Jury Recommends Death Sentence For ‘Hollywood Ripper’

Jury recommends death sentence for 'Hollywood Ripper'
In this file photo taken on May 2, 2019 photos of the deceased are displayed in court during opening statements in Los Angeles, California, in the trial of Michael Gargiulo (screen R).  Al SEIB / POOL / AFP

 

A jury in California recommended the death sentence on Friday for a man dubbed the “Hollywood Ripper” who was earlier found guilty in the gruesome killings of two women at their homes.

Michael Gargiulo, 43, was convicted in August on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder by a Los Angeles jury.

A judge is set to sentence Gargiulo, also described as the “boy next door killer,” on February 28.

Among his victims was 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin, who was found in her Hollywood home with 47 stab wounds in February 2001. On the night of her murder, Ellerin had been due to go on a date with actor Ashton Kutcher, who testified at the trial.

The second murder victim was Maria Bruno, a 32-year-old mother of four and neighbor of Gargiulo who was attacked in her sleep in December 2005 and “quite literally butchered,” prosecutors said.

Those who testified at the trial included Gargiulo’s teenage son, who pleaded with the jury to spare his dad’s life, and Michelle Murphy. She was stabbed eight times in her home by Gargiulo in April 2008 but survived.

Murphy said she woke up on that fateful night to find a man straddling her while he stabbed her in the arms and chest. She managed to fight him off and as he fled from the apartment he yelled “I’m sorry,” she testified.

In this file photo taken on August 6, 2019, Michael Gargiulo listens during closing statements in his capital murder trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. Lucy Nicholson / POOL / AFP

 

Prosecutors during the trial described Gargiulo, an air-conditioning repairman, as a ruthless killer who targeted women who lived near him and waited for the perfect opportunity to attack them at night in or near their homes in “totally planned killings.”

“Two and a Half Men” actor Kutcher told jurors he had gone to Ellerin’s home in Hollywood to pick her up for a date on the night she was murdered, but had arrived late and nobody had answered the door.

He said he had looked through a window and seen what he thought was red wine spilled on the floor before leaving, assuming she had already gone out.

Kutcher said he and Ellerin, a fashion design student, were acquaintances.

Gargiulo was arrested following the attack on Murphy in 2008 in her Santa Monica apartment.

His defense team has argued that he should not get the death sentence, describing their client as a mentally ill man who suffered abuse while growing up.

When his trial in Los Angeles ends, Gargiulo is set to be transferred to Illinois where he is facing charges for the 1993 murder of Tricia Pacaccio, 18, who was killed in front of her home after an evening out with friends.

Gargiulo at the time lived near Pacaccio’s home in the Chicago area and was friends with her brother. Years after the murder, when Gargiulo was already living in Los Angeles, his DNA was matched to the crime scene thanks to improved testing methods.

AFP

 

Man Sentenced To Death By Hanging Over Murder Of MTN Staff

Nigerian To Be Executed In Singapore, Clemency Appeal Rejected
File photo

 

After more than three years of legal battle, the Kwara State High Court, has sentenced Ogundele David, to death by hanging over the killing of a staff of MTN Telecommunications, Abiola Tosin Ashinwo.

In a judgment given by the trial judge, Justice Adebayo Yusuf, Ogundele was convicted on two counts.

In the first count, he was convicted of committing an illegal act of stabbing Ashinwo with the intention of causing her death, thereby being guilty of culpable homicide which according to the judge, is punishable with death under Section 229 of the Penal Code Law.

He was also convicted for committing culpable homicide for causing the death of Ashinwo by stabbing her with a knife and thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law.

The prosecutor, Abdulmumini Adebimpe Jimoh, had called four witnesses before the court; Inspector Yusuf Daudu, CPL Bunmi Adegboye, Abiola Ashinwo and ASP Gbadebo Adeyemi, as proof.

He also tendered some exhibits which included a Toyota Camry, a knife, a pair of rubber slippers, photographs of the deceased, a statement of the convict, among others.

Thereafter, the judge held that Jimoh was able to prove the case of culpable homicide against Ogundele.

Consequently, he ruled that for the first offence, he is to serve a 25-year jail term while he would be sentenced to death by hanging for the second charge.

