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Court Street Shuffle: May 7

Lindell Kay | Court Street Shuffle,HOME PAGE | Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

- I wrote about a mobile home fire yesterday. While monitoring the scanner during that situation I heard calls for three things that make Onslow County what it is:

1) A woman called¬†911 to say¬†she found¬†an extension cord¬†plugged into¬†her house and followed it¬†to a neighbor’s house and apparently¬†her neighbor’s power had been shut off and they were using her electricity.

2) A store clerk called 911 to say some guy got mad at him and in revenge went outside the store and took a whiz on the building. 

3) A man who had bought a dog showed up at the house where he made the purchase, and with the dead dog in his arms, demanded a refund.

Got to love Onslow!

- I have been talking to both the local and state medical examiners offices and will have something on the Lauterbach autopsy questions with which y’all have inundated me.

- I bumped into Judge Henry last night at the courthouse and he said he was redacting all the private, identifiable information in the Laurean search warrants. He said it was taking time, but he thinks privacy is an important issue and worth his extra trouble.

- A load of lawyers left out of Onslow County this morning on a bus chartered by attorney Deke Owens. They were headed for the Judiciary Standards Commission hearing for Judge Thagard this morning. I was going to get a picture, but I have been having technical problems with my Nikon.

41 Comments »

  1. I was hoping it was a busload of lawyers leaving for Mexico.

    Comment by justice4all — May 7, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

  2. Who went to Mexico and what was found out?????

    Comment by de — May 7, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  3. OMG, that is unreal about the neighbor stealing the electricity Lindell. With the soaring costs of electricity, that would pizz me right off to find my neighbor stealing it from me.

    The dog story isn’t such a shock for me. It seems like someone is always getting in trouble where I live for showing up with buyer’s remorse and a dead dog in hand. We have had some real winners who actually physically fought over such after throwing a dead dog into the backyard breeders home after a quick knock on the door. It’s becoming sport to hoard dogs and claim you are a breeder. What a killing some of these people make (no pun intended).

    Urinating on the building is a little out there for me tho. Yuck.

    Comment by Renee — May 7, 2008 @ 8:25 pm

  4. Look at that Fat Girl Tiffany at the fire…She used to look good back in high school. Wonder if her cracked out husband who don’t pay child support and they have a PRIVATE bussiness caught that trailer on fire for the insurance…someone should investigate that!

    Comment by Jvillle — May 7, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

  5. Hey Jville I think his name is Josh is that right? Dungan. What a looser how many kids does he have anyway’s? Not claims but really has! I know he used to screw his cousin back in the day and went to jail for messing with his Ex Wife’s daughter while dating me. She was a bad mom anyways used her for $$$$ which was so much fun at the time. Is he still married to Miss. Piggy?

    Comment by PoohBear — May 7, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

  6. Hey, that’s some funny stuff!

    Comment by Kim — May 7, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

  7. Hey I know them loosers! Imagine the 1′s to always get away with stuff. Like when he was stealing shoes from the skating rink when people traded shoes for skates

    Comment by Richlands Girl — May 8, 2008 @ 4:53 am

  8. why don’t you just report you do not know anything on the Lauterbach case?
    You “teases” are just plain annoying!
    Frankly your losing credibility here!

    Comment by kdb — May 8, 2008 @ 5:58 am

  9. Thank you kdb for posting that message. I totally agree with your analysis of the situation. I have reposted specifics that Mr. Kay has asked for regarding conflicting/published information regarding the late December ATM withdrawal and I have yet to see a response from him.

    Please Mr. Kay, I’m thinking of changing my nickname – please don’t make me do that!

    Comment by thankyoumrkay — May 8, 2008 @ 6:40 am

  10. To expect Mr. Kay be spending every moment on the Lauterbach case is expecting far too much from my perspective. I look forward to updates as much as anyone else.

    We are not paying for space here, and he has put other cases up that don’t even have an identity, it’s always an option to offer insight on those cases as we await news on Lauterbach.

    I’m not going to trash Mr. Kay because he has other obligations right now. Couldn’t one of the locals go to the ME and ask the same questions Mr. Kay can? I am confused by that. Just offering up my own two cents here, but come on people, be respectful on the daily blogging and take gripes to the shark’s den.

    Critiquing might be reserved for private email exchanges as opposed to public humiliation if you really expect to get answers.

    lkay@freedomenc.com

    Comment by CarpeDiem — May 8, 2008 @ 8:18 am

  11. Respectfully, I do not expect Mr. Kay to spend every minute, as you put it, on Maria’s case, nor do I expect tidbits dropped here and there with little to no followup. I liken it to not returning one’s phone call. My post was not trashing Mr. Kay, but rather you brought up that word, along with many other derogatory references.

    Mr. Kay asked for more details which I promptly provided. My original post dated April 22 at 6:23 p.m. raised conflicting and published “facts”. Mr. Kay’s April 23 response at 12:40 a.m. contained the following closing line, which I quote: “As far as the conflict with what I wrote today and what the FBI complaint says, if you could be more specific, I will certainly explain it.” I responded April 23 at 9:10 a.m. with the details. To date, unless I have missed it, there has been no response from Mr. Kay.

    It is not a critique, as you put it, but rather looking for clarification on published facts. I do not understand how you translate this into “public humiliation”? I would prefer to stay with the facts, thank you. The time I put towards writing this post was 3 minutes, which translates to 00.03% of my available time each day.

    Comment by thankyoumrkay — May 8, 2008 @ 8:50 am

  12. When he has the info to share he will share it.Will you people just be patient? I am sure he is just as anxious to get his hands on it than anyone ,but his hands are tied until the judge releases that info. Stop hounding the poor guy!!

    Comment by curious — May 8, 2008 @ 8:53 am

  13. Thankyoumrkay, I’d take it to email myself but the choice is yours of course. Have a lovely day utilizing the best of that available time left.

    Comment by CarpeDiem — May 8, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  14. KDB and thankyoumrkay, I really appreciate your enthusiasm, but I hope you understand that reverse child psychology hasn’t worked on me since… well, since I was a child. I spend a portion of every day – whether I am at work or not – trying to figure out things in the Laurean case. Ask the people that have to put up with me every day. But, while I try very hard to find out things there are two very important hindrances to that. 1) I have a responsibility to get other things done for the newspaper. 2) I want to make sure the information I give is as accurate as possible.

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that outside those people directly involved and law enforcement, I know more about this particular case than anyone. But there is a reason we are four months into it and certain information has not been reported or clarified – because the information is hard to come by. Now some info came quickly in the beginning. I was able to figure out who the Sheriff’s Department’s key witness was by simply looking at a tax record. People out there in cyber land were turning over new information on a daily basis in the beginning. But now that all of the readily available information is dried up, it is back to old fashion investigative reporting. Which means I have to spend time digging. If it were as easy as simply asking the right question and law enforcement opens up, y’all would have this thing wrapped up by now.

    But it is not. Several of you know. Y’all have sent your questions to Sutherland and gotten the “I can’t answer that” or “I do not believe the Sheriff’s Office has released that information yet.”

    KDB, what you labled as “teases” are actually me letting people know I am working to answer their questions. While they are annoying, me saying nothing at all about what I am doing, really annoys people. I’ve got the e-mails to prove it.

    And thankyoumrkay, I think the questions you asked were cleared up in the post you asked them in and the linked stories. No money was removed from Maria’s account Dec. 24 – but an attempt was made.

    Beyond that, the questions get like Drake Garrett’s “was the body intentionally burned” question where he kept going back to one interview and asking the same question over and over even though the correct answer had been repeated over and over. I am not knocking Drake or anyone else – the old Columbo trick of asking the same question in different forms several times actually works sometimes. But it only works on people who are trying to withhold information. I am an open book, except for a few things I have promised not to reveal (and no one has asked about so we are all good).

    All that being said, I know how frustrating it can be to ask a question and not receive an answer. So I am trying as fast as my previously discussed constraints will allow me to answer y’all’s questions, especially the good ones.

    There have been a handful of times where I have said something on the blog and then law enforcement – local and beyond – have said, “Whoa! Please don’t talk about that for a little while.”

