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May 2002

16 May 2002

George Chatfield, a 70-year-old man in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, arrived at the Foothills Bank wearing a surgical mask and carrying a cane. The bank's vice president went to help the frail-looking Chatfield, whereupon he pulled a gun. Police Cmdr. Wade Hammond said "The vice president grabs his hand and knocks the gun loose and sits on him while they call police". Chatfield, who is a suspect in several other robberies and was convicted of bank robbery in 1977, claimed the incident was a misunderstanding and that he was trying to deliver a package but got confused.

The Arizona Republic reports that a Scottsdale man was convicted for the murder of his mother. Dean Glick agreed to give escort Soleadad Villalpando an advance payment of $1,500 on top of her agency's $350 fee. When his 82-year-old mother, Juanita, refused to let him use her credit card to make these payments, he began to beat her. Police, summoned by Villalpando and her driver, entered the elderly woman's home and found her just before she died. Dean's defence lawyer said that his client perhaps broke Juanita's ribs and sternum when trying to use CPR to revive her.

In Belleville, Illinois, lawyer Todd Schultz believed his client when he said he was innocent of a 1999 rape and stabbing. So Schultz ordered DNA tests that he hoped would prove that blood found on Marshall Thomas's trousers was his own rather than the victim's. The results showed that the blood was the victim's. Thomas's DNA also matched that found in a separate, previously unsolved attack case.

In North Providence, Rhode Island, a jewellery supplier arrived at Mineral Spring Jewelers and was robbed on arrival. Fifteen minutes later, he was joined in the closet by a second supplier, who had also been sprayed with tear gas, tied up, and gagged. According to Detective Capt. Paul Marino, a third supplier arrived but was sent away by the thieves, who had leased the shop about a month earlier. When the suppliers freed themselves with the aid of a pocketknife, the culprits were gone.
As a return on their investment in three jewellery showcases, a fake surveillance camera, and $1000 in rent, the thieves made off with $25,000 in gold jewellery and cash. The shop is across from the police station.

In Garfield, Pennsylvania, Kenneth Hairston was charged with forcing his step-daughter to have sex with him repeatedly over a period of several years. He was only arrested after he went to the 22-year-old woman's flat and ordered her boyfriend to leave. In court recently, Hairston explained that he didn't want his wife and son to suffer the embarrassment of seeing his rape trial. Which is why he killed them with a sledgehammer prior to his trial. The bodies were found by firefighters who were extinguishing a blaze at Hairston's home.

The Tampa Tribune reported that two brothers argued after one attacked the other with a rubber band-powered paper aeroplane, causing him to spill his coffee. Emmett Carter, 60, cursed at his brother when hot coffee spilled on his hand, so Daniel, 39, hit him, according to third brother John. The fight ended when Emmett stabbed Daniel in the chest with a paring knife, killing him. Emmett was arrested when deputies arrived.

The Daily Telegraph reported on the theft of an 11-tonne truck in Penrith. The interesting part came after the thieves stole a cash machine from a service station and used chains to drag it away from the scene of the crime. They drove through four suburbs before the ATM caught fire. Meanwhile, police, alerted that a truck was dragging an ATM, followed the gouges in the road for a few kilometres before they found the machine and truck, still coupled but with thieves nowhere in site.
"The joke is on the offenders, because the cash all went up in flames", said Inspector Bruce Ritchie of the Penrith police.

In Newport Beach, California, Trenton Veches's name has been added to the list of men who are kind to children but have their own nefarious agenda. The 31-year-old city employee organised various after-school events - until a co-worker saw him sucking a child's toes. Detectives allege that Veches sucked the toes of more than 40 children over a two-year period, based on images stored in a digital camera found at the Veches home. Police Sergeant Steve Shulman said: 'It's different when a parent sucks on their three-year-old's toe or fingers. When the person is doing it for sexual (arousal), that's illegal.'

