Review Category : National News

College Class Ring Lost in 1972 Found, Returned to Owner

Class Ring Stock Photo: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Thinkstock(WILKES-BARRE, Pa.) — A man who lost his college class ring in a flood more than 40 years ago has it back, thanks to a police investigation into a series of Pennsylvania burglaries.

Roger Stout lost the ring in 1972. On Friday, however, the ring was returned to him. Police had been investigating a string of burglaries, and the ring turned up after they made an arrest.

Police, with the help of Wilkes University alumni officials, were able to track down Stout and return the ring.

“I wore that ring every day, so it’s good to have it back on,” Stout said. “I’m very happy all the way around.”

He wasn’t sure, though, how the burglar would have gotten the ring. “We live about a block from the river,” he noted, “so where it went after that, probably eventually came to rest on the river banks.”

Stout told ABC affiliate WNEP-TV that the ring was lost when it went through an open window during the 1972 flood.

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Hannah Graham’s Parents Create UVA Fund Honoring Her Passion for French Culture, Global Health

Charlottesville Police Department(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The parents of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, who was found dead after she went missing in September, are launching an award in her honor at the Charlottesville, Virginia, college.

The 18-year-old sophomore disappeared Sept. 13, and more than a month later, her remains were found in a field about 10 miles from Charlottesville. Jesse Matthew Jr. has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Graham’s death.

At a launch event for the memorial award, Graham’s father John Graham spoke to a crowd of friends, faculty and administrators as he expressed hope that the award could represent everything his daughter wanted to achieve, according to a UVA news release issued Friday.

The award will benefit students who share Graham’s passions, including French culture, global health and service work, according to the release.

The first recipient will get $10,000 for his or her commitment to participate in two semesters of related coursework at UVA and at least eight weeks of field work in a French-speaking developing country, the news release says.

“Hannah loved UVA, she loved Charlottesville and she would be honored I think to know this work is going to moving forward in her memory,” her mother Sue Graham said, according to ABC affiliate WIRC-TV in Richmond.

The money is provided by the Hannah Graham Memorial Fund, which was established by the university last year and is supported by the Grahams and their family, according to the UVA news release. The award money could go to more than one student as funding increases, the news release said.

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Will Be ‘Really Tough to get Convictions’ in Baltimore Cop Case, Legal Analyst Says

Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — The defense for the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray will likely claim that the decision to indict was based on politics, not facts, a legal analyst said Saturday.

The death of Gray, 25, a week after he was taken into custody, was ruled a homicide Friday, and Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against six officers connected to the case.

The charges vary for each officer, but include several counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment, among others. The most serious charge is second-degree depraved heart murder, which only Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., the driver of the police van, faces.

ABC’s Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams said he believes “the rush to judgment is going to be the heart of the defense.”

Gray was injured while in police custody on April 12. He died on April 19. An investigation was launched that resulted in charges in less than two weeks, while there were daily protests in the city that occasionally turned violent.

“I mean that’s what the defense is going to be here, which is that not enough time was taken to allow the prosecutor to fairly and objectively evaluate the evidence,” Abrams said. “The defense is going to [say] that charge was because of the riots.”

The other officers charged besides Goodson are: Officer William G. Porter, Lt. Brian W. Rice, Officer Edward M. Nero, Officer Garrett E. Miller and Sgt. Alicia D. White. And according to Abrams, part of the defense strategy will be evaluating each of the officers separately.

“The allegations against each of them are totally different, so you’re not going to be able to lump all of them in together and say did they collectively do something,” Abrams said. “Each one of those officers is going to have a separate defense where they’re going to say wait a second, why am I being charged with X crime — in many of these cases manslaughter — and then going through moment by moment what that officer did or didn’t do. And I think they’re going to be some very powerful defenses.”

Abrams says it will be tough to convict the officers.

“Some of the lesser convictions will likely stick in certain cases. But I think some of the more serious charges, most of the more serious charges, it’s going to be really tough to get convictions on a lot of these charges. I think it is fair to say that this prosecutor as a legal matter has overreached,” Abrams said.

“Two officers here are charged with manslaughter, who come on the scene later and don’t do enough, according to prosecutors. That may be wrong but getting a jury to convict them of manslaughter for simply not helping enough is going to be very, very tough,” he added.

Mosby, who comes from a long line of police officers herself, defended the indictments at a press conference.

“My job a prosecutor is to follow and uphold the law… that means equally applying justice to those with and without a badge,” she said.

But, the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police doubts Mosby’s office’s ability to be objective. In an open letter to Mosby Monday, the FOP asked her to appoint a special independent prosecutor, saying the organization has “very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest presented by your office conducting an investigation in this case.”

However, Abrams says he doesn’t think that the conflicts of interest will “be a serious claim here.”

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Magnitude 4.2 Earthquake Shakes Midwest

Tomislav Zivkovic/iStock/Thinkstock(GALESBURG, Mich.) — A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit west of Detroit on Saturday, causing tremors to be felt from Chicago to Toledo, Ohio.

