Topeka Man Receives 33 Years for Christmas Eve Shooting

Topeka Man Receives 33 Years for Christmas Eve Shooting

On November 26, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas announced that Matthew Daniel Myers from Topeka, Kansas was sentenced to 33 years in federal prison without parole.  He fatally shot a clerk at a liquor store on Christmas Eve in 2011.  

Myers pleaded guilty to one count of discharging a weapon during a crime of violence.  

During the guilty plea, Myers admitted that he entered the Hudson Liquor store on 810 S.E. 15th in Topeka around 1:30 p.m. on December 24, 2011.  He entered the store wearing a stocking cap and pajama pants, and he was holding a crowbar in his hand.  

He demanded money from Matthew Hill, the clerk.  Hill gave Myers the money but then attempted to reach for a .38 caliber pistol in a drawer.  Myers stuck Hill with the crowbar, knocked him to the ground, and used the handgun in the drawer to shoot Hill.  

Myers immediately started exiting the store but realized Hill was still alive.  He walked back over to Hill and shot him in the head, and the entire murder was caught on camera.  

The handgun used during the crime was never found by authorities, but DNA on the crowbar and stocking cap matched Myers’ DNA file.  

Myers was initially facing charges in the state court but the charges were dismissed so the case could be prosecuted federally.  

The Topeka Police Department, the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office, Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor’s Office, the FBI, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Warner, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag worked on this case.  

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom stated: “We are targeting federal resources in the fight against violent crime.  This case shows what we can do when we work together.”

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Prison Bars

Prison Bars

Arguably the most recognizable or synonymous term associated with a prison is the image of solid steel bars. Prison bars are used to confine individuals convicted of a serious offense or felony such as murder, assault, armed burglary, rape etc.
Jail cells are small 6 by 8 foot rooms used to confine individuals convicted of a wrong doing. Jail cells are a fundamental application to enforce the United States’ legal system; without the cells prisoners would roam free or be grouped without surveillance or proper organization. Jail cells are constructed to house as many wrongdoers within a facility as possible; they are stacked on top of each other, and assorted in rows to organize a prison and house as many convicts as possible. As prisons become overcrowded the need for more organized and tighter confinements become a necessity.
Jail cells are comprised of steel and brick; these sturdy materials eliminate the chances of vandalism or escape. The typical jail cell unit has 3 walls and a strong steel door that locks from the outside. The door in some cases is solid, with a small window to observe the inmates. In most instances however, jail cells contain a steel door that is comprised of elongated stainless steel bars. 
These prison bars allow correctional officers to freely observe the inmates room as well as his actions. Furthermore, the prison bars also offer an inmate the chance to peer outside of his cell, and even interact with his neighboring cell mates. The openness that prison bars offer can also lead to problems however, as interactions between inmates can spark controversy and problems that extend beyond their confinement. The prison bars are extremely sturdy; they are impossible to bend or snap, diminishing any chance of escape or vandalism.

County Jail Inmates

County Jail Inmates

Many counties in states throughout the country maintain their own jails. A county jail is operated by the sheriff’s department within that county. In addition to county jails, states will maintain a state prison. State prisons are generally larger and more extensive than county jails. 
In most instances, state prisons are reserved for convicts who are sentenced to spend many years in prison. On the other hand, county jails are reserved for individuals who have been given a short sentence, or who have not yet undergone their trial. County jails inmates have been accused of committing crimes, however, they have not necessarily been convicted of those crimes. 
If an individual has been accused of committing an offense, he/she may become a county jail inmate, and remain contained within the county jail until he/she is convicted of a crime, or pardoned. In the event that he/she is convicted and sentenced, he/she may be transported to a state or federal prison, depending upon the sentence he/she received.
In addition to people awaiting trial, county jail inmates may also be convicts who committed relatively minor offenses, and thereby received a short prison sentence. In most instances, inmates contained within a county jail have acquired a prison sentence of one year, or less. 
Due to the existence of judicial discretion, the crimes that were committed to land convicts in county jails may very substantially. While one inmate may have been convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, another may have been charged with a drug offense. Nevertheless, county jail inmates are usually not considered to be dangerous, high risk prisoners. 

Europe’s Largest Economy welcomes Obama’s endorsement of EU-US Trade Talks

Europe’s Largest Economy welcomes Obama’s endorsement of EU-US Trade Talks


Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is welcoming President Barack Obama’s endorsement of free trade negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union. A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the President’s comments were among the most important signals to European nations during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Experts and those aligned with the nations claim a free trade deal would encourage job growth and consumerism on both sides of the Atlantic. Many close to Merkel and the German government hope the groundwork for formal negotiations can be established before the end of June.

The president’s comments boost the profile of previously introductory talks between the European Union and the U.S.

If differences over agricultural goods can be ironed out, the nations would set forth the world’s largest free trade agreement.

The European Union, which is composed of 27 European countries, said such an agreement would mark the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated. Any agreement would boost the Union’s economic output by roughly one half percent—a desirable outcome considering the United States and European Union are struggling with slow growth, high levels of debt and high unemployment.

“Both the United States and the EU need growth and both of us have significant budgetary problems,” claimed Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the EU.

In a joint statement issued in Brussels and Washington, President Obama, Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the nations were committed to making this relationship a substantial driver to strengthen prosperity.

Through the negotiation, the European Union and the United States have the opportunity to not only expand investment and trade across the Atlantic, but also the ability to contribute to the development of global regulations that can bolster the multilateral trading platform.

Trade between the European Union and the United States is already substantial—the two entities conduct over $2.6 billion worth of trade a day.

The goals of the agreement include the elimination of import tariffs, which average approximately 4 percent and the removal of other barriers to trade including the approval processes that businesses must go through to sell products on both sides of the Atlantic. These eliminations will effectively cut the significant red tape that is added to the cost of tradable goods. The removals of such impediments are one way in which a deal would stimulate growth between the two bodies. Moreover, consumers would benefit if tariffs are removed in the form of lower prices; a bottle of French champagne in the U.S. would be approximately the same price as it is in Paris.