June 12, 2008
A Riverside County jury found polygamist, Mansa Musa Muhummed, guilty on 25 counts, including torturing seven of the children, abusing 12 of them and falsely imprisoning the wives. Muhummed could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Muhummed, who was born Richard Boddie, told authorities that being Muslim gave him the right to be polygamist. In 1999, after one of his wives, Laura Cowan, slipped a 13-page letter to a postal service worker describing the abuse, he was arrested. His trial started last month after nine years of persistent legal issues, such as changing lawyers four times (which includes representing himself for more than two years).
In the course of the trial, several of his children and stepchildren took the stand, testifying that they had been beaten, starved, strung up by their feet and forced to eat vomit and feces. Muhummed testified in his own defense, sometimes tearful, denying the charges and blaming one of his wives for the alleged abuse.
Justice is served.
June 10, 2008
A car abandoned that is registered to a hedge-fund swindler who was supposed to report to federal prison was found on the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson River, near West Point and about 40 miles north of New York City. On its hood, etched into the dust and pollen, were the words “Suicide is Painless,” the name of the theme of the classic “MASH” television show. The song was sung during the original movie. The car, a 2006 GMC Envoy, was registered to Samuel Israel III of Armonk.
Investigator Bruce Cuccia said suicide has not been established, no corpse has been found and no one saw a suicide jump. As a result, the FBI has joined the investigation and a search is under way.
No other note was found, Cuccia said. The police have not been able to reach Israel, in part due to the fact that no home telephone number was listed for him.
Israel had been sentenced in April to 20 years in federal prison for illegally getting investors to put more than $450 million into now-collapsed hedge funds and was ordered to pay back $300 million to his victim-investors.
Judge Colleen McMahon called him the mastermind of the scheme and said the prison term was meant to show that “people who commit crimes while wearing a tie do not get a break”, and set Monday as the deadline for Israel to surrender at the federal prison in Ayer, Mass at 2 p.m. State police aircraft and boats from the Westchester and Rockland county police searched the Hudson River and the boats resumed the search Tuesday morning. No sign of him so far.
June 9, 2008
Tiffany Hall, 26, (picture above on the left) pleaded guilty all five charges against her Monday for killing her pregnant friend, the unborn child and the victim’s three children in a plea deal that allows her to avoid the death penalty. The counts include intentional homicide in the death of the fetus. She was sentenced to life without parole.
Hall struck her friend Jimella Tunstall, 23, (pictured above on the right) on the head repeatedly with a leg of a table. She followed that by cutting out Tunstall’s fetus from her womb in a bathtub. Tunstall bled to death, and Hall then dumped her friend’s body in an East St. Louis lot. Some time later, Hall told police in Illinois she had given birth to a stillborn child, but when police arrived, she had the dead fetus with her. She refused to be examined at a hospital. The twiseted story continues . . . The murderer visited the father of two of Tunstall’s children and the unborn child three days later. Hall told the father that Tunstall wanted her to pick up the children and Tunstall’s vehicle. That was the last time he saw his children, as he told police.
Hall then drowned the three children (DeMond Tunstall, 7, Ivan Tunstall-Collins 2, and Jinella Tunstall, 1) in the same bathtub where she killed their mother.
Accoriding to authorities, Hall’s story began to unravel on September 21, 2006, about a week after Tunstall’s death, when she told her boyfriend that she killed a pregnant woman and stole the fetus. He reported her to the police. Police then found the bodies of the three children two days later hidden in a washing machine and dryer inside the apartment where the children had lived with their mother.
The murderer”s attorney, James Gomric, said he could not comment about her motive or even discuss whether she had shown remorse, but he did add that while Hall had been mentally fit to stand trial, she also had unresolved mental health issues and had an IQ in the mid-70s.
June 9, 2008
Scott Peterson, the man convicted of killing his wife and their unborn child, will be heading to trial again, this time in civil court. The parents of his wife, Laci Peterson, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him, seeking a multimillion-dollar judgment, after a judge in Stanislaus County Superior Court ruled that he Scott would have to stand trial again.
As a reminder, a jury found him guilty in 2003 of killing Laci Peterson and her fetus and dumping the body in San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve of 2002. Scott has always maintained his innocence, and his lawyers site a video tape made at San Quentin Prison where he says he continues to say he is innocent.
The judge stayed his ruling until June 23 to allow lawyers to appeal.
The trial is set to begin July 8th.
June 3, 2008
Hulk Hogan’s son, Nick Bollea, is serving eight months in jail after pleading no contest to causing a crash that seriously injured his friend. Because he’s too young to join the jail’s general population, he is being held in solitary confinement at the Pinellas County Jail’s medical ward.
His lawyers said in a motion filed Friday that the situation is giving him “unbearable anxiety”, which he says results from spending up to 17 hours a day alone in his cell without access to amenities like educational programs.
They asked a judge to consider alternatives like releasing him with ankle monitoring until his 18th birthday or moving him to the jail’s minimum-security section. For once, it sounds like a celebrity advantage is not being used. This is a reasonable claim and should be addressed fairly by the courts. It is about his age.
May 29, 2008
Gary Dourdan was recently found asleep in his car in Palm Springs, CA. Soon after, narcotics were found in his vehicle. Although he claimed they were not his, he recently pleaded guilty to all the charges that were not dropped. The charge of possession of heroin was dropped, but not for the possession of exstacy or cocaine. His lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, says he is entering a treatment program, but the program is not technically rehab. Rather, he will spend 30 hours of classes that meet once a week. Having completed the program, his charges will be dismissed. At the time of this story, Dourdan had already enrolled, wasting no time at all.
May 28, 2008
Michel Fourniret, 66, was given the maximum sentence by the jury in northeast France having been accused of seeking young virgins to rape and kill. He was sentenced to life in prison, and he cannot be considered for parole before serving 30 years behind bars. His wife, Monique Olivier, 59, also was convicted of complicity in four of the murders and sentenced to life in prison, too. At least 28 years must be served before she can be considered for early release.
The verdict closes a two-month trial that shocked France and neighboring Belgium, the location of one of the murders. All aged 12 to 21, the victims were strangled, shot or stabbed with a screwdriver between 1987 and 2001. These acts, according to prosecutors, were done in an effort to feed Fourniret’s obsession for virgins. Fourniret also was convicted of kidnapping and rape (or attempted rape) of all seven victims.