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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/crime (Page 66)

Police: Footage shows wrongful arrest of Baltimore passerby

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Police: Footage shows wrongful arrest of Baltimore passerby fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc DAVID McFADDEN Associated Press article 84050741-e57a-519c-a6c9-ea3374df05ff

Baltimore police on Friday released body camera footage showing a veteran officer chasing down and arresting a pedestrian who criticized his behavior, an incident that the city’s top cop says illustrates a “horrible culture” within the force that’s struggling to comply with federally mandated police reforms.

Sgt. Ethan Newberg and a subordinate officer have been suspended after investigators say body camera video disproved the 24-year veteran’s recent account of an arrest in Southwest Baltimore. In his initial report, Newberg portrayed the man as “combative and aggressive.”

But in video shown to reporters Friday, Newberg and the subordinate officer are shown to be aggressors as a male passerby tries to cross a rain-slicked street where uniformed officers are conducting a warrant check. The man is heard calmly criticizing officers as he walks nearby, saying they shouldn’t make their detainee sit on wet pavement. Newberg then rushes toward the passerby and a subordinate officer tackles him in the middle of the roadway.

When the man objects to his treatment, complaining his rights are being trampled, Newberg is heard saying: “Take your charge like a man.”

Newberg later tells him he’s going to jail because he doesn’t “know how to act.” When another officer tries to calm the situation, Newberg dismisses his colleague’s input, saying “take your hand-holding nonsense somewhere else.” Prosecutors later declined to pursue charges against the man.

Newberg, 49, is among the highest-paid city employees in Baltimore. The Baltimore Sun has reported that the sworn sergeant was paid $243,000 last fiscal year, much of it thanks to numerous overtime shifts. He’s been charged with assault, false imprisonment and misconduct. He was arrested last week and is suspended without pay.

It’s unclear whether Newberg has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, who was formally put in command of the Baltimore Police Department in March after arriving from New Orleans, said he was concerned about what the video footage says about the city force’s “horrible culture” and he wants to find out how pervasive it is.

“The man did nothing to provoke Sgt. Newberg, whose actions were not just wrong but deeply disturbing and illegal,” Harrison told reporters.

But when Newberg was criminally charged last week, police union leader Mike Mancuso said the accused officer was “trashed” by Harrison. Mancuso said he was “struck by how willing the commissioner was to condemn an on-duty, uniformed police sergeant after watching the body worn camera video” while not similarly condemning a crowd of rowdy teenagers following a recent incident at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. During that situation, Mancuso, president of the Lodge 3 union of the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, drew criticism after describing some of the youths as “criminals.”

Harrison said he plans to methodically improve the dismal image of the police department and boost its effectiveness in fighting crime. He’s the former leader of the New Orleans police department, helping that formerly scandal-plagued force implement consent decree reforms after becoming superintendent there in 2014.

Maryland’s largest city is in the relatively early stages of trying to comply with a federal consent decree mandating sweeping reforms after U.S. investigators detailed longstanding patterns of unconstitutional policing and excessive force.

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Follow McFadden on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dmcfadd

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Family: Baby cut from slain Chicago woman’s womb dies

An infant boy who was cut from a Chicago woman’s womb with a butcher knife died Friday at a hospital where he had been in grave condition since the April attack that killed his mother, family spokeswomen said.

Yovanny Jadiel (yoh-VAH’-nee YAH’-dee-el) Lopez died at Christ Medical Center in suburban Oak Lawn from a severe brain injury, according to a statement posted on Facebook by family spokeswoman Julie Contreras, who expressed “great sadness” in announcing the baby’s death. Family spokeswoman Cecilia Garcia confirmed the statement.

The baby had been on life support since being brought to the hospital on April 23. Prosecutors say Clarisa Figueroa, 46, claimed she had given birth to the baby. She and her 24-year-old daughter, Desiree Figueroa, are charged with murder in the death of the baby’s mother, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, and Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Friday that he expects both women will now be charged with murder in the infant’s death.

Prosecutors will “make a determination on additional charges” after police and the county’s medical examiner’s office complete their investigations, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said in a written statement. An attorney for the family, Frank Avila, demanded that the office charge the two women with murder, and charge the Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, with murder as well. Bobak has been charged with concealing a homicide.

“The baby was murdered and we demand justice,” he said.

