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Police: Poor Review Set Off Nasa Gunman
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/22 19:11

William Phillips, 60, took a revolver to work at the Johnson Space Center on Friday and shot dead fellow employee David Beverly, 62. Phillips bought the gun on the same day last month that he printed off the bad review, police said.

A woman was also held hostage in a four hour ordeal but was only slightly hurt.

Nasa said Phillips, a contract engineer, had been employed for about 12 years, was unmarried, had no children and reportedly lived on his own.

Security review

Nasa officials said Phillips brought the revolver into a building that houses communication systems for the space shuttle. Phillips confronted Beverly, a quality-control engineer, about the review and despite attempts by his victim to calm him, shot him twice. The stand-off took place in the communications Building 44

Phillips left the room briefly but later returned and shot Beverly another two times as he tried to resist, police said.

"The suspect blamed Mr Beverly for being responsible for his negative job-performance situation," Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt said.

Nasa said the woman hostage, Fran Crenshaw, was tied to a chair for hours and succeeded in providing a calming influence, preventing the situation from getting worse. Phillips held her hostage until he shot himself dead.

Nasa says it is undertaking a review of security procedures. It evacuated some employees in the building when the situation occurred while others were ordered to stay in their offices.

The Johnson Space Center contains Nasa's mission control, which oversees the agency's space flights.

Doors to mission control were locked and outlying roads cordoned off.

The stand-off came less than a week after a gunman killed 32 students and teaching staff at Virginia Tech university before killing himself.

There has been a rash of security alerts across the US, which is also marking the eighth anniversary of the Columbine school massacre in which 15 people died.

Ex-Navy chief pleads guilty to attempted rape
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/19 19:10

Naval Base Kitsap's former top enlisted man pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted rape.

Kitsap County prosecutors will recommend a 90-month sentence for Edward E. Scott, 43, and his defense attorney may ask for a sentencing alternative, including treatment. He entered his plea in Kitsap County Superior Court.

Scott was arrested March 16 upon entering a Bremerton motel where an Internet chat had led him to expect he would have sex with 12-year-old twins and their mother, police reports said. The "mother" was an undercover officer.

Scott, who was a Navy command master chief at the time of his arrest, told detectives that he had an addiction to online chat rooms and was getting back at his wife over marital issues.

Virginia Tech Shooter Identified by Police
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/17 15:46

Authorities identify the gunman suspected of killing 32 people at Virginia Tech as 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui, an English major who has lived in the United States since immigrating from South Korea in 1992.  He had a Centreville, Virginia address and was a resident of VT's Harper Hall.

Police recovered two handguns, a nine millimeter and a 22 caliber.  Police say ballistics tests shows that one of the guns found with Cho Seung-Hui was used at the shootings in Ambler Johnston Dormitory and Norris Hall.

Steve Flaherty, with the Virginia State Police said, "The evidence has not led us to say with all certainty that the same shooter was involved" in both places.  However he said did not have evidence that there was another shooter.

Cop killer pleads guilty in assault on prison guard
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/17 13:47

A convicted cop killer had choices Monday when it came to charges against him in connection with an assault on a Bucks County Prison corrections officer. He could have asked for a jury trial or pleaded guilty, but mentally ill. And he could have asked for a pre-sentencing investigation. Instead, and against his attorney's advice, Robert Flor, formerly of Bedminster, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and related charges for a brutal, unprovoked attack on corrections Officer Edward Miles and asked to be sentenced immediately.

Bucks County Judge Kenneth Biehn complied, accepting Flor's plea and sentencing him to seven to 20 years in prison. It seemed a moot point because Flor, 39, is on death row for the Sept. 29, 2005, slaying of Newtown police Officer Brian Gregg.

But Miles, who suffered a broken finger and two black eyes during the beating, deserved justice, Biehn said. The courtroom was dark and silent as Chief Deputy District Attorney Gary Gambardella played a tape of the attack, captured via a video camera mounted on the wall in Flor's cell block.

The video shows Flor battering Miles, knocking him to the floor. When Miles got to his feet, Flor continued to push him and knock him down again. Another inmate, Timothy Heidelmark, blocked another officer who tried to help.

The attack was broken up when other corrections officers stormed the cell block. Miles was out of work for six weeks as a result of the assault.

Peter Hall, Flor's attorney, told Biehn that Flor did not want to endure any more legal proceedings, saying his client "didn't want to have any reason to return to Bucks County Court."

State Trooper Guilty Of On Duty Rape
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/14 20:46

BOSTON, MASS - A veteran Massachusetts state trooper has been found guilty of three counts of raping a woman while on duty last year.

Daniel Grant, 42, of Holbrook, a married 17-year veteran of the state police had been accused of threatening to plant drugs on a 26-year-old woman unless she complied with his demands for sex in an incident which occurred Jan. 20, 2006.

Prosecutors said that while on duty, Grant approached a car which was parked behind a hotel and occupied by a 26-year-old woman and a man. After running a computer check on the car's license plate, he determined that there was an outstanding warrant for the man's arrest.

Prosecutors said that Grant allegedly offered the man money and told him to leave. He then told the woman that he had done her a favor because the man was "bad" and suggested that she should repay him with sexual favors. He allegedly showed her cocaine and said that if she didn't do what he wanted, she would be arrested for drug possession and would be sent to prison. Prosecutors said he then allegedly took her to a nearby building where be sexually assaulted her.

Jailed sex offender hit with five more counts
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/04/12 07:02

An incarcerated registered sex offender in Lyon County was charged Wednesday with five counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

Kyle King, 21, allgedly committed five sex acts with a 15-year-old female in fall 2006, the Lyon County Sheriff's Department reported Wednesday.

King was already in Lyon County Jail for failing to comply with the sex offender registry at the time of his arrest. In 2004, he was convicted of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

Wednesday's charges carry a maximum sentence not to exceed 10 years. More charges are possible in the near future as the investigation by the sheriff's department continues.

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