Monday, March 10, 2008

CO - Judge under scrutiny

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Allegations raised involving escort service

Chief federal Judge Edward W. Nottingham, who admitted to indiscretions at a downtown topless club, also may have been a client of a high-priced escort service, according to a television news report.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit is investigating Nottingham for judicial misconduct, according to 9News.

The judge allegedly was a customer of Denver Players, also known as Denver Sugar, which operated out of a four-bedroom home in the Commerce Park neighborhood and was raided and closed by Internal Revenue Service agents and Denver police in January, 9News reported.

Nottingham was the judge in the insider-trading trial of former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio, who was found guilty last April of 19 counts of illegally selling stock in April and May of 2001.

Nacchio's appeal of the guilty verdict was heard in December by a three-judge panel in the 10th Circuit, which has not said when it will rule.

John Holcomb, a University of Denver professor who watched most of the Nacchio trial, said that the allegations against Nottingham are "an ethical issue that should not affect (the appeal) in this case, but it's an ugly background."

Federal and local authorities spent more than a year investigating Denver Players at 1675 Fillmore St., according to federal affidavits that were unsealed last month.

A man identified as a chauffeur told 9News that he was responsible for driving prostitutes to meet their clients, including Nottingham.

Nottingham, who could not be reached for comment Friday, has acknowledged that he twice visited the Diamond Cabaret in downtown Denver.

Nottingham has said that his visits to the strip club were "private and personal matters involving human frailties and foibles."

Reputation Defender

View the web site here

Also see the video at the end of this article. I've never personally used this, but if anybody else has, I'd like to hear about it. You can also listen to this from NPR.

About Us

ReputationDefender was created to defend you and your family's good name on the Internet.

Our goal is straightforward:

  • To SEARCH out all information about you and/or your child on the Internet, wherever it may be, and present it to you in a clear report.
  • To DESTROY, at your command, all inaccurate, inappropriate, hurtful, and slanderous information about you and/or your child using our proprietary in-house methodology.

We accomplish this goal through our two flagship products:

Who you are online is as important as who you are offline. Naturally, professionals, parents, college applicants, graduate school applicants, job seekers, and employers have raised serious and legitimate concerns about how to deal with this change and with the ever-increasing amount of information about each of us on the Internet.

By nearly all measures, the Internet is a boon to the way we all live. But the transparency of the Internet has also produced a seriously problematic, albeit unintended, effect: the Internet threatens to invade almost everyone's privacy. It affects almost everyone's reputation. Online content about even the most casual Internet users can be harmful, hurtful, or even plain false. The founders of our company asked one another: isn't it time someone fought back?

We at ReputationDefender are committed to ensuring that the Internet is a medium where our clients can do business, pursue their passions, apply to school, apply for a job, date, and stay connected with friends and family, while knowing that their reputations, safety, and privacy are being protected 24 hours a day.

We will find the unwelcome online content about you or your loved ones, even if it is buried in websites that are not easily examined with standard online search engines. And if you tell us to do so, we will work around the clock to get that unwelcome content removed or corrected.


In the spring of 2006, ReputationDefender's founders came together to discuss an emerging reality of the Internet Age, that the line dividing people's 'online' lives from their 'offline' personal and professional lives was eroding, and quickly.

Our commitment is to your peace of mind. Our goal is to watch your back.

KY - Lawmaker Wants to Ban Anonymous Online Postings

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Tim Couch, a Republican representative in the Kentucky Legislature filed a bill that would make it illegal for anyone to post online anonymously.

The bill (.doc) says that everyone who signs up with an "interactive service" must demand users full name, address and valid electronic mail address.

The bill also states that any "interactive service provider" that runs afoul of this faces a $500 fine on the first offense and a $1000 fine for each subsequent offense.

An early report suggests that the lawmaker intends to cut down on cyber-bullying and online harassment with these new laws. He concedes that enforcement of the bill would be difficult.

Of course, the proposed laws might be ill-conceived given the recently dropped case against Wikileaks which touched on anonymous postings regarding shady dealings with a bank.

