Wednesday, February 21, 2007


After arriving at Cross Timbers Drive to follow up on a report of a man driving erratically around the Bellevue neighborhood, Metro Police found the man, Ivan Moreno — and soon after found the body of the 74-year-old woman who they now believe Moreno beat to death. Two Metro Police officers testified Tuesday before General Sessions Judge William Faimon that after they arrived at Moreno’s 233 Cross Timbers Drive home to question him about reports of erratic driving, they saw Moreno standing in the yard of his neighbor, 74-year-old Mary Sadler. According to police, Moreno had blood visible on his hands and his feet, and he began swearing at the officers. The officers’ questioning of Moreno ended with the defendant assaulting one of the officers. They immediately took Moreno, 30, into custody. At that time, police went into Sadler’s yard, where Officer William Walls said he saw Sadler lying on the floor, her head and face covered in blood. At a hearing Tuesday, Moreno, wearing headphones to receive a Spanish translation of the court proceedings, began crying during the testimony of police, as well as that of his wife. The officers said they believed Moreno was at Sadler’s home to ask the woman about money. Sadler relatives who spoke to the media following Tuesday’s hearing said Sadler was kind to Moreno and his family — including his children — and did not rule out that she would have helped him financially.Moreno’s case, which includes a charge of criminal homicide and two counts of assault, was bound over to a Davidson County grand jury Tuesday. While prosecutors presented enough evidence to advance Moreno’s case, little light was shed on what possible motive, other than robbery, Moreno might have had for committing the crimes with which he has been charged.“She was a beautiful, incredible woman,” Mike Sadler, the victim’s son, said outside the courtroom. “With all the volunteer service work she did, she would have given anybody the shirt off her back.” “It’s just one of those things you just can’t understand,” Mike Sadler continued. “It’s not a man that beats up a 74-year-old woman. He doesn’t deserve the title of being called a man.”Moreno is believed by Metro Police to be an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Immediately after Moreno’s arrest last week, Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas, District Attorney Torry Johnson and Sheriff Daron Hall acknowledge publicly for the first time that the three have been holding a series of meeting to address “the way criminal immigrants are processed in Nashville.”

Moreno's wife testified through a Spanish interpreter that her husband had no problems with mental illness and didn't have a drinking problem.Angeles said she left for work that morning, thinking her husband was going to take their daughter to school with pies to celebrate her birthday. The girl's age was not discussed. When Angeles returned home around 4 p.m., the door to the house was open and nobody was home. Inside she found Coca-Cola and bottles of wine, some of which had already been consumed, she said. Then police came to the door looking for her husband. Minutes later, she looked up and her husband was standing outside Sadler's garage.According to Metro Officer William Walls, Moreno began screaming at police and cursing in English before fighting with officers. He smelled of alcohol, the officer testified. Walls said he followed blood drops up the stairs in Sadler's house and spotted her through a sliding glass door lying on her back with blood around her head and a ligature around her neck. Inside the house were signs of a brutal fight with glass shattered in different rooms of the house. A drawer in a back room that appeared to be the woman's bedroom had been overturned and her wallet was on the floor, police testified. Inside Moreno's house, police found a J.C. Penney credit card in Sadler's name and a videogame player that belonged to her grandchild. An autopsy revealed that multiple traumatic injuries and strangulation caused her death. "The skull was severely caved in on the left side," Metro detective Rick Chmielewski told the court. Police believe a ceramic statue that normally sat in a garden was used to cause the severe head injuries. After hearing the evidence, Judge William Faimon bound the case over to the grand jury. Outside the courtroom, the victim's son, Mike Sadler, thanked people in the community who have given support since the death. "She was a beautiful, incredible woman," he said. •

It has taken several weeks before Don Aaron mentioned that 74 year-old Mary Sadler was also sexually assaulted by Ivan Moreno prior to him killing her. "Obviously" was his word to describe the assault. So why the three week wait? And that they found a wrinkled up check for $40 written out by Sadler to Moreno's daughter in between their driveways.

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