About the author  ⁄ WFIN

Photodisc/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — Michael Brown could have survived five of the six gunshots fired at him by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, but the last shot to the top of his head killed him, a privately conducted autopsy found.

The two shots that hit Brown in the head were likely among the last that hit him and traveled from the back of his head to the front, indicating that Brown’s head was tilted forward, either because he was bending over or falling over, when the final shots struck him, forensic expert Dr. Michael Baden said at a news conference Monday. Brown had abrasions on his face from where he “fell flat down unprotected,” Baden said.

A gunshot wound to his arm could show either that he was hit while walking away from the shooter, with his back to the officer, or that he was facing the shooter with his arm up, either in a surrender position, defensive position, or other motion, Baden said.

The autopsy was performed Sunday at the request of Brown’s family.

Baden, a former New York City medical examiner, was hired to perform the private autopsy along with Prof. Shaun Parcells for the Brown family after St. Louis County would not release the results of its autopsy.

The attorneys representing Brown’s parents criticized the St. Louis authorities for not releasing autopsy results and said that the results show evidence that the shooting officer, Darren Wilson, should be arrested.

“The officer needs to be arrested. Why would (Brown) be shot in the very top of his head? A 6-foot-4 man, it makes no sense,” attorney Darrell Parks said, explaining that the paths of both of the bullets were from the back of the head toward the front of the head. “We believe those two things alone are ample evidence for the officer to be arrested.”

In addition to the two shots to the head, Brown was shot four times in the right arm and chest.

Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a separate autopsy because of the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

The St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office has also conducted an autopsy, concluding that Brown died of gunshot wounds but releasing no details.

The shooting death of Brown has sparked riots and protests in the St. Louis suburb.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department(ALVIN, Texas) — The murder trial begins Monday for a Texas father charged with gunning down a suspected drunken driver who struck and killed his two sons.

David Barajas, 32, is accused of taking the law into his own hands, executing the driver who authorities say killed his sons, ages 12 and 11, in a December 2012 crash.

The accident happened near Alvin, about 30 miles southeast of Houston. Barajas’ truck had run out of gas, and he and the boys were pushing the truck down a rural road when Jose Banda, who investigators say was intoxicated, slammed into their truck and killed David Jr. and Caleb.

Prosecutors say the enraged father ran home, grabbed a gun and shot the 20-year-old in the head.

Cindy Barajas, mourning the loss of her two sons, is worried that she could lose her husband, too. “Half of my life is gone. There’s no bringing that back,” she said, speaking exclusively to ABC News.

Cindy Barajas said her husband is innocent.

“The fact that they’re sitting there trying to say that he did something he didn’t do … He was sitting there trying to revive my sons,” she said.

David Barajas has pleaded not guilty and says he didn’t shoot anybody. The case features many complexities. Police never found the gun. The defense says there were no witnesses to the shooting.

Barajas has lots of support in the community: There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to freeing him.

“While there appears to be evidence beyond all doubt of motive, what’s lacking is credible evidence to prove that he’s the one who pulled the trigger,” Mark Eiglarsh, a Miami-based criminal defense attorney and legal analyst with no connection to the case, said.

Banda’s family also set up a Facebook page, demanding his killer go to prison. Banda’s fate should have been handled by the legal system, they argue.

“Whoever did it is getting away with murdering my nephew. He deserves justice,” said Janie Tellez, Banda’s aunt.

If convicted of murder, Barajas faces up to life in prison. Cindy Barajas remains adamant in her husband’s innocence.

“Trying to take my husband away from me after my kids are gone, accusing him of something he didn’t do…I just don’t think it’s right,” she said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

ABC News/Yahoo! News(WASHINGTON) — Scott Walker is widely considered one of the GOP’s presidential hopefuls. But before the Wisconsin governor can run for president in 2016, he needs to win his bid for reelection in 2014 — and that means getting past his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke.

Burke, the first woman nominated for governor in Wisconsin by a major political party and a former executive of her family’s successful business, Trek Bicycles, is proving to be a formidable obstacle. The most recent polling shows the partisan rivals locked in a dead heat.

In the contentious campaign between Walker and Burke, job creation in the Dairy Land is ground zero.

One of Walker’s main lines of attack against Burke has been to criticize her family’s bike business for outsourcing 99 percent of its production overseas, primarily to China — a strategy that harkens back to the Obama campaign’s 2012 tactic to counter Mitt Romney’s business success.

“What surprises me about it is that a sitting governor would drag a great Wisconsin home-grown company through the mud for politics,” Burke told ABC News/Yahoo! News in a recent interview. “Trek employs nearly a thousand people in Wisconsin; in addition to that, it buys goods and services from other Wisconsin businesses, which creates more good-paying jobs in the state.”

When it comes to job creation, Burke has her own line of attack against Walker.

“Under Scott Walker, we’re dead last in the Midwest in terms of job creation,” Burke said, a point she makes frequently.

“I’m running in order to make sure that we are able to move Wisconsin forward and lead the country instead of lagging the country,” she later added.

Though Burke said she isn’t running “to carry the flag for women,” despite being the state’s first woman of a major party to be nominated for governor, she believes Walker has been waging a war on women.

“One of the first things that he did was repeal our equal pay protections, and then, throughout the years, we have now seen more attacks on women’s choice issues from mandatory ultrasounds to waiting periods,” she said. “These are all things that are messing with women’s right to make our own health care choices.”

On the topic of health care — and specifically the Affordable Care Act — Burke has a widely divergent perspective from Walker, who declined to create a state-run exchange and turned down additional Medicare and Medicaid funding from the federal government.

Burke says that by declining federal money for Medicaid expansion, Walker has put politics ahead of common sense.

“As I travel around the state it’s one of the biggest issues that I hear, and unfortunately, I hear stories of people…entrepreneurs with families, two kids, and they’re going without health insurance right now — that’s a real problem,” she said. “So, what Scott Walker has done by turning down the Medicaid expansion is actually making health care more expensive in Wisconsin and throwing people off of their health care.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

ABC/Richard Harbaugh(LOS ANGELES) — It’s a girl for Christina Aguilera.

The singer and her fiance, Matthew Rutler, welcomed their first child together — Summer Rain Rutler, ABC News has confirmed.

“So proud to welcome our beautiful daughter Summer Rain Rutler into the world,” Aguilera wrote on Twitter.

Aguilera, 33, and Rutler announced earlier this year that they were engaged and expecting. In March, she revealed that they were going to have a baby girl.

This is the second child for Aguilera, currently a judge on The Voice. Her son, Max, from a previous marriage, is 6.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Buda Mendes/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) — Pope Francis completed his five-day trip to South Korea Monday, urging the two Koreas to reject suspicion, confrontation and competition and unite as “one family, one people.”

Emphasizing peace on the Korean peninsula at the Mass of peace and reconciliation at Seoul’s main Myungdong Cathedral, he advised that South Koreans should continue generosity in providing humanitarian aid to those in need, referring to the North.

“Forgive brothers who sinned for 77 times,” he said.

The two Koreas were divided in 1953 and are still technically at war. There is no freedom of religion in North Korea, although a figurative Catholic church exists, approved by the State. Pyongyang warned Sunday of a “merciless pre-emptive strike” against the South, directing displeasure at the annual U.S.-South Korean joint military drills planned for this week.

Thousands of citizens gathered in a rainy morning in front of the cathedral to get a glimpse of the pope, 77, who mesmerized the nation with his humble style and attitude in the past five days.

“It was a shockingly tight schedule for an old man,” Kim Sang-Min, who said he was not a Catholic, said. “I could tell that he wanted to meet as many people as possible. He touched our hearts.”

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, North Korean defectors and elderly “comfort women” who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military in early 1900s attended the mass. One woman gave Francis a pin of a butterfly, a symbol of their predicament; he wore it throughout the mass.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has vastly exceeded all expectations.

When it was first launched online late last month to hike donations to combat ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, no one dreamed that people dumping ice cold water on their heads would turn into a fundraising juggernaut.

Thanks to the efforts of both ordinary folks and celebrities, The ALS Association reported Sunday that it had received $13.3 million in contributions from July 29 through August 17, according to The New York Times, that includes 260,000 new donors.

Over the comparable time in 2013, donations were $1.7 million, so the Ice Bucket Challenge, which was mocked by some early on, has happily proven its detractors wrong.

In a statement, Barbara Newhouse, president and CEO of The ALS Association, said, “Never before have we been in a better position to fuel our fight against this disease. Increased awareness and unprecedented financial support will enable us to think outside the box. We will be able to strategize about efforts in ways that previously would not have been possible, all while we work to fulfill and enhance our existing mission priorities nationwide.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Nick Laham/Getty Images(WEST ALLIS, Wisc.) — Will Power increased his very slim margin in the IndyCar standings with his third trip to victory lane this season. Power led 229 laps in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250, and pulled away late to pick up the win.

The victory gives Power a 39-point lead over teammate Helio Castraneves with just two more races remaining in the year. It was the third career victory on an oval track for Power as Juan Pablo Montoya finished second and Tony Kanaan took third.

“We’re a well-oiled machine right now with all three cars,” Power said about the victory. “If we have a couple more days like this, of course, it’s going to be a great finish.”

For the third time in his career, Power sits atop the points standings during the final three races of the season. In 2010 and 2012, the 33-year-old sputtered down the stretch and missed out on claiming his first career championship.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(DENVER) — On a day where Todd Helton had his number 17 retired, the first player to receive the honor in franchise history, the Colorado Rockies swept a doubleheader against Cincinnati in dramatic fashion. Colorado (49-75) took game one by a 10-9 final before winning the nightcap 10-5.

The Rockies Trailed 9-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth in the first contest but rallied to score five runs in the inning. Aroldis Chapman walked four consecutive batters to start the inning before J.J. Hoover replaced him. Wilin Rosario’s sacrifice fly made it a 9-7 game with one out and two on. Following a Charlie Blackmon fly out, Drew Stubbs took a 1-0 pitch and hammered it to deep center for a walk-off, three-run home run against his former team. Rex Brothers (4-5) got the win while Hoover (1-9) was saddled with the loss.

Colorado’s dramatics carried over into the second game where they again came from behind. The Reds (61-63) led 5-2 at the seventh inning stretch, but the Rockies scored three runs to knot things up. They took the lead in the eighth on Corey Dickerson’s two-run double and added to it with a two-base hit from Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer’s double was his fourth hit of the game and completed his second ever cycle.

The outfielder tripled in the first, homered in the fifth, and singled in the seventh before the eighth inning triple. Cuddyer became the seventh Rockies player ever to hit for the cycle, and the first since Carlos Gonzalez in 2010 against the Chicago Cubs. His first cycle came as a member of the Minnesota Twins against Milwaukee in 2009.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(DUBUQUE, Iowa) — Students going back to school in Dubuque, Iowa, are going to find it a little harder to slack off in gym class.

Public middle and high school students will have to wear heart rate monitors in gym class to make sure they are actually being physically active.

“It will be a large portion of their grade, because we want to grade them on what they’re actually doing in our class,” Dubuque Schools Athletic and Wellness Director Amy Hawkins told ABC News.

Teachers will use the information collected from the heart rate monitors to write report cards.

“It really takes the opinion out of things,” Hawkins said. “You know it’s not really ‘I think your kid is doing this and this in class.’”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(STANFORD, Calif.) — Flirting is certainly an art form, and one that has taken on new dimensions due to texting.

As it happens, people who receive these texts are pretty particular not only about the content of the messages sent but how they’re conveyed.

Stanford University students who developed the chat app Omlet conducted a survey of 1,000 adults and young people on “Digital Flirting Rules,” and the number-one turnoff for both men and women is “Funky or very informal spelling.”

“Lack of punctuation and grammar” was the second biggest irritant for the ladies, while guys complained about “Multiple exclamation points in chat messages.”

Using a lot of slang, such as LOL, also isn’t inadvisable if you’re trying to make an impression.

Here are women’s five biggest digital flirting turnoffs and disapproval ratings:

  1. Funky or very informal spelling — 73 percent
  2. Lack of punctuation and grammar — 59 percent
  3. Excessive slang — 54 percent
  4. Messages during sleeping hours — 51 percent
  5. All lowercase words — 50 percent

Men’s five biggest digital flirting turnoffs and disapproval ratings:

  1. Funky or very informal spelling — 58 percent
  2. Multiple exclamation points in chat messages — 47 percent
  3. Lack of punctuation and grammar — 46 percent
  4. All lowercase words — 41 percent
  5. Excessive slang — 40 percent

Meanwhile, emoticons and emojis apparently hit the right spot when it comes to flirting. Thirty-one percent of men and 38 percent of women enjoy receiving them, according to the researchers.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →