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Sunday, August 31, 2008

[CT] Waterbury police "soul searching" & retraining after domestic firings

...The behavior of the three officers has triggered some soul-searching among the leaders of the police department, leading to department-wide retraining, revisions to policy and a closer look at how the city's police handle calls that involve their own members. "If you're not learning from the incidents, you're not doing anyone any favors," said Police Superintendent Neil O'Leary....

Waterbury officers say department's reputation at stake

Waterbury Republican American, CT
August 31, 2008
[Excerpts] WATERBURY — When [Lieutenant] Greg McCarty was fired last month, he became the third member of the Waterbury Police Department to be dismissed for misconduct this year. The spate of firings has focused new attention on how police deal with rule breakers and lawbreakers in their ranks. McCarty was fired for mishandling a domestic violence complaint involving a fellow officer, Captain Michael Edwards — who also was fired. A third policeman, Sgt. James Cagno, was given a written warning for his role in the incident. The behavior of the three officers has triggered some soul-searching among the leaders of the police department, leading to department-wide retraining, revisions to policy and a closer look at how the city's police handle calls that involve their own members. "If you're not learning from the incidents, you're not doing anyone any favors," said Police Superintendent Neil O'Leary. The incident that led to the firings of Edwards and McCarty exploded in June, when the 22-year-old girlfriend of Edwards called 911 to report that Edwards was drunk and abusive. McCarty went to the woman's apartment to investigate. An internal affairs report later concluded that McCarty waited 90 minutes before letting a supervisor know he was handling a call involving a fellow officer — and then omitted important details of the incident. McCarty also left the scene and allowed Edwards to return to his girlfriend's apartment, making it possible for another alleged assault to occur later that night. He didn't check Edwards or his unmarked patrol car for weapons before he left, according to the report. Edwards, who was arrested days after the incident, is accused of elbowing [victim] in the face later that night because she called police... Waterbury isn't the only department to have officers run afoul of the law or departmental policies. Officers in Seymour, Naugatuck, Torrington and Watertown — among other departments — have had their share of troubles. But cops are held to a higher standard of conduct than the average citizen, and people are watching when they slip up, said Seymour Police Chief Michael E. Metzler. Also, Metzler said, it is difficult to monitor an officer's off-duty conduct. And when an officer does get into trouble, it can tarnish the entire department. "When it paints, it paints the whole thing," Metzler said. "It's just not fair for the 30 to 35 guys that are doing their job on a daily basis"... When McCarty and Edwards were fired, it was a big deal for the Waterbury department, which has 300 sworn officers, O'Leary said. The department rewrote its policy manual in 2004, updating a document that hadn't been revamped since the early 1970s, he said. But the incident involving McCarty and Edwards meant even the updated policy needed to be strengthened. "There's no chance for any loopholes," O'Leary said of the new policy. All officers were required to take a 90-minute training session that highlighted the policy changes. During those sessions, they heard a recording of the 911 call that sparked the incident involving Edwards. As O'Leary puts it, it's one thing to read a transcript and it's another to hear a woman crying as she asks for help. "When someone calls 911 for help, they're going to get it, and if they don't, there will be sanctions," O'Leary said. [Full article here]

Previous entries:

[CT[ Officer Onacilla still at work after domestic incident

Back in May Stamford Police Officer Dennis Onacila and his wife Kay were arrested for domestic violence after the wife stepped in to protect her daughter. At that time his wife said she was afraid for their safety because Officer Onacila keeps guns in the bedroom. The guns were reportedly removed, they spent a night in jail, and they were to go back for a hearing, but I never saw any updates after that. All I know is that he's still listed on the department's web page as one of just a few training officers. Also he's been with the department for 19 years so his actual rank may or may not be "officer."

[Palin's Troopergate] Is Abuse of Power "a Governor's Perogative"?

PALIN FIRED THE TOP COP IN THE STATE AFTER HE WOULDN'T FIRE TROOPER WOOTEN - BECAUSE...? SHE SHOULD HAVE TARGETED ALL BAD COPS OR ALL BAD TROOPERS & SWEPT WOOTEN OUT WITH THE REST OF THEM, BUT ADVOCATING ONLY TO GET RID OF HER SISTER'S EX? THAT'S GOING TO BE HARD TO JUSTIFY, AND WORSE TO BE CAUGHT LYING ABOUT.

...[Republican pick for Vice President slot, Alaska Governor Sarah] Palin initially denied that she or anyone in her administration had ever pressured [Top Cop of the State Police, Walter] Monegan to fire [Palin's former brother in-law, State Trooper Mike] Wooten... But this summer, Palin acknowledged that a half-dozen members of her administration had made more than two dozen calls on the matter to various state officials...

News Report On Palin Troopergate Scandal
Aug 29, 2008

Palin says "it IS a Governor's Perogative"
(& she asks what does a VP actually DO?)

Aug 1, 2008

Alaska Pride blog posts on Palin's Troopergate here.

Palin Focus of Probe In Police Chief's Firing
Her Family Wanted a Trooper Dismissed, He Says

The Washington Post
By James V. Grimaldi and Kimberly Kindy
Saturday, August 30, 2008; A11
[Excerpts] Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is an ethics reformer under an ethics investigation that is plowing through private domestic matters. Palin is under investigation to determine whether she pressured and then fired the state police chief in July because he refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law. At the time, the governor's younger sister was involved in a bitter divorce and child custody dispute with the man, a state trooper. A bipartisan committee of the state legislature voted unanimously to hire a retired prosecutor to investigate. His report is due in October. The firing of state Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan has unearthed a stream of private details about the governor, her husband and her family. The state probe is also focusing on a half-dozen top state officials accused of trying to drive trooper Mike Wooten from the force. Critics say the episode -- dubbed Troopergate in Alaska -- cuts against Palin's reputation as an ethics crusader who holds even her own party accountable... The domestic dispute entered the public arena when the governor's sister filed for divorce from Wooten on April 11, 2005. The same day, the governor's father, Chuck Heath, contacted state police with several allegations against Wooten: using a Taser on his 10-year-old stepson; shooting a moose without a permit; and drinking beer while driving a patrol car. Eighteen months later, Sarah Palin became Alaska's first female governor. Gov. Palin's husband, Todd Palin, met with Monegan in January 2007, a month after his wife took office, to say that the trooper was unfit for the force. Monegan also said the governor sent him e-mails, but Monegan declined to disclose them, saying he planned to give them to the independent prosecutor. Palin initially denied that she or anyone in her administration had ever pressured Monegan to fire Wooten. She said she had raised the matter with Monegan just once, relaying the allegation that Wooten made a death threat against her father. But this summer, Palin acknowledged that a half-dozen members of her administration had made more than two dozen calls on the matter to various state officials... Monegan said Todd Palin told him that Wooten "shouldn't be a trooper." "I've tried to explain to him," Monegan said, "'You can't head-hunt like this. What you need to do is back off, because if the trooper does make a mistake, and it is a terminable offense, it can look like political interference.' I think he's emotionally committed in trying to see that his former brother-in-law is punished." Monegan said he was also contacted by three other Palin-appointed officials, including the attorney general, regarding the trooper. Each time, he said, he told the administration officials that he would keep an eye on the trooper, but that unless he violated a rule, nothing could be done. In a TV interview in July, Todd Palin confirmed that he had talked with Monegan but said he was just "informing," not pressuring. At a news conference Aug. 13, the governor said, "I do now have to tell Alaskans that such pressure could have been perceived to exist, although I have only now become aware of it"... John Cyr, chief of the troopers' union, said he was "shocked and disappointed" at McCain's selection of Palin. "It goes well beyond the fact that she is under a cloud of ethics investigations. She's fired the only commissioner who dared to stand up and say we need to do more to make Alaska safe." Palin's chief of staff fired Monegan on July 11, telling him Palin wanted "to go in another direction," Monegan said... [Full article here]

[NC] Ex-police chief husband of (slain?) Patsy Tinsley Bradley arrested by U.S. Marshals


PATSY TINSLEY'S HUSBAND, EX-POLICE CHIEF PETE BRADLEY WAS ARRESTED BY U.S. MARSHALS ON UNDISCLOSED FEDERAL CHARGES.

