Monday, November 8, 2010

VA - Hopewell teen (Daniel R. Narron) charged with harassing registered sex offender

Original Article

Yet more proof the public cannot handle the registry information without stooping to vigilantism.

11/08/2010

By Mark Bowes

A Hopewell teen has been charged with intentionally misusing information from Virginia's Sex Offender Registry in an October incident in which police said the teen harassed, followed and then struck a registered sex offender with his vehicle.

Daniel R. Narron, 19, was arrested Friday and charged with attempted murder, attempted malicious wounding by mob, hit-and-run driving and misuse of the sex offender registry, said state police Sgt. Thomas Molnar.

Molnar said the incident occurred on the evening of Oct. 16 when the unidentified sex offender attempted to enter a local convenience store and was recognized by Narron.

Narron, accompanined by three other men, approached the victim, a man in his 50s, and began to harass him about being a sex offender, Molnar said.

At that point, the victim, also from Hopewell, drove away on his moped and Narron followed him in a 2000 Lincoln Navigator. As they approached the intersection of Atlantic Street and Hill Avenue, Narron struck the victim and then fled the scene, Molnar said.

The victim called Hopewell police, who requested that Virginia State Police investigate the case.

"From my understanding, Narron knew who this person was based information that Narron had previously obtained from the web site," Molnar said. "And he began harassing him about being a sex offender based on that information from the web site. Narron recognized him as a registered sex offender."

However, Molnar said Narron had not specifically targeted the victim before encountering him for the first time at the convenience store. Molnar said the case is only the fourth time that police have charged someone with misusing information from Virginia's Sex Offender registry, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

"The public web site is out there for the public to use for informational purposes," Molnar said. "But Narron went above and beyond that. He took the information that he received from the web site and harassed this guy based on him being a sex offender."


IN - Former Deputy (Kevin Farr) Gets 3 Years For Having Sex With 13-Year-Old

Original Article | Video

11/08/2010

A former sheriff's deputy was sentenced to three years in prison after he admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old Belmont County girl.

Kevin Farr, 43 and a father of four, used to be a deputy in the Wabash County, Indiana. Local officials said about a year ago, Farr traveled nearly six hours to meet the teen, who he met online.

Farr previously pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. At his sentencing on Monday, he said, "I regret every moment of it and I would do anything to take it all back."

He was visibly shaken and bound in shackles as he told the court there is no excuse for his actions in November 2009.

Farr and the girl had an online relationship for nearly two years. Belmont County Sheriff's Department Detective Ryan Allar said, "At first, he claimed that he believed she was 18 years of age. Luckily for us, prior to making the very long trip up there, we were able to uncover a photograph."

The photo was one Farr took of himself and sent to the girl on her 13th birthday.

After their sexual encounter, officials said Farr drove the girl to Zanesville, which is nearly 60 miles from her home.

Farr's charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is a second-degree felony that carried a maximum five-year sentence. After Farr serves his three years, he will have to register as a tier 2 sex offender twice a year for 25 years.

Farr had pleaded not guilty to the charges 10 months ago, but changed his plea once DNA and other evidence came to light.


“I Did It” - Why do people confess to crimes they didn’t commit?

Original Article
Why Do Innocent People Confess to Crimes They Did Not Commit?

10/03/2010

By Robert Kolker

The woman was naked from the waist down, her pants and underwear tossed into the weeds. Her down jacket was pulled to her chest, exposing her left breast to the autumn chill. Her head and face had been pummeled, and embedded in the blows were pellets from a BB gun; smashed shards of the gun were found nearby in the brush. Her hair was so gummed with blood that the hunter who stumbled on her body couldn’t tell that it had once been all white.

