Woman Pleads Guilty in Death of Ex-Husband, a Former NYPD Officer

From http://www.wcnc.com, May 31, 2013

A Charlotte woman pled guilty today to voluntary manslaughter in death of her ex-husband.

Carole LaRossa was sentence to 35-58 months in prison for the death of her ex-husband and former NYC Police Officer James LaRossa.

Carole LaRoss, Credit: CMPD

In April 2012, Carole LaRossa went to her ex-husband’s apartment on Dianthus Court in Charlotte to pick up food for James LaRossa’s dog, which she had agreed to watch while he played golf the next day with friends.

Carole LaRossa told police that James LaRossa became upset when she told him that he needed to remove the remainder of his personal items from the house they once shared.

She said that he became physically aggressive, sexually assaulted her and poked her breasts with a knife while threatening her, according to a press release from the Mecklenburg District Attorney’s Office.

She reacted by hitting him with a wine glass, causing him to drop the knife. She then picked up the knife and stabbed him twice in the chest. After he fell, she continued to stab him in the back several times before calling 911, the DA’s Office said.

She told police she was afraid he would get back up and harm her.

The District Attorney’s Office thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence in the case and concluded that the most likely outcome of this case at trial would be a conviction of voluntary manslaughter.

Published in: on May 31, 2013 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tennessee Sheriff’s Office Looks for Missing Charlotte Woman

From WCNC.com, May 30, 2013

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee is asking for the public’s help to find a missing Charlotte woman.

Tenn. sheriff's office looks for missing Charlotte woman

Holly Fischer was last seen Monday in Newport, Tenn., and was believed to be driving back to her Charlotte home.

Deputies believe she could be driving a silver 2004 Infiniti FX35 with North Carolina license plate XYH6678.

She’s described as a 39-year-old white woman, 5-foot-10 and 140 pounds. She was last seen wearing a white blouse, blue jean shorts and sandals.

Anyone with information should call 911.

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police Warn Carowinds Patrons to Keep an Eye on Personal Belongings

By GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte, May 30, 2013

Carowinds is a fun place to spend an afternoon. Sharissa Vickery and her family were enjoying themselves Wednesday, until a thief ruined the experience.

“We were just completely mortified at the situation because you don’t think it would happen there,” said the 18 year old.

Police say that every year petty theft occurs at the park. It might not seem like a big deal unless it happens to you.

Sharissa told NBC Charlotte that they sat their backpacks down in a semi secured area to get on a roller coaster, and when they came back, everything was gone.

“You have no way to call. Your keys are gone. You have no way to get in your car. We were freaking out thinking our car is going to get taken. We have no money to get home on. We have nothing”.

Police say you should never let belongings out of sight. Carowinds echoes those sentiments.

“We are working with local law enforcement in the matter. We encourage guests to secure their valuables at all times,” said Julie Whitted, Public Relations Manager. “Lockers are at the park to use for personal belongings.”

Those lockers go for $10 a day.

Patron Justin Meadows has a season pass and says he doesn’t need a locker.

“It’s always in my pocket and it’s always zipped up,” said Meadows.

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Councilman Dulin Correctly Votes Against Tax Increase – 1 of only 2 Council-members to Vote NO!

 Charlotte’s budget moves forward, with tax increase to pay for capital projects

From The Charlotte Observer By Steve Harrison, May 29, 2013

One day after agreeing to fund a streetcar extension, the Charlotte City Council took another step Wednesday toward solving another issue that has left them deadlocked: approving a capital spending program.

Council members voted 9-2 to move forward with an $816 million capital program, which would require a 7.25 percent property tax increase. Wednesday’s vote was tentative, and council members must still take a formal budget vote June 10.

But it appears there is enough support to move forward with a tax increase that would go into effect in July – even in a year when council members are up for re-election.

Mayor Anthony Foxx implored council members to view their vote Wednesday as how they will vote in two weeks.

He was referring to a last-minute change last June, when a number of council members voted against the capital plan in a surprise vote. Last year, the main problem was over a proposal to fund a 2.5-mile streetcar extension with a property tax increase.

