By: Rick McCann
Private Officer International
Paul Cox, a 43 year old army veteran had served his country well during two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the recipient of numerous medals for bravery, combat heroism and good conduct.
When he retired from the army and moved back home to Illinois he took a job as an armed guard while pursing is life long ambition of becoming a police officer.
Everything was falling into place and life was good until 1:43 AM on February 9th.
It was at that very moment that his life would change forever, his dreams stolen from him in a flash of gunfire.
As he stood in the parking lot of a local nightclub, handcuffed, arrested for shooting a man that Cox said tried to run him over, he repeated that he had done nothing wrong. He was only defending himself he said, as he had done many times before as a soldier and yet this time, he was the one in trouble.
While a trial by his peers found him not guilty of attempted murder, they did find that he had used unreasonable deadly force in a situation that he should have avoided and sentenced him to two years in prison on assault charges.
Jeremy Holmes, a Nashville TN security officer trying to protect customers from a drunk driver in the parking lot of a local nightclub also fired his weapon striking a patron sitting behind the wheel of his vehicle.
Holmes had ordered the man out of his car and when he failed to comply, Holmes fired striking the man in the neck. The security officer said that the driver tried backing over him but some witnesses denied that accusation and eventually the former security officer took a plea deal and was sentenced to a long prison term for murder.
Security officers as a whole are on the front line of security and safety for many businesses and most perform their duties to the best of their ability with limited training, low wages and little recognition for the jobs that they do. Often their intentions are just to do their job like anyone else and go home but instead many are becoming victims of crime, suspects in assaults and defendants in civil trials for unlawful arrests or excessive use of force.
While most states do require minimal training, the training has not kept up with the increasing demands that private security officers face each day.
Many security personnel have seen their duties expand and the old “Observe and Report” abolished to meet today’s demands for a more proactive-hands-on security force.
Assaults on security officers have increased dramatically while armed confrontations have become a frequent part of the security officer’s reality as they often respond to crimes in progress ranging from shoplifting to robbery and even murders.
In just three years, 2008-2011, more than 80,000 assaults on private security were reported resulting in more than 18,000 serious injuries and 267 deaths.
That number continues to grow as security officers are deployed in positions involving conflicts and crimes, emergencies and armed felons.
While few other professions besides law enforcement has seen such violence against employees, no single state or federal agency has taken the increase serious, conducted studies or investigations or looked into ways of making the workplace safer for security officers.
Nor has any security industry regulator deemed the training requirements of security officers in their state to be inadequate for the duties and requirements of today’s security officer.
Security officer Jessie Monroe Walker 63, was asked to intervene when a man and woman began arguing in the parking lot of a jewelry store in Knoxville TN where he was on duty as an armed security officer in 2009. He too responded and tried to perform his duties to the best of his ability while protecting himself. But when things escalated, he too improperly used deadly force, shooting both persons involved in the confrontation and wound up in prison for aggravated assault.
Nationwide, arrests, lawsuits and prison is often part of the growing equation for the private security industry. Many security employees unnecessarily face these hardships, liabilities and harm alone because of poor training, a lack of management and concern for the employee’s well-being and the nature of the current private security environment and standards.
EUTAWVILLE SC Nov 1 2011– A nightclub bouncer was shot in the shoulder during an altercation early Monday, according to an Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
A 33-year-old man working as a bouncer at the Riverside Club on Boatswain Street in Eutawville was taken to an undisclosed hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound to the right shoulder.
The bouncer’s condition is unknown, but he was conscious and talking to investigators at the hospital.
A 21-year-old Eutawville man was taken into custody by security guards after the shooting. He was airlifted to a hospital with head injury sustained in the altercation, the report said.
Security guards told deputies that the club was clearing out at 3:45 a.m. after a “scuffle” between a bouncer and another man in the parking lot, according to the report.
The guards heard a gunshot and turned to find the two men wrestling on the ground. A .380-caliber handgun was taken from one man while the bouncer appeared to have been shot in the right shoulder, the report said.
The man who reportedly had the handgun was detained until deputies arrived. The weapon, a magazine, a spent shell casing and a loose round were also turned over to deputies.
No one else is believed to have been injured in the incident.
Investigators have yet to determine what started the altercation.
Wellston, MO Nov 1 2011 – A Normandy High School security officer is alleged to have injured a student so severely that the teen is hospitalized in critical condition.
The incident happened October 21, and the family of 18-year-old Damontae Woods says school officials told them there was an altercation between the teen and the safety officer.
Woods was rushed to a local hospital, and relatives say he needed open-heart surgery.
His mom invited NewsChannel 5 to see her injured son.
The family and their attorney says Woods was late for school, and was in the hallway with friends when a security guard saw him.
He ran, and the guard chased him outside.
Attorney Bob Herman says the guard threw Woods to the ground and kneed him in the back.
“His heart was ruptured in two pieces and was torn away from the cardiac lining, and this is going to a have a life-long affect on Demontae,” said Herman.
“This officer needs to be removed from the school, any school, any police department that he works for, because he doesn’t have any idea how much he injures people,” said Woods’ grandmother, Luella Woods.
The Woods family is considering filing a lawsuit against the district.
Officials with the Normandy School District released the following statement:
“Because information regarding students is protected by federal law, we cannot comment on the matter. However, please be assured that the Normandy School District strives to ensure the safety of all students and staff members.”
“Because the secondary employment in this instance has the appearance of a conflict of interest, it should be terminated,” said chief ethics officer Monika Johnson in an Oct. 24 opinion, unless the city can ensure that the officers’ company doesn’t provide services to MPD, “the department where the city officers are assigned.”
The opinion was requested by city auditor Leon Pattman, whose department is conducting an in-depth audit of the MPD Organized Crime Unit. The audit was requested by Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong shortly after he took over in April for the retired Larry Godwin.
“I just think it’s good business practice when there’s a change in administration to do an audit to see if you’re in good standing and if there are problems, how can we correct them and move forward,” Armstrong said Thursday.
Johnson’s report addresses a company called Investigative Techniques Unlimited, created by MPD Sgt. Paul Sherman. ITU contracts with the federal government to provide officer training. Sherman, who coordinated the Organized Crime Unit’s undercover program, had the authority to recommend that officers take training at ITU.
Sherman left MPD abruptly Thursday, receiving a line-of-duty disability retirement for back and shoulder problems resulting from his police work. Sherman began working for MPD in June 1995 and his retirement is effective Tuesday.
Employees of MPD’s Organized Crime Unit generally receive specialized training from the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy, which is sponsored and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
According to Johnson’s opinion, the RCTA entered into an agreement with ITU to provide some of the training for a fee. Johnson’s opinion said that Sherman and other officers received permission from MPD to create and work for the company.
“I went through the chain of command with the Memphis Police Department and all city employment for myself and other employees with ITU and it was approved by director Godwin and then-Deputy Director Toney Armstrong,” Sherman said.
Armstrong disputed Sherman’s account, saying that OCU officers reported directly to Godwin at the time. Armstrong said he knew that OCU officers went to the ITU training facility in Meridian, Miss., but never approved it.
Godwin said he sought advice from MPD’s legal adviser at the time, Gerald Thornton, about the officers’ plan to create an off-duty business to train police officers. Godwin said he intends to send a letter to city auditor Pattman to answer questions related to the audit.
“I feel this is a premature ruling without all the facts,” Godwin said of the ethics opinion.
Johnson said in the opinion that it was a problem that Sherman could recommend “approval for officers to attend RCTA courses.”
“The OCU officers who also work for ITU are being compensated by ITU for teaching RCTA courses that city employees attend,” said Johnson’s opinion. “Accordingly, it appears that these OCU officers are, in fact, obtaining a financial benefit by virtue of RCTA’s relationship with the city. …
“Additionally, there is the appearance of a conflict of interest, especially with (Sherman), because this individual has the ability to influence and/or create demand for services that could result in his company being compensated.”
Johnson said OCU officers employed by ITU “should either terminate their employment with ITU or take appropriate measures to ensure that ITU will not teach courses attended by city employees.”
