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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jerry Sandusky case may have led Sussex man to kill ex-Scout leader

6-27-2012 New Jersey:

The prosecuting attorney is investigating whether the man accused of killing an elderly, well-known member of a small Sussex County community was spurred to the act, at least in part, by the sex abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

"I’m mindful that the Sandusky trial started one day before this murder," Sussex County First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Mueller said. "Whether this was a triggering event is part of the investigation."

Clark Fredericks, 46, of Fredon, was arrested just hours after State Police found the bloodied body of former Sussex County corrections officer Dennis Pegg, 68, in the living room of his Stillwater home on June 13. Pegg was stabbed 20 times and his throat was slit.

A friend of Fredericks, Robert A. Reynolds, 47, of Hackettstown, was also arrested.

Pegg, according to officials from the Boy Scout’s Patriots Path Council, was a former troop leader and Fredericks, according to his mother, Joan, and sister-in-law Carol, was once a Scout in Pegg’s troop.

Both women contend Fredericks was molested by the older man decades ago.

In the tiny town of Stillwater, where signs saying "In God we Trust" sprout from lush green lawns and tangles of orange daylilies grow wild by the side of the road, people are still talking about the murder of one of their own.

Many people say Dennis Pegg was devoted to children and a pillar of the community, a man who taught a survival course for park rangers in the 1990s, hand-fed deer in his front yard and was known as a "trail angel" for helping hikers along New Jersey’s branch of the Appalachian Trail.

No sex abuse charges were ever brought against Pegg. In 1998, according to the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, criminal accusations were made claiming he’d made terroristic threats and engaged in coercion, or the restraining of someone’s movement, but those accusations were dropped two months later.

Mueller said the complaints did not appear to be sexual in nature nor did they seem to support the molestation accusations.

Tuesday, Carol Fredericks declined to speak further on the matter, saying her brother-in-law had retained a defense lawyer, Dan Perez, a civil rights attorney who once represented one of the victims in the famous Bernard Goetz, "Subway Shooter" case in New York City.

"The investigation into the death of Dennis Pegg is active and ongoing," Perez said. "My understanding is that the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey State Police are pursuing a number of leads. When the investigation has been concluded, the case will proceed to court."

Mueller, the assistant prosecutor, said he was "aware that allegations against the victim have been made," and added, "You want to separate what is real and what is rumor. We want to know the accuracy of the allegations before we comment on them."

Fredericks and Reynolds are being held in the Sussex County jail with a bail of $350,000 each. Fredericks was charged with first-degree murder and Reynolds with being an accomplice to murder, conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with evidence. He is being represented by David Nufrio, a public defender.

Pegg, like Fredericks, was a longtime resident of Sussex County. He was a Vietnam veteran, according to his sister, Nancy Pegg, 74, of Carbondale, Pa., and was unmarried. An avid fisherman and hunter, he was also a firearms expert, say those who knew him, and retired from his job in county corrections 15 years ago.

Nancy Pegg said she was taken by surprise by the accusations against her brother, and John M. Broda, a nephew of Pegg’s, said by email: "At this time, I do not care to comment since there is an ongoing investigation. The motive is irrelevant; no one has the right to violently murder another member of our family, this community, and our society."

In the 1962 edition of Aurora, the Newton High School yearbook, Dennis Pegg is a handsome, strong-chinned teenager with light brown hair. The yearbook says he was a member of the Rifle Club, his homeroom representative and a singer with the concert choir. He was also "noted" for his "loyalty to friends," and his secret ambition was "To be a state policeman." ..Source.. by Seth Augenstein and Amy Ellis Nutt/The Star-Ledger


Suspect's family says years of anger led to attack on retired Sussex County corrections officer

Four days after Dennis Pegg was killed, splatters of dried blood still clung to the cement step in front of his small white cottage in Stillwater — the only evidence that something horrible had happened in this quiet Sussex County community.

Sometime on Tuesday, Pegg, 68, a retired county corrections officer and former Boy Scout leader, was stabbed more than 20 times and his throat was slit, authorities said. Within hours, Clark T. Fredericks, 46, of Fredon and Robert A. Reynolds, 47, of Hackettstown were arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Fredericks, according to his mother and sister-in-law, was a member of Pegg’s Scout troop decades ago.

"While it doesn’t appear the defendants were invited guests, it doesn’t appear they broke down the door," said Sussex County First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Mueller. "Robbery does not appear to be the motive."

Fredericks’ relatives believe the motive was anger and revenge. Joan Fredericks, 82, said her son was molested by Pegg when he was a Boy Scout, but it took decades for him to open up to her about it.

"Young boys don’t like to confess these things to their mothers," Joan Fredericks said. "They hold it in, hold it in, hold it in."

The executive director of the Boy Scouts’ Patriots Path Council, Dennis Kohl, confirmed that Pegg, whom he did not know, was a Boy Scout leader in the 1970s.

Pegg, unmarried and living alone, was well known in Stillwater, a 28-square-mile township in northwestern New Jersey with a population of 4,300. He was president of the Sussex County Historical Society and a founding member of the Sussex County Bird Club.

On Thursday, a message was posted online from the Historical Society of Stillwater Township: "Due to the passing of Dennis Pegg, beloved officer and long-term member of HSST, the events scheduled for this week — the Deserted Villages program and the Strawberry Festival — have been cancelled.

Though Dennis would have loved for us to persevere for the sake of the organization, it would be very difficult for our members to carry out hosting the events given the sudden loss of such a dear friend and colleague."

"He was the most careful, deliberate person you’d want to know. Absolute integrity," said Ed Szabo, secretary of the Stillwater Township Taxpayers Association.

Pegg’s sister, Nancy, who lives in Carbondale, Pa., said Saturday she was horrified by the molestation accusations.

"If it’s true, it would be a shock to the family," she said. "I know he was devoted to children, but I never heard anything like that."

Nancy Pegg, who is 74, said Dennis was the fourth of five children in the family growing up in Newton. Their mother left and moved to Florida when Dennis was 5, she said.

"He was my baby brother — I helped raise him," she said.

Nancy Pegg said she chatted online with her brother after midnight the day he was killed. He mentioned he was looking forward to a trip to Europe in October. Because of problems with his knees and pending surgeries, it would be his "last hurrah," he told her.

Kurt Eliasson, a neighbor of Pegg’s, was also in the Boy Scout troop, though not at the same time as Fredericks.

"He was pretty quiet; he kept to himself," Eliasson said of Pegg, adding he’d never heard about abuse allegations.

Wayne McCabe, the Sussex County historian, also was surprised.

"I find it hard to believe with Dennis," he said.

But Fredericks’ sister-in-law, Carol Fredericks, did not.

"It’s rage, the way this was done," she said. "There’s a lot more to this story that people don’t even know."

When assistant prosecutor Mueller was asked about the claims made by Joan and Carol Fredericks, he responded, "The motive is under investigation. That’s all I can say at this time. We’re spending a lot of time trying to find out why this occurred."

On Tuesday evening, when Fredericks returned to his parents’ home, where he was living, covered in blood, a family member contacted a counselor who then called the New Jersey State Police.

Troopers found Pegg’s body about noon Wednesday on the floor of his living room a short distance from the front door. A short time later, Fredericks and Reynolds were arrested and two knives were confiscated from Fredericks’ garage.

When he made his first court appearance Thursday, Fredericks’ hand was in a cast and his arm in a sling.

"He stabbed himself in the process of killing Mr. Pegg," Mueller said of the severe laceration on Fredericks’ left hand.

Fredericks met Robert Reynolds about eight years ago, according to Mark Pillion, who has been a friend of Reynolds’ since they were 6 years old. Pillion said Reynolds and Fredericks became acquainted through their mutual interest in Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

"There was nothing in Bob’s past to make him want to kill that person," Pillion said. "I can’t believe Bob would be involved in this."

Pillion said Reynolds has been living with him and his family for the past two years. Reynolds had been unemployed for several months and had a falling out with his family, according to Pillion.

Pillion said it was his van that Reynolds and Fredericks borrowed to drive to Pegg’s house on Tuesday.

"I guarantee he didn’t know what was going to happen," said Pillion. "He would have walked away."

As of Saturday evening, Fredericks and Reynolds were being held in the county jail in lieu of $350,000 bail each.

"We will find out what led to this," said Mueller. "I expect the suspects’ motive will be a large part of the trial."

Almost none of the townspeople were willing to speculate on that motive Saturday. Under blue skies they gathered at Veterans Field to celebrate the annual Stillwater Day with colorful tents, inflatable rides, a dunk tank and a talent show. In the afternoon, children ran back and forth chasing Frisbees and playing in the hot June sun. When several adults were asked about the slaying of one of their own just days earlier and two miles up the road, their faces clouded over.

