Wednesday, July 31, 2013

[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case - Amanda's family filed lawsuit against Officer McCowan



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[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case - 
Dustin McCowan's Appeal
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2014/04/in-amanda-bach-murder-case-dustin.html




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The sheriff department, prosecutor, and Amanda's parents believe that Officer Joseph Elliot McCowan [Crown Point Indiana PD] played a role in covering up his son's murder of Amanda Bach:

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Investigation of Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan [Crown Point Indiana PD] - September 2011 - April 2013  











Dustin McCowan's father files for bankruptcy
April 24, 2014
NWI Times
Bob Kasarda
http://m.nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/dustin-mccowan-s-father-files-for-bankruptcy/article_03ab43a1-32ea-55a8-9acf-ae5e57e89e1b.html?mobile_touch=true

HAMMOND | Joseph McCowan, father of convicted murderer Dustin McCowan, has filed for bankruptcy, according to federal court records.

The filing comes on the heels of a federal lawsuit filed by American Family Mutual Insurance Co. arguing it should not be held liable as part of a civil legal battle stemming from Dustin McCowan's 2011 murder of Portage resident and former girlfriend Amanda Bach.

The company targets the parents of the deceased woman and the McCowans, arguing that while it had provided a homeowner policy at the time to the family of Dustin McCowan, the coverage did not apply to incidents of intentional bodily injury or injury arising out of criminal behavior resulting in a conviction.

The insurance company is not named in the July lawsuit filed at the county level by the parents of Amanda Bach against Dustin McCowan and Joseph Elliott McCowan.

Yet the company is asking a federal judge to determine it has no financial or other responsibility in the civil dispute.

William and Sandra Bach are seeking an unspecified amount of money in the suit, which targets Dustin McCowan's intentional acts under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute.

The civil suit further accuses Joseph McCowan of contributing to the murder by not properly securing his firearms, one of which Dustin McCowan is believed to have used to shoot and kill 19-year-old Bach on Sept. 16, 2011.










Elliott McCowan's insurance company wants out of Bach's wrongful death suit 

By KEVIN NEVERS

Posted 2/18/2014

Chesterton Tribune



Elliott McCowan’s homeowner’s insurance company has filed suit in federal court seeking a judge’s determination that it has no obligation to cover either McCowan or his son, Dustin--the convicted murderer of Amanda Bach--for any claims which might arise from the wrongful death suit filed last year by Bach’s parents.

The American Family Mutual Insurance Company filed that suit on Friday. It names Elliott and Dustin McCowan and Bach’s parents, William and Sandra.

According to the suit, at the time of Bach’s death by gunshot wound, on or about Aug. 16, 2011, Elliott McCowan was the holder of a homeowner’s insurance policy with a liability limit of $500,000 per occurrence of bodily injury or properly damage.

However, the suit argues, exclusions from liability coverage include the following:
* When the bodily injury is caused intentionally.
* When the bodily injury arises out of a violation of any criminal law.

Also excluded from coverage: any punitive or exemplary damages.

American Family is thus asking the court to “declare and determine” the following: that its policy does not cover either McCowan for any claims arising out of the murder; and that the company has no obligation to defend or indemnify either McCowan against any claims made in the Bachs’ suit, no obligation to compromise or settle any such claim, and no obligation to pay in any part any judgment rendered against either or both.

McCowan was convicted on Feb. 26, 2012, of Bach’s murder and is serving a 60-year sentence in the Pendleton Correction Facility in Madison County.

Count I of the Bachs’ suit notes that on or about Aug. 16, 2011, Dustin McCowan “negligently, carelessly, recklessly, and/or intentionally shot Amanda Bach”; that she “suffered a horrific, terrible, untimely, wrongful death”; and that her parents, under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute, are “entitled to recover for the loss of love, affection, and companionship, attorney fees, costs of this action, burial, and funeral bills.”

Count II names Elliott McCowan and hinges on the enduring mystery of the case: what firearm did Dustin McCowan use to shoot Bach? and what became of that weapon?

Prosecutors suggested at trial that the murder weapon was Elliott McCowan’s Smith & Wesson .38 caliber Airlite revolver, which he testified at trial he kept under a sofa in the living room but which he reported missing shortly after Bach’s body was discovered.

That revolver has never been found.

“Upon information and belief,” the suit alleges, Dustin McCowan “used his father’s firearms to fatally shoot Amanda Bach.”

Those firearms “were not properly secured” and “were accessible to his minor son,” according to the suit, although Elliott McCowan “had a duty to properly secure his firearms when he was not home.”

The suit concludes that a “direct and proximate cause of Amanda Bach’s death and fatal shooting” was Elliott McCowan’s “carelessness and negligence.”

The suit does not specify the amount sought by the Bachs.










