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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

UK- Murdered man 'was sex offender'

12-30-2008 United Kingdom:

A man who police believe was murdered - even though they have not found a body - was a registered sex offender, officers have confirmed.

Blood found at a house on 21 December on Stockbridge Road, Padiham, matched that of Alan Street, 26, although his body has not yet been discovered.

Keiran Davison, 20, of Stockbridge Road, has been charged with his murder.

Police are searching for Alan Palmer, 43, and Peter Leonard, 51, who they say "could be anywhere in the country".

Lancashire police confirmed that Mr Street was a registered sex offender, but were not releasing further details.

Det Supt Neil Hunter, of Lancashire police, said: "We need to speak to both Mr Leonard and Mr Palmer in relation to this incident as a matter of urgency.

"I would urge them both or anybody who knows of their whereabouts or has been contacted by them or been in their company recently to contact police immediately. I do believe that the two men may be together.

"I would like to make people aware that Mr Palmer is a long distance lorry driver and has strong connections in Padiham and Oswaldtwistle, but due to his employment I cannot rule out that he and Mr Leonard may well have travelled out of the county and could be anywhere in the country."

Police also want to trace Mr Palmer's car, a blue five-door Mitsubishi Colt saloon, registration PE58 OJY.

Mr Leonard is white, about 5ft 8ins tall, of medium build with blue eyes and light brown hair, cut very short.

Accused remanded

He has a two-inch scar on his nose and the words "LOVE" and "HEIDI" tattooed on his hands.

Mr Palmer is white, 5ft 11ins, of medium build, with receding dark brown hair. He has brown eyes and several tattoos on his left arm, including a snake head, a bull, an eagle and a swallow. On his right arm he has tattoos of a snake and a skull, as well as the words "MAM" and "LUCKY".

Mr Street is described as being of medium build, about 5ft 11ins tall with blue eyes and light, straight brown hair, which was cut short. He had a local accent.

Police know he went from Burnley to Oswaldtwistle on 19 December and are appealing for anyone who saw him to contact them.

Mr Davison has been remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on 18 March. ..News Source.. by BBC


UK- 'Suspects On The Run With A Body'

1-5-2009 United Kingdom:

Detectives investigating the murder of a sex offender in Lancashire believe his attackers may be on the run with his body.

Blood and DNA found in a house near Burnley in December have convinced police that Alan Street, a convicted rapist, was beaten to death.

Officers were called to an address at Stockbridge Road, Padiham, after blood-stained clothing was discovered.

They believe the attackers may have taken the body with them and are currently on the run.

Long-distance lorry driver Alan Palmer, 43, and Peter Leonard, 51, have not been seen since December 20 - police think they may be together.

Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter said: "I would urge Mr Leonard and Mr Palmer, or anybody who knows of their whereabouts or has been contacted by them or been in their company recently, to contact police immediately. We need to speak to them as a matter of urgency.

"Due to Mr Palmer's employment, I cannot rule out that he and Mr Leonard may well be anywhere in the country."

Police would not comment on Street’s criminal history, but Sky News has learned he has a conviction for rape.

Palmer has several tattoos on his left arm of a snake head, bull, eagle and swallow.

On his right arm he has a snake and skull with two flower designs featuring the words 'Mam' and 'swallow'.

Leonard has a two-inch scar on his nose and the words 'love' and 'Heidi' tattooed on his hands. ..News Source.. by Mike McCarthy, North of England correspondent


UK- Body Found After Rapist Vanishes

1-19-2009 United Kingdom:

Detectives investigating the murder of a convicted rapist have found a body in Lancashire.

Blood and DNA discovered in a house near Burnley in December have convinced police that sex offender Alan Street was beaten to death.

Underwater search specialists discovered the corpse in a culvert after they were alerted by Environment Agency contractors.

Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter, who is leading the murder investigation, said: "As a result of a call made to police, the underwater search team was brought in.

"They entered the culvert and located the body before successfully recovering it. It has now been taken to Blackburn mortuary where identification and post mortem will take place."

Police say it’s too early to tell whether the body is Alan Street, who they say was subjected to a "sustained and prolonged attack" at the house in Stockbridge Road, Padiham.

One man has already been charged with Street's murder while detectives wish to speak to two other suspects in connection with the death of the 26-year-old.

Alan Palmer, 43, who lived at the scene of the attack in Stockbridge Road, and Peter Leonard, 51, have not been seen since Street went missing.

Palmer has several tattoos on his left arm of a snake head, bull, eagle and swallow.

On his right arm he has a snake and skull with two flower designs featuring the words 'Mam' and 'swallow'.

Leonard has a two-inch scar on his nose and the words 'love' and 'Heidi' tattooed on his hands.

Early in January detectives said Palmer and Leonard were believed to be on the run with Street's body.

Police said Street’s family have been told of the latest developments.

A post mortem examination is due to be carried out. ..News Source.. by Tessa Chapman, Sky News


UK- Fears of vigilante killing after missing rapist's body is found in underground drain

1-20-2009 United Kingdom:

Detectives investigating the murder of a convicted rapist today confirmed his body was found in an underground drain.

Alan Street is thought to have been killed by a vigilante mob at a house in Padiham, Lancashire, last month after police found blood matching his DNA.

Police believe a 'sustained and prolonged attack' took place at the property in Stockbridge Road in the early hours of December 21.

Street, 26, from Oswaldtwistle, was convicted of rape in 1999.

He was jailed and placed on the sex offender register but repeatedly ignored court orders by drifting between addresses.

It is believed his killers discovered his past when Street turned up in Padiham.
Lancashire police today confirmed a body recovered from a culvert in Accrington was Street.

Contractors working for the Environment Agency alerted police yesterday after finding the body during a routine CCTV inspection of Woodnook Water, Mount Street.
Street's body was recovered by underwater search teams and a post mortem examination took place late last night.

Police said further tests were needed to establish the exact cause of death but confirmed Street did not die of natural causes or accidental injuries.

Kieran Davison, 20, of Stockbridge Road, and Ian Palmer, 45, of Whitegate Close, both Padiham, have been charged with murder.

Detectives are still trying to trace two men, Alan Palmer, 43, and Peter Leonard, 51, in connection with Street's death.

It is believed both men may have left the county as Mr Palmer is a long-distance lorry driver.

Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter, of Lancashire Police, who is leading the investigation said: 'I still want to question Palmer and Leonard.

'We are as committed as ever to finding them.'

Mr Palmer is white, 5ft 11ins, of medium build, with receding/skinhead dark brown hair.

He has brown eyes and several tattoos on his left arm of a snake head, bull, eagle and swallow.

On his right arm he has a snake and skull, and two flower designs with 'MAM' and 'LUCKY' with a swallow.

Mr Leonard is white, around 5ft 8ins, of medium build, with blue eyes and light brown hair, which is cropped very short.

He has a two-inch injury scar on his nose and 'LOVE' tattooed on the knuckles of his left hand with 'HEIDI' on the back of his left hand.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Burnley police on 01282 425001 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. ..News Source.. by Daily Mail Reporter


Three men deny murder of rapist

5-22-2009 United Kingdom:

Three men have denied murdering a convicted rapist whose body was discovered in a drain.

Alan Street, 26, is believed to have suffered a "sustained and prolonged attack" at a house in Padiham, Lancashire in December last year.

His body was discovered in a culvert in Accrington in January.

Kieren Davison, 20, Ian Palmer, 45, also of Padiham, and Peter Leonard, 51, of Trinity Street, Oswaldtwistle, denied murder at Preston Crown Court.

A fourth man also accused of murdering Mr Street, Allan Palmer, 44, of Stockbridge Road, Padiham, has not yet entered his plea.

Mr Street, 26, from Oswaldtwistle, was convicted of rape in 1999.

The murder trial is scheduled to begin on September 14 and is expected to last up to four weeks.

All four murder accused were remanded in custody.

Four men and one woman were also accused of assisting an offender.

Sean Jackson, 37, from Accrington, Paul Dougill, 39, from Bolton, Michael Helm, 39, from Accrington, and Keith Birtwell, 29, also from Accrington, will all enter pleas on June 26.

A separate trial will be held for those four men and has been provisionally set for October 19.

Nicola Street, 35, from Accrington, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender. ..Source.. by BBC

Thursday, December 18, 2008

KS- Man fatally shot while officers attempt to serve arrest warrant

Witness describes scene of fatal KCK shooting: A suspect wanted on charges of rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child was killed this morning in Kansas City, Kan., as law enforcement officials attempted to serve an arrest warrant. (Video by Garvey Scott)

12-18-2008 Kansas:

A suspect wanted on charges of rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child was killed this morning in Kansas City, Kan., as law enforcement officials attempted to serve an arrest warrant.

A task force made up of the FBI, Kansas City, Kan., police, Kansas City, Mo., police and the Missouri Highway Patrol confronted the armed suspect about 7:20 a.m. as officers entered his residence in the 400 block of Shawnee Road.

A news release from Kansas City, Kan., police said shots were fired during a confrontation that followed. The suspect, Terry G. Gordon Jr., 31, of Kansas City, Kan., died at an area hospital.

The release did not say which law enforcement agencies were involved in the shooting.

The incident is being investigated by the FBI, the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Wyandotte County district attorney’s office. ..News Source.. by Mark Wiebe,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

VA- UPDATED: Inmate killed in Pittsylvania County identified

12-18-2008 Virginia:

Virginia State Police are investigating a shooting in Chatham Tuesday night involving a sheriff's deputy and inmate.

The inmate, Cody Nifong, was killed. The officer was shot at least once in the wrist. Authorities say the Pittsylvania County deputy had taken the 24-year-old inmate to Richmond earlier in the day for a medical appointment.

