Monday, December 31, 2007
In a day of everything (including pregnancy) being outsourced to India, Legal Pub attempted to outsource the selection of Legal Pub's top 2007 story. Unfortunately, only 1.3% of our readership comes from India and much was apparently lost through lack of an accent. Besides, the Indian readership may be preoccupied with a possible uprising in Pakistan. So, email votes were counted an a panel of "experts" assembled and the winners are as follows:
1. Does Harrel Franklin Braddy Belong with the Gators?
2. Legal Pub Endorces Crazy Joe's (Sheriff Joe Arpaio) Solution to Animal Control Problem - Idea from R.K. of Naperville.
3. Vicious Shark Attack Temporarily Ends 24 Year Old Todd Endris Quest For the Perfect Wave - Update By Surfer Dude
4. God is A Woman Book Review by Legal Pub and numerous other dating disaster stories just barely fell short of the top three.
Other awards were: Most Thoughtful Poster: L.S.
Best Looking Poster: Ms. Calabaza
Best Story Idea: R.K. of Naperville
Best Liked Poster: Blond Bombshell
Most Humerous Poster: Did You Ever Stop to Think
Most Original Reporter: Surfer Dude
Most Considerate Poster: Colleency
All three were ranked real high in the number of reads and in email votes. Not surprising, the Wiccans came out in force to cast their spell (vote) for Sharon Graham a Wiccan Witch of Salem or Just Another Good Business Woman?
Others such as Want To Send Harrel Franklin Braddy Or Anyone Else a Tripletz
lacked massive numbers of votes, but still enjoyed support from the panel.
Next year hopefully will have some thing for everyone. Stories and ideas can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. The extent of Legal Pub's readership is impressive to say the least. It is a direct tribute to the outstanding posters and the ability of posters to remain anonymous and have their privacy respected. Look for great things in 08!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Legal Pub Plans Great Stories for 2008 Whereas Jim Leyritz May Have Jail Time in Next Years Plans - by Legal Pub
Legal Pub will announce the winning story on New Years Eve. In the meantime, if you have a favorite Legal Pub story of 2007 you can vote for it by emailing:
Plans for 2008 include a story on the Hatch Act and Legal Pub's Solution to Reduce Domestic Violence. The first is a little known statute that makes political candidates ineligible and the latter an excellent method for revamping custody and child support laws as we currently know them. Would it not be a great world if we could eliminate other maladies such as the danger of drunk driving? Take for example former major leaguer Jim Leyritz. Leyritz was a star in the 1996 world series. He was arrested Friday on charges of driving under the influence and killing another driver. (He is charged with DUI manslaughter and DUI property damage.) Detective Kathy Collins, of the Fort Lauderdale police indicated that he posted the $11,000 bond and was released from Broward County jail. Police suspect alcohol was involved in the crash, although investigators are awaiting the official results of blood alcohol tests. (Photo is courtesy of Getty Images.)
Leyritz played for six major league teams and was last in the majors in 2000. At age 44, these are devastating charges with serious consequences. But he consequences for the other driver, Fredia Ann Veitch were worse. The 30 year old was ejected from her 2000 Mitsubishi Montero ultimately resulting in her death. Leyritz was driving a 2006 Ford Expedition. Veitch died at Broward General Medical Center. Witnesses told police Leyritz had a red light. Leyritz reportedly had red, watery eyes, a flushed face and an odor of alcohol according to the police report. From legendary sports hero to "dirt bag criminal," it is only a drink and drive away from reality.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Halloween can be a time for playful scares. Police are employed to serve and protect citizens. However, when police "service" an underage female citizen, a crime occurs warranting a change into a striped uniform and an extended trip to the other side of the steel bars is in order. Brian Doss (age 32) a former Chilhowie police sergeant was entrusted with serving and protecting the citizens. A little more than a year after wearing the uniform of a police officer he now has the status of inmate. Doss was sentenced to serve a year in jail after pleading guilty Thursday to crimes against a teenage girl. (Brian Doss had been charged with five crimes after he and former Chilhowie police Chief Dwayne Sheffield allegedly had sex with the 17-year-old at a 2006 Halloween haunted house fundraiser.) Doss had originally been charged with forcible sodomy, nonforcible sodomy, sexual battery, child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
In Smyth County Circuit Court, the sexual battery charge was amended to a charge of assault and battery. Doss pleaded guilty to the amended charge and the child endangerment charge.
