Eddie Salazar, whose 8-month-old baby turned up dead after a massive search, is pleading not guilty to a charge of filing a false report. The elder Salazar says masked men broke into his house and stole the baby, also named Eddie, which led to an Amber Alert and a huge search near Carthage. Authorities say that initial report was a lie. The baby was eventually found in a river east of town. So far, no charges for the baby's death.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
In 2001, a man named Kent Heitholt, a sports editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune, was robbed and murdered outside the newspaper's offices. Two young men, Chuck Erickson and Ryan Ferguson, were eventually arrested and convicted. (Ferguson is pictured to the left here.) Erickson got 25 years because he testified against Ferguson, who denied participating in the murder. Ferguson was sentenced to 40 years, and his family has actively fought for an appeal.
Now? Erickson is saying that he acted alone with Heitholt was killed -- that Ferguson had no part in it, though his story still puts Ferguson at the crime scene. From the Tribune:
Monday, February 08, 2010
An autopsy is planned for today in Columbia to see if the body found Saturday is Eddie Salazar, the 8-month-old who disappeared last week in Carthage The boy's father was arrested for filing a false report.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Ronny Rathman pleaded guilty Monday to killing the infant back in October. He said that he smacked the back of the baby's head so the child would stop crying -- only, the baby fell out of his arms and hit a chair and a table. The baby had black eyes, something that Rathman blamed on his older sons hitting the child.
“As far as I’m concerned, no one ever gave any credibility to any claim the baby was injured by anyone other than the two adults,” Mr. Scroggins told the News-Press.
Monday, February 01, 2010
Several days ago, the body of Ronnie L. Feitz was found in his living room in the 500 block of N.W. Ivy Place. Feitz, who had taken several blows to the head, had been beaten to death. Jackson County prosecutors have filed charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action against Feitz's son, Christopher, age 27, who lived across the street. Witnesses told Lee's Summit police that the Feitzes didn't get along with each other.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
From Don Bradley: A 22-year-old Oak Grove man was charged Friday with involuntary manslaughter in the Jan. 22 death of a friend shot in the head during a pot-smoking session.
Witnesses told police that Malcolm Luke intentionally pointed the gun at Brady Lowery while a group gathered in a bedroom of a house in the 1300 block of Southeast Austin Street in Oak Grove. Luke said he swung the gun around to put in his waistband when it accidentally discharged.
Lowery, 22, was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead. Luke was also charged with armed criminal action.
Friday, January 29, 2010
In Louisiana, Mo., a man named Tommy L. Harrison is facing a charge of second-degree murder over the 2008 beating death of Richard L. Marshall. Harrison is black, Marshall was white. Harrison's girlfriend told police that Harrison was upset because Marshall had used the racial slur and because Marshall was at her residence, the Hannibal Courier-Post reports.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Missouri's attorney general is seeking execution dates for two men on Death Row, Joseph Franklin and Allen Nicklasson.
Nicklasson was one of the men convicted of killing Richard Drummond, an Excelsior Springs resident, on Interstate 70 when he stoppped to offer help. (Another person convicted in that case, Dennis Skillicorn, was executed last year.) The AP says that Nicklasson is the one who actually pulled the trigger.
Franklin, a white supremacist, is on Missouri's Death Row for murdering Gerald Gordon in 1977 in St. Louis after a bar mitzvah, though Franklin is better known as the guy who shot Larry Flynt, the publisher of "Hustler" magazine. He also says he shot superlawyer / Bill Clinton associate Vernon Jordan when Jordan headed up the National Urban League. We've written about him before here. And here's his Wikipedia entry.
(Franklin confessed to the Flynt and Vernon shootings, but he's never stood trial for either. He was reportedly upset about an interracial photo spread in "Hustler," Wikipedia says.)
In Lebanon, Mo., police believe that Todd Johnson, the manager of some area Sonic restaurants, killed his wife, Sheila, and their 10-year-old son, Blake, before killing himself last Friday. He was found dead in a quarry. This is the same Todd Johnson who went to prison for a string of Johnson County armed robberies back in 1985.
Johnson and his brother, Brent, were part of a group that robbed a grocery store, a savings and loan and a golf-course manager. There was also a run at an armored truck. During one attempt, a Wells Fargo guard was shot and injured. The robbery spree was shocking at the time because the suspects were young, came from good families and didn't really have a criminal history.
It's not entirely clear what led to last week's slayings. From Wright's article:
According to the Lebanon Daily Record, Johnson was the manager of four Sonic Restaurants in that region. An employee whom Johnson had told people he had fired, actually told sheriff’s investigators he was not fired and that Johnson asked him to help in a robbery and insurance scam.
Authorities theorize that Johnson brought the employee to his house to take jewelry, but in the midst of the plot, the motives apparently changed and the wife and son were killed. Now investigators wonder whether the insurance scam was even the reason Johnson brought the employee to the house.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Well, this is interesting. Sara notes that Annicka Martinez -- the woman identified as the burned body in Lafayette County, discovered back on Jan. 12 -- is the same person that KCK police wanted to question in the slaying of Javier Reynoza, who was shot Jan. 2.
From the sheriff's office: The charred human remains discovered January 12, 2010 in western Lafayette County have been identified as those of 31-year-old Annicka Marie Martinez of Kansas City, Kansas. Identification was made by a Forensic Odontologist from Omaha, Nebraska.
Lafayette County detectives will now focus on the homicide investigation. Thanks to information received from the public, the victim was identified more quickly than expected. Anyone with any information concerning this homicide is asked to call the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office at 660-259-3622, anonymously at 660-259-6789 or the TIPS Hotline.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Richard Davis, who was convicted of killing Marsha Spicer in 2006, is arguing that his trial wasn't fair because prosecutors showed duplicate images -- both video and stills -- from a video that Davis and his girlfriend made of the assault on Spicer. The images were so violent that showing duplicates was prejudicial, his lawyers argue.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Lee's Summit police were called to the 500 block of N.W. Ivy Place about 2:30 yesterday afternoon after Ronnie Feitz's employer found the 56-year-old dead. Feitz hadn't shown up for work for a few days. They're not releasing many details yet, but they are treating it as a homicide, as opposed to an accident.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Just a quick update on the case of Daniel Sanders, 20, who's accused of murdering his mother. Sanders was pulled over several months ago for running a red light and failing to use his headlights -- so it must have been surprising when he asked for an attorney almost immediately. The officer searched his car and found the body of Helen Sanders beneath a tire, next to a brand-new shovel, the Columbia Missourian reports.
Several motions are being heard in the case, including one to exclude the search of the car because there wasn't a warrant or probable cause, Sanders' lawyer argues.
In Springfield, Raymond R. Richardson has pleaded guilty to killing Raymond Khalid back in August 2008. Both guys are originally from Kansas City. Police accuse them of trafficking drugs from here to Springfield. At some point, the two of them allegedly had a falling-out, which led to the murder, prosecutors allege. Under the terms of a plea deal, Richardson will get life in prison, but has a shot at parole in several years.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
From Brian Burnes: Two Clay County residents whose bodies were found Sunday died in a murder-suicide, authorities said Tuesday. The two were identified as George Grimes, 58, and his wife, Sharon Grimes, 56, said Lt. Steve Wright of the Clay County sheriff’s department.
“We believe that George shot his wife and then killed himself,” Wright said. In recent years Sharon Grimes worked as an executive assistant to David Warm, executive director of the Mid-America Regional Council, the regional planning agency.
Friday, January 15, 2010
James was only 2 years old when he was killed by a foster parent in Springfield, three months after state workers had pulled the little boy from the home of his biological parents. His dad had tried working caseworkers about the foster home. Dominic had a series of bruises and needed a series of trips to the E.R. Officials did nothing.
That was 2002. Yesterday, the state Children's Division had a big party to celebrate its national accreditation. Missouri is one of only six to win the approval of the Council of Accreditation for its entire agency, the AP reports. It's largely because of Dominic's death, which led to a big house-cleaning at the agency and pressed the legislature to pass new rules, such as tougher background checks of foster parents.
As always, critics are warning that accreditations are nice -- but they're worthless unless they actually force the system to protect kids.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
In St. Louis, the ABB plant -- where three people were slain by another employee last week -- is reopening today for its employees, who will hear about the availability of counseling, etc., but probably won't do much other work today. The P-D has more about the story here.
Image via AP
Monday, January 11, 2010
Rios is the 14-year-old girl who was slain last week near Harrisonville. A 16-year-old male is supposed to appear in court today, and the judge will hear arguments on whether he should be tried as an adult.
Friday, January 08, 2010
Katie Rios, 14, of Harrisonville, is the name of the girl who was killed yesterday, the Cass County Sheriff's Department reports. The medical examiner is scheduled to complete her autopsy today.
The Post-Dispatch has a follow-up on yesterday's workplace shooting in St. Louis, where a man named Timothy Hendron allegedly killed three coworkers and injured several others. As we noted yesterday, Hendron was a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against his employer and Fidelity, which managed their 401Ks. It's being heard in Kansas City this week. The suit alleges that "excessive and undisclosed" fees were charged against workers' accounts. It's not clear, though, if the case is what inspired Hendron's rampage.
From Cass Co. Sheriff: Around 2:00 p.m. today the Cass County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call in the 30200 block of S. Hess Road south of Harrisonville. Deputies arrived on scene and found a teenage female the apparent victim of a homicide in the residence.
Deputies received information that the suspect resided at the residence and had fled the scene on foot. A search of the surrounding fields and wooded area then took place for the next three hours by deputies and the Cass County Tactical Team and assisted by Missouri State Highway Patrol.
After approximately three hours, the suspect, a male juvenile, was apprehended at a residence approximately 3 miles away. The suspect is in juvenile custody. An exact cause of death will be determined by the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office.
(Meredith is reporting the victim and suspect are related, though authorities won't say how. There were a couple of little kids in the house, too.)
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Last week, we had a post about a murder case from Audrain County, Mo., over near Mexico. A trucker named Chester Harvey Jr. and his 19-year-old son, Chad, were accused of murdering a guy that Chester had picked up in California. James William Boyd McNeely's body was found in Harvey Jr.'s truck, which led to an armed standoff between the elder Harvey and the authorities.
Prosecutors said three other men charged with kidnapping in the case — Robert Nicholas Allen, 52, Jackie Don Moss, 44, and Darrill Kirtley Lynn, 45 — took McNeely from Chester Harvey's home to a home in Farber and kept him there.
Chester and Chad Harvey retrieved McNeely and brought him back to the Harveys' home on Dec. 17, restraining him on a mattress in the basement, prosecutors said. The father and son told authorities Chester Harvey suffocated McNeely the next day with a trash bag while Chad Harvey and others wrapped wire around McNeely's throat, according to a probable cause statement.
Now? Harvey's wife has been charged with murder, and she's accused of taking part in the attack on McNeely. Charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping have also been filed against two of Harvey's other sons, ages 16 and 14.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
From Clay County prosecutor's office: On November 24, 2009 Gladstone Police Officers were asked to respond to North Kansas City Hospital regarding an assault that had occurred in Gladstone on November 20, 2009. The victim of the assault, Gary Harris, had been assaulted with a baseball bat at a social gathering on NE 64th Street in Gladstone. According to doctors at the hospital Harris had suffered a number of facial fractures, multiple rib fractures, extensive bruising and a pneumothorax.
Working with detectives from the North Kansas City Police Department the exact location of the assault and the parties involved were identified. Harris was unable to survive from the injuries received and the assault became a homicide. Through the investigation Gladstone Detectives identified the suspect in the homicide along with witnesses who could collaborate what had happened.
On December 29, 2009 the case was presented to the Clay County Grand Jury who indicted Richard Lee Fast of Gladstone with First Degree Involuntary Manslaughter. Bond was set at $50,000 for Fast who remains in custody at the Clay County Jail.
In Joplin, police are trying to arrest a man named Byron D. Lang, who's been charged with second-degree murder in connection with a 2-year-old's death there back in 2008. Lang skipped out on his bond, Kathee Baird reports, and though authorities think he probably fled to Texas, there's a chance he might be in the area for Christmas. More from the Globe.
Hat Tip: Many thanks, Kathee!
In Audrain County, Mo., a trucker named Chester Harvey Jr. and his son, 19-year-old Chad, are accused of killing and torturing an Ohio man in their basement. It's not clear why the victim, James William Boyd McNeely, was killed or how the suspects knew him. The elder Harvey reportedly picked him up in California. (The state, one presumes. The AP feed isn't crystal clear on the subject.)
This all came to the attention of authorities last week, when someone reported a dead body -- McNeely's -- in the elder Harvey's truck. That led to a standoff with police, where Chester Harvey reportedly held his family hostage. Including, the AP notes, a 9-year-old son in a wheelchair and on dialysis.
More details, some of them fairly gruesome, after the jump ...