Recently in News Scan Category

News Scan

| No Comments
Mass Murderer Dislikes Confinement:  Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian neo-nazi who murdered 77 people, most of them teenagers at a summer camp, told judges Thursday that his confinement in prison is damaging him.  The Associated Press reports that since 2012, Breivik has been in solitary confinement in a high security prison as he serves a 21-year prison sentence for the 2011 murders.  The murderer is housed in a three room suite with television and video games with coffee and newspapers served to him each morning.  While he is allowed visits from family and friends, nobody has visited since his mother died.  Last year he sued the government arguing that his solitary confinement violated his human rights and an Oslo court accepted his claim.  That holding is now under appellate review.  And US prison inmates think they've got it tough.

Illegal Suspected of Assaulting Child:  Southern California police are searching for an illegal immigrant from El Salvador suspected of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl.  Fox News reports that 30-year-old Rigoberto Arevalo Cubias is suspected of  engaging in sexual intercourse and sodomy of the child in December.  Police believe that Cubias may have a fake California Driver's license.  Cubias also has a $50,000 warrant for his arrest for a 2014 DUI, and uses four different aliases.  According to the San Jose Mercury News, California has issued 800,000 driver's licenses to illegal aliens over the past two years.  Two of the state's largest cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, have designated themselves as "sanctuary cities."

Sex Trafficker Charged With Murder:  After a four-hour standoff on Tuesday, police in Lubbock, Texas arrested Dimitrise Lyghts on sex-trafficking charges.  After Lyghts was taken into custody,. evidence was obtained implicating him in the murder last Sunday of 32-year-old Gabriel Salazar, and the additional charge of murder was filed against him.  NBC11 reports that  police have information connecting Lyghts and three others to the stabbing, shooting and baseball bat murder of Salazer, whose dead body was found at a local inn Sunday morning.  Three suspects have been arrested so far.  Police are still searching for a fourth suspect.

News Scan

| No Comments
Chicago Murder Numbers Higher Than We Thought: The record-setting violence in Chicago last year is even worse than previously believed as new data show that an additional fifty homicides took place in the city. Sean Kennedy at AMI News reports that per the records of the Cook County Medical Examiners office, the city of Chicago reported 812 homicides for the year of 2016. The majority of these homicides in gun-controlled Chicago are gun-related with some 725 of the victims receiving at least one gunshot wound. We see a discrepancy in the numbers due to the fact that the medical examiners office only reports on homicides which is the loss of life of an individual at the hands of another.  This can include killings self defense and police killings of criminal suspects. The city's police agencies count murder as an event where human life is lost in a way that is subject to criminal prosecution.

Roofs Death Penalty Marks Upward Trend: The pending capital case on Dylan Roof for his murder of 9 people in a Charleston church is marking what some are calling a "national departure from the downward trend in capital punishment cases." According to Rick Jervis at USA Today, the overall number of capital cases across the nation has been declining over the past few decades, often attributed to the fortification of capital defense counsel and the growing budgetary concerns that are inherent to capital cases.  In Roof's case, he defended himself, admitted guilt, and alluded to the intention of killing again.  He should be formally sentenced on Wednesday.

Police say BLM Complicates the Job: Police officers throughout the nation believe that the hysteria and controversy surrounding high-profile shootings, such as the Mike Brown and Eric Gardner cases, has made their ability to enforce the law much more difficult.  According to Thomas Tracy at the New York Daily News, nine out of ten police officers say that they are more concerned for their own safety in the current era of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Fully 72% of these officers have reported that they are less wiling to stop a suspicious looking individual for questioning due to the current scrutiny and escalating danger currently associated with policing. The statistics cited in the story were taken from a survey of eight-thousand police officers across the country.

Ft. Lauderdale Shooter a Radical Islamist?:  According to new information, the man who committed a mass shooting in the Fort Lauderdale Airport has been a follower of radical Islam. Judicial Watch reports that the shooter was a Muslim convert who, years before joining the U.S. military, took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda, and recorded Islamic religious music online. Judicial Watch notes that this information is largely unreported in traditional news outlets, although it is mentioned in one ABC story.  That story reports that while the FBI is claiming no evidence of any ties to terrorism, "according to John Cohen, an ABC News consultant and former acting undersecretary for intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security, in these instances, 'investigators aren't asking the right questions.' "

News Scan

| 3 Comments
Cop Killing Suspect Offered Plea Deal:  A member of the notorious prison gang Barrio Azteca, facing trial for killing a Texas police officer, has been offered a plea bargain reducing the murder charge to manslaughter.  Rudy Gutierrez of the El Paso Times reports that John Perry, is charged with intentional murder of a police officer for ramming a motorcycle officer at an El Paso stop light with his car.  Witnesses say that Perry was driving at high speed when he intentionally hit motorcycle officer David Ortiz as the officer waited at the stoplight.   Both vehicles burst into flames.  It took officer Ortiz four days to die from his injuries.  Under the plea deal the capital murder charge would be dropped if Perry pleads to manslaughter.  Due to Perry's previous conviction for stabbing and attempting to beat a man to death with a baseball bat, the normal 20 year prison sentence for manslaughter would increase to 45 years.    

