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Friends say man accused in mother’s brutal slaying ‘loved her’

His friends say the only thing Joshua Carmona loved more than baseball was his mother.

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She would take him on road trips to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and buy tickets months out for New York Yankees games at Tropicana Field. She would cheer from the bleachers at his West Tampa Little League games, and whenever he talked of going pro some day, it was always as a way to take care of her. But baseball also brought his mother together with the man she would marry, Stephen D’Angelo. Trips to Tropicana came to include the daughter the couple have together, now 3, and Carmona eventually stopped tagging along. By the time he enrolled at Jefferson High School, he had given up on trying out for the team.

BACKSTORY: Son, 18, accused of killing his mother on her birthday[1]

On Monday, Tahirih Lua D’Angelo’s 39th birthday, Carmona picked up a baseball bat his stepfather had given him and struck his mother as she stood in the kitchen of their Riverview townhome, relatives and sheriff’s investigators said. He beat her repeatedly then stabbed her neck with a butcher knife. She was found in a bathroom, nearly decapitated, her body wrapped in a comforter. Horrified, friends and family are left probing through memories that might somehow explain how a bright loner once teased in school for being a momma’s boy could so violently attack the woman who gave him life.

They point to the changes in his family, the pressures of college’s first year, the counseling sessions for depression. His drug use came to the surface in November, when Pennsylvania State Police found him with marijuana, contemplating suicide in a stolen car. The rarity of children killing a parent it accounts for about 2 percent of U.S. homicides helps explain why it’s such a shocking crime. But few other explanations are clear in Tara D’Angelo’s death, except perhaps this: She inspired a deep passion in her son, so much so that he once brought a high school auditorium to tears reading an essay on how much he loved her.

“He was always with his mom, talking about how he loved her and he didn’t want to let her down,” said his high school friend Miguel Guzman. “He loved his mom to death. He really did.”

Raised by a single mother of three, Tara D’Angelo developed a love for sports at an early age. She was full of energy, outgoing and “soft-hearted,” said her best friend Renee Davis. She had held a job ever since Davis met her at Hillsborough High School. If she happened to have a night off, it was spent singing karaoke, tailgating with friends or hanging out at casinos. When D’Angelo was 20, she became pregnant with Joshua. She had only known his father briefly and when he learned of the pregnancy, he left, Davis said.

When her son was about 4, D’Angelo left him with her mother and moved away. Details about why are few. Relatives say she worked odd jobs in Arizona, Wyoming and Oregon, staying in contact with her son and making trips home for holidays. In April 2009, she moved back to Tampa and five months later, she met Stephen D’Angelo. Joshua could have lived with his mother the day she came back, but he chose to remain with his grandmother until she died when he was 11. His mother would take Joshua on trips and work extra hours to pay for the toys and video games she knew he wanted, but the once happy child became more and more withdrawn.

“If she knew he wanted something she would get it for him,” Davis said. “That’s why I don’t understand why he would do this. She worked so hard to buy him stuff because she wasn’t there for him when he was growing up. But it wasn’t enough.”

Miguel Guzman befriended Joshua Carmona in a freshman math class at Jefferson High School after making a joke about his Yankees baseball cap. Carmona was quiet and nerdy and Guzman, by his own account, was a popular troublemaker. Guzman was drawn to his new friend’s kindness and depth. Carmona would help him with his homework and Guzman would stick up for Carmona when bullies picked on him in the hallways. He would walk Carmona to classes, like “a human cage.”

When kids laughed and called him a mama’s boy, he got so mad he turned “red as the sun,” Guzman said. Carmona had a temper, and it showed when Guzman told him he was leaving school sophomore year to get a GED. Relatives saw his temper, too, and worried because he rarely engaged them in conversation, said his uncle Luis Carmona. Most of his days were spent inside his bedroom.

“There was nothing keeping him there if he disliked the people he was with,” Luis Carmona said. “He was smart, he was educated, he had every opportunity, and every resource available to him to leave was there.”