They were driving back to Chatham when the shooting happened, less than a mile from the jail on Main Street. Authorities won't go into specifics but say there was a struggle involved.

The deputy has been with the department for more than 20 years, and is currently on medical leave. The sheriff says he has not been involved in a shooting before.

We're told the inmate had been staying in the Pittsylvania County jail since July for violating probation. According to court records, he was supposed to be sentenced in January for taking indecent liberties with a child.

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 @ 11:47 a.m.

Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred Tuesday night in the community of Chatham.

According to a news release, a deputy with the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's office was transporting an inmate back to the county jail after a medical appointment. We're told a struggle then ensued.

The inmate has been identified as Cody Christopher Nifong. He was shot and killed. Virginia State Police are still investigating this incident.


One person is dead and a Pittsylvania County Sheriff's deputy is in the hospital following a shooting in Chatham.

It happened around 7:15 Tuesday night in the 100 block of Main street.

Investigators believe a fight took place between a deputy and an inmate he was transporting. During the fight, the deputy's gun went off, injuring him in the wrist.

The inmate was then shot and killed. No one else was involved in the shooting.

The injured deputy is being treated for minor injuries at Danville Regional Medical Center.

State Police and the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office are investigating the incident. ..News Source.. by WDBJ TV


Deputy Who Shot And Killed Inmate Cleared

3-3-2009 Virginia:

Salem, VA-- Tuesday, Neil Vener, the Commonwealth Attorney for Virginia send a letter to the Pittsylvania County sheriff's office clearing a deputy who shot and killed an inmate in December 2008.

Deputy Roger Walden was transporting Cody Christopher Nifong from a psychological evaluation visit back to the county jail when the incident happened.

In the newly released details, investigators say Nifong who was sitting in the back of Walden's patrol tried to strangle the deputy while the car was still in motion. They say he did it by freeing one of his hands from handcuffs.

Deputy Walden who was using one hand to stop the cord, was able to use the other hand to get his gun and fire a shot to stop Nifong from strangling him. Walden shot himself in the wrist during the struggle.

Vener ruled that Walden's actions were justified.

Nifong was in jail awaiting sentencing for sexual assault on a 13 year old girl. ..Source.. by Devetta Blount


VA- Deputy Who Shot And Killed Inmate Cleared

3-2-2009 Virginia:

Salem, VA-- Tuesday, Neil Vener, the Commonwealth Attorney for Virginia send a letter to the Pittsylvania County sheriff's office clearing a deputy who shot and killed an inmate in December 2008.

Deputy Roger Walden was transporting Cody Christopher Nifong from a psychological evaluation visit back to the county jail when the incident happened.

In the newly released details, investigators say Nifong who was sitting in the back of Walden's patrol tried to strangle the deputy while the car was still in motion. They say he did it by freeing one of his hands from handcuffs.

Deputy Walden who was using one hand to stop the cord, was able to use the other hand to get his gun and fire a shot to stop Nifong from strangling him. Walden shot himself in the wrist during the struggle.

Vener ruled that Walden's actions were justified.

Nifong was in jail awaiting sentencing for sexual assault on a 13 year old girl. ..News Source.. by Devetta Blount

Friday, December 12, 2008

UK- Paedophile found stabbed to death in caravan home

UPDATED: See below..

12-12-2008 United Kingdom:

London A 52-year-old man who was understood to be a convicted paedophile has been found stabbed to death in southwest London.

Andrew Cunningham died from multiple wounds to the head, neck and chest at his caravan in Wandsworth, which was parked at the haulage depot where he worked. Stab wounds were also found to his genitals, a police source told The Sun. “He was loathed by a large number of people so we have a lot of potential suspects,” the source said.

Cunningham spent four months in jail in 2001 for raping a girl aged under 13 and was arrested again in 2002, although no charges were pressed. He had reportedly been targeted by vigilantes before. His former house had been set on fire soon after he was released from jail, the paper said. ..News Source.. by The Times

Convicted paedophile stabbed to death in 'vigilante' attack

A murder hunt is under way after a former child sex offender was found brutally stabbed to death.

The victim, thought to be Andrew Cunningham, 52, who had been convicted of raping a schoolgirl, died from multiple knife wounds to the head, neck and chest.
He also suffered ‘non-fatal injuries’, according to the police, which was said to include damage to his genitals.

The truck driver was found in blood in his caravan where he worked at the Riverside Haulage company in Wandsworth, South West London.

The Metropolitan Police said the gruesome discovery was made at 8am on Wednesday.
Cunningham’s employer, who would not give his name, found the body and said there was no sign of forced entry.

He added: 'He had a stab wound in his neck and there was blood everywhere. The bed was soaked with it and his head was lying in it.'

‘The post-mortem revealed non-fatal injuries to other parts of his body but we are not discussing these further for operational reasons,’ a police spokesman said.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola, leading the investigation, said: ‘We’re currently at an early stage in our inquiries and are keeping an open mind about the circumstances of this man’s death.

‘I would ask anyone who was in the area last night or in the early hours of this morning and saw or heard anything suspicious to get in touch with us.’

Cunningham had been targeted by hate mobs who had yelled ‘Die, paedo, die’ at him, according to The Sun.

A police source told the paper: ‘He was loathed by a large number of people so we have a lot of potential suspects.’

Cunningham, a father of five estranged from a former partner, spent four months in prison in 2001 for raping a schoolgirl under 13.

He was arrested again in 2003 but no charges were pressed.

Soon afterwards vigilantes set fire to his former home in a Wandsworth street after it was claimed he was grooming children.

And drinkers at a pub recently accused him of fondling a barmaid’s two-year-old daughter.

The police source said his murder was ‘almost certainly connected to new offences rather than those that took place in 2001’.

Detectives, who believe more than one person was involved in the killing, reportedly had to identify him using fingerprints because none of his relatives would go to the morgue.

Officers are studying CCTV film from around the murder scene. And they appealed for anyone who saw anything suspicious to come forward. ..News Source.. by Daily Mail Reporter

Police 'no nearer to solving' Earlsfield sex offender Andrew Cunningham murder

7-17-2009 United Kingdom:

A 50-year-old man was arrested in connection with the murder of Earlsfield sex offender Andrew Cunningham - but was later released.

The arrest took place at 9am on Thursday, July 9, but he was then bailed while police continued their inquiries.

Despite a £20,000 reward issued in June for information leading to the killer, police say they still have nothing concrete to go on.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola said: “We are still appealing for witnesses. We are no nearer to solving the case.”

Mr Cunningham, who was convicted of unlawful sex with a 15-year-old girl in 2001, was last seen at 6.10pm on Tuesday, December 9, outside his caravan in Riverside Road.

The 52-year-old was found dead the next day with his genitals mutilated and with stab wounds to the head, neck and chest.

Police later said raiders had ransacked the caravan, opening Christmas presents and stealing a wallet containing up to £6,000.

A Scottish £100 note was also missing, but no far no-one has come forward to say they have seen it.

In June an audio clip was played on Crimewatch but it lead to yet another dead end.

Although locals assumed the murder was connected with Mr Cunningham’s sex conviction, police have said they believe it was a burglary that turned violent.

Officers are still looking at CCTV footage, forensic tests from the caravan and the background and lifestyle of the victim.

Two people were arrested at the beginning of the investigation, but later released.

The third man was bailed to return to a south London police station in early September. ..Source.. by This Is Local London

UK- Paedophile vigilantes face life terms

2-22-2002 United Kingdom:

Retired sea captain murdered after he was cleared of indecently assaulting nine-year-old girl

Two self-appointed "paedophile vigilantes" face life sentences for the murder of a retired sea captain committed according to a plan drawn up by a teenage girl high on cannabis and alcohol.

Pub cellarman Ian Lawless, 40, and his jobless godson Gary Lawson, 19, shouted abuse as they were found guilty of setting fire to the Grimsby flat of Alf Wilkins, 67, a former deep sea fisherman and tugboat captain who had been cleared of indecently assaulting a nine-year-old girl.

Two other neighbours on the Yarborough estate in Grimsby were also convicted for their part in the murder. Mr Wilkins died of smoke inhalation after the pair set fire to his flat by igniting an accelerant they had poured through his letter box.

Chantelle Day, 17, who drew up the murder plan, will be sentenced later for conspiracy, while Gary Fairbanks, 43, was given two years for intimidating a witness.

After the five week trial at Hull crown court, Detective Superintendent Gavin Baggs, who led the murder inquiry, warned the case sent "a strong message about what happens to people who chose to take the law into their own hands".

He said: "Alfred Wilkins was a well liked old man who kept himself to himself, but who was tormented by criminal offences founded by speculation. We are particularly grateful to witnesses who bravely spoke out, sometimes against neighbours, friends and relatives."

Lawson and Lawless - who was described as obnoxious by his QC - both claimed that their actions had widespread support on the estate.

The trial heard that the pensioner, who was waiting for a hip operation, had been targeted ruthlessly - taunted in the street and savagely beaten a week before his death by two hooded men who burst into his graffiti-sprayed flat.

He led a lonely life and had befriended some of the children on the estate, but those involved with the murderous gang repaid him with vicious rumour-mongering and steadily worsening violence.

The trial was told that a murder plot was hatched over drunken drug-taking sessions, based on an illiterate blueprint drawn up by Day, who was then Lawson's 16-year-old girlfriend. This proposed not only a variety of ways of killing Wilkins but also gave details of alibis for those involved.

Extracts read to the jury included: "Put some socks in his mouth with some Sellotape over it. Pour petrol all over his flat and all over him. Then set him on fire. Then set fire to his flat making sure it is all blown up with him in it."

