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Baltimore Detective Murdered Day Before Scheduled to Give Federal Grand Jury Testimony Against Fellow Officers

Det Sean Suiter -Huff Post
I am not a big believer in coincidences when it comes to stories like this.  43 year old Detective Sean Suiter was gunned down and killed while on duty investigating a triple homicide on November 15th.  He was scheduled to appear before a federal grand jury on the following day to give testimony against 8 fellow officers facing Federal Racketeering charges.  4 of the officers reportedly have already pleaded guilty to those charges.

The officers involved were part of Baltimore's "Elite" Gun Trace Task Force. The incidents occurred a few years ago but the indictments came down in March and August on Federal Racketeering charges.  Baltimore Police Commissioner has downplayed any connection between the grand jury testimony and Suiter's murder in the media.  Suiter was not charged in the indictment. He was believed to be giving testimony on police corruption and drug shakedowns.  That could cause some cracks in that thin blue line we hear so much about.  However there are so many things that stink about this shooting.  Here are some of the details of how it went down:

On November 15 Detective Suiter and his partner (who hasn't been named) were at the scene of a triple homicide when they noticed a "suspicious" man in a vacant lot - they approached him, there reportedly is video surveillance of the approaching officers.  At some point a struggle ensued between Suiter and the killer and he was shot once in the head.  It is believed he was shot with his own service revolver.  How is it a suspicious man was able to disarm a seasoned officer with his partner right there?  Also more perplexing is there isn't a really good description of the shooter and you would think his partner would have gotten a real good look at the man who killed his partner.  All he's been able to give in the way of a description is the generic black male with a black jacket with a white stripe.  Gee, thanks partner.

The whole thing stinks.  Did Suiter and his partner have their body cameras operating at the time the approached this man?  If he was so suspicious, they should have.  I also can't understand how the man was able to elude Suiter's partner after the "struggle" and shooting.  Partners are like married people - they watch each other's back each and every day so how did Mr. Suspicious get away?

I don't know if Suiter left behind a wife, but he has 5 children who will now be without their father.  Baltimore is a dangerous place for sure.  But when the Police Commissioner says that it would be "entirely plausible" that this was a random shooting is ludicrous to me.  Come on Commissioner, do you really believe that?  Officers put their lives in great danger every day they go out on the streets.  But during the daylight hours and with a partner he should have been much safer.  I want to know a lot more about this case because something is definitely rotten in Denmark/Baltimore.

More details as they become available.  RIP Detective Sean Suiter.

Photo credit: Baltimore PD

New Court Documents Claim Jose Baez Knew Casey Anthony Killed 2 Year Old Daughter Caylee

We knew Casey HAD TO BE INVOLVED in Caylee's disappearance/death.  I was shocked at the complete acquittal on all serious charges - how is not reporting your 2 year old as missing for 31 days NOT considered child abuse?  Perhaps even gross child abuse?  According to the jurors, they could not get past the fact that the prosecution could not say with absolute certainty when or how Caylee Anthony died.  The jurors couldn't even say for certain she was murdered.

One thing is certain - Casey Anthony knows what happened and she escaped justice due to the time it took to recover little Caylee's corpse.  This case was just jaw dropping - people could not imagine their 2 year old child missing for 10 minutes let alone a month without calling in a cavalry for help!  The State of Florida appeared to have a strong case, albeit much of it was seen as circumstantial and some of the evidentiary methods used were not previously used in a court of law - allowing some jurors simply to dismiss the results as "junk science".  I'm talking about that little can of air taken from the trunk of Casey's abandoned car - the car that reeked of decomposition and was sent to an expert in extracting chemicals from air samples.  

Arpad Vass was the expert witness for the prosecution who testified to the content of the sealed air sample from the trunk.  When he opened the can he immediately jumped back due to the strong decomposition odor.  Massive amounts of the chemicals found in chloroform were also detected.  Defense attorney dismissed this information as junk science because Vass is attempting to patent his air sample device. Vass isn't just some ambitious inventor.  He's a senior research scientist at the infamous "body farm".  If you are unfamiliar with the body farm, it's a place where dead bodies are studied for rates of decomposition under various circumstances.  This assists law enforcement and coroners on narrowing a time of death in these type of cases.

Nobody expected Jose Baez to win this case - he had never had a death penalty case to defend so he paired up with the more seasoned and experienced Chaney Mason.  Their real goal was to save Casey from the death penalty.  I don't think anyone expected them to gain a full acquittal.  I think they were just as surprised as the millions watching the verdict when the "not guilty" was read over and over and over.  Sickening.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  The jury just was so hung up on the cause of death.  Should a murder defendant get a pass because they did a good job at hiding a body?  She actually did a terrible job at hiding the body, because she tossed it just blocks from her own home, wrapped in blankets from her own crib!

Now to the shocking news.  According to newly released court documents related to her bankruptcy case contained some shocking information about what defense lawyer Jose Baez knew about Caylee's death.  The Anthony's hired a private investigator named Dominic Casey who claims Jose Baez told him that Casey had killed Caylee and she was desperate to frame an innocent person for the crime.  Dominic Casey further claims he was forbidden from discussing Casey's involvement in the crime and why she used the duct tape (?).  I've had my own theories on the duct tape that vary greatly from what prosecutor Jeff Ashton suggested at trial.  Ashton told the jury he believed the duct tape was placed over Caylee's nose and mouth in an attempt to stop her from breathing.  I've always thought Casey had the kidnapping idea planned out and many kidnap victims are found with duct tape on their mouths.  Call it the staging of the scene.

I've also always believed the Anthony's knew their daughter was responsible for their beloved granddaughter's death.  In the beginning, Cindy Anthony was furious with her daughter but had to pull back her rage to try to solicit information from Casey about where Caylee might be.  But she knew, she had to know Casey was a world class liar ad thief.  Too many lies and inconsistencies in her story.  Here are some juicy tid bids from website "Sword & Scale":
From Sword & Scale

From Sword & Scale

Unfortunately double jeopardy prevents the state of Florida from going after Casey Anthony again. What a shame.  She ruined the lives of her family - her parents were heartbroken over the loss of Caylee, more so than Casey seemed to be.  However Cindy apparently had a change of heart when the trial began because it was fairly obvious she was perjuring herself on the witness stand about who was on the family computer doing chloroform searches.  Cindy says it was her, not Casey.  The prosecution brought in people from human resources where Cindy was working at the time in question when the searches were being done from the Hopespring Drive computer - and clearly Cindy was at work!  She was logged into her computer and doing work.  Prosecutors apparently decided not to prosecute her for her blatant lie.

Perhaps (besides Caylee) the biggest victim in this trial ended up being George Anthony - who Baez and Co. threw under the bus, backed over him and hit him again.  The sexual abuse claims from Team Casey were so outlandish and I don't see how the jury even put any stock into that theory.  If they watched the jailhouse video visits between the two you can tell Casey and George had a good father daughter relationship.

One last tidbid - I have no idea if this is true but I've heard it multiple times that Casey paid for her legal fees with sex with Jose Baez.  Could it be true?  Stranger things have happened.  RIP little Caylee - I'm sorry your mother threw you away like trash.  You deserved much better and had so many people who loved and adored you.  You won't be forgotten and maybe someday your mom will tell the truth about what she did to you.

Martin Martinez in Courtoom Today - Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty

Martin Martinez / Dr. Amanda Crews

Central Valley TV
It was reportedly a "routine" court appearance today by mass murder defendant Martin "Marty" Martinez of Modesto, CA.  He is facing two murder trials for allegedly killing 2 adults and 4 children.  The first murder charge is related to the 2014 death of Martinez's former girlfriend Dr. Amanda Crews' 2 year old son Christopher Ripley, who suffered a traumatic brain injury that was determined to be deliberate by pathologists.

Martinez was watching the child for his girlfriend when the injury occurred and he gave law enforcement several stories of how the child was injured.  It was ultimately determined to be a homicide and child abuse and Martinez was days away from being arrested in that case when the July 2015 mass murders occurred.  Nobody knows if Martinez was aware an arrest was imminent, however the Modesto Police Department claims very few people were aware of this information.

