Showing posts with label homicide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homicide. Show all posts

Monday, February 11, 2013

Apparent Homicide of State Prison Inmate Under Investigation


(CUMBERLAND, MD) – Maryland State Police and Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services investigators are continuing their investigation into the apparent homicide of an inmate that occurred early this morning at a state prison in Allegany County.

The victim is identified as Ricky Bailey, 51, who was an inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution. According to prison officials, Bailey was serving a sentence of life without parole.

A suspect has been identified and is an inmate at the same correctional facility. Charges against him are pending. He will be identified publicly when charges are filed.

Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators were summoned to the North Branch Correctional Institution by prison officials this morning to conduct the investigation. They are being assisted by investigators from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Internal Investigations Unit.

The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly after 4:00 a.m. today, inmates in the housing unit were having breakfast delivered to their cells. An inmate told correctional officers that his cell mate needed to be removed from the cell. Officers entered the cell and found Bailey seated at the rear of the cell, leaning on the lower bunk.

Officers determined Bailey was unresponsive and appeared to have sustained injuries to his head, neck and extremities. Prison medical staff responded and began resuscitation efforts. An ambulance was summoned and responded to the prison from Cumberland. Bailey was pronounced deceased at the scene.

State Police crime scene technicians responded to the scene and processed the cell for evidence. Investigators are continuing to interview correctional officers and inmates. A specific cause of death is not known at this time. The victim’s body will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine a cause and manner of death.

The investigation is continuing.

Maryland State Police

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Parksley Teen Wanted In Connectin With Homicide From 2011

Accomack County Sheriff's Office asking the public's help in locating a Parksley teen wanted in connection with a homicide that occurred last summer in Accomack County.

Accomack County Sheriff Todd Godwin announced Monday that grand jury indictments have been received for 19-year-old Tyvon "Teddy" Smith.

In addition to Smith, two other suspects- Kevonte Bell and Devonte Davis- were indicted in connection with the July 21, 2011, homicide of Belarmino Escalante and remain behind bars. Smith, however, remains at large.

He is wanted on the charges of first-degree murder, use of firearm in the commission of murder, attempted robbery, use of firearm in the commission of attempted robbery and possession of firearm by a convicted felon.
According to investigators, Smith is described as black, dark complexion, small build, approximately 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds.

Anyone with information concerning Smith's whereabouts is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at (757) 787-1131 or (757) 824-5666.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Homicide Near Gargatha

Accomack County Sheriff’s Department officers responded at about 4 a.m. Thursday, July 21, 2011, to the scene of a shooting on Lankford Highway near Gargatha.

Pictured are (from left) Godwin, Investigator
Chuck McPherson, Lt. Gerald Goga and Capt. Shane Childress
Photo By Linda Cicoira
The incident reportedly occurred in a large grassy area outside of the old Godwin’s Nursery,which was more recently being used as a church community center.

 Maj. Todd Godwin said the victim died while being transported by Parksley ambulance to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital a short time later.

The victim was identified only as a Hispanic man, pending notification of next of kin.  Officers investigated what they believe was the victim's pick-up truck, found at the scene.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Accomack County Sheriff's Department  at
 787-1131 or 824-5666.


UPDATE:  7.27.11The man shot  in a church community center  parking lot  has been identified as Belarmino Escalante, age 25. 

Escalante,  a native of Guatemala,  and had four young children.  had worked at McDonald's  in Onley and was also a chicken- catcher. 

Escalante was also a member of the Candelero de Oro Church (once Godwin's Nursery) where the shooting occurred.

Witnesses at the scene said the fatal shooting happened after about a half-dozen men who were meeting in the church parking lot to share a ride to their job as chicken- catchers were confronted by a group of young black males who asked them if they wanted to buy marijuana.

