Florida teens echo Runaway Devil & Soul Eater

Whoa. Shades of Runaway Devil in Ocala, Florida

Daughter, 13, gets 15-year-old boyfriend to slit mother’s throat.

This kind of case made history in Canada. I’m wondering what Americans think of it?

It’s eerily similar to Runaway Devil’s case: A woman had her throat slit by her teenage daughter’s boyfriend.

The girl’s parents opposed the relationship (shock) and the pair were planning on running off together (he told the mother that he could take care of the 13-year-old, investigators say).

They hatched a plan over the telephone and then on Facebook, working out the details of where the “ambush” would take place.

They agreed the garage was best.

Thankfully, the mother survived and the father was uninjured.

As followers of Runaway Devil and Jeremy Steinke’s case know, it doesn’t have to be a good plan to be a plan for murder.

The boy ended up driving the bleeding woman to the hospital, forcing her to promise the teens could stay together.

Galling still is that he nagged the mother not sue him for the attack that could have killed her.

Both teens are charged with two counts each of conspiracy to commit murder and one count each of attempted murder in the second degree.

Charming.

Dustin Paxton declared dangerous offender (and police interrogation)

Video: Dustin Paxton police interrogation.

UPDATED: Dustin Paxton has been declared a dangerous offender today. That means he will be jailed indefinitely.

dustin-paxtonPaxton was seen slouching and smirking as the judge read her ruling.

He offered no apology, but he did say:

“I’m working with these experts who are working to make me a better person,” he said. “I will remain fully committed to a regime of counselling and programming that is essential to my rehabilitation.”

This is one of the most twisted cases with bizarre cast of characters I’ve ever written about. I’m reposting a verdict and feature story I wrote last year. An editor took out an important paragraph that included Paxton’s previous charges and convictions. I’ve added it back in bold below.

_________________________________________

FEBRUARY 2012 Well, he may have come in laughing and shaking hands, but Dustin Paxton left Court of Queen’s Bench pretty pissed off today.

Paxton, 32, has been found guilty of aggravated and sexual assault against his roommate and business partner, and two separate charges of assault with a weapon and uttering threats against an employee.

He was acquitted on a charge of unlawful confinement.

Watching Paxton react to Madame Justice Sheilah Martin’s FIVE HOUR LONG ruling (when we weren’t tweeting and taking notes, that is) was a trip.

Dude was stormy. Shaking his head in disagreement with every detail against him, including using sex as another weapon of assault against his 28-year-old victim, who is recovering in Victoria, B.C.

Paxton denies everything and all evidence against him.

You can see his police interview above and my story about the path that led him to his victim below.

SHERRI ZICKEFOOSE
CALGARY HERALD
FEB. 6, 2012

Worn from the three-hour drive north to Edmonton, Calgary detectives Doug Crippen and Bryan Rowe were wide awake and ready to interrogate Dustin Paxton, even though it was 1:30 a.m.

They faced off across a metal table inside a stark police interview room roughly the size of a cell.

“OK, Dustin. I want to make sure we get off on the right foot here,” said Crippen. He needed to build rapport with the man he believed responsible for confining, disfiguring and torturing a roommate nearly twice his size.

“Well, so do I, OK?” said Paxton. “We were together for a long time, me and him. And we’ve been through a lot of time, good time, bad time together.”

Crippen nodded, urging Paxton’s story along.

“What you’re talking about and what this news is talking about and what all these f-kin’ people that are supposed to be my friends and my family are f-kin’ talking about is bullsh-,” Paxton told him. “This guy was never f-kin’ held hostage. This guy was never f-kin’ tortured.”

The victim’s shrunken, broken body, smashed face and brain injury told a different story.

A judge will decide this afternoon whether Paxton is guilty of aggravated assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement.

Four months after Paxton’s badly beaten roommate was abandoned unconscious and emaciated at a Regina hospital April 16, 2010, Paxton’s dramatic arrest in an Edmonton suburb ended a manhunt. In the videotaped police interview, which was played in court, Crippen needed his prime suspect to confess.

“Then tell me, Dustin, tell me right here, right now. This is your opportunity. Explain those injuries to him,” Crippen demanded.

