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Friday, January 30, 2009

MI- Man found in snow had no place to turn

UPDATE 3-21-09: MI- Calls for reform in treatment of homeless echo at candlelight vigil in Grand Rapids for sex offender Thomas Pauli

1-30-2009: See earlier stories. Died because of a ill conceived law that protects no one. Given that there has not been a single crime reported nationwide, occurring in a protected place (school, etc.) caused by a registered sex offender residing within the proscribed distance of that protected place, this is a testament to the short sightedness of lawmakers.

Consider this, if the missions accepted him to sleep for the night, placing him within the proscribed distance to the prohibited places, those prohibited places would not even have any children in them at that time he would be sleeping. Clearly the laws protect no one:

1-30-2009 Michigan:

Thomas Pauli was found dead Jan. 26

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids homeless advocates say a man found dead in the snow had been frustrated because he could not find a place to stay.

A business owner found the body of Thomas Pauli, 52, next to the old A to Z Radiator shop in the 600 block of S. Division Ave. on Jan. 26. Pauli was crouched in a kneeling position. The medical examiner says the autopsy was inconclusive, though evidence showed Pauli might have froze to death. Police say foul play was not involved.

Officials at Degage Ministries, a mission that offers myriad programs for people in need, say they believe Pauli was unable to get into a shelter because he is on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.

