Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

Michigan Woman Should Have Drawn Life Sentence

.jpg photo of woman sentenced to prison for child abuse
Mary Burkemo will spend five to 20 years in prison.

Woman Sentenced to Prison for Child Abuse

Cadillac, MI  –  The woman who allowed one of her underage family members to have a sexual relationship with a registered sex offender is heading to prison.

Mary Burkemo will spend five to 20 years in prison.

She admitted to child abusive activity and third-degree child abuse.

In exchange, charges like second-degree child abuse were dropped.

Burkemo was dating Kyle Donkers, a registered sex offender who was on parole for a previous sex crime conviction.

Donkers became obsessed with a relative of Burkemo’s.

He is currently serving 13 to 20 in prison for child abusive activity. 

Bond Reduced After Luring Child From Home?

.jpg photo of man accused of kidnapping Child
Juan Andrade, 30

Bond Reduced For Two Illinois Men Charged
With Kidnapping Olive Branch Teen Lured
Through App

MEMPHIS, TN  –  An Olive Branch, Mississippi judge reduced bonds for two Illinois men accused of kidnapping a teenager earlier this month.

.jpg photo of man accused of kidnapping Child
Jason St. Aubin, 29

30-year-old Juan Andrade and 29-year-old Jason St. Aubin are charged with kidnapping and conspiracy for taking a 14-year-old boy from his home.  They both had $600,000 bonds until Tuesday.  The bond for Jason St. Aubin was reduced to $500,000.  Juan Andrade’s bond is now $300,000.

“That was just an agreement taking into account the appropriate circumstances, under the rules of criminal procedure,” says prosecutor Luke Williamson.

Olive Branch Police say the two Illinois men charged with conspiracy and kidnapping could face additional charges.  Local authorities along with the FBI are still gathering evidence.

Police believe the suspects used a video gaming messaging app to lure an Olive Branch, Mississippi teen from his home earlier this month.  The boy is safe, but the case is far from over.

“This is an ongoing investigation and does involve coordination with other agencies and so it is still in progress,” says Williamson.

The mothers of both suspects were in court Tuesday, but they didn’t talk to the media.

Once the investigation is done, the case will go to the grand jury who will then decide if the two men should be indicted on the charges against them.

Gun Not Charged Missing Knife Hitting Father

.jpg photo of father shot while stabbing son
Blair Ness, 27

Father charged with capital murder after
stabbing toddler in Lewisville, police say

DALLAS, TX  –  A father accused of slamming his toddler son on the sidewalk and stabbing him in a deadly attack has been charged with capital murder, Lewisville police said.

Blair Ness, 27, was released from the hospital Tuesday and booked into the Lewisville city jail after the attack that killed his son, 16-month-old Ashton Ness, Sunday in a courtyard at Oak Forest Apartments in Lewisville.  Bail is set at $1.5 million.

As Ness, who was shot by a neighbor trying to stop the attack, was being handcuffed Sunday, he asked police to contact his mother and girlfriend.  He told officers, “I know everyone’s mad, I’m mad.  I killed my son,” according to an affidavit for his arrest.

A forensic investigator found stab wounds “all over” the boy’s head and body, police records say.

Police said evidence indicates that Ness’ attack on the toddler began inside the apartment he shared with his son and girlfriend, who was at work when the boy was killed.  Officers found a large blood stain on the carpet in the master bedroom, a blood-stained folding knife and skull fragments near the bedroom door, the affidavit states.  The apartment was smoky and smelled of marijuana, police said.

A trail of blood led outside to the scene of the attack, where officers saw several bloody kitchen knives in the grass next to a pool of blood.

When police interviewed the boy’s mother and Ness’s girlfriend, Alexandra Murphy, she said she couldn’t think of any reason why Ness would want to harm their son, the affidavit said.  He had been reading the Bible a lot and they had been attending church lately, she told police.  When she left the apartment Sunday to go to work, Ness was feeding their son.

In a statement, Ness’s family asked to be left alone to mourn Ashton.

“The shock of this vicious act will forever affect anyone that is close to this horror that happened on August 19th.  We thank you for all the support, space and kindness during this time.  We love you Ashton and we will always remember your beautiful smile and laughter,” the statement read.

The family’s statement said Ness “left this earth sometime in the last few weeks as he opened a door to allow demons to enter into his body.”

Ness did not have a criminal history in Dallas, Denton, Collin or Tarrant counties, according to court records.

In 2013, he entered a guilty plea in New Mexico on charges of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and kidnapping of a victim younger than 18.  He pleaded guilty but was placed on deferred adjudication probation, court records indicate. The charges were dismissed in 2018 when he completed the probation program.

Ness was arrested March 23, 2013, after an overnight standoff with a SWAT team in Los Lunas, N.M., according to KOAT-TV.  Police were called to his home after a woman told dispatchers she had been sexually assaulted, and Ness refused to come out for six hours until police fired pepper spray inside, the station reported.

It is unclear whether Ness has an attorney yet.

Just days before the attack, Ness posted a picture on Facebook of the young family and expressed his devotion to them and Jesus.

“The start of something beautiful!” he wrote.  “I love my family, man do we have a strong bond, let’s all stand strong in jesus christ cause it’s so much better than magic.”

Ness was treated for a hand injury, likely from the knife used in the attack, and a gunshot wound to the leg, police said.  Toxicology tests are pending.