“Where that’s gonna happen, and where it’s gonna have to happen, is in a courtroom, my friend.”

The interrogation went in circles like this for nearly three hours on Aug. 26, 2010.

Crippen pushed forward a gruesome photograph of Paxton’s disfigured friend; teeth splayed, lower lip missing, cauliflowered ears, angry red cuts and bruises. His blue eyes were unfocused and a breathing tube sprouted from his smashed nose. His shrivelled looks suggested a dying cancer patient.

“Dustin, look at him. This is how he showed up at the Regina hospital. Look at the damage to his face. Is this somebody that you love?”

“Yes, I do see,” Paxton said. “Yeah, it is somebody that I love.”

The detective believed there was more to the story, but Paxton kept stopping.

Pointing to binders holding nearly 57 witness statements and his 49,000-word-report, Crippen shook his head and asked Paxton for the truth.

“Listen. There is one true story,” said Paxton. “I love him like a brother. I always will.”

Paxton paints his 1980s Manitoba childhood as tumultuous.

Known as a bright and funny boy, “Dusty” was also unusually fastidious, keeping his appearance “immaculate,” a relative says.

It would take years until he was offered medication for schizophrenia.

His parents split early, leaving Paxton and his older sister in the care of their father, a former military man.

“I don’t know what happened to my parents. They uh, uh, they don’t speak to me,” Paxton told police.

By age 12, Paxton says he was disowned for acting up and placed in the care of children’s services in the early 1990s.

“My dad called them on me. I forget what that incident was. There was a stain on the bottom of the iron. I forget why,” Paxton said. “He was trying to take on a lot for a young guy and I think it was too much for him to handle and I think that’s why he hung up the gloves when it came to me.”

Paxton claims he was disciplined at home “severely,” but his father was “a young guy with a lot on his shoulders and yet I think he did a very good job.”

Before long, Paxton was under the strict military-style rule at a youth boot camp.

Drugs, alcohol and mischief followed him into his teens, relatives say.

In his 20s, Paxton racked up a lengthy criminal record with dozens of charges in Winnipeg and Edmonton for theft, assault with a weapon, stealing credit cards, and impersonation. He was known as a street smart con-artist who was often wanted by police for breaching court-ordered probation conditions. Among them were failing to do psychiatric and psychological counselling, and not providing a proper home address when he moved in 2006.

“I’ve been wanted and on the run for years, my friend,” Paxton told police during his interrogation. “I don’t think I’ve had a free day in my life since I was f-kin’ 12. I’ve been all over Canada, several times back and forth. It’s a stressful and strenuous lifestyle . . . There is no calling up mom and dad. There is no calling up sister or brother or grandma or grandpa and saying, ‘I’m hungry, I quit, I wanna come home. I’ll be good now.’ There is none of that.”

Family is what Paxton was missing.

He found it in a blood brother, who would later become his accuser, he met on the streets of Winnipeg.

They met through mutual drug-addled friends and both loved to party, Paxton’s trial heard. Paxton’s friend had similarly been on his own since the age of 16.

“When I got to hang out with him, we’re usually smoking a joint and watching something funny and giggling together, you know what I mean?” Paxton told police.

“When I first met him, he was one of the most honest people I had met. I used to look up to him. He used to be my role model, OK. You know, he was an honest guy. He worked. He loved his daughter. He loved his family. You know, he would get up every morning and he would go to work at 4: 30 in the morning and this guy loved his work . . . It’s all I ever wanted was just some sort of normalcy and that’s what I envied about him. He had this normalness to him.”

Before long, Paxton moved to Calgary. He found work setting up haunted houses at Canada Olympic Park for ScreamFest just before Halloween.

When he learned his friend was going through a painful breakup back in Winnipeg, Paxton told him to come to Calgary.

The man took Paxton up on his offer. He quit his job as a forklift operator, boarded a flight to Calgary, and took a taxi straight to Paxton on Oct. 31.

That night, court heard Paxton beat his friend over the head with a steel-toed boot. The reason? He backed a folding chair over an electrical cord.

They ended up spending the next 17 months together, a period when Paxton is accused of beating him several more times.

