Iraq War Army Veteran Steven Russell Jr. Convicted of the Capital Murder of Girlfriend Joy Owen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (2012)

Steven Russell

Steven Russell, Jr., US Army Veteran

Army veteran Steven Russell, Jr. was convicted of the capital murder of his girlfriend Joy Owen on January 27, 2012. Russell was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors say Russell killed Joy because she tried to leave him. In the middle of the night on November 3, 2009, Russell cocked his gun and fired it four times at Owen with no apparent provocation. The North Little Rock Police Department found Joy Owen’s body around 4:30 a.m. In the course of the homicide investigation, police learned that Russell had received 5-years probation in Clark County, Arkansas for the second-degree domestic battery of another girlfriend in 2008. According to reports, the U.S. Army said Russell was a mechanic stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and he enlisted in the Army in 2001; the year he left the Army was not available.

Steven Russell’s defense team admitted he killed Owen but blamed the shooting on post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by his war service in Iraq in 2003. The attorneys appealed the decision claiming he “had the dubious task of recovering bodies and equipment after they had come in contact with improvised explosive devices.” But the state Supreme Court disagreed with the defense saying the judge was confronted with conflicting forensic evaluations. While two mental health professionals “found that Russell lacked capacity as a result of mental disease or defect to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law or to appreciate the criminality of his conduct, the court also had before it (another doctor’s) opinion to the contrary.” The Supreme Court upheld a Pulaski County jury’s 2012 conviction of capital murder.

“You would have to believe [Owen] did something that reminded him of his Iraqi war experience … and I can’t make that jump. To me, it was too convenient, and there was too much purposeful action.” –Dr. Brad Diner, psychologist

Related Links:
Arkansas Iraq War vet gets life in prison for killing girlfriend
Joy Owens, former MP daughter, students talk about her slaying
Ark. court upholds veteran’s murder conviction
Arkansas Man Challenging Judge Barring Partner At Home

Notorious Fayetteville crimes — Theer and Shannon homicides — to be on national TV again

mzl.nxjteahoThe crime documentary TV genre gets a lot of mileage out of the murders of Marty Theer and David ShannonBoth of these notorious Fayetteville murder cases will again be presented on a national network in the next week.

It’s the third time these stories will be told on national television, following versions aired on the Oxygen channel’s “Snapped” show and on “Dateline: NBC.” The new shows interviewed me, prosecutors, law enforcement and others to help tell the stories. I’ve seen review copies.

The premiere episode of “Scorned: Love Kills” debuts at 10 p.m. Saturday on the Investigation Discovery channel with the Shannon murder of 2002, a case that brought to light a Fayetteville subculture of open marriage and sexual swing club partner-swapping.

Read more here.

Shannon O’Roark Murdered Estranged Husband’s Mistress Veterans Affairs Psychiatrist Dr. Irina Puscariu; Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison (2012)

On January 13, 2012, Shannon O’Roark of Texas drove 250 miles to Missouri to kill her estranged husband’s mistress fourty-six year old Dr. Irina Puscariu. Shannon O’Roark Griffin was an aeronautical engineer who worked for NASA training astronauts until she experienced a seizure that put her on definite sick leave. Shannon’s husband was a Colonel in the Air Force who decided he wasn’t ready to retire. Shannon and Col. Roscoe Griffin had been living separately for quite some time and discussed divorce but it appeared Shannon did not want a divorce after twenty years of marriage. Meanwhile, Col. Griffin lost a fellow service member to suicide and it devastated him. He began seeing Dr. Irina Puscariu, a Veterans Affairs psychiatrist, for help. The professional relationship evolved into a romantic relationship, which is strictly forbidden in the world of psychiatry. Dr. Puscariu put her own career at risk when she chose to date Col. Griffin. Shannon found out thru social media that her husband was seeing Dr. Puscariu when he posted a picture with Irina on Facebook. Col. Griffin also changed his relationship status to “it’s complicated” which to Shannon was rejection, and rejection was the trigger. Col. Roscoe Griffin had no idea what was in store for him when someone is dumped and dangerous.

Shannon may have felt like the post meant the last twenty years were horrible and now I am going to replace you. Shannon asked Col. Griffin to go to a counseling appointment with her one last time in an effort to save the relationship. It would be here she would learn her husband of twenty years loved Dr. Puscariu and wanted to continue to see her. After this counseling session is when Shannon decided to go to Missouri and kill Dr. Puscariu. She wanted to protect what was hers at all costs. She wanted to obliterate Dr. Puscariu from her life so the problem would go away. She drove 250 miles to Irina’ home in Missouri and shot and killed her four times in front of her own mother, the last shot was to her face. Shannon then fled the scene back to Texas and was held in custody until she could be extradited back to Missouri for a murder charge. Shannon plead guilty to second degree murder to avoid a trial. She was sentenced to twenty years for second degree murder and twenty years for armed criminal action. Investigators noted that before this incident Shannon had zero criminal history or violent behavior, she didn’t even have a speeding ticket. But when she got rejected by her husband Col. Roscoe Griffin, it would be jealousy and revenge that would drive her to murder the woman who stole her life.

