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Tag: Murder

Arizona Man Wanted for Murder of Girlfriend Is Added to U.S. Marshals Most Wanted List

Raymond “RJ” McLeod

By Steve Neavling

A 37-year-old Arizona man wanted in connection with the 2016 murder of his girlfriend has been added to the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted List, the agency announced Monday.

Raymond “RJ” McLeod is the first fugitive to debut on the list with a $15,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. 

McLeod is wanted by the San Diego Police Department for the murder of 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell. 

Authorities believe he fled the country and may be hiding out in Mexico or Central America. He was last spotted in Belize in 2018 and Guatemala in 2017. 

“McLeod poses a significant threat to the public and must be brought to justice,” U.S. Marshal Service Director Donald Washington said in a statement. 

The San Diego District Attorney’s Office charged McLeod with murder after Mitchell was found dead in June 2016 at an apartment in San Diego, where the couple was visiting friends. McLeod was the last known person to see Mitchell alive, authorities said. 

“The passage of time will never deter the Marshals’ fugitive investigation for McLeod,” U.S. Marshal Steve Stafford of the Southern District of California said. “If anything, it fuels our determination. We will leave no stone unturned until he is brought to justice.”

McLeod is 5 feet 11 inches tall and has brown hair and hazel eyes. At the time he fled, McLeod weighed 245 pounds and had “a tattooed muscular physique.”

FBI Agent Wounded During Shootout with Murder Suspect at Louisiana Motel

James David Hawley, 47.

By Steve Neavling

An FBI agent was wounded in a shootout with a murder and kidnapping suspect at a Louisiana motel on Wednesday. 

The suspect, James David Hawley, 47, of Cleveland, was shot dead after a coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement tried to executive a search warrant at the Pinveille motel, which lead to a several-hour standoff, NOLA.com reports.

The kidnapping victim was rescued.

The FBI agent, who was not identified, worked out of the New Orleans Field Office. The agent was hospitalized and still receiving treatment as of Wednesday afternoon. 

Hawley is accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, Thoue Nichole Bronowski, 45, after killing her mother Norma Matko, 69, of Belmont County. 

Authorities said he fled to Louisiana with Bronowski. 

FBI agents from the bureau’s inspection division are investigating the shootout. 

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.