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Entries in Guilty (26)

Sunday
Mar172013

Steubenville Football Players Guilty in Ohio Rape Trial

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(STEUBENVILLE, Ohio) -- Two Steubenville, Ohio, high school football players accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl have been found delinquent by a judge -- the juvenile court equivalent of guilty.

The teens could serve prison time until they turn 21.

The verdict comes after a four-day trial that included tearful testimony from the accuser who said she was "embarrassed and scared" after hearing about the night she was allegedly sexually assaulted while intoxicated.

"I honestly did not know what to think because I didn't remember anything," she testified. The teen pieced together the night's events from Twitter, Instagram photos, a YouTube video, text messages and witnesses.

Prosecutors accused Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, of using their fingers to vaginally penetrate the girl at an alcohol-fueled party in Steubenville on the night of Aug. 11, 2012, as other teenagers watched. Mays was also accused of later sending text messages that included photographs of the girl with her clothing removed and charged with distributing nude images of a minor.

Brian Duncan, a lawyer representing Mays, told ABC News' "20/20" that what occurred that night was consensual.

"Trent Mays did not rape the young lady in question," Duncan said.

Richmond, in an exclusive interview recently with "20/20" anchor Elizabeth Vargas, said, "I didn't rape anybody. I didn't witness a rape going on.

"And if I would have thought that somebody was being raped or anything like that," he added, "I would have stopped it."

The case drew further attention when some outside the small Rust Belt town accused local officials of willfully protecting the football players, seen as hometown heroes.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug072012

Jared Lee Loughner Expected to Change Plea to Guilty

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The man accused of going on a shooting spree in Tucson, Ariz., last year is expected to change his plea to guilty in federal court Tuesday.

Jared Lee Loughner is charged with killing six people on Jan. 8, 2011, and wounding 13 others, including former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  In March 2011, he pleaded not guilty to 49 counts, including six first-degree murder charges, which carry a possible death sentence upon conviction.

A source familiar with the case told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that Loughner, who has been treated for a mental disorder while under arrest, will receive a term of life in prison in exchange for his new plea.

Despite his illness, mental health officials believe Loughner is competent enough to comprehend the charges against him.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun252012

Jerry Sandusky Verdict: Victim 1's Mother Speaks Out

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The 45 guilty verdicts made it clear: The jury believed the eight young men who testified against Jerry Sandusky.

But before the jury read the verdicts to the court, the biggest fear for the victims and their families was that Sandusky would walk away a free man.

"That was my biggest fear ... that he would not be found guilty," said Victim 1's mother, who spoke exclusively to ABC News over the weekend.

She shared the fears and emotions of her son -- an 18-year-old boy whose testimony helped send Sandusky away for possibly 400 years.

"It was very hard on him," said Victim 1's mother.  "Even after therapy, he doesn't feel comfortable saying what happened to him to me."

Victim 1, who has just graduated from high school, was on his way to work when his mother called him with the news of the guilty verdicts.

"I, of course, called my son right away and told him ... guilty, guilty, guilty," she said.  "He had to pull over his car. ... We talked about it for a few minutes, and he was extremely happy."

Victim 1 was the first boy to come forward and accuse Sandusky of sexual abuse, which triggered a grand jury investigation against the former Penn State football coach.  Victim 1 testified that Sandusky performed oral sex on him after meeting him through Sandusky's charity, the Second Mile.

The boy described staying in Sandusky's basement bedroom, where a water bed and television were sequestered away from a pool table.  It was there that Sandusky began abusing him, he said.  

The mother and her son say they've been haunted since the verdict, seeing Sandusky's picture everywhere even though his mug shot signals life in prison for him.

"I'm just disgusted.  I really don't want to look at him," said Victim 1's mother.  "[I] didn't want to look at him then ... really don't want to look at him now."

She said her son was working through his anger and disgust in counseling and had become involved with a foundation called Let Go ... Let Peace Come In.

Victim 1's mother said she is relived the trial is over and that while the damage has been done, her son will move on.

"He's a strong one," she said.  "He's a survivor and he'll get through it."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun232012

Jerry Sandusky Trial Did Not Include All of His Alleged Victims

Booking photo(NEW YORK) -- The fate of Jerry Sandusky ended with a guilty verdict Friday night in Bellefonte, Pa.

