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Thursday, June 28, 2007

[CA] Ann's body never found, but ex-deputy Racz on trial for murder

Another trial in progress is that of former Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy John Racz, whose wife Ann Racz disappeared without a trace April 22, 1991, four days after filing for divorce from her husband of 19 years. And while they never found Racz's body, investigators finally collected enough evidence for a murder charge.

Sheriff Lee Baca told the newspaper, "

In this case, it appears that the evidence has led us to one of our own. Murder under any condition is unacceptable. That a former deputy sheriff would be a suspect is unfathomable."


Racz took leave before wife vanished Murder suspect returned scratched, ex-boss says
Los Angeles Daily News, CA
06/26/2007
...Several witnesses have testified that when she moved out and filed for divorce, she feared what her husband might do to her. On Tuesday, Peter Danna, the former principal at the Compton elementary school where John Racz taught, testified that Racz called him April 18, 1991, to say his wife had left that day and taken the children... "He asked me, `Do you think I'm the kind of guy who would be violent?"'... Next, Racz asked if Danna thought he was a mean person and the kind who would hurt someone, Danna testified Tuesday. Danna answered no to both questions... Danna was on the stand a day after the Raczes' former pastor testified that he noticed scratches on John Racz's face and hand on April 25, 1991. Danna said Tuesday he noticed a scratch on John Racz's neck when the teacher returned to work on April 29, 1991... [neighbor Brenda] George said she was surprised by the way John Racz acted after his wife's disappearance... "He acted very indifferent, which surprised me because all of us - the neighbors, the friends, the school, the church - we were all concerned"...

Letter shows slain woman excited about rekindled love
Los Angeles Daily News, CA
06/27/2007
A man who was having an affair with suspected murder victim Ann Racz broke down in tears Wednesday as he read a letter from the woman at her husband's trial... Robert Russell, who had rekindled a high school romance with Ann Racz. Testifying for the prosecution, he read a letter from Racz dated three days after she moved out of her husband's house and the day before she disappeared. In the letter, Ann Racz wrote that she wanted to celebrate her split from her husband by making "sensuous mad love" to Russell... Judge Ronald Coen has refused to allow several of the letters to be introduced as evidence, ruling they were irrelevant and amounted to hearsay, but said the one read Wednesday was different. "It is a letter full of excitement, apparently about starting a whole new life with the person," Coen said in court, but outside the presence of the jury...

Wife's Lover Testifies Against Racz
Signal
Thursday June 28, 2007
Though she methodically planned her move from her family home on April 18, 1991, one day before serving her husband with divorce papers, Ann Racz was fearful of his response and told friends he was abusive and threatened to kill her, witnesses testified... "She said that he was abusive. That's all I really knew. I didn't push for details," Russell said. "She was worried and wanted to (move) quickly and silently. She feared some repercussions would occur"... Therese Thomas, a former librarian at William S. Hart High School where Ann volunteered ... said she and Ann became close while working at the school library and that Ann told her about her plans to divorce John Racz. "She told me she was afraid of her husband and that he had threatened to kill her if she ever tried to leave," Thomas said, and added that Ann told her John Racz kept guns in their home. "I should have taken it more seriously than I did"...

[TX] Deputy Finch testified he felt "like a monster"

The jury will come back with a verdict on Van Zandt County Deputy James Finch any moment now. Before the attention shifts to guilt and sentencing, for his ex-wife I'd like to pause on some things that came out during the trial. (He was fired the day of the standoff with fellow deputies - June 24, 2006, but when it happened, he was a man of the law.)

Ex-wife takes stand at trial of former lawman
The Palestine Herald
June 22, 2007
...On Thursday, the eight-woman, four-man jury heard from Finch’s ex-wife... the couple had divorced approximately nine months prior to the June 2006 incident after 16 years of marriage... He turned his head and kind of grinned and said, "Is that so b----?" and he raised his gun and started firing at me... The woman testified that Finch fired "two or three" shots initially before taking her phone away and striking her in the head with his service revolver... the woman said her ex-husband stated, "’Nobody can help you now, b----’ and shot me in the foot"... the woman testified her ex-husband physically assaulted her by banging her head on various surfaces throughout the residence; sodomized her with his pistol; placed the pistol in her mouth on multiple occasions; and also forced her to drink his urine. At one point, James Finch made her "suck" her own blood off of his pistol... He kept saying, "It’s over tonight, b----. We die tonight"... In addition to the gunshot wound to her left big toe, the woman said her other injuries included scalp lacerations; a broken finger; and a concussion...

Nurse testifies during Finch trial Saturday
The Palestine Herald
June 24, 2007
...Testimony has showed that Finch fired a shot "over" — but in the general direction of — multiple officers stationed outside his ex-wife’s mobile home... Sue Hinson, the SANE nurse who examined Finch’s ex-wife at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler just hours after the incident, testified Thursday, telling the jury she believed "dots" seen inside the woman’s vaginal walls were probably caused by a gun... Using "reasonable medical probability," Sokolowski asked the state’s expert if she felt the alleged victim’s injuries were caused by a penis or gun. "I would say it was caused by the gun...or some other object," Hinson testified...

Deliberations to start in ex-lawman's trial
The Palestine Herald
June 26, 2007
...James Allen Finch, 39, of Athens is being tried on three counts of aggravated sexual assault and single counts of attempted capital murder; aggravated assault on a public servant; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; aggravated kidnapping; burglary of a habitation; and endangering a child in connection with the incident occurring during the wee morning hours of June 24, 2006 at his ex-wife’s mobile home... Around 1 a.m. on June 24, 2006, Finch, with his pistol and coke/whiskey mixed in a two-liter Coke bottle in tow, told the jury that he departed his apartment in Athens en route to his wife’s mobile home outside of Frankston. "I was just going to tell her I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was planning on making her watch me kill myself. I just wanted her to see the consequences of what she’d done... I climbed up on top of her and started hitting her on the back of the head as hard as I could...with my fists," Finch testified. "To be fair, you beat her up?" Calhoon asked. "Bad," Finch answered... After seeing the "blood seeping out and everything," Finch testified he felt "like a monster"...

Lawyers' Closing Arguments Entered
Tyler Morning Telegraph, TX
June 27, 2007
...[Assistant District Attorney Stanley] Sokolowski said Finch had a "selective" memory when he took the stand Monday. He said Finch, who dialed *67 to hide his phone number from a 911 dispatcher, didn't remember reporting a fake robbery as a means to distract Frankston police the night of the standoff...

Deliberations to continue in former lawman's trial
The Palestine Herald
June 27, 2007
The jury is considering nine charges against Finch, including three counts of aggravated sexual assault and single counts of attempted capital murder; aggravated assault on a public servant; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; aggravated kidnapping; burglary of a habitation; and endangering a child... On several occasions, jurors were shown photographs of the alleged victim’s blood-soaked hair — which was naturally dark blonde but appeared to be red in the photos — and the residence which had mostly "pattern" blood stains, but also at least two "impact" stains, throughout it... Finch denied vaginally, anally and orally assaulting his ex-wife with his weapon, testifying, instead, that she attempted to initiate sexual relations in an effort, in his opinion, to calm him down... The defendant’s ex-wife testified last week that "18 or 20" staples were used to close her head wound...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

[PA] FRUITFUL OUTRAGE over promoting Pittsburgh cops with domestic violence-related histories


...Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he knew of the well-publicized accusation that freshly minted Cmdr. George Trosky broke his then-wife's nose in 1997... He said he did not know prior to the promotion ceremony that new Lt. Charles Rodriguez faced a pending criminal case in Ingram, where police charged him with simple assault for an April incident with his daughter. Nor was he aware, he said, that police responded to now-Sgt. Eugene F. Hlavac's home in relation to arguments with his girlfriend... he is considering adopting a model touted by The International Association of Chiefs of Police as well as adding some of his own restrictions and procedures... Chief Harper on two occasions had expressed interest in formulating a "zero tolerance" policy in regard to police officers involved in domestic abuse incidents...

