Entries in Murder (486)


'Ugly Betty' Actor Killed Mother with Ornate Sword, Cops Say

Photo Courtesy -- WABC News(NEW YORK) -- A bit actor who appeared on the show "Ugly Betty" stabbed his mother to death with a 3-foot-long ceremonial sword, police and witnesses said Wednesday.

Cops were called early Tuesday morning to the Brooklyn home of Michael Brea, 31, and his mother, Yannick Brea, 55, after neighbors awoke to the woman's shrill cries -- when, they believe, she was being slashed to death. Police arrived to find a bloodbath and the actor raving and barricaded in a bedroom.
"What woke me up was a shriek of his mother. That's what woke me up," neighbor Vernal Bent told ABC News affiliate WABC.

Bent said he heard the man yelling references to the Bible and Freemasonry.

"Like Jerusalem, Jesus, Aaron...Then the last like line I caught from him was the greatest architect of the universe," Bent said.

Freemasons sometimes refer to God as the "great architect of the universe." Some local media have reported that the sword was an ornate saber used in Masonic ceremonies.

Police said they entered the home and found Brea clutching the blood-covered sword and still rambling. Cops Tased him and called in a special unit that handles the arrests of people believed to be psychologically disturbed.
Brea was removed from the house on a stretcher and taken to the psychiatric ward at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. He has been charged with murder and weapons possession.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Jury Finds Man Guilty of Murdering Chandra Levy

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON D.C.) -- A jury has reached a guilty verdict in the trial of a man charged with killing congressional intern Chandra Levy, who disappeared in 2001.

The case became a sensation when Levy was linked to then-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.).

Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique was charged with killing Levy in D.C.'s Rock Creek Park where she jogged.

Defense lawyers said during trial he was a scapegoat for a botched investigation.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Murder Mystery: Mother, Three Kids Killed in Florida Home

Photo Courtesy - WTXL Tallahassee, Fla.(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- Police are desperately trying to unravel the horrible mystery of who killed a mother and her three young children in their Florida home.

Autopsies were being performed Sunday on the woman, her 6-year-old twin daughters and her 3-year-old son, who were found Saturday morning after a neighbor called the police.

Police have not identified the four victims, who lived in a recently built quiet subdivision near Florida State University and Florida A&M University. The woman and her children lived alone in the house, so police are talking to their relatives and friends to learn what they can and find out if there was anyone who might have wanted to hurt them.

Neighbors who gathered Saturday were in shock, watching police going in and out of the house with bags of evidence, as the children's bicycles lay in the open garage.

Police are asking anyone with any information about the family to call the Tallahassee Police Department at 850-891-4200.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Ohio Coroner: Victims Stabbed, Dismembered Before Stuffed Into Tree

Photo Courtesy - WSYX Columbus, Ohio(MOUNT VERNON, Ohio) -- An Ohio woman, her young son and a family friend were “attacked with a knife and stabbed multiple times in the back and chest,” the Knox County Coroner's Office revealed Saturday, before their bodies were dismembered, stuffed into garbage bags and left in a hollow tree.

Authorities found the remains Thursday when Matthew Hoffman, the man in custody for kidnapping the fourth member of the group – 13-year-old Sarah Maynard, who was recovered from Hoffman’s basement – tipped them to a location.

The victims include Sarah's mother, Tina Herrmann, 32, Sarah’s younger brother, Kody Maynard, 10, and 41-year-old family friend Stephanie Sprang.

The bodies were found just miles from Hoffman's home, where Sarah was found last week by a SWAT team.

Hoffman is a 31-year-old drifter who was recently released from a Colorado prison after serving a term for arson and burglary. He was arrested last Sunday and charged with kidnapping.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Daughter, Two Others Charged in Fatal Attack of Michigan Parents

Paul Skinner, of Yale, Mich., was killed defending his wife, Mara, when two intruders broke into their home and attacked them as they slept, police said. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(YALE, Mich.) -- A Michigan couple's 17-year-old adopted daughter and two other people were charged Sunday in connection to Friday's brutal attack on the couple. Police are still investigating the incident that left the father dead and the mother in critical condition, according to officials.

Jonathan Aaron Kurtz, 18, James Leslie Preston, 18, and Tia Marie-Mitchell Skinner, 17, where charged with open murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, according to Sgt. Daniel Drake of the Michigan State Police.

Paul and Mara Skinner were in bed around midnight Thursday when two people in Halloween masks broke into their Yale home through a bedroom window and began stabbing them as they slept, police said. Paul Skinner, 47, was able to rouse himself to fight with the attackers, and was eventually able to drive them out of the house.

The couple's son, who was sleeping in the basement at the time of the attack, heard the commotion as his father was fighting the attackers out of the house and came to help, but too late, police said. Skinner's son tried to revive him, but was unable to.

Mara Skinner, a 44-year-old junior high school teacher, was stabbed more than 20 times, but was expected to recover, police said.

Michigan State Police Det. Pat Young said the Skinners had disapproved of a relationship their adopted daughter, who is their niece, was having, and that "may have been a factor" in the attack.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Prosecution Rests in Levy Case, Sexual Assault Charges Dropped

(WASHINGTON) – After a judge dismissed two charges in the murder trial of Chandra Levy, the prosecution abruptly rested their case in a surprise turn Wednesday, opening the courtroom for the defense to present its case.