In exchange, the prosecutor dropped the sodomy charges and the contributing charge.
For assault and battery, Doss was sentenced to 12 months in jail with nine months suspended. For child endangerment, he was sentenced to three years with two years and three months suspended. Doss begins residing in Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon as of January 7th. After serving his time, he will be on probation for 3 years and will have no contact with the victim.
Doss's attorney, Jimmie Hess, apparently thought it was a good result. But Doss and Sheffield have always maintained that the sex was consensual. Nevertheless, Hess said Doss was "very remorseful" because of the girl's age. (Note in some states the age for consensual sex may be as young as 16.)
The other member of the misguided duo, Dwayne Sheffield is serving a little over three years after entering an Alford plea to a charge of "animate object sexual penetration." All other charges, including a rape charge, were dropped. (An Alford plea, allowed Sheffield to maintain his innocence while admitting there was enough evidence for a conviction.)
Who knows exactly how this frightful Halloween evolved into such a tragic career ending mishap for these two former officers. But one thing is certainly clear, these two men apparently used incredibly bad judgment that has may have forever scarred their victim.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
In Seattle, Washington, Michele Kristen Anderson and her boyfriend, Joseph Thomas McEnroe, apparently shot and killed Michele's mother and five other family members on Christmas Eve over a dispute concerning money. The dead include Michele Anderson's father and mother, Wayne Scott Anderson and Judy Anderson. Also killed were Scott Anderson (Michele's brother) and his wife, Erica; and their two children, Olivia (6) and Nathan (3). Needless deaths all because of money...
Money can be a source of evil, but it can also help a lot of needy people. For example, Barron Hilton donated 2.3 billion dollars to charity. As a result, the tabloids are reporting that Paris Hilton's future wealth may take a serious nose dive. Don't count on it. Despite Barron Hilton announcing on Wednesday that he would be giving 97 percent of his $2.3 billion fortune to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, that will not leave Ms. Hilton without options. While Paris may have inherited a $30 million windfall in the absence of this charitable donation, there remains about $130 million left for the family. Furthermore, Paris has her own business and investment interests. Paris will be fine with or without Grampa's money. In fact, this may motivate and inspire Paris to great accomplishments (including future employment with Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
Grandpa Barron was allegedly "embarrassed" by Paris' behavior. If that is true, then he might also be pleasantly surprised that since her DWI she has taken some steps to improve herself both in and out of the board room. Will Paris Hilton ever be perfect? No. No one ever is. Will Paris embarrass her family again in the future or will she be a decent citizen and amass her own wealth and charitable foundations? That is up to Paris, but with her looks and knack for business, don't bet too much against her.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Jason Silveira Survives Impalement From Manure Spreader But Tatiana's Victim (Carlos Sousa) Was Not So Fortunate -by Legal Pub
California can be hazardous to your health. Skin cancer? No, this is not an article about wearing sunscreen. Let's instead examine the case of a young boy named Jason Silveira. Jason, son of Ron and Candi Silveira was impaled by a manure spreader on a Fresno County farm. His grandfather was apparently operating the machine when the young boy fell off the machine. Steel prongs penetrated his body. The injuries to his chest and neck and head were awful. While the accident and the injury truly stink, fortunately, Jason is making a fantastic recovery and should have little to no permanent impairment. By next year, it is anticipated that Jason will be back to playing soccer. This Christmas he is feeling very fortunate. However, other victim of California mishaps are apparently not quite as lucky.
"Apparently right around closing time -- there was a pen with four tigers in it -- one of the tigers got out," Talmadge said. "The tiger went into a cafe at the zoo and attacked a patron. That person ended up dying at the scene."
