Sunday, August 31, 2008

Get the eff out!

Get out.

Get out now.

Can it not be anymore clearer? You are on your own if you stay in the city lower than the surrounding waters?

New Orleans orders mandatory evacuation


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Residents were ordered to flee an only partially rebuilt New Orleans Sunday as another monster storm bore down on Louisiana nearly three years to the day after Hurricane Katrina wiped out entire swaths of the city.

Hurricane Gustav, which already killed more than 80 people in the Caribbean, strengthened quickly into a Category 4 and was poised to become a Category 5 storm, packing winds in excess of 156 mph. It slammed Cuba's tobacco-growing western tip before moving away from the island country into the Gulf of Mexico.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin used stark language to urge residents to get out of the city, calling Gustav the "storm of the century."
"This is the real deal, not a test," Nagin said as he issued the evacuation order Saturday night. "For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life."

Forecasters were slightly less dire in their predictions, saying the storm should make landfall Monday afternoon somewhere between western Mississippi and East Texas, where evacuations were also under way. It's too early to know whether New Orleans will take another direct hit, they said, but city officials weren't taking any chances.

Gustav's center was about 485 miles southeast of the Mississippi River's mouth at 2 a.m. EDT, with top winds of near 135 mph expected to strengthen as it crosses the central Gulf. It was moving northwest near 15 mph.

The mandatory evacuation of the city's west bank, where levee improvements remain incomplete, was to begin at 8 a.m., with the east bank to follow at noon. It's the first test of a revamped evacuation plan designed to eliminate the chaos, looting and death that followed Katrina.

The city will not offer emergency services to those who choose stay behind, Nagin said, and there will be no "last resort" shelter as there was during Katrina, when thousands suffered inside a squalid Superdome. The city said in a news release that those not on their property after the mandatory evacuation started would be subject to arrest.

Specify the crimes clearly

Re-write the indictments, then.

Judge asks Victoria DA to clarify counts against city officials

VICTORIA — District Attorney Stephen Tyler must clarify the alleged wrongdoings of the mayor, police chief, former city attorney and a police lieutenant or the majority of the charges against them will be dropped, according to a district judge's ruling.

The ruling last week by Victoria County District Judge Robert Cheshire will also make available to defense attorneys copies of grand jury testimony. Grand jury proceedings are typically secret, but the defense lawyers need the records to build their arguments, Cheshire wrote.
Tyler received the full decision shortly last Wednesday. He had not determined whether he would rewrite the charges or if he'll need to get a new grand jury indictment, he said. However, Tyler said he was confident his evidence was strong enough to write indictments that would stick and to eventually prosecute the four men, the newspaper reported.

Victoria Mayor Will Armstrong and the others were indicted in May in a widening probe accusing top city officials of tampering with a criminal case against former Victoria County Sheriff Michael Ratcliff.

Ratcliff was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy. Victoria's police Chief Bruce Ure and David Smith, former city attorney, were indicted on charges alleging they tampered with the investigation by leaking information about it to a local reporter.

Ure and Smith are accused of four felonies: misuse of official information, aggravated perjury, tampering with a witness and criminal conspiracy. Both were also indicted on official oppression, a misdemeanor.
Armstrong was indicted on misuse of official information and criminal conspiracy. Victoria police Lt. Ralph Buentello faces the same charges, plus he was indicted on aggravated perjury, tampering with a witness and official oppression.

Cheshire ruled that the aggravated perjury charges against Ure, Buentello and Smith are the only charges in the indictments that will stand. The other four charges against them and both charges against Armstrong must be rewritten to specifically outline the crimes they're accused of, the ruling said.

If Tyler leaves the indictments unedited, defense lawyers' motion to quash the indictments will be granted, according to the ruling.
“I'm genuinely pleased with Judge Cheshire's ruling. It is my hope that no further action is necessary in this matter, and that I can move to continue working with concerned citizens for the benefit of Victoria,” said Armstrong.

Scot Courtney, who represents Buentello, said he had never seen such a deeply flawed indictment.
Schaffer, Courtney and Greg Cagle, who represents Ure, will get copies of grand jury testimony, Cheshire ruled.

“A defendant has the right to fair notice of the specific charged offense under the Texas and United States Constitutions, and the notice must be sufficient to allow the defendant to prepare a defense,” the judge wrote in the introduction to his ruling.

Hit, run and incarcerate

Nail the sucker's hide to the figurative tree.

Charges filed against hit-and-run suspect


A man who police believe fled the scene of a five-vehicle on Friday and wrecked his van into a tree was charged with evading arrest and intoxication assault, according to city and county records.

Michael Scott Quinn, 45, was the driver of the van witnesses said fled the scene of a crash at the intersection of W.W. White Road and Rigsby Avenue around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, according to a police report.

A San Antonio police officer spotted the van later at a bar parking lot. When police approached the van, the driver fled down South Presa driving around 30-45 mph on blown-out tires, according to police.

The officer following the van saw the driver veer off the road and into a tree at South Presa Street and Story Lane.

The passenger, Tina Laverne Eagle 43, told police Quinn tried to evade the officers, the report said. Eagle was in stable condition at University Hospital on Saturday.

Quinn was transported to University Hospital, but his condition was not released Saturday.

Whoopdie Doo, another shooting

Another shooting in the Murder City.

Maybe the action is moving north from Nuevo Laredo?
Can anything be done to stop this? Sure, how about stiffer prosecution?

Man hospitalized in W. Side shooting
- Express-News

A 21-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries early Saturday when he was shot multiple times on the West Side, according to a police report.

Police found Esequiel Sosa shot two times — in the stomach and buttock — as he lay on the ground in the 100 block of Dolores Avenue at 2:15 a.m. According to the report, Sosa had just left a bar with a friend when the two were flagged down in their vehicle by someone who the pair believed to be a friend. When they stopped the SUV, several men began assaulting the pair, the report said.

Sosa was unresponsive when police arrived and was transported to University
Hospital in critical condition. His condition there was not released.

Barking up the wrong tree

You need to change the way you go about catching this thief.
How about this sheriff?
I bet he'll give the term "dogged pursuit" a whole new meaning.

Residents: Beagle stealing shoes

WAVELAND, Ind., (UPI) -- People in Waveland, Ind., say a string of bizarre shoe thefts are being blamed on a beagle believed to be taking the shoes to a local fire station.

Angie Jeffers said one of her son's shoes disappeared after being left outside overnight and soon turned up near the firehouse, WLFI-TV in Lafayette, Ind., reported Wednesday.

Locals said shoes began arriving at the fire department in June and since then only Jeffers and one other person have reported seeing the thief -- a small beagle.
"He's a little beagle dog," said Jeffers. "He was laying there in the sun on the ramp, where the firetrucks come out, with a shoe beside him."

Acting town marshal Rob Kiger said he also spotted the beagle, who is believed to be a stray, carrying a tennis shoe in his mouth and another curious item on his head.

"The shoe bandit beagle came out of the alley and down this street, with a pair of women's underwear on his head," said Kiger. "He turned down the street and headed for the fire department."

Officials said the dog, who takes only one shoe at a time and never leaves any bite marks on the items, has proven difficult to capture.

"Can't catch him," Kiger said. "A lot of people have tried. But nobody can catch him."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stolen trailer recovered

Good eyes, Task Force guys the scourge of the auto/truck bad guys.

Stolen semi recovered
From staff reports: The Herald-Zeitung

Auto Theft Task Force officers in Comal County recently recovered a Great Dane semi trailer reported stolen in Canada.

The truck was located carrying produce along Interstate 35 about two weeks ago.

The owner-operator driver was arrested and his tractor trailer rig has been impounded by law enforcement in Comal County, according to Deputy Mykel Andaloro, who is assigned to the task force.