At this time, it is unclear whether or not this bill has a snowballs chance in blank at passing and changing the first amendment rights of the US Constitution.

OK - Politician's 'Anti-Gay' Speech Sparks Outrage

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See the videos at the end.


An Oklahoma state representative has received thousands of hostile e-mail messages after she said that homosexuality is a bigger threat to national security than terrorism.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating more than 17,000 mostly hostile e-mails that were sent to State Rep. Sally Kern after parts of a speech she gave to a Republican organization earlier this year were posted on YouTube, said bureau spokeswoman Jessica Brown.

During the speech, Kern said that "the homosexual agenda is just destroying this nation" and that homosexuality poses a bigger threat to the United States than terrorism. "According to God's word, that is not the right kind of lifestyle," she said.

"Studies show no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than a few decades," Kern, a former teacher who sits on the education committee, added.

Her speech, first posted online earlier this week by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, has generated national attention. The recording has been viewed more than 500,000 times on YouTube. Since then, Kern's office has been bombarded by angry phone calls and e-mails. Several gay rights organizations have called for her to resign and local newspapers have criticized her.

"Her comments are so inappropriate and beyond the pale that she's demonstrated that she's not fit for service in public office," said Patrick Sammon, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a national association of gay and lesbian Republicans. "For someone to compare gay people to terrorists is really difficult to comprehend. She should be ashamed."

Brown, the spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said the agency was reviewing the growing number of e-mails sent to Kern to determine if any of them could be considered legally threatening.

"If I say I'm going to kill you, that's a threat. If I say I hope you die, that's not," she said.

She said the agency may contact some of the people who sent the e-mails.

Kern did not respond to e-mails and messages left at her office and home in Oklahoma City. Her husband, a Baptist minister, also did not return a message. A spokesman for the state House of Representatives, speaking on Kern's behalf, said Kern would not be available for an interview.

Her son, Jessie, said he stood by his mother. "I'm grateful that she has the passion to stand up for what she believes in," he said.

Kern has declined to apologize, telling local newspapers that her speech was edited when it was posted online and that her comments were taken out of context. She said she was referring only to activists who support gay candidates and what she called the "homosexual agenda." She said she had no problem with gay individuals.

She told the Tulsa World newspaper that she received a standing ovation during a private meeting of Republican lawmakers on Monday. A spokeswoman for House Speaker Chris Benge said there were no plans to censure Kern for her comments.

FL - Orlando man who mooned family pleads no contest to misdemeanor

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SANFORD - A 21-year-old Orlando man, accused of committing a sex crime when he mooned a family, today pleaded no contest to a far less serious crime.

John Thomas Taylor was placed on six months' probation for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

He dropped his pants and hung his bottom out the window of a friend's sport utility vehicle July 22 during a road rage incident on Interstate 4.

Thomas was taken to the Seminole County Jail by a deputy, who arrested him on a charge of committing a lewd and lascivious act in front of a child under the age of 16.

Had Taylor been convicted of that, he could have been sentenced to 15 years in prison and forever been identified as a sex offender.

Prosecutors, though, formally charged him with a far less serious crime: indecent exposure.

In court Monday, prosecutors agreed to drop that charge in exchange for another: disorderly conduct.

Taylor also pleaded no contest to criminal mischief for throwing a nerf football at the car. For that, he was sentenced to a second, six-month probation term.

CA - Sex offender law is making them more dangerous

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Jessica's law, the initiative voters approved as Proposition 83 in 2006, severely restricts where sex offenders can live and requires that they be monitored with global positioning devices for life. But the law is not working as intended. In fact, members of an expert panel assembled to monitor the law say it may be increasing the danger that sex offenders pose to the public.

California's Sex Offender Management Board reports that since the law took effect 15 months ago, the number of registered sex offenders who say they are homeless has increased from 2,000 to 2,879, a 44 percent jump.

"I see homelessness as increasing overall risk to public safety," Tom Tobin, the board's vice chairman, told the Los Angeles Times last month. Homelessness removes offenders from their families and support systems and increases the chance they will commit new crimes.

