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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Facebook

Man in Facebook robbery gets 15 years

A 23-year-old man who robbed a boy lured to Spokane through Facebook avoid a life prison sentence recently when a judge approved a plea deal.

David Michael Martinez was sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and third-degree assault. He was arrested in June 2011 for first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and faced life in prison without the possibility of parole under Washington's three-strikes law.

Martinez has previous convictions for attempted second-degree robbery and second-degree assault, which are strike offenses. He also has convictions for attempting to elude police.

His lawyer prepared a mitigation package, and prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges “given the difficult circumstances of defendant's childhood upbringing,” according to court documents.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza approved the 180-month sentence on Thursday, which is exceptionally high for the gun and assault convictions.

Martinez admitted to robbing a Post Falls boy who arranged to meet a girl through Facebook.

The victim said he agreed to meet the girl at Corbin Park with $75, but when he got in her Chevy Tahoe, two men later identified as Martinez and Brendan T. Dalla pointed handguns at him and demanded his money, according to court documents.

Dalla was sentenced in November to four years in prison for second-degree robbery. The girl was charged as an adult, but her charges later were moved to juvenile court.

Prints, Facebook aid in shooting probe

A Montana man charged in connection with a February shooting outside a Spokane Valley tavern thanks in part to evidence on Facebook is back in Spokane. 

Jarrod E. Veilleux, 29, is accused of shooting a man in the stomach as he smoked in an outside area on the east end of the Oasis Tavern, 14913 E. Trent Ave., about 9 p.m. Feb. 24. 

The victim told police he'd been beaten up at the same bar two years ago but had no idea if it was related, according to court documents. He said he was going through a contentious divorce but he had no idea why anyone would want to shoot him.

Detectives identified fingerprints on a pint glass and on a glass whiskey tumbler as belonging to Veilleux and Terrance D. Riley, 33.

The men were on probation in Montana and prohibited from leaving the state. They were jailed in Montana.

Veilleux appeared in Spokane County Superior Court today on charges of first-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault. Riley is charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance.

Veilleux has the word 'Pile' tattooed across the knuckles of one his hands, which matches witness descriptions of the shooter. A sheriff's detective also reviewed the men's Facebook profiles and noted Veilleux with a blue Ford Explorer that matched the vehicle described as fleeing the shooting scene.

The multiple-time felon was convicted of burglary and theft charges in Gallatin County, Mont., in 2003 and sentenced to 20 years in prison with 12 years suspended.

Riley remains in prison in Deer Lodge, Mont.

Facebook photos ID robbery suspects

A woman identified her cousin as her robber's accomplice after seeing photos of the two together on Facebook, according to Spokane police.

The woman was sitting in her living room at 1624 E. Cataldo Ave. with her cousin, Shakayla F. Delcambre, 20, Thursday about 12:45 a.m. when a man holding a red bandanna that covered what she believed to be a handgun entered and demanded money from her, according to court documents.

The man took her wallet from her purse and put her in a choke hold before she broke free and he ran out the front door, police say.

The woman realized Delcambre knew her attacker when he saw photos of her with him on Facebook, police say. The woman noted to police that Delcambre had borrowed her cellphone to make a call prior to the robbery.

Police identified the robber as James J. Williams, 28. Another woman, who said she was assaulted by Delcambre, told police she picked him up after the robbery and he removed a pullover jacket and black body armor while in her van. She allowed police to search her van and her house for evidence.

Police viewed the Facebook photos of Delcambre and Williams, according to court documents.

Williams is in jail on $150,000 bond for first-degree robbery. Delcambre is jailed on $25,000 bond for first-degree robbery and first-degree assault.
  

Pic of cop car gas theft leads to arrest

JENKINS, Ky. (AP) — There it was on Facebook for all to see — Michael Baker with a gas can, a siphon hose stuck into a police cruiser in eastern Kentucky and a middle finger raised.

Among those who saw it were Jenkins police, who arrested 20-year-old Baker on Monday and charged him with theft by unlawful taking.

