Charged with first-degree murder, a Kansas man decided that something about his appearance might not bode well for him in trial—the word “murder” tattooed across his neck.
Defendant Jeffrey Chapman is asking for a professional tattoo artist to remove or cover up the word, which is tattooed in large, mirror-image letters. Chapman’s defense attorney, Kurt Kerns, says the tattoo is too big to be covered by clothing.
“Mr. Chapman has secured a licensed tattoo artist from Hays who is willing to go to the jail,” the motion states. “Mr. Chapman’s tattoos are not relevant to any material facts and Mr. Chapman asks for the court to exclude any mention of his tattoos at trial and further to be allowed to cover them up in an appropriate manner. The fact that he has ‘Murder’ tattooed across his neck is irrelevant to the State’s case and extremely prejudicial to Mr. Chapman if introduced at trial or observed by the jury.”
Prosecutors say they aren’t against it, responding to the motion that the State “does not oppose the defendant from covering his tattoo using clothing, bandage or other means compliant with jail policy."
However, the Barton County sheriff opposes allowing having Chapman get the tattoo removed. According to Kansas law, he says, Chapman would have to be taken to a licensed tattoo facility.
Chapman’s fears that the tat will prejudice a jury are probably justified. His trial for the killing of Damon Galliart is scheduled to begin Monday. Gailliart’s body was found by hunters in a ditch by the side of the road in November 2011.
Check those pre-washed greens before throwing them into the salad bowl or the blender. An Ohio woman discovered a fairly stomach-turning prize in her bag of Dole spinach: a bird's leg, feathers and all.
28-year-old Rose Carducci hadn’t opened the bag when she saw the leg poking out from amidst the healthy greens, according to WEWS.
"As I started looking some more, I saw what looked like nails, like talons and realized, 'Oh my Gosh, this is part of a bird and was horrified," Carducci said.
The only consolation for the mother-of-two was that she didn’t try to serve up the spinach.
"If I would have found it making a smoothie or in a salad, I don't know what I would have done."
Carducci had ordered the spinach with an online grocery order from a Buehler’s supermarket. Manager Dave Cleckner said that he had contacted their wholesaler, Caito Foods in Indiana, and that workers had inspected other bagged greens.
"It definitely was a concern for us, so that's why we looked at our product. We did not find anything on our end," Cleckner said.
Dole said in a statement to the news station that it was “investigating the incident.”
Carducci said she contacted the FDA, as well as Dole’s California headquarters, to let them know about her “fowl” discovery.
A company representative was suspicious at first, Carducci said.
“He said, ‘What you claim to be a bird,’” she told the Akron Beacon Journal. “‘What you claim to be a bird’s foot’ and I said, ‘IT IS!’”
The company offered a courier service to pick up the contaminated package, as well as vouchers for more bagged greens.
Carducci declined the offer.
"I won't be eating bagged lettuce or bagged spinach again," she said.
A Fayetteville, Arkansas man was arrested for allegedly raping a two-year-old girl and taping the act on his cell phone.
31-year-old Scott Sholds was taken into custody at Washington County Detention Center Wednesday on suspicion of distributing, possessing, or viewing child pornography, as well as on charges of computer exploitation of a child and felony rape, according to local news.
Police uncovered the sick crime when the accused’s ex-girlfriend’s son took away her phone and gave it to Sholds, his father. When she got it back she reportedly found the video of Sholds raping a very young girl—the daughter of an acquaintance.
Police later confirmed the voice match on the phone with Sholds’ voice. Sholds claimed he never slept at the girl’s home and was not in the video, but police learned that he had lived there for at least nine days, according to a preliminary report.
The alleged rapist is sitting in county jail on $100,000 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. His arraignment is set for May 16.
11Philadelphia Prep School Grads Busted in 'Main Line' Drug Operation — Sting Uncovers Drugs, Cash, and Guns
Two graduates from a $35,000-per-year Philadelphia prep school have been indicted in a drug sting. Dubbed the "Main Line Takeover Project," a four-month investigation culminated in the leaders' arrest along with nine others.
