Review Category : National News

NY Prison Escapees Were Originally Headed to Mexico

New York State Police(NEW YORK) — Prison escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat had originally planned to flee to Mexico before the two split up last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a radio interview Monday.

Investigators have already started getting important information from captured inmate Sweat, who is now undergoing treatment at Albany Medical Center, Cuomo said.

“The plan was to head to Mexico, which would have been aided by Joyce Mitchell’s vehicle,” Cuomo said. “They would get the car and then drive to Mexico.”

Two employees at the prison, including Mitchell, a tailor shop employee, have been charged in connection with the escape.

“When Mitchell doesn’t show up, the Mexico plan gets foiled and they head north to Canada,” Cuomo said.

The governor also said Sweat split up from Matt five days ago because he felt like “Matt was slowing him down.”

Mitchell was charged with providing hacksaw blades and tools to the men through frozen hamburger meat. She pleaded not guilty to the felony and misdemeanor charges.

Mitchell’s lawyer, Steve Johnston, said in a statement Monday, “I just spoke with Joyce and she is ecstatic both that the manhunt has ended and also that it appears no harm came to any other person.”

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NY Prison Escapees Were Originally Headed to Mexico

New York State Police(NEW YORK) — Prison escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat had originally planned to flee to Mexico before the two split up last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a radio interview Monday.

Investigators have already started getting important information from captured inmate Sweat, who is now undergoing treatment at Albany Medical Center, Cuomo said.

“The plan was to head to Mexico, which would have been aided by Joyce Mitchell’s vehicle,” Cuomo said. “They would get the car and then drive to Mexico.”

Two employees at the prison, including Mitchell, a tailor shop employee, have been charged in connection with the escape.

“When Mitchell doesn’t show up, the Mexico plan gets foiled and they head north to Canada,” Cuomo said.

The governor also said Sweat split up from Matt five days ago because he felt like “Matt was slowing him down.”

Mitchell was charged with providing hacksaw blades and tools to the men through frozen hamburger meat. She pleaded not guilty to the felony and misdemeanor charges.

Mitchell’s lawyer, Steve Johnston, said in a statement Monday, “I just spoke with Joyce and she is ecstatic both that the manhunt has ended and also that it appears no harm came to any other person.”

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SpaceX Rocket Explosion Destroys Students’ Science Experiment

Courtesy Becky Ashe(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Four Tennessee students had the thrill of watching their science experiment being launched into space on board SpaceX’s Dragon vehicle this weekend, only to find out minutes later that the rocket, then out of their sights, had exploded in mid-air and was a total loss.

Keagan Cross, 14, worked on an experiment with three other students from Gresham Middle School in Knoxville, Tennessee, that was designed to measure the effects micro-gravity at the International Space Station would have on antibiotics.

Watching the launch, “it was this elated feeling of something I touched is in space,” Cross told ABC News Monday on the bus ride home from the launch at Cape Canaveral, Florida. “And then hearing the news, it was devastating and disappointing.”

It was the second loss in recent months for students enrolled in the science, technology, engineering and math program for schools in Knox County, Tennessee. Last October, a group watched as Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft blew up on the launch pad.

While the Cygnus launch was a fiery failure on the launch pad, Becky Ashe, the Knox County Schools coordinator for science, technology, engineering and math projects, told ABC News it wasn’t immediately apparent this time what had happened.

“That one [Cygnus] was so dramatic,” she told ABC News. “With Dragon, we were standing there watching the launch. It looked successful and then we noticed the second cloud of smoke, and several of us were like, ‘Is that supposed to happen?'”

Ashe said it took a couple of minutes before they found out the spacecraft had exploded.

“The first reaction was disappointment because they were so excited about seeing their experiments launched,” she said. “The second was I was grateful knowing it was an unmanned capsule and the launch pad wasn’t destroyed.”

As the students ride on a bus home to Tennessee, Ashe said they’re disappointed but feeling resilient and ready to take NASA up on an offer to once again fly their experiment to space on a future flight.

“NASA was really good and got all of the students together,” Ashe said. “They didn’t have any details to share but they did reassure that part of space flight is hard, getting out of Earth’s gravity.”

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SpaceX Rocket Explosion Destroys Students’ Science Experiment

Courtesy Becky Ashe(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Four Tennessee students had the thrill of watching their science experiment being launched into space on board SpaceX’s Dragon vehicle this weekend, only to find out minutes later that the rocket, then out of their sights, had exploded in mid-air and was a total loss.

Keagan Cross, 14, worked on an experiment with three other students from Gresham Middle School in Knoxville, Tennessee, that was designed to measure the effects micro-gravity at the International Space Station would have on antibiotics.

Watching the launch, “it was this elated feeling of something I touched is in space,” Cross told ABC News Monday on the bus ride home from the launch at Cape Canaveral, Florida. “And then hearing the news, it was devastating and disappointing.”

It was the second loss in recent months for students enrolled in the science, technology, engineering and math program for schools in Knox County, Tennessee. Last October, a group watched as Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft blew up on the launch pad.

While the Cygnus launch was a fiery failure on the launch pad, Becky Ashe, the Knox County Schools coordinator for science, technology, engineering and math projects, told ABC News it wasn’t immediately apparent this time what had happened.

“That one [Cygnus] was so dramatic,” she told ABC News. “With Dragon, we were standing there watching the launch. It looked successful and then we noticed the second cloud of smoke, and several of us were like, ‘Is that supposed to happen?'”

Ashe said it took a couple of minutes before they found out the spacecraft had exploded.

“The first reaction was disappointment because they were so excited about seeing their experiments launched,” she said. “The second was I was grateful knowing it was an unmanned capsule and the launch pad wasn’t destroyed.”

As the students ride on a bus home to Tennessee, Ashe said they’re disappointed but feeling resilient and ready to take NASA up on an offer to once again fly their experiment to space on a future flight.

“NASA was really good and got all of the students together,” Ashe said. “They didn’t have any details to share but they did reassure that part of space flight is hard, getting out of Earth’s gravity.”

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How Police Caught Escaped Prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat

New York State Police(CONSTABLE, N.Y.) — A three-week manhunt for two escaped prisoners, called a “nightmare” by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, came to a violent end this weekend, when one inmate was shot and killed Friday and another was shot and apprehended Sunday.

After 22 days of searching by more than 1,000 law enforcement officials, here is how Richard Matt and David Sweat, both convicted murderers, were captured:

FRIDAY:

Officials announced they had reason to believe Sweat and Matt, who escaped June 6 from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, were planning to head to the border in a final play for freedom. As a result, U.S. and Canadian law enforcement sent reinforcements in an effort to squeeze the escapees and keep them from potentially making it out of the country.

Sometime before 2 p.m. Friday, a person pulling a camper near Duane, New York, heard a sound and later discovered after pulling into a campsite that there was a bullet hole in it, state police said.

After that, a tactical team was deployed to a nearby cabin near Elephant’s Head, New York, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border.

Inside, they noticed the smell of gun powder. While searching the grounds, investigators noticed movement and heard coughing, state police said.

FRIDAY, 3:45 p.m.:

At about 3:45 p.m., Matt, armed with a 20-gauge shotgun, was spotted by a law enforcement officer.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents “verbally challenged him [Matt] and told him to put up his hands,” but he “didn’t comply,” State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said at a Friday evening news conference.

Matt was shot and killed by a Customs and Border Protection SWAT team. He had been serving 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of beating a man to death.

Investigators then set up a perimeter in the area around where Matt was killed to try and corner Sweat, state police told ABC News.

FRIDAY EVENING:

Friday evening, there was an active gun battle in the woods where they believed Sweat was cornered, but Cuomo later said authorities were not sure where Sweat was.

SUNDAY, 3:20 p.m.:

At about 3:20 p.m., State Police Sgt. Jay Cook was on a routine patrol in the area of Constable, New York, about 1.5 miles south of the Canadian border, when he spotted Sweat on a road, police said.

Cook ordered him to stop, but Sweat started to run, police said. Cook then opened fire, striking Sweat twice in the torso.

Sweat, who was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of killing a sheriff’s deputy, was not armed, New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said. No law enforcement personnel were injured during the capture, an official briefed on the manhunt said.

SUNDAY EVENING:

Sweat was in critical condition at Albany Medical Center, an official there said Sunday evening, after being transferred from Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, New York.

Sweat has not yet been interviewed by investigators, D’Amico said Sunday evening.

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Mystery Object Lights Up the Sky over Parts of Georgia

Christopher Brandon Hicks(NEW YORK) — A slow-moving mystery object lit up parts of the Georgia sky on Sunday.

NASA has five meteor cameras in the southeast part of the U.S. that picked up video of the object that was moving at approximately 14,500 mph at 1:30 a.m.

William Cooke, lead for NASA Meteroid Environment Office, told ABC News Monday that “14,500 miles per hour is pretty fast, but it’s too slow to be a meteor. It was possibly reentry of space junk.”

Cooke added that objects will typically have to be moving at 20,000 miles per hour or faster to be classified as a meteor.

Stacey Alexander, 39, saw the bright light move across the night sky for about a minute outside her work building in Rome, Georgia.

“I honestly thought it was a plane that had caught on fire and was about to crash,” she told ABC News Monday.

“It looked like it just kept getting closer to the ground and was on its way to crashing when it disappeared,” she added.

Alexander compared it to a long-lasting shooting star that never lost its shine.

There were more than 120 eyewitness reports of Sunday night’s light in the sky, according to Cooke.

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How Police Caught Escaped Prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat

New York State Police(CONSTABLE, N.Y.) — A three-week manhunt for two escaped prisoners, called a “nightmare” by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, came to a violent end this weekend, when one inmate was shot and killed Friday and another was shot and apprehended Sunday.

After 22 days of searching by more than 1,000 law enforcement officials, here is how Richard Matt and David Sweat, both convicted murderers, were captured:

FRIDAY:

Officials announced they had reason to believe Sweat and Matt, who escaped June 6 from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, were planning to head to the border in a final play for freedom. As a result, U.S. and Canadian law enforcement sent reinforcements in an effort to squeeze the escapees and keep them from potentially making it out of the country.

Sometime before 2 p.m. Friday, a person pulling a camper near Duane, New York, heard a sound and later discovered after pulling into a campsite that there was a bullet hole in it, state police said.

After that, a tactical team was deployed to a nearby cabin near Elephant’s Head, New York, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border.

Inside, they noticed the smell of gun powder. While searching the grounds, investigators noticed movement and heard coughing, state police said.

FRIDAY, 3:45 p.m.:

At about 3:45 p.m., Matt, armed with a 20-gauge shotgun, was spotted by a law enforcement officer.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents “verbally challenged him [Matt] and told him to put up his hands,” but he “didn’t comply,” State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said at a Friday evening news conference.

Matt was shot and killed by a Customs and Border Protection SWAT team. He had been serving 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of beating a man to death.

Investigators then set up a perimeter in the area around where Matt was killed to try and corner Sweat, state police told ABC News.

FRIDAY EVENING:

Friday evening, there was an active gun battle in the woods where they believed Sweat was cornered, but Cuomo later said authorities were not sure where Sweat was.

SUNDAY, 3:20 p.m.:

At about 3:20 p.m., State Police Sgt. Jay Cook was on a routine patrol in the area of Constable, New York, about 1.5 miles south of the Canadian border, when he spotted Sweat on a road, police said.

Cook ordered him to stop, but Sweat started to run, police said. Cook then opened fire, striking Sweat twice in the torso.

Sweat, who was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of killing a sheriff’s deputy, was not armed, New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said. No law enforcement personnel were injured during the capture, an official briefed on the manhunt said.

SUNDAY EVENING:

Sweat was in critical condition at Albany Medical Center, an official there said Sunday evening, after being transferred from Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, New York.

Sweat has not yet been interviewed by investigators, D’Amico said Sunday evening.

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Mystery Object Lights Up the Sky over Parts of Georgia

Christopher Brandon Hicks(NEW YORK) — A slow-moving mystery object lit up parts of the Georgia sky on Sunday.

NASA has five meteor cameras in the southeast part of the U.S. that picked up video of the object that was moving at approximately 14,500 mph at 1:30 a.m.

William Cooke, lead for NASA Meteroid Environment Office, told ABC News Monday that “14,500 miles per hour is pretty fast, but it’s too slow to be a meteor. It was possibly reentry of space junk.”

Cooke added that objects will typically have to be moving at 20,000 miles per hour or faster to be classified as a meteor.

Stacey Alexander, 39, saw the bright light move across the night sky for about a minute outside her work building in Rome, Georgia.

“I honestly thought it was a plane that had caught on fire and was about to crash,” she told ABC News Monday.

“It looked like it just kept getting closer to the ground and was on its way to crashing when it disappeared,” she added.

Alexander compared it to a long-lasting shooting star that never lost its shine.

There were more than 120 eyewitness reports of Sunday night’s light in the sky, according to Cooke.

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Former Jeweler, Teacher Now Attorney in DC Mansion Murders

Metropolitan Police Department(WASHINGTON) — The new attorney for accused Washington, D.C. mansion killer Daron Wint has handled sex crimes, gang violence, attempted murder and corporate malfeasance, but only once before has he handled a first-degree murder case.

