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Posts Tagged ‘Violence Against Women’

Back By Popular Demand, Anny Jacoby and Crime Time with Vito Colucci, Part 2

September 9, 2011 Comments off

Sunday Night, September 11, 11pm ET

on Business Talk Radio

Listen LIVE: http://businesstalkradio.net/weekend_host/ctvc.shtml

Back for another run!  Vito Colucci invites Anny Jacoby back to the show to continue the conversation.  On this show they will discuss the importance of college campus safety, street smarts, carjacking and safety, stranger asking for directions, and knowing your surroundings.  Everyone will want to listen to the information on this show to know how to stay safe in a dangerous world!

Crime Time with Vito Colucci, P.I.  features anything crime related. Current high profile cases or trials are discussed in detail with commentary from experts in law  enforcement, investigators and lawyers.

Vito Colucci, Jr.

Vito Colucci, Jr., owner of Colucci Investigations LLC, is a former member of the Stamford, CT Police Department where he worked as a Narcotic’s Detective and Undercover Organized Crime Investigator. One of the main investigations Vito spearheaded during that time was uncovering the organized crime ties within his own police department.

Vito has been a private investigator for the past 22 years, working many high profile cases; Michael Skakel/Martha Moxley case, Jayson William’s case, and honeymooner, George Smith’s case .

Vito Colucci is a regular commentator on various news programs including: Fox News MSNBC, Catherine Crier/Court TV, Star Jones, Glenn Beck, Nancy Grace, Larry King, CNN Headline News, and The Bill O’Reilly Show, as well as being a featured speaker at the first World Investigator’s Conference in LasVegas in 2005.

Anny’s mission is to reach out to every avenue available to teach these skills at the corporate level, to emergency services, victim support groups and agencies, schools, colleges and health service providers.  Her professional programs are designed for every age group from children to seniors, as well as a program designed specifically for the disabled.

Recently, Anny has developed a new division to her company, Project Safe Girls, which is designed specifically for girls and is used in after school programs, girl’s organizations and YWCAs, to name a few of the target areas.  Specific curriculum and training is developed for age appropriate

Anny’s program is not traditional “self-defense” nor martial arts or weapons.  She has developed her training specifically for females and teaches them to use their bodies as their weapon to diffuse a violent situation.

Anny’s style is serious, with compassion and empathy, yet fun and empowering. Her training classes and seminars leave her students with a sense of confidence and an understanding of their intuitions regarding safety. Anny has authored a comprehensive training manual for each student to take with them as reference.

Anny Jacoby is available for speaking engagements, lectures, individual consultations and presentations. She is a Certified PDR (Personal Defense Readiness) Instructor and has a team of male Certified PDR instructors and coaches with The Realistic Female Self-Defense Company who are dedicated to teaching and training only females.

Anny is also an independent contractor as a Certified Prevention Specialist and an Authorized Stewards of Children Facilitator through the Darkness to Light prevention program.  She has developed a passion for educating parents and communities about the issue of child sexual abuse and prevention. She is available to travel throughout the US bringing this important and vital information to all.

For media appearances and inquires or speaking engagements please contact: ImaginePublicity, contact@imaginepublicity.com; 843-808-0859

 

Release produced by ImaginePublicity

Annie Le’s death at Yale puts spotlight on campus security…

August 21, 2011 1 comment

Video surveillance cameras, live cameras monitored 24/7 and official warnings that can be blasted in seconds to tens of thousands via email, cell phone text messages and Facebook. Campus security is more sophisticated than ever, but college officials say they still can’t absolutely guarantee the safety of their students.

“That is impossible,” says Melissa Essary, dean of the Campbell Law School in Raleigh, NC. “There will always be criminals out there who can get away from the best security system.”

Since the Virginia Tech killings, schools around the country have beefed up security substantially, she says. Her school has just one public entrance, staffed full time by a security officer. But a potentially dangerous situation could erupt from within, she says.   “There are potential inside threats as well as outside threats,” Essary says.

Though many colleges have surveillance cameras, only some are live while others are recording devices that would only be examined after the fact, not when a crime is actually occurring.

Student security isn’t only the responsibility of the college, says John Carroll, head of safety and security for all three Fordham campuses. “It is a shared responsibility for the individual, for campus security,  and for the police department,” he says. “I’m sure I speak for my peers at other schools when I say that we will all take a strong look at the Yale incident just like we took a look at Virginia Tech to make sure we are doing everything humanly possible to protect our students.”

Fordham can text, voice and email all 15,000 students in seconds, he says, and a year and a half ago, when an emotionally disturbed person crashed through the gates, the college was able to warn everyone to stay away from the library, where the man, armed with a gun, was headed. “We contained the man and we were able to let everyone know,” Carroll says.

At Pratt Institute, security officers patrol the campus on foot, by car, and on bikes. There are hundreds of closed circuit TV cameras, emergency phones in campus buildings and outdoors, and a strictly enforced card-access only policy to the residence halls, according to William Schmitz, Pratt’s director of safety and security.

Many colleges are starting to use Facebook and Twitter to get out warnings to students, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Their goal is to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to reach as many students as possible as quickly as possible, according to the Sentinel.   The sites offer yet another way to communicate news to students. University of Florida is testing an indoor speaker system that uses Voice Over Internet Protocol, according to the Sentinel, in which announcements can be heard in almost all classrooms.

Still, officials say, it’s impossible to say that a college will always be completely safe.

