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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Teen girl: 'I lied that Stephen Lyne raped me'

2-29-2012 Ireland:

KILLARNEY teen Stephen Lyne was stabbed and killed because of a false claim of rape that had been levelled against him by a teenage girl, Tralee Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

On Tuesday the trial of Estonian national Martin Ollo, who is facing charges linked to the death of Mr Lyne in June 2009, heard from witness Jessica Klok who admitted lying about being raped by Stephen Lyne.

The trial has heard that Shane Regan, who has since died, had stabbed and killed Stephen Lyne in retaliation over the rape allegation made by Jessica Klok.

Miss Klok (18) admitted in court that she had made up the rape allegation against Stephen Lyne and that she had "communicated" that lie to Shane Regan.

"I lied that Stephen Lyne had raped me," Jessica Klok told the court. "It was just a blatant, disgusting lie."

Stephen Lyne's sister Sophia Lyne gave evidence that in the days leading up to the killing Shane Regan had told her about allegations that Stephen Lyne had "dragged a girl into a forest, held a knife to her throat and raped her."

Martin Ollo, of 47 Doirin Alainn, Ballydribeen, Killarney, is being tried at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court on two counts of conspiring with Shane Regan to assault Stephen Lyne causing him harm on dates between June 15 and 18, 2009. Mr Ollo pleaded not guilty to both charges. KILLARNEY teenager Stephen Lyne was killed because of a false claim of rape that had been made against him Tralee Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

Witness Jessica Klok admitted lying about being raped by Stephen Lyne at the trial of Estonian national Martin Ollo, who is facing charges linked to the death of Mr Lyne in June 2009. Mr Ollo, a computing student at IT Tralee, with an address at 47 Doirin Alainn, Ballydribeen, Killarney, is being tried at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court on two counts of conspiring with Shane Regan to assault Stephen Lyne causing him harm on dates between June 15 and 18, 2009. Mr Ollo has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

On Tuesday the trial heard that Shane Regan, who has since died, had stabbed and killed Stephen Lyne in retaliation over a rape allegation that Jessica Klok had levelled against Mr Lyne.

Stephen Lyne's sister Sophia Lyne gave evidence that in the days leading up to the Killing Shane Regan had told her about allegations that Stephen Lyne had "dragged a girl into a forest, held a knife to her throat and raped her".

Sophia Lyne said that when he made the allegations against her brother Shane Regan was "really mad and angry."

Miss Lyne said Shane Regan had told her that he was "going to get Stephen himself for this" and that he was going to stab him.

Witness Jessica Klok (aged 18) admitted in court that she had made up a rape allegation against Stephen Lyne and that she had "communicated" that lie to Shane Regan.

"I lied that Stephen Lyne had raped me," she told the court. "It was just a blatant disgusting lie," Jessica Klok said.

Jessica Klok also told the court that Shane Regan had told her he would not get caught for the killing of Stephen Lyne as he had burned his clothes and had set someone else up to get caught for the crime.

She also said she had the impression that Martin Ollo "did nothing" to Stephen Lyne.

Another witness Matt Griffin, an acquaintance of Martin Ollo, told the trial that in the days after Mr Lyne's death Mr Ollo had told him the killing was directly linked to the rape allegation.

Matt Griffin said that he had discussed Stephen Lyne's death with Martin Ollo a few days after the killing. "Later on when he was all flustered and panicked he said it had something to do with Jessica Klok claiming a rape or something like that," he said.

Under cross-examination from defence barrister John O'sullivan, Matt Griffin told the court that Martin Ollo told him that Shane Regan had said that the allegation made by Jessica Klok was the motive behind the fatal attack. ..Source.. by SIMON BROUDER

Monday, February 27, 2012

Victim of shooting caught on video ID'd

2-25-2012 Texas:

A man found shot to death in his pickup on U.S. 90 Thursday afternoon has been identified as George Munoz, 49.

Police Chief William McManus said the man was shot several times by a passenger in an SUV. He was found dead in the westbound lanes of U.S. 90 near the Southwest Military Drive exit.

The shooting was not random and the entire incident was captured on video, police said.

Police Sgt. Chris Benavides said authorities don't want to disclose the origin of the video for fear of compromising the investigation. ..Source.. by Michelle Casady


Victim ID'ed in Hwy. 90 shooting death

2-26-2012 Texas:

The man killed in last Thursday's Hwy. 90 shooting has been ID'ed, and his criminal history is now clear.

The medical examiner says the man was 49 year-old George Munoz.

And his rap sheet includes a child sex assault, and failing to register with the state for that sex crime.

Munoz also had DWI and driving with a suspended license convictions.

And he'd been convicted of assault and drug possession.

Police say someone shot at Munoz' truck as he drove along the Hwy. 90 access road.

Police Chief Bill McManus said Munoz' shooting death does not appeared random.

Investigators say they have obtained video surveillance of the area, and hope to use that to identify Munoz' killers.
..Source.. by

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Folsom prison inmate killed in assault

2-25-2012 California:

Law enforcement officials are investigating a homicide that occurred this morning in a medium security unit of Folsom State Prison, according to Corrections Lt. Paul Baker, who is stationed at the prison.

He said Richard Allen Leonard was assaulted with a "slashing type weapon." Responding staff instituted life-saving procedures, but could not revive Leonard, who was pronounced dead at 8:01 a.m.

Leonard, 44, was serving a 25-to-life term for aggravated sexual assault on a child. He was convicted in Orange County and began serving his sentence on Sept. 2, 1998.

The matter is under investigation by personnel at the prison and from the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office, Baker said. The Office of the Inspector General's Bureau of Independent Review has been notified of the incident, he added.

He said there is no suspect at this time. The prison has been placed on a partial lockdown pending further investigation.

The prison houses more than 3,100 inmates and employs nearly 1,000 people. ..Source.. by Denny Walsh


Investigation Into Inmate Death At Folsom State Prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Law enforcement officials are investigating an inmate death that happened at a medium-security unit at Folsom State Prison early Saturday morning.