Following 20 hours of sequestered deliberations, the jury of seven women and five men read 45 "guilty" verdicts as Sandusky stood and looked at the jury. There were three not-guilty verdicts.

After court was adjourned, the former Penn State defensive coordinator was led in handcuffs to a police car to be taken to the local county jail. He faces a maximum sentence of 442 years and will be sentenced in approximately 90 days.

"The legal process has spoken and we have tremendous respect for the men who came forward to tell their stories publicly. No verdict can undo the pain and suffering caused by Mr. Sandusky, but we do hope this judgment helps the victims and their families along their path to healing," Penn State president Rodney Erickson said in a statement.

Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, said the defense plans to appeal the guilty verdicts, arguing it was not prepared to go to trial as soon as the judge ordered.

"The Sandusky family is very disappointed, obviously, by the verdict of the jury but we respect their verdict," he said. "We had a tidal wave of public opinion against Jerry Sandusky."

While Sandusky likely will be sentenced to life in prison, waiting in the wings of the sex abuse case are a group of men who say that they, too, were abused by the former Penn State football coach.

"Other victims have come forward after the grand jury presentment in this case, and we intend to continue to look into those matters," Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said.

The men said they would have testified in a new case if Sandusky was acquitted on Friday.

An attorney for two men who say they were abused by Sandusky told ABC News that "more than a few" new accusers were ready to testify.

"The state and federal authorities have investigated. He has not been charged, but he could be charged (with these crimes)," said attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who represents two new accusers. One of Anderson's clients, Travis Weaver, spoke publicly about the abuse for the first time this week.

"Travis came forward after the original eight, and since that time Travis is one of several to have come forward to report similar rape and abuse," the lawyer said.

Weaver and the other men came forward to police after Sandusky's arrest in November, but were left off the current case because of Sandusky's right to a speedy trial, Anderson said.

"He is not the only one, and I am working with and know of more than a few," Anderson said. "Time wouldn't allow (for them to be included)."

Weaver told NBC this week that Sandusky took him to the Penn State football locker rooms, where he showered with him, rubbed his back and blew on his stomach, acts that eventually progressed to oral sex and attempted rape. He filed a lawsuit against Penn State University and the Second Mile foundation, the charity that Sandusky helped create, last year.

Ben Andreozzi, an attorney representing the man known as Victim 4 in the current case, also represents two other accusers whom he said have spoken to authorities.

Weaver and the other alleged victim represented by Anderson have also informed federal investigators about their claims, as part of a federal investigation into whether Sandusky molested boys outside of Pennsylvania, which would rise to the level of a federal crime.

Weaver said in his lawsuit that he was molested outside of Pennsylvania while accompanying Sandusky on trips to bowl games with the Penn State football team.

In addition, Sandusky's adopted son Matt told prosecutors in recent days that he was also molested by the man who adopted him and is willing to testify against him. It's not clear whether he would press charges, however.

And an analysis of the timeline of the eight men who are involved in the current trial shows that Sandusky was allegedly involved with several boys for most of 15 years, but the indictment does not include any victims from February 2001 through 2003.

Experts say that there are two possibilities for that apparent gap: that Sandusky stopped molesting boys for a period of time, or, more likely, that there are more victims of Sandusky's abuse who have not come forward or been identified by police.

"My bet would be that there would be more victims out there," said John Seryak of the organization Stop Educator Sexual Abuse and Misconduct. "If he was still very active in his organization The Second Mile, his access to children would be immediate. He obviously is a super skilled predator. It would be surprising that he wouldn't act or spend that whole time grooming."

For Sandusky, this could have led to a hiatus in his behavior that then could have resumed around 2004, according to Ken Singer, a social worker who treats pedophiles and a past president of Male Survivor, a network for survivors of sexual abuse.

"I've worked with offenders who have recidivated after a number of years," Singer said. "It's not that the desires or the impulses are not there but the degree of control, which could be anything from a spouse keeping a good watch on him that keeps him from acting on impulse, it could be disgust with self and promises not to do this again, but then they hit a situation where they go back to other behavior."

Singer compared the behavior to that of an alcoholic.

"It's similar to an alcoholic that has been drinking for years then stops because of internal conditions, he's sick of drinking or whatever, finds sobriety, goes to AA, doesn't drink again for a number of years but then falls off the wagon and resumes his former lifestyle," Singer said.

