From David — A weblog (with full archive)

January 7, 2020 — Mr. McMillan’s sentencing has been postponed

The sentencing for Christopher Wayne McMillan in relation to the 2002 murder of Roberto Caraballo “has been adjourned without a new date.”

The reasons could be many, including that because Dineane Ducharme, Mr. Caraballo’s step-daughter, has chosen to go to trial for her alleged part in his death, that Mr. McMillan will need to be on hand to testify. Providing truthful testimony was a part of his lesser, second-degree murder charge. He has been promised a sentence of 15 years for his complicity in the crime, the coverup and the treatment of Mr. Caraballo’s body. Ms. Ducharme now faces first degree charges, a mandatory life without parole if she is convicted. …Unless she seeks a plea.

Ms. Ducharme’s mother, Beverly McCallum, is still being sought for her role as the alleged mastermind and primary actor in the May 7, 2002 murder.

On a sidenote, January 11th will be Mr. Caraballo’s birthday.

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December 4, 2019 –The expert witness of Dr. Stephen Cohle and the binding over of Dineane Ducharme

Here is yesterday’s testimony of forensic pathologist Dr. Stephen Cohle and the ruling of District Court Judge Julie Reinke that defendant Dineane Ducharme is bound over for trial in Eaton County. This testimony includes graphic evidence from 11:30 to 22:03 and is not intended for children or others who will be aggrieved by it. But the photos admitted into evidence illustrate just what his murderers did to Roberto Caraballo.

Dr. Stephen Cohle from David Schock on Vimeo.

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December 3, 2019 — In court, and some background of Dennis Bowman’s arrest

Today I spent watching forensic pathologist Dr. Stephen Cohle give his expert testimony and recollections of the Jack in the Box case. The defendant, Dineane Ducharme, was bound over for trial, so the prosecutor made his case. Tomorrow I will post Dr. Cohle’s testimony and show the graphic evidence admitted, both of which helped lead to the judgement of the court. Ducharme is bound over for trial in circuit court…and unless she takes a good look at the witnesses arrayed against her and sues for a plea that might result in life as opposed to a lesser sentence. But that’s tomorrow.

But today is this, the press release issued by the Norfolk Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s office. I urge you to ponder one phase in the description of the way the case was solved: “forensic evidence.” Good old fashioned police work and forensic evidence. More to come.

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November 29, 2019 — Imagine the loss

Imagine that in 1974, as a 17-year-old, you gave birth to a child in circumstances that dictated (even against your wishes) that giving that little girl up for adoption was the best plan, or at least the plan pushed by your mother. Imagine you surrendered the child when she was nine months old in 1975.

Imagine more than 35 years go by, but not a day without longing for news of your child.

Then imagine you are contacted in 2010 by law enforcement officials from the state where you surrendered her–Virginia–who contact you to ask you for a DNA sample to test against a body that had been discovered, and that, further, your daughter disappeared and has been missing for more than 20 years. Imagine the young girl she was…only 14 when she was last seen March 11, 1989.

Imagine that you also learn some of the history, that your daughter had been adopted when she was two years old, in 1976, by a couple then living in Virginia. And imagine that you learn that subsequently she and her family moved to west Michigan and that her adoptive father had been arrested there and charged with the attempted murder of another young woman. He served five years of a ten-year sentence but was reunited with his family some three years before your daughter vanished.

Imagine that you learn that nine years after your daughter vanished that this man was convicted of another crime, Breaking and Entering with the Intent to Commit a Felony. And the felony was directed against another young woman.

Imagine that you piece together a series of crimes against other young women where the perpetrator COULD HAVE BEEN your daughter’s adoptive father.

It wouldn’t take much from that point to imagine that just maybe this man had killed your daughter and disposed of her body. Law enforcement workers might even think it likely, but without some kind of proof, there would have been nothing they could have done.

Imagine you ask for help from all and sundry to get the word out and that you have age-progression portraits painted just in case she is out there, somewhere, and someone recognizes her. And you post them. And you network with Missing in Michigan, pay for a billboard along a highway, offer a reward.

And a few years pass. And keep imagining that you have lost your daughter twice; once when you give her up to adoption trusting that she would have a bright future, and the second time when you learned she was missing and investigators thought her likely dead. Still, you don’t give up; you start a facebook page calling out the man, challenging him to take a lie detector test, to own up to what you believe he has done to your daughter.

And all this imagining weighs on you until….

…Until, better than imagining, you learn that this man has been arrested for a murder, a murder in Virginia in 1980, when the adoptive father had returned to that state to fulfill a two-week Naval Reserve commitment.

And here is THAT story in the Holland Sentinel and and updated “supposing” account from Fox 17.

There is a lot more that will come out in the near future about that man, Dennis Bowman. Of course law enforcement is looking hard at the case, especially because now there might be some leverage to induce him to talk. Maybe. And you hope.

You, of course, are Cathy Terkanian, and this is your facebook page about the daughter you knew as Alexis Miranda Badger, renamed by Dennis Bowman and his wife, Brenda Joy Engweiler-Bowman, as Aundria Bowman.

Cathy Terkanian contacted me in 2013. I wasn’t able to offer much help, but I gave what I could during the next couple of years, in particular linking them with a wonderful private investigator. And Alexis/Aundria has long been up at our We Remember node on this website.

Cathy still hopes for her daughter to be found, alive and well. But she can imagine the alternative.

I hope you never have to imagine what has been the reality for Cathy. But perhaps you can imagine what it might be like for her to have answers. Pray for that. Work for that.