City Manager Ron Carlee this year pitched a different way to pay for the $126 million streetcar. He suggested the city apply for a $63 million federal grant, and also use $63 million in local funds, mostly through surpluses. Carlee stressed that the streetcar extension won’t require a property tax increase, and that the local share won’t come from existing property taxes.

That pledge helped convince Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon, a Democrat, to vote for the streetcar Monday. Cannon had previously opposed the streetcar because it would be paid for with a property tax increase. Democrat Beth Pickering – who had previously been against the streetcar – also voted for it.

With the streetcar settled, there was little controversy at Wednesday’s budget meeting.

If the 7.25 percent property tax increase is approved, the owner of a house with a taxable value of $200,000 would pay an additional $63.40 a year in city property taxes. The city tax rate would increase by 3.17 cents to 46.86 cents per $100 of home value. All of the tax increase would go to the capital plan, not the city’s operating budget.

The city’s capital program would pay for new roads, sidewalks, bridges, affordable housing and police stations, among other improvements. The city would ask voters to approve bonds in November 2014 to pay for the projects. There also would be referendums scheduled for 2016, 2018 and 2020.

If the public rejects the bonds, the tax increase would remain, unless council members rescinded it.

Water and sewer bills and stormwater fees are also increasing; a typical homeowner could pay $25 more per year.

In addition, Mecklenburg County has proposed a 2.5-cent property tax increase. For the owner of a $200,000 home, the county tax hike would add $50 per year.

The meeting Wednesday was held to take so-called “straw votes” on a number of proposed changes to the budget. Most of the proposed changes to the budget were rejected.

•  Democrat James Mitchell withdrew his proposal to cut $15 million from a $35 million cross-county trail for bikes and pedestrians.

•  Council members voted to allow Carlee to study creating an intern program from council members to help with constituent’s emails and phone calls. Mitchell had proposed creating either a 20-hour or 40-hour a week program.

•  Council members also decided to keep three new positions designed to help shape the city’s new hiring program that targets businesses owned by women and minorities.

•  The proposed budget keeps $2 million to help fund a new rental-assistance program that’s being created with the Foundation for the Carolinas. The program is intended to help families get out of being homeless.

Republicans Warren Cooksey and Andy Dulin voted against the proposed budget.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/29/4074012/charlottes-budget-moves-forward.html#storylink=cpy
Published in: on May 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thief Gets Car, Dog in NW Charlotte

 

From The Charlotte Obsever by Steve Lyttle, May 29, 2013

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are looking for a man who allegedly stole a woman’s car — and her puppy — from a convenience store in northwest Charlotte on Sunday night.

The theft was reported shortly before midnight from a store in the 5000 block of Sunset Road, near Interstate 77.

Police say Lashaundra Jones, 25, of Charlotte, had stopped at the store and but had left her car unattended with the keys inside. A man jumped inside the car, a 2010 Hyundai Accent, and drove off.

Jones told police her Chihuahua puppy and an iPhone were inside the vehicle.

The car is a blue four-door model, with N.C. license tags ADM-7940.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers, 704-334-1600.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/29/4070025/thief-gets-car-dog-in-nw-charlotte.html#storylink=cpy
Published in: on May 29, 2013 at 9:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Mom Charged in Infant’s Death

 

From The Charlotte Observer By Cameron Steele, May 28, 2013

A Charlotte woman was charged Tuesday with murder in the death of her infant child.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested Krishay Mouzon, 21, just after 7:30 p.m. on charges of first-degree murder, two counts of intentional child abuse and misdemeanor obstructing justice.

Krishay Mouzon

Mouzon’s daughter, 6-month-old Keyoni Boderick, died in October. Police found her not breathing in a Charlotte hotel.

The girl’s father, 25-year-old Todd Eric Boderick of Charlotte, was charged four days later with first-degree murder.

Todd Boderick

The girl’s grandmother said she and her parents had been living at the hotel for about a month before her death.

It was unclear why it took police so long to charge Mouzon.

An investigation, along with a consultation with the Medical Examiner’s Office, led detectives to determine that Boderick had “physically assaulted” the girl, which led to her death, according to a police statement.

Boderick’s arrest on Wednesday comes two years after he was suspected of abusing another of Massey’s grandchildren.

Court records show Mouzon and Boderick were both charged with felony child abuse after the then-seven-week-old boy was hospitalized for bleeding of the brain, skull and rib fractures and other injuries.

