Review Category : National News

Prosecution Rests in Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

FBI(BOSTON) — The government on Monday rested its case against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after teary-eyed jurors heard grueling, heartbreaking testimony about the bombing’s youngest victim, 8-year-old Martin Richard.

Richard was 4 ft. 5 in. tall and just under 70 lbs. when he was killed in the Boston Marathon attacks on April 15, 2013, Chief Medical Examiner Henry Nields testified. The entire length of his small body was blasted with small nails, tiny pieces of black plastic, round metal pellets, small fragments of wood, segments of black plastic, and metal pieces of the bomb allegedly detonated by Tsarnaev in front of the Forum restaurant, Nields said.

Jurors saw the damage done to his clothing: a charred long-sleeve Boston Celtics jersey, its sleeves tattered, large holes throughout and stained stiff with blood. Under that, Richard wore a short-sleeve New England Patriots t-shirt, which was ripped apart and bloody. Nields said he recovered a shred of metal under that shirt — lodged there as it exited his body. His black hooded jacket was stained and ripped.

Nields could not determine whether he was wearing pants or shorts because the fabric had completely melted.

Along with the clothing held up in court was a belt, which had been used as a tourniquet around Richard’s left arm, and his Nike sneakers.

Richard’s small intestine was eviscerated, part of his liver and pancreas were cut off. He suffered a “near complete transection of the abdominal aorta,” Nields testified. In addition, “he had shredding on his left adrenal gland.” He had third degree burns on his body, which was ruined with debris packed into the pressure cooker bomb.

Six small nails were pulled from his body. Jurors saw a photo of those terrorist tools, along with evidence of the cloth, Styrofoam, plastic and other items removed during the autopsy.

Was the child’s death painful? “Yes,” Dr. Nields testified.

If any juror tried to block out what they were listening to, it became impossible when they were forced to look at the autopsy photos. At least six female jurors cried during the testimony and two male jurors had shocked looks on their face. Other jurors simply glanced down at their monitors where the images were published then quickly looked away.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rested his face on his left fist and looked down for most of the testimony.

On the other side of court, Bill Richard, Martin’s father, sat holding his wife with his eyes closed.

In a still image from just before the blasts, Martin Richard is seen standing on a metal barrier watching the race. Prosecutors say Tsarnaev can be seen in the same image, just feet away, dropping a backpack containing the explosives.

Earlier in the trial, Bill Richard took the stand and described what he saw after the blasts.

“I saw a little boy who had his body severely damaged by an explosion,” Bill Richard told the jury flatly. “I just knew from what I saw there was no chance.”

In addition to Martin Richard, two other people — 29-year-old Krystle Campbell and 23-year-old Lingzi Lu — were killed in the attack and some 260 others injured.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts related to the bombing. His defense has admitted to his role in it, however, and has argued he only took part because he was under the influence of his older brother and alleged co-conspirator Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a police shootout three days after the blasts.

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Men Dressed as Women Shot Outside NSA Gate, Officials Say

@TPratt_Capital/Twitter(FORT MEADE, Md.) — One man is dead and another severely injured after a shootout Monday at one of the main gates of the National Security Agency located at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Two men dressed as women attempted to “penetrate” the entry point with their vehicle when a shootout occurred, officials said.

“There are indications they were dressed as females,” an official said.

At least one officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Aerial images from news helicopters on the scene appear two show two damaged SUVs.

One perpetrator was confirmed dead on the scene. The other is “severely injured” and is not likely to survive, according to one official.

The FBI said they do not believe the incident is related to terrorism. Law enforcement sources say there are initial indications that the vehicle used by the suspects was stolen.

The FBI evidence response team is on the scene investigating and testing for the possible presence of drugs.

The incident is being investigated by FBI, NSA Police and Army Criminal Investigation Command. Anne Arundel Police and Maryland State Police are also on the scene assisting.

Meanwhile, President Obama has been briefed on the incident, according to White House spokesman Eric Schultz.

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Men Disguised as Women Shot Outside NSA Gate, Officials Say

@TPratt_Capital/Twitter(FORT MEADE, Md.) — One man is dead and another severely injured after a shootout at one of the main gates of the National Security Agency located at Fort Meade, Maryland.

U.S. officials tell ABC News two men disguised as women attempted to “penetrate” the entry point with their vehicle when a shootout occurred. At least one officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

One perpetrator is confirmed dead on the scene. The other is “severely injured” and probably won’t survive, according to one official.

Aerial images from news helicopters on the scene appear to show two damaged SUVs. A white police SUV is facing the unmarked black SUV and there appears to be a body covered by a sheet next to the driver side of the black SUV.
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Caught on Video: California Firefighter Falls Through Roof of Burning Home

iStock/Thinkstock(FRESNO, Calif.) — A 25-year firefighting veteran is in critical condition after falling Sunday through the roof of a California home consumed by fire.

The firefighter, who has not been named, was responding to a fire that broke out around 1:30 p.m. in the garage of a Fresno, California, home.

The heart-stopping moment the firefighter fell was captured on camera by an eyewitness, Sooji Lee.

“I honestly didn’t think he was going to make it,” Lee told ABC News affiliate KFSN.

