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Friday, December 18, 2009

School of Crime: Killer Morris Goldberg, 78, Shows How To Talk Your Way Back into Prison Cell

12-18-2009 Washington:

Getting out of prison early takes a special effort, and Morris "Mel" Goldberg has provided his fellow prisoners with a lesson on how not to make it.

"If you feel it is better for me to remain incarcerated," the 78-year-old Monroe inmate recently told the state Clemency and Pardons Board, "so be it."

Goldberg was seeking a pardon from a 26-year-term, based on his age, health and promise he is a changed man. He was convicted with his wife of the Nov. 18, 1991 Spokane murder of their son-in-law Peter Zeihen, who they - without proof - suspected was a child molester.

But Goldberg, via phone to the board, seemed to drum up little sympathy and provided some classically lame responses - explaining he'd been asleep a few moments earlier.

About "this homicide that occurred," he said, "I errored in my judgment." He was sorry, but he wasn't the "one who actually performed the function," his wife did, blowing most of Zeihen's head off with a shotgun. (Zeihen was wearing a bullet-proof vest after the grandmother and grandfather tried but failed to shoot him earlier).

Board chair Margaret Smith pointed out that at his trial, Goldberg admitted to his role in the shooting and said "I'd do it again." Goldberg responded: "I was still under the influence of my ex-wife at the time." He now regrets participating. "I would gladly yield up my own life if he could have his [back]..." he said. His Heavenly Father, Goldberg said, has changed him from "that creature that I was."

When told the board had received many letters in opposition to his release because he "had struck fear in the heart of people," Goldberg responded: "I have? Should have been my wife!"

The now-grown daughter whom Zeihen allegedly molested gave a brief, dramatic statement supporting her grandfather: "Words are cheap," she said sitting before the board, "and you may not believe what I have to say, but he was right. The abuse did happen. The evidence was thrown out of court. That man saved my life. I wouldn't of had him do anything different."

But Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker told the board there was "no evidence ever found of any child molestation" and the grandparents were "wrongly and mistakenly" informed. He also noted that Goldberg's wife Joann Peterson (now doing 25 years) wanted Zeihen to see who was about to kill him, and made him look down the barrel as she fired. Because Zeihen was given no mercy, said Tucker, neither of the killers have earned it.

Goldberg still wanted out - maybe. "Whether I remain in prison or not is irrelevant to me, because I'm going to wind up, in too few short years, underground anyway. So all these things are just temporal, my life is temporal, just like yours [the board's]. So was Peter Zeihen's, apparently."

Cough.

"If you feel it is better for me to remain incarcerated, so be it. I am tired. I am tired of life itself. I really have no more comments to make. You make your decision."

They quickly did, stamping his file "Don't pardon." It was unanimous. ..Source.. by Rick Anderson in Crime & Punishment

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Killer should remain behind bars – pass it on

11-5-2009 Washington:

Today’s column in three easy steps.

1. Morris “Mel” Goldberg should rot in prison.

2. I want to do all I can to make that happen.

3. Help me advocate for Goldberg’s continued incarceration in a letter to the Washington attorney general’s office. The deadline is Nov. 13. Sign your name “concerned citizen” if you have any worries about identifying yourself.

Then mail your letter to …

Spokane County Prosecutor
c/o Annette Ingham
Victim/Witness Manager
1100 W. Mallon Ave.
Spokane, WA 99260

Internet users should put their remarks to the attorney general in a Word file and e-mail it to Ingham at aingham@ spokanecounty.org. She will forward the correspondence she receives to the AG’s office.

Now, while you’re thinking over my call to action, let me tell you about this slug, Mel Goldberg.

He drove the stolen getaway car the night JoAnn Peterson, his ex-wife, hid in darkness outside her son-in-law’s Spokane Valley apartment.

It was Nov. 18, 1991.

Peter Zeihen drove his Audi into his carport. Peterson stepped up to the car window toting a 12-gauge shotgun and calmly blew the man’s face off.


Zeihen, 40, never had a chance.

This killing was as calculated as any mob rub-out. Peterson and Goldberg, who also helped with the planning, are cold-blooded monsters.

It was the second attempt on Zeihen’s life. Two weeks earlier, Peterson, masked and dressed like a man, shot at Zeihen six times with a handgun – and missed.

Zeihen started wearing body armor. It wasn’t enough.

Finally ratted out by family members, Peterson was sentenced to 25 years in 2001 after pleading guilty to premeditated murder.

The Inland Northwest’s version of Ma Barker had her own ridiculous request for clemency rejected in 2004.

Now, just as ludicrous, Goldberg seeks a pardon from the 261/2-years he was given after his previous life sentence was overturned on appeal.

In December, the state Board of Clemency and Pardons will meet in Olympia to examine Goldberg’s request and vote on the outcome. Either way, Gov. Chris Gregoire will make the final call.

If he’s turned down, Goldberg could be released with good behavior in 2022.

Let’s keep it that way. He’d be in his 90s if he can last that long.

The bottom line is that this louse doesn’t deserve any breaks.

During a sentencing Goldberg told the judge he felt no remorse for the role he played in Zeihen’s murder and would do the same thing all over again.

Zeihen had been embroiled in a vicious custody battle with his estranged wife over their 2-year-old daughter.

Goldberg and Peterson contend Zeihen had molested the little girl. That’s how the pair tries to justify their assassination.


But the claim against Zeihen was thoroughly investigated at the time.

And guess what? Nobody bought it.

Not one shred of evidence ever surfaced to support the charge as anything but empty and malicious.

I can’t imagine a sane human being ever wanting to let Goldberg go free.

But weird things have been known to happen. That’s why it’s important to let the clemency board know that we’re keeping an eye on what they do.

It’s also important to support Jewel Zeihen. Now in her 80s, the Chewelah woman told me Wednesday that she thinks about her son, Peter, every single day.

And every day she asks herself the same question.

Why?

Pardon Morris “Mel” Goldberg?

Let me paraphrase what Jewel’s late husband, Frank, once said about Peterson.

Goldberg should get out of prison when Peter Zeihen gets out of his grave. ..Source.. by Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birmingham sex offender 'killed after attack by vigilantes'

8-9-2009 United Kingdom:

Man died after being kicked and punched in his home

A SEX offender who died after being beaten at his home may have been the target of vigilantes who had learned of his previous convictions.

Dennis Golding, 49, who had a string of offences for indecent exposure, was found covered in blood at his Birmingham flat in January.

He had suffered serious injuries to his body and head, consistent with having been repeatedly kicked and punched in a prolonged attack which police believe may have lasted up to two hours.

Serial flasher Golding, from Small Heath, died three weeks later.

Now it has emerged that he may have been targeted by vigilantes after rumours circulated locally that he had been spotted in the sex offenders’ wing of a Midland prison.

Police sources said it was “no secret” Golding was well-known in the community as a convicted sex offender. It is believed there had been a number of earlier incidents when his property may have been damaged.

Golding, who was unemployed, had a total of nine sex offence-related convictions stretching back five years and was on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

His first conviction was in 2004, when he was sentenced to a 24-month rehabilitation order after pleading guilty to indecent exposure. He was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

In September 2005, Golding received a one-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting four new charges of flashing.

His name was also added to the register for a further seven years.

A month later he was convicted of a further four counts of indecent exposure and of breaching the terms of the register after failing to report a change of address to West Midlands Police. He received 12 weeks in prison.

In March 2006 Golding was sentenced to 18 months for an attempted robbery.

Then in July 2007 he was locked up for four months after again being convicted of breaching the register’s conditions by not telling police he had moved address.

Community sources revealed that middle-aged Golding was set upon in his flat in Mansel Road, Small Heath, on the evening of January 25 this year. He was found with serious head injuries and was bleeding profusely.

Golding was rushed to hospital at about 11.30pm but remained in a critical condition.

It is believed he never regained consciousness.

Two men, aged 22 and 29, and a 19-year-old woman have pleaded not guilty to murder and are due to stand trial in November.

There have been a succession of vigilante attacks against paedophiles in recent years.

William Malcolm, a child sex attacker, was shot in the head on his doorstep in north-east London in 2000. Others have been hounded from homes and hostels by groups of vigilantes.

