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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dallas Death Row Inmate Derrick Lamone Johnson executed in 1999 rape-slaying

Right: Derrick Lamone Johnson

Dallas man executed in 1999 rape-slaying
By Michael Graczyk Associated Press
April 30, 2009
HUNTSVILLE -- A Dallas man was executed Thursday evening for the rape-slaying of a woman abducted while she was trying to make a call at a pay phone 10 years ago.
Derrick Lamone Johnson's mother became emotional as she entered the witness chamber and saw her son strapped to the gurney. In a matter-of-fact voice, Johnson told her, "Don't cry. It's my situation. I got it. Hold tight. It's going to shine on the golden child." After telling her he loved her, Johnson said, "That concludes the statement."
The victim's father and two sisters also were among witnesses. Johnson did not acknowledge them.
Nine minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow, he was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m.
Johnson, 28, was the 14th Texas prisoner executed this year in the nation's most active death penalty state.
LaTausha Curry, 25, of Dallas, was robbed of less than $10, was driven away in her car, raped, beaten with a two-by-four and suffocated with her own blouse. Authorities determined the 1999 slaying was part of a two-week crime spree involving Johnson and a companion that left numerous women robbed or raped from Dallas to south of Waco, some 100 miles away.
Lawyers for Johnson went to the U.S. Supreme Court to block the punishment, contending Johnson was mentally disabled and ineligible for execution under high court guidelines. About an hour before Johnson could be taken to the death chamber, the high court turned down his request for a reprieve and a review of his case.
In their appeals, attorneys argued Johnson's sentence should be commuted to life, that he was the product of a difficult childhood where both his parents were imprisoned for drug convictions, that he was beaten by relatives who raised him, that he had a history of school suspensions and expulsions beginning with the sixth grade and that IQ testing put him within the range of what the courts have defined as mental retardation.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the argument earlier Thursday, a day after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals turned Johnson down.
Greg Davis, a former Dallas County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Johnson for capital murder, said he remembered the grief of Curry's mother, who died not long after the trial. "I remember her mother coming in and saying how she lost more than a daughter," Davis said. "She said, 'I lost my best friend.' It did break the mother's heart. I think this case ultimately killed her as well."
Several women who survived attacks from Johnson and a partner, Marcus Maxwell, then 15, testified at Johnson's trial.
Maxwell, who was set to be tried as an adult, took a plea deal and is serving 40 years in prison.
Johnson declined an interview request from The Associated Press but said he was wrongly convicted and complained about his court-appointed defense attorneys on a Web site devoted to death row inmates.
"That's a real shock," Wayne Huff, one of Johnson's trial lawyers, said sarcastically. "The system is corrupt and there is no 'Justice' if you are of the low class," Johnson wrote. "It is sad that if you are a poor man in the system there is no justice for you."
In a confession to police, Johnson said he and Maxwell raped and killed Curry, who worked as a security guard and had a 4-year-old child. He told officers where to find her body in an overgrown part of a park in Dallas' Oak Cliff area. His fingerprints were in her car and DNA tied him to her rape.
After they killed Curry, records show the pair robbed a woman at a gas station. Later, driving Curry's car, they rammed into another woman's car in a carjacking attempt. That woman called police but Johnson and Maxwell ran off.
Johnson was arrested four days later at his mother's apartment, Police found bags of cocaine inside a hollowed-out pager he was carrying.
His mother was the only defense witness at his capital murder trial. She testified he'd been raised by family members after she was sent to prison with a 15-year drug sentence.
Records showed Johnson was arrested two years earlier for robbery, pleaded guilty and received 10 years probation that included a stint in a boot camp. He was released from the camp after 65 days for good behavior.
Johnson was among at least six Texas inmates with execution dates extending into the summer. Scheduled to die next, on May 19, was Michael Lynn Riley, 50, condemned for the slaying of Winona Harris. The victim was stabbed more than 23 years ago during the robbery of a convenience store in Quitman, about 80 miles east of Dallas.
Johnson would be the 198th Texas inmate put to death since Rick Perry became governor when George W. Bush resigned following his presidential election in 2000.
Capital punishment opponents from Amnesty International USA and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty planned to gather for a 200-minute vigil outside the criminal courthouse in Houston Thursday to mark what soon will be the 200th execution of Perry's tenure. During Bush's six years as governor, 157 executions were carried out in Texas.

Gag Order issued in Case of Murdered Pregnant Marine Maria Lauterbach

LCPL Maria Lauterbach, USMC (20) - Pregnant Marine went missing Dec 2007 Camp Lejeune, N.C.; had accused fellow Marine of rape, and her body along with that of her unborn child were found buried in Cesar Laurean's back yard under a fire pit on January 11, 2008
Cesar Laurean (24) - Accused of murdering LCPL Lauterbach and her unborn child; fled to Mexico, where he was arrested three months later
Jacksonville, NC
An Onslow County judge has issued a gag order in the Cesar Laurean case, according to court documents made public today.
The order states that to ensure Laurean's right to a fair trial, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and Laurean's defense attorney are not to release any information to the news media or the public that would "have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter."
That information includes Laurean's background, the results of any tests or nature of any physical evidence, opinions about Laurean's guilt or innocence, and any other information that would prejudice a trial, according to the order signed by Senior Resident Onslow County Superior Court Judge Charles Henry.
Laurean, 22 - a Camp Lejeune Marine corporal scheduled for discharge - faces a charge of first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, a pregnant colleague who had accused him of rape.
Onslow County Sheriff's detectives believe Laurean used a crowbar to kill Lauterbach on Dec. 14, 2007, according to search warrant affidavits.
Laurean fled Onslow County in January 2008, shortly before the charred remains of Lauterbach and her unborn child were found buried in his Half Moon community backyard. Laurean was arrested in Mexico in April 2008 and extradited back to Onslow County earlier this month.
He also fought extradition from Mexico where he has duel citizen status, and when finally sent to Texas, fought extradition again to keep from going to North Carolina. Not such a big man now, eh Cesar?

Drew Peterson case: Stolen files reportedly unearth new Peterson details

Right Stacy Peterson
April 30, 2009

Files reportedly include timeline of what investigators think happened to Stacy Peterson

By Erika Slife Tribune reporter
April 30, 2009

Fox Chicago News reported Wednesday night that documents stolen from an Illinois State Police car and dropped off at the station reveal new information in cases involving former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson.

The information includes a timeline of what investigators think happened to his fourth wife, Stacy, who disappeared in October 2007, a list of 59 leads and the police report from the night his third wife, Kathleen Savio, died.

The documents include information already made public, but with new details reportedly indicating Stacy was dead by 10:59 a.m. the day she vanished. That night, investigators alleged, Peterson removed the body with his stepbrother in a "large blue round plastic container weighing approximately 150 pounds with [a] screw-on top with clear plastic protruding from outside."

Investigators believe Peterson may have disposed of Stacy's body in a quarry in the Bolingbrook area, according to the files. Wednesday, state police searched the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in Romeoville and Lockport for evidence connected to Stacy's disappearance.

Peterson is the suspect in Stacy's disappearance. Authorities are also taking a second look at the March 2004 death of Savio.

Peterson has not been charged in either case and denies wrongdoing. Peterson said he didn't know the specifics of what Fox would air but said he wasn't worried. "Any timeline they have is purely speculative," he said.

Peterson and attorney Joel Brodsky said they were to meet with Fox last week about the files, but it never materialized because Brodsky wanted to see them first. A spokesman for Will County State's Atty. James Glasgow said the documents will not compromise the cases or pressure Glasgow to file charges before the investigations are done.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Exclusive from Art Harris on Haleigh Cummings Case

Remember this little girl to the right? Haleigh Cummings is missing and has been since Feb. 10.

