Church Will Stop Hosting Alcohol Anonymous Meetings After Complaints From Neighbors

Alcoholics Anonymous left homeless in Paso Robles

Support groups will need to find a new meeting place by February 2017

–Leaders at St. James Episcopal Church will stop hosting meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous and similar support groups after being pressured by the city and receiving complaints about the meetings from neighbors. NA Daytona Meetings in Park.

Paso Robles city officials met with parishioners at the church earlier this year advising them the group meetings are “non-church” activities and require a special permit.

The church asked the Paso Robles Planning Commission for a conditional use permit on Nov. 8. The commission heard from church members in favor of the permit and neighbors opposed to it. Neighbors Mark Brown and Brian Bengard complained about parking on the street, noise of people talking, and hours of operation.

The commission declined to approve the permit and instead asked for mediation between parishioners and neighbors. But, after one mediation session, church leaders decided to stop hosting the support meetings at the end of Feb. 2017.

Saint James’ currently hosts 27 weekly meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and Overeaters Anonymous. In addition, lunch was served for the hungry of Paso Robles. The church, founded in 1891, has hosted AA meetings since 1949. AA Daytona have dangerous violent felons at meetings.

AA meetings canceled

Overview of the church location’s and proximity to the surrounding neighborhood residences.

“When faced with the inevitable fact that a significant number of meetings would possibly be minimized due to the permit requirement, we decided to withdraw our application and help the groups find other venues for their meetings,” said Corporate Secretary Michael Coffin for the church and a member of the church council.

“We felt it wouldn’t be fair to limit the number of meetings any particular group could host, or limit which groups could host meetings in general. As a church we don’t want to be in the position to deny meetings that are important for supporting people. We decided to help the groups find space where they can meet as often as they need rather than force them into a schedule with us that won’t be workable.”

“Addiction does not have a time clock, when they need a meeting they need a meeting,” said Coffin. “This is a great opportunity for community organizing. This will bring the council people and the city members together to help our community. Some groups have already reached out to the city to find new locations and they are all actively working to find new meeting locations by February.”

Planning Commission Chairman Bob Rollins, who recommended mediation, said, “This is really unfortunate as there is a very real need for someone or someplace in the city to accommodate these meetings. It is an important issue for these people and I suspect that maybe it is better to divide up the meetings, so that the burden would not be on one facility to host all weekly meetings.”

Neighbor Mark Brown was pleased with the outcome. “The situation has been resolved, by talks being done closely and directly between the church and residents, with support of the city… without dissent and with everyone involved on good working terms,” he said. 

Statement from St. James Episcopal Church’s permit application

“Meeting both the spiritual and temporal needs of Paso Robles defines the mission of our church and harkens to the most basic social responsibility that we as citizens are called to provide: basic care for each other. This mission must also be carried out with our dual responsibility to be a good neighbor to those with whom we share our geographical location. It is a balancing act that requires all parties to work closely together in the efforts to help those in need and to provide a safe and healthy neighborhood for all.

Through attention to facility use (including entrance/exit of attendees), parking considerations, and hours of use, we believe Saint James’ is being a responsible neighbor and still providing for the vital needs of our community. We look forward to working closely with our neighbors and city government to be a beacon of hope for our friends and families in need for generations to come.”

http://pasoroblesdailynews.com/alcoholics-anonymous-left-homeless-paso-robles/65421/

AA Killer Eric Earle Murders Alcoholics Anonymous Girlfriend: 26-years-to-life upheld

Photo via Pixabay

Killer murders Alcoholics Anonymous girlfriend: 26-years-to-life upheld

A state appeals court panel Tuesday upheld a former Saugus resident’s conviction for the September 2011 murder of his girlfriend, whom he met earlier that year at an Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous meeting.

The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in the trial of Eric Allen Earle, including the admission of evidence of uncharged acts of domestic violence against the murder victim, Karla Brada, and his ex-wife.

The appellate court justices noted in their 58-page ruling that there was “overwhelming evidence demonstrating that defendant was intoxicated the night of August 31 to September 1, and that when defendant was intoxicated, he became angry, belligerent, aggressive and threatening, even with law enforcement officers, male friends, nurses, jailers and his mother.

We discern no reasonable probability that the (trial) result would have been different absent evidence of defendant’s prior acts of domestic violence,” the panel found.

Earle was convicted in September 2014 of first-degree murder for the Sept. 1, 2011, asphyxiation of his girlfriend, Karla Brada, who died just two days short of her 32nd birthday. Holly Hill Sunrise Park AA Meetings have Violent Felons.

Brada was found dead inside the condominium she shared with Earle, who maintained she had fallen down the stairs and then come upstairs and shown him some bruises from the fall. He said he awoke to find her dead in bed. AA Daytona Meetings in Holly Hill Park.

Earle is serving a 26-year-to-life prison sentence.

http://mynewsla.com/crime/2016/12/20/killer-murders-alcoholics-anonymous-girlfriend-26-years-to-life-upheld/

Longtime AA Member That Lead Meetings for Years Gets Life Sentence for 9th DWI

Donald Middleton, 56, of Houston was sentenced by a Montgomery County judge on June 6, 2016 to life in prison for a DWI conviction stemming from an incident on Memorial Day 2015. It was the man?s ninth DWI conviction, and he won?t be eligible for parole for 30 years. Middleton registered a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit after his vehicle struck a car driven by a teenager, who was not injured. The judge found Middleton had used his vehicle as a deadly weapon. Photo: Norm Gomlak / handout

Donald Middleton, 56, of Houston was sentenced by a Montgomery County judge on June 6, 2016 to life in prison for a DWI conviction stemming from an incident on Memorial Day 2015. It was the man’s ninth DWI conviction, and he won’t be eligible for parole for 30 years. Middleton registered a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit after his vehicle struck a car driven by a teenager, who was not injured. The judge found Middleton had used his vehicle as a deadly weapon.

Repeat DWI offender gets life sentence for 9th conviction

56-year-old not eligible for parole from state prison until he’s 86

A Houston man’s ninth DWI conviction has landed him a life sentence with no possibility of parole until he is 86, Montgomery County prosecutors said Wednesday.

Donald Middleton, 56, was driving with a valid license about 9 p.m. on Memorial Day 2015 when he made a left turn into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle, Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Justin Fowles said. Under state law, a DWI conviction can get a driver’s license suspended but not permanently revoked.
At the time, Middleton was on parole from a 13-year prison sentence he received in 2009 following a DWI conviction. This time, because the judge found Middleton used his vehicle as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole for 30 years.

Middleton turned left onto Fostoria Road from Four Pines Road, near Texas 59 and about 5 miles south of Cleveland. Prosecutors said surveillance video from a convenience store showed him turning into the left lane and striking a red truck driven by 16-year-old Joshua Hayden, whose father is Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden. The teen was not injured. Daytona Beach AA and NA Meetings are dangerous!

After the crash, Middleton ran into the convenience store, audio and video surveillance shows.

“Hide me,” he told the clerk repeatedly. He then entered a neighboring home with the same request, Fowles said.

With a search warrant under the district attorney’s “No Refusal” program, the responding officer tested Middleton’s blood alcohol content. According to the district attorney’s office, it was 0.184 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Fowles said jury selection was set to begin last month when Middleton conferred with his attorney, Bill Cheadle, and agreed to plead guilty to the felony DWI charge.

“The bottom line is, he was trying to take responsibility, finally, after nine times,” the attorney said.

During the sentencing hearings, Middleton took the stand and told District Judge Kathleen Hamilton that his drinking began as a freshman in high school after years of being picked on by classmates, according to the Montgomery County Police Reporter. Middleton showed no remorse for the crash, the website reported.

On Monday, Hamilton sentenced Middleton to life in state prison. Cheadle said Wednesday that an appeal is in the works.

Cheadle said a ninth DWI offense points to a broken system.

“We’re not dealing with the root of the problem,” he said. “We need a system where this person is not allowed to drive ever again, not just by being in jail, but by getting state-sponsored rehabilitation or an interlock system.”

Fowles and Cheadle both said Middleton twice had been sent to Alcoholics Anonymous while out of prison and had received counseling in prison. But Cheadle said alternatives remained.

“We’re in an age of technology where we can prevent somebody from driving,” he said, adding that Middleton had been sober for six years before the most recent incident. In fact, Cheadle said Middleton, who worked an at auto service center, had been leading AA meetings and had met his girlfriend there.

Fowles said a life sentence was the appropriate response for a ninth DWI, which is rare but not unprecedented in Montgomery County. In February 2015, a Montgomery County jury gave two life sentences to 64-year-old Bobby Gene Martin of Houston, after his 10th DWI conviction.

“To me there was no question that we needed to do everything that we could to ensure he wouldn’t be on the roads driving with our friends, our families, our kids on the road putting everyone at risk,” Fowles told reporters after the sentence was handed down.

“Many people are worth the risk of trying to help fix them, so to speak, but Donald Middleton is not one of them,” Fowles told the Chronicle on Wednesday.

According to Harris County court records, Middleton was charged with his first DWI when he was 20. He also faced charges in 1983, 1992, 1993, twice in 1997, 1999, and 2008. In 1993 he faced a separate charge of possessing crack cocaine.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Repeat-DWI-offender-gets-life-sentence-for-9th-7971698.php

Stanford Sex Assault Judge Went Easy On Student Athlete Mandating AA Meetings

 

Stanford Sex Assault Judge Went Easy On Another Student Athlete

Judge Aaron Persky, under fire for his sentencing of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, delayed sentencig for a domestic violence offender so he could play football in Hawaii. “They made it easy for him,” the victim told BuzzFeed News.

The California judge who faces a recall campaign after giving a former Stanford swimmer a six-month jail sentence for sexual assault approved an extraordinarily lenient sentencing arrangement for another young male athlete convicted of domestic violence, according to court records. NA Daytona and AA Daytona Meetings are dangerous.

In February 2015, 21-year-old Ikaika Gunderson beat and choked his ex-girlfriend. He quickly confessed to police and three months later pleaded no contest to a felony count of domestic violence.

Gunderson faced up to four years in state prison, but he got a break.

In most domestic violence cases, sentencing occurs within a month or two of the guilty plea, but Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky agreed to delay sentencing for more than a year so that Gunderson could attend the University of Hawaii, where he had been accepted, and play football there.

The judge said he would reduce Gunderson’s charge to a misdemeanor if the athlete completed a 52-week domestic violence program and attended weekly AA meetings.