    Not prior restraint, mind you, just a friendly request. The last thing I want to do is impede the justice process. For example, I knew for quite some time that someone in the Laurean home looked at my story Online just before Cesar took his leave from Onslow County. You can believe I wanted to report on that, but law enforcement was convinced he was following his story through our Web site. Had I reported that, Cesar might have stopped looking.

    I will do everything within my limited power to bring information to you, but I must also be responsible with that information.

    And KDB, I do not agree with you saying “Frankly your losing credibility here!” I feel I would lose credibility much faster if I were to report something without completely hammering it down and then have to come back and change what I have said. That is how a journalist loses credibility.

    Thanks for reading the blog and I will try to provide you with the information you seek as soon as I can.

    Comment by Lindell Kay — May 8, 2008 @ 9:12 am

  15. Well it sure seems to me, Lindell you ARE chastising me because I asked about the “intentional burning.” I suppose I should have just stayed mum even though a vast amount of posters interpreted it the same way the night Greta’s interview aired. I guess we were all hearing from the same ears even though we are States apart from each other. Of course Greta has shortened her video clip down to less than 10 minutes now out of a 48 minute interview and we asked Greta but were unable to get the entire show. So I will drop it. In fact I haven’t even mentioned it in weeks anyway.

    I know you are busy but it has been weeks since you told us you were going to reveal who went to Mexico. Then you told us that you were going to talk with Dr. Garrett and reveal what he said about the autopsy. That too was weeks ago. Don’t get testy because we impatiently wait for what you said you would reveal, please.

    Comment by Drake Garrett — May 8, 2008 @ 10:01 am

  16. Thank you Mr. Kay. Your answer above clarified the published information.

    Comment by thankyoumrkay — May 8, 2008 @ 10:14 am

  17. Drake, I honestly wasn’t chastising you. It certainly isn’t my place to do so. I enjoy your posts and I look forward to reading what you have to say. I was just using that as an example.

    I am glad y’all care about the Lauterbach case. I am happy to provide all the information I can. Between the lines – which isn’t working very well – I have been trying to say that I was asked to cool it on conversations about out-of-town trips. So if it has been a while since I have said something, please realize the reasons why.

    I have spoken to the local M.E. office about Maria’s autopsy. In fact, I spoke to Dr. Garrett again this morning. He said I would have to talk to the doctor who actually performed the autopsy – that he did not want to speak for someone else. So I am back to trying to get a hold of the state medical examiner who did the autopsy. I have spoken to people in his office, left messages and e-mails. Now we must all wait…

    People who know me, know I like to argue and that I have thick skin, so please do not feel bashful about telling me how you feel. Sometimes I need a kick in the ass to get something done. Just ask my wife or my boss – they will both tell you that.

    Oh, and I am going out of town Friday…

    Comment by Lindell Kay — May 8, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  18. Mr.Kay,
    I do thank you for your time you spend trying to get the story.
    My point however has been twisted.
    What I was conveying here is; IF I wanted to play games I would go to a gaming site!
    I come here and read because I care about the Maria Lauterbach case.
    It is common sense that you are working on the case.
    It is the “stay tuned to the same bat channel” attitude that is annoying, and seems to convey “hey keep reading my blog while I string you along”.

    Comment by kdb — May 8, 2008 @ 11:48 am

  19. I think we ought to have a “hooray” for Lindell Kay!! He is an ethical and responsible journalist and although newspeople often have a pretty good insight into cases , being ethical and responsible, they have to be able to back it all up with facts. I know we shall get ALL there is to be told, when the time is right. I’d sure hate it to be like the supermarket checkout tabloids where fantastic claims are made (corpse delivers twins right in coffin. Man with 12 foot tongue. Baby with vampire teeth.) I have been thinking the last two days, and came to the firm conculsion that Lindell’s articles in the jdnews kept things going and were a huge part of being able to get Cesar into custody. The case just didn’t go away, it was something every few days. Even, (dare I mention it?) the Sheriff and his divining rod!
    Every crumb was brought out and I believe, too, as Lindell said above, Cesar probably kept up with his hometown newspaper. I’d love to be a mouse in the walls down in Mexico to see and hear what’s going on. As far as all that “workout” stuff, pushups, crunches, etc. I just wonder if his “new quarters” are big enough to stretch out in to do all that.

    Comment by justice4all — May 8, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  20. Hey Justice, I once knew that corpse and the baby was her niece. ;)

    Comment by FoxyBrown — May 8, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

  21. Lindell, are you going to Mexico?

    Comment by Anonymous — May 8, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

  22. Hey Foxy, I wonder how those journalists get by without having the socks sued off them. Last time I was at the checkout counter they had a “love child” from long years ago causing trouble in the marriage of a national figure. They have also had those articles on Pres. Kennedy being hidden away, not to mention Elvis Presley. What next!!

    Comment by justice4all — May 8, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

  23. Lindell, Thanks for all you’re doing. This post is by far the best for us out-of-staters interested in, and trying to keep up with, this case. Facts and truth are what it’s all about and I can appreciate how hard they might be to come by. Again, thanks, and I will be waiting patiently for new information, as it becomes available.

    Comment by R356 — May 8, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

  24. Does anyone know whether Maria’s family might be able to take that car of hers, or does it have to be “evidence?” If she had a payment on it then the bank will still expect their cash so someone will have to pay for it.

    Comment by justice4all — May 8, 2008 @ 1:53 pm

  25. R356, I’m with you. I am out of state, although I have ties in Jacksonville. This is the most accurate site I have visited and also the most informative.

    Comment by justice4all — May 8, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

  26. Justice,

    Maria’s car has already been taken back by MFCU and resold.

    Comment by Lindell Kay — May 8, 2008 @ 2:20 pm

  27. That’s probably one deal I would have resisted Lindell. Justice I agree about irresponsible reporting too.

    Comment by FoxyBrown — May 8, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

  28. Thank you Lindell.

    Comment by justice4all — May 8, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

  29. I would’ve resisted that deal as well. And Lindell, your reporting is informative and to the point. No matter how long it takes for any information to be released when you post it, it’s always worth the wait!

    Comment by Townie — May 8, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

  30. Lindell, you wrote this on May 8th. “I am going to go out on a limb here and say that outside those people directly involved and law enforcement, I know more about this particular case than anyone.”

    Maybe I am not understanding what a crime reporter for the media is supposed to do.

    I have heard of times when the media agreed to withhold information from the public. For instance in the DC Sniper case where everyone had been told to BOLO for a white van the media withheld the true description of his vehicle. But when the media agreed they told LE they would only withhold the information for two days and after then the story was going public.

    So does LE control what you put out for your readers and if they don’t want it released the then you will not reveal things you have been made aware of through reliable sources?

    I cant exactly remember now but didn’t you know beforehand about the raid on Christinas sister’s home but only came out with your article after it had come to light? Imo, that would have been a great news article for you to be the first to release it and it certainly couldn’t have hurt the investigation because the raid had been completed and was successful.

    I am not trying to be obnoxious but I am truly trying to understand who controls what gets printed in your newspaper and what gets quashed/suppressed and by whom and why?

    Thank you and I hope you enjoyed your birthday yesterday. Today is one of my grandsons’ b/d.

    Comment by Drake Garrett — May 10, 2008 @ 7:13 pm

  31. Drake, I read on here somewhere that LE thought Cesar might be following his case in the jdnews.com. In my opinion, if he was following and read that the computers had been seized he might have shied away from further communication by computer and might not now be in custody.

    Comment by justice4all — May 10, 2008 @ 10:14 pm

  32. Drake, The Daily News controls what gets printed in The Daily News.

    My statement about knowing more about the Laurean case that anyone outside those directly involved and law enforcement comes from:

    1- Since I have written the bulk of what has been printed about the subject (and then re-reported by other news agencies) and I have been meticulous in my record keeping of everything that has happened in the case, I feel I am in a position to say that.

    2- I have reported several things quoting confidential sources in this case. Since I not only know what I was told, but also other accompanying information that would reveal who those sources are, that is again more information than other people have.

    3- Through intense research and information gathering, Mike and I have obtained several sensitive documents. Many of those documents that were subsequently released to the public were redacted by us in consideration of people’s privacy. We still retain the original unmolested documents and use it them mine more information whenever we hit a dry spell.

    4- There has been times when I have told authorities, “we are going to press with this information.” I have written about that on this blog.

    5 – When the blog began, I was able to provide tidbits of information to people interested in the Laurean case. Prior to the blog, I would sometimes turn over a good piece of information, but it wasn’t news. The blog has allowed me to provide new information to the people who want it, but it is not technically news. So I am trying to get people up to speed with what I know.

    6 – There are somethings that I chose to keep to myself. There are a few things I know, that authorities don’t know I know (I think, anyway). There are a few things authorities have asked me to lay off of talking about. But law enforcement certainly does not try to demand I not print what I know to be true. This is America. However, if it is detrimental to an investigation – not just the Laurean case, I have several irons in the fire – I am open to waiting for a little while.

    Example: I had heard about a robbery at a local gas station. I asked about it and the authorities asked me to wait a day or two and ask again. I could have reported what I knew to be true: that they was a robbery and the cops were looking into it. But I didn’t. I waited and it turned out that the clerk had set up the robbery with the crook. The cops were able to catch them because of their communications after the fact. They might not have communicated if I had run a story about the robbery. (Everyone is innocent until trial, of course).

    As I reported here on the blog, I found out that someone in Laurean’s house looked at a story I had written about Maria being missing Online just before Cesar took off for Mexico. I learned that information just around the time of Maria’s funeral. Detectives said that if Laurean might have looked at it once, he might do it again. I could have reported that he looked at it, but then it would have probably stopped him from checking out the Web site again, which authorities think he did. On top of that, the Sheriff’s Department served a subpoena on the newspaper for IP adresses of people looking at the site since Cesar left town. In the subpoena, the judge ordered that we not talk about it. Very few people at the newspaper even knew about it. Just me, the publisher, the managing editor and one or two reporters I told because I thought they would need to know so they didn’t accidentally trip over it.

    My publisher, Elliott Potter, did not like the prior restraint issue at all. We were talking to our lawyers about it. But, the newspaper also did not feel like the story was compelling enough to ruin law enforcement’s chances of catching Laurean by telling it.

    The newspaper and law enforcement does not always get along. Ask the Sheriff about the article I wrote about him and the former county manager and you’ll find out.

    But I am not going to report something that would wreck a case or prevent a fugitive from being captured just to have a good headline. If there was something – the murder weapon for instance – that the newspaper thought was important enough to print, it would print it no matter what. That’s what lawyers are for.

    Where was I? Oh, I am not trying to come across as a know-it-all, because I know I do not know everything. Readers of this board know they have told me things I did not know. Several of y’all I talk to once a week or so by phone, and I have learned a great deal from y’all. So what I am trying to say I that I have become a repository of information in the Laurean case.

    If there is anything y’all know that you think I don’t, I will be more than happy to listen to it. I might learn something.

    As far as being first to report the raid on Christina’s sister’s house, we were, albeit two weeks after it happened. And we were first to report Laurean’s arrest in Mexico. Not bad for a hometown newspaper. :)

    I like you, Drake. You certainly make me think.

    Comment by Lindell Kay — May 10, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

  33. Lindell, shortly our home will be filled with children and grandchildren but while I have a down time period I just wanted to say I admire you very much. I do think you are a honorable and dedicated reporter who serves JDN proudly.

    Thank you so much for taking your time to compile your above post. It does clarify things.

    I mean nothing disrespectful when I ask these questions of you, Lindell. I truly wanted to understand your work and now, through your patience, I do. I just have always felt if one has questions if they never ask they remain ignorant and we all know, knowledge is power.

    Happy Mother’s Day to your wife. May she truly have a blessed and peaceful day filled with appreciation for the many things she does daily for the family.

    Comment by Drake Garrett — May 11, 2008 @ 9:13 am

  34. Hey, I was back at the other digs talking with meeself and I got real lonely. And that’s all I have to say about that.

    Comment by Geritol Breese in the Trees — May 11, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

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