Source: NY Times A very good detective did a very good job, and Wednesday a suspected serial killer was brought into a Bronx courtroom charged with a killing that went unsolved for almost three decades.
“Jesus Aguilera, aka Jesus Aguilero,” the court officer called out.
Aguilera was led in from the holding area, bald and bearded and burly, the cold eyes behind his state-issue spectacles going colder still at the sight of Detective Malcolm Reiman.
Aguilera was already doing double life for two other killings, and a third would not mean a minute more behind bars, but his reaction proved how much he still resented being caught.
Maybe Aguilera had always taken delight in thinking of poor 35-year-old Tolila Moore lying strangled in a shack on Minford Place and telling himself at least he got away with that one.
Maybe all Aguilera’s killings were about power and control, and now here he was, bested by this detective who is so diligent and dedicated as to represent justice.
Evil met good and good won, with considerable help beginning with a crime scene investigator back in the wild days of 1981.
The murder of a woman with a record for prostitution had drawn not even a shrug from the public and the press, but the investigator had taken the time and trouble to lift a fingerprint.
Additional help came from investigators in the latent print unit who periodically sought to identify the fingerprint as technology advanced.
In June of last year, the latent print unit called Lt. Sean O’Toole of the Bronx homicide squad and said it finally had a match, with one Jose Aguilera.
O’Toole assigned Reiman, who retrieved the case folder from the microfiche file. Reiman contacted the original detective, now retired, who had taken the case as far as the forensics of the time allowed.
“Good guy,” Reiman later noted. “He did some good work.”
Reiman got critical help from the medical examiner’s office, which had retained scrapings taken from under Moore’s fingernails. A DNA profile from the scrapings was fed into the database.
“Sure enough, a hit for our Mr. Aguilera,” Reiman recalled.
Aguilera was already behind bars for strangling two others in 1981, Guillermo Graniela on Aug. 29 in what may have been a robbery and Josepfina Cepeda on Sept. 17, just before and just after Moore’s Sept. 2 killing. Cepeda had been lured to her death with the promise of designer jeans.
Reiman learned that this man he believes to be a serial killer came to America in the infamous Marielito boatlift. He had been escorted by a Cuban prison officer to a boat bound for Key West, Fla. Aguilera was held in the refugee detention center at Fort Chafee in Arkansas, then released to his brother.
In May of 1981, Aguilera arrived in New York. He is believed to have strangled at least four people during the nine months before he was arrested. He was in Great Meadow prison when Reiman came to speak to him.
“He really wasn’t shocked,” Reiman recalled.
But he was not very happy if his reaction in Bronx court yesterday was any indication. He was asked to enter a plea.
“Innocent,” he said through an interpreter.
That means he will go to trial. He will no doubt have more than a few icy stares for Assistant District Attorney Rachel Singer, who is as diligent and dedicated as everybody else involved.
Aguilera will also learn just how strong a case Reiman has built, gathering evidence from the property clerk’s office as well as the medical examiner, tracking down cops who responded to the scene and anybody who might have been a witness.
“Try to get everything I can,” Reiman said.
The stepfather who identified Moore’s body has died, as has her mother, and there were no other known family members to be in court when Aguilera was arraigned.
But there was Reiman, sitting quietly with a brown case folder marked “Tolila Moore, F/B/35, 1-1/02/1981, Method: Ligature Strangulation Homicide.” The papers inside documented the work done by all those who joined to meet evil with good.
“It’s very satisfying, actually,” Reiman said.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the slats on Evenflo Top-of-Stair Plus gates can break or detach, allowing children to access the stairs.
The company has received 142 reports of broken or detached slats, including three reports of children who breached the gate and gained access to the stairs.
The Mexican-made gates were sold online and by stores nationwide, including Toys “R” Us, Burlington Baby Depot and Kmart.
An additional 33,000 of these gates are being recalled in Canada.
To obtain a free replacement gate, contact Evenflo at 800-233-5921.
Officer David Haynes, 27, spotted the suspect’s car and pursued with his lights and sirens on before his cruiser was struck from both sides at the intersection of Kingshighway and Oleatha Avenue.
The suspect is still at large, described as a medium-build black male with a “chin beard” and two gold teeth.
Haynes, a newlywed, had just one year on the force.
“It’s certainly a tragic day for the police department. We are all sorry for the loss, for his wife and mother,” Police Chief Dan Isom told the newspaper. “We ask that everyone in St. Louis pray for his family and all of the officers in the St. Louis police department.”
