Archive for July, 2012

14 Illegal Immigrants Killed After Truck Lost Control In South Texas

Local and federal authorities continue to investigate an accident that claimed 14 lives in Goliad County south Texas.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 23, 2012

Goliad, Texas – On Monday, local, county and federal authorities continued at the scene near Goliad where 14 suspected undocument immigrants from Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala died in an accident. Police say, the accident was reported on around 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evening.
The preliminary investigation indicated that the driver, Ricardo Mendoza Pineda who also died in the accident was doing up to 75 MPH when he lost control of the pick-up truck on highway 59 (a rural highway) after a tire blew out and struck some trees. There were 23 people packed in the truck and were being smuggled into the U.S. at the time of the accident, police reported.
At least six people were seating in the front cab of the Ford F-250 truck, including two teenage girls that died and Pineda. The rest of the passengers were located in the back bed. Most of the victims were thrown up to 60 feet from the accident.
The owner of the truck told investigators, that he had sold the truck about a month ago. Police are trying to locate the person that purchased the truck, including people involved in the alleged smuggling operation.
Among the dead, 11 men and three women were confirmed dead and nine were reported injured. Investigators and agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement have identified nine victims. The Mexican Consulate in San Antonio confirmed that the only Mexican national killed in the crash was a 22-year-old victim from Tamaulipas.
Most of the other victims carried no identification with them. Some of the surviving victims included children, according to police.

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Holmes, aka, “The Joker” Held Without Bail For 12 Aurora Murders

Holmes appeared in a Arapahoe County court for a probable cause hearing to continue to hold the suspect without bond.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 23, 2012

Centennial, Colorado – On Monday, James Eagan Holmes, 24, aka, “The Joker” of Aurora made his first court appearance to determine, if there was enough probable cause to continue to hold the suspect in connection with 12 homicides on Friday. The court hearing was televised nationally.
Holmes is accused of randomly killing 12 victims and injuring 58 others at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater showing a premiere of a Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” Judge William Sylvester determined there was enough evidence to hold Holmes without bail and extended the dateline for Arapahoe County prosecutors to file charges against the suspect. Holmes did not enter a plead during the hearing.
Arapahoe County prosecutors are expected to formally file 12 felony counts of first-degree homicide and multiple counts of attempted homicide, including other related charges by next Monday, which would make Holmes eligible for the death penalty. It would take months to decide, if Holmes will face the death penalty. The family of the deceased victims will be consulted in the process of determining, if prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Holmes, according to Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers, who is prosecuting the case. State prosecutors have 60 days to decide, if they will seek the death penalty.
Holmes is being held in isolation and on a suicide watch at the Arapahoe Detention Center. Authorities say, Holmes is refusing to cooperate in the case.
Last Friday, Holmes was taken into custody by Aurora police in connection with the multiple deadly shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in an Aurora mall. On early Friday, Holmes apparently shortly after midnight left theater 9 through an exit. After 20 minutes into the Batman movie, Holmes returned in full body armor with several weapons. The carnage began when Holmes threw several tear gas canisters into the seating audience. Some people at first thought it was part of the movie screening or a stunt play. But they soon panicked after Holmes fired live rounds into the ceiling several times. When the audience reacted and stood up to flee, Holmes shot at them while he stood in front of the theater screen.
Holmes began to move up the aisles while shooting at anyone that stood up or tried to run from theater 9. One of the shots went through the wall and hit another man at the adjacent theater.
Most of the dead victims were inside theater 9 where the newly released Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” being screened during the premiere. The suspect who acted alone managed to kill 12 people and injured 58 others, which 9 are still in critical condition, according to Chief Oates.
Media reported, that some of the people were able to run to other sections of the theater and warned others about the shooting. Police say, Holmes was dressed in all black, wearing a gas mask, a bullet proof vest, riot helmet and wore a groin protector. He also went upstairs to other sections of the theater while reloading and firing his weapon randomly at people and children inside, according to surviving witnesses.
A gas mask, two 40 Caliber Glock handguns, 12 gauge shotgun and a AR-15 assault rifle were recovered by police. The AR-15 rifle, the shotgun and a handgun were recovered inside the theater. Police say, the assault rifle had jammed during the shooting spree. The other handgun was found in Holmes vehicle. Police estimated Holmes had more than one thousand rounds of various ammunitions.
Authorities confirmed, Holmes purchased the weapons legally within the last six months and had bought up to 6 thousand rounds of ammunition.
Holmes was taken into custody by police immediately after arriving at the scene in the rear parking lot of the theater near his vehicle. Holmes surrendered to police and did not resist arrest. He told police that he was the “Joker.” Holmes hair was dyed in red or bright orange when he was arrested, according to police.
Ten of the victims died at the crime scene, including a 6-year-old girl and two died at a local hospital, among those injured were 6 children, including a 3-month-old baby boy who were taken to the Children’s Hospital in Aurora. Other surviving victims were being treated in area hospitals for gunshot wounds and tear gas contamination, Chief Oates reported.
Police also went to Holmes apartment to check for other weapons, explosives and gather evidence. Chief Oates confirm, Holmes apartment was booby trapped with wires, unknown chemicals and incendiary materials. Police were able to disarm and neutralize the booby traps.

