Botched Police Raid In Greenland New Hampsire Ends With Three Dead, Including Police Chief, And Four Other Officers Shot

April 13, 2012

GREENLAND, NEW HAMPSHIRE – The body of a man suspected of killing a New Hampshire police chief and wounding four other officers during a drug raid Thursday has been found in a house along with that of an unidentified woman, the Attorney General said.

At a news conference, Attorney General Michael Delaney said a police robot placed in the house around 2 a.m. Friday detected the bodies of suspect Cullen Mutrie and a woman. He said both died of gunshot wounds.

The two had been holed up in the house since the shootings took place Thursday evening.

Officials said Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed and four other officers were injured when Muthrie opened fire on them. Two officers were shot in the chest and were in intensive care early Friday. Two others were treated and released. The four injured officers were from area departments and were working as part of a drug task force.

The shootings Thursday evening devastated Greenland, a town of 3,500 near the seacoast that had just seven police officers including Maloney, 48, who was due to retire in less than two weeks.

“In those final days, he sacrificed his life in public service as a law enforcement officer in New Hampshire,” Delaney said.

Maloney had 26 years of experience in law enforcement, the last 12 as chief of the Greenland department.

Jacqueline DeFreze, who lives a half-mile down the road, said she was crushed by reports that the chief had been shot. She’d planned to attend a surprise party for his retirement.

“I’m a wreck. He was just the greatest guy,” said DeFreze, a fourth-grade teacher in nearby Rye. “He’s kind-hearted, always visible in the community.”

John Penacho, chairman of the town’s Board of Selectman, said Maloney was married with children.

“It’s a blow to all of us. You’re stunned. It’s New Hampshire, it’s a small town,” he said. “We’re stunned. I mean all of us. It’s an unbelievable situation.”

Asked what the town will do to help residents cope with the tragedy, Penacho said “We’ll do whatever we need to do.”

Lee Miller, who lives next door to where the shootings took place, said she heard at least six shots on Thursday. Fearing for her 12-year-old grandson who was visiting her, she said she went to the window and saw someone on the ground. Moments later, police knocked on her door, telling them to run outside and take cover behind a police cruiser.

Police later escorted Miller and her grandson to a nearby school.

State police and officers from many departments responded after the initial call around 6 p.m. Thursday.

Gov. John Lynch was at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where the officers were taken. He asked residents to pray for the injured officers and Maloney’s family.

“My thoughts and prayers and those of my wife, Susan, are with the family of Chief Michael Maloney. Chief Maloney’s unwavering courage and commitment to protecting others serves as an example to us all,” he said.

The tree-lined street, closed off by police, features single-family homes and duplexes. The shootings took place at 517 Post Road, a 2-bedroom, 1½ -story structure that’s listed as owned by the Beverly Mutrie Revocable Trust, according to tax assessor records.

The Portsmouth Herald reported in February 2011 that Cullen Mutrie, 29, was a resident of the home on 517 Post Road and had been arrested and charged with possession of anabolic steroids.

The newspaper reported that the steroids were found in the home when officers went to confiscate guns after Mutrie was arrested on domestic assault charges. According to a police affidavit, the steroids were found in Mutrie’s living room on July 24, 2010, but were not verified by the state crime lab until Jan. 18.

Miller told The Associated Press that she had complained to police repeatedly about suspected drug activity at the house and had been told it was under investigation.

She said late-night fights at the house were so frequent that she moved her bed around so that it was no longer near a window facing the driveway.

The other officers shot were: Detective Gregory Turner, 32, a six-year veteran of the Dover police department, who was treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder and released; Detective Eric Kulberg, 31, a seven-year veteran of the University of New Hampshire police department, who was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm and released; Detective Scott Kukesh, 33, a 10-year veteran of the Newmarket police department, who was in intensive care awaiting surgery for a gunshot wound to the chest; and Detective Jeremiah Murphy, 34, a seven-year veteran of the Rochester police department, who was in intensive care after surgery for a gunshot wound to the chest.

Appeared Here


Four South-East New Hampshire Cops Shot And Greenland Police Chief Dead In Botched Raid

April 13, 2012

GREENLAND, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Five police officers in New Hampshire were shot as they tried to serve a search warrant in a drug investigation Thursday night, and local media reported that one of them, the Greenland police chief, had died from a bullet to the head.

Officers may have interrupted a drug deal at the house, the Union Leader of Manchester reported.

Early Friday, state Atty. Gen. Michael Delaney confirmed that Chief Michael Maloney had been killed, the Associated Press reported.

The incident began around 6 p.m. in the quiet seaside town of 3,500 residents. At 11 p.m., police said, a man and a woman remained barricaded inside.

“We are working with federal, state and local law enforcement to try to obtain a peaceful resolution,” Delaney said late Thursday. “I do want to extend my thoughts and prayers to families and relatives and loved ones of the police officer that has been killed and the four police officers that have been injured.”

Maloney was to have retired in less than two weeks.

The violence shocked the community.

“It’s a blow to all of us,” John Penacho, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, told the Associated Press. “You’re stunned. It’s New Hampshire, it’s a small town.… It’s an unbelievable situation.”

Tammy Sullivan, who lives across the street from the house, told the Union Leader she saw three police officers felled when she looked out her window after hearing several gunshots.

“I saw the officers shot from the house and I saw them go down,” she said. “They were running from the house and the guy started shooting like crazy. All of a sudden cops came flying from everywhere.”

Officers told her to take cover in her basement and stay there, she said.

About 11 p.m., she told the newspaper that police were urging the man to talk to them on his cellphone. “They’re telling him they don’t want anybody else hurt and they want this to be a safe night,” she said.

The resident of the home was Cullen Mutrie, 29, the Union Leader said.

Gov. John Lynch rushed to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where the officers were being treated.

“This is a tragic incident, and my thoughts and prayers are with the officers involved and their families,” the Democratic governor told the Associated Press.

Appeared Here


Innocent Man Freed After Bogus Houston Texas Rape Conviction And 23 Years In Prison Still Not “Innocent” After Being Cleared By DNA Tests And Release From Prison

May 25, 2010

HOUSTON, TEXAS – A Houston man freed last year after spending 23 years in prison for a rape he did not commit cleared another hurdle Tuesday in his quest to be declared “actually innocent.”

DNA test results released in court Tuesday show that Ernest Sonnier, 47, was not involved in a second rape, which ended in a murder for which he was a suspect in 1985, said Alba Morales, the Innocence Project staff attorney handling the case. She said the test excluded Sonnier from being involved.

In the rape for which he was convicted, DNA testing over the past two years implicated two convicted felons as the perpetrators of the 1985 crime, Morales said.

Sonnier was released last Aug. 6 on a personal recognizance bond that included travel restrictions, including wearing an ankle monitor. State District Judge Michael McSpadden ruled Tuesday that Sonnier can travel freely and no longer must wear the monitor.

He continues to wait for a final ruling on his innocence, as prosecutors continue to investigate the case. He is scheduled to return to court for a hearing in September.

The rape for which he was convicted occurred Christmas Eve 1985, when two men approached a woman at an Alief gas station, forced her into her car by threatening to kill her and drove toward San Antonio. During a seven-hour drive, the men took turns raping the woman. The victim escaped the next morning after the men stopped the car.

Although two men committed the crime, Sonnier was the only person charged. He was convicted a year later and sentenced to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Appeared Here


Federal Prosecutors Botched Case Against Alaska Senator Ted Stevens – Conviction Reversed, Charges Dismissed

April 1, 2009

ALASKA – The Justice Department will drop all charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, NPR has learned.

