Review Category : National News

Husband of Strangled Philadelphia Jogger Arrested in Her Murder

iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — Police said Sunday they have charged the husband of a jogger found strangled in a Philadelphia park.

Police say Christopher Murray, 48, admitted to strangling his wife, Connie McClain-Murray, in Pennypack Park last Monday.

When McClain-Murray did not return from an evening walk, her husband reported her missing. Hours later, police say a neighbor walking her dogs found her behind a park bench. The death left the city on edge.

Philadelphia Police Lt. Philip Riehl, speaking at a press conference, said Murray was questioned early into the investigation and remained a suspect. He failed a lie detector test Saturday and later confessed, police said.

“We believe that he followed her and intercepted her somewhere along the pathway,” Riehl said.

Riehl said Murray has expressed remorse.

“I think it was more of a rage incident more than premeditated,” he said.

Murray spoke to the Philadelphia Daily News following the death, saying, “My wife was a beautiful woman — a loving, caring mother, a fabulous friend.”

Murray was denied bail, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 27.

Family and friends held a memorial service Sunday for McClain-Murray, the mother of two girls.

Her brother addressed the situation in a statement, saying, “We are very saddened with the news of my sister’s murder. Now our main concern is my nieces Emily and Elizabeth at this time.”

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Supermoon Lights Up Night Sky

NASA/Bill Ingalls(NEW YORK) — Stargazers who stayed indoors Sunday night missed out on a real treat. The biggest and fullest moon of the year — a supermoon — lit up the night sky.

A supermoon occurs when the Earth is at its closest distance to the moon.

The full moon occurred at 2:09 p.m. EDT, according to Space.com. This means that while onlookers in North America were treated to a spectacular moon on the horizon at nightfall, they were technically looking at a waning gibbous moon.

There are four to six supermoons every year, and during those times, the moon is 30,000 miles closer to the Earth than the normal distance. NASA tweeted that the August supermoon was expected to be 14 percent closer to Earth and 30 percent brighter than other full moons.

While this supermoon was billed as the best of 2014, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson pointed out on Twitter that it was only slightly more superior than the last full moon on July 13.

July’s full moon is to August’s “Super Moon” what a 16.0 inch pizza is to a 16.1 inch pizza. I’m just saying.

— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 11, 2014

If you’re kicking yourself for missing the free show in the sky, you have another chance.

Put Sept. 8 on your calendar — that’s when the next supermoon is expected to light up the sky.

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Mother in Hot Car Death Being Treated as a ‘Victim’

ABC News(ATLANTA) — The mother of a Georgia boy who died in a hot-car tragedy in June may be legally cleared in the case, her lawyer said.

Cobb County’s District Attorney sent Leanna Harris a victim impact statement, identifying her as a victim in the case of 22-month-old Cooper — and requiring her to detail how the loss has affected her.

In that document, Harris described the amount of grief the death of her son has caused as “indefinable … and that not a moment goes by when she doesn’t think about him, or what their future would have held.”

Her attorney, Lawrence Zimmerman, said the statement showed that she is not suspected in Cooper’s death.

“She went from having what she believes is a beautiful, loving family to nothing,” Zimmerman said. “How would anybody deal with that? I don’t know how she stands up every day.”

Cooper died after being locked inside his father’s SUV for nearly seven hours on a 90-degree day. Justin Ross Harris, Cooper’s father, is charged with murder and child cruelty. He has pleaded not guilty.

Leanna Harris has not been charged with any crime, but prosecutors questioned her reaction on the day of her son’s passing.

“She didn’t show any emotion when we notified her of Cooper’s death,” Detective Phil Stoddard said in court last month.

In the victim impact statement, Harris wrote that she now lives “a tortured existence.”

She lost her job and is now receiving counseling for depression, she wrote.

“On that form [where] it asks relation to victim, she wrote ‘self,'” Zimmerman said. “That’s because she’s considered a victim under Georgia law, and by them sending it to her, I think they’re alluding to the fact that she really is the victim.”

She described her husband as a “wonderful father … [that] would never have knowingly allowed any harm to come to our son.”

