Monday, August 31, 2009
Dad kills wife, two sons in murder-suicide (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Scottsdale 911 call leads detectives to murder-suicide
Reported by: Lori Jane Gliha
Last Update: 8/27 1:01 pm
SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- Two notes had been left behind for authorities in the murder-suicide of Scottsdale's Gilman family, according to police reports released Wednesday afternoon.
One note, which read, "Attention First Responders" was taped to the front door when authorities arrived.
According to a Scottsdale police report "it listed 4 people inside with their names and dates of birth next to them."
When they went into the home on August 6, officers wrote they discovered four bodies inside the home at 9124 E Sharon Drive. Each was in a different room, according to reports.
"I could see a male subject slumped back on the couch wearing a red shirt," one report stated, describing Russ Gilman, the father.
"His head was back and I could see that his lips and face had begun to discolor and turn black. A black Glock 9mm handgun was still in his right hand on his right leg. He appeared to be deceased."
Reports indicated police found a female, in the master bedroom, and a young boy in each of two remaining bedrooms.
A concerned caller from California led police to the house near 90th Street and Thunderbird Road.
"Myself and some of her friends haven't heard from her since Sunday or earlier," said the caller, describing Stacy Gilman. "It's not very usual," she added.
The dispatcher referred to Stacy as the caller's mother.
"No one's answering the phone or returning messages," the caller said. "Both cell phones are going to voicemail."
"There's been no scheduled vacations before school starts that we were notified of," she continued.
Police reports indicated the note on the front door also stated that the front door was unlocked. It also warned the first responders that two dogs were inside the home, and it indicated that another note was waiting for them inside on the dining room table.
The note on the dining room table was typed on an 8x11 piece of paper. According to police, the letter indicated it was written by Gilman and blamed the incident on financial problems.
Dad on "custody visit" suspect in murder-suicide car crash; two children killed (Perth, Australia)
Murder-suicide suspected as man and kids die in car crash
Debbie Guest September 01, 2009
Article from: The Australian
WEST Australian police are investigating a possible murder-suicide after a Perth man and his two children were incinerated in a car crash.
The 45-year-old man's six-year-old daughter and five-year-old son were believed to have been on a custody visit when their father's station wagon crashed into a tree near a straight stretch of highway in Perth's southeast late on Sunday.
The car caught fire, incinerating its occupants. Police know who the family is but have not released their names. DNA and dental records will be used to identify them.
The man was estranged from his wife and was receiving counselling from the WA police chaplain. "The family are devastated. I can't even begin to imagine how the family would feel," Inspector Bill Munnee said.
There are believed to be several suspicious circumstances surrounding the crash, including a lack of skid marks on the highway.
Inspector Munnee said yesterday two parallel investigations were under way, with the major crash and major crime divisions examining the deaths.
"Major crash will look at all the causes of the crash, and major crime will look at all of the circumstances leading up to the crash," he said.
"This is a tragic incident for the family, the community and emergency services. The crash scene was devastating and horrendous. The police chaplain is assisting the family to put together the pieces so we can determine what happened."
Inspector Munnee said it was not known whether extra fuel or other flammable liquids were in the car at the time of the crash.
Police were yet to establish whether there were other children in the family, from Perth's southern suburbs.
"It's less than 24 hours after the incident, it's too early to tell," he said.
"We need to investigate this thoroughly and properly, and it will take some time."
He appealed for witnesses to the crash to come forward with any information.
The tragedy comes just two months after an alleged murder-suicide bid by Perth mother Rita Ariyaratnam.
In July, Ms Ariyaratnam's seven-month-old twins were found dead in their Perth eastern suburbs home by their father.
Ms Ariyaratnam was lying unconscious nearby after an apparent overdose of anti-depressants.
She has been charged with murder and is in a psychiatric hospital awaiting her next court appearance.
Dad arrested for abusing 16-month-old son; boy had multiple arm fractures requiring surgeries (Reno, Nevada)
Reno police arrest man on suspicion of child abuse
The Associated Press
Posted: 08/31/2009 10:37:16 AM PDT
Updated: 08/31/2009 10:37:16 AM PDT
RENO, Nev.—Reno police have arrested a 27-year-old man after his 16-month-old son was taken to a hospital with multiple arm fractures.
Scott Abel was arrested Sunday on suspicion of child abuse after being interviewed at a hotel.
The boy's mother had taken him to a hospital with arm injuries that required multiple surgeries. The boy remains in the hospital.
Dad charged with killing 6-week-old baby (Atascadero, California)
Monday, Aug. 31, 2009
Charges filed against Atascadero man accused of killing his baby
An Atascadero man accused of shaking his six-week old son to death will have to answer to charges of second degree murder and child abuse resulting in death, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Kelly Dwayne Lavigne’s arraignment will be Sept. 17.
Atascadero police and firefighters responded to his home on Traffic Way on March 16 after the infant stopped breathing, the Atascadero Police Department reported.
Kelly Dwayne Lavigne, 25, was arrested Friday suspicion of inflicting corporal injury to a child, likely to cause great bodily injury or death, and inflicting bodily harm during the commission of a crime in which the child is less than 5 years old. His infant son remains in critical condition at Children's Hospital Central California in Madera, near Fresno.
Pediatric specialists determined the baby was suffering from injuries caused by "shaken baby syndrome," the result of being shaken violently, according to police.
Dad caught in burglary with 6-year-old daughter (Ashland, Kentucky)
Updated: 12:02 PM Aug 31, 2009
Police: Father Caught in Burglary With 6-Year-Old in Tow
Ashland Police say a man was caught burglarizing a house with his six-year-old relative in tow.
Posted: 11:58 AM Aug 31, 2009
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Ashland Police say a man was caught burglarizing a house with his six-year-old relative in tow.
Officers say the incident happened at a house in the 28-hundred block of Central Avenue over the weekend.
They say the homeowners came home to find the man and child in their house. Police say they caught the suspect after he fled the house with a number of items.
He is identified as 27-year-old Casey McKee. McKee is charged with 2nd Degree Burglary and Unlawful Transaction with a Minor.
He is being held in the Boyd County Detention Center.
Custodial dad pleads guilty to starving 14-year-old daughter; she weighed less than 50 pounds (Carnation, Washington)
Monday, August 31, 2009
Last updated 9:54 a.m. PT
Father pleads guilty to starving teen girl; stepmother still accused
By LEVI PULKKINEN SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
A Carnation father accused of starving his 14-year-old daughter pleaded guilty Monday morning as prosecutors continue to press charges against the girl's stepmother.
Prosecutors filed charges Oct. 13 against the girl's father, Jon E. Pomeroy, and stepmother, Rebecca A. Long, nearly two months after the girl was removed from the home by the state Department of Social and Health Services.
Sheriff's deputies arrived at the Carnation home the evening of Aug. 13, 2008, after neighbors reported hearing a girl screaming. In court documents, the deputy sheriff who interviewed the 14- year-old described her as "extremely skinny and pale" and found she weighed only 48 pounds.
Their daughter told police she was allowed only about 6 ounces of water each day and was monitored by Long when she bathed to keep her from "sneaking" extra water. Pomeroy, she told police, was aware that she was being starved but did nothing to stop it.
Initially facing two counts of criminal mistreatment, Pomeroy pleaded guilty to one count of criminal mistreatment first degree. Long still faces charges.
In statements to police, Long allegedly said she used the water restriction to punish her stepdaughter. The couple's young son showed no signs of mistreatment.
Doctors evaluating the girl found nearly all of her teeth were either eroded or chipped, according to court documents. She was "extremely malnourished," the doctors said, and hadn't gained any weight since she was 9 years old.
Both Long and Pomeroy had previously been released from the King County Jail after each posted $20,000 bond.
And more information on this case from last year:
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Last updated 10:18 a.m. PT
Karen Ducey / P-I
Parents are accused of starving girl for years
'It's the worst case this detective has ever seen'
By SCOTT GUTIERREZ AND RUTH TEICHROEBP-I REPORTERS
In what sheriff's investigators say is the worst case of child abuse they have ever seen, a Carnation woman allegedly kept food and water from her stepdaughter for years, leaving the 14- year-old girl malnourished, dehydrated and weighing less than 50 pounds when she was discovered.