State law "prohibits convicted sex offenders from residing, working or loitering within a student safety zone which is defined as the area that lies 1,000 feet or less from school property."
That law makes the Guiding Light Mission on Grand Rapids' Division Avenue off limits because Catholic Central High School is nearby. The Guiding Light Mission, however, is refusing to say whether it had been forced to turn Thomas Pauli away. Shelter officials told 24 Hour News 8 they do not keep record of the people they turn away. But The Guiding Light did confirm that it refuses shelter to two to three people a month because of the state law regarding sex offenders. Pauli was convicted in 1991 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child under the age of 13 in Grand Traverse County. Lori King, a supervisor at the Degage Life Enrichment Center, said Pauli was an intelligent, quiet and gentle man who had struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. She also said Pauli had gone through rehab and once told her he wanted to go back to school. "He voiced how hard it was for him to find housing, to find employment, just to be accepted back into society, like he had a big X on his head and nobody was going to give him a chance," King told 24 Hour News 8. "I was nauseated to think about him outside freezing. I knew why he was outside. Enraged is putting it lightly." Target 8 did a special investigation into the law designed to protect children, which unintentionally isolates convicted sex offenders. This makes it difficult for police to track their whereabouts and even harder for people on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry to get another shot. "They're upholding the law, but that causes such a hardship for people in our community. People who've done their time but still have the stigma attached to them," said Marge Palmerlee, executive director of Degage Ministries. "There needs to be an exemption for homeless shelters or we're going to have more tragedies," said homeless advocate Don Tack. It's a problem Target 8 looked into nearly three years ago. At the time, even the Grand Rapids Police Department was concerned that some sex offenders were hard to find because of the law -- homeless with no address. It's as if the law keeping them from living near schools defeated the other law requiring them to register so police know where they are. "We've had conversations with political folks about the need to amend this and didn't really get anywhere in the past," said Tack. Tack thinks Pauli's death might renew interest in amending the law. There are already some exemptions built into the Michigan Sex Offender Registry law allowing patients in mental health facilities, for example, to live within those 1,000-foot school safety zones as they are known. ..News Source.. by Henry Erb and Jessica Leffler -------------------------------------------------------------- MI- UPDATE- Death of homeless sex offender in Grand Rapids poses questions 1-29-2009 Michigan: So is this what it finally takes for us to hear the muffled cries of the homeless -- an ex-con dead in the snow because it's against the law for a sex offender to huddle up at either of two Grand Rapids missions? Thomas Pauli didn't choose to die alone in the cold. He apparently froze to death because of a crime he committed nearly 20 years ago, and a law that's dogged him ever since his release from prison. In the days prior to the discovery of his body Monday morning at a recycling operation in the 600 block of South Division Avenue, he reportedly attempted to score a bed at either or both the Guiding Light Mission and Mel Trotter Ministries, just blocks away. But officials at both facilities reluctantly acknowledge they would have turned him away because registered sex offenders can't reside for even one night within 1,000 feet of a school, in this case, Catholic Central High. Never mind that school isn't in session during the hours a guy like Pauli would have been snoozing away on a warm cot. Or that ex-cons -- or anyone else -- are more likely a threat to a neighborhood when they have nowhere to go. When they are desperate.
Weather information for Grand Rapids for January 2009 (Added by eAdvocate)
The problem is compounded by the fact that both missions are too near a pair of public parks, and that Mel Trotter houses women and children. All those elements also render the missions lawfully unable to accept offenders. The missions aren't to blame. They risk fines or even being shut down if they don't comply with the law.
--Given that there is nothing in registration law which would fine or cause them to be shut down, what law or other authority are they speaking of? If there is anyone who knows of their authority (laws) please contact
But it's a law that needs changing. And we need to re-examine our collective level of commitment to a part of society that, to most of us, matters least. Asks Bill Shaffer, an officer with Guiding Light, "How do we treat the unlovable?" "I couldn't sleep last night thinking about Thomas Pauli freezing to death outside," said a tearful Marge Palmerlee, executive director at Degage Ministries, which cares for folks like Pauli who live and frequent the Heartside area on downtown's fringe. "Who can sleep at night, thinking of these people outside. It's just unbelievable." No, it's not. I'll bet that even before readers got to my fourth paragraph, some were thinking that Thomas Pierrie Pauli, who was born on Christmas Eve 52 years ago, got what he deserved. OK, so he spent time in the joint. Big whup. A sex offender should pay forever. Maybe so. I know too many people -- people close to me -- who have been victims of sexual assaults. In Pauli's case, he was convicted in Grand Traverse County in 1991 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct against a person younger than 13. Of the 5 to 15 years to which he was sentenced, he served more than 11. Not exactly a slap on the wrist. His wife divorced him two years into his stint. After his release in 2003, he eventually ended up at an address on Leonard Street NE. But he wandered from there and ended up roaming Heartside's gritty domain. He checked in and out of Project Rehab. On Dec. 30, he was booked for failing to register his address with authorities. He got 16 days for that misdemeanor and was freed Jan. 14.
--Note: At least he was warm in jail for those two weeks. If one thinks about it, and reviews the temperature chart for January, it is likely he PURPOSELY "Failed to Register" so that he had a place to stay where it was warm.
