Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Officer Bluew: Webb murder case

Also See:

Jennifer Webb murder:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/09/murder-of-jennifer-webb-august-31-2011.html

Officer Kenneth Bluew arrested for Jennifer Webb's murder: http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/officer-ken-bluew-arrested-for-murder_30.html

Jennifer Webb murder case:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/officer-ken-bluew-webb-murder-case.html

Officer Bluew trial for murder of Jennifer Webb:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/officer-bluew-trial-for-murder-of.html

Officer Bluew sentenced to life in prision for murdering Jennifer Webb: http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/officer-bluew-sentenced-for-murder-of.html

Officer Bluew - Appeal Denied - August 14, 2014:








[MI] Officer Bluew's jail transfers questioned






[MI] Officer Bluew transferred to Saginaw jail







         
[MI] Officer Bluew allowed to make private call to witness







         
[MI] Officer Bluew murder trial date set for September 19, 2012








[MI] Officer Bluew- Legal insight into murder case








Jury seated in Ken Bluew trial; opening arguments to begin Tuesday morning
By Andy Hoag
ahoag@mlive.com
The Saginaw News
on September 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Updated September 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/09/jury_seated_in_ken_bluew_trial.html
SAGINAW, MI — After more than three days of questioning, the attorneys in the trial for the suspended Buena Vista police officer charged with killing the woman who was 8 months pregnant with his son have settled on a jury.


A jury of nine women and five men received their preliminary instructions from Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson late this morning and were told to come back at 9 a.m. Tuesday for opening arguments.

Those jurors will be tasked with determining whether Kenneth T. Bluew, 37, is guilty of first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30, 2011, death of Jennifer Webb at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township. Webb, 32, planned to name her son Braxton.

MLive will have live video of the opening arguments and have live coverage on Twitter @SNAandyHoag. Those tweets also will be available on MLive.

After three days of individually questioning jurors last week and more than two hours of general questioning of nearly 50 potential jurors this morning, Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey D. Stroud, and Bluew's attorney, Rod O'Farrell, settled on the 14-person panel.

Last week's questioning of about 150 potential jurors revolved around their knowledge of the case, where that knowledge came from, and whether that knowledge would affect their ability of objectively listen to testimony and view evidence. Because of the sensitive nature of the individual jury questioning that Jackson ordered in July, the judge banned MLive and other media from reporting on the questioning.

Today's questioning was of the more general nature, exploring the jurors' opinions on reasonable doubt and other aspects of criminal justice, among other areas.

Witness testimony will begin immediately after Tuesday's opening arguments. The prosecution's witness list shows that of the 47 listed witnesses, 21 will be produced at the trial. O'Farrell did not file a witness list, officials said.

Of the 21 witnesses the prosecutors intend to call, nine testified at Bluew's preliminary hearing last year.

Testimony at that hearing showed that Buena Vista Police Officer Tim Patterson, who was searching for an on-duty Bluew, found Webb's vehicle at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township. When Patterson arrived, he testified during Bluew's preliminary hearing, Bluew appeared from near his police car, which was parked behind a tree.

Bluew said he found Webb's body hanging from an extension cord tied to the roof rack of her own vehicle and said he found a typed suicide note in her purse, Patterson testified.

Saginaw County Medical Examiner Kanu Virani ruled the death a homicide and testified at the preliminary hearing that Webb was strangled.

Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted of first-degree murder, he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.




Prosecution in Ken Bluew trial intends to call 21 witnesses to testify against suspended police officer charged in pregnant Jennifer Webb's death
By Andy Hoag
ahoag@mlive.com
The Saginaw News
September 21, 2012 at 3:06 PM
Updated September 21, 2012 at 3:33 P
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/09/prosecution_in_ken_bluew_trial.html
SAGINAW, MI — Prosecutors intend to call 21 witnesses to testify in the trial of the suspended Buena Vista police officer charged with killing the woman who was eight months pregnant with his son, court records show.


The prosecution's witness list, filed Aug. 9, shows that of the 47 possible witnesses, the prosecution intends to produce 21 at Kenneth T. Bluew's trial, which began this week with jury selection.

Bluew, 37, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 31, 2011, death of Jennifer Webb at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township.

Bluew's attorney, Rod O'Farrell, did not file a witness list, officials said.

Bluew's trial before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson began Wednesday with jury selection. Because of the sensitive nature of the individual jury questioning that Jackson ordered in July, the judge banned MLive and other media from reporting on the questioning.

Approximately 150 potential jurors have been questioned, either in a group or individually, since Wednesday. Individual questioning concluded just before noon today, and about 50 potential jurors were told to come back Monday for further questioning.

Of the 21 witnesses the prosecutors intend to call, nine testified at Bluew's preliminary hearing last year.

Testimony at that hearing showed that Buena Vista Police Officer Tim Patterson, who was searching for an on-duty Bluew, found Webb's vehicle at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township. When Patterson arrived, he testified during Bluew's preliminary hearing, Bluew appeared from near his police car, which was parked behind a tree.

Bluew said he found Webb's body hanging from an extension cord tied to the roof rack of her own vehicle and said he found a typed suicide note in her purse, Patterson testified.

Saginaw County Medical Examiner Kanu Virani ruled the death a homicide and testified at the preliminary hearing that Webb was strangled.

Here's an alphabetical list of the 21 witnesses, with asterisks next to the names of those nine witnesses who testified at the earlier hearing:

James Ahrenberg

Colleen Auer-Lemke, Michigan State Police computer forensic specialist

Brian Booker, who was the Buena Vista police chief at the time

Valerie Bowman, Michigan State Police forensic scientist and member of the state police's crime scene response team

Ronald Crichton, Michigan State Police lieutenant and member of the state police's crime scene response team

Gary Ginther, Michigan State Police trooper

Andrea King, Webb's friend for 12 years

Allan Ogg, Michigan State Police detective sergeant

Tim Patterson, Buena Vista police officer

Ivan Phillips

Lisa Ramos, Michigan State Police forensic specialist

Brandi Richards

Kellee Robinson, Michigan State Police detective sergeant

David Sian, Old Dominion Freight Line worker

Sara Sylvester, Buena Vista police officer

Jason Teddy, Michigan State Police lieutenant

Kanu Virani, Saginaw County medical examiner

Sean Waterman, Acting Buena Vista police chief

Angela Webb, Jennifer Webb's sister

Dawn Webb, Jennifer Webb's mother

Donald Webb, Jennifer Webb's father

The 26 other listed witnesses could be called to testify if the prosecutors determine that their testimony either could supplement testimony provided or contradict testimony from any defense witnesses or from Bluew himself, if he testifies. The list includes Bluew's ex-wife Lisa, and numerous other police officers.

Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted of first-degree murder, he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.




Jennifer Webb's Memorial site in Buena Vista Township

Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:45 PM
Jeff Schrier
jschrier1@mlive.com
The Saginaw News
http://photos.mlive.com/saginawnews/2012/09/jennifer_webbs_memorial_site_i_7.html






































Judge bars media from reporting on individual questioning of jurors in Ken Bluew trial
By Andy Hoag
ahoag@mlive.com
The Saginaw News
September 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Updated September 19, 2012 at 1:02 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/09/judge_bars_media_from_reportin.html
SAGINAW, MI — Attorneys now are individually questioning potential jurors in the trial for the suspended Buena Vista police officer charged with killing the woman who was eight months pregnant with his son.


MLive and other media will not be around to report about it.

About an hour after a jury pool of about 45 potential jurors were seated in Saginaw County Circuit Darnell Jackson's courtroom this morning, the judge granted the request from Kenneth T. Bluew's attorney that four media members seated in another courtroom and watching jury selection via video not be allowed to watch the individual questioning of jurors.

Attorney Rod O'Farrell argued that because of the special nature of the individual questioning, which O'Farrell requested and Jackson granted in July, it not be reported by the media. O'Farrell requested the individual questioning as a potential remedy to avoid a change of venue, which he initially requested in July.

The attorney argued that reporting about the individual questioning could further taint the jury pool. Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas had no comment regarding O'Farrell's request.

After an objection by an MLive reporter, Jackson said media members could sit in county Chief Circuit Judge Robert L. Kaczmarek's courtroom, where the jury selection is being shown via video, along with other members of the public but could not report about the proceedings.

Jury selection began with about 45 potential jurors filling Jackson's courtroom. The judge began by asking who of the jurors had heard of or had prior knowledge of the case. All but a handful of the potential jurors raised their hands; those who said they had no knowledge were told to return at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

The individual questioning is focused on those jurors who raised their hands and is intended to delve further into what each potential juror has heard regarding the case and whether that information will hamper their ability to view the testimony and evidence objectively.

The individual questioning is expected to continue throughout the day, and another jury pool will be brought in Thursday morning.

Bluew, 37, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30, 2011, death of Jennifer Webb at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township.

Testimony from Bluew's preliminary hearing showed that Buena Vista Police Officer Tim Patterson, who was searching for an on-duty Bluew, found Webb's vehicle at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township. When Patterson arrived, he testified, during Bluew's preliminary hearing, Bluew appeared from near his police car, which was parked behind a tree.

Bluew said he found Webb's body hanging from an extension cord tied to the roof rack of her own vehicle and said he found a typed suicide note in her purse, Patterson testified.

Saginaw County Medical Examiner Kanu Virani ruled the death a homicide and testified at the preliminary hearing that Webb was strangled.

Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted of first-degree murder, he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.




Trial for Ken Bluew, policeman accused of strangling pregnant Jennifer Webb, begins with jury selection
By Andy Hoag
ahoag@mlive.com
The Saginaw News
September 19, 2012 at 9:45 AM
Updated September 19, 2012 at 12:05 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/09/ken_bluew_trial_begins_with_ju.html

UPDATE: Judge bars media from covering individual juror questioning.

SAGINAW, MI — Attorneys have begun selecting a jury in the trial for the suspended Buena Vista Township police officer charged with killing the woman who was eight months pregnant with his son.

Kenneth T. Bluew, 37, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30, 2011, death of Jennifer Webb at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township.

His trial before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson began this morning with jury selection. As Jackson ordered in July, potential jurors will be questioned individually as opposed to a group of potential jurors sitting in the courtroom together.

Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey D. Stroud are handling the case for the prosecution. Saginaw attorney Rod O'Farrell is representing Bluew.

Jury selection is expected to last into Thursday. When opening arguments begin, MLive will begin covering the trial live on Twitter @SNAndyHoag. The tweets also will be available on MLive.

Testimony from Bluew's preliminary hearing showed that Buena Vista Police Officer Tim Patterson was searching Bluew, who was on duty and not responding to radio calls. Patterson discovered Webb's vehicle at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township, Patterson testified during Bluew's preliminary hearing. Bluew appeared from near his police car, which was parked behind a tree, Patterson said.

Bluew said he found Webb's body hanging from an extension cord tied to the roof rack of her vehicle and said he found a typed suicide note in her purse, Patterson testified.

Saginaw County Medical Examiner Kanu Virani ruled the death a homicide and testified at the preliminary hearing that Webb was strangled.

Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted of first-degree murder, he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Bluew remains in the Saginaw County Jail without bond.









Judge: Ken Bluew jury can hear testimony of Jennifer Webb's intents prior to her death
By Andy Hoag
ahoag@mlive.com
The Saginaw News
July 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM
Updated July 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/07/judge_ken_bluew_jury_can_hear.html


SAGINAW, MI — A jury in September will hear testimony that Jennifer Webb intended to seek child support from now-suspended Buena Vista police officer Kenneth Bluew and that she wanted him to tell his wife of their unborn son.


Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson this morning mostly ruled in prosecutors' favor, deciding that a jury can hear testimony of statements that prosecutors say Webb made to family and friends of her intent regarding Bluew and their son, whom she named Braxton.

Jackson's ruling was one of six he made this morning after hearing oral arguments from Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas, county Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey D. Stroud, and Bluew's attorney, Rod O'Farrell, on pre-trial motions both sides filed last week.

The judge denied the prosecutors' request to also have the jury hear testimony of statements they said Webb made of Bluew's knowledge of her intent to name him as Braxton's father on his birth certificate and to seek child support through the county Friend of the Court.

O'Farrell argued that Webb's statements were hearsay, but Stroud argued that the statements were admissible through an exception that allows prosecutors to show homicide victims' state of mind.

Webb's state of mind will prove key in Bluew's trial, scheduled for Sept. 19. Bluew, 37, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30 death of Webb, 32, who was eight months pregnant with Braxton.

Testimony from Bluew's preliminary hearing showed that Buena Vista police officer Tim Patterson, who was searching for Bluew, found Webb's vehicle at the location. When he arrived, he testified during Bluew's preliminary hearing, Bluew appeared from near his police car, which was parked behind a tree.

Bluew found Webb's body hanging from an extension cord tied to the roof rack of her own vehicle and said he found a typed suicide note in Webb's purse, Patterson testified.
Thomas and Stroud will argue at trial that Webb had no intentions of committing suicide — an argument that will be based on, among other things, the testimony of Buena Vista Police Sgt. Sean Waterman, who treated Webb's death as a suicide until he spoke with Webb's parents, who expressed their disbelief that Webb would commit suicide.


Stroud argued today that a jury should be able to weigh the defense's likely theory that Webb committed suicide against the statements she made to her family and friends. O'Farrell maintained throughout today's hearing that the statements did not meet the hearsay exception. He also questioned when Webb made those statements relative to the night of her death and implied that the statements did not necessarily show her state of mind that night.

Jackson approved O'Farrell's request to order all parties- including prosecutors, law enforcement, and O'Farrell- from making pre-trial statements to the media. In arguing for the gag order, O'Farrell said prosecutors have made statements that included a “substantial amount of misinformation and inaccurate information” that will raised sympathy for Webb and, “equally as important … animosity” toward Bluew.

In addition to comments made regarding the case, O'Farrell pointed to recent comments made after authorities transported Bluew to the Saginaw County Jail from the Gratiot County Jail, where he was lodged since August at, according to Thomas, his request.

O'Farrell said Saginaw County sheriff's officials said Bluew was transferred back to Saginaw because of “incidents” at the jail, but the Gratiot County sheriff said Bluew had no incidents at the jail and was transferred back because of the delays in the trial. Saginaw County Sheriff William L. Federspiel then said Bluew had no documented incidents; O'Farrell said this morning that there were no incidents.

Thomas said he was unaware of the reports after the transfer, but maintained that he and his office would continue to follow the “rules of professional responsibility.”

Jackson said he “can't think of any good reason whatsoever” for any party to make comments to the media.

O'Farrell also filed a motion for a change of venue — a motion that he filed in the event that he decides an impartial jury cannot be seated because of pre-trial coverage. Jackson denied the motion, saying, “My intention is to have a jury seated here in Saginaw County first and foremost.”

Jackson did approve O'Farrell's request that jury questioning be handled on an individual basis — an action O'Farrell requested as a means of having jurors be more honest about any pre-trial conclusions they've come to because of media coverage.

Finally, Jackson ordered O'Farrell to provide the prosecution with the curriculum vitae of three possible expert witnesses he intends to call, along with reports regarding what opinions the witnesses are expected to provide at trial, by Aug. 17.

Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted of first-degree murder, he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.















Motion hearing for Kenneth T. Bluew case
Friday, July 27, 2012 1:12 PM
By Jon Garcia
MLive.com
The Saginaw News
http://photos.mlive.com/saginawnews/2012/07/motion_hearing_for_kenneth_t_b_3.html

































Tweets from the courtroom: Oral arguments on pre-trial motions in Ken Bluew case
Published: Friday, July 27, 2012, 9:00 AM
By Andy Hoag
ahoag@mlive.com
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/07/tweets_from_the_courtroom_oral.html


SAGINAW, MI — Oral arguments on pre-trial motions filed in Kenneth T. Bluew's case have begun, and MLive.com is covering the hearing live on Twitter.


Bluew, 37, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30 death of Jennifer Webb, who was eight months pregnant with the suspended Buena Vista police officer's son.

July 20 was the deadline for prosecutors and Bluew's attorney, Rod O'Farrell, to file motions in Bluew's case.

O'Farrell on July 18 filed four motions, including one that sought a gag order against prosecutors, law enforcement, and others prior to Bluew's trial. County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey Stroud on July 19 filed two motions, including one that is asking Jackson to allow jurors to hear testimony from Webb's friends and parents regarding statements about Bluew that Webb made to them.

Oral arguments were to begin at 9 a.m. before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson. MLive.com's Andy Hoag is covering the arguments live on Twitter @SNAndyHoag. The tweets also are available below.
Ken Bluew hearing
Friday July 27, 2012
Andy Hoag@SNAndyHoag

9:03 Live here in Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson's courtroom, waiting for oral arguments to begin on pre-trial motions in the Ken Bluew case.

9:04 County Prosecutor Mike Thomas is here, as is Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Stroud. Bluew's attorney, Rod O'Farrell, also is here.

9:05 Bluew is in lockup either here on the fourth floor or nearby. He'll be brought into the courtroom shortly.

9:06 Bluew hasn't been in court since October, when he was bound over for trial after his two-day preliminary hearing.

9:07 Three of Jennifer Webb's family members also are here.

9:08 To recap, the attorneys will be arguing six motions - four from O'Farrell, two from prosecution.

9:09 O'Farrell is asking for a gag order on prosecutors and law enforcement with the claim that such an order will "enhance" jury selection.

9:10 O'Farrell claims, essentially, that the jury pool already has been tainted by prosecutors' "inflammatory" statements to the media.

9:11 Another of O'Farrell's motions is for a change of venue, but only if he believes in September that an impartial jury can't be seated.

9:12 O'Farrell asks Jackson in the motion to wait to rule until trial. The motion was necessary for O'Farrell to outline his argument prior to.

9:16 O'Farrell also is asking Jackson to "govern" the conduct of the prosecutors, claiming they acted inappropriately in the preliminary hearing.

9:17 O'Farrell says prosecutors vouched for witnesses' credibility and sought sympathy for Webb through their questions.

9:18 Finally, O'Farrell filed a motion for discovery, stating he wanted all materials related to the investigation of the time of Webb's death.

9:19 One of the prosecution's motions asks Jackson to allow Webb's parents and friends to testify regarding statements Webb made prior to death.

9:20Stroud in the motion wrote that Webb told her friends that she had talked to Bluew about going to the Friend of the Court for child support.

9:22 Webb said she talked to him or intended to talk to him about telling his wife and about putting his name on birth certificate, Stroud wrote.

9:23 Those statements would be key for the prosecution to try to disprove the defense's suicide theory.

9:23 Prosecution has to ask for their admittance, though, because they're generally considered hearsay unless a judge rules an exception applies.

9:24 The other prosecution motion is for discovery, relating to the basis of an opinion that a defense expert witness will testify to.

9:25 Prosecution wants a report from the expert, a former chief medical examiner from Rhode Island, to adequately prepare for it.

9:27 That's the recap. Still waiting on Bluew to be in court. Attorneys just met with Jackson in his chambers and are back in the courtroom.

9:30 Both sides filed written responses to the motions. I was unable to look at those yesterday due to other work I had for the primary election.

9:31 Bluew is here now. Shaved head, moustache only.

9:32 O'Farrell first, addressing change of venue motion first. Wants jury questioning be done individually.

9:33 Argument is that it allows jurors to be more honest about what they've read if they are not in a large group.

9:34 O'Farrell: "Substantial amount of misinformation and inaccurate information ... that will raise sympathy and ...

9:35 ... and "equally as important," great deal of "animosity" toward Bluew.

9:36 Mike Thomas now addressing Jackson, asks for trial in Saginaw County but has no objection to individual juror questioning.

9:37 Jackson: "My intention to have a jury seated here in Saginaw County first and foremost."

9:38 Jackson says he finds it appropriate to have attorneys submit written juror questions - won't be an exhaustive list.

9:39 O'Farrell now addressing motion to "enhance seating of jury" - the gag order motion.

9:40 O'Farrell says there's one issue in particular - when Bluew was moved back to Saginaw County Jail.

9:41 Saginaw County sheriff's officials said there were "incidents" at Gratiot County Jail, but Gratiot County sheriff said there were none.

9:42 Saginaw sheriff Federspiel said there were no document incidents. O'Farrell says either way, fictitious.