Officials said 44-year-old inmate Richard Allen Leonard died after being assaulted with a slashing-type weapon.

The inmate was received from Orange County on September, 2, 1998, and was serving a 25 to life term for aggravated sexual assault on a child.

The case is being investigated as a homicide by Folsom State Prison Investigative Services Unit and Sacramento County District Attorney’s investigators. The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified of the incident.

There is no suspect at this time. Folsom State Prison has been placed on a modified program pending further investigation.

Folsom State Prison is a medium security that houses more than 3,100 inmates and employs nearly 1,000 people. FSP opened on July 26, 1880 as the second oldest Prison in California. ..Source.. by


Pair Suspected In Folsom State Prison Killing

3-2-2012 California:

2 People Removed From General Population

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) -- Two people were removed from the general population at Folsom State Prison, nearly one week after an inmate was killed, police said.

Richard Allen Leonard died Feb. 25 after he was assaulted with a slashing-type weapon, Lt. Paul Baker said in a news release issued Thursday.

Leonard's death in the medium-security unit is being investigated as a homicide.

The 44-year-old was brought to Folsom State Prison from Orange County in 1998. He was serving a term for the aggravated sexual assault of a child, police said.

"The majority of Folsom State Prison population is back to a normal program," the news release says. "One segment of the population remains on a modified program pending further investigation."

The suspects' names have not been released by officials. ..Source..

Saturday, February 25, 2012

First-degree murder charge filed against Kingman man; parts of victim found in desert

11-28-2011 Arizona:

KINGMAN, Ariz. -- A Kingman man accused of killing and dismembering a man he believed had molested his daughter has been jailed on charges that include first-degree murder.

George Loader, 34, was arrested Wednesday after a family member called the Mohave County sheriff's office to report that Loader had killed a man named "John" in the garage of a house in the 2200 block of East Devlin Avenue, police said. The relative said Loader and his girlfriend had been staying at the house while his mother was in Colorado.

The relative told police that Loader said he "lost it" when his 3-year-old daughter told him that "John" had touched her inappropriately, said Detective Jason Elsbury. The relative also told police that Loader said he chopped up the corpse, placed the body parts in bags and dumped them near a dirt track on the outskirts of Kingman.

A deputy found the body parts in the area. Police also recovered evidence at the house that included a bag of human hair, a box of blood-soaked towels and rags, multiple knives and a shotgun.

"The remains were badly burned, and the victim had been decapitated and had limbs removed from his torso," court documents stated.

The victim recently was released from jail and was living with Loader.

Spokeswoman Trish Carter said the sheriff's office was withholding the victim's identity until the medical examiner's office could positively identify the remains. ..Source.. by Dave Hawkins


Murder victim ID'd, molestation claims unproven

12-4-2011 Arizona:

Investigators with the Mohave County Sheriff's Office said they have been unable to substantiate claims made by a murder suspect that he killed a man because he molested his young daughter.

Although forensic identification of the body is still pending, the Sheriff's Office released the victim's name as John Oppenheim, a 41-year-old Fort Mohave man. Oppenheim was reportedly staying with George Loader, 34, following his release from jail on assault charges stemming from an incident earlier this summer involving his roommate, and resisting arrest.

Though he has not spoken with authorities, a search warrant sought by authorities indicates that Loader made statements to a family member saying that he had killed Oppenheim in a rage after Loader's 3-year-old daughter complained to him of being inappropriately touched. Sheriff's Spokeswoman Trish Carter said detectives have been unable to find evidence substantiating the claim and believe that it did not happen.

Oppenheim is believed to have been killed Nov. 22 but his dismembered and burned body was not discovered until the following day when a person with knowledge of the crime called authorities to report where the body had been dumped.

Loader was indicted last week by a grand jury on first-degree murder charges. ..Source.. by Erin Taylor, Miner Staff Reporter


Loader Pleads Not Guilty In Ft. Mohave Murder Case

12-12-2011 Arizona:

A Kingman man charged in the murder and dismemberment of a Fort Mohave resident pled not guilty during his arraignment Monday. George Loader, 34, is charged with misconduct involving weapons, abandoning a body and first degree murder in thelate November slaying of 51-year-old John Oppenheim.

Court records indicate Loader told a relative he killed Oppenheim suspecting Oppenheim molested his three-year-old daughter. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office has reported its investigation determined the suspicion was unfounded.

Loader is held without bond in the Mohave County jail pending a Thursday hearing to review release conditions. More case specifics could emerge during the hearing. ..Source.. by AZI


Testimony: Single shotgun blast fatal in Kingman dismemberment case

12-18-2011 Arizona:

Authorities say a man killed over what a father has said was retaliation for molesting his daughter was shot in the face before he was dismembered.

The disclosure was made during a hearing Thursday in which Mohave Superior Court Judge Steven Conn said 34-year-old George Loader would continue to be held without bond in the first-degree murder case.

Mohave County Sheriff's Detective Jason Elsbury said Loader and the victim, John Oppenheim, are believed to have met while housed together in the same pod at the Mohave County Jail. Both were released and Oppenheim, 51, was staying with Loader, his girlfriend, their four children and some of Loader's relatives when he was reportedly killed at the home Nov. 22.

Elsbury testified Thursday that Loader's girlfriend said she was changing their 3-year-old daughter's diaper when she noticed a red spot. When she asked the girl what happened, she reportedly pointed at Oppenheim.

The girlfriend told detectives she told Loader about the girl's complaint and saw Loader go into the garage to confront Oppenheim before hearing a "bang," presumably the gunshot.

Elsbury said the Medical Examiner's Office said Oppenheim was shot once in the lower jaw and neck area. He did not specify how the body was dismembered but said investigators found a bloody saw along with bloody clothing and a bag of human hair in the garage.

Loader's girlfriend reportedly admitted to helping clean up the blood in the garage but she is not believed to have helped move the body to a dirt bike track off of Bank Street where the remains were dumped and set on fire. A canister of lighter fluid was found alongside the body, which had been beheaded and had its limbs removed.

All of the remains were found at the dirt bike track with the exception of the fingers, which have still not been found.

Elsbury said that after the murder was called in to authorities by an anonymous caller who was later determined to be a Loader family member, a search warrant was served at Loader's home at 3 a.m. Nov. 24. A 12-gauge pump shotgun believed to be the murder weapon was found in a drawer in his bedroom. The four children in the home were removed at that time and remain in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Elsbury said an examination by a nurse trained in examining sexual assault victims found no evidence that the 3-year-old girl had been molested. Detectives were also unable to corroborate the information in interviews with the girl.

Prosecutor Greg McPhillips said the Mohave County Attorney's Office is reviewing if Loader's girlfriend will face charges. He added that his office has until February to decide whether to pursue the death penalty against Loader. ..Source.. by Erin Taylor, Miner Staff Reporter

Paedophile killer 'was murdered': Post-mortem examination confirms child rapist was strangled in jail cell

10-20-1993 United Kingdom:

LESLIE BAILEY, a convicted paedophile killer, was murdered in his cell at Whitemoor Prison despite being kept in a wing apart from other prisoners, it was confirmed yesterday.

An inquest in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, was told that post-mortem examinations had established Bailey was strangled with a ligature, which was found near his body, on 7 October. Police originally said they were not ruling out the possibility he had killed himself.

Detective Superintendent Bob Wordsworth, who is leading the inquiry, said afterwards: 'I can confirm that, as far as we are concerned, we are now treating the matter as a murder inquiry. This is based on medical evidence and other examinations by Dr Nat Carey, a Home Office pathologist.

'We will be concentrating within the prison. We have had superb co- operation from the governor and his staff as well as co-operation from the inmates. I hope we will be successful.' Mr Wordsworth said that although there were reports that Bailey had received threats, there was no evidence that he was generally hated within the prison.

Yesterday's inquest was adjourned after hearing evidence of identity from a prison officer, and of the cause of death.

Bailey was one of about 100 'Rule 43' prisoners at Whitemoor, segregated from other inmates because they could be subjected to violence. Rule 43 prisoners - so called because of the prison rules which provide for their segregation - include child murderers and abusers, paedophiles, other sex offenders and, in some prisons, informers.

Bailey's body was discovered during a 'free association' period when inmates were allowed to move around the wing and visit each other in their cells. The wing is entirely separate from the rest of the prison, which is a modern, high security establishment housing mainly Category A inmates.

Police will now continue to question all the inmates who were on the wing at the time of the murder but are likely to come up against a wall of silence which will make it difficult to establish the truth. There have been four other murders in prisons in England and Wales in the last five years.

Bailey was serving a life sentence after being convicted in 1989 of the manslaughter of a male prostitute Jason Swift, 14, and admitting the murder of Barry Lewis, aged six. Both boys were kidnapped and subjected to gang rapes by a group of east London paedophiles, who police believe may have been involved in several more child murders.

In October last year, Bailey was given two additional life sentences after pleading guilty to the manslaughter in June 1984 of Mark Tildesley, from Wokingham, Berkshire. The boy's body has never been found. The three other men convicted with Bailey are being held in Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight. One of them, Sidney Cook, 66, was assaulted in his cell last week. Security at the jail is believed to have been increased. ..Source.. by TERRY KIRBY , Crime Correspondent

Accused gay molester killed

1-16-2011 Jamaica:

A man who police say was accused of raping little boys in Tivoli Gardens in Kingston was among at least three persons shot dead Friday night.

An investigator from the Major Investigation Taskforce (MIT) said the man, who was identified as 42-year-old Winston Pennington, was found with a single gunshot wound to the head on Bustamante Highway at about 11:40 pm.

The police said Pennington was shot at point-blank range, and that a spent shell and a 9mm round were taken from beside his body.

"He was also called 'Black John', and so far our investigations suggest that he may have been killed because he reportedly molested youths in the community," the investigator, who declined to be named, told the Sunday Observer.

The murder -- the first recorded in the area by the police since the extradition of former Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke last year -- kept the police busy combing for leads. Up until press time they said they had still not identified any suspects.

In the meantime, police theorise that William Robinson, who was found with gunshot wounds at the rear of his business place on Chisholm Avenue in Kingston, may have been a victim of extortion.

According the police, at least one gunman pounced on Robinson at about 11:00 pm, demanding money from him, before firing on him through the window above the counter.

Robinson was taken to the Kingston Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead, the police said.

In the third incident, homicide investigators were, up to late yesterday afternoon, processing a crime scene at a house on Norman Crescent in East Kingston, from which a man was chased and shot dead on Elletson Road.

Police say 33-year-old Wajin Warren, whose body was found sprawled on the roadway, was chased by a gunman from the premises where he had gone to visit his girlfriend.

"The gunman ran him down from Norman Crescent, on to Norman Road, and onto Elletson Road in the vicinity of Telephone Street where he shot him," the MIT investigator said. ..Source.. by COREY ROBINSON

Suspected child molester killed in Riverside

11-16-2011 California:

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A gunfight broke out when officers tried to serve a search warrant in Riverside on Wednesday, leaving a suspected child molester dead.

Riverside police swarmed the Tyler Spring Senior Apartments in the 10400 block of Indiana Avenue just after 7:30 a.m. Many in the quiet community woke up to the sound of gunshots and sirens.

"Our detectives from the Riverside Police Department sexual assault and child abuse unit came to the location to serve a search warrant on a subject to who has several counts of child molestation," said Lt. Guy Toussaint of the Riverside Police Department.

The suspect barricaded himself inside the complex, prompting authorities to evacuate nearby residents and shut down Indiana Avenue.

The tense standoff ended about 2 1/2 hours later. The suspect was found inside his apartment dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Officers initially opened fire when the suspect allegedly pulled out a shotgun.

