Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Anthony Alvarez Demonstrates Family Cruelty?

The cruelty is almost too much to imagine.  Anthony Alvarez, 63, shot and killed his adult daughter, Jennifer Kimble, 37,  in a Central California home with her three young children inside. Alvaraz also shot and wounding another daughter, Valerie Alvarez, 33, before apparently killing himself.  Tulare County deputies found bodies after a call from Jennifer's 8-year-old daughter. Jennifer's two sons, ages 13 and 11, were found uninjured in the house.

Jennifer Kimble worked in the cafeteria of an elementary school in her neighborhood.  Anthony Alvarez was a Vietnam veteran who received a purple heart. No information has been released explaining a possible motive.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

From Tornado Disaster to Murder

Recent headlines concern the 24 people who died in the large tornado in More, Oklahoma.  Our prayers exend to their family and friends. Insurance and legal issues may arise from this disaster, but quite frankly it appears only nature is at fault and that entity enjoys immunity from prosecution no matter how outrageous the crime.

Other recent news tends to support the proposition that Nichole Cable, the 15-year-old girl found dead in woods north of Bangor, Maine apparently knew the man charged with killing her. It appears that Kyle Dube, 20, of Orono, had been Facebook friends with Nichole Cable, for a couple of months.  Nichole had apparently made plans to see him the weekend that she disappeared according to Nicole's friend, Tyler-Ann Harris, 16. Dube had worked for The Getchell Agency, an organization that cares for people with disabilities.

Dube is charged with Nichole's murder.  Dube was already in jail for fleeing police on a motorcycle. He is being defended by attorney, Stephen Smith.

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

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Orleans Mothers Day Shooting

What a way to ruin a great day.  New Orleans police are trying to identify a possible suspect in the Mother's Day gunfire that wounded 19 people during a neighborhood parade in the Big Easy. The Original Big 7 organized Sunday's event. The Original Big 7 was founded in 1996 at the Saint Bernard housing projects.

Surveillance video shows a man wearing a white T-shirt and dark pants that may be responsible for the stupidity. Police believe more than one gun was fired. At least three of the victims were seriously wounded. 10 men, seven women, a boy and a girl were wounded by the spineless coward. The FBI is a bit more kind in labeling this as "street violence." The crime scene occurred 1.5 miles from the French Quarter and near the Treme neighborhood, the subject of the HBO show.

The reward for information leading to arrests and indictments of this idiot is $10,000, according to police.
Police are looking for possibly three suspects that appear to have run from the scene.

Update 5-22-2013: Two suspects, Akein and Shawn Scott, have been apprehended on suspicion of committing a gang hit on people present at the New Orleans parade.  The suspects are to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Is Ariel Castro a Beast? ~by Legal Pub

Ariel Castro, a 52 year-old former school bus driver, is accused of imprisoning three women for about a decade.  His arrest raises many questions for which there are not always politically correct answers.  Castro was charged with three counts of rape and four counts of kidnapping. 

Typically victims names are not shared.  So why are the names Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight on the lips of most reporters across the nation?  In short these three victims all vanished between 2002 and 2004. The disappearances were national news back at the time of their disappearance so finding the women alive in 2013 was big news. Berry was on all of the national networks after the 27 year-old told police that she escaped when Castro forgot to lock the "big inside door" of the home when he left to go to McDonald's. Berry's screams for help were answered by a neighbor who came to her rescue. Berry's 911 call has been played hundreds of times on TV and radio networks.

Castro has also been charged with kidnapping Amanda Berry's 6-year-old daughter (Jocelyn); however, if Castro fathered the child is it really kidnapping? Perhaps no one other than legal scholars will question the wisdom of such a charge; however, the charging information on this count seems technically flawed. Since Jocelyn is the daughter of Castro and there is no custody order to the contrary, it would appear that kidnapping is an erroneous charge.  Child abuse, child neglect etc are perhaps more appropriate charges.

What went on behind closed doors in this Seymour Avenue home? The media describes beatings, chained confinement, starvation and death threats. If true, Castro is either a beast or he is mentally ill.  In either case, he is not likely to ever be on the street again. Castro also allegedly impregnated Knight five times and then allegedly starved her until she miscarried. Castro also allegedly forced Knight to deliver Berry's baby in a plastic kiddie pool.  Castro allegedly threatened Knight if the newborn died. (Seems a bit inconsistent that Castro wanted Berry's offspring but not Knight's.)