With the alleged Halloween beating behind them and apologies made and accepted, the two men moved into a rental house on 42nd Avenue and Centre Street N. and started a business. Two Guys and a Truck was a furniture moving company started with $60 and a payday loan. Paxton worried about some arrest warrants, so the company was registered under his friend’s name, court heard. Within six months, business was booming. They had four moving trucks and were picking up day labourers.

Paxton insisted the men were equal partners.

“It was supposed to be a buddy thing. You know, it was supposed to be your friends together everyday . . . and achieving something that nobody else could achieve together,” Paxton told police.

Running the business from his home computer while his friend handled the heavy labour gave Paxton a chance to go straight and earn a legitimate living, offering “a good quality service to show who we were and what we were capable of, not as movers, as human beings . . . This was for us to shine, to be the best that we could be.

“We were in this to succeed, not to fail, not to look like idiots to everybody back in Winnipeg or on the streets who thought that we were from the trenches, kicking in doors and selling f-kin’ grams . . . we weren’t these people. We were a higher calibre people, all right, and we did this from scratch.”

The moving business also became the reason for black eyes, broken ribs and internal injuries that Paxton’s friend was seen frequently suffering from. Falling freezers and pizza ovens were blamed for the man’s near constant injuries and a two-month hospital stay, customers and friends were told. By the end of January 2009, the shocking sight of the man’s swollen, bruised face and missing lower lip caused one customer to cry. The man lied and said he was a boxer.

Other young men would come forward to accuse Paxton of beating them with a bamboo stick and broken dog leash. Paxton would only say he was a tough and exacting boss.

“I think a lot of people think I’m an asshole and it’s just not the case. I’m actually the most caring person that I know . . . Yeah, in the end I had to take charge of the situation, only a situation that was out of control . . . It was getting, it was getting chaotic.”

The chaos came after an argument with workers over money. Paxton and his roommate cooked up a plan to flee Calgary for Winnipeg. In midFebruary 2010, they staged a break-in and filed a phoney insurance claim.

They stayed in Calgary motels and made their way to Saskatchewan.

While the pair were holed up in a Regina apartment and cut off from worried friends and family in March 2010, Paxton says his friend’s health mysteriously went downhill.

So did the money. “Being locked up in an apartment with him, fixing his wounds and stuff like that 16 hours a day – there’s no money coming in. I got drained of everything,” Paxton said.

When detectives asked how Paxton’s friend was injured, Paxton would only say “he was weird” and would fall to his knees unprovoked.

“At the time, he wasn’t talking. Or he wasn’t saying much when he was speaking. I spent a good two and a half weeks there half hoping that he was gonna snap out of it . . . He was so f-kin’ out of it and gone he should have been in a hospital from the beginning. Unfortunately, with everybody chasing us, we couldn’t.”

Paxton calmly described how helpless his injured friend had become. “He had to wear diapers. He was pissing and shitting the bed four, five times a day. I had to do laundry three times. I cleaned him up every single day. He had bed pads. Everything was set up to help this guy get better so he could get home and see his daughter. That was our ultimate goal. We saw him deteriorating every day. He would not get better.”

Who’s we? asked police. “Me and him,” he responded.

Paxton painted himself as caregiver rather than tormentor.

“He had no lips. He had no nothing and he couldn’t eat. So I had to feed him. I fed him soup. I fed him Boost. I fed him everything that I possibly could that he could keep down. And that’s where he lost the weight from, not from being starved.”

Police confronted Paxton with sex abuse allegations.

“This guy was never, ever sexually molested . . . there was no sexual contact between me and (him), not even the cleaning of his diapers was there any contact with him. I wiped his friggin’ body with towels, that’s it. I did not like to touch him, I did not like to see him without any friggin’ clothes on, never mind perform sexual acts. I’m a straight man. It wouldn’t even do anything for me. I would get it from a female and not from a guy and not from a hurt guy.”

Paxton said he was baffled how his clumsy friend kept getting hurt.

“There was something amiss in this guy’s head. OK, and I can’t put my finger on exactly what it was ’cause I could have a conversation with him.”

“By the time I was done with him,” Paxton said nonchalantly, “I had no idea who he was.”