Deceased victims were identified as:

Jonathan T. Blunk, 26,

Alexander J. Boik, 18,

Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse E. Chidress, 29,

Gordon W. Cowden, 51,

Jessica Ghawi, 24,

Petty Officer 3rd Class John Thomas Larimer, 27,

Matthew R. McQuinn, 27,

Micayla G. Medek, 23,

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6,

Alex M. Sullivan, 27,

Alexander C. Treves, 24,

and Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32.

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James Eagan Holmes

Photo: Courtesy of Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department

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12 Reported Killed By Colorado Gunman At A Batman Movie Theater Screening

Police reported at least 12 people were fatal shot by a lone gunman at an Aurora mall theater.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 20, 2012

Aurora, Colorado – On Friday, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates during a press conference confirmed that James Holmes, 24, was taken into custody in connection with the multiple deadly shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in an Aurora mall. Holmes is described as a Ph.D. drop out student from San Diego. Aurora is a suburb of Denver.
Holmes apparently shortly after midnight left theater 9 through an exit. After 20 minutes into the Batman movie, Holmes returned in full body armor with several weapons. The carnage began when Holmes threw several tear gas canisters into the seating audience. Some people at first thought it was part of the movie screening. But they soon panicked after Holmes fired live rounds into the ceiling several times. When the audience reacted and stood up to flee, Holmes shot at them while he stood in front of the theater screen.
Holmes began to move up the aisles while shooting at anyone that stood up or tried to run from theater 9. One of the shots went through the wall and hit another man at the adjacent theater.
Most of the dead victims were inside theater 9 where the newly released Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” being screened during the premier. The suspect who acted alone managed to kill 12 people and injured 58 others, which some suffered critical injuries, according to Chief Oates.
Media reports say, some of the people were able to run to other sections of the theater and warned others about the shooting. Police say, Holmes was dressed in all black, wearing a gas mask, a bullet proof vest, riot helmet and wore a groin protector. He also went upstairs to other sections of the theater while reloading and firing his weapon randomly at people and children inside, according to surviving witnesses.
A gas mask, two 40 Caliber Glock handguns, 12 gauge shotgun and a AR-15 assault rifle were recovered by police. The AR-15 rifle, the shotgun and a handgun were recovered inside the theater. The other handgun was found in Holmes vehicle. Police estimated Holmes had more than one thousand rounds of various ammunitions.
Authorities confirmed, Holmes purchased the weapons legally within the last six months and had bought up to 6 thousand rounds of ammunition.
Holmes was taken into custody by police immediately after arriving at the scene in the rear parking lot of the theater near his vehicle. Holmes surrendered to police and did not resist arrest. He told police that he was the “Joker.” Holmes hair was dyed in red or bright orange when he was arrested, according to police.
Ten of the victims died at the crime scene, including a 6-year-old girl and two died at a local hospital, among those injured were 6 children, including a 3-month-old baby boy who were taken to the Children’s Hospital in Aurora. Other surviving victims were being treated in area hospitals for gunshot wounds and tear gas contamination, Chief Oates reported.
Police also went to Holmes apartment to check for other weapons, explosives and gather evidence. Chief Oates confirm, Holmes apartment was booby trapped with wires, unknown chemicals and incendiary materials. It would take several hours or days to nuetralize or disarm his apartment, Chief Oates reported.
During a press conference on Friday, President Barack H. Obama declared a proclamation in honor of the Aurora, Colorado deceased victims to have the U.S. flag flown at half-staff until July 25. Obama stated, “I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon al public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 25, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.”

Deceased victims were identified as:

Jonathan T. Blunk, 26,

Alexander J. Boik, 18,

Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse E. Chidress, 29,

Gordon W. Cowden, 51,

Jessica Ghawi, 24,

Petty Officer 3rd Class John Thomas Larimer, 27,

Matthew R. McQuinn, 27,

Micayla G. Medek, 23,

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6,

Alex M. Sullivan, 27,

Alexander C. Treves, 24,

and Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32.

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James Holmes

Photo: University of Colorado

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Yang Convicted For Lee’s Reckless Homicide In Sheboygan

Yang facing nearly 80 years in prison for Lee’s reckless homicide.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 19, 2012

Sheboygan – On Thursday, a jury convicted Kou Yang, 21, of Sheboygan for three felony counts of 1st-degree reckeless homicide, one count of 1st-degree reckless injuring and one count for possession of a firearm by felon, in connection with the murder of Pheng Lee, 20, on January 8th.  The jury agreed that Yang did not act in self defense when he fired at least five shots at Lee and three other men. Lee was fatally shot in the chest twice and died at a local hospital.
Yang was accused of discharging five 9mm shots at Lee and Cheng Lung Moua, 21, and his friends outside a Walmart parking lot at the 3700 block of S. Taylor Dr. shortly after they approached Yang’s vehicle.
Moua got into an argument with Yang inside Walmart in the checkout counter. Yang was accompanied by his wife and a 16-year-old teenager.
Lee and two other men arrived at Walmart after Moua called them. They walked up to Yang’s vehicle to discuss the incident and to tell Yang to leave Moua alone. But Yang feeling threaten took his weapon out and fire a first shot at them. The victims ran and Yang continued to fire four more shots striking both Lee and Moua.
Lee who was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee later died at St. Nicolas Hospital in Sheboygan from a bullet wound through the heart and from another bullet that struck his right lung. Moua was shot in the jaw and lost two teeth and had reconstructive surgery at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.
Yang was convicted in 2010 for child abuse and is a convicted felon.
Yang is facing up to 80 years in prison on all counts when he is sentenced at later date.

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Kou Yang

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Suspect Accused Of Robbing Ten Southeastern Wisconsin Banks Held On Bond

Couple taken into custody by authorities for allegedly robbing a U.S. Bank in Germantown.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 19, 2012

