A Brief Look at Crime 6/13-6-19

Man convicted of 3rd-degree murder in slaying of friend 

A man has been convicted of third-degree murder in the beating death of a friend in northwestern Pennsylvania two years ago. The Erie Times-News reports that jurors in Erie County deliberated for a little more than five hours before convicting 26-year-old Joshua Walker on Friday. Jurors also convicted Walker of aggravated assault but rejected the prosecution’s call for a first-degree murder conviction and acquitted Walker of possession of an instrument of crime. Before deliberations, the judge granted a defense request to dismiss robbery and theft counts. Prosecutors said Walker killed 39-year-old David Tate in a dispute over money in August 2014 because he wanted cash to have his electricity turned back on and to pay gambling debts. Walker testified that he had nothing to do with the killing.

Salina woman accused of fatal stabbing owed money to victim

Police were told that a Salina woman accused of a fatal stabbing who was arrested at a casino had a gambling problem and owed about $8,000 to the woman she allegedly stabbed, according to an arrest affidavit. Saline County District Court Judge Jared Johnson, at the request of the Salina Journal, released a redacted version of the affidavit written by law enforcement requesting charges against Thuy “Linh” Thi Duong. The affidavit gives this account: Police and emergency medical personnel were called at 9:34 a.m. May 12 to the 700 block of Max Avenue after a woman later identified as Loan Thanh Nguyen-Lovelace arrived at a neighbor’s house asking for help. Nguyen-Lovelace had a large wound that appeared to be a stab wound in her upper chest. She was transported to Salina Regional Health Center, where she died about two hours and 45 minutes later. The neighbor saw a light blue Hyundai or Honda car driving south from the area at a high rate of speed. She asked Nguyen-Lovelace who stabbed her, and Nguyen-Lovelace said, “Linh.”

Northern Wisconsin man charged in killing, arson at tavern 

A northern Wisconsin man is charged with killing a bartender and burning down the tavern to make it look like she died in the fire. Forty-four-year-old Donald Rick of Saxon faces charges including first-degree intentional homicide, armed burglary, arson and mutilating a corpse. According to the complaint, Rick told investigators he stabbed 52-year-old Lisa Waldros while burglarizing the Bear Trap Inn in March. KBJR-TV reports the complaint says Rick was trying to regain money he’d lost gambling. Authorities allege Rick entered the Bear Trap after closing and ordered Waldros at knifepoint to open her purse. The bag contained $194. The complaint says there was a struggle and Rick stabbed Waldros in the throat. Rick then allegedly got a gasoline container from his truck and set the bar on fire.

Gambling addict hanged himself at Chafford Hundred nature park

Mr Czarnota’s body was found in Chafford Gorges Nature Park. A 29-year-old man hanged himself from a tree in Chafford Gorges Nature Park in Chafford Hundred, an inquest heard. An inquest into the death of Ireneusz Czarnota was held at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court yesterday. Coroner’s officer Stewart Malcolm told the court how the body of Mr Czarnota, who had no fixed address, was found by a park ranger on the morning of November 6, 2015. He said: “A ranger from the Essex Wildlife Trust found him on the ground with a ligature around his neck. “He did have a severe gambling addiction. “A friend did see him on November 3 and described him as looking very well and happy.

Man gets life in illegal gambling house killing

Man arrested in connection with July homicide in south Fulton County
Travis Smith. A man will spend the rest of his life in jail after shooting and killing a man over money at an illegal gambling house. Travis Smith, 37, was sentenced to life in prison with no parole after police say he shot and killed  24-year-old Cortez Dowell according to a release from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Smith and Dowell were gambling about 3 a.m. at a southeast Atlanta home used as an illegal night club in July 2014. The two men were arguing over who won the money when Smith pulled out a gun and shot Dowell multiple times in the chest, according to the release. One witness told police she saw Smith walk from the house with a gun and overheard someone ask him why he shot Dowell. Dowell was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he later died. Smith was charged with murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and other charges.

Man shot, robbed in Las Vegas casino parking garage

Las Vegas police say a man was shot and wounded after suspects robbed him in the parking lot of the Palace Station  casino. The victim was taken to the hospital with critical injuries after the early Thursday incident. He was reported to be in stable condition later in the day. Police say three men had approached the victim as he was parking his motorcycle. They stole the man’s cellphone and wallet before shooting him in the torso. The suspects are believed to have fled the scene in a white sedan with tinted windows.

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