Garcia said the family had been weighing whether to remove the baby from life support when the child died. And Avila told reporters that he was notified overnight that the baby’s condition had deteriorated, prompting him to call a Catholic priest, who came to the hospital to administer last rites at about 1 a.m. Four hours later, he said, the child died as a result of brain injuries caused by a loss of oxygen when he was cut from his mother’s body.

Christ Medical Center said in a statement that its “hearts and prayers” were with the baby’s family, and that their “courage and grace have drawn the admiration of our entire organization.”

Authorities contend that not long after Clarisa Figueroa’s adult son died of natural causes, she told her family she was pregnant. They say she plotted for months to acquire a newborn, and that she posted an ultrasound and photos of a room decorated for a baby on her Facebook page. In March, she and Ochoa-Lopez connected on a Facebook page for pregnant women.

The two first met in person around April 1, when Ochoa-Lopez went to the Figueroas’ house and left unharmed, prosecutors allege. The teen returned on April 23 to accept Clarisa Figueroa’s offer of free baby clothes, and as Desiree Figueroa was showing Ochoa-Lopez a photo album of her late brother to distract her, Clarisa Figueroa sneaked up behind her and strangled her with a cord.

Once Ochoa-Lopez stopped showing signs of life, Clarisa Figueroa cut the baby from her womb and she and her daughter wrapped the teen’s body in a blanket, put it in a plastic bag and dragged it outside to a garbage can, according to prosecutors.

Later that day, Clarisa Figueroa called 911 claiming that her newborn baby was not breathing. When first responders arrived, the child was blue. They tried to resuscitate the infant and took him to Christ Medical Center, where he remained until his death.

___

This version of the story corrects the spelling of rites in the sixth paragraph.

___

Callahan reported from Indianapolis.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-e1327e9edede497c8a392507d41bf534 Family: Baby cut from slain Chicago woman's womb dies fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc DON BABWIN and RICK CALLAHAN Associated Press article 51c363d1-1bf0-57d2-ba1d-ceef34798a5f   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-e1327e9edede497c8a392507d41bf534 Family: Baby cut from slain Chicago woman's womb dies fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc DON BABWIN and RICK CALLAHAN Associated Press article 51c363d1-1bf0-57d2-ba1d-ceef34798a5f

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5 convicted in Bronx murder of teen with knives, machetes

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news 5 convicted in Bronx murder of teen with knives, machetes New York fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc d8f9144e-ff37-527e-b8b8-27b7482583e2 Associated Press article

Five young men have been convicted of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a teenager at a Bronx bodega.

The Bronx Criminal Court jury reached the verdict Friday in the death of 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz.

Authorities say Guzman-Feliz, known as “Junior,” was killed last June in a case of mistaken identity. He was followed into a bodega, dragged onto the street and stabbed with knives and machetes.

A video of the attack showed a bread knife piercing his neck.

The five are between 19 and 25 years old and alleged members of the Trinitarios gang. They also were convicted of gang assault and conspiracy and face up to life in prison at sentencing on July 16.

Nine other suspects are to be tried later.

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Trial begins in case of young Canadian couple killed in 1987

Jurors in Washington state on Friday heard about the mysterious final days of a young Canadian couple killed in 1987 — as well as the novel method authorities used to finally make an arrest three decades later.

William Earl Talbott II was arrested last year and charged with aggravated murder, after authorities said they used genetic genealogy to identify him as the person who left his DNA on the clothing of one of the victims. The practice involves identifying suspects by entering crime-scene DNA profiles into public databases that people have used for years to fill out their family trees.

Opening statements began with a prosecutor describing how 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg and her boyfriend, 20-year-old Jay Cook, left their hometown of Saanich, near Victoria, British Columbia, for what was supposed to be an overnight trip to Seattle in November 1987. When they didn’t return, their families began a frantic search for them, including renting a plane to try to spot the copper-colored Ford van they had been driving.

About a week later, Van Cuylenborg’s body was found down an embankment in rural Skagit County, north of Seattle. She was naked from the waist down and had been shot in the back of the head.

Hunters found Cook dead two days later in brush near a bridge over the Snoqualmie River in Monroe — about 60 miles (95 kilometers) from where his girlfriend was discovered. He had been beaten with rocks and strangled with twine and two red dog collars, authorities said.

The couple’s van was found in Bellingham, Washington, near a bus station. Van Cuylenborg’s pants were in it; investigators found semen on the hem, and said it matched that on her body.