[PATSY HOPED PETE COULD CHANGE.]

MySpace page:
"JUSTICE FOR PATSY TINSLEY BRADLEY"

http://www.myspace.com/ptb1964

[THE MEDICAL EXAMINER HAD SAID THAT PATSY'S "SUICIDE" WAS BROUGHT ON BY "DEPRESSION AND DOMESTIC DISCORD." PROSECUTORS SAY PATSY BRADLEY SUFFERED AN INJURY ON THE BACK OF HER HEAD INFLICTED BY HER HUSBAND ON AUG. 31, 2005. THE BLOW LEFT A LUMP THE SIZE OF A GOLF BALL SHE WAS FOUND DEAD FROM A GUNSHOT TO THE HEART OCT. 4, 2005]



Previous entry:

March 28, 2007
[NC] Another suicide that won't die. Patsy Tinsley Bradley - Patsy was a very giving and loving lady who was always willing to help others and did so many times. She loved to make people laugh and smile. She worked Santa Pal many years, worked at West Asheville Police Resource Center and volunteered many other places... She was and is dearly loved by all who know her...

Ex-Woodfin police chief jailed
New charges brought by federal officers not available

published August 31, 2008

ASHEVILLE – Career law enforcement officer Pete Bradley was held in the Buncombe County Detention Center Saturday on federal charges.

It’s not known what charges Bradley faces. The former Woodfin police chief was convicted in March 2007 of assaulting his wife in their Biltmore Forest home, about a month before she died of what officials deemed suicide.

“United States marshals brought him in last night,” Deputy Patrick Vanderveen said.

Vanderveen said county law enforcement officials are not informed of a suspect’s charges or the amount of their bond when brought in by federal officers, but he confirmed Bradley was jailed.

An official at the FBI office in Charlotte said Saturday the FBI couldn’t offer any information on the case. A check of U.S. District Court electronic records didn’t show any charges against Bradley, but an FBI official said that might be because charges were filed after hours at the start of the weekend.

Catherine Tinsley, sister of the late Patsy Bradley, said she heard through a relative that Pete Bradley had been charged. But Tinsley said law enforcement officials haven’t contacted the family and she doesn’t know what he was charged with.
Past conviction

Bradley was sentenced in Buncombe County Superior Court to 30 days in jail after being found guilty by a jury of assaulting his wife. Prosecutors said Bradley struck his wife in the head during the early morning hours of Aug. 31, 2005, leaving a lump the size of a golf ball. Officers said they found her scared and crying in her car at a neighbor’s house.

Patsy Bradley was found dead in her home just more than a month later. The State Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation, and an autopsy report released later by the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner called her death a suicide brought on by depression and domestic discord.

A prosecutor told jurors at Bradley’s assault trial that Bradley told officers investigating the death: “I guess she won’t be testifying against me.”

Family members testified Patsy Bradley was terrified of her husband. Hospital workers said she told them her husband struck her with a flashlight.

But Pete Bradley testified that he didn’t strike his wife. His attorney suggested she might have injured herself in a fall, cited inconsistencies in what Patsy Bradley told authorities and said she may have concocted a “wild story.” [Link]

[MRS. BRADLEY WAS A GRADUATE OF ASHEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL, ASHEVILLE-BUNCOMBE TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND ASHEVILLE CITIZEN POLICE ACADEMY. SHE OBTAINED A DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE. PATSY RECENTLY ALSO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED A PHARMACEUTICAL TECHNICAL PROGRAM. SHE WAS THE VICE-CHAIRPERSON OF WEST ASHEVILLE RESOURCE CENTER (WARC) AND VOLUNTEERED FOR ASHEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT WHERE SHE WAS RECOGNIZED FOR HER EFFORTS AND RECEIVED HIGHEST PRAISES FROM THE POLICE CHIEF IN THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM. PATSY WAS A SUPPORTER FOR FRIENDS FOR ANIMALS NETWORK AND CARE PARTNERS MOUNTAIN AREA HOSPICE]

Saturday, August 30, 2008

[GA] "Resigned" Deputy Yancey walks out of jail with double-murder charges

Granted bond - Aug 28


Yancey Released - Aug 29


Victim’s family upset ex-deputy got bond ‘Preferential treatment’ got Derrick Yancey house arrest, they say
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By DAVID SIMPSON
August 28, 2008

Former DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy Derrick Yancey can await his double murder trial under house arrest and a $150,000 bond, a judge ruled Thursday.

The ruling drew a response from a representative for two siblings of Yancey’s wife, whom Yancey is accused of killing. An attorney who said she spoke on behalf of the siblings of Linda Yancey said the DeKalb district attorney’s office failed to do enough to prevent Yancey’s release.

“It appears Mr. Yancey is receiving preferential treatment as a result of his previous employment with the DeKalb County court system,” said a statement issued by lawyer Loletha Denise Hale, who said she spoke for Eugene Thomas and Gloria Thomas Sanders.

Asked about the statement, chief assistant district attorney Don Geary said Yancey “will be treated as any other criminal defendant charged in DeKalb County. We will vigorously prosecute within the limits of the law, and we will do everything we can to be mindful and considerate of the wishes of the victims’ family.”

Linda Yancey, 44, and day laborer Marcial Cax Puluc, about 20, were killed at the Yanceys’ home near Stone Mountain June 9.

Yancey told police that Cax Puluc killed his wife in an armed robbery attempt, forcing Yancey to shoot him. But authorities say lab tests showed Yancey shot both victims.

Derrick Yancey, 49, escorted prisoners to appearances in the county courthouse for 11 years until he was placed on leave because of the shootings. He resigned Aug. 11 and was jailed Aug. 14, when a grand jury indicted him.

Superior Court Judge Linda Workman issued a bond order Thursday, specifying that Yancey must wear an ankle monitor and leave his mother’s Clayton County home only for legal or medical appointments.

Workman’s order quoted a Georgia law which makes defendants eligible for release on bond if they pose “no significant risk” of fleeing, intimidating witnesses or committing other crimes. Unlike many other states, Workman wrote, Georgia does not further restrict bond for murder defendants unless they have been convicted of a prior violent crime.

Geary opposed bond in a Wednesday hearing, telling Workman that Yancey became more of a risk to flee after quitting his job and placing his 8-year-old son with his mother. Workman’s order noted, however, that Yancey had taken those steps before his indictment and still reported to jail voluntarily when an arrest warrant was issued.

Geary did not offer evidence about the shootings or suggest that Yancey might be a threat to others.

Defense attorney Keith Adams said Thursday he expected it would take “a couple of days” to arrange the bond and electronic monitoring. Yancey is being held in an undisclosed jail.

Yancey was a 17-year veteran of the sheriff’s office. Linda Yancey also worked for the sheriff’s office for 13 years, most recently as an intake officer in Juvenile Court.