Despite public campaigns that dangerous paedophiles must remain in prison, child sex offenders are released regularly and many reoffend.

Each attack reignites the debate over whether vigilantism could drive offenders into hiding, making police surveillance even more difficult and increasing the chances that they will strike again. ..Source.. by Jeanette Oldham, Sunday Mercury

Three people beat Birmingham sex offender to death, jury told

11-19-2009 United Kingdom:

TWO men and a woman beat a Birmingham man to death after he was recognised as a sex offender, a court was told.

Victim Dennis Golding, aged 49, was targeted because someone at the Birmingham hostel where he was living had seen him on a sex offenders’ wing in prison, it heard.

Dominic Maynard-Francis, 23, Darren Stevens 30, and Rebecca Gordon 20, all deny murdering Mr Golding.

James Goss QC, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said the victim suffered from Huntington’s disease, a hereditary illness affecting the central nervous system which impairs person’s ability to walk and talk, although it was only at its early stages.

He had moved in to the hostel for single homeless people in Mansel Road, Small Heath, in December last year and had been there for about six weeks before the attack.

He said another resident believed he had seen Mr Golding in prison and it was the case that he was on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Mr Goss said that on January 25 this year the three defendants had been drinking and had been told Mr Golding was a “nonce”, a slang word for someone who interfered with children.

As a result they went to his room on a number of times and repeatedly assaulted him. Another resident living opposite heard his screams and later saw the defendants laughing, said Mr Goss.He said the resident also saw Gordon hitting the victim with a chair.

Mr Golding was found lying unconscious with severe head injuries and eventually died three weeks later after also contracting pneumonia. ..Source.. by Birmingham Net.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pinckneyville Correctional Center hostage situation ends in inmate death

12-15-2009 Illinois:

PINCKNEYVILLE - An inmate of the Pinckneyville Correctional Center has been shot and killed, the end result of a nearly seven-hour hostage situation involving a female employee of the prison.

The offender, a 37-year-old black male, serving a sentence for aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping out of Cook County, was shot and pronounced dead at the scene at 5:03 p.m., according to a release from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The hostage, a 62-year-old female employee, was rescued and is currently being evaluated by medical personnel. She will be transported to a local hospital for further evaluation, IDOC said.

Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigation will be investigating the incident.

The facility remains on lockdown at this hour. ..Source.. by TheSouthern.com

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Family: Slain inmate feared guards were going to kill him

The family of an Illinois prison inmate shot and killed after taking an employee hostage says he had long feared that guards were going to have him killed.

Alonje Walton, 37, was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in Cook County in 1995. The Illinois Department of Corrections said he was serving time at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center for aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping.

Walton was shot Monday evening after taking a 62-year-old female employee hostage during a nearly seven-hour standoff at the prison, officials said. The employee was rescued.

But his mother and sister said in an interview with WGN Radio this morning that they don't believe the account provided by prison officials and demanded an investigation.

They said they had filed formal complaints earlier this year with state officials after Walton told them in telephone conversationsand by letter that guards were trying to get other inmates to kill him because of the nature of his crime.

"He was calling me crying," said his mother, Rachel Hollimon. "...Mom, these people are trying to kill me," he said.

She said she felt prison officials wanted to keep her son quiet about the threats against him and concocted the story about him holding someone hostage. "They killed my son," she said.

Walton's sister, Lakithia Walton, said her brother had served seven years of a 10-year sentence and would have been released in 2011. She complained that prison officials only told family members that Walton had been involved in a hostage situation and did not tell them them that he had been killed five hours earlier. They said they learned of his death through media reports.

Walton was arrested in 1995 when a news crew riding with Cook County sheriff's police spotted a schoolgirl struggling with Walton, according to officials. The police arrested him. ..Source.. by WGN News

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Utah inmate charged in killing of cellmate

12-6-2009 Utah:

Prosecutors have filed an aggravated murder charge against a Utah State Prison inmate accused of killing his cellmate.

The first-degree felony charge against Athian Kuot Mawien could lead to a possible death sentence.

Mawien, 29, is accused of strangling Mark Helms, 47, inside the cell they shared at the prison's Draper site.

The Nov. 22 slaying sprang from a disagreement and teasing between the men that escalated into a fistfight, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson.

After Helm was punched several times in the head, he was strangled with a "ligature made from a laundry bag," according to jail records.

Corrections officers were made aware of the fight after other inmates notified them of a disturbance and an unresponsive inmate. Helms was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the altercation.

Both inmates were housed in a section of the prison typically reserved for sex offenders. They had been cellmates since Nov. 6, according to the prison.

Mawien was convicted in 2004 of two amended charges of attempted aggravated sex assault, a first-degree felony; and forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony. He was sentenced to serve seven years to life in prison.

Helms pleaded guilty in 1998 to child sex abuse and dealing in harmful materials to a minor. He received a suspended prison term and was sentenced to one year in the Davis County Jail. The following year, however, he was charged with 13 additional crimes relating to child sex abuse. He was later sentenced to six years to life in prison.

Mawien made his initial court appearance on the aggravated murder charge Thursday. Once he is arraigned, prosecutors have 60 days to decide whether they will seek the death penalty. ..Source.. by Geoff Liesik, Deseret News

Friday, December 4, 2009

Inmate at federal lockup in southern Illinois dies in apparent homicide

12-3-2009 Illinois:

MARION, Ill. (AP) — The FBI is investigating the death of an inmate at the federal penitentiary in Marion that appears to be a homicide.

Prison spokesman Jeffrey Baney says staff found the body of 32-year-old Robert Running Bear Jr. on Wednesday morning.

Baney says an autopsy will be conducted.

Running Bear was sentenced in South Dakota to 24 months in prison for failure to report as a sex offender. He was scheduled to be released in September 2010.

Marion is a medium-security federal prison in southern Illinois. It has about 990 inmates. ..Source.. QUAD.com

Investigators: Inmate Kills Another Inmate

11-20-2009 Colorado:

A prisoner (Sex Offender) was murdered by another prisoner, that's according to investigators. It happened Thursday night at the Territorial Prison in Canon City.

A prisoner was murdered by another prisoner according to investigators. It happened at the Territorial Prison in Canon City.

While the details can't be released since the incident is under investigation, the Colorado Department of Corrections tells 11 News that Kevin Lust killed Ronald Ferguson.

Lust is serving time right now for murder, sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. No word yet on any potential charges he may now face.

Ferguson was convicted of sex assault on a child. He was supposed to get out by November 2012. ..Source.. Lauri Martin

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Grim details emerge in prison death of sex offender

12-4-2009 Colorado:

Last week, we reported on the bludgeoning death of inmate Ronald Ferguson, a convicted child molester, at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility outside of Canon City.

A fifty-year-old habitual offender serving time for kidnapping and sexual assault on a child, Ferguson was struck repeatedly in the head with a metal bar; his alleged assailant, Kevin Lust, is serving a life sentence for the murders of his wife and ex-fiancee.

Now, inmate sources have come forward with more details that raise questions about general security issues at Territorial and whether Ferguson was being set up for attack. If their reports are correct, Ferguson begged corrections officers to protect him from Lust, given a history of altercations between the two, but was ignored.

"Apparently, these guys got into a fight some 7-8 months ago in the kitchen," one inmate writes. "They were separated and sent to different units."

According to some accounts, Lust vowed to kill Ferguson the next time he saw him. That kind of information typically goes into an offender's file, along with orders to keep the individuals involved housed in separate areas. Inmates claim Ferguson was inexplicably moved into Lust's pod the same day he was killed, when there were other empty cells that could have been used.

But Colorado Department of Corrections spokeswoman Katherine Sanguinetti disputes this version. Ferguson and Lust had been in the same pod for months, she says, before the attack took place.

According to the inmates, Ferguson reportedly went to a sergeant on November 18 and asked to be moved to another pod. He was told he'd have to talk to another officer the next day. He didn't live that long.

Although the coroner described the instrument that was used to kill Ferguson as a dumbbell, inmates say that it was "a homemade bar that had a string attached to it so inmate recreation workers could do exercises for their forearms." In other words, it wasn't an authorized piece of equipment "and did not have to be accounted for."

