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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Man shot to death outside home near Exeter

7-26-2011 California:

A man was shot to death Monday morning while waiting for a ride to work outside his home northeast of Exeter.

Neighbors said Frederico Acuna, 30, was a field worker who was usually out waiting to be picked up for work at that time, about 5:45 a.m.

Later that afternoon, Elias Alberto Zurita Ramos, 23, of Lindsay was arrested on suspicion of murdering Acuna, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department reported.

The department had also searched Ramos' home.

The shooting occurred on Eaton Road, just a few yards from Highway 198, where a small cluster of homes are located.

Kerry Dalberg, who lives nearby, said he was asleep when he heard a boom. "I thought it was a wreck," he said.

He said he and others went outside to see what happened and saw Acuna. He had walked a few yards from the place where he was shot to the front door of his home and collapsed. He said a woman there was pressing a towel to wounds to his chest.

"He was saying 'I don't want to die. I don't want to die,' " Dalberg said. He was also telling some of the people around him that he loved them, he added.

Acuna was taken by ambulance to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, where he was pronounced dead at about 6:45 a.m.

A sheriff's report states that Acuna was shot multiple times in the upper body by someone who either drove up near him or approached him on foot.

The shooting doesn't appear to be gang-related, the report states.

Acuna is listed on the Megan's Law website — with the first name of "Federico" — as a registered sex offender for a 2003 conviction
on a charge of lewd and lascivious acts with a child younger than 14. The site states he was released in 2010.

A man at Acuna's home who identified himself as his brother declined to be interviewed Monday.

As for the suspect in the case, a sheriff's press release didn't state how detectives connected Ramos to the killing, where he was located or a possible motive for the shooting.

Detectives were still questioning him late Monday afternoon.

Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to call 800-808-0488. Anonymous tips also can be called or sent by text message to 725-4194. They also can be emailed to ..Source.. by DAVID CASTELLON


Lindsay man pleads not guilty to murder

8-3-2011 California:

A Lindsay man arrested in connection with the shooting of an Exeter man is being charged with murder.

Elias Alberto Zurita Ramos, 23, of Lindsay pleaded not guilty during an arraignment on July 27 at the Pretrial Facility where he is being held without bail.

Ramos is being charged with one count of murder and discharging a firearm in commission of a felony- PC12022.53(d). Ramos returned to court yesterday to set a date for his preliminary hearing, which was unavailable as of press time.

The shooting happened in the early morning on July 25 in the 21000 block of Avenue 296, or Highway 198. Frederico Acuna, 30, of Exeter was waiting in front of his home for a ride to work when he was shot multiple times in the upper body.

A neighboring resident called 911 at about 5:45 a.m. and deputies responded to the scene on Eaton Road at the base of Badger Hill just off Highway 198.

Deputies arrived and paramedics transported Acuna to the Kaweah Delta Medical Center. He later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at approximately 6:45 a.m. at the hospital.

Detectives from the Violent Crimes and Forensic Investigations Units were called to take over the case.

The case does not appear to be gang related but Acuna is a registered sex offender, except his name is listed as Frederico Acuna Lira. According to the Megan’s Law website, Acuna was convicted of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 in 2003 and released in 2010.

The Sheriff’s Department has not released any motive behind the crime. ..Source.. by Sun Gazette

Monday, July 18, 2011

Inmate charged with murder

6-30-2011 Indiana:

Joseph Brown confessed to killing Charles Miller, documents say

Bunker Hill — Joseph W. Brown drank a cup of coffee and packed his personal belongings after killing his cellmate on June 19 at the Miami County Correctional Facility, according to court documents.

Brown, 56, has been charged with murder and criminal confinement in the strangulation death of Charles Miller, 62, Center.

Brown is already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole, Miami County Prosecutor Bruce Embrey said Wednesday.

Brown has been transferred from the Miami Correctional Facility to the Westville Correctional Facility. Embrey said Wednesday he has 60 days to decide if he will seek the death penalty.