“A college or university campus is a microcosm of our society,” Schmitz says. “While campus safety and security departments are invested in and committed to safeguarding campuses and students to the fullest extent possible, unfortunately crimes may still may occur.”

The reality of one’s safety and protection ultimately lies within one’s self, never rely upon another individual, staff or a college for you or your daughter’s safety.

Our children/daughters often never learn “life skills” to get them through life.  “Life skills” must be taught to every female of every age.  It’s not being paranoid, it’s about being smart and having tools in your toolbox (mentally and physically) to rely upon.  Learning about awareness, gut instincts and the smell of potential danger can save one’s life.

PREVENTION IS THE ANSWER!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Contributor in part: NYDailyNews

“It’s Time To Get Your Head Out Of The Sand…”

July 14, 2011 2 comments

Becoming educated makes a person more understanding, more aware and more comfortable with the truth.  I am personally becoming more and more appalled with parents that do exactly what is displayed in the picture above.  And, then I get phone calls and emails that their daughters have been assaulted and asked to help them through the system at the schools and law enforcement departments.  Makes me shake my head and ask………”Didn’t you even take the opportunity to check into the crimes stats BEFORE even visiting? Or, spend a some money on giving her the education and advantage of personal safety?”  The majority of the time is “NO”.

It is time for females AND parents to get their heads out of the sand, understand the myths (excuses) and learn the facts (reality) of “realisitic” personal safety training/self-defense and to become proactive. There is not one form of personal safety training/self-defense that is 100% guaranteed. Weapons of every kind are not a guarantee either (we’ll look at this too). However, with education at least you may be able to detect (awareness), learn the ability to de-escalate a potentially dangerous situation and ultimately if a physical altercation occurs you will be better equipped with the knowledge of “realistic” defense.

We all have excuses for things in our lives that we don’t do or spend too much time doing. These excuses serve as deterrents preventing us from following through with action and benefits. When you begin to understand or experience the consequences of your excuses you get a really good reality check. This reality check (wake-up call) usually changes your way of thinking automatically.

The “myth concept” not only affects many areas in our lives but also has the same influence in the personal safety training/self-defense world. These myths make females apprehensive toward or opposed to personal safety training/self-defense.

A myth can be and often is used as an excuse for not doing something. 

The attitude, “it won’t happen to me” is a huge myth; every female should look in the mirror and realize that victimization does not discriminate. This is just plain ignorance if you believe that the possibility that you cannot be a victim is true. You have to debunk the thought that learning personal safety training/self-defense carries negative characteristics (aggression, arrogance, or violence). And, by not understanding that if trained properly to obtain the mental and physical abilities that you can possibly prevent or de-escalate an attack is a total underestimation on your part.

When we begin to understand the facts=reality of these myths=excuses we begin to understand objectives, the effectiveness and the technique of personal safety training/self-defense. We can save our life or the life of someone we love. We can prevent ourselves from becoming a statistic of crime. As I stated above, personal safety training/self-defense is not a guaranteed free pass from crime; however, your chances of survival and the ability to detect a possible altercation are increased significantly.

Becoming educated your level of awareness increases or is heightened, your intuition (gut instincts) are better in tune and your physical abilities are sharpened so that your chances of being attacked, raped or murdered are statistically lessened. You won’t broadcast that you know “self-defense” but you won’t walk down a certain street or in an area when your instincts (gut) kicks in and tells you to turn back. When someone grabs you from behind you won’t freeze but immediately your reaction will be to fight back upon recognition of your window of opportunity. You will see that a seemingly hopeless and defenseless situation has more opportunities for defense than you could have ever imagined.

Personal safety training/self-defense is NOT about being paranoid, it IS about being smart!

Knowledge is a powerful tool.

Stop making excuses and do something powerful for yourself and your loved ones – obtain Personal Safety Training. Training (mind, body and soul) that you will have for the rest of your life.

How can any parent put a price tag on the life of their daughter?  Why wouldn’t you want your daughter in high school/middle school and especially college bound to be educated?

Question……beside looking at the pretty websites and visiting University after University…..has anyone truly looked in the stats of these schools as to their crime stats via The Jean Cleary Act or Title IX?  Parents…..do your homework.  In my book……………NO CAMPUS IS CRIME FREE AND THE NUMBER OF FEMALE STUDENTS BEING ASSAULTED (BY SOMEONE THEY KNOW OR RANDOM) IS OFF THE CHARTS.  Parents……give your daughter the tools for her tool belt, give her the opportunity that she will have for the rest of her life.  No parent wants to receive “that phone call”; trust me.  (*Again, no personal safety course is 100% guaranteed, but even if she gains 50% knowledge of what she never had to begin with isn’t that worth something?)  Think about…………long and hard.  Again, can you honestly put a price tag on your daughter’s life?  Most parents answer is “NO”.

How can any female NOT want to be proactive and at least have the knowledge of COULD happen if I don’t know personal safety?  Personal safety is so much more than watching a DVD in your livingroom – it is truly about education and ultimately physically how to protect oneself.  Girls talk to your parents……this is an exciting time but you guys have to know the possibilities and reality.  Not to “scare” you but you have to know the odds and know how to handle situations.

Parents – get involved in your daughter’s safety during college.  Parents or Gals……contact me for details as we are gearing up our tour to bring personal safety training (6 hours on one weekend day) to communities everywhere! Organizers of training’s will train for FREE!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Back to School: Spotlighting Campus Crimes and Violence…

July 12, 2011 Comments off

It is time to get ready for campus life, with September right around the corner.  Project Safe Girls wants you to be aware and prepared. Awareness is a good first step toward protecting yourself. Being prepared is the best defense.

Campus crimes occur much more frequently than any of us realize. Crimes on College Campuses and crimes nearby college campuses frequently go unreported and/or under reported. A recent study by The U.S. Department of Justice on The Sexual Victimization of College Women reveals some disturbing statistics. Among the findings:

  • Annually 4.9% of college Co-Eds experience a rape. In other words, the victimization rate is 49 rapes per 1000 female students.
  • When one considers that the average college career now lasts 5 years, there is a 25% likelihood of a rape between Freshman Orientation and Graduation Day.
  • This data becomes more disturbing when analyzed by the number of incidents rather than the number of victims. When the analysis is based on incident count the rate increases by nearly 30%. This takes into account women who have been victimized more than once.
  • Crimes categorized as sexual victimization other than rape touched 3.4%, or 34 per 1000, college Co-Eds annually.
  • This data also becomes more disturbing when analyzed by the number of incidents rather than the number of victims. Analyzed this way, the rate increases by a whopping 397%.
  • 9 out of 10 victims know the person who sexually victimizes them.
  • 71% of sexual victimization of college women occurs on a date – known more commonly as date rape.
  • 88%of sexual crimes against women occur between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am.
  • Sexual victimization of college Co-Eds most often occurs in a residence (on or off campus), with nearly 60% occurring in the victim’s own residence, 30% occurring in other campus living quarters and 10% at a Fraternity.
  • Overwhelmingly, data indicates that women who attempt to protect or defend themselves avoid becoming the victim of a completed rape. While protecting or defending oneself is not a 100% guarantee, it is overwhelmingly the best action to take in order to avoid becoming the victim of a completed rape.
  • In the instances where women used force or a self-defense product like pepper spray, Mace, a stun gun or a Taser, just under 31% of the attempted rapes resulted in completed rapes.
  • Shockingly, fewer than 5% of completed or attempted rapes are actually reported to law enforcement officials. Reasons indicated for not doing so include: Not serious enough to report; not clear a crime was committed; not wanting family or others to know; lack of proof; fear of reprisal by the assailant; fear of hostility by police and fear police would not believe the incident occurred or was serious enough.
  • Another frequent and unwanted violation of women on college campuses is stalking. An annual incidence rate 156.5 stalkings per 1000 Co-Eds is reported. Clearly this is a bigger problem and requires further attention, study and consideration.

If you are assaulted or in a dating violence relationship PLEASE REPORT THE INCIDENT to your campus police department AND PRESS CHARGES!  ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES!  And, I strongly suggest that you go to the local DV or Rape Crisis agency in your college community as well as filing a POLICE REPORT WITH THE TOWN/CITY POLICE DEPARTMENTS!  Cover all of your bases.  Do not leave any rock unturned.

Too many assailants, universities and colleges are getting away with sweeping college crimes under the carpet.  DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO YOU!  Remember, YOU DID NOT DESERVE IT!  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

Parents – get involved in your daughter’s safety during college.  Parents or Gals……contact me for details as we are gearing up our tour to bring personal safety training (6 hours on one weekend day) to communities everywhere!  Organizers of training’s will train for FREE!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Juror in NYC Rape Case Questions Handling of Evidence

June 3, 2011 Comments off

Melinda Hernandez, a member of the jury that last week acquitted two New York City police officers of rape, is distressed by a process that she felt left her no choice but to vote not guilty. Justice, she says, was not served.

“As a feminist it really challenged my values to vote not guilty,” an emotionally spent Hernandez told Women’s eNews in an exclusive telephone interview on May 30.

In particular, she was concerned about the way forensic evidence–in a case concerning police as perpetrators–went through the New York Police Department lab and was then sent to New York Medical Examiners lab.

“I think they should have hired an independent person to collect the evidence,” Hernandez says. “There’s just common sense behind that.”

While acquitted of the rape charge, the two officers–Kenneth Moreno, 43, and Franklin Mata, 29–were convicted last week of official misconduct and fired from the force the same day. They will be sentenced by the State Supreme Court on June 28 and will each face up to two years behind bars. Had they been found guilty of rape, the pair could have been in jail for up to 25 years.

In December 2008, the accuser celebrated a job promotion in a Brooklyn bar and became intoxicated. After drinks at the club, she took a taxi to her apartment building in downtown Manhattan and the taxi driver called the police to assist her up to her fifth-floor walk-up. Moreno and Mata responded. Videotapes from security cameras indicated the two police offers returned three more times to her apartment that night.

Hernandez says the woman testified that she was passed out and lying on her stomach and awoke to being penetrated by a penis. Then she passed out again. During the trial, she says it was revealed that Moreno was in the room with her and Mata was said to have been sleeping on her couch.

During a controlled meeting initiated by the internal affairs department of the New York Police Department, Moreno was confronted by the victim, who was wearing a recording device, outside the 9th precinct. She told him she awoke to him having sex with her. He denied anything had happened.

It wasn’t until the woman threatened to go into the precinct and make a scene that Moreno admitted to wearing a condom. He also assured the woman that she “didn’t have to worry about getting any diseases.” She asked if it was the two police officers and Moreno told her it was just him. Moreno later claimed that he said that to get her to leave him alone.