Sgt. John Bailey said in its current condition, the trailer is worth about $45,000. The seized tractor that was pulling the trailer is registered to the driver and has an estimated value of about $75,000, according to Bailey.

Bad child

Wow, Man o' Law is glad this isn't my son.

I feel badly for his parents.

Official’s son will get special prosecutor

Authorities say a special prosecutor will be appointed to handle the latest legal case against Wesley Schneider, son of Bandera County Attorney Kerry Schneider, who remained in the Bandera County Jail under $1,500 bond.

Bandera Police Chief Jim Eigner said Wesley Schneider, 23, was arrested on assault and trespass charges Aug. 21 when an officer called to a disturbance saw Schneider with his hands on a woman at her apartment after having previously received a trespass warning.

A jail official said Schneider pleaded no contest to assault and was fined $200 on Aug. 22, but the criminal trespass charge remains.

Since 2002, Wesley Schneider has been arrested five other times, court records show, on charges of burglary, illegally possessing a weapon, evading arrest, DWI and possessing pot, but those cases were dismissed.

Special prosecutor Therese Huntzinger dismissed the DWI and pot case last spring after concluding a DPS trooper lacked probable cause to stop Schneider’s car. The other cases were dropped upon completion of terms set in 2003 for a deferred adjudication sentence.

Its like the energizer bunny case

What a tangled mess. Will it ever get fully resolved?

No progress in Shue case
Zeke MacCormack - Express-News

BOERNE — Two months after Kendall County Court at Law Judge Bill Palmer’s controversial ruling that Air Force Col. Philip Shue was murdered, Shue’s bizarre death is still officially listed as a suicide, and the investigation of it remains closed.
Authorities saw a troubled man’s elaborately staged death at his own hand. His widow, Tracy Shue, contending he was abducted, tortured and killed, hoped the ruling by Palmer in a civil case would prompt a new investigation.

Palmer said Friday he’s not heard from law enforcement officials about his homicide conclusion, which ran contrary to suicide findings by the medical examiner, Air Force investigators and former Justice of the Peace Nancy White.
Justice of the Peace Larry James, who succeeded White, recently received a letter from the state on how to change Shue’s death certificate to comply with Palmer’s July 18 order directing the Texas Department of State Health Services to “take all actions necessary” to amend the certificate to reflect it was homicide.

Uncertain how to respond, James asked County Attorney Don Allee to seek an attorney general’s opinion.
“It’s a very questionable area,” Allee said of whether Palmer has the authority to order the cause of death changed.

Shue, a Wilford Hall psychiatrist, died April 16, 2003 from head injuries when his car crashed into trees beside Interstate 10. His hands and ankles were wrapped in duct tape, his nipples had been cut off, and his wallet and military identification were never found.

District Attorney Bruce Curry said he’s unaware of any new evidence to warrant reopening the case in which a grand jury found no compelling evidence of a crime.
He noted Palmer’s order didn’t explain the basis for the murder conclusion, which came one week into what was slated to be a five-week trial of a negligence suit Tracy Shue filed against USAA Life Insurance Co.

“If the judge really had information (about a murder), I’m sure he would come forward with it,” Curry said.
The surprise trial ending, in which both sides abruptly rested and Palmer quickly ruled, saw the judge reject the suit’s claim that USAA mishandled a $500,000 policy held on Shue by his ex-wife, Nancy Shue.

Palmer, who said in his ruling that trial evidence indicated Shue was murdered, refused to discuss it Friday. He said he could not recall issuing the July 18 order, found in the lawsuit file, to amend the death certificate.

Tracy Shue’s lawyer, Jason Davis, has not asked the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office to reopen the case, citing his contention that it mishandled the original investigation. But he declined to say whether he had asked any federal authorities to look into the case in which he said lots of new evidence has been unearthed since the 2003 grand jury review.
And he refused to allow access to more than 2,000 trial exhibits that apparently formed the foundation for Palmer’s murder ruling.

However, Davis, a former federal prosecutor, said, “I’d be happy to present the case to a grand jury.”
Asked if he’d take that offer, Curry said, “I don’t think so.”

Fast moving

Man o' Law, having one time hit 138 mph somewhere along I-10 in a Corvette, purely in the interest of justice of course, says 200 + mph is hauling!!

Retired police officer breaks world speed record
By David Uhler - Express-News

A retired San Antonio police officer broke a world speed record last week at the Bonneville saltflats.

Then his brother got behind the wheel a couple of days later and broke it again.
Russell Duffin, 63, now is the owner of the record in Unblown Grand Touring Sports with a speed of 230.545.

A 1962 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, Duffin is the owner of Duffin Auto Service, an engine rebuilding shop near San Antonio International Airport.

Piling on

Its okay, bury him in indictments Bruce.

Gun charge added to other accusations
Zeke MacCormack - Express-News

A Kendall County grand jury on Friday returned a theft of a firearm indictment against Allen W. Doelitsch Jr., who’s already jailed here on a charge of soliciting a minor to commit capital murder for allegedly plotting an attack on Boerne-Samuel V. Champion High School with a 14-year-old friend.

District Attorney Bruce Curry said the state jail felony theft charge stems from a vehicle burglary June 22 in which a handgun was stolen.

Doelitsch, 18, admitted taking the gun in an interview Tuesday at the Kendall County Jail, where he is being held under $500,000 bond on the solicitation charge. He said investigators overreacted to his joking text messages to the friend about a killing spree at the high school by arresting him Aug. 22.

Car chases

It sounds like it was a busy evening in Olmos park.

Regarding the police officer firing his shotgun four times at the driver who had shot at him and was pointing his gun, bullets are cheap your life isn't.

Pursuits end with one dead, 2 injured
By Michelle Mondo and Elaine Ayo - Express-News

An Olmos Park Police officer shot and killed a man Friday evening after police said the man fled the scene of a burglary, led the officer on a short chase and shot at the officer out of the window of the car while trying to speed down a residential street on the North Side.

A short time later, in an unrelated incident, two people suspected of fleeing a multi-vehicle hit-and-run traffic accident on the East Side were seriously injured when their vehicle crashed on the South Side while being pursued by San Antonio police.
While the burglary and chase began in Olmos Park, San Antonio Police were investigating the shooting because it occurred in the city limits.

The North Side events began to unfold about 5:30 p.m. when an Olmos Park police officer responded to a burglary in progress call at an unknown location, said SAPD Chief William McManus.
When the officer arrived, the man fled in a tan, four-door car and the officer pursued him.
During the chase, the man caused one crash on Contour Drive but it was unknown if anyone was injured in that wreck, police said. The chase continued off Basse Road onto Beacon Avenue, where the driver of the car began shooting out of his window at the officer while speeding down the residential street, McManus said.
One bullet pierced the front windshield of the officer’s truck.
After firing the shots out of the window, the driver crashed his car into the curb where Beacon dead-ends at a turn onto Weizmann Street.

With the car stopped, the officer pulled his truck beside it then walked up to the driver’s side. The officer told police he saw the driver raise a gun and point it at him so he fired four times into the vehicle with a shotgun, killing the driver, McManus said.
SAPD dispatch received a call for the shooting at 5:39 p.m.
The name or age of the deceased was not known, police said.

McManus said the 5-year-veteran with Olmos Park Police suffered non life-threatening injuries, possibly from shattered glass, and was transported to Methodist Hospital.
Candacy Baker, who lives on Beacon Avenue, heard the gunshots, which prompted her to look outside.
“I saw (the victim’s) car flying down the street,” she said. “It already looked all smashed up. Then I saw the cop car.”
Baker didn’t see the shooting but said she watched as paramedics tended to the officer.
“It looked like they were flushing out his eyes with something,” she said.

