DECATUR, AL June 20 2011 – A Priceville Junior High School counselor was killed in a wreck Sunday morning in Decatur.
Police said Terry M. White was hit by a drunk driver at 10:20 a.m. on Beltline Road at Carridale Street SW.
Investigators said Hugh Kennedy Chandler Jr. was driving north on Beltline Road in a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Witnesses said the Jeep failed to stop for a red signal at Carridale Street and hit White’s 2007 Pontiac Solstice. White was entering the intersection on Carridale Street SW crossing Beltline Road toward Decatur Mall.
Chandler struck White in the driver’s side, injuring her. White was flown to Huntsville Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Chandler was charged with driving under the influence and more charges may follow. Police continue to investigate the wreck.
According to court records, this is not Chandler’s first DUI arrest. He was arrested for DUI in November, 1999 in Lawrence County. He pleaded guilty to that charge in February, 2000. He was given a 30 day suspended sentence, $500 fine and DUI school.
Investigators said Chandler was out on a previous bond from another DUI in April, 2011. His bond has now been revoked and he will remain in jail until his trial date.
According to Morgan County Schools website, White was a counselor at Priceville Junior High School.
A Chips’ accountant and security manager told deputies they received at least 30 harassing calls Saturday and at least 17 on Friday. The man asked to talk a particular employee. They wouldn’t let him but took messages. None of the callback numbers worked.
The man kept calling, claiming he was with the FBI and that the employee he was looking for was a criminal. He was aggressive, he asked the security manager if he knew any al-Qaida, said he said he was going to blast the building. He also made derogatory sexual remarks.
The security manager asked to talk to the man’s supervisor. He transferred the call and a dispatcher for the Waco, Texas, Police Department came on the line. She said they’ve been dealing with the same guy. He has tapped into phone company cables and computers and has been making harassing and threatening calls all over the country. He patched into the dispatch center phone line and transfers calls there when people ask for his supervisor.
The employee he was looking for said she didn’t know him but that three months ago she got similar repeated calls. She couldn’t understand him well because he had an accent.
A deputy contacted the Waco dispatcher, who said they reported the man to the FBI because he threatened them and talked about blowing things up.
Russellville AL June 20 2011 29 year old Kimberly Bynum a Vina High School math teacher from Russellville, was arrested and charged with being in a sexual relationship with a 17 year old former student.
“We had some people call and report it to us that this was going on,” said Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver. “Also, some people had contacted the District Attorney’s office and told them that this was an issue. After interviewing him [the student] and her, they both admitted to what had been going on.”
Bynum is charged with being a school employee engaging in sexual acts with a student under the age of 19, which is a Class B felony.
Oliver said that the two confessed that their relationship began in January, and it happened off of school grounds. The student graduated in May.
The Franklin County Board of Education has not commented on Bynum’s employment status. It plans to do its own investigation in the coming weeks. Bynum could be placed on paid administrative leave while the details of the case are being worked out.
“It’s a felony, so they will process it and it will go through preliminary hearings and be carried before the grand jury,” said Oliver. “It could be a couple of months or longer.”
Bynum was released from the Franklin County Jail on Thursday night on a $10,000 bond. If convicted, she could face 2 to 20 years in prison.
Dothan Al June 20 2011 Police arrested a Northview High School teacher Friday on a charge he had sex with one of his students.
Dothan police arrested Calvin Bell-Tharpe, 30, Friday afternoon, and charged him with “felony school employee engaging in a sex act or sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19.”
Attorney Shaun McGhee said his client was taken to jail and held on a $175,000 bond. McGhee, who was retained to represent Bell-Tharpe, said his client will have a bond hearing Monday morning in front of District Court Judge Benjamin Lewis.
McGhee said his client was charged with allegedly having sex with one of his students. He said the alleged offense date was sometime in November 2010.
McGhee said the charge filed against his client is new for the state of Alabama, and is only for school employees charged with having sex with a student. He called the crime a class B felony charge which carries a possible punishment of two to 20 years in prison.
