1. #1
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    Default Can someone please explain this...

    Bodies Of Children Were Found In Washer, Dryer

    POSTED: 4:24 pm EDT September 23, 2006
    UPDATED: 2:30 pm EDT September 24, 2006

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- Authorities on Sunday were trying to pinpoint the cause of death for three children an investigator says were found decomposing inside the washer and dryer of their apartment, hours after a woman was accused of killing their pregnant mother and her fetus.

    Saturday night's discovery inside apartment 28J at the John DeShields public housing complex came two days after the mother of the children -- ages 7, 2 and 1 -- was found in a weedy lot, her abdomen torn open and the fetus missing.

    Investigators carried out a furious two-day search, including scouring an 1,100-acre state park, for the children they said were last seen Monday with 24-year-old Tiffany Hall, a family friend prosecutors charged Saturday afternoon with killing Jimella Tunstall and her fetus.

    Hours later, Hall pointed authorities to Tunstall's apartment that investigators had briefly visited earlier in search of photographs of the children for media outlets to publicize as the search pressed on, said Ace Hart, a deputy St. Clair County coroner.

    Hall "fessed up where the kids were. She didn't say she killed them," Hart said Sunday, saying he understood why investigators may have overlooked the children during their previous trip to the apartment. "Who would be looking in the washer and dryer?"

    But by Saturday night, Hart said, "you could find them by the smell."

    Two of the children were nude, the third wearing only underpants, Hart said. The oldest, 7-year-old DeMond Tunstall, was found in the dryer, the younger two children -- 2-year-old Ivan Tunstall-Collins and 1-year-old Jinela Tunstall -- in the washer.

    Hall remained jailed Sunday in nearby Belleville on $5 million bond, charged with first-degree murder in Tunstall's death and with intentional homicide of an unborn child.

    Autopsies on the children were scheduled for Sunday, Hart said.

    Illinois State Police Capt. Craig Koehler declined to say late Saturday whether Hall was suspected in the children's deaths. The cause of their deaths had not been determined, he said.

    "Any time you have three deceased children, it's a very emotional time," Koehler said, fighting back tears. "All these investigators have worked tirelessly with one outcome in mind -- to find these children alive."

    An autopsy showed that Jimella Tunstall, 23, whose body was found Thursday, bled to death after sustaining an abdominal wound caused by a sharp object, believed to be scissors, Hart has said. Authorities believe her womb was cut open after she was knocked unconscious.

    Relatives said Tunstall grew up with Hall and had let her baby-sit her children.

    Officials suspect Tunstall, who was seven months pregnant, was slain on or about Sept. 15, said Robert Haida, St. Clair County's prosecutor. The same day, Hall summoned police to a park, saying she had given birth to a stillborn child, Hart said.

    Hall and the baby were taken to a hospital, where she would not let doctors examine her and offered conflicting reasons for why she went into labor, alternately saying she had consensual sex and was raped, Hart said. The dead baby showed no signs of trauma, and an autopsy the next day failed to pinpoint a cause of death, Hart said.

    Authorities said Hall acknowledged to her boyfriend during the baby's funeral Thursday that the child wasn't his, and that she had killed the mother to get it. The boyfriend, reportedly a sailor home on leave, told police, who arrested his girlfriend hours later, investigators said.

    Hall has two children of her own. Koehler said they are "safe and sound."

    Hall likely will be arraigned Monday on the two charges, each carrying a 20 to 60 years or life in prison, Haida said. The murder count could be punishable by the death penalty.

    DNA tests should determine definitively whether the baby was the one Tunstall was carrying, Hart said.
    Maybe I'm missing something, but could someone who has knowledge about how the Illinois judicial system works please explain...
    Why would Tiffany Hall, already "charged with first-degree murder in Tunstall's death and with intentional homicide of an unborn child", not already possibly be looking at the death penalty? Just based on the nature of the crime I hope she gets fried...
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  2. #2
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    RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    I know that alot of times they only charge the sure stuff and if that fails than charge the other items, thus hoping they will win one way or another.
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  3. #3
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    In many states, when an Aggravated (or 1st degree) Murder case is held, the jury's first job is to determine guilt. Then following a guilty finding, a second "trial" of sorts if held to determine the penalty. Some states like mine (Ohio) will allow a judge to overrule a death penalty recommendation by the jury, but the court is bound to accept a finding by the jury of anything from 15 to life up to 30 to life.

    My guess is Illinois is similar.
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    God, this is just sick! I read about it this morning in an article that wasn't quite so graphic about where and how the children were found.

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  5. #5
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    Sigh... another shining example of Mans' cruelty to itself.... its a wonder we ever made it to the food chain at all, never mind the reported "top".

