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Thursday, May 31, 2007

[KS] Goodbye Erin

31-year-old mother of two, beloved by many, Erin LeeAnn Wade Jones was murdered earlier this month after breaking up with Dodge City Police Officer Christopher "Chris" Tahah recently - afraid of him, saying she felt stalked. She was shot in the head - her mother says, execution style. Tahah was fired when he became a suspect in her murder. He fled, committed more crimes and is being held right now in Colorado.

Kansas waits.

I would say justice waits, but what is Justice when Erin is already gone?

On Erin's Myspace, now made private, she wrote

"...I consider myself to be a very kind, down to earth person, a friend to all and I like to show people that life is what you make of it. There's bound to be down times and tragedies in life, but you have to pick yourself up and move on! Lord I know after the year I've had..."


Tahah's page - deleted since the murder - was frightening to me - both in words, the music playing, and the music lined up to play next. I copied it before it was inaccessible also, and here is a section of it - made small and clickable so that those who opt not to see, don't have to:

"You Reaped the Whirlwind, Here Comes the Thunder....

I'm Comin' , and Hell's Comin' with Me!!!"



[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder kansas state politics]

[OH] Akron Officer Jones Avoids Trial - and Accountability

Police Officer Leslie Jones "retired early" from the Akron Police while the investigation into his 5 charges of domestic violence were still in the early stages - MEANING the police department's internal investigation stops, the details don't have to be unearthed, and won't hit his employment records, he leaves without the blemish of an actual finding on his career record - and is eligible to both recieve his pension later, and to apply for police disability now.

Two of the five charges were FELONIES - but those were "AMENDED TO LESSER CHARGES" so he would not be a felon, regardless of what he may have done. THEN the misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and aggravated assault were DROPPED "as part of the plea bargain."

He was sentenced to 60 day jail terms on each of the remaining charges - but all of that was SUSPENDED. Why? If you know, tell me. He gets one measly year of probation.

Today's news reports, "The incident did not involve any physical altercation between the two." but fails to mention him threatening his wife with a knife and yanking out the phone.

That makes the NEWS reporter - Beacon Journal's Ed Meyer - COMPLICIT in the perpetuation of the lack of accountability by his deliberately choosing what to print

and what to not print. Join the PACK, Ed.

Jones' wife is recanting some of her original accusations. GEEEEEE, I wonder why. The police, the judge, and the reporters all seem bent on making sure that whatever she originally said doesn't bring Jones to a point of facing up to his actions.

EVERYTHING revolves on what will become of Jones, not his wife.

Friday, May 25, 2007

[NY] 1 yr retired, Socci terrifies

(The law enforcement agencies don't have to worry about it anymore once a disturbed officer resigns or retires, but his victims do. And he brings his own version of the tactics with him.)
A former Nassau County police officer smashed his estranged wife's car windows with a claw hammer, beat her, threatened to kill her and tried to abduct her after he appeared in court on assault and menacing charges stemming from an October incident when police said he chained his two daughters to a tree for hours overnight, authorities said Friday.... [Stephen G.] Socci went to his wife’s workplace, waited for her to exit from work and then blocked her car in with his when she tried to leave the parking lot. After smashing her car windows, he allegedly dragged her out of the car and forced her into his car. While driving through the parking lot, he ordered her to remove the cap from a jug of gasoline. She opened the passenger side door and jumped from the moving car... ran back to her workplace, where he tackled her in the lobby...
"She fears he's going to kill her,"
[Nassau Police spokesman Anthony] Repalone said...

Socci was arrested Oct. 13, police said, after he discovered his daughters, 11 and 14, sleeping in his bed at about 12:30 a.m. He poured water on them, whipped them with a belt and then chained them to a tree until early morning, police said. He had also threatened to kill his wife that day... Socci retired from the Nassau Highway Patrol Bureau in October 2005 after 12 years of service...

Sources:
Ex-Nassau Cop Accused Of Kidnapping Wife, North Country Gazette, May 25, 2007
Police: Former Nassau cop threatens to kill wife, Newsday, May 25, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Officer-Involved Domestic Fatalities - 1



I am putting together a series of youtube videos to replace the slideshow I've been using on various sites. There are so many pictures that the slideshow has to "load" - with more constantly being added - that it's becoming cumbersome and undependable.

Youtube says there is a 10 minute limit to video lengths - so I am going to make a number of these - I'm working on volume 2 already, and will notify when each is completed.

I have too much material to work with. I wish it wasn't so.

To view the video larger:
http://www.youtube.com/v/mg3uDbVjUQw
(Hitting your F11 keyboard key will give you full-screen viewing)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

[NY] Slain Guitree's mom: "Why did the police employ him?"

KIN BLAST BRASS OVER GAL'S SLAY
New York Post, NY
By ERIN CALABRESE and LARRY CELONA
May 22, 2007
[Excerpt] The parents of slain beauty Guiatree Hardat said the NYPD - desperate for new recruits - is partly to blame for the shooting death of their 24-year-old daughter, allegedly gunned down by her cop ex-boyfriend on a Queens street. The Post reported yesterday that Officer Harry Rupnarine's Police Academy instructor had tried, according to a source, to kick him out of the academy for disruptive behavior, but was overruled.
A man like that, Hardat's mother said, should never have been issued a weapon. "Why did the police employ him?"
Dabby Hardat said. "When he was in a bad mood, he could have blown anyone away. I blame the city. If they didn't issue him a gun, he wouldn't have been able to shoot Guiatree"...

Friday, May 18, 2007

[NYPD] Officer Din pays the price for planning domestic murder

NYPD Recruit Sentenced for Trying To Kill Brooklyn Woman
Girlfriend Insists He's Innocent, Says She'll Still Wait for Him

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, NY
by AP (edit@brooklyneagle.net),
published online 05-18-2007
By Frank Eltmann

BROOKLYN — A former New York Police Department recruit convicted of conspiring to hire a hit man to kill his girlfriend — despite her continued protestations of his innocence — was sentenced yesterday to up to 21 years in prison. Kabeer Din, 35, was arrested last summ
Publish Poster after meeting with an undercover police officer he thought was a hit man to discuss killing Sherry Nohar of Brooklyn’s Kensington neighborhood for $3,000. Din made a written confession to plotting to have the 24-year-old woman killed, and he was videotaped discussing the scheme... Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Scileppi said Din, who worked as a police officer in Baltimore before coming to New York, wanted Nohar killed because she didn’t want to marry him and he feared she would report to the NYPD something that would be damaging to him. It was never revealed what that secret might have been. Din’s defense attorney had argued that he was the victim of police entrapment. Before being sentenced, Din broke down in sobs as he addressed the judge. “I am sorry for what I did, it was wrong. I made a mistake,” he said.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

[NYPD] Cop-on-cop: Officer Mahapeth arrested, suspended

NYPD DAILY BLOTTER
New York Post, NY - 2 hours ago
By TATIANA DELIGIANNAKIS
May 13, 2007
QUEENS - An off-duty cop was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child and harassment in Elmhurst, authorities said yesterday. Anthony Mahepath, 36, was dropping off his 2-year-old daughter at her mother's workplace Friday evening.
The woman works as a police officer based out of an NYPD medical division...
The woman, who was not identified, stepped out to pick up the toddler, who was strapped in the back seat of the car... The woman then reached into the car to take the baby and Mahepath allegedly tried driving away, sources said. No one was injured but cops were called and Mahepath was later arrested and suspended.

NYPD officer arrested in domestic affair
amNewYork, New York
By ERIK GERMAN, Newsday Staff Writer
erik.german@newsday.com
May 13, 2007
...Mahepath tried pulling away. Mahepath was arrested, charged with harassment and reckless endangerment and suspended from the force. Police described the dispute as "domestic in nature" and no one was hurt.
This is the second domestic confrontation leading to criminal charges against an off-duty New York City police officer this week.
On Thursday night, police said that Transit Officer Harry Rupnarine, 38, fired his 9-mm service pistol, killing his girlfriend, 22, with a single shot to her head during a argument on Atlantic Avenue near 82nd Street in Woodhaven. He is being held without bail on charges of second-degree murder.

