Review Category : National News

Former Live-In Nanny Who Wouldn’t Leave Says She Feels ‘Taken Advantage of’

Courtesy Bracamonte Family(UPLAND, Calif.) — The former live-in nanny to a family that says she wouldn’t leave after they fired her over a month ago says she feels exploited and taken advantage of by them.

“I think they’re people that try to get something for nothing,” Diane Stretton, who’s been living in her car, told ABC News’ 20/20 about Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte. “I think they’re very cheap, and I think that they try to use people.”

The Bracamontes’ lawyer, Marc Cohen, says they now have to right to change the locks after Stretton vacated the property. Stretton has 18 days to collect her things, he claims. Stretton says this move, not sanctioned by a court, would be “unlawful.”

Stretton, 64, said she was in ill-health and homeless when she answered Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte’s ad looking for someone to help around their Upland, California, house and with their children in exchange for room and board.

“When I sleep in the car, my legs really swell up,” Stretton said. “And I was having a lot of trouble with my legs, so my friends said, ‘Why don’t you look on Craigslist?’”

Stretton said it seemed like a fair trade for her and the Bracamontes. “For 20 hours a week [of] work, I’d get my legs up and take care of my heart condition and get to sleep in a bed,” Stretton said.

“It was help out with the kids when needed, to pick up little things and to maybe prep up a little bit of dinner if [Marcella] was running a little bit late,” Ralph Bracamonte told ABC News’ 20/20.

“She was awesome,” Marcella Bracamonte told 20/20, referring to Stretton when she first started the job.

But Stretton said the Bracamontes began to expect more of her and that she worked more hours than they were entitled to for the value of her room.

“I feel very exploited and very much taken advantage of,” Stretton said. “They didn’t know I was homeless, but they knew that I didn’t have a lot. They knew that it would be difficult for me to do something else.”

A few weeks into their arrangement, the Bracamontes said Stretton would stay in her room, demanding meals and refusing to work. Marcella Bracamonte said she gave her warnings and wrote a “last chance letter,” laying down new ground rules, including steam cleaning all the floors either Friday or Saturday, cooking meals and helping on trips with the kids, which Stretton refused to sign.

“She was absolutely part of our family. And then she changed,” said Ralph Bracamonte.

Marcella Bracamonte said she fired Stretton on June 6, 2014, but Stretton refused to move out. Stretton said she wasn’t fired and that she quit.

“She kept asking me and pressuring me, you know, ‘Please sign the letter, please sign the letter.’ Well, the letter was written very, very vaguely,” Stretton said. “The issue was they just thought that they could have me 24/7.”

According to Stretton, she had an agreement with the Bracamotes that, if she were to quit or be fired, they would give each other 30 days’ notice.

“So I was a tenant at will. I expected during that period of time all of the amenities, whatever the circumstances of your rental agreement are … until the 30 days are up,” she said.

By law, the Bracamontes couldn’t enter Stretton’s room in their own home. Stretton was legally a tenant, and in California, you can’t force a tenant out on the street just because an agreement has ended.

“She has a legal right to come in there at any time,” Marc Cohen, the Bracamontes’ lawyer, told 20/20. “And this family is going to have to live with Ms. Stretton and the fear of Ms. Stretton.”

Stretton’s legal history emerged during her standoff with the Bracamontes. She has a history of litigation and is listed on the state of California’s Vexatious Litigant List for cases filed in San Diego Superior Court, but Stretton said she shouldn’t be on the list.

“Because, a lot of those cases, first of all I won, but some of them settled in my favor,” Stretton explained. “But they were written in such a way that you couldn’t tell that. So they counted against me for that.”

Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte said the ordeal has put stress on their marriage and frightened their three children. But Stretton claimed she’s the victim.

“They were yelling swear words at me and calling me four-letter words and everything else,” she said. “All I did was I didn’t sign the contract. I didn’t deserve that kind of treatment.”

With her belongings still in the Bracamontes’ home, Stretton said she doesn’t intend to live there any longer.