9:42 O'Farrell not asking for court to bar media coverage, but to only allow people in charge, the prosecutor, to release statements.

9:44 Thomas: Not clear what O'Farrell is asking for, also not aware of "incident" issue. Thomas says Bluew asked for transfer to Gratiot County.

9:44 Thomas says he and his office intend to follow rules of professional conduct.

9:45 Jackson: "I can't think of any good reason whatsoever" why anyone would make comments to the media.

9:46 Jackson: "Seems like common sense to me." Bars further statements prior to trial.

9:47 O'Farrell now on prosecutor conduct. He's not saying prosecutor will do the things I mentioned earlier, but wants "advance notice."

9:47 O'Farrell says there's often conduct during trials, "during the heat of battle," that can lead to "reversible error."

9:49 Thomas: haven't begin trial yet, premature. Again, intend to follow "rules of professional responsibility."

9:49 Thomas: "Our goal is the same as the court, to have a fair and impartial trial."

9:50 Jackson denies motion, but says he understands why he filed it. Basically, he says there's nothing at this point he can do before trial.

9:51 O'Farrell now on motion for discovery, relating to time of death.

9:52  O'Farrell: There's been evidence he has been given that paints a bit of a picture of time of death, but wonders if it is the whole picture.

9:52 O'Farrell wants everything regarding time of death, not just prosecutor's evidence that backs their argument.

9:53 Stroud now arguing, says his office has given O'Farrell "everything we have."

9:54 Stroud says he and O'Farrell have spoken often regarding new developments, questions whether O'Farrell wants them to investigate for him.

9:56 O'Farrell says it's his understanding that he does have everything, and will work independently and then provide anything he gets.

9:57 Motion is denied, Jackson says if anything else comes up, prosecution to provide.

9:59 Now for prosecutor's motions, first the motion to compel O'Farrell to provide reports regarding three potential expert witnesses

9:59 Stroud says O'Farrell has been in contact with one of the experts for more than 6 months, yet hasn't given prosecution "anything."

10:01 Stroud says haven't received CV from an expert witness from Alpena, have received CV of former chief ME from Rhode Island.

10:01 Stroud asking for "timeline" for O'Farrell to get them the materials.

10:02 O'Farrell: "not going to go into any details" regarding expert witnesses - one of which is represented by an attorney.

10:03 O'Farrell: "Don't believe there are any insurmountable obstacles" for him to get prosecution these materials "soon."

10:05 O'Farrell says he will be on vacation from Aug. 3 to Aug. 13, wants til end of that week to get everything in.

10:05 Jackson agrees, orders Aug. 17 as date.

10:06 Last motion - admittance of Webb's statements.

10:06 Stroud says Jackson may need additional time to evaluate legal issues.

10:08 Stroud: Precedent states that allowing such statements sometimes depends on case, sometimes depends on statement.

10:08 Stroud: Precedent states that if statement is being offered for something other than actual truth, it is admissible.

10:10 What that means is that if the prosecutor is not trying to establish Webb's statements as actual facts, then they are admissible.

10:10 The statements show Webb's thoughts and plans, Stroud says.

10:13 Stroud also discussing BV Sgt. Sean Waterman's testimony of treating death as suicide, then speaking with Webb's parents.

10:14 Webb's parents told Waterman that Bluew was father of baby. Waterman realized he may of made mistake in treating it as suicide.

10:15 Stroud: Without those statements, no explanation for Waterman changing course and calling MSP to investigate as homicide.

10:16 Stroud now addressing Webb's statements to friends. Stroud says those statements are relevant because they show her state of mind.

10:17 Stroud: statements regarding putting him on birth certificate, intending to get child support, telling his wife are motives for murder.

10:19 Stroud: Precedent states that these statements are an issue of weight (up to a jury to decide on) rather than admissibility.

10:21 Stroud asking for guidance on Jackson's intentions regarding statements, as far as what they should seek to admit in trial.

10:23 O'Farrell: Waterman's state of mind shouldn't be admitted through any avenue, including as hearsay exception.

10:23 Jackson interrupts, says prosecutor isn't seeking to admit Waterman's state of mind. Stroud agrees.

10:25 O'Farrell says Waterman should only be able testify that he received information (not being specific) and decided to change investigation.

10:25 This form of testimony is typical, at least in Saginaw County, to avoid hearsay problems.

10:26 Stroud: if Waterman testifies like that, won't make sense to jury.

10:28 Stroud: jury will hear that Bluew was father, will hear other evidence regarding death that will make Waterman's testimony less prejudicial.

10:29 O'Farrell says he's been given numerous statements made by Webb through investigation into her phone, computer, etc.

10:30 O'Farrell says if family and friends are allowed to testify, then Jackson should allow Webb's statements, too.

10:31 O'Farrell says the statements are text messages that Webb sent.

10:33O'Farrell acknowledges Webb's state of mind is an issue, but says that those statements don't necessarily show state of mind.

10:35 O'Farrell: prosecution trying to make statements fit hearsay exceptions.

10:36 Jackson says he will allow Waterman's testimony regarding parents' statements.

10:39 Jackson says he will allow statements regarding Bluew being father of baby, that she was looking forward to it.

10:40Jackson asks Stroud to further argue why he should allow other statements.

10:40 Stroud says they're relevant because they provide circumstantial evidence for a murder, not a suicide.

10:41 Stroud: doesn't make sense for Webb to commit suicide and kill the baby if she had made these statements intent.

10:42 Stroud: should be up to a jury to weigh the suicide theory against Webb's statements.

10:43 O'Farrell questions when statements were made versus the date of the death.

10:45 Jackson will allow statements of Webb's intents, won't allow two statements regarding Bluew's knowledge.

10:48 Those two statements are that Bluew knew of her intent to name him on birth certificate, knew she would be seeking child support.

10:48 Hearing is over.

10:49 Statements that will be allowed are all about her intent: to put Bluew on certificate, to seek child support, to meet w/ Bluew, and...

10:49 ... to discuss with Bluew about telling his wife about the baby.

11:08 The Saginaw News: Thanks for following along today.














Prosecutor: Jennifer Webb told Ken Bluew about her intent to seek child support, put his name on son's birth certificate
By Andy Hoag
ahoag@mlive.com
The Saginaw News
July 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM
Updated July 21, 2012 at 3:27 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/07/prosecutor_jennifer_webb_told.html

SAGINAW, MI — Jennifer Webb met with Kenneth T. Bluew on the night of her death to speak with him about telling his wife about their unborn son and about her intent to put his name on the birth certificate, prosecutors say.

But unless a judge agrees with prosecutors, a jury won't hear the statements Webb made to her family and friends about Bluew, the now-suspended Buena Vista police officer who is charged in her death.

In a written motion, Saginaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey D. Stroud argues that county Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson should allow a jury to hear testimony from Webb's parents and friends, who will testify, Stroud writes, that Webb, who was 8 months pregnant with a son she intended to name Braxton, said Bluew “knew the baby was his,” that she intended to seek child support from Bluew through the county Friend of the Court, that she was “going to discuss with (Bluew) about telling his wife about the baby,” and that she was meeting with him on North Outer Drive in Buena Vista Township the night she died.

Stroud filed the motion as well as a motion for discovery regarding the expert witnesses that Bluew's attorney intends to call to testify, on Thursday. Friday was the deadline for prosecutors and Bluew's attorney, Rod O'Farrell, to file motions in Bluew's case.

Oral arguments on the motions, including four motions that O'Farrell filed Wednesday, is scheduled for Friday. Bluew, who is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, is scheduled for a Sept. 19 trial before Jackson.

Bluew, Stroud writes, “was alone” on duty late Aug. 30 when Buena Vista police officer Tim Patterson arrived at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista, where Webb's body “was found hanging from a(n) (extension) cord tied to the roof rack of her own vehicle.” Bluew “claimed to have discovered a suicide note in (Webb's) purse, supporting his assertions that Webb must have committed suicide,” Stroud writes.

Police treated Webb's death as a suicide until Buena Vista Police Sgt. Sean Waterman spoke with Webb's parents, who “responded that there was no way possible” that she committed suicide, Stroud writes.

Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd, during Bluew's preliminary hearing, ruled that statements that Webb made to her parents and friends were inadmissible hearsay. In his motion, Stroud argues that the statements are not hearsay because some are not intended to be taken as facts and others are “statements of future intent” that counter a suicide theory.

Whether any of Webb's statements “were true or false is immaterial,” Stroud writes. “Their evidentiary value lay in the fact that the statements were made and the effect they had on the defendant, in essence providing circumstantial evidence of his motive and the premeditated nature of his actions.”

Further, Stroud writes, Webb's “state of mind” — that, according to her parents and friends, she was excited about the birth of Braxton and would not commit suicide — is of “paramount significance.”

“That (Bluew) may have been compelled to acknowledge paternity and pay child support for a child his wife had not been told about, whether (Webb) would have pursued that course or not, is a strong motive for murder and compelling evidence of premeditation,” Stroud writes.

In his motion for discovery, Stroud writes that O'Farrell has listed Stephen Kaufman from Alpena Regional Medical Center as a possible witness and has “verbally informed prosecutors that he has enlisted the services” of Elizabeth Laposata, the former Chief Medical Examiner of Rhode Island, as an expert in forensic pathology. While O'Farrell has not updated his witness list to include Laposata, Stroud writes, he has provided the prosecution with her curriculum vitae.

O'Farrell has not provided the prosecution, Stroud writes, with “either a report by the expert or a written description of the substance of the proposed testimony of the expert, the expert's opinion, and the underlying basis of that opinion.” Stroud asks Jackson to order O'Farrell to do so in order to prevent a situation where the prosecution is “disadvantaged in evaluating and addressing (the report's) content.”

Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted of first-degree murder, he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Bluew remains jailed without bond. He was lodged at the Gratiot County Jail until last month, when he was moved back to the Saginaw County Jail.











Ken Bluew's attorney asks for gag order for prosecutors, police prior to September trial
By Andy Hoag
ahoag@mlive.com
The Saginaw News
July 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/07/ken_bluews_attorney_asks_for_g.html

SAGINAW, MI — The attorney for Kenneth T. Bluew wants a gag order imposed against prosecutors, police, and others prior to the suspended Buena Vista police officer's September trial on charges that he killed the mother of his unborn child.