The verdict set off a storm of controversy in New York City, with a large demonstration led by members of the City Council’s Women’s Caucus, the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, Feministing and Permanent Wave.

Here are Hernandez’s reflections on the case. Three central features of the case led her to cast her “not guilty” vote: the lack of any evidence gathered from the accuser’s apartment; the nature of alcohol-induced blackouts as described by an expert witness and an absent key witness.

Women’s eNews: What was the composition of the jury; how many men and how many women?

Hernandez: Five women and seven men, a good balance. At the beginning, it was nine to three: nine for not guilty, three for guilty. I was among the three who thought the police were guilty.

But you wound up voting “not guilty.”

It all came down to the forensic evidence. There was none at all. No hair, no semen, no pubic hairs in the evidence collected from the apartment or in the rape kit collected at the hospital. There was a small red patch found on her cervix, but that could have been caused by several things. There was no solid proof from the evidence collected or the rape kit. Not even fingerprints. Not even fibers from police uniforms. Many pieces of material were taken from the apartment. But there were no fingerprints. There was nothing there.

All the evidence was collected by the NYPD internal affairs investigator and was taken to police crime lab. After it was examined there, then it was sent to the medical examiners lab.

Was there ever any question of police tampering of the evidence?

You can’t raise that kind of speculation. That’s why I think the system failed her big-time.

Wasn’t it strange that there was no evidence of the police in her apartment at all since there was no doubt that they had been there?

I thought the evidence, in this case, should have gone straight to the medical examiner.

Did the jury tend to believe the police officers?

It’s not that they believed the police officers. It is that it was hard to believe her. She used words like “I believe,” “I think something bad happened,” “I may have been raped.” This was during Grand Jury testimony in 2008. That really hurt her case, because there were holes in her story, again because of blacking out and/or passing out. She felt she had been penetrated. The first thing she did when she got up that morning was take a shower. She then went to her friend’s apartment, in the same building, wearing a towel around her head and said she wanted to scrub off her skin.

So she washed away the evidence? How could you hope to convict if she showered before going to a hospital?

During jury selection, right from the start, we were asked if we thought that if there was no DNA evidence that a rape still could have occurred. Every one of us said yes to that.

The victim remained confident that she had been raped?

There was no doubt in her mind about what had happened. A woman knows when she is penetrated. But without any evidence, it couldn’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. And if there is a reasonable doubt you must acquit.

You sound exhausted.

I’ve shed many tears in this case. I’m a seasoned juror. I’ve served on nine juries including this one.

Was this your hardest experience?

Let’s put it this way: I hope I’ll never be called for jury duty again.

What did you think when you heard about the women’s rights protest in New York against the verdict?

I’m on the mailing list for NOW, (the National Organization for Women) and I got the e-mail regarding the protest. I was a juror and I am a feminist. This was devastating to me. But I had to do my job and be fair and impartial. A person is innocent until proven guilty. The burden remains on the victim. Perhaps if there were women demonstrating outside the courthouse every day it may have helped the jurors be more aware of their verdicts.

What do you think protests outside the courthouse during the trial would have done?

It would have sent a message that women cared about what was going on inside the court, that women believed the victim! The one positive thing that might come out of this is it could set a fire under women to get out there. Women are still not equal under the U.S. Constitution.

“Too Drunk to Remember, Not Too Drunk to Be Raped?……The verdict just reinforces the ugly truth about what women will face if they accuse a man of sexual assault, especially if they’re drunk and the man is a cop and he’ll conveniently claim that she was too wasted to remember anything or to be taken seriously.” Andy Ostroy, Huffington Post NY

This article was first published by Women’s eNews and via Ms.blog. Read the full article at womensenews.org.

Photo of women protesting the officers’ acquittal from Flickr user WeNews under Creative Commons 2.0 

Take care and STAY SAFE!

 

Is There Such a Thing as a ‘Credible’ Rape Victim?

June 2, 2011 1 comment

In the last few weeks I’ve learned a number of valuable lessons. Among them:

1) Apparently if you are poor, you should not expect to be taken seriously if you accuse someone who is not poor, of sexually assaulting you (or trying to).
2) Similarly, if you are powerless, you should not expect to be taken seriously if you accuse someone who is powerful of sexually assaulting you.
3) If you are intoxicated — at all — you should not expect the judicial system to take you seriously if you accuse someone of sexually assaulting you.
4) If you are worried that you are in a vulnerable state — intoxicated or otherwise — and therefore worried that you could find yourself in danger (of sexual assault or other bodily harm), don’t call the police.
5) If you do call the police, and they take advantage of you, don’t expect the judicial system to take your complaint seriously. (See numbers 1 through 4.)

I would like to thank the two (former) New York police officers who were supposed to be coming to the aid of an intoxicated woman, but instead admitted to “cuddling” with her in bed (but not “assaulting” her), for teaching me these valuable lessons. I’d also like to thank the jurors who acquitted them of the most serious charges they faced, stemming from that night. And lastly, I’d like to thank the defenders of Dominique Strauss-Kahn for driving these points home through their endless efforts to trash and — and when that didn’t seem to work — buy off his accuser and her family (allegedly).

