Ex-USC, FBI Fugitive Gets Five Years for Child Sex

December 16th, 2014

A former University of Southern California professor once on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted fugitives list was sentenced to five years in federal prison on Monday for traveling to the Philippines and sexually assaulting underage boys he had met online.

Walter Lee Williams, 66, was apprehended by Mexican authorities in Playa del Carmen in June 2013. He will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life after his prison sentence is finished. Williams will also be supervised for 10 years.

In court on Monday, Williams stated he took full responsibility of his actions and apologized to his victims and their families before he was remanded to the custody of U.S. Marshals.

Williams was a well-respected professor who taught anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, and history at USC for roughly 20 years before his 2011 resignation.

Claiming his travel was for academic studies, Williams flew to the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia to have sex with underage boys. The FBI has connected 10 victims between the ages of 9 and 17.

In 2010, before his travel, Williams instigated webcam sex meetings with two boys in the Philippines, aged 13 and 14 and expressed his wish to visit them. When he flew overseas next year, he participated in sex acts with both boys, as well as a 15-year-old boy, and took sexually graphic photos of one of the boys.

When Williams arrived in Los Angeles International Airport on February 11, 2011, authorities stopped him and found child pornography in his possession.

According to Los Angeles Assistant police Chief Michel Moore, the case against Williams began roughly three years ago, when a Los Angeles resident contacted authorities, claiming he was worried about the safety of area children.

In June 2013, a lawyer for the USC offered the FBI materials Williams had donated to the school’s gay and lesbian archives, which reportedly contained “lascivious visual depictions of minors.” The FBI found similar images in Williams’ home.

In September, Williams pled guilty in U.S. District Court to one federal count of engaging in illicit sexual contact in foreign places.

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

Stephanie Moseley and Husband Found Dead in Murder Suicide

December 10th, 2014

Dancer Stephanie Moseley and her husband, rapper Earl Hayes, were found Monday in a suspected murder-suicide.

Los Angeles police responded to reports of shots being fired in an apartment building in Park La Brea on Monday morning. They found Moseley, 30, and Hayes, 34, with gunshot wounds.

Both were pronounced dead at the crime scene. Police suspect Hayes shot Moseley to death and then took his own life.

Moseley was a dancer and an actress who starred in “Hit the Floor,” VH1’s drama about NBA cheerleaders. Hayes was a rapper and associate of professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“We are incredibly saddened to hear the news of the passing of Stephanie Moseley,” VH1 said in a statement. “VH1 and the entire ‘Hit the Floor’ family send our thoughts and condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.”

Residents of the Los Angeles apartment complex where the couple resided told police they heard a woman screaming before gun shots rang out on Monday morning. Officers were called around 7:30am by a female resident.

When officers arrived at the building, they heard screams and more gun shots. They decided to enter the unit and found a back bedroom door closed. On the verge of entering, police heard two more gunshots.

A SWAT team later entered the bedroom and found the two bodies inside.

TMZ reports the couple was in the process of breaking up and that Hayes had accused Moseley of cheating on him with “a famous singer,” according to sources.

“We shared life circumstances, and what we’ve been going through,” said model and actress Eva Marcille, who was close with Moseley. “Her life hasn’t exactly been rosy, as of late… but I didn’t think it was going to come to this.”

“No one seen this coming — because, again, Hayes is not a violent guy,” said friend Burrell Wilks. “We’re all devastated. We’re at a loss for words on this one.”

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

Man Charged in Detroit Foreclosure Double Homicide

December 3rd, 2014

A man was charged Monday in relation to a Detroit double homicide at a foreclosed home in the city’s Rosedale Park district.

Alonzo Long Jr., 22, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of discharge in a building and one count of felony firearm in the lethal shootings of Howard Franklin, 72, and his daughter Catherine J. Franklin, 37.

He was arraigned on Monday and remanded to jail without bail.

Authorities state Long shot the victims around 7:30pm on Friday, November 28 at a home owned by Howard Franklin. Long fled the scene and was later apprehended by Detroit Police.

Long allegedly did not live at the home but was helping relatives move out. His relatives had previously agreed to move, but an argument broke out when the Franklins arrived at the property.

Police allege Long and other men were removing fixtures from the residence when Howard Franklin confronted them.

