A criminal charge has been dismissed against a Utah youth football coach accused of hitting an opposing ball carrier under the chin with his forearm during a game and giving the boy a concussion. Fourth District Judge Donald Eyre on Thursday dismissed a misdemeanor assault charge filed against Nathan Harris, 39, of Mapleton, last November. According to police, video shows that as the 13-year-old ball carrier ran last October, Harris stepped out and intentionally knocked him down with his forearm. Referee David Durrant, who threw a penalty flag and ejected Harris, said the boy looked like he was about to go out of bounds — or had just gotten out of bounds — when he was hit. He said the coach stood his ground and delivered a blow, even though he had time to move. Continue Reading
Authorities say looters have come from as far away as New York and Virginia to steal from victims of last month’s tornado in Moore, Okla. The Oklahoman reports (http://bit.ly/18UQjGJ ) that police arrested one man from Elmhurst, N.Y., and two from Virginia on misdemeanor complaints of stealing copper wire, scrap metal and other items from homes destroyed by the May 20 tornado. Twenty-four people were killed. Several Moore residents were also arrested on similar misdemeanor complaints. Residents have filed theft reports for such items as a $50,000 watch, a $13,000 watch, a $2,000 fountain pen and a $1,300 hunting camera. Continue Reading
Richard Ramirez, the demonic serial killer known as the Night Stalker who left satanic signs at murder scenes and mutilated victims’ bodies during a reign of terror in the 1980s, died early Friday in a hospital, a prison official said. Ramirez, 53, had been taken from San Quentin’s death row to a hospital where authorities said he died of liver failure. Prison officials said they could not release further details on the cause of death, citing federal patient privacy laws. Ramirez had been housed on death row for decades and was awaiting execution, even though it has been years since anyone has been put to death in California. At his first court appearance, Ramirez raised a hand with a pentagram drawn on it and yelled, “Hail, Satan.” Continue Reading
The government’s broad programs to collect U.S. phone records and Internet traffic helped disrupt a 2009 plot to bomb the New York City subways, a senior U.S. intelligence official said. But the assertion raises as many questions as it answers because court testimony indicated the subway plot investigation began with an email. Over the past days, The Guardian newspaper and The Washington Post have revealed classified documents showing how the National Security Agency sweeps up phone records and Internet data in its hunt for terrorists. Those programs have come under criticism from civil libertarians and some in Congress who say they were too broad and collected too much about innocent Americans. In one of those programs, the NSA’s collected daily records of millions of phone calls made and received by U.S. citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing. Continue Reading
Authorities in northern Arizona say a 4-year-old boy has accidentally shot and killed his father at a Prescott Valley home. Prescott Valley police say the shooting occurred just after noon Friday. The 35-year-old man and his young son were visiting from Phoenix and were at a friend’s house. Police say the boy somehow found a gun in the home’s living room and accidentally fired it and a bullet hit his father, who was rushed to a hospital where he died. Police identified the man as Justin Stanfield Thomas. Continue Reading
A Florida judge is listening to a third day of testimony that will help her decide if voice-recognition experts should be allowed at George Zimmerman’s trial. Testimony was continuing Saturday, only two days before jury selection starts in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense. Voice experts were hired by lawyers and news organizations to analyze 911 calls made during the confrontation in which screams can be heard. The screams are crucial pieces of evidence since they could determine who the aggressor was in the confrontation. Continue Reading
A Texas high school silenced its Valedictorian’s microphone during his speech when he diverted from his pre-approved remarks and instead spoke about the Constitution. Joshua High School graduate Remington Reimer, who was accepted into the Naval Academy, had his microphone silenced during his speech right after he told fellow graduates that school officials apparently threatened him with the move the day before, MyFoxDFW.com reported. Colin Radford, a fellow graduate told MyFoxDFW.com that Reimer was “talking about getting constitutional rights taken away from him, and then he said “just yesterday they threatened to turn my microphone off,” and then his microphone went off.” “Student speakers were told that if their speeches deviated from the prior-reviewed material, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content,” Joshua Independent School District said in a statement. “When one student’s speech deviated from the prior-reviewed speech, the microphone was turned off, pursuant to District policy and procedure,” the statement said. Continue Reading
A man accused of holding three women captive in his home for a decade has been indicted on 329 charges including kidnapping and rape, prosecutors said. A Cuyahoga County grand jury returned the indictment Friday against Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver fired last fall. The grand jury charged Castro with one count of aggravated murder, saying he purposely caused the unlawful termination of a pregnancy. Castro is accused of kidnapping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and holding them captive along with a 6-year-old girl he fathered with Berry. He also was indicted on charges including 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping and multiple counts of gross sexual imposition and felonious assault.
Castro’s attorneys have said he would plead not guilty to any indictment. Continue Reading
A felon who was allegedly high while operating demolition equipment when a downtown building collapsed and killed six people will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a top city official said Friday. Sean Benschop, 42, faces six manslaughter counts along with six counts of risking a catastrophe, six counts of reckless endangerment and other charges, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison told The Associated Press. Authorities believe Benschop had been using an excavator Wednesday when what was left of the four-story building gave way and fell on top of a neighboring Salvation Army thrift store, killing two employees and four customers, and injuring 13 others. A toxicology report showed “evidence that he was high” on marijuana, Gillison said. That finding, combined with witness statements and evidence from the scene, led to the decision Friday to raid his North Philadelphia home and later seek an arrest warrant, he said. Continue Reading
Charges have been dismissed against a Saudi man arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after a pressure cooker was found in his bag. Al Khawahir was arrested May 11 and charged with giving false statements to federal agents and possessing an altered passport. Authorities said he lied about why he was traveling with the pressure cooker. The U.S. Attorney’s Office tells the Detroit Free Press (http://on.freep.com/127AxI1 ) in a statement Friday that Hussain Al Khawahir “will go immediately into the custody of U.S. Customs and Border protection for removal” from the U.S. His attorney, James Howarth, has said Al Khawahir didn’t know pressure cookers were used to make bombs in the Boston Marathon attack and was bringing the appliance for his nephew. The Associated Press left messages Friday evening for Howarth. Continue Reading
Flooding Kills 27 in Myanmar
Flooding in Myanmar has now killed at least 27 people and affected more than 150,000, numbers that are both expected to rise, as the government, military and relief organizations work to carry out rescue operations and provide aid.