TWO VIDEOS:
6/22/2007 - http://www.youtube.com/v/7qtGvfLrh7Y
6/26/2007 - http://www.youtube.com/v/RJ8ZaySkUHM

[Image]

Promoted to Sergeant, Eugene F. Hlavac has been visited by police at his home for domestic arguing... He has received disciplinary action reports over several incidents during the past several years. Last year, he was written up for being insubordinate, and in-house is reported to "anger issues."
[Image]

Newly promoted Lt. Charles Rodriguez
has a case of "simple assault" still unresolved. His daughter said he slapped her head several times and punched her in the stomach. Hospital records show her head was bruised...
[Image]

Cmdr. George Trosky allegedly broke his then-wife's nose in 1997 by HEADBUTTING HER FACE. Charges were dropped because she did not show up in court...
[Image]

Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly: In a letter to reporters - "The last three promotions have raised concerns to a number of women's groups in the Pittsburgh area because of allegations of domestic abuse. However, Mr. [Mayor] Ravenstahl will not even address the concerns of these women."


EXCERPTS FROM RECENT ARTICLES:


Police Promotions Upset Domestic Violence Groups
KDKA
Jun 22, 2007 10:41 pm US/Eastern
Groups that represent victims of domestic violence are outraged that three Pittsburgh Police officers, who have incidents of battering on their records, were given promotions... But police officials say the promotions aren't about that. "The chief made these decisions based on work record and the character of the officers involved," Deputy Pittsburgh Police Chief Paul Donaldson said...

Controversy Over Police Promotions Grows
THEPITTSBURGHCHANNEL.COM
June 25, 2007
...Now the National Organization for Women is calling for action... Activists have successfully petitioned for a a special Council hearing to air concerns over the three officers. Jeanne Clark organized the petition drive to get the special Council hearing. Clark is an active local member of NOW. "Let's make sure we are promoting officers we know will be peace officers, no matter who they're working with," said Clark. "Frankly, if the women they say they love can't trust them, why should the citizens of Pittsburgh?"...

Mayor's Office Might Rescind Promotions Of Cops
KDKA
Jun 26, 2007 9:56 pm US/Eastern
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is now speaking out about last week’s controversial promotions of three city police officers... Ravenstahl says he will not tolerate domestic violence in any city department and by any city employee. He also says his office is exploring the possibility of rescinding those recent promotions... He said that he did not know that two of three promoted officers had domestic violence issues. He added that the rules for promotion of police officers must change... “I’m upset, I didn't know, and I let the Chief know that he should have communicated that to me, and he recognized that”...

NOW secures public hearing on Pittsburgh Police promotions
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Jeanne Clark, president of the Squirrel Hill chapter of the National Organization for Women, said police brass haven't adequately explained why the three men were promoted... "The best they can tell us is 'trust us,' but they don't say why we should trust them"... Police spokeswoman Diane Richard and Gigi Saladna, a Ravenstahl spokeswoman, said Harper will attend the hearing to listen to NOW's concerns... Clark said she has asked domestic violence counselors, social workers and women's shelter workers to attend the public hearing...

Ravenstahl calls police promotion rules 'unacceptable'
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today said he was unaware of the allegations of domestic violence ...On June 18, Chief Nate Harper and Ravenstahl promoted Cmdr. George Trosky, Lt. Charles Rodriguez and Sgt. Eugene Hlavac... Harper and Ravenstahl will draft new polices in the next two days "so that when decisions like this are made they are made in a more comprehensive manner." That means factors such as criminal charges against a police officer and other marks on their records could be considered before a promotion is awarded... The Squirrel Hill chapter of NOW -- the National Organization for Women -- has petitioned for a public hearing on the promotions Thursday. The National Council of Jewish Women, Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania and the League of Independent Voters also will participate in the hearing. Gigi Saladna, Ravenstahl's spokeswoman, said the mayor doesn't plan to attend, but he will meet Wednesday with the Allegheny County-City of Pittsburgh Women's Commission, which has asked to discuss the promotions with the mayor. Harper will attend the public hearing...

Pittsburgh mayor may demote officers
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl vowed Tuesday to change the way Pittsburgh promotes police officers and said he was deciding whether to demote three officers recently promoted despite allegations of domestic violence... The city's police union president criticized the mayor's reaction and said any changes to the promotion process would be challenged in court -- as would any attempt Ravenstahl makes to reverse the officers' promotions. Ravenstahl's sudden change of heart "is a sign of immaturity," said James Malloy, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1... Jeanne Clark, a member of the Squirrel Hill chapter of the National Organization for Women, said Ravenstahl's attempt to fix the system that allowed the promotions is admirable, but is probably a reaction to "the bad publicity, not the bad decision. They need to be able to recognize it was a bad decision"...

Mayor vows change on police promotions
Post-Gazette
By Rich Lord and Jonathan D. Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl yesterday promised a fast-track overhaul of the police procedures that allowed for promotion of men accused of domestic abuse, addressing concerns of women's groups but risking a run-in with the police union... Any reversal, or change in procedure, would prompt the Fraternal Order of Police to "file every kind of an action I could to stop him from tampering with state civil service law," said union President James Malloy... The women's commission chairwoman, Cynthia McCormick, is also a member of the city Civil Service Commission. In January, hers was the lone vote on the three-member civil service panel against a rule change allowing detectives to become commanders, clearing the way for Cmdr. Trosky's promotion... Deputy Police Chief Paul Donaldson said Thursday that he had information he could not release that undercut the domestic abuse charges... At a review board meeting last night, Ms. Pittinger said Chief Harper on two occasions had expressed interest in formulating a "zero tolerance" policy in regard to police officers involved in domestic abuse incidents. She said he is considering adopting a model touted by The International Association of Chiefs of Police as well as adding some of his own restrictions and procedures. Ms. Pittinger also said the chief was interested in ensuring the policy had "checks and balances" in place to mete out appropriate punishment for offending officers as well as specific rules for promotions that would bar candidates with domestic violence histories from advancing...
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner abuse law enforcement public safety history teflon pennsylvania state]

[FL] With "friends" like Officer Connors who needs sadistic, cannibalistic lovers?


Cocoa Beach FL Police Officer Darren Connors put his "friend" in the hospital with disfiguring injuries after an attack at the victim's mother's house in the wee hours, after a night of drinking. Officer Connors beat his "friend" with a music stand, then threatened his friend and his own roommate - who was a witness to the 1st phase of the attack - to not press charges. Officer Connors used the base of the music stand to beat his victim several times on the head & upper body, and bit the man several times on his face and arms. "He took some good chunks out of him," Sheriff's Agent Brad Lewis said. Connor's friend woke up around 9 a.m. in his mother's bed covered in blood, then woke up Connors - who was still there with him - also covered in blood but uninjured. Officer Connors immediately called to hire a carpet cleaning company to come remove the man's bloodstains from the mother's bed, carpet and chairs, went home to shower and change out of the bloody clothes, and THEN took the badly injured "friend" to the hospital. The bloodied friend had two black eyes, gashes on his face and upper body, had bite marks all over his body, and his head was split open. The victim didn’t want to prosecute as long as Officer Connors was present, and even signed a nonprosecution form, but once Investigator Lewis separated the victim and witness from Officer Connors, they cooperated.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

[OH] Officer Cutts in court for murdering Jessie & unborn baby Chloe



Police officer in court on charges of killing girlfriend, fetus
CentralOhio.com - 2 hours, 30 minutes ago
June 26, 2007
A police officer accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend and her nearly full-term fetus stood behind a window separating him from a courtroom Monday when he answered to the charges with the woman's family feet away. Canton officer Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, was expressionless when a judge ordered him held on $5 million bond. Jessie Davis, 26, was missing for about a week before her body was found in a northeast Ohio park Saturday, still carrying her dead fetus. Cutts is the father of her son, and Davis' relatives have said he is the father of the girl she was due to deliver July 3 and planned to name Chloe. Cutts, who also has a daughter with an estranged wife, is accused of killing Davis and the fetus June 14 at her home in nearby Lake Township. Davis' mother, Patricia Porter, stood in the front row of the courtroom and stared at Cutts while he surveyed the courtroom audience. "I'm not sitting down when I see Bobby Cutts," Porter said later. "I wanted to make sure he knew I was there"... A man who only described himself as Cutts' uncle left the courtroom complaining that the family was shoved into the far corner furthest from the window... The uncle said the family members were the only black people in there. "That's American justice," he said. "We are suffering. We're related to the little baby, too"...

