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Federal officer slain in Oakland is mourned at memorial service


Family and friends mourning a federal law enforcement officer who was fatally shot while guarding a U.S. courthouse in Oakland voiced poignant pleas Friday for an end to the violence that cut short his life, saying America needs to overcome discrimination and hatred.

David Patrick Underwood, 53, was remembered as a soft-spoken and gifted natural athlete, a lefty pitcher in high school who was valiant on the mound and graceful on the basketball court.

In life and in work, he was confident but never arrogant, friends and family said in moving tributes. He treated people with dignity and had a deep love for family and the uniform he proudly wore, they added.

AIR FORCE SERGEANT ARRESTED IN DEPUTY’S SLAYING NO CHARGED IN OAKLAND COURTHOUSE AMBUSH 

Janie Taylor sings beside a photo of Federal Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood on Friday, June 19, 2020, in Pinole, Calif. Underwood was fatally shot as he was guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, Calif., amid protests on May 29. (Associated Press)

Janie Taylor sings beside a photo of Federal Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood on Friday, June 19, 2020, in Pinole, Calif. Underwood was fatally shot as he was guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, Calif., amid protests on May 29. (Associated Press)

He didn’t judge people by the color of their skin, but by what was in their heart, they said.

Local and federal officials joined the two-hour ceremony in Pinole, California, a San Francisco Bay Area city, at the high school where Underwood was a star baseball player in the 1980s. Wearing face masks, mourners packed into the school’s theater, where social distancing was mostly ignored, and paid tribute to Underwood, whose body lay in a blue casket on a gold stand.

Underwood, who was black, was killed May 29 while guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland as a large demonstration was underway nearby over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“We must not be embittered by this horrific injustice. Hate, vengeance and violence solves nothing,” said his older sister, Angela Underwood Jacobs, a recent Republican candidate who sought to fill a vacant U.S. district seat north of Los Angeles.

Angela Underwood Jacobs, sister to slain Federal Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood, right, speaks to media beside family mambers prior to a memorial service for Underwood on Friday, June 19, 2020, in Pinole, Calif. Underwood was fatally shot as he was guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, Calif., amid protests on May 29. (Associated Press)

Angela Underwood Jacobs, sister to slain Federal Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood, right, speaks to media beside family mambers prior to a memorial service for Underwood on Friday, June 19, 2020, in Pinole, Calif. Underwood was fatally shot as he was guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, Calif., amid protests on May 29. (Associated Press)

She added: “We will, we must, as individuals and as a society overcome discrimination, bias, hatred and violence of any kind whether it be against African Americans or people who wear the uniform in peace, as our brother did, to protect and serve and to ensure the safety of all.”

Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, joined the ceremony to honor Underwood and to deliver an American flag to his family. Gov. Gavin Newsom sent an officer of the California Highway Patrol who presented the family with a California flag.

In a separate video tribute, Wolf condemned the “senseless cowardly violence” that took Underwood’s life.

“Officer Underwood gave his life protecting us and we owe him and his family and colleagues a debt of gratitude we will never be able to fully repay,” said Wolf.

George Phillips, childhood friend of slain Federal Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood, speaks during a memorial service for Underwood on Friday, June 19, 2020, in Pinole, Calif. Underwood was fatally shot as he was guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, Calif., amid protests on May 29. (Associated Press)

George Phillips, childhood friend of slain Federal Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood, speaks during a memorial service for Underwood on Friday, June 19, 2020, in Pinole, Calif. Underwood was fatally shot as he was guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, Calif., amid protests on May 29. (Associated Press)

Underwood died from gunshot wounds in a drive-by shooting the night of May 29 as a protest in downtown Oakland that began peacefully sank into chaos. Underwood and a colleague were working that night as contract security officers for the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service.

Federal authorities say the shooter used the protest as cover for the crime. Authorities say that Underwood was targeted because he wore a uniform.

Last week, the FBI announced murder charges against Air Force Staff Sgt. Steve Carrillo. Authorities say Carrillo used the same homemade AR-15-style rifle eight days later to kill a Santa Cruz deputy in a hail of gunfire that wounded four other officers. Carrillo faces separate state charges for the June 6 fatal shooting of Santa Cruz County sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller.

Authorities allege that Carrillo, 32, had ties to the far-right, anti-government “boogaloo” movement and had hatched a plan to target federal law enforcement officials during the Oakland protest.

