Friday, July 31, 2009

Bill Dillon Appears To Be a Victim Of Junk Science!

Legal Pub has in the past commented that too much emphasis should not be placed on lie detector tests (link) and cadaver sniffing dogs (link.) Now Bill Dillon serves as a further example of why our justice system should use scientific evidence to prove innocence but should exercise extreme caution when using untested science to convict a suspect. Dillon, a Florida man, was convicted of murder in large part because of the work of a scent-tracking dog. At the time Dillon was 22 years old. He is now free because the scent sniffing dog and it's owner were apparently a fraud. Unfortunately, the alleged fraud was not timely exposed and Bill Dillon had to spend 26 years in prison.

Bill Dillon was sentenced to life in prison in 1981 for killing a man in Canova Beach. Throughout the trial, Dillon proclaimed his innocence. But John Preston testified in court that his scent-tracking German-Shepherd connected Dillon to the killer’s bloody t-shirt. Preston also claimed that Harrass 2,” his dog, tracked Dillon’s scent again in later tests. At the time, Preston proclaimed himself as a so-called scent -tracking expert. But in 2007, DNA testing proved that Dillon’s DNA did not match the DNA on the killer’s shirt. Harrass 2 was wrong! After 26 years of jail, Bill Dillon was released.

In 1981, DNA testing was not available to use as exculpatory evidence. Preston and his dog had a reputation for reliability. The dog and Preston had help persuade juries more than 100 times. At one time Preston even said that his dog had the ability to track a scent under water. Most current experts don't believe that to be possible.

Although the reliability of Preston and his dog weres seriously called into question in 1987, Florida has yet to officially review all of the cases in which such testimony was admitted. Florida’s Innocence Project opines that there may be many inmates that have been wrongly convicted because of this scent sniffing dog. Preston, the dog’s handler, was never charged with perjury or convicted of a crime. He passed away last year.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dan Petanu Exemplifies Angels On This Earth

Time to bring good news! In Chillicothe, an angel / hero has emerged. A good Samaritan rescued two children and two adults out of a car that had plunged into a creek. Lesa Blackwell said she lost control of her vehicle Tuesday night on Highway 36 near Chillicothe. Lesa's car slid down an embankment and would up in Blackwell Creek. The car ended up sideways under water.

Blackwell's seven year old niece, her daughter-in-law, Kristena, and Kristena's 4-month-old baby girl were all trapped in the submerged vehicle. Dan Petanu and his friend were right behind Blackwell's car. They exited their vehicle and went to the aid of the occupants in the sunken car. All of the members of the family were helped to escape without any injuries.

Ms. Calabaza, are you reading? There is good news and good people. This is the true foundation or our country.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is Constance Trahan An Entrepreneur?

The economy is tough. Unemployment is at too high of a level. Consequently, entrepreneurs may be forced to be innovative in order to pay the mortgage. For example, perhaps Constance Trahan, a Gwinnett County woman, falls into this category. She was visited by the police who believe that she operated a strip club in her basement. Trahan lives in a nice residential neighborhood located in the 1400 block of Purcell Road in Lawrenceville, Georgia. On the night she was arrested, there were lots of people in the vicinity of her house. According to police, they believe Trahan was selling alcohol to minors and possibly running a strip club in the basement. Possible Strip Club In Woman's Basement

Constance Trahan, 28, was arrested and apparently faces charges associated with selling alcohol to minors. While police suspect her of running an underground strip club, they apparently lack sufficient evidence to charge her with that offense. However, the police did apparently see women who were believed to be dancers and a sign that said: “$1 Jello shots.”

Trahan and a 20-year-old (charged with underage drinking and marijuana possession) have bonded out of jail. Trahan apparently is only charged with misdemeanor charges of maintaining a disorderly house. Translation: she needs to obtain a liqueur license, a bouncer to check ages and a permit to operate a gentlemen's club. Who knows, Trahan may have found a way to thrive in this tough economy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Was Lily Burk Kidnapped and Murdered by Parolee, Charlie Samuel?

Does reforming criminals ever work? Lily Burk, a 17-year-old girl, was found dead in her car after she unsuccessfully tried to use an ATM and call her parents to get money for her kidnapper. Lily Burk was alive for about two hours after she was abducted in downtown Los Angeles. Her body was found the next day. Lily had head injuries and other injuries consistent with a struggle. Charlie Samuel, a 50 year old parolee, is accused of her murder. Fingerprints in Burk's car allegedly link Samuel to the murder. Samuel was arrested on a downtown street a half-hour after the murder for allegedly possessing a cocaine pipe.

Lily Burk was approached around 3 p.m. while she was running an errand. About half an hour later, Samuel allegedly tried to garner money from an ATM using Burk's credit card. A few minutes later, Lily called each of her parents to ask them how to get cash with a credit card.
Samuel was arrested around 5:25 p.m. At the time of the arrest for possessing a cocaine pipe, it was not known that Burk had been abducted. She was reported missing Friday evening, and her body was found early Saturday.

