Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Slightly ridiculous


Why California may go the way of the Dodo.

Make the victims pay to graffiti-proof their homes? or face fines??

Why not make the taggers pay or their families pay?

Anti-Graffiti Plan Raises Stakes for Homeowners
By CHRISTINA VILLACORTE and JONATHAN LLOYD
nbclosangeles.com

Looking to prevent your home from becoming a tagger's canvas? The city of LA has a plan that asks homeowners to pitch in or pay -- whether they want to or not.

All new buildings in Los Angeles -- including homes -- must have anti-graffiti coating under an ordinance approved unanimously by the City Council on Tuesday. Homes in the tagThere is an exception if the owners promise to remove any graffiti on their property soon after it appears.

The ordinance will take effect 30 days after being signed by the mayor.

The anti-graffiti coating must cover the walls and doors from the ground to a height of at least nine feet. The coating is mandated on all buildings, unless owners sign a "Covenant and Agreement Regarding Maintenance of Building (Graffiti Removal)" with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.

That contract would require owners to remove any graffiti on their buildings within seven days of the graffiti being applied, or within 72 hours of being notified by the department.

Failure to abide by the contract could result in a $550 fine.

The Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council opposed the ordinance, saying in a statement: "While this may be a well-intentioned effort to keep businesses, etc. from being 'victimized' by graffiti twice -- once by taggers, then again by the possibility of a city fine -- allowing graffiti to stay visible to the public for seven days effectively rewards taggers, providing them with more than twice the window to showcase their vandalism, and makes ongoing removal efforts worthless."

City law had previously required only that commercial structures have anti-graffiti coating or impermeable surfaces, such as ceramic tile or baked enamel. It also did not include the exemption for owners who sign an agreement to quickly remove the vandalism.

Councilman Ed Reyes, chair of the council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee, told the council "we wanted to create more flexibility for property owners in dealing with their commitment to keep our city looking cleaner."

"Graffiti is best deterred by having a short life," the council said in a statement earlier this year. "If taggers' vandalism is visible the next time they visit, and for a week or more afterward, it encourages them to do more and others to add to it. Seventy-two hours should be the maximum."

Councilwoman Jan Perry voted in favor of the ordinance, but not without hesitation.

"I'm concerned about placing the burden on the property owner," she said.

Perry said the ordinance was vague about the kinds of surfaces that must be protected and the types of anti-graffiti coating that can be applied. She said it also failed to address vandalism in the form of acid etchings on glass windows.

"(This ordinance) is a good first cut but it's not dispositive of the issue, so I think we're going to have to go back and do further clarification in a very short period of time," Perry said.

She moved to have council's Public Safety Committee review the ordinance in 60 days.

The coating can cause discoloration to a building's surface and wear off over time, officials noted. Council members said that's why the opt-out option was included in the approved proposal.

Third times the charm


I don't know what was happening with him.

Sorry you're having problems but they appear to be of your own doing.

I hope you get help.

Police 0fficer resigns after third arrest
by Eva Ruth Moravec - Express-News

A San Antonio police officer under investigation for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend's house has resigned after being arrested a third time this weekend — this time on suspicion of stalking, authorities said.

Jason Rozacky's lawyers submitted his resignation Tuesday, said Sgt. Chris Benavides, a San Antonio Police Department spokesman.

Rozacky, 36, remained Wednesday in the Bexar County Jail on one charge of stalking. His bond was set $250,000.

The rest of the story:

Falsehoodity


It sounds like this poor woman has some issues.
Police: Woman reports false kidnapping

San Antonio police arrested a 25-year-old woman accused of falsely claiming that her sister was kidnapped early Wednesday morning.

Yvette Medina was charged with making a false report to a police officer. She remained in custody Wednesday on $10,000 bond.

Medina called police at 3 a.m. to report that an unknown man grabbed her twin sister by the hair and forced her into a truck outside their home in the 9100 block of Ranch Corner Road.

The rest of the story:

Good Morning, fight's on


WTF??

4 A.M. ?? I bet alcohol's involved.

Three men hospitalized after brawl

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A Tuesday morning brawl in New Braunfels among four men involving a knife, a metal chair and a cinder block left three of them in the hospital with various injuries.

Miguel Castillo, 39, remained in the emergency room Tuesday night at University Hospital in San Antonio. Robert Gomez, 44, was listed in stable condition at University. The condition of Richard Cruz, 50, could not be verified.

A fourth man, Robert Cowen, 50, was released at the scene with minor injuries.

No arrests have been made, but Lt. Michael Penshorn of the New Braunfels Police Department said police would likely file charges after an investigation is concluded.

Police arrived at the 1500 Block of Lorelei Lane at about 4 a.m. after receiving a call about a street fight. Two of the men had sustained stab wounds, and another had suffered various injuries serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.

Police do not know how the fight started. An investigation is ongoing.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lets not have mistakes again if possible, ok?


This is a troubling case.


Texas panel reviews ruling that led to execution

By MICHAEL GRACZYK (AP)

CORSICANA, Texas - More than five years after his final act from the Texas death chamber gurney was a profanity-filled tirade, the murder case of executed inmate Cameron Todd Willingham refuses to die.

Willingham was executed in February 2004 - proclaiming his innocence and hoping aloud that his wife would "rot in hell" - for the deaths of his three young daughters in a fire at their Corsicana home on Dec. 23, 1991.

An arson finding by investigators was key to his conviction in the circumstantial case.

The Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization that investigates possible wrongful convictions, questioned Willingham's guilt. Now the Texas Forensic Science Commission will review a report Friday from an expert it hired who concluded the original arson determination was faulty.

The rest of the story:

Quit yer clowning


I never thought that the deputy would get indicted.

What about the job security for the wayward jailer however?

Will he have a job when he's done recovering?

