By Spencer Howson
The State Government is considering introducing a public alert system when high risk sex offenders evade their GPS surveillance.
Since the ankle- and wrist-bands have been introduced, four have been removed. In two instances, the GPS bands were cut off, but the offenders stayed put. In the two other cases, the bands were removed, the offenders went missing with police locating them both.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Below are all videos about this horrible tragedy! The latest video is first.
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- The growing list of ex-sex offenders murdered
See the video at the link above.
By JESSICA HOLLOWAY
AUSTIN - Federal, state and local law enforcement officers say sex offenders are falling through the cracks.
[name withheld] is one of those men. He was last seen in Austin two years ago. The 51-year-old is wanted for possession of child pornography, failing to register as a sex offender and more. Authorities fear he now lives somewhere in Central or South America.
How many more out there are like him? How can this be stopped? KVUE's Jessica Holloway has been investigating.
They live all around us, with numbers growing rapidly.
"It's very scary to know there's that many people around who would hurt children. As a parent, my biggest fear is what kind of world my children are growing up in," said father of two Devin Steuerwald.
- As long as you obsess over the registry and who lives around you, not a very bright world!
Steuerwald lives not far from where Department of Public Safety's most wanted sex offender is accused of molesting children in Austin.
"I have two daughters. If their innocence was taken away by somebody, that would be unimaginable," said Steuerwald.
Keeping track of sex offenders is perhaps the most difficult job of all. U.S. Marshal Hector Gomez hunts them down.
"We can't lock them all up. We realize jails only have so much room," said Gomez.
According to both the Austin Police Department and DPS, 70,000 registered sex offenders live in Texas. Of those, 2,200 are unaccounted for, 1,400 registered sex offenders live in Austin, and of those approximately 50 have stopped checking in with police.
"You mind if I come in?" asked APD Officer Sam Tannous. He and a partner conducted a routine daily inspection at a group sex offender home in East Austin.
- If they are not on probation or parole, then they do not have to let you in, not without a warrant!
"One of the guys took off," said a sex offender who lives at the home.
"He took off?" asked Tannous. "Yes. He cut his ankle bracelette and ran."
APD does its best to monitor the sex offenders with a short staff of two officers, three detectives, a supervisor and an assistant. They keep track of hundreds of felons.
"I think it's the sheer numbers of sex offenders in Austin, those coming in, those leaving, keeping track of them all, really it's a numbers game," said Sgt. Liz Donegan. She's in charge of APD's SOAR Unit. SOAR stands for Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration.
Currently there is no database that allows police to keep tabs on sex offenders once they move to another state. Gomez has a solution.
"It would be to have some mechanism in place where all sex offenders are placed in a National Crime Information Center, the NCIC System. It would elevate them to a national wanted status and get them extradited back to their home state," said Gomez.
It's something that would put families like Devin Steuerwald's at ease.
"If you cross that line, yeah you should be tracked, and you should be known where you are at all times. I would love to see a big effort put towards that," said Steuerwald.
Failing to register as a sex offender is a felony and could send violators back to prison.
NJ - West Milford’s town council backs proposed bill that would restore residency restrictions for convicted sex offenders
By DAVID M. ZIMMER
Township officials are backing proposed state legislation that would restore a local law deemed illegal by the state Supreme Court in 2009.
The legislation, state Senate Bill 380 (PDF), would make it illegal for convicted sex offenders with a high risk of re-offense to reside within 2,500 feet of an elementary or secondary school, playground, or child care center. Modeled after legislation recently enacted by the State of Florida, S380 was named for Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old Florida resident who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a convicted sex offender in 2005.
West Milford officials adopted municipal ordinance 2005-021 later that year. The local law restricted convicted sex offenders (who are four times more likely to be arrested for a new sex crime than released non-sex offenders, according to the federal Bureau of Justice) from residing within 2,500 feet of any school, park, playground, or day-care center in the 80.4-square-mile exurban community until it was repealed begrudgingly by township representatives in the fall of 2009.
Months earlier, in May 2009, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that state municipalities cannot restrict convicted sex offenders' residency rights by barring them from living near libraries, parks, playgrounds, day-care centers, and schools.
As noted by Mayor Bettina Bieri, the state is now just one of eight without residency restrictions for registered sex offenders. Bieri said she is in full support of state legislators crossing New Jersey off that list. Eight registered sex offenders have West Milford addresses, according to the New Jersey State Police database.