[MI] Chief Briggs' stalking charge like "a speeding ticket"

EXCERPTS FROM 5 ARTICLES IN THIS PAST WEEK'S MICHIGAN NEWS:
...Larry Briggs, the police chief of Perry, in Shiawassee County, and Brady Township, in Saginaw County, has been charged with aggravated stalking... The alleged [19 year old] victim says Briggs kept calling her, asking if they could "get together" she told investigators. She told him to quit calling... the woman's boyfriend told the chief to stop calling... When investigators asked Briggs if he had called the woman very often, he replied "I don't know, probably quite a few". He stated the alleged victim's phone always went to voice mail that he was "p***ed off" and didn't want to get dragged through the mud over this situation"...

...The investigator checked the woman's phone records and found 37 calls from Briggs cell phone to the woman's cell phone from April 12th to April 19th... During their investigation, detectives looked into Brigg's credibility and found two other women who claim Briggs made unwanted advances toward them when he worked in another department. There have never been any criminal charges filed in those incidents... \

...Oakley Village President Douglas Shindorf said, "I'm 100 percent satisfied with his performance and certain that this will be beaten in court"... He calls the allegation "no different than getting a speeding ticket"...

...Last Spring, former Township Clerk Melissa Alcorn accused Briggs and now-recalled Township Supervisor John C. Schoch of tampering with her mail... Shortly thereafter, federal agents raided Alcorn's home in a case involving her husband... but made no arrests....

[Google it here]

[NY] Officer Harry Rupnarine shot, killed girlfriend Guiatree Hardat

[Note: Different spellings of Thursday's victim are appearing in the news - Giuatree Hardat, Guiatree Hardat, and Guyatree Harpati.]

NYPD Officer Harry Rupnarine shot, killed girlfriend Guiatree Hardat on Thursday.

EXCERPTS FROM THE NEWS:
...Witnesses told cops the couple had been walking in the neighborhood and appeared to be fighting over a cellphone. They had just broken up, sources said. Hardat was walking a few steps ahead of Rupnarine and, at one point, he was heard yelling, "Give me your SIM card, bitch," the sources said. A SIM card is the component of a cellphone that contains information about whom the user has called...

...The sister said that Hardat, a Guyanese immigrant who came to the United States two years ago, was studying at Queens College to become a high school math teacher. "She went to the most prestigious college in Guyana, which is [also called] Queens College," she said. "She was always good at everything she did. I loved the way she smiled. She had the brightest smile ever."...

...They’d stop talking for a while, but Rupnarine always weaseled his way back into her life. "He would come in crying, pleading on his knees, begging her for one more chance," recalled her dad...

...Her family said that she was often at her wit’s end dealing with Rupnarine. "Many times she expressed frustration with the attitude of this guy," said her father, Sukhdeo Hardat. “He was always pestering her and not giving her room to breathe." They’d stop talking for a while, but Rupnarine always weaseled his way back into her life. "He would come in crying, pleading on his knees, begging her for one more chance"...



THREE YOUTUBE VIDEOS:
http://www.youtube.com/v/LrEiaL3WPCg
http://www.youtube.com/v/Uhoc3eZ4vGY
http://www.youtube.com/v/FBRyU-xkX_A


...He often gave her chocolates and flowers, and was planning a surprise party for her 23rd birthday in June...

Friday, May 11, 2007

[AL] Police around Newton SAY they take dv seriously - but...

Newton Police Officer Arrested for Domestic Violence
WTVY, AL - Dothan
Reporter: Rayne McKenzie rayne@wtvynews4.com
May 11, 2007
Police say when they arrived they found 26-year-old [Name Removed], a Newton Police officer, in the front yard intoxicated and his wife inside with cuts and lacerations on her arms. When police put [officer] inside the patrol car, he busted out the back window and continued to be uncooperative with authorities... The Newton Police Department is taking action to ensure [officer] is properly disciplined... "Domestic violence is a serious crime and we take it seriously if your a police officer or not," said [Midland City Police Chief Dexter] Hammond. [Officer] is charged with domestic violence, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and criminal mischief.
Police records show
officers have responded several times
to [officer's] residence on similar charges...
..

