National Roundup

Defense: Race, mental health played role in officer shooting

FALMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A defense attorney argued last week that race and mental health played a role in the case of a Massachusetts man charged with the shooting of two Falmouth police officers in July 2018.

Brian Kelley, the attorney representing Malik Koval, requested that his client receive a sentence between 5 and 7 1/2 years and requested a change of venue to take the case out of Barnstable County, the Cape Cod Times reported.

Falmouth police officers Donald DeMiranda and Ryan Moore were wounded when responding to a report of a man yelling and throwing trash in the street outside Koval’s mother’s home. DeMiranda was shot in the shoulder and Moore was grazed on the neck.

According to the defendant’s sentencing memorandum, Koval was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with elements of paranoia and grandiose thoughts.

Koval was indicted by a Barnstable County grand jury on charges including armed assault to murder, assault and battery with a firearm and assault and battery on a police officer.

DeMiranda spoke with Koval outside and pursued him when he ran into his mother’s home.

DeMiranda said in a statement that Koval went into the kitchen and picked up a bag and that he thought he was going for a knife.

Kelley argued that Koval acted in self-defense.

“The officer came into his house,” Kelley said arguing that if this was a civilian Koval would have been within his rights.

Kelley also argued that race played a role in how officers handled Koval.

“In this world we live in today we know that there are examples of African Americans being treated in a different way than their white counterparts by police,” Kelley said.

Kelley cited that continued coverage from the Cape Cod Times and YouTube videos that have increased the case’s exposure in the local community and requested that the court hold an evidentiary hearing about the motion to change the venue.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Donovan opposed the motion arguing that the “half-dozen or so media reports” were written over a year ago and that no jury member would be so preoccupied with the case as to “prejudge his guilt.”

Serial killer who was spared execution is killed in prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California serial killer known as the “I-5 Strangler” in the 1970s and 1980s has been killed in the prison where he was serving multiple life sentences, state correctional officials said Monday.

A correctional officer doing rounds spotted Roger Reece Kibbe, 81, unresponsive in his cell at Mule Creek State Prison southeast of Sacramento shortly after midnight Sunday, officials said. They said they are investigating his death as a homicide.

His cellmate was standing nearby, officials said. Kibbe was taken to a prison health care facility and pronounced dead less than 45 minutes later. Amador County’s chief coroner, sheriff’s Sgt. P. Weart, said he couldn’t give details on the death, citing the ongoing investigation.

Kibbe, a former suburban Sacramento furniture maker whose brother was a law enforcement officer, was initially convicted in 1991 of strangling 17-year-old Darcine Frackenpohl, who had run away from her home in Seattle.

Her nearly nude body was found by a jogger west of South Lake Tahoe below Echo Summit in September 1987, two to three weeks after she was killed. Her pink dress was discovered about 1,000 feet from the body.

Investigators at the time said Kibbe was also a suspect in six other killings believed linked to the “I-5 Strangler,” whose trademark was cutting his victims’ clothing in odd patterns. Several took place in the Sacramento and Stockton areas along Interstate 5.

Prosecutors then were unable to file charges in those cases, and he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for Frackenpohl’s death.

That changed in 2009, when a San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office investigator used new developments in evidence to connect him to the old slayings.

Kibbe pleaded guilty to six new counts of murder in Amador, Contra Costa, Napa, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. His victims were Lou Ellen Burleigh, 21, in 1977 and Stephanie Brown, 19; Lora Heedrick, 20; Katherine Kelly Quinones, 25; Charmaine Sabrah, 26; and Barbara Ann Scott, 29, all in 1986.

It wasn’t until 2011 that a Napa County sheriff’s deputy found the remains of Burleigh — a piece of bone — in a dry riverbed near Lake Berryessa, after Kibbe agreed to help locate her body as part of a plea agreement. Burleigh was 21 and living in Walnut Creek when she disappeared in 1977 after going to meet Kibbe to talk about a secretarial job.

Prosecutors said they agreed to drop the possibility of the death penalty because Kibbe was unlikely to ever realistically face execution.

Corrections officials said he was serving two life terms without the possibility of parole from San Joaquin County from 2009, beyond the earlier life with parole sentence in El Dorado County for Frackenpohl’s death.
Officials could not immediately explain the lack of other listed charges.

His cellmate is serving a life sentence with the possibility for parole for a first-degree murder in Riverside County.

Kibbe had been at the prison since 2013 but officials wouldn’t say how long he had been housed with his cellmate, citing the ongoing investigation.

Ex-elementary teacher who sexually abused teen sentenced

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A former Eugene elementary school teacher who sexually abused a teenager has been sentenced to federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

William Hamann, 38, was sentenced on Monday to 13 years in federal prison, ten years supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution to the victim, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Scott Erik Asphaug said.

Court documents say on several occasions starting in 2018 Hamann paid a minor female, who was 15 at the time, for oral sex and recorded her performing the sex acts.

Eugene police detectives and FBI agents arrested Hamann on July 26, 2019, when he came to meet the minor a fourth time.

Hamman used social media to arrange the meetings and had also previously approached other girls online who said they were minors, Asphaug said.

In August 2019, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned an indictment charging Hamann with sexual exploitation and trafficking of a child, possession of child pornography, and attempted sex trafficking of a child.

Hamann in January pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a child.