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Former security guard accuses coal business of wrongful termination

WILLIAMSON A former security guard is suing a coal business, alleging wrongful termination in retaliation for seeking workers compensation leave. Ronnie Jordan of Wharncliffe filed the complaint in Mingo Circuit Court against DFM Coal, LLC and Gregory Blairalleging that they violated the Worker’s Compensation Discriminatory Practices Act and West Virginia Human Rights Act. According to the complaint, on June 21, 2016, Jordan was injured while working as a security guard at the defendant’s coal mine in Wharncliffe. The suit says he promptly filed for workers compensation benefits.

The suit says he was denied his compensation claim and he protested to the Office of Judges where a hearing was held in January. After the workers compensation claim was held compensable during the hearing, the lawsuit states, Jordan was terminated Feb. 23. As a result, Jordan says he has he suffered lost wages, benefits and humiliation. The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to give employees their right to a medical leave, failed to provide a safe working environment to avoid injuries and failed to provide legal reason before terminating an employee. Jordan seeks trial by jury, lost wages, benefits, back pay, front pay, all damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees, court costs and all equitable relief. He is represented by attorney Steve S. Wolfe of Wolfe, White and Associates in Logan.

Mingo Circuit Court Case number 17-C-60

Suspect in death of Pamela Butler told witness it was ‘easy’ to get rid …

The man charged in the 2009 disappearance and slaying of Pamela Butler told a friend that it was easy to get rid of a body, a D.C. homicide detective said Tuesday. The friend, who is a witness in the case against 51-year-old Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, told detectives that Rodriguez-Cruz had once said if you dig a hole deep enough, no one will find it, D.C. homicide detective Michael Fulton testified in D.C. Superior Court. Rodriguez-Cruz made similar comments about his ability to hide a body to two other people, according to authorities. Rodriguez-Cruz was charged this month with first-degree, premeditated murder in the death of Butler, his onetime girlfriend. She was 47 years old when she went missing Valentine s Day weekend eight years ago. Her body has not been found.

[Ex-boyfriend arrested in 2009 disappearance, death of Northwest woman[1]]

During Tuesday s preliminary hearing, homicide prosecutor Deborah Sines argued that Rodriguez-Cruz had a pattern of abusing women and may also be responsible for the disappearance of his first wife, Marta Rodriguez. She went missing in 1989. Sines said Rodriguez-Cruz told his second wife that he knew how to make sure no one ever found a body. During the nearly five-hour hearing, prosecutors also said they had identified another woman who recounted abuse by Rodriguez-Cruz. They said the woman told detectives that Rodriguez-Cruz duct-taped her wrists, held a gun to her head and repeatedly sexually assaulted her during a 2004 incident in Fairfax County. The woman said he also threatened to sexually assault her 3-year-old daughter, authorities said in court.

This man doesn t impulsively kill. He abducts women, duct-tapes them, sexually assaults them and then holds them captive, said Sines s co-counsel, Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner. Duct tape and a gun are his weapon of choice.

Without Butler s body, and no clear crime scene, authorities have built a case that relies in part on Rodriguez-Cruz s history of violence. Rodriguez-Cruz, wearing an orange D.C. jail jumpsuit, sat next to his public defender and watched as the detective and prosecutors outlined their evidence against him. Butler s family, including her mother and brother, sat in the audience in the courtroom. Fulton testified that authorities are working to bolster their case against Rodriguez-Cruz. On Friday, he said, police searched Rodriguez-Cruz s Northern Virginia home in connection with his first wife s disappearance and found a Ruger semiautomatic pistol.

In addition, Fulton said, D.C. authorities are testing items found in Butler s home for possible DNA evidence. Fulton described the Fairfax County attack in court, testifying that the woman involved was a security guard at a federal office who also ran a stand at Eastern Market with Rodriguez-Cruz on weekends. The woman said that on the morning of Jan. 9, 2004, she went to Rodriguez-Cruz s home to talk about their work. Fulton said the woman told detectives that when she arrived at the apartment, Rodriguez-Cruz put a gun to her head and a pillow over her face and said: I could kill you tomorrow and no one would ever find your body. I can make your body disappear. The woman told detectives that Rodriguez-Cruz sexually assaulted her as her young daughter was in the apartment, Fulton said. When Rodriguez-Cruz later fell asleep, she told police, she grabbed a knife with one hand and her daughter with the other and tried to run out of the apartment. Rodriguez-Cruz woke, pulled out his gun and grabbed her, the woman said. She then stabbed him multiple times.

Fulton said the woman, who at the time spoke little English, was unable to give a full account of what happened and was arrested and charged with assault. The case never went to trial after Rodriguez-Cruz stopped cooperating with Fairfax authorities, Fulton testified. Rodriguez-Cruz s public defender, Judith Pipe, argued that her client s past relationships were not relevant to the Butler case. Pipe noted that in Butler s otherwise immaculate home, there was evidence that someone had riffled through files in her home office and strewn them across the floor. There was also a box of floppy disks on the floor, a latex glove and some duct tape. This looks like a burglary at the house, Pipe said.

Judge Hiram E. Puig-Lugo said he found enough evidence to hold Rodriguez-Cruz in jail until trial. Puig-Lugo cited evidence such as video surveillance footage that showed Rodriguez-Cruz going in and out of Butler s house about the time of her disappearance. At one point, he is seen carrying five large bags out of the house and a white bucket holding what appears to be cleaning supplies. Puig-Lugo also noted that although there was no evidence of a crime scene in the home, cadaver dogs detected signs of a decaying body in the rear passenger seat and trunk of his vehicle. Puig-Lugo determined that Rodriguez-Cruz would be a danger if he were released and set his next hearing for July 28.

References

  1. ^ Ex-boyfriend arrested in 2009 disappearance, death of Northwest woman (www.washingtonpost.com)

Suspect in death of Pamela Butler told witness it was ‘easy’ to get rid of a body

The man charged in the 2009 disappearance and slaying of Pamela Butler told a friend that it was easy to get rid of a body, a D.C. homicide detective said Tuesday. The friend, who is a witness in the case against 51-year-old Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, told detectives that Rodriguez-Cruz had once said if you dig a hole deep enough, no one will find it, D.C. homicide detective Michael Fulton testified in D.C. Superior Court. Rodriguez-Cruz made similar comments about his ability to hide a body to two other people, according to authorities. Rodriguez-Cruz was charged this month with first-degree, premeditated murder in the death of Butler, his onetime girlfriend. She was 47 years old when she went missing Valentine s Day weekend eight years ago. Her body has not been found.

[Ex-boyfriend arrested in 2009 disappearance, death of Northwest woman[1]]

During Tuesday s preliminary hearing, homicide prosecutor Deborah Sines argued that Rodriguez-Cruz had a pattern of abusing women and may also be responsible for the disappearance of his first wife, Marta Rodriguez. She went missing in 1989. Sines said Rodriguez-Cruz told his second wife that he knew how to make sure no one ever found a body. During the nearly five-hour hearing, prosecutors also said they had identified another woman who recounted abuse by Rodriguez-Cruz. They said the woman told detectives that Rodriguez-Cruz duct-taped her wrists, held a gun to her head and repeatedly sexually assaulted her during a 2004 incident in Fairfax County. The woman said he also threatened to sexually assault her 3-year-old daughter, authorities said in court.

This man doesn t impulsively kill. He abducts women, duct-tapes them, sexually assaults them and then holds them captive, said Sines s co-counsel, Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner. Duct tape and a gun are his weapon of choice.

Without Butler s body, and no clear crime scene, authorities have built a case that relies in part on Rodriguez-Cruz s history of violence. Rodriguez-Cruz, wearing an orange D.C. jail jumpsuit, sat next to his public defender and watched as the detective and prosecutors outlined their evidence against him. Butler s family, including her mother and brother, sat in the audience in the courtroom. Fulton testified that authorities are working to bolster their case against Rodriguez-Cruz. On Friday, he said, police searched Rodriguez-Cruz s Northern Virginia home in connection with his first wife s disappearance and found a Ruger semiautomatic pistol.

In addition, Fulton said, D.C. authorities are testing items found in Butler s home for possible DNA evidence. Fulton described the Fairfax County attack in court, testifying that the woman involved was a security guard at a federal office who also ran a stand at Eastern Market with Rodriguez-Cruz on weekends. The woman said that on the morning of Jan. 9, 2004, she went to Rodriguez-Cruz s home to talk about their work. Fulton said the woman told detectives that when she arrived at the apartment, Rodriguez-Cruz put a gun to her head and a pillow over her face and said: I could kill you tomorrow and no one would ever find your body. I can make your body disappear. The woman told detectives that Rodriguez-Cruz sexually assaulted her as her young daughter was in the apartment, Fulton said. When Rodriguez-Cruz later fell asleep, she told police, she grabbed a knife with one hand and her daughter with the other and tried to run out of the apartment. Rodriguez-Cruz woke, pulled out his gun and grabbed her, the woman said. She then stabbed him multiple times.

Fulton said the woman, who at the time spoke little English, was unable to give a full account of what happened and was arrested and charged with assault. The case never went to trial after Rodriguez-Cruz stopped cooperating with Fairfax authorities, Fulton testified. Rodriguez-Cruz s public defender, Judith Pipe, argued that her client s past relationships were not relevant to the Butler case. Pipe noted that in Butler s otherwise immaculate home, there was evidence that someone had riffled through files in her home office and strewn them across the floor. There was also a box of floppy disks on the floor, a latex glove and some duct tape. This looks like a burglary at the house, Pipe said.

Judge Hiram E. Puig-Lugo said he found enough evidence to hold Rodriguez-Cruz in jail until trial. Puig-Lugo cited evidence such as video surveillance footage that showed Rodriguez-Cruz going in and out of Butler s house about the time of her disappearance. At one point, he is seen carrying five large bags out of the house and a white bucket holding what appears to be cleaning supplies. Puig-Lugo also noted that although there was no evidence of a crime scene in the home, cadaver dogs detected signs of a decaying body in the rear passenger seat and trunk of his vehicle. Puig-Lugo determined that Rodriguez-Cruz would be a danger if he were released and set his next hearing for July 28.

References

  1. ^ Ex-boyfriend arrested in 2009 disappearance, death of Northwest woman (www.washingtonpost.com)