Showing posts with label murder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label murder. Show all posts

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Phillips Trial Over- Verdict Is In

The  retrial for Charles Robert Phillips, convicted murderer of William Nibblett (Nib) on March 5, 2008 has ended.

In 2012 the  Maryland's Court of Appeals claimed that Philip's Miranda Rights may have been violated and his case was sent back to the office of Beau Oglesby the State's Attorney for Worcester County. 

In what was expected to be a 4 day trial concluded this afternoon.
Charles Robert Phillips murdered Nib in his home back in 2008 just one day after being released from the Wicomico County jail.

William Nibblett (known by all as "Nib") was a well-liked local Pocomoke City plumber and father of two. Phillips already with a crime-filled past was sentenced in April 2009 to life in prison for the first-degree murder of William Nibblett.

His sentence also included a consecutive 20-year term for armed robbery.

In the outcome of Phillips  retrial he was found:

 Guilty First Degree Murder
 Guilty of Armed Robbery
 Guilty of Theft of 500 or less.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Maryland State Police: REWARD OFFERED


(PRINCESS ANNE, MD) – Crime Solvers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest in the murder of Edmond A. St. Clair, a University of Maryland Eastern Shore student.
Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is asked to call the Crime Solvers tips line at 410-548-1776. Callers may remain anonymous.

Police continue the search for those individuals responsible for the murder of St. Clair, 21, of Severn, Maryland. He was a student who died on February 16, 2013, of injuries sustained when he was assaulted during an apparent altercation on the Somerset County campus.

Three unidentified suspects are being sought by police for the murder of St. Clair, a student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The suspects are described only as African American males in their late teens or early twenties.

The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly after 9:00 p.m. on February 16, a campus police officer was parked in her patrol car in the parking lot of the “Pavilion” on College Backbone Road, when a male, later identified as the victim’s brother, came running to her police car and reported his brother had been stabbed. The officer responded to the nearby scene and found the victim lying on the roadside next to his girlfriend’s car

The officer saw the victim had sustained injuries to his upper torso. EMS personnel were summoned to the scene and the victim was transported to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Investigators have learned the victim was apparently a passenger in his girlfriend’s Honda that was being driven by his brother. Another male passenger was in the rear of the vehicle. Neither the victim’s brother nor the other male are students at the university, but both were visiting for the weekend.

According to witnesses interviewed so far, the three were driving through campus when they encountered three or four people walking in the street. Some type of altercation ensued and the victim was stabbed with an unidentified weapon.

Police have no reason at this time to believe this was a random assault. The motive appears to be the result of an argument or ongoing dispute. State Police are continuing to conduct interviews and serve search warrants as the investigation progresses. Anyone who witnessed this crime or has information is urged to contact Maryland State Police at the Princess Anne Barrack at 443-260-3700. Callers may remain anonymous.

University students were warned of the crime through their campus security alert system. Students have been provided a number to call, 410-651-8484, if they have questions or concerns.

The investigation is continuing.

Maryland State Police Press Release

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Parksley Man Murdered Over Weekend

According to Sheriff Todd Godwin, on February 26, 2012 at approximately 1:54 a.m., the Accomack County Sheriff's Office received a report of shots being fired and one subject shot at a location north of Fishers Corner on Lankford Highway near Parksley. Deputies responded to the scene and located a gunshot victim who was subsequently transported to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital by Parksley Rescue where he died a short time later. The victim's name is being withheld until notification of the next of kin.

An investigation into this incident has revealed that a party was being held at this same location and following an altercation between individuals, several shots were fired and the victim was injured in the gunfire.

As a result of the investigation, two suspects were identified and felony warrants were obtained which led to the arrest of one as one suspect remains at large.

18 yr old Jakori Krishawn Evans of Atlantic was arrested on February 26, 2012 and charged with Second Degree Murder, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and Discharge a Firearm at an Occupied Building. Evans is incarcerated in the Accomack County Jail with bond denied.

35 yr old Mark Smith of Parksley is wanted on charges of Second Degree Murder, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Discharge a Firearm at an Occupied Building and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Smith is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriffs Office at 757-787-1131 or 757-824-5666.

Assisting in this investigation was the Onley and Onancock Police Departments and the Northampton County Sheriffs Office.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Justin Hadel Is Sentenced

Christine Sheddy, mother of three small children, went missing November 2007.

In  February 2010, the remains of  Ms. Sheddy  were found in Snow Hill on the property of a bed and breakfast.

Justine Hadel, who was convicted of  murdering Christine Sheddy,  received his sentence Friday,
September 9, 2011 in Worcester County, Maryland.

Hadel was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Never.

And to use the words from the Worcester County State's Attorney Office:

"Today we remember that no matter how hard you try, no matter how far you run, no matter how many lies you tell – justice will find you in Worcester County. If Justin Hadel doesn’t remember that, then he has a lifetime in the Department of Corrections to think about it."

I think that just about sums it up.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

GUILTY In The Stabbing Of Johns Hopkins Researcher

John Alexander Wagner
By Tricia Bishop
After less than three hours of deliberation Wednesday, a Baltimore jury found John Alexander Wagner guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery in the stabbing of Johns Hopkins researcher Stephen Pitcairn, who was attacked last year as he talked to his mother on a cellphone while walking home from Penn Station.

Wagner could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison at a hearing set for Oct. 21. His lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Gregory Fischer, said he plans to appeal the conviction.

"Mr. Wagner has adamantly maintained his innocence from the beginning," Fischer said.

Pitcairn's family members, who live out of state, wept as the verdict was announced. Aunts and uncles, as well as his parents and siblings, sat vigil throughout various portions of the trial, enduring as much testimony as they could. They declined to comment after the hearing, though Pitcairn's uncle called out, "Justice was served" as he left the courthouse.

They also praised the work of Assistant State's Attorney Josh Felsen after the hearing, telling him to "take care of the next family as well as you took care of us."

It was a bittersweet victory for the city prosecutor's office. Attorneys finally won a significant conviction against Wagner, who had repeatedly escaped serious punishment despite a lengthy criminal history, but it came at the cost of a promising young man's life.

"This victim … wasn't bothering anyone, he wasn't doing anything but walking to his home," Felsen told jurors during closing arguments Wednesday.

Pitcairn was two days shy of his 24th birthday on Sunday, July 25, 2010, the day he was killed. He spent the weekend with his two sisters in New York City for an early birthday celebration, then took a Bolt bus back to Baltimore, where he performed cancer research.

But as he walked along the 2600 block of St. Paul St. talking to his mother on his cellphone, he was targeted by Wagner and his girlfriend, Lavelva Merritt — who has pleaded guilty to her role in the killing and testified for the prosecution last week. They robbed Pitcairn, stabbed him and left him to die on the sidewalk.

Pitcairn's mother, meanwhile, frantically tried to find help from her home inFlorida after hearing the commotion. Gwen Pitcairn tearfully told jurors last week at the trial's opening that she pleaded for her son's safety to the voices demanding money from her son, a thousand miles away in Baltimore.

The murder was a focus of last year's Baltimore state's attorney race and helped challenger Gregg L. Bernstein unseat longtime incumbent Patricia A. Jessamy.

Bernstein held a campaign news conference on what would have been Pitcairn's birthday, railing against Jessamy's failure to keep violent repeat offenders off the streets.

"If the state's attorney had done her job ... Stephen Pitcairn might still be alive today," Bernstein said at the time, calling the murder "not just senseless, but preventable."

He said in a telephone interview Wednesday that his office was "extremely gratified" by the jury's verdict.

Joshua Eicher, part of a street-cleaning crew with the Charles Village Community Benefits District, pauses from his work to look at flowers and birthday cake left at a makeshift memorial in the 2600 block of St. Paul St. for Stephen Pitcairn. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun / July 27, 2010)
"The defendant represents one of the focal points and objectives of our office, which is to successfully prosecute repeat violent offenders and ensure that they are incarcerated for substantial periods of time so that they do not continue to go through this revolving door and prey upon the citizens of Baltimore," Bernstein said.

Wagner, 38, has previous convictions for assault, theft and violating probation, though he was frequently allowed to remain free. And in at least one instance, prosecutors dropped robbery charges against him despite surveillance video evidence.

Merritt, 25, has at least five convictions on her record, most for drug offenses.

The case against Wagner largely relied upon her cooperation. Testifying against Wagner, she outlined a chilling scenario in which the couple set out looking for someone to rob. They came up behind Pitcairn and grabbed him, demanding money.

Wagner stabbed Pitcairn, and Merritt punched him after he fell, according to testimony. They took his iPhone and his wallet, a Christmas gift from his mother.

On the witness stand last week, Merritt said her boyfriend regretted the act. "All that over a phone," he reportedly said. "I didn't mean to do it."

Wagner's attorney argued throughout the weeklong trial that someone else was responsible for the murder, but the jury rejected that idea. They began deliberating about 3:45 p.m. and reached a verdict by 6:30 p.m.