Haynes had served in the U.S. Marine Corps and graduated from the St. Louis Police Academy on Jan. 8, 2009, according to the report.
BackStoppers — a St. Louis area non-profit organization that supports the families of the fallen police officers — will meet with Haynes’ widow to present her with a $5,000 check for funeral expenses.
Administrators at Toro Canyon Middle School reported around 1 p.m. Tuesday that Tonya Neff, 47, was showing signs of intoxication, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
“Our students were safe,” Coachella Valley Unified School District Superintendent Ricardo Medina said. “There was never any threat to the students.”
She was taken from the classroom to the administration and was treated by the school nurse, officials said.
Responding officers transported her to John F. Kennedy Hospital for treatment, the sheriff’s department reported.
Investigation showed that she had taken prescription drugs and alcohol and a container with an alcoholic beverage inside was found, according to the sheriff’s department.
“Our administration handled it in an appropriate manner,” Medina said, calling it an unfortunate situation. “They exercised due diligence and they involved the police when they felt they needed to involve the police.”
Neff is a new teacher and this type of incident has not been reported before, he said.
“Neff is regularly responsible for the safety of over 100 students during her regular school day duties,” Sgt. Mike Tapp wrote in a press release.
Neff was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment and was transported to the Riverside County Jail in Indio.
The school district will place her on leave during the investigation, but it has not been determined whether it will be paid leave or not, Medina said.
“It all depends on the circumstances,” he said.
When the officer spotted the flames climbing one of the curtains backstage, he quickly sprang to action, using two fire extinguishers to contain the fire until firefighters arrived.
Sgt. Mark Burgess of the Unified Police Department said, “By his quick thinking, we averted a huge disaster.”
The question for many theatre lovers is, will the show go on?
Right now, the musical “Legally Blonde” is running at the Capitol Theatre, and Wednesday night there’s a showing at 7:30. That show will go on as planned; however, theatre representatives say between now and then, they have a lot of cleaning up to do.
Firefighters were called to the historic Capitol Theatre located on 200 S. near West Temple shortly after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The building is under 24-hour security, and the officer on duty had smelled something suspicious coming from the stage area. As he headed to check on it, he reported hearing popping sounds. When he got closer, he saw one of the curtains going up in flames.
“It’s a very large curtain that sits toward the back of the building, and it was climbing all the way to the ceiling,” Burgess said.
Burgess says the officer quickly grabbed two fire extinguishers and knocked down the fire, then when firefighters arrived they finished it off.
Firefighters say there was a little smoke damage in the theatre and a little bit of water damage behind the stage, but other than that everything looks to be OK.
“We got very lucky,” said Battalion Chief Clair Baldwin of the Salt Lake City Fire Department. “We have access issues, we have all kinds of remodeling that has been done over a 80-90 year period, so this buildings does present some problems. If it was to catch fire and actually involve the structural members, it would be a difficult fire to put out.”
Investigators say this fire was caused by curtain draped over a ladder that was leaning up against a light powered by a generator.
That generator runs a test every Wednesday morning at 7:30. When it turned on it powered that light, which caught the curtain on fire.
Source: Fox News Memphis – A Memphis City School security guard has been charged with the rape of a 16-year-old Mitchell High School student. It’s the second such investigation involving a school officer in two weeks. One State Representative said it does not help the district’s case as it lobbies for legislative approval for its own police force.
The security guard was charged Wednesday evening with statutory rape by an authority figure. The superintendent has said he wants the district to have it’s own police officers trained to solve problems rather than just arrest and transport.
But the recent arrest has at least one lawmaker questioning if the district can handle it.
One week after Memphis City School officials were in Nashville lobbying for their own police force, school security guard 31-year old Antonio Matthews was charged with the alleged rape of a 16-year old Mitchell High School student.
Representative John DeBerry (D-Memphis) said he listened to the district’s plea with an open mind but this incident raises flags.
“I’ll say this does not help the case as far as us trying to make a decision, a positive decision, toward creating a totally separate force.”
This is the second year the district is seeking legislative approval for its own police force, even though the idea is opposed by Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.
Representative DeBerry said during his tenure, he personally worked to strengthen rape laws. “The one thing we should be able to have confidence is safety of our children, at least those who watching them, and ensure their safety.”
A check of court records showed the guard has no criminal history. Memphis City School Board President Martavius Jones questioned how to prevent incidents if there is no prior history. He said the incident could have happened whether the guard was employed by the school or Memphis Police.
In fact, last month, a Memphis Police Officer working as a School Resource Officer was accused of raping a female student from Fairley High School. The officer has been relieved of duty without pay, and police say the case is still under investigation.