The trial heard details of Lawless's chronic drunkenness and fantasies, which included an attempt to persuade fellow prisoners on remand that he was a member of the Taliban. Lawson meanwhile openly boasted of the day that turpentine was poured through Wilkins's letterbox and set alight: "He is going to get done in. I am going to do it. He is going to get blown up."

The day after his victim's flat had been left a blackened ruin, he said to a friend: "I told you I would do him in. I killed Alf."

Wilkins's suffocated body was found in the kitchen of his flat in February last year with the word "Nonce" - prison slang for sex offender - scrawled on the window, and his 12-year-old black alsatian Lucky lying nearby. Lawson told Humberside police detectives after his arrest: "When it became known Alf was dead, everyone wanted to party."

Fairbanks was found not guilty of incitement to murder but admitted telling a witness Mandy Tasker, his next-door neighbour: "Tasker, you're a fucking grass. I am going to petrol bomb your house." ..Source.. by Martin Wainwright

Friday, December 5, 2008

WA- Spokane standoff ends with suspect dead

12-5-2008 Washington:

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A SWAT team entered the apartment of a suspect to serve a warrant after a six-hour standoff late Thursday night only to find the suspect dead inside.

Investigators don't know how the suspect died yet.

Officers tried to arrest 48-year-old William Leverette around 5 p.m. Thursday, but he refused to come out of his apartment near Trent and Waterworks in East Spokane. After tossing tear gas into the apartment with no effect, police called in the SWAT team.

Police were in contact with Leverette throughout the night, and several times he told officers he was ready to surrender. However, more tear gas was deployed into the apartment after 11 p.m. and Leverette stayed inside. That's when the SWAT team entered and found Leverette dead.

Leverette was wanted on a Dept. of Corrections warrant. Investigators told KREM 2 News he had a history of drug convictions and was also a sex offender. ..News Source.. by

Friday, November 28, 2008

FL- Ocala shooting victim was homeless sex offender

11-28-2008 Florida:

OCALA -- The Ocala Police Department has released the name of the man shot to death after a confrontation late Tuesday night.

He was identified as 34-year-old William Anthony Surratt. Officials notified Surratt's family about his death sometime late Wednesday night to early Thursday morning.

Ocala police Capt. Lester Revels said Friday that family members said Surratt was originally from Atlanta and had moved to the Marion Oaks area roughly four years ago.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web site indicates Surratt had been a registered sex offender. The sex offender information lists him as a 6-foot-tall, 280-pound homeless man, and describes his 1995 conviction in Interstate, Ga., as involving rape and child molestation.

Revels said there is no indication Surratt was slain because he was a sex offender.

Investigators were still searching for several people who detectives believe had a confrontation with Surratt in the 700 block of Northwest First Street beside a white brick home. The group had gathered by a bonfire because of the cold that night.

There were reports of about four shots fired shortly after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Afterward, officials say, Surratt ran and then collapsed about 150 to 200 yards away from the original crime scene.

When officers arrived on scene, in the 600 block of Northwest Second Street, Surratt was lying on the side of the roadway by an open lot. Authorities say the victim was in shock and was cared for by Ocala Fire Rescue personnel.

He was taken by ambulance to Munroe Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Surratt’s wallet was in his left back pocket. In his right pants pocket was a box of Marlboro cigarettes filled with coins instead of cigarettes, authorities said.

Officials on Wednesday say they could not rule out any motive, including robbery or attempted robbery.

Surratt was known to frequent the area, and detectives were still trying to figure out what caused the confrontation. ..News Source.. by Austin L. Miller, Star-Banner

Saturday, November 22, 2008

CA- Charges filed in trailer park killing

Garcia, who killed Maddon, ended up serving 1-year in jail! See below..
11-22-2008 California:

A Chico man was charged with murder Thursday after a Crescent City man was fatally stabbed Wednesday night at the Shangri-La Trailer Court, 1130 U.S. Hwy. 101 North.

Mario Contreras Garcia, 21, is in custody at the Del Norte County Jail, charged with the murder of Terry Eugene Maddon, 39, said the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office Thursday. Garcia is being held without bail.

A second defendant, Guillermo Montanez, 20, of Crescent City, is in jail on suspicion of being an accessory to the murder and is being held on $500,000 bail.

Authorities were called to the trailer park at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. By then, Maddon had been taken by ambulance to Sutter Coast Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"Basically we got a call that he had been transported to the hospital by ambulance and had been stabbed," said sheriff's Detective Ed Fleshman.

Maddon was stabbed once in the area to the left of his armpit.

"It was an altercation between (Maddon and) two Mexican males and one female," said Fleshman.

As investigators continued to search the scene, two people were taken into custody. They were eventually released, said Fleshman, but not before authorities were able to get information on the suspects.

"Because of that they uncovered some very good leads for us," said Detective Sergeant Steve Morris.

Early Thursday, hours after the stabbing, Del Norte Search and Rescue workers found Mario Garcia "hiding behind a trailer in the back of the park," Fleshman said.

Garcia's sister, Maricruz Garcia, was also questioned and released.

Fleshman did not release details of a possible motive in the killing of Maddon, a registered sex offender.

Morris said that the suspected murder weapon, a lock-back folding knife was also found.

"It was located in a storage shed in the trailer park," said the sergeant.

Maddon had lived with his mother, Georgie Maddon, 57, at the trailer park, said the Sheriff's Office. Georgie Maddon was named on the lease, which began in December 2007, but her son was not, authorities said.

Maddon had been convicted of sexually abusing a minor under 14.

Morris said the office is awaiting forensic tests on evidence from the knife and from Mario Garcia's clothing.

The sergeant said authorities are investigating other suspects in the case as well. ..News Source.. by Triplicate staff writer


Stabbing charge lowered

2-21-2009 California:

Manslaughter now alleged

The charge against a Crescent City man accused in a fatal stabbing was reduced Friday from murder to manslaughter.

Mario Contreras Garcia, 21, was facing a murder charge after he confessed to stabbing Terry Maddon, 39, during an altercation at the Shangri-la Trailer Court on U.S. Highway 101 last Nov. 19.

Garcia now faces charges of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, with an enhancement for allegedly using a knife, said District Attorney Mike Riese. Garcia pleaded not guilty last year.

“The victim’s family is really disappointed that while we thought intent was there, the judge didn’t see it,” said Riese, noting intent is needed for a murder charge to stick.

Garcia’s sister, Maricruz Contreras Garcia, 18, recently pleaded guilty to destruction of evidence in connection with the case for attempting to wash bloodstained clothing. Her boyfriend, Guillermo Montanez, 20, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact. They have not been sentenced

Riese said visiting Judge Phillip Schaeffer found “there was a gap in the evidence to show” that Mario Garcia intended to kill Maddon.

“When the evidence shows that it looks like multiple people on one, and one person comes armed with a knife, we file murder charges,” said the DA in defense of his original filing.

Mario Garcia told authorities that Maddon was intoxicated and hit him, causing him to fall, according to court documents. Garcia said he blacked out, then got up and stabbed Maddon.

“I’m disappointed the judge did not agree, but that’s the nature of the system, so instead of facing life, he now faces approximately a decade,” said Riese.

After authorities arrived, it took half the night to locate Mario Garcia, who was found hiding in the back of the trailer park.

Bloodstained clothing worn by Maricruz Garcia and Montanez was found in the possession of Maricruz Garcia that night, the documents state. She admitted she was about to launder the clothing.

The suspected murder weapon, a bloodstained knife, was also found at the trailer park from information obtained from Maricruz Garcia, the documents state.

A pre-trial hearing for Mario Garcia is scheduled for April 16. ..Source.. Adam Madison, The Triplicate


Convict in fatal stabbing to be released

9-18-2009 California:

One-year prison term given at sentencing in manslaughter case

A 21-year-old man who pled guilty to causing the stabbing death of a man during an altercation last year will soon be released after being sentenced Thursday to one year in county jail.

Mario Garcia, 21, of Crescent City was sentenced by Judge Phillip Schaffer in Del Norte County Superior Court to one year in jail, with a stipulated seven year prison sentence and five years of probation on charges of voluntary manslaughter with an enhancement for using a knife during commission of a felony.

Garcia was originally charged with murder, but Judge Schaffer found there was insufficient evidence to show that Garcia intended to kill Maddon, so charges were reduced to manslaughter.

Garcia pled guilty to the manslaughter charges in August.

He has served 302 days with 75 custodial credit days for good behavior, totaling 377 days, according to court proceedings.

The Del Norte County jail said Garcia was still in custody on Thursday night.
Garcia was convicted for the fatal stabbing of Terry Maddon, 39, during a fight at Shangri-La Trailer Court on Nov. 19 of last year.

Garcia’s sister, Maricruz Garcia, then 18, pled guilty earlier this year to destruction of evidence in connection with the crime for attempting to wash blood stained clothing. Guillermo Montanez, her boyfriend, then 20, pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact.

According to Del Norte County Deputy District Attorney Katie Micks, Montanez and Maricruz Garcia have not been sentenced yet.

Garcia declined to address the court, speaking only through his attorney, Darren McElfresh.

In defense of Garcia, McElfresh said that autopsy reports showed Maddon had methamphetamine in his system and that Maddon had caused the altercation.

The attorney said that the stabbing was self-defense, according to autopsy reports that showed Maddon had scuffs on his knees as if he had mounted Garcia to assault him.

“The victim was the initiator,” said McElfresh. “My client was struck first,” he said.

Georgina Maddon, the victim’s mother, and Julie Collyer, another relative, addressed the court by phone.