Slain woman's parents sue convicted killer, dad
August 07, 2013
NWI Times
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/state-and-regional/indiana/slain-woman-s-parents-sue-convicted-killer-dad/article_25d8200e-871e-5363-9425-7dc1fae47dd0.html

The parents of a northern Indiana woman fatally shot in 2011 are suing the man convicted in her killing and his father.

William and Sandra Bach's civil suit seeks an unspecified amount of money from Dustin McCowan and his father, Joseph Elliott McCowan.

Dustin McCowan was sentenced in March to 60 years in prison in the fatal September 2011 shooting of his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend, Amanda Bach of Portage.

The Bachs' suit accuses Joseph McCowan of contributing to the murder by not properly securing his firearms, one of which Dustin McCowan is believed to have used to kill Bach.

The Times of Munster reports ( http://bit.ly/11K9Sj8) police have said they believe Joseph McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, may have helped his son try to cover up the murder.











Suit targets convicted murderer Dustin McCowan, his father
August 06, 2013  - 12:40 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/suit-targets-convicted-murderer-dustin-mccowan-his-father/article_80df615e-ac4c-5dab-b7d4-521a1f522b7c.html



VALPARAISO - The parents of murder victim Amanda Bach have filed a civil lawsuit against the young man responsible for her death and his father.

William and Sandra Bach are seeking an unspecified amount of money in their suit against Dustin McCowan and his father, Joseph Elliott McCowan.

The Bachs are claiming they are entitled to reasonable compensation from Dustin McCowan for their loss.

The suit accuses Joseph McCowan of contributing to the murder by not properly securing his firearms, one of which Dustin McCowan is believed to have used to shoot and kill 19-year-old Bach on Sept. 16, 2011.

"Defendant, Joseph Elliott McCowan, had a duty to properly secure his firearms when he was not home," the suit states.

The Bachs cite the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute to justify their claim against Joseph McCowan.

Dustin McCowan was sentenced in March to 60 years in prison for murdering the Portage resident, who was a former girlfriend.

A jury heard evidence for nearly a month before finding him guilty of shooting Bach in the throat during the early morning hours after she showed up at the Union Township home he was living in at the time with his father. Bach's partially clothed body was found the following day less than 300 yards from the house in a wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.

County police have said they believe Joseph McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, may have aided his son in attempting to cover up the murder.

Dustin McCowan failed in his first shot at overturning his sentence and conviction in May. Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa tossed out claims that he erred by not stepping aside after learning about a telephone call with McCowan from the jail that included derogatory and threatening remarks about prosecutors, police and their family members.

An appeal is expected in the case.











Amanda Bach’s parents suing murderer and father
By James D. Wolf Jr.
Post-Tribune correspondent
August 5, 2013  6:38PM
http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/porter/21744326-418/amanda-bachs-parents-suing-murderer-and-father.html






VALPARAISO — The parents of Amanda Bach are suing both the man who killed their daughter on Sept. 16, 2011, and his father.

A lawsuit filed in Porter County on July 31 names both Dustin McCowan, now 20, and Joseph Elliott McCowan, a police officer with the Crown Point Police Department.

Dustin was convicted of 19-year-old Bach’s murder on Feb. 26 after an almost month-long trial.

Porter Superior Court Judge William Alexa sentenced the younger McCowan to 60 years in prison March 28 for the death of the Portage girl.

The attorney for William and Sandra Bach, David E. Woodward of Woodward and Blaskovich, said his clients did not want to comment on the matter.

John Vouga of Vouga and Associates, who with Nick Barnes defended Dustin McCowan, said that he has an appointment to meet with the elder McCowan on Friday.

"Our official stance is it’s not worth commenting on right now," Vouga said.

Dustin McCowan’s appeal is now being handled by a public defender.

The Bachs’ suit states that the parents are suing under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute and "are entitled to recover for loss of love, affection and companionship, as well as all other damages permitted."

They included the father in the suit because he "failed to properly secure his firearms in which his son, Defendant, Dustin McCowan, had access," the suit states.

"A direct and proximate cause of Amanda Bach’s death and fatal shooting, was the carelessness and negligence of the Defendant, Joseph Elliott McCowan," according to the suit.

Police were made aware of Bach’s death when her car was found abandoned in downtown Wheeler, north of where the McCowans lived then.

Search parties found her body Sept. 17 in a copse of trees near tracks, close to where the McCowans lived and where Dustin was known to dispose of trash from parties.

She had been shot in the neck by a .38 caliber gun, and the elder McCowan’s .38 pistol that was kept under a sofa was discovered to be missing shortly after the body was found.










Also See: 
Amanda Bach Murder - Dustin McCowan charged with murder http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/09/in-amanda-bach-murder-case_16.html 

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Investigation of Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan [Crown Point Indiana PD] - September 2011 - April 2013 

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Dustin McCowan Trial and Conviction- Feb 04, 2013

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Dustin McCowan Sentenced - March 28, 2013

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Videos 























Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Unnamed girlfriend of Unnamed Detroit Police Officer commits suicide???