Las Vegas court ruling allows street performers lawsuit for First Amendment violations www.privateofficer.com
Now, a new court ruling suggests police and casino security personnel will be held accountable if the free speech rights of those performing on the sidewalks are threatened.
The ruling was issued last week by U.S. District Judge Philip Pro, who refused to dismiss the bulk of a lawsuit claiming two street performers were wrongly detained by Venetian security officers and Las Vegas police.
In his ruling, Pro rejected claims by the two performers that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a policy of harassing individuals staging street performances.
However, he allowed the performers, who are brothers, to continue pursuing claims against Sheriff Doug Gillespie related to First Amendment issues. The brothers contend Gillespie has failed to adequately train Metro Police officers on free speech conflicts that the American Civil Liberties Union says arise when casinos try to prevent street performers from bothering would-be casino patrons on the sidewalk.
Pro wrote that the plaintiffs showed that “confusion reigns amongst line officers when confronted with casino property owners claiming rights to the sidewalks on the Strip.” The judge added that Gillespie was aware of the confusion.
“Thus, a reasonable jury could find Gillespie was deliberately indifferent to the risk that the current policies and training were inadequate,” the judge wrote.
Pro’s ruling was an interim one on whether individual lawsuit claims should be dismissed. As such, it did not mean any claims have been proven.
Both sides will have a chance to prove and disprove the remaining claims at a trial that has yet to be scheduled, though it could be called off if the suit is settled.
The ruling came in a lawsuit filed against Metro Police and the Venetian by Jason Perez-Morciglio and his brother, Sebastian Perez-Morciglio. The two dress up as a Zorro-like bandit and Darth Vader, respectively, and perform on the sidewalks along the Strip.
Their suit was filed by ACLU of Nevada attorneys after the brothers were detained, handcuffed and taken to a Venetian security office on Jan. 15, 2010.
Some of the facts in the case are disputed, but in his order, Pro summarized the incident this way: Jason Perez-Morciglio was in costume, but his brother was not, when they walked in front of the Venetian en route to other Strip hotels to the south.
Jason insists he was on a public sidewalk during the incident at issue, but the Venetian says he was in its private fountain area. Metro says its officers had difficulty determining whether trespassing was involved since the front of the Venetian looks like a European street, “making it difficult to ascertain where the sidewalk ends and the Venetian’s private property starts.”
Jason was approached by a Venetian guard, who said he had seen Jason give a sword to a tourist and receive money in return. Jason denied he sold anything to the tourist, but the guard told him soliciting was not permitted on the property. In additon, Jason said he was told he was on private property and had to leave immediately. He refused, saying he was on a public sidewalk and was not trespassing.
When Jason stood his ground, he was handcuffed by Venetian security and taken to the hotel security office. Sebastian then approached the Venetian security officers and asked what his brother had done wrong. He was told to leave or he would be arrested. When he refused, he was handcuffed and taken to the hotel security office, where both men were searched.
About 20 minutes later, two Metro Police officers arrived and appeared to back up the Venetian security officers in insisting the brothers had been trespassing, Pro’s order said. The officers replaced the Venetian handcuffs on the men with Metro handcuffs, searched them and gave them trespass warnings, Pro wrote in his order.
The brothers were eventually released without being charged, but the incident left them “afraid to go back to the sidewalk in front of the Venetian for fear of being arrested,” Pro wrote in his ruling.
In their suit, the Perez-Morciglio brothers accused the Venetian and its officers of violating their First Amendment and due process rights as well as their constitutional rights against unlawful arrest, to be free from unreasonable searches and to be protected from unlawful detention.
They also accused the Venetian and its employees of false imprisonment, battery, infliction of emotional distress and negligent training and supervision of the security officers.
In asking that the suit be dismissed on a summary judgment basis, or without a trial, attorneys for the Venetian argued “the sale of plastic swords is not expressive conduct” protected by the First Amendment, that Nevada law specifically allows hotel operators to remove trespassers and that the men suffered no injuries.
Pro dismissed the brothers’ constitutional claims against the Venetian, as he rejected the ACLU’s arguments that the Venetian security officers were state agents acting under color of state law.
