National Roundup . . .

Oklahoma
Man arrested in decapitation of his grandmother

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A man was arrested in the shooting and decapitation of his grandmother and her husband at an Oklahoma City home where they operated a day care, police said Wednesday.

Quinton Dashawn Laster, 20, was arrested Tuesday after police found the bodies of Sharon Reed, 59, and James Earl Reed, 78, in the Oklahoma City home where the three lived, according to Sgt. Ashley Peters.

Peters said the couple operated an in-home day care at the property. The children were found unharmed in an attached garage and apparently didn’t see the crime, Peters said. She did not know the ages of the children.

She said Laster spoke to a neighbor after the crime, leading the neighbor to ask police to check on the couple.

“I’m not sure exactly what words were exchanged with the neighbor, but the neighbor called 911,” Peters said.

Laster is being held on two complaints of first-degree murder, Peter said. She did not know whether he had an attorney.

Peters said investigators were still trying to determine a motive for the slayings and declined to say where in the home the victims were found.

“We are not able to release where they were located as the investigation is still open, and that’s of evidentiary value.”

Peters said Laster was arrested in February 2015 for misdemeanor assault and battery and was arrested as a juvenile.

“He has a history with us, but it’s not extensive,” Peters said.

Georgia
Feds accuse prison guards of taking bribes, drug trafficking

ATLANTA (AP) — More than 40 prison guards and officers in Georgia have been indicted on charges of accepting bribes and drug trafficking, the latest in a federal effort to crack down on contraband and criminal activity in the state’s prisons.

Since September, about 130 people — including prison employees, inmates, former inmates and others accused of helping them — have been indicted.

The indictments resulting in the Thursday arrests were filed over the last three months and unsealed Wednesday.

A majority of those charged were Georgia Department of Corrections officers accused of agreeing to protect a person they believed was a high-level drug trafficker. The indictments say the officers agreed to wear their uniforms during the drug transports to deter law enforcement interference.

The officers charged worked at nine different prisons.

Other indictments unsealed late last month accused 51 people of participating in a financial fraud scheme masterminded by inmates using cellphones from their prison cells. Among those indicted were 15 correctional officers or former officers and 19 inmates or former inmates at Autry State Prison in Pelham.

Just a few weeks earlier, federal prosecutors accused 17 people of participating in a drug trafficking ring that distributed significant quantities of crystal methamphetamine in metro Atlanta and elsewhere. Three inmates used cellphones to manage a network of brokers, distributors and runners from their prison cells, prosecutors said.

In September, federal prosecutors in Atlanta filed two other indictments that also targeted alleged criminal activity by Georgia inmates using cellphones. Those indictments alleged that inmates used the cellphones to traffic drugs, smuggle in contraband, steal identities and, in at least one case, to arrange a violent attack on an inmate suspected of snitching.


New York
5 indicted in NYC gas explosion that killed 2

NEW YORK (AP) — A building owner and four others have been indicted on charges that include manslaughter in connection with a gas explosion last year that killed two people and leveled three New York City buildings.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and other officials said Thursday that the charges also include criminally negligent homicide and assault. They say the defendants set up an illegal gas delivery system.

Vance says the carnage was caused by “a foreseeable, preventable and completely avoidable gas explosion.”

The March 2015 explosion injured 22 people and killed restaurant worker Moises Ismael Locon Yac and diner Nicholas Figueroa.

Two years ago, a gas explosion in an East Harlem building killed eight people and injured about 50. A gas leak was reported before that blast.

New York
Police: Cop killed wife and son, set home on fire, then shot himself

COLONIE, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a police officer with no prior history of domestic violence fatally shot his wife and son and set the family’s suburban Albany house on fire before killing himself.

Police revealed details Thursday about 44-year-old Israel Roman’s actions at his home on Tuesday in Colonie, where he served the past 12 years on the police force.

State police say Roman used his service handgun to kill his wife, Deborah, 44, and their 10-year-old son, Nathan. Police say they believe Roman placed their bodies on the bed in the master bedroom, started a fire and shot himself.

Firefighters responding to the home discovered the bodies.

Colonie police officials describe Israel Roman as a dedicated, decorated officer who had no history of behavioral problems prior to Tuesday.

New York
Man charged with murder in death of wife of 51 years

GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — A 70-year-old man has been charged with murder in the death of his wife of 51 years inside their upstate New York apartment.

Police in Gloversville say Thursday that Frank Ostrander was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 70-year-old Sally Ostrander.

Officials say Frank Ostrander called 911 on Wednesday and told dispatchers he found his wife dead inside their apartment in Gloversville, about 40 miles northwest of the capital city, Albany.

Police officials say there was evidence of a violent struggle in the apartment.

Officials are declining to discuss the manner of death or a motive.

Ostrander is being held without bail in the Fulton County Jail. It couldn’t be determined if he has a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

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