Saturday, August 13, 2016

Slow Saturday Special: Street Shooter Shell Casings

Globe picked them up....

"Phoenix neighborhood on edge as serial killer prowls" by JACQUES BILLEAUD and ALAN CLENDENNING, Associated Press  |  Aug 12, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) -- He is a lanky Hispanic man in his 20s who drives down the darkened streets of poor, predominantly Latino neighborhoods, blending in as he selects his targets. He either fires through an open window or gets out of the car to shoot from close range before driving off.

The Serial Street Shooter, as he has been dubbed, has killed seven people and wounded two since March in nine attacks that have sown fear in Phoenix and led to a police plea for the public's help in a neighborhood where many are immigrants reluctant to come forward for fear of deportation.

I think I'm starting to see why the web Globe destroyed a crime scene. This won't help push the illegal immigrant agenda any.

The gunman strikes only after sunset and before dawn, and all but one of the killings have taken place in the city's Maryvale section.

Investigators are checking hundreds of leads, trying to find out if neighbors or security cameras captured video footage of the killer. They have put undercover officers on extra patrols and are receiving help from the FBI. And they are hoping someone who knows the shooter comes forward.

Experts on serial killers say that given the gunman's brazen outdoor attacks, he will make a mistake sooner or later - if he hasn't done so already.

Unlike other serial killers, who often stay in the shadows, this one has allowed witnesses to catch glimpses of him, enabling police to create a sketch they have circulated. Detectives also found shell casings at four crime scenes, though authorities will not say what ballistics revealed about the gun or guns used.

While Maryvale has a higher crime rate than many other Phoenix neighborhoods, police statistics show it has been getting safer in the past decade. But now some residents are staying inside after dark, abandoning a neighborhood custom of sitting out on chairs in front yards when the broiling summer heat dips below 100.

Taking a break from painting the ranch-style home he is renovating, construction worker Marco Garcia said that he is watching for suspicious activity, but that the man police are looking for - young and Hispanic - wouldn't stand out in Maryvale.

The cars the killer has used - described by witnesses as a late-1990s brown Nissan, a late-1990s black BMW and a white Cadillac or Lincoln - are like the vehicles many Maryvale drivers own, Garcia said.

"Anyone who passes by here could be him," he said.

Another complicating factor: Many Maryvale residents are immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally or don't have their paperwork in order and fear they will be deported if they go to police, said Maribel Diaz, with a neighborhood watch group handing out fliers with the sketch of the gunman. Those fears stem from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's heavy-handed immigration enforcement and Arizona's tough anti-immigration laws, she said.

Isn't he that dick sheriff they don't like? 

Yeah, blame him for someone shooting up the neighborhood and for the people protecting a killer.

"It could be that someone saw something or looked at him or something but was scared and didn't report it," Diaz said.

Authorities have been tight-lipped about the evidence they have, but DNA from the gunman would be almost impossible to recover from the crime scenes unless the shooter touched one of the victims or left behind an object, said Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston....


This stuff is beginning to have the feel of crime drama script, isn't it?

"Judge overturns conviction of nephew in ‘Making a Murderer’" by Scott Bauer Associated Press  August 13, 2016

MADISON, Wis. — A judge on Friday overturned the conviction of a Wisconsin man found guilty of helping his uncle kill a woman in a case profiled in the Netflix documentary series ‘‘Making a Murderer,’’ ruling that investigators coerced a confession using deceptive tactics.


US Magistrate William Duffin in Milwaukee ordered Brendan Dassey freed within 90 days unless prosecutors decide to retry him. The state Department of Justice, which handled the case, declined to comment Friday.

Dassey’s case burst into the public’s consciousness with the popularity of the ‘‘Making a Murderer’’ series that debuted in December. The filmmakers cast doubt on the legal process used to convict Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery in the death of Teresa Halbach, and their work sparked national interest and conjecture. Authorities involved in the case have called the 10-hour series biased, while the filmmakers have stood by their work.

Dassey confessed to helping Avery carry out the rape and killing of Halbach, but his attorneys argued that his constitutional rights were violated throughout the investigation. Dassey’s confession wasn’t presented as evidence in Avery’s trial. Both men are serving life sentences.

Duffin said in his ruling that investigators made false promises to Dassey by assuring him ‘‘he had nothing to worry about.’’

‘‘These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments [of the US Constitution],’’ Duffin wrote.

Dassey, who is now 26, was 16 when Halbach, a photographer, was killed in 2005 after she went to the Avery family auto salvage yard to take pictures of some vehicles. Court papers describe Dassey as a slow learner with poor grades, with difficulty understanding some aspects of language and expressing himself verbally. He was also described as extremely introverted and poor at picking up on communications such as body language and tone.

Another retard, for lack of a better word, framed by authorities? 

It's not just terror plots instigated by FBI informants, 'eh?

Dassey was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse in Halbach’s killing. Avery was tried and convicted separately in the homicide.

Avery made headlines in 2003 when he was released from prison after spending 18 years behind bars for a rape he didn’t commit. After being freed, he had a $36 million lawsuit pending against public officials when Halbach disappeared on Halloween 2005.

Friday’s ruling came after Dassey’s appeal was rejected by state courts. The judge said that Dassey’s confession to police in 2006 was ‘‘so clearly involuntary’’ that a state appeals court ruling to the contrary was an unreasonable application of established federal law.

