Review Category : National News

Boy Wakes Up From Coma After Surviving 225-Foot Fall From Cliff

Credit: CZQS2000 / STS/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — A 4-year-old California boy has awakened from an induced coma after he was injured in a 225-foot fall onto rocks from an ocean-side cliff, according to ABC News station KGO-TV in San Francisco.

Jamie Guglielmino told ABC News that her son, Sebastion Johnson, woke up from the induced coma Wednesday, more than a week after he fell. The fall reportedly occurred on the evening of Nov. 10.

“All he knows is that he’s in pain and mommy’s there,” said Guglielmino. “He looks at me. … I can tell in his eyes, like, ‘Where am I mommy?'”

Guglielmino said her son had multiple broken bones, including two broken hips, and a broken leg, arm and jaw.

“He’s definitely in the arms of angels right now,” Guglielmino told ABC News. “It’s been real touch and go, but he’s on the road to recovery.”

Sebastion was with Guglielmino, throwing rocks over a cliff in Bodega Bay, California, when he slipped and fell last week, according to KGO-TV. Sebastion’s father and sister were also in the area and ran over after seeing him fall.

“He just misstepped and the ground gave and he just flew right down,” Sebastian’s father, Daryl Johnson, told KGO-TV. “The incident that happened was my worst nightmare.”

Johnson said he could not see his son on the rocks, but a firefighter who rappelled down was able to spot Sebastian near the water, according to KGO-TV.

“He wasn’t really talking, but I said, you know, ‘If you like Spider-man or superheroes, you know, just try and think of them,’ and just tried to keep him awake and moaning,” firefighter Marcos Barros told KGO-TV.

The boy was put into an induced coma after arriving at Children’s Hospital Oakland. After coming out of the coma, he was listed in fair condition by the hospital.

Sebastion’s family has created an online fundraiser to help deal with medical expenses from the accident.

“He’s very stubborn and a little fighter,” said Johnson in an earlier interview with KGO-TV. “That’s why I’m a proud of him.”

An official with the California Department of Parks and Recreation said the area where Sebastion was injured can be dangerous and difficult for people who are unfamiliar with it.

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Boy Wakes Up From Coma After Surviving 225-Foot Fall From Cliff

Credit: CZQS2000 / STS/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — A 4-year-old California boy has awakened from an induced coma after he was injured in a 225-foot fall onto rocks from an ocean-side cliff, according to ABC News station KGO-TV in San Francisco.

Jamie Guglielmino told ABC News that her son, Sebastion Johnson, woke up from the induced coma Wednesday, more than a week after he fell. The fall reportedly occurred on the evening of Nov. 10.

“All he knows is that he’s in pain and mommy’s there,” said Guglielmino. “He looks at me. … I can tell in his eyes, like, ‘Where am I mommy?'”

Guglielmino said her son had multiple broken bones, including two broken hips, and a broken leg, arm and jaw.

“He’s definitely in the arms of angels right now,” Guglielmino told ABC News. “It’s been real touch and go, but he’s on the road to recovery.”

Sebastion was with Guglielmino, throwing rocks over a cliff in Bodega Bay, California, when he slipped and fell last week, according to KGO-TV. Sebastion’s father and sister were also in the area and ran over after seeing him fall.

“He just misstepped and the ground gave and he just flew right down,” Sebastian’s father, Daryl Johnson, told KGO-TV. “The incident that happened was my worst nightmare.”

Johnson said he could not see his son on the rocks, but a firefighter who rappelled down was able to spot Sebastian near the water, according to KGO-TV.

“He wasn’t really talking, but I said, you know, ‘If you like Spider-man or superheroes, you know, just try and think of them,’ and just tried to keep him awake and moaning,” firefighter Marcos Barros told KGO-TV.

The boy was put into an induced coma after arriving at Children’s Hospital Oakland. After coming out of the coma, he was listed in fair condition by the hospital.

Sebastion’s family has created an online fundraiser to help deal with medical expenses from the accident.

“He’s very stubborn and a little fighter,” said Johnson in an earlier interview with KGO-TV. “That’s why I’m a proud of him.”

An official with the California Department of Parks and Recreation said the area where Sebastion was injured can be dangerous and difficult for people who are unfamiliar with it.

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John Sheridan’s, Wife’s Deaths Lead to Investigation by NJ Attorney General

Credit: Tetra Image/Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) — The New Jersey attorney general’s office is launching an investigation into the mysterious deaths of a couple who were close friends with Gov. Chris Christie.

Police found the bodies of John Sheridan and his wife Joyce Sherwood inside their home last September when a neighbor called police to report a suspicious fire.

“I believe my neighbor’s house may be the beginnings of a fire,” the neighbor told a 911 dispatcher.

The deaths were initially deemed a murder-suicide, but a source close to the investigation told ABC News that the Sherdians were stabbed several times with at least three different weapons.

Police have only retrieved two of those weapons, according to the source.

The investigation by the attorney general’s office will be parallel to the police’s investigation. The office has sent investigators to provide “additional manpower and expertise” to local police amid concerns over the progress detectives have made, officials said.

“They sense and know and understand there’s a lot of frustration and people feel like we should just know,” said family spokesman Tom Wilson. “They understand that this isn’t for lack of trying on the part of law enforcement.”

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John Sheridan’s, Wife’s Deaths Lead to Investigation by NJ Attorney General

Credit: Tetra Image/Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) — The New Jersey attorney general’s office is launching an investigation into the mysterious deaths of a couple who were close friends with Gov. Chris Christie.

Police found the bodies of John Sheridan and his wife Joyce Sherwood inside their home last September when a neighbor called police to report a suspicious fire.

“I believe my neighbor’s house may be the beginnings of a fire,” the neighbor told a 911 dispatcher.

The deaths were initially deemed a murder-suicide, but a source close to the investigation told ABC News that the Sherdians were stabbed several times with at least three different weapons.

Police have only retrieved two of those weapons, according to the source.

The investigation by the attorney general’s office will be parallel to the police’s investigation. The office has sent investigators to provide “additional manpower and expertise” to local police amid concerns over the progress detectives have made, officials said.

“They sense and know and understand there’s a lot of frustration and people feel like we should just know,” said family spokesman Tom Wilson. “They understand that this isn’t for lack of trying on the part of law enforcement.”

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John Sheridan’s, Wife’s Deaths Lead to Investigation by NJ Attorney General

Credit: Tetra Image/Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) — The New Jersey attorney general’s office is launching an investigation into the mysterious deaths of a couple who were close friends with Gov. Chris Christie.

Police found the bodies of John Sheridan and his wife Joyce Sherwood inside their home last September when a neighbor called police to report a suspicious fire.

“I believe my neighbor’s house may be the beginnings of a fire,” the neighbor told a 911 dispatcher.

The deaths were initially deemed a murder-suicide, but a source close to the investigation told ABC News that the Sherdians were stabbed several times with at least three different weapons.

Police have only retrieved two of those weapons, according to the source.

The investigation by the attorney general’s office will be parallel to the police’s investigation. The office has sent investigators to provide “additional manpower and expertise” to local police amid concerns over the progress detectives have made, officials said.

“They sense and know and understand there’s a lot of frustration and people feel like we should just know,” said family spokesman Tom Wilson. “They understand that this isn’t for lack of trying on the part of law enforcement.”

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Three Protesters Arrested in Ferguson Friday Night, Activist Groups and Local Authorities Aim to Keep Peace

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Three protesters were arrested in Ferguson on Friday night during demonstrations in advance of a possible grand jury decision related to the August shooting of Michael Brown by local police officer Darren Wilson.

According to the Saint Louis County Police Department, the three individuals were identified as Kenny Thomas, 55, David Rodriguez, 26, and William Morales, 23. Each of the three faces charges of unlawful assembly after they refused to leave the roadway when officers urged them to do so. The demonstrators, police say, were wearing “Anonymous” masks, and one of the demonstrators was using a bullhorn with a siren on it to shout profanities.

On Friday, state and local officials had announced an agreement with activist groups on how police should respond to protesters once they grand jury decision is made on whether or not to indict Wilson. The so-called “rules of engagement” aim to prevent the tensions and violence that boiled over during protests over the shooting earlier this year.

A U.S. delegation that reported to the United Nations Committee against Torture last week sent a letter to the U.N. on Friday calling for special rapporteurs to be sent to document possible human rights violations, should protests grow violent again.

Also on Friday evening, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it had signed an agreement with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the County of Saint Louis and the City of Ferguson to affirm the rights of protesters to record law enforcement officers, an agreement that the ACLU of Missouri’s legal director Tony Rothers called protection of the First Amendment rights of journalists.

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Three Protesters Arrested in Ferguson Friday Night, Activist Groups and Local Authorities Aim to Keep Peace

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Three protesters were arrested in Ferguson on Friday night during demonstrations in advance of a possible grand jury decision related to the August shooting of Michael Brown by local police officer Darren Wilson.

According to the Saint Louis County Police Department, the three individuals were identified as Kenny Thomas, 55, David Rodriguez, 26, and William Morales, 23. Each of the three faces charges of unlawful assembly after they refused to leave the roadway when officers urged them to do so. The demonstrators, police say, were wearing “Anonymous” masks, and one of the demonstrators was using a bullhorn with a siren on it to shout profanities.

On Friday, state and local officials had announced an agreement with activist groups on how police should respond to protesters once they grand jury decision is made on whether or not to indict Wilson. The so-called “rules of engagement” aim to prevent the tensions and violence that boiled over during protests over the shooting earlier this year.

A U.S. delegation that reported to the United Nations Committee against Torture last week sent a letter to the U.N. on Friday calling for special rapporteurs to be sent to document possible human rights violations, should protests grow violent again.

Also on Friday evening, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it had signed an agreement with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the County of Saint Louis and the City of Ferguson to affirm the rights of protesters to record law enforcement officers, an agreement that the ACLU of Missouri’s legal director Tony Rothers called protection of the First Amendment rights of journalists.

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Three Protesters Arrested in Ferguson Friday Night, Activist Groups and Local Authorities Aim to Keep Peace

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Three protesters were arrested in Ferguson on Friday night during demonstrations in advance of a possible grand jury decision related to the August shooting of Michael Brown by local police officer Darren Wilson.

According to the Saint Louis County Police Department, the three individuals were identified as Kenny Thomas, 55, David Rodriguez, 26, and William Morales, 23. Each of the three faces charges of unlawful assembly after they refused to leave the roadway when officers urged them to do so. The demonstrators, police say, were wearing “Anonymous” masks, and one of the demonstrators was using a bullhorn with a siren on it to shout profanities.

On Friday, state and local officials had announced an agreement with activist groups on how police should respond to protesters once they grand jury decision is made on whether or not to indict Wilson. The so-called “rules of engagement” aim to prevent the tensions and violence that boiled over during protests over the shooting earlier this year.

A U.S. delegation that reported to the United Nations Committee against Torture last week sent a letter to the U.N. on Friday calling for special rapporteurs to be sent to document possible human rights violations, should protests grow violent again.

Also on Friday evening, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it had signed an agreement with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the County of Saint Louis and the City of Ferguson to affirm the rights of protesters to record law enforcement officers, an agreement that the ACLU of Missouri’s legal director Tony Rothers called protection of the First Amendment rights of journalists.

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Two in Ferguson Charged With Lying on Forms to Buy Guns Ahead of Grand Jury Decision

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Federal authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, charged two men with lying on forms to purchase guns ahead of the grand jury decision in the police shooting of Michael Brown.

Olajuwon Davis and Brandon Baldwin only faced those charges as of late Friday, but sources told ABC News that authorities were looking into whether they tried to acquire ready-made explosives and other weapons ahead of the decision, which is expected soon.

Neither man had a lawyer listed on court documents.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives played a part in the arrest.

The two men are believed to be associated with radical groups and the charges that were filed were intended to “take them out of the rotation,” said one source.

The FBI has sent about 100 agents to the St. Louis area to help deal with any problems that could arise from the grand jury decision.

St. Louis authorities said earlier Friday that the grand jury was still meeting. The panel will decide whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Brown, who was unarmed, on Aug. 9.

The FBI declined to comment on its operation in Ferguson.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency earlier this week and activated the Missouri National Guard to help keep order if necessary.

Michael Brown Sr., the father of the slain teen, issued a videotaped appeal this week for protester to remain peaceful whatever the verdict.

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Two Men Walk Free After 40 Years in Prison for Crime They Didn’t Commit

iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) — On May 25, 1975, Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgeman went to jail for a murder they didn’t commit. Sentenced to death on the testimony of a single juvenile witness, the men continued to protest their innocence through years of incarceration.

On Friday, nearly 40 years later, they walked out of prison as free men after the state’s witness in the case admitted that he concocted his testimony under police intimidation.

A case suffused with emotion culminated in exoneration Friday morning, when Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Richard McMonagle formally dismissed all charges against Jackson after a brief hearing. Bridgeman, whose case was heard separately, was exonerated two hours later by Judge David Matia.

The two joined Bridgeman’s younger brother Ronnie, now known as Kwame Ajamu, who was found guilty of the same crime and eventually paroled in 2003.

The three were originally jailed for the 1975 murder of Harry Franks, a Cleveland businessman, after a 12-year-old witness named Edward Vernon told police that he had seen them attack the victim. No physical evidence linked them to the crime scene. Jackson was just 19 years old when he was sentenced to die, Wiley Bridgeman was 20, and Ronnie Bridgeman was 17.

“The English language doesn’t have words to express how I’m feeling right now,” Jackson, now 58, told reporters.

Wiley Bridgeman, now 60, quietly thanked the judge and attorneys in the courthouse as his case was dismissed. He had once been less than three weeks away from execution, rescued when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Ohio’s previous capital punishment law in 1978.

The case was a major victory for the Ohio Innocence Project, which coordinated much of the investigation into the exonerating evidence and whose staff attorney, Brian Howe, represented Jackson. Terry Gilbert and David Mills, who together represent the brothers Bridgeman and Ajamu, worked with the Innocence Project during the case.

“It’s been years in the making,” Howe told ABC News. “Literally years of work, witness interviews, tracking people down — all that culminated on Tuesday when the state withdrew its case.”

The first domino on the path to exoneration fell in 2011, when an investigation by reporter Kyle Swenson in The Cleveland Scene, an alternative weekly magazine, cast doubt on the 1975 convictions. Later, the Ohio Innocence Project took Jackson’s case and began investigating.

“Kyle Swenson did some great investigative journalism into the case before anyone had really heard about it, way before Ed Vernon had recanted his testimony,” Howe said. “Kyle’s article was the first thing I read when I took on this case, and that really compelled me to spend those extra nights and weekends digging into it.”

Vernon was sick and in the hospital, wracked with anxiety, when his minister convinced him to come clean. Later, the Innocence Project obtained a signed affidavit in which Vernon forswore the statements he made as a boy.

Last week, Vernon, now a 52-year-old man, took to the stand to give stunning, emotional testimony recanting his childhood statements.

“He was a wreck,” McMonagle, the judge who presided over Jackson’s trial, told ABC News.

“Eddie Vernon broke down on the stand frequently during testimony,” said Gilbert. “He talked about how his life was affected by the stress, the anguish, because for all these years he was afraid that if he came forward with the truth, then he would go to prison.”

Vernon testified that he had been on a school bus when he heard the gunshot that killed Franks. As a 12-year-old, he passed on rumors he had heard to the police incriminating Jackson and the Bridgeman brothers. When he tried to back out of his account at a police lineup, he testified that officers intimidated him into giving false testimony, yelling at him and banging on a table.

“He was a kid,” Gilbert told ABC News. “He hadn’t seen them do it. The police told him that he’d go to jail, that they’d send his mother to jail if he backed out, and he was a scared kid.”

Vernon’s testimony made a powerful impression on the hearing.

Judge McMonagle said, “One of the prosecutors said later that hearing all the evidence and the recanted testimony made her physically sick, that she felt terrible.”

After the hearing, the prosecutors totally conceded, Gilbert told ABC News.

“Everybody’s human,” Gilbert said, “and when you hear this story and hear this man testify, it’s like something you can’t believe.”

On Tuesday, the prosecution withdrew its case after Jackson testified before the hearing.

“We’ve had a lot of emotion in this case this week,” Howe told ABC News. “Ricky spoke on Tuesday, talking about being sentenced to death as a teenager, and we could barely get through the testimony.”

By Friday, the case’s dismissal was a formality. By noon, both Jackson and Bridgeman walked away as free men.

In 1975, Judge McMonagle’s father, George, was the judge who presided over the case when it was first tried. At 9 a.m., he dismissed the case first heard by his father almost 40 years ago.

“It means something when I think about it, since he’s been gone for a while,” the younger McMonagle told ABC News of his father, who passed away in 2002. “I’m retiring at the end of the year myself, and this is certainly something I’ll remember.”

Ajamu, previously Ronnie Bridgeman, was released on parole in 2003, but his case will soon be heard for dismissal, as well. Gilbert told ABC News that, although Ajamu’s team could apply for the case to be dismissed remotely, Ajamu wanted his day in court.

“Kwame wants to hear it from a judge,” he said. “He wants to hear it from a judge that he’s a free man.”

Ajamu, who has a wife now, will temporarily host his brother Bridgeman and Jackson while they sort out their new lives as free men.

“After all this time, they don’t have a penny to their name except for the money they had in their pockets when they were jailed,” Howe said. “We’re going to help Ricky get a wardrobe, and we’re going to tackle some paperwork to get him a birth certificate, some documentation to get him ready to get a driver’s license.”

Howe added that the Ohio Innocence Project had put together a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe to help Jackson get started on his new life out of prison.

“He’s not bitter or angry,” Howe said. “He’s just really looking forward to getting on with his life. He’s excited about getting a job, driving a car. He’s just processing the facts of being a free man.”

After the hearing, Jackson told reporters that he did not bear any resentment toward Vernon after those years of imprisonment.

“He’s a grown man today,” Jackson said. “He was just a boy back then.”

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