[NY] Fire Chief Yencer arrested for the 4th time in 2 years

Mount Morris Fire Chief Roger Yencer, Jr. has been arrested again - 3rd time in the last 7 months, and the 4th time in the last 2 years. He was booked for assault, plus harassment and contempt of court for violating a court order to stay away from his estranged wife. When he was arrested last time, just days after being named police chief, village leaders wouldn't comment and kept Yencer as chief. After having two police chiefs leave in scandal, now this fire chief also has finally been fired. Will he stay gone? Stay tuned.
What real protections does his ex wife have if he has been repeatedly arrested, not jailed, and has been allowed to continue on business-as-usual. And as predictably violent as he is, now that there is at least the appearance of him having lost his job - does she have support for her safety plan - from people who understand power dv? Obviously the police and courts favor him. Where does that leave her?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

[CT] Gun-to-girlfriend's head Officer Adams gets sweet deal

Windsor Police Officer Dennis Adams DRY-FIRED his .50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol into his (here unnamed) girlfriend's head. Held her head, put the pistol to it, and pulled the trigger. Police Chief Kevin Searles FIRED Adams after an internal investigation, finding that Adams had engaged in "conduct unbecoming an officer, unlawful behavior and lying." He said, "I've been chief for 18 years and this is the first time I've ever had to terminate anyone." (NO one in 18 years?) The state labor board panel reviewed the firing and said that Officer Adams "was GUILTY OF CONDUCT INAPPROPRIATE to a sworn police officer but that his actions didn't call for his being fired." (Inappropriate?) So he got his job back. And NOW he gets to go to a domestic violence program, which if he completes successfully, will leave Officer Adams with
no charges.
WHAT A SAD DEAL!
MOST RECENT:
Former Police Officer To Enter Family Violence Education Program
The Hartford Courant
By LARRY SMITH And STEVEN GOODE
June 20, 2007
...The woman was notified of Adams' application for the program, but she was not present in the courtroom today. Assistant State's Attorney Keith DuBoff said he contacted the victim as late as Monday about whether she objected to the application and she did not call him back... Under the pre-trial diversionary program, if a defendant successfully completes the program, the charges are dismissed... On January 19, the board of mediation and arbitration in the state Department of Labor ruled in Adams' favor and ordered that he be reinstated to his job... In its decision, the three-person arbitration panel said that Adams conduct was inappropriate for a sworn police officer and merited discipline but not his dismissal...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Waiting for the beginning of the truth

Everyone has to handle the discovery of Jessie Marie Davis and her baby Chloe being found in the dirt today. I will let this just be for a day or two. I'll be still and wait for the beginning of truth. That leaves time to pray for her family, her community, all the law enforcement officers who are still working so hard, and for the family and friends of Canton Ohio Police Officer Bobby Cutts, who (thank you Lord) is in custody.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

[FL] Deputy Ciesla's domestic revenge - double murder suicide

[Florida's State Attorney General
...Ciesla’s wife, Amy, was walking away from their marriage amid his threats of violence. He’d just quit his beloved job in law enforcement, and the Cape Coral Police Department refused to hire him. In his last conversation, with a handgun pointed at Amy Ciesla, her father, uncle and aunt in their Cape Coral home, he told her it was all her fault... The shoot-out, [Amy] Ciesla would later conclude, wasn’t without warning...

...In the 4-minute tape, a man in the background asks “Do you want me to shoot you?” Another woman — likely wife Amy Ciesla — says, “Please put the gun down”... Toward the end of the tape, Thomas Ciesla apparently asks “Who’d you call?” Amy Ciesla answers “I called 911.” Eight seconds later, the phone line goes dead...

...Ciesla pulled out a handgun and held it to his wife’s head... “...I’m going to get even with you for what you did to me... And you’re going to watch your family die...”



NEWS EXCERPTS FROM 2006 & 2007

Shooting rampage baffles Sheriff's Office

Former deputy’s killings, suicide unforeseen, sheriff says; Cape Coral police have not released motive, but say Ciesla was distraught over impending divorce
No one at the Collier County Sheriff's Office saw it coming.
June 27, 2006
Sheriff Don Hunter said Monday there were no telltale signs indicating what was in store for the in-laws of a former deputy, who resigned from the Sheriff's Office three days before killing himself and two members of his estranged wife's family... It appeared Thomas Ciesla was functioning within the norms here," Hunter said... "Why would someone react so violently ... especially someone like Ciesla, who has every opportunity to seek out support from the agency, where it is available to him?"... Having two officers who killed themselves within months of each other is uncommon, Hunter said... the Sheriff's Office has several counseling programs in place for deputies who need an emotional or psychological outlet, he said. In addition to allowing group discussion sessions among officers following particularly distressing events, the Sheriff's Office has contracts with several therapists, who are readily available for use by deputies... It is unknown whether Ciesla was utilizing any of the counseling resources... In his application to the Collier Sheriff's Office, Ciesla admitted to using marijuana recreationally before becoming a deputy... was reprimanded in two performance reviews for using too many sick days... also verbally reprimanded for having an "attitude problem" with some of his supervisors... Ciesla resigned from the Sheriff's Office suddenly following a policy disagreement with his supervisor... told a superior he was tired of working as a corrections officer and working with supervisors... distraught over his impending divorce. He was also upset, because his application to join the Cape Coral Police Department had been denied, officials said. City and police officials were slated to release his application to the media Monday, but had not done so by late afternoon... Amy Ciesla filed for divorce June 6. In court papers, Amy Ciesla cited "irreconcilable differences" as a reason for her divorce request. The petition said the couple had been separated since May... Cape Coral police are investigating the crime as a domestic dispute...

Friends, neighbors seek answers in murders

3 die, while 4th victim is wounded in dispute, police report

June 24, 2006
Family friends Ted and Peggy Deily of Cape Coral spoke with shooting survivor Thomas Lindner Friday night, and they said he told them what happened. Ciesla pulled out a handgun and held it to his wife’s head, Lindner told them. Lindner said he didn’t know what set him off. “Tom said, ‘I’m going to get even with you for what you did to me,’ ” Ted Deily said. “And you’re going to watch your family die... And that’s when he started blasting.” The Deilys went to the hospital to comfort Lindner Friday night, and they were there when the social worker walked into the room at about 3 a.m. Saturday and told him his wife was dead.... Looking exhausted, Lindner said he didn’t want to speak about what he had witnessed. In a soft, tired voice he said, “No, not now.”... Police first learned of the incident at 9:15 p.m. Friday, when someone called on a cell phone to report domestic violence. Barnes wouldn’t say who called. Police initially reported the caller hung up, but later said the phone line remained open throughout the incident and recorded what was going on in the house.

Cape murders shock gunman's coworkers
Originally posted on June 26, 2006
,,,Ciesla took a handgun and shot and killed Thomas Podejko, 63, and Carol Lindner, 62, at their Cape Coral house. Then Ciesla killed himself as a police officer arrived on the scene... Ciesla was going through a divorce with his wife, Amy Ciesla, who was at the house and was the only person not killed or injured in the incident. The murder victims were his wife's father and aunt. Her uncle, Thomas Lindner, was injured...

