The crime news digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for August 26, 2014, includes reports on a suspected murder-suicide in Oklahoma, an Iowa mother who ignored her 11-year-old daughter’s claims of sexual assault and was arrested after the girl became pregnant, a 98-year-old New Jersey woman who is asking a New York judge to overturn her 1950 conspiracy conviction and a Wyoming woman, 75, who has been sentenced to life in prison for the mid-1970s death of her husband.
Oklahoma: Four Dead in Murder-Suicide
Police in Tulsa, Okla., are investigating a possible murder-suicide in which an adult male and female and two young children were found shot to death inside of the Bradford Townhouses at approximately 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. In addition to the four dead inside the apartment, authorities also discovered an unharmed two-year-old girl.
Police believe that the shooter was a 35-year-old man, his estranged wife, 22, and their two young children, a girl aged 5 and a boy aged 3. The unhurt two-year-old girl is not believed to be related to the deceased individuals. According to authorities, the young woman left her children with their father in his apartment. When she returned, she had the toddler, who had relatives in the same apartments, with her. Crime investigators are seeking to determine the exact cause of deaths for all four as well as the order and approximate time of the gunshots.
Mom Ignores Abuse; 11-Year-Old Pregnant
An Iowa mother has been arrested for child endangerment after repeatedly ignoring her daughter’s claims that a 24-year-old friend of the family was sexually assaulting her. The girl, now 12, is pregnant. Despite her daughter’s pleas and being notified of the abuse by several people, Tina Durant, 37, continued to allow Jacob White to have access to her daughter.
White sexually abused the girl for a period of several months. During a visit to the doctor, Durant and her daughter learned that the girl was pregnant. A member of the clinic staff reports overhearing the daughter say, “I tried to tell you several times,” to the mother, at which point she notified authorities that a possible crime had been committed. During the police investigation, White confessed to having sex with the girl beginning in January. He was arrested on charges of third-degree sexual abuse. Durant has been released from jail and ordered to have no contact with her daughter. She is scheduled for court on September 9.
Woman, 98, Wants Conviction Overturned
Miriam Moskowitz of New Jersey was convicted in 1950 of conspiracy. On Monday, she returned to court in New York to ask that her conviction be overturned. She claims to have evidence that documents which would have proved her innocent were suppressed by the government during her trial. The elderly woman was originally tried and convicted along with two men for conspiring to lie to a grand jury tasked with investigating atomic spying, an important task in the days of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Moskowitz filed her request for a hearing two weeks ago, and the judge on Monday asked lawyers involved to ensure that the case is readied without delay. An attorney for the government could not say whether or not prosecutors will argue against vindicating Moskowitz, who remarked after the hearing that she seeks an official vindication of the crime from the government.
Woman, 75, Gets Life in Murder of Husband
Alice Uden, 75, was sentenced on Monday to life in prison for the mid-70s murder of her husband, then 25. The Wyoming woman was convicted of shooting Ronald Holtz, her third husband, and then throwing his dead body down an abandoned mine. The remains of her husband were not discovered for almost 40 years. The wheelchair-bound woman cried as she spoke to the judge.
Uden’s attorneys argued that she shot Holtz with a rifle in the head in an effort to protect her daughter from her husband, who she described as “very frightening.” According to Uden, while she and Holtz were living in Cheyenne, he became very angry when her daughter would not stop crying. She claims that she shot him just as he was about to attack the little girl. Jurors did not agree and convicted Uden of second-degree murder in the killing, which is believed to have occurred in 1974 or 1975.
By Jennifer Pfalz
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