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Found 8 results

  1. Defense lawyers in the murder trial of Sandra Jean Melgar on Tuesday blamed "a couple of cowboys" at the Harris County Sheriff's Office for jumping to conclusions and accusing her of fatally stabbing her husband in 2012. "Sandy Melgar got sucked into this by a couple of cowboys who came up with some theories and game over," defense attorney Mac Secrest told jurors in closing arguments of the three-week murder trial. "Where are the real killers? Are we going to see them in the courtroom anytime soon? I wouldn't bet on it." Melgar, 57, who faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted, is accused of stabbing her husband on Dec. 22, 2012, then tying herself up to stage a home invasion on the eve of their 32nd anniversary. Friends arriving for a party the next day found Jaime Melgar's body in the couple's northwest Harris County home, with Sandra Melgar tied up in the master bedroom closet. The defense insisted that Sandra Melgar never saw the home invader that hit her in the back of the head, tied her up and brutally stabbed her husband 31 times. Melgar's attorney said police failed to investigate a neighbor with a criminal record who was acting strangely at the crime scene. Instead, Secrest told jurors, two sheriff's detectives, one of whom was later fired for backdating a search warrant in a murder case, decided to charge Sandra Melgar and stopped looking for evidence. "There's no physical evidence that points to her at all," Secrest said, explaining that Jaime Melgar was stabbed and beaten about the head and body. "No broken nails, no problems with her hands, no bruising of the hands." Prosecutor Colleen Barnett said Melgar was motivated to kill her husband and stage a break-in for a $500,000 life insurance policy. She also said Melgar's religious beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness made her look for a way to get out of the marriage without a divorce, which would have left her ostracized. Because a church friend testified that Jehovah's Witnesses believe dead people are "sleeping" until the Apocalypse, Barnett said Melgar may have taken her husband's death lightly. "If I kill him, then I'm not ostracized — I get to hang out with my friends — and I get the money," Barnett said, imagining Melgar's thinking. When it came to Melgar's hands, Barnett pointed to photos of Melgar's right hand which showed cloudy nails, saying she used a harsh cleaner or detergent after the bloody stabbing to clean up. "This proves she's the one. That she did it," Barnett said. Jurors began deliberating immediately after the closings in state District Judge Kelli Johnson's court.
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  2. Police in Orange County, California are investigating a violent crime that happened inside a McDonalds's over the weekend. An elderly man was stabbed several times in the restroom. The suspect caught on camera running from the scene of the crime. Police want you to take a good look at this man. They say he beat, then stabbed a 92-year-old stranger multiple times in the men's restroom inside this Garden Grove McDonalds' for no apparent reason. Carl Whitney from the Garden Grove Police said, "the victim was using the restroom washing his hands. The guy attacked him from behind never said anything to him. We don't know if the motive was robbery, but we know that this was totally unprovoked. The victim did not know the suspect." Police say the victim an elderly Jehovah's Witness who was having breakfast with his church group, as he did every Saturday morning at 10:30. The victim told police that he saw the man standing in the bathroom against the wall and he said hello. The suspect ignored him, then stabbed him nearly to death. He says the suspect never tried to rob him. The victim was last reported to be in stable, but critical condition. The suspect was described as a hispanic male between 20 and 30 years old 6 feet tall with a medium build. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police.
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  3. A Special Forces veteran, publicly branded a poisoner, has broken his silence to tell the Sunday Mercury: “I did not kill my wife with weedkiller.” And Lieutenant Commander Robert McIntyre, who served the Royal Navy with distinction from 1963 to 1971, says the bombshell allegation will be the death of him. “This is going to see me off,” said the 72-year-old at his cluttered bungalow in Bloxwich, near Walsall, the oxygen machine wife Valerie used still prominently placed in the living room. “That’s it for me, that’s me finished.” Robert, raised on the Isle of Skye, spoke out after an inquest heard 88-year-old Valerie told family from her hospital deathbed: “That bastard has killed me.” She claimed that Robert, who became a long distance lorry driver after his military stint, had poisoned her with weedkiller, the hearing was told.
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    , a devout Jehovah’s Witness, died at Walsall Manor Hospital in September 2017. Her service at Bushbury Crematorium did not take place until September 11 this year.
  4. A truck driver who was using his mobile phone when he killed a grandmother by ploughing into her car has been jailed for five years. David Shields, 34, was caught on camera inside his cab scrolling on his device for a full 18 seconds leading up to the collision last February. He tried to brake at the last second, but his recovery truck smashed into the back of missionary worker Yvonne Blackman's car as she queued in traffic on the A75 in Dumfries. Footage has now been released showing Shields, from Drongan, East Ayrshire, checking his phone before noticing Ms Blackman's car at the last second. At the High Court in Glasgow on Friday, Shields was also banned from driving for seven-and-half years after admitting causing death by dangerous driving. Ms Blackman, from Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, was on her way to meet friends when the crash took place. The 66-year-old, a mother of four and gran to 18, died several weeks later in hospital. Yvonne Blackman Ralph Blackman, her husband of almost 38 years, spoke outside court following the sentencing. "I think it was a reasonable deterrent for other drivers from doing a similar thing because it caused a lot of suffering," the 78-year-old said. Visably distressed, he added: "It caused a lot of heartbreak to all of our family, grandkids, sisters, brothers and myself. "I'm still not settled properly yet but I'm getting there, but like I said before the main thing is that justice has been done. "Me and my family are hoping that any driver who actually uses their phone while they're driving should realise that suffering and heartbreak is caused not just to their family but the victim's family as well." Mr Blackman added of his wife: "[She was] very fun going and she liked to get things done. "In a lot of years she was a missionary for the JW [Jehovah's Witnesses] and she was knocking on doors trying to get people to do the right thing and serve god. "She loved having holidays, dancing - she had a lot of life to live." Jailing Shields, judge Lady Stacey told him: "I have seen a video of the crash and know you were paying heed to your mobile phone for 18 seconds. It was a very dangerous thing to do. "I know you did not intent the catastrophic result, but you should have known the terrible risk you were taking." Shields, who served as a lance corporal in the Royal Highland Fusiliers in Iraq and Afghanistan, wept as he was led away to the cells. David Shields His defence counsel John Scullion QC earlier said: "He has asked me to apologise to Mrs Blackman's family and is ashamed of his actions that day." The crash happened after Ms Blackman was caught in heavy traffic on the A75 Gretna to Stranraer road around 8.30am on February 8, 2017. Shields was driving a truck for 911 Rescue Recovery from Stoke to Kilmarnock when he ploughed into the back of her Toyota Yaris. Prosecutor Liam Ewing said: "Witnesses noted that the lorry did not appear to brake until a short distance before the collision, at which time it skidded or snaked." The Toyota car hit a BMW in front before spinning to a halt. Ms Blackman died in hospital on February 23 from chest and spinal injuries caused in the crash. Shields told police he only noticed "at the last second" that the "traffic was not moving", and added: "I slammed the brakes on, slid and collided." Analysis of the seven cameras in his truck's cab showed his "attention had been on a dash-mounted mobile telephone". Mr Ewing said: "An analysis established he had been focusing on the phone ... therefore failing to maintain proper observations of the road ahead. "(This was) for a period of 18 seconds prior to reacting to the presence of the car." He is seen driving while checking the phone before his cab shudders as it hits Yvonne's car. It is not known what he was doing on the mobile at the time. Part of the charge Shields pleaded guilty to stated he did "repeatedly interact with and focus your attention" on a phone. David Shields' dangerous driving has irrevocably damaged many lives and our thoughts go to the family of Yvonne Blackman. Driving while handling a mobile phone, in any context, is illegal and dangerous and can have the most serious of consequences." – DAVID GREEN, HEAD OF SCOTTISH FATALITIES INVESTIGATIONS UNIT
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  5. Robin Freitag, a loved mom and grandmother, had been missing for over a month Her family were 'suspicious' about her boyfriend, 52-year-old David A. Callaghan While searching around Freitag's property, they found her remains in a fire pit Callaghan has now been charged with murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse The remains of a ‘loving mom, grandma and friendÂ’ have tragically been discovered in a fire pit by members of the murdered womanÂ’s family, who became suspicious after finding her burnt Bible. Robin Freitag, who would have celebrated her 54th birthday last Saturday, had been missing for more than a month from her Akron home in Ohio. As a result of her relatives' gruesome discovery, Akron police have charged her live-in-boyfriend, David A. Callaghan, 52, with murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. FreitagÂ’s relatives had regarded him as a suspect in relation to her disappearance, as she had not been in contact with her daughter, Kim, since July 31. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, FreitagÂ’s family were searching around her property last Thursday when her cousin, Angela Nottingham, spotted burnt paper, including a piece bearing the word ‘JahovahÂ’. She posted on Facebook: ‘Not everyone would think that much of that. But I knew if Robin was alive and well, that she would never allow anyone to burn her Bible.Â’ Read more:Â
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  6. Three years after Erik Miranda was shot and killed early on a Sunday morning, the crime that remains unsolved, denying his family what they want most: closure. Family members held a lantern vigil Thursday, Sept. 20 — the anniversary of the 24-year-old's death — at Kiwanis Lake. York City Police officers responding to reports of shots fired just before 6 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2015, found Miranda's body in an alleyway in the 200 block of Jefferson Avenue, where he lived with his mother. Family members described him as a kind, caring man who was a devoted Jehovah's Witness. They said he had no enemies, which makes the homicide even more difficult to understand. On Thursday, the family prayed together and released a handful of biodegradable lanterns into the sky above the lake to show they won't forget Miranda — or the unknown killer who remains free. Olga Davis, Miranda's cousin, said his mother, Maria Miranda, moved to Florida shortly after his death because she "couldn't stand it to live here anymore" after the pain of losing her son. She hasn't returned since, and she wasn't present at the vigil Thursday night. "I'm a mother, and if something happened to one of my babies like that, I don't know how I'd push on," Davis said. "It's a kick in the stomach; I can't breathe. I can't rest at night knowing his killers are still out there, breathing and walking around, not paying for the injustice that's been done to us." Jack Padro, Miranda's brother, said he wishes he could thank him for all that he did for him. He said he still struggles to suppress anger and negative frustration. "I was always with him," Padro said. "He was a good person and helped me through the hard times. But now I can't even say thank you to him anymore." The family still lives around the corner from where the shooting happened. Every year, the they meet at the scene to celebrate Miranda's life. Davis praised York City Police for making arrests in recent shootings, but notes the status of her cousin's case. "The police have been doing a great job tracking the current shooters doing all these terrible things in York, but Erik's case is still cold," she said. Davis also praised local community organizations for their efforts to stop gun violence, but added the community is doing less to help grieving families such as hers. Raul Miranda, left, and Olga Davis watch lanterns float over Kiwanis Lake in memory of Erick Miranda, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. Miranda was murdered Sept. 20, 2015 in a drive-by shooting. His case is one of only a few cold cases in York City. John A. Pavoncello photo (Photo: The York Dispatch) "I don't know what can be done to stop it, and I don't know how they're going to stop it," Davis said. "York is just tired. We're sick of shootings; we're afraid to walk to the store." Although Davis said knowing who the killer is won't take all of the pain away, it is the closest thing to closure the family can hope for. York City Police Chief Troy Bankert explained in an email the process of handling unsolved homicide case. "Homicides do not have statute of limitations, therefore they remain open," the chief said. "When a homicide is unsolved, we review the case as needed. However, typically, new evidence is presented which is then immediately followed up on. We do the initial investigation until all evidence is reviewed and all witnesses are questioned." Anyone with information is asked to call police at 717-846-1234 or text "yorktips" and then the message to 847411.
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  7. AUSTRALIA ASSASSINATION OF A COMPLETE WITNESS FAMILY. A disgruntled Jehovah's Witness whose family was killed in the Margaret River massacre has spoken of his children going to a "new system" after his tragic death. The bodies of the four autistic children of Aaron Cockman, Taye, 13, Rylan, 12, Arye, 10 and Kadyn Cockman, eight, were found on Friday at the family farm in Osmington, in rural western Australia. The youngsters, as well as Katrina, a separated couple of Mr Cockman, 35, and his mother Cynda, 58, are believed to have been shot dead by the children's grandfather, Peter Miles, 61. "My whole family has remained strong, we were all seated last night and it was not tears or tears ... it all smiled, laughed and joked," said Mr. Cockman, according to The West. Aaron Cockman, a Jehovah's Witness whose family was killed in the Margaret River massacre, spoke of his children going to a "new system" after their tragic deaths.
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  8. A man who is accused of murdering an electrician as he was working at a Jehovah's Witness hall is to be moved to hospital for a psychiatric assessment. Keith Beviss, aged 54, of Woodhayes Drive, Honiton, is currently on remand at Long Lartin Prison but is likely to be transferred shortly. He is due to be tried at Exeter Crown Court on November 27 for the murder of 55-year-old Philip Ryan at the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall in Dowell Street, Honiton, on Tuesday June 6. Mr Ryan, a married electrician from Westward Ho!, North Devon, was found with fatal stab wounds. He had run Ryan Alarms and Electrical Services with friend Chris Ley for 30 years after moving to Devon from Henley on Thames. Beviss appeared at Exeter Crown Court by video link from Long Lartin and spoke only to confirm his name. Mr Simon Laws, QC, prosecuting, said a report has been received from consultant psychiatrist Dr John Sandford, who examined Beviss on behalf of the defence. He said the Crown hope to obtain their own report from a second consultant psychiatrist, Dr Philip Joseph, who hopes to interview the defendant after he has been transferred from jail to a psychiatric hospital. Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, adjourned the case for a further hearing on November 3, when the arrangements for the trial will be finalised. He remanded Beviss into custody.
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