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Archive for April, 2008

GUILTY: Eric Boyd’s Christian-Newsom murder accessory trial over

April 17, 2008 1 comment

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — The first trial ends with the first guilty verdict in connection with the deaths of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23.

The only one of the five suspects not charged with murder, Eric DeWayne Boyd is guilty of being an accessory, according to the jury.

The jury has spoken, convicting Eric Boyd of two counts.

After five hours of deliberation, they found Boyd guilty of being an accessory after the fact, and concealing a felon, agreeing with the prosecution that he helped hide murder suspect Lemaricus Davidson from police, while failing to report his crimes.

This battle is over, but the victim’s families know the war will be long.

The victims’ families celebrate the word they’ve been waiting to hear for more than a year: Guilty.

Eric Boyd’s conviction today is the first, but family members pray it won’t be the last.

Channon Christian’s father Gary Christian says, “One down, four to go, baby. We got more to go on this one too. Eric boyd’s gonna hear from us.”

What Eric Boyd heard from the jury today will likely mean 15 years in federal prison, after sentencing August 12th.

Next year may bring four more trials, death penalty cases against the four accused murderers.

Even on this day, Chris Newsom’s mother is thinking about that.

Mary Newsom says, “They really, really tortured them beyond a normal killing, so whatever the others get, that’s what they deserve.”

Knoxville Police Sgt. Tim Snodderly says, “This is just a small part of what we’ve got going on. This is just a first step, and we’re extremely happy with the verdict we got today. We’ve got a long way to go but this is a little bit of justice for the family.”

These families say they heard Eric Boyd’s brother on television last night, saying he feels their pain. But the words mean nothing to those who lost loved ones.

Dina Christian, Channon’s mother says, “Let them lose one of theirs, and then go through the hell we went through, and then maybe they can say something.”

Gary Christian says, “Channon’s sitting on our shoulders.”

http://www.volunteertv.com/home/headlines/17827469.html#

Freed sex offender charged in fatal home invasion

April 8, 2008 1 comment

http://www.newsnet14.com/2008/04/07/freed-sex-offender-charged-in-fatal-home-invasion/

leslie-williams-killer.jpgmary-ellen-welsh.jpgNEW BRITAIN, Connecticut (AP) — A sex offender recently released from prison brazenly invaded a home, shot two women meeting for morning coffee and abducted one of them, whose body was found about 10 miles away, police said.

Leslie Williams, 31, told police that he entered the unlocked home Sunday morning looking for money and a car, but that when two women inside saw his face, he had no choice but to shoot them, according to an arrest warrant.

Carol Larese, 65, was seriously wounded while her visiting friend, MaryEllen Welsh, 61, was abducted.

According to the arrest warrant, Larese offered Williams $20 and Welsh gave him her car key, but Williams ordered the two into the basement and shot Larese. The warrant does not address the shooting of Welsh.

Larese told police she pretended to be dead, then stayed in her basement for an hour to make sure the intruder had left. She went to a neighbor’s home across the street for help.

“She just told me she was shot,” Teresa Diters said. “She was all full of blood from head to toe. I was amazed.”

Police said they arrested Williams when he crashed Welsh’s car about 25 miles away in Watertown after a police chase later on Sunday.

Welsh’s body was found in a wooded area of Bristol early Monday, Sgt. Darren Pearson said. MORE>>>

Nursing home worker murders elderly woman

April 6, 2008 1 comment

http://www.newsnet14.com/2008/04/05/nursing-home-worker-murders-elderly-woman/

jane-britt.jpgjoseph-njonge.jpgA King County judge today set bail at $1 million for a 24-year-old nursing assistant who was arrested Thursday on suspicion of beating and strangling a 75-year-old woman after she left a Federal Way nursing home last month.

Joseph Njonge, of Kent, who has no criminal history, worked for nearly a year as a certified nursing assistant at Garden Terrace Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, where Jane Britt’s body was found in the trunk of her car on March 19. She had visited her husband, who lives at the nursing home.

Njonge was arrested after the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory notified Federal Way police that it had matched his DNA to that found on Britt’s body. He was booked in the King County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder and robbery.

Njonge is scheduled to return to King County Superior Court Tuesday, said Pro Tem Judge Karli Jorgensen.  MORE>>>

Brittany Sue Zimmermann, Another black on white college murder?

http://www.channel3000.com/news/15782745/detail.html

MADISON, Wis. — Authorities are continuing to comb the area for clues on Thursday after a 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student was found dead in her apartment on West Doty Street.