Cape slayings stun Collier deputies who knew killer
June 27, 2006
...Ciesla told co-workers at the Immokalee Jail Center that he was distressed over his ongoing divorce, Hunter said. "(But) there were no indications of him having homicidal or suicidal tendencies."... Recently, supervisors also got training on how to recognize deputies under mental stress. All those precautions aren't foolproof, though, Hunter added. "Everybody's threshold is different. We're unable to predict how a given member of the agency will react on any given day."... Thomas Ciesla's wife had filed for a divorce June 6, according to the Lee County Clerk of Courts office. She cited "irreconcilable differences."... Ted and Peggy Deily, friends of the Podejko family, said Saturday that the divorce and Ciesla's failed application to the Cape police department sent him over the edge... Autopsies have been performed, Cape police said, but they wouldn't release details such as where the victims were shot and how many times...Overall, Hunter said Monday, Ciesla's job performance had been satisfactor...

911 tape in Cape shootings released
June 27, 2006
A barely audible 911 tape released this afternoon doesn’t shed much light on a triple shooting in Cape Coral Friday, police officials said today. The cell-phone line remained open for about seven minutes during the call to the Cape's emergency dispatch center. Detectives believe the phone went dead seconds before Thomas Ciesla, 28, started firing his handgun. The phone belonged to Ciesla’s estranged wife, who police think called 911. In the 4-minute tape, a man in the background asks “Do you want me to shoot you?” Another woman — likely wife Amy Ciesla — says, “Please put the gun down.” Police believe the man was Thomas Ciesla, a former Collier County corrections officer. Toward the end of the tape, Thomas Ciesla apparently asks “Who’d you call?”Amy Ciesla answers “I called 911.” Eight seconds later, the phone line goes dead... Precious minutes slipped by before a Verizon employee gave them the exact address of Amy Ciesla, the cell phone customer...

Ex-deputy’s life decayed just before shootings, wife said
Thomas Ciesla killed himself, two others on June 23
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
His wife begged and pleaded, tried to be rational, offered anything if he’d put down the gun. He didn’t listen. Just kept smoking a cigarette, his body shaking, saying it was her turn to hurt. Then he heard the sirens and opened fire... Ciesla’s wife, Amy, was walking away from their marriage amid his threats of violence. He’d just quit his beloved job in law enforcement, and the Cape Coral Police Department refused to hire him. In his last conversation, with a handgun pointed at Amy Ciesla, her father, uncle and aunt in their Cape Coral home, he told her it was all her fault... He aimed at her 63-year-old father, Thomas Bruce Podejko, and shot him in the face. He turned to her aunt Carol Lindner, 62, and shot her twice in the back... The uncle, Thomas Lindner, then 63, dove around the couch and took a bullet to the hand... Then, she said, her husband pointed the gun at her. "He held it there for what feels like forever but was really just a couple seconds. And then he put it to his head and shot himself. And he went down." There once was a time, years before, when Amy Ciesla wondered if her bottled-up husband would ever show emotion. In the final months of his life, he wailed and sobbed about his problems and despair. The shoot-out, [Amy] Ciesla would later conclude, wasn’t without warning... He threatened violence against her and against himself. She tried to withdraw and moved out. He kept calling — again and again... "Why did he say he wanted to kill himself?" the detective asked Amy Ciesla. "Things like I can’t take this anymore, it’s too hard, it’s too much pressure... I think he couldn’t handle his whole life... Honestly, I didn’t even think about calling his work," Ciesla said. "It’s not work related, and maybe he would feel ... more comfortable with" seeing a doctor if the Sheriff’s Office never found out... The only other survivor that day was Thomas Lindner, who leapt out of the line of fire and hid in the kitchen with a bleeding hand until the shooting was over. His wife, Carol, died... "I just jumped up and ... tried to pull my wife with me but she didn’t come," he recalled. "Couldn’t understand why she didn’t come with me."

Troubles preceded killings
Saturday a year since deputy shot family, himself
June 20, 2007
The last six months of Thomas Ciesla’s life hadn’t been the best, and there were signs something even worse was on the horizon... Details of exactly what happened that night at 1021 S.W. 18th Terrace on June 23, 2006, have been unclear until Tuesday, when police released more than 400 pages of investigative reports to The News-Press... Amy Ciesla drove home from work about 9 p.m., talking on the phone to her pregnant friend about an upcoming baby shower. She pulled in the driveway and stayed in the car to talk. Then she saw her estranged husband’s truck in her mirror. "She was like, 'Oh man, Tom’s here,'" her friend Rosanna Fischetti told police. "Kinda like, 'I have to deal with this'"... Amy said she hung up the phone and started to tell her husband to leave, but he shoved a gun into her neck and forced her up the driveway, the report said. With her cell phone still in her hand, she silently dialed 911. Once in the house, both Amy and her surviving uncle, Thomas Lindner, told police Thomas Ciesla ordered everyone into the living room, where he began to rant. "He did tell me he wanted me to suffer like he did," Amy told police. "I’m guessing now that he meant he wanted me to suffer emotionally by killing my family"... In the months leading up to the murders, Thomas Ciesla’s marriage was falling apart, his family wasn’t speaking to him, he had trouble making friends and he was turned down for his dream job, the report said... He attempted suicide at least four times that Amy knew about. She told detective Christy Ellis she once hid his gun from him. Another time, she said he told her he had thoughts of driving into oncoming traffic and dreams in which he killed her. He had "emotional breakdowns," she said, where he would collapse into her arms in tears. Finally, she said if he didn’t get counseling, she would divorce him. He moved into a Fort Myers apartment. When he didn’t seek help, she filed for divorce, which would have been finalized a week after June 23.
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement fatality fatalities murder suicide familicide florida state]

Sunday, June 17, 2007

[MI] Polce Chief Briggs fired prior to his trial for stalking

Excerpts from this week's news:
Larry L. Briggs, the embattled former chief of the Oakley-Brady Police Department, has lost his job as chief of Perry's police force just one week before his trial on a misdemeanor stalking charge... He will continue to receive his salary and full benefits through Aug. 10...
Mayor Pro Tem Tom Chaput said the Council did not base its decision on Briggs' guilt or innocence in the pending case. He said the firing was "for the good of the city and its citizens to have the highest level of trust in, not only the police department, but all city departments"... Briggs also was fired as police chief for Brady Township and the village of Oakley in Saginaw County after the stalking charges were filed. He had held that job and the Perry job simultaneously...

[OH] COP'S PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND, JESSIE DAVIS, MISSING


Jessie Marie Davis is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall, 135 pounds, with blond hair and hazel eyes. She is nearly 9 months pregnant. Deputies ask that anyone with information about her well-being and whereabouts contact them at (330) 430-3684.

EXCERPTS FROM RECENT NEWS:

Pregnant woman missing in Stark County; toddler left alone Police discover little evidence of forced entry or struggle in woman's Lake Twp. home
Akron Beacon Journal
Phil Trexler
Jun 15, 2007
Patty Porter had that sick feeling in her stomach only a mother would know. Her oldest daughter -- 26 years old and nine months pregnant -- hadn't answered her cell phone in two days... And when her 2-year-old grandson Blake -- barefoot and soiled in a T-shirt and shorts -- ran toward her, the knot in her stomach tightened. Then Blake blurted out... "Mommy is gone. Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy is in the rug"... A large red bed comforter trimmed in gold is missing... bleach was poured around the cream-colored carpeted bedroom... She lived alone with her child, but Blake's and the unborn baby's father, a Canton police officer, visited often. He paid child support and had a good relationship with the boy... The officer's wife, the sheriff said, left her job as a nurse early on Friday and cannot be located. Swanson said detectives want to question the woman...

