Joseph Blocker Arrested After Son Found Dead, Injured In Washing Machine


A four-year-old boy who was found dead inside a Garland home on Tuesday afternoon and his father was arrested on a charge of capital murder.

Joseph-BlockerPolice said Joseph Blocker called 911 to report that his son, Koda Blocker, was unconscious.

The child was dead when first responders arrived at the residence in the 2400 block of Newcastle Drive. Police said Blocker, 28, was home alone with Koda and a 22-month-old child.

A Garland man is under arrest for capital murder after his son was found dead at their home.

Detectives aren’t releasing many details, but they believe the family’s front-loader washing machine played a part in a little boy’s death, saying his injuries appears to be consistent with having been inside the appliance.

“From what we know about the washing machine … that door has to be shut, and then someone has to push a button on the outside to get that started,” said police spokesman Officer Joe Harn. “It does not start by automatically shutting that door.”

The washing machine has been seized as evidence. Blocker’s friends are asking people not to be too quick to judge.

“There’s no way he could have done this,” said Michael Dorfman, who described himself as a close friend of Blockers and one of the victim’s former babysitters. “It had to have been an accident somehow,” he said.

Dorfman says he and Blocker’s family believe whatever happened inside the house was a tragic accident. He says they are confident more facts will be uncovered soon.

“I can’t even imagine what he’s going through,” Dorfman said regarding Blocker. “Not only losing a child, but being locked up for it too, with no answer as to hey, this is what happened, and still being behind bars.That’s got to be brutal.”

Detectives from Garland Police Department are waiting on the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office to complete an autopsy on the child. Police say this remains an ongoing investigation.

Police said Blocker is cooperating with the investigation, but they’re waiting on the medical examiner’s report to help them understand what really happened in the house on Newcastle Drive.

Blocker was being held at the Garland Detention Center on $500,000 bond.

Police break into home and shoot woman’s husband to death in drug raid. But the good news is no drugs were found


David Hooks was shot in the back and head as he was lying face down on the floor during a drug raid by Laurens County deputies.

That’s according to the lawyer representing his family.

635487868933742986-David-HooksIt’s been nearly four months since David Hooks was shot to death during a drug raid at his East Dublin home.

13WMAZ’s Paula Rotondo spoke to his wife, Teresa Hooks and the family’s lawyer, Mitchell Shook.

Hooks died Sept. 24 while deputies served a search warrant at his home.

They were looking for drugs, but didn’t find any.

Shook, who is representing his family, says the raid was illegal and has asked the FBI to investigate.

He says officers were looking for drugs in the home, but didn’t find any. Shook says the officers fired 17 shots inside the home and struck Hooks.

He says Hooks had four wounds, two of which he says are very problematic. Shook says that’s according to the Laurens County EMS records. He says the same information is found in the medical records from Fairview Park Hospital.

“One was to the side of the head, the other, was in his back, the back of his left shoulder, based on the evidence we see, we believe that David Hooks was face down on the ground when he received those last two shots,” says Shook.

Shook says they have not received the autopsy yet from the GBI.

Teresa Hooks, David’s wife, remembers the night clearly.

She says, “Between 10:30 and 11, I turned the light off upstairs. I heard a car coming up the driveway really fast, and I looked up the upstairs window. I saw a black vehicle with no lights. I saw 6 to 8 men, coming around the side of my house, and I panicked. I came running downstairs, yelling for David to wake up. He was in the bedroom asleep, had been for about an hour and a half. When I got downstairs to the bottom of the stairs, he opened the door and he had a gun in his hand, and he said, ‘Who is it?,’ and I said I didn’t know. He stepped back into the bedroom like he was going to grab his pants, but before he could do that, the door was busted down. He came around me, in the hall, into the den, and I was gonna come behind him, but before I could step into the den the shots were fired, and it was over.”

She says, “Initially, I thought that I was going to die, I thought I was going to be shot, I thought a gang had broke in, and up until I heard the radios the dispatch radios, I had no idea.”

Hooks says she sat outside in handcuffs for two hours after her husband was shot to death.

She says during that time, she had to watch her husband on a stretcher without a word from officers about what was going on.

Hooks says she appreciates all of the support from the community.

Brooke Baures Killed After Head Was Crushed Inside Dumbwaiter


Brook-BauresOfficials have ruled that the death of Brooke Baures, the 21-year-old waitress found dead inside a restaurant’s dumbwaiter, was accidental.

The Wisconsin college gymnast was found dead inside a dumbwaiter at the at the WingDam Saloon and Grill where she worked as a waitress.

A co-worker on the first floor opened the dumbwaiter expecting to find dirty dishes from a second floor banquet, but found Baures’ dead body instead.

Now that the autopsy report has been released we know that a crime was not committed, which is a good thing, but I still have no idea how she managed to get herself killed.

Based on the autopsy results, FCPD believes that Brooke’s head was located almost entirely inside the cab of the elevator canted slightly to her right as the cab descended. When the roof of the cab passed the sill of the second floor access, Brooke sustained fatal crushing injuries to her brainstem and cerebellum.