Man Arrested For Beating His Wife To Death

Alleged $3.5m Fraud: Nine Nigerians Arrested In U.S.

A 28-year-old man, Kazeem Yusuf, has been arrested by operatives of Ogun State Police Command for allegedly beating his 26-year-old wife to death.

According to a press statement by the police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the suspect earlier on September 23 reported to a police station that his wife collapsed while going to fetch water and gave up the ghost.

READ ALSO: Six Illegal Migrants Arrested In Ogun

“Upon his report, Divisional Police Officer, Enugada division Superintendent of police, Baba Hamzat detailed his detectives to the scene, but on close observation of the corpse, the detectives noticed marks of violence on it which aroused their suspicion that the victim might not have died of natural cause.

“While the detectives were searching for more evidence, the suspect sneaked out and took to his heels. The corpse was subsequently taken to General hospital Ijaiye mortuary while a massive manhunt was launched for the fleeing killer husband,” the statement read in part.

Yusuf was finally arrested on October 14, 2019, at his hideout in Itori.

The police added that he has since made a confessional statement that he beat up his wife over a disagreement and she collapsed in the process and died.

The deceased has been buried by her relations according to Islamic rite.

Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, has ordered the transfer of the suspect to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution.

Police Parade Suspected Killer Of Female Naval Officer In Kaduna

 

The police in Kaduna State have paraded the suspected killer of a female Naval officer at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Commander Oluwayemisi Ogundana.

Until her death, Ogundana was the commandant of Command Secondary School of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College.

The state Commissioner of Police, Ali Janga paraded the prime suspect, Simon Bernard along with 44 other suspects on Wednesday.

The suspect who confessed to the crime said he single-handedly killed the Naval officer after gaining access into her house located at the Jaji Military Cantonment in September.

He also admitted to using an iron rod to hit her head from behind, after sneaking into her house.

According to him, he killed her because she was allegedly fond of cheating the staff under her.

Read Also: Female Naval Officer Reportedly Murdered in Jaji, Kaduna State

The suspect went further to explain how he dismembered her body and later packed it into two bags, dropped them in the officer’s SUV jeep and drove off to where he dumped the two bags into a shallow well.

Among the others who were arrested and paraded were suspected abductors of three students of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a member of the state House of Assembly, Suleiman Dabo.

The CP told reporters that the suspects were arrested at different locations during several operations carried out by men of the command and the IGP Rapid Response Team.

He further explained that the some of the suspects confessed to being responsible for the killing of three Operatives of the IGP Intelligent Response Team (IRT) in 2018 and recent Kidnapping of an Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Algarkawi among other crimes.

Items recovered included 20 Ak-47 rifles, one Type O6 assault rifle, three Beretta pistols, three locally made pistols, 135 live ammunitions and four stolen vehicles.

Woman Gets Life Sentence For Murder Of Lover’s Eight-Year-Old Son

 

A Dominican woman was sentenced Monday to life in prison in Spain for murdering the eight-year-old son of her Spanish partner in a case that shocked the country.

A jury in Almeria in southern Spain last month found Ana Julia Quezada guilty of killing the boy, who was the son of her then partner Angel Cruz.  A court on Monday handed down a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, the stiffest possible jail term under Spanish law.

Gabriel Cruz disappeared on February 27, 2018, after visiting his grandmother in Las Hortichuelas, a village near the coast 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Almeria.

His disappearance triggered a massive search involving hundreds of volunteers which lasted nearly two weeks.

But on March 11, the police discovered the boy’s body in the boot of a car belonging to Quezada, who had been seen taking part in the search, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with his face and speaking to reporters in tears.

He had been asphyxied, according to the court.

Investigators began to suspect Quezada after she found a shirt belonging to the boy near the village in an area which police had searched twice.

The case received nationwide attention after a missing person’s alert went viral. An image of a blue fish — inspired by Gabriel’s love of the sea — was shared on social media with the hashtag #TodosSomosGabriel, meaning “we are all Gabriel”.

During the trial Quezada said she had accidentally killed the boy when she covered his mouth in an attempt to silence him.

The court also ordered her to pay 250,000 euros ($273,000) each to the boy’s mother and father for “psychological damages”, as well as 200,203 euros to the Spanish state to cover the costs of the search for the child.