When Christopher Ripley died in 2014, Amanda was initially supportive of Martin Martinez and was supporting his innocence.  She even went as far as to hire a defense attorney for him.  However she was a physician - at some point her opinion may have began to waiver and doubts about her boyfriend may have started to surface.  Amanda had a 4 year old daughter living with her as well, and for the child's welfare and safety Martinez was ordered to vacate the home he was sharing with Amanda and her children by CPS and a protective order was granted.
Elizabeth & Christopher Ripley
The million dollar question remains:  what caused him to go over the edge and kill 5 innocent people?  Did some sort of fight ensue between the two?  I don't know much about when the crime occurred but the bodies were discovered after a police welfare check was conducted on Saturday, July 18, 2015.  The welfare check was conducted after Amanda and her daughter failed to show up to a planned outing on Saturday.  Police were met with a heartbreaking scene.  It has to be haunting to discover a 6 month old baby deceased as well as 4 and 6 year old girls - and two female adults.

The Modesto Police Department has been tight lipped about this case.  I don't know if the family was killed on Friday or Saturday.  The only details I've located in court documents is that a knife was used on the two adult females - one of which was Martinez's own mother.  Who would have thought a visit with your 6 month old granddaughter would put you at risk of becoming a homicide victim?  There has been talk of domestic violence between Martin & Amanda although nothing was reported to law enforcement.  Amanda's twin sister Kimberley will likely be a key prosecution witness when the trial starts as she witnessed one incident in which Martin became violent with her sister.

The July 2015 case is likely to be tried first - the State is seeking the death penalty in that case.  The State may combine the two cases but nothing has yet been decided on the matter.  No date has been set for Christopher's murder trial.  As with death penalty cases, this is likely to be dragged out in court for a long time through delays, continuances, conflicts with expert witness schedules etc.  When you are asking for the ultimate punishment the case must be appeal proof.  The last thing you want is a mistrial as this trial is likely to last a long while and cost taxpayers a fortune. Then there are the automatic appeals if he gets the death penalty.  It's unreal how long people in California actually sit on death row before ever being executed.  In fact, many are more likely to die of natural causes before their death warrant is ever served.

This case is such a mystery. The Modesto PD has done a great job keeping crime scene details out of the media. I can't imagine this is going to be anything less than torture for Amanda's family to sit through.  With this many alleged murders committed by one person, I don't see much likelihood of the DA pursuing a plea agreement - life without parole in exchange for guilty plea and waiving all appeals.  I don't believe that's a deal anyone would want to make but you never know.  The family usually has input and I don't know how they would feel about a plea.  I get the feeling Amanda's twin sister wants justice, and Amanda's ex husband deserves justice as well for Martinez taking away his two precious children.

There is NO punishment that fits this crime.  It's just unthinkable - he even (allegedly) killed his own mother.  That takes a special kind of monster who should never walk among us ever again!

Jodi Arias Appellate Fund continues to take donations

We haven't heard the last from Jodi Arias.  As we are well aware from her social media campaigns since her arrest back in 2008, the Facebook page on her appellate fund states it has raised over $110,000 as of August of 2017.  From what her site states, the funds will only be used for costs associated with her appeal(s) and legal fees. Rumor has it Arias has hired a private investigator named Dorian Bonds, who aside from an initial retainer fee that was paid he has not received additional payment for his work. His focus allegedly is mistakes made by Arias original trial attorneys (Kirk Nurmi must wish he never met Jodi Arias).

Dorian Bond PI

Interestingly enough, there is a multi-page document online related to her case in which there are over 800 entries requesting various trial and court transcripts.  I'm not sure what this all means, but the document does list her attorneys:  Ms. Cory Engle (General Practice, Maricopa Public Defender) who has been in practice for 17 years and Margaret M. Green (licensed for 30 years, Maricopa County Public Defender, Appellate Division).  If the two attorneys listed on the Court of Appeal document, it would appear Ms. Arias is once again getting a free legal team to handle her appeal.  What is the appellate fund for and what can it legally be used for?

Will she be able to use the funds to "hire" expert witnesses and private investigators?  The attorneys in the public defender's office are paid by the taxpayers - it seems a little misleading if not outright shady to have an appellate fund and then have public defender office attorneys working for you.  But then again, we are talking about Jodi Arias.  Nothing about this woman surprises me.  If there is a legal loophole to be found, she will find a way to wiggle her way through it.  How many millions of dollars will be spent appealing her conviction?