“He took my boy’s life and he gets away with a slap on the hand. I can never accept that,” said Georgina Maddon.

“He’s my son, and he’s way more important than that,” she said, her sobbing audible through the speaker- phone.

“I pray that justice was served, and it was not today,” she said before hanging up the phone.

Collyer was contacted and addressed the court by speaker-phone next.

“I will say this to the young man,” she said, addressing Garcia. “It just killed me. You didn’t even know his name.”

Collyer broke down after the statement. Her sobbing could be clearly heard through the phone.

“You took an innocent man, and you didn’t even know his name,” she said.

Collyer addressed Garcia’s sentence as well.

“Whatever you get will not bring Terry back,” she said.

“I’m damn angry, and I don’t wish you dead. I just hope that every day you remember him,” said Collyer.

Tracy Brown, Maddon’s sister, addressed the court in person through tears after Collyer and Georgina Maddon had finished their telephone appearances.

“He would never have hurt you. You came to his house,” said Brown.

She said she could forgive the actual crime but was more worried about how the death affected their mother.

“You hurt my mom. He died in her arms. I’ll never have the same mom,” said Brown.

She said she would leave judgement up to a higher power.

“If you believe in god, then you’d better get next to him,” said Brown, before leaving the courtroom. ..Source.. by Adam Madison, The Triplicate


Accomplices in fatal stabbing at trailer park sentenced

9-19-2009 California:

The final two people involved in the stabbing death of Terry Maddon in a trailer park last year were sentenced on Friday.

Mario Garcia, who had pled guilty in August to stabbing Maddon and causing his death during an altercation at Shangri-la Trailer Park on Nov. 19, was sentenced on Thursday.

He was released from custody yesterday, due to already having served his sentence, which was one year, while awaiting court proceedings.

Maricruz Garcia and her boyfriend, Guillermo Montanez, were reported as being at the scene of the stabbing, according to authorities.

Maricruz Garcia pled guilty to destruction of evidence for attempting to wash bloodstained clothing worn by Mario Garcia.

Montanez pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact for being involved in the attempt to cover up the crime, according to authorities.

Montanez and Maricruz were each fined $500 plus court fees and sentenced to three years of informal probation.

Montanez had previously served 54 days in Del Norte County Jail on the offense, and Maricruz Garcia had credit for two days served. ..Source.. by Adam Madison, The Triplicate

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

PA- Man found guilty of killing son's alleged molester

11-18-2008 Pennsylvania:

ERIE -- A northwestern Pennsylvania man has been convicted of third-degree murder for shooting a man who was accused of molesting the suspect's 10-year-old son.

Terry Sherlock, 34, of Erie County, will face up to a 20- to 40-year prison sentence when he's sentenced Jan. 15 on the murder charge, and more time on four lesser charges including reckless endangerment.

Erie County prosecutors say Sherlock purposely shot and killed Kenneth Himrod, 28, on Nov. 20, while Himrod was being investigated on allegations he molested Sherlock's son.

Sherlock's attorney had argued at trial that Sherlock killed Himrod in a rage and should be convicted of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Today, a jury agreed with prosecutors instead. ..News Source.. by

Earlier story:

Shooter asked police for help

11-17-2008 Pennsylvania:

About four hours before he fatally shot a man accused of child molestation, a heavily intoxicated Terry A. Sherlock indirectly threatened to kill someone else -- a city of Corry police officer in front of a house in Corry.

Sherlock used the term "body bag" to explain what the police would need once Sherlock got done firing away, according to testimony at Sherlock's homicide trial in Erie County Court.

The police officer on the scene, Patrolman Chad Carrier, testified he believed the threat was not serious, and that he never arrested Sherlock, but tried to get him mental help later that night.

Carrier's decision brought questions from Sherlock's lawyer, as well as from Judge Michael E. Dunlavey, who is presiding.

"You didn't think that was serious?" Dunlavey said to Carrier. "He threatened to shoot you."

Carrier said that Sherlock -- who was known to drink two cases of beer a day and smoke marijuana -- was intoxicated, and that his wife, Crystal L. Sherlock, was driving him around Corry that night.

"He was functioning," Carrier said, explaining why he did not arrest Sherlock for public drunkenness. "He was walking, talking. He wasn't puking. He wasn't driving."

Sherlock's drunken interaction with Carrier was one of several he had with police in the hours before he arrived at the Union Township trailer home of Kenneth C. Himrod -- who had been accused of molesting Sherlock's 10-year-old son -- and shot Himrod 10 times sometime after 3 a.m. on Nov. 20.

The interactions occurred between Sherlock and either the city of Corry police and the state police at Corry. In each instance, according to testimony, Sherlock told officers he was agitated that Himrod had not been charged with molesting his son. In each instance, the police said Sherlock was belligerent, with Sherlock telling the officers he would "take matters into his own hands."

And in each instance, according to testimony, the police let Sherlock go -- after Sherlock told them he would try to seek help.

"I did not place him under arrest," testified state police Trooper Matthew Wargo, who encountered Sherlock at the state police barracks after midnight on Nov. 20. "I knew he was, supposedly, as he claimed, seeking help."

No one at the trial, which resumes today, has presented evidence that any of the police officers in the case were accused of wrongdoing in how they handled the incidents with Sherlock. Evidence also showed that Sherlock, 34, was known to be prone to exaggeration and to frequent Corry-area bars, where he often got into fights.

At the same time, the way the police handled the events leading up to Himrod's death has created a unique situation at Sherlock's trial. Typically, police testify about the basics of a case -- how investigators collected evidence, for example, or whether the defendant talked to police.

In the Sherlock case, however, the interactions Sherlock had with police leading up to the shooting provide a look into his state of mind.

For the prosecution, Sherlock's statements to police show that he planned to kill Himrod, and that he committed a first-degree murder.

For the defense, the statements show that Sherlock, 34, was upset at Himrod, 28, and became angrier at the situation after the visits to the police turned out, in his estimation, to be fruitless. Sherlock, the defense is arguing, killed Himrod in a rage, and committed voluntary manslaughter.

The jury could start deliberating on the competing theories as early as today.

Confrontation in Corry

Terry Sherlock, an unemployed father of five, had been drinking for more than 11 hours when he and his wife showed up at a house in Corry about 11:20 p.m. on Nov. 19, according to testimony.

Carrier, the Corry police officer, said Sherlock was claiming that man at the house was selling pills to children, and that Sherlock said he wanted to help police investigate by buying the drugs himself.

If nothing happened as a result of the probe, Carrier said Sherlock told him, Sherlock would come back "locked and loaded" and police should bring a "body bag."

Sherlock said "he was going to take matters into his own hands," Carrier said.

Carrier said he did not take Sherlock's threat to shoot someone seriously because Sherlock was intoxicated and because Sherlock said he would only shoot if police did not let him buy the drugs -- a fanciful notion under the circumstances.

Carrier said Sherlock also talked about Himrod and the molestation case. Carrier said he told Sherlock that he would be "accountable for his actions" if something happened.

Sherlock left the scene in a van driven by his wife.

State police barracks

The Sherlocks drove to the state police barracks at Corry, on Route 6, where Trooper Wargo was manning the front desk. He testified that Crystal Sherlock telephoned the barracks at about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 20, and said her husband was complaining about a case involving his son. He said the Sherlocks arrived at the barracks about 12:50 a.m.

Terry Sherlock was "noticeably intoxicated," Wargo said. He said he also swore at him, and complained about the pace of the investigation of the molestation case, though Wargo said Sherlock did not name Himrod.

"He was adamant that we go arrest a subject that had violated his son," Wargo said.

He testified that he explained to Sherlock that the probe was ongoing, and he said he told him that another trooper, who was not present, was handling the case and could talk to Sherlock at another time.

"He stated he would take matters into his own hands," Wargo testified. He said Sherlock also told him "he did not need help, that it was his 10-year-old son who needed help."

Wargo said he and the Sherlocks talked about getting mental-health help for Terry Sherlock. Regarding the molestation case, Wargo said he told Terry Sherlock "anything he would do, he could possibly be in trouble with."

Crystal Sherlock, Wargo said, told him that her husband "would be fine, that the alcohol was talking. When he is sober, he is too tough to get help."

Terry Sherlock walked out of the barracks at about 1:30 p.m. Wargo said he sent out other troopers to find him.

Crystal Sherlock picked up her husband in the van. They headed to the police station in the city of Corry.

Calling Crisis Services

Carrier, the patrolman, was on duty. He testified that Sherlock called him first, and that the Sherlocks arrived at the police station at about 2 a.m. on Nov. 20. He said Terry Sherlock said he was having "issues with my son getting molested."

Sherlock, he said, told him he had just been at the state police barracks, "trying to get 302d" -- referring to an involuntary mental-health commitment, which falls under section 302 of the state's mental health act.

Sherlock still wanted to be committed, and taken to the mental-health unit at Millcreek Community Hospital, Carrier testified. He said he took the Sherlocks' car keys and got a representative from Erie County Crisis Services on the phone, and put Terry Sherlock on the line.

Carrier said he and the Sherlocks were waiting for someone from Crisis Services to drive from Erie to Corry to meet with Terry Sherlock. He said Sherlock changed his mind about the plans. Sherlock, Carrier said, now wanted to have his wife drive him to Millcreek Community Hospital so Sherlock could commit himself voluntarily.

The Sherlocks left the station at about 2:20 p.m. Carrier said he had no idea the Sherlocks had second set of keys to the van.

Crystal Sherlock never drove her husband to Millcreek Community Hospital. After leaving the Corry police station, she testified, she and her husband went to their residence on Plank Road. She said her husband pointed a loaded rifle at her face and demanded that she drive him to the trailer home of Kenneth Himrod, a trip of 18.8 miles.