Inmates say violence has increased at Territorial since the Department of Corrections has started housing more high-security inmates in what is supposed to be a medium-security facility. (The latest population report shows 257 "close" inmates at Territorial, or roughly 28 percent of the total.) They complain that the state is double-bunking in small cells, in violation of a 1980 court order, and that up to 96 inmates share three toilets, two urinals and five showers, in violation of health standards. Sanguinetti says the facility recently passed an American Correctional Association accreditation inspection and meets required standards. ..Source.. by Alan Prendergast

Man shot, then killed by hit-run vehicle

11-16-2009 Illinois:

Chicago police Sunday were continuing their search for the person who shot a convicted sex offender and struck him with a vehicle near a lounge in the city's Chatham neighborhood.

An autopsy Sunday showed that the man -- identified as Howard Hodges, 34 -- died from injuries caused by the vehicle, according to a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Two other men also were shot in the incident, which happened near 83rd Street and Vincennes Avenue. Those victims did not suffer life-threatening injuries, police said.

At about 1:58 a.m. Sunday, police responded to shots fired in the 8100 block of South Vincennes Avenue, said Chicago Police Officer Laura Kubiak. About two blocks south, near 83rd and Vincennes, they found Hodges lying in the street; he appeared to have been struck by a car. Police didn't have a description of the vehicle, Kubiak said.

Paramedics arrived and found that Hodges had been shot in the abdomen. He was pronounced dead on the scene, police said.

When police interviewed the two other men at St. Bernard Hospital, they learned that they were standing in the 8200 block of South Vincennes when they heard gunshots and were hit, one man in a leg, the other in a shoulder, Kubiak said.

They told police Hodges was shot and ran into the street, where he was struck by an unknown vehicle, police said.

Court records show that Hodges, of the 300 block of East Indiana Street in Park Forest, had a long criminal history with several felony convictions including a 1997 conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault with a weapon. In 2003, he was acquitted of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery.

Hodges, who had at least four aliases, was listed as compliant on the state's sex offender registry, though he had previously violated registry rules, records show.

No arrests had been made late Sunday, police said. ..Source.. by Deanese Williams-Harris, Andrew L. Wang and William Lee

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sexual predator shot dead in Town 'N Country

12-1-2009 Florida:

TAMPA — A registered sexual predator was shot dead steps from his home Monday morning in the middle of a residential street in Town 'N Country. Hillsborough sheriff's deputies are searching for three young men suspected of killing him.

Miguel Antonio Gomez, 57, was in a confrontation with several men about 11:45 a.m. at the corner of Hanna Avenue and Eden Lane when he was shot, deputies said. Gomez collapsed in the street. An ambulance took him to Town & Country Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies describe the three suspects as white or Hispanic, ages 18 to 24. One had a dark beard; one was wearing a dark skullcap; and one had long, curly hair, deputies said.

They think the three fled in a dark green, 1996 to 2000 Honda two-door coupe.

The car was last seen speeding away from the scene, going west on Willow Wood Lane.

On Monday afternoon, a black T-shirt, a baseball cap and what looked like a pastel, printed bedspread remained strewn in the street. Investigators examined a hole in a window at 6409 Eden Lane.

Gomez lived a few houses away, at 6417 Eden Lane. State sex offender records show he was convicted in 1997 on charges of false imprisonment of a child under 13 while committing sexual battery; sexual battery of a child under 16; and an attempted lewd and lascivious act on a child under 16. Less than a month ago, he was convicted on a marijuana possession charge.

A man who answered the phone at his house Monday night declined to comment.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to call Cpl. O'Neal Jackson of the Homicide Unit at (813) 247-8649. ..Source.. Alexandra Zayas, Times Staff Writer

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Cousins charged with killing Town 'N Country sexual predator

12-16-2009:

Deputies arrested two cousins in the Nov. 30 shooting death of a sexual predator in Town 'N Country.

Christopher Rodriquez, 22, and Emanuel Rodriguez, 16, both of 4727 Town 'N Country Blvd., face charges of first-degree murder.

Here's what deputies said happened Nov. 30:

About 11:45 a.m., Miguel Antonio Gomez, 57, of 6417 Eden Lane, was walking his dogs at W Hanna Avenue and Eden Lane.

The Rodriguez cousins pulled up in a green two-door Honda Civic and tried to rob him. Emanuel Rodriguez pointed a .40-caliber handgun, and Christopher pointed a 9mm handgun.

Gomez tried to grab Emanuel Rodriguez's gun but was shot twice. Gomez fell in the middle of the intersection, and Emanuel Rodriguez ran toward the car.

Christopher Rodriquez walked up to Gomez and shot him two to three more times before running away.

Gomez was taken to Town & Country Hospital, where he died.

Based on information from the ensuing investigation, detectives identified the Rodriquez cousins as the suspects and arrested them at their home Tuesday evening.

State sex offender records show that Gomez was convicted in 1997 of false imprisonment of a child under 13 while committing sexual battery, sexual battery of a child under 16, and an attempted lewd and lascivious act on a child under 16. He had recently been convicted of marijuana possession. ..Source.. by Kim Wilmath, Times Staff Writer

Utica man, 66, shot dead after answering door

11-27-2009 New York:

State: Garrow also convicted sex offender

UTICA — .George Garrow and his roommate had just spent Wednesday evening baking pies and sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner when they heard a knock at the door of their Dudley Avenue apartment shortly before midnight.

Having only one leg, Garrow, 66, grabbed his crutch and made his way to the door. The roommate said he next overheard Garrow talking with what sounded like a man and a woman.

The unknown visitors then demanded money from Garrow, the roommate recalled, but Garrow refused.

Suddenly, shots rang out.

Moments later at 11:53 p.m., Garrow, a previously convicted sex offender, would be found dead in his first-floor doorway, said his roommate, who asked not to be named. By Friday morning, his killer or killers remained at large, Utica police said.

When officers arrived, they said the smell of nutmeg and cinnamon still wafted through the air inside 1139 Dudley Ave.

While police officials did not dispute the roommate’s account of what happened, investigators spent the Thanksgiving holiday trying to piece together who might have killed Garrow, and for what reason.

“I do know that there was a conversation at the door, and I do know that there were gunshots,” Utica police Capt. James Watson said. “That lends itself for us to believe that the victim may know the offender.”

Garrow appeared to be shot in the head, according to the roommate, but police would not confirm where Garrow was shot on his body or how many times. Officials said an autopsy most likely will take place early next week.

Interviews conducted at the scene of the homicide earlier that morning offered few clues about the culprits, Watson said.

“Based on the people we’ve spoken to, we need to do some follow-up interviews with people before we can even come remotely close to developing suspect information,” Watson said.

Shortly after the shooting, area police agencies were put on alert for an older white jeep occupied by two men and two women that reportedly drove away from the scene north on Dudley Avenue toward Eagle Street.

‘He didn't deserve to die this way'

Several hours after Garrow was killed, his crutch remained propped up against the porch near the front door, which still was stained with blood.

For those who knew Garrow, it was those crutches and a mobilized wheelchair that they most often saw him use to move throughout the Cornhill neighborhood.

And although Garrow spent more than 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in the late 1980s in Otsego County, his status as a registered Level 3 sex offender wasn’t mentioned as they recalled their neighbor.

“I was a good friend of his,” neighbor Judith Torres said Thanksgiving Day afternoon in front of the first-floor apartment where Garrow was killed. “He didn’t deserve to die this way. God took a good man.”

Despite having only one leg, Garrow still offered to cut lawns for his neighbors, while using one hand to push the mower and the other hand to balance himself on a crutch.

He also drove a tractor that towed a small trailer throughout the neighborhood to collect scrap metal that he would sell for cash, friends said.

Garrow, they said, enjoyed bird-watching in his backyard, where a row of leafy collard greens still grew in the ground Thursday as a reminder of Garrow’s love of gardening.

“On his birthday, he would say God gave him another chance," Torres said.

Garrow did have a number of children that he hasn’t talked to for years, according to the roommate, who has lived with Garrow since July.

But shortly before Garrow was killed, he had just spoken on the phone with a son he hadn’t seen in about 14 years, the roommate said. Garrow also recently had made contact with another son living in Texas that he hasn’t seen for nearly 30 years.

After the roommate was questioned by police until about 6 a.m. Thursday, he was not immediately allowed to go back inside his apartment because it was a crime scene.

‘Like light bulbs dropping’

When police officers responded to the call, they already had been notified that multiple shots had been fired. The sound of gunfire had clearly been heard by nearby residents.

“It sounded like light bulbs dropping to the floor,” Torres said from her nearby home.

In the early morning hours after the shooting, area police agencies were put on alert for an older white jeep occupied by two men and two women that reportedly drove away from the scene south on Dudley Avenue toward Eagle Street

The city police forensic truck spent hours parked in the middle of the block with its spotlights shining on the 2-1/2 story house as evidence was collected.

As word of Garrow’s death spread, the Thanksgiving eve killing brought shock and fear to neighbors such as Jessenia Lopez, 19, who moved to the block with her three children about eight months ago.

Lopez was decorating a Christmas tree when she noticed the police activity on the street, she said.

“This is not what I want for my kids. ... Now I'm scared to even close my eyes,” Lopez said about an hour after the homicide.

This is Utica’s fourth homicide of the year.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at 223-3510.

All calls will be kept confidential. ..Source.. ROCCO LaDUCA, JENNIFER BOGDAN and EMERSON CLARRIDGE, Observer-Dispatch

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Teen shows no remorse over shooting death of 66 year old

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Monday morning during his sentencing, 19 year old Robert Thompson told Oneida County Court Judge Michael Dwyer that he had no remorse at all for shooting and killing 66 year old George Garrow.

Prosecutors say Thompson and his half-brother, 19 year old Trevon Patterson went up the steps of Garrow's Dudley Avenue home to rob him of drugs and cash on Thanksgiving Eve 2009.

Prosecutors say Garrow was a known drug dealer, and the two teens intended to just rob him, but Garrow fought back and Thompson shot Garrow twice and killed him.

Dwyer was appalled at Thompson's lack of remorse and told him he would recommend to the parole board they never release Thompson early, that he serve every day of his 25 year sentence for 1st degree manslaughter.

"It's not new. It's rare. I've seen it before," said Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Kurt Hameline of Thompson's lack of remorse and statements to the judge. "He has no feeling whatsoever for what he did, no remorse, just cold blooded, he's basically evil, his streetname is 'Homicide', so I mean, that kind of fits him."

Trevon Patterson is due in court on Thursday to be sentenced on robbery charges.

Hameline says a third defendant, 28 year old Shantai Rogers also played a role in the robbery, getting Garrow to open the door in the first place. Shantai Rogers will be sentenced in January on robbery charges as well. ..Source.. by WKTV.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ogden man killed in his cell at Utah State Prison

11-24-2009 Utah:

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office is investigating why a fight between two cellmates resulted in the death of an Ogden man at Utah State Prison.

Mark Helms, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday, said Salt Lake Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson.

The sheriff's office has an agreement with the Department of Corrections to investigate any incident that results in bodily injury or death at the prison, he said.

Salt Lake County sheriff's officers were called to the prison after corrections officers were made aware of an unresponsive inmate.

"He was locked in a cell with another prisoner," Hutson said.

Emergency personnel attempted to revive Helms, but were unsuccessful, Hutson said.

"It appears the two got into a verbal argument, which escalated to a physical altercation," he said.

Athian Kuot Mawien punched Helms in the face several times, then used "common materials found in the cell to strangle him," Hutson said.

An autopsy on Helms had not been completed by Monday afternoon, Hutson said, but Helms had suffered traumatic injuries to his head and face.

Mawien, 29, was arrested and booked in Salt Lake County Jail on murder charges.

Hutson said the D Block, where the two inmates were housed, was in lockdown when the fight occurred, "so we didn't have to look far for a suspect."

The D Block is mostly occupied by sex offenders.

Helms pleaded guilty to second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child and third- degree felony dealing in materials harmful to a minor in 1998 in 2nd District Court in Farmington.

He was sentenced to serve one year in Davis County Jail.

In 1999, he was arrested and charged with 13 felonies relating to child sex abuse.

He pleaded guilty to five counts and was sentenced in 2000 to serve six years to life in prison.

Mawien was sentenced to serve seven years to life in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree felony attempted aggravated sex assault and second-degree felony forcible sex abuse. ..Source.. by Loretta Park (Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau )

Friday, October 16, 2009

FL- Mom who shot man she thought abused her daughter is ready for prison

10-16-2009 Florida:

Sylvia Neeley believed her Land O'Lakes neighbor was molesting her 12-year-old mentally disabled daughter. She said he even bragged that he could do it again. She told the authorities, but they never charged him with anything — even though one investigator said he may have done it. So, on May 24, 1998, Neeley pumped Arthur Danner full of bullets. Swimming in a haze of beer and Valium, she fired into his chest, then reloaded and took aim at his groin.

Thursday morning, she stood before a judge in Dade City, her last stop on her way to state prison.

"I'm very sorry for the crime I committed," said Neeley, 48, who wore a black suit and heels. "I just felt like no one was helping my daughter."

The price of Neeley's crime is separation from the daughter who still needs her.

Jenny, who is now 23 but still has the mind of a child, will have to live in a group home until her mother gets out in about five years.

• • •

Neeley doesn't offer any excuses for what she did, but her life took a destructive course long before she confronted Danner.

She grew up in Tampa with three siblings and a single mom who struggled to provide. She dropped out of school after eighth grade. As a young teenager, she started using marijuana, then alcohol, then pills. By the time she was 15, Neeley had been everywhere from California to New York to New Orleans, hitching rides in the cars and truck beds of strangers.

"I always ran," she said recently. "It wasn't until years of being sober that I realized you take the same person with you."

Once, she said, a guy in a four-wheel-drive truck picked her up on Florida Avenue in Tampa, gave her beer, drove her to Morris Bridge Road and raped her. Then he dropped her at her boyfriend's house.

She worked as a stripper and a prostitute and has a history of minor arrests from disorderly conduct to DUI.

She had her first daughter at 17, and another 11 months later. The younger is married and raising three kids; the older is addicted to painkillers, her own four children scattered.

When Jenny was born, Neeley could tell she was different from her other girls. At 6 months old, the baby had several seizures and nearly died.

Jenny was diagnosed as high-functioning but developmentally delayed. She likes to fish and play cards and talks about having kids of her own, but she lacks the maturity of an adult and cannot care for herself.

• • •

Arthur Danner was a friend and Land O'Lakes neighbor to Sylvia Neeley, whose last name then was Maraman. Danner became a father figure to a woman who had never had one.

But Neeley gradually grew suspicious of Danner, 73, who she says was obsessed with Jenny, heaping gifts on her and chastising Neeley for disciplining her.

In early 1998, a family friend told Neeley he walked into a troubling scene in Danner's mobile home: Jenny was on the floor. Danner was on a couch naked from the waist up; the rest of his body under a blanket.

Neeley reported the incident to state child welfare authorities and the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. The agencies investigated, but two months passed and no charges were filed.

Marilyn Loper, a counselor with the Department of Children and Families, told Neeley there was some evidence Danner may have abused her daughter, but not enough to press criminal charges.

"I said, 'It's likely. It's not 100 percent, but it's quite likely that he will indeed get away (with) it,' " Loper later testified at Neeley's trial. "So it's your job to make sure that he doesn't bother your child anymore.' "

In the meantime, Neeley said, Danner was harassing her with constant phone calls. One night, she couldn't take it anymore. She confronted him in his trailer, and when he admitted his acts, she said, she walked home and grabbed a .357-caliber gun that belonged to her ex-husband. Danner sat on the couch as Neeley, who had never fired a gun before, squeezed the trigger again and again.

She was drunk and stoned and doesn't remember much else.

Neeley was convicted in 2000 of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years, but won a new trial on appeal. Two weeks ago she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter, and on Thursday she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She will probably serve about half that because of time credited from her previous conviction.

• • •

Neeley moved Jenny into a group home in Riverview, near Neeley's mother's house, a few weeks ago. Jenny has her own bedroom with her name on the wall, stuffed animals from home and a metal replica of her Dalmatian, Perdita, who recently died. She can have visitors anytime.

Jenny says she hates her new home, but she understands why she's there and why her mother's going to prison. She remembers what happened.

