Review Category : National News

Delta Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Flying Through Hail Storm

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(DENVER) — A Delta jet was forced to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after it was caught in a hail storm that damaged its windshield and nose cone.

The plane was headed to Salt Lake City from Boston Friday when it was pounded by hail. Passenger Rob Wessman said people onboard were holding hands and crying.

“I was nervous,” he said. “I was messaging my wife, actually. ‘Hey, this is pretty scary.'”

According to audio recordings of pilots’ conversations with air traffic controllers, their visibility was compromised during the landing. The pilots landed without incident, Delta said in a statement.

One person was transported to a hospital per their own request, according to a Denver International Airport spokesperson.

Passenger Beau Sorenson said he didn’t realize how significant the damage was until the plane was safely on the ground.

“I didn’t realize that we were in as much danger as we were until we got on the ground and actually saw the damage to the plane,” Sorenson said. “Then I realized we were lucky to be alive.”

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

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Young Sweethearts Holding Hands Survive Lightning Strike

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) — The love between two California teenagers literally turned electric as their public display of affection may have saved their lives.

Dylan Corliss and Lexie Varga were walking Thursday when they said they were struck by lightning. The bolt hit Corliss first.

“One second we were (in) one place talking and then suddenly we were on the ground looking at each other just screaming,” Corliss recalled. “Because we were holding hands, it transferred through me through her hands and into her body and then out of her foot.”

The teenagers suffered minor injuries. Dr. Stefan Reynoso said their hand-holding may have saved them.

“I believe that holding hands may have helped dissipate some of that electrical voltage,” he said.

After their frightening brush with death, Corliss and Varga joked that they have a new “electric” love.

“I’ve heard that we have an electric relationship and I also heard that sparks flew, and, yeah, that it’s really shocking,” said Corliss.

The two are celebrating their six month anniversary this weekend and they now have a striking new chapter to add to their love story.

“Holding hands is a good thing because if we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have shared the strike,” said Corliss.

“I think we’re just happy to be here,” Varga added.

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Navy Authorized Use of Armed Guards at 70 Reserve Centers in Wake of Chattanooga Shooting

nameinfame/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Navy’s Fleet Forces Command authorized the use of armed guards at nearly 100 Navy Reserve centers around the country.

The action, taken in the wake of the deadly shooting in Chattanooga last month, allows 70 centers around the country that are not located on military bases to use armed guards. Those armed guards, a Navy official told ABC News, will be Navy reservists who volunteer for an initial 45 day period. Eventually, the plans call for placement for the next year.

One Navy spokesperson called the authorization “a matter of prudent and necessary action toward protecting our personnel.” The Navy Reserve has 123 support centers in the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico, and only 53 of them are on military bases.

After the Chattanooga shooting, Defense Secretary Ash Carter called on his staff to create a plan to improve security for all Department of Defense personnel.

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Young Girls Used Google Hangouts to Get Help After Burglar Breaks Into California Home

welcomia/iStock/Thinkstock(FRESNO, Calif.) — Two quick-thinking California girls managed to escape from an intruder and get help by using their cellphones and the Google hangout app to send a text while they hid in the bathroom, according to police.

The girls, ages 8 and 14, spotted the suspect, later identified as 23-year-old Jose Carlos Palomares, in the backyard of their Fresno, California home Thursday morning, the Fresno Police Department told ABC News in a statement.

Palomares then “forced open a rear bedroom window and used a chair to climb into the residence,” where he filled backpacks with over $400 in cash, clothes belonging to the girls’ father and an electronic tablet, police said.

The girls, who went unnoticed by Palomares, hid in a bathroom, where they quickly used the Google Hangouts app on one of their phones to text their dad’s girlfriend, police said. The girlfriend then immediately contacted authorities.

Police formed a perimeter around the residence, and though Palomares tried to run out the residence’s back door with his backpacks filled with the stolen property out the, he was immediately arrested, police said.

The girl’s father, who declined to give his name, rushed home in time to see the arrest, ABC News affiliate KGO reported.

