Archive for December, 2010

Woburn, Massachusetts Officer Shot Dead in Robbery Involving Man Paroled After Being Sentenced to Serve 3 Life Terms

December 31, 2010

60 Year-old Officer, Who Was Preparing For Retirement, Was Shot 4 Times; He Leaves Behind a Wife and 2 Sons.

From The Associated Press

WOBURN, Mass. – Two men pleaded not guilty Monday to charges they were involved in the shooting death of a veteran police officer who responded to an armed robbery at a department store jewelry counter. One suspect was also killed.

Officer John Maguire was one of several officers who responded to 911 calls about a robbery at Kohl’s just before 9 p.m. Sunday in the midst of a snowstorm.

This undated handout provided by the Woburn Police on Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 shows Officer John Maguire. Officer Maguire was responding to reports of a AP – This undated handout provided by the Woburn Police on Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 shows Officer John Maguire.

Maguire was chasing two suspects on foot when the gunfire began. Maguire and 57-year-old Dominic Cinelli, whom police identified as the man who fired the fatal shot, were both struck.

Maguire was taken to Lahey Clinic in Burlington, where he was pronounced dead. Cinelli of Woburn was pronounced dead at the scene.

A visibly shaken Woburn police Chief Philip Mahoney told reporters that Maguire was planning to work one more year before retiring and was moving from the night shift to the day shift in anticipation.

“We do not have shootings in Woburn. It’s not that type of community, and last night Officer Maguire lost his life defending it right in the middle of Washington Street,” he said. “It was almost like the Wild West between the two of them.”

Investigators said the 60-year-old Maguire was shot four times. He is survived by his wife and two children, ages 21 and 22.

Heavily armed police officers and state troopers used dogs to search nearby stores and retail complexes for other suspects, eventually arresting 19-year-old Scott Hanwright and 51-year-old Kevin Dingwell, both of nearby Wakefield.

Hanwright was charged Monday with first-degree murder and ordered held without bail. Dingwell, who police say was the getaway driver, was charged with being an accessory after the fact and ordered held on $1,000 bail.

Both pleaded not guilty during their arraignment. The Middlesex district attorney’s office didn’t have information on their lawyers.

Mahoney, who has been on the force for 41 years, said it’s the first time he can recall that that an officer has died in the line of duty in the city.

Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin remembered Maguire as a hardworking police officer who was proud to be carrying on a family tradition. His father once served as police chief.

Woburn, a city of about 40,000 residents, is about 10 miles north of Boston.

Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Kohl’s is offering counseling to employees who were working at the time of the robbery.

“This was a tragedy for all involved and our deepest sympathy goes out to the officer’s family,” Kohl’s spokeswoman Vicki Shamion said in a statement, deferring further questions to Massachusetts authorities.

Dominic Cinelli was serving time for shooting a security guard during an armed robbery to feed his heroin addiction when he told the board in November 2008 that he was a changed man;  Four months later the board unanimously voted to free Cinelli, the Boston Globe reported.

Oct. 2008: Dominic Cinelli tells Massachusetts Parole Board he's a changed man.

Oct. 2008: Dominic Cinelli tells Massachusetts Parole Board he’s a changed man. (Photo Courtesy of the Massachusetts Parole Board)

“I don’t know how any member of the Parole Board justifies that,” Laurie Myers, president of Community Voices, a Chelmsford-based nonprofit that advocates on behalf of crime victims, told the Globe. “He shouldn’t have been out, and now there’s another person dead.”

Cinelli had a lengthy rap sheet filled with armed robberies, assaults and other offenses, had been serving three life sentences since 1976, and had chronic disciplinary problems while in prison including two escapes during which he committed crimes, the Globe reported.

Still, he won the board over by saying the deaths in the family, including his mother’s, and drug counseling changed him, the paper reported.

“When you hear that somebody who had been serving three life sentences is released on parole and commits another violent crime that causes the death of a police officer, that causes us great concern,” Mark K. Leahy, president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the Northborough police chief told the Globe.

John Grossman, the state’s undersecretary of public safety and security, told the Globe that Gov. Deval Patrick ordered the Parole Board to review the decision.

“We’re doing a complete look at what happened, and whatever amount of time it takes to do it right, we’re going to take,” he said.

