GUNTOWN, Mississippi — (DMN) – Adam Mayes — accused of murder and kidnapping in a case involving a Tennessee mother and her three daughters — has died, said FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic. The two sisters he allegedly kidnapped were found alive, law enforcement sources said. There had been conflicting reports about Mayes’ fate since he was found after suffering an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday night in Union County, Mississippi.
The two surviving sisters “are suffering from the experience of being out in the woods and from being kidnapped. They are suffering from dehydration and exhaustion, but appear OK,” a federal law enforcement source on the scene told CBS News. Mayes, 35, was suspected of abducting Alexandria Bain, 12, and Kyliyah Bain, 8, from their Whiteville, Tennessee, home, in late April, and killing Jo Ann Bain and her eldest daughter, Adrienne, 14. A law enforcement source confirmed to CNN that a SWAT team surrounded a patch of woods in Union County. At that point, when they were mobilizing, officers heard a single gunshot.
Adam and his wife, Teresa Mayes, each were charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping. He faced an additional count of making a false report, according to arrest affidavits filed in Tennessee. Adam Mayes’ mother-in-law told HLN’s Nancy Grace that he may have believed he was the father of the two young girls he was accused of abducting. “He believes they are his children,” Josie Tate told Grace. Tate, who lives in Chatsworth, Georgia, earlier Thursday tearfully pleaded for Mayes to return Alexandria and Kyliyah Bain and turn himself in. “You’ve had a chance to live life. They haven’t,” Tate said. “Give them that chance.”
In affidavits, investigators said the Mayeses drove the bodies of Jo Ann and Adrienne Bain to Union County in northern Mississippi, where they were discovered Saturday in a shallow grave behind the house of Adam Mayes’ mother in Guntown, Mississippi. Adam Mayes’ mother, Mary Frances Mayes, has been charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping. Adam Mayes was last seen May 1 in Guntown. While the search was centered around his hometown, he also has connections to Arizona, Texas, Florida and the Carolinas, the FBI said.
The FBI on Wednesday put Adam Mayes on its list of 10 most wanted fugitives. The reward for information leading to Mayes’ arrest stood at $175,000 on Thursday. Bobbi Booth, Mayes’ sister-in-law, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night that she’s “overwhelmed right now.” “All I’m (thinking) about now is that the children are safe,” said Booth. “Thank you, God, for letting those children come home.”
GUNTOWN, Mississippi — (DMN) URGENT – Mississippi authorities say a fugitive accused of a double-slaying and kidnapping has been killed but the two girls he fled with are safe. Guntown Police Chief Michael Hall says 35-year-old Adam Mayes was killed Thursday evening. He says 12-year-old Alexandria Bain and 8-year-old Kyliyah Bain are safe. Hall says Mayes died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The chief says a SWAT team located Mayes and when they moved in to apprehend him, he shot himself. He says the girls are being taken to a hospital for observation. It was not immediately clear if the girls were with Mayes. Mayes’ wife told investigators her husband killed Jo Ann and Adrienne Bain on April 27 at their home in Whiteville, Tenn., so he could abduct the two young sisters.
The ABC affiliate in Jackson, Mississippi reports that Mayes, the subject of a federal manhunt, suffered a gunshot wound to the head. Federal officials said there was a “significant break in the case” and summoned reporters to a church in Guntown, Miss., the town where Mayes lived. Mayes’ ex-mother-in-law earlier said she believed Mayes killed the girls’ mother and her eldest daughter, and then ran away with the two girls because he believed the girls were his own children.
The power they possess is awesome. Cops can take your freedom, command you to stop and in some cases kill you all with legislative and/or constitutional authority. I want the police armed with the necessary weapons to stop criminals and protect society. The oath they take is heavy…to protect and serve and to put their lives on the line. Most do it everyday without giving it a second thought and while the police deserve our respect, compassion and understanding, they must be held accountable to civilian authority. After all, the cops work for us. They arrest, detain, investigate and sometimes kill in our names.
Police brutality is sometimes a by-product of the street reality these servants deal with everyday. It’s not an excuse, but rather a matter of fact that police deal with human beings who have a myriad of problems, mental, physical, social and criminal more so than they deal with folks who are otherwise problem free. Law enforcement across the country has shown from time to time that it cannot or will not police itself. Cops accused of brutality and sometimes worse are quick to lawyer up paid for by police unions. Allegations of a “thin blue line” of silence often accompany allegations of police misconduct. The point is that criminals can wear badges and carry firearms. Some cops are criminals. Not all by any stretch of the imagination but enough that it is concerning.
We need to tell police who prey on the vulnerable: “No more! When you pile on a suspect and beat him to death, we will treat you just like any other alleged criminal. We will arrest you and prosecute you. And if convicted, you will go to prison for a very long time. We will make an example out of you so that other police officers will think twice before abusing their power.” The messenger could be the jury that will hear the case against two police officers in Fullerton, California, a city about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles. A judge ruled Wednesday that the officers will stand trial in the beating death last July of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man afflicted with schizophrenia.
Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony use of excessive force. Officer Manuel Ramos faces the more serious charge of second-degree murder, because prosecutors believe he took a more active role in the assault. Both officers have pleaded not guilty. This week, at the preliminary hearing to determine whether enough evidence supports proceeding with a trial, prosecutors aired a graphic video of the savage beating. The footage shows about a half dozen officers punching and kicking and putting pressure on Thomas’ chest, firing electric shocks from a Taser stun gun, all to supposedly subdue a suspect well beyond the point where he is resisting or capable of resisting arrest.
Early on, Ramos appears to tell the young man who is sitting on the ground: “You see my fists? They’re getting ready to f— you up!” Another police officer is heard saying: “We ran out of options so I got to the end of my Taser and I … smashed his face to hell.” By the end of the video, Thomas is lying in a pool of blood. According to prosecutors, the young man suffered brain injuries, facial fractures, broken ribs and extensive bruises and abrasions. He died five days later. What we see in that 33 minutes of footage, including a defenseless Thomas screaming in pain, saying he’s sorry and pleading for help, should never happen in the United States of America. When it does happen, it can’t be tolerated, justified, or excused. I am of this opinion and I am from a law enforcement family. My dad was a retired cop…my brother is a cop. Cops who abuse their authority with reckless brutality and sometimes homicide make the job incredibly difficult for those who perform their duties with perfection.
As it turns out, Thomas’ father is also a retired law enforcement officer. After his son died, Ron Thomas made it his mission to make sure the story got out and would not be forgotten. He used social media and the Internet to show the world what those officers had done to his son, complete with graphic photos that he took at the side of Kelly Thomas’ hospital bed. This is a good dad. But he was also, apparently, a good cop who trained fellow deputies on the right way to take down suspects. This is the wrong way. Thomas described the officers’ actions as nothing less than a “hate crime against the homeless and mentally ill.” Last year, Fullerton city officials offered Thomas nearly a million dollars to settle the case. He turned it down, and instead pushed for a criminal trial.
This should bring some small comfort to Ron Thomas. He needs it. He has to carry around with him for the rest of his life that, as his son was fighting for his life, he cried out for his father to protect him from these bullies. On the video, we hear Kelly Thomas screaming: “Daddy, help! They’re killing me!” As a father myself, those words break my heart. “Daddy, help! They’re killing me!” He was killed. And now, if the cops are convicted of this crime, they have to pay. My message to law enforcement is this. We, the people, need you. We respect you and appreciate what you do. Please…please don’t make it harder on yourselves or us than it already is.
Ruben Navarette Jr. contributed to my thoughts on this.
A Houston grandmother, first time drug offender with no information to trade for a lighter sentence will serve life without parole for conspiracy to smuggle at least a ton of cocaine on tour buses from Mexico to Houston. Convicted of being a manager in the conspiracy, she is serving a longer sentence than some of the hemisphere’s most notorious crime bosses – men who had multimillion-dollar prices on their heads before their capture. The drug king-pins had something to trade: the secrets of criminal organizations. The biggest drug lords have pleaded guilty in exchange for more lenient sentences.
Something seems amiss. 56-year old Elisa Castillo said she has nothing to offer in a system rife with inconsistencies and behind-the-scenes scrambling that amounts to a judicial games of Wheel of Fortune or Let’s Make A Deal. “Our criminal justice system is broke; it needs to be completely revamped,” declared Terry Nelson, who was a federal agent for over 30 years and is on the executive board of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “They have the power, and if you don’t play the game, they’ll throw the book at you.” Jeez! You think?
Castillo maintains her innocence, saying she was tricked into unknowingly helping transport drugs and money for a big trafficker in Mexico. But she refused to plead guilty and went to trial. In 2010, of 1,766 defendants prosecuted for federal drug offenses in the Southern District of Texas – a region that reaches from Houston to the border – 93.2 percent pleaded guilty rather than face trial, according to the U.S. government. Just 10 defendants were acquitted at trial, and 82 saw their cases dismissed. The statistics are similar nationwide.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the latest case in point came this week with the negotiated surrender of a Colombian drug boss Javier Calle Serna, whom the United States accuses of shipping at least 30 tons of cocaine. While how much time Calle will face is not known publicly, he likely studied other former players, including former Gulf Cartel lord Osiel Cardenas Guillen. Cardenas once led one of Mexico’s most powerful syndicates and created the Zetas gang. He pleaded guilty in Houston and is to be released by 2025. He’ll be 57.
As the federal prison system has no parole, Castillo has no prospect of ever going home. “Any reasonable person would look at this and say, ‘God, are you kidding?’ ” said attorney David Bires, who represented Castillo on an unsuccessful appeal. “It is not right.” Castillo’s elderly mother in Mexico has not been told she’s serving life, and her toddler grandson thinks she’s in the hospital when he comes to visit her in prison. Castillo is adamant about her innocence. “Put yourself in my shoes. When you are innocent, you are innocent,” she said. “I don’t say I am perfect. I am not … but I can guarantee you 100 percent that I am innocent of this.”
