Archive for July, 2010

NM Governor Considers Pardon For Billy The Kid

July 31, 2010
By BARRY MASSEY, Associated Press Writer Fri Jul 30, 5:41 pm ET

SANTA FE, N.M. – The showdown between Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid has fascinated the American public for nearly 130 years with its classic, Old West storyline of the frontier lawman hunting down the notorious gunslinger.

Susannah Floyd Garrett, left, and her brother Jarvis Patrick Garrett, grandchildren of frontier lawman Pat Garrett, pose for photos Thursday, July 29, AP – Susannah Floyd Garrett, left, and her brother Jarvis Patrick Garrett, grandchildren of frontier lawman …

As it turns out, the feud isn’t completely over.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is considering granting a posthumous pardon to Billy the Kid, angering descendants of Garrett who call it an insult to recognize such a violent outlaw.

Three of the late lawman’s grandchildren sent a letter to Richardson this week that asked him not to pardon the outlaw, saying such an act would represent an “inexcusable defamation” of Garrett.

“If Billy the Kid was living amongst us now, would you issue a pardon for someone who made his living as a thief and, more egregiously, who killed four law enforcement officers and numerous others?” the Garrett family wrote.

The issue has resurfaced because Richardson asked a New Mexico columnist earlier this year to check with historians to measure their support for issuing a pardon. The governor plans to meet with Garrett family members next week to discuss the issue.

Billy the Kid, his hunter, his hideout, his mom’s grave: Click photo to see more



Garrett shot Billy the Kid down on July 14, 1881. Garrett tracked him after the outlaw escaped from the Lincoln County jail in a famous gunbattle that left two deputies dead.

The Kid’s status as an Old West folk hero grew as countless books, films and songs were written about the gunslinger and his exploits. According to legend, he killed 21 people, one for each year of his life, but the New Mexico Tourism Department puts the total closer to nine.

The pardon dispute is the latest in a long-running fight over whether Garrett shot the real Kid or someone else and then lied about it. Some history buffs claim Billy the Kid didn’t die in the shootout with Garrett and landed in Texas, where he went by “Brushy Bill” Roberts and died of a heart attack at age 90 in 1950.

Richardson joined the tussle in 2003 by supporting a plan by then-Lincoln County Sheriff Tom Sullivan to reinvestigate the century-old case.

The governor said he was willing to consider a pardon for the Kid — something the outlaw hoped for but never received from New Mexico territorial Gov. Lew Wallace.

“Governor Richardson has always said that he would consider making good on Governor Wallace’s promise to Billy the Kid for a pardon,” Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia said Thursday. “He is aware of the Garrett family’s concerns and will be meeting with them next week.”

Susan Floyd Garrett of Santa Fe is one of the grandchildren who signed the letter to Richardson. She said the family decided to speak out because a pardon represents a “defamation of character” to their grandfather. She described the Kid as a “gangster.”

“Everybody wants to mythologize Billy the Kid,” she said.

Garrett and her brother, Jarvis Patrick Garrett, met Thursday with descendants of another key figure in the Kid’s story — John Henry Tunstall, a rancher whose murder in 1878 triggered a bloody feud known as the Lincoln County War. Billy the Kid, also known as William Bonney, worked as a ranch hand for Tunstall.

Hilary Tunstall-Behrens of London, a great-nephew of Tunstall, said he’s not backing a modern-day pardon for the Kid.

“I wouldn’t join the cause,” said Tunstall-Behrens, 83. “There is so much strong feelings.”

Gale Cooper, an amateur historian who lives near Albuquerque, said a pardon by Richardson would be the “culmination of the hoax that contended Pat Garrett was a nefarious killer and Billy was not buried in his grave.”

Cooper has written a book, “MegaHoax,” to debunk claims that Garrett killed someone other than the Kid.

After serving as Lincoln County sheriff, Garrett’s career soured. He ran unsuccessfully for higher political office, served as a customs collector, but ran into financial problems as a rancher.

He was shot and killed in 1908 in a dispute over his land.


Man Shot By Police Had Been Suspect in Restaurant Shooting

July 31, 2010
Suspect Released From Prison In February of 2010
by MARK BOONE / NewsChannel 36; E-mail Mark: MBoone@WCNC.COM
updated 7/30/2010 11:45:15 PM ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A suspected robber shot by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer early Friday morning was previously accused of shooting two restaurant employees during a 2005 holdup.

Zavier Marquis Davis, 25, was released from prison in February after serving time for a robbery conviction. State records indicate he was on supervised probation.

Investigators said Davis was fleeing the scene of a robbery at the Wendy’s on Park Road at around 1:30 a.m. Friday.

Officer Orville Payne III encountered Davis, who was carrying a gun, as he was running out of the back of the restaurant. Payne shot the Davis in the legs.

Davis was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries and was listed in stable condition late Friday.

He was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a felon.

An online search shows from November 2001 to March 2005 Davis racked up 27 felony charges and 13 misdemeanor charges for robberies involving a number of fast food restaurants and a string of car thefts and trespassing charges.

In February 2005, Davis, then 19 years-old, was accused of robbing a Pizza Hut on N. Tryon Street.

