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This Day in History

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I find it hard to be positive at times like this...

More sever punishment is needed in country. Crimes like the two you are about to read are exapmles of times where are not being tough enough on repeat offender. Major or minor after a while any time there is reoccurring crime it gets more and more violent as you will read. Look at the amount of times these six people in the first story were arrested (it is in bold)....

No Hate Crime Charges in Torture Case
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 11:23 PM EDT
The Associated Press
By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER Associated Press Writer

BIG CREEK, W.Va. (AP) — Authorities decided Wednesday not to pursue hate crime charges in the kidnapping and weeklong torture of a black woman, instead going after the suspects, who are white, on state charges that carry stiffer penalties.

While federal civil rights or state hate crime charges remain an option, a state kidnapping count that carries a sentence of up to life in prison will provide the best chance for successful prosecution, officials said.

"As a practical matter, sentenced to life, what else can be done?" U.S. Attorney Charles T. Miller told The Associated Press.

Six people face charges, including kidnapping, sexual assault and lying to police in the torture of Megan Williams, 20, at a remote hillside home in Big Creek.

State hate crime charges, which carry a sentence of 10 years, could come later, prosecutor Brian Abraham said. State sexual assault charges carry a penalty up to 35 years in prison.

The woman's captors forced her to eat rat droppings, choked her with a cable cord and stabbed her in the leg while calling her a racial slur, according to criminal complaints. They also poured hot water over her, made her drink from a toilet, and beat and sexually assaulted her during a span of about a week, the documents say.

Williams was not a random target, prosecutor Brian Abraham said Wednesday. She had a "social relationship" with one of the suspects, he said.

The Associated Press generally does not identify suspected victims of sexual assault, but Williams and her mother, Carmen Williams, agreed to release her name. Carmen Williams said she wanted people to know what her daughter had endured.

At one point, a suspect cut the woman's ankle with a knife and used the N-word in telling her she was victimized because she is black, according to the complaints.

It wasn't until an anonymous tip led Logan County sheriff's deputies to the property on Saturday that her ordeal ended, authorities said. She limped toward the deputies, her arms outstretched as she cried, "Help me," officials said.

Williams remained hospitalized Wednesday in Charleston. The hospital declined to release any information about her condition.

The victim had a previous relationship with Bobby Brewster, one of the six in custody, Abraham said. He was charged in July with domestic battery and assault after a domestic dispute involving the same woman.

"She obviously had some sort of social relationship," Abraham said. "That is based on the fact that she was present at his residence on a prior date."

The suspects have arrest records going back several years, according to records from Logan County Magistrate Court, and Abraham said was he familiar with all of them.

"Most of the charges are minor things," Abraham said. "Basically on weekends they get in trouble and by the middle of the week they make up with each other."

Since 1991, police have filed 108 criminal charges against the six.

Brewster's mother, Frankie Brewster, 49, faced the most serious charges among them. She was charged in 1994 with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter and wanton endangerment. She was released from prison in 2000 after serving five years in the death of an 84-year-old woman, court records show.

In Williams' case, Frankie Brewster is charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, malicious wounding and giving false information during a felony investigation.

Bobby Brewster, 24, also of Big Creek, is charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, malicious wounding and assault during the commission of a felony.

In March, Brewster was accused in criminal complaints of attacking his mother with a machete at her home, according to court records. The outcome of those charges — domestic assault, brandishing a deadly weapon and obstructing an officer — was not immediately clear.

Danny J. Combs, 20, of Harts, is charged with sexual assault and malicious wounding. Karen Burton, 46, of Chapmanville, was charged with malicious wounding, battery and assault during the commission of a felony.

Burton's daughter, Alisha Burton, 23, and George A. Messer, 27, both of Chapmanville, are charged with assault during the commission of a felony and battery. She previously faced charges of assault during the commission of a felony and battery; in May, she was accused of striking Messer with a shovel and smashing the window of a woman's car. The charges are pending.

All six remained in custody Wednesday in lieu of $100,000 cash bail each. Bobby Brewster is scheduled to appear before a Logan County Circuit Court judge on Monday to be arraigned on the kidnapping charge, according to court records. A date for his mother's appearance on the kidnapping charge has not yet been set.

Public defender Dwyane Adkins, appointed to represent Bobby Brewster, and public defender Betty Gregory, appointed to represent Karen Burton, declined to comment. The other defendants' court-appointed lawyers were either in hearings or did not immediately return telephone calls Wednesday.

Neighbors of Megan Williams in Charleston recalled her as sweet-natured but said her family members kept largely to themselves.

"They were isolated, in a way," said the Rev. Norman Jones of the Greater Emmanuel Gospel Tabernacle, which Carmen Williams attended. "Carmen was very protective of Megan, so it was hard to know her well."

The Second is an older story but was just has violent and happened in my home town...

Judge rules statement can be used in fatal carjacking trial
Carjacking preceded beating, rape and murder of West Knox couple

By Jamie Satterfield (Contact)
Originally published 04:05 p.m., September 12, 2007
Updated 04:05 p.m., September 12, 2007

A federal judge this afternoon shot down a bid by an accused accomplice in a fatal carjacking to shield his statement from jurors.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton ruled that federal prosecutors David Jennings and Tracy Stone have the legal right to use Eric Dewayne “E” Boyd’s statement against him.

Defense attorney Richard Gaines had argued that the government was trying to use Boyd’s statement as proof that Lemaricus “Slim” Davidson kidnapped and killed Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23, in January.

Boyd is charged in U.S. District Court not with those crimes but instead as an accessory in the alleged carjacking. Boyd is accused of hiding Davidson, even though he knew Davidson was involved in the double murder.

Boyd is set to stand trial Sept. 19. Davidson and three others face trials next year in Knox County Criminal Court for the actual slayings.

Davidson is alleged to have confessed to Boyd the January slayings of Christian and Newsom, who were killed after a carjacking that turned into a kidnapping and rape.

Christian and Newsom had been out on a date in early January when they were confronted by armed suspects who forced their way into Christian’s Toyota 4Runner.

Authorities and court records show the West Knox County couple were taken to a North Knoxville house where Davidson had been living.

Authorities have not alleged that Boyd was in the Chipman Street house where Christian and Newsom were slain.

Newsom was shot and his body set on fire. Christian was held hostage for several more hours before she was strangled, and her body wrapped in trash bags and dumped in a large garbage can inside the house.

Also charged in Criminal Court are Davidson’s brother, Letalvis “Rome” Cobbins; Cobbins’ girlfriend, Vanessa Coleman; and friend George “Detroit” Thomas.

Trials are pending for each in 2008. Prosecutors have not yet said whether they will seek the death penalty in the case.

All four murder suspects and Boyd remain behind bars pending their respective trials.

More details as they develop online and in Thursday’s News Sentinel.


Both crimes are worthy of strict punishment. In both incidents the attackers had long records.Yet were allowed to return to society with ease. More needs to be done to keep our friends, family, and ourselves safe. I am just has upset at that fact that here in Knoxville we have twice allowed the KKK and a group of neo-nazis to protest and that ran the state 35,000 per protest. Hate groups should not be allowed to form. Those who commit crimes of race like in the first case need to be hit with the "hate crime" title, and those who are guilty of helping to rape and kill to people (like in the second)need to face more than a max of 15 years. To know that a crime is going on like that and not report it is just as bad as taking part. All in all it was around 6 people who knew that the second crime was going on. That is to say they came to the house and saw the girl still alive, tied up, naked, beaten, and smelling of bleach where they had been pouring it onto her and inside of her to cover up evidence. All should be tried for not helping this girl. They allowed her die.
Where are the heroes? I don't know but it doesn't even take a hero to report something like this.

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