Tobin put it another way in an interview with National Public Radio: "I would rather know where a sex offender lives and be able to find him when I need to than having him homeless and transient and having no idea where he is."

No one should be surprised at what's occurring. The law, which bars offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park or school -- including home schools -- is so restrictive that it makes virtually any urban neighborhood, where ex-convicts are most likely to find affordable housing, off limits.

The measure also costs the cash-strapped state $20 million annually to enforce. About $8 million goes for global positioning devices to track ex-offenders, and more than $12 million is for parole agents to keep tabs on them. The law was so sloppily drafted that no one knows who is supposed to monitor the offenders once they finish parole and are released from state jurisdiction. Local governments can't afford it any more than the state.

Before California voters enacted this law, criminal prosecutors in other states where the same concept had been tried warned that it would make things worse, not better.

But the politicians who put Jessica's law on the ballot wouldn't listen, and now they are scrambling to find ways to amend it.

NY - Spitzer Could Resign Tonight

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Video available at the site, and one is below as well. Now why isn't prostitution a sex crime? Will he have to register as a sex offender for life? I doubt it. Remember, those who usually scream the loudest about something is usually diverting attention from themselves, hence this case...


NEW YORK (CBS) Gov. Eliot Spitzer was not expected to continue as governor and may resign by Monday evening, sources told CBS 2, after it was reported that he was linked to a prostitution ring.

Reliable sources told CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer that Lt. Gov. David Paterson (Contact) could be sworn in as governor as early as 7 p.m. Monday.

The news sets off one of the largest scandals in modern New York state political history.

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Spitzer apologized to his family and the public, but did not go as far as to explain why. "I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my sense of right and wrong," he said in a brief statement. "I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself.

"I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family," he said alongside his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, who was visibly upset as he spoke.

The couple has three daughters together.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Spitzer's involvement in the prostitution ring was caught on a federal wiretap.

The official says Spitzer is identified in court papers as "Client 9," and the wiretap was part of an investigation that opened in the last few months.

The official says the New York governor met last month with at least one woman in a Washington hotel. The law enforcement official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Last week, federal prosecutors in Manhattan filed conspiracy charges against four people, accusing them of running a prostitution ring that charged wealthy clients in Europe and the U.S. thousands of dollars for prostitutes.

The Web site of the Emperors Club VIP displays photographs of the prostitutes' bodies, with their faces hidden, along with hourly rates depending on whether the prostitutes were rated with various numbers of diamonds, with seven diamonds being the highest. The highest-ranked prostitutes cost $5,500 an hour, prosecutors said.

The case is being handled by prosecutors in the Public Corruption unit of U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia's office. Garcia spokeswoman Yusill Scribner said the office had no comment.

Spitzer has built his political legacy on stamping out corruption, including several headline-making battles with Wall Street while serving as attorney general. He stormed into the governor's office in 2006 with a historic share of the vote, vowing to continue his no-nonsense approach to fixing one of the nation's worst governments.

Time magazine had named him "Crusader of the Year" when he was attorney general and the tabloids proclaimed him "Eliot Ness."

But his stint as governor has been marred by several problems, including an unpopular plan to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and a plot by his aides to smear Spitzer's main Republican nemesis.

Spitzer had been expected to testify to the state Public Integrity Commission he had created to answer for his role in the scandal, in which his aides are accused of misusing state police to compile travel records to embarrass Senate Republican leader Joseph Bruno.

Spitzer had served two terms as attorney general where he pursued criminal and civil cases and cracked down on misconduct and conflicts of interests on Wall Street and in corporate America. He had previously been a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, handling organized crime and white-collar crime cases.

His cases as state attorney general included a few criminal prosecutions of prostitution rings and into tourism involving prostitutes.

In 2004, he was part of an investigation of an escort service in New York City that resulted in the arrest of 18 people on charges of promoting prostitution and related charges.


Funny how sex offenders it's ok, but when cops are on the web, it's a security risk. Hmm, if it's good for sex offenders, it's good enough for everyone else as well, IMO. Hell, why don't we do this for ALL US citizens? List their email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, names, aliases, etc... I'm all for it!!