The restaurant’s manager at the time, Sheeniqua Bullock, said Davis shot her twice in the leg.

Another employee was also wounded by gunfire, but later recovered.

Davis was arrested for the robbery, one of nine he was accused of committing over a two-year period, according to police.

Court records indicate he accepted a plea deal which consolidated the robbery cases into a single charge of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Bullock said she was not surprised Friday morning when she learned Davis was accused in another robbery.

“All I could do is shake my head and say this is pathetic,” Bullock told NewsChannel 36. “He hasnt been out six months and hes back at it again.”

Police were interviewing a second person in connection to Friday’s robbery but had not filed additional charges.

Authorities say they recovered stolen money and a gun near the restaurant.

Officer Payne will be placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure as the department investigates an officer-involved shooting.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Officer Shoots Fast-Food Robbery Suspect

July 30, 2010
Jul 30, 2010 | 12:40:20


CHARLOTTE – A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot and wounded an armed robbery suspect early Friday morning.

Officers were responding to a robbery call at the Wendy’s at Park and Woodlawn Roads when, according to a police statement, they crossed paths with a suspect leaving the store.

The police statement said Zavier Davis, 25, was armed with a handgun. Chief Rodney Monroe, who was at the scene this morning, did not say if Davis pointed the gun at officers.

Officer Orville Payne III, who has been on the force for ten months, fired at Davis, “striking him at least once in the left thigh,” according to the police statement.

A second suspect was picked up at the scene and taken to police headquarters for questioning.

Davis was listed in stable condition at Carolinas Medical Center late Friday morning, said spokesperson Officer Rosalyn Harrington.

Harrington said Davis had “a gunshot wound to the upper part of both legs.”

Davis was charged with two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, four counts of kidnapping and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Once released from the hospital, Harrington said he would be transferred to the Mecklenburg County Jail.

The Department of Corrections said Davis was paroled in February after serving 52 months for a 2005 robbery conviction in Mecklenburg County.

Per department policy, Officer Payne was placed on administrative leave while the robbery and the shooting were investigated.

Lancaster County, SC Store Clerk Foils Armed Robbery

July 30, 2010
From The Rock Hill Herald
Thursday, Jul. 29, 2010
By Kimberly Dick –


A Lancaster County convenience store clerk slammed the cash register door shut and refused to give money to armed men who tried to rob the store Wednesday night, police say.

Two unknown men attempted to rob B&J Mini Mart at 7673 Kershaw Camden Highway around 10 p.m. Wednesday.

One of the men paid cash for a blunt cigar and the 38-year-old clerk opened the register drawer to make change when another man held a gun up, said store co-owner Jill Sistare.

The second man demanded that the clerk give him all the money in the register, according to a release from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

“The clerk pushed the drawer closed, and she wouldn’t give them any money,” Sistare said. “Both men ran from the store.”

Standing up to armed robbers is not something Sistare advises her employees to do.

“Their lives are much more important than the money,” she said. “Our policy is to give them whatever they want. It’s not worth their life.”

Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile echoed Sistare’s policy.

“This incident turned out well with the business not losing any money,” Faile said. “However, this could have easily turned into a shooting incident because the clerk failed to comply with what the suspects demanded.

“Any time you are faced with a situation like this, a victim’s survivability increases when they comply with armed assailants’ demands,” he said. “I strongly encourage the citizens not to resist. At the end of the day, I would rather have to investigate a robbery instead of a murder.”

In the two years Sistare and her husband have been running the store, she said there haven’t been any problems.

“It’s a little upsetting,” Sistare said. “We have nice people around here. We’ve never had any problems. It’s just stunning to think about.”

Authorities are searching for the two men captured on surveillance video. One of the men is described as being 5-feet, 5-inches tall, weighing 150 pounds and wearing a black shirt, light blue jeans, white tennis shoes. He had a white shirt over his head during the robbery.

The other man is about 6-feet tall, weighing 160 pounds, wearing a white shirt, black pants and had a black hooded sweatshirt over his head during the incident, the release states. That man had what appeared to be a small caliber handgun.

Sistare said both men had towels on their heads that blocked part of their faces. Although the store sees many regulars, she said she didn’t recognize the men.

Anyone with information on the identity or location of the suspects is encouraged to call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at 803-283-4136 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-Crime SC.

Motorcyclist Leads Rock Hill, SC Police on High-Speed Chase

July 30, 2010
Friday, Jul. 30, 2010
By Jamie Self – The Rock Hill Herald Newspaper

A 32-year-old Edgemoor man on a motorcycle led Rock Hill police on a chase Thursday through the streets of Rock Hill.

The driver was traveling 62 mph in a 35 mph zone on a motorcycle without tags on East Main Street in Rock Hill when police began following the vehicle, according to a Rock Hill police report.

The driver turned without signaling, at which point the police officer turned on his blue lights and the chase ensued. The motorcycle driver wove through the streets, running several stop signs and turning without signaling before the police officer was able to catch up with the driver. The officer pulled to the left of the motorcycle in an attempt to block him, the report said.

The officer then ordered the driver to turn his engine off. The man complied, but as the officer climbed out of his vehicle, the motorcycle driver started his engine and sped away, “nearly stalling twice before fleeing,” the report states.

After a few more twists and turns, police lost sight of the motorcycle and sent out a description of the vehicle to other patrolling officers.

Another officer later saw the vehicle driving recklessly on Mount Gallant Road and was able to arrest the driver “without incident,” according to the report.

The vehicle identification number is not registered with the South Carolina or North Carolina motor vehicle departments.

The driver was charged with driving under suspension for the fourth time and failure to stop for a blue light, and was issued other traffic citations. He said the vehicle was not his bike and he did not know whether it was insured.

Poker Game Leads to Bullet Being Fired Into Townhome

July 30, 2010
By Shannon Greene – The Rock Hill Herald Newspaper


Two men were sitting around drinking beer and playing poker early Thursday when one of them shot a hole in the wall of a neighbor’s townhouse.

Around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, the 42-year-old man living at the home on Royal Auburn Avenue in Fort Mill brought a Beretta handgun downstairs for the other man to see. His friend, a 37-year-old Fort Mill man, picked up the gun thinking it was unloaded and pulled the trigger, discharging a bullet through the wall and into a neighbor’s townhouse, according to a York County Sheriff’s Office report.

No one was injured.

The 26-year-old woman who lived next door heard the noise and went downstairs to find a gash in her hardwood floors and a bullet hole in the sheet rock, according to the report. She looked under a shelf in her hall closet and noticed a bullet hole there and in the closet door. She called police, who helped her dig out the bullet from the wall.

The men told police they would compensate the woman for damages.

A magistrate reviewed the case but stated there was no cause for a warrant because it was accidental. An arrest was not made.

NC Man Charged After 16 Guns Found In Luggage

July 30, 2010


July 30, 2010

RALEIGH, N.C. — Authorities said a North Carolina man attempted to illegally export 16 guns without getting a license.

 Court documents unsealed Thursday say Steven Neal Greenoe attempted to travel with the disassembled weapons in checked luggage on a flight Sunday.

 Greenoe had tickets from Raleigh Durham International Airport to New York and then to Manchester, England.

 Investigators said Greenoe has made a series of trips to England this year and a series of gun purchases in North Carolina. Documents show that he told investigators that he knew he wasn’t supposed to bring the weapons in his luggage but was doing so to outfit employees working on maritime security contracts abroad.

 Greenoe had a preliminary hearing in Raleigh on Thursday and he was ordered held in custody.

Why There Was No Looting During Tennessee Floods

July 30, 2010

Greene County, NC Deputy Sheriff Killed Answering Domestic Violence Call

July 29, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010

(Updated 7:04 am)

SNOW HILL (AP) — A Greene County deputy was fatally shot while answering a domestic disturbance call in eastern North Carolina.

Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith told multiple media outlets that John Willis was shot twice around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at a mobile home off U.S. 13 several miles south of Snow Hill.

Smith says Willis was answering a domestic call when 22-year-old Daniel Meyers came out of the house drunk and angry and shot the deputy twice. The sheriff says Meyers then shot and killed himself.

Willis is the third deputy to be killed in the line of duty in the past 15 months in the mostly rural area of North Carolina east of Interstate 95.

The sheriff says Willis leaves behind two children.

2 Lancaster County, SC Women Kidnapped, Locked in Trunk

July 29, 2010
From The Rock Hill Herald Newspaper
By Kimberly Dick –
Thursday, Jul. 29, 2010 01:57 PM

 Deputies are investigating an early morning home invasion and kidnapping in Lancaster County where the intruders claimed to be police and eventually locked two women in the trunk of their car.

Around 2 a.m. Thursday, someone knocked on the door of a residence on Railroad Avenue in Kershaw claimed to be from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

A resident opened the door and three known men came inside the house — one was armed with a handgun, the release states.

Three women inside the house, ranging in age from 15 to 55, were ordered to keep their heads down and not to look at the men. One victim didn’t listen and she was struck in the head by the armed suspect.

The suspects asked the victims about drugs, money and the location of a relative of one of the women, the release states.

When the victims offered to show the intruders the location of the relative, the 55-year-old was forced in the trunk of the family’s car and a 36-year-old woman was allowed to ride in the passenger seat of the car, the release states. The 15-year-old was left at the residence.

The unknown men drove the car to a small dirt road off Highway 521 near Andrew Jackson High School, where the other victim was forced in the trunk. The suspects then left.

The women were able to escape and ran to a nearby home to ask for help.

“Home Invasions are a serious issue and unfortunately are becoming too familiar, but this incident, one where the suspects take innocent citizens hostage, lifts this type of crime to a new level,” Sheriff Barry Faile said in the release.

“The full extent of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office investigative capability will be activated to help track these violent and reckless individuals down and get them off our streets. This cannot and will not be tolerated here in Lancaster County.”

All three men were wearing black hooded sweatshirts. Two were wearing black pants and the other was wearing khaki pants. No further description is available.

Deputies from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the incident.

Anyone with information on the identity or location of the suspects are encouraged to call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at 803-283-4136 or contact Crime Stopper’s at 1-888-Crime SC.