Lily Burk had so much to look forward to, including beginning her senior year of high school in and starring in a high school production of David Mamet's 'The Boston Marriage.' She also had planned to work helping the homeless. Compare Lily to Samuel. Samuel's criminal record apparently includes assault, robbery and kidnapping. He was a parolee. He is now accused of murder and is held without bail. Does reform ever work?

Samuel is presumed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ezekiel Holbert Shoots Two Deputies But Surrenders To A Robot.

Ezekiel Holbert is apparently the latest man involved in a domestic dispute to go crazy. Unfortunately, once again the consequences are fatal. Holbert, an Oklahoma man, is charged with murdering two sheriff's deputies who were trying to arrest him on domestic assault. The shootings occurred around 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) on Sunday at the Seminole County home of the mother of Ezekiel Holbert.

The deputies names have yet to be released. They were serving an arrest warrant on 26-year-old Holbert when he opened fire. (Holbert was being arrested for DOMESTIC BATTERY, including strangulation.) Early reports suggest that Holbert was at his mother's house against her wishes. When his mom found out that he was in her home, she apparently called 911. As the officers kicked down the front door, Holbert opened fire. He shot one deputy in the face. The other he shot in the back as he turned to exit. The first deputy shot died at the scene, and the other died at the hospital. A third officer was not injured. However, an unidentified woman outside the home was wounded by stray fire. (She appeared to have been wounded in the arm.) The woman's condition was not immediately known.

Holbert fled from his mother's home. He apparently went back to his own residence. There a “Tactical Team Robot” entered Holbert's house. Ezekiel Holbert surrenders after a few minutes without any misshapen. Holbert's arrest by State Police concluded a three hour manhunt. Holbert is currently held without bond.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Naked Truth About Jose Antonio Torres Or An Honest Mistake Guessing His Girlfriend's Age? Story Submitted by T.J. Update 3-23-10

Jose Antonio Torres appears to be a creepy Florida man. It's not just his book in photo. Its the allegations against him that paint a nasty picture. At the age of 23, Torres was allegedly caught having sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend. The teens father apparently discovered Torres in bed with his daughter and began punching him. A bleeding and naked Torres apparently fled the girl's home on a bicycle. He was caught by Altamonte Springs police officers "traveling from behind a closed business on a bicycle...the male suspect appeared to be nude." (Police Report.)
If the image of a 23 year old with a 14 year old girl was not bad enough, Smoking Gun photos show a naked Torres and the bike on someones front lawn. Torres was charged with felony sexual battery and booked into the Seminole County jail. Bond is $25,000 for anyone interested in bailing him out. For the "naked facts" visit: The Smoking Gun at:
In the meantime, keep in mind Torres is Innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law.
Update 3-23-10: Torres may not be the only one who is poor at guessing ages. Terry Ray, a former boxer, has been arrested for kissing a 14 year old girl at his home during a party. Apparently, under aged minors were drinking at the party. Ray, 46, is a prison guard at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute. Bond was set at $3,000. Keep in mind, all suspects are innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.

Friday, July 24, 2009

How Can An Eight Year Old Sexual Assault Victim Bring Shame To Her Family?

As the stomach turns, it is hard to ignore the four Phoenix, Arizona, boys ages 9 to 14 charged with sexual assault on an 8 year-old girl. But even more sickening is the reaction of the girls parents. The eight year-old girl was apparently lured into a storage shed at an apartment complex by the promise of chewing gum. Once inside the shed, the boys allegedly restrained her and sexually assaulted her.

"This is a deeply disturbing..." said Maricopa County attorney Andrew Thomas.
The 14-year-old was charged as an adult and will face two counts of sexual assault and one count of kidnapping. The other three boys were charged in juvenile court with sexual assault. Two of them also face charges of kidnapping. The victim and the boys are all from refugee families that have come to the United States from Liberia. The eight year old girl was placed in the custody of child protective services because of her parents' "attitude." According to Sgt. Andy Hill, "The parents felt that they had been shamed or embarrassed by their child."
Police: Assault of 8-year-old girl

The victims 23 year-old sister told CNN affiliate KTVK that she wanted the suspects to be released from jail because "we are the same people." Cultural aspects may be at play, but blaming the victim is hard to understand. How can any one or any culture think that an 8 year old victim could bring shame to a family name?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is Sgt. James Crowley A Profiler Or Is He Being Profiled As A Stereotypical White Police Officer?

Sometimes, it is best to remember the advice of Abraham Lincoln who once said: "it is better to be silent and to be thought dumb, then to speak and remove all doubt." This may be good advice for everyone involved in the Henry Louis Gates Jr. matter. Admittedly without knowing all the facts, President Obama said that police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "acted stupidly" in arresting a prominent black Harvard professor last week at the man's home. For those who have been in a coma for the last week, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was questioned and arrested for disorderly conduct at his home in Cambridge when the arresting officer thought he was not cooperating. President Obama admitted, "I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played." (Mr. President, great leaders lead by example and not by words. Show the nation that opinions should be based on facts not assumptions.)