When they declined, "they just shot the guy and drove away," a witness said.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at 757-787-1131 or 757-824-5666.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Crippen Will Try To Seek New Trial

SNOW HILL -- Since being convicted of attempted murder in December, Alexander Crippen has been awaiting his sentencing -- so he can appeal his case, with a new attorney.

The 36-year-old Crippen was found guilty in Worcester County Circuit Court in December of first-degree attempted murder. He is biding time until a Feb. 28 court hearing, hoping Judge Richard R. Bloxom will grant his request for a new trial instead of imposing a sentence.

If he is not granted the new trial -- a life sentence is a possibility instead -- he has already begun to plan his next move, Crippen said in an interview at the Worcester County Jail, where he is being held.

He has looked into hiring a lawyer who specializes in criminal appeals, declining to comment on what specific parts of the trial he plans to contest, saying he will leave that decision to his lawyer.

"The whole investigation was about homicide... every paper states homicide. Every witness says they saw me shoot Reginald Handy," said Crippen, who maintained his innocence during the interview. "At the beginning, no one said anything about attempted murder."

Crippen was first charged in the death of Reginald Handy Jr. in June, after witnesses swore they saw him shoot and kill Handy. Those charges were vacated just before trial began, and replaced with attempted murder charges. Prosecutors said forensic evidence would have made it impossible to prove Crippen was the murderer.

The attempted murder case against Crippen relied in part on testimony from Torrance Davis, a cousin of Handy's. Davis stated he saw Crippen shoot Handy, and then try to shoot him.

Crippen recalled that during the trial, Davis invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination when asked about a prior shooting in Virginia, referred to as a "ranch party" in court questioning by Crippen's attorney, Arthur McGreevy.

During the two-day trial, numerous police officers and community members took the stand to testify against Crippen. But a handgun Crippen was supposed to have fired, nor the one reportedly on Handy at the time he was killed, were never recovered, Crippen said.

Police searched the Pocomoke River but were unable to locate the two handguns. Police did recover an assault rifle yards away from where Handy was shot and determined it was the murder weapon.

At the time of Crippen's arrest, Pocomoke police chief J.D. Ervin said Crippen and Handy "had a history with each other; they didn't get along." Crippen disputed that, saying he knew Handy by name but wasn't feuding with him.

Murder charges were later filed against Skylor Harmon, 18, of Cedar Street in Pocomoke, accusing him of being Handy's killer. Harmon is Crippen's nephew, Crippen said and Harmon's trial is scheduled to begin March 14.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Chicago Police Chief Criticized For "Gang Summit"

CHICAGO -- The idea seemed simple though bold: Call reputed gang leaders to a meeting with top police and federal prosecutors and deliver an ultimatum to end killings in the nation's third-largest city.

But Chicago police Superintendent Jody Weis is facing mounting criticism for holding a so-called "gang summit" last month, even though several police departments across the country have relied on that approach for decades to help reduce crime.

Among the chief complaints: that Weis himself was at the meeting, that the department should instead be adding more officers on the streets and that gangs won't take the message seriously.

"What are we doing negotiating or having a sit-down with urban terrorists who are killing with guns and drugs on the streets?" Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti said. "Gangs are not to be coddled.

The issue resonates deeply in Chicago, where the number of brazen shootings has escalated this year, even though the overall homicide rate is down. Earlier this year, two state lawmakers asked to send in the National Guard to patrol streets. On Wednesday, two cops were shot and injured while serving a warrant.

The Chicago Gang Violence Reduction Initiative launched at an unpublicized Aug. 17 meeting, when Weis met with parolees and reputed gang members from Chicago's west side. The meeting, which was also attended by family members of victims, was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Some reputed members of gangs like the Four Corner Hustlers and the Traveling Vice Lords said they were surprised to see Weis there after being told by their parole officers to show up. Many were visibly angry and some left during the meeting.

But Weis has defended the initiative with the support of Mayor Richard M. Daley and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who likened the tactic to his office holding parolee forums to warn people leaving prison that they'll be watched.