According to U.S. Attorney General Amanda Haines, charges that the defendant, Ingmar Guandique, tried to sexually assault the former federal intern would be dropped.

The Wall Street Journal reported the charges were dropped after the prosecution decided not to call on an inmate who was set to testify that Guandique said he had sexually assaulted Levy.

Guandique, however, still faces charges of murder, kidnapping and attempted robbery in the case.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Jury in Connecticut Home Invasion Discusses Death Sentence

Jurors in the Connecticut home invasion trial spent four days deliberating before sentencing convicted murderer Steven Hayes to death. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Though the jurors in the Connecticut home invasion trial spent four days deliberating before sentencing convicted murderer Steven Hayes to death, a meeting afterward with the sole survivor was one of the hardest moments.

"That was probably the toughest moment for me when it came to keeping the waterworks from starting," juror Herbert Gram said of their meeting Monday with the Petit family in a courthouse basement room.

For the family of murder victims Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 47, and her two daughters, Hayley, 17 and Michaela, 11, the verdict brought a rush of emotions -- gratitude, sadness and something even more overwhelming.

"I guess a huge sense of relief that it was over," Hawke-Petit's sister, Cindy Hawke-Renn, told ABC News on Tuesday of her reaction to the verdict. "I guess I was glad that they came to the decision that they did."

"I felt like if any crime ever called for the death penalty, this probably did," she said.

Many involved in the Hayes' trial and sentencing had nothing but effusive praise for Dr. William Petit, who never wavered in his determination to find justice for his family. Petit, who had been severely beaten in the attack on his family, but managed to escape to a neighbor's house, said outside the courthouse Monday that as the verdict was read, "I was crying for loss."

"Michaela was an 11-year-old little girl tortured and killed in her own bedroom, surrounded by stuffed animals," he said, breaking down as he spoke. "Hayley had a great future. She was a strong and courageous person, and Jennifer helped so many kids."

And though the grueling Hayes' trial is now over, Petit will be back in the courtroom next year when Hayes' co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky, 30, is tried.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


DNA Links Abduction-Rape to Murdered Student

Morgan Harrington is seen in an undated photo released by the Virginia State Police. Photo Courtesy - Virgina State Police(ROANOKE, Va.) -- A DNA link has been found between the abduction and murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington a year ago and the kidnapping and rape of a Fairfax, Va. woman in 2005.

Harrington's family and friends traveled from their home in Roanoke, Va. to Fairfax on Saturday, hoping to keep the unsolved case in the public eye.

"It's too late for us. Our daughter is dead. But it's not too late for the next girl, and that's why I can't give up," Harrington's mother, Gil Harrington, told ABC affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.

They passed out leaflets with a composite sketch of the man suspected of abducting and raping a 25-year-old Fairfax County woman in 2005.

"We want justice for our daughter, but we want the community to be safe," Morgan Harrington's father, Dan Harrington, said.

The 20-year-old woman was last seen at a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, Va. on Oct. 17, 2009. Her body was found on a Virginia farm in January.

Police have said that the suspect may have changed his appearance in five years, but Harrington's family and friends still hope someone might remember him or make a connection.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Cops: Killer Posed as Utility Worker to Enter Woman's Apartment

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/KGO-TV San Francisco(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A parolee was arrested Saturday on suspicion of murdering a 46-year-old San Francisco socialite and philanthropist after he posed as a utility worker in order to gain access to her apartment, police said.

Gary Scott Holland, 43, is accused of robbing and killing Kathleen Horan, Lt. Lyn Tomioka told ABC News affiliate KGO-TV.

The woman was found dead on Oct. 30, inside her second-floor apartment when police responded to a request for a well-being check by an unidentified person who knew her, the police said.

"Investigators believe a stranger walked up to the door of the victim's premises and knocked on the door and the victim answered the door," SFPD Public Affairs Officer Albie Sparza said.

The suspect had posed as a utility worker and knocked on several doors saying he was checking for a gas leak, SFPD Capt. David Lazar said.

Police have not revealed how Horan was murdered, and have not explained what they believe Holland's motive was in the murder.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


'Hiccup Girl' Charged With First-Degree Murder

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/WFTS-TV Tampa(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) -- A Florida woman who gained national attention for hiccupping nonstop for five weeks has confessed to killing a man in a robbery gone wrong, according to police.

Jennifer Mee, 19, was charged along with two men in the murder of 22-year-old Shannon Griffin in St. Petersburg, Fla. Saturday.

Mee lured the victim to a St. Petersburg home where the two other suspects, Laron Raiford, 20, and Lamont Newton, 22, robbed him at gunpoint with a .38-caliber revolver, police said.

Griffin was shot several times in the upper body, according to police.

First-degree murder could carry the death penalty in Florida.

Mee, known as "the hiccup girl," became fodder for countless water cooler conversations in 2007 after her condition made headlines and she appeared several times on NBC's Today Show to discuss her chronic hiccups. Mee hiccupped virtually non-stop for more than a month, up to 50 times a minute.

Mee's hiccups then stopped as abruptly as they started with no indication of what first set them off or what led them to stop.

Soon after she stopped hiccupping, Today host Meredith Viera asked her, "What are you going to do for attention now?"

Mee is being held without bond at Pinellas County Jail. She has not retained a lawyer, according to police.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio