Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Theresa Fortner, 47, was charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, two counts of armed criminal action and endangering the welfare of a child. Associate Circuit Judge Barbara Peebles set bail at $300,000, cash only, court records show.
Police said Fortner's blood-alcohol content was 0.22 when she crashed her 2011 gray Toyota Camry the morning of July 4, 2011, as she exited the Loughborough Avenue exit from northbound Interstate 55, police said. The legal blood-alcohol limit to drive a vehicle in Missouri is 0.08.
The Arnold resident's car hit a street sign, a house, a tree and a fence and flipped over into a second tree. Police said an analysis of the black box from Fortner's car showed she never hit the brakes and was going 69 mph when she crashed. Fortner's granddaughter Bella Houston, aged 19 months, died of head injuries the next day at a hospital. According to a police search warrant for the airbag control module to Fortner's Camry, the car left the road and traveled 352 feet before stopping.
"A witness statement suggested Theresa Fortner had been drinking alcohol for several hours and was desperate to drop off the infant passenger at another family member's residence," the search warrant said.
Monday, August 27, 2012
On August 1, 2012, Buffalo police officers Robert Yeates and John Michael Mulderig were on routine patrol. At 4:00 p.m. they were flagged down in front of the home of Charlene Fears, 37, who had just stabbed her grandson. Fears was covered in blood and wielding butcher knives in both hands. She refused to drop her weapons after repeated requests from the officers, forcing Officer Yeates, a 20 year veteran on the force, to shoot.
Both Fears and her four year old grandson, Roderick Geiger III, were pronounced dead at a local hospital. A good friend of Fears said the New York woman loved her grandson dearly but that she was bi-polar and had not been taking her medicine.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Marianne Bordt, 73, drowned her 5 year old grandson, Camden Hiers, in a Florida beach house bathroom the first week of January 2010 and could face execution. Her attorneys say she was legally insane before and at the time of the incident. David Hiers, the boys father and Bordt's former son-in-law is pushing for a trial. He feels that is the only way he will find out the details of the boys death.
Heirs divorced Bordt's daughter about 3 years ago and says her claims of insanity are just that, insane. He claims to have never distrusted her and says he never saw any signs of insanity in her in all the years he knew her.
Bordt and her husband, German citizens, brought the boy to Florida each year on vacation. This year something went terribly wrong. Bordt's husband claims that he went to the store and came back to the rented beach house to find his wife sopping wet from the waist down in a red jacket and long underwear. She said she drowned the child so he would not grow up in a divorced home.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Valerie Stenson, 47, was arrested Wednesday, March 21, 2012, on charges that she killed her 18-month-old granddaughter last year. She was taken into custody at her Teller Village apartment. The Anderson County (Tennessee) Grand Jury indicted Stenson on March 6 on a first degree murder charge along with four counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect. Stenson's granddaughter, Manhattan Inman, died in April 2011. Police began an investigation of the death the same month.
The indictments say Stenson is accused of causing "serious bodily injury' to the child along with subjecting her to the use of a deadly weapon or a controlled substance. District Attorney General Dave Clark says in order for a death penalty to be pursued, the facts of the case have to meet distinct factors laid out by the state.
"Some of the factors include whether two or more persons or endangered, whether the person was endangered during the course of the homicide, the age of the victim." Clark says he can't discuss the details of the case at this time, but prosecutors will determine whether the evidence in the case will warrant the death penalty. "It will be those factors and the facts of the case that we will rely on for making a decision." Clark says that more often than not, the state actually decides not to seek the death penalty.
Stenson is being held in the Anderson County Jail on bonds totaling $1 million. She was in court Friday morning for her arraignment and was appointed an attorney.
Monday, August 6, 2012
A South Georgia woman has entered a plea in the 2011 drowning death of her six year old granddaughter. 47-year-old Virginia Sims plead guilty yesterday and was sentenced to life in prison for the June 20, 2011, drowning death of her granddaughter Alexis Walker.
The incident occurred in June of 2011 at a pond in Norman Park. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Sims took her granddaughter to the pond near Moye Rd. on the evening of June 20th where she then drowned her.
The official cause of death was asphyxia, which happens when the flow of oxygen is cut off from the brain by strangulation. Investigators believe that Alexis was being strangled by her grandmother while being held under water.
Virginia Sims had a troubled past prior to drowning her granddaughter. A police report indicated in 2010 that Sims was charged with first degree arson and less than 24 hours later was then involved in a single car crash with Alexis inside the vehicle. The Worth County sheriff's office indicated that the crash was a suicide attempt.
The Department of Family and Child services said at the time that they were never made aware of the incidents, or they would have stepped in.
In February 2012, Virginia Sims was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her granddaugher.