Baker told WYMT-TV ( http://bit.ly/HUTwfV ) in Hazard there wasn't much fuel in the car to siphon and the stunt on Friday was intended as a joke. Baker's girlfriend took the photo and posted it.

Police didn't laugh. Chief Allen Bormes says that if Baker would steal from police, he'd steal from “just about anybody.”

Authorities say they plan to buy lockable gas caps.

Thief posts Facebook pic of judge’s loot

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in South Florida say a man is facing charges after he was seen in a photo on Facebook holding a judge's stolen nameplate.

Twenty-one-year-old Steven Mulhall was arrested Thursday on violation of probation charges.

Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Mulhall pried the $40 nameplate from the courtroom door of Broward Circuit Judge Michael Orlando. He says Mulhall has multiple petty theft convictions and now faces felony charges.

Arrest reports show the nameplate was stolen last month. Authorities received a tip that Mulhall took the nameplate and that the picture could be found on his girlfriend's Facebook page.

The nameplate will be returned to the judge.

A phone number wasn't available for Mulhall.

Say what! Self-filmed suspect back in jail

This is a screen shot of a video vehicle prowling suspect Nathan Calvert posted on his Facebook page.

A car prowling suspect who escaped from Geiger Corrections Center now faces an additional felony charge.

Nathan John Calvert is to be arraigned next week on a charge of second-degree escape.

He was arrested Feb. 23 in the area of 2900 E. Cleveland Ave. after escaping Geiger on Feb. 11.

 Calvert, 28, already is charged with residential burglary, possession of a stolen firearm and three counts of second-degree theft for a theft spree that included him posting a video of himself with suspect stolen property on his Facebook page.

The alleged spree ended when an attorney caught him in his truck. Spokane Valley police say Calvert told detectives he committed 30 to 40 vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries a night for two to three weeks throughout Spokane County. 

Past coverage:

Dec. 14: Cops: Man's Facebook post is evidence

Hundreds ask Vt. to keep prank police pig

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Remember the pig hidden within the decal on the doors of some Vermont State Police cruisers?

There's now a movement under way to keep it there.

But it turns out there was more wrong with that image than just the white pig hidden as a splotch on the cow, made to resemble one of Vermont's ubiquitous Holsteins. State law requires that the cow in the crest be red — not red and white — as a tribute to the hardy Devon cattle first brought to Vermont by English settlers.

“What I would really like is for the governor to just leave the pigs on the car. That's the bottom line, at no expense to anybody,” said Barre musician Cid Sinclair, who created the Facebook page “Save the Vermont Pigs.” The site has been liked by more than 500 people. Two hundred people have signed an online petition, he said.

“No harm, no foul, take it as an opportunity to have some fun,” Sinclair said. “We live in pretty bleak times and it's pretty rough. We have an opportunity to laugh together as one, as Vermonters.”

The pigs in the 16-inch decal were first noticed last week by a state police trooper who was washing his car. The crest is believed to have been altered by a Vermont prison inmate who made the image several years ago. The pigs, a derogatory term for police, are on about 30 cruisers.

The Department of Corrections said last week that new decals would be made at a cost of $780. But state police spokeswoman Stephanie Dasaro said Thursday that so far none of the offending decals had been removed.

She said officials had been made aware of the state law that requires the cow in the crest to be red but had been told it was OK to use the existing emblem.

“We value our emblem and what it represents for our state and our agency and we want to be in compliance,” Dasaro said.

Facebook unfriending leads to murders

MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A father who was upset after a Tennessee couple deleted his adult daughter as a friend on Facebook has been charged in the shooting deaths of the couple, authorities said Wednesday.

 The victims had complained to police that Marvin's Potter's daughter was harassing them after they deleted her as a friend on the social networking site, Johnson County Sheriff Mike Reece said Wednesday.

Potter, 60, (pictured left) has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder last week's slayings of Billy Payne Jr. and his girlfriend, Billie Jean Hayworth. The couple was shot to death in their Mountain City home in the far northeast corner of the state. Their 8-month-old baby was found unharmed in Hayworth's arms.

“It's a senseless thing,” the sheriff said.

 Authorities have been involved other cases where Potter's daughter, Jenelle Potter, believed she had been slighted by someone.