Monday, May 7, 2007

[NY] Ex-Nassau Co. Deputy Zuzio's domestic suicide

Standoff ends when former deputy kills self
The Orlando Sentinel
Monday, May 07, 2007
A retired New York deputy killed himself this morning after police placed an entire west Orange County neighborhood under a four-hour lockdown. The stand off between Michael Zuzio, 56, SWAT team members and Orange County Sheriff's Office deputies ended when Zuzio shot himself... Zuzio, a former deputy with the Nassau County Sheriff's Office in Long Island, N.Y., broke into Julie Bender's house at 162 Westmoor Bend shortly before 5 a.m. He pointed a gun at her chest and threatened to kill himself, deputies said. Bender, 48, is Zuzio's ex-girlfriend. Deputies, SWAT team members and hostage negotiators arrived at the scene after the break-in set off an alarm. Zuzio then released Bender and barricaded himself inside her home.

Rash of deaths sheds light on domestic abuse
Advocates urge battered women to use caution and seek support.

Orlando Sentinel
Sarah Langbein | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted May 8, 2007
...Monday morning, Julie Bender awoke to her ex-boyfriend forcing his way into her home on Westmoor Bend and activated a silent alarm. When law-enforcement authorities called to check on her, she said that Michael Zuzio, 56, was pointing a gun at her and threatening to kill himself, according to reports. Zuzio, a retiree from the Nassau County Police Department in New York, let Bender go unharmed 20 minutes later. He barricaded himself inside the home as Orange County authorities evacuated adjacent homes. With SWAT-team members surrounding the house, Zuzio told a negotiator that he would come out at 8 a.m. When that time rolled around, Zuzio told negotiators he was going to kill himself. He hung up the phone, and one shot could be heard from inside the home...

Sunday, May 6, 2007

[NJ] Officer Andros cleared of killing wife Ellen

...When their son-in-law was charged with murder, the Clarks fought for and gained temporary custody of the children in an emotional Family Court battle. Because the marriage was turbulent, according to friends of Ellen at the time of her death and family records, the Clarks believed Andros killed their daughter... "I'm not a saint," Andros said as he was leaving an interview. "But I'm no murderer"... His father, Atlantic City Police Capt. James Andros II, said he knew his son was innocent all along because he was with him at the Beach Bar in Brigantine the night Ellen Clark Andros died...

Cleared of wife killing, he takes comfort in family
Press of Atlantic City, NJ - May 6, 2007
By MADELAINE VITALE MVitale@pressofac.com
Published: Sunday, May 6, 2007

As he walked up the aisle at St. Peters funeral home in Pennsauken to pay his last respects to his dead wife, James Andros heard people saying to him, "Murderer, murderer, murderer."

It had been only a few days since Andros arrived home to find his wife slumped over a computer keyboard. Ellen Andros just 31 when she died March 31, 2001. Andros was left to raise two young girls alone. Worse yet, he was left to face a world that assumed he was a killer.

She suffered a horrible death, and it should never have happened, the priest would say at the funeral.

Investigators thought the same. They accused Andros of coming home after a night of drinking and then smothering his wife. He was charged with murder 23 days later.

Andros, a 22-year veteran of the Atlantic City Police Depart-ment, received $2.3 million last month in a lawsuit settlement with Atlantic County for malicious prosecution and defamation.

Twenty months after the murder charge was filed, the case took a turn. Forensic slides from an outside defense expert showed the petite blonde died from a heart ailment. The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office exonerated Andros in December 2002.

Andros proceeded to file suit against the county and the Prosecutor's Office, and the county was liable because Dr. Elliot Gross, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Ellen Andros, erroneously listed the cause of death as a homicide.

Andros, who calls his deceased wife his first love, remains bitter about the murder charge. To this day, he knows, some people think he is a killer.

"It's always in the back of my mind," Andros, 38, said during a recent interview. "I get a weird feeling. There is really no way to tell. I guess it will always be there."

Andros is desparately trying to reclaim a life forever altered by one fateful night.

Andros was at a Brigantine bar the night his wife died. He liked to go out with friends and family, and often when he did, Ellen would take the couple's two children — Meghan, 11, and Elizabeth, 9 — to her parents' home in Pennsauken.

