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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Man found shot to death in ditch

10-30-2011 Oklahoma:

Tulsa Police are searching for clues after the body of a man is discovered in a ditch.

It happened near 3100 E. Virgin Street around 8:30 this morning.

Police say the body of 48-year-old Eric Fuller was found lying in a ditch. He had been shot.

At this time, the Homicide unit is still working on leads regarding a motive or suspects.

According to the police department, the number of homicides in 2010 is very close to the numbers last year.

"This is the 44th one we've investigated this year. Last year at this time almost to the day we were at 50, so it's running pretty much the same," says Sgt. Dave Walker.

There were a total of 62 homicides in 2010.

Fuller was wanted for failing to register as a sex offender, however police do not believe this was a motive. ..Source.. by Sharon Phillips


Man arrested in death of man found in ditch


Antwan Maurice Reed, 34, was taken into custody on a complaint of first-degree murder after investigators found evidence linking him to the death of Eric Fuller, 48, Sgt. Dave Walker said.

Fuller was found dead with a gunshot wound in a ditch near 3100 E. Virgin St. about 8:25 a.m. Sunday. Police believe he was killed between 3 and 4 a.m.

Reed is being held at the Tulsa Jail without bail. He also is being held for traffic violations.

He has a history of criminal convictions that include assaulting a police officer, burglary, kidnapping, concealing stolen property and possession of drugs, records show. He served nine years in jail and was released in 2009. ..Source.. by ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Officers shoot, kill suspect in child porn case

10-28-2011 Colorado:

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Authorities have shot and killed a man in Greeley after a meeting at a hotel to exchange child pornography went bad.

Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner told the Greeley Tribune that federal officials on a child pornography case had arranged the meeting Friday afternoon and asked Garner's department for assistance because they knew the suspect would be armed.

He says officers shot the suspect after he allegedly touched his gun. Greeley police Sgt. Joe Tymkowych says it wasn't immediately known which agency shot the suspect.

The Tribune reports Greeley police SWAT team members and agents with the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations were at the scene. ..Source.. by

Police: Man shot by officers in child porn sting was Johnstown resident

10-29-2011 Colorado:

Police have identified the suspect in an undercover child porn sting who was shot to death by Greeley police Friday as a Johnstown resident.

The man, Jason Paul Collins, 30, was shot and killed after he reached for what police believed to be a gun during a planned meeting with police at which they were supposed to exchange child pornography. Greeley police spokesman Sgt. Joe Tymkowych said an investigation revealed that the man did not have a firearm but instead reached for a BB or pellet gun fashioned to look like a real gun, known as a replica gun.

“He had also previously told undercover agents specifically that this weapon was real,” Tymkowych said. “He also had told them that he was not going to return to prison.”

The Greeley police SWAT team joined agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations about 4 p.m. Friday in a planned meeting with the suspect. The meeting was on the second floor of the Fairfield Inn, 2401 29th St., just off the U.S. 34 Bypass in Greeley. Tymkowych confirmed that two Greeley officers fired at Collins when he reached for the weapon, but he would not say whether the officers were SWAT officers. He said police are still investigating to determine the exact details of the case. Greeley police were at the scene to assist the ICE agents.

Greeley police chief Jerry Garner said in a statement that early information indicates officers acted appropriately in the shooting.

“The preliminary indications are that procedurally our officers did exactly what they were supposed to do,” he said. “I am extremely proud of our people.”

The Weld District Attorney’s Office will conduct a legal review of the shooting, while the police department will conduct a parallel inquiry to ascertain whether the department’s policies were followed, Tymkowych said.

Tymkowych said ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents conducted an investigation in this case after developing leads as part of routine Internet surveillance for their Homeland Security operations. He said ICE agents routinely conduct such investigations while working with local jurisdictions.