    We are the only species on the planet that kills its own, "just because" it can.

    ---
    I just found an update to the story....

    Children Drowned, Put In Washer, Dryer
    Police Say Woman Admits Cutting Fetus Out

    POSTED: 6:30 am EDT September 25, 2006
    UPDATED: 8:29 am EDT September 25, 2006

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- After keeping her gruesome secret for days, a woman accused of killing a pregnant acquaintance and her fetus finally told police she drowned the woman's three children and stuffed them into a washer and dryer, authorities say.

    Preliminary autopsies on the children appeared to show they were drowned, said Ace Hart, a deputy St. Clair County coroner.

    As of Sunday, Tiffany Hall, 24, had not been charged in the children's deaths, but prosecutors on Saturday accused Hall of killing their mother, Jimella Tunstall, 23, and her fetus. The fetus had been cut from her womb, authorities said.

    Police have not said what the motive was.

    Hall remained jailed Sunday on $5 million bond, charged with first-degree murder in Tunstall's death and with intentional homicide of an unborn child.

    She likely will be arraigned Monday on the two charges, each carrying a penalty of 20 to 60 years or life in prison, prosecutors said. The murder count could be punishable by the death penalty.

    According to the autopsies, there were no signs of physical abuse or trauma on the children - ages 7, 2, and 1 - and toxicology tests were pending "to see if they were poisoned or possibly drugged," Hart said.

    The community turned to prayer Sunday to understand the slayings at a service for the family.

    "This is an opportunity for people to turn to God," said Debra Kenton, a member of the New Life Community Church. "Who else can explain things like this?"

    Authorities suspect Tunstall was slain on or about Sept. 15.

    That day, Hall summoned police to a park, saying she had given birth to a stillborn child, Hart said. She was arrested after she told her boyfriend during the baby's funeral that the baby wasn't his and that she had killed the mother to get it, authorities said.

    Tunstall's body was found Thursday, and authorities began a furious search for her children. Police said the children were last seen with Hall on Monday.

    Authorities had visited Tunstall's apartment Friday but noticed nothing amiss while looking for photographs of the children for media outlets to publicize in their search, Hart said.

    While in custody, Hart says, Hall told investigators she killed the children and hid them in the washer and dryer.

    Hart said he understood why investigators may have overlooked the children during their previous trip to the apartment. "Who would be looking in the washer and dryer?"

    By Saturday night, Hart said, "you could find them by the smell."

    The oldest, 7-year-old DeMond Tunstall, was found in the dryer and the younger two children - 2-year-old Ivan Tunstall-Collins and 1-year-old Jinela Tunstall - in the washer. Two of the children were found nude, the third wearing only underpants, Hart said.

    Mourners left stuffed animals outside Tunstall's apartment, its door crisscrossed with white evidence tape. There was a white teddy bear, and a stuffed race car with DeMond's name.

    An autopsy showed that Jimella Tunstall bled to death after sustaining an abdominal wound caused by a sharp object, believed to be scissors, Hart has said. Authorities believe her womb was cut open after she was knocked unconscious.

    Relatives say Tunstall grew up with Hall and had let her baby-sit her children. By all accounts, the two women were like sisters. They were quiet loners who became friends in school, and who both became teenage mothers.

    Hall has two children of her own. Illinois State Police Capt. Craig Koehler said they are "safe and sound."

    DNA tests should determine definitively whether the baby was the one Tunstall was carrying, Hart said.

    Previous Stories:
    September 24, 2006: Investigator: Woman Admits Drowning Kids
    September 22, 2006: 3 Kids Missing After Mom Killed, Fetus Taken

    Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 09-25-2006 at 10:18 AM.
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  6. #6
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    We had a nationally publicized murder in our town where a mother murdered her two sons. The police were criticized for the handling of the crime scene. The mother was only charged with the murder of one son. They saved the case for the murder of the other son in case she by some miracle beat the wrap on the first murder. She's currently on death row in Texas for the murder conviction of the first son.
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    I don't even know what to say here.... How sick.... I almost couldn't read the storys. And you know whats coming, don't you? Can anyone guess what the plea will probably be? My bet is thats its not gonna be guilty. People like her I don't know if i would like to see her rott in a cell and hopefully live a life of misery, or just give her death. I just know that this makes me sick, and I wish we didn't live among people like this....... God bless the little ones!

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    I quit trying to figure out the legal system years ago when I was caught up in it.
    Someone who deliberately harms kids is so far down on my list of people,it warrants a few million pages to find them.
    Beyond that,I don't know what to say about this.

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