The crime news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for August 20, 2014, includes reports on the decision of the Staten Island District Attorney to call a grand jury to investigate the homicide of Eric Garner during a routine arrest, the arrest of the father of the drunk-driving teen who killed four people, then successfully avoided prison when his lawyer said he suffered from “affluenza,” a serial killer on trial in California who may be responsible for as many as 40 murders dating back to 1980, and a Virginia mother arrested for using a razor to attempt the removal of tattoos which were given to her preteen daughters by their babysitter.
Police Chokehold Case to Grand Jury
The district attorney of Staten Island will call a grand jury to investigate the death of Eric Garner. The unarmed black man died while being arrested last month when the chokehold put on him by an NYPD officer allegedly caused Garner to suffocate. The medical examiner ruled that the death of Garner was a homicide. Cell phone video of his death quickly went viral and caused public outcry and protests by members of the community demanding a federal investigation. The grand jury could decide to return indictments against the officers involved in Garner’s arrest and his subsequent death.
‘Affluenza’ Teen’s Father Arrested
Frederick Anthony Couch, whose son, Ethan, was granted probation only for causing the deaths of four people while driving drunk because of “affluenza,” has himself been arrested for the crime of impersonating a police officer. Couch was arrested in the Fort Worth, Texas, suburb of North Richland Hills for allegedly telling a police officer on a disturbance call on July 28 that he had his “Lakeside police stuff” inside of his car and telling the officer that he served as a reserve officer for the Lakeland police department.
Couch backed up his claim by displaying what appeared to be a badge and a police identification card. He was allowed to leave the scene. Couch has never served as an officer of any sort for Lakeside and is not licensed in Texas as a peace officer. He was released the same day he was arrested, Tuesday, on a bond of $2500.00. His son gained notoriety when his defense lawyer successfully defended him for charges related to the deaths he caused while driving drunk by saying that he suffered from “affluenza,” a condition in which his family raised him to believe that because he was wealthy, he was not accountable for his actions.
DNA Catches Serial Killer in California
Twenty-five years after the death of Carol Alford, DNA recovered from her body and clothing has linked her murder to a suspected serial killer in California. Experts testified in court that the evidence shows that nobody else on the planet could have left the cells during the commission of the crime. The suspect, Samuel Little, is on trial for the murders of three women which took place decades ago but could not be solved until the advent of DNA technology. All three women were found in alleys and were naked below the waist. If found guilty, Little, 74, faces life in prison.
A career criminal, Little was arrested in 2012 by detectives who discovered that he was residing in Kentucky in a Christian shelter. This is the first murder trial for Little, but prosecutor Beth Silverman believes that it is likely that he killed at least 40 people across the nation beginning in 1980.
Mom Uses Razor to Remove Kids’ Tattoos
Melissa Delp, 35, pleaded guilty to the crime of felony child abuse for using a hot razor blade in an attempt to remove tattoos that a babysitter put on her two young children. Delp, of Virginia, received a prison sentence of eight years, but will only serve 18 months.
Delp had asked Alexander Edwards to take care of her daughters, who are both under 13, in December 2013. While doing so, Edwards used a tattoo gun to reportedly ink the older sister’s name on her left shoulder. He has been charged with malicious wounding and child abuse. Daniel Janney, Delp’s boyfriend, has also been charged with the same crimes for the attempted razor removal of the tattoos. Both men have yet to stand trial.
By Jennifer Pfalz