Workman’s order said she expects Yancey to be tried by the end of the year.
[LINK]

Links to videos on Youtube:

[GA] Deputy Yancy says he killed man who killed wife Linda
[GA] Deputy Yancey's wife Linda & man dead
[GA] Deputy Yancey's jailer wife and a man are dead
[GA] Deputy Yancey's jailer wife and a man are dead (2)
[GA] Deputy's wife Linda Yancy & unidentified man killed
[GA] Deputy Yancey dv calls to his house before wife shot
[GA] Sheriff Brown on the shooting of Linda Yancey & man
[GA] Police Chief Bolton on Officer Linda Yancey murder
[GA] Funeral for Officer Linda Yancey
[GA] Sister of slain Officer Linda Yancey
[GA] Friend : Marcial Puluc had no gun to shoot Linda Yancey
[GA] Police want to talk to Deputy Yancey re: wife's murder
[GA] Deputy Yancey charged on double-homicide 1
[GA] Deputy Yancey charged on double-homicide 2
[GA] Deputy Yancey charged on double-homicide 3
[GA] Charged with double-murder, Deputy Yancey wants out
[GA] Ex-deputy Yancey granted bond on double-murder charge
[GA] Ex-deputy Yancey RELEASED on double-murder charge

[CA] Cop-dv advocate & friend of Chief Gundersen's wife (Darcie) testify

...[Wife of Chief Gunderson / former Blue Lake Police Sgt. Darcie Seal's friend, Janet] Arnot also testified that she called 911 at one point in September 2001... She said she told the operator the Blue Lake police chief was trying to break into her home with her two children present. She said no one from law enforcement showed up...

[Previous blog entries here]

Expert: Domestic violence is about power, control
The Times-Standard
Thadeus Greenson tgreenson@times-standard.com
08/29/2008
[Excerpts] David Gundersen's wife feared the former Blue Lake police chief would kill her if she testified against him, a District Attorney's Office investigator and a friend of Gundersen's wife testified Thursday. Janet Arnot, a friend of Gundersen's wife Darcie Seal, testified that Seal told her she always had a fear of drowning and that Gundersen had threatened to “take her fishing,” which Arnot said Seal took to mean that Gundersen would kill her. Seal made a similar claim to investigators during the Feb. 8 interview that led to her husband's arrest, but later testified the comments were made in jest and she never took them seriously. Gallegos asked Arnot if she thought Seal took the comment as a joke. ”No, she always took it seriously,” Arnot testified. “It frightened her -- it still frightens her”... Gundersen faces two dozen counts of raping Seal with the use of an intoxicant, as well as charges of violating a court order, attempting to dissuade the victim of a crime and illegally possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with a silencer attached. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains held in the Humboldt County jail on $1.25 million bail... Before talking about the specifics of her recent conversations with Seal, Arnot made it clear she was uncomfortable doing so. ”She spoke to me in great confidence and, in answering these questions, I'm breaking her confidence and that's something that's always going to weigh heavily on my heart,” she said... Things got so bad, Arnot testified, that Seal even said she made several complaints to Blue Lake City Manager Wiley Buck ... "She told me nothing was ever done about that... It was completely ignored”... Arnot also testified that she called 911 at one point in September 2001 when Gundersen was trying to gain entry into the home she and Seal were living in at the time. She said she told the operator the Blue Lake police chief was trying to break into her home with her two children present. She said no one from law enforcement showed up... Before Arnot took the stand, the jury heard from Diane Wetendorf, who has counseled domestic violence victims since 1985. Wetendorf testified that while domestic violence can take all shapes and forms, it is always about power and control. Abusers, Wetendorf testified, often use isolation, emotional abuse, economic abuse and sexual abuse to exert constant control over their partners. Because of these factors, as well as pressures from family and religion, Wetendorf said it is very common for it to take years for a victim to come forward. And when they eventually do, Wetendorf said, it is very common for them to later recant their statements. Wetendorf said she's seen women get emergency protective orders against their violent husbands only to recant their allegations to get their husbands off the hook when the matter comes before a court. "She's going to do whatever she has to do, and if that means lying to our faces, she's going to lie to our faces,” Wetendorf said. “It's about survival.” Under cross examination, Wetendorf said she's never qualified as an expert witness before, characterized herself as a victim's advocate and said she was being paid to testify at the trial... [Full article here]

Phone calls detail wife's suspicions, hesitation to talk about alleged sex crimes
The Eureka Reporter
By Karen Wilkinson,
Aug 29 2008
[Excerpts] David Gundersen's wife would have divulged more possibly incriminating information against the former Blue Lake Police Department chief if the media wasn't reporting on the case, she told an investigator in early June. In recorded phone conversations, WHICH DARCIE SEAL WAS TOLD WEREN'T BEING TAPED, she told District Attorney's Office Investigator Wayne Cox on June 10 that she found concerning items in Gundersen's side of their garage, shed and the BLPD office. Those items included hard drives, small cameras and video tapes, which Seal indicated may contain nude photos of her taken with or without her consent. Seal also referenced newspaper articles that mentioned their sex life and said she "won't talk about it because I don't want it in the paper. To tell you the truth … I'm supposed to do that in front of everybody and the press?... I don't want everybody to know... Nobody knows what David put me through... I have been so exposed I feel like I'm the one paying and he is not."... [Full article here]

With heavy heart, Seal's friend speaks of rape allegations she heard
The Eureka Reporter
By John C. Osborn
josborn@eurekareporter.com
Aug 28 2008
[Excerpts] A longtime friend of Darcie Seal testified in former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's trial Thursday about allegations of rape and verbal abuse Seal made to her in confidence prior to his arrest. Expert on police-perpetrated domestic violence Diane Wetendorf also explained to the jury key characteristics found in victims of that kind of violence... Janet Arnot, a friend of Seal's since 1996, prefaced her testimony explaining to the jury that Seal had talked to her about these allegations in great confidence. "In answering these questions," she said, "I break that confidence and it will weigh heavy on my heart"... As the expert on domestic violence, Wetendorf testified in general that a victim recanting her statements is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in domestic violence cases, as well as the complexity of the issue.... "They're damned if they do (report)," Wetendorf said, "they're damned if they don't." [Full article here]

[TX] Officer Dimas booked on assault of his wife

A 14-YEAR LPD OFFICER ARRESTED
Laredo Morning Times
By Nick Georgiou nickg@lmtonline.com
August 28, 2008
A 14-year police officer was arrested early Wednesday morning for allegedly assaulting his wife at their south Laredo residence. Gerardo Dimas, 41, was booked at the Laredo Police Department... Justice of the Peace Ricardo Rangel ordered the veteran officer held on a $10,000 bond... Dimas, a patrolman, posted bond shortly after. LPD was called to the south Laredo residence at about 6:30 a.m. for an alleged assault in progress. According to police, officers at the scene determined enough probable cause to arrest Dimas and charge him with assault, family violence, a class-A misdemeanor. Officer Jose E. Baeza, LPD spokesman, said that as per standard procedure, Dimas was placed on administrative reassignment pending the criminal and internal investigation of the case, which will be conducted by Internal Affairs Division. Dimas wife was not hospitalized, but Baeza could not confirm whether she sustained any injuries from the alleged assault... [Full article here]

Thursday, August 28, 2008

[NV] Officer Amalfitano's accused of making the world a sadder place

Metro Officer Accused In Child Pornography Case Appears In Court
KTNV Las Vegas, NV - 22 hours ago
Aug 26, 2008 12:43 PM
The Metro officer accused of having sex with a minor and possessing child pornography was in court Tuesday. Damien Amalfitano was arrested last year... He is also accused of having sex with his ex-girlfriend's 13-year-old daughter. Amalfitano faces thirty criminal charges... [Full article here]

From last year:

Metro Officer Arrested on Multiple Child Pornography Charges
KLAS-TV
Aaron Drawhorn, adrawhorn@klastv.com
Nov 19, 2007
A Metro police officer has been arrested. He's facing multiple charges of possession of child porngraphy, lewdness with a minor under the age of 14. and coercion of a minor. Patrol Officer Damian Amalfitano was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on 30 different counts... Metro's two-prong investigation into Amalfitano -- both criminal and internal -- centered on allegations of lewdness with a teenage girl. The girl's father told Eyewitness News she went through a similar incident when she was younger. "The man has his own kids and I don't understand it. I really don't," the alleged victim's father said... Metro is not saying much about the investigation, or how the two knew each other. They do make one point clear. That none of this alleged misconduct took place while Amalfitano was on duty. In the meantime, Damian Amalfitano is out on bail. The 32-year-old officer was assigned to the Southwest Area Command... [Full article here]

[WV] Ex-Deputy Balog pled guilty to dv battery, and will take a class

Previous post:
[WV] Lt. Balog charged with domestic battery of girlfriend

Wood Co. Sheriff's Deputy Pleaded Guilty
WTAP News
Posted: 6:33 PM Aug 26, 2008
Last Updated: 6:33 PM Aug 26, 2008
Reporter: Allison Rhea
allison.rhea@wtap.com

A former Wood County Deputy Sheriff will now have to complete an anger management course, after he pleaded guilty to Domestic Battery.

Donald Balog was arrested after an incident on June 17th when he allegedly got into an argument with his girlfriend at the Comfort Inn in Vienna.

Balog appeared in a Wood County courtroom Monday and pleaded guilty to one count of Domestic Battery.

He will now have to complete an anger management course, he cannot have contact with the victim and he cannot possess or own a firearm.

[CA] In Chief Gundersen trial, police dv expert Diane Wetendorf can't address police dv

...Wetendorf will not be allowed to bring in her expertise in a niche field of domestic violence she has been researching for the past 10 years — that of domestic violence at the hands of a law enforcement official. Humboldt County Superior Court Judge W. Bruce Watson said he would not allow questions about alleged victims of domestic violence making false allegations... Darcie Seal, the alleged victim of spousal rape, has, since Gundersen’s arrest, changed her story several times...

Previous entries here.

Domestic violence expert to testify
The Eureka Reporter, CA
By JOHN C. OSBORN
Published: Aug 27 2008, 11:01 PM

Testimony by an expert in police-perpetrated domestic violence will be allowed in David Gundersen’s trial, the court ruled.

Diane Wetendorf, a longtime victim’s rights advocate versed in domestic violence, will be able to tell the jury about her opinions of common characteristics associated with victims of domestic violence.

In the narrow ruling, Wetendorf will only be allowed to answer questions about those characteristics, why victims recant previous statements and why they stay with an abuser.

Wetendorf will not be allowed to bring in her expertise in a niche field of domestic violence she has been researching for the past 10 years — that of domestic violence at the hands of a law enforcement official.

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge W. Bruce Watson said he would not allow questions about alleged victims of domestic violence making false allegations, a key point that Gundersen’s attorney Russell Clanton wanted to address as well.

“There has to be strict limitations,” he said, adding that an expert is not there to weigh on the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

The hearing turned heated at times as Clanton tried several times to question Wetendorf about that point and on biases that she, as an advocate, would be bringing into the courtroom.

“I think if an expert is going to assist a jury,” Clanton said, “it should be giving information from an origin that is not biased.”

Watson said that experts don’t have to be unbiased when on the stand.

The expert, who will be costing taxpayers $300 an hour while in court and a $100 an hour while reviewing documents, will help give the jury more insight into domestic violence.

Wetendorf testified that perpetrators of domestic violence exploit religion, children and, in the case of police officers, training and legal knowledge to make the victim comply.

“Domestic violence (is) a pattern of behaviors that one partner in a relationship uses against another partner,” she testified. “People have a hard time believing that a police officer can be a victim of domestic violence.”

When a police officer is the abuser, it makes it even more difficult for victims to speak out, as they have access to all the traditional channels of relief, such as shelters and law enforcement response, she said.

Darcie Seal, the alleged victim of spousal rape, has, since Gundersen’s arrest, changed her story several times, testifying during the trial that the allegations she made to investigators prior to his arrest were now false.

The prosecution will try and show that Seal’s recanting of previous statements are symptomatic with trauma that results from domestic abuse, while she alleges that those statements were a result of coercion by law enforcement officials.

Wetendorf is expected to testify today.

John C. Osborn can be reached at josborn@eurekareporter.com, or at 707-269-7445. [Link]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety recant recanted california state politics brass]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

[GA] Family of slain Linda Yancey say they're not allowed to see youngest child

...Relatives of Linda Yancey have filed a court action saying they have not been allowed to see the boy...

Previous entries
here.

Video is only on Derrick Yancey's request for bond...


DeKalb deputy accused of killing wife seeks bond
Derrick Yancey is also accused of murdering Marcial Cax Puluc, who was working at Yancey’s house
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By David Simpson
August 27, 2008
Relatives of former DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy Derrick Yancey and his slain wife, Linda, filled opposite sides of a courtroom Wednesday for a hearing on whether Yancey should be freed on bond until his murder trial. There was no immediate ruling on the bond request. Meanwhile, testimony by Yancey’s mother, Barbara Jordan of Jonesboro, showed the two families are at odds over custody and visitation rights to the Yanceys’ 8-year-old son. The boy is staying with Jordan, who testified she has filed for legal guardianship of him. Relatives of Linda Yancey have filed a court action saying they have not been allowed to see the boy. Jordan said Wednesday she is willing to allow visitation. No relatives of Linda Yancey testified. About 25 members of each family were escorted separately in and out of the courtroom by employees of the same sheriff’s office where both Derrick and Linda Yancey worked. Linda Yancey, 44, and day laborer Marcial Cax Puluc, about 20, were shot to death in the Yanceys’ home near Stone Mountain on June 9... Defense lawyer Keith Adams told Superior Court Judge Anne Workman that Yancey made no attempt to flee in the two months before his indictment and should be released on $100,000 bond under house arrest with an ankle monitor. Chief assistant district attorney Don Geary opposed bond, arguing Yancey’s resignation and child custody arrangement make it possible for him to flee “in a split second.” [Full article here]

[CA] Deputy accused of threatening to make wife's body disappear pleads not guilty

...The wife told detectives that Griffith had threatened to cut her up into little pieces and put the parts into an acid-filled, 50-gallon drum. “R. Griffith told her after he body dissolved he would drive around the desert with the drain valve on the drum slightly open, leaking her body onto the desert floor”...

