Category: Social Issues

North Carolina Man Arrested After Punching Black Child

A man from North Carolina was arrested after he a video surfaced that showed him punching a young girl in the face outside of a mall on Saturday.

According to a spokesperson from the Asheville Police Department, a fight involving a group of juveniles broke out at the Asheville Mall in Asheville, North Carolina. David Stephen Bell, 51, pushed a young girl and hit her, police said.

Bell, who is from Black Mountain, North Carolina, was arrested by an off-duty police officer and charged with assault of a female under 12-years-old and two counts of assault on a female, the police spokesperson told Newsweek.

A video that was shared online shows a group of young girls yelling outside of the Asheville Mall. Bell, who is allegedly 6 foot 5 and 250 pounds, is seen pushing one of the young girls. The girl then approaches him after being pushed and  Bell proceeded to punch her to the ground.

The incident is under further investigation, police spokeswoman Christina Hallingse said Sunday. Following the incident of the fight and the circulation of the video across social media, the Asheville Mall tweeted that they are aware of the video and that someone was arrested.

“We are aware of the videos circulating on social media. The @AshevillePolice responded immediately and the situation was diffused,” the mall tweeted on Saturday. “An arrest has been made. Please contact the Asheville Police Department with further questions.”

All victims at the time of the incident refused transport to a hospital, or emergency medical care, she added.



Man Accused Of Raping 11 Year Old He Met On Tinder

DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. – A 21-year-old man in southeastern Indiana is accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

Jail records show Travis McAdams of Greendale has been charged with rape and child molesting.

Dearborn County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Dedden told FOX19 that McAdams met the underage girl on Tinder, where she portrayed herself as a 16-year-old, before chatting on SnapChat.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Fox19, McAdams met the victim at the Greendale Cinema in December 2017 or early January 2018, where the girl claims he put his arm around her neck, covered her mouth and took her to the back of a building, where he raped her.

Greendale police told FOX19 that McAdams continued to see the girl after the alleged rape, knowing that she was only 11 years old.

“She advised me that she was scared of McAdams and that’s why she continued to see him a couple of other occasions after this because she was afraid of what he might do to her,” Det. Sgt. Kendle Davis said.

The affidavit says the victim’s mother was the one to report the rape to police after learning of it in March.

McAdams was taken into custody on Dec. 14. Police say the arrest was delayed because it took a while to obtain search warrants. Since then, more woman have come forward with similar accusations, according to police.

Babysitter Accused of Killing Infant, Trying To Hide The Death From The Mother

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin baby sitter who allegedly killed a 2-month-old boy then pretended he was alive when she gave the boy back to his mother has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide.

A criminal complaint filed Friday says 28-year-old Marissa Tietsort of Wausau caused the infant’s death in October, then put him in a snowsuit and car seat and returned him to his mother — without telling her the child was dead.

Authorities found the mother trying to revive the boy, but he had died hours earlier of blunt force head injuries from multiple impacts to the head.

During a court appearance Friday, Judge Jill Falstad issued a $500,000 cash bond for Tietsort and ordered that she have no contact with children or with the victim’s family, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Tietsort, who is pregnant with her sixth child, also faces child abuse charges involving an 11-month-old girl in her care. That charge stems from an August incident. Tietsort was arrested in that case after the 2-month-old died in October.

According to the criminal complaint, the mother of the 2-month-old boy dropped him and his older brother off at Tietsort’s home on Oct. 18.

About two hours later, the baby’s mom got a text from Tietsort letting her know that there was a story about herself on a local news outlet’s website saying she had been charged with child abuse. Tietsort told the mother she was not allowed to be in contact with children and not to tell anyone she was watching her two sons. The mother came and picked up her sons about three hours later, according to the complaint.

When the victim’s mother came to pick up her infant and older son, the infant was seated in his car seat, wearing a snow suit with a hat pulled down over his eyes. The mother told police she believed her son was sleeping, as it was past 9 p.m., according to the complaint.

The boy’s mother later realized her son was not breathing, cold and stiff. Officers arrived to find the boy had “ashen skin tone, his jaw was clenched and his lips were blue.”

Tietsort told police she didn’t kill the baby, but knew he was dead, the complaint said. When her boyfriend got home that evening, they went to McDonald’s and she brought the dead baby with them, according to the complaint.

After she gave the boy back to his mother, Tietsort, her boyfriend and their son went swimming at a local hotel, the complaint said.

Uber Driver Pleads Guilty To Shooting Spree In Between Picking Up Customers

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man charged with killing six strangers between picking up rides for Uber pleaded guilty to murder on Monday, just before attorneys were set to interview jurors for his trial.

Jason Dalton’s surprise move came about three years after the shootings, which occurred over the course of a few hours in and around Kalamazoo. Dalton pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder over his attorney’s objections, triggering a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole on Feb. 5.

“Yes, I’ve wanted this for quite a while,” Dalton replied when a judge asked if the pleas were voluntary.

The 48-year-old Dalton answered “yes” to a series of questions, admitting that he shot eight people at three locations. After his arrest, police quoted Dalton as saying a “devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him on the day of the shootings.

Four women were killed in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant: Barbara Hawthorne, Dorothy “Judy” Brown, Mary Lou Nye and her sister-in-law, Mary Jo Nye. Rich Smith and his 17-year-old son, Tyler Smith, were fatally shot while looking at a pickup truck in a dealer’s lot.

Abigail Kopf, who was 14 at the time, was shot in the head during the restaurant shooting and survived. Tiana Carruthers was injured in a residential area.

Dalton had been deemed competent to stand trial and last week dropped an insanity defense. In court, he didn’t explain why he randomly shot eight people.

Dalton, the father of two children, had worked as an insurance adjuster and had no previous criminal record before the February 2016 shootings.

Prosecutor Jeff Getting said the motive behind the shootings is a question that “haunts us.”

“Everybody wants to know,” he said during a news conference after the court hearing.

Defense attorney Eusebio Solis said he advised Dalton not to plead guilty.

“But in speaking to Mr. Dalton, there are reasons” for the plea, Solis told Judge Alexander Lipsey. “There are personal reasons for him. He does not want to put his family through that, or the victims’ families, through the trial. It’s his decision.”

A gun shop owner said Dalton bought a jacket with an inside pocket designed to hold a gun just hours before the rampage. Shop owner Jon Southwick recalled Dalton “laughing and joking,” and giving a “one-armed hug” to the manager before making the purchase.
Following the guilty pleas, Getting praised investigators and others who helped during the case, especially Alexis Cornish. She was dating Tyler Smith and was in a vehicle when he and his father were shot while looking at pickup trucks.

Cornish was “extraordinarily brave” to immediately get a phone from her boyfriend’s pocket and call 911, the prosecutor said.

Dalton’s relatives and former wife released a statement, expressing condolences to Kopf, Carruthers and the victims’ families for “this senseless tragedy.”

“Nothing that we can say is adequate, but please know that our hearts are broken by the suffering which has resulted from the actions of our son and former husband,” the statement said.

New Arizona Abortion Law Makes Patients Explain Their Choices

TUCSON – Abortion has long been a controversial topic and a new law that went into effect in Arizona Jan. 1 is now adding even more conflict.

Women seeking an abortion now have to face a series of questions about their decision.

Many oppose this new law, saying it is too intrusive.

Senate Bill 1394 requires doctors to ask each patient a series of questions. Among them, there will be questions about the reason for wanting an abortion.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona Executive Director, Jodi Liggett, says these questions can bring up trauma.

“This mostly is an attempt to intimidate patients from seeking abortion care and to make providing abortion care burdensome administratively,” said Liggett.

The stated objective of the bill is to gather information.

“Look that’s apple pie. Nobody is against having more or better information, but as we do in Democracies, we have to draw a line somewhere around people’s privacy,” Liggett said.

Liggett says there is a provision that allows women to refuse to answer why they are seeking an abortion and they plan to let their patients know that up front.

Though Planned Parenthood opposes this law, others support it.

Elisa Medina, Executive Director for the Tucson non-profit Hands of Hope, says this law will help women.

