Sunday, July 13, 2008

Officer Killed Irish National Now Charged with Sexually Abuse


The Silverton police officer who shot and killed an Irish national while responding to a burglary complaint last month has been jailed on accusations he sexually abused a girl, Marion County authorities said.

Officer Tony Gonzalez, 35, was arrested Sunday and is being held without bail on multiple counts of sexual abuse, Deputy District Attorney Matt Kemmy said.

His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.

Kemmy said a woman and her daughter in Keizer — 12 miles west of Silverton — reported the abuse to officers there on Saturday. The case was assigned to the nearby Salem Police Department, and detectives from that agency arrested Gonzalez without incident.

Kemmy declined to release the name or age of the alleged victim, or say if the abuse occurred recently.

It was not immediately known if Gonzalez has a lawyer. He joined the department in 2006 and got his police certification in March of last year.

He is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the fatal shooting of Andrew Hanlon, a 20-year-old Irishman who died June 30.

Kemmy stressed that the investigations into the shooting and the sex abuse will remain separate.

The district attorney's office has released few details about its investigation into Hanlon's death, which has generated wide publicity and outrage in Ireland.

Hanlon had been in Silverton for about a year and had overstayed his six-month visitor's visa. Hanlon's sister and brother-in-law live in the town of 7,000.

Hanlon's family declined to comment about the officer's arrest.

"As much as we would like to comment, we can't right now on advice of our attorney," said Hanlon's brother in law, Nathan Heise.

Officer Leroy Kendall Arrested for Attempted Murder

A former Little Rock police officer faces charges again for allegedly trying to kill his wife.

Police in California City, California arrested Leroy Kendall Tuesday for stabbing his wife. He's charged with battery and attempted murder.

In 1994, he was convicted of putting explosives under the bed of his former wife to try and kill her.

It happened a year after he was fired from the Little Rock Police Department for getting into a scuffle and threatening fellow officers.

Trial Begins for Officer Charged with Misconduct

The Allegheny County District Attorney says a former West Mifflin police detective on trial yesterday planted cocaine on a male suspect, kicked and choked a juvenile in police custody and fabricated information about illegal poker machines in a third case. Then, the prosecution says, he lied about his actions after the fact.

Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Claus told jurors that some witnesses in the case against Officer Noel G. Missig are not "pillars of the community." The nine criminal counts he faces, including perjury, false swearing, official oppression, tampering with public records and simple assault, stem from a joint state-federal investigation into misconduct by former West Mifflin police Chief Frank Diener.

Mr. Diener has already been sentenced in state and federal court on separate charges.

Defense attorney Stephen R. Greenberg said in his opening statement that Mr. Missig, 40, of West Mifflin, is innocent in all three misconduct incidents between 2000 and 2004. He did not kick or choke anyone or lie about it, he said. "He didn't plant drugs" and "he didn't make up information" about the gambling machines.

Mr. Greenberg said the prosecutor's admission that witnesses were not "pillars of the community" was "the understatement of the year." He said Richard Jasek, who claims the officer stuffed cocaine in his sweatshirt pocket, had already pleaded guilty to having the drugs, and he was incarcerated when the district attorney dropped the charges against him.

He said the juvenile witness, Andrew Palmer, who later yesterday testified the former officer kicked him in the ribs while he was handcuffed on the ground and choked and head slammed him at the West Mifflin station, was incorrect. Although the case is unrelated, Mr. Greenberg noted in his opening that Mr. Palmer, who is now an adult, is alleged to have rented the hotel room in Carnegie where convicted murderer Leslie D. Mollett was headed on the night he killed state police Cpl. Joseph R. Pokorny.

The trial resumes Monday before Allegheny County Judge David R. Cashman.

Officer Arrested for Theft


Morrow County authorities arrested a Mount Gilead police officer this week after a search of his home uncovered a dozen stolen air conditioners, Sheriff Steven R. Brenneman said today.

Officer Joseph Hughes, 26, of Bellville, has been charged with two counts of receiving stolen property and one count each of obstructing justice, theft in office and tampering with evidence.

The air-conditioning units belong to Morrow County and were to be installed in offices inside the county courthouse. The units had been loaded by county maintenance workers onto a trailer and were reported missing from the community services building June 9, Brenneman said.

The sheriff said State Highway Patrol officials received the initial tip about Hughes' potential involvement and contacted Mount Gilead police. The police chief then asked Brenneman to take over the investigation.

Deputies searched Hughes' house near the Richland-Morrow county line and another location Tuesday, Brenneman said.

Hughes has been placed on unpaid administrative leave. He posted a $500,000 bond Wednesday.