April 28, 2009
Art Harris, The Bald Truth

In an exclusive,wide-ranging interview, the lead investigator in the Haleigh Cummings case tells the The Bald Truth he’s holding out hope the missing five year old could be alive.

“I didn’t think so for a long time, based on statistics for these kinds of missing children cases,” Captain Dominic Piscatello, chief of major crimes for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, told me Monday. “But now, based on what we’ve learned, I’m holding out hope..."

According to her family, Misty just retained an attorney, like her husband. In an exclusive interview several weeks ago, she told me she didn’t need one “because only guilty people need a lawyer.”

...[Christina] Prevatt aka Nay Nay was back in the Putnam County Jail Tuesday...she was rebooked after William Staubs, aka “Cobra,” pro bono private eye and bounty hunter, tracked her to a “filthy” Palatka crash pad, and announced he was revoking her $2,400 bond on drug charges. He’d bailed her out last week...then learned she’d allegedly tried to snatch her own child, a nine month old girl named Destiny, from the father, Donovan Spells, 47.

Captain Piscatello hopes to harvest clues from all the emotional chaos, and within minutes of her booking, had investigators grilling her again about what she knew about Haleigh’s disappearance or anyone who might know...“all we need is a break.”
Art Harris has pages of information on this case. Please go to his site via the links above.
Or here. It seems many people are letting it fade. Kudos to Art for staying on it.
I've tried not to be a bitch about the cast of characters and the town and all, but SHEESH!
What is wrong with these people? It appears the men are all thugs, the women accept being 2nd class citizens, and they seem to have a intricate genealogical web, where women have babies with a baby daddy, and the daddies and grandparents have custody of the babies. I am surprised Misty has two brothers who are married. Marriage doesn't seem to hold much stock in this generation in Putnam County, Florida.
There is a LOT wrong here, and no one wants to stand up and say it. Ron Cummings and the little missus and their respective families are WAY messed up. It is not just being backwoodsy and ignorant. Ron is an abuser, a bully, a control freak and a drug dealer who gets away with it by informing to the Sheriff's Office, and is more than likely aided and abetted by his mother, the police dispatcher. Misty is an immature, uneducated drug addict who is so stupid she thinks Ron Cummings is good husband material. They both seem to like to whore around and are both street smart with just enough intelligence to be manipulative. Both are bad liars.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cantu autopsy to remain sealed to avoid 'outrage'

April 27, 2009

STOCKTON — Results of autopsy and toxicology reports on slain 8-year-old Sandra Cantu could so infuriate the public that a judge asked them to remain sealed.

To release the reports would risk “a danger of public outrage” and threaten the Cantu family’s privacy, said San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus at an arraignment today for suspected murder-rapist 28-year-old Melissa Chantel Huckaby.

Huckaby entered no plea.“There is no doubt that the public considers the rape and murder of a child a heinous crime,” said Lofthus, who issued a gag order Tuesday. To seal all the documents related to the case will ensure a fair trial for both sides, she continued.

The defense dropped its request to exhume the little girl’s body.

Prosecutor Thomas Testa said both sides need about a month to review findings, which includes nearly 500 pages of written evidence and some audio recordings, he said. Lofthus ordered Huckaby back in court at 1 p.m. May 22 in Dept. 14 for further arraignment.

Huckaby’s demeanor in court today came as a stark contrast to her near-emotional breakdown at her first arraignment earlier this month. She smiled a few times at her public defender, Sam Behar. She stared calmly at the judge and at the dozens of reporters and the bailiffs who surrounded her during the brief hearing. She wore her hair down.

She sat calmly before the packed courtroom; her family sat behind her in the audience — father, Brian Lawless; grandmother, Connie Lawless; and aunt, Joni Hughes. Sandra’s family sat on the opposite side of the room. The girl’s uncle and aunt, Joe and Angie Chavez, sat with Sandra’s grandparents, José and Dolores Chavez. Susan Levy joined them. Sandra’s father, Daniel Cantu, and her mother, Maria Chavez, were absent.

Reporters crowded the courtroom. The judge banned all cameras and audio recorders, so photographers waited outside. The media attention has been overwhelming for everyone involved, the judge said. “This is the kind of case that we’ve never experienced in San Joaquin County,” Lofthus said.

Police arrested Huckaby on April 10, four days after they found Sandra’s body inside a waterproof suitcase. The girl went missing on March 27. Huckaby was booked at San Joaquin County Jail without bail on charges that she kidnapped Sandra, raped her with some object and killed her.

As charged, the single mother of a 5-year-old girl now faces the death penalty or life without possibility of parole if convicted.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New motion in Anthony case re Cindy Anthony

Friday, 24 Apr 2009,

ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Lawyers representing a woman who has brought a civil defamation lawsuit against Casey Anthony filed a motion to compel on Friday.

In the motion, the lawyers are asking a judge to press Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, to answer additional questions as a follow up to a deposition conducted earlier this month.

They are primarily interested in learning weather or not Casey ever used Cindy’s credit cards without her permission, a question Cindy refused to answer during an interview on April 9.

A judge will hear the issue on May 21.
Like we didn't see this coming.
And where the hell is Mallory? What does she have to say about this whole thing?

Friday, April 24, 2009

YouTube video--Update on Melissa Huckaby's Grandfather Lane Lawless

YouTube report on Pastor Lane Lawless


April 23, 2009

The investigation of the slaying of Tracy resident Sandra Cantu has taken investigators to the First Church Of God in Clarkston, Washington.

Melissa Huckaby's grandfather Pastor Lane Lawless and father Brian Lawless.

Casey Anthony's mom couldn't 'bear not having Caylee around'

April 23, 2009

In an interview that aired this morning, Cindy Anthony disclosed she had suicidal thoughts because she was distraught about her granddaughter's disappearance last year.
Cindy Anthony said during an interview with CBS Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez that she wrote suicide notes in July and August because she sorely missed 2-year-old Caylee Marie.
Cindy Anthony said she couldn't "bear not having Caylee around."Cindy Anthony's daughter, Casey Anthony, is accused of killing her daughter.
Cindy Anthony and George Anthony expressed support for their daughter in today's show, which is the second part of an interview with the Orlando . The first part aired Wednesday...
George Anthony attempted suicide in January. In today's interview, Cindy Anthony said no one knew until now that she also considered taking her own life.
"You know, you get to a point when you miss someone so much that you think life is not worth living," Cindy Anthony said. Cindy Anthony said seeing Casey prevented her from committing suicide.
What a crock of shit. Cindy is showing:
(1.) that she is as devious as her daughter--after nine months of she and George showing their asses, she thinks going on CBS and acting nice is going to change everyone's opinion of her,
(2.) that Casey does get her narcissism from her mother--in this interview she's saying "I wanted to kill myself too, feel sorry for me, wahhh."

Man Caught in Bed with Girl to Appear in Court

April 23, 2009

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, FL -- A man from Ponte Vedra Beach will be in court Thursday morning to face sex charges.

Phillip Clark Sprengeler, 24, has been charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a victim under the age of 16.

The father of the underage victim told deputies he found his daughter in bed with Sprengeler Wednesday morning.

Investigators say the two had been having a relationship for several months. Sprengeler, according to investigators, is a "friend of the family".
I can't help wondering if Florida is setting a precedence on man/girl 'relationships' in order to pave the way to the prosecution of Ron Cummings. Having sex with minors in Florida has obviously been casually disregarded for years. He seems to have a penchant for young girls and has impregnated at least two when they were 16. Maybe not. Sprengeler was reported by the girls father. Maybe if the parents don't care, as appears to be the case in Putnam County, no one else cares either.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Florida pharmacy says it wrongly prepped horse meds before match

This just makes me so sad. What beautiful animals.
April 23, 2009
(CNN) -- A veterinary pharmacy in Florida acknowledged Thursday that it incorrectly prepared medication used to treat 21 horses who all died around the time of an international polo match last weekend.