Typically, domestic violence defendants have to successfully complete probation before a felony charge is reduced. But instead of having to report to a probation officer, Gunderson was told he did not have to check in with the judge for seven months. Even then, Persky said Gunderson’s attorney could appear on his client’s behalf, meaning Gunderson did not have to return to California. Holly Hill Sunrise Park AA Meetings are dangerous.

The unorthodox arrangement also skirted a federal statute that bars adult offenders from moving out of state without permission.

It was a generous show of good faith, but it did not work out.

By October, Gunderson had dropped out of college and stopped attending AA meetings. He also had failed to take part in the required domestic violence program. Two months later, he was arrested on another domestic violence charge in Washington state.

Persky’s decisions have been under scrutiny since the victim in the Stanford rape case released a letter describing the devastating impact the attack had on her. Prosecutors had asked for six years in prison, but Persky gave Turner six months, which was in line with what the probation officer suggested. Turner is scheduled to be released on Sept. 2.

On Aug. 25, Persky asked to be reassigned from criminal to civil cases in hopes that the move would reduce the distractions the Turner sentencing brought to the court. The recall campaign against him will continue, said its leader, Michele Dauber, adding that Persky could transfer back to hearing criminal cases whenever he chooses.

“Judicial bias is just as serious regardless of whether a case is civil or criminal,” Dauber said in a statement. “Many issues affecting women are heard in civil court every day.”

Persky’s critics say the Gunderson case fits the judge’s pattern of leniency in cases involving privileged men charged with serious crimes. Persky’s supporters counter that the judge’s actions show his desire to offer young offenders a chance at rehabilitation rather than incarceration. They say it’s unfair to hold Persky under a microscope, especially since prosecutors have to sign off on plea agreements, too.

But lawyers, domestic violence advocates, and other experts who were briefed on the case, including one high-profile judge who has publicly opposed the recall campaign, told BuzzFeed News that Gunderson’s sentencing agreement was highly unusual.

“There are so many problems with how this case was handled that I’m not even sure where to start,” said retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, who, like Persky, served as a Santa Clara County superior court judge. She said it was troubling that Persky didn’t ensure Gunderson was properly supervised, and that Hawaiian authorities were not notified when the defendant moved there.

“The system is set up so that if someone has admitted a violent offense and is now a convicted felon, they should be closely monitored,” Cordell said. “You don’t just cross your fingers and hope everything is going to be fine. That’s not how the courts are supposed to work.”

The victim, Gunderson’s ex-girlfriend, agreed, she told BuzzFeed News in a recent interview.

“It just wasn’t handled right,” the woman said. “They made it easy for him.”


Ikaika Gunderson grew up in Camas, Washington, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. His dad coached high school football, and his mother, an IBM executive, graduated from Stanford just four years before Persky, although there’s no indication they knew each other.

Gunderson dreamed of playing college football but was told his career was over after he suffered concussions during high school, according to a 2011 newspaper article that said Gunderson battled headaches and mood swings. But in January 2012, Gunderson got the opportunity to play football for Foothill College, a community college in Los Altos Hills, California. According to an athlete profile page from that time, he was 6’2’’ and weighed 250 pounds.

“Looks like I’m gonna be taking my talents to Cali,” Gunderson wrote on Facebook. “Gonna be playin ball by the bay area. 2 years then dreams of going big time.”

According to the statement that the victim, then 20, gave police, she and Gunderson started dating in the fall of 2013 and broke up in December 2014. They reconnected in January 2015 and went out for dinner in downtown Sunnyvale. After a few drinks, they got into an argument, which escalated into violence as they sat in his car in a parking lot.

“Don’t raise your voice at me, I’m a man,” Gunderson told the victim, according to her statement. Then, she said, he punched her in the face and split her lip. She told police Gunderson hit her repeatedly in the face, pushed her head through the open car door window, and closed his hands around her neck until she couldn’t breathe. He then shoved her out of the vehicle.


“There are so many problems with how this case was handled that I’m not even sure where to start.”


The victim walked away, she later told police, but Gunderson drove up alongside her and persuaded her to get back in the car. When she did, they started arguing again, and Gunderson backhanded her in the face, calling her “bitch” and “whore.” They drove to his house. As she sat on his front steps waiting for a friend to pick her up, Gunderson ate a bag of chips and laughed at her, according to the report.

The victim’s friend drove her to a hospital, and a nurse notified police. The responding officer noted the victim’s visible injuries in his report: Her face and lips were swollen, there were cuts and bruises on her face and body, and her left eye had broken blood vessels.

“The victim believes Gunderson has a ‘two sided personality,’ due to his concussions,” the officer wrote.

The police arrested Gunderson that night after he admitted beating and choking the woman. She had hurt him “with her words,” Gunderson said by way of explaining his behavior, according to the police report. “I pushed her out of my face.”


Three months later, Gunderson appeared before Persky and pleaded no contest to the domestic violence felony charge.

Persky went “out on a limb,” Deputy District Attorney Ted Kajani would later say in court, and set Gunderson’s sentencing for July 2016, more than a year later. Until then, Persky told Gunderson he could go to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandmother and attend college as planned. If all went well, according to the arrangement, the felony would be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Assistant DA Brian Welch told BuzzFeed News that even though the prosecutor signed off on the deal, it was “solely within the court’s discretion to determine the sentence” in this case.

It is not uncommon for judges to give defendants a chance to “earn” a lesser charge, but legal and domestic violence experts said it is unusual for a judge to defer sentencing for so long for such a violent crime, and with such minimal supervision.

The victim told BuzzFeed News she supported the judge’s initial decision to give Gunderson a chance but was disappointed to learn he was unsupervised during the seven months before his attorney checked in with the court.

“I think it should have been stricter,” she said. “They didn’t even check in on him or anything like that the whole time?”

By October, Gunderson had dropped out of school, which meant he was no longer on the football team. He had stopped going to AA meetings. Instead of completing a state-mandated course on domestic violence, he took part of one online. All were violations of the plea agreement.

Gunderson’s attorney acknowledged this when he appeared in front of Persky in December, on his client’s behalf, as planned. Persky then ordered Gunderson to come in person the following month.

At that hearing, Gunderson blamed his failure to keep up his end of the agreement on the fact that his grandmother had died the previous October. He also provided a psychiatrist’s note that recommended a leave of absence from class. His attorney called it a “speed bump,” and court transcripts show Persky was inclined to be understanding.


“They didn’t even check in on him or anything like that the whole time?”


“If he’s completely back on track with the original program and probation and the People don’t have an objection, we can revert back to that,” the judge said of Gunderson.

This time, the prosecutor successfully objected, and Persky set Gunderson’s sentencing for March 2016. He received three years’ felony probation, four months in county jail, as recommended by probation — although he served less than two months — and was ordered to complete a certified DV program.

Washington state records show that Gunderson was arrested on another domestic violence charge in December 2015. According to the police report, he punched his father during a family argument. “The family expressed concern repeatedly requesting that there be no charges as Ikaika needs treatment,” the police report states. That case is still pending.

Gunderson’s parents told police that their son had lived with them in Washington since Nov. 1 — despite Gunderson’s agreement to be in college in Hawaii at that time.

BuzzFeed News asked several local public defenders, retired judges, domestic violence advocates and legal experts to comment on Persky’s decision-making in Gunderson’s case. All agreed that the 14-month deferred sentencing was unusual although not unprecedented. But opinions differed as to whether this was a good thing and whether Persky alone should be faulted for the plea deal’s failure.

“I think everybody played a role in the lack of success in this particular case,” including the district attorney, said Steve Clark, a former prosecutor who is now a defense attorney. “That doesn’t mean I don’t think we should give people chances, particularly young people,” Clark said. “I don’t know if we would want to live in a society where no one got a break.“

Others, however, said it was improper for a judge to oversee an offender’s rehabilitation in the way Persky did. The lack of supervision, among other issues, was not only “bizarre” but a “miscarriage of justice,” said Nancy Lemon, a leading authority on domestic violence and a lecturer at University of California Berkeley’s law school.

Gunderson’s attorney, Anthony Brass, said his client is under medical care resulting from injuries that likely stem from playing football.

“No judge wants to derail a young person starting their life, particularly if they are going to college, but the fact is that Gunderson faced challenges that made it very difficult to complete the promises he made,” Brass told BuzzFeed News. “That doesn’t excuse him, but it was a challenging situation for him. The amount of freedom and amount of time he got ended up being something that didn’t serve his purpose.”

If Gunderson had been on official probation, he would have had strict guidelines to follow. For instance, he would have known that taking an online domestic violence class was unacceptable. Nobody told Gunderson this: Court records show that he asked the judge in May 2015 if he could take an online course and got no response.

Persky’s decision to allow Gunderson to move to Hawaii may have violated a federal statute as well. The Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision bars offenders from moving out of state without making a request to that state first. Yet Hawaii was never made aware that Gunderson was there.


“The amount of freedom and amount of time he got ended up being something that didn’t serve his purpose.”


Judges need to “do better to send a message that violence against women is not tolerable,” said Michelle Rocca, a director with the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They shouldn’t bend the rules to benefit abusers, she said, as Persky appeared to have done.

“Violent offenders who are not held accountable continue to put communities at risk, and with the added layer of not being assigned formal supervision by the courts, they are free to re-offend in any state they choose, including Hawaii,” she said.

Before Persky asked to quit criminal court, he also disqualified himself from making a decision in another sex crime ruling. His efforts might not be enough to take the heat off.

For Dauber, the leader of Persky’s recall campaign, Gunderson’s sentencing once again proves that Persky “does not take violence against women seriously.” Instead, she said, Persky “essentially sentenced Gunderson to a year-long Hawaiian vacation.”

Persky’s supporters see a different pattern — one of a judge who looks for alternatives to incarceration.

“We have so many judges that take a one-size-fits-all, assembly-line approach to being a judge, so I appreciate a judge who takes the time to individually consider cases,” said Sajid Khan, a public defender in Santa Clara County who is one of Persky’s leading supporters.

But even some who oppose the recall campaign said it’s a judge’s ultimate responsibility to do the right thing in the courtroom — and that didn’t happen in Gunderson’s case.

“If I’m a judge, and I see that things aren’t happening as they normally should, it’s on me,” said Judge Cordell. “I should say, ‘No, this deal isn’t going to happen.’”

