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Facebook Friend Request Spat Leads to Arrest

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(LARGO, Fla.) — A spat over a Facebook friend request resulted in a 72-year-old woman being slapped and another woman being arrested, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities say Rachel Anne Hayes, 27, became upset when the alleged victim refused to accept her friend request on Facebook because she felt the name Hayes was using was “inappropriate.”

“The victim told Hayes she would be willing to accept the request if she would change the name,” the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Hayes left the home where the two were arguing and returned a short time later, according to authorities, at which point she allegedly continued the argument at the front door.

Authorities said Hayes slapped the alleged victim “several times” before she was able to retreat inside the home and lock the door.

Hayes was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday afternoon on suspicion of felony aggravated battery on an elderly person. She has been released on $10,000 bond.

She has not yet entered a plea and it was unclear whether Hayes had hired an attorney.

The Facebook name that allegedly set the argument in action was not released by authorities. However, Facebook has a well-known policy of requiring users to use the name they identify with in real life.

“Asking everyone to use their real name grounds the community in reality and ties it back to all the real-world relationships that we have,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a town hall earlier this month.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Crusin In Cruces

America Conducted Fewest Executions Since 1994

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Death Penalty Information Center on Thursday released its annual report, which found that America conducted the fewest executions in 20 years in 2014.

The report says that just 35 executions took place in 2014 in seven states, the smallest number of people put to death since 1994. Also in 2014, only 72 people received death sentences, the smallest number in the 40 years of the modern death penalty.

Three states — Texas, Missouri and Florida — accounted for 80 percent of the country’s executions.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ohio Supreme Court Says Traffic Camera Can Stay

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Timothy Epp/iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — The Supreme Court of Ohio on Thursday upheld the city of Toledo’s automated traffic camera system used to catch drivers who run red lights or commit speeding violations.

According to the court documents, the court heard arguments from an Ohio man who claimed that the policy “usurps the jurisdiction of the municipal court, is unconstitutionally vague and violates due process.” The crux of the complaint is that the appeal process through which a motorist would have to go if they were to contest a camera-issued ticket is established by the Toledo Police Department.

The state supreme court says that the Toledo law “does not offend…the Ohio Constitution” and that cities are within their rights to establish automated ticketing systems.

Three justices wrote a dissenting opinion, arguing that the city council did not have the power to limit a municipal court’s jurisdiction, as they believe the Toledo system does.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Double Your Dollars

North Carolina Driver Gets Into Two Accidents, Caught on Video

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Evgueni Sinigalia/Hemera/Thinkstock(HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C.) — A driver in Holly Springs, North Carolina, was hit by two cars in domino accidents both caught on his car cameras.

Rear- and front-view cameras captured the first hit from behind on a two-lane road.

“I was rear-ended by this guy on my way home from school,” the YouTube user wrote in the video description. “He claimed that his window was fogged up, so he did not see me. It doesn’t show in the video, but I saw him coming in my rear view mirror. His windshield was NOT fogged up and I could see his eyes were pointed downward. Clearly, he was playing around on his phone.”

The impact pushed the car into oncoming traffic.

“The driver at fault was hauled off to the hospital complaining of back pain, and the lady who hit my car from the front said her finger was hurt.”

The air bag was deployed and the car was “considered a total loss by the insurance company,” the YouTube user wrote.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

‘Slender Man’ Stabbing Suspects Competent to Stand Trial

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(WAUKESHA, Wis.) — Two Wisconsin girls who allegedly stabbed a friend over Slender Man were found competent on Thursday to stand trial.

A Wisconsin judge found 13-year-old Anissa Weier competent, while the second suspect, Morgan Geyser, waived her right to a hearing and was, as a result, ruled competent.

Testimony from three doctors who evaluated Weier — one hired by the prosecution, the other two by her defense — presented their findings before the judge.

The prosecution’s doctor found her competent, while the defense’s doctors found her incompetent.

When Weier herself was asked by Judge Michael Bohren if she considered herself competent, Weier said, “I consider myself incompetent, sir.”

By stating such, under Wisconsin law, Weier set a very high burden of proof for the prosecution to clear and the judge ruled that they had met the burden.

Later in the day, a second hearing to determine Geyser’s competency was waived by the teen’s lawyers, agreeing with a doctor’s opinion that she is competent. The judge agreed and as a result Geyser was ruled to be in fact competent.

According to investigators, Geyser and Weier from Waukesha, Wisconsin, decided they wanted to be with Slender Man, a fictional horror character born from a dark corner of the Internet.

In stories they read about him online, Slender Man kidnaps and kills children. Not only did the girls believe he was real, police said, they were convinced the only way to get in his good graces was to kill someone.

But Slender Man isn’t real. And their friend, a girl named Payton Leutner, survived being stabbed last May with a large kitchen knife 19 times.

All three girls were 12 at the time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

American Kennel Club Recognizes Four New Breeds

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Four new breeds of dogs have made it into the big league when it comes to dogs, the American Kennel Club.

The Spanish Water Dog, Cirneco dell’Etna, Bergamasco, and Boerboel have each gained full recognition, the AKC announced on Wednesday.

The four new breeds had to meet the requirements of having, “a minimum number of dogs geographically distributed throughout the U.S., as well as an established breed club of responsible owners and breeders,” in order to become AKC recognized, the organization reports.

The breeds will become recognized breeds and be allowed to compete in AKC-sanctioned dog shows on Jan. 1, 2015.

The Spanish Water Dog is described by the AKC as, “lively, hardworking, and very intelligent,” in addition to being “naturally protective.”

The Cirneco dell’Etna is described as, “a hunter that works by scent, sight, and hearing.”

The AKC calls the Bergamasco an, “athletic, sociable and intelligent dog that has a deep desire to please its owner.”

The Boerbol is described as not the dog for first-time dog owners, but one that still has, “strong protective instincts and loves its family.”

The four breeds’ recognition means there will be 184 AKC-recognized dog breeds come Jan. 1.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Appears in Court

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

FBI(BOSTON) — With a slight, scruffy beard and long, tousled hair, accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appeared in federal court Thursday — the first time he’s been seen in public in a year and a half.

The 21-year-old politely answered the judge’s questions in a final status conference, what is expected to be his last pretrial hearing before jury selection in his case begins in January.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to a litany of charges connected to twin explosions that ripped through the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three, including an 8-year-old boy, and injuring more than 260 others.

Investigators say that he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted the bombs and followed the horrific attack up with a series of other crimes.

Four days after the explosions, investigators say, the Tsarnaevs murdered MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, carjacked a Mercedes SUV driver, and led police on a high-speed chase in Watertown where a bomb and bullet battle erupted in the street. Tamerlan was killed in the firefight.

Dzhokhar fled the scene and hid for more than 16 hours until his capture on a dry-docked boat, where he appeared to explain his motive for the crime with a note written inside, according to prosecutors.

“We Muslims are one body. You hurt one of us you hurt us all,” read part of a note allegedly written by Tsarnaev on the wall of the boat amid bullet holes. “Know you are fighting men who look into the barrel [of] your gun and see heaven.”

Court documents filed in March gave a potential hint of at least part of the defense strategy Tsarnaev’s legal team could use: saying Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was under the control of his older brother — “an all-powerful force who could not be ignored or disobeyed.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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49ers Drop Ray McDonald Following Alleged Sex Assault

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — Amid allegations of possible sexual assault, San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald was released by his team Wednesday.

In a statement, 49ers General Manager Trent Balke said, “This is about a pattern of poor behavior. We expect a lot from our players, hold them accountable for their actions.”

Although no arrests have been made, the San Jose Police Department say that McDonald’s home had been searched after a woman told detectives “she was possibly sexually assaulted.”

According to cops, the alleged victim sought treatment at a hospital Tuesday, which then notified authorities about her accusations against McDonald.

Earlier this year, McDonald was arrested by Santa Clara police following an alleged domestic violence incident involving his fiancée. However, charges were never filed.

Now a free agent, McDonald had played for San Francisco since 2007.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pedestrians Struck in Deadly Crash in Redondo Beach, California

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(REDONDO BEACH, Calif.) — At least one person is dead, with up to 12 others injured after a car slammed into a group of pedestrians Wednesday in Redondo Beach, California, police said.

The crash occurred outside St. James Catholic Church where a Christmas service had just ended, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Some of the pedestrians were rushed to hospitals with critical injuries, Redondo Beach police Lt. Joe Hoffman said. One adult died at a hospital, and the injured included at least one child.

According to ABC station KABC-TV, police said that a woman was driving northbound on Pacific Coast Highway when she ran a red light, striking the pedestrians and hitting another car.

The woman was taken in police custody to a hospital, where she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, authorities said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Song of The Day

Deployed Airman Dressed as Santa Claus Surprises Son

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Fuse/Thinkstock(MT. JULIET, Tenn.) — Aaron Williams, a kindergartner from Tennessee, may never look at a Santa Claus anywhere, anytime the same way again.

The 6-year-old was surprised at his school Tuesday by his dad, a member of the U.S. Air Force who dressed as Santa Claus, white beard and all, for the surprise.

Aaron’s dad, Senior Airman Nicholas Williams, is in the middle of a year-long deployment to South Korea, so Aaron thought his dad would not be home to celebrate Christmas.

“He started actually crying when I told him that,” Aaron’s mom, Whitney, told local ABC affiliate WKRN, referring to how she kept the secret from her son by telling him that his dad would not be home.

“He was really upset and I felt really bad, like a horrible mother for lying to him like that,” she said.

All was perhaps forgiven Tuesday morning when Aaron and his classmates at Lakeview Elementary School in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., gathered in the school library to, they thought, be read a story by an elf.

When Santa Claus appeared and the elf, the school’s physical education teacher in costume, asked who wanted to pull Santa’s beard, it was Aaron who, by chance, raised his hand first.

“He’s actually a really shy little boy so it was so sweet that he wanted to do it the most of all of them,” Tiffany Brown, the school’s assistant principal, told ABC News.

“It took him a few times of tugging on the beard and it wasn’t until it came off that he saw,” Brown said. “He stopped laughing and went into kind of awe and his first word was very clearly, ‘Daddy.'”

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” she said.

Williams will have 28 days at home with his family before returning to South Korea through May to complete his military tour, WKRN reports.

“I couldn’t ask for really anything more than to be home for Christmas,” Williams told the station.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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