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Saturday, June 14, 2008

FL- Man Found Dead in Phosphate Pit Was Murdered, Police Say

6-14-2008 Florida:

Authorities identified the body found Thursday as William Hough, 39, of Lakeland.

LAKELAND | Police have identified the body found in a reclaimed phosphate pit Thursday as lifelong Lakeland resident William Joseph Hough, 39, and are calling his death a homicide.

Police were dispatched to BridgeWater subdivision, between Interstate 4 and State Road 33, about 3 p.m. after a body was seen floating in the pit.

The Medical Examiner's Office will not release the cause of death because of the criminal investigation, according to Lakeland police spokesman Jack Gillen.

A missing person report, filed about 3 p.m. Wednesday by Hough's mother, Linda H. Hough, identifies the subdivision as the last place he was seen Tuesday. The report said foul play is suspected.

Hough's parents learned of his death Thursday night.

"It's kind of empty right now - my life," his father, William D. Hough, said.

Hough lived with his parents and had a younger brother and an 8-year-old son, relatives said. He made his living as a welder.

Hough became a registered sex offender after being convicted of committing lewd and lascivious acts in the presence of a child under 16 in 1989 and 1990. According to the Department of Corrections, Hough served about four years in prison between 1992 and 1999 for lewd and lascivious acts and grand theft.

"I was never ashamed of the boy," William D. Hough said Friday.

"He didn't get a decent job," Hough said. He said his son's status as a registered sex offender often interfered with his attempts to apply for jobs. "When you're down, it is really hard to get up."

His mother recalled how much Hough resembled his father and that he had an affinity for fishing, hunting and comedy.

"He was the spitting image of his daddy when he was born," Linda Hough said. Her son would have turned 40 on June 22.

"He was a good person," she said. "He believed in giving everyone a chance."

Her sentiments were echoed by a close family friend, Ashley Hall. She became acquainted with Hough when she began dating his cousin. She now cares for his grandmother, Carolyn Hunter.

Hall said Hough thought there was good in everybody.

According to Hall and Hunter, in 2005 Hough drove 500 miles to bring Hall's son his dog, a boxer, after he moved to Atlanta and realized pets were allowed in his building.

"He was a beautiful, kind soul," Hall said. ..News Source.. by Stacy Jones and Shoshana Walter


2 Men Surrender in Lakeland Mans Death

6-23-2008 Florida:

Feud may have led to incident at pond where William Hough died.

LAKELAND A feud over a burned motor home may have ended the life of a Lakeland man whose body was found last week in a phosphate pit.

Two men surrendered to authorities late Wednesday, and police released information on how William Joseph Hough, 39, may have been killed.

George Scott Sloan, 33, and Michael James Wilson, 26, accompanied by their lawyer, turned themselves in at the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Bartow, Lakeland police said.

According to detectives, Hough and Sloan had an ongoing feud about a 2007 incident in which Sloan thought Hough set fire to his motor home in Crystal River.

The State Fire Marshal's Office confirmed the fire occurred, but could not be reached for comment on whether Hough was a suspect.

According to several statements Sloan made to officials, he wanted to hurt Hough because of the fire.

Detectives also report Sloan was aware of Hough's status as a registered sex offender.

During an interview with Carolina Laughton, Laughton told detectives she received a phone call from Sloan on June 10. Sloan told her he had "chased a sex offender into a lake" but would not tell her where or why, detectives said. It was unclear from the affidavit what Laughton's relationship is to Sloan.

Records confirm Hough was a registered sex offender, dating from an 1992 incident resulting in a conviction in 1996 of lewd and lascivious acts on a child younger than 16.

Detectives reported Sloan asked James Blake Holt, 34, "a lifelong friend of Hough and his family" to lure Hough to ponds in the BridgeWater subdivision in North Lakeland.