The quake struck shortly after 12 p.m. Saturday about five miles south of the town of Galesburg. The epicenter was about 3.7 miles underground, 15 miles southeast of Kalamazoo and 57 miles southwest of Lansing.

The midwest is an infrequent target for earthquakes, though the U.S. Geological Survey says that when they do strike in the area, they are often felt over a wider region than quakes west of the Rocky Mountains.

Paul Caruso with the USGS notes that Saturday’s quake could cause “slight damage,” referencing a similar quake — magnitude 4.6 — that hit the area in 1947.

“We have reports that the quake has been felt throughout the state of Michigan,” Caruso said. “We have reports from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.”

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Hawaiian Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Smoke Odor

MMADIA/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(KAHULUI, Hawaii) — A Hawaiian Airlines flight bound for Oakland, California, on Friday was forced to return to the ground shortly after takeoff due to an odor of smoke.

The crew declared an emergency soon after takeoff, the airline says, and returned to Kahului Airport. All 224 passengers on board were evacuated using the plane’s emergency slides. Two passengers were hospitalized with minor injuries.

Airline officials say that they are investigating the source of the odor.

ABC affiliate KITV in Hawaii reports that Hawaiian Airlines apologized to its customers in a statement, saying that “safety is our highest priority and we were pleased with the swift and decisive actions of the crew.”

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Three Police Officers Injured in Clash with Protesters in Seattle

Antonprado/iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — Three police officers were injured, two seriously, in a clash with protesters on Friday night, the Seattle Police Department said.

A tweet on the Seattle Police Department Twitter account, attributed to Capt. Chris Fowler, said that the situation “is no longer demonstration management, this has turned into a riot.” Police used flash bangs and tear gas to clear the streets. The crowd, police said, had thrown wrenches, rocks and at least one explosive object in the direction of police.

“This is no longer demonstration management, this has turned into a riot” -Captain Chris Fowler. #MayDaySea

— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 2, 2015

Crowd throwing wrenches and rocks at officers at Broadway and Howell. Officers responding w/pepper spray and pepper balls. #MayDaySea

— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 2, 2015

Explosive device thrown at officers at Melrose and Olive. #MayDaySea

— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 2, 2015

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray released a statement Friday evening, saying that the city of Seattle “celebrate free speech, the right to assemble and freedom of the press.” Still, he noted, while “people are raising their voices across the nation, working constructively to advance issues of racial equity and justice in our society,” Friday night’s incidents are “a very different story.”

“Tonight we saw assaults on police officers and senseless property damage,” Murray said, “which cannot be tolerated.” He vowed to work to disperse those groups threatening the safety of others and arrest those who take part in violent actions.

“During this moment in history, peaceful protest and civil disobedience can be effective vehicles of change,” Murray said. “The city of Seattle prepared extensively to protect the rights of peaceful protesters to express their anger at racism and injustice.”

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Baltimore Protesters Arrested for Defying Curfew

Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — Baltimore police Friday began arresting people who defied a citywide curfew, including several at City Hall.

Most people complied with the 10 p.m. curfew, but those who resisted were met with swift police action.

Baltimore Police spokesman Sgt. Jarron Jackson said that there were 53 arrests made Friday – 38 were protest-related and 15 were for curfew violation.

Baltimore police tweeted that protesters remained at War Memorial Plaza, in front of City Hall, “in violation of the curfew,” and had been warned that the curfew was to begin by officers with bullhorns.

A group of protesters remain in front of City Hall in violation of the curfew.

— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) May 2, 2015

Officers are arresting protesters who refused to leave after the curfew went into effect.

— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) May 2, 2015

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Freddie Gray’s Family Is ‘Satisfied’ With Charges Against Police Officers

ABC News(BALTIMORE) — Freddie Gray’s stepfather said that the young man’s family is “satisfied” with the criminal charges announced Friday against six Baltimore police officers who took him into custody a week before he died.

Richard Shipley, who introduced himself as “one of Freddie’s two fathers,” urged calm and peace throughout Baltimore and told residents to get back to work.

“The last thing that Freddie would want would be the hardworking people of Baltimore to lose their jobs and businesses” because of time spent protesting Gray’s apprehension.

The State’s Attorney in Baltimore filed charges on Friday against six police officers who were involved with the apprehension and allegedly illegal arrest of Gray, who authorities said suffered a spinal injury while in police custody. Gray was unresponsive when he was taken to the police station and died a week later.

Billy Murphy, the attorney representing the Gray family, praised State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and her team for their “unprecedented courage and their measured and professional response to this crisis.”

Murphy said that they learned about the charges after they were publicly announced, saying that “it was a good shock.”

Earlier on Friday, Michael Davey, the attorney hired by one of the officers, spoke on behalf of all six saying “these officers will be vindicated because they have done nothing wrong.”

“No officer injured Mr. Gray, caused harm to Mr. Gray, and [they] are truly saddened by his death,” Davey said during a news conference this afternoon with the police union.

The Fraternal Order of Police spokesmen have said that they believe that the State Attorney’s office has “many conflicts of interest” with this case and are calling for a special prosecutor.

Murphy repeatedly praised Mosby and her team, saying that he has confidence in this prosecutor and hopes that the case will be tried in Baltimore.