On July 23, 2013, Detroit Police Officer William Zeolla told police that he found his girlfriend Angela Kolhagen's lifeless body in his backyard. According to Zeolla, while he was home, Angela took his service gun and went outside and shot herself. Zeolla then carried her body to the front yard - thus disturbing the possible crime scene.
All sucides are supposed to be treated like homicides - and it isn't until homicide can be outruled that a death is considered a sucide.  In Angie's case, it appears that it was quickly decided that she had committed suicide because that's what Officer Zeolla said. End of story. Case closed.
Angie was so unimportant to the Detroit PD, that they did not release her name. After several days of OIDV specialists tracking down info on the victim, we came up with not only Angie's name but the name of her boyfriend: Officer William Zeolla.
More searching by our OIDV group on the mysterous Officer Zeolla and we discovered why the Detroit PD and his family and friends were protective of his identity: Zeolla has a long history of police brutality - backed up with lawsuits filed by his victims.






The officers, who have been involved in  excessive-force lawsuits that collectively have cost the city $660,000 in settlements

At the time of Angie's death, Officer Zeolla and the Detroit PD were being sued for Zeolla excessive force in yet another case of police brutality.

Angela "Angie" Dewald Kolhagen





Angela Marie (Dewald) Kolhagen, 29, of Detroit, formerly of Reese, died unexpectedly, Wednesday, July 23, 2013 in Detroit. She was born October 8, 1983 in Saginaw, daughter of Ann (Young) Diana of Unionville and Alexander J. Dewald of Fairgrove. Angie was a 2002 graduate of Reese High School and had resided in Detroit for the past ten years. She was a kind hearted person who enjoyed her family and always putting them first before herself. She also enjoyed music, animals and was always fashion conscious.

Surviving besides her mother and father is her grandmother, Charlene Baranski of Caro; two sisters, Alicia Schneider and her husband Robert of Saginaw; Amy Pavlawk and her fiancĂ©e, Josh Clark of Vero Beach, Florida, her special friend William "Z" Zeolla of Detroit; her nephew, Tyler Dewald, her mother’s special friend, Gary Marker of Unionville; and her beloved cat, "Mama Kitty". Angie was predeceased by her grandparents, Alex and Ella Dewald, Richard Fields and Leonard Baranski and her uncle, Richard "Rick" Fields.

Funeral Services will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, July 29, 2013 from the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home, 9940 Saginaw St. Reese. Rev. John Pohanka will officiate with cremation to follow. Angie’s family will receive friends at the funeral home on Sunday from 4-7 p.m. and on Monday from 10 a.m. until services. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Angie’s family.











Detroit Police Officer William Zeolla's website: CCW Defense
http://ccwdefense.vpweb.com/Home.html

"Don't be the next 911 call"










Angie Kolhagen's death
























Report: Girlfriend of Detroit police officer fatally shot; suicide suspected
Gus Burns
MLive July 24, 2013 at 7:23 AM http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/07/report_girlfriend_of_detroit_p.html

DETROIT — Detroit police were quick to arrive to the scene of a fatal shooting at the home of a fellow officer on the city's northwest side Tuesday,WJBK, Fox 2 News in Detroit reports.

"It appears that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the part of the officer's girlfriend. We're still early in the investigation, and we should have an update sooner than later," Detroit Police Chief James Craig told Fox 2.

Sources said police were investigating the backyard of the home where the shooting initially occurred prior to the officer carrying his girlfriend to the front of the home, the news source reports.













 


 

Detroit officer's girlfriend fatally shot in apparent suicide
Posted: Jul 23, 2013 4:29 PM CDT
Updated: Jul 23, 2013 5:32 PM CDT
By Randy Wimbley
Fox 2 News
http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/22913973/detroit-officers-girlfriend-fatally-shot-in-apparent-suicide

DETROIT (WJBK) - A fatal shooting Tuesday afternoon happened at the home of a Detroit police officer on the city's northwest side.

"It appears that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the part of the officer's girlfriend. We're still early in the investigation, and we should have an update sooner than later," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Fox 2 has learned the weapon the woman used may have belonged to the officer.

Neighbors said the two were living together, and it did not appear as if they were a troubled couple.

During the initial search of the property, police spent several minutes in the backyard. Sources told Fox 2 that is where the victim shot herself before the officer carried her to the front of the house.

Several police vehicles responded to the scene. Neighbors said the response time was very fast.

Police are continuing to investigate.








