Tag Archives: Death Penalty

Maggie Daniels | More Search Warrants Released in Murder of Teacher

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NEWTON, N.C. — A new set of search warrants in the Maggie Daniels’ murder investigation sheds more light on the earliest stages of the investigation.

In the documents released Friday morning, detectives detail the day Daniels’ body was found in her Newton apartment.

The warrants say officers found her unresponsive, lying face down on her bedroom floor wearing only an inside-out pair of running shorts. Blood had pooled near her nose.

Officers also observed a broken full length mirror at the front of the bed with a clear liquid on it. The bedspread was rolled up into a ball and placed in the center of the mattress.

At no point do these newest set of documents mention a suspect.

Sharman Odom, 34, is charged with her murder as well as first-degree sex assault and kidnapping.

Search warrants released Thursday focused on his DNA that was found at the scene and an interview with a neighbor detailing Odom’s interest in Daniels before the murder.

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Source : http://triadnc.twcnews.com/

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Jessica Smith Pleads Not Guilty To Drowning Daughter

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ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Notes left by a mother accused of drowning her 2-year-old and cutting the throat of her teenage daughter recounted the attack and said the “baby didn’t suffer as she fell asleep in the water,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit unsealed Tuesday.

The document was released as a Clatsop County Circuit Court judge accepted not guilty pleas from Jessica Smith to charges of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder. The murder charge could bring the death penalty if Smith is convicted.

Smith, 40, of Goldendale, Washington, appeared in court via video and smiled on several occasions during the 20-minute hearing. She nodded and winked when asked whether she understood that she would remain in jail at least until a Sept. 30 hearing.

Authorities have said Smith checked into the Surf Sand Resort in Cannon Beach on July 29 under her own name with her two daughters in tow. Three days later, a cleaning crew found the drowned body of the 2-year-old girl. The still-breathing teenager was covered in blood with her throat cut.

According to the affidavit, Smith gave her teenage daughter a double dose of a sleeping agent, then used a numbing compound on her neck before her throat was slashed.

Smith considered cutting the toddler’s throat, her 13-year-old daughter told an Oregon State Police detective, but chose to drown the child instead.

The state medical examiner, Dr. Karen Gunson, told The Oregonian that the 2-year-old had been heavily sedated with an over-the-counter antihistamine.

Gunson told the newspaper that asphyxiation by drowning was the main cause of the 2-year-old’s death and the drug was a “contributing cause.”

The teen was identified in the affidavit but her name is being withheld by The Associated Press because of her age.

Prosecutors have declined to provide further details on the attacks.

In court Tuesday, Smith’s attorney William David Falls said the case is complex and he would need time to prepare for several possible defenses, including one based on Smith’s mental health.

Falls also said the publicity surrounding the case would make it more difficult to find an unbiased jury in Clatsop County.

On July 31, the children’s father, Greg Smith, told a Washington state detective that Jessica Smith sent his colleagues a 15-page email excoriating him and raising complaints about their marriage.

Greg and Jessica Smith’s surviving daughter told police the difficult relationship of her parents came up frequently in the motel room. The couple separated in April, and the teenage daughter told police Greg Smith was seeking custody of the children.

Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Carol Coronado | Charged with murder of her 3 daughters – A possible Death Penalty case

coronadoCarol Coronado, a California mother of three little girls has been charged with their stabbing murders.  

She’s also been charged with the attempted murder of her mother. Authorities say Coronado attacked her mother when she confronted her. 

Carol Coronado was still hospitalized Thursday at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, where she received treatment for self-inflicted stab wounds.

She suffered wounds over her body, but most were considered scratches. Her most significant wound was to the upper chest, but it was not severe enough to be considered life-threatening, detectives said.

 She’s scheduled to be taken into the hospital jail ward.

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The Crime Scene

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was called around 5.10 pm Tuesday when they responded to the 1000 block of West 23rd Street.

Carol Coronado’s husband, Rudy, was outside working on his pick-up truck parked across the street from their home.  When his mother-in-law, Julie Piercey, arrived about 5 p.m, he told her to go ahead and go inside.

Moments later Julie Piercey ran out of the small, white house, with a bloody knife in her hand.  She screamed at her son-in-law and frantically began dialling her cellphone.

“She killed the babies,” she said.

Julie made a horrifying discovery, when she found the children’s lifeless bodies inside the house.