Related Links:
Woman Accused of Killing Husband’s Mistress
Former NASA employee accused of killing alleged mistress
Former JSC worker accused of killing husband’s mistress
Report: Former JSC employee accused of killing husband’s alleged mistress
Anger, sorrow after wife of Air Force colonel accused of murder
Texas woman held in Wichita on suspicion of shooting husband’s mistress
Woman Waives Extradition In Psychiatrist’s Slaying
Woman accused of murdering a Gladstone psychiatrist extradited back to Missouri
Police: Woman charged in death of Gladstone psychiatrist
Woman charged with killing Gladstone psychiatrist brought to Clay County
Granbury Woman Charged in Death of Psychiatrist Having Affair With Her Husband
Ex-NASA employee charged with killing husband’s mistress
Texas woman charged in death of Missouri psychiatrist
Wife Kills Husband’s Mistress: Shannon O’Roark Griffin Charged With Murdering Irina Puscariu
Jaded Wife Shoots Husband’s Mistress in the Face, Charged with Murder
Former NASA trainer ‘drives 250 miles to shoot dead her husband’s mistress’
Woman charged with killing psychiatrist to appear in court Monday
Woman charged with killing psychiatrist to appear in court Monday
Judge denies Shannon O’Roark Griffin lower bond, mental evaluation
Plea entered in murder case
Wife Kills Mistress of Husband after Marriage Counseling Session
Wife of Air Force colonel sentenced for shooting husband’s alleged girlfriend
Woman who drove from Texas to Mo. to kill husband’s lover sentenced to 20 years
Former NASA employee gets 20 years in Gladstone slaying
Another NASA Love Triangle?
The Malignant Divorce: Has NASA Gone Postal?
Understandable Revenge is No Defence

Videos:
Deadly Women: “Dumped and Dangerous”
Kansas Murder Scene Video
Accused killer back in Clay County
Gladstone Slaying Suspect Returns To Missouri
Woman Charged In Gladstone Slaying To Return To Missouri
Ex-NASA employee charged with killing husband’s mistress
Wife Kills Husband’s Mistress: Shannon O’Roark Griffin Charged With Murdering Irina Puscariu


Deadly Women: “Dumped and Dangerous” (Investigation Discovery)

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Joshua Eisenhauer Shot at Police & Firefighters During 4-Hour Standoff at Fayetteville Home (2012)

US Army Seal

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer was sentenced to 10 to 18 years in prison for shooting at police and firefighters from his apartment in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Related Links:
Bragg soldier charged after standoff at Fayetteville apartment
Former Fort Bragg soldier pleads not guilty in 2012 shooting; Joshua Eisenhauer says he suffered from PTSD when he shot at police, firefighters
Soldier accused in standoff appears in court
Police get help with vets who are ticking bombs
Veteran with PTSD, jailed on attempted murder charges, sues D.A.
Suicides, disputes spur probe of Bragg WTU
Soldier wants a military trial in off-base shooting
Past Friend Speaks Up About Serving with 1st Sgt. Joshua P. Eisenhauer
Parents: Soldier Thought He Was Firing At Afghans
Request the US Army to accept jurisdiction over Josh Eisenhauer’s case
PTSD, Searching for Treatment, Help Staff Sgt Joshua Eisenhauer
Soldier accused in firefight with police is prisoner to PTSD
The Military Doesn’t Always Want Jurisdiction When Prosecuting Service Members
Hearing set for Fort Bragg soldier who fired at police, firefighters in Fayetteville in 2012
Soldier who fired at police in 2012 to be sentenced
Lawyer: Army reneged on Eisenhauer plea deal in PTSD shooting case
Fort Bragg postpones discharge hearing for Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer
Fort Bragg Postpones Discharge Hearing for Accused Shooter
Army board deliberating over fate of Fort Bragg soldier, Joshua Eisenhauer
Fort Bragg Soldier Sentenced for Shooting at Police and Firefighters
Fort Bragg soldier with PTSD gets up to 18 years for flashback-sparked attack
Soldier convicted of shooting at police and firefighters now eligible for VA benefits
2 cases that rocked Fayetteville: New developments this week
Tragedy, Trauma Mark Fort Bragg Soldier’s Path to Prison

Army Soldier Sgt. Brandy Fonteneaux Found Murdered in Fort Carson Barracks; Sgt. Vincinte Jackson Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2012)

Brandy Fonteneaux

Sgt. Brandy Fonteneaux, US Army

Army soldier Sgt. Brandy Fonteneaux was found stabbed to death in her barracks room at Fort Carson in Colorado on January 9, 2012. An autopsy revealed that she was stabbed 74 times and choked to death. After an investigation, co-worker and Army Sgt. Vincinte Jackson was charged with her murder. Both Sgt. Jackson and Brandy were assigned to the 4th Engineer Battalion at Fort Carson but they were not close. According to Brandy’s family, she knew him but they were not friends and didn’t hang out. Brandy shared with family that Sgt. Jackson would often talk about his crumbling marriage.

