HOLLYWOOD FLA. Oct. 25, 2007 – Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Maury Hernandez walked into a news conference at Memorial Regional Hospital on Thursday, his left leg shaking, his right hand clutching a cane and his left arm in a sling.Wearing his uniform and his badge, Hernandez drew applause from fellow law enforcement officers with each inspirational step.Hernandez was shot in the head during a traffic stop in Pembroke Park 80 days ago and, from the start, was not expected to survive. Thursday morning, in his first public comments since the Aug. 6 shooting, he talked about getting back to work.
I would like to go back to my regular job as soon as possible,” said Hernandez, smiling and surrounded by family and doctors who laughed and clapped and wiped away tears of joy. The deputy seemed almost embarrassed at all the attention.”I’m very honored. I don’t think I deserve all this,” he said.His brother, Hallandale Beach Police Officer Josue Hernandez, said he expects the deputy to be released from the hospital as early as Friday.Maury Hernandez returning to work is a very real possibility, according to his doctors and acting Sheriff Al Lamberti.Dr. Luis Rodriguez, a neurosurgeon who treated Hernandez, said the deputy’s recovery has gone so well that, although pieces of the bullet are still lodged in his head and he remains partially paralyzed on his left side, a 100 percent recovery is possible.”I’m sure there’s some medical explanation for what happened here,” Lamberti said.Still, he and others felt compelled to call the recovery “miraculous.”Hernandez and his family thanked colleagues and others for their prayers and financial assistance since the shooting that nearly took his life.
The alleged gunman, David Maldonado, 24, remains in custody at the Broward Main Jail, charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
GROVE HILL AL. – A former Coffeeville English teacher was found guilty Wednesday on two counts of enticing a minor for immoral purposes.
Sharon L. Rutherford, 32, was arrested last year on multiple charges stemming from alleged sexual contact with at least four of her students, including soliciting at least one of them to kill her husband.
The solicitation charge is still pending against Rutherford. No date for that trial has been set.
Soon after Rutherford’s arrest in April 2006, authorities dropped rape and sexual abuse charges against her when they determined that two of the boys mentioned in those charges were older than Alabama’s age of consent, 16. The remaining enticement charges involved boys who were 14 and 15 at the time.
The jury began deliberations shortly before 4 p.m. and reached a verdict about three hours later.
The enticement charges, class C felonies, carry a potential sentence of up to 10 years on each count. A sentencing hearing has been set for Dec. 10.
Attorneys and witnesses declined to comment on the case due to a gag order put in place by Presiding Circuit Court Judge Thomas Baxter.
The jury heard testimony Wednesday from one of the younger students and watched a videotape of his statement from April 7, 2006.
The student said on the tape and on the stand that on one occasion Rutherford asked another one of his teachers to send him and another boy to Rutherford’s classroom.
The student said that once he arrived, Rutherford “brushed her hand” across his pelvic area, and made sexually suggestive remarks to him and other boys who were “hanging out” in her classroom.
Rutherford told the boys they “wouldn’t last five minutes with her” sexually because they were young, and she was experienced, the student testified.
Defense attorney Richard Jensen called only two witnesses for the defense: the same student who testified for the prosecution and that student’s mother.
Rutherford sat through the trial attentively, showing little emotion.
Jensen said Rutherford had immoral and reprehensible sexual affairs with the two older students, and she should be “fired and her teaching certificate pulled.” But, he said, she did not entice the younger students.
One of the two older boys testified Tuesday that he met Rutherford at a graveyard and had sex in her vehicle after she told him to meet her there.
Another older boy, a special-education student, testified Tuesday that he and the teacher carried on a sexual affair from 2004 through 2006 at Coffeeville High School.
The boy estimated they had sex a hundred times or more, but he said he didn’t care for Rutherford.
The teacher was in love with that student, according to Jensen, and prosecutors introduced into evidence a stack of love poems she wrote and gave to the student.