According to the Northview High website, Bell-Tharpe has been a Dothan educator for five years, since January 2006. The school’s website also said Bell-Tharpe works as an art teacher and is the head tennis coach for the school. The website also said Bell-Tharpe graduated from Dothan High School, and also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Troy University.
Sam Nichols, Dothan City Schools Superintendent, was out of town and unavailable for comment. Attempts to contact Dothan City School Board Chairman Harry Wayne Parrish were also unsuccessful.
Chris Maddox, District 6 school board member, said the board has yet to be informed of all the allegations and evidence against Bell-Tharpe. Maddox said if the allegations prove to be true, he would work to ensure Bell-Tharpe never taught again.
Pasco County, FL June 20 2011– A suspected shoplifter is dead after deputies say he shot himself in the head.
Deputies responded to the Kmart located at 12412 U.S. 19 Hudson after receiving a call that 52-year-old David Harris Shafley was stopped by store security for shoplifting. Investigators say he tried to steal batteries and soda worth around $39.
Shafley was taken to a secure room in the back of the store for questioning. While he was in the room, he pulled out a handgun and fired one shot.
After security personnel fled the room, Shafley fired a second round, a self-inflicted wound to the head. He was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital, where he later died. No one else in the store was hurt.
According to deputies, prior to this incident, Shafley told loss prevention he was distraught and was having a hard time caring for his 93-year-old grandmother.
Gabrielle Marvelli of Quakertown turned herself in to police this morning.
Marvelli is charged with corruption of minors and faces up to 5 years in jail.
According to investigators, Marvelli had sex with the teen at the Econo Lodge on Downyflake Lane in Allentown on May 28th.
The alleged tryst took place about a week before the student’s 18th birthday, police said.
Marvelli’s lawyer, Michael P. Quinn, tells the Allentown Morning Call they will fight the charges.
“The victim is 17 years and 340 days old,” he said. “He told her he was 18.”
Mario Humerez, 35, was arrested without incident at his home in San Marcos, Escondido police said. He was booked into the Vista County Jail on charges of oral copulation and sexual penetration of a minor.
The incidents occurred when the female student was 16, police said. She is now 19.
Humerez is a teacher in Valley High School’s AVID program, which is designed to prepare students for college.
Rogers attorney Eugene Kelley and Tulsa, Okla., attorney Laurence Pinkerton filed the suit in Benton County Circuit Court on Thursday on behalf of George Skupien, the heir and representative of Louise Bishop’s estate.
The suit seeks more than $7 million in compensatory damages and an unspecified amount of punitive damages. The case is assigned to Circuit Judge David Clinger.
Guard Tronic is the defendant. The complaint claims Louise Bishop contracted with Guard Tronic to provide a security system at her home at 2910 S.E. J St. in Bentonville.
The suit concerns the murders of Bishop, 81, and her daughter, Christina Bishop, 40. The women disappeared June 18, 2009. Their bodies were found Feb. 1, 2010, in a grave between Garfield and Avoca at 15226 Sugar Creek Road, according to court documents.
Nicholas Johansen, 20, and Michael Shane Winters, 30, are charged with two counts of capital murder and aggravated robbery. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Johansen is Christina Bishop’s son and Louise Bishop’s grandson.
Johansen and Winters came to the home to rob Louise Bishop on June 18, 2009, according to the complaint. The lawsuit claims Christina Bishop was outside talking with her son when he began to strangle her. Louise Bishop then opened her front door and saw the attack.
The suit claims Louise Bishop sounded the security alarm and Johansen went in the house after her. Johansen was unable to kill his grandmother, so Winters went inside the residence and strangled her, according to the complaint.
The suit alleges at 11:54 p.m. the security alarm on Louise Bishop’s front door was triggered. A Guard Tronic employee initiated three telephone calls to the home, resulting in three busy signals, according to the complaint.
Guard Tronic called the Bentonville Police Department three minutes after the alarm was triggered. While dispatching police, a cancel signal came from Louise Bishop’s security system, according to the complaint. A Guard Tronic employee told the dispatcher to cancel the call to the residence, according to the suit.
The complaint claims it would have normally taken police two to three minutes after the dispatch to reach the residence. The suit claims if the police call was dispatched, law enforcement could have interrupted the attack or caught the perpetrators at the residence.