On April 16, 2010, Paxton loaded his unconscious, braininjured friend into a car and delivered him to the hospital.

“Right up to the time that I had to leave his side, I saw something in him that nobody else was seeing, and it was in his eyes,” Paxton told police in the hours before he was formally charged.

“This guy kept me holding on ’till the very end with a glimmer of hope that the same guy was still in there . . . And it was that he was normal and he was the guy that I f-kin’ knew when I first met him. You could see a glimmer of hope.”

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Silent+trial+Dustin+Paxton+tells+story+videotaped+police+interview/6107150/story.html#ixzz1lfSa6DPw

When a curfew is not a curfew

For the second time, JR has lost her bid to shake her 11:30 p.m. curfew.

The reason? The Solicitor General says the curfew is already flexible. In fact, JR has been out on an overnighter and had another late night since being shot down at her last September review.

What for? JR is enjoying pro-social “dance activities” these days. But she can’t take part because sometimes it requires travelling, and she’s being hindered by a curfew, court heard today.

Zumba or clubbing? Online commenters wasted no time wading into this one.

As humiliating as it likely is, the curfew was never intended as punishment for JR, but rather as a means of rehabilitation. And as Justice Scott Brooker pointed out, it’s not doing her any damage having to follow the rules. Her sentence ends in about two years.

“I have not heard any evidence or suggestions that the curfew adversely affects her,” said Brooker.

In a Nov. 25 letter, the province gave a directive that the curfew stay as is.

JR’s mental health team has a difference of opinion. But the curfew remains.

Crown prosecutor Brandy Shaw said JR’s curfew makes supervision more effective and reduces risk to the community.

Defence lawyer Katherin Beyak says JR is just like any other 20-year-old, and they typically don’t have curfews to contend with.

That is too much bait for online folks: “Most 20-year-olds haven’t murdered their entire family,” and “sounds to me like she wants to go clubbing.”

It’s been fascinating to behold the conversations revolving around JR, her sentence and her progress. For their own reasons, the public is quick to distrust what they’re hearing from these annual and semi-annual sentence reviews. Others are more forgiving and imagine JR’s psychotherapy has given her a chance to take responsibility.

But unless you are a member of her care team, you don’t know.

Seeing as though there may be only two more of these reviews before JR has come to the end of her sentence, the public is going to have to get used to the fact that JR remains among them.

I’d love to know your thoughts.

SHERRI ZICKEFOOSE
Calgary Herald

MEDICINE HATA request from Canada’s youngest multiple killer to have her curfew lifted so she can spend time on dance activity has been denied.

However the 20-year-old has already had an overnight leave and was allowed to stay out past midnight on another occasion in recent months.

There were no breaches reported.

It is the second time the woman has lost a request to have her 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew dropped entirely.

At a hearing this morning in Medicine Hat provincial court, Justice Scott Brooker said he agreed with a letter from the Solicitor General’s office that the curfew should remain in place, because it is flexible.

That means the woman can apply for extensions for specific “pro-social” activities during this final community supervision phase of her youth sentence.

Court heard the woman wants to pursue dance activities.

“I’m not satisfied there’s any compelling need to change it at this time,” said Brooker.

“If it comes to pass the curfew is causing particular difficulties for the young person concerning re-integration, I’m prepared to revisit it.”

The woman’s defence lawyer said the judge’s decision makes sense, but that the girl is ready for more freedom.

“She’s 20 years of age and at 20 years of age, most people don’t have an 11:30 p.m curfew,” said Katherin Beyak.

“In terms of reintegrating and becoming an adult and a productive member of society,” she is ready, said Beyak.

She was 12 when she helped her 23-year-old boyfriend, Jeremy Allan Steinke, murder her Medicine Hat parents and eight-year-old brother in 2006.

She was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to the maximum 10-year youth sentence. Her identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The woman has 2 1/2 years left in the final phase of her intensive rehabilitative custody and supervision (IRCS) program.

She is living independently with a roommate, holds down a job and is taking university courses in Calgary.

During an annual sentencing review hearing last September, Justice Scott Brooker denied the woman’s curfew request because she had only been living on her own since August.

The woman was reported to have had no curfew breaches, and her defence lawyer called her the “poster child” for rehabilitation.