“Psychopaths should be locked away, far from society, so they can’t hurt anyone,” the boy’s father told reporters last month after the jury found her guilty.

AFP

Khashoggi Murder: UN Expert Blasts Saudi Prince Over Defence

Turkey Widens Khashoggi Search, Quizzes Consulate Staff
In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, general manager of Alarab TV, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFPj

 

A UN rights expert on Monday criticised Saudi Arabia’s crown prince for trying to create “distance” between himself and journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s execution, even as he appeared to acknowledge the Saudi state was responsible.

Agnes Callamard, a United Nations special rapporteur who conducted an investigation into Khashoggi’s murder, was reacting to an interview broadcast by US media on Sunday with Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Speaking to CBS’s 60 Minutes, Prince Mohammed denied ordering or having advanced warning of Khashoggi’s killing on October 2 last year at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but said he “took full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia”.

Callamard, whose independent probe found “credible evidence” linking the crown prince to the murder and attempted cover up, dismissed that defence as “problematic”.

“He is only taking corporate responsibility for the crime, which goes without saying,” Callamard told AFP, days ahead of the first anniversary since Khashoggi’s death.

She said the interview appeared to mark a concession by Prince Mohammed that “the killing of Mr. Khashoggi was a state killing,” and therefore a rejection of Riyadh’s previous explanation that responsibility for the brutal murder lay with rogue agents.

But Callamard condemned the prince, known by his initials MBS, for taking “no personal responsibility for the crime”.

“He is creating huge distance between himself and the crime,” by arguing that he cannot be liable for the conduct of all Saudi government employees.

Callamard told AFP that “for the last 12 months, the Saudi state, their various representatives and (MBS) included have been lying to the international community regarding the nature of the crime. So now we are supposed to take his word that, yes, he has a corporate responsibility but he has no personal responsibility?”

“Not good enough,” she said.

The CIA has also reportedly said the killing was likely ordered by Prince Mohammed.

But Saudi prosecutors have absolved the prince and said two dozen people implicated in the murder are in custody, with death penalties sought against five men.

 Justice not ‘easy’ 

Callamard has previously blamed UN “paralysis” for the failure to punish those who murdered Khashoggi — a US resident, Washington Post contributor and critic of the Saudi royal family.

She has called on Secretary General Antonio Guterres to independently launch a UN criminal probe.

The UN chief’s office has said that is impossible without a member state request.

“I have not argued that this will be easy for (Guterres) procedurally or politically to do. What I am arguing is that if he wanted, and if he received sufficient formal or informal backing, he could find the legal backing to move forward,” Callamard said.

AFP

Man Arrested For ‘Killing Partner In Front Of Their Three Children’

 

A French woman was killed by her partner in front of their three children, prosecutors in northern France said, prompting hundreds of protesters to gather nearby calling for an end to deadly domestic violence.

The man, 37, stabbed the 27-year-old woman 14 times during a dispute in the northern port city of Le Havre on Monday,

The couple were in the process of separation, prosecutors said in a statement late Tuesday. Their children, aged six, four and two, looked on as their mother was attacked.

The mother died instantly and the man was quickly arrested. A prosecutor said the stabbing happened in front of a supermarket.

“The accused confessed to what happened and said he acted out of fear that the victim would prevent him from seeing his children,” the statement said.

The death of the woman — named as Johanna — sparked fresh outrage in France, where an increase of murders of women by current or former partners has been identified as a major social problem by the government.

Around 800 people rallied in front of the town hall in Le Havre on Wednesday and 600 marched through the streets, according to police, to protest the killing and demand justice, brandishing slogans such as “break the silence” and “stop the femicides”.

The mother died instantly and the man was quickly arrested. A prosecutor said the stabbing happened in front of a supermarket.

The suspect was charged and was detained on Wednesday and a judicial inquiry has been opened.

The three children were placed in a temporary placement order and under the care of a family member, prosecutor Francois Gosselin said.

Police had already intervened at the couple’s home a week earlier, when the woman said she had escaped through a window after her partner threatened her with a knife.

He was detained at the time but it was decided there was insufficient basis for further action.

According to official statistics, a total of 121 women were killed by their partner or former partner in France last year.

The government of President Emmanuel Macron has embarked on a major consultation on domestic violence to find ways to stop the murders.