Few clues to disappearance
Canton Repository
Shane Hoover
June 17, 2007
No one gives you a handbook when your child goes missing. Patty Porter wishes they did... As far as anyone knows, Porter was the last person Davis talked to before she went missing. During the phone call, Davis said her son's father, Canton police officer Bobby Cutts Jr., was going to pick up Blake that night, Porter recalled... Deputies also spoke with Cutts - the father of Blake and the unborn child - and his wife, who knew about Davis, Perez said... Cutts said Davis was supposed to bring Blake to him Thursday morning, and that he tried to call her when she didn't arrive... He was fired from the police force in 2003 after being charged with giving his cousin, a convicted felon, his gun. A jury acquitted Cutts, and he was later reinstated.... Cutts is cooperating with the sheriff's investigation "100 percent," said John Miller, president of the Canton Police Patrolmen's Association... Sitting under a tree outside her apartment, Porter watched Blake play with his young cousins. Someone has to have information about her daughter, she said. "We just keep looking at each other and say, 'It can't be real.'"



No sign of pregnant mom Investigation intensifies in Lake Twp. woman's disappearance
Akron Beacon Journal
Phil Trexler
Jun. 16, 2007
...During the initial stages of the investigation, sheriff's detectives questioned a Canton patrolman, who has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Davis. Patrolman Bobby Cutts Jr. is the father of Blake and of Davis' unborn child, Davis' family said. The baby girl, already named Chloe Leeann, is due July 3. Cutts, 30 years old and a six-year veteran on the force, has cooperated with investigators. Members of Davis' family also say the officer has supported Blake financially and emotionally. Cutts' 28-year-old wife, Kelly, who officials on Friday said had not been located after leaving her nursing job early, has been interviewed by detectives. Davis' family members said they were told by authorities that the officer's wife was reached sometime Friday night. Bobby and Kelly Cutts, the parents of two girls, are separated.... as the timeline is developed, those close to Davis may be requestioned and possibly asked to take a polygraph test...

[OH] Before murder-suicide Officer G had suicide-try past

EARLIER THIS MONTH, THIS COP KILLED HIS GIRLFRIEND MARY LYONS. NOT MUCH SURPRISES ME ANYMORE, BUT THE NEWS THIS MORNING DID. I PACED THE FLOOR WONDERING IF MARY KNEW. IF SHE DIDN'T, SOMEBODY IS TO BLAME.

Clinic officer's act portended slaying, suicide

He wounded himself in 2000 as his marriage faltered
The Plain Dealer
Donna J. Miller
Sunday, June 17, 2007 - 3 hours ago
...Seven years before he killed himself and his girlfriend, police officer Robert Grzywaczewski shot himself in the chest... Grzywaczewski shot himself in August 2000 while employed by the Linndale Police Department. He recovered physically but was not allowed to return to work without a psychiatric evaluation. He resigned two months after the shooting, the same day he started work at the Clinic... Grzywaczewski grabbed one of the 19 guns in the home, walked into the kitchen where his mother stood and said, "I can't live without her," according to a police report. He then fired once into the right side of his chest. His 11-year-son was home at the time. Iris wasn't hurt and filed for divorce. Last year, Grzywaczewski also worked occasionally as an officer in Brooklyn... Police psychologist Michael Aamodt at Radford University in Virginia said other officers have attempted suicide and gone on to have solid police careers...

[TN] 3rd Shelby Co. Deputy arrested for dv within 2 days

EXCERPTS FROM NEWS ARTICLES:

For the third time in 24 hours, a Shelby County sheriff's deputy has been arrested on domestic violence charges... Jonathan Astor, 33, is accused of beating his girlfriend in a hotel room... She says they got into a dispute and he threw her around the room, threw the phone and broke the cell phone and when he was leaving, he took her other phone with him... Although the alleged victim told police she bumped her head and suffered bruises on her arm during the fight, investigators said she didn't want to file criminal charges. But deputies said the decision was not hers to make... In the last 48 hours, two other Shelby County Sheriff's deputies have also been arrested, Michael Hoard and James Taber... Deputy Michael Hoard was arrested for allegedy assaulting his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Also, Deputy James Taber was arrested after an incident with his wife and step-daughter. Earlier this month, Memphis Police Department officer Jeremy Kyle was shot and killed after he forcibly entered the home of his ex-girlfriend, another police officer...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

[PA] Cop George Trosky promoted to commander despite his history of violence


Pittsburgh police Detective George T. Trosky, who is a veteran homicide detective, will be promoted to the rank of police commander... George Trosky used excessive force when he slammed a White Oak man onto the hood of his patrol car before arresting him at a June 1988 baseball game... In December of 1992, when the Troskys were separated, he was accused of striking his wife with his police radio... In July 1997, police charged then-Sgt. Trosky with simple assault for breaking the nose of his wife... She told officers her husband had head-butted her in the face during an argument at 8:15 p.m. and then forced her to take off her bloodied clothes, which he had taken with him when he left the residence... He was also charged with driving drunk after the alleged assault... he punched a Grateful Dead fan he had taken into custody... What does [Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper] have to say to victims of domestic violence who will be apprehensive about how future incidents will be handled under a Trosky command? Why has he selected this man, rather than one of the 77 sergeants and 25 lieutenants already in a supervisory role?...

DEMOTED A DECADE AGO, HE'S NOW IN LINE TO BE CITY POLICE COMMANDER
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, PA
By Jonathan D. Silver
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
[Excerpts] A Pittsburgh homicide detective who was demoted 10 years ago after his arrest for domestic abuse and drunken driving is the main candidate for one of the bureau's top supervisory positions. Detective George T. Trosky is the "front-runner" for promotion later this month to commander, a position outranked by only the five chiefs, Chief Nate Harper confirmed yesterday. "Yeah, George is the front-runner at this time for a command spot," Chief Harper said. "He's shown good leadership, good character in homicide." Chief Harper acknowledged that Detective Trosky has passed through rough patches in his 28-year career, but said he has been impressed by his ability to work through problems and keep focused on the job. Detective Trosky has carved out a reputation as a hard worker on the homicide squad who solves cases. "Looking at some of the things in his past and how he recovered and is a good officer, those qualities are good qualities, and I feel he's of command-staff quality," Chief Harper said. In July 1997, police charged Detective Trosky with simple assault for breaking the nose of his wife, Cheryl. The charge was dismissed at a preliminary hearing because she failed to appear... In April 1989, he punched a Grateful Dead fan he had taken into custody. The incident was caught on videotape, and the clip was shown on national television. Detective Trosky was charged with using excessive force but was cleared by a trial board... [Full article here]

CONTROVERSIAL DETECTIVE AMONG PROMOTED
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
June 16, 2007
Jim McKinnon Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
[Excerpts] Pittsburgh police Detective George T. Trosky, who is a veteran homicide detective, will be promoted to the rank of police commander, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced yesterday. Detective Trosky is among four officers receiving promotions in a ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday at City Hall. Detective Charles A. Rodriguez will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Officers Eugene F. Hlavac and Eric S. Churilla will be made sergeants. The promotions were approved by Mayor Ravenstahl on recommendations of police Chief Nate Harper. Detective Trosky was demoted a decade ago. In July 1997, police charged then-Sgt. Trosky with simple assault for breaking the nose of his wife, Cheryl. The charge was dismissed at a preliminary hearing because she failed to appear. The couple divorced in 1998. He was also charged with driving drunk after the alleged assault. That charge was dropped when a blood alcohol test was deemed inadmissible in court. As a result of the arrest, he was demoted from sergeant to patrolman. In April 1989, he punched a Grateful Dead fan he had taken into custody. The incident was caught on videotape, and the clip was shown on national television. Detective Trosky was charged with using excessive force but was cleared by a trial board... [Full article here]