News Scan

| No Comments
Parolee Charged With Violent Crime Spree: A man on parole for gun charges is currently being charged with five robberies over the course of five days. The Chicago Tribune reports that Isaiah Scaife, 19, was arrested on Monday in connection with a string of armed robberies that took place in November of 2016 during which one victim was shot in the face, and another had their vehicle stolen. Scaife is being charged with attempted murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed robbery, aggravated robbery and attempted armed robbery.

Parolee Admits to Shooting at Police from Stolen Car:
Michael Deshaun Hill, a recent parolee, has accepted a 20 year prison sentence on charges of armed robbery and attempted capital murder. According to John Lynch at Arkansas Online, following his parole for a 2013 conviction on charges of unlawful discharge of a firearm, Hill fled from police officers after stealing a vehicle at gunpoint. During the chase, Hill reportedly discharged several shots at the pursuing officers. Hill will serve twelve and a half years of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

California Hires Holder: The Democrat leaders in California's legislature announced that they have retained Eric Holder, the former U.S. Attorney General under President Obama, as their legal representation in any future conflicts with the Trump White House.  Adam Nagourney at the New York Times reports  that Kevin de Le'on, the leader in the senate, believes that this move provides California with firepower in predicted conflicts between California and the Trump White House. In several recent statements California's government and legislative leaders have expressed their intent to oppose policies of the incoming Trump Administration, particularly regarding immigration, sanctuary cities, health care and energy development. 

News Scan

| 1 Comment
BLM Blamed for Chicago Murder Rate:  The former Chicago Police Superintendent told radio listeners Monday that the Black Lives Matter movement shares responsibility for that city's 762 murders of mostly black males in 2016.   Fox news reports that Garry McCarthy, who was fired in 2015 over the Laquan McDonald shooting, said that anti-police protesters have legitimized non-compliance.  "Chicago is probably the worst example of something that has happened across the  country," he said.   A Black Lives Matter leader responded saying that McCarthy bore more responsibility for the increased murders than the protesters. 

Maine's Drug Crisis Worsens:  In addition to an epidemic of heroin and fentanyl deaths last year, drug enforcement officers are also dealing with a sharp increase in methamphetamine labs..  David Sharp of the Associated Press reports that in 2016, twice as many meth labs were discovered than during the previous year.  This as fatal heroin and fentanyl overdoses for the past year set a record, averaging one death per day.  The state's incoming legislature will consider a mountain of bills to address the illegal drug problem.

Parolee Arrested in Cop Shooting:  A suspect was arrested Monday for the New Years day shooting of a police officer in Valley Brook, Oklahoma.  NBC News4 reports that Cory Lee Hartsell was taken into custody for shooting officer Brian Southerland in the leg during a traffic stop on Sunday.  Southerland was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but is now listed as in serious condition after surgery.  At the time of his arrest, Hartsell was on parole for the non-violent offenses of grand larceny and possession of meth.  

Eighth Circuit Upholds Minn. Sex Offender Law:  A panel of judges on the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld Minnesota's controversial sex offender program today, overturning a district court ruling finding it unconstitutional.  The program allows the state to hold sex offenders beyond their sentences in treatment facilities until they are determined to no longer be a threat to public safety.  After 20 years, only one offender has been released unconditionally.   Steve Karnowski of the Associated Press reports that in a lawsuit brought by seven sex offenders, a District Court Judge ruled that the program   "shocked the  conscience" and unconstitutionally violated the defendant's rights.  The Appeals Court decision held that the lower court judge had held the state to an overly high standard and that none of the sex offenders claims rose to the level needed to reach the Supreme Court's "conscience shocking" standard. 


News Scan

| 1 Comment
Last Ditch Efforts Incoming: This Tuesday during the 5 minute recess between the close of the 114th US Congress, and the opening of the 115th, President Obama will have the opportunity to make some last minute appointments to federal judgeships which may include appointing a justice to the supreme court. Stephen Dinan at the Washington Times reports during this five minutes, congress will enter what is known as "intersession recess" which would open the opportunity for Obama to exercise his power to make recess-appointments. Legal scholars are saying that this would be a risky move for POTUS given the 1 year term limit for individuals appointed in such a way.

