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In Mexico, self-defense squads battle violence
Jan 22, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 22, 2013 Associated Press

AYUTLA, Mexico — The young man at the roadside checkpoint wept softly behind the red bandanna that masked his face. At his side was a relic revolver, and his feet were shod in the muddy, broken boots of a farmer.

Haltingly, he told how his cousin's body was found in a mass grave with about 40 other victims of a drug gang. Apparently, the cousin had caught a ride with an off-duty soldier and when gunmen stopped the vehicle, they killed everyone on the car.

"There isn't one of us who hasn't felt the pain ... of seeing them take a family member and not being able to ever get them back," said the young civilian self-defense patrol member, who identified himself as "just another representative of the people of the mountain."

Now he has joined hundreds of other men in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero who have taken up arms to defend their villages against drug gangs, a vigilante movement born of frustration at extortion, killings and kidnappings that local police are unable, or unwilling, to stop.

Vigilantes patrol a dozen or more towns in rural Mexico, the unauthorized but often tolerated edge of a growing movement toward armed citizen self-defense squads across the country.

"The situation Mexico is experiencing, the crime, is what has given the communities the legitimacy to say, 'We will assume the tasks that the government has not been able to fulfill,'" said rights activist Roman Hernandez, whose group Tlachinollan has worked with the community forces.

‘Lies, deceit and cover-up’ in Rilya Wilson murder case, prosecutors say
Jan 22, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 22, 2013 Miami Herald

A Kendall woman smothered foster child Rilya Wilson, disposed of the body and spun a web of “fanciful” tales over years to hide the murder, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.

“Lies, deceit and cover-up,” Miami-Dade prosecutor Joshua Weintraub told jurors during closing arguments in the trial of caretaker Geralyn Graham.

The arguments come more than a decade after Rilya disappeared, a case that rocked the Florida Department of Children and Families, which did notice the girl was missing for 18 months. Authorities have never found Rilya’s body.

Graham, 67, is charged with aggravated child abuse, kidnapping and first-degree murder. Testimony in her trial began Nov. 26. She faces life in prison if convicted.

A grand jury indicted Graham in 2005 after a jailhouse witness, Robin Lunceford, told police that the woman tearfully confessed to smothering the child with a pillow and burying the body near water in South Miami-Dade.

Attempted murder charge added in face slashing case
Jan 22, 2013, - 0 Comments

The man accused of slashing the face of a woman during a robbery last November in South Philadelphia is now facing attempted murder charges.

A court hearing was held Tuesday morning for the suspect, 30-year-old Cory Harley of the 600 block of South Street.

In addition to aggravated assault, robbery, theft and possession of an instrument of crime, prosecutors added attempted murder charges to the case this morning.

The victim, 23-year-old Ashley Hackett, testified against Harley at this morning's hearing.

In the end, the judge ordered Harley to be held for trial on all charges.

The robbery happened at 4:05 a.m. back on November 11th along the 700 block of South 9th Street.

Police say Harley approached Hackett from behind and struck her in the face with a knife, causing a large cut.

Harley then grabbed Hackett's purse and fled north on 9th Street, then east on Fitzwater Street.

The purse was later found in a small alley at 800 Kenilworth Street.

Investigators released surveillance video of the suspect after the attack.

Vegas Officer, Wife and Son Dead in Murder-Suicide
Jan 21, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 21, 2013 Associated Press

A Las Vegas police lieutenant, his wife and son are dead after an apparent double murder, suicide and arson at their home in Boulder City, authorities said Monday.

Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie and other officials didn't immediately identify the police officer or the family members, pending positive identification and the release of names by the Clark County coroner.

"There was an incident today involving one if Metro's lieutenants," a somber Gillespie said in a 2 1/2-minute statement to reporters at a hastily called news conference. "Several bodies were discovered."

Coroner Michael Murphy said after investigators left the fire-charred home Monday afternoon that identifications would probably be made Tuesday.

Five shot dead in Albuquerque, teen charged
Jan 20, 2013, - 1 Comment

Jan. 20, 2013 Reuters

SANTA FE, New Mexico - A teenage boy with several weapons including an assault rifle shot and killed five people, three of them children, at a house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, authorities said on Sunday.

The boy, whose exact age had yet to be determined, was arrested and charged with the killings which took place late Saturday night, said Aaron Williamson, a Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department deputy.

"The victims all had multiple gunshot wounds, and there appeared to be multiple weapons, including an assault type weapon," Williamson said.

The children appeared to be "elementary- to middle-school age," Williamson said. The boy was charged with two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death, he said.

He said it had not been determined whether the weapons were from inside the house or brought from somewhere else.

It also was not yet clear whether the five people killed were related or what the relationship was between the teen and the victims.

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