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/stanford-sex-assault-judge-went-easy-on-another-student-athl?utm_term=.qeLVRzzXED#.xi47988rv5

The 13th Step- A Documentary Film, Exposing Sexual & Violent Predators, in Alcoholics Anonymous Available NOW on VIMEO

Laurels for Film The 13th Step2016-04-29 at 1.50.47 PM

The film that tells the truth about the most revered self-help group on the planet. AA- ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, promoted as the wonder of this century by ROCKEFELLER,  NEUT GINGRICH, DICK VAN DYKE, ELTON JOHN, EDIE FALCO, Senator Hughes, Chuck Lorre, Martin Sheen and many more.

Little did I know how deep the rabbit hole went when I started making the film in May of 2011. It was Christine and Saundra Cass’s murder in Hawaii that did it for me.  Learning about Karla Brada’s murder put the nails in the coffin as well.

But when I learned about how Pilots, Nurses, and Doctors are extorted to attend in such an insane way …I could not believe my ears or eyes as I read their contracts. This could be another whole film on CNN , FRONTLINE or 60 Minutes – but I digress.

The latest News about Corrupt Sober Living Houses, (Chris Bathum featured on ABC 20/20 recently)  fraud in Rehabs and how PROP 36 sends all the diversion folks to a SOBER LIVING, drug tests all clients and makes everyone follow the 1936 -12 step

Prohibition WAYS of NO ALCOHOL , “no nothing” kinda mentality. YIKES !!!

Interesting note that Major Insurance is paying for The Sober Living sham, through a thing called IOP’s and expensive Drug Testing. Who owns the drug testing COMPANY you may ask? I find myself digging, again, down another rabbit hole. But, that’s another film. There is one pilot who I interviewed in this film. He was afraid to be seen.

Here is the link to rent or buy the film.

An Award Winning new Documentary that exposes the dark under belly of the most revered self help groups, Alcoholics Anonymous. The Courts are plea dealing Violent offenders and Sex offenders to AA meetings and women are getting murdered and raped. Journalist Gabrielle Glaser, Author Lance Dodes, Tom Horvath, Dr Jaffi, Dr Marc Kern, HAMS creator Kenneth Anderson, Author Stanton Peele, Cluadia Chrisitan, Steven Slate, Founder of SOS, Jim Christopher and filmmaker Monica Richardson.

Father Sentenced to Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings and Weekends in Jail for Felony Child Abuse of Baby Daughter

Father sentenced to a year of weekends in jail for child abuse

By Katy Barnitz / Journal Staff Writer Saturday, May 28th, 2016
A Rio Rancho father convicted of child abuse must spend the next 52 weekends in county jail, a Sandoval County judge ruled Monday.
Matthew Najar, 32, pleaded guilty in February to one count of reckless child abuse, a third-degree felony, according to court documents.

Najar was originally indicted in November 2012 on four counts of child abuse. Rio Rancho police reported being called to a local hospital in December 2011 after health care workers reported that an 11-week-old girl had a skull fracture, according to a Rio Rancho Observer report from 2012. Employees also reportedly said they found healing fractures of the girl’s ribs, left leg and collarbone.

During a sentencing hearing Monday afternoon, Najar told state District Court Judge George Eichwald that he’d made mistakes in his life, but said substance abuse was the root of the problem. He said he’d been clean for three years and asked the judge to allow him to maintain his relationship with his children.

“I want to be a father to these girls,” Najar said. “Give me a chance to be the father that these girls need.”

Najar’s defense attorney Leonard Foster said that, in the many years since the charges first arose, Najar started attending Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous classes, and he’s gone through group therapy sessions with the state Children, Youth and Families Department. He even started his own business with his brother, which allows him to make child support payments and support his children, Foster said. He asked the judge to place Najar on probation. Daytona AA and NA meetings have violent felons, please beware!

Prosecutor Aaron Aragon asked for 18 months of incarceration, combined with substance abuse and anger management courses. Holly Hill Sunrise Park NA Meetings complaints.

Eichwald sentenced Najar to 104 days in custody, “one year of weekends,” he said. He also told Najar to enroll in and complete anger management courses, and to continue attending NA and AA meetings.

“I’m keeping you from losing your job,” Eichwald said.

In a brief interview after the hearing, Najar said he was disappointed with the sentence and nervous about returning to jail every week.

“I was loaded and I dropped my daughter,” he said, adding that he took the infant to the emergency room immediately.

Najar said he’s scared to go back to jail.

“Jail’s ugly,” he said, calling it a “drug- and violence-infested area.”

He said he hopes spending the weekends in custody will remind him why he changed his life.

“I’m scared,” he told the judge. “I don’t want to lose all this.”

http://www.abqjournal.com/782483/father-sentenced-to-a-year-of-weekends-in-jail-for-child-abuse.html

Man in Court for Threatening to Kill People is Mandated to Attend AA Meetings

Christopher Hagins
By Norman Miller  Daily News Staff   Posted May. 16, 2016 at 8:08 PM

FRAMINGHAM – A Framingham man tried to force himself into an Edmands Road apartment on Sunday, threatening to kill the terrified residents as they clutched kitchen knives for protection, a prosecutor said Monday in Framingham District Court.

Police arrested Christopher Hagins, 36, at the Edmands House at 15 Edmands Road at 12:21 a.m., prosecutor Megan Fitzgerald said during Hagins’ arraignment.

The two tenants told police they were in their apartment when someone tried to force open the door. They said they armed themselves with kitchen knives in case he got in, and held the door shut until police arrived.

As Hagins tried to break down the door he screamed, “I’ll kill you. I know you,” Fitzgerald said.

When police arrived, they found Hagins punching and kicking the door. He refused to answer questions and when they tried to take him into custody, he struggled and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, the prosecutor said.

“When the officers spoke to the residents, they were both visibly shaking and crying,” Fitzgerald said. Hagins was a complete stranger, the residents told police.

One of tenants said she had seen Hagins late Saturday as she worked at a nearby gas station. According to a police report, Hagins acted bizarrely while buying cigarettes.

“He was saying, ‘Do we have a problem here … Oh, I definitely know you have a problem,’” Hagins was quoted as saying.

Hagins did not tell police why he was trying to get into the apartment. He had recently moved into the building.

Police charged Hagins with attempted burglary, threatening to commit a crime (murder), disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.

Hagins also had a Natick District Court warrant for driving under the influence of liquor and a Dedham District Court warrant that charged him with driving under the influence of liquor, driving to endanger, resisting arrest and speeding.

Fitzgerald asked Judge Jennifer Stark to hold Hagins on $1,000 bail and to order him to stay away from the alleged victims and to undergo random screenings for alcohol.

Probation officer Dave DiGiorgio also asked Stark to hold Hagins without bail, pending a probation violation hearing. He said he is going to recommend sending Hagins to jail. Hagins is on probation for drunken driving.

“It’s a scary police report,” said DiGiorgio. “I think he’s dangerous.”

Hagins’ lawyer, Charles Hughes, asked for his client’s release. He said Hagins has a minimal record, and is willing to cooperate with the rest of the conditions. Holly Hill Sunrise Park Crime.

Stark ordered Hagins held without bail for the probation violation hearing and set $500 bail on the new case. She also ordered Hagins to drink no alcohol, be subject random alcohol tests and attend two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week. Judge Stark ordered Hagins to stay away from the alleged victims whom she said “are now terrified of you.” AA Daytona and NA Daytona meetings are dangerous places.

Hagins is due back in court on June 24 for a pretrial conference.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20160516/da-framingham-man-tries-to-force-way-into-apartment

AA Member With Severe Mental Health Problems Sentenced to Jail for Brandishing Knife at Police Officers

Weinheimer-IMG-4475.jpg

Man who brandished knife sentenced to prison

PORT CLINTON – The man subdued by police while brandishing a knife during an incident caught on security camera footage in August will spend several more months in jail after receiving credit for time served.

Judge Bruce Winters, of Ottawa County Common Pleas Court, sentenced Weinheimer to 180 days for the misdemeanor and a year in prison for the felony, which are to be imposed concurrently. NA Daytona and AA Daytona meetings have dangerous felons. Beware!

Weinheimer was also given credit for 233 days served since the offense occurred, leaving just over four months of prison remaining on the sentence.

Weinheimer addressed the court during his sentencing hearing on Thursday and apologized for the incident.

“I just want to say, I’m sorry for wasting the court’s time and I’m sorry to the police officers and everybody for what I did during my drinking,” he said.

He and his defense attorney, Howard Whitcomb, asked the court to consider outpatient care because of a severe mental health condition Weinheimer has been diagnosed with and treated for in the past, as well as an addiction to alcohol.

“Continuing with (Alcoholics Anonymous), I know I can do it. I really do,” Weinheimer said.

“You were fortunate enough to have met up with an officer who had a taser,” Winters said. “My prediction would be, if there hadn’t been a taser there, a firearm would have been used to stop you from approaching the officers with the knife.”

Winters said he understands the mental health issue and the addiction are both severe in this case, referred to as co-occurring disorders.

“The two of them together really make things difficult for you, but then again, you make things a bit difficult for yourself,” the judge said.

Winters noted, based on the pre-sentence report, there does not seem to be consistent way to ensure Weinheimer will take his prescribed medication, and said he has discussed potential treatments with mental health professionals, but was still “at a loss” in this case.

“I struggle with the fact that, if you’ve got mental health issues, prison is not the place for you,” Winters said. “You need mental health assistance in some way, but I’m just not seeing that assistance available. I’m not convinced that all of your actions can be written off to mental health problems. You do some choosing in this, too.”

Winters recommended Weinheimer take advantage of any available help, such as substance abuse treatment, while in prison.

http://www.portclintonnewsherald.com/story/news/local/2016/03/24/man-who-brandished-knife-sentenced-prison/82199874/

Convicted Rapist of 13 Year Old Girl Who Went to AA Meetings Dies in Prison

Convicted rapist from Waterville dies at Maine State Prison

BY BETTY ADAMS KENNEBEC JOURNAL  badams@mainetoday.com | 207-621-5631

Donald Riley, 67, was serving a sentence for raping a 13-year-old neighbor in his basement on Pine Street.

A Waterville man who died in prison Thursday was serving a sentence for forcing a 13-year-old neighbor into his Pine Street basement and raping her on May 16, 2006, as well as for a later burglary that occurred in Washington County.

Donald Riley, 67, who also used the middle names Edwin and Edward, died at 2:15 p.m. Thursday at the Maine State Prison in Warren, according to the Maine Department of Corrections.

In 2009, Riley pleaded guilty to a charge of gross sexual assault in connection with the rape, and he was sentenced to serve an initial 5½ years of a 15-year sentence.