At the scene Friday, police accompanied a tow-truck driver to tow a blue Honda Civic. The scene drew the top officials from the Greeley police and Weld District Attorney’s Office to investigate. Garner, Capt. Jack Statler, Lt. Brad Goldschmidt, Capt. Juan Cruz, city attorney Rick Brady, Weld District Attorney Ken Buck, Assistant District Attorney Michael Rourke and DA investigator Keith Olson all showed up. All left without comment.

Crime scene investigators remained on scene until after 6 p.m. Friday, blocking off much of the second floor of the hotel.

Tymkowych said the investigation is ongoing. ..Source.. by Nate A. Miller

Silver Spring man allegedly killed by fellow patient at Maryland mental health hospital

10-28-2011 Maryland:

40-year-old had been accused of molestation in 2010

A man accused of second-degree rape for molesting an 11-year-old girl in Montgomery County was killed Thursday evening by a fellow resident at a state mental health hospital in Jessup, officials said.

Rogelio Mondragon, 40, was a patient at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in Jessup. In December 2010, he was found incompetent to stand trial on a rape charge and was committed to the hospital. On Thursday, he was in Montgomery County Circuit Court for a competency hearing about 10 a.m. and he was ordered back to the hospital for continued treatment.

Hours after he returned to the hospital, about 7:30 p.m., Maryland State Police were called to his room, where Mondragon’s body was found by hospital staff, police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body has been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

Maryland State Police say Andre Mayo, 46, who also is a patient at the hospital, killed Mondragon. Mayo is charged with first- and second-degree murder for Mondragon’s death. It was not immediately clear why Mayo was admitted to the institution.

It is the second time in eight days and the third time in 13 months that one patient at the facility has killed another.

All three killings involved Montgomery County patients.

On Oct. 21, 24-year-old Vitaly Davydov, of North Potomac, was arrested on the suspicion that he killed his roommate, David Rico-Noyola, 22, of Anne Arundel County. In 2007, Davydov pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Bethesda psychiatrist Wayne S. Fenton in North Bethesda. He has been hospitalized since.

On Sept. 26, 2010, 51-year-old El Soundani El-Wahhabi, of Baltimore, was arrested for the first-degree murder of Susan Sachs, 45, of Chevy Chase, a fellow patient. Sachs was found face-down on her bed, strangled to death. Sachs was hospitalized at Perkins after being found not competent to stand trial for the 2004 beating death of psychiatrist Joyce Hadl, 71, of Chevy Chase. Hadl was Sachs’ landlord at the time of her death.

“The events at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital over the last week are tragic and unacceptable,” Maryland Department of Mental Health and Hygiene Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein said in a written statement Friday. “Hospitals are places for healing, not violence. Perkins Hospital has taken many steps to strengthen the safety of its environment, but more needs to be done.”

Sharfstein held a meeting in Baltimore on Friday to discuss ways to improve patient and staff safety.

Police said Mayo approached a hospital security staff member and gave details of the assault on Mondragon while other hospital employees were moving patients off the floor for the investigation. Video surveillance tapes show Mayo entering the victim’s room on two occasions within a half hour.

Police investigators were at the hospital throughout the night conducting interviews and reviewing evidence.

A motive for the homicide has not been established, police said. ..Source.. by Danielle E. Gaines, Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Marion County identifies young man killed in officer-involved shooting

10-19-2011 Oregon:

A man shot and killed early Monday by a Salem police officer was identified today as 22-year-old Dru Garret Larson.

Criminal records show that Larson had convictions for theft in Marion and Tillamook counties and identity theft, forgery, sex abuse and failure to register as a sex offender in Polk County.

An autopsy confirmed the cause of Larson's death to be gunshot wounds sustained during his confrontation with police, according to the Marion County District Attorney's Office.

Oregon State Police are investigating the shooting. ..Source.. by Alison Barnwell, The Oregonian

Family: man shot by Salem police was "sweet, kind, loving"

10-18-2011 Oregon:

Jane Larson stood at northeast Salem intersection tonight with tears in her eyes and her hand over her mouth, trying not to be physically sick.