Olmos Park Police did not release the name of the officer or any other details of the original burglary call. A sergeant said more details would be released following further investigation.
In the second, unrelated incident, a suspect in the five-vehicle hit-and-run accident on the East Side rammed his van into a tree, sending him and a female passenger to an area hospital, police said.

The initial wreck occurred at around 7:15 p.m. Friday at South W.W. White Road and Rigsby Avenue. The suspect fled the scene of that accident, which involved four other vehicles, and headed toward a bar on South Presa Street, where witnesses followed the suspect’s grey and maroon van and alerted police.
When police approached the van, the driver took off down South Presa driving around 30-45 mph on blown out tires.

The officer following the van observed the driver veer off the road and into a tree in front of a clinic near the intersection of South Presa and Story Lane. The driver and his passenger were rushed to an area hospital in “stable but serious condition,” Deputy Chief Jeff Humphrey said.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A winning combination

Sorry, I don't usually stray (too much) into the political arena but I am very pleased with Senator John McCain's pick of Governor Sarah Palin as his VP candidate. Now I can look at my daughters and truly say (as I always have) you can be anything you aspire to be.

Its about dang time.

The Palin Pick
By NRO Editors

By picking Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has wowed the public and enthused the Right. He has reinforced some of his winning themes — that he has the mindset of an outsider and a fighter against corruption. He has also reinforced his appeal as the candidate more in touch with traditional values on moral issues.

None of McCain’s possible choices was perfect, and attention is being paid to the way that Palin undercuts other McCain themes, such as the importance of experience in foreign policy. Palin will have to reassure voters of her steadiness when she speaks at the Republican convention and when she debates Joe Biden. McCain, meanwhile, will have to carry most of the foreign-policy load himself and showcase his good health.

We hope that the choice of Palin also signals a decisive turn toward a campaign theme of fighting for the middle class. McCain and Palin can and should say that they will fight to protect Americans from our foreign enemies, to stop liberal excesses, and to reform dysfunctional institutions. They should not accept the portrait of middle-class Americans as hapless victims that so many of the Democratic speakers this week portrayed; but they need to show that they share middle-class frustrations. Strength in foreign policy; reforms of taxes and health care geared to the middle class; and a moderate social conservatism: It’s a potentially winning message, and now Republicans have a ticket that is suited to it.

In yer birthday suit

That's not the way to celebrate your birthday I guess.

Go get into a private pool. Also i do not know why the headline says his 32nd birthday and the article sayd his 23rd maybe they wer celebrating too. LOL

Man celebrates 32nd birthday swimming naked; gets arrested

NAPLES -- Levi Zachary Humphrey had a novel way of celebrating his 23rd birthday -- in his birthday suit.

Marco Island police officers responded to a call about a man lying in the roadway by the Goodland Bridge on July 30, 2007, and found him swimming naked. So they called the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, which sent a corporal and a boat from its marine unit.

Cpl. Michael Kovar called out to the man, who was sitting in shallow water about 100 feet away from the bridge, but he refused to go to shore and appeared intoxicated, screaming at himself and splashing, according to arrest reports. Kovar headed out in the boat and plucked him from the water.

The man repeatedly refused to disclose his name. Kovar handcuffed him for safety reasons and the man spit on the boat. When Kovar told him to stop, he spit in Kovar’s face, so the corporal turned him away from him as they headed to shore.

After more prompting, Humphrey relented and said he was Jesus Christ.

At the jail, his fingerprints revealed he was Humphrey of 841 S.W. Third Ave. N., Golden Gate, and had a criminal record. He was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and providing a false name to law enforcement.

In court Monday, Humphrey told Collier Circuit Judge Frank Baker he’d been celebrating his birthday and pleaded for probation. He’d faced up to five years for the third-degree felony battery charge and a year in jail on the misdemeanor, but was sentenced as part of a plea bargain negotiated by Assistant State Attorney Tino Cimato and defense attorney Timothy Moffit.

Moffit asked the judge for a furlough so Humphrey, a steelworker who now lives in Alabama, could get his affairs in order. The judge agreed to two weeks but he increased the sentence to a year in jail followed by three years of probation. When Humphrey surrenders on Sept. 12, the judge will mitigate it to the agreed-to term: four months in the county jail, with credit for a week he served there before posting bond.

The judge gave him some advice about swimming while drunk and naked. “Get a cape next time,” Baker said. “It was humorous in a way, but you could have drowned.”

The fat lady sung (I am certainly not meaning Judge Karen Angelini)

Its over, let it go. Move on and win clearly next time.

Battle for Webb's sheriff's badge is over
Lynn Brezosky - Express-News Rio Grande Valley Bureau

BROWNSVILLE — Following a defeat at the state's 4th Court of Appeals, Webb County Sheriff Rick Flores has at long last conceded his re-election bid to opponent Martin Cuellar.
But while Flores is ready to move past the months of post-primary recounts and court hearings, Cuellar's camp isn't about to let suspicions Flores fixed the vote slide.
“It's not over for the people that broke the law and tried to manipulate the outcome of the election,” Cuellar spokesman Colin Strother said Thursday.

The score sheet since the March 4 primary shows Cuellar winning 4-1 — all contests except a May 1 tally for which Flores fronted funds and that briefly put him ahead by 133 votes.
Cuellar's folks complained the election judge didn't allow them to see what was going on and now say almost all the votes that put Flores ahead came from one counter.

Webb County Democratic Chairman Sergio Mora agreed something didn't look right.
“If you see evidence ... you see that almost all the recounts never deviate except ones called by this caller,” Mora said. “We obviously noticed this severe discrepancy and contacted the attorney general's office.”
The May 1 recount followed Cuellar's 37-vote lead in the April 8 runoff. But a judicial recount of the recount put Cuellar ahead by 42 votes.

On July 17, State District Judge David Peeples refused to call a new runoff based on Flores' contention of illegal ballots cast and problems with the voting machines.
Wednesday, the Court of Appeals affirmed Peeples' decision.

“Because Flores did not establish by clear and convincing evidence that voting irregularities materially affected the outcome of the election, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to order a new election,” Justice Karen Angelini wrote.

Flores on Thursday said Cuellar was still trying to blame him for a flawed vote.
“If he wants to start getting dirty again, that's the truth, and I hope that the attorney general finds out what really happened,” he said.

Here comes the Judge!

What goes on under those robes and in their minds?

Sad, if true.

Federal judge indicted on sex charges
Express-News -

HOUSTON — A federal judge accused of fondling a former court employee was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent is charged with two counts of abusive sexual contact and one count of attempted aggravated sexual abuse.

A former case manager at the U.S. District Court in Galveston accused Kent of twice touching her under her clothing and repeatedly making obscene suggestions during the six years she worked with him.

The indictment, first reported by the Houston Chronicle, alleges the criminal conduct happened on Aug. 29, 2003, and March 23, 2007, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich said in a statement.

Kent's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, called any sexual contact that may have happened between Kent and his accuser consensual.

Dog bites man

When will we, the community, do something about folks with vicious dogs?

How many more children have to die or folks get mauled? A Hundred? A Thousand?

A Hundred Thousand?

Wake up folks, these beasts live amongst us and their owners are indifferent to security precautions.

Pair of pit bulls leave poodle owner seriously injured
David Saleh Rauf - Express-News

Two pit bulls mauled a woman walking her poodle in a West Side neighborhood Thursday afternoon, leaving behind a blood-soaked sidewalk where witnesses said the dogs viciously tore at the woman's body despite efforts to pry them off.

By the time police arrived, the woman was already being taken to Brooke Army Medical Center to be treated for serious injuries, San Antonio Police Officer Rick Heredia said.
As a result, police at the scene did not know the woman's condition, but onlookers and neighbors who tried to help fend off the dogs said she was covered in blood, with bites to her head, face, arms and legs.