Weis said the message was simple: "If you should resort to violence, we'll sharpen our focus on you and really really make your lives uncomfortable. You have the ability to influence people within your sphere. You guys are in the position to stop the killing."

Weis said prosecutors at the meeting threatened attendees that they could be charged under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act if killings were traced back to gangs with members attending the meeting. The federal law, commonly known as RICO, provides stiffer penalties for acts performed as part of a criminal organization such as the Mafia.

Experts say the tactic of meeting with gang leaders -- whether formally with top administrators or at the neighborhood level -- is just part of good police work.

"It's become almost standard practice in police departments around the country," said David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "It's simply saying to people that violence is going to get special attention from law enforcement and that a whole lot of violence, especially in places like Chicago, is driven by gangs."

At least 50 jurisdictions nationwide use the approach. In Cincinnati, Chief Tom Streicher Jr. attends similar meetings, and the Los Angeles Police Department has started using the approach.

Among the pioneers was the Boston Police Department. In the early 1990s when the city's murder rate hovered around 150 a year, the department launched Operation Ceasefire, which continues today.

Parolees and other alleged criminals attend meetings with prosecutors where they're warned of consequences and given jobs information. Police say it has helped cut Boston's homicide rate.

Last year the department reported 49. "We give them a conversation about the fact that we know who they are, what they're up to and they have two options," said Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll. "Take advantage of the resources or end up in jail."

Still, criticism in Chicago has continued,"I don't think that's the way to go," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said. He suggested going after guns on the streets. Fioretti, who is mulling a run at Chicago mayor, said Weis shouldn't have been there with reputed gangsters.

"He brought them to a table and made them equal," Fioretti said.

Chicago Alderman Joe Moore has called it "a desperation tactic," while others have suggested younger and active gang members may not listen to the word of parolees. Some of the scrutiny could simply be because it was Weis' idea.

Since he took over in 2008, the department has been weary of Weis, a career FBI agent who continues to be seen as an outsider by many rank and file officers.

Weis noted the program hasn't incurred big costs and that if it doesn't work, the department will drop it. He said he thinks his presence at the meeting made it more meaningful and that attendees were chosen because of their influence.

Overall, Chicago's homicide rate has mirrored national trends and dropped significantly since the 1990s. It fell from a high of 943 in 1992 to 460 last year and has held steady in recent years.

But if residents and police need evidence that the city remains a dangerous place for officers -- four officers were killed in the line of duty this year -- they found it Wednesday morning. Two plainclothes officers were shot and wounded while serving a warrant on the city's South Side.

Weis said the next step is to determine if recent crimes can be traced to gangs at the meting.

"I don't view it as the panacea to stop all crimes," he said. "It certainly seemed like a worthwhile effort, even to try.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peruvian Court To Issue Decision This Week On Van der Sloot's Confession

(Aug. 24) -- A Peruvian appellate court will issue a decision this week on whether to uphold the confession of Joran van der Sloot in the brutal slaying of a 21-year-old woman in Lima.

Some in the media speculate that if the confession is thrown out, van der Sloot could walk free. But an international defense expert doesn't believe the judges will even consider throwing out the confession.

"There's not a chance in hell," said Michael Griffith, senior partner at the International Legal Defense Counsel. "The judges live there, and the people know who the judges are. You see where I'm going? This won't be thrown out."

And even without the confession, Griffith said, "they have plenty of independent evidence."

Van der Sloot, a longtime suspect in the disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway, is accused of the May 30 slaying of Stephany Flores. The Peruvian business student was found dead in van der Sloot's hotel room in Lima on June 2. Van der Sloot has been charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the case.

After van der Sloot's arrest, officials in Peru announced he had made a full confession to Flores' murder. Van der Sloot said he broke Flores' neck in a fit of rage after she used his laptop to find out about his involvement in the Holloway case, officials said.

"I did not want to do it," van der Sloot allegedly said about the attack. "The girl intruded into my private life. She had no right. I went to her, and I hit her. She was scared. We argued, and she tried to escape. I grabbed her by the neck, and I hit her."

The Dutchman later retracted that confession, saying he was arrested without a warrant and was not provided with an official translator, which he says caused confusion during questioning. Van der Sloot also said his laptop was improperly searched.

"All this with the intention of pressuring me to accuse [myself] of homicide," the Dutch native said in the complaint, obtained by the Peruvian news program "24 Hours."

In June, Superior Court Judge Wilder Casique Alvizuri spent nearly a week examining the evidence in the case before ruling that van der Sloot's claim that his habeas corpus rights had been violated was "unfounded." Alvizuri said he determined that van der Sloot had not only a state-appointed attorney present during his depositions but also a Dutch-Spanish translator.

Van der Sloot's attorney immediately appealed the decision. The case has since gone before a panel of three Peruvian judges. They are expected to review the details of the confession and issue a ruling sometime this week.

"We believe we did a good job demonstrating that there wasn't an official translator and that his attorney did not have a document accrediting her as his attorney," van der Sloot's attorney, Maximo Altez Navarro, told "In Session" on Aug. 20.

If convicted of Flores' murder, van der Sloot could face 15 to 35 years in prison.

Griffith has counseled and represented clients in more than 40 countries on a variety of charges. His most renowned case, involving an American incarcerated in a Turkish prison, was the basis for the film and book "Midnight Express."

He said he's certain van der Sloot will go to trial, even without the confession. "They have the video of him going in the room, they have DNA [evidence] on his shirt, they have the consciousness of guilt because he tried to flee and they have video tapes [of them together] inside the casino," he said.

"There is more than enough persuasive evidence to hold this case over for trial," Griffith continued. "Take this one to the bank -- you can quote me on that. Case closed."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stranger Held Stabbed Victim's Hand

A 23-year-old Johns Hopkins research assistant was fatally stabbed Sunday night in Charles Village during an apparent robbery, two days before the victim's birthday, according to city police.

Officers responded to a call of an attack at about 11:30 p.m. in the 2600 block of St. Paul St. and found the man in the road, suffering from stab wounds all over his body.

A man, who would not give his name, said he witnessed the attack and ran outside to comfort the victim. He was in his home ironing when he saw three people who appeared to be fighting, then heard a scream. He ran outside and saw the victim lying on his stomach in the gutter, then called 911.
"I made it back and held his hand, and I told him that everything was going to be OK," the man said. "He said, 'Help me,' and then I held his hand until he expired. I didn't want him to be alone.

"Nobody wants to die alone."

Police said the victim was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police have not identified the man, pending notification of kin.

About 8:30 a.m. Monday, a police SWAT team executed a raid in the 2700 block of Maryland Ave. and took away a man and a woman in plastic handcuffs. Detectives at the scene would not comment about whether they were considered suspects, but a spokesman confirmed that the raid was connected to the homicide investigation.

The stabbing was the second fatal attack in the city Sunday night. At about 7 p.m., officers responded to a call for shots fired in the 1500 block of Lanhorne Court in East Baltimore and found a 30-year-old man sitting in a vehicle, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, according to police. Medical crews pronounced the man dead at the scene. Police were waiting to identify the man, pending notification of kin.

Police had no suspects and had not determined a motive in that incident.

In two other unrelated incidents Sunday night, two men suffered nonfatal gunshot wounds.

A 23-year-old man was shot in the left thigh at about 10:15 p.m. in the 5200 block of Wilton Heights Ave. in Northwest Baltimore, according to police. The victim was taken by a friend to an area hospital. The victim told police that he was outside his home when an unidentified man attempted to rob him. Police said the victim was trying to run away when he was shot.