But Pro allowed the brothers to continue with their state law claims against the resort, including a charge that excessive force was used to remove them from the sidewalk and that the resort lacks authority to remove the public from the sidewalk.
“This court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals already have ruled (in a Culinary Union case) that the sidewalk in front of the Venetian is a public sidewalk and Venetian defendants have no right to exclude members of the public from the public sidewalk,” Pro ruled.
As to the Metro Police portion of the lawsuit, attorneys for the police department said the claims against it should be dismissed because its officers did not personally participate in removing the Perez-Morciglio brothers from the sidewalk. Further, the department’s attorneys said, the officers never told the two they could not engage in free speech on the sidewalk, nor did they arrest or cite the plaintiffs for being on the sidewalk.
Pro found that in looking at the Metro officers’ intent in the situation, “No reasonable jury could find defendants acted with the intent to chill or deter plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights.”
While Pro dismissed First Amendment violation allegations against the officers personally, he allowed them to stand against the police department. He also allowed the brothers’ lawsuit against Metro to continue on their contention that the two had been arrested by the police officers in the Venetian security office and then searched there without probable cause.
The police department scored a victory in the ruling when Pro dismissed allegations that Metro has a “policy or custom of violating First Amendment rights” along the Strip.
“Rather, the evidence shows that while some officers will support the casinos, others will support the street performers,” Pro ruled.
As to the allegation that Gillespie failed to train officers on First Amendment issues, police department attorneys argued unsuccessfully that those claims should be stricken from the lawsuit.
“LVMPD’s training discusses citizens’ First Amendment rights, though it does not specifically break down the various individual public sidewalks in Clark County or the Venetian sidewalk in particular,” said a court filing for the police department by attorneys at the Las Vegas law firm Marquis Aurbach Coffing. “There is no law or duty on the part of the sheriff to ensure his training addresses each specific location in town for various specific constitutional rights.”
On top of that, they said, the officers in the Venetian incident have already declared they are aware citizens are free to use the sidewalk to express their First Amendment rights and that street performers have a right to perform on the public sidewalk.
In another federal case involving street performers, the same attorneys agreed in January 2010 to a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the ACLU that Metro police would not cite or arrest street performers solely for engaging in street performances.
That agreement also said the sidewalks and pedestrian bridges along the Strip are a “traditional public forum for First Amendment purposes,” and that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Nevada, has found street performing is protected expressive conduct. The agreement further said street performing is legal even when it involves the acceptance of unsolicited tips and the non-coercive solicitation of tips.
That agreement was reached to resolve 2009 lawsuit filed by guitarist and singer Suzette Banasik and Elvis Presley impersonator William Jablonski, who claimed they had been harassed and cited by Metro police for performing on the Strip.
The lawsuits in 2009 and 2010 involving street performers are part of a long-running legal battle over free expression, distribution of adult material by handbillers and other commercial activities on the Strip and at the Fremont Street Experience attraction in downtown Las Vegas.
A four-year agreement between MetroHealth and Cleveland that gave the security force the authority to write the tickets expired in 2009. But since officials at the hospital and the city didn’t notice, MetroHealth’s employees continued to write citations that represented close to $74,000 in fines. Money from the tickets, if paid, went to the city.
MetroHealth Chief Administrative Officer Dan Lewis, who was hired in 2007, said that the city issues the equipment to write tickets. “As long as we had the equipment, we thought we had the authority to do so,” he said.
MetroHealth spokeswoman Phyllis Marino said the expiration went unnoticed at the county’s taxpayer-subsidized hospital because the agreement predated those in management.
Cleveland’s Interim Law Director Barbara Langhenry said the city considers the tickets valid. She said that even though the agreement stated that it must be extended in writing, as far as the city was concerned, the extension was agreed to verbally.
Still, on Sept. 21, Cleveland’s Director of Public Safety Martin Flask sent a letter to Lewis stating that a review of city ordinances earlier this year confirmed the health system’s armed security force does not have the right to enforce parking and traffic violations.
