Dallas cop indicted for aggravated assault in shooting death of 21-year-old woman involving a stolen car

A Dallas police officer turned himself in Monday after being indicted on an aggravated assault charge in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman in January. Officer Christopher Hess – a 10-year-veteran of the force – is accused of firing multiple shots at a stolen vehicle that led to the death of the driver, 21-year-old Genevieve Dawes. Her boyfriend, Virgilio Rosales, was also in the car and was hit by gunfire, too. Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said Friday that her office is dedicated to investigating the case and plans to bring it to trial. A second charge would not likely be brought up against Hess because of the lack of evidence regarding the other passenger, she said. Dawes' family attorney, Daryl Washington, said they want a murder charge for the officer and a second charge, saying Rosales – who police arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon – was wounded during the shooting. Hess, 39, and another officer, who wasn’t indicted, responded to a suspicious persons call on Jan. 18 before 5 a.m., authorities said. Dawes and Rosales, 23, had ignored commands and the driver backed up the car, then crashed it into a wooden fence and tried to back it up again, authorities said. The officers then began firing shots, killing Dawes and wounding Rosales. But Washington says that police account is bogus as the couple was sleeping in the car at the time and that Dawes didn’t know the car was stolen when she purchased it. The lawyer says 14 shots were fired and is convinced that Hess fired 13 of them. “I can 100 percent stand behind the fact that no officers were in danger. No officer at the time that those shots were fired, were behind that vehicle. And I feel comfortable saying that the statements given by the Dallas police officers were inaccurate,” Washington said. The incident was captured on video, but Continue Reading

Two men who hospitalized gay couple in homophobic beatdown in Philadelphia avoid jail time

Two men who viciously attacked a gay couple in Philadelphia are getting a slap on the wrist for their homophobic beatdown, critics said. Philip Williams, 24, Kevin Harrigan, 26, along with a Pennsylvania police chief's daughter, Kathryn Knott, were arrested after a brutal attack on a gay couple in Sept. 2014. The vicious assault on the victims, Zachary Hesse and Andy Haught, in Philadelphia left one victim with a broken face and his jaw wired shut. The two pleaded guilty to assault and conspiracy charges, but denied that it was a hate crime. Despite the vicious beatdown, critics said the punishment did not seem to fit the crime. Williams and Harrigan were sentenced on Thursday with a restraining order from downtown Philadelphia, a $1,000 fine, and 200 hours of community service at an LGBT community center. Williams is not allowed to return to downtown Philadelphia for five years, and Harrigan cannot return for three years. Even the district attorney admitted the punishment would be difficult to execute. The two will not be electronically monitored, and can only be caught if downtown police officers notice them in the city. "It's not the easiest thing to enforce," Assistant District Attorney Michael Barry said. The sentencing outraged social media users, who believe the two men should face a harsher punishment for their crimes. Prosecutors said the victims actually wanted their tormenters to avoid excessive punishment, while sending a positive message about tolerance and understanding. COPS SEARCHING FOR MAN WHO HURLED GAY SLURS IN ATTACK ON SUBWAY STRAPHANGER "Today's agreement is certainly about justice, but it is also about honoring the wishes of the victims to make sure they can continue to heal and gain closure," District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement. Knott, the third defendant, will go Continue Reading

Md. man gets jail time in I-83 fatal crash

Nancy Shaffer approached the prosecution table in the York County Court of Common Pleas as she prepared to speak about her late husband of 66 years.“We were very, very close, doing everything together,” she said of Carroll, 86, who died from injuries that he received in a car crash at the Market Street exit of Interstate 83 on Nov. 8, 2014. “We all miss him terribly.”Because of what happened, Nancy Shaffer — who was in the front passenger seat and fractured one of her vertebrae, broke several ribs and suffered a lung injury — said she’s also had to sell the family farm in Parkton, Maryland, and move into assisted living. One of their daughters had been in the backseat of the car, but she was not hurt.The driver who caused the crash, Trent Holderman, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to homicide by vehicle; aggravated assault by vehicle; driving under the influence; and recklessly endangering another person. He was then ordered, in part, to serve about one to two years in York County Prison, to spend seven years on probation and to do 300 hours of community service.“I’m sincerely sorry for your loss,” said Holderman, 33, of Arnold, Maryland, who could face decades in prison if he messes up. “I truly wish that I could trade places with your husband, Mr. Shaffer.”That came after some reluctance from the judge to accept a proposed plea agreement in the case. Both the prosecution and the defense had to explain the reasoning behind it.At one point, Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook said she did not like the sentence “at all.” She eventually accepted the agreement, with some tweaks, and after asking family members if they were OK with the proposal.Deputy Prosecutor Justin Roberts said the sentence — which also requires Holderman to go straight into long-term, inpatient rehab once he’s released from jail — was an opportunity for him, as he’s struggled Continue Reading

Florida deputies fatally shoot suspect wanted for sexually assaulting and impregnating an 11-year-old