The couple drove off. ..News Source.. by ED PALATTELLA

Sherlock convicted
11-18-2008 Pennsylvania:

Jury chooses 3rd-degree murder for shooter

Throughout the three days of testimony in the trial of Terry A. Sherlock, the jury never heard the prosecution or the defense ask for a verdict of the third-degree murder.

That's the fate the jury picked for Sherlock -- a verdict the prosecution and defense described as a compromise.

The 34-year-old Corry resident now faces a maximum of 20 to 40 years in a state prison for fatally shooting a man who had been accused of molesting Sherlock's 10-year-old son.

The jury reached its verdict Tuesday, after about six hours of deliberations over two days in the courtroom of Erie County Judge Michael E. Dunlavey.

He set sentencing for Jan. 15 for Sherlock, who was also found guilty of four other charges, including aggravated assault.

Sherlock gunned down Kenneth C. Himrod, 28, at Himrod's Union Township trailer home sometime after 3 a.m. on Nov. 20, or about a month after Sherlock learned of the molestation allegations against Himrod.

With the agreement of the District Attorney's Office and defense, Dunlavey before the deliberations instructed the jury on three possible verdicts for homicide -- first-degree murder, third-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter.

The District Attorney's Office wanted Sherlock convicted of first-degree murder. The defense said Sherlock was guilty of voluntary manslaughter. The third-degree murder conviction represented a blend of both theories.

The jury of nine women and three men, who left the courtroom immediately after the verdict, appeared to agree that Sherlock acted with malice in killing Sherlock, but that the slaying did not rise to the level of first-degree murder. But the jurors also declined to accept the defense's full argument that Sherlock acted out of rage, which would have made the killing tantamount to voluntary manslaughter.

Though neither the prosecution nor defense raised the possibility of third-degree murder during the trial, the evidence made such a conviction a possibility -- thus requiring Dunlavey to instruct the jury on the charge.

Under Pennsylvania law, a first-degree murder can be reduced to third-degree murder if the jury finds the defendant acted with a diminished mental capacity due to such circumstances as a mental defect or intoxication.

Sherlock's court-appointed attorney, Jamie Mead, presented evidence that both those factors were present when Sherlock shot Himrod 10 times, including three times in the face, with a .22-caliber rifle.

A psychiatrist testified for the defense that Sherlock suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder because he was sexually molested as a child. Mead presented evidence that Sherlock, who was unemployed, was an alcoholic who drank as many as two cases of beer a day and also used marijuana. Sherlock had been drinking nearly 12 hours straight until about three hours and 30 minutes before the shooting, according to testimony.

Mead also called the third-degree murder conviction a compromise. Mead is a shareholder of the Times Publishing Company, which publishes the Erie Times-News.

Sherlock did not testify. Mead throughout the trial argued that Sherlock should not have killed Himrod, but that he acted out of a sudden passion, and a concern for his son's safety, rather than coldblooded premeditation.

Sherlock is at Erie County Prison.

One of the defense's key pieces of evidence was that Sherlock hours before the shooting sought mental help at the city of Corry police station and the state police barracks at Corry. The police also said Sherlock complained to them about the pace of the investigation into the allegations against Himrod, and he told police he would handle matters himself.

For the defense, the interactions with police showed Sherlock's fury. For the prosecution, they showed premeditation.

The District Attorney's Office throughout the trial focused on the evidence surrounding Sherlock's slaying of Himrod, but an underlying theme was also at work for Connelly, the lead prosecutor, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Jack Daneri, who also prosecuted.

They told the jury that Sherlock or any other aggrieved person is never justified in taking the law into his or her hands.

Citing that stance against vigilantism, the District Attorney's Office from the start of the Sherlock case wanted to pursue a conviction for first-degree murder, said Assistant District Attorney Erin Connelly, the lead prosecutor.

"Our office could never agree that this should happen," she said of Himrod's death at the hands of Sherlock. "To allow this would allow chaos." ..News Source.. by Ed Palattella

PA- Killer's wife pleads guilty in slaying near Union City

12-5-2008 Pennsylvania:

Corry woman pleaded guilty to a reduced count today in a case in which she was originally charged with helping her husband kill an accused child molester.

Crystal L. Sherlock, 36, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison at her sentencing Feb. 4 before Erie County Judge Michael E. Dunlavey, who accepted her plea.

Sherlock's husband, Terry A. Sherlock, 34, was convicted at a jury trial in November of third-degree murder and other charges related to the fatal shooting of Kenneth C. Himrod, 28. Sherlock shot Himrod at the victim's trailer home on Route 8, in Union Township, outside Union City, on Nov. 20, 2007.

Himrod had been accused of sexually molesting Terry Sherlock's 10-year-old son.

State police initially charged Crystal Sherlock with homicide as an accomplice, based on her admissions that she drove her husband to and from Himrod's trailer.

Crystal Sherlock testified against her husband at trial. That cooperation, plus the outcome of Terry Sherlock's trial, led to the plea deal for Crystal Sherlock, the District Attorney's Office said in court.

The jury acquitted Terry Sherlock of conspiring with his wife to commit the homicide. ..News Source.. by Ed Palattella

PA- W.Pa. man gets prison for killing accused molester
1-15-2009 Pennsylvania:

ERIE, Pa.—A northwestern Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to 21 to 42 years in prison for fatally shooting a man accused of molesting the shooter's 10-year-old son.

Erie County Judge Michael Dunlavey gave 34-year-old Terry Sherlock, of Corry, the maximum sentence for third-degree murder and another one to two years for a weapons violation on Thursday.

Sherlock shot and killed 28-year-old Kenneth Himrod in November 2007 while Himrod was being investigated on allegations he molested Sherlock's son.

Sherlock's attorney argued at his November trial that he acted in rage and should have been convicted of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. The prosecution said he planned to kill Himrod. ..News Source.. by

FL- Sex offender killed outside game arcade

11-18-2008 Florida:

A registered sex offender from North Miami was shot and killed outside a video game arcade in Lake Worth.

A North Miami man shot and mortally wounded Sunday night outside a children's amusement center in Lake Worth was a registered sex offender, according to state records.

Edner Eustache, 27, was shot at least twice in the ''upper part of his body'' at about 8:30 p.m. after a fist fight outside Fun Depot, 2003 10th Ave. North, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said.

Eustache was flown to Delray Medical Center, where he died, said Teri Barbera, a sheriff's office spokeswoman.

Witnesses told deputies that three men were involved in the fight in the parking lot, and that two drove away in a white van and green car.

In February 2002, Eustache registered in Broward County as a sex offender who had assaulted a minor, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.

In three arrests in Miami-Dade and Broward counties since December 2007, Eustache was charged with failure to obey state registration laws for sexual offenders. In the case of a Dec. 1 arrest by Miami-Dade police, he pleaded guilty to the charge, records show.

It was not immediately clear what Eustache was doing outside Fun Depot, where young people gather to play video games and laser tag.

Fun Depot general manager Eddie Naphan said he watched security camera footage Monday morning but did not see anyone who looked like the victim enter or leave the park's arcade in the hour before the shooting.

Naphan said the security cameras showed a car sitting by a trash bin in Fun Depot's parking lot.

''You can't see anything but headlights,'' he said.

As detectives paced outside Fun Depot, patrons continued to hit baseballs in the batting cages, which overlooked the crime scene.

''I've been around here for 20 years, and I can tell you we've never had an incident like this near this place,'' said Naphan, whose father opened Fun Depot in 1988.

Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-458-8477.
..News Source.. by MICHAEL LaFORGIA, Palm Beach Post


Man charged in 2008 slaying outside Fun Depot in Lake Worth

11-23-2009 Florida:

Three men, including a registered sex offender, drive from Broward County to a Lake Worth amusement park for a robbery, according to authorities.

Their intended victim, in a struggle, kills one of the assailants with his own gun.

The other two return to Broward, where they kidnap their dead colleague's girlfriend and her 3-month-old daughter and are arrested.

Now a year later, under the state's "felony murder" law, one of them has been brought to Palm Beach County, charged with his alleged accomplice's death.

The second is in the Broward County Jail, awaiting transfer on the same charges.

Ralph Gutierrez, 29, of Lauderdale Lakes, was booked Wednesday afternoon into the Palm Beach County Jail on a warrant issued March 9, documents show.

He is charged with second-degree felony murder with a firearm and attempted armed robbery in the Nov. 16, 2008, death of Edner Eustache, 27, of North Miami at the Fun Depot.

Gutierrez was transferred from the Broward County Jail, where he has been since his arrest the day of the slaying.

The second defendant is not identified in a Palm Beach County Sheriff's report.

But Broward documents identify him as Dante Coats, 24, of Parkland, and confirm he faces the same Palm Beach County charges as Gutierrez.

A bond hearing for Gutierrrez is set for Friday before Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Karen Miller at the main courthouse.

According to the Palm Beach County sheriff's affidavit, Gutierrez, Eustache and the third person, Coats, came from Broward County, driving the company van of Coats' father.

Aaron Bazan, 27, of West Palm Beach, told investigators Gutierrez, a distant cousin, called to say he was on the way to the Fun Depot, at 2003 10th Ave. North.

Bazan said when he met Gutierrez near a dumpster outside the park, he started to shake hands, but Gutierrez grabbed his hand and the other two men stepped out.

One, armed with a handgun -- the report doesn't say which — demanded Bazan's wallet.

Bazan said that as the two men tried to rifle his pockets, he got hold of the gun and he and Eustache struggled and went down.

The gun went off and Bazan crawled out from under Eustache, ran to his car, and drove off with his girlfriend, the report said.