The annual sentencing reviews are the only chance the public has to learn about the woman’s progress.

Her record will be wiped clean five years after her sentence ends if she doesn’t break the law.

Although the teen’s psychological assessments and therapy plan is kept private, case workers said last year they believe her remorse is “significant” and genuine.

In the past, it had been said the girl had a “failure to internalize” or take responsibility for her role in the killings.

She is in the final stretch of a four-phase program of stabilization, intensive therapy, transition and reintegration that saw her spend four years in custody at an Alberta Hospital and six on probation.

She had been living in a group home as she was being readied to reintegrate into society.

Her former boyfriend, Jeremy Allan Steinke, is serving a maximum sentence in Edmonton for three counts of first-degree murder.

The young woman’s family was stabbed to death in the middle of night in their suburban Medicine Hat home April 23, 2006.

Steinke and the girl had been carrying on an illicit romance for several weeks before her parents found out and tried to stop it. Through online messages under their user names “soul eater” and “runaway devil,” the pair discussed killing the girl’s parents so they could be together.

They were arrested trying to flee hours after being seen drinking and laughing at a nearby house party.

Steinke admitted stabbing the girl’s parents to death. The girl denied any role in the killings.

Neither has ever admitted to the little boy’s murder.

Runaway Devil Radio Tonight!

Runaway Devil coverJoin us online tonight as Runaway Devil is the focus of Darkness on the Edge of Town Radio’s True Crime Tuesday theme.

Listeners of Minnesota’s paranormal talk radio show are going to get an earful about Runaway Devil and her Soul Eater, who claimed to be a 300-year-old werewolf who liked the taste of blood.

I’ll be live tweeting as much as I can throughout the show, but am happy to take your questions right here.

Join us online from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. MST (that’s 9 p.m. to midnight CST).

Runaway Devil living well on her own but must obey curfew

Despite being called a “poster child” of success for intensive court-ordered psychotherapy, a judge denied a curfew extension for Canada’s youngest multiple killer.
During an annual sentencing review in Medicine Hat Court of Queen’s Bench Monday morning, the young woman convicted of first-degree murder for her role helping her boyfriend slay her Medicine Hat family at age 12 is doing well in university, working and living independently with a roommate since August.
She appeared over closed circuit television flanked by her case worker and psychologist for the brief hearing.
“The reports are quite positive, sir,” defence lawyer Tim Foster told justice Scott Brooker.
“She is essentially the poster child for this whole program. She has done everything they asked her to,” said Foster.
He asked the judge to have the 11:30 pm to 6 am curfew lifted.
“She has complied perfectly” in the two years she has been released, said Foster.
A case worker agreed, saying the woman, nearly 20, has had no infractions but that she’s only been living on her own a short while.
“She has done well,” she said. “We’ve had no compliance problems with regard for curfew or anything else.”
However, the young woman is having issues with “stress and anxiety” but that “she is developing her own toolbox to cope with these issues,” Crown prosecutor Brandy Shaw.
“Her transition to a lot of the independence has occurred in a relatively short time frame, it’s new,” said Shaw. “In looking at her progress, a bit of time to see how things progress would be of assistance.”
Brooker said the woman remains a low risk to reoffend and is doing “all or more than is expected of her.”
But he stopped short of extending her freedom as her independence is recent.
“It may be to your ultimate benefit to maintain a curfew for the present,” Brooker said.
The judge agreed to review her curfew on Dec. 9.
The woman has 2 1/2 years left in the final phase of her maximum 10-year youth sentence.
She was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder for her role in the slaying of her father, mother and eight-year-old brother April 23, 2006.
The family was stabbed to death in the middle of night in their suburban Medicine Hat home.
Her former boyfriend, Jeremy Allan Steinke, who was 23 at the time, was also convicted on three counts of first-degree murder in a separate trial.
It’s been a year since the young woman had her progress reviewed by the judge who sentenced her to an intensive rehabilitative custody and supervision (IRCS) order.
Although the teen’s psychological assessments and therapy plan is kept private, case workers said last year they believe her remorse is “significant” and genuine.
In the past, it had been said the girl had a “failure to internalize” or take responsibility for her role in the killings.
The annual sentencing reviews are the only chance the public has to learn what progress the woman has made, as her young offender status protects her identity.
She is in the final stretch of a four-phase program of stabilization, intensive therapy, transition and reintegration that saw her spend four years in custody at an Alberta Hospital and six on probation.
The girl had been living in a group home as she was being readied to reintegrate into society.
The triple murder case made international headlines.
Steinke and the girl had been carrying on an illicit romance for several months before her parents found out and tried to stop it. Through online messages under their user names “soul eater” and “runaway devil,” the pair discussed killing the girl’s parents so they could be together.
They were arrested trying to flee hours after being seen drinking and laughing at a nearby house party.
Steinke admitted stabbing the girl’s parents to death. The girl denied any role in the killings. Neither has ever admitted to the little boy’s murder.
 

