Monthly Archives: February 2017

Defendant suffers seizure moments before trial set to begin

EDINBURG — With a juror pool waiting to be seated inside the auxiliary courtroom and on the same day the murder trial against him was set to begin, Claudio Alberto Morales suffered an apparent seizure, according to court staff.

Just before 2 p.m. Monday, Morales’ body stiffened and he fell over, one courtroom deputy said.

Morales suffered a laceration to his tongue when he bit down on his tongue, court officials said.

He was transported to a local hospital as a precaution, but as of Tuesday afternoon his status was unknown.

Morales, 44, of El Paso, was to tried starting Monday in connection with the murder of Arturo Noe Sanchez, 62, of McAllen, in December 2005.

Court staff said because of the incident they had to release the jurors, who were preparing for the selection process that afternoon.

It is unknown if Morales suffers from a medical condition.

On Dec. 19, 2005, officers responded to the 2000

Read more at:

Man linked to Jeffco gun shop robbery sentenced to 70 months in prison

A federal judge in Denver sentenced a man implicated in the robbery of a Jefferson County gun store to almost six years in prison after he pleaded guilty to being a felon found in possession of a firearm.

U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer sentenced Eric Michael Perez, 20, of Denver, to 70 months in federal prison on Feb. 23, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver.

Investigators found fresh blood on the price tag of a shotgun used to break glass display cases that contained weapons that were stolen on June 21 from the Colorado Gun Broker in an after-hours burglary.

“The blood sample and DNA profile were analyzed and matched the defendant,” according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked with Aurora police to locate Perez in Aurora, and took him into custody on outstanding state and federal warrants. Law enforcement officers recovered two

Read more at:

Fort Lee Man was Pilot of Helicopter that "Hard Landed" in Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ – Two men for New Jersey were in the Robinson R44 Clipper helicopter that made a hard landing in Chatham on Friday evening.

The pilot has been identified as John J. Walsh, age 54, of Fort Lee, who refused medical aid at the scene. The passenger was Paul W. Benson, age 49, of Woodcliff Lake, who was transported from scene to Morristown Medical Center by Chatham Emergency Squad.

At approximately 6:20 p.m., a small Robinson R44 Clipper helicopter flying from Richmond Virginia to Lincoln Park. New Jersey with a pilot and 1 passenger performed an Off Airport Landing behind 525 Main Street Chatham Borough in the parking lot of the Chatham Village Apartments in a small area between two garages. The helicopter struck the roof of the southerly garage prior to coming to rest upright. The contributing circumstances leading up to this incident remain under investigation.

Sign Up for E-News

The passenger was alert and

Read more at:

Winter Haven departments lay out needs, challenges

WINTER HAVEN – Friday’s workshop was an opportunity for each department head to give reports on challenges and opportunities. The preliminary budget workshop was held at the Woman’s Club of Winter Haven.


According to Merle Bishop, the city’s growth management director, Winter Haven is expected to exceed 40,000 in population when the newest numbers are released in April. Bishop said the city has grown 2.7 percent annually since 2010, making it the 26th fastest growing city in Florida and the second fastest in Polk County behind Davenport.

The positive growth, Bishop said, has created opportunities in tourism, the medical field and commercial development. Over the last year, Bishop said, there has been a rise in permit applications for both commercial and residential property.

“We have a lot of momentum going for us right now,” Bishop said. “This is largely true because

Read more at:

FAA investigating helicopter’s forced landing in Chatham

At right, the roof of a garage damaged when a helicopter made a “hard landing”on pavement at 525 Main St., Chatham, about 6:20 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24.

Read more at:

Visalia police seeks volunteers – Visalia Times

Darlene and Ralph Shook celebrated their 15th anniversary with Visalia Police Department exactly the way they wanted — volunteering at a DUI checkpoint operation.

The Shooks are Volunteers in Police Service. The couple signed up for Visalia’s Citizen Police Academy to learn more about the department and the services officers provide to the community.

“It was completely out of my comfort zone,” Darlene said. “Police work had been foreign to me.”

The academy is a 10-week course designed to train prospective volunteers with the inner workings of the Visalia Police Department. Those who complete the course go on to become VIPS.

The instructors of the academy are officers trained in areas such as police ethics, crime scene investigation, homicide and burglary investigation, K-9, SWAT, bomb unit, patrol procedures,

Read more at:

Judge clears way for accessory to murder trial in Leone Park slaying

A picture of Maxine Gooden, 43, of Myano Lane in Stamford, taken with her oldest son Jordan Gooden, this year. Gooden was shot and killed in Lione Park Monday night. Photo: Gooden Family / Contributed Photo / Stamford Advocate Contributed

STAMFORD — A Superior Court judge ruled Monday there’s enough evidence for a city man to be charged with accessory to murder even though he appears to have been sitting in the getaway car when the victim was gunned down in Leone Park in 2015.

Judge Thomas Collin issued the decision following a four-session hearing that spanned more than a month to determine if police had enough evidence to charge Deshawn Hayes, 24, in the murder of Maxine Gooden, a bystander who was shot in the abdomen.

Hayes faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted.

“A finding in probable cause, the trial court must determine whether the evidence

Read more at:

Device found in mailbox was 2 firecrackers taped to aerosol can

PLUMSTED TOWNSHIP – The makeshift explosive device found in a mailbox Saturday morning was two small firecrackers taped to an aerosol spray can, authorities said Monday.

The “futile effort” to blow up the mailbox did not function and was likely the effort of a juvenile, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Al Della Fave said in a release.

The explosive was reported to police shortly before 11 a.m. on Saturday at a home on Brookwood Drive in Plumsted.

The Plumsted Township Police Department requested the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department’s bomb dog, the Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the New Jersey State Police bomb squad and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit to respond.

After the State Police bomb squad cleared the scene, an investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit determined that the device was a “futile effort” to destroy the mailbox by using two small firecrackers taped to an aerosol spray can,

Read more at:

‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ A Conversation with Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman, the bestselling author of forty-one crime novels, is known to mystery-lovers everywhere. With a doctorate in psychology, Jonathan has applied his knowledge not only to his novels, but to those he has co-written with his wife Faye, and son, Jesse. All three of them are bestselling authors. Additionally, he has written two children’s books and many nonfiction works, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children, and With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He’s won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony Awards, and has been nominated for a Shamus Award.

Read more at:

Former APD officer joins field seeking bid as district judge

A former Altoona police officer has announced he will run for magisterial district judge.

Scott Clapper, a 20-year veteran of the Altoona Police Department who retired in 2012 as a sergeant, said he has spent his entire life serving the community and helping others in need and wants to continue serving as district judge.

“Judge (Todd) Kelly has always served in his position with great integrity and if elected, I plan to serve the people in the district with the same impartial and ethical principals,” Clapper said in a statement.

A 1984 graduate of Hollidaysburg Area High School, Clapper has lived in Altoona for 25 years. Clapper received his bachelor of science degree in criminology from IUP in 1988, and he received his certification to be a police officer in 1992 from Harrisburg Area Community College.

Clapper and his wife, Stephanie, have three children between the ages of 13 and 23, and

Read more at: