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American Man Confesses to Brutal Murder in Indonesia: Police in Indonesia have announced that a Chicago man has confessed to murdering his girlfriend's mother in a Bali hotel while the three of them were there on vacation last month.  BJ Lutz of NBC Chicago reports that 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer and his 19-year-old girlfriend were arrested in Bali after hotel employees found the body of the woman's mother in a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi.  Both Schaefer and his girlfriend have been charged with murder, and if found guilty, face a possible death sentence.

New York Man Charged in Violent Weekend Homicide: A New York man with a lengthy criminal past has been arrested and charged with the stabbing death of his wife.  Tina Moore of the New York Daily News reports that 56-year-old Martin Migliozzi, who has several prior arrests for drug possession, stabbed his wife multiple times with a pair of scissors Sunday afternoon in what authorities believe may have been a dispute over drugs.  Migliozzi is facing charges of murder, manslaughter, and criminal possession of a weapon.

Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty in Pregnant Woman's Murder: Prosecutors in Somerset, Pennsylvania have announced plans to seek the death penalty against a man who allegedly killed his pregnant girlfriend and her baby.  The Associated Press reports that 25-year-old Denver Blough shot his girlfriend, who was 8 ½ months pregnant, in their apartment on May 31.  The baby was delivered by Caesarean section right before the woman died, but the baby was pronounced dead a few weeks later due to complications from the shooting.  Blough remains in custody on two counts of criminal homicide and other charges related to the shooting.

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Convicted Felon Murders his Six Grandchildren: A Florida man who spent time in prison a decade ago for the accidental shooting death of his son killed his six grandchildren, his adult daughter, and himself Thursday afternoon in a gruesome murder-suicide.  Corinne Lestch of the New York Daily News reports that 51-year-old Don Spirit had a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1990. He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2003 for being a felon in possession of a gun when he accidentally shot his 8-year-old son during a camping trip.  Spirit called an emergency dispatcher yesterday to warn police that he may harm himself or others, but when the authorities arrived, he had already killed his six family members and himself.

Execution Date set for Convicted Killer: The Missouri Supreme Court has set an execution date for a man convicted of murdering a mother and her two children more than a decade ago.  Jeff Phillips of KSPR News reports that Mark Christeson killed the woman and her children after she refused his sexual advances. His co-defendant in the case agreed to testify against him and was given a life sentence in exchange for prosecutors dropping the death penalty.  Christeson is scheduled to be put to death October 29. If the execution is carried out as planned, he will become the ninth death row inmate executed in Missouri this year. 

Murder Rate on the Rise in South Africa: Authorities in South Africa are reporting that 17,000 murders took place between March 2013 and March 2014, resulting in a 5% increase over the previous year.  Christopher Torchia of the Associated Press reports that along with the increase in murders, South Africa is also experiencing an increase in home robberies and carjackings as well.  Police say it has been hard to control the escalating murder rate because in most cases, the victim and the murderer know one another.

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Crime Rate on the Rise in Seattle: Statistics released by the Seattle Police Department show that crime is on the rise, prompting the city to increase the number of police officers patrolling the streets.  Tom Yazwinski of Fox 13 reports that compared to 2013, crime is up 13% across the city of Seattle, including a 21% increase in homicides and a 44% increase in motor vehicle thefts.  Authorities haven't revealed a possible explanation for the uptick in crime, but are hopeful that an increase in police presence will yield a positive result.

Jury Recommends Death Penalty for Convicted Killer: An Ohio jury has recommended that David Martin, who was convicted of capital murder last week, be sentenced to death for his crime.  Sade Hurst of WKBN News reports that Martin was found guilty of robbing, kidnapping, and killing 21-year-old Jeremy Cole and shooting a 25-year-old woman in her home in 2012.  The judge presiding over the case has the final say on sentencing, and is expected to announce his decision next week.