“My problem is I wanted to be able to move out without being a spectacle,” Stretton said. “They keep inviting the media in there, and I was taking things out a little bit at a time.”

Last week, Stretton said she wanted certain conditions met before she moved out, including being allowed to sleep in the house several more nights, to use the shower and to have the media go away from the house.

Until then, when asked what lesson she learned out of everything, Stretton said, “When I get my pension, I’m going to get a place and live by myself.”

“Even if it’s a studio apartment, I’m going to live by myself,” she said.

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Former Live-In Nanny Who Wouldn’t Leave Says She Feels ‘Taken Advantage of’

Courtesy Bracamonte Family(UPLAND, Calif.) — The former live-in nanny to a family that says she wouldn’t leave after they fired her over a month ago says she feels exploited and taken advantage of by them.

“I think they’re people that try to get something for nothing,” Diane Stretton, who’s been living in her car, told ABC News’ 20/20 about Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte. “I think they’re very cheap, and I think that they try to use people.”

The Bracamontes’ lawyer, Marc Cohen, says they now have to right to change the locks after Stretton vacated the property. Stretton has 18 days to collect her things, he claims. Stretton says this move, not sanctioned by a court, would be “unlawful.”

Stretton, 64, said she was in ill-health and homeless when she answered Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte’s ad looking for someone to help around their Upland, California, house and with their children in exchange for room and board.

“When I sleep in the car, my legs really swell up,” Stretton said. “And I was having a lot of trouble with my legs, so my friends said, ‘Why don’t you look on Craigslist?’”

Stretton said it seemed like a fair trade for her and the Bracamontes. “For 20 hours a week [of] work, I’d get my legs up and take care of my heart condition and get to sleep in a bed,” Stretton said.

“It was help out with the kids when needed, to pick up little things and to maybe prep up a little bit of dinner if [Marcella] was running a little bit late,” Ralph Bracamonte told ABC News’ 20/20.

“She was awesome,” Marcella Bracamonte told 20/20, referring to Stretton when she first started the job.

But Stretton said the Bracamontes began to expect more of her and that she worked more hours than they were entitled to for the value of her room.

“I feel very exploited and very much taken advantage of,” Stretton said. “They didn’t know I was homeless, but they knew that I didn’t have a lot. They knew that it would be difficult for me to do something else.”

A few weeks into their arrangement, the Bracamontes said Stretton would stay in her room, demanding meals and refusing to work. Marcella Bracamonte said she gave her warnings and wrote a “last chance letter,” laying down new ground rules, including steam cleaning all the floors either Friday or Saturday, cooking meals and helping on trips with the kids, which Stretton refused to sign.

“She was absolutely part of our family. And then she changed,” said Ralph Bracamonte.

Marcella Bracamonte said she fired Stretton on June 6, 2014, but Stretton refused to move out. Stretton said she wasn’t fired and that she quit.

“She kept asking me and pressuring me, you know, ‘Please sign the letter, please sign the letter.’ Well, the letter was written very, very vaguely,” Stretton said. “The issue was they just thought that they could have me 24/7.”

According to Stretton, she had an agreement with the Bracamotes that, if she were to quit or be fired, they would give each other 30 days’ notice.

“So I was a tenant at will. I expected during that period of time all of the amenities, whatever the circumstances of your rental agreement are … until the 30 days are up,” she said.

By law, the Bracamontes couldn’t enter Stretton’s room in their own home. Stretton was legally a tenant, and in California, you can’t force a tenant out on the street just because an agreement has ended.

“She has a legal right to come in there at any time,” Marc Cohen, the Bracamontes’ lawyer, told 20/20. “And this family is going to have to live with Ms. Stretton and the fear of Ms. Stretton.”

Stretton’s legal history emerged during her standoff with the Bracamontes. She has a history of litigation and is listed on the state of California’s Vexatious Litigant List for cases filed in San Diego Superior Court, but Stretton said she shouldn’t be on the list.

“Because, a lot of those cases, first of all I won, but some of them settled in my favor,” Stretton explained. “But they were written in such a way that you couldn’t tell that. So they counted against me for that.”

Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte said the ordeal has put stress on their marriage and frightened their three children. But Stretton claimed she’s the victim.

“They were yelling swear words at me and calling me four-letter words and everything else,” she said. “All I did was I didn’t sign the contract. I didn’t deserve that kind of treatment.”

With her belongings still in the Bracamontes’ home, Stretton said she doesn’t intend to live there any longer.

“My problem is I wanted to be able to move out without being a spectacle,” Stretton said. “They keep inviting the media in there, and I was taking things out a little bit at a time.”

Last week, Stretton said she wanted certain conditions met before she moved out, including being allowed to sleep in the house several more nights, to use the shower and to have the media go away from the house.

Until then, when asked what lesson she learned out of everything, Stretton said, “When I get my pension, I’m going to get a place and live by myself.”

“Even if it’s a studio apartment, I’m going to live by myself,” she said.

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Lone Survivor of Texas Shooting Massacre Released from Hospital

Harris County Sheriff’s Department(HOUSTON) — The sole survivor of the Wednesday night shooting in Spring, Texas that left six people dead was released from the hospital on Friday.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital said in a statement on Friday evening that Cassidy Stay, 15, was discharged in good condition. She is expected to make a full recovery.

“The entire staff at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital has been profoundly touched by Cassidy’s resilient spirit, inner strength, and hopeful heart during this time of indescribably shock and grief,” the statement said. “We were honored to be able to help care for this brave young woman at her critical time of need.”

Cassidy’s parents, Katie and Stephen Stay, and four children — two boys and two girls between the ages of 4 and 13 were the six shot and killed by Ron Haskell. Cassidy Stay survived despite being shot in the head and was able to call 911 to alert police that Haskell was allegedly planning to drive to kill other relatives.

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Lone Survivor of Texas Shooting Massacre Released from Hospital

Harris County Sheriff’s Department(HOUSTON) — The sole survivor of the Wednesday night shooting in Spring, Texas that left six people dead was released from the hospital on Friday.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital said in a statement on Friday evening that Cassidy Stay, 15, was discharged in good condition. She is expected to make a full recovery.

“The entire staff at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital has been profoundly touched by Cassidy’s resilient spirit, inner strength, and hopeful heart during this time of indescribably shock and grief,” the statement said. “We were honored to be able to help care for this brave young woman at her critical time of need.”

Cassidy’s parents, Katie and Stephen Stay, and four children — two boys and two girls between the ages of 4 and 13 were the six shot and killed by Ron Haskell. Cassidy Stay survived despite being shot in the head and was able to call 911 to alert police that Haskell was allegedly planning to drive to kill other relatives.

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Appeals Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage Ban, State Can Appeal to Supreme Court

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) — An appeals court ruled against Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage on Friday, giving the state 10 days to appeal to the United States Supreme Court before the current stay on same-sex marriage is lifted.

The court ruled on Friday that the state had not been able to demonstrate how allowing married same-sex couples to apply for spousal benefits would cause irreparable harm, the Salt Lake Tribune said. A stay had previously been put in place to allow for the appeals court to make a ruling and will expire on July 21.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the state Attorney General’s Office says it intends to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Still, if the Supreme Court does not act to impose a stay in the lawsuit, same-sex couples married in Utah will be permitted to apply for in-state benefits. Over 1,000 couples married in Utah during a 17-day window when same-sex unions were legal, the Salt Lake Tribune reports, following the initial ruling against the ban on Dec. 20, 2013.

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Flight Makes Emergency Landing on Island in Pacific Ocean After Burning Smell Reported

(HONOLULU) — A United Boeing 777 diverted to the tiny Pacific island of Midway Thursday night after a burning smell filled the plane while it flew over one of the most remote places on earth.

The airline will only say it was a mechanical issue. But this may have been a fairly serious incident. No one was hurt but those on board had the scare of their lives, says Teresita Smith from Maryland, who was traveling onboard with 25 family members.

“The smell was getting stronger…it smelled like something burning,” she told ABC News in a phone interview Friday from Honolulu.

