Another Pregnant Soldier Found Dead In North Carolina

June 25, 2008


Authorities in Fayetteville, North Carolina, are investigating the death of a soldier who was 7 months pregnant: Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, a dental specialist from Cold Springs, Kentucky. She was assigned to the 19th Replacement Company.

Fayetteville police found her body late Saturday morning after responding to a call about a strong odor coming from one of the rooms. The body was sent to the state Medical Examiner’s office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to determine the cause of death.
Before arriving at Fort Bragg on June 12, she had served five years with the U.S. Army Dental Activity Clinic in Bamberg, Germany, and in Fort Drum, New York.

Touma is the second pregnant servicemember to die in North Carolina in recent months. The remains of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach and her fetus were found beneath in a fire pit January 11 in Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean’s backyard.

Laurean is suspected of killing Lauterbach on December 14, 2007. Before fleeing to Mexico, he used her ATM card 10 days later. He was taken into custody after he walked up to a roadblock set up by a local anti-kidnapping task force investigating another case in Mexico.

Laurean is currently awaiting extradition to North Carolina.

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Which Country’s Politician Shot Our Troops with AK47?

June 23, 2008

A member of an Iraqi city council shot at U.S. forces Monday outside Baghdad, killing at least three soldiers, two Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said.

But the U.S. military said one coalition soldier and an “enemy” were killed and five others were wounded. The military said it is investigating.

The Iraqi official fired an AK-47 at U.S. troops after they entered the City Council building in al-Madaen, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, according to one Interior Ministry official. The councilman killed at least three people and wounded four, a ministry official said.

U.S. forces returned fire, killing the councilman, according to two Interior Ministry officials.

The shooting happened after U.S. soldiers and local officials had attended a ceremony to open a park in al-Madaen, also known as Salman Pak, an Interior Ministry official said.

“The attacker came out of his car with an AK-47 rifle in his hand and started firing on the American soldiers until he was killed by the return fire,” said Hussein al-Dulaimi, 37, who owns an agricultural machine shop across the street, according to The Associated Press.

In other violence, a mortar attack killed at least 10 people Sunday evening in northern Iraq, according to a military operations command in Diyala province.

Three mortars hit an office and checkpoint of the U.S.-allied predominantly Sunni fighters, known as the Awakening Councils or Sons of Iraq.

The attack happened in al-Adhaim in Diyala, 31 miles (about 50 kilometers) north of Baquba, the province’s command said Monday.

The 10 slain were all members of Awakening Councils. Twenty-four members of the group also were wounded.

Awakening Councils, also called “Concerned Local Citizen” groups, are comprised of mostly Sunni fighters who have turned on al Qaeda in Iraq.

The mortar attack comes on the verge of a U.S. report that will say violence in Iraq declined in the early part of 2008, according to officials familiar with the report. The Pentagon’s upcoming report to Congress, which could be released as early as Monday, will cover events in Iraq from mid-February to mid-May.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Monday that Iraqi forces will continue “victorious security operations” against al Qaeda in Iraq and other suspected Sunni targets, including “gangs of the former regime,” in Diyala and the northern city of Mosul, according to a statement from al-Maliki’s office.

He spoke during a visit to the southern city of Amara, the capital of Maysan province, where Iraqi security forces are staging a major offensive against Shiite militants.

He met with tribal leaders from Maysan in Amara and vowed to “strike with an iron fist anyone who disobeys the law.”
Iraqi security forces started the push against militants last week in Maysan, a region that borders Iran. There has been speculation that weaponry destined for Shiite militias has come through Maysan from Iran.

Originally found @ CNN.com

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Identity of Man Who Was Shot While Beating Boy

June 17, 2008


Police on Monday identified the man who was fatally shot by an officer for allegedly refusing to stop beating a toddler to death along a remote road as Sergio Casian Aguilar, 27.

On Saturday night, Aguilar parked his truck on an unlit road, removed a 2-year-old boy from his car seat and proceeded to stomp, kick and punch the boy to death, according to authorities and witnesses. The boy was unrecognizable when he was pronounced dead at Emanuel Medical Center.

