Mistrial declared in Taft Union High shooting

Taft Union High School

Taft Union High School

Back in January of 2013 a then 16-year-old Bryan Oliver stormed Taft Union High School, in Taft, California, with a shotgun and discharged the gun into the chest of his victim, Bowe Cleveland. Cleveland had to be induced into a medical coma and had further complications after his initial release from the hospital. Oliver fired another shot at another student by the name of Jacob Nichols. A teacher prevented Oliver from committing anymore violence. Oliver was charged as an adult with two counts of attempted murder. Yesterday during the sentencing phase of Oliver’s trial a mistrial was declared.

As in most school shooting cases bullying was used as the main defense. I’m still of the opinion that the bullying in Oliver’s case may have just been a case of him being a violence obsessed loser in the vein of Cho Seung Hui but I digress. It appears that the defense was a successful one for now because of bleeding heart jurors…

“I think he went in there to shoot the child, but I don’t think he went in there to murder,” he said. “Just because you shoot somebody doesn’t mean you want to kill them.”

In the end, Miller said, the greatest failure was on the part of the school district.

“They didn’t step up,” he said. “This boy was crying out for help, and they didn’t give it to him.”

With all due respect sir you are a fucking moron. When you shoot someone, with a gun, killing them is your only intention. Especially when the person holding the gun was discovered to have written bloody revenge fantasy stories. If for some reason Oliver goes free after the retrial in January and goes on to commit violence again you should be the second person held responsible.

Could anyone have helped the FSU shooter?

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First off I wonder how many people actually remember that there was a shooting at Florida State a few weeks ago? But I digress.

The week before last Myron May shot up the library at Florida State University, injuring three before police shot and killed him. According to some people who knew him May was extremely mentally disturbed. He allegedly thought that the government was stalking him with an ‘energy weapon’. He is also said to have called police to report a hidden camera in his apartment even though police failed to find anything. This was beyond your typical conspiracy theory nonsense and devolved into dangerous paranoia.

The question is what could have been done to help May before he became dangerously violent? People who are this disconnected with reality aren’t going to seek help for themselves since more than likely they perceive any one in any kind of authority as a threat. His family could have had him held for his own safety but we don’t know if they were aware of his mental illness. He also must have been good at hiding his illness because his co-workers and colleagues said he was fine. However some of his neighbors lived in fear of him.

Unfortunately even in a perfect world I don’t think May could have been stopped. He was a perfect storm of mental illness, violence and just enough of an actor to hide his psychosis from those who could have gotten him help legally. Even if the act of asking for psychiatric help was less stigmatized in our culture I don’t think that would have made a difference.

NC teen killed in craigslist robbery

Jarrion Hood

Jarrion Hood

This past Tuesday night 18-year-old Jawad Ali Razai was shot and killed in Durham, North Carolina, after responding to a craigslist ad for a cell phone for sale. Instead, police say, that 18-year-old Jarrion Hood shot and killed Razai during an attempt to rob him. Somehow Hood was shot as well but unfortunately survived. Hood also has been previously charged with kidnapping and assault with intent to kill.

What can I say that I haven’t already said in the past 8 years since I’ve been tracking craigslist crimes? It’s not a safe way to do any kind of business no matter what side of the transaction your on, what time of day the transaction takes place or even how public the meeting place is. If someone is determined enough to try to take what you have nothing will stop them from getting it, including a possible murder charge.

Kenny Bartley on the run from the law

Kenny Bartley

Kenny Bartley

In what is starting to be a routine occurrence Kenny Bartley is in trouble with the law yet again. Bartley pleaded guilty to the 2005 shooting death of Campbell County High Principal Ken Bruce. He was charged as an adult and his plea deal saw him sentenced to 45 years, However the plea was thrown out and a subsequent retrial saw Bartley getting time served.

Since his release from prison Bartley already had a few run ins with police. Now police are searching for him on charges that he allegedly assaulted a female relative. Bartley is currently considered a fugitive. If you’re in the Campbell County, Kentucky area police are asking that you call 911 if you see him.

Who would have thought that a released killer would re-offend said no one ever.

UPDATE 10/18/2014: Bartley turned himself into police. It seems the domestic violence issue was that he allegedly tried to choke his own mother after she refused to give him money for a cab.

“Kenneth put his arm around Rita’s neck and told her he would make her pass out if she did not give him the money,” according to the warrant.

Broyles said her son then took the cord from his headphones, twisted them around her neck and told her “she knew he could do it.”

Who is going to have to die this time before Bartley goes back to prison?

The latest craigslist killer is only 16

Nathaniel Vivian, the shooter's alleged accomplice

Nathaniel Vivian, the shooter’s alleged accomplice

28-year-old Danny Zeitz was shot and killed in Sandy Springs, Georgia, on Friday while trying to sell a video game console on craigslist. Zeitz was allegedly shot by a 16-year-old girl who authorities have not named in yet another robbery gone bad.

While the girl’s boyfriend, 20-year-old Nathaniel Vivian, struggled with Zeitz over the console the girl is said to have fired a shot which struck Vivian in the hand before striking Zeitz in the chest killing him. The couple was in a car at the time of the shooting and had the girl’s 16-month-old baby in the back seat.