The document I just viewed is probably 20 pages long and appears to mostly be a request for documents, court transcripts and corrections to the record.  I am not familiar with how appeals work, but I'd imagine this is the beginning of her attorneys getting up to speed on her trial and looking for potential trial errors that were made by the prosecutor, judge and her own attorneys.  The only way Arias gets out of her life sentence is if they are able to find new evidence that wasn't available at the time of her trial that may have swayed the jury in a different direction.  Trial errors could also potential being troublesome, but I believe Judge Sherry Stephens allowed Arias' defense so much latitude they will be hard pressed to find problems with her rulings.

The problem with Arias' trial is her own testimony and her reluctant defense witnesses.  The only people who testified in any meaningful way (aside from Arias herself) were Alyce LaViolette and Dr. Richard Geffen, who was pretty much crushed by Prosecutor Juan Martinez on cross examination on his one sided study of Jodi Arias.  LaViolette, although once a well respected spokeswoman for domestic violence suffered a big hit on her credibility when she took the stand and concluded that murder victim Travis Alexander was emotionally and physically abusive to Jodi Arias.  She drew all of her conclusions from stories told by the woman at the center of it all - Jodi.  She failed to interview any of Travis' friends or family members.  She took what Jodi told her as the gospel and this is a mistake in any fair and equitable evaluation.

I don't believe there has ever been a trial like the Arias trial - I certainly haven't seen or heard of one where there was so much evidence of guilt and physical evidence left behind.  Add to that the well planned alibi and road trip to Utah, the gas can purchases and the mysterious gun theft from the very home Arias was staying at, and it's not hard to put this puzzle together.  Jodi Arias didn't do herself any favors by getting on television at every opportunity and telling differing stories of what happened.  First an outright denial; "I was nowhere near Arizona".  Then, "I wouldn't do that to him, I wouldn't hurt Travis".  While in custody the following day, Arias' story changed to "I was there, but I didn't kill Travis.  It was 2 masked people, a man and a woman.  It was obvious they were there for him".  Did she really expect that to ring true, that they would decide to let a witness live given the extent of the violence that occurred in that home?

Jodi Arias really doesn't stand much of a chance of overturning the guilty verdict.  I know they have already tried for prosecutorial misconduct, Arias has turned on the very attorney she begged the court to remain on as her counsel once he left the public defender's office.  She knows how to manipulate situations, but in my opinion she did receive a fair trial.  Any pre trial publicity that she now complains of was brought on by her.  She courted the press, she loved being in front of that camera.  She somehow managed to send her thoughts via Twitter from behind bars and communicated with the public using people on the outside to write posts for her.

Considering the carnage she left behind at Travis' house and the pain she inflicted on his friends and family, she should consider the life sentence a gift.  She narrowly escaped the death penalty.

Mass Murder Defendant Martin Martinez lived just 2 minutes away from Amanda Crews

This is one of those crimes that haunts you because it's so difficult to understand what could have precipitated such extreme acts of violence.  Martin Martinez believed to have killed the most important women in his life.  Among the dead are his girlfriend and mother of his 6 month old daughter (Dr Amanda Crews), 6 month old daughter Rachel), his mother (Anna Romero) and a niece.  These were significant people in his life that he simply eradicated from this earth.  The question is why?  Why the younger children? 

I believe it's easier for us to understand murders that happen between spouses and former spouses.  But it nearly impossible to understand why the children ranging from 6 months to 6 years old were killed.  Nothing really has been released on the crime scene in this case - no details to speculate upon.  I'd imagine there was an argument between Martin and Amanda which escalated. Perhaps Martin's mother Anna attempted to come to Amanda's aid and was killed as well.  We won't know until trial information starts coming out.

I may have mentioned that my interest in this case is two fold. First and foremost, it was a mass murder involving a family and a single female physician raising 3 children on her own.  Martinez has also been charged in the death of Amanda Crews' 2 year old son Christopher in 2014.  That brings the body count to 6. The second reason I'm fascinated by the case is the close proximity of where this crime occurred. After Martin Martinez was ordered out Dr. Crews home following the death of Christopher by CPS, he moved into an apartment that happens to be RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from where I currently live.