"This town is like ‘Cheers’ — everyone knows everyone," said Anita Straway, a township committeewoman. "These are our friends and neighbors — it’s a tragedy for everyone."

"Everybody’s sad," said Bob Fritsch, an organizer of the town day. "We’ll find out what happened sooner or later." ..Source.. by Seth Augenstein and Amy Ellis Nutt/The Star-Ledger


No child pornography found in home of Stillwater stabbing victim, investigators say

A box containing pictures of young boys was found by investigators in the home of Dennis Pegg, but they weren’t the nude child photos being sought by the attorney representing one of Pegg’s accused killers, a Sussex County prosecutor said Tuesday.

Last week a man came forward to authorities alleging he’d been abused by Pegg decades ago and that the murdered man had owned a box of salacious photographs.

"What the witness described was definitely pornographic," First Assistant Sussex County Prosecutor Gregory Mueller said during a hearing Tuesday before Superior Court Judge N. Peter Conforti in Newton. The judge had ordered Pegg’s assets frozen and an inventory made before they were distributed to his heirs.

As to the box found in the house where Pegg was stabbed to death on June 12, Mueller said, "We have young boys in photographs, but they’re definitely not pornographic."

Daniel Perez, who represents accused killer Clark Fredericks, 46, of Fredon, said, "Look, the one thing we’re all looking for is a box of child porn. It existed at some point. It raises the question of where it is and who has it."

Two members of Fredericks’ family have claimed Fredericks was also molested by Pegg decades ago when he was a Boy Scout and Pegg a troop leader. The killing was a result of years of rage over the assault, they said.

Mueller had not yet seen the pictures unearthed by investigators, but said, "There was nothing remarkable about the photos. It wasn’t nudity."

However, Perez said, "evidence that may not be relevant today may become relevant somewhere down the road."

Pegg, 68, didn’t leave much to his heirs, said attorney William Haggerty, who spoke during Tuesday’s half-hour hearing. Clothing, furniture and a few personal effects, including a family Bible, have already been given to Joshua Orinowski, a co-executor of the estate, said Haggerty, who prepared Pegg’s will.

Pegg was killed inside a modest rental house on Millbrook Road the night of June 12. Unmarried and living alone, he had paid the rent until July 15, said Haggerty, who expects to hand over the keys of the now-empty rental to the landlord Thursday.

Fredericks has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly slitting Pegg’s throat and stabbing him more than 20 times. He was arrested a day later, telling authorities Pegg "got what was coming to him" and had been a "child molester for years," according to the arrest affidavit.

Robert Reynolds, 47, of Hackettstown, a friend of Fredericks, has been charged with helping him kill Peg and hiding evidence.

Fredericks and Reynolds, both shackled and wearing orange jail jumpsuits, attended Tuesday’s hearing flanked by four sheriff’s officers.

Fredericks, his left hand still heavily bandaged from injuries he allegedly suffered while attacking Pegg, and his co-defendant did not speak during the 30-minute court session.

Superior Court Judge Edward Gannon is expected to decide Thursday on the disposition of 14 letters left by Pegg that were found in a safe deposit box he rented at a bank in Stillwater.

Fredericks and Reynolds are being held in the Sussex County Jail on $350,000 bail each with no 10 percent option.

Lee Liddy, an investigator with the sheriff’s office, said Fredericks is being held in a "medical watch" cell separate from the general jail population due to his hand injury. Reynolds is being held with the general population, he said.

Liddy said he did not know if the other inmates were supportive of the two murder suspects.

"We only get reports of ‘hot activity’ if they’re having a problem," he said. "They’re not having problems with the other inmates." ..Source.. by Joe Moszczynski/The Star-Ledger

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sex offender found dead in apparent homicide in Maryland prison

6-27-2012 Maryland:

A sex offender was found dead early Wednesday morning in his prison cell in Anne Arundel County, and police said that his death appears to have been a homicide.

The victim, 21-year-old Robert J. Tunnell, was serving a six-year sentence. Tunnell's cellmate has been identified as the suspect, and charges are pending against him, according to Maryland State Police.

According to a preliminary investigation, about 2 a.m., a correctional officer making routine rounds at the Jessup Correctional Institution arrived at the cell occupied by Tunnell and the suspect. The suspect made statements that caused the officer to initiate an emergency response by staff and enter the cell. Tunnell was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Investigators found signs that Tunnell had sustained trauma, and an item that appeared to be a shoe string was found around his neck, police said. Tunnell's body was taken to a medical examiner's office for an autopsy. ..Source.. by Naomi Jagoda


Harford County Sex Offender Killed in State Prison

Police believe Robert Joseph Tunnell's cellmate at Jessup Correctional Institution allegedly killed him.

A Harford County man serving a six-year sentence for a sex offense was found dead in his cell at the Jessup Correctional Institution Wednesday, authorities said. Police believe his cellmate allegedly killed.

Robert Joseph Tunnell, 21, formerly of Edgewood and Baltimore, was found dead in his cell with signs of trauma to his body and a string around his neck, police said.

While there is a known suspect in the case, charges are pending and police have not released the suspect's name.

Around 2 a.m. Wednesday, a correctional officer making routine rounds arrived at Tunnell's cell and Tunnell's cellmate allegedly said something to the officer that prompted an emergency response from staff, according to a release from Maryland State Police. It was unclear Thursday what the nature of those statements was.

Tunnell wasn't responding when staff reached him and medical personnel were called. Medics pronounced Tunnell dead at the scene, the news release states.

Tunnell's body showed signs of trauma and investigators found what looked like a shoe string around his neck, according to state police.

The victim's body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.

"It is a murder and there is a suspect who has been identified," state police spokesman Greg Shipley said Thursday.

Charges are pending against Tunnell's cellmate. In the mean time, the suspect remains in custody of the Maryland Division of Correction, according to state police.

The two men were being held in a transitional housing area usually designated for inmates brought in from other institutions or being moved for some reason.

"Tunnell was apparently serving a sentence at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Somerset," Shipley said, "I don't know why he was brought to JCI."

According to court records, Tunnell had a violation of probation hearing in Harford County the day before he was killed.

He was serving a six-year sentence after entering an Alford Plea on an attempted second-degree sex offense charge on March 12. An Alford Plea means the defendent acknowledges the state has enough evidence to convict, but maintains his innocence. It qualifies as a finding of guilt.

The underlying charges involved inappropriate contact with a boy, age 14, when Tunnell was 19 years old, according to court documents. ..Source.. by Kirsten Dize

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sheriff says 19-year-old shot by Redding police had criminal past

6-26-2012 California:

Officers remain on paid leave as details emerge

The 19-year-old man who was shot and killed by Redding police last week had an extensive criminal background, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said Monday.

Scott Joseph Deen's record included resisting arrest, burglary, drug charges and a sexual assault warrant in Montana.

But Deen was not on parole or probation when he was shot, Bosenko said at an afternoon news conference called to release the man's identity.

Preliminary autopsy results show Deen died from a gunshot wound to the chest after a "life-and-death" struggle with four police officers in the area of Canyon and Valley View roads in south Redding early Friday, Bosenko said.

Bosenko also revealed that two shots were fired during the struggle, and only one hit Deen.

"According to witnesses, Deen's struggle with the officers was extremely violent, placing the officers' lives in harm's way," Bosenko said.

Investigators believe Deen and two other men were siphoning gasoline from cars parked in the neighborhood off Highway 273 near Win-River Casino.

Officers used a stun gun at least twice on Deen after he came at them with a knife, Bosenko said.

Not fazed by the stun gun, Deen tried to stab an officer with a knife that was attached to his hand with an elastic bandage before a police supervisor fired two rounds, striking Deen once, Bosenko said.

Deen then ran away. Officers found him about 700 feet from where he was shot. He collapsed when he was caught and died after CPR was unsuccessful, Bosenko said.

Although the sheriff's office on Friday reported three Redding officers were at the shooting scene, Bosenko said Monday there actually were four.

Redding Police Chief Robert Paoletti said he will wait until next week after the investigation and interviews are expected to be completed to release the names of the officers involved. He did say they had a combined 35 years of experience on the force.

"So we are talking about very tenured officers that were involved in a very difficult situation," Paoletti said.

The officers are doing well and are handling "the gravity of the situation like true professionals," Paoletti said.

All the officers are on routine paid administrative leave during the investigation.

Bosenko declined to release the names of the other two suspects because of the ongoing investigation. Both men live in Shasta County and one had a warrant for failure to complete a sheriff's work program, authorities said.

Deen had moved to Montana from Shasta County but recently had returned to the area for unknown reasons, Bosenko said. He also alleged Deen was a member of a local gang, but would not identify the gang.

Bosenko also would not elaborate on Deen's criminal background, including the Montana arrest warrant, saying he didn't want to compromise the investigation.

Police were called at 3:16 a.m. Friday to the area of Canyon and Valley View after a newspaper delivery driver called emergency dispatchers to report suspicious men in the neighborhood.

When officers arrived, they found a man who had a warrant for his arrest. Officers, however, believed that the man may not have been the one they had received the call about, Bosenko said.

They then located two other men in the area who police said were trying to siphon gas. One of the men cooperated with police and was handcuffed, but Deen did not obey police commands, Bosenko said.

"The officers also suspected the two suspects may have been under the influence of unknown drugs," Bosenko said.

Officers found a methamphetamine pipe on Deen after he was shot, Bosenko said.

The sheriff's office is investigating the shooting under a local agreement that outside law enforcement agencies will investigate each other's fatal encounters. Had a deputy pulled the trigger, for example, Redding police would investigate the shooting.

This is the seventh officer-involved shooting in Shasta County since 2011. The first six were ruled justified or accidental.

Only the cases involving James Thomas Jobe, Kenneth Ray Wilson and Jose Venavides were fatal.

Jobe was shot in late October on the shoulder of Interstate 5 in Redding after grappling with a sheriff's deputy.

Wilson was shot at least 16 times on South Market Street in early August after firing at officers who were chasing him.

Venavides was shot in the head in March 2011 by Redding police after he shot an officer during a traffic stop on South Market Street. ..Source.. by David Benda

Friday, June 22, 2012

Woman killed man she believed was paedophile

6-22-2012 Australia:

A 22-YEAR-OLD Frenchwoman was "floridly psychotic" when voices in her head told her to kill an elderly Perth man last year, a court has been told.

Valentina Strabach, a paranoid schizophrenic, last year pleaded not guilty, on grounds of insanity, to murdering Murray Castlemaine, 79.

Today, Strabach's treating psychologist at Graylands Hospital, Mirchea Schineanu, told the WA Supreme Court the symptoms of her illness had reached a crescendo when she killed Mr Castlemaine in January 2011.

Strabach has admitted killing Mr Castlemaine in his South Perth home but says she believed she was doing the right thing morally because she had formed the belief he was a paedophile.

"She was attaching erroneous conclusions to things she'd seen and heard," Dr Schineanu told the court.

"In her sick mind, in the world she perceived through psychotic eyes, she was not (feeling) guilty ... because she believed she was doing the right thing."

Strabach was "floridly psychotic" when she committed the murder and was suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations, Dr Schineanu said.

The Frenchwoman did not have control over her actions because the voices in her head that compelled her meant she was effectively under duress, he said.

Dr Schineanu said Strabach had stated she felt possessed "like fire came to me, the voices saying `Kill him, kill him.'"

"She was irrational," he said. "She couldn't have had control over her actions."

After Strabach murdered Mr Quartermaine, whom she'd met at a bus stop, she said she felt like a "detective" and was a "hero" because she believed she had identified and killed a paedophile.

Asked by Strabach's lawyer Seamus Rafferty whether she was capable of making the rational decision to remove evidence - including singeing off the victim's pubic hair with a lighter and a can of aerosol - Dr Schineanu said her reasoning was too impaired.

It was "a bizarre caricature of removing evidence".

Strabach had alarmed her family with increasingly odd behaviour in the lead-up to the murder, the court heard.

The night before, she had argued with relatives on a visit to Cottesloe Beach because she didn't want to leave until she had caught crickets and eaten them, as the voices in her head demanded.

And when she didn't obey the voices in her head, they became more intense, Dr Schineanu said.

Strabach's relatives had previously observed her collecting leaves, which she believed carried messages from "the other life" and crickets, which she thought could be used to make spells.

She later told Dr Schineanu, in the mental hospital, that she had invented her own religion, which proved her reasoning remained faulty, he said.

The court also heard Strabach visited Perth to get away from France and her father, whom voices had told her to kill.

Dr Schineanu said Strabach had told him: "For the last year it was hell. I kept hearing the voices."

"The voices were telling me to kill my father - that's why I came to Australia."

But another voice - which she believed was a French witch - had warned her that something bad would happen if she went to Australia.

The trial continues. ..Source..age by AAP

Inmate admits disembowelling and murdering child rapist in prison cell attack

6-22-2012 United Kingdom:

Mitchell Harrison, 23, was killed at Frankland Prison where he was being held for raping a 13-year-old girl. He was killed with makeshift weapons, thought to be razor blades melted into toothbrush handles. Prisoner Michael Parr, 32, has now pleaded guilty to his murder

A prisoner has admitted disembowelling and murdering a child rapist during a brutal attack at a top-security jail.

Mitchell Harrison, 23, was serving an indefinite sentence at Frankland Prison, Durham, for raping a 13-year-old girl when he was brutally killed last October.

He was attacked with makeshift weapons, thought to be razor blades melted into toothbrush handles.

His bloodied body was found in his cell by warders.

Speaking shortly after his murder, a source close to the prison said: ‘To all intents and purposes he had been disembowelled. There was blood everywhere.'

Michael Parr, 32, pleaded guilty to murder during a brief hearing at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday via videolink from prison.

Nathan Mann, 23, is also charged with Harrison’s murder but he did not appear before the court.

Harrison, from Wolverhampton, was jailed in January 2010 for raping a girl in Cumbria.

He was jailed at Carlisle Crown Court indefinitely and was put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

A pathologist found that he had died of 'multiple injuries' and his death led to the prison being criticised.

Criminology expert Professor David Wilson, of Birmingham City University, said the extremely violent nature of the attack was significant.

He said: ‘The question is how can something like this take place in Frankland and why didn’t the staff protect him?’

The judge who sent Harrison to prison said he posed a ‘substantial risk’ to young girls.

He lured his teenage victim to his flat in Kendal, Cumbria, in 2009. Once inside he ordered her to strip before raping her twice.

It was the third time Harrison had been in trouble for sexually assaulting girls.

When he was 13 he was given a formal warning for indecently assaulting a seven-year-old and when he was 15 he was taken to court for threatening to rape a 15-year-old classmate.

After his murder, Harrison’s family released a statement saying: 'Although we never condoned his past actions, he was serving his time and was by all accounts a model, trusted prisoner who did not deserve to die in this horrific way.'

Parr will be sentenced on July 12. ..Source.. by Anthony Bond

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Bern man shot to death in Pennsylvania

6-16-2012 Pennsylvania:

YORK, Pa. — A New Bern man who was wanted by Craven County Sheriff’s Department for failing to report his change of address as a sex offender was shot to death Friday night.

The victim was identified as Kanyleron Travanti McDavid, 29. York police said he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

According to media reports in York, the shooting came after a fight between the two men, involving a woman identified as McDavid’s ex-girlfriend.

York police said McDavid was shot during an altercation with another man, who fled the scene and was still at-large Saturday evening.

An arrest warrant was filed by the Craven County Sheriff’s Office in March against McDavid for failure to report his change of address at 312 Crescent Street in New Bern, according to the New Bern Police Department.

The North Carolina Department of Justice lists Kanyleron Travanti McDavid of Crescent Street in New Bern on its Sex Offenders registry.

The North Carolina Department of Justice website notes convictions in May of 2005 on two counts of indecent liberty with a minor. A convicted offender is required to report any change of address for 10 years.

A York police spokesman said the suspect was Rashaun Bush, 20, last known address in the 400 block of Walnut Street in York. Bush is described as 5-feet, 9-inches tall, medium build with black hair and brown eyes.

Police said he is considered armed and dangerous.

The York police spokesman said detectives would not return to work until Monday.

Police said they were called in at 11:55 a.m. to a home in the 400 block of Walnut Street for a report of a shooting.

Police arrived on the scene and found the victim unresponsive from multiple gunshot wounds. He was on the third floor of a residence in that block.

An obituary notice for McDavid was posted Saturday by Oscar’s Mortuary. ..Source.. by Sun Journal Staff


New Bern Man Dead in Pennsylvania

6-22-2012 Pennsylvania:

A New Bern sex offender was shot multiple times in York, Pa., where he died from his wounds.

Police said Kanyleron Travanti McDavid, 29, died Friday morning. Investigators said McDavid became involved in an argument with 20-year-old Rahsaun Bush of York -- a dispute that turned fatal.