The remainder of the sentence was suspended, and he was placed on six years of probation.

Riley also was given credit for the three years he had been held while the charge was pending.

While he was out on probation, he broke into a grocery store in Calais and was ordered returned to prison on June 1, 2014, to serve two years on the burglary conviction and the remaining 9½ years on the gross sexual assault charge.

The prosecutor in the rape case, then-Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley, said the girl had been riding her bicycle in the neighborhood and entered Riley’s backyard after his son asked her to help him get his bicycle out of the mud.

“Don Riley came out of the basement, grabbed her arm and pulled her into the basement,” Kelley said. AA and NA Daytona meetings have violent dangerous felons, BEWARE!

The next day, the girl told a friend what happened. She was administered a sex-assault examination at Inland Hospital, and Waterville police investigated.

Riley initially told police there was mutual fondling through clothes, then admitted having intercourse with her, Kelley said. Port Orange AA meetings are dangerous!

At a hearing, the victim’s stepfather said the effect of the rape had torn the family apart.

Riley’s attorney told the judge at the 2009 hearing that Riley had been treated for Parkinson’s disease and depression and had attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and sex-offender counseling.

Riley also had been convicted in 2002 of assault on an 11-year-old girl who was visiting his son. Holly Hill Florida in Sunrise Park have dangerous AA and NA meetings, beware!

http://www.pressherald.com/2016/02/12/waterville-rapist-dies-at-maine-state-prison/

Sexual Predator Hunted for Victims in AA and NA Meetings to Torture Them

Amanda Kathleen McGee of Calgary received an eight-year sentence after pleading guilty to eight charges, including human trafficking, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

Amanda McGee sentenced to 8 years for human trafficking, sexual assault

Women were confined, drugged and sexually tortured

By Meghan Grant, CBC News Posted: Jan 22, 2016

With 30 years experience as a prosecutor and judge, Justice Earl Wilson said he’s never seen a case as bizarre and depraved as the sexual, physical and emotional torture of young women at the hands of Amanda McGee.

The 33-year-old Calgary woman pleaded guilty to eight charges including sexual assault, forcible confinement and human trafficking.

She was sentenced to eight years in prison in a Calgary courtroom Friday.

Wilson berated McGee for several minutes, telling her he had never — with his decades of experience — seen any case like this, calling it “stunningly horrible.”

“You are evil, cold hearted, I don’t know if you’ve even got a soul,” said Wilson to McGee after accepting her guilty pleas.

Between July 2013 and March 2014, McGee drugged two young women and sexually assaulted them, forcing one to prostitute herself for weeks while locked in a bedroom, according to an agreed statement of facts.

The victim was allowed out to watch McGee work as a prostitute. She was also forced to do drugs and was punished with sexual violence when she didn’t do as she was told.

The young woman — a teen at the time — was forced to earn a quota of $2,000 per day and tried to kill herself several times during her captivity by drinking drain cleaner and attempting to hang herself.

“One of these poor victims tried to kill herself because of you. Thank god she didn’t because, at the end of the day, her life is worth living. She’s a survivor,” said Wilson.

‘I will always be a victim’

Videos were taken of the young women and McGee threatened to send them to their families. Dangerous felons in Daytona NA and AA meetings in Holly Hill Florida.

“I will never be just a girl again. I will always be a victim,” said one of the young women McGee drugged and assaulted.

Once McGee no longer had control over her victims, she began hunting for more — joining women-only chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

“The criminality here is beyond the pale; these people are sentenced to life — that’s what you’ve done,” said Wilson. Daytona homeless in Daytona AA and NA meetings.

“It’s disgustingly depraved what you did and continued to do, you just went from one victim to another.”

At the time of her crimes, McGee was addicted to drugs and made some terrible decisions, according to her lawyer’s submissions on Friday.

Wilson also told McGee if she had gone through a trial and been found guilty, he would have sentenced her to life in prison.

“I think you are that dangerous of a human being.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/amanda-mcgee-human-trafficking-sexual-assault-plea-1.3416535

Killer of Girlfriend Mandated to Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings for 90 Days

Jail, not prison, for Utah man guilty of girlfriend’s 1996 death

First Published Nov 30 2015 06:00AM      Last Updated Dec 01 2015 07:12 am

A judge on Monday sentenced a Utah man to jail — not prison — in connection with the 1996 death of his live-in girlfriend.

Billy Justin Charles had entered an Alford plea to one count of manslaughter, a second-degree felony, in August. NA Daytona Meetings have dangerous criminals!

The plea was not an acknowledgment of guilt, but recognized that Salt Lake County prosecutors likely had enough evidence to secure a conviction at trial.

Jamie Ellen Weiss, 18, was found dead and submerged in the bathtub of the couple’s Magna home on Aug. 7, 1996 — one day before the couple planned to marry.

An autopsy found she had died from blunt force trauma to her head and asphyxiation, and there was no water in her lungs.

“I’d like to say I am sorry to Jamie’s family, to my family and most of all to our son, Jesse,” Charles told the court before he was sentenced. “If I could give my life for Jamie’s, I would.” AA Daytona Beach meetings have dangerous criminals- BEWARE!

Charles, now 39, was convicted by a jury of first-degree felony murder in 2007. But the conviction was overturned by the Utah Court of Appeals in 2012 and sent back for a new trial.

In his appeal, Charles claimed his defense attorney failed to present evidence that would have exonerated him.

Instead of a second trial, the case was settled with the plea deal.

Under the terms of the plea, prosecutors agreed to recommend that Charles — who has been incarcerated since his arrest in 2007 — not go to prison, but instead serve an additional year in jail, followed by three years of probation.

Third District Court Judge Mark Kouris agreed to the recommendation, imposing a sentence of one to 15 years in prison, which was then suspended in favor of 365 days in jail, plus probation.

Kouris also ordered Charles pay nearly $25,000 in restitution, attend 90 days of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and complete a mental health evaluation with an emphasis on domestic violence.

Prosecutors and the family of Weiss told the judge that Charles has a history of domestic assaults on women, including girlfriends and family, as well as a witness in the original case.

“If you choose to hit a woman again, it’s a ticket to the penitentiary,” Kouris said.

Charles got no forgiveness from the three members of Weiss’ family who addressed the court on Monday. Rather, they implored him to address his issues with women and use the chance he is getting to avoid prison to change his life.

“I will never forgive Billy for the hurt he has caused, unless one day he [can] man up,” Weiss’ sister, Andraya Perrine said. “This is his chance to be the person my sister hoped he would be, instead of the monster he was.”

Deborah Nelson, Weiss’ mother, told Kouris she had battled the legal system for years trying to get justice for her daughter. To survive the pain, she said she had turned to meditation and forced herself to separate the murder from the man, his ego and his need for control.

“Billy, stripped from his ego, is a man who has harmed himself,” she said.

http://www.sltrib.com/home/3234717-155/jail-not-prison-expected-for-utah

NA DAYTONA MEMBER THREATENS LIVES OF LOCALS IN SUNRISE PARK HOLLY HILL FLORIDA

Here we are at the 5 year anniversary of this Daytona NA nightmare event. Since this occurred there have been additional events of harassment of local Holly Hill citizens and business owners. AA Volusia County Intergroup has bullied multiple times people out of pavilions, including threatening and harassing locals.  They had an incident where an NA member tried to hit another member with a baseball bat! They continue to run people out of pavilions, and recently have been breaking the new No Smoking rules implemented by The City of Holly Hill. We commend Holly Hill for moving forward with this new Park rule!  We Hope they respect Holly Hill more than Daytona Groups do. Continue reading

Daytona Beach “Just For Today” Narcotics Anonymous Meeting at Hollyland Park Continues to Harass Citizens

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This story told by 4thechildren about the Just For Today NA Meeting in Holly Hill deserved it’s own post.

On Memorial day weekend, a volunteer who was cleaning up trash at Hollyland Park, had to listen to excessive swearing from members of the Daytona Beach NA group, “JUST FOR TODAY” who were holding their large meeting directly in the middle of the playground.

Someone had properly rented the park’s main pavilion for a family reunion gathering. This Daytona NA group’s non-traditional chairperson decided to take over the pavilion in the middle of the playground which was about 30 to 40 feet from the family reunion event!

Too bad if the children of the family reunion were hoping to use the playground!

The volunteer was so sick of hearing the foul language and witnessing the inappropriate behavior from this group on Memorial day weekend that he decided not to visit the Holly Hill park last Sunday.

He considered not going again this weekend but then asked himself, why should any citizen allow this group, who takes over the park every Sunday morning, to deny one from enjoying a typical park experience because of their foul language and inappropriate aggressive behavior?

So at about 11:30 a.m., after purchasing a sub from Subway, he decided to stop by and eat his brunch in the park at a nice shady picnic table across the field and away from the meeting.

He got out with his book to read and paused from time to time to watch some batting practice going in the ball field as he ate his food.

The citizen just continued to read his book. Even at this distance one could not help but hear swearing. He also heard a lady who apparently was walking with a small child coming closer to where he was sitting. As she got closer she heckled the citizen with an extremely derogatory and critical remark.

Then two other Daytona NA members came by where the citizen was sitting and muttered derogatory comments about him to one another as they passed.

I guess they are retaliating because this citizen has had to call the police in the past when Daytona Beach NA members illegally smoke and harass citizens etc.

What happened next was much worse! AA Daytona Meetings in Daytona Beach Florida Volusia County

As the citizen continued with his book and some NA members were getting in their vehicles, a newer,tan diesel truck drove toward the citizen.The truck pulled up tightly behind the citizen’s car, which was the last one in the parking area. THEN THE DRIVER AGGRESSIVELY MANEUVERED THIS TRUCK AROUND THE CAR, WAY UP ON TO THE GRASS, TIGHT TO AND PART WAY AROUND THE TREE AND PICNIC TABLE!

HE THEN SAT STARING RIGHT AT THE CITIZEN, WHILE PARKED APPROXIMATELY 10 FEET FROM THE CITIZEN’S SIDE OF PICNIC TABLE, ON THE GRASS WITH HIS DIESEL MOTOR RUNNING! Every time the citizen looked up from his book, the aggressive man in the truck was staring right at him!

After many minutes had gone by the citizen started to pick up his food and book to put it in his car. The man in the truck just kept staring and then pulled his truck sideways right behind the car, blocking it. The citizen just calmly continued to put his things in his car and then thought it best to check the license tag of this truck!