The tiger was a 300-pound female named Tatiana. Robert Jenkins could not explain how the tiger got out, since the enclosure has a 15-foot moat and 20-foot walls. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Tatiana is the same tiger that chewed the flesh off a keeper's arm in an attack last December. ( The zoo keeper was believed to be Lori Komejan.) Tatiana was four years old.
Update 12-27: The 17-year-old boy killed by a tiger was Carlos Sousa of San Jose. Police are investigating whether someone helped the tiger escape. The area of the zoo has been deemed a crime scene according to San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong.
Update 12-28: Their are conflicting reports as to whether the tiger was being teased. There apparently is no doubt that standards require a protective wall over 16 foot high and this wall was only 12 and a half! The zoo will be increasing security and the investigation will continue.
Update 3-22-10: Due to spamming, any future comments on this thread must be emailed to email@example.com. They will be reviewed and added accordingly.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
MEN tal illness
MEN strual cramps
MEN tal breakdown
J.F. concludes that almost all of women's problems start with MEN !
There is more than good skiing going on in Vail, Colorado. There is bad, negligent skiing according to David J. Pfahler of Allentown, Pennsylvania. David J. Pfahler, 60, has claimed in federal court that Scott Swimm, 8, recklessly caused a ski-slope collision that left the Plaintiff with a shoulder injury. Scott Swimm, was seven at the time of the collision and thus under most state laws, will likely be held to the standard of care for a seven year old.
Pfahler is serious about his suit. He suffered a torn shoulder tendon which required physical therapy and nursing and medical services provided by Pfahler's wife. Pfahler claim's losses at more than $75,000.
Robb Swimm (the father) claims 7 year old Scott was skiing slowly and in control. "It wasn't a violent collision or anything; Scott just kind of tapped his ski boots," exclaimed Scott's dad week. The mom, Susan Swimm, claims that her son weighs 48 pounds and was skiing at 10 mph or less.
"Who in the world sues a child?" said Susan to the press. While Pfahler's Denver attorney, Jim Chalat, declined to comment, one suspects that the answer is he and his client.
If you wish to vote for any Legal Pub Story for Story of the Year, please send email to
Update 4-6-09: Here is the update that has been requested. Apparently, the insurance company of Robb and Susan Swimm settled the lawsuit in 2008. Now, Robb and Susan are speaking out against "abusive lawsuits." The Swimms are working with Faces of Lawsuit Abuse which is sponsored by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. The organization is committed to exposing and fighting frivolous and abusive lawsuits.
Update 4-23-09: Swimm's video explanation of why they settled: LINK
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Joseph Spencer was a healthy, athletic 18 -year old. He was attacked last April by killer. He has survived to tell his story. It started with vomiting, chills, fever, he reasoned that "It must be the flu." Spencer's fever elevated to 104 degrees. Within days, he was in the intensive care unit at Providence Portland Medical Center in Oregon. The diagnosis was thought to be pneumonia. Spencer's life was in jeopardy. "His lungs had filled up with water, it was hard to get oxygen into him," said Dr. David Gilbert. The physicians apparently thought Joseph Spencer was going to die.
But this was no ordinary flu! He had been attacked by a killer...an adenovirus, the virus that usually causes nothing worse than a nasty cold.
Adenovirus was considered minor according to Dr. Dean Erdman, leader of the respiratory diagnostics at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. "But adenovirus is causing severe disease and, in some cases, death in normal, healthy people."
Over1,000 people in Oregon have been infected by adenovirus so far this year. In Oregon, seven patients have died. This has prompted the warning to be aware of the serial killer.
Dr Gilbert opines that 20 percent of the patients have not survived the attack of the killer known as "adenovirus 14." The killer is one of a gang of 51-odd strains of adenovirus that cause mischief resulting in anything from colds to conjunctivitis to gastroenteritis to murder. The adenovirus is believed to have mutated from a petty nuisance to a murder. Be on the lookout for traces of the killer. Shortness of breath, cough and fever are all symptoms you should not ignore.