Reports indicate that the agreement between Sloan and Holt was meant to fulfill a "drug-related debt that Holt owed Sloan." Because of the ongoing criminal investigation, additional details regarding the agreement could not be released, said police spokesman Jack Gillen.

An LPD affidavit said Holt and Hough were fishing in the ponds within the subdivision about noon June 10 when Holt received a call from Sloan. At that time, detectives say, Holt told Sloan their location.

Holt could not be reached for comment Thursday.

About 20 minutes later, according to detectives, Sloan and Wilson arrived at the ponds with another, as yet unidentified, man.

Upon their arrival, detectives say, Hough jumped into the water and attempted to flee from Sloan and Wilson. The unidentified man chased Hough into the water while, detectives say, Sloan and Holt yelled for him to "get" Hough.

Hough raised his cell phone and yelled that he was calling 911, reports say. According to detectives, once Hough reached to opposite shore of the lake, Sloan and Wilson pursued him in their car.

Once Sloan and Wilson caught up to Hough, according to detectives, they left the car, at which time Sloan was allegedly carrying an ax or shovel handle, and continued to chase Hough toward another pond.

Holt said told investigators he last saw Hough being chased into brush surrounding the other pond but did not notify police until the following day.

According to an autopsy, Hough drowned. However, the medical examiner determined that a blow to the top of his head was a contributing factor to his death. Detectives said Hough was clutching a knife in his right hand when his body was found.

The investigation into Hough's death is continuing, Gillen said, and other charges and arrests are possible.

Hough's mother, Linda Hunter Hough, was at her Roslyn Lane residence, where she and her husband, William, lived with Hough, when he left to go fishing with Holt.

"I was here when they left. I saw the two of them leave," Hough's mother said. "He loved fishing enough to go with anyone willing to go."

She added she was glad to know Sloan and Wilson were in police custody.

The two men could serve life in prison if convicted. ..News Source.. by STACY JONES, THE LEDGER


Related Links:
--Affidavits - George Sloan and Michael Wilson
--Suspects In Lakeland Man's Killing Turn Themselves In
--Police Seeking 2 In Death of Man Dumped in Pit
--Police Name Suspects In Lakeland Homicide
--Man Found Dead in Phosphate Pit Was Murdered, Police Say

Key Documents:
Arrest Affidavits:
George Sloan, Michael Wilson (HTML - 424b )

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

UK- Former policeman on child pornography charges stabbed to death

A former police constable who was stabbed to death outside his home had faced pressure from villagers to leave his home after being charged with child pornography offences, it has been disclosed.
6-9-2008 United Kingdom:

Geoffrey Harries, 49, appeared in court in May accused of possessing more than 2,000 indecent images of children, and was due to stand trial next week.

He was stabbed at about 1.45am on Saturday in the street outside his home in the village of Trimsaran, west Wales. He died later in hospital.

Dyfed Powys Police are questioning a 30-year-old man on suspicion of murder.

A neighbour said residents in the village had drawn up a petition demanding he leave, and handed it to him and to police. Mr Harries, who was married to his wife Elizabeth, and was on bail, moved in with his widowed mother in the village as he awaited trial. He was said to have been driven out of a previous address.

Neighbours said Mr Harries had gone out to confront two men who were allegedly slashing his car tyres, and was stabbed several times in the chest.

One said: "He heard a noise and ran out and confronted the men. I don't believe they or any members of their families were ever victims of any crimes committed by Harries.

"But people here felt very strongly that they did not want him living in the area. There are many young families here.

"Some of the locals signed a petition and handed it to him and the police. It demanded his immediate departure from the village, but he refused to go.

"Some of the locals even went to the house on one or more occasions threatening him."

Another resident Christine Davies said: "Many people felt uneasy about the fact that Harries was living in their midst. I was talking to people when I took the bus today and some were saying 'Good riddance'."

She added: "I feel sorry for his mother above all. She is a nice woman and does not deserve this."

Adrian Jones, a local cockle-picker, said: "There is a feeling that he only got as good as he deserved if he is guilty."