What Gates did was not a crime. Consequently, Prosecutors have dropped the disorderly conduct charges against Henry Louis Gates Jr. Yet the complete facts of the incident are still developing. Was the arresting officer convinced that Gates had given him enough proof that he was not a burglar in the home? While too often in the past African-Americans and Latinos have been stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, it would be a stereotype to assume that happened in this case. Contrary to our President's qu0te that this shows "how race remains a factor in this society," the public may simply be jumping to erroneous conclusions concerning what the officer was thinking. Investigate first. Then form opinions based on fact. President's address of the incident. Even the Cambridge mayor might want to do some investigation before jumping to conclusions. Mayor's plans to handle the situation .

Even though charges have been dropped, Gates plans to keep the issue alive. Gates said he'd be prepared to forgive the arresting officer "if he told the truth" about what the director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research said were "fabrications" in the police report. Arrest of a black scholar But just what part of the police report is untrue? Police report of incident

The officer, Sgt. James Crowley, told WCVB that he offers no apology for his thought process in detaining Gates. While Gates said the mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mayor E. Denise Simmons, did apologize, Crowley has not. So why is Crowley so insistent in offering no apology? Neighbors apparently called in a potential burglary. When Crowley arrived he apparently saw Gates. Crowley wrote in his report that Gates refused to step outside to speak with him. According to Crowley, when he told Gates that he was investigating a possible break-in, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?" Profiling? According to Crowley's report, he asked Gates for identification and he initially refused. Gates asked for the officers identification which Crowley claims he was willing to provide. Gates eventually produced a Harvard identification card, prompting Crowley to radio for Harvard University Police. Crowley apparently claims to be puzzled by Gate's inconsistent behavior.

"While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me," Crowley reported. At some point, Gates was arrested for "loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space. " Gates was released after spending four hours at the police station and the media frenzy began. Gates and his lawyers are apparently considering further actions.

While not all the fact are out, one thing is clear. It is wrong to profile suspects in such cases. But it is equally wrong to jump to the conclusion that the reason the officer detained Gates was just because he was a black man. Stereotypes work both ways. In both cases, it is wrong to judge an individual based on past stereotypes instead of upon the facts.
Update 7-24-09: "I believe that Sgt. [James] Crowley acted in a way that is consistent with his training at the department, and consistent with national standards of law enforcement protocol," Commissioner Robert Haas said.
"I do not believe his actions in any way were racially motivated," Haas added.
Our President made a mistake in assuming this police officer used racial profiling. Immediately after the incident, the police union and fellow officers, black and white, rallied around Crowley. Crowley is a decorated officer who in 1993 attempted lifesaving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Reggie Lewis, a black Boston Celtics player who had collapsed. Crowley, 42, had even been selected to be a police academy instructor on how to avoid racial profiling. A multiracial group of officers (some of who read Legal Pub) and union officials stood with Crowley on Friday to show support and to ask our President and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to apologize for their comments. (Patrick had called Gates' arrest "every black man's nightmare.")
Update 7-25-09: President Obama may indeed be a better facilitator and a better leader than first thought. At the suggestion of Crowley, Crowley, Our President and Gates will meet at the White House and have a few beers to discuss the incident. Just think if more conflicts could be resolved in such a fashion.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Did Charles Papenfus Cross The Line When Dealing With A Company Trying To Extend A Warranty That Did Not Exist?

Telemarketers are not well liked. They call right around supper time and they tend to be disruptive. While our upbringing tells us not to be rude, it is probably best just to hang up. Otherwise, the level of irritation may rise to the level of a crime. For example, take
Charles Papenfus. Papenfus currently has plenty of time to ponder what constitutes appropriate reactions to telemarketers as he sits in a St. Louis jail. (Bond has been set at $45,000.) Just how did Papenfus get himself into such a mess?

Apparently, it all started when Papenfus received mail offering to extend the warranty on his car. Unfortunately for Papenfus, he did not have a warranty on his car. Papenfus called the company and asked how they could extend a warranty that did not exist. Papenfus was not pleased with the response. Papenfus then received a call back from a phone rep of a company that offered to extend Papenfus warranty that did not exist. (Imagine the conversation: Sir, I know you don't have a warranty. But for $499 dollars, we can extend your current status of having no warranty indefinitely.)

Papenfus apparently became more and more furious as the salesman pushed on in the telephone solicitation. At some point, the service rep apparently called Papenfus a "jackass" or something similar, Papenfus snapped. Infuriated by the salesman's tactics, Papenfus allegedly threatened to burn the company's building down, then hunt down and kill the employees and their families. Obviously not a pleasant thought. Even less appropriate to ever say such a thing out loud although others have admitted to uttering such words under their breath.

Service Protection Direct, a front for TXEN Partners, is believed to be the victim of Papenfus' alleged threats. (If you have no car warranty and want to pay to extend that situation indefinitely or if you want to be told how stupid that you are, feel free to give them a call.)

