The Other McCain

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Who Commits Crime?

Posted on | December 1, 2020 | 1 Comment

Her neck tattoo tells you everything you need to know about her.

Her name is Fantasia Shantal Rivera, and “Beautiful Disaster” is a rather comprehensive summary of her life. This was apparent in May 2019, when she was sentenced to five years in prison:

A woman present at several shootings and stabbings over the past decade was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a handgun charge.
Washington County Circuit Court Judge Dana Moylan Wright sentenced 25-year-old Fantasia Shantal Rivera to 15 years, with 10 years suspended, after she pleaded guilty to possession of a handgun by a felon.
Five years is a mandatory minimum during which Rivera will not be eligible for parole. She will be on supervised probation for five years after her release.
Wright also gave Rivera a concurrent sentence of about two years for violating probation on a 2012 robbery conviction.
“Ironically, you’ve served most of that sentence” because of previous probation violations, Wright told Rivera.
That conviction was for a strong-arm robbery in which Rivera participated. Her original sentence was eight years, with all but two years suspended.
“Obviously, we are all familiar with Ms. Rivera,” Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher McCormack said during the hearing.
On the afternoon of Jan. 21, a woman told Hagerstown police Rivera, her upstairs neighbor at 201 E. Washington St., threatened her with a handgun, McCormack said.
Rivera was searched and had no weapon, but allowed police to search her apartment. A loaded .40-caliber Glock handgun was found in a closet underneath some clothing, McCormack said.
Defense attorney Loren Villa told Wright that Rivera has a 1-year-old child and is pregnant with a second child.
“The father of the child passed away,” Villa said, referring to Christopher Turner, 27, who disappeared in January and was found a few days later in West Virginia, shot dead and wrapped in an artificial Christmas tree bag
Authorities charged several people in connection with Turner’s death and with removing drugs from his body and removing his body from the crime scene in a Hagerstown apartment.
“If she didn’t have bad luck, she’d have no luck at all,” Villa told Wright. Rivera’s connection to past violent crimes was sometimes incidental, she said.
“I was a witness to one of the shootings,” Villa said, referring to a man being wounded as he walked with Rivera outside the former Office of the Public Defender.
“Imagine the amount of trauma she’s seen,” said Villa. She asked that the probation violation sentence run concurrently with her other sentence.
“There’s nothing wrong with a boring life,” Wright said, warning Rivera to change her lifestyle for the sake of her children.
“If you’re going back to what you’ve been doing, just turn your kids over” to their grandparents, Wright said.
Members of Rivera’s and Turner’s families sat together during the hearing.
Rivera was present at a number of shootings and stabbings in the past, according to police reports, including:
• On Sept. 27, 2010, Rivera was present when a toddler was shot and paralyzed in a Little Elliott Drive apartment. The child apparently shot himself with a stolen handgun, which Rivera then hid in a playground.
Wesley Colin Williams was shot and wounded on Jonathan Street on Oct. 17, 2011, as he was walking with Rivera, police said.
• On June 24, 2012, Antonio Joyner of Walkersville, Md., was fatally shot in a Guilford Avenue house. A male friend of Rivera’s was charged with murder, but the charges were later dropped. Hagerstown police said Rivera was present.
• Shakur Thornton, 17, was fatally stabbed in a fight on West Franklin Street on March 29, 2013. Rivera was present, police said.

If people have a remarkable habit of getting shot in your vicinity, consider the possibility that you’re hanging out with bad people. Or as an alternative possibility, consider maybe you are a bad person. But let’s talk about how the man who sired Rivera’s child died:

Three people have been arrested in connection with the homicide of a 27-year-old man who went missing last month, police said Monday.
Christopher Turner was reported missing January 23 at around 4 p.m. to Hagerstown police, and had last been heard from by family on January 20 and was known to be in the Hagerstown area.
His body was found in Berkeley County, West Virginia on January 30.
19-year-old Antonio Cane Arana of Jefferson, Md., was taken into custody in Frederick, Md. on February 17 at around 9 a.m.
19-year-old Dakota Daniel Paugh of Hagerstown, Md. was taken into custody in Washington, D.C. on February 17 at around 9:25 a.m.
21-year-old Erica Shatiena Earl of Hagerstown, Md. was taken into custody in Jacksonville, Florida on February 15 at around 12:30 p.m.

How did Fantasia Rivera’s baby-daddy meet his violent demise? He “was lured to an apartment in the 1000 block of West Washington Street with the promise of a sexual encounter with two women”:

Turner was shot dead in the apartment, and drugs were stolen from his body. His body was found Jan. 30 wrapped in the packaging for an artificial Christmas tree and dumped off a bridge into a ravine in Berkeley County, W.Va.

Let’s dig a little deeper into Fantasia Rivera’s past. Remember she was present at the 2011 shooting of Wesley Colin Williams? That was apparently in retaliation for the previous stabbing of Malik Anwar Scott. The man who shot Williams was Dennis S. Marshall Jr.:

Williams was charged with attempted murder, but later pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, court records said. Marshall pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder in the shooting of Williams, court records said.
In February 2012, Scott was charged with taking part in a home invasion robbery in Hagerstown, published reports said. Later that year, he pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and was sentenced to eight years in prison with 6 1/2 years suspended, court records said.