Franklin and his daughter obtained a court order to evict the occupants after the home was sold in October at a tax auction; he purchased the house for $36,000 in taxes and fees.

Franklin had allowed the residents to stay in the home until they found another place to stay, or until the eviction process was complete.

Long and the Franklins were all legally permitted to carry guns, according to authorities. They would not, however, confirm if there was an exchange of gunfire.

A woman called police Friday afternoon for assistance in carrying out a court-ordered eviction, according to Detroit Sgt. Michael Woody. When police came, the occupant agreed to leave, but stated he needed to obtain a truck to move his property.

Detroit dispatch received several more calls from the woman after she noticed man removing the house’s fixtures. According to Woody, area police were unable to respond as they were attending to higher priority calls.

“I hope some good can come out of this terrible incident,” said Pam Weinstein, of the Rosedale Park Improvement Association.

“There’s a gap in resources available to make sure there’s an orderly and peaceful transfer of properties that are sold in these auctions. Because right now it’s clearly not being managed well.”

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

NYPD Shooting of Unarmed Brooklyn Man Ruled Homicide

November 25th, 2014

The death of an unarmed Brooklyn father who was shot by a rookie NYPD police officer in an apartment stairwell has been ruled a homicide.

Akai Gurley, 28, and his girlfriend walked into a darkened stairwell of the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York around 11:15pm on Thursday November 20. Their movement startled Officer Peter Liang, who was patrolling the housing stairwells with his partner.

According to an internal report obtained by the New York Post: “almost instantly, Officer Liang discharged his service weapon one time directly outward.”

Liang fired a single shot from the landing above the couple, which struck Gurley in the chest. Gurley’s girlfriend, Melissa Butler, tried to administer first aid, according to authorities.

The report also states that after firing his weapon, Liang told his partner: “I think I’m going to get fired.”

Gurley later died at Brookdale hospital in eastern Brooklyn.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Gurley’s death to be a homicide on Sunday.

“His death resulted in whole from actions of another person, not from natural causes like disease,” the medical examiner’s office said in a statement.

The lethal shot was “an accidental discharge,” according to police officials. After the shooting, Liang radioed to his supervisors to alert them to the shooting.

The medical examiner’s decision came soon after Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson stated he would be launching a full investigation of Gurley’s death.

The ruling also came a day before a highly charged decision from a St. Louis Grand Jury to not indict a Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Liang, 27, is still on modified duty. NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is also investigating the incident.

Neither the union nor the NYPD has released an official statement on the medical examiner’s ruling.

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

NYC Subway Murder Suspect Arrested and Charged

November 19th, 2014

New York police have arrested a man in the fatal pushing of a subway rider in the Bronx late Tuesday after he was identified by a previous victim.

Kevin Darden, 34, was charged with murder in the death of Wai Kuen Kwok, 61. Darden allegedly shoved Kwok into the path of an oncoming train Sunday according to police. He is believed to appear in surveillance video leaving the scene.

The incident sparked a three-day manhunt. Another victim, also Asian, came to police and identified Darden as the person who shoved him in on the West Fourth Street subway platform on November 6.

“You shouldn’t walk in front of me,” Darden cautioned the man, according to authorities, before pushing him to the ground. “I’m warning you.”

Investigators believed Darden was the same man casually leaving the 167th Street station just minutes after Kwok was killed around 8:45am. Kwok had been standing on the platform with his wife.

There were no witnesses to the attack, but other subway riders told police they saw the same man in the video leave the station. He boarded a bus two minutes after the attack.

On November 9, Darden was arrested for pick-pocketing a tourist in Times Square, according to police. At his arraignment, his bail was set at $1,000.

However, the complaining witness left the country before a court hearing five days later and could not be reached. Darden was then released without bail.

Before pushing Kwok, Darden allegedly robbed two men at the 167th Street subway station, roughly thirty minutes before the fatal incident.

Darden has a substantial criminal record, as reported by the New York Post. He spent four years in a New York state prison for a 1999 robbery and in 2011 was charged with arson in Texas for attempting to burn down his brother’s home. He was not prosecuted.

Joyce Jones, Darden’s mother, says her son is mentally ill. “I’m glad they got him off the streets and I’m glad he’s not dead. I feel so, so sorry for those people and what happened. I know that won’t bring him back, but I am so, so sorry.”