MetroHealth stopped writing tickets last month after being notified by the city, Lewis said.
Cleveland officials began looking into the authority of MetroHealth’s security force after receiving a call last fall from someone within the health system’s protective services department, asking about legal rights of its employees, Flask said. MetroHealth’s Lewis said this week that he was unaware of such a call being made.
Flask’s letter encouraged Lewis and MetroHealth to apply to the state for certification “to act as police officers for the hospital.” The process is two-step, including a state application as well as approval from the Cleveland Police Department.
Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said he supports MetroHealth’s effort to become a certified police force.
Cleveland, in conjunction with the state, has approved a handful of certified police forces, including ones at the Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Association, the Regional Transit Authority, and Cleveland State University.
Earlier this year, Cleveland State’s certified police department realized it had let its mutual aid agreement with the city expire between April 2010 and April 2011. A drunken-driving citation issued during that period was dismissed because the Cleveland State officers did not have jurisdiction over the street on which the citation was issued.
Cleveland State and Cleveland signed a new agreement April 20.
MetroHealth is now in the process of applying to become a certified police force as well as obtaining a new parking and traffic ticket agreement from the city, Lewis said.
The department, which has about 50 employees, lost its leader last month. Tom Miller announced retirement and took a position as second in command at the Medina County Sheriff’ Office.
Michael Grace, who is not a full-time MetroHealth employee but a contract worker, took over the protective services department when Miller left. Grace told MetroHealth board members last month that Cleveland’s second district police worked well with the hospital’s staff and always respond in a timely manner.
The 2005 agreement between MetroHealth and the city had detailed how the health system’s employees would improve “police presence” and be of mutual benefit to the city and health system. The agreement details specific streets around the health system’s main campus as well as MetroHealth’s Senior Health and Wellness Center at the old Deaconess Hospital where the health system’s employees would be allowed to write tickets.
MetroHealth’s employees are issued badges, like police officers. The ticket information, obtained through a public records request at the Cleveland Clerk of Courts, shows that officers with badge numbers that match the MetroHealth police department’s wrote tickets for vehicles in no parking zones, fire lanes, crosswalks and other off-limit areas.
Clerk of Courts public information officer Obie Shelton said it was difficult to get an exact number of tickets because at least one badge number matched that of a Cleveland police officer. Shelton said the matching badge number is very unusual – none of the certified police forces in the city have duplicate badges. It’s not clear how MetroHealth was able to issue a repetitive badge, Shelton said.
To calculate the unauthorized issued tickets, Shelton said the clerk’s office cross-referenced the badge numbers and the locations in which the tickets were written in the past two years.
Carrollton police say Jasmen Gonzalez was last seen Saturday night at an apartment complex. Her body was located Sunday afternoon several blocks away behind a residence.
Autopsy results were pending Monday.
Police initially said the girl may have wandered away from where the family was staying, but Lt. Doug Mitchell says police now believe the child was abducted. Mitchell says the killing is not believed to have been random.
He says investigators have examined an SUV and that a person of interest has been interviewed.
Police say no one has been arrested.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska Nov 1 2011— A disgruntled former employee opened fire in an Anchorage hotel and killed a manager, setting off a four-hour search that ended with the gunman’s arrest, authorities said early Sunday.
Kerry Fadely, 55, died in the shooting that occurred shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel, police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker said.
Police locked down the hotel and carried out a room to room search. Police also surrounded the suspect’s residence.
Victor Rodriguez Flores, 45, was arrested nearly four hours after the shooting near his home, located in the hotel neighborhood.
Sgt. Joe Masten told The Associated Press that the shooter was a disgruntled former employee who had been fired. He said the female manager was shot in a hotel kitchen.
Police said Fadely had been the suspect’s supervisor until his dismissal a week ago.
Rodriguez Flores was charged with first-degree murder, Parker said.
He said some hotel employees witnessed the shooting and quickly identified the suspect for police.
Parker said hotel guests were asked to remain in their quarters and were evacuated as police methodically searched the building.
There were no reports of any other injuries.