The couple told investigators at the time that they had dropped the baby accidentally on separate occasions, court records show, but “denied any intentional harming of the child.”

The abuse charges were later dropped, in part, because prosecutors said they could not determine who was responsible for the child’s injuries, according to the 2010 dismissal papers.

The grandmother currently has custody of the boy who was injured, who is now two, and Mouzon’s older daughter.

Mouzon was in the Mecklenburg County Jail Tuesday on $105,000 secured bond.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/28/4069387/charlotte-mom-charged-in-infants.html#storylink=cpy
Published in: on May 29, 2013 at 9:11 am  Leave a Comment  

CMPD, Secret Service Bust ATM Fraud Ring

 

Officers Still Searching for 25 Year-Old Martell Mackey

From The Charlotte Observer By Cameron Steele, May 23, 2013

Local and federal authorities announced Thursday they’ve broken up an organized crime ring that stole checkbooks from cars and homes and later used the checks to make fraudulent deposits into the suspects’ own bank accounts.

In the past two weeks, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and U.S. Secret Service agents have arrested 10 people on charges of stealing more than $300,000 from more than 55 victims in and around Charlotte.

Financial crimes suspect Martell Mackey taken from an ATM surveillance shot. Photo provided by CMPD.

The suspects used ATMs in Mecklenburg, York, Iredell, Union, Gaston, Catawba and Cabarrus counties to deposit the fake checks, authorities said, and then quickly withdrew the money before banks noticed the fraudulent deposits.Police have warrants out for an 11th member of the ATM ring, and more people could be arrested as the investigation continues, said CMPD Major Crimes Detective Derrick Lail.

Financial crimes suspect Martell Mackey taken from an ATM surveillance shot. Photo provided by CMPD.

“These offenders were each involved in deposits at ATM machines,” Lail said at a news conference Thursday. “And most of the deposits were from checks that originated from victims of car break-ins or home break-ins.”Thefts from cars have long been the most prevalent crime in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Last year, they accounted for nearly one of every four reported crimes.

Under Chief Rodney Monroe, police have started sending investigators to the scenes of most car break-ins – and police say that helped lead them to the ATM fraud ring. Previously they didn’t go to many car break-ins because of low solve rates.

Lail noted that street criminals have realized they can steal people’s financial information and sell it to organized groups of financial thieves.

“From our interviews, we’re actually finding that it’s driven some of the street-level victimization,” he said.

Officers with CMPD’s Major Crime Unit first noticed a couple of months ago that people who had their cars or home broken into were also reporting their bank accounts depleted, Lail said.

Detectives then partnered with the Secret Service and local banks to identify suspects.

Authorities said they discovered that lower-level thieves were stealing checkbooks and credit cards from cars and homes. They would then sell those credit cards and checks to mid- and upper-level criminals, who recruited people to open new bank accounts, police said.

The suspects deposited the fake checks into those bank accounts via ATMs, then quickly withdrew the money before banks discovered the fraud, CMPD Detective Andy Curlee said.

The financial crimes detective said this kind of crime is attractive to thieves because it’s hard for police to identify upper-level suspects.

“They’re able to make money pretty quickly, pretty easily,” Curlee said. “It’s difficult for them to get caught.”

Detectives are still trying to determine the scope of the ATM fraud ring. Most of the suspects knew each other – either because they grew up together, are relatives or had met while in jail for other crimes, police said.

Lail said investigators made a breakthrough in the case after police distributed images to the news media of some of the suspects at local ATMs.

“That was a pivotal moment in the case, when we were able to correlate and move forward,” Lail said.

Ten men were arrested on financial crimes charges. They are Phillip Harris, 29, Antonio Harris, 36, Patrick McCollough, 29, Quillie Smith III, 28, Carlton Ardrey, 26, Rashad Johnson, 26, Travis Gabriel, 27, Yarral Wilson, 26, John Erwin III, 23, and Elijah Grant, 28.

McCollough, Ardrey and Johnson were also charged with larceny from auto, police said.

John Erwin III, 23, was arrested on drug charges, and police were searching for Martell Mackey, 25, on financial crimes charges.