It was unclear if the suspect died from police gunfire or from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"He did have what appeared to be gunshot wounds. The coroner will determine the cause of death," Toussaint said.

Riverside police say one officer suffered minor injuries while jumping out of the line of fire.

The suspect's name has not been released.

Police said the investigation is ongoing. ..Source.. by KABC-TV/DT

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dennis Austin: Pennsylvania Prisoner Who Died With Bedsores Should Spark Probe, Lawyer Says

Slides showing condition are in the original post.
2-24-2012 Pennsylvania:

ERIE, Pa. -- A former federal prosecutor has asked for a criminal investigation into the death of Dennis Austin, a Pennsylvania prison inmate with grossly infected bedsores that his family said caused or contributed to his death.

"This is an outrage and people ought to be highly incensed about it," Jeffrey J. Del Fuoco, now a private lawyer working for Austin's family, told The Huffington Post. "There is a criminal wrong that needs to be addressed here."

Del Fuoco has asked the district attorney in Erie to investigate Austin's New Year's Day death at the State Correctional Institution in Albion. The 48-year-old convict had been diagnosed in July 2010 with lung and bone cancer that the coroner said killed him. Austin, committed to the prison in 1991 for rape and kidnapping, was serving a 28-to-57-year sentence.

Austin's sister, Paula Thomas, of Erie, provided The Huffington Post with post-mortem photos of her brother showing bedsores covering a large portion of his body. Thomas said the photos show serious neglect. "It's awful. It's just awful," Thomas said. "Yeah, he was in prison, but he served his time all those years and yet he had to suffer like that."

Del Fuoco said the photos show "severe, prolonged inattention and neglect." He said the pictures should "shock the sensibilities of anyone with any humanity whatsoever."

The lawyer said medical experts he has consulted suggested Austin died from gross negligence.

"I have spoken to a major forensic pathologist, whose preliminary opinion is if the wounds did not outright cause [Austin's] death, at bare-bones minimum they contributed to it ... He indicated to me that there is no question that we have gross neglect," Del Fuoco said.

Del Fuoco's letter to Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri seeks a formal investigation. Daneri did not immediately return calls for comment.

The letter to the D.A. cites The Huffington Post's previous coverage of the case -- in particular, comments made by Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook. Cook told HuffPost last month that Austin died as a result of stage-four metastatic lung cancer. Cook said the care Austin received at SCI Albion was "appropriate and as good as you would find anywhere else." The coroner also said the bedsore ulcers "looked bad," but were not evidence of neglect.

"For the Erie County coroner to make the type of statements he made to [The Huffington Post] seems completely ridiculous and irresponsible," Del Fuoco said.

Del Fuoco said prison officials refuse to investigate Austin's "true cause of death" and have denied his family's request for a publicly-funded autopsy. Del Fuoco said the family does not have the funds to pay for a private autopsy.

Susan Bensinger, deputy press secretary for the state Department of Corrections, last month declined to discuss the details of Austin's death "out of respect for the privacy of the inmate."

Del Fuoco said he does not know the details of Austin's criminal conviction.

"That has no play in this. That's irrelevant," Del Fuoco said. "I don't care what your politics are, this is an outrage and people ought to be highly incensed about it."

Regardless of the district attorney's findings, Del Fuoco said it is "highly likely" he will file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the family.

"This isn't going away, so somebody needs to do something about it," Del Fuoco said. ..Source.. by David Lohr

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sex assault suspect killed by police

12-19-2010 California:

LONG BEACH, Calif., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A California man suspected of sexually assaulting a minor family member was fatally shot Sunday by an officer who went to a home to question him, police said.

The Long Beach Police Department said in a statement officers were flagged down about 5 a.m. by a female who made the sex assault allegation.

Police said when the officers contacted the unnamed suspect, he produced a handgun and was shot by an officer, the Long Beach Post reported online. He was pronounced dead at the scene by city paramedics, the news Web site said.

No officers were hurt.

The minor who was allegedly assaulted was treated at a hospital.

City homicide detectives and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office were investigating the officer-involved shooting. ..Source.. by UPI


UPDATE: Long Beach Police Officers Fatally Shoot Sexual Assault Suspect

12-20-2010 California:

UPDATE 9:34am Monday | Chief of Police Jim McDonnell issued a statement and took questions from the media Sunday afternoon after the early morning officer-involved shooting that killed a sexual assault suspect in Long Beach. He reiterated the story released by the department yesterday (which you can read below) and also added new details.

After last weekend's controversial shooting of Doug Zerby, in which it appears officers did not notify Zerby that they were present nor asked him to drop his weapon (it would turn out to be a water nozzle), McDonnell on Sunday made it very clear that officers confronted the suspect and announced themselves in both English and Spanish.

The suspect had fled to a nearby home and officers told him to exit in both languages. When he did not, they entered the home in an attempt to arrest him.

They found the suspect in a second-story bedroom and again told him to surrender in both English and Spanish. The suspect was sitting on a bed and rolled to the other side, where he grabbed a handgun and three officers opened fire, killing him. ..Source.. by Ryan ZumMallen


Competing Claims And Motives In The Zerby Case


11:31am | I've never liked the adversarial system as it plays out in American jurisprudence.

Even if you're unfamiliar with the term 'adversarial system,' you know what it is: the prosecution and the defense each put on its best case, and a judge or jury decides the winner.

Especially in the context of criminal justice, where people are accused of the worst sorts of inhumane behavior, the term 'winner' is crass; nevertheless, it fittingly reflects the reality: within the parameters of what is legally allowable1, each side tries to win, period. Thus do you often hear variations on a theme: "If you're looking for truth in a court of law,

you're looking in the wrong place." The adversarial system is not about finding truth, it's about beating your adversary. It's about winning.

While I am completely on board with the state trying to prove its case and the accused getting a competent, vigorous defense against prosecution, I have always imagined it would be possible to have a system wherein both sides' first priority is to serve truth. That, it seems to me, would always make for the best chance to find "justice."

