Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Woman and Child Abducted From Crash Scene

CSO-- The ex-husband of a missing Bucks County mother appealed this morning for the return of her and their 9-year-old daughter, whose disappearance is being treated as an abduction.

FBI Special Agent J.J. Klaver at the same time said, without elaboration, that investigators are following a number of leads in the hunt for Bonnie Sweeten and her daughter Julia Rakoczy.

Anthony Racoczy said that he and Bonnie Sweeten had since maintained a good relationship since they divorced in 2003, and that he knew no reason for anyone to harm her or their daughter.

"I'm still in shock," he said on NBC's Today show. "She's a great mother."

Earlier this morning, Philadelphia police located Sweeten's SUV in Center City.

The discovery came nearly 12 hours after Sweeten called 911 saying she was in the trunk of a car and that she and and Julia had been abducted after an accident in Upper Southampton, Bucks County.

Her daughter, she said was still in the family's Yukon Denali.

A police officer spotted the SUV about 1:30 a.m. today at 15th and Chestnut Streets in Center City, two blocks from the cell phone tower that picked up Sweeten's call, police said. A parking ticket was on the windshied.

Earlier, an Amber Alert was activated for the child.

When Sweeten, 38, called police shortly before 2 p.m. yesterday, she said she was in the trunk of a dark-colored 1990s Cadillac. She said she and her daughter had been abducted by two black males, Klaver, the FBI spokesman, said yesterday.

Sweeten told a 911 operator that her daughter was still in her family vehicle.

The mother reported she and daughter were taken after they were involved in a minor accident with the Cadillac on Street Road in Upper Southampton Township, about a mile north of the city, Klaver said.

Police impounded a black Cadillac with front end damage in Hunting Park last night, but the FBI indicated it was not linked to the investigation.

Julia is described in the Amber Alert as 4 feet, 1 inch tall, 59 pounds, with long brown hair, blue eyes, and a dime-sized birthmark on her forehead.

"She loves the Phillies. She plays softball. She always dances around the house," her father said.

Her mother is described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall, 130 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information about the case was urged to call 911.

Anthony Rakoczy and Sweeten were divorced in Bucks County Court in May 2003. Online court records indicate no ongoing disputes or court actions since the decree was granted.

This morning, Rakoczy said that when he was told of the 911 call, "I was thinking that this is not real, that this is stuff you see on TV." He described Sweeten as very organized, on top of her children's many activities, and as someone with no known enemies.

"I don't understand why anyone would want to keep them," he said. "Just let them go."

Sweeten has since remarried to Richard Sweeten, who operates a landscaping service. According to her Facebook page, she has three daughters, and is a 1989 graduate of Bensalem High School."

Her older daughter, Paige, 15, wrote on her Facebook page: "im asking everyone, to please pray for my mom and sister pray please."

Julia attends Belmont Hills Elementary School in Bensalem. A parent of another child there said that Sweeten had been very active at the school. The parent, who asked not to be identified, said news of the kidnapping broke before a student performance at the school last night.

"The word spread quickly and no one knew what to say," the parent said. "Everyone is shocked. We just pray they come back home safely and we can see them once again in the school she so generously shares her time with." (source)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

On Hiatus For A Week

Tomorrow I'm headed off to beautiful Jupiter, Florida for a lovely week of basking in the sun and forgetting my troubles up here in Connecticut.
I wish I had someone to keep on my entries top of any interesting crime news or things I'd like to blo, but I'll just have to catch up to all my news when I return.

I hope all my followers (and you to random or anonymous readers out there) a safe and happy week!
... And happy Memorial Day! Let's keep in mind all those who have sacrificed for others.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Death Penalty for Ledford

DALLAS, Ga. -- A jury sentenced Michael Ledford to death Friday for the murder of Jennifer Ewing along the Silver Comet Trail.

The same jury found Ledford guilty on Monday of sexually assaulting and killing Ewing on the popular cycling trail in 2006.

"Death is the only penalty that fits this crime," said Paulding County prosecutor Drew Lane during his closing arguments.

During the sentencing portion of the trial, jurors heard from mental health experts who talked about Ledford's problems, including his alcoholism, and how it affects his actions. The defense team also brought in some of Ledford's family members to help plead for his life.

"It makes him crazy," said Sherry Byess, Ledford's sister.

Byess testified Wednesday that drinking turns him into another man.

Ledford's defense team took the jury on an in-depth journey into Ledford's troubled life.

Family members of the 53-year-old victim read emotional accounts of their grief in court Tuesday -- which caused some jurors to cry.

Mary Kay Letourneau to Host "Hot Teacher Night"

Oh, not THIS bitch!

People Mag-Still haven't finalized Memorial Day weekend plans? If in the Seattle vicinity, there's always "Hot Teacher Night" at the Fuel Sports Eats & Beats bar, featuring that head of the class blast from the past, Mary Kay Letourneau – described by ABC Seattle affiliate WJBF-TV on Friday as "the teacher convicted of raping one of her students."

Letourneau, now 47, first met pupil Vili Fualaa, now 26, when he was in the second grade. Their relationship became physical when he was 12 and she was 34, which resulted in Letourneau's receiving a 7½-year prison sentence. She was released in 2004 and, a year later, the two married.

"It's turned into sort of a love story," Fuel owner Mike Morris tells the Associated Press. "I realize it had a sick twist at the beginning, but they're both adults now. They're both married by the state of Washington."

Both husband and wife will be at Fuel this weekend. She will emcee "Hot Teacher Night," and he will play deejay. "It's just go and have fun on a Saturday night," says Morris, "and if people are looking to have some fun, just come check us out."

Authorities Arrest Mom For Medical Neglect of 555-Pound Teen

(CNN) -- South Carolina authorities have located a 555-pound teenager and his mother, who faces a charge of violating a custody order, police said Thursday.

Alexander Deundray Draper, 14, of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, and his mother, Jerri Althea Gray, were located at about 4:30 p.m. near a laundromat in Baltimore, Maryland, by the Baltimore County Sheriff's Office, said Matt Armstrong, a spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff's Office in Greenville, South Carolina.

"Draper was checked out by EMS [Emergency Medical Services] personnel and turned over to the Maryland Department of Social Services," Armstrong said.

The South Carolina Department of Social Services will work with its Maryland counterpart to have the boy returned to South Carolina, he told CNN affiliate WYFF.

The mother is being held in a detention center and will be extradited to South Carolina on an outstanding warrant, he said.
Watch report on finding teen and his mother »

"The understanding was that the individual was of the weight where it was decided by medical authorities that he needed treatment that was not being provided for by his mother," Armstrong said.

Earlier in the day officials said the boy "is possibly at a stage of critical health risk."

Gray was supposed to appear in family court Tuesday with her son and failed to do so, the sheriff's office said. During the family court hearing, the boy was ordered into state custody because of medical neglect, as well as his mother's failure to appear. The Department of Social Services then contacted the sheriff's office, authorities said.

The warrant said Gray was served with papers Monday and told to report to court for a hearing in which the department would seek state custody of Draper. "The defendant has avoided the custody proceeding and has concealed the child," the warrant says.

Travelers Rest is about 10 miles north of Greenville, South Carolina

Prosecutor: Peterson Tried to Hire Hit Man

(CNN) -- Prosecutors alleged Friday that Drew Peterson tried to hire a hitman to kill his third wife, Kathleen Savio, a spokesman for the Will County, Illinois, state attorney said.

State's Attorney James Glasgow said during a bail reduction hearing Friday that Peterson tried to solicit a hitman for $25,000 to kill Savio, press secretary Charles Pelkie said.

Peterson has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in Savio's death.

Pregnant Mom, Dad Stabbed to Death

A quiet seaside community was jolted by the brutal killings of a husband, wife, and their unborn child, while police say the couple’s young son was watching “American Idol” in the family room.

Authorities in Ventura, California, say they are desperate for information. “We don’t know the motive, or anything about the suspect,” said Sheriff’s Department Capt.Ross Bonfiglio.

According to police, Brock and Davina Husted were killed at about 10:30 P.M. Wednesday night after an intruder entered their beachfront house. The woman was four months pregnant and police are counting the fetus as a third homicide victim. The parents, both 42, were stabbed to death. Captain Bonfigio says the couple was viciously stabbed to death and the knife was recovered at the scene.

Investigators say the French doors on the ocean side of the single family house were left open on the night of the 20th, allowing the intruder access.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office say the couple’s 9-year-old son was watching the finale of “American Idol” when he saw the suspect, who passed in front of him. According to investigators, the killer “confronted Davina, who was in the kitchen,” police said in a press release. “Davina moved to the front portion of the house where the suspect followed and brutally stabbed Davina and Brock to death in one of the other rooms inside of the house.”

Detectives say the son found his parents on the floor and awoke his 11-year-old sister. The two children left the house and contacted a neighbor who called 911.

Captain Bonfigio said he does not know if the Husteds were targeted or the victims of a random home invasion. He said it has been more than a decade since the last homicide was reported in the area.

A massive search is under way to find the killer. Several law enforcement agencies have joined in the hunt.

The press release offers few clues as to the suspect’s identity, except to say he is a man with “a dark complexion wearing a black motorcycle helmet, and possibly wearing a dark or black jumpsuit.”

There is no indication of a motive — and it is unclear if anything was taken from the home. And police have revealed no evidence linking the killer to the victims.

Anyone with information should call the sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau at (805) 477-7000.

Melissa Huckleby's Ex Husband Says She Swallowed Razor Blades In Suicide Attempt

This is something I already remember hearing about, the exacto-knives... But this article also mentions what's going on with custody-wise Melissa Huckleby's daughter, as well..

According to court filings, Johnny Huckaby alleges that his ex-wife, Melissa Huckaby swallowed three razor blades in a suicide attempt just prior to her arrest on Apr. 10.

Just prior to her arrest for the abduction, rape, and murder of Sandra Cantu, Melissa told the Tracy Press she was hospitalized for internal bleeding, but would not elaborate on her condition.

Johnny is currently in a battle with Melissa’s mother, Judy Lawless for the custody of their 5-year-old daughter Madison.

Johnny also indicates that Melissa forged her mother’s signature on legal documents and lied in their divorce papers when she accused Johnny of physically abusing her and using drugs.

His plea to obtain custody of his daughter also says that due to the horrific charges that sent Melissa to jail, he should be entitled to custody of his daughter.

Johnny won custody of Madison last month, however, Orange County Commissioner Walter Posey reversed the decision after Melissa’s mother begged the court to allow her to keep Madison at her home because the child is “sickly.”

Lawless claims Johnny is a deadbeat dad. “There were also issues of drugs, alcohol and possibly domestic violence in this case,” she indicated in a court declaration from April 22.

“From the time Madison was 1-year-old up to now, she has had virtually no contact with her father. I do not believe it is in our granddaughter’s best interests to be placed with somebody she does not know,” said Lawless.

Johnny said he tried to see his daughter several times over the past couple of years, but Lawless told him if he continued to try to see Madison she would take her away to Oregon and “disappear.”

He also said that Lawless told Madison she was conceived through artificial insemination, which indicated to him that she did not want his daughter to know he existed.

A custody hearing is scheduled for July 6.

To see Johnny Huckaby's "Good Morning America" interview, click here.

'I Told You So' Written on Wall of House Where Woman, 2 Sons Found Strangled

We knew from past reports that the message was something like "I told you this would happen", so I'm not shocked.

Fox News: Four haunting words were spray-painted in red on a wall of the Illinois home where a woman and her sons were found strangled: "I told you so."

That and other new details have emerged since Wednesday, when Chris Coleman, 32, pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder, accused of killing his 31-year-old wife, Sheri Coleman, and their children, 11-year-old Garett and 9-year-old Gavin.

Major Case Squad Deputy Commander Major Jeff Connor told FOX affiliate KTVI-TV that it was not one piece of evidence but several factors that prompted police to arrest Coleman on Tuesday. He is being held without bond.

"I can tell you this investigation took us all over the place, several states, businesses, worship centers, residential areas, all over, so I don't want to key in on any one piece of evidence," Connor told KTVI.

He said the bodies of Sheri, Gavin and Garett were found, strangled, in separate bedrooms in the family's Columbia, Ill., home, and that a basement window of the home was found open on the morning of May 5.

Shari Coleman's family will file a wrongful death lawsuit against her husband next week, KTVI reported.

People lined the street near the courthouse as Coleman arrived Wednesday morning, heckling him.

"Murderer!" some yelled at the car in which Coleman rode. "Baby killer!" yelled another, KTVI reported.

'It's what he deserves," an unidentified man told KTVI.

During a roughly five-minute court appearance Wednesday, Coleman stood next to his attorney shackled at the ankles and waist.

Judge Stephen Rice told Coleman that prosecutors will decide whether to seek the death penalty and told him that he also could get up to life in prison. Coleman's next court appearance is June 10.

He was arrested Tuesday at his parents' home in Chester, about 40 miles from Columbia, and charged with the three first-degree murder counts, according to authorities.

"We've done all we could to solve this as quickly as we could but as efficiently as we could," Jeff Connor of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis said Tuesday. He declined to discuss motive. "We feel very comfortable in these charges."

Police had said they believed one person was responsible for the murders.

The Major Case Squad presented evidence in the case to Monroe County State's Attorney Kris Reitz last week, but Reitz did not file charges pending the results of forensic tests. At the time authorities declined to name the suspect.

The day the bodies were found, Coleman called police from a gym and asked a Columbia police officer who had investigated prior threats related to the family for a well-being check around 7 a.m., investigators have said.

Coleman told officials that he called the house and no one answered, authorities said.

Officials have declined to discuss details about the alleged threats. Some neighbors in the well-kept subdivision have also said the Colemans received threatening letters and their mailbox was tampered with.

Police got to the suburban home that morning before Coleman arrived and discovered the bodies. Shortly after, officers had to restrain the visibly upset man in his yard.

Coleman worked security for Joyce Meyer Ministries, a Fenton, Mo.-based evangelical Christian group.

Joyce Meyer spokesman Roby Walker said last week that Coleman resigned after an internal inquiry found he failed to follow a ministry policy. Walker would not say what policy Coleman allegedly violated.

Click here for more on this story from KTVI-TV.

"The Family of Man"

My best friend's great, great uncle is the man seen here comforting the other soldier, this being taken in September of 1950, the opening days of the Korean War.

This famous photograph was published in "The Family of Man" photography exhibition found here:

New Judge Assigned to Peterson Case

A new judge has been appointed in the murder case against former Illinois police officer Drew Peterson.

Will County Chief Judge Gerald Kinney on Thursday appointed Carla J. Alessio-Policandriotes (pahl-ee-KAN'-dree-oh-tihs) to oversee the case.

Earlier this week, the state's attorney had asked that Judge Richard Schoenstedt (SHAYN'-stehd) be removed, on the grounds of bias against the state.

Peterson's attorney Joel Brodsky challenged that motion. On Thursday, Brodsky initially said in court that he would ask that that new judge be replaced, too, but he later withdrew that request.

Peterson is charged with first-degree murder in the 2004 drowning of Kathleen Savio. Her death was initially ruled an accident but was reopened after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared in 2007. (source)

Charges Pile Up As Melissa Huckaby Heads to Todays Hearing

Today's hearing is set for Melissa "the rapist, child killer" to enter a plea.

There has been some speculation as to her public defender Sam Behar making a request for a speedy trial as well. California is known for having a slow forensics lab and by pushing this to trial ASAP attorneys feel Behar could eliminate some of the charges and testimoney by expert witnesses from the state.

Due to the gag order from the judge most news at this point is pure guess work and speculation, but if it was the defense's game plan to move forward quickly with the murder, rape charges Huckaby was facing against 8 year old Sandra Cantu, then the state just threw a little wrench in that plan with some additional charges.

Prosecutors on Thursday filed three additional felony counts against Melissa Huckaby, charging her with poisoning two people, including a 7-year-old girl and an adult man.

The new complaint charges Huckaby with a single count of child endangerment and two felony counts of furnishing a harmful substance, which is not identified in the document.

In both counts of alleged poisoning, the complaint says Huckaby "did willfully and unlawfully mingle a harmful substance with food or drink with the intent that (it) be taken by a human being."

Casey Anthony Friend Had Never Heard of "Zanny the Nanny"

Wow, big shock..

In yesterdays deposition with Annie Downing, former friend to Casey Anthony, she testified that she had never heard of one Zenaida Gonzalez.

Friend of Casey Anthony, Annie Downing, was deposed today shortly after 1p.m. at the law offices of Morgan & Morgan. Her deposition is a result of the pending Civil suit against Casey Anthony by Zenaida Gonzalez for defamation of character.

A judge granted Zenaida Gonzalez's request for punitive damages as well earlier this week.

You can watch a video of the Deposition here.

Casey's Complaints against Jose Baez escalated

Anthony family Private Investigator Dominic Casey had filed a complaint against Jose Baez with the Florida BAR claiming that Jose Baez had told him not to call 911 if he found the body of Caylee Anthony.

Dominic Casey is the PI that was filmed by Hoover searching the area where Caylee Anthony was eventually found months later.

The procedure for complaints with the BAR is to first examine complaints at the "staff level". From there, if the complaints are not dismissed they are escalated to grievance committee. Which is now where this complaint against Baez is.

The grievance committee is a made up of attorneys and private citizens that investigate the charge to determine if there is probably cause that a bar ethics violation occurred.

If they find that to be the case the complaint will then graduate to the disciplinary process.

Google Search Image

Today is Mary Cassett's birthday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Autopsy on human remains iconclusive

Remains Found Near Homes of Missing Women

(CNN) -- An autopsy was being conducted Thursday on remains found on the bank of a river less than 30 miles from the homes of two missing Illinois women.

The "partial skeletal remains" were found on the south bank of the Des Plaines River near Channahon, Illinois, said a recording on the Will County, Illinois, coroner's media line. They were found by a marine cleanup crew, the recording said. Authorities have not said whether the remains were thought to be those of a male or female.

Illinois State Police were on the scene Thursday conducting additional searches, spokesman Sgt. Tom Burek said.

Channahon is 20 miles from Bolingbrook, Illinois, where Stacy Peterson lived with her husband, former police officer Drew Peterson.
Watch police uncover skeletal remains »

Stacy Peterson disappeared in October 2007. Her husband has been named a suspect in her disappearance, but he has maintained his innocence, saying she left him for another man.

Stacy Peterson, 23 when she was last seen, was Drew Peterson's fourth wife. This month, Drew Peterson, 55, was indicted on murder charges in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, while the two were in the midst of a nasty divorce. He has pleaded not guilty.

Savio's death was originally deemed an accident, but authorities took a second look at the case after Stacy Peterson's disappearance.

Channahon is also 15 miles from Plainfield, Illinois, where Lisa Stebic was last seen in April 2007.

On the day she went missing, she petitioned a court to have her husband, Craig, evicted from their Plainfield home. Craig Stebic told police he was working in the backyard when his 37-year-old wife left home about 6 p.m., taking her cell phone and purse.

Authorities have said they believe that Lisa Stebic was the victim of foul play and have named Craig Stebic a suspect.

Police: Mom Killed Boy, Buried Him in Playground Sand

(CNN) -- A 23-year-old woman suffocated her son and then buried his body beneath the sand of a playground, police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said Thursday.

Police arrested Tiffany Toribio about 4 a.m., just hours after they said they wanted to speak to her about her missing 3-year-old son, Ty.

Family members had contacted authorities, saying her son matched the description of a boy found Friday at an Albuquerque playground.

Police Chief Ray Schultz said she confessed to killing the boy soon after being apprehended.

"She placed her hand over her son's mouth and nose and suffocated him. She had second thoughts about what she did. She performed CPR on her son, brought him back to life and then decided to go forward with that original act she had started to commit," Schultz said.
Watch Schultz describe the alleged killing »

"What makes this story especially sad is, when asked the reason why she took Ty's life, Tiffany said that she did not want him to grow up with no one caring about him, the same way that she had grown up where nobody had cared about her."

An emotional Schultz added that Toribio has tried to kill herself since her arrest. She was being held in isolation at a detention facility and kept under observation, he said.

He added, "As you can see, this case has been very emotional for everybody in the department."

Toribio was charged with first-degree murder and an array of other charges, including abuse of a child under 12 that caused death.

The discovery of the body at Alvarado Park on Friday shocked the community, which dubbed the boy "Baby Justice" and "Baby Angel" as they rallied around his case.

Police released a composite image of the boy Tuesday, hoping to garner more leads in the case. They weren't able to release a photo of the boy because his body was so disfigured by the sand's heat.

Schultz said that after killing her son, Toribio dug a hole under gym equipment at the playground, moved the body and buried him in the shallow grave.

"Since that time, she's been walking the streets of the city of Albuquerque," he said.

The boy was wearing Arizona brand clothing, size 3T: nylon black running pants with red stripes, a red shirt with a monster truck on it and black, gray and lime green Skechers sneakers.

Toribio did not comment Thursday morning after her arrest as she was put in a police car.

Schultz said there had been no reports of child abuse filed against Toribio. But he said family members indicated that she did not express the typical love of a mother for her child.

"She did not show the normal relationship that you would see with a mother, son," he said.

This week, police had gone to residences where she had lived previously, but she wasn't there, Schultz said. Police had gone there after family members expressed concern because "they did not like the way Ty was being treated," the police chief said.

Moonshiner Grandpa Busted In Pot Ring

TRION, Georgia (CNN) --

Story Highlights:
-10 people, including grandpa, son and grandson, convicted on serious drug charges
-83-year-old former moonshiner gets 20 years; son who led operation gets 9 years
-Attorney: "If the father got a longer sentence, it's because he's a lousy father"
-Authorities say case is a microcosm of what's happening across rural America

"The Dodge Neon sped down Interstate 40 in eastern Oklahoma, its occupants heading to Phoenix, Arizona, to buy a load of dope.

It was May 2005. The couple brought along methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana to help pass the time on the long journey.

At that moment, Detective Rob Rumble had no clue that the traffic stop he was about to make would launch a years-long drug investigation stretching more than 2,000 miles, from the remote mountains of northwest Georgia all the way down to Mexico.

