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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paralyzed Chicago Heights man shot, killed during argument

7-31-2012 Illinois:

A paralyzed Chicago Heights man who was a registered sex offender and had an extensive criminal record was shot and killed Monday night during an argument at his home, police said.

Kevin Allison, 42, was found slumped in his wheelchair in the driveway of his home in the 500 block of Concord Court with a single gunshot wound in his head, police said.

Allison was pronounced dead at 9:44 p.m. at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A source said Allison had been arguing with people when someone shot him.

No one was in custody as Tuesday. The South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force is assisting in the investigation.

According to the Illinois State Police sex offender information website, Allison was convicted of aggravated criminal sex abuse/bodily harm in Cook County when he was 27. His victim was 38 years old.

And court records show he had an extensive criminal record dating to 1991.

Some of the past charges included aggravated battery, aggravated assault, criminal damage to property, battery, resisting a police officer, criminal trespassing, assault and robbery. He served time in jail for several offenses, according to court records. He was charged with battery and resisting arrest June 25.

Neighbors on Tuesday didn’t deny that Allison had his problems and, as one said, “a tough life.”

But several agreed with neighbor and friend Emma Edmond, who called Allison “a good man and didn’t deserve this.”

Edmond said Allison was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot about 15 years ago. She’s floored someone would shoot a man in a wheelchair.

“This should have never happened,” she said.

Allison, nicknamed Kevo, moved into the Beacon Hill neighborhood from Harvey three years ago, she said.

“He brought a lot of joy to Concord,” she said. “Kevo, there was something special about him. You know, he talked a lot of (trash) but he didn’t mean no harm.”

“I used to take him to the medical supply place to get him things for his wheelchair. I used to go grocery shopping for him. I used to cook for him. I used to give him cold water when he’d be riding through here. He called me Mama Emma,” she said.

“I don’t know why, but I took to him. If he was out here getting into it with some person, I could tell him, ‘Kevo, shut your ... mouth. Get your [butt] home.’ And he would listen to me,” Edmond said. “But I wasn’t there (Monday) night. I was in the house watching TV.”

Latrisha Bell said she last saw Allison shortly before he died.

“I walked him down (to his house) and 15 minutes later, I heard one pop and I saw all the cops flying down the street,” Bell said. ..Source.. by y STEVE METSCH Sun-Times Media

Deputies: Rape suspect found shot dead in Chester County

7-30-2012 South Carolina:

RICHBURG A 16-year-old girl was raped Sunday night, and her attacker – whose criminal history spans more than 20 years – was shot to death as he walked down the road away from her Richburg home, Chester County authorities said.

Sometime between 9 and 10 p.m., deputies were called to the home to investigate a sexual assault.

A woman there told them that Michael Jermaine Terry, 39, of Lancaster had raped the girl and walked away, Sheriff Richard Smith said.

The girl called her mother, who was at work at the time, and told her about the assault, Smith said.

When deputies went down the road looking for Terry, they found him a half-mile away – lying in the road, covered in blood and not breathing.

The Herald is not naming the road where Terry was found to protect the victim’s identity.

Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker said Terry, who lived at 205 N. French St., died of a gunshot wound. Tinker would not say how many times or where on his body Terry had been shot.

In the 1990s, according to the State Law Enforcement Division, Terry was convicted of several assault and battery and disorderly conduct, drug and weapons possession, and copper theft charges. For his most recent conviction, a nonviolent burglary in 2007, he was sentenced to three years probation.

Sheriff’s investigators spent much of Monday following leads and searching for suspects, Smith said, but they had not developed anything “concrete” by the end of the day.

“This isn’t the average murder,” he said.

Deputies didn’t find any shell casings or a weapon at the scene, Smith said. They also didn’t find any witnesses to the shooting.

“If there are, they haven’t come forward,” he said.

The victim “is (doing) as well as can be expected,” Smith said. “This is definitely a tragedy for her.”

The street where the rape and shooting occurred, he said, is “a pretty quiet area.”

‘Something terrible’

On the curvy road where Mary McClinton of Richburg has made her home for more than four decades, people “wave and speak and go about their business.”

“Don’t nobody bother nobody else,” she said. “Around here, if you hear gunshots, it don’t matter ... People don’t think much of it.”

But neighbors in the area are thinking and talking.

Some, like James Jones – whose many grandchildren crowded a dirt patch in front of his home Monday afternoon – are concerned about safety.

“That’s something terrible,” said Jones, who has lived in the area for two years. “You have to be alert.”

Jones didn’t hear any gunshots or commotion Sunday night, but he did see flashing police lights.

“You usually hear about this happening in the city,” he said, “but out here in the country, that’s something new.”

Cheryl McCrorey lives just a few feet from the house where the teenager was raped.

“It’s never happened down here,” she said.

McCrorey said it wasn’t until she logged onto Facebook on Monday morning and read a post detailing the incident that she realized that Terry had been found dead just down the road from her home.

Tanya Collazo, who spent Monday watching her three grandchildren, said she heard “a loud bang” Sunday night. She went outside and didn’t see anything, but moments later, she saw emergency lights and assumed they were cops.

Collazo said she feels for the teenager – a girl she said would often stay at her home with her brother while they waited for their mother to get home from work.

“She’s a sweet girl,” Collazo said. “She’d come over and play with my grandson.”

Mary McClinton also spent time with the girl – a distant relative – who would occasionally sit in her living room on the days she didn’t visit Collazo.

“She comes down and talks to me,” said McClinton, adding that the area is usually so quiet that she leaves her doors open.

By Monday, though, McClinton’s doors were closed.

She hadn’t spoken to the girl’s family, but she did take time to remember a recent milestone in the teenager’s life.

“This month,” McClinton said, the girl ran into her house excitedly shouting, “I got my (learner’s driving) permit!” ..Source.. by Jonathan McFadden


Chester killing of rape suspect needs one thing: Facts


CHESTER — In comic books and movies, Batman wears a cape. In real life Thursday, a man who some say is the avenger of a horrible deed wore handcuffs.

There is no pat on the back from the police for killing even the alleged vilest criminal in real life if the killing does not have legal justification.

What there is is a burly jailer waking you up from a jail cell to say it is time to be told by a judge, “Mr. White, you have a charge of murder.”

Just minutes after Antwan Terrill White, that 21-year-old man with no criminal record, was asked by a judge Thursday morning if he understood the murder charge in the shooting death of an alleged rapist, tables were filled at Gene’s Restaurant in downtown Chester.

Gene’s is where all news in Chester County is digested right along with the grits over breakfast.

At one long table sat 12 men, same number you’d find in a criminal court jury. Fathers of daughters, grandfathers of granddaughters, brothers of sisters.

Juries decide if somebody is guilty.

Legal experts will tell you that juries sometimes say a person is not guilty because – regardless of the law or the facts of the case – no way can 12 people who are parents of daughters and brothers of sisters convict a man who killed a monster rapist.

White has the right to a jury trial if he wants one. A magistrate told him so Thursday morning. But that could be months, maybe years, away.

He also can claim that he just plain did not do what he is accused of by police. Courts guarantee that right for all accused.

No courts were used, though, in the accusation and death of the alleged rapist, Michael Jermaine Terry.

These dozen guys at Gene’s were asked the simple questions that haunt this killing.

Is it right for somebody to hear of a family member’s rape and then shoot the guy in the face?

Should that person have waited for the cops and courts to act?

Should this alleged shooter, not many years from wearing No. 21 on a football field for the Lewisville Lions, be charged with murder and held in jail when the victim of the killing might be an unspeakable criminal who some would say “deserved killing?”

Right off one guy at the table said, “He saved taxpayers a trial: Rapists deserve what they get.”

It was explained that the police had not had a chance to investigate the rape allegation before Terry, a career criminal, was killed. It remains unclear what happened in the alleged sexual assault, but the investigation continues.

Yet it is clear that no police officer had a chance to investigate the allegation, go before a magistrate judge with allegations and ask for an arrest warrant against Terry.

Terry was dead before anybody with a badge could ask him anything.

But another judge signed an arrest warrant against Antwan White, alleging murder, after police claimed White killed Terry.

At that hearing Thursday, Magistrate Lonnie Sloan told White – hero or not, depending on how one looks at it – how only a Circuit Court judge could set a bond in a murder case.

White asked quietly: “I can do that today, right?”

Sloan said no. White’s face dropped.

White will be in jail for at least a few more days and probably much longer. Chester County does not have a Circuit Court judge scheduled to be in criminal court to set a bond until the week of Aug. 27, said Chris Taylor, assistant solicitor.

This was now not TV or movies, where bonds are given in murder cases just in time for a commercial break. Whether some believe White should be freed and thanked or exonerated or never arrested in the first place, it is clear he will stay in jail for a while.

“He shouldn’t have to wait in jail,” said another guy at Gene’s. “It’s a damn shame he can’t get out on bond. What they say he did, the guy deserved killing.”

The tables of 12 men were appalled at the rape allegations. They were not appalled at the killing.

Then a man walked up to the table after having listened for a bit. Calvin Gore wore a Marine Corps veteran hat because he earned it in Vietnam.

Gore is also a retired magistrate judge who has heard it all in Chester County’s courtrooms.

He said he hurts for the family that is going through such horrible, terrible duress from a rape allegation through a killing and now a murder charge against a young man full of promise.

But, Gore said, what matters most is law – and facts.

“We cannot act on emotions,” he said. “We must act on facts. The facts always speak for themselves.”

It is clear that police did not have a chance to investigate the rape claim before the perpetrator was killed, Gore said.

“The facts were not established,” he said. “The man was killed before law enforcement could do its job.”

Now law enforcement is doing its job after the killing, and a young man faces a murder charge regardless of whether a community believes he might have been a protector and acted righteously.

Now it’s up to the courts to sort out the facts, Gore said.

“In most cases, the victims want justice,” he said. “And those who have done something, the defendants, want mercy.”

The rape victim might have wanted justice – justice that, to some, might have meant the killing of the awful rapist.

But Terry never got a chance at court justice or court mercy – whether he deserved it or not.

“In our system, even the worst defendants are entitled to their day in court,” said Debra Gammons, a professor at the Charleston School of Law.

It must be courts, not men, who mete out justice, said both Gammons and Gore.

It remains unclear what evidence police have that was enough probable cause to arrest White for killing Terry. No evidence was shown Thursday in court.

“That’s why we cannot act on emotion,” Gore said, “and (we must) act on facts in courtrooms.”

Gore and those 12 men at Gene’s all left the restaurant to see children, grandchildren, families.

Antwan Terrill White remained in a detention pen, facing a future that is unsure at best, as the courts get set to figure out what is fact in the death of an alleged rapist. ..Source.. by Andrew Dys


Chester County man accused of killing rapist gets $40,000 bond


A Richburg man without a criminal past but now in jail for allegedly killing the man police say raped his 16-year-old relative received a $40,000 bond in a Chester County courtroom Tuesday morning.

Sixth Circuit Court Judge Brooks Goldsmith granted a $40,000 surety bond for 21-year-old Antwan Terrill White, who police say shot and killed Michael Jermaine Terry, a 39-year-old Lancaster man believed to have raped White’s teenage relative before Terry was found dead on a rural road.

Goldsmith said White’s family, who stood behind the murder defendant as he faced the judge, only has to pay 10 percent of the bond amount to get him out of jail.

On Aug. 8, deputies arrested White, the father of a 2-year-old daughter, in connection with Terry’s murder.

Police reports and an arrest warrant indicate that on July 29 Terry went to the teenage girl’s Richburg home and raped her in the woods sometime between 9 p.m. and 9:48 p.m. After police were called to the home, officers searched for Terry.

Moments later, they found his body on the road in a pool of blood, just a half-mile from the girl’s home. Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker pronounced Terry dead at 10:07 p.m.

The Herald is not naming the road where the rape and the killing took place to protect the identity of the sexual assault victim.

Tuesday morning in court, White’s mother, father, grandfather and the mother of his child listened as Assistant Sixth Circuit Solicitor Chris Taylor said officials believe White killed Terry in retaliation for the rape.

According to police, White, after hearing about the assault, got into a car and “went in pursuit” of Terry, Taylor said. An unidentified witness who is said to have accompanied White on his search told officials that White grabbed a shotgun, found Terry walking on the road and shot him in his chest.

He then shot him again on the left side of his face, Taylor said.

In the days after the homicide, officials said they were unable to find a weapon or any shell casings near the area.

The witness, whose identity officials would not release, apparently didn’t know White intended to kill Terry, Taylor said. The witness later came forward and told police White murdered Terry.

After White’s arrest, Sheriff Richard Smith said the sheriff’s office wasn’t searching for any other suspects. Tuesday evening, he confirmed that deputies weren’t looking for anyone else “at this time.”

“There has been some physical evidence recovered” including the alleged murder weapon, Taylor said in court. “At this point, there have not been any forensic reports generated from this” by a crime lab with the State Law Enforcement Division, Taylor said.

Officials have said there is no indication that Terry didn’t rape the girl, but the incident remains under investigation.

White, a hard-working man who lives with his mother, didn’t need a court order to make him give the mother of his child $80 a week, said his attorney, Arthur Gaston. White, who works at a tools distribution center in Fort Mill, was putting money aside in a savings account so he could put his child and her mother in their own home.

He had $300 in savings.

“He of course denies any involvement in this at all,” Gaston told Judge Goldsmith. “He’s certainly not a flight risk in this case. He’s not a risk to society.”

After deputies found Terry dead, they questioned White, Gaston said. Then, they let him go.

When preparing to make an arrest, deputies called White on the phone and asked him to return to the sheriff’s office for further questioning.