Guzman, 20, lost contact with Joshua Carmona until he saw him last summer working at a juice kiosk in the Westfield Brandon mall. Carmona talked about how excited he was to be going to Fordham University in Manhattan.

Most of Carmona’s friends from high school got to know him junior year. That’s when he started smoking marijuana and became more outgoing, said one friend, Yahel Hernandez, 19. Hernandez was popular, a member of many school clubs and had a big group of friends. After he befriended Carmona, Hernandez said, the once shy honors student began attending games and homecoming dances. He became president of the National Math Honors Society and spoke out on politics. Senior year, Hernandez persuaded Carmona to join him in the “Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson” pageant. Hernandez took the title, but Carmona was thrilled to be chosen second runner up. For the talent portion, Carmona read about his mother a moving speech that brought the auditorium to tears, Hernandez said.

Things took a turn for the worse, though. His first kiss was from Sabrina Feliciano, class valedictorian, after he asked her if she would be his date for the senior prom. But even teachers soon learned the story behind why she showed up to the dance alone. Her date passed out in a hotel room while “pre-gaming” with friends, and didn’t make it to the dance until well after it was over. Carmona always made her laugh, Feliciano said, but she distanced herself from him because of his partying. Still, she said, “The guy who did this to his mom was not the Joshua I know.”

Carmona maintained his grades, earning a perfect score on his AP Psychology exam. He graduated 11th in his class last May, completing the Criminal Justice magnet program and earning a certification to be a security guard. He doted on his little sister and is only seen smiling in family photos with her.

But shortly after graduation, Tara D’Angelo kicked her son out of the house where he lived with her, Stephen D’Angelo, the couple’s daughter and an aunt for smoking marijuana. Stephen D’Angelo is a customer service representative for a utility company and his wife, who works at a Walmart, was pursuing an associate’s degree. Carmona spent about a month couch surfing before he left for college in a rental car. He saw his mother briefly before he left, said her father-in-law Bob D’Angelo. Carmona left Fordham midway through the first semester and his friends assumed it was because of financial struggles or grades. He never told them he had been arrested for stealing a woman’s car after driving to Pennsylvania to attempt suicide.

Four months later, Carmona, 18, is in jail on a charge of first degree murder, awaiting a bail hearing Monday. His public defender declined to comment for this story. Carmona was arrested after being pulled over by a Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy Monday night. Investigators said he had intended to kill his stepfather, too, but his plan fell through. The family has told his step-sister that her mother won’t be coming home. Talking to her about her brother will be a harder conversation. They’ve set up a gofundme.com page to help pay costs they’re incurring from the slaying.

“I don’t think I can call him my friend knowing what he’s done, but for a while he was my best friend,” Hernandez said. “When I think back on all of those interactions I still feel the same and those memories I’ll never forget.”

Contact Anastasia Dawson at [email protected] or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.

References

  1. ^ BACKSTORY: Son, 18, accused of killing his mother on her birthday (www.tampabay.com)

New Mexico Set to Be 48th State with Breach Notification Law

Breach Notification , Data Breach , Legislation[1][2][3]

Gov. Susana Martinez Expected to Sign Measure Soon Eric Chabrow (GovInfoSecurity) March 21, 2017 [4][5] New Mexico Set To Be 48th State With Breach Notification Law Floor of the New Mexico Senate. (Photo: Arianna Sena/Creative Commons)

New Mexico is on the cusp of becoming the 48th state to enact a data breach notification law, which would leave Alabama and South Dakota as the only states without such a statute.

See Also: Three and a Half Crimeware Trends to Watch in 2017[6]

The New Mexico Senate on March 15 passed the Data Breach Notification Act[7], or HB 15, by a 40-0 vote and sent the bill to Gov. Susana Martinez for her signature. The House approved the bill by a 68-0 margin on Feb. 15. A gubernatorial spokesman says Martinez is reviewing the legislation and has 20 days from passage to decide whether to approve it. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Bill Rehm, says he believes his fellow Republican will sign the measure. What took New Mexico so long to enact a data breach notification[8] law? Resistance from some businesses was a key factor, says Mark Medley, who runs ID Theft Resolutions, a not-for-profit organization that supports New Mexicans victimized by identity theft[9]. “Lobbyists who didn’t want it [the bill’s passage] are very strong and influential in Santa Fe,” Medley says.