“They bit her everywhere you can think of,” said Crystal Rodriguez, a resident of the neighborhood who saw the women being treated by emergency responders.
Officials were still investigating how the dogs made their way to the sidewalk and exactly what provoked the attack in the 2200 block of South Brazos Street.

Lisa Norwood, an Animal Control Services spokeswoman, said an initial investigation showed that the dogs came off the property and that the gate may have been open when the woman, whose identity was not immediately released, walked by with her poodle.

The 3 p.m. attack left a scene that drew crowds from around the neighborhood: Blood splatter stained the street and sidewalk where the woman was attacked; her poodle, killed in the attack, lay at the edge, while a second victim who tried to help the woman was being treated for a bite to his ankle.

A half block away, a black and white male pit bull that attacked the woman lay lifeless in front of a small grocery store.
The dog, shot by the first responding officer, apparently carried itself about a half block, leaving behind a trail of blood, before plopping in the middle of the street.
The second dog, a fawn female pit bull, was taken by ACS, where it's future will be determined by officials, Norwood said.

“We warned the owner that his dogs are too mean, and sure enough look what happened today,” said Dennis Rojas, whose father lives behind the pit bulls.
He said his father has had problems with the dogs in the past.
The owner had not been located as of Thursday afternoon, and police could not say if he would face charges.

The Legislature passed a series of bills last session aimed at cracking down on dogs that attack.
The measures, which increase criminal penalties for owners of such dogs, were prompted after a spate of high profile dog attacks across the state, including the death of a 10-year-old San Antonio girl who was mauled by a pit bull in 2007.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Assistant DA murdered

May God rest his soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family.

Adams County Prosecutor Fatally Shot At Home
Sean May Shot In NW Denver Home Wednesday Night

DENVER -- A prosecutor for the Adams County District Attorney Office was shot to death outside his home in northwest Denver Wednesday night and the gunman is on the loose.
The victim was officially identified Thursday as 37-year-old Sean May.
He was shot around 6:20 p.m., in the 3300 block of West 36th Avenue. May was rushed to St. Anthony Central Hospital where he died.

The body was turned over to the Denver Coroner's Office, which will conduct an autopsy.
District Attorney Don Quick issued a statement that said, in part:

"May had been with the office for seven years and was responsible for the supervision and training of new deputy district attorneys. Sean was a talented prosecutor, a loving husband and a steadfast friend. Sean leaves a wife who is six months pregnant with their first child. We are all shocked and devastated by this terribly tragedy. Sean was a part of our office family and the loss is immeasurable. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family.”

The gunman escaped and was being sought. He was described as a white or Hispanic man, in his late teens to early 20s. He is approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall. He has dark medium-length hair and a dark colored mustache and goatee. He was last seen wearing a black baseball style cap worn backwards, a white short sleeve T-shirt, khaki-colored knee-length cargo style shorts and unknown color tennis shoes.

Witnesses told police that the gunman fired several shots at the victim before running away.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

May was the lead prosecutor who tried the Javier Vigil case in 2007. Vigil was racing another vehicle through a construction zone on Federal Boulevard near West 58th Avenue, when he hit and killed a construction worker. Vigil was convicted of criminally negligent homicide.

Last year, May prosecuted a Broomfield police officer accused of accidentally hitting his stepdaughter in the eye with a stun gun, blinding her. The officer was given probation.

A Sean May Memorial Account has been set up at Wells Fargo. Contributions can be made to any Wells Fargo in the country, according to the Adams County District Attorney's Office.

I'm hungry take the food, leave the money

I think that they probably need to steal glasses first.

Robbers in a hurry steal cakes, not cash
From correspondents in Kuala Lumpur
Article from: Agence France-Presse

MALAYSIAN robbers ran off with a bag of cakes instead of 1.9 million ringgit ($651,000) in cash in a botched heist.

In the second robbery to hit Malaysian airports this year, two masked gunmen fired 10 shots at a money changer at northern Penang state's airport, the Star daily reported.
Security guard Zainol Othman, who accompanied the money changer as he got out of a van and put his personal bags on a trolley, told the paper he fled with the cash when the robbers attacked.
"I knew it was a robbery. The first thought that came to mind was to save the money,'' he told the Star.

"In the midst of the commotion, the robbers grabbed the money changer's bags, thinking that I had already placed the money bag onto the trolley,'' he said.

The newspaper said the thieves sped off in a getaway car with the bags, one of which contained mooncakes, a Chinese delicacy.

The money changer was taken to hospital where he was in a stable condition.

In April, thieves escaped with more than $1 million after attacking two money changers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.


Wow, he must really really suck at lying.

Truck Driver Robbed Own Truck

YAPHANK, N.Y. (AP) -- Suffolk County police say the story just didn't make sense.
A delivery truck driver said he had been robbed at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon while attempting to put a large amount of cash into a safe at the back of the vehicle.

But authorities were suspicious, since there didn't seem to be any witnesses and the driver couldn't say what the robber looked like. After further questioning, police said the driver confessed he was the one who actually stole the money.

The driver was charged with grand larceny and making a false report, and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

Attempted muder-suicide

I hope she will recover and be alright.

Man kills himself after wounding wife

Wednesday, three weeks after Gwendolyn Robinson, told her husband, Leon, that she wanted a divorce, the man broke into her East Side home and shot her before killing himself, police and relatives said.

Relatives, including at least one youth, were inside the residence in the 500 block of Saints Haven when Leon Robinson, 42, broke in about 3 a.m. They escaped and called police before hearing gunshots inside.

Tactical Response Unit Officers entered the mobile home and found Leon Robinson dead in a bedroom closet. Nearby, his wife had a gunshot wound to the back of her head. Gwendolyn Robinson, 43, was taken to University Hospital in critical condition.

San Antonio police Sgt. Marcus Booth said the husband apparently shot himself after shooting his wife.

Appeal away

I thought that once you were appointed to a case you were appointed through the appellate process. perhaps i am incorrect, particularly as Bexar County now has an Appellate Public defender office.

Good luck.

Appeal of ex-lawyer's theft convictions tossed
Guillermo Contreras - Express-News

An appeals court Wednesday dismissed an appeal by a former lawyer convicted of helping extort money from her lovers because she filed it too late.
In a short opinion, the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio said the procedural blunder in the case of Mary Roberts required the court to dismiss the appeal, but it left the door open for a remedy.

Roberts can file another motion in which she might allege her one-time trial lawyer was ineffective in his assistance, the court wrote. Roberts, who was convicted of five counts of theft in December and was sentenced to 10 years of probation, has been squabbling with the lawyer, Mike McCrum, much of the summer.

Court documents show Roberts and an appellate lawyer that she and her husband hired, Leslie Werner de Soliz of Victoria, blame McCrum for not filing Roberts' notice of appeal on time. They further allege that he filed a court pleading since then to try to absolve himself of blame.
Reached Wednesday, Werner de Soliz said there are other appellate remedies they will pursue and that the case “is not over.”
McCrum, reached by phone Wednesday, declined comment.

McCrum was the lead lawyer for Mary Roberts at trial. After she was convicted, she informed 226th District Judge Sid Harle, who presided over her trial, that she could not afford an attorney for her appeal, court documents show.
Harle appointed McCrum for the appeal May 27 — six days after the appeal filing deadline had passed, court records show. The order also said McCrum should be paid $6,500 by the state to represent Roberts.

In a pleading he filed, McCrum said the Robertses told him they had extensive experience in state court appeals and that they had “secured the assistance and representation” of Werner de Soliz, who is board certified in appellate law.
Roberts and her husband, Ted Roberts, extracted $155,000 in hush-money payments from married men with whom Mary had brief affairs in 2001. She met some of them through an adult Web site.