· Read the charging documents (PDF, 586k)
On Monday, Rebecca A. Long, 44, and her husband, Jon E. Pomeroy, 43, were charged in King County Superior Court with first- and second-degree criminal mistreatment, both felonies. If convicted, they face three to four years in prison, said Prosecutor's Office spokesman Dan Donohoe.
Long and Pomeroy were arrested Friday after a two-month investigation that began when a neighbor called Child Protective Services to report screaming from the couple's Carnation home. They were booked into the King County Jail and were being held on warrants issued Monday, with bail set at $20,000.
A deputy noted that the girl looked pale, emaciated and half her age.
The girl told police that her stepmother disciplined her for behavioral problems by restricting her water intake, giving her half a Dixie cup of water each day. Long allegedly monitored the girl's showers and wouldn't let her brush her teeth so she couldn't sneak drinks. She fed her a diet mostly of toast, court documents say.
"It's the worst case this detective has ever seen, and he's been in the Special Assault Unit for 16 years," Sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart said.
One state official questioned whether child welfare workers prematurely ended an investigation in 2005 when a Carnation teacher reported concerns about the girl to Child Protective Services.
During that investigation, caseworkers found evidence of neglect, including that Long was locking the girl in her room for extended periods of time, court documents say.
The couple's children were not removed from the home, and instead, the agency tried to correct the behavior and monitored the family until it was satisfied a month later that the girl's living conditions were safe, said Thomas Shapley, a Department of Social and Health Services spokesman.
"Making a finding like that is pretty significant," said Mary Meinig, director of the state Office for the Family and Children's Ombudsman. "Do we close cases before we know that the changes will be enough? It really begs that question."
Authorities were called again Aug. 13. This time, both children were placed into foster care, where they are now doing well, according to authorities. When police served a search warrant Aug. 22, they found a double-key deadbolt on the girl's bedroom door, court documents say.
The girl and her brother, 12, were forced to sleep on their parents' floor so she wouldn't sneak out to drink water, and the parents even blocked the door with a heavy dresser after the girl was caught sipping water from the toilet, the Sheriff's Office reported.
"She was afraid her mother would hear the faucet running," Urquhart said.
In one instance, the stepmother duct-taped the girl's hands behind her back and dunked her head in the toilet as punishment, the Sheriff's Office said.
The girl spent two weeks at Seattle Children's for severe malnutrition. Six of her teeth were extracted, and others were capped because of dental erosion caused by failing salivary glands. Her teeth were chipped, eroded or loose, and one was infected, court documents say.
She hadn't gained weight since she was 9, and she told police that feelings of hopelessness had her thinking about suicide. Since entering foster care, she has gained 20 pounds, although she experiences stomach discomfort because she isn't used to eating, court documents say.
The Sheriff's Office seized evidence showing that her family neglected to get her medical care, despite having health insurance. The family's two dogs, on the other hand, were in good health and had recently been taken to the vet. The girl's brother also visited a doctor within the past few years, according to court records.
Long does not work outside the home. Pomeroy is a software engineer with Estorian Inc. in Bellevue, court documents say.
No one answered the door Monday at the couple's two-story home at 31218 N.E. 114th Court, located in a wooded cul-de-sac near Lake Marcel. Paint peeled from the exterior and a sign on the door read, "A spoiled dog lives here."
A neighbor a few houses down said he'd seen the boy playing in the yard but had never seen the girl. He recalled the couple's dogs, which he thought were golden retrievers.
"I've lived here 2 1/2 years, and I didn't know they had a daughter. Not a clue," said a neighbor who would only give his first name, Jordan.
The children's grandfather, Robert Stokes, of Albuquerque, N.M., said he learned of the case from a voice message that Child Protective Services left for him Friday. He said he only knew what he'd read in the news about the allegations.
Stokes said he hasn't seen or heard from the children in 10 years, since Pomeroy, his former son-in-law, divorced his daughter and took custody of the two children and moved to Washington. Stokes said he'd sent gifts and letters that were never acknowledged and that his daughter didn't know the children's whereabouts.
"They kind of kicked us out of the picture," he said.
His daughter married Pomeroy in the mid-1990s, and the couple lived in Orem, Utah. Pomeroy moved from Utah after either losing or leaving his job at Novell Inc., a Utah software firm, Stokes said.
"He was kind of an odd duck. He was quiet and reclusive," Stokes said.
The Pomeroy children were first enrolled in the 3,100-student Riverview School District in Carnation on March 29, 2001. They attended Stillwater Elementary School as regular students until April 18, 2004, when their parents withdrew them, indicating they planned to homeschool the girl and her brother, district Superintendent Conrad Robertson said.
In September 2004, the girl was enrolled in an alternative program for homeschooled students, where she attended classes one day a week. After a teacher called CPS and the police to report concerns March 4, 2005, the girl stopped attending the program, Robertson said.
A school official contacted the parents about two weeks later and was told that the girl was being withdrawn from the program, he said.
"Once they go to homeschooling, we have no more contact," Robertson said. "They could have moved away."
Parents who homeschool their children are required by state law to file a form once a year with their local school district, said Nathan Olson, spokesman for the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. During the 2007-08 school year, 19,923 students were homeschooled in the state.
"It's safe to say that they were not adhering to state law," Olson said, referring to the parents in the Carnation case. The parents had no contact with their district after March 2005.
A school district has no responsibility to follow up once a parent decides to homeschool children, he said.
"Some people homeschool because they want to be off the radar," Olson said. "The school district is no longer a part of it."
Pulling children from the home isn't automatic in neglect cases, depending on the circumstances and what child welfare workers find, said Shapley, the DSHS spokesman.
In general, caseworkers first try to provide the family with services, such as vouchers, or counseling to correct the behavior and render the environment safe for the child, he said.
DSHS received no other referrals on the family until the complaint in August, he said.
More training is needed so that police and child protection workers know how to better assess the signs of starvation, said Meinig, of the ombudsman's office.
"We have had a number of cases like that where it's been missed," Meinig said. "They might look in the house and there's food. That has nothing to do with it. It's a bizarre form of maltreatment."
In December, an Everett couple were convicted of first-degree criminal mistreatment in Snohomish County Superior Court for starving the man's 4-year-old son, Shayne Abegg, until he weighed only 22 pounds. A review by Children's Administration, part of DSHS, found that social workers missed a pattern of abuse and neglect, including starving the boy as a form of discipline.
In an interview Aug. 15, Long admitted to disciplining the girl, who she thought misbehaved because of a "power struggle" between them, court documents said. Pomeroy told officers the conflict was troubling, "but he thought they could just handle it themselves."
Long has homeschooled the children for four years. The couple said they had no religious objections to the girl's seeing a doctor, court documents said.
The couple's arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 27.
Classmates describe home life of girl slain by dad (Delft, South Africa)
Unfortunately, the clueless neighbor "nice guy" line gives the impression that murder and violence just come out of the blue with no warning. Very often, people closer to the victims have a much sharper perspective on what's been going on long before someone's life is lost. Kudos to reporter Themba Boyi for seeking out the kids WHO KNOW.
Classmate describe’s slain girl’s home life
Themba Boyi 27 Minutes Ago
A classmate of a Delft teenager, allegedly beaten to death by her father, has told a harrowing tale of the girl’s abuse.The body of 15-year-old Ncebakazi Mpokeli was found at a house in the area last week.
The teen’s father allegedly beat her to death with an electric wire.
He is expected to apply for bail next week after he appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Dressed in her charcoal school pants and green jacket, the diminutive youngster described her dead classmate’s home life as troubled.
She claimed Mpokeli would keep to herself whenever asked about her home life.
A group of irate Delft residents gathered outside the court to express their anger at the incident.
They say they are furious a small child had to suffer at the hands of her own father.
Stepdad strangles to death 9-year-old girl, then hangs himself (Warmington, Northhamptonshire, England, United Kingdom)
9-YR-OLD GIRL STRANGLED IN LORRY BY HER STEPDAD
By Rod Chaytor 31/08/2009
A delivery driver strangled his stepdaughter aged nine in his lorry then killed himself, police said yesterday.
The child's body was found in the truck's cabin and the man, 40, was hanging in nearby woods.
Officers said he had taken his partner's daughter with him on his delivery round "for a treat" and her mother had waved them off.