Saginaw attorney Rod O'Farrell on Wednesday filed four motions on behalf of Bluew, who is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30 death of Jennifer Webb, who was 8 months pregnant with Bluew's son.

Today is the deadline for O'Farrell and Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas to file motions in the case, which is scheduled to proceed to trial Sept. 19 before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson. Thomas told The Saginaw News that his office will respond to O'Farrell's motions in writing and will be filing at least two motions of its own.

The judge is scheduled to hear arguments on the motions July 27.

In a “motion for a pre-trial order to enhance seating a jury without change of venue,” O'Farrell essentially asks Jackson to restrict those involved in the case from speaking to the media to prevent possible juror influence.

If Jackson approves it, the order would ensure that the “parties, investigators, witnesses, and/or other members of law enforcement be restricted from making extrajudicial comments, or disclosing purported prejudicial or inflammatory information, or taking any action seeking to influence and/or intimidate potential jurors or other participants in the trial.”

In that motion as well as a motion for change of venue, O'Farrell writes that the numerous media reports regarding Bluew's case, which include comments from Thomas and others, have negatively influenced possible jurors.

Media coverage has included comments from authorities that have, O'Farrell writes, “either by design or result resulted in the creation of the community assuming a highly sympathetic view toward the alleged victim, a high level of animosity toward the defendant, and has resulted in the publication of inaccurate and highly inflammatory misinformation.”

O'Farrell requests that jury selection “be conducted individually and in closed session to avoid influencing or intimidating the potential jurors and to allow them to freely express the information they have and the effect this information has on any opinions they have formed from pre-trial publicity.”

The attorney asks Jackson to take the motion “under advisement” pending jury selection — essentially, he states his reasons for why a change of venue is necessary but allows for the chance that he and Thomas could agree on a panel of 14 jurors.

O'Farrell also filed a motion “governing the conduct of the prosecutor prior to and during trial,” asking Jackson to prevent actions from Thomas that O'Farrell writes are improper.

During Bluew's preliminary hearing in October, O'Farrell writes, Thomas “repeatedly through questioning of witness (and Webb's friend) Andrea King and others (injected) issues to elicit sympathy for the alleged victim and/or animosity toward the defendant, which would improperly influence a jury.”

O'Farrell also writes that the prosecutor should not “vouch for witnesses, or improperly bolster testimony through his comments,” among other things.

Finally, O'Farrell filed a motion for discovery, asking Jackson to order the prosecution to disclose “all evidence which will be sought to be introduced to establish the time of death of the alleged victim.” Webb's time of death is a “critical issue,” O'Farrell writes.

Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, is accused of strangling the 32-year-old Webb, while he was on duty, at North Outer and Hack in Buena Vista Township.

He also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Bluew would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Bluew remains jailed without bond. He was lodged at the Gratiot County Jail until last month, when he was moved back to the Saginaw County Jail.

                     
 









Gratiot County sheriff: Kenneth Bluew 'a model prisoner,' was not transferred because of 'incidents' at Gratiot County Jail
Published: Thursday, June 14, 2012, 4:00 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012, 4:01 PM
By Andy Hoag
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/06/sheriff_kenneth_bluew_to_remai.html


Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing before Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb. Jeff Schrier | The Saginaw News


SAGINAW, MI — After his transfer last week from the Gratiot County Jail, Kenneth T. Bluew will remain in the Saginaw County Jail until his September trial, Saginaw County Sheriff William L. Federspiel says.


Meanwhile, the sheriff in charge of the past nine months of incarceration for the suspended Buena Vista police officer charged with killing the mother of his unborn child says Bluew was not transferred because of any “incidents” at the jail.

Federspiel told the Saginaw News on Wednesday that after “a couple of incidents at the Gratiot County Jail,” Gratiot County sheriff's officials contacted Saginaw County sheriff's officials about transferring Bluew back to Saginaw.

Gratiot County Sheriff Robert L. Beracy this afternoon said, “That is wrong.” The sheriff said that he asked for Bluew, 37, to be transferred back to Saginaw because his trial was delayed.

“He was a model prisoner here,” Beracy said. “He always was in maximum security while he was here. He never was a problem with any of my staff while I was here.”

When told of Beracy's comments, Federspiel said, “That's fine, that's good.”

“I don't have any documentation that he did (have any incidents), either,” Federspiel said. “I had been told that there were (incidents), but again, nothing documented. I talked to my staff, who talks to their staff.

“I'll take it from Sheriff Beracy,” Federspiel continued. “I'm not going to dispute the man, because I wasn't over there.”

Beracy told The Saginaw News that he asked for the transfer because Bluew's trial was pushed from August to September to October; Saginaw County court officials only adjourned Bluew's trial once, in February, and in April scheduled the trial for Sept. 19. That date has not changed.

“I came in Monday (June 4), and contacted my jail administrator, and told him, 'It's time, we've had him long enough, I want him to go back,” Beracy said.

Bluew is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony in the Aug. 30 strangulation of Jennifer Webb, who was 8 months pregnant with his son.

Federspiel said Thursday that Bluew will remain in his jail until his trial, scheduled before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson.

“He's going to have appearances coming up,” Federspiel said. “There are some things that are security issues, and we're grateful that Gratiot County housed him. But it was inevitable he'd come back (before his trial).”

The sheriff wouldn't specifically say how jail officials are lodging Bluew, stopping short of saying that he is in solitary confinement.

“We are maintaining a watch on him,” he said. “We are keeping him separate from the majority of the population. We're taking some extra precautions. Our staff is well trained. We knew this day would come.”

Federspiel added that while Bluew was lodged in Gratiot County because of his “intimate knowledge” of security operations at the Saginaw jail and because he could have potential enemies as a former officer, there were dangers in transporting him back and forth from Gratiot County for upcoming appearances.

“It becomes more dangerous to transport him long distance,” he said. “Now, we can transport him underground without the opportunity for escape.”











Ex-Cop accused of killing pregnant woman moved to local jail
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 3:19 PM CDT
Updated: Jun 13, 2012 3:36 PM CDT
By Tom Plahutnik, Web Editor/Producer
http://www.wnem.com/story/18780719/ex-cop-accused-of-killing-pregnant-woman-moved-to-local-jail



Officer Kenneth Bluew








Jenny Webb


SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) - The police officer accused of murdering the mother of his unborn son is back in Saginaw County tonight.

The Saginaw County Sheriff's Department confirmed that Ken Bluew was transferred from Gratiot County Jail on June 6, to the Saginaw County Jail. The undersheriff says Gratiot County wanted him transferred due to "behavior issues." Authorities would not elaborate further.

Bleuw is facing murder charges after prosecutors said he killed 32-year-old Jenny Webb and then dumped her body near a local gun range.

Webb was eight-months pregnant at the time of the crime, in late August of 2011.

Initially Bluew was not held in Saginaw County because he was a police officer serving the county.

Bluew's first-degree trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 19.













Report: Former cop Kenneth Bluew, charged with killing pregnant woman, moved to Saginaw County Jail for behavioral problems
Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 7:30 PM
By Brad Devereaux
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/06/report_former_cop_kenneth_blue.html



Kenneth Bluew, left, and his attorney, Rod O'Farrell, listen to testimony during Bluew's preliminary hearing in October 2011. Bluew, pictured wearing a jumpsuit from the Gratiot County Jail, was transferred to the Saginaw County Jail last week.


SAGINAW, MI — Former Buena Vista Police Officer Kenneth Bluew, who is charged with killing a pregnant woman in August 2011, is back in Saginaw County.

Bluew was involved in "a couple of incidents at the Gratiot County Jail," Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel said, and the Gratiot County Sheriff's Office contacted Saginaw authorities to request that he be moved to the Saginaw County Jail.

He was transferred to the Saginaw facility on June 6, the sheriff's office said.

Bluew was being house in Gratiot County because of his "intimate knowledge" of security operations at the Saginaw facility and because he could have potential enemies at the Saginaw jail as a former officer, the sheriff's department said in a previous interview.

"He hasn't caused any trouble and we aren't having any problems with him at this time," Federspiel said. "We've got 513 prisoners, he's just one more."

Federspiel said Gratiot County told him they would be more comfortable if Bluew was held in Saginaw. Officials could not give additional details about the incidents at the Gratiot County facility.

"We'll do our best to deal with him and hope the trial comes quickly," Federspiel said.

Bluew is charged with the Aug. 30 strangulation death of Jennifer Webb, the mother of his unborn child.

His trial is set to being in September.













Kenneth Bluew's attorney: Private, unrecorded phone call to defense witness 'necessary'
Published: Monday, May 14, 2012, 2:02 PM
Updated: Monday, May 14, 2012, 2:07 PM
By Andy Hoag
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/05/kenneth_bluews_attorney_privat.html

Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing before Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb. Jeff Schrier. The Saginaw News



SAGINAW, MI — The private and unrecorded phone call that Kenneth T. Bluew was allowed to make late last year was “necessary,” his attorney says.

In a written statement, Saginaw attorney Rod O'Farrell told The Saginaw News that he contacted a potential expert witness to evaluate the evidence in the the 37-year-old Bluew's case.

The expert “deemed it necessary to directly interview Mr. Bluew concerning the case,” O'Farrell stated. “This witness is located out of the state of Michigan, and to allow the interview to be conducted by telephone, it was necessary to allow Mr. Bluew access to a telephone line that would not be monitored by police.”

Bluew, who is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30 strangulation of Jennifer Webb, remains jailed without bond at the Gratiot County Jail.

Saginaw County Sheriff's Captain Bill Gutzwiller said last week that while jail administrators do not grant requests from inmates to make private phone calls, requests from a lawyer stating that the call is crucial for the defense would be granted to another inmate in a similar situation.

“The procedure utilized by Captain Gutzwiller, through consultation with myself and with my having informed the prosecutor of my request, was the most efficient way to accomplish this,” O'Farrell said.

Officials debated whether to bring Bluew to the Saginaw County Governmental Center, but decided instead to send deputies to the Gratiot County Jail and allow Bluew to make the call from inside a police cruiser parked outside the facility, officials said.

Saginaw deputies provided a cell phone, dialed the number and verified who was on the other end of the line before allowing Bluew to have the private conversation in the back of the police car in late 2011, Gutzwiller said.

“With the exception of this single telephone call … Mr. Bluew has had the same monitored phone calls as all inmates,” O'Farrell said.

Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, is accused of killing the 32-year-old Webb, who was 8 months pregnant with his son, while he was on duty. If convicted of first-degree murder, Bluew would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility for parole.

Bluew also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

His trial is scheduled for Sept. 19 before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson.












Kenneth Bluew was not given special treatment with private phone call, sheriff says
Published: Monday, May 07, 2012, 8:38 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 08, 2012, 12:45 AM
By Brad Devereaux
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/05/kenneth_bluew_was_not_given_sp.html



Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing in front of Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the Aug. 30 strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb. File. The Saginaw News.


SAGINAW, MI — Saginaw County Sheriff's Office officials said last week that Kenneth Bluew, a former Buena Vista Township police officer charged with first-degree murder, was allowed to make a private and unrecorded phone call to a potential defense witness after a request from his lawyer.


Bluew is charged with the Aug. 30 strangulation death of Jennifer Webb, the mother of his unborn child. His trial is set to begin in September.

Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel and Captain Bill Gutzwiller said they allowed the call because is is Bluew's right to talk to a potential defense witness.

While jail administrators do not grant requests from inmates to make private phone calls, requests from a lawyer stating that the call is crucial for the defense would be granted to another inmate in a similar situation, Gutzwiller said.

Typically, an inmate would be brought to the Saginaw County courthouse to make the unrecorded phone call, but this request involved unique circumstances because Bluew is being held for security reasons in Gratiot County, Gutzwiller said.

Officials debated whether to bring Bluew to the Saginaw courthouse but decided instead to send deputies to Gratiot County Jail and allow Bluew to make the call from inside a police cruiser parked outside the facility.

Saginaw deputies provided a cell phone, dialed the number and verified who was on the other end of the line before allowing Bluew to have the private conversation in the back of the police car in late 2011, Gutzwiller said.

"We have no idea what he talked about regarding the defense in his case," Gutzwiller said about the phone call, noting they honored the request so that the defense could not argue later that Bluew's right to a fair trial were violated.

"We have to try to accommodate a request to the best of our ability," Gutzwiller said, noting if they chose not to allow the phone call, they would have had to explain why to the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office.

"If a defense attorney says it's crucial for (the defendant) to talk to a potential defense witness, we try to make every accommodation we can to make it happen," he said.

Bluew is being housed in Gratiot County because he has "intimate knowledge" of security procedures at the Saginaw County Jail and because, as a former police officer, he may have enemies at the local facility, Gutzwiller said.

Gutzwiller said he would examine and decide on any requests like the one Bluew's lawyer made on a case-by-case basis.

Sheriff Federspiel said he stands by Gutzwiller's decision, adding that the allowing the phone call protects the county from liability.

"We don't need to be sued over not affording the phone call," he said, adding that Bluew has the same rights as other inmates and did not receive special treatment.

"This has nothing to do with Kenneth Bluew being treated a special way," the sheriff said. "I don't want to block justice; I want him to see his day in court."











Report: Ken Bluew allowed to make private call to potential witness
Published: Friday, May 04, 2012, 9:33 PM
Updated: Monday, May 07, 2012, 10:44 PM
By Brad Devereaux
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/05/report_ken_bluew_allowed_to_ma.html




Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing in front of Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the Aug. 30 strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb. File. The Saginaw News.

SAGINAW, MI — Former Buena Vista Township police officer Kenneth Bluew, who is charged with the premeditated murder of his pregnant girlfriend, was allowed to make a private and unrecorded phone call to a potential defense witness, ABC12 reports.

Bluew's trial is set to begin in September. He is charged with the Aug. 30 strangulation death of Jennifer Webb, the mother of his unborn child.

Saginaw County Jail administrator Bill Gutzwiller gave Bluew permission to make the private, unrecorded call in late 2011 after a request from Bluew's attorney, Rod O'Farrell, ABC12 reports.

Bluew, 37, who is being housed at Gratiot County Jail, was taken to the parking lot of the facility and allowed to make the call from a cell phone from the back of a police cruiser, the report states.

Gutzwiller said it was a very rare accommodation that he allowed because he didn't want to jeopardize the prosecution's case, the report states.

Bluew did not receive preferential treatment, Gutzwiller told ABC12, and added that his decision to allow the call was backed by Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel.











Bluew allowed to make private phone call to witness
Posted: May 04, 2012 5:40 PM CDT
Updated: May 04, 2012 5:50 PM CDT
ABC 12 NEWS
By Terry Camp
http://www.abc12.com/story/18151266/bluew-allowed-to-make-private-phone-call-to-witness?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter









Officer Kenneth Bluew's defense attorney requested that Saginaw County Jail Administrator Gutzwiller allow Officer Bluew to make an unrecorded private phone call to a defense witness.






The Gratiot County Jail, where Bluew is being held, said Bluew couldn't make a private unrecorded private phone call to a defense witness. Gratiot County Jail maintained that other inmates were not allowed to make private calls.






Saginaw County Administrator Gutzwiller granted Bluew's request for a private unrecorded phone call. Saginaw County deputies drove a pickup truck to the Gratiot County jail...






....in the Gratiot County Jail parking lot, and while inside a Gratiot County sheriff squad car, Bluew was allowed to make a private unrecorded phone call on a cell phone, to a defense witness.


SAGINAW (WJRT) - The trial of a former Buena Vista Township police officer accused of murder is scheduled to begin in September.

Ken Bluew is charged with premeditated murder of his girlfriend, who was pregnant with Bluew's child at the time of her death.

Bluew is preparing for his defense and has even called a potential defense witness. That call has raised a few eyebrows within the law enforcement community.

ABC12 News has learned Ken Bluew was allowed to make a private cell phone call to an expert defense witness. Some are asking whether he should have been allowed to make that phone call.

Bluew continues to sit in the Gratiot County jail while he waits for his trial. He is accused of strangling 32-year-old Jennifer Webb, whose body was found near a gun range in Buena Vista Township on Aug. 30.

Bluew is being held in Gratiot County for security reasons.

A couple days after Christmas, it appears he was afforded a privilege few other inmates are given. "His attorney came in and spoke to me about this, and said I know you don't have to do this, but it's crucial to the case," says Bill Gutzwiller, Saginaw County jail administrator.

Bluew's attorney, Rod O'Farrell, asked Gutzwiller if Bluew could make a private, unrecorded phone call to a defense expert witness.

Gratiot County said no, it would have to be recorded just like any other inmate's call.

Gutzwiller decided to grant the request.

Then, for security reasons, instead of transporting Bluew back to Saginaw, two Saginaw deputies drove to the jail in Ithaca.

"We decided to allow him to make the phone call right there in Gratiot County, in their parking lot by use of a cell phone, and that cell phone was a county-issued cell phone. My officers dialed the phone number, Mr. Bluew was in the back of the patrol car, it was secured, they stood outside the patrol car and they allowed Mr. Bluew to speak to the individual he wanted to speak to," Gutzwiller says.

When he finished the call, Bluew went back inside the Gratiot County jail.

ABC12 asked several Mid-Michigan sheriffs this question: If they were in the same situation, would they have allowed an inmate to make such a phone call? All answered "no."

In fairness, the sheriffs that we spoke to didn't know the defendant was Bluew.

The case has drawn national attention. Gutzwiller allowed Bluew to make the call because he didn't want to jeopardize the prosecution's case.

"It was an accommodation that I could do without infringing upon his due process rights, and that's why it was allowed at that time, it is a very rare circumstance," he says.

Bill Gutzwiller says Bluew did not receive preferential treatment. He adds it was his decision to allow the phone call, a decision backed by his boss, Sheriff Bill Federspiel.













Suspended police officer Kenneth Bluew's homicide trial set for September
Published: Monday, April 09, 2012, 4:55 PM
By Andy Hoag
The Saginaw News http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/04/suspended_police_officer_kenne.html

Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing before Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb. Jeff Schrier The Saginaw News


SAGINAW, MI — The suspended Buena Vista Township police officer charged with killing the mother of his unborn son will stand trial in September.

After a brief “status conference” this afternoon, attorneys agreed upon a Sept. 19 trial for Kenneth T.Bluew, 37, who is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30 strangulation of Jennifer Webb.

Bluew's attorney, Rod O'Farrell, met with Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas, county Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey D. Stroud, and county Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson for the conference, usually intended for the attorneys to resolve any outstanding issues before trial. The attorneys and the judge met in the judge's chambers, and nothing was said in open court.

Bluew, who remains jailed without bond at the Gratiot County Jail, did not appear for the conference.

Jennifer Webb

Bluew was scheduled for trial Feb. 28, but Jackson postponed the trial at O'Farrell's request. The attorney indicated that he needed additional discovery materials before proceeding to trial, court records showed.

Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, is accused of killing the 32-year-old Webb, who was 8 months pregnant with his son, while he was on duty. If convicted of first-degree murder, Bluew would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility for parole.

Bluew also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.












Trial date set for cop accused of killing pregnant woman
Posted: Apr 09, 2012 10:41 AM CDT
Updated: Apr 09, 2012 4:31 PM CDT
By Tom Plahutnik, Web Editor/Producer
http://www.wnem.com/story/17364925/trial-date-set-for-ex-cop-accused-of-killing-pregnant-woman




Kenneth Bluew





 Kenneth Bluew in court








Jennifer Webb


BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) - A judge has announced a trial date in the case against Buena Vista Township police officer Kenneth Bluew.

The hearing took place in a Saginaw County courtroom Monday and a Sept. 19 trial date was set.

Bluew, who has been suspended from his duties with the department, remains behind bars as he awaits trial on charges of first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Jennifer Webb.

The 37-year-old Bluew is accused of killing Webb, who was eight months pregnant when her body was discovered in late August 2011 near a police shooting range.

DNA test results showed Bluew was the child's father. He also faces charges related to the death of her unborn child.

TV5 investigated Bluew's past, and reporter Liz Gelardi obtained a copy of his personnel file from Tittabawassee Township -- his former employer. TV5 also submitted a request for Bluew's emails related to his resignation under the Freedom of Information Act.