At that point the Daytona NA man in the truck made some aggressive and unusual maneuvers, backing his truck up across the grass, way over towards the nursery. The man in the truck continued to stare at the citizen from his truck. The citizen then walked diagonally across the field to get the license number from the truck. After realizing that the citizen was getting his tag number the truck quickly left the area.

The citizen stayed a while longer and watched some batting practice to relax but then it began to rain so he decided to leave.

As the citizen reached the stop sign at the edge of the park and prepared to pull out, the same truck pulled slowly in front of him on the street and then stopped in the road just past the intersection.

The citizen then pulled out onto the road and went in the opposite direction of the truck to avoid further aggression from this man. At that point the man in the tan, crew cab, diesel truck quickly pulled into Centennial Park and stopped right in the entrance way.

As the citizen headed east, the man in the truck peeled out of Centennial Park and you could hear his tires squealing 3+ blocks away!!

VERY AGGRESSIVE !!

Knowing the long criminal and violent history of some of these anonymous members and the completely unsupervised nature of their meetings, it boggles the mind to think of them being permitted to take over a playground just to avoid paying for an appropriate space.

This would not be allowed in Daytona, Ormond or Volusia County Parks!

Their organization’s 7th tradition expects them to pay their own way and they always recite how their traditions are
NON-NEGOTIABLE!

Violent Man Mandated to AA Meetings Charged in Killing His Infant Son Chance

Baby Chance father’s violent past well known to state officials

BY DAVE CULBRETH & STANLEY B. CHAMBERS JR.

 NOVEMBER 2, 2015

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Before Joseph Walsh was arrested and charged in connection with the death of his infant son, the state Department of Children and Families was well aware of his violent history, having taken multiple children from a previous marriage away from him, a WINK News investigation revealed.

Walsh, 36, and Kristen Bury, 32, are each charged in connection with the death of Chance Walsh, their nine-week-old baby whose remains were found Oct. 15 in a heavily wooded area about 13 miles from their North Port home. Walsh is charged with second-degree murder; Bury faces a homicide negligent manslaughter charge.

Chance, whose funeral was on Sunday, was last seen by relatives on Sept. 9. The couple’s inconsistent versions of what happened to Chance during a vehicle wreck in South Carolina eventually led authorities to the baby’s body.

Walsh’s criminal history started as a teenager when he escaped from a juvenile facility in Okeechobee. By his mid-20s, Walsh was raising seven children with his first wife and becoming well known to law enforcement:

  • He was charged with aggravated assault and battery in 2002. The charges were later dropped.
  • He was charged with attempting to strangle his wife’s friend in 2004. Those charges were also dropped.
  • Walsh became a felon in 2006 after pleading guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Walsh was on drugs when he jumped onto a kitchen counter top, lunged at his mother-in-law and attacked her with a kitchen knife, according to court documents.
  • In 2007, Walsh was charged with assaulting his wife. Those charges were dropped.

In total, Walsh faced 11 charges, including threatening to put his wife in a body bag on three different occasions, according to court records. Nine of those charges were dropped.

Domestic abusers often have their charges dropped because the victim doesn’t show up for court, said Dr. Laura Streyffeler, a Fort Myers therapist who testifies in domestic violence cases.

“They’re afraid of being punished by their partner for going to court and what they would say, putting him or her in jail,” she said.

In a letter to court officials, Walsh’s first wife said she was afraid for her life.

“I am worried that he will just snap one day and hurt me really bad or possibly even kill me,” she wrote.

In domestic violence stories, WINK News often does not name the victim for their safety. For this reason, WINK News has chosen not to name the woman or her mother.

The woman also claimed Walsh told her that “I will beat you so bad I probably won’t get out of jail,” according to court documents.

In a separate letter, the woman’s mother wrote that Walsh beat two of his children, ages 9 and 10, “black and blue” in 2004.

State officials eventually took the children away from the couple.

Chris Kalas, a friend of Walsh’s, described his first marriage as one “fueled by drugs and alcohol.”

“He was a bad father,” he said. “His love became drugs and alcohol and not his family any longer.” Mayor John Penny neglects Holly Hill Fl. Parks with cigarette butts and trash littering the parks like Sunrise Park and Holly Land Park where children play.

Kalas met Walsh in 2013. Walsh was ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Kalas was his sponsor. Daytona AA Meetings Sunrise Park have violent Criminals.

Kalas eventually gave Walsh a job washing and moving cars at a car dealership.

“He was a model employee,” he said. “He never missed work. He was always there. Very polite. He was the type of person that I would not be afraid to have around my family.”

Kalas said that changed when Walsh met Burry.

“I just wish he would have never met Kristen,” he said.

About three weeks after Chance was born, DCF officials received a tip that Bury was using drugs. The department said there wasn’t enough evidence for an investigation because the caller didn’t have first hand knowledge of the drug abuse.

Six weeks later, Chance was beaten to death, authorities said.

“We failed,” DCF Director Mike Carroll said.

http://www.winknews.com/2015/11/02/baby-chance-fathers-violent-past-well-known-to-state-officials/

Colorado AA Member Shoots and Kills Recovering Addicts at Sobriety House

(Photo)

Colorado Springs gunman was an AA Member

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The man who fatally shot three people during a rampage through the streets of Colorado Springs was a recovering alcoholic who posted an online video two days earlier expressing displeasure with his father for allegedly falling under the sway of a particular preacher but gave no indication of the violence to come.

Authorities on Monday identified the gunman as 33-year-old Noah Jacob Harpham, who lived steps from where his first victim was slain Saturday.

Witnesses said Harpham had a rifle in one hand and a revolver in the other when he first killed a bicyclist. He calmly walked less than a mile and fatally shot two women on the porch of a sobriety house. Harpham then was killed in a gunbattle with police.

A motive for the downtown shootings in broad daylight was unknown, and Harpham left few clues in blog posts and on social media.

His mother, Heather Kopp, a writer living in New York, described his struggle with addiction in “Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk.”

Authorities have not said whether there was a link between his substance-abuse problems and the fact two of his victims were women who themselves were in addiction recovery. NA Daytona and AA Daytona Beach have violent criminals at meetings!

Colorado Springs police released no new details about the shooting but identified the victims Monday as Andrew Alan Myers, 35; Jennifer Michelle Vasquez, 42; and Christina Rose Baccus-Gallela, 34. The El Paso County sheriff’s office said four officers fired at Harpham, but they were not wearing body cameras, and their squad cars were not equipped with dashboard cameras.

A fuller picture of Harpham emerged in details from his mother’s book, in which she described him as “introverted and moody” and said he turned to drugs and alcohol about the time he gave up on college. Kopp said Harpham, who lived in Eugene, Oregon, at the time, “struggled just to live and keep a job.” His family was so worried about him, they staged a “mini intervention,” but their efforts failed.

He completed a three-month program in California but drank on his first night out, Kopp said. Holly Hill Sunrise Park holds Dangerous NA and NA Daytona meetings.

“Noah loved and hated all of us in equal measure,” she wrote. “In Noah’s mind, he was the loser child, the burnt piece of toast in the bunch.”

During a visit to his family’s Colorado Springs home years ago, he drank too much, became angry and “exploded,” Kopp said. His mood had become “so toxic it was scary.”

His mother and stepfather urged Harpham to move in with them. In Colorado Springs, she said, he found work as an insurance agent and met with an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor regularly. Mayor John Penny Holly Hill ignores dangers of AA and NA Meetings.

His mother wrote that he seemed to improve under their roof and eventually moved into his own place. She said he began helping other addicts.

In a YouTube video posted Thursday, Harpham questioned what he called his father’s involvement with the Rev. Bill Johnson and the Bethel Church in Redding, California. The church is part of a stream of Pentecostalism that heavily emphasizes signs of God’s miracles and revelations in modern-day life, along with supernatural healing. Johnson and his church have come under criticism from conservative Christians who say Johnson promotes teachings far beyond the boundaries of mainstream Christianity.

Efforts to reach Harpham’s father, Thomas, and officials with the Bethel Church by telephone on Monday weren’t immediately successful.

Kopp and other relatives did not return messages seeking comment. Benjamin Broadbent, lead minister of the First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs, released a statement he said was provided by Harpham’s family, saying they were shocked and saddened and requesting privacy.

Harpham first shot Vasquez, who was sitting outside the house, causing Galella to open the front door to see what was going on, said Galella’s uncle, Chris Bowman.

The white picket fence in front of the house was riddled with bullet holes on Monday.

Neighbor Teresa Willingham said the third victim, Myers, was a bicyclist who begged for his life as the gunman continued to fire.

http://www.semissourian.com/story/2246625.html

AA Member Recounts Killing Her Husband She Met at an AA Meeting

 

Joanna Madonna recounted for jurors on Wednesday her recollection of the night she told her husband she wanted out of their marriage – and the gunshots and knife fight that followed. AA Daytona and AA Daytona have mandated violent felons at meetings!

In a clear, strong voice, she testified in her defense on the seventh day of the trial in Wake County Superior Court over accusations that she murdered her husband.

Madonna, 48, is charged with plotting the violent death of Jose Perez on Father’s Day weekend in June 2013. Violent criminals attend AA and NA Daytona Beach meetings.

The former Wake County teacher provided jurors with a daylong account of her life until Father’s Day on June 16, 2013, when police came to her home on Schoolhouse Street in Brier Creek neighborhood, investigating Perez’s death.

Perez, almost 18 years older than Madonna, was found dead in a ditch near Falls Lake by a passerby earlier that morning.

What led to Perez’s death has been the subject of competing narratives in a trial that has highlighted tribulations of people who bonded over substance abuse issues and their resolve to stay sober.

Prosecutors contend Madonna killed her husband shortly after starting a romantic relationship with her former therapist.

Quickly after settling into the witness box on Wednesday, Madonna admitted she had a hand in her husband’s death but said she did not plot to kill him.

Many relationships

Then over the next several hours, Madonna took the jurors on a quick journey through her life, talking about her struggles as a teen, leaving her parents’ house and living on the streets, where she abused drugs and alcohol, and suffered from sexual assaults.

Then Madonna described relationships with the three men with whom she had daughters. She talked about falling in love, developing relationships and marriages that didn’t last.

Madonna described her three daughters and a series of jobs she has had over the years. She was a teacher in the Wake County public schools for a while, but quit several months before her husband’s death because her youngest daughter was having trouble in school.

In 2009, Madonna married Perez, a man she met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and befriended while still married to a different husband.

That husband, the father of her youngest child, testified at the trial that Perez moved in with Madonna almost a month after he moved out.