Did Castro act alone?  Castro's brothers were originally detained by police but have not been charged with any crime associated with the victims. Victor Perez, chief deputy prosecutor for Cleveland, said there is no evidence that either brother were involved in any crimes against the women.  Consequently, so far all accounts seem to indicate that Castro acted alone when he lured the victims into his car on separate occasions ten years ago.  Castro apparently secretly kept the girls in his west Cleveland home. At one time or another, all three females were chained up in the basement.  In later years, all three were allowed to live on the second floor without restraints. Nevertheless, the women exited Castro's home just twice since their kidnapping.

So how are they doing now?  Knight, 32, remains in a Cleveland hospital. Berry, 27, and DeJesus, 23, are home reunited with friends and family.

What do we know of Ariel Castro?  Grimilda Figueroa is the mother of four of his children. In 2005, Figueroa obtained a protective order against Castro after he allegedly broke her nose, ribs, and dislocated her shoulder. Since 1997, Figueroa had sole custody of Castro's children. The protective order barred Castro from coming near Figueroa or the children. A judge dissolved the protective order on November 21, 2005.

While Castro is to be presumed innocent, it is unlikely he will avoid life in prison or a mental institute. While he appears to be a beast, he is likely a sick mentally ill bully who needs a permanent vacation from society.

Update September 4, 2013: Ariel Castro apparently hung himself last night while in jail.

Update July 30, 2014:  A year ago Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus escaped the torture of Ariel Castro when Berry and her then 6-year old daughter escaped to a neighbor's home .  While one might expect such torture in a foreign land, this nightmare occurred in Cleveland, Ohio.  Michelle was treated different than her fellow captives. She was physically and mentally tormented by Castro from August 2002, when Castro lured Knight, then 21, into his home with the promise of a puppy, to May 6, 2013.
Michelle Knight Pictured here. 

Michelle was starved, chained, raped and physically brutalized and humiliated by Castro.  Over the course of her captivity, Michelle grew stronger and more defiant. She even delivered Amanda Berry's baby during captivity. Michelle has been open and very public about the ordeal. Knight even wrote a book, "Finding Me." On the other hand, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus have avoided the public. 

We may never know how Castro's mind raced since he killed himself in custody last September.
Castro has been described as many things, even a nice guy who would share ribs with neighbors on his porch.  Castro at one time even drove a school bus. He was a salsa musicians who even played in public.
How did Castro hide his dark side from so many people? Castro abducted Knight first after she accepted a ride from a Family Dollar store.  Nine months later Berry fell subject to his prey as she walked home from her job at Burger King.  Berry was just 17 when her captivity began. 

Castro apparently treated Berry better than Knight, providing Berry with better food, blankets, and privileges. According to Knight's interview with Anderson Cooper, "He had a fascination with her, more than me," Knight recalled. "She was the wife-type person. I was the punching bag."
In April 2004, Castro added DeJesus to his makeshift prison.  DeJesus was only 14 at the time of her kidnapping.  Knight was often chained to DeJesus and as a result, the two apparently became dependent upon each other for emotional support. In the end, a common hope became reality and the trio became free. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

West Fertilizer Co. Illustrates A Good Reason To Have Adequate Liability Insurance

West Fertilizer Co. blew up and caused a lot of damage in West Texas on April 17, 2013.  It also killed 14 people. More than 200 others were injured.  There was over twenty million dollars in damage to the surrounding area.  A trial lawyer's dream turned nightmare as the company had only $1 million in liability coverage! Attorneys such as Randy C. Roberts who have filed lawsuits against West Fertilizer's owners were told Thursday of the $1 million in liability insurance. Brook Laskey, has been hired to defend the plant.  Laskey confirmed the small amount of insurance in an email to The Associated Press.
"The bottom line is, this lack of insurance coverage is just consistent with the overall lack of responsibility we've seen from the fertilizer plant, starting from the fact that from day one they have yet to acknowledge responsibility," Roberts said. Roberts anticipates that the plant will file for bankruptcy.

State and federal investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire and explosion. It was unknown as to the amount of ammonium nitrate present at the time of the fire."The law allows courts to presume negligence when something happens that would not ordinarily occur but for negligence... A fire might be an unavoidable accident, but an explosion of this magnitude resulting from a fire is not an unavoidable accident," explained Roberts.