file000474017372Police have arrested a man wanted in the disappearance of a Pulaski County real estate agent.

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s office confirmed that 33-year-old Aaron Michael Lewis was taken into custody on suspicion of kidnapping Crye-Leike Realtor Beverly Carter. Police had issued Lewis’ picture and description to local news agencies, at which point they received a call from someone who claimed to have seen a person matching Lewis’ description at a Subway shop in West Little Rock.

After receiving the tip to Lewis’ whereabouts, Pulaski County officers immediately combed the area and took Lewis into custody without incident. “Little Rock officers pursued him and eventually apprehended him,” said Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay. “We’ll have him as long as we need to determine what we can from him to lead us to locating Mrs. Carter, which is our primary goal,” he added.

Holladay noted that the Lonoke County police department, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas National Guard and several other local agencies were brought in to assist in the search for Beverly Carter.

Police say Lewis was involved in an automobile accident on Sunday. However, he escaped and fled the hospital shortly before the arrest warrant was issued. This led police on a massive manhunt to find Lewis. Thanks to a tip from a bystander, they were able to pinpoint his location and bring him into custody.

It’s unknown what connection Lewis has to Beverly Carter. Police say Carter was scheduled to show a house on Thursday night but never arrived. Investigators have been reluctant to provide information regarding why they believe Lewis may have played a role in Carter’s disappearance. Their current primary objective at this time is to find Carter so they can work to put the puzzle pieces together. Lewis is currently on parole for convictions in Arkansas.

The Little Rock blog Forbidden Hillcrest (FH) published the following statement on its Facebook page:

FH reader Adam Nash tells me that he pulled his car up in front of Razor Vapors (near Grumpy’s in WLR) to find Aaron standing right in front of his car. Adam called the police and followed Aaron who then pulled a knife on him but soon fled again. Adam tells me that police found Aaron hiding in a closet in the office of Pleasant Pointe Apartments.”

fatal-crash-01Prosecutors have filed charges against 16-year-old Jaylynn Rigio of Johnstown, New Jersey in connection with a  June vehicle crash that left three passengers dead. Rigio now faces three Jennilee counts of vehicular homicide, all of which are third-degree felonies, along with a fourth-degree felony count of aggravated vehicular assault and a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.

According to the complaint filed with the Licking County Juvenile Court, Rigio was driving 20 or more miles per hour over the spee limit on Hardscrabble Road on June 26 when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree. The impact killed passengers Michael T. Hoskinson, 17, Linzie Bell, 15, and Cheyenne Spurgeon, 15 instantly.

A toxicology report found “marijuana metabolites” in Rigio’s system at the time of the crash. Later, however, prosecutor Ken Oswald said the concentration of marijuana was too low to merit an official charge, which is why the Licking Country district attorney did not seek a driving under the influence charge.

Jaylynn Rigio was reportedly driving his grandmother’s car at the time of the incident. After picking up four friends, Rigio began speeding down Hardscrabble Road when the car flipped and struck a tree, tearing the vehicle in half. The Highway State Patrol estimate the car was traveling at roughly 80 miles per hour. The impact killed three of the vehicle’s four occupants, with driver Jaylynn Rigio and passenger Aston Cody, 16, survived. Cody was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and has since recovered from his injuries.

The vehicle was split in half as a result of (the) speed with which it collided with the tree,” wrote the complaint. “Based upon conversations with two reputable toxicologists, it is not scientifically acceptable to take the results found here and conclude Mr. Rigio was ‘under the influence’ at the time of the crash.”

If convicted, Rigio faces a maximum sentence in the Department of Youth Services correctional facility until his 21st birthday, at which point he would be released. According to prosecutor Ken Oswalt, the current charges are not enough to bind over to an adult court; therefore, Rigio will be tried as a juvenile.

On a related note. Ohio state law currently prohibits 16-year-old drivers from driving with two or more passengers without a parent present. Rigio was allegedly driving with four passengers at the time of the incident. Prosecutors are not charging him with this crime, however.

lgo_ncaa_miami_hurricanesUniversity of Miami backup quarterback Kevin Olsen was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. According to public jail records, Olsen was charged with DUI and taken to a Miami-Dade correctional facility at 4:11 a.m. Monday morning. Records also indicate Olsen had a stolen driver’s license in his possession at the time of his arrest.

Kevin Olsen is the brother of the Carolina Panthers’ tight end Greg Olsen. Kevin has done well in the backup QB position, but college sports analysts believe these recent charges could significantly hinder his growth. Olsen was suspended for the season opener after failing a drug test, which subsequently led to Brad Kaaya taking the role as QB. Kaaya has led the Miami Hurricanes to a 2-1 record thus far in the 2014 season.

The Miami Hurricanes have suspended Kevin Olsen indefinitely from games, practices and all associated team activities following this incident. It’s unknown at this time if Olsen will appeal the team’s decision.

We still don’t know the complete details regarding this incident, but Miami University coach Al Golden shared his thoughts on Olsen. Golden says that Olsen has made “a lot of progress” over the summer, and that he’s grown as a log as a person.

Kevin has made a lot of progress this summer,” said UM coach Al Golden. “He really has. He grew a lot as a person, so I’m anxious to see that [Tuesday]. That’s what I want to see, just how much he’s grown. Just being in meetings, I can hear him. He’s more vocal, he’s more confident, understands the system a lot better and has had a lot of opportunities to grow since the spring. It should be about two weeks prior to the first game.

Is he going to be a factor in this race in the next five weeks? I honestly don’t know, and it’s not worth speculating on. Let’s see what Dr. [Lee] Kaplan and his staff say, and we’ll stay on track,” he added.

With a failed drug test, DUI and possession of a stolen driver’s license now looming over Olsen, this may be the end of the line for his football career. Neither Olsen nor his attorney have commented on these allegations.

This isn’t the first time the young backup quarterback has experienced a run-in with the law. In 2013, Olsen was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after failing to report an automobile accident.

1234Justin Ross Harris of Atlanta,  Georgia, was indicted earlier this month on charges of murder after he allegedly left in 22-month-old son Cooper in a car while he went to work.

Harris reportedly told investigators that he forget to drop off his son at daycare before going to work on June 18. Harris took Cooper to a Chick-fil-a for breakfast and proceeded to drive to his nearby place of employment. Getting breakfast at Chick-fil-a was a normal part of Harris’ routine, but he typically drove Ross to the daycare center afterwards. On June 18, Harris did not drop his son off at daycare, and instead proceeded to go to work, leaving Ross trapped in the sweltering-hot car for approximately seven hours. When Harris went back to his car after getting off work, he discovered Cooper was deceased.

An autopsy of 22-month-old Cooper revealed that he died of extreme heat (hyperthermia), and that he was in rigor mortis when he was removed from the vehicle.

Harris is now being charged with eight counts related to the hot-car death of his son Cooper. Prosecutors claim Harris was leading a double life, engaging in “sexting” and other inappropriate acts. According to prosecutors, Harris frequently sent and received explicit texts and nude images to various girls while he was at work. One of the girls was allegedly 17 at the time of the incident, so Harris may face additional charges in connection with this incident.

It was always an accident and when the time comes and we work through the state’s maze of theories at trial, it’s still going to be a terrible, gut-wrenching accident,” said Harris’ defense attorney in a statement to the press.

One of the most critical pieces of evidence in this case, however, is search history data taken from Harris’ computer. Prosecutors say Harris performed searches related to “hot car deaths” before the incident occurred. While this isn’t concrete evidence that merits a conviction, it’s certainly one more tool that prosecutors can use to convince a jury that Harris deliberately planned the deadly incident involving his 22-month-old son.

Prosecutors also note that Harris’ wife may face charges.