The treatment of both of these women — in one case, by the legal system and in both cases, by the media wild west of cyberspace — has left me with one question: Is there such a thing as a credible rape victim? Does she exist? Is there any woman on the planet whose word, reputation and behavior is considered beyond reproach enough that she can accuse someone in power of assaulting her and have a real shot at being taken seriously? Or should we just save ourselves some time and just make a rule right now, that only wealthy, tee-totaling nuns should be allowed to make sexual assault claims? Meaning the rest of us, should we find ourselves in harm’s way, will just be out of luck? (Click here to see a list of celebrities convicted of sex crimes.)

Now before I get inundated with scolding e-mails, yes I know that there are women who make and have made false assault claims. I find anyone who would do such a thing appalling and believe she should face serious punishment (including jail time) for doing so. But statistically we know that the pendulum tends to swing much further in the opposite direction — meaning many more sexual assaults go unreported than go over-reported, (despite the media frenzy that cases like the Duke Lacrosse scandal can generate.) The “cuddle cops” case is yet another reminder why so few survivors are willing to come forward.

The best-case scenario — the scenario that the officers’ own defense wants us to believe — is that police officers that were called to get a vulnerable woman home safely engaged in “cuddling,” groping and other inappropriate physical contact with her, while she was so intoxicated that she became sick. Despite the fact that one officer was caught on tape confirming to the accuser that he used a condom, he was acquitted of rape. I’m not exactly sure what he would have needed a condom for if he didn’t engage in any sexual activity with her, but I guess I wasn’t in the jury room to hear how this little detail was rationalized by those who acquitted him of the rape charge.

I can already hear the judgments of some. “No woman should be so intoxicated that she can’t fend for herself.” I will take this thought a step further and suggest that it’s probably best that no human being, male or female, get so intoxicated that he or she can’t fend for him or herself. Forget sexual assault. What about wandering into a street and getting hit by a car? And yet if a man were brutally beaten and mugged on his way out of a bar, why do I get the feeling that a jury wouldn’t have a tough time convicting the guys who were eventually caught with his wallet, regardless of how many drinks the victim had before they took it?

But the demonization of the victim in this case is not its most disturbing legacy. The trust that these officers have destroyed between future victims, and the men and women all of us should be able to trust the most — police officers — is. While I applaud the NYPD for swiftly terminating Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata for disgracing their uniforms, I fear the damage has already been done. I know I’m not the only woman who will now think twice the next time I’m alone, it’s nighttime and I need help with anything, including getting home safely, and I see two male police officers.

After all, I’m not wealthy. I’m not powerful. I’m also not a nun. So chances are my word isn’t worth very much.

Take care and STAY SAFE!


This piece originally appeared on TheLoop21.com for which Goff is a Contributing Editor. 

www.keligoff.com 

Little Rock Assailant Gets Life Term

May 1, 2011 1 comment

On May 16, 2010 Haleigh Milwee of Little Rock, Arkansas never gave up as she fought back with her entire soul and being.  Haleigh became a victim of a brutal home invasion and repetitive assaults and beatings.  Shy of a year later Haleigh continued to have the strength and courage to continue in her fight as she finally got justice on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Jim Huff, Haleigh’s assailant altered her life forever to the point she will never answer the door to help someone again.

A 57-year-old Little Rock man, Jim Huff drew a life sentence Thursday for a brutal May 16, 2010, attack and abduction of a 25-year-old woman, Haleigh Milwee from her midtown home.

A Pulaski County jury of eight women and four men imposed the life term on Jim Tyson Huff for the kidnapping of Haleigh Millwee. He also received 40-year prison terms each for aggravated residential burglary and aggravated robbery convictions and 6-year terms for seconddegree battery and first-degree terroristic threatening counts.

Circuit Judge Herb Wright, acting on the jury’s recommendation, made the sentences consecutive.

The bespectacled Huff, sitting at a table in the fourth-floor courtroom and dressed in a dark gray pinstriped suit with a maroon tie, exhibited no emotion when the jury verdict was read.

Earlier Thursday, the jury had taken about 30 minutes to find him guilty on all five charges. The jurors deliberated about an hour and 15 minutes Thursday afternoon to reach unanimous agreement on the penalties.

According to testimony, Huff holding a small dog, rang the doorbell of the home Millwee shared with two other women on the pretext of asking her whether the dog belonged to her. She was home alone. He eventually forced his way into the house, punched Millwee and pinned her facedown. He removed several items from a bag, including handcuffs, a bandanna, a stress ball, zip ties and a box cutter, placing them in front of her face.

Soon, Millwee testified Wednesday, he had bound her wrists together behind her back and then fastened her wrists to her ankles, blindfolded her with the bandanna and stuffed the squishy plastic bulb in her mouth to gag her. She struggled to escape while he went through the house only to return and beat her momentarily unconscious. At one point, he threatened to cut out her eyes with the box cutter, she said.

As her attacker dragged her outside, Millwee was able to spit out the gag and struggled again to escape. Huff slammed her head onto the concrete sidewalk, knocking her unconscious again. When she regained her senses, she could feel someone moving her and then heard a neighbor – Greg Alagood – yelling at the assailant, asking what he was doing. “Taking her to rehab,” was the reply, according to Millwee’s testimony.

As he dragged her toward his vehicle, she grabbed at bushes, even her car tire. Alagood ran into the yard while yelling to his wife to call 911, prompting the attacker to jump into his sport utility vehicle and drive away.

Prosecutors used the penalty phase of the trial to painta dark picture of Huff. Three women who had previous encounters with Huff dating back several years testified. Millwee and the other women all lived within a mile of the home Huff shared in Leawood with his wife, Debbie, a member of the nursing faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Kimberly May testified that in 2006 a man went to her door saying he had a work order to repair her telephone. She responded that she was unaware of the work order and her phone was fine but asked him to wait at the door until she checked the phone. Instead, he followed her inside only to find her daughter and granddaughter in the living room. He then asked about her dog, telling her that he had wandered into her backyard to find the dog dead before leaving.

May didn’t call the police, thinking she had “just encountered a weird man. I regret that I didn’t.”

Angel Lee Burnett testified that in 2002 she pulled into her garage late one night to find a man inside. The man ran into her house and out a rear door. Her fiance, a Little Rock police officer, was with her and gave chase but lost him. She later found several undergarments missing. Burnett said she could tell that the man wasn’t expecting her to arrive home with anyone.

“It was pretty apparent to us he saw someone in the passenger seat that wasn’t supposed to be there,” she testified.

In 2009, Christina Wren testified, she was driving home one night when she saw a man at the side of the street bending over “like he was picking up something.” He turned his head “like he didn’t want me to see him.” Wren noted he was wearing a blue latex glove. Wren called 311 to report the incident rather than 911 because it wasn’t an emergency, she said.

All three women testified they recognized Huff when he was arrested in the attack on Millwee.

Later in 2009, Allison Rose testified, she opened the door to her home late one night to find her neighbor, Huff, outside. He told her that something down the hill from herhome was on fire. Her husband, Stan, dressed to go look. While waiting for him, Rose testified, she noticed Huff wearing latex gloves and, in one hand, holding what later turned out to be a BB gun. At that point, she screamed, tried to block Huff from entering the house and wrestled the gun away from him.

A standoff ensued with the Roses telling Huff to return home and Huff refusing to go unless he had the gun. Police eventually arrived, but Huff wasn’t arrested. Charges eventually were filed, but prosecutors said after Thursday’s verdict that they wouldn’t pursue them. Huff was scheduled to stand for a second trial next week.

One of two defense witnesses attorney Jack Lassiter summoned on Huff’s behalf was his wife, who pleaded for a sentence that would allow her to eventually have Huff rejoin her. “I love my husband,” a tearful Debbie Huff said. “He’s my best friend. I’m so lonely without him and so sad. I still believe he deserves our understanding, our compassion and our mercy.”

Under cross-examination from Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jill Kamps, Debbie Huff only grudgingly acknowledged her husband was guilty of the crimes of which he was accused. She also admitted she was told about DNA evidence. She denied Kamps’ assertions that, according to police, when first told why her husband was arrested, she asked whether his victim had been hurt.

“I can’t speak to their truth,” she said.

Both of Millwee’s parents testified of the psychological fallout their daughter had endured since the attack. Before the attack, she was an outgoing, vivacious young woman just beginning her adult life, they said. Now, she cannot go alone to a grocery store and leaves all lights on at night.

“The cuts, bruises and beating went so deep into her soul it will be a lifetime before she can recover,” her mother, Becky Millwee, testified.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Barbara Mariani told the jury that Huff’s actions over the years represented an escalation and that they were coming closer together.

By the time Huff attacked Millwee, he had “thought about everything he was going to do,” Mariani said, recalling Millwee’s testimony showing that Huff laid out the items in front of her. “Think about that escalation when you think about that sentence.”

Noting testimony from defense witnesses about Huff being a friendly man eager to help out neighbors in need, including the Roses, Mariani said he has the “ability to blend in,” an ability that masks his “dark, evil side he can switch on” quickly. It is a nature that cannot be rehabilitated, she said.

Huff altered Millwee’s life forever, Mariani said, to the point she will “never answer the door to help someone again. Justice calls for him to be altered for life. I’m asking for justice here. He doesn’t need to get out.”

Contributing by Arkansas Online

Keeping Haleigh in our thoughts and prayers.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Being Proactive vs. Reactive IS a Choice

March 22, 2011 2 comments

This post is for females of ALL ages.

There are two primary types of self-defense methods: proactive and reactive. Ideally, you will employ a combination of proactive self -defense methods and not have to rely on your reactive self-defense methods for dealing with potential violence and attackers.

What is Proactive Self Defense?
As the name implies, proactive self-defense are techniques you use before someone attacks you. Being proactive should prevent a dangerous or violent situation from happening and gives you time to put space between you and the possible assailant. For example, if you’re walking down the street and see someone who looks a bit suspicious or who otherwise makes you uncomfortable you have the opportunity to employ proactive self-defense. You can cross the street so you’re walking on the opposite side as the individual you’re unsure about. You can go into a store or public place if you’re in a location where that is possible. Proactive self-defense gives you the opportunity to possibly avoid a confrontation.

When you’re aware of what’s going on around you and of potential dangers, you have time to think about a strategy if a threat occurs. If an attack seems like it’s about to happen, you can make sure you are ready to act giving yourself a better chance at stunning the attacker rather than waiting until he or she is attacking you before trying to make a move.

Being proactive means you’re paying attention to your surroundings. If you’re walking with your head in the clouds and your MP3 player blaring in your ears, you give up your opportunity to be proactive and avoid a potentially dangerous or violent situation. Get the ear buds OUT OF YOUR EARS unless you are in a gym. Do not voluntarily take any of your senses away at any given time.

What is Reactive Defense?

