Articles Posted in Murder

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According to a recent Fox News report, Aaron Alexis has been identified as the alleged Washington Navy Yard shooter. This is a developing story as law enforcement continues its investigation at the active crime scene in Washington, DC.Aaron Alexis picture.jpg Photo Credit: Fox News, FBI, AP
From a legal standpoint, there are a number of very crucial unanswered questions. For instance, is Aaron Alexis the dead shooter? Was he a member of the military? What was his motive?

Was this terror related, ideologically motivated, or are we talking about disgruntled employees?

If Aaron Alexis or any of the suspected shooters are members of the military, they will fall under the jurisdiction of the military courts. If they are civilians, they will fall under the jurisdiction of U.S. District Court because the murders and shootings took place on Federal property.

One key difference between the two jurisdictions is the use of the death penalty. Despite the recent imposition of a death sentence in the case of Army major Nidal Hasan, the military rarely imposes the death penalty. However, I suspect any case of mass murder, such as this one, would be a very likely candidate.

We will keep you posted as things develop.

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Robert Ruman of Deerfield Beach, Florida was arrested Thursday after he was accused of assaulting and threatening to kill his wife, Judy Ruman, following a dispute regarding their impending divorce, news sources report. Robert Ruman 55, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and attempted murder. A county judge ordered that he be held without bail and have no contact with the victim for the time being. It is unclear whether Mr. Ruman has retained a criminal defense lawyer.

According to reports, the Rumans had recently experienced a falling out and were planning a divorce. The idea of divorce greatly upset Mr. Ruman, sources allege. On Thursday, Judy reportedly claimed Robert had been acting oddly at their home in the 400 block of Southeast Fourth Street in Deerfield Beach before the alleged assault occurred.

Reports say the attack started when Robert beat Judy with his fists. During the alleged assault, Robert purportedly hit Judy in the head with an iron fireplace poker; bit off her right nipple; and cut and bruised her legs, arms, torso, and back. At one point, Ruman threatened to kill her and then himself, sources allege.

The victim was able to escape the home and flee to a neighbor’s house later on that day, reports say. She then reportedly called the police. She was taken to Broward Health North, where she spent two days in the intensive care unit before she was released on Monday, sources say. Reports indicate that her head and face needed sutures and staples and that the attack left her with several permanent deformities.

Police responded to the couple’s home, where officers reportedly came to a standoff with Robert. A Special Weapons And Tactics police was able to place Robert under arrest after an almost three-hour stalemate, sources say. During an investigation, police learned the alleged attack stemmed from Robert’s unwillingness to divorce his wife.
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In a bizarre incident at the Pinellas County Jail in Pinellas, Florida, Scott Alexander Greenberg has been accused of murdering Kelly Damon Harding with toilet paper. According to news reports, both men were inmates at the Pinellas County Jail when Harding was found unconscious in his cell. There is presently no word on how long he had been laying there before being discovered.

Regardless, he was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. At the hospital, an ER doctor found wet toilet paper stuffed in Harding’s throat. Injuries were also found on Harding’s neck that are said to be consistent with strangulation.

The cause of death: asphyxiation.

Based on statements made to other inmates, detectives were able to determine that Scott Greenberg was the likely culprit. Incidentally, Greenberg was in custody awaiting trial on another murder case.

My legal advice? If you find yourself in jail accused of murder, it may be a good idea to refrain from committing other murders.

Greenberg is innocent until proven guilty and so far has only been accused of murder. He has not yet been convicted or found guiltyScott Greenberg (Pinellas, Florida).jpg in either case.

(Photo Credit: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

That said, I suspect that the Pinellas County Jail may be liable to Kelly Harding’s family for premises liability, negligent security, and wrongful death.

Lets think about this for a minute… choking someone to death is an incredibly violent way to commit murder. It is not a quiet way to kill, nor is it one that is executed, no pun intended, without a fight.

How is it that the Pinellas County Jail was supposedly securing these inmates in a jail facility, but did not have the wherewithal to know that a violent fight had broken out between two inmates in their cell?

Are you telling me there was no noise being made? Do you actually believe that Kelly Harding was choked to death and didn’t make a single sound as he was being murdered? He didn’t fight back? There wasn’t a struggle?

The truth is that the jail guards were most likely asleep at the wheel and had no clue what was going on.

Or, they turned and looked the other way.

Besides, how long did Kelly Harding lay in his cell, unconscious, before being discovered? Could he have been saved by a diligent guard?