Sgt. Jackson was accused of going to the barracks, looking for a door that was unlocked, entering, and killing Brandy Fonteneaux. The prosecution argued that Jackson made a conscience decision to leave his home, go to the barracks, enter Brandy’s room, and murder her. The defense argued that Jackson was not aware of his actions due to a combination of heavy alcohol use and anti-depressants. Sgt. Jackson was found guilty of murder on December 13, 2012 and a military jury sentenced him to life without parole. Jackson was acquitted of premeditated murder.

Related Links:
Brandy Fonteneaux: Houston Soldier Found Nude, Stabbed to Death in Colorado Barracks
Female Soldier Stabbed 74 Times In Own Barracks [VIDEO]
Army: Death of Sgt. Brandy Fonteneau in Ft. Carson barracks a homicide
Army ‘Aggressively’ Investigating Soldier’s Slaying
Fort Carson Soldier Arrested In Murder On Base
Court martial begins nearly one year after soldier’s death
Fort Carson Soldier Faces Hearing In Female Soldier’s Slaying
Fort Carson sergeant charged in soldier’s death
Court-martial starts Monday for soldier charged in stabbing death
Court martial begins nearly one year after soldier’s death
Court-martial under way in Army barracks killing
Soldier’s Mental State Barracks Killing Issue
Expert testifies that pills, alcohol led soldier to kill
Carson soldier sentenced to life in January slaying
Colorado soldier guilty of unpremeditated murder
Army sergeant sentenced to life in Colorado slaying
Soldier Sentenced To Life For Slaying At Fort Carson
Army sergeant sentenced to life in prison for murder of female solider after stabbing her 74 times while high on cocktail of drugs and alcohol
Army sgt. apologizes to family of slain soldier
Soldier’s slaying in US is bitter irony for family
Life in Prison for Fort Carson Soldier Sgt Vincinte Jackson

Iraq War Army Veteran Benjamin Barnes Found Dead in Mount Rainier National Park; Suspect in Death of Park Ranger Margaret Anderson (2012)

Benjamin Colton Barnes

Benjamin Colton Barnes, US Army Veteran

Related Links:
Park ranger killed by gunman in national park
Suspect in Ranger’s Slaying Was “Troubled and Vindictive”
Ranger shot, killed at Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier park remains closed after shooting
Mount Rainier National Park closed; manhunt on for gunman who killed ranger
Manhunt after US park ranger shooting
Rainier National Park Ranger Shot: Suspect Armed And Hiding In Park
Authorities Find Body of Mt. Rainier Shooting Suspect
Suspect’s downward spiral ended with killing at Rainier
Mt. Rainier Body Is Murder Suspect: Police
Benjamin Barnes Identified as Gunman in Mt. Rainier Shooting of Margaret Anderson
Killer’s icy grave: Iraq war vet who gunned down park ranger is found dead after freezing to death in snow
Iraq war vet who murdered park ranger before freezing to death in snow was stationed at U.S. Army’s most troubled base
Benjamin Colton Barnes, Mount Rainier Gunman, Died Of Drowning, Hypothermia
Troubled picture emerges of suspect in park ranger’s slaying
Suspect in shooting of ranger, others found dead in park
Former Army private sought in Rainier shootings found dead
Mount Rainier shooting suspect Benjamin Colton Barnes confirmed dead
FBI: Suspect in Rainier ranger’s killing dead
Man Believed to Have Killed Park Ranger Is Found Dead
Icy death for suspected killer of park ranger
Suspect in ranger shooting is found dead
Suspect in ranger’s slaying found dead in creek
Mt. Rainier New Year’s shooter had Riverside County ties
Police: Body found at Rainier park is that of gunman who killed ranger
Troubled vet on lam dies in Washington wilds
Family of Mount Rainier ranger grieves, celebrates his life
The Killing of a Park Ranger on Mount Rainier Reminds Us to Help Returning Soldiers
Lisa Buscani on Benjamin Colton Barnes and the War that isn’t over
The Mt. Rainier Shooting and PTSD: How the Media Got It Wrong
Our Sickening Rush to See PTSD – and What It Costs Vets
How America’s Wars Came Home With the Troops
The Devil on Paradise Road