“They are fine, they are both fine,” he told KGO. “They did the right thing. They locked themselves into the bathroom. They are good girls.”

He added, “It’s a scary situation. We were just talking about getting a dog last weekend, I guess we will be doing that today.”

Palomares was charged with burglary and possession of stolen property and later booked at the Fresno County Jail, according to police.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office told ABC News that additional information, such as if Palomares had a lawyer, was not immediately available.

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James Holmes Gets Life Without Parole in Aurora Massacre Case

ABC News(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) — Colorado movie theater gunman James Holmes will receive life in prison after a jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision in the penalty phase of his trial Friday.

Last month, Holmes was found guilty of all 165 charges against him — including the murder of 12 people at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012. The jury decided in the trial’s second phase not to eliminate the death penalty as a potential punishment, leaving them to decide between either the death penalty or life in prison in the trial’s final stage.

The jury, which began deliberating on the penalty phase on Thursday, could not reach a unanimous decision to sentence Holmes to the death penalty on any of the counts. That meant the jury’s decision was automatically to give Holmes life in prison.

The judge had previously said that he would most likely sentence Holmes to whichever punishment the jury decided on. The official sentencing, however, will come at a later date.

Holmes was hit with two counts of first degree murder for each of the victims he fatally shot, and then two counts of attempted murder for each of the 70 others who were injured but survived.

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James Holmes Gets Life Without Parole in Aurora Massacre Case

ABC News(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) — Colorado movie theater gunman James Holmes will receive life in prison after a jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision in the penalty phase of his trial Friday.

Last month, Holmes was found guilty of all 165 charges against him — including the murder of 12 people at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012. The jury decided in the trial’s second phase not to eliminate the death penalty as a potential punishment, leaving them to decide between either the death penalty or life in prison in the trial’s final stage.

The jury, which began deliberating on the penalty phase on Thursday, could not reach a unanimous decision to sentence Holmes to the death penalty on any of the counts. That meant the jury’s decision was automatically to give Holmes life in prison.

The judge had previously said that he would most likely sentence Holmes to whichever punishment the jury decided on. The official sentencing, however, will come at a later date.

Holmes was hit with two counts of first degree murder for each of the victims he fatally shot, and then two counts of attempted murder for each of the 70 others who were injured but survived.

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California Homeless Man Saves Teen Girl Being Kicked, Punched by Ex-Boyfriend, Police Say

John Roman/iStock/Thinkstock(FRESNO, Calif.) — A 53-year-old homeless man is being called a “Good Samaritan” after recently helping save a 19-year-old woman who was being beaten by her ex-boyfriend late at night near a Fresno, California liquor store, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

The homeless man, Paul DeLeon, pepper-sprayed a man who pulled up in a white Lexus, approached his ex-girlfriend and began kicking and punching her, the FCSO said in a news release.

The suspect tracked DeLeon down and fired several rounds at the homeless man, striking him in the arm, the FCSO added. DeLeon then “grabbed his registered handgun and returned fire, sending multiple rounds toward the suspect,” though it’s “unknown if the suspect was hit,” the FCSO said. “The suspect then drove away.”

DeLeon received medical treatment after police arrived at the scene, and the teenage girl was taken to the hospital for treatment, according to the FCSO. Both are expecting to make a full recovery.

DeLeon told ABC News affiliate KGO that he believed he stopped a man from beating a young woman to death.

“I mean he was kicking her hard too, right in the head, and I couldn’t just stand there and do nothing,” DeLeon said. “I grabbed my mace, and I maced him.”

Dispatchers notified local police to be on the lookout for the suspect’s white Lexus, which was seen speeding up to 100 mph down Highway 41 in Fresno, the FSCO said, adding that police lost sight of the car, which was later found unoccupied at an intersection.

Detectives said they are searching for the suspect, who could be facing charges of spousal abuse and assault with a firearm. DeLeon was not arrested or charged and was called a “Good Samaritan” by the FCSO.