All of the suspects are Charlotte residents.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/23/4058960/cmpd-secret-service-bust-atm-fraud.html#storylink=cpy
Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Defense Tries to Cast Doubt on ID of Shooter in Toddler’s Death

 

From The Charlotte Observer By Michael Gordon, May 23, 2013

The defense in the first-degree murder trial of Ellis Royster pounded away Thursday morning at a key prosecution witness, trying to show the jury that there is doubt whether it was Royster who fired the shots in 2010 that killed a 2-year-old boy.

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Amias Robinson

For the second straight day, Shariff Baker held the witness stand. Baker was an eyewitness to the Aug. 12, 2010, shooting and he gave conflicting accounts to police about who fired the shots.

Wednesday, Baker told the jury that Royster had opened fire at a passing car on the night of Aug.12, 2010. One of those bullets struck the toddler, Amias Robinson, who was in a stroller in a nearby yard.

To support Baker’s claim that Royster fired the shots, the prosecution put a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detective on the stand Thursday. The detective testified that Baker told him shortly after the shooting that Royster had indeed fired the shots.

But defense attorney Richard Tomberlin led Baker through the transcript of an interview Baker later had with two CMPD detectives in which he said Alvin Alexander had pulled the gun that night in northeast Charlotte, the culmination of a $10 marijuana sale gone bad.

Court testimony describes that Alexander sold crack on Eastbrook Road. According to the interview transcript, Baker, 16 at the time, told investigators that he had first identified Royster as the shooter because he feared reprisals from Alexander, saying during the interview that the drug deal “would send somebody to come get me.”

Under questioning by Tomberlin, Baker said he told detectives that Alexander had warned him, “Bro, you better keep your mouth closed.”

Police arrested Alexander the next day. He was released two months later, close to the time of Royster’s arrest. If convicted, Royster faces life without parole.

Before the trial broke for a lunch break, Assistant District Attorney Bill Bunting put Detective William Terry Brandon on the witness stand. He told the eight women and four men on the jury that based on earlier testimony from other witnesses, police believed Alexander had fired the shots.

When Baker first told them it was Royster, Brandon said, police believed he was lying. After they threatened him with an attempted murder charge if he wasn’t telling the truth, he said, Baker changed his story.

At one point in the early morning hours of Aug. 13, police had charged both Royster and Alexander with the crime.

During his testimony, Baker was asked if the transcript of his conversation with the detectives included any mention of the threat of arrest.

He said it did not. “I wonder why,” he added.

Both of Amias’ parents were back in the courtroom this morning. The child’s father, Charles Robinson, had been dragged from the courtroom Tuesday after he stood in the courtroom and started shouting accusations at Royster that he had killed his son.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/23/4058838/defense-tries-to-cast-doubt-on.html#storylink=cpy
Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

ID Released on Man Shot, Killed in Home Invasion

Information Taken From Charlotte Observer Article by Steve Lyttle, May 24, 2013

Union County authorities say the man shot to death when he broke into a home early Thursday was a 25-year-old from Monroe.

The sheriff’s office identified the man as Robby Charles Blount. He died of a gunshot wound suffered during what deputies call a “home invasion” about 1 a.m. Thursday at a residence in the 3400 block of Lanesboro Road, in the eastern part of the county north of Marshville.

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Photo Courtesy of the Union County Sheriff’s Office Investigators say Blount was wearing a mask and carrying a handgun when he kicked in the front door of the home. A mother and her son were at home at the time, deputies say.

The sheriff’s office says one family member, whom it will not identify, was able to get a shotgun and fired once, hitting Blount in the chest. Investigators say Blount ran into the front yard of the residence, where he collapsed and died.

 

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/24/4061521/id-released-on-man-shot-in-union.html#storylink=cpy
Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Arrested at Speed Street After Hitting CMPD Officer

From http://www.wcnc.com, May 24, 2013

This week’s Food Lion Speed Street has been deemed an extraordinary event, which means police have more power to keep the peace.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested one man and charged him with assaulting an officer during Thursday evening at Speed Street.

Officers told NBC Charlotte one of them was apparently hit during the scuffle.  Speed Street will continue Friday at noon and run through Sunday.

Parts of Tryon Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Brevard Street in uptown are closed due to Speed Street this weekend.

Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm  Leave a Comment