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News Scan

1991 'Batgirl' Murderer Due a Parole Hearing:  Michelle Cummiskey (dubbed "Batgirl"), sentenced to 25 years to life in prison plus one additional year for extreme violence for the 1991 slaying of Sacramento man Philip Inhofer, is due for a parole hearing this month.  Cummiskey, a former prostitute at the Mustang Ranch brothel outside Reno, stabbed Inhofer 32 times, bludgeoned him with a blunt object, stuffed his body into the closet of his mobile home, and stole his Mercedes.  Investigators gave Cumminskey the nickname "Batgirl" because of a tattoo of bats on her arm and a tattoo of a vampire bite with blood droplets on her neck.  Cummiskey's parole hearing will be held on March 10 at the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, California.  Bill Enfield of the Sacramento Bee has this story.

Police Body Cameras Prove to be Effective in Minnesota:  Caroline Lowe of CBS Minnesota has this story on the Burnsville Police Department in Minnesota,  the first law enforcement agency in the state to utilize body cameras.  The officers like the video tool, typically worn on their hat or headband, claiming it helps capture a better image of what is going on when they are out on the streets.  Officers also say the technology has helped clear allegations of police misconduct within minutes, instead of several weeks.  According to Officer Shaun Anselment, "We are able to get the true emotions at the scene.  We are able to see what officers did, what suspects did."  Since the department started using body cameras, they no longer use the more expensive dash cams. Several other Minnesota police agencies, including the Minnesota State Patrol, and the Burnsville Fire Department are looking to get their crews equipped with the cameras. 

Parole Denied for Sirhan Sirhan:
  In follow up of yesterday's post, Robert F. Kennedy's assassin was denied parole Wednesday.  The California panel's decision was based on Sirhan's failure to understand the "magnitude" of his crimes.  Commissioner Mike Prizmich of the California Board of Parole Hearings noted Sirhan failed to participate in self-help programs and demonstrated immature behavior.  The parole board was also disturbed by Sirhan's mischaracterization of the injuries of the five other people he shot 1968 as "flesh wounds," when in fact they were much more serious.  Wednesday marked Sirhan's 14th parole hearing.  He will be eligible for parole again in five years.  Michael Martinez of CNN has this story.

Judge Overrides Jury Recommendation and Sentences Murderer to Death:   An Alabama judge yesterday overruled a unanimous jury recommendation of life without parole, instead imposing a sentence of death for convicted murderer Courtney Lockhart, reports Bob Johnson of the AP.  Lockhart was convicted last year of killing Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk, whom he abducted at gunpoint, forced to disrobe, and shot in the back as she tried to escape his car.  While imposing the sentence, Judge Walker noted that Lockhart had been suspected in five robberies in Alabama around the time of the murder, but that jurors had not heard this evidence during trial.

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