A 24-year-old Lithuanian woman complained about unfairness in the country's laws for those seeking a driver's licence. Under the rules, female would-be drivers are required to have a gynaecological exam. The complaint to gender ombudswoman Ausra Burneikiene stated that men are not required to have an equivalent exam. The health ministry has scrapped the regulation, although some medical officials were opposed to this and explained that certain gynaecological disorders could cause enough pain for a woman to pass out while driving.

Maine school bus driver Don LeSeur didn't know why his bus was being surrounded by police cruisers. After droppng off 25 Livermore Falls High School students, LeSeur had driven off - but not before one of the students taped a note to the back of the bus. It read: 'Help. We've been kidnapped. Call 911.' The bus had no students in it when police stopped LeSuer. The culprit, who was not named, was suspended from classes for 10 days and from the bus indefinitely, said principal Roderick Wright.

A New York City couple starved their daughter, Ice. Joseph and Silva Swinton, both vegans, decided to feed the girl only ground nuts, fruit juices, herbal tea, beans, cod liver oil, and flax seed oil. The 16-month-old was half the normal weight of a child her age when authorities found her and took her to hospital, where she was determined to look like a two- to three-month-old and suffer from rickets, a distended abdomen, developmental problems, and a lung disorder caused by malnutrition.
In November, doctors had told the couple that their baby was on the brink of death. They face up to seven years in prison if convicted of the charges. The state asked that their supervised visits with Ice be stopped after Joseph mentioned that the girl was getting 'chubby'.

And finally, in Apison, Texas, college student Peter Bullington, 24, allegedly shot and killed his parents and sister after what Sheriff John Cupp stated that Bullington called 'a family discussion about his spending on the family's credit cards', whose credit lines he had exhausted. Bullington said: 'He went upstairs and got his father's gun, came back downstairs, and shot them [multiple times] in the kitchen area.' Bullington is a psychology student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

30 May 2002

Ronald Shanaburger was upset that his girlfriend, Amy Parsons, didn't attend his father's funeral. But he married her anyway, about three years ago, and they were later divorced. He now claims that his continuing anger about the funeral issue caused him to suffocate his 7-month-old son. Judge Raymond Kickbush heard that Shanaburger wrapped clingfilm around the boy's head in an attempt to punish Parsons. Parsons is due to collect on the child's $100,000 life insurance policy.

Reed Gulley, 21, of Denver, Colorado, was sentenced to 31 years in prison for beating his pregnant, 19-year-old girlfriend so badly that police thought she had been stabbed. The beating occurred the day after Gulley completed a jail term for domestic violence against the woman, Christina Collins. Gulley tore her teeth out, broke her jaw and eye socket, nearly tore off her ear, and caused her severe brain injury. He told police that Collins hurt herself when she fell and hit her head on a coffee table.

David Ivy, 30, serving time for first-degree murder at Tennessee's Shelby County Jail, crawled through a hole in the fence on the roof (which served as an 'inmate recreation area'). He climbed down a drainpipe and escaped. Eleven years ago, Ivy was in the same Memphis prison, serving an earlier sentence for second-degree murder and robbery, when he found the hole and used it to escape. Chief jailer Marron Hopkins said: 'You just scream when you hear something like that.' The hole has now been closed.

The Times reports on the aftermath of UK student Learco Chindamo's murder of headteacher Philip Lawrence. A Probation Service official rang widow Frances Lawrence to advise her that Chindamo was hurt by her televised criticism of his lack of remorse for the killing. The official asked her to apologise to Chindamo, now 21. Home Secretary David Blunkett issued an apology to her after she lodged a complaint.

And Florida's St. Petersburg Times tells of of Korey Bradd Henderson, who thought it would be cool to wear a prison uniform to a hard rock festival. Pasco County sheriff's department officers were out in force for the 'Livestock' festival when they noticed Henderson and approached. So Henderson took off running. After he was quickly caught, he explained that his bright orange outfit with 'Polk County Jail' on the back was a Halloween costume. In fact, Henderson had stolen the uniform when he was released from jail in January. A quick check also showed that Henderson was supposed to be on house arrest. The uniform was confiscated, and he has since been given a new one, albeit of a rather different sort.

Albuquerque, New Mexico, police reported that a man carjacked three people at gunpoint and later tracked down the phone number of one of the victims in order to ask how to hook up the stereo amplifier. The victim had caller ID, and police traced the number to Amadeo Salguero. The carjacking occurred across the street from where Salguero lives. He is now in custody, according to AP reports.

Michael O'Brien was cleared of charges that he murdered a Cardiff newsagent in 1987. To make up for the 11 years he spent in prison, the Home Office gave him UKP 648,000. He was also presented with a bill for UKP 37,158 for 11 years' room and board. O'Brien, who explained that 'they don't charge guilty people for bed and board; they only charge innocent people', said he would have ordered caviar and chips if he had known he'd be charged for the food.

Ohio's Toledo Blade gives us two stories this time. The first involves a bank robbery. Eric D. Davis apparently robbed a bank at gunpoint, but his getaway car didn't wait for him. So he chose a nearby car and ordered the men in it, at gunpoint, to drive. It was an unmarked police vehicle. Meanwhile, in the Central Catholic High School car park, across the street, seniors were taking a lunch break from graduation rehearsal when some recognised Officer Anthony Duncan in the car and saw him struggling with Davis. Most of the students surrounded the car with their own vehicles, while others sat on Davis until other police arrived.

The second story deals with convicted rapist Edward Brewer, who raped a Providence Hospital patient with cerebral palsy four months before she died of cancer. He is suing the hospital for 'inadequate security in protecting visitors as well as their patients'. Without the hospital's negligence, he wouldn't have raped the 44-year-old woman and wouldn't now be dealing with 'pain and suffering'. He is asking for $2 million in damages.

Terrance Frazier, 17, of Savannah, Georgia, parked a green Honda Accord outside a police precinct. He just wanted to talk to his girlfriend, who was inside. A police sergeant had just told beat officers at roll call to look out for a stolen green Honda Accord. As the officers filed out, Officer Harry Henderson saw the stolen vehicle near his patrol car. After Henderson made the arrest, the car was returned to its owner and Frazier charged with receiving a stolen vehicle.

A Sacramento, California, woman's daughter was expelled from a Christian kindergarten because of the mother's job. A former Sunday school teacher, Christina Silvas is now a stripper. Silvas wanted her daughter to get a good religious education, and her work as a nude dancer gives her the money for her daughter's tuition at Capital Christian Center. Administrators found out about her work when another parent showed the school some pictures of her from the Internet.

The Associated Press reported that Duron Ford of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, came to the Fayette County courthouse to face drug possession charges. When officers approached him to serve a warrant on another case, the 19-year-old reportedly said: 'Man, I got the blow on me.' He was carrying about two grams of crack and some marijuana. Ford's court-appointed attorney, Jeffrey Witeko, said: 'We would hope that they have enough brain cells to know not to bring illicit drugs into the courthouse.'

In Upper Makefield, also in Pennsylvania, township supervisor John Titterton outraged a police officer by asking police to do him a favour. After Titterton's wife called him during a meeting, he rang the police to ask that some important papers be delivered to his house. Patrolwoman Patricia Hains was assigned the job. When she arrived at the township building, she discovered that the papers were a package of nighttime diapers for the supervisor's four-year-old daughter.
Hains said: I do not believe it is a police officer's duty to deliver diapers to the spouse of a township supervisor.' Titterton explained his actions thus: 'I didn't do this for me. I did it for my daughter. She needed a diaper, and I'm afraid she can't wait.'

In an update on a previous Clippings story (see September 2001's Clippings online), Reuters reports that a US federal appeals court told a California inmate that prisoners do not have a constitutional right to procreate. He will not be allowed to mail his semen to his wife.
In an update on a January item, Pennsylvania's Renee Layne has now given birth to her 14th child. She and her husband Frank agreed to give the child up for adoption. After allegations surfaced that the couple sold their teenaged son for $300 on the Internet, they admitted to neglecting six others too, who were taken away. Over the years, they have lost or given away custody of all their children.

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© 2002 Anna Shefl