“I have the utmost confidence that justice can be had in Baltimore,” he said.

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Missouri Man on Loose After Keeping His Girlfriend Trapped in a Box, Police Say

MHSP(SEDALIA, Mo.) — A woman in Missouri called police saying her boyfriend had held her captive for the past four months and regularly forced her into a large wooden box, authorities said today.

The Sedalia Police Department is now searching for the boyfriend, identified as James Horn, as he is now believed to be on the run.

The girlfriend, whose name is being withheld by police for her protection, reportedly called 911 on Thursday and said that she had just escaped from the residence that they shared.

“When officers contacted the victim, she told them the suspect routinely locked her in a wooden box inside the residence where they lived,” police said in a statement Friday.

Officers found “a large wooden box consistent with what the female described” and have since transported it from the scene, police said.

“It did appear to be constructed for the purpose of concealing a person,” according to the police statement.

Horn is described by police as being a 47-year-old white male with dark hair.

Horn is listed as a sex offender and has previously been charged with felony kidnapping and sexual battery in Tennessee in 1992, according to state records.

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Russians to Testify in Boston Bombing Trial Under ‘Hotel Arrest’

Vladstudioraw/iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Several Russian nationals summoned to the U.S. to testify in defense of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are staying in the Boston area under “hotel arrest” and are closely monitored by the FBI, law enforcement officials told ABC News.

One of the witnesses called by the defense flew to the U.S. only to be turned around in Boston’s airport by American customs agents after he admitted to fighting along Islamist militants in southern Russia, officials said.

“He stated that he fought with rebels in the forests and was on a watch list. Customs put him on a plane back to Russia,” said one federal official with knowledge of the case. A state official at Logan Airport also confirmed that a member of the Tsarnaev party was sent back to his homeland for ties to Muslim extremists.

The remaining Tsarnaev witnesses remain in the Boston area fitted with ankle bracelets and monitored around-the-clock by FBI agents. The defense witness list is under court seal. Five of the witnesses were slated to fly home on Friday, according to court records, but the Tsarnaev trial was suspended until Monday after a juror fell ill.

The Russians were permitted to travel to the U.S. on S-visas, or Significant Public Benefit Parole, issued to aliens considered a security risk who were subpoenaed to testify. Security for aliens here on temporary S-visas is determined by officials from the Department of Homeland Security, who, in the case of Tsarnaev, a convicted terrorist, felt the “strictest of security conditions should apply,” said another federal official with knowledge of the case.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s mother is a native of Dagestan, and now lives there with her ex-husband Anzor. The couple returned to the Russia from the U.S. in 2012, the same year that Dzhokhar’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, spent nearly seven months there, arriving in January and flying home in July. While there, he reportedly attempted to connect with Islamist rebels.

Since the outset of Dzhokhar’s trial, the defense has attempted to paint Tamerlan, who was killed in a police shootout three days after the marathon blasts, as the extremist behind the plot, with Dzhokhar just following his older brother’s lead.

This week Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb complained to a federal judge that the Russian witnesses’ trip to the U.S. — which is being funded by federal taxpayers as part of the 21-year-old bomber’s defense team’s strategy — has become an “enormous expense and distraction” for the FBI.

“The FBI is devoting 16 personnel full time to taking care of them, both guarding them as well as protecting them from the press and from others,” Weinreb told the judge. “It’s an enormous expense and distraction from the agency, and that’s just part of the expense that the government has endured.”

The federal government also paid for the flights of the family members from Russia — including the unnamed witness who was flown back to Dagestan after he admitted to terrorist ties. A day after their arrival, the FBI was forced to relocate the Russians to another hotel last week after the Hampton Inn in Revere near Boston’s Logan Airport was besieged by reporters.

FBI spokeswoman Kristen Setera refused comment citing the ongoing trial. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also declined to comment. The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the case. Tsarnaev’s defense team did not respond to requests for comment.

Another defense witness, Magomed Dolokov, a physicist from the Russian Caucasus who planned to attend a master’s program at MIT, was interviewed multiple times by the FBI after the bombings but has since vanished, Tsarnaev defense attorney Miriam Conrad told a judge this week.

Dolokov told the FBI he met Tamerlan Tsarnaev at the Prospect Street mosque in Cambridge in July 2012 and was with both brothers three days before the blasts, a portion of that day was captured on a video at the Wai Kru Gym which was entered into evidence by the defense.

Dolokov told the FBI he met Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine Russell, at their Cambridge home in August 2012, the same night that “Tamerlan told Dolokov he was going to join the mujahedeen,” in Dagestan, according to one of the FBI reports.

On April 12, 2013, three days before the Boston Marathon blasts, Dolokov spent the day with both brothers and Tsarnaev’s defense suggested a video of the three Russians in a Wai Kru boxing ring was evidence that Tamerlan bullied Dzhokhar, pointing to a segment where the older brother threw hand wraps at the then 19-year-old as he leaned passively against the ropes.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted in early April of all charges contained in a 30-count federal indictment related to the marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured some 260 others.

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