The problem has become all the more pressing following a new spate of such killings this year.

According to French associations battling violence against women such as NousToutes and the Fondation des Femmes, 106 women have been killed in such crimes so far this year.

AFP

Woman Arrested For Stabbing Husband To Death Over Daughter’s Birthday Party

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Homicide detectives from Surulere Division in Lagos State have arrested a woman, Stella Peter, for allegedly stabbing her husband, Bala Haruna to death following an argument over their daughter’s one-year birthday.

An argument ensued between them which turned violent and the woman used a kitchen knife to stab the man in the back which led to his death.

The woman, who confessed to the crime, accused the man of refusing to release money for their daughter’s birthday party.

READ ALSO: Court Tries Ex-Soldier Accused Of Killing 14 People After 47 Years

Police Spokesperson, Bala Elkana disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the couple were not actually married but lived together at 2 Tejuosho Avenue, Surulere Lagos, for three years and have a baby who just turned one.

Homicide detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department Yaba have taken over and commenced an investigation into the case and the suspect will be charged to court for murder.

 

Notorious Car Snatchers  Arrested

Meanwhile, detectives from Ilemba Hausa Division have arrested two suspects,  Gidion Amuzie and God’s power Imafidion and recovered one black Honda accord 2007 which they hid at Jemilugba Street, Ilogbo Lagos.

The suspects, according to a statement signed by the police spokesperson, Bala Elkana specialise in snatching vehicles from the owners or stealing the vehicles from where they are parked.

Elkana said the suspects confessed that they stole the vehicle at a car wash in satellite town Lagos.

Investigation is ongoing and the suspects will be charged to Court.

 

Arrest of Armed Robbers and Cop Killers

Also, Divisional Police Officer Igando, Taiwo Kasumu arrested three notorious armed robbery suspects.

The suspects are notorious for terrorising the Igando/Egan residential neighbourhood mostly at night time.

“The men arrived the neighborhood on three motorcycles with intent to rob along Ikotun-Igando road but the attempt was foiled by the police. One Oseni Waheed ‘m’ 32yrs was arrested at the scene with one locally made pistol while the rest escaped.

“He led detectives to Aribisala street in Egan where three of his fleeing accomplices were arrested at about 02:30am of 16/09/2019,” the statement read in part.

The suspects, according to the statement, were also on the wanted list of the State CID Yaba for series of robberies and murders including the alleged murder of a Policeman under Amukoko Division during one of their robbery operations.

Investigation is ongoing and the suspects will be charged to Court.

 

Police Intercept Van Carrying Large Quantity of Cannabis

Police Officers from Area J Command also intercepted a van along Itafaji Street, Lagos Island loaded with twenty bags of Cannabis leaves.

The driver of the van, Usman Adeyemi was arrested while the vehicle was impounded for discreet investigation.

Investigation is also ongoing into the case.

 

Woman Tried For Killing Eight-Year-Old Stepson

FILES) This undated picture obtained from the Twitter account of Guardia Civil shows Spanish boy Gabriel Cruz, who disappeared on Ferbruary 27, 2018 in Las Hortichuelas neighborhood of Nijar, Almeria province.  STRINGER / Twitter account of Guardia Civil / AFP

 

The trial of a Dominican woman accused of murdering her eight-year-old stepson in a case that shocked Spain opened on Monday in the southern city of Almeria.

Gabriel Cruz disappeared on February 27, 2018 after visiting his grandmother in Las Hortichuelas, a  village near the coast 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Almeria.

His disappearance triggered a huge search involving hundreds of volunteers which lasted nearly two weeks.

But on March 11, the police discovered his body in the boot of a car belonging to Ana Julia Quezada, the long-term girlfriend of Angel Cruz, the boy’s father.

READ ALSO: Queen Elizabeth II Approves Brexit Delay Law

His body bore signs of asphyxiation, court documents showed, with a police spokesman saying Quezada had “admitted” to killing him.

Part of the trial will be held behind closed doors at the request of the family.

Quezada arrived at the courthouse in handcuffs. Her lawyers have said it was a case of involuntary manslaughter rather than murder, but prosecutors have called for a life sentence — a minimum of 25 years.

The murder shocked Spain, which has one of the lowest homicide rates in the world.

