Nov. 5, 2013 CBS News
(CBS) KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An appeals court has vacated the murder conviction of Ryan Ferguson, the 29-year-old Mo. man imprisoned for nearly a decade for a crime he says he didn't commit.
The state has to decide whether to re-try Ferguson. It's not clear when he could be discharged from custody. His lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, plans to seek Ferguson's release on bond pending the decision on whether to retry him, reports the Associated Press.
"48 Hours" has covered the case extensively since Ferguson's 2005 trial and conviction. Ferguson was sentenced to 40 years in the 2001 murder of sports editor Kent Heitholt.
The circumstances surrounding Ferguson's conviction have troubled legal experts. The case was upheld last year despite a lack of physical evidence pointing to Ferguson, and the recantations of both Ferguson's alleged accomplice and an eyewitness. Read More
Oct. 21, 2013 Associated Press
SPARKS, Nev. — A student at a Nevada middle school opened fire on campus just before the starting bell Monday, wounding two boys and killing a teacher who was trying to protect other children, Sparks police and the victim's family said.
Twenty to thirty students witnessed the tragedy at Sparks Middle School that also left the lone suspected gunman dead, police said.
It's unclear whether the student committed suicide, but authorities say no shots were fired by law enforcement. Police said between 150 and 200 officers, including some from as far as 60 miles away, responded to the shooting.
"In my estimation, he is a hero. ... We do know he was trying to intervene," Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said of the teacher who was killed, who initially was identified only as a staff member.
Family members identified him as math teacher Michael Landsberry, a 45-year-old military veteran who leaves behind a wife and two stepdaughters Read More
Oct. 18, 2013 Associated Press
Three companies behind private juvenile detention and treatment facilities at the heart of a juvenile justice scandal in northeastern Pennsylvania have settled a civil lawsuit for $2.5 million.
The settlement involving claims brought by thousands of juveniles against PA Child Care, Western PA Child Care and Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corp. was granted preliminary approval in federal court.
Two former Luzerne County judges are serving lengthy prison terms in connection with the "kids for cash" scandal. Prosecutors say children were locked away in the facilities, often for minor offenses, by judges who took illegal payments from the facilities' builder and co-owner.
The two sides will now ask U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo for final approval.
Former Luzerne County judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced to 28 years in prison after he was convicted of racketeering and conspiracy. His former colleague Michael Conahan pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge and was sentenced to more than 17 years. Read More
Oct. 10, 2013 Associated Press
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in prison for corruption, after a series of scandals destroyed his political career and helped steer a crisis-laden city even deeper into trouble.
Kilpatrick, who served as mayor from 2002 until fall 2008, fattened his bank account by tens of thousands of dollars, traveled the country in private planes and even strong-armed his campaign fundraiser for stacks of cash hidden in her bra, according to evidence at trial.
"I'm ready to go so the city can move on," Kilpatrick told the judge. "The people here are suffering, they're hurting. A great deal of that hurt I accept responsibility for."
In March, Kilpatrick, 43, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes. The government called it the "Kilpatrick enterprise," a years-long scheme to shake down contractors and reward allies. He was doomed by his own text messages, which revealed efforts to fix deals for a pal, Bobby Ferguson, an excavator who got millions of dollars in city work through the water department. Read More
Oct. 10, 2013 Huffington Post
NEW YORK — Another NYPD officer has come out of the shadows to admit he was riding with the motorcycle road-rage mob that attacked a Manhattan dad — and he works for the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, DNAinfo New York has learned.
The officer, a five-year veteran assigned to the IAB's command center, quietly came forward a few days ago — to the shock of his supervisors, sources said.
The IAB is responsible for monitoring wrongdoing by fellow officers and is currently investigating those involved in the same SUV attack the IAB officer was allegedly a part of. It wasn't immediately clear whether he was personally involved in that investigation.
The revelation comes the same week as NYPD Detective Wojciech Braszczok, an undercover officer in the Intelligence Division, was arraigned on felony assault, gang assault and riot charges for being involved in the Sept. 29 chase and attack on 33-year-old Alexian Lien. Read More
Oct. 9, 2013 Good Morning America
The $1 million Norman Rockwell painting stolen from a New York City warehouse testifies to the enduring popularity of the American artist. It became the 42rd Norman Rockwell piece to be put on a list of missing artworks.
The painting, "Sport," depicts a man fishing in the rain and was the cover of the April 29, 1939 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. It was auctioned at Sothebys on May 22 for more than $1 million. The name of the buyer was not released.
The painting, which was signed by Rockwell, was reported missing at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 from WelPak, a storage company located in Queens, N.Y. The company declined to comment, but said it is "cooperating with the NYPD in the investigation."
Rockwell's paintings have been popular with thieves as well as collectors. The Art Loss Register had 41 other stolen Rockwells on its list before adding "Sport" to its database. Read More
Oct. 8, 2013 Huffington Post
The 9-year-old boy who snuck onto a plane without a ticket has had several brushes with the law.
On Thursday, the boy, who has not been identified, got through security at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and boarded a Delta Airlines plane headed for Las Vegas, without presenting a boarding pass. Now, the Star Tribune reports that, before this latest incident, the boy had stolen a car and snuck into a water park, prompting child protection investigators to undertake four "child-protection assessments" on the boy’s family.
The paper also reports that authorities are investigating whether the boy's mother helped her child get on the plane to Las Vegas, since she works at the Minneapolis airport.
The Associated Press reported on Sunday that, before the boy boarded the flight on Thursday, he went on a test run of sorts the day before. On Wednesday, the boy traveled to the airport, grabbed a random bag from the baggage carousel, ordered lunch at an airport restaurant and skipped out on the tab. Read More
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With the purpose of writing about true crime in an authoritative, fact-based manner, veteran journalists J. J. Maloney and J. Patrick O’Connor launched Crime Magazine in November of 1998.
Their goal was to cover all aspects of true crime: from organized crime to serial killers, from capital punishment to prisons, from historical crimes to celebrity crime, from assassinations to government corruption, from justice issues to innocent cases, from crime films to books about crime. Read More