Criminal Cases

Criminal Cases

Father of Caden McWilliams Charged With Murder and Abuse of the Child


39-year-old Leland Pankey has been charged with the murder of his son, Caden McWilliams, 7. The boy’s body was found on December 23rd in Pankey’s storage unit. The boy had been encased in concrete and stored there.

Pankey’s history with the child has been riddled with abusive and neglectful behavior. The abuse dates back to May 2018 or further according to Elisha Pankey, Caden’s mother. Pankey was routinely watching their two children while Elisha worked. Investigators have determined that Elisha knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it.

While under Leland’s watch, Caden was rarely feeding the boy, beating him and days before his death, Leland had been keeping the boy in a dog kennel at night. Leland kept the kennel covered with a blanket. According to a statement from an inmate kept in Arapahoe County Jail, who spoke to Elisha Pankey, the boy would consistently beg for water and release, and that Elisha believed the boy suffocated in the cage.

The inmate also reported that Elisha had told her about the day of Caden’s death. Allegedly Leland was mishandling the boy, holding and lifting him by the neck and off the floor. He went into the bathroom with the boy, where Elisha heard a scuffle ensue, then Leland came out of the bathroom alone, telling Elisha they “can’t save both children.” The parents then removed the boy’s body from the hotel, in the carrier, acquired some concrete and took him to the storage unit. Their they covered him in concrete and encased the kennel in trash bags.

The discovery of the boy’s body resulted from a domestic abuse call made by Elisha in December. Elisha was arrested by authorities for possession of heroin found in the hotel room. During questioning about the situation, there were discrepancies between the two parent’s stories about the whereabouts of the children, specifically Caden. The investigation turned into a missing child investigation. Following up on this led authorities to the storage unit where they found Caden’s body.

An autopsy report performed later revealed Caden’s malnourishment and the presence of methamphetamine and cocaine. There were multiple injuries across the boy’s body as well.

District Attorney Beth McCann released a statement in regard to the investigation, “What began as a domestic violence call to the Aurora Police Department rapidly evolved into a homicide investigation because responding officers cared enough to ensure the involved children were safe. We have now implicated both parents in this truly horrific crime.”

Professor at University of Georgia Murdered by Her Boyfriend


43-year-old Marianna Shockley died this past weekend amid a strange tale that has produced few answers as to what actually happened. The account of the incident does not add up for investigators, especially after one of the two other people at the home where she died, shot himself because of what transpired.

The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call early Sunday morning just before 1 a.m. When deputies arrived on the scene at the home of 69-year-old Clark Heindel, they discovered Shockley lying outside the hot tub, with a wound to the head. Heindel was attempting CPR on Shockley. The third person at the residence was 41-year-old Marcus Lillard, Shockley’s boyfriend. All three persons at the residence were nude; police are unsure why.

When deputies questioned Lillard, the were told he was retrieving wood from the nearby trees. While Heindel reported that he himself had been in the pool and did not realize she was unresponsive in the hot tub. Lillard reported that upon his return, Shockley appeared unconscious. He and Heindel claim they began CPR, and that the wound on her head was caused by Lillard falling when attempting to pull Shockley from the tub. They claimed they had been performing CPR for approximately 45 minutes before calling 911.

Deputies immediately questioned the story they were receiving. The saw the head wound as questionable and they also observed there was already firewood nearby, obviously gathered previously based on Lillard’s story. Because of this, the two men were separated to be questioned separately.

While deputies were continuing to investigate the scene, Heindel somehow slipped inside the home. There was a gunshot and deputies entered and found Heindel dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had left a note saying, “he couldn’t live with the embarrassment associated with the professor’s death at his home.”

According to the autopsy report, strangulation was ruled as the cause of death. Authorities believe that Lillard was responsible for Shockley’s death. The report also showed that Shockley had been dead longer than the 45 minutes claimed by the two men. Lillard claims innocence in her death.

The investigation is still ongoing, as the case is difficult to piece together, especially after Heindel’s suicide. Sheriff Bill Massee said, “We can’t really document exactly what happened. We do know from the phone calls and all that they had reached out to several people, had sent out group texts to try to get help.” Lillard is currently being charged with aggravated assault, concealing a death, and murder.

Parents Arrested for Death of Baby as Police Search Landfill for Body


Police in Culver City, California have arrested and charged Kianna Williams and Adam Manson for the death of their 6-month-old infant, Jacsun Manson.

According to authorities, Jacsun had been reported missing on the 25th of January. The last time Jacsun was seen alive was on New Year’s Eve, in a PT cruiser with his parents. Authorities say the car was a stolen vehicle, belonging to a girl at the transitional housing where the parents were living. According to those close to the situation, Jacsun’s parents were meth users and considered erratic.

Aegina Manson, Jacsun’s aunt, said, “They should have never (been given back) the child. They are two recovering addicts. A lot of it doesn’t make sense. There’s a lot of lies.”

It was her belief that the child was safe with a friend of the family. She had spoken to her brother shortly before the boy was reported missing. She claimed he expressed an inability to care for Jacsun, reaching the point of tears at the admission. Aegina offered to care for Jacsun; however, arrangements for bringing Jacsun to her were not made.

Police believe the child died while in the parents’ care, if not at their hands. While Jacsun’s parents have not been fully forthcoming in the investigation, investigators believe Jacsun’s body was placed in a suitcase and discarded in a dumpster. The location of the dumpster was in Los Angeles near Crenshaw Mall.

Police have started a large-scale search at El Sobrante Landfill, located in Corona. This is where they believe the dumpster would have been delivered to. Even with the large amount of people conducting the search, it is expected to be a long task. The landfill processes approximately 70,000 tons of refuse each week. Search efforts are going to be increased to account for the large amount of additional garbage since Jacsun went missing. The plan is to bring in heavy machinery to better sift through the trash.

This isn’t the first time police have had to search the landfill. Fontana Police, investigating a missing teen nine years ago, searched El Sobrante for three months before finding the body. The search for the teen began just days after she was reported missing.

Jacsun’s parents are to be charged with second-degree murder this week. Culver City Police have asked that anyone with information regarding this investigation, please all Detective Raya @ 310-253-6318, or after normal business hours, the watch commander is available @ 310-253-6202.

Confrontation Leads to Violence When Man Drives Car into Family of Eight


Residents of Haverstraw, NY are in shock after a man plows into a family of eight outside a local 7-Eleven. The father and six children were all injured, while the mother received fatal injuries and died after being taken to the hospital.

Witness testimony recounts that the incident began a few moments before with an argument. 35-year-old Jason Mendez, the driver of the vehicle, was asked to not smoke near the children by their father. This appeared to anger Mendez, leading to a verbal confrontation with the children’s 32-year-old father.

After losing his temper, Mendez reportedly got into his vehicle, which was parked in front of the 7-Eleven. He then drove his vehicle directly at the family. After the initial strike, Mendez backed up approximately 20 feet, then drove forward into the family a second time.

Mendez remained on the scene, sitting in his car until police arrived. He brandished a knife as he sat in the car, refusing to drop the knife or exit the vehicle as instructed. Mendez was tased by officers and removed from the vehicle by force. He was arrested and faces charges for second-degree murder and seven attempted second-degree murder counts. Though the investigation is ongoing, Haverstraw Police posted to Facebook saying, “The investigation is still ongoing and it is anticipated that several additional charges will be filed.”

32-year-old Melissa Castillo DeLoatch was a mother of six, three from a previous relationship. Sadly, Melissa was also pregnant with her seventh child when attacked.

The children ranged in age from 11 months to 10 years old. The youngest three children and their father were the most seriously injured in the attack. The four were taken to Westchester Medical Center, all with non-life-threatening, yet serious injuries. The older children were taken to the closest local hospital where they were treated for lesser injuries.

According to reports, Melissa jumped between the car and the stroller in an effort to protect the younger children. Joan Christopher, Melissa’s mother, said her daughter was a hero because of her sacrifice for the children.

Family and friends have come together in response to Melissa’s death. A GoFundMe account has been started, reportedly by Melissa’s cousin, to raise money for the family.

Shawn DeLoatch, Melissa’s husband, also took to Facebook to express his grief and anger. “Killer u killed my wife lover best friend mother of my 6 kids my world. i f–king hate u.”

At his arraignment, Mendez pled not guilty to the charges against him. He is still held at Rockland County Jail.


Musician Kyle Yorlets Dead at 24 – Police Arrest 5 Teens for the Shooting Death


Nashville Police have arrested five suspects, and charged them with murder, in the death of musician Kyle Yorlets, 24. The group of five consisted of three girls and two boys, ranging in age from 12-16 years old.

On Thursday night, the five youths were driving/loitering behind Yorlets’ home on Torbett Street in the 3200 block. The group spotted Yorlets as they drove through the alley in a stolen pickup truck. Upon seeing the victim, the group confronted Yorlets, demanding his wallet and car keys.

Authorities believe Yorlets refused to comply and the youths shot him. The shooting occurred outside the house, but Yorlets managed to crawl back into the home. Later in the day, around 3 p.m., a roommate discovered Yorlets and then called 911. First responders took Yorlets to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, though he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Witnesses reported having seen a few young people running to a pickup truck at the time of the shooting. Based on descriptions from eye witnesses, Nashville authorities determined they were already looking for one of the five minors, a 12-year-old girl reported as a runaway. Police had turned up Snapchat posts, during the search, that showed the 12-year-old “with other young people with guns.”

Nashville Police believe the minors stole the Chevrolet pickup truck from Oak Grove in Kentucky, where it was reported stolen. Officials reported that the truck was abandoned on Timberland Drive, in Nashville’s Hermitage Precinct. The youths were later spotted at the Walmart in West Nashville.

When officers apprehended the teens, one of them was carrying a 9mm pistol that was loaded. After further investigation, another loaded gun was found in the Walmart. Both weapons had been reported stolen, one of which had been missing since 2018 after being stolen in South Nashville. Both weapons were reported stolen after the vehicles they were in had been stolen.

The two youngest members of the group cannot have their identities publicized due to the severity of the case and their young age, so all names are being withheld at this time.

It is expected that the four oldest teens will be charged as adults in this crime, but the attorney for the youngest girl, 12, argued that her case should not be tried in adult court. However, Stacy Miller, the Assistant District Attorney, disagreed. She argued that the girl did not run away, nor did she call the police, thus she is as culpable as the other four.

Though it is rare, it is not unheard of for Nashville to prosecute a pre-teen as an adult. In 1997, Terrence McLaurine was charged with and convicted of murder as an adult. Tennessee currently has approximately 185 prisoners with life sentences from crimes committed in their teens, seven of which were only 14 when they were convicted.

MLK Day Racial Altercation in Miami May Result in Hate Crime Charges


In Florida, 51-year-old Mark Allen Bartlett, has been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon illegally. The arrest occurred in Miami after Bartlett had an altercation with attendants of the “Bikes Up, Guns Down” event in Brickell on January 21st, Martin Luther King Day.

Though Bartlett has been charged already, prosecutors are pursuing more charges, as they investigate possible hate crime charges against Bartlett. His actions during the encounter have led prosecutors to believe he crossed the line.

According to prosecution reports, various videos were captured by a group of attendants during the confrontation. The group involved is a group of activists known as the Dream Defenders. In the videos, a woman is heard complaining to bicyclists that they are impeding street traffic and that a bike had run over her foot.

Further video shows Bartlett appearing on the scene carrying a handgun and calling out racial slurs and obscenities to the cyclists at the event. There were children and young adults in attendance.

Police were called and Bartlett was located later in the day and arrested around 6:30 that evening. He asked officers, “Why am I being arrested when those kids are free to ride around?” He told officers that while he did take out his gun, he never pointed the gun at anyone.

Members of the Dream Defenders found the charge against Bartlett laughable and nothing more than a mild reprimand. They took to social media to voice their outcry and chagrin.

Based on what she saw in the videos and from eyewitness testimony gathered, Florida State Attorney Katherine Rundle decided to order an investigation of the case by hate crime investigators. She offered a statement and said, “I am outraged at the reported acts depicted in the videos taken during this incident. I am committed to filing the appropriate charges and to vigorously prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.”

The cycling event in Brickell is not unusual. Dream Defenders said this was a protest/demonstration to draw attention to the lack of affordable housing in Miami. This is part of a large tradition in Miami, known as “Wheels up, Guns Down.” It is a sister demonstration to one held in Philadelphia in response to an African-American biker’s death. During the event, young black men ride ATVs, dirt bikes and bicycles on the streets of Miami on Martin Luther King Day.

The group accosted by Bartlett, comprised of children ranging from 11-18 years of age, have sought counsel from Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney, with the goal of making sure hate crimes are charged. According to Merritt’s liaison, the children involved have been emotionally impacted, having trouble with sleeping and feeling safe in the community.

Autistic Student Dragged Forcibly Through School Hallways


A teacher from Wurtland Elementary School in Kentucky has been charged with fourth-degree assault on a victim under 12 years of age, after she dragged an autistic student down the hall.

Trina Abrams was a resource teacher at the Greenup County school, having worked as a special education teacher in Kentucky. On October 24th, 2018, Abrams was called to help handle an outburst from an autistic student, Alan Jackson, age 9. As the situation escalated, Abrams cleared the classroom of other students, having them wait outside the room along the hallway wall.

Video cameras then show Abrams dragging Jackson out of the room. She passes another teacher in the hallway, who doesn’t seem to respond to Abrams’ behavior. Abrams continued dragging Jackson out of the camera’s view. She can be heard asking Jackson if he wants to walk, and he tells her no. She is then seen on another camera asking him again if he wants to walk. Then she tries to get Jackson to stand up, and when he does not, she continues dragging him on his knees.

She then took him into another room where the camera was not turned to see any events that occurred within. After the incident was brought to her attention, Sherry Horsley, School Superintendent for Greenup, said that Jackson’s mother, Angel Nelson, was contacted immediately. In the statement she released, Horsley stated, “The Greenup County School District prioritizes the safety of our students. The district followed established safety protocol as soon as this situation became known. The parent was contacted immediately and the student was assessed by the school nurse and referred for outside medical evaluation. Child Protective Services was contacted and the Kentucky State Police opened an investigation.”

Abrams has been terminated from the school, with an investigation being undertaken. She was also reported to the Kentucky Education Standards Board. Abrams is expected to plead not guilty to the charges against her.

Angel Nelson told reporters that schools need more cameras and better training for those teachers working with disabled children and those who don’t.

Alan Jackson deals with multiple conditions besides autism, including ADHD, PTSD, anxiety and depression. After the incident, Jackson was examined by the school’s nurse, who sent him for outside medical exams. According to his mother, Jackson suffered a sprained wrist while being dragged.

Nelson was aware that her son was prone to outbursts, but expected teachers to be able to handle them differently. She has removed her son from Wurtland and transferred him to another Greenup County school.

Wife Killed by Army Husband, Then He Flees to Thailand


Peter Lian, 21, has been charged with murder for the death of his wife. Khuang Par, Lian’s wife, was found dead on December 23rd. Her body had been hidden inside a suitcase, then dumped in a dumpster in Indianapolis.

According to investigator reports, the 27-year-old woman, and Lian, lived together in Colorado Springs near Fort Carson, where Lian served. Par had left Lian after accusations that he assaulted her in November. She had gone to Indianapolis to be with family. Par had obtained a restraining order against Lian after the assault. Lian was placed under arrest shortly after and officially charged with the assault.

After getting out of jail, Lian flew to Indianapolis on December 22nd, three weeks after Par left. Investigators say there are flight records showing Lian departing the country two days after arriving in Indianapolis. His destination was Bangkok. The Army has classified Lian as a deserter, since he did not return to duty as expected. It is unknown where Lian is at this time.

The last time Lian was seen was via surveillance video obtained from various locations in Indianapolis. He was seen drawing money from cash machines, making purchases and also driving Par’s vehicle.

A homeless woman found Par’s body in the suitcase on December 23rd and reported it to police. Investigator’s reports show indications of neck trauma, and that Par may have been raped before her death.

Police in Colorado have shared information from Par’s interview at the time of the domestic assault. She said an argument began over her plans to return to Indiana. The argument became physical and Par said Lian began choking her with one hand first, then proceeded to choke her with both. She alleged that once he released her, he threatened her before she could leave. He told her, “I’m going to kill you,” in Burmese, which is Par’s native language.