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

Andy Dick Arrested on Suspicion of Grand Theft

November 10th, 2014

Comedian Andy Dick was arrested Friday for grand theft after he allegedly stole a necklace.

The actor, 48, was riding his bike in Hollywood last week; he rode up to a man on the street and asked to see the chain around his neck. The victim recognized Dick and willingly handed him the jewelry. Dick supposedly rode off with the necklace, valued at $1,000.

According to police records, Dick was arrested at 11:10pm in a heavily-trafficked area of Hollywood. He was apprehended on suspicion of felony grand theft and released at 5:20am Saturday after posting $25,000 bond.

If convicted on felony charges, Dick faces a maximum punishment of three years in California prison. However, if charged as a misdemeanor, he faces up to one year.

The former “News Radio” star has had a long battle with substance abuse. It was unclear if Dick was under the influence at the time of his arrest. He has made headlines for several previous arrests for disturbing behavior.

In 2011, Dick was arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct involving drugs and alcohol at a Marie Callender’s restaurant in Temecula, California. In 2010, he was arrested for sexual abuse after supposedly fondling a West Virginia bar’s bouncer.

In 2008, Dick was arrested at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant on counts of sexual battery and drug possession when he allegedly groped and exposed a 17-year-old girl. Upon police search, Dick was found in possession of cannabis and Xanax (for which he did not have a prescription).

Dick began his career in 1992 as a cast member of “The Ben Stiller Show.” He has appeared on several television shows and has numerous small roles in films over the past decades. He is an alumnus of Chicago’s famed Second City Theatre.

Dick is due to appear in court on December 4.

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

Arrest in Fatal Halloween Hit-And-Run of Three Teens

November 4th, 2014

Santa Ana Police have arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with a fatal hit-and run that killed three teenage girls who were trick or treating near Los Angeles on Halloween.

Jaquinn Bell was arrested Sunday at an Orange County motel on suspicions of felony hit-and-run causing death; he is being held on $500,000 bail. Formal charges are expected to come this week.

According to Santa Ana police, Bell drove a black Honda SUV through a marked crosswalk that was near an elementary school. He allegedly never hit the brakes after he struck the trick-or-treaters Friday around 6:45pm.

The girls, all 13, were identified as twin sisters Lexi and Lexandra Perez and friend Andrea Gonzalez. Two of the girls died at the scene, and the other died as paramedics attempted to transport her to a nearby hospital.

Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas said Bell was driving with his two teenage children in the vehicle at the time of the accident. After Bell struck the girls, he drove off and abandoned the Honda in a nearby parking lot.

In 2009, Bell was put on probation after pleading guilty to domestic violence charges. Court records show he has violated his probation seven times. Due to his infractions, Bell spent several short periods in jail and was ordered to complete substance abuse and child endangerment treatment programs.

According to the Orange County Register, on August 4, Bell plead guilty to charges hit-and-run with property damage, driving under the influence and two counts of child endangerment—as he had his children in the car on this occasion, as well.

The Register also reported the Honda SUV Bell drove on Halloween was not registered to him.
Family, friends and members of the community held a vigil Sunday night at the crosswalk where the accident occurred.

Andrea’s brother, Josafat Gonzalez, 21, was pleased by the arrest, but admitted it did little to assuage his grief.

“It won’t bring my sister back,” he told the LA Times.

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

Long Island Beheading Not Halloween Prank

October 29th, 2014

A woman in her 60s was found beheaded on a Long Island street just before a man stepped in front of a commuter rail track in Long Island, New York, according to local police.

Nassau County Police believe the apparent murder-suicide victims may have been mother and son. The incident occurred in Farmingdale, New York, where authorities believe both male and female victims were residents.

The woman’s body was found Tuesday night, half dressed, on one side of the street and her head was on the other side, according to witness Jack Imperial.

“The body’s feet were at the curb, the shoulders were at the middle of the street. The head was across the street,” said Imperial. “I’ve seen some gruesome stuff in my years of living … but nothing like this. I didn’t expect to see something like this, especially not out here.”

According to the New York Post, witnesses said they saw the man drag the woman’s body out of a building and onto the street. He kicked her head approximately 20 feet before heading to a close by railroad track and jumping in front of an eastbound Long Island Railroad train roughly 25 minutes later.

“There was blood all over the floor,” resident Nick Gordon told the Post. “You can see smears going down the stairs … as if somebody were pulling a body.”

Other witnesses told the Post that they had originally thought the scene was a Halloween prank; after they attempted to lift the body they realized the gruesome scene was real.

Passengers on the LIRR was moved to another train and taken to a nearby station, where they caught shuttled buses to their final destinations.

The Ronkonkoma Branch of the LIRR was suspended in both directions as of 11pm Tuesday night but service resumed for Wednesday’s morning commute .

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gary Serial Killer Arrested, Suspected in More Deaths

October 23rd, 2014

Convicted sex offender Darren Vann, who was arrested and charged Saturday for the murder of an Indiana woman, was charged on Wednesday for the murder of another woman, according to prosecutors.

Wednesday’s charges concern the death of Anith Jones, 35, whose body was found in Gary, Indiana. Vann was charged with the death of Afrikka Hardy, 19, on Saturday: her body was found in nearby Hammond.

According to court documents, both women had been working as prostitutes. The cause of death for both was strangulation.

Vann, 43, told police he had consensual sex with Jones before strangling her and disposing her body in an abandoned house. Her body was covered with tires and teddy bears, according to court documents.

Hardy’s body was found by an associate in a Hammond motel. According to the Washington Post, a woman, identified as a “facilitator,” called Hardy several times after her “appointment” with Vann ran long. The woman drove to the motel with a male friend and found Hardy’s body in the bath tub.

The facilitator gave police Vann’s phone number and he was soon found and arrested in Gary.

Investigators said Vann was cooperative during his arrest and soon told authorities where they could find six other bodies in abandoned Gary homes.

Jones was the first body found after Vann’s confession. On Sunday, five other bodies were found throughout Gary—including two more in the home where Jones was found. The causes of death were not detailed for the other victims.

The other known victims have been identified as Teairra Batey, 26; Christine Williams, 36; and three unidentified African American females.

“It is possible that the investigation will lead to more victims,” Police Chief Doughty said. He believes that Vann’s alleged crimes could go back upwards of 20 years.

Vann appeared in Lake County Superior Court on Wednesday, where he refused to speak to a judge. His arraignment was cancelled and he is currently held in contempt of court.

His hearing is postponed until next week.

Lake County investigators asked that anyone with information about the victims call 219-755-3267.

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

Joe and Teresa Giudice Sentenced

October 3rd, 2014

Reality stars Joe and Teresa Giudice, of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” fame, were sentenced to prison terms on Thursday in Newark on conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud charges.

Federal Judge Esther Salas gave Teresa a 15-month sentence; her husband Joe was given a 41-month sentence. The sentences will be staggered so the couple can care for their four young daughters, who range from ages 5 to 13.

“For a moment I thought about probation … but I think a period of confinement is absolutely necessary in this case,” Judge Salas said to Ms. Giudice. “I don’t honestly believe that you understand or respect the law. I need to send a message. In the eyes of the law, it doesn’t matter who you are. There are consequences to pay.”

The couple was charged in a 39-count indictment in July of 2013. Among the charges included were making false statements on loan applications, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and bankruptcy fraud. At the time, the couple pled not guilty to all charges.

In March, the Giudices recanted their original petition and pled guilty to hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors and to submitting false loan applications in an attempt to collect roughly $5 million in construction and mortgage loans.

Mr. Giudice also pled guilty to failing to pay taxes totaling greater than $200,000.

Before her sentencing, Ms. Giudice offered a tearful apology. “I fully take responsibility for my actions,” she said. “I need to learn to take responsibility for myself.”

Mr. Giudice also apologized during a statement before his sentencing. “I stand here humiliated,” he said. “I disgraced many people, including my wife and my four daughters. I take full responsibility for my actions. I promise to be a better person.”

After completing his sentence, Mr. Giudice faces deportation as he is not an American citizen. He came to the United States from Italy as an infant and learned of his legal status as an adult.

The couple will pay $414,000 in restitution.

Copyright © 2014 Total Criminal Defense, LLC. All rights reserved.

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