Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Real Billy Retherford and Dustin Jaye

Deadly Sins dealt with 2 Fort Myers stories tonight. I’m always curious about whether the actors in the reenactment look anything like the real people. In this case, not too much. I will say, the real Billy Ray Retherford and Dustin Jaye are/were a lot scarier looking than their TV counterparts:

Billy Ray Rertherford's last booking photo

Billy Ray Rertherford’s last booking photo

Dustin Jaye booking photo

Dustin Jaye booking photo

  • And some of the other players in the story:
Allison Jaye booking photo

Allison Jaye booking photo

Allison Jaye had to be brought back from prison to testify in the trial.

  • She actually did go through a blond phase when younger:
Allison Jaye earlier booking

Allison Jaye earlier booking

  • And Allison’s friend, Sarah Grenier has also been in trouble with the law:
Sarah Grenier booking photo

Sarah Grenier booking photo

  • And the innocent victim of the crime, from a photo Naples News found on Facebook:
Debra Striano (Facebook)

Debra Striano (Facebook)

Russell Myers, speaking after the incident

Russell Myers, speaking after the incident

Greg Imhoff, killed by Billy Retherford

Greg Imhoff, killed by Billy Retherford

Also, here’s Billy Ray Retherford’s last prison release photo. Both he and Jaye had gotten out of prison not long before. As such, they would have been classified as Prison Releasee Reoffenders, meaning that they were facing mandatory sentences of life in prison. Life is also mandatory in Florida for a First Degree Murder such as this. Jaye was sentenced to life after trial, in spite of being defended by experienced attorney Ed Kelly. His appeal is still pending.

Billy Retherford (prison photo)

Billy Retherford (prison photo)

The other story on Deadly Sins tonight was the Fred Cooper murder, known locally as the Gateway case. Here is Fred Dewitt Cooper’s Booking Photo on that case:

Fred Cooper Booking Photo

Fred Cooper Booking Photo

Fred Cooper was convicted at trial for killing Steven and Michelle Andrews. He was tried twice, the first trial in 2008 ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury. The trial was then moved to a different venue, because it came out that the jury as been influenced by the extensive local media coverage. The second trial was conducted in 2009 in the Tampa area. Cooper was convicted of First Degree Murder, and the State sought the death penalty. The jury only recommended life in prison, and he was given three life sentences. Cooper had been to prison before, but not for violence, and had stayed out of trouble for 10 years before these brutal killings. Cooper’s conviction was upheld on appeal. His motion for post-conviction relief was denied, and that decision is currently on appeal. Here’s a more recent photo:

Fred Cooper in 2014

Fred Cooper in 2014

The Fort Myers Episode of Deadly Sins Airs at 9:00 pm on Investigation Discovery

The Delirium in Paradise episode of Deadly Sins is about to air, featuring 2 Fort Myers area cases, and several Southwest Floridians talking about the story, including yours truly. Tune in to hear about the Gateway Murder by Fred Cooper, and the murders of Dustin Jaye and Billy Ray Retherford in San Carlos Park. I’m a commentator on the latter story.

UPDATE: Here’s the follow-up post on the cases: http://wp.me/p2xg12-MN

Locally, channels 387 and 111 (on Xfinity). Here’s the preview teaser:

Russell’s Fanny Pack is Real

Russell Myers in the Deadly Sins Reenactment

Russell Myers in the Deadly Sins Reenactment

Several people who watched the preview teaser for tonight’s ‘Deadly Sins’ episode, got a kick out of the fanny pack worn by Russell Myers. There really was a fanny pack, and it turns out to be a key piece of evidence in the crime. The pack, with blood droplets and deposit slips in Myer’s and Ms. Striano’s name was found in killer Billy Retherford’s bedroom during the investigation!

UPDATE: Here’s the follow-up post on the cases: http://wp.me/p2xg12-MN

Check out the Teaser for the Fort Myers Episode of Deadly Sins (airing tonight)

Investigation Discovery has a preview of tonight’s episode from Fort Myers, “Sunshine State of Delirium” It’s on at 9:00 pm on Investigation Discovery, Chan. 111 or 387 on Comcast Xfinity in Fort Myers. Check it out, I’m on it! The episode deals with the Gateway murder (Fred Cooper) and the cases of Dustin Jaye and Billy Retherford, who killed Debbie Striano.

http://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/deadly-sins/husbands-escort-obsession-turns-deadly/

Attorney Spencer Cordell on

Attorney Spencer Cordell on “Deadly Sins”

Criminal Law  Attorney Spencer Cordell https://www.facebook.com/crimcourts

Criminal Law Attorney Spencer Cordell
https://www.facebook.com/crimcourts

Fort Myers Featured on “Deadly Sins” Episode this Saturday

deadly sinsDeadly Sins came to Fort Myers to do stories on a couple of our more dramatic murder cases from the last few years. Deadly Sins investigates, and re-enacts, parts of the gruesome murder cases of Fred Cooper and Dustin Jaye/Billy Retherford. (Cooper and Jaye were convicted, Retherford was killed trying to get away from cops.)