Eustache, struck twice in the upper body, was taken to Delray Medical Center, where he died the next morning.

Gutierrez and Coats drove back to Broward County, where they rifled Eustache's hotel room and demanded his girlfriend say where he might have money.

They then grabbed the girlfriend, Darline Gabriel, and her three-month-old daughter Cally, and forced them to another hotel, saying they feared authorities would track them at the first one.

But the woman was able to call the front desk and have the clerk call police.

The Palm Beach County report does not say if the child was Eustache's daughter.

Inquiries to Plantation police for details were unsuccessful.

Broward prosecutors say Gutierrez and Coats were each charged with two counts of armed kidnapping and one of attempted robbery with a firearm, and Coats with carrying a concealed firearm.

Gutierrez later confessed to the Fun Depot robbery, the Palm Beach County report said.

Attempts to reach Bazan today were unsuccessful.

According to state law, if someone dies during the commission of a felony, any of the people who perpetrated the original crime can be charged in his death.

Jesse Watson, a manager at the park, said today he could not comment because the general manager was out of town.

According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Records, in February 2002, Eustache registered in Broward County as a sex offender who had assaulted a minor. ..Source.. by Eliot Kleinberg

Sunday, November 16, 2008

MO- Gunman who killed ex-girlfriend in O'Fallon, Mo. was registered sex offender

Posted in Related Deaths
11-16-2008 Missouri:

St. Johns Mercy Urgent Care Center in O'Fallon, Mo. will remain closed this weekend and reopen Monday.

On Friday, Gary Sheets, 45, held hostage his ex-girlfriend, who worked as a lab technician. Police said he shot and killed Jenenne Meadows, 47, before the SWAT team shot and killed him.

Sheets was convicted in 1998 of sexual assault against a 27-year-old woman in Colorado and served 3 years in prison.

Jeff Lesinski knew the suspect since high school at Ritenor. He believes his friend was frustrated from not being able to get a job after being labeled a felon. Lesinski said, "I think what he did was horrible and unforgivable but I can see how he got pushed into it but it doesn't make it right. I'm sorry for Jenenne and her kids. I'm sorry for his mom and his family. It's a terrible tragedy."

The victim had 3 children, the youngest being a teen.

Her family and neighbors asked for privacy. ..News Source.. by KSDK

Killer of girlfriend in O'Fallon, Mo., sexually assaulted another in 1998

O'FALLON, Mo. — The Gary Sheets who shot his ex-girlfriend dead at St. John's Mercy Urgent Care Center is a stranger to an ex-wife who said he was never violent.

But he would be familiar to another girlfriend — the one who put him in prison for sexually assaulting her in 1998 and told police he threatened to harm her parents.

Information from Sheets' friends, and police reports, suggests parallels between Friday night's shooting of Jenenne Meadows and the sexual attack on the St. Louis woman with whom he moved to Colorado in 1998.

In both cases, he lived with strong-willed women in their homes and would not disconnect when they tried to break up with him.
Sheets, a former blackjack dealer, and Meadows, an avid poker player, met at a bar in the summer of 2007. The divorcees hit it off — but not for long.

The relationship soured after Sheets moved into Meadows' home in St. Peters that October, friends said. He moved out in May. But ill will festered.

Late Friday afternoon, Sheets, 45, calmly carried a pistol into the clinic in O'Fallon, Mo., where Meadows, 47, was a lab technician. He ordered the others out and held her hostage.

He let her call her eldest son, Kyle, 22, to say goodbye. When Kyle didn't pick up, she reached her next-oldest, Anthony, 21.

"She told Anthony what was going on," her ex-husband, Ken Meadows, said Saturday. "Then this guy Gary takes the phone over and got rather graphic as to what he was going to do and how he was going to deal with her."

Eventually, Sheets killed her. MetroWest SWAT officers stormed in and killed him.

What made Sheets snap? Police did not take questions Saturday. But Jeff Lesinski, a friend of Sheets, said the estranged couple had exchanged hostile text messages for weeks.

Ken Meadows, who had three sons with Jenenne Meadows before their divorce in 2002, said she had left Sheets because "he had a significant drinking problem she wasn't willing to tolerate."

Lesinski said Sheets was frustrated because "Jenenne had basically said it was her house and her rules and he wasn't the husband so he didn't get much input as to what happened with the house. Jenenne was pretty forceful and pretty strong-willed."

Dana Miles, of St. Louis, who had married Sheets in 1987, said he got alcoholism treatment during their marriage and was sober for about a year. She divorced him in 1992, after he started drinking again.

"He was a very nice and fun-loving guy, but had an alcohol problem," she said. "He hated guns. He was never comfortable with any of that. And he was not a violent person. He just wasn't. Even when he was drunk, when we were married, he was always the sloppy, fall-down-go-to-sleep drunk. I'm just shocked that it came to that."

In 1998, Sheets moved to Westminster, Colo., with a girlfriend from St. Louis. He continued to live in her apartment there, sleeping on a sofa, after she broke up with him. She would later tell police he refused to move out unless she paid him $4,000 for the cost of giving up a good job to go west with her. She would also say that he was becoming more aggressive, making her afraid with threats to "ruin her" and "destroy her." She told an officer Sheets had said he would not harm her "but would hurt her family, living in St. Louis."

The night of June 1, 1998, according to police reports obtained by the Post-Dispatch, Sheets would not stop banging on her barred bedroom door, so she opened it. She said he sexually assaulted her but stopped when she made fun of him.

The report said she asked him that night, "Why don't you just kill me? This is what you're doing to me anyway." She told police he replied, "Believe me, if I had a gun, I would. Maybe I could go into Denver right now and get one off the street."

She said he also warned her, "I don't care what happens to me, if you go to the police, I'm allowed one phone call. I will use it to call my friends in St. Louis and have them take care of your parents."

Records show that he pleaded guilty of sexual assault and served about two years in prison. After his release in 2000, he moved back to Missouri and had to register as a sex offender.

The conviction meant he could not return to his former job at the Alton Belle.

Lesinski said that he got Sheets a job at his mortgage business for about 2 1/2 years, and that his friend later worked as a pipefitter.

Sheets and Meadows met at a bar last summer, Lesinski said. "He had casino experience, he knew the game well, that's how they started things off, playing the game together," Lesinski said.

Meadows had competed regularly in a bar-based poker league with 6,000 area members.

"She was awesome," said Allan Zwick, the St. Louis-area manger for Nationwide Poker Tour. "She was fun, energetic. She'd get a little drunk and she'd be loud, and kind of fun."

Deziray Vickers, a tournament director, recalled her as "the life of the party" who "laughed a lot."

After the breakup, Sheets took a job with a salvage company that took him to the Western states. He returned about six weeks ago and complained to Lesinski that his chances of finding work were slim.

During that time, the angry texting with Meadows accelerated, Lesinski said.

At the Eagle's Nest in St. Charles on Friday night, word of her slaying stopped poker players in the middle of a game, Vickers said. "Some people were in tears and some were numb. People couldn't focus."

She said, "The shock to me was that Gary was such a nice guy when he was playing poker with me." ..News Source.. by Jeremy Kohler, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Child molester killed in Canadian prison

11-11-2008 Canada:

The inmate killed in a riot at a Canadian prison was a convicted child molester serving an indefinite sentence, officials said Sunday.

Michael Gibbon, 39, was the only prisoner to die in the riot Saturday night at Mountain Institution, a medium-security prison in British Columbia, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported. Dave Lefebvre, a spokesman for the Correctional Service of Canada, said another inmate was hospitalized.

Gibbon, a lifelong resident of Chilliwack, a city west of Vancouver and a few miles north of the U.S. border, was sentenced to three months in 1992 for molesting a boy. He was imprisoned in 1997 for child pornography and sexual assault.

Inmates began breaking windows in the gymnasium at about 9:45 p.m., Lefebvre said. As the riot escalated, they began attacking each other.

Homicide investigators from Vancouver were called in to investigate Gibbon's death. The Correctional Service and the coroner will conduct independent investigations, Lefebvre said. ..News Source.. by UPI

Friday, October 31, 2008

MO- Cape Girardeau woman shoots, kills would-be rapist at her home

10-31-2008 Missouri:

A Cape Girardeau woman shot and fatally wounded Ronnie W. Preyer, 47, a registered sex offender who had broken into her home early this morning with the intention of raping her a second time, Cape Girardeau Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle said today.

Swingle said he will not be charging the victim, an older woman who positively identified Preyer this morning as the man who raped her on Saturday.

"It is clear that under Missouri's self-defense law the woman was justified in using deadly force upon the intruder in her home because he was in the process of burglarizing her home when she shot him," Swingle wrote in a letter to police chief Carl Kinnison.

Cape Girardeau police had been keeping a close eye on the woman's home, in the southwest part of Cape Girardeau, since she reported the rape nearly a week ago.

In that instance, she'd heard the glass break in a basement window around midnight on Saturday, and decided to make a run for it through her front door, according to police reports of the incident. When she opened the door, Preyer attacked her.

He punched her in the face and forced her into the bedroom, where he raped her.

She reported the rape that night, and described her rapist.

Police were actively working the unsolved rape case, Swingle said, and had been frequently driving past the woman's home in case her attacker returned.

This morning, the woman called 911 after hearing a car door close near her residence. An officer responded, checked the doors and windows, including the one that had been broken during the first attack.

Her landlord had recently repaired the window for her, Swingle said.

Once the officer determined that no one had entered the home, he left.

About two hours later, the woman was at home watching television, when Preyer broke the same basement window and came in, getting the still-wet calking on his clothing as he did so, police reports said.