“I will review the evidence before making a decision,” he said.

Embrey said the book “Blood Trail” was written about Brown, who was sentenced for the murder of his girlfriend, Ginger Gasaway, in 2000 in Evansville.

According to a probable cause affidavit signed by Indiana State Police Detective Mike Tarrh, Brown waived his rights and confessed to the slaying of Miller in the cell the two men had shared for two weeks.

Miller reportedly told Brown that he was a convicted child molester and Brown said he hates molesters, according to the statement made to Tarrh.

Court documents indicated that between 3:20 and 3:30 p.m. the two men were talking and Brown tore three or four strips from a bed sheet and told Miller to get in the bunk and cooperate or he would kill him. Miller tried to offer Brown money so he wouldn’t hurt him.

“If he offered me a $1,000, it wouldn’t have stopped me,” Brown told Tarrh.

Brown said Miller didn’t resist when he was tied up. Brown first tied Miller’s feet, then his hands behind his back, followed by a strip of sheet he stuffed in Miller’s mouth, according to the court records. Brown then used the string from Miller’s laundry bag to strangle him.

Brown told other inmates he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life at the Miami Correctional Facility and would be “better off on death row,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

The court records indicate that Brown told other inmates he had killed “his bunkee” before dinner.

The other inmates told Tarrh that Brown was acting weird for two or three days prior to the incident.

Miller pleaded guilty but mentally ill in March to a charge of attempted murder, admitting his role in a July 15 shooting that left a delivery driver severely wounded and Miller’s Center neighbors terrified. ..Source.. by Ken de la Bastide Tribune enterprise editor

'Partial body' identified as 53-year-old Seattle man

7-16-2011 Washington:

SEATTLE - A "partial body" that was found at a recycling business in the SoDo industrial area last week has been identified as a 53-year-old Seattle man.

The King County Medical Examiner said Friday that the victim has been identified as Donald S. Meyer of Seattle.

His cause of death was not immediately released.

His torso turned up July 8 at a recycling plant at 7201 East Marginal Way South.

A police spokesman said the body was mixed in with material from a construction site down the street that had been brought in for recycling, and that workers spotted it as it moved down a conveyor belt used for sorting materials.

Detectives determined that the death was not the result of an industrial accident and that the body had been brought to the plant from another location. A homicide investigation was launched immediately.

The 53-year-old victim was a registered sex offender, which may explain why his DNA profile was in the database.

Matt Bazemore says the same day police found the torso, a forensics team showed up in his Ballard neighborhood to sift through this construction zone.

"Three or four police cars showed up all at once trailing the truck back from the recycling plant," he said.

Police won't say whether that search is related to Meyer's murder.

Bazemore made the link based on the questions detectives asked of him and his neighbors.

"I knew that through talking to police that day, that it was recycling, that's where they found it... because I talked to the crew about what they were doing with their garbage and it was being sorted through."

Where or how Meyer was killed is still unclear, but it does appear possible that the killer placed his partial body in a construction debris pile to be hauled away.

Police won't confirm those details, saying only that the case remains an open murder investigation and they are running down all leads.

Meyer was convicted for indecent liberties and had prior arrests for petty theft and drugs. But that sheds little light on what made him a target for murder. ..Source.. by KOMO Staff


Why an assailant scattered body parts is a mystery for police


Human remains found at two separate sites — at a recycling center in Georgetown and underneath the Ship Canal Bridge — have been identified through forensic testing as the body parts of Donald S. Meyer, a 53-year-old Ballard man who was reported missing last year.

Someone went to great lengths to dispose of the body of Donald S. Meyer, a 53-year-old Ballard man who was reported missing last year, police said.

Part of Meyer's body was found at a recycling center in Georgetown a month after his June disappearance. Other remains were discovered in December on a hillside beneath the Ship Canal Bridge.

Police sources said Thursday that Meyer's former roommate, who has been questioned, is considered a person of interest. However, police did not officially confirm that report and no arrests have been made.