Neil K. Scott, 25, and Timothy R. Brooks, 18, decided to drop out of college and focus their attention on dealing drugs, moving pounds of marijuana and other narcotics each week. Both had played lacrosse at the Haverford School, a prep school in the Philadelphia suburbs that comes with a price tag equal to an Ivy League.
The would-be drug kingpins were arraigned Monday.
“They were using very traditional business principles,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said at a press conference. “To take those skills and turn it into this kind of illegal enterprise is very distressing.”
Scott allegedly started the drug ring after working at a San Diego medical marijuana dispensary. He decided to sell high-quality marijuana across the country because it “would sell very well on the Main Line because everyone between 15 and 55 loves good weed,” according to an affidavit.
He told cops he made at least $1,000 a week just from pushing weed.
Scott and Brooks got large marijuana shipments at Scott’s Haverford apartment, which they then funneled to small-time dealers at five local high schools and three colleges, along with cocaine, hash oil, and ecstasy, drugs that spread to other schools in the Philadelphia area.
The four-month investigation ended with a search in which authorities seized pounds of drugs as well as $11,000 in cash and a loaded AR-15 assault rifle, among other weapons.
Scott was arrested in February. He is sitting in jail on $1 million bail.
“Parents across our community have chosen to send their children to these schools and colleges because they are some of the finest institutions of learning in the United States,” Ferman said. “These drug dealers, motivated by their own greed, sought to create a network to push poison into our education institutions and take over drug distribution on the Main Line. While parents sought to provide education to their kids, these defendants sought to use schools to create drug addicts.”
Sources: New York Daily News
The Boy Scouts of America has revoked the charter of a Seattle troop led by openly gay scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath.
McGrath was booted from the Boy Scouts in March for coming out about his sexuality. The 49-year-old former social worker, who has been married to his husband for 20 years, is thought to be the first scoutmaster ousted by the BSA for being gay.
According to Scouts for Equality, a group that lobbies for the ending of discrimination in the BSA, said that the BSA revoked the charters for two scouting units, Troop 98 and Pack 98, that were run by McGrath in the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church.
But the church’s reverend, Monica Corsaro, says that McGrath is still leading the troop.
“Based on our religious principles, we will continue to act as an autonomous church that does not discriminate,” she said in a statement to Scouts for Equality. “We will continue to have our troop meetings here, every Thursday night, with business as usual.”
The BSA’s director of communications, Deron Smith, said the troop didn’t follow the charter agreement, and thus the organization had no choice but to cut ties.
“We are saddened by this development, but remain committed to providing all youth with the best possible scouting experience where the scouting program is the main focus. We are contacting the parents and leaders of the units to inform them of the chartered-organization change,” Smith said in a statement.
Zach Wahls, the executive director of Scouts for Equality, said in a statement that the BSA’s decision would only “hurt” the scouts who “need the values and leadership of someone like scoutmaster McGrath."
“Unfortunately, the BSA’s decision calls into question its commitment to leadership and values by perpetuating an outmoded policy rooted in fear and discrimination,” Wahls said. "History will show that today’s announcement is a self-inflicted wound."
McGrath brought gay issues into the conversation with his scouting group along with regular Boy Scouts activities.
“Mostly it’s about ending the silence,” McGrath told NBC at the time his leadership position was revoked. “It means becoming an equal participant with everyone else. That’s all.”
McGrath told the Associated Press yesterday that he would continue to lead his troop despite the BSA's actions.
"Just because the BSA doesn't want to be involved with this church and these kids, we will still have a robust youth program for our kids," McGrath said. "It's one of the best things I do. One of the things that really makes my week is spending time with these kids."
A 7-year-old Florida boy was electrocuted in his family pool last Sunday due to a faulty light.
Calder Sloan was enjoying a race in the pool against his nanny’s 22-year-old son Gary when both were shocked. Gary felt the shocked and yelled at Calder to get out of the pool, but the boy apparently did not hear, the Miami Herald reports.
Calder may have brushed up against a highly corroded light fixture, the family said.
Calder’s father, Chris Sloan, said the family had hired an electrician to fix a light that wasn’t turning on about nine months earlier. His brother, Greg Sloan, said that electricians told him earlier this week that the light didn’t seem to be properly grounded.
