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Push for DNA to solve crimes

Push for DNA to solve crimes

The Latest News Headlines

  • You'll need jackets and coats this morning and maybe even through the afternoon, despite a lot of sun we're going to be crisp and cool. Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we only get into the low 60's after a cold morning. And it’s still breezy.  “Chilly night tonight so sweaters and jackets as we drop into the upper 30’s in most spots, but staying above freezing”, said Buresh.  It will be a breezy, cool Saturday for World of Nations, the Scottish Games and Monster Jam. Afternoon temperatures will be in the low 60’s, and temperatures fall into the 30’s at night. Sunday starts cold with an inland frost or freeze early but a warmer afternoon with temperatures in the upper 60’s. Monday will be in the mid-70’s, and even warmer for Tuesday and Wednesday. 
  • A local family is hoping somebody saw something after their son was killed in a hit-and-run crash. Investigators said they found Lynard Green, 34, lying on the side of Soutel Drive near New Kings Road Saturday night just before 10. They performed CPR on him and rushed him to the hospital but he later died.  “He had a big heart, a very big heart,” said Michelle Johnson, victim’s mother.  A memorial now marks the spot where Green was hit. His mom said he knew the area well.  “Lynard is a walking soul, he’s always walking, that’s just him,” she said.  According to a report, there’s no witnesses or description of the car. Johnson is hoping the person will come forward.  “And for someone to just leave him there, that’s the part, just to leave him there, disregard, because he was somebody, he is somebody,” she said.  Funeral services will be March 7 at 11 a.m. at Mt. Zion Church.
  • A Florida woman and her grown son were indicted Wednesday in the killings of her husband and sister that took place 25 years ago in New Jersey, according to authorities. Dolores Mejia Connors Morgan, 66, and Ted Connors, 47, both of Del Ray Beach, are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 1994 slaying of Ana F. Mejia, 24, and the 1995 killing of 51-year-old Nicholas William Connors, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a news release. Both killings took place in the victims’ homes in Long Branch, a beachside city about an hour east of Trenton. A third person, Jose Carrero, 48, of Jackson Township, New Jersey, was also charged with murder in both homicides, Gramiccioni said. Carrero, who, like Morgan and Ted Connors, was arrested Jan. 10, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of second-degree conspiracy to commit murder in a plea deal with prosecutors. Media reports at the time of the killings indicated that Mejia considered her sister and brother-in-law her parents. An obituary that ran in the Asbury Park Press under the name Ana Mejia-Jimenez listed them as her mother and father, and Ted Connors as her brother. Mejia was found dead Dec. 8, 1994, in the bedroom of the apartment she shared with her boyfriend and her two young children, Gramiccioni said. “Mejia was stabbed multiple times and had a white powdery substance rubbed on her face when she was found. Her children were found safe within the residence,” the prosecutor said in a news release. Investigators initially believed it was cocaine that had been smeared on Mejia’s face, including inside her nose. According to NJ.com, however, the white powder found around Mejia’s nose and mouth was determined to be baby formula. Mejia had been stabbed 23 times and news reports at the time indicated her body was mutilated. “Six months later, on May 14, 1995, Long Branch police officers were dispatched to the Van Dyke Place home of Nicholas Connors, 51,” the news release said. “There, authorities found Nicholas Connors on a sofa, deceased after multiple gunshot wounds to the head.” Morgan, then 42, was the person who found him dead, NJ.com said. Two of the couple’s children, ages 13 and 12, were home but slept through the shooting. “By habit, he would wait for her to come home before going to bed,” then-Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye told the Asbury Park Press in 1995. “She found him on the couch, and there was blood all about.” Gramiccioni said last week that Carrero admitted conspiring with Morgan and Ted Connors “to kill Mejia in retaliation for what they believed were her actions to tip off law enforcement officers about the illegal activities of her boyfriend.” An Asbury Park Press article published in 1994 indicated that Mejia was slain a week after her boyfriend was arrested on drug charges. NJ.com reported Carrero said in court that Morgan feared her sister, who was allegedly working as a confidential police informant, would also tip detectives off about her illegal activities. She determined Mejia had to die, he indicated. Carrero told the court that he met with Morgan, who said she would pay him to help with the killing, and Ted Connors in the kitchen of the Connors home in 1994 to plan the hit on Mejia. He said he and Ted Connors planned to go to a party together the night of the crime to establish an alibi, NJ.com reported. He said he and Ted Connors left the party and parked down the street from Mejia’s house so no one would see Connors’ vehicle, the news site reported. They went to the house and Mejia opened the door for him and her nephew before returning to her bedroom. Carrero said he covered Mejia’s face with a pillow while Ted Connors stabbed her because he “didn’t want to see her” as she died, NJ.com said. After the murder, the pair returned to the party to maintain their alibi, Carrero said. “Carrero also admitted to conspiring with Ted Connors and Connors’ mother, Delores Morgan (then known as Delores Connors) to kill Nicholas Connors. Nicholas Connors was the adopted father of Ted and then-husband of Delores,” Gramiccioni said last week. Nicholas Connors “was killed in a successful effort to collect on a life insurance policy,” Gramiccioni’s news release indicated. NJ.com reported that Carrero said in court that he, Morgan and Ted Connors again sat at the kitchen table of the family’s home to plot out the husband and father’s killing. He said Ted Connors obtained a gun and Morgan went to work that night so she would not be home when her husband was slain. Carrero said he and Ted Connors again parked down the street from the house before walking to a side door and slicing the screen to make it look like a break-in. When they went inside, Carrero said he could hear a television in the next room. He said he remained in the kitchen while Ted Connors went in and shot his father, the news site reported. When he heard a second shot, he fled and ran to the car, with Ted Connors a couple of steps behind him, NJ.com said. News reports at the time indicated investigators almost immediately suspected the killings of Mejia and Nicholas Connors were related. Carrero said he was never paid outright for the crimes but Morgan loaned him cash at one point and he didn’t pay it back. He also lived at the family’s house for a while, rent-free, until Morgan kicked him out, the news site reported. As part of his plea deal, Carrero has agreed to testify against both of his codefendants. Gramiccioni said in exchange for his testimony, prosecutors would recommend consecutive sentences of five to 10 years in state prison for each of the two charges to which he pleaded guilty. The prosecutor said investigations into the Mejia and Nicholas Connors killings were launched back in 1994 and 1995 but the cases went cold. “Additional evidence recently uncovered by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Cold Case Unit and Long Branch Police Department resulted in charges being signed against the three defendants on Jan. 10, 2020,” Gramiccioni said. NJ.com reported last month that proof of the insurance payout Morgan received following her husband’s killing was part of the new evidence. An affidavit obtained by the site did not give the amount of the insurance payment she received. Cold case detectives also found that both the men accused in the crimes had confessed their alleged involvement to multiple friends. “The information given to (the friends) by Ted Connors and Jose Carrero is supported and proven to be true based on additional information discovered and confirmed in the current review of the file and additional investigation conducted over the last two years,” the affidavit read, according to NJ.com. The investigators also recently uncovered a transcript of a recorded conversation Ted Connors had with a friend about the crimes in 1995. Police re-interviewed one of the witnesses and obtained a new statement from him a couple of months ago, the affidavit said. Carrero’s sentencing was scheduled for June 5, but prosecutors told NJ.com it would not take place until he had testified against Morgan and Ted Connors. Both mother and son remain jailed without bond in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.
  • A local man linked to the death of a woman has been sentenced for another crime. Action News Jax has been digging into Corey Binderim’s since he was named a person of interest in Susan Mauldin’s disappearance in November.  Corey Binderim pleaded guilty to uttering charges, a third-degree felony, for a counterfeit check.  Binderim was told he needed to pay Vystar Credit Union $5,000 in restitution.  Action News Jax has been following this story for months.  In October, 65-year-old Susan Mauldin disappeared from her home in Clay County Binderim had been hired to do some work for her at her house, but when he didn’t complete the job she asked for her money back.  Binderim was charged with her murder after her remains were found earlier this month by the FBI in a Georgia landfill after sifting through 7,000 tons of trash.  Judge Adrian Soud sentenced Binderim to 86 days in jail in Duval County on uttering charges.  He was given credit for that much time served already.  Now he’s waiting to be moved to Clay County to face more serious charges.  “You will be transported from the Duval County jail to the sheriff’s office in custody in Clay County to answer for the charges in Clay County. You will be held in the Clay County jail until further order of the court in clay county, do you understand that?” Judge Adrian Soud said.  We’ve reached out to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the state attorney’s office to find out when Binderim is expected to leave Duval County.
  • Charles ‘Corky’ Rogers, a former football coach for The Bolles School, has died, Action News Jax has learned. He was a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, where he was a three-sport star playing on the 1960 state champion football team and 1961 state baseball championship team.  He played for Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech and briefly for Don Shula with the Baltimore Colts. He coached at Lee and won 10 straight district titles from 1977-1986. He took over as coach at The Bolles School in 1989 and won seven state titles with two runner-up finishes. Among Florida coaches with more than 300 wins, Rogers is the only coach with fewer than 100 losses.  He amassed more high school football victories than any other coach in Florida.  “As legendary as they come, and was always very gracious to me and my family ... prayers up for the Rogers family ... RIP to a High School Icon,” Action Sports Jax’s Dan Hicken said in a tweet.  Rogers was 76.

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