I am surprised that the district attorney is still contemplating, after almost three months of reviewing the evidence, whether or not to charge my client, if that is who he was referring to in his press conference,” Mr. Zimmerman said in an email.

steak-knife-chef-5157955-hCelebrity chef Todd English was recently arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

According to police reports, the famous chef was arrested on a county road while driving through Long Island, New York. The Southampton Police Department said an officer observed English’s car swerving and drifting into the oncoming lane, at which point the officer turned on his sirens and proceeded to pull over English. According to Page Six, English refused to take a breathalyzer at the guidance of his lawyer.

Details regarding the alleged DUI incident remain sketchy. Neither the police nor English’s attorney have released an exact count-by-count playbook of the incident. We know that English was arrested and charged with DUI late Sunday night (or early Monday morning, however you look at it), and sources say he refused a breathalyzer. The remaining details remain unknown, however, so we’re left to speculate as to how this play out in the court of law.

The alleged DUI incident occurred at approximately 3:30 AM on Sunday night.

English’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr., stresses that his client was not intoxicated at the time of the incident, and he and his client look forward to “addressing this matter in a court of law.”

We adamantly deny the allegations levied against Mr. English and look forward to addressing this matter in a court of law,” said English’ defense attorney in a statement to the public regarding the allegations of a DUI.

English is a world-renown chef who’s appeared on a number of different cooking shows, including Iron Chef USA, Food Trip with Todd English, and Cooking Under Fire. English also owns over a dozen restaurants, some of which include Beso, Kingfish, Bonfire, Todd English, BlueZoo, Da Campo Osteria, Todd English P.U.B., Fig’s at The Macys at the Gardens Mall, Plaza Food Hall, Figs at 29 Fair, Tuscany, and the Ember Room. English was even listed in Forbe’s top 100 celebrities list.

Up until now, English has kept a relatively low profile — when compared to other celebrities at least. In 2009, his fiance was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly hitting him with a metal watch. The incident resulted in serious but not life-threatening cuts which required stitches. A year later, the judge closed the case on the condition that English’s fiance complete an anger management course.

English posted a $1,500 bail soon after his arrest at Southampton Town Justice Court.

teacher-books-apple-13935071-lAn English teacher at North Dakota’s West Fargo High School is facing five felony counts of Corruption or Solicitation of a Minor related to an alleged incident involving a 17-year-old student.

According to a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors, West Fargo teacher Aaron Knodel allegedly engaged in sexual acts with a former female student, once at his residence, and another inside his car. The alleged incident occurred five years ago, although charges are just now being made.

Knodel was named “Teacher of The Year” for the entire state of North Dakota last September, which is pretty impressive considering there are over 8,000 teachers throughout the state.

We were informed today that a complaint had been filed today in Cass County District Court against Aaron Knodel,” said West Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David Flowers. During a later press conference, Dr. Flowers went on to say that he recommends Knodel be placed on suspension without pay until the case is decided.

But Knodel’s attorney Robert Hoy fired back at the allegations, saying his client is a “husband, father and highly regarded high school teacher.” Hoy also stresses the fact that the allegations against his client involve alleged incidents from five years ago.

I don’t know why such allegations would arise now, but the passage of time makes it much more difficult for Aaron to defend himself,” said Robert Hoy, Knodel’s defense attorney. “So, until we can have an opportunity to present this case to a jury, I ask that prospective jurors keep an open mind and reserve judgment, despite the salacious allegations that have been made.”

Aaron Knodel is a husband, father and highly regarded high school teacher,” Hoy said. “He has been a positive influence in the lives of hundreds of students. As you can imagine, being charged with a crime is a devastating experience, which will impact him and his family forever.”

In addition to teaching English at the West Fargo High School, Knodel also coaches for the debate team and speech class. According to a press release, Knodel served as the lead negotiator for the West Fargo Education Association. He’s a highly esteemed teacher who many people view as one of the county’s leading educators. Perhaps this is why news of Knodel’s charges have created so much controversy and commotion in the otherwise quaint town of West Fargo, North Dakota.

project365-gavel-5541804-lRam Hingorani and Ronald Waugh were charged with felony fraud last year for allegedly nabbing $23.4 million worth of government construction contracts that were meant for disabled war veterans. The case is now going to jury trial, and the two men could face lengthy prison sentences if convicted.