Yesterday I took the drive from Martinez' apartment on Oakdale Rd. to Amanda's home on Nob Hill Drive - I didn't know exactly where I was going but found it within 2-3 minutes.  It wouldn't have taken him much time at all to be in and out of there.  It's a quiet street, newer homes and there are still some new houses being built in the area.  Maybe that is part of the reason we haven't heard reports from neighbors of screams or other odd noises?  Or perhaps it's just being withheld by police.

This is unreal to me - to have an alleged mass murderer who lived right across the street.  Modesto has traditionally been known for a place where older people live and retire - and some agriculture.  It's becoming an excessively violent place to live now.  There are gangs, robberies, rapes and murders here.  I don't enjoy living here, but I'm here for now because I'm taking care of my disabled mother.  I'm more accustomed to living it Contra Costa County where there is still crime, but not like Modesto.

This will be the first time I may have the time and opportunity to attend a murder trial, however being that it has the possibility of being a death penalty trial it could be years before it begins and I don't plan on being here that long! That would rule me out. As I drove the one route Martin may well have drive to Amanda's house that day, I got a very eerie feeling.  When I stopped in front of the house it made me very sad to know what happened there.  I don't know if this "Dead End" sticker was up on a traffic sign on Nob Hill Court before the murders or if it's just a tasteless joke but it caught my attention.

CA Shooter Kevin Neal was out on bail for stabbing neighbor at the time of mass shooting

Google Maps - Fox News
Sometimes our justice system seems to fail us miserably.  As we are discovering more information about mass shooter Kevin Neal, it has been reported that at the time of the shooting he was out on $160,000 bail for allegedly stabbing a neighbor.  Think this is part of that "neighborhood feud" we've been hearing about?  Even more outrageous is that Neal was supposed to be prohibited from owning guns.  Not that any court ruling or piece of paper is going to stop someone determined to get their hands on a gun or guns.

Earlier this year Neal was ordered to give up his weapons as part of a protective order filed on behalf of two female neighbors he had confrontations with in January.  District Attorney Gregg Cohen was prosecuting him on several charges related to the January incident.  This was a violent confrontation with Neal allegedly shooting at the female neighbors and stabbing one of thembefore holding them hostage!  I'm at a loss at how the bail amount was set at $160,000.  Seems it should have been made sufficient to see he remained in jail until trial.  But it wasn't - and he didn't.  Instead, he exacted revenge on the people he felt slighted by.  I suppose it depends on what exactly he was charged with, but even aggravated assault and kidnapping should have had a much higher bail amount.  The judge had to know Mr. Neal lived near his victims - and any no contact order wasn't going to have any effect on his desire for retribution towards those women.

I'm not sure of the police procedure for a defendant to "surrender" their firearms - what happened with Neal's guns? It's entirely possible he did surrender them because the guns found after he was killed were not registered to him.  According to law enforcement officials the weapons had been modified.  This is another huge problem the gun manufacturers must take seriously.  They should put more research and development dollars into making sure their guns are not easily modified.  I don't know a lot about guns, but there are a lot of brilliant people out there who I'm certain could at least make it more challenging to modify.

There are so many troubling things about this story.  It seems the justice system in our country generally works, but not for the wild card madman who is hell bent on taking people down.  The only real way for this to have been prevented would have been to make his bail high enough to where he would have remained there until trial.  Letting him out was a mistake, even though he was entitled to some type of bail. Let's face it, the bail amount seems to be the biggest blunder here.  Had it been a higher amount, cash only type of thing maybe those people would still be alive today.  That may not be fair of me to say, but it's what I'm thinking.

Newsweek called Neal "another angry white man with a record of violence against women".  That sums it up.  Newsweek is also reporting that in addition to the January incident with the two neighbors, Neal was arrested in February for assault with a deadly weapon, battery, crimes against the elderly or dependent adult and for "discharging his firearm with gross negligence".  Wait, wasn't he supposed to have surrendered his firearms under the January protective order?  That second "incident" should have been grounds to revoke his bail shouldn't it have? 

How many times have you heard about a woman who was killed after getting a protective order?  It's well known that it's the most dangerous time for the victim once the order has been granted.  For some people, that just lights their fuse.  Seems Neal's fuse was lit and finally blew.