Previous entry:
[CA] Deputy Griffith's family in fear

EX-DEPUTY PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO THREATENING TO KILL WIFE
The Desert Sun, CA
August 22, 2008
[Excerpts] MURRIETA — A former sheriff's deputy from Temecula who allegedly threatened to kill his wife, cut her up and put the pieces in an acid-filled 50-gallon drum, pleaded not guilty Thursday to making criminal threats and spousal abuse. Ronald Eugene Griffith, 46, is also charged with battery on a peace officer or emergency personnel... [Full article here]

EX-DEPUTY AWAITING ARRAIGNMENT IN ALLEGED ASSAULT ON WIFE
signonsandiego.com
July 22, 2008
[Excerpts] MURRIETA – A 46-year-old former sheriff's deputy from the Temecula station is out on bail Tuesday, awaiting arraignment for allegedly assaulting his wife and threatening to kill her. Ronald Eugene Griffith is charged with one count of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, two counts of making criminal threats and one count of battery on a peace officer or emergency personnel... [Detective Roman] Pluimer stated in his affidavit that on April 26, Griffith attacked his wife, forcing her against a closet door and choking her, saying “you're (expletive) lucky I don't kill you right now.” Griffith allegedly destroyed the closet... Documents further state that after he returned, Griffith got into an argument with his step-daughter... Griffith allegedly bent her finger back, forcing her to the floor... Griffith also ordered the step-daughter to get the boyfriend, [VU], out of the house before he killed him. The wife told detectives that Griffith had threatened to cut her up into little pieces and put the parts into an acid-filled, 50-gallon drum. “R. Griffith told her after he body dissolved he would drive around the desert with the drain valve on the drum slightly open, leaking her body onto the desert floor”... The wife took the statement as a threat and was scared he would actually carry it out, Pluimer said. Details of the alleged battery on emergency personnel were not released. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement lethal california state macabre dissolve brutal insane]

[CA] She was afraid she'd die if she didn't lie says ex-attorney for Chief Gundersen's wife

DAVID GUNDERSEN'S WIFE FEARED THE FORMER BLUE LAKE POLICE CHIEF WOULD KILL HER IF SHE TESTIFIED... ”SHE WAS PETRIFIED,” GRIEGO CONTINUED, ADDING THAT HE PROBABLY SPOKE TO HER ABOUT 100 TIMES OVER TWO MONTHS. “SHE WAS SHAKING AND IN TEARS MOST OF THE TIME I TALKED TO HER”... GUNDERSEN FACES TWO DOZEN COUNTS OF RAPING SEAL WHILE SHE WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF AN INTOXICANT, AS WELL AS CHARGES OF VIOLATING A COURT ORDER, ATTEMPTING TO DISSUADE THE VICTIM OF A CRIME AND ILLEGALLY POSSESSING A SUBMACHINE GUN AND A PISTOL WITH AN ATTACHED SILENCER...

Previous entries:
  • [CA] Chief Gunderson 12-count cop-on-cop spousal rape charges - ...Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's ex-wife - a legal office assistant in the Sheriff's office - claimed in 1999 court records that Gundersen drugged her for unwanted sex. Now he faces 12 counts of raping his CURRENT wife - a Blue Lake Police sergeant... He also faces charges on 3 acts committed while in custody. One is threatening the witness, his wife - caught on a phone call - and planning places to hide. Gundersen is being kept in jail for safety of the victim and because he carries a firearm...
  • [CA] Update on Chief Gunderson's wife-rape charges & guns, guns, guns - ...His attorney, Russell Clanton, contends that seeds of trouble were planted by the chief's former wife, now a Humboldt County sheriff's office dispatcher, who he says has plotted to poison Gundersen's relationship with his current spouse...
  • [CA] Cop dv victims in even more danger (and even more likely then to recant) - ...experts say it's not uncommon for victims to change their mind on pressing charges, or reinterpreting what they've said... They may have hope that the person they love will change... But the No. 1 reason, Lemon said, is the fear of retaliation... Those women are in more danger because the police will usually protect their own”...
  • [CA] Trial: Chief Gundersen's wife now says it was all lies - The trial for Blue Lake Police Chief Gundersen picks up again on August 25th. Here are excerpts from recent news, including a list that I extracted from the articles, given as the reasons why the Chief's wife Darcie now says she lied...
GUNDERSEN’S EX-WIFE TAKES STAND
The Eureka Reporter
John C. Osborn josborn@eurekareporter.com
Aug 26 2008
[Excerpts] Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen’s ex-wife testified Tuesday about details of their custody battle and allegations that she formulated a plan to have him arrested to benefit her in the custody decision. She gave details about allegations of rape during their marriage that she made against her husband and her interactions with Darcie Seal, who is the alleged victim in this trial and Gundersen’s current wife. It is The Eureka Reporter’s policy to not disclose the name of sexual assault victims, but Darcie Seal has asked both the court and media to use her real name. Gundersen is charged in this trial with 24 counts of alleged spousal rape with an intoxicant, along with five other charges, including two related to illegal firearms... Although the allegations of rape came out during their on-and-off eight-year custody battle, she testified that she never filed criminal charges because she didn’t want to put her children through such a proceeding. Gundersen’s ex-wife testified that starting in 2006, Seal confided to her that Gundersen was having non-consensual sex with her... This morning, there will be a brief hearing to decide whether Diane Wetendorf, an expert in police-perpetrated domestic violence, will be allowed to testify for the prosecution... [Full article here]

[What reason could they have for NOT letting Diane testify, I wonder aloud.]

Two articles from yesterday:


GUNDERSEN'S WIFE SPENDS DAY 4 ON STAND
Times-Standard, CA
Thadeus Greenson tgreenson@times-standard.com
08/26/2008
[Excerpts] The WIFE of former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen testified Monday that when she lied to investigators the day of her husband's arrest, she felt they were just holding another “Dave-bashing party.” ”It's not the first time everyone sat around bashing Dave,” Gundersen's wife, Darcie Seal, testified about the Feb. 8 interview with investigators. She referred to them as friends of Gundersen's ex-wife and said she answered their questions sarcastically and never wanted her husband arrested... GUNDERSEN FACES TWO DOZEN COUNTS OF RAPING SEAL WHILE SHE WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF AN INTOXICANT, AS WELL AS CHARGES OF VIOLATING A COURT ORDER, ATTEMPTING TO DISSUADE THE VICTIM OF A CRIME AND ILLEGALLY POSSESSING A SUBMACHINE GUN AND A PISTOL WITH AN ATTACHED SILENCER. He has pleaded not guilty and remains held in the Humboldt County jail on $1.25 million bail. Taking the stand for the fourth day, Seal's testimony ranged from her contact with Gundersen since his arrest to why her story has changed dramatically from her testimony during Gundersen's preliminary hearing. With Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton continuing his cross examination, Seal testified that she didn't fear her husband before her Feb. 8 interview with investigators, but that they convinced her Gundersen was homicidal and suicidal. Seal said she also told members of the District Attorney's Office that her Feb. 8 statements to law enforcement were false, and that she had even written District Attorney Paul Gallegos a letter on Feb. 25 saying as much. Seal later read the letter before the court. It said she had been coerced by investigators, didn't want to file a criminal complaint and didn't fear her husband... Because of that and the fact that Seal has recanted her earlier accusations against her husband and - mirroring a trend in many domestic abuse cases - Clanton directly asked Seal if she'd been trained as a law enforcement officer on the psychology of victims of domestic abuse and she said she had been. ”Do you have an opinion about whether or not you are a victim of domestic abuse?” Clanton asked. ”Yes -- I am not,” Seal testified... [Full article here]