He said he pulled up to their rancher in Pleasantville in the early morning, saw lights on in the house and figured that his wife had come home early. He said he yelled to her and heard no response.

He walked into the study. Ellen was slumped over the computer. When he touched her, he saw her face was purple. It was an image that would stay with him for life.

He tried to revive her and called 911. But his wife was dead, and investigators were immediately suspicious.

Within a month, he was behind bars. On April 23, 2001, Andros joined the rest of the crime suspects in a cell at the Atlantic County jail.

He was on suicide watch in solitary confinement. The lights glared. It was impossible to sleep. Every 15 minutes an officer came to check on him. For 13 days until he made bail, a man who was used to making the arrests was on the other side of the bars.

He thought of his children. They had lost their mother and now they might lose their father.

Ellen and James Andros first met as children in Merchantville, where Ellen lived and James spent a lot of time visiting relatives. As teenagers, they shared a first kiss.

"She was always a part of my life. I have no problem saying this: She was beautiful, smart, opinionated — a perfect girl. I still consider myself blessed to have known her and the children she gave me, even though now there is so much hurt."

Their wedding was like something out of a movie. They married at Seaview Marriott Resort & Spa in Galloway Township in November 1994. Their song was "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel.

"I thought I had realized my dream," Andros said.

Today, trying to rebuild his life includes regular interaction with Ellen's parents Edward and Bette Anne Clark.

When their son-in-law was charged with murder, the Clarks fought for and gained temporary custody of the children in an emotional Family Court battle. Because the marriage was turbulent, according to friends of Ellen at the time of her death and family records, the Clarks believed Andros killed their daughter.

The Clarks declined to comment for this article.

"Generally speaking, if people see it and they think it is true that I am a bad man or have trouble with children, they say I am an alcoholic," Andros said. "I am not an alcoholic."

Years after the vicious fight for custody of the children and the exoneration of their son-in-law, the Clarks and Andros have come to a workable situation in which the grandparents can be a part of the children's lives, Andros said.

"I'm proud of them after what we all went through," Andros said of the Clarks. "After they lost custody, I invited them down to come to therapy. They see the girls all of the major holidays, every other weekend and one week of the summer."

Andros takes care of the girls with the help of his sisters, mainly Marie Kokes.

"I don't know what I would do without her," Andros said of his sister's constant support.

Andros home-schools Meghan and Elizabeth.

The girls seem to have adapted to the different type of schooling. Since they completed therapy only eight months ago, Andros said they still suffer from anxiety and separation issues.

Andros was on leave from the force until 2004, but went right back on the midnight-to-8 shift. This time, his lifelong friend Christopher Barber, 35, also a police officer, is his partner. Barber, a father of three, wanted the late shift for the same reason as Andros. He wants to be home with the children as much as possible, Barber said Friday.

"There was a never a doubt in my mind about Jimmy," Barber said. "If he could get on with life then he would do well."

Andros comes home from work at about 8:30 a.m. every day. Then he gives the girls their school lessons for the day.

"I obviously don't sleep much," Andros said.

Then he looks over the children's homework. They have dinner and he goes off to work.

The special days with the children are on the weekends.

"We go to church and then we will have dinner together ... as a family," Andros said. "Either we will cook out on the grill — burgers — or have something inside."

Despite the $2.3 million settlement, Andros says he is no millionaire.

"I'm not out of debt after this," he said of the massive bills for legal fees in criminal, family and civil courts.

"My lawyer said there will be a structured settlement and the goal is that there will be money left for my children," Andros said.

It is evident he is bitter when he speaks of the Prosecutor's Office. A Federal Court judge in Camden dismissed the defamation and false arrest lawsuit against Atlantic County Prosecutor Jeffrey S. Blitz and the investigators who worked on the case.

His attorney, Kevin Kent, plans to appeal the judge's ruling.

The federal court judge found probable cause to dismiss the claims Andros brought against the prosecutors and the investigators. The judge found that evidence collected by the Prosecutor's Office could reasonably lead to a murder charge against Andros.

