A Boston-area man long suspected of two 2004 rapes was formally charged after a new DNA test linked him to the crimes and excluded his twin brother.
Dwayne McNair, 33, of Dedham pleaded not guilty Monday. His bail was set at $500,000.
McNair had been charged earlier and spent almost two years in jail. A judge ordered him released, and prosecutors dropped the charges while the new test, which can distinguish between identical twins, was conducted.
Prosecutors in Suffolk County said the test, used for the first time in Massachusetts, found there was only a 1 in 2 billion chance the DNA in the samples being tested could have come from McNair’s brother, Dwight. McNair was indicted on eight counts of rape and two of armed robbery.
Another man, Anwar Thomas, 32, pleaded guilty in the case in 2011. But the prosecution of McNair was stymied by the possibility the DNA could have been his brother’s.
Silly me. I wrote the headline up top because CSI Cop Shows will lose part of a favorite plot-line. Now, they have acquired a new twist to the same old plot.
And, yes, “same old plot” isn’t especially appropriate since police-level DNA analysis has only been around 1986.
Authorities in France said two men who were supposed to be giving a Vatican vehicle a tune-up instead used the car to smuggle pot and cocaine from Spain.
Investigators said Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia, 91, turned the vehicle over to two Italian men, ages 30 and 41, to give it a tune-up last week, but the men instead used the official car, which bears diplomatic license plates, to drive to Spain and pick up 8.8 pounds of cocaine and nearly half a pound of marijuana.
The men were busted by French customs officers Sunday in Chambery as they headed for the border with Switzerland and Italy. The diplomatic plates did not stop officers from conducting a routine search of the vehicle and discovering the drugs.
Authorities said the men claimed they were Vatican chauffeurs and had no knowledge of the cargo.
Police said neither man holds a Vatican passport — and the Catholic Church is not implicated in the case.
Here I was – hoping the Pope was going to come out in favor of decriminalizing weed!
One of the two shooting victims on the way to hospital
Cops swatted a .40-caliber Glock out of a drunken state narcotics agent’s hand Friday night after he shot two drinking buddies on the Upper West Side, authorities and witnesses said.
Amsterdam Ave. erupted in gunfire and blood-curdling screams just after 9 p.m. when Victor Zambrano Jr., 49, shot a 31-year-old woman in the left foot and the woman’s 42-year-old boyfriend in the right calf during an argument over his weapon…
The three pals had been drinking together and were walking on Amsterdam Ave. near W. 82nd St. when the woman asked the New York State Bureau of Narcotics enforcement agent for his pistol, a police source said.
Zambrano handed it over, but quickly demandegd it back, cop sources said. As the argument became increasingly heated, the agent fired a round. The bullet ricocheted off the concrete and hit both the woman and her boyfriend…
As diners along Amsterdam Ave.’s restaurant row ducked for cover, the narcotics investigator bolted.
The boyfriend chased after him, and Zambrano allegedly turned to shoot but misfired — causing a live round to fall to the ground as he ran toward W. 83rd St., stunned witnesses said…
It was not entirely clear why the woman wanted Zambrano’s gun, but early reports suggested she was concerned about his intoxication level.
Someday, I hope to read a stupid tale like this and no one will try to excuse dangerous behavior by saying, “he was just drunk and things got out of hand!”
You have some sort of idea what happens when you drink – or drink too much. You have the responsibillity and supposedly enough smarts to make decisions on your own. Like should I drink or not? Should I bring my gun with me when I’m out drinking? You are responsible for your own decisions.
Sheriff’s deputies in Colorado arrested a 60-year-old woman who pointed a rifle at her neighbor’s 11-year-old son as he played his clarinet in the backyard…
Officers were called to an address in the Rocky Mountain city of Grand Junction after Cheryl Pifer allegedly told the boy, who was doing his music class homework for school, to “get his ass back inside,” the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said.
According to an arrest affidavit, there were five other children aged one to eleven in the backyard at the time of Wednesday’s incident, and it said the boy’s grandmother told them all to return to the house.
“When they were coming inside they saw Cheryl at the door with the gun aimed at them. (The boy) stated Cheryl yelled ‘fire in the hole.’ He stated all of the kids ran into the house and called 911,” the affidavit added.