The investigation showed how an 83-year-old grandfather adapted to the times, morphing from old school bootlegging to dealing Mexican dope. His son acted as the ringleader of the operation. His grandson was tied in too, authorities say.

"I've seen it all. Nothing surprises me," said Rumble, a drug investigator for the district attorney's office in east-central Oklahoma.

After making that traffic stop, Rumble persuaded the nervous, lanky driver from Georgia to work with authorities and tell everything he knew. Investigators were led to a sleepy pocket of Georgia with scenic mountain views where people wave to strangers from their cars and where some homes still fly the Confederate flag.

It's the last place one might expect drugs from Mexico. But the demand for drugs is reaching even the most remote corners of America.

Their story has all the intrigue of a classic Southern novel -- three generations of a family business on the wrong side of the law, complete with an old fashioned family feud.

"When they're in that type of business, there's a reckoning day -- and apparently this is it," said Benny Perry, the 78-year-old mayor of Trion, Georgia, one of the towns where the family was operating.

Perry is a barrel-chested man and speaks in a welcoming Southern accent. "I'll say this, I was completely surprised," he said. "I felt like we had a problem here, but I wouldn't have thought it was originating in Mexico and coming here."

The drugs, mostly marijuana, were trucked from Mexico through California and Arizona and then distributed across five counties in Georgia and one in Tennessee, authorities say. They were hidden in just about anything -- furniture, roofs of big-rigs and tire wells. Once the shipments arrived, the dope was put in 50-caliber ammunition cans and buried in the woods, where buyers would pick up the stash and leave behind thousands in cash, authorities say.

At the heart of the operation was 46-year-old Michael Leon Smith, who authorities say became one of the richest men in Chattooga County, population 25,000, as he laundered his drug money by buying up dozens of pieces of property. One tract of land sits on Old Justice Road, an ironic name considering the law finally caught up with him.

Smith's 83-year-old father, Paul Leon Faulkner, was also busted. Eight others, including Faulkner's grandson (Smith's nephew), pleaded guilty to an array of charges related to the drug ring. The drugs mostly involved marijuana, but methamphetamine and cocaine were also part of the smuggling operation, authorities say.

"We love it when somebody says they can't be caught," said Del Thomasson, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who worked the case.

Faulkner, who is suffering from cancer, was handed a 20-year sentence last month and is to head to prison in August. "Twenty years, that is a death sentence," said Giles Jones, Faulkner's attorney, adding that he has appealed the sentence.

He said Faulkner was a "full-time mountain shiner" who could talk moonshine until he was "blue in the face," but knew little about the Mexican marijuana operation. Jones said the old man's son "threw his ass under the bus" to save himself.

"It's a situation where I guess you're just looking out for yourself. It's every day as every day, man," said Jones.

Not so fast, said Cathy Alterman, the defense attorney for Smith, Faulkner's son.

"Michael didn't throw his father under the bus. His father threw Michael down the drain when he was 16 years old," Alterman said. "If the father got a longer sentence, it's because he's a lousy father. ... He was never there for his son, except to be a bad example."

Smith is serving a nine-year sentence in federal prison in Montgomery, Alabama. Faulkner's grandson is also serving a nine-year sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.

Alterman said the sentences are excessive for people involved in dealing marijuana, a substance she says should be legalized. (REST OF ARTICLE)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

NFL Roundup Falcons Owner Suggests Vick Could Eventually Play Again

Fuck hiiiim!

Instead of letting him play again and get paid his millions, they should do it Gladiator-style and make him play himself to death like the dogs that he had kill eachother..

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Arthur Blank, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, suggested on Wednesday that his team’s former star quarterback, Michael Vick, deserved a chance to play in the N.F.L. again — eventually.

Vick left a federal prison Wednesday to head to Virginia for two months of home confinement. He has missed two seasons because of his role in a dogfighting ring.

“There is no question Michael has paid his debt to society,” Blank said. “But the commissioner has to decide if Michael has not only personal remorse, but has conducted himself not only personally but who he is associating with in a way that is going to allow him to be a player in the N.F.L. and represent our league well.”

He added: “Clearly based on what happened over a number of years, a lot of issues were related to acts he has to take responsibility for, and I believe he has. But what contributed a great deal is people Michael spent time with and the influence they had on him. His ability to separate those people who can be helpful and those who have another agenda — that’s going to be very critical for Michael now.

“You are what you eat? To some extent, you are who you hang with, too.” (rest of article)

Quote of the Week

"One of the most important ways we can reclaim our personal power is to admit our mistakes."

Clinton Warns of ME Arms Race if Iran Gets Nukes

I usually stay away from politically-charged articles...
But Nukes are an important issue, ya'll..

VOA News-- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told senators Wednesday that if Iran obtains a nuclear weapons capability, it would trigger an arms race in the Middle East and beyond.

She said the Obama administration is pursuing a diplomatic track on the issue with Iran but within a specific time-frame.
Clinton said the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran has created what amounts to an "alliance" among Israel and many Arab states, and she is hoping the shared interests will give impetus not only to diplomacy with Iran but also a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In testimony before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee nominally devoted to the foreign affairs budget, she said the Obama administration - which promises diplomatic outreach with Iran - hopes to persuade the Tehran government that it will actually be less secure if it succeeds in what U.S. officials believe is an effort to acquire a nuclear weapons capability.

"A nuclear-armed Iran with a deliverable weapons system is going to spark an arms race in the Middle East and the greater region. That is not going to be in the interests of Iranian security and we believe that we have a very strong case to make for that," she said.

Clinton spoke in response to questioning from Republican Senator Judd Gregg, who called Iran a terrorist state, and noted Washington comments earlier this week by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that preventing a nuclear Iran should take precedence over Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

The Secretary of State, echoing remarks by President Obama to the Israeli leader, said diplomacy on both issues can proceed at the same time.

"The president made it clear that he is committed to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons with all of the consequences that that would entail. But at the same time we cannot wait on the Palestinian-Israeli efforts regarding peace. So we think they have to proceed simultaneously," she added. (rest of article)

Mother Flees With Son to Elude Treatment Order

Police across the United States were on the look-out today for a mother and son who had fled their home in southern Minnesota to elude court-ordered chemotherapy for the boy, who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. (The Independent)

An arrest warrant for Colleen Hauser was issued late Tuesday after she failed to appear for a court hearing on the condition of her 13-year-old son Daniel. Her husband told the judge that she had disappeared from their home with Daniel the previous evening and that he did not know where they were.

On Monday, Mrs Hauser had taken her son to their family doctor who said that a court-ordered X-ray had shown that his tumour was growing and needed urgent treatment. While Hodgkin's lymphoma is a serious condition, it is often effectively tackled with aggressive chemotherapy.

The Hauser family, of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, has been declining the treatment for the young man for religious reasons. They subscribe to the teachings of the Nemenhah Band, a religious group that believes in natural alternatives to modern medicine.

"I know many people around here who have had cancer, they did chemo, it would come back," Anthony Hauser, the boy's father, told the Star Tribune newspaper of Minneapolis. "They did the chemo again and again and they are all in the grave. Chemo isn't foolproof."

He acknowledged that he was disappointed by his wife's actions saying that they had agreed to appear in court together on Tuesday. "She said she was going to leave," he told the court after showing up on his own. "She said, ''that's all you need to know.' And that's all I know."

In testimony unsealed this week, the young boy, who has learning disabilities, said if anyone tried to make him undergo chemotherapy, "I'd fight it. I'd punch them and I'd kick them".

The failure of the mother and son to show up on Tuesday surprised local officials. "It's absolutely crazy. It's very disappointing," commented James Olson, a lawyer for the local family services agency. "We're trying to do what's right for this young man."

In Missouri, the founder of the Nemenhah group, Philip Cloudpiler Landis, was critical of Mrs Hauser's actions. "She should have gone to court," he told the Associated Press yesterday. "It's how we work these things out. You don't solve anything by disregarding the order of the judge."

Suspect Called 'Baby Killer' Outside Court

(CNN) -- A southwest Illinois man accused of strangling his wife and two young sons appeared in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to murder charges, officials said.

Christopher Coleman, 32, will remain jailed without bond pending a June 10 preliminary hearing, according to the Monroe County, Illinois, district court clerk's office.

He is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sheri Coleman, 31, and sons Garett, 11, and Gavin, 9. Their bodies were found May 5 in the bedrooms of the Coleman's two-story home in Columbia, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.

The three died of strangulation by ligature -- a string, cord or wire -- police said. Coleman was arrested Tuesday at his parents' home in Chester, Illinois.

As a police patrol car carrying Coleman arrived at the Monroe County courthouse for Wednesday's hearing, a waiting crowd shouted "murderer" and "baby killer," according to video posted on the Web site of CNN affiliate KSDK.

Coleman told police he left the house at 5:43 a.m. the day of the deaths and drove to a gym to work out.
Watch report of Coleman's actions after deaths »

"Shortly thereafter, he started calling his house, realized that nobody was answering and on his way back at around 6:50 a.m. is when he made the phone call to the Columbia Police Department, said Maj. Jeff Connor, commander of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis.

Coleman said he was calling the house to make sure the boys were waking up for school, Connor said.

Threatening messages were found on the walls inside the home, Connor said, but would not disclose the exact wording. In an article posted on the Major Case Squad's Web site, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reported the message said something to the effect of, "I told you this would happen."

A glove with red spray paint on it was found along Interstate 255, which would have been on Coleman's route to the gym, the newspaper reported. The message in the Coleman home was written in paint of a similar color, the article said.

Coleman previously worked in the security department for Joyce Meyer Ministries, an evangelical Christian organization based in suburban St. Louis, said spokesman Roby Walker.

Walker told CNN Coleman resigned last week after the two met regarding "a violation of moral conduct." He would not elaborate.

The Post-Dispatch cited police sources as saying Coleman had more than one romantic rendezvous with a Florida woman, a friend of his wife, during out-of-town ministry trips. Neither Coleman nor his attorneys have commented on that report, the Post-Dispatch said.

Police said Tuesday they did not have a motive for the killings.

Joyce Meyer Ministries said in a statement Wednesday that it had learned of the charges against Coleman.

"This horrible tragedy has deeply saddened us all and although nothing can compensate for the loss of this beautiful family, our ministry remains fully behind the diligent efforts of the law enforcement community," the statement said.

R.I.P. Tori Stafford

A man has been charged with murder and a woman has been charged with being an accessory to murder in connection with the case of missing Woodstock, Ont. girl Victoria "Tori" Stafford.

Authorities are expected to release details of the arrest at 3 p.m. Wednesday. (source)

Police Release Composite Photo of Boy Buried In Playground Sand

(CNN) -- Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, released a composite image Tuesday of a young boy found buried beneath the sand of a local playground.

The boy was discovered on Friday by a passerby who saw a tiny black and lime shoe protruding from beneath the playground sand.

It led police to the body of a boy, who had been buried there in a shallow grave less than 48 hours earlier.

On Tuesday, police still had no answers as to what happened at Alvarado Park -- or even who the boy was.

His name is unknown, though the community has dubbed him "Baby Justice" or "Baby Angel." Nobody in the area has claimed his body, and nobody has reported a child of his age missing.

Before the composite image was created, police weren't able to release a photo of the boy because his body was so disfigured by the sand's heat.

Police say the Native American or Hispanic boy was between 3 and 5 years old, 38 pounds, 38 inches in height, with brown eyes and dark quarter-inch hair. When he was found, he was wearing Arizona brand clothing, size 3T -- nylon black running pants with red stripes, a red shirt with a monster truck on it and black, gray and lime green Skechers sneakers.

Police aren't sure how he died.

Albuquerque Police Department spokesman John Walsh said a preliminary autopsy didn't reveal a cause of death. Walsh said there were no obvious signs of bruising on the boy.

"We have canvassed the entire adjoining neighborhood," Walsh said. "We're knocking on every door. We've been broadcasting and pleading for tips from the community. But still, nobody has come forward."

Though police have received numerous tips from the public, Walsh said nothing has come from them.

Albuquerque police are working with other local, state and nationwide law enforcement officials to try to piece together what happened.

Until then, members of the community have spent hours at memorials for the boy -- who none of them knew -- praying for him and raising money.

French Mortuary, in the town, has offered to pay all funeral costs for the boy.

Resident Rachel Lesperance told CNN affiliate KOAT-TV she spent her weekend collecting $3,600 for the boy. Her money, and the donations raised by others, will go toward a plaque at the park in the boy's honor, buying extra lights for the playground and to a fund toward finding out what happened to the little "Baby Justice."

"He doesn't have a family," Lesperance told KOAT-TV. "We're his family now, and we want him to be taken care of like one of our own."

Missing Link Found?

Scientists unveil fossil of 47 million-year-old primate, Darwinius masillaeRead more: "Missing link found? Scientists unveil fossil of 47 million-year-old primate, Darwinius masillae".

"Feast your eyes on what a group of scientists call the Holy Grail of human evolution.

A team of researchers Tuesday unveiled an almost perfectly intact fossil of a 47 million-year-old primate they say represents the long-sought missing link between humans and apes.

Officially known as Darwinius masillae, the fossil of the lemur-like creature dubbed Ida shows it had opposable thumbs like humans and fingernails instead of claws.

Scientists say the cat-sized animal's hind legs offer evidence of evolutionary changes that led to primates standing upright - a breakthrough that could finally confirm Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

"This specimen is like finding the Lost Ark for archeologists," lead scientist Jorn Hurum said at a ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History.

"It is the scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail. This fossil will probably be the one that will be pictured in all textbooks for the next 100 years."

A team of amateur fossil hunters discovered the near-perfect remains inside a mile-wide crater outside of Frankfurt in 1983.

Experts believe the pit was a volcanic caldera where scores of animals from the Eocene epoch were killed and their remains were kept remarkably well-preserved.

Though the pit has been a bountiful source of other fossils, the inexperienced archeologists didn't realize the value of their find.

Years later, the University of Oslo bought the 95%-intact fossil, and Hurum studied it in secret for two years.

His colleague, Jens Franzen, hailed the discovery as "the eighth wonder of the world."

"We're not dealing with our grand, grand, grandmother, but perhaps with our grand, grand, grand aunt," Franzen said.

The unveiling of the fossil came as part of a carefully-orchestrated publicity campaign unusual for scientific discoveries.

A History Channel film on the discovery will air next week.

A book release and a slew of other documentaries will follow. "

Google Search Image

I like google search images.

Chris Coleman ARRESTED!

(CNN) -- Police arrested a southwestern Illinois man in connection with the slayings of his 31-year-old wife and their two young sons.

Christopher Coleman was arrested Tuesday at his parents' home in Chester, Illinois.

Coleman faces three counts of first-degree murder, said Maj. Jeff Connor, of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis.

Coleman is being held without bond and was expected to appear in court Wednesday, according to Connor.