"He used to touch me down there all the time," she said.

Neeley is as ready as she can be for prison. For the first time in years, she says she's clean. She had a new Bible with her when she went to prison Thursday.

The only part about going to prison that splinters Neeley's tough shell is the thought of her daughter, who can't keep track of days, going weeks without hearing from her mother.

As they visited earlier this week at the group home, Jenny was in a sullen mood. She rolled her eyes and gave her mother attitude as Neeley henpecked.

But when talk turned to prison, Jenny buried her face and clung tightly to Neeley's waist.

"You're a grown woman now, why you going to cry?" Neeley asked.

" 'Cause I know you're leaving," Jenny said.

Neeley stroked her hair and tried to stay composed.

"As long as I know you're okay, I'm okay," she told her daughter, and herself. ..source.. by Molly Moorhead, Times Staff Writer

Pasco mother heads to prison for shooting daughter's alleged abuser

10-15-2009 Florida:

DADE CITY — Sylvia Neeley, dressed in a black suit and high heels, turned herself in this morning to begin serving her prison sentence for killing a man a decade ago who she believed was molesting her mentally retarded daughter.

Neeley, 48, shot Arthur Danner on May 24, 1998, in his Land O'Lakes mobile home. She told authorities he had boasted about sexually abusing her daughter, then 12, and said he could do it again. Stoned on beer and painkillers, she went to her home next door, grabbed a gun, returned to Danner's trailer and unloaded into his chest.

Then she reloaded and fired at his groin.

Neeley had reported the suspected abuse three months earlier to authorities. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office and child welfare workers investigated, but they had not found enough evidence to charge Danner, 73, with anything.

She told Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa in court this morning that she wished Danner had been arrested.

"I'm very sorry for the crime I committed," she said through tears. "I just felt like no one was helping my daughter."

One Department of Children and Families counselor, Marilyn Loper, had testified at Neely's trial that their investigation found some evidence Danner may have abused her daughter, but there probably wasn't enough to press criminal charges.

"She said, 'You mean he is going to get away with this?' " Loper testified. "I said, 'It's likely. It's not 100 percent, but it's quite likely that he will indeed get away (with) it. So it's your job to make sure that he doesn't bother your child any more.' "

Neeley was convicted of the killing once at trial in 2000, but an appeals court found that the judge had made errors and granted her a new trial. She has been out on bail since December 2002.

With her new trial looming, Neeley instead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but will be credited for the more than four years she has already spent behind bars.

Siracusa gave her two weeks before today's sentencing to get her affairs in order and move her daughter, now 23, into a group home.

Neeley said before the hearing that she visited her daughter at the home this morning.

As she was led away in handcuffs, she carried a Bible, glasses case and small book of photos. Her family sat a few rows away, crying.

"I'm heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken," said her mother, Frances Hayman. "She was my wild child, but she's still my child." ..Source.. by Molly Moorhead, Times Staff Writer

Friday, October 2, 2009

AZ- Officials discuss motives in slaying of 3 in Ariz.

10-1-2009 Arizona:

ST. JOHNS, Ariz. — An Arizona man who confessed to killing three people and pronounced himself a serial killer told authorities he committed the crimes because one man shot a dog, he didn't want the second to hurt anyone else and his attempts to get a 16-year-old off drugs failed.

William Inmon of Springerville faces prison sentences of 25 years to life on each of three counts of first-degree murder. Authorities said the 21-year-old's killing spree started in April 2007 with 72-year-old William "Stoney" McCarragher, continued with 60-year-old Daniel Achten nearly two years later and ended with the death of teenager Ricky Flores in August.

Inmon pleaded guilty to the murders on Wednesday.

Apache County Attorney Michael Whiting said Thursday that Inmon's overwhelming motive in the murders was that he wanted to rid society of less-than-desirable people. He told authorities he would have continued his vigilante killing spree had he not been caught.

Authorities said Thursday that money and guns also were motives.

Inmon's attorney, Albert Lassen said in a statement Thursday that his client agreed to cooperate with authorities only if the death penalty was taken off the table. Prosecutors agreed.

McCarragher was the first known of Inmon's victims, but authorities say they are investigating whether he might be involved in at least two other murders.

McCarragher lived on a small rural ranch outside of St. Johns and was known to carry large amounts of money, sometimes thousands of dollars. In court documents, those interviewed by investigators said McCarragher was a "potty mouth" and was rough on kids. He also had a criminal history of sex offenses under an alias, according to court documents.

Inmon, who was considered a potential suspect at the time, denied fatally shooting McCarragher and said, "the whole town is suspect because a lot of people did not care for Stoney."

Inmon recently confessed to the murder, saying he did not want McCarragher to violate anyone else.

Achten, who had been missing for five months before his remains were discovered in a shallow grave on his rural property outside of St. Johns last week, was a Vietnam veteran who locals said couldn't hear well. He was known to some as "Hummer Dan," because he was constantly humming, Apache County sheriff's Sgt. Richard Guinn said.

The gangly Inmon told authorities that Achten used drugs, shot his longtime dog and generally mistreated people, so he believed he had a duty to rid society of him.

Authorities said Inmon was proud of committing the murders of Achten and McCarragher, but was remorseful about the death of Flores, whom he killed with a single shotgun blast.

Springerville Police Chief Steve West said Inmon initially claimed that Flores' had threatened him with a firearm and he acted in self-defense. He eventually confessed and broke down in tears — one of only three moments when he showed real emotion, West said.

Inmon told authorities he wanted Flores to change his life, and authorities believe drugs were the issue.

The latest confessions are likely to further shake up the tiny town of St. Johns where violent killings had been rare. Last November, a then 8-year-old was charged with fatally shooting his father and his father's roommate. He pleaded guilty to the roommate's death and prosecutors dropped charges against him in his father's death. The boy, now 9, is awaiting sentencing. ..Source.. by FELICIA FONSECA

Friday, September 25, 2009

IL- Inmate Dies After Attack

3-6-2006 Illinois:

Illinois state police and corrections officials said they are investigating the death of a convicted rapist and kidnapper who was murdered by a fellow inmate at Big Muddy River Correctional Center.

Gerald Donaldson, 64, died after being attacked last week, as he and several other inmates were being marched to the commissary building. Donaldson and another inmate began fighting in front of the building, said Dede Short, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman.

Officers immediately broke up the fight, she said, but Donaldson suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Crossroads Community Hospital in Mt. Vernon. He later was taken to St. Louis University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:45 p.m.

Donaldson had been serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated criminal sexual assault stemming from his molestation of six children. His death was ruled a homicide, the first such death at the facility of about 1,900 inmates.

Short said ample staffing was on hand at the time of the incident. ..Source.. by Corrections.com

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Jury may receive inmate's case on Friday

9-17-2009 Illinois:

MT. VERNON — Kenneth Scott took the stand in his own defense today, and the jury is expected to begin deliberations Friday to decide if he committed involuntary manslaughter for his part in the death of fellow Big Muddy River Correctional Center inmate Gerald Donaldson.

“I was looking in his eyes first, to see how far he was willing to go,” Scott said. “I looked at his hand, looked in his eyes. ... Once I said there ain’t nothing to talk about it was like a switch was flipped and he started getting more and more aggressive. ... He kept saying, go ahead and fight, I have nothing to lose.”

Scott is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Donaldson on March 2, 2006, while both were inmates of Big Muddy River Correctional Center in Ina. According to previous testimony in the case, the incident happened while inmates were being moved from a housing unit to the inmate commissary, when Scott picked Donaldson up and threw him down, resulting in fatal injuries to Donaldson when he landed on his head on concrete.

Scott has maintained from the time of the incident that he was trying to protect himself from being stabbed by a pencil Donaldson had in his hand. Thursday, Maj. Richard Harrington, who was the deputy commander of investigations for the Illinois Department of Corrections for the southern region at the time of the incident, admitted part of his testimony to the grand jury on the case was inaccurate. When asked if he told the grand jury that Scott only mentioned self-defense after learning Donaldson had died, Harrington admitted that he did, although a video of the interview he conducted with Scott the day after the incident showed that Scott said he was trying to keep Donaldson from stabbing him with a pencil several times from the beginning of the interview.