Sometime during the past two weeks, he tried to bed down at either or both missions, according to Palmerlee, who knows of two people saying they saw Pauli standing in lines. "A patron told me they'd seen him in Mel Trotter's line not long ago," added Lori King, life enrichment center supervisor at Degage. Officials at both missions cannot confirm Pauli tried to get in, but they also can't rule it out, because they don't track applicants who are refused admission, only those who make it across the threshold. Either way, they said it breaks their hearts to know they have to abide by a law that puts men in life-or-death situations. "Ethically, it feels like we're responsible," said Bill Merchut, in charge of programs at Mel Trotter. "But we have to follow the law. "These men and women are clearly 'The Scarlet Letter' folks of our day. "I've had (sex offenders) say, 'Where can I go?' and I stand there with my mouth open and I have no answer." There aren't many options for men seeking overnight shelter outside of the two missions. In a perfect world, there would be a homeless shelter located where it could accept sex offenders. Maybe a place like the former Greyhound bus station, Merchut said. Or perhaps the former site of a corrections center on Wealthy Street SW near the Grand River. But any solution will require a monstrous coalition. And money. Don Lamse was the gentleman who found Pauli about 10 a.m. Monday in a parking area adjacent to the auto recycling operation he manages on South Division. The victim was beside a '93 or '94 GMC conversion van. Lamse, 70, walked over and tried to rouse him. "Hey, hey," Lamse remembers saying. "Something like that." Pauli was bent into a crouching position, knees and hands on the ground. He wore no gloves. "I tried to nudge him a bit while I was talking to him, and he felt pretty stiff." Lamse said he found it odd that Pauli didn't crawl into any one of several unlocked vehicles, the van included. "He could have gone inside and had some shelter if he'd just opened a door.
--With no gloves and a temperature of -3 degrees, would anyone's hands work to pull on metal objects (doors, likely jammed from accidents) to gain access to the inside of the vehicle.
He added, "That's not a nice way for anybody to die." ..News Source.. by Tom Rademacher | The Grand Rapids Press -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michigan Registered Sex Offender Killed by State Sex Offender Residency Law 1-28-2009 Michigan: Man found dead in cold was turned away from shelters in past because he was sex offender GRAND RAPIDS -- A man found dead on the streets Monday had tried in recent weeks to gain admittance to at least one of two Heartside missions, but was denied a bed because he is a registered sex offender. Officials say its possible Thomas Pauli might be alive today except for a state law prohibiting him from establishing a residence even for one night within 1,000 feet of a school, in this case, Catholic Central High, also located in the Heartside district. "It's heartbreaking. I have a hard time even talking about it," said Marge Palmerlee, executive director at Degage Ministries. Palmerlee said she had talked to at least two people who told her Pauli had tried earlier this month to secure a bed at one or both missions. Bill Merchut of Mel Trotter and Bill Shaffer of Guiding Light agreed that Pauli may have tried to gain entrance, but that their missions risk fines and loss of license if they admit sex offenders. They do not track everyone who applies for a bed, only those who are admitted, so while they were sure Pauli had not been admitted, they couldn't be sure if he had tried.
--Note: Tracking those admitted and not tracking those not addmitted are different functions. Think about this, in order to reject someone (i.e., a sex offender) there has to be a procedure to CHECK a person applying for admittance, and there has to be a person assigned to that function. Notice how they skirted checking with persons assigned to that function, they most definitely would remember if they rejected someone because they were a registered sex offender. Why? Further, nothing in sex offender registration laws addresses "fines or loss of license" so what law are they speaking of?
They both decried a system where there are no exceptions to the so-called Megan's Law, which sets boundaries and restrictions for those on the list. "We have to follow the law, but ethically, it feels like were responsible," said Merchut. Added Shaffer, "These men and women are clearly 'The Scarlet Letter' folks of our day. And where do they go? I have no answer." Pauli, 52, served 11 years in prison for a 1991 conviction in Grand Traverse County for second-degree criminal sexual conduct, state records show. He was released in 2003 and was required to register as a sex offender. Results of an autopsy are not yet available. ..Source.. by The Grand Rapids Press ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Grand Rapids man found dead was turned away from shelters based on CSC conviction GRAND RAPIDS(WZZM)- The man found dead on South Division Avenue may not have been able to find a place to stay. A business owner found Thomas Pauli's body Monday morning. Rob Munger, Executive Director of Guiding Light Mission says they have refused Pauli a place to stay in the past because he is a convicted sex offender. Munger says he does not know whether Pauli asked to stay at Guiding Light the night that he died. Pauli was convicted of 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual conduct with a person under 13 years old in Grand Traverse County. Munger says under state law all missions must turn away convicted sex offenders. Toxicology tests were inconclusive as to what caused Pauli's death. Temperatures the night he died did get down to zero. ..Source.. by Jessica Puchala and Chris Fleszar ------------------------------------------------------------------------ How do we protect at-risk populations from cold? To those who knew him, Thomas Pauli was an educated man, a quiet, gentle person who loved to read. So it's unclear why the 52-year-old man, who recently completed a rehab program, died on the streets in the cold. His body was discovered Monday in the snow inside a fenced auto salvage business, huddled near the wheel of a car in the 600 block of South Division Avenue. Pauli was among eight Michigan men and women -- four of them senior citizens -- found dead in the cold since Jan. 17. ..Source.. by The Grand Rapids Press -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8th Mich. Resident Dies From Harsh Weather A Grand Rapids man is the eighth person in nine days to be found dead in the Michigan cold. The body of 52-year-old Thomas Pauli was found this week in the snow at an auto salvage business in Grand Rapids. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of death, but it doesn't appear to be suspicious. The eight victims were found dead in the cold between Jan. 17 and Jan. 26, when Pauli's body was discovered. Four were older than 80. The Grand Rapids Press reports seven of the eight victims were found outside. Many apparently fell on their own property and couldn't get up. Ninety-three-year-old Marvin Schur froze to death inside his Bay City home just days after the municipal power company restricted his use of electricity because of unpaid bills. ..Source.. by ClickOnDetroit