This is not the first warning of this killer. The Russian Dooms day cult predicted a huge masacer. LINK. Approach the suspect with caution, armed with a bottle of bleach and a can of Lysol disinfectant.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Aruba Prosecutors Drop Case Against Satish Kalpoe, Joran van der Sloot and Deepak Kalpoe Because of Lack of Body of Natalee Holloway Update 6-4-10
Legal Pub has been bombarded by questions such as "Does Drew Peterson Have A Chance of Remaining Free?" Or "How important is it to find Stacy Peterson's body?" Perhaps the answer lies in Aruba. Aruba prosecutors officially closed their investigation into the disappearance of teenager Natalee Holloway. Officials said that while they still believe three young men were somehow involved in her death, they can't prove it. So after 932 days of searching has failed to produce Natalee's body, prosecutors have given up. At least for now. One could almost hear from across the globe the sigh of relief from Satish Kalpoe, Joran van der Sloot and Deepak Kalpoe.
The three main suspects were re-arrested last month after prosecutors discovered online chat sessions they hoped would break the case. But none of the men talked in custody. Without a body, prosecutors chose to close the case. If the case would be tried, the lack of evidence "would lead to an acquittal," according to the Prosecution. David Kock was an attorney for the Kalpoe brothers. Joseph Tacopina, attorney for van der Sloot, said: "Give this kid his due," attorney Joseph Tacopina said. "He's been incarcerated twice falsely. They've investigated up and down everything in his life."
The case could be reopened if "serious" new evidence emerges. The statute of limitations is six years for involuntary manslaughter and 12 for homicide. So does this answer your question as to how important it can be to find a body in a murder case?
Update 2-8-08: Based on a video tape Prosecutors have reopened the case. Joran Van der Sloot has been captured on video tape saying that he called a friend from a pay phone to take Holloway's body and dump it at sea. Joran's lawyers say at least two points of his client's story on the video could be disproved. One, the Aruban coast guard had checked the pay phone where van der Sloot said he had called his friend and no such call was made. Second, the friend whom Joran said he called in the video wasn't in Aruba in May 2005. The friend also never owned a boat according to Joran's attorney. Is the video just another example of a mixed up kid shooting off his mouth and telling tall tales? Who knows, but it may land him back in jail!
Van der Eem told ABC he befriended van der Sloot by pretending to be a gangster after meeting him in a casino."Why did I want this? It's obvious. Everybody was looking for the truth. For her mother," he said.
In the interview with ABC, van der Eem became emotional himself while saying that van der Sloot talked about Holloway's death "without any emotions."Van der Eem, who ABC reported once spent a year in prison on drug charges, said he and van der Sloot smoked marijuana on long car rides over the course of several months. Van der Eem told the network he pretended to invite van der Sloot into a drug operation to gain his trust.He approached reporter Peter R. de Vries' television show, telling them he had gained van der Sloot's trust, and the program outfitted an SUV with hidden video cameras.Van der Eem has been paid about $35,000 by the show
Update 6-4-10: Joran van der Sloot has been taken to Peru. He will likely be charged with the killing of a 21-year-old Stephany Flores, a woman from the capital of Lima. Chilean police say van der Sloot has proclaimed his innocence. Van der Sloot was a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalie Holloway in Aruba.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Jose Espinosa(20) and Otis Blunt(32) were discovered missing from their prison cells at 5:15 p.m. Saturday. They left behind dummies in their beds, cinder block dust and a note wishing authorities "Happy Holidays."
Espinosa had recently plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter. He was to be sentenced on January 25th. He was looking at a minimum of 17 years in prison. When he is caught, it will now be more. Blunt was apparently being held on weapon and robbery charges. He was in jail because he could not post his $75,000 bond.