To win passage this year, Rehm says he worked closely with business representatives, seeking compromises on specific provisions. For instance, earlier data breach notification bills that failed to win passage included a provision that breached organization had only 30 days to notify victims. The law passed this year gives organizations 45 days to issue notification.

Protecting PII

New Mexico’s law, if enacted, would require businesses operating in the state to take reasonable security procedures to safeguard personally identifiable information. Unlike Massachusetts’ law, the New Mexico measure is not prescriptive, giving much latitude to businesses to decide how best to protect PII. The measure also would require organizations to notify the state attorney general if more than 1,000 New Mexicans fell victim to a breach. Breached organizations must notify individuals “in the most expedient time possible, but not later than 45 days following discovery of the security breach,” according to an analysis of bill by the law firm Baker Hostetler[10]. Organizations would be exempt from notification if, after an investigation, it’s determined the breach didn’t pose a significant risk of identity theft or fraud.

Like notification laws in many other states, organizations would be exempt from complying with the New Mexico statute if they must comply with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that governs financial institutions handling private information or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that regulates patient information. The New Mexico measure would require organizations to provide breach victims with advice on how to access personal account statements and credit reports to detect errors resulting from the security breach and also inform them of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting and Identity Security Act.

Complicated Landscape

Besides 47 states, the District of Columbia and three territories also have data breach notification laws on the books.

“No two state data breach notification laws are alike, and this can create a complicated landscape for privacy teams working to assess privacy incidents and remain compliant across multiple jurisdictions,” says Alan Wall, senior counsel and global privacy officer at Radar, a company that provides online incident response management service. “The nuances of state penalties for noncompliance with data breach laws can have very real impacts on a privacy team already spread thin dealing with a data breach.”

Such concerns have been behind calls for Congress to enact a federal statute to establish a single data breach notification standard that supersedes state laws. But efforts since 2008 to enact such a law have faltered (see Single US Breach Notification Law: Stalled[11]). A national data breach notification law would simplify reporting breaches to law enforcement, citizens and consumers because organizations would only have to follow one set of rules, rather than a patchwork of state requirements.

But a federal data breach notification requirement – at least in the eyes of some consumer advocates – could potentially weaken security safeguards found in some state laws (see Barriers to a Breach Notification Law[12]). For example, Massachusetts’ and California’s data breach notification laws contain prescriptive security processes that likely would not be included in a federal law.

In testimony before Congress in 2015, Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General Sara Cable argued that pre-empting state laws could “represent significant retraction of existing protections for consumers at a time when such protections are imperative.”

No legislation[13] calling for a national data breach notification requirement has been introduced in Congress this year, according to a search of Congress.gov. “Now we play the waiting game for either state No. 49 to throw its hat into the notification ring or the federal government to pass a law that would unify notification obligations across all states,” says Erich Falke, a partner at the law firm Baker Hostetler who specializes in data privacy and data protection. “I’m not holding my breath for the latter.”

References

  1. ^ Breach Notification (www.bankinfosecurity.com)
  2. ^ Data Breach (www.bankinfosecurity.com)
  3. ^ Legislation (www.bankinfosecurity.com)
  4. ^ Eric Chabrow (www.bankinfosecurity.com)
  5. ^ GovInfoSecurity (www.twitter.com)
  6. ^ Three and a Half Crimeware Trends to Watch in 2017 (www.bankinfosecurity.com)
  7. ^ Data Breach Notification Act (www.nmlegis.gov)
  8. ^ data breach notification (www.bankinfosecurity.com)
  9. ^ identity theft (www.bankinfosecurity.com)
  10. ^ Baker Hostetler (www.jdsupra.com)
  11. ^ Single US Breach Notification Law: Stalled (www.bankinfosecurity.com)
  12. ^ Barriers to a Breach Notification Law (www.bankinfosecurity.com)
  13. ^ legislation (www.bankinfosecurity.com)

James Hogue nets prison sentences of 3 and 6 years for Aspen …

A con man who racked up felonies from California to New Jersey was sentenced to state prison terms of three and six years Monday for his actions tied to illegally building a shack on Aspen Mountain. Pitkin County District Judge Chris Seldin noted James Hogue’s “extraordinary” criminal history featuring as many as five felony convictions and multiple misdemeanors which don’t include his Aspen transgressions for crimes ranging from theft to fraudulently gaining admittance to Princeton University on a track scholarship when he was in his 30s.