Ted Roberts threatened to expose the men's infidelities in court unless they agreed to pay him. He employed an unusual procedure, called a “202 petition,” that lent his threats an air of legal authority. The petitions can be used to gather information for legal discovery, but prosecutors said they were nothing more than a cover for the blackmail.

Ted Roberts was convicted on three of five theft counts at his own trial, and he was sentenced to five years in prison. He is free on bond pending the resolution of his appeal. The 4th Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments in his case for Sept. 9. McCrum withdrew this summer from his appeal.

Ted and Mary Roberts both have lost their law licenses because of their convictions.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kiss and tell

You got to admit that it was a novel defense.

But you can't acquit.

He kissed, he told and he was cited for underage drinking

A teenage college student tried -- and failed -- to persuade Mankato police that a makeout session was behind his being tipsy.

After campus security at Minnesota State University, Mankato, reported a stumbling male on the street about 2:45 a.m. Saturday, police approached 18-year-old James A. Carroll and gave him a preliminary breath test. Carroll scored a 0.063 percent reading, police Cmdr. Amy Vokal said Tuesday.

Carroll's excuse, according to Vokal, was that he "was making out with a drunk" female about 30 minutes earlier.

For the record, Vokal said, such a scenario "is not possible. The breath [that is tested] comes from the lungs."

As for the partner in crime Carroll blamed, "That person didn't come forward," Vokal said.
Carroll was cited for underage consumption and sent on his way, Vokal said.

The full Brazillian

Imagine thieves with a heart of gold!

Thieves left money instead of taking car


A Brazilian woman says car thieves left her money instead of taking her car when they realised its poor condition.

Flavia Alcantara from Belo Horizonte, had left a note on the windscreen warning thieves that the car was not worth stealing.

Her note read: "Mr Robber, please do not steal this car. It has no batteries, no spare tyre. It is in bad shape. Thank you for your attention."

Mrs Alcantara says someone later tried to steal the car but ended up leaving it - along with a one reai banknote, worth the equivalent of 40p.

"The robber must have felt sorry for me," she told Terra Noticias Populares..

"I put the note to attract the robbers' attention. I wanted to stop them taking a car which wasn't worth stealing anyway."

Money she wrote

Ooops! They said.

I guess they found our secret account, they said.

Newly discovered co-op account paid 3 former officials
Roger Croteau - Express-News

The former general manager, board president and general counsel for Pedernales Electric Cooperative were paid more than $100,000 each in the late 1980s from a recently discovered bank account, PEC officials revealed Tuesday.
It sparked fresh anger from a state senator who has been probing the trio's years of control of the co-op, the state's largest, which serves 225,000 members in a multicounty region in the Hill Country.

The interest-free bank account at Cattleman's National Bank still contains $565,000. It was in the name of Texland Electric Cooperative, a joint venture between PEC and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to build and operate lignite-fueled power plants. The venture was begun and eventually abandoned in the 1980s.
PEC officials recently discovered the account and are in the process of determining how to divide the money with Bluebonnet.

Earlier this month, PEC General Manager Juan Garza said it did not appear that the account was a “slush fund” for former managers or board members because records he'd been able to obtain going back six years showed no activity.

But in a letter dated Thursday, former PEC General Manager Bennie Fuelberg and former Board President W.W. “Bud” Burnett revealed single payments made to them and to then-PEC General Counsel A.W. Moursund from the account. Fuelberg and Burnett were paid about $111,600 each, and Moursund was paid $150,000, all apparently in the late 1980s.
The letter said the money was for work the three did to help end decade-long litigation relating to the Texland project, “earned for years of hard but ultimately successful efforts on behalf of Texland ... that also benefited PEC.”
“Following this payment, we never received another payment from this account or from Texland,” the letter states.

State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Marble Falls, who has pushed for investigations of PEC and for new legislation governing electric co-ops in the wake of recent revelations of high pay and perks for managers and board members at Pedernales, said he was outraged.
“This revelation is a continuing pattern of how Fuelberg and Burnett lined their own pockets by fleecing the PEC membership,” Fraser said in a prepared statement. “Once the Texland bank account was made known to the members, Fuelberg and Burnett knew it was only a matter of time before this information was uncovered. I want to know what else they are hiding from the members.”

The Texas attorney general's office is investigating past PEC practices to determine if any laws were broken.
PEC District 4 board member Robert Reed used the word “outraged” to describe his feelings.
“I was not aware that Texland was an active entity, and certainly not aware there was a non-interest-bearing bank account in Texland's name. To find out payments were actually made from this account without board knowledge and approval is extremely disheartening,” he said.

Words do matter

Its not a joking matter these days. Not when unfortunately, young adults follow through on these threats and people are left after the outrage and wonder why they ignored the signs and portents.

Boerne threats ‘just a joke'
Zeke MacCormack - Express-News

BOERNE — Words matter.

Allen W. Doelitsch Jr. is grappling with that reality behind bars after text messages he exchanged with a 14-year-old friend led to his arrest Friday on a first-degree felony charge: criminal solicitation of a minor to commit capital murder.
Doelitsch, 18, confirmed authoring messages that police see as evidence he was plotting an attack on Champion High School here, but he said authorities overreacted.
“I think it's really stupid, seriously,” he said Tuesday at Kendall County Jail, where he was being held in lieu of posting $500,000 bond.
“I never said I was going to do it, I just said I feel like doing it,” he said. “That's a different story.”

It's not the first time Doelitsch's remarks about the 1999 Columbine High School attack have drawn police scrutiny. Doelitsch said depression has fueled his fixation on the deadly shootings by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.
“That's what I feel like doing. I'm not going to do it,” he said.
Doelitsch served time in juvenile detention in 2006 for writing graffiti in a Boerne High School bathroom, including, “remember Klebold,” “Hitler was awesome,” and “don't piss me off this school will have a shootout,” authorities said.
“It was just a joke,” he said.

Doelitsch is unemployed, lives with his mother and is seeing a therapist. He said he hadn't taken medications for his bipolar disorder for two weeks prior to the Aug. 16 messages that landed him in jail.
“Ya I know I hate life now I just wanna kill people at champion high school and then blo my own head off,” he wrote, according to court records.
His alleged accomplice isn't charged in the case, but was booked into Kerr County Juvenile Detention Center last week for allegedly violating probation on a prior offense. The younger teen's parents couldn't be reached for comment.

Police Chief Gary Miller said several past calls about alarming remarks by Doelitsch were investigated, and his home searched, but a solid case wasn't built until the text messages were in hand.
“If we wanted to file a charge of criminal attempt at capital murder, we would have to have shown more than mere preparation for the crime,” he said Tuesday. “This offense requires only that he solicit a minor to commit a particular crime.”
While conceding that talk of killing sprees is dark and disturbing, Doelitsch dismissed it as harmless, idle venting.

“I've been a good kid all my life,” he said.
But he ran afoul of the law at least three times this summer.
Charges of trespassing and enticing a minor were filed against him in June for allegedly going to Boerne High School, despite being banned there, and for contacting an underage girl he'd been warned to avoid.

Also in June, he led police to a handgun — at the 14-year-old's house — that Doelitsch admits taking from a car while trying to steal gas money. He isn't charged in that case.
Doelitsch said his mother, who couldn't be reached, didn't punish him for those problems.
The discovery of the gun amplified officials' concerns about a potential attack by the pair.
“Everyone believed that they were each capable and that if given the opportunity, they would carry out the crime,” Miller said. “We've seen reports from counselors who interviewed Doelitsch who felt he was dangerous.”

Prosecutors agreed it was time to hold Doelitsch accountable for his words.
“In these instances, you err on the side of caution, of safety,” the chief said.
Doelitsch, who said he didn't know the charge against him Tuesday — or that it carried a maximum penalty of 99 years in prison — seemed to have gained a new respect for the ramifications of loose talk about deadly acts.
“If I get out of this I'm never going to think about it again,” he said, wiping away tears. “I just don't want to ruin my life. ... I just want to get back to the real world.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Look out the prosecutor is packing

Gives a whole new meaning to quick draw in the court room.