Florida deputies fatally shot a man wanted for sexually assaulting and impregnating an 11-year-old girl Saturday. Gregory Johns, 42, was killed at a motel in Treasure Island, Fla., a week after his girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter was taken to the hospital for stomach pains and underwent tests that showed she was pregnant. Johns immediately asked his girlfriend for the keys to her car so that he could go buy cigarettes. He never returned. WTVT Gregory Johns was found locked inside a bathroom at the Trail's End Motel early Saturday morning. Johns, who allegedly sexually abused the girl several times, committed a string of crimes until officials found him locked inside a bathroom at the Trail's End Motel early Saturday morning. In the week before he was killed, Johns allegedly robbed a couple at knifepoint in Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, according to local television station WTSP-TV. He reportedly left a letter at the scene in which he apologized to the 11-year-old girl for assaulting her. Shortly after the robbery, Johns reportedly broke into the home of a 78-year-old St. Petersburg woman. He allegedly kept her tied and gagged for 12 hours. Johns called the 11-year-old girl's mother the same day and apologized for assaulting her daughter, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told Bay News 9. He also said that cops would have to kill him before he would go back to jail, according to police. Johns has served ten different stints in jail since 1987 on charges of aggravated assault, armed robbery, burglary and drug charges. Deputies found Johns at the Trail's End Motel Saturday thanks to a tip. When they arrived at his room, the suspect emerged from the bathroom with a knife and threatened to kill them, prompting the deputies to open fire. The deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave until the conclusion of an investigation. With Wire News Services Join the Continue Reading

Driver gets jail time for killing Fort Collins couple

The driver who veered into a motorcycle in the Big Thompson Canyon in August, killing two riders from Fort Collins, was sentenced Monday to one year in jail.Jeannie Morrow, 37, pleaded guilty Jan. 4 to two misdemeanor counts of careless driving resulting in death. Eighth Judicial County Court Judge Mary Joan Berenato on Monday sentenced her to 365 days in jail for one of the charges and 30 months of probation and 240 hours of community service for the other, court records show. Morrow also faces fees of nearly $1,700.Morrow will spend the first 180 days of her sentence in the Larimer County Jail and the last 180 days on work release at Larimer County Alternative Sentencing, according to a district attorney spokeswoman. Morrow will then complete substance abuse and mental health evaluations and serve 30 months of supervised probation.The traffic misdemeanor charges differ from felony charges of vehicular homicide, which generally require more aggravating factors such as impairment or distraction, according to state statutes.Morrow was arrested Monday after her sentencing at the Loveland Municipal Courthouse and remains in custody at the Larimer County Jail. More news: Suspect in January officer-involved shooting arrested More news: Fort Collins teacher accused of child sex assault pleads guilty Investigators said Morrow was driving west on U.S. Highway 34 through the Big Thompson Canyon when she veered over the double-yellow line and crashed head-on into an eastbound motorcycle on Aug. 21, 2016. The crash ejected both riders, Sherri and Josh Zander. Both riders were wearing helmets but died at the scene. Morrow, then 36, and her passenger, William Chavis, 38, both of Northglenn, were transported to McKee Medical Center in Loveland with minor injuries.The Zanders had five children, one of whom died at age 16 after a battle with a deadly form of neurofibromatosis. Both were active Continue Reading

Former Rutgers player pleads to aggravated assault

NEW BRUNSWICK - A former Rutgers football player has pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge in connection with an October  2015 incident in which a man's jaw and nose were broken.Ruhann Peele, joined by his attorney Joseph Benedict, stood before Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves Friday to plead guilty to two separate charges, a disorderly conduct charge linked to a April 5, 2015 fight with other football teammates on Delafield Street in which he threw a punch, and an October 2015 incident also in New Brunswick, in which he was confronted by two people and tried to get away, but threw a punch that hit a man's jaw, breaking his nose and jaw and rupturing his ear drum.Peele maintained the punch in the October incident was not related to self defense.Peele was arrested on the assault charge last October after being dismissed from the team.He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 30. As part of a negotiated plea Peele is expected to get probation. READ: Ex-Rutgers football player to get freedom back July 4 READ: Guilty plea creates some resolutions in Rutgers football case READ: Bail reviewed for South Brunswick man accused of killing parentsPeele, a graduate of Linden High School, was among a group of former Rutgers football players and students who appeared in court Friday in connection with the April 2015 assault as well as home invasion robberies.Tejay Johnson is charged with armed robbery in connection with a string of New Brunswick home invasions. He has been in the county jail since September.His attorney, Ian Goldman who has been trying to get his client released on bail, said he meets with Johnson on Saturdays for about three hours, which makes it difficult to  handle the case.Johnson is scheduled to return to court Aug. 26. Because many of the other cases revolve around what happens to Johnson, former Rutgers football players Andre "Dre" Boggs, and Lloyd Terry Jr., along with students Dylan Mastiana and Continue Reading

Woman gets jail time in armed robbery, fugitive cases

A St. George woman convicted of using a BB gun in a Hurricane armed robbery a few months after she was charged with helping an attempted murder suspect flee police avoided a prison sentence Wednesday but was ordered to serve nearly a year in jail followed by probation.Sarah Melissa Kathryn Strem, 21, will serve 330 days in jail but will get credit for nearly 120 days she has already spent in the Purgatory Correctional Facility since helping then-18-year-old Riley Joseph Guerrero attempt to flee to Nevada after Guerrero shot a man in a reported drug dispute near Dixie High School in June.Strem was free on bail in the police evasion case when she kicked in the door of the Hurricane residence and held a male acquaintance at gunpoint in September, demanding money and drugs before settling for the victim’s wallet, phone and electronic equipment.In October, she was also charged with illegally using a credit card that had been lost a few months earlier.Strem’s sentencing resolved all three cases with a penalty the prosecutor and judge acknowledged was less severe than what they would have expected.“I think armed robbery pretty much qualifies somebody for some prison time,” Judge G. Michael Westfall said. “I’m a little bit surprised by the extremely light recommendation by (Adult Probation and Parole).”Defense attorney Trevor Terry said the court should consider that Strem is relatively young, that she doesn’t have much of a criminal history and that the BB gun was “no real weapon” or, as Westfall acknowledged, it “wasn’t a very deadly weapon,” although the victim didn’t know that.Terry noted that Strem’s crimes were fueled by her drug addiction and asked the court to allow her the chance to apply for a rehabilitation program in the jail. Her charges included counts related to methamphetamine use.Westfall eventually ordered that Strem apply for the jail program and, if she is not Continue Reading

Rapper Jim Jones rejects plea deal, may face trial, jail time for driving on a suspended license

Harlem rapper Jim Jones turned down a plea deal on Tuesday and may be headed to trial for driving his Bentley on a minor suspended license charge."I'm trying to stay out of this place," the hip hop artist quipped in his second court case in two years.Jones previously copped to a misdemeanor assault charge for punching a pal of R&B star Ne-Yo in a Louis Vuitton store in 2009.Jones, 34, whose real name is Joseph Jones, posed with smiling fans as he exited the Manhattan courthouse after arraignment on an aggravated unlicensed driving charge stemming from a March 30 arrest in Soho.Prosecutors charge his license was suspended for unpaid tickets when he was pulled over for driving in a bus lane on Broadway.He was released on his own recognizance and told to return June 15 for a trial. If convicted, he faces up to 30 days in jail.Jones' lawyer, Marianne Bertuna, said her client was unaware of the suspension. Prosecutors told a judge that Jones told cops, "I'm going to a video shoot. I have a license."Bertuna said she turned down the deal, which included admitting to another misdemeanor and paying a $500 fine, in hopes of getting the charge reduced to a violation.Jones song, "We Fly High," was a top seller in 2007. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Vinnie Vincent, former KISS guitarist, arrested on aggravated assault charges after fight with wife

Former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent was arrested Saturday night in Tennessee on charges of aggravated assault.Rutherford County Sheriff's Department and held on $10,000 bond, reports TMZ.com.According to the site, Vincent's wife Diane arrived at the Sheriff's Office "covered in blood" and smelling of booze.She reportedly claimed to have escaped from the couple's Tennessee home after the rocker "smacked her in the face" after a fight about a "female subject [Vincent] was talking to."Diane, 44, also alleged that her husband dragged her through a pile of glass on the floor and threw her on the ground four times.When cops arrived at the couple's home, they reportedly found "four sealed containers containing deceased dogs." Diane explained that the dogs had been killed by one of their "aggressive dogs."Vincent was booked into jail at 11:33 p.m. and released 12 hours later after posting bail, according to The Daily News Journal.Vincent, whose real name is Vincent John Cusano, replaced the band's original axe man, Ace Frehley, in 1982. He played on two albums, "Creatures of the Night" and "Lick It Up," and went on the road for their subsequent tours.Smyrna, Tenn. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Ex Nets superstar Jayson Williams to accept plea deal in fatal shooting case, facing jail-time

Troubled ex-NBA star Jayson Williams is heading to jail. The former St. John's center, who played with the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets, reportedly accepted a plea deal that could come with a three-year sentence. The agreement would resolve a case that began in February 2002, when Williams - after a night of drinking - fatally blasted limousine driver Costas (Gus) Christofi inside the hoopster's New Jersey mansion. Witnesses testified that Williams attempted to cover up the crime by placing the weapon in the dead man's hands and asking them to lie about the killing. Williams has insisted the shooting was an accident. The Associated Press reported Williams will plead guilty Friday to aggravated assault, and must serve a minimum of 18 months in prison. The maximum term would be three years. Williams, 41, was scheduled to begin a retrial on reckless manslaughter charges in January. His previous trial in 2004 ended with a jury acquitting Williams of the most serious charge, aggravated manslaughter. The panel convicted him of cover-up charges, but failed to reach a decision on reckless manslaughter.The deal that would land Williams behind bars is the latest blow to the gregarious New Yorker.His father, Elijah Joshua "E.J." Williams, died Nov. 10 and was just buried last Saturday in South Carolina.In September, Williams wept in a Manhattan courtroom and insisted he was flat broke. His wife - who is divorcing him - was seeking $200,000 in back maintenance and child support.Williams earned $87 million playing for the Nets. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading