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Tag: Murder

ATF: Felon Who Killed Trooper May Have Bought Weapon from Gun Show

atf file photo

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A gun used by a felon to shoot and kill a state trooper in the state of Washington in February was traced to a gun show in 2009, the Associated Press reports.

The news comes from the ATF, which tracked the history of the .40-caliber Smith & Wesson.

The proper documentation was never filled out when the gun changed hands at least twice, according to the AP.

Joshua Blake shot and killed Trooper Tony Radulescu Feb. 23 and then fatally shot himself, the AP reported.

Judge: Suspected Murderer Can’t Use Old FBI Records to Prove His Innocence

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A Seattle man will not be able to use old FBI records to help prove he did not kidnap and kill a 7-year-old Illinois girl in 1957, the Associated Press reports.

A judge ruled the records relied on hearsay and shouldn’t be admissible.

The records indicate Jack McCullough was in Chicago on the day Maria Ridulph went missing, the AP reported.

The remains fo Maria Ridulph were found less than a year later, about 120 miles away.

McCullough’s trial starts Monday, according to the AP.

FBI Probes Shooting Death of Handcuffed Man in Arkansas

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

On the surface, it looks pretty suspicious.

It’s “definitely bizarre and defies logic at first glance,” Jonesboro, Ark.  Police Chief Michale Yates said, reports Huffington Post.

Chavis Carter, 21, was shot in the head while handcuffed in the rear of a police car in Arkansas.

Police said Carter committed suicide with a gun police failed to find when they searched him.

Carter’s family members, however, believe police killed Carter and are trying to cover it up, according to the Huffington Post.

The FBI is investigating.

Las Vegas FBI Agent Shoots and Wounds Murder Suspect Outside Casino

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There was more than gambling going on outside a Las Vegas casino on Thursday.

KTNV-TV reported that an FBI agent shot and wounded a man wanted for murder around 2:30 p.m. outside of Arizona Charlie’s on Boulder Highway near Twain.

The station reported that the local Criminal Apprehension Team had been running surveillance and followed the suspect after being tipped off that he was in the area.

The station reported after the team confronted the man, he produced a weapon and an FBI agent opened fire. His condition was not immediately known.

 

The Legacy of the Racist Murder of Vincent Chin

Vincent Chin

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Thirty years ago this week, a young Chinese-American man, Vincent Chin, was bludgeoned to death by a man wielding a baseball bat, only a few steps away from a strip club where he and his friends had been celebrating his bachelor’s party.

The crime and its state and federal prosecutions raise the question of whether the case’s anomalous circumstances detract from its impact on American history, the criminal justice system and civil rights for Asian Americans. I became familiar with the case as a resident of the area and as a prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit.

It all began at the tawdry Fancy Pants Lounge in Highland Park, Michigan. Across the stage from Chin and his friends, sat Ronald Ebens and his step-son Michael Nitz doing what men do in such places.

Ebens was a popular supervisor at the nearby Chrysler plant in 1982. It was a tough time for American auto companies and their employees as Japanese companies made steady inroads into the market. Anti-Asian sentiment was common around Detroit. Chin was an outgoing and lively guy who had a wide circle of friends. His parents had emigrated from China to the United States in the 1940s to escape the harsh realities of life in Communist China.

Fueled by alcohol and senseless machismo on both sides, a shouting match ensued between the groups. The accurate content of the argument was both disputed and was soon lost in the fog of time. Chin’s friends later claimed that Ebens made racial remarks, “It’s because of you little mother-fuckers that we’re out of work.” Ebens and Nitz denied the statement and asserted that it was Chin who escalated the trash-talking by hitting Ebens with a chair and then calling Ebens a “chickenshit.”

The dispute spilled out into the parking lot and then across the street near a McDonalds restaurant. As two off-duty policeman watched, Ebens chased Chin onto Woodward Avenue and then struck him on the head several times with a baseball bat he had grabbed from the trunk of his car.

According to a friend, Chin’s last words were, “It isn’t fair…” The veracity of even this, later to be, iconic dying declaration is in doubt since experts later testified that the injury to the brain was so severe that speech would have been impossible. Whether true or not, the words would become a battle cry for Asian-Americans across the country.

Four days later, Vincent Chin died on his mother’s birthday. On the day after the wedding had been scheduled, the guests instead attended his funeral.

The state prosecution, Eben and Nitz’s nolo contendere pleas to manslaughter, and the subsequent sentences of only probation and a fine, were not great moments in Michigan justice.

But sadly, neither did they deviate substantially from the routine in the violent Motor City and its imperfect criminal justice system at the time. Anyone interested in exploring the facts and evidence, from the perspective of both the defense and the prosecution, can read my article in The Court Legacy, Volume XIV, Number 4 (November 2007) or other accounts such as the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Who Killed Vincent Chin? by Rene Tajima and Christine Choy (Filmmakers Library 1989).