Police found the bodies of Sheri Coleman and the children, Garret, 11, and Gavin, 9, in the bedrooms of their two-floor home in the St. Louis suburb of Columbia, Illinois, on the morning of May 5.

Connor said the three died of ligature strangulation, meaning a item such as a cable or wire was used.

Coleman told police he left the house at 5:43 a.m., and drove to a gym to work out.

"Shortly thereafter, he started calling his house, realized that nobody was answering and on his way back at around 6:50 a.m. is when he made the phone call to the Columbia Police Department," Connor said.

Connor said Coleman told police he started calling his house shortly after leaving it because he "was making sure the kids were getting up for school."

Connor said threatening messages were found on the walls inside the home, but he would not disclose the exact wording.

Earlier this month, police said they had an idea who committed the slayings, but they were waiting on prosecutors to build a strong forensic case.

Police said Tuesday that they do not have a motive for the killings.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ledford Guilty Of Silver Comet Murder

Michael Ledford Accused Of Killing Jennifer Ewing In 2006

DALLAS, Ga, -- Jurors have found Michael Ledford guilty of murdering Jennifer Ewing, a cyclist on the Silver Comet Trail.

Ledford was found guilty on all 10 counts against him.

There was no reaction in the courtroom from Ledford or any family members.
The verdicts didn't seem to come as a surprise to Ewing's family members and friends - not after the mountain of evidence that tied Ledford to the murder scene

After the verdicts, Melissa Garrett, who briefly dated Ledford just before Ewing was murdered, was relieved.

"He can't hurt nobody ever again. I hope he gets the death penalty," said Garrett.

Her friend and sister agree.

"He deserves it. He's done so much more than anybody knows. And he should not have even been on the streets," said Sonya Perkins.

"I am so sorry for that family. But he'll never do it again. Never do it again,” said Patricia Benedict.

Jurors began deliberating Monday morning.

It took jurors less than 2 hours to find Ledford guilty.

Jurors are now in the sentencing phase of the trial.

They will decide whether or not Ledford will get the death penalty or spend the rest of life in prison.

A prosecutor in the trial said that “blood tattooed the truth” about Jennifer Ewing’s murder.

Jurors had a week of graphic testimony to consider.

Prosecutors reminded jurors about the woman who was almost attacked while biking the same part of the Silver Comet Trail where Ewing was attacked.

"We know that the defendant was picking on people smaller than himself. Somebody he thought he could control,” said Paulding County District Attorney Drew Lane.

Prosecutors also reminded jurors about the woman Ledford was convicted of raping in 1991, a woman who did not fight him.

"That might be why she's alive today. Mrs. Ewing had the audacity to tell him no, to fight,” said Cole.

Attorney Jimmy Berry gave closing argument for the defense.

"Our hearts go out to this family. What a terrible tragedy for the family and the friends of Mrs. Ewing,” said Berry.

Berry asked jurors to think about whether prosecutors had proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

He questioned the thoroughness of detectives' case.

"Why not check her fingernails,” asked Berry.

Lane pointed out Ledford's blood was found on Ewing's bike and on her socks.

"He beats her and he beats her and he beats her, 14 to 18 times in the head," said Lane. “He quite literally beats and stomps and kicks the very life out of this woman."

CBS Atlanta News will update you on Ledford's sentence.

May 15, 2009: Defense, Prosecution Rest In Silver Comet Trial
May 14, 2009: Silver Comet Jurors Hear Ledford Speak
May 13, 2009: Graphic Evidence Introduced In Murder Trial
May 11, 2009: Silver Comet Murder Trial Begins

Convicted Killer Leads Police To Sawed Body Parts

Oh look, another "non" graphic or gory article to publish!

PITTSBURGH -- The sentencing of a man who is guilty of third-degree murder and abuse of a corpse has been postponed after he led police to buried human remains over the weekend.

Bryan Sedlak, 37, was found guilty in February in the shooting death of Patrick Kenney, who was reported missing Feb. 2, 2005. Sedlak faces 20 to 40 years in jail in the murder.

Forensic experts said Sedlak led them to a burial site where they found a pelvis, tailbone and leg bones, all of which had been cut by a power saw. However, authorities have not confirmed whether the body parts belonged to Kenney.

VIDEO: Experts: Skull, Torso Not Located

Officials told Channel 11's Alan Jennings that there was no skull among the human remains. A second search for the body's skull and torso will likely take place this week.

Prior to his cooperation days before he was to be sentenced, Sedlak had said he had no idea where Kenney's body was.

The court postponed Sedlak's sentencing until August 11, giving investigators more time to find other body parts. Officials have sealed the location where they found the remains.

Following Sedlak's guilty verdict, Judge Jeffery Manning had stern words for the defense attorney.

"Advise your client, if he wants anything less than the maximum, rethink his version of events," Manning said.

Charges had been filed against Sedlak based on testimony from witnesses and evidence that was presented before an Allegheny County grand jury.

Sedlak had testified that he shot and killed Kenney in self-defense during a drug deal gone bad at the Water’s Edge Tanning Salon in Homestead.

"He said, 'Give me your coke. Give me your money.' Then he fired at me," said Sedlak. "So I shot him."

Sedlak said after shooting Kenney, he ran to a friend’s house to ask for help in covering up the shooting.

Prosecutor Lisa Pellegrini had asked, "Why did you not go to police?"

Sedlak testified, "I was scared. There were drugs involved."

"You're a smart man ... a business man, right?" she asked.

"Yes, I'm more intelligent than most," said Sedlak.

Prosecutors had been confident in their case against Sedlak despite not having Kenney's body.


LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A 21-year-old up-and-coming rapper was fatally shot Monday afternoon at a popular mall in Los Angeles.

Dolla, whose real name is Roderick Anthony Burton II, was shot in the head about 3:10 p.m. at the Beverly Center, his publicist said.

Police later detained a person at the Los Angeles International Airport, said city police spokeswoman Karen Raynar.

Further details were not immediately available about the shooting.

Dolla, who was based in Atlanta, Georgia, was in Los Angeles recording his debut album.

He caught the attention of multiplatinium R&B singer Akon when the then-12-year-old Dolla was performing with friends at showcases around Atlanta.

The two collaborated on Dolla's first single, "Who the F--- Is That?" which also featured another high-profile singer, T-Pain.

Another Dolla song, "Feelin' Myself," appeared on the soundtrack to the 2006 movie "Step Up."

According to his MySpace page, Dolla was born in Chicago, Illinois. His twin sister died at birth because of complications from an enlarged heart.

The family moved to Atlanta after Dolla's father committed suicide while he, then 5, and another sister watched from their parents' bed, the Web page said.

Dolla began composing rhymes in elementary school and decided to pursue a career in music.

Funeral services, which will be held in Atlanta, will be announced later, publicist Sue Vannasing said.

Bloody Glove Found In Coleman Triple Murder Case

Please, Find the Identity of Baby Justice..

(CNN) -- Walking through an Albuquerque, New Mexico, park a passerby made a startling discovery -- a tiny black and lime shoe protruding from beneath the playground sand.

It led police to the body of a young boy, who had been buried there in a shallow grave less than 48 hours earlier.

That was Friday.

On Tuesday, police still had no answers as to what happened at Alvarado Park -- or even who the boy was.

His name is unknown, though the community has dubbed him "Baby Justice" or "Baby Angel." Nobody in the area has claimed his body, and nobody has reported a child of his age missing.

Police said they couldn't even show a photo or give a sketch of the boy because his body was so disfigured by the sand's heat.

All they have is a description based on how they found him.

Police say the Native American or Hispanic boy was between 3 and 5 years old, 38 pounds, 38 inches in height, with brown eyes and dark quarter-inch hair. When he was found, he was wearing Arizona brand clothing, size 3T -- nylon black running pants with red stripes, a red shirt with a monster truck on it and black, gray and lime green Skechers sneakers.

Police aren't sure how he died.

Albuquerque Police Department spokesman John Walsh said a preliminary autopsy didn't reveal a cause of death. Walsh said there were no obvious signs of bruising on the boy.

Walsh said the department is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to create a forensic reconstruction of what the boy may have looked like in hopes that someone will recognize him.

"We have canvassed the entire adjoining neighborhood," Walsh said. "We're knocking on every door. We've been broadcasting and pleading for tips from the community. But still, nobody has come forward."

Though police have received numerous tips from the public, Walsh said nothing has come from them.

Albuquerque police are working with other local, state and nationwide law enforcement officials to try to piece together what happened.

Until then, members of the community have spent hours at memorials for the boy -- who none of them knew -- praying for him and raising money.

French Mortuary, in the town, has offered to pay all funeral costs for the boy.

Resident Rachel Lesperance told CNN affiliate KOAT-TV she spent her weekend collecting $3,600 for the boy. Her money, and the donations raised by others, will go toward a plaque at the park in the boy's honor, buying extra lights for the playground and to a fund toward finding out what happened to the little "Baby Justice."

"He doesn't have a family," Lesperance told KOAT-TV. "We're his family now, and we want him to be taken care of like one of our own."

Pictures are of the shirt found on the boy and the shoes worn by this poor boy. Please hope this helps...

Confirmed H1N1 Flu Cases Nearing 10,000


(CNN) -- The number of confirmed H1N1 flu cases worldwide is nearing 10,000, the World Health Organization said Tuesday morning.

Commonly known as swine flu, the outbreak has sickened 9,830 people and caused at least 79 deaths -- mostly in Mexico, the organization said. The actual number of people affected may be higher, as it takes time for national governments to confirm cases and report them to the global body.

In the United States, at least 5,123 cases of swine flu have been reported, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has linked five deaths to the outbreak; health officials in New York have connected a sixth death to the disease.

Concern about the disease deepened Tuesday, even as authorities have said that the outbreak may prove to be less severe than first suspected.

In New York, medical investigators were looking into the death of a baby boy whose mother brought him to Elmhurst Hospital. The baby died Monday evening, said Dario Centorcelli, a hospital spokesman. The cause of death was not immediately known.

That death comes a day after an assistant principal from New York died after contracting the H1N1 virus. That man -- Mitchell Wiener -- had an underlying health condition, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, New York City's health commissioner and President Barack Obama's pick to lead the CDC.

Wiener died Sunday evening of complications of the H1N1 virus, hospital and state officials said.

If confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wiener's death would be the sixth linked to swine flu in the United States. The CDC has confirmed three in Texas, one in Arizona and one in Washington state.

Wiener's school is among a handful in New York City that temporarily closed at the recommendation of the city's Health Department.

Frieden said Sunday that "with the virus spreading widely," closing affected schools "will make little difference in transmission throughout New York City, but we hope will help slow transmission within the individual school communities."

The flu strain, which originated in Mexico, killed dozens of people there, causing U.S. officials to worry that it could take a similar toll after spreading across the border.

So far, however, it has acted similar to typical seasonal influenza -- which usually can be treated successfully but can be deadly among the very old, very young and people with pre-existing health problems.

Torture A Hallmark of Drug Kidnappings

"Jaime Andrade was just stepping out of the shower when the men came to snatch him.

The kidnappers took him to a house in a quiet middle-class neighborhood and brutally tortured him for three days. Andrade's case is one of more than 1,000 kidnappings that police in Phoenix, Arizona, have investigated since 2006. The city has become the nation's kidnapping capital as Mexican drug violence seeps into the United States."

Fun Boy Three- Our Lips Are Sealed

Judge To Consider Motion To Dismiss Zenaida Slander Case

MFTV, Florida- A judge will consider a motion Tuesday to dismiss the Zenaida Gonzalez slander case against Casey Anthony.

Casey originally told detectives she thought a babysitter named Zenaida Gonzalez kidnapped Caylee.

A woman with the same name is suing Casey for slander in civil court. Detectives haven't been able to prove Caylee ever had a babysitter named Zenaida.

Deputy Submits Letter Of Resignation In Casey Case


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- In the case against Casey Anthony, Orange County Deputy Richard Cain submitted his letter of resignation (read resignation letter) Monday and will not appeal the discipline he was given following a professional standards investigation into allegations that he did not properly investigate a citizen’s tip relating to the Caylee Anthony investigation.

Last August, Deputy Cain went to the area where Caylee Anthony's remains were eventually found. However, while he was there Cain said he saw nothing suspicious.

The professional standards investigation determined that Cain had violated two of the agency’s standards of conduct, unsatisfactory performance, for which he was given a 160 hour suspension, and truthfulness, for which he was terminated.
The sheriff's department says he didn't do a proper search and he was fired for lying about it. Cain was supposed to appeal at a hearing, which was set for Tuesday May 19, but it was cancelled.

Deputy Cain joined the sheriff’s office on June 6, 2006 and was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Glove Found In Coleman Killings

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH- A glove found along Interstate 255 may be a key clue to who killed Sheri Coleman and her two sons in their home in Columbia, Ill., law enforcement sources said Monday.

They said the glove appeared to have stains from red spray paint. A similar color paint was used by the killer to scrawl a message on a wall inside the Coleman home, according to a police source.
Investigators are testing the glove for fingerprints and DNA, the sources said, and otherwise checking whether it can be linked to the crime scene.

Coleman, 31, and sons Garett, 11, and Gavin, 9, were found dead in their bedrooms May 5. Neighbors told reporters that police said the victims had been strangled, although no official cause of death has been reported.

Christopher Coleman, the surviving husband and father, told detectives he left home around 5:45 a.m. that day to go to a gym in south St. Louis County. He called police shortly before 7 a.m., worried that he could not reach his family by phone and asking that officers check their well-being. Police found the bodies.

Within several days, investigators walked stretches of Interstate 255 near the Jefferson Barracks Bridge checking the roadsides for something. They wouldn’t disclose what.

Last week, police announced they had identified a lone killer who targeted the family, and turned evidence over to Monroe County State's Attorney Kris Reitz. He has deferred a decision on charges, pending unspecified forensic tests.

William Margulis, the attorney representing Christopher Coleman, declined to comment Monday regarding discovery of the glove.

It was found along what would have been Coleman's route to the gym. Police have not named him as a suspect, although his fingerprints were taken by court order last week and he was under obvious police surveillance for a while.

Asked for comment about the glove, Major Case Squad commander Jeff Connor responded that it "is not a confirmed piece of evidence."

Police sources have said that someone painted words on the wall to the effect of "I told you this would happen."

Coleman had told police he had received some kind of threats in his role as a security manager for Joyce Meyer, an internationally known televangelist based in Jefferson County. He resigned from the job last week; the Joyce Meyer Ministries cited a violation of an unspecified employment policy.

Police sources have said that investigators interviewed a woman in Florida who had been a friend of Sheri Coleman's in high school and who had been involved in a recent romance with Christopher Coleman, meeting him sometimes when he traveled on business. His lawyers also have declined comment on that.

Sentencing Postponed In MySpace Suicide Case

This case used to always piss me off.

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A federal judge has postponed the sentencing of a Missouri woman in the case of a teenager who committed suicide after she was criticized on the social networking Web site

In November, Lori Drew, 49, of O'Fallon, Missouri, was convicted of three misdemeanors counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress on Meier.

Her sentencing, originally scheduled for Monday, was moved to July 2, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, without elaboration.

Drew had been accused of fraudulently using the MySpace site to pose as a teenage boy who feigned romantic interest Megan Meier, a friend of Drew's daughter.

Meier committed suicide after the "boy" spurned her, at one point telling her the world would be a better place without her, according to prosecutors.

Suspects Named In Boy's Kidnapping

SAN BERNARDINO, California (CNN) -- Three-year-old Briant Rodriguez remained in a hospital bed fatigued and malnourished Monday, 15 days after being kidnapped at gunpoint and then dumped on the streets of Mexico.

Police don't know much about what happened to the boy, who was taken after gunmen tied his family and ransacked his California home on May 3.

They don't know why the gunmen broke into the home, why they kidnapped the bubbly 3-year-old or how he ended up wandering the streets of Mexicali with a shaved head, rather than the long hair he had sported before the kidnapping.

But police believe they do know who is responsible.

In a news conference on Monday, the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department and FBI identified the two suspect gunmen as Liberato Vega, 30, and Israel Moreno, 28.

The two men, who authorities said were illegal immigrants with criminal records, are believed to have burst into the San Bernardino home, ransacked the house, tied up 3-year-old Briant Rodriguez's family and snatched the child two weeks ago.

The boy was returned to his family Saturday in the border town of Calexico.

"It was a very emotional and unforgettable experience," said San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sgt. Doug Hubbard, who was with the boy's mother when he was returned. "Enough said there -- before I get emotional."

Officials said the boy was still in the hospital Monday and was being treated for malnourishment and fatigue.

"We're very happy that he's alive," San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops said this weekend. "A 3-year-old goes missing in this country for two weeks -- sometimes it has an unhappy ending.

"This one did not."

Now, police are trying to piece together exactly what may have happened during the 13 days the boy was missing.

Detectives from the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department and Federal Bureau of Investigations agents were able to identify the alleged kidnappers based on unspecified physical evidence at the San Bernardino home and interviews with the boy's family and neighbors.

Hubbard said the family has adamantly denied knowing who may be responsible for the kidnapping or having any association with those responsible.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Don Roberts said it was, however, "likely that this family was the target" of the kidnappers.

"But why, we don't know," Roberts said, adding that the kidnappers had clearly planned the crime.

Officials said they believe Vega and Moreno are the two men they captured on video at a home-improvement store near the Rodriguez home before the crime buying tape like the kind that was used to bind the family.

Hubbard said there are no-bail warrants issued for both men for home invasion robbery and kidnapping and Roberts said the FBI also obtained federal warrants for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for both men.

"We will leave no stone unturned until these two are returned to San Bernardino to face justice," Roberts said. "We will not take a break until that day happens."

Authorities are hunting for both men, who have criminal records, in Mexico where they were both born. Roberts said both men have previously been deported from the United States, where they were living illegally. Their previous residences are empty, police said.

Vega, who police said they considered to be the primary suspect, has had seven encounters with authorities in San Bernardino, according to court records, including four convictions in 2005 for a variety of charges, including driving under the influence. He also has a dismissed burglary case and two open cases against him for driving under the influence, providing false information to police and driving without a license.

Police described Vega as a Hispanic male, 5 feet 9 inches weighing 130 pounds.

Moreno was convicted in 2008 for driving under the influence and has another similar case open against him. Police described Moreno as a Hispanic male, 5 feet 6 inches weighing 150 pounds.

Police have said they are also looking for 21-year-old Claudia Acosta, Vega's girlfriend, who may be traveling with him. They aren't sure how she's related to the kidnapping.

Oh, Snap!

WASHINGTON (CNN) – GOP congressional leader John Boehner is brushing off President Obama’s recent joke about Boehner’s famously permanent tan.

At the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner a week ago, the country’s first African-American president said he had “a lot in common” with Boehner who is Caucasian. “He is a person of color,” Obama joked before a massive ballroom of celebrities and Washington journalists. “Although not a color that appears in the natural world,” Obama added, barely able to keep his composure as he delivered the dig.

“As I tell my friends, you only tease the ones you love,” Boehner said responding to Obama Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“Yeah, I enjoy being outside,” Boehner added, trying to explain his persistently tanned appearance.

“I’d rather be heckled than ignored,” the Ohio Republican told CNN’s John King.

Peterson Shocker: Pleads Not Guilty

CHICAGO - UPDATE: Drew Peterson formally entered a plea of not guilty this morning on charges that he murdered his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have asked for a new judge to be assigned to the case. The hearing currently is in recess.

Drew Peterson is scheduled to be arraigned this morning on charges he murdered his third wife five years ago. But the major issue at that hearing is whether he will get his bond reduced.

The arraignment at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet had been delayed because Peterson's lead attorney, Joel Brodsky, was doing a series of media interviews in New York, proclaiming his client's innocence, the day after Peterson was arrested on a Bolingbrook street.

As with all murder defendants at arraignment, the former Bolingbrook police officer will plead not guilty. But the major news to come out of his court appearance will focus on whether a Will County judge will lower Peterson's $20 million bail.

That bail has kept Peterson in jail since his arrest May 7. He has been unable to post the 10 percent--or $2 million--needed to gain his freedom pending trial.

Brodsky has said he will move to get Peterson's bail reduced to somewhere between $100,000 and $500,000. He asserts Peterson isn't a flight risk, saying that if was going to flee, he would have done so long ago.

An attorney representing Savio's estate said he opposes any bail reduction because any assets Peterson may use to post bail are ones that Savio's estate likely has its own claim on. Savio's estate filed a wrongful death suit against Peterson in April.

It's not known if prosecutors today, in opposing bail reduction, will reveal any evidence they have against Peterson. Brodsky has characterized the prosecution's case as "a weak, circumstantial case at best."

At trial, prosecutors are expected to rely on a new Illinois statute -- one that Will County State's Atty. James Glasgow sought for months and that some call Drew's Law -- to allow Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, to "testify from beyond the grave." Peterson's defense team has vowed to challenge the law -- which would allow a judge to admit certain hearsay evidence into court -- as unconstitutional.

Savio, was found drowned in an empty bathtub in her Bolingbrook home five years ago. Her death at that time was ruled accidental, but prosecutors reopened the case following the disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, in October 2007.

Another autopsy ruled Savio's death a homicide. At the time of her death, the couple was in the process of divorcing. The divorce threatened to strip Peterson of substantial assets.

Peterson has denied any involvement in Stacy's disappearance and has not been charged in that case.

Burned Body Discovered In Car Trunk

This is like some Goodfellas type stuff:

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- A burned body was discovered in the trunk of a car Sunday afternoon, according to Benton County Sheriff's deputies.

The car with the body were discovered by a resident, at the end their a driveway along Old Highway 68 and Robinson Road by a resident.

According to authorities another resident heard gunshots and saw the fire early Saturday morning.

"Neighbors across the street here, they heard something about 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning, a loud pop, they thought it was gunshots," Capt. Rick Sydoriak with the Benton County Sheriff's Office said.

Sydoriak said the residents didn't call police because they thought their neighbors were burning brush.

Benton County authorities said they are working to locate the owner of the burned car, which they believe is a 4-door Dodge Interpid.

The body will be sent to the State Crime Lab for further invesitigation.