Posts Tagged ‘new york’

Defendant in 1971 cop murder gets delay

August 10, 2009

From the San Francisco Chronicle

John Koopman, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, August 10, 2009

A hearing to determine the status of one last defendant in a 38-year-old case of a slain San Francisco police officer was delayed this morning. The hearing will resume Oct. 9.

Francisco Torres is the last of the defendants who were to stand trial for the 1971 shotgun death of Sgt. John V. Young at the Ingleside Station.
San Francisco police in 2007 arrested eight men in connection with the attack, accusing them of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. After some of the conspiracy charges were dismissed because of the statute of limitations, one defendant was dropped from the case.

Earlier this summer, Anthony Bottom and Herman Bell, two defendants in the Ingleside case who are serving life sentences in New York for the murders of two New York City police officers in 1971, entered pleas to lesser charges. Bell pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and Bottom pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit voluntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors then dismissed charges against all of the defendants except Torres. Police investigators say Torres’ fingerprint was found on a lighter left at the scene of the attack at Ingleside. The discovery of that fingerprint and testimony by one of the alleged attackers against his former colleagues formed the basis for the prosecution after decades of investigation.

Investigators believe the attack on Ingleside was carried out by members of the Black Liberation Army, a violent offshoot of the Black Panther Party. After the attack, the Black Liberation Army sent letters to The Chronicle, other media and police claiming credit for the attack, and saying it was in retaliation for the death of Black Panther Field Marshall George Jackson at San Quentin a week earlier.

The disposition of the case against Torres was complicated because all of the defense attorneys for the defendants had split up the workload. Now, Torres’ attorney Charles Bourdon is in the process of gathering all the information to prepare his defense.

The Oct. 9 hearing will determine when a preliminary hearing may be set and for how long.

E-mail John Koopman at

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States pull back after decades of get-tough laws

April 4, 2009

$1.15M settlement in suit over 1995 NYPD shooting

March 23, 2009

By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK – The families of two robbery suspects who died in a barrage of police bullets more than a decade ago settled a lawsuit with the city Friday for $1.15 million.

The families’ attorneys had just rested their case during the trial when the deal was announced. Relatives had sought $20 million, but their attorney said they were content, accepting the settlement as affirmation that excessive force was used.

“We believe justice has been done,” lawyer Seth Harris said. “The city waved the white flag, and this clearly shows the officers used excessive force, and these boys didn’t have to die.”

Hilton Vega was shot eight times and his cousin Anthony Rosario 14 times when they arrived at an apartment on Jan. 12, 1995. The officers, James Crowe and Patrick Brosnan, had been there interviewing residents on a tip that a robbery would take place.

The victims were face-down on the ground when they were killed. Some of the 28 shots fired hit the floorboards.

The city Law Department continued to defend the now-retired officers. A New York Police Department investigation found the officers acted within department guidelines, and a grand jury in the Bronx brought no criminal charges. Federal prosecutors said there wasn’t enough evidence for them to pursue charges.

“We believe that our police officers acted appropriately when confronted with three armed gunmen after being called by a man in fear of his life,” said Fay Leoussis, chief of the Law Department’s Tort Division. “However, we have agreed to resolve these cases in light of the uncertainties of litigation.”

Versions of what happened the night of the shooting varied greatly during the civil trial, including who was shot first, how the men came to be face-down, and what the detectives were doing at the apartment.

Crowe and Brosnan were there for at least an hour before Rosario and Vega arrived. The victims said they had come to the building to collect a debt they believed was owed to one of their girlfriends in a scam run by the man who lived at the apartment.

The officers told them to get on the ground and opened fire when Rosario and Vega did not comply quickly enough. Vega, 21, and the 18-year-old Rosario died, and another man with them was injured. The men were armed, but they fired no shots.

The officers retired from the force on a disability pension related to the incident in 1996.

The shooting happened during an era of community outrage against then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani‘s administration over allegations of excessive force by police officers who, like those in the Bronx case, received little or no punishment. Critics said the NYPD had overlooked incriminating details because Brosnan served as a volunteer bodyguard for the mayor’s 1993 campaign.