According to police, Bush was with McDavid's ex-girlfriend, when McDavid went to the woman's home and found the two together. A fight broke out, and police say Bush shot the New Bern native multiple times in the head and torso. Bush fled the scene and is still at large. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Craven County deputies had a warrant out for McDavid's arrest because he failed to notify officers of his change of address. McDavid has two sex offense convictions from 2006, both indecent liberties with a minor.

McDavid spent a year and two months in prison, with his last known address registered as 312 Crescent St., New Bern. Sex offenders must notify authorities of any address changes for 10 years following release. His whereabouts were last verified in January 2012.

The McDavid family will receive friends at the home of Kanshana McDavid 720 First Avenue in New Bern. Funeral arrangements are being made by Oscar's Mortuary, also in New Bern. ..Source.. by Mike Valerio


U.S. Marshals arrest York homicide suspect in Harrisburg


United States Marshals arrested a man in Harrisburg this morning who is a suspect in a York homicide.

Rashaun Bush, 20, of York, was arrested inside a Thornwood Road apartment in Harrisburg after the United States Marshal Service developed information on Bush's whereabouts, marshals said.

Bush is accused of murdering 29-year-old Kanyleron Travanti McDavid. The incident occurred Friday after McDavid went to the home of a former girlfriend in the 400 block of Walnut Street in York and found Bush with his former girlfriend, marshals said. As a fight began between the two men, the woman took her children to another floor of the house where she heard gunshots and saw Bush flee, marshals said.

Police pronounced McDavid dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.

After an arrest warrant was issued charging Bush with criminal homicide, the York County Police Department requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force to locate and arrest the suspect.

Marshals said that Bush tried to flee, but he was arrested without incident.

Bush was taken to York Central Booking to be arraigned. ..Source.. by SHAWN CHRIST, The Patriot-News

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Murders of prison inmates in Sterling, Colorado, spur state review

This post covers death of David Guerrero-Estrada, no names for others mentioned.
January 2010 Colorado:

Department of Corrections officials will meet in Sterling today to try to understand why four inmates have been killed at the prison there in the past two years.

DOC executive director Tom Clements said he is meeting with Sterling Correctional Facility warden Kevin Milyard to be debriefed on each of the cases.

"We're looking at cell assignment protocols," Clements said. "We want to see if there are any common denominators. It's got my attention."

The focus is on Sterling because all other prisons in DOC have a total of just three murders in roughly the same time frame. .... ....

Three of the four inmates killed there in the past 21 months were behind bars for either sex offenses or crimes against children. ....

Sanguinetti said DOC regularly takes measures to protect threatened sex offenders or child abusers or killers, including segregating them from the general population. ...

In another case, Jaime Rodriguez, 29, has been charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 13, 2010, beating death of David Guerrero-Estrada in his cell. Guerrero-Estrada was convicted in 2007 of attempted sexual assault of a child and sentenced to three years in prison.

Rodriguez has been found mentally incompetent and is being evaluated and treated at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. ..Source.. by Kirk Mitchell

Murders of prison inmates in Sterling, Colorado, spur state review

This covers death of Mark Frederick Hanson
November 2011 Colorado:

Department of Corrections officials will meet in Sterling today to try to understand why four inmates have been killed at the prison there in the past two years.

DOC executive director Tom Clements said he is meeting with Sterling Correctional Facility warden Kevin Milyard to be debriefed on each of the cases.

"We're looking at cell assignment protocols," Clements said. "We want to see if there are any common denominators. It's got my attention."

The focus is on Sterling because all other prisons in DOC have a total of just three murders in roughly the same time frame. .... ....

Five days earlier, convicted sex offender Mark Frederick Hanson, who was serving a two-year prison term for repeatedly failing to register as a sex offender, also was beaten to death at Sterling. Three of the four inmates killed there in the past 21 months were behind bars for either sex offenses or crimes against children. ....

Sanguinetti said DOC regularly takes measures to protect threatened sex offenders or child abusers or killers, including segregating them from the general population.

She said the inmates suspected of killing White and Hanson, who was murdered Nov. 25, are in segregation. The two were held in different sections of the prison, Sanguinetti said.

Hanson was in prison after three convictions for failing to register as a sex offender. ..Source.. by Kirk Mitchell


Murders of prison inmates in Sterling, Colo., spur state review


Department of Corrections officials will meet in Sterling today to try to understand why four inmates have been killed at the prison there in the past two years.

DOC executive director Tom Clements said he is meeting with Sterling Correctional Facility warden Kevin Milyard to be debriefed on each of the cases.

"We're looking at cell assignment protocols," Clements said. "We want to see if there are any common denominators. It's got my attention."

The focus is on Sterling because all other prisons in DOC have a total of just three murders in roughly the same time frame.

The most recent Sterling case was Lyle Brent White, a convicted child killer who had told his sister he feared for his life before he was beaten to death.

"He's been threatened ever since he's been in there," said White's sister Elizabeth. "This totally could have been prevented."

An inmate who beat White to death Dec. 1 at Sterling told investigators the "cho-mo" — or child molester — got what he deserved, his sister said.

White had not been convicted of a sex crime but was behind bars for the murder of an 11-year-old boy.

Five days earlier, convicted sex offender Mark Frederick Hanson, who was serving a two-year prison term for repeatedly failing to register as a sex offender, also was beaten to death at Sterling. Three of the four inmates killed there in the past 21 months were behind bars for either sex offenses or crimes against children.

The rash of prison murders is extraordinary in a county that will go years without a single homicide, Logan County District Attorney Robert Watson said.

Watson said that errors in prison classifications or placements may have contributed to the deaths.

DOC spokeswoman Kath erine Sanguinetti said Sterling has more than 2,500 convicted felons, or more than 10 percent of the state's prisoners, and violent confrontations do occur.

"Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try to protect them, sometimes this kind of thing happens," she said.

White's sister said investigators contacted family members a day after he was killed, asking whether he told them about any threats. He had, she said, adding that he had repeatedly been taunted about being a child killer.

White was convicted of killing 11-year-old Centennial Elementary School fifth-grader Antonio Davalos, then throwing the boy's body into a trash bin in Littleton.

Initially, DOC officials moved him out of state, including a stint in Idaho, because his crime made him a target. But he was returned to Colorado several years ago, White's sister said. Despite his repeated reports to staff that he was threatened, White remained in general-population cell blocks, where other inmates learned his background.

Sanguinetti said DOC regularly takes measures to protect threatened sex offenders or child abusers or killers, including segregating them from the general population.

She said the inmates suspected of killing White and Hanson, who was murdered Nov. 25, are in segregation. The two were held in different sections of the prison, Sanguinetti said.

Hanson was in prison after three convictions for failing to register as a sex offender.

In another case, Jaime Rodriguez, 29, has been charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 13, 2010, beating death of David Guerrero-Estrada in his cell. Guerrero-Estrada was convicted in 2007 of attempted sexual assault of a child and sentenced to three years in prison.

Rodriguez has been found mentally incompetent and is being evaluated and treated at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.

Two Sterling inmates are suspected in the murder of habitual burglar Cleveland Flood, 38, who was beaten to death in February 2010. Watson said charges could be filed next month. He declined to name the suspects. ..Source.. by Kirk Mitchell

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Body found in cemetery identified as sex offender

6-14-2012 Michigan:

We now know the identity of a man found dead Thursday morning in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Around 7:15 a.m. a person walking along a path through the cemetery found the body near the intersection of Eastern and Hall Street SE.

Tracing a license plate of a vehicle near the body, WZZM 13 has learned the man is Robert Shields, 67. He was a registered sex offender living in Omega Life Alternatives, a halfway house on Eastern Avenue about half a mile north of the cemetery.

Records show Shields was convicted of first-degree sexual assault in Newaygo County in 1981. In 1999, Shields was convicted in Kent County of one count of second-degree sex assault involving a victim younger than 13. He was released from jail in January 2011.

Police say Shields was lying next to a grave stone and they also found a van registered in his name near his body. The scene was marked off with crime tape Thursday morning and investigators used several cones marking evidence of some sort.

Authorities have yet to confirm the body's identity to the media or release the circumstances surrounding his death. They tell WZZM 13 the death is "suspicious." ..Source.. by Chris Zoladz, Multi-Media Producer, WZZM 13


Police: Man found dead in Oak Hill Cemetery died of multiple stab wounds

Robert Louis Shields, the man found dead this morning in Oak Hill Cemetery, died of multiple stab wounds and police are investigating the case as a homicide.

Shields, 67, was found by a walker in the cemetery about 7:15 a.m. and police found his van parked on the south side of the grounds this morning.

In a release issued late today, police named Shields as the victim. But he was identified earlier in the day as the victim by officials at Omega Life Alternatives, a halfway house at 722 Eastern Avenue SE where Shields had lived for a little more than a month.