While it is possible that Sandusky did stop for the years 2001 to 2004, Seryak said that it is unlikely. Pedophiles, he explained, can rarely control their impulses.

"If somebody was scared straight, he would want to disassociate from the organization," Seryak said. "That's not to say that when there was a report made in 2001 that it wasn't some sort of a wake-up call, but child molesters never really get wake up calls. There is strong evidence that they can't be rehabilitated."

"Make no mistake about it," he said. "These predators have a compulsiveness that's extraordinary, beyond what any of us could ever imagine."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun142012

Man Found Guilty for Killing Neighbor in Texas 'Stand Your Ground' Case

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- A jury has convicted a Texas man for murdering his neighbor during a confrontation over loud music two years ago, rejecting a claim that he was within his rights to fatally shoot the man under Texas' version of a "Stand Your Ground" law.

Raul Rodriguez, 47, faces up to life in prison for the killing of Kelly Danaher, 36.  Sentencing is scheduled to begin on Thursday.

"I'm just glad he can't hurt anybody else," Danaher's wife, Mindy, said.  "I love my husband, and I miss him so much ... and he helped all of us get through this today."

It took the jury less than six hours Wednesday to decide between self-defense and murder.  Jurors, apparently agreed with prosecutors that Rodriguez, a retired Houston-area firefighter, was a trigger-happy neighborhood bully.

"He felt like he had ultimate control, control to determine who lives and who dies," Donna Logan, Harris County Assistant District Attorney, said.

Rodriguez recorded the argument in May of 2010 when he killed Danaher, an elementary school teacher, and wounded two other people.  The 22-minute homemade video was the key to the trial as Rodriguez's lawyers argued it was self-defense under Texas' version of the so-called "Stand Your Ground" law, which is also at the center of the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

It was after midnight when Rodriguez, complaining to police via telephone that the music was too loud, walked up to Danaher's driveway with a flashlight and gun.

In the video, Rodriguez can be heard talking to a 911 operator, saying, "I'm running the video camera right now and I'm talking to you and I mean, I'm scared to death here."

In the unfolding confrontation between Rodriguez and several unidentified men, one yells, "Tell you what, pal, you just pulled a gun on the wrong [expletive], OK?"

When one of the party-goers saw Rodriguez's gun, he suggested he is getting his own.  "When I go in that house and come back," he warned, "don't think I won't be equal to you, baby."

"It's about to get out of hand sir, please help me.  Please help me, my life is in danger now ...," Rodriguez told police over the phone.  "Now, I'm standing my ground here.  Now, these people are going to try and kill me."

Seconds later, a fight about loud music ends with the crack of gunfire.

"Look, I'm not losing to these people anymore," Rodriguez said.  "I'm just totally going to stay back, because they're drunk, they're ..."

Rodriguez is interrupted by wild laughter, and then the sound of gunfire, before the tape stops as Rodriguez is tackled to the ground.  In addition to the shot that killed Danaher, Houston Fire Capt. Ricky Johnson and Marshall Stetson received multiple gunshot wounds after the camera stopped recording.  Rodriguez, a father of six, walked away from the incident unharmed.

"This has eaten me up for two years," Johnson said.  "Hopefully, now I can begin to heal from it."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
May042012

Amy Senser Found Guilty in Fatal Hit-and-Run Case

Hemera/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Amy Senser, the wife of former NFL star Joe Senser, was found guilty Thursday of two of three felony counts related to criminal vehicular homicide.

Senser was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident and failure to promptly report an accident, but was acquitted on the third felony charge of gross negligence. She was also convicted of misdemeanor careless driving.

The 45-year-old showed little emotion as the verdicts were read. She stared straight ahead. Jurors looked tense at the conclusion of the highly publicized trial in Hennepin County District Court, in Minnesota.

Anousone Phanthavong, a restaurant cook, was fatally struck by Amy Senser's sport utility vehicle as he refueled his stalled car on an Interstate 94 ramp in Minneapolis.