While some representatives wanted to keep ordinance 2005-021 on the books in 2009, the threat of potential lawsuits and the loss of liability insurance coverage ultimately led to the ordinance's elimination. Township officials initially refused to support proposed legislation that would create new residency proximity standards for convicted sex offenders, claiming the 500-foot restriction for sex offenders more than 21 years old was too permissive. The council had inquired about drafting its own proposed legislation to deal with its objections. However, Township Attorney Fred Semrau recommended allowing state representatives to take the lead given the legal intricacies and potential expense involved.
In addition to the 2,500-foot limit that has exemptions for those residing in correctional institutions, mental health facilities, or existing residences prior to the construction of a school, playground, or child care center, S380 would increase penalties for harboring or concealing a sex offender and committing sex crimes against minors. The latter would include the requirement to be electronically monitored by the state via global positioning system technology.
By AMANDA WINTERS
Standing in a crowded courtroom, holding her fidgeting 1-year-old baby boy, Leslie Blanton (Facebook) didn’t hold back when a smirking Patrick Drum, accused of murdering her husband, looked in her direction.
“You left them without a dad,” she sobbed as two Sheriff’s corrections deputies led Drum out of the courtroom and back to jail.
Moments earlier, Clallam County Prosecutor Deb Kelly charged Drum with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of [name withheld #1], 28, and [name withheld #2], 55.
Investigators believe Drum killed the men because they were listed sex offenders. But they also were fathers, husbands and sons, their families say. “He thinks it’s wonderful he’s killed my husband and my children’s father,” Leslie Blanton said the next day. “All because of the (sex offender) registry.”
[name withheld #1] pleaded guilty in 2001 to third-degree rape in Thurston County. He was 17 and accused of raping a 17-year-old disabled girl. Leslie Blanton said the two were dating and it was the girl’s parents who pursued the charge.
[name withheld #2] pleaded guilty in May 2002 to two counts of first-degree child rape involving a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old. He completed outpatient sex offender treatment and served court-ordered community custody.
[name withheld #2]’s father, [father name withheld], said his son was married three times and his current wife lives in Port Angeles. [name withheld #2] had three children with his first wife, he said.
[father name withheld] said his wife, [mother name withheld], died almost two years ago after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Along with [name withheld #2], they had two other sons and one daughter they raised in Missouri and California, he said. The couple moved to Port Angeles in 1994 and [name withheld #2] lived with them off and on until three years ago, when he moved in permanently.
[name withheld #2], who suffered a back injury eight years ago that prevented him from working, would help out around the house, his father said.
In the weeks before his death, [name withheld #2] spent a couple hours a day painting the house white with brown trim, [father name withheld] said.
Along with being an excellent cook who could make “anything you want,” [name withheld #2] drove his father anywhere he wanted to go.
“He was my chauffeur,” [father name withheld] said. “He liked to do it. Wherever I needed to go he’d take me. I’ll miss that.”
[name withheld #2] was cremated. No service was held.
“I’m hanging in there,” [father name withheld] said, adding he’ll turn 84 this month. “I’m by myself now.”
|Leslie, husband & two sons|
“[name withheld #1] was so misunderstood,” she said. “He was just all heart.”
The couple met when [name withheld #1] was 19, and though people warned him about her bad reputation and told him not to get involved with her, he loved her anyway, she said.
“[name withheld #1] just made me feel like nobody else could,” she said. “He made me feel like I was the center of his universe and the center of his life.”
When she gained 80 pounds during pregnancy, he painted her toenails. When other girls made advances, he ignored them.
“I liked how [name withheld #1] made it known when it came to anybody, I’m the one he picks,” she said.
Married in 2008, they had ups and downs just like any other couple, she said. But no matter how badly they fought, he never gave up and always made sure she knew he loved her, she said.
While she gave birth to their sons, [child name withheld], 2, and [child name withheld], 1, it was her husband who caught the babies and was the first to hold them after spending hours kissing her forehead and thanking her for giving him a family, she said.
“[name withheld #1] always told me, ‘You’re the only one that I love for the rest of my life, Leslie, the only one that’s going to be my wife, the only one that’s going to have my babies,’” she said.
Charged with child abuse, [name withheld #1] had to live apart from the family until he stood trial, scheduled for this August. Leslie Blanton said her husband discovered [child name withheld], who has Down syndrome, had a broken arm after he was in the care of a babysitter all day.
“Being away from us crushed him,” she said, adding he complied with everything the courts asked so he could visit his family as much as possible. “We were still waiting to get him home.”
Leslie Blanton said no courts, monsters or anything else can keep her from her husband.
“When I’m done here in this life and our kids are grown and I have grand-babies and it’s time to go to Jesus, I’m going to go home to my husband,” she said. “We’ll have our life back together.”
Lighthouse Christian Center in Port Angeles has established a donation fund for the Blanton family to cover [name withheld #1]’s funeral expenses. To donate, send a check made out to “Lighthouse” for the “Blanton Memorial” to the church at 304 Viewcrest Ave., Port Angeles, WA 98362, or go online to www.lighthousepa.org. For more information about the fund, call the church at 452-8909.
- You can also donate here or here.
“He didn’t deserve this,” Leslie Blanton said. “Nobody deserves this.”
You will always have inaccuracies! People are not machines, and when entering data, there is always a margin of error.
By Paige Malone
MOBILE (WALA) - FOX10 continues to dig deeper into inaccuracies we uncovered within Alabama's Sex Offender Registry.
FOX10 first reported about the inaccuracies when a convicted rapist allegedly struck again in Mobile, Ala. At the same time he was booked into Mobile Metro Jail, he was listed on the state’s site as being incarcerated in Montgomery.
FOX10 asked the governor his thoughts.
We first alerted Governor Robert Bentley to this problem a few weeks ago , and Wednesday we asked if he thought there was a problem with the system that allows inaccuracies like the ones we pointed out.
“You know, I know that this is an issue that we, everyone, is concerned about. I know sex offenders are something that everyone is concerned about especially where there are children. You know, there are many different types of sex offenders," said Bentley.
He said getting the information updated require team work between state and local governments.
"Were going to make sure those numbers are up to date the best we can, but local law enforcement has to do a lot of that," he added.
FOX10 turned to the Mobile County Sheriff’s office to look at how they communicate with the Alabama Department of Public Safety, the agency tasked with maintaining the states registry.
It’s all handled though a system called Offender Watch, and it’s the same database throughout the state according to Lori Myles with the sheriff’s office.
"We all look at the same offender watch," said Myles.
Then, why are there inconsistencies?
For example, people are listed on the state’s registry as being incarcerated when they are actually out of jail.
"The bottom line to all of this is we have a beautiful computer system in place but there are still checks and balances, and the key to checks and balances is communication,” said Myles.
Myles said when information is updated by the county, it’s immediately sent to ADPS. In turn, ADPS gets a notification and updates the information on its registry.
Myles said much of the problem is local and state agencies not communicating.
We asked the governor if people should be able to trust the information put out by the state.
“Well you know, we need to make sure that it’s accurate. And so, I'm going to look at that information and ask some questions when I get back to Montgomery," said Bentley.
One problem the sheriff’s office pointed out is that the system communicates county or municipality to state, but not county/municipality to county/municipality.
|Anthony Nicholas Orban|
The jury deliberating the fate of a former Westminster police detective accused of raping a waitress has rejected a controversial "Zoloft defense," finding the defendant guilty of all seven charges.
The jury of eight women and four men began deliberations late Tuesday and reached the verdict Wednesday morning. It found the defendant, Anthony Nicholas Orban, a Marine veteran of the Iraq War, guilty of two counts of rape, two counts of forced oral copulation, two of sexual penetration with a foreign object, one count of making a criminal threat, and a sentence enhancement of using a firearm in commission of a kidnapping.
- Why are juries always stacked against someone? Why not have 6 men and 6 women?
Orban faces a sanity hearing before sentencing.
Defense attorney James Blatt had argued that Orban was rendered "unconscious" by use of the antidepressant, and therefore was not responsible for his actions in the brutal 2010 attack in Fontana.
A defense psychiatrist testified that Orban had stopped taking the prescribed antidepressant, then resumed it at full dose, provoking a psychotic break during which he was not fully aware of his actions.
But prosecutors said such a defense was "baloney" that ran counter to medical consensus on the drug's effects. Orban had been out drinking and seeking sexual encounters before he kidnapped the victim at gunpoint and made her drive to a Fontana storage facility, where he raped her.
"He was a highly trained officer who wanted to have sex. He had sex on the mind. Don't forget that," Deputy Dist. Atty. Debbie Ploghaus told jurors in her closing arguments earlier this week.
The woman, then 25 and working as a waitress at Ontario Mills Mall, testified that Orban chambered a round in his semi-automatic service pistol, shoving the barrel deep into her mouth as tears rolled down her cheeks. "He said if I cried, he would kill me," the victim told jurors. "Then he pulled the gun out and said, 'I think we'll continue this in the desert.'"
When Orban was distracted by an incoming cellphone call, the woman said, she jumped out of the car and ran to safety at a nearby liquor store.
Orban's attorney, James Blatt of Los Angeles, said the assault ran counter to a life spent protecting community and country. The only plausible explanation for the defendant's behavior, Blatt argued, was the potent effects of Zoloft, which sent Orban spiraling into an "unconscious" delirium. "At the time he was not aware, not aware of the torturous things he had done,'' Blatt told the jury.