Dustin Jaye

Dustin Jaye

Deadly Sins will be broadcast on the Investigation Discovery network Saturday night, 4/25, at 9:00 p.m., and features comments from many local individuals, including yours truly. Well, I was interviewed, based on our Crimcourts coverage of the Dustin Jaye trial, and hope that something I said will end up making it onto the show. Set your DVR now, local Xfinity has it on channel 111. The episode is titled, “Sunshine State of Delirium – – Fred DeWitt Cooper and Dustin Jaye//Billy Ray Retherford” Be sure to check it out.

UPDATE: Here’s the follow-up post on the cases: http://wp.me/p2xg12-MN

Some Officers are Buying Their Own Body Cams

Officer Kidder of New Richmond, Ohio, whose body cam showed his impressive restraint in not using deadly force in his confrontation with a murder suspect, was using his own body cam during the incident. It was apparently given to him by a family member. Apparently, there is a growing trend of officers wanting to have cameras to document their actions, even when the departments don’t provide it. It’s refreshing to see officers who believe in their work and are interested in honestly documenting their interactions.

Again, Crimcourts would encourage more law enforcement agencies to implement body cameras for the protection of the community, and the officers who are doing a good job. Fort Myers has started rolling them out, in spite of a short delay due to union complaints about camera policies, and Cape Coral is doing the same. Kudos to the Cities of Fort Myers and Cape Coral for taking the initiative to introduce body cameras.

Barry Bonds’ Conviction for Obstruction Thrown Out

7-time NL MVP Barry Bonds

7-time NL MVP Barry Bonds

The 11th Circuit overturned the conviction of Barry Bonds today. Bonds lost his trial on obstruction charges for a meandering answer to a question in front of a grand jury related to a steroid investigation. The appellate court initially upheld the conviction, but agreed to a larger panel re-hearing. The 11-judge rehearing panel found that the response was not material to the government’s investigation into steroids.

The government can appeal (or ask for a full rehearing in front of the 11th circuit). Three other counts of the indictment were deadlocked by the trial jury, and later dismissed by prosecutors. Bonds was sentenced to 30 days home confinement, which he already served, plus fines and community service. The initial statement in question was made in 2003, which means Bonds’ legal saga has now gone on for about 12 years… and may not be done yet.

via ESPN

Ohio Officer Doesn’t Shoot Suicidal Man

Image from Ofc. Kidder's body cam

Image from Ofc. Kidder’s body cam

Officer Jessie Kidder, of New Richmond, Ohio, deserves a medal of some sort. A double murder suspect led police on a chase, with an intent to commit suicide by cop. When he was stopped by Ofc. Kidder, he approached the officer aggressively, asking the officer to shoot him, and threatening the officer. There is no doubt that in light of the circumstances Kidder would have been justified in using deadly force to defend himself. But he demonstrated extreme restraint, and it turned out that no force was necessary, as the suspect surrendered when backup arrived.

The entire incident is documented on a body cam video. Amazingly, the camera was not provided by the department, but by Kidder himself (it was a gift from family). Had he needed to use deadly force, the video would have proven him justified. Fortunately, he was able to resolve the incident without killing the man. The video is on the WLWT website, and it is dramatic.

EDIT- New Richmond is in Ohio, not KY. Sorry.

Fort Myers Still Hasn’t Done Anything About the Nate Allen Fiasco

Nate Allen

Nate Allen

Almost 3 months have gone by since the erroneous detention of NFL player Nate Allen. Allen and his attorneys spoke at city council in February to ask the city to call for an outside investigation. The city expressed an interest, but deferred taking action until the FMPD completed their own investigation. Allen’s attorneys were at city council last night, again pushing for an outside investigation (a position endorsed by Crimcourts). The city did not take any action at this time. Allen has filed suit against the city, which limits city employees freedom to speak about the issue, though some expressed regrets for the way the situation unfolded. Months have now gone by with no answers, and no steps have been taken to prevent future miscarriages of justice.

Allen has signed with the Oakland Raiders, and we wish him continued success.