"I'm not a saint," Andros said as he was leaving an interview. "But I'm no murderer."

EXCERPTS FROM PAST NEWS:
[AFTER READING 31 ARTICLES] ...While Jim’s supporters portray him as a loving and devoted police officer and family man — who in fact had just returned two days before his wife’s death from a week of skiing with her and their kids in Vermont — Ellen’s friends and family offer an image of a relationship, and a husband, on the edge. In sworn statements, they tell investigators that Ellen’s six-and-a-half-year marriage was in tatters, that Jim drank excessively, that he’d been violent, that Ellen suspected he’d been unfaithful. Jim had for some time been sleeping in a separate bedroom, no longer welcome in Ellen’s bed. Ellen and the girls had left before. At the time of her death, her friends say, she was planning to leave again... His father, Atlantic City Police Capt. James Andros II, said he knew his son was innocent all along because he was with him at the Beach Bar in Brigantine the night Ellen Clark Andros died...

Friday, May 4, 2007

[WA] Detective Mehring's terroristic threats find an understanding Judge

"Laid Off" Undercover Detective Jay Mehring
Spokane Police Department Special Investigations Unit


Detective Mehring - charged now with FELONY THREATENING - called his wife names, made death threats to her in front their kids and two police officers - and his wife says did so repeatedly in the past. He made it clear that he doesn't care what happens to him - even if he loses his job or goes to jail. "
I was initially reluctant to seek restraints because I didn't want to negatively impact Jay's job. However, due to the extreme escalation of anger occurring, I now feel I must have some sort of protection for myself and my children... He has told me that he will destroy me, burn down my home with me in it and otherwise completely ruin my life... he will hurt me or the children." Mehring told another Spokane Police Sgt. what he was going to do to his wife also - "Jay said, ‘I’m going to burn that bitch and her house down to the ground… I have nothing to lose and a piece of paper isn’t going to stop me, either.’ " It's looking indisputable. On the bottom of his wife's restraining order against him it says, "Ms. Mehring needs to be in a safe location when Mr. Mehring receives this notice" - with an asterisk.

What to do! What to do!
Of course!
LIFT THE RESTRAINING ORDER!!!!

Spokane Police Officer charged with threatening wife gets restraining order lifted
KREM Spokane
Thursday, May 3, 2007
The Spokane Police Officer charged with threatening his estranged wife returned to court Thursday morning seeking to lift a restraining order placed on him. The judge agreed to lift the restraining order and allowed Officer Jay Mehring to see his children. Mehring was also given permission to leave the state so he can take a construction job in Montana. Mehring was laid-off by the police department and is not being paid.
NOW THAT IS CALLED SYMPATHETIC REPORTING AS WELL - IN BED WITH THE WHOLE SYMPATHETIC-TO-CHILDHOOD-HEROES PROCESS. SYMPATHETIC TO FRIENDS IN POWERFUL PLACES. SYMPATHETIC (COMPLICIT) REPORTERS DON'T SAY WHAT THE THREATS ARE. THEY DON'T MENTION HOW RECENT THEY ARE. THEY DON'T MENTION THE CREDIBILITY OR NUMBER OF WITNESSES, AND THEY CERTAINLY DON'T MENTION WHICH JUDGE SET HIM LOOSE. JUST REPORT THAT HE WANTS TO SEE THOSE SWEET KIDS AND WORK FOR HIS LIVING. THAT'LL DO.

HE SHOULD BE INCARCERATED ON NO BOND.
HE WAS INCARCERATED FOR 80 MINUTES TOTAL - WHILE HE WAS STILL CRAZED.
THAT'S THE WAY IT ROLLS.
NO SURPRISES HERE.

[IN] Michelle Lynn Walker Avery "somehow hit her head several times" - went to sleep, and died

Excerpts from today's news:
For killing his lover, a former Gary detective was sentenced to 18 months behind bars. Fred McKinney pleaded guilty in Lake County Criminal court in January to reckless homicide in the July 2003 beating death of his lover, Michelle Avery...
Avery and McKinney spent the night of July 8, 2003, in McKinney's internal affairs office making love, McKinney has said.
Somehow she became unconscious,
McKinney told detectives... During Thursday's hearing, McKinney's wife of 31 years said she didn't know about her husband's affair with Avery at the time...
Michelle Lynn Walker Avery,
secretary for Gary Police Chief Garnett Watson, was found dead on July 9th, 2003 at the apartment. 3 and half years later - January of 2007 - Gary Police Detective Fred McKinney, pled guilty to "reckless homicide."