The deaths of the ponies, witnessed in full view by spectators Sunday in a dramatic scene where horses collapsed one after another, have shaken the prestigious polo tournament at the marquee International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.

An internal investigation by Franck's Pharmacy in Ocala, Florida, "concluded that the strength of an ingredient in the medication was incorrect. We will cooperate fully with the authorities as they continue their investigations," the company said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon.

"We extend our most sincere condolences to the horses' owners, the Lechuza Polo team and the members of the United States Polo Association. We share their grief and sadness," the pharmacy's chief operations officer, Jennifer Beckett, said in the statement.
A memorial ceremony for the horses is scheduled for Thursday at the U.S. Open Polo Championship, where officials hope to resume play after matches were postponed by rain Wednesday. The memorial service will include a brief speech and a wreath-laying on the field.

The pharmacy said it prepared medication for the horses on orders from a veterinarian.

Liz Compton, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, told CNN that the agency is awaiting toxicology results from the animals and could not comment on the pharmacy's disclosure. "Obviously, we are going to follow any and every potential lead to get to the bottom of this," she said.

The horses were trained by Lechuza Polo, a Venezuela-based team. Its captain, Juan Martin Nero, told an Argentine newspaper earlier this week that he had "no doubts" vitamins administered to the animals were at fault.

"There were five horses that did not get the vitamin, and those were the only ones that survived," Nero said.

The horses collapsed one after another in front of spectators at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida, while being prepared for a tournament Sunday. Most were dead within an hour.
Post-mortem examinations done by a University of Florida laboratory found significant hemorrhaging in several horses, but the findings did not single out a specific cause.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Police: Melissa Huckaby 'of interest' in Orange County CA arsons

Associated Press
Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2009

LA PALMA - Police in Orange County say the woman charged with killing and raping an 8-year-old Tracy girl was questioned in connection with two arsons.

La Palma police Capt. Jim Enright said Wednesday that 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby was considered a person of interest in two fires set at a home where she lived in 2007.

Enright said a gag order issued Tuesday by a San Joaquin County judge handling the Sandra Cantu murder case prevented him from discussing Huckaby further. He said any investigation would halt while the murder case proceeded.

Authorities said the two fires caused nearly $90,000 in damages.

Huckaby remains in jail without bail facing allegations she kidnapped, raped and murdered her 5-year-old daughter's playmate. She is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Charla Nash, Chimpanzee victim update

originally posted April 14, 2009

Chimp victim's family wants photos sealed

Two hearings involving the woman who was brutally attacked by a chimpanzee in February were postponed Monday and her family's lawyers are asking that photos of her remain sealed.

Attorneys for a Charla Nash are also asking a judge to keep her medical records from the public.
Nash, 55, lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids on Feb. 16 when Travis, a 200-pound celebrity chimp belonging to Sandra Herold, of Stamford, attacked.

Matt Newman, an attorney for the conservator of Charla Nash, said Nash's right to privacy overrides the public's right to see the photos. The photos and records will be evidence in Nash's $50 million lawsuit against chimp owner Sandra Herold.

"They're extremely graphic, naturally," Newman said of the photos. "There is an overriding privacy concern with regard to the family members of Ms. Nash and in particularly her daughter."

Herold's attorneys did not object to the request to seal the photos and records, and Stamford Superior Court Judge Edward R. Karazin Jr. scheduled an April 27 hearing to discuss the request.

Karazin did not make an immediate ruling on Newman's request to make permanent a restraining order that places an attachment on Herold's property and assets, keeping her from selling them. Herold's attorneys are opposing the request because they say there was no way to predict the chimp would attack Nash.

Nash’s family filed a $50 million lawsuit in March, claiming Herold was negligent and reckless when she asked Nash to come over and lure her pet chimp back into her home.

Nash's attorneys are seeking an account of Herold's assets. A judge has granted a temporary restraining order that prevents Herold from selling or mortgaging her assets, and has scheduled a hearing for Monday on the attorneys' request for detailed financial information from Herold.

Herold's attorney said the attack was an accident and that Herold should not be held liable.

Stamford police are still considering criminal charges.

Nash is being treated at the Cleveland Clinic, the first site in the United States to perform a face transplant, where she is in critical, but stable condition. She was moved there from Stamford hospital three days after the attack.

Nash's twin brother, Michael, who was named conservator for his sister's estate, declined to comment after the hearing. Herold did not attend.

originally posted April 8, 2009

For the next two years, Charla Nash will go through surgeries as she recovers from a vicious chimp attack in Stamford in February that left her disfigured, blind and near death.

Nash, 55, lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids on Feb. 16 when she was attacked by Travis, a 200-pound celebrity chimp belonging to Nash’s friend, Sandra Herold, who treated him like a human.

Damage to her eyes has left her blind for life, doctors said.

In an interview with the "Today Show" Tuesday, Nash's brothers said she is not interested in learning what happened to send her to the hospital.

“The psychiatrist said she understands a lot about her injuries but she’s not interested, at this time, to find out how they occurred,” Stephen Nash, said. Nash is being treated at the Cleveland Clinic, the first site in the United States to perform a face transplant, where she is in critical, but stable condition. She was moved there from Stamford hospital three days after the attack.

Nash’s family members are talking to doctors about reconstructive surgery and doctors said initial surgery would be focused on her facial injuries.

Since being attacked, Nash has made significant neurological and psychological improvement and is awake and able to communicate with her family and caregivers, doctors said.

“Since day one, the brain scans and the MRIs have turned out very positive and very encouraging,” Stephen Nash said.

Nash is able to sit in a chair, listen to country music, and tell her nurses if she is cold, tired or wants to be left alone.

She moves her arms and head to help nurses when they change her bandages and may soon be moved out of an isolation room, according to her brothers.

About three weeks ago, Nash said the first word since her attack, “Lisa,” the name of her nurse at the Cleveland Clinic.

In March, Nash's family filed a lawsuit against Herold for $50 million. A hearing is scheduled for April 13. They have also set up a Web site, friendsofcharlienash.com with her story where people can send e-mails and make donations.

A Connecticut lawmaker said the taxpayers could be paying Nash. A memo from a state biologist warning about the chimp could prove the state was negligent, State Sen. Andrew McDonald, co-chairman of the legislative committee that handles legal claims against

Bra Stops Bullet

April 22, 2009

DETROIT, MI -- A woman's bra is being credited with saving her life by deflecting a bullet.

Detroit police said Leola Brock-Reese wasn't home at the time of the burglary, but her 57-year-old neighbor was and saw men breaking into the home through her window.

When the thieves noticed the woman watching them, one of them fired a shot into the woman's living room. The bullet shattered the living room window, but barely grazed her skin.

Police said it was the underwire in her bra that deflected the bullet.

"Well I was thinking that I should buy more underwire bras," joked robbery victim and homeowner Brock-Reese.

"A miracle bra, yes. That's what saved her life," said Rochelle Wicks, another neighbor.
The woman's daughter, who is also a Detroit police officer, said her mother's minor injuries are from the broken glass.

The thieves did take several items from the house. The gunmen fled in a burgundy Dodge Neon.

Anthonys Tell TV Show They Stand By Casey

April 22, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The grandparents of slain Florida toddler Caylee Anthony told a national audience Wednesday they support their daughter, calling her a great mother who could not have harmed the child.

George and Cindy Anthony told CBS' "Early Show" they miss their granddaughter, who was 2 when she disappeared, and their daughter, Casey Anthony...
George and Cindy Anthony stayed calm during the live network interview, but dodged key questions about Casey. "We're gonna have to wait and see what plays out," said George.