“Somebody did not do their job,” Chris Sloan said.
A neighbor ran over to perform CPR when the nanny knocked on her door in a panic. Paramedics arrived soon after, but it was too late to save the boy.
Chris Sloan, thanked those who tried to help at the Friday memorial service for the boy the family called “Mr. Awesome.”
“We’ve been through hell. All you tried to do was save Calder’s life and there’s absolutely nothing you could have done. You did everything,” Sloan said.
“Please, everybody, the reason we wanted the news media here is get your electric, the things you never expect, get your electricity checked. Make sure your house is grounded, your pool light is grounded. Make sure. Just, anything physically possible,” Chris Sloan said. “You gotta hold your kids tight and protect them.”
Master electrician Walter Sanders said that water in pool lights is a common occurrence— and a potentially fatal accident waiting to happen.
“Water and electricity don’t mix,” Sanders reminds all pool owners.
“Make sure you don’t have 120 volts introduced into your water, in case a glass breaks or a leakage, and obviously you want to make sure your system is well grounded,” Sanders told CBS.
A well-grounded system ensures that in case something goes wrong, the electricity will flow into the ground and not to those in the pool.
North Miami police Maj. Neal Cuevas told the Herald that the police still have much to investigate.
“We know the manner of death. We have to figure out the circumstances surrounding the death,” he said.
A memorial fund has been set up in Calder’s name.
A 16-year-old boy miraculously survived almost six hours stowed away in the wheel well of a plane traveling from California from Hawaii.
The teen was “unconscious for the lion’s share of the flight,” according to FBI spokesman Tom Simon.
Simon told the Associated Press that the boy survived frigid temperatures and a lack of oxygen, traveling at 38,000 feet.
“Kid’s lucky to be alive,” Simon said.
The stowaway was discovered without ID on the tarmac of the Maui airport.
Security footage from the San Jose airport shows the teen hopping a fence in Santa Clara, CA to board a Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45. He had run away from his family after an argument, Simon said.
After spending most of the flight unconscious, he hopped down from the wheel well and was wandering around the airport when airline personnel found him.
Hawaiian Airlines spokeswoman Alison Croyle said personnel saw the boy on the ramp immediately after the flight landed and told airport security.
“Our primary concern now is for the well-being of the boy, who is exceptionally lucky to have survived,” Croyle said.
A medical screening confirmed that the boy was unharmed.
“Doesn’t even remember the flight,” Simon said, echoing Croyle’s sentiment. “It’s amazing he survived that.”
"It sounds really incredible," aviation expert Jeff Wise told CNN. "Being in a wheel well is like all of a sudden being on top of Mount Everest."
A study by the Federal Aviation Administration of 10 wheel-well stowaways between 1947 and 1993 found that five of the hidden passengers survived. Their bodies went into a “hibernative” state, with their hearts only beating a couple of times a minute.
The boy, who was not charged with a crime, is now in the custody of child protective services.
Animal welfare activists picketed outside Liam Neeson’s Manhattan apartment building, taking the actor to task on his support for New York’s horse-drawn carriage trade.
Neeson wrote an op-ed to the New York Times supporting the industry, which is due to be phased out. About 50 demonstrators showed up outside his building on the Upper West Side Saturday as police officers stood by and doormen took pictures, holding signs reading "Liam Neeson: Stop Supporting Cruelty!" and "Worked to Death!" accompanied by pictures of dead horses.
Peter Wood, an animal protection investigator, said that horse-drawn carriages, a typical New York City tourist attraction, is cruel to the animals, whose health is endangered by traffic, pollution, and accidents.
"It's 2014, not 1914. It's time for a change," said Wood.
"Horses don't belong in traffic, surrounded by buses. They don't belong in the city; it's outdated, it's cruel," he added. "Life attached to a carriage with a poop bag attached to your rear end — that's no life."
Neeson wrote in his op-ed, titled “Carriages Belong in Central Park,” that he has been an avid equestrian his whole life.
“I can appreciate a happy and well-cared-for horse when I see one,” the “Schindler’s List” actor wrote. “It has been my experience, always, that horses, much like humans, are at their happiest and healthiest when working.”
