Saturday, January 16, 2010

Officer Anthony Fletcher Arrested for Lewd Act with Child

A Riverside police officer is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on charges he molested a teenage girl.

Anthony Wayne Fletcher, 38, of Eastvale, was arrested Dec. 24 by Riverside County sheriff's detectives. He faces three felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and three misdemeanors of annoying/molesting a child.

The incidents in the complaint took place in August, according to a criminal complaint filed in Riverside County Superior Court.

The girl, now 17, said Fletcher fondled her breasts numerous times over two years, all when he believed she was sleeping, sheriff's investigators wrote in a declaration in support of an arrest warrant.

Fletcher's attorney, Mark Johnson, did not return requests for comment Friday. In a brief interview with detectives on Oct. 22, Fletcher denied the allegations, according to the declaration.

The Riverside police weapons expert remains employed by the department, officials said Friday. They declined to comment further.

Sheriff's investigators received the case on Oct. 19, after the girl made the allegations first to a friend and then to her mother, according to the arrest warrant declaration.

The teen said she kept the secret for a long time because she didn't want to hurt her relatives, Investigator Chris Barajas wrote. After learning of a dispute between Fletcher and another family member, she told her mother, the declaration states.

Former Officer Todd Vecellio Convicted of Sex Crimes Against Children

A former University of Colorado-Colorado Springs police officer was sentenced Thursday to two years to life in the Department of Corrections after being convicted in an Internet Crimes Against Children case.

Todd Vecellio was convicted of one count each of conspiracy to commit sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, solicitation, criminal attempt to commit sexual assault on a child and enticement of a child by a jury in November.

He received concurrent sentences of two years to life on the conspiracy, solicitation and enticement charges and one year on the attempt to commit sexual assault charge.

District Judge David Thorson had ordered a pre-sentence investigation and psychosexual evaluation prior to sentencing. Vecellio refused to participate citing his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

Assistant District Attorney Kathy Eberling asked for the prison sentence because a sex offender should not be given the benefit of probation when they have not shown that they are amenable to treatment. An offender cannot participate in treatment if he remains in denial.

She added that this case was all the more abhorrent because Vecellio violated his position of trust as a police officer.

Vecellio’s defense attorney, Ted McClintock, said he believed the District Attorney was urging an unconstitutional policy standard.

He said his client intends to appeal his conviction and that any statements he makes prior to filing that appeal could be used against him in a subsequent retrial.

“They can’t force him to make an admission,” McClintock said. “That would decimate his constitutional right to appeal.”

Thorson said this would be a close case as to sentencing the defendant to probation or prison.

“I don’t second-guess the jury’s decision whatsoever,” he said.

He said Vecellio’s story after his arrest that he was conducting his own undercover investigation was very convenient once he got caught.

“Given the nature of the offence, I don’t see anything mitigating,” he said. “The defendant has basically said he’s not going to participate in treatment.”

Vecellio now has 45 days to file an appeal.

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Former Officer Daniel Gardner Sentenced to 20 Years for Murdering His Girlfriend

A former Murfreesboro police officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Forty-3-year-old Daniel Gardner pleaded guilty Wednesday in Nashville to the Jan. 10, 2009, death of 34-year-old Marie Cogburn of Nashville.

Investigators say Gardner shot Cogburn in the back with a rifle during an argument then went to his mother's home to call police. Police say he returned to the scene of the shooting to wait for police and was arrested.

Gardner was a police officer in the 1990s for Murfreesboro.

Former Officer Kachina McAlexander Found Guilty Of Firing Weapon at Police

A former Denver Police officer was found guilty on all counts on Thursday after she was accused of firing her handgun at local law enforcement officers in South Dakota.

Kachina McAlexander, who resigned from her job with DPD last April, was convicted of three counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and one count of reckless use of a firearm.

The jury deliberated for 3.5 hours on Thursday before returning a verdict.

Her trial began on Tuesday.

McAlexander was holed up in a Custer, S.D. motel room on March 24, 2009 when local officers arrived in response to a report that McAlexander might be suicidal.

The 10-year DPD veteran is accused of firing her weapon at the responding officers, none of whom was injured.

Attempted murder charges were initially filed but then thrown out nine months ago.

According to The Denver Post, McAlexander faced weapons charges in 2006 after firing at a television and at the walls of her home in Adams County. Like the March 24 incident, McAlexander was reportedly suicidal at the time.

A judge acquitted McAlexander of the charges and an appeal by prosecutors was not successful.

She is being held without bond at the Pennington County Jail while she waits for sentencing.

She could be sentenced to 25 years in prison for each of the assault counts, plus a $50,000 fine for each count. The reckless use of a firearm charge comes with a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

The clerk said a sentencing date had not been set.
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Officer Troy Young Linked to Disappearance of Lotto Winner Abraham Shakespeare

An investigation has been launched into whether a Lakeland police officer took money from a woman linked to the disappearance of Lotto winner Abraham Shakespeare, a newspaper is reporting.

Officer Troy Young, 42, has been suspended amid allegations he took money from Dorice "DeeDee" Moore, a person of interest in the missing-millionaire case, according to the Lakeland Ledger.

The newspaper is reporting Young has said he had contact with Moore about her plans to write a book about Shakespeare.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office this week named Moore as a person of interest in the case.

Officer Wilfredo Rosario Convicted of Sexually Assaulting Several Women

A New York City police officer who is accused of sexually assaulting several women was convicted Friday of telling an 18-year-old that he would destroy a summons he was issuing her in exchange for oral sex.

After the jury found the officer, Wilfredo Rosario, guilty of official misconduct and attempted coercion, Justice Daniel P. FitzGerald of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ordered that he be held without bail. Mr. Rosario will face up to a year in jail behind bars when he is sentenced on Jan. 29.

Mr. Rosario faces unrelated charges — including sexual abuse and rape — involving three other women. Those will be decided in a separate trial.

Because of the conviction on Friday, Mr. Rosario was fired, a Police Department spokesman said.

Steven R. Fusfeld, Mr. Rosario’s lawyer, said he planned to appeal the conviction.

“We really are surprised and disappointed with the verdict,” Mr. Fusfeld said in an interview. “I just don’t think there was enough credible evidence to support the verdict.”

The case stemmed from an encounter in 2002 in which Mr. Rosario and his partner saw a woman, now 26, and her male friend sitting in Riverside Park after hours. Mr. Rosario took the woman to one side of the van, while his partner took the man to the other. The woman testified at trial that Mr. Rosario began asking her normal police questions for the summons, like her address and phone number, before the tenor changed.

He asked her if she was “going to make out” with her friend or have sex with him, she testified. She responded no. After that, the woman said, Mr. Rosario asked her if she would perform oral sex on him, agreeing to throw out the summons if she did.

The woman testified that she told Mr. Rosario that she would give him oral sex later, hoping it would buy her time to get out of the situation. They agreed to meet the following day at 4 p.m., she said. But she never again saw Mr. Rosario, she said, and she reported the incident to the authorities a few days later.

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Officer Kelly Lawrence Suspended for Firing Weapon at Neighbors

Gregg County sheriff ’s investigators are conducting a follow - up investigation after a report was made the evening of Jan. 3 of a Longview police officer pointing and firing a gun at his neighbor’s game room behind their residence.

Officer Kelly Lawrence has been suspended with pay pending investigation. He has been with the Longview Police Department since September 2004.

The call for service was received at 10 p.m. and was dispatched for initial investigation the same night, said GCSO public information officer Capt. Mike Claxton.

A report was made by a field deputy and a supervisorwhich has been submitted through normal procedures to the criminal investigation division, according to a press release from the GCSO.

The initial investigation at the scene identified the complaining home owners and the offender, Claxton said.

Deputies recovered a Daisy Power line BB gun during the investigation, which was retained for investigative purposes.