Notify SCP of Criminal Activity As Soon As Possible

August 31, 2010

Unfortunately our community has recently experienced criminal acts of thefts from vehicles and vandalism of vehicles where the windows were shot with what appears to be BB guns.

  I was able to speak with one of the BB gun victims on Burlwood after I learned of the incident through the grapevine.
 
 In speaking to the victim I learned that the incident happened on Friday night, August 27, 2010 (technically Saturday morning) around 2 AM. The victim related that she reported the incident to the CMPD who sent 2 patrol cars quickly, but that she didn’t think to call us as well.
 
 The problem presented here is that I was actually “on the street” patrolling in a different part of the community at the time this incident happened and could have responded to the area very quickly in an effort to locate the suspect vehicle. My being notified and CMPD sending 2 cars would have given us 3 total patrol vehicles checking the area.
 
 In addition, I would have continued patrolling our community after the CMPD units moved on to other calls across the city had I known about this incident when it happened.
 
 Please call me when incidents such as these happen regardless of the time of day or night as I don’t turn my phone off. If I’m not able to respond I will tell you to call CMPD and follow up with you ASAP.
 
 Unfortunately, the CMPD does not always inform me of the calls for service they receive in our community so the person reporting a given incident to them should report it to us as well as we may be able to respond more quickly and devote more time to looking into the incident.
 
 We’re operating our Patrol so our community will have an extra layer of protection, but we can’t help by taking immediate action if we aren’t told of criminal activity when it happens.
 
 Please call us as quickly as possible if you experience or see a criminal act.
Brian Lutes
Stonehaven Patrol
980-297-8446
Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 7:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Looking For Driver in Student Hit and Run

From: http://www.ten8.wordpress.com

NewsChannel 36 WCNC – Charlotte, NC

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are looking for the driver of a tan Mazda Millenia that they believe hit a 7-year-old student Monday afternoon and kept driving.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools say the Tuckaseegee Elementary School student was crossing Little Rock Road with a parent, got ahead of that parent and was hit by a car just after 3 p.m.

There wasn’t a crossing guard at that intersection.

The child’s injuries weren’t life-threatening.

Police ask you to contact them if you know anything about the hit and run.

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 4:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Montgomery Goes On Trial In Killings Of Two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officers

August 23, 2010 by ten8 (www.ten8.wordpress.com)

Death penalty case over the slayings of two CMPD officers could pit community’s grief against claims of racial bias.

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Monday, Aug. 23, 2010

Three years after two police officers were gunned down at an East Charlotte apartment complex, Demeatrius Montgomery goes on trial today for their killings – and for his life.

1AQK0O4

Montgomery

Calvin George of Charlotte holds an American flag and salutes during the funeral motorcade for Jeff Shelton, one of two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers killed in a 2007 ambush. 2007 OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the killings of Officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton, who were ages 34 and 35 when they were shot in a surprise attack at the troubled Timber Ridge apartments in 2007.

Officer Jeff Shelton

The officers’ deaths shocked the city and prompted thousands to line the streets for their funeral processions. The attack felt eerily similar to the 1993 slayings of two other Charlotte officers, who also were killed by one assailant as police say happened at Timber Ridge.

  • Officer Sean Clark

    Montgomery’s trial is predicted to run for weeks – beginning with the painstaking selection of a jury. Nearly 2,000 Mecklenburg residents have been summoned to submit to scrutiny as possible jurors. Twelve will be chosen, plus several alternates, after what can become personal, even intrusive questioning about their backgrounds, biases and beliefs.

    The trial promises to be emotional in a county that rarely seeks or imposes the death penalty – and that also widely respects its police officers.

    “The killing of a police officer strikes at the very heart of a civilized society…” says Charlotte lawyer and death penalty expert Jim Cooney. “(It’s) one of the most aggravated murders we have, next to the killing of a child.”

    The trial comes at a time when North Carolina is wrestling with questions about what role racial bias plays in sentencing.

    Montgomery, 28, is black; the slain officers white. Studies show someone who kills a white person is nearly three times more likely to get the death penalty than someone who kills an African-American.

    Such trends recently prompted N.C. lawmakers to pass the Racial Justice Act, which allows death row inmates and defendants in death penalty cases to challenge their prosecution on grounds of bias. For the first time, judges can now consider statistics and anecdotal trends of racial disparities in death sentences to change a death sentence to life.

    “The judge is going to have to give the defense counsel a great deal of latitude to explore the issue of race with the jurors,” says Bob Hurley, the state’s capital defender, who once represented a black man ultimately convicted – but not given death – for killing a white police officer.

    “They’ll certainly ask the typical questions about the life experiences, but also their experiences dealing with people of another race, dealing with other African-Americans.”

    Ultimately, local lawyers agree, the trial will rest on the strength of the evidence against Montgomery.

    Neither prosecutors nor Montgomery’s attorneys would discuss the case.

    It’s unclear if prosecutors can produce a witness who saw Montgomery pull the trigger.

    At the time of the killings, one witness told the Observer that she saw Montgomery talking to the officers before the shooting. She and another witness also said then they saw him running from the scene with a gun in his hand.

    On Friday, Montgomery’s attorneys filed a motion alleging misconduct by an investigator in the case. It alleges a detective withheld, plagiarized and discarded important notes from the investigation, which the attorneys said would violate evidence discovery rules. Partial notes the attorneys did receive suggest another man who looked like Montgomery was seen near the site of the shootings, the motion says.

    Another defense motion suggests that prosecutors have obtained Montgomery’s DNA from a .32-caliber gun believed to be the murder weapon. But defense attorneys are challenging that, saying police didn’t leave enough DNA evidence for them to conduct their own analysis.

    The motion also raises questions about the soundness of using test results from Charlotte’s police lab in a case that involves a police shooting.

    If Montgomery is proven guilty, experts say, his life may depend on his ability to connect with the jury. That may not be easy for Montgomery, who defense attorneys have said suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and has been little help in preparing his trial defense.

    Montgomery had not uttered a word about the crimes, his attorneys said in court this spring. They have argued unsuccessfully he is incompetent to stand trial.

    In deciding punishment, a jury must weigh the aggravating factors of a murder, such as the defendant’s criminal record, with mitigating factors, such as his intelligence, any mental problems and life experiences.

    Says lawyer Cooney: “As an attorney, you have to operate on the assumption that the killer of a police officer will get the death penalty unless there is an extraordinary and compelling reason not to impose it.”

    A Fatal Night

    The murder charges were the first felonies leveled against Demeatrius Antonio Montgomery.

    A South Mecklenburg High School dropout, Montgomery had been convicted three times for assault – at least once for assaulting a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer. He’d also been convicted three times for resisting an officer.

    He’d done jail time, but had never gone to prison.

    On Saturday, March 31, 2007, he had been drinking brandy, smoking Newports and listening to music – possibly a Pastor Troy song called “Murda Man,” court documents say. He visited a relative at Timber Ridge.

    About 10:30 p.m., Clark and Shelton were sent to a disturbance call at the complex.

    Around 11:20, a woman called 911 and reported two officers were down. She ran across the parking lot to help the officers, police said later.

    When firefighters arrived, they found both officers shot in the back of the head, documents say. Their guns were still in their holsters.

    Experts said the autopsy suggests the officers were shot at close range – within three feet of the gun. A police account said the officers had struggled with someone.

    Clark died at 12:14 a.m. on April 1, Shelton at 4:06.

    Montgomery, then 25, was arrested about 40 minutes after the shooting at The Plaza and McBride Street, about a mile from Timber Ridge.

    In the hours after the shooting, police swarmed the apartment complex, knocking on doors, questioning residents, searching for evidence.

    Over the next several days, police took DNA and urine samples from Montgomery, and went to his relative’s Timber Ridge apartment to search for evidence related to a .32-caliber gun, court documents say.

    Montgomery’s trial has been delayed, as his attorney’s have argued their client is mentally incompetent. But after testing and testimony from psychiatrists, a judge declared Montgomery competent.

    His attorneys have cited the Racial Justice Act, trying to rule out a death penalty trial for Montgomery. But they withdrew the request, which could be revived if Montgomery is convicted.

    The last person convicted of killing a police officer in Charlotte was ordered to die for his crime. But Alden Harden, citing racial bias, is appealing his sentence for the 1993 shooting deaths of Officers John Burnette and Andy Nobles.

    Court staff expect a throng of spectators for Montgomery’s trial.

    Police officers will be there, though the local police union is encouraging uniformed officers not to show up en masse.

    “We don’t want to appear that we’re pressuring the jury,” says Todd Walther, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We want a fair trail for both sides.”

    The families of officers Shelton and Clark are also expected at the trial. They have generally declined in-depth interviews. Montgomery’s relatives may also attend. He has two children.

    “A capital trial is very intense to begin with, because it involves someone’s life…,” says Durham lawyer Hurley. “When you add… the fact that the two victims are police officers, it’s hard to believe that the level of intensity can be increased, but it can.”

    He recalls the courtroom during the 1998 trial of his client who’d killed a police officer: “The tension was so strong and omnipresent. There’s a lot of pressure on all the participants. They all feel some pressure from different segments of the community to deliver what they feel is an appropriate verdict.” Staff Writer Gary L. Wright contributed.

    Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046
  • Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  

    South Charlotte Robber Poses As Delivery Man

    August 19, 2010 by ten8 (www.ten8.wordpress.com)

    By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
    cwootson@charlotteobserver.com
    Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010

    A man who pretended he was delivering a package forced himself into a south Charlotte home Thursday morning and made off with valuables, police say.

    The man was holding a package when he rang the doorbell at a home on Ardsley Road just before 11 a.m. Thursday. He told the woman who came to the door that someone needed to sign for the package. As the woman was opening the door, the man burst in, police said. He was holding a handgun.

    He then took the woman around the home looking for things of value, police said.

    Police described the robber as a young white man in his early- to mid-20s. He is average height with no facial hair and was driving a light-colored or tan sedan. During the robbery he was wearing khaki pants and a white t-shirt.

    Police ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

    Published in: on August 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

    Door to Door Solicitors Spark Questions

      A number of residents throughout the Greater Stonehaven Area have asked us if it is possible to keep door to door solicitors out of our neighborhoods.