Papenfus is to be considered innocent unless proven otherwise in the court of law. Service Protection Direct (or whoever the company) did not deserve to be threatened. In the future, a better way to handle telemarketers is to get their phone number and call them around their dinner time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is Regalo Castaneda-Castaneda The Wanted Man Known As Emigdio Preciado Jr.?

There are some mean hombres out on the streets. Perhaps one less is on the streets today. Emigdio Preciado Jr., 39, was captured Friday in Santiago Escuintla (western central Mexico.) Preciado had been living there under the name Regalo Castaneda-Castaneda and working as a fisherman. Preciado is suspected of exiting a van and shooting two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies with an assault rifle in September 2000. Of the twenty-one rounds fired, one hit a deputy in the head and critically injured him. The victim has since recovered.

Although Preciado surgically removed his tattoos, Mexican police and FBI agents allegedly confirmed his identity through fingerprints. A reward of $150,000 for Preciado had been offered on the FBI Web site. Some one will soon collect. But the only thing Preciado is likely to collect is dust from his prison cell. Keep in mind Preciado is to be considered innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Is Jacob Shaffer Another Example of A Husband Turned Psychotic?

What if any role did domestic problems play in another recent murder? Authorities are asking the same question as they investigate the multi state slayings believed to be the work of Jacob Shaffer. Shaffer is suspected of killing five people in Tennessee and one in Alabama. Shaffer's wife was among the victims found in southern Tennessee. His wife's son, father and brother were also among the victims.

So who is Jacob Shaffer? We know that he is a 30 year old man from Fayetteville, Tennessee. Jacob installed drywall for a living. He was married to 38 year old Traci Shaffer. Traci had a 16 year old son, Devin Brooks. Jacob was arrested Saturday after three people were found dead in a home in Fayetteville. Two other bodies were found at another home on the same street. (Traci Shaffer, 38; her son Devin Brooks, 16; and 16-year-old Robert Berber. At the other home, the bodies of Traci's father, Billy Hall, 57, and her brother Chris Hall, 34, were discovered. The causes of death have yet to be released.

The sixth person was found dead 30 miles away in Huntsville, Alabama at Hall Cultured Marble Granite. Traci's family owns that business. While the name of the victim has yet to be released, the victim is believed to be Sidney Wade Dempsey, 50, a worker and acquaintance of Shaffer. Dempsey was living at the business. That person's name was still not officially released as of Sunday night. While the investigation continues, Kristin Helm of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations says that it is believed that the deaths were related to a domestic dispute. A preliminary investigation reveals that Traci and Jacob were separated and living in separate homes. While a petition for dissolution had yet to be filed, divorce was likely. The couple have a four year old daughter who was present but not injured during the killings. Traci's 9 year old daughter from another relationship also was not injured as she was not home at the time of the murders.

It is speculated that Shaffer has confessed to the slaying in Huntsville and to the other five killings; however he is to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law. In the meantime, five counts of homicide are pending in Tennessee and Shaffer is held without bond.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bright Star Murder of Shirley McGill On The Carnival Cruise Ship Elation Is Anything But Elating!

It was suppose to be a luxury cruise in celebration of upcoming retirement. It apparently turned into a domesic dispute ending in the death of Shirley McGill on the Carnival Cruise Elation.

When the ship docked in San Diego, Robert McGill was taken into custody by the FBI. He is charged with killing his wife, Shirley McGill age 55, while on the cruise. The ship departed on Saturday, July 11 and spent two days in Cabo San Lucas. As the ship was headed back to San Diego around 8 or 9 p.m., the staff responded to an alleged domestic dispute. When the staff opened the cabin door, they found the body of 55-year old Shirley McGill. Robert McGill was found outside the cabin. Robert was detained on the ship until the FBI arrested him. Robert McGill faces charges of murder on the high seas.

The FBI is interviewing 30-40 witnesses. FBI Special Agent Keith Slotter is leading the investigation into the "Bright Star" (death on board) incident. One unidentified ship employee claimed that the victim had been stabbed while in the shower. No children were traveling with the couple. Officials have yet to confirm that the cause of death was a stabbing.

The McGills apparently married four years ago. Shirley McGill worked for the DMV. Robert McGill is apparently employed by LA county as a high school counselor at a continuation school. He has two grown sons from a previous marriage.

Robert McGill must be considered innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Will Kyle Shaw Join A Private Fight Club In Jail If He Is Convicted?

One of the best factors in the war against crime is the stupidity of most thugs. Take the suspect of the alleged bombing of a Starbucks in New York. Kyle Shaw, 17, is either a liar or a criminal. He was arrested for allegedly setting off a small bomb on Memorial Day at a Starbucks coffee shop after he bragged about his exploit to friends. What's more stupid: committing the crime or bragging about doing something so stupid?

The 17 year-old Shaw allegedly told his friends prior to the explosion that "Project Mayhem" was about to begin. Shaw was allegedly obsessed with the movie "Fight Club. " He even allegedly imitated Brad Pitt's character from the movie. (Note: he apparently did not pay attention to the movie too well because "the first rule of Fight Club is, you do not talk about Fight Club.") The 1999 movie includes a scene in which a Starbucks is destroyed.

