Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Though the age of consent in Indiana is 16, a school employee can be charged with child seduction if he or she “engages with the child (at least 16 but under 18 years old) in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct or any fondling or touching with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the adult.”
Sennett was sentenced for using the death of his wife Tami's grandmother to pull the girl out of class. He pretended to be going to the funeral, but stayed home, posing as the girl's father to get her into the sexual relationship.
The relationship came to light when the girl's parents found a Valentine's Day card, e-mails and a love letter from the girl to Sennett in which she wrote, according to a Fort Wayne Police report, that “she loved being in bed with him and having his arms around her.”
The girl's parents called police, and Sennett was suspended from his job Feb. 22 and eventually fired. According to the police report, he told Fort Wayne Community Schools officials that “he was in love with (the girl) and admitted to having a relationship with her but did not admit anything sexual.”
His victim — who came to court straight from school dressed in her cheerleading uniform — avoided looking in Sennett's direction during most of the hearing. Her boyfriend escorted her to the courthouse with her family in tow, her grandmother carrying a handkerchief, trying to fight the tears in her eyes.The girl told The News-Sentinel in April she was no longer sure of her feelings for Sennett. “I really have no idea (how I feel),” she said. “It's been forever since I've heard from him.”Neither she nor her family spoke in court, and they declined comment following the sentencing.
At the sentencing, Tami Sennett was pregnant with the couple's 3rd child. "Kris has learned from his mistake and is trying to move on with his life,” she said. “I know I cannot undo my poor choice. I let them down as well as others. I just hope that some day they will find a way to forgive me," the defendant said.
Besides the prison sentence, Sennett forfeited his teaching license.
Published Saturday, September 27, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for stabbing his wife to death in 2006.
Leng Moua was convicted in the death of Shoua Lee. He was sentenced Friday in Anchorage Superior Court. Prosecutors say Lee was stabbed after a daylong argument over a trip to California.
The 57-year-old man was convicted in June of first-degree murder. He stabbed his wife multiple times with a butcher knife. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton, who called the killing a "horrible circumstance."
Victim was left on ground with 14-inch knife stuck in her chest
By Jim Dooley [Honolulu]Advertiser Staff Writer
Roy Hartsock was sentenced to life in prison yesterday after saying that he "dearly loved" the woman he brutally killed early this year.
The sentence was handed down by Circuit Judge Richard Pollack after the children of the victim, Jenny Hartsock, tearfully and haltingly told the court how much they loved and missed their mother.
Hartsock stabbed his wife to death Jan. 9, after they had been married just six months.
He left her body lying on the ground outside their Gulick Avenue apartment with a 14-inch knife embedded in her chest.
Hartsock was on parole for burglary and assault convictions at the time of the slaying.
Testifying at the sentencing hearing were the victim's three children from a previous marriage, Dayle Dano, 23; Dazzerie Dano, 21; and Deann Dano, 14. A hanai daughter, Jasmin Doningo, 20, also testified.
The victim's sister, Tracey Uejo, spoke at length to Hartsock during the hearing, saying he had a chance to turn his life around after he met Jenny.
"You and you alone chose to throw it all away from the moment you were given the gift of knowing Jenny," Uejo aid.
"You destroyed the only person willing to help you. And in the process, you have destroyed a part of so many lives," she said.
Hartsock apologized to Jenny Hartsock's parents, Thomas and Janet Uejo, saying he was "deeply sorry" for what he had done. He also apologized to her children. "I loved my wife dearly and I'm sorry for the pain I put you through," he said.
Judge Pollack called the killing a "senseless, brutal" crime and sentenced Hartsock to life in prison with possibility of parole.
Hartsock pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which normally carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, but agreed to an extended term of life as part of a plea deal with city prosecutors.
The Hawaii Paroling Authority will meet later to decide how much time Hartsock must serve before he is eligible for parole.
Before his sentencing, a small group of advocates for domestic-violence victims held signs outside the courthouse to call attention to domestic violence.
Dara Carlin, who organized the rally, said that on the day that Jenny Hartsock's killer was being sentenced, she wanted to send the message that domestic violence is preventable.
Noting that Jenny Hartsock's three children are now without their mother, Carlin said: "It shouldn't have to end up this way. If we really want to stop domestic violence, we've got to do more."
Advertiser staff writer Rob Perez contributed to this report.
Reach Jim Dooley at email@example.com.
During testimony it was revealed that Henry Watson saw a psychologist who determined that he was not suffering from illness at the time of the attack.
The victim, Gracie Watson, was in the courtroom. She took the stand and shared her story of pain after being stabbed 32 times, then doused with gasoline. She suffered a punctured lung during the assault.
"He had a choice not to do me like this, but he chose to do me like this. Today is not a good day for me because so many people are hurt on today -- I'm hurt because of my son, but I truly believe that justice was served."
Taylor told Judge Patricia K. Cookson that he “was on medication and under a lot of stress” when he pleaded guilty. He also said his lawyer hadn't fully explained the consequences of his actions. He wanted to withdraw his plea and go to trial.
The judge denied his request, saying no evidence existed that the medication prevented Taylor from understanding his change of plea.
Deputy District Attorney Danielle Hickman stated that the attack started after Mrs. Taylor told the attacker she was divorcing him, he followed her to the Grossmont transit station, where the attack occurred. Taylor pleaded guilty on May 1 to attempted murder, personal infliction of great bodily harm, and personal use of a knife.
Friday, September 26, 2008
When Groth categorized rapists back in the late 70s / early 80s, he talked about anger rapists, power rapists, and sadistic rapists. Anger rapists are motivated by anger against women, and sadistic rapists are motivated by a sexual attraction to hurting women. It is the power rapist that I'm getting after.
Power Rapist: A sex offender whose primary motivation for raping others is to feel powerful and exercise control over victims. Offender’s mood is one of anxiety.
The difference between forcible rape and sexual coercion is the lack of physical force, not lack of consent, lack or power differentials, or power and control motives.
Robert Shoop said about consent -
"The existence of freely given consent or, conversely, the absence of coercion, is a critical factor in distinguishing sexual abuse from mere sex."
Sociopaths work with coercion, so technically, all sex between said sociopath and his victim is non-consensual. Unfortunately, non-consensual sex between adults isn't taken seriously unless there is force, or a custodial or therapist/patient relationship. The main difference between a power rapist and a sexual coercer is the fact that coercers use manipulation while power rapists can be legally be charged with rape. Power and control is still the long term goal.
Relationships involving sociopaths should be seen in the same manner as teacher/student, therapist/patient, or guard/inmate sex because if a sociopath is only looking for power and/or sex, then there can't be a peer relationship with a sociopath and his victim, but only intimate or coercive sexual exploitation. If there is no power imbalance in the relationship, then he (or she) can't exploit it.
Sexual predators prey on people's kids, regardless of whether they are kids in actuality or adults. Parents have a role to stop sexual predators, and this includes predators who prey only on legal adults. If a mother is concerned about letting predators have access to kids through age 18, she should be just as concerned about sociopaths gaining access to her kids after 18.
This is a letter to a site called Lovefraud, which focuses on sociopaths who groom women into relationships where there are no boundaries for the sociopath, but only sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and grooming for the victim.
Note that the controller was slowly changing how the woman in her mid 20s saw her parents and friends, and had her wear sexy clothing for him, but the sexy clothing only confirmed in his mind that she was a "whore." Note the parental involvement when the woman got out of the relationship.
It got to the point that my parents were afraid. My ex-boyfriend was losing control, and I was stuck in the middle. I would do anything for him, but then I did the one thing he forbade me to do. I got out. I realized that my parents didn’t hate me. I realized that my friends didn’t hate me, and I realized that I am stronger than he is and that I didn’t have to be his “good thing” anymore.
"I can say simply that when I was with him he was emotionally abusive, physically abusive, sexually abusive. He would always say, “You can’t rape the willing, and you know you’re always willing, don’t bother saying no, because I know that no means yes.”
A letter from a woman who replied to this original poster: Note the family concern.
But how many of us slowly give away our consent to a man like this because he’s eroding our sense of right from wrong? In my own similar situation, I thought I was being ever so avant garde and clever and cool and doing what was “hot” to please the man I loved. In truth, I was allowing him to debase and degrade me in ways that would horrify me if I found out someone was doing that to my sister or daughter. It wasn’t the actual sex that turned him on, I’m quite sure of that. It was the power and control and the knowledge that he could get me to say I was a consenting adult. In truth was a coerced and miserable woman trying too hard to please, but it happened so slowly that I barely noticed. My family did, though. They worried from the start, and I wish I’d listened to them and to other warnings I was given.
Ann Lane's Gender, Power, and Sex - First, Do No Harm talks about the problem of "consent" in relationships between professors and students. The website Advocate Web describes the consequences of professional sexual abuse, not just with adults.
Teacher/student sex incidents are not "affairs," or "romances," even if the teacher is married, but with sociopaths, even affairs and marriages should be more properly seen as intimate (or coercive) sexual exploitation with an adult victim. A 56 year old doctor with a 30 year old waitress will usually have power over her, even if there has never been any doctor patient relationship simply because of economic and gender status.
If counselors or doctors had a reputation of abusing their clients, clients would never allow themselves to be vulnerable to the degree necessary in psychotherapy or medicine. Thus when professionals abuse their power and position, they not only injure the client and violate society's trust, they also damage their entire profession. This is why the standards of professional conduct and codes of ethics and laws make it clear. Sexual exploitation of clients is not to be tolerated, and it is the professional's responsibility to ensure this does not happen.
The difference between teacher (or professor)/student sex and sexual coercion between ostensible equals is the authority of the teacher, not the power the abuser or manipulator has over their victim.
It doesn't have to be teacher/student - it can be between two 20 year old students. The investigation of apparently consensual sex has a role to play in anti-rape programs and the understanding of sexual violence.
This touches on a major problem in relationships between over 18s – whether legal consent is actually consent. In some cases, sexual coercion is a legal (but unethical and immoral) tactic where psychological persuasion is used against a vulnerable adult victim.
It goes unrecognized when there are not formal authority or formal power differentials (i.e. professor/student, therapist/patient), but the power and control motives do not change. The difference between coercive sexual encounters among students or between “partners” is the lack of authority, not lack of power, lack of consent, or the betrayal of trust.
When a lynch mob hung a black man back in the 1930s, they had power, but not authority. When the state hung him for the murder of a white man or rape of a white woman, the state used its authority.
The difference between teacher/student or doctor/patient sex and other forms of sexual coercion is authority, not power or the betrayal of a position of trust. Professors have authority over students, and so do teachers. Prison guards have authority over inmates due to their formal status. A coercive “boyfriend” or husband does not have authority over his victimized girlfriend, but he has power and a position of trust he is abusing.
Sexual coercion + authority = professional sexual abuse or manipulation.
Professional “consensual” sex – position of authority = sexual coercion.
I believe that analysis of teacher/student relationships can be a glimpse into the world of power and control motives in legal, but coercive sexual encounters (i.e. not criminally chargeable as rape or sexual assault, but still victimizing.) The formal power motives of a teacher/professor who has ‘romantic” relationships with a student can be equated with the informal power of a “boyfriend” who has a psychologically and sexually controlling relationship with that same student.
Except for age and formal position of authority, there is no difference from a victimization standpoint between the 40 year old teacher and the 20 year old student and a sexually manipulative relationship between 2 20 year olds.
A power and control analysis can be done for relationships among students and relationships between faculty and “romantic” or sexual partners. In both cases, the rate of victimization (whether sexual or physical) approaches 1 in 4. Unlike teacher (or professor) student sex, power differences based on formal authority is not initially present. Like teacher/student sex, all abusers create or exacerbate existing power differences so they can take advantage of people.
Intimate sexual exploitation is defined very well by a specialist in teacher/student sex cases, Dr. Bob Shoop:
(Shoop, 2004, Sexual Exploitation In Schools, page 3)
The modus operandi of the intimate exploiter involves leading the youngster to believe the educator has a genuine desire for a mutually committed intimate relationship. The immature youngster is often mesmerized by the belief that a charming, smart sophisticated, attractive adult is interested in him or her.
Regardless of the sincerity of the adult’s motivation, the intent is irrelevant; the impact of the behavior is exploitative.
Informed consent needs to be the norm in all relationships, not just fiduciary relationships. Whenever there are power differences in addition to gender, race, and class, they also must be accounted for. (I don’t include sexuality because 2 queer people in a relationship do not usually have to deal with oppressive sexuality unless there is internalized homophobia). For example, a 20 year old woman may not be a suitable sexual partner for a same age “peer” due to unresolved abuse issues.
There is no “partnership” in any abusive relationship because partners are peers, equals, and abusers by definition create power differences. Even if they are the same age and come from the same background, abusers can never be peers to their victims because that would take away the reason for their manipulation, deceit, and their scheming. Even if the abuser and the abused have wedding rings on each other’s hands, there is no real “romantic” relationship. There is sexual manipulation, but the idea is power and control disguised as “love”.
The problem of sexual abuse and assault is a well known, but underreported problem in all societies. People are outraged at sexual abusers of kids, but similar tactics used against adults are not as outrageous, even though the motives and goals of each predator are the same. Tactics used by one group often are found in the MO's of other groups.
It is well understood that children cannot consent to sex based on lack of experience and age compared to adults. It is also well understood by most that there cannot be true consent when there are sexual encounters between people in authority (like prison guards, therapists, or other professionals), even with adult targets. However, it's not well understood that predators and abusers ALWAYS come from a position of power over their victims, and that there can never be true equality between any victim of any sort of abuse and their perpetrator.
According to Leigh Baker in her book Protecting Your Children Against Sexual Predators (St. Martin's Press, 2002), child molesters go through 5 stages of abuse - detection, where vulnerability to sexual predation is assessed, the approach, subjugation, where control is gained by "friendly reminders" which escalates to more overt control, grooming, using "subtle and devious methods" to isolate and get physical gratification from the victim, and the actual abuse. The key is control, secrecy, and manipulation to keep a victim ensnared until they can escape.
The sexual coercer uses power in much the same way as a molester does, and in fact, some have explicitly compared pedophile seduction tactics to "seduction community" tactics. If an adult seducer uses these tactics against adult victims, their is no detectable difference except for age and illegality. Seductive sociopaths (or sociopathic seducers) worm their way into a vulnerable adult victim’s life by seducing, them attacking them in ways similar to pedophiles.
If the same acts characterize each group, then perhaps the same goals also characterize each group – power and control over vulnerable populations through “relationships” and sexual encounters. The names - pedophile, child molester, hebophile, or sexual psychopath differ due to different targets, but the purpose of their predation is the same - gaining power and sexual control over a non-consenting victim. Consent can never be there if the victim did not have information that she (or he) could have used to protect herself against the grooming.
Adult relationships feature changed boundaries. Boundaries have to change in order for a “partner” to gain access into another’s life, unless the partner was a friend from birth. A person’s boundaries did not always include their spouse, “boyfriend” or ”girlfriend” – boundary changes had to occur in order to accept a partner as a partner. However, boundaries can be changed in a sadistic, manipulative way, too. This is how many sexual coercers operate.
1. Changing boundaries of the victim
2. Turning victim against parents (whether 15 or 30, still a sign of control)
3. Manipulated sexual activity
4. Escalation of power and control
If this is the case, one can simply extrapolate from sexual abuse cases featuring teens or adults who have formal authority over others to figure out the true dynamics of sexually coercive relationships, as well as directly from websites such as Cyberpaths, Womansavers, and Lovefraud.
The ultimate goal of most relationships are sexual encounters. Even with the Christian (and Muslim) ideal of virginity until marriage, the goal of marriage is sexual unity, among other things. So the expression, not the goal, is different from the “no sex until marriage” crowd.
Perhaps those who compare the grooming tactics of pedo- and hebophiles to the seduction tactics of adults are far closer than they have even realized.
In fact, different predators have been compared to each other, as in this excerpt.
Former FBI Special Agent Robert Hazelwood, Dr. Park Dietz, and Dr. Janet Warren conducted a six-year study together on twenty women who had been the wives and girlfriends of sexual sadists. They used a protocol of 450 questions and published the results in the third edition of Practical Aspects of Rape Investigation. Most had been persuaded to engage in a variety of deviant practices, but in seven cases the men had killed numerous victims, engaging their partners in the crimes.
The woman all seemed normal. They were from middle class backgrounds and usually had no criminal record. They weren't abused or mentally ill. The thesis of the study is that the males targeted vulnerable women with low self-esteem and then gradually made them compliant. A similar dynamic plays out with teacher-predators, with the exception of the final step in the five-step process that the offenders followed to transform their partners:
· Identification: They know whom to target
· Seduction: They use all the normal techniques
· Reshape the target person's sexual norms
· Social isolation
· The women end up going along with what the men want, because the men have used psychological manipulation to change how they think and behave. Similarly with the teacher/offender situation, while it may be true many boys are willing to have a sexual relationship, it's also clear that the superior position of the teacher, her authority and her seduction tactics have some effect. Like male offenders, these women apparently feel entitled to do what they're doing and they engage the boy in a shared secret that feels exciting. They target them, use enticements, reshape their thinking about the appropriateness of what they're doing, and isolate them as a way to make them keep the secret. Those who threaten would then be taking the final step in this process.
If the same problems are present, then the same solutions should work. This means that loved ones (including parents) can recognize and stop those that can prey on their kids at any age. It may mean intervening and using drastic measures (i.e tactics similar to that one would use to detect predators of minors) to counter the predator's attacks.
Students should be taught that educators who cross the boundaries do so in a very innocuous manner. The process of grooming starts with seemingly innocuous relationships and gradually increases in intensity." (p. 104)
Coercers act the same way.
"The child molester has found a home in the world of youth sports, where as a coach he can gain the trust and loyalty of kids - and the prey on them. (p. 30)
A seductive sociopath finds a home with a "partner" where as a husband or boyfriend he gains the trust/loyalty/love of women to prey on them.
Relationships involving sociopaths should be seen in the same manner as teacher/student, therapist/patient, or guard/inmate sex because if a sociopath is only looking for power and/or sex, then there can't be a peer relationship with a sociopath and his victim, but only intimate or coercive sexual exploitation. If there is no power imbalance in the relationship, then he can't exploit it. Sociopaths prey on people's kids, regardless of whether they are kids in actuality or adults. Parents have a role to stop sexual predators, and this includes predators who prey only on legal adults. If a mother is concerned about letting predators have access to kids through age 18, she should be just as concerned about sociopaths gaining access to her kids after 18.
Parents should have access to their children's relationships, even atfer 18, 21, 25, or even 30. If someone has a child, and their child is seeing or even married to someone, parents should be involved. If the grown child's partner doesn't want parents involved (including in-laws), it should be a red flag.
If a sociopath preys on adults in the same way a child molester preys on kids, then the same tools that protect kids from child molesters should also protect adults from sexual predators. Education, parental (or other adult involvement), and tougher laws have helped in the fight against child sexual predators. They should help in the fight against adult sexual predators.
And other studies state that a sex offender who preys on adults has an average of 3 victims, giving a rape percentage of 1 in 18 men, or 1 in 36 of the total adult population. 17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape. Men are victimized as adults at a rate of 1 man for every 9 women, giving 2 million men or 20 million adult rape victims.
The number of CSA survivors is estimated by my calcs to be 37.5 million for women and 19 million for men, giving 56.5 million CSA survivors between the two. Since 28% of the population is under 20, according to Census 2000, I'll subtract 3% for those 18 to 20, giving a adult percentage of 75%. 225 million American adults divided by 36 is 6.25 million rapists, both caught and uncaught. This includes those with a single victim as well as serial rapists. Since the average child molester has 7 unique victims (and molests 90 times), ranging from 90 different victims to a single victim 90 times, this gives 8 million child molesters (both caught and uncaught), and 19 million children currently victims of CSA.
