Archive for October, 2005

October 31, 2005

Battle Creek, Michigan

From Grand Rapids’ of October 31, 2005

Suspect & clerk involved in shoot-out during armed robbery

Police are looking for an armed robber who was involved in a shootout Saturday night in a Battle Creek store.

Police say the suspect, who wore a mask, came into the store with a gun just before 9:00 p.m. and demanded money. After getting the money, the clerk and the suspect began shooting at each other. Neither was shot and the suspect was able to get away.


October 31, 2005

Daytona Beach, Florida

From the Daytona Beach News of October 31, 2005

Man dies after breaking into home

A 44-year-old man who broke into a Mulberry Street house Sunday night, fought with its two residents and collapsed as police led him out in handcuffs died later at Halifax Medical Center, authorities said.

Paul and Shelly Laughman were in their house on the 600 block of Mulberry Street about 6:30 p.m. when a man punched their front door. Shelly ran to lock it, but the man kicked in a plastic window and clawed his way into her home.

“He had a crazy look in his eyes,” Shelly said, “and he mumbled something that sounded like I’m not here to hurt you.”

Shelly, 36, screamed for her Husband, who was sleeping in the other room. He dashed over and wrestled with the man in their living room. While the men were wrestling, Shelley called police and grabbed a shotgun from a closet.

Paul, 52, pinned the man on the floor and Shelly aimed the shotgun at him, she said.

Paul let the man up slowly and said to him, “We’ve called the police. We’ve got a gun. Just go.”

The man stared at them for a moment; the shotgun still aimed at him.

The man then rushed at Paul again, the couple said. Shelly aimed the shotgun and pulled the trigger, but the safety was still on and the gun never fired. Eventually, Paul would need the help of a neighbor to subdue the man again.

Police officers entered the house and the man continued to fight with the officers as they took him into custody. Officers placed the man in handcuffs and were walking him to a patrol car when he collapsed, said police spokesman Sgt. Al Tolley. They performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man and called in rescue workers. An EVAC ambulance took the man to Halifax where he was pronounced dead about 6:45 p.m..

“No weapon of any kind was used by police,” said police Lt. C.H. Fordham at the scene.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Daytona Beach police will conduct an investigation as to the cause of the 44-year-old man’s death, Tolley said. The man’s name was withheld Sunday night until his family could be notified.

The Laughmans are left to wonder why he chose their house.

“I have no idea why he picked our yard,” Shelly Laughman said, unnerved by the whole experience. “That guy could’ve killed us, and I would’ve killed him if I could get that safety off.”

October 31, 2005

Anderson, South Carolina

From Greenville’s of October 30, 2005

Police Investigating Shooting Death Of Anderson Man

An Anderson man was shot and killed early Sunday morning, authorities said.

Vernon Honeycutt died around 2 a.m., roughly two hours after being shot on Sayre Street, said police.

Honeycutt died at Anderson Area Medical Center.

Police said a woman shot Honeycutt to stop him from beating her daughter.

“At this particular time, their investigation is indicating that the woman acted in self-defense,” said Lt. Layton Creamer, pf the Anderson City Police Department.

Police are still investigating the case.

October 30, 2005

Springwater, New York

From Rochester’s of October 30, 2005

Springwater Man Shoots Intruder

A Livingston County man was shot early Sunday morning after trying to break into his estranged wife’s house.

Sheriff’s deputies say Joseph Kruchten, 44, tried to break into the house in Springwater. Police say Kruchten was warned by someone in the home to leave the property,.

hat’s [sic] when police say Kruchten broke a window, then was shot by his estranged wife’s son, Shane Quick.

Kruchten was taken to Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

No word on any charges

October 30, 2005

Youngstown, Ohio

From Youngstown’s The Vindicator of October 30, 2005

Man shoots apparent attacker

An elderly man shot a man who jumped him from behind as he was entering his house on the South Side, police report.

The suspect is in critical condition at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Walter Swita, 83, told police he was entering his house at about 10:30 p.m. Friday after having parked his car across the street from the residence at 3003 South Ave.

He told police he has been parking across the street instead of around the back of his house since he was assaulted and robbed six weeks ago, the report said. He also told police he had been carrying a gun since that time.

The report said that as he unlocked his door and went in, the suspect grabbed him from behind. As Swita was falling to the floor, he took his gun from his pocket and shot his attacker once in the chest and once in the head, the report said.

A witness reported hearing two shots and seeing two men running across South Avenue to East Philadelphia.

When police got to Swita’s house, they found him next to the phone where he’d called 911, and his attacker was lying on the floor in a pool of blood, the report said. Swita had a bump and a gash on his head and was taken to Beeghly Medical Center, where he was treated.

The 44-year-old suspect, who listed an East Philadelphia Avenue address, remained in critical condition late Saturday night, the hospital said.

From Youngstown’s of October 31, 2005

Youngstown Man Speaks Following Friday Shooting

An elderly Youngstown man says that his life changed forever Friday night. That’s when he shot and killed an intruder at his South Avenue home.

“As a rule, I don’t carry a gun. I don’t want to shoot anyone,” said Youngstown resident Walter Swita.

But Friday night, that is exactly what Walter Swita did. As the 83 year old Youngstown man tells the story, blood from his alleged attacker still stains the carpet.

“I had a gun since World War II. I carry it only at night. From 8:30 to 10:30, I carry the gun,” Swita said.

Swida had been carrying a weapon and parking at a South Avenue business since he was beaten and robbed in the back yard of his home several weeks ago. As he crossed the street Friday night, the gun was ready.

“So I am walking and I see a guy hanging down there on the sidewalk and he starts moving fast,” Swita recalled. “I got one foot in the door and he shot up on my porch and grabbed me around the neck and I so I shot him.”

The man who fell to his carpet was 44 year old Benjamin Brooks, who lived a few blocks away. He did not survive.

For Swita, who has been here since his parents bought the house in the 1920’s, the incident is life-changing. The World War II vet, who loved bowling and taking his sister to bingo, says he never felt he had to protect himself until now.

“You have to do what you have to do, you know,” Swita said.

But when leaving home is the next thing to do, he says that is not so easily done.

“When you are set in your ways, it is hard to move,” added Swita.

Youngstown’s prosecutor Dionne Almasy says that she will not press charges against Swita. However, the county prosecutor still has the option.

October 29, 2005

Odessa, Texas

From the October 20, 2005 Odessa American:

Police have arrested two suspects in Tuesday’s failed robbery attempt at Gun Sport Ltd.

According to an OPD news release, two men entered the store Tuesday afternoon, and one pepper sprayed an employee.

The employee, whose name was being withheld, managed to keep one of the men from leaving the store by holding a gun on him, according to Sgt. Bob Forbus.

The other man reportedly fled on foot.

On Tuesday, police arrested Jameyl Loud Webb, 19, 2617 San Andres Drive, inside the store and charged him with robbery.

The owner of Gun Sport Ltd., Jon Thomas, said he was surprised and pleased at how quickly police arrested suspects in the robbery, but that he felt sorry for them.

“Here’s a young guy, doesn’t look stupid, but he may spend the next 10 years making little rocks out of big ones,” he said.

Thomas said the robbery was the first time in 30 years of owning gun shops that one of his was held up.

“Gun shops, by and large, aren’t targets because we have guns,” he said. “It’s like someone trying to rob a snake farm.”

October 29, 2005

Shreveport, Louisiana

From the October 26, 2005 Shreveport Times:

A 24-year-old Shreveport man is recovering at a local hospital after he was shot in his left side after an argument with his girlfriend’s father Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Terrance Smith is in fair condition at LSU Hospital in Shreveport, a spokeswoman said today.

Jeffrey Arkansas, 46, turned himself into Shreveport police after the incident. But the ensuing investigation determined this may have been an act of self defense. The case has been handed over to the Caddo District Attorney’s office to see if any charges will be filed.

October 29, 2005

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

From of October 29, 2005

Man shot to death after altercation in Lancaster Twp.

Police continue to investigate killing of 42-year-old man, who allegedly had assaulted 55-year-old man who shot him.

Reeling from a vicious beating, a 55-year-old man pulled out a handgun and fired two shots at his alleged assailant Friday night in the Sterling Place housing complex in southwest Lancaster Township, city police said.

One of the bullets struck the alleged assailant, a 42-year-old man, in the left side of the abdomen, and the wound was fatal.

Paramedics transported the shooting victim to Lancaster General Hospital, where he died shortly after arriving, Capt. of Detectives John Flemming said.

The 55-year-old man also was taken to General Hospital for treatment of head and facial injuries from the beating. He was treated and released and then interviewed by police. No charges were filed, and the man was released by police pending further investigation and consultation with the Lancaster County coroner and district attorney.

“At this point, we believe that this person does not pose a danger to the community,’’ Flemming said.

The 55-year-old was struck around the face and head, and the blows caused cuts and other injuries. After being struck, the beating victim pulled out a pistol — for which he had a permit — and fired two shots, Flemming said.

From Lancaster‘s of October 30, 2005

Lancaster Police Consider Self-Defense In Fatal Shooting

A fatal shooting in Lancaster Township may have been an act of self-defense, police said Saturday.

Raymond Leary, 42, of Lake Street, Lancaster Township, was shot and killed after getting into an argument with another man in the 600 block of Sterling Place at about 8 p.m. Friday, police said.

The shooter was being beaten by Leary when the shooting happened, police said.

Police are not releasing the shooter’s name, but said that as of Sunday morning, the person was not facing charges.

From of November 5, 2005

DA: Lancaster Twp. shooting was self-defense

Love triangle slaying was justifiable use of force

Investigators have determined a 55-year-old man acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a man during a fight, Lancaster County District Attorney Donald Totaro said Friday.

The Oct. 28 shooting inside a Lancaster Township apartment ended an affair Raymond Anthony Leary, 42, was having with Robert Wright’s wife.

Totaro issued the ruling after spending the past week reviewing statements from witnesses and medical and autopsy reports.

“Despite this decision, it should be clear that the use of deadly force is only justifiable under very limited circumstances, as a last resort,” Totaro said in a statement.

A love triangle between Leary, Wright and Guilene Wright, 45, led to the brawl.

Leary struck Wright in the head with a liquor bottle and punched him in the face several times. In the brawl, Wright also lost a tooth and required five staples to close a gash on his head.

Wright shot Leary once in the abdomen with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. He had a permit to carry the gun and wore it in a hip holster.

Guilene Wright obtained a protection from abuse order against Leary in March but continued to see him. Leary had previously punched her in the face and stole her vehicle.

Leary had been in and out of prison for the last five years on drug, theft and assault charges. He was paroled Oct. 16 from Lancaster County Prison.

(Much more detail about the altercation)

October 28, 2005

Fort Smith, Arkansas

From Fort Smith‘s of October 27, 2005

Police Investigate Attempted Home Invasion

Shots rang out in a Fort Smith neighborhood Thursday, part of what police now say was an attempted home invasion.

According to police, a man who just got out of jail tried to get back into a home where he once lived. About 1 p.m. Thursday, police said Marvin Wilson, 42, showed up at a home on the corner of 46th and Kinkead.

Wilson’s brother and another woman who lived inside would not let him in the home. That’s when, police said, he got angry, which caused Alonzo Wilson — Marvin’s brother — to use force to keep him out.

Officials said they believe he fired one shot at Marvin Wilson, who was not hit. Marvin Wilson reportedly took off in his car but did not get far.

Police said he caused an accident at Towson and Dodson.

According to officials, he fled the scene of that accident and was stopped at North O and arrested.

“He was involved in a hit and run at Towson and Dodson, so he’ll be looking at charges there,” said Fort Smith police spokesman Jarrard Copeland. “I believe his drivers license may be suspended, so he’ll be looking at additional charges for that. So it’s probably a whole list of things he’s looking at.”

Police said they believe Wilson might have been under the influence of alcohol at the time as well. Plus, he is a convicted felon who should not have been in possession of a firearm.

October 27, 2005

Saline Township, Michigan

From the Ann Arbor News of October 25, 2005

Sentencing upsets victimized couple

Home invader gets 7 to 20 years in prison

Amilee Sharp wasn’t going to answer the door.

After hearing a rapid succession of doorbell rings and with a previous burglary in the back of her mind, she wasn’t going to greet unexpected visitors to her Saline Township home while her husband was out.

But she didn’t have that choice.

Within a minute, she heard the door being kicked down and the mother of two did what came instinctively – she called 911 and grabbed the family pistol.

Randy Fraley, the man she confronted in the kitchen, bolted out of the house with his arms in the air, yelling for her not to shoot, police reports said.

Determined to stop him without inflicting a mortal wound, Sharp fired into the getaway car where his female accomplice awaited. Four of the nine shots pierced the vehicle, leaving it disabled a few blocks away on Braun Road.

Fraley and his girlfriend jumped from the vehicle unharmed, but left a trail that investigators with the Michigan State Police, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department and the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team followed. That was in January.

On Monday, Sharp and her husband, Michael, watched with some relief but largely in frustration as Fraley, 36, was sentenced to 7 to 20 years in prison. He pleaded guilty earlier to first-degree home invasion and conspiracy to commit home invasion in two separate Washtenaw County cases.

They were frustrated, in part, because it was at least the sixth prison sentence that Fraley, an admitted crack addict, has received since 1989 for property crimes, state prison records show. He was last paroled in March 2004.

They’re also upset because they don’t believe his plea agreement and prison sentence will likely end a cycle of crime and punishment that could involve them again.

(More about this felon’s history)