Shaw is not a suspect in the other recent small explosions in the city ( bombings at the Times Square Army recruiting center and the Mexican consulate.) For the Starbucks explosion, Shaw allegedly made the small explosive out of a plastic bottle, firework powder, a metal cap and electrical tape. The Memorial Day blast damaged a nearby bench and shattered the store's windows. No one was injured; but the explosion was bad enough that someone could have been killed. Shaw has been charged with arson, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal mischief.

If Shaw truly wanted to be part of a fight club, he could have lawfully joined the WEC or the UFC mixed martial arts fighting contests. Now, if convicted, he will be doing his fighting without pay behind bars.

Shaw is to be considered innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Who Could Possibly Murder Byrd and Melanie Billings?

Maybe we just didn't understand it. Why else would Legal Pub ignore questions from readers why we have not covered the Pensacola, Florida murders? There are now seven men arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings, a couple known for adopting special-needs children. One more suspect is being sought. The couple cared for cared for 16 children over the years which were not their biological children. (Ashley Markham was the biological daughter of Melanie Billings but not Byrd. Ashley told the press that over the years the couple has cared for 17 children. Each parent had two biological children but none together. Three have died. Nine children were present at the time of the slaying.)

The seven in custody will face murder charges. One of the suspects is a 16-year-old. The eighth person will likely be charged with aiding and abetting the crime. Currently all we know is that the couple was killed during what has been labeled as "a home invasion robbery. "Sheriff description. The seven suspects are as follows:

- Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Sr., 56
- Wayne Thomas Coldiron, 41
-Leonard Gonzalez Jr., 35
- Gary Lamont Sumner, 30
-Donald Ray Stallworth, 28
- Fredrick Lee Thornton, 19
- A juvenile, 16, believed to be Rakeem Florence (To be charged as an adult per Escambia County State Attorney Bill Eddins.)

Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr., a former National Guard member, is believed to have organized the crime. Gonzalez, Jr. was also an ex-convict that taught self defense classes to women and children. While it has been said that the crime was "very well-planned and methodical," it was captured on surveillance. Watch surveillance video. Stallworth also has military experience as a staff sergeant with the 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, based at Hurlburt Field in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Gonzalez, Sr. had worked at the Billings' home through a pressure washing business that he owned. Gonzalez, Sr. had hired Coldiron and Coldiron had been to the Billings’ property. Coldiron was basically a day laborer who had already served time in prison for murder.

The video shows five people dressed in black and wearing masks entering the home through two entrances. Drivers apparently remained in both of the vehicles involved in the incident. The couple were shot multiple times. Items were taken from the home consistent with robbery. For Melanie Billings' description of the loving couple watch this: Markham.

7-16-09 Update: The plot thickens: Pamela Long Wiggins will be charged with accessory after the fact of felony murder. Wiggins -- who was previously identified as Pamela Laverne Long was arrested Wednesday in Orange Beach, Alabama. Wiggins apparently rented property to Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr., and was the suspect's family friend. The exact reason for the charges is not currently known. The DEA is investigating the suspects not the victims. The most likely motive is simply robbery. The safe has been recovered as has a gun believed to be used in the shootings.

Keep in mind all suspects are innocent until otherwise proven in a court of law.

After completing the story, one still wonders "why?"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Charles Smith, Lance Battreal, and Mark Booher Trying To Be Rabbits On The Run?

And the town was searching every where for the rabbits on the run! So far, the rabbits have not been too successful. Three inmates escaped from the Indiana State Prison. By Monday afternoon, Charles Smith, 48, a convicted killer was caught near the vacation home of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Dailey's bodyguard held him at gun point until the police arrive. (Don't mess with Chicago Bear fans, they shoot back.) Smith was probably happy to be turned over to the Grand Beach Police instead of facing the wrath of an irate security guard.

Authorities warned the public to stay inside since a convicted murder and a rapist were still on the lose. The three convicts escaped from the prison through a tunnel system underneath the penitentiary. Ironically, Dailey's vacation home is eight miles from the penitentiary and has it's own security.

Still on the run, Lance Battreal, left, is a convicted rapist. Charles Smith, center is caught. Mark Booher (46), another convicted murderer, is still on the run. Booher is from New Castle, Indiana. He was also was spotted in Grand Beach. A woman in Grand Beach saw two men in her driveway and called police. But they have yet to be caught.

Convicted rapist, Lance Battreal is a 45 year old from Rockport, Indiana.

Indiana Department of Correction officials said the men were discovered missing about 10 a.m. Sunday. The convicts escaped by getting past bars in the tunnels and pipe chases under the grounds of the Michigan City prison. Two of the inmates did maintenance work in the prison's tunnel system. The three were in the same housing unit at the time of their escape. All three started serving time in the late 1990s. All three faced at least 30 more years behind bars. Now it will be longer...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Renee Pernice Disappears As Couple Awaits Divorce?

Renee Pernice, another byproduct of a dysfunctional divorce system or just a random disappearance? That is the question one Legal Pub reader submitted along with this story. Renee Pernice is a 35-year-old mother of two young children. She disappeared from her home in Kansas City, Missouri, in January of this year. No one has heard from her since.

Foul play is suspected; however, her body has not been discovered. Furthermore, no arrests have been made. Police have not named her husband, Shon Pernice, as a person of interest or a suspect in the case. On the other hand, "he's the last known person to see her alive," according to Doug Niemeier, a sergeant with the Kansas City Police Department. Renee's husband, Shon Pernice, is a firefighter. He allegedly entered Station #5, a local fire department's hazardous materials building (where cleaning supplies are stored) around 4:30 a.m. on January 3. Could this be related to Renee's disappearance shortly after the new year?

Renee was pursuing a divorce around the time she disappeared. Is her disappearance just a coincidence? Shon Pernice denies that he was involved in her disappearance. In a March interview, Shon Pernice said, "It's gut-wrenching thinking that either she's got a rich-ass doctor boyfriend somewhere and she's happy, or she's dead." Since his wife's disappearance, Shon has been accused of allegedly stealing a neighbor's gun and for disturbing the peace in an incident with that same neighbor on July 4, 2009. Has the media unfairly painted Shon Pernice as a villain? What happened to a presumption of innocence? Our system of justice demands a presumption of innocence After all the couple's two sons, ages 6 and 9, need their father. (While Shon currently has custody, Renee Pernice's mother has sought custody of the children.)

Renee Pernice was a nurse at St. Luke's Hospital. She was last seen with her dogs in her backyard on Friday, January 2, 2009. While she disappeared, her purse, coat and other items were still in the house. Renee's car was in the garage. Renee's cell phone was missing from the house. Her phone was found on January 3, 009, 15 miles from her home. A search of that area found nothing else.

There is a $25,000 reward being offered by the family. A white truck appears in surveillance video in an area where her phone was discovered may be related to her disappearance. Renee is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and has brown hair and blue eyes. Kansas City Police Department will welcome any tips at 1-816-474-TIPS.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Was Harry Douglas IV Home A Site For A Sexual Attack?

More bad publicity for an NFL team, the Falcons. First is was allegations of dog fighting. Now it's bad publicity about a party and an accusation of rape at one of the players homes on Hudllestone Lane in Bufford. Gwinnett County police are investigating an alleged sexual assault at the home of Harry Douglas IV, an Atlanta Falcons player. A woman told police that she attended a party at the home of Falcons widereceiver Harry Douglas IV. During the party, she went to sleep in one of the bedrooms. The woman claims that she was awoken by a man who was sexually assaulting her. (That man was not Douglas.)

Police said the alleged victim went to another location and called 911 to report the incident. Police do not believe Douglas was involved in the attack. In fact they don't think Douglas has any knowledge of the incident; however, the investigation continues. The female victim provided the police with the name of her alleged attacker and authorities are looking to speak with the suspect.

After an interview with the alleged suspect, police will decide whether charges are to be pursued.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Not So Sweet Ending For Vincent Smith II. Who Fell Into A Vat of Chocolate

Sweets can kill! Legal Pub has warned before of the danger. Obesity Link. Now there is even more disturbing evidence that sweets can be fatal. Take the case Vincent Smith II. Smith was an employee at a New Jersey chocolate processing plant. He fell into a vat of hot chocolate and died. At the time, Smith, 29, was dumping raw chocolate into the vat for melting. He apparently lost his balance and fell from a nine-foot high platform into the chocolate. The initial trauma was to his head from the vat's agitator which stirs the chocolate.

Three others were on the platform. Only Smith fell. One immediately shut the machinery off but it was too late. Cocoa Services Inc., owns the facility that is managed and operated by Lyons and Sons. The vat was 8 feet deep, 14 feet long and 6 feet wide. The chocolate was being made for Hershey's when the accident happened. Smith was a temporary worker at the Cocoa Services Inc. plant.
While we extend our condolences to the family of Vincent Smith II, let us be reminded that perhaps there is yet another reason to watch what we eat.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nicole Bobek's Apparent Fall From Grace Is Especially Troublesome For Her Fans

What is it with figure skaters? First it was Tonya Harding trying to disable her competition and now it's apparently Nicole Bobek getting involved with the wrong people. The fall from grace is not pleasant. Nor is it pretty, especially in the case of Nicole who seemed to have so much going in her favor. Was it the pressure of the sport that left invisible scars or is it just the lure of easy money? Unlike Hardin, Nicole Bobek, 31, was an actual U.S. figure skating champion in 1995. She won the bronze metal at the World Figure Skating Championship also in 1995. Nicole was originally from Illinois. Recently she was living in Florida where she worked as a figure skating coach. She also operated several of her own businesses. Nicole appeared in the 2006 film, "All The King's Men" with Jude Law, Sean Penn, and Kate Winslet. Nicole was also the spokesperson for "Raising the Spirit - Touching the Heart", a campaign where she visits schools, hospitals and animal shelters as part of a community outreach program.