The departure had originally been delayed in Honolulu because of the odor but was cleared for takeoff for the eight-hour flight to Guam after about three hours, she said.

And then five hours into the flight the smell returned. ”In the back section of the plane, alarms were going off,” Smith said. Then after the pilot announced the plane would be diverting to Midway, the power seemed to go out and the plane dropped precipitously. ”It was very scary,” she said. “It shook a lot of people up.”

The captain told passengers that there were electrical problems in the cockpit and the radar had gone out, she added.

Once on the island, which is mostly deserted and holds an abandoned military base, the passengers were forced to wait six hours in an old gymnasium on the former base until a replacement plane arrived.

About 30 people who live on the island came by with food for the passengers. “These people brought all the food they had to us,” she said, adding that people were very grateful for the effort.

The passengers are now back in Honolulu without their luggage, which is still on the plane stuck on Midway. The locals had no way to get the luggage off the plane.

She said they felt like they were in an episode of Lost with a broken plane on a remote island in the middle of the night.

United confirmed that the plane is still on Midway. In response to Smith’s account the airline will only say it was a mechanical issue. She says she did a lot of praying on board.

Midway is an unorganized, unincorporated US territory that played a big part in World War II because of its strategic location. It’s 3,200 west of California in the dead center of the vast Pacific.

Midway is an emergency diversion point for transpacific flights. It has been used before, but rarely, as a place where planes go when they have a problem over the Pacific Ocean and can’t make it back to Hawaii.

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Retired Police Captain in Florida Movie Theater Shooting Released on Bail

Creatas/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) — The retired police captain accused of fatally shooting a man in a Florida movie theater during an argument over text messaging was granted bond on Friday.

Curtis Reeves, 71, was arrested nearly six months ago for his part in the shooting of Chad Oulson, 43. The shooting occurred during a confrontation over Olson’s texting during the previews before a showing of Lone Survivor at a Wesley Chapel, Florida, theater.

Reeves was released Friday on $150,000 bail. He will be confined to his home, with the exception of attending church, court, going to the Sheriff’s Office, medical appointments and the grocery store. He will be forced to wear an electronic ankle monitor equipped with GPS.

Reeves became annoyed with Oulson’s using his cellphone and went to tell the movie theater managers, according to authorities.

When he returned, the argument escalated, authorities said.

Reeves, who’s in jail after his bail request was denied, is charged with second-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty, claiming he acted in self-defense. Reeves’ attorneys say that Oulson may have thrown a cellphone at Reeves.

Witnesses say the only thing Oulson threw was a bag of popcorn.

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Dangerous Surf Conditions Prompt Rescue Surge in California

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — This summer has been an uncommonly busy one for Los Angeles County lifeguards with a 300 percent increase in rescues down the coast.

Last week, a lifeguard drowned in nearby Newport Beach while attempting to rescue a distressed swimmer, authorities said. He was the first lifeguard to have drowned on duty in the beach in a century.

“We’ve had virtually no winter weather this year and a big swell in the last few days,” Los Angeles County Lifeguard Section Chief Chris Linkletter told ABC News. “A combination of all that plus the recent holiday weekend have kept us slammed.”

One spot that has caused a lot of trouble for lifeguards is a cove of cliffs in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., where people like to jump and swim despite rough water.

“Social media has sensationalized rock jumping off these points,” said Linkletter. “It’s a beautiful nature reserve, so people are already out there to hike and some can’t resist the urge to jump in.”

The thrill-seekers are often caught off guard by how strong the waves are, prompting numerous rescues by lifeguards and onlookers. Just since July 1, lifeguards have had 50 rescues in that area, according to authorities.

A 19-year-old recently drowned in that cove, and searchers continue to look for his body using helicopters, boats and divers, authorities said. The young man, identified as Joseph Sanchez, was swimming with several friends when they became distressed in rough waters. The others tried to save Sanchez by throwing him a rope, but were unable to reach him, police said.

His friends posted condolence messages on Twitter.