“Let’s say a pregnancy is the result of sexual violence or sexual assault,” said Medina. “Regardless of what that woman chooses for the pregnancy, we want to know that information and abortion providers should want to know that information so that they can provide additional support for her.”

The bill requires doctors to ask patients if they were raped or are victims of domestic abuse. If they say yes, doctors are required by law to provide resources to seek help.

“As a sexual assault survivor personally, I think it would have been wonderful to have my medical provider talk to me about the resources that could have been available to me, so I’m surprised that anyone would be opposed to gathering more information,” Medina said. “And women don’t have to answer these questions.”

Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency

Cyntoia Denise Brown, a woman serving a life sentence for killing a man who paid her for sex when she was 16 years old, has been granted clemency, the Tennessee governor’s office said Monday.
Brown, 30, will be released to parole supervision on August 7 after serving 15 years in prison, Gov. Bill Haslam’s office said in a statement.
“This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case,” Haslam said.

“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life. Transformation should be accompanied by hope.”
Brown’s case drew the attention of several high-profile advocates including a US congressman, several Tennessee lawmakers and a number of A-List celebrities. Comedian Amy Schumer, reality star Kim Kardashian West and actress Ashley Judd were among those who called for Brown’s clemency.

Ohio Supreme Court Decides Lower Court Failed By Trying Trafficking Survivor As An Adult, But Still Upholds Conviction

The Summit County Juvenile Court in Ohio didn’t follow the law when it allowed a 15-year-old girl who was a human trafficking victim to be tried as an adult in the robbery and murder of the man who trafficked her, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

The high court, however, upheld the girl’s conviction and sentence to prison for the rest of her life.

The court ruled Alexis Martin couldn’t prove that the judge’s decision to bind her over to adult court would have changed if the juvenile court had further explored her human trafficking history.

Attorneys across Ohio working on Martin’s behalf were disappointed in the decision, which they called “illogical.”

“I believe in the court. I believe in the system,” said Megan Mattimoe, a Toledo attorney whose agency, Advocating Opportunity, assists human trafficking victims. “Here, the system failed her [Martin)] at every turn.”

Martin, who is originally from Canton, pleaded guilty to murder and felonious assault in the 2013 robbery and slaying of Angelo Kerney, 36, of Akron. She was sentenced in March 2015 to life in prison with possible parole after 21 years.

Prosecutors say Martin, Travaski Jackson and Dashaun Spear organized a robbery in November 2013 that left Kerney dead and another man with a bullet wound in his head.

Janae Jones and Martin went into the home of Kerney, and they distracted him and his brother, Alecio Samuel, by having sex with them so Jackson and Spear could rob them. Spear shot and killed Kerney. Samuel, 20, was shot in the head but survived. The four people involved were sentenced to life in prison.

Jennifer Kinsley, Martin’s Cincinnati attorney, argued before the Ohio Supreme Court that the juvenile court judge should have determined that Martin was covered by safe harbor, a 2012 law that protects children whose crimes are tied to them being human trafficking victims. This would have triggered a requirement for the juvenile court to appoint a guardian ad litem to explore Martin’s history and make a recommendation to the court on what was best for her.

Martin, who is now 20, had a troubled childhood, with both of her parents and her stepfather involved with drugs. Her mother went to prison for drug trafficking and her father abused her. She was shuffled between family members and the foster care system. At 14, she was kidnapped and forced into exotic dancing, according to court records.

Martin told authorities Kerney forced her to dance, sell drugs, prepare other girls for prostitution and collect money from them.

Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio considered Martin to be a human-trafficking victim but neither she, Martin’s attorney nor the prosecutors invoked the safe harbor law.

Martin didn’t challenge this decision in juvenile court, but raised it when her case was transferred to Summit County Common Pleas Court. The adult court ruled it lacked jurisdiction.

Martin raised the issue again on appeal, with the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case.

The justices, in a 6-1 decision, agreed the safe harbor law should have been triggered, but they also said — even with this step — that Teodosio may still have bound Martin over as an adult.

“The specific facts and evidence in this case do not show that her [Martin’s] offenses were ‘related to’ her victimization,” Justice Judith L. French wrote.

Justice Terrence O’Donnell, however, disagreed.

He said failing to appoint a guardian was a “manifest miscarriage of justice” that should be corrected by vacating Martin’s sentence, returning the case to juvenile court and appointing a guardian.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, though, was pleased with the majority’s decision.

“Alexis Martin conspired with others to rob Angelo Kerney and Alecio Samuel,” she said in an email. “Her actions led to Kerney’s death after both he and Samuel were shot in the head.

“We must hold people accountable.”

Summit County Juvenile Court officials declined to comment Tuesday. In 2016, the court was the first juvenile court in Ohio to start a special program, called Restore Court, that is aimed at helping human trafficking victims.

Mattimoe said the court’s decision points to a need to clarify the safe harbor language and her organization plans to push for that through a pending bill. She and others also will continue doing all they can to free Martin.

“We can’t allow her to sit in prison,” she said. “It’s not right.”

Police in Iceland Lose Assets After Raid on ‘Champagne Club’

Cash and other assets totaling about 1 million Krona (ISK), which equals about $8,180 (USD) that were seized in a raid on a “champagne club” have disappeared from police custody. Police said the disappearance was the result of poor work practices, but investigations have ended without any suspects.

So-called “champagne clubs” offer customers a chance to have alcoholic beverages and chat with the staff, who is female and wearing provocative clothing. The clubs began opening a law passed that prevented new strip clubs from being licensed in 2010.

When the club, called Strawberries was subjected to a police raid in 2013, under suspicion of engaging in sex work, many assets were seized. This included cash, jewelry and watches totaling about 1 million ISK. Only police officers had access to these assets.

Vísir now reports that all of these items and cash have disappeared. Investigations were conducted both within the police and the prosecutor’s office without any results. No suspects were arrested.

Police concluded that work practices for possession of seized assets were not followed well, making it impossible to trace where these valuables went to or at what point they disappeared from custody.

Amazingly, the police believe that nothing indicates that these assets were stolen, although they could not confirm what led to their disappearance. As investigations have concluded, it is unlikely that the assets in question will ever be found.

British Sex Worker Murdered by Client

A banker texted his partner “I’m sorry” after he allegedly bludgeoned a high-class escort to death on her 29th birthday, a court heard.

Helen Jervis asked her partner of 12 years Zahid Naseem “What have you done” after he told her “It’s too late, I’m sorry, life isn’t going to work for me” on 25 May, Lewes Crown Court heard.

The accused killer, 48-year-old Zahid Naseem, stayed for another 12 hours in the Highams Hill apartment where he had just murdered 29-year-old Christina Abbotts as she lay in bed, officials said. During that half-day, Naseem allegedly sent explicit photos and videos to another sex worker — and then pretended to be unconscious when police suddenly showed up.

As the murder trial continued, the court heard how the “privately-educated city girl” lived a secret life as a high-class escort but told her friends and family she worked in IT.

Abbotts, who worked under the name “Tilly Pexton,” was housesitting in the apartment where she was found dead. A Lewes Crown Court was told that she hit 13 times in the back of the head with a pestle and may have been strangled.

Naseem, from Elm Close, has denied any role in the murder. He claimed he and Abbotts were drinking and doing drugs together before he woke up and found her dead, the BBC reported.

Naseem has admitted to paying Abbotts up to $2,500 per night and described her as “a social media addict” who led a lavish lifestyle partying with “posh”, wealthy friends living in Westminster and other parts of London while frequenting the theater, polo and Ascot.

Jurors also  heard Abbotts had been “hassled” online and in person by a “female stalker”.

On the night of her death, Abbotts  had planned to meet friends at the Park Plaza County Hall hotel in London for her birthday party, but never arrived. Friends began to worry, fearing it may have been linked to her concerns about a stalker.

Long time friend Roshan Pariag  drove from London to the apartment in Crawley to look for her, and noted he could see a “glow” from a computer screen in the home but no one answered the door so he called police.

After police broke down the door and found her body, he said: “I could just tell by the look on their face something tragic had happened.”

Mr Pariag added: “She was always happy, she was always trying to look after friends. She was just a really, really lovely person. She was willing to give anybody a chance.”

Defense Requests Evidence in Chrystul Kizer Case

A Kenosha man who was shot to death in his 14th Avenue home last June had been under investigation for producing child pornography and sexual abuse, with one of the girls involved the teenager now charged with homicide for his shooting death, according to defense attorneys.

Chrystul Kizer, 18, is charged with first-degree homicide, arson and auto theft for the June 5 shooting death of Randall Volar III. She was 17 when Volar was killed. Volar, 34, was found dead in his burning home. Investigators learned he had been shot twice, and that the fire to the house appeared to have been set. When his body was found, Volar’s car was missing from the property.

“Not only do you commit a set of really heinous crimes, you light a body on fire, when you’re not sure if the person’s deceased or not,” said Michael Graveley, Kenosha County district attorney.

“Certainly if you come to this community from another community and shoot someone twice in the head and then light them on fire, there’s going to be severe consequences,” said Graveley.

Investigators said they’re still trying to determine exactly how Kizer met Volar, and the extent of their relationship after they found that out that Volar had paid for an Uber driver to bring Kizer from Milwaukee to his home.

According to the criminal complaint, Kizer’s boyfriend, a 21-year-old Milwaukee man, told detectives he had purchased a handgun for Kizer because she was “tired of the dude touching on her” and that she was going to shoot him.

The complaint states that she initially denied knowing Volar, but later told police that “he (Volar) helped her with money and places to stay.” Subsequently, she told police another woman shot Volar. But when faced with further evidence, she reportedly confessed, saying “she got upset and was tired of Volar touching her” and that she had shot him.

According to a motion filed by defense attorneys, before his death Volar was under investigation by the Kenosha Police Department for sexual conduct with underage girls.

In a motion to compel discovery — that is a request for the court to require the state to turn over evidence — the defense is seeking evidence found during the police investigation into Volar.

“The defense believes that the discovery in this case suggests that Ms. Kizer acted in self-defense. Mr. Volar, a 34-year-old man, was engaged in the ongoing sexual and physical abuse of Ms. Kizer, then a 17-year-old girl, and several other girls whose identities are currently unknown to the defense.”

According to the motion, the defense believes Volar attempted to engage in sexual activity with Kizer, and Kizer resisted. Further, during that struggle, Kizer at some point shot Volar, killing him.

The complaint states the defense learned Volar had been under investigation by the Kenosha Police, and police had served a search warrant on his home before the murder.

“The Kenosha Police had evidence that Mr. Volar was producing child pornography, and that he was traveling to Milwaukee, or transporting girls from Milwaukee to Kenosha for the purposes of sexual abuse,” the motion states.

It states that police “collected significant evidence of Mr. Volar’s malfeasance” when they executed the search warrant on his home before his death, and that they had collected his DNA. “Additionally, the Kenosha Police had been alerted by TCF Bank, a financial institution utilized by Mr. Volar, that Mr. Volar’s account had been flagged under suspicion of being involved in human or sex trafficking.”

The defense is seeking all evidence relating to the Kenosha Police investigation of Volar. They argue that the evidence is relevant to Kizer’s mindset at the time she is alleged to have killed him and “has the potential to provide a significant bolster to the defense’s primary theory of self-defense.”

At a hearing Monday, District Attorney Michael Graveley said the state would be opposing the release of the evidence the defense is seeking. He asked for — and was granted by the judge — an opportunity to make the state’s argument in a written brief.

Asked by Judge David Wilk whether at least some of the material the defense is seeking exists, Graveley answered that it does.

The discovery process requires both sides of a legal action to share evidence as they prepare for trial. In criminal prosecutions, the state typically has the bulk of the evidence.

Both the state and defense in the Kizer case would not comment on the Volar investigation beyond what was stated in court. In its motion, the defense suggests that the state may argue that the evidence collected in the Volar investigation is only “potentially useful evidence” and so not required as part of discovery.

“Such an argument should be rejected,” the defense stated.

They will return to court to argue the issue Nov. 30.