The two men entered not guilty pleas last year for 32 counts of felony fraud and money laundering charges. Prosecutors say the men bid on construction contracts through their company, Midwest Contracting, to the Department of Veterans Affairs in Des Moines, Iowa. Reports suggest that Midwest Contracting won contracts for 45 construction projects that were designed specifically for disabled veterans. In 1999, the U.S. Congress established a goal of making 3% of all government construction projects intended for disabled veterans.

Defense attorneys representing Hingorani and Waugh argue that the Veteran Affairs office was happy with the work conducted by its clients and there was no intent to disrupt, manipulate, or otherwise harm the government in any way, shape or form.

Midwest Contracting was founded by Hingorani and Waugh back in 2007. According to the federal indictment, Waugh submitted a claims form to the VA for hearing loss from his time as a servicemen in the Vietnam War.

The government intends to present evidence that (Midwest Contracting) and (Midwest Paving) have the same executive and employees and shared the same office space. In fact, the evidence will show that Midwest Contracting Inc. had little to no assets, employees or overhead. The sole purpose of [the company] was to secure government contracts that Hingorani, would not otherwise be entitled to,”  said prosecutors.

Defense attorneys, however, responded by saying that this case, at the very worst, is nothing more than a contractual dispute that found its way into a federal courtroom.

“This case is, at the very worst, an ordinary regulatory or contractual dispute that mistakenly found its way into a criminal courtroom. The VA’s verification corroborated the defendants’ well-supported and good-faith belief that [their company] complied with the [disabled veterans] program,” wrote defense attorneys in their clients’ brief.

Unfortunately, cases such as this are becoming all too common. Bogus companies are often created for the sole purpose of winning government contracts, but this case goes one step further by focusing on government contracts for disabled veterans. If claims that the VA were happy with the defendants’ work turns out to be true, however, it will be interesting to see how this case plays out.

fireforestBurning over a quarter of a million square miles, the Rim Fire was one of the largest and most devastating wildfires ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada. It started on August 17, 2013 and burned until October 24, 2014, destroying 11 homes and 101 buildings. Well, authorities recently charged a bow hunter in connection with the Rim Fire.

A federal grand jury indicted 32-year-old Keith Matthew Emerald of Columbia, California for starting the devastating fire. Officials believe Emerald was on a solo bow hunting tip in the Clavey River basin, when he started a fire to cook some food. The ultra dry conditions and high wind gusts created a dangerous scenario, however, stirring the fire while sending burning embers uphill.

The fire quickly grew out of control, placing Emerald in direct danger. Thankfully, a rescue helicopter found the stranded bow hunter and was able to carry him off to safety about an hour after the fire was reported.

During the initial talks with investigators, Emerald said he started the fire on accident by slipping on some rocks which subsequently sparked nearby dry vegetation. In September, however, he changed his story, writing in a confession that he started the fire with some twigs and pine needles. He reported that some of the burning embers from his campfire blew uphill and started the fire.

But the story doesn’t end there. Just weeks later, Emerald said he was coerced into writing the confession. Court documents reveal that he even blamed the fire on marijuana growers in the region, who he said encroached on the national property.

Although no one died as a result of the fire, it destroyed over $127 million worth of property and injured dozens of residents and firefighters.

The Rim Fire was one of the largest in California history and caused tremendous economic and environmental harm. While those harms cannot be undone, today we have brought criminal charges relating to the cause of that fire. I want to commend the Forest Service agents for their diligent and extensive investigation,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner, whose eastern district includes the Sierra.

Emerald is being charged with one felony count of starting a forest fire while a ban is in place, one felony count of lying to  investigators about the incident, and a misdemeanor count of leaving a fire unattended. If convicted, Emerald faces up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Pistol-Revolver-Fire-12810-lDonna Drive of New Haven, Connecticut is normally a quaint part of town with little for residents to talk about. On August 2, however, it was a different story, as police responded to a shooting at the Donna Drive apartment complex.

Around 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 2, a 911 operator received a phone call from a man claiming to have shot someone who was attempting to stab him with a knife. The caller went back to his apartment following the incident to call 911, where he then waited for police to arrive.

When police arrived, they found 23-year-old Leroy Brown laying in the apartment building’s hallway with a gunshot wound to the head. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) professionals placed Brown on a stretcher and transported him to the nearby Yale New Haven Hospital where he remains in critical condition. Brown lives in an apartment complex at Donna Drive with his girlfriend and mother.

The shooter, 71-year-old Anthony Anamasi of 25 Donna Drive, cooperated with police, assisting them in their investigation. Although the investigation is still ongoing, authorities have since charged Anamasi with first-degree assault. Prosecutors may upgrade the charge to manslaughter, however, if Brown’s gunshot wound proves to be fatal. On the other hand, prosecutors may drop the charges altogether if they deem Anamasi fired his weapon in self defense.

The relationship between Anamasi and Brown remains unclear. Charlene Quinn, a long-time neighbor of Anamasi, said the 71-year-old man had always treated him with respect, while watching him being taken into custody.

Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, Connecticut passed a series of gun laws — viewed as being some of the most restrictive in the country. With that said, gun ownership remains legal in Connecticut.

He’s always treated me with respect. We don’t have any more problems than any other neighborhood,” said 25-year-resident Charlene Quinn, who lives in an adjacent apartment complex.

It’s also unclear whether or not Brown was holding a knife at the time of the shooting. According to media reports, Anamasi told 911 operators that he had shot someone who was attempting to attack him with a knife. But police have yet to confirm the presence of a knife at the scene. If Brown did not in fact have knife, it could bolster the prosecution’s case against Anamasi. On the other hand, if he did have a knife, the case could turn in the opposite direction with Anamasi having a sound defense for self-protection.

project365-gavel-5541804-lA joint operation between Lafayette, Indiana police and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) led to the arrest of four doctors whom authorities say took advantage of their patients’ addictions by over-prescribing dangerous drugs, often without performing the proper medical exams beforehand.

Last month, authorities raided four separate medical clinics in the Lafayette area, arresting four doctors as well as seven people whom they believe participated in the drug trafficking operation. According to the police reports, the four doctors arrested in the drug bust operation were illegally prescribing suboxone — a synthetic variant of heroin — in exchange for cash. Patients would walk into the clinic with cash in hand, and walk out with the drugs. Authorities believe the patients at these practices rarely went through the normal examination procedure that’s required by state and federal law for doctors to prescribe controlled drugs.

The four doctors being accused of illegally prescribing drugs are:

  • Dr. Larry Ley, of Noblesville
  • Dr. George Agapios, of Fishers
  • Dr. Ronald Vierk, of Richmond
  • Dr. Luella Bangura, of Lafayette

Each doctor is facing multiple felony counts.

There were no physical or mental exams,” said Maj. Aaron Dietz of the Carmel Police Department. “Patients walked in, paid their cash and walked out with prescriptions.”

Dietz noted that the initial visit to these clinics typically cost patients (or drug addicts) $300. Follow-up refill appointments, however, were slightly cheaper at just $120-$160. It’s unclear how much money these “pill mills” earned during the course of their operation, but similar operations have yielded hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So, how were local law enforcement officers and DEA agents able to uncover these operations? Police say it was a months-long investigation involving the use of undercover agents that ultimately spurred the doctors’ arrest. Undercover agents were able to purchase the suboxone on 27 different occasions throughout the course of the investigation.

Pill mills have become a growing problem not only in Indiana, but throughout the entire country. Doctors open practices with the sole purpose of prescribing pain killers and other addictive drugs to patients who may or may not need them. Rather than weening their patients off these potentially dangerous drugs, they continue to feed their addiction by selling them additional refills. It’s a viscous cycle that has spurred both state and federal law enforcement agencies to crack down on illegal sales of prescription drugs through clinics and medical offices.