In brief: Drunken shore leave brings dismissals
San Diego – The commander and top officers of a San Diego-based Navy frigate have been relieved of duty after a rowdy, booze-fueled port visit to Vladivostok, Russia.
Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak, skipper of the USS Vandegrift, was removed Friday by Capt. John L. Schultz after an investigation “due to loss of confidence after demonstrating poor leadership and failure to ensure the proper conduct of his wardroom officers” during the three-day September stop, the Navy said in a statement.
Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Ivan A. Jimenez and the ship’s chief engineer and operations officer were also relieved “for personal conduct involving use of alcohol and not adhering to established liberty policies,” the statement said.
The officers were relieved during a port visit in Guam, and they’ll be temporarily reassigned in San Diego pending more possible administrative actions.
Police charge nanny with two murders
New York – A nanny who police say stabbed to death two children in her care before trying to kill herself was charged Saturday with murder.
Yoselyn Ortega had recovered from her wounds enough by Saturday to be interviewed by police in her hospital bed at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. After the interview, she was formally charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree murder.
Police say that on the evening of Oct. 25, while the children’s mother was out with a third child, Ortega repeatedly stabbed 6-year-old Lucia Krim and her 2-year-old brother, Leo.
When their mother, Marina Krim, returned with her 3-year-old daughter, she found their bodies in the bathtub, with Ortega lying on the bathroom floor with stab wounds to her neck.
The children’s father, CNBC digital media executive Kevin Krim, had been away on a business trip when the killings occurred.
The couple’s apartment building sits in one of the city’s most idyllic neighborhoods, a block from Central Park, near the Museum of Natural History and blocks from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The neighborhood is home to many affluent families, and seeing children accompanied by nannies is an everyday part of life there.
Fingerprint mistake overturns conviction
Elkhart, Ind. – An Indiana woman who spent eight years behind bars for the killing of a blind 94-year-old woman has been freed, after a fingerprint that was prosecutors’ crucial piece of evidence against her was found not to be hers after all.
Lana Canen, 53, was released Friday from the Elkhart County Jail after a judge who overturned her 2005 murder conviction in the Thanksgiving Day 2002 slaying of Helen Sailor ordered her freed.
Canen maintains that she had nothing to do with killing Sailor. At her trial, prosecutors said she conspired with her co-defendant, Andrew Royer, to rob Sailor, and that Royer strangled the woman. Both were convicted and given 55-year prison sentences.
Canen appealed her conviction, and earlier this year, an Arizona fingerprint expert discovered that an Elkhart County sheriff’s detective had misidentified a fingerprint found on a pill bottle in Sailor’s apartment as Canen’s.
Prosecutor Curtis Hill said the fingerprint was a central part of the case against Canen and that without it, he couldn’t prove she was involved.