By nightfall on November 29, 1988, the whole upstate village of Hilton was talking about Viola Manville—74 years old and a grandmother, a free spirit, outspoken, and now a homicide victim. Hilton is a small, blue-collar farm town on the edge of Lake Ontario west of Rochester where a good number of people once worked on the assembly lines at Kodak. The town can be rough—one neighbor from a wealthier suburb calls it “a little Appalachia here in New York”—but Hilton had never seen a murder like this. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office interviewed dozens of people: neighbors, family members, an ex-boyfriend, troubled teenagers. They learned that Manville often had been seen walking along the same set of abandoned railroad tracks where her body was found, even after having been the victim of an attempted rape there three years earlier. The man arrested in that attack, Glen Sterling, was still in prison.

Glen Sterling had a brother named Frank. He was tall but hunched and painfully shy. Frank Sterling grew up just 100 yards from the abandoned railroad tracks, a mile from the spot where the victim’s body was found. Both his parents were janitors, and Frank was the middle child, a chain-smoker so lonely that as a teenager he’d do almost anything to make a friend. His classmates at Hilton Central High called him Bug Chower, after a story got around that he ate insects to get attention. The name stuck. “He was the kid in school that everybody berated,” says a former classmate, Rob Cusenz. “An easy mark.”

At the time of the murder, Frank was 25 and still living at home, working as a school-bus monitor. He had a clean criminal record, but to the police, he had the makings of a motive. What if Frank had been angry that his brother Glen was in jail? What if he’d been nursing a grudge against Manville ever since she accused his brother of trying to rape her? What if this wasn’t a sex-related murder but revenge? It was all just speculation, and indeed when the police questioned Sterling, they found his alibi was solid—he’d been seen working on the school bus all morning, and he recited the plots of the Smurfs and Chipmunks episodes he’d watched that afternoon. There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, and Sterling was not arrested. Within a few months, other leads also dried up, and the Manville murder went unsolved.

Almost three years later, on July 10, 1991, an unmarked police car with two plainclothes detectives pulled up to the Sterling family’s house. This was the third time in four years that the police had come to see him. He was now almost 28. He had become a truck driver and moved to Alabama for a year, then came back when work dried up. That afternoon, he was tired; he’d just finished a job that took him through a half-dozen states over two days. The detectives said they’d been assigned to reinterview people of interest in the case, and they realized Sterling had never been polygraphed. They asked him to come with them to a Rochester police station. He agreed.

At 7 p.m., Sterling followed a polygraph technician, Mark Sennett, into a small room on the fourth floor, where he sat at a table and waited. Before hooking up Sterling to the lie detector, Sennett spent more than two hours asking him questions: Did he know why he was there? Why would the police think he might have killed Vi Manville? Early on, Sennett told him that Glen had told his fellow inmates that one of his brothers had killed Manville—a lie he’d made up on the spot to see how the suspect might react. Sterling was startled; he said (maybe a little too defensively, Sennett thought) that there was no way his brother would have said that. Sennett told Sterling he was in for a long night. When the polygraph man left the room at 10:45 p.m., Sterling began to panic. If he stayed, he feared, the police wouldn’t stop—but asking to leave or for a lawyer, he thought, would be as good as admitting he was a murderer.


Why Living in Fear of "the other" Sucks

Original Article

11/08/2010

Everywhere I turn, I encounter people who are filled with fear, more than in the past. For some, it is fear of their neighbors, others are afraid of their government, many live in fear of terrorists, there is growing fear of conservatives and fear of liberals, and on and on. The list of fears is limited only by the imagination.

I might be attacked tomorrow, but between now and then, I am going to live without fear of “the other,” because that is what I choose. To do otherwise, to constantly live in fear of what someone might do to me is to surrender my power, and my joy, to a thought of separation that I let take control of my mind.

Some might protest that bad things do happen. Don’t I have a fire detector in my house and wear my seatbelt because I fear what could happen? Yes, that’s true. I can reduce potential harm should a fire or a car accident happen by using these devices. But fear of “the other” is different. How people address fear of “the other” runs the gamut, from doing nothing, to setting up a restorative justice system, to preemptively killing those causing the fear. Unfortunately, fear of “the other” causes far too many people to do things that are irrational and self defeating.