Friday, January 23, 2009

FL- Registered sex offender murdered in St.Petersburg

1-23-2009 Florida:

ST.PETERSBURG, FL -- Police are investigating the murder of a registered sex offender.

Officers responded to a call of "shots heard" in the 2400 block of Highland Street South on Thursday night shortly before 8:00. When they arrived, officers discovered a white Ford E150 van had crashed into the rear of a parked, unattended silver Suzuki sedan.

Officers found Carmen Tungate slumped over in the driver's seat of the van. He had a gunshot wound to the upper body.

It appears that he lost control of his van after he was shot, and hit the sedan.

Tungate was taken to Bayfront Medical Center where he was pronounced dead about five hours later.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website, Tungate was a registered sexual offender.

Investigators say they have no other details at this time. ..News Source.. by Carly Timmons


Manatee killer is murdered in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating the slaying of a man who was shot Thursday night while driving his van in the Cromwell Heights neighborhood.

Police say 40-year-old Carmen Tungate, who had served 10 years in a state prison in the 1990s for a murder in Manatee County, was driving his white work van about 8 p.m. in the 2400 block of Highland Street S, when a bullet hit him in the upper torso.

Tungate, of 2500 54th Ave. N, Lot 283, lost control of the van and crashed into a parked silver Suzuki. Police found Tungate slumped over in his seat.

An ambulance took him to Bayfront Medical Center, and he died just after midnight Thursday. No suspects have been identified.

Tungate, a registered sex offender, had a lengthy criminal record who made headlines in Manatee County when he strangled his former boss, Ballapuram Umakanthan, in 1988 at the Econo Lodge, 6727 14th St. W. Tungate was 19 at the time.

He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1989, but was released in 1999 because of a state Supreme Court ruling that granted early release to a small group of offenders.

“He ended up spending 10 years on a murder charge, which was insane,” said Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Bristow said he remembers Tungate’s name and face well. At the time of Tungate’s release, then-Sheriff Charlie Wells opposed the court’s decision and called it “legal escape,” according to newspaper accounts.

Once out, Tungate picked up a string of arrests for sexual offenses, including exposing himself to several teenage boys in Sarasota in 2004.

“That wasn’t a real shock to us,” Bristow said.

Despite his past, Tungate was turning his life around, said his mother, Anna Hardin.

“He wasn’t a saint, but he was a good person,” Hardin said Friday from her Bradenton home. “There’s always two sides to a coin.”

When Tungate got out of prison, Hardin said, he got a job working for an air conditioning company. He lived in Palace Mobile Home Park, a community that has become a magnet for many of the county’s registered sex offenders.

Hardin said Tungate decided to go back to school and was taking online college courses.

“He was a good person with a problem,” Hardin said. “He was trying to better himself.”

Hardin said she last saw her son in the early evening hours Thursday. He left her Bradenton home, telling a nephew he was going to the library.

“Whoever did it, I’m not looking for revenge,” his mother said. “We all pay for our sins.” ..Source.. by KAMEEL STANLEY - St. Petersburg Times

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

IN- Elkhart police find bodies of two men inside car

Posted in Related Deaths
1-20-2009 Indiana:

Authorities say one of the victims could be missing Elkhart man.

ELKHART — A daylong search Thursday for a missing Elkhart man led police to a black car west of downtown, where the bodies of two men were found inside, police said.

The discovery was made about 2:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Leonard Street, not long after homicide detectives searched the Elkhart County landfill after receiving tips from "multiple people" the missing man was there, police said.

Police had not identified the men as of Thursday night, but they believe one of the victims is 30-year-old Kevin K. Pendleton, who was reported missing earlier Thursday.

A cause of death has not been determined, but police said they believe the deaths are related to a shooting involving Pendleton that occurred about 1 a.m. Thursday in the 300 block of Chapman Avenue.