Detectives investigated hundreds of leads in the ensuing decades and tested the DNA against criminal databases, to no avail. But Snohomish County sheriff’s detective Jim Scharf learned about Parabon Labs in Reston, Virginia, which was using a new DNA processing method to extract more information from samples.

Last year, CeCe Moore, a genealogist there who is known for her work on the public television series “Finding Your Roots,” used the public genealogy database GEDmatch to find distant cousins of the person who left the DNA. She built a family tree and determined the source must be a male child of William and Patricia Talbott, of Monroe.

William Talbott II, now 56, was their only son. He was 24 at the time of the killings and lived near where Cook’s body was found.

Genetic genealogy has taken off as an investigative tool in the past year, since police in California revealed that they used it to arrest and charge a man suspected of being the sadistic attacker known as the Golden State killer, who killed 13 people and raped nearly 50 women during the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, authorities have used the DNA method to identify more than 60 cold-case suspects across the country. Talbott was one of the first.

Deputy prosecutor Justin Harleman told jurors that once Talbott became a suspect, investigators tailed him, saw him discard a coffee cup, and then tested the DNA from the cup, confirming it matched evidence from the crime.

Genetic genealogy, he said, “simply gave law enforcement a tip, like any other tip that they follow up on.”

Privacy advocates have expressed concerns about whether the technique violates the rights of suspects and whether its use by law enforcement should be restricted, but Talbott’s attorneys agreed that how detectives found him is irrelevant, and they didn’t challenge it. Instead, attorney Jon Scott told jurors in his opening statement Friday that the presence of the DNA doesn’t make his client a killer. He offered no explanation of how Talbott’s DNA got there, and said the evidence doesn’t explain how the couple spent their final days or with whom.

Scott described his client as a “blue-collar guy” who had worked in construction and as a truck driver and lived a “quiet, unremarkable life.”

“He’s just lived and worked, and that’s all he’s done,” Scott said.

Relatives of both victims attended the beginning of the trial, which is expected to last four weeks. Cook’s mother, Leona Cook, said it’s still difficult to hear of the killings, but added: “It’s been 32 years. My heart’s been hardened, I think.”

Westlake Legal Group 44584e87-ContentBroker_contentid-295a78b1719540f4979818defb076924 Trial begins in case of young Canadian couple killed in 1987 GENE JOHNSON fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 44ba53b6-1d76-5b28-9290-02d4389368e9   Westlake Legal Group 44584e87-ContentBroker_contentid-295a78b1719540f4979818defb076924 Trial begins in case of young Canadian couple killed in 1987 GENE JOHNSON fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 44ba53b6-1d76-5b28-9290-02d4389368e9

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Man shot and killed by US marshals was wanted in Mississippi in connection with shooting

A 20-year-old black man whose Wednesday shooting death by a fugitive task force sparked a night of violence and unrest in a Memphis, Tenn., neighborhood, was wanted for a shooting in Mississippi, according to media reports.

DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion said Brandon Webber was wanted on aggravated assault and armed robbery charges related to a shooting during a car theft in Hernando, Miss., on June 3. The victim was shot five times and survived, Champion said.

Hernando is 35 miles south of Memphis.

U.S. Marshals with the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force went looking for Webber at a home in Memphis’ Frayser neighborhood Wednesday. They spotted him getting inside a vehicle, which he used to ram task force vehicles several times, officials said.

NAKED TEEN FATALLY SHOT BY OKLAHOMA POLICE WAS UNARMED, AUTHORITIES SAY

Westlake Legal Group Memphis-Unrest-thumb-1 Man shot and killed by US marshals was wanted in Mississippi in connection with shooting Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1b1d1c04-9057-5bf0-8951-d03f8b5c4370

Police retreat under a cloud of tear gas as protesters disperse from the scene of a standoff after Frayser community residents took to the streets in anger against the shooting of a youth by U.S. Marshals earlier in the evening, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (Jim Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)

Webber was shot and killed when he got out of the vehicle holding a weapon, Tennessee authorities said. It was not clear how many times he was hit or how many shots were fired.

News of Webber’s death prompted a night of clashes between police and residents in the neighborhood.

Around 36 police officers suffered minor injuries due to bricks and rocks being thrown at them and several police vehicles were damaged. Several officers were taken to hospitals and were later released, according to a Memphis Police Department tweet.