Illegals shock, suffocate, slit throats in U.S

February 19, 2009
Posted: August 27, 2008
11:48 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Alien murderers-for-hire send 4 shipped back to Mexico in body bags



A showdown over drug money between suspected Mexican illegal aliens in Alabama ended with four men in prison and four shipped back to Mexico in body bags.

Three suspected illegal aliens from Mexico and another man have been arrested and charged with capital murder for electrocuting, stabbing, suffocating and beating five men to death in a murder-for-hire.

The four suspects were paid between $400,000 and $450,000 to torture the victims with electric shock and slit their throats in an Alabama apartment, police said Tuesday. The murders have been tied to a drug cartel that transports cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, the Birmingham News reported.

Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry said he believed the murders could have been revenge slayings after the victims embezzled money from a drug cartel.

“It revolves around money, and that money revolves around drugs,” he said.

Curry said there might have been other targets on the hit list who escaped before police arrived.


Authorities found the bodies of Angel Horacio Vega-Gonzalez, 23, and his brother Gustavo Vega-Gonzalez, also known as Armando Lopez, 24; Ezequiel Rebollar-Terevan, 23; Jaime Echeverria, 30; and a fifth unknown victim Wednesday.

The coroner’s office is waiting for dental records before the fifth victim can be identified. The other four victims’ bodies have been shipped back to their families in Mexico.

Suspects Alejandros Castaneda, 31, and Juan Francisco Castaneda, 25, brothers; Rodriguez Jaime Duenas, 22; and Christopher Scott Jones, 40 are being held in the Shelby County Jail without bond.

A clean crime scene

District Attorney Robby Owens said the apartment crime scene was “well-manicured” by suspects and didn’t appear to be a location where brutal slayings had taken place.

“This was the cleanest crime scene I’ve ever walked on,” he said.

Owens said the murderers used electrical wall sockets to shock the victims three days before the bodies were discovered. Finding the men was not an easy task, he said. They had multiple addresses and used several names. But citizens helped by calling police and providing tips about their whereabouts.

“We had five people, we didn’t know who they were, why they were there,” Curry said. “It took a significant amount of time to get past that hurdle.”

The suspects participated in a video teleconference hearing before Shelby County Circuit Judge J. Michael Joiner Tuesday. Three of the men could not speak English and required an interpreter to help them communicate, turning a 15-minute hearing into a two-hour ordeal, the Birmingham News reported.

Duenas and Alejandros Castaneda told the judge they were innocent.

“I don’t know why two charges when I didn’t do anything,” Duenas said.

Alejandros Castaneda added: “I was out of town when this happened, so how can I be charged?”

Crime creeping across U.S. border

The drug-related murders came on the heels of recent reports of tightened U.S. security along the Southern border as cartels send murderers-for-hire into the U.S. Last week, Texas and New Mexico authorities reported a hit list identifying 15 to 20 targets in the two states alone.

Illegal immigrant violence has claimed the lives of many Americans. As WND reported earlier, MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, a highly organized and well-funded Central American gang, has infiltrated at least 33 states across the U.S., according to law-enforcement authorities. The gang is well-known in Los Angeles, Houston, New York and Washington, D.C., for excessive brutality. Any person suspected of cooperating with authorities is hunted down, tortured and killed. Initiation rites include kickings, beatings and gang rapes.

Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006 that included rapes, murders and child molestation crimes committed by illegal aliens. Approximately 41 percent of the crimes were sexual homicides and serial murders.

Though no federal statistics are kept on murders or any other crimes committed by illegal aliens, a number of groups have produced estimates based on data collected from prisons, news reports and independent research.

Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to 2006 statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegal aliens – more than the U.S. death toll of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. That’s more than 30,000 Americans killed by illegal aliens since Sept. 11, 2001.

Binghamton, NY Officers Attacked by Crowd

December 9, 2008
updated 11:47 p.m. ET, Mon., Dec. 8, 2008

Two Binghamton police officers are out of the hospital tonight, after being treated for concussions they got early Saturday morning, while trying make an arrest outside the American Legion Post at 76 Main St. According to police Captain John Chapman, 200 people attending a private party left the Legion just before 3 a.m. In the parking lot, several fights broke out. From across the street, the two officers, whose names are not being released, saw a man hit a woman. When they went to arrest him, he fought back, and others in the crowd attacked the cops, knocking one of them unconscious. The man, who hit the woman, and those who assaulted the officers, got away

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