Posts Tagged ‘Law Enforcement’
Monday, February 21st, 2011
This past Friday, February 18, 2011, the Green River Killer pleaded guilty to murder number 49. Gary Ridgway, the confessed killer, is currently serving 48 consecutive life sentences in Washington State Penitentiary for his slaying spree that began in 1982. His targets were primarily prostitutes or runaways, many of whom were later found near the banks of the Green River just south of Seattle, Washington—thus the name the Green River Killer.
The remains of Becky Marrero, Ridgway’s 49th known victim, were found last December in a steep ravine in King County, Washington. Marrero, a 20-year-old mother, disappeared more than 28 years ago. On December, 3, 1982, Marrero left her 3-year-old daughter with her aunt and departed for the Seattle airport. She was never seen alive again.
Given the plea deal arrangement made in November 2003 following his arrest in 2001, Ridgway pleaded guilty to Marrero’s murder, was given a 49th life sentence, and was returned to his cell at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. The terms of the original plea deal were simple. According to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, prosecutors would not seek the death penalty if Ridgway agreed to “plead guilty to any and all future cases (in King County) where his confession could be corroborated by reliable evidence.” This deal was made in an attempt to resolve more cold cases. However, should any other victims of the Green River Killer surface outside of King County, there is no limit to what prosecutors can seek in terms of punishment.
With Ridgway’s 49th conviction, Satterberg hoped that Marrero’s family would finally be given the answers they had searched for, with some degree of justice.
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Friday, February 11th, 2011
For those of you following the Chandra Levy case, there is finally some closure. Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted this past November of the federal intern’s murder, was sentenced to 60 years in prison this morning. Prosecutors in the case had requested life without parole, but Judge Gerald I. Fisher decided on a lesser sentence. The Washington Post reported that a letter handwritten in Spanish by Guandique dated January 22nd was sent to one of their reporters. In the letter, Guandique purported his innocence and claimed that he was a victim of a “stupid, comedic farce that the detectives and prosecutors have engaged in,” and was thereby a scapegoat. For more information about the Chandra Levy case, please refer to CNN coverage or any of our other blog posts: Ingmar Guandique Found Guilty in Chandra Levy Case, The Chandra Levy Case is Back in the Spotlight as the Trial is Underway, or Cold Case Turned Hot: DNA May Be Key To Chandra Levy Case.
Read more about Chandra Levy and other Washington Area cases here
Monday, February 7th, 2011
With the help of the FBI , two men were arrested on Sunday in connection with an Ohio shooting. Twenty-five year old student, Jamail Johnson of Girard Ohio, was killed while 11 other were wounded. Johnson was killed off campus of Youngstown State University, in a house nearby. The names of the 19 and 22 year olds who were arrested have not yet been released, and both remain un-charged at this point. Police are no longer looking for any other suspects.
According to Tina Creighton, spokeswoman for St. Elizabeth’s Health Center, all but three of the eleven people hurt had been treated and released by Sunday afternoon. Governor of Ohio, John Kasich said he was both, “shocked and saddened” by the events of the shooting and has extended state resources to both the university and local law enforcement.
At the time of the shooting, members of the fraternity Omega Psi Phi, were having a party in the house where Johnson was killed. Police found several shell casings from two semiautomatic handguns, and described shots as being “indiscriminately fired” within the house. Both suspects had been identified by witnesses as locals to the area. They had attended the party earlier in the evening, but were thrown out. They then returned and began firing. A friend of the victim stated that Johnson was a genuinely good person with big plans for the future, and that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
For more information about this case, please click here or here.
Read about a shooting at a high school in Chardon, OH
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Julie K. Schenecker of Tampa, Florida is being charged with 2 counts of first degree murder. A search warrant released on Tuesday, detailed that the mother was found unconscious in her home, and wearing a bloody robe; while her two deceased children lay wrapped up in blankets. Schenecker confessed to killing the 13 year old Beau Powers, and the 16 year old Calyx Powers, but gave no reason except to say that the teens were being, “mouthy”.
In Schenecker’s bedroom, police found five bullets and a Smith & Wesson box. They also found 15 live rounds and five spent shell casings in the bathroom. Calyx’s body was found in an upstairs bedroom with two shots to the head. Beau’s body was discovered in the front seat of an SUV inside the garage of the home. Thus far, the investigation has determined that the killings occurred on Thursday evening, but a medical examiner will determine the exact time of death.
Police also found writings thought to be from Schenecker in the house, indicating her intentions. During Monday’s court hearing, Schenecker appeared weeping with tissues in hand. Judge Walter Heinrich stated that she will likely undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Schenecker did not enter a plea, most likely for that reason. As of right now, no new court dates are set. Prosecutors will have three weeks to present the case to a grand jury.
To read more about this case, please click here or here.
Read about another case that involved a family slaying
Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
B.A. English & Journalism, The University of Iowa
In a matter of minutes, six people were killed and thirteen were injured on Friday, January 7, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona. It has been determined that gunman Jared Lee Loughner, 22, specifically targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during her “Congress in Your Corner” event at the La Toscana shopping center. Giffords had just been reelected to her third term in November and had been sworn into office only two days prior to the shooting.
Rep. Giffords was shot in the head during Loughner’s rampage, but luckily was attended to by intern Daniel Hernandez (who had prior nursing training) until emergency workers were able to arrive on the scene. Giffords and two others who were wounded in the shooting are in good condition at the University Medical Center in Tucson, while the nine others suffering injuries have been released. The health of the congresswoman appears to be continually improving as she has opened her eyes, is breathing on her own through assistance from a tracheotomy tube in her windpipe, and can respond to basic commands like squeezing a hand, which indicates to neurosurgeons that she is capable of brain function.
While people across the nation have been shaken by the shooting on January 7th, members of Congress have been especially hard hit by events. This marks the most recent attempt on the life of a sitting member of Congress since 1978 when Rep. Leo Ryan of California was killed while in Jonestown, Guyana. Tentative legislative business, including a reexamination of the current health-care law, has been postponed. Instead, talk has turned to issues of safety, such as a possible bill to enclose the House of Representatives’ public galleries in a material similar to Plexiglas and the installation of “panic buttons” within offices. While many citizens are calling for stricter gun control, legislators will not go as far, but instead talk of a bill banning high-capacity gun magazines.
The state of Arizona and Gov. Jan Brewer has passed their own legislation in the meantime, banning protests within 300 feet of a funeral site. This law comes as a response to the Westboro Baptist Church announcing plans to picket the funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll. While funerals and vigils are being held for those he killed and injured, Jared Loughner was taken into custody after being tackled by onlookers while reloading at the “Congress on Your Corner” event. He is currently being held in Phoenix without bail, facing federal charges for two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
San Diego based lawyer Judy Clarke has been appointed to defend Loughner and has gained recognition in her career by previously defending Theodore Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber, and Susan Smith. Because of John Roll’s position as federal judge in Tucson, the remaining federal judges in his district have decided to not preside over the case in order to avoid a conflict of interest; a federal judge from outside the state may have to be brought in. More likely, Clarke will seek a change of venue in hopes of ensuring Loughner a fair trial. Though changes in venue are not typically granted, pretrial publicity can necessitate the move due to an impartial jury being unlikely within the community where the crime took place, as was the situation during the 1996 Oklahoma City bombing case.
Read about the lululemon stabbing in DC and thoughts on random murder