In 2014, Scott was sentenced to five years in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. If you think that getting stabbed and being sentenced to prison would cause Scott to change his ways, you might be an optimist. Or a fool. Because, of course not:

A report of shots fired on Saturday [July 22, 2019] resulted in a Hagerstown teenager being charged as an adult in the shooting, and the arrest of two of the alleged victims on warrants from a May armed robbery.
Anthony De’Jhen Byrd, 17, of Berger Avenue was charged with first-degree assault, using a handgun in a crime of violence, using a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and other offenses. . . .
The investigation also led to the arrests of two Hagerstown men, Malik Anwar Scott and Dennis Steven Marshall Jr., both 24, on warrants for a May 14 armed robbery at Motel 6 on Massey Boulevard. . . .
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office investigated the hotel robbery in which a woman, Courtney Ruppenthal, allegedly conspired with two or more men to rob the hotel room occupants. She was inside the room and opened the doors to the intruders, one of whom was armed with a semiautomatic rifle.
Scott is also charged in a May 12 assault in which three males — one armed with a handgun — approached a man in an automobile on Maryland Avenue, broke out a window and began beating him, court records said.

So, after getting out of prison for his previous crimes, Scott was soon wanted on a warrant for robbing the Motel 6, and had also been charged in an recent assault. It’s as if he never did anything else in his life except perpetrate crimes. And let’s talk about the Motel 6 case:

The last of three people involved in a 2019 robbery at Motel 6 pleaded guilty Tuesday [March 10, 2020] to conspiracy to commit robbery.
Washington County Circuit Court Judge Brett R. Wilson ordered a presentence investigation, which will delay the sentencing of Latrell Robert Taylor for several weeks.
Taylor was the third person to enter a plea agreement in the May 14, 2019, robbery at the motel on Massey Boulevard.
Courtney Miranda Ruppenthal was sentenced in January to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery. In 2018, she had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery for her involvement in a pair of holdups in 2017.
She testified for the state against co-defendant Dennis Von Gundy in her previous case. Gundy is serving a 30-year sentence.
In February, Dennis Steven Marshall Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for his role in the robbery and was sentenced to five years in prison. However, Marshall was facing a parole retake for an attempted murder conviction for shooting a man in 2011.
Ruppenthal had been invited to the motel room by the two victims, according to charging documents. While there, she was texting someone and left the door ajar, allowing two men to barge into the room, one of them armed with a rifle.
The two victims were assaulted and their personal belongings were stolen, and Ruppenthal left with the two intruders, charging documents said.
Marshall and Taylor were later identified as the two robbers, and the weapon was recovered, Deputy State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion told Wilson.

On the same day Dennis Marshall was sentenced to prison, his buddy Malik Scott was also in court being sentenced for separate crimes:

Coincidentally, Scott was in the same courtroom earlier Thursday pleading guilty to second-degree assault.
Scott, 25, of Hagerstown, opted for a jury trial in the assault case, but over lunch accepted a plea offer from the state.
The assault was on May 12, 2019, when Scott and two other relatives were charged with assaulting the longtime boyfriend of Scott’s mother, according to court records.
The robbery was on May 9, 2019, when Scott was accused of taking part in holding up a man for $120 during a marijuana buy, according to court records.

How did police find the weapon used in the Motel 6 robbery?

On May 16, a deputy serving an arrest warrant in an unrelated case on Dejaniro A. Rivera at a home on the 900 block of Maryland Avenue found a rifle fitting the description of the weapon used in the robbery.
Rivera told an investigator he believed Ruppenthal brought the Hi-Point 9 mm weapon to the house and that she, Taylor and the second man committed the robbery.

Oh, that’s interesting — Dejaniro Rivera just happens to have the same surname as Fantasia Rivera. Maybe it’s only a coincidence. Meanwhile, however, Dejaniro Rivera made news last week:

Hagerstown police said they found 70 rounds of ammunition and an individual wanted in connection with a recent shooting when they searched a house Wednesday morning in the 200 block of Taylor Avenue off Frederick Street.
The wanted person was one of three adults arrested when a search and seizure warrant was executed at the house at about 4:40 a.m., according to the Hagerstown Police Department. . . .
City detectives obtained the warrant after an investigation into people living in the house, according to a news release from the police department.
Besides the ammunition, police also found drugs and related paraphernalia, according to the release.
Those arrested included:
Dejaniro Armante Rivera, 23, who had two active arrest warrants. Rivera also was charged with illegal possession of ammunition, common nuisance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
• Destiny Marie Frisby, 19, charged with illegal possession of ammunition, common nuisance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and charges related to harboring a fugitive.
• Marquis Armond Craig, 19, charged with illegal possession of ammunition, common nuisance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and charges related to harboring a fugitive.

Whether or not Dejaniro Rivera is related to Fantasia Rivera, the connection between them is nonetheless interesting: Dejaniro had possession of the weapon used in the Motel 6 robbery, perpetrated by Dennis Marshall and two accomplices. Marshall previously went to prison for shooting Wesley Williams, who was walking with Fantasia at the time. It’s like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” except with a small clique of criminals in one town. My point is that the question in the headline — “Who Commits Crime?” — has a very simple answer: Criminals.

Everything from dope dealing to robbery to murder — the vast majority of crime in America is committed by a comparatively small group of habitual offenders who will perpetrate crimes almost constantly if they aren’t behind bars. In a relatively small place like Hagerstown, Maryland (population about 40,000), it seems all the criminals know each other, so that Hagerstown police seldom arrest anyone who is more than two degrees of separation from Fantasia Rivera, the “Beautiful Disaster.”

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!



One Response to “Who Commits Crime?”

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