Espinosa and Blunt were in adjacent cells. They used a long metal wire to scrape away mortar around the cinder block between their cells and the outer wall in Espinosa's cell. Then they smashed the block and hid the pieces in a footlocker. Blunt apparently squeezed into Espinosa's cell through an 16- to 18-inch hole. They crawled through another 18-inch hole in the outer wall and jumped from the roof 15 feet out and about 30 feet down.
Next they climbed a razor-wire fence onto a New Jersey transit railroad bed. Two sets of foot prints in the snow head in opposite directions. Despite being two clever Hollywood wanna bes both men are considered armed and dangerous!
Update 1-3-08: Rudolph Zurick, a 40 year old guard, who was named in a cheeky thank-you note left by two inmates when they escaped was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot Wednesday.The body was found at his home in Middlesex County according to attorney Michael J. Mitzner. Zurick was scheduled to be interviewed by investigators concerning the escape later that day. The death is being investigated according to Union County prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. "This is not a time for speculation, but a time for mourning," he said. Both Otis Blunt, 32, and Jose Espinosa, 20 remain at large.
Update 1-9-08: Captured. Jose Espinosa apparently hurt his leg in the escape. He was found about 6 blocks away apparently at "a girlfriend's" home. Both the woman and Espinosa were arrested.
Update 1-10-08: All good movies have a great ending. Authorities in Mexico City captured Otis Blunt who had escaped Shawshank Redemption style. A visit to Mexico City by US civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton helped in the arrest. Long live justice.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Want To Be A Juror Deciding Important Cases? Be Careful It May All Be About Money Warns R.K. of Naperville
Dollar Bill, a regular contributor, is fond of saying it is all about money. In one case, it was in fact all about money. In Hagerstown, Maryland, Circuit Judge Theresa M. Adams granted the defense a mistrial when Moses M. Streete, accused of armed robbery, was found guilty in large part because the jury found a wad of cash in his coat during the trial. $1,300, a rubber glove and a bandage apparently went unnoticed by police, prosecutors and the defense until jurors examined the coat during deliberations in October.
Circuit Judge Theresa M. Adams granted the defense motion Wednesday for a new trial in Frederick at what was to have been Moses M. Streete's sentencing hearing. She ordered Streete held without bail. "You would think with all the law enforcement people that had been involved with the case that everything would have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb - and then that fine-toothed comb would have had another fine-toothed comb going over it," said juror Christine Bowersox.
Assistant State's Attorney Deborah Kemp apparently did not do a thorough enough job when she checked the coat pockets before the trial. Defense attorney Scott L. Rolle said he had not gone through the pockets. (How unlikely is it for any attorney to not sniff out the money in any case?)
In an unrelated case, a jury will decide who the owner of $182,000 in cash found by Bob Kitts, a contractor remodeling a bathroom. The cash is rare Depression-era U.S. currency. Kitts is suing to force the homeowner to give his at least share of the money. 83 year old Amanda Reece, a class mate of Kitts apparently thinks all the money should be hers. The currency, issued in 1927 and 1929, may be worth as much as $500,000, to collectors.
Think you may be a juror ready to decide the fate of such cases? Not so fast, R.K. of Naperville warns. The FBI has warned of a scam involving a person claiming to be a "jury coordinator." If you say you never received a summons for jury duty, the caller asks for your social security number and date of birth so he can verify the information and cancel any warrant. Once you give this information, your identification is stolen! The scam has been carried out in several states. Never give this information over the phone. Contact your local court directly to verify any jury duty!
For more information, see: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm or http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Legal Pub Won't Participate in Glorifying the Las Vegas Shooter and Instead Publishes The Difference Between Men and Women by James D.
Sure, Legal Pub was ready to run the story about how six young students were shot in Nevada at a bus stop apparently after a squabble concerning a girl.
Mojave High School students in northeastern Las Vegas may never be the same. The fight at the school did not appear to be gang or race-related, just plain stupidness! One young man has been arrested and another one is being sought by authorities. Rather than glorify the shooter, Legal Pub instead chooses to publish a piece submitted by James D. of Bloomington, Illinois.
The Difference Between Men and Women by James D.
If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call each other Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara.
If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.