Grand jury clears deputy who shot prankster
By Zeke MacCormack - Express-News

A Bandera County grand jury took no action Monday concerning the wounding of a prank-loving jail guard last week at the county's nearly-completed law enforcement center on Texas 173.

“They found no criminal activity on anybody's part,” District Attorney Bruce Curry said of the shooting of Daniel Spengler, 22, by a sheriff's deputy. The panel heard testimony from Texas Ranger James Scoggins.

Spengler was shot in the leg after hiding in an unfinished part of the building and making noises in a bid to scare dispatchers working nearby at about 4:45 a.m. on Sept. 20, officials said.

The rest of the story:

Howdy from South Carolina


I'm taking a quick break from reviewing my ethics presentation tomorrow a.m.

Weather is Humid and muggy but am told it is only going to hit the mid 70's on Tuesday. I can't wait.

Now, let's get busy!

Alligator found on the North Side

A 4-foot alligator was picked up Monday morning on the corner of La Manda Boulevard and Neer Avenue on the North Side.

The small gator was causing a disturbance when the call came in around 6 a.m. Neighbors said they awoke to dogs barking and went outside to find several police cars surrounding the corner.

Officers duct-taped the reptile's jaw closed and put it in the back of a van usually used to transport prisoners. No prisoners were in the van at the time.

The rest of the story:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane


Out of Town


Dear Readers,

I will be teaching at the National District Attorney's Association (NDAA) Trial Advocacy I course next week in Columbia, South Carolina.

I will be leaving early tomorrow, on Sunday, and returning home late Friday evening.

I hope to be blogging when I have time but it may be a little sparse and posted at irregular times.

Thank you for being a reader and follower of the blog.

Sincerely,

Man o' Law

Jail fight


Maybe it was a disgruntled investor?

Jailed Texas billionaire hospitalized after fight

CONROE, Texas (AP) - A U.S. Marshals Service spokesman says jailed Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford is being treated at a hospital after being injured during a fight with another inmate.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Alfredo Perez said Stanford was being treated Friday after a Thursday altercation at the private Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe about 40 miles north of Houston.

Perez says the 59-year-old's injuries aren't life threatening but declined to discuss details of the altercation. He says the incident is under investigation.

The rest of the story:

Filled with rage


Another good job of prosecuting, Scotty Simpson, from the sound of it.

Good job as well Judge Rangel.


Husband given 35 years for killing wife
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

A San Antonio man convicted of beating to death his 66-year-old wife after she allegedly sold his belongings for drugs received a 35-year sentence Friday.

Edler Gilstrap will have to serve at least half of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.

The hard-of-hearing 56-year-old pushed back his shoulder-length white hair and cupped a hand to his ear Friday morning as state District Judge Ron Rangel assessed the sentence. He has been in custody since Jan. 14, 2007, when family members found Sandra Gilstrap unconscious inside their Northeast Side home.

The rest of the story:

Patricide


What a stupid reason to murder anyone, let alone your own father.

What a terrible ending to a good life.

May he rest in peace.


Daylong spat cited in killing of UTSA official
By Brian Chasnoff - Express-News

Kristopher Smith could not take no for an answer, authorities said.

When the 34-year-old's father — Elton Smith, the director of publications at the University of Texas at San Antonio — told him Wednesday that he wouldn't allow his son's online girlfriend to move into their home, the son holed up in his room drinking beer, said Deputy Ino Badillo, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

The argument flowed into Thursday, and that night Kristopher's mother had had enough. Marilyn Smith sought refuge in another room of the two-story house in Leon Springs.

“And she heard the bang,” Badillo said.

The rest of the story:

Life is a parade


Sometimes the best things in life are free.

What a grand old tradition.

Fresh look at old tradition

-

Smiles, laughter and cheers abounded Friday morning as thousands of county residents lined San Antonio Street to join in a much-cherished tradition — the Comal County Fair Parade.

The gloomy weather that marked the first two days of the fair was nowhere to be seen. The sun came out, and with it, people and their pets.

An informal “pet parade” preceding the main event featured a variety of critters, from a large St. Bernard, aptly named Bernardo, to a ferociously dressed Chihuahua that, with a little help from his owner and a hidden speaker in his float, roared like a lion.

The 116th Comal County Parade began at 10 a.m. with the mainstay of all parades, the fire engines. Kids of all ages looked on, wide-eyed, as the big red trucks cruised through Main Plaza with blasting sirens and flashing lights.

A National Guard caravan got an especially big round of applause, as did law enforcement officers from all over Comal County. Cheers turned into appreciative laughter as one state trooper arrived playing Junior Brown’s “Highway Patrol” on his car’s loudspeaker.

After 2009 Fair Queen Taylor Wetz and the Rodeo Court paraded through downtown, local politicians, including lederhosen-clad Bruce Boyer, mayor of New Braunfels, followed in their wake, waving and joking with constituents.

Nancy Scott, a 10-year resident of New Braunfels, could hardly keep up with her grandson, Kaden, as he charged up and down the sidewalk. Only 13 months old, the toddler is already a veteran — this was his second parade.

“He just likes to get loose and go,” she said as she tried to run him down. Scott has not missed a single parade since she moved here. “It’s definitely something to see.”

Other residents were similarly impressed.

“Just look at all the effort that goes into this,” said Donald Kennady, husband to Jan Kennady, Pct. 4 County Commissioner. “I’ve been coming to this for 15 years and I think all of the activity is just plain exciting.”

Smithson Valley High School’s marching band was the first in a lineup of several local school bands that participated in the parade. Those waiting to see the New Braunfels High School marching band had to wait until the end of the parade, but there was no shortage of excitement in between.

One of the most unique features was a mile-long tractor procession, featuring restored antique John Deeres, McCormicks and Farmalls. Drivers revved their exhausts as they approached Main Plaza, eliciting cheers from the crowd.

Taking it all in was Barbara Brockman, who retired to New Braunfels in 1995 and attended Friday’s event by herself.