     First, it must be realized that it is not uncommon for individuals that are looking for vacant homes to burglarize or cars to steal to pose as door to door salesmen. We have found individuals doing this with clothing bearing corporate logos, fake photo ID cards, and even briefcases full of literature for a particular product or organization that they claim to represent, but when the companies are contacted they have no knowledge of the person. For these reasons you should never open your door to a solicitor you don’t know; talk to them through the door, etc.

     Unfortunately, the answer is no. While we could erect “No Soliciting” signs at the entry points to our community, we would not be able to detain an individual who has the intent of soliciting our residents for walking on our streets.

     The problem for us is that the streets connecting our neighborhoods are, in a legal sense, “public thoroughfares” constructed & maintained by the City of Charlotte with tax dollars collected from residents throughout the entire city and therefore they are open to anyone wishing to drive, bicycle, or walk on them at any time of the day or night.

     Our community situation is much different from that of  an apartment or townhouse community where the entire plot of land on which the individual residences sit is private property. Generally, the streets and facilities (playgrounds, pools, community centers) in these communities are maintained by a private management company or a homeowner’s association and open only to the residents and guests of residents of those communities. This is why these communities can erect “No Trespassing, No Soliciting” signs at their entry points and legally enforce them.

     While we cannot prohibit solicitors from entering our community, we can make their attempts to do business in our community difficult:

    * Each resident can post  conspicuous “No Trespassing, No Soliciting” signs at the entry points to their property. When this is done in combination with a verbal notice being given to a solicitor it allows us (the SCP) and law enforcement to uphold the property owner’s wishes and subjects the solicitor to arrest.

    * Every time a solicitor knocks on your door call report them as a suspicious person to us and we will respond to the location in an attempt to find them, and if we do we will obtain their information (who they are, who they are working for, etc.) and determine if they have a solicitors license. Or, if they are representing a charitable organization for which they are seeking donations, if they have the requisite paperwork from the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office. If they do not have the above items we will give them the opportunity to leave, but if they refuse we will detain them for the Char-Meck Police Dept.

     Obviously the goal is to deter soliciting in our neighborhoods and experience has shown that the more difficult we make their efforts the more likely it is that they will leave and not come back.

    Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  

    SCP Receives CMPD Citizen Service Award

    On May 12, 2010 the Stonehaven Community and the Stonehaven Community Patrol (SCP) received the prestigious Citizen Service Award from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) at a ceremony held at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police & Fire Training Academy on Shopton Road.

    SCP Founder Brian Lutes accepted the award on behalf of the Stonehaven Community and the Patrol from CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe.

    The Stonehaven Community Patrol thanks the residents of the Greater Stonehaven Area for the Patrol’s very existence and all that it has accomplished; they deserve all the credit for our efforts.

    When we established the Patrol in May of 2009 we weren’t sure how it would be received by the community as a whole so when we began receiving notes of thanks for our efforts and monetary donations to defray the costs of the program we were thrilled.

    The fact that we started the Patrol on bicycles, then moved up to renting cars for patrolling on weekends, and now own a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is a testament to the the commitment and quality of residents living in the Greater Stonehaven Area; they are the only reason the Patrol has succeeded.

    Stonehaven is a great place to live and raise a family and I am very grateful my neighbors have allowed me to serve our community with the Patrol.

    Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 9:18 am  Leave a Comment  

    Stonehaven Community Patrol Participating in National Night Out Tuesday August 3, 2010

    August 3, 2010 marks the 27th annual “National Night Out”, a unique crime prevention effort sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW).
    The National Night Out is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized, willing, and able to fight back.
    Traditionally, National Night Out involves normal everyday citizens coming out of their homes to join together in taking walks, hosting yard parties, neighborhood gatherings, or just sitting on their front porches in a show of neighborhood cohesiveness in preventing criminal activity.
    The Stonehaven Community Patrol will be “on the street” this evening in an effort to join with residents of the Greater Stonehaven Area in sending a message to the criminal elements in our city that our neighborhood is pro-active, involved, aware, and not the place to commit criminal acts.
    To learn more about the National Night Out, its history, and the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) please visit http://www.nationaltownwatch.org.
    The Stonehaven Community Patrol can be reached by calling 980-297-8446, or e-mailed at contactscp@scpest09.

    Published in: on August 3, 2010 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  

    Man Shot At East Charlotte Bus Stop

    by NewsChannel 36 Staff
    WCNC TV
    August 3, 2010
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police are searching for the person who shot a man at an east Charlotte bus stop Tuesday morning.

    Investigators say the shots were fired at about 1 a.m. Tuesday on Albemarle Road near Farm Pond Lane.

    Police say the victim was standing at the bus stop when a car drove by, and someone in that car opened fire.

    The man was shot in the hip.

    “I pulled up to him before police got there,” said a witness who helped the man. “I was on the phone with the paramedics, doing everything they told me to do. … You just can’t believe that there’s gunshots. You go into the store to get something to drink and then gunshots going off across the street.”

    The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

    Published in: on August 3, 2010 at 9:36 am  Leave a Comment