Meyer had previous run-ins with the law. In 1991, he was convicted of drug possession and he was charged with second-degree rape the following year. He pleaded guilty to an amended charge of indecent liberties, according to court documents.

Although he was in jail for several years, according to court documents, the state Department of Corrections (DOC) said he did not spend time in prison. He was under DOC supervision for his indecent-liberties conviction, but his case file was closed in 2003, according to agency spokesman Chad Lewis.

Meyer was reported missing in June by three friends, according to court documents. Police said he reportedly sold marijuana.

Several of the people who spoke to police after his disappearance said they were also customers who had gone by his house after failing to reach him on the phone, according to a search warrant filed in King County Superior Court.

Meyer's friends also told police that they'd found his phone, which had not been used for a week.

That in itself was unusual because Meyer used his phone daily in his line of business, police said.

"They kept going to his house and his roommate kept telling them 'he's not here right now, which did not seem right,' " according to a police source.

When police first went to investigate, they found one room in Meyer's home had been stripped bare, the walls repainted and the carpet removed, police sources said.

Crime-scene investigators were called in after small drops of blood were spotted in a corner of the room and more blood that was "not visible to the naked eye" was found with the aid of special chemicals, according to the search warrant.

About a month after Meyer disappeared, a human torso was found on a conveyor belt by employees at a recycling center in Georgetown, police said. Police said the body part was tracked to a commercial recycling bin at a home that was undergoing renovation in Meyer's neighborhood.

In December, a group of people who were attempting to reach out to homeless people in the Eastlake area stumbled across a bag containing a decomposed human leg underneath the Ship Canal Bridge, according to police. More bags of body parts were found scattered across the sloped hill.

Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said Thursday that police do not believe that there are any additional dump sites.

Not long before Meyer's death, he had asked a roommate to move out, sources said. Police records indicate that Meyers' friends said that the roommate was odd and had a "bad vibe."

The former roommate has been interviewed, according to police sources, and is considered a person of interest. Whitcomb would not confirm whether police had a person of interest in the slaying or if an arrest was imminent.

"It is very much an active and ongoing case," Whitcomb said.

He urged people with information about Meyer or his slaying to call the SPD tip line at 206-233-5000. ..Source.. by Christine Clarridge

Police: Daughter meant to kill

7-16-2011 Indiana:

A Wayne County woman told investigators she intended to kill her father Friday when she used a flammable liquid, identified as "camper fuel," and a candle to light him on fire, court documents revealed Monday.

Nina M. Holbrook, 30, was officially charged Monday with murder, felony murder and two counts of arson (Class A felonies). She made her first appearance Monday in Wayne County Superior Court 1 and remains lodged in the Wayne County Jail without bond.

Nina Holbrook's father, Carl D. Holbrook, 50, of 10037 Chapel Road died at 7:21 p.m. Friday at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, after being airlifted to the facility. He was found badly burned at about 12:10 p.m. Friday on the porch of his residence by a man who was supposed to meet with him.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Carl Holbrook told the man who found him that Nina had set him on fire.

Nina Holbrook told investigators she got the fuel and took it to her room and poured some in a cup while her father was gone.

She said she also got a candle and a lighter and when her father returned home she lit the candle. She then called him into her bedroom, where she threw the fuel in his face and then put the candle to his chest, setting him on fire, the affidavit said.

Nina Holbrook told investigators she then climbed out her bedroom window and walked through a field and down the road, where she was spotted by her uncle, Harvey Holbrook.

The incident took place at the end of a lane on the south side of Chapel Road, between Clevenger and Hiser Station roads in Washington Township.

According to the affidavit, Harvey Holbrook told authorities when he stopped on the road to ask Nina what happened, she told him, "I torched him" and "I set him on fire."

"We are still interviewing people and still investigating this," Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa said Monday when asked if Nina Holbrook provided investigators any motive for the crime. "We don't have anything to release at this time."

A plea of not guilty was entered by the judge for Nina Holbrook during her initial hearing Monday in Wayne County Superior Court 1, and Stephen Rabe was appointed as her public defender. Nina Holbrook's next court appearance will be 1:30 p.m. Sept. 8. Her trial has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 11.

If convicted, she would face between 45 and 65 years in prison for murder, where a person "knowingly or intentionally kills another human being," and felony murder, described as killing another in the act of an additional felony such as arson, burglary, rape or robbery.

She could also face between 20 and 50 years in prison for each of two counts of arson, and be fined up to $10,000 on each of the charges against her. ..Source.. by Robert Sullivan

Daughter 'poured lighter fluid over her sex offender dad, set him on fire and left him to die'

A daughter poured a cup of lighter fluid over her sex offender dad and set him on fire before leaving his house while he burned to death, police said.

Nina Holbrook, 30, allegedly set alight dad Carl Holbrook, 50, of Wayne County, Indiana, before passing a neighbour and giving him a ‘thumbs-up’.

She allegedly told him to come inside his house and set about the horrific attack before telling her uncle what she had just done outside.

Mr Holbrook has been convicted of two sex crimes in 1995 and 2007, when he was jailed for criminal deviate behaviour, reported True Crime Report.

He was waiting outside his home last Friday for a visitor when Ms Holbrook asked him to come inside to discuss something.

But inside a bedroom she poured lighter fluid over his head and ignited it with a candle before he began to burn to death, police said.

She allegedly calmly left the house while he screamed, and bumped into her uncle Harvey Holbrook, whom Mr Holbrook had been waiting for.

She told her uncle: 'I torched him', reported the Palladium-Item.

He found Mr Holbrook with most of his clothes singed, before he was taken to a local hospital and died from his injuries soon after.

Ms Holbrook then bumped into her neighbour Kyle Carpenter and allegedly told him she had set her father on fire while smiling.

He is said to have asked her: 'Are you alright?' She allegedly smiled and replied: 'No sir, I'm fine. Thank you very much.'

Mr Carpenter claimed she then gave him a thumbs-up sign.

Police are yet to establish a motive in the killing. Ms Holbrook has been charged with felony murder and arson. She is being held without bond.

The exact nature of Mr Holbrook’s past sex crimes is not yet known but he was not a registered sex offender, according to Sheriff's Office records. ..Source.. by Mark Duell

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fort Worth shooting suspect identified as accused 70- year-old sex offender

7-14-2011 Texas:

Fort Worth Police are investigating a shooting involving their force on Tuesday around 7p.m.

Officers shot and killed a fugitive child sex offender from Georgia after they said he pulled a gun on them.

Fort Worth officers were assisting a US Marshal's Fugitive Task Force.

They tried to talk the man out of a home in the 2000 block of Williams Place in North Fort Worth.

The man is identified as 70-year-old Robert Nabors.

Georgia authorities wanted Nabors for sexual assault of a child and enticing a child.

Witnesses said police surrounded the home and tried to talk Nabors out for about an hour.

Police said Nabors finally came out the back of the house, and pulled a handgun on officers.

Investigators are still looking into whether the man shot at officers who were armed with assault rifles and fired multiple shots.

Some witnesses tell news 8 the man was heard yelling that he would not go back to prison. ..Source.. by JIM DOUGLAS

Fort Worth police investigate fatal shooting of sex offender suspect

Fort Worth police are investigating a fatal shooting Tuesday evening involving multiple officers.

Witnesses said they heard many rapid-fire gunshots as a stand-off with an accused sex offender ended in a sheet of bullets from police rifles.

"They just said, 'Get your hands out of your pockets! Get your hands up in the air where we can see them!'" recalled Mickey Canchola. "He said, 'No, I'm not going back.' He was really calm."

It happened just over Canchola's back fence on Williams Place in north Fort Worth. Police said 70-year-old Robert Nabors refused to surrender when U.S. Marshals tried to arrest him.