The girl, thought to have brothers and sisters, had no other obvious physical injuries or signs of sexual abuse - but police said this would remain a line of inquiry.
Her body was found on Saturday afternoon in the lorry beside the A605 near Warmington, Northants.
Officers were last night checking nationally to see if the dead man was known to police.
Det Chief Insp Tricia Kirk, of the Northamptonshire force, said: "While we have not ruled out the possible involvement of a third party, the evidence strongly suggests it is unlikely that anyone else is involved in the two deaths.
"This is a tragic incident for two families and we are working closely with them."
Police went to the rural lorry park at about 2pm on Saturday after the HGV company that owns the vehicle said it had not returned to base from its overnight round of delivering groceries.
The company located the white Spar lorry, registration BV57 FMC, using a GPS system, police said.
When officers found it, the cab curtains were drawn and it was unlocked. They found the girl and tried to resuscitate her.
Searching the area, they found the man hanging by a cord from a tree. The girl and her stepdad are thought to be from the West Midlands.
Police said they began their journey about 3am on Friday and were seen in Peterborough, Cambs, that afternoon.
The mother had been in a serious relationship with the man for about a year.
The girl had been in the lorry before with him for day-out treats and her mother had no worries about her daughter being with the man, police said.
Officers believe the truck was parked late on Friday in the spot where it was found on Saturday.
They think all deliveries had been made as there were no goods inside. Det Ch Insp Kirk said: "I am keen to establish the movement of the Spar lorry, its route through the Midlands and the county and when it parked by the A605.
"Any death is distressing for police officers but when it's a child and in such violent circumstances it's even worse.
"I cannot begin to imagine what the family are going through. We have family liaison officers with them trying to answer any questions they may have.
"We believe the little girl was murdered and the man committed suicide."
It is believed the murder happened inside the cab.
Det Chief Insp Kirk added: "They girl and the man had a close relationship as stepfather and child.
"We are not aware of any family arguments. The mother said going in the lorry was a treat for the girl.
"There seemed to be no problems or concerns with the relationship so at this time it is very hard to understand why this tragic event has taken place."
Police were last night still trying to contact a "key member" of the girl's family to break the news.
A spokesman said: "Neither can be named as all family members have not been informed."
Dad crashes car in police chase, then takes off on foot, leaving 8-month-old daughter in burning car (Centreville, Virginia)
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Man Charged With Fleeing Police, Leaving Infant
A Centreville man accused of crashing his car and abandoning his child while running from police was arrested Thursday morning.
Gustavo Adolfo Diaz-Bautista, 23, was clocked going 40 mph in a 25 mph zone about 5:45 a.m., Prince William County police said. Once an officer began to follow Diaz-Bautista, police said, he sped up and crashed his vehicle in 8500 block of West Rugby Road, off Bull Run Road near Bull Run Regional Park.
He began running from the scene, police said. The car, which was carrying Diaz-Bautista's 8-month-old daughter, caught on fire.
Police rescued the child, who was treated at a hospital and released to her mother. Police charged Diaz-Bautista with felony eluding, felony child abuse and neglect, and driving on a revoked operator's license. He is being held without bond, pending a Sept. 15 court date.
Dad pleads guilty to killing 4-month-old son (Collie, Australia)
Dad admits killing four-month-old son
August 31, 2009 02:30pm
A MAN accused of killing his four-month-old son and burying him in a bush grave has offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, a court has been told.
John Patrick O'Kane, 40, appeared in the Stirling Gardens Magistrates court today charged with one count of murder.
His lawyer, Terry Dobson, told the court his client would be writing to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Mr O'Kane has previously pleaded not guilty to murder.
West Australian police charged Mr O'Kane with killing his baby son Zach, after he led them to a makeshift bush grave in Wellington National Park near Collie, south of Perth, in January.
The court has previously been told the unemployed truck driver was found with a self-inflicted wound at a truck stop near the small south-west town of Pinjarra, after police appealed for information into Zach's disappearance.
Mr O'Kane has undergone a court ordered psychiatric assessment, the results of which have not been revealed.
The case has been adjourned until October 22 with Mr O'Kane remanded in custody.
Missing infant found dead; dad being "detained" (Custer, Washington)
Interesting "coincidence" that dad JONATHAN V. FRAZER had started duties as a single father LESS THAN 24 HOURS before the 2-month-old baby "disappeared" (Mom had to report to jail on a robbery conviction). Now the baby has been found dead and Dad is being "detained" in a homicide investigation. Maybe custody should have gone to Grandma?
Infant's body found near Custer
ISABELLE DILLS - THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
A body of an infant located in a wooded area in the 7100 block of Dahlberg Road, Sunday, Aug. 30, is believed to be that of 2-month-old Jon "Cecil" Anthony Frazier, who was reported missing from his home early Friday morning.
The baby's father, Jonathan V. Frazier, 42, is being detained by the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office as a suspect, Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said during a press conference on the investigation late Sunday afternoon. He has not been formally charged, and there are currently no other suspects. The investigation is being treated as a homicide, Elfo said.
The body was located at about 1 p.m. on private property about a mile away from the boy's home. The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office is awaiting positive identification by the Whatcom County Medical Examiner's Office, along with possible cause of death.
The infant was reported missing from the 1100 block of Willey's Lake Road, east of Custer by his grandmother at about 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28. Whatcom County Sheriff's detectives said that the boy's father had told them he had awoken and discovered that the boy was missing and the door to the trailer the family was living in was open.
The boy's mother, Brooke K. Johnson, 26, had reported to Whatcom County Jail the previous morning to await transfer to a state prison on a robbery conviction.
"He was just a great little boy - always laughing, always smiling," said Don Kleindel, Johnson's uncle, who attended the press conference.
Kleindel said Johnson and Frazier had been married for less than two years, and this was their first child.
"(Frazier) was a great father. Both parents did a great job," Kleindel said, adding that he did not want make any judgments about Frazier being a suspect.
Whatcom County Sheriff's deputies, special agents from the FBI and representatives from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children began a criminal investigation which led to information on where the child's body was located, Elfo said.
Elfo declined to elaborate on the nature of the information or how it was obtained.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Dad, son of County Judge, arrested for rolling jeep while under the influence; 3-year-old son critically injured (Vernonia, Oregon)
8/27/2009 11:50:00 AM
Toddler seriously injured when dad rolls Jeep in driveway
State police say accident was alcohol-related
A roll-over accident Wednesday evening critically injured a 3-year old passenger and sent Vernonia logging company owner Michael Pihl to jail on charges third-degree assault and three counts of recklessly endangering another person.
Oregon State Police say the accident was alcohol-related.
According to OSP, Pihl was driving a Jeep CJ5 with its top off in his private driveway on Nehalem Highway around 8 p.m. He accelerated and lost control, OSP said, and the Jeep rolled over onto its top in a ditch.
None of the three children were restrained in safety belts or safety seats and one of them, age 3, was pinned underneath the Jeep's roll bar. Mathias Pihl was transported by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland for treatment of a head injury. Mike Pihl, 48, and the other two children - Mathias' twin sister, Rylee, and Jayda Pihl, age 5 - were taken to Emanuel by ambulance with minor injuries.
Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Michael Pihl upon his release from the hospital and he was lodged at Columbia County Jail on the assault and reckless endangering charges. He posted bail and is set to appear in Columbia County Circuit Court at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 14.
Although the accident was determined to be alcohol-related, Pihl was not charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants because the crash occurred on private property, said OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings.
Pihl, the son of former Washington County judge Hollie Pihl, was recently featured in the "Ax Men" reality TV series that aired on the History Channel.
Officers from Oregon State Police, Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Vernonia Police Department responded to the scene with Vernonia Fire Department.
Dad charged with manslaughter in death of 6-year-old son; crashed ATV while drunk (Bradley, California)
CHP: Boy dies in crash of ATV driven by drunk dad
The Associated Press
Posted: 08/26/2009 03:53:44 PM PDT
Updated: 08/26/2009 03:53:45 PM PDT
BRADLEY, Calif.—A Southern California man authorities suspect of flipping his all-terrain vehicle while drunk is facing a manslaughter charge over his 6-year-old son's death in the crash.
