Stories posted are written by National news Journalists, not by this blog. The Journalist's name and "Source" link follow each story. We add "Tags" based on facts from the article, which are used for later retrieval, if someone wants to see all stories by a tag (Click tag of choice). Tags are at the top of story.
Our Commenting Policy

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."


"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


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@ 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.


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

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


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..

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


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


Cousins charged with killing Town 'N Country sexual predator


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


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