Los Angeles County California Judge Mitchell Beckloff Prevents Two Kids From Attending Their Dead Mother’s Memorial Service

May 28, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – The children of a Los Angeles woman found dead at a Mexican resort last month will not be allowed to attend a memorial service for their mother Sunday, a judge ruled Friday.

A therapist hired by their father, a former “Survivor” producer named a “person of interest” in the investigation of his wife’s death, said the service could be emotionally harmful to the young children.

Mexican authorities detained the father, Bruce Beresford-Redman, as a suspect the day his wife’s body’s was found. He was released a day later.

Sunday’s memorial service is planned by Monica Beresford-Redman’s sisters, who are also fighting for custody of the children.

“We respect the decision of the court, but we are very disappointed the fact that the children were denied to participate in the celebration of their mother’s life,” Jeane Burgos said.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff delayed any decision on changing the current custody arrangement. Beresford-Redman’s parents were given temporary custody last month after he was told by Mexican police to remain in the country while they investigated. He recently returned to Los Angeles and filed papers for custody to be returned to him.

The maternal sisters have also petitioned for permanent custody of the children, ages 3 and 5.

Beresford-Redman was not in court Friday because of the swarm of reporters at the Los Angeles County courthouse, his criminal defense lawyer said.

Defense Attorney Richard Hirsch used the gathering of journalists to ask that there not be “a rush to judgment” about Beresford-Redman. He said there have been other unsolved deaths and an attack at the Moon Palace resort, where Monica Beresford-Redman’s body was found in a sewer.

Hirsch cited the death of an elderly Scottish woman, who was found in a swamp weeks after leaving a pool for a walk, and a Canadian man who allegedly fell from a hotel balcony.

Jeff Toews, a Canadian, was found dead in May 2007. Investigators decided he died from a drunken fall from a balcony, but his family did not accept that explanation.

Julia Howard, a 77-year-old woman from Scotland, was found dead in a dense swamp six weeks after disappearing from a pool area last summer. Her family also rejected the police conclusion that her death was an accident.

A woman reported an attempted rape in her hotel room “several days after Mrs. Beresford-Redman’s body was discovered,” Hirsch said.

“We have brought this to the attention of the authorities and, in particular, to the attorney general in Cancun and asked them to pursue all leads before making a decision whether of not to charge our client,” Hirsch said. “We feel that this case should not be a rush to judgment.”

“There are strange things going on, I think, that need to be pursued,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the resort has not responded to a CNN request for comment.

The initial investigation suggested Monica Beresford-Redman “died of strangulation because of the bruising,” Mexican regional police spokesman Adrian Cardena said.

A source close to the wife has told CNN that she cleaned out the family bank account and took her two children to Hawaii because she was upset about her husband’s extramarital affair. The couple later traveled to Cancun in an effort to repair their marriage, the source said.

Bruce Beresford-Redman built his career as a Hollywood reality television show producer. He worked for several seasons on the popular CBS show “Survivor,” in which contestants compete against each other in a variety of extreme outdoor scenarios. He was nominated for three Emmy Awards as a producer on the show and was last credited as a producer in 2004.

He also worked on NBC’s “The Contender” and “The Restaurant,” as well as MTV’s “Pimp My Ride,” according to entertainment media company IMG.

Monica Beresford-Redman, a native of Brazil, owned a restaurant in Los Angeles.

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Okaloosa County Florida Pisses Away Taxpayer Dollars After 16 Year Old Girl Wouldn’t Give Up Her Cellphone

May 19, 2010

LAUREL HILL, FLORIDA – When a father told his 16-year-old daughter to give up her cell phone, she scratched his face and was later arrested, according to her Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

About 10 p.m. May 4, the two argued because the girl wouldn’t give up her cell phone as punishment for breaking house rules, the report reads. The argument escalated and the girl scratched her father on the right side of the face.

When a deputy attempted to interview the girl, she started crying and couldn’t provide her account of the incident, according to the report. The deputy determined she was the primary aggressor.

The girl was charged with domestic battery and is due in juvenile court June 23.

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Tax Dollars Wasted In Prosecution And Trial Of Pennsylvania Sex For World Series Tickets Woman

March 26, 2010

PENNSYLVANIA – Susan Finkelstein, the Phillies fan who advertised herself as a “desperate blonde” in need of World Series tickets, got a split verdict from a Pennnsylvania jury yesterday on charges of prostitution.

Finkelstein, 44, was acquitted of prostitution but convicted of attempted prostitution by a jury. “I’m obviously disappointed that it didn’t come out with both counts not guilty,” she told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I honestly believe it should have gone that way, but there are disappointments in life.”

She won’t be sentenced immediately, and her lawyer called the third-degree misdemeanor conviction “A half a stair above a traffic ticket.”

Finkelstein’s ad on Craigslist appeared under the heading, “DESPERATE BLOND NEEDS WS TIX.” She described herself as a “gorgeous tall buxom blonde” and added, “Price negotiable – I’m the creative type! Maybe we can help each other!”

Finkelstein was arrested after Bensalem police set up a sting Oct. 26. Police alleged she had offered to sleep with an undercover officer in return for two seats for herself and her husband.

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Kid Escapes From Brand New $45 Million Maryland Youth "Anti-Prison" The Day After It Opens

June 3, 2009

LAUREL, MARYLAND – Sources said Monday afternoon that the youth who escaped Saturday from the New Beginnings Youth Center in Laurel, Md. — embarrassing the $45 million juvenile facility that just opened on Friday — finally was recaptured Monday.

The escape of a juvenile inmate from a new “anti-prison” leaves officials embarrassed.

The sources said the juvenile was found in northeast Washington by a youth rehabilitation department employee. The juvenile is now back in custody with D.C. Police.

The New Beginnings Youth Center in Laurel, Md., was described as an “anti-prison” in many of the warm and fuzzy stories written about it leading up to its opening on Friday. How apropos, because how can it be a prison if it can’t keep the inmates inside.

On Saturday the kid escaped by scaling a fence. It appears officials knew that fencing would be a problem, according to the Washington Post. The old Oak Hill facility had razor wire on its fence, but that wasn’t part of the new home. It turned out to be a bad move.

A day before the facility opened, Schiraldi and David Muhammad, chief of committed services, said they had brought in young men to try to scale the fences and made modifications based on what they observed. Schiraldi said he planned to place prickly shrubbery, possibly rose bushes, near the fence so inmates would not be tempted to flee.

Prickly shrubbery? Something tells us the kids in this facility have seen far worse in their lives than a little prickly shrubbery.

So after Saturday’s escape, razor wire was added to the new facility’s fence.

So much for the anti-prison.

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Death Sentence: Woman Dies After Being Left In An Outdoor Cage In The Hot Sun By Goodyear Arizona Prison Guards – Had This Been A Dog, It Might Have Gotten More Attention

June 3, 2009

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – Arizona is ending its use of outdoor prison cells after an inmate died in triple-digit heat last month, the corrections department said Tuesday.

Corrections spokesman Barrett Marson said in an e-mail that the decision came after consulting with Gov. Jan Brewer’s office.

Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said “the governor made a judgment that she didn’t desire this usage.”

“It’s certainly to prevent any future exposure out in the elements,” he said, adding that Brewer believes indoor cells would be a good replacement for the outdoor ones.

The department said last week it was temporarily halting use of the cells to add shade and water. Corrections Director Charles Ryan planned to discuss the change on Wednesday.

Marcia Powell, 48, died from heat-related complications hours after she collapsed May 19 in an uncovered outdoor cell. She had been in the cell for nearly four hours, despite a policy that set a two-hour limit.

Ryan has said Powell’s cell was 20 yards from a control room where officers were supposed to be watching her. Three prison employees were suspended pending an investigation.

The chain-link holding cells were used to house inmates being transferred between various sections of the prison. Powell was placed in one at the Perryville prison in Goodyear after seeing a psychologist.

She had been serving a 2-year sentence for prostitution. A string of convictions left Powell in jail or prison for most of the past decade, according to court documents.

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US National Archives Can’t Find 2 Terrabyte Hard Drive Containing Sensitive White House Information – Offers $50K Reward

May 30, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – The US National Archives offered a cash reward of up to 50,000 dollars Friday for the recovery of a missing computer hard drive containing sensitive personnel data from the Clinton administration.

Described by the archives as a “Western Digital MY BOOK external hard drive” with a 2-terabyte storage capacity, it contained copies of backup tapes from the White House dating back to president Bill Clinton’s tenure in the 1990s.

The drive was discovered missing on March 24 from an archives processing room in College Park, Maryland.

The disappearance of the drive, which included social security numbers and other personal information of White House employees, is being investigated by the US Secret Service.

The archives said it had not yet determined whether the drive had been lost or stolen.

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Maine State Police Raid Charity Event, Seize Money They Raised To Feed The Poor

May 30, 2009

BUXTON, MAINE – Buxton police raided a building where people were trying to raise money to give free food to the needy.

It happened at the Narragansett Pythian Sisters Temple on Route 22 where people were playing the card game Texas Hold’em to benefit the Buxton Community Food Co-op.

But state police said the game was illegal.

That’s because whenever a gambling tournament is held to raise money for a group and takes place at its headquarters, a permit is needed and the co-op didn’t have one.

So, state police seized cards, poker chips and $500 in cash — money the food co-op desperately needed.

A member of the co-op, Joann Groder, said she is very, very sad about what happened.

“We’ve had a lot of people who come here — people who are out of work, people who have cancer. We have a lot of people,” said Groder.

But state police are standing by what was done.

“In this particular case they weren’t licensed, and they knew they weren’t and they knew they needed one,” said Lt. David Bowler of the Maine State Police.

The money from the co-op’s card game is currently being held as evidence while the investigation continues.

Groder now plans to hold a pot roast dinner to raise money for the co-op.

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