New Year Shootings: At the dawn of 2017, we see yet another group of shootings in which police officers are left injured in the line of duty. In Oklahoma City, an officer has been shot in the leg and remains in critical condition according to Lorne Fultonburg of KFOR news. Another police officer was shot in Calvert, Texas this Sunday evening while giving a man a ride. ABC 13 Eyewitness news reports that the officer was shot in the back while exiting his patrol vehicle in what is being called a new year's ambush shooting. Luckily this officer was not seriously injured as his flack vest absorbed the bulk of the damage.

ISIS Claims Istanbul Club Shooting: The Islamic state has released an official message taking credit for the massacre that took place in an Istanbul Nightclub on new year's eve, claiming that the shooter was a "heroic soldier of the caliphate". John Hayward at Breitbart news reports The Reina nightclub in Istanbul was attacked by a radical Islamist during a new year's celebration during which 39 people of varying nationalities lost their lives, and 70 were left injured. The radical Islamic group ISIS has officially taken credit for the attack, claiming that it was punishment for the celebration of an "apostate" holiday.

News Scan

| No Comments
Annual "Death Penalty In Decline" Story:  Over the Christmas weekend newspapers across the country published stories reporting that the nation is abandoning capital punishment. This selection is authored by Sam Hananel of the Associated Press. The stories,  Informed by the annual December report from the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), indicate that only 30 people in the U.S. were sentenced to death in 2016, down from 49 last year. DPIC Executive Director Robert Dunham  believes that the drop suggests that the country is going through "a major political climate change" regarding the death penalty. But in states where the death penalty was on the ballot, political efforts to abolish it failed. Nebraska voters chose to reinstate the death penalty by a margin of 61%-39%. Oklahoma voters adopted a measure to protect its death penalty from constitutional challenges by a margin of 88%-34% and in California, voters in the nation's largest and most liberal state voted for the second time in four years to keep the death penalty, with the 2016 initiative to abolish failing by an 8-point margin compared to a 4-point margin for a similar initiative in 2012.

Violence Breaks Out at Shopping Malls: J.J. Gallagher, Joshua Hoyos & Michael Edison Hayden of ABC News report that fights broke out Monday at shopping malls in at least nine states. Police suspect that social media may have contributed in fights at malls in Connecticut, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Texas, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee which resulted in police responses, arrests, and in some cases evacuation of malls.

DC Woman's Body Found: A popular actress and DC area yoga instructor has been found and homicide is suspected. Peter Hermann of the Washington Post reports that Tricia McCauley, 46, went missing on Christmas Day as she was driving to a friend's home for a holiday dinner.  Police later spotted McCauley's car driven by someone else at several locations in the DC area and eventually tracked it to a CVS store.  An unidentified suspect was arrested in the store and later, the woman's body was found in her car.  Police reported that the body had blunt-force trama.  

News Scan

| No Comments
California Supreme Court Stalls Prop 66: The California Supreme court has issued a brief, unexplained order staying the implementation of Proposition 66, which was adopted by state voters on November 8. . As reported by the LA Times, Proposition 66 would change how death penalty appeals are handled, appointing more lawyers to take cases, putting the initial habeas corpus review before trial court judges and setting a five-year deadline for appeals to be heard. Generally speaking, it can take more than 5 years just to have an attorney appointed to a capital appeals case, and the exhaustive process of appeals can span more than 25 years. Opponents of the legislation argue that this proposition would limit the ability to make proper appeals while proponents of the legislation have labeled the suit a frivolous stall tactic.

Sac Sheriff Expedites Concealed Carry Permits: Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, has recently issued a statement regarding his intention to institute a new process which will reduce the amount of time and effort that is required for a citizen to attain a concealed carry permit.  350 in 2010. With Jones's proposed changes, we are sure to see the number of armed citizens in Sacramento County rise in the coming years.

News Scan

| No Comments
More Pardons from President Obama:  The President pardoned 78 criminals and shortened the sentences of another 153 on Monday, which was the most pardons by any President on a single day.  Vera Bergengruen of the Associated Press reports that over his two terms, the President has issued more commutations and pardons that the past 11 presidents combined.  Among the criminals given clemency on Monday were 54 serving life sentences. 