This oppositional frame shapes events far outside the courthouse walls. Historically we have found it alive and ill-but-thriving in police going to criminal lengths to justify their criminal behavior, and attorneys materially obfuscating fact and truth in the pursuit of victory.

I'm on this a priori tangent about the Zerby case because I've just been comparing the contrasting versions of the December 12 shooting of Doug Zerby offered to us by Long Beach Police Department Chief Jim McDonnell and by Brian E. Claypool, the attorney hired by Doug Zerby's family. And while I still count myself in that nearly all-inclusive group of people who are in no position to know what happened on December 12, what I do know is that already we are seeing both sides positioning themselves for combat, and it does not seem certain either is primarily driven by a search for truth.

Let us start by considering Claypool's version of events, which he animatedly offered on December 17, five days after the shooting. Piecing together everything he said, "Here's what really happened":
A very drunken Zerby did not wish to drive, and so he stumbled to his friend Doug's house and knocked on the door. Since Doug was not home, Zerby sat on the porch to wait, killing time by playing with a water nozzle he found there, apparently sometimes handling it as if it were a gun2. Police received a 911 call from an individual claiming he saw Zerby with a gun, though admitting that he didn't know much about guns3. "[A]t least five to six […] possibly more; could've been upwards of seven or so" officers arrived on the scene, and during a period of 10–15 minutes they took up positions around Zerby, one officer as close as 12 feet away behind a brick post that would have protected him from harm even if Zerby had a gun and opened fire. They observed Zerby with his legs crossed and his hands in his lap. "We know they [i.e., the officers] […] didn't fear for their lives." Eventually one of the officers made a noise, and Zerby turned in that direction, though with his arms still down, and one officer began firing, which triggered at least two and maybe three others to do the same4, "blast[ing] 20 rounds" at Zerby, 10 to 12 of which hit him, some after he was slumping forward from being shot5. "It was target practice for the Long Beach Police Department […] a flat-out ambush." Zerby's body ended up leaning against a banister, which suggests Zerby never made an aggressive maneuver.
Needless to say, Version Claypool differs from the LBPD version of events, which, as outlined by Chief McDonnell at his December 13 press conference, goes like this:
At approximately 4:40 p.m. police were dispatched to the scene based on the 911 call, which involved two witnesses who believed Zerby was brandishing a gun identified as a "six-shooter." Officers arrived and "took positions where they could watch the suspect until more officers arrived,"6 from where they observed an apparently intoxicated Zerby brandishing what appeared to them to be a handgun. They did not establish contact with Zerby because they first wanted to set up "containment" in case Zerby tried to exit the scene; and because they first wanted "a helicopter […], K9 units, and […] our mental-evaluation team." Over the course of 10–15 minutes as they waited for these resources to arrive, the officers observed Zerby pointing the presumed gun at the apartment building, then continued to play with the object, "which made noises that were similar to that [of] a handgun." As soon as Zerby became aware of the officers' presence, he pointed the supposed gun at the officers, using a two-handed grip typical of an individual about to discharge a handgun, at which point two officers shot him, including with two shotgun rounds. The officers did not speak with Zerby before shooting him "due to the actions of Mr. Zerby […]." "The message is: you're responsible for your actions."7
There's plenty in both accounts to wonder about. In Version Claypool, it strains credulity8 to think three to four officers who didn't fear for their lives fired 20 times on someone sitting cross-legged with his hands in his lap, including at least some shots after he was leaning forward, incapacitated. In Version McDonnell, there are frighteningly obvious questions, such as why officers had to wait for dogs and a helicopter before saying, "Long Beach Police Department. Drop your weapon."

Then there's also the matter of the factual discrepancies. From the little I know about forensics and ballistics, the number of shooters and their distance from Zerby when they fired is absolutely determinable—which means either Claypool or McDonnell can (and eventually will) be shown to have, for whatever reason(s), put forward inaccurate information.

Lastly, we have both Claypool and McDonnell inserting themselves into the mix by offering conclusions. To begin with, aside from spinning the incident as an "ambush," Claypool's account includes information he cannot possibly know, such as assertions about the intentions of the officers involved and Zerby's state of mind. And so whatever else is the case regarding his various assertions of fact, Version Claypool is at least somewhat embellished, in that it is not confined to the facts involved.9

For his part, McDonnell's stated conclusion that Zerby's own actions caused the officers not to speak with Zerby and then to shoot him can be nothing but spin, an attempt to exonerate the officers' actions in the forum of public opinion in advance of the investigation being conducted to determine whether that conclusion is valid, or whether what is truer is that the officers killed a man due to a deadly ineptitude (isolated or systemic). I'm open to the possibility that the officers and the LBPD may be blameless, but I cannot see how on December 13 anybody—especially those of us who weren't there—was in a good enough position to have determined it to be so.

That a mere one day after an officer-involved shooting of an unarmed man the chief of that police department seems already to have determined the shooting to be justified might reasonably cause one to be concerned about whether any departmental investigation of the incident isn't compromised from the start.10

In a tragedy such as the death of Doug Zerby, there are inevitable questions, especially in the immediate aftermath. Unfortunately, Claypool and McDonnell, by focusing on more than simply finding and acting upon truth, have made the process more questionable than it needs to be. In going forward, we should urge both sides not to be focused primarily on coming out of their corners fighting. Because this is not a boxing match; this is not a debate. An unarmed man was killed, and we should have a common goal, a goal that none of our behaviors should compromise: to find out why it happened, and to take whatever steps we might to minimize the chance that such a calamity will again befall us.

Beyond that, there may be a time when we can definitely assign blame, and there may be appropriate actions to take in that regard. But that time was not within a week of the shooting. Those who would play the blame game in that time frame might fairly be said to be posturing, digging trenches and hunkering down for an upcoming battle. That is not about justice; it's just another way of burying one's—and others'—head(s) in the sand.

Let's not go there.
1And, on occasion, outside of those parameters.
2Claypool skips over the question of what Zerby was doing with it, but he doesn't dispute that Zerby must have been doing something with it that made it appear to at least one person—namely, the 911 caller—that it was a gun.
3While this is true, Claypool takes the statement out of context: the caller was committed to his belief that Zerby had a gun; his statement about knowing little about guns was made in relation to the 911 operator's asking what kind of gun it was, to which the caller stated his belief that Zerby was brandishing a "a little tiny six-shooter or something like that" and not a 9 mm or a .45 caliber handgun. "Do you actually see a gun?" the 911 operator asks. "Yes, I do," the caller replies immediately.
4Regarding two of the officers, Claypool says, "All they did was barge in the apartment […] go to the side deck, and start shooting a shotgun at Doug Zerby."
5"Doug had already been incapacitated, and these police officers continued to shoot."
6Later McDonnell indicates that they tried to take positions of cover, and implies they were "30 to 40 feet" away—well beyond the effective range of the tazers they possessed, he says.
7This may sound harsher than it was meant, as McDonnell never (otherwise) implies that Zerby "deserved" to be shot; but this was McDonnell's statement in response to a reporter's question about what message this shooting sends to members of the community.
8Unless we were talking about, for example, a racially-motivated killing—as once were common enough in this country and which, unfortunately, are not extinct—but no one is suggesting this kind of factor is in play.
9This includes one assertion by Claypool that already we know to be false: "There was no indication from that 911 call that Doug Zerby had committed a crime," he says, even though brandishing a handgun in public—which is what the caller stated Zerby was doing—is a crime in California. (See California Penal Code Section 417.) That it turned out Zerby was not committing a crime does not lessen the fact the 911 call was indeed an "indication that Doug Zerby had committed a crime."
10Something I like about American jurisprudence is built into it is the possibility of outside investigations.


IN PRINT: Zerby Shooting


Sunday, February 12, 2012

GA Child Sex Assault Suspect Killed In TX

7-13-2011 Texas:

Atlanta, GA — A man wanted in Georgia on charges of sexually assaulting a child and enticing a child is dead, shot down by police in Texas.

Fort Worth police were assisting the U.S. Marshals Task Force in hunting the suspect. They tracked him to a house in the 2000 block of Williams Place, near Northeast 28th Street in Fort Worth.

The man barricaded himself inside the home and a standoff began. The SWAT team arrived and tried negotiating with the man, but to no avail.

Then, after several hours holed up inside, the suspect emerged from a back door, holding a handgun. Officers say the man shouted to them, "I'm not going back to prison," then leveled the gun at them and fired twice.

He missed. They did not.

Officers returned fire, hitting the suspect several times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The matter is still being investigated by police in Fort Worth. The suspect's name has not been released. ..Source.. by Jon Lewis

Rape Suspect Killed in Shooting

In a weird ways this death is "Justifiable," he just committed another rape, and he got himself involved in drugs which finally lead to his death.
7-26-1997 California:

SANTA ANA — A woman who was raped in a North Flower Street parking garage earlier this week has identified a man who was fatally shot less than 45 minutes later as her attacker, police said Friday.

"It's definitely the strangest deal I've ever seen," Sgt. Bob Clark said. "This is about the first time I can recall someone committing a heinous sexual assault and within an hour wind up dead in an unrelated shooting. It's bizarre."

An officer who investigated the shooting about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday noted in his report that the shooting victim, Isac Lagunas, 26, matched a description of the suspected rapist, Clark said.

Police said Lagunas wore a white shirt, white pants, red cap and had earrings in both ears. Officers also found a $50 bill in his wallet; the rape victim told police her attacker took a $50 bill from her purse before fleeing. Lagunas also was found in a yellow Geo Storm, the same type of car the rapist left in, police said.

Detectives on Thursday interviewed two men who said they were with Lagunas about 10 p.m. the evening before, when he stopped to pick up a woman on Santa Ana Boulevard who accepted his offer of a ride home.

Clark said the 30-year-old woman was driven to the parking garage of Mainplace Apartments, where Lagunas lived, and the two male passengers left the area. Lagunas began "to put the make on this girl" and forced her on the concrete floor, where he raped her, Clark said. Then he took her money and left, police said.

Lagunas drove to the 1000 block of South Minnie Street, apparently picking up two more friends along the way, police said. Detectives believe the trio tried to purchase drugs and that the slaying of Lagunas was the result of a drug deal gone awry.

"Whether they refused to pay or what, we don't know," Clark said. "It appears the shots were fired from the street, from someone standing on the [sidewalk]."

One bullet hit Lagunas in the upper torso, and the car crashed into a fence on McFadden Avenue, less than two blocks away. The two passengers bolted from the car, but police learned Friday that one had also been shot in the leg. He was treated at UCI Medical Center and released, Clark said. ..Source.. by BONNIE HAYES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sexual assault suspect killed by police

11-6-2011 Virginia:

Suspect accused of sexual assault, abduction

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Two investigations are underway following a pursuit and standoff that ended with police killing an armed suspect.

The man was wanted for an abduction in York County, where police say he took a woman hostage at gunpoint at the Belmont At York Apartments on Saint Clair Circle. Police were first alerted to the situation at around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

About 20 minutes later, a deputy spotted the suspect's car at a church in Newport News. "When he saw the vehicle, the windows were fogged, he shined a light on the vehicle, gave explicit orders to shut the vehicle down," said Lt. Dennis Ivey, Jr. with the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office.

The suspect refused to stop.

Newport News police officers and York-Poquoson Sheriff deputies chased the suspect into a cul-de-sac at the end of Spring Trace Lane off Saunders Road.

