Review Category : National News

First NFL Player is Arrested Following League’s New Domestic Violence Policy

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN JOSE, Calif.) — Ray McDonald, defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers, has been booked on domestic violence charges, becoming the first NFL player to be arrested since league commissioner Roger Goodell instituted new penalties last week for domestic violence.

On Thursday Goodell announced sweeping changes to the NFL domestic abuse policy, including a six game suspension for a first time offense and a potential lifetime ban on any subsequent offense.

The NFL is aware of McDonald’s arrest and a spokesman tells ABC News the league is looking into it. The San Francisco 49ers says the team is still gathering facts.

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NY Man, Already in Prison for Murdering Son, Now Charged in Wife’s Death

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A New York man who is already in prison for murdering his son is now facing new murder charges in California for the death of his first wife.

Karl Karlsen, 54, who is currently serving 15 years to life at a prison in upstate New York for killing his son Levi Karlsen, was charged today with first-degree murder in the 1991 death of his wife, Christina Karlsen, who is also Levi’s mother. She died on Jan. 1, 1991 in a fire at their family home in California. Her death had been initially ruled an accident.

Barbara Yook, the district attorney for Calaveras County, charged Karl Karlsen with one count of murder during the commission of arson. Yook declined to comment on the case.

Unlike his case in New York state, if convicted in this new case in California, Karlsen could face the death penalty. A court date has yet to be announced.

Levi Karlsen, 23, was crushed to death in 2008 when the truck he was working on slipped off a jack and landed on top of him. His death was initially ruled an accident, but prosecutors later claimed Karl Karlsen killed him so he could collect a $700,000 life insurance payout.

During his trial last year, Karlsen admitted he rigged the jack so the truck would fall on Levi, and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November 2013.

New York authorities started investigating Karlsen after his second wife, Cindy Karlsen, came forward last year and told police of her suspicions of Karlsen’s involvement with Levi’s death. Authorities in California then opened an investigation into Christina Karlsen’s death. That investigation was concluded this week.

Karl Karlsen collected a $200,000 life insurance payout after his first wife died, but hadn’t been charged in anything related to her death until now.

Christina and Karl Karlsen’s daughter Erin told ABC News’ 20/20 in a 2013 exclusive interview that she was always suspicious of her father.

“We knew what he had done to our mother, and I knew what he did to my brother,” Erin said at the time.

Erin was 6 years old when she, Levi and their sister Katie escaped from the house fire that killed their mother. According to Erin, their father helped his children get outside safely, and then they stood and watched the house burn.

“I didn’t understand that my mother was behind that wall dying,” Erin told 20/20 at the time, adding that her father “didn’t make an effort to save her. He just stood there.”

A week after the fire, Karl Karlsen and his three children left California for upstate New York to be near his family, and he eventually remarried.

As they got older, Erin said she and Levi started to wonder if their father had been responsible for their mother’s death. However, when they confronted him about it, Erin said, “his biggest concern was that he wondered what the community would think of his own children accusing him of murdering their mother.”

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NY Man, Already in Prison for Murdering Son, Now Charged in Wife’s Death

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A New York man who is already in prison for murdering his son is now facing new murder charges in California for the death of his first wife.

Karl Karlsen, 54, who is currently serving 15 years to life at a prison in upstate New York for killing his son Levi Karlsen, was charged today with first-degree murder in the 1991 death of his wife, Christina Karlsen, who is also Levi’s mother. She died on Jan. 1, 1991 in a fire at their family home in California. Her death had been initially ruled an accident.

Barbara Yook, the district attorney for Calaveras County, charged Karl Karlsen with one count of murder during the commission of arson. Yook declined to comment on the case.

Unlike his case in New York state, if convicted in this new case in California, Karlsen could face the death penalty. A court date has yet to be announced.

Levi Karlsen, 23, was crushed to death in 2008 when the truck he was working on slipped off a jack and landed on top of him. His death was initially ruled an accident, but prosecutors later claimed Karl Karlsen killed him so he could collect a $700,000 life insurance payout.

During his trial last year, Karlsen admitted he rigged the jack so the truck would fall on Levi, and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November 2013.

New York authorities started investigating Karlsen after his second wife, Cindy Karlsen, came forward last year and told police of her suspicions of Karlsen’s involvement with Levi’s death. Authorities in California then opened an investigation into Christina Karlsen’s death. That investigation was concluded this week.

Karl Karlsen collected a $200,000 life insurance payout after his first wife died, but hadn’t been charged in anything related to her death until now.

Christina and Karl Karlsen’s daughter Erin told ABC News’ 20/20 in a 2013 exclusive interview that she was always suspicious of her father.

“We knew what he had done to our mother, and I knew what he did to my brother,” Erin said at the time.

Erin was 6 years old when she, Levi and their sister Katie escaped from the house fire that killed their mother. According to Erin, their father helped his children get outside safely, and then they stood and watched the house burn.

“I didn’t understand that my mother was behind that wall dying,” Erin told 20/20 at the time, adding that her father “didn’t make an effort to save her. He just stood there.”

A week after the fire, Karl Karlsen and his three children left California for upstate New York to be near his family, and he eventually remarried.

As they got older, Erin said she and Levi started to wonder if their father had been responsible for their mother’s death. However, when they confronted him about it, Erin said, “his biggest concern was that he wondered what the community would think of his own children accusing him of murdering their mother.”