Now New Jersey police are accusing her of being part of a methamphetamine ring.

Bobek was arrested at her home in Jupiter, Florida, last week on a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in New Jersey. Guy Gregory of the Hudson County prosecutor's office indicated that Bobek waived extradition. She made her first appearance in court on Monday via video. Bobek has plead not guilty and should be presumed innocent unless otherwise convicted. She was released on bond. In total about 20 people have been arrested in connection with the alleged drug ring. If convicted, Bobek could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison.

Bobek is represented by attorney Sam DeLuca. Those wishing to learn more about Nicole or to offer her a word of encouragement can visit her myspace page at: LINK.

Nicole Bobek like all suspects is to be considered innocent until otherwise proven in a court of law!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Patrick Tracy Burris Suspected Serial Killer Of Kline Cash, Hazel Linder, Gena Linder Parker, Abby Tyler, Stephen Tyler Meets His Maker?

Crime solved! A South Carolina serial killer has apparently met his maker. Patrick Tracy Burris' gun is the same gun used in the killings in Gaffney, South Carolina. Burris and his vehicle match the description of the suspect. Police have proclaimed that a "killer is off the streets."

Burris was shot by police on Monday in Dallas, North Carolina. Police had a tip from neighbors that a possible burglary was in progress. It turns out the perpetrator was Burris, a convicted felon who was on probation at the time he was shot by police. Bill Blanton, sheriff of Cherokee County, South Carolina told the press that when the police arrived, there were two people who lived there and a third who was an acquaintance. Police checked Burris' identification and determined that there was an outstanding warrant for him from a probation violation. When police attempted to serve the warrant, Burris shot at the officers and they killed him. Why police think they've got their man .

One officer was shot in the leg. He was treated and released. Burris has a 25-page rap sheet and further fuels the "you can't reform criminals crowd. His prior charges include: armed robberies, forgeries, break-ins and several charges from several states.
Links to serial killer
Fifth victim

Just why was Burris out on the streets? The simple answer is our system does not always work. As a consequence, on June 27, a peach farmer Kline W. Cash, 63, was shot and killed. Four days later, Hazel Linder, 83, and her 50-year-old daughter, Gena Linder Parker, were found murdered in Linder's home. Then, 15-year-old Abby Tyler and her father Stephen Tyler, 48, were shot last week. Stephen died that day and Abby died on Saturday. Evidence places Burris at the scene of the killings.

Why? We will likely never know. But southern justice has caught up with Mr. Burris, may he finally obtain the reform he so desperately needed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Steve McNair's Legacy To Be Overshadowed By Circumstances Of His Death?

Air McNair, Jordan like on the football field. Perhaps not as lucky off the playing field. Steve McNair, 36, was found murdered. He quarterbacked for 13 seasons in the NF, the majority with the Tennessee Titans. Now, both McNair and his pretty 20 year old girlfriend, Sahel Kazemi, were found shot to death in a condominium in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. McNair was shot twice in the head and twice in the chest. Kazemi was shot once in the head. The murder weapon was found under Kazemi's body which is most likely consistent with a murder-suicide. However, the investigation and autopsies are not complete.

McNair has a hero's image. But this married man with four children apparently had a secret side at the time of his death. McNair and Kazemi "apparently were involved in a dating relationship," according to investigators. Did something go wrong with this affair? Did someone decide to end the relationship with a gun?
There were no signs of forced entry. The condo was rented by McNair and Wayne Neeley, a sporting-goods dealer. Neeley discovered the clothed bodies Saturday afternoon. Steve McNair found shot to death. Neeley called a third party who called the police.

McNair's body was on a living room sofa. A semi-automatic pistol was found under Kazemi's body. McNair had apparently been at the Blue Moon Lagoon Bar and the Loser's Bar late Friday night. A Cadillac Escalade registered to Kazemi and McNair was in the condominium parking lot when McNair arrived at about 1:30 a.m on Saturday. Presumably, Kazemi was waiting for McNair when he arrived. As part of the investigation, Kazemi's former boyfriend is being interviewed; however he is not considered to be a suspect at this point in time.
Perhaps the affair should have hit the public eye much sooner. Two days earlier, Kazemi was pulled over for DWI while driving McNair in the Escalade. McNair left the scene of the arrest in a taxi. He later returned to the station and bailed out Kazemi. Just what was the NFL's co-MVP in 2003 thinking? What was McNair, always portrayed as a family man, thinking?
McNair played in the 2000 Super Bowl with the Titans. He spent his last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He officially retired from football in April 2008. McNair played his collegiate ball at Alcorn State in Mississippi. He was a true grid iron hero who was portrayed as a role model for young people all across the country. Now, he is likely to be remembered as an adulterer and another senseless victim of domestic violence.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Do Terry Kimball, Leann Emry, Kaysi McLeod, Jennifer Marcum and Society Deserve Better?