They asked once to review video footage of two people running from the scene, and refused an offer to leave for the day shortly before 6 p.m.

"They want to stay," Baltimore Circuit Judge Charles J. Peters told attorneys. Within the hour, they had a verdict.

"It is clear, given the length of their deliberations, that they understood and accepted what we presented and, more importantly, what the evidence shows," Bernstein said afterward.

Peters ordered Wagner to stay in shackles as the decision was announced, and the jurors, polled one by one, affirmed the guilty findings.

Lavelva Merritt
Wagner was convicted of felony first-degree murder, which means Pitcairn's death occurred during the robbery, as well as conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and the robbery itself. He could be sentenced to an additional 40 years for the two robbery convictions.

He was acquitted of premeditated murder.

Merritt will likely be sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy and robbery convictions under her plea deal.

The cases against the two defendants were filed and prosecuted in just over a year, representing another of Bernstein's goals to "more quickly resolve all criminal cases" with the cooperation of the courts.

"It's not only a function of justice delayed is justice denied, [but also that] cases do not get better with age, they get worse," he said.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Man Pleads Guilty To Pushing Stranger Into Inner Harbor

Wayne Black
A 21-year-old Pasadena man pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Thursday for shoving a stranger who couldn't swim into the Inner Harbor in 2008 — an act previously characterized by one Baltimore judge as complete stupidity.

Wayne Black, who was 18 when he pushed 22-year-old Ankush Gupta into the water and ran, will be sentenced to four years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for Aug. 30, per an agreement cut with Baltimore Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock.

His mother dabbed tears from her eyes as the deal was done, while Gupta's friends and family sat stone-faced on the other side of the courtroom.

"That is not justice," Saneel John Masih said after the hearing. He and Rohit Gupta were longtime friends of Ankush, more like brothers than buddies, they said.

They were devastated by his death and disgusted by Black's deal, which the family was informed of shortly before it was struck. They were hoping for a murder conviction rather than manslaughter, and a prison term of at least 10 years.

A spokesman for the Baltimore state's attorney's office said prosecutors pushed for a 10-year sentence, the maximum allowed for involuntary manslaughter, but that the judge reduced it to four years, based on sentencing guidelines.

"We, as a victim's family, have no authority whatsoever," said Rohit Gupta, who is not related to Ankush. Black "intentionally pushed [Ankush] into the water; it was a murder."

In late August 2008, on their way back from a day trip to New York City, Ankush and Rohit Gupta and several other friends had stopped at the Inner Harbor after midnight to stretch their legs. Ankush took a stroll by himself, then disappeared. His friends heard only a scream and a splash.

Rescue divers pulled Ankush's body from the water hours later. He had drowned.

His friends suspected that Ankush was pushed, though two years would pass before their suspicions were confirmed. A tipster told police in September that Black, a high school dropout who had been at the harbor that night skateboarding, was involved.

Prosecutor Charles Blomquist filled in the gaps Thursday during the plea hearing, quoting from a confession Black gave authorities.

Ankus Gupta
"'I walked up, and I pushed him into the water,'" Black told police. "'I came up behind him and I pushed.'"
Added Blomquist: "The victim did not know how to swim."

Black's attorney, Howard Cardin, said his client has been choked with guilt and last year confided in a friend who alerted police.

"It's a tragedy, an absolute regrettable tragedy," Cardin said, adding that a judge previously called the prank "stupid." "Obviously, we're very apologetic to the family."

Black's mother said she would give anything to reverse the past.

Ankush Gupta's family said he was their best hope for the future.

At 22, he was the only child still living at home in Montgomery County with his parents, who emigrated from India when Ankush was 12. He cared for them, delivering medication to his disabled father, Anoop, and shared his dreams of being a NASA engineer with his mother.

Ankush was about to enter his junior year at the University of Maryland, College Park on an engineering scholarship when he was killed, his friends said. They described him as bright, selfless and hardworking.

"He wasn't doing all this for himself," Masih said. " He was just doing it for his mom and dad."
Ankush's mother, Meena Kumari Gupta, cried after the hearing. She held a photo of her son kneeling before a bed of orange and yellow tulips.

Her statement, which was translated into English, asked that Black be severely punished. She never got to read it in court.

"This man must learn from his mistakes," it said. "He has broken up a family who has nothing left in America. He killed our American dream and our son."


