A Brief Look at Crime 04/24-4/30

Facebook Live Murder Suspect Steve Stephens ‘Lost Everything to Gambling’

Police in Cleveland were searching for a homicide suspect who they said broadcast a videotaped killing on Facebook and claimed to have committed another 15 murders, though these claims are yet to be verified. The search for Steve Stephens, 37, extended beyond Ohio to four other states late Sunday following the Easter morning gruesome killing of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. in Cleveland while Stephens broadcast the attack live via Facebook. The video remained up for three hours. A series of posts Sunday on what authorities said was Stephens’ Facebook page complained that he had “lost everything” to gambling.

Two dead, one hurt after DeKalb County shooting

Two men are dead and another was hurt after a shooting that DeKalb County police believe is the result of a murder-suicide. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports police found evidence of gambling in a garage and also discovered the bodies of a 28-year-old and a 35-year-old late Friday. Maj. Stephen Fore, spokesman for DeKalb Police, said Saturday that it appears the younger man shot the older man and then shot himself. Fore says a 25-year-old man, who was shot in the leg, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition. A preliminary investigation shows a fight over money started between the two dead men, whose names are being withheld pending notification of relatives.

Washington Park man sentenced to 60 years in string of downtown St. Louis robberies

A man from Washington Park was sentenced Thursday to 60 years in prison for a string of violent street robberies in downtown St. Louis in 2015. St. Louis Circuit Judge David Dowd sentenced Roy D. Brown, 28, to prison on 13 counts of robbery, attempted robbery and resisting arrest. A St. Louis jury last month found Brown guilty. Brown was accused of snatching purses and wallets from people from Nov. 27 to Dec. 23, 2015. Some of the victims were targeted after leaving downtown bars, restaurants and hotels. Immediately after some of the robberies, Brown would go to a casino and a Wal-Mart in Illinois where he spent thousands of dollars using stolen credit and debit cards. Police said Brown struck some victims, and in one incident dragged a woman by her purse for several feet and threatened to shoot her friend who tried to intervene. “Roy Brown’s actions are exactly why people avoid the city of St. Louis,” Assistant Circuit Attorney Madeline Connolly wrote in a sentencing recommendation. One of the victims moved out of the city because of the attack, Connelly wrote. Another won’t walk alone to lunch downtown anymore.

Woman Leaves Infant in Running Car While She Gambles Inside Casino

A 28-year-old Nevada woman is being held in the Elko County jail on $100,000 bail after deputies say she left her infant in a running, unlocked car for an hour while she was gambling. Elko County sheriff’s deputies arrested Jamie Benson of Spring Creek Thursday for suspicion of child abuse or neglect. The Elko Daily Free Press reports deputies found the 14-month child in the back seat of a car in the parking lot of Dottie’s Casino in Spring Creek. Deputies say the heater was on high and the temperature inside the vehicle reached 86 degrees. The child was taken to an Elko hospital then transferred to the custody of the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services.

Sheriff records show how $17 million in gambling funds were spent

The largest gambling ring bust in Florida history brought down a $300 million operation in 2013. The investigation led by authorities in Seminole County resulted in the arrest of 57 people and closure of 50 gambling rings across the state. The majority of those arrested settled their criminal cases and served no jail time. As part of the settlement, the defendants also turned over a portion of their assets. A First Coast News investigation in February looked into how those funds received by the government were spent. Records recently obtained from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office show $17.8 million in settlements were received by Seminole County courts. The sheriff’s office received $6.4 million of that amount and the remaining $11 million was distributed to other agencies like the Florida Attorney General’s Office. The majority of the sheriff’s office portion, $4.1 million, was used to fund law enforcement equipment and training facilities. Financial logs show purchases of $550,000 for armored vest replacements, $290,000 for active shooter equipment, $260,000 for an armored response and rescue vehicle, and $550,000 worth of standard issued rifles.

Four charged in blackjack cheating scam at northeast SD casino

Three former Dakota Sioux Casino employees and a blackjack player have pleaded not guilty to a cheating conspiracy where they are accused of stealing $10,000 from the Watertown gambling establishment. The four are charged with conspiracy and theft by employees of a gaming establishment on Indian land with each facing up to 25 years in prison, $500,000 in fines and restitution if convicted on the two accusations. The theft allegedly occurred on New Year’s Eve 2015 and into Jan. 1, 2016, at the casino, which is on Lake Traverse Indian Reservation land and operated by the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Sioux Tribe. The U.S. Attorney for South Dakota said the plan that night was to have Rondell make a large sum of money from illegitimate winnings paid by Brown and Gill with Rondell then paying off the other three. Bolocon was the pit boss that night, said the complaint.

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