November 25, 2019 — Witnesses Gord deVries and Courtney Davis

First up after Christopher McMilland was blueberry farmer Gord deVries. It was he who on May 8, 2002, found the badly burned body of an unknown murder victim, identified in 2015 first as Juan Cintron and subsequently as Roberto Caraballo. He attested that the body had not been there on his farm on May 7.

Note that this video again makes use of a graphic image of Roberto’s badly burned body. That was included as a referent to allow deVries to attest to what he saw.

Gord deVries testimony from David Schock on Vimeo.

Next up was Courtney Davis, who testified that defendant Dineane Ducharme had voluntarily elicited this specific statement: “We killed him.” It is that language that proves slippery to nail down.

Courtney Davis from David Schock on Vimeo.

This preliminary hearing was adjourned in order the allow the testimony of forensic pathologist Steven Cohle. That begins at 9 a.m. Dec. 3.

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November 23, 2019 — The McMillan cross examination

McMillan Cross from David Schock on Vimeo.

Here is the cross examination of Christopher McMillan by defense attorney G. Michael Hocking representing accused murderer Dineane Ducharme. As you can note, the cross took longer than the direct by Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd. Every defendant is entitled to a VIGOROUS defense. I imagine you might have some thoughts after watching this.

Dineane is risking being convicted of first degree murder if she chooses to go to trial. That’s a life-without-parole offense. She has been offered a second degree murder charge if she takes a plea and agrees to testify against the third defendant, Beverly McCallum. McCallum is her mother and is still on the run. We understand–but do not know with any certainty–that McCallum is no longer in Pakistan. She may be watching this at some point and the message to her is this: Come home and face the charge. There are so many reasons, not the least of which is the wellbeing of her traveling companion.

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Nov. 22, 2019 — Chris McMillan’s testimony in the Dineane Ducharme preliminary hearing

McMillan Direct from David Schock on Vimeo.

It has taken some time since Tuesday’s court session, but here is the direct examination by Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd of Christopher McMillan’s. This is McMilland testimony against his one-time friend and smoking buddy Dineane Ducharme in the murder of her stepfather, Roberto Caraballo in 2002. I had hoped to come by some additional images of evidence introduced at the preliminary hearing, but it didn’t happen. Because of the constraint of where I was set up, shifting the camera to take in the exhibition screen was a task, not one I was always up to. And as a cautionary note, the burned body of the victim was shown in court and I already had that and several other images of the baseball bat, the hammer, the footlocker, and, of course, the body in situ. This latter is alarming. It shows up at 41:22. This is not suitable for children. Tomorrow I will post the cross examination by Ducharme’s attorney, G. Michael Hocking.

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November 18, 2019 — Tomorrow in Charlotte

Dineane Ducharme is set to have her preliminary exam tomorrow morning at a 9 a.m., November 19, before District Court (56A) Judge Julie H. Reincke.

Before I arrive in that county seat I have to make a trip to Lansing, so it will be a day with an early, early start. …And a late finish.

It’s unlikely that I will be able to post anything tomorrow, so the earliest to look for any video record of what transpires is probably Wednesday. I will do what I am able as fast as I’m able.

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October 10, 2019 –Christopher McMillan’s guilty plea

In exchange for lesser charges–second degree murder and conspiracy to commit homicide–Christopher Wayne McMillan pled guilty today in Eaton County Circuit Court. The quid pro quo is that he is going to testify truthfully during a preliminary examination for Dineane Ducharme, scheduled to begin Nov. 19. He also will testify against Beverly McCallum when (not if) she is extradited from Pakistan. Here is the entire court proceeding.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in January–15 years.

Lots of thoughts but those can come later. Interesting, there were no other cameras in the courtroom and I don’t think there was any other reporter. That’s odd.

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October 1, 2019 — Adrian Dekker has passed

Adrian Dekker led a long, good, and full life. He has died at age 96. And even in these last years he has remained steadfast in wanting to know who killed his sister, Mina, in 1938. At the time Adrian was 14 years old.

It has been my great honor to work with Adrian over the last 15 years through interviews, research, posting long-form interviews. I had not seen him much in the last two years, but before that I would on occasion stop in to see him and we’d talk. He loved his late wife, his daughters, and both his sisters, one taken far too soon. But he deeply wanted to know what had happened in that third floor office/storeroom in the Judd Building at 64 Ionia Street on the balmy Saturday, March 5. As far as he was concerned, Calvin DeBlaey was the perpetrator. He was almost certain. But he wasn’t positive. He thought DeBlaey had as good as confessed to then-Chief of Police, Frank J. O’Malley. Oh, the case made headlines. Adrian remembered people at the funeral coming up to Mina’s casket trying to catch a glimpse of her savaged head. Three small pieces of her skull had been dislodged in the beating with a weapon that might have been a hammer (never found). Those pieces went into evidence where I believe they remain.

The investigation has dragged on for years and decades. John Robinson, who later lead the equivalent of the major case squad, would welcome new recruits to the force with a chance to look over the file and take a whack at solving it. He believed that new eyes might see something everybody else had missed.

One of the conversations Adrian and I had dealt with the death penalty. I thought, given the circumstances, that he might be for it. He asked me my stand and I told him that I could not countenance it. Oh, sure, I thought plenty deserved it, but it went against everything I believed. To my surprise, he agreed. He was a man of peace.

It’s also my belief that while we have been looking through a glass darkly, he now knows, face to face.

Requiescat in pace old friend.

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