Randy Perry, manager of Guard Tronic’s Bentonville office, said he was not aware of the lawsuit and could not comment.
Skupien reported the women missing June 20, 2009. He attempted to contact the two and went to the home where he found the front door open. Inside he saw blood spatters, an upper plate of a set of false teeth, discarded reading glasses and broken, bloody furniture in the entry, according to the suit.
The suit claims police considered all family members as persons of interest. The investigation received national attention, including being featured on the television show “Nancy Grace.” Skupien claims he suffered because he received hate mail accusing him of the murders because of media coverage.
Winters and Johansen will be tried separately.
Winters’ jury trial is slated to begin Nov. 1. A trial date has not been set for Johansen.
HOUSTON TX June 20 2011 — A Transportation Security Administration security officer has been accused of stealing from passengers.
Karla R. Morgan, 49, who worked at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, was arrested by Houston police on Thursday. She has been charged with misdemeanor theft.
Sources said investigators set up stings after they got a tip that Morgan was stealing from passengers at her checkpoint.
Detectives said an undercover agent posed as a passenger who found a lost wallet on Thursday. The agent gave the wallet to Morgan.
Investigators said Morgan did not turn the wallet in to supervisors and walked by several uniformed Houston police officers without mentioning the wallet.
Agents stopped Morgan as she got into her car after her shift, police said. The wallet, which contained marked $100 bills, was found inside her backpack, police said.
“TSA holds its workforce to the highest professional standards and we act swiftly to end the federal careers of those who do not abide by these standards,” a TSA representative wrote in a statement. “The actions of this officer in no way reflect on the nearly 50,000 transportation security officers who work tirelessly to protect the traveling public.”
TSA officials said Morgan had been employed with the agency since September 2002.
The Bowling Green Police Department said they received a call at 1:04 p.m. about the robbery. Police said two black males approached one of the armored car guards who was servicing the ATM for First Security Bank, located at 1960 Cave Mill Road.
Both men are described as being in their early 20s and both dressed in black clothing. One of the men was described as tall and thin. According to a witness, one of the suspects was armed.
Both men fled the area in a gold midsize Ford.
Kerby Aurelhomme, the driver of the Premium Armored Services van, is accused of being involved in the $300,000 armed robbery outside a Cumberland Farms store on July 12, 2006, according to the FBI.
Guard Gustavo Sorzano, then-63, was shot in the ankle and suffered a heart attack during a struggle on the ground with one of the armed robbers, he said at the time.
Aurelhomme worked for Homeland Intelligence Protective Services, which provided drivers for Premium Armored Services. After the robbery, his boss, Elier Cruz, never heard from him again and that led Sorzano to believe the robbery was an inside job.
Aurelhomme worked for the security company for about a year before the robbery, but only about three days as a driver for the armored car service, Cruz said at the time.
Hinds County MS June 20 2011 A second woman has won a jury verdict against Kroger from an assault on the parking lot of the I-55 store.
Amy Smith’s award, however, is much less than the $2.5 million verdict Linda Knox won against the retail food chain in 2009.
A Hinds County Circuit Court jury recently awarded Smith $112,189.19 in her lawsuit accusing Kroger of negligence for not providing adequate security on the parking lot when she was assaulted April 11, 2010.
Smith, now 22, of Jackson, sued Kroger about two months later for unspecified damages.
The majority-female jury found Smith 30 percent at fault and Kroger 70 percent at fault on June 9 after a trial before Circuit Judge Bill Gowan.
Until all litigation surrounding the store is resolved, Kroger is not commenting, spokesman Joe Bell said.
He also said no decision had been made regarding an appeal.
Smith’s attorney, Ashley Ogden, who also represents Knox, said his client “is happy with the verdict because the verdict showed that Kroger is responsible for its customers and has an obligation to provide them safety.”
But he said he was evaluating whether to appeal “because of some procedural issues.”
The jury assessed blame to Smith because she was not looking out for her own safety on the parking lot, according to the verdict form.
Smith was talking on her cell phone on her way to the car, Ogden said.
