Even with no history

Cecil, 31, and Stephanie Poythress, 32, were married parents of two young children (one article says their ages are 4 and 8 years old). The couple did not have a known history of domestic violence according to the local police chief, he was not aware of any calls to the couples home for fighting. Cecil Poythress was a popular local barber, Stephanie Poythress had previously been employed as a sheriff’s deputy from 1996 to 2004, at which time she resigned. However she held reserve officer status in another department, though she wasn’t actively working for them. 

Reportedly on Fri. night an argument developed between the couple while in their kitchen. Allegedly  during the argument, Stephanie Poythress picked up a knife and stabbed Cecil Poythress in the chest one time. She contacted 911  and requested assistance. Officers responded with the ambulance and at that time determined that there had been an argument and a stabbing.

Reportedly Cecil Poythress had a pulse when the ambulance arrived, but died enroute to the hospital. Reportedly the children were not in the room when the stabbing occurred. The children are now with family members.

Stephanie Poythress has been charged with murder and is being held without bond. The investigation is continuing.

dunndailyrecord.com                            fayettevillenc.com

All couples argue. It is a part of making relationships work and working out compromises. Experts do reccomend that couples avoid arguing in the kitchen, garage, or areas of the home where a weapon might be stored. Or if an argument begins in one of those areas to try to guide it into another area of the home.

When an argument begins, the adrenalin starts pumping and the fight or flight syndrome begins. At that point it is best if there is no weapons at hand.


 According to at least one article, the couple did have a history of domestic problems. According to the police chief the dispute was over money: “He wanted some, and she didn’t want to give it.”



In the 911 call, Stephanie Poythress reportedly sounded desparate and scared. “It is a cut to his heart, I mean his chest. It is just a cut.” Reportedly she also denied that the ‘cut’ was the result of a stab wound.

The police chief says they are now investigating the domestic history of the couple.

There was at least one previous report of an incident about 2 years ago between the couple that allegedly happened in one of Cecil Poythress’s barber shop. It occurred about a month before Stephanie Poythress resigned from the sheriff’s office. Reportedly Cecil Poythress recieved a cut to the hand, but he refused to press charges.



To Make the Exchange

Some reports say the two owed each other money, some reports say that Delice Wisner, 25, owed his ex girlfriend money.  But the ex-girlfriend has told police that when the two met at the bus stop for the exchange on Monday, Wisner allegedly took her captive and held her at gunpoint while he drove her to a hotel.

There he allegedly sexually assaulted her and held her for three days. On Thursday he reportedly drove her to his home, bound her with duct tape and left.  

Reportedly Wisner’s mother was concerned about him, and came to his home to check on him. When she found the door locked, she got a key from a manager and opened the apartment.

Finding the duct taped woman in her son’s home, she freed her and drove her to her own (the mother’s) home where the two called police.

Police who responded to the mother’s home say that Wisner drove by. Some articles say he tried to confront the woman.  Some reports say he was arrested, some reports say he was arrested after a chase in which he crashed his vehicle.

Delice Wisner has been charged with armed kidnapping, sexual battery, and fleeing from a police officer.

orlandosentinel.com   local6.com   wftv.com   wftv.com

At the end of every relationship there is usually belongings strewn one place or the other- or both. If there was abuse in the relationship, that can be a problem.

While some police departments will accompany a victim to pick up essentials, most cannot stay while an apartment is emptied.

Some people will attempt to solve that problem by a personal visit and being accompanied by a friend or relative- the drawback to that of course is that if the abuser is determined or has access to a weapon that person could also be in danger.

They may meet in a public place- but if the abuser has access to a weapon, they can get control even in a public place. And sometimes an abuser wouldn’t hesitate to take out a stranger, if they stood between him and the object of his anger or the target he wishes to control.

About those belongings, often a decision has to be made. Just how badly are the items needed? Are they replaceable? Can you do without them? Are they really worth risking your life?

Small items can be mailed if necessary. Fed Ex and other shippers can handle medium items. If there is a court case you can discuss arranging retrieval with the attorney or prosecutor.

Yes, you may take a loss. But getting out safely is the goal, and that may take some sacrifice. And abusers will hold items hostage in order to gain the compliance of the victim. An offer to let you have the item, if you pick it up yourself or meet them somewhere should be looked at with suspicion.