The Anthonys were told it doesn't look good for Casey. With all the evidence, including the duct tape over Caylee's mouth and topped with a heart sticker.

They were asked whether they would want punishment for Caylee's killer, even if it's Casey. "Again, we want the truth, but again, we have to wait for everything to come out at trial," replied Cindy.

Prosecutors said last week they will seek the death penalty if Casey is convicted. Her trial has been tentatively set for October.
What was very telling is what the Anthonys did not say and haven't said since Caylee's remains were found around the corner from their house. "I don't understand what happened, I don't know what happened and again, I think we'll learn a lot more as time goes on," Cindy said. "We love our daughter. We stand behind her. We know what kind of mother she was," Cindy Anthony said.

The grandparents said it was unlikely that Casey Anthony will accept any sort of plea deal. They said Casey would not admit to something she did not do.

Even though George Anthony told investigators that Casey had stolen money from her daughter Caylee's piggy bank, he defended Casey during the interview.

"I don't think it's possible for my daughter to hurt anyone. And she wouldn't definitely hurt her own child. My gosh, I've seen the love every single day that she had for her," George Anthony said.

The child's remains were found in woods in Orlando in December, six months after she disappeared. Casey Anthony claimed that Caylee was kidnapped and has pleaded not guilty.

Cindy Anthony said that her daughter didn't tell authorities when the child disappeared in June because she was afraid. "I think the truth will come out at trial," said Cindy Anthony. George Anthony also talked Wednesday about his emotional difficulties since Caylee's body was found.

In January, Anthony was admitted to a Florida hospital after he was reported missing and found in a hotel. Authorities said he had sent despondent text messages to family members.
"There's only so much a person can take," he said.

As her parents try to clean up their image with another national interview, Cindy made a startling new claim. Eyewitness News has learned that she's expected to reveal later, that George wasn't the only one in the family who became suicidal. Cindy Anthony also wanted to end her life, but she says Casey talked her out of it after her first arrest.

Prosecutors could release more evidence in the case this week...


Eyewitness News has learned that Oprah Winfrey's planned interview with George and Cindy Anthony has been cancelled. The couple was scheduled to be on the show this May.

"Based on the Anthonys' decision to appear on other programs, we have decided not to move forward with their interview on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' at this time," the show said in a statement released to Eyewitness News on Tuesday afternoon.


A hearing in the case against Casey Anthony was cancelled according to an email from the Ninth Circuit Judicial Court sent to Eyewitness News on Wednesday morning. The hearing, scheduled for May 7, has been rescheduled for 10:00am on Thursday, May 28.

Judge Stan Strickland is expected to preside over the hearing, which will deal with the "Emergency Motion for Protective Order" (?) that was filed on March 11, 2009 by Jose Baez.
Evidently it hasn't been too much of an "emergency", if it was filed March 11 now rescheduled for May 28. Ten weeks later?


There are no secrets in the case against Casey Anthony. If Casey Anthony's lawyer, Jose Baez, wanted to keep secret his attempt to get phone records from key people in the case, WFTV's legal expert says he went about it the wrong way.

SHEAFFER INTERVIEW: Analysis Of Baez Motion

There will be at least one hearing because at least two of the 12 witnesses Baez wants to track through unlimited cell phone records are fighting it and most of the others probably will. Meter reader Roy Kronk and Casey's friend Amy Huizenga say Baez wants way too much.

Baez wants unlimited cell phone records for 12 prosecution witnesses. Two of them, Kronk and Huizenga, are fighting it as an invasion of privacy. "Let's use a scalpel to get at the problem and not a meat cleaver to get at the problem," said Kronk's attorney, David Evans (full interview).

Defense attorney Jose Baez tried to keep his strategy secret, but after Circuit Judge Stan Strickland refused to meet secretly to discuss sending secret subpoenas to witnesses, WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said Baez filed an unnecessary court motion that will bring unwanted attention. ah, now I see...

"Asking the court's permission to do something you have permission to do to begin with," Sheaffer explained (watch interview).

Sheaffer said Baez could've identified the witnesses' cell phone providers during depositions and then subpoenaed the companies' records directly. Instead, he's asked the judge's permission.
"That will force Baez to tell the court what relevance these phone records may have to the defense," Sheaffer explained.

That includes if he's asked for more witnesses' records than he really wants as a way to try to cover his tracks. Baez is also asking for the unlimited, detailed cell phone records for Casey's parents and her brother. Her parents' lawyer says they'll hand them over, but they have no idea why Casey would want them.
Ineffective defense appeal, coming right up.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Florida Opens Criminal Probe Of Dead Horses

April 21, 2009

Investigators Want To Know If Someone Poisoned 21 Polo Horses That Died Before Championship Match
Wellington, Florida
(AP) Investigators have opened a criminal probe into whether someone poisoned 21 polo horses that died during preparations for a match in the sport's top championship in Florida, officials said Tuesday. The horses from a Venezuelan-owned Lechuza Polo team began collapsing Sunday as they were unloaded from trailers at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, with some dying at the scene and others hours later at stables or clinics.
State investigators believe the horses died from an adverse drug reaction, toxins in their food or supplements, or a combination of the two. While state veterinarians run tests to determine what caused the deaths, law enforcement officers are looking into whether criminal negligence, or perhaps something more sinister, could have been involved, said a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "We want to make sure from a law enforcement standpoint that there was no impropriety ... no purposeful harm or laws violated in Florida," said department spokesman Terence McElroy.
Officials at the club hosting the U.S. Open tournament and several independent veterinarians have said the deaths appeared to be accidental, and investigators haven't identified suspects or foul play. "We would be looking at any and all possible leads," said McElroy, whose department is leading the investigation with the help of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
It may take weeks to complete toxicologies to pin down the cause of what veterinarians believe was a swift toxic reaction that killed the horses, which were all from the Lechuza Polo team. Necropsies are also pending.
The deaths of the horses scheduled to play in Sunday's finals could have cost the team's owner, affluent Venezuelan businessman Victor Vargas, more than $2 million, with each horse estimated to be worth $200,000. However, the player-owner didn't stand to lose much in potential winnings, as purses in the sport played largely for pride rarely top a few thousand dollars. There is no purse in the U.S. Open.
The tragedy also shocked Wellington, a town of horse clubs, training facilities, stables, polo grounds and wide-open fenced fields where the animals roam and graze along straight-line, neatly groomed streets. "The players, the owners of the horses were in tears. Bystanders and volunteers were in tears. I mean, this was a very tragic thing," said Tony Coppola, 62, an announcer for the club, which hosts the tournament each year about 15 miles west of the millionaire enclave of Palm Beach.
Lechuza Polo, a favorite to win the title at the event described as the sport's World Series, released a statement late Monday that the team does not know the cause of the deaths, but is helping with the investigation. "This is tragic news. We are deeply concerned about the death of our ponies," the statement read. "We have never encountered such a dire situation like this as our horses receive the most professional and dedicated care possible."
John Wash, the polo club's president of club operations, said doctors had ruled out any sort of airborne infection and that the tragedy was isolated to Lechuza's team. He said games would resume on Wednesday, with the finals taking place Sunday. The Lechuza team has withdrawn.