But Madonna offered a different take on that on Wednesday.

Perez, she said, moved into her home first as a platonic friend. She said he told her he had cancer and only a few months to live not long after they met.

Prosecutors have suggested that Madonna married Perez, in part, for the benefits that he received as a veteran. Though her daughters received benefits for their education from Perez, she said her family had not relied on him financially.

Madonna said she started to suspect in 2013 that Perez was having an affair with a woman in Florida, and saved a Facebook exchange from his page that was presented in court on Wednesday.

Madonna also said she found bottles of rum in the garage on two occasions that led her to believe that Perez had started drinking again.

As a recovering alcoholic and drug abuser, Madonna said she could not live with a husband who was drinking, lying to her and cheating on her.

Madonna said she told Perez on several occasions during their marriage that she wanted out of the relationship. Whenever she did that, she said, Perez was able to talk her out of it by telling her that his life was not worth continuing without her in it.

By Father’s Day weekend in 2013, Madonna said she had told many she was leaving Perez, including her father and sponsors and friends from AA.

She decided to tell him on a Saturday afternoon after she had visited her former brother-in-law and his teenage son, who was dying from a rare bone cancer.

During that visit, Madonna got a handgun and knife from the teenager, an avid weapons collector.

Perez, according to autopsy reports, had been shot and repeatedly stabbed before his death.

Life-ending drive

Madonna said she planned to take Perez on a drive, end the relationship and drop him off at his sponsor’s home off N.C. 98.

Madonna, with little emotion in her voice, described stopping at a Sheetz gas station not far from their home before that conversation unfolded, then going with Perez to a Family Dollar store where she bought nail polish for a jewelry project she was making and a candle lighter.

After that stop, Madonna said her husband became more and more agitated about her wanting to end their marriage.

She said she told him she knew he was drinking and cheating on her.

She recounted him responding: “Jo, I can’t live without you. Jo, I love you, you’re my whole world. I’ll kill myself if you’re not here.”

Madonna said she was driving because Perez had left home without his wallet. She said she left her cell phone at home, charging in the bedroom, and he told her he did not have his phone, though she later said she remembered seeing it in the car and retrieved it later to text his friends.

Madonna said she pulled over twice during that ride.

The first time, Madonna recounted pulling into a church lot. He was yelling at her in English and Spanish, using profanity and clutching his chest.

“He’s getting more and more agitated,” Madonna recounted. “He starts getting loud and he starts looking like he’s panicking and he starts clutching his chest, saying ‘I’m going to have a heart attack. I’m going to have a heart attack.’”

In the church lot, Madonna said the two got out of the car. She moved from the driver’s side to the passenger side where he was.

“By the time I was coming around the back of the car I heard a gunshot and I looked up and he was pointing the gun at me,” Madonna recounted. “I was in shock. I just stood there and he started pointing the gun at himself.”

She pointed to just under her chin to demonstrate for the court just where he pointed the gun’s barrel. Madonna said she lunged at him and the gun went off.

Perez, according to the medical examiner report, suffered a wound in his jaw area that shattered his dentures.

Deonte’ Thomas, one of two Wake County public defender’s representing Madonna, asked, “and he shot at you?”

“He fired a shot at me, yep,” Madonna said in matter-of-fact tone.

Perez was bleeding from the wound in his cheek. He initially told her he was going to walk to the hospital, she recounted.

Madonna said she got Perez back in the car, strapped him into the passenger seat and began driving toward WakeMed, the nearest hospital.

But Perez, she said, told her he did not want to go to the hospital and said if he had to go he wanted to go to the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital, where he would not get charged as much for a visit.

Thomas asked Madonna why she didn’t just call emergency dispatchers. She explained that she had left her phone at home, charging in the bedroom, and that Perez told her he did not have his with him.

As they drove, Madonna said she was blaming herself for what she thought was a suicide attempt by Perez.

“I’m thinking it’s my fault that he was upset,” Madonna said. “I had expected that he might kill himself.”

Their drive toward the VA in Durham took another unexpected turn, Madonna said, when Perez again began clutching his chest. She pulled over again.

At that stop, not far from where his body was found, Madonna said Perez knocked her in the chest and she ended up on the ground with him on top of her and his arm across her. She said she struggled to breathe and thought she was going to die. Her arm was cut, she said, but she could not recall how.

Then, without remembering which arm she used, Madonna said she saw a knife glimmer within her reach and she grabbed it and began swinging it.

“I thought I was going to be dying right there,” Madonna said. “I just started swinging at him and I kept swinging at him until I felt he wasn’t holding me down any more.”

Madonna said she got up, ran toward the car, then saw Perez out of the corner of her eye push up off the ground as if he were going to get up. She said she rushed back toward him, took off his shoes, threw them away and tossed the knife into the woods.

She said in her mind, she thought he was going to get up and go to his sponsor’s on his own.

“I didn’t realize how many times I had stabbed him,” she said. “I was completely in like a frenzy, an adrenaline thing.”

Madonna, once home, quickly made phone calls to her middle daughter and then tried to enlist her help in cleaning the blood out of the front of the jeep. The daughter refused to help her.

Madonna said she did not call police or emergency dispatchers because she thought Perez was going to get up from the violence and go to his sponsor’s.

“I kept telling myself that,” she said.

But then she also got his phone out of the car and texted people to tell them he was going to Florida, where he used to live. “I didn’t want people to worry,” she said.

Madonna also texted the former therapist many times on that Saturday and Sunday, and, after going to Mass on Sunday, went to visit her romantic interest.

Madonna acknowledged to her defense attorney that her visiting her former therapist might “look like she was cheating on her husband.”

“You were, in fact, cheating on him,” Thomas said. Madonna responded that she was.

But Madonna said at the end, shortly before prosecutors began their cross-examination of her, that she did not intend to kill her husband and did not know he was fatally wounded when she left him on the side of the road, near Falls Lake that Saturday.

Alcoholics Anonymous Member Stabbed In Neck at AA Meeting in Mesa Arizona

Woman stabbed after AA meeting in Mesa

Posted: Oct 04, 2015 

Police have arrested a man accused of stabbing a woman after she finished an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Mesa. Dangerous Holly Hill AA and NA Daytona meetings.

Authorities say 23-year-old Evan Sharp was taken into custody Saturday night but have not said what charges he faces.

According to police, Sharp was also attending the meeting and allegedly waited until it was done to stab the victim in the neck. Dangerous Palm Coast AA and NA meetings.

Police say other members restrained Sharp until they arrived.

The victim, who is in her 20s, was in stable condition after surgery. Authorities say she is expected to recover.

Investigators say witness accounts indicate the suspect and the victim did not speak during the meeting or know each other outside the group.

Police say they arrived separately and it was the first AA meeting for both at this location.

Read more: http://www.kpho.com/story/30183456/woman-stabbed-after-aa-meeting-in-mesa#ixzz3oAioZSHn

http://www.kpho.com/story/30183456/woman-stabbed-after-aa-meeting-in-mesa

Fatal Shooting at Alcoholics Anonymous Anchorage Alaska Spenard Alano Club

APD investigating fatal shooting at Spenard club

Devin Kelly July 18, 2015

 

A young man died in a shooting at a Spenard club early Saturday morning, Anchorage police said. Orlando and  Port Orange NA and AA Meetings are dangerous.

Police said 18-year-old Alex Thanapong Yu was killed at about 1:20 a.m. at the Alano Club, a sober club on Spenard Road.

No other details about the circumstances of Yu’s death were immediately released. No arrests have been made, police said. NA and AA Daytona Meetings are dangerous.

The Alano Club is known as a longtime Anchorage spot for recovering alcoholics, as well as a venue for late-night weekend dances for teenagers and young adults. On Saturday morning, police tape cordoned off the side parking lot and back entrance to the building, and crime scene detectives were walking in and out of a white trailer.

Michael Cooper, 46, was volunteering at the club Friday night and said there was music and dancing. He said he was patrolling near the restrooms when he heard gunfire.

“I heard the shots, I came up front,” Cooper said. He heard screaming: “People were just running out.”

Cooper said he at first thought the shooting had happened in the parking lot. Then he walked up toward the front and saw a body lying in the middle of the dance floor, under the disco ball.

Cooper said the club, struggling with low membership, rents out the sound system to help pay for rent and electricity. It wasn’t immediately clear Saturday who was hosting the dance event.

Because of the police investigation, people who turned up Saturday morning for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings were being turned away. Cooper said he hadn’t been able to get back inside since last night.

“I’d just like to get back in there and clean up,” Cooper said. He said he’s been volunteering at the club about a decade but could only remember fistfights breaking out.

Standing next to his patrol car near the police tape, Officer Keo Fujimoto of APD said police have regularly responded to the venue over the years. He said the after-hours dances tend to draw crowds of teenagers.

“This has always been a problem spot,” Fujimoto said.

In 2009, an 18-year-old was shot in the head in the parking lot outside the club and critically injured.

http://www.adn.com/article/20150718/apd-investigating-fatal-shooting-spenard-club

Woman Stabs 62 Year Old Man Multiple Times Sentenced to AA Meetings

Tinsley.Valena.Renee.jpg

Saginaw woman who stabbed 62-year-old man gets tether, probation

Andy Hoag | ahoag@mlive.comBy Andy Hoag | ahoag@mlive.com
Follow on Twitter
on August 17, 2015 at 5:03 PM,

SAGINAW, MI — A judge has sentenced a Saginaw woman who stabbed a male friend multiple times in April. NA Daytona Meetings in Holly Hill and Port Orange are scary!

Valena R. Tinsley

Saginaw County Circuit Judge James T. Borchard on Thursday, Aug. 13, sentenced Valena R. Tinsley for assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder.

Borchard ordered Tinsley to serve six months on a tether and five years probation. Tinsley, 42, must first enter and complete the Tri-Cap Intensive Program, a diversion program that acts as 135 days of jail credit.

Tinsley in July pleaded no contest to the assault charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, for stabbing 62-year-old Scott Harris early April 19 at his home at 1009 Janes between South Third and South Fourth on Saginaw’s East Side.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped a more-serious charge of assault with intent to murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole. AA Daytona and NA Daytona are dangerous! Violent Felons attend meetings.

Tinsley’s plea agreement called for her to serve jail time instead of prison; prior to Borchard sentencing her to the Tri-Cap program, Tinsley had served four months in jail.