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Step-daughter, Friend Arrested in Murder of Man Found In Choptank River

July 26, 2011

Maryland State Police have arrested two Caroline County women and charged them with killing a man and leaving his body in the Choptank River, near Denton on the Eastern Shore. Police identified the suspect's as the victim's step-daughter and friend. From a statement:
An autopsy of the victim conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore determined the victim was murdered. Forensic pathologists found the victim had cutting wounds to his head and hands, none of which had injured vital organs, but some of which were wounds he likely sustained while trying to defend himself. 
According to the medical examiner, the victim had also sustained blunt force trauma to the head and had been asphyxiated. Autopsy evidence indicated the victim was already dead when his body was placed in the river.
More details from state police news released, including names:
Maryland State Police homicide investigators have charged two Caroline County women with the murder of a man whose body was found in the Choptank River near Denton Sunday morning. 

The victim is identified as Louis R. Nichols, 71, of the 300-block of South Fourth Street, Denton, Md. Nichols lived at that address with Charlene Weddle, the daughter of his deceased spouse, and Weddle’s friend, Mary Chider. Nichols’ wife died about one month ago.     

The first suspect is identified as Charlene R. Weddle, 45, of the 300-block of South Fourth Street, Denton, Md. She is charged with first and second degree murder and first degree assault.  Following her initial appearance before a court commissioner, Weddle was incarcerated in the Caroline County Detention Center without bond. 

The second suspect is identified as Mary S. Chider, 34, of same address.  She is charged with first and second degree murder and first and second degree assault.  She will be taken before a court commissioner for an initial appearance later this morning. 

At about 11:00 a.m. on July 24, 2011, a man fishing in the Choptank River just north of business Rt. 404, saw a body in the water near the west bank of the river, not far from the old Rt. 404 bridge.  Deputies from the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office responded, along with Natural Resources Police and criminal investigators from the State Police Easton Barrack. 

State Police Homicide Unit investigators were called and continued the investigation.   They were provided invaluable assistance from investigators with the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, the State Police Easton Barrack, and members of the Caroline County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

An autopsy of the victim conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore determined the victim was murdered.  Forensic pathologists found the victim had cutting wounds to his head and hands, none of which had injured vital organs, but some of which were wounds he likely sustained while trying to defend himself. 

According to the medical examiner, the victim had also sustained blunt force trauma to the head and had been asphyxiated.  Autopsy evidence indicated the victim was already dead when his body was placed in the river. 

State Police homicide investigators obtained search warrants and processed the victim’s home and vehicle for evidence.  Inside his home, investigators found blood and other evidence that indicates the victim was murdered there.  Inside his vehicle, a conversion type van, they found blood evidence consistent with a body that was bleeding being transported in the vehicle. 

During interviews with friends and witnesses, investigators learned Weddle was heard threatening to kill the victim Saturday night.  A witness also saw Weddle driving the victim’s van at about 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning, near the river where the victim was found. 

A motive for the murder remains unclear at this time. The investigation is continuing.  


Friday, July 15, 2011

Panel Rejects Sifrit’s Latest Appeal

Written by
Shawn J. Soper

OCEAN CITY -- Convicted killer Benjamin Sifrit, who, along with his wife Erika, brutally murdered and dismembered a Virginia couple vacationing in Ocean City in 2002, had his latest bid for a new trial rejected last week.

After exhausting an initial appeal process based on the claim his defense counsel was ineffective during his 2003 trial, Benjamin Sifrit embarked on a different tack in an attempt to get his conviction reversed and gain a new trial when he filed a petition in the Maryland Court of Appeals in 2008 arguing the prosecution team, led by then Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd, used inconsistent theories of the events surrounding the crimes to gain the convictions of both he and his wife, Erika.

When Maryland’s highest court denied the petition, Sifrit last November filed a petition in U.S. District Court for a writ of habeas corpus against the Maryland Attorney General and the warden of the facility where he is serving a 38-year sentence, essentially arguing he is being held illegally and should be given a new trial because prosecutors presented inconsistent theories against he and his wife during their separate trials in 2003.

“This is a case where the issue presented has not been squarely addressed,” Sifrit wrote in his appeal. “It is an unusual situation because the facts concerning the claim have not been applied to the petitioner’s case. Benjamin Sifrit was denied due process of law and the right to a fair trial because the state used inconsistent factual theories to obtain convictions against both Benjamin and Erika Sifrit.”

A three-judge U.S. District Court panel agreed Benjamin Sifrit’s due process was not denied during his trial and denied his application for a certificate of appealability, which would have opened the door for a new trial had it been granted.

