Vincente Rodriguez thought he found a free weed whacker abandoned on the side of the road in northern Liberty County a couple weeks ago — though it couldn’t have been more expensive.
Early Sunday morning, Rodriguez was fatally shot over the weed wacker when its owner came hunting for it, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. Not long after midnight, police said a man came to Rodriguez’ door and strangely began telling Rodriguez’ wife he would like to buy their lawnmower — which was not for sale.
Just then, Rodriguez’s wife peeked over the man’s shoulder and saw their vehicle was in flames, she told investigators Sunday. Rodriguez came rushing out to extinguish it — which is when another man fatally shot him.
For more, read the Houston Press‘s full story about the incident.
Charges are expected to be filed today in the case of a young man allegedly murdered for insulting a woman at a late-night party in Glendale, a district attorney’s office spokeswoman says.
The victim was identified this week by Glendale police as 25-year-old Phillip Niles Jr., who had moved to Los Angeles recently from Daytona Beach, Florida, according to police.
He was fatally shot about 3:55 a.m. Saturday after walking two women to a car following a night of partying at a friend’s apartment in the 1700 block of North Verdugo Road, the Glendale Police Department reported in a statement.
In May 2014, Deerfield Beach resident Louis Hilaire, 25, was contacted by his ex-girlfriend out of the blue.
“I’ve been looking for you,” she allegedly said via Facebook message. She then called him on the phone, and the pair went out drinking the next night and, according to court documents, ended up having sex.
A few hours later, she revealed why she’d reached out to him: One of her friends, she said, worked as a housekeeper at the nearby Budgetel Inn in Pompano Beach, near the intersection of Atlantic Boulevard and the Coconut Creek Parkway. She went on: There was a safe in room 125 at the hotel, she said, which contained cash, jewelry, and a gun. And there was a housekeeper willing to give her and Hilaire a key to go steal the items inside, as long as the housekeeper got a cut of the loot. Hilaire, who had pleaded guilty in the past to charges of marijuana possession, attempted robbery, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, initially declined. But, according to court records, his ex pleaded with him to “please help her out,” and eventually, he agreed.
Turns out, the woman was acting as a confidential informant for the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Kevin Kulik, who represents Hilaire, says his client’s case had been part of a repeated, unconstitutional sting operation by BSO’s VIPER Unit. Kulik alleges the VIPER Unit is using “amorous” women to illegally entrap young, black offenders into committing crimes.
“I’m Paul Vernon — Big Vern — of Cryptsy,” said the CEO, whose company was an online marketplace where users could trade their Bitcoins — a virtual form of money — for a growing number of digital imitators with names like Litecoin and Darkcoin.
Business was booming. In barely a year, Cryptsy had amassed 250,000 users trading millions of dollars, and Vernon was flying cross-country to speak at conferences from New York to San Francisco. His firm had outgrown its first office and moved its dozen or so employees into this Mediterranean-style building. Soon, Vernon himself would upgrade to a million-dollar Delray Beach mansion.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Maketa is being sued by former sheriff’s office employees, who accuse him of favoritism toward the three women in the department with whom he’d had affairs. He was also friendly with a deputy accused of abusing his wife — and in an attempt to get him out of trouble, he allegedly turned the law against her. Westword has the story.
The action in Carl Hiaasen’s Miami crime novel debut Tourist Season begins when a body is found floating down a river in a suitcase. That was very much fiction, but the idea of body parts being found stuffed into weird things in weird places remains very much a chilling reality in Miami.
Today, Miami Gardens police found two bags full of body parts that were hidden in the brush right off the embankment of the Palmetto Expressway. The discovery happened late in the morning. The location was near NW 12th Avenue.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: National Missing Children’s Day puts the focus on cases in which young people have vanished, and there are incredible variety of them, involving runaways, parental abductions or flat-out mysteries. Here’s a representative sampling of these sad incidents, presented in alphabetical order. Westword has the story.
For a moment, she thinks it’s her dad. Then she opens her eyes and sees it’s Dean Corll, the electrician who’s renting this house in Pasadena. She looks over and sees her friend Wayne Henley handcuffed, his feet bound, his mouth duct-taped. She looks to the other side, and there’s the boy Tim she hadn’t met until the night before, when she escaped from her father’s home in the Heights. He’s tied and taped, too.
Dean’s still berating her when she looks down at her own body and realizes she’s also been tied. Dean never liked her — never liked any girls — but this is unexpected. Dean had disappeared before she passed out; retreated to his bedroom, saying something about having to work in the morning. The three plopped down on the living-room carpet and got to feeling good. Wayne and Tim were huffing acrylic paint from a bag; all three shared shots of Wayne’s dad’s moonshine. She had taken a puff of a joint that one of them passed her way, and then it was lights out.