He found a main fuse panel in the basement and shut off the electricity. The victim immediately tried to call 911, but the phone would not work because there was no electric.

Having recently purchased a shotgun, she grabbed the weapon and when Preyer began banging on the basement door, she was ready for him. When he crashed through the basement door into her kitchen, she shot him once in the chest and ran, heading for a neighbor's house, where she called the police.

It only took officers 45 seconds to respond to the 911 call, Swingle said.

When they arrived, they saw Preyer stumbling away from the home, and an officer ordered him to stop. When he didn't, a female officer drew her own weapon and they forced him to the ground.

He was transported to Saint Francis Medical Center where he died several hours later.

Early Friday morning, the victim identified Preyer out of a photo line-up as both the man who raped her on Saturday and the man who broke into her house today.

Preyer's criminal history is speckled with home invasions and assaults, and he has been convicted of failing to inform the county of his change of address in compliance with registered sex offender laws. Swingle was getting ready to charge him with rape, attempted rape, burglary and attempted burglary this morning, armed with the positive eyewitness identification, when he learned around 9:30 a.m. that Preyer was dead.

Preyer was convicted in 1989 of raping and robbing a woman in New Madrid County and he served 15 years in prison on both charges.

He was also arrested last December and charged with attempted rape and second degree felony assault, but Swingle's office dismissed the charges because he did not think he could get a conviction, he said.

The victim in that case, a woman in her early 30s, allegedly went for a drive with Preyer, knowing of his sex offender status, and he attacked her while in the car.

After talking with the victim in that case, Swingle decided to dismiss the charges because the woman did not use a nearby phone to call for help, and because she went with Preyer because she was "bored," even though he was a sex offender, he said.

"We know in at least one case, he did a good job of picking his victim, this time, he didn't do such a good job," Swingle said. ..News Source.. by Bridget DiCosmo, Southeast Missourian

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Accused molester shot dead

10-30-2008 Jamaica:

An 18-year-old youth, who had been accused of molesting a five-year-old relative, was shot dead in Montego Bay, St James, on Tuesday.

It is believed that his death might have been a reprisal.

Dead is Keneil 'Ticky' Simons of Salt Spring, Montego Bay, St James. He was shot dead at the Cornwall Courts housing scheme in the parish.

Reports are that at 4:35 p.m., Simons alighted from a taxi at the housing scheme and was approached by a lone gunman who asked his name. Shortly after he responded, the gunman opened fire, hitting him several times.

He died on the spot. The police were alerted, the crime scene processed and the body removed to the morgue for post- mortem. The Montego Bay CIB is investigating.

What is this world coming to?

A man, who pleaded guilty to wining on his six-year-old grand niece until he had an orgasm, was remanded when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

The accused appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Glen Brown where he pleaded guilty to indecent assault.

The court heard that the accused wined on the child until he ejaculated.

His fingerprints were ordered taken and he was ordered remanded until December 2 when the matter is to be sentenced. ..News Source.. by The Jamaica Star Online

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TX- UPDATED: Deputy Shoots, Kills Suspect

10-27-2008 Texas:

MERIDIAN - News Channel 25 has learned that the Bosque County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting death of a sexual assault suspect at the DS Ranch near the Bosque County town of Meridian.

The sheriff's office had received a report of a sexual assault that took place at gunpoint at the Meridian State Park. The suspect in the case was described as a Hispanic male driving a truck.

A Bosque County deputy located a vehicle and man matching the suspect's description at the DS Ranch along SH-22. The deputy ran the vehicle's plates which came back as stolen out of Fort Worth.

As the situation escalated, the deputy drew his gun and called for back- up. The suspect, Thomas Aguirre, refused to comply with the officer's orders, went to the rear of his truck and pulled out a gun, aiming it at the officer.

The deputy then shot Aguirre twice, killing him.

The suspect was pronounced dead on the scene at 3:07 p.m.

Aguirre had an extensive criminal history and was a registered sex offender in Bosque County.

The Deputy is on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. ..News Source.. by News Channel 25

Caught On Tape: Suspect Shot, Killed By Police

11-12-2008 Texas:

ember 12, 2008)—It all started the afternoon of Oct. 8, when sheriff’s deputies in Bosque County were following up leads in the report of a sexual assault.

After spotting a car that matched the description of a vehicle used in the sexual assault, Deputy Jeff Hightower attempted to identify the driver.

What happened next was caught on Hightower's dashboard camera; News 10 obtained the graphic footage from the Bosque County Sheriff’s Office.

The video shows Hightower and the suspect, later identified as 52-year-old Thomas Aguirre fighting, as Hightower attempts to search Aguirre.

As Aguirre breaks free and goes around his vehicle, Hightower can be heard ordering the man to get down then calling for backup from the Sheriff’s Office.

Moments pass and then Aguirre comes back around his vehicle; a gun is in Aguirre’s right hand pointed toward the deputy.

Hightower fires twice, hitting Aguirre in the chest; Aguirre immediately goes down out of camera frame.

A grand jury later cleared Hightower of any wrongdoing. ..Source..

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NZ- Murder-accused admits razing stepfather's house

10-21-2008 New Zealand:

A man accused of murdering his convicted sex offender step-father has admitted burning down his house.

Jamie Stewart Davies, 31, of Raglan, yesterday admitted a charge of arson at the start of his murder trial in the High Court at Hamilton.

Davies is charged with murdering his stepfather, Allan Wallace Davies, 57, whose body was found in his burned-out house in Struve St, Ngaruawahia, on September 28 last year.

Police arrested Davies four days later, in Tauranga.

An autopsy on Allan Davies showed he died before the fire, allegedly from injuries inflicted by the accused.

In his opening address, Crown prosecutor Ross Douch said Jamies Davies had arrived at his stepfather's home in the early hours of September 28 with the intention of confronting him.

The court heard that Allan Davies was due to be sentenced in the Hamilton District Court for historic sex offending. He had earlier been found guilty of five representative charges of committing indecencies with a girl under the age of 12.

Mr Douch told the court that in a taped interview at the Tauranga police station on October 2, Davies said he had "lost control" when confronting his step-father over his historic sex offending.

Davies admitted punching Allan Davies between 20 to 40 times.

During the taped interview, however, Davies insisted he had not gone round to the house to kill his stepfather but instead "to talk to him".

Mr Douch - citing a pathologist report - said Mr Davies' injuries included a 4cm fracture across his breast bone, an injury to the back of his head and neck injuries consistent with strangulation.

He said Davies had meant to cause the death of his step-father.

"He wanted him dead," Mr Douch told the jury.

The Crown is expected to call 18 witnesses, including a taxi driver who drove Davies to his stepfather's home on the day of the incident.

Defence counsel Paul Mabey QC, in his opening address, told the court that while Davies denied murdering Allan Davies, he did not deny killing him.

Mr Mabey said it was the jury's task to decide if Davies was guilty of murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter.

He said it was not a case of whether Davies could walk away free at the end of the trial.

The trial, before Justice Lang and a jury of six men and six women, continues. ..News Source.. by AARON LEAMAN

MA- Sex Offender Killed By Jeep That Left Scene

10-17-2008 Massachusetts:

Police Searching For Driver In Fatal Crash

BOSTON -- A Level 3 sex offender who was riding a bike in Lawrence Thursday night was struck and killed by a driver who allegedly fled the scene, according to the Eagle Tribune.

Robert Lagasse, 43, of Lawrence, was riding a bike at about 6:30 p.m. on Merrimack Street when he was struck by a blue 2008 Jeep Cherokee, the newspaper reported. He was flown to Boston Medical Center, where he died Friday morning.

A man driving a taxicab behind the Jeep witnessed the crash, wrote down the license plate number and brought it to police. Lawrence police Chief John Romero said the car was traced to a rental company in Methuen.

Police questioned a man who said that he rented the car for a female friend who lives in Salem, N.H. Officials are searching for the vehicle that has Massachusetts license plate 83F S93.

The victim was a Level 3 sex offender who was convicted in 1989 of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, the newspaper reported. ..News Source.. by WCVB TV


Woman named as 'person of interest' in hit-and-run death of a bicyclist

10-17-2008 Massachusetts:

LAWRENCE - The car believed to be involved in last night's hit-and-run death of a bicyclist was located in Hudson, N.H. today and a person of interest in the case has been named.

Police Chief John J. Romero says the Jeep Cherokee has been towed to Lawrence and has damage that would be consistent with such an accident.

Romero says Charlene Traficante, 34, formerly of Salem, N.H., is expected to be questioned later today as a "person of interest" in the death of Robert Lagasse, 43, of 77 S. Union St.

Police questioned a Haverhill man who had rented the car that struck Lagasse. Michael Mehrman, 38, told police he did rent the car, but had loaned it to Traficante.

Lagasse was struck while riding his mountain bike at about 6:30 p.m. on Merrimack Street. Witnesses said the car drove, leaving Lagasse's bike and body in the street.

Lagasse was flown by medical helicopter to Boston Medical Center, where he died early this morning.

"A taxi cab driver who was a good citizen is the real hero that really made this case for us and gave us the information we needed to go forward with our investigation," Lawrence police Chief John Romero said. "He was driving behind the Jeep Cherokee when he literally saw the guy flying through the air. The guy wrote down the plate number of the vehicle and drove right to the police station. ... We were able to trace the car to a rental company in Methuen."

Police were able to identify the victim after two friends walked up to officers at the accident scene.

"They said the man was their friend and that he was going to the package store to get some beer for them. They had been drinking under the Central Bridge and he was going for some more, Romero said.