News Scan

| No Comments
Woman Arrested in Connection to Police Shooting: A woman has been taken into custody in connection with last week's shooting of a Tennessee police officer. Juan Buitrago at the Tennessean reports Kathleen Daly, 26, surrendered herself to police Sunday night for her involvement with the shooting of Officer Terrence McBride on December 13th. Officer McBride and his partner were responding to a call about a man with an outstanding warrant who spoke of committing a robbery. While securing the area, Paul Hardesty, a 43-year-old parolee, opened fire and injured the officer. Police say that on arrival, Kathleen Daly provided officers with a fake identity including name, and social security number and stated that she was alone in the room, making her culpable in the shooting.

Obama Refuses to Deport Criminal Illegal Immigrants: Recent reports reveal some shocking numbers regarding the frequency with which criminals who are in this country illegally are flying under the radar under Obama's immigration policy. Warner Todd Huston at Breitbart News reports that recent reports reveal that an estimated 820,000 illegal immigrants in this country are currently avoiding deportation under the policies of the Obama administration regardless of their criminal history. Many of these immigrants have been convicted of serious crimes such as murder, sexual assault, and various drug offenses.

How Trump can end the war on cops:   Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald has this piece in the Wall Street Journal outlining how incoming President Donald Trump can turn around the ongoing assault on police officers inspired by the fake news narrative that white officers are indiscriminately shooting blacks.  First on the to do list is to put an end to the promotion of this thoroughly disproved fiction by the White House and the Department of Justice.  Not a WSJ subscriber?  Goggle "Trump can end the war on cops, Heather MacDonald" and you should get a working link.

News Scan

| 1 Comment
Another Officer Shot: A police officer was shot in the line of duty Thursday night in Mt. Vernon Washington. Michael Setsuda at Fox News reports that a standoff with a suspected gunman Thursday night ended with an officer in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head. The officer was reportedly responding to a call regarding a shooting in Mt. Vernon. According to the Seattle Times, the injured officer remains in critical condition following emergency surgery. Following a prolonged standoff with police, the suspect in the shooting has been apprehended.

Ohio Execution Moratorium Coming to a Close:  Next month, at the top of 2017, Ohio plans to resume executions of inmates that have been siting on death row in the state. Mariel Padilla at Patch reports that the beginning of 2017 will mark the end of Ohio's three-year moratorium on the death penalty initiated after a botched execution in January of 2014.  Twenty-six condemned murderers have received execution dates through to the year 2019.


News Scan

| No Comments
Louisiana Illegal Immigrant Rapist on the Run: One of the two illegal immigrants suspected in an aggravated rape in 2013 is on the run. John Binder of Breitbart News reports that Illegal immigrants from Mexico, Christian Ramirez and Mario Rameriz, were both arrested and charged with aggravated rape of pre-teen girls in the northern Louisiana town of Farmerville in 2013. Rameriz was convicted of the rape and is currently serving his sentence, while Ramirez was turned over to ICE which mistakenly released him. Ramirez's whereabouts are currently unknown although authorities believe he may have fled back to Mexico.

Ohio Murderer's Death Sentence Upheld: The death penalty imposed on an Ohio man convicted of 11 counts of murder was upheld by the state Supreme Court Thursday. As reported by Bill Mears of Fox News, Anthony Sowell, who was convicted of murdering 11 women and hiding their remains on his property was sentenced to die in 2011. Recently, Sowell's counsel brought a motion for retrial on the grounds that a videotaped confession was inadmissible and prejudiced the case. In a 5-2 decision, the Court denied that claim the death sentence was upheld. Sowell's attorneys intend to appeal.

Alabama Inmate Executed Despite Delays:
A man convicted of shooting and killing a convenient store clerk more than two decades ago was executed in Alabama late Thursday night. CBS News reports that Ronald Bert Smith Jr., 45, was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. after a lethal injection at the state prison in southwest Alabama. In a 7-5 decision, the sentencing jury had recommended that the defendant face life in prison, but the presiding judge overrode the recommendation and imposed the death penalty.  The execution was delayed twice while the defendant's counsel argued that a judge should not have the power to override the jury and impose a death sentence, but the Supreme Court eventually declined to issue a stay.  Smith was found guilty of capital murder in 1994 for the shooting death of store clerk Casey Wilson. This was the second to take place in Alabama this year.

News Scan

| 1 Comment
2 Officers Shot in Georgia: Two police officers sustained serious injuries in shootings that took place early Wednesday morning. Jon Gosa of the Albany Herald reports that the two officers were injured this morning in separate shootings which are believed to be related. One of the officers was with the Americus Police Dept. and the other was with the Georgia Southwestern State University Campus Police. The suspected shooter is still at large. During the investigation, GSSU will be on campus-wide lockdown.  ABC News reports that the Albany Police Department has identified the shooting suspect as Minguell Kennedy Lembrick, 32.

Parolee Arrested For Discharge and Possession: A habitual criminal was arrested in Salinas, CA late Monday night following a report that multiple gunshots had been fired. Chelci Adami from The Californian reports that Armando Yslas, a 36-year-old Parolee discharged four rounds from a stolen semi-automatic pistol with the serial numbers filed off. He reportedly fired the weapon in response to an argument he was having with a woman who lived nearby. Following his arrest, the responding police found an additional 40 rounds of ammunition in Yslas's possession. 

Florida Asks SCOTUS to Clarify Hurst Ruling:  The state of Florida is asking the U.S. Supreme Court review a Florida Supreme Court ruling in a death penalty case.  Last January in  Hurst v. Florida  SCOTUS held Florida's capital sentencing process violated the Sixth Amendment.  After the state legislature adopted a law correcting the process, the state's highest court ruled that it did not comply with Hurst regarding requirements for jury findings of aggravating circumstances.  Dara Kam from The News Service of Florida reports that state court interpreted Hurst to require that jurors find all aggravating factors, mitigating factors and weigh them before recommending a sentence.  The Florida Attorney General believes that this goes beyond what was actually required by Hurst, and is asking the high court to clarify this.  Timothy Lee Hurst was convicted and sentenced to death for the May 1998 murder of a female co-worker at a restaurant he was robbing.  Her body was found stuffed in a freezer.    

News Scan

| No Comments
Governor-Elect's Wife Robbed at Gunpoint:  The wife of Missouri Governor-elect Eric Greitens was robbed Monday.  Fox News reports that Greitens' wife Sheena left a St. Louis restaurant early Monday evening and had just gotten into her car when a suspect opened the door and threatened her with a gun.  After she turned over her laptop and phone, the suspect fled.  Police were able to track a cellphone stolen from a nearby car to the suspect vehicle.  The vehicle crashed after a brief chase and three teenagers were arrested and the stolen phones and laptop were recovered.  Greitens, a Republican and former Navy Seal, said that a focus of his administration will be "safe neighborhoods."

Afghan Arrested For Rape/Murder of German Student:   A 17-year-old Afghan immigrant has been arrested for the rape and drowning murder of a German medical student.   Victoria Friedman of Breitbart  reports that the suspect, whose name was not released, entered Germany last year as an unaccompanied minor under Chancellor Andrea Merkel's "open door" policy.  DNA linked the suspect to the rape and murder of 19-year-old Maria L., early in the morning of October 16 as she was returning to her residence hall after a party.  Her body was found along the Dreisam River in Freiberg.  Police mentioned similarities between the yet-unsolved rape and murder of a 27-year-old woman weeks after Maria's death, in the town Endigen, roughly eighteen miles from Freiberg.  

News Scan

| No Comments
Arrest Made in Ohio Child Kidnappings:  A 29-year-old man has been arrested for the May 21, 2016 kidnapping of a six-year-old Cleveland girl.  ABC News 5 reports that familial DNA helped link Justin Christian to the abduction of the little girl from her bedroom as she slept.  The FBI has also linked Christian to the attempted kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl last February.  Several recent child abductions in the Cleveland area have kept the community on edge, as police conducted a ten-month investigation.  Law enforcement officials have not yet reported on Christian's possible connection with other cases.  

Illegal Arrested For Murder:   An illegal alien has been arrested for the murder of a Wichita mother and the kidnapping of her baby last month.  KNSS Radio reports that Yesenia Sesmas had been arrested last July and her immigration status was reported to  U.S. Immigration and Customs  (ICE), but the agency did not move to detain her before she posted bail and was released.  According to the County Sheriff, had ICE put a detainer on the woman, she would not have been free to commit the murder or kidnap the baby.   ICE responded that while they were notified of Sesman's arrest and immigration status, they did not have time to detain her before she was released.   ABC News reports  that the July arrest of Sesmas was for two counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery for allegedly taking two Wichita children.  

LA "Ban the Box" is a Jackpot for Felons: A recent measure passed by the Los Angeles City Council is good news for felons, although employers may see it differently. Doug McIntyre of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that last week in a 12 to 1 vote, the LA City Council passed the "Ban the Box" or "Fair Chance" measure which will prohibit employers from questioning prospective employees about their criminal history during the initial hiring process. Not only does this hinder an employer's ability to screen potential applicants, but it opens businesses to a wide array of litigation for every time they unknowingly turn down a felon for employment

Monthly Archives