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Thursday, 17 April 2014 14:33

Man admits to burning dog in 2013

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A St. Louis man is headed to prison for burning a dog so badly, that the animal had to be put down.

 

Wesley Reid appeared in court Thursday to plead guilty to animal abuse and knowingly burning an animal. In August of 2013 the dog's owner reported the pet missing. That evening, a neighbor called the owner and said they found the animal in a backyard.

 

The Humane Society of Missouri said the dog, who was named Zeus, had third-degree burns on three-quarters of his body. Veterinarians said the injuries were so severe they had to euthanize the dog.

 

Reid was arrested for the crime in October of 2013. 

Published in Local News

   A young Missouri woman who confessed to killing a 9 year old neighbor girl, when she herself was a juvenile, wants a judge to set aside her guilty plea.  Alyssa Bustamante was 15 year old in the 2009 when Elizabeth Olten was killed.  

   The Missouri teen had pleaded guilty in 2012 to second degree murder and given a life sentence with the chance for parole.  A first-degree murder conviction would have meant a mandatory life sentence without parole.

   The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that juveniles can't face mandatory life sentences, so Bustamante wants to change her plea.  She's expected to tell a judge Thursday that she wouldn't have pleaded guilty without the threat of mandatory life imprisonment.  

Published in Local News
   JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — A change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for a man charged with sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials.
   James Everett Dutschke is scheduled for a hearing in U.S. District Court in Oxford on Friday afternoon, according to court documents.
   Dutschke, 42, previously pleaded not guilty and denied sending the letters. He also denied a later charge that, while incarcerated, he tried to recruit someone else to send a ricin-tainted letter.
   Dutschke has been jailed since April on charges of sending ricin-tainted letters to Obama, Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, and a Mississippi judge. The judge was the only one to receive a letter, though she was not harmed. The letters to Obama and Wicker were intercepted.
   Authorities first arrested Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis for allegedly sending the letters, which contained statements that Curtis had often used on his Facebook page, including the line, "I am KC and I approve this message." The letters also contained the phrase "Missing Pieces," the same title as an unpublished book Curtis wrote about his belief that there's a black market for body parts in the United States.
   But charges against Curtis were dropped when the investigation shifted to Dutschke. Curtis says the men have feuded for years.
   Dutschke is accused of trying to frame Curtis, both before and after Dutschke's own arrest. An indictment filed in November alleges that while incarcerated, he tried to recruit someone else to send a ricin-tainted letter.
   According to the indictment, Dutschke wanted the latest letter to say: "It doesn't matter the Fife types have the wrong one. D. had to be sacrificed to show the corruption in the system. I tried to warn you. Ha. K."
   Dutschke is a former martial arts instructor in the north Mississippi town of Tupelo, Elvis Presley's birthplace.
   He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, the production of a biological weapon.
Published in National News

   Three men who admit conspiring with ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon to rig property tax auctions are free as they await sentencing.  

   John Vassen, Scott McLean and Barratt Rochman each pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to violating the Sherman Anti-trust Act.  The three men orchestrated a multi-year "pay-for-play" scam that cheated more than 10,000 property owners out of about $2 million in excessive interest and penalty payments.  

   Bathon had pleaded guilty in February to rigging tax lien auctions between 2005 and 2008 to benefit his political donors.

   U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams set the sentencing hearing for Vassen, McLean and Rochman for Feb. 21.

Published in Local News

The suspect in a fatal carjacking has pleaded guilty to killing an 85-year-old grandmother.

21-year-old DaQuan Barnes will get a 60-year-sentence for the murder instead of life in prison under an agreement with prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Barnes and two accomplices, identified as 39-year-old LaTosha Cunningham and 30-year-old DeMarcus Barnes, waited for Yoko Cullen outside of a Collinsville bingo hall in May of 2011. Barnes force her into the trunk of her car, drove to east St. Louis, and set the vehicle on fire.

Investigators say Cullen was alive as the vehicle burned. 

 

 

 

Published in Local News

   A metro-east teen could spend ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing explosive devices in his home.

   Thomas Lee Stanton is 18 years old. He was a student at O'Fallon Township High School when he was arrested in April. Prosecutors say Stanton pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis Tuesday to unlawfully possessing destructive devices.

   Local, state and federal authorities had searched his Lebanon, Illinois home and found bomb-making equipment. Stanton admitted in court that he had "cricket" bombs made from carbon-dioxide cartridges, two Molotov cocktails and other explosive making materials, including fuses and explosive powder.

   The high school had been put on lockdown during the search.  Portions of the school were also searched.

   Stanton faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he's sentenced on Dec. 13.

 
Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A former suburban St. Louis middle school teacher has pleaded guilty to federal charges for secretly videotaping boys as they undressed in a camp shower.

Sentencing is Oct. 4 for 39-year-old Matthew Hansen of Winfield. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight counts of attempted production of child pornography.

Hansen also faces state charges for possession of child porn.

He was arrested in Iowa after threatening to jump off a cellular tower,

Hansen was a math teacher at West Middle School in the Fort Zumwalt School District of St. Charles County. He also worked at a camp for fifth-graders.

Following his arrest last year, school officials told parents that investigators had found evidence that Hansen videotaped at least 80 boys while they undressed at a camp in Lincoln County.

 

Published in Local News

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