Warrants have been issued for Lian’s capture, one of which is for desertion from the U.S. Army. After the discovery of Par’s body, Army investigators found a matching suitcase in Lian’s room in the barracks.

Lian served the Army in the 4th Sustainment Brigade as a financial technician.


Husband Stabbed to Death by Wife in St. Charles, Missouri


36-year-old Brenna Davis is facing charges in the death of her husband. According to authorities, she stabbed her 40-year-old husband, Orville, multiple times after an argument in their St. Charles home.

Orville suffered stab wounds to the chest and face. Police reported that the couple had been having marital issues, but authorities had never been called for domestic violence issues. The couple was at home with their five children when the argument began. The argument escalated and Brenna grabbed a knife and proceeded to stab Orville. The children were not injured during the incident, nor was Brenna.

According to her police interview, Brenna was involved in an affair. The argument began when Brenna tried to hide her Kindle Fire from Orville. During the argument, Orville broke Brenna’s cellphone and demanded she leave if that was her choice. When Orville tried to take the Kindle, Brenna began stabbing him. One of the children called 911.

A witness statement from an unnamed person inside the home reported that Brenna had told Orville she would, “rather stab him but it wasn’t worth it.”

Brenna is currently in the St. Charles County Jail. She is being held on $500,000 bail.

Unfortunately, St. Charles Police report that the stabbing is one of three homicides occurring within the last two months.

In downtown St. Charles last week, Brady Wood was attempting to rob a man. His intended victim, instead, shot and killed Wood. Wood had two accomplices in the attempted robbery, 29-year-old Michael Leslie and 21-year-old Autumn Nuspl. The two are facing second-degree murder charges for their involvement in Wood’s death. Missouri law holds those committing a felony responsible for any deaths, whether directly or indirectly involved.

The first of the recent homicides occurred in November. Two teens, a girl and her boyfriend, shot her grandfather in the front yard of his home in St. Charles. They have both been charged for the murder.

Investigations are continuing in all three of these St. Charles homicides.



Plea Bargain Made in Double Homicide and Attempt to Dissolve Bodies in Acid


In a deal arranged with prosecutors in Missoula, Montana, Augustus Standingrock, 26, has pled guilty in the stabbing deaths of two people. The victims, 24-year-old Jackson Wiles and 15-year-old Marilyn Pickett, were killed by Standingrock and an alleged accomplice, who then dismembered their bodies and attempted to dissolve them with acid in a tub.

According to Standingrock, he was under the belief that Wiles was responsible for the sexual assault of a young girl. During the trial, he admitted to Judge James Wheelis that he had killed Wiles, but Pickett was killed by Tiffanie Pierce who is also facing charges. Pierce maintains her innocence in the deliberate homicide of Pickett. She is due to stand trial for these charges in March.

In witness testimony from Pierce’s roommate, he told police that a woman’s scream woke him that August 2017 night. He found Standingrock and Pierce cleaning blood from themselves in the bathroom. He recounted that Pierce had informed him about the dead girl in the basement. He went on to say that Pierce related the events of the night to him. She told him that Standingrock brought two people to the home, took them to the basement and attacked Wiles, while she attacked Pickett.

Pierce purchased chemicals that they tried to use in dissolving the bodies. There was enough degradation to force coroners to use DNA and dental records in identifying the bodies. Investigators found more evidence in the basement, including an ax, knives, and human tissue.

During the trial, Wheelis asked Standingrock if Pickett had attempted to escape. Standingrock said she tried, but he then handed a knife to Pierce and did not attempt to stop her from attacking Pickett. Again, Pierce claims she did not kill Pickett.

According to the plea bargain with prosecutors, Standingrock is expected to receive a sentence of life in prison. The charges were deliberate homicide and accountability to deliberate homicide. Prosecutors have recommended the life sentence; however, it does carry the possibility of parole. Standingrock’s trial was previously set for January 4th before the plea deal was made. Kirsten Pabst, the Missoula County Attorney had made it clear the death penalty would not be sought in his case.

It is unclear if the outcome of Pierce’s trial will have any future bearing on Standingrock’s charges and sentence.