MONTPELIER, Vt. Nov 1 2011(AP) — A Vermont couple thought they were getting a sweet deal on real Vermont maple syrup when they found a good price for it online.
Henry Marckres, a maple specialist with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, says it turns out the syrup they bought in 2009 wasn’t real at all. He says tests show it was pure cane sugar.
Marckres says it didn’t take long for the couple from Vermont — the country’s largest producer of maple — to discern a phony.
To protect the purity of Vermont’s signature crop, senators in Vermont, Maine and New York have co-sponsored a bill that would make it a felony to sell fake maple syrup as the real thing. It would also increase the penalties from one year to five years in prison.
Ephren Taylor is at the center of two separate lawsuits filed this month in Georgia and North Carolina. He’s accused of convincing ministers to give him the Sunday pulpit, and then luring churchgoers with false promises of guaranteed returns.
The lawsuits claim Taylor was running a complex Ponzi scheme.
Taylor criticized his detractors in a statement and compared himself to other financial heavyweights who were “crucified” amid the economic downturn.
The Secret Service and Georgia Secretary of State’s office say they’re investigating Taylor. No criminal charges have been filed.
Springfield MO Nov 1 2011 Security officer Mark Box originally thought the used diaper and shredded girl’s clothing found at Joyland Learning Center was trash someone decided to throw over the playground fence.
But then it kept happening.
“I was very concerned about why they were doing it,” Box told the News-Leader. “As it continued, I was thinking there’s someone with a real problem out there.”
Six times between Oct. 1 and 22, a white, middle-aged man could be seen on surveillance video walking inside the fenced area of the playground, leaving behind “cutup girl’s clothing and diapers soiled with urine,” search warrant documents in a police investigation said.
Box said he called police after the first incident, when a worker at the child care facility found the items on the playground.
Police began patrolling the area, and came across Rusty Lee Mann, 32, on Oct. 22.
According to the search warrant documents, Mann was riding a bicycle wearing “a black mini skirt and what appeared to be women’s knee high boots,” in the area where the diapers and clothing had been found.
Mann admitted to being an registered sex offender. Court documents show Mann was convicted in 2000 of first-degree child molestation and sexual misconduct involving a 9-year-old girl.
Per state law, Mann was arrested and accused of being a registered sex offender within 500 feet of a school. The child care facility at Central Assembly on North Boonville Avenue is across from Pipkin Middle School. Mann has not been charged related to this incident.
The search warrant document was obtained by the News-Leader Friday.
According to that search warrant return, when the arresting officer asked Mann to stand up to be searched, the same type of diaper that had been left at the playground fell out of the bottom of the skirt.
Police also recovered a cellphone, which contained 612 photos and videos. According to the search warrant documents, a majority of those images were pornography, several of which appeared to involve children, authorities say.
According to the search warrant, the screen on the phone was too small to be sure the age of the people in the photos and videos.
Mann was later interviewed at the jail, where police say he initially said he didn’t know why he left diapers and cut up clothing at the playground.
Later, according to the search warrant return, he offered an explanation: “In all honesty, I’m thinking three things here. One is sexual frustration, two convenience, and three, the blackouts.”
No further explanation of Mann’s statements were included in the documents.
Police got the search warrant to seize evidence from where Mann told police he was living. Police found his tent behind a strip mall in the 1300 block of West Grand Street.
In it, police found 51 pairs of girl’s underwear, one package of diapers, nine diapers soiled with urine, four toy baby dolls and several items of girl’s clothing, among other potential evidence, search warrant documents said.
In two bags seized during Mann’s arrest, police found three folding knives and black face paint, among other items, search warrant documents said.
Mann remains in Greene County Jail on charges unrelated to the Joyland incidents. According to court documents in that case, Mann is accused of beating up a man and throwing the alleged victim’s cellphone when the man tried to call police.
Box said police haven’t told him whether they believe Mann caused the problems at Joyland, but he assumes Mann was responsible.
“It hasn’t happened since then,” Box said.
Police said the 21-year-old Missoula man was very intoxicated when security tried to escort him out. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and the security guard suffered no injuries in the confrontation.