‘‘The court does not reach this conclusion lightly,’’ Duffin wrote.

The investigators did not have any ill motive, the judge wrote, but rather ‘‘an intentional and concerted effort to trick Dassey into confessing.’’

That seems like an ill enough motive to me. 

What is it with authority anyway? Nothing but an organized crime racket!

The error was not harmless because Dassey’s confession was the entirety of the case against him, the judge said.

Attorneys for Dassey did not immediately return messages seeking comment. A brother who has acted as a Halbach family spokesman did not immediately respond to phone messages and an e-mail.

Kathleen Zellner, an attorney for Avery, said in a statement that Avery was thrilled for his nephew. Avery is pursuing his own appeal.

‘‘We know when an unbiased court reviews all of the new evidence we have, Steven will have his conviction overturned as well,’’ Zellner said.

Joe Friedberg, a defense attorney in Minnesota who was not involved in the case but is familiar with it and participated in a forum on it with Avery’s first defense attorney, said he doesn’t believe the decision will have any bearing on Avery’s case.

‘‘The kid’s confession was not entered into evidence against Avery, and I don’t think it impacted Avery’s trial at all,’’ Friedberg said.

Netflix last month announced new episodes were in production to follow appeals by both Avery and Dassey.

I haven't seen the show so....


Maybe I will stop blogging, have a beer, and watch a movie tonight.

"Boy found safe after being taken by his dad from shooting scene" by Eric Moskowitz Globe Staff  August 12, 2016

The goodie bags were filled, the balloons were ready, and the chicken was cooking when the father whom Kalven Martins hadn’t seen in years showed up to the boy’s ninth birthday party Wednesday, carrying a cake.

Kalven was overjoyed. So when Juan Ayala-Powell asked to take his son for a while, the relatives who raise the boy in their Dorchester home hesitated but let him go. The first night went well, they said. But on the second, Ayala-Powell allegedly shot a man shortly before midnight while the child was in the car with him, then dropped Kalven with an ex-girlfriend and took off, according to police and relatives.

After a frantic 12-hour search, family and police found the boy, wearing Spider-Man shorts and Air Jordan sneakers, at midday Friday in an apartment building on Fernboro Street.

Relatives described a dramatic reunion in which a family friend burst into the apartment around 12:30 p.m., while police waited outside for a warrant, and brought the boy out to his anxious aunt, uncle, and grandmother.

Soon after, Boston police said they had located and arrested Ayala-Powell, in connection with a shooting near 198 Blue Hill Ave. on Thursday night. The 27-year-old Boston man is facing charges including kidnapping and endangering a minor and assault with intent to murder, police said.

Police said the shooting victim was transported to Boston Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, but gave no other details.

The boy’s uncle, Luando Da Costa, said the family quickly heard about the shooting and that Ayala-Powell had dropped the boy at a woman’s house, though they did not know where.

Desperate to find the boy, relatives said they scoured the neighborhoods northeast of Franklin Park in the sweltering heat and eventually discovered the car Ayala-Powell had been driving parked beside 11-15 Fernboro St. — a six-unit building where one of Ayala-Powell’s ex-girlfriends apparently lives.

Nadia Vega, a friend who is like an aunt to Kalven, said she took matters into her own hands, not bound by the need for a warrant.

“I said, ‘I’m not a cop; I’m going to go into the house,’ ” said Vega, 26. “I wasn’t scared at all. I was just worried about getting him . . . As soon as I ran in there and he heard me call his name, he came running.”

Standing beside her, Nellie Teixeira — Kalven’s aunt and godmother — beamed. “My warrior over here,” Teixeira called Vega.

Any misgivings she had about Vega’s method melted, she said, when she reemerged with the boy.

Teixeira, who lives with Kalven and helps raise him, said he is a playful soon-to-be fourth-grader who loves video games. She said Ayala-Powell hadn’t been in the picture for about five years when he suddenly showed up at his son’s Skylanders-themed birthday party.

“I was at a loss for words,” said Teixeira, 23.

Despite the family’s misgivings, things seemed to go well the first night Ayala-Powell had his son. He took Kalven to a YMCA day camp the next morning and collected him in the afternoon. Stopping at the house, he then asked if he could take Kalven for another night, and the family agreed.

Teixeira shuddered to think about what happened after that and what her nephew might have witnessed.

“He’s terrified. He’s startled. You could tell it in his face,” said Teixeira, standing on Fernboro while her mother and the boy spoke with authorities inside a nearby ambulance, about half an hour after his recovery. A few minutes later, a police officer and emergency medical worker opened the ambulance door, and the boy stepped down, surrounded by family and holding hands with Vega and his grandmother and guardian, Maria Lima.

Police logs previously obtained by the Globe show that Ayala-Powell was arrested twice in 2012, charged once with assault and battery and once with possessing a Class B drug with intent to distribute.

Neighbors near 198 Blue Hill Ave. were shocked at news of the shooting, but said the area is rough, with lots of drug and gang activity.

One resident said he came home from work late Thursday night and found the police out in full force. He said they told him someone had been shot in the stomach in the backyard of the apartment building, which houses eight units, a Latin-American restaurant, and the Agape House of Prayer.

Late Friday afternoon, Teixeira said her nephew remained quiet after returning home.

“But he said that he was happy that people were looking for him,” she said. “We’re glad he’s back.”


NDUsMan in his 30s is fatally shot in Dorchester

That's all, folks.