Suspicion And Rumors Swirl Around Baltimore Homicide Detective’s Murder


There have been few leads and even fewer clues as to how and why Baltimore Homicide Detective Sean Suiter was fatally shot in the head with his own gun in a vacant lot in West Baltimore more than a week ago.

But one fact which has emerged from the case is only stoking community suspicions and raising more questions about the department tasked with solving the case: the widening of an investigation into eight officers charged with stealing from residents, racketeering, and drug dealing.

At an impromptu press conference on Wednesday, Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis revealed that Suiter was set to testify before a federal grand jury as part of an ongoing investigation into the now-notorious Gun Trace Task Force. The charges brought against that group have continued to reverberate throughout a department already under a federal consent decree and battling a record wave of crime.

“I am now aware of Detective Suiter’s pending federal grand jury testimony surrounding an incident that occurred seven years ago with BPD police officers who were federally indicted.” the commissioner said. “The acting US attorney and the special agent in charge of the Baltimore field office have told me in no uncertain terms [that] Detective Suiter was not the target of any ongoing criminal investigation.”

The bombshell announcement came more than week after Suiter was killed. The 18-year veteran was shot in the head after what Davis characterized as a brief struggle.

But tangible leads in the slaying have been scarce, according to investigators familiar with the case. That fact has not stopped Davis from publicly expressing his theories on what happened—among them, that Suiter’s impending testimony and his murder are not linked.

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Veteran Florida Homicide Detective Resigns After Domestic Violence Arrest

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office detective Jeffrey Bliss

MANATEE, Florida – A veteran homicide detective with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has resigned after being arrested Wednesday night on a charge of domestic battery.

Jeffrey Bliss, 45, was an employee of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years, according to department spokesman Dave Bristow. Bliss resigned his position Thursday morning, Bristow said.

Deputies responded at about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday to a domestic situation at Bliss’ residence in Palmetto.

Deputies investigated the incident and subsequently arrested Bliss, Bristow said.

Bliss’ tenure with the department saw him involved in several high-profile cases over the years, including the January life-sentence convictions of six men involved in a series of violent crimes in Manatee County, including murder.

It took six years navigating the federal court system to get the conviction that ended the local crime ring, but Bliss was there from the beginning when he warned one of the suspects’ father that law enforcement “was on to them.”

“We told them we knew what they were up to, we were on to them, and we were going to get them,” Bliss recalled at the time. “They laughed and laughed. … They’re not laughing anymore.”

Most recently, Bliss testified on Nov. 14 in the double-murder trial of Dwayne Cummings for the deaths of Jordan Finlon, 23, and Karl Tuxford, 38. Tuxford was found in his jeep shot five times, while Finlon was found dead on the side of Bishop Harbor Road in Terra Ceia Preserve State Park stabbed up to 44 times. Cummings was found guilty.

If it was a high-profile case in Manatee County, Bliss was likely a part of the investigation, including the 2008 murder of Sabine Musil-Buehler by William Cumber, who avoided justice for seven years because Musil-Buehler’s body was missing for all that time.

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NYPD Detective Barred From Her Home After Setting Husband’s Clothes Ablaze


An NYPD detective was banned from her home Wednesday — a punishment for setting her husband’s clothes on fire in his master bedroom closet because she thought he was cheating on her.

Marissa Sorocco, 37, was told by a judge during her arraignment to return to her Plainview house and pack up her things, because she’s no longer allowed to live in her home.

A police escort walked Sorocco from the courthouse — where she flashed a wide smile to reporters outside — and kept her company during her pit stop for personal effects.

Sorocco won’t be able to return to the residence under the terms of an order of protection issued Wednesday after she faced a judge on arson and criminal mischief charges in Nassau County District Court in Hempstead.

“She will be staying at her father’s house for Thanksgiving,” her lawyer, James Moschella, said.

Dressed in yoga pants, a black leather jacket and thigh-high black boots, Sorocco was accompanied to court by her dad.

The detective, who works at One Police Plaza in the office of the Chief of Crime Control Strategies, was busted Tuesday after a blaze erupted in her husband’s master bedroom closet.

Plainview firefighters went to the house at about 10:15 a.m., and the flames were largely extinguished when they arrived.

They found smoldering clothes worth approximately $200, and some structural damage, but no one injured.

Investigators ruled out accidental, electrical and natural ignition sources, court records show.

A source said she believed her husband, Paul Socorro, a Nassau County cop, was having an affair.

Prosecutors, who recommended Sorocco get a psychiatric evaluation, said the couple’s two children were home when the fire was set — but her lawyer disputed that account.

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Philadelphia Judge Tosses Murder Conviction Because Detective Fabricated Evidence


A Philadelphia judge on Friday threw out a murder conviction and sentence of a man who has been behind bars since 2008, ruling that the homicide detective who arrested him fabricated evidence and provided trial testimony that was so prejudicial it should have resulted in a mistrial.

The ruling by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina was the answered prayer that Dwayne Thorpe, 34, and his family had been seeking for years, while it was the latest blow to Detective James Pitts, who for years has been accused in lawsuits, court filings, and police Internal Affairs reports of using heavy-handed interrogation methods to coerce statements from suspects and witnesses.

The Inquirer and Daily News reported earlier this week that the city paid $750,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a West Philadelphia man named Nafis Pinkney whom a jury acquitted of a 2009 double murder to which Pitts and his partner had coerced Pinkney to confess to committing.