SHAKY COMMAND THE TROSKY APPOINTMENT BEGS A FEW QUESTIONS
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
June 16, 2007
[Excerpts] Forgiving is one thing; forgetting can be more difficult. There are some things about city police Detective George Trosky that are not easily forgotten. After all, he was the patrolman who, in April 1989, was videotaped punching a Grateful Dead fan during a fracas outside Mellon Arena. National broadcast of the event gave the city a black eye, but Mr. Trosky was cleared... Four years later, Mr. Trosky was charged with assault and drunken driving for an incident in which his wife's nose was broken... [Police Chief Nate] Harper laid the groundwork for promoting Mr. Trosky in January, when he convinced the city to change civil service requirements. In the past, an officer had to be either a sergeant or a lieutenant before jumping to the rank of commander. Mr. Trosky won civil service approval after that, and Chief Harper said last week he was the "front-runner" for the next available command post. But we'd like to hear more from Chief Harper. What does he have to say to victims of domestic violence who will be apprehensive about how future incidents will be handled under a Trosky command? Why has he selected this man, rather than one of the 77 sergeants and 25 lieutenants already in a supervisory role? Mayor Luke Ravenstahl supports Chief Harper's decision and said that he talked with Mr. Trosky and reviewed his file. "I believe his 30 years of service and his record speaks for itself," the mayor said. We hope some parts of it speak louder than others. As we wait to see how Mr. Trosky handles being commander, forgetting his past won't be part of the equation. We -- and the public -- will be evaluating his performance with it in mind. [Full article here]


EXCERPTS FROM OLD NEWS:


 JURY FINDS EXCESS FORCE USED IN ARREST
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
December 21, 1990
JANET WILLIAMS, THE PITTSBURGH PRESS
A federal court jury today found that Pittsburgh police officer George Trosky used excessive force when he slammed a White Oak man onto the hood of his patrol car before arresting him at a June 1988 baseball game... Brown said Trosky grabbed him by his throat and chest and slammed him on the hood of his patrol car after Brown approached Trosky without provocation... Trosky said he did nothing more than grab Brown by the collar and push him onto the hood of the patrol car. Brown was charged by police with disorderly conduct...

OFFICER SEES VICTORY IN VERDICT ON EXCESSIVE FORCE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
December 22, 1990
JANET WILLIAMS, THE PITTSBURGH PRESS
Pittsburgh police officer George Trosky won "a bittersweet victory" in a civil rights case even though jurors determined he used too much force in his arrest of a White Oak man, Trosky's lawyer said. Robert DelGreco said he views the verdict, returned yesterday, as a victory for his client because jurors limited damages to $748, the amount James Brown spent for medical treatment the night of the arrest...


CITY POLICE SERGEANT IS CHARGED WITH DUI AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
MICHAEL A. FUOCO, POST-GAZETTE STAFF WRITER
July 8, 1997
Pittsburgh police Sgt. George T. Trosky, already under investigation to determine whether he hit a man with a beer bottle while off duty in April, was arrested by Pittsburgh officers Saturday night on charges of breaking his wife's nose and then driving his motorcycle while intoxicated... According to a report of Saturday's incident, officers dispatched to his home in Banksville found his wife, Cheryl, 41, with a broken, bloodied nose. She told officers her husband had head-butted her in the face during an argument at 8:15 p.m. and then forced her to take off her bloodied clothes, which he had taken with him when he left the residence. Officers advised Cheryl Trosky to get a protection-from-abuse order. She then was taken to St. Clair Hospital by her brother-in-law, whom she had phoned immediately after the incident. He had called 911 when he arrived and discovered what happened. The officers who took her report said they were on their way back to the West End station when they noticed a black motorcycle matching the description of Trosky's... Trosky told the officers he had not assaulted his wife and had not even gone home after his tour of duty, having gone instead to a party...

POLICE OFFICER'S WIFE A NO-SHOW IN COURT, ABUSE CHARGE DROPPED
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
MICHAEL A. FUOCO
August 29, 1997
Charges that Pittsburgh police Sgt. George T. Trosky broke his wife's nose on July 5 were dismissed at a preliminary hearing yesterday because she failed to appear... Robert Del Greco, Trosky's attorney, said after the hearing that Chief City Magistrate William T. Simmons did the right thing in dropping the simple assault charge. "The victim did not show and there was no evidence she was going to show (at a trial). The judge was duty bound to drop the charges because there was not one scintilla of evidence of simple assault"... both Trosky's wife, Cheryl, and her brother-in-law, who contacted police the night of July 5 to report the assault, told authorities they would not cooperate in the prosecution. The July incident was not the first time Trosky had been charged with domestic violence. In December of 1992, when the Troskys were separated, he was accused of striking his wife with his police radio, but the charges were dismissed when Cheryl Trosky notified the district attorney's office that they were reconciling... Del Greco said he was disappointed that the drunken driving charges were not dropped. He had argued during the hearing that there was no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to test Trosky for driving drunk on his motorcycle and that he only was given a breath test because he was a police officer... The dropping of the domestic violence charge was crucial to Trosky's career as a police officer...

SGT. TROSKY HAS HEARING
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
August 30, 1997
Pittsburgh police Sgt. George T. Trosky... faces an administrative hearing Thursday before Acting Public Safety Director Kathy Kraus. Yesterday, Trosky, accompanied by Fraternal Order of Police President Marshall W. "Smokey" Hynes and FOP attorney Bryan Campbell, appeared at an administrative hearing before police Chief Robert W. McNeilly, Deputy Chief Charles Moffatt, Assistant Chief William P. Mullen and Cmdr. John McMahon of the North Side station, where Trosky is assigned. McNeilly will decide before Thursday whether Trosky, an 18-year veteran, violated bureau rules and regulations and, if so, what punishment he should face. Punishment could be as severe as termination. McNeilly's recommendation will be forwarded to Kraus, who has the final say...

TROSKY DEMOTED AFTER ARREST ON DUI, VIOLENCE CHARGES
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
September 18, 1997
JOHNNA A. PRO, POST-GAZETTE STAFF WRITER
...The July incident was not the first time Trosky had been charged with domestic violence. In December 1992, when the Troskys were separated, he was accused of striking his wife with his police radio. Those charges were dismissed when Cheryl Trosky notified the district attorney's office that they were reconciling... The dropping of the domestic violence charge in the most recent incident was crucial to Trosky's career as a police officer...

REAL PROTECTION FOR ABUSED WOMEN
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
September 21, 1997
PATRICIA G. BARNES
...On July 5, Pittsburgh Police Sgt. George T. Trosky was arrested for breaking the nose of his wife, Cheryl, and then driving his motorcyle while intoxicated. The domestic-violence charge against him was dismissed at a preliminary hearing on Aug. 28 because his wife failed to appear. A spokeswoman for Colville's office said the charge was dropped because Cheryl Trosky wouldn't cooperate in the prosecution... Trosky was previously charged with domestic violence in 1992. But the charges were dismissed then, too - Cheryl Trosky told the district attorney that she and her husband were reconciling and that she did not want to press charges...

[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner abuse law enforcement public safety history teflon pennsylvania state]

Friday, June 15, 2007

[PA] Stepping Closer to Justice for Carli

JUNE NEWS EXCERPTS ON TRIAL OF JEFF DENNIS:

Jury selection in the murder trial of a former Dallas Township police officer accused of killing his wife is scheduled to begin July 9... Carli Dennis was killed because she ignored her husband's demands to quit her job at the Luzerne County 911, where she was having an affair with a co-worker... "Jeff told me to quit or die," Carli Dennis told William H. Jones... Other alleged statements include allegations Jeff Dennis put a gun to her head several times, pushed and beat her, made her call him every free second she had, and often threatened to kill her and make it look like a suicide... Prosecutors also plan to introduce evidence of other crimes Jeff Dennis allegedly committed, including a possible assault of his wife a week before her death. Those alleged crimes will be substantiated by eyewitness testimony of him grabbing her by the hair and neck multiple times... A witness also will testify Jeff Dennis had stated he placed a gun to the back of his wife's head "numerous times"...
(Source: Jury selection in former cop's murder trial slated for July 9, The Citizens Voice, BY JAMES CONMY AND BOB KALINOWSKI, 06/02/2007)

The trial of a former Dallas Township police officer accused of killing his wife over her purported infidelity could be on hold. An analysis of the weapon with which Jeff Dennis allegedly shot his wife, Carli, in the head on Feb. 27, 2006, is the reason for the potential delay... an expert’s analysis on the gun may not be complete by the trial’s start date... Tests on the firearm are expected to support Jeff Dennis’ claims he did not kill his wife... Jeff Dennis told police she killed herself... Jeff Dennis remains jailed in the county Correctional Facility and is ineligible for bail...
(Source: Weapon analysis may delay start of Dennis murder trial, Wilkes Barre Citizen's Voice, BY JAMES CONMY, 06/05/2007)

Earlier blog entries:


March 02, 2006
[PA] COP'S WIFE & POLICE DISPATCHER CARLI DENNIS FOUND DEAD


April 20, 2006
[PA] Officer Dennis is saying that his wife killed herself, but...