At the urging of her boyfriend, Martin Ovalle, Castillo became partners with a smooth-talking Mexican resident who said he wanted to set up a Houston-based bus company. But the buses were light on passengers and shuttled thousands of pounds of cocaine into the United States and millions of dollars back to Mexico. Her lawyers argued she was naive. Castillo claims she didn’t know about the drug operation, but agents said she should have known something was wrong when quantities of money and drugs were repeatedly found on the coaches. “After hearing all the evidence as presented from both the government and defense in this case, the jury found her guilty … ,” said Kenneth Magidson, chief prosecutor here.
Former federal prosecutor Mark W. White IIIsaid if Castillo had something to share, she might have benefited from a sentence reduction for cooperating. “Information is a cooperating defendant’s stock in trade,” White said, “and if you don’t have any, … the chances are you won’t get a good deal.” Castillo has faith that she’ll somehow, some day, go free. Her daily routine doesn’t vary: when she eats breakfast, when she works, when she exercises, and when she brushes her hair, which has gone from red-blond to black and gray. The gray gets respect in prison. “I will leave here one day with my head held high,” she said. “I don’t feel like a bug or a cockroach. I am a human being, with my feet firmly on the ground.”
When murderers get less time than a first time dope dealing grandmother something is clearly wrong with our system of justice. I cannot honestly say whether this woman is guilty or not. Perhaps she made a mistake, perhaps not but life without parole on a first offense is a bit strong regardless of how nasty it looks.
The preponderance of teacher-student sex is staggering. 2,750 results today on Google’s News Search Engine. I don’t remember this being an issue when I was in school but it seems like it is at an epidemic level in the United States. In Indiana authorities say two Martinsville High School coaches were charged with felonies based on accounts of their separate sexual encounters involving inappropriate touching and fondling of a female student at the school.
The arrests of Jeffrey S. McGown, 38, Martinsville, a second-grade teacher in the district and the high school’s girls tennis coach, and Timothy J. Wolf, 65, Martinsville, former high school boys basketball coach, on three counts each of child seduction were announced Wednesday. Both men have been released from the Morgan County Jail in Martinsville on bond, a jail spokeswoman said. The female, who is now 17, told Indiana State Police investigators that Wolf was easy to talk to and somebody she could trust, according to a court document reviewed and approved by the Morgan Superior Court.
She told the investigators the first kiss between her and Wolf occurred in August 2011 in his office at the high school and that they had sexual encounters on at least three occasions. She also said she had multiple sexual encounters with McGown during the 2011 spring tennis season, according to court documents filed by prosecutors. The female, who is not being named, provided investigators with three letters written to her by McGown regarding the relationship, the document said. The charges come in the wake of Wolf’s arrest on a public-indecency charge after an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Wolf was found partially nude in a vehicle Feb. 12 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis with the same female. He resigned from his job at the school a short time later. Doug Cummins, a Johnson County deputy prosecutor, is acting as special prosecutor in the case. “The Martinsville School District was made aware of the arrests and have continued to pledge their full support and cooperation in the matter,” Cummins said.
That’s not all. An Indianapolis Public Schools teacher faces charges for trying to cover up an alleged affair between a vice principal and a 16-year-old female student. Melissa L. Jones, a teacher at George Washington Community High School, is accused in a May 3 probable cause affidavit of committing obstruction of justice, a Class D felony. Jones called the student and asked her to delete text messages to help Vice Principal Corey Greenwood keep his job, according to the charging document from Marion County Superior Court, which is signed by an IMPD detective and deputy prosecutor. Jones was in court this morning and had not yet entered a plea as of 9:30 a.m., said Brienne Delaney, spokeswoman for Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.
The teacher has been suspended since April 13, an IPS spokeswoman said. Greenwood, who also served as the school’s athletic director, was suspended on April 10. He was arrested and preliminarily charged on April 13 with child seduction and dissemination of matter harmful to a minor. The vice principal allegedly had sex several times with the girl, both at his home and at his school office. In addition, the two are alleged to have exchanged graphic nude photos via text messaging. Jones told the student Greenwood was wrong for getting romantically involved with her, according to court documents, but Jones also described Greenwood as her “best friend” and said she wanted to help him keep his job. She told the student that, in addition to his job, Greenwood could lose custody of his son if the affair with the student came to light.
The girl ultimately told police about her relationship with Greenwood, however, following a tip to police from one of the girl’s classmates. Police obtained records of Greenwood’s texts by going through his cell phone provider, and during interviews, the girl told them about her conversations with Jones, according to court documents. Through an attorney, Greenwood entered a plea of not guilty during an initial court appearance April 18. He was placed on home detention and GPS monitoring pending the outcome of his court case.