Harris continues to stand by her husband. She sat in court during his last appearance, when he was denied bond. His trial date is still pending.

Zimmerman said it would be unusual for someone who’s labeled a victim to suddenly become a suspect. The DA’s office released a statement to ABC News, claiming that sending the statement is a standard procedure — and part of the investigation by police.

Harris honored her son on what would have been his birthday just more than one week ago, hand-crafting a memorial that read, “Happy second birthday to our buddy.”

Zimmerman was hopeful that Harris will be exonerated.

“I hope one day they’ll stand up and say they’re not going to charge her,” he said. “We don’t know when that will be, if ever, but we hope that happens.”

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Tensions Mount in Missouri Town After Unarmed Teen Is Allegedly Shot by Cop

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — Tensions in a St. Louis suburb are mounting after an unarmed black teen was allegedly shot and killed by a cop following what authorities have described as a fight inside a police car last Saturday.

Protests Sunday evening outside the police station in Ferguson, Missouri, took a violent turn, with looting and rock throwing that damaged several cop cars. Late into the night, riot trucks and K9 units were sent in to try and restore order. Some witnesses described the scene as “out of control.”

Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, said the incident Saturday began when the officer allegedly had an altercation with two people, one of whom, he said, assaulted him in his police car.

A struggle for the officer’s gun ensued, according to Belmar, whereupon the officer said he got out of his vehicle and shot “at a subject.”

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was killed, having been shot several times. The other person involved was not arrested but police are trying to contact him.

On Sunday, a woman who says she witnessed the shooting of Brown told ABC News the teen had his hands up when he was killed.

Piaget Crenshaw said Brown had turned around and was facing police with his hands in the air when the officer fired. She said a stray bullet from the police officer’s gun hit a neighbor’s home, and she was surprised no one else was injured.

Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, called the shooting of her son murder, and said she hopes to see the police officer who shot him fired and put in jail.

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Tensions Mount in Missouri Town After Unarmed Teen Is Allegedly Shot by Cop

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — Tensions in a St. Louis suburb are mounting after an unarmed black teen was allegedly shot and killed by a cop following what authorities have described as a fight inside a police car last Saturday.

Protests Sunday evening outside the police station in Ferguson, Missouri, took a violent turn, with looting and rock throwing that damaged several cop cars. Late into the night, riot trucks and K9 units were sent in to try and restore order. Some witnesses described the scene as “out of control.”

Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, said the incident Saturday began when the officer allegedly had an altercation with two people, one of whom, he said, assaulted him in his police car.

A struggle for the officer’s gun ensued, according to Belmar, whereupon the officer said he got out of his vehicle and shot “at a subject.”

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was killed, having been shot several times. The other person involved was not arrested but police are trying to contact him.

On Sunday, a woman who says she witnessed the shooting of Brown told ABC News the teen had his hands up when he was killed.

Piaget Crenshaw said Brown had turned around and was facing police with his hands in the air when the officer fired. She said a stray bullet from the police officer’s gun hit a neighbor’s home, and she was surprised no one else was injured.

Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, called the shooting of her son murder, and said she hopes to see the police officer who shot him fired and put in jail.

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Tensions Mount in Missouri Town After Unarmed Teen Is Allegedly Shot by Cop

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — Tensions in a St. Louis suburb are mounting after an unarmed black teen was allegedly shot and killed by a cop following what authorities have described as a fight inside a police car last Saturday.

Protests Sunday evening outside the police station in Ferguson, Missouri, took a violent turn, with looting and rock throwing that damaged several cop cars. Late into the night, riot trucks and K9 units were sent in to try and restore order. Some witnesses described the scene as “out of control.”

Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, said the incident Saturday began when the officer allegedly had an altercation with two people, one of whom, he said, assaulted him in his police car.

A struggle for the officer’s gun ensued, according to Belmar, whereupon the officer said he got out of his vehicle and shot “at a subject.”

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was killed, having been shot several times. The other person involved was not arrested but police are trying to contact him.