Deputies have a good idea of who the suspect is, but they did not publicly identify him as of Friday afternoon, KGO reported, adding that they said DeLeon did a great job by intervening, but it’s usually better to call 911 to get help.

The FCSO did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for updates to the investigation.

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James Holmes Trial: Jury Reaches Verdict in Sentencing Phase of Aurora Massacre Case

ABC News(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) — A verdict was reached Friday afternoon in the sentencing phase of James Holmes’ murder trial.

The jury had been deciding whether or not Holmes should get the death penalty for opening fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, killing 12.

Last month, Holmes was found guilty of all 165 charges against him — including the murder of 12 people at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012.

Holmes was hit with two counts of first degree murder for each of the victims he fatally shot, and then two counts of attempted murder for each of the 70 others who were injured but survived.

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Jailed Arizona Bounty Hunter ‘Getting Out of the Business’ After Mix-Up

Alex_Schmidt/iStock/ThinkStock(PHOENIX) — A man jailed after a case of mistaken identity involving bounty hunters and a police chief is defending himself in connection to the subsequent confrontation that landed him behind bars in Arizona.

“Part of the process is knocking on doors,” Brent Farley, who isn’t a licensed bounty hunter, told ABC affiliate KNXV-TV from a Phoenix jailhouse. “There are times when the person is not there. There are times when they haven’t been there for a couple years and the information we have is bad.

“Again, the reason why we are here isn’t because of the door knock, but because of who answered the door,” Farley added.

The incident began Tuesday when an anonymous tip on Facebook about a supposed fugitive led Farley and several bounty hunters to the home of Phoenix Chief of Police Joseph Yahner.

The bounty hunters were looking for a 310-pound black man who was wanted on drug charges. Instead, the armed bounty hunters arrived at the home of Yahner, who is white.

“We have some — I don’t know if they’re bounty hunters or what they are,” the police chief’s girlfriend told 911 dispatchers. “They just banged on our door and they’re looking for somebody.”

The situation escalated, and police said Farley was the aggressor. Police said Farley had his handgun unholstered during the confrontation outside Yahner’s home and refused to leave the property.

“Even after the situation had been deescalated, one of them wouldn’t leave and demanded the chief identify himself, even though the man they were looking for was a heavy-set black man,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said.

But Farley said, “When the chief opened the door, he was aggressive. I backed off.”

The Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and ABC News has been unable to reach Farley.

Farley was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. He has not yet entered a plea.

Farley told KNXV, “At no time did I point a weapon at anybody.”

“If I knew the police lived at that house, we never would have knocked on that door,” Farley told KNXV. “It doesn’t make sense.”

But officials said Farley, who is considered an account manager at Northstar Fugitive Recovery, shouldn’t have been at Yahner’s in the first place because he isn’t a licensed bounty hunter and his business isn’t licensed.

“I do not have a license as a bounty hunter in Arizona,” Farley told KNXV. “But other people on scene do, and if a suspect was there and an arrest was made, it would be someone else, not me.”

For Farley, this incident is making him swear off the bounty hunter business.

“I’m getting out of the business after this,” he said.

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Jury Deliberation Continues in James Holmes Movie Theater Murder Trial

Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) — The jury in the James Holmes murder trial began deliberations on Thursday, but hadn’t come to a decision as of Friday afternoon.

The jury had been instructed to arrive at 3 p.m. on Thursday, giving the judge and the attorneys time to agree on jury instructions. Once the jury was let in, they heard closing arguments from both sides. The judge then told them that their decision in this case was likely the most important decision they would make in their lives.

At about 8:30 p.m. ET, the jury went home for the night, and returned to deliberate at 10:30 a.m. ET Friday.

The judge told the jury of nine women and three men that they can take as long as they need, and there is no pressure for a quick verdict.

Holmes, having already been found guilty on all 165 counts related to the 2012 shooting that left 12 dead and 70 more injured, will either be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty. Last week, the jury decided not to remove the death penalty as an option.

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