MINNEAPOLIS REACHES $20M SETTLEMENT WITH FAMILY OF UNARMED WOMAN FATALLY SHOT AFTER CALLING 911

Officers used tear gas and closed off streets to disperse the protestors. Rev. Andre E. Johnson, who was among those in the crowd Wednesday night, said the community was upset about why the marshals wanted Webber. He called him a beloved member of the community.

“The problem with it is they feel that police and the administration and city officials do not treat them as humans,” Johnson said. “That’s what it really boils down to: You are not worthy of an explanation.”

Three people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. One of the three was also charged with inciting a riot.

Westlake Legal Group AP19164342585191 Man shot and killed by US marshals was wanted in Mississippi in connection with shooting Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1b1d1c04-9057-5bf0-8951-d03f8b5c4370

Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings speaks to reporters after a late Wednesday clash with police and an angry crowd early Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Memphis, Tennessee. Armed officers and an angry crowd faced off late Wednesday night after reports that at least one man was fatally shot by authorities in a working-class north Memphis neighborhood. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)

The department reported 15 vehicles were damaged, along with five from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Police and elected officials appealed for calm and patience Thursday while the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conducts a probe of the shooting.

“I need everyone to stay calm,” Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said.

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As a precaution, officers’ days off have been canceled and every squad car will have two officers.

Laine Arnold, the press secretary for Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Lee, said that the crowd’s actions on Wednesday “are not representative of the community but we stand firmly against acts of lawlessness that threaten the safety of our neighborhoods.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19164217095388 Man shot and killed by US marshals was wanted in Mississippi in connection with shooting Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1b1d1c04-9057-5bf0-8951-d03f8b5c4370   Westlake Legal Group AP19164217095388 Man shot and killed by US marshals was wanted in Mississippi in connection with shooting Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1b1d1c04-9057-5bf0-8951-d03f8b5c4370

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Prosecutor: Wisconsin officers justified in deadly shooting

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Prosecutor: Wisconsin officers justified in deadly shooting fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article APPLETON, Wis. 9bfca56f-e79d-53bb-88e6-c1a49f0fe4b3

Prosecutors say two Wisconsin officers were justified when they shot and killed a man who got in a gunfight with police that left a city firefighter dead in the crossfire.

Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis said Thursday that Officer Paul Christensen and Sgt. Christopher Biese won’t face criminal charges.

Christensen and Biese exchanged shots with 47-year-old Ruben Houston on May 15 outside of Appleton’s downtown transit center. Christensen was wounded, along with a bystander. Both have been released from the hospital.

Appleton firefighter Mitchell Lundgaard was shot and died of his injuries at a hospital.

Houston had just arrived at the transit center on a bus. The Post-Crescent reports the district attorney said before the shooting take place, Houston was treated with Narcan, a drug used to revive people suffering from a drug overdose.

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Information from: Post-Crescent Media, http://www.postcrescent.com

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Feds: African ring smuggled rhinoceros horns, ivory into US

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Feds: African ring smuggled rhinoceros horns, ivory into US New York fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 795277aa-3929-54c5-9d2f-19ca6e0e350e

Federal prosecutors in New York have charged four African men with trafficking millions of dollars’ worth of rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Thursday the conspiracy involved the poaching of some three dozen endangered rhinoceroses and more than 100 elephants.

Prosecutors say the ring smuggled nearly 420 pounds (190 kilograms) of rhinoceros horns and at least 10 tons of elephant ivory from east Africa to buyers in the United States and southeast Asia.

They say the men from Liberia, Guinea and Kenya hid the contraband in pieces of art like masks and statues.

The case highlights the thriving black market for rhinoceros horn, worth more than gold in some countries because of beliefs in its healing power.

Prosecutors say the black rhinoceros population has fallen to about 5,500 worldwide.

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Detroit hurries to board vacant houses after serial slayings

Stanley Allen mowed the lawn at a vacant house next to his Detroit home as teams of police and city workers scoured nearby empty houses as part of an investigation into a suspected serial killer who used similar structures as stash houses for the bodies of at least three women.

Later, Allen sat on the front porch of his west side home where he’s lived for 12 years, surrounded by blight, and looked down the street as city workers boarded up another vacant house.

Police and city workers had been searching for bodies, or decomposed remnants of potential additional victims. And in their wake, they left behind boarded-up houses to keep trespassers out.

Deangelo Martin, 34, was arrested last week and charged in a separate case in which a 26-year-old woman was stabbed and sexually assaulted, but escaped. He has not been charged in the slayings.

“What we’re talking about right now is nothing new” ,” the 70-year-old Allen said of Detroit’s decades-long battle against abandonment and other blight as the city’s population plummeted by more than one million people. “Now, it’s reached somebody’s nerve that they want to do something.”

Allen’s own small, tidy home on Derby Street is flanked by an empty lot and another vacant house near Detroit’s northern city limits. Still another vacant home stands two doors down. Across the street, two lots sit barren but for a thicket of overgrown weeds and mangled trees that throw heavy shade on a squatter-occupied house.

Further south is more of the same, occupied homes adjacent to rotting houses with forbidding darkened doorways and broken-out windows sheltering shadows and gloom.

Responding to the bodies found between March and last week, the city has added more urgency to an existing program that already has boarded up thousands of vacant houses across Detroit.

On Tuesday, officers combed noxious and weed-choked backyards and nosed through dank, empty houses on Derby and surrounding streets, stepping carefully amid piles of debris before giving the all-clear to other city workers who in auto assembly line fashion nailed boards tightly to doors and windows before moving on to the next house.

Eventually, the houses will be demolished, like thousands before them. In the meantime, they pose a threat when open to trespass.

More than 120 houses were searched and boarded up through Tuesday in the sparsely populated neighborhood straddling the east- and west-side boundary of the 139-square-mile city. Other parts of the east side also were checked. Police looked first for corpses in each house and cadaver dogs were called to some Friday and Saturday. Officers stumbled upon some dead pit bulls in one house, said Crystal Perkins, a city project manager and analytics specialist.

Plans are to board up about 2,000 vacant houses across Detroit by summer’s end. Officials hope to do about 200 houses each week, Perkins said.

Detroit’s effort to eradicate blight is not new. It’s been a decades-long battle that went into overdrive following the city’s 2014 exit from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

About 1.8 million people lived in the city during the 1950s. White flight to the suburbs and simmering hostilities between blacks and the city’s mostly-white police force that exploded in a race riot in 1967 helped spur the exodus of people in the 1960s and early 1970s. Thousands of middle-class African-Americans followed, mostly to suburban communities just outside Detroit.

The 2008 financial crisis and national housing bust slammed Detroit and magnified the ongoing battle against blight. In some neighborhoods today, abandoned houses and lots outnumber families.

Six years ago, Detroit was reported to have at least 30,000 empty houses and 20 square miles of vacant land. More than 18,000 vacant structures have been demolished since 2014. About 19,000 have been boarded up in the past 20 months, according to Mayor Mike Duggan’s office.

By September, “we will be to the point where every vacant house in the city that isn’t too damaged to board or isn’t about to be demolished will be boarded and secured,” spokesman John Roach said.

About 1,000 vacant houses near and on the city’s east side where the bodies of Nancy Harrison, 52, Trevesene Ellis, 53, and Tamara Jones, 55, were found are being boarded first. They will be followed by another 1,000 on the west side.

Jones’ badly decomposed body was found last week. Ellis’s body was discovered May 24, while Harrison’s corpse was found March 19. Each is believed to have worked in the sex trade, according to police.

Police Chief James Craig has said the women could have been lured into blighted houses, raped and killed.

Craig said investigators see similarities in the three deaths and assaults on at least two other women. Police also say Martin is known to have frequented the neighborhood where houses currently are being boarded up.

Investigators continue to receive tips in the case and officers are soliciting information from residents living near vacant houses which often are used in Detroit and other cities by drug dealers, drug users and for prostitution.

In Detroit, many residents learn early to avoid passing too closely to vacant homes, choosing to walk in the middle of the street instead of on the sidewalk.

Allen knows the problems and dangers all too well.

Like the crews securing houses during the past week, he occasionally nails boards across the doorways of the house next door when they mysteriously get ripped away. Several years ago, he went to investigate after noticing the rear door ajar. A man was inside.

“I said ‘What are you doing?'” Allen said. “He said: ‘I’m smoking dope.’ I said ‘you better get the hell on out of here.’ When he left, I boarded it up.”

For now, the boards remain.

Fears of a serial killer operating in her neighborhood and the plethora of vacant houses trouble Vernita Newton, who has lived on Derby for about 22 years and keeps pet dogs for safety, including one she described as “kind of aggressive when someone is too close.”

Newton watched Tuesday as officers searched an empty house next door in advance of it being boarded up.

“If I see it has been removed,” Newton said pointing to another house with a boarded front door, “that means somebody has tampered with it.”

Boards help, she said. “I feel safer as long as I’m in my area.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-12554bcff8764af48dbde9db2a4bb385 Detroit hurries to board vacant houses after serial slayings fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc COREY WILLIAMS Associated Press article 2f12346f-bd88-587e-bca4-526c2f1cca76   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-12554bcff8764af48dbde9db2a4bb385 Detroit hurries to board vacant houses after serial slayings fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc COREY WILLIAMS Associated Press article 2f12346f-bd88-587e-bca4-526c2f1cca76

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Jury sentences father to death for killing his 5 children

A South Carolina father was sentenced to death Thursday for killing his five children with his own hands. After they were dead, he drove around with their bodies for nine days before dumping them in garbage bags on the side of an Alabama dirt road.

Timothy Jones Jr. showed no emotion as the jury delivered the verdict after less than two hours of deliberation. They also could have sentenced him to life without parole.

The same Lexington County jury convicted Jones of five counts of murder last week in the deaths of his children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014.

Prosecutors pushed for a death sentence. Solicitor Rock Hubbard told jurors in his closing argument earlier Thursday that if any jurors had doubts whether Jones deserved the death penalty, all they had to do is consider the five garbage bags where he dumped their bodies in rural Alabama.

But a lawyer for Jones told jurors they alone could show mercy — if not for a father who killed five kids with his own hands, then for a family that has seen so much death and still wants to love Jones, even through prison bars.

Jones’ father hung his head in his hands as the verdict was read and other family members appeared to cry.

Jones is just the second person to be sent to South Carolina’s death row in five years. The state has not executed anyone since 2011 and lacks the drugs to carry out lethal injection.

Hubbard began his closing argument by asking if the jurors had ever heard of a crime more horrendous than what they had listened to over four weeks of testimony.

Jones, 37, has been selfish all his life, trying to break up his father’s second marriage because he wasn’t getting enough attention and controlling his wife’s every decision, Hubbard said.

When his wife left him, Hubbard said, Jones couldn’t stand that his control was over. With custody of his children, the computer engineer with an $80,000-a-year job mistreated any of them who showed any intention of wanting to be with their mother instead of him, Hubbard said.

Jones first killed 6-year-old son Nahtahn in a “white hot rage” after the boy confessed on the phone to his mother — but not to his father — to breaking an electrical outlet, Hubbard said.

Over the next several hours, Jones went and got cigarettes, taking his oldest daughter so she wouldn’t call for help, and leaving the three other kids with their brother’s body.

Then he made a decision, just like the one the jury was called upon to make, the prosecutor said.

“He sentenced his kids to death,” Hubbard said.

In a confession, Jones said he strangled 7-year-old Elias with his hands and chased down 8-year-old Merah before choking her. He then used a belt to choke 2-year-old Gabriel and 1-year-old Abigail because he said his hands were too big.

That deserved death and not life, Hubbard said.

A life sentence “is just send Timmy to his room, make him think about what he has done” Hubbard said.

After killing the children, Jones loaded their bodies into his SUV and drove around the Southeast U.S. for nine days before dumping them in five black garbage bags on a dirt road near Camden, Alabama. He was arrested hours later after an officer at a traffic checkpoint in Smith County, Mississippi, said he smelled a horrible odor of decomposition.

Hubbard ended his closing argument with those bags. Prosecutors entered photos showing what was inside the bags into evidence, but didn’t show them to the jury. Jurors could have chosen to look at them during deliberations if they wanted.

“If you have any doubt for the appropriate sentence for that man, look in the bag!” Hubbard said.

The defense focused on what his lawyers called undiagnosed schizophrenia made worse by drug and alcohol use. Jurors last week rejected their arguments that Jones was not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty but mentally ill.

During his closing argument Thursday, defense lawyer Casey Secor instead focused on how much Jones is loved by his family even after the killings. His grandmother, father and siblings all asked jurors to spare his life .

“How much more death does the Jones family have to endure? How many more funerals does this family have to go to? How many more tears do they have to shed? How much more heartache to they have to endure?” Secor said.

The children’s mother also said she wouldn’t choose the death penalty for Jones because she’s against capital punishment, but would respect the jury’s decision.

Secor said under the law, any juror could decide on life for any reason or for no reason at all.

“You can punish Tim severely with a punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole and be merciful to the people who still love these children,” Secor said.

___

Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP .

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-d487af9f91514115bb058e9977bf057c Jury sentences father to death for killing his 5 children JEFFREY COLLINS fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article a8bd0664-0fe1-576e-b3e7-dd9661d0f5fd   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-d487af9f91514115bb058e9977bf057c Jury sentences father to death for killing his 5 children JEFFREY COLLINS fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article a8bd0664-0fe1-576e-b3e7-dd9661d0f5fd

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Jury sentences father to death for killing his 5 children

A South Carolina father was sentenced to death Thursday for killing his five children with his own hands. After they were dead, he drove around with their bodies for nine days before dumping them in garbage bags on the side of an Alabama dirt road.

Timothy Jones Jr. showed no emotion as the jury delivered the verdict after less than two hours of deliberation. They also could have sentenced him to life without parole.

The same Lexington County jury convicted Jones of five counts of murder last week in the deaths of his children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014.

Prosecutors pushed for a death sentence. Solicitor Rock Hubbard told jurors in his closing argument earlier Thursday that if any jurors had doubts whether Jones deserved the death penalty, all they had to do is consider the five garbage bags where he dumped their bodies in rural Alabama.

But a lawyer for Jones told jurors they alone could show mercy — if not for a father who killed five kids with his own hands, then for a family that has seen so much death and still wants to love Jones, even through prison bars.

Jones’ father hung his head in his hands as the verdict was read and other family members appeared to cry.

Jones is just the second person to be sent to South Carolina’s death row in five years. The state has not executed anyone since 2011 and lacks the drugs to carry out lethal injection.

Hubbard began his closing argument by asking if the jurors had ever heard of a crime more horrendous than what they had listened to over four weeks of testimony.

Jones, 37, has been selfish all his life, trying to break up his father’s second marriage because he wasn’t getting enough attention and controlling his wife’s every decision, Hubbard said.

When his wife left him, Hubbard said, Jones couldn’t stand that his control was over. With custody of his children, the computer engineer with an $80,000-a-year job mistreated any of them who showed any intention of wanting to be with their mother instead of him, Hubbard said.

Jones first killed 6-year-old son Nahtahn in a “white hot rage” after the boy confessed on the phone to his mother — but not to his father — to breaking an electrical outlet, Hubbard said.

Over the next several hours, Jones went and got cigarettes, taking his oldest daughter so she wouldn’t call for help, and leaving the three other kids with their brother’s body.

Then he made a decision, just like the one the jury was called upon to make, the prosecutor said.

“He sentenced his kids to death,” Hubbard said.

In a confession, Jones said he strangled 7-year-old Elias with his hands and chased down 8-year-old Merah before choking her. He then used a belt to choke 2-year-old Gabriel and 1-year-old Abigail because he said his hands were too big.

That deserved death and not life, Hubbard said.

A life sentence “is just send Timmy to his room, make him think about what he has done” Hubbard said.

After killing the children, Jones loaded their bodies into his SUV and drove around the Southeast U.S. for nine days before dumping them in five black garbage bags on a dirt road near Camden, Alabama. He was arrested hours later after an officer at a traffic checkpoint in Smith County, Mississippi, said he smelled a horrible odor of decomposition.

Hubbard ended his closing argument with those bags. Prosecutors entered photos showing what was inside the bags into evidence, but didn’t show them to the jury. Jurors could have chosen to look at them during deliberations if they wanted.

“If you have any doubt for the appropriate sentence for that man, look in the bag!” Hubbard said.

The defense focused on what his lawyers called undiagnosed schizophrenia made worse by drug and alcohol use. Jurors last week rejected their arguments that Jones was not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty but mentally ill.

During his closing argument Thursday, defense lawyer Casey Secor instead focused on how much Jones is loved by his family even after the killings. His grandmother, father and siblings all asked jurors to spare his life .

“How much more death does the Jones family have to endure? How many more funerals does this family have to go to? How many more tears do they have to shed? How much more heartache to they have to endure?” Secor said.

The children’s mother also said she wouldn’t choose the death penalty for Jones because she’s against capital punishment, but would respect the jury’s decision.

Secor said under the law, any juror could decide on life for any reason or for no reason at all.

“You can punish Tim severely with a punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole and be merciful to the people who still love these children,” Secor said.

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Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP .

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