The township's attorney sent Gelardi a letter that stated part of the email and file have been redacted. TV5 asked the township manager why some material was left out. He contacted the attorney for an answer.

Bluew left his position as police chief in February 2008. He served Tittabawassee Township for 15 months. In his resignation letter, Bluew stated he believed his skills were best suited for an "urban setting."

Bluew has a long law enforcement history in the Mid-Michigan area. He was employed with the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department from 1997 until being hired by Buena Vista in 1999.

He served as the Chief of Police for Tittabawassee Township from 2006 until February 2008, when he returned to the Buena Vista Police Department.

Bluew remains jailed at the Gratiot County Jail without bond.

 






Suspended police officer Kenneth Bluew's homicide trial date could be set today
Published: Monday, April 09, 2012, 7:17 AM
By Andy Hoag
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/04/kenneth_bluews_trial_date_coul.html



Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing before Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb.  Jeff Schrier The Saginaw News.


SAGINAW, MI — The suspended Buena Vista Township police officer charged with killing the mother of his unborn son may find out today when he'll stand trial.

Kenneth T. Bluew and his attorney, Rod O'Farrell, are scheduled to meet with prosecutors and Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson this afternoon for a “status conference” to discuss outstanding issues regarding Bluew's case.

It's likely that at the conclusion of the meeting, a trial date will be set. The date likely would not be until early summer at the earliest.

It's possible that Bluew, who remains jailed without bond at the Gratiot County Jail, may not appear for the meeting.

Bluew, 37, was scheduled for trial Feb. 28, but Jackson postponed the trial at O'Farrell's request. The attorney indicated that he needed additional discovery materials before proceeding to trial, court records showed.



Jennifer Webb


Bluew is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30 strangulation of 32-year-old Jennifer Webb. Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, is accused of killing Webb, who was 8 months pregnant with his son, while he was on duty.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Bluew would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility for parole. Bluew also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.











Kenneth Bluew's trial postponed at defense attorney's request
Published: Monday, February 06, 2012, 7:01 AM
By Andy Hoag
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/02/kenneth_bluews_trial_postponed.html

Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing before Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb. File | The Saginaw News


SAGINAW — The trial for the Buena Vista Township police officer charged with killing the mother of his unborn son has been postponed.

Kenneth T. Bluew and his attorney, Rod O’Farrell, on Thursday appeared in Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson’s courtroom, where O’Farrell asked the judge to adjourn Bluew’s scheduled Feb. 28 trial.

O’Farrell indicated that he needed additional discovery materials before proceeding to trial, court records show. Records did not indicate what specific materials O’Farrell said he needed.

Saginaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey Stroud had no objection to the adjournment, and Bluew waived his right to have his trial within 180 days of charges being filed against him.

With all parties agreeing to the adjournment, Jackson, who recently was assigned to preside over Bluew’s trial, granted the delay.

Bluew, 37, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30 strangulation of 32-year-old Jennifer Webb. Bluew, who lived in Saginaw Township, is accused of killing Webb, who was 8 months pregnant with his son, while he was on duty.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Bluew would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility for parole. Bluew also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Bluew remained jailed today without bond at the Gratiot County Jail.












Different judge now will preside over trial for Ken Bluew, suspended police officer charged with killing pregnant Jennifer Webb
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 9:20 AM
By Andy Hoag
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/01/different_judge_now_will_presi.html


Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing before Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb. File | The Saginaw News


SAGINAW — A different judge now will preside over the trial for the Buena Vista Township police officer charged with killing the mother of his unborn son.

The Saginaw County Circuit Court Administrator’s office on Thursday reassigned Kenneth T. Bluew's case from county Chief Circuit Judge Robert L. Kaczmarek to Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson.

The case was one of several reassigned from Kaczmarek for “docket control” purposes, court officials said.

When the reassignment was issued, Bluew’s trial date was moved from Feb. 28 to March 6, but that was reversed Friday.

Bluew, 37, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the Aug. 30 strangulation of 32-year-old Jennifer Webb. Bluew, of Saginaw Township, is accused of killing Webb, who was 8 months pregnant with his son, while he was on duty.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Bluew would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility for parole. Bluew also is charged with assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Bluew remained jailed today without bond at the Gratiot County Jail.












Discovery hearing for police officer charged in pregnant woman's death canceled

Published: Monday, November 28, 2011, 10:48 AM
Updated: Monday, November 28, 2011, 10:54 AM
By Andy Hoag
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/11/discovery_hearing_for_police_o.html


Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth T. Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing in front of Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the Aug. 30 strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb. File | The Saginaw News


SAGINAW — The discovery hearing requested by the attorney for the Buena Vista police officer charged with strangling the mother of his unborn son was adjourned this morning at the attorney’s request.

Attorney Rod O’Farrell had filed a motion for discovery on behalf of Kenneth T. Bluew, and Saginaw County Chief Circuit Judge Robert L. Kaczmarek, who now is presiding over Bluew’s case, was scheduled to hear the motion at 10:30 a.m. today.

O'Farrell's motion means that he believes prosecutors have additional materials — which could be interviews, police reports, lab reports, etc. — that he does not have.

The hearing was adjourned this morning at O’Farrell’s request, court officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear if O’Farrell requested the adjournment because the discovery issues were resolved or if there was another reason.

Bluew, 36, is accused of killing Jennifer M. Webb, 32, while he was on duty Aug. 30. He is charged with first-degree murder, assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd in October ruled that probable cause exists for a trial in Circuit Court.

Bluew is scheduled for trial before Kaczmarek on Feb. 28.












Attorney for police officer charged in pregnant woman's death wants additional discovery materials
Published: Monday, November 28, 2011, 10:10 AM
Updated: Monday, November 28, 2011, 10:13 AM
By Andy Hoag
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/11/attorney_for_police_officer_ch.html


Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew waits during a recess in his October preliminary hearing in front of Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the Aug. 30 strangulation of the pregnant Jennifer Webb. File | The Saginaw News


SAGINAW — The attorney for Kenneth T. Bluew, the Buena Vista police officer charged with strangling the mother of his unborn son, wants additional discovery materials from the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office.

Attorney Rod O'Farrell has filed a motion for discovery, and Saginaw County Chief Circuit Judge Robert L. Kaczmarek, who now is presiding over Bluew's case, is scheduled to hear the motion at 10:30 a.m. today.

O'Farrell's motion means that he believes prosecutors have additional materials — which could be interviews, police reports, lab reports, etc. — that he does not have.

Bluew, 36, is accused of killing Jennifer M. Webb, 32, while he was on duty. He is charged with first-degree murder, assaulting a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd in October ruled that probable cause exists for a trial in Circuit Court.

Bluew is scheduled for trial before Kaczmarek on Feb. 28.











Buena Vista officer Kenneth Bluew's wife files for divorce, lawyer wants Bluew freed from jail prior to his murder trial in Jennifer Webb's death
Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 9:29 PM
By Tom Gilchrist The Saginaw News
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/10/buena_vista_officer_kenneth_bl.html



Kenneth Bluew, right, a suspended Buena Vista Township Police Department officer accused of first-degree murder in the strangulation death of the pregnant Jennifer Webb, appears in Saginaw County District Court at a pre-hearing conference Sept. 19 with his lawyer, Saginaw attorney Rod O'Farrell. [Jeff Schrier. The Saginaw News]


SAGINAW — Maintaining there’s a “substantial likelihood” suspended Buena Vista Township Police Department Officer Kenneth T. Bluew will be acquitted of a first-degree murder charge in the strangulation death of Jennifer M. Webb, a defense attorney wants Bluew released from jail prior to trial.

Bluew, 36, of Saginaw Township, is being held without bond in the Gratiot County Jail, accused of murdering Webb, 32, of Bridgeport Township, who was eight months pregnant.

Bluew also is charged with assault against a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, and with two counts of possessing a firearm while committing a felony.

But Bluew’s attorney, Saginaw lawyer Rod O’Farrell, wants Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd to release Bluew from jail to stay with Bluew’s cousin, Sonya Lass, prior to any trial on the criminal charges.

In a motion dated Monday, O’Farrell states that Bluew’s wife has filed for divorce, but asks the judge to allow the suspended police officer to stay with Lass while Bluew’s whereabouts are monitored electronically via a telephone line. The motion doesn’t state Lass’ place of residence.

Saginaw County Circuit Court records show Lisa M. Bluew filed for divorce from Kenneth Bluew on Sept. 21.

Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas has declined to share whether Bluew was the father of Webb’s unborn child, saying it is “not germane to the charges.” Webb was a 1997 Bridgeport High School graduate who worked in customer service at Saginaw Township’s P.F. Markey Inc.

Bluew was armed and on duty, investigators believe, when he strangled Webb, according to Thomas.

A hearing on Bluew’s request for pre-trial release is set for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the same date and time for Bluew’s preliminary exam before Boyd.

O’Farrell states Bluew has no criminal record, adding that Bluew is “married and has one child who lives in Saginaw Township and that while (Lisa Bluew) has now filed for divorce the presence of his wife and child in Saginaw County would act to assure his presence for all future court proceedings and compliance with all conditions for pre-trial release.”

Before his arrest in connection with the slaying of Webb — whose body was found Aug. 30 near a Buena Vista police gun range — Bluew “was active in coaching his son in sports activities” and took part in other community activities, according to O’Farrell’s motion.

The motion states Bluew’s father was a police officer for the city of Detroit for 28 years before his death in 2006. Kenneth Bluew, a former football player for Saginaw Valley State University, “continues to maintain a close relationship with his mother and cousins who live in Michigan,” and Bluew’s mother has retained O’Farrell on behalf of her son, according to the motion.

Bluew’s mother and other relatives would make sure Bluew attends future court proceedings and complies with any conditions Boyd might impose if the judge releases Bluew from jail prior to trial, according to the motion.

Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank ordered Bluew to be held without bond when Bluew was arraigned on the criminal charges Sept. 13.

O’Farrell claims there’s a “substantial likelihood” Bluew will be acquitted of criminal charges against him.

The motion states Bluew worked for the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department from 1997 until he was hired by Buena Vista in 1999, and notes Bluew later served as Tittabawassee Township police chief from 2006 to 2008, before he returned to work for Buena Vista.