A review of medical records would prove what Harding’s body temperature was when first encountered by emergency medical responders. This is important because body temperature can be used to extrapolate time of death… especially when a long time has gone by… like hours.

Let me ask you this… do you think Kelly Harding would be dead or alive today if he was a jail guard? I have to believe he would be alive.

As much of a bizarre story this is, the truth is that it is very sad and could have been prevented by a diligent guard doing his/her job.

As a criminal attorney, I have been to jails and prisons all over the State of Florida, both Federal and State, and I can tell you there is no excuse for this kind of thing.

I wonder what Kelly Harding was even in custody for. Why was he housed in the same area as an accused murderer?

If I was a betting man, I would bet that the jail messed up. If this is true, the jail may be held liable in a court of law for damages.

If I was Kelly Harding’s family I would definitely hire a lawyer to investigate this matter and pursue any and all legal remedies that are justified by the evidence.

My condolences go out to Kelly Harding’s family for their loss.

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David Pichosky and Rochelle Wise were found dead in their Hallandale Beach, Florida vacation home Thursday, news sources repot. The cause of their death is still under investigation. Pichosky, 67, and Wise, 72, were vacationing at the South Florida home; their permanent residence is reportedly in Canada. Police were unable to provide any details surrounding the couple’s death, but have said it is not from natural causes or suicide. It is unclear whether they were murdered or if they were victim to another factor, such as carbon monoxide poisoning.

Pichosky and Wise reportedly lived at their vacation home, located within the Venetian Park apartment complex in Hallandale Beach, during the winter months. Sources say the couple had just recently married and has a daughter who lives in New York. It is unclear how long they had been in Florida prior to their deaths or how long they have owned the winter home.

At around 6:00 Thursday evening, officers with the Hallandale Beach Police responded to the Venetian Park apartment complex. The couple failed to show up for a dinner they had planned with two of their neighbors, reports say. When the neighbors went to check on Pichosky and Wise, they found the pair dead inside of their home. “[The neighbors] had a key to the apartment,” a police spokesperson said. “When they went in, they found two persons inside, their friends, deceased.”

Detectives were unable to provide precise details regarding the deaths, but have said it was not from natural causes or suicide. One police spokesperson simply said, “Foul play is suspected.” Investigators remained on the scene Thursday night and were seen leaving the home in biohazard outfits, sources say. Officers seized the couple’s vehicle as part of the investigation and were on the scene Friday asking neighbors if they noticed any suspicious activity leading up to the two deaths. Neighbors expressed their grief and disbelief to the press following the loss. “I live a few doors down and we walked our dogs [together]; we really don’t know what it could be,” one neighbor said.

In other news, police in Indialantic, Florida reportedly shot a man dead after he allegedly ran at them with a knife, reports say. The victim was not identified and later died because of the gunshot wounds. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and the officers involved are currently on administrative leave in compliance with department regulations.
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Jeannette Morris, Harold Anderson, and Joan Hobart of Volusia County, Florida were arrested Tuesday after they allegedly beat a man, then attached him to the back of a truck and dragged him around, news sources indicate. Morris, 61, Anderson, 64, and Hobart, 46, were booked on charges of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit murder. It is not yet known whether the defendants have qualified for bail bond. It is also unclear whether they have hired an attorney.

Reports say the incident began at Morris’s residence, where she lives with her ex-husband Robert Hall. The former couple was having drinks with Anderson and Hobart when Morris, Anderson, and Hobart began to assault 54-year-old Hall. The group purportedly incapacitated the victim using a stun gun and proceeded to punch him repeatedly in the face. They then allegedly bound his hands behind his back and tethered him to the back of a truck by his ankles. According to reports, the group dragged the victim down a road near the home. Afterwards, they allegedly hurled him into the trucks’ bed, sliced off some of his hair, and discussed removing his scalp and burying him, reports say.

Hall was eventually able to break free and seek shelter at a nearby home, sources say. From there, he was able to call police and report the violent attack. When police arrived, Hall was reportedly wearing nothing but his underwear and had rope around his wrists and neck. He was also bleeding from injuries sustained during the alleged attack, sources say. Paramedics took the man to a hospital in Daytona for treatment for a number of injuries, including fractures to his face, internal bleeding in his brain, and a broken pelvis. It is not clear whether Hall had any idea of why his alleged attackers harmed him, nor is it known whether he shared this information with authorities.
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