Houston DA wants to keep assistants from packing heat in courtroom
Clay Robison - Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN — Harris County District Attorney Ken Magidson has asked the state's top lawyer if he can legally stop his assistants from taking handguns into courtrooms despite a new law removing most restrictions on where prosecutors with gun licenses can carry their weapons.
Magidson requires members of his staff, even those with concealed handgun licenses, to obtain his permission, as a condition of employment, before they can carry a firearm into a courtroom.

He is seeking Attorney General Greg Abbott's opinion on whether he can continue that policy, despite a 2007 law that allows prosecutors with handgun licenses to pack their pistols anywhere except jails or prisons. They also are prohibited from carrying them while intoxicated.
“While it may now be legal for a prosecutor to carry a licensed concealed handgun in a courtroom, I retain significant concerns with regard to the level of training that should be required in order to permit prosecutors to safely carry firearms in the volatile environment of a criminal courthouse,” Magidson said in a letter to Abbott.
“A disgruntled court participant might attempt to seize control of a weapon in order to effect an escape or harm other individuals,” he added.

The letter, sent earlier this month, recently was posted on the attorney general's Web site.
Magidson said his predecessor, Chuck Rosenthal, enforced a formal written policy prohibiting prosecutors from taking firearms into courtrooms.

Although the Legislature changed the law, Magidson said he has continued to require his assistants to obtain his permission before taking handguns into court. He said he allows only prosecutors “who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency to a certified firearms instructor on my staff” to do so.
He is seeking Abbott's opinion because several of his assistants questioned the legality of his policy.
Magidson argued that the new changes don't restrict his ability, as an employer, to impose his own requirements on employees.

“The authority of an employer to restrict the carrying of licensed handguns on the premises under the employer's control is expressly recognized” in state law, Magidson said.

Rob Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, said his group didn't seek the 2007 changes. He said as far as he knew they had become an issue only in Harris, Fort Bend and El Paso counties but didn't know how any disputes were resolved.

Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey couldn't be reached Monday for comment.
Magidson allows prosecutors who have handgun licenses to carry their weapons in the district attorney's offices and unrestricted areas of county buildings.

He said he didn't know how many of his assistants have gun licenses.

Cheks aren't cash

The never ending saga continues.

Charges against DeLay in question
Janet Elliott - Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN — Tom DeLay's attorney said Monday that prosecutors can't convict the former U.S. House majority leader on money laundering charges because of an appeals court ruling that said the law applied to cash, not checks, when the alleged laundering of corporate campaign donations occurred.
DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said he expects the charges eventually will be dismissed because of Friday's ruling from the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals.

He said Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle's “team indicted Tom DeLay and wrecked his career based on statutes that weren't even on the books at the time the conduct took place.”
The indictments cost DeLay his leadership position. The Sugar Land Republican resigned from Congress in 2006 and is working as a consultant in Washington D.C.

Earle said it's premature to suggest DeLay will be cleared by the decision involving his two former political associates. Earle said he was pleased that the court upheld the state's ban on corporate contributions to political candidates, but disagreed with its reasoning on whether checks could be used to launder funds.
“The distinction that the court made was absurd,” Earle said. “You ask people struggling to pay their grocery or gasoline bills whether a check is money and you are certainly going to get an earful.”

DeLay, John Colyandro and James Ellis are accused of funneling $190,000 in corporate donations illegally to seven Texas House candidates in 2002. Prosecutors allege they conspired to violate the corporate ban by laundering money through national Republican Party accounts.
The three have denied any wrongdoing. DeGuerin said a similar amount of money sent by the national party to Texas legislative candidates came from separate legal donors in other states.
“They kept a Chinese wall between corporate money and individual money,” he said.

The appeals court refused to dismiss money laundering and conspiracy charges against Colyandro and Ellis, who were indicted one year before DeLay. The court found that the Texas law banning corporate contributions to political candidates is not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad.

But in its lengthy discussion, the court said that checks were not covered by the money laundering statute prior to 2005, when the Legislature defined “funds” to include checks, money orders, and electronic funds.

Although DeLay was not a party to the appeal, the decision is expected to apply to his case.
Earle said he doesn't believe the court's opinion “created any real obstacle to our prosecution of all of the defendants.”

A trial judge in 2005 considered the checks vs. cash argument and declined to dismiss the indictments.

J.D. Pauerstein, who represents Ellis, said he does not plan to appeal the ruling. He said if the ruling stands, he will again ask the trial judge to throw out the charges.

“We're pleased with the gist of the court's ruling because it undermines the money laundering prosecutions,” Pauerstein said.

You can hide but you wont beat the ride

Barring the fact that there was no one in the room and how did they talk to the girlfriend? What a pretty silly thing for him to do.

Then run?

Pretty much says: "Hey! I'm Guilty!"

Austin police search for Bexar County Sheriff's deputy
By Lomi Kriel - SAEN

Austin police on Monday were looking for a 26-year-old Bexar County Sheriff's deputy after they were called to a hotel room where authorities said the man assaulted his girlfriend.

Police said Laurence James Diamond Jr., a sheriff's deputy working patrol out of the East Side substation, was at a Doubletree Hotel with his girlfriend in the 1600 block of northbound Interstate 35, near the University of Texas campus.

At around 1 a.m., police said the woman called police claiming her boyfriend had assaulted her. Officers responding to the scene thought he had barricaded himself into his hotel room, and, hearing no response from the room and suspecting he had a weapon, called SWAT officers to the scene.

When SWAT officers finally entered the room at around 5:40 a.m., no one was inside. Police believe Diamond left the hotel while his girlfriend was calling the police. She was treated for minor injuries.

Austin police have issued a warrant for Diamond's arrest, charging him with assault/family violence, a class A misdemeanor carrying a $7500 bond. They are still searching for the deputy and anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 911.

Deputy Chief Dale Bennett said Diamond has been on the force since March 2001. The only disciplinary action he has received is two counselings for being late to work, Bennett said.

As is routine, the department will place Diamond on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the incident. The criminal investigation will be conducted concurrently.

OJ part deaux

Step right up, the first "trial of the century" this century.

Coming to a TV set near you real soon.

Judge won't delay OJ Simpson trial in Las Vegas
By KEN RITTER Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A judge on Monday rejected a request by a co-defendant of O.J. Simpson to delay their upcoming trial on charges of armed robbery and kidnapping.

A lawyer for Clarence "C.J." Stewart had asked Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass to put off the Sept. 8 trial until the Nevada Supreme Court considers Stewart's request for a separate trial.
Stewart's lawyers argue that it will be impossible for him to get a fair trial because most of the focus will be on Simpson, an NFL Hall of Fame player, actor and advertising pitchman who was acquitted in 1995 of charges that he murdered his ex-wife and her friend.

A hearing date on the fair trial issue has not been set. Stewart lawyer Robert Lucherini said he also would appeal the decision to not delay the trial. The trial is expected to last at least five weeks.

Stewart and Simpson face felony charges of kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon stemming from a confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas casino hotel room last September.

They are the last two defendants in the case. Four men who accompanied Simpson and Stewart accepted plea deals and agreed to testify against Simpson.

A kidnapping conviction carries the possibility of life in prison with the possibility of parole, and a robbery conviction would mean mandatory prison time.

Simpson maintains that he went to the hotel room to retrieve items stolen that had been from him, that he didn't ask anyone to bring guns and that he didn't know anyone in the room was armed.

Transporting stolen goods

Man, I bet a lot of stolen items go through the Flea Market on the South side of San Antonio.

What? I'm just sayin'

Local officers intercept stolen truck, tools
By Gerard MacCrossan: The Herald-Zeitung

Inventorying a load of stolen tools under the hot sun Monday wouldn’t be described as a reward for three Auto Theft Task Force local officers, but the outcome of their recent interdiction efforts was a satisfying feeling.Comal County Sheriff’s Deputy Mykel Andaloro and Det. John Bailey checked out the Ford F-350 as it passed along Interstate 35 in Comal County a week ago towing a trailer. When the four-wheel drive truck’s Vehicle Identification Number was checked and found to belong to a similar two-wheel drive truck, the officers’ suspicions were aroused. The pair learned the truck had been stolen from Tarrant County in February.

It was Monday when the officers and their colleague Department of Public Safety Sgt. Archie Harben started unloading the trailer. They pulled out construction tools, lawn mowers and other yard maintenance equipment crammed inside and almost immediately discovered some of it as reported stolen from construction site in Irving.“We have to go through and identify each piece by serial number,” Andaloro said. “We’ll take pictures of everything. We want to try to get items back to the victim.”

Bailey said part of the job will be identifying items that weren’t listed by serial number in burglary reports, but were taken in conjunction with other items that officers can identify. He said officers believe the man driving the truck, who hasn’t been arrested, was taking the items to a flea market south of San Antonio to sell. The man could face charges in each county where property was stolen. Bailey said.

Monday, August 25, 2008

At least he's not a stool pigeon

I've heard that there are a lot of pigeons in jail or prison, just not real ones.

Smuggler pigeon locked up

A pigeon's behind bars after being caught smuggling drugs into a high security jail in Bosnia.
The bird is a pet of one of the inmates and it's thought tiny bags containing heroin had been tied to its legs.

Wardens at Zenica prison grew suspicious when they noticed four prisoners becoming "visibly intoxicated" shortly after the pigeon was spotted landing on a window-ledge.
The bird's owner and three other inmates later tested positive for the drug.
"We suspect that the pigeon carried the drugs from Tuzla," said Deputy Warden Josip Pojavnik - referring to a town more than 40 miles away.

The bird has been taken into custody while an investigation is carried out.
"We do not know what to do with the pigeon," Pojavnik added. "But for the time being it will remain behind bars."

Officials are now deciding whether to suspend a rehabilitation programme at the jail that had been encouraging prisoners to breed pigeons - but they insist none of those birds were involved in the smuggling.

Sick puppies

WTF kind of folks are these?

Vile, disgusting, perverted, and totally reprehensible?

Well, pretty sick ones apparently.

Testimony reveals child sex case details
Graeme Zielinski - Express-News

The San Antonio couple accused of marketing the woman's 5-year-old daughter for sex appeared in court this week as graphic new details emerged about what a prosecutor called their “strong and violent desires.”
Jennifer Richards, 25, and her married boyfriend, Sean Michael Block, 40, appeared Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Stein Nowak, who ordered Block held. Richards' detention hearing was delayed until Tuesday.

Richards faces charges of using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor. And Block, who allegedly sent an e-mail with a link to a Russian child porn site, was charged with distributing child pornography.
Rex Miller, the FBI's lead agent on the case, testified Friday that the two had hoped to blackmail an informant with whom they had been in contact to sell Richards' 5-year-old and 10-month-old daughters for sex.

Part of the deal included a two-bedroom apartment that would be the site of the rape, Miller testified, but also child care for the 10-month-old, who “eventually” would be raped herself.
Authorities said both children are no longer in Richards' custody and that neither child was sold for sex.

Ronald Guyer, Block's lawyer, acknowledged how serious the charges appear.
“It certainly brings to mind, ‘What kind of monster is this?'” he said. But Guyer stressed to the judge that there was no evidence that the behavior progressed beyond Block's fantasy.
“There has been no action on his part,” Guyer told Nowak.

Based on an interview with Block, in which Miller said he made incriminating statements, a review of the computers the two used, and surreptitiously taped conversations, Miller said he discovered the two were making further plans to abduct, rape and “carve up” a teenage runaway.

He said Block had come to the attention of authorities as early as 2004 and again was on the radar of a Los Angeles undercover investigation in 2006, but it wasn't until earlier this month that there was enough alleged evidence to act against him.
The couple both worked at the Cheesecake Factory at North Star Mall, where he was a bartender and she was a waitress. Employees interviewed Friday expressed surprise at the charges. A manager there referred questions to the chain's corporate office.

Also Friday, Block's now-estranged wife was in court, too, though she left at one point in tears as Miller's testimony described in graphic detail Internet communications with Richards about the fantasies.

Sarah Block declined comment, as did Block's father, who had sought, unsuccessfully, to have his son placed in his custody.

Court records show that Sarah Block filed for a protective order earlier this week on behalf of the couple's 14-month-old child. Her lawyer said she filed for divorce Friday.

Another killing

Another day, another murder.

Someone knows what happened.

Man fatally stabbed near downtown

A man was stabbed to death early Sunday just north of downtown, police said. Guadalupe Ayala, 20, was found lying in the pool area of the Mulberry Village apartment complex in the 1200 block of East Mulberry Avenue.

A witness told police he heard people scuffling in the area around 4:30 a.m. and a man saying, “Wait, wait, what are you going to do,” a police report said.
A resident of the complex found the man’s body about one hour later.

Ayala suffered multiple stab wounds to the arms, the report said.
No one had been arrested in the slaying on Sunday.

Large Problem

More problems with handling an obese defendant. Giving her a GPS device seems a little silly given she is so hard to move around.

Suspect's obesity causes headaches for county

HOUSTON — Authorities are scrambling to figure out how to arrest, incarcerate and prosecute a woman estimated to weigh nearly half a ton who was indicted on capital murder charges.
Mayra Rosales, 27, has remained under house arrest since she was charged in March with beating her 2-year-old nephew to death. Rosales could face the death penalty if she is found guilty of capital murder.

But now that her case has moved into the state court system, law enforcement officials must address a whole new set of logistical problems before it can go to trial.
“We're struggling to find a place where she can be kept under lock and key,” Rene Guerra, the Hidalgo County district attorney, told the McAllen Monitor. “We have to wait and see what the judge decides.”

The Hidalgo County Jail is not physically equipped to handle an inmate who weighs nearly 1,000 pounds, Sheriff Lupe Trevino said. And even if his office found a cell and a bed large enough for her, deputies are unsure that the jail doctor is qualified to handle her various medical needs.
The costs of checking Rosales in for constant medical care could reach as high as $5,000 a day, according to the district attorney's office.
“I'm not ready to take that kind of money out of the county coffers if there are other options,” Guerra said. “But I will if I have to.”

Trevino suggested Friday that the court allow Rosales to remain under house arrest and be monitored using a global positioning system until her presence is required in court.
“I think she has shown from the day of her (initial) arrest to the day of her indictment that she's not a flight risk,” he said.

Once she is summoned to court, a new set of problems arises.
Family members had to dismantle part of Rosales' La Joya home when they moved soon after 2-year-old Eliseo Gonzalez Jr.'s death. And accommodating her in the cramped courtrooms in the Hidalgo County Courthouse could be impossible.

State law requires that all district court business take place in the county seat — in this case Edinburg. But court hearings could be moved to a more spacious building within the city limits.
“You could turn a gym into a courtroom if you needed to,” Trevino said.
Earlier this year, a New York Supreme Court justice agreed to arraign a 500-pound man in a parking lot, where he sat in the bed of a pickup truck.
Rosales has refused to comment since her initial arrest. It was unclear Friday whether she had retained an attorney.

Rosales' 20-year-old sister, Jamie Lee Rosales, the boy's mother, was indicted Thursday on one felony count of injury to a child. The offense is punishable by up to life in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Prosecutors allege the mother left her child with the boy's aunt even though the younger Rosales knew her sister was incapable of caring for a toddler.