VIDEO: Watch The Report | VIDEO: Neighbors React To DeathThe victim, identified as Brittany Sue Zimmermann, was a UW junior from Marshfield. She was majoring in medical microbiology and immunology. Her boyfriend found her body in their apartment at a two-flat house on Wednesday afternoon.Police haven’t ruled out the possibility that it was a random attack. The exact cause of death hasn’t been released, but investigators said that Zimmermann’s death appears suspicious, WISC-TV reported.Authorities said that the investigation is focused on the residence in the 500 block of West Doty and cordoned off part of the street early Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, investigators have delayed garbage pickup in the West Doty Street area and are searching nearby garbage bins. Police said that garbage pickup in the 500 blocks of Bassett and Main has been frozen for the time being by police as they attempt to search for evidence.

One refuse hauler has dumped his load of garbage at a Madison Streets garage facility and officers in hazmat suits are expecting to go through it shortly, searching for any potential evidence, WISC-TV reported.Police are also continuing to search the house where her body was found.Zimmermann’s family has been contacted and allowed police to release her name and picture in hopes that it will prompt people to come forward with more information about her death.Madison police said that they have concluded that her boyfriend isn’t a suspect in this case. They said he continues to be very helpful in providing information to the detective team.Meanwhile, authorities are urging university students and downtown residents to be vigilant about their safetyUW Dean of Students Lori Berquam urged those on campus to take advantage of the safety resources available, including the Safewalk and Saferide programs.”I think together we can support the Zimmermann family and Brittany’s friends as they go through and process this tragic situation. But we as a community can also come together to not allow something like this to happen again,” Berquam said.Dane County Coroner John Stanley conducted an autopsy of Zimmermann on Thursday afternoon and ruled that her death was a homicide. According to a news release, he attributed her death to “a complexity of traumatic injuries.” He declined to specify the type or number of injuries that Zimmermann sustained.Zimmermann’s death is the city’s second homicide this year. Joel Marino was fatally stabbed at his south side home during the day in January. No one has been arrested in that homicide.UW officials said that a memorial vigil for Zimmermann has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Sunday on Library Mall. UW-Madison Dean of Students Lori Berquam will lead the ceremony, along with student representatives from Associated Students of Madison, the Wisconsin Union Directorate and the Union Council, according to a UW news release.Authorities said that anyone with information about Zimmermann’s death should contact Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.Stay tuned to WISC-TV and Channel 3000 for continuing coverage.

Disabled Men, Woman Beaten Over Not Paying ‘Fee’ For Being White

April 2, 2008 1 comment

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=11f_1207003548


ORLANDO, Fla. — Four men in Orlando were charged with a hate crime after they pummeled a 62-year-old woman and her two mentally-challenged companions at a public park after they didn’t pay a “fee” for being white, police said.

Investigators said the victims were walking into a Kaley Park when they were confronted by Christopher Colbert, Erick Golden, Willie Pritts and Antoniette Boone.

Police said the victims were told that since they are white, they had to pay a fee to be in the park.

When the three didn’t pay, the men beat them, officers said.

One of the victims was held up with a knife, a police report said.

Deputies stopped the men a few miles from the park and they were taken into custody.

The men face several charges in connection with the incident.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

Police: Man Threatens To Stab Quanell X

http://www.click2houston.com/news/15753171/detail.html
PEARLAND, Texas — A man was arrested after he allegedly threatened to stab community activist Quanell X on Monday, KPRC Local 2 reported.

Pearland police said Hunter Martin Ratliff started an argument with Quanell X as he worked out at the 24-Hour Fitness in the 10000 block of F.M. 518 at about 9:30 a.m.

Ratliff made comments that made Quanell X feel threatened and pulled out an open pocketknife, investigators said.

Police said Ratliff, 31, was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat.

“No injuries occurred and the suspect has been taken into custody without incident,” Sgt. Roy Castillo said.

If found guilty, Ratliff could face up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fin

 

Missing Plaquemine, La. Woman Found Dead in Bunkie

Law enforcement officers found the body today of a Plaquemine woman who had been missing since Saturday morning.The body of Janaver Distefano was found in the Bunkie area about 7 a.m., according to Chief Deputy Harry Normand of the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office.An autopsy will be performed, he said.

Normand said that Donald Ray Johnson of Bunkie was arrested and accused of using Distefano’s credit card. Johnson, 23, has been booked on a count of unauthorized use of a bank access card, and is being held in jail under $100,000 bail.

Distefano was visiting a casino in Marksville on Saturday with her husband, Joseph “T-Joe” Distefano, when she went on a shopping trip and did not return.

Investigation determined that her credit card was used Saturday night at Wal-Mart and to buy gasoline.

A joint investigation is being conducted by the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/breaking/17158746.html