Colleagues described Underwood as hard-working, highly respected and conscientious. Friends and family talked of his hearty laugh, his personal style — he was a sharp dresser — and his giving heart. When he stopped playing baseball as an adult, he donated to local youth organizations, so he could help kids find joy in the sport he loved.

Underwood was the kind of guy you went to for advice, his older sister said.

“He’d always say, ‘Angie, believe in yourself. Work hard, and ask for what you want,’ which is exactly what our mom and dad would have said,” Jacobs said in a tribute to her brother. “Now that he’s gone, who am I going to call now?”

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She added: “A brother, a friend, a mentor a leader, a good man has wrongly been taken from us.”



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Nebraska man on death row for killing 4 – but Texas woman says she’ll marry him: report


A 33-year-old Nebraska man on death row for killing four people within 10 days in 2013 has at least one friend still in his corner: a 46-year-old Texas woman who reportedly has confirmed that she and the killer plan to marry.

But Dawn Arguello of Lubbock isn’t happy that Nikko Jenkins – who authorities say committed the murders within three weeks of being released from prison on a robbery and assault conviction – recently had her name tattooed on his face.

CALIFORNIA SHOOTOUT, STANDOFF WITH COPS RESULTS IN DEATHS OF WOMAN, 2 CHILDREN

“I was very (ticked) off that he did that,” Arguello told the Omaha World-Herald. “He doesn’t need to be self-mutilating like that.”

Arguello added she isn’t happy about the way her husband-to-be has been portrayed in the local press.

“If you believe the media,” she said, “he’s the most hated man in Nebraska besides Charles Starkweather.”

Nikko Jenkins has been linked to four murders committed within 10 days in 2013, authorities say.

Nikko Jenkins has been linked to four murders committed within 10 days in 2013, authorities say.

The reference was to the 1950s serial killer of 11 people whose story inspired several movies, including “Badlands” in 1973 and “Natural Born Killers” in 1994. After his conviction in one of the murders, Starkweather was executed in Nebraska in 1959 at age 20.

Jenkins is not like Starkweather at all, she said.

“He’s not what the media has made him out to be,” she told the World-Herald. “He’s an enigma. He has feelings. He’s very sensitive.

“He’s not what the media has made him out to be. He’s an enigma. He has feelings. He’s very sensitive.”

— Dawn Arguello, fiancee of death-row inmate

“He’s very intelligent,” she added, “and, yes, he’s very manipulating.”

According to authorities, Jenkins received help from family members in executing the four murders to which he’s been linked. They say he convinced his sister and a female cousin to lure two men with a promise of sex acts in an Omaha park, then Jenkins himself appeared and suddenly blasted the two men in their heads with a shotgun.

A few days later, Jenkins, his sister and another man went to a neighborhood in Omaha, supposedly to commit a robbery. Instead, Jenkins killed the man, authorities said.

Then a few days after that, Jenkins pulled a mother of three out of her SUV and killed her, according to authorities.

Jenkins’ death sentence, issued in 2017, was Nebraska’s first since the state’s voters reinstated capital punishment in a November 2016 vote.

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In 2014, however, the Nebraska Legislature ordered a special investigation into Jenkins’ case because some critics noted that, while in prison prior to the murders, Jenkins had spent more than half of his sentence in solitary confinement. The critics claimed the isolation may have had an effect on his mental health, possibly resulting in the killing spree so soon after he was released.

Arguello met Jenkins while doing volunteer work for a nonprofit organization that advocates for death-row inmates and their families. She also has a criminal record of her own, with convictions for misdemeanor domestic violence, felony child abuse and felony credit card abuse, the World-Herald reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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Slain Missouri woman looked up ‘what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant’ before she went missing: warrants


A suburban St. Louis woman whose husband is charged in her death had looked up “what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant” on her cellphone before she went missing last month, according to search warrants.

The warrants, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, outline the reasons detectives gave for searching the home of Jennifer and Beau Rothwell near the suburb of Creve Coeur. The couple’s cellphones, email accounts, Facebook accounts and Beau Rothwell’s SUV were also searched.

Beau Rothwell, 28, is jailed without bond on charges of second-degree murder and evidence tampering in his wife’s death. His lawyer previously declined to comment on the charges.

