 59 about 2 a.m. Sept. 17, 2006, when they saw Fernandez's new Chevrolet Cobalt parked in the grass just south of Bode Road.

Fernandez was in the passenger's seat, bloodied and, according to a Cook County medical examiner, dead from a gunshot wound in the neck.

At the time, grieving relatives had said the father of three was attempting to put a life of setbacks behind him.

Fernandez's father died a few months earlier, and in 1995, he'd lost a brother in a gang-related killing, relatives said a week after his murder.

A registered sex offender in Illinois, Fernandez had just started a new job at an Elgin concrete firm and bought a new car, signs he was vying for a fresh start, relatives said last year.

Saturday's charges in Fernandez's killing were filed in Kane County. ..Source.. by By Adam Kovac | Daily Herald Staff


Elgin man pleads guilty to fatal shooting

9-19-2008 Illinois:

An Elgin man charged with killing another man in a struggle over a gun and hiding the body pleaded guilty today to second-degree murder.

Adrian Pesina, 24, of the first block of Devonshire Circle faces 4 to 20 years in prison for the Sept. 17, 2006, shooting death of Juan Fernandez of Elgin.

Pesina drew a pistol when Fernandez, 29, began shouting gang slogans at Pesina and two friends who were standing in a driveway in Elgin.

Fernandez grabbed for Pesina's pistol, which discharged as the two struggled, a prosecutor said.

Pesina and his friends took Fernandez's body and left it in a car parked alongside Illinois Highway 59 near Bode Road in Streamwood.

Pesina's friends were charged with concealing a homicide. ..Source..


Elgin men sentenced in 2006 killing

12-6-2008 Illinois:

An Elgin man reportedly was sentenced to 17 years in prison Friday for killing and hiding the body of another Elgin man two years ago.

Adrian Pesina, 24, of the 0-99 block of Devonshire Circle, had pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in the death of Juan Fernandez, according to The Courier News. Pesina had claimed the gun accidentally discharged, officials said.

In addition, Edgar Juarez, 20, of the 600 block of St. John Street of Elgin, pleaded guilty to felony concealment and received a 3-year sentence for helping dispose of the victim's body, the paper reported.

Pesina drew a pistol when Fernandez, 29, began shouting gang slogans at Pesina and two friends who were standing in an Elgin driveway on Sept. 17, 2006. Fernandez grabbed for Pesina's pistol, which discharged as the two struggled, a prosecutor said.

Fernandez's body was left in a car parked alongside Illinois Highway 59 near Bode Road in Streamwood. ..Source..

Teen likely to be tried as an adult (for killing a registered sex offender)

1-4-2006 Washington:A 16-year-old Yakima youth faces arraignment in adult court Tuesday on a likely charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of James Garrett in his west Yakima apartment earlier this week. The youth, identified as Joshua Collett, made a preliminary appearance Thursday in Yakima County Juvenile Court where he was told of the possible charges against him.

Collett's case will be transferred automatically to Superior Court under state law because of his age and the seriousness of the offense. Court Commissioner Robert Inouye set bail at $1 million, based on the crime and the youth's criminal history.

His record includes a number of arrests dating back to late 2002, including several minor assaults, a residential burglary and taking a vehicle without permission, according to court records. During the brief hearing, Inouye pressed prosecutors for more information based on a one-paragraph probable cause statement.

The statement, filed by police, indicated Garrett, a Level II sex offender, had held frequent parties at his residence, and that a number of young males had been at the apartment from time to time. A deputy prosecutor subsequently told Inouye that Collett had admitted to police his involvement in the shooting during questioning Wednesday at the Yakima Police Department.

Garrett was found dead on the living room floor of his apartment at 4081/2 South 18th Ave. A .22-caliber rifle and two spent shell casings were found on the kitchen floor, court documents said. Garrett died of a single gunshot wound to the head. ..more.. : by DAVID LESTER, YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC.


Teen sentenced in sex offender slaying
12-14-2006 Washington

YAKIMA -- A Yakima teen-ager who killed a registered sex offender has been sentenced to ten years in prison.

Seventeen-year-old Joshua J. Collett pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter for shooting 63-year-old James Richard Garrett last December at his home in Yakima. Collett says Garrett had sexually assaulted him.

Collett received a sentence of less than four years for manslaughter. He also pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of assault for wounding a man after robbing a taco truck. He was sentenced yesterday to the longer, ten-year term, for the assault. ..more.. by

Man Identified In Midvale Beating Death

1-14-2006 Utah:
SALT LAKE CITY Police on Friday identified a man found beaten and unconscious last week as George Benally, 43, of Ogden.