“It was my first grand jury and the fact that due to the case load and health issues at the time, I didn’t have time to review the video,” Harrington said. Special Prosecutor Michael Vujovich questioned Harrington on whether the video of the interview he conducted with Scott was shown to the grand jury, and found out it was not shown. In addition, Harrington admitted he was wrong in his testimony to the grand jury regarding the pencil that Donaldson had in his hand at the time of the incident, stating that when he testified about what the pencil looked like, he had not actually seen the pencil.

Information about Donaldson was also revealed during the defense on Thursday. Donaldson was a known White Supremacist, and was in BMRCC after being convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping. Due to previous rulings in the case, the jury did not hear about manslaughter and deviant sexual assault charges against Donaldson, but defense attorneys reserved the ability to bring the issue of the ruling up on appeal, if necessary.

Another issue which was presented during defense testimony was that although pencils aren’t contraband at BMRCC, inmates are not allowed to carry pencils outside their housing units unless they are going to school. Previous testimony from correctional officers had indicated inmates are allowed to have pencils.

Testimony from Levi Dixon, who was an inmate at BMRCC at the time of the incident, and who was in the group being taken to the commissary, revealed the information while telling about the verbal argument that led up to Donaldson’s death.

“We’re not allowed to take pans or pencils to the commissary,” Dixon said. “We have to fill out the (commissary) slip in the unit. We’re not allowed to take a pen or pencil anywhere unless you are going to school.”

Dixon’s claim was collaborated by other inmates that testified on Thursday. Also during the inmate testimony, the inmates all claimed officers who investigated the incident wrote statements of the inmates, asked for signatures of the statements, but did not give the inmates the option to read the written statements before signing them.

Scott testified that on the way to the staging area outside the housing unit on the day of the incident, several inmates were making comments about how some were rushing to the doors to get in line to go to the commissary.

“I couldn’t pinpoint exactly who was saying, there were lots of people talking,” Scott said. “I just turned around and to the general area, said, ‘just don’t put your hands on me.’ ... We’re in a prison, you don’t know what’s going to go on. A lot of stuff was said, some of it not directly to me. The way it was sounding, it could lead to something else, that’s why I said what I said. ... I was done. I communicated what I felt and that was it.”

Scott said when Donaldson started egging on a fight, he tried to tell him he wasn’t interested.

“I told him he was too old, that we didn’t have nothing to talk about,” Scott said. “I don’t know if me telling him he was old, he got offended or what. ... I stopped talking to him and started talking to someone else. ... I turned away from him. ... All the while we was walking, he’s threatening. ... I know he has the pencil in his hand. We’re in a prison. You don’t just threaten people. ... I grabbed him and tossed him to get him away from me.”

Scott said when he grabbed Donaldson, he did it in “one motion, one fluid motion.”

“I grabbed the back part of his arm and swung him around so he wouldn’t have leverage to stab me that bad,” Scott said. “I spun him away from me so his right hand would have to travel further to hit me.”

Scott contends he didn’t lift Donaldson over his head, but that he “elevated him a little bit.”

“Nobody in their right mind would let me balance him in the air without struggling,” Scott said.

Scott said he didn’t intend for Donaldson to land on the concrete.

“I just didn’t want him to hurt me,” Scott said. “I just wanted to keep him from hurting me.”

Closing arguments by the attorneys will be conducted this morning, and the case given over to the jury for deliberations today. ..Source.. by TESA CULLI

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Inmate found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter

9-18-2009 Illinois:

MT. VERNON — After just under an hour of deliberations, a jury found former Big Muddy River Correctional Center inmate Kenneth Scott not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

After the verdict, Scott exchanged hugs with his defense attorneys, Sean Featherstun and T.J. Parish, thanking them for their work. Moments later, standing back to allow the attorneys to gather their belongings, he lowered his head, and appeared to be trying to control his emotions before leaving the courtroom.

The trial was in response to an incident that happened on March 2, 2006, at Big Muddy River Correctional Center in Ina in which Gerald Donaldson, another inmate at the facility, died after Scott picked him up and threw him to the ground, landing on his head on a concrete sidewalk.

Scott has maintained from seconds after the incident that he was trying to protect himself from being stabbed by Donaldson, who had a pencil in his hand and had been threatening and trying to pick a fight with him. During closing arguments in the case on Friday, Featherstun told the jury that since the incident, Scott has remained consistent that he was trying to prevent Donaldson from stabbing him.

“This is a prison. It’s full of dangerous people. ... There are no idle threats in prison,” Featherstun said, speaking about the acts that took place and the setting. He continued by describing Donaldson, who was 64 years old at the time of his death, weighing approximately 174 pounds, and reminding the jury Donaldson had committed crimes of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping.

“This isn’t grandpa,” Featherstun said. “Despite his height and his age, this is a dangerous man. We’ve all heard the testimony. The more Mr. Scott tried to get out of the situation, the more Donaldson went at him, the more important, puffed up, he became.”

Special prosecutor Mike Vujovich said the case was “difficult.”

“The truth is difficult to find in this case,” Vujovich told the jury. After the verdict was returned, Vujovich said the case was not an easy one for the prosecution.

“It was a difficult case,” Vujovich admitted. “We respect the jury’s decision.”

Scott, who is serving an armed robbery sentence, was remanded into the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections, and the judgment of not guilty entered into the record. At this time, Scott, who is a native of Chicago, is being held at Pontiac Correctional Center and is eligible for parole in 2015. ..Source.. by TESA CULLI

Thursday, September 17, 2009

WV- State Police Investigating Inmate Death

9-17-2009 West Virginia:

Officials say it stemmed from an inmate on inmate fight.

GREENWOOD -- State Police and the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety are investigating an inmate death at the North Central Regional Jail.

It happened just after 6:30 Tuesday morning.

Darryl Burton, 43, of Clarksburg, died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, after getting into a fight with an inmate, according to Joe Thornton, Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

That inmate, is Joshua Whitehair, 21, of Morgantown, according to State Police Sergeant Michael Baylous.

Whitehair was in the jail on charges of malicious assault, unlawful assault, and probation violation, Baylous says.

Morgantown Police arrested Whitehair last October for allegedly stabbing his mother in the side after an argument.

At the time of the arrest, officers said Whitehair was already on probation on a different malicious wounding charge.

Burton's body has been sent to the Office of the Medical Examiner for autopsy, Thornton says, and until that report is finished, officials aren't sure what Burton's cause of death was.

The department will decide if corrections officers adhered correctly to policy and procedure, Thornton says.

"When you're in a jail situation, inmates will be around each other," Thornton says. "It's virtually impossible to prevent any kind of altercation."

Burton was sentenced to ten to twenty years in March for sexual abuse by parent, guardian, or custodian, according to Thornton.

He wouldn't have been eligible for parole until October 26, 2018. ..Source.. by Jessika Lewis

Thursday, September 10, 2009

MI- Lifer suspected in inmate's slaying

UPDATED A few times, see below.

9-9-2009 Michigan:

A murderer already imprisoned for life is being investigated for killing again -- this time, while behind bars.

Anthony Wayne Lee, 34, who was serving a sentence of up to 15 years after being convicted on a 2005 charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under age 13 in Wayne County, was found unresponsive in his cell around 3 a.m. Sunday, said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan.

"The staff responded with CPR immediately,” Marlan said. Lee was taken by ambulance to Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The Michigan State Police Richmond Post in investigating the death, but referred comments to the corrections department.

Marlan said authorities believe a 42-year-old prisoner serving life in prison for first-degree murder in Kent County, as well as three armed robberies and an assault charge in Wayne County, went into Lee’s cell and killed him. The prison has turned over video surveillance to police.

Marlan declined to release details about the manner of death except to say “we believe it was a homicide.”

The state’s last prison murder was in 2008, when a prisoner stabbed another to death in the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson.

Marlan said such slayings are unusual behind bars. The state has about 4,000 prisoners serving life sentences; about 40% of those aren't eligible for parole.

Those inmates tend to be the best behaved, Marlan said, because they don't want to lose the few privileges they have.

"My experience with prisons across the state has been that the non-paroleable inmates help control the prisoner population," Marlan said. "That's their home, they're there for life, and they don't like unrest and turmoil."

