Monthly Archives: June 2013

Florida man executed for prison guard's 1987 murder

A man who orchestrated a prison van ambush in 1987 in an attempt to free a prisoner has been executed. William Van Poyck died at 7:24 p.m. Wednesday by injection at the Florida State Prison. The 58-year-old was convicted of murdering prison guard Fred Griffis. His case garnered international attention because Van Poyck published three books and maintained a blog while on death row. Van Poyck and Frank Valdes ambushed a prison van outside a West Palm Beach doctor’s office in a failed attempt to free James O’Brien. Continue Reading →

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Escaped convict found guilty of Massachusetts barbershop murder

A Massachusetts man who escaped from prison has been convicted of killing a barbershop customer, wounding the barber and then injuring two officers during a shootout with police. A Hampden Superior Court jury found 27-year-old Tamik Kirkland of Springfield guilty Wednesday of charges including murder and armed assault with intent to murder. He was sentenced to the life without parole. Authorities say Kirkland escaped from a minimum-security prison in April 2011. Five days later he went into a Springfield barbershop and wounded a barber and fatally shot a customer. Continue Reading →

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Body found may be New York Angel Flight crash victim, sheriff says

Authorities say they believe they’ve found the body of a cancer patient missing since a small plane crashed last month in upstate New York. Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey tells local media outlets the remains found Wednesday near an ice cream stand a mile from the main wreck site are likely those of 64-year-old Frank Amerosa. Amerosa was on the Angel Flight with his wife, 58-year-old Evelyn Amerosa. They were heading home to Rome, N.Y., after treatment in the Boston area when the Piper PA 34 went down an hour west of Albany in the rural town Ephratah on May 24. The bodies of Evelyn Amerosa and 70-year-old volunteer pilot John Campbell of Stamford, Conn., were found the next day. Continue Reading →

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Victim in Texas parade crash accused of lying about receiving Purple Heart

An ex-police officer from Georgia who was injured in a train accident during a veterans parade in Texas is accused of lying about receiving a Purple Heart medal and was arrested Wednesday, Cherokee County sheriff’s officials said. Former Holly Springs police officer Shane Ladner, 40, was never awarded a Purple Heart and is charged with four counts of theft by deception, false swearing and giving a false statement to police, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Lt. Jay Baker said. Ladner presented a military discharge form claiming that he was the recipient of the honor when he applied for a free Purple Heart license plate in 2009, Baker said, adding that Army officials have no record of the form that Ladner presented to get the plate. Ladner and his wife, Meg, were among those injured in a mid-November train crash in Midland, Texas, that killed four people. One of Meg Ladner’s legs had to be amputated. Continue Reading →

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Pennsylvania girl's double-lung transplant a success, family says

A 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who battled for an organ donation successfully underwent a double lung transplant Wednesday and her family said doctors were “pleased” at her progress and prognosis. Sarah Murnaghan, who suffers from severe cystic fibrosis, received new lungs from an adult donor in surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, spokeswoman Tracy Simon said. The Murnaghan family said it was “thrilled” to share the news that Sarah was out of surgery. “Her doctors are very pleased with both her progress during the procedure and her prognosis for recovery,” the family said in a statement. During double-lung transplants, surgeons must open up the patient’s chest. Continue Reading →

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