Benally died in a Salt Lake hospital Thursday, five days after being found beaten and wrapped in a blanket in Midvale parking lot. In a coma, Benally, who was carrying no identification, never regained consciousness before his death, Midvale Police Sgt. Steve Shreeve said.

Police released a picture of Benally's swollen face to the news media, which triggered calls to police. An autopsy confirmed his identity, Shreeve said.

A registered sex offender, Benally pleaded guilty to attempted forcible sex abuse in 2001. A father of seven, Benally was on parole at the time of his death and was employed as a steel worker.

Police believe ``someone intentionally attacked him and tried to kill him,'' Assistant Police Chief Tony Mason said. Doctors say Benally suffered multiple blows to the head, but didn't find evidence of beating elsewhere to the body, Mason said.

In hopes of determining what happened, detectives are reviewing a video surveillance tape from a South Salt Lake business near where police located Benally's car. ..more.. by KUTV


Police arrest 3 in beating death of man
2-11-2006 Utah:
MIDVALE — Three people have been arrested in connection with the beating death of a man whose body was found dumped in a parking lot.

Rondal Eddie, 19, was arrested Thursday and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder, vehicle theft and robbery. Two others, Cory Preston Lee, 22, and Alexis Tallman, 20, were arrested for investigation of obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence and possession of stolen property.

George Benally, 43, was found beaten and unconscious Jan. 6 near 7200 South and 900 East. He remained in a coma for nearly a week before dying.

Thursday, Midvale homicide detectives developed information that led them to three separate locations in Salt Lake County where they arrested each of the suspects without incident, said Midvale Assistant Police Chief Tony Mason.

The three were acquaintances of the victim, he said. They allegedly had some sort of "falling out" that resulted in the beating death, Mason said.

Mason noted even though some of the suspects were booked for investigation of robbery, that was not the motive for the beating. They allegedly decided to rob Benally only after they had beaten him, he said.

The investigation, which led officers to the Navajo Reservation in the Four Corners region and St. George, will now be screened for charges with the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office. ..more.. by Pat Reavy

Slain man was from Sacramento

1-26-2006 California:

WILLOWS -- The man found dead Monday off a private road near Butte City was identified later that day as a Sacramento resident. Xochia Xiong, 55, was found lying face down on the bank of a drainage ditch near an orchard, dead from multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body. His hands were bound behind his back. Glenn County Sheriff/Coroner Larry Jones said articles found on Xiong led crime unit investigators to Sacramento. With the help of Sacramento Police Department investigators, Xiong's estranged wife, a son and a daughter were located.

Jones confirmed that Xiong had a criminal record. He served time in prison for child molestation and was a registered sex offender. He said he has no idea if the killing is related to Xiong's criminal history, but "all possibilities are open at this time." Xiong was a resident alien of Hmong descent. Relatives told investigators he was last seen leaving his Sacramento apartment Thursday evening, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Xiong did not report for work in Sacramento Friday. Investigators were told he had a history of diligently reporting for work on time, but Jones said no one reported the man missing. Sheriff's investigators who returned to Sacramento Tuesday have yet to establish a motive for the killing, but indications are "possibly great" that Xiong was killed at the 800-acre ranch where he was found, Jones said.

Early in the investigation, authorities said Xiong may have been killed elsewhere and his body dumped at the ranch location. An autopsy was conducted Tuesday afternoon, but Jones said he won't have a preliminary report until sometime this morning. The case is under two separate investigations through the Sheriff's Office. So far, there are no suspects in the case. ..more.. : by Staff writer Barbara Arrigoni


Sacramento Man Found Dead In Orchard
1-24-2006 California:

SACRAMENTO -- Authorities from several Northern California agencies are investigating the death of a Sacramento man whose body was found in an orchard near Butte City in Glenn County.

The body of 55-year-old Xochia Xiong was found Monday. He had been shot to death. The motive for the killing is a mystery.

KCRA 3's Mike TeSelle reported that Xiong worked at a Hmong grocery store and was known as a diligent employee who rarely missed work. He was last seen leaving for work Thursday morning.

Crime scene technicians from the state Department of Justice have been called in to help process the scene where Xiong's body was found. A California Highway Patrol aircraft has also been used to take aerial photographs of the area. ..more.. by KCRA TV

Friday, June 1, 2007

Police Chief: "We Cannot Break the Law to Enforce the Law"

5-31-2007 Georgia:
The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department held a news conference shortly after 2pm today to discuss the felony murder arrest of Officer Antonio Taharka.

Officer Taharka is in the Chatham County jail after police say he fatally shot a suspect, 41-year-old Anthony Smashum. See: SCMPD Officer Charged with Felony Murder in Shooting.
"I find myself reporting on a tragedy," said Chief Michael Berkow. "A member of the community is dead and a member of the police community has been charged with a crime, so there are no winners here."