Pendleton was last seen leaving his apartment in the 300 block of Chapman at that time to talk to two unknown men in a black vehicle.

Pendleton's 28-year-old girlfriend told police that when Pendleton was in the car, she heard gunshots and saw bright flashes. The vehicle then left the area with Pendleton inside, she told police.

Officers were able to find additional witnesses who also verified they heard shots and observed flashes inside the car, police said.

The Elkhart Police Department Homicide Unit searched all day for the man, fearing he may have been killed and dumped somewhere, according to authorities. That led them to the landfill on County Road 7, where they came up empty.

Lt. Ed Windbigler, Elkhart police spokesman, said Thursday afternoon the car found on Leonard appears to match the description of the car Pendleton got into early that morning.

No arrests had been made as of Thursday night, although police said they are searching for a "person of interest" in the shooting/missing person case, 28-year-old Shawn C. Palmer of Elkhart.

Palmer — who police describe as armed and dangerous — has black hair, brown eyes, is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds.

Also of note, police said, is that Palmer owns a 2002 black four-door Chevrolet Malibu, which might match the description of the car recovered on Leonard. That car was towed for processing, police said. The Malibu has an Indiana license plate number of LO6853.

Pendleton's girlfriend told police Pendleton knew both men that he got in the car with, but she only knew their street names.

Pendleton has a criminal record, according to court records, and was charged last month for failure to register as a sex offender. His next court date is Feb. 24. ..Source.. by TOM MOOR, Tribune Staff Writer


UPDATE: Elkhart deaths ruled homicides

1-16-2009 Indiana:

ELKHART — The deaths of two men found in a car west of downtown Thursday afternoon have been ruled homicides, officials said.

Kevin K. Pendleton, 30, and John J. Williams, 26, both of Elkhart, were discovered about 2:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Leonard Street.

Police said Friday that Pendleton died from a gunshot wound, but would not say how many times or where he had been shot. Williams also died from a gunshot wound, Elkhart County Deputy Coroner Jeff Landrum said.

Authorities, meanwhile, are still looking for 28-year-old Shawn C. Palmer of Elkhart, who they describe as a "person of interest" in the case. Palmer, police said, should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police say Palmer might have been in the car with Pendleton and Williams when they were killed. He is not a suspect at this time. ..Source..

Thursday, January 8, 2009

UK- Suspected sex offender fell to his death 'as he fled baying vigilante gang'

1-8-2009 United Kingdom:

A suspected sex offender fell 50 feet to his death from an apartment block as he fled a baying vigilante gang, a court heard today.

Terrified Scott Campbell, 44, made a run for it when three men and two women turned up at his second floor flat to give him a revenge beating over claims he had sexually assaulted a 13 year-old-boy, it was alleged.

As one of the armed gang started banging on his front door shouting: 'I'm going to f***ing kill you' Campbell climbed over his balcony in a bid to escape.

But as he did so he lost his grip on the rail and plumetted to the ground. The Glaswegian suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead in Royal Bolton hospital in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

Manchester Crown Court was told during the incident CCTV captured one of the women hiding a baseball bat up the back of her coat, whilst her husband was carrying a hammer.

Another woman was carrying a spanner or wrench and a fourth man was carrying a bike chain. The four tried to hide their faces to avoid being recognised.

Jamie Watson, 32, his wife Sarah Watson, 32, Katia Briercliffe, 36, Paul McCarthy, 36 and Martin McMulkin, 37 all deny manslaughter.

The tragedy occurred at 7.20pm in July last year after the 13 year-old-boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been Campbell's second floor flat in Blackshaw Lane, Deane, Bolton.

He came out 20 minutes later and told two friends he had been indecently assaulted.
The allegations spread around the Deane area of Bolton, Greater Manchester and locals were seen gathering around the block of flats.

Sarah and Jamie Watson were seen entering the flats with Katia Briercliffe, and the 13 year-old-boy and being joined in the lift by McMulkin and McCarthy - who also lived at the flats.

The boy was seen on the building's CCTV footage pointing out the flat he had been in, before leaving Fernstead House.