Slumdog Millionaire's Makers Deny Claim Kid Stars Were Underpaid

By Ivory Jeff Clinton
Originally posted Thursday January 29, 2009

The makers of the Oscar-nominated Slumdog Millionaire are shooting down claims that its youngest stars aren't sharing in the movie's success.
In interviews with Britain's Daily Telegraph, the family of Azharuddin Ismail, who played the young Salim, said he was paid about $2,500 for his work on the tale about Indian slum-dwellers, which has grossed $85 million at the U.S. box office.
The family of Rubina Ali, who played young Latika, said she was paid about $700. The two children live a few hundred yards from each other in an impoverished community of shacks in the Mumbai suburb of Bandra.
Azharuddin's father, Mohammed, who suffers from tuberculosis, told the U.K. paper that his son has been sleeping under a plastic tarp since local authorities bulldozed the family's illegal hut. He also claimed a trust fund set up by the studio for the young actor, including a monthly stipend for books and food, has done nothing to improve their quality of life.
"There is none of the money left," said Mohammed. "It was all spent on medicines to help me fight TB. We feel that the kids have been left behind by the film."
Rubina lives in a hut alongside a set of railroad tracks with her parents, older brother and sister. Her father, Rafiq Ali Kureshi, a carpenter, has been out of work since breaking his leg, according to the Telegraph. "I just had no knowledge of what [Rubina] should have been paid," he told the paper. But later, in a video interview with Reuters, he thanked the filmmakers for their support.
"We never said that they didn’t pay us money, or that he should pay us more money," he said. "We don't want that. They've really looked after our child. They're getting her educated, they are doing so much."
Paying for their education
But the film's director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson dispute any accusation the children were exploited, saying in a statement that the filmmakers "paid painstaking and considered attention to how Azhar and Rubina's involvement in the film could be of lasting benefit to them over and above the payment they received for their work."
They added: "The children had never attended school, and in consultation with their parents we agreed that this would be our priority. Since June 2008 and at our expense, both kids have been attending school and they are flourishing under the tutelage of their dedicated and committed teachers.
Financial resources have been made available for their education until they are 18. We were delighted to see them progressing well when we visited their school and met with their teachers last week."
A rep for the film's distributor, Fox Searchlight, echoes their defense. "The welfare of Azhar and Rubina has always been a top priority for everyone involved with Slumdog Millionaire," a spokesman said in the same statement. "A plan has been in place for over 12 months to ensure that their experience working on Slumdog Millionaire would be of long term benefit.
For 30 days work, the children were paid three times the average local annual adult salary. Last year after completing filming, they were enrolled in school for the first time and a fund was established for their future welfare, which they will receive if they are still in school when they turn 18."
One of the most critically acclaimed films of 2008, Slumdog won four Golden Globes and is nominated for 10 Academy Awards.

India Probes Dispute Over 'Slumdog' Child Star

Father Accused Of Trying To Sell 9-Year-Old Actress
April 21, 2009

MUMBAI, India -- Indian police are investigating claims and counterclaims by the parents of a child star in "Slumdog Millionaire" after a British tabloid alleged the father tried to sell the 9-year-old girl to an undercover reporter.
The accusations further complicated the lives of the families of the slum-dwelling child stars, who have come under intense scrutiny since the movie skyrocketed to Oscar-winning fame and grossed more than $300 million worldwide.
Khurshid Begum, the estranged mother of "Slumdog Millionaire" star Rubina Ali, filed a complaint with Mumbai police on Sunday after News of the World reported that the father planned to put her up for adoption. The British newspaper said the deal was allegedly offered to one of its reporters posing as a sheik from the Mideast.
The newspaper -- owned by News International Ltd., the main British subsidiary of News Corp., which also owns "Slumdog" distributor Fox Searchlight Pictures -- said the father was demanding millions of rupees, worth the equivalent of $400,000.
"They should be punished," Begum said after getting into a physical confrontation with Rubina's stepmother. "No father should dare sell his daughter."
Police took the father, Rafiq Qureshi, and Rubina from their home in a Mumbai slum to a police station where he was briefly questioned.
Speaking to reporters outside the police station Sunday, Qureshi denied the report, saying he had been lured to a fancy Mumbai hotel by someone claiming they were moved by Rubina's story and wanted to help her.
"We had gone there to meet them in goodwill," he said. "But they have made false allegations about me and tried to frame me."
He said he was promised cash and "were talking of giving more too" if he gave up his daughter.
"But I refused," he said.
Qureshi said he told police he believed it could be a plot to regain custody by his ex-wife, who left several years ago, only to return and try to play a role in Rubina's life after the film's success.
"My children are with me, and I could give my life for them," Qureshi said. "I will never sell them to anybody, no matter how much money they offer me."
Police said they were investigating. "There are claims and counterclaims made by the mothers and the father," police officer Nishar Tamboli told reporters. "We are probing the matter."
The newspaper quoted Qureshi as saying that Hollywood was to blame for forcing him to give her up for adoption. So, here he contradicts himself.
"We've got nothing out of this film," Rafiq Qureshi was quoted as saying. "I have to consider what's best for me, my family and Rubina's future." By selling her?
The children in "Slumdog Millionaire" were chosen with the local help of casting director Loveleen Tandan. To give the film a realistic view of the Mumbai slums, she and director Danny Boyle decided only weeks before shooting began to cast local kids who were not professional actors.
Rubina and young co-star Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail were discovered on the Mumbai streets by the filmmakers. The film's adult stars, Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, shot to international stardom, becoming red-carpet regulars during Hollywood's awards season.
Patel, whose only previous credit was the British teen drama "Skins," since landed a role in the fantasy adventure "The Last Airbender" from director M. Night Shyamalan. A model, Pinto made her movie debut with "Slumdog" and has scored roles in the next films from Woody Allen and Julian Schnabel ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly").
The younger stars got a taste of Hollywood glamor, too, attending the Academy Awards and joining the filmmakers on stage as they accepted the best-picture Oscar for "Slumdog."
Following the success of the rags-to-riches tale, some criticized the filmmakers for failing to share the wealth with Mumbai's millions of slum dwellers. Others accused them of exploiting two of the child stars, Rubina and Azharuddin, 10, who grew up in a wretched Mumbai slum.
The filmmakers' initial efforts to help their families were thwarted by media attention, the changing demands of relatives and the film's runaway success. Sudden fame and relative fortune also complicated relations between the actors and their neighbors.
The filmmakers feared that if they gave the families a lump sum, the money would be squandered or extorted. Instead, they set up a trust fund for the two children that was supposed to provide them with a good education, adequate housing and social support.
Last week they also announced a donation of $747,500 to a charity devoted to improving the lives of street children in Mumbai. Fox Searchlight didn't immediately return telephone calls Monday for comment on the allegations against Rubina's father.

Former astronaut: Man not alone in universe

Right: NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell, 1971
April 20, 2009

(CNN) -- Earth Day may fall later this week, but as far as former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell and other UFO enthusiasts are concerned, the real story is happening elsewhere.

Mitchell, who was part of the 1971 Apollo 14 moon mission, asserted Monday that extraterrestrial life exists, and that the truth is being concealed by the U.S. and other governments.

He delivered his remarks during an appearance at the National Press Club following the conclusion of the fifth annual X-Conference, a meeting of UFO activists and researchers studying the possibility of alien life forms.

Mankind has long wondered if we're "alone in the universe. [But] only in our period do we really have evidence. No, we're not alone," Mitchell said.

"Our destiny, in my opinion, and we might as well get started with it, is [to] become a part of the planetary community. ... We should be ready to reach out beyond our planet and beyond our solar system to find out what is really going on out there."

Mitchell grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, which some UFO believers maintain was the site of a UFO crash in 1947. He said residents of his hometown "had been hushed and told not to talk about their experience by military authorities." They had been warned of "dire consequences" if they did so.

But, he claimed, they "didn't want to go to the grave with their story. They wanted to tell somebody reliable. And being a local boy and having been to the moon, they considered me reliable enough to whisper in my ear their particular story."

Roughly 10 years ago, Mitchell claimed, he was finally given an appointment at Pentagon to discuss what he had been told.

An unnamed admiral working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff promised to uncover the truth behind the Roswell story, Mitchell said. The stories of a UFO crash "were confirmed," but the admiral was then denied access when he "tried to get into the inner workings of that process."
The same admiral, Mitchell claimed, now denies the story.

"I urge those who are doubtful: Read the books, read the lore, start to understand what has really been going on. Because there really is no doubt we are being visited," he said.

"The universe that we live in is much more wondrous, exciting, complex and far-reaching than we were ever able to know up to this point in time."

A NASA spokesman denied any cover-up. Well, duh. That's their story and they are sticking to it.

"NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover-up about alien life on this planet or anywhere else -- period," Michael Cabbage said Monday. humpt. Cabbage always gives me gas...

Debates have continued about what happened at Roswell. The U.S. Air Force said in 1994 that wreckage recovered there in 1947 was most likely from a balloon-launched classified government project.

Stephen Bassett, head of the Paradigm Research Group (PRG), which hosted the X-Conference, said that the truth about extraterrestrial life is being suppressed because it is politically explosive.

"There is a third rail [in American politics], and that is the UFO question. It is many magnitudes more radioactive than Social Security ever dreamed to be," Bassett said.

Not to mention that it would rock the religious world to the core--the Old Testament would be taken more literally, bringing up the actual existance of God as an abstract mystical father versus God as alien beings who came from the heavens and procreated with man/woman.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Florida Governor Crist Signs 2 Death Warrants

Monday, April 20, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gov. Charlie Crist signed two death warrants for men awaiting execution in separate 1983 killings.

Forty-seven-year-old John Richard Marek was scheduled to be put to death May 13 at the Florida State Prison near Starke. He was convicted in the kidnapping, rape and slaying of Adella Marie Simmons.

David Eugene Johnston is condemned in the stabbing and strangulation of 84-year-old Mary Hammond in Orlando. The 51-year-old is scheduled for execution May 29.

Marek was tried with a co-defendant, who was given a life sentence but died of natural causes in prison.

I hope they are making room for Casey Anthony.

Defense request to disinter Sandra Cantu body on hold

By Scott Smith
Record Staff Writer
April 17, 2009

STOCKTON - A judge refused to rule on a request Thursday by Melissa Huckaby's attorney to have 8-year-old Sandra Cantu's body removed from her Tracy mausoleum so the defense could conduct its own autopsy.

San Joaquin County Deputy Public Defender Sam Behar's request - drawing the judge's reproach and sharp opposition from the prosecutor - unfolded in a Stockton courtroom the same afternoon thousands of mourners gathered in Tracy to remember Sandra's short life.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Presiding Judge William J. Murray Jr. said he would not make a final determination on Behar's motion, because that decision rests with the judge assigned to the case.

Murray said he was disappointed Behar approached him and not Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss, who has been assigned to take up Huckaby's case next Friday.

Behar said Van Oss is not on the bench this week, and he also expects Van Oss to dismiss himself because of a conflicting case with Huckaby's prosecutor. Behar said he couldn't wait and had no choice but to ask Murray.

"Every hour is critical," Behar told the judge, adding that he's worried Sandra's body is deteriorating. "Any delay will be prejudicial to my client."

Sandra disappeared from Tracy's Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park on March 27. Farm workers found her body April 6, stuffed in a black suitcase and dumped in an irrigation pond a couple of miles north of Tracy. Investigators said they believe she was killed just hours after she disappeared.

Behar's request came the day after he was assigned to represent Huckaby, the 28-year-old Tracy woman charged with murder and the special circumstances of kidnapping, lewd and lascivious acts on a child, and rape with a foreign object - charges that make her eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Sandra's body was placed in a casket even before Huckaby's arrest. Behar, who was later assigned to Huckaby's case, implied that the autopsy was conducted without Huckaby's interests being represented.

Most homicide cases involve a single, independent pathologist's report such as the one performed by the San Joaquin County Coroner's Office.

Behar said in the 14-page request that he wants his own analysis of "genital trauma" Sandra allegedly sustained that supports the lewd and lascivious acts and sexual penetration charges.

Behar seeks to have the Sheriff's Office send officials to Fry Memorial Chapel, who would then take custody of Sandra's body, which was entombed Wednesday at the Tracy Mausoleum.

The Sheriff's Office would "preserve" and "deliver" the body to the Coroner's Office "with all due haste" to prevent further deterioration. Behar's defense pathologist would examine and then return the body to Fry's or Sandra's family, the court motion requests.

"In this case, Ms. Cantu's body is of such material evidence and that, without immediate intervention by this court, her defense will be prejudiced," Behar's motion says.

This is the last chance Huckaby's defense pathologist will ever have an opportunity to refute the people's case, the motion says. Huckaby was not in court for the hearing. Behar declined to comment further outside court.

Put off by Murray, Behar has two options: to make his case before the state's 3rd District Court of Appeal or to wait for next Friday's scheduled hearing in Stockton.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa argued against Behar, saying he needed time to prepare a written response, consult with Tracy police detectives and his pathologist and give Sandra's family a chance to be in court and state their own objection to disturbing the girl's remains.

"It's obscene. I'm outraged by it," Testa told the judge. "Let me have my detectives here, my doctor here, (Sandra's) family here."

Murray, in declining to rule on Behar's motion, said he did some research on the law before the brief hearing, and the arguments Behar cited did not convince him he has the right to remove Sandra's body from the mausoleum.

"If I thought your legal arguments were compelling, I might be of a different thought," Murray said. "But I'm not."

Melissa Huckaby tied to January missing girl report

Right: Melissa Huckaby arraignment
Who IS this person? jeez.

April 20, 2009
by Jennifer Wadsworth
Tracy Press

Melissa Chantel Huckaby, 28, is tied to a report that someone in January took a 7-year-old girl to a park for four hours and brought her back high on muscle relaxers.

The incident was reported on January 17 by a family in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park. Huckaby lived in the same complex, also where 8-year-old Sandra Cantu lived before police found her dead body on April 10.

Police arrested Huckaby four days later on suspicion on kidnapping, raping and killing Sandra.

The January report alleges that someone took a 45-pound blue-eyed dark-haired girl to a park.

The woman and the child were gone for four hours, from about 1:30 to after 5 p.m., according to the police log. The woman who took the girl drove a purple Kia Sportage, according to the report.

Police towed a purple Kia Sportage registered to Huckaby the day after farmworkers found Sandra’s body inside a suitcase dumped in a dairy lagoon.

The police log also noted an officer said the girl might be with a mobile home park resident's "granddaughter." Huckaby until her arrest lived with her grandparents, Clifford Lane and Connie Lawless.

When the woman — apparently Huckaby — returned the girl, the family took her to the hospital. A doctor found benzodiazepines — a muscle relaxant — in the girl’s bloodstream, the police log noted.

Police logs say the girl’s mother had alcohol on her breath and carried around some type of drug.

Police dismissed the incident because of the mother’s drug and alcohol problem, said a friend of the family’s who asked not to be identified because the FBI asked the family not to talk about the case.

Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said he can say nothing about the reported abduction in January because it’s part of the ongoing murder investigation.

Larry Birkhead Wins Appeal Including ALL Attorneys Fees, Debra Opri Promises to Destroy Dannielynn’s Dad??

April 10, 2009

On April 8, the California Second Appellate District, Division two, Affirmed in favor for Larry Birkhead and against Debra Opri. In what must have been a sting to Opri, Birkhead was awarded all attorney fees associated with his need to fight the Appeal filed by Debra Opri almost 18 months ago.

The case will be sent back to the L. A. Superior Court to proceed through discovery and to trial.
One has to wonder if Birkhead will end up with the largest chunk of that over $500k being held in a trust account pending this decision. Defending appeals cannot be cheap, I would think.
The spin machine is already beginning to work but only Radar Online would bite for an interview with Opri, where they spun it that Birkhead asked for the arbitration and lost. HUH??? How does one figure that once reading the papers from the Appellate Court? Deb, that's not how I remember it either. You wanted arbitration, Larry filed suit...
That would explain why no other credible site “bought” Opri’s claim that a loss equaled a win...
In an exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com Opri said: “I have been ready for trial for the past two years. Mr. Birkhead has a lot of dirty laundry that is going to be aired. In the end, he may be sorry what he wished for. Mr. Birkhead shouldn’t go head to head with me, it’s a battle he can’t win.”
It is sad that Debra Opri is stating publicly, even if it is only to a celebrity blog that would pick this spin machine up of, “Birkhead has a lot of dirty laundry and that is going to be aired”. Please Ms. Opri think of Dannielynn, perhaps both sides should ask for a Gag Order and just let the legal filings speak for themselves.
I would imagine that Opri will have to pay Larry Birkhead’s legal fees before the case continues forward. One has to wonder if she should have taken the deal Birkhead’s lawyer, Michael Trope at once offered her. Now she stands to lose not only these attorney fees for the Appeal but now must go back to the L. A. Superior Court and face that judge, and begin the discovery process.
Will Opri, keep a long ago promise to “destroy Larry Birkhead with the truth”? Will Debra Opri try to destroy Dannielynn’s father and if so how will she spin that one; “Something like for the common good for Dannielynn”?
Yea when you put lipstick on a pig, I would say you have only lipstick on a pig. If Opri decides to take that route I predict it will be bumpy, and she may perhaps be facing more than the Original Complaint by Birkhead of Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Conversion, Fraud, Legal Malpractice, Declaratory Relief, etc.
The California Second Appellate District was unanimous in affirming the lower trial court ruling in favor of Birkhead.
Just when you think just about all of these cases are done, then they just rise up again for another go round. As soon as this is back in the L. A. Superior Court, Civil Division, we of course we be following it through papers and not spin machines, and through solid court dates and rulings.
Why didn't she just give him the money? She had no right to it. Larry has a solid contract--hell, she wrote it. She really is a "C" word. Crooked and Cheesy. What...?

New Twist in Haleigh Cummings cast of Characters

April 20, 2009
By Art Harris, The Bald Truth

In a dramatic new twist in the case of missing Haleigh Cummings, two young women with close ties to the father of the missing five year old, Ronald, and his new bride, Misty Cummings, were arrested and booked Monday morning into the Putnam County Jail on charges of cocaine possession.

Amber Nicole Brooks, 20, of Palatka, Florida, the mother of Cummings’ 20-month old son, Jordan, was arrested by Putnam County sheriffs deputies, booked into jail at 8:04 a.m. and charged with cocaine possession, smuggling “contraband” into a detention facility and failing to appear for another outstanding warrant.

Bond was set at $2,512.00 for the three felony charges, according to the Putnam County Jail log.
Also arrested and booked (at 8:39 a.m.): Kristina Renee Prevatt, 18, aka “Nay Nay,” the party pal of Misty Cummings...

On Monday, Prevatt was charged with possession of cocaine and trying to smuggle contraband into a detention facility, records show. Her bond was set at $2008.00...

She also says Amber Brooks borrowed her car recently, and got it stuck in the mud, reportedly running from a man with a machete. She says Misty still had clothes in her trunk from that lost weekend, but they have since been removed.

Prevatt describes this and more in our exclusive television interview between her and pro bono private investigator and bounty hunter William Staubs, aka “Cobra,” who is expected back in Satsuma late Monday.

As for Amber Brooks, in a recent exclusive interview with The Bald Truth, she [says] she once lived with Ronald and took care of Haleigh and her little brother, Junior, before their son, Jordan, was born, then split with Cummings who she said has paid no child support, and raised their son as a single mother.

With a previous drug arrest on the books, Brooks has been struggling to raise their son, who has been quietly cared for by her grandmother in Palatka, but Jordan’s future may be up in the air after a surprise visit by Ronald Cummings Sunday.

Indeed, just before 10 p.m. Sunday night, April 19, according to a 911 call [as was] heard on a police scanner, Brooks’ grandmother called the Putnam County Sheriff’s dispatcher to report Cummings had pulled up outside her house in his purple Nissan Ultima and sent Haleigh’s little brother, Junior, to her door to ask for his little brother, Jordan.
When the grandmother refused, she told police, a black man who was apparently with Cummings appeared and asked for the child. That’s when my source says he heard the grandmother tell 911 she locked the door and called police, who confirmed the incident, including a BOLO (be on the lookout) for Cummings and a police cruiser that was dispatched.

“That’s how I understand it went down,” said PCSD Captain Dick Schauland in a phone interview with The Bald Truth.

Lt. Johnny Greenwood, also a PCSD spokesman, confirmed the arrests of Prevatt and Brooks. He said both had been cooperative in previous interviews with task force detectives when questioned about Haleigh’s kidnapping, but saw no connection with that case and the arrests.
“I don’t know how investigators may want to talk to them. I know they’ve talked to them already…and they’ve been cooperative the whole time,” Lt. Greenwood tells me. “Usually, charges like that might be used as leverage, but in this case they’ve already been cooperative.”
Cooperative or not, one investigator on the case told me Monday the task force would explore whether the cocaine arrests might be still be used to “squeeze” the women for any undisclosed information that might help move the stalled case forward.
“We’re waiting on that one tip to come in. Somebody knows something,” Lt. Greenwood tells me. “Somebody out there knows what happened. It’s just gonna take them slipping up and telling somebody, or somebody hears something. That’s all it’s going to take, one tip.”
In the exclusive interview with Prevatt, Nay Nay, as everyone calls her, says she picked Misty up after a fight with Ronald mid-week before Haleigh vanished, drove her to meet Page, and off they went on their party girl weekend—and had a surprise encounter with Brooks. Her account dovetails with what Page, or “White Boy Greg” as he’s called on the street, told us in his exclusive sit down.

Both describe Page’s brief romantic hook up with Misty, and her physical altercation with Amber Brooks at a party where witnesses tell me the cat-fighting women had to be physically pulled apart.

While Amber tells me Ronald Cummings rarely saw their son, friends say Brooks remains bitter that Misty moved in with her ex, and may have been angling to take away her son. Investigators theorize a number of dynamics at play, including a Misty who may have been jealous of the women who had previously had children by her main man.

Kim Picazio, lawyer for Crystal Sheffield, tells me Brooks described to her how Cummings would “smack” his son, Junior, causing nose bleeds —a similar account Brooks told me as well — but a police source says Amber also praised Ronald as a fine father who did not abuse the kids in a recent interview with the task force.

“She tells people what she thinks they want to hear,” said a lead investigator in the stalled missing child case.

In an exclusive interview, the task force official who asked that his name not be used, tells me investigators on the Haleigh case would be exploring any conflicts between the bit players in this twisted epic of Jerry Springer proporations, in an attempt to learn more from the two women about Haleigh’s disappearance than previously shared under police questioning.

Sources tell me sheriff’s investigators interviewed Brooks last week after she also met with investigators for Putnam County Department of Family Services who questioned her about Ronald Cummings alleged abuse–charges leveled by Haleigh’s mother, Crystal Sheffield, who is trying to regain custody of their son, Junior.

Through his attorneys, Ronald Cummings has denied any physical abuse towards the children, and maintains he’s the better parent by a longshot. tsk.

DFS has previously investigated Cummings and reportedly found his use of physical punishment within the acceptable bounds of parental discipline.