Before Gabriel’s body was found, his distraught parents had given countless tearful interviews and Quezada was also seen taking part in the search, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with his face and speaking to reporters in tears.

Investigators began to suspect Quezada after she found a shirt belonging to the boy near the village in an area which police had searched twice.

Following the arrest, Almeria police chief Juan Jesus Reina described her as “very cold” and “manipulative”.

AFP

Ramaphosa Vows To Intensify War On Rape, Murder Of Women

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the crowd in Makhanda, Eastern Cape Province on April 27, 2019.       Michele Spatari / AFP

 

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday vowed to tighten laws to fight rape and murder of women as the nation reels from high profile murders in recent days.

In an impromptu address thousands of protesters outside parliament, Ramaphosa admitted that it was time his government took emergency measures to deal with the scourge of rape and murder of women.

At least 137 sexual offences are committed per day, mainly against women, according to official figures.

READ ALSO: South African Consulate, Shops Attacked In DR Congo

Women Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said this week that more than 30 women were killed by their spouses last month alone.

“Enough is enough and we are going to act,” said Ramaphosa, promising to announce later Thursday a raft of new measures his government will take.

“Men that kill and rape must stay in jail for life.

“The law must change that once you have raped and kill you get life, no bail!” Ramaphosa told the angry crowd.

Thousands of women protested for a second consecutive day in Cape Town at rallies prompted by last month’s brutal murders that have triggered outcry and much soul-searching in a country that is seen as one of the world’s most dangerous places for women and often appears numb to murder and sexual violence.

In one case University of Cape Town student, Uyinene “Nene” Mrwetyana, 19, was raped and bludgeoned to death when she went to a post office on August 24.

And on Friday boxing champion Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels, 25, was allegedly shot dead by her partner, who was a police officer.

“Parliament must make a decision on declaring this a state of emergency,” said Ramaphosa, who left the World Economic Forum meeting in Cape Town early to accept a memorandum delivered to parliament by a mass demonstration of mainly women.

“I agree completely that the killing of women must be bought to an end here in South Africa,” he added.

On Wednesday around 500 women demonstrated against South Africa’s “femicide epidemic” in front of Cape Town International Conference Centre, where a three-day World Economic Forum on Africa was opening.

Last year South Africa recorded a 6.9 percent increase in the number of murders countrywide, with an average 57 murders committed each day.

AFP

14-Year-Old Boy Kills Five Family Members

 

A 14-year-old boy shot and killed all five members of his family in the US state of Alabama and then called police and confessed to the crime, local law enforcement said Tuesday.

Three of the victims were found dead at the scene, a house in Elkmont, Alabama, and the other two died later after being airlifted to a regional hospital.

“The 14-year old caller was interviewed and confessed to shooting all five members of his family in the residence,” Limestone County sheriff said on Twitter.

“He is currently assisting investigators in locating the weapon, a 9mm handgun that he said he tossed nearby,” it said.

The shootings occurred late Monday.

The boy in custody was not identified, and there was no immediate word on a possible motive for the murders.

Gun violence is a prevalent feature in American life with more than 36,000 deaths a year — about a third of them homicides — according to statistics compiled by the Giffords Law Center, an advocacy group.

AFP

Waiter Shot Dead For being ‘Too Slow’

Policemen stand in front of the eatery where a waiter was shot dead by a customer allegedly angry at having to wait for a sandwich, in the eastern Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand on August 17, 2019.

 

A customer shot a waiter dead at an eatery on the outskirts of Paris, apparently enraged at being made to wait for a sandwich, a source close to the investigation said on Saturday.

The waiter’s colleagues called police after he was shot in the shoulder with a handgun in the Noisy-le-Grand suburb east of Paris on Friday night, the source said.

Attempts to revive the 28-year-old failed and he died at the scene.

The gunman, who a witness said lost his temper “as his sandwich wasn’t prepared quickly enough”, fled the scene.

Police told AFP a murder investigation has been opened.

With the shooter still on the run on Saturday, shocked residents gathered outside the pizza and sandwich eatery.

“He was killed for a sandwich?” one asked, unbelievingly.

It is sad,” said a 29-year-old woman. “It’s a quiet restaurant, without any problems. It just opened a few months ago.”

But others noted high crime levels in the area, notably drug-dealing and public drunkenness.

AFP