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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mom Arrives at Day Care to Find Infant Son Alone, Locked Inside

A woman broke the window of a Darwin, Australia, childcare center with a brick when she arrived to find the building locked, the lights out and her tiny son trapped inside.
Yula Williams, 30, said she could hear her eight-month-old baby Xavier "screaming and crying," the Northern Territory News reported.
"It made me terrified to know that my son was inside the center, locked and in the dark," she said.
Williams had dropped her son off at the center in the Darwin suburb of Wagaman on Tuesday morning and went to work.
She had dropped her car off at a local mechanic and arranged for one of her cousins to collect her son from the center before it closed at 6 p.m.
But the arrangements fell through close to the day care's closing time, so she tried to call, but the phone kept going to voicemail
"We got here at 10 minutes to six, everything was locked up," she said.
After scanning all the security screens the frantic mother climbed the back of the building to call Xavier's name.
"I couldn't hear him from the outside but when I walked around and called through the vents to the bedrooms I heard him scream," she told ABC radio in Darwin.
Desperate to get to her tiny son, Williams then picked up a brick from the garden bed and smashed it through a window.
Police said they were continuing to conduct investigations into the incident.

17 year old male student wears female clothes to Central High School

(Memphis 1/26/2009) - At Central High School students wear the usual school uniform, changing a little week because of homecoming.
But what one 17 year old male student has been wearing to class caught the principal's attention last week.
"Female bloomers, leggings underneath with some type of straight leg jeans and a shirt that wasn't quite uniform either." says Central High's Principal Greg McCullough.
It wasn't the first time.
"He was wearing pink tops, pink flat slip on shoes, carrying a purse. Normal girl stuff he would wear." says Central High Senior Trayton Guy.
Principal McCullough says the boy's choice of feminine clothes was disrupting class.
"There were complaints from students, parents and teachers that it was a distraction in their classroom that it was causing conversations in their classroom that were not about education." says McCullough.
"They would talk about him and pick on him everyday." says Trayton Guy.
When the 17 year old was told to change his dress, he wasn't happy saying it was his right.
Some agree.
"As long as he is abiding by the rules, doing what he is suppose to in school, nobody should bother him. He isn't messing with nobody else in the school." says Central High Senior Lawrence Goolsby.
"They come to school every year. Plenty of people come to the school every year. They just now wanting to say something." says Chiquita Maxwell, a Central High Student.
The school dress code doesn't permit attire that disrupts learning.
Parents say rules are rules. more

Jurors weep at details of 'Baby Grace' torture

GALVESTON, Texas -- Jurors wept Tuesday watching a woman describe how teaching her 2-year-old daughter proper manners turned into a daylong torture session in which the toddler was beaten with belts, dunked in cold water and flung across a room so violently that she died.
Kimberly Trenor, 20, detailed the abuse in a videotaped statement played for jurors during the first day of her capital murder trial.
Trenor, 20, told investigators in the statement that she hit her daughter with a thick leather belt to teach her to say "please" and "yes, sir."

This undated file photo released by Sheryl Ann Sawyers shows her granddaughter Riley Ann Sawyers, 2, whose body washed ashore in a storage bin in Galveston Bay, Texas, on Oct. 29, 2007. Jurors wept Tuesday Jan. 27, 2009 watching Kimberly Trenor, 20, describe how teaching Riley Ann Sawyers, her 2-year-old daughter, proper manners turned into a daylong torture session in which the toddler was beaten with belts, dunked in cold water and flung across a room so violently that she died. - AP Photo

The little victim was dubbed "Baby Grace" by investigators who worked to identify her decomposed remains after the body was found in a plastic container in October 2007 on a tiny island in Galveston Bay.
Trenor's 25-year-old husband, Royce Zeigler II, is to be tried separately on murder charges. His attorney argues that Trenor is responsible for the child's death.
But Trenor insisted it was her husband who became so enraged when the toddler didn't behave better that he hurled her several times across a room, ultimately fracturing her skull and killing her. more

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fooftball coach pleas not guilt after high school player dies

Ky. Coach Pleads Not Guilty in Player's Death
Louisville community tries to buoy football coach charged in 15-year-old player's heat death

At a church where he's a deacon and the high school where he coaches football, David Jason Stinson is well-liked enough to find himself surrounded by supporters despite prosecutors charging him in a player's death.
On Monday, Stinson pleaded not guilty to reckless homicide in the death of 15-year-old Pleasure Ridge Park High School offensive lineman Max Gilpin, who collapsed at a sweltering Aug. 20 practice after running sprints, sometimes in pads and helmet.
"They're dragging a very good man through the mud and I don't understand why," football booster Rodney Daugherty said of the coach.
A judge released Stinson without bond at the courthouse that attracted at least a dozen community members voicing their support for the first-year head coach. Gilpin's family also was at the hearing, but did not speak to reporters.