Chief Berkow described the circumstances of the crime and showed reporters a map of the events.

According to Chief Berkow, Smashum has an extensive criminal history and was wanted on a probation violation warrant. After an anonymous call was received in regards to Smashum's location, officers were given a description of Smashum and saw him in the area of Waters Avenue and 39th Street.

"They approach him, he starts to move on down the street, there is a brief foot chase," Chief Berkow explained. He said there was "a physical encounter between one of the officers and the suspect. During this struggle, the suspect loses his shirt and he loses his shoes runs further down the street."

Chief Berkow explained that as Smashum ran through a yard onto 37th Street, Officer Taharka, who had given the command to stop, fired once at Smashum. After the first shot, Smashum climbed over a fence and a second shot was fired. Smashum collapsed and was taken to Memorial Health University Medical Hospital, where he later died.

"During the investigation last night, we became extremely concerned based on the totality of the situation," said Chief Berkow. "The investigation continued until late in the evening at which point in time we reached the conclusion that in fact our officer had committed a crime."

He added they decided to charge Taharka with murder after the investigation of the incident saying, "The conclusion was reached reluctantly."

Taharka does have a history of using deadly force. In 2003, he fired two shots during a traffic stop. No one was injured. That incident was deemed to fall within police department policy.

Mayor Otis Johnson of Savannah was also on hand, making the point that this shooting is a tragedy for two families and also for the police department, which he referred to as a family.

The mayor asked the media to report the facts and avoid any sensationalism. "Much of the response of this community will depend on the media," said the mayor. "You can be responsible or you can be irresponsible in the way you treat this. My appeal to you is to be responsible in the handling of this situation."

Chief Berkow took questions from reporters following the mayor's talk. He ended the news conference with a clear message to the police department and the community: "We also have to send the message, we cannot break the law to enforce the law."

According to the police report, Taharka told investigators to he thought Smashum was reaching for a gun.

Berkow told reporters the investigation determined Smashum was not armed, and did not pose a threat to officers.

The victim, Anthony Smashum, has a criminal history. He'd been convicted of several crimes since 1988, including aggravated battery and rape.

He had just gotten out of prison on probation in September. Officers were trying to serve a warrant on Smashum for a probation violation when he was killed. ..more.. by WTOC 11


Family Mourns Man Killed by Police
The family and friends of a Savannah man, shot and killed by a Savannah Chatham Police officer, are still trying to come to grips with what happened. Forty-one year old Anthony Smashum died shortly after he was shot. Savannah Chatham Police said Officer Antonio Taharka, an eight year veteran of the police department, was the only one who fired his weapon. He has been charged with felony murder in connection with Smashum's death.

Brenda Osborne, the mother of Smashum's two grown sons, said the family is having a difficult time. Osborne was with Smashum in front of the corner store at 39th Street and Waters Avenue when police approached him and he tried to run.

"I'm not going to say he was a perfect person," she said, "because he was not, but he was a very good person. He didn't deserve this. Nobody does."

Brenda Osborne looked at pictures of the father of two of her three boys, a man she still considered a friend years later. She tried to stop Smashum from running from police when a female officer tried to talk with him.

"I was hollering at him, telling him, "Stop! don't run from them!" she said. "He wasn't hearing it or he just didn't hear me and proceeded to run."

She said two more officers got out of a car, one with his gun drawn.

"When he got out, the gun was already out," she said.

Brenda went home, never believing what would happen next. The chase ended in a neighborhood on 37th Street near the intersection of Waters Avenue. Anthony Smashum tried to climb a fence into someone's backyard to escape. He never made it. He was shot twice.

"I heard two shots," said Osborne, who lives close by, "not even thinking they were shooting at him because all they were doing was running behind him."

Osborne said she couldn't bring herself to go to the hospital. She kept in touch with family by phone. Just 30 minutes after Smashum's brother told her doctors would be bringing him into surgery, he told her Smashum had died.

"I just couldn't believe that just from him running from the police that they would kill him," she said. "That this man would actually shoot him because all he did was run."

She doesn't hate the officer charged with his murder; however, she does hope justice will be done.

"I can't say I hate him because you can't go around hating people," she explained. "I really feel sorry for him and his family but he shouldn't have taken things into his own hands when there were other officers right there to help him. An officer, someone you're supposed to trust, killed him. They're supposed to be here to serve and protect. That's what I was told. Not to gun someone down."

This is an especially tough time for Brenda Osborne. Just last month, her 24 year old son, Miquel Osborne, was murdered. Someone found his body on King George Boulevard. Police still have not found his killer. ..more.. by Liz Flynn