A prison sentence of any length for the elder Rosales is likely to raise a whole new set of questions.
“The cost may be astronomical,” Trevino said. “But you can't put a price on justice.”

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What would Lou Grant do?

Man, this sounds more like something from the old Mary Tyler Moore show.

Without the canned laughter sound track of course.

Fired Philly TV anchor admits e-mail hacking
By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA - A fired TV newscaster admitted in court Friday that he illegally hacked into his co-anchor's e-mail accounts and leaked private information about her to gossip columnists.

Larry Mendte admitted that he viewed hundreds of Alycia Lane's e-mails from March 2006 to May 2008, including ones from her agent, her then-husband and lawyers representing her after she was arrested in New York last year and fired from KYW-TV, Philadelphia's CBS affiliate.
"There is no question he wrecked her career," said lawyer Paul Rosen, who represents Lane in her wrongful-termination suit against the station.

Mendte, 51, said at a news conference that his actions grew out of a feud with Lane, 36, that began after he ended what he said was a flirtatious and improper relationship with her, including long dinners and late nights out together.
Rosen promptly disputed the account. He called Mendte "sick and narcissistic" and said there was never an inappropriate relationship.

Mendte, who is married to local Fox news anchor Dawn Stensland, accused Lane of undermining his standing at the station after the relationship ended, and said that with his career in trouble, he began looking at her e-mails.
"I was not the source of every story about Alycia Lane or the sole source on many, but I was a source, and I was getting some of the information from her e-mails," he said.

Mendte earned about $700,000 a year at the station. Rosen believes he became jealous of his younger co-anchor in early 2006 as her salary climbed to about $780,000. He bought a keystroke-logging device to get her passwords in August 2006, and intercepted e-mails from Lane's personal and work accounts, prosecutors said.

From January to May of this year, Mendte read Lane's e-mail 537 times, the FBI said.
Mendte and Lane co-anchored evening broadcasts together for four years at KYW until Lane's arrest in December after an alleged scuffle with New York police.
Mendte was fired in June after FBI agents searched his home and seized his computer. His attorney, Michael Schwartz, has said Mendte cooperated from the start.

Mendte faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison but is likely to get much less under federal guidelines when he is sentenced Nov. 24. Prosecutors have agreed not to recommend any sentence.

As the twice-divorced Lane's personal life became tabloid fodder, she complained to the station that her work e-mails were getting passed around, Rosen said.
"They treated her as if she was paranoid," he said.

The allegations are the latest embarrassment for the station, which had been making gains with the Mendte-Lane duo against longtime news leader WPVI-TV, the ABC affiliate.
According to the criminal information filed in July, Mendte relayed details about Lane's criminal case and other information to a Philadelphia Daily News reporter.

Lane is suing the station over her dismissal, which the station said was necessary because she had become the subject of several news stories.
New York prosecutors in February downgraded felony charges that Lane struck the officer. A judge pledged to drop the remaining charges in August if she is not arrested again.

Mendte joined KYW in July 2003 after several years at the local NBC affiliate. He previously co-hosted "Access Hollywood" and worked at stations in Chicago, San Diego and New York.

Don't drink, drive and kill

Aww, poor baby.

Don't gets his pwobation, the wittle fella and is wooking at 2-20.


Second DWI charge thwarts sentencing

A judge has thrown out the plea deal he approved one week earlier that called for 10 years probation and alcohol counseling for a Bandera County man who pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated during a crash that killed his brother.

District Attorney Bruce Curry said state District Judge Steve Ables on Aug. 14 tossed the agreement with John Heinen, 32, after learning Heinen couldn’t begin treatment because he’s wanted in Oklahoma on a drunk driving charge.

Ables’ reversal reinstated the original intoxication manslaughter charge against Heinen, said Curry, noting the case is on the Sept. 30 court docket.

Authorities say Heinen, whose blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit after the April 1, 2007 wreck in Bandera County that killed Joe W. Heinen, 34, claimed he couldn’t remember if he was driving.

The honor system didn't work

Why am I not surprised that this didn't work.

If it had why we could've gotten rid of most police officers as well. Just offer criminals the opportunity to turn themselves in. You know DWI offenders, theives, robbers, rapists and all the rest. Speeders too!

Reduce the size of law enforcement, that's the ticket! Well not really because the speeders will, you know, just turn themselves in.

Self-deport program is scrapped
Hernán Rozemberg - Express-News

With eight down and 456,992 to go, immigration agents called it quits.

The Department of Homeland Security on Friday scrapped “Operation Scheduled Departure,” a program to encourage immigrants with deportation orders and with no criminal records to come out of the shadows and self-deport, after only eight migrants came forward.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the DHS agency managing the program, confirmed that eight people signed up in the two-and-a-half weeks since it was rolled out Aug. 5 — out of 457,000 eligible candidates across the country and almost 30,000 in the five test cities. None were in Texas.

Despite the dismal turnout, ICE officials said they weren't disappointed, noting they didn't have high expectations for the program and that it proved to be a good learning tool.

The agency's top lesson: going soft gets a zero.
Jim Hayes, in charge of detention and deportation for ICE, said he was “extremely disappointed” with the closed-minded manner with which immigrants and their advocates reacted to the idea, never willing to give it a chance.

It's ironic, he noted, since the agency tried the program in the first place at the urging of advocacy and community groups who pleaded for an alternative to ongoing large-scale raids. People who signed up would be given three months to take care of their affairs before leaving.
“We're going to enforce immigration law whether it's convenient for people or not,” said Hayes, who refused to name the groups that asked for its implementation. “Obviously, certain groups have shown they don't want our laws enforced, as mandated by Congress.”

Advocates said they weren't surprised by the government's spin. Some said they never thought ICE truly wanted to make the program work, but rather wanted to use it as a façade to show that offering a carrot doesn't work and the only solution is to keep using the stick.
Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights said the agency knew the program would never work because thousands of unauthorized immigrants have already settled down — paying taxes, owning homes and cars, raising families — and wouldn't simply pack up and go.
“ICE should spend its time finding and deporting human and drug traffickers and leave working immigrants alone,” said Hoyt, based in Chicago — where two people, an Indian couple, turned themselves in.

The rest of the program participants included an immigrant from Estonia, two Guatemalans and one each from El Salvador, Lebanon and Mexico. They signed up in the five designated pilot locations: Phoenix, Chicago, Charlotte, N.C., San Diego and Santa Ana, Calif.
Another advocate admitted that he and his colleagues could have used better language when criticizing the program, but the point still stands: The government's immigration policy has dramatically strayed since the White House failed to push Congress to overhaul the current system.

“Maybe we've been a bit flippant with our comments,” said Doug Rivlin, spokesman for the Washington-based National Immigration Forum. “But all this has been a distraction from the real issue — we need enforceable laws that make sense to our modern economy.”
Voluntarily or not, fugitive illegal immigrants have their days counted, said Hayes, noting that regular fugitive round-ups continued during Operation Scheduled Departure.

He said 1,300 immigrants on the run were picked up at the same time as the self-deport program was being tried out, bringing the total to more than 29,000 so far this fiscal year. With a month to go, this year's number will likely top last year's 30,000 total.
Plus, added Hayes, the 95 teams set up across the country — each with eight agents tasked solely with tracking down fugitive immigrants — will grow to 104 by next month thanks to its $218 million budget.

Though the self-deport program was nixed, Hayes insisted it that it was not a failure.
It was even financially beneficial, he said. The eight takers saved the government the $54,000 it would have cost to detain them, more than offsetting the program's $41,000 price tag.
That's not counting the 136 calls that the agency received though a hotline set up for the program, Hayes said.