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Wet, Windy Weekend Promises a Labor Day to Forget

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Taking an umbrella to the barbecue is probably a good idea this Labor Day weekend.

Severe weather threatens to put a damper on outdoor holiday plans for millions of people across the country.

Widespread thunderstorms with strong winds, large hail and even some tornadoes are expected across the central United States on Sunday.

Rainfall is expected to begin Sunday afternoon and continue into Monday, making it a Labor Day washout for the East Coast and in cities such as Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City further west.

Severe weather has already put a stop to Labor Day festivities nationwide.

In Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana heavy rain turned roads into rushing rivers, forcing residents to wade to safety. One Louisiana man had his house entirely submerged by flood waters.

And in Florida, heavy rains postponed opening night for University of Florida football fans. Drenched spectators waited three hours before lightning forced game officials to cancel the game.

Finally, out west in Washington State, 40 mph winds whipped up a disastrous dust storm that blinded drivers and caused a 50-car pileup on an interstate highway.

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Wet, Windy Weekend Promises a Labor Day to Forget

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Taking an umbrella to the barbecue is probably a good idea this Labor Day weekend.

Severe weather threatens to put a damper on outdoor holiday plans for millions of people across the country.

Widespread thunderstorms with strong winds, large hail and even some tornadoes are expected across the central United States on Sunday.

Rainfall is expected to begin Sunday afternoon and continue into Monday, making it a Labor Day washout for the East Coast and in cities such as Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City further west.

Severe weather has already put a stop to Labor Day festivities nationwide.

In Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana heavy rain turned roads into rushing rivers, forcing residents to wade to safety. One Louisiana man had his house entirely submerged by flood waters.

And in Florida, heavy rains postponed opening night for University of Florida football fans. Drenched spectators waited three hours before lightning forced game officials to cancel the game.

Finally, out west in Washington State, 40 mph winds whipped up a disastrous dust storm that blinded drivers and caused a 50-car pileup on an interstate highway.

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NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart Will be Back on the Racetrack Sunday Night

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be back in a race car Sunday night for the first time following a deadly accident.

Stewart has taken three weeks off after his car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. on a Sprint Car Track.

The racing community has welcomed him back, including NASCAR President Mike Helton, who said, “He’s been a great asset to NASCAR and a great champion, so it’s nice to have him back.”

Stewart has not been charged in Ward’s death but the investigation is still ongoing.

Sunday night’s race is at the Atlanta Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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Labor Day Weekend Features Severe Weather Threat From the Central Plains to Midwest

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Through the remainder of the Labor Day holiday weekend, severe weather threatens outdoor plans from the central Plains to the Midwest.

While the weekend started off with only isolated severe weather, the next couple days will feature widespread severe storms across the north central U.S.

On Saturday afternoon, isolated strong to severe storms moved through parts of the Southeast bringing heavy rain and gusty winds.

On Sunday, an elevated threat for severe weather exists from the central Plains, northward into Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Widespread severe storms are expected to develop Sunday afternoon across the central Plains and then head farther east into Sunday evening.

On Sunday afternoon, cities including Lincoln and Omaha, Neb.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Salina, Kansas, will need to watch the sky for any severe storms that may be in the vicinity.

The main threat from any storms that move through will be damaging winds, large hail, and a few tornadoes. As with any strong thunderstorm, frequent lightning will be a threat as well. Anyone attending outdoor activities in these areas should closely monitor weather conditions and head indoors if a thunderstorm is nearby.

Another round of severe storms is expected to develop on Monday. The threat zone will be farther east, including cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City. The main threat from these storms will be damaging winds, large hail, flooding downpours, and frequent lightning. The tornado threat will not be as high on Monday, however an isolated, brief tornado could still spin up.

The highlighted areas above show where there is an elevated risk for severe weather either on Sunday or Monday. It is important to stay alert to any severe weather watches or warnings that may be issued in this region through the rest of the holiday weekend.

The Labor Day forecast across the rest of the country will feature scattered thunderstorms along the East Coast, mostly dry conditions in the west, and more hot temperatures in the south.

Increasingly warm and humid conditions will continue to work into the Northeast, something that has been a rarity this summer. While it will not be a washout, scattered thunderstorms could interrupt barbecues from Washington DC up to Boston. High temperatures will be in the 80s, however humid conditions will make it feel more like the 90s by Monday aftenroon.

Some of the nicest weather will be across parts of the Southwest, where abundant sunshine and comfortable conditions will be in place. Cooler temperatures will be working into the northern Plains and an isolated shower or two could move through parts of the Pacific Northwest.

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Michael Sam Released by St. Louis Rams

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — Defensive end Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, according to ESPN.

Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, but came up short as all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players.

He was beat out by undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks, who is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

Sam came out as gay in February, before the NFL scouting combine. He can still be picked up by another team.

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Michael Sam Released by St. Louis Rams

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — Defensive end Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, according to ESPN.

Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, but came up short as all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players.

He was beat out by undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks, who is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

Sam came out as gay in February, before the NFL scouting combine. He can still be picked up by another team.

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Michael Sam Released by St. Louis Rams

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — Defensive end Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, according to ESPN.

Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, but came up short as all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players.

He was beat out by undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks, who is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

Sam came out as gay in February, before the NFL scouting combine. He can still be picked up by another team.

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