Anyone wishing to send sympathy cards to Officer Maguire’s Family and/or the Woburn Police Dept. can do so by sending them to:

Woburn Police Dept., Care of Chief PhillipL. Mahoney, 25 Harrison Ave., Woburn, MA 01801-9999; Phone 781-932-4510

New Mexico Governor Declines Pardon For ‘Billy the Kid’

December 31, 2010

William H. Bonney Said to Have Killed Sheriff & 2 Deputies in ‘Lincoln County War’

From The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. – Billy the Kid, the Old West outlaw who killed at least three lawmen and tried to cut a deal from jail with territorial authorities, won’t be pardoned, Gov. Bill Richardson said Friday, nearly 130 years after the gunslinger’s death.

129 years on, US denies pardon to Billy the Kid  

The prospect of a pardon for the notorious frontier figure drew international attention to New Mexico, centering on whether Billy the Kid had been promised a pardon from New Mexico’s territorial governor in return for testimony in killings he had witnessed.

But the facts of the case didn’t support a pardon, Richardson said Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He had been formally petitioned to grant one.

This photo provided by the Fray Angelico Chavez ... 

The proposed pardon covered the 1878 killing of Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady. Billy the Kid was shot to death by Sheriff Pat Garrett in 1881, a few months after escaping from the jail.

Garrett’s grandson, J.P. Garrett of Albuquerque, sent an e-mail to The Associated Press: “Yea!!! No pardon! Looks like it will be a great new year!!!!”

According to legend, Billy the Kid killed 21 people, one for each year of his life. But the New Mexico Tourism Department puts the total closer to nine.

Richardson, the former U.N. ambassador and Democratic presidential candidate, waited until the last minute to announce his decision. His term ends at midnight Friday.

The historical record on the pardon is unclear, and Richardson staff members told him in August there are no written documents “pertaining in any way” to a pardon in the papers of the territorial governor, Lew Wallace, who served in office from 1878 to 1881.

Richardson said he decided against a pardon “because of a lack of conclusiveness and the historical ambiguity as to why Gov. Wallace reneged on his promise.”

Sheriff Pat Garrett’s grandson J.P. Garrett and Wallace’s great-grandson William Wallace expressed outrage over a pardon after Richardson set up a website in mid-December to hear from the public.

The website was established after Albuquerque attorney Randi McGinn submitted a formal petition for a pardon. Richardson’s successor has criticized him for considering the pardon.

“We should not neglect the historical record and the history of the American West,” Richardson said.

His office received 809 e-mails and letters in the survey that ended Sunday, with 430 favoring a pardon and 379 opposed. Comments came from all over the world.

McGinn argued that Lew Wallace promised to pardon the Kid, also known as William Bonney or Henry McCarty.

She said the Kid kept his end of the bargain, but the territorial governor did not.

The Kid was a ranch hand and gunslinger in the bloody Lincoln County War, a feud between factions vying to dominate the dry goods business and cattle trading in southern New Mexico.

Richardson has said the Kid is part of New Mexico history and he’s been interested in the case for years. He’s also pointed to the “good publicity” the state received over the pardon.

J.P. Garrett said there’s no proof Gov. Wallace offered a pardon — and may have tricked the Kid into testifying.

“The big picture is that Wallace obviously had no intent to pardon Billy — even telling a reporter that fact in an interview on April 28, 1881,” he wrote. “So there was no ‘pardon promise’ that Wallace broke. But I do think there was a pardon ‘trick,’ in that Wallace led Billy on to get his testimony.”

He also said that when the Kid was awaiting trial in Brady’s killing, “he wrote four letters for aid, but never used the word ‘pardon.'”

William Wallace of Westport, Conn., said his ancestor never promised a pardon and that pardoning the Kid “would declare Lew Wallace to have been a dishonorable liar.”

Billy the Kid killed two deputies while escaping jail. McGinn’s request did not cover those deaths, but Richardson said he had to consider them in his decision.

The Kid wrote Wallace in 1879, volunteering to testify if Wallace would annul pending charges against him, including a murder indictment in Brady’s death.

A tantalizing part of the question is a clandestine meeting Wallace had with the Kid in Lincoln in March 1879. The Kid’s letters leave no doubt he wanted Wallace to at least grant him immunity from prosecution.