ID - Bill limits sex offenders

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By Jon Meyer (

BOISE — Lawmakers in both the House and Senate have unanimously approved a bill limiting the number of registered sex offenders permitted to live in the same residence.

House Bill 417 is intended to permit no more than two registered sex offenders to live together by amending state land use and planning regulations. It’s aimed at concerns about group homes with a high concentration of sex offenders going into residential neighborhoods.

Several provisions for local government to bypass the limit are built into the bill.

Supporters say the measure would “balance the need for registered adult sex offenders to have housing available to them with concerns of citizens over sex offender group homes being established in residential neighborhoods.”

Passed by the House 68-0 and the Senate 32-0, the bill now only needs Gov. Butch Otter’s (Contact) signature to become law.

Current residential situations wouldn’t be affected by the new restrictions.

“I think everyone is concerned that we have transition housing available — the debate is that that is important, but it is also important for people to feel secure in their neighborhoods,” Senate floor co-sponsor Curt McKenzie of Nampa said.

Numerous halfway houses for sex offenders and former felons have located throughout the Treasure Valley in recent months. Legislators say difficulties have arisen among city and county governments in interpreting the federal Fair Housing Act that governs the homes’ regulation.

Some transition home operators have held that sex offenders are a protected class of disabled persons under the federal law.

But lawmakers say in their proposal that, according to the U.S. Department of Justice “persons convicted for illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance, sex offenders, and juvenile offenders are not considered disabled under the Fair Housing Act, by virtue of that status.”

HB 417 as well as the Senate-passed House Bill 465 could use that exemption to the FHA to give Idaho cities more authority to regulate halfway houses that previously could be established with little notice or need for approval.

“People were very upset,” McKenzie said of his constituents. Several neighborhood meetings concerning transition houses in Nampa conveyed little local support for those placed in residential areas without notice, particularly near schools.

Senate bill co-sponsor Patti Anne Lodge of Canyon County said there was debate in the Senate “centered around the fact that if we didn't have the transitional homes more people would pop out in prison, stay in prison longer and so therefore would cost the taxpayers more.”

“I don’t agree with that because we can still have transitional homes, we can have them in commercial areas, like the Rev. Bill Roscoe. His programs are tremendous,” Lodge said.

Rev. Bill Roscoe is executive director of the Boise Rescue Mission. The mission offers transitional housing for those emerging from its substance-abuse treatment program. In Nampa, the residential units are adjacent to the Lighthouse Rescue Mission on Nampa-Caldwell Boulevard.

TX - More information going online about sex offenders

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By Joshunda Sanders and Emily Ingram (Cox News Service)

The Texas Department of Public Safety plans to update its online sex offender registry this spring to let people know where offenders work or go to school.
- And you can bet the people they work for will fire them, because they do not want to be associated with a sex offender.

The registry update, which is to include conviction history and other elements in addition to employer and school information, will cost the state $1.2 million and be paid for with federal grant money, said Tom Vinger, an agency spokesman.

Anyone can go to the state’s site to look up a person by name or ZIP code. The information includes physical descriptions, photos, offenses, aliases and legal status. People also can use a map to find sex offenders who live in a particular neighborhood.

When the registry is revised, sex offender records will also show complete registration histories, former addresses and conviction information in Texas and out of state.

If a sex offender has an occupational license, that will show up, too, Vinger said.

Most law enforcement agencies in Texas, including Waco’s police department, link to the state’s database, which automatically updates daily.

Each department is responsible for tracking sex offenders in its jurisdiction and updating the state registry when the offenders’ information changes, Waco police spokesman Steve Anderson said. The department uses a link to the state database for anyone wanting information on local sex offenders, he said.

The McLennan County Sheriff’s office is working to put up an online registry of the approximately 60 sex offenders it tracks, records supervisor Tamma Willis said. The department is working to computerize DPS sex offender forms so the information can be converted into a local registry.

People will be able to sign up for e-mail notification when a sex offender moves into their ZIP code and when that offender’s information is updated or changed.