Shields is a registered sex offender and was released from prison in January 2011 after spending several years behind bars for a 1999 sex assault against a 7-year-old.

Oak Hill Cemetery, at Eastern Avenue SE and Hall Street, is not far from the halfway house.

Eric Price, a manager at Omega Life Alternatives, said he believed Shields had been out with his girlfriend Wednesday evening.

He was supposed to return for an 11 p.m. curfew, but did not.

Price was told that Shields' girlfriend was in the hospital, but it was unclear why.

Police released no other details about who may have stabbed Shields or how the van ended up in the cemetery. ..Source.. by John Tunison


Body found in cemetery identified as sex offender

We now know the identity of a man found dead Thursday morning in Oak Hill Cemetery.

The Executive Director of Omega Life Alternatives says the victim is 67-year old Robert Shields. A resident at the transitional home. "Last night was the first night he broke curfew, we knew something was wrong," says Price. He says Shields moved-in a month ago. "We mentor guys who have been in trouble with the law or they don't have family or may have made mistakes in general."

Sheilds had been in prison off and on for criminal sexual conduct since 1981. He was released early last year and had been working as a maintenance man before he moved to Omega Life. "And everything he put his hand to, he saw that needed fixed-up, he did it, so he was kind and generous."

Just after 7am someone walking at Oakhill Cemetery discovered shields body near a grave. Grand Rapids police taped off a large portion of the cemetery and marked potential evidence with cones.

Captain Eric Payne says, "Well, just because of the size of the cemetery, we want to make sure we're not missing anything. it's a large area to process."

Because of the injuries to shields body, police are investigating the death as a suspicious death. At Omega Life, Price says although he didn't know Shields very long, it's sad to hear. "No matter what they've done in the past, you hate seeing tragedy like that." ..Source.. by Chris Zoladz


Girlfriend held in GR cemetery stabbing


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A woman is being held in the stabbing of a 67-year-old man found dead early Thursday morning by a jogger along a path through Grand Rapids' Oakhill Cemetery.

On Thursday evening, Grand Rapids police announced they had ruled the death of Robert Louis Shields a homicide.

Authorities said he was stabbed multiple times.

Christina Miller is being held in the Kent County Jail in connection with the case, 24 Hour News 8 confirmed.

Jail records indicate Miller was charged on two counts of obstructing police, one count of providing false information, and one count is failure to obey instructions on Friday.

No arraignment has been set yet.

Sheilds's brother told 24 Hour News 8 earlier Thursday that Miller was Shields's girlfriend. He also said she is mentally unstable.

"He may have had some enemies I didn't know about," older brother Bill Shields told 24 Hour News 8 before becoming aware of the arrest. "It's hard to say because I don't know."

Bill Shields said he didn't know why his brother was in the cemetery. He said no one in their family is buried there.

"It hurts me, but what can I say or do?" he said. "It's not going to change the fact. He's dead. He's gone. All we can do is live with his memories. And I believe my brother's had a very rough life."

Shields had an extensive criminal record, including convictions for felonies and criminal sexual conduct. He was listed on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.

Shields lived for six months at Omega Life Alternatives in Grand Rapids. The pastor there, Eric Price, said Shields made his mark in more ways than one. He mowed the lawn and fixed things around the house.

"He came here with a willing heart, not just to hold a bed for him, but he came with a willing heart to really work and to serve. ... Whatever he can to help out things around here," said Price. "Robert tried to live a good life and I'm sorry that this had to happen."

Like Price, Bill Shields remembered his brother as a hard worker.

"He was a hard-working boy, I'll tell you that. He worked all the time," said Bill Shields. "I don't think he's hardly ever missed a day of work."

But Price he said he was aware there was another side to Shields.

"It came as a shock, but the company he was keeping, I've seen it happen before," said Price.

Price said he thinks Shields's friends may have been involved in drugs and perhaps that had something to do with his suspicious end, which he called a tragedy.

"He definitely didn't deserve this tragedy upon this life, no matter what he's done," Price said. "I wouldn't want anybody to suffer that way."

About a dozen officers and a K-9 unit were sent to the cemetery near Hall Street and Eastern Avenue around 7:15 a.m. They taped off a large section of the property and placed several evidence markers throughout the area as they searched for clues.

Police continue to figure out how Shields died and why he ended in the cemetery.

"It's a very large area. We want to be thorough and make sure we check the entire area to see if there's any evidence out there if in fact it is foul play," Grand Rapids Police Capt. Eric Payne told 24 Hour News 8 before the announcement that the death was homicide.

"It doesn't happen every day to have a body discovered in a cemetery, but we're processing it and we'll wait and see on the determination of the medical examiner whether or not it's foul play," he added at the time.

Police towed a van from the scene that family members confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 belonged to Shields. ..Source.. by Amanda Jarrett and Dani Carlson

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grandfather says death an accident

6-12-2012 Texas:

The grandfather of the 4-year-old girl whose father beat a man to death said Monday that his son was sorry the man died.

"My son. Sorry," the grandfather said in broken English Monday afternoon, yards from where the incident took place Saturday off Lavaca County Road 302. "It was an accident."

The father told law enforcement that he caught the man molesting his daughter and tried to physically stop him.

Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon said the father expressed regret after the beating occurred.

"He was very remorseful. I don't think it was his intent for the man to die," Harmon said.

The incident took place through a metal gate, down a rut-filled - almost gully-filled drive in a pasture behind a barn where the father was tending to horses, Harmon said.

No charges have been filed in the case and neither the father nor the 47-year-old man who died has been identified by law enforcement.

"We are still having trouble locating the deceased's next of kin," the sheriff said. "The chief deputy has been in Gonzales running down some leads, but his family may end up being from out of the country."

Across the county road from where the beating took place, a neighbor said the family who owns the property are "good people."

"They have horses and chickens over there and come out every day to feed and water them," said the neighbor. "They are good people. Good, hard-working people."

District Attorney Heather McMinn said that once the investigation is complete and turned over to her office, she will present it to a grand jury. ..Source.. by SONNY LONG


Grand jury: No indictment against father who killed daughter's alleged abuser


A Lavaca County, Texas, grand jury did not return an indictment against a father who killed a man he found allegedly sexually abusing his daughter, officials said Tuesday at a press conference in Hallettsville, Texas.

"The substantial amount of evidence showed that the witness statements and the father's statement and what the father had observed was in fact what had happened that day," Lavaca County District Attorney Heather McMinn told reporters.

The father, who will not be charged, is not being named by CNN to protect the identity of his daughter.

The father called 911, and he and his family tried to "save the life" of alleged attacker Jesus Mora Flores "despite what they had just witnessed," McMinn added.

McMinn told CNN that Flores, 47, was not an acquaintance of the family.

According to the Lavaca County Sheriff's Office, the father and his family had gathered for a horse shoeing last Saturday at their ranch where they keep horses and chickens.

There were seven people in attendance in total, including four members of the family, two acquaintances and a stranger to the family, who was the alleged molester. According to McMinn, the alleged abuser was a legal worker from Mexico.

His 5-year-old daughter had gone off toward the barn, to feed the chickens, the child's grandfather told CNN affiliates KSAT and KPRC.

Then her father heard screaming and ran. He found a man sexually abusing his daughter, according to Sheriff Micah Harmon.

The father stopped the alleged abuser, and then pounded him repeatedly in the head, killing him, authorities said.

On the recorded 911 call, the father can be heard crying, and telling the operator, "I need an ambulance. This guy was raping my daughter and I beat him up. And I don't know ... I don't know what to do."

Later in the call, when the operator tells the caller, "I'm working on it if you can hold on," the emotional father says, "The guy's dying on me!"

McMinn also told CNN the child's grandfather and aunt both administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Neither officials nor the family's attorney, V'Anne Huser, took questions from reporters Tuesday but Huser said in light of the grand jury's decision, "in our opinion, today, the story is over."

McMinn told CNN she had "never seen a case this clear" in her career.

The incident occurred outside the town of Shiner, a community between Houston and San Antonio that has about 2,000 people within its city limits and another 1,500 or so on its outskirts, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. ..Source.. by CNN Wire Staff


Father Killed Jesus Mora Flores, Who Molested His Daughter, Texas Cops Say

The man who police in Texas say was killed after sexually assaulting a rancher's daughter was identified over the weekend.

Jesus Mora Flores was reportedly beaten to death on June 9 after a 23-year-old father found his 4-year-old daughter half naked with Flores at their ranch on the outskirts of Shiner, officers told CNN.

Lavaca County sheriff's deputies told the station that the unnamed father had sent his daughter and her brother off to feed the family's chickens. A little while later, the boy returned and told his dad that someone had taken his sister.