On Tuesday, Jensen said the older boys told the principal about their relationships with Rutherford when they got into trouble at school over an unrelated matter and needed a way to get out.
Rutherford’s husband, James Rutherford Jr., filed for divorce May 5, 2006. They have two daughters, 2 and 11 years old.
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WAUKESHA WI -Oct. 25, 2007 A town of Eagle man who said he had quit drinking for more than a year was cited for retail theft at a Mukwonago Wal-Mart after he reportedly took seven bottles of alcohol off the store shelves and downed them in the liquor aisle in 15 minutes
The man, 43, was cited for retail theft after the incident at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 250 E. Wolf Run, at about 5:30 p.m. Oct. 14, Mukwonago police records show.
Mukwonago Police Chief Fred Winchowky said the man was seen on store security video drinking seven 12-ounce bottles of Jack Daniels Lynchburg Lemonade in a 15-minute period. When confronted by a store official, the man initially denied it, but he smelled of intoxicants, Winchowky said.
Reviewing a police report on the matter, Winchowky added the man said he was a recovering alcoholic who’d been dry for 16 months until that date, when he went to the store with his wife, who was unaware of what he was doing.
“He went down that aisle and he said ‘I just couldn’t control myself,’” Winchowky said. “He stated he was upset he broke his 16-month streak and he didn’t know how he was going to tell his wife.”
Athens Ohio Oct. 25, 2007
Two people are facing felony charges Wednesday afternoon after police say they shoplifted a hefty amount of merchandise from an area shopping center.
Athen’s city police say Tuesday, a Walmart security agent witnessed two women and a young boy concealing numerous items and leaving the store without paying for their items.
When stopped by the security officer, the suspects, Teresa Estep, Serena Craig-Cooper and the young boy were found with more than sixteen hundred dollars worth of stolen merchandise on them.
Estep and Craig-Cooper are charged with felony theft.
They are both out of the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail on bond.
The juvenile could also face charges for his involvement in the crime.
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ATLANTA METRO AREA OCT. 25, 2007
Retirement costs must be going up faster than we think.
Police say a man who appears to be his 50s or 60s strolled into a SunTrust Bank in Suwanee at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, a handgun in his waistband, and slipped a note demanding money to a teller.
“He looks like a grandpa,” said Capt. Clyde Byers, spokeswoman for the Suwanee Police Department. “What is somebody his age out doing this for? He’s supposed to be in retirement. He’s supposed to be fishing.”
The man left after receiving an undisclosed sum of money from the bank, on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in northern Gwinnett County, Byers said.
Investigators hope someone recognizes the suspect.
“If he’s from anywhere in metro Atlanta,” Byers said, “somebody’s gonna look up and say ‘Hey, that’s Uncle John!”
Anyone with information on the identity of the robber is asked to contact the Suwanee Police Department at 770-945-8995.
Decatur man was in jail without bond Monday after police said he tried to rob customers at a drive-thru ATM in Lawrenceville.
Abdul Shaheen El-Amin, 31, confronted a man and woman who drove up to the ATM at the Bank of America at 2800 Lawrenceville Suwanee Road on Saturday night, said Cpl. Illana Spellman, spokeswoman for the Gwinnett County Police Department. When El-Amin pulled out a gun and pointed it at the two people, a police officer intervened and shot the suspect in the arm, said Spellman. Authorities said the bank was already under police surveillance.
El-Amin ran into the woods behind the bank, but a tracking dog helped officers locate and arrest him a short time later. El-Amin was treated for his injury and released Sunday from Gwinnett Medical Center. He was being held without bond Monday on one count of armed robbery at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.
Spellman said members of the Gwinnett County Robbery Task Force had the Bank of America branch under surveillance because there had been four prior reports of armed robberies in the area. Investigators had predicted with 98 percent certainty that another robbery would occur at that bank location by Sunday using statistical analysis, said Spellman.
The officer who shot the suspect will be placed on routine administrative leave, according to a news release.
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Thursday, October 25, 2007
NEWARK NJ OCT 25, 2007
At the end of another busy day at the local K-Mart, workers were busy wrapping up their closing procedures when two men who had been hiding in the store after the store closed rushed out yelling and pointing guns.
Surveillance photos taken at the store, located at 301 College Square in Newark, showed the attempted robbery in progress.
Police said the two suspects hid in the store Sunday until it closed.
As the manager deposited the night’s receipts into a safe, they pulled out a gun and demanded the money. The manager screamed, and another employee came running.
Police said the two suspects ran away without taking anything.
Anyone who recognizes the suspects or has any information is asked to call Detective Maiura at 302-366-7110, ext. 152. Information can always be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.
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Spokane WA. Oct. 25, 2007
A 91-year-old woman is in the hospital after state workers and paramedics found her Friday with open sores on a mattress in 2 inches of maggots and feces. Police arrested her grandson for criminal mistreatment.
Springs from the decaying mattress were embedded in Elsie Gettman’s body, and paramedics had to wear hazardous materials gear to treat her at the home at 808 E. Euclid Ave.
Gettman’s grandson, 28-year-old Michael R. Bourassa, at first refused to allow paramedics to enter the home, but other family members persuaded him to allow them inside, said Spokane police Detective Kirk Kimberly.
Bourassa has been arrested and booked into Spokane County Jail on charges of criminal mistreatment. He was his grandmother’s primary caregiver although, according to a search warrant for the home, Bourassa’s mother, Theresa Topp, shared power of attorney.
Topp lives in Lewiston, so she visited infrequently.
“Bourassa had been keeping family members out for some time,” said Kimberly, who investigates the victimization of elderly and disabled adults. The state Division of Elder Services also is investigating.
“Family members were tired of being put off, so they asked Elder Services to get involved,” Kimberly said.
What they found when Bourassa let them inside was what one paramedic at the scene called the worst thing he has ever seen. Garbage was piled around the home and Gettman was trapped in the filthy bedding with just a blanket covering her. Her flesh was decaying on her body.
“The paramedics were near tears,” said Detective Stacey Carr.
To remove Gettman from the mattress, paramedics had to extract a bedspring embedded in her back all the way to the bone.
Family members weren’t surprised by the living conditions, Kimberly said, adding that they knew Bourassa was living in a messy home, but were unaware of Gettman’s condition.
Carr went to the hospital to investigate after a nurse there called police. Carr said she could hear Gettman moaning inside her hospital room.
“You could hear her screaming,” Carr said.
Police detectives later sent to the scene said they could smell urine and feces more than 40 feet outside the home.
Inside they found cat feces and piles of debris covering the floor, with just a few pathways to access rooms, Kimberly said. The bathtub was filled with different items and there was no food in the house.
SpokAnimal was called to the scene to confiscate the cats.
Helping the elderly can be more difficult than helping abused children, Kimberly said. That’s because children have more legal protections than adults and it’s easier to prosecute their abusers.
Children can give officers a statement that can be used in court. Adults, including aged adults with childlike minds, must give depositions that can be difficult to take.
Kimberly said that keeping an elderly person away from family and friends is a clear warning sign that something might be wrong. “Once someone notices that, the red flags should go up.”
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FORT PIERCE, Fla. Oct. 25, 2007 — A Fort Pierce woman was arrested on Tuesday after police said she left her children, including an infant and two children under the age of 5, in a car while she was shoplifting.
Kasey Ozell Cooper was charged with retail theft and child neglect.
Another woman, Angelique McQuire, faces the same charges. McQuire said she was asked to watch the kids but decided to go into the store as well, according to deputies.
A 4-year-old, 3-year-old and 5-month-old were left unattended, deputies said.
Officials at Bealls said they caught the women and a teenager taking shirts, sweat shirts and sweat pants out of the store without paying. After bringing the shoplifters to the loss prevention office they were made away that there were young children left outside in the car and that’s when security notified police of the situation.
Cooper’s aunt went to the store to pick up the children after deputies arrived, according to officials.
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Philadelphia PA. Oct. 25, 2007
Maximo Jurado spent 28 years as a fugitive, a long run that came to an end today when dozens of law enforcement officers confronted him at his girlfriend’s rowhouse in Philadelphia.
Jurado, who escaped from a New Jersey prison in 1979, made a brief claim to be someone named Juan before officers showed him an old prison photo.
“It’s me,” Jurado said, according to the Associated Press.
The 75-year-old is being jailed in Philadelphia until he can be extradited to New Jersey, where he will face the remainder of his three- to five-year prison sentence on drug charges from Hudson County, N.J.
He also could face an escape charge in Monmouth County, N.J., where he was housed at the now-closed minimum-security Marlboro Camp. Prisoners there worked at the Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital, which also is closed.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections keeps a list of escapees; the vast majority are inmates who walked away from residential halfway houses within the last several years.
Today, the list had 132 names, only seven of them from 1979 or earlier.
Deidre Fedkenheuer, a corrections spokeswoman, said a special fugitive unit pursues the escapees.
“They like to say, ‘There are no cold cases, only old cases,’ ” she said.
She said investigators tracked Jurado through driver’s licenses he obtained using aliases, as well as through other techniques.
Daniel Klotz, the senior corrections investigator on the case, said the break came when authorities learned that Jurado was using the alias Juan Osorio.
During his time as a fugitive, Jurado lived in New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia, Fedkenheuer said, and he appears to have stayed out of trouble through those years.
If he had been arrested, she said, his true identity and his status as a fugitive would have been discovered through his fingerprints.
Jurado told the officers who came for him around 10 a.m. today that the fear of getting sent back to prison helped him change his life.
“That’s when I decided to stay out of trouble,” he said.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007
JOHNSON CITY Oct. 25, 2007 — A Blanco County jury today found a monk guilty of four counts of sexual assault of a child.
William Hughes, 56, was accused of being involved in the sexual assault of two boys who were novice monks at the Church of the Hills monastery in the late 1990s.
During closing arguments this morning, prosecutors and a defense attorney said the case hinged on whether the sex acts occurred before the victims were 17, which is the legal age of consent in Texas.
Defense attorney Eddie Shell said one of the victims testified that he couldn’t remember if he was 161/2 or 17 when the assaults happened.
Prosecutor Cheryl Nelson said the victims testified that the sexual assaults started a few months after the victims joined the monastery and before they turned 17.
After the verdict, one of the victims, James Wright Jr., said the verdict was “great.”
Wright lived at Christ of the Hills monastery from 1998 to 1999 when he was 15 after his parents sent him there because he was acting out. Wright said he wanted the maximum sentence for Hughes.
Jurors will begin their deliberations on sentencing this afternoon.
The now-closed monastery split with the Russian Orthodox Church in 1999 after the monks were investigated on accusations that they sexually abused a 13-year-old novice monk who lived there. It was on 105 acres outside the city of Blanco.
The monastery’s founder, Samuel Greene Jr., pleaded guilty in 2000 and was sentenced to 10 years probation for sexual assault of a child; he died earlier this year.
Hughes’ cousin, Mike Gamble, an Alabama attorney who attended the trial, said Hughes should just be fined.
Hughes “was sucked into the monastery by Greene” when he was a teenager, Gamble said. Hughes met Greene in 1968 when Greene was running a Catholic boys ranch near San Antonio, he said.
Greene told his probation officer in a 2006 taped interview that he had sexual contact with boys over a 30-year period starting in the 1970s, according to court records.
Two other monks, Walter Paul Christley and Hugh Brian Fallon, have pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault of a child. Their trials are pending.
A fourth monk, Jonathan Hitt, received a 10-year prison sentence in 1999 for sexual assault of a child.