West Bend, WI – On Monday, the Germantown Police Department filed a motion in a Washington County Circuit Court to hold Michael J. Scott, 36, of Randolph, Wisconsin for further proceedings on an ongoing investigation in connection with a U.S. Bank robbery in Germantown. Scott admitted to police of committing ten bank robberies. He is being held on a $25,000 cash bond and a hearing is set for August 1.
Multiple state felony bank robbery charges are pending against Scott. The U.S. Attorney’s office is expected to also file federal charges against Scott for multiple bank robberies.
Last Friday,  a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputy and a Milwaukee police officer arrested two suspects for robbing Germantown bank. One of the suspects, Michael J. Scott is accused of robbing at least ten banks in southeastern Wisconsin. Scott and another suspect, a 28-year-old female were spotted by a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputy at a gas station in the 600 block of W. Becher St. around 3:30 p.m. in Milwaukee’s south side after robbing a U.S. Bank on County Line Rd. and Appleton earlier in the day. A sheriff’s deputy and a Milwaukee police officer were able to take the suspects into custody without incident at the local gas station.
The deputy was able to identified the vehicle from a description provided from a bank robbery in Germantown. The case was turned over to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for further proceedings. The suspects are expected to be charged with multiple felony counts connected to the bank robberies.
Scott became known as the serial “Ball Cap” bank robber who never wore a mask, also wore the same clothing in several occassions while robbing a bank and was considered dangerous.
The bank association offered $8,500 reward for information leading to his arrest.

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“Ball Cap” bank robber


Michael J. Scott

Photo: Washington County Sheriff’s Department

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Alabama Suspect Turns Himself To Police After Shooting 17 Bar Patrons In Tuscaloosa

Suspect called Jasper police from a FedEx store and admitted to shooting into a bar in Tuscaloosa.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 18, 2012

Jasper, Alabama – Police in Jasper responded to a call from Nathan Van Wilkins, 44, who confessed that he shot into a Tuscaloosa bar on early Tuesday that resulted with 17 patrons injured by shots fired from an assault rifle. Wilkins was taken into custody at a FedEx store in Jasper, according to police.
Wilkins is facing 18 felony counts of attempted murder, including one for an earlier shooting and one count of shooting into a tavern. Wilkins was also connected to an earlier shooting of another victim before going to the Copper Cup bar and firing through the windows.
Wilkins is facing more than $1.9 million cash bond once all of the charges are filed.
Twelve of the victims were treated for their injuries and then released from a local hospital. The remaining victims remained at the hospital, two are in an Intensive Care Unit and the rest remained in serious condition, according to police.
Tuscaloosa police say, surveillance camera footage captured Wilkins walking through the parking lot with an assault rifle and then fired his weapon about 11 times into the bar.
Tuscaloosa police confirmed, that a Crime Stopper tip had identified Wilkins as the main suspect in the shooting melee before he eventually turned himself in.

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Nathan Van Wilkins

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Permanent Wisconsin Voter ID Injunction Stands

The State of Wisconsin has been barred from implementing the Voter ID law in statewide elections, according to Judge Flanagan’s ruling.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 17, 2012

Madison – On Tuesday, Dane County Circuit Court Judge David Flanagan issued a permanent injunction preventing the State of Wisconsin from implementing the Voter ID law, which required eligible voting-age citizens to show a state issued ID or license when voting in upcoming elections. Judge Flanagan released his decision in the case this afternoon, according to a news release by Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant rights non-profit organization. Flanagan determined, that the photo ID law was the strictest in the country and is “not sufficiently narrow to void needless and significant impairment of the right to vote.”
Flanagan’s decision will prevent the Government Accountability Board, local and county election commissions from implementing the ID law during the forthcoming elections.
The Photo ID law or Act 23 lawsuit was filed by the Milwaukee Chapter of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera. The legislature created another class or group to be excluded from voting by passing the Voter ID, according to the plaintiffs.
On April 16, Judge Flanagan ruled that the Voter ID would keep about 220,000 low income voting-age citizens from voting due to the burdens imposed by the state legislature.  Some citizens could not afford $10 to $40 to get a birth certificate copy to apply for a state ID.
The Republican control legislature passed the Voter ID law in May 2011 and Governor Scott Walker (R) signed it into law. The Republicans were accused by Democrats of trying to keep low-income minorities from voting to set the stage for a Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin in an efford to oust President Barack H. Obama (D-IL) from office in 2012.

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Photo: HNG

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