“I was disappointed that Kroger was able to convince this jury that a woman on her cellphone was somewhat responsible” when the ultimate point was for Kroger to provide proper security for its shoppers, he said.
Terrye Jones, an educator who was jury foreman, had no comment, according to her husband, Bernard Jones, a lawyer.
Smith suffered injuries, including to her knee and wrist, and post-traumatic disorder, Ogden said. The jury awarded her $12,189.19 for past medical expenses, $25,000 for future expenses and $75,000 for pain, suffering and mental anguish.
The day Smith was attacked, an off-duty Hinds County Sheriff’s deputy working security on the lot left to go to the bathroom.
Smith was attacked as she was attempting to enter her car. The man tried to rob and abduct her, according to the lawsuit.
She escaped by crawling out the passenger side, Ogden said. Her attacker jumped out, ran to another car and fled, Odgen said. He has not been caught.
Ogden said “between Linda Knox and Amy there were other women who were attacked in the parking lot.”
Knox, 63, lost sight in one eye when she was assaulted in June 2007. Her case is on appeal before the state Supreme Court.
Ogden said the lawsuits are not so much about money as they are for Kroger to address crime problems in its parking lot.
The I-55 store, he said, has the highest volume of people coming through its doors in the state.
After Smith’s lawsuit, Ogden said, the store put two off-duty sheriffs deputies in the parking lot.
“We just want Kroger to fix the problem in the parking lot so that the women who are shopping there don’t have to be afraid of having their purse snatched or being assaulted,” Ogden said.
As president of a local anticrime fighting group, Ogden said, “what we are trying to do is make these businesses aware of their responsibility in participating with us in solving the crime problems.”
Warrington Township police Officer Ken Hawthorn said Christopher Moyer called 911 on Friday night to say that he had killed his wife, 39-year-old Irina Moyer, and their son, Dylan, in the family’s suburban Philadelphia home.
Hawthorn said the 44-year-old Moyer spoke in a “polite and matter-of-fact” way and answered all questions before hanging up.
“He identified himself, he said he was the husband, he killed the mother and son, and that he was positive they were deceased and then he hung up the phone,” Hawthorn said.
Officers went to the residence and found the victims’ bodies in upstairs bedrooms. Christopher Moyer’s car was later found parked behind a township business near the train tracks. A few hours later, his body was found on the tracks in Hatboro in neighboring Montgomery County, where he had been struck and killed by a train.
District Attorney David Heckler told the Bucks County Courier Times that police found a bloody baseball bat in the home, and there are indications that the family may have been having financial problems. The paper said court records indicated that the state filed a lien against the couple’s four-bedroom house last fall.
Neighbors told the paper that the Moyers were nice but kept to themselves. They said Christopher Moyer was a freelance computer specialist who worked from home and believed his wife did similar work at home.
Christopher Moyer married Irina Geller in April 2002 while living in Bensalem and they bought the home on Redstone Drive a year later, according to court records. The paper said court records show no prior criminal charges against the couple and no history of domestic violence.
Lodi CA June 20 2011 An elderly woman was arrested Thursday morning after allegedly starting a fire in the Lockeford post office.
Rebecca Lov Anderson, 67, allegedly was agitated because she could not receive mail from her post office box, said Marsha Damzy, the head security officer for the post office. The fire started around 8 a.m., she said.
“The mail is in the P.O. boxes by 10 a.m. every morning,” Damzy said. “She wanted it by 8 a.m.”
The woman, described by Damzy as a white female in her late 60s to early 70s, allegedly set fire to two plastic post office receptacles containing flyers and junk mail. The mail did not contain letters, bills or important forms for Lockeford residents, Damzy said.
“It was junk,” she said.
The woman was arrested by San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputies. She is believed to be a transient who resides in her vehicle, said Deputy Les Garcia, public information officer for the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department.
The Mokelumne Fire District responded to the incident, but postal workers had already used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire by the time they arrived, said engineer Tom Cook. The building itself sustained no damage and no one was injured, Cook said.
The sheriff’s department will file its report to the county district attorney, and the U.S. Postal Service will also investigate the event and determine if it wants to file federal charges, Garcia said.