Wallace, in arranging the meeting, responded: “I have authority to exempt you from prosecution if you will testify to what you say you know.”

“It seems to me that when the government makes a deal with you, it should keep its promise,” McGinn said after filing the request.

But when the Las Vegas, N.M., Gazette asked Wallace shortly before he left office about prospects he would spare the Kid’s life, Wallace replied: “I can’t see how a fellow like him should expect any clemency from me.”

J.P. Garrett also contended Richardson should have designated an independent, impartial historian, and noted that Richardson appointed McGinn’s husband to the state Supreme Court. McGinn has “meager qualifications” and a possible conflict of interest, William Wallace said.

McGinn insisted her only tie to the administration was in volunteering to look into the issue, knowing Richardson’s interest.

Attack on Marine at Florida Theater Comes Months After Brother’s Death at Navy Hospital

December 30, 2010

By Cristina Corbin / FoxNews.com

The recent attack on a Marine and his wife outside a Florida movie theater is the latest indignity suffered by a family still reeling over the accidental death this year of a brother at a U.S. naval hospital.

Federico Freire, a 28-year-old Marine, and his wife, Kalyn, were attacked Saturday by a mob of unruly teenagers after the couple asked the group to be quiet during a movie at a Bradenton, Fla., cinema, as FoxNews.com reported Wednesday.

This photo, provided by the Freire family, shows 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Ezequiel Freire, who died Feb. 13, 2010, from a prescription drug overdose at a U.S. naval hospital (FoxNews.com).

This photo, provided by the Freire family, shows 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Ezequiel Freire, who died Feb. 13, 2010, from a prescription drug overdose at a U.S. naval hospital (FoxNews.com).

Police found Freire and his wife “battered” in the theater parking lot, and they arrested four juveniles and one adult in the violent altercation.

For Freire, who had just returned from Iraq, the melee that knocked his wife to the ground was the latest woe for a family still devastated by the death of his brother, Lance Cpl. Ezequiel Freire.

Ezequiel Freire, a 20-year-old Marine who spent eight months in Afghanistan, died Feb. 13 after doctors served him a deadly cocktail of narcotics and sedatives as he awaited cancer treatment at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia, his family said.

“I was the one who found him dead,” Federico Freire said in an interview Thursday. “He was my brother, my best friend.” 

He added: “I think that day I died with him.”

The younger Freire returned from combat duty unscathed in November 2009, but he later complained to family of pain in his heart, his sister Karina Piovera told FoxNews.com. Piovera said medical tests later showed that her brother had a large mass in his chest believed to be Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer.

Freire was transported to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center where a team of 20 doctors treated him with eight drugs — some for pain, others for anxiety and sleeplessness, Piovera said.

On the afternoon of Feb. 12, Piovera said her brother received a dose of fentanyl, a powerful narcotic, in combination with painkillers oxycodone and OxyContin already in his system that she said proved lethal. She said Freire’s death certificate states that he died from “multi drug toxicity.”

“It was a cocktail of death,” Piovera said. “Their negligence killed my brother.”

Piovera and Freire added that their brother was “never on a heart monitor” and said family members repeatedly expressed concern to hospital staff that he was over-medicated.

Adding to the family’s devastation, Freire said he couldn’t pursue legal action against the hospital due to the Feres Doctrine, which bars lawsuits from families or service members in malpractice and wrongful death cases.

“The law needs to be changed,” Piovera said. “The doctors who took care of him shouldn’t be practicing medicine.”

“They just got away with murder, whether it was accidental or not,” added Freire. 

The Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery said Thursday that it could not discuss the treatment Freire received or the cause of death due to patient privacy laws.

In an e-mail statement sent to FoxNews.com, a Navy spokesman, Capt. Cappy Surette of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, said, “We are very saddened by the loss of Lance Cpl. Freire and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends during these difficult times.

“The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has conducted an investigation into the death” and “the results of that investigation have been turned over to the hospital for review.”

But the statement adds that the results of such “quality assurance investigations” are “not releasable per Title 10, United States Code Section 1102.”

Surette said, however, that any doctor found unable to practice medicine “safely” will “typically have his privileges suspended or revoked, be reported to the NPDB (National Practitioner Data Bank) and be recommended for separation.”

To Read the report of the attack on Federico Freire and his wife click the link:

https://ten8.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/iraq-war-veteran-wife-assaulted-outside-florida-theater-by-teen-mob/

 

Additional Information Released on Man Shot By PA State Trooper

December 30, 2010

From www.thepittsburghchannel.com December 27, 2010

The Westmoreland County coroner said a Hempfield Township man died of a wound to the chest and abdomen after he was shot by a state trooper who responded to a call about a domestic dispute.

On Monday, the coroner released the autopsy findings on the body of 51-year-old Jeffrey Yohman. His death has been ruled a homicide.

State police in Greensburg said they were called to a home on Swede Hill Road in Hempfield Township at about 4:15 p.m. Friday.

They say when the first trooper arrived, he was pushed over a porch railing by Yohman.

Police said the trooper was able to take cover beyond his vehicle and called for backup before Yohman ran into the house and grabbed a pistol.

“It was a large caliber handgun, a .480 caliber handgun. It’s a revolver. It was loaded and the hammer was pulled back and cocked in the ready to fire position,” said Trooper Stephen Limani.

A second trooper arrived and ordered Yohman to drop his weapon, but he ignored the command and aimed the gun at the trooper.

The trooper fired his AR-15 rifle, hitting Yohman in the chest and abdomen, police said.

“The AR-15 is good for longer distances. It’s more accurate. It’s a high-powered rifle when it comes to stop someone who could possibly be causing a life-threatening situation, which is where we were at during this incident,” said Limani.

An internal investigation was continuing, which is routine in officer-involved shootings, police said.

PA State Troopers Pull Over Van, Find 10 Illegal Immigrants Inside

December 30, 2010

Illegal Immigrants From Central America Detained In Westmoreland County, PA

From The Pittsburghchannel.com

Pennsylvania State Police said 10 illegal immigrants from Central America were found inside a van Monday morning after it was pulled over for a broken windshield in Westmoreland County.

Three people inside the vehicle ran from officers, but were found and taken into custody several hours later, police said.

All 10 have been detained and will be deported back to El Salvador, according to police.

Police said they were going to Jeannette, where they say they were hired to work on a Federal Government sponsored housing project.

PA State Trooper Shoots, Kills Man Pointing Pistol at Him

December 30, 2010
Suspect Pushed Trooper Over Porch Railing Causing Him to Fall 7 Feet and Cut His Head.
 
From WPXI.com and The Associated Press
December 27, 2010
 
GREENSBURG, Pa. — A Westmoreland County man was fatally shot by a Trooper after the man allegedly pointed a pistol at the officer during a domestic dispute on Friday.

 An autopsy was conducted Sunday on the body of Jeffrey Yohman, 51. The Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office ruled the death a homicide on Monday.

 State police in Greensburg said they were called to a Swede Hill Road home in Hempfield Township at about 4:15 p.m. Friday. They said when Trooper John Fritz arrived, Yohman pushed him over a porch railing, causing him to fall more than 7 feet and cut his head.

 Police said Yohman then ran into the house and grabbed a pistol. Police said he threatened tTroopers, even pointing the gun at them. Trooper John Isoldi, who arrived as backup, shot Yohman in the chest and stomach.

 Police said Yohman ignored commands to drop the weapon, and the Trooper fired.

 “The Troopers were presented with a very hostile situation,” said Trooper Stephen Limani. “Both Troopers involved in this incident are five-year members of this department, and they are both, right now, doing well physically.”

 Toxicology tests are being done on Yohman to see if he had been drinking that night.

Obama Embraces ‘Death Panel’ Concept in Medicare Rule

December 30, 2010

From Newsmax

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/obama-death-panels-medicare/2010/12/26/id/381043?s=al&promo_code=B5BE-1#ixzz19L9DBlAp

During the stormy debate over his healthcare plan, President Barack Obama promised his program would not “pull the plug on grandma,” and Congress dropped plans for death panels and “end of life” counseling that would encourage aged patients from partaking in costly medical procedures.

Opponents of Obama’s plan, including former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, dubbed such efforts as “death panels” that would encourage euthanasia.