Police are trying to establish a motive for the attack. A spokesman said: "The motivation is part of our investigation."

Mr Harries resigned from the Dyfed Powys force in March, after his arrest. He appeared at Cardiff Magistrates' Court in May charged with 15 offences of making indecent images of children between May 2005 and December 2007. He was also facing one charge of possessing indecent images on Nov 26 last year.

He was alleged to have had 2,082 images on his computer. The court heard nine of the images found on the computer were classed as level five, the most serious on the scale.

Mr Harries was released on bail pending a trial which was due to start at Cardiff Crown Court next Monday.

The case was brought following an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. ..News Source.. by Richard Savill


6-10-2008 United Kingdom:

An ex-PC accused of child porn offences has been stabbed to death in a feared vigilante attack.

Married Geoffrey Harries, 49, was knifed repeatedly in the chest as he investigated an early morning disturbance in his drive.

The officer, hounded from his previous home, was due in crown court next week after being found with 2,000 indecent images of children.

It is now suspected he may have been murdered by an attacker revolted by his alleged crimes.

AdvertisementAn elderly neighbour who did not want to be named said yesterday: "A lot of people think that he was targeted, especially because he was a former policeman. It makes you think it was not a random attack."

Resident Christine Davies added: "If he was really guilty of what he was accused, a lot of people round here are saying 'good riddance'."

Harries - who resigned from the Dyfed-Powys force, West Wales, three months ago - had 2,082 child porn images on his police computer.

After being charged with making and possessing images he faced such hostility from locals in his home village of Pembrey, Carmarthen, he moved to Trimsaran three miles away.

But the stain of suspicion followed him and a protest meeting was arranged by residents "uncomfortable" that he was living alongside them. Harries was killed before the meeting could go ahead. A petition was already calling on him to quit the area. One neighbour said: "No one likes having an alleged paedophile in your street."

Harries was attacked early on Saturday. He died five hours later.

Yesterday his home was taped off as police examined the scene.

A family spokesman said last night: "This tragedy marks the end of many months of anguish and heartache.

"Geoff was a gentle man and loving husband and son. At the time of his death he wasn't convicted of any offences and we mourn his loss."

Police said yesterday there was no evidence so far of vigilantism. A man in his 30s is being questioned. ..News Source.. by Geoffrey Lakeman

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Canada- Man returns to jail for killing inmate

6-8-2008 Canada:

Attacker's six-year sentence for stabbing likely to be served in isolation, Crown says

A 37-year-old man, released from prison in January after serving a lengthy sentence for robberies, has been returned for another six years, this time for the fatal stabbing of a fellow inmate at Joyceville Institution two-and-a-half years ago.

Dennis George pleaded guilty in Kingston's Ontario Court of Justice last week to manslaughter in the death of LeRoy Paupst.

George's lawyer, John Dillon, and assistant Crown attorney Ross Drummond joined in recommending the six-year sentence to the judge.

Drummond told Justice Rommel Masse that George was an early suspect in the stabbing, but investigators with the joint-forces penitentiary squad were unable to find enough evidence to charge him.

It wasn't until after his release on Jan. 21 and subsequent arrest on a criminal harassment charge that the case was made for them - by George.

Drummond said George called the penitentiary squad from a London, Ont., jail in February and confessed to the killing, telling them "he got into it with Mr. Paupst and he died."

He claimed then, according to Drummond, that "he wanted to deal with what happened and get on with his life."

Paupst, a convicted sex offender less than a month away from release, was stabbed and died from massive blood loss on New Year's Day, 2005. It was a single puncture wound that severed an artery, according to the Crown, contrary to early reports that Paupst had been stabbed a number of times in the abdomen.

Drummond told the judge that Joyceville at the time had "open inmate movement" around 5:30 p. m., which meant virtually the entire prison population - 440 men - was in flux and moving between their ranges and recreation areas.