“This is a striking criminal history for its consistency,” Seldin said when delivering the sentence. “And what it tells the court is if Mr. Hogue isn’t in jail or prison or otherwise incarcerated, he’s committing a crime. That’s his way of life. I’ve heard nothing about any mental health issues or substance issues or other explanations for his pattern of behavior, other than this is a lifestyle of a career criminal, from what I can tell.”

Hogue, 57, pleaded guilty in February[1] to felony theft between $2,000 and $5,000, felony possession of burglary tools and misdemeanor obstructing police officers. Seldin sentenced Hogue to six years in prison for the theft conviction and three years for the possession of tools conviction. The sentences will run concurrently. The judge also sentenced Hogue to 138 days of jail for the misdemeanor conviction, which is credit for the time he has spent in Pitkin County Jail since he was arrested.

Hogue faced presumptive prison ranges of one to three years. Seldin, however, gave him aggravated sentences because the judge determined that Hogue is a chronic offender and a long shot for rehabilitation

“I see nothing in (the pre-sentence report for Hogue) that provides any indication that he believes the rules apply to him,” Seldin said, adding, “You are a very consistent thief, Mr. Hogue, but you’re a very bad thief because you get caught a lot. I don’t understand what’s going on with this pattern of behavior. You are a bright and intelligent person, but you can’t treat other people this way. And the only conclusion I can reach from this record, which is so long, is that as long as Mr. Hogue is at liberty in the community, he’ll be continuing to take things from other people and continue to commit crimes.”

Aspen police arrested Hogue in November on suspicion of living in a rogue shack for a least one year on Shadow Mountain, the western-most peak of Aspen Mountain. In September, Hogue eluded authorities after they knocked on the door of his insulated shack. About a month later, Aspen Skiing Co. employees busted him trying to build another cabin about 100 yards west of the existing cabin. Employees contacted police, who used a loudspeaker to contact Hogue on Aspen Mountain. Again, he fled into the woods. Hogue ultimately was arrested Nov. 3 after an employee at the Pitkin County Library saw him using a computer there. Police were contacted and arrested him on a Boulder County warrant and a criminal impersonation charge because he gave them a fake name.

After Hogue’s arrest, subsequent searches by Aspen police yielded nearly $17,000[2] cash in his 2005 Nissan Xterra, burglary tools, ledgers of what he had sold, and athletic gear, among other items. Police said Hogue sold an estimated $70,000 worth of stolen items on eBay. Hogue’s arrest in Aspen was the latest in a litany of transgressions that resulted in his being the subject of stories in The New Yorker, The New York Times, People Magazine and television news magazines. His public defender, however, said he is a self-reliant, intelligent and nonviolent criminal who prefers to keep to himself and is “simply an adult man who finds himself impoverished and homeless.”

“The man who I read about in various articles and in the media is portrayed often as someone who is sneaky, as someone who is a folk hero of sorts,” said Molly Owens, who lobbied the judge to sentence Hogue to supervised probation. “But the man who I know is simple and humble and has lived recently in a life of isolation.”

Prosecutor Sarah Oszczakiewicz asked for prison time, arguing Hogue has not learned from the previous probation stints he served. She also added that though his crimes were not violent, they were “economic crimes” because he stole from individuals and businesses in Aspen in order to sustain his meager lifestyle.

Hogue sat quietly during the proceeding and did not speak.

References

  1. ^ Hogue, 57, pleaded guilty in February (www.aspentimes.com)
  2. ^ searches by Aspen police yielded nearly $17,000 (www.aspentimes.com)
  3. ^

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