In his op-ed piece in the New York Times a few days ago, Frank Wu, Dean of University of California Hastings School of Law, wrote in moving terms about the legacy of Vincent Chin and the response by those who took up the cause of his death and awakened the consciousness of a generation of Asian-Americans as well as the public recognition of their civil rights.

After thirty years, I continue to believe that the Chin case is one of those anomalies. Four levels at the U. S. Attorney’s Office, including me I should disclose, concluded that the evidence of a racial motivation for the homicide was insufficient. Without such proof, there could have been no federal jurisdiction for a civil rights violation. U. S. Attorney Len Gilman recognized the injustice of the state criminal result but declined prosecution.

However, under the glare of publicity, the effective campaign of the American Citizens for Justice, and the influence of nine Congressmen who had sizeable numbers of Asian-American voters, the Justice Department countermanded the U. S. Attorney’s Office decision and sought and received a criminal indictment from the Detroit federal grand jury.

The tortured, four-year history of the federal case supports Gilman’s conclusion. Nitz was acquitted in the first trial, the Court of Appeals reversed Ebens’ conviction, and he was acquitted after venue in the case was transferred to Cincinnati for the re-trial.

This ultimate result, as it bears on whether Vincent Chin’s death was a tragic example of racial bigotry or the tragic result of a stupid bar fight, is remembered by few, but it does not diminish the importance of the case in transforming Asian-Americans from the “silent, model” minority to people who demanded their rights under the Constitution.

A single case did not, of course, reverse two centuries of bigotry. The oppressive importation of Chinese laborers, like Vincent Chin’s grandfather, to build the nation’s railroads, the involuntary detention of 120,000 loyal Japanese-Americans into internment camps during World War II, and countless other public and private acts of discrimination remain as stains on American history.

But the importance of the case in mobilizing Asian-Americans remains as true and real today as if the perpetrator had clearly and indisputably announced a racial purpose to his crime rather than engaged in a drunken bar fight.

Moreover, there is clear evidence that the case contributed significantly to reforms in the criminal justice system nationally as well as in Michigan. These include prosecutor participation at the sentencing stage, the recognition and mandate of victim-witness rights, and restrictions on prosecution policies for plea-bargaining.

Those of us who have Asian-American family members whose rights and opportunities are near and dear, as well as the American public who have benefited so greatly from the many contributions of Asian-Americans to American history, can only celebrate the legacy of the Chin case and not be overly troubled by its messy facts.

FBI Reports: Crime in 2011 Dropped to Near Historic Lows

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Crime rates in 2011 fell to near historic lows, according to the FBI.

Preliminary figures released Monday show violent crimes and property crimes reported dropped in 2011 compared to the previous year.

Specifically, violent crimes fell 4 percent and property crimes dropped 0.8 percent.

In the violent crime offenses category, murder was down overall 1.9 percent from 2010 figures; forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault all fell 4.0 percent.

The FBI said there was an increase in murder in the Midwest (0.6 percent) and an 18.3 percent jump in murder in cities with populations of less than 10,000.

Kidnapped Girls Saw Fugitive Adam Mayes’ Suicide

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Details continue to roll in about the kidnapping-murder-suicide of Adam Mayes, who had just been placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.

Mayes in April had abducted a mother and her three daughters. The mother, Jo Ann Bain and the eldest daughter were found dead.

The FBI says that the two surviving daughters saw their kidnapper shoot himself as authorities approached, according to CNN.

FBI spokesperson Jason Pack said the 8 and 12 year-old sisters were found with their captor out in the open.

“There was no shelter or anything.” Pack told CNN. “They were dehydrated and dirty, like they were here for several days…They gave them water and we drove them out right away.”

The girls were released back to their grateful father from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, Friday.

There are several players in this case, including Mayes’ wife Teresa, who family characterizes as another fearful victim of Mayes’ abuse. Teresa Mayes was charged along with Adam Mayes on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping.

To read more click here.

Feds Charge New Orleans Man in 5 Murders Including an Off-Duty Cop

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A fed jury on Thursday issued a superseding indictment charging a New Orleans man with the murder of five people, one of whom was an off-duty New Orleans cop.

Steven Earl Hardrick, 27, was charged with violations of the federal controlled substances act and federal firearms laws, carjacking, witness tampering and murder.

The superseding indictment alleges that Hardrick allegedly carried out the Oct. 1, 2007, murder of Dwayne Landry; the Oct. 13, 2007, home invasion, shooting and killing of off-duty New Orleans Police Officer Thelonius Dukes; and the Oct. 24, 2007, carjacking and murder of Brett Jacobs, David Alford and Howard Pickens, the Justice Department said.