California Highway Patrol officer Zoltan Treiner said 42-year-old Jose Luis Frias of Azusa was riding with his son at a southern Monterey County ranch Friday evening when he lost control of the ATV.
Treiner said Frias suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung. Authorities said both were pinned under the vehicle and that the boy suffocated.
Treiner said officers who arrested Frias at the scene noticed signs of intoxication. A blood sample was later taken. Results are not expected for several weeks.
CHP officials said they would recommend Frias be charged with felony manslaughter.
Dad convicted of sexually assaulting son (Belleville, Ontario, Canada)
Belleville Father Sexually Assaults His Son
Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2009
A 45-year Belleville man has been convicted of sexually assaulting his own son. The man was found guilty, yesterday in Belleville court, with offences over a number of years prior to 2001. The man, whose name can’t be released to protect the identity of the child victim…who is now an adult….has a sentencing court date set for October 15th.
Dad and son arrested on drug charges (Charmco, West Virginia)
Father and Son Arrested on Drug Charges
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 ; 05:54 PM
LEWISBURG -- A father and son face drug charges in Greenbrier County.
Sheriff's deputies say 63-year-old Terry Rich and his son, 24-year-old Carl Rich, were each charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.
The pair was arrested Tuesday afternoon in their Charmco home.
Deputies say Carl Rich will also face parole violation charges.
He was on parole for a breaking and entering conviction when the alleged drug crimes occurred.
Both men are being held in the Southern Regional Ja. Bond was set at $50,000 for each man.
Dad, son busted for $80,000 in marijuana (Collier County, Florida)
Father, son busted with $80,000 worth of marijuana in Estates home
By Naples Daily News staff report
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
COLLIER COUNTY — A 77-year-old father and his son are facing felony charges after deputies say they found $80,000 worth of marijuana inside a residence in Golden Gate Estates.
Sheriff deputies arrested Pedro Ramon Mesa and his 36-year-old son Rolando Mesa after executing a search warrant at 465 DeSoto Blvd. around 5 p.m. Tuesday, reports said.
The pair were inside the residence, which is owned by Pedro Mesa, when the warrant was executed, reports said.
Once inside, deputies discovered a room in the residence that was being used to grow marijuana.
Reports said the room contained 20 marijuana plants that had just been harvested and were in the drying process.
The room also contained equipment commonly used to grow marijuana indoors, including power transformers, high-intensity light bulbs, an extra cooling unit, and buckets. There was also a harvesting machine used to cut the plants, reports said.
The report says the marijuana weighed 27.95 pounds and had an estimated street value of $80,000. The narcotic equipment was valued at $9,000, reports said.
Both Pedro and Rolando Mesa were charged with trafficking more than 25 pounds of marijuana or 300 plants and possession of narcotic equipment.
Since January, Sheriff’s Office officials said deputies have shut down 16 growhouses and confiscated 811 plants with a total estimated street value of $2,453,000. The majority of the busts have been in Golden Gate Estates.
English novelist Somerset Maugham was abusive father (London, England, United Kingdom)
Novelist Somerset Maugham exposed as cruel father in newly discovered tapes
Published on : Sunday 30 Aug 2009 12:14 - by ANI
London, August 30 - ANI: English novelist Somerset Maugham has been exposed as an unkind father who inflicted cruelty on his daughter, Liza, in newly discovered tapes.
The tapes that Liza made before her death in 1998 shed light on the harsh life she spent as a kid at the hands of her father and his gay lovers, including one incident in which her puppy was flung out of a moving car.
Liza's tapes were intended for a memoir, but she never wrote one.
They remained hidden until transcripts were tracked down to the south of France by Selina Hastings, who has written Maugham's first authorised biography.
The tapes paint a vivid picture of a childhood tormented by the dysfunctional relationship of her parents, Maugham and Syrie.
Although the couple married after Lizas birth, Maugham remained very distant and was far more attached to two men, Gerald Haxton, whom he met while serving as a medic during the First World War, and Alan Searle, a later companion.
Searle even tried to supplant Liza in the authors will by casting doubt on her legitimacy.
The tapes show Liza recalling how, as an eight-year-old, she went for a drive on the French Riviera, where her father spent much of his time with Haxton, a friend and her puppy.
Suddenly, in an act of possibly drunken, seemingly inexplicable cruelty, Gerald at the wheel scooped up the dog and hurled it out of the window. I was hysterical and tried to throw myself out of the car after it, but was held back, Times Online quoted her as saying in the tapes.
Miraculously, the dog survived, and turned up several months later.
Liza even reveals in the tapes that the violent fights between her parents sometimes left her feeling physically sick, and that she once covered her face in greasepaint to disguise her tears.
She admits: I had quite the reverse of a happy childhood. - ANI
Dad, son arrested in sex assault probe (Vail, Colorado)
Father, son arrested in Vail sex assault probe
Daily staff email@example.comVail, CO Colorado,
VAIL — A father and son were arrested after Vail police received an allegation of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, a Class 3 felony.
Bryan Wayne Tribby, the 50-year-old father, was arrested Thursday in Vail and his son, Justin Tomohiro Tribby, 20, was arrested Friday at his home in Gypsum.
After the allegation was received, Vail Police conducted an investigation with help from the Eagle County Sheriff's Office. The investigation resulted in the arrest of both the father and son.
Both are being held at the Eagle County Detention Facility and face the possibility of up to 12 years in prison each if convicted.
Cmdr. Craig Bettis did not return a phone call seeking more information Friday afternoon.
Dad charged in DUI crash that killed his 6-year-old twins (Hot Springs, South Dakota)
(S.D.)-Father Charged In Crash That Killed Kids
By: Dennis and Kathi Brown Posted at: 08/28/2009 08:43 AM
HOT SPRINGS, South Dakota (AP) - A Hot Springs man faces charges in a crash that killed his two 6-year-old children.
The Fall River County clerk of courts office says 28-year-old Clinton Phelps is charged with felony vehicular homicide, felony vehicular battery, misdemeanor driving under the influence or an alternate similar DUI count.
Phelps would face up to 26 years in prison if convicted on all the counts.
The Highway Patrol says Phelps was driving a car that left state Highway 71 about two miles south of Hot Springs on Monday night, rolled and came to rest on its roof. Faralynn Phelps died at the scene. Her brother, Adrian, died Wednesday in a Rapid City hospital from injuries he suffered in the crash.
Authorities say both children were thrown from the car. Clinton Phelps wore a seat belt and suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Dad who sexually abuses child welfare client gets custody (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Except at the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. Dad PETER J. NELSEN had sex with a client he was supposed to be investigating for child abuse. The mom says that Nelson told her that if she slept with him, she'd get to keep her kids. Of course, Dad says she's lying, but then the agency he works for says he's lying about them, too. After Mom got pregnant and gave birth, the Bureau actually gave the Dad CUSTODY of the child--basically rewarding him for being a manipulative, unprofessional ethics violator who abused his authority over a client. Not only that, the Bureau took her other two children, too. Wow, abuse a client and get rewarded with the child while the client who was violated gets the shaft. Now Dad is actually filing for SOLE CUSTODY. What a presumptuous POS. If he gets away with this, professional ethics codes are basically null and void from here on out.
Given that the mother contacted a domestic violence hotline and took out a protective order trying to keep this creepy social worker away from her and her child, I suspect we're looking at a real abusive sicko.
Assigned to check abuse, social worker impregnates client
By Crocker Stephenson of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Aug. 27, 2009
A state social worker who investigated a report of child abuse for the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare later had sex with the child's emotionally troubled mother and impregnated her. He then hid the woman's pregnancy and the birth of their daughter from the bureau, even as the mother sought to retain custody of two other children, the Journal Sentinel has learned.
The 56-year-old social worker, Peter J. Nelsen, was allowed to resign from the bureau April 15, according to bureau records.
Within months of his resignation, the bureau removed the 1-year-old girl from her mother and placed her in Nelsen's home. The other children - a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy - also had been removed.
Nelsen is now seeking sole custody of the 1-year-old.
"Everything that I love is gone," said the 31-year-old mother, Theola Nealy.
Nealy was sitting at the kitchen table of her tiny but immaculate south side home. The house, its walls painted pink and peach, is a virtual toy box filled with bikes, dolls and empty beds.