He told the judge that Corrections

staff noticed Paupst stumbling along a corridor between a prison courtyard and an interior recreation area around 5:55 p. m. and saw him collapse near a small canteen. They went to his aid and subsequently had him rushed to Kingston General Hospital by ambulance. But Paupst was pronounced dead at 7:03 p. m.

Masse was told that an autopsy determined that a single stab wound had cut into an artery and he'd bled to death internally.

Investigators immediately secured the video surveillance tapes from cameras overlooking the courtyard, where the attack took place, but Drummond said the film only captured the backs of two inmates running away. One of them appeared to be the same height and the same build as George, he added, but the images weren't conclusive.

Masse also heard that prison staff recovered the weapon - a bolt, ground to a point at one end - discarded on the ground close to the attack site.

The shank was actually one of about a dozen homemade weapons recovered in the search that followed the fatal stabbing, but Drummond said it was established as the one used to kill Paupst when the Centre for Forensic Science identified his DNA on it.

Drummond said George was considered a prime suspect because he has a history of assaults on sex offenders.

Drummond told Masse a second DNA sample was recovered from the bolt and while George couldn't be excluded as the donor, there were insufficient alleles to determine the DNA was his.

Paupst, a 47-year-old auto mechanic, was nearing the end of the five-year sentence he received in St. Thomas, Ont., for sexual crimes against women and girls committed between 1986 and 1998.

His victims ranged in age from 11 to 48 and a number of his crimes were distinguished by gratuitous cruelty.

National Parole Board records indicate that he kneed one of his victims, a pregnant woman, in the stomach; bit a teenage victim's breast hard enough to draw blood; and held a knife inches from the throat of a female co-worker after choking her.

He also required his victims to testify at his trial, then declined to question any of them and changed his pleas to guilty at the last minute. It was a manoeuvre his trial judge characterized as "some sort of perverse last thrust at them, to put them through further misery."

It wasn't disclosed in court whether George knew any of the details of Paupst's crimes, but the judge was told he knew his victim was a sex offender.

Defence lawyer Dillon told the judge that his client claims his attack was precipitated by a conversation he'd overheard between Paupst and another sex offender. The men were talking in a prison bathroom, Dillon said, and his client heard Paupst talking about his approaching release and describing unpleasant things he intended to do to the victims who'd testified against him.

People in the institution see his client as "a good guy," Dillon told Masse, and overhearing that conversation placed him in an untenable situation.

Dillon said George couldn't report what he'd heard to the authorities without being labelled a "rat," but George views himself as a protector of the weak, according to his lawyer.

"He has a need to protect weaker people and he felt these victims were weak," Dillon said.

It was in that context, Dillon argued, that George confronted Paupst "and admits stabbing him." His client didn't intend to kill, he said, and thought he was stabbing Paupst "in a place that was unlikely to cause death." As it turned out, "it was a crap shoot and he died."

Drummond, in explaining the joint recommendation, told the judge that George's six years will be longer and harder than the time he's used to serving.

By confessing to the killing and admitting his problem with sex offenders, the Crown told the court George has created significant housing problems for himself.

"Virtually every prison in the [federal] system is an integrated system," he explained, so it's likely George will have to be isolated from the general population.

Drummond said it's also likely, though not certain, that the National Parole Board will make him serve every day of his six-year sentence.

Masse, noting the recommendation before him, turned to George.

"You took a life," he said. "I'm of the view, sir, that [six years] is somewhat light."

He accepted it, however, considering that "the Crown, the authorities had nowhere near enough evidence against you."

Masse said: "You turned yourself in. I give you great credit for that, sir."

He was also influenced, he said, by the likelihood George will serve much of his sentence in isolation and will probably have to serve all of it.

Masse made a recommendation that George receive psychological counselling to deal with his anger-control problem in the presence of sex offenders. ..News Source.. by SUE YANAGISAWA WHIG-STANDARD COURT REPORTER