CCTV showed Sarah Watson hiding a baseball bat up the back of her coat, Jamie Watson carrying a hammer, Katia Briercliffe carrying a spanner or wrench and Martin McMulkin carrying a bike chain.

Prosecuting Mr Peter Cadwallader said the jury may have some sympathy for the defendants given the allegations made towards the victim.

But he said: 'However justified there position it cannot be acceptable for a vigilante group to start taking the law into their own hands and that is the simple issue in this case because that is what happened.

'A large group of young people of a similar age to the boy also gathered in the vicinity of the deceased flat.

'They didn't take part in the subsequent events although their presence did increase the hostile atmosphere that existed at the time.

'Attempts were made by the individuals to cover and hide their features which the crown say was indicative of what they intended.

'The crown allege that the defendants as a group were armed and all of them save for McMulkin made efforts to hide their faces.

'The only sensible conclusion we suggest that we draw is that they indented to give the defendant a beating. That they intended to assault him.

'In interview Katia said that she and Sarah Watson went into the small vestibule outside the flat. She said that Sarah Watson had called out in a calm voice "Jimmy".
'The males remained outside the vestibule she said. Scott Campbell did open his door but he was too quick and managed to close it before the defendants could force their way in.

'Once Scott had closed the door there was an attack on it with weapons. It was struck. The glass was broke. There was banging and noise and it was so great that it was heard by neighbours.

'One neighbour was listening to a tennis match on TV but he could still hear the attack. He heard a female voice shouting "I'm going to f***ing get you" or "I'm going to f***ing kill you" - he wasn't quite sure.

'The crown say that the defendants were trying to force the door. They were a large group. They were armed. They were damaging the door and attacking it.

'Although you may have little sympathy for Scott Campbell, it must have been a frightening experience and he must have been fearful of what was going to happen if they gained entry.

'Whatever the sympathies are at that stage the defendants, we say, were all acting entirely unlawfully in trying to take the law into their own hands and act as a vigilante group.

'It is not acceptable for defendants to take the law into their own hands. It is apparent from the CCTV footage that whilst the deceased felt under attack he went onto the balcony with the intention to lower himself down.

'It is equally clear that he lost his grip in trying to climb down and he fell and died as a result of injuries he sustained in the fall.

'The inference that can be drawn is that Scott Campbell was in fear as a result of the defendants attempt to break into his flat. He must have known that he faced a beating at least.

'There was no other way out of the flat other than through the front door or by the balcony.

'Therefore it is our case that in trying to escape the unlawful conduct of the defendants he fell to his death.

'It was only after Sarah Watson had left the flats that she called the police about the conduct of the deceased.

'The crown say that this was a vigilante group seeking revenge, seeking to gain entry to the deceased flat to cause him harm. He attempted to escape as a result of that unlawful conduct and in doing so he fell to his death.'

Jamie Watson, 32, Sarah Watson, 32, both of Hibernia Street; Katia Briercliffe, 36, Briercliffe Road; Paul McCarthy, 36 of Fernstead, Blackshaw Lane and Martin McMulkin, 37 of no fixed address all deny manslaughter.

The trial continues. ..News Source.. by Daily Mail Reporter

SD- Police: Man killed when he tried to grab knife from girlfriend

1-7-2009 South Dakota:

Sioux Falls police released the name of the man killed Monday in the city’s first homicide of the year, and said his girlfriend pulled the knife that killed him during an argument, police spokesman Sam Clemens said.

Duane Joseph Red Bird, 39, died when he was cut trying to take a kitchen knife from his girlfriend Cora Lynn McBride during an argument, Clemens said.

Both had been drinking, and when McBride pulled the knife, Red Bird tried to grab it and McBride pulled the knife away, which deeply cut Red Bird’s palm, Clemens said.

“She was basically telling him to leave her alone, that she didn’t want to argue anymore,” Clemens said.

Police believe Red Bird died from the wound, as McBride waited some time before going to a neighbor’s home to call 911, Clemens said. Red Bird was dead when rescue workers arrived at the home in the 1100 block of East Sixth Street about 8:20 p.m. Monday.

McBride had been staying at the home, which belongs to a relative, Clemens said. Red Bird and McBride have been in an off-and-on relationship for four years, he said.
An autopsy has been done on Red Bird’s body, but the results have not been released to investigators yet, Clemens said.

McBride, 39, is a registered sex offender, and was convicted in 2003 in Hughes County of attempted sexual contact with at 25-year-old woman, according to the South Dakota Sex Offender Registry.

She is charged with first-degree manslaughter in connection with Red Bird’s Death. ..News Source.. by Matthew Gruchow

Sunday, January 4, 2009

SC- Inmate stabbed to death at Lee Correctional

1-4-2009 South Carolina:

An inmate was stabbed to death Sunday morning at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, the S.C. Department of Corrections said.

About 11:15 a.m., Lenmont Jones, 29, was stabbed by another inmate inside a dormitory at the maximum-security institution. He transported to a hospital, then pronounced dead about 12:15 p.m., said Josh Gelinas, spokesman for the Department of Corrections.

Inmates are being kept in their cells as the investigation continues. The State Law Enforcement Division also is investigating.

SLED spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said investigators are not sure who stabbed Jones.

Jones, 29, started serving a 20-year sentence for criminal sexual conduct with a minor Feb. 14. He was convicted in Richland County.

This is the second violent incident in the state prison in the past week. ..News Source.. by JASON WERMERS, Item Staff Writer

Thursday, January 1, 2009

IL- Joliet man fatally shot

12-30-2008 Illinois:

Who killed sex offender near Joliet Township store?
Police seek suspect

JOLIET TOWNSHIP -- Police are investigating the death of a man shot outside a liquor store Tuesday night.

Ralph Bridges, 56, had been a customer at Ranch Liquors, 1913 S. Chicago St., Will County Sheriff's spokesman Pat Barry said.

"Around 10 p.m., he walks (back) inside and says, 'I've just been shot,' before he collapses," Barry said.

The two clerks called 911 and an unresponsive Bridges was taken to Silver Cross Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:47 p.m.

Barry said the employees reported hearing a bang "like someone was stomping their feet against the building" shortly before Bridges returned to the liquor store.

"They also heard a car leaving the parking lot at a high rate of speed, but they did not see the vehicle," he said. There were no other customers in the liquor store at the time.

Will County Coroner Patrick K. O'Neil said an autopsy performed Wednesday confirmed Bridges was killed by a single gunshot wound.

Barry said Bridges lived at 104 Akin Ave. in Joliet and detectives were investigating what he had done earlier Tuesday evening, in an attempt to identify a suspect.

Victim had a criminal background
"It should be noted the victim is a registered sex offender with an extensive criminal history," Barry said.

Records show Bridges was arrested on weapons charges by Joliet police in 1979 and sheriff's police in 1980.

In December 1987, he attempted to escape a security guard at Hillcrest Shopping Center in Crest Hill "by opening the doors and getting into several passing cars" as he ran through the parking lot. Bridges was arrested after locking himself in the bathroom of a nearby fast-food restaurant.

He allegedly "jumped into a stranger's car" and led Crest Hill police on a chase during a similar theft the following November.

In 1991, Bridges was sentenced to three years in prison for two other shoplifting crimes. Apparently released early, he was arrested on charges of retail theft and burglary in 1993. The allegations included trying to steal a ham from a market in the 1600 block of West Jefferson Street. Police said Bridges ran into the nearby neighborhood, trying to escape, but was caught by a store employee and an off-duty officer. He was also charged with battery and aggravated assault during that incident.

Bridges was again arrested for retail theft after reportedly taking $39 in medical supplies from a Lockport pharmacy in 1998. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia by sheriff's police the following year and criminal trespassing by Joliet police in 2000.

In 2002, Bridges was one of 27 people arrested in Operation Pick-Off, a yearlong undercover investigation of crack dealers operating on Joliet's East Side.

According to reports, over the next six years Joliet police arrested Bridges on drug charges three more times and on a charge of criminal sexual assault in July 2008. (Note: Single offense) ..News Source.. by By BRIAN STANLEY