When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in a $20 , even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the women get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need, but it's on sale.
A man has five items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Marriott.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that... is the beginning of a new argument.
Women love cats.
Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
9.MARRIAGE A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change , and she does.
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
13.THOUGHT FOR THE
Any married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing.
John Darwin the English man who faked his disappearance while canoing has nothing on Karyn McConnell Hancock. (LINK) Hancock, 35, a Toledo Ohio attorney and former city councilwoman admitted that she fabricated her tale of being kidnapped at gunpoint last week. She will probably be charged with filing a false report according to Police Chief Mike Navarre. Karyn McConnell Hancock was found Saturday in Georgia. Her story of being abducted outside Toledo's juvenile court building last Wednesday and forced into a vehicle are all fabrications according to police Capt. Ray Carroll.
Karyn is six-month pregnant and has a three year old son. She turned up in Atlanta after disappearing for four days. She had driven herself from Toledo to the Atlanta area, where she was found outside an amusement park. Hancock had been having psychological issues for several years according to her husband, Lawrence Hancock. In the first few hours after her disappearance, her husband said she may have just needed to get away. (Sounds a little like Drew Peterson's statement after Stacy disappeared! LINK )
On Thursday afternoon, his wife called him, saying she had been abducted. The family went on national television asking for help and community members gathered at churches to pray. (Prayers answered.) Hancock's father, C. Allen McConnell, is a Toledo Municipal Court judge. Lawrence Hancock is bishop of Final Harvest Church. The family had said they believed the purported kidnapping had something to do with a case McConnell handled before he was a judge. The family also said both the judge and his daughter had received threatening calls.
McConnell said the calls were real and "still of great concern to the family."
Why would Karyn McConnell Hancock fake her disappearance? Besides being mentally distressed, a former client recently sued her for allegedly failing to give him a $10,000 accident settlement. Lawrence Hancock said he wasn't sure if the lawsuit or the suspicious calls triggered her actions. Legal Pub has another theory: FAME. Robert Hawkins reminded us how high the cost of fame can be... LINK.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Portrait of a hero, Jeanne Assam, is appropriate. She saved numerous lives in Colorado Springs. "I saw [the gunman] coming through the doors," Assam told reporters. "I took him down." Jeanne Assam is an ex police officer from Minnesota who volunteers as security at the Church. Assam, 42, said her faith allowed her to remain steady under pressure. "It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God," she said.
Earlier Monday, a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said it appeared Murray "hated Christians."
Revenge was one apparent motive. Murray had been kicked out of the training center for missionaries where the first shootings occurred. He authored hate mail to the Youth With a Mission center in Arvada after being removed from the program. Program directors had felt that issues with Murray's health made it inappropriate for him to finish training. The gunman's father, Ronald S. Murray, is chief executive of the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center in Englewood.
Update 12-11: Not to take any shine off the sparkle of this hero, but Jeanne Assam credited with bravery for shooting a gunman at a Colorado church was apparently fired from her job as a Minneapolis police officer in the 1990s for lying. It also turns out that although Assam hit Murray with several shots, he ultimately killed himself. Just goes to show no one is perfect.
Monday, December 10, 2007
12 hours later and 65 miles away in Colorado Springs, a gunman used some type of a rifle to shoot a parishioner and wound four other people at New Life Church before a volunteer security guard killed him. New Life Church is the mega church founded by Rev. Ted Haggard who was forced to leave the church last year after it was revealed that he had a three year sexual relationship with a male prostitute.
Staff members of the youth center, Tiffany Johnson and Philip Crouse were killed at the center. Dan Griebenow (24) and Charlie Branch (22) were wounded. Tiffany Johnson, 26, was the center's director of hospitality. Crouse was 24 and lived in Alaska.
One of the hospitalized victims from the second attack died Sunday at about 10:10 p.m., said Amy Sufak, a spokeswoman for Penrose Community Hospital in Colorado Springs.