Couple Convicted of Craigslist Murder Sentenced to Life: A newlywed couple who admitted to murdering a man they met through Craigslist 'because they felt like it' has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  John Beauge of Penn Live reports that the young couple agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for avoiding a possible death sentence.  In addition to the murder charge, the pair also plead guilty to charges of aggravated assault, robbery, and possession of an instrument of crime.

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Jury Recommends Death Penalty in Triple Homicide: A Los Angeles, CA jury has recommended that a 37-year-old man convicted of murdering three people in 2009 be sentenced to death for his crimes.  The City News Service reports that in addition the first-degree murder convictions, Robert Louis Caballero was also found guilty on two counts of kidnapping, one county of firearm possession by a felon, and evading police.  Caballero's two co-defendants have also been convicted of first-degree murder and are awaiting sentencing. 

Arrest Made in Decades-Old Cold Case Murder: Authorities in Ohio have arrested the man they believe is responsible for the 1981 killing of a police officer.  Frazier Smith of WHIO News reports that 63-year-old Mitchell Ruble, who was also a police officer, killed the deputy at his home after he was terminated from the department for using excessive force while on duty.  Ruble is currently in county jail without bond.  

Convicted Murderer Sentenced to Death: A Louisiana man who escaped from prison and murdered a Florida college student while on the run has been sentenced to death.  CBS News reports that 43-year-old Kentrell Feronti Johnson, along with two other men, escaped from a Louisiana prison facility and fled to Florida where they kidnapped a graduate student and beat him to death, leaving his body in an open field.  One of Johnson's co-defendants has also been sentenced to death for the crime while the other plead guilty to all charges in exchange for a life sentence.

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Texas to Execute Murderer: A Texas woman convicted of murdering her girlfriend's 9-year-old son is scheduled to be executed Wednesday after spending eight years on death row.  Mitch Mitchell of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the young boy had been abused for several years and at the time of his death, he weighed only 35 pounds and had more than 250 scars on his body.  If the execution is carried out as scheduled, 38-year-old Lisa Ann Coleman will become the ninth person executed by the state of Texas this year.

Illinois Man Found Guilty of Killing Teen: A Chicago man has been found guilty of murder in the stabbing death of a 14-year-old girl in 2011.  CBS Chicago reports that John Wilson Jr., who was out on parole at the time of the murder, stabbed the girl multiple times and left her for dead after she discovered him burglarizing her family's home.  Wilson was convicted in 2002 for robbery and sentenced to 11 years behind bars.  He only served eight years of his sentence and was released on parole. 

Death Row Inmate asks for Stay of Execution: A Pennsylvania man convicted of murdering three people and sentenced to death has asked a federal judge for a stay of execution.  Brian Bowling of Trib Live News reports that 34-year-old Miguel Padilla, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, murdered three people at a night club in 2006 after his friend was denied admittance.  Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed Padilla's death certificate earlier this week after he exhausted all of his state appeals.

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Convicted Murderer to be Released: An Arizona man sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder will soon be released after serving only 44 years.  Kelsey Hess of The Republic reports that 62-year-old Ray Chatman was convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery when he was 17-years-old.  He was originally sentenced to death for the crime, but three years later   a court reduced his sentence to life without the possibility of parole.  Recently a judge agreed to vacate his original conviction in exchange for him pleading guilty to second-degree murder, making him eligible for release.  

Murderer Pleads Guilty to Avoid Death Penalty: A Florida man has agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder and spend the rest of his life behind bars in order to avoid a possible death sentence.  Daphne Duret of The Palm Beach Post reports that 58-year-old Serge Motti had arranged to meet with the victim for a drug deal, but at the meeting Motti murdered the man and then ran his girlfriend over multiple times before shooting her as well.  Motti was convicted of murder in New York in 1979, but was  paroled and relocated to Florida.   

CA Bill Aimed at First Time Offenders: A California bill awaiting approval from Governor Brown would allow first time offenders convicted of misdemeanors to have their criminal record wiped clean if they agree to plead guilty or no contest to certain crimes. K. Puenta of the Los Angeles Register reports that Assembly Bill 2124 would allow judges to defer sentencing for individuals found guilty of certain 'non-serious' offenses, and if certain conditions are met, the offense would be wiped from the record within a year.  The governor has until the end of the month to either veto the bill or sign it into law.  Governor Brown vetoed a similar bill last year.

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Illegal Immigrant Arrested After Brutal Attack: Authorities in Pennsylvania have arrested an illegal immigrant after he allegedly stabbed a woman multiple times in a violent attack.  Jeffrey A. Johnson of The Patriot-News reports that 37-year-old Baldomero Velasco-Lopez stabbed the woman three times in the back with a large kitchen knife and left her on the sidewalk in front of her home while her children were asleep inside.  Velasco-Lopez has been charged with attempted criminal homicide and aggravated assault, he has been denied bond and remains behind bars.  

Florida High Court Upholds Death Sentence: The Florida Supreme Court has ruled in favor of upholding the death sentence for a man convicted of kidnapping and murdering an 11-year-old girl a decade ago.  Lloyd Dunkelberger of the Herald-Tribune reports that attorneys for Joseph Smith appealed his sentence based on the claim that their client should have been allowed to interview jurors about any misconduct that may have happened during his trial.  This is the second time Smith's death sentence has been upheld by the state's high court.

Convicted Killer Charged with Murder: An Indiana man on parole for killing his girlfriend and shooting her mother has been arrested and charged with murder.  Erica Coghill of WLKY News reports that Joseph Oberhansley was arrested after authorities discovered a woman's body in the home he had been living in during a welfare check.  Oberhansley was on parole in Utah for the murder of his girlfriend in 1998 and has a lengthy criminal past, he is being held in county jail without bond.  

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Convicted Killer Sentenced to Life: An Iowa man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being found guilty of murdering his pregnant wife in May 2012.  The Associated Press reports that in addition to the life sentence, 23-year-old Seth Techel was sentenced to an additional 25 years for the 'nonconsensual termination of a human pregnancy.'  Life without parole is the strongest sentence available in Iowa.  The state abolished the death penalty in 1965.

Police Make Arrest in Cold Case Killing: Police in Idaho have arrested a man believed to be responsible for the murder of a 25-year-old woman more than a decade ago.  Michael H. O'Donnell of the Idaho State Journal reports that 39-year-old Brad Compher has been charged with first-degree murder after fingerprint evidence collected from the crime scene linked him to the murder.  If found guilty, Compher faces life in prison or a possible death sentence.

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Cop Killer Eligible for Parole: A North Carolina man sentenced to life in 1982 for murdering a police officer may be released from prison in as little as two months if the state's parole board decides that he is no longer a threat to public safety.  WRAL News reports that 64-year-old Bobby Smith shot the officer twice in the head as he was responding to a disturbance call.  Smith plead guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.  The officer's family along with the state Attorney General have asked the parole board not to release Smith. A decision is expected to be made in the coming weeks.

FL to Seek Death Penalty for Triple-Murder Suspect: Prosecutors in Panama City, Florida have announced plans to seek the death penalty against triple-homicide suspect Derrick Thompson.  Zack McDonald of the News Herald reports that Thompson is believed to have killed three people in July, including a former Sheriff's Officer.  Thompson allegedly confessed to all three murders upon his arrest, but recently plead not guilty to all charges.  A trial date has not been set. 

Charges Filed in Cold Case Murder: A Texas man has been identified as the main suspect in a murder that took place more than two decades ago.  KCBD News reports that authorities believe 44-year-old Joseph Jeffrey is responsible for the beating death of a man in February 1991.  Jeffrey has a lengthy criminal background and has faced several serious charges in the past including assault and driving under the influence.