 








 
Lawsuits filed against Officer William Zeolla:






City of Detroit City Council INTERNAL  OPERATIONS  STANDING  COMMITTEE WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2013 ...Status of Finance Department/Purchasing Division Contract No. 2878143 - 100% City Funding – To Provide Legal Services: Representation for Detroit Police Department Officers J. Lyons, B. Terechenok and William Zeolla – Company: Plunkett & Cooney, P.C., Location: 535 Griswold, Suite 2400, Detroit, MI 48226 – Contract Period: February 15, 2013 through February 15, 2014 – Contract Amount Not to Exceed: $30,000.00. LAW (BROUGHT BACK AS DIRECTED 5-8-13)... http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/cityclerk/calendar_2013/Internal%20Operations/cal5-15-13%20IOS_1.pdf











City of Detroit City Council
INTERNAL  OPERATIONS  STANDING  COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013

NEW BUSINESS FINANCE DEPARTMENT/PURCHASING DIVISION

Submitting the following Finance Department/Purchasing Division Contracts: 12. Submitting reso. autho. Contract No. 2878143 - 100% City Funding – To Provide Legal Services: Representation for Detroit Police Department Officers J. Lyons, B. Terechenok and William Zeolla – Company: Plunkett & Cooney, P.C., Location: 535 Griswold, Suite 2400, Detroit, MI 48226 – Contract Period: February 15, 2013 through February 15, 2014 – Contract Amount Not to Exceed: $30,000.00. LAW (REFERRED TO THE INTERNAL OPERATIONS STANDING COMMITTEE ON 5-8-13) ...
http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/cityclerk/calendar_2013/Internal%20Operations/cal5-8-13%20IOS.pdf











City of Detroit City Council Jan 30, 2013 ...Settlement in lawsuit of David Lyons v. City of Detroit... P.O. Officer Zeolla #1585, Sgt. Lisa Shade #5887, P.O. Ed Jackson #2701, P.O. Enrique Jackson... P.O. Jason Kyle, Sgt. Kenneth Thomas and jointy and/or severally; Case No: 11-014840-NO; File No.; A37000.007586; in the amount of $52,500.00 by reason of alleged injury sustained on or about December 6, 2009... http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/cityclerk/calendar_2012/Internal%20Operations/Detailed%20Notes/DETAILED%20NOTES%201-30-13.pdf











Jan 9, 2013  

UNITED  STATES  DISTRICT  COURT 

EASTERN  DISTRICT  OF  MICHIGAN 

SOUTHERN DIVISION  

CIVIL ACTION NO. 12-10934  

KEENAN R. ELLSBERRY, Plaintiff,  

V.  

CITY OF DETROIT, BRIAN TERECHENOK, WILLIAM ZEOLLA, JUSTIN LYONS, OFFICER KILE, AND JAMES AUDE, Defendants .


...Defendants’ request for permission to withdraw as counsel for Terechenok, Lyons, and Zeolla is GRANTED... Defendants’ request for a stay is DENIED. However, Plaintiff may not depose Terechenok, Lyons, or Zeolla for 60 days. During this 60 day period, Terechenok, Lyons, and Zeolla must attempt to secure new counsel... http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-mied-2_12-cv-10934/pdf/USCOURTS-mied-2_12-cv-10934-3.pdf











City of Detroit City Council
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2012

...Submitting reso. autho. Legal Representation and Indemnification in lawsuit of Keenan Ellsberry v. City of Detroit, Brian Terechenok, William Zeolla, Justin Lyons, Officer Kile and James Aude; United States District Court Case No.: 12-10934; for P.O. Jason Kile and P.O. James Aude... http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/cityclerk/calendar_2012/Agenda/Agenda%2010-30-12.pdf












Prior and pending lawsuits against the officers
September 24, 2012
Detroit Free Press
http://www.freep.com/article/20120924/NEWS01/309240119

The Detroit police officers named in the Keenan Ellsberry lawsuit -- Brian Terechenok, Justin Lyons, William Zeolla and Jason Kile -- have been sued before. Here is a summary of the lawsuits.

2003: A Detroit man sues Terechenok and other officers, saying they beat and arrested him without justification after a mix-up with a gas station attendant who wouldn't let the man pump $6 worth of gasoline that he had already paid for. The man said officers assumed he was trying to rob the station. The officers said he was disorderly. Outcome: The city settled the case out of court for $290,000.

2008: A Wayne County man sues Zeolla and another officer, saying they severely beat him after he tried to flee on foot after a traffic stop. The officers said he resisted arrest. The man later pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance. Outcome: The city settled the case out of court for $47,500.

2008: A jogger sues Lyons and two other officers, saying they assaulted and arrested him without justification. The man said he was jogging, heard gunshots and picked up his pace. He said he wasn't aware the police were chasing him because they were driving an unmarked car and wearing fatigues. Lyons refused to answer questions about his disciplinary record at his lawsuit deposition, and the other officers failed to appear for their depositions, court papers said. Outcome: The city settled the lawsuit out of court for $131,500.

2008: A Detroit man sues Zeolla, Kile and another officer, saying they pulled over the car he was riding in on a bogus traffic charge -- that he wasn't wearing a seat belt. He said they patted him down without justification, found a concealed handgun, beat him while he was restrained and refused to provide any medical treatment. The man pleaded guilty to a weapons violation and was jailed. The officers denied the allegations. Outcome: The city settled the case out of court for $132,500.

2009: A Detroit motorist sues Terechenok and Lyons, saying they assaulted him without provocation after pulling him over for driving with his car lights off. The man said the lights were on. He said the officers arrested him for carrying a weapon even though he had a valid concealed weapons permit. The charge later was dismissed. Outcome: The city agreed to settle out of court with the motorist and his passenger, who also was arrested, for $60,000.

2011: A man sues Zeolla and three other officers, saying they assaulted and arrested him without justification while he was walking on a city street. He said the criminal charges ultimately were dropped. Outcome: Pending.

2011: A Detroit motorist sues Kile and another officer, saying they pulled him over on bogus charges of driving with a defective taillight and failing to wear a seat belt, threatened to shoot him if he tried to flee, and kicked and punched him while he lay on the ground in handcuffs. The officers denied doing anything wrong. Outcome: Pending.








Suburbanite's police brutality lawsuit hinges on Detroit officer who broke code of silence
September 24, 2012
Detroit Free Press
http://www.freep.com/article/20120924/NEWS01/309240117/


Keenan Ellsberry said the last thing he expected when he drove to his ex-wife's house in the wee hours of May 2, 2011, was to be mistaken for a drug dealer and beaten by police.

"I thought I was going to die," the 36-year-old advertising executive from West Bloomfield said of the events that morning in Detroit.

Ellsberry, who is black, said two white officers savagely attacked him in front of his ex-wife and two of his children and then falsely accused him of assaulting the officers and trying to grab one of their guns.

The criminal charges were dropped after Officer Steve Posey, who also is black, told internal affairs investigators that the other officers used excessive force.

Ellsberry says he suffered long-term injuries and is suing the officers and the city. His ex-wife, Chanel Smith, a vice president of a suburban bank branch, filed a separate suit on behalf of their children, saying they are getting therapy for trauma.

"None of this surprises me -- we see it every day," Ron Scott of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality said of the Ellsberry

Scott's group has complained for years about police brutality in Detroit. Its efforts helped spark an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which forced the Police Department in 2003 to adopt policies to reduce use of force, curtail mistreatment of prisoners and end the practice of dragnet arrests of potential homicide witnesses.

The department is years behind schedule in carrying out the reforms. But under Mayor Dave Bing, the department has made an all-out push to comply and is nearing the 90% mark.

Though use-of-force complaints have dropped -- there were 1,369 complaints in 2011 and 1,421 in 2010 -- critics say the department still has a costly brutality problem.

Nearly half of the $57.4 million the cash-strapped city has paid out in lawsuits since July 2009 was in police cases, many involving excessive force and false arrest, records show.

"We're making headway because people aren't being killed," Scott said. "But the beatings, the verbal abuse and the racist remarks have not gone away."

Scott said the Ellsberry case is a good example of that.

Refusing to cover up

"The hero of this story is Steve Posey," said Ellsberry's lawyer, David A. Robinson of Southfield. "Posey saw something wrong and put his career on the line by following policy, not the Blue Code" -- an unwritten policy of police officers covering for each other.

Robinson, a former Detroit police officer, said it's one of the few times he has seen an officer break ranks with comrades.

Posey declined to comment for this report.

The department's internal affairs section presented Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy with a warrant request for criminal charges against three officers. But after several months, the department still is waiting for a response.

Worthy's office said it hopes to decide soon.

The officers, who have been involved in other excessive-force lawsuits that collectively have cost the city $660,000 in settlements, didn't respond to a Free Press interview request. The lawsuits alleged unprovoked beatings and trumped-up charges to justify the officers' conduct. It's unclear if they were disciplined in those cases.

City lawyers wouldn't comment on the Ellsberry case, but said in court papers that the officers had probable cause for the arrest and acted in self-defense.

Former Deputy Chief Jamie Fields, who was in charge of consent-decree compliance until he retired in 2009, says the department hasn't gotten the upper hand on excessive force.

He said police supervisors often are reluctant to discipline overly aggressive cops because they make a lot of arrests and produce statistics.

"The majority of officers want to do the right thing," Fields said. "Until you start holding officers accountable and disciplining them for doing wrong things and show that such behavior won't be tolerated, the culture won't change."

At a community meeting Thursday to discuss the city's crime crisis, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said that his officers must be aggressive but mindful of the rights of law-abiding citizens in combating crime.

"We have to resist the urge of those heavy-handed techniques that run over people's rights," he said, referring to controversial tactics, such as stop-and-frisk, that tend to target minorities.

The Ellsberry incident began about 3 a.m., according to police reports, dispatch recordings and internal affairs interviews obtained by Ellsberry's lawyers.

Officers Brian Terechenok and Justin Lyons, both 12-year department veterans, said Ellsberry failed to signal a turn in Detroit's quiet, middle-class Rosedale Park neighborhood.