Once you’ve been attacked, the opportunity for proactive defense is gone and now you must employ reactive self-defense methods in order to get away from the attacker. If someone jumps on your back while walking through a dark parking lot, you’re going to have an awfully hard time digging the pepper spray out from the bottom of your bag and spraying an attacker while he or she is attacking you. (I do not promote weapons such as pepper spray, guns, etc. = false security.)

Once you are being attacked the only thing you can do is react to the situation. You have no time to prepare or possibly prevent the situation from happening. Reactive self-defense techniques include physical fighting and attempting to outrun an attacker.

Now take a moment and ask yourself, would you rather be proactive or reactive? Not a tough choice but how many females actually know or learn how to be proactive? The number of females that know how to effectively protect and defend themselves is a small percentage to those that do not.

Any type or form of self-defense begins with knowledge and education. Prevention is the key, being proactive. Unfortunately we are not born with this knowledge, we are born with instincts but we have to be educated on the correct way to use them and how to physically defend ourselves.

I have a challenge for each of you. For one week, set a “daily” Google alert for domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, teen dating violence, abduction, bullying, stalking, murder and any other form of abuse or assault that you can think of that occurs over and over and over, hourly, daily. Read each alert that you get in your email. I mean go to the link and read the horrific reports that you receive. Read each one at least twice. Feel the pain, the turmoil; go to that dark place and put yourself in the victim’s situation. Then go look in the mirror and look at yourself and tell yourself that you have not been given a “free pass” to the possibility of being victimized. Yes, you are special but you must get your head out of the sand and realize that you are not exempt. If you are not educated, if you are not proactive nor know how to be you don’t have a snowballs chance in hell that you would survive an assault. You see anyone can and is victimized. Victimization does not discriminate.

So what do you do now? The majority of females will do nothing, absolutely nothing. Why? Because they have the mentality that “it won’t happen to me”. This post is meant to be a major wake-up call and I pray that I am reaching someone out here.

Google the murder of Jayna Murray in an upscale yoga store in Bethesda, Maryland on March 11, 2010 . When the report originally aired it was reported that two employees were assaulted and one, Jayna Murray was murdered during a botched robbery which escalated. This crime circulated on Saturday when the employee’s were found by a co-worker. Bethesda, surrounding areas, the entire country – females went into panic mode. How could this happen in Bethesda of all places? How could this have happened to Jayna, she was an awesome, sweet, loving person? And, her co-worker assaulted, alive but would live with this horrific crime for the rest of her life.

The country went into a tail spin, stunning everyone. The media went crazy and females everywhere were actively seeking some kind of self-defense training because FINALLY THEY GOT A WAKE-UP CALL!

Why in God’s name does something terrible have to happen for females to get it? Why does it take horrific crimes to be committed against females that gain media attention to make you/them look past their noses?

We now know that Jayna and her co-worker, Brittany Norwood was not sexually assaulted and Norwood has been allegedly charged with Jayna Murray’s murder. But……..what if? What if these two women were sexually assaulted, beaten, murdered and tied up? Can you even begin to imagine?

Now…..things are quieting down because Jayna wasn’t assaulted and murdered by a male. Females will go about their business and become complacent. SHAME ON YOU/THEM!

Perhaps if a victim is educated and knows how to “effectively and realistically” defend herself it doesn’t matter if her assailant is a male or female she would have a fighting chance. Don’t you think?

In order kids to drive, drivers of any age have to attend so many hours of classroom study and must drive with an instructor a set number of hours BEFORE obtaining a license to drive alone. In reality, what are the states teaching these new drivers??????? Defensive driving! Bingo! While driving you are taught to ALWAYS be watching out for the other drivers, anticipating their moves while driving.

I leave you with this thought……..since we teach DEFENSIVE driving techniques why in the world wouldn’t every female want to be taught HOW TO PROTECT AND DEFEND HERSELF? A car can be replaced, a life cannot whether in a car or from an assault.

Do something for yourself, don’t make your parents “make” you take a personal safety course (that’s another post as to what to look for in an effective course). You are not invincible, you are human!

March 21, 2011 Jayna Murray’s Parents Speak Out on GMA:

Jayna never mentioned the woman, Norwood to them. As the news broke of Jayna’s murder and spread thoughout the D.C. suburb that a killer was on the loose, Mrs. Murray said, “It’s the rumors that kill and it just burns you inside.” The family of Jayna Murray is healing through launching a foundation to remember the adventure seeking young women who loved to go bungee jumping. Jayna’s father reflects upon Jayna’s life stating, “One (Jayna) of the most fearless people I’ve every known in my life and that’s the objective as a father can get. I really admired her for everything she did and everything she represented.”

The family has created the Janya Troxel Murray Foundation to remember Janya’s life. For more information on the Janya Troxel Murray Foundation or to send a donation please send your donation to: The Janya Troxel Murray Foundation, P. O. Box 9492, The Woodlands, Texas 77387.

Keeping Jayna, family and friends in our thoughts and prayers. Blessings.

Your comments, feelings and thoughts are welcome. Please leave a comment.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Raymond Clark Pleads Guilty to Murder of Yale Grad Student Annie Le

March 18, 2011 1 comment

Under Plea Deal, Lab Worker Will Get 44-Year Prison Sentence

Yesterday morning in a Connecticut courtroom, with his entire family looking on, Raymond Clark III pled guilty to the murder and sexual assault of Yale University graduate student Annie Le.