Marvin Potter's friend, Jamie Curd, has also been charged in the killings. Curd, 38, (pictured right) had romantic feelings for Jenelle Potter, 30, the sheriff said.

Potter and Curd were arraigned Wednesday. Potter asked for time to hire an attorney while Curd was assigned a public defender who did not immediately return a phone message.

Assistant District Attorney General Matthew Roark said Curd's initial bond was raised to $1.5 million while Roark agreed to put off a bond hearing for Potter until next week, when he is expected to have an attorney. Potter remains jailed on his initial $200,000 bond.

The victims lived with Billy Payne Sr., who was the last person to see them alive. He told detectives he saw Hayworth get up to feed the baby before he left for work at about 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 31.

The slayings were discovered about five hours later when a former neighbor stopped by to pick up mail the family would save for him.

The younger Payne was found in his bedroom, and Hayworth was found in the baby's room.

Say what! Filmed theft suspect arraigned

This is a screen shot of a video vehicle prowling suspect Nathan Calvert posted on his Facebook page.

 An alleged car prowler who posted a video of himself with suspected stolen property on his Facebook page pleaded not guilty Tuesday to six felony charges.

Nathan John Calvert, 28, remains in jail on a no-bail state Department of Corrections probation hold after his arraigned before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese on charges of residential burglary, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, vehicle prowling and three counts of second-degree theft.

His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 21.

Calvert was arrested Dec. 9 after an attorney caught him in his truck. Spokane Valley police say Calvert had a stolen Jeep filled with stolen property.

Calvert told detectives he committed 30 to 40 vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries a night for two to three weeks throughout Spokane County, police say.

Detectives expect to use Calvert's Facebook video as evidence. The video shows Calvert in a vehicle he describes as a Jeep. He focuses on stolen property in the back of the vehicle and says he hasn't decided what he's going to do yet. Then he raps.

Check out the video here.

Cops: Man’s Facebook post is evidence

This is a screen shot of a video vehicle prowling suspect Nathan Calvert posted on his Facebook page. View the video here.

Spokane Valley police say a video posted by a car prowling suspect on his Facebook page that features suspected stolen loot will be used as evidence against him.

“It'd be kind of silly for us not to,” said Sgt. John Nowels.

The video, posted two days before his arrest, shows Nathan John Calvert in a vehicle he describes as a Jeep. He focused on a large amount of property in the back and passenger seat and said he hasn’t “really figured out what I’m going to do yet.”

Police believe it's the same stolen Jeep that contained about 100 items of stolen property when Calvert, 28, was arrested Friday after an attorney caught him in his truck and held him until police arrived. Police also suspect Calvert used stolen equipment to film and post the video, which they learned of from The Spokesman-Review.

A woman who identified herself as the mother of Calvert's son commented on the video, criticizing Calvert and accusing him of giving their son a stolen bike.

Nowels said that comment prompted detectives to track the bike to the woman's mother, who said she suspected it was stolen.

“We do have a bike we know got stolen by him that he wouldn't tell us what he did with,” Nowels said. “Turns out it's a totally different bike.”

But detectives haven't found a police report that mentions the bike.

“We can't really go take it until we know it's stolen or not,” Nowels said.

Valley police have posted photos of the unclaimed stolen goods on the department's Facebook page. Calvert told detectives he committed 30 to 40 vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries a night for two to three weeks.

He's in jail on new felony charges and a Washington Department of Corrections probation hold and is due in Superior Court this afternoon on charges of residential burglary, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, vehicle prowling and three counts of second-degree theft.

Jail employees have not responded to a request to interview Calvert.

Thompson supporters express outrage

Snickers candy bars, flowers and 2-liter bottles of Pepsi were left curbside today in front of the Zip Trip on Division at Augusta, where Otto Zehm lost consciousness during a March 2006 confrontation wth Spokane police officers, He died two days later. (SRPhoto/Dan Pelle)

The Spokane Police Department rank-and-file is reeling amidst the conviction and subsequent jailing of Officer Karl Thompson. 

Dozens of officers attended a standing-room only hearing at the federal courthouse today in Spokane, where Thompson was taken into custody after U.S. Magistrate James Hutton ordered his immediate detention. 

As Thompson, now a convicted felon, walked unhandcuffed out of the courtroom with U.S. Marshals, a supporter yelled “PRESENT ARMS!” and officers saluted. Several supporters sobbed. None wished to speak to media. Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Mayor Mary Verner later apologized for the outburst.

Jeffry Finer, attorney for Zehm's family, called the response “really unusual and very sad.”

“I am shocked the the willingness to ignore the fact that 12 jurors from another community found that what Officer Thompson did was a criminal act,” Finer said.

This afternoon, Thompson's lawyer, Carl Oreskovich, filed an emergency motion to get Thompson out of jail.

Administrators of the “We Support Karl Thompson” Facebook page have been busy scrubbing critical comments from the page while expressing their support for a man who is a mentor to many in the department.

Thompson, who was drafted by his coworkers to be police chief in January 2006, worked patrol for more than three years after the fatal March 2006 confrontation with Otto Zehm. After he was indicted by a grand jury in October 2009, he was given an administrative desk job that includes working with training bulletins and worked up until his trial began. 

He's now in federal custody, but not in Spokane County, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich confirmed. Prosecutors are said to be seeking an 8- to 10-year prison sentence.(Thompson is pictured outside his trial in Yakima earlier this month.)

Supporters of Thompson have taken to Facebook to express their outrage.

The page's creator, Spokane police Sgt. Kevin King, wrote that he was “stunned, angered and sickened by this week's events.

“I am struggling with how to go to work tonight. People are so naive about what police officers really have to encounter every day on the job,” King wrote. “The ironic part is that we put our lives at risk day in and day out so others can go about their normal lives with this naivety.”

King said he's suffered broken bones, two surgeries and scarring all over his body while a police officer.

“I’ve lost track how many times the thought ”this is it’” went through my head,” he wrote.

“Karl is a better cop and a better man than me. If this can happen to him, then it can happen to me. I’ve always felt supported by our community. I no longer feel that,” King continued. “I’ll be at work tonight with my brothers and sisters. We will support each other while we are threatened, spit upon, assaulted, and put our lives on the line- for you. My heart is with you, Karl.”

A reader emailed The Spokesman-Review to express concern that her comment saying “that a probably good cop crossed the line and became Judge, Jury and Executioner” on the page had been removed.

Supporters say the page is not intended to be a forum to debate the case, only to show Thompson support.

The page has jumped from about 500 supporters to nearly 600 in less than a day. When it had 525 fans, a critic posted a since-deleted comment that read “525 Fascists “LIKE” this! What ever.”

Past coverage:

Oct. 17: Police use '505' to support Thompson

Police use ‘505’ to support Thompson

As the excessive force trial of Officer Karl Thompson enters its second week, many Spokane police officers have made his badge number their personal Facebook profile pictures as a show of support.

Thompson is a mentor to many in the department and was drafted to run for police chief before Anne Kirkpatrick was appointed in 2006.

His indictment on federal charges of lying to investigators and violating Otto Zehm's civil rights during the 2006 confrontation that led to Zehm's death has drawn the ire of many in the department, who have joined a Facebook group that says Thompson is “a media scapegoat, wrongly accused, and wrongly charged.”

Several Spokane police employees are expected to be called as witnesses for the prosecution, including use-of-force expert Rob Boothe, who is a member of the support group.

The long-anticipated trial, coupled with pending leadership changes, prompted police to address the expected tough times in the recent department newsletter.

Past coverage:

Oct. 15: Eye witnesses dispute Thompson's account of Zehm encounter

Oct. 13: Officer Moses may plead 5th in Thompson trial

Oct. 13: Oreskovich calls Thompson prosecution 'vicious'

Facebook asked to disable inmate pages

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington prison officials have asked social media giant Facebook to disable inmate accounts.

Department spokesman Chad Lewis says inmates are not allowed to have Internet access. He says Facebook accounts are sometimes set up by relatives or by inmates with contraband cell phones.