Senser is to remain free until sentencing on July 9. Each felony count was punishable by up to 10 years in prison, but sentencing guidelines suggested four years for each count. The misdemeanor carried a potential sentence of up to 90 days in jail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr112012

"Millionaire Matchmaker" Con Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

Hemera/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- A supposed mega-millionaire who appeared on the Bravo television series The Millionaire Matchmaker has been exposed as a Tampa, Fla.-based scam artist after federal prosecutors blew the whistle on him as a fraudster, leading him to plead guilty in court this week.

Michael Anthony Prozer III, who appeared on season two of the hit Bravo series that matches single wealthy people with potential spouses, pled guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud, according to a written statement from U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill.

Claiming to own a mansion and a private jet, Prozer, a father of two young boys, seemed to be a man who had everything except a woman to complete his lavish lifestyle.

Prozer told television audiences that he was the millionaire CEO of Xchangeagent Inc., an online payment service for people in South America.  The lie he has been living for years completely unraveled on Tuesday when he pled guilty to charges relating to a scheme to defraud Park Avenue Bank in Valdosta, Ga.

Xchangeagent Inc. recruited a financial specialist to aide in a scheme to defraud the bank by obtaining a short-term business loan purportedly secured by non-existent collateral, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

"[Prozer] was able to bribe [the financial specialist] to demonstrate he had millions of dollars deposited in the bank," criminal defense attorney Dana Cole told ABC News.  "That's what makes him convincing, is that he can tell the world, 'Hey you know the bank says I'm a multi-millionaire, so I must be.'"  Cole has no connection to the case.

The duo produced fraudulent bank statements and documents in order to convince officials at Park Avenue Bank that Prozer had $21 million in deposits at a bank in Maryland.  The scheme lost the Georgia bank about $3 million.

Now, three years after the reality-TV show that gave him national recognition, Prozer is behind bars facing a multi-year sentence in federal prison.

"Like many con men, the lie eventually unravels," Cole said.  "People realize there's nothing there at the end of the day.  And that's how you get found out, the money doesn't materialize, so lawsuits then turn into criminal investigations and those then turn into indictments."

The guilty plea came as a shock to court watchers, who were expecting a trial to begin.  A jury had even been selected.

"I think he figured that the government had the goods on him, his frauds had been exposed," Cole said, "and it was time to cut his losses and enter an early guilty plea."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar142012

Catherine Greig, 'Whitey' Bulger's Girlfriend, Pleads Guilty

WCVB-TV BOSTON(BOSTON) -- Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of former Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, cried as she pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that she helped Bulger stay on the lam for more than 16 years.

She pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud.

Despite charges that could have put Greig, 60, in prison for over a decade, the deal cut with prosecutors may land her in prison for as little as 32 months. Sentencing is set for June 12.

In a statement of fact signed by Greig and released in court Monday, the mob moll stated, "I engaged in conduct that was intended to help Bulger avoid detection from law enforcement, and to provide him with support and assistance during his flight from law enforcement."

The charges chiefly concerned her use of false documents and the forging of identities over the 16-year period she lived with the accused boss of Boston's Winter Hill Gang, a man who is charged with 19 murders.

Some of the victims of those murders spoke out about the news, expressing their frustration at what they feel is a slap on the wrist for Greig.

Steven Davis, who says his sister, Debra David, was killed by Bulger, was allowed to give a victim impact statement in court and called Greig a "monster."

In an interview with the Boston Globe earlier in the week, Tim Donohue, whose father's 1982 killing was linked to Bulger, said, "She helped that guy on the run…We could have had these answers 16 years ago. She's a criminal, she's not a victim. She's a criminal."

Public opinion of Greig has not improved as details of Greig and Bulger's life on the run continue to leak out. After their capture in California last June, authorities found over $800,000 in Bulger's apartment, most of it in $100 bills.

In the months since their capture five separate safety-deposit boxes filled with money have been found in both the U.S. and Europe, and under the agreement signed by Greig she is not required to reveal where any more may be hidden.

She is also not required to testify against Bulger, who is now 82.

Despite the wealth secreted away by the pair, Greig and Bulger lived a life that was, by all accounts, solidly middle-class. Living under the names of Charles and Carol Gasco they managed to live a normal life before their July 21 capture in Santa Monica.

Greig, a former dental hygienist, was able to keep up her appearance throughout their life on the run, frequenting beauty salons, dentists, and plastic surgeons even as she lived off the grid.