The suspect had been in Lee's cell prior to the death. Investigators with the Michigan State Police are reviewing surveillance video from inside the prison to determine what happened.

The 100-acre Macomb Correctional Facility, which opened in 1993 near I-94 and 26 Mile Road, houses about 1,287 inmates, Marlan said. ..Source.. by MATT HELMS AND AMBER HUNT, FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS

Prison inmate killed at Macomb Correctional Facility

New Haven -- The Michigan State Police are investigating what is believed to be the first homicide at the Macomb Correctional Facility.

Staff at the prison found 34-year-old Anthony Wayne Lee dead Sunday afternoon after another man had been in his cell, said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said.

"Staff found him (Lee) in the cell unresponsive," Marlan said. Emergency medical personnel were called, but they were unable to revive Lee.

Surveillance video has been turned over to investigators, Marlan said.

A suspect -- incarcerated on a murder charge from Kent County and armed robbery, weapons and assault to commit armed robbery from Wayne County -- has been moved to another corrections facility and the man's security level has increased. The suspect already was incarcerated for life, Marlan said

Lee was serving 27 months to 15 years for a 2005 criminal sexual conduct offense involving a victim younger than 13 years old, according to online corrections department records.

Lee and the suspect were not cellmates, Marlan said. Inmates are not grouped by offense, so it would not be unusual for the suspect and victim to have contact with each other, Marlan said.

Although officials believe Lee was killed, how he died has not been determined. The Macomb County Medical Examiner's Office today said toxicology results are pending and it will be several weeks before an autopsy is completed.

"We are still investigating the manner of death," Marlan said. "We believe it was a homicide."

Marlan said the state's corrections system averages one murder per year, but Lee's slaying is believed to be the first at the Macomb Correctional Facility.

State officials said the last homicide in a state prison was in 2008 at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson. Officials with the Michigan State Police Richmond Post confirmed they were investigating, but referred comment to the corrections department.

The prison opened in 1993 and encompasses 10 acres in New Haven. ..Source.. by Santiago Esparza and Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News

Inmate was bound, drowned in toilet

9-10-2009 Michigan:

New Haven -- State police say a prison inmate confessed to investigators that he used bedding to bind a fellow inmate Sunday shortly before the man was found dead in his cell at the Macomb Correctional Facility.

Investigators this morning said they are still trying to piece together what unfolded next, but it appears to have ended with 32-year-old Anthony Wayne Lee drowning in the cell's toilet. The nature of the relationship between the two men is still being investigated.

"(Lee) was found in the toilet, bound, and there's no indication as a result of this investigation that he was forcefully bound," said Michigan State Police Richmond Post Detective Sgt. Patrick Young. "It sounds as though it wasn't long into the interview when (the suspect) began to confess to being involved in the murder."

Young said the 42-year-old suspect -- incarcerated on a murder charge from Kent County and armed robbery, weapons and assault to commit armed robbery from Wayne County -- confessed to the alleged homicide Sunday evening. He's since been moved to another corrections facility and his security level has increased.

Before the body was discovered Sunday afternoon, the suspect was observed on surveillance video entering and leaving Lee's cell.

Lee was serving 27 months to 15 years for a 2005 criminal sexual conduct offense involving a victim younger than 13 years old, according to state records.

At this point, Young said the suspect has given an alleged motive, but his claims are still being sorted out. The case is being investigated as a homicide, Young said.

Young said the position of Lee's body when it was recovered is unclear, but the bedding used for binding his body was recovered from inside the cell.

The relationship between the pair is still being investigated, but Young said the two have had contact in the past. There was no indication of any trauma to Lee's body and his death did not appear to be motivated by an argument or vendetta, he said. Young said the death was not a suicide.

The Macomb County Medical Examiner's Office said it will be several weeks before the autopsy is completed. State police said they are reviewing the tape and other evidence supplied by state corrections officials. The findings are expected to be turned over to the Macomb County Prosecutor's office sometime next week.

Corrections officials said Lee and the suspect were medium to maximum-level security inmates but they did not share a cell.

Based on the prison layout, it would not be unusual for the pair to have contact. Up to 400 inmates at a time have open access to move to and from the housing unit to recreation buildings, food service and the yards, officials said.

"Macomb is a fairly open movement facility," State Department of Corrections spokesman John Cordell said. "Prisoners have the opportunity to harm one another at any given time, but the vast majority would like to live there violence-free and staff helps to ensure that happens."

Corrections officials said the suspect was cited for fighting in June. Before that, he hadn't been punished for misconduct since 2003.

The state's corrections system averages one murder per year.

The death is believed to be the first homicide at the New Haven prison since it opened in 1993.

In March, an inmate at the same facility was stabbed during an altercation in a facility yard. The victim didn't report the attack, but prison officials said guards later found him stuffing toilet paper in a wound. The suspect was moved to "higher security" within the prison.

State officials said the last homicide in a state prison was in 2008 at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson. ..Source.. by Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News

MI- Inmate was bound, drowned in toilet

9-10-2009 Michigan:

New Haven -- State police say a prison inmate confessed to investigators that he used bedding to bind a fellow inmate Sunday shortly before the man was found dead in his cell at the Macomb Correctional Facility.

Investigators this morning said they are still trying to piece together what unfolded next, but it appears to have ended with 32-year-old Anthony Wayne Lee drowning in the cell's toilet. The nature of the relationship between the two men is still being investigated.

"(Lee) was found in the toilet, bound, and there's no indication as a result of this investigation that he was forcefully bound," said Michigan State Police Richmond Post Detective Sgt. Patrick Young. "It sounds as though it wasn't long into the interview when (the suspect) began to confess to being involved in the murder."

Young said the 42-year-old suspect -- incarcerated on a murder charge from Kent County and armed robbery, weapons and assault to commit armed robbery from Wayne County -- confessed to the alleged homicide Sunday evening. He's since been moved to another corrections facility and his security level has increased.

Before the body was discovered Sunday afternoon, the suspect was observed on surveillance video entering and leaving Lee's cell.

Lee was serving 27 months to 15 years for a 2005 criminal sexual conduct offense involving a victim younger than 13 years old, according to state records.

At this point, Young said the suspect has given an alleged motive, but his claims are still being sorted out. The case is being investigated as a homicide, Young said.

Young said the position of Lee's body when it was recovered is unclear, but the bedding used for binding his body was recovered from inside the cell.

The relationship between the pair is still being investigated, but Young said the two have had contact in the past. There was no indication of any trauma to Lee's body and his death did not appear to be motivated by an argument or vendetta, he said. Young said the death was not a suicide.

The Macomb County Medical Examiner's Office said it will be several weeks before the autopsy is completed. State police said they are reviewing the tape and other evidence supplied by state corrections officials. The findings are expected to be turned over to the Macomb County Prosecutor's office sometime next week.

Corrections officials said Lee and the suspect were medium to maximum-level security inmates but they did not share a cell.

Based on the prison layout, it would not be unusual for the pair to have contact. Up to 400 inmates at a time have open access to move to and from the housing unit to recreation buildings, food service and the yards, officials said.

"Macomb is a fairly open movement facility," State Department of Corrections spokesman John Cordell said. "Prisoners have the opportunity to harm one another at any given time, but the vast majority would like to live there violence-free and staff helps to ensure that happens."

Corrections officials said the suspect was cited for fighting in June. Before that, he hadn't been punished for misconduct since 2003.

The state's corrections system averages one murder per year.

The death is believed to be the first homicide at the New Haven prison since it opened in 1993.

In March, an inmate at the same facility was stabbed during an altercation in a facility yard. The victim didn't report the attack, but prison officials said guards later found him stuffing toilet paper in a wound. The suspect was moved to "higher security" within the prison.

State officials said the last homicide in a state prison was in 2008 at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson. ..Source.. by Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News

MI- Lifer suspected in inmate's slaying

9-9-2009 Michigan:

A murderer already imprisoned for life is being investigated for killing again -- this time, while behind bars.

Anthony Wayne Lee, 34, who was serving a sentence of up to 15 years after being convicted on a 2005 charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under age 13 in Wayne County, was found unresponsive in his cell around 3 a.m. Sunday, said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan.