Police also cited one of the event managers for disorderly conduct Sunday morning, saying the manager continued to play loud music after the event’s noise permit expired.
CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC Nov 1 2011 – A Mount Pleasant coach is behind bars Monday morning after being arrested and charged with sexually molesting children.
Authorities arrested 32-year-old Neal ReVille of Mt. Pleasant. ReVille is charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and three counts of lewd acts on a minor. On Saturday, bond was set at $675,000.
ReVille has worked as assistant upper school principal at Coastal Christian Preparatory School. He also has been tennis coach at Bishop England High School.
Court documents say ReVille is accused of inappropriately touching and performing sex on three teen males.
He is being held in the Charleston County jail. It was unclear if he has a lawyer.
MANASSAS VA Nov 1 2011 – A Prince William County judge today found an illegal immigrant from Bolivia guilty of six charges including felony murder stemming from a drunken driving wreck that killed a nun from the Richmond area and seriously injured two others.
Sentencing for Carlos Martinelly Montano, whose case stirred the national immigration debate and led to an investigation at the Department of Homeland Security, was set for Feb. 3.
Sister Denise Mosier was killed in the head-on collision in August 2010 as she and two colleagues from Richmond headed to a monastery in Prince William.
He faces a sentence of up to 40 years for felony murder and a maximum term of 30 years on five other felonies to which he had pleaded guilty earlier today. He had pleaded not guilty to the felony murder charge.
Martinelly showed no emotion after the verdict by Prince William Circuit Judge Lon E. Farris, who deliberated only 10 minutes.
After the verdict, Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert said that he would ask for a sentence above the guidelines, given the seriousness of the offenses.
Ebert said Martinelly, who was in the process of being deported at the time of the wreck, “thumbed his nose at the law” despite many opportunities to change his ways.
Martinelly pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, two counts of maiming as a result of driving while intoxicated, driving on a suspended or revoked license and a third DUI offense within five years.
Farris denied a motion to dismiss the felony murder charge. He said the third-offense DWI charge against Martinelly when he had been ordered not to drive was among the factors warranting his trial on the felony murder accusation.
Sister Charlotte Lange, who along with Sister Connie Ruth Lupton was seriously injured in the wreck, testified for 20 minutes today, vividly recalling the moments before the accident and the minutes afterward before she lost consciousness.
Lange, the driver of the vehicle, told the court she was able to use the cell phone of a witness who came to the car to call the Prince William monastery to which the three Benedictine sisters were headed to report there had been a terrible accident.
During a break in the proceeding, Lange was asked if this was the first time she had seen the accused, who sat less than 10 feet from her in the courtroom as she testified.
“I did not look at him,” she said.
The sisters described the permanent, extensive injuries they suffered. Lupton told the court that “a bone from a corpse” was grafted onto one of her legs, which remains shorter than the other.
Also testifying was Cecilia Dwyer, the mother superior of St. Benedict’s Monastery in Bristow. When asked about the conditions of the nuns who were injured, she said, “Those of us who know them well know they are struggling.”
Ebert said he would ask for the stern sentence despite statements from the sisters and their order expressing their forgiveness for Martinelly, whose family joined in a circle in the parking lot after the trial, where they could be heard crying.
“I appreciate their feelings and their teaching and profession. They’re forgiving people,” Ebert said of the nuns. But, he added, that he also believed they would want to see the law carried out.
The crash led Prince William County to file suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to get information about illegal immigrants it had reported under a 2007 ordinance.
The wreck also resulted in an investigation by Homeland Security and a decision by the state to refuse federal work permit cards as proof of lawful residence. Martinelly had used that document to get a driver’s license while scheduled for deportation.
Source:richmond daily news
Lucius Graham, 36, of Roslindale, and John Bernburg, 49, of Lakeville, were arrested Friday night after officers found them in the basement of one of the buildings in the Archdale Village public housing development, Boston police said. They were charged with breaking and entering a residence in the night, larceny, and malicious destruction of property, according to police.
Officers responded to reports of voices in the basement of 100 Brookway Road and found a door to the area wedged shut with what appeared to be a broom handle. After building management officials opened the door, police found copper and water pipes all over the ground, as well as copper pipes pulled from the wall, police said in a statement.