Ellsberry, vice president and director of innovation at Team Detroit, Ford's Dearborn-based advertising agency, said he was on his way to his ex-wife's home to drop off some of the $1,880 in cash he had received from selling a motorcycle.

The officers said Ellsberry sped off in his 2006 white Land Rover and blew through stop and yield signs before pulling into his ex-wife's driveway in the 15300 block of Stahelin.

Ellsberry said there was no chase. He said he pulled over after noticing the scout car's emergency lights.

He said officers ordered him out of his vehicle and assaulted him without warning outside the view of the scout car camera.

The officers said the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Ellsberry hit them and tried to grab Lyons' gun before they finally subued him.

Afterward, he was taken to a hospital for treatment, and then booked for fleeing and eluding police, resisting arrest, assault and trying to disarm an officer. He spent three days in jail.

What officer reported

Ellsberry's criminal lawyer, Harrison Munson of Detroit, said Ellsberry's fate would have been sealed but for Posey, 44, a former Chrysler worker who joined the department in 2009.

It was Posey's first night on midnights in the 8th Precinct.

He and Officer James Aude, who is white, were the first to respond to Terechenok and Lyons' call for help.

When they arrived, Posey said, he saw Ellsberry's distraught ex-wife and their crying 12-year-old daughter in the driveway. After ordering them into the house, he saw Ellsberry lying face-down on the front lawn with his hands cuffed behind his back.

He said Lyons was on top of Ellsberry, kneeing him in the kidneys and screaming at him to stop resisting.

Ellsberry wasn't resisting, Posey later told investigators.

He said Terechenok was standing nearby and out of breath, as if he had been involved in the struggle.

Posey said he tapped Lyons on the shoulder to stop him from kneeing Ellsberry and tried to get Ellsberry to his feet.

By then, two other white officers arrived, William Zeolla and Jason Kile.

Posey told investigators that he yelled at Kile to avoid stepping on Ellsberry's cell phone. He said Kile deliberately kicked it across the lawn. Then, Zeolla stepped with full force on the side of Ellsberry's face, Posey said.
Chanel Smith told investigators she was on the phone with Ellsberry when he pulled into her driveway, heard him repeatedly ask what he had done wrong and then heard a commotion.

When she went outside, she said, she saw two officers on top of Ellsberry, punching, kneeing and choking him.

"Why are they doing that to Dad?" she said her children, ages 10 and 12, screamed.

More scout cars arrived.

Smith said she pleaded with the officers to stop the beating.

Ellsberry never resisted, she said. "I felt like his life was slipping away ..."

Eventually, Posey got Ellsberry into his scout car.

"Man, I wasn't fighting them, I wasn't fighting them," Posey said Ellsberry told him.

While Ellsberry was at a hospital getting stitches in his upper lip and painkillers for bruises, officers searched his vehicle for drugs or weapons. They found an empty magazine for Ellsberry's legally registered handgun.

At one point, they wanted to take the vehicle to the Ambassador Bridge to have border agents X-ray it for contraband.

Officers got a warrant to draw blood to check for alcohol or drugs in Ellsberry's system. The results were negative.

Later that morning, he was taken back to the hospital because he was urinating blood.

By then, Posey had told a supervisor, Sgt. James Demps, what he had witnessed.

Demps, who is black, had arrived at the scene after the struggle, but told investigators he had to physically stop Terechenok from manhandling Ellsberry during a pat down.

Demps also said he had "a bad vibe" about the incident because Ellsberry didn't have the demeanor of a dope dealer and trying to stop him at 3 a.m. for a minor traffic offense seemed contrived. He also said he suspected Terechenok of being racist.

Demps wouldn't discuss the case with the Free Press.

But audiotapes of his interview with investigators show that he wanted his shift lieutenant to call Internal Affairs. He said the lieutenant didn't want to jeopardize the officers' careers.

"What if this is your brother, your cousin or whatever," Demps said he told his boss. "Wouldn't you want some justice for this guy? I mean, think about this. This happened in front of his wife and kids. They'll never look at him the same. ... Something's got to be done."

Demps said a sergeant who also was reluctant to call Internal Affairs expressed shock after googling Ellsberry's name and discovering what he does for a living.

Internal affairs got involved anyway after Ellsberry complained that $450 of his cash was missing. The investigation quickly escalated into a police brutality probe.

Terechenok, Lyons and Zeolla wouldn't talk to investigators on advice of their lawyers.

Two other officers, both white, said they didn't witness an assault on Ellsberry.

"I was in a position to have seen that and I can say with a clear conscience that that did not happen," said Aude, adding that Ellsberry resisted being handcuffed, but not violently.

"I don't know why people's names are getting stomped in the mud on this whole thing," Kile told investigators.

Charges dismissed

Three months later, a judge dismissed the charges against Ellsberry after Terechenok, Lyons and Zeolla refused to testify at Ellsberry's preliminary exam.

Ellsberry said the episode was scary: "If Posey hadn't come onto the scene and my wife and kids hadn't been there, I think they would have killed me."

He said his fingers are still numb from the incident, and he has nerve damage in his wrists because of too-tight handcuffs.

He wants the officers prosecuted and fired.

But that may not happen.

Chief Godbee said that there are discrepancies in Posey's account that could prevent the officers from being charged or disciplined. He wouldn't elaborate.







Graphic: Lead-up to an assault
1:53 AM, Sep. 24, 2012
Detroit Free Press
http://www.freep.com/article/20120924/NEWS01/120924002/

Keenan Ellsberry says two Detroit police officers assaulted him on May 2, 2011, after pulling him over for a traffic stop. The officers said it was Ellsberry who assaulted them. But a judge dismissed felony charges against the Detroit-area advertising executive after the officers refused to testify at his preliminary examination in Detroit’s 36th District Court. Ellsberry and his ex-wife are suing the officers over the incident.




 








City of Detroit City Council
WEDNESAY, MARCH 7, 2012 

...Submitting reso. autho. Legal Representation and Indemnification in lawsuit of Ralph Thomas v. City of Detroit, Travis Kostanko, A. Jaber, William Zeolla, and V. Eschen, U.S.D.C. Case No. 11-10850, for P.O. Victoria Eschen, P.O. Ali Jaber, P.O. William Zeolla, and P.O. Travis Kostanko... http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/cityclerk/calendar_2012/Agenda/Agenda%203-6-12.pdf












April 28, 2009










July 24, 2008




























Monday, July 15, 2013

Councilman Tim Shannon - Sentenced - Murder of wife Lee-Ann - Hart, MI




I recieved the following anonymous comment from IP address 50.105.74.98 from Muskegon Michigan, on August 15, 2013. Perhaps a relative of Timothy Shannon?














On July 15, 2013, former Hart city councilman Timothy Shannon was sentenced to 13 1/2 to  75 years in prison for the murder of his wife, Lee-Ann Shannon [December 29, 2012].

On June 03, 2013, Shannon had accepted a plea bargain in which the original charges of open murder were dismissed in exchange for his no-contest plea to second-degree murder.




Also See:


Lee-Ann Shannon murder - Councilman Timothy Shannon - Hart, Michigan - December 29, 2012

Councilman Tim Shannon - Charged - Murder of Lee-Ann - January 11, 2013 http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2012/12/hart-councilman-timothy-shannon-charged.html

Councilman Tim Shannon - Convicted / Plea Bargain - Murder of Lee-Ann - June 03, 2013 http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2013/06/councilman-tim-shannon-convicted-plea.html








Man gets up to 75 years in wife's bathtub drowning
Posted Jul 16, 2013 @ 02:01 PM Associated Press
Holland Sentinel




White Cloud — A former West Michigan city council member has been sentenced to up to 75 years in the bathtub drowning of his wife.
Timothy Shannon of Hart pleaded no contest last month in Oceana County Circuit Court to second-degree murder in the Dec. 29 death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon.
A no contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing, which was held Monday.
The Ludington Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/15ymDwc ) Judge Terrence Thomas issued a sentence of 13 1/2 to 75 years. Thomas says it'll be up to the Corrections Department to decide when Shannon is released from prison.
Shannon told police his wife accidentally drowned, and he tried to revive her.
He was a Hart City Council member at the time of her death.












Timothy Shannon sentenced in bathtub murder of his wife, LeeAnn
Brian Mulherin - Daily News Staff Writer
Monday, July 15, 2013
Ludington Daily News

No one knows yet exactly how long Timothy Shannon will serve in prison for the murder of his wife, Lee-Ann, in a bathtub inside the couple's Hart home in December.
Shannon pleaded no contest in June to her death and was sentenced Monday morning in Oceana County's circuit court.
Judge Terrence Thomas issued a sentence of 13.5 to 75 years in prison for the crime, noting it will be up to the Michigan Department of Corrections to decide when Timothy Shannon will re-enter society.
The sentencing guidelines called for a minimum of 12 years.
During the sentencing there were pleas from Lee-Ann's family calling for him to serve the maximum sentence.
Lee-Ann's mother said she hoped Timothy would meet some Christian men in prison and turn his life around.
A letter from Lee-Ann's brother was read, pleading for Timothy to be imprisoned as long as their mother is alive.
At the time of the murder, Timothy was a Hart city councilor.
See more from the Ludington Daily News' Brian Mulherin.






Man sentenced in wife's bathub drowning
Ex-Hart councilman killed wife Lee-Ann Shannon
Updated: Monday, 15 Jul 2013, 3:38 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 15 Jul 2013, 3:38 PM EDT

WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (AP) - A former West Michigan city council member has been sentenced to up to 75 years in the bathtub drowning of his wife.

Timothy Shannon of Hart pleaded no contest last month in Oceana County Circuit Court to second-degree murder in the Dec. 29 death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon.