“I got up this morning and thought, ‘Oh heck, I’ll see if I can find a parking space and go,” she said. “I’m a people watcher – I just like to come out and see everybody having a good time.”

The parade lasted more than two hours, though the length did not faze most of the crowd. However, one little guy knew something else was waiting for him further down the road, looked up at his father and said:

“Dad, can we go to the fair now?”

Friday, September 25, 2009

Congratulations Lisa and Lori!


Congratulations to our two new Judges, Lisa Jarrett and Lori Valenzuela.

Attorneys selected for 2 new courts

Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday appointed two San Antonio women, both Republicans, to district court judgeships.

Both Lisa Jarrett and Lori Valenzuela are former assistant district attorneys now in private practice.

Jarrett will serve as judge for the newly created 436th District Court, which will specialize in juvenile cases. She'll be sworn in Thursday, with her first docket call on Oct. 5.

Valenzuela will take over the new 437th District Court in mid-December. She'll handle criminal felony cases.

The rest of the story:

Competent? Really??


A misleading headline at best as the results of the exam have not been released and no legal decision has been rendered.

I still have a hard time believing she was competent at the time of the killing, beheading and eating her baby's brain.

I have complete confidence that Judge Carruthers will make the right decision in this matter based on the medical evidence before him.

Mom called competent in slaying
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

An initial psychiatric evaluation has determined that Otty Sanchez, the San Antonio mother accused in the mutilation death of her infant son, is competent to stand trial, the woman's attorney said Thursday.

But the findings, which are not public record and have not been ruled upon, also state that her mental competency has “waxed and waned” during the two months she has been in the hospital section of the Bexar County Jail, according to defense attorney Ed Camara.

Magistrate Judge Andrew Carruthers is expected to review the report during a hearing in November. If neither side opposes the report, he can make an official determination of Sanchez's competency at that time.

The rest of the story:

Live or work in Comal County? Have I got a deal for you!


Now this is one heckuva deal.

Sign me up as soon as I get back from South Carolina.

AirLife program could help defray costs

-

Comal County residents now could save money on the high cost of being flown by helicopter for emergency medical care.

San Antonio AirLife is offering annual memberships that would cover all or part of the cost of transport to a hospital not paid for by insurance providers — an investment of less than $50 that could potentially save victims thousands.

“A lot of people don’t realize the cost of medical transport,” Stephen Soliz, a business development representative for AirLife told Comal County Commissioners Thursday. “We bill by the mile, so a trip from Comal County to San Antonio could cost around $14,000. Some insurance providers will cover it, but some pay for as little as 60 percent.”

The difference, Soliz said, can mean thousands of dollars that have to come out of the pockets of someone who needed an emergency medical flight.

And since Christus Santa Rosa Hospital — New Braunfels doesn’t offer some of the services emergency patients need, they’re often flown to University Hospital or another facility in San Antonio.

“Christus is a great hospital, but it’s not meant to serve the same purpose as some of the San Antonio emergency facilities,” Soliz said. “So we end up flying a number of people from Comal County.”

While not technically insurance, an AirLife membership would essentially serve the same function.

For someone injured who has a private insurance provider that won’t cover the full cost of transport, the membership will pay the rest.

They’re available to any area resident for $49 per household each year. There are also special $25 rates for government workers and emergency responders, and a $10 rate for organizations that have at least 100 employees.

“I think it’s absolutely a bargain,” said Comal County Judge Danny Scheel.

He said the county’s insurance carrier would cover up to 80 percent of the cost of AirLife transport, meaning a county employee would have to pay the remaining tab.

“So when you consider the alternative, it’s pretty cheap,” Scheel said.

If a patient doesn’t have insurance, the AirLife membership will pay for 50 percent of the cost of the flight, Soliz said.

If your insurance carrier deems the flight as “medically unnecessary,” the membership also would pay half the costs.

People with Medicare coverage would be fully covered under the membership.

“At first I thought it was too good to be true, but after doing some research, this is a no-brainer,” said Pct. 3 County Commissioner Greg Parker. “I would encourage any citizen to sign up.”

Schertz EMS, which serves Emergency Service District No. 6 in the southern part of the county near Garden Ridge, could soon offer an almost identical program to help residents pay for ambulance transport.

The buy-in for a Schertz EMS membership is $50 annually for single person with insurance, and $62 for someone without coverage.

A family membership is $60 with insurance coverage and $75 without.

Like AirLife, Schertz EMS would only fund a percentage of the cost of transport for residents who are uninsured, and those whose trips are deemed “medically unnecessary” by the insurance company.

The program is expected to begin in January, and Schertz EMS Director Dudley Wait said it was something any EMS provider could consider as an option.

“Each organization would have to study and weigh their rates versus their reimbursement costs,” he said. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them found that this is something that is very feasible, and a good thing for citizens.

“Folks don’t plan on having to make that 911 call, but if it happens, they’ll be glad they had something like this.”

The hat trick?


Hopefully this is it and he had committed the other robberies at the Peking Restaurant and the New City Bakery.

That would wrap it all up wouldn't it?

Good work NBPD.


Teen arrested on charges of store robberies



Police arrested a New Braunfels teen on charges of aggravated robbery Wednesday.

James Peter Aleman, 17, is being held at the Comal County jail on a $100,000 bond in connection with the Sept. 17 robbery of the Dollar General at 988 Highway 46 S.

Police allege Aleman entered the store, displayed a handgun and demanded money, but left empty-handed.

Police are holding Aleman on charges of one count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony punishable by 5-99 years in prison.

An ongoing investigation is comparing similarities between the robbery and two others in New Braunfels.

An hour before the Dollar General robbery, a Hispanic male armed with a handgun robbed the Peking Restaurant at 227 N Business Interstate 35 and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Three days earlier, on Sept. 14, a Hispanic male robbed the New City Bakery at gunpoint and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

“We pursued this investigation aggressively,” said Joe Vargas, New Braunfels assistant police chief. He said he was pleased that an arrest had been made so quickly.

“We want to send the message that this type of crime will not be tolerated in our community,” Vargas said.

Vargas said investigators would continue to look for links among the three robberies.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Warning! Graphic story below


WTF??

You've seriously got to be kidding me.

He did what????

When does the law consider what the animal might have been thinking? Will they take the stand to testify?

New Jersey has no law against bestiality? Well I guess they will pretty soon won't they?

Sheesh!


Animal-cruelty charges dropped against Burlington County cop

If animals could talk, a few cows in Burlington County might ask state legislators to hurry up and outlaw bestiality.

During a bizarre hearing there yesterday, a Superior Court judge dismissed animal-cruelty charges against a Moorestown police officer accused of sticking his penis into the mouths of five calves in rural Southampton in 2006, claiming a grand jury couldn't infer whether the cows had been "tormented" or "puzzled" by the situation or even irritated that they'd been duped out of a meal.

"If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, 'Where's the milk? I'm not getting any milk,' " Judge James J. Morley asked.

Children, Morley said, seemed "comforted" when given pacifiers, but there's no way to know what bovine minds thought of Robert Melia Jr. substituting his member for a cow's teat.

"They [children] enjoy the act of suckling," the judge said. "Cows may be of a different disposition."

Burlington County Assistant County Prosecutor Kevin Morgan was certainly irritated by the ruling, claiming the grand jury didn't see the videos of the alleged incident, including one in which one hungry calf allegedly head-butts Melia in the stomach.

"I think any reasonable juror could infer that a man's penis in the mouth of a calf is torment," Morgan argued. "It's a crime against nature."

Although a bill was introduced in 2005 to ban bestiality, New Jersey still has no explicit ban on the sexual penetration of animals, which is why the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office charged Melia with animal cruelty.

Morley said it was questionable whether Melia's alleged crimes against cows, although "disgusting," fit the definitions in the animal-cruelty statute.

"I'm not saying it's OK," Morley said. "This is a legal question for me. It's not a questions of morals. It's not a question of hygiene. It's not a question of how people should conduct themselves."

Sex with cows is the least of Melia's problems, though.

He and former girlfriend, Heather Lewis, of Pemberton Township, are also accused of sexually assaulting three young girls over a five-year period, sometimes in Melia's Cottage Avenue home in Moorestown, where he was a patrolman, authorities said.

Melia has been suspended from the force, said a spokesman with the Prosecutor's Office.

Melia and Lewis were both arrested in April 2008, shortly after one of the girls told her stepfather of the alleged abuse.

During the course of the investigation, authorities also discovered child pornography on Melia's home computer as well as videos of him with the cows.

Morley also ruled yesterday that the prosecution must turn over copies of images and videos from the computer to the defense, including one video that allegedly shows one of the girls being "subjected to sexual activity."

Lewis, who also appeared in court yesterday, is also accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile male. Morley denied a defense motion to have Lewis's individual sexual assaults separated from Melia's case.

Melia, Lewis and their attorneys declined to comment after the hearing.

Morgan, the prosecutor, said in court that the owner of the cows was "very upset" by the incident

Those bikes are expensive


Nice bust guys!

Congratulations.

Four men held on drug charges

Area law officers on Wednesday arrested four people with suspected ties to the Bandidos Motorcycle Club on drug-trafficking charges, federal prosecutors said.

David Gonzales Cardenas, 39; Jesse Benavides, 32; Robert Romo, 37, and Daniel Hernandez, 30, were indicted Sept. 16 on charges of possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and 50 grams of methamphetamine, and conspiracy. The indictment also says the government seeks the forfeiture of a house in the 4200 block of Northington.

The investigation involves the Drug Enforcement Administration, San Antonio police, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the FBI and other area agencies.

The rest of the story:

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me


Move this case along. If he's found guilty terminate him from the force.

Is there enough evidence to terminate him now instead of placing him on administrative leave?

If there isn't why was he arrested for witness tampering?

Officer charged with witness tampering
By Michelle Mondo - Express-News

A San Antonio police officer already under investigation for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend's house was arrested again Wednesday on suspicion of tampering with witnesses possibly associated with that case, officials said.

Jason Rozacky, 36, was charged with tampering with a witness and remained in the Bexar County Jail late Wednesday, according to county records. His bond was set at $75,000.

The 14-year veteran has been on administrative leave with pay since late August after his ex-girlfriend accused him of sneaking into her house and assaulting her after she refused to let him in. Because the woman lives outside the city limits, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office handled the case.

The rest of the story:

Weep for the lost


It sounds like the poor baby never had a chance.

May she rest in peace.


Father arrested after baby found dead

The young father of a 7-week-old infant found dead outside a West Side fire station secluded himself in his home for hours until police officers swarmed it and arrested him Wednesday evening.

Before that, 18-year-old Ramiro De La Rosa ignored repeated knocks on his door and opened it only once, slipping a piece of paper outside. The terse, handwritten note read: “don't wan't to talk about it, do not know how she passed away but her are her pic!”

Attached to the paper was a proof sheet of two photos showing a sleeping, dark-haired newborn wrapped in a white blanket. They were photos of Jayda De La Rosa, who was found dead about 7 a.m. outside Fire Station 10 in the 1100 block of Culebra Road. The fire station is three blocks from De La Rosa's house.

The rest of the story:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Going postal?


What is up with postal workers?

Yesterday one who steals ladies knickers and porn and today one who steals DVDs from NetFlix.


Plea In Post Office Pilferage
Man admits lifting 3012 Netflix DVDs from Massachusetts mail facility
TheSmokingGun.com

--A postal worker who stole more than 3000 DVDs mailed by Netflix to its customers pleaded guilty yesterday to federal theft charges. Myles Weathers, who worked at a mail processing and distribution center in Springfield, Massachusetts, was nabbed last year for the video heist after Netflix officials became suspicious about the frequency with which DVDs were being pinched.

Weathers, 49, was subsequently arrested after surveillance footage showed him removing DVDs from Netflix envelopes and placing the discs into his backpack. The below criminal information filed yesterday in U.S. District Court does not disclose whether Weathers was building an impressive home video library or planning to sell the hot titles.

A plea agreement, an excerpt of which you'll find here, valued the recovered 3012 DVDs at $36,471. Weathers, now a former government employee, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 23. While his felony plea carries a maximum of five years in prison, sentencing guidelines call for a term of about a year in custody.

God rest her soul


Hard to find an alibi I bet.

If only the cats could speak.


Husband suspected of killing his 79-year-old wife

San Antonio police arrested a 59-year-old man suspected of killing his 79-year-old wife Tuesday night at the couple's Northeast Side home.

John Phillip Benzing is set to be booked in Bexar County Jail in lieu of $250,000. He faces one charge of murder in connection with the death of Leona Benzing.

Authorities said Benzing called police around 7:30 p.m. from his home in the 16400 block of Spruce Leaf Street to report a cutting. When police arrived, he led them inside to the body of his wife, who was beaten to death, according to police.

The rest of the story:


I am not bothered by the probation.

The most troubling part of all this to me is the resisting arrest and walking away from the officer who was trying to arrest him.

Try doing that if you aren't a police officer and see what would happen to you or I.


Former SAPD detective gets probation
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

A fired San Antonio police detective convicted of resisting and evading arrest was sentenced Tuesday to probation, despite a prosecutor's request that the 11-year police veteran spend time in jail.

Keith Alfaro, 37, faced up to a year in jail on the misdemeanor charges stemming from a July 22, 2007, poolside altercation in which he pulled away from a colleague who was trying to handcuff him.

Alfaro then walked to his house, ignoring his colleague's orders for him to stop, witnesses testified in July. Once inside his home, he refused to come out, the witnesses said.

The rest of the story:

Grrrrrrrr!


Man o' Law's daughter was robbed, at knife-point, last night at her place of work.

Man o' Law is grateful she is okay and no harm came to her.

Man o' Law is also pissed.

Man o' Law will have his eyes peeled and on the look out, dirt bag.

"Heading" to prison


I am not surprised about the Guilty verdict.

Good job Kevin O'Connell, who IMHO, is one of the best prosecutors around.

Man who stomped victim's head guilty of murder
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

A former bouncer accused of repeatedly stomping the head of a neighbor — resulting in a coma and later death — was found guilty of murder Tuesday.

It took jurors less than an hour to reach the verdict against 42-year-old Erasmo Santa.

Santa's attorneys had argued their client was acting in self-defense on the night of Aug. 18, 2007, when he confronted John Ellsworth Wilson about hitting on his girlfriend and pestering her for food at the Lackland Mobile Home Village, where they both lived.

The rest of the story:

Political hypocrisy


Sorry, Mr. Peterson, in my opinion, you are simply doing this as a ploy to gain a political advantage while you are running for County Judge.

How can you claim you are concerned about holding costs down while on the other hand you went around promising every county employee you could lay your hands on that you would approve 15% raises or better because we're underpaid?

Again, that was what you must have felt was politically expedient at the time. This smacks of hypocrisy to me, simil;ar to Governor Perry running around shouting "Secede" at the drop of a hat to tap into the "agin government" vote.

Glen, get your own house in order. Sorry Pardner, I like you, but i felt I had to speak out.

Also, BTW, your first name isn't Attorney. Why don't you check with the Texas Ethics commission if you can run as "Attorney" Peterson?


Justice center sparks petition for bond issue



County Commissioners continued to press for a new justice center at a public workshop Tuesday in the face of growing opposition to the estimated $36 million project.

The workshop was open to the public and the only item discussed was the justice center. No action was taken.

The county aims to fund the justice center through certificates of obligation, but a petition to force a bond election will begin circulating next week.

“This is nothing but a black hole,” said Glen Peterson, who is sponsoring the petition.

“We certainly need to maintain and update the existing courthouse facility, but that doesn’t take $36 million,” said Peterson, who is running for county judge next year. “There is a point in time where we will need a new facility but it is not (now), in the worst of economic times.”

County Judge Danny Scheel and county commissioners stressed the need for the new center, highlighting inadequate safety measures and aging infrastructure of existing county facilities, namely the courthouse and annex building.

“The old courthouse is beyond repair,” Scheel said, citing one courtroom that had sewage dripping from the ceiling into a bucket during a recent trial. He said plumbing was so old attempts to patch leaks resulted in further breaks.

However, the security situation is the motivating factor for the court’s sense of urgency in building a new facility.

“The annex was built 29 years ago and was built for convenience — it has 27 entrances to it and you can’t secure all of them and still comply with the city fire marshal’s rules,” Scheel said.

Commissioner Jay Millikin agreed.

“The primary, overwhelming issue in this is public, employee, judge, law enforcement and prisoner safety,” he said. “We don’t have that now and we never will have (it) in our existing facilities.”

If funded, the project would relocate the district courts, county courts, district and county clerk offices, and the district attorney’s office to a three-story, 127,000 square foot complex at N. Seguin Avenue and E. Bridge St., said County Engineer Tom Hornseth.

The new center would have one primary public entrance in the front of the building, which officials say would allow sheriff’s deputies to screen entrance to the facility more effectively. Prisoners would be transported into the building from an underground loading area with a separate elevator system.

Holding cells on each floor would separate juveniles from adults and minimize prisoner contact with the public and courthouse workers.

The existing courthouse and annex lack these features.

Commissioner Jan Kennady made a point to mention a variety of input had been gained in the development process.

“Every single department that had anything to do with this justice center was in on the planning,” she said. “We called in every single department. They all participated so we could come up with something that would make everyone safe. We are all in this together, and if we’re going to do this we certainly want everyone who will be housed there to have a part in it’s planning.”

Sheriff Bob Holder and judges Charles Stephens and Jack Robison also spoke in favor of the new facility, which Scheel described as a necessary solution to the rapidly growing population of New Braunfels.

“If the last 75 percent of the people that have moved in here hadn’t come, we wouldn’t be sitting here addressing this,” he said. “People came and I don’t blame them, but people are going to keep coming and we have to be ready when they get here. We can’t wait, and we need to start preparing.”

Some members of the public balked at the estimated $36 million price tag. Former City Councilor Ken Valentine called the new center “spectacularly” expensive.

“I would like to see this go to a vote of the citizens in the county,” he said.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Go to jail, do not pass go II


Good job Bexar County DA's Office.


Suspected rapist gets 15 years for kidnapping
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

A San Antonio man accused of drugging an acquaintance at a party, then tying her to a bed and raping her was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison.

Derrick McDaniel, 32, pleaded no contest last month to aggravated kidnapping with intent to commit sexual assault in the June 14, 2006, incident at a Northwest Side apartment. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors will ask state District Judge Juanita Vasquez-Gardner to sentence McDaniel to no more than 15 years in prison.

The victim told police she blacked out after a party at her apartment in which McDaniel, a former co-worker, had been mixing her shots. She woke up in a panic in the middle of the night to find somebody on top of her and covering her head, she said.

The rest of the story:

Man o' Colleges?


Man o' Law now wants to become Man o' Education, or Man o' Colleges.

Either one, just gimme that kind of salary, benefits, and a car.

Wait, on second thought, keep the headaches, I'll continue soldiering on as Man o' Law.


Chancellor's pact includes bonus
Express-News - Express-News

A new three-year contract for Bruce Leslie, the embattled chancellor of the Alamo Colleges, includes a $15,000-per-year retention bonus, according to a contract document released Monday.

Leslie’s annual salary is $313,663. Like all other district employees, he will not get a raise this year. However, if Leslie stays through the year, he will be rewarded with a $15,000 bonus, according to the contract.

This year, Leslie received a $30,000 retention bonus as a reward for staying on the job for three years.

The rest of the story:

100,000 milestone reached!


Man o' Law reached a new milestone yesterday evening.

We've hit 100,000 visits since December 1, 2007.

I'd like to thank you, Dear Readers, for making this possibility a reality.

The battle for Truth and Justice continues.

Salute,
Man o' Law

Monday, September 21, 2009

Unbelievable


Now this is just embarrassing.

He's apparently escaped twice before this year, why a third time?


Inmate escapes from Galveston hospital
by Jennifer Latson - Houston Chronicle

Police and prison officials are searching for a man who escaped from a Galveston hospital Saturday night while serving a 35-year prison sentence.

Joshua Duane Barnes — a 21-year-old who was convicted on a total of seven burglary charges in two counties, along with two charges of escape and one of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — disappeared from his room at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice medical facility in Galveston around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Officials said Barnes had appeared 15 minutes earlier during a routine inmate count, but was gone from his room at 8:30. Officers found a hole in the wall where a vent had been removed and several blankets were tied together, leading to the hospital's roof.

The rest of the story:

You're got to be kidding me


Well I bet the deputy sheriff won't be around much longer.

Do you?

The deputy's name wasn't released but Man o' Law managed to find his picture.



Horseplay cited in jailer's shooting

A Bandera County sheriff's deputy shot a jailer in the leg early Sunday in an incident authorities believe was accidental and may have involved horseplay.

The shooting occurred sometime between 4 and 5 a.m. at the county's new jail in the 3300 block of Texas 173 north of Bandera, County Commissioner Bobby Harris said.

The jailer, whose name has not been released, was taken to an area hospital with injuries not believed to be life threatening, Harris said.

The rest of the story:

Backed himself into a corner


It just wasn't his night.

Was it?

BTW this isn't a picture of the accident, I just thought it was funny and slightly illustrative.

Man backs into patrol car

www.WTSP.com

Manatee County, Florida - A man stopped for reckless driving and driving without headlights in Bradenton is in jail this morning after deputies say he backed his pickup truck into one of their cars.

Manatee County Sheriff's investigators say 23-year-old Matthew Mylett was pulled over around 2 a.m. Sunday on State Road 64. They say Mylett put his truck into reverse and backed into Deputy Josetta Coleman's patrol car, causing about $2,000 in damage.

Deputies say Mylett failed a field sobriety test. He is charged with DUI

Really late delivery


A fetish gone wild, resulting in theft of mail.

Think of all the folks wondering what happened to the stuff they ordered years ago.

Postman hoards porn, sex toys, lingerie for 10 years
A postal worker who spent 10 years hoarding packages of pornographic DVDs and female lingerie in his attic is facing jail.
Metro.co.uk

Following a tip-off Royal Mail investigators raided Alec Clark's home and found his attic filled with old packages and delivery receipts.

When confronted the 35-year-old admitted he had taken them.

He told Peterborough Today: "It seems I'm really into something that's overtaken my mind. I had no intention of doing anything with it."

Prosecutor Richard Brown told Peterborough Crown Court: "An investigation uncovered 10 postal packets and receipts from a variety of different companies, including Pabo, who sell sex toys and Figleaves, a women's lingerie firm.

"They found sex toys, underwear, lingerie and books that had been sent through the post."

He managed to escape detection for so long because he would open up multiple delivery packages, take out one or two items, then do up the box again and deliver it.

Defence attorney, Sara Young said Clark faced a jail term.

"This is a very serious matter. There was a large breach of trust involved. It does cross the custody threshold."

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: "The overwhelming majority of our people are honest and we have a zero tolerance policy to any dishonesty."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Desperate times


As I learned many years ago the Road to Perdition is paved with the stones of Good Intentions.