Even so, attorney Sean Hanover, 41, a former businessman and teacher, said he felt compelled to take the case after meeting Wint’s mother, sister and brother.

“They left a phone message saying they needed help in the D.C. mansion murder case and, frankly, at first we didn’t think it was real,” Hanover said. “When we met and heard their story we felt compelled to help. Most people can’t afford a $100,000 defense.”

Hanover said his services will cost Wint’s family considerably less.

Wint, 34, remains the sole suspect in custody in the May slayings of Savvas Savopoulos, his wife, Amy, their son, Philip, and their housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa.

Police have said they have DNA evidence linking Wint to the house, but also believe other accomplices are still at large. At a recent news conference, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier declined to comment on the case, saying only, “It is still under active investigation.”

Hanover has met with Wint in jail three times.

“Our client has really opened up and is confident the truth of the matter will show him in a better light,” Hanover said.

Hanover, who practices in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, graduated from law school in 2008 and established Hanover Law with four other attorneys. Prior to law school, Hanover was a jeweler, goldsmith and owner of the Twin Brooks Hallmark & Jewelry Store in Virginia. He also worked summers as a science and math teacher at the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Magnet School in Alexandria, Virginia.

“When I graduated from college with degrees in human resources and industrial relations, I wanted to go to law school, but I knew I couldn’t make any money for a long time, so I went into business,” he said. “When I felt financially secure, I knew I wanted to go to law school because I had always felt a passion for the law and people who could not afford to defend themselves.”

Hanover pointed with pride to the only painting in his law office conference room, which depicts four white police officers with shields towering over a black man sitting on the ground, head bowed, with the words, ‘I am a man,’ scrawled next to him.

His landing the high-profile case created some buzz at the public defender’s office, which had been representing Wint, because of Hanover’s limited murder case experience.

Hanover said his firm can handle the heat, and he pointed to a victory Friday in a non-murder jury case in D.C. Superior Court.

“We have very strong investigators and experts and years of experience in very complicated cases,” Hanover said. “Mr. Wint will receive an excellent defense.”

Wint’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday in D.C. Superior Court.

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Meet the Sergeant Who Caught Escaped Prisoner David Sweat

New York State Police(NEW YORK) — A veteran New York State Police sergeant was alone and on a routine patrol when he shot and captured convicted murderer David Sweat Sunday afternoon.

At about 3:20 p.m., State Police Sgt. Jay Cook was supervising a perimeter post when he spotted Sweat on a road near Route 30 in the area of Constable, New York, approximately 1.5 miles south of the Canadian border. Authorities believe Sweat was trying to make a final break toward the border, officials said.

Cook ordered him to stop, but Sweat then turned and fled across a field, New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said.

When Cook, who is also a firearms instructor, realized Sweat might get away, he fired two shots.

“He realized Sweat was going to make it to a tree line, and possibly could have disappeared — and he fired two shots from his service weapon,” D’Amico told reporters.

Cook “was alone when this happened,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Sgt. Cook happened to be from Troop B, which is this area, so he knew the area very well. But he was still alone and it was a very courageous act.”

Cook is a 21-year veteran who has spent most of his career in the area, said D’Amico, who added, “I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Cook has two teenage daughters, ages 16 and 17, Cuomo said at a news conference Sunday.

“I said to Sgt. Cook … to go home tonight and tell your daughters that you’re a hero,” Cuomo told reporters. “With teenage girls, that will probably last a good 24 hours and then you go back to being a regular dad, as I well know.”

Officials said Sweat was shot twice in the torso and was hospitalized in critical condition. Sweat, who had been serving a life sentence after he was convicted of killing a sheriff’s deputy, was not armed, D’Amico said.

Sweat received medical treatment from emergency personnel and was seen being transported to Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, New York, then taken to Albany Medical Center, officials said.

No law enforcement personnel were injured during the capture, an official briefed on the manhunt said.

On June 6, Sweat and another prisoner, Richard Matt, escaped from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border, police said. More than 1,000 law enforcement officers were involved in the search.

Matt, also a convicted murderer, was shot and killed by authorities Friday in Elephant’s Head, New York, about 16 miles south of where Sweat was apprehended Sunday, according to police.

An investigation is ongoing to find out who was involved in the escape, Cuomo said on Sunday, adding that there is also an investigation into the systems at the prison. Two prison employees, Joyce Mitchell and Gene Palmer, have been charged in connection with the escape.

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