"The staff responded with CPR immediately,” Marlan said. Lee was taken by ambulance to Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The Michigan State Police Richmond Post in investigating the death, but referred comments to the corrections department.

Marlan said authorities believe a 42-year-old prisoner serving life in prison for first-degree murder in Kent County, as well as three armed robberies and an assault charge in Wayne County, went into Lee’s cell and killed him. The prison has turned over video surveillance to police.

Marlan declined to release details about the manner of death except to say “we believe it was a homicide.”

The state’s last prison murder was in 2008, when a prisoner stabbed another to death in the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson.

Marlan said such slayings are unusual behind bars. The state has about 4,000 prisoners serving life sentences; about 40% of those aren't eligible for parole.

Those inmates tend to be the best behaved, Marlan said, because they don't want to lose the few privileges they have.

"My experience with prisons across the state has been that the non-paroleable inmates help control the prisoner population," Marlan said. "That's their home, they're there for life, and they don't like unrest and turmoil."

The suspect had been in Lee's cell prior to the death. Investigators with the Michigan State Police are reviewing surveillance video from inside the prison to determine what happened.

The 100-acre Macomb Correctional Facility, which opened in 1993 near I-94 and 26 Mile Road, houses about 1,287 inmates, Marlan said. ..Source.. by MATT HELMS AND AMBER HUNT, FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS

Prison inmate killed at Macomb Correctional Facility

New Haven -- The Michigan State Police are investigating what is believed to be the first homicide at the Macomb Correctional Facility.

Staff at the prison found 34-year-old Anthony Wayne Lee dead Sunday afternoon after another man had been in his cell, said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said.

"Staff found him (Lee) in the cell unresponsive," Marlan said. Emergency medical personnel were called, but they were unable to revive Lee.

Surveillance video has been turned over to investigators, Marlan said.

A suspect -- incarcerated on a murder charge from Kent County and armed robbery, weapons and assault to commit armed robbery from Wayne County -- has been moved to another corrections facility and the man's security level has increased. The suspect already was incarcerated for life, Marlan said

Lee was serving 27 months to 15 years for a 2005 criminal sexual conduct offense involving a victim younger than 13 years old, according to online corrections department records.

Lee and the suspect were not cellmates, Marlan said. Inmates are not grouped by offense, so it would not be unusual for the suspect and victim to have contact with each other, Marlan said.

Although officials believe Lee was killed, how he died has not been determined. The Macomb County Medical Examiner's Office today said toxicology results are pending and it will be several weeks before an autopsy is completed.

"We are still investigating the manner of death," Marlan said. "We believe it was a homicide."

Marlan said the state's corrections system averages one murder per year, but Lee's slaying is believed to be the first at the Macomb Correctional Facility.

State officials said the last homicide in a state prison was in 2008 at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson. Officials with the Michigan State Police Richmond Post confirmed they were investigating, but referred comment to the corrections department.

The prison opened in 1993 and encompasses 10 acres in New Haven. ..Source.. by Santiago Esparza and Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News

Convicted murder accused of killing convicted sex offender

9-15-2009 Michigan:

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A convicted murderer is now sitting in Ionia's maximum correctional facility, accused of killing an inmate in Macomb County.

Investigators believe Andrew Neal is responsible for the death of 34-year-old Anthony Wayne Lee.

Lee, a convicted sex offender, was found dead on September 6th in his cell at the Macomb correctional facility. Lee had been convicted of sexually assaulting a child under 13 years old.

Neal has been moved to Ionia's facility, and had his security level increased while the investigation continues.

Neal is already serving a life sentence for the murder of Mashonda Griffin. Neal admitted to killing Griffin after breaking into her Wyoming home. ..Source.. by WWMT.com

Monday, September 7, 2009

OH- Convicted Sex Offender Shot to Death

9-6-2009 Ohio:

Police are looking for the person responsible for the shooting death of a convicted sex offender early Saturday in Lincoln Heights.

Police responded to a 911 call around 2 a.m., the caller saying a man had been shot in the 1100 block of Simmons Ave. The first officers on the scene found 32 year old Rico M. Rutherford lying in the road, suffering from several gunshot wounds. He was taken to University Hospital, where he died.

Investigators from Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Lincoln Height Police Department say Rutherford was involved in a verbal dispute before he was shot. The gunman was driving a 2 door gray car. The man fired several shots from the car and then fled the scene. Police don't know a make or model, and they have only a vague description of the man.

According to the Ohio Attorney General's Sex Offender registry and the Ohio Department of Corrections, Rutherford was a tier two sex offender and spent six years in prison for two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a young girl, possession of drugs and tampering with evidence. He was released from jail and put on parole on June 18th.

Anybody with information about the shooting is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (513) 825-1500 or Crimestoppers at (513) 352-3040, or text Crimestoppers at (513) 352-3050. ..Source.. by Local12.com

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Police Name Gunman in Murder of Sex Offender

9-8-2009 Ohio:

Cincinnati Police are looking for the person responsible for the shooting death of a convicted sex offender early Saturday in Lincoln Heights.

Police responded to a 911 call around 2 a.m., the caller saying a man had been shot in the 1100 block of Simmons Ave. The first officers on the scene found 32 year old Rico M. Rutherford lying in the road, suffering from several gunshot wounds. He was taken to University Hospital, where he died.

Investigators from Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Lincoln Height Police Department say Rutherford had just exited his vehicle in front of his cousin's home when Cameron Barron opened fire, shooting him five times. Barron was driving a 2 door gray car and officers have now issued a warrant for his arrest.

According to the Ohio Attorney General's Sex Offender registry and the Ohio Department of Corrections, Rutherford was a tier two sex offender and spent six years in prison for two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a young girl, possession of drugs and tampering with evidence. He was released from jail and put on parole on June 18th. His family says Rutherford had turned his life around in prison. ..Source.. by Local12.com

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Fugitive arrested in Sept. 5 homicide

10-22-2009 Ohio:

LINCOLN HEIGHTS - Police have been looking for Killa Cam for a long time and on Tuesday they got him.

The Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Force, led by the U.S. Marshals, arrested Cameron Lamar Barron - also known as Killa Cam - about 8:10 p.m. Tuesday on Constitution Drive.

Police believe he is the person responsible for the death of Avondale resident Rico M. Rutherford, 32, who was killed in the 1100 block of Simmons Avenue on Sept. 5.

Authorities allege that Barron shot Rutherford around 2 a.m. from a gray vehicle and fled the scene. Rutherford died of several gunshot wounds. A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Barron on the charge of murder and having weapons while under disability.

Barron, 23, has been on the run much longer than a month.

A year ago police signed a warrant for his arrest in a domestic violence case after he failed to show up to court.

Now that he has been arrested he will face all of these charges.

On Thursday he was arraigned in the domestic violence case. Friday he is scheduled for his arraignment on the murder and gun charge. ..Source.. by Carrie Whitaker

Thursday, September 3, 2009

CA- Mule Creek inmate's death under investigation

9-3-2009 California:

Officials are investigating the strangulation death of a 73-year-old inmate at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione.

David Noles was found dead at 4:05 p.m. Sunday in a cell he shared with another inmate. Noles was serving a 34-year sentence on a 1993 conviction from Sonoma County for rape with a foreign object and sexual battery.

As required by prison rules, Noles' cellmate was moved to a high security housing unit pending the death investigation. Prison officials and Amador County District Attorney's Office are investigating Noles' death. Officials did not immediately release the cellmate's name.

The death comes less than one month after another inmate at the prison, 62-year-old John Linley Frazier, apparently committed suicide by hanging himself. ..Source.. by The Record

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CA- Officials say former chiropractor killed in prison

9-4-2009 California:

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—State prison officials say a former Sonoma County chiropractor serving time on a rape charge has been killed in prison.

Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation say David Noles was found dead in his cell at Mule Creek State Prison Sunday.

An autopsy performed Wednesday by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office determined that the 73-year-old Noles had been strangled to death.

Noles was serving a 35-year sentence in the prison outside of Sacramento after being convicted in 1993 of rape and sexual battery.

When he was sentenced, a Sonoma County judge gave Noles the maximum sentence because he showed no remorse.

The 17-year-old female victim was both an employee and a patient of the former chiropractor. ..Source.. by MercuryNews.com