Her body was found about a week after she went missing about 45 miles northwest of her home. Detectives disclosed in warrants that Jennifer Rothwell, who was also 28, had been six weeks pregnant when she died.

REMAINS OF MISSOURI WOMAN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN FOUND AFTER HER HUSBAND PROVIDES INFORMATION

Beau Rothwell, 28, was arrested for the suspected murder of his wife, 28-year-old Jennifer Rothwell, after investigators searched their home and found a wet carpet soaked with bleach and large areas of blood which had seeped into the underlying carpet pad. 

Beau Rothwell, 28, was arrested for the suspected murder of his wife, 28-year-old Jennifer Rothwell, after investigators searched their home and found a wet carpet soaked with bleach and large areas of blood which had seeped into the underlying carpet pad. 
(St. Louis County Police Department)

In the newly released search warrants, investigators say Beau Rothwell called 911 at 9:44 p.m. on Nov. 12 to report his wife of four years missing, saying he last saw her that morning as she was leaving for her job as a chemical engineer.

He told police that her co-workers told him she didn’t show up for work that day and that they were concerned. Police found her car parked near her home, with her cellphone inside.

Beau Rothwell wouldn’t let police search the home, car or cellphone, or take a DNA sample from him, according to investigators. He also requested an attorney,

Detectives then searched a trash can placed at the curb of the home on Nov. 13. In it they found various cleaning supplies, including rubber gloves and paper towels, the warrants state. A receipt showed cleaning items had been purchased Nov. 11 from a grocery store.

REMAINS FOUND IN NEBRASKA AND MISSOURI IDENTIFIED AS MISSING WISCONSIN BROTHERS

“This purchase was oddly at a time during a major snow event involving dangerous driving conditions, and was also contradictory to Beau Rothwell’s statement that he was home with his wife all night,” an investigator wrote in the documents.

Police also found signs that violent acts had been committed inside the home. Detectives described an “overwhelming” smell of bleach and other cleaners inside the home as well as several “large areas of red stain” at the base of the basement steps. DNA tests confirmed that the blood found in the home was Jennifer Rothwell’s.

There was also damage to drywall in the basement, which had samples of human hair, the warrants state.

The blood-stained areas were wet with detergent and had a circulating fan blowing air over the area, and the basement windows were open despite temperatures that were in the 30s.

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Beau and Jennifer Rothwell received chemical engineering degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2013. They married in 2015 in St. Louis County.



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California man held in Army veteran’s death also facing kidnap charge after police find hostage in his home: reports


A Southern California man arrested Monday in the alleged murder of a 34-year-old U.S. Army veteran also faces a kidnapping charge because police found a hostage in the suspect’s home, authorities said Wednesday, according to reports.

Antonio Silva, 27, of Santa Ana, is suspected of killing Adrian Darren Bonar, 34, whose body was found wrapped in a tarp in the trunk of a Lexus found abandoned in Anaheim last month.

REMAINS IN NEVADA IDENTIFIED AS PENNSYLVANIA WOMAN ALLEGEDLY LURED TO DESERT BY BOYFRIEND

Silva’s hostage had been at the house for at least two days and was released from a hospital Tuesday after treatment for unspecificed reasons, The Orange County Register reported. Also found in the home were two grams of fentanyl and firearms including two handguns and two rifles, KTLA of Los Angeles reported.

Antonio Silva is seen in an undated booking photo. (Anaheim Police Department via AP)

Antonio Silva is seen in an undated booking photo. (Anaheim Police Department via AP)

Bonar grew up in North County San Diego and was honorably discharged from the Army after serving during the Iraq War. His body was found in an abandoned car on a dirt road near a freeway in Anaheim Hills on Oct. 17. The vehicle may have been there as long as four days, KTLA reported.

Police didn’t give any more information about the manner of Bonar’s death nor about the circumstances under which Silva’s hostage was taken captive.

Adrian Darren Bonar, who served in the U.S. Army, was found dead Oct. 17 inside an abandoned vehicle, authorities say. (Anaheim Police Department)

Adrian Darren Bonar, who served in the U.S. Army, was found dead Oct. 17 inside an abandoned vehicle, authorities say. (Anaheim Police Department)

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“Regardless of what Adrian may have been involved in, he’s the victim of this crime,” Anaheim Police Chief Jorge Cisneros said, according to The Register. “No one deserves to die in this fashion.”

The investigation is ongoing.



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