The addition of sex offenders’ employers is to comply with a 2007 state attorney general opinion that said people should have access to such information.

Other states can include sex offenders’ employers in registration records, but only three do: Missouri, Maine and Alaska.

Under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, all states will be required to gather employer information for sex offenders by June 2009.
- So basically no sex offender will be able to keep and maintain a job after this. I'll just retire and start collecting unemployment and disability benefits, since people claim being a sex offender is a disability.

The agency’s revision is unrelated to the federal law, Vinger said. It was planning a rewrite when the attorney general’s opinion was released.

Employers’ associations did not comment on the changes, but Ruth Epstein, a spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Central Texas, said people’s ability to find sex offenders in their workplaces or classrooms raises privacy concerns and could send offenders who are trying to get treatment into hiding.

What happens to a criminal who can’t work?” because he is being harassed, she asked. “He goes underground, and he commits more criminal activity.”
- Women commit sex crimes as well, so this "he is" should be changed to "they are!"

Her colleague, Rebecca Bernhardt, policy development director for the ACLU, echoed those sentiments.

The overall goal is to have less recidivism for sex offenders, but putting their employer addresses online compromises their ability to work,” Bernhardt said. “Undermining their ability to keep a job is a downside for public safety.”

Bernhardt said that the accuracy of such information, considering some of the problems sex offender registries have been criticized for in recent years, could be questionable.

Registries have had outdated, limited or incorrect information about some offenders.

At least 5 million unique visitors go to the criminal history section of the state’s database each month, most to the sex offender portion, Vinger said. This year,, a Web site that reviews online registries, listed the state agency’s sex offender registry as the fourth-best in the nation.
- So what makes it the 4th best? The more information the better? That is not right!

PA - Hooversville mulls sex-offender ordinance

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HOOVERSVILLE — Borough Council is flexing its legal muscle when it comes to fighting sex crimes.

Hooversville is looking to become the third Somerset County locale to restrict where convicted sex offenders may live.

“Right now, we have it before our solicitor,” council President Kenneth Karashowsky said. “It does limit where convicted sex offenders can live in relation to playgrounds and the community building.”

He conceded the proposed law would force convicted offenders to live “outside of the borough,” adding that he believes sex offenders lose their rights when they commit a crime.
- So why do not all criminals lose their rights when they commit a crime, and forced to live XXXX feet away from something? Like a murderer has to live XXXX feet from anybody, or a DUI offender has to live XXXX feet from a liquor store, etc? Why sex offenders only?

Benson Borough and Shade Township are two of the more than 90 localities in the state that have such ordinances. Johnstown and Ferndale Borough in Cambria County have similar laws.

It’s a growing movement that civil libertarians say raises legal questions.

Prohibiting sex offenders that have served their time from living in the borough at all would almost certainly be illegal,” said Mary Catherine Roper, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Philadelphia.

Some ordinances have faced legal challenge, while others have gone unopposed. Ordinances that have been upheld are those that “restrict but not prohibit” where someone can live, Roper said.

Council is reviewing Ferndale’s ordinance before adopting its own, Karashowsky said.

“It’s part of our job to protect the community and this is one way of doing that,” he said.

What’s on TV Tonight? Humiliation to the Point of Suicide

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In November 2006, a camera crew from “Dateline NBC” and a police SWAT team descended on the Texas home of Louis William Conradt Jr., a 56-year-old assistant district attorney. The series’ “To Catch a Predator” team had allegedly caught Mr. Conradt making online advances to a decoy who pretended to be a 13-year-old boy. When the police and TV crew stormed Mr. Conradt’s home, he took out a handgun and shot himself to death.

That’ll make good TV,” one of the police officers on the scene reportedly told an NBC producer. Deeply cynical, perhaps, but prescient. “Dateline” aired a segment based on the grim encounter. After telling the ghoulish tale, it ended with Mr. Conradt’s sister decrying the “reckless actions of a self-appointed group acting as judge, jury and executioner, that was encouraged by an out-of-control reality show.”

Mr. Conradt’s sister sued NBC for more than $100 million. Last month, Judge Denny Chin of Federal District Court in New York ruled that her suit could go forward. Judge Chin’s thoughtful ruling sends an important message at a time when humiliation television is ubiquitous, and plumbing ever lower depths of depravity in search of ratings.

NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” franchise is based on an ugly premise. The show lures people into engaging in loathsome activities. It then teams up with the police to stage a humiliating, televised arrest, while the accused still has the presumption of innocence.

Each party to the bargain compromises its professional standards. Rather than hold police accountable, “Dateline” becomes their partners — and may well prod them to more invasive and outrageous actions than they had planned. When Mr. Conradt did not show up at the “sting house” — the usual “To Catch a Predator” format — producers allegedly asked police as a “favor” to storm his home. Ms. Conradt contends that the show encourages police “to give a special intensity to any arrests, so as to enhance the camera effect.”

The police make their own corrupt bargain, ceding law enforcement to TV producers. Could Mr. Conradt have been taken alive if he had been arrested in more conventional fashion, without SWAT agents, cameras and television producers swarming his home? Judge Chin said a jury could plausibly find that it was the television circus, in which the police acted as the ringleader, that led to his suicide.

“To Catch a Predator” is part of an ever-growing lineup of shows that calculatingly appeal to their audience’s worst instincts. The common theme is indulging the audience’s voyeuristic pleasure at someone else’s humiliation, and the nastiness of the put-down has become the whole point of the shows.

Humiliation TV has been around for some time. “The Weakest Link” updated the conventional quiz show by installing a viciously insulting host, and putting the focus on the contestants’ decision about which of their competitors is the most worthless. “The Apprentice” purported to be about young people getting a start in business, but the whole hour built up to a single moment: when Donald Trump barked “You’re fired.”

But to hold viewers’ interest, the levels of shame have inevitably kept growing. A new Fox show, “Moment of Truth,” in a coveted time slot after “American Idol,” dispenses cash prizes for truthfully (based on a lie-detector test) answering intensely private questions. Sample: “Since you’ve been married, have you ever had sexual relations with someone other than your husband?” If the show is as true as it says it is, questions in two recent episodes seemed carefully designed to break up contestants’ marriages.

There are First Amendment concerns, of course, when courts consider suits over TV shows. But when the media act more as police than as journalists, and actually push the police into more extreme violations of rights than the police would come up with themselves, the free speech defense begins to weaken.

Ms. Conradt’s suit contains several legal claims, including “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” for which the bar is very high: conduct “so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

Reprehensible as “Moment of Truth” is, it doubtless falls into the venerable category of verbal grotesquery protected by the First Amendment. The producers of “To Catch a Predator”, however, appear to be on the verge — if not over it — of becoming brown shirts with television cameras. If you are going into the business of storming people’s homes and humiliating them to the point of suicide, you should be sure to have some good lawyers on retainer.

Video About This Sting:

Moment of Truth Video:

IN - Jeffersonville murderer may have strangled cellmate

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Authorities believe Melcher killed fellow prisoner at Wabash Valley state prison

CARLISLE — A convicted murderer at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility is under investigation for allegedly strangling his cellmate Friday night.

Nicholas Roman, 28, was pronounced dead at 11:12 p.m., according to a Correctional Facility news release. Authorities allege Zachariah Melcher strangled Roman shortly before 10:30 p.m. Investigators are still determining what caused the incident, said Rich Larsen, the facility’s public information officer.

Larsen said Melcher was cooperating with investigators.

Facility staff provided immediate emergency medical care to Roman before he was transported to Sullivan County Community Hospital.

Melcher, 30, was already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for killing his infant daughter, wife and unborn child in Clark County, a news release stated.

The homicide case will be turned over to the Sullivan County Prosecutor by the Indiana State Police early next week.

An autopsy is scheduled to determine Roman’s exact cause of death.

Since his incarceration, Roman had multiple major conduct offenses. He was serving time on Vanderburgh County convictions for performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor, distribution of matter harmful to a minor and theft/receiving stolen property.