Friends will hold a public candlelight vigil Thursday for 16-month-old Ashton Ness. The event will be at 7:30 p.m. at Wayne Ferguson Plaza on Church Street in Lewisville.

Family set up a GoFundMe campaign to help Ashton’s mother with funeral expenses.
A description for the fundraiser said Ashton “lit up a room when he entered it,” and had “the cutest dimples you ever saw.”

The fundraiser had surpassed its goal of $15,000 on Tuesday.

Several neighbors at the sprawling Oak Forest Apartments complex, along State Highway 121 Business just west of Interstate 35E, saw and heard Sunday’s attack in the courtyard.

Neighbors say Ashton’s father came out of his apartment ranting and raving as he carried a child in his arms who wasn’t moving.

Nine frantic neighbors, including the girlfriend of the neighbor who shot at the father, called 911 during the attack, according to recordings released by the city. Each told dispatchers there was a man stabbing his son in the apartment courtyard.

One man told the dispatcher: “They slammed the little kid on the ground.  They’re stabbing their baby out here in the middle…”

“They’re stabbing their baby?” the dispatcher asked.

“They’re stabbing the baby right now in the middle of the complex, right now,” he said.

Another caller told a dispatcher, “There’s blood everywhere.”

“I think the dad killed him,” she said.  The woman then told the dispatcher she heard two or three gunshots.

“Shots just went off,” she said.

Neither the police nor Child Protective Services had been previously called to the boy’s home in Lewisville, Capt. Jesse Hunter said at the scene Sunday.

Gun Tries Shooting Knife Attacking Toddler

.jpg photo of toddler killed by father north of Dallas Texas
Ashton Ness, 16-months-old.

Witness who shot father stabbing toddler fired on him from second-floor balcony

LEWISVILLE, TX  –  The Good Samaritan who shot a man who was stabbing his toddler son on Sunday afternoon fired his weapon from the second-floor balcony of his apartment, Lewisville police said.

Cellphone video of man Good Samaritan shot trying to save toddler.

“Time did not allow for him to come down to the ground level; he retrieved his firearm and shot the suspect from that elevated position,” Capt. Mike Lane said on Monday morning.  “It was a handgun. … It was a citizen that was able to stop the attack, very fortunate.”

The attack began just before 1 p.m. Sunday at Oak Forest Apartments at 1531 S. State Highway 121 Business.  The large, gated community showed no signs of the incident the next morning.

Lane said the suspect went into a courtyard at the complex and stabbed his 16-month-old son numerous times.  The child later died.  The father also had wounds on his hand from a knife, Lane said.

The man who intervened from the second-floor balcony shot the suspect in his leg, Lane said.

Police Capt. Jesse Hunter said Sunday, “That was what effectively ended the assault on the child.”

Video shot by a neighbor on a cellphone shows the suspect, in a black T-shirt and white shorts without any shoes on, handcuffed and being dragged away from the courtyard by several officers.

“Look they’re locking me away mom,” the suspect says in the video.  “I just want to see my mom, all right.”

He loses his footing briefly and police help him up before he begins to yell again.

“In the black truck!  Look,” the suspect said in the video.

The shooter will not be criminally charged, police said.

The suspect’s name is not being released, pending his arrest.  He’s in the hospital receiving treatment.  It’s unknown how long that will take, Lane said.

The child was identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiners office as Ashton Ness.

Lane said there were several witnesses to the attack and it was reported that the man had been yelling — “possibly some religious yells.”

There had not been any previous calls or reports to police at the apartment, Lane said.  Nor had there been prior reports by the child’s family involving Child Protective Services, he said.

The mother of the child was at work at the time of the stabbing, Lane said.

Brandi Flores, manager of the apartment complex, said they are saddened by the event.  She said it was an isolated incident and couldn’t comment further.

ND Cares About Children

.jpg photo graphic for Child Abuse in North Dakota
Parenting and Nurturing Classes are Typical Order in Child Abuse Cases

Parenting and Nurturing Classes are Typical
Order in Child Abuse Cases

BISMARCK, ND  –  Tuesday, KX News told you the heartbreaking story of a 12-week-old baby murdered, and her father accused of the crime.

The suspect Jose Rivera-Rieffel has a past history of child abuse.  We’re continuing coverage tonight, as we look at child abuse in our communities.

The accused Jose Rivera-Rieffel was court mandated to take parenting and nurturing classes through the court system.

However, he never took those classes as part of his probation process.

We wanted to know more about what these parenting and nurturing classes are, and how they can help the community.

Constance Keller has been teaching families about parenting for 10 years.  The program is run through the Department of Human Services and the NDSU Extension Service.

Keller says well over 50 percent of those who take the course are mandated to be there.

She says the most important factor is that parents leave the program more empathetic.  Keller says if someone has empathy, they simply will not abuse their children.

The North Dakota Parenting Program Facilitator adds, “They’re going to learn how to respect their children and look at their children as other human beings.  You know, not just something they’re caring for every single minute of the day, but they’re teaching them how to go out in the world and to be a good person.”

The NDSU Extension Service also offers parenting tips and classes for people wanting more information on being a parent.

The Extension Service says it’s a misconception that parenting education is only for those who are bad parents.

The website below will show you how you can attend classes across the state of North Dakota: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pen