I haven’t seen any history of a domestic violence history in this case or history of a protection order. And it is not clear why the two were meeting in a bus station.

Public Humiliation

A 21 year old young woman begins dating a fellow student from the college she was attending. After an unknown period of time, the relationship ended.

On Sept. 12, police received a complaint that a person was throwing photographs from a car. Police responded to investigate and it took more than an hour to pick up 208 5X7 photos of a nude young woman. Police report they were all pictures of the same young woman. They report that the photos were being thrown from a car driven by a female, with a male throwing the photos from the passenger window.

Police have arrested 24 year old James Famiglietti in the incident. He has been charged with breach of peace and littering and is facing possible jail time and fines.  Famiglietti does have a criminal history. In 2003, he was charged and convicted of holding another female against her will. He is still on probation until 2008.

The female in the photos has been located and reportedly did have a relationship at one point. “The victim is happy and glad it’s over.” She says the photos were from a modeling assignment.

The female applied for a restraining order on Famiglietti on Sept. 13 and the order was granted.

newstimeslive.com              nbc30.com

Though often not covered under domestic violence statues, threats of humiliation are often used in domestic violence situations. Sometimes it is a threat to reveal real or imagined information to the victim’s friends or family, sometimes it is threats to report the victim for a real or imagined crime, and sometimes as in this case…..it is a very public humiliation.

I don’t care how he came by the photos. Releasing them in this way was most likely either an attempt at control or retaliation.

Police have managed to keep the young woman’s identity hidden, and I am glad it is so. Never the less the whole incident had to be embarrassing for any young woman.


They picked her up late on Tuesday night. It is not being said why or how they managed to get her to go with them. But somehow Aquendius Landry, 28, and Larmatina Landry, 24, managed to get her to go.

They took her to a remote area, and there they drenched her with a liquid- thought to be gasoline. Then they set a flame to the liquid.

How she came to be found has not been released. But they say she is still alive, though it is not known if she will surive. She is reported to be burned over 60% of her body. Reportedly severe burns, “from the tip of her scalp all the way down to the upper part of her thighs.”

Her name is not being released. Neither is the hospital she was transferred to, after treatment in the community hospital. It isn’t clear how she came to be taken to the hospital, but I have read that hospital officals are the ones who notified the sheriff’s dept. of her condition.

Aquendius Landry was reportedly her ex-boyfriend and the father of her two children. Larmatina Landry is his brother. Reportedly this isn’t the first episode of violence with this particular couple. According to the sheriff the couple had been together for several years and had a “stormy” relationship. There had been other reports, and Landry had been arrested before. But “We’re talking about classic domestic violence,” “He would get away with things because she would drop the charges or not testify for prosecutors.”

Aquendius Landry and Larmatina Landry have both been charged with 1 count of attempted murder each. The sheriff says he will request a high bond due to the severity of the crime and that if she doesn’t survive, charges will be changed accordingly.

2theadvocate.com         allheadlinenews.com

shreveporttimes.com        2theadvocate.com

Just to clarify what exactly is meant by 60 % of the body I looked it up. In estimating the extent of a burn, they use what is called the rule of 9’s.

The front and back of the head and neck= 9%

The front and back of one hand and arm= 9%

The chest= 9%

The stomach= 9%

The upper back= 9%

The lower back= 9%

The front and back of each leg= 18%

The groin area= 1%

Total equals 100%

60% of her body burned means that from her thighs up, she has burns. It means risk of infection is extremely high. Risk that her body will go into shock and fail is extremely high. If she survives, it means months or possibly years of pain and repeated surgeries. It means that she will be covered in scar tissue. It means that she will have to begin at the very beginning- relearning to feed herself, dress herself, and walk. And more pain.

She won’t be available to her children, unless someone is able to arrange hospital visits. So if she surives, her children will still be virtually orphans, at least until she is able to care for herself and them again.

Their father won’t be able to care for them. He will be in jail awaiting trial for a while. If convicted, it will be prison. So at this point they are virtually orphans, though they have two livng parents at this time.