To call it reckless indicates

that the court believed at least to some degree her killer's rendition of what happened and how. McKinney told investigators he had been having an affair with Avery off and on for about 10 years, had sex with her in a police office - and that she fell asleep. (The dead can't speak.) They must have believed him in part even though, according to the the probable cause affidavit, "Fred would get mad at her when he would want to have sex and she didn't want to." They believed McKinney although he never mentioned anything that would have caused injury to Michelle until his second interview - confronted by the autopsy - when he came up with accidently dropping her on head against a desk. Even though - when he says he couldn't wake her - he not only didn't call 911, but he drove her home, had her son and nephew carry her in, and never called back to check on her. There was a hospital only five minutes away.

They believed McKinney.

They believed him EVEN THOUGH Michelle died from massive brain damage - caused by hits to her head. Her face was bruised and swollen. Lake County Coroner David Pastrick said that it was a homicide, with "extensive contusions to the brain consistent with blunt force trauma." Believed even though the coroner said of Michelle's wounds,
"Of course there were or we wouldn't have seen the types of contusions and hemorrhaging on the brain like we did. You're not going to fall and hit the floor and both sides of the head and everything else that was involved -- with these markings."
McKinney did not attend Michelle's funeral, never offered the family an explanation, or even condolences. From 2003:
"...BECAUSE SHE WAS A CITY EMPLOYEE -- A SECRETARY IN THE POLICE CHIEF'S OFFICE -- THE FAMILY EXPECTED THEIR LOVED ONE'S CASE MIGHT GET SPECIAL ATTENTION. "WE'VE BEEN DOING ALL THE REACHING OUT, NO ONE HAS CALLED TO UPDATE US. THAT WAS OUR EXPECTATION, WE THOUGHT THAT BECAUSE SHE WAS ONE OF THEIRS WE WOULD HAVE BETTER COMMUNICATION," AVERY'S COUSIN, CARLA JACKSON SAID IN A TELEPHONE INTERVIEW FROM ATLANTA...
(Source: Family waits for break in case, Post-Tribune, Lori Caldwell, September 22, 2003)
But Michelle's family did not get that. They got nothing. After Michelle's murder the prosecutor said he and his office have "unlimited time" to file charges

July went by.
August went by.
September went by.
October went by.
November went by.
December went by.
January went by.

It was not until February 2004 that Michelle's killer was even charged - and then, with only involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide charges. The involuntary manslaughter charge has since faded into the blue mist of plea bargaining, and so the pawdry eight years for stealing Michelle's life was further reduced to the prospect of McKinney serving no time at all.

What was believably "reckless" about beating Michelle to death?
What was believable in anything that McKinney said?

What was Internal Affairs Detective Frederick Leon Mckinney FIRED for? Looks like sex-on-a-desk to me:

Gary Police Civil Service Commission hearing officer, Ed Charbonneau called Michelle's death,
..."outrageous and bizarre"..."It is difficult to image what actually happened," Charbonneau wrote. At his hearing, McKinney admitted he and Avery had sex in his office, then she
somehow hit her head several times and went to sleep...
"The fact that Avery was found dead the next morning due to blunt force trauma to the head, while grotesquely odd, is not a fact this hearing officer finds relevant to these findings and recommendation"...
(Commission votes to terminate Gary police officer, Post-Tribune, Lori Caldwell, August 6, 2004)

What's the worth of Michelle's life?
Last year I read that Michelle's family was filing a lawsuit against the city of Gary since Michelle died from injuries while at the police department, and claiming that McKinney used "intentional and/or reckless use of force" against Michelle, causing her death. I haven't heard more but I hope it's true. Like OJ Simpson killing Nicole - maybe at least the truth can rise out of subsequent civil suit.