ATTORNEY: GUNDERSEN'S WIFE FEARED SHE'D BE KILLED FOR TESTIMONY
The Times-Standard, CA
Attorney: Gundersen's wife feared she'd be killed for testimony
Thadeus Greenson
08/27/2008
[Excerpts] David Gundersen's wife feared the former Blue Lake police chief would kill her if she testified against him during his rape trial, her former attorney testified Tuesday. ”She was terrified - she believed this client was going to kill her if she testified,” attorney Patrik Griego said Darcie Seal told him while he represented her in the two months leading up to Gundersen's preliminary hearing. ”She was petrified,” Griego continued, adding that he probably spoke to her about 100 times over two months. “She was shaking and in tears most of the time I talked to her”... She testified that she confronted Gundersen. ”He asked me if I was wearing a wire, and I said 'no,'” she testified, adding that Gundersen then admitted to giving her sleeping pills and having sex with her while she slept. “He said he loved me so much and that's how he expressed his love. That's the only way he could do it.”... Dave Morey, of the sheriff's office where she works, what Seal told her but did not consider filing a police report because she didn't have any proof that Seal's allegations were true. Gundersen's ex-wife also testified that Seal asked her if she had told law enforcement, was happy to hear that she had and that Seal often expressed homicidal feelings. ”Every time I got together with her she talked about killing him,” Gundersen's ex-wife said. “She said she was homicidal”... [Attorney] Griego and Michael Crowley, who represented Seal during Gundersen's preliminary hearing, testified that Seal never told them the allegations against her husband were false, which she claimed to have done while testifying Monday... After Gundersen's trial concluded for the day Tuesday, Gallegos confirmed there is an ongoing investigation into Seal's conduct, but declined to go into specifics... [Full article here]

[VA] Trooper Blanton's wife Donna sentenced again for murdering him

Previous entry:
[VA] State Police 1st Sgt. Taylor Blanton's wife retried for his murder

Wife sentenced to life for slaying of trooper husband
Richmond Times Dispatch, VA
By Zachary Reid
Aug 26, 2008
BOWLING GREEN -- Donna Blanton was sentenced to life in prison and fined $100,000 today in Caroline County Circuit Court for the murder of her husband, State Trooper Taylor V. Blanton. Circuit Judge Horace A. Revercomb III said he concurred with the jury's recommendation in the case. Mark Murphy, Blanton's lawyer, commended the sheriff's department for how it handled the case and added that Blanton asked him not to say anything in her defense, or to call any new witnesses. The case marked the second time Blanton had been convicted in her husband's slaying. Blanton had been convicted in 2005 and sentenced to 28 years but won an appeal. The Virginia Court of Appeals last year found that gender wrongly played a role in how the prosecutor at the time selected which potential jurors he did not want to hear the case.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

[MI] Officer DeKleine sentenced to life, and group in Michigan for OIDV victims gets another activist

Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine was ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for killing his wife. A 13-year Holland police officer, DeKleine, 45, was convicted in July of killing Lori DeKleine after a jury deliberated only 75 minutes...
...Her sister's death has motivated [Patti] Ticknor to become involved with the Michigan Officer-involved Domestic Violence [OIDV] group and try to spread the word about how women can get help in abusive homes. "Lori would be proud of us for having someone else learn from her situation," Ticknor said. "She would want someone's life to be saved."...
SENTENCING FOR DEKLEINE INCLUDED IMPACT STATEMENTS FROM FAMILY MEMBERS


LINKS FROM BLOG: "LORI MEULMAN DEKLEINE"



FORMER HOLLAND POLICE OFFICER KEN DEKLEINE ORDERED TO SPEND LIFE IN PRISON FOR KILLING WIFE
The Grand Rapids Press
by John Tunison jtunison@grpress.com
Monday August 25, 2008, 11:27 AM
[Excerpts]GRAND HAVEN -- Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine was ordered this morning to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for killing his wife. A 13-year Holland police officer, DeKleine, 45, was convicted in July of killing Lori DeKleine after a jury deliberated only 75 minutes... Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman questioned why DeKleine did not get help when he was being overcome with the rage that led to the murder. "With your Christian education, your training as a police officer, your good record as a police officer, why during the course of a year something didn't register in your mind there would be some other course of action to take remains a total mystery," Bosman said. His video-taped confessions shows he entered the garage of his former Calvin Avenue home in the middle of the night Jan. 10, waited in attic for several hours, then pushed his way into the house after Lori DeKleine opened the door in the morning. He admitted to strangling her with a climbing strap, then dragging her body into the basement and trying to stage a suicide... "Thoughts of this event plague my mind frequently. I have spent many sleepless nights trying to understand Ken's selfish act," said Lori DeKleine's father, Paul Meulman. In court, [Lori DeKleine’s sister, Patti] Ticknor said she once respected and cared for Ken DeKleine, and admired him as a father, "until he thought it best to play God and kill Lori." DeKleine portrayed his estranged wife as someone mentally unstable who was damaging their children psychologically, but Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz said the evidence did not show any problems. In fact, she was a good mother and was respected at her church job, he said... Lori DeKleine's family believes the Holland police department should have done more to recognize that one of their own officers was losing control. They believe DeKleine was protected by the "blue wall," although Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff has always said DeKleine showed no outward signs of trouble. Her sister's death has motivated Ticknor to become involved with the Michigan Officer-involved Domestic Violence group and try to spread the word about how women can get help in abusive homes. "Lori would be proud of us for having someone else learn from her situation," Ticknor said. "She would want someone's life to be saved."... [Full article here]

HOLLAND POLICE CLAIM TO HAVE MADE CHANGES TO SUPPORT OFFICERS AFTER OFFICER DEKLEINE MURDERED LORI - BUT I DON'T SEE THE BIG AHA. DO YOU?


...[Lori's dad, Paul] Meulman voiced disappointment with the police department where Ken DeKleine worked. “I have wondered why the Holland police were not more effective in protecting Lori”... Several Holland officers testified during the trial in July that Ken DeKleine seemed obsessed with his troubled marriage. He framed his wife as emotionally unstable...

DEKLEINE SENTENCED TO LIFE FOR KILLING WIFE
The Holland Sentinel
By Megan Schmidt
Aug 25, 2008
...Ken DeKleine gave no statement Monday, but smiled and winked at family in the room. As he stood facing his wife’s family in the courtroom, Lori DeKleine’s father Paul Meulman said the abuse Lori endured in her marriage was something she kept private. “Her stories about Ken’s abuse of her were told to only a small group of people. I was included in that small group of people,” Meulman said. Meanwhile, Meulman said, “Ken deceived and manipulated many people with his side of the story.” Meulman voiced disappointment with the police department where Ken DeKleine worked. “I have wondered why the Holland police were not more effective in protecting Lori,” he said. Several Holland officers testified during the trial in July that Ken DeKleine seemed obsessed with his troubled marriage. He framed his wife as emotionally unstable to anyone who would listen... After giving the sentence, Judge Calvin Bosman said it was a mystery that Ken DeKleine plotted the murder for a year, never considering handling his issues with Lori DeKleine in another way... [Full article here]

GROUP AIMS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF OFFICER-INVOLVED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The Holland Sentinel
By Andrea Goodell
Posted Aug 16, 2008 @ 11:51 PM
* [Excerpts] Holland, MI — While experts tend to agree domestic violence is more common among police and military families, hard numbers are elusive, said Charisse Smith Mitchell executive director of Center for Women in Transition in Holland Township... “One of the first places you would naturally want to turn is law enforcement, but if the abuser is part of that system, you might not feel safe doing so,” she said. “Police have a great deal of credibility and access to things civilians don’t usually have.” Laura Spars grew up with Pam Aukerman Brainard. They learned how to ride bicycles together... Nov. 4, 2007, Plainwell police officer and Ostego fireman Kevin Brainard shot and killed his wife [Pam Brainard] of 14 months before committing suicide... Spars, Pam Brainard’s sister, and others formed Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence (michiganoidv.blogspot.com), a Web site and advocacy group. Members often attend court with victims. “When these women have someone there to support them, people take them more seriously,” Spars said. The group is also in the middle of a petition drive for two laws. One would raise awareness of officer-involved domestic violence. The second would require a statewide program to prevent it... No current Holland police officers have domestic violence complaints or personal protection orders on their records, [Holland Police Capt. Jack] Dykstra said. “There are so many exceptional police officers that provide such a wonderful service that no one wants to paint a picture that they can’t be trusted,” Mitchell said. “We are quite lucky and happy that we have such a strong relationship with law enforcement... They take domestic violence as seriously as we do.” [Full article here]

I NEVER WAS ABLE TO POST WHEN DEKLEINE WAS FOUND GUILTY BECAUSE I WAS TOO ANGRY, WATCHING THIS STORY PROCEED WITH NO ONE - IN THE MEDIA AT LEAST - POINTING OUT SOME ACCOUNTABILITY FOR LORI'S MURDER. BLAME? NO, I'M NOT LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO BLAME - BUT IF THE COPS KNEW DEKLEINE WAS BEING BIZARRE, AND THE DV SERVICE WASN'T OPENING IT'S ARMS TO LORI, AND THE POLICE CHIEF WAS BAMBOOZLED - AND HE WAS - INTO BELIEVING KEN DEKLEINE'S LIES ABOUT LORI AND KNOWINGLY NOT ENFORCING LORI'S PROTECTION ORDER, THEN WHAT'S LEFT FOR LORI? THE CHURCH? IF THE WALLS COULD TALK! LORI'S MURDER BEGS FOR A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT IN BEHALF OF THE CHILDREN, TO FLUSH ALL THE TRUTHS INTO THE OPEN THAT CAN BE OBTAINED NO OTHER WAY, AND OUT OF THOSE TRUTHS MAYBE REAL CHANGE COULD BEGIN.

NO MEDIA FOLKS TOOK ON WHY THE DIRECTOR OF THE DV AGENCY AND THE POLICE CHIEF OF HOLLAND REALLY BOTH DECIDED TO MOVE ON TO OTHER JOBS. NO DIGGING, NO DIRT. WE HAD THE SAME EXODUS HERE IN TACOMA WHEN OUR CHIEF SHOT HIS WIFE AND HIMSELF. AS SOON AS THEY WERE BURIED PEOPLE WERE ABSCOUNDING.

KNOWING WHAT I'VE HEARD HAPPENED AND DIDN'T HAPPEN, AND RECALLING THE INITIAL ACCIDENTAL REVELATIONS FROM THE CHIEF, I CAN ONLY READ THIS AND WONDER WHERE THE VICTIMS OF OFFICER-INVOLVED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN TURN IN HOLLAND:

"“We are quite lucky and happy that we have such a strong relationship with law enforcement... They take domestic violence as seriously as we do.”

-- Charisse Smith Mitchell Executive Director of Center for Women in Transition in Holland Township

MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT IS FOR WOMEN LIKE LORI TO FIND HELP. I THANK GOD FOR RENEE HARRINGTON IN MICHIGAN WHO IS WHOLE-HEARTEDLY DEDICATED TO THE OIDV VICTIMS THERE - AND WHO HAS BEEN JOINED BY THE DETERMINED AND LOVING SISTERS OF BOTH SLAIN PAM AND LORI.

RELATED WEBSITES:


PREVIOUS ENTRIES THAT INCLUDE SLAIN LORI AND PAM:

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

Monday, August 25, 2008

[NH] DANgerous fired Trooper Conrad could get his job back?

...Meanwhile, city prosecutor Tracy Connolly dismissed a fourth charge of criminal threatening... Connolly said she could not say why she dropped the charge... [Kelly Westgate, an administrative employee with state police] testified that the incident at headquarters between Conrad and the supervisors concerned her enough that she rounded up other office staff and retreated to an empty office for safety reasons... It was unclear yesterday whether the acquittal will allow Conrad to return to police work...

I don't know - can he get his job back? I can at least see him suing now. But jumping ahead to that question steps right over the immediate question - what the hell did that court, judge, and prosecutor just pull off - in plain view?

Previous posts:
Former trooper acquitted of threatening, other charges
Judge found insufficent evidence to convict him

Concord Monitor, NH
By ANNMARIE TIMMINS
Monitor staff
August 15, 2008
[Excerpts from a long article] A Concord District Court judge acquitted former state police trooper James Conrad of charges he resisted detention and placed a threatening call to his wife during divorce proceedings in 2007. Conrad was arrested in November 2007 by the Concord police after an altercation with his supervisors at state police headquarters. Judge Gerard Boyle ruled yesterday afternoon that the city prosecutor's office failed to prove that Conrad, a 14-year veteran of the state police, had knowingly or purposely committed the offenses... "The evidence presented at both the (April) hearing on the motion to suppress and during trial on the merits was overwhelming that the accused was suffering on the day in question from extreme emotional distress and was incapable of forming the requisite (state of mind)"... Boyle also acquitted Conrad of a disorderly conduct charge for the same reasons... Meanwhile, city prosecutor Tracy Connolly dismissed a fourth charge of criminal threatening that alleged Conrad said during his arrest that he was going to take a Concord officer's gun and "shoot him and everyone in the room." Connolly said she could not say why she dropped the charge... Conrad was fired from the state police in March, and in April appealed his termination with the state Personnel Appeals Board. If he is reinstated within nine months of his filing, he would be eligible for full retirement... It was unclear yesterday whether the acquittal will allow Conrad to return to police work. Conrad had been under internal investigation by the state police for nearly a month when he was arrested by the Concord police in late 2007. The internal investigation and the arrest both stemmed from marital disputes between Conrad and his estranged wife... Conrad reported his wife missing in September 2007... Conrad went searching for his wife and was seen speeding through Meredith as he passed cars with his SUV's flashers going... Conrad refused to stop for a Meredith police officer, the records said... When the Meredith officer arrived behind Conrad, Conrad said, "I'm a f------ trooper," according to the court records... Conrad asked a trooper from the Troop E barracks in West Ossipee to bring in a police dog to search for his wife... Conrad permitted the police to unlock his wife's vehicle and arranged to have it towed, the records said. Using the state police dog, another trooper determined that Laura Conrad had parked her vehicle and left in another vehicle... Laura Conrad filed for divorce several days later... Conrad was at the state police headquarters in Concord answering questions about the internal investigation on Nov. 28 when he became very agitated, according to court records. He told his supervisors that he believed his marriage, career and life were over. He punched a steel door, injuring his hand, and accused supervisors of siding with his wife at his expense, the records said. He did not respond to supervisors' efforts to calm him down and offered his resignation. Supervisors refused to accept it because of Conrad's state of mind, the court records said. They also told him he could not leave the office and physically restrained him when he tried, the records said. At one point, Conrad called his wife and told her, "I hate you, you ruined my life, you f------ bitch, you had to call, you ruined my life," the records said. The state police eventually asked the Concord police to respond to headquarters and take over the matter. The Concord police charged Conrad on several offenses. They alleged he violated the divorce decree by placing a harassing and intimidating call to his wife. They charged him with disorderly conduct for allegedly creating a loud outburst inside the office that alarmed others. A criminal threatening charge alleged he had taken the Concord officer's gun and threatened violence with it. And the resisting arrest charge accused Conrad of struggling against supervisors when they tried to detain him prior to the Concord police's arrival... Yesterday, Connolly called two witnesses to testify. Laura Conrad, who remains separated from Conrad, and Kelly Westgate, an administrative employee with state police who witnessed some of Conrad's behavior before he was arrested last year. Laura Conrad, who was reluctant to testify and did so only because she had been subpoenaed, testified that she reported her estranged husband's call to the state police because she feared for her husband's well-being, not her own safety. Westgate testified that the incident at headquarters between Conrad and the supervisors concerned her enough that she rounded up other office staff and retreated to an empty office for safety reasons... Connolly did not call the state police supervisors who were with Conrad at headquarters the day of his arrest...
http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/20080815/FRONTPAGE/808150302

[TN] Fired 911 Official, Norwood, threatens to kill wife and himself

...“Upon speaking with the subject he advised officers that he was having thoughts of homicide and suicide”... Norwood was taken for a mental evaluation and has a charge of aggravated domestic assault pending for threatening his wife...