Police also found Graham and Bernburg hiding behind a trash barrel and ordered them to come out, police said. The suspects allegedly told police they were collecting leftover copper so that they could sell it.
Officers found a barrel full of copper pipes in the basement, and, during booking, found a saw in Graham’s pocket, which the suspects admitted they used to cut the pipes, police said.
When the saw was taken from him, Graham allegedly asked, “Can I get my saw back?”
One of the employees was fired immediately, said Lydia Agrow, spokeswoman for the BHA. Because the other employee has more than five consecutive years of service, civil service law requires that he have a hearing, Agrow said. The hearing is scheduled for Friday.
The two were arraigned today in West Roxbury Municipal Court, and both pleaded not guilty. They were released without monetary bail, and both will have to retain their own attorneys. They are slated to return to court Dec. 30 for pre-trial hearings.
WARTBURG TN Nov 1 2011 – A Loudon County man was sentenced Monday for raping his two-year-old son and videotaping it.
Edward William Crandall received a 44-year sentence.
He was convicted in September in a one-day trial on felony charges of aggravated child rape, sexual exploitation and aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.
The sheriff’s office arrested Crandall in July 2010 following an investigation.
Judge Eugene Eblen held the sentencing hearing in Morgan County Criminal Court because he travels a circuit of four counties.
COOKEVILLE TN Nov 1 2011 — A Jamestown man who is a certified police officer was arrested here Sunday on charges of aggravated kidnapping, according to the Cookeville Police Department.
Jesse Lee Wade, 38, who is a security officer for Fairfield Glade Security, is accused of kidnapping his girlfriend after an incident at Spankies restaurant around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, according to a report by Officer Jamey McCurry.
The officer was patrolling on S. Jefferson Ave. when he saw a vehicle make a sharp turn and drive up onto a sidewalk, he said.
“I pulled behind the vehicle and activated my blue lights as the driver of the vehicle was exiting the vehicle,” the officer’s report says. “The driver stepped out and identified himself as a cop.”
But at the same time, a woman in the car began screaming out for help, even as the driver, later identified as Jesse Lee Wade, tried to calm her, Officer McCurry said.
“The driver was wearing a Police Training Academy T-shirt. He stated his duty weapon was in the car. I checked the driver for weapons. I then secured the duty weapon in my patrol vehicle.”
The weapon was loaded and in a holster, the report says.
Officer McCurry then talked to the woman, who told him that Jesse Lee Wade had had some beers while they were at the restaurant and that he became upset when he saw her talking to her ex-boyfriend.
Allegedly, after they left the restaurant, Wade forced her into his truck and drove off, hitting the dashboard and yelling at her as he drove.
Allegedly, Wade told Officer McCurry that he had merely come to pick up his girlfriend and that she had “freaked out.”
But the woman told the officer she had feared for her life.
Officer McCurry arrested Wade and he was booked into the Putnam jail, where his bond was set at $25,000. He posted bond and was released and has a November 28 court date.
Source: Herald Citizen
A Woodland Hills family told police that a thief stole the ashes when they broke into a sport utility vehicle at a mall near Owensmouth Avenue and Erwin Street on the evening of Oct. 24 and grabbed some luggage, detectives with the LAPD’s Topanga area station said.
Security guards at the mall found the duffel bag lying in the parking lot about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, police said. The guards checked the bag, immediately recognized what it contained and called authorities.
The bag contained “many of the items” taken from the SUV, including a brown box which had a white plastic bag inside that held the remains of 88-year-old Betty Weikert, who passed away in February, police said.
Weikert’s grandson, Matt Powell, says her dying request was to unite her ashes with her husband’s.
“First when we realized what had happened, we were just shocked. We couldn’t believe the car had been broken into,” Powell told KTLA.
“Then we realized that the ashes were taken,” he said. “We just couldn’t believe what happened.”
Powell says he is happy the thieves apparently had a heart.
“We’re definitely glad to have them back, so we certainly appreciate it,” he said.
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