When is is appropriate to "make a deal" with a serial killer? If it brings closure to the victims' families is it worth it? Prosecutors have apparently made a deal with an evil man. Scott Kimball is leading investigators to bodies of people he apparently murdered in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Yes, that's what apparently is happening out in Colorado.

Partly mummified bones believed to be of Terry Kimball, Scott's uncle, were discovered Monday in a remote Rocky Mountain pass near Vail, Colorado. DNA and forensic testing will be used to confirm that the body is correctly identified and to determine the cause of death. Terry Kimball is believed to be one of several suspected victims associated with Scott Kimball. In 2008, Scott Kimball began serving a 48-year sentence in state prison in Fairplay, Colorado, on theft and habitual criminal convictions. Kimball also has a 70-month federal sentence on firearms charges. Kimball's record apparently reveals 18 convictions.
So why won't Kimball be charged with any of the deaths? Apparently, Kimball's December 2008 plea to theft and habitual criminal charges, and the 48-year sentence, was part of a deal that included revealing the locations of murder victims. The plea gave the family of victims the opportunity for some closure regarding their loved one's fate. Furthermore, without Kimball's confession, authorities probably would never have enough evidence to convict Scott of the murders.
It is believed that the 42 year old Kimball described a specific location where he disposed of his 60 year old uncle's body. His uncle was last seen in Scott's presence. But Scott Kimball told his wife that Terry Kimball had won the lottery and run off with a stripper to Mexico. (The Vail Pass where Terry Kimball was found does not even remotely resemble Mexico. Futhermore, the only stripping that occurred was the stripping of a precious life.)

In March, Scott Kimball got to take a road trip with FBI investigators to southeastern Utah to search for the body of Leann Emry. Emery was 24 when she vanished in 2003 on a camping trip. The FBI found Emry's remains shortly after Kimball returned to jail. Kaysi McLeod (the daughter of Kimball's ex-wife) disappeared in 2003. McLeod was last seen getting a ride to work from Kimball. Her remains were discovered in 2007 in northwest Colorado. Dancer Jennifer Marcum disappeared in 2003. Some believe Kimball killed Marcum and buried her body near Rifle, Colorado. Marcum's remains have yet to be found.
Kimball is no stranger to working with authorities. In 2002 while jailed for writing bad checks, Kimball offered to testify against his cellmate, Steven Ennis, who was suspected in a drug ring. The FBI arranged for Kimball to be released. Thereafter, the FBI paid Kimball as an informant.
Kimball was supposed to provide the FBI information on Jennifer Marcum (Ennis' girlfriend) when she disappeared.
In March 2006 near Palm Springs, California, Kimball was arrested again. Kimball knows how to work the legal system. Does he deserve to be punished further if he murdered his uncle and the beautiful women pictured above?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer Learning And Summer Fun Can Turn Tragic Especially If You Are Shot or The Star Of A Sex Video

Sometimes we just don't know the answer to the question "Why?" Teens waiting for a bus gun downed. Campers and their dog shot to death. Sometimes the answer is that we just don't know. But maybe we are a little closer in the Detroit shootings. Robert Bobb, the Detroit school district's emergency financial manager told the press that police have suspects in mind. The inexcusable shooting left seven teenagers wounded. (WDTV.)

Gunmen in a green minivan opened fire on a group of teens waiting at a bus stop near a Detroit school. Two victims are in critical condition. Five of the wounded had just left Cody Ninth Grade Academy summer classes. So much for summer learning.

As for summer fun turned bad, Steven Haugen (54), Jeanette Bauman (56) and their Labrador retriever, Caesar, took a fatal overnight camping trip in the Willamette National Forest on June 30, 2005. The couple and their dog were shot to death on the trip. Four years later, the killer apparently remains free. A similar murder of a mother and daughter occurred a year later in Washington state. There is no apparent motive in either case. According to police, the killer took some supplies and Haugen's license plate. Anyone with information leading to the arrest or conviction of the killer may call the Lane County Sheriff's Office tip line at 541-682-4167. For you bounty hunters, a $5,000 reward is available.

Update 7-7-09: As for summer education memories, consider the case of Crystal Defanti. Defanti is a hot elementary school teacher at Isabelle Jackson Elementary School who accidently heated up the summer for some of her 11 year old students. Defanti wanted to make a DVD for her students with memories of their school year. However, she accidentally included x-rated scenes from one of her intimate moments. After she sent her students the dvd, Crystal found out that she had included the sexy 6 second scene. To her credit, Crystal called the students parents and apologized for her mistake.

Apparently, Crystal Defanti is a good teacher who made an honest mistake. It is doubtful that she will lose her job. On the other hand, as steamy as the scene was, she is likely to have all kinds of pictorial job offers should she decide to change her profession. While parents may be concerned about how the DVD will be explained, I suggest they don't bother. Chances are the kids have seen much worse on network T.V. Furthermore, based on the popularity of the show "The Secret Life of the American Teen," I doubt the kids have many questions.
For the curious, here is the video link: Teacher Video