After an abusive episode, many women in the “classic domestic violence” syndrome don’t prosecute. Many do not understand that. They often live feeling totally powerless, all decisions are made by the abusive partner or subject to the approval of the abusive partner. Often that means all decisions- from what they wear, who they talk to, what they have for supper, and what time they go to bed.

After time passes and every minor decision being colored by what the abusive partner would want and what will happen if they don’t guess correctly….they forget how to make decisions on their own. Frequently they feel totally powerless. So powerless that they do not recognize that when they follow through with prosecution they have the power. Or if they do recognize it, they don’t know how to think and use that power without the thought of “what will the partner think”.

From what I have read, they are calling this couple ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend. They talk about the fact that the children lived with the woman. So it sounds like just maybe she may have tried to make the break.

I wish she had chosen a shelter, to give herself a better chance.

And a big thank you goes to MagZ for the tip on  this one.


According to an updated article, the woman wasn’t set on fire once. It was twice. Reportedly the gas was dumped on her and lit. She rolled and managed to put the flames out. More gas was then poured on her and again she was set aflame.

Aquendius Landry  has reportedly been arrested for domestic violence 7 times since 1999, all involving the same victim. Landry was convicted of simple battery and domestic abuse battery twice, once in 2004 and once in 2005, but it is said that he never spent any significant time in jail, as the sentence was most likely no more than 30 days or he may have been ordered to pay a fine. None of the previous convictions rose to a felony level.


He said he would never hurt her

Akiba Finister, 29, reportedly kept her relationship with David Knight, 46, a secret from her family at first. Family believe that may have been because she knew of his criminal history and knew that it would worry them.

When her mother found out, she spoke to her daughter about it and her daughter said that she could take care of herself and that she would leave if she ever felt threatened. The mother also spoke to Knight, and he promised he would never hurt her daughter.

Reportedly Finister, the mother of two, had decided recently to break it off with Knight. And that is reportedly what led up to Tuesday’s events.

The couple had gone to visit with friend’s and relatives in their home. An unnamed man in the home had gone to the store when an argument developed between the couple. The two were in a bedroom when the man returned from the store and he tried unsuccessfully to get into the bedroom.

When Knight came out, he began stabbing the man. Other’s in the home were able to pull Knight off the man and Knight fled the home. Akiba Finister was found dead in the bedroom with multiple stab wounds. According to a veteran police officer. “This is the most vicious crime I’ve been involved with. … This just reeks of rage.”

The unnamed man was taken to the hospital where he is reported to be in critical but stable condition on Wednesday.

Knight had a criminal history dating back to 1981.  In 1987 he was involved in a robbery-shooting, and the victim later died. Initially charged with murder, he agreed to a plea bargain which reduced the charge to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 13 years. He was out of prison by 1997. And he was on parole for a drug conviction as well as on probation for corporal injury to a child.

Knight was last seen riding a bike away from the area.

insidebayarea.com          sfgate.com          nbc11.com

I haven’t seen any information as to whether Finster’s children were present when their mother died. The children are reported to be aged 11 and 4 years old.

Knight is at large and police are reportedly looking for him. I haven’t seen a description for him or any pictures of him.


Police are intenifying their search for David Knight. They have released his picture. The man who was stabbed has been released from the hospital. Police believe that Finister was stabbed because she was trying to break up with Knight. Finister had been staying in the apartment, where the stabbings occurred, for a few weeks.


Carnival of the True Crime Blogs XLIII

Guess what? It is Wednesday again already. Boy, has this week gone fast! This week’s Carnival is at The Trenchcoat Chronicles so click on over and find out what the rest of the blogroll is up to!

Remember to Commit a Random Act of Kindness

They were getting along fine

Neighbors say that 31-year-old Eric Schott and 24-year-old Becky Gehring were talkative and enjoyed walking their dogs in the neighborhood where they lived. Becky Gehring was a nurse’s aide and Eric Schott was a truck mechanic. Neighbors also mentioned the one thing that stands out when you see the couple’s picture. Eric Schott was very tall, and Becky Gehring was very short.

Friends and family say they enjoyed hanging out with Becky Gehring’s father Kenneth Gehring, 54. They were with him at his favorite bar on Fri. night. It has been said they appeared to be having a good time that night playing pool and seemed to be getting along fine.

Saturday night, Kenneth Gehring was supposed to work at the bar, but he didn’t show up. Neighbors noticed papers piling up on the couple’s doorstep. Then on Monday, Kenneth Gehring didn’t show up for a pool league. Neither Eric Schott or Becky Gehring showed up for work. A relative who lived with Kenneth Gehring said that he hadn’t been home since Friday.

On Monday the owner of the bar contacted Kenneth Gehring’s son and he went to the couple’s home to check on them. There he found their bodies in the living room.

Police say a gun was also found in the living room. Police are still waiting for the coroner’s report. But at this point, they believe it was a double murder-suicide. They believe that Schott killed Becky Gehring and her father Kenneth Gehring then turned the gun on himself.

wcpo.com             news.enquirer.com          wkrc.com

It started with a threat

A worker found the partially clothed body of a woman outside an abandoned warehouse on Thursday Sept. 21. She had a gunshot wound to the head. Her identity was unknown. The only public clue was a tattoo on her upper left shoulder of the word Summer, written in script.

A family had been concerned about one of their members. They had found out that she left her children with someone and had not returned for them. They say that wasn’t like her. Then they heard about the body being found in a warehouse. They were contacting the coroner as the photo of the tattoo was being released on Friday.

The woman was identified as Summer Francis, 29. Family members had other information for police. They said she was in a 6 year relationship with Andre C. Pounds, 41, the father of one of her children. She had two children ages 10 and 3. And reportedly there was a history of domestic violence.

Reportedly Pounds had previously made threats to Ms. Francis. From a police report made on Feb. 3 “made threats to put her six foot under the ground and warned her not to call the police.” Also in the report it is alleged that Pounds jerked her off the bed and drug her into the living room” “ripped her shirt apart an scratched her on her chest and began hitting her in the face with his hand.”

Police are not saying led up to the murder, but they say they have a motive. Police say the couple was arguing in their apartment. Then they both left in the same vehicle, and Pounds returned alone.

Police believe she was killed in a different place than the warehouse, and her body was brought there to be disposed of.  

Family told police where they might find Pounds and he was brought in for questioning.

Pounds has been charged with murder, felonious assault, domestic violence, having a weapon under a disability, tampering with evidence, possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine.

daytondailynews.com                          whiotv.com 

whiotv.com                                      daytondailynews.com

If he killed her (innocent until proven guilty, right?)  then he took the time to hide the fact. He dumped her body at an abandoned warehouse- possibly hoping it wouldn’t be found for a few days. Since it was also outside the home, he was probably hoping that it would help cover the identity of the killer.

It is alleged that the person who killed her, was a man who had been with her for 6 years. He had met her, woo’d her, lived with her, made love with her, and had a child with her. And it is likely that at some point he told her that he loved her.

Then he murdered her and dumped her like a piece of trash.

People say things in anger. Things they will probably later say they didn’t mean it. But even when said in the heat of anger, the thought is there. Will they, can they carry out the threat? Too many times they do.

She kept going back

Her father says that Jennifer Huard, 26, had been dating Kirkman J. Cassavaugh III, for about a year and he has said the relationship was abusive. He says that frequently she would come home to stay for awhile or go to stay with friends, because she was afraid of being beat up. But then she would go back. He says that she blamed his abuse on drug and alcohol abuse, and that she never turned him in for that or for her abuse. And he says that two would talk and he would ‘coax’ her and she always went back.

Jennifer Huard was the mother of two children, ages 6 and 3 years old.

His son Jeremy Huard, 28 (some reports say 29), was a loving brother he said. When Jennifer went back to Cassavaugh, Jeremy usually went with her.

According to the father, Cassavaugh came to his home last Saturday and tried to strangle Jennifer in his driveway. Jeremy and a cousin reportedly pulled him off. Reportedly Cassavaugh ran up the road and was screaming that he was going to kill Jennifer.

Police say they recieved a call just before 9 am on Wednesday morning telling them there had been a shooting at Cassavaugh’s home. Police say they found the bodies of Jennifer and Jeremey about 100 feet from the trailer where they believe they had been killed about 4 am that morning.

Police are not discussing the motive or whether other people were on the property at the time. Autopsy results show that Jennifer Huard died of two gunshot wounds with one of them in the chest. Jeremy Huard died of multiple stab wounds, but also had multiple gunshot wounds.  

Mr. Huard has alleged that Cassavaugh “He was a drug dealer, and she liked drugs, I guess.” Mr. Huard has said that Jennifer lived with Cassavaugh off and on, police have said that Cassavaugh lived there alone.

 Kirkman J. Cassavaugh III was arraigned in court on Fri. on 2 charges of first degree murder. At the hearing deputies ended up protecting him from a family member who allegedly tried to attack him.  

The investigation is continuing. Police are still searching for the murder weapon.

 unionleader.com                concordmonitor.com     

unionleader.com                seacoastonline.com

Now I know someone is going to come here and point out that she was a druggie. But so was Cassavaugh.  I do not know of anyone who doesn’t have some faults. And just because she was a user, doesn’t mean she should receive a death sentence.

Undoubtedly, someone is going to say that Cassavaugh had reason. But I have to wonder, what they could have done that was so bad that she and her brother deserved a death sentence?

She kept going back and she didn’t report any abuse. That may be true. And maybe she was going back either for the drugs or for misplaced loyalty or affection. Again I would have to ask, does that deserve a death sentence? Actually, that behavior is not uncommon in persons who are the victims of domestic violence.

He got attacked too. I don’t condone violence in or out of a courtroom. While I may understand and sympathize with the desire to harm him, no matter the family’s belief’s about Cassavaugh’s guilt, he does have a right to a fair trial. And our court system, with all of its formality and foilibles is the only system we have for determining all of what happened that night. I can understand the rage and frustration, in that he is being treated a lot more fairly than Jennifer and Jeremy. But while more violence may relieve some frustration, unfortunately it won’t bring either one back nor will it relieve the anger, grief, and anguish of their loss. Instead it would leave the family with no answers to their questions. Any relief gained from an attack on him would only be temporary and  could result in the family never really knowing.


Remembrances of Jeremy and Jennifer Huard and the memorial service.


The Chase

A witness has said that Saturday he saw two vehicles speeding through his neighborhood. He says he followed the vehicles in order to ask them to slow down. Police say that witnesses have said that the two vehicles were speeding and running stop signs, and that it appeared that one of the vehicles may have been chasing the other.

The witness who followed them to the home has stated that there were two women in the first car and a man in the following car. Police say that one of the occupants of the first car was Wendy Dirk and the occupant of the second vehicle was James Dirk. When they reached a driveway, both vehicles pulled in and the occupants went into the home. The witness then says a woman came out of the home screaming and collapsed in the driveway.

He called 911 just before 4 pm. The witness heard a scream from inside the house then three shots, then as he was on the phone with 911 dispatchers, he heard a fourth shot.

Police responding to the home James P. Dirk, 50, and his wife Wendy Dirk, dead in an upstairs bedroom. An autopsy has been completed and James Dirk’s death has been ruled a suicide, Wendy Dirk’s death has been ruled a homicide.

Many nice things are being said about Wendy Dirk. She was full of life with a bubbly personality, a good friend, a terrific employee and salesperson. But among other things being said, friends have said that they feared something like this might happen. And they say that Mrs. Dirk was talking about going to a domestic violence shelter.

“She told me she wanted to stay someplace safe for a little while,” “She stayed with me last night . . . this is just a nightmare.”

Police say the other woman at the home at the time of the shooting was not physically harmed, she has not been named. Reportedly no other persons were in the home at the time of the shooting. Police say the investigation is continuing.

syracruse.com           wtvh.com         syracruse.com

news10now.com        silive.com         9wsyr.com

I have seen where police advise that people who believe they are being followed in their vehicle should not go home, instead they should go to the nearest police station or well lighted area. In a domestic situation, a police station or an area frequented by police would probably be best.

It would also be advisable if there is a domestic violence situation to have a cell phone with you at all times (including at home) and to call 911. Another thing that might be helpful is  to do whatever you can to attract attention to your vehicle. Blow your horn, flash your lights, put your emergency blinkers on, whatever you can do to attract others attention and still maintain safe driving practices.

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