“He (went) back up there voluntarily,” Gaston said.

Requesting a reasonable bond on his client’s behalf, Gaston said White’s family isn’t wealthy. “They work; they’ve got jobs. They’re just making it. They’re good people.”

Aside from one speeding charge, White’s record is clean, Gaston said.

The State Law Enforcement Division shows that Terry’s criminal history spans more than 20 years, including convictions for simple assault and battery, public disorderly conduct, drug and weapons possession and copper theft. He was sentenced to three years’ probation for his most recent conviction, a nonviolent burglary in 2007.

Tanya Crockett, the mother of Terry’s son, Michael Jermaine Terry Jr., addressed the court, saying, “I am deeply sorry about what happened.”

But Crockett, also a cousin to White, asked for “a very high bond.”

“(Terry) never got to come to court to plead guilty or innocent,” she said. “His mother is saying ‘no bond,’ but I’m reasonable because like I said that’s my family, but that’s my son’s father, as well, that’s deceased now. If a bond has to be granted, I ask that you make it high.”

After Judge Goldsmith made his decision and stressed that White could have no contact with Terry’s family, Crockett declined to give more details about Terry.

Betty Mumford, Terry’s mother, also didn’t want to disclose details about her son. She did say, “I just want justice.”

“That’s all we want – justice.”

Joining them was Terry’s son, Michael Jermaine Terry, Jr., who reiterated what his mother and grandmother said.

“Justice needs to be served,” he said.

White will have his first appearance in court Oct. 11. If he wishes, he’ll have a preliminary hearing on Oct. 25 before a second court appearance on Nov. 8. ..Source.. by Jonathan McFadden

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Inmate death raises jurisdictional concerns

12-30-2011 Virginia:

Severely beaten Red Onion State Prison inmate Kawaski Bass could have arrived in an emergency room just beyond Virginia’s state line in less than two hours.

Instead, the state’s jurisdiction-based policy on hospital care made sure his battered and bruised body lay in the back of an ambulance for a nearly four-hour ride on Sept. 6.

“It amazed me to know they took him so far … despite other hospitals being in the area,” said Bass’ sister, Tarsha Bass.

Guards at the Pound-based prison found the inmate unconscious in his cell and initially had an ambulance rush him to the nearby Dickenson Community Hospital. But the devastating head injuries and internal bleeding were too much for the local medical center to handle.

So, doctors wheeled Kawaski Bass back into the ambulance and sent him to what is known as a Level I trauma care center - a hospital staffed night and day to tackle the most debilitating injuries.

A map shows the nearest such hospital to be Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., roughly 75 miles away.

Yet the ambulance was sent to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Va., roughly 197 miles away. That way, guards could maintain their custody over the inmate.

“The Virginia prison system stipulates that we cannot transport their prisoners across state lines,” said Mountain States Hospital spokeswoman Teresa Hicks, whose company runs both the Dickenson and Kingsport hospitals.

Kawaski Bass died hours after arriving at the Roanoke hospital in the early morning of Sept. 7.


Bass would have had a handful of treatment options if the state line was not an issue.
Paramedics could have rushed him the 86 miles to Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tenn. It’s also a Level I trauma center and requires half the travel time as the trek to Roanoke.

Even closer, at 78 miles, is Bristol Regional Medical Center, considered a Level II trauma center because it lacks some round-the-clock surgical specialists, according to the American College of Surgeons, which ranks trauma centers. Still, the Bristol hospital is staffed with trauma surgeons to handle the worst injuries day and night.

“It sort of makes sense that you would want to be treated as soon as possible,” said Dr. Renan Castillo, of the John Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

Bass’ situation seems to have revolved around what the medical community calls the Golden Hour of trauma care – the theory that a patient’s greatest chance of survival is based on receiving the right surgical treatment within the first hour.

But it’s an unproven theory.

“There are a lot of surgeons that definitely believe in the Golden Hour,” Castillo said. “It’s definitely true that you’re racing against the clock on some level.”

Prison guards found Bass on the floor of his cell around 1 p.m. and prison medical staff performed CPR on him for nearly 60 minutes before finding a pulse, sister Tarsha Bass said.

The medical staff hooked Kawaski Bass to a respirator to help him breathe, the sister said, and shipped him by ambulance to the community hospital across the county line in the town of Clintwood. The American College of Surgeons does not rate the hospital as a trauma-care center.

Bass could have been transported to Roanoke by helicopter, which the Virginia State Police said is usually an hour-long flight. An ongoing rain storm made helicopter transport too dangerous, the Virginia Department of Corrections confirmed, and so the trip was done by ambulance.

The Virginia State Police covers parts of Southwest Virginia with an Abingdon-based Med Flight helicopter and confirmed that it has ferried state prison inmates to Roanoke.

On a clear night, the helicopter could have departed the community hospital in Clintwood and reached the Roanoke hospital within the Golden Hour.

It could also reach the Johnson City Hospital in 15 minutes.

“I think the policy needs to be changed,” Tarsha Bass said of the state-line rule.

“When it’s a matter of life and death … they should be able to bend it a little.”


Though parts of the medical community consider the clock to be a dangerous foe, Virginia law does not.

“There’s nothing that says that people need to be sent to the closest hospital,” said Michael D. Berg, regulation and compliance manager with the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services.

In fact, Berg noted that the decision on where to send patients is usually left to the attending physician.

Hospital location becomes a legal factor only when it comes to Virginia’s prison inmates.

“It is a jurisdictional issue,” DOC spokesman Larry Traylor said in an email. “Our authority does not extend beyond the border of Virginia unless there is a specific prior agreement or extradition order of some type.”

Simply put, the DOC would lose custody of an inmate as soon as the ambulance or helicopter crossed beyond Virginia’s state line. An out-of-state judge would have to sign an extradition order just so Virginia prisons could retain custody all throughout the hospital stay and even past the eventual discharge.

Tarsha Bass, a licensed practical nurse from Hampton, arrived at the Roanoke hospital with her mother late at night.

A doctor told them that brain swelling and massive abdominal bleeding were the leading causes of her brother’s trauma.

At one point, hospital staff suggested that Kawaski Bass might undergo surgery to relieve the pressure on his swelling brain, the sister said.

He died soon after mother and sister arrived at the hospital. He was never wheeled into an operating room.

Kawaski Bass is the second of two inmates killed over the past 19 months inside Red Onion, a maximum security prison located near the Kentucky border.

The first happened July 28, 2010, when Robert C. Gleason followed through on a threat to kill again unless sentenced to death for slaying an inmate more than a year earlier. Gleason is now on Death Row awaiting a Virginia Supreme Court review of two death sentences.

With Bass, corrections officials and investigators refuse to confirm the cause of injuries or even a suspect because the investigation is ongoing.

The Bristol Herald Courier has learned that John Keyvann Watson, 31, is suspected of the altercation that left Bass, 31, unconscious in his prison cell.

Watson is serving 103 years for two counts of second-degree murder that stem from a 2002 attack in Richmond, court records show. The Virginia Department of Corrections has tentatively set his good-time release date for Sept. 7, 2100.

Kawaski Bass was serving a 65-year sentence for 1998 and 1999 convictions of robbery, use of a firearm, carjacking, assault and battery, and conspiracy in several Virginia counties and had a good-time release date of Jan. 21, 2061. ..Source.. by Michael Owens | Bristol Herald Courier


Mom sues state over son’s death at Virginia prison


BRISTOL, Va. (AP) — Officers ignored an inmate’s concerns that a prison gang was out to kill him and then let his cries for help go unanswered as he was beaten to death in his cell, the inmate’s mother claims in a lawsuit against the state and prison officials.

The lawsuit, filed last month in Hampton, claims officers at Red Onion State Prison didn’t respond to Kawaski Bass’ pleas for help. It also says the state failed to adequately train or supervise employees responsible for maintaining safety within the housing unit where Bass was attacked.

Bass, 32, was severely beaten in his cell on Sept. 6, 2011. He was pronounced dead hours later after a 200-mile ride from the prison in Pound to a Roanoke hospital.

He was “heard by other inmates within the housing unit screaming for assistance for several minutes and none of the corrections officers . responded to his pleas for help,” reads the lawsuit, filed by Richmond attorney Horace F. Hunter.

Virginia State Police have not charged Bass’ cellmate, John Keyvann Watson, 32. Bass has claimed he beat Bass because he was defending against a sexual assault.

Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor; that it is department policy not to comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit claims Bass told officers that members of the Bloods prison gang had indicated they planned to kill him. It says Bass was placed in a cell with Watson, who was a known associate of the Bloods.

Watson is serving 103 years for two counts of second-degree murder. Bass was serving a 65-year sentence for robbery, carjacking, assault and other charges.

The mother of another inmate, Aaron Cooper, also has given notice that she plans to sue the state and Red Onion officials over the death of her son at the prison in 2010.

Cooper was strangled to death by inmate Robert Gleason through a separate cage on the outdoor recreation yard. Gleason already had killed another inmate and vowed to continue killing unless he was given the death penalty.

Cooper’s mother gave notice that she may file a civil lawsuit because the prison “failed to properly segregate and monitor violent and dangerous criminals.”

Gleason was sentenced to death in September. ..Source..