The victim’s fellow firefighters tore down the garage door and rescued him within minutes, according to KFSN.

“I believe his burns were on his hands, around his face,” Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis told reporters. “He did have his mask intact. There were some other burns on his back, around his legs, so they’re pretty much in all areas of his body.”

The firefighter was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery, officials said. He is now in critical condition.

No one else was injured in the fire. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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JetBlue System Outage Leads to Long Lines, Delays

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A nationwide system outage was reported by JetBlue Monday morning, with long lines and delays reported at several airports as passengers were manually checked in.

No flight cancellations have been reported.

Representatives with the budget airline addressed the situation on social media, individually responding to concerned passengers.

“We apologize. The cause of the systemwide outage has been (resolved). We should have you on your way shortly,” the company wrote on Twitter.

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Eight Dead, 10 Injured After Van Crashes into Florida Canal

iStock/Thinkstock(MOORE HAVEN, Fla.) — At least eight people died and 10 others were injured after the van they were riding in crashed into a Florida canal, authorities said.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident happened at 12:31 a.m. Monday at State Road 78 and U.S. Highway 27 in Moore Haven, Glades County, in the southern part of the state. The van was traveling eastbound on State Road 78 when it passed through a stop sign and traveled across U.S. Highway 27, crashing into the partially-filled canal, according to a statement released by Public Affairs Division Lieutenant Gregory S. Bueno.

The van was carrying 18 people. The driver was killed in the crash, according to the statement.

Authorities expect to release more details about the accident as information emerges.

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Coney Island Roller Coaster Gets Stuck on Opening Day

Shawn Waite/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Some Coney Island visitors in New York City had a scarier roller coaster ride than they expected Sunday when the Cyclone at Luna Park got stuck, stranding passengers high in the air.

The coaster stalled as it was going up, the New York Police Department said. Passengers were then evacuated safely, according to a Luna Park official.

No injuries were reported according to the NYPD and Luna Park. Ten to 12 people were on the ride at the time, Luna Park said.

Sunday was Luna Park’s opening day of the season. The Cyclone got stuck on its second ride, according to Angie Morris, brand manager for Luna Park.

“Safety is the number one priority for our guests at Luna Park. This was an isolated issue and it is quickly being resolved,” Morris said in a statement.

The ride will reopen “after proper inspection,” the statement added.

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Second Body Recovered from New York City Building Collapse Site

FDNY(NEW YORK) — A second body was found Sunday at the site of a New York City building explosion and collapse, a city official told ABC News, shortly after New York City Police Department said the searchers looking for two people believed to be missing found a first body.

Identification of the body was pending, said the NYPD. The explosion, which happened Thursday afternoon, left 22 people injured and two missing, city officials have said.

Some containers of debris from the site have been taken to a “secure” undisclosed location for additional examination if necessary — either to look for more evidence or remains, a city official directly involved in the operation said Sunday.

A total of 730 cubic yards of debris has been sifted twice on-site at this point, and put into containers and removed, the official said.

Operations are continuing at the site in the East Village section of the city, and there could be an update on developments Sunday evening, the official said.

Cleanup of the site was scheduled to take up to a week, but looks like it could be done by Tuesday, given the current weather and pace of operations, the official said.

Searchers have encountered sections of debris that are still smoldering — “hot spots” — and they’ve had to be extinguished, according to the official.

They are hoping to get at least partial access to the restaurant area of the building today, although the above-ground pile of debris will not be cleared Sunday, the official said.

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Montana Fire Grows, Forces Brief Evacuation of Ski Lodge

muangsatun/iStock/Thinkstock(RED LODGE, Mont.) — A wind driven wildfire forced the short-term evacuation of hundreds of people at a ski lodge in southern Montana.

The fire began Saturday on open private land, but it’s now burning in the Custer National Forest, where the Red Mountain ski area is located.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jeff Gildehaus told ABC News early Sunday the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but dry grass is fueling the blaze.

“No injuries or damage reported to property. It did burn around six homes in the area but none of the homes were damaged by the fire.,” he said.

The ski area evacuation order was lifted on Sunday.

There have been no reports of injuries or damage to structures as a result of the fire.

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Body Recovered from New York City Building Collapse Site

FDNY(NEW YORK) — A body was found Sunday at the site of a New York City building explosion and collapse as searchers continued looking for two missing people, the New York City Police Department said.

Identification of the body was pending, according to the NYPD. The explosion, which happened Thursday afternoon, left 22 people injured and two missing, city officials have said.

Some containers of debris from the site have been taken to a “secure” undisclosed location for additional examination if necessary — either to look for more evidence or remains, a city official directly involved in the operation said Sunday.

A total of 730 cubic yards of debris has been sifted twice on-site at this point, and put into containers and removed, the official said.

Operations are continuing at the site in the East Village section of the city, and there could be an update on developments Sunday evening, the official said.

Cleanup of the site was scheduled to take up to a week, but looks like it could be done by Tuesday, given the current weather and pace of operations, the official said.

Searchers have encountered sections of debris that are still smoldering — “hot spots” — and they’ve had to be extinguished, according to the official.

They are hoping to get at least partial access to the restaurant area of the building today, although the above-ground pile of debris will not be cleared Sunday, the official said.

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