[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities murder fake staged suicide pennsylvania state]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

[NM] Officer Jeremy Brown shoots estranged wife Debra, and self

Officer Shoots Wife, Self
By Laura Nesbitt
Mountain View Telegraph
Thursday, June 14, 2007
[Excerpts] An off-duty Laguna police officer chased down his estranged wife and shot her twice, critically wounding the woman, before taking his own life in McIntosh on Sunday... Brown "got [his estranged wife's boyfriend, Dane] Morris down on his hands and knees" and pointed the gun at him... Morris had slight bruising where the barrel of the gun was pressed against the back of his head... Brown ran after the woman [his estranged wife, Debra], who ran to a neighbor's house, and shot her once in the abdomen. She made it to the front door of the residence but the door was locked. Brown shot her again in the head... The couple, who were estranged for at least four to six months, have two children...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

An officer's family, somewhere

I have to obey my intuition - and it's telling me not to post this officer's name, state, or police department... but I have to pass along what one family somewhere in the country is going through.

Excerpt from an article today:

...officer was accused of domestic assault of his wife... someone from the home called 911 and hung up. [The officer] was not at home but his wife reported her husband struck her after an argument about him whipping their son... When her husband and son prepared to leave, she tried to get their son back but the doors were locked... she reportedly tried to get the children to get the keys but her husband would not let her... the wife accused her husband of spitting in her face eight times but she told him, "That doesn't bother me anymore” and "I'm done"... She advised he then grabbed her by the hair and slung her into the bathroom wall. She stated a struggle ensued and ended up in the bedroom. When she tried to call 911, she stated [the officer] grabbed the phone, pulled her hair, punched her face and cheek and threw her into the bedroom wall, the sergeant reported. She suffered swelling and marks on her face. The wife told police she did not want to prosecute.

He's still at work, but decommissioned during the investigation.

[IN] Officer Pegan's ex thought she was writing to a soldier overseas

Kendallville officer charged with computer tampering
The Times of Northwest Indiana
June 8, 2007
...[Kendallville Police Officer Joseph] Pegan used spyware from his home and police department computers... Pegan acknowledged using the spyware, saying he wanted to learn more about his former girlfriend and monitor her activity. Pegan was suspended with pay that day by the Kendallville Police Department. The former girlfriend told investigators that Pegan told her that he had used spyware to track other former girlfriends....

Ex accuses officer of computer spying
The Journal Gazette
Jun. 09, 2007
...The investigation also turned up an invoice for computer-monitoring software, which allows the user to monitor the activity on another computer...Some of the software Pegan used allowed him to record the ex-girlfriends’ keystrokes, so he could monitor online chats and e-mails... In March, the woman noticed that the e-mail address of a male friend in the military had been changed by one character... the new, slightly altered e-mail address was created from a computer at the Kendallville Police Department... and [he] continued corresponding with her under this assumed identity. He got the woman to install the monitoring software on her computer by sending it from the e-mail address similar to her friend’s as an attachment labeled “for our soldiers.exe”... He added other e-mail addresses to her account...

2 Shelby County Deputies Arrested for AGGRAVATED dv

JUNE 12, 2007
...Memphis police arrested Deputy Michael Hoard, 35, currently assigned to the Fugitive Bureau, yesterday afternoon. Investigators say Hoard was charged with two counts of aggravated assault... against both the victim and her unborn child... A witness told police that Hoard followed her to a closed area in the business and stuck a pistol in the back of her neck. The woman began screaming...
...In an unrelated incident, Tipton County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Deputy James Taber... Taber was charged with aggravated domestic assault and domestic assault in an incident involving his wife and stepdaughter...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

[CA] Kidnap added to murder-of-Janet Kovacich charge

Ex-Placer County Deputy Paul Kovacich has been in jail since March with no bail amount awaiting trial for the murder of his wife Janet that happened back in 1982 - while Paul was still a deputy. Makes you wonder what took so long... Now, besides the murder charge - a kidnap charge is added. Janet had been making the divorce transition plans for the kids, had an 11 a.m. appointment to enroll one of the children, but couldn't drive herself there due to recent breast surgery. Paul took her & she never arrived at her appointment. The defense is saying she got in the car willingly with her soon to be ex husband - so it's not kidnap, but...

...Placer County Deputy District Attorney Dan Gong argued Janet Kovacich did not go with her husband willingly to Rollins Lake. "She had no intention of going to Rollins Lake," Gong said. "She had an 11:10 appointment (at Forest Lake Christian)," he said, adding that for Kovacich to continue driving to a place his wife did not want to go was enough use of force or fear, which would constitute kidnapping. And, he added, Kovacich had previously caused his wife to be afraid of him. A week before, he had kicked the family dog, Fuzz, to death. He later admitted it to investigators, saying he was training the animal...

(Source: Former deputy faces new charges in wife's slaying. The Union. Robyn Moormeister, Jun 9, 2007)

To see previous blog entry:
March 23, 2005
[CA] Janet Kovacich, a deputy's wife, disappeared.

[NY] Town Sprvsr. Shannon: "This is a private family matter,"

WHITESTOWN SUPERVISOR CHARGED WITH ASSAULT
Shannon faces misdemeanor after family incident, troopers say
The Observer-Dispatch
By ROCCO LaDUCA
June 7, 2007
Whitestown Town Supervisor Matthew Shannon was charged Wednesday with allegedly injuring his 20-year-old daughter during a domestic dispute, according to state police in Marcy... "This is a private family matter, and please respect our family's privacy," Shannon said... "As far as Matt Shannon continuing as town supervisor, that would be a decision that Matt Shannon would have to make," [Town Board member Brian] Brooks said. "Anything he's going to do or not do would be strictly his decision"...

Monday, June 11, 2007

[OH] Officer Flynn arrested, fired, rehired, & arrested again

Falls cop arrested in Norton
Akron Beacon Journal, OH
Jun. 11, 2007
EXCERPTS: A Cuyahoga Falls police officer [Ralph E. Flynn III] who previously faced a domestic violence charge involving his live-in girlfriend has been arrested again -- this time on two counts of domestic violence against two of his children... In 2005, [Mayor Don] Robart fired him after he was charged with domestic violence in Barberton Municipal Court for an alleged fight with his live-in girlfriend... he got his job back about six months later -- with back pay -- when the police union won a grievance in his favor, [Cuyahoga Falls Police Chief John] Conley said...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

[AL] First Female Trooper killed in the line of duty - Elizabeth Cobb

On October 11th, 1987 Alabama State Trooper Elizabeth Cobb was on patrol, sitting in her patrol car when Trooper Joseph Duncan - her patrol supervisor, fiancée , and life insurance beneficiary, surprised her with death. Elizabeth was the first female trooper in the United States killed in the line of duty. Duncan plea bargained down from capital murder to murder and got 25 years. He has repeatedly been denied parole, has never showed remorse, and is set to get out in five years.

[TX] The Acquittal of Officer Longoria

Brownsville Police Officer Everardo Longoria was acquitted Friday of an assault on his ex-wife. "A courtroom full of Longoria supporters cheered and clapped..."

She had formally filed domestic violence reports against her ex-husband two times before, but for undisclosed reasons, had dropped them. She says she had been reporting the physical violence directly to Police Chief Carlos Garcia for years, has been threatened by her ex with his department-issued weapon, threatened with death, and that he set her on fire in front of the children by pouring rubbing alcohol on her and tossing a match. "The flames ran quickly up the victim’s back, leaving burns along her waist, back and shoulders." In the latest reported attack she said that Officer Longoria had slapped her head into the front door several times, punched her face, and fled. This time when she made her report, she had "a black eye and red marks around the neck, discolorations..."

"Longoria's attorney Ernesto Gamez told jurors his client did not punch [her], rather his hand made contact with her face while he tried to push her away, and that the head-lock he held her in could have caused bruising to her right eye."

Excerpts from an article written last year:
Cop Pummels Ex-Wife’s Head
The Paper of South Texas
October 18, 2006
By David Robledo
...Despite the apparent severity of the beating that Longoria inflicted on his ex-wife, the police chief decided that a one-day suspension against the officer — who happens to be the brother of a Brownsville city commissioner — would be adequate punishment... Although the type of violence that may have occurred could qualify as aggravated assault — a felony — such a conviction would strip Longoria of his job, and disqualify him from employment in law enforcement altogether... Brownsville City Commissioner Ricardo Longoria said that he is not involved with trying to lessen the charges against his brother... official sources close to the case contend that both Commissioner Longoria and District Attorney Villalobos have tried, in varied ways, to encourage the woman to drop the charges. The Brownsville commissioner, according to those familiar with the case, visited her home and told her to drop the charges against his brother...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

[NJ] Deadly break-up of Correction Officers Derry & Welsh


EXCERPTS FROM VARIOUS NEWS SOURCES TODAY:
Local police are calling it a murder-suicide after the bodies of two Bayside State Prison corrections officers were found... Patrick Welsh entered the couple's home at about 3:30 p.m., and shot and killed 37-year-old Coretta Derry before turning the shotgun on himself... There was some type of breakup and the female had moved out of the residence... They later came to a decision to try and get back together... Derry had filed a report accusing Welsh of domestic harassment back in late May... She declined to sign a domestic violence restraining order... An officer spoke with the suspect via telephone and he stated that they had just broke up and he would vacate the home that night"... The boy was not home at the time of the shootings, but was getting off a school bus while police were at the scene... The tragedy is the fourth homicide involving corrections officers from Cumberland County in less than four years...

2 dead in apparent murder-suicide
Saturday, June 9, 2007

VINELAND -- Two corrections officers from Bayside State Prison are dead in what Vineland police are calling a murder-suicide.

Patrick J. Welsh, 29, allegedly shot and killed his live-in girlfriend Friday afternoon following arguments about the couple's future together. Welsh apparently turned the shotgun on himself after killing 37-year-old Corretta L. Derry.

"There was some type of breakup and the female had moved out of the residence," Lt. Tom Ulrich said. "They later came to a decision to try and get back together." Ulrich indicated the couple may have reunited for the sake of Derry's 11-year-old son.

The boy was not home at the time of the shootings, but was getting off a school bus while police were at the scene, Ulrich said. He is staying with family, police said.

Ulrich said police reports show Derry went to Vineland police headquarters May 30 to report a domestic harassment from three days earlier. She declined to sign a domestic violence restraining order against Welsh, and police called the man at the couple's Hance Bridge Road home to discuss the matter.

"An officer spoke with the suspect via telephone and he stated that they had just broke up and he would vacate the home that night," Ulrich said. There had been no further police contact with either Derry or Welsh.

The couple had been living together for four years, according to her statement to police on Friday afternoon. A friend of Welsh's called police expressing concern, Ulrich said. "The suspect had been talking to friends over the breakup," he said. "At 2 o'clock he was last seen with a person who later called police."

Officers went to the couples' home shortly after 4 p.m. and found Derry and Welsh dead. Ulrich declined to say how many shots were fired or describe the nature of the wounds.

This is the third homicide incident in Vineland in 2007. In April, 3-month-old Kimberley Lopez-Matias was beaten to death; police say her mother's boyfriend murdered the child. In March, Debra Smaniotto and Bruce Bertoldi were shot to death by Smaniotto's ex-boyfriend, Edgar Carrasquillo, who then killed himself at the Pheasant Run condominium complex.

The tragedy is the fourth homicide involving corrections officers from Cumberland County in less than four years. Jonathan Norman is serving a 50-year prison sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend, Teneka Milbourne, at her Fairfield home in August 2003. Both were senior corrections officers at South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton. Four months later, Vineland resident Clarence Clough fatally shot himself after mortally wounding his wife in a murder-suicide. He was a corrections officer at Southern State Prison in Maurice River.

In May 2004, Alfred Ritzler of Millville, a corrections officer at Southern State, killed himself and his ex-girlfriend after a hostage standoff in Cape May County. 


Corrections officers die in apparent murder-suicide
Published: Saturday, June 9, 2007

VINELAND — Local police are calling it a murder-suicide after the bodies of two Bayside State Prison corrections officers were found in their home on the 1600 block of Hance Bridge Road on Friday afternoon with gunshot wounds.

Police said 29-year-old Patrick Welsh entered the couple's home at about 3:30 p.m., and shot and killed 37-year-old Coretta Derry before turning the shotgun on himself.

The investigation into the deaths is ongoing, though police pointed to a recent domestic disturbance Derry reported on May 31.

According to police, Derry called to report that Welsh had been harassing her with several phone calls the day after the couple's recent breakup.

"Apparently, their relationship was going to end," Lt. Thomas Ulrich said. "There were some arguments over how this was going to transpire."

Derry declined to press charges at the time.

Police said Derry had been speaking on the telephone with a friend when the line went dead. The friend she had been speaking with went to the house to check on Derry and called the police afterward.

Ulrich confirmed Derry had an 11-year-old child who lived with the couple but was not home at the time of the shooting.

According to neighbors, Derry was the mother of a second young child. 


Two dead in murder-suicide
June 09, 2007 2:21PM

VINELAND -- Patrick J. Welsh, the suspect in the murder-suicide case currently being investigated by Vineland Police Department and the Cumberland County Prosecutors Office, was seen by an acquaintance just hours before he and his ex-girlfriend, Coretta L. Derry, were found dead in their home, according to police.

The acquaintance saw Welsh at 2 p.m. and noted he was upset over the pending break up between himself and Derry.

Police also announced that Derry was on the telephone with a friend when the line suddenly disconnected between 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. When the friend went to check on the house, no one answered the door or the telephone, even though Derry¹s car was in the driveway. It was at this point that the friend called the police.

Further investigation by police also found that Derry had filed a report accusing Welsh of domestic harassment back in late May. She then told police that they were in the process of breaking up, and that Welsh was upset and calling her about removing personal belongings from their house.

Derry at the time declined to get a temporary restraining order, or make an official complaint against Welsh.

According to Cumberland County Prosecutor Ron Casella, an autopsy was conducted on both bodies today, as well as a search of Welsh¹s car.

Police discovered the bodies of Welsh and Derry shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday inside their shared home on Hance Bridge Road dead from shotgun wounds. Derry was found lying in a stairwell leading to the second level of the home, while Welsh was found on the floor of the master bedroom.

Authorities believe that Welsh first shot Derry, then shot himself. Though they were not married, they had lived together in the house and were in the process of ending a four-year relationship.

Both Welsh and Derry had worked at Bayside State Prison as corrections officers since January 1999, according to a spokeswoman from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Derry¹s 11-year-old son, who lived with the couple, was on his way home from school and was not present during the shooting. The child is currently staying with his maternal grandmother.
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