Later in the night, an unidentified man was shot in the leg in the 1500 block of Baker Ave. in West Baltimore, according to police. The man was taken to an area hospital at about 1:30 a.m., and his condition was unknown.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Update: Pocomoke Murder

POCOMOKE, Md. - Police have arrested an alleged shooter accused of gunning down a man in Pocomoke Wednesday night.

Thirty-six-year-old Alexander Crippen is sitting behind bars in connection to the alleged homicide of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr.

"Crippen was charged with First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, Manslaughter, Use of a Handgun in the Commission of a Crime of Violence and Possession of a Handgun," said Joel Todd, the State's Attorney for Worcester County.

During a press conference Friday afternoon, Todd says Crippen allegedly approached Handy.
"Words were exchanged between Handy and Crippen," said Todd. "Crippen fired a handgun several times at Handy."

Police say the men knew each other, but they aren't sure how.

With the help of eyewitnesses they were able to make an arrest.

"When we spoke with them they were actually able to identify who the shooter was and that's how we were able to identify who Mr. Crippen was and begin actively searching for him," said Detective Corporal Mike Lupiwok, with the Worcester County Sheriff's Office.

Police located and apprehended Crippen around 11:00 Thursday night at the Traveler's Motel in Delmar.

Police also say he was staying there under a different name.

Pocomoke police are encouraging people in the area to attend an open discussion concerning the recent happenings on Saturday, June 12th at 10:00 a.m. at the New Macedonia Baptist Church.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Here's the photo of the idiot and worthless piece of crap that took the life of a wonderful man in Accomack County earlier this week. Good work Accomack County Sheriff's Department, Virginia State Police and VA. Marine Resources Commission!

ACCOMAC, Va.- An 23-year-old man is behind bars for the murder of an Accomack County man.

The Accomack County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday announced that 23-year-old Fernando Carrillo Sanchez of Accomac, has been charged with the second-degree murder of 49-year-old Johnny Strand, whose body was found inside his Melfa home on Saturday afternoon.

Strand, who was the manager of the Pizza Hut in Onley, was last seen by his colleagues closing up the restaurant the night before. His vehicle, a Ford Expedition, was missing from his home when police arrived on the scene.

During the homicide investigation, the Sheriff's Office traced Strand's vehicle to the Dreamland mobile home park on Route 13 in Accomack County. A late Tuesday night search of the mobile home park by investigators, deputies, and Virginia State Police troopers uncovered Strand's vehicle at a home there. Police say the home's occupants cooperated with authorities in bring the investigation to a close.

Sanchez is being held in the Accomack County Jail with bond denied. Police have not yet released how Strand was murdered or the motive for the crime.

R.I.P. Johnny Strand

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pizza Hut Manager Suffered Multiple Injuries

ONLEY -- Police said a slain Pizza Hut manager had suffered multiple injuries when his body was found by authorities.

The manager's SUV also was stolen from his home, Accomack Sheriff Larry Giddens said.

Johnny Keith Strand, 49, of Melfa, a longtime manager of the restaurant, had been reported missing earlier Saturday.

The Accomack County Sheriff's Office found him at 2:28 p.m. at his Pine Ridge Drive residence near Melfa.

Tributes continue for Strand, known as a likable and gentlemanly Shore native who became synonymous with the restaurant.

"His bright eyes and quick smile never left him. He shared his talents and his time to make the Shore and all who visited a brighter place," said Carla Savage-Wells of Onley, a Nandua High School teacher who had known Strand since elementary school.

Pizza Hut District Manager Gil Liberty described Strand as "the kindest man that I've ever met and probably will ever meet."

Strand's death is being investigated as a homicide. Units and personnel from the Melfa Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company responded to the scene.

The victim's vehicle, a black 1998 Ford Expedition, also has been reported missing and has been entered into computer databases as a stolen vehicle. Its Virginia license number is ZC8 296.

A Pizza Hut assistant manager said she last saw Strand at 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 757-787-1131 or 757-824-5666.