The father then found 47-year-old Flores -- who came to the ranch with a family friend -- sexually abusing his daughter and allegedly beat him to death with his fists.

Sheriff Micah Harmon has said that he will not charge the father, but the case will be presented to a grand jury to consider charges.

The father called 911 after the incident, reporting that Flores was on the ground and unresponsive. Harmon told reporters that the man appeared "very remorseful" and didn't know he had killed the abuser.

"You have a right to defend your daughter," Harmon told CNN at the time. "[The girl's father] acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed we will submit it to the district attorney who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him."

The 4-year-old girl went to the hospital after the attack, and "besides the obvious mental trauma," is going to be OK, Harmon said. ..Source.. by Andy Campbell

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wanted Sex Offender Shot and Killed by Detectives

11-5-2010 California:

Nathaniel Henry has been sought by authorities since he removed his tracking device on Sept. 9.

SAN BERNARDINO ( KTLA) -- A registered sex offender who removed his tracking device has been shot and killed by detectives.

41-year-old Nathaniel William Henry of Lucerne Valley had been sought by authorities since he removed his tracking device on Sept. 9.

Authorities say they finally caught up with the parolee in the 7600 block of Camp Rock Road Thursday.

Henry is said to have threatened officials with a handgun before detectives from San Bernardino's Specialized Enforcement Division opened fire.

Medical personnel were called to the home but Henry was pronounced dead at the scene.

In 2003, court records show Henry was charged with 10 sex crimes including two counts of oral copulation of a person under the age of 16, two counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object of a person under the age of 16 and four counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child age 14 or 15.

It's unclear if there were multiple victims involved.

Henry eventually pleaded guilty to rape. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Henry was also wanted for grand theft auto. ..Source.. by KTLA News

Daughter fears sex offender's killing was a case of vigilante justice

6-10-2012 Virginia:

DINWIDDIE - When Donald Olynn Cook, a repeat sex offender who twice pleaded guilty to assaulting teenaged boys, asked his daughter for another chance this year, she said yes.

Weeks later, the 23-year-old finds herself mourning the loss of a father shot dead before she could re-learn how to love him.

"I was trying to get back to that faith I had in him when I was growing up, but here we are," said Anna Cook, sitting beside a wilting white rose bush that he gave her for her birthday last month.

The gift would become Cook's last grand gesture, given in a fleeting moment of calm between two tragedies that befell the 53-year-old McKenney man this spring. The first destroyed his home. The second ended his life.

It was a life that his daughter says he had been working to reclaim after spending decades in the shadow of actions that she fears may have emboldened a vigilante.

"He made his mistakes, yes, but he paid for it," Cook said. "He was a human, he didn't deserve to be gunned down like a dog."

Donald Cook was found shot to death beside his vehicle on a remote stretch of Cherry Hill Road near the Brunswick County line on May 22. He was pronounced dead at the scene when Dinwiddie County deputies arrived just after 4 a.m. He had just moved to a home in Dewitt after lightening struck his longtime residence on Cutbank Road in McKenney, minutes from where he was killed.

The Richmond native had lived in Dinwiddie for 25 years, but electrical contract work took him out of state on a regular basis. The last time he came home from a job, he called his daughter and offered to help her out around the house. Cook uses a wheelchair and said that she was grateful for his assistance.

They spoke several times in the weeks leading up to his death. The last time she saw him, he appeared to be troubled, which was not uncommon.

"He was in an unsettled mood like he gets sometimes and I told him that if he needed anything to just give me a call," she said. "He never did."

Cook was waiting on a return call from him when her grandmother told her that he was dead. She dropped the phone.

"My first thought was that he must have had a heart attack," she said. "He weighed 260 pounds and didn't take good care of himself."

As more details emerged, Cook vowed not to cry until he has been laid to rest and his killer has been apprehended. She said that she wants to be strong for him and plans to keep fighting until his murder has solved.

"It wasn't right for someone to try and take justice into their own hands," she said.

Cook's penance for past crimes ended in April 2009 in the eyes of the law, when he was released from probation after completing court-ordered sex offender treatment with Scott Huisman at the Center for Psychological Assessment and Therapeutics. Cook was ordered to check in for roughly three years following the completion of a two-year active prison term at the Lawrenceville Correctional Center, according to court records.

He was sentenced in 2005 to serve 15 years with 13 suspended after pleading guilty to the aggravated sexual battery of a boy between the ages of 13 and 15. Court records show that Cook admitted himself to the psychiatric wing of CJW Medical Center in Richmond less than 48 hours after the assault.

He was sentenced to five years in prison with four years, four months suspended in 1998 after pleading guilty to taking indecent liberties with a 15-year-old boy. Case records from the assault cite a previous conviction for sexual battery.

Cook's daughter says that she does not want her father's past crimes to undermine the investigation into his slaying.

"I don't want him to become just another statistic, because he's not a name on the list. He was someone's father. He was my father," she said.

Dinwiddie Sheriff's spokesman Maj. William Knott declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation. ..Source.. by K. BURNELL EVANS (STAFF WRITER)


Investigators search for clues in Dinwiddie’s first homicide of 2012


DINWIDDIE, Va. (WTVR) – Officials have released the name of a man found dead in the road near the Nottoway River in Dinwiddie County.

According to the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office, 53-year-old Donald Olynn Cook, of the 15000 Block of First Street in Dewitt, was found Tuesday around 4:15 a.m. on Cherry Hill Road and the Brunswick County line.

Investigators said gunshot wounds were found on Cook’s body and that his death is being investigated as a homicide.

Cook’s death marks the county’s first homicide of 2012.

The man’s daughter, Anna Cook, talked with CBS 6 News senior reporter Wayne Covil Wednesday.

Cook said that her father lived within a few miles of where he was found dead until a few months ago. That was when he was forced to move after a lightning strike destroyed his home.

“Despite the fact he had his own problems… he was a human and he was a good man,” said Cook. ..Source.. by Wayne Covil and Nick Dutton

Friday, June 8, 2012

Few details released in homicide probe

6-8-2012 Ohio:

STEUBENVILLE - City Police aren't releasing many details about a homicide inside an apartment off Sunset Boulevard.

Police reported officers were called to Apartment 9, 2518 Sunset Blvd. Thursday morning and found the body of Travis M. McIntyre, 31, who had recently moved to the apartment. The call came in as a possible drug overdose.

Police Capt. Joel Walker said police aren't sure how long McIntyre had been dead.

"This is an ongoing homicide investigation," he said.

County Coroner Dr. Michael Scarpone was called to the scene. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation also was at the apartment checking for evidence. Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin also was present.

The body was taken to the Cuyahoga County coroner's office for an autopsy.

McIntyre was sentenced to two years in prison in 2009 for two counts of having a weapon under disability in connection with a shots fired call on Franklin Avenue.

City Police were investigating a report of shots being fired from a moving vehicle in September 2008 on Franklin Avenue. Officers were given a description of the vehicle and stopped it on North Fourth Street and two men took off running through yards. One man was caught, but McIntyre initially escaped.

Officers found four shell casings in the area of the shooting.

The county prosecutor's office dismissed the felonious assault charge.

McIntyre wasn't allowed to have a gun because of a 1998 gross sexual imposition conviction in Athens County. As a result, McIntyre was a registered sex offender.

McIntyre registered the new address with the county sheriff's department on May 30. ..Source.. by MARK LAW - Staff writer

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Two sex offenders shot dead in Washington

This is to document one (Gary Lee Blanton) of two deaths on this date by the same perpetrator, Patrick Drum (Facebook Account). The story of the other sex offender murdered (Jerry Wayne Ray) is HERE

Note 6-13: See story of this date below "He had obtained names with research he had done with a computer," sheriff's detective Sgt. Lyman Moores said." Accordingly, the registry played a part in these two deaths!

Note: 7-1: Drum, while in jail awaiting prosecution for murder, stabbed another RSO with a makshift instrument.

Note: 12-4-13: See Followup story on Patrick Drum.
6-4-2012 Washington:

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- A man with a reported hatred of sex offenders was arrested Sunday in Port Angeles for allegedly killing two men, both registered sex offenders.

Patrick Drum, 34, was arrested after a three-and-a-half-hour manhunt in dense woods with the help of dozens of law enforcement officers and a police helicopter.

Victims Jerry Wayne Ray, 56, and Gary Lee Blanton, 28, were found dead from gunshot wounds earlier at two separate houses.

Detectives said evidence from the crime scenes indicated Drum had an animosity toward sex offenders. The Associated Press reported a note was left behind in which Drum stated he hated sex offenders and "it had to be done."

Ray and Blanton were both Level II sex offenders.

The situation began early Sunday when Clallam County Sheriff's deputies found Ray dead in a home at 31 Heuhslein Road.

At the same time, a suspicious person report on Blue Mountain Road between Sequim and Port Angeles led detectives to an abandoned car. Inside the car, detectives said a note tied Drum to Ray's death.

Further evidence pointed officers to a house in Sequim, located at 5011 Sequim Dungeness Way, where Blanton's body was found.

A suspect search was launched, which eventually uncovered Drum in an area near Gellor Road and Blue Mountain Road.

Detectives said Drum knew both Ray and Blanton. Blanton recently moved into the house on Sequim Dungeness Way rented by Drum. ..Source.. by KING 5 News


Two sex offenders shot dead in Washington

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Sheriff's Office arrested Patrick B. Drum, 34, of Sequim on Sunday in connection with the murder of two registered sex offenders with whom he was acquainted. Sheriff W.L. Benedict said that according to evidence, Drum had a "particular animus toward sex offenders."

Early Sunday morning, authorities responded to 31 Heuhslein Road, East of Port Angeles. They found Jerry Wayne Ray, 57, dead of gunshot wounds in the woods.

At about the same time, deputies responded to a suspicious person near a house at milepost 6 on Blue Mountain Road, south of State Route 101 between Sequim and Port Angeles. There they found an abandoned car, and in it a note that tied the car's driver, Drum, to the crime scene where Ray was found dead.

Multiple agencies were called in to set up a containment that included a helicopter and a pair of K9 units. Drum was eventually captured in a densely forested area, after a man saw him and reported him to police. He was hiding in a shed.

During the search for Drum, police gathered evidence that led them to a second crime scene. There they found Gary Blanton, 28, dead from gunshot wounds. Blanton rented a room from Drum.

He was captured without incident in a woodshed off Blue Mountain Road after a resident spotted him. Drum had been considered armed and dangerous. Local residents were instructed via a reverse 911 system to stay inside and lock doors and windows.

"Scared, this little community," said Port Angeles resident Maxine King. 'We don`t want anybody like that to invade us. Drum is being held in Clallam County Jail in Port Angeles. ..Source.. by Kirsten Joyce Q13 FOX News Online


Man suspected in slayings of 2 sex offenders

The Clallam County sheriff says a man suspected of shooting two sex offenders to death left a note saying he hated sex offenders and "it had to be done."

Sheriff Bill Benedict says investigators believe Patrick Drum shot Gary Lee Blanton on Saturday night at a home Drum was renting near Sequim. Blanton was renting a room in the home.

Benedict says Drum then drove to the home of Jerry Wayne Ray in the nearby Agnew area where he was killed.

The sheriff says Drum abandoned a rental car and reports of a suspicious man in the area Sunday led deputies to respond. The note in the car led to the victims and identified Drum as a suspect.

He was tracked and arrested in a wooded area after a 3-hour manhunt that included officers of the Sheriff's Office, U.S. Border Patrol, State Patrol, Port Angeles and Sequim police departments, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state Fish and Wildlife plus a helicopter from the federal Customs and Border Patrol agency, the Peninsula Daily News reported. ..Source.. by DOUG ESSER


Second body found in Sequim; suspect remains in jail

PORT ANGELES -- Clallam County sheriff's deputies are now saying that two homicides were committed Sunday at separate locations, and that the 34-year-old man they believe committed both killings remains in Clallam County jail today.

Patrick B. Drum is being held for investigation into the slayings of Jerry Wayne Ray, 56, and Gary Lee Blanton, 28, both of whom the Clallam County Sheriff's Office said were Level III registered sex offenders, according to a statement issued by the Sheriff's Office.

Ray's body was found with multiple gunshot wounds at 31 Heuhslein Road in the Agnew area east of Port Angeles, the statement said.

Not long after that discovery Sunday morning, deputies responded to a suspicious-person call on Blue Mountain Road about six miles south of U.S. Highway 101 between Sequim and Port Angeles. There, deputies found an abandoned car with a note that tied the car's driver and suspicious person, Drum, to the Heuhslein Road crime scene, according to deputies.

Following a 3.5-hour manhunt that included officers of the Sheriff's Office, U.S. Border Patrol, State Patrol, Port Angeles and Sequim police departments, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state Fish and Wildlife plus a helicopter from the federal Customs and Border Patrol agency, Drum was captured near Milepost 0.6 on Geillor Road east of Blue Mountain Road.

The area is densely forested with many ravines and wetlands.

During the search for Drum, investigators acted on a tip and Sequim police units entered a residence at 5011 Sequim-Dungeness Way and found Blanton dead of several gunshot wounds.

Investigators said Drum knew both victims and had a "particular animus" toward sex offenders. He recently moved into the Sequim-Dungeness Way house rented by Drum.

More details are expected this afternoon. ..Source.. by Peninsula Daily News


No bail: WA man accused of killing 2 sex offenders

6-5-2012 Washington:

A Washington man accused of fatally shooting two convicted sex offenders on the Olympic Peninsula indicated he didn't plan to stop with two, a prosecutor told a judge on Monday.

A Washington man accused of fatally shooting two convicted sex offenders on the Olympic Peninsula indicated he didn't plan to stop with two, a prosecutor told a judge on Monday.

Patrick Drum, 34, of Sequim, remained jailed without bail after a Clallam County Superior Court hearing.

A signed note Drum left in a rental car said he hated sex offenders and "it had to be done," the county sheriff said Monday.

Drum was arrested Sunday for investigation of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in the weekend deaths of Gary Lee Blanton Jr., 28, and Jerry W. Ray, 56.

The arrested man "had stated his intent not to stop with two victims but to continue as long as he could until he was stopped by law enforcement," County Prosecutor Deb Kelly told Judge George Wood, according to the Peninsula Daily News.

A probable cause statement from the sheriff's office said "Drum also stated that he had intended on driving to Jefferson County where another sex offender resided, with the intent to kill him, too."

"Frankly, I'm concerned about the vigilante aspect," Kelly said.

Kelly told the judge she plans to seek charges of aggravated first-degree murder.

Drum, who yawned repeatedly during the hearing, told the judge he wanted to defend himself.

An aggravated murder conviction would carry the possibility of a death sentence. Wood appointed a lawyer to represent Drum.

A bail hearing was scheduled Wednesday.

A convicted felon, Drum is known to police in Sequim and Port Angeles as well as Clallam County deputies, Sheriff Bill Benedict said. The man served four years for drug-related offenses at the state penitentiary in Walla Walla, the newspaper reported.

At a news conference, the sheriff warned anyone considering continuing the violence.

"Anyone who is interested in taking things into their own hands and deciding to attack sex offenders in the community, we will deal with them very strongly," Benedict said.

Investigators say Drum shot Blanton on Saturday night at a home Drum was renting near Sequim. Blanton was renting a room in the home.

Drum then drove to Ray's home a few miles away where Ray was killed early Sunday morning, Benedict said.

For some reason, authorities say, Drum abandoned a rental car he had been driving and was seen on foot in the remote area of the northern Olympic Peninsula. Reports of a suspicious man in the area Sunday led deputies to respond. They found the car and the note inside that led to the victims and identified Drum as a suspect.

The note was "apologizing to police for what he had done," Benedict said, and it said, "It had to be done."

Drum was arrested after a manhunt involving about 65 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies. Dozens of officers responded to the area, and Drum was tracked down by a dog team and flushed out of a wooded area by a Customs and Border Protection helicopter Sunday.

Drum knew both men were sex offenders. Both were shot multiple times, the sheriff said, adding Drum was armed with a 9mm pistol when he was arrested.

"He took full responsibility for `taking care of some problems,'" Benedict said Monday. ..Source.. by DOUG ESSER


Vigilante justice is anything but


For the record, it didn’t have to be done.

I refer to the fatal shooting of two sex offenders, Gary Blanton and Jerry Ray, on the Olympic Peninsula over the weekend. The Trib report details a brief killing spree allegedly planned and carried out by one Patrick Drum, who left a message inside his abandoned car stating “it had to be done.”

If “it” refers to killing, a highly likely assumption, then I strongly disagree.

This story has already generated comments praising Drum for allegedly killing two people. The reason is clear – when it comes to sex offenders the mob is quick to reach for pitchforks and torches.

It is easy to understand the scorn our society holds for those who prey on the bodies and souls of the most vulnerable among us. When I have been required to interview these sleazy degenerates, the term that would best describe this experience (at least one suitable for newsprint) would be revulsion. Extreme revulsion.

Sure, plenty of people may want to cheer when two felons, convicted of sex crimes, get what their killer considers their due. That, however, is an instinct better left for those species below us on the food chain.

Vigilante killing is a violation of every painful step our society has taken towards a fair judicial process. We are still taking those steps, because obviously our system is not the blind and objective pinnacle of justice to which all men and women can turn. We have a long way to go towards that point, but we have made much progress over the years.

Our criminal justice system views the taking of a life as the consummate expression of inhumanity. Perhaps more to the point, homicide is an act of utter hopelessness. This might be better understood by people who have actually witnessed the act or aftermath of violent death. From that perspective the lifeless form of another human being is a visceral and stark reality. In the case of a homicide scene, the killer’s presence is as palpable as the body itself. It is a shocking and abhorrent image.

Such were my thoughts when I read the article on the Olympic peninsula killings, which included reader comments such as, “the gene pool needs a little cleaning.” The only real message in this piece of misplaced bravado is the depressing sense that life has little value, a theme we typically attribute to third world countries.

Our justice system, for all its faults, is the product of our collective will, and it was created to repudiate this notion. Life is sacred and people deserve a chance to defend themselves from the presumptive judgment of one person.

Now that he has been arrested for homicide, Patrick Drum should consider that fact. ..Source.. by Brian O'Neill


Two sex offenders shot dead in Clallam County


PORT ANGELES – Police in Clallam County say the man accused of killing two sex offenders may have been planning at least one other in a neighboring county.

Clallam County Detective Sergeant Lyman Moores said Patrick Drum, 34, shot and killed the two men at two different homes sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Police said Drum, a convicted felon, was spotted around 6:30 Sunday morning, in an area around Blue Mountain Road near Port Angeles. A homeowner had called police to say Drum was on their porch and acting strange.

The call came around the same time the wife of Gary Blanton called police to say she feared for her husband’s well being. Blanton, a registered sex offender, had recently moved in with Drum.

After a massive manhunt involving dozens of deputies in the dense woods near Port Angeles, police captured Drum. They say he admitted shooting killing Blanton and another registered sex offender named Jerry Ray outside Port Angeles.

Moores said Drum admitted he killed both because of their sex offender status.

"He has made a statement to detectives that these two were sex offenders and that was the motivation,"
said Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict.

Detectives said Drum intended to kill a third sex offender in Jefferson County, but they gave few clues as to why he chose the men. Detectives were looking for a computer Drum may have recently sold to see if he was researching his victims.

Moores said a rental car, registered to Drum, was found on Blue Mountain Road. It contained an empty box of 9mm bullets and a note expressing he was “sorry for the disturbances.” Police said there were empty 9mm casings near Blanton’s body, and Drum was carrying a 9mm handgun at the time of his arrest.

Neighbors of both the murdered men in the rural part of the Olympic Peninsula were reluctant to say what they thought of the vigilante action, but the county's top cop dismissed any other notion besides cold premeditated murder.

"Anyone who is taking justice in to their own hands and attacking sex offender in this community, we'll take care of them very, very strongly," said Benedict.

Drum has a lengthy criminal history, which includes drugs and assault. He is being held on $2 million bail, pending likely murder charges later this week. ..Source.. by King5 News


Wife of slain sex offender: 'Nobody has any compassion'


The wife of a convicted sex offender who was targeted and killed over the weekend said Tuesday she’s sickened by people who have called the man accused in the crime a hero.

Gary Blanton was one of two sex offenders shot and killed by Patrick Drum in Clallam County, investigators said.

“My husband wasn’t a predator,” Leslie Blanton said. “My husband was the victim of a horrible murder and nobody has any compassion about that. They don’t care.”

In a statement, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said evidence suggested that Drum “had a particular animus towards sex offenders.” Police said Drum wanted to kill more of them.

“My husband’s a good man,” Leslie Blanton said. “He’s been there for us, and now we don’t have him and he’ll never come home.”

She said her and her husband, who was a Level 2 sex offender, have two children who will now never know their father.

“He’s not God,” Leslie Blanton said of Drum. “He doesn’t get to decide when people get to live and die. What kind of hero makes babies victims? ‘Cause that’s what my kids are now.”

Drum remains locked up in the Clallam County Jail. ..Source.. by


Man accused of killing sex offenders due in court

6-13-2012: In the morning

The suspect accused of killing two Clallam County sex offenders purely because of their status will be in court Wednesday to answer to charges.

Patrick Drum, 34, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, accused of shooting and killing Gary Blanton and Jerry Ray, both Level Two sex offenders.

Officers said Drum sought out Ray, 56, and Blanton, 29, at their homes. Blanton had recently just moved into a house in Sequim with Drum.

After Drum was arrested in the woods between Sequim and Port Angeles, Clallam County Sheriff's deputies said the convicted felon may have been planning to kill another sex offender in nearby Jefferson County.

Drum has a lengthy criminal history, including drugs and assault. ..Source.. by KING 5 News


Judge refuses attempted guilty plea in killings

6-13-2012 Washington: In the PM after court:

A Washington man charged with aggravated murder in the shooting deaths of two convicted sex offenders was prevented from pleading guilty Wednesday — although he tried.

"I don't need this court," Patrick Drum, 34, of the Olympic Peninsula town of Sequim, told Clallam County Superior Court Judge Ken Williams. "I'm guilty. I want to plead guilty."

The judge told Drum that under state law, he could not yet accept that plea, the Peninsula Daily News reported ( ).

Williams noted County Prosecutor Deb Kelly has said she's considering whether to seek the death penalty. She has another 30 days from Wednesday's arraignment to make that decision.

Aggravated murder is punishable in Washington by either death or life in prison without parole.

Gary Lee Blanton Jr. and Jerry W. Ray were killed in separate shootings earlier this month. The county sheriff has said a signed note Drum left in a rental car said he hated sex offenders and "it had to be done."

Drum's attempted plea surprised both Kelly and Drum's court-appointed lawyer, Karen Unger.

"I don't recall ever having a murder defendant try to plead guilty at an arraignment," said Kelly, who has worked in the county prosecutor's office for 22 years.

Drum told Williams he wanted to represent himself. He said the same thing at an earlier hearing to a different judge, but that judge appointed Unger to represent him. Unger said Drum had not told her about his plan to plead guilty.

A probable cause statement from the sheriff's office, filed earlier with the court, said Drum had stated he planned to drive to nearby Jefferson County and kill another sex offender there.
"He had obtained names with research he had done with a computer," sheriff's detective Sgt. Lyman Moores said Wednesday.

Investigators say Drum shot Blanton, 28, on the night of June 2 at a home Drum was renting. Blanton was renting a room in the home.

Drum then drove to Ray's home a few miles away where Ray, 56, was killed early on June 3, Sheriff Bill Benedict has said.
For some reason, Drum abandoned a rental car he had been driving and was seen on foot in the remote area of the northern Olympic Peninsula. Reports of a suspicious man in the area brought deputies, who found the car and the note inside that led to the victims and identified Drum as a suspect. Drum was arrested later on June 3.

State Corrections Department records show Drum has served time for convictions that include burglary and drug possession. ..Source.. by Palm Beach Post

Patrick Drum Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murdering Sex Offenders Gary Blanton, Jerry Ray


A man who killed two registered sex offenders in Washington this summer, because he said "it had to be done," was sentenced to life without parole for the vigilante murders yesterday.

Patrick Drum, 34, first killed his roommate, 28-year-old Gary Blanton in their Sequim home on June 2. After shooting Blanton, Drum drove to Jerry Ray's house, killing him the following morning.

Witnesses called authorities to report seeing a suspicious man in a wooded area of the Olympic Peninsula. The search turned up a rental car abandoned by Drum and containing a note assuming responsibility for "taking care of some problems," the Associated Press reported.

The note also said "it had to be done," according to Fox News.

Police used dogs to track Drum down, ending a three-hour manhunt. Once captured by officers, Drum told a detective he gunned down the two men "because they were sex offenders," and would have killed more if he hadn't been stopped, NBC News said.

Blanton was found dead inside the padlocked home he shared with Drum. Blanton had been convicted of rape as a teenager. His wife claimed that he'd been falsely convicted for having consensual sex with a freshman when he was a senior in high school, the Sequim Gazette reported.

Ray pleaded guilty in 2002 to raping a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old, the Gazette said.

Drum has a previous criminal record too, including convictions for burglary and drug charges, Reuters reported.

Attention from the killing earned Drum the support of some fans who have stalked the Blantons' home and spat on them, Blanton's wife said, according to KOMO.

“It was never my intent to hurt the families involved," Drum said in court, according to the Peninsula Daily News. "That's like collateral damage."

There was extra security on hand in the courtroom Tuesday to protect Drum, Fox News reported. ..Source.. by Michael McLaughlin