A no contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing, which was held Monday.

The Ludington Daily News reports Judge Terrence Thomas issued a sentence of 13 1/2 to 75 years. Thomas says it'll be up to the Corrections Department to decide when Shannon is released from prison.

Shannon told police his wife accidentally drowned, and he tried to revive her.

He was a Hart City Council member at the time of her death





Ex-Hart city councilman sentenced in bathtub murder of wife (video)
John S. Hausman
July 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM
Updated July 15, 2013 at 5:35 PM












HART, MI – Former Hart city councilman Timothy Nathaniel Shannon is headed to prison for at least 13 ½ years and maybe as much as 75 years for the deliberate bathtub drowning of his wife, Lee-Ann Shannon.
Oceana County 27th Circuit Court Judge Terrence R. Thomas imposed that sentence Monday in Hart. Shannon, 34, pleaded no contest June 3 to second-degree unpremeditated murder.
It will be up to the Michigan Department of Corrections parole board whether Shannon serves the minimum, the maximum or something in between.
Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon asked for a minimum sentence of 20 years, which would have been at the top end of state sentencing guidelines. Those guidelines, which govern the minimum sentence, were between 12 and 20 years in the case of Shannon, who has no prior criminal record.
"Mr. Shannon is a man who took the life of the mother of his two children," Bizon said. He said the pre-sentence investigation noted that Shannon was "deceitful throughout this entire process ... He took great steps to cover up his actions," initially telling investigators his wife had died by suicide or accident while drunk. "Much of his own account of this is bogus."
In addition, Bizon said, the pre-sentence investigation showed Shannon has "little or no remorse" for his actions.
Shannon’s attorney, Douglas Springstead, disputed that, and Shannon denied it in court before sentencing. "I cried myself to sleep just about every night in jail," Shannon said.
Bizon said allowing Shannon’s second-degree murder plea, rather than going to trial to try to prove first-degree premeditated murder, was the legally correct decision.
After closely studying the evidence, Bizon said, "we came to the conclusion that there was no evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt premeditation.... It was a crime of passion or opportunity," thus second-degree murder.
The judge said he was imposing a minimum sentence closer to the low end of state guidelines -- while leaving it to the corrections department to decide whether to free Shannon that early or keep him for up to 75 years -- largely because of the high cost to taxpayers of housing a state prison inmate.
Lee-Ann Shannon, who was 34, died Dec. 29 in a bathtub in the couple's home in the 200 block of Courtland Street in the city of Hart. The death was reported initially as an accidental drowning.
When the case turned into a homicide investigation, the Hart Police Department turned it over to the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office because Tim Shannon was a city council member. He later resigned his seat on the council.
Lee-Ann Shannon’s drowning came around mid-morning of the day she was due to leave home at her husband’s insistence, to be replaced by Tim Shannon’s young lover, who actually did move in that day, according to testimony at Tim Shannon's preliminary hearing Jan. 22.
According to police testimony at that hearing, Tim Shannon told detectives he pushed his wife under water and held her there for a long time after she angrily pulled him into the tub with her and he lost his balance, hitting his head.
Bizon, in an interview with MLive and the Muskegon Chronicle after the sentencing, said that account wasn’t believable, either. He believes Shannon held his wife, whom toxicology reports showed to be highly intoxicated, under water deliberately as a "crime of opportunity."
The couple’s daughter and son, ages 3 and 4, are in the custody of Tim Shannon's parents.
Lee-Ann’s mother, Irene Chaffin of Shelby, spoke to the judge about her daughter’s relationship with Tim, and his relationship with the much younger Jamie Hathaway. The younger woman had lived in the Shannons’ home earlier for about a year after Lee-Ann invited her in when she was homeless.
"Her and Tim had what I thought was a loving marriage," Chaffin said of her daughter. "(They had) many problems, because Tim was what I thought was a very controlling young man, but they just seemed to love each other so much." She said the two met in school, at Spring Arbor College, and kept in contact for five years before Lee-Ann finally agreed to marry him.
But then, after the Shannons took in Hathaway in 2011, "a relationship developed (between Tim and Hathaway). You can imagine how heartbreaking this was for Lee-Ann," Chaffin said.
Chaffin spoke of how much she misses her daughter, whom she said was highly intelligent, well-traveled, compassionate and a committed Christian.
She said she has forgiven Shannon and hopes he puts his time in prison to good use.
The same is not true for Lee-Ann’s brother, Tom Chaffin of Dallas, Texas, or her cousin, Deborah Lariviere of the San Francisco area.
Lariviere read a statement from Thomas Chaffin and one of her own. Both expressed anger at Shannon and said they have not forgiven him.
"May Lee-Ann rest in peace and Tim burn in hell," Lariviere said.










Timothy Nathaniel Shannon sentenced for the bathtub drowning of his wife
Monday, July 15, 2013 1:35 PM
Ken Stevens
MLive