The episode, which happened at about 2 a.m. in the 900 block of Porter Street, drew a crowd of about 15 to 20 people, Vallejo Police Department spokesman Jeff Bassett said.
“A security guard sees this guy carrying what looked like a Tech-9, and the guard attempted to get the guy down on the ground,” Bassett said. “The guard was distracted by the crowd, so the guy gets up and runs.”
The guard, a 27-year-old Fairfield resident, fired at the suspect and missed, he said.
“But he chases him down, Tasers him and detains him until we get there,” Bassett said.
Meanwhile, the alleged submachine gun vanished from where the suspect left it on the street when the foot chase began, he said.
The Vallejo man was medically checked at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, cleared and released. The disappearance of the weapon made it impossible to arrest the suspect, so a report was sent to the district attorney for filing, Bassett said.
DADE CITY Fla June 20 2011 — A former security guard has sued an aluminum company and the owner of the Dade City Business Center, claiming she was fired after complaining about a worker who sexually harassed her.
Wanda J. Carter worked as a security guard from September to May at Stiefel Aluminum, a tenant at the business center on U.S. 301. According to the lawsuit she filed on May 18, an employee there would “moon” people, expose himself and perform simulated sex acts at work.
The lawsuit identifies that worker only by the nickname “Hillbilly.”
Carter complained around May 1 to Stiefel owner Jack Stiefel, according to the lawsuit, who said “if she were a man this wouldn’t be a problem.”
Stiefel told the Times: “I don’t have any comment and we are not aware of a lawsuit.”
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, also says Carter complained to others, including a supervisor at JDR Properties of Pasco, which owns the business center.
Hutch Brock, attorney for JDR Properties, said Carter never complained to the business center about such a matter.
“We were unaware of these problems until she made the complaint to EEOC,” Brock said. “We categorically deny that she was voicing any objections or complaints to us about any type of harassment.”
Carter filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after she was terminated last month.
The lawsuit says she was dismissed because of her complaints, but Brock said Carter was let go because she refused to take on more work hours that were offered to her. She was replaced with a full-time employee.
Ronald W. Fraley, Carter’s attorney, said he did not have Hillbilly’s real name. But he said it was his understanding that employee was recently fired.
“Apparently they are trying to clean up now,” Fraley said.
Source:St Petersburg Times
Chicago IL June 20 2011 Marty Zamora will be the first to tell you he’s a gun guy—he owns seven handguns and four rifles. He likes to shoot at a suburban range for sport, but he says that’s not the main reason he has them.
“Everybody on my block has been robbed but me,” says Zamora, a longtime resident of Pilsen who works for the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation. “The gangbangers, they know I’ve got guns, and I don’t get messed with.”
Zamora says he’s carefully complied with state regulations, which require him to register for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and to undergo background checks each time he buys a gun. He’s taken training classes, and so have his wife and son. But none of Zamora’s firearms are registered with the Chicago Police Department, though they’re supposed to be under the city’s gun law. He says he doesn’t trust the city’s motives.
“Why should I go register with the city and later have a guy knock at my door saying, ‘Hey, can we see your gun?’”
The registration requirement was the central part of a strict gun law hastily passed by the City Council at the behest of then-Mayor Richard Daley last July, just four days after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively knocked down Chicago’s 28-year-old handgun ban. Politically, at least, the city’s gun-control regulations have been a central part of its public safety policy, and Daley stressed that it was essential to collect data on where gun owners live so that first responders know when they’re approaching a location where weapons are present.
But nearly a year later, only a fraction of city gun owners have signed up, and critics say the law is more about politics than sound policy.
Despite potential penalties of $5,000 in fines or 90 days in jail, the city’s law appears to have little sway over those who’ve registered with the state to own or possess a firearm. Of the 116,173 Chicagoans who have FOID cards, only 2.7 percent have registered a gun with the city.
In fairness, not everyone with a FOID card actually owns a gun, and many Chicago gun-owners are exempt from city registration, including cops, security guards, correctional officers, active duty military, and rifle-owners who registered before the city law went into effect. City officials could not say how many gun-owners are exempt.
