This short video was made when activists from across America converged in Washington, DC. They were there to support returning citizens and celebrate the landmark court victory against government registries that upheld opposition website IdiotsRegistry.info. Contact Dennis@SafeStreetsArts.org
Friday, February 14, 2014
ANDERSON - Shasta County deputies are seeking the last of three suspects in a shooting incident that left one man in critical condition. Investigators believe an Anderson resident shot an intruder in self-defense during an attempted robbery.
The incident started around 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Deputies said a woman came to the home of _____, 56. _____, a convicted sex offender, told KRCR News Channel 7 how two intruders tried to rob him. "She pushed me back in [the house]. I realized she was involved in it, and she kept threatening me with a taser," he said. "They were robbing me. They were trying to strongarm me because I'm a registered sex offender."
The woman, later identified as 41-year-old Melanie Piette of Redding, came to _____’s door, posing as a utility worker. Piette told _____ she needed to inspect the gas lines.
Piette then allowed another suspect to enter the home, 38-year-old Michael Felsch of Redding.
Felsch reportedly had a weapon and made threats to harm the homeowner _____ unless he gave him money. Fearing for his safety, _____ grabbed a gun and shot Felsch several times in the torso.
The man and woman then ran out and drove to the nearby Win River Casino. There investigators said they met up with Daniel Zamora, 28 of Redding. Zamora drove Felsch to Mercy Medical Center and dropped him off.
"It's not for them to be my judge and jury," _____ said. "I've already been tried and did my 18 years."
Deputies said Zamora then left the GMC pickup at a Redding motel with the keys inside. The vehicle had previously been reported stolen.
As of Thursday afternoon, deputies were still looking for Melanie Piette. If you have information, call the Shasta County Major Crimes Unit at (530) 245-6135.
By Mike Wiser
Bills expand the definition and penalties for kidnapping
DES MOINES - A pair of bills drafted in the memory of slain Dayton teenager Kathlynn Shepard sailed through a Senate committee Thursday.
Senate Study Bills 3079 and 3076 expand the definition and penalties for kidnapping and allow authorities to consider the content of sealed juvenile records when sentencing sexually violent predators, respectively.
“May 20 was the worst day of my life. It was the day my daughter was kidnapped with her friend,” Denise Shepard told lawmakers during a subcommittee hearing. “Reading the autopsy report of what he did to my daughter broke me.”
_____, of rural Stratford, abducted Kathlynn Shepard and Dezi Hughes, then 15 and 12, and took them to a hog confinement facility where he worked. _____ killed Shepard and tried to dispose of her body in a river. _____ later killed himself. Hughes was able to escape when _____ separated the girls after the kidnapping.
_____ was released from the state prison system in 2011 after serving 20 years for two 1991 kidnapping convictions. The first involved a 21-year-old woman he tried to assault. The other involved a pair of 3-year-olds he snatched from a day-care center. The children were found hours later, alive, in a garbage bin.
_____ also had a sealed juvenile conviction that the judge couldn't consider during the sentencing in the 1991 cases.
“As a parent of three children, it is unimaginable for me to understand what you have gone through,” Sen. Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids and sponsor of the two bills told Denise Shepard, who attended the hearing with her husband and two others. Each wore purple T-shirts commemorating events held in Kathlynn’s honor.
She said the two bills are just a start.
“I personally would like to see a horrendous sex offender or kidnapper, you do it once, you’re put away forever,” she said. “But unfortunately, I don’t get to vote on making those rules. This is the first step in making sure we get something on the books as soon as possible and see if we can, down the road, get something that will make it harder for these sex offenders.”
By Dave McKinley
Local officials concerned over state relocating sex offenders in their towns.
WEST SENECA - After our story that aired Wednesday regarding the state's surprise placement of seven-convicted sex offenders in a West Seneca neighborhood, officials in other towns are expressing concerns about whether similar situations will crop up in their municipalities.
At least one state lawmaker is pledging to look into their concerns.
"There are three or four places where it's just happened," New York State Sen. Patrick Gallivan (R-59th District) told several town supervisors and mayors in his district. He meets with the local leaders regularly to discuss a variety of issues.
At such a meeting held Thursday, West Seneca Town Supervisor Sheila Meegan issued a warning for her colleagues.
"I want you to know, it's coming to your neighborhood, too," Meegan said.
The state, in an effort to save money, continues to shut down secure facilities, de-institutionalizing those with severe developmental disabilities by placing them in group homes instead.
This resulted in the recent placement of seven men, previously housed in a secure facility near Rochester, into two homes recently acquired by the state on Leydecker Road.
However, besides being developmentally disabled, the men are also convicted sex offenders ... now living near concerned neighbors with children.
"This is something, now that it's called to our attention, that I think we have an obligation to take up", said Gallivan, who chairs the Senate Committee on Crime and Corrections.
One thing he would like his committee to take up is notification laws.
Records show the state dutifully notified West Seneca police when the sex offenders were placed in the community, but, under current law, it did not have to tell anyone else, like town officials or neighbors.
"My God …how can the state say, 'that's okay, we followed the law and that's good enough'? Well, it's not good enough," said Gallivan. "If there's not that legal (notification) requirement now, I would suggest that there should be, and that's one of the things we will be looking into, to effect what I would think is a necessary change."
Gallivan also pledged to look into another concern expressed by local officials: the fact that any local laws they may have created, governing where registered sex offenders can live, do not apply to state facilities, including group homes.
"You could understand why there could be some exemption for an institutional type setting, where there are obvious signs such as fences and other security measures," said Gallivan, explaining that anyone would be able to easily deduce that there people living there, under the care and custody of the state, who may pose a danger to others.
"But when they are being housed in a residential area, in homes appearing no different than surrounding neighbors, it makes absolutely no sense that an exemption like that should exist," he said.
See the video at the link above. The video below is from a different reporter but is about the same story.
By Chris McGrath
WEST PALM BEACH - A Boynton Beach man made his first appearance in court, days after police arrested him on child porn charges on a tip from Google.
_____, 47, is accused of possessing more than 50 images of explicit child pornography of underage boys engaged in sexual activity.
Police said the initial tip came from Google after _____ sent pictures in an email.
_____' attorney, Michael Salnick, declined to comment specifically on the case, including the role Google played in his client's arrest.
Critics argue it is an invasion of privacy.
Palm Beach County state attorney Dave Aronberg told WPBF 25 News that websites like Google and Yahoo are critical crime-fighting tools.
"We work with Internet providers, within the law, to get the information to make sure we're protecting children on the Internet," Aronberg said.
Aronberg's office has a team dedicated to prosecuting cases involving online sex abuse.
"This isn't the first case and won't be the last case where we work with Google, Yahoo (and) Internet service providers to catch predators before they accomplish their mission," Aronberg said.