Carol Coronado allegedly turned the knife on Ms Piercey when she confronted Coronado.  Piercey grabbed the kitchen knife from the mother’s hand.

Moments later, Rudy rushed inside when he heard her screams of “Oh my God!”

He screamed when he saw the bloody scene inside his home.

“He kept saying, ‘Oh my God, Oh my god,’ ”  neighbor Veronica Ruiz said.

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Authorities found the bodies of 2-1/2-year-old Sophia, 16-month-old Yazmine and 2-month-old Xenia laid out on a bed after they were stabbed, Lt. Dave Coleman told the media  “The way the injuries occurred, they weren’t sleeping. She lined them up on the bed. They were neatly placed on the bed.”
Carol Coronado was near the bed where her 3 daughters were arranged on it in a pool of blood. Carol was covered in blood herself and had self-inflicted stab wounds.   Knives and a hammer were at the crime scene near the bodies. 
Coronado was found naked, covered in blood and holding a knife according to police.

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Neighbors watched as deputies escorted her from the house, handcuffed and wrapped in a blanket.

“She had a zoned-out look and was just looking down,” Ashley Madrid, 27, said. “She had dry blood smeared on her face and legs.”

 Charges

Carol Ann Coronado, 30, was charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder Friday.  The attempted murder charge stems from Coronado attacking her own mother, Julie Piercey.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will decide later whether to seek the death penalty.

It is unclear whether prosecutors would seek the Death Penalty.

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Autopsy

Autopsies conducted Thursday confirmed the children suffered stab wounds, but it was unclear whether they also suffered head trauma. The results were not disclosed.  A hammer and other knives were confiscated from the home to examine as potential evidence.

“The way the injuries occurred, they weren’t sleeping,” sheriff’s homicide Lt. Dave Coleman said. “She lined them up on the bed. They were neatly placed on the bed.”

“Placement of the girls’ bodies occurred after they were killed”, he said.

Family Reaction

Carol’s husband Rudy Coronado told a reporter that she must have been possessed by a demon.  

Their godfather, John Carrion, also said a demon was inside Coronado the day that the girls died.

“Pray for that woman. She had a demon inside her that day.”

He says he never saw Carol upset or angry:

“I don’t know how I feel about the woman right now.  I don’t understand what was going on in that woman’s head.”

Carrion says the father  is too overcome with grief to talk with anyone and Rudy is  “dazed and confused.”  

The godfather goes on to say:   “Right now, he’s giving her the benefit of doubt.  He just said he didn’t believe he saw Carol — he saw a demon inside her.  He said he doesn’t blame Carol. He blames the … demon.”

Sandra Coronado, Rudy’s sister told the media  “He says that there’s something in her that he didn’t see.  Something in her eyes.  I don’t know.”

“Never in a million years would I have thought anything like this,” the sister-in-law said.

Sandra Coronado said she never saw any demons inside her sister-in-law, but thought she lacked a “mother’s instinct.”

“Personally, I don’t have my kids spend the night nowhere,” she said. “Her,  it was like, ‘Fine,  go ahead and take them.’  She would let my cousin take them for like a week.  She would keep the baby.  She would say she was tired. She had to do homework.  She had to clean house.”

Carol Coronado, who was taking classes on the Internet, stayed at home with the children while her husband went out early each day to sell car parts at the Alpine Village swap meets.

She kept a cluttered home, which triggered some discord with her husband.

“I believe that was their main issue,” the sister-in-law said. “My brother wanted the house clean for his girls. He wanted to come home to a home-cooked meal.”

Carol Coronado, then Carol Piercey, met her husband in their Carson-area neighborhood. They married in 2011 near the Korean Bell in Angels Gate Park in San Pedro.

“It was beautiful,” the sister-in-law said. “My kids were the ring bearers.”

Coleman described the family’s home as a former workshop or “converted garage.” It opened to a common area and a kitchenette with a bedroom.

Coronado’s father-in-law said she was “trying to go to school and take care of the kids.”

“It’s real bad,” Rudy Coronado, 67, said.  Carol Coronado’s husband is also called Rudy.

“Right now, he’s giving her the benefit of doubt,” Carrion said. “He just said he didn’t believe he saw Carol — he saw a demon inside her. He said he doesn’t blame Carol. He blames the … demon.”

Carrion declined to speak further about the children’s’ mother, saying only that he had never seen her angry.

