Smokeless nicotine

Son’s pestering for Smokeless nicotine and cigarettes led to stabbing, records say



A Colorado Springs woman arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder told police she “poked” her son with a kitchen knife because he kept asking for cigarettes as she tried to sleep, according to court documents released Monday.


Ila Marie Voyles, 45, remains jailed without bond in connection with Thursday’s death of 19-year-old Johnny Velasquez.


Voyles told police she and her brother-in-law were sleeping at her home Thursday night in the 1400 block of North Corona Street when her son came in and lay on the bed, according to an arrest affidavit.


“She said the victim was asking for cigarettes and told her that she would not get any sleep,” Colorado Springs police detective Missy Reynolds wrote in the affidavit. “She stated she told the victim several times to leave the room, and he refused.”


Ila Voyles’ brother-in-law, 45-yearold Rick Martinez, told police Velasquez had come into the bedroom about 10 times, asking for cigarettes, the affidavit states.


“Mr. Martinez stated that Ila had become frustrated with the victim and said, ‘I’m gonna go get a knife,'” the affidavit states.


Voyles went to the kitchen for a knife “to show him I meant business,” the affidavit states.


When she returned, Velasquez was smoking a cigarette in bed, and when he refused to leave, she “poked” him in the chest, the affidavit states. She saw blood and called one of her daughters, 27-year-old Angela Voyles.


The daughter told police her mom was in a panic, saying: “I stabbed him. He’s bleeding. He wouldn’t leave me alone. What do I do?” the affidavit states.


Ila Voyles’ brother-in-law got on the phone and said, “There’s blood everywhere, and you need to call an ambulance,” the affidavit states.


An ambulance took Velasquez to Penrose Hospital, where he died.


Victoria Martinez, 21, on Monday said her brother liked to write songs and draw pictures.


“He was a fun guy to be with,” she said. “He didn’t deserve what my mom did to him.”


Velasquez’s death was the fourth homicide this year in Colorado Springs.\


Cigarettes, Smokeless nicotine, liquor are go-to targets for new taxes

Smokers and liquor drinkers, the state’s coming after you. Again.


Beer lovers, have another cold one. Again.


Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s proposed tax increases would raise the cigarette tax by 5 cents a pack, increase taxes on other tobacco products and raise the liquor tax, but they wouldn’t touch the beer tax.


The cigarette tax has become a go-to move for Michigan governors when it comes to finding new taxes to balance the budget.


Granholm sought and won approval of a 75-cent-per-pack increase in 2004, and then-Gov. John Engler accomplished the same with a 50-cent-per-pack increase in 2002.


If the 5-cent-per-pack increase is approved, Michigan would have the nation’s third-highest cigarette tax at $2.05 per pack.


“I guess it’s easy to do because the constituents of that don’t rise up,” said Polly Reber, president of the Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association, which strongly opposes raising the tax.


Liquor has been less targeted than tobacco, but Granholm did seek an increase in the liquor tax in 2004, only to see the proposal die in the Legislature.


The beer tax has not been raised since 1966. Granholm has not proposed the idea, nor did Engler.


Granholm will spill the details of her proposed liquor tax increase today.


Lance Binoniemi, director of government affairs for the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, said it would be unfair for the state to raise taxes on any products, but the liquor industry feels picked on.


“Alcohol is an easy target,” he said.


So why does beer remain insulated?


Mike Lashbrook, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, said the $6.30-per-barrel state excise tax — while unchanged since 1966 — still is higher than neighboring states, and there are high costs to implement the bottle deposit law.


But there’s some political punch, too.


“Beer consumers run across all demographics, but there’s no question that beer tends to be the beverage of choice of the blue-collar middle class in this state,” he said.



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