Army Veteran James Fields Jr., 20, from Ohio, was charged with second-degree murder after allegedly killing Heather Heyer, 32, and critically injuring several others when he drove his vehicle into a crowd of protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia. The protestors that he harmed were counter protesting a “white nationalist” protest. According to police records, Fields was previously accused of beating his mother and threatening her with a knife. James Fields Jr. served in the active duty Army for about four months from August to December 2015. He was discharged after failing out of basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia. Fields was denied bail.
“He was, however, released from active duty due to a failure to meet training standards in December of 2015,” Army Lt. Col. LTC Paul Haverstick, a Pentagon spokesman, said. “As a result he was never awarded a military occupational skill nor was he assigned to a unit outside of basic training.” –Fox News
Marine Corps veteran Laurel Chasmar, 28, was shot and killed outside her Morris Plains, New Jersey home on August 5, 2017. Laurel was apparently in a relationship at one point with Hassan Shahid, 32, who is accused of her murder. Hassan Shahid of Jersey City was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Morris township after he allegedly killed Laurel. According to reports, Laurel and Hassan worked together at one of the Novartis facilities in New Jersey and dated for a time but it appears Chasmar ended things and then complained to the police that he was harassing her.
Fort Bragg Army soldier Matt Dyer’s dog Huey passed away in Fayetteville, North Carolina on April 16 or 17, 2017 (the exact date is unknown). Matt’s childhood friend and estranged wife, Marinna Rollins, was watching Huey for him while he was stationed in South Korea. Unfortunately, at some point Marinna and her current boyfriend, Jarren Heng, also a Fort Bragg Army soldier, decided they were going to kill Huey. The two filmed the event, it was released to the public, and went viral resulting in outrage from around the world. Less then two weeks after the news hit the airwaves and the two were charged and arrested, Marinna Rollins committed suicide. Matt Dyer is devastated by the loss of both Huey and his wife and childhood friend from Maine. Marinna was medically discharged from the Army and diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress, Bi-Polar, and other mental illnesses after a traumatic event in South Korea. Matt thought Huey would be good for Marinna, who was a disabled veteran and even registered Huey as an emotional support animal. Keep up with the latest developments in Jarren Heng’s animal abuse case and other news at Justice for Huey on Facebook.
Army veteran and former Ranger Fernando Duarte was shot and killed in a casino parking lot in Miami, Florida on Christmas day, December 25, 2016, after winning a prize. According to police, there was an argument ensued and escalated in the parking lot before Duarte was murdered by two suspects who were later identified and arrested. Kenin Bailey and Mikey Lenard were both charged with first degree murder. But the prosecutors dropped the charges against them because the evidenced revealed that Fernando was the aggressor and the two killed him in self-defense.
Richland County Sheriff’s Department says a man who engaged in an hours-long standoff with law enforcement agents on August 8th was a former member of the military and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. James Jennings Jr., 69, died from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body, one self-inflicted. Police were called to a domestic situation at Jennings’ residence. Jennings barricaded himself inside his home and police responded after he pointed a weapon at his wife and threatened to kill her. “He wanted us to kill him,” said the Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. After he went down he was transported to the hospital where he later died from the injuries. The Sheriff’s Department said that Jennings suffered from PTSD after serving in the military and believes it played a role in his death.
“It is real, these people are suffering and they need help.” Sheriff Lott
Maria Ridulph, 7, disappeared on December 3, 1957 in Sycamore, Illinois. She was found stabbed to death a few months later. Air Force veteran John Tessier (aka Jack McCullough) of Seattle, Washington, 17 at the time, was convicted in 2012 of the kidnapping and murder of Maria and sentenced to life in prison. It was the oldest cold case in the country to be solved but soon that victory would be lost and conviction overturned on appeal. A prosecutor found evidence that supported McCullough’s long-held alibi that he had been 40 miles away at the time of the disappearance. As a matter of fact, the former Captain was enlisting in the Air Force and left for active duty service a few days later. A certificate of innocence was issued and Jack McCullough was set free on April 15, 2016. Despite the past sexual abuse of minors allegations, which McCullough doesn’t deny, he wants to clear his name of the homicide. McCullough is suing the State of Illinois for wrongful conviction. The case remains unsolved to this day.
Retired police officer Jack McCullough was convicted of murder in Illinois more than half a century after the crime. But he was released Friday after a prosecutor found he could not have done it. McCullough says he will sue the state for the suffering five years of imprisonment. “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty reports.
Marine veteran Laura Anne Buckingham’s alleged plot to kill her ex-boyfriend (who is also the father of their child) was foiled. She has been charged with attempted first degree murder in Tennessee. She plead not guilty.
US Army veteran Felicia Reeves, 40, was found hanging August 19, 2015 in a bathroom in a room at the Royal Motel in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Initially the police ruled her death a suicide but the family questioned the investigator’s decision. One year later, Union County prosecutor’s reopened the probe into the investigation of Felicia to determine if in fact this was a homicide. According to her family, Felicia Reeves was a disabled veteran and had ties to organized criminal elements who might have wanted to silence her. The family also shared that she was sexually assaulted while stationed in Korea and her back was hurt during the attack which is what caused her permanent disability. She suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well. Felicia escaped a couple abusive relationships and in the past couple years became associated with people who appeared to be taking advantage of her and manipulating her. Felicia’s painkiller prescription from the Department of Veterans Affairs was a frequent target for her new found friends. Felicia was in the process of trying to get custody of her two sons and had recently become concerned that she may be in danger.
“Reeves had been in several bad relationships before her death and didn’t trust other people. Reeves’ sister, Suzan Bayorgeon, told the news outlet that Reeves had repeatedly commented that if she were discovered dead, it would be a murder.” -NJ.com
Army veteran Joseph Jeremy Weber, 28, was shot and killed in Sunnyvale, California by police on April 8th, 2015 after an alleged liquor-store robbery. Apparently, Weber was shot and killed by the police because he was wielding a knife despite being asked to drop the weapon multiple times. Authorities released that Joseph Jeremy Weber was a disabled veteran reportedly dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. The confrontation was preceded by a 911 call reporting a robbery where a man took a pack of cigarettes at knifepoint from a clerk at Grewalz Liquor & Groceries. The police say the suspect continued to move toward an officer while holding a knife and this is what prompted the 13-year police veteran to open fire. Joseph Jeremy Weber later died at the hospital.
The first officer on scene confronted the suspect in an alley and the police radio recordings reveal the officer reported that the suspect was about 50 feet away at that moment. Joseph Jeremy Weber refused to drop the knife and moments later, the officers reported shots were fired and the suspect was down. The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety contended the suspect closed the distance during the gap in transmissions. The officer’s attorney stated, “Even when (the suspect) was advancing, [the] officer was still giving commands. The suspect was within range to inflict death or great bodily injury. There’s no question.” The officer was placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine in all officer-involved shootings. The outcome of the investigation is unknown.