Robbery however is not an option.


Elderly Bank Bandit: I robbed to pay off my mortgage
Man being held on $500,000 bail
By R. Stickney - www.NBCSanDiego.com

"I had to get us out of this," the elderly man said Friday from the other side of the glass at San Diego central jail. "I've never done a bad thing in my life. But when you get desperate, I guess you throw all that sh-- out the window."

Listening to how Michael Casey Wilson of Santee tells it, a 17 percent mortgage, the threat of homelessness and a terminal health condition will turn a man to crime.

Wilson, 69, is accused of walking into the Bank of America branch in the 4100 block of El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights and handing a bank manager a demand note, saying he had a bomb. Prosecutors said he made off with $107,000 before he was caught lying on a front porch near the bank.

"I wrote them an apology. I am so sorry," he said referring to the employees who rushed out of the bank. "It's not my purpose in life to scare people."

"If it would've worked the way I wanted it to, it would've just been he and I. But he told everybody. He shouldn't have done that," Wilson said.

On Thursday he pleaded not guilty to three counts of robbery and one count of falsely reporting a bomb to a business. In an interview Friday, Wilson was very open about the plan he had hatched to save his home.

"I was hoping to get $50,000 to pay off my mortgage," he said. "Just to get the money and get the hell out of there."

Wilson said he had planned to hail a taxi and drive with the bank manager to the airport. Once the manager was gone, Wilson said he had hoped to pick up another taxi to take him to his home in Santee. But he said he never thought the bank manager "had the balls to call the police."

"I saw all of a sudden all the people rushing out and I knew I was had," he said. "I knew that he had called me in. C'est la vie."

Wilson said he lives with his 73-year old wife who he described as a "gentle soul." He said he feared for her future living on the streets if he couldn't make their house payment.

Looking at Wilson, you can see his health is suffering. He claims doctors have diagnosed him with severe arthritis, sleep apnea, heart problems, and a disease he described as one "that makes you fly off the handle." Wilson said he was told he had one to two years to live.

When he hatched the bank robbery plan, he said that he had considered the consequences but thought, "It was 50-50. Well if I get caught, I get caught. I'm dying anyway so what different does it make."

Wilson could face more than seven years in prison if he is convicted. His bail was set at $50,000.

"I'm an asshole. Let's face it," he said. "Here's a man who f--ked up his life and his family's life but I did it with good intentions. Just stupid intentions."

Sticks and stones, Dude, sticks and stones


It all started out with words spoken.

Words which, let loose, caused bullets to fly.

WTH? They were only words, Man. I guess whoever did this feels mighty proud this morning, until you are found.


Shooting victim OK, shooter still sought
Express-News -

A 19-year-old man is reported in good condition after being shot late Friday on the city’s West Side.

Steven Arreola suffered a gunshot wound to the left hip at a Shell station in the 2800 block of S.W. Loop 410, according to a San Antonio Police Department report.

Police had been dispatched to the 500 block of Tomar Drive about 11:30 p.m. on a burglar alarm call, and one of the officers heard several shots coming from the gas station. He detained a witness running from the scene who told him his brother had been shot at the station, the report says. Found inside, the victim was taken to Wilford Hall Medical Center.

The rest of the story:

The future of electric power generation


Coal is dirty, wind and solar electrical generation too expensive and won't generate enough energy to meet future needs. Petroleum, including natural gas, is a dwindling and increasingly expensive way to generate electricity.

Nuclear energy only makes sense, is cheap, after the initial cost of building safe reactors, and will generate enough electrical energy to meet the needs for our region and its expanding economic base and growth.

Don't stop now Mayor Castro, City Council and CPS.

Council expected to OK $400 M for nuclear expansion

Sometime in October, CPS Energy will present the City Council with an offer it can't refuse.

Whether or not CPS Energy's board of trustees gives the green light for new nuclear reactor construction, the city-owned utility still will ask San Antonio for the go-ahead to issue an additional $400 million worth of bonds to plow into the project.

If the council says no, CPS Energy officials warn the city will lose the $276 million it's already spent, since its pact with partner NRG Energy includes provisions that would force the utility to essentially hand over its share if it defaulted.

The rest of the story:

Charting for future growth


With a quickly growing population so comes a growing crime rate and the need for a larger jail.

One of the things I admire about Comal County, its Commissioner's Court, and its elected officials is that they do plan ahead for the needs of their community.

Jail expansion could be in future

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A new jail facility might be on the horizon for the Comal County Sheriff’s Office.

The Texas State Jail Commission is in the process of making an assessment of the current facility, a necessary first step before county commissioners can decided whether to move forward on a design phase.

Though in the early stages, the action is something Sheriff Bob Holder said he supports.

“We’re close to reaching our capacity,” Holder said. “When you start getting more than 300 beds occupied, common sense tells us that as fast as this city is growing we are going to wind up over the limit.”

Adjoined to the Sheriff’s office on W San Antonio Street, the jail has a maximum occupancy of 337 inmates. Though that number has never been reached, jail officials say it is only a matter of time before daily jail occupancy catches up with the recent population boom in New Braunfels.

“We don’t have a problem with overcrowding at this time,” said Major John Bell, jail administrator. “But with the population growth going on, we’re getting closer to that occurring.”

Bell said he remembered the number reaching above 300 a couple of times, but said maximum occupancy had never been reached. On Thursday, the inmate count was 241.

“We are having internal meetings right now about where we are and where we need to go,” Bell said. He said it was unclear whether expansion of the existing facility or the construction of a new building was the most viable option.

“Once we get the needs assessment done, that will tell us which way to go,” Bell said.

County Auditor David Renken said at this point, any talk about a new jail is conceptual and its importance would have to be weighted with respect to the proposed $36 million, three-story justice center, something county officials are pressing hard for.

Underscoring security and infrastructure deficiencies in the old courthouse, officials have made it clear a new justice center is first priority.

“(The jail) just showed up on our radar screen a week or so ago,” Renken said. “Obviously, we have a number of other projects which we’ve been working on for five or six years – like the justice center. At this point, the sheriff and the jail administrator have made the court aware that this is something we need to start talking about.”

Renken said it was “way too preliminary” to determine a timeline for any possible expansion of the jail.

Holder acknowledged the importance of a new justice center, but said part of his job was to look ahead. Along with capacity issues, the jail is dealing with aging air conditioners, a deteriorating roof, and leaking underground pipes.

“We need to expand the size of the Comal County jail and meet the needs of this community for at least the next 20 to 30 years,” Holder said.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Destroy his nuclear capability


>sarc

Who knew that my parents, both of whom were concentration camp survivors, conspired to lie to me as a young child about the Holocaust.

So did my surviving Aunt and Uncle. My Grandparents and other aunts and uncles, who did not survive, must have conspired to hide from me and still do.

So they can perpetuate the lie that the Holocaust occurred. >/sarc

This guy just makes me really angry, he talks like a lunatic and he is about to get, if he doesn't already have, nuclear weapons.

What could possibly go wrong?


Iranian president raises stakes against Israel

By Parisa Hafezi and Firouz Sedarat

TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad raised the stakes against Israel on Friday and called the Holocaust a lie, just as world powers try to decide how to deal with the nuclear ambitions of an Iran in political turmoil.

"The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false ... It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim," he told worshippers at Tehran University at the end of an annual anti-Israel "Qods (Jerusalem) Day" rally.

"Confronting the Zionist regime is a national and religious duty."

Ahmadinejad's anti-Western comments on the Holocaust have caused international outcry and isolated Iran, which is at loggerheads with the West over its nuclear programme.

The hardline president warned leaders of Western-allied Arab and Muslim countries about dealing with Israel.

"This regime (Israel) will not last long. Do not tie your fate to it ... This regime has no future. Its life has come to an end," he said in a speech broadcast live on state radio.

The rest of the story:

Brutal attack


Bullies are bullies, no matter their color/race. Of course, unfortunately, the knee-jerk reaction was to claim this was racially motivated.

The police, after some investigation, apparently withdrew the initial, uninformed comment.


Students in Belleville school bus attack are charged
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

BELLEVILLE -- Two Belleville West High School students were charged under the juvenile code today with felony counts of aggravated battery stemming from the violent beating of a 17-year-old student on a school bus earlier this week.

The incident grabbed national headlines and incited a heated debate about race when police said the incident, involving a white victim and black assailants, may have been racially motivated. They later recanted that claim.

The two teenagers—who are 14 and 15 years-old—were charged as juveniles because they are under the age of 17. Illinois law shields the disclosure of their names because they are minors.

Juvenile courts are more informal and private than adult courts. Juvenile court records are not available to the general public.

Robert Haida, the St. Clair County state's attorney, said Illinois law does not permit him to charge the teens in adult court. The law mandates that a minor can be charged in adult court only if the case involves certain crimes, such as murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, or armed robbery with a firearm.

Warrants were issued for the defendants' immediate arrest. They had been in custody earlier but released pending investigation.

On the issue of a hate crime, Haida said: “No evidence is present to suggest that the motive for the conduct was the race of the victim. Illinois law requires such evidence in order to support that charge. Illinois law is clear that the fact that a defendant and a victim are of different races is insufficient without more evidence to support a hate crime.”

Both students have been suspended from school and could face expulsion.

Belleville police released video of the Monday morning incident and labeled it “racially motivated.” Later, a department spokesman said his initial comments were “personal and emotional” and not accurate.

"The incident appears now to be more about a couple of bullies on a bus dictating where people sit,” said Capt. Don Sax.

The video depicted a violent attack after a 17-year-old student walked onto the bus and looked for a seat, but was apparently refused. He then took a seat next to one of his attackers, who lashed out with a series of punches to the victim's head. At one point, the attacker held the victim by the neck with one hand, while he punched his face with the other.

Another attack ensued a few minutes later, and was eventually halted by another student.

Guilty and Life (X 2)



Guilty and two life sentences?

Sounds like a good job by the prosecution team. Thank you Melisa Skinner.


Murder convict gets two life terms
By Craig Kapitan - Express-News

A San Antonio man was handed two life sentences Friday after prosecutors said he brought a machine gun to a shootout outside an East Side pool hall, contributing to mayhem that led to the deaths of two brothers.

Danielle Deroven, 35, will have to serve at least 30 years of the murder sentences, which will run concurrently, before he is eligible for parole.

“This is a man who doesn't care what he does to anybody,” prosecutor Melisa Skinner told jurors, describing Deroven as the primary shooter in a melee that started as a bar fight but quickly transformed into a “war zone.”

The rest of the story:

BOLO


If you have any information please contact the New Braunfels/Comal County Crime Stoppers at (830) 620-8477.

Callers may remain anonymous.



Man sought in recent robberies

-

New Braunfels police are still searching for the perpetrator of two Thursday night robberies.

According to the New Braunfels Police Department, the Peking Restaurant and the Dollar General were both robbed at gunpoint in the span of about an hour by what authorities described as an unidentified man matching a similar description at both locations.

Police responded to the Peking Restaurant at 227 N. Business I-35 at 7:43 p.m. after a Hispanic male pulled a gun on employees, stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot.

At 8:48 p.m., police were called to the Dollar General at 988 Texas 46 S. after a man displayed a weapon, demanded money, and again fled on foot.

The robber at the Peking Restaurant was described as being 5-feet, 8-inches tall with a slim-to-medium build.

The Dollar General suspect was described as 5-feet, 8-inches tall with a medium build and dark hair.

No one was injured in either robbery, and both remain under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding either robbery is encouraged to call New Braunfels/Comal County Crime Stoppers at (830) 620-8477. Callers may remain anonymous.