During his 2013 trial, Pinkney testified that he signed a false confession statement after a 24-hour interrogation session during which the detectives assaulted him. Another man has since confessed to committing the slayings, but has yet to be charged.

Pitts, who did not attend Friday’s hearing, joined the Police Department in 1989 and was promoted to the Homicide Unit in 2006. In seven lawsuits in which he was a defendant, the city has paid or been ordered to pay plaintiffs more than $2.5 million, according to court and city records.

City payroll records show that Pitts last year was paid $177,671, including $97,034 in overtime.

Thorpe’s mother, Michelle Evans, reacted with a combination of shock and joy to the judge’s ruling Friday.

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Horry County Pays $185,000 in Settlement With Woman Who Accused Detective of Misconduct

Troy Allen Large

HORRY COUNTY, SC – Horry County paid $185,000 in a settlement with a woman who filed a lawsuit against former Horry County Police detective Troy Allen Large last year, newly-obtained documents reveal.

A receipt from the Office of the Treasurer of South Carolina shows a payment of $185,000 to the attorneys for the woman, who has been identified only as “Jane Doe 2” to protect her identity. This woman filed the third lawsuit filed against Large, who is accused of misconduct on the job. It ended with a settlement in July of this year. The receipt shows the funds came from the State of South Carolina Treasury, specifically, from the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.

The settlement agreement, dated September 7 of this year, states that Horry County and Horry County Police will pay the full amount of the settlement. It states that Large and Jane Doe 2 relinquish any and all counterclaims, potential claims or lawsuits against each other. It states that Jane Doe 2 agrees to dismiss with prejudice the lawsuit, and releases all parties named in the suit from any claims or damages.

According to an order of dismissal filed on Monday, July 24, counsel for all parties in the case of “Jane Doe 2” advised the action has been settled.

The settlement comes more than a year since the lawsuit was initially filed, in May 2016. The plaintiff alleged that she contacted the Horry County Police Department in May 2015 to report that she was raped.

Large then reportedly contacted her days later to say they would meet. The former detective allegedly called her beautiful and said he could understand how the suspect couldn’t resist himself. Ultimately, the case was determined to be unfounded.

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[WATCH] Prosecutors Have Stopped Believing Award Winning NYPD Detective


He received a medal for valor, following a shootout in Queens. And he seemed to have a sixth sense for finding drugs and guns. In a decade on the force, he had made, by his own count, 350 arrests.

The man, Detective Kevin Desormeau, was regarded as courageous, cunning and tireless. His supervisors within the New York Police Department heaped on such praise that in their -telling he sounded half comic-book hero.

But prosecutors now say Detective Desormeau, 34, struggled with one aspect of police work: telling the truth. After relying on Detective Desormeau’s word in hundreds of cases, prosecutors no longer believe him credible. In two cases, prosecutors have accused Detective Desormeau and his partner of making up crucial details when arresting people, even testifying about criminal activity that may never have occurred. They have said they are reviewing some of his old cases, though how many is not clear.

The two detectives were indicted earlier this year, adding to the body of evidence that police perjury and half-truths remain a persistent problem for the New York Police Department. And as more arrests and confrontations are being recorded, evidence of police falsehoods are more apparent.

The issue of false or misleading statements by the police has, on a national level, been intertwined with the issue of excessive force and the debate over whether police are too quick to shoot people, particularly black men. In cases in recent years, from Chicago to North Charleston, S.C., police officers have given accounts of fatal shootings that turn out to be at odds with what cameras captured.

Review Board Notes Rise in New York Police Officers’ False Statements MAY 14, 2015
But the phenomenon of false or misleading police statements has not been confined to high-profile cases in which officers try to justify the use of deadly force. In New York, the practice of routinely making up facts to justify a dubious arrest was entrenched enough that it got its own nickname more than 20 years ago — “testilying.”

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Third Baltimore Police Detective to Plead Guilty in Federal Racketeering Case


Baltimore Police Det. Jemell Rayam will plead guilty Tuesday in federal court to robbing people he detained, billing for overtime hours he didn’t work, and forging reports to cover his tracks, his attorney, Dennis Boyle, said.

Rayam’s guilty plea would bring to three the number of police detectives who have admitted to the criminal charges filed early this year in a federal racketeering case with far-reaching implications. The scandal has toppled the elite gun unit of the police department and led prosecutors to drop criminal charges against more than 100 people whose cases hinged on the word of the officers.

A fourth officer, Det. Momodu Gondo, called “G Money” in wiretapped phone calls, is scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday to change his plea of not guilty. His attorneys did not respond to messages Monday.

Both detectives live in Owings Mills and remain suspended from the police department. They have been held in detention since their arrest and each faces as much as 20 years in prison. A hearing for Rayam, to change his plea was initially scheduled for next month.

Two Baltimore detectives plead guilty to racketeering charges, face up to nine years in prison
Six other officers have been indicted in the racketeering case, including the plainclothes gun unit’s former commanders, Sergeants Thomas Allers and Wayne Jenkins. Both men pleaded not guilty, as have Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor. Their trials are scheduled to begin in January.

Detectives Evodio Hendrix and Maurice Ward both pleaded guilty in July and await sentencing next year. They face seven to nine years in prison under sentencing guidelines, though the judge could choose to impose the maximum 20 years.

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[WATCH] Suspended King County Detective Caught on Video Pulling a Gun During a Traffic Stop Identified

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