“New York’s horse-carriage trade is a humane industry that is well regulated by New York City’s Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs,” he added. “Harry W. Werner, a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, has visited the stables and 'found no evidence whatsoever of inhumane conditions, neglect or cruelty in any aspect.'"
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged to replace the horse carriages, which have been eradicated from London, Paris, and Toronto for years, with vintage-style “eCarriages.” Supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the anti-carriage group NYClass, the initiative has so far gained little traction, and many continue to support the traditional use of horses for a carriage ride in Central Park.
OutGiving, an LGBT rights group that hosts an annual conference for major donors, will be finding a new venue for this year’s event. Scheduled for the Beverly Hills Hotel, organizers reconsidered their choice after the sultan of Brunei — the hotel's owner — announced that he will legislate death by stoning for gay people.
The Beverly Hills Hotel doesn’t seem like quite the place for the man who dictated a fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic Sharia law in his home country. Yet Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah is the owner of the iconic hotel.
Kirk Fordham, executive director of Gill Action, told the Washington Blade that the group would choose a new venue for the event after the sultan’s announcement.
“In light of the horrific anti-gay policy approved by the Government of Brunei, Gill Action made the decision earlier today to relocate its conference from the Beverly Hills Hotel to another property,” Fordham said. “We are seeking a return of all deposits.“
Set to go into effect April 22, the sultan shocked the international community by mandating the death penalty for a wide variety of offences, including adultery, extramarital relations, sodomy, robbery, and defaming the Prophet Muhammad, per Islamic Sharia law.
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has condemned the laws.
"Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offences contravenes international law," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN commissioner for human rights.
The Beverly Hills Hotel has raised eyebrows in the gay community before, which was aware of its connections to Brunei and his homophobic policies, according to the Washington Blade.
Themed “Winning the Heartland,” this year’s conference is set to take place from May 1-4. With tickets running $1,750 per person, the conference is for high-rollers only: people who give more than $25,000 a year to LGBT causes. The event is kept strictly under wraps from the media.
Leslie Lefkowitz, a spokesperson for the Beverly Hills Hotel, only commented that OutGiving had every right to cancel.
“In the hotel industry, it is not uncommon for organizations to change aspects of their corporate programs, including the scope, date and/or venues of planned events,” Lefkowitz told the Washington Blade. “Anytime a valued business partner decides to alter their plans, we respect their right to do so and look forward to the next opportunity to be of service to them.”
Others are calling for a boycott of several more Los Angeles-area hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, an arm of the Brunei government.
A Brooklyn teen was shot while cutting in line to buy a pair of Nike “Yeezy” sneakers.
15-year-old Isaiah Martinez was eager to buy the Kanye West-designed Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Yeezy” sneakers from a Bushwick neighborhood Foot Locker Saturday. But the people who had waited in line for the store to open at 8 a.m. weren’t having it.
“There were people camped out for the sneakers and Isaiah tried to cut the line,” 21-year-old Edison Cartagena, a friend of Martinez, told the New York Daily News.
The line standers demanded that Martinez move to the back of the queue, but he refused.
“They get into a scuffle and one of the guys on line left and told Isaiah he was coming back with a gun,” said Cartagena, who works at a nearby clothing store. “He came back and just fired off four shots.”
“I guess he tried to get tough with one of the guys he cut,” said another witness, 23-year-old Jayson Roque, who works at a nearby GameStop. “One of them left and came back with a gun and shot him.
“He probably shot him in the foot just to scare him off,” Cartagena said. “You know, send a message.’
Martinez was brought to the hospital with a non-lethal wound.
“I don’t think anyone should lose their life over a pair of sneakers,” Cartagena said. “Thankfully he’s okay. The whole thing is just crazy.”
Because of the incident, the store’s opening was delayed until 11 a.m. By 6 p.m., they had run out of the $250 Nikes, as well as new Air Jordans that were also released that day.
Police are still searching for the gunman. According to the New York Post, friends of Martinez chased him down and stabbed him. Police questioned a teen being treated for a stab wound at the same hospital as Martinez, Woodhull Medical Center.