The autopsy report goes on to state Baures suffered extensive crushing of her calvarium, mandible and maxilla – all areas around the nose and mouth. Put all of that info together and it paints a pretty gruesome picture. I am guessing the only thing that stopped her from being half-capped was her spinal cord.

Instead of the top half of her head being sent down to the kitchen while the rest of her body slumped on the second floor, it looks like her body was pulled in behind the dumbwaiter after her head was crushed.

This explains some of the earlier reports of her being tangled up in the machinery and why the person who found her told 911: “I think one of my co-workers got (caught) in, like, our dumbwaiter, but I’m not willing to look close enough.”

Federal and state regulators have launched separate investigations into Baures death, but I have doubt they will come to the same conclusions. The dumbwaiter has since been permanently removed.

Heather Green Tried To Comfort Her Two Sons As They Died In Trailer Fire


The children killed in an RV fire Monday night were Damion Green, 1, and Kayden Green, 4. Their 3-year-old sister, Amiyah Green, was in the RV but was rescued with minor injuries.

Heather-GreenHeather Green, their mother, was outside the RV when the fire started.

The father, Christopher Green, is an inmate in the Twin Falls County Jail. He has been notified, and accommodations were being made for him, officials said.

Gina Johnson said Creekside Court RV Park, which she manages, is providing the family housing for the next few months.

“I’ve known (Heather Green) for five years, and this woman would die for her children. She loved her babies,” Johnson said.

She said the stricken mother gave her this account:

Heather was standing outside, smoking, playing a game with one of her sons. He pushed the camper door toward her, and she pushed it back at him. Then the door clicked closed and locked from the inside

Soon after, Green looked back at the camper and saw flames.

“She was screaming for her daughter to unlock the door,” Johnson said.

Park manager Gary Zimmers said Heather yelled at a neighbor for help. When they couldn’t break into the RV, the neighbor ran to Zimmers for help.

“We sprinted back over there,” he said. Zimmers broke a window, reached in, grabbed Amiyah and pulled her out. In the process, he got a 5-inch gash on his arm.

“I still don’t know what I broke the window with,” he said. “It was dark, and I was groping around.”

Meanwhile, Johnson said, “Heather was at the other window. She almost cut her finger off. Her poor hands were burned.”

She couldn’t reach the boys but kept talking to them.

“She was standing by the window with her hand in there, telling them that she loved them. She made sure they heard it until she heard no more from them.”

Johnson said, “They were great kids. The youngest little boy, he was just a peach.”

Zimmers and other neighbors then sprayed a garden hose on the fire.

Zimmers said he’s thankful the girl was near a window. “Any quick-thinking person would have done the same thing.”

He said a fire official told him a space heater caused the fire. Police suspect that was the cause, and they confirm that the door had locked.

Tuesday morning, the smell of smoke still hung in the air at the High Desert R.V. Park.

Children’s toys were strewn outside. The camper interior was gutted, and areas around the door and windows were blackened with soot.

State Fire Marshal investigators were on site. So was a police detective, and a patrol officer provided security.

Detectives believe the children were the only people inside the RV at the time, a news release said.

The investigation could take days. Detectives are interviewing witnesses and the mother, who had lived at the park with her children for several months.

“The wheels are in motion,” said Ron Aguirre, battalion chief for the Twin Falls Fire Department.

Firefighters removed the little boys from the RV on Monday night, and the children were pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center.

Johnson said she was with Heather at the emergency room, and the doctor, nurses and chaplain were “amazing. They were loving. The chaplain never left her side.”

Firefighters had been called about 6 p.m. Monday to the High Desert RV Park at 221 Addison Ave. W. The trailer, a Fleetwood Wilderness, was engulfed in flames.

Residents told them children were inside, and firefighters immediately went in and removed the boys.

The family lost everything. Johnson is collecting items for Heather and Amiyah at Creekside Court, 146 Addison Ave W.

Amiyah wears a size 4T and a size 8 in girl’s shoes. Heather wears a size small shirt, size 5 pants and size 8 shoes, Johnson said. She also welcomes blankets and other items for the family.

The American Red Cross is providing temporary housing, food and clothing for the girl and her mother. It also is coordinating efforts to help the family, said Aguirre.

An account has been set up at Farmers National Bank under the name “Gina Johnson, care of Heather Green.” Donations can be made at any branch. Johnson said donations have come in from residents of Washington, D.C., New York, Boise and the Magic Valley.

The TEARS Foundation is helping with funeral expenses and offers ongoing emotional support, Johnson said.

She said she will set up a Christmas tree with presents in the cabin where the family will stay. She wants to show Amiyah that “Santa Claus is still here.”

Randy Barker, a neighbor, said he had met the Greens, and Heather often stopped to say hello to him and his dog. He said the family had two dogs, but he didn’t know if they were in the RV Monday night.

Barker said he was away when the fire started but returned to see fire engines and police cars. “I thought I’d left my heater on in my trailer and it was on fire.”

Then another neighbor told him whose trailer was burning.

“Everybody in here is like a family almost,” Zimmers said.

As for the father, the jail can arrange special visits, but an early release or furlough would be for a judge to decide, said Capt. Brent Hilliard, of the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office.

