No parole for Mele
A state parole board made sure that Michael Mele, the police’s main suspect in the disappearance of Bay Ridge beauty Laura Garza, will be incarcerated for the foreseeable future.
The board denied parole to Mele last week for a charge unrelated to Garza, who hasn’t been seen or heard from since December 2008.
Garza, who had just moved to an apartment on Shore Road near 93rd Street from her native Texas before she vanished, was last seen with friends at the Chelsea club Marquee on 10th Avenue in Manhattan.
Investigators looking into her disappearance collected surveillance footage from the club, showing her dancing and drinking with Mele, a resident of Middletown, NY. The two reportedly left the club together at 4 am and were seen a few hours later inside his SUV.
Mele, a 23-year-old convicted sex offender, hasn’t said anything about Garza’s whereabouts, although some grim circumstantial evidence was recovered from his home and vehicle.
Police said that bloodstains were found inside Mele’s 2005 Infiniti FX35. They also discovered that a piece of hallway carpet outside his apartment had been removed.
Mele told the building superintendent that he had accidentally poured bleach on the carpet. He was also seen rooting around a Dumpster in the back of the building right around the time Garza disappeared, the superintendent said.
Investigators did not have enough evidence to charge Mele in Garza’s disappearance, but did arrest him on a probation violation.
At the time, Mele was on probation for masturbating in front of women at the Palisades Center Mall in Rockland County. He never told authorities that he had moved out of his parents’ home.
He is currently fulfilling a one–to–three–year sentence for the probation violation.
Last week’s interview with the three-member state board was his first bite at getting early parole.
If he fulfills his sentence, he’ll be released in December 2011, prosecutors said.
Snitch killer sent to slammer
A 22-year-old accused of killing an enemy and then gunning down an eyewitness two weeks later fearing that the man would “snitch” was convicted of both murders Friday.
After a three-week trial in Brooklyn Criminal Court, a jury returned the double guilty verdicts against Trek Maynard, yet spared him from the first-degree murder charge hanging over his head for killing a witness to his own crime.
Prosecutors said that Maynard shot Tony Jones to death during a spat outside a Bedford-Stuyvesant housing project on Oct. 10, 2007.
On October 27, he managed to track down witness Marvin Blake in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, gunning him down in front of an apartment building.
Cops never recovered the weapon used in either killing.
In an ironic twist, Maynard’s inflexible stance on snitches may have ultimately led to his undoing.
During the trial, several prosecution witnesses said they were in Maynard’s getaway car during one of the murders.
Steven Chaikin, Maynard’s attorney, claimed he had a woman who could refute these statements but his defense witness never showed up at court, even after Judge Guy Mango signed an arrest warrant to compel her testimony.