Archive for August, 2012
The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of these brave officers.
Correctional Officer Timothy Betts, 51
Indiana Department of Correction
August 26, 2012 – Officer Timothy Betts suffered a fatal heart attack while escorting a combative inmate to isolation. He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Corporal Marshall Lee Bailey, 42
West Virginia State Police
August 28, 2012 – Corporal Marshall Bailey and another trooper arrested a suspect for driving under the influence and reckless driving. The two troopers searched the intoxicated suspect and then placed him in the rear of the patrol car, where he retrieved a gun he’d concealed beneath his clothing. He then fatally shot Trooper Bailey and took his service weapon. Thew other trooper, Eric Workman, was severely wounded during the gunfire.
The suspect then got out of the patrol car and shot a tow truck driver who was in the process of removing the suspect’s car from the scene. The wounded tow truck driver managed to call for help.
The suspect ran to a nearby ditch where he hid, waiting to ambush responding officers as they arrived. The first officer on the scene was shot several times. The next officers to arrive returned fire, killing the suspect.
Trooper Bailey is survived by his three children, a brother, and his parents.
Chief of Police Herman Proffitt, 82
Tompkinsville Kentucky Police Department
August 28, 2012 – Chief Herman Proffitt was shot and killed by ambush while walking down his driveway to the mailbox. The shooter was a man Chief Proffitt had arrested multiple times in the past. When the killer was arrested for the shooting of Chief Proffitt, officers found copies of the each of the original arrest papers in his pocket.
Chief Proffitt had been retired since 2009. He’d served 55 years in law enforcement.
Trooper Ketchem Kwik turned toward his partner, Frank Lee Idunno. “There’s got to be something we can charge this clown with. How about Ugly in Public?”
“Be serious, Kwik. We don’t come up with something legit soon, we’re gonna hafta cut him loose. So keep digging.”
Kwik turned another page in his well-worn copy of the Code of Virginia. “This stuff all sounds like gobbledygook to me. Like this…what the heck does adulterate mean? Why don’t they just write it in plain ol’ Engl…wait a minute…yep…here we go.” Kwik jabbed an index finger against a spot midway on the page. “Yep, I think I’ve got something. Our guy is a sure enough, for real a…dult…er…ator. Says so right here. And it’s a felony, too.”
IDunno leaned over Kwik’s shoulder to get a better look.
§ 18.2-54.2. Adulteration of food, drink, drugs, cosmetics, etc.; penalty.
Any person who adulterates or causes to be adulterated any food, drink, prescription or over-the-counter medicine, cosmetic or other substance with the intent to kill or injure any individual who ingests, inhales or uses such substance shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony.
“Good job, Kwik. Let’s go give the prick the good news. I’m sure he’ll be real happy in the sheriff’s concrete hotel. And, I think he’ll look really sweet in orange.”
The two officers headed down the hallway, passing Booking and the LiveScan terminal, along the way toward the central holding cells.
“A…dul…ter…a…tion…,” Kwik mumbled. “Still sounds like a sex crime to me. Go figure.”
Trooper Kwik’s dilemma is a little far-fetched, but real-life officers and investigators often turn to the law books for guidance when determining proper charges. To give you an idea of how this all plays out in writing, here are a few code sections used by law enforcement in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Code of Virginia section 18.2 is where criminal codes can be found. For example:
§ 18.2-32. First and second degree murder defined; punishment.
Murder, other than capital murder, by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, or by any willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or in the commission of, or attempt to commit, arson, rape, forcible sodomy, inanimate or animate object sexual penetration, robbery, burglary or abduction, except as provided in § 18.2-31, is murder of the first degree, punishable as a Class 2 felony.
All murder other than capital murder and murder in the first degree is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than forty years.
§ 18.2-32.1. Murder of a pregnant woman; penalty.
The willful and deliberate killing of a pregnant woman without premeditation by one who knows that the woman is pregnant and has the intent to cause the involuntary termination of the woman’s pregnancy without a live birth shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of not less than ten years nor more than forty years.
§ 18.2-33. Felony homicide defined; punishment.
The killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act other than those specified in §§ 18.2-31 and 18.2-32, is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five years nor more than forty years.
§ 18.2-40. Lynching deemed murder.
Every lynching shall be deemed murder. Any and every person composing a mob and any and every accessory thereto, by which any person is lynched, shall be guilty of murder, and upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in Article 1 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.) of this chapter.
Lynching is defined as – Any act of violence by a mob upon the body of any person, which shall result in the death of such person, shall constitute a “lynching.”
§ 18.2-46.2. Prohibited criminal street gang participation; penalty.
A. Any person who actively participates in or is a member of a criminal street gang and who knowingly and willfully participates in any predicate criminal act committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. However, if such participant in or member of a criminal street gang is age eighteen years or older and knows or has reason to know that such criminal street gang also includes a juvenile member or participant, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.
§ 18.2-46.7. Act of bioterrorism against agricultural crops or animals; penalty.
Any person who maliciously destroys or devastates agricultural crops or agricultural animals having a value of $2,500 or more through the use of an infectious biological substance with the intent to (i) intimidate the civilian population or (ii) influence the conduct or activities of the government of the United States, a state or locality through intimidation, is guilty of a Class 3 felony.
For the purposes of this section “agricultural animal” means all livestock and poultry as defined in § 3.2-5900 and “agricultural crop” means cultivated plants or produce, including grain, silage, forages, oilseeds, vegetables, fruits, nursery stock or turf grass.
§ 18.2-47. Abduction and kidnapping defined; punishment.
A. Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another person with the intent to deprive such other person of his personal liberty or to withhold or conceal him from any person, authority or institution lawfully entitled to his charge, shall be deemed guilty of “abduction.”
B. Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another person with the intent to subject him to forced labor or services shall be deemed guilty of “abduction.” For purposes of this subsection, the term “intimidation” shall include destroying, concealing, confiscating, withholding, or threatening to withhold a passport, immigration document, or other governmental identification or threatening to report another as being illegally present in the United States.
C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duty. The terms “abduction” and “kidnapping” shall be synonymous in this Code. Abduction for which no punishment is otherwise prescribed shall be punished as a Class 5 felony.
D. If an offense under subsection A is committed by the parent of the person abducted and punishable as contempt of court in any proceeding then pending, the offense shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor in addition to being punishable as contempt of court. However, such offense, if committed by the parent of the person abducted and punishable as contempt of court in any proceeding then pending and the person abducted is removed from the Commonwealth by the abducting parent, shall be a Class 6 felony in addition to being punishable as contempt of court.
§ 18.2-54.1. Attempts to poison.
If any person administers or attempts to administer any poison or destructive substance in food, drink, prescription or over-the-counter medicine, or otherwise, or poisons any spring, well, waterworks as defined in § 32.1-167, or reservoir of water with intent to kill or injure another person, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony.
§ 18.2-56.2. Allowing access to firearms by children; penalty.
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of fourteen. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to authorize a child under the age of twelve to use a firearm except when the child is under the supervision of an adult. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. For purposes of this subsection, “adult” shall mean a parent, guardian, person standing in loco parentis to the child or a person twenty-one years or over who has the permission of the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis to supervise the child in the use of a firearm.
§ 18.2-57.01. Pointing laser at law-enforcement officer unlawful; penalty.
If any person, knowing or having reason to know another person is a law-enforcement officer as defined in § 18.2-57, a probation or parole officer appointed pursuant to § 53.1-143, a correctional officer as defined in § 53.1-1, or a person employed by the Department of Corrections directly involved in the care, treatment or supervision of inmates in the custody of the Department engaged in the performance of his public duties as such, intentionally projects at such other person a beam or a point of light from a laser, a laser gun sight, or any device that simulates a laser, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
§ 18.2-61. Rape.
A. If any person has sexual intercourse with a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, or causes a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, to engage in sexual intercourse with any other person and such act is accomplished (i) against the complaining witness’s will, by force, threat or intimidation of or against the complaining witness or another person; or (ii) through the use of the complaining witness’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness; or (iii) with a child under age 13 as the victim, he or she shall be guilty of rape.
B. A violation of this section shall be punishable, in the discretion of the court or jury, by confinement in a state correctional facility for life or for any term not less than five years; and in addition:
1. For a violation of clause (iii) of subsection A where the offender is more than three years older than the victim, if done in the commission of, or as part of the same course of conduct as, or as part of a common scheme or plan as a violation of (i) subsection A of § 18.2-47 or § 18.2-48, (ii) § 18.2-89, 18.2-90, or 18.2-91, or (iii) § 18.2-51.2, the punishment shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of 25 years; or
2. For a violation of clause (iii) of subsection A where it is alleged in the indictment that the offender was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense, the punishment shall include a mandatory minimum term of confinement for life.
If the term of confinement imposed for any violation of clause (iii) of subsection A, where the offender is more than three years older than the victim, is for a term less than life imprisonment, the judge shall impose, in addition to any active sentence, a suspended sentence of no less than 40 years. This suspended sentence shall be suspended for the remainder of the defendant’s life, subject to revocation by the court.
There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a juvenile over the age of 10 but less than 12, does not possess the physical capacity to commit a violation of this section. In any case deemed appropriate by the court, all or part of any sentence imposed for a violation under this section against a spouse may be suspended upon the defendant’s completion of counseling or therapy, if not already provided, in the manner prescribed under § 19.2-218.1 if, after consideration of the views of the complaining witness and such other evidence as may be relevant, the court finds such action will promote maintenance of the family unit and will be in the best interest of the complaining witness.
C. Upon a finding of guilt under this section, when a spouse is the complaining witness in any case tried by the court without a jury, the court, without entering a judgment of guilt, upon motion of the defendant who has not previously had a proceeding against him for violation of this section dismissed pursuant to this subsection and with the consent of the complaining witness and the attorney for the Commonwealth, may defer further proceedings and place the defendant on probation pending completion of counseling or therapy, if not already provided, in the manner prescribed under § 19.2-218.1. If the defendant fails to so complete such counseling or therapy, the court may make final disposition of the case and proceed as otherwise provided. If such counseling is completed as prescribed under § 19.2-218.1, the court may discharge the defendant and dismiss the proceedings against him if, after consideration of the views of the complaining witness and such other evidence as may be relevant, the court finds such action will promote maintenance of the family unit and be in the best interest of the complaining witness.
§ 18.2-10. Punishment for conviction of felony; penalty.
The authorized punishments for conviction of a felony are:
(a) For Class 1 felonies, death, if the person so convicted was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense and is not determined to be mentally retarded pursuant to § 19.2-264.3:1.1, or imprisonment for life and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000. If the person was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense or is determined to be mentally retarded pursuant to § 19.2-264.3:1.1, the punishment shall be imprisonment for life and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.
(b) For Class 2 felonies, imprisonment for life or for any term not less than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.
(c) For Class 3 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.
(d) For Class 4 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than 10 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.
(e) For Class 5 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.
(f) For Class 6 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.
§ 18.2-11. Punishment for conviction of misdemeanor.
The authorized punishments for conviction of a misdemeanor are:
(a) For Class 1 misdemeanors, confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.
(b) For Class 2 misdemeanors, confinement in jail for not more than six months and a fine of not more than $1,000, either or both.
(c) For Class 3 misdemeanors, a fine of not more than $500.
(d) For Class 4 misdemeanors, a fine of not more than $250.
*Note that felony convictions result in prison sentences. Misdemeanors = time in jail. Prison and jail are NOT the same.
*Laws vary from state to state.
A stockpile of military grade firearms and homemade explosives. Kill military leaders. Assassinate the president. Overtake an entire weapons supply at a U.S. army base. Overthrow the U.S. government. Bomb a landmark fountain in Savannah, Georgia.
Sound like a the makings of a Tom Clancy novel? Actually, it’s a real-life, on-going case that police and military officials have recently uncovered in Georgia. And it all started a few months ago when the dead bodies of a young soldier, Michael Rourk, and his 17-year-old civilian girlfriend, Tiffany York, were located on a rural path near Savannah.
Investigators have now learned that Rourk and York were brutally murdered because they each knew too much about a militia group with plans to commit terrorist acts against the United States of America and its leaders. Plans that included the assassination of President Obama. To further “twist” this story, the members of the militia are all current active-duty U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart, in Georgia.
FEAR (Forever Enduring Always Ready) is the name of the anarchist group headed up by Private Isaac Aguigui. And it was Aguigui who ordered the “hit” on Rourk and his teenage girlfriend, when Rourk decided to leave FEAR and the military to settle down in civilian life with his bride-to-be.
Worried that his plan, The Awakening, was in jeopardy, Aquigui instructed Pvt. Christopher Salmon and Sgt. Anthony Peden, along with Pvt. Michael Burnett, to “silence” the couple. His justification for murder? Because Rourk’s departure from the military, and the group, posed a serious threat to the success of the mission.
Burnett, who has agreed to testify against the other members of FEAR, told investigators that Rourk was also suspected of taking money from the group’s general funds, money that’s used to purchase weapons and bomb-making equipment.
The soldiers have been arrested and are awaiting trial. The investigation is on-going and has a trail that leads all across the country, including one business in Washington state where FEAR members purchased weapons. Officials believe they’ve thwarted this group’s immediate plans; however, they are aware that FEAR members had planned to band together with other militias across the U.S. to carry out the The Awakening.
Tiffany York’s mother, Brenda Thomas, now must live with knowing that a U.S. soldier shot her teenage daughter in the head, execution-style, and then, as she lay in the dirt bleeding, he reached down to check her pulse. She was still alive so he fired again. Those were the words she heard from Pvt. Burnett during the preliminary hearing.
Convoluted stories, such as this deadly true crime tale, are perfect examples of how one crime can lead to many others, once detectives begin their methodical poking and prodding.
Sometimes it’s the tiniest piece of evidence that reveals total chaos. And with groups like FEAR operating within the boundaries of one of our own military bases, well, that’s where nightmares and novels begin.
NYPD Approved Duty Weapons for Patrol Duty (lieutenants, sergeants, and officers)
(per Patrol Guide procedure 204-09 (2012 KSA publication)
Authorized Regulation Service 9mm
SIG Sauer Model 226
Smith and Wesson Model 5946
Glock Model 19
Models Authorized For Off-Duty
– Smith and Wesson 5953 TSW
– Smith and Wesson 3914 DAO
– Beretta 8000D Mini Cougar
– SIG Sauer Model 239 DAO
– Glock Model 26
*The above off-duty approved firearms may also be carried in addition to the officer’s service weapon (as a backup weapon) providing the service weapon (revolver or pistol) is clearly visible
EQUIPMENT FOR USE WITH SERVICE 9MM PISTOL
Regulation Holster – black leather, designed with safety lock, in eight (8)
– Glock, Model 19, right and left handed
– Smith & Wesson, right and left handed
– Sig Sauer, right and left handed
– 9MM holster with flap, right and left handed.
Two (2) Magazines and Pouches – as authorized by the Equipment
Section, with fifteen (15) cartridges in each.
Belts (2) – (for equipment: black leather, 2 ¼ inches wide with
gunmetal buckle); (for trousers: black leather, 1 ½ inches wide with
gunmetal buckle). Equipment belt will cover trouser belt, both to be worn
firmly around the waist.
Night Sights – ensure “Tritium” night sights are installed. Installation by
anyone other than a Firearms and Tactics Section gunsmith is not
permissible. Pistols purchased at the Equipment Section on or after
September 12, 1994, are already equipped with night sights installed by
the manufacturer. The use of night sights by uniformed members
authorized to carry 9MM pistols prior to September 12, 1994, is optional.
(Remember, the NYPD issues semi-automatic weapons to all new officers).
– Smith and Wesson Model 64NY-1 (3″ or 4″ barrel)
– Ruger GPNY – stainless steel (3″ or 4″ barrel)
– Ruger Speed 6 (3″ or 4″ barrel)
– Ruger Service Six (discontinued model)
*Uniformed officers may carry the following weapons on or off duty providing the officer owned the weapon prior to July 1, 1987
– Smith and Wesson Model 10
– Colt Official Police
– Colt Metropolitan Mark III
– Dan Wesson Model 11 (fixed barrel) *Note – many Dan Wesson models are equipped to accept interchangeable barrels of various lengths.
– Ruger Police Service 6
– Smith and Wesson or Colt .38 Special – 3″ barrel and military (Patridge) sights
*Thanks to Bob Mueller for sparking the idea for this post. Again, this material is from the KSA study manual for NYPD police officers. The information is NOT from the actual NYPD Patrol Guide. Please contact NYPD officials for precise details, or, attend the Writers’ Police Academy and learn all about the NYPD from NYPD Detective Marco Conelli.
Our Weekend Road Trip this week takes us to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. First stop, Jockey’s Ridge, the tallest sand dune in the eastern United States. The height of the dunes vary from 80 to 120 feet depending upon the weather and winds.
Jockey’s Ridge is located in Nags Head, N.C., home of world-record fishing, shipwreck remains, and the pirate, Blackbeard.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the country. Standing at 208 feet tall, it’s also the tallest brick lighthouse. The light’s beacon can be seen 20 miles out to sea, warning sailors of the dangerous Diamond Shoals off the coast of Hatteras.
In 1999, the 6,250 ton Hatteras Lighthouse was moved further inland due to an ever-eroding shoreline. A circle of stones marks the lighthouse’s original site. In the photo above, the lighthouse can be seen in it’s new location.
Names of former lighthouse keepers are engraved in each stone in the circle.
The Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, N.C. was first lit on December 1, 1875. It remains unpainted to distinguish it between the two nearby black-and-white-striped lighthouses.
The marsh near the Currituck Beach Lighthouse
Walkway through the marsh
A family of geese enjoy their protected status
Beach at Nags Head
Nags Head coastline
Footprints in the sand are the only sign of human presence. Part of the attraction to Nags Head is the seclusion.
The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of these brave officers.
Officer Robert A. Potter, 41
New Mexico Motor Transportation Police
August 16, 2012 – Officer Robert Potter suffered a fatal heart attack after providing life-saving assistance to victims of an automobile crash involving two tractor trailers. He is survived by his wife and son.
Officer Moses Walker, Jr., 40
Philadelphia Police Department
August 18, 2012 – Officer Moses Walker, Fr. was shot and killed while walking to a bus stop after his shift had ended. Officer Walker is survived by five siblings.
Officer Adrian Morris, 23
Prince George’s County Maryland Police Department
August 20, 2012 – Officer Adrian Morris was killed in an automobile crash that occurred during the pursuit of a vehicle driven by a wanted suspect.