Sunday, January 20, 2008

Police Think They Have The Killers

In just four days, IMPD has rounded up and the prosecutor has charged the four men police think carried out the shooting deaths of two mothers and their infants at a house on Hovey Street known by neighbors as a drug and gambling house. Two thirty-year-old men, Dantae Hobson and Ronald Davis, are charged with the murders. Zanumin Coleman, Jr., 21, and Jasper Frazier, 35, face robbery-related charges. I think the entire community is pleased with the rapid response of local law enforcement in apprehending those responsible for these horrific killings. My only reservation about the arrests is the early indication coming from local television reports, suggesting that police believe robbery was the motivation for the crime. Given the ties of at least two of the victims to the Haughville syndicate, I have a difficult time accepting that theory. I should point out that the Chief Michael Spears is not publicly stating any motive for the crimes yet.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the jack*ss, Frank Anderson, to step forward and take all the credit. I say, thank you IMPD police and investigators. Now, to the prosecutors office I say DON'T BLOW IT! Prove the case.

b said...

Spears and/or whoever was tasked with leading the the effort seem to deserve a lot of credit on this one. (while Anderson was posturing). It looks like an amazing and diligent effort from all parts of the department.

I agree there is no need for the police to say much of anything about motive or the case, it could hamper further investigation and the criminal case. Ruth Holliday criticized Spears earlier in the week for declining to say it was "drug related" but it seems like a better idea to stay tight lipped and keep all angles open, so as not to miss anything.

The presence of drugs or drug trafficking evidence is noteworthy, but there are innumerable possibilities. IT's like if I am in a car accident and killed and had had 3 martinis that had pushed by BAC to the limit... you could say "drunk driving accident" but without further investigation you might miss the fact that I had been proceeding through an intersection on a green light, and miss that the driver who hit me was driving at high speed in a stolen car without a license and ran a red light to hit me.

You should't say simple "robbery" or "drug related" when there is a maze of potential other issues including revenge,message, mistaken identity that may be related to all kinds of other criminal activity, not just drug trafficking.

If you can't piece the case and developments together precisely, you can't build an airtight case in court, especially with multiple defendants and potential conflicting testimony, not to mention you may miss an opportunity to discover, investigate and maybe prosecute related criminal activity.

Again, kudos to IMPD.

Advance Indiana said...

Good points, b. The U.S. Marshal's office also participated in apprehending a couple of the suspects, I believe.

Anonymous said...

People rob drug dealers all the time, in fact the street term is "lick." It is a motivation for many homicides in this city.

A rumor I heard from a couple of pretty reliable sources said the two women were more than making up for thier imprisoned mates, pushing up to a kilo at a time. Apparently, they had some problems paying their creditors, which was also the motivation behind thier earlier visit.

I would actually not prefer the police to give a motive. If I would try this case, I would like to develop my own case theory based on my investigation, not have the script handed to me.

It should also be mentioned this case is a little unique for (apparent) drug related murders-we have two innocent victims. A lot of time, juries hesitate to convict even when they know the defendant is guilty, because the victim is a bad guy and "had it coming." Regardless, expect the defense to smear the victims. It will interesting to see how far they can go before it will backfire.

Anonymous said...

Actually if you read the STAR today, they caught them because an informant called a STAR reporter and made arrangements to surrender and provide the info.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Actually if you read the STAR today, they caught them because an informant called a STAR reporter and made arrangements to surrender and provide the info.

9:49 AM EST

Yes, that did help after the fact. In fact two of the suspects had already been in custody and the third was known. The guy in Ohio just helped put the pieces in place better. It was ground work by IMPD that helped solve this one. Good work to them.

Anonymous said...

Spell this as one or both of these Defendants seeking a Change of Venue, such as to Lake, St. Joseph
or Allen counties. Brizzi will then ask for at least 2 Special
Deputy Prosecutors, because he's
incapable of competently handling this. Of course, the Marion County SPDs will also ask for a local special DPD to sit in. Result:
$ 1.5 million billed to Marion County, assuming no death penalty charges are filed. Investigators
will get plenty of overtime for
travelling to venued county. Don't
you just love it when everyone hoses Marion County's coffers?

Anonymous said...

To 10:11...you have no idea what you are talking about. While there has been a lot of publicity about this crime it it highly unlikely that it rises to the level of a change of venue. The murders of seven family members a year ago was just as publicized and it is still in Marion County. Even if the case were removed to another county there would be no need for special prosecutors. A special prosecutor is only required in cases where the elected prosecutor has a conflict or potential conflict. What conflict exists here? None.

And Gary...you have jumped the gun to say that prosecutors have filed charges on the men. At this point they have been arrested by police and a variety of preliminary charges have been listed on the arrest report. The prosecutor's office won't even be open for business until Tuesday morning due to the MLK holiday on Monday. Look for prosecutors to probably request a 72 hour continuance of the initial hearing, which is common in cases of this nature, to give them more time to review the police investigation and sort out what charges to file.

Advance Indiana said...

anon 10:52, According to the TV news reports last night, Brizzi was at the press conference called by police last night and said charges are being or will be filed by his office. WRTV reports, "Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said he expects all four of the men to be in court on Tuesday."

Advance Indiana said...

And WTHR reports, "The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has filed preliminary charges against four men in relation to the murder of two women and their small children Monday night on Hovey Street on the city's northeast side."

Anonymous said...

I know it may suprise many who think all prosecutors are lazy and only work 9-5 Monday to Friday, but someone is always around to take care of something like this. You can bet the head of the homicide division will be working with the detectives right now to have a probable cause affadavit and charging info ready Monday morning.

Since 10:52 already took care of 10:11's asinine comment, I won't bother except to say the PD has a procedure in place for death penalty cases. Those are the only cases they go outside of the agency. All other crimes, not matter how heinous, will be handled in house.

Peter said...

And WTHR reports, "The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has filed preliminary charges against four men in relation to the murder of two women and their small children Monday night on Hovey Street on the city's northeast side."

I think 10:52 is basically right and the news stories are confused - you have to file an information in a court, and since the courts are closed, there is no place to file the information.

Also, *preliminary charges* are what the police hold people on - when the prosecutor files an information, they are *actual* charges (even though they are, of course, often amended, dropped, replaced by new charges, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Gary...the news media in this city is not exactly the first place I would look to find out what is actually happening in a situation involving technical legal proceedings. The reporters rarely understand the difference between things like preliminary arrest charges that police book a suspect for and the final decision on charges made by the prosecutor and contained in a formal charging information that is sent to the court.

And to 11:56...I am fully aware that prosecutors can and do work around the clock. There is a deputy prosecutor on duty practically 24 hours a day at the Arrestee Processing Center, but that job involves the screening of routine misdemeanor and minor felony arrests. No doubt top-level prosecutors have been working hand in hand with the detectives on this matter to determine what charges are appropriate and they may well have a decision by now. The point is that prosecutors must still file a charging information, as well as a probable cause affidavit, with one of the criminal divisions of the Marion Superior Court. Even if both of those documents are ready the earliest that they could be filed with the court is Tuesday morning since the court won't be open until then, and until they are formally filed it is premature to say that "charges have been filed". Semantics? Perhaps, but in the legal arena cases live and die based on semantics.

Anonymous said...

The real killers of the children are the racist Prosecutor, Mayor, and Judges who continue to create the conditions that cause crime in our city!

Sarge said...

What do you suggest? Bring the State Police into the inner city? We can't call out the Guard - they are busy in Afghanistan and Iraq.
What is the answer?
Pick up the phone and call the police and let them know about criminal activity. Oh, be a rat?
No. Be a patriot and take back your
neighborhood from these hoodlums...

Sarge
Indianapolis

Anonymous said...

I think 10:52 is basically right and the news stories are confused - you have to file an information in a court, and since the courts are closed, there is no place to file the information.

The APC has a court working 20 or so hours per day. This is where the initial hearing is usually held. Any 72 hour request are usually made here. This may be different given the seriousness of the crimes. That being said, informations are routinely filed at the APC. In fact, I know of at least two individuals who decided to plead guilty on less serious crimes right at their initial APC hearing. I wonder if there is an automatic 72 hour hold requested for serious crimes?

Anonymous said...

To 9:38...the only cases heard at the APC are misdemeanors and D felonies. Major felony cases are not reviewed by APC prosecutor's staff nor are any initial hearings held there for anything more serious than a D felony. Initial hearings for major felony cases are heard only in those courts that handle major felonies, and the APC is not one of those courts.