"This is their home," she said.
The administrative code of ethics that Wisconsin social workers are required to follow strictly forbids sexual contact with clients. The rule states: "A person shall continue to be a client for two years after the termination of professional services."
"It is probably the worst thing you can do as a professional," said Marc Herstand, executive director of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world. "This is a basic ethical standard."
Although bureau officials knew about the child by early April, no report has been filed with a state examining board, according to a Department of Regulation and Licensing spokesman. David Carlson said Nelsen retains his social worker's license.
State law requires an employer that "terminates, suspends, or restricts the employment" of a licensed social worker as the result of "adverse or disciplinary action against the credential holder relating to his or her practice of social work" report that action to the appropriate examining board within 30 days.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Children and Families, which runs the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, said a report was filed. But Angela Russell said she did not know when.
"I left the bureau on good terms," Nelsen said. "They told me they would help me find another position with the state if need be."
Russell said such a conversation never happened.
Nelsen has not been charged with any crime, but the Milwaukee County district attorney's office is reviewing his case.
"This is a violation of law, ethical codes, the Golden Rule and plain old common sense," said Susan Conwell, executive director of the child welfare advocacy group Kids Matter Inc.
"So far, nothing has been done to protect others who may have been affected by similar abuses of authority," she said. "Nothing has been done to prevent this from happening again."
Job was to investigate
Nelsen's job with the bureau, where he had worked for 12 years, was to investigate reports of child abuse and neglect.
According to interviews and children's court records provided to the Journal Sentinel by Nealy:
Nelsen was assigned by the bureau in the summer of 2007 to investigate a report that Nealy abused her then 3-year-old daughter by yelling at her outside a W-2 office, pushing her and throwing the child's shoes into the street.
Nelsen said he did not find any evidence of abuse, and the case was closed.
Nealy was well-known to the bureau. According to court records, she has been referred to the bureau more than 10 times. Her parental rights to her then 3-year-old son had been terminated in June 2006. She had been twice convicted of felony battery and once convicted of misdemeanor criminal damage.
A court-ordered psychological evaluation conducted in 2008 and provided to the Journal Sentinel by Nealy concludes she suffers from anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder with schizoid, paranoid and narcissistic features.
Shortly after the incident at the W-2 office, Nealy was again referred to the bureau for another alleged abuse. The referral was given to another investigator to pursue, but Nelsen continued to visit Nealy at her home. The two began having sex, Nealy said, in September 2007.
In an interview with the Journal Sentinel, Nelsen made it clear that he was no longer directly involved in Nealy's case when they had sex, a distinction that outraged Conwell.
"This is a licensed social worker who had access to confidential, personal information about a client - including her mental health and past abuse," she said. "And he still decided to sleep with her while she had an open child welfare case. He doesn't see the ethical conflict? How many families have been impacted by his poor judgment? What kind of work environment supports that kind of decision making?"
They discussed abortion
Nealy claimed in an interview that she agreed to have sex with Nelsen because he told her he could help her prevent the bureau from removing two remaining children from her home, a claim Nelsen denies.
"That is 100% not true," he said.
Nealy said she was told she was pregnant at a nearby health clinic in November 2007. She called Nelsen as she was leaving the clinic and told him, she said. He urged her to get an abortion, she said, and to not say anything about their relationship.
"He told me if I said anything, he would call my caseworker. He said I would never get (her two children) back."
Nealy refused to get an abortion. On Dec. 21, the bureau removed both of her children from her home and placed them in protective care.
While Nelsen said in an interview that he did discuss abortion with Nealy, he denied threatening her and said he had nothing to do with the removal of her two children. There is no indication in court records that bureau caseworkers were aware of Nealy's involvement with Nelsen when the two children were removed.
"I did not take advantage of this woman," Nelsen said in an interview. "Far from it.
"I have never been anything but kind and decent to this woman."
Nealy's daughter was delivered by C-section on Aug. 19, 2008. Nelsen said he dropped Nealy off at the hospital in the morning and visited her after work.
He said he did not believe at the time that the baby was his, and he planned to have as little to do as possible with the baby and her mother. But once the child was born, he said, it was obvious to him that he was the child's father.
"She looks just like me," he said.
A DNA test would later confirm Nelsen's paternity.
Nelsen said he gave Nealy money, toys, gifts and rides to doctor appointments.
"I felt an obligation," Nelsen said. "Nothing was ever done to hush her up."
In October, Nelsen brought the baby to his home for a sleep-over, telling his girlfriend of 12 years that he was providing respite care for a client.
Nelsen did not tell anyone about fathering the baby, he said. Nor did Nealy. Nealy said she was afraid that if she told anyone, Nelsen would punish her by taking the baby and using his position with the bureau to ruin her chances of getting her two other children back.
"They all knew him," Nealy said. "And he knew them."
On Feb. 9, 2009, according to a children's court report, Nealy's bureau case manager, Enrique Lockhart, and his supervisor, Angela D'Fantis, demanded to know the name of the new baby's father. Nealy refused to tell them. D'Fantis told her that if the bureau was ever to return her two other children, she would need to know the name of any adult male involved in the home.
"Reluctantly," the report says, "Ms. Nealy stated that she would provide the Father's name, but would only write it down. She was provided paper and pen. She wrote the name, Peter Nelson (sic)..."
The report continues: "D'Fantis asked why she would be reluctant to provide this name. She stated, 'He really doesn't want to be involved in all this.'"
Although Nelsen was still working for the bureau, the report does not indicate whether either Lockhart or D'Fantis recognized Nelsen's name.
Truth comes out
Nelsen's relationship with Nealy was exposed in late March.
Nealy's W-2 worker demanded to know the name of the baby's father. Nealy told the worker. When a W-2 investigator called Nelsen, he confessed to the affair.
"I'm not going to come forward with it," Nelsen said, "but I'm not going to deny it."
The bureau accepted his resignation two weeks later.
By then, Nelsen had told his girlfriend about the baby and the child was spending most of her time at their north side home. Nealy said she had never agreed to this arrangement, and Nelsen had decided on his own to keep the baby with him.
Nelsen said he permitted Nealy to see the child only when supervised.
"This was not a woman I was going to leave my child with," he said. "This woman really isn't all there."
Nelsen and Nealy began to fight over control of the child.
Nealy said she felt Nelsen had essentially kidnapped the baby, that he had no right to tell her when she could and could not see her.
Nelsen told her that Nealy's caseworker was fully aware that the baby lived at his house. He said in an interview that the caseworker - who was never assigned to him - had visited him and approved of the arrangement.
He told Nealy that he was filing a petition in family court and he would seek sole custody.
Their squabble came to a head this month.
Nelsen took Nealy and the baby to a Wal-Mart on Aug. 14. Once inside, Nealy said, she called the domestic abuse hotline for Sojourner Family Peace Center. The center, she said, sent a cab for her. Nealy slipped out of the store with the baby and took the cab to the Milwaukee County Courthouse where she got a temporary restraining order against Nelsen.
A spokeswoman for Sojourner said that because of confidentiality rules, she could neither confirm nor deny Nealy's story. Court records show Nealy did seek and receive a restraining order against Nelsen on Aug. 14.
When Nealy did not come out of the store, Nelsen said, he assumed she had absconded with the baby. He called the police and the bureau. On Aug. 17, a bureau worker found Nealy and the baby at Nealy's mother's house.
Despite the restraining order, the bureau placed the baby with Nelsen, where she has remained since.
The bureau filed a petition in children's court on behalf of the baby seeking protection from Nealy. A hearing on the petition is scheduled for Sept. 9.
A hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for Friday. A hearing on the custody dispute is scheduled for Oct. 5.
Russell, of the Department of Children and Families, said it has investigated Nelsen's case.
That was news to Nealy, who said she was never contacted.
Child advocate Conwell said it is not enough for the bureau to review only what occurred between Nelsen and Nealy.
"All his cases must be reviewed for similar misuse of authority," she said. "That is the first step toward building public confidence."
Custodial father allegedly shot by 10-year-old son (Belen, New Mexico)
Silverside's Prediction: This case is going to be a virtual repeat of the November 2008 case of the 8-year-old San Carlos, Arizona boy who shot and killed his "sole custody" father VINCENT ROMERO and the father's "roommate." After much hoo-haw about prosecuting the boy, all charges were dropped once a mysterious psychological study was completed and sealed. Remember how the kid said he wouldn't take it any more after the "1,000th smack"? I'm sure the report found that "smacking" was just the tip of the iceberg.
CYFD checked father said killed by son
Updated: Friday, 28 Aug 2009, 10:25 PM MDT
Published : Friday, 28 Aug 2009, 12:47 PM MDT
Reporter: Maria Medina
Web Producer: Bill Diven
BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) - At least seven times over the last several years investigators from the Children, Youth and Families Department checked out a Belen father whom police say was shot to death Thursday by his 10-year-old son.
Police have charged Benjamin Hilburn with first-degree murder after Byron Hilburn, 42, was found shot to death Thursday evening in the family's Belen home.
The elder Hilburn was shot in the back of the head, according to police.
Police say evidence leads them to believe the man's 10-year-old son was the shooter.
The boy is in the custody of the CYFD. Police said they hope to interview him by Monday.
A 6-year-old was also in the room at the time of the shooting. The child is one of Benjamin's younger siblings. It is not known at this time what she witnessed.
Police said they are looking into CYFD records because they found paperwork in the home. Also they heard that there were CYFD referrals about the single-parent family.
CYFD later reported its investigators checked out the father at least seven times in the last several years. However CYFD said they never found evidence of abuse but is continuing its investigation.
If the first-degree murder charge stands, the boy would be tried in Children's Court.
The penalties could range from one-year probation to incarceration in a juvenile facility until he's 21.
Dad arrested for sexually assaulting his 14-year-old daughter (Evans, Colorado)
Man arrested for sex assault against his teen daughter
A 47-year-old Evans man is facing three charges of sexual assault against his 14-year-old daughter, who told police her father has been assaulting her for four to five years.
The man, who will not be identified to protect the identity of his daughter, is also in the middle of a divorce from his wife.
The girl told investigators her father had touched her in a sexual manner at least once a week in the last four to five years, and recalled one time in which she said he asked her to touch him. She said her father would start this sexual activity by asking her if she “wanted to play.”
After interviewing the man, police arrested him. He has been charged with three counts of sexual assault against a child: one involving a position of trust, another involving a pattern of abuse, and a third count of sexual assault on a child. All charges could land him from four to 12 years in prison with potential of lifetime supervision.
He is out of jail after posting a $100,000 bond. He is set to appear in Weld District Court on Monday for arraignment.
Dad found "not competent" to stand trial in death of 3-month-old son (Dodge City, Kansas)
Dodge City Man Found Not Competent to Stand Trial
by Angela Smith (DODGE CITY, Kan.)
A Dodge City man accused of killing his 3-month old son last July is found not competent to stand trial.
The mental evaluation was performed at the Larned State Hospital.
The Ford County attorney's office says this does not mean the trial is over.
Pablo-Bicente will be sent back to Larned for further evaluation.
The county attorney's office expects to have results back in another 90 days.
Pablo-Bicente is charged with second degree murder, child abuse and identity fraud.
Dad pleads guilty to beating newborn daughter (Jefferson City, Missouri)
Man pleads guilty to beating newborn
JEFFERSON CITY -- A Jefferson City man charged with beating his newborn daughter has pleaded guilty and will spend the next seven years behind bars.
A judge sentenced Allen Ragan to seven years in prison on Wednesday. Ragan was 18 when he attacked his infant daughter on Super Bowl Sunday back in February.
The little girl, Kira Ragan, survived but spent more than two weeks in a St. Louis hospital recovering from head injuries and a broken leg.
Online court records show that Ragan pleaded guilty to three felony charges: second-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse.
The prison terms will be served concurrently for a total of seven years.
Dad charged with beating, sexually assaulting teenage daughter (Sheboygan, Wisconsin)
Wis. man accused of incest with teenage daughter
The Associated Press
6:26 p.m. CDT, August 29, 2009
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - A 40-year-old Sheboygan man has been charged with three felonies for allegedly beating and sexually assaulting his teenage daughter on multiple occasions.
The man was charged Friday with felony counts of second-degree sexual assault, incest and physical abuse of a child. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.
The Associated Press is withholding the man's name to protect the identity of his daughter.
The girl told police that her father forced her to have sex with him on multiple occasions over the past three months. She said he would hit her in the head when she cried out.
Stepdad arrested for abuse of 8-month-old stepson; baby was shaken and suffered brain injury (Fort Myers, Florida)
Fort Myers man charged with child abuse
Posted: Aug 21, 2009 1:45 PM CDT
Updated: Aug 21, 2009 4:23 PM CDT
FORT MYERS: An eight month old is in the intensive care unit at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg after allegedly suffering from a head injury. Police say his stepfather is responsible for the infant's injuries
Doctors said the infant's injury was consistent with what is known as "shaken baby syndrome."
"A lot of force, going back and forth- very violent type of shaking," said Detective Audenia Thomas of the Fort Myers Police Department.
Police arrested the infant's stepfather, 28-year-old Shajuan Cadney, and charged him with aggravated child abuse on Friday.
Detectives say Cadney and the baby's mother had just moved from Tennessee to Fort Myers so she could be a teacher. The family was staying at a local hotel when the infant's mother noticed he was sick.
"He has old injuries and new injuries," said Thomas.
Doctors said there were old injuries which were also allegedly from shaken baby syndrome.
According to doctors, the bleeding on the infant's brain has stopped.
Cadney remains in the Lee County Jail.
Sentence hearing comes to close for Katron Walker, dad convicted of killing 4-year-old son (Terre Haute, Indiana)
Published: August 29, 2009 10:27 pm
Stephanie Salter: Notes from three sad, intense days in the county courthouse
By Stephanie Salter
TERRE HAUTE — Friday afternoon, the three-day sentence hearing for Katron Walker came to a close. Judge David Bolk ordered him to serve 95 years in prison for the June 2006 murder of his 4-year-old son, Collin, and the attempted murder of his younger son, who was not yet 3 at the time of the crimes.
The sentence was only five years short of the maximum Bolk could have pronounced.
Throughout the intense and often dramatic hearing in the Division 3 courtroom, I sat a few rows behind the defense table and took 28 pages of notes on a legal pad. This handful of vignettes is from those pages.
Over the three days, wrenching testimony was presented, from detailed descriptions of Walker’s butcher knife assault on his little boys to his half-sisters talking about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Walker’s biological father. But the most moving incident I observed during the entire hearing took place outside the courtroom after the second day of testimony.
Nancy McClaine, Walker’s mother, had delivered long and painful testimony for the defense about her son’s mental and emotional problems and what came to be referred to by all parties, including Bolk, as Katron Walker’s “dysfunctional family life.”
In an effort to get her son’s sentence decreased, McClaine allowed her parenting to be opened, examined and eviscerated by defense witnesses. At one point, she was so distraught in her testimony, the judge called a recess so she could compose herself.
After court adjourned for the day, McClaine and her third husband, Don McClaine, walked toward the stairs to leave, but she began to sob again, her cries echoing off the courthouse rotunda. Teresa Dwyer, Walker’s ex-wife and mother of his children, was perhaps 100 feet away from her former mother-in-law. The two have barely spoken for more than a year, and the division between them had been almost palpable in the courtroom.
But, as if in a trance, Dwyer walked the distance of the hall to McClaine, then wrapped her arms around her. The two women — mothers with broken hearts — wept together as one.
Because of the configuration of the courtroom, it was almost impossible to see Walker’s face throughout the proceedings. Occasionally, I noticed the back of his neck grow very red, but he was remarkably unanimated most of the time, even as his attorneys questioned defense witnesses about his mental instability, drug use, inability to keep a job and bizarre religious beliefs.
Walker’s face was observable during a prolonged review of his paintings and drawings that required a projection screen.
An art therapist from Florida testified that the mostly abstract pictures — created from the mid-1990s to Walker’s present-day incarceration — showed that he suffered from schizo-affective disorder. Echoing psychiatrists before him, the art therapist defined that disorder as schizophrenia combined with a mood disorder, primarily depression.
The Florida therapist described the works as “beautiful” or “wonderfully rendered.” He said “professional fascination” inspired him to repeatedly review them.