The two shootings may be related. No one had been captured in the Arvada shootings. Authorities were searching a home in suburban Englewood that they said could be related to the Colorado Springs shooting case. "Colorado Springs has identified its suspect, and we're there to see whether their suspect and ours are the same," said Arvada Deputy Police Chief Gary Creagor.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers was investigating the relationship if any between the two shootings. "There was a courageous staff member who probably saved many lives here today," Myers said. Gov. Bill Ritter ordered prompt investigation. Of unknown significance is that Officers found several smoke-generating devices on the New Life church campus according to Chief Myers. No one has revealed who put the devices there or their intended purpose. New Life is one of Colorado's largest churches with over 10,000 members.
The connection between the two facilities? The mission training program in Arvada does have a small office on the Colorado Springs church campus of New Life. About 7,000 people were on the Colorado Springs campus at the time of the shooting according to Senior Pastor Brady Boyd.
Witnesses told police that the gunman was a 20-year-old white male, wearing a dark jacket and skull cap, who had a handgun and left on foot. He may have glasses or a beard. Arvada police said a dark-jacketed man with a beard, glasses and skullcap entered Youth With a Mission. A black-clad gunman with a high powered rifle was described as the shooter at New Life Church. Wittinesses' accounts of a black-clad gunman are similar to the description issued by Arvada police.
The insanity must be stopped. Now is the time to exercise our constitutional rights to bear arms. Armed private security guards are needed at places where people gather in order to minimize such tragedies. At New Life, the gunman was killed relatively quickly. By improving response time by employing armed guards, the shooters wish to commit suicide can be granted more swiftly, potentially saving the lives of many victims. Legal Pub suggested the same solution back at the time of the Virginia Tech shootings. Now it is time to strike back at crime.
Update: Rachel Works (16 ) and Stephanie Works (18 ) are identified as victims at the New Life shooting. A female security guard killed the shooter.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Jones smelled fumes so she shut off the alarm and realized something was wrong. The fire was no accident. An arsonist used Molotov cocktails (glass bottles filled with an accelerant) through the windows. Police indicate the homemade bombs were two beer bottles filled with gasoline. Each bottle had a burned wick stuck in them. One of the bottles started a small fire in a bathroom. The daycare is near Lem Turner and Edgewood on the northside of Jacksonville.
Lula and her workers are attempting to clean and to sanitize the day care in order to reopen next week. Despite limited physical damages, authorities are taking the criminal act very seriously according to Lt. Robby Stephens, of the State Fire Marshal's Office. Fortunately no one was injured and physical damage was minimal. But what an idiot. Not only was it a crime, there ought to be a second count for wasting $3.29 a gallon gasoline.
Any one with information, please call 1-877-NO ARSON. A $2,500 reward is being offered.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Fame. I want to live forever. I want to touch the sky. Fame...
In Omaha, Nebraska, the price of fame has been revealed as the profile of a killer is unraveled. Headlines tell the reader that 19 year old Robert Hawkins went to the mall that day sporting a military-style haircut (Hawkins had recently cut his long hair), black backpack, and a camouflage vest. Hawkins then fired a rifle at a department store from a third floor balcony of the Von Maur store killing eight people and terrorizing holiday shoppers. He then killed himself. But why?
Robert Hawkins' answered the question in a few short written words: "Now I'll be famous."
Hawkins achieved his warped goal with the aid of a SKS assault rifle. (ABC has reported that it is an AK 47) Omaha Police Chief Thomas Warren opines that the shooting was random and provided no motive for the attack. But one needs little help from Chief Warren to reach some strong opinions. Hawkins was ostracized by his family about a year ago. Hawkins moved to Bellevue to live with Deborah Maruca-Kovac and her husband who were parents of his friend. Debora Maruca-Kovac and her husband apparently welcomed Hawkins.
Deborah Maruca-Kovac told the Associated Press, "When he first came in the house, he was introverted, a troubled young man who was like a lost pound puppy that nobody wanted." Upon further inquiry, it turns out that Hawkins was fired from his job at a McDonald's the week of the shootings. (Apparently $17 was missing.) In addition, he had broken up with a longtime girlfriend two weeks before the shooting. Hawkins apparently had phoned his ex-girlfriend about 1 p.m. on Wednesday. He apparently told her that he had left a note for her in his bedroom according to CNN.