When the Newport News tactical team arrived, neighbors who had gathered outside quickly took cover. "We were down there and one of the neighbors said we should probably get behind this wall and not even a minute after we got behind the wall we heard the gunshots," Caitlin Roberts told

During the standoff, one member of the Tactical Team opened fire and shot the suspect, who died at the scene. Police have identified the suspect as 40-year-old Robert Burchfield of Hampton. The female passenger was wounded and taken to the hospital, where she was treated and released. She was alert and talking to officers as she went into the ambulance. Police determined she was hit by flying debris and not gunfire.

The female victim is a 34-year-old York County woman. She told investigators that she was sexually assaulted by Burchfield in the 1000 block of Harpersville Road in Newport News, moments before deputies spotted their vehicle.

Investigators say the victim was Burchfield's ex-girlfriend.

A criminal investigation is being conducted by the Newport News Police Department's Homicide Unit. The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office will determine whether or not the shooting was justified. Meanwhile, an administrative internal investigation is underway. The officer who fired his weapon and a second officer have been placed on administrative leave with pay. ..Source.. by Jane AlvarezWertz

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Woman shoots, kills suspect in sexual assault in Denton County

6-8-2011 Texas:

PONDER — Authorities were investigating the death of a suspect in a sexual assault case Wednesday who was apparently shot by the victim.

Denton County dispatchers got a call from a 29-year-old woman about 10 a.m. who said she shot a man who sexually assaulted her after she arrived at her parents' residence in the 1500 block of Seaborn Road, said Tom Reedy, sheriff's department spokesman.

The woman said that she had just dropped off her children and that the man, later identified as Wendell Dean McDonald, 28, was lying in wait for her and grabbed her, Reedy said.

The woman said McDonald took her inside her parents' residence, threatened her with her parents' gun and then sexually assaulted her, Reedy said. McDonald then told the woman to take the gun and shoot him or else he would shoot her, according to Reedy.

The woman initially refused to shoot him, but when authorities arrived, McDonald was dead from what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the chest, Reedy said. ..Source.. by Mitch Mitchell

Sexual assault suspect killed by police identified

6-20-2011 Arizona:

Tucson Police have identified 43-year-old Ernesto Agramont as the man killed during an incident on Jun. 15.

Diana Lopez, a spokesperson with Tucson Police tells KGUN9 detectives responded to 485 South Stone Avenue to locate and arrest Agramont for child sexual assault and child abuse charges.

When officers arrived, Agramont was immediately confrontational with detectives and made several statements referring to suicide by cop. Detectives asked for assistance to respond and help contain the home while they obtained a search warrant.

A short time later, Agramont exited his residence carrying a large knife. He was given numerous commands to drop the knife, which he refused to do continuing to advance towards officers. Officer Thomas Rizzi a 7-year veteran, Officer Jennifer Galaida a 9-year veteran, Officer James Wakeman a 10-year veteran, Officer Jobe Dickinson an 11-year veteran and Lieutenant Danny Denogean a 21-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department fired their weapons at the male striking him numerous times.

Officers immediately rendered aid to Agramont on scene until paramedics arrived. He was transported to University Medical Center where he died a short time later. ..Source.. by Ina Ronquillo

Man fatally shot by Selma police was wanted parolee

1-23-2012 California:

The man fatally shot by Selma police at a motel early Sunday morning was a wanted parolee who had been trying to avoid arrest for four months, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

The Fresno County Coroner's Office identified the dead man as Clayton Monroe Cass, 32, of Exeter.

Sheriff's spokesman Chris Curtice said Monday that Cass was shot by two Selma officers as they were trying to arrest him at the Villager Inn Motel, 1765 Young St. in Selma.

Cass was wanted on warrants for burglary and sexual assault. He also had been involved recently in a high-speed vehicle pursuit with other law enforcement agencies. Cass had been staying at the Villager Inn Motel, Curtice said in a news release.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Department had alerted Selma police shortly after midnight that Cass was at the motel.

About 1 a.m., the Selma officers spotted Cass inside one of the motel rooms and ordered him to come out. He refused, and officers eventually forced their way into the room, where Cass confronted them with a handgun, the release said.

Fearing for their safety, the two Selma officers fired their handguns, hitting Cass, who died at the scene.

The Selma officers, whose names were not made public, are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in such shootings. No officers were injured, Curtice said.

Fresno County sheriff's homicide detectives are handling the investigation at the request of Selma police. ..Source.. by Robert Rodriguez and BoNhia Lee

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Middletown man, 54, found shot to death

The comments by officials in the second article are unbelievable, they do not focus on this mans' death, instead on where he lived before being murdered.
2-7-2012 New York:

MIDDLETOWN — A Cottage Street man was shot to death outside his residence Sunday night.

The shooting was reported at 8:21 p.m.

City police arrived at Cottage near the corner of Wickham Avenue and found 54-year-old Arthur J. Twyman dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Twyman lived alone and previously worked as a driver.

Police believe Twyman knew his killer, said Mayor Joe DeStefano. He said police had questioned a "person of interest," but that nobody was in custody as of Monday evening.

State records show the Arthur Twyman at that Cottage Street address had lived a hard life.

According to records from the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, he served two terms in prison — one in 1989 for attempted burglary. He also served 14½ years for first-degree rape, sodomy and sexual abuse, and was released in September 2007.

According to the state sex offender registry, Twyman was a level three sex offender, designated as a sexually violent offender. The registry notes that his rape conviction in 1992 was from the Village of Ossining, and the victim was a 17-year-old girl.

Police have not commented on whether they think Twyman's past had any bearing on his death.

Police said in a news release that they have interviewed "numerous subjects," and ask anyone who may have any information on the shooting, or who saw someone or something that could be related to the case, to contact them at 343-3151. ..Source.. by Nathan Brown


Middletown homicide was not random act, officials say

2-8-2012 New York:

MIDDLETOWN – The shooting death of Arthur Twyman, 54, on Cottage Street Sunday night appears not to have been a random act, Mayor Joseph DeStefano said Tuesday.

The mayor said Police Chief Raymond Bethencourt believes Twyman, a level three sex offender, may have been targeted when he was shot dead near St. Joseph’s Church and School, not far from where he lived.

