US

Florida Man Filmed by Security Camera Killing Wife Sentenced

By The Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—A Florida man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing his wife, whose death was filmed by a security camera at the couple’s home.

The Palm Beach Post reports 34-year-old Dwight Luton was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the 2017 death of 31-year-old Ashley Balius. Riviera Beach police say Luton shot his wife while she sat in a car inside the couple’s driveway and then called police saying Balius had shot herself.

Police say video from a home security camera showed the former firearms dealer point what appears to be a gun at Balius before she slumps over. Responding officers found Balius with a gunshot wound to the side of her head.

A wrongful death lawsuit by Balius’ parents against Luton is ongoing.

Crime Statistics

Crime declined in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017, the FBI said in February.

Preliminary statistics show nearly all offenses in the violent crime category declined. Robbery offenses decreased 12.5 percent, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses decreased 6.7 percent, and aggravated assault offenses declined 2 percent, the agency said. Rapes, however, increased by 0.6 percent.

When comparing data from the first six months of 2018 with the first six months of 2017, all property crime categories showed a decrease. Burglaries were down 12.7 percent, larceny-thefts decreased 6.3 percent, and motor vehicle thefts declined 3.3 percent. The full 2018 crime report will be released later this year.

The FBI previously said that both violent crime and property crime decreased in 2017, the last year that full statistics are available for, compared to 2016. Overall violent crime decreased 0.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, while property crime decreased 3 percent during that time, the agency said in September 2018, releasing data from the previous year.

“There were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported to UCR nationwide in 2017. There was a 0.7 percent decrease in murders and a 4 percent decrease in robberies from 2016 to 2017. Aggravated assaults increased by 1 percent in 2017. The FBI began collecting data solely on an updated rape definition last year, and 135,755 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017,” the FBI stated.

“The report also showed there were more than 7.7 million property crimes last year. Burglaries decreased 7.6 percent and larceny-thefts decreased by 2.2 percent. Motor vehicle thefts increased by 0.8 percent from 2016 to 2017.”

The figures were compiled from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States that submitted their crime data to the FBI.

NTD staff contributed to this report.