10/11/2011

Teens charged with spray-painting cats Posted October 10, 2011 at 6:59 p.m.

Teens charged with spray-painting cats

Timothy McLaughlin
Timothy McLaughlin
Christopher Martinez
Christopher Martinez
— Police have arrested one teen and are looking for another who investigators say spray-painted two cats and then tried to set them on fire last month.
Honea Path resident Timothy Jordan McLaughlin, 17, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of cruelty to animals, according to arrests warrants released Monday.
McLaughlin also faces charges of malicious injury to personal property, illegal graffiti and vandalism, interference with traffic-control devices, grand larceny and damaging or tampering with a vehicle. He had three outstanding bench warrants in other cases.
He was being held Monday night at the Anderson County Detention Center with bail set at $10,000, a jail spokeswoman said.
Honea Path police Chief David King said his department also has issued a warrant for Christopher Martinez, who is described as a white male between 17 and 19 years of age. He is wanted on charges that included cruelty to animals, malicious mischief and defacing a stop sign, according to a police report.
McLaughlin and Martinez are accused of spraying red paint on the tails of two cats named Tiger and Butterball and then attempting to set them on fire at 300 Sirrine St. on Sept. 26. Each of the cats had singed fur, according to a police report.
Police say McLaughlin and Martinez also spray-painted the front yard at the same address, as well as a nearby stop sign at Sirrine Street and Chiquola Avenue.
A 15-year-old also was detained in connection with the spray-painting incidents. She told police that McLaughlin was the person who spray-painted the cats and stop sign, according to the police report.
Before being turned over to her father, the juvenile told police where to find a can of spray paint at 302 Sirrine Ave., according to the report.
The day after the spray-painting occurred, a woman living at 300 Sirrine Ave. was able to pick out Martinez from a photo lineup, the police report said.
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Australia drugs teen may avoid Bali prison: Police

 

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Australia drugs teen may avoid Bali prison: Police

DENPASAR, Indonesia - A 14-year-old Australian boy arrested for alleged marijuana possession on the Indonesian resort island of Bali may escape a prison term, police said Tuesday.
Bali police narcotics chief Mulyadi told AFP that the boy could be dealt with under an Indonesian legal provision which does not apply criminal penalties.
"He's a minor and a (drug) user so it will be most appropriate and most likely that he will be charged under Article 128 of the Indonesian law," Mulyadi said.
"We'll process him in accordance with legal procedures," he said.
Juvenile users dealt with under Article 128 of the country's narcotics law are not criminally charged and cannot be sentenced to prison, but are processed by the courts to ensure they undergo rehabilitation treatment.
Muhammad Rifan, the boy's lawyer, told AFP: "We are hopeful. This is a good development but we are still uncertain that the authorities will not charge him for drug possession," Rifan said.
"At the end of the day, we have to wait for the court's decision," he added. Rifan earlier said a normal drug possession charge carries up to 12 years in jail but the sentence is halved for child offenders.
When arrested October 4, the boy is alleged to have been carrying 6.9 grams of marijuana he bought in Bali's Kuta tourist district, where he was holidaying with his parents.
A high school student from a coastal area north of Sydney, the teen has been the focus of intense negotiations involving Canberra's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and other Australian officials lobbying for his release.
Several Australians are in prison at Bali's Kerobokan jail, including two convicted drug traffickers on death row and six serving life sentences.
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Three in custody after two teens robbed, one stabbed in Lyndhurst

Tuesday, October 11, 2011    Last updated: Tuesday October 11, 2011, 9:19 AM
South Bergenite
Lyndhurst - Police have arrested and charged two juveniles and one adult in connection to two robberies that occurred on Friday, Oct. 7, and resulted in a township teen getting stabbed in the chest.
Markou Mehanny, 19, of Bayonne, is pictured being transported by a Lyndhurst police officer to the Bergen County Jail where he is being held on $645,000 bail with no 10-percent option. Mehanny and two other juveniles are accused of robbing two township teens at knifepoint. One of the juveniles, a 14-year-old, was stabbed, but was treated and soon released from the hospital.
PHOTO COURTESY/LPD
Markou Mehanny, 19, of Bayonne, is pictured being transported by a Lyndhurst police officer to the Bergen County Jail where he is being held on $645,000 bail with no 10-percent option. Mehanny and two other juveniles are accused of robbing two township teens at knifepoint. One of the juveniles, a 14-year-old, was stabbed, but was treated and soon released from the hospital.
According to police, at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 7, a 16-year-old township boy was walking on Forest Avenue near Chase Avenue en route to the high school when he was approached by three men, who he later described as light skinned black and between the ages of 17-19.
"One grabbed him from behind and said 'You try to run, I'll stab you'," said Detective Captain John Valente. "A second suspect brandished a knife."
According to Valente, the victim turned over a phone, wrist watch, bracelet, $10 in cash and chain off his neck, which had attached to it a Lyndhurst High School state championship track team ring. The victim went to the high school and told his track coach what had happened and it was then reported to police.
Valente said a call then came in at 9 p.m. from a resident of the 100-block of Delafield Avenue, who reported that a 14-year-old boy at the door needed assistance. Police said the boy had been walking on Delafield Avenue near New York Avenue when he was approached by three men fitting the description of the previous robbery. The victim, a township resident, handed over an iPod, cell phone and some keys when he was told to hand over his personal belongings and one suspect brandished a knife.
"One of the individuals produced a knife," said Valente. "The juvenile did not resist, however, the individual brandishing the knife did reach out and stab him in the chest. He had about a half-inch laceration. He didn't immediately know he was stabbed until later. He was transported to the hospital and released that night with non life-threatening injuries."
Valente said a patrolman located three individuals later that night at the Kingsland Train Station on Ridge Road that fit the description of the suspected robbers. All three fled, but one suspect, a 16-year-old township teen, was captured. A county K-9 unit arrived and could not locate the other two suspects. Over the weekend, according to Valente, detectives developed information leading to a positive identification of the other two suspects, a 17-year-old and 19-year-old, both from Bayonne.
"A team was set up this morning [Monday, Oct. 10] and both were arrested at their homes in Bayonne," said Valente.
According to Valente, the 16-year-old and 17-year-old are being held in the Union County Juvenile Detention Center on two counts of charges of robbery, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon and possession of stolen property. The 16-year-old was additionally charged with resisting arrest.
Valente said the 19-year-old, identified as Markou Mehanny, was lodged in Bergen County Jail on $645,000 bail with no 10-percent option. He was charged with two counts of robbery, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon. Valente said Mehanny was identified as the suspect that had brandished the knife during the robberies.
"The 16-year-old from Lyndhurst is originally from Bayonne, so that's the connection to why they were all doing this here," said Valente.
E-mail: lamendola@northjersey.com
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Teen to be tried as juvenile in fatal crash

NEWARK -- A Johnstown teenager will not be charged as an adult for his suspected role in a Sept. 2 fatal crash on Reynolds Road.
Spencer Lorenza, 17, appeared in court Monday; his attorney Rob Calesaric and Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt agreed to a mental and physical examination of Lorenza before additional proceedings. No pleas were entered.
The prosecutor's office will not seek a bind over to adult court, Oswalt said.
Lorenza has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide, fleeing and misdemeanor assault in Licking County Juvenile Court for reportedly causing a crash that killed Hannah Gattrell, 16, of Newark, while driving away from Utica police, according to court records.
He also faces a receiving stolen property charge for reportedly selling equipment stolen from a McKean Township farm between July 21 and Aug. 15. The items were sold as scrap metal for more than $1,000, according to the complaint filed in juvenile court.
Lorenza will remain in the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center in Lancaster pending additional court proceedings.
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Four men hope DNA will overturn 1994 murder convictions

 
 Terrill Swift, who is seeking to have his conviction in a 1994 murder overturned, leaves court Monday. A judge said he would issue a ruling on Swift and three other men next month. (Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune / October 10, 2011)


Terrill Swift showed little emotion Monday as he listened to attorneys argue over whether his conviction for a 1994 rape and murder should be overturned, but when a Cook County judge held off his ruling, Swift's frustration was unmistakable.

"I've been waiting on justice for 17 years, and I'm still waiting," he said as he rejoined family members outside the courtroom of Criminal Court Presiding Judge Paul Biebel Jr.

Swift and three others — Michael Saunders, Harold Richardson and Vincent Thames — hope new DNA evidence will clear them of the rape and murder of 30-year-old Nina Glover in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. Richardson and Saunders are still serving time.

Though most of the Criminal Courts Building was closed for Columbus Day, Biebel held a three-hour hearing on the case.

Joshua Tepfer, an attorney at Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, said a recent DNA test linked Johnny Douglas to Glover's murder. Before he was shot to death in 2008, Douglas was convicted of murdering one woman, acquitted of a second homicide and was a suspect in other murders and sexual assaults.

Tepfer said Glover's murder followed Douglas' "pattern and practice" of strangling prostitutes during a sexual encounter.

He also said that no semen evidence linked the four convicted defendants — all teens at the time of the murder — to the crime.

Tepfer argued that even though all four confessed to the murder, the trial would have ended differently if the judge knew the DNA belonged to Douglas.

However, Assistant State's Attorney Mark Ertler said the new evidence was "not significant enough to merit new trials."

Glover, he said, was known to exchange sex for drugs, so it was "not surprising" she came in contact with Douglas and "other unsavory characters." Douglas' DNA wasn't necessarily left on Glover at the time of her murder, Ertler contended.

Ertler also argued that if Douglas had killed Glover, he probably wouldn't have been at the scene when the body was found. Ertler also noted that in the murder for which he was later convicted, Douglas left the body at the crime scene — not wrapped in a sheet and moved to a different location, as Glover's body was.

Swift also led police to a lagoon where they found a shovel they believed was used to strike Glover, along with the handle of a mop that may have been used to clean the crime scene, Ertler said.

Throughout the hearing, Biebel told the defense that he was struggling over the four men's confessions to the crime. He asked for evidence that the confessions were coerced.

Attorneys for the men said Douglas' DNA proves the confessions were false, and that the four men's youth at the time made them vulnerable to coercion, even if it was unintentional on the part of police. They also said the confessions differed on some key details.

Biebel said he would rule next month.



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