City officials are asking swimmers to stay out of the waters off of Inspiration Point because of the strong currents.

“We’re leaving the hiking trail open, but we are closing the access points to the ocean,” said Linkletter. “We’re encouraging people to swim near lifeguard towers.”

Officials say the surge in rescues in Palos Verdes has taken the city by surprise.

“We lifeguards are used to being busy, but the city hasn’t had to cordon off areas and access to the beach before,” said Linkeletter. “They’ve made all these beautiful trails, but we need to let people know that it’s just not safe where the trails end.”

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‘Missing’ Boy’s Stepmom Threatened to Make Him ‘Disappear,’ Court Told

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) — The Detroit boy who was allegedly kept hidden in the family’s basement has told authorities that his stepmother would punch him and threaten to make him disappear, according to a petition filed in Wayne County Court.

Charlie Bothuell V, 12, told the court that he had been disciplined with a PVC pipe, sometimes to the point that he was too sore to sit or walk, and has been abused by his father “for the entire two years he has resided” with him, the document states. It also said Charlie was found “shivering and hungry.”

In addition, he said he was forced to perform a punishing exercise program more suitable for a grown athlete.

The petition filed in juvenile court last week detailed abuse accusations made by the boy against his father, Charlie Bothuell IV, and his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell.

The boy’s alleged plight became public after a massive 11-day search for the boy that ended when he was discovered hiding in his own basement.

Bothuell V accused his stepmother of punching him and threatening to kill him, telling the boy that “I can make you disappear,” according to the petition.

Dillard-Bothuell had put him in the basement on June 14 after accusing him of lying to her about completing his evening workout. The boy told authorities that he heard his stepmother go upstairs, call his father and told him Charlie went missing and that “she looked everywhere.”

The boy said when his stepmother came back to the basement, she would tell him to “shut up, stay quiet, and don’t say anything, no matter what you hear.”

The workout the 12-year-old was subjected to was grueling. He was forced to do 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups and 100 jumping jacks twice a day, he claimed. He would have to curl a 25-pound weight on each arm and do 5,000 revolutions on an exercise machine. If he didn’t finish the routine in 30 minutes, he would have to start over again the document states.

The boy was discovered while his father was talking to Nancy Grace live on air. When Grace informed the father his son has found alive in his basement, Bothuell IV appeared stunned and speechless for 10 seconds.

“I checked my basement. The FBI checked my basement. The police checked my basement. My wife checked my basement,” Bothuell IV said.

The boy is now living with his birth mother, and no charges have been brought against his father and stepmother, according to Detroit police spokesperson Michael Woody.

“Currently, we are waiting for parental analysis to come back to the police station,” Woody told ABC News Friday. “We have submitted all the evidence to the crime lab, and we will turn the completed package to the prosecutor’s office for recommendations on charges.”

Mark Magidson, Dillard-Bothuell’s lawyer, could not be reached for comment by ABC News.

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Texas Massacre Suspect Falls to Knees During Court Appearance

Harris County Sheriff’s Department(HOUSTON) — Ron Haskell, accused of executing four children and two adults, dropped to his knees in a court Friday morning after hearing a statement from the sole survivor of his alleged rampage.

Haskell, 33, started swaying before he dropped to the floor during Friday morning’s arraignment on a capital murder charge and had to be helped back into his chair by deputies. He was then wheeled out of court.

In spite of the dramatic collapse, Haskell was blank-faced throughout and emotionless during the hearing.

Haskell is charged with capital murder after allegedly breaking into the home of his ex-wife’s sister Wednesday night, shooting his former sister-in-law, his former brother-in-law, and five children.

One of the five children, 15-year-old Cassidy Stay, survived despite being shot in the head and was able to call 911 to alert police that Haskell was allegedly planning to drive to kill other relatives.

“We did intercede (Haskell’s) vehicle en route to the second location that the surviving victim was able to tell us about,” Harris County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ryan Sullivan told ABC News.

Cassidy, who has been hailed as a hero by her grandparents, is hospitalized with a head wound, but is expected to make a full recovery.

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