After two days of exhaustive defense testimony, much of it by expert psychological witnesses, Katron Walker was allowed on the last day to make a statement. In his rust-orange jail jumpsuit, his waist encircled by a huge chain, he rose and began to read from his legal pad.
His phrases and word choices were like oratory from another century. His voice choking, he spoke of hearing “the rhythm of my life through the stethoscope of others’ testimony” and of “the sea of sorrow I’ve inflicted on Teresa.”
That extreme emotion, as well as the wedding ring Walker continues to wear, was in ironic contrast about two hours later. After his sentencing, which includes a no-contact order with Dwyer and their living child, Walker passed his ex-wife on his way out of the courtroom. Sneering, he told her to tell their son, “I’ll be waiting for him.”
If ever the term “vigorous defense” was warranted, it is for that put on by Jessie Cook and Joe Etling. For the past three years they have been preparing for a capital murder case, amassing evidence and testimony from doctors, Walker family members, former teachers and friends, the art therapist, a police practices and tactics specialist, and a mitigation specialist who investigated Katron Walker’s life history.
In May, however, Walker’s plea bargain took the death penalty off the table: The least he could have received was 45 years for both crimes, the most 100.
In cross-examinations, Prosecutor Terry Modesitt and Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts frequently asked the expert defense witnesses how much they were paid for their services. Dr. Robert Smith, a psychiatrist from Ohio, topped the list at $250 per hour. He testified he had traveled seven times to various jails to meet with Walker for a total of 35.5 hours.
The cost of Walker’s entire defense, including his attorneys, will be paid by public funds from Vigo County and the State of Indiana.
During cross-examination of the mitigation specialist, Michael Dennis, Modesitt questioned his qualifications to do something that lies at the heart of an ancient, and ongoing, debate among civilized people — “distinguish between someone who has mental health problems and someone who is just mean and evil.”
U.S. law regarding insanity is fairly narrowly prescribed: You knew what you did was wrong. Mental illness, such as that displayed by Katron Walker over most of his sorry 36 years can weigh as a mitigating factor in verdicts and sentencing — but it doesn’t tend to weigh much.
My own definition of insanity is broader. I do not believe a sane man can take a knife to his own little boys, as Walker did. Due to meth-induced psychosis or lousy DNA, his was an insane act. That said, the warped brain that guides Walker’s actions has to be contained, for the good of Teresa Dwyer, her son and society.
I have never believed in the death penalty and I still don’t. (God’s job, not the state’s.) Dwyer’s decision to agree to a plea bargain that would spare her former husband’s life was one of the most courageous — and intelligent — I’ve ever seen. She knew that killing Walker, if he’d been convicted, would not return Collin to her or restore her surviving child’s innocence. Enduring a capital murder trial, however, might have done them both in.
Some people feel better chalking up Walker’s mess of a life to inherent evil and meanness. I’ve always had a problem with that concept — and the more we discover about genetics, neuroscience and the power of learned behavior, the less “just evil” explains anything for me.
Do I think Walker will be rehabilitated in prison and, when he’s 80 or so, be paroled as something he never before managed to become — a productive member of society? No.
But I do think he still possesses a right to seek and find redemption, from the God I believe in and from his fellow human beings. What that might look like, I have no idea.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Dad arrested for using stun gun on two children (Campbell, Missouri)
Two men face felony charges in stun gun case
Thursday, August 27, 2009
CAMPBELL, Mo. -- Two men are currently facing up to seven years in the state penitentiary on each of three charges stemming from an investigation into a stun gun being used on minors.
Clarence Lee Riddell, 48, of Campbell, and James Steven Riddell, 22, of Texas, were recently arrested following an investigation by the Campbell Police Officer David Dillard, the Dunkin County Juvenile Office, and the Division of Family Services in reference to a report of child abuse in which a stun gun was used.
According to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jonce Chidister, Clarence Riddell is being charge with two counts of abuse of a child for allegedly using a stun gun on his two minor children.
James Riddell, son of Clarence Riddell, is facing one count of second degree domestic assault for allegedly using a stun gun on one of his minor siblings.
Malden, Mo., police arrested James Riddell on Tuesday, Aug. 25, and transported to the Campbell Police Department. He is currently being held at the Dunklin County Justice Center on a $15,000 cash only bond.
A warrant has been issued for Clarence Riddell with a bond set at $25,000.
Dad shoots mom to death in front of 3 children; 11-year-old son injured (Los Angeles, California)
Man kills wife, wounds 11-year-old son
Saturday, August 29, 2009
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Police say three young children watched their father shoot their mother to death. Now police are looking for the man after he fled the scene.
The shooting was reported just before midnight on Kenwood Avenue in the West Adams District.
Investigators said Carlos Anibal Lopez got into an argument with his wife, Xiomara Lopez, just before he shot her. Their 11-year-old son was grazed by a bullet. The child is now in the hospital in stable condition.
Police said the man's wife was holding their 3-year-old daughter when she was shot in the head. The child was not injured. The couple's 7-year-old daughter also witnessed the shooting and gave police and account of what happened.
County child welfare authorities were called to take care of the children.
Lopez is believed to have fled the scene in a late 80's model Toyota Corolla. He is described as a Hispanic man, about 5 feet-4 inches tall and weighing 124 pounds.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Northwest Police Division at 213-485-2582.
Dad arrested in death of 3-month-old son (Golden Valley, Minnesota)
Baby's Death Investigated
Neighbors say Infant Was Only 3-Months Old
Published : Friday, 28 Aug 2009, 8:44 PM CDT
Golden Valley police are investigating the death of a baby. Chief Stacy Altonen said in a press release officers were called to 1400 Douglas Drive at 11:20 Friday morning. In an apartment, they found a “juvenile male to be in “medical distress”. The child was taken to North Memorial Medical Center by ambulance but was pronounced dead at the hospital. A neighbor tells FOX 9 News the baby was 3-months old and his father was arrested.
Last Saturday, an eight-month old infant died in Bloomington. That child’s father has been charged by police with first degree murder. Autopsy results show the infant’s injuries were consistent with being beaten and shaken.
Dad in court for death of 4-month-old daughter (Clarksburg, West Virginia)
Harrison County Child Death Case Headed to Grand Jury
Posted Friday, August 28, 2009 ; 05:14 PM View Comments Post Comment
Updated Friday, August 28, 2009 ; 07:03 PM
Story by Susan Sullivan
CLARKSBURG -- A Harrison County man accused in the July 20 death of his four-month old daughter was in court Friday.
The judge says he found probable cause to send William Echard's case to circuit court.
Echard, 27, faces three counts of child abuse and one count of child abuse resulting in death.
The child's mother, Amber Messenger, 22, faces a charge of knowingly allowing child abuse resulting in death.
The grand jury will hear Messenger's case in September.
Dad "suspect" in death of 4-month-old son; admits he threw baby into the wall (Jefferson, Wisconsin)
Abuse suspected in 4-month-old's death
Friday, August 28, 2009 1:59 PM CDT
JEFFERSON -A 30-year-old Lake Mills man may be charged with homicide after his 4-month-old son died last week due to head injuries allegedly caused by the father.
Michael F. Wey, 855 E. Lake St., Lot 25, is scheduled to appear in Jefferson County Court Thursday for a preliminary hearing on physical abuse of a child. He was charged with the offense Aug. 17 as his son was reported in critical condition at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison.
The boy, Nikolai Wey, died at the hospital Friday, Aug. 21. He was born April 1 at Fort Memorial Hospital, the son of Michael and Eliana Wey of Lake Mills.
Michael Wey is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on $50,000 cash bond. Because the child died, amended charges may be filed.
According to the criminal complaint on the child abuse charge, Michael Wey came home from drinking at about 10 p.m. on Aug. 14. He allegedly picked up the boy by one leg and, placing his other hand on the child's chest, threw him into a wall. There was enough force to cause cracks in the wall. The child then fell into the crib.
Upon questioning, Michael Wey told detectives two different reasons for the injuries his son sustained before admitting he had thrown the child against the wall.
Originally, Michael Wey said he had diarrhea and had hurried to the bathroom, leaving the infant lying on a corner of a bed. He said while he was in the bathroom, he had heard a thump and when he came back into the room, the child was laying on the floor crying.
The father said he had calmed the child and put him in the crib, and he went to sleep himself. Wey told officer the cracks above the crib were caused when he had hit the wall.
But the injuries the child sustained did not match the description of the fall, according to the complaint. The child had sustained numerous skull fractures and were not consistent with a fall from a bed.
Wey told medical personnel at Fort Memorial Hospital the child was sick.
When Wey was confronted with the information that his version of what occurred was not consistent with the injuries, Wey said he was playing with the infant, threw him into the air at one point and dropped him on his head. Again, the story was not consistent with the injuries and Wey finally said he had thrown the infant against the wall.
During the three hours before his wife came home, the father said he was “freaking out” and observed the child having a seizure.
On the child abuse charge, Wey faces up to 40 years in prison. If he is charged with homicide, he could face up to life in prison.
Dad busted dealing cocaine; kids were in backseat of car (North Massapequa, New York)
Cops: Dad Sold Drugs While Kids Sat In Backseat
By ANDREW RAMOS
1:13 PM EDT, August 24, 2009
NORTH MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (WPIX)
A Lindenhurst man who was busted dealing cocaine out of his car while his two children sat in the backseat, was arrested and charged Sunday with drug possession in addition to two counts of child endangerment, police said.
According to authorities, Christian Encarnacion, 35, and his customer Tracy Nagle, 30, were arrested after Nassau County police officers patrolling in an unmarked car near North Bay Avenue in North Massapequa witnessed the alleged transaction.
After confronting the two suspects, officers discovered two bags of cocaine in Nagle's possession. A search by a police dog team later uncovered over 30 bags of cocaine inside Encarnacion's 1993 Toyota Corolla, police said.
The children, ages 5 and 7, were transported from the scene and later placed in custody of their mother.
Encarnacion, who police say had $2,000 cash in his possession, was charged with criminal sale and criminal possession of drugs, as well as two counts of child endangerment.
Encarnacion and Nagle are both expected to be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Hempstead.
Dad with "joint custody" drowns 6-year-old son in bathtub (Santa Ana, California)
The problem is not that this father didn't have enough time with his son. THE PROBLEM IS THAT HE HAD ANY TIME AT ALL. If he had NO time, then maybe this child would still be alive.
California dad on trial over drowning son, 6 in bathtub
SANTA ANA – A father faces trial for murdering his 6-year-old son by drowning him in a bathtub after becoming angry that his wages would be garnished to support his son and ex-wife.
Gideon Walter Omondi, 38, of Fullerton, is charged with one felony count of murder and one felony count of attempted murder.
He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life if convicted.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin Thursday.
Omondi moved to the United States in 2002 from Kenya to attend the California State University in Fullerton.
In 2004, his wife and young son, Richie Omondi, also moved to California to join him.
The defendant, who was illegally working several jobs while on a student visa, is accused of wanting to send his wife and son back to Kenya claiming it was too expensive to support a family in Orange County.
When his wife refused, Omondi is accused of filing for divorce. After the divorce, Omondi and his ex-wife were granted joint custody. Omondi is accused of becoming angry that his wages would be garnished to support his ex-wife and son.
On Jan. 6, 2006, Omondi is accused of becoming angry following a family court hearing.
He is accused of driving with his son to a desolate stretch of highway near Bakersfield with the intention of murdering Richie and killing himself.
Omondi is accused of parking the car on the side of the road, dousing the trunk of his BMW sedan with gasoline, and closing himself and his son in the trunk with matches in his pocket with the intention of setting the trunk on fire.
A passing California Highway Patrol officer noticed the car and stopped to check on it, believing it had been abandoned. The officer observed shoes outside of the trunk of the car and opened the trunk, finding the defendant and his son inside.
Omondi is accused of claiming that the pair had been sleeping. The officer allowed the defendant to leave but documented the contact.
On Sept. 8, 2006, Omondi, who had custody of his son for the weekend, is accused of picking up 6-year-old Richie from day care.
At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2006, Omondi is accused of filling up his bathtub in his Fullerton apartment and intentionally drowning Richie. He is accused of then removing his son’s lifeless body and leaving him on the bed for two hours.
At approximately 9:30 p.m., Omondi is accused of driving to the Fullerton Police Department (FPD) to tell them about his son.
Officers from FPD went to Omondi’s home and found Richie dead in the bed, under the covers, with his head on the pillow. The pillow was still wet from the victim being placed there after being drowned.
Dad admits stabbing 2 daughters to death in failed abduction (Corona, California)
Corona dad admits killing young daughters
10:59 PM PDT on Wednesday, August 26, 2009
By SONJA BJELLAND
A mother who witnessed her husband stab their two young daughters to death earlier this year stood in court Wednesday and asked why.
Irene Salcido, who was also stabbed, said she was confused and only got up to be in court when her estranged husband, Amado Esqueda, 39, pleaded guilty and was sentenced.
"I want to look at you in the eyes and ask you why," Salcido said in Spanish.
She said she receives letters from him now but does not get an answer.
"I forgive him for my physical injuries, but my injuries to my soul, I'll never forgive him for that," she said through a court translator.
Esqueda pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering the children and attempting to murder Salcido. Superior Court Judge Janice McIntyre sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On the morning of May 9, Esqueda walked in to his former residence on Via Paraiso in Corona where his wife, and daughters Casandra, 6, and Natalie, 2 months, lived, according to court records.
Esqueda stood at the bedroom door with Casandra. He yelled at his wife that he was going to take his daughter with him. Salcido told him to not take the girl and then Esqueda took a knife from his pocket and stabbed his daughter.
He then approached the bed where Salcido was sleeping with her infant daughter and he began stabbing Natalie.
Esqueda then stabbed Salcido as she tried to stop him from stabbing their child.
Salcido got out of bed and followed Esqueda, who then stabbed each daughter several more times.
Esqueda then stabbed himself and jumped over the stair railing to the living room.
Police found a bloody knife at the grisly crime scene.
Deputy Public Defender Aimee Vierra said Esqueda did not want his daughters left behind if he committed suicide.
"From the moment he awoke from that delusion he has been very sorrowful," Vierra said.
She said Esqueda always wanted to plead guilty. By pleading guilty and not taking the case to trial, Esqueda was able to receive life in prison because the district attorney's office had not yet determined if it would seek the death penalty, she said.
"So you've agreed to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole," Judge McIntyre asked Esqueda.
"Yes," he said through a translator.
Dad flips out over 4-year-old's blue shirt (St. Paul, Minnesota)
4-year-old's shirt sets dad on rampage
Police say the St. Paul man, 30, was on drugs and enraged because his son was wearing blue -- a rival gang's color.
By SARAH LEMAGIE, Star Tribune
Last update: August 28, 2009 - 9:44 PM
A St. Paul man is charged with a gross misdemeanor after he allegedly ripped a shirt off his four-year-old son and hit the boy for wearing a rival gang's color.
Kenny T. Jackson, 30, was charged with malicious punishment of a child in Ramsey County District Court, according to a criminal complaint dated Wednesday.
St. Paul police arrested Jackson on Tuesday afternoon after they responded to a 911 call from a home in the 500 block of Sherburne Avenue, the complaint said.
The unnamed caller, who said he was Jackson's stepfather, reported that Jackson was on drugs and "destroying the house." The stepfather said he was hiding in a bedroom because Jackson was yelling and throwing things, and he was afraid.
The caller said Jackson was angry because he is reportedly a Bloods gang member, and his son had been wearing a blue shirt, the color of a rival gang.
Jackson was breaking things in the house when police arrived, the complaint said. He fled on foot and tried to hide in the truck of a car but was apprehended.
Police found the boy shirtless, scratched and crying. A 5-year-old in the house said Jackson had "whooped" the boy and two other children. Another child said the man was angry because the kids were wearing blue clothes, and that they couldn't eat because they were scared.
When questioned, Jackson denied the allegations and asked for an attorney, the complaint said.
On Thursday, a judge ordered Jackson not to contact the 4-year-old, according to Paul Gustafson, a spokesman for the Ramsey County attorney's office.
Court records indicate that Jackson was ordered last month to serve time in the county workhouse for a probation violation stemming from a 2003 drug conviction, Gustafson said.
Jackson has a court hearing scheduled for Sept. 10.