« January 2007 | Main

February 5, 2007

Man Charged With Murder of 18-Year-Old's Unborn Child

A man was charged with the murder of his girlfriend’s unborn child after she miscarried within hours of being brutally beaten by him inside an apartment elevator.

Dino Scott, 20, was charged on Tuesday with third-degree assault and with second-degree murder of an unborn child, according to Ramsey County prosecutors.

Namrata Ceisel, Scott’s 18-year-old girlfriend, miscarried just hours after being beaten unconscious by Scott. A security camera captured the entire incident, which took place after 7 a.m. Sunday inside an elevator at the Maple Pond Homes, 1854 Beebe Rd. in Maplewood, where Scott’s father lives.

Scott was apparently aware that he was on camera during the entire beating, according to Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner. “He obviously knew the camera was there,? Gaertner said. “He obviously assumed the camera was working. He went ahead and brutally assaulted his girlfriend anyway. That’s very brazen and despicable.?

Scott smirked and displayed his middle finger to the camera before he began to assault Ceisel, according to the criminal complaint. The report then describes the grisly beating: “For 20 seconds, he continually punches and kicks Ms. Ceisel until she appears to be knocked unconscious. Mr. Scott can be seen dragging Ms. Ceisel’s limp body off of the elevator by one arm.?

The criminal complaint also reports that Scott returned a minute after the beating to wipe the blood from the elevator walls. No motive for the beating was given in the complaint.

Ceisel was listed as being in stable condition at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, doctors said Tuesday. Doctors at St. John’s told investigators that Ceisel had been 12 weeks pregnant and that the miscarriage was a direct result of the beating.

Scott was charged under a law that acknowledges a separate victim in cases involving acts of violence against women who are pregnant, Gaertner said.

Since its enactment in 1986 four people have been charged in Ramsey County under the statute. Ceisel represents the county’s first case in which the mother survived.

Death Penalty Will Not Be Sought for New Orleans Police Officers

If convicted, four New Orleans police officers charged with murder in shootings that took place in the wake of Hurricane Katrina will not face the death penalty, a prosecutor said.

Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius Jr., Officer Anthony Villavaso II, and former officer Robert Faulcon Jr. are being charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder for their involvement in a Sept. 5, 2005 shooting which left two dead and four wounded.

During the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina police shot and killed Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally retarded man, and James Brissette, 19, on the Danziger Bridge.

Madison’s brother, Lance Madison, was on the bridge at the time of the shooting and was arrested on charges of attempted murder. He was later cleared of all charges after serving a month in jail.

Three other officers are also facing charges for their involvement in the shooting. Robert Barrios and Mike Hunter Jr. were charged with attempted first-degree murder, and Officer Ignatius Hills was charged with attempted second-degree murder.

Six of the officers were allowed to continue workings and returned to low-profile jobs on Monday. They are not allowed to wear uniforms, carry weapons, or make arrests, and are being monitored by ankle bracelets.

The family of Madison is outrage with the decision to allow the officers to continue working.

"My brother Lance has still not been able to return to work," said Lorna Humphries, sister of Madison. "It's been hard on him. First he watched his brother gunned down then he was arrested. He's been out of work 17 months now, but the police are back. Is that fair?"

Romell Madison, another Madison brother, called on Wednesday for Mayor Ray Nagin to overturn the police superintendent’s decision to allow the officers to return to work.

International Fugitive Caught During Routine Traffic-Stop

A routine traffic-stop in New York led to the arrest of an international fugitive from Ecuador, who is suspected in the deaths of a politician and two others.

Police in Palenville, New York pulled over Christian Steven Ponce, 36, of Quito, Ecuador, on Saturday for not wearing his seatbelt, according to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

When police ran a license and warrant check on Ponce they discovered that he was wanted in Ecuador for triple homicide. He was arraigned in Catskill Town Court and is being held in jail without bail as he awaits extradition.

Ponce, along with two associates, was suspected of fatally shooting former Ecuadorean presidential candidate Jaime Hurtado on Feb. 17, 1999, in Quito. Pablo Vicente Tapia, Hurtado's nephew, and their bodyguard, Wellington Borja Nazareno were also killed in the shooting.

Ponce was arrested two days after the shooting and shortly afterwards fled from Ecuador.

121 Killed by Suicide Bomber in Baghdad

As many as 121 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a market in a
Shiite area of Baghdad on Saturday. The bomber drove a food-supply truck into a crowded, outdoor market and then detonated a ton of explosives.

The blast, which occurred sometime in the late afternoon, destroyed stores and market stalls. In addition to the 121 people killed, an additional 226 were wounded, according to police and hospital officials.

The attack was the latest in a series of attacks aimed at Shiite commercial areas in Baghdad. Though no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, officials suspect that it was the work of Sunni insurgents.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki released a statement in which he blamed the attack on "Saddamists and taqfiris," which are Sunni extremists.

"The forces of terror and evil have united together against our dear Iraqi people," he said. "We were shocked today, and so were all Iraqis and honest people around the world by this despicable crime."

The death toll is expected to rise, according to Maj. Gen. Jihad al-Jabiri of the Interior Ministry. "There are still bodies under the rubble." Al-Jabiri said.

Intruder Kills Two Family Members and Wounds a Third

Two members of a Waseca family were killed and a third wounded by an intruder at their farmhouse Saturday morning. After responding to a 911 call reporting an intruder at 3:23 a.m., police found Tracy Kruger, 40, and his 13-year-old son, Alec, dead at their family farmhouse located 6 miles south of Waseca.

Hilary Kruger, 41-year-old wife and mother, was found wounded at the scene. She was listed to be in critical condition at North American Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where she was flown Saturday.

When Alec called 911 he informed the dispatcher that there was an intruder on the property. Shortly after, the dispatcher heard gunshots in the background and the line went dead, according to Waseca County Attorney Paul Dressler. It is believed that the family had been shot, though autopsies have yet to confirm this, Dressler said.

A younger son of the Krugers was spending the night at a friend’s house when the killings occurred and is now reported to be in a state of utter shock, a sheriff’s official said.

Investigators began questioning a man Saturday evening who was connected to a vehicle found at the Krugers’ farmhouse. The man is believed to be a stranger to the Kruger family, investigators said. He was linked to a pickup truck which was found in a ditch outside the farmhouse on 320th Avenue.

Authorities believe that the man stole the truck from one of the Krugers’ neighbors. The truck was found about 10 to 15 miles away in Byron Township in southern Waseca County. A sports-utility vehicle belonging to the Krugers was also found in the ditch.

The man was taken into custody for questioning in Byron Township Saturday morning. No information was given as to whether or not an arrest was made.