Bluew has been suspended without pay as a result of the criminal charges against him, according to the motion.











Police officer accused of killing pregnant woman took pay cut to leave Tittabawassee police chief job
Published: Monday, October 10, 2011, 8:02 AM
Updated: Monday, October 10, 2011, 8:39 AM
By Justin L. Engel
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/10/police_officer_accused_of_kill.html




Suspended Buena Vista Township police officer Kenneth Bluew appears before Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank, lower right, via video from the Bay County Jail.


The Saginaw News last week, through a Freedom of Information Act request, received Kenneth T. Bluew personnel files from Buena Vista, where he most recently served as a police officer, and Tittabawassee Township, where he spent a shorter stint as police chief.

Bluew awaits an Oct. 20 hearing at the Saginaw County Governmental Center, where prosecutors plan to present evidence showing the 36-year-old on-duty officer strangled Jennifer M. Webb, 32. Her body was discovered Aug. 30 near a Buena Vista police gun range. She was eight months pregnant.

Bluew, a married Saginaw Township resident, is suspended from the police force. If convicted, he faces life in prison, charged with first-degree premeditated murder, assault against a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Most of the nearly 400 pages of personnel files The Saginaw News received documented Bluew's two stints in Buena Vista. Tittabawassee’s file featured 114 pages

Bluew’s Buena Vista file features an 18-month gap when he left to work as Tittabawassee’s police chief in October 2006.

Documents include an unidentified person’s notes regarding Bluew’s job interview there Sept. 22, 2006.

When asked to talk about himself, Bluew mentioned his son and mentioned he was offered a football scholarship at Saginaw Valley State University, the document shows. Bluew in his application letter describes himself as “an extremely dedicated worker who is very motivated to make a difference.”

Buena Vista Township police Chief Brian Booker in 2006 described Bluew as one of his hardest-working detectives.

“Detective Bluew is one of the best in the county, “ Booker said at the time. “He took 500 cases a year and was steadfast in all of them.”

In his Jan. 21, 2008, resignation letter addressed to Township Manager Brian Kischnick, Bluew lists his “accomplishments” as the implementation of “a standard set of policies and procedures” and a “police-oriented school program to address substance abuse and character development” with the Freeland Community School District.

“However, I believe that my skills and aptitude may be best suited to an urban setting, and I know that my passion for police work will be fulfilled in that environment,” Bluew’s letter reads.

Then-Tittabawassee Township Supervisor Kenneth A. Kasper in 2008 said the township’s relative lack of crime likely persuaded Bluew to look elsewhere.

“It was a little slow for him, “ Kasper said. “He’s more of a Rambo-type officer.”

The then-33-year-old returned to Buena Vista’s agency as a police officer, a job that paid him less than he earned in Tittabawassee Township.

He earned $28.37 an hour as police chief, compared to the $22 hourly rate he earned both before he departed Buena Vista and when he returned. The most recent salary-related document in the personnel files shows he earned $23.69 hourly beginning in late 2009. The files do not include complete information about Bluew’s overtime earnings or benefits.

Webb’s death sparked extensive media coverage, and Bluew’s arrest brought more. Media venues in Texas, Nevada, New York and Connecticut have picked up the story.

Bluew is staying in the Gratiot County Jail.















Personnel files show promising career start for Buena Vista policeman accused of killing pregnant woman

Published: Sunday, October 09, 2011, 4:03 PM
Updated: Monday, November 07, 2011, 10:13 AM
By Justin L. Engel
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/10/personnel_files_show_promising.html



Suspended Buena Vista Township police officer Kenneth Bluew leaves the courtroom after his pre-hearing conference.


Nearly 400 pages from personnel files for a Buena Vista Township police officer trace a 17-year law enforcement career that began with promise and may have ended with the death of a pregnant Bridgeport Township woman in August.

The Saginaw News last week, through a Freedom of Information Act request, received Kenneth T. Bluew personnel files from Buena Vista, where he most recently served as a police officer, and Tittabawassee Township, where he spent a shorter stint as police chief.

Bluew awaits an Oct. 20 hearing at the Saginaw County Governmental Center, where prosecutors plan to present evidence showing the 36-year-old on-duty officer strangled Jennifer M. Webb, 32. Her body was discovered Aug. 30 near a Buena Vista police gun range. She was eight months pregnant.

Bluew, a married Saginaw Township resident, is suspended from the police force. If convicted, he faces life in prison, charged with first-degree premeditated murder, assault against a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas has declined to share whether Bluew was the father of the child, saying it is “not germane to the charges.”

Webb was a 1997 Bridgeport High School graduate who worked in customer service at Saginaw Township’s P.F. Markey Inc.

‘Tell us a story’
A résumé shows Bluew began as a detention youth care specialist with the Saginaw County Probate Court’s Juvenile Center from November 1994 to August 1997.

Bluew then spent more than a year with the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department, working security both at Freeland’s MBS International Airport and the Saginaw County Jail, before he was hired in Buena Vista in 1999.

Notes written by unidentified officials document a February 1999 job interview. Interviewers asked Bluew questions that sometimes appeared to have little pertinence to police work. The answers revealed some anecdotes from Bluew’s past and insights into his personality.

One question called on Bluew to “sell” the interviewers a pen. His answer — which notes suggest he somehow tied to law enforcement — resulted in one of the interviewees giving Bluew the best possible score for the question.

Another question — simply worded, “Tell us a story” — had Bluew recalling his first hunting experience in West Virginia, records show.

“Very cold, heard something and behind saw deer,” the notes read. “Was out of position. He tried to get a proper position. Brought excitement of hunt into it, was able to explain hunt in detail.”

When asked to rate himself on a scale of 1 to 10 — 10 being the top score — Bluew considered himself a “7 1/2 to 8,” pointing out his desire to keep in “good moral and physical condition,” the notes show.

He said his weakness was “pride.”


Officer Kenneth Bluew


Positive evaluations
The number of pages in the Buena Vista file numbered 246, while Tittabawassee’s file featured 114 pages.

The documents do not include information regarding the criminal case against Bluew or his suspension from the Buena Vista police agency.

“I do hope you find that my education and work experience could be as beneficial to your department as they have been for me,” Bluew wrote in his Jan. 8, 1999, application to join the force in Buena Vista. “I am an extremely dedicated worker who is very motivated to make a difference.”

The letter helped earn him his first job as a patrol officer, though Buena Vista wasn’t Bluew’s first gig as a law enforcer.

Contents of the files show records of Bluew as recently as 2009 and include transcripts from his years as a teenager who carried a 3.2 grade point average at Dearborn’s Divine Child High School while earning honors as a football player; grades from Saginaw Valley State University in the mid-1990s; police academy test scores; high-rated job evaluations; salary information; police training certificates; notes from job interviews; and letters Bluew wrote regarding his job movement.

Officials redacted some names, medical information and “information of a personal nature if public disclosure of the information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of an individual’s privacy,” reads an introductory letter from the two townships’ shared law firm, Saginaw Township-based Masud Labor Law Group.

Other files from his first stint in Buena Vista show Bluew earned praise and criticism.

A job evaluation from his rookie year paints Bluew as a quick learner whose weaknesses included an unfamiliarity with community roads and poor night vision.

Evaluations continued over the years. Most showed Bluew earning top rating in several categories.

A 2004 document shows Bluew scored “above average” in categories measuring how well he wore his uniform, his attitude at work, his dependability as a worker and self-motivation. He scored his lowest — marked as “average” — for his “relationship with the public,” although the notes don’t provide an explanation.

Documents also include a thank-you letter written by an person whose name was redacted from the document. The January 2002 note, addressed both to Bluew and then-Officer Kevin Kratz, thanked them for “the job you did when I was robbed at the Red Roof. You take your life into your hands every time a call comes in.”











Suspended police officer charged in pregnant woman's death to appear in court this afternoon
Published: Monday, October 03, 2011, 12:55 PM
Updated: Monday, October 03, 2011, 12:59 PM
By Andy Hoag
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/10/suspended_police_officer_charg.html



Suspended Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew listens during his Sept. 19 prehearing conference before Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd. Bluew is charged in the Aug. 30 death of the pregnant Jennifer Webb.

SAGINAW — The suspended Buena Vista Township police officer accused of killing the pregnant Jennifer M. Webb is due in court at 3 p.m. today.

Kenneth T. Bluew, 36, is scheduled for a prehearing conference this afternoon before Saginaw County District Judge Christopher S. Boyd.

The scheduled appearance is the second such conference for Bluew. He appeared Sept. 19 before Boyd with his attorney, Rod O’Farrell, and waived his right to have a preliminary hearing within 14 days of his arraignment to allow O’Farrell more time to prepare.

Boyd likely will schedule a preliminary hearing date at today’s conference. The hearing is intended for the judge to determine whether probable cause exists for trial in Circuit Court.

Bluew, who lives in Saginaw Township, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, assault against a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo, and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The 32-year-old Webb's body was found by Buena Vista Police Officer Tim Patterson before midnight Aug. 30 at Hack and North Outer, west of the Buena Vista police gun range.

Investigators believe Bluew strangled Webb. Webb was eight months pregnant.

County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas has said investigators believe Bluew was on duty during the killing.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Bluew would face a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. If he is acquitted of the charge or convicted of a lesser charge, he still would face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of the assault charge.

Bluew remains jailed at the Gratiot County Jail.

Check back here for updates once Bluew appears in court.











1995 New Orleans killer police account mirrors case against Buena Vista officer charged in pregnant woman's death, official says

Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011, 10:00 AM
By Justin L. Engel
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/09/1995_new_orleans_killer_police.html



Suspended Buena Vista Township police officer Kenneth Bluew appears before Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank, lower right, via video from the Bay County Jail Tuesday morning. Bluew is charged in the strangulation death of Jennifer Webb and her unborn son.


SAGINAW — Some elements of the case against Buena Vista police officer Kenneth T. Bluew mirror a 1995 triple murder at a New Orleans Vietnamese restaurant that resulted in a police officer and her boyfriend receiving the death sentence, one expert says.

Bluew, 36, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, assault against a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony relating to the strangling of Jennifer M. Webb, a 32-year-old pregnant Bridgeport Township woman.

He faces up to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Bluew was in uniform at the time of Webb's death and later responded to the crime scene with other officers. Channel 12, WJRT, earlier this month reported Bluew said he was one of the officers who found Webb’s body.

When investigators realized Bluew was a suspect, Buena Vista Police Chief Brian Booker requested state police detectives take over the case, Thomas said.



Suspended Buena Vista Township police officer Kenneth Bluew is charged in the strangulation death of Jennifer Webb and her unborn son. Photo courtesy of Saginaw County Jail.


Robert A. Verry, a New Jersey-based law enforcement consultant has testified as a police expert in New Jersey’s Superior Court cases, sees some parallels between the accusations against Bluew and the New Orleans case from 16 years earlier.

Separate juries in 1995 found that New Orleans Police Officer Antoinette Frank and her boyfriend, Rogers J. LaCaze, orchestrated an ambush on the Kim Anh restaurant in eastern New Orleans, where they gunned down fellow police officer Ronald Williams and siblings Ha and Cuong Vu, who all worked there, during a botched robbery.

A fourth employee, who was hiding during the murders, called 911 after the killers left the scene, reports indicate. Frank, on duty at the time, responded to the call minutes later.

When the witness spotted Frank entering the back of the restaurant, the witness fled through the front doors and found other police officers responding to the scene, telling them Frank was guilty.

Verry said the police officer’s career came under scrutiny during the trial.

Frank’s trial, which was based on a separate law enforcement agency’s investigation, revealed publicly that she abused her powers months before when she pulled over two men involved in a fight with LaCaze, Louisiana court records show.

Frank’s testimony landed the two men with attempted murder and armed robbery charges they say detectives instead should have pinned on LaCaze, whose weapon fired during the altercation, records indicate. LaCaze was not charged at the time.

The charges against the two men later were dropped, records show.

An investigation following the restaurant murders also uncovered human remains buried in her backyard. Investigators believed the remains belonged to Frank’s father, whom she reported missing years earlier, court documents indicate. No positive identification was made of the remains, which had a bullet hole in the skull.

Public relations
Frank’s story is considered by some one of the earliest incidents in which the public began to distrust New Orleans police, a trend that escalated 10 years later when several officers there were accused of abusing the badge following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation.

Verry said, like Frank’s case, Bluew’s charges also could damage the public’s view of his police agency.

Buena Vista’s department could perform its own internal investigation as a way of quieting negative public reaction, Verry said — but it’s likely such a campaign would wait until after the case is closed.

“It would be far-fetched to believe they would conduct any investigation until everything plays out because what if he’s found not guilty,” Verry said.

Booker did not return phone messages from The Saginaw News this week. He has referred questions regarding Bluew to Thomas.

Verry, the founding member and president of New Jersey’s Internal Affairs Association, has been involved in more than 1,000 police misconduct investigations during his 23-year law enforcement career, his online biography states. He wrote this year’s “Mechanics of a Police Internal Affairs Investigation













Expert: Investigators likely to probe career of Kenneth Bluew, Buena Vista policeman accused of strangling pregnant woman
Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011, 8:15 AM
Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2011, 11:42 AM
By Justin L. Engel The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/09/expert_investigators_likely_to.html

SAGINAW — Other aspects of the law enforcement career of Kenneth T. Bluew, the Buena Vista Township police officer accused of killing a 32-year-old pregnant woman last month, likely will come under review now that Bluew is accused of committing a crime while on duty, one expert says.

Robert A. Verry is a New Jersey-based law enforcement consultant who has testified as a police expert in New Jersey’s Superior Court cases.

He said an investigation with evidence similar to Bluew’s case — where an officer is accused of committing a crime while on duty and who was one of the first responders to the crime scene — typically would prompt investigators to probe the accused law enforcer’s police record for other abuses.

“If, by chance, there is something in his personnel jacket that surrounds abuse (of police powers), that may be the case,” Verry said of other incidents prosecutors could cite during any potential trial. “I’m sure, in a general sense, they are going to dissect his personnel file.”

Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael Thomas said he would not comment on whether investigators are probing Bluew’s background as a law enforcer.

Correct protocol
Bluew, 36, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, assault against a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony relating to the strangling of Jennifer M. Webb, a Bridgeport Township woman.

Webb’s body was found by Buena Vista Police Officer Tim Patterson before midnight on Aug. 30 at Hack and North Outer, west of the Buena Vista Police Department gun range. Channel 12, WJRT, earlier this month reported Bluew said he was one of the officers who found Webb’s body.

Thomas said Bluew “was armed, being a police officer on duty” when Webb was strangled, although the prosecutor would not comment on how or when Bluew inserted himself into the crime scene as a police officer.

When investigators realized Bluew was a suspect, Buena Vista Police Chief Brian Booker requested state police detectives take over the case, Thomas said.

Verry said, based on the publicly known details, Booker followed correct protocol by calling in outside help.

Now detectives and prosecutors working the investigation likely will review Bluew’s record as a law enforcer, Verry said.

If questionable cases are found, prosecutors could send that evidence to the case’s judge for review, he said.

“It’s not automatic that (the judge would allow it) because personnel files are closed,” he said. “That’s really up to the judge, to see what is and what is not able to be released.”

Verry said the accusations surrounding Bluew mirror a 1995 case where a New Orleans police officer killed three people while on duty and returned to the scene of the crime afterward.

Verry, the founding member and president of New Jersey’s Internal Affairs Association, has been involved in more than 1,000 police misconduct investigations during his 23-year law enforcement career, his online biography states.

He wrote this year’s “Mechanics of a Police Internal Affairs Investigation.











'Justice for Jenny Webb' Facebook page garners thousands of supporters
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 11:27 AM
By Kathryn Lynch-Morin
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/09/justice_for_jenny_webb_faceboo.html

Prayers, photographs and pleas fill the space of the 'Justice for Jenny' Facebook page dedicated to Jennifer M. Webb, the Bridgeport woman whose body on Aug. 30 was found on a gun range in Buena Vista Township.

"Jenny i just wanted to tell you....You are missed by many and loved by even more," one supporter writes. "This page blew up when it started. Your name stands for a different meaning now. It means inspiration. Because of you and the situation people are inspired to make a change for abuse. I know i am."

Suspended Buena Vista Township police officer Kenneth Bluew on Monday was arrested and faces charges in Webb's death, who was eight months pregnant when she died.
More than 3,500 people have joined the page, which was founded on Sept. 4.

A smiling Jenny Webb is splashed across the photo albums of the page. She's shown with friends and bundled up for ice fishing, always with a big smile on her face.

Even after Jenny Webb's death, those who knew her remembered her smile, filling the guestbook of her obituary and the comments section of the Facebook page with memories of it.

"I saw that big bright moon and thought Jenny Girl is looking down with her bright smile...," one woman wrote.

Bluew, 36, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, assault against a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Bluew would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The death of the unborn child, whom the 32-year-old Webb intended to name Braxton James Donald Webb, under state law cannot be considered murder.

Bluew remains jailed without bond in Gratiot County. He is scheduled for a Sept. 22 preliminary hearing.











News of Buena Vista policeman accused of murdering pregnant woman grabs national headlines
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 8:32 AM
By Justin L. Engel
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/09/news_of_buena_vista_policeman.html

SAGINAW — National news outlets are picking up the story of a Buena Vista police officer accused of murdering a 32-year-old pregnant woman.

Buena Vista Township Police Officer Kenneth Bluew on Tuesday was arraigned on charges of first-degree premeditated murder, felony firearm possession and intentional conduct against a pregnant individual resulting in death, miscarriage or stillbirth to a fetus or embryo in connection with the strangling death of Jennifer M. Webb, who was 8 months pregnant.

Among those media organizations picking up the Saginaw County story include:

USA Today ("Mich. officer charged in death of pregnant woman")

The Houston Chronicle ("Mich. officer charged in death of pregnant woman")

El Paso's NewsChannel 9 ("Police officer faces murder charges for strangling pregnant woman")

The Toledo Blade ("Police officer in Michigan charged in death of pregnant woman")

Las Vegas' Fox 5 News ("Police officer charged in death of pregnant woman")

Indiana's WSBT ("Michigan officer charged in death of pregnant woman")

The Connecticut Post ("Mich. officer charged in death of pregnant woman")

The Detroit Free Press ("Cop charged in killing was on duty at time")

 









Saginaw County prosecutor: Death of homicide victim's unborn child 'can't be murder,' but police officer suspect still faces life in prison for his death
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 7:47 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 9:22 AM
By Andy Hoag
The Saginaw News
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/09/saginaw_county_prosecutor_deat.html

 

Suspended Buena Vista Township police officer Kenneth Bluew is charged in the strangulation death of Jennifer Webb and her unborn son. Photo courtesy of Saginaw County Jail.


SAGINAW — The suspended Buena Vista police officer accused of killing the pregnant Jennifer M. Webb may not be charged with murder in connection with the death of Webb’s unborn child, but he still faces life in prison if convicted of killing him.

Kenneth T. Bluew, 36, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, assault against a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Bluew would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. If he were to be acquitted of the charge or convicted of a lesser charge, he still would face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of the assault charge.

State legislators in 2001 added the crime as a way to “replace and increase the penalty from the former law,” said Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas. The previous charge was manslaughter to an unborn quick child, Thomas said.

The death of the unborn child, whom the 32-year-old Webb intended to name Braxton James Donald Webb, “can’t be murder” because state law “does not recognize pre-born children as capable of being murdered,” Thomas said.

The amendment to the state statute that the Legislature enacted includes lesser offenses that relate to a lack of intent to cause miscarriage or stillbirth, including gross negligence. Saginaw County prosecutors chose the charge with the stiffest penalty based on their theory of the case, Thomas said.

Webb’s body was found by Buena Vista Police Officer Tim Patterson before midnight at Hack and North Outer, west of the Buena Vista Police Department gun range. Investigators believe Bluew strangled Webb and that “the death of the child was predictable,” Thomas said.

Bluew was transferred to the Gratiot County Jail today. He remained jailed without bond and is scheduled for a Sept. 22 preliminary hearing.

Webb’s death sparked rampant local media coverage, and Bluew’s Monday arrest and Tuesday arraignment brought even more coverage.


No comments: