A Brief Look at Crime 02/08 – 02/14

Alabama man gets life in slaying of high school coach 

A judge sentenced a north Alabama man to life imprisonment Thursday for the slaying of a volunteer high school coach whose body was thrown into the Tennessee River. Evidence during a trial in November showed Rutland was stabbed multiple times and shot. His body was dumped into the river from an old railroad bridge. Williams claimed he killed the man in self-defense after Rutland came to his apartment to collect a gambling debt. A criminal complaint alleged that when Williams said he did not have the money, Rutland threatened to “cut one of his fingers off every time he saw him until he paid him.”

Masked gunmen murder gambling hall manager 

A deadly ambush took the life of a manager of an alleged illegal gambling hall in southwest Bexar County. The killers vanished into the night. The victim was reportedly shot by two gunmen, who then ransacked the business. Deputies said no one else injured. Deputies said the suspects left the gambling hall. They did not disclose if the robbers took anything. The identity of the victim was not immediately available, although deputies said he was in his 30s. The suspects face charges of capital murder. Criminal charges are also pending for those operating the gambling hall inside of the rural mobile home.

 Woman gets seven years for embezzling

A Green Bay woman will spend seven years in prison for stealing $700,000 from the company she worked for. Laurie A. Vandenbush, 56, also must spend 11 years on extended supervision and pay back the money she stole, Brown County Judge Donald Zuidmulder ordered this week. Vandenbush was found guilty of stealing the money while working as office manager of accounting and benefits at CQM Inc, an engineering firm at 2679 Continental Drive, Bellevue. She admitted using the company credit card for personal expenses and gambling over the last several years, according to a criminal complaint. The company’s owner spotted discrepancies in the company’s books and brought in Brown Country Sheriff’s Office investigators in fall 2014.

State says Palm Beach Kennel Club ran illegal card games  

Florida gambling regulators this week accused the Palm Beach Kennel Club and six other pari-mutuels of breaking state law by offering an unsanctioned type of poker game. An attorney for the Kennel Club said Thursday that the track’s card room has offered “designated-player” games for years. State regulators filed administrative complaints against seven gambling facilities with card rooms. The action comes as state lawmakers debate a $3 billion gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe. That deal, announced last month by Gov. Rick Scott, would let the Palm Beach Kennel Club operate 750 slot machines. However, the agreement doesn’t allow slots at other pari-mutuels that covet them. The Seminole Tribe, meanwhile, has sued to stop pari-mutuels from offering the designated-player games, a type of three-card poker that bears a faint resemblance to casino-style poker games.

Man Shot in Back in Casino Pauma Parking Lot 

A man was shot in the back in the parking lot of a casino north of San Diego County early Saturday morning, officials confirmed. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) said Valley Center Substation patrol deputies were called to Casino Pauma just after 4 a.m. to investigate a reported assault with a deadly weapon. The casino is located at 777 Pauma Reservation Rd., about 60 miles north of downtown San Diego. Casino security officers had called deputies to report that an unknown man was shooting at a woman in the front parking lot of the casino. When deputies arrived at the parking lot, they discovered a man in the lot, suffering from a single gunshot wound to his back. He was taken to Palomar Medical Center. At of 7 a.m. Saturday, the SDSO said the man was listed in critical but stable condition. According to investigators, witnesses at the casino said they heard a single gunshot fired in the parking lot. Witnesses reported seeing a woman flee from the parking into the main casino following the gunfire.

Man admits stealing neighbor’s identity, draining investment funds of $128,420 

Saying he used the money to fuel drug, alcohol and gambling addictions, a Billings man admitted he stole a neighbor’s personal information and used it to drain $128,420 from various investment accounts. Zeth Andrew Hilario, 33, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Billings to three mail fraud counts and one aggravated identity theft count as part of plea deal to dismiss 12 other crimes charged in an indictment. Hilario also used the stolen information to convince Ameriprise Financial to drain another account of the victim’s and to send him the check. Hilario faces a maximum 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the mail fraud count and a mandatory consecutive two years in prison on the aggravated identity theft count.

 For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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