Runaway Devil now showing “genuine remorse”

Talk about a perfect report card — J.R. was praised a second time for making progress in therapy as Canada’s youngest multiple killer.

The teenage girl convicted in the slaying of her Medicine Hat family is now expressing “significant” and “genuine” remorse for her role in the killings as a 12-year-old.

But there was no word if that means she’s admitted her role in her brother’s murder.

The sentencing reviews are the public’s only chance to learn how the girl is faring with rehabilitation.

She’s doing so well, there will likely only be three more public updates now that the judge is satisfied to meet just once a year.

The young woman, who cannot be identified, appeared over closed circuit television in Medicine Hat Court of Queen’s Bench for a sentencing review hearing Monday.

She has been in intensive therapy since being convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for her role in the killing of her parents and eight-year-old brother on April 23, 2006.

She has three and a half years remaining on her conditional intensive rehabilitative custody and supervision sentence.

She will be 22 when she is free.

Although the teen’s therapy plan is kept private, case workers say they believe her remorse appears genuine.
“It appears the IRCS order is working as you intended it to,” Crown prosecutor Ramona Robins told Justice Scott Brooker.
The judge ruled that because of the progress the teen is making with therapy, her twice-yearly sentencing reviews will be scaled back to one hearing a year.
“You continue to work hard under the IRCS order and continue to respond to it. You are doing well… All I can say is keep up the good work,” Brooker said.
“Thank you,” the teen said.
The girl had been living in a group home as she was being readied to reintergrate to society.
“All things considered, she’s doing exceptionally well,” said defence lawyer Katherin Beyak.
“She’s in the community, she’s starting to get her feet on the ground and build a life for herself,” Beyak said outside of court.
The teen is taking university classes, living on her own, and holding down a full time job, court heard. Her employer rates her “excellent” in performance reviews. She is continuing to receive psychiatric counselling.
A case worker said the teen “is doing fine in the community and I don’t anticipate that will change.” She also continues to “strive and work out issues with her therapy.”
The teen, dressed plainly in a black short-sleeved shirt and her dark hair in a ponytail, is serving the maximum youth sentence of 10 years. She is in the final stretch of a four-phase program of stabilization, intensive therapy, transition and reintegration.
In the past, it has been said the girl had a “failure to internalize” or take responsibility for her role in the killings.
The teen and her former boyfriend, Jeremy Allan Steinke, who was 23 at the time, were both convicted of three counts of first-degree murder at separate jury trials. The girl is Canada’s youngest multiple killer.
Steinke and the girl had been carrying on an illicit romance for a few months before her parents learned of it and tried to stop it.
Through online messages under their user names “soul eater” and “runaway devil,” the pair discussed killing the girl’s parents.
Steinke admitted stabbing the girl’s parents to death. The girl denied any role in the killings. Neither has ever admitted to the little boy’s murder.
On the night of the killings, court heard, the girl phoned Steinke, who arrived drunk and high on cocaine at the family’s darkened house.
Both parents confronted Steinke, who was armed with knives.
They bled to death in the basement.
Hours after the killings, the two had sex and were seen kissing and giggling at a house party.
They were arrested with friends the next morning in Leader, Sask., 150 kilometres northeast of Medicine Hat.
In the days following their arrest, the couple agreed through prison love letters to marry, but the relationship quickly crumbled when they blamed each other for slicing the boy’s throat.