DeStefano shares the concerns of city residents.

“I have received from the public outraged that a level three sex offender was living next door to a church and religious school as of last year, a school,” he said.

The mayor he will contact the state Division of Parole and state legislators to find an answer to the question, “how did this happen?”

DeStefano said the police department has a person of interest in mind in connection with the homicide, the first one in Middletown this year. ..Source.. by


Police: Person of interest identified in Middletown murder

(02/07/12) MIDDLETOWN - Officials say they have identified a person of interest in the murder of 54-year-old Arthur Twyman.

Authorities say Twyman was gunned down Sunday on Cottage Street in Middletown.

Twyman was registered as a sex offender following his conviction for the 1992 rape of a 17-year-old girl in Ossining.

Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano says police do not believe that Twyman's status as a sex offender was a motivation for the murder.

Police have declined to identify their person of interest in the case at this time. ..Source.. by


Police seeking information in Middletown fatal shooting

2-8-2012 New York:

MIDDLETOWN — Police are still investigating the details surrounding the shooting death of a Cottage Street man Sunday night.

Around 8 p.m. Monday evening — about 24 hours after the shooting — police were stopping cars at the intersection of Cottage and Wickham Avenue and questioning drivers. They asked if they had driven through the area the previous night and if they had noticed anything. They may do this again later, said city police Lt. Greg Metakes.

Nobody had been arrested as of early Tuesday afternoon, Metakes said.

Arthur Twyman Sr., 54, was shot to death outside his home about 8:20 p.m. Sunday. He is believed to have known his killer, and police have said they have questioned numerous people in connection with the case.

Twyman had a long criminal history, including serving 14½ years in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl in Westchester County. He was released in 2007.

More recently, Twyman was arrested in February 2011 and charged with two misdemeanors for allegedly threatening someone with a box cutter in the parking lot of the ShopRite in the Town of Wallkill. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge in that case, and was ordered to pay a fine.

It was still unpaid when he was killed. ..Source.. by Nathan Brown


Man arrested in Middletown homicide

3-2-2012 New York:

MIDDLETOWN – Police have arrested a 68-year-old Middletown man and charged him with second-degree murder in connection with the February 5 killing of Arthur Twyman of Cottage Street in Middletown.

It is alleged that Richard Brown of Wickham Avenue shot Twyman several times with a rifle.

Brown was arraigned and remanded to the Orange County Jail without bail.

Twyman was a registered sex offender who had been convicted of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse in connection with a July 1992 incident in Ossining involving a 17-year-old girl.

Police had been called to the scene of the shooting and found Twyman on Cottage Street near Wickham Avenue. At the time of the murder, police said it was not a random act.

State Police, the New York State Forensic Investigation Center and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation. ..Source.. by


Middletown man indicted in fatal shooting

GOSHEN — An Orange County grand jury has indicted a Middletown man, accused of murdering his neighbor.

Richard Brown, 68, of a Wickham Avenue address, was indicted Thursday on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence, felonies.

Brown is accused of fatally shooting Arthur J. Twyman, 54, of Cottage Street, the night of Feb. 5 near the intersection of Cottage and Wickham. Twyman, who lived alone and worked as a driver, was also a Level 3 registered sex offender who'd had a few minor scrapes with the law in the past couple of years.

Police questioned Brown that night and into Feb. 6; they spoke to him again on Feb. 14, according to court papers.

Middletown police ultimately arrested Brown on March 1, charging him with murder.

Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips said Brown hid the gun used in the shooting — a .22-caliber Marlin rifle — but that police recovered the weapon.

According to court papers, a witness who had previously named Brown as a suspect in the case also identified him at Orange County Jail as being the person who committed the crime.

Brown was being held at Orange County Jail without bail pending arraignment Friday in Orange County Court. His lawyer, Joseph Brown (no relation), declined to comment at this point in the case. ..Source.. by Heather Yakin


Defense: Shooting victim had set Rottweiler on suspect


GOSHEN — Prosecutors say Richard Brown chased down and fatally shot Arthur Twyman. Brown's lawyer says Twyman had first set a Rottweiler on his 68-year-old neighbor.

The court also ordered a mental health assessment for Brown.

He was in Orange County Court on Friday to be arraigned on charges of second-degree murder; first-degree manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence, felonies; in the Feb. 5 slaying of 54-year-old Twyman near the corner of Wickham Avenue and Cottage Street in Middletown. The two men were neighbors.

Richard Brown's lawyer, Joseph Brown, asked Judge Nicholas De Rosa to order a mental health and competency exam for his client. De Rosa granted the request.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Maryellen Albanese told the court that Richard Brown "chased down and executed his next-door neighbor, Arthur Twyman."

She said Richard Brown fired his rifle eight times, hitting Twyman four times: "the knee, two to the chest, then a head shot," apparently unprovoked. Albanese said there had been some past altercations between the neighbors.

"This individual (Twyman) had a Rottweiler with him," Richard Brown's lawyer, Joseph Brown, told the court. "He sicced the dog, basically, on my client."

After the shooting, Albanese told Judge Nicholas De Rosa, Richard Brown stashed the .22-caliber Marlin in his garage.

When he spoke to police, he handed over another rifle and claimed it was the only one he owned, she said. Police later found the Marlin in his garage, and testing revealed Richard Brown's DNA on the weapon.

She said Richard Brown also "made some statements" to Twyman's brother, Joseph Twyman, who owns the Cottage Street house where Arthur Twyman was staying.

Albanese said that at one point in the investigation, Richard Brown had made a suicidal gesture, tying one end of a phone cord to the ceiling and the other end around his neck.

He spent a week in the psychiatric ward at Orange Regional Medical Center.

She asked the judge to set bail at $250,000 cash and $500,000 bond. De Rosa set bail as prosecutors requested. The case returns to court on April 25. ..Source.. by Heather Yakin