Alleged naked stabber claimed quake made him do it: witnesses


He was more than just a little rattled by yesterday’s earthquake.

20110823-07The naked, knife-wielding madman who stabbed four people in his Washington Heights apartment building yesterday thought the earthquake was the end of the world, witnesses said today.

“He was reacting to the earthquake. He started shouting, ‘The world is going to end! The world is going to end! I don’t want to die!’” said Edwin Rivera, 62, whose 84-year-old mother Isabel was stabbed eight times by the psycho.

Rivera’s mother is in stable condition

Christian Falero, 23, allegedly began knocking on doors around 4:10 p.m. yesterday on the second floor of 870 Riverside Drive and stabbing anyone who answered.

The stabbing spree took place over two hours after the 1:51 p.m. quake.

He injured four victims and killed 81-year-old Ignacio Reyes-Collazo before stabbing himself.

Rivera said Falero was a known drug user.

“He took them on top of all the meds he took,” Rivera said of Falero, who also suffers from mental illness.

Charges are still pending against Falero.

Authorities today said a second victim died, Yigao Chen, 60.

Murdered College Student Alexandra Kogut Tweeted That She “Should Have Known”


Even though murdered college freshman Alexandra Kogut was starting college in a different town from her older boyfriend, the two kept in touch with playful Twitter messages anticipating each others’ visits.

ht_alexandra_kogut_ll_121001_wmainOn Sept. 2, Clayton Whittemore, a 21-year-old student at Utica College, tweeted at his girlfriend: ” Saturday can’t come sooner enough.”

“So excited for @Whittemore21 to come to Brockport Saturday and bring me half moons,” Kogut wrote in September, according to the Utica Observer Dispatch. Her account has since been taken down.

But one ominous last Tweet suggests something went wrong during their reunion very early Saturday morning, just hours before Whittemore allegedly beat Kogut to death.

“Should’ve known,” she wrote at 12:13 a.m.

Prosecutors believe the popular freshman at the State University of New York Brockport campus was murdered early Saturday morning by Clayton Whittemore, 21, who had apparently been visiting for the weekend.

Whittemore allegedly admitted to killing his girlfriend, according to a criminal complaint, The Associated Press reported.

On Saturday, he pleaded not guilty to second degree murder charges.

Authorities said Kogut’s mother became concerned when her daughter did not answer her phone and requested campus police perform a welfare check.

During that check, campus police found the communication major dead in her room at McLean Hall early Saturday morning.

She appeared to have suffered severe trauma to her upper body, said Robert Kehoe of the Brockport Campus Police Department.

Authorities caught up with Whittemore, who attends Utica College, at a service station in the town of Dewitt, about 110 miles east of Brockport early Saturday morning.

“It’s tragic when anyone loses their life,” Kehoe told ABC News affiliate WHAM-TV. “When a young lady who’s a college student and apparently in a safe environment, is brutally murdered as this young lady was, it’s certainly a tragedy for her family and friends and the entire Brockport college community.”

Students and staff were notified of the death via email, social media and a message posted on the school’s website.

Kogut’s family released a statement thanking the community for their support and asking for privacy during their time of grief.

“Alexandra Kogut was a bright, beautiful young woman who was thrilled to be beginning her college education,” the statement said. “Her lovely and sweet demeanor was truly infectious and she will forever be missed.”

On a “Remembering Alex Kogut” Facebook page, friends pledged to wear purple, the color for domestic violence awareness, today in honor of the freshman.

Whittemore remains in the custody of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon.

Police Looking For Killer Who Fatally Set Jessica Chambers On Fire


The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Panola County Sheriff’s Office are seeking phone records and witnesses to find out who fatally lit a teenage girl on fire.

Jessica-ChambersA passerby called the sheriff’s office about the burning car along Herron Road, near Highway 51, Saturday night.

Responders took 19-year-old Jessica Chambers to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, where she died.

Jessica’s father said his daughter tried to tell responders who killed her.

The sheriff’s office previously told WREG it’s possible Jessica had plans with two people that night, although Assistant District Attorney Jay Hale said there are no clear-cut suspects at this time.

He said her autopsy was underway Monday.

WREG met with Lisa Chambers, Jessica’s mother, Monday at a funeral home, after she finalized plans for her daughter’s burial.

Chambers said her daughter lived with her, and Jessica planned to go get her car cleaned Saturday evening. She spoke with her daughter on the phone around 6:48 p.m., and Jessica said she was going to get a bite to eat.

“[She] said ‘Bye, I love you, Mama. See you in a little while.’ Next time I seen her, she was in the Med,” Chambers said.

Chambers wants justice for her daughter, who she said was acting normally Saturday. She said her daughter had a job at a department store, cheered in high school, and didn’t currently have a boyfriend.

“God’s punishment is going to be far more worse than anything that we can do,” Chambers said about her daughter’s killer.

Hale said it is possible Jessica’s murderer could face life in prison without parole, or even the death penalty.

Jessica’s family confirmed her visitation will be at Wells Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Her funeral is at the same location at 2 p.m. Saturday.