Man who found Hanahan victim 'knew something wasn't right'

7-17-2012 South Carolina:

Hanahan — Roy Ray Bennett had been a victim of crime before.

Last week, a man was arrested on forgery charges after $10,000 worth of checks were cashed in Bennett's name.

And Bennett had been accused of crime, too.

He recently learned that prosecutors were pursuing a trial in his 2009 child pornography arrest.

But Bennett's son doesn't know why anyone would want to hurt the man, known by residents of his Otranto neighborhood as “Mr. Ray.” The retiree and Army veteran was found dead in his bed about 1 p.m. Sunday, his limbs bound with duct tape and a bag over his head, according to the person who discovered his body.

“Who kills a 71-year-old man?” Tim Bennett, a 47-year-old Columbia resident, said outside his father's home Monday. “I was just hoping he died in his sleep.

“I found out he was murdered instead. I thought he had passed peacefully.”

The Hanahan Police Department released few additional details Monday about the city's first homicide this year. Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury said an autopsy Monday morning did not immediately indicate how he died and that toxicology tests might shed light on that.

Detectives found no sign of forced entry at Bennett's home at 2 Lombardi Lane and were still looking for his Toyota Tacoma pickup, which was thought to be stolen after the killing.

A neighbor who borrowed Bennett's lawn mower Sunday morning told The Post and Courier that he became suspicious when he spotted two men inside Bennett's Toyota. The neighbor said the men, who had been living with Bennett for a short time, scrambled back inside the house.

When the neighbor returned with the mower and to check on Bennett, he saw several empty bottles of alcohol on a counter. He walked through an unlocked door and found Bennett's body on the bed.

“He was a nice man, but he didn't let people take his truck,” said the neighbor, who cited fear of retribution in asking that his name be withheld. “I knew something wasn't right, but I didn't expect to find him in the state he was.”

Hanahan police Lt. Michael Fowler would not “confirm or deny” the account about how Bennett's body was found and said investigators still were looking for the Toyota. They intended to question several people but had developed no firm suspects, Fowler said.

At the request of the local police force, the State Law Enforcement Division was helping to run down leads and interview Bennett's acquaintances.

Neighbors said they recently saw several people from outside the community visiting the home. Some might have been staying there.

“There was a lot of traffic in and out of that house, but I can't go into details,” Fowler said. “Some of those people, we are desperately interested in talking to.”

Previous cases

Police officers knew of Bennett, though they did not visit the home frequently, according to Fowler.

An officer last spoke with him Friday, when Bennett said prosecutors were continuing to pursue the 2009 charge of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

That case was based on SLED agents' discovery of “visual materials” on his computer that showed children engaged in sex, according to a 2009 news release. He was accused of downloading and distributing the porn.

In letters to neighbors, he defended himself by saying someone else had put the images on his computer and used a peer-to-peer network to share them, according to his son.

On Friday, the Hanahan officer visited his house to follow up on an arrest that the North Charleston Police Department made July 10 in which a man was accused of forging 13 of Bennett's checks and cashing $9,800 worth.

The man, 39-year-old Harry Shane Dupree of Vine Street in Goose Creek, told police that a woman would forge Bennett's signature on the checks, then give them to Dupree to cash.

But Bennett refused to tell authorities about the activity because of his history with that woman, according to Dupree's statements to the police.

“(The woman) had been a neighbor of (Bennett),” Dupree said, according to an incident report. “While she was a child, (Bennett) had supposedly taken advantage of her that was criminal in nature.”

Fowler, the Hanahan lieutenant, would not say whether Bennett's past was connected to his slaying.

“The officer went there because someone was writing bad checks,” Fowler said. “But he ended up not wanting a report.”

'Had no enemies'

Though they were aware of the allegations against him, neighbors knew Bennett as a caring man who often would lend his possessions, such as power tools.

He was a skilled woodworker. He constructed much of his own furniture from cedar.

Children living in houses along his tree-lined, dead-end street often went for a swim in his backyard pool, including 18-year-old Cody Buehrer.

“If anyone here needed anything, he was the one who did it,” said Buehrer, a next-door neighbor of Bennett's for seven years. “This cul-de-sac is losing a good man.”

A native of Raleigh, Bennett graduated from North Carolina State University in the 1960s, his son said. He then spent two years in the Army, a requirement of his involvement with the school's ROTC program.

After serving a tour in Germany during the Vietnam War, he moved to Hanahan with his wife and only child. The couple later divorced.

He worked his entire career as an electrical engineer at the MeadWestvaco paper plant in North Charleston, where he retired during the last decade.