“When the district court denies relief on the merits, a prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would find that the district court’s assessment of the constitutional claims is debatable or wrong,” the order reads. “We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Sifrit has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny a certificate of appealability, deny Sifrit’s request for appointment of counsel and dismiss the appeal.”

The federal court judges denied the appeal outright without any further testimony.

“We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aide the decisional process,” the order reads.


James Ballard Gets Sentenced To 30 Years In Fatal Stabbing

Written by
Jennifer Shutt
SNOW HILL -- James Edward Ballard will spend the next 30 years behind bars for stabbing and killing Russell Matthew Bailey, the maximum possible sentence for his crime.

Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Groton sentenced Ballard during a court hearing Friday.

Bailey's mother, Mattie Fletcher, spoke to the judge about how her life, and the life of her family, has changed since the death of her 18-year-old-son.

"It's just been one thing after another since the death of my son," Fletcher said. "It's been hard... I've just been trying to take it one day at a time."

Ballard was charged with first-degree murder last fall for stabbing Bailey after an altercation in Pocomoke City. He was found guilty of second-degree murder at trial.

During the jury trial, witnesses testified that Ballard, Bailey and several others were involved in a fight the day Bailey was killed. Ballard called police, and once they arrived, everyone scattered, according to witness testimony.

Ballard stayed in the area and later saw Bailey returning from behind a house on the 700 block of Ninth Street.

A witness, Keonte Laws testified at trial that once Bailey saw Ballard, Bailey turned to run away, slipping on wet grass and slamming his shoulder into the side of the house as Ballard caught up to him.

"It looked like a punch... but when (Ballard) pulled his hand back you could see the blade of the knife," Laws testified.

During the sentencing hearing, State's Attorney Beau Oglesby read the results of a pre-sentence investigation that gathered the aspects of Ballard's criminal history. He rattled off crimes ranging from possession of cocaine to violating probation to shoplifting.

"You started as a juvenile with assault and battery," Groton said from the bench, later citing additional crimes -- resisting arrest, and fleeing and eluding. "This indicates to me you are a person with no respect for authority."

Ballard took the opportunity to speak during the sentencing, and apologized to Fletcher.

"Yes, I have been in trouble half of my life," Ballard said. "I didn't mean to kill nobody."

When rendering the sentence, Groton told Ballard that it is unfortunate there are "some people in Pocomoke who feel like the way to solve these kind of problems is with guns and knives."

Source;|newswell|text|Worcester County Times|s

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Derrick Epps Pleads Guilty To 2010 Murder

EXMORE, Va. - A man could face life in prison for the fatal stabbing of a community leader in Accomack County.

According to court documents, Derrick Epps, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first degree murder of mental health worker Sharone Bailey, among other charges. A bench trial had been scheduled for the July 2010 crime.

Commonwealth attorney Bruce Jones says Epps had been evaluated by mental professionals to stand trial. Jones explains Epps had "developed an idea that the Baileys owed them cash," and confronted Bailey during her lunch break at her Exmore home.

A sentencing hearing has not yet been set on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Crippen Gets 25 Years For Attempted Murder

Written by:  Jennifer Shutt
Staff Writer- Daily Times
SNOW HILL -- Pleas of "No, judge!" and sobs erupted from the family of Alexander Crippen after he was sentenced to 25 years in prison stemming from his December conviction of first-degree attempted murder.

Several members of Crippen's family left the courtroom after Judge Richard R. Bloxom handed down a sentence of life in prison with all but 25 years suspended, and a 10-year concurrent sentence for handgun use during a felony or violent crime. Crippen is 37 years old.

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

A nephew of Crippen's, Skylor Harmon of Pocomoke City, was then charged with Handy's murder, and Harmon's trial is pending.

At the sentencing hearing, State's Attorney Beau Oglesby recalled Crippen's criminal past, saying an escalation in charges and convictions against him shows increasingly violent behavior. In 1991, Crippen was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; in 1996, he was convicted of assault with intent to maim and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

"These actions for an individual with no prior criminal history would be atrocious," Oglesby said. "Mr. Crippen was, and continues to be, a menace to our public safety."

Crippen's attorney, Arthur McGreevy, contested the state's request for a full life sentence, saying Crippen should be able to re-enter society at some point in his life.

"He is not a person devoid of potential," said McGreevy, after recalling stories of Crippen helping others and discussing Crippen's recently born son.

Before sentencing, Bloxom said Crippen's lengthy criminal history helped the judge determine the sentence. He also mentioned Crippen's conviction for assault of a corrections employee while he was behind bars.

"You have an adult criminal record going back 19 years," Bloxom said. "As the state's attorney observed, your criminal record is indicative of someone who has become more dangerous."

Although sentencing is often the last step in a criminal trial, Crippen is scheduled to appear at a motions hearing May 6, where he is expected to request a new trial. Crippen has also indicated his intent to appeal his conviction.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Arrest Made In Murder Case

The Daily Times is reporting this morning that an arrest has been made in the murder of Whitney Bennett

Sharahn D. Boykin
Staff Writer
MANOKIN -- William Alexander Hill, a 23-year-old Fruitland resident, allegedly confessed to the murder of a missing Delaware woman who was recently found dead after a four-month search, according to court documents.

Whitney Lynn Bennett's body was located Friday after an unidentified source contacted Maryland State Police investigators and reported she had been buried on the 29000 block of Pond Run Drive, according to charging documents.

Two other men were charged Saturday with being an accessory after a crime was committed.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ongoing Investigation Finally Gets The Thief Arrested!

Tia Lynn Johnson was arrested on Thursday by WCBI officer,Frank Wright, at her place of employment -- Walmart.Once handcuffed, she was escorted and paraded through the store to her ride to jail. She was released the same day on a $10,000 bond.

Apparently WCBI has been working on this case with the cooperation from Walmart since 2009 and have Tia on video. This time she can't she can't lie her way out of it and this time she WILL have to talk!

For those that don't know, Tia is the girlfriend (or former girlfriend)of Jr. Jackson who is being housed at ECI in Westover, sentenced to 3 years for burglary. These two, it has always been believed, were two of the last people to ever see Chistine Sheddy alive back in 2007.

WCBI, no doubt, must have become suspicious when Tia came up with quite a bit of money to bail Jr. out a few years ago and then somehow found more money to retain former assistand State's Attorney Kathy Smith to represent Jr.

Regardless of what she did with the stolen money it was the WCBI this entire time that has been lying low in the "trenches" trying to nail Tia with something, anything to get her to talk.......short of prying it out of her mouth!

Great job Investigator Frank Wright and the rest of the WCBI! What a great group you are to have been working on this for so very long and never losing sight that justice must always remain supreme.

And a giant step, perhaps, for the Christine Sheddy case.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ohio Ex-Convict Charged With Murder

An ex-convict who was already charged with kidnapping a 13-year-old girl has been indicted on charges of aggravated murder in the deaths of her mother, her little brother and a family friend, whose dismembered remains were found in a hollow tree.

The victims' bodies were found in central Ohio nearly two months ago after suspect
Matthew Hoffman allegedly told police where to look.

The indictment returned today by a Knox County grand jury charges Hoffman with aggravated murder, burglary, kidnapping, rape, tampering with evidence and abusing a corpse.

A combination of three photos acquired by WBNS-10TV shows murder victims Tina Herrmann, Kody Maynard, and Stephanie Sprang.
Matthew Hoffman is charged with the murders of Tina Hermann, left, her son Kody Maynard, center, and family friend Stephanie Sprang.

If convicted, the 30-year-old unemployed tree trimmer could face life in prison without parole. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty, because of the wishes of the victims' families, The Associated Press reported.

The bodies of Stephanie Sprang, 41, Tina Herrmann, 32, and Herrmann's 11-year-old son, Kody Maynard, were located in a wooded area in mid-November. The remains were stuffed inside garbage bags that had been placed in a hollow tree. The victims had been missing for a week before the bodies were discovered, police said.

The indictment alleges Hoffman murdered the victims during a Nov. 10 burglary at Herrmann's home in Howard, about 60 miles northeast of Columbus.
Hoffman was previously charged with kidnapping after Herrmann's 13-year-old daughter was found in the basement of his Mount Vernon home on Nov. 14. The girl was wounded, tied up and gagged, police said. The indictment alleges she was also raped.

During a Nov. 18 news conference, Knox County Sheriff David Barber said investigators found the victims' bodies based on information received from Hoffman.

Authorities have yet to offer a motive in the case. Barber previously said Hoffman had been watching the family but did not elaborate.

Hoffman, an ex-con who served prison time in Colorado for arson and other charges, is being held in the Knox County jail on $1 million bond, the AP reported.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Skylor Harmon Charged With First-Degree Murder

POCOMOKE CITY, Md. -- A day after authorities announced Skylor Dupree Harmon was being charged with the death of an Accomack County man in a shooting earlier this year, police apprehended their fugitive suspect at a Walmart store.

Police say Harmon, who is charged with the first-degree murder, was arrested without incident by a state police fugitive apprehension team and a special team of Worcester sheriff's deputies in Pocomoke City.

Harmon is being held without bond in connection with the death of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr.

Handy, 22, a resident of New Church, was slain Wednesday, May 26. He was the son of Reginald and Evangela Handy Sr. He was a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Wardtown.

At a news conference last week, Deputy State's Attorney Michael Farlow as well as representatives from numerous police agencies announced they believed Harmon killed Handy in May.

A different man, Alexander Crippen, 36, was the first person charged with murder in Handy's death, but those murder charges were dropped before Crippen's trial; he was later convicted of attempting to kill a different man, based on testimony about what he did at the same scene where Handy died.

At the press conference, Farlow said the forensic evidence which exonerated Crippen of murder charges has been "very helpful in determining who the actual shooter was."

According to recently filed court documents, the night Handy was shot at 503 Laurel St., a witness says he saw the flash of a gun go off beside 500 Young St., which parallels Laurel in marking off the long sides of a narrow residential block. The witness, who is unidentified in court documents, also said immediately after the shooting, he saw Skylor Harmon near the flash.

Police later found a .223 Bushmaster assault rifle between 500 and 502 Young Street, which was later determined to be the weapon that shot and killed Handy, court records say.

Harmon is also being charged, in separate court cases, with resisting arrest, failure to obey law enforcement, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, disorderly conduct, making a false statement to a police officer, malicious destruction of property and obstructing and hindering.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Suspect In Handy Murder Has Been Arrested

I have been out of town for the past few days on a family matter and am so glad to see that this possible murderer has been arrested! Hopefully the Handy family will be working towards some closure. Great job police department!

POCOMOKE CITY — A suspect in a Pocomoke murder case was arrested without trouble outside the Walmart store Friday night, police said. They arrested Skylor Dupree Harmon, 19, who days ago was charged with murdering Reginald Handy Jr., 22, in May.

A state police fugitive apprehension team, assisted by a special team of Worcester sheriff's deputies, caught Harmon Friday at about 6 p.m., police said, and he is being held without bond.

At a news conference last week, prosecutors and police said they believe Harmon killed Handy. A different man, Alexander Crippen, 36, was the first person charged with murder in Handy's death, but those murder charges were dropped before Crippen's trial; he was later convicted of attempting to kill a different man, based on testimony about what he did at the same scene where Handy died.

Harmon is currently the sole suspect in Handy's death, and police had said he was at large in southern Worcester or Somerset counties, and possibly armed and dangerous.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Crippen Two Day Trial Begins

SNOW HILL -- The first day of what is expected to be a two-day court trail for Alexander Crippen began with testimony from about a dozen people, including Torrance Davis, whom Crippen is charged with trying to kill.

Crippen is charged with the first- and second-degree attempted murder of Davis, along with first- and second-degree assault charges and other related offenses.

Deputy State's Attorney Michael Farlow and Crippen's attorney, Arthur McGreevy, presented opening statements before Judge Richard R. Bloxom before the state began to call its witnesses.

Davis testified that on the night of the shooting he heard a "boom, then pop, pop, pop, pop."

Police found a Bushmaster assault rifle, AR-15, at 503 Laurel St., about one block away from where the shooting took place.

Davis also testified that he had been at the scene of the shooting for about 10 minutes when, he said, Crippen "just started shooting."

"I think he emptied his clip ... maybe six or seven shots," said Davis. "I seen the fire come out of the gun."

An officer from the Pocomoke City Police Department, who was one of the first officers on the scene, testified that when she asked Davis to tell her who shot Handy, he was unable to.

"As I was tending to the victim, I said, 'If you know who did this,' you need to tell me," the officer testified, indicating she lowered her voice so people standing in the crowd could not hear her. "He just kept saying 'R.J., breathe' ... he didn't answer me or say anything in response to the question."

Crippen was previously charged with the shooting death of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr., Davis's cousin, who was found dead at the scene the night of the events now being discussed at trial. But the charge of murder was dismissed at a pretrial motions hearing last week, leaving the lesser attempted murder and assault charges, which are still felonies.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grandmother Charged With Murder After Throwing Granddaughter From Parking Garage Walkway

TYSONS CORNER, Va. - A 50-year-old woman accused of throwing her granddaughter to her death off a parking garage walkway has been charged with murder.

Carmela Dela Rosa allegedly threw two-and-a-half-year-old Angelyn Ogdoc off a sixth floor outdoor walkway at Tysons Corner Center around 7:15 p.m. Monday, Fairfax County Police spokesperson Tawny Wright tells WTOP.

Dela Rosa was arraigned Tuesday morning at Fairfax County Circuit Court. She is due back there on Jan. 4.

She is currently being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Dela Rosa, of Fairfax, was walking with other family members Monday when she picked up and threw the girl off the walkway in a matter of seconds, Wright says.

Emergency responders took Ogdoc to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she later died. Police were notified of her death around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Dela Rosa was originally charged with aggravated malicious wounding, but the charges were upgraded to murder following the girl's death.

There is a security camera on the walkway. There is no word on whether the camera captured the incident.

The walkway connects Parking Garage E with the movie theaters and a food court. There is a railing just higher than waist-level.

Police have not said what prompted the Dela Rosa to hurt her granddaughter.

Dela Rosa's neighbors say she often took care of her granddaughter, and was recently rushed to the hospital because she was sick.

"She's like a normal person, you wouldn't think something like that would happen," next-door neighbor Russell Jackson tells WTOP.

"I've seen her picture, but I'm still saying 'They've got the wrong house.'"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Arrest Made In Slaying Of Man Found In A Box

WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. police have made an arrest in the slaying of a man whose body was found inside a cardboard box on the side of Interstate 70 in Maryland.

Police say 34-year-old Marvin Palencia was arrested without incident Saturday afternoon in Hyattsville, where he lives. He's been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 36-year-old Jacobo Vazquez of Washington.

Vazquez's body was found Tuesday morning in a box alongside westbound I-70 near Frederick.

D.C. police say Vazquez was shot to death on Constitution Avenue near the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 12. The case was initially investigated as a suspicious disappearance. Police
did not release any details about a motive for the slaying.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tow Truck Drivers Hold Vigil

Horns blaring and yellow lights flashing and twirling, a caravan of tow trucks from a dozen companies filled the 500 block of Mosher St. in West Baltimore Sunday night, the same block where 23-year-old Andy Joyce was shot to death two weeks ago while making a service call that his boss says would have netted the young driver $15.

It was part trucker rally, part vigil, an effort to return public attention to a senseless tragedy and to help police identify a suspect in the unsolved murder.

By 9 p.m., about 40 white trucks and red trucks from Quick Response, Greenwood, Universal, Frankford, Ted's, GRI, MEI, Mc-N-Mc, Mel's, AAA, Cherry Hill and Auto Barn towing companies were parked on both sides of Mosher Street. A 75-ton truck from Auto Barn filled the middle of the block and raised a crane adorned with a U.S. flag awash in flood lights.
Andy Joyce had worked only a few weeks for Gordon Kelly's Quick Response towing company when someone shot him once at close range, killing him instantly in the cab of his truck at the corner of Mosher Street and Druid Hill Avenue. The gunman took nothing — not Joyce's wallet, nor the two cell phones in the truck, nor its global positioning device. "I'd never had a driver assaulted," said Kelly, who organized Sunday's event. "To the best of my knowledge, I don't know of a tow truck driver ever being murdered in the city, or even assaulted. And what makes this so unique was that Andy was out on a friendly call, trying to help somebody. This wasn't an impoundment; it wasn't a repossession. This was a motor club call for help. Andy didn't want to do repos or impounds. He didn't want confrontations with people."

Andy Joyce answered a service call on Mosher Street, in an area with many abandoned rowhouses, about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 1. The owner of the disabled vehicle — a woman with a small child — gave Joyce the keys to her car and got a ride home, police told Kelly. More than an hour later, a passerby noticed the Quick Response truck's driver-side door open and the driver slumped against the steering wheel.

Joyce, the father of a 7-month-old boy, was pronounced dead at the scene. Baltimore police said they found his truck with its bed down, ready to load the disabled vehicle. "Andy had activated the bed of the truck and he had pulled cables back, but he had not attached them to the car," Kelly said. "Something made him leave the cables and go back inside the truck."

Kelly told the crowd of mostly drivers and family members Sunday that Joyce would have received $15 out of the $50 his company charged for the call.

No arrests have been made in the killing, which is why Kelly decided to organize Sunday night's vigil — to draw attention to the $5,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest of a suspect.

"Collectively, as a society, we have to do something to stop all this violence," said Andy Joyce's father, Mike Joyce, a Verizon manager. "And the other thing is, Andy was just performing a service. He was a service guy, like so many others out here — like the BGE workers, like the mailmen, the trash collectors — like so many people out here. They are neutral entities, just performing a service for others. [The vigil] is a way of saying, 'Look what you've done to someone who was performing a service in the community.' "