They had tracked Nabors from Georgia, where he was accused of molesting a young girl several years ago. The girl made a recent outcry.

The marshals requested help from Fort Worth police, who surrounded the house and spoke with Nabors through a loudspeaker.

After more than an hour, police said he emerged from the back door and raised a handgun toward officers. Police said they are still investigating whether he fired the first shot.

"He was just calm and saying, 'I'm not going back to jail, I'm not going back,'" Canchola said. "And they're like, 'Don't make this hard.'"

Records show Nabors had multiple arrests in Georgia on methamphetamine charges, and a marijuana charge from Tarrant County in the late 90s.

It's not clear how long Nabors had been living in Fort Worth, but police in Georgia said he was in that state as recently as last month. ..Source.. by JIM DOUGLAS

Friday, July 1, 2011

Man killed by police grabbed cop's Taser

6-29-2011 Arizona:

The man shot and killed by Tucson police Monday evening reportedly wrestled a Taser away from an officer and attacked another one, police said Tuesday.

Anthony Salcido, 30, was shot by police officers just moments after he was suspected of shooting a fellow employee at the Overboard Seafood & Grill, 4105 N. Oracle Road, said Sgt. Diana Lopez, a Tucson Police Department spokeswoman.

After the first shooting, Salcido ran to a nearby apartment complex, where police say he fought with two officers, grabbed one of their Tasers and attacked them, Lopez said.

Officer Christopher Duenas was taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries sustained in the fight, she said.

Police were still investigating whether Salcido used the Taser on the officers, she said.

Investigators were waiting to interview Duenas, who was still in the hospital Tuesday afternoon, she said.

Officers initially were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a person who had been shot, she said.

Officers found a 37-year-old man, an employee, lying on the sidewalk outside of the restaurant. He was expected to survive.

Two officers - Duenas, a 10-year-veteran, and Officer Nancy Fatura, a 12-year-veteran - soon confronted Salcido, who got into a fighting posture and made statements about not being captured alive.

One officer tried to subdue him with a Taser, but Salcido appeared unaffected by the stun gun and later grabbed the Taser before at least one of the officers shot him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives were still investigating a motive, but they said they found evidence suggesting drugs were being sold at the time and may have played a role in the shooting.

They found methamphetamines on Salcido and recovered the gun believed to have been used in the shooting.

According to Arizona Department of Public Safety records, Salcido was a Level 3 sex offender who was convicted of a sexual assault in Phoenix. Level 3 is considered the most at risk of re-offending.

However, his employer, restaurant owner John Willingham, said he met Salcido numerous times and remembered him as a "likable guy" and a "hard worker."

"He was a good, friendly guy. It's a shocker," Willingham said.

Salcido worked at the restaurant for more than a year, while the 37-year-old man had worked there for about three months, he said.

Willingham met that man once, he said.

Salcido was either working or had just gotten off work before the shooting, while the other man was not working at the time, Willingham said.

Police said the shooting took place inside the restaurant, but Willingham said the two men were outside when the shooting took place.

Salcido then dragged the wounded man into the restaurant and barricaded himself in a bathroom when he saw police arriving, he said. He then ran out.

Another employee also ran from the restaurant, Willingham said. But he said that employee was not involved in the shooting.

"He feared for his life, so he fled," he said.

Police didn't identify him as a suspect, but investigators want to talk to him, Lopez said. Willingham and his family run five Overboard restaurants, which were recently Long John Silver's before he converted them.

He said he was not aware of Salcido's sexual assault conviction or any drug activity at the restaurant.

The restaurants last week implemented a program to conduct extensive background checks on prospective employees, he said.

Before that, the restaurants didn't have the capability to conduct criminal background checks for hourly employees, he said.

A Police Department board of inquiry and the Pima County Attorney's Office will review the incident.

Officers Duenas and Fatura were placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure in officer-involved shootings. ..Source.. by Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star