Lagasse was a Level 3 sex offender. Police said Lagasse was convicted in 1989 of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and in 2002 on a charge of open and gross lewdness. ..News Source.. by The Eagle Tribune


Police: Man may have been driving in hit-and-run fatal

10-21-2008 New Hampshire:

LAWRENCE — A Hudson, N.H., man is the second being named as a "person of interest" in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist, based on surveillance video and more recollections from an eyewitness.

Police want to question Edward Couture of Hudson, N.H., about the Thursday night accident. The car believed to be involved was found at his home Friday morning. He is an acquaintance of Charlene Traficante, 34, of Woburn, the woman police named Friday as a person of interest.

A cab driver who saw the aftermath of the accident, which killed 43-year-old Robert Lagasse of 77 S. Union St., said he believes there were two people in the car and a male was driving.

Police Chief John Romero said surveillance video taken from businesses on South Broadway shows the rented Jeep Grand Cherokee as it left the parking lot of a local bar. Romero said police are working to enhance the video to identify who was behind the wheel of the sport utility vehicle moments before the crash.

"We have some video footage that could shed some light on who as driving at the time of the accident,'' he said.

Traficante was named as a person of interest in the case after the man who rented the Jeep told police he let her borrow it. Police were hoping to speak to her Friday night but she has yet to show up for questioning.

The 2008 Jeep with fresh damage to the front passenger side was found at Couture's New Hampshire home Friday morning.

Lagasse was riding a bicycle on Merrimack Street about 6 p.m. Thursday, when he was hit from behind by the Jeep, which fled the scene. The cab driver told police he did not witness the hit, but did see Lagasse flying in the air.

Friends of Lagasse, who identified him at the scene, told police they had been drinking beer under the Central Bridge, and that Lagasse was bicycling to the package store to get some more when the accident occurred. ..News Source.. by Jim Patten


NH- Man gives 'useful information' in fatal hit-and-run

10-23-2008 New Hampshire:

LAWRENCE — A New Hampshire man identified as a person of interest in a fatal hit-and-run crash has given police phone records in an attempt to prove he was at home when the man (RSO) on a bicycle was run down.

Edward Couture, of Hudson, N.H., was interviewed by city police Tuesday about the Oct. 16, accident that killed Robert Lagasse (RSO), 43, of 77 S. Union St. Lagasse was hit while riding a bicycle on Merrimack Street around 6 p.m., while going to buy beer.

A city cab driver witnessed the accident and gave police a description of the vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was later recovered at Couture's house. The cab driver also said he saw two people in the Jeep, and a man was driving.

Charlene Traficante, formerly of Salem, N.H., and a female acquaintance of Couture, remains a person of interest in the case. A Haverhill man identified her as the woman for whom he had rented the Jeep.

"Edward Couture gave us some useful information, and related some information we are now following up," police Chief John Romero said.

Couture told police he had received several calls from Traficante throughout the afternoon and night, Romero said.

Couture told police Traficante returned to his home with the Jeep about 8:30 p.m., and never mentioned the accident, Romero said.

"Now the investigation brings us back to her," Romero said of Traficante. "We still need to interview her."

Based on the investigation so far, police know the Jeep was in her possession, Romero said. ..News Source.. by Jim Patten


MA- Police: Woman refuses to cooperate in fatal hit-and-run probe


LAWRENCE — A woman allegedly given use of a rented Jeep Grand Cherokee involved in the hit-and-run death of a homeless man is refusing to cooperate with the investigation, police said.

It's been almost two weeks since Robert Lagasse, 44, was struck and killed while riding a bicycle on Merrimack Street. He was buried yesterday.

Police Chief John Romero said if Charlene Traficante, 34, of Woburn continues to refuse to cooperate, police could take the case to an Essex County grand jury through the district attorney's office. She has been declared a "person of interest" in the case.

"We have made several requests to speak to her, but her attorney says she is unavailable at this time," Romero said yesterday. Her attorney, Anthony Ortiz, did not return calls for comment.

During grand jury testimony, a person can testify freely, can invoke their rights against self-incrimination, or can be compelled to testify under a grant of immunity.

Meanwhile, Lagasse's mother, Lillian Lagasse of 77 S. Union St., said yesterday she is frustrated no one has been arrested in connection with the Oct. 16 hit-and-run.

"That was my son that got killed. I just buried him today," she said. "Whoever did it should pay."

A cab driver who witnessed the accident told police there were two people in the vehicle and said he believes it was a man behind the wheel.

Romero said the case depends on police being able to identify the person behind the wheel when the accident occurred. Right now, Romero said, police just don't have enough to charge someone.

"We have an accident where someone was killed, and the person responsible left the scene. We are taking the case very seriously. We want to get to the bottom of it and bring those responsible to justice," Romero said.

Robert Lagasse was hit while riding a bike on Merrimack Street about 5:57 p.m. He was struck from behind by a gray 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee that left the scene, but a witness was able to get the license plate.

Police later determined the car had been rented to Michael Mehrmann, 38, of Bradford. Mehrmann told police he had lent the vehicle to Traficante.

The Jeep was recovered the following morning at the Hudson, N.H., home of Edward Couture, who police also have called a person of interest in the case. Couture was interviewed by police and provided phone records he said showed he was at home at the time of the crash and that he had received numerous calls from Traficante during the afternoon and evening hours.

"Couture provided documentation that at this point seems to support his initial statements to us," Romero said. "But this case has taken so many twists and turns we are not ruling anybody out."

But Lillian Lagasse hopes the person who killed her son comes forward.

"But I doubt whoever did it will come forward,'' she said. ..News Source.. by Jim Patten


MA- DA remains mum on three long-standing investigations

3-1-2009 Massachusetts:

Deborah Hoare, 39, was struck and killed by a snowplow driver who did not stop as she walked along Route 114 in North Andover in December of 2007.

Robert Lagasse, 44, was struck and killed by a Jeep as he rode his bicycle on Merrimack Street in Lawrence in October of last year.

And Mary Pina, 50, and her 6-year-old nephew Daquan Davis died in a house fire in Haverhill last November. One fire official said the fire was no accident.

There is a common thread linking these four tragic deaths — a lack of willingness by Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett to provide any information about the investigations or their progress. In some cases, the families have been kept in the dark as well.

For John Bacigalupo, it's been two months since he has heard from Blodgett's office about the death of his sister Mary Pina.

"I would expect the district attorney to at least tell me what the results of the investigation are," said Bacigalupo, during a telephone interview from his home on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Evidence has been seized to try and link the crimes to suspects in both Hoare's and Lagasse's deaths. Lawrence police seized the snow plow they believe struck and killed Hoare from a Methuen man in January 2008 and sent blood taken from the blade to the state police crime lab for testing.

In the Lagasse case, investigators know who rented the Jeep, who had possession of it and where it was found, but no one has come forward to admit they were driving it at the time of the accident, Lawrence police Chief John Romero said.

And in the case of the Warren Street fire, Haverhill deputy fire Chief Lewis Poore said the cause of the fire "was not accidental."

However, the only response from the district attorney's office since the fire has been that "it's under investigation."

When asked for comment about the seemingly slow progress and lack of information on these cases, Blodgett issued this two-sentence statement: "These investigations are active and ongoing and they are being conducted in a professional and thorough manner. We are using all of the resources available to us in an attempt to bring these investigations to a conclusion."

Lagasse's brother Randall, while acknowledging the slow pace of the probe into his brother's death, said the family remains confident that the case will be solved.

"I just want to say that although the investigation of the hit-and-run death of my brother Bobby appears to be slow going, we as a family know that sometimes solving such a case does not always happen overnight," Lagasse said. "We know that the case is still open and being investigated and we, along with others behind the scenes, are working diligently to assure that the person/persons responsible for Bobby's death will not go unpunished."

Romero said investigators completely understand the concerns of the families. He said the lawyer for one of those involved in the Lagasse case has refused to make his client available to talk to police.

"He has been holding us at arms' length," Romero said. "We need to move past that and consider what other options are available to us."

Attempts to reach a member of Hoare's family for comment for this story were unsuccessful. ..News Source.. by Jim Patten


Woman accused of assault at Methuen bar

4-11-2009 Massachusetts:

METHUEN, Apr 11, 2009 (The Eagle-Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A woman described as a "person of interest" in the October hit-and-run death of a Lawrence man was arrested after she assaulted another woman in a Broadway bar Thursday night, police said.

Charlene Traficante, 34, of 26 Budron Ave., Salem, N.H., was charged with assault and battery and assault with a dangerous weapon during the incident at Paul's Pub, 91 Broadway, about 11:10 p.m.

Officers Herb Stacy and Joseph Rynne were sent to the bar after police received a 911 call during which dispatchers could hear yelling in the background, police said.

Officers spoke to the victim who said she has had a problem with Traficante over dating men known to both of them. She told police Traficante began yelling at her over the bar and grabbed her hair over the bar, police said.

She told police that Traficante had a glass beer bottle in her hand and when they separated, Traficante threw the beer bottle at her but missed, police said.

The officers found a large clump of hair on the floor of the bar, which the victim said was hers, police said.

Lawrence police have sought, without success, to speak with Traficante about the Oct. 16, 2008, hit-and-run death of Robert Lagasse, 43, of 77 S. Union St., in Lawrence.

Lagasse was riding a bicycle on Merrimack Street about 6 p.m. to buy beer.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee that struck Lagasse did not stop, but a cab driver who was behind it gave police a description of the vehicle and told police there were two people in it.

The Jeep was recovered the day after the incident at the home of a Hudson, N.H., man who is an acquaintance of Traficante.

A Bradford man who rented the Jeep told police he had loaned it to Traficante.

The investigation into the fatal crash continues, police said. ..Source..