“He kept to himself, but he liked piddling in the yard and the garden. That was his life,” said his son, who last saw Bennett on Christmas, when they ate sugar cookies and exchanged gifts. “He always had his garden of tomatoes and corn.”

Tim Bennett said his father's Sunday newspaper had been retrieved from the yard and was on his living room couch, where he read it religiously each week. Nothing in the house seemed disturbed, though his wallet was missing.

“I'm just in a numb state right now,” Tim Bennett said. “He had no enemies.” ..Source.. by Andrew Knapp


Hanahan homicide victim was charged for child porn in 2009

7-14-2012 South Carolina:

HANAHAN, S.C. (WCIV) -- A person is dead in the Otranto area of Hanahan, and police investigators believe foul play was involved.

The victim has been identified as 71-year-old Roy Bennett. An autopsy will be conducted today to determine the cause of death. Officials say his body was found by a neighbor.

ABC News 4 spoke with Lt. Fowler with Hanahan Police this morning who said Bennett was killed between 6:30 and 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

Fowler says investigators continue to believe that Bennett knew the suspect because there was no sign of struggle. He says there were many people coming and going from the house.

According to SLED records, Bennett was charged with felony first degree sexual exploitation of a minor back in April of 2009. SLED filed those charges when investigators reported they found pornographic images of minors on Bennett's computer.

Fowler does not believe the suspect in Bennett's death was connected to the 2009 incident.

The Berkeley County Coroner's Office released a statement Monday saying an autopsy was conducted and the results are pending.

"We will be awaiting the results of toxicology test before a final cause of death can be determined," said Coroner Bill Salisbury.

Police have asked for the public's help in this investigation by locating a 2009 Toyota Tacoma taken from the home. The truck is Silver and has a license tag number of CBP-692.

Lt. Fowler said the homicide is the first in Hanahan for 2012. ..Source.. by WCIV.TV


Arrests made in Hanahan killing


Roy Bennett may have been killed over money.

Hanahan police arrested three people Thursday night in connection with the 71-year-old's death, saying that's what drove them to go to his home over the weekend.

Brittany Lynn Swagner, 24; Robert Andrew McFadden, 24; and Robert Randolph Clark, 39, are charged with murder, according to Lt. Michael Fowler of the Hanahan Police Department.

Police believe Bennett was killed Sunday, between 6:30 a.m., when he picked up his newspaper from his Lombardi Lane home, and 1 p.m., when a neighbor found him dead in his bedroom.

The three accused in Bennett's slaying were living in area motels and didn't have permanent residences, Fowler said. They're being held in the Berkeley County jail and are scheduled for a bond hearing at 11:30 a.m. today.

Goose Creek police also will charge McFadden with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, Fowler said.

Additional charges may follow, Fowler said, as police continue their investigation.

McFadden was spotted in surveillance footage abandoning Bennett's 2009 Toyota Tacoma in the Goose Creek Walmart parking lot and walking toward a nearby Murphy USA gas station, Fowler said.

The State Law Enforcement Division scoured the truck for clues Wednesday and found fingerprints, and investigators examined surveillance video from Walmart and the gas station.

McFadden ditched the pickup in the far reaches of the Walmart camera's range, Fowler said, but police analyzed the gas station's footage Thursday and were able to capture “a really good view” of him.

A North Charleston police officer recognized McFadden in that image and knew where he hung out, Fowler said. He was arrested and helped lead police to Swagner, then to Clark.

“Everything really got rolling after we found that truck,” Fowler said.

From interviews, police also learned that the three took guns from Bennett's home, and Fowler said Clark and McFadden stole duct tape from Walmart before Bennett's death.

The neighbor found Bennett's body with duct tape around his arms and legs and a bag over his head after he returned a lawn mower he had borrowed.

Fowler said late Thursday that police are confident that they have found the three people who were at Bennett's home in the Otranto neighborhood Sunday. They haven't ruled out the possibility of other related arrests.

“The real work has just begun,” Fowler said. “It's entirely conceivable that once they realize they're charged with murder that they might be forthcoming with even more information.”

Early in their search, investigators said they hadn't found signs of forced entry in Bennett's home, leading them to think he knew his killers.

Fowler said police think Clark and Bennett knew each other “in some form or fashion.”

All three knew that Bennett had money, and police say that was the trio's motive.

Bennett's money had been exploited previously, authorities said.

On July 10, a North Charleston man was charged with forging 13 checks totaling nearly $10,000 in his name. He worked with a woman who was not charged. She was “supposedly blackmailing” Bennett over an incident from her childhood, according to a police report.

Bennett “had supposedly taken advantage of her (in a way) that was criminal in nature,” the report said.