Authorities have not released the boy’s name, but they say they believe he was Aguilar’s son. The relationship is being confirmed by DNA testing.

Several motorists called 911 and tried to stop the beating, authorities said. Witnesses report that Aguilar told people who tried to stop him that the boy was “trash.”

Responding to 911 calls, a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department helicopter landed in a field nearby. A Modesto police officer, Jerry Ramar, fatally shot Aguilar, who flashed his middle finger at the officer, after he failed to heed the officer’s warning to stop beating the child

Authorities have not released the name of the boy’s mother.

Aguilar had no previous criminal history, police said. Results of toxicology tests on Aguilar are expected in four weeks.

The original, breaking news story can be read here

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3 in 1 Day – Efficiency in Japan’s Capital Punishment

June 17, 2008

Tsutomu Miyazaki

A serial killer who mutilated the bodies of four young girls and reportedly drank the blood of one of his victims was among three convicted murderers executed in Japan on Tuesday for crimes an official called indescribably cruel.

Tsutomu Miyazaki, 45, whose rash of grisly killings in the late 1980s triggered calls for tighter restrictions on violent pornographic videos, was hanged at a detention center in Tokyo, Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama said.

Miyazaki burned the body of one 4-year-old and left her bones on her parents’ doorstep. He also wrote letters to the media and victims’ families taunting police. Japanese newspaper reports said he ate part of the hand of one of his victims and drank her blood.

The two others executed Tuesday were Shinji Mutsuda, 45, who had been on death row for the murder and robbery of two people, and Yoshio Yamasaki, 73, who was convicted of killing two people for the insurance money, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.

“I ordered their executions because the cases were of indescribable cruelty,” Hatoyama said. “We are pursuing executions in order to achieve justice and firmly protect the rule of law.”
Japan, one of the few industrialized countries that has capital punishment, has picked up the pace of executions over the past year amid rising concerns about violent crime.
The three executions brought to 13 the number of death row inmates hanged in the past six months under Hatoyama, an outspoken supporter of the death penalty. Only one inmate was executed in 2005.
Amnesty International Japan protested Tuesday’s hangings and said the pace of executions in Japan is quickening. In a statement, the group also demanded Japan abolish capital punishment.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said there is no need for a change.

“There is no other policy than to maintain the current policy,” Fukuda said Tuesday. “There are people who want to abolish it, but that is a minority view. The majority want it to be maintained. I feel there is no need to change it, but we must also keep an eye on world opinion.”

Hatoyama, who took office last August, denied his ministry was purposely picking up the pace of hangings. Three men were executed in December, three more in February and another four in April.
In 1997, Tokyo District Court found Miyazaki guilty of killing four girls aged 4 to 7 years old in 1988 and 1989, and sentenced him to death. The Tokyo High Court upheld the sentence in 2001, and the Supreme Court followed suit on Jan. 17 this year, exhausting Miyazaki’s appeals.
Miyazaki was also convicted of the abduction and sexual assault of a fifth girl.
The murders and Miyazaki’s arrest dominated Japanese headlines, along with the discovery that his home was filled with a collection of thousands of violent pornographic videos, animated films and comic books stacked floor-to-ceiling.
The case triggered concerns that many young people had become desensitized to human suffering through the repeated viewing of graphic images in videos and comics.
Mutsuda also was hanged at the Tokyo detention center for killing two men and robbing them of $278,000 in 1995 and 1996. Yamasaki was executed in Osaka for murders committed in 1985 and 1990.
Japan has 102 death row inmates after Tuesday’s hangings, the ministry said.
The government began to release the names of those executed and their crimes in December, easing its secret policy in an apparent move to gain understanding and support for capital punishment.
Despite international criticism of Japan’s death penalty, there is little opposition to the policy domestically.

Originally Found @ AssociatedPress

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Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Man Killed By Police While Beating Toddler To Death

June 16, 2008


In Stanislaus County, California, police killed a 27-year-old man found kicking, punching and stomping a toddler to death after attempts by both police and other people to stop him. Following the incident, investigators were trying to establish the relationship between the suspect and the child he had beaten to death. The Stanislaus County coroner said the boy, based on his size, appeared to be between 1 and 2 years old and he will have to be identified through a blood or DNA test. Police were perplexed and quite shocked about any possible motive this man could have had.

Police found a child’s car seat in the back of the suspect’s four-door pickup truck. The truck caught the attention of an elderly couple at 10:13 p.m. Saturday because it was stopped in the two-lane road facing the wrong direction. As they got closer, the couple saw the man beating the toddler behind his truck and throwing the child on the ground. The suspect was engaged in what he was doing. He just pushed off anyone who attempted to intervene and went back to it. People in the area began calling 911.

Responding to those emergency calls, a police helicopter landed in a cow pasture at 10:19 p.m. carrying a Modesto police officer who shot the man to death after he refused an order to stop beating the child. No children within the dead boy’s age range have been reported kidnapped or missing in Stanislaus County, according to authorities.

Identity of man released, follow the story here.

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Five Dead Husbands, A Hitman Cries Wolf?

June 16, 2008


76-year-old Betty Neumar has been married five times since the 1950s, but each union ended with the death of her husband. Investigators are urging police elsewhere to look into those deaths, after it became evident that the woman had saught to hire a hitman to kill her most recent husband.

Police in North Carolina say they are investigating whether police were warned that a woman with five dead spouses was trying to hire a hit man to kill one of her husbands. The cold case was re-opened last year. Then, last month, Neumar was charged with one count of solicitation of murder in the July 1986 death of Harold Gentry, after the investigation revealed that she tried to hire several people to kill Gentry.

According to lead detective Scott Williams, police are looking into the possibility that one of those would-be hit men went to police before Gentry’s death, but no one in the department took him seriously.

Police not listening? Seems like a common problem. Would Harold Gentry have survived had they listened?

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Police Release Sketch of Possible Suspect in Shooting of Girls

June 14, 2008

Authorities released a sketch Friday of a “person of interest” in the shooting deaths of two Oklahoma schoolgirls.

Several witnesses reported seeing a suspicious man on the same dirt road where Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Jade Whitaker Taylor, 11, were shot Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said.

Jessica Brown said authorities believed that the man, “who didn’t look like he should have been there,” was on the road before the girls were shot multiple times in the head and chest and left in a ditch.

Witnesses described the man as an American Indian or possibly half-Caucasian with a black ponytail, about 6 feet tall and 35 years old. They said he was standing in front of a white single-cab pickup with chrome striping, possibly a Chevy or Ford model, with Oklahoma tags, Brown said in a press conference.

“He acted a little suspiciously but we don’t know what he was doing,” said Brown, stopping short of calling him a suspect. “We just want to talk to him. We think he might have seen something.”

Brown said other witnesses reported hearing gunshots near the crime scene, a dirt road that leads to a bridge known as a popular gathering spot in the rural community of Weleetka.

The isolated nature of the crime scene, located about three miles from the nearest major roadway, has prompted authorities to suggest the shootings were the work of someone in the community.

Brown said the information about the gunshots helped authorities establish a timeline in the case, but refused to elaborate.

Authorities have previously said Taylor’s grandfather called 911 around 5:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon to report finding the girls in a ditch about a quarter mile from his home.

He said the girls had left the house less than 30 minutes earlier. He said he looked for them after Taylor failed to answer her cell phone.

Preliminary autopsy examinations indicated both girls were shot with two different caliber weapons, leading authorities to surmise that more than one person was involved, though Brown said they were not committed to that theory.

State and local authorities have been working around the clock to develop leads in the case, which has startled the small community of Weleetka, about 75 miles outside of Tulsa.

Earlier Friday, members of the community mourned the two girls at separate funerals.

Earlier in the week, Ofuskee Sheriff Jack Choate urged parents to keep a close eye on their children while authorities pursued the likelihood that a killer or killers were in their midst.

Since then, authorities have held daily press conferences in an effort to solicit leads from the public with reward money that had reached $40,000 by Friday.
“Everyone knows money speaks,” Brown said at the press conference, commenting that her office had received tips from as far as California.

Originally found @ CNN.COM

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