Representative DeBerry said, “I think what this will do is make all of us step back and just for a minute and realize when we put a group of people in proximity of our children we have to be very careful to make sure these are people who are going to protect our children not victimize our children.”
Wednesday, the MCS police force House bill was placed on the Judiciary Committee calendar to be heard Tuesday.
The chopper went down near Brownsville during a severe storm this morning.
A witness told the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department that he saw what he thought was a lightning strike and then a ball of fire at the time of the crash.
Hospital Wing lost contact with the pilot shortly before 6:00 a.m. The Eurocopter Astar (AS350B3) chopper was located using GPS tracking.
Pilot Doug Phillips and nurses Misty Brogdon and Cindy Parker were killed. Today is Parker’s birthday.
“Hospital Wing” is used to transport patients and has several bases including Oxford, Memphis and Brownsville.
Statement from Hospital Wing: “A Hospital Wing helicopter crashed at approximately 6 a.m. this morning just east of Brownsville, Tenn. Three crew members were on board. No patients were on board. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are on the scene and the crash is under investigation.
Hospital Wing was founded in 1985 and is a non-profit air medical transport service with direct alliances with the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Baptist Memorial Hospital, The MED, St. Francis Hospital in Memphis and Crittenden Memorial Hospital in West Memphis, Arkansas.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in our history,” said Allen Burnette, program director and Chief Operating Officer.”
David Tillman, 19, a volunteer assistant coach, was charged with lewd and lascivious battery, according to a police report. Another coach, Raymond Holmes, 29, was charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor. They were arrested Tuesday.
According to Fort Lauderdale police, a 16-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl skipped school on March 19. One of the girls called Holmes and asked him to pick them up. Holmes and Tillman picked up the teens and took them to Tillman’s Fort Lauderdale home, police said.
The report states that Tillman and the 15-year-old girl had sex in his apartment. The 16-year-old girl and Holmes walked to his apartment and had sex, according to the report.
The 16-year-old’s mother found sexually explicit text messages between Holmes and her daughter, according to the report. Authorities could not immediately say if those messages were what led police to arrest the men.
Holmes and Tillman were being held at the Broward County Jail.
Hollywood Christian Athletic Director Monte Gonzalez declined to comment and referred calls to Headmaster Carter Edwards, who could not be reached despite telephone messages left at his office.
Police ask anyone with information to call 954-828-5964 .
Brandon M. Parrott, 26, was charged with armed robbery, robbery, first- and second-degree assault, theft under $100,000, theft under $1,000 and transporting a a handgun in a motor vehicle, the release said.
The robbery was reported to Maryland State Police at about 8 a.m., the release said.
The caller told police that a man wearing a mask approached an armed guard who was retrieving money from an ATM at the PNC Bank kiosk at 4310 Old National Pike. The man indicated he had a gun and demanded money, the release said.
The masked man stole the guard’s handgun and an undetermined amount of money, then fled in a black Ford Explorer on Md. 17 toward Myersville, Md.
State police troopers, Frederick County sheriff’s deputies and FCBI members responded to the scene. According to the release, an FCBI investigator spotted the Explorer backing out of a driveway between Middletown and Myersville. The investigator and a deputy stopped the vehicle near Dawn Court, south of Myersville.
The driver, identified as Parrott, was taken into custody without incident and was taken to the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center, the release said.
Law enforcement personnel and the State Police Trooper 3 helicopter searched the surrounding area for other possible suspects, but investigators concluded that the man acted alone, the release said.
The guard was not injured, the release said.
The Explorer was seized and towed to the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center. Investigators have requested a warrant to search the vehicle.
Apex NC March 25 2010 Another local teacher faces charges of sexual misconduct with a student. This comes only a day after an area basketball coach was arrested and charged with a similar offense.
Mitchell Lance Britt, 38, the former band director at West Johnston High School was arrested March 23 and charged four counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and three more counts of sexual offense with a student.
According to Johnston County School officials, Britt resigned on November 20, 2009.
“The school system is not a liberty to disclose publicly any confidential personnel information regarding Mr. Britt”, school officials said in a written statement concerning Britt.
“The school system is aware of the pending criminal charges against Mr. Britt. The school system and Board of Education will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities. At this time, the situation is a matter for the criminal justice system to address and take any action that is warranted.”
This was not the first arrest of an area teacher which involved sex acts with a student. The day prior, Fuquay-Varina High School Basketball Coach Mardy Lee Cutchin,37, was charged with three counts of sexual activity with a student.