However, Jeff Gilpin and Michele Crockett, the player's divorced parents, have jointly sued the school's coaching staff, accusing them of negligence and "reckless disregard," with details of their son's health made part of the lawsuit.
It includes statements by Crockett, who disclosed that her son had taken the dietary supplement Creatine for a time but stopped in July when football practice started.

Creatine is an over-the-counter supplement and among the side effects listed by the National Institute of Health are cramps or muscle breakdown, heat intolerance and electrolyte imbalances, although it is unclear if any of those came into play in Gilpin's death. more

Maryland Teacher arrested for sex acts with 15 year old student

A 24-year-old Maryland woman has become the latest high school teacher to be arrested and charged with having sexual activity with an underage student.

Police say teacher Autumn Leathers had a sexual relationship with a teenage student.(Courtesy Allegany County Criminal Investigation Unit )More Photos
Autumn Leathers, of Frostburg, Md., was charged Thursday with child abuse, fourth-degree sex offense, perverted practice and second-degree assault. She is alleged to have been having sexual relations regularly this summer with a 16-year-old boy from Mountain Ride High School in Frostburg. Leathers taught at the school, but it was unclear whether the boy was one of her students.
An administrative supervisor with the Allegany County Criminal Investigation Unit, who asked not to be named, said Leathers' alleged trysts with the student took place in her home and began this spring.

"The sexual acts took place when he was 15 years old," the supervisor said, noting that the couple was still together when Leathers was arrested.
"It was a continuous course of contact that began in May 2008," the supervisor said.
Police said they were tipped off Wednesday by an adult, though the supervisor declined to say how the tipster knew of the alleged affair.

The Criminal Investigation Unit supervisor wouldn't disclose what type of sex acts Leathers was accused of participating in with the teen but said police, as a matter of procedure in cases like this, were investigating whether there were other students involved.
School officials said Leathers has been placed on leave and faces termination proceedings. She is now free after having posted a $10,000 bond. more

Ex-pastor gets prison for having sex with 10 year old 'wife,'

MONTREAL: A Canadian man who described himself as a pastor was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl he claims was his wife.
Daniel Cormier, 57, was convicted in October after members of the now-defunct Church of Downtown Montreal became suspicious of his relationship with the girl.
Cormier, who led the church, has maintained he did nothing wrong when he married the girl, then 10 years old, in 1999 during a ceremony at his church.
"I would say that there's no remorse," prosecutor Anne-Andree Charette said outside the courtroom. "He just tried to find justifications."
The girl, now 19, testified she was too young to grasp the concept of marriage but said she remembered the sexual abuse in vivid detail.

The Associated Press generally does not name the possible victims of sexual abuse.
Cormier is currently on trial in another case where he is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl — also during his time as a pastor. He denies the accusation.

woman took four children shoplifting at Wal-Mart.

But instead of a lesson in good deals, authorities say Bradley taught them the basics of shoplifting and then left the four to try it themselves.
When they were caught, Latoya Bradley, 24 of Lehigh Acres, fled and abandoned the children there, the Lee County Sheriff's Office said.
Bradley remained in custody Monday at the Lee County Jail on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, child cruelty and larceny petit theft.
Lazzaro Danielson, who tracks shoplifters at the Lehigh Acres store, saw Bradley come in wheeling a shopping cart that carried three children. Another girl, a 12-year-old, walked beside her.
They walked over to the infant clothing section, and Danielson said he saw Bradley show the 12-year-old how to discreetly take baby clothes off the rack and place them underneath the three children in the cart. Bradley then left the children in the section to take more clothes, but watched from afar, he said.
Danielson followed the children, and when they tried to leave the store he confronted them.
"When (Bradley) saw me take the kids, she took off," Danielson said.
He took the children, two of whom were Bradley's, into his office to wait for Lee sheriff's deputies to arrive. Danielson uncovered 17 items in the cart with a total value of about $49.
After taking statements from the children, deputies tracked the red car Bradley had been driving to a home on Quentin Avenue South and arrested her.
"When we told deputies her name, they already knew who she was," Danielson said.
The Department of Children and Families opened an investigation Monday. Bradley is slated to go before a judge today in the case. more

Monday, January 26, 2009

Prep School Student Admits to Killing Mother in Argument Over Grades

TOWSON, Md. — A Maryland teenager calmly admitted in court Monday that he beat his mother to death with a baseball bat after an argument over his grades at a prestigious private school.

Lewin C. Powell III, 16, wore a dark suit and showed no emotion as he answered questions from Baltimore County Circuit Judge Kathleen G. Cox about whether he understood the significance of his guilty plea to first-degree murder.

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced April 3. Powell's attorneys plan to ask for all but 15 years of the sentence to be suspended and to have their client sent to the Patuxent Institute, a maximum-security psychiatric facility with a program for young offenders.

Powell did not stir when a prosecutor read a statement of facts that detailed the prolonged attack on his mother and a similar beating of his father, who survived.