Clark, 26, had been accused of strangling the 24-year-old Le just days before her wedding in September of 2009.

Clark entered the plea under an agreement with prosecutors and will receive a sentence of 44 years. He had been charged with murder and felony murder, each carrying a possible sentence of 25 to 60 years.

*Warning*: the following details are extremely difficult to read.

The details about Le’s murder that were revealed today included the following:

  • Le’s body was found upside-down stuffed in a wall in a research lab wall, her bra pulled up to her neck and her underwear down on September 13, 2009.
  • Her jaw and collarbone were broken and her back bruised in the brutal sexual assault that occurred while she was still alive.
  • There was a violent struggle that left the room splattered with blood and Clark’s face scratched.
  • Clark then strangled her to death.

Five days after she had last been seen inside the Yale medical building. Clark, an animal research assistant who worked in the same facility, was arrested by police Sept. 17 and charged with the murder. When he initially met with investigators, Clark had scratches on his face and left arm — marks that he claimed came from a cat. But in court, prosecutors cited voluminous amounts of evidence from the crime scene that tied Clark to the murder. This included a bloody sock found in the wall that contained both Clark and Le’s DNA as well as a lab coat in the laundry bin that also contained both their DNA. A green ink pen was found under Le’s body that had her blood and Clark’s DNA.

Police said that Clark signed into the secure building using a green pen the day Le went missing. Video footage taken from the building showed that Clark changed his clothes on the day the murder was alleged to have taken place.

Outside the courtroom today, Clark’s father Raymond Clark Jr., said, “It is a heavy heart that I stand here before you today. We will live out our life knowing that he is behind bars. But we are proud of Ray for taking responsibility for his actions and pleading guilty. I want you to know that Ray has expressed extreme remorse from the very beginning. I can’t tell you how many times he sobbed uncontrollably, telling me how sorry he is; telling me how his heart is tortured by the reality the he caused the death of Annie.”

Joe Tacopino, an attorney for Annie Le’s family, said her mother did not attend the hearing today because it would be too painful but that the Le family is satisfied.

After hearing the news of Clark’s plea, a Yale University spokesman, Michael Morand released this statement: “We think first of Annie Le’s family, her fiancé and his family and her friends. We are relieved they have been spared the further agony a long and difficult trial might have caused. We hope today’s guilty plea and the sentence that will follow will help bring closure to them and to all in the Yale community who suffered by her senseless killing.

“All of us are indebted to the men and women of the State’s Attorney, FBI, Connecticut State Police, New Haven Police, Yale Police and the Yale Security who worked swiftly and persistently to investigate the and prosecute this despicable crime. As the criminal proceedings come to a close, we renew our commitment to honor the memory of Annie Le, whose joy of life and learning is an inspiration to faculty, students and staff at Yale now and for the future.”

Partial Contributor ABC News

Anny’s Rant:



Murphy-Milano News!

March 8, 2011 Comments off


What’s Going On!

Dear Friends,

Like everyone, I have my good and bad days.  On the mornings where I have to force myself from the warmth and comfort of my bed, I think to myself, ” is what I am doing all worth it?”  We are battling a legal system that clearly requires a total overhaul as it relates to intimate partner violence and homicide.  All it takes is a split second to remember my mothers lost battle to live without the threat of violence and I snap out of my funk.

The radio shows each week are having a profound impact on the lives of families and victims seeking justice.  For me to continue sounding the siren for justice in missing persons, unsolved homicides, suspicious deaths and intimate partner safety, I am asking for a moment of your time.  The shows, “Crime Wire”, “The Roth Show” and “Times Up!”  are 4 hours of national attention, exposure and accountability for victims and their families.  But what good are they if we do not promote them on our websites, social networks and places where the general public reads, on sites such as Nancy Grace, Geraldo at Large or CNN?  I see people writing on CNN iReports begging for justice on an unsolved or missing persons case, or trying to stay alive while living in a war zone in their homes behind closed doors.  Who is answering them?

Take the information from this newsletter by cutting, pasting and list the information on your sites.  Send it in a blast email to members in your community, places of worship and others seeking answers.  Give hope to those living without light as they search for answers.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thank you and God Bless,

Susan

Thank you to all the listeners who helped get my show on the “Top Ten” of Zeus Radio Network!

 

National Conference for Missing Persons

Please plan to join me at the
CUE Center for Missing Persons Conference!

HOPE LIGHTS THE WAY

The 7th Annual National Round Table Conference
March 24th Thur 27th of 2011

To REGISTER and more information:
http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/national-conference-2/

Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm Eastern

The Susan Murphy Milano Show

“Time’s Up!”

Thursday, March 10

2pm-3pm:

Lynn Tolson


Author of “Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story”, a memoir about overcoming abuse and adversity. About mind, body, spirit transformation and a message of hope.

Joe Turner, father of murdered Chanda Turner, and spearheading the reform of the Oklahoma medical examiners office Senate Bill SB250 (www.justiceforthedead.com) will be calling in from the steps of the Oklahoma capital for a report on the progress of the bill.

3pm-4pm:
“Police Officer Involved Family Violence”


Guests:

Wives of police officeers, Bernadette Avila, Clara Colon and the family of  Nancy Rojo, who as a witnesses watched,  Sheriff Alexander Rojo pulled out a handgun and, without saying a word, shot his wife three times, stood over her and fired five more bullets, according to police. He then sat down on the street curb and shot himself.

 

Take care and STAY SAFE!

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