There are also thousands of additional guns in the city whose owners haven’t followed any sort of legal process—last year, for example, Chicago police seized an average of more than 20 illegal firearms a day.
Nor is the law functioning to screen out anyone prohibited from owning weapons—including people convicted of a violent crime, DUI, or gun offense—because only qualified applicants bother to go through the process. Through mid-May just 68 gun permit applications, or 2 percent, were not approved.
Police officials continue to say the law has helped keep cops safe. “When officers are dispatched to the residence of a gun registrant, notification is given of this fact so that officers may prepare to enter this location with an increased likelihood of weapons,” a spokeswoman said in a written statement issued in response to questions. “The presence of a weapon is going to escalate the risk of an officer charged with restoring peace to a situation, so this information is vital.”
But other cops I’ve spoken to dismiss the notion that the law aids their day-to-day work. “Since the registration began, it has changed absolutely nothing in the way we police,” says one veteran officer who doesn’t want to be named for fear of a run-in with higher-ups. He says cops don’t usually access the registration data—he has never seen it himself—but doubted it would make a huge difference if they did. “Police officers are trained to assume there’s a gun there, whether it’s a traffic stop or a domestic call.”
What’s more, Chicago’s gun law is rarely used to lock up offenders because state and federal statues carry much heavier penalties. Just 79 people a year, on average, have been convicted of violating city gun ordinances since 1982, Dan Mihalopoulos and I reported last year in a story for the Chicago News Cooperative. “It’s just an extra ticket you can hit them with,” says the cop. “But the bad guys are not getting their guns legitimately and they’re never going to.”
Andrew Papachristos, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts who studies gangs and gun crimes in Chicago, argues that gun laws should focus on the people perpetuating violence and the illegal ways they’re getting weapons. “We’re not talking about your father’s guns—we’re talking about guns used in crimes,” he says. “It’s the felons in possession of guns—that’s really where the efforts should be.”
The new law was supposed to help on that front as well. It requires that anyone convicted of a city, state, or federal gun law offense report it to the police department along with contact information, a photograph, and a copy of their driver’s license. Offenders who don’t comply can be jailed up to six months. In turn, the police department is directed to “create and maintain” a registry of the offenders.
But so far none of this has been done, according to 14th Ward alderman Ed Burke, a former cop who advocated for the provision last year. “We envisioned that, just like sex offenders have to register, that gun offenders should have to register, and we’d create a different violation if they didn’t,” Burke told newly installed police superintendent Garry McCarthy during a City Council hearing last week. “It probably wouldn’t surprise you that, like so many bureaucracies, this has yet to be implemented.”
McCarthy vowed to make it happen. “I’m a big believer in it,” he said.
Still, the new administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel has sent mixed messages about its gun control policies. As mayor, Daley was an unbending supporter of gun control. He regularly responded to news of violent flare-ups by calling for tougher gun laws at the state and federal levels, and he answered reporters’ questions about violence with rants about guns, gun manufacturers, the NRA, and Supreme Court justices who didn’t see things his way.
In the list of goals Emanuel released shortly before taking office, he promised to “strictly” enforce the city’s gun law. But the mayor’s press office avoided answering questions about the gun law for this story, instead issuing a statement: “The Mayor is committed to carrying the fight against illegal guns to Washington DC and Springfield until every illegal gun is off Chicago’s streets.”
McCarthy, however, has indicated he doesn’t share Daley’s gun control zeal. “I think that we have abolitionists on one side and NRA and those kind of folks on the other side, and frankly it’s too polarizing a debate,” McCarthy told aldermen. “I think that we can protect the Second Amendment rights of people to bear firearms while at the same time preventing the illegal flow of firearms into our urban centers.”
McCarthy praised the CPD’s “incredible job” getting guns out of criminals’ hands but added, “That’s not good enough. The question is, what do we do after that?”
The police chief didn’t get into specifics, and aldermen didn’t ask him for any. But most are unwilling to talk about changing the existing law.
“Hopefully people will do the right thing and do the registrations like they’re supposed to,” says Ninth Ward alderman Anthony Beale, who helped shepherd the law through the council last year. “But if they’re not, we need to promote it.”