"He's always taken responsibility for what he's done," Shanell Kathleen Harleston, one of Powell's attorneys, said after the hearing. "He never wanted to prolong it."

Powell killed his mother, Donna R. Campbell-Powell, in May after an argument about his grades at McDonogh School, a prestigious private school in Owings Mill where he was a sophomore. But Harleston said the initial subject of the dispute with his mother was immaterial.

"This is a lifetime of problems that he's been dealing with that suddenly came to a head," Harleston said. "This particular day was the first time he had ever argued back. ... He just snapped that day."

Harleston would not specify what led to Powell's emotional difficulties, but the teen told police after he was arrested that his parents had pushed him too hard and he couldn't take it anymore, according to a statement of facts read in court Monday by Assistant State's Attorney Charles R. Gayle.

Harleston said Powell was not abused by his parents.

In exchange for Powell's guilty plea, prosecutors dropped all other charges, including a count of attempted murder for the attack on his father, who suffered two skull fractures when his son beat him with the same aluminum bat.

State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger said after the hearing that he did not believe Patuxent was an appropriate placement for Powell. Prosecutors will argue that Powell should serve his sentence in a state prison.

If he receives a life sentence, Powell could be eligible for parole after 12 years with good behavior. Parole for an offender serving a life sentence in Maryland requires the approval of the governor, which hasn't happened since 1994.

The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell lived with his parents in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in the Baltimore suburb of Towson. He had no history of violent behavior and took honors-level classes at McDonogh, where annual tuition exceeds $20,000. more

9-year-old motorist injures elderly woman

A 9-year-old girl was behind the wheel of a car that ran into an 80-year-old woman and broke both her legs in a Walgreens parking lot Friday night on the South Side.

At 7 p.m. a woman parked her car in the lot of a Walgreens on the 6330 block of South King Drive, leaving her young daughter and the girl’s aunt inside, according to Grand Crossing District police Lt. Timothy Bickham.

While the aunt was talking on a cell phone inside the car, the child jumped into the driver’s seat and put the car into gear, the lieutenant said.

The car moved and struck an 80-year-old woman who was in the parking lot, pinning her under the vehicle and breaking both her legs, according to Bickham, who said the vehicle also struck another car.

The 80-year-old woman was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she was in “stable” condition, according to police News Affairs Officer JoAnn Taylor.

Bickham said no one else was injured and the aunt told police the girl accidentally put the car into gear.

The aunt inside the 2000 Dodge Intrepid, Cynthia Harris, 23, of the 7800 block of South Laflin, was charged with endangering the life of a child and cited with the traffic violation of permitting an unauthorized person to drive, according to Taylor.

The mother of the 9-year-old, 26-year-old Elnora Moody, of the 6400 block of South King Drive, was charged with driving on a suspended license, no insurance and parking in a fire lane, according to Taylor, who said both Moody and Harris are scheduled to appear in traffic court on March 12.

A video camera captured an image of the child getting out of the driver’s seat, Bickham said.

Bickham said the police Major Accidents Investigation Unit is investigating.

3 year old girl was found alone in Chuck Cheese

Authorities say the girl told them her name is Keyshanna. She was found without an adult in the restaurant at the Festival Shopping Center shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday.

The sheriff's office says in a news release it has not concluded its investigation and will release more details once investigators determine exactly what happened.

The sheriff's office said earlier the girl was brought to the restaurant Sunday afternoon, possibly by someone the girl called "Uncle Damon."

Teen pleads not guilty to impersonating officer

CHICAGO - A 14-year-old boy accused of impersonating a police officer and going on patrol for five hours has pleaded not guilty.

The teenager appeared in a Chicago juvenile courtroom on Monday in a purple sweater with his hands cuffed behind his back.

A judge ordered that he be held at the juvenile center because he could pose a danger to himself.

On Saturday the teen, wearing an officer's uniform, walked into a police station and was assigned to go on patrol in a squad car. Police say he did not have a gun, never issued any tickets and didn't drive the car.

The Rev. Roosevelt Watkins said, until recently, the boy lived with him for nearly a year. Watkins says the teen is fascinated with everything to do with police work and that his favorite television shows are police dramas.

Teens charged with stealing pizzas, wings from delivery man

BOYNTON BEACH — Police say two female teenagers were arrested on charges of beating a Papa John's delivery man and stealing dinner they allegedly ordered: pizza, wings and a cheese steak that cost $55.

Boynton Beach police officers arrested the teenagers Thursday and found the still-warm pizzas in a closet. Arrested were Valerie Blanc and Michelle Turner, both 19.

A witness told detectives she saw the two suspects leave the house and attack the pizza delivery man. He had been trying to deliver three pizzas - extra cheese, pepperoni and ham - in addition to a 10-piece order of buffalo wings with blue-cheese dressing and a 2-liter bottle of Coke when he was attacked.

Both teens were charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery.

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