Piles of glass and a muddy tire treadmark in the grass showed the spot where her son, Dru Garret Larson, was fatally shot by police early Monday.

“I’m going to miss him so much,” Jane Larson said. “If I had my way, I wish it was me not him. I would change places in a heartbeat.”

Dru Larson, 22, was fatally shot by Salem police early Monday, Marion County Deputy District Attorney Matt Kemmy said. An autopsy performed by the Oregon State Medical Examiner determined Larson died of gunshot wounds, Kemmy said.

Larson was allegedly driving a stolen car about 1 a.m. Monday when he was spotted by police. A three-minute chase ensued through downtown Salem at speeds of 30 to 50 mph.

The stolen 1989 Honda Civic eventually crashed into a stop sign at the corner of Liberty and Grove streets NE. But the crash didn’t stop Larson, who kept driving and hit at least one other car, officials said.

Police said the driver’s “subsequent actions placed officers at the scene in imminent danger,” resulting in officers Rogers Smith and Laura Seefeldt firing their duty weapons. No new information about what happened immediately before the shooting was released Tuesday.

Witnesses said the driver put the car in reverse and apparently was headed toward police officers.

Photos of the suspect vehicle show bullet holes in the windshield. Officers provided emergency medical aid, but Larson died at the scene.

His family is trying to piece together what happened leading up the shooting. They went to the scene Tuesday night, seeking closure.

They called Dru Larson sweet, kind and loving. He liked football, video games and fixing up cars.

Dru Larson had two sisters and a brother. He grew up in Tillamook and graduated from Tillamook High School in 2007, said his sister, Brandi Larson, of Dallas.

“We’ve gotten more than 100 text messages from (people in) Tillamook,” Jane Larson said. “He will be missed.”

He moved to Salem in 2009 to be closer to family and to get out of the small-town lifestyle.

Dru Larson was homeless, but stayed with Brandi Larson and his mom at times. He spent the last five days of his life with his sister, Brandi Larson.

“He always told me, chin up,” she said.

Dru Larson struggled with a methamphetamine addiction, but had been clean for three weeks before the shooting, according to Jane and Brandi Larson.

“That’s why we can’t imagine this,” Jane Larson said. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Dru Larson never carried weapons, they said, questioning why officers used deadly force.

“My son, I feel, was a victim,” Jane Larson said. “And until I find out the whole truth, I won’t rest.”

Larson has about 10 prior misdemeanor convictions in Marion, Polk and Tillamook counties. In April 2011 he was convicted of identity theft, a felony, in Polk County and sentenced to probation and community service.

The officers involved in the Monday shooting have been put on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after an officer involved shooting.

Senate Bill 111 establishes a procedure after officer-involved shootings. The Monday incident is being investigated by Oregon State Police and the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

Kemmy said information on the incident will go before a grand jury, which will determine if charges are necessary and whether the officers were justified in using deadly force.

Smith has been a Salem police officer since 2006. Seefeldt was hired with the department in 2000, after working as an Independence police officer for about six years.

Smith previously was cleared in an officer-involved shooting that wounded Salem man Rockne Mack Nickell in March 2007. Nickell allegedly threatened neighbors with a knife and confronted police with what turned out to be a pellet gun.

According to a state police investigation, Smith thought he was shooting Nickell with his Taser, and instead fired his gun. ..Source.. by Stacey Barchenger, Statesman Journal

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Autopsy shows Wasco inmate was beaten to death

10-13-2011 California:

A Wasco State Prison inmate found dead in his cell earlier this week was beaten to death, according to a report from the Kern County coroner's office released Wednesday.

Prison officials have said the suspect in the killing of Michael Thomas Graham is his cellmate, Joseph Hyungmin Son, 40, a former part-time actor who had a role in the 1997 film "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery." Son also had a brief career as a mixed martial arts fighter.

Graham, 50, of San Luis Obispo County, was sent to the prison's reception center in June, after he was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender and sentenced to two years in prison.

Son was convicted in August of torture for his part in the 1990 rape of a woman in Huntington Beach. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and sent to the prison's reception center in September.

Graham was found dead in his cell Monday afternoon, prison officials said. ..Source.. by LA Times

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Prison staff should have protected paedophile who was disemboweled by inmates

10-4-2011 United Kingdom:

Paedophile Mitchell Harrison met a macabre and grisly end after being disemboweled in a prison attack by fellow inmates.

Look away if you’re squeamish, but the serial sex attacker was butchered with makeshift weapons, thought to be razor blades melted into toothbrush handles, after allegedly boasting about his sick crimes

Our gut instinct may well scream that a man who brags about raping a 13 year-old girl may have deserved such a bloody and hideous death. That this was justice in its most primitive sense.

However, this is England, 2011, a so-called civilized society where the rule of law still governs. And though it may be hard to swallow, what’s morally right and legally acceptable can be mutually exclusive.

The authorities at Frankland Prison in County Durham should face a full criminal investigation and Harrison’s family have a right to claim compensation for his unlawful death .

Every prisoner is entitled to full state protection, however horrible their crimes – indeed the greater the horror the more they need protecting.

How on earth can such a violent atrocity ever occur in one of Her Majesty’s prisons? Especially when this place has previous – Soham killer Ian Huntley had his throat slashed in the same jail only last year.

Defendants like this are prime targets for in-house vigilantism. Have the authorities learnt nothing?

Last year I supported Ian Huntley’s right to sue for £100,000 when he was attacked.

And that’s why I support Harrison’s family in suing the prison for every penny it can get.

Breaking the law is a costly business.

This mistake will probably cost the hard-pressed tax payer millions.

Only the other day the High Court ruled that banned extremist Sheikh Raed Salah could claim compensation for unlawful detention by immigration officers because they failed to explain to him ‘in a language he could understand’ precisely why he was being detained – a technical breach of the rules. The pro-Palestinian hardliner, described in the Commons as a ‘virulent anti-Semite’ is banned from this country.

His entry was illegal. But nevertheless now he is here, is entitled to being protected by the law of the land.

It’s essential that those responsible for those protecting us uphold that law. Otherwise we have to pick up the tab.

And until State protectors do their job properly, we’ll keep on paying. Now, where’s the morality in that? ..Source.. by Nick Freeman

Friday, October 7, 2011

Possible motive released in Albany landlord-tenant homicide

6-30-2011 Oregon:

ALBANY, Ore. (KMTR) -- New information and a possible motive has been released in an Albany homicide, as the female suspect in the case makes her first appearance in court on Thursday.

35-year-old Melissa Amber Haley of Albany is charged with murder in the shooting death of 49-year-old Derrick Miller of Albany. Haley was arraigned on the charge Thursday, June 30th, 2011.

Albany Police say Miller and Haley lived in the same house. Miller was Haley’s landlord. Police say Haley admitted to shooting Miller just before noon on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011.

According to the probable cause affidavit in the case, at least four people lived in the home where the shooting happened, on the 600 block of Montgomery Street in southeast Albany.

In the affidavit, Albany Police say Haley rented two rooms in the home, one for herself and one for her 12-year-old child, starting in December 2010. Police say Miller and his wife also lived in the home.

Police say Haley called 911 on Wednesday, telling dispatchers she has “just shot a man.” When Albany Police officers arrived on scene, according to the affidavit, Haley exclaimed, “I couldn’t take it anymore!” and “He’s a pedophile!”

According to the affidavit, Haley later spoke to detectives, accusing Miller of sexually abusing a 4-year-old in the basement of the home in December 2010. Haley alleged that the 4-year-old was in Miller’s wife’s care. Haley also told police that she never reported the allegations to authorities, only to her friend.

In the investigation, Albany Police also interviewed Miller’s wife. In the affidavit, police say Miller’s wife told detectives that she hasn’t provided day care to anyone in the last five years, also that no young children visit the residence at all.

Neighbors say they are shocked by the shooting.

“These people were really nice people. They never fought and argued with each other, we spent afternoon with them where they could have, and they just didn't do that, they were just really gentle people," says David Cunningham, a neighbor, speaking of the Miller family.

"Always active in the neighborhood and active going out boating, camping all the time, fishing,” says Cunningham.

Other details in the affidavit also state that Haley told Albany Police that she had shot Miller in the stomach. Officers found Miller in his home with a gunshot wound in his head.

The affidavit also states that Haley told Albany Police that she suffers from “anxiety” and “depression” and is on medication to treat both conditions.

The Albany Police Department and Linn County District Attorney’s Office declined any further comment on the case on Thursday, June 30th, 2011. Both agencies are continuing to investigate the case.

Albany Police served a search warrant on the home on Thursday and cleared the crime scene early Thursday afternoon. ..Source.. by Chris McKee

Sex offender found stabbed to death in his caravan

12-8-2008 United Kingdom:

A convicted sex offender was stabbed to death and had his genitals mutilated during an attack in the caravan where he lived on an industrial estate in south London.

Andrew Cunningham, 52, died of multiple stab wounds to the head, neck and chest on Wednesday. Police confirmed he had previously been on the sex offenders register for an offence committed in 2000 but his name had been removed in March. He was convicted in 2001 and served a four-month prison sentence.

Detective chief inspector Nick Scola, the officer leading the investigation, said Cunningham had been the victim of a "vicious and brutal attack" and he had been stabbed in the groin. Reports that he had been killed by a vigilante mob were unfounded. It is understood that Cunningham had been convicted of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl. Police said it was clearly possible that this was a motive for the murder.

Scola confirmed that the Wandsworth home where Cunningham had previously lived with his now-estranged family had been attacked five years ago but that the incident involved a binliner being set fire outside the door.

"The fact that his genitals were mutilated, and that there was damage to the groin, is one consideration, but it could have been done to confuse the investigation," Scola said. "People in the local area did know of his past. He had been living in that caravan for some months."

The Sun reported that Cunningham had been targeted by a mob of angry locals who chanted "die, paedo die" but officers have discovered no evidence that this was the case. The paper claimed that drinkers in a local pub accused him of fondling the landlady's two-year-old daughter.

"There are no reports whatsoever of a group of people being seen in the area, no reports of anyone chanting, shouting or unusual activity," said Scola.

Cunningham was last seen alive at 6.10pm on December 9 when he was seen in his caravan, which was parked on a private road. He was known to frequent pubs in the local area but yesterday local drinkers refused to talk about the case.

A lorry driver for a haulage company, Cunningham lived next to the yard from which he worked. Alan Hawkins, the owner of a neighbouring yard, said: "He was like your average bloke. I didn't know too much about his history but there were whispers."

Cunningham is known to have locked his caravan from the inside. Scola said: "There was no forced entry and he could well have invited his killer into the caravan."

He added that the killing could never be justified, in spite of Cunningham's history. Police had no reports of further sexual offences committed by him.

"Regardless of who he was or what he may have done, Andrew was the victim of a vicious assault which ended his life," said Scola. "This was a vicious and brutal attack on him and whoever did it is still out there and could easily attack someone else."

A father of five, Cunningham had separated from his family and it is believed that they declined to identify his body.

He was found by his employer when he failed to turn up for work on Wednesday morning.

Police are studying CCTV footage from cameras around the industrial estate which is sited next to Wimbledon dog track.

Scola said he was particularly keen to find out more about Cunningham's movements last Tuesday evening and aspects of his daily life.

He said: "It is vital we establish where he was and who he was with. Many people knew him and he used several pubs in the area."

Sara Payne, the campaigner whose daughter Sarah was murdered by a convicted paedophile in 2000, said the attacker or attackers were "no better" than the man they had killed and that his murder would set back her campaign for the names and addresses of sex offenders to be made available to the public. ..Source.. by Audrey Gillan