A jury convicted Stevens last fall of seven counts of lying on his Senate disclosure form in order to conceal $250,000 in gifts from an oil industry executive and other friends. Stevens was the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, however, he lost his bid for an eighth full term in office just days after he was convicted. Since then, charges of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing and prompted defense motions for a new trial.

According to Justice Department officials, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to drop the case against Stevens rather than continue to defend the conviction in the face of persistent problems stemming from the actions of prosecutors.

The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he’s called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the office of public integrity. That’s the department’s section charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. Stevens’ lawyers are expected to be informed Wednesday morning that the department will dismiss the indictment against the former senator.

Holder’s decision is said to be based on Stevens’ age — he’s 85 — and because Stevens is no longer in the Senate. Perhaps most importantly, Justice Department officials say Holder wants to send a message to prosecutors throughout the department that actions he regards as misconduct will not be tolerated.

Holder began his career in the department’s public integrity section; and, according to sources, he was horrified by the failure of prosecutors to turn over all relevant materials to the defense.

The attorney general also knows the trial judge, Emmett Sullivan, well. The two men served together as judges of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia before each was promoted to higher office.

Holder respects Sullivan and reportedly has watched with growing alarm as Sullivan repeatedly has scolded prosecutors for failing to follow his judicial orders to fully inform defense lawyers about everything from potentially favorable evidence to the travel plans of witnesses. During the trial, prosecutorial missteps led to the judge instructing the jury to disregard some evidence.

Sentencing has been repeatedly delayed. By last month, it was playing a back seat to charges of prosecutorial misconduct — as a whistle-blowing FBI agent made complaints about improper conduct by a fellow agent and prosecutors. With a hearing scheduled in two weeks to explore those charges, Holder decided to review the case himself.

Justice Department officials say they will withdraw their opposition to the defense motion for a new trial and will dismiss the indictment — in effect voiding the Stevens conviction.

Appeared Here


Federal Prosecutors Botched Case Against Alaska Senator Ted Stevens – Conviction Reversed, Charges Dismissed

April 1, 2009

ALASKA – The Justice Department will drop all charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, NPR has learned.

A jury convicted Stevens last fall of seven counts of lying on his Senate disclosure form in order to conceal $250,000 in gifts from an oil industry executive and other friends. Stevens was the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, however, he lost his bid for an eighth full term in office just days after he was convicted. Since then, charges of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing and prompted defense motions for a new trial.

According to Justice Department officials, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to drop the case against Stevens rather than continue to defend the conviction in the face of persistent problems stemming from the actions of prosecutors.

The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he’s called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the office of public integrity. That’s the department’s section charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. Stevens’ lawyers are expected to be informed Wednesday morning that the department will dismiss the indictment against the former senator.

Holder’s decision is said to be based on Stevens’ age — he’s 85 — and because Stevens is no longer in the Senate. Perhaps most importantly, Justice Department officials say Holder wants to send a message to prosecutors throughout the department that actions he regards as misconduct will not be tolerated.

Holder began his career in the department’s public integrity section; and, according to sources, he was horrified by the failure of prosecutors to turn over all relevant materials to the defense.

The attorney general also knows the trial judge, Emmett Sullivan, well. The two men served together as judges of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia before each was promoted to higher office.

Holder respects Sullivan and reportedly has watched with growing alarm as Sullivan repeatedly has scolded prosecutors for failing to follow his judicial orders to fully inform defense lawyers about everything from potentially favorable evidence to the travel plans of witnesses. During the trial, prosecutorial missteps led to the judge instructing the jury to disregard some evidence.

Sentencing has been repeatedly delayed. By last month, it was playing a back seat to charges of prosecutorial misconduct — as a whistle-blowing FBI agent made complaints about improper conduct by a fellow agent and prosecutors. With a hearing scheduled in two weeks to explore those charges, Holder decided to review the case himself.

Justice Department officials say they will withdraw their opposition to the defense motion for a new trial and will dismiss the indictment — in effect voiding the Stevens conviction.

Appeared Here


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