Lewis tells Northwest News Network that so far the communications have mostly been with friends and family and not for criminal activity. But the department is asking Facebook for the same deal the company recently struck with California prisons, where some sinister activity had been alleged.

California officials say they found an inmate who used social media to track down his victim.

Girl in Facebook attack charged as adult

A 17-year-old girl who police believe lured a boy to a robbery after meeting him on Facebook will be charged as an adult.

Abigail R. Murphy is to appear in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon on a first-degree robbery charge, though she continues to be housed in juvenile detention. The Spokesman-Review does not name juvenile unless they are charged as adults with serious crimes.

The victim said he'd arranged to meet Murphy at Corbin Park Saturday at 11 p.m. with $75, but when he got in her Chevy Tahoe, two men later identified as David M. Martinez, 22, and Brendan T. Dalla, 20, pointed handguns at him and demanded his money, according to court documents.

Martinez and Dalla are in jail on $75,000 bond for first-degree robbery. Spokane police officers stopped the suspects at North Monroe Street and West Boone Avenue about 15 minutes later and located two handguns in the car, as well as a the victim's iPhone. One of the guns had been reported stolen, police said.

“The investigation, arrests, and recovery of evidence was a success due to the cooperative efforts of all units involved,” according to a news release by the Spokane Police Department. “The incident is also a good reminder to parents and guardians to monitor their children’s Internet communications.”

Facebook arrangement leads to robbery

A Post Falls man who was to bring $75 to a meeting in a Spokane park with a girl he met on Facebook was instead robbed at gunpoint by two men, police say.

The victim said he'd arranged to meet the 17-year-old girl at Corbin Park Saturday at 11 p.m.  The reason for the meeting has not been released.

When he got in her Chevy Tahoe, two men later identified as David M. Martinez, 22, and Brendan T. Dalla, 20, pointed handguns at him and demanded his money, according to court documents. One threatened “to shoot him between his shoulder blades” if he looked at anyone in the vehicle. The victim gave the men his wallet and iPhone before being kicked out of the car and calling police.

Spokane police officers stopped the suspects at North Monroe Street and West Boone Avenue and located two handguns in the car, as well as an iPhone.

Martinez and Dalla were booked into Spokane County Jail for first-degree robbery; the girl was booked into juvenile detention.
  

4 bragged online about Texas robbery

HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities say four people were indicted in a Houston bank robbery after bragging about it on Facebook.

Federal prosecutors say two former tellers at the International Bank of Commerce recruited a boyfriend and a brother to steal more than $62,000 on March 23.

Prosecutors say former tellers 18-year-old Estefany Danelia Martinez and 19-year-old Anna Margarita Rivera; Martinez's boyfriend, 19-year-old Ricky Gonzalez; and Rivera's brother, 22-year-old Arturo Solano were indicted Wednesday on charges of bank robbery and embezzlement.

Authorities say an anonymous tip led investigators to Facebook posts. In one Martinez wrote, “IM RICH.” Another post said: “WIPE MY TEETH WITH HUNDEREDS.”

Gonzalez's attorney, Lance Hamm, says his client is “extremely remorseful for what he's accused of doing.”

Attorneys for the others did not immediately return messages Wednesday night.

Find Sirens & Gavels on Facebook

Sirens & Gavels has a Facebook page! Check it out and ‘like’ it today.

A few people said it could serve as daily reminder to visit the blog, so I figured I’d gave it a try. I’ll be posting one or two items a day.

A link is at the top of the right rail.

Thompson supporters rally on Facebook

 The evolution of Facebook over the years, particularly the last six months or so, has been astonishing.

When I learned of the social networking web site in 2004, it was reserved for students at specific universities.

An email address ending an .edu was required, and group pages were reserved for encouraging your least favorite professor to retire or admiring a friend’s mother.

Now, everyone and their mother is on Facebook, and groups have become gathering places for supporters of civic movements, political causes, and even judicial defense.

Case in point, Thomas Clouse’s story today on a Facebook page for supporters of Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson, who faces federal charges for his role in an encounter with Otto Zehm. Read Clouse’s story here.

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