Gamer friends of Zeitz set up a GoFundMe page in order to help pay for his funeral expenses.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

If you’re doing any kind of business on craigslist no matter where you may be the odds are pretty good that you may end up being robbed which has led to deaths in the past. I would recommend not doing business on craigslist but if you insist on doing that insist that the transaction take place during the day in front of your local police department. You can never be too safe when dealing with these kind of transactions.

Craigslist killing in Houston

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This past Thursday night 28-year-old Saul Cifuentes was shot and killed by someone posing as a craigslist seller in Houston, Texas. The victim thought he was meeting someone in order to buy a video game console, instead it turned into a robbery gone wrong. As of yet no suspect has been arrested.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

As I’ve said before since craigslist has such a low-level of entry (free) anyone can place an ad. Not to mention that craigslist users have this notion of anonymity it makes it a haven for all sorts of criminal activity. It’s not worth whatever great deal you think you’re getting.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of the victim.

Atlanta cop accused of craigslist/Backpage killing

Tahreem Zeus Rana

Tahreem Zeus Rana

Police in Happeville, Georgia have charged Tahreem Zeus Rana with allegedly shooting and killing 26-year-old Vernicia Woodard then burning her body in an attempt to destroy evidence. Before his arrest Rana was an Atlanta police officer. He reportedly met his victim on either craigslist or Backpage depending on the source. I haven’t seen any confirmation if Ms. Woodard was a prostitute but that shouldn’t matter. No one should have to bury someone who has been set on fire and possibly burned beyond recognition just so someone could try to throw investigators off their tail.

Thankfully the Happeville police thought more of Ms. Woodard’s life than her killer as they were able to track him from the internet correspondence between the two however Rana fled. He was apprehended at the Atlanta airport before he could board a flight to Mexico.

So far no motive has been given the killing. I’ll post more as details become available. To my recollection this is the first time that a supposed craigslist killer has been a cop.

Kenny Bartley back in jail

Kenny Bartley

Kenny Bartley

For the second time since he’s been released from prison Kenny Bartley has been arrested. Police were called by Bartley’s father who said his son had ‘gone crazy’. When police approached Bartley they say that he was drinking which is a violation of his parole. That’s not what he went to jail for though.

When a deputy put his hand on Bartley’s back and asked him if was okay, the report said Bartley jumped out of his seat, took off his shirt and tried to hit two deputies. As deputies forced him to the ground, Bartley grabbed a shoe and threw it at them. Bartley then jumped to his feet.

One of the deputies pulled out a taser and told Bartley to get on the ground. Bartley complied and the deputies arrested him.

That’s also the second time that Bartley has been TASERed since getting out of prison. He’s also being held without bond until further notice.

Bartley shot and killed Principal Ken Bruce in Campbell County High In Kentucky back in 2005. He entered into a plea deal which saw him sentenced as an adult to 45 years. That plea was eventually thrown out and a new trial was ordered where Bartley was found not guilty earlier this year of murder but was convicted for reckless homicide.

Maybe Ken Bruce will get some justice after all.

UPDATE 10/6/2014: Bartley has pleaded guilty to threatening his father and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to supervised probation. No word yet if he’ll change his plea in a couple of years.

Campbell County High shooter arrested again, and released again

Kenny Bartley

Kenny Bartley

113 days. That’s all it took for Kenny Bartley to be arrested after being released from prison for the 2005 Campbell County High shooting that left assistant principal Ken Bruce dead.

The now 22-year-old Bartley was recently arrested for allegedly making violent threats against his father over a set of car keys. When police arrived Bartley allegedly head butted one of the cops and had to be subdued/TASERed. Bartley was said to be under the influence. Gee, who thought a violent drugged out kid would be a violent drugged out adult, allegedly.

Bartley’s dad paid Bartley’s bond. So that means a killer walks the streets again. Bartley’s lawyer blames his client’s behavior on the ‘public scrutiny’ his client is under. I mean it’s not like he’s ever showed prior violent tendencies before. Oh wait.

Bartley is a ticking time bomb who should have never been let out of prison in the first place. It’s only a matter of time before he’s back in there for good again. I hope the members of the jury who saw to his release can live with that.

Thanks to Nathan for the assist.

Arrest made in year old Connecticut Craigslist Killing

Rashad Moon

Rashad Moon

I originally posted about the murder of Felix DeJesus here. The 39-year-old father of two was gunned down in 2013 while still in his car in Hartford, Connecticut. He was selling a tablet computer and went to meet the seller since the seller said they didn’t own a car. A year passed without an arrest being made although police had a person of interest.

That person of interest may now be a suspect as Hartford police have arrested 22-year-old Rashad Moon and charged him with DeJesus’ murder.

While a lot of transactions take place through craigslist with no incident in my opinion there’s enough that end in tragedy that cause me not to use Craigslist. To me it seems like a game of Russian Roulette anytime someone uses craigslist for no matter what purpose. Eventually someone is going to get the bullet.

UPDATE 6/30/2014: Hartford police have arrested a 2nd suspect in 20-year-old Marvin Mathis. It’s unclear at present what Mathis’ alleged role was in the murder of Felix DeJesus.

Marvin Mathis

Marvin Mathis