One of up to 20 men involved in the “grotesque” and degrading pack rape of a Sydney woman has failed in a bid to have his conviction overturned. The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal also rejected Sela Qoro's plea for his 14-year sentence to be reduced on psychological grounds.
Qoro, 45, was one of between 10 and 20 men involved in the detention and gang rape of a 20-year-old woman at Redfern in Sydney's inner city in November 2005. A NSW District Court jury convicted the father of five of aggravated sexual assault in company, for his role in the attack.
He forced the woman to perform oral sex upon him after others had subjected her to a range of sex acts.
Sentencing Qoro to a maximum 14 years last April, Judge Peter Berman said it was “impossible not to be struck by the callousness“ of the men, who treated the victim “as an object for their sexual gratification and nothing more”.
The attack's ringleader had urged the men to “be as rough as you like, she likes it“, Judge Berman said, describing it as a “grotesque episode”.
“She was not treated as a human being,” he said.
“When (Qoro) forced the complainant to perform oral sex on him, he well knew that she had already been subjected to degrading and repeated forced sexual intercourse at the hands of a number of other men.”
Qoro's trial was originally a joint hearing along with the man accused of inciting the attack, but their trials were split a few days into proceedings. Qoro's lawyers applied for the jury to be discharged and a fresh panel sworn in for his case, but the judge refused.
Qoro claimed, in the appeal hearing, that it was a miscarriage of justice.
He also asked the appeal court to reduce his sentence, claiming the trial judge failed to adequately consider the fact that he was mildly intellectually disabled.
But Justices Roger Giles, Peter Johnson and Peter Hall today dismissed the appeal against both conviction and sentence. “His Honour's decision to decline to discharge the jury was a proper exercise of discretion in the circumstances,” they ruled.
“No error has been demonstrated in his Honour's decision declining to discharge the jury.”
Qoro will be eligible for release in January 2016, at the expiration of his 10-year non-parole term.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Assistant Tarrant County District Attorney Betty Arvin told the newspaper that the office dropped the case Wednesday after reviewing all of the evidence.
The attorney representing the alleged victim in a civil lawsuit, Tony Owens, said his client is disappointed and feels -- in his words -- "victimized again by the system."
Owens said the outcome doesn't affect the civil case.
Carter -- who's 51 -- was indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury in June after a licensed minister at a Dallas CME church said Carter in March 2007 tried to force him to have sex when the man applied for a job.
A month after the indictment, the Christian Methodist Episcopal's College of Bishops said it was suspending Carter with pay until his criminal case was resolved.
In depositions, Carter admitted to having a consensual sexual encounter with the man, in depositions.
During the sentencing, Susan Weller, one of three daughters from the Kirkup marriage, spoke of her father’s “awful history” of domestic violence against her mother as the family moved from Michigan to New Jersey to California.
Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman had pressed for the maximum sentence on the pre-indictment plea in the missing-victim case. He told the judge Kirkup’s poor health means he is likely to die in prison.
After the sentencing, Friedman said Kirkup, formerly of Big River, Calif., has been unable to show authorities exactly where in Genesee County he buried his wife after fatally choking her, allegedly after she came at him with a knife in their camper.
Genesee County Judge Robert C. Noonan inposed the maximum for 2nd degree manslaughter because prosecutors could not prove more serious murder charges.
During the sentencing hearing at the Dale County Courthouse in Ozark, District Attorney Kirke Adams argued for a stiff sentence in light of the violent nature of the crime and because the Johnsons' 5-year-old child witnessed the murder. William White, Johnson's attorney, asked for a 20-year sentence and leniency. Testimony at the hearing included the 911 tape, divorce documents and crime scene photos.
Judge P.B. McLaughlin sentenced Johnson to 42 years because that was his wife's calculated life expentancy. He will be eligible for parole in 10 years.
Adams'' statement about the case resolution is below.
The family and I feel that justice was served, especially since the Department of Corrections considers a sentence of 30 years to be equal to life. Johnson received a greater sentence. It is a shame that Johnson's actions did not meet the legal requirements for capital murder, and therefore, he will be eligible to be released one day. I will make sure that I attend the parole hearing with the family to protest his release every time he becomes eligible.
A former Oak Ridge man accused of killing his wife in a jealous rage pleaded guilty [the morning of September 17] to a reduced charge.
Originally accused of second-degree murder and reckless homicide, Johnathan Ray Taylor, 31, now of Florida, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.Taylor admitted shooting Patricia L. Taylor, 40, on New Year's Eve 2003.
Taylor received a 10-year prison sentence to be suspended after serving 364 days in the Anderson County Jail.
He was given credit for more than 10 months he has already been locked up, so his actual remaining jail time is about 45 days, said Taylor's attorney, Kevin Angel. Taylor will be on supervised probation for the rest of the 10 years, according to the plea agreement.
The case for years has been mired in the legal system while it was up on an appeal that went all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Judge James B. "Buddy'' Scott, now retired, refused to accept a plea agreement in the Taylor case that called for a two-year prison sentence on a plea to reckless homicide and the dismissal of the second-degree murder charge.
An appeals court upheld Scott's decision but the Supreme Court overturned it, saying judges can't stop prosecutors who want to dismiss a case.
Burch was the 3rd Memphis officer arrested on violence charges in the past month. On September 15, Regina Thompson, 23, was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery for threatening her ex-boyfriend, and Chancy Jones, 37, was accused of shooting to death 31 year old Phyllis Malone behind the wheel of her car September 9.
Donald Newell was convicted in October of abusing the woman in the nursing home in which she lived. Chippewa County Assistant District Attorney Wade Newell, not related to the appellant, stated that yesterday's hearing was a procedural hearing meant to update case information.
Judge Roderick Cameron stated that a bunch of aggravated factors, including denial of the harm done by the sexual abuse, Donald's position of trust and power over his victim, and denial of the cognitive limitations of the victim, lead him to increase the prison sentence from 6 to 8 years. Newell will also serve 15 years of extended supervision, given after the end of a custodial sentence.
Donald Newell had been the 37-year-old woman's personal caregiver in 2003 when the assaults occurred. He maintained it had been a consensual relationship, although the woman had been assessed with the mental capacity of an 8-year-old child.
Donald Newell disputed claims her cognitive ability was limited, and he compared her to Helen Keller "who everyone thought was useless until someone wanted to help her."
Donald Newell told the court in his "defense" that the victim and him were having an affair, and that most politicians (And I must add, men in general!) would be in prison if affairs were illegal (which they technically are in many states.)
"Three different people knew [she] and I were having an affair, and they did nothing. They did not tell me it would be a crime. I love [her] very much still and am praying she gets freedom from the people who are still abusing her. No matter what happens today, I am still going to fight for [her]."
Prosecutor Newell stated that the defendant simply did not understand what he did wrong and that showed a lack of responsibility or remorse.
"In a lot of situations this would be a low-risk person, but he had all that going for him yet he continued to commit crime. He would not benefit from treatment because there is nothing to treat. He doesn't think he has done anything wrong. He still doesn't get it. He takes no responsibility for what he's done."
Thursday, September 25, 2008
By Michelle Durand
Prosecutors are seeking to keep incarcerated a convicted rapist with an alleged hair fetish in a state hospital wing specializing in sexually violent predators.
Timothy McKnight, 51, has already been extended past the completion of his 20-year state prison sentence. If a jury finds McKnight meets the legal criteria for being a sexually violent predator, it can choose to continue keeping the Brisbane rapist at Atascadero State Hospital.
In 1988, McKnight pleaded no contest to three counts of rape and oral copulation in Brisbane and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. At the time, McKnight had a prior conviction on his record. Prosecutors said McKnight assaulted the victim at gunpoint and had a “fetish regarding women’s hair” but did not elaborate further.
McKnight was recommitted to the state hospital at the end of his prison sentence and came up for evaluation every two years under a 1996 law governing sexually violent predators. Offenders found to have committed two violent acts and have a mental disorder can be held beyond their sentence if deemed a sexually violent predator.
With the advent of the so-called Jessica’s Law, hospital wards like McKnight now face indefinite commitment because the legislation removed the two-year re-evaluation requirement. A commitment as a sexually violent predator now means possible indefinite commitment or — on the chance an inmate is found safe — indefinite freedom.
This hearing is the first for McKnight since the law changed. The sexually violent predator extension trial is estimated to last one week before Judge Jack Grandsaert.
McKnight remains in custody as a state hospital patient.
Waupun police were called just after midnight today to respond to a domestic incident at an apartment on the 400 block of Main Street. The 23-year-old victim told police she and the 24-year-old man were arguing over money the day before when he grabbed her by the hair and began beating her with the steel handle of a broom, according to police reports.
Waupun Police Chief Dale Heeringa stated "The woman told officers that he swung the broomstick like a baseball bat, hitting her as hard as he could. She said he finally stopped when the handle broke.”
Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office has charges of disorderly conduct-domestic abuse pending. The suspect is being held at the Fon Du Lac County jail.
The resident[in the girlfriend's apartment building] said she heard yelling, screaming, chasing and the sound of body slams off and on over the next four hours. The girlfriend — who had bruises covering her body, a swollen face and difficulty walking — initially told authorities she "probably fell," but later said Anderson was to blame for the bruises.
She said Anderson at one point threw her into a hallway closet and shut and secured the door. He told her he would burn her and do anything he could to have her kids taken away if she reported the assault.
Anderson, who was charged Wednesday, faces 8 3/4 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Keith was face-down on a sofa when Earhart shot her. The plastic-encased bullet traveled between bone and skin before exiting Keith's skull. Bullet fragments found in her skull and in the apartment matched bullets loaded in the pistol found alongside Earhart inside the gold Plymouth Acclaim that he drove from the apartment. The car belonged to Keith.
When authorities arrived at the apartment at 9:25 a.m., they found her covered in blood but conscious, police said.
Keith initially believed she had been struck in the head, not shot, she testified in Waynesboro General District Court in July. She was treated at Augusta Medical Center and the University of Virginia Medical Center, Widener said.
Police followed Earhart along North Delphine Avenue to Whippoorwill Way.
After that, Earhart lead them on a drunken, 2 mile chase. After the arrest, he spat on an officer. Earhart's criminal record, which dates back 20 years, includes forgery, burglary, and assault charges. His latest conviction, which took place in 2006, was for meth possession and marijuana distribution, for which he served 3 months in jail and was on 5 years of unsupervised probation.
Earhart faced two life sentences. The plea agreement was heard in Waynesboro Circuit Court Judge Humes J. Franklin's courtroom.
The victim whose charges led to Broxmeyer's conviction was a 17 year old girl in a sexual relationship with Broxmeyer last year. A private coach, Broxmeyer coached girls from Broome County, NY (county seat Binghampton), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
While Patrick Kilker, Broxmeyer's attorney, stated that none of the girls were coerced into sending pictures of themselves to their coach, Assistant U.S. Attorney Miroslav Lovric stated in closing arguments Tuesday, September 16 that "these girls were pieces of meat that he nibbled and chewed on to enjoy himself."
The young woman whose testimony was read back during deliberations testified she either took the pictures herself or asked other players for them as a challenge for Broxmeyer.
"They made me feel like I did something right," she told the jury Tuesday.
A conviction on the production charge alone carries a potential 30-year prison sentence.
On the surface, Lovric said Broxmeyer was not the stereotypical child predator, clad in a trench coat and enticing children with candy.
Instead, Lovric said he was successful and attractive. A national field hockey association recommended him to parents as one of the best coaches in the country.
Broxmeyer, arrested on December 22, also faces many state child sex charges for the incidents.
While Pennsylvania and New Jersey's AOC's are both 16 and New York's AOC is 17, the federal statute defining child pornography defines a minor as under the age of 18, making the photographs illegal, even though sex with the 17 year old player was legal (but highly unethical and immoral). Broxmeyer is scheduled to be sentenced next January.
Jackson was identified in a line-up by the victim, according to arrest citation.
Jackson was in custody at Louisville Metro Corrections last night. (Wednesday) He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 3. The jail did not have a record of an attorney for Jackson.
Rape can be a class A or B felony depending on circumstances. If the victim is under 12 or their is serious injury, rape is a Class A felony carrying at least 20 years. If none of the above circumstances are present, rape in Kentucky is a Class B felony carrying 10 to 20 years.
Steven Aguirre, 22, of Posen, was indicted on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, two counts of criminal sexual abuse, one count of aggravated unlawful restraint and one count of unlawful restraint, according to Cook County state's attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.
The charges stem from an incident Labor Day, September 1 when Aguirre was visiting the victim, an acquaintance. He assaulted her during the visit. Aguirre is being held on $250,000 bond and his next court appearance will be October 15.
Gay Lynn Turley, 42, was arrested Wednesday, December 19th for a sexual encounter with a 16 year old student which turned into a 4-year relationship. The now 20 year old victim told police about the relationship on December 17th, and Turley, after questioning from Sgt. Mark Marino from the Mesa Police, admitted the allegations were true. She was arrested after the last classes let out at Mesa High School, and charged with 10 counts of suspicion of sexual contact with a minor.
The East Valley Tribune has more to say about the relationship:
She started staying overnight at Turley’s house in May of that year, and the relationship eventually became sexual, Marino said. At 18, the relationship grew as the girl moved in with Turley. Things apparently soured between the two women sometime this year when, according to police, the girl moved out of Turley’s home.
The souring of the relationship also included an incident which led to criminal charges against the alleged victim, another East Valley Tribune article, "Former student involved with teacher has record" reports.
The arrest was made in August after the former student is alleged to have assaulted Mesa High School teacher and coach Gay Lyn Turley, 42, in her Gilbert home, police said. [Turley's victim] was also charged with disorderly conduct and criminal damage.
Kathy Bareiss, spokeswoman for the Mesa Unified School District, said school officials were only told about the investigation Wednesday.
Turley has been a teacher and girls golf and softball coach at Mesa High School since 1989. According to the school’s Web site, she taught six physical education classes during the fall semester. The school has started an inquiry and is assisting police with their investigation. Mesa Unified School District has placed Turley on paid leave. If the investigation reveals she broke the law or school policy, she will be fired, school officials said.
It appears Turley was still teaching even while police were investigating her, Bareiss said. Bareiss said the district plans to conduct an inquiry and assist police officers with their investigation.“We have a due process,” she said. “We’re trying to be fair to everybody.”If it turns out Turley broke the law or district policy, she will be fired, Bareiss said.
If the investigations are not over when the next semester starts on Jan. 3, Turley will be placed on paid leave, she said.According to the school’s Web site, Turley taught six physical education and sports classes during the fall semester and is scheduled to teach six more in the spring.
Marino said police are concerned there may be other victims and asked anyone with information to call them at (480) 503-6500.
Turley has been released from jail and is on house arrest.
"It started when I was 15, until I was 18, on a nightly basis," the victim told Abrams. She said she is upset that the crime could be designated a misdemeanor after Turley served 10 years of probation.
"It seems like she's getting off awfully easy," the victim said.
The charge is a class six felony and can be reduced to a misdemeanor because the victim was more than 15 years when the crime occurred.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
CONCORD – A former prison guard was sentenced to 13-26 years for sexually assaulting two women inmates being treated in the Secure Psychiatric Unit (SPU) at the New Hampshire State Prison.
Darrell Brinkley, 53, of Antrim, pleaded guilty today in Merrimack County Superior Court to one count each of aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault, simple assault, extended term, and one count of indecent exposure. He was sentenced to the State Prison although a prosecutor said he will likely be transferred to an out-of-state prison.
Assistant Attorney General James T. Boffetti said the sentence provided some relief to the victims.
"These women were in an extraordinarily vulnerable position in that they were psychiatric patients," Boffetti said. "This office takes these matters very seriously and will vigorously prosecute them."
The state Department of Corrections fired Brinkley in 2005 but then he went to Iraq with his Naval Reserve Unit where he worked as a prison guard. Boffetti said the military was notified of the indictments when they were issued last year."They brought him back very quickly," he said.
Brinkley was originally indicted on 11 charges involving three women inmates. He pleaded guilty to four - two felonies and two misdemeanors - alleging he assaulted two women inmates. The remaining charges were dismissed, Boffetti said.
The sentence was imposed by Judge Carol Ann Conboy and included a 2 to 5-year suspended sentence on the misdemeanor offenses to be served consecutively.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Eugene A. Altomare, 57, plead guilty to sexual battery in Stark County Common Pleas Court after being sexually involved with a woman who is under supervision at a Massillon, OH hospital after being found guilty, but mentally ill for an arson which occurred back in 2004. Though the sex was not forced or coerced, the woman believed that the sex would mean a more favorable report when it came to treatment progress, and possible release.
Altomare didn't work for the hospital, but he was a professional clinical counselor in Lisbon and had treated the woman for several years. A Columbiana County judge placed the woman in Heartland [Behavioral Healthcare] in 2004 after finding her not guilty by reason of insanity in an aggravated arson case.
Altomare supervised the woman during trips away from the hospital. Twice they ended up at the Red Roof Inn in Jackson Township. The woman alleged that Altomare had intercourse with her on two occasions and that she performed oral sex on him once, said Assistant Stark County Prosecutor Hope Konovsky. Heartland staff asked the Ohio Highway Patrol to investigate Altomare after the allegations came to light. He admitted to state troopers that the woman performed oral sex on him twice during outings away from the hospital. He denied having intercourse with her, court papers show.
Judge Richard D. Reinbold Jr will sentence Altomare next month, and he could give Altomare anywhere from probation to 5 years. Altomare, who has surrendered his licence to practice counseling, has been classified a Tier 3 sex offender, which means lifetime registration with renewal every 90 days. Both the defendant and his lawyer did not comment.
(Update 9-16-08) Altomare was not classified as a Tier 3 SO, but a Tier 2 one, meaning registration for the next 25 years. He was placed on 4 years probation with a 3 year suspended sentence hanging over his head. Altomare must never reapply for the surrendered license and must continue SO treatment. Altomare felt a "tremendous amount of remorse for the victim, her relatives, and his family" before sentencing.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The son of Ulster unionist MLA George Savage has been sentenced to six months in prison for beating up his wife. George Samuel Savage of Dromore Road in Donaghcloney was convicted of the assault earlier this year.
As the 42-year-old was being led from the dock at Belfast Crown Court, he pointed at Mr Justice Hart and said 'not guilty'. He was also given an additional two months for assaulting a child who at the time was in his care.
Savage attacked his wife on several occasions on dates between December 2001 and January 2006. Speaking after her ex-husband was sentenced, Francis Savage said: "I'm glad he got a custodial sentence for everything he put me through. "I've started to rebuild my life and this is now the final chapter of the past so I can now get on with my life."
Savage was acquitted of more serious charges against his wife during his trial held earlier this year at Craigavon Crown Court.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Everhart sneaked up on the victim, told her he had a gun and threatened her life during the attack outside the victim's home in the 16000 block of Laramie Avenue.
Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Lorraine Lynott said that the DNA evidence left behind in the rape was Everhart's calling card.
"Today is the day for justice. Tell this defendant that you know he raped (the victim) and that he is not going to get away with it."
During the three-day trial, a 35-year-old woman Everhart raped in Hickory Hills in 1994 testified against him, describing how he had abducted her in a method similar to the 2005 attack. Everhart was also convicted of a sex attack in 2000 in Tinley Park, when he dragged a woman behind a Dumpster.
Everhart's attorneys planned to have him on the stand in his defense. Kevin Kent, an attorney, stated "Mr. Everhart is going to get up on the stand and tell you what happened, he's going to tell you that the sex was consensual, that there were occasions prior to that when he had relations with her," but the defense rested without calling any witnesses.
Defense attorney Lauren Middleton told the jury "inconsistencies" in the victim's story meant Everhart should be acquitted. Outside court, she stated the defense changed course "based on our assessment of the case."
Shaun Concannon, another prosecutor, described the verdict as "extremely pleasing." The victim, fighting emotions, sat in the public gallery of the courtroom.
He also remains a suspect in the 2005 rape of a Tinley Park teen. Judge Michelle Simmons is due to sentence him Oct. 1.
Last September, Branch reportedly entered a unit at the Carlton Arms apartment complex through an unlocked sliding glass door. He grabbed the victim - who was checking her messages on an answering machine - by the back of her hair and forced her to an upstairs bedroom, where he made her undress and then sexually assaulted her. He then took two beers from her refrigerator, a bottle of whiskey, several DVDs and her Nextel cellular phone.
Police officers tracked down Branch through the missing cell phone. They found him 100 yards away, back in his own unit in the same apartment complex.
Branch initially denied involvement and said he found the phone on a sidewalk.
DNA tests later revealed a match between the defendant and evidence left on the victim. She testified in court Thursday that since the incident she still has nightmares, doesn't like being home by herself and suffers from emotional trauma.
It goes to show you that if you are guilty and offered a plea deal, take it. The sentence you get for rolling the dice reflects not just the nature of the crime, but the fury at the resources wasted on a tril when there is ample evidence of your guilt.
“This is a senseless act that is hard to explain under any circumstance,” LeBon said, calling the evidence in the case “graphic and chilling.”
Singleton admitted he shot and stabbed Cazan multiple times after the two had argued for hours and she refused to give him her car keys so he could leave her house in Mansfield.
Singleton, however, testified that he killed her because he believed God wanted her dead because she was “evil.” He said he knew she was evil because Cazan did not want to follow his extreme religious beliefs, including rejecting money and living in the woods with their unborn child.
Testimony revealed Singleton believed he was a soldier of God sent to “eradicate evil” and had a hit list of people he was supposed to kill for God. A defense expert said Singleton suffered from a mental illness that made him delusional and psychotic. Yesterday, authorities said he no longer takes medication for that illness.
Burlington County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Van Gilst asked for a life sentence because "the victim did nothing, but take him in, take care of him and give him love and affection. His anger was the sole reason for the murder...Michelle Cazan is gone to her family. To allow him to one day walk free is not right.” Van Glist also stated that the insanity defense should be rejected because he knew right from wrong.
Singleton asked for forgiveness from the victim's family.
"I know how much she meant to you and how much you meant to her. I pray to God you may find it in your heart to forgive me.”
The Daily Evergreen
College-age women are four times more likely to get raped, according to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network Web site. And here we are, college-aged and all, yet nothing is said to us about rape. Sure, you’ll find a poster here and there telling you to “go to the police” or “no means no,” but in my opinion, this issue, for how common rape is, hasn’t been talked about enough. You deserve to be educated. You deserve to know about your resources. So here it is, in your face. It’s time to start talking.
When I talked with Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant during the summer, he said the most common type of rape in Pullman – and everywhere else – is acquaintance rape.
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime’s Web site, acquaintance rape is “a sexual assault by an individual known to the victim.” This can be anyone you know, even someone you are dating.
Sadly, even though this is the most common – four out of five rapes are acquaintance rapes – it is also the least reported and the least talked about.
As everyone is well aware, rape is a touchy subject. It’s important at all times to keep the situation in perspective. While it is of the utmost importance that you remain vigilant, you should also keep in mind the dynamics of each individual situation.
Acquaintance rape is possibly the ultimate “gray area.” This is one of the reasons why it is so vastly underreported. But there are some consistent traits among attackers you can use to help identify and avoid them.
According to RAINN, the attacker will usually intrude upon or violate the victim’s personal space. This could manifest in the attacker revealing personal information to create a false sense of closeness or by “accidental” touching.
Be careful: This might come across as flirting, but pay close attention to the intensity. Usually when you first meet someone, they don’t tell you their life story, nor do they try to feel you up.
The attacker will also attempt to make the victim feel comfortable with them. This is called desensitization. The dangerous thing is the attacker is manipulating the victim into lowering their inhibitions and making the victim feel like their uneasy feelings are unfounded and incorrect.
If you initially feel uneasy about someone, hold on to that. You shouldn’t ever trust someone that hasn’t earned your trust. Finally, once the attacker has gained the victim’s trust, they will use it to isolate him or her from other people.
In all encounters with people, you should trust your gut instinct. If you feel weird about someone, restrict your contact with him or her or include other people in the conversation.
Unfortunately, alcohol or other drugs will completely throw all of this off. They can lower inhibitions, meaning that you might not notice if someone is coming on too strong, and you are more likely to do things that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with if you were sober.
Tennant said the most reliable way to protect yourself is to use the buddy system. If you’re going to a party, take a friend along with you, make a plan for the night and stick to it.
One of the trickier things to talk about is what will happen if you find someone you want to hook up with. Should your buddy screen the lucky guy/girl? Who will have the final say, you or your buddy? These are the kinds of questions you should have answers for ahead of time.
Keep in mind that if you met this person at the party, it’s probably not a good idea to run with it. One-night stands are never a good idea, as harmless as they may seem. If you find someone you like enough, get his or her number. There is always tomorrow.
Finally, when you do decide to hook up with someone, make sure you talk about it. Make sure it is something that you both want and are ready for.
Rape occurs when there is no consent. It may feel awkward to talk about sex, you may feel like you’re ruining the moment, but you probably shouldn’t be having sex if you can’t even talk about it.
By TONY BLAIS -- Sun Media
The Edmonton Sun
An Edmonton man was sentenced to life in prison [September 8] after admitting stabbing his pregnant wife to death several weeks after learning the unborn child was not his.
John Dum Both, 43, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Sept. 6, 2006, slaying of 27-year-old Nyibol Chuol, whose decomposed body was found 10 days later hidden in a ditch north of Highway 16, just east of the city.
"This was the killing of a spouse, a breach of trust," said Crown prosecutor Lawrence Van Dyke. "Literally the ultimate act of spousal violence."
The Sudanese immigrant had the help of a Nuer interpreter, but softly spoke the word "guilty" in English, and his lawyer later said the killer had accepted responsibility and told him he "had no right" to do what he did.
Both also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for stabbing his wife's cousin, Deng Awer, in the arm on the day after the killing as the then-21-year-old man went to call police to get help in finding his missing cousin.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain accepted a joint submission for Both to be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 10 years from the time of his arrest.
According to agreed facts, Both and Chuol came to Canada as government-sponsored refugees in 2003, along with two of Chuol's elementary school-aged nephews. In approximately late May 2006, Chuol became pregnant by a man identified in court as James Ding Dak.
Both became aware Chuol was pregnant by at least July 21, 2006, when he accompanied her to see a doctor, and knew he was not the father by no later than Aug. 18, 2006. Chuol refused to tell Both who the real father was.
On Sept. 6, 2006, Both picked up Chuol and a friend from Sacred Heart school where she was studying English as a second language. The couple dropped off the friend at home and appeared to be arguing during the drive.
Court heard Both stabbed Chuol multiple times and then concealed her body by covering it with grass and leaves in a ditch overgrown with bushes adjacent to a service road on the north side of Highway 16 by Range Road 222.
About 4 p.m. the next day, Awer went to Both's 12819 72 St. home to borrow a vacuum cleaner and asked the bakery worker where his wife was. Awer suggested calling police to help find her and, as he walked towards his car, Both attacked him with a large kitchen knife.
Both was arrested and charged with aggravated assault that night. The boys were taken by Children's Services.
Police discovered Chuol's body on Sept. 16, 2006, and an autopsy revealed she had been stabbed at least five times, including wounds to the chest and abdomen. Both was charged with second-degree murder five days later.
In victim impact statements, the two boys - who are now 12 and 14 and living with relatives in Australia - said they are sad over the death of their aunt and remain frightened that Both will track them down and kill them.
The other 2 strikes occured in 2000, for battery and vandalism, and in 2002, for burglary of Vidrio's home. Jackson was still on parole after serving prison time for the burglary. The victim had dated her attacker for about 1 1/2 years beforthe burglary.
On the night of the shooting, Jackson went to the bar about 7 p.m. and waited for Vidrio to come out of the restroom, according to court testimony.
When she emerged, Jackson shot her once in the back as she ran for the door. Bar patrons subdued Jackson and held him until police arrived.
Deputy District Attorney Chantal De Mauregne argued that Jackson's mental history was thoroughly investigated and said he should have thought about his prison exposure before trying to kill Vidrio.
"He doesn't deserve to live any of his life out in society because of what he has done," the prosecutor said.
Rick Siref, Jackson's counsel, plans to appeal because Jackson's history of depression, paranoia, and mental illness wasn't fully investigated. He (unsucessfully) appealed to Judge Preckel to impose a lighter sentnce stating that his client would die in prison if the 77 year sentence wsa imposed.
By MARTHA DELLER
FORT WORTH — An Arlington man who told jurors that the devil made him gun down his estranged wife in the driveway of her home was sentenced Thursday to 99 years in prison.
A Tarrant County jury had deliberated just 15 minutes Wednesday before convicting Wayne Edgar Edwards of murder in the Jan. 4 death of Deborah Edwards, 46, with whom he had four daughters.
The jury of seven men and five women deliberated about an hour and a half Thursday before recommending the prison term for Edwards, 49.
As required by law, the sentence was then imposed by 213th state District Judge Louis Sturns.
Prosecutor Christy Dunn said Edwards’ daughters were pleased with the sentence.
"The girls will have some peace now. They’ll be able to sleep at night," she said, referring to their anxiety during the years that Edwards abused his wife, which resulted in a 2003 assault conviction.
During the sentencing phase of the trial Thursday, Edwards began sobbing loudly as a friend testified, prompting Sturns to send the jury out of the courtroom.
"You’ve got to get yourself under control," Sturns admonished Edwards. "We can’t record testimony."
Edwards replied: "I’m not doing it deliberately. I’m in God’s hands, your honor. I don’t mean to disrupt the court."
Later, Edwards took the stand where he gave rambling testimony about his life with his wife and daughters and how demonic forces led him to kill his wife.
"I didn’t come here to try get out of anything," he said. "You already know I killed my wife, but it was Satan that did it to me.
"The devil took me and did what he did."
But, he said, "That Wayne is gone." Edwards said he has now "submitted to God and the Holy Spirit. They came to me in the jail."
When questioned by Dunn about the effect of his actions on his family, Edwards acknowledged that his daughters were "devastated" by the loss of their mother.
"And it looks like they’ll have to go on without me, too," he said.
Both Dunn and Edwards’ attorney, David Jones, said that jurors may have given Edwards the long sentence because of his own testimony.
"Mr. Edwards was adamant that he wanted to get on the stand and tell jurors the reason he believed this all happened," Jones said. "Obviously they didn’t think his explanation was good enough."
Daughters on stand
State witnesses included the couple’s oldest daughters, Brittany Edwards, 21, and Tiffany Edwards, 19.
Brittany Edwards testified that her mother worked as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner in Dallas and Arlington to pay college tuition for her two oldest daughters and support her younger girls. The couple had separated several times, including a period in 2002 and 2003 when Wayne Edwards spent 30 days in jail for assaulting his wife and Deborah Edwards spent two weeks in a women’s shelter, according to testimony. She filed for divorce in 2002 but did not pursue the petition.
But Deborah Edwards had refused to let her estranged husband move into the home on Quail Meadows Lane where she and her daughters had lived for three years.
The night she was shot, Brittany Edwards testified, her mother called her daughters to say she was pulling into the driveway and her husband was standing outside. She warned them to lock the doors.
Minutes later, Brittany Edwards said, her younger sister heard gunshots. At least three shots were fired before Wayne Edwards drove away, police said. The children rushed outside to find their mother bleeding inside her car.
Following a witness tip that a man drove away in a dark-colored red Chevrolet shortly after the shooting, Arlington police arrested Edwards near the Homestead Suites on North Watson Road, where he had been registered.
Because Edwards used a deadly weapon in the crime, he’ll have to serve at least half of the 99-year prison term. The jury also assessed a $10,000 fine.
MARTHA DELLER, 817-390-7857
Nalls, now 25, was convicted of 3rd degree murder. The motive is still unknown.
"She was the first love of my life and it wasn't my intention to do this," Alves told Thim, before Thim sentenced him and noted the brutal nature of the crime.
Alves is accused of fatally stabbing his wife, Nelita Nacif, 42, in their Beers Street apartment on March 13, 2007.
According to Senior Assistant State's Attorney Margaret Kelley, the husband and wife became embroiled in an argument because Alves believed his wife was cheating on him.
Kelley said Alves then stabbed his wife with an assortment of kitchen knives and even a barbecue fork. She said Nacif suffered between 45 and 50 stab wounds.
He showered while his wife was dying on the kitchen floor, covered in a pool of blood. Neighbors who heard arguing called police, who had to break down the door of their apartment to get to the victim.