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Missouri and Texas Prepare to Execute Convicted Killers: Two men, one from Missouri and the other from Texas, are scheduled to be executed Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., respectively, after many years on death row.  Jim Salter and Michael Graczyk of the Associated Press report that Earl Ringo Jr. from Missouri was sentenced to death in 1998 for murdering two people during a robbery attempt.  Texas inmate Willie Trottie, also a convicted double-murderer, was sentenced to die more than 20 years ago.  The executions will be the eighth in each state so far in 2014. 

Realignment Costing Counties Millions: California counties have been left to deal with millions of dollars worth of  health care costs for inmates under Governor Brown's Realignment plan, which shifted thousands of inmates from state prisons to county jails in 2011.  Tim Lantz of KFBF reports that the state's 10 largest counties reportedly spent $560 million for medical and psychological care for inmates in the last fiscal year, resulting in a 16% increase since Realignment went into effect three years ago.  State officials are working on a plan to allow counties to enroll inmates in the Affordable Care Act in order to reduce the overwhelming health care costs.    

Convicted Killer Sentenced to Life Behind Bars: A Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the beating death and robbery of a man more than eight years ago.  KTRK News reports that after being found guilty, 36-year-old Luis Rodriguez was given an automatic life sentence because the state elected not to pursue the death penalty in his case.  One of Rodriguez's co-defendants is already serving a 15-year sentence for the crime while another suspect is still at large.

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Ohio Schedules Execution Dates: The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has set execution dates for several convicted killers.  To date six murderers will be executed in 2015 with five more carried out 2016.  Alan Johnson of the Columbus Dispatch reports that the state was forced to revise its execution schedule after a federal judge postponed executions in September, October, and November in order to address a dispute over lethal-injection procedures.  The last murderer executed in Ohio was Dennis McGuire on January 16, 2014.

Victim's Family Outraged Over Trial Delays: A California family is frustrated by trial delays for the man accused of killing their son more than four years ago.  Jeremiah Dobruck of the Los Angeles Times reports that the accused killer, Daniel Wozniak, allegedly confessed to killing Sam Herr and his college tutor in 2010, but the trail has been delayed several times for several reasons including the defense attorney's heavy workload and requests to postpone court proceedings.  It is believed that Wozniak killed Herr in order steal a large amount of money from his savings account.  

Bill to Increase Punishment for Overdose Deaths: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced plans to support a bill to increase penalties for drug dealers found guilty of contributing to overdose deaths.  The Associated Press reports that the legislation calls for sentencing dealers to life with parole after serving 25 years for adult overdose victims and life with parole after 30 years for juvenile victims.  The Governor believes the bill will deter drug dealers and help combat the state's opiate addiction crisis. 

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Convicted Child Killer Sentenced to Life Behind Bars: A Texas man convicted of raping and murdering a six-year-old girl last year has been sentenced to life in prison plus forty years after pleading guilty to the killing. Arezow Doost of CBS Dallas Fort Worth reports that in addition to the murder charge, 18-year-old Tyler Holder also pled guilty to arson and attempted capital murder for shooting a police officer the day of his arrest.  Holder will serve at least 50 years of his sentence before he will be eligible for parole. 

Florida High Court Upholds Death Sentence: The Florida Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for a man convicted of murdering two people within hours of each other.  Andrew Pantazi of The Florida Times-Union reports that Billy Sheppard Jr. shot and killed two people in separate car jacking attempts in the summer of 2008.  Sheppard challenged his death sentence based on the claim that the prosecution used hearsay during trial and that the jury was biased

Convicted Felon Charged in Triple-Homicide: A Missouri man with a lengthy criminal record is behind bars once again after authorities say he shot and killed three people and assaulted two others leaving them critically wounded.  CBS News reports that police believe 34-year-old Brandon Howell, a convicted felon, drove down a quiet neighborhood street Tuesday afternoon and began shooting at anyone standing outside.  Howell was paroled in 2011 after serving time for a home invasion conviction, he is currently being held in county jail without bond. 