Meter reader who found Caylee Anthony's remains doesn't want to turn over phone records

Sarah Lundy
Sentinel Staff Writer
April 20, 2009

The Orange County meter reader who discovered the remains of Caylee Anthony doesn't want to turn over his cell phone records to Casey Anthony's defense team, according to documents filed in court today.
Roy Kronk's attorney, David Evans, wrote in the filing that Anthony's request for all cell phone records was too broad and was not "reasonably calculated" to lead to information related to the case.
The defense's request "constitutes harassment of Mr. Kronk and a substantial invasion of his privacy," Evans wrote in the motion.Casey Anthony, 23, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee Marie.
Anthony waited a month to report the child missing in July. In December, the toddler's remains were found by Kronk in a wooded area less than a mile from the Anthony home.
Kronk isn't opposed to providing information about whether he had any communication with Anthony, her family, private investigators or other witnesses -- records show he has not had any, Evans wrote.
The judge has not ruled on the motion.

California attorney on Casey Anthony's defense team can practice law in Florida

Judge grants Todd Macaluso permission
Sarah Lundy Sentinel Staff Writer
12:23 PM EDT, April 17, 2009
Orange Circuit Court Judge Stan Strickland permitted a California attorney - who is on Casey Anthony's defense team - to practice law here once he pays filing fees with the Florida Bar, according to paperwork filed today in court.

Todd Macaluso joined the Casey Anthony team last month. He told reporters on March 2 that he excels at cross-examining technical experts."This is my world. I deal with the best experts in the world and I deal with the best attorneys in the world," he said after a court hearing last month.
"And on a case such as this where I believe that she is innocent, I'm going to fight as hard as I can to prove that in a court of law."In January, Macaluso was accused of unprofessional conduct in California.

The complaint was filed with The California Bar because Macaluso didn't have enough money in an account to cover several business expenses totaling more than $170,000 between July 2006 and February 2007.

Macaluso responded in writing in February to the charges. He wrote that the financial mistake was due to his office staff supervising the account. He wasn't overseeing the account at the time because of the unexpected death of his brother. The mistake was not intentional.

The investigation in California is pending.

Florida polo horse death toll hits 21; cause as yet unknown

Associated Press - April 20, 2009 8:03 AM ET
WELLINGTON, Fla. (AP) - Seven more polo horses have died overnight to bring the death toll to 21 animals that were supposed to play in a Florida tournament.
Veterinarians are waiting for test results to determine why the horses fell ill and died in a short time before their match.
The International Polo Club Palm Beach says the horses from the Venezuela-based Lechuza Caracas team were being unloaded from their trailers yesterday when two collapsed and others acted dizzy and disoriented.
7 of the horses died on the polo club grounds and the rest died after they were taken away. The Palm Beach Post reported that seven more horses died overnight in treatment or en route.

The murder of Meredith Kercher: Raffaele Sollecito… Trapped, In His Own Words

Right: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

Sunday, April 19, 2009
Raffaele Sollecito… Trapped, In His Own Words
Posted by TheMachine
on truejustice.org

When the prosecutors present the forensic evidence, the defence lawyers will do their level best to try and muddy the waters, by claiming that much of the damning forensic evidence is due to contamination.
Well, good luck with that one. There is a FAR greater danger for them lurking…
We have already described in among other places here and here how Amanda Knox has boxed herself in with her own words.
Raffaele Sollecito has done precisely the same. Sollecito has also said things that are demonstrably untrue, and they now seriously haunt him and his team.
There is no question that Raffaele Sollecito has deliberately and repeatedly lied. He even himself admitted that he told the police “un sacco di cazzate” (a load of rubbish), and the judges at the Italian Supreme Court noted that he had lied and was reluctant to cooperate.
Lie one. Raffaele Sollecito first claimed in an interview with Kate Mansey from the Sunday Mirror that he and Amanda Knox were at a friend’s party on the night of the murder. It would have been obviously a tad difficult for Sollecito to find any witnesses who had attended an imaginary party to provide him and Knox with an alibi. This alibi was predictably abandoned very quickly.
Lie two. Sollecito then claimed that he was his apartment with Amanda Knox. This alibi is flatly contradicted by a silent witness: forensic evidence. According to the scientific police, there are six separate pieces of forensic evidence, including an abundant amount of his DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp, that place him in the cottage on Via della Pergola on the night of the murder.
Lie three. Sollecito then came up with a third alibi. He claimed that he was alone at his apartment and that Knox had gone out from 9pm to 1am. Both Sollecito and Knox gave completely different accounts of where they were, who they were with and what they doing on the night of the murder. These weren’t small inconsistencies, but huge, whopping lies.
Lies four and five. Sollecito and Knox told the postal police that he had called the police before the postal police had turned up at the cottage and were waiting for them. Sollecito later admitted that this was not true and that he had lied because he had believed Amanda Knox’s version of what had happened.
He said he went outside “to see if I could climb up to Meredith’s window” but could not. “I tried to force the door but couldn’t, and at that point I decided to call my sister for advice because she is a Carabinieri officer. She told me to dial 112 (the Italian emergency number) but at that moment the postal police arrived. He added: “In my former statement I told you a load of rubbish because I believed Amanda’s version of what happened and did not think about the inconsistencies.” (The Times, 7 November, 2007).
Lie six. Knox and Sollecito said they couldn’t remember most of what happened on the night of the murder, because they had smoked cannabis.
It is medically impossible for cannabis to cause such dramatic amnesia and there are no studies that have ever demonstrated that this is possible.
Long term use of cannabis may affect short-term memory, which means that users might have difficulty recalling a telephone number. But it won’t wipe out whole chunks of an evening from their memory banks.
Lie seven. Sollecito claimed that he had spoken to his father at 11pm. Phone records show that there was no telephone conversation at this time. Sollecito’s father called him a couple of hours earlier at 8.40pm.
Lie eight. Sollecito claimed that he was surfing the Internet from 11pm to 1am. The Kercher’s lawyer, Franco Maresca, pointed out that credible witnesses had shattered Sollecito’s alibi for the night of the murder. Sollecito still maintains he was home that night, working on his computer, but computer specialists have testified that his computer was not used for an eight-hour period on the night of Meredith’s murder
Lie nine. Sollecito claimed that he had slept until 10pm the next day. However, he used his computer at 5.32am and turned on his mobile phone at 6.02am. The Italian Supreme Court remarked that his night was “sleepless” to say the least.
Lie ten. When Sollecito heard that the scientific police had found Meredith’s DNA on the double DNA knife in his apartment. He told a cock and bull story about accidentally pricking Meredith’s hand whilst cooking at his apartment.
“The fact that Meredith’s DNA is on my kitchen knife is because once, when we were all cooking together, I accidentally pricked her hand.’’ Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s apartment. Sollecito could not have accidentally pricked her hand whilst cooking.
It’s highly telling that Sollecito wasn’t surprised that the forensic police had found Meredith’s DNA on the double DNA knife in his apartment. He knew Meredith’s DNA was on the blade, which is why he made up the silly cock and bull story. He was attempting to explain the presence of Meredith’s DNA on the blade, but in doing so, he further incriminated himself and Amanda Knox.
Manuela Comodi, the deputy prosecutor, explained during the hearings that the prosecution had not called either Knox or Sollecito as witnesses “because there is no point. Every time they were questioned during the pre-trial investigation they lied or tried to derail the inquiry.”
Judge Paolo Micheli, who presided over Rudy Guede fast-track trial and sent Knox and Sollecito to trial, didn’t believe many of their claims. He noted that they had given triple alibis and had lied in attempt to cover for each other.
Sollecito’s lawyers claim that he lied out of confusion and fear. However, Sollecito lied from the very first time he spoke to the police when he wasn’t a suspect. His lies cannot be attributed to confusion and fear.
Like Amanda, he has boxed himself in.