Whether those cases are related is not clear. “We haven't made any connection as of yet to North Charleston's arrest last week,” Fowler said.

Bennett was charged in 2009 with second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was accused of downloading and distributing child pornography and had been recently told that prosecutors were pursuing a trial.

An autopsy Monday didn't indicate how Bennett died, and toxicology tests are still pending. Those usually take two to three weeks to complete, said Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury. ..Source.. by Thad Moore

Monday, July 16, 2012

Man killed by FBI was registered sex offender

7-16-2012 Ohio:

Dilton Myers changed name after 1995 Kansas conviction

DAYTON — The man shot to death by an FBI agent June 28 had been a registered sexual offender when he moved to Ohio in 2003, the Dayton Daily News has learned.

Fallacy Myers, 43, lived at 105 Samuel St., where he was shot to death while agents were executing a search warrant. That warrant remains under seal.

The FBI has declined comment on the shooting, but Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said June 28 that the investigation dealt with child exploitation and money laundering.

Since the day of the shooting Dayton police have declined comment on the shooting.

Myers was known by his birth name, Dilton Richard Myers, when he was convicted of indecent solicitation of a child in 1995. That conviction was in Barton County, Kan., and the offense involved a 15-year-old girl, according to records obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

He was placed on probation, but that was revoked in 1997 after he was convicted of burglary. He was paroled in September 2000, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records.

Myers had been in prison on prior occasions and had burglary and theft convictions in the late 1980s. In 2000, Myers changed his name to Fallacy Mac Runes Myers, according to a court order filed in Leavenworth County, Kansas.

The order states that “the petitioner is a Pagan and a priest within the religion known commonly as Wicca.”

It also states that Myers was convinced “that he must rid himself of the burden of a Judeo-Christian name.”

Myers lived briefly in West Monroe, La., where he registered with authorities in June and July 2003.

He registered with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office from 2003 through February 2007, when his 10-year registration requirement expired, according to records.

Fred Alverson, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, said last month that when agents arrived, Myers indicated that he wanted to cooperate with the investigation.

The agents had been there several hours when Myers grabbed a knife and started stabbing himself, Alverson said.

When the agents tried to use a Taser on Myers, he lunged at one of the them and was shot, Alverson said.

While they were present, Myers lunged at one of them with a knife and the agent shot him, Biehl said.

Biehl said that the agent fired three shots, and that investigators believe all three hit Myers.

Myers’ wife, Bonnie, could not be reached for comment.

In November 2010, Myers started, LLC, according to the Ohio secretary of state. The website says that it is a “free online vampire vs. werewolf multiplayer game.”

A vendor license for, LLC was issued July 19, 2011, according to the Montgomery County Vendor License database. The office was located at 2105 Needmore Road, Suite B, in Harrison Twp., according to records.

But the sign at the property was for Curvy Massage, which appeared to be closed after the shooting. Myers had a Curvy Massage sign on his car, which was parked near his house the day of his shooting. ..Source.. by Lou Grieco

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Arlington death investigated as manslaughter

7-12-2012 Washington:

ARLINGTON -- Detectives believe the death of an Everett-area man in Arlington last month could be a potential case of manslaughter.

Martin Pickett, 48, died after some kind of altercation in a parking lot in the 16800 block of Smokey Point Boulevard, police said.

A passerby spotted Pickett's body about 5:30 a.m. June 30.

He was lying in a pool of blood, and appeared to have a serious head wound, according to a search warrant filed recently in Cascade District Court.

Pickett and two other homeless men had been hanging out in the lot the night before he was found, court papers show.

Police dispatchers received a 911 call for a noise complaint in the area about 11 p.m., Arlington city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said Wednesday.

A patrol officer responded and told the men they could not drink in public and that they needed to quiet down. The men agreed to do so, and the officer left.

Detectives have interviewed the two other men who were there that night, Banfield said.

They believe Pickett had been involved in some sort of struggle with one of them, Nial G. Harris, 52, shortly before Pickett died.

No arrests have been made in the case. Investigators are awaiting autopsy and toxicology reports from the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office. Those reports likely will shed light on the circumstances surrounding Pickett's death.

Pickett had significant criminal history in Snohomish County dating back to 1982.

As an adult, he had seven felony and 27 misdemeanor convictions. Most of the misdemeanors were for unlawful camping, trespassing and possessing drug paraphernalia.

He also was supposed to register as a sex offender for a first-degree rape conviction in 1987.

Pickett had been arrested in Marysville as recently as April, when prosecutors alleged that he assaulted a woman after they were drinking together underneath a bridge.

They alleged that Pickett struck the woman in the head with a rock after she declined his sexual advances. ..Source.. by Rikki King, Herald Writer