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Inmate Population Rising Under Realignment: The number of inmates being sent to California prisons is on the rise despite three years under Governor Brown's Realignment law was enacted to reduce prison overcrowding.  Don Thompson of the Associated Press reports that there has been a record-setting increase in the number of second convictions for serious and violent crimes resulting in more criminals being sentenced  state prison. The state's current prison population is at 133,000, and is expected to increase to 143,000 by 2019.

Federal Judge Denies Stay of Execution: A federal judge has denied a motion to stay the execution of a Missouri man convicted of murdering two people more than a decade ago.  Alan Burdziak of the Columbia Daily Tribune reports that attorneys for Earl Ringo challenged his sentence and asked the judge to reopen his case.  The attorneys claim that they were not given enough time to plan a proper defense after his original lawyer was removed from the case.  Ringo is scheduled to be executed on September 10.   

Suspected Cop Killer Recently Released on Parole: The New York man believed to be responsible for Wednesday's fatal shooting of a police officer was released from prison and placed on parole only a few weeks ago.  The Associated Press reports that Thomas Johnson III shot the officer after a brief pursuit in Rochester Wednesday evening.  It was the first time since 1959 that an officer from that department was killed in the line of duty.  Johnson was released from prison in August after serving a year behind bars for a parole violation.

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Serial Killer Convicted in Cold Case Murders: An elderly California man is facing a possible life sentence after being found guilty of murdering three Los Angeles women in the 1980's.  Jason Kandel of NBC Southern California reports that 74-year-old Samuel Little strangled the three women to death between 1987-1989, and was linked to the murders just two years ago through a positive DNA match.  Little is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

Convicted Killer Granted Parole: An Oregon family is outraged after the man who murdered their teenage daughter more than two decades ago was granted parole.  KOIN 6 News reports that Conrad Engweiler was just 15-years-old at the time of the murder, but was tried as an adult and sentenced to life behind bars with a minimum of 30 years, a sentence which Oregon law didn't allow at the time.  Engweiler is scheduled to be released from prison next month, and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Recently Released Criminal Arrested for Murder: An Arizona man arrested this weekend on suspicion of second-degree murder had been released from prison just hours before the killing.  Agnel Philip of The Republic reports that 22-year-old Ignacio Lomeli had been released from prison Sunday morning after spending two years behind bars on multiple domestic violence charges. Hours later, Lomeli was in police custody telling officers he shot and killed a man out of self defense.  Lomeli is currently being held in county jail on $1 million bond.


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Ohio High Court Upholds Death Sentence: The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for a man convicted of murdering a woman four years ago.  Kathleen Maloney of WKYC News reports that Jeremiah Jackson was convicted of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, and several attempted murder charges and sentenced to death by a three-judge panel after he waived his right to a jury trial.  Jackson was challenging his death sentence based on the claim that the presiding judge in his case exhibited judicial bias and neglected to evaluate his IQ scores.

NY Murder Suspect Released 30 Days Before Attack: The New York man arrested and charged with this weekend's murder of an elderly man during a robbery attempt had been released without bail just 30 days ago after being arrested for a burglary-related felony.  John M. Annese of SLive.com reports that 20-year-old Dante Viggiano broke into an elderly couple's home while they were away celebrating their birthdays.  When they returned, Viggiano stabbed them both multiple times, leaving the husband dead and the wife severely injured.  Viggiano had been released from jail August 2 on his own recognizance for a fourth-degree grand larceny charge and was scheduled to be back in court later this month.  He faces charges including murder, attempted murder, and burglary. 

Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty in Cellmate Murder Case: Authorities in Utah will seek the death penalty for a man accused of murdering his cellmate in April 2013.  Emiley Morgan of KSL News reports that 33-year-old Steven Crutcher strangled his cellmate to death with a bed sheet in what prison officials believe may have been a racially motivated attack.  At the time of the killing, Crutcher was serving a 10-years-to-life prison sentence for kidnapping a correctional officer during an escape attempt.

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