“I don’t know how I feel about the woman right now,” he said. “I don’t understand what was going on in that woman’s head.”

 How the day unfolded

Earlier in the day, Carol called her mother in the morning saying she felt like she was  “going crazy”.  

Sandra Coronado said she placed the call to her sister-in-law about 9am Tuesday, she didn’t question why, but made the call.

According to Sandra “All she said was, ‘You need to call Carol.  I’m at work.  I can’t talk to her right now,’ ” the sister-in law said. “If (Carol) told her that she was going crazy, she should have told me that.  She never even mentioned that.  If she would have told me that, things would have been different.”

Carol Coronado told Sandra she was tired and exhausted and planned to take her second oldest daughter to the doctor on the day.  Sandra offered to take care of the other two girls while Carol was out.

“She was sobbing,  she was crying.  And she said she was tired and exhausted. … I told her,  ‘Take her to the appointment and bring me the girls.’ ”

 Sandra Coronado said she heard her nieces crying in the background, but didn’t think anything of it. A mother herself, she knows children often cry when a parent is on the telephone.

Behind the crime

Carol Coronado had never been reported to the Department of Children and Family Services.  Investigators are looking into whether she might have been on drugs or suffering from postpartum depression.  Mental health experts can’t comment on the specifics of the case, because there is still so little information. But Phillip Resnick, the director of forensic psychiatry at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told the media that it can be difficult for women suffering from postpartum depression or mental health issues to get help: “A woman may be so ashamed she won’t reveal problems to a doctor. They won’t reveal thoughts of killing their children, because they’re fearful a social worker will take their children away.”

Carol Coronado served in the Army for a short time over 10 years ago and had to leave because of medical reasons.  She was taking online classes while staying home with the kids.

Relatives said that the couple fought about housekeeping. Carol would ask relatives to watch her girls from time-to-time, so she could clean the house and do homework.   Sandra Coronado told the media, “My brother wanted the house clean for his girls.   He wanted to come home to a home-cooked meal.”

Those who know the family said there was no indication that anything was wrong.  Coronado often took the girls on walks up and down the street, a neighbor said.   Her Facebook page featured several photos of the girls, including an ultrasound photo.

 Funeral, Vigil and Fundraising

Outside the home, relatives assembled a small memorial of flowers, candles and teddy bears. On Wednesday evening, several dozen people attended a vigil for the slain girls, including their father. Surrounded by relatives and friends, he cried and rubbed the photos of his three daughters.

At a vigil Wednesday night outside his home, Rudy Coronado broke down. He collapsed to the ground on his knees, bent over and cried next to a memorial of flowers, candles and teddy bears.  Relatives stroked his back and head.
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The girls, Carrion said, were energetic and loved the Disney movie “Frozen.” There were plans for a baptism this fall.

“They were the most beautiful babies you had ever seen,” he said. “They loved their daddy and he loved them. Pray for my babies, please, pray for my babies. Pray for Rudy. And even pray for that woman.”

 Family members spent the afternoon Thursday making funeral arrangements for the girls and planning fundraisers to pay for the services. A distraught Rudy Coronado cried when he signed papers at the funeral home. 

 Money also was an issue for the young couple. Faced with funeral expenses, family members have scheduled car washes and bake sales to raise funds Saturday and Sunday at Henry’s Market at Avalon Boulevard and 184th Street. A car show, and fundraisers at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, Alpine Village near Carson, and Buffalo Wild Wings are also in the works. And an online fundraiser was established on Gofundme.com under the title “Our 3 little angels.”

Officer Anthony Holly killed in the line of duty

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PHOENIX | Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of an officer killed in the line of duty seven years ago.

The trial for Anthony Holly’s alleged killer, Bryan Hulsey, has been postponed several times, making it the oldest capital murder case in the county.
 
Holly was gunned down on Feb. 19, 2007, as he provided backup during a traffic stop. Police said they had taken one suspect out of the vehicle and were removing a second suspect when the suspect pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired at the officers, striking Holly. The other officer returned fire, wounding Hulsey, who was later captured and taken into custody.

 
Holly was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, where he was pronounced dead. He was 24 years old.
Since Hulsey was indicted in 2007, court records show attorneys on the case have met with the judge nearly 200 times. In many cases, Hulsey requested new counsel. 
Court papers suggest Hulsey wouldn’t cooperate with his legal team, and at one point, he volunteered to represent himself. 
The latest delay came in December last year because a defense attorney “needs time to recover medically before she can prepare for and participate in trial.”
Glendale Police Sgt. Jay O’Neill and his colleagues have been waiting seven years for justice.
“The judge has erred on the side of caution, so when that verdict eventually is read, it will stand up to any appeals,” O’Neill said. “Obviously, a capital case is going to see an appeal.”
 
In February,  Holly’s friends, family and colleagues showed up to the courtroom for yet another delay hearing. But, donning “enough is enough” stickers, they got the news for which they were hoping . 
“I had nightmares. I couldn’t sleep, I just couldn’t put it to rest,” said Sharon Knutson-Felix, executive director of the 100 Club. She said waiting on the wheels of justice to turn in the cases for both her late son, Ricky, and husband, Doug Knutson, was like getting victimized all over again.
It’s a feeling with which, she said, Holly’s family is grappling. 
“I just got to the point where I didn’t even know what to say anymore,” Knutson-Felix said. “They died for this community and serving this community, and then it seems the community has betrayed them.”
 
Holly was a two-year veteran of the Glendale Police Department and was a four-year veteran of the U. S. Air Force. He left behind his girlfriend, parents, four brothers and a sister.

 

Trial begins in 2007 death of Glendale officer

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Juan Martinez will be the lead prosecutor in the Bryan Hulsey murder trial.

PHOENIX (AP) — Jury selection began Monday for an Arizona man charged with fatally shooting a police officer seven years ago during a routine traffic stop in Phoenix.

Bryan Wayne Hulsey, 40, is charged with killing Glendale Officer Anthony Holly, 24, during the February 2007 stop.

Hulsey has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and misconduct involving a weapon. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Attorneys are scheduled to make opening statements June 2. 

The shooting unfolded after a vehicle in which Hulsey was a passenger was pulled over in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale. Hulsey got out of the vehicle and started firing, authorities said. The other officer at the scene returned fire and struck Hulsey in one of his legs.

Prosecutors say Hulsey killed Holly in the exchange of gunfire. Hulsey’s attorneys have questioned whether Holly was unintentionally shot by the other officer.

Defense attorneys made the suggestion about the other officer based on the fact that the bullet that killed Holly wasn’t recovered during the autopsy, though tiny metal fragments remained in his body.

credits: www.trivalleycentral.com

Debra Milke

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CREDIT of this article to : http://arizonadeathpenltyinjustice.webs.com/

“For decades there have been secrets in the Arizona desert, malfeasance and lies that threaten the lives of people who await execution for crimes that the evidence clearly indicates they did not commit. Within this site is the story of Jeff Landrigan who was executed in 2010, and the ongoing sagas of Eric King, Debra Milke, Jim Styers and Eldon Schurz. All five were arrested in December of 1989 and the four remaining alive are very near to execution, with Eric’s date set for March 29th . However, all four cases leave more than a little doubt as to their guilt, with Eric, Debra, Jim and Eldon professing innocence.
Additionally, these stories include the work of a group of detectives who clearly did not mind coercion, lies or fabrication to assure conviction in a case. Foremost, among them is retired Phoenix Detective Armando Saldate who had a less than sterling reputation including that he was known to use and disciplined for his coercive tactics during interrogations. His character can easily be called into question, however, his tale tales and dubious actions were almost solely responsible for the convictions of Eric, Debra, Jim and Eldon when there was actually no credible evidence in any of the cases. There is also Detective Mike Chambers who either blatantly lies during another proceeding concerning Eldon’s codefendant or knowingly allows the codefendant to lie in court to free himself. A minor role was even played by Detective Charles Gregory who was later proven to have assisted Noel Levy in the wrongful prosecution of Ray.

No one spoken of here was above reproach in 1989. However, there is clearly a web of deceit that led to these people facing execution. In all of the cases, there is not enough credible evidence to support conviction and certainly not enough to justify taking their lives. At best, each of them was wrongfully convicted. The evidence indicates that they were imprisoned for crimes that they did not commit. Thus, the question becomes is wrongful conviction acceptable if the person’s record is less than stellar?

We the staff of arizona-death-penalty-injustice believe that there should be justice for all. Therefore, we ask that all of you will lend a hand in bringing truth to the desert by assisting us in exposing these cases and other Maricopa County prosecutions for the shams that they are.”

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Debra Milke a free woman… for now.

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