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Tag: Murder

Former Tulsa Police Officer Charged with First-Degree Murder in Death of Daughter’s Boyfriend

Former Tulsa Police Officer Shannon Kepler. Photo via Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

By Steve Neavling

A former Tulsa police officer accused of fatally shooting his daughter’s boyfriend in 2014 has been charged with first-degree murder after he was tried four times in state court. 

Shannon James Kepler was previously found guilty by a jury but the case was appealed as his defense argued his state-level conviction should be vacated and the case be transferred to the Muscogee Creek Nation, where is a member.  

Kepler was charged with first-degree murder in Indian Country, causing death by using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence, and assault with a dangerous weapon in Indian Country, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma.

“Nineteen-year-old Jeremey Lake’s life was senselessly cut short in 2014 when Shannon Kepler allegedly shot and killed him,” U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said in a statement. “Our victim specialists are communicating with Jeremey’s family and will be with them every step of the way as this case moves forward in federal court. Our prosecutors have worked hand in hand with our partners at the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office to ensure this young man and his family experience a full measure of justice.”

The Tulsa Police Department and FBI led the investigation. 

Retired Border Patrol Agent Suspected of Killing Wife, Then Himself

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A retired 57-year-old Border Patrol agent is accused of fatally shooting his wife in Texas and then taking his own life.

Authorities say Mark Martinez, a 28-year Border Patrol veteran who retired in 2015, killed his wife inside the couple’s home in West El Paso on Wednesday, BorderReport.com reports.

The next morning, investigators discovered Martinez dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a vehicle in La Union, N.M.

Police said the body of Martinez’s wife, Norma Martinez, was found by a family member.

The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office and officers with U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force found Martinez’s body.

The El Paso Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons unit is investigating the suspected murder-suicide.

Man on FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List Since 2014 Has Been Captured

Yaser Abdel Said

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Yaser Abdel Said, who has been on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List since 2014, has been captured in Justin, Texas, on Wednesday and is in federal custody, the bureau announced Wednesday.

The 63-year-old taxi driver is accused of fatally shooting his two teenage daughters, Amina and Sarah on New Year’s Day 2018.

“Since that night, the members of the Irving Police Department and our partners with the Dallas FBI have tirelessly pursued justice for Amina and Sarah,” Irving Police Chief Jeff Spivey said in a news release. “Even after 12 years of frustration and dead ends, the pursuit for their killer never ceased. Today’s arrest of their father, Yaser Said brings us closer to ensuring justice is served on their behalf.”

FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno added, “The FBI-led Dallas Violent Crimes Task Force has worked tirelessly to find Yaser Abdel Said. These experienced investigators never gave up on their quest to find him and pledged to never forget the young victims in this case. Said was placed on the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List nearly six years ago for the heinous act he committed against his daughters. His capture and arrest bring us one step closer to justice for Amina and Sarah.”

Amina and Sarah Said, via Justice for Sarah and Amina Facebook page.

Said is accused of shooting his daughters, 17 and 18 years old, in his taxi cab.

A capital murder warrant was issued for his arrest on Jan. 2, 2008.

The search was led by FBI’s Dallas Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes of FBI special agents and officers from the Carrollton, Dallas, Garland, Grand Prairie, and Irving Police Departments and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Established in March 1950, the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list has helped track down hundreds of suspects. Said was the 504th person added to the list.

Golden State Killer Pleads Guilty to String of Murders, Kidappings

FBI wanted poster.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. affirmed he is the Golden State Killer by pleading guilty Monday to 13 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of kidnapping.

The 74-year-old, who sat in a wheel chair and wore an orange jump suit and plastic face shield, admitted he committed a string of murders in the 1970s and ’80s that terrorized California and frustrated law enforcement.

“Mr. DeAngelo is acknowledging his guilt for the heinous crimes he has committed,” Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said at the court hearing, NPR reports. “There is really nothing that could give full justice because he has committed horrendous acts and murder up and down the state of California. But at least we can now begin the process — after decades — to bring some closure to families.”

In June 2016, the FBI renewed its manhunt for the elusive killer during a news conference, where they announced a $50,000 reward. Less than two years later, DeAngelo was arrested, based on forensic genetic genealogy.

“The scope of Joseph DeAngelo’s crimes is simply staggering,” Sacramento County Prosecutor Thien Ho said. “Each time he escaped, slipping away silently into the night.”

Family members of some of the victims spoke.

Disgraced Ex-FBI Agent John Connolly Wants Released from Jail Because of Coronavirus

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Agent John Connolly, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence for assisting notorious gangster “Whitey” Bulger, is asking to be freed from prison because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 79-year-old “suffers from multiple severe medical conditions, poses no threat to the public safety, and seeks release to protect him from contracting the novel coronavirus,” his attorneys wrote to a Florida judge this week, The Miami Herald reports.

His lawyers say Connolly would live with his brother in Florida and serve the remainder of his sentence on home confinement.

While working for the FBI’s Boston Field Office in the 1970s, Connolly recruited Bulger as an informant. Connolly was convicted of second-degree murder for participating in a plot to kill a Florida businessman in 1982 at the urging of Bulger.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office does not want Connolly to be released.

“He deserves to remain behind bars,” State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle told The Miami Herald. “He was an FBI agent who used his badge to give information that led to the death of an informant. It’s reprehensible.”

The former agent is asking that he be allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence on home confinement.

Appeals Court Upholds Murder Convictions in Death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Two men convicted in the 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry lost their appeal in which they claimed they were illegally extradited.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the murder convictions of Ivan Soto-Barraza and Jesus Lionel Sanchez-Meza, who are serving life sentences, saying their extraditions were lawful, The Associated Press reports.

Terry was fatally shot during a firefight with a seven-men “rip crew” that robbed smugglers crossing the Arizona-Mexico border.

Terry’s death revealed the botched “Fast and Furious” operation in which federal agents permitted criminals to buy firearms so they could be tracked to criminal organizations.

Five other men have been indicted in connection with Terry’s murder.

Man Sentenced to Life for 2010 Murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A sixth man convicted for his role in the 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, a Mexican gang member, was convicted by a jury in February of nine criminal counts, including first- and second-degree murder.

The case led to the discovery of the Fast and Furious scandal.

Terry was fatally shot during a firefight with a seven-men “rip crew” that robbed smugglers crossing the Arizona-Mexico border.

“A life sentence for Agent Terry’s murder cannot eliminate his family’s suffering. But it is our hope that this sentence brings some degree of comfort to Agent Terry’s family in knowing that the individuals responsible for his murder will be held accountable,” said Robert Brewer, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, according to AZCentral.com.

Roy Villareal, the chief patrol officer for Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, applauded the sentencing.

“Today brings us one step closer to justice for Agent Brian Terry’s murder,” Villareal said. “The sentencing brings a painful time closer to an end and serves as a reminder of the grave dangers our agents face in their selfless commitment to the safety of their communities and country.”

CBP Specialist Charged with Murdering Wife, Who Also Worked at Agency

Dudley Bernard

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Customs and Border Protection officer has been charged with murder after police say he shot his wife, also a CBP employee, at their Texas home on Thanksgiving night.

Dudley Bernard, 40, was arrested in his front yard after police responded to reports of gunshots at the League City house just after 11 p.m.

Police said Chauntelle Bernard, 42, was found dead at the front door of the home.

Dudley Bernard was an agriculture specialist who oversaw the Houston Seaport environment. Chauntelle Bernard was a supervisor CBP officer in Houston, according to a CBP statement.

“No words can express the sense of loss SCBPO Bernard’s death brings to her colleagues and friends in CBP,” a CBP spokesperson said.