Fired Hamilton County 911 Administrator Threatens Murder-Suicide

WDEF News 12, TN -
August 22, 2008
The former administrator of Hamilton County's 911 center has charges pending against him after making suicidal and homicidal threats Thursday night. East Ridge police responded to 420 Cedar Glen Circle about 7:15. They found 52-year-old Dennis Norwood sitting in a vehicle in the driveway. They ordered him out of the car and then found a 40-caliber handgun inside. Norwood told the officers he was having thoughts of homicide and suicide. He was fired earlier this week from his job at the 911 center. He also formerly guided the Chattanooga police records department. Norwood was taken for a mental evaluation and has a charge of aggravated domestic assault pending for threatening his wife. [Link]

Police say fired official makes suicidal, homicidal threats
Chattanooga Times Free Press, TN
By: Adam Crisp
Aug. 21, 2008
East Ridge Police intervened Thursday evening after a recently-fired Hamilton County 911 Center official reportedly made suicidal and homicidal threats, according to a news release from the East Ridge Police Department. Dennis Norwood, 52, was reportedly inside his vehicle outside a home in the 400 block of Cedar Glen Circle, said Officer Erik Hopkins in a news release. Police responded because of reports that Mr. Norwood was threatening to harm himself and others. Officers ordered him out of the vehicle and Mr. Norwood complied, Officer Hopkins wrote. After a search of the vehicle police confiscated a .40-caliber handgun. "Upon speaking with the subject he advised officers that he was having thoughts of homicide and suicide," Officer Hopkins wrote. "Officers transported the subject … to Park Ridge East for a medical evaluation." The investigation into the incident is ongoing. A charge of aggravated domestic assault is pending, he said. A day earlier, 911 officials confirmed Mr. Norwood was asked to resign from his job as manager of operations. He had only been on the job since February. He was in charge of dispatchers and call takers and was hired to help transition the unification of 911 services in November of this year. Don Allen, chairman of the 911 board, declined to say why Mr. Norwood was asked to resign. Mr. Norwood said at the time that there were unspecified differences of opinion. "Things weren't going as I thought they should be going," he said. Prior to taking the job at 911, Mr. Norwood worked at the Chattanooga Police Department. [Link]

Sunday, August 24, 2008

[LA] Fire Captain Young shoots Darlene & Marissa, then kills himself

Excerpts from 4 recent articles:

Investigators are hoping the two women recovering from gunshot wounds [Young's estranged wife, Darlene Young & Marissa Jasamine] will help them figure out why a veteran fire fighter shot them and then killed himself...

The shooter was identified as Louis Young, 52. Young was a fire captain who had been with the Baton Rouge Fire Department for more than 20 years...

...According to neighbors, one of the women met Young at the door, but when she saw he was carrying two handguns and a samurai sword, she tried to bar the door. Young shot her in the head... The second victim barricaded herself in the bathroom but Young apparently fired multiple times through the door, striking her in the chest and head... Multiple bullet holes were found in almost every room. A third woman living at the home was able to grab her 16-month-old child and flee...

...The house was being rented out by Darlene Young’s sister-in-law... The sister-in-law is believed to be the woman who escaped with the child in her arms...

...[St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Jimmy] Darbonne said they could not disclose which victim received the gunshot wound to the mouth and which received the wound to the head...

..."He [Young] was going to come and bring her divorce papers and when he got to the house he had two guns and a sword around his neck"...

...Meantime, fellow firefighters in Baton Rouge are shocked and say they didn't see this coming...

Sources:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

[CA] The gun that killed Sgt's wife, Janet Kovacich, may have been located

...Janet Kovacich was reported missing Sept. 9, 1982... [Placer County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul] Kovacich had initially been given time to look for his wife before police became involved three days after her disappearance...

..."All we were told was that a sergeant may have killed his wife 25 years ago... If it killed a person, we don't want it anymore... It's got bad karma"...

...[2006] The test identified the skull fragment as Janet Kovacich's. The county coroner also determined a hole was caused by a gunshot...


Previous entries:
- [CA] Janet Kovacich, a deputy's wife, disappeared.
- [CA] Kidnap added to murder-of-Janet Kovacich charge
- [CA] Justice for slain deputy's wife Janet Kovacich delayed again

Kovacich murder case: Investigators recover gun that owner believes could be key murder trial evidence
Lincoln News Messenger, CA
Possible link to unsolved 1982 killing of Auburn woman
By Gus Thomson gust@goldcountrymedia.com
Aug 21, 2008
[Excerpts] It may not be smoking. But investigators have located a gun that could have killed Auburn's Janet Kovacich 26 years ago - and it might play a key role in her husband's upcoming murder trial. Lincoln residents Craig and Nancy DeLoach gave a .44 caliber pistol to a Placer County Sheriff's Department investigator on Monday. "All we were told was that a sergeant may have killed his wife 25 years ago,' Nancy DeLoach said Tuesday. The couple was also told that the stainless-steel handgun had initially belonged to the suspect and then been given or sold to a law enforcement officer. A friend of Craig DeLoach's was given the gun by the second owner - an officer, identified as a captain - as payment for work he had done. When the friend moved from the area, the friend gave Craig the gun as a keepsake, Nancy DeLoach said. "If it killed a person, we don't want it anymore," Nancy DeLoach said. "It's got bad karma." What exactly law enforcement will do with the weapon and how it will affect the upcoming murder trial in Placer County superior court of former sheriff's Sgt. Paul Kovacich would be conjecture. A gag order has been put in place, preventing anyone involved with court proceedings from discussing the case or evidence... DeLoach said it's likely the gun they have is the gun the Sheriff's Department wants in its investigation of the death of Janet Kovacich 26 years ago. "By the way the guy was acting, it probably is," DeLoach said. Janet Kovacich was reported missing Sept. 9, 1982. She and Paul Kovacich lived in the Skyridge subdivision in South Auburn... Paul Kovacich had initially been given time to look for his wife before police became involved three days after her disappearance. The Auburn Police investigation was never closed and after a murder indictment was handed down by a Placer County grand jury, Paul Kovacich was arrested Sept. 5, 2006. The gun's surfacing wasn't the first time a new piece of potentially important evidence has turned up - even more than two decades after Janet Kovacich disappeared. A section of skull recovered in 1995 from Rollins Lake, near Colfax, underwent a DNA test two years ago. The test identified the skull fragment as Janet Kovacich's. The county coroner also determined a hole was caused by a gunshot, although defense attorney's argue that it can't be a certainty. Kovacich awaits trial on a murder charge with an enhancement of using a firearm to commit the murder... [Full article here]