But on Dec. 3, the Obama administration seemingly flouted the will of Congress by issuing a new Medicare regulation detailing “voluntary advance care planning” that is to be included during patients’ annual checkups. The regulation aimed at the aged “may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment,” The New York Times reported.

The new provision, which goes into effect Jan. 1, allows Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling to help beneficiaries deal with the complex decisions families face when a loved one is approaching death. Critics say it is another attempt to limit healthcare options for the elderly as they face serious illness.

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner said during the healthcare debate: “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.”

Specifically, the measure was known as Section 1233 of the bill the House passed in November 2009. It was not included in the final legislation, however. It allowed Medicare to pay for consultations about advance care planning every five years. In contrast, the new rule allows annual discussions as part of wellness visits.

Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, a pro-life Christian educational ministry, told the Times that she is concerned that end-of-life counseling would encourage patients to forgo or curtail care, thus hastening death.

“The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking,” Wickham said. “Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life.”

The rule was issued by Dr. Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the Times. He is a longtime advocate for rationing medical procedures for the elderly.

Before Obama tapped Berwick for the Medicare post, Berwick had long applauded Britain’s National Health Service, which uses an algorithm to determine whether the aged are worthy of additional expenditures for medical care and advanced treatments.

Berwick has argued that rationing will have to be implemented eventually, stating, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

Seniors appear to be a major target for precious resources under the Obama healthcare plan. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Obama plan cuts nearly $500 billion in Medicare benefits to seniors as the federal government adds 30 million uninsured Americans to private and public healthcare systems.

The cost of caring for the elderly has not been lost on Berwick.

“The chronically ill and those towards the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here . . . there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place,” he said.

During the heated healthcare debate, supporters of the Obama plan vigorously denied that rationing for seniors would take place and scoffed at “death panel” critics such as Palin.

Last month, however, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told ABC News that rising Medicare costs could be dealt with only by “death panels and sales taxes.”

He added: “Medicare is going to have to decide what it’s going to pay for. And at least for starters, it’s going to have to decide which medical procedures are not effective at all and should not be paid for at all. In other words, it should have endorsed the [death] panel that was part of the healthcare reform.’”

CMPD Officers Injured In Two Collisions With Fleeing Suspect

December 30, 2010

Suspect ‘Rammed’ 2 Cruisers in Attempt to Flee

By Meghan Cooke and Cleve R. Wootson Jr. / Charlotte Observer

Two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were injured during a chase Thursday afternoon, including one who had to be freed from a mangled police car in east Charlotte.

 

News Channel 36 / WCNC Photo

Police told NewsChannel 36, the Observer’s news partner, that there were two collisions involving officers.

The first happened on The Plaza near Eastway Drive. An officer was pursuing a suspect in a pickup truck. During the pursuit, the pickup rammed into the police cruiser. The officer suffered non-life threatening injuries.

  • NewsChannel 36 / WCNC Photo

  • A few blocks away, a second police cruiser collided with the suspect’s extended cab black pickup at The Plaza near Sugar Creek Road, disabling both vehicles and trapping the officer, police told NewsChannel 36.

    Charlotte firefighters had to cut the roof off the police cruiser to get to the injured officer. Police say the officer suffered broken legs and arm.

    That officer was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, escorted by cars driven by police and N.C. Highway Patrol Troopers. The driver of the pickup was also taken to CMC.

    NewsChannel 36 / WCNC Photo

    Authorities have not released an update on their condition.

    The Plaza is shut down in both directions at that location. It’s unclear if the wreckage will be clear in time for Thursday’s afternoon rush hour.

    Around 3:30 more than 20 police cars were at the scene, as the investigation into the wreck continued.

    Contact Information For Fallen Georgia State Patrol Trooper & Arlington, TX Officer

    December 30, 2010

    As you know, this week we lost Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Chadwick LeCroy, 38, and Arlington Texas Officer Jillian Michelle Smith, 24, in the line of duty.

    Post Condolences: TFC Chadwick LeCroy  Georgia State Trooper First Class Chadwick LeCroy

    TFC LeCroy was shot & killed on Monday, December 27, 2010 in Northwest Atlanta after a car he attempted to stop fled and crashed.

    Upon arriving at the crash site TFC LeCroy approached the car and was fatally shot by Gregory Favors, 30, who had just been released from prison on Dec.14, 2010. Overall, Favors record shows 19 arrests dating back to 1999 and several felony convictions including illegal possession of a firearm, drug possession, and eluding police. 

    After shooting TFC LeCroy, favors fled the scene in the Trooper’s patrol car. He was later taken into custody by Cobb County, GA Officers and jailed.

    TFC LeCroy leaves behind a wife and two sons.

    For more information about the incident in which TFC LeCroy was killed click the links below.

    Anyone wishing to send sympathy cards to the Georgia State Patrol and / or the Trooper’s wife and sons can send them to:

    Captain Hank W. Fielding, Jr., Commanding Officer – Troop C, Georgia State Patrol, 3993 Aviation Circle, Atlanta, GA 30336-9999.

    https://ten8.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/georgia-state-patrol-trooper-shot-killed/

    https://ten8.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/trooper-shooting-suspect-has-long-criminal-history/

    Arlington Police Department
    Officer Jillian Michelle Smith

    Officer Smith was shot & killed on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 after she answered a domestic violence call at an apartment complex in Arlington.

    Within minutes of arriving at the apartment complex Officer Smith encountered the suspect, 38 year-old Barnes Samuel Nettles, a registered sex offender with numerous arrests on his record and convictions for the rape of a child, domestic violence assault, failing to register as a sex offender, and attempted burglary, who began firing a handgun.

    When Nettles pointed the handgun at the 11 year-old daughter of his girlfriend, Officer Smith sacrificed herself by jumping into the path of the bullets intended for the girl successfully shielding the child from harm.

    After shooting Officer Smith, Nettles fatally shot his girlfriend and then himself.

    For more information about the incident in which Officer Smith was killed click the links below.

    Anyone wishing to send sympathy cards to the Arlington Police Dept. and / or Officers can send them to:

    Chief Theron L. Brown, Arlington Police Dept., General Delivery, Arlington, TX 76004-9999.

    https://ten8.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/arlington-tx-officer-died-a-heroes-death-using-her-own-body-to-shield-11-year-old-girl-from-gunfire/

    https://ten8.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/arlington-tx-officer-2-others-are-killed-at-apartment-complex/

    Mexican Anti-Crime Crusader’s Family’s Business Torched

    December 30, 2010

    From The Associated Press

    Relatives of an anti-crime crusader who was gunned down this week outside a Mexican state governor’s office had their family business burned down Saturday by unknown arsonists, firefighters reported.

    Federal police escort a convoy of U.S.-based ... 

    Mexican Federal Police Escort a convoy in Nuevo-Laredo near the U.S. Border

    The blaze that consumed the lumber operation in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, was apparently set intentionally, the local fire department said in a statement.

    27,000 arrested in Mexico drug war in 2010  

    Mexican Marines Conduct a checkpoint in Apatzingan Michoacan State

    The business belongs to the family of Jose Monge, the husband of Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, who waged a two-year battle to bring her 17-year-old daughter’s killer to justice before she herself was shot to death.

    State prosecutors had not received a formal complaint about the fire and did not say whether it was believed to be related to Escobedo’s murder.

    Escobedo’s daughter, Rubi Frayre Escobedo, disappeared in Ciudad Juarez in 2008, and her burned, dismembered remains were found in a trash bin the following June.

    Escobedo launched a campaign pressing for justice in the case, staging numerous marches including one when she wore no clothes, wrapped only in a banner with her daughter’s photograph.

    The main suspect in the killing, Sergio Barraza, was ordered released in April for lack of evidence, and this week Escobedo planted herself in front of the offices of Gov. Cesar Duarte and vowed not to move until investigators showed progress in the case.

    Security video recorded her killing Thursday night outside the building by masked gunman who pulled up in a car and shot her in the head.

    Barraza is now a chief suspect in Escobedo’s murder, according to Carlos Gonzalez, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office in Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located.

    Three judges who ordered Barraza’s release have been suspended pending an investigation.

    Drug gang violence has helped make Ciudad Juarez one of the world’s deadliest cities. More than 3,000 people have been killed in the city of 1.3 million this year alone.

    In the 1990s, hundreds of women were killed around Ciudad Juarez, about 100 of whom were sexually assaulted and dumped in the desert.