The deputy who filed the report, who said she was “very familiar” with Pifer and her address, said the woman appeared drunk when officers arrived, and that they found a 7 mm Mauser rifle by the door with two rounds in its magazine.
She was booked into jail on four counts of felony menacing, seven counts of reckless child abuse/no injury, and one count of prohibited use of a weapon. She was released on a $5,000 bond on Thursday…
No one is surprised at gun nuts having an understanding of life’s priorities roughly akin to a demented jihadist. Understanding incompetence doesn’t excuse endangering the lives of others folks, children or otherwise.
Throw away the key.
Deputies with the Sarasota County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office got quite a surprise on Tuesday.
According to investigators, a woman cleaning a home found an alleged burglar sleeping on a bed in the house he was robbing. With a bag of stolen jewelry on the bed next to him.
They also said 29-year-old Dion Davis did not even wake up when they were taking pictures of him, passed out on the bed.
Har. Dian Dumbass!
I don’t think San Diego rates something this big. This is the Cornfederate version.
The nation gaped at the sight of a military-grade Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle trundling through Ferguson, but it turns out that was relatively restrained policing.
Relative, that is, to San Diego, where police will use a similar steel behemoth for the city’s schools.
The San Diego Unified School District Police Department has acquired its own vehicle, known as a MRAP, and expect it to be operational by October.
“I can totally see people thinking ‘Oh, my God. Are they going to be rolling armoured vehicles into our schools and what the hell’s going on?’” Captain Joe Florentino told local media.
Police intended to use it to rescue children – be it from rampaging gunmen or natural disasters, he said. “When we have an emergency at a school, we’ve got to get in and save kids…”
San Diego’s school police obtained the MRAP in April and have been busy modifying it at a transportation centre in the east of the city. Details emerged only this week. Critics were not mollified by the fact the district got the vehicle, valued at $700,000, for free.
“We should not have got it in the first place,” Scott Barnett, a unified school district board trustee, told the Guardian on Thursday before a press conference announcing his opposition. “It sends a wrong message, a message contrary to what we are. We’re an educational institution…”
Barnett’s primary concern was not militarisation – “I would not use that term per se” – but utility and cost of use and maintenance. He proposed leasing it to another police force and using the revenue to replace the school district’s 10 ageing patrol cars. “Most of our vehicles are in serious disrepair, and we use them on a daily basis.”
Thrill-seeking, arrested-development coppers playing at class warfare foretell the end of civilization.
Who needs schoolbooks, anyway?
US officials on Thursday arrested a pharmacist linked to a 2012 outbreak of meningitis that killed 64 people across the United States as he was boarding a flight to Hong Kong,..
Glenn Adam Chin, 46, had been a supervising pharmacist at the now-defunct New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Massachusetts. It produced tainted steroids that sickened 700 people in 20 states in the worst outbreak of fungal meningitis recorded in the United States, officials said.
Chin has been charged with mail fraud in connection with shipping 17,000 tainted vials, according to the US attorney’s office in Boston. The contaminated vials were sent to more than 76 facilities in 23 states. The steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, typically was injected into patients to ease back pain.
US prosecutors said they became concerned Chin was a flight risk when he bought tickets for a flight to Hong Kong…
Chief magistrate judge Jennifer Boal ordered Chin to surrender his passport, post a $50,000 unsecured bond and remain under house arrest until 16 September when his family returns from Hong Kong…
Chin is the first person to face criminal charges related to the outbreak, which pushed NECC into bankruptcy and led to stricter national regulation of custom medication makers.
Authorities accused Chin of instructing pharmacy technicians to mislabel medication to indicate it was properly sterilized and tested. Medications compounded by NECC were prepared, filled and held under unsanitary conditions, according to an affidavit from Food and Drug Administration Special Agent Benedict Celso.
There have been enough cases of creepy compounding pharmacies taking part in sleazy practices – ranging from unsanitary profiteering to volunteering untested, unregulated drugs for prisons and politicians who prefer to kill prisoners – to form an image of corruption, correct or not, in the eyes in the public.
I’ll let you know if I get deathly ill in the next few months. When I changed my Medicare plan in January the source I acquired for my one dinky preventative prescription is a compounding pharmacy.
An Arkansas woman whose mug shot shows her in heavy aqua and maroon eye shadow is accused of shoplifting $144 in makeup.
Police in Fayetteville, Arkansas, arrested 31-year-old Brandy Allen, accusing her of stuffing handfuls of eye shadow into her purse Monday.
Officers said that, after being confronted, Allen went on a profanity-laced tirade and tried to damage makeup as she pulled it out of her purse so the items would appear used.
The Washington County jail said Wednesday that Allen was released on $830 bond on charges of shoplifting and disorderly conduct.
My wife says wearing eye shadow like that should be a crime all its own!
Leon Brown and Henry McCollum
Henry McCollum, North Carolina’s longest-serving death row inmate, and his half-brother Leon Brown were released after more than 30 years in prison on Tuesday after DNA tests proved their innocence of rape and murder. The exoneration followed dogged investigations by the two men’s lawyers and by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, an independent body that operates with the full statutory powers of the state.
The exoneration and release of the two men now puts the spotlight on the police department in Red Springs, North Carolina, that carried out the initial investigation leading to the 1984 convictions of the then teenagers and their subsequent languishing behind bars.
Here are five questions the police authorities in Red Springs now have to answer:
1. Why did the Red Springs police department consistently deny that it had any evidence in its possession relevant to the murder convictions of McCollum and Brown? Only last month the commission found a box full of physical evidence being held by the police that had been in the department’s possession since the early 1990s.
2. Why did the Red Springs police department consistently fail to disclose to lawyers for the two men or to the local district attorney’s office that detectives had requested a potentially critical fingerprint test just days before the 1984 McCollum-Brown trial? The test would have compared the print found on a beer can at the crime scene with the fingerprints of Roscoe Artis, a convicted sex offender and murderer who lived just feet away from the field in which the body of the victim, Sabrina Buie, was found. Neither the request for the test, nor the fact that it was cancelled a year later before being completed, was ever disclosed.
3. Why was the crime scene investigator, who knew all the details of the crime scene as well as key findings from the autopsy of the victim, involved in the interrogation of McCollum, thus risking that his “confession” would be contaminated?
4. Why did detectives write out confessions for both Brown, then 15, and McCollum, then 19, and ask them to sign the statements? Why did they do so knowing that the confessions were incriminating, that the boys were both intellectually disabled and that they were being interrogated in the absence of any legal representation?
5. Why did the police continue to pursue McCollum and Brown knowing that key elements of their confessions were inconsistent with each other? In their “confessions” the two boys incriminated three other youths as accomplices, and yet when the police investigated those three individuals they found they had watertight alibis and were never prosecuted?
Incompetent racist creeps! And you can extend that subtle description all the way up to the Supreme Court and scumbags like Anthony Scalia.
Take a wander through this companion article at slate.com – the second half of the article focuses in on Scalia’s Old Testament ideology. He actually advocates that if someone [by his low-life standards] receives a fair trial, they should be executed even if innocent!
BP Plc was “grossly negligent” for its role in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, a U.S. district judge said on Thursday in a ruling that could add billions of dollars in fines to the more than $42 billion in charges taken so far for the worst offshore disaster in U.S. history…
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans held a trial without a jury last year to determine who was responsible for the April 20, 2010 environmental disaster. Barbier ruled that BP was mostly at fault and that two other companies in the case, Transocean Ltd and Halliburton, were not as much to blame.
“The Court concludes that the discharge of oil ‘was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct’ by BP, the ruling said.
BP said it would appeal the ruling…blah, blah, blah…
BP has already been forced to shrink by selling assets to pay for the cleanup. Those sales erased about a fifth of its earning power…
Barbier has yet to assign damages from the spill under the federal Clean Water Act. A gross negligence verdict carries a potential fine of $4,300 per barrel fine.
BP says some 3.26 million barrels leaked from the well and the U.S government says 4.9 million barrels spilled. The statutory limit on a simple “negligence” is $1,100 per barrel…
Even after the Clean Water Act fines are set, BP may face other bills from a lengthy Natural Resources Damage Assessment, which could require BP to carry out or fund environmental restoration work in the Gulf, and other claims.
They deserve to pay every penny of fine, every dollar of public compensation, every billion of responsibility owed the environment of the Gulf of Mexico.