Kevin Neal

Details From Rancho Tehama Shootings Come into Focus

We are finally learning details surrounding the seemingly random acts of violence that occurred in the small town of Rancho Tehama yesterday.  Naturally immediately after the incident(s), information was sketchy at best as police tried putting the pieces of complex crime scenes together.  All we really knew was that several people were killed and children at an elementary school were targeted - perhaps simply because he was driving by.  Yesterday, law enforcement officials stated that the believed this may have began with a "domestic dispute".  A neighbor of the man believed to be the gunman spoke to media yesterday and said there was an ongoing "neighborhood dispute" between he and the neighbor he identified only as "Kevin".  It was impossible to believe all this violence was the result of a neighborhood dispute but not much else had been reported.
Kevin Neal

What we now know is the shooter was 44 year old Kevin Janson Neal of Bobcat Lane.  We know many of the 911 calls were initiated from that area.  Neal killed 4 adults before opening fire at random on children at Corning Union Elementary School.  Thankfully none of the children or teachers were killed, however several children were injured badly enough to require air lifts out of the area. 

It appears Neal's initial target was indeed his wife who has not been publicly named by officials (to my knowledge).  The Sheriff's Department attempted to locate Neal's wife - even going as far to "ping" her cellphone.  Unfortunately everyones worse fears were realized when they searched the Neals' residence and found his wife deceased in the home. It appears Neal killed her the night before and cut a hole out of their floor in some crude attempt to hide the body.

We know early Tuesday morning he got into his car and went on a shooting spree.  Among the 4 other adults shot & killed, one of the deceased was a female neighbor he had been accused of attacking during an "ongoing dispute". It sounds like Mr. Neal had disputes with more than one neighbor.  Shortly after Tuesdays incident began, Neal shot and killed two more neighbors and stole a pickup truck and drove through the small town and fired at will.

We know Neal was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and pistol from the reports yesterday.  While driving through town, he ended up behind a Ford 250 pickup truck driven by a mother and her son.  He fired 8 rounds into the truck, seriously injuring both mother and son.  The woman was on her way to drop her son off to school.  She had a concealed weapon permit, but never had time to draw the weapon to defend herself and her son.  

Thankfully this was a small town, because by the time Neal arrived at the school in the stolen pickup the school was already on "lockdown".  That didn't deter Neal - he rammed the truck through the gates and began firing into the school.  As far as I know one child was shot in the foot and chest but is expected to recover.  If the school hadn't been heard about what was happening and wasn't  prepared or it could have been a lot worse.

After busting through the gates of the school, Neal reportedly calmly stepped out of the truck and began randomly shooting.  It doesn't appear he had any particular target(s) in mind - just your basic act of domestic terror.  After his attempt to kill innocent elementary school kids failed, Neal sought other targets and he found them.

Neal began following a couple driving down the street and deliberately hit them. As the couple exited the vehicle, he shot both of them.  The woman died but the man survived the shooting.  A good Samaritan who witnessed the accident and shooting pulled over to help; Neal took aim at him as well and shot at him however he was able to escape on foot before Neal stole his car.

Neal's crime spree wasn't over yet - he was in the process of pursuing his next target and attempted to ram that car and shoot into it when law enforcement finally caught up with him.  A gunfight ensued and finally it was over. Neal was shot dead by a sheriff's deputy.  What a story.  The thing that stands out to me out of all I just wrote is that we still don't know what the original dispute with his wife was that set this into motion.  His wife was believed to be his first victim so she can't contribute to the motive - however hopefully she told somebody in her life what was happening at home.  

Solely based on what has been reported, it seems that Neal was a hot headed time bomb ready to explode.  He had troubles with his wife, he was feuding with his neighbors. I'm willing to bet there's an employer out there who is breathing a sigh of relief that they weren't on his hit list.  Or perhaps he was a normal man who just lost it?

Baltimore Detective Murdered Day Before Scheduled to Give Federal Grand Jury Testimony Against Fellow Officers

Det Sean Suiter -Huff Post I am not a big believer in coincidences when it comes to stories like this.  43 year old Detective Sean Suite...

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