The ex-girlfriend apparently called Hawkins' mother and then retrieved the note from Maruca-Kovacs' house. The note apparently said, Hawkins was "sorry for everything," and would no longer be a burden on his family. It also predicted, "Now I'll be famous."
Keith Fidler, a Von Maur employee, said he heard five to six shots followed by 15 to 20 more. rounds. Shawn Vidlak said the shots sounded like a nail gun
Maruca-Kovac apparently turned the note over to authorities and went to work at the Nebraska Medical Center. Several hours later, shooting victims were brought to Nebraska Medical Center which apparently cared for three victims and Creighton University Medical Center which cared for three others.
President Bush had been in Omaha earlier in the day for a fundraiser, but had left before the shooting. This was the second mall shooting this year. In February, nine people were shot, five of them fatally, at Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City by 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic, who was killed by police.
The price of fame? Much too high when innocent lives are taken.
Update 12-7: In 2002 Hawkins apparently threatened to kill his step mom. This was apparently a troubled youth that needed help and supervision.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Legal Pub asks the legitimate question, is Debra Lafave the bomb or is an electric typewriter? Police apparently have answered yes to both in separate incidents. Seriously! Debra Lafave was an attractive middle school teacher convicted of having sex with a teenage student. The boy was 14 at the time. She has now been arrested again for violating probation. Lafave, 26, is serving three years house arrest. In addition she must be on probation for seven years. (The A.P. photo shows Lafave in 2005.)
So, what did Lafave do to get arrested again? According to a Department of Corrections report, She talked about her personal life with a teenage waitress at a restaurant. (Both Lafave and the teenage girl worked at the same restaurant.)
Why is it a violation? Her probation restricts her from any unsupervised contact with a minors without permission.
Update 1-11-08: Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett found Debra Lafave violated her probation by having the conversations, but he said her transgressions were "neither willful or substantial." So no jail time for Debra Lafave!
Update 4-16-08 A Tampa judge has ordered an end to Debra Lafave's house arrest, just four months after allegedly violating her probation. Debra Lafave's attorney filed the motion. Lafave remains on probation for the next 7 years. She has completed 28 months of the house and will officially end on July 11th.
Update 4-28-8 In February a South Carolina judge sentenced Allenna Ward to fifteen years for each lewd act count against her. (This was reduced to six years.) She received another six years for each second-degree criminal sexual conduct count. (This is to be served concurrently.) Allenna Ward is a married 24 year old teacher who taught at Bell Street Middle School in Clinton, South Carolina. She allegedly had sex with several 14 and 15-year-old students. Ward was fired from her teaching position on February 28, 2007. She plead guilty in September. A forensic psychiatrist provided testimony in support of home detention rather then prison. (Appararently, Ward suffers from a repressed childhood and personality disorders possibly arising out of living a sheltered childhood in her minister father's home.) However unlike Debra Lafave, Ward will serve her time in prison.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
So, could Stacy Peterson simply be missing? Could she have run off out of fear or perhaps because she fell in love with someone other than Drew? Might Stacy show up five years from now alive an well? Anything is possible. Until the whereabouts of Stacy are discovered, one way or the other, Drew Peterson is not without ammunition in his quiver. (Drew Peterson Story) Attorney Joel Brodsky's exclusive interview with Legal Pub can be found HERE.
Update 12-7: On the other hand, John Darwin and his wife may be in trouble with the law. Apparently it turns out that there is a photo of John and his wife in Panama taken a year ago. You see, when John disappeared, he apparently owed a lot of money. The wife cashed in on the insurance policies. Problem with this option to bankruptcy is that if you get caught, you might go to jail...
Update 12-8: Darwin has been charged by the police with making an untrue statement to secure a passport and obtaining money transfer with deception.