Harris, the victim, testified at Tinsley’s preliminary hearing that Tinsley stabbed him twice in the upper torso and once in the arm with a knife as he slept sometime around 5 a.m. Harris said he fell asleep in his bed while Tinsley, whom he knew as “Diamond,” was laying on the bed on top of the covers. Port Orange AA Meetings are dangerous!

Harris said he fled from his bedroom and that Tinsley chased him until he fell to the ground as a result of his wounds and asked Tinsley to call 911 for him. Tinsley responded, “For what, for me to go to jail?” and walked out of the house while saying she was not trying to hurt Harris, he testified.

Borchard on Thursday also ordered Tinsley to attend counseling at Saginaw Psychological Services in Saginaw Township and meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous.

http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2015/08/saginaw_woman_who_stabbed_62-y.html

— Andy Hoag covers courts for MLive/The Saginaw News. Email him at ahoag@mlive.com or follow him on Twitter @awhoag

Kathy Hawkins Killed by Strangulation by AA Member She Met at Alcoholics Anonymous

David Mark Reagan Provided<br /><br /><br />
Kathy Hawkins

West Ashley man sentenced to 25 years in girlfriend’s strangling death

Christina Elmore Email @celmorepc

A judge on Tuesday sentenced a West Ashley man to 25 years in prison for strangling a woman to death in a domestic dispute.

Charleston police had charged David Mark Reagan, 57, with murder and first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the death of his girlfriend, 52-year-old Kathy Hawkins. Dangerous people attending NA Daytona and AA Daytona Meetings.

Reagan pleaded guilty in a Charleston County court to a lesser voluntary manslaughter charge. His sentence was set as part of a negotiated plea agreement that also saw prosecutors drop the sexual assault charge against him.

Hawkins’ body was found lying on the living room floor of her home at The Palms apartments on Aug. 20, 2013. The complex is located off of Orange Grove Road.

Surveillance images showed Reagan using the woman’s credit card to buy beer and liquor after her death, 9th Circuit Chief Deputy Solicitor Bruce DuRant said during the man’s plea hearing. Daytona Narcotics Anonymous and Daytona Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Luke Malloy, an attorney for Reagan, said the man suffered from bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Both conditions contributed to the violence committed by Reagan, who, when sober, was often viewed by others as “an amazing man.”

The couple met in Alcoholics Anonymous, with Reagan referring to Hawkins as “the love of his life,” Malloy said. Beware of NA Daytona and AA Daytona Meetings!

“The two shared a common vice. At times they helped each other with those problems, and at times they fueled the fire,” Malloy said.

A string of domestic violence arrests preceded Reagan’s killing of Hawkins.

He was jailed in September 2006 after he punched, kicked and kneed a live-in girlfriend, sending her to the hospital with bruises and three broken ribs, according to an arrest affidavit. He was charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature but later pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

Reagan was arrested in another domestic incident in January 2010, accused of biting a new live-in girlfriend on the head and hand and tearing out a clump of her hair, court documents show.

Reagan was sentenced to 30 days in jail in connection with that incident.

He was charged with domestic violence again in October of that year for pinning Hawkins to a bed while drunk, pummeling her face and body, and throwing her into two walls when she tried to escape, an arrest affidavit and police reports stated.

Reagan must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence, 21¼ years.

“The grim reality is that with his age, this could be a life sentence,” Malloy said, adding that Reagan hopes to outlive it.

Turning to face Hawkins’ loved ones, Reagan apologized for taking her life.

“Every day I think about Kathy. … If I could swap places with her I would,” Reagan said. “There’s no doubt.”

Edwards Hawkins III, Hawkins’ ex-husband, told the judge that the woman was killed on their daughter’s 10th birthday.

“Not a day goes by that my daughter doesn’t ask the question why this happened,” Hawkins said.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150811/PC16/150819842/1005/west-ashley-man-sentenced-to-25-years-in-girlfriend-x2019-s-strangling-death

Man Who Killed Dog by Throwing it Against the Wall Sentenced to Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Man who killed dog by throwing it against a wall is sentenced to probation

An Omaha man who got angry and threw a small dog against a wall, killing it, was sentenced Thursday to one year of probation.

Brian M. Booker, 33, pleaded no contest to felony cruelty to an animal resulting in injury or death. He could have been sentenced to five years in prison. Douglas County District Court Judge J. Michael Coffey said he will revoke Booker’s probation and give him a six-month jail sentence if he doesn’t continue to attend anger management classes and Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. AA Daytona Meetings are dangerous!

“I am pleased that you have been taking the steps needed to alter your behavior,” Coffey told Booker, who will not be allowed to live with or own an animal for 12 years.

“He has taken responsibility for his actions,” said defense attorney John Ashford. “He has done and will continue to do all the appropriate steps.”

Tom McKenney, an assistant prosecutor in the Douglas County Attorney’s Office, agreed with the sentence of probation. He said Cassi Dietz, Booker’s former girlfriend and the dog’s owner, also didn’t want to see the defendant go to jail as long as he continued to get help.

“I’m satisfied with the judge’s decision,” McKenney said. “This is best for everyone concerned.”

Booker, who is 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, admitted to Dietz that he became angry with her Pomeranian, Gizmo, on Sept. 28, 2014, and threw the 10-pound dog into a wall. Booker initially told Dietz that the 5-year-old dog fell from a countertop, hitting his head on the floor.

Dietz, who was not home when Gizmo died, said Booker later changed his story and told her the dog had gotten off his leash and may have been hit by a car. She finally succeeded in getting Booker to admit what happened several days later in a taped conversation.

“I hurt someone close to me and I am very sorry for what happened,” Booker said outside the courtroom. “I wish this never happened.”

http://www.omaha.com/news/crime/man-who-killed-dog-by-throwing-it-against-a-wall/article_de32f1e0-e9fb-11e4-bd99-cbf90695c708.html

Killer of Alcohol Anonymous Sponsor Herbert Tracy White Found Guilty Of Ritualistic Killing

Edward GArcia

Jury finds man guilty in ‘ritualistic killing’ in downtown L.A. hotel

By STEPHEN CEASAR contact the reporter Crime Homicide

June 23rd 2015

For weeks, Elizabeth Peterson sat quietly in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, listening to every detail of her son’s gruesome murder — trying to push the horror from her mind and silently dreaming of the time when her Tracy was still alive.

But when she heard the word “guilty” Tuesday, she finally let out a loud cry: “Yes, yes! Thank you!”

Jurors had found Edward Garcia, 41, guilty of first-degree murder in the November 2010 killing of Herbert Tracy White, whose remains were found in a Los Angeles hotel room.

Prosecutors accused Garcia and his wife, Melissa, of killing White as part of a “long-held fantasy” of dismembering a body. The prosecutor said Edward Garcia carved up White’s body with a 31/2-inch blade in a “ritualistic killing.”

As the verdict was read, Edward Garcia shook his head back and forth while rubbing the band on his left ring finger.

In the hallway, Peterson and her two other sons, David and Anthony White, thanked jurors and Deputy Dist. Atty. John McKinney and cried in their arms.

“We finally got some justice for my son,” Peterson said. “I’m happy that this day has come and gone.” NA Daytona meetings in Sunrise Park Holly Hill Florida are dangerous!

During closing arguments last week, McKinney recounted the grisly scene at the Continental Hotel near skid row. Police found White’s severed arms still bound by duct tape. Under the blood-soaked bed was White’s torso, riddled with scratches and punctures. NA and AA Daytona Meetings are very dangerous!

“It was a bloodbath,” McKinney said. “They took this man apart.”
Days before his death in November 2010, White met the couple at a bank in Hollywood. White, a former cocaine addict turned Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, gave the Garcias his phone number and said to call him if they ever wanted help getting sober, McKinney said.

On the evening before White’s body was found, the couple called him and said they needed help. He drove them to the hotel and paid to check them in.

McKinney told jurors that the Garcias lured White into the room with the intention of robbing, torturing and mutilating him.

Deputy Public Defender Haydeh Takasugi did not dispute that Edward Garcia was responsible for White’s death. But she said McKinney pushed a “fantastical theory” because he lacked the evidence to prove premeditation, torture or robbery.

She described a far different series of events for jurors, saying that White had brought drugs to the room and was seeking sex from Melissa Garcia.

Jurors also found true the special-circumstance allegations of murder during a robbery and torture. Garcia faces a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole. His sentencing hearing is set for Aug. 14.

Peterson said the defense’s narrative angered her and that its lies sullied her son’s memory. White was a dedicated husband, Peterson said, who had overcome the evils in his past and flourished in his sobriety.

“They tried to malign my son’s character,” she said.

Anthony White recounted how his younger brother was fiercely devoted to his family, generous and always willing to care for anyone in need.

“He wanted to help people,” he said. “There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be here with us today.”

Melissa Garcia, 30, is awaiting a separate trial.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-dismemberment-trial-verdict-20150622-story.html

AA Sponsor Charged with Attempted Murder and Arrested for Sexually Abusing Sponsee

Retterath

Alleged sex abuser now charged with attempted murder     

OSAGE, Iowa – A case of alleged sexual abuse in Mitchell County has escalated to a charge of attempted murder.

50-year-old Mark Bernard Retterath of Osage was charged in February with three counts of 3rd degree sex abuse, one count of 2nd degree sex abuse and solicitation to commit a felony.  That involved alleged incidents in 2003, 2006 and 2012.

Retterath is now accused of intending to kill the alleged victim of that sex abuse.  The Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office says it received word on June 9  Retterath was planning to murder the alleged victim by extracting the poison ricin from castor beans, a technique Retterath reportedly saw on the television show “Breaking Bad.”

Authorities executed a search warrant at Retterath’s home on June 12 and say they discovered castor beans, documentation on how to extract ricin from the beans and equipment that could be used for such an extraction.

In addition, Retterath has been charged with 3rd degree sex abuse and sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist, for allegedly committing sex acts against the will of a person while Retterath was that person’s sponsor in the group Alcoholics Anonymous.  These crimes allegedly occurred sometime between approximately mid-May and mid-June.

A preliminary hearing in the attempted murder case is set for June 19.  Retterath is being held without bond.

http://kimt.com/2015/06/16/alleged-sex-abuser-now-charged-with-attempted-murder/

Mental Health Court Participants Must Have a Severe Psychiatric Medical Diagnosis and Attend AA and NA Meetings

Image result for mental health Courts

Jail alternative is no free pass

By Kim Palchikoff, Special to the Sun
Sunday, June 7, 2015

Like thousands of Las Vegas students, 25-year-old Kara VanderEyk could hardly wait for graduation day. Both her parents flew in from Michigan because they understood their daughter’s struggle to get to the wooden podium.
VanderEyk proved on graduation day that she was a survivor, a quiet warrior who earned her day in court.

It was there, in the 8th Judicial District Court in downtown Las Vegas, where she graduated from mental health court, a growing nationwide program for mentally ill people often charged with repeated crimes.

Here’s the short version of how she got the court’s attention: “I wanted to see Las Vegas. I was 18 when I came out here. My grandma died, I spiraled into a deep depression, I got hooked on meth, I ended up homeless, on the streets, I wouldn’t talk to anyone, I was scared.”

With her addiction and Las Vegas’ warm weather, VanderEyk slept behind Dumpsters and restaurants, in alleys. In 2013, she was arrested on suspicion of lewd and gross misconduct, and, unable to post bail, she spent 65 days in jail.

Diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality and depression, she was offered a plea deal: instead of more jail time, she could plead guilty and check into Clark County’s Mental Health Court — a misnomer because it is much more. It is a free, voluntary outpatient day program with psychiatrists, detox programs and therapists.

It also comes with housing.

She was dubious but took the deal.

“I figured I’d try it for three months,” VanderEyk said. “If I didn’t like it, I’d leave.”

She stuck with the program.

• • •

As in other specialty courts, the goal of mental health court is to help those who’ve committed nonviolent crimes stay out of crowded jails and prisons and get well.

“Jail is the most expensive bed in the community,” said Nevada Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas, a proponent of mental health court.

“In the past you were found guilty or not guilty for your actions, liable or not liable for problems committed on a semi-regular basis. They weren’t necessarily serious problems, but we began to think about how to prevent people from becoming permanent repeat offenders,” he said.

Participants must have a severe psychiatric medical diagnosis and plead guilty. In lieu of incarceration, they commit to a highly structured, yearlong program. Some are given community service, put on probation or given a reduced sentence. All must regularly visit a psychiatrist and follow the professional’s recommendations.

• • •

Sitting in a Starbucks in downtown Reno, 62-year-old Mark Burchell explained how he went from working as a corrections officer in a California prison to being on suicide watch while confined in a Nevada jail.

“When I worked as a correctional officer I was living the American dream,” he said. “I rode motorcycles in my free time. I drove a Lincoln Continental. I was married. My wife was a police officer. ” As Burchell puts it, the money was good and life was great.

But in time he became delusional, thinking he was a military general destined to save the United States from foreign powers. He started ordering his superiors around. At 38, he was fired and taken to a psychiatric hospital, where he was diagnosed with bipolar and schizoaffective disorder.

Two months later he was dealing with a growing alcohol problem and sleeping in strangers’ unlocked cars, in bus stations or on the street.

Finally in 2004, during court appearances while he was spending four months in jail, his psychotic mental state caught a judge’s attention and Burchell joined the mental health court program, hoping for help.

• • •

Across 44 states there are 367 mental health courts.

Nevada has three (along with 41 courts working with drunken drivers, addicts and veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder).

Some DUI court programs require participants to pay several thousand dollars. Mental health court programs are free.

Services include medication management, group-therapy individual counseling, Alcoholics Anonymous groups, case management, drug testing, housing and food stamps.

At any given time there are about 250 mental health court participants in Nevada, said Sharon Dollarhide, a licensed clinical social worker and a state coordinator for the mental health court program.

In Las Vegas there are 69 participants, including VanderEyk. Sixty-four receive money for housing, food and transportation in addition to medical and therapeutic services.

The cost per person per month ranges from $1,250-$2,575. By comparison, the average monthly cost of caring for an inmate at the Clark County Detention Center runs upwards of $4,000.

Over a year’s time participants learn mental health and life-coping skills while attending up to 20 group-therapy sessions a week. They are prescribed psychiatric medication, get clean and sober, and ultimately try to get jobs and a normal life back.

Attendance at all activities is closely monitored. Dropping out before a sentence is finished, testing positive for drugs or missing meetings can send participants to jail.

It’s a grueling regimen; only 60 percent make it to graduation day. The rest stop showing up, are kicked out for violations or decide they’d rather serve time.

For VanderEyk, a medication problem last summer almost sent her back to the streets.

“I can’t describe how depressed I was,” she said. “No matter what medication I took, nothing seemed to work. I started thinking more and more about going back to the streets and using (drugs) again.”

Fortunately for her, her mental health court training kicked in. She checked herself into the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital and life got better.

• • •

For all the social service programs in which Nevada lags, it is one of five national models for mental health courts.

That’s due largely to Peter Breen, a longtime Washoe County judge who in 2001 founded the state’s first mental health court, in Reno. Clark County followed in 2003.

Breen fields phone calls from judges across the country. Some come to Reno to observe a crucial part of the program — the required weekly court appearances during which participants recount their ups and downs to a judge trained in mental illness issues.

“Participants see that mental health court has a big payoff,” Breen said. “The good that we do is needed and obvious. People are grateful that we change the lives of Nevada’s most vulnerable. For many, their time in mental health court is the best they’ve been in their lives. We’re glad to see that they are truly rehabilitated.”

A big draw for many participants, apart from getting mentally stable or avoiding jail time, is that when they complete the program their court records may be sealed or the charges dismissed.

But while this may sound to outsiders like a get-out-of-jail-free card, to participants, many who have struggled with their mental health for years and lived on the streets, it’s a demanding year of full-time rehab that nearly 40 percent simply can’t handle.

• • •

Many mental health advocates say the courts program is fine for addressing problems that have landed people in jail but argue that more resources should be dedicated on the front end, helping the mentally debilitated before they begin a downward criminal spiral.

Every Friday morning, dozens of mental health court defendants wait their turn in a crowded courtroom to eagerly explain how life is going.

Some have good news: they are three weeks drug-free or have a job interview. Some recite poetry they’ve written and even rap songs they’ve penned.

Many who have earned tokens from AA for their sobriety proudly show them off.

“How are we doing today; how’s that job hunt looking?” Senior Judge Archie Blake politely asked one.

“Well, I put an application in to Wal-Mart,” came the reply.

“Great! Don’t let success spoil you. As long as you’re good, we’re good. We’re here for you.” Holly Hill City Commissioner complaints from citizens.

Few studies have been conducted on the success of metal health courts in reducing recidivism, in part because the strategy is relatively new.

The Urban Institute in 2012 found that mental health court participants in New York were significantly less likely to return to criminal habits than similar offenders with mental illness who did not go through the specialty court system.

Justice Douglas said that for Nevada, the bottom line is economics.

“You’d think it’s a no-brainer, but not everyone gets it. States are slowly realizing that it’s cheaper to treat someone than it is to incarcerate them.”

The state’s funding of the speciality courts was increased by the 2015 Legislature to $13 million a year, from $10 million, to expand services to another 800 or more people.

A year in the Washoe County mental health court program changed Burchell’s life. Medication rid him of his psychotic episodes, weekly AA meetings helped him get sober and a volunteer gig in 2005 at a state mental health complex turned into a state job as a peer mentor for mental health court participants. When clients despair or feel like dropping out, the once-homeless Burchell goes to the rescue.

He attributes the graduation numbers to the high prevalence of drug and alcohol addictions that many can’t break. Ormond Beach and Port Orange AA Meetings.

“It’s such an intense program, some clients will run (from mental health court) and stay on the run until they’re caught. Many want the freedom to use and abuse (drugs); that’s usually what gets them in trouble.”

So part of Burchell’s week as a mentor is spent leading dual diagnosis groups to help prevent addiction relapse.

VanderEyk isn’t sure what she’s going to do now that she has graduated. Now two years drug-free, she’s thinking about a part-time job or volunteering at a women’s homeless shelter. Dangerous AA Daytona and NA Daytona meetings in Holly Hill parks.

Despite taking medications these days, she said, voices in her head come back to haunt her on occasion.

“It’s hard,” she said. “Every day I battle depression.”

Still, she remains hopeful. And excited after her hard-earned graduation.

“The public doesn’t understand,” VanderEyk said. “They think of mental health court as a place for crazy people. But just give us a chance; we can succeed.”

http://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/jun/07/alternative-jail-no-free-pass/

Judge Tells Man Guilty of Aggravated Assault and Terroristic Threats “You Must Go To AA Meetings”

Image result for judge gavel
Penn Township man pleads guilty to assaulting 3 police officers

Thursday, May 21, 2015

 A Penn Township man blamed alcohol for his assault of three police officers in October.

“I was really intoxicated,” said Jordan T. Cosgrove, 24. “I didn’t mean to do the things that I done.”

“I’m ashamed of myself,” he told Judge Christopher Feliciani. “I embarrassed my family, and I’m terribly sorry.” NA and AA Daytona Meetings are dangerous with felons!

Cosgrove entered a guilty plea Thursday to 17 counts against him, including aggravated assault and disarming an officer. He was sentenced to eight to 23 months in the Westmoreland County jail, followed by seven years of probation.

Penn Township police were called to Cosgrove’s home on Aspen Drive at 2 a.m. on Oct. 2 for a reported domestic argument.

Upon arrival, Cosgrove was arguing inside with a woman and became verbally and physically abusive toward the three officers, police wrote in court papers.

Cosgrove threatened to kill and burn down the homes of two of the officers and attempted to remove one officer’s duty weapon from its holster. The officers suffered various minor injuries during the scuffle, including cuts and a dislocated thumb.

Cosgrove suffered a cut lip as officers subdued him and began spitting blood on them and inside the police cruiser, according to court papers. He attempted to crawl through the security partition separating the front and rear seats of the police cruiser, police said.

Prosecutors requested a sentence of two years’ imprisonment.

Cosgrove wore yellow prison garb to his hearing, which indicates that an inmate is being disciplined. Volusia County Drug Court mandates AA and NA Meetings.

Cosgrove told Feliciani that he has gotten in a few fights during his eight months in jail, most recently defending himself over a pizza.

“I need a second chance,” he pleaded before sentencing.

Feliciani ordered that Cosgrove complete an anger management course and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation.

“This is a very serious offense that you’ve committed here,” Feliciani said. “I’m going to give you a chance to redeem yourself.”

Another requirement is that Cosgrove attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at least five times weekly, the judge ordered, calling that the “most important” piece of the sentence.

“You have to go to AA meetings,” Feliciani said. “You have to take things seriously.”

Cosgrove pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault, terroristic threats, obstruction of justice, reckless endangerment, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, institutional vandalism and attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/8414773-74/cosgrove-police-officers#ixzz3av0WOCHC