In the end, the looks that gained her the attention of the alleged mob kingpin may have been what brought her to justice. Ron Gollobin, a former television reporter who covered the height of the Boston Mafia wars noted that, "She was a very distinctive woman, stunning even at 60."

"He looked like any old man with a baseball hat," said Gollobin. "There is an irony that it was ultimately Catherine who brought him down."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar122012

Guilty Plea From Mom Whose Son Died After She Left Him in Minivan

Commonwealth of Va Dept of Corrections(PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va.) -- Karen Murphy, the Virginia mother who inadvertently left her two-year-old son in her minivan and found him dead hours later, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of misdemeanor child neglect and will not go to prison, ABC affiliate WJLA reported.

Murphy sobbed as she left the courthouse, WJLA said.

“She’s devastated by the loss of her son, she’s going to have to deal with that, and she is dealing with that,” said Edward MacMahon, Murphy’s attorney.

According to press reports and court documents, on June 17 Murphy, a veterinarian, left her son, Ryan, strapped in his car seat while she worked at an animal hospital. When she parked in the driveway of her home in nearby Bristow seven hours later, she saw the boy and tried unsuccessfully to revive him. He had died of heatstroke.

According to court documents, Murphy had previously left Ryan in the car while she worked at an animal hospital, back in January. Twenty minutes later, an employee of Ryan’s day care center called Murphy, who realized her mistake.

This pattern led prosecutors to charge Murphy with felony murder along with the two misdemeanors. The maximum sentence for all three charges could have been 40 years in prison.

On Monday, Murphy received a sentence of two years in prison, which was suspended, WJLA reported, adding she also got six years of probation and was ordered to do 400 hours of community service, to be served at an animal shelter.

The owner of a Facebook page titled “Supporters of Dr Karen Murphy, DVM” posted the following statement: “Today Karen received the compassion she’s shown & given to all of us through the years. The horrendous charges against her were greatly reduced and settled … Our prayers have been answered!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar052012

Jason Young Gets Life in Prison for Wife's Murder

Hemera/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) --  A guilty verdict was handed down Monday in the retrial of Jason Young, accused of murdering his wife in 2006 and nearly acquitted during his first trial in 2011.

The jury deliberated for only six hours before finding him guilty.

Young was retried for the crime after his first trial in June ended with a hung jury. After the verdict Monday, Young was taken into custody immediately to begin serving a life sentence without parole.

Young, 37, was charged with the death of his wife Michelle, 29, who was found face-down in a pool of blood at the couple's home. Their daughter Cassidy, who was 2 at the time, was discovered hiding under the covers of her parents' bed. Michelle Young's sister, Meredith Fischer, found them.

Young claimed to have been away on a business trip on the night of the murder.

During the trial, Chief Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings compared Young's statements and found inconsistencies, such as what he did on the night of his wife's death, the shirt he wore to his daughter's birthday party and his financial situation in 2008.

Day care worker Ashley Palmatier provided dramatic testimony, demonstrating what Young's daughter, now 7, did and said after the killing, using dolls: "While she was hitting the doll she said mommy's getting a spanking for biting and when she laid the doll down she said mommy has boo boos all over, red stuff all over."

A forensic computer examiner testified that "head, blow and knockout" were found to be search terms used on Young's home computer.

The jury was shown surveillance video from the night of the death of Young checking into a Hampton Inn at 10:49 p.m. The hotel was located about 160 miles from the couple's Raleigh, N.C., home.

At 11:20 p.m., the hotel's surveillance footage went black and prosecutors argue that Young tampered with the camera and propped the security door open.

The prosecution claimed that Young left the hotel and drove home to kill his wife and then stopped on his way back to get gas at 5 a.m., where he argued with the station's attendant, according to the gas attendant's testimony.

"I don't forget nothing like that, when somebody is cussing and fussing at me," the attendant said.

The defense argued that Young didn't have enough time to kill his wife and that there was no blood in his SUV. They also questioned the witnesses' credibility.

After going into deliberations around 9:30 a.m. Monday, the jury requested a list of items entered into evidence to go over in the jury room, including clothes worn by Young, his wife, and his daughter, photos from the crime scene, Young's luggage from his business trip, and photos of Young at a restaurant the night of the murder.

They returned with a guilty verdict at 3:48 p.m.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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