On Sunday, a woman who says she witnessed the shooting of Brown told ABC News the teen had his hands up when he was killed.

Piaget Crenshaw said Brown had turned around and was facing police with his hands in the air when the officer fired. She said a stray bullet from the police officer’s gun hit a neighbor’s home, and she was surprised no one else was injured.

Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, called the shooting of her son murder, and said she hopes to see the police officer who shot him fired and put in jail.

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Stuck Six Flags Roller Coaster Traps Riders

iStock/Thinkstock(UPPER MARLBORO, Md.) — As many as 24 people were trapped on the Joker’s Jinx roller coaster that got stuck Sunday at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Prince George’s County firefighters arrived to try to rescue the riders from the roller coaster, which was stuck on the tracks about 45 feet above the ground, according to a statement from Six Flags.

There were no reports of injuries.

According to Six Flags, the ride has a computerized safety system that can cause such the ride to stop if there is a problem detected.

“While we are not yet sure what caused the stoppage, the ride performed as it is designed to,” the Six Flags statement said.

“The ride will remain closed until the park completes a thorough investigation and both the staff and ride manufacturer have determined the ride is safe for operation,” the statement said.

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Stuck Six Flags Roller Coaster Traps Riders

iStock/Thinkstock(UPPER MARLBORO, Md.) — As many as 24 people were trapped on the Joker’s Jinx roller coaster that got stuck Sunday at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Prince George’s County firefighters arrived to try to rescue the riders from the roller coaster, which was stuck on the tracks about 45 feet above the ground, according to a statement from Six Flags.

There were no reports of injuries.

According to Six Flags, the ride has a computerized safety system that can cause such the ride to stop if there is a problem detected.

“While we are not yet sure what caused the stoppage, the ride performed as it is designed to,” the Six Flags statement said.

“The ride will remain closed until the park completes a thorough investigation and both the staff and ride manufacturer have determined the ride is safe for operation,” the statement said.

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Police ‘Cannot Say’ How Many Times Unarmed Missouri Teen Was Shot

iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Police “cannot say” how many times an 18-year-old was struck when a Ferguson, Missouri, officer shot him after an altercation — but the young man was unarmed, officials said Sunday.

“Was the other subject, the deceased, the 18-year-old, armed with a handgun or rifle or any type of weapon at the time? The answer to that is no,” said Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, which was investigating the shooting by a Ferguson Police Department officer. Police have not disclosed the name of the teen.

“It started out, the genesis of this, was a physical confrontation,” Belmar said.

The Saturday afternoon shooting in a suburb of St. Louis sparked outrage, which continued Sunday as residents marched to police headquarters to demand answers.

“It is our understanding at this point in the investigation that within the police car there was a struggle over the officer’s weapon,” Belmar said.

According to the police chief, the officer said he then got out of his vehicle and shot “at a subject.”

“There were shell casings recovered. The shell casings are all matched to one weapon, that’s the officer’s weapon,” he said. “There were more than a few shell casings recovered. I cannot say at this time how many times the subject was struck.”

The officer was able to get out of the car and the fatal shooting occurred approximately 35 feet from where the vehicle was parked.

Belmar added that it was unclear whether a second person allegedly involved in the confrontation was armed.

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JetBlue Flight Evacuated at Puerto Rico Airport

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Passengers suffered minor injuries Saturday after evacuating a New York-bound flight out of Puerto Rico.

An engine fire forced the evacuation of JetBlue Airways Flight 704 at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan around 7:14 p.m, during the time the aircraft was set to for take-off. The 186 passengers and six crew members used emergency slides to leave the aircraft, according to airport official Augustine Arellano.

Three people were taken to the hospital for minor bruises from the slide, Arellano added.

Pastor Raymond Talavera was scheduled to head home to the Bronx, New York when the engine fire broke out.

“All of a sudden there was a huge bang, a boom sound on the left side. I was